Checking in.

It’s been a long while since I’ve blogged. No apologies; chronic illness doesn’t give a shit about plans. There were a lot of depressive bouts and migraines; there were weeks without bathing and way too many days housebound. Now that we’re in a stretch of hot summer in my piece of the Pacific Northwest I get pain flareups on the hottest days. I tend to be shit at recognizing in a timely fashion that as-needed pain or anxiety medication is warranted until my pain or cycling is high, so symptoms go poorly managed more often than not. Stress primes me for digestive issue flareups so between all my conditions it’s been as tough a year as any thus far.

Nevertheless, I persist.

Recently I managed to lose my wallet and my most vital cards along with. I’m still in the process of replacing the vitals, which for me includes my library cards (now for four systems because I am a major nerd). Libraries that make reporting a lost card as simple as filling out a form online or sending an email are my favorite because having to call during business hours when my sleep is super fucked up and I still have phone anxiety on the regular means I’ve only been able to initiate replacement on 3 out of 4 library cards so far. Having to visit libraries in person to complete the process is a barrier to timely replacement but at least I was able to replace my State ID reasonably quickly. (So far one library system did offer to mail a new card if I couldn’t come in soon but I’ve had physical items to return so visiting soon would happen regardless.)

As for a new wallet, I wanted something small but closeable and finally settled on a very plain $5 trifold that I may spruce up with a patch at some point. I was hoping to score coin storage but my chosen replacement wallet is as coin-unfriendly as the old, so I’ll hit the usual suspects (Hot Topic, Claire’s) for some cute little coin purse and then I should be reasonably set.

Kid is doing great overall, and just had a particularly successful weekend of toilet use. For the record, the Minions underpants we got him from H&M months ago are the cutest little boy underpants in the whole world. My favorite design, predictably, is Team Bob because #TeamBobForLife #GoBob #KingBobMicDrop (and so on).

No promises on how often I’ll be posting going forward; I’ll be here when I’m here. I know consistency builds readership but pageviews ain’t my game here, darlin’.

State of the Stack: March 23rd, 2017

bookstack-032217

Current nightstand book tower.

Recently Read

  • Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly – Finally finished this after what felt like plodding through forever. This book required more focus than my concurrent reads, so felt so much longer than everything else I was tackling the past couple months.
  • Invasive, by Chuck Wendig – You may not want to read this if you’re already skeeved out by ants.
  • Ms. Marvel (2014-2015), Vol. 1: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona & Sara Pichelli – I. Love. Kamala. Khan.
  • Piper Perish, by Kayla Cagan – I found almost every character in this book irritating to some degree and initially Piper’s Andy Warhol obsession annoyed me but overall I found myself rooting for Piper and her dream.
  • (Con Man’s) Spectrum #0, by PJ Haarsma, Alan Tudyk, Kristen Fitzner Denton, Sarah Stone – I love Con Man so this was an easy like for me.

Currently Reading

  • The Harvest (The Heartland Trilogy, #3), by Chuck Wendig – I read the first 2 books in this trilogy ages ago so jumping right in was slightly disorienting but I got reacquainted with the world and main cast well enough.
  • The Jurassic Chronicles (The Future Chronicles), edited by Samuel Peralta – DINOSAURS! The only reason I hadn’t devoured this immediately upon release is I was saving it for when I needed a major literary pick-me-up because The Future Chronicles antholgies always deliver. BTW, did you see this mind-blowing news in paleontology?
dinosaurs-grant-ross

Basically me.

Queued

  • Atlanta Burns, by Chuck Wendig
  • Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
  • History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera
  • Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck, by Thug Kitchen LLC
  • Zer0es, by Chuck Wendig

P.S. I’m now on Litsy as keyesnotkeys!

Giving: 4 Online Options

alejandro-escamilla-6-resize1200

I can’t always contribute a lot to charity, but these are 4 ways I like to give when able.


Amazon Smile

Shop from smile.amazon.com instead of the regular Amazon site and choose a favorite organization to benefit; Amazon donates a percentage to your selected organization from eligible purchases. I’ve chosen  Washington Homeschool Organization because we’re a homeschooling family in Washington State.


DonorsChoose.org

You already know I like to signal boost projects from this site, and you too can search for current projects: by need, location, subject area, and other factors. You can donate as little as $1 to a project and those little donations do add up.


ShareTheMeal

This app, available for smartphones via Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon, makes it easy to help feed kids. $0.50 provides a day’s meals; $3.50 feeds a kid for a week. You can form a team or contribute via an existing one. I give for team #KidLitResist.


Kiva

 In units of $25 you can contribute to microloans financing projects around the world. After repayment, you can contribute to another loan, cash out, or donate to Kiva. I particularly like to lend to women-owned businesses, agriculture and animal projects.

 

Signal Boosting: 4 Gardening Projects

marat-gilyadzinov-40385-signaledit

Today I’ve selected 4 gardening projects from DonorsChoose.org.


First Time Farmers – Grades 6-8, Miami, FL

My students need garden seeds and supplies to grow their own school garden. In addition, they will learn about the life cycle of butterflies. Throughout the year, they will monitor and maintain their garden.


Kindergarten Blossoms – Kindergarten, Cherry Hill, NJ

My students come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. They are ESL and need support in all areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. K is generally the first academic experience for my students. They are a diverse group with 10 different first languages. We have a courtyard with raised beds, but need seeds and tools for planting.

Let’s Get to GROWING!  – Grades 3-5, Bradenton, FL
Donations matched by Tom’s of Maine

My classroom is very interactive throughout the entire day. The Tom’s of Maine company has provided the chance for students to learn about Environmental Science in a hands on experience. The purpose of this project is for students to read about plants, and how they affect our Earth. From here, they will get to plant their own plants, starting as seeds. The different types of seeds are going to allow the students to see different stages of different plants in their growth.


Planting Seeds and Growing Learners – Pre-K to Grade 2, Tampa, FL

Our class will be contributing to our school garden. As we begin learning about life science, this is the perfect opportunity for our students to engage in hands-on learning and integrate multiple STEM skills. We wish to invite parents to a gardening day, where students will rotate in stations learning about the plants life cycle through multiple platforms. Stations will be able to observe and compare different seeds, investigate plant growth and changes, plant a variety of seeds indoors and outdoors, and play a learning game with classmates that includes questions that focus on the plant’s life cycle.


About DonorsChoose.org

Feminism: #HereWeAre

In honor of Women’s History Month and in light of the ongoing needs to continue talking about equality, #HereWeAre seeks to highlight the power of talking about feminism: what it means for us individually, what it means for us collectively, and why it’s one of the most powerful and life-changing parties around.This is a prime time to talk about our feminism, why we still need feminism, and to honor feminists of all shapes, sizes, colors, abilities, genders, sexualities, and more. Feminism is a party for all of us. Let’s celebrate.

The #HereWeAre hashtag honors the new book Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, an anthology of art, essays, comics, and more from 44 voices on the topic of feminism.

Source: Thunderclap: Feminism: #Here We Are
Author: Kelly Jensen, editor of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World & blogger at Stacked Books

nicole-adams-198431-resize1280

I need feminism because…

  • Women’s health concerns are more likely to be dismissed by doctors: How Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously (Oct 2015); Shame, Dismissal, Agony: Women With Endometriosis Speak Out (Mar 2017); Why are women with brain tumours being dismissed as attention-seekers? (Jan 2016).
  • My value as a wife should not be judged by how well I “keep house.” Like, I can’t remember the last time I found the oomph to clean without imminent guests (and for close family or friends, please don’t expect me to tidy very much). If I do find some oomph, I spend it on exciting things like cooking supper, taking a shower, leaving the house… not cleaning the fucking house.
  • Cussing doesn’t make me less of a woman, damnit.
  • My husband’s active participation in parenting and housekeeping should not seem rare when my mom friends and I talk about “division of labor” in our marriages.

I practice feminism when…

  • Listening to women experiencing intersectional oppression and boosting their voices.
  • Advocating for bodily autonomy, especially for women; advocating for myself and my own body.
  • Showing my son that STEM is for everyone.
  • Allowing my son to experience and express his emotions.
  • Encouraging my son to engage in imaginative play of all kinds, including “domestic arts.”
  • Teaching my son gender is not binary; letting him tell me how his stuffed animal friends identify and which pronouns they prefer.
Ripley & Jones

Ripley (xenomorph slayer) and Jones (brave cat). Source: comingsoon.net

My feminist role models are…

  • Courtney Summers, who writes stories of young women grappling with the challenges of being female in circumstances all-too-relatable. (Yes, even the one with zombies has relatable struggle!)
  • Ellen Ripley (Alien franchise); if you have to ask why, like, DO YOU EVEN POWER LOADER FIGHT XENOMORPHS, BRO?
  • Emma Watson, Global Goodwill Ambassador of UN Women; see HeForShe for more info on the gender equality campaign.
  • Kaywinnet Lee “Kaylee” Frye (Firefly franchise), sex-positive mechanic who enjoys food, dresses however she wants, and defends what she loves.
  • Kelly Jensen, for her everyday feminism, for the anthology, for events like today’s, and of course for all the bookish commentary/content/etc.

Viewer Discretion: March 14th, 2017

Upgrades

We acquired a Roku Streaming Stick in order to access Google Play content via our TV (neither our Sony BluRay player nor Xbox 360 offered Google Play apps, presumably due to branding). Our Netflix viewing experience on our Roku player is sheer bliss compared to the difficulties we were having with the app for our BluRay player. Hulu also seems to be running more smoothly. Who could have predicted a device whose primary purpose is to stream video-on-demand (VOD) would perform better than devices for whom VOD apps are secondary? I’m kicking myself for not investing in a Roku sooner.

So with our Roku, we can now access all of our VOD subscription services on the TV, not just via our other devices! Our current subscriptions: Amazon Prime Video, Comic-Con HQ, Hulu, Netflix. I also like having access to free apps like CW and Popcornflix.

Over the weekend, Jeremy and Owen assembled the new TV stand (IKEA GETTORP), so now the 2×2 black-brown EXPEDIT unit we’d been using is ready for me to put to work in the den as part of my “office.”

New TV Stand

Owen wanted to be in this pic of our new TV stand (IKEA GETTORP). This placement is not final as we need to assemble the BILLY bookcase for proper film/TV disc collection organization and then anchor everything for safety.

Family Faves

Thanks to a promo, I was able to choose 1 of several popular titles to rent via Google Play for just $0.99 and I picked Trolls. Oh. My. God. You. Guys! Such a cute, fun movie. Will definitely buy when we can score a deal. 5 out of 5 glitterbombs.

Our improved Netflix experience means we could get back into Trollhunters! We watch this as a family, usually after supper.

Kid Picks

Amazon Prime Video: Odd Squad (math!), Ready Jet Go! (space! science!)

Hulu: Powerpuff Girls, Pororo

Grownup Fare

Netflix: Jeremy started Ascension without me because he’s a punk like that. He’s 2 episodes in and digs it so far. We rewatched the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this weekend because I’m considering picking that up. I have a lot of Marvel and DC shows to get into and/or catch up on, always.

Hulu: We’re still loving Lethal Weapon. We watched the first 2 episodes of Time After Time and find it delightful (cutest HGW ever). Key & Peele is our go-to quick entertainment fix the past few days. I’m still binge-watching Golden Girls (mostly while Jeremy’s at work since he’s not a fan) and getting close to the end so I have to decide what I want to binge-watch next, unless I’m going to commit to reading more than having the TV on.