On Working When You Have No Sleep, A Guide

@HelloTheFuture Yesss, running music keeps me going on the Strugz Days.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 11:08 am 0

On Can Feminism and Breastfeeding Coexist, Take 2

@xtinamartinson Oh my gosh, coolest comment ever. I can't wait to try this when my babymaking time comes.

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 3:23 pm 1

On How To Become a Math Person, Vol. 1

I got through honors math and quite liked a lot of science classes, with the exception of phsyics, which busted my butt. But in my adult life I really flourish with applied math: calculating voltage load per circuit when drawing up lighting plots for theater, using trig and geometry to make plans for woodworking and bricklaying projects, understanding the complex financial instruments my colleagues deal with every day. I realize we had to learn the basics before getting to the fun stuff, but I wish more math homework was 'in the field.'

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 10:58 am 0

On Stress-nesting During a Season of Turmoil

I identify with this so hard! My new apartment's kitchen needs some serious DIY-ing. When I am stressed at work, I think greedily about all of the organizing and sprucing-up I will get to do when the time comes.

Posted on August 19, 2014 at 8:44 am 0

On Books That Are Worth The Money

Thiiiiis. So true. I started adhering to Rule #1 in college, where I first experienced the pain of moving all my belongings and realized what a heavy hobby I have.

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 12:08 pm 0

On Equality /= Dystopia

Dystopian stories are fascinating to writers and readers for a number of reasons, but I think dystopian YA in particular ends up arguing for our right to make our own mistakes. In dystopian or utopian societies, choice is often taken away from people. The justification is that too much freedom leads to destruction and suffering, so smart people should unilaterally decide what's best for all of us and thereby minimize chance and pain and damage. The Giver (and later Jonas) believe that people have a right to feel pain. The wife of the household in which the protagonist of The Handmaid's Tale lives suffers jealousy even though her society is engineered to eliminate it. In Brave New World, the Savage and even that one quasi-rogue propagandist (forgetting his name) realize that art and pleasure depend on loss and pain and suffering to give them meaning. That's why dystopian novels used to and continue to resonate so deeply with me: they justify the pain that normal human lives include. So this is why I think the author misses the point of dystopian YA. Tracing economics through the books is interesting, but they don't collectively prove or disprove the efficacy of socio-economic engineering. Currently our problem is not that people's daily lives are so stable they don't have the opportunity to fail, but rather that--as the author mentions early in the article--too many people never have a chance to achieve stability in the first place. Dystopian stories trace current trends to exaggerated conclusions in order to give modern readers a new perspective on the society in which they live. They aren't intended as instruction manuals.

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 11:32 am 3

On Monday Check-in

Hello! I am back and successfully moved in to my new place, albeit a week late. I estimated $100 for my move weekend last Friday, but as you will see, I went well over. Friday: Since my move was delayed one week, I lost the helpers that I initially recruited. I tried to find more, but I only have so many brothers, so I ended up offering two cousins $150 each to help me for half a day. Best money I ever spent. We got it all done in four hours, none of us broke a sweat, and we were smiling the whole time. Saturday: My dad and grandmother came in to help me install shelves, organize the kitchen, and consult on decorations. I did a big food shop ($72) and bought flowers ($5). Sunday: Lazy day walking around my new neighborhood and hanging up pictures. Spent $15 at the farmer's market and $8.50 on iced coffee and macaroons, which I brought to the park to snack on as I read The Empathy Exams (finally!). Went home and cleaned/organized, then finished my book at a bar around the corner over a $5 happy hour pint. Estimated $100, and my spending over the weekend came in at $105.50, but due to circumstances outside my control my move ended up costing an extra $300. Still, I am happy to have it done!

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 10:09 am 0

On Disaster Thinking

Sheesh. I just got thrown a similar curveball (being kicked out of my apartment of 2+ years with 30 days' warning) and used all my savings on the move/rent/deposit. I'll recover some of that when I get the deposit back from my old place, but I can't imagine dealing with all of this plus worrying about kids.

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm 0

On A Room in an Elderly Stranger's House, and Other Places I've Lived

A great history! Can't speak for stucco, but as the daughter of a bricklayer: ivy is not as bad as you think. If the house is old or the bricks (or especially the mortar) are in bad condition, avoid ivy. But newfangled materials are quite strong and the perfect palate for that classy ivy-covered look.

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 12:44 pm 0

On Rejecting Money

I like to treat friends when possible. The action presumes that we will see each other again, and that my friend will pick up the check next time. We commit to each other for another meal =)

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 9:48 am 1