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Sep. 3rd, 2015 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] mrbumblepants
Day 2 of pushing myself to make posts here. Tiny success!

PUPPETS
- I've forgotten puppets & the microphone today, so no puppet video. Possibly one tomorrow if it is sunny. Can't wait to make a portable blue screen for videos at home. Also looking around for an inexpensive DSLR camera to take better quality video.

JOB
- Home care aid work continues to be good. Definitely something I'll tone down one day, as I assume I'll get burnt out on it sometime.
- I'm not sure my alternative bus idea will really work out, but I haven't done any research into it. So....reminder to me to look into that. Basically I need to see how much it would cost vs how much I could make, and also if I'd actually be allowed to schedule multiple clients at once. Doing that seems like the best way to get a profit while keeping costs low.
- My second thing I want to do is set up some kind of funding for other people to get their caregiving licenses. Would love to set up a co-op that pays for the training & takes care of the administrative stuff.

BUSINESS STUFF
- I think I've figured out how to approach my entrepreneurship goals. In general, I need to keep my ideas smaller than they have been. Yes, I should have enormous overarching goals - but they should just be guidelines I can revisit every so often. Instead, my day to day should be small steps which by themselves are complete actions. So things that will gain me a bit of money, and therefore give me a bit to invest into other small actions.
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Posted by BD

Cell Phone Provider | TN, USA

(Our cell phone provider has a promotion where you can add a smartphone or open a new smartphone account for one cent. We are in the store to upgrade our account. A woman and her husband come in to get an explanation about their bill. They watch us get a new phone and the sales person ask us for one cent.)

Woman: “Can I get one of those one cent phones?”

Salesperson: “Yes, all you need to do is upgrade to our data plan.”

Woman: “I don’t want any upgrades. I want to get a phone for a penny and give it to my daughter.”

Salesperson: “You really need to have a data plan with a two year commitment in order to get a phone for a penny. We can sign up your daughter if you’d like.”

Woman: “I don’t get it. I just want a phone for a penny.”

Woman’s Husband: *leading her out of the door* “I’ll explain it to you.”

Everyone says love is a labor

Sep. 3rd, 2015 08:31 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

• For a bit more background on the white panic tantrum over finally using the Alaskan name for an Alaskan mountain, here’s some Northern Exposure from Julia O’Malley.

As many have noted, former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called Denali “Denali” — a word that also served as her Secret Service nickname during the 2008 elections. The Secret Service used that because Denali is a symbol of Alaska, whereas “McKinley” is not. Also, too, “McKinley” would be a terrible Secret Service nickname.

• So, OK, I took Randall’s survey. Looking forward to seeing what he does with all that.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley attacks the police: “‘Black lives do matter and they have been disgracefully jeopardized by the movement that has laid waste to Ferguson and Baltimore,’ Haley said, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday.”

She may not realize she’s talking about the police, but they’re the only thing she could accurately be referring to when she says, “the movement that has laid waste to Ferguson and Baltimore.”

• Well said, Ben Corey:

GunClerkLauren Nelson takes a trip to Dick Land’s Land o’ Dicks. You remember our old friend Richard Land — former chief “ethics” spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention. He was forced out of that post due to his racist commentary about Trayvon Martin. The SBC didn’t fire him because his comments were racist, but because it turned out his racist commentary was plagiarized.

And Southern Baptists won’t tolerate plagiarism — which is why Land had to step down and become president of a Southern Baptist seminary.

Anyway, Land is apparently perplexed that Kids These Days still regard cheating, betrayal and infidelity as Bad Things, even though they don’t condemn gay people and sex-having womenfolk the way he thinks good Christians should. The man spent 35 years as a professional “ethics” leader, yet he remains utterly baffled by any consideration of consent. That’s pretty much all you need to know about supposedly conservative supposedly Christian supposed ethics.

• I love biblical studies mainly because I love the Bible, but I’m also fascinated by the puzzle-solving detective-work process of it. Making sense of Really Old Texts with partial, inadequate evidence is a challenge that can be, for want of a more academic word, fun.

Consider this, from James McGrath, on “The Gospel of Grondin’s Interlinear.” Remember the s0-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”? Well, it turns out to correspond a bit too closely with an English/Coptic interlinear tool for the Gospel of Thomas. When the primary source for a fragment of papyrus turns out to be something created on the Internet, that’s a pretty big clue that the fragment is not actually from the first century.

[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by Andrew Crocker

It should be no surprise that libraries and bookstores—the places where you can go pick up a copy of 1984 or Darkness at Noon—are privacy hipsters. They’ve been fighting overbroad government surveillance since before it was cool. That’s why we’re proud to have filed an amicus brief on behalf of a coalition of associations of libraries and booksellers in Wikimedia v. NSA, a case challenging the government’s warrantless surveillance of the Internet backbone.

The case was brought by our colleagues at the ACLU on behalf of Wikimedia—the non-profit that operates Wikipedia—and a broad spectrum of other media, human rights and legal organizations. The case challenges the NSA’s so-called Upstream surveillance, a publicly admitted program that involves copying Internet traffic—including e-mails, chat, web browsing and other communications—as the data traverses the fiber optic backbone of the Internet. Now the government has brought a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Wikimedia and the other plaintiffs cannot show that their communications are collected. According to the government, Wikimedia can’t assert its own rights or the rights of its users and therefore lacks standing to sue.

That’s where libraries and bookstores come in. EFF’s amicus brief represents of a range of these groups: the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

As the brief explains, the government is dead wrong when it says organizations like Wikimedia can’t represent its users’ First Amendment rights. Upstream surveillance sweeps in readers’ online interactions with libraries and bookstores, including sensitive information like readers’ choice of reading material, which is protected by the First Amendment. As the Supreme Court has explained, the constitutional guarantee of free speech also includes protections for the things that go along with free speech: publishing and receiving information anonymously and associating privately. Reading lists are a prime example—if the government knows what you’re reading, you’re likely to think twice about checking out controversial or embarrassing books.

As providers of the written word, libraries and booksellers are the natural protectors of readers’ First Amendment rights. The brief explains that libraries and bookstores have long stood up for reader privacy—the American Library Association in particular has included a promise of patron confidentiality in its Library Bill of Rights since 1939. In recognition of that important relationship, the Supreme Court has made clear that booksellers and libraries have standing to bring claims based on readers’ First Amendment rights. While most of the cases involving protection for readers’ records have arisen in the brick-and-mortar context, there’s no reason why online interactions between readers and libraries and booksellers should be different. And of course, Internet users’ consultations of Wikipedia articles are similarly entitled to this protection, meaning that Wikimedia should be empowered to raise its users’ First Amendment rights as well as its own. We hope the court agrees.

Special thanks to Jan I. Berlage of Gohn Hankey Stichel & Berlage LLP for acting as our local counsel in filing the brief.

Replete

Sep. 3rd, 2015 04:57 pm
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[personal profile] flick
We've just got back from Mike's birthday dinner, at The Ambrette, where the food was as lovely as ever (although the slight vagueness to the service that's always present seemed worse than usual on a very quiet Thursday evening). We had been booked in for tomorrow, which is The Actual Day, but Little Red Thing is being taken away in the morning, and Mike's not picking up the new car until Saturday so we thought that tonight was a better bet than taxis both ways.

(Poor Mike: had to be driven home by me, in the LRT, at night. I'm surprised he made it!)

This afternoon, I had my last ultrasound treatment at the hospital. I'd completely forgotten about it until I sat down with my laptop after lunch and noticed the little banner on the screen saying "Hospital in 1 minute". Oops. They fitted me in ok, though, so it wasn't a problem. Just have to go back in six and then twelve months for follow-up tests, now. As I got to the hospital, I started to rain. "Aha!" I thought, "For once it's started raining just as Jo's being walked and I'm not out in it," but Mike said they didn't get any here. Typical.

The swallows have started to gather on the telephone wires, getting ready to head south for the winter. Probably a good plan, as I've a sneaking suspicion we might get a frost this weekend....
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
So this happened.


Here's a screen shot:



You can type any email address in there, including ones not your own. Stratford doesn't track IPs so there's no way to tell whom the comments are actually from. I did raise my concerns with a representative and this was the reply I got:

James
 
As I mentioned below, we are unable to doing anything further.  
 
None of our systems were accessed to get your email. Someone went to our Contact Us page and sent us an email, using your email address.  Because your email address is public on your website it is available for anyone to access, so someone made a typo, or perhaps took it from there and used it.
 
I trust this clarifies.


The suggestion that that a typo was involved is a very bold and courageous hypothesis.

The Festival's comment page is here, if you have suggestions on how they might address this issue. Remember to use your real name and not, say, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein or William Shakespeare (unless of course you're actually named Mark Twain, Albert Einstein or William Shakespeare).

Don't Ask

Sep. 3rd, 2015 08:13 pm
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
[personal profile] kafj
One of my colleagues has been talking about me.

'Kathleen's going through a bit of a rough patch. Let her alone.'

'But maybe I can do something -'

'No. Leave her alone.'

'But I don't want her thinking that she's upset me...'

'Doesn't matter. Leave her alone.'

And so on. It is the best thing that anyone has ever done to help with my depression.

‘But I was just going to ask her if she was OK!’

'Don't. No, seriously, don't ask.'


‘Are you OK?’ is a terrible question. At least, it is a terrible question to ask me, and people whose brains work like my brain does.

(There are probably people for whom it is not a terrible question. Depression works differently for different people. This is how it works for me, which is why I am writing this.)


'Are you OK?'

There are various possible answers.

‘Yes, I’m fine.’ This is usually the easiest option. It is a lie. Lying is tiring, particularly when you have to keep doing it.

What I really mean is, ‘No, I’m not OK, but I do not want to talk about it.’ Or, possibly, ‘No, I’m not OK, but I do not want to talk to you about it.’

It can backfire, particularly if it’s obvious that you’re not OK. ‘Yes, I’m fine, I just happen to be crying. Onions. That’s what it is. Onions. Don’t worry.’

Some people will see through that. They will say things like, ‘Oh, but you’re clearly not OK. Tell me what the matter is!’

I dislike dealing with these people. I do not want to tell them what the matter is. I probably do not even want to tell my closest friends what the matter is. I don’t even know myself what the matter is. These people are not my closest friends. They only want to help. But they can’t help, and I would just like them to accept that and go away.

Some people will see through both layers. They will see that I am not OK, and they will also see that I do not want to talk about it. They will then drop the subject. I like these people. The only way they could improve upon this would be to have not asked the question in the first place.


Alternatively, there is the Typical British Understatement, gently implying that things aren’t very good, but no, you don’t really want to talk about it. ‘Oh, you know, mustn’t grumble.’ ‘Could be worse.’ ‘Surviving.’ ‘Don’t ask.’

This can work. In my family, for example, 'X is a bit down' is widely understood to mean 'X is finding it difficult to get out of bed without crying, and this is why they haven't phoned for weeks'. But it relies very much upon everybody knowing the code.

The trouble is, the people who only want to help interpret understatement as an invitation to delve deeper. ‘Don’t ask,’ you say, and you mean it, but they ask. ‘Surviving,’ you say. ‘Only surviving?’ And then you have to go into the whole bloody thing.


Or there’s the plain truth. ‘I am feeling absolutely rubbish. My mind is working at the speed that stalactites form, and I am convinced that everybody hates me.’

And people just don’t know what to say to that. Why should they? I don’t have anything particularly useful to say about it myself. They want to make things better. So do I. But they can’t. And it is a terrible truth to have to tell them.


I am an introvert. This does not necessarily mean that I’m shy (though sometimes I am) or that I’m anti-social (though sometimes I just can’t face it). All it means is that interactions cost me energy.

In the ordinary way, this isn't a problem. I can keep talking to someone for twenty minutes or so and feel no ill-effects, the same way that I can keep cycling for twenty minutes or so. Depression knocks that out. Depression kills the auto-pilot. This morning, cycling to the station, I found I was getting slower and slower. I had forgotten to pedal. I have to think about every pedal stroke.

Same with talking. The automatic processes that go into a conversation, which usually happen without thinking, reveal themselves in all their complexity, and have to be done manually. Where in the ordinary way I might say 'Good night - hope you enjoy your day off!' without thinking, today I had to a) remind myself that the appropriate thing to do when one leaves the office is to wish one's colleagues good night; b) remember that it is Thursday; c) deduce that tomorrow therefore must be Friday; d) guess that it's therefore probably someone's day off; e) remember who has Fridays off; f) say 'Good night - enjoy your day off!'.

Extrapolate the corresponding effort required to answer the question 'Are you OK?'

Talking is an effort. Talking about how broken my brain is can be impossible. And yet people will not stop asking.


This is why I hate well-intentioned mental health campaigns that encourage people to ask other people how they are. I have no desire to disclose the parlous state of my mind to a complete stranger or to someone else’s manager. Judging by the internet-wide reaction to the Samaritans Radar initiative, I don’t think I’m the only one.

Samaritans Radar wasn’t the only one, either. It was the most egregious, largely because of the way it tried to use the internet, but there are plenty of others. There are two posters pinned up in the staff kitchen at this very moment, encouraging people to ask colleagues how they are. I might vandalise them. The posters, not the colleagues. Probably.

And if colleagues are bad, then strangers are worse. I have a thing about loud or repetitive noises. On a good day they don’t bother me. On a bad day I want to kill people who use the hand dryers in public lavatories. I remember one day last year when things had got particularly bad, and the sound of footsteps on gravel was too much for me. I couldn’t deal with it at all. This was a problem, because you have to cross a lot of gravel to get to the bike racks at Cambridge station. And it was rush hour, so I wasn’t the only person going CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH across the gravel, there were lots of people doing it, and I had no control over it, and no control over the noise, and it made me cry. So there I was, hiding behind a tangled stack of other people’s bikes, howling into my scarf, and thinking, well, at least that godawful Time To Talk thing was yesterday, so nobody feels obliged to ask if I’m OK.

I dread it. It’s the worst thing about crying in public. I have given up caring what people think about me, but I really can’t deal with their talking to me. They want to hellllllp. Bully for them, but the thing is, it won’t actually help. It will actively make things worse for me, and I resent having to have things made worse for me just so some random can feel better about themselves. The story of the heroic intervention is widespread and, at least in my case, bullshit.

People want to be that one person whose action made a difference, and they don’t like accepting the fact that actually there isn't a difference to make, or that they're not the person to make it.


It is good to know that people care, yes. And it is true that a depressed brain will make up all sorts of ridiculous stories about how people don’t care. But people constantly going out of their way to show me that they care can be exhausting and guilt-inducing. Courtesy costs nothing, they say, but that's not true. Courtesy is a currency in which I am currently bankrupt, and every thank you I have to say, every response to a Facebook u ok hun, pushes me deeper into the red.

When I come out the other side - and I will; I always have before - I will be thankful for my friends, and I will recognise the earnest enquiries for the acts of love that they represent. But at the moment the friends who are helping me the most are the ones who understand that actually what I need to do tonight is to stay in bed and reread Agatha Christie novels while they bring me a slice of cake home from the party I was too much of a state to go to, the ones who are gamely pretending that nothing is wrong, the ones who accept my laconic explanation 'brain slugs' without question, the ones who let me cry on them without trying to make it better.

Was her name-o

Sep. 3rd, 2015 04:00 pm
sarken: girl in red chucks lying on her back with bent knees ([misc])
[personal profile] sarken
[personal profile] aliya told me to, so here we go again. One [community profile] ladiesbingo card. Card under here. )

Now we tell [personal profile] aliya to, y/y?

His Place In The World Is An Asylum

Sep. 3rd, 2015 07:00 pm
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Posted by BD

Retail | Edmonton, AB, Canada

(I’m making a call over the intercom requesting that a customer remove their car from a no parking zone. My coworkers like to make fun of me, since it’s become my personal mission to make sure nobody parks there. My coworker is serving a seemingly normal gentleman at the time.)

Customer: “You know, you ladies should be changing the world!”

Coworker: “Yeah, [My Name], and it starts with you getting that vehicle to move!”

(We both laugh, but the customer goes on.)

Customer: “I’m serious! We all have our place in the world. You know, us white people, we’re supposed to protect the water.”

(At this point, we realize he’s completely serious.)

Customer: “And the Africans? They protect the animals. And the brown people? You know, like the Aboriginals and the, uh, Middle Eastern people? Well, they’re always fighting over land, so I think they’re supposed to protect the land!”

(My coworker and I are speechless. The customer continues.)

Customer: “And the yellow people! You know, the Asians? Well they’re supposed to feed us all!”

(The customer continues on his rant, saying things I can’t quite catch, and then leaves.)

Coworker: *to me* “Why do we only get the weird ones when we work together?”

oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Today I was attending a small colloquium-type thing at Former Workplace, and, having said I didn't think I had anything to contribute in the way of a presentation to the former colleague who was organising our end (the other end is an organisation interested in history of [A Topic]), I was asked to chair the final panel discussion.

Fine, says I, but I have a meeting that was scheduled months ago with two researchers doing an interesting project and may have to nip off sharpish, i.e. before the few closing remarks by the their end organiser.

So, anyway, I was down for this (and on the preliminary programme, my job-title given as something that it isn't).

So at one point, there was supposed to be a 20 minute session for several really short snappy presentations (followed by TEA). The first person to speak took the best part of 20 minutes, and then the their end organiser (who was chairing, for some rather informal definition of chairing, the whole thing) got up to give their presentation, notionally a quickfire thing -

And took 40 minutes though some of that was discussion (yes, actually discussion was supposed to wait for the panel at the end, but this had pretty much gone by the board anyway).

It is just possible that they had made a mistake about what time it was and thought there was a gap to fill.

But the upshot was that by the time the last paper was finished, I was obliged to leave.

(Without time to pick up my messages which would have said that the people I was meeting had REASONS why they thought they had better defer, so I met them anyway and actually we had a good and lively and productive session.)

I am not sure how many squares on conference bingo this would tick - is there a square for 'chair & speaker same person, no-one to tell them them to stop NOW'? or reality check that they know what time it is?

killabeez: (Default)
[personal profile] killabeez
Just got home from the vet, where I said goodbye to the big black kitty. Lymphoma got the better of him, despite all our efforts and his endless patience. The first picture below is one of the few I have of him by himself, as when he wasn't cuddling with the troublemaker, he was usually on my lap, and my camera was seldom within reach. I love this one because you can see what a wise soul he was. I always called him the Very Best Boo. I had actually planned to take him in to the vet on Wednesday, but when Wednesday morning came, he followed me around asking for snuggles. He didn't eat, but yesterday afternoon, he had his last tour around the balcony looking for prime crunchy leaves and sampling them. Last night, he came out from under the bed (where he spent most of the last week) and climbed in my lap for his customary evening cuddles, belly rubs, and purring, then settled on his blanket next to us.

IMG_0759.jpg

My husband called him the "Connoisseur of Snuggles" on account of the way he had a whole system for obtaining and appreciating various kinds—particularly belly rubs and chin scritches. He always came to bed with me and required 30 minutes or more of pets and cuddling before I was allowed to go to sleep. We'll miss you very much, snugglepuss. Thanks for finding us.

Another favorite: this is what you do with pesky kittens when they've worn you out, and you need a nap.



More photos below the cut. )

Thank you to all who sent good thoughts and wishes, and to everyone who sent love on Twitter last night. I appreciate it more than I can say. I have my fat tabby kitty on my lap even as I type—she's looking out for me.
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[personal profile] blueswan
Set a pledge for yourself, make a comment to this post describing it, if you want, or just come back and say how it went.
As an option for your pledge, tick off items from the list below (updated, with bingo option):


Yuletide Comment Challenge Bingo Card )

“Being Poor,” Ten Years On

Sep. 3rd, 2015 05:44 pm
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Posted by John Scalzi

Ten years ago today, I put the essay “Being Poor” on Whatever. I wrote the piece, as I explained later, in a rage at the after-events of Hurricane Katrina, when so many people asked, some genuinely and some less so, why many of the poor people didn’t “just leave” when the hurricane smashed into the Gulf Coast and New Orleans flooded. I wrote it not to offer a direct explanation but to make people understand what it was like to be poor, as I had been at various times in my life, and could therefore speak on with some knowledge. The piece wasn’t about how people became poor, or why there were poor — simply what it was like to be poor, and to then try to get through one’s life on a day-to-day basis.

I posted it because I had to. I was in a rage at what was happening in New Orleans in 2005, but I was also sick, literally physically sick about it, and for days I couldn’t understand why. I had no direct connection to New Orleans and there was no one there I considered a friend, and other, equally terrible disasters had hit the US before and had nowhere near the same effect on me. Ultimately I began to realize the difference this time was that I was aware how differently the disaster affected people along economic lines, and how the lack of useful planning and response to the disaster essentially punished New Orleans’ poor.

I was not of New Orleans and I was not of New Orleans’ poor. But having been poor in my life, I remembered the difficulties being poor imposes, the lack of options it offers, and circumstances it presents, when no way through is a good one. I had been there in my life, and the lack of understanding I saw radiating out from people about the situation made me sick almost to the point of vomiting. I had to do something or I felt like I would explode.

We had donated money, of course. But it wasn’t enough. So I sat down to write something, anything. What I came up with was a list of things from my personal experience and from the experience of people I knew in my life about poverty and what it was like to be in it. Later some people said the piece was a poem, and I can see that, and they might be right. At the time that wasn’t part of my thinking. I just wanted to get what was in my brain out into the world. I cried as I wrote it, putting the rage and sickness I felt into words. Then I posted it up on Whatever.

And it ended up going everywhere.

It was reprinted in the Chicago Tribune and the Dayton Daily News and dozens of other newspapers. It was linked to and pasted onto hundreds of Web sites. It was read out loud on the radio. It was shared in emails and mailing lists. Eventually it made its way into textbooks and other teaching materials. Churches and religious groups by the score asked permission to use it. In an age before Facebook and Twitter (and even MySpace, really), the piece went massively viral. I encouraged this, of course. As famously “pay me” as I am, “Being Poor” is one piece I have never taken money for. I allow it to be freely distributed and when people ask about payment, I tell them to donate to a local hunger or poverty charity. It’s meant to be shared and read, and read as widely as possible.

It continues to be read, a decade on. There hasn’t been a year since it was posted that it hasn’t been one of the most visited entries on Whatever; this year, it’s currently the third most-read piece on the whole site. Year in and year out, people find it, or come back to it. This makes me very happy.

Which is not to say that people didn’t find ways to try to pick it apart. When the piece came out, I didn’t go out of my way to note that the piece was based on my own experience, so a number of people questioned the veracity of the piece, and my right to write it. When I did make it clear that the piece was largely based on my own experience, some folks then wanted to maintain that I hadn’t really been poor, or that “American” poor is not really poor compared to the poverty elsewhere in the world, or they would focus on one particular bit in the piece and declaim how it was in some way inauthentic, therefore throwing out the whole piece. Others simply wanted to blame the poor for being poor in the first place.

There is of course not much to be done in those cases. I lived my poverty; I don’t need other people to decide whether I was poor enough for them. The American version of poverty may be “better” than poverty elsewhere, but it’s bad enough, both objectively and in context. And while I understand some people prefer to believe poor people deserve the poverty they’re in, I know it’s not true, or at the very least, is such a small part of why people are poor. I didn’t deserve to be poor when I was a child; I just was. The people I know now in poverty aren’t there because it’s some sort of cosmic or karmic justice; they work hard and try to better their lives. But the fact of poverty is: It’s a rough climb out, and a steep fall back, and it’s not as if everyone starts out in the same place.

That said, I admit to being an imperfect vessel to speak to poverty in America. I have been poor in my life. I am not now, nor have I been anything close to poor for my entire adult life. In fact I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. You can even say that in many ways my life encapsulates the Horatio Alger “rags to riches” American Dream narrative that we have embedded into our national DNA: Scrappy ambitious kid takes his chances and makes a few breaks for himself and comes out on top. It can happen to you too!

Except the thing I know that gets elided here is that I’m one of the very few “rags to riches” tales I know of. Anecdote is not data, and the data says that it’s tougher to move up the socio-economic ladder here in the US than it is in most other industrialized nations. Not impossible, and I am here to speak to that. But tougher. And I am here to speak to that too — because I know the breaks that I caught, including the fact that I got a scholarship to attend one of the best college preparatory high schools in the country, which I attended while simultaneously living in a trailer park. I was launched into the ranks of the socio-economic elite and I haven’t come back down. But I also know that not every kid in a trailer park gets the break I did, a break contingent on one school deciding to let me in, not a state or national will to make things better for poor children in general.

I have been poor, and am not. That makes me not the best spokesman for poverty. But I continue to see poverty, where I live and in the lives of people I know, and I am in a position where when I talk, people often listen. So this is a thing I will continue to speak on.

And it is a reason why I’m glad “Being Poor” continues to be part of the conversation on poverty. For what it’s done and what it continues to do, I’m proud to have written it. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever written.


Everybody in the House of Coal

Sep. 3rd, 2015 08:29 pm
heavensqueen: (Default)
[personal profile] heavensqueen posting in [community profile] yuletide_coal
IT'S SEPTEMBER FFS!!!!!!
So where are nomminations? Where's the letter post? Why aren't there any pinch hits yet?


Welcome to coals 5th full season!

Book chain

Sep. 3rd, 2015 08:26 pm
hmpf: (Default)
[personal profile] hmpf
Anybody else ever have that thing happen where books you read one after the other seem to have strange random connections? E.g. the first one has a bit with two big birds attacking the narrator. The second one also has a bit with two big birds attacking someone; also, its main theme is... matter always reconfiguring again in the same ways? The one you read after that starts with a quote by Engels about how matter always returns to the same shapes or something... etc.

Happens to me all the time, and sometimes it's really strange. Several books sharing several characters with the same names; or tackling the same theme *and* the same time period... I should really write all these coincidences down... I think the longest chain of that sort I ever encountered was something like five or six books long. I don't remember the actual links, though.

Puppy post

Sep. 3rd, 2015 02:04 pm
ide_cyan: Dalbello peering into a screen (Default)
[personal profile] ide_cyan
Been a little over two months since the puppy got here. It's doing pretty well. It's still a pigheaded little beast at times, but it's mostly a good-natured pup. It's starting training, isn't as afraid of cars as it was, and is generally adorable and fluffy.

Recent pic, taken this morning:

http://pic.twitter.com/AtYEY9eiFN

Y'a rien comme dormir les quatre fers en l'air.

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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
beccaelizabeth

September 2015

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