Another One Bites the Dust
Posted Dec 5, 2017
Well, it's been a good nine months since I last updated this journal. And another year about to end. And what a shitty year it has been.
I don't hold out much hope for next year being any better. It'll most likely be a lot worse. But in about 11 months, it'll be time to try to turn the tide. I cling to hope that it will turn.
That said, wishing all of my friends and followers - the few of you that remain - as happy and peaceful a holiday season as you can muster, and best wishes for the new year.
(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing
Posted Feb 14, 2017
I haven't posted a journal entry on h2g2 in a LOOONG time (a little over a year!). Mostly because it's not possible to limit the audience here, journal entry posts show up on the FP, and we have a disproportionate number of trolls to legitimate Researchers these days. But, for those of you who are friends of mine here who avoid Facebook and email, I guess it's time for a journal entry.
So, as far as what's been happening since I last updated...
We were house-hunting back then. Houses in Chicago aren't cheap - a fixer-upper runs around $300-$350K - and I was loathe to tie up too much of our savings into a down payment*. We'd moved from our old place of 10 years back in 2012, to a lovely three bedroom unit right on the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River. Gorgeous building, gorgeous area, gorgeous apartment, in the Albany Park neighborhood. Just a couple blocks walk from the CTA train! Sadly some frat boy a-holes moved in this past summer, and the last six months have been relentless noise. So we'd ramped up the house hunt in recent months.
Then, a fascist dictator won the election for US President a few months ago, and we don't know what the hell to do. On the one hand, it seems stupid to tie up money into a home knowing we could lose everything if (when) the economy inevitably sinks into a depression. On the other hand, would having our savings in the bank be any more secure when that happens? Might it be better to have a chunk of our savings in something non-liquid? Try as I might (and I have done for nine years), I cannot find a credit union that will take our money, and regret having OH close his back in 2005 (because they were far away from home). We use a regional bank, as opposed to one of the big ones who have screwed so many customers over for the sake of filthy lucre, but in the event of a depression, we'd still likely lose it all, no? Whereas having it locked up in a house, we don't lose anything as long as we can make the payments. And I stand to eventually inherit mid to high five-figures from my dad between life insurance policies and annuities that pay out in lump sum, which we could always put toward house payments or "retirement income", if needed.
And friends know all too well that I'm miserable at work - typically 70+ hour/ six-day work weeks (not eligible for overtime pay) and no end in sight. We need more people, and upper management's solution is that I can just work from home on Sundays if needed, too. There's no work-life balance, and no end in sight, and if I don't look now, I am probably screwed, but if I do look now, we won't qualify for a mortgage.
But if we don't buy a home, we will still have a rent increase this year. So we either drop roughly a years' pay for a down payment, and more or less clean out our savings, or we keep paying about the same as we would for a mortgage for rent, garage and offsite storage rental, and insurance, but without forking over 1/3 of our savings.
As far as that fascist groove thing we don't need goes... I've spent a couple of Saturdays at protests here in Chicago; one, a women's march, and one, a protest at O'Hare Airport against the unconstitutional immigration ban. Apparently, the administration is trying to push an Executive Order that will make peaceful protest a felony. I've done some hard thinking as to whether or not fighting for our Constitutional rights is worth risking federal prison.
While I can't make up my mind whether or not it's financially responsible to buy a home right now, I do know that it's not financially responsible to let a fascist administration take away my health insurance, my employment, my right to healthcare and privacy about my healthcare, my right to vote, or any of my other rights. And so I have decided I am going to fight. To paraphrase Emiliano Zapata, it's better to die on my feet than to starve on my knees. Wish me (us) luck on all fronts, please!
* I realize that high home prices are an issue in the Europe / the UK as well, but thought that in many places, that was down to lack of physical space? I see all kinds of new construction going on, but fixer-uppers are still pretty pricey in the City, and if we move too far out, I won't be able to commute to work (OH commutes about 1 1/2 hours each way every day, and while he says he doesn't mind much, it sucks time-wise and puts a lot of mileage and wear and tear on the car...).
Posted Dec 1, 2015
Now that the month of November has ended, I wanted to make a quick journal entry thanking all of those whose journals I follow, friend or otherwise, for utilizing the A-page option for this year's NaJoPoMo.
It's not that I am not interested in all of you - otherwise I wouldn't be following your journals - but rather that I work hard for a living, have family and other commitments (which include volunteer work for h2g2!), and simply don't have time to read a journal entry every day for even one of you, leastwise all of you. And no way could I pick and choose!
You all know that I don't really write journal entries because there's pretty much nothing about me I care to share without limiting my audience to people I know and trust. However, I appreciate why the project is promoted on h2g2, and I'd never discourage anyone I know from participating! But it was a real relief to be given the option to opt-in, instead of having to choose between feeling like a captive audience or unsubscribing from folks I may have been following for years.
So, thanks to everyone to whose PS I am subscribed, for posting your NaJoPoMo entries to an A-page that I could read (or not) as time allowed and not be overwhelmed every time I logged in by conversations from which I needed to unsubscribe or felt obliged to read.
And now we're heading toward the end of another year... this has been a good one, overall, at that! I'm not comfortable providing too much detail, but suffice it to say that a number of toxic influences have been removed from my life over this past year, and everything is awesome right now. Including an awesome new job!! Drop me a line on FB or by email if you haven't for a while and want to catch up on all the details. Otherwise, see you around the site, and I'll resume reading your journals now!
Posted Nov 1, 2014
To my h2g2 friends,
Most of you have noticed I do not frequently make posts to my journal. I do, however, try to keep an eye on most of yours.
But I don't have time to read a journal entry a day from even one of you, leastwise many of you. So, I will be unsubscribing from any friends participating in NaJoPoMo, until December, just so I don't have to unsub daily from several individual conversation threads. I'll resume keeping up with your journals on December 1st.
Just didn't want anyone to think you had mortally offended me or anything.
I'm tired of frigid cold. Can we please have some regular cold now? (PC)
Posted Jan 28, 2014
I really try hard not to complain about the weather. No matter how awful it is, someone else, possibly someone I know, has worse or has had worse recently.
And I really don't complain much about the weather during wintertime, because I like cooler weather, and I enjoy a bit of snow. A couple dozen inches, cumulatively, is OK, provided we get a couple days in between every few inches or so for moving it out of the way.
But I'm sick of this cold we've been getting. It's quite likely that I will be working from home tomorrow simply because I am apprehensive about going outside. Tomorrow's *high* temperature is supposed to be somewhere around -26°C, with wind chill in the -43 to -46° C range.
Today wasn't *too* bad. My OH drove me in to work this morning (he drives roughly 50 miles each way, so a few miles out of his way is not that bad, especially not at 6-6:30 AM. It's currently -20°C, with wind chill around -33. I waddled home from the train wrapped up like a human burrito: leggings under my slacks, a sweater and a hoodie over my shirt, big pea coat, wooly hat, pashmina, knitted scarf, two pairs of socks, mittens over my gloves, and my snow boots. I wasn't too uncomfortable other than having to flutter my eyelashes to keep them from freezing shut.
We've got the kitchen and bathroom faucets dripping and the cabinet doors in both rooms open, to help prevent the pipes from freezing. I've got the heat cranked up to 20°C for the same reason - and because our bedroom has two perimeter walls and gets cold as hell when it's below zero.
But there are nice things about a cold night. I've got a big pot of soup going, filled with roasted corn, black and navy beans, black-eyed peas, tinned tomatoes, and arugula. I've got some partially baked dinner rolls we can warm up to have with it. And some lovely hot cocoa with bits of peppermint in it, for dessert.
But yeah. I hate to whine about the weather too much, even when I have three feet of water in the foyer of my building, when the power or gas goes out, when a tree falls in the yard and knocks a window in. Those things are all annoying but I feel bad for moaning. But this cold is downright dangerous, and I'd like it to warm up to at least 0°C so we can go to the zoo and see the baby snow leopard and gray seal already!!