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After a couple years of austerity, we* got out of debt last year. Then we had thousands of dollars in dental bills, thousands of dollars in car repairs, and, I will confess, thousands of dollars in aid to students that I put on credit cards. So. Back to it, then.

As of yesterday, I had a balance of $21,348.62 on all cards (I'm not counting student loan debt). As of today, I've paid off 3.2% of that. With any luck (a.k.a. hard work and continued employment), along with the snowball effect of paying off higher-interest cards first, I'm hoping to make short work of this. I make ~$50K a year, so it won't be easy, but the sooner we get debt-free, the sooner I can quit my job and go back to editing full-time.

Onward.


*I say "we" advisedly; I make all the money, but James definitely participates in the cost-cutting work.
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You'd think this post would be longer, but here's my daily reality, summed up my Thursday and Friday this week:

* Work so hard that the day goes by in one minute and I can barely breathe or eat or go to the bathroom
* Deal with co-worker drama until I'm super-tempted to quit, even though I LOVE my job
* Get a thank-you note from the student y'all helped me help saying lots of stuff, but among the stuff something like "I will always be there for you, whatever you need," and how he had been sure he would never fulfill his dream of graduating college, but now he feels sure he will succeed. This kid tested into calculus right out of the starting gate. He is going places.

And that is my life. Every day a difficult challenge; every day a student or loved one who makes me happy I'm alive and able to do the work I do.

THANK YOU!

Oct. 30th, 2018 08:55 am
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Thank you all for your help! I received $315 in donations toward the $2331.40 I mentioned in my previous post. I put the rest on my credit card, so I could still use help with it, but it's paid and he's on his way. The student was able to order transcripts from his former school, and he will start classes in January. I am considering starting a non-profit organization to help these students and the other folks you have helped me support in the past. I obviously can't keep charging other people's debt to my credit cards, but I do want to find ways to perform small rescues whenever possible, with your help.

If you are able to help with the balance, my paypal link is http://paypal.me/serenevannoy -- you are awesome.
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Hi, folks,

You were so helpful with the last Restorative Justice student I wanted to help, and though he didn't end up coming to this school and I gave you your money back, I'm wondering if any of you can help this next guy.

E. is a tall, soft-spoken young man, recently released from incarceration, who owes $2331.40 to his last school. He can't get transcripts from them or get his Second-Chance Pell grant until he's either paid off that debt or made 6 months of payments. He's currently in a halfway house, and has already signed up to start school here in January.

If you're willing to help this guy start over, please either PayPal me or contact me to figure out another way to shoot me some money (I have Venmo, CashApp, bank details, an address, etc.). I am going to commit to making this happen for him one way or the other, and I would love your help if it's within your ability and desire right now.
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If you've known me for any length of time, you know I have very mixed feelings about Amazon. It's part Evil Empire, part awesome accessibility website, and 100% something I'd bail on if I had easy access to anything like an alternative.

ANnnnyway, in anticipation of my new chapbook (which will go out first to my Patreon patrons and then be published as widely as these things ever are, which is not very), I went ahead and set up an Amazon author page at amazon.com/author/serenevannoy. I think it's fun that an old copy of issue 1 of the litmag is available for 250% of the cover price, but there's also a link to the queer anthology I was in last summer, so that's cool. And of course, when I finish my novel, I hope it eventually has a place in bookstores -- any bookstores, anywhere.

In a few days, my previous chapbook will be up as a Kindle book, as well, but the content is available for free on my website, both the PDF of the text and a JPG of the cover art.

If you're an Amazon customer, I'd love it if you followed my author page so you can get announcements about future publishing news.
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Took the day off today and ended up spending it mostly sick on the couch (besides picking the kids up at school). Getting a chance to read, though, and that's good.


Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )
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I made a placeholder post a while back with a list of things to talk about here, and I have some time/energy to start tackling those, now that work has eased up a bit.

The things were:

The house in Philly
The kids
My dad
Work
James's books

I also started a Patreon, so I'll probably want to talk about that, soon, too, but for now, I'm just really grooving on how much writing I am getting done for my non-existent (yet?) patrons. Almost doesn't even matter if I ever get one, because they're motivating me even in their absence. I have written new stuff every single day since I put it up, and I'm amused/surprised at how much motivation just having a self-imposed daily deadline has been. The new novel is even finally getting written, instead of just thought about.

Anyway, the house in Philly.

I am not a homeowner )
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Having a shitty week, but I finally have a couple hours to just sit and chill, so book post it is!


Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )
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Stuff I'm too tired to talk about tonight but want to soon:

The house in Philly
The kids
My dad
Work
James's books

Love y'all. Good night!
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Actually remembered what day it is today, w00t!

Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )
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I'm not sure doing these on Wednesdays will work for me this semester, but I still want to do it. I leave the house before 8am and get home between 7 and 8pm, and I just kind of crash mentally. Will try, but there will probably be a lot of Thursday posting.

(Wednesday schedule: leave at 7:45 to take The Kid to school; go to the border and pick up Munchkin The Elder; take him to work with me so he can get to class on time; work 10 to 6:45; take The Kid home; drop Munchkin The Elder back at the border; come home.]

Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )
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I have initiated a refund of the money y'all sent me to help the student; I had transferred the money to my bank so I could pay the old debt, so it will take a couple days to clear back to you. He never showed up, and after I reached out to his prison counselor, she never got back to me to tell me what's up (appropriately -- she was just supposed to convey the message that I was asking about him). I am really really sad about this, but his choices are not my choices.

I am so grateful to all of you for helping. Thank you so much!
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[personal profile] nanila did Friday Five today, and [personal profile] nanila is cool. Therefore, it's cool to do Friday Five today. So:

1. After your first language, what language would you most like to learn? (Say first language too)

My first language is English. If I had to pick one language to really know well, it would be ASL, Arabic, or Korean: ASL/Arabic for work (I work with a number of English Language Learners at work and we have lots of Spanish speakers to help them, but few Arabic speakers and no ASL users that I'm aware of) or Korean for food. I'm a huge Korean-food lover and cooking enthusiast, and I'd love to be able to read all the packages at the grocery store (and interact with my Korean relatives a little more closely, but that's secondary; we're not really close).

(I speak Spanish well enough to get along at work -- since I learned it as a child, my accent is very good, but it's much better than my vocabulary, so it often takes the students a little while to tell I'm a Spanish Language Learner. I know some ASL, Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Yiddish, and Esperanto (not proud of that one), and a teeny-tiny bit of some other languages (Japanese, Thai, Korean, Amharic).)

2. Does your country have a second language? What is it?

Not officially, no. Wikipedia says our second language in terms of users is Spanish. I can buy that.

3. How many languages can you count to 5 in? To 10 in? List them.

I can count to five from memory in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, ASL. To ten: English, Spanish, French, German, ASL. (And I can count as high as I want in English, Spanish, German, and ASL, because I've internalized the rules.)

4. What is the first overseas country you visited? And from where?

We flew from the US (probably from New York, but I don't remember) to Spain when I was eight. I was almost twelve when we came back. While we were there, I traveled with a family friend to Morocco, so that was overseas, as well. On the way back home from Spain, we stopped briefly in Newfoundland, Canada, but I don't really count that as a visit, since we never left the airport.

5. What country do you most want to visit? And why?

Honestly, I dislike travel, so I'd rather stay home, but I like having traveled, so if I had to go somewhere, I'd just pick someplace I haven't been before and try to eat the best of their indigenous cuisine / home cooking, because that's my jam. Might focus on someplace I know a little of linguistically/culinarily (like, say, Korea or Eritrea), but maybe not.
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The first thing I thought about when I heard Ursula Le Guin had died: "I hope [personal profile] wild_irises is okay." (Love you, Deb.)

The second thing was to spend about a half hour lost in thoughts about the women in my history who never knew they made my world better.
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Forgot it was Wednesday last night. I mean, didn't forget Wednesday was media-consumption day; forgot what day it was altogether. But here goes, a day late.

Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )
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A bit wiped, but just semi-quickly:

1a) The first week of winter break, I got a bad headcold. The second week of winter break, mom and my uncle (ages 78 and 88, respectively) got this killer flu, and I can't decide if I was more scared or tired from a week of bednurse duties. Mom's fever topped out at 103.7; she didn't leave her bed for 3 days, and didn't eat for 5. She lost 15 pounds. She finally felt really well day before yesterday, so I guess that means she was some value of sick for 3 weeks! (Uncle wasn't hit as hard, though it did create some TMI stuff for him.)

1b) Mom needs a new heart valve. She went into her cardiology appointment prepared to refuse treatment because she has decided since she takes years to heal from surgeries (very weak skin, progressively weakening immune system), she's never having surgery again. Then the doc told her about a minimally invasive procedure called TAVR, and she's all "Okay, then, I'll do that." So this coming Thursday is the day for labs before arranging for that surgery, which will take her out of commission for a few days.

2) I really love my boss. She supports me, gives me lots of freedom to manage my schedule and workload, and is vocally admiring of me around other employees and managers. She's not perfect, but hell, neither am I. Only almost perfect. At work, anyway.

3) James doesn't read DW, so I can tell you without embarrassing him that he's being SO adorable right now. He's brushing his teeth to get ready to be an interviewee. On a podcast. Via Skype. (Some atheist thing -- he's mildly famous in atheist circles.)

4) Dinner today is the bomb. [Image description: yakitori, rice, and veggies on a white plate with a bowl of sauce]:
yakitori,  rice, and veggies on a white plate with a bowl of sauce


Now I'm off to go check out your journals and see how you are, while I listen to something on my headphones so I don't eavesdrop on James's interview.
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Reading )

Watching )

Listening )

Playing )

Wednesday

Jan. 3rd, 2018 09:33 pm
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Too tired to do a proper media-consumption-Wednesday post, but I really enjoyed reading Ruth Reichl's My Kitchen Year, modulo a fair bit of overprivileged whining I had to either overlook or roll my eyes at. The writing is good, though, and the recipes almost all seem like things I would love to cook and eat.
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Last day of vacation, and I spent nearly the entire day either cooking or washing dishes. It was glorious.

Pics under the cuts (not great pics, but still).

Breakfast was biscuits and gravy )

Lunch was a Korean feast )

Snack was the last of yesterday's apple pie, with some caramel gelato on top )

Dinner was stuffed cheeseburger buns and mango pudding, at the kid's request )

Very good food day. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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We don't stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve; we're usually in bed at our normal 10pm. So let me be a few hours early (Pacific Time) in wishing you a happy 2018. For many, many of us, this was a harrrrrrrrd year. May the coming year be lots easier.

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