Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's been awhile since I blegged, or blogged for that matter....

So you all know about the pestilence problems I've been having? NO BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ON TUMBLR. IT'S WHERE ALL THE COOL KIDS BLOG DONCHA KNOW. 

Long story short- bed bugs SUCK. My shitty landlord stopped treating the apartment 2 months ago. There was a canine inspection in June that said there were still bugs here, but the landlord didn't do shit. With my August rent I included a letter that said "restart treatment or no more rent money". Today there was another canine inspection, and magically, without any pesticides or heat treatment or ANYTHING being done- POOF- the landlord says no more bugs. The fact that I am covered in bites says otherwise. Also if you could magically get rid of bed bugs with nothing more than depression and unemployment- RAID WOULD BE BOTTLING THE TEARS OF MILLENNIALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. The thing is- per my lease, the landlord only has to pay for the first infestation. If they get away with saying this infestation is done and over- I AM ON THE HOOK FOR THE FULL COST OF TREATMENT. That is going to run in the $4600 range. Makes me want to go throw my dirty laundry on the landlord's desk and chair and ask "DO YOU REALLY THINK WE'RE BED BUG FREE? REALLY? HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO BET ON IT?"
So where does the blegging come in? Well I started a new job, which means I have no money till I get paid- 2 weeks from now. I don't even know how I am going to get to work next week when I am out of bus fare. But to fight my landlord I have to get an independent canine inspector NOW. I found one. He's awesome. He can do it as soon as I have $170. All he does is inspections, so he's got no dog in the fight. I have to get him in QUICK. No loopy holes for the landlord to say "NOOOO, that must be a whole new infestation". I maybe have a few days, tops. Definitely not 2 weeks.
So if you can spare some change- please drop it in my paypal. Once upon a time I lived a life that didn't involve all my shit being bagged up like an episode of hoarders. I WANT TO GO BACK TO THAT TIME.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It had to happen eventually

Today the Kid is 18. I don't even know how that happened. I just know that it did. WOW. He's pretty amazing. I am really proud of the person that he has grown up to be. But that's his story now and he can tell it how he wants to. I am going to take one tiny blog post to brag, cause OMG I DID IT.

Look, I had like the worst examples of how to parent. So my goal was was mostly "DON'T DO THAT". I can tick some pretty big things off the "That didn't happen to Kid" list. He made it to 18 without smoking, drinking, drugs, or having sex (the sex thing I don't so much care about, but I was 19 when I had him so I am hoping that a later start for him means a later start on babies as well, if he decides to have them). He also never heard anything come out of my mouth that remotely resembled the kind of emotional abuse that I went through. He has never been emotionally blackmailed with the potential loss of my love if he didn't do chores, for example. He has never been thrown out of the house to fend for himself as a child. He's never had to be the parent and had giant grown up responsibilities pushed onto him. Actually I may have kept him a little unknowledgeable on that front, dude can't remember our zip code and doesn't know how to fill out an envelope. But he can and will learn those things.

There are things I could have been better at, that's for sure. No parent is perfect. I would take back the entire beginning of 6th grade. I played that wrong. I was ignoring who Kid is for who I thought I was supposed to turn Kid into. I wasn't being myself either. We were both miserable and fighting and unhappy. When I finally said "OH FUCK THIS! THIS IS NOT US!" and calmed the fuck down, Kid and I were both much much happier.

I also wonder if I made the right choice in homeschooling him. I don't know. He's terribly introverted. Would he have been less introverted if forced into the gauntlet of high school hallways, or would he have been depressed or worse with the daily torment? I don't know. But I do know a lot of late blooming people who did fine, and I think Kid will figure that out for himself when he is motivated (probably by girls) enough to want to. That is how Kid has always worked. He does things when he is motivated to do them and not a second before. But when he is motivated WHOOOOOSH he goes from not reading at all to reading at a 12th grade level overnight. Booyah.That's my kid.

18 years, WOW. I can't believe it's here. It seemed so far away and then it seemed too close and now it's here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How I Spent My Tax Return

It's the most wonderful time of the year, for poor folks. FUCK ME I LOVE TAX TIME! But it's come and gone, POOF. And this is almost the last year of the big returns. I think I get one more next year, and then Kid is too old for me to get the Earned Income Tax Credit. As it is, he is too old (at 17) for me to get the Child Tax Credit (because on some planet somewhere Congress in all it's wisdom decided that in this one instance 17 year-olds were not children. OK?)

Since I am unemployed and without health insurance (yeah Obamacare does nothing for me until 2014 at the earliest) and COBRA would cost over 1000 a month while I only get about 1200 from Unemployment- I spent about 300 on my prescriptions. Hopefully that will keep me functional until I get a job with insurance. I paid 3 months worth of all my bills but rent and cell phones. Hopefully I will have a job before they come due again. I bought interview and work clothes because I have none. My good clothes keep getting stolen from the apartment's shared laundry rooms plus my weight keeps fluctuating so things don't fit anymore. Hopefully having the clothes in my closet will make me feel a little more confident about sending out my resume and little less "what is the fucking point". I bought some makeup for the same reason. I bought Kid a new cellphone. His old one was very very old. He's been doing really good at being motivated to start taking classes, etc and it's an early birthday present. Hopefully having a kickass little piece of tech makes him feel a little better about venturing out into the world of the adulthood.

You might have noticed a reoccurring word in there. Hopefully. I spent my whole damn tax return on hope. Hopefully things will get better. Hopefully.

I have certainly been in worse places, with much less. I have so many people who love me here. I have the ever awesome Boyfriend, and all my lovely friends near and far, old and new. I have some really bad days but they are nothing compared to how bad it has been in the past. So yes, I am hopeful.

Also the sun is shinning like a motherfucker IN FEBRUARY IN SEATTLE. That never happens. I may just be experiencing some kind of vitamin D induced euphoria. But wevs, I'll take a little happy however I can get it.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

RQ Cooks: Stroganoff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like I've posted this already. Have I posted this already? OH FUCK IT! Imma post it anyways. I've been looking for a good stroganoff recipe for years, decades even. The problem is this, to make it quick, you get this chewy, tough meat that is impossible to eat without a knife and doesn't make any sense in a pile of delicious mushroomy, noodley goodness. Boyfriend made the mistake of suggesting using hamburger BUT THAT WILL NOT DO, NO WAY SIR, NO. So braising, which takes a while but if you get buy one get on free on a decent roast you can make double portions and get many many meals out of it.

It did take some work to get the liquid portions right. And since I am adding extra liquid at the beginning and don't want it to be soupy at the end, I am gonna braise in the oven instead of the crockpot so it cooks down.

You need:
3 lb chuck roast, sliced into pieces of similar size to the noodles you will serve it with
salt and pepper
butter with a little vegetable oil to keep it from smoking
2 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine (or you can use my go to substitution for red wine when I am out or too poor to buy wine- beef broth in the amount of the wine you need, plus several solid glugs of worchestshire sauce and a glug or 2 of red wine vinegar. It's the red wine vinegar that sells it)
3 tablespoons flour
more butter for the mushrooms and onions
1 and a half lbs sliced mushrooms (I use cremini because they are always the same price per pound as button mushrooms and I like them better)
2 diced medium yellow onions
1 and a half cups sour cream
2 packages egg noodles

Preheat your oven to 300, if you can remember to do that kinda thing. In a braiser or dutch oven or oven proof stock pot, melt the butter over high heat and add a little vegetable oil to keep it from smoking. Season beef with salt and pepper and brown it, in batches. When it's all brown, put it all back in the pan. Add the flour and continue cooking until there are no white or floury bits. You can add a little extra butter if you need to. Then add either the wine or the faux-wine to deglaze the pan. Keep cooking on high until it's been reduced by half. Then cover it with a tight-fitting lid and chuck it in the oven. Ignore it for a minimum of 2 hours. 2 and a half is best.

When you are nearing the finish mark, put a big ole pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Don't forget to salt the water. Seriously DON'T FORGET TO SALT YOUR PASTA WATER YOU HEATHENS. While pasta is pasta-ing, dice your onions and slice your mushrooms. Saute them in some butter until the onions are all carmelly awesome. Then stir them into the beefy awesomeness. Add the sour cream. Stir that too. Serve over the noodles. Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that everyone around you thinks your are a better cook than them and will now worship at your feet and bring your offerings of booze.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh ah fun!

So after much hard work - the podcast is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Boyfriend's podcast for Machine Court that is. If you want to give it a listen- GO HERE! You will get to hear a little of my weirdly breathy voice even! We are also already busy putting together podcast number 2, so if you like what you hear and want to be part of next one, volunteer for a Skype interview! All you need is a computer and microphone. It's fun and weird and you can even have cocktails while I ask you ridiculous questions. But go listen and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Help a blogger out! No Monies Required!

Some of you may be aware that I have recently joined the ranks of the disemployed. (Sadfaces all around).  It could be worse. I'm doing all right for now. We're housed and fed and interneted. I've got enough meds to last me a little while. All in all, I've been in much dire circumstances.

But I do need your help- in a FUN way. "WHAT IS THIS FUN?" you may be asking. Well the boyfriend has been working on an interactive multimedia art project called Machine Court that involves animated robots. We are putting together a podcast to explain the project and also to test run some of the questions that the project will use. We need 30 recorded answers to some of the questions by Friday. So far we have 8.

If you want to learn more about the project- go here
If you want to help me out answer some questions- they are here. You just need a computer with a microphone. There is a link in each question to the recording tool. This week's questions are what you would do if you could clone yourself.

It's fun. It's easy. It's keeping me occupied when job searching is frustrating.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ugh, Oppression Tourists Piss Me OFF!

So today, or maybe yesterday, I got a new Twitter follower. So I clicked through, cause maybe I want to follow him back. Turns out he is playing at being poor by living for 90 days on WHO rations or some shit. Because no one can really know the truth about poverty unless is being talked about by an educated white dude who play acts the part of the poor and downtrodden.

FUCK THAT SHIT! You want to know and understand more about poor people. TALK TO AND REALLY LISTEN TO THEM. We get to be the experts on our own fucking lives. You want to know how hard it is for women (cough-Nicholas Kristof-cough) the TALK TO AND REALLY LISTEN TO WOMEN. You want to know what it's like to be a person of color? Then TALK TO AND REALLY LISTEN TO POCs.

We get to be the experts on our own fucking lives. We get to create the narrative of who we are and why we are. Not some well-meaning dude who hasn't checked all of his fucking privilege and who thinks he can understand the grinding, slow- motion horror film that is life in the bottom 20 percent. We are the experts, yet oddly no one ever treats us as such. Instead we are lectured at, imposed upon, stereotyped, and ignored.

If you find yourself feeling sympathetic to an oppressed group, then go educate yourself by reading or seeking out primary sources (since HEY THAT'S A BIG FUCKING DEAL WITH ACADEMIC AND INTELLECTUAL TYPES, UNLESS THE PRIMARY SOURCE IS NOT A WHITE DUDE WITH MONEY).

Fuck me. You know I had this same damn argument around Columbus day. People all over started quoting Bartolome de las Casas, a Spaniard who thought indigenous folks in the New (not really new) World should be treated as people and encouraged the African slave trade in order to give the locals their freedom. Yeah that was mis-fucking-guided. So the dude said some nice shit about Indians. But you know who we should be listening to about the horrors of European colonialism in the Western hemisphere? HOW ABOUT SOME NATIVE AMERICANS WHO ARE STILL FUCKING OPPRESSED. How about Rigoberta Menchu? How about Winona Laduke? Or Sherman Alexie? But no. Instead of quoting actual brown people about the how colonialism, racism, and oppression have fucked them over, we gotta reach into the way back machine and pull out a white, European dude to be the expert.