Archive for December, 2009

  • Ice Storm

    The Chicago area was hit by a pretty ridiculous ice storm yesterday. Freezing rain led to some of the highways temporarily shutting down and our driveway being covered in a sheet of ice.

    But yesterday’s horror makes for today’s cheer. The trees are beautiful, if not a bit weighed down by ice.
    Click pictures to see the full size glory.

  • I've Crossed Into the Land of the Unholy

    Yesterday was my first full day of break. And how did I spend my time? Reading textbooks of course!

    Yeah, it’s a real super party. But, I figure, I have the time now. I don’t really have anything better to do with my time, so I might as well get ahead while I can. Having finally made some friends in the vicinity of my parents’ house means that I’d like to have more free time so I might have a more active social life this semester. You know, the semester where I’m taking four graduate courses.

    I’m kind of bummed out though: I checked my credit card statements today and almost threw up. $479 on textbooks (and just textbooks). I even got several of them deeply discounted, (50% off or more). And I still need to buy school supplies. I need more binders and post-its. Tiny post-its. Expensive post-its.

    It’s pretty rotten when your books cost more than 10% of your tuition costs. Even with a lot of them purchased for a more than fair price. My bank account is going to suffer so dearly this semester.

  • Bugs in the Bathroom

    I found this cute little guy on my sink last night.

    Lady BugCute little 9/18 spotted ladybug. Probably what that wolf spider the other night was stalking. I prefer the ladybugs. They’re symbols of luck!

  • Tell Me How You Feel

  • If Anyone Asks Why I Didn't Wash My Face

    Spider

    This would be the spider hanging out on the mirror above my sink.

  • Kill the Bill

    Yes, you heard me. Kill the bill. I, a long standing proponent of health care reform, someone who still thinks we desperately need it, is ready to say kill the bill.

    The public option? Gone. Expansion of Medicare? Gone. Ability for the government to negotiate pricing, pharmaceuticals, etc? Gone. Guarantees that insurance companies supply useful plans? Never there. Fines for those who cannot buy health insurance? Still intact.

    I’m done. Yesterday’s paycheck told me I’ve earned around $6700 this year. The only reason I’m not on food stamps and in public housing is because my parents are giving me a place to stay and my grad school status allows them to claim me as a dependent so I still have health insurance. My grandmother is helping me with tuition.

    Under this bill, I’d be required to pay the government a $1500-$3000 fine a year if I cannot afford health insurance. Considering the status of government subsidies is in peril, it’s pretty damn likely I will not have health insurance unless it is employer supplied. I cannot afford that fine. I don’t even make enough money to survive on my own. Next year I’ll be making even less money due to the legal slave labor of student teaching. Oh, right, it’s in the disguise of accredited classes. This isn’t an internship; it’s taking over someone’s job who is still getting paid for that job to the attune of at least $44,000. But that’s another story.

    This bill is fundamentally violent. All it does is deliver 30 million new paying customers to a business that doesn’t actually want to provide the services we pay them to provide. Fuck that. Fuck all of it.

  • Spambots are Full of Spam

    All I can say is thank goodness for Akismet. The spambots have finally found my little blog here. Those infernal creatures posted 50+ spammy comments, and without it I would have had to have gone through each post on it’s own. What a nightmare.

    It’s real cute when they extoll what an “expert you are on this topic!” and they’d “love to hear more about this!” when it’s the posts on rape. Yeah. Awesome.

  • Let's Make Some Sugar Scrub

    I ran out of my sugar scrub today. Woe as me! But not really, because I can just whip up some more. I’ve been using this scrub for a good long and I love it. It’s also ridiculously cheap. It costs about $2 in raw materials for a scrub that lasts me 6-9 months.

    What we need:
    1 cup turbinado sugar
    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 jar or container or whatever
    essential oil of choice (optional)

    Scrub Ingrediants

    Ooh, look at that. And such pretty lights, too. I guess those are optional as well. I’d also like to point out that the honey I am using is at least ten years old. But thanks to the magic that is, in fact, honey: it never spoils or goes bad.

    Basically you just mix all the ingredients in the jar. I find adding the turbinado sugar first is easiest, then the oil and honey.

    Wicca in the KitchenI threw a few splashes of vanilla in this batch. One of my informants for an anthropology paper recommends it due to the magical properties of food. The sugar, honey, and vanilla exude love energies. I’ve actually been reading Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen and this does seem to be the case. I actually have had this book on my shelf for quite awhile at the recommendation of a different informant. I’ve always been interested in folk religion and I’ve been missing my formal research into the topic since I graduated college. I really appreciate the history and lore behind food. Folk religion and food are my two favorite areas of interest at the moment, so this is pretty much the best thing I could be reading right now.

  • Q: How do you know it's cold?

    A: When you walk out of work and a sheet of ice is covering all your windows inside your car. Thank goodness I was stupid and touched the windshield in front of the driver’s seat a few months back so that part didn’t freeze over.

    I’d have a picture of it, but there’s no way in hell I’m going back outside.

  • Someone Passed This Along to Me

    It’s a little old, but very relevant to my life at the moment. Seeing as my recent reading selection has had a lot to do on the subject and I’ve been dealing with this stuff in my personal life, it feels appropriate to link it. A diary entry over at Daily Kos discusses Rape Culture. Here are some pretty disturbing statistics:

    According to the findings, around 25% of people believe that women who have been raped are at least partly to blame because of how they dressed, how much they drank or how many sexual partners they have had.

    The survey revealed that:
    -38% believe that a woman is partly to blame for rape if she walks through a deserted area.
    -37% think a woman is partly to blame if she flirts extensively.
    -30% think a woman is partly to blame if she flirts with a man at all or fails to say no clearly.

    It also found that 10% of people feel that a woman is completely to blame for rape if she has had a number of sexual partners.

    Read the rest of it here.