grinninfoole: (strangelove)
Apropos of a comment I left for something [livejournal.com profile] anagramofbrat posted, I thought I'd bloviate about the terrible racket that are lotteries.  Every once in a while, I play lotteries like Mega-Millions, wherein I sacrifice a dollar for a non-zero chance to win tens of millions of dollars.  I don't expect to win, and I don't actually NEED the money, but I do it because of the freedom it would provide.  Not to travel, or escape the rat race, or pay off debts, because I already have that.

No, if I ever wind up with major money, I'm going into politics and philanthropy, because I could skip a lot of the fundraising that drains so many politicians time, energy, and independence.  And if I get REALLY rich, I may give Joss Whedon a fat check for more Firefly.

In reality, though, lotteries are cruel, regressive taxes that play on the desperate, the mentally ill, and the addicted.  I think the state should just raise taxes on the rich ever so slightly, and then automatically enroll everyone in a regular $1 million jackpot (free of state taxes).  Do it once a week, and we'll have about 50 new millionaires every year.  After a few years, I think it will make a huge dent in our problems with poverty, school funding, etc.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I had a long talk with the Morlock this evening, commiserating about his recent reversal of fortune, the prospects for President Obama's re-election, whether Marvel comics is totally out of ideas or not, race vs class warfare, employee relations, and what the fuck is wrong with rich people?

Along the way, he called me out on being a good person, and I was more or less OK with it.  I'm uncomfortable with simply asserting "I am a good person", lest I become Jane Eyre's aunt, but I do make a conscious effort to fit the criteria for moral goodness, which to my mind means 'courteous, humble, compassionate, diffident, reflective, curious, funny, and generous'.  I have achieved some success in my efforts, and several of you have been kind enough to validate me over the years, much to my discomfort.

One of the things I admire about Grounded is that, in surviving a difficult childhood, she granted herself permission to believe in her own self-worth.  She's far from arrogant, but she is very comfortable with who she is, the life she lives, and what she wants.  My own path has been somewhat different, and there are different pitfalls that I have had to navigate (a topic for another post), but I think I might be ready to start giving myself that same permission.  I hope that I shall not fall in complacency.

For my next trick, I'll come up with a blurb for myself so I can maybe start dating or something.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I left myself a note the other day to post about my monthly accomplishments. Now that I'm trying to do it, I'm staring blankly at this screen, wondering what the hell I could possibly have had in mind. Still, never let it be said I won't blindly follow the orders of a small-minded tyrant....

1) Negotiated a 10% raise at my job, and chose a career path.
I guess that's pretty big. I'm still making 20% less than the average for Sales & Related employees in my area. But, as I mentioned in another post, I like what I'm doing, who I'm working with, and why I'm doing it. And I think it's enough for my needs.

2) I got Howard Cruse to come to the store last week for book club, and it was fantastic. (Read more on the store's Facebook page, if you like.)

3) I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and went to the Burlesque show a couple of weeks ago. It was fun, and I got to socialize a bit with new people, which I'm not doing all that much. I wonder if I should try joining another game, or perhaps starting one?


Eh, this doesn't seem all that amazing to me. Still, I did do these things, and I'm proud of them, so what the hell.

OH, and these aren't MY accomplishments, but they're still pretty cool:

Time lapse photos of star formation.

Some clever buggers at UC Riverside have figured out how to convert acids into bases. Assuming that isn't a mistake, that strikes me as the kind of fundamental discovery that wins Nobel prizes. (But I'm not a chemist, and maybe it will just be a parlor trick.


EDIT TO ADD:
A fish that lives on land! (With gills and everything.)

A diamond planet! (Please, Doctor, can we go?)
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's a post I started last month, that I'm going to try and finish up, reflecting on the past decade of my life.

Between a burger and pancakes. )



Well, I don't know that I have exhausted this vein, but my time is up, so I'll call it done and move on.
grinninfoole: (Pathway)
There will be more of these as I go, but here are some for now.   I need to set some benchmarks for accomplishing them, too, but for now it's enough just to list them:

things to do in 2011 )
grinninfoole: (Default)
Today, in the Smith College library, I read some fiction that I wrote.  It went really well.

It was the first in a series of readings, organized by local writing maven Carol Edelstein, and I was paired up with Stephanie Gibbs.  She suggested that we have a theme to our event, and came up with "Of Monsters and Men."

She read first, reading two great stories, one about Men and how they deal with the grass being...odd, and one about the monster under her bed.  Both stories were funny, and imaginative, and well-read.

Then I read two pieces.  The first was a short, humorous piece about Urban Legends, which actually got some laughs.  The second, which is a work in progress, was a very dark piece about young man with a monster for a father.  I'm proud of what I wrote, and the audience seemed genuinely caught up by it.

Over all, about 30 people attended, including my parents and brother, and I think they were proud.  Dad actually came up and gave me a hug when it was over, and that felt really great.

Several other friends were able to make it, too, including [livejournal.com profile] fuschia , [livejournal.com profile] sydneycat , [livejournal.com profile] wildgreentide [livejournal.com profile] lostcircuit , and [livejournal.com profile] anzovin , [livejournal.com profile] sundart  and St. Watzerface and the Obscurantist.  I'm very grateful to you all for coming.  Several other folks were kind enough to send their regrets, but a special thanks has to go to poor [livejournal.com profile] _usakeh_ , who actually set out to come, but was foiled by the wiles of Amtrak.  You were super sweet to give that much of a damn, my dear.



Most importantly, thank you [livejournal.com profile] millari for proof-reading and editing my story, for getting supplies so there was food for the reception, and for making your wonderful guacamole.


grinninfoole: (Default)
It's been two years since I legally teamed up with Millari.  They've been pretty good ones, too.  I have, more than once, lamented in this journal that I haven't been progressing in life, growing as a person.  Taking a moment now to look at what I have done, and not what I blame myself for not doing, I have come a long way from a passive, self-loathing, person with no life goals or plans, to a person with some actual ambitions, and the drive to accomplish them.  I have a rewarding marriage, a nice house, a good job, two cats, and good friends.  Of late, I have even been writing creatively, and it's been exciting (the retreat to Noble View kick-started things) and i finally, finally, started going around to local schools and inquiring about job openings and such.  It looks like there are real possibilities, that might pay well, too.  I'm excited about the idea of making more money than we spend.

In all of this, millari has been my partner, my ally, my critic, my audience, and my biggest fan.  If I believed in a personal deity, I would thank Him/Her/It for bringing us together.


In the short term:

Tonight, we dine at Chez Albert.  Tomorrow, an old friend comes to visit from abroad.  Sometime in August, we'll take a vacation together.

For now, Joyeux Anniversaire, ma copine!
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have been looking back at 2006 while looking ahead to 2007.  We shall see where this year takes me.

First, looking back:  I completed  some of my resolutions for last year, and started others.  (click here if you'd care to see for yourself http://grinninfoole.livejournal.com/2006/01/04/) ; I have completed the primary goal of getting a job that pays adequately, working full time at Modern Myths.  After the disappointment of not getting the upcoming full-time position, Lefty and I talked about the financial particulars of how I get paid, and we have worked out an arrangement wherein I am off the books as an hourly employee, and now get guaranteed payments as an owner.  In practical terms, this means that, for about the same cost to the store, I get paid more than $1.50 more hour, which will cover the mortgage and a bit more, which I think will be adequate.  It's not a solution for the rest of my days, but this will be the first time in my life I have earned my own keep, so I claim victory and depart the field.

I have also accomplished the contingent goals of marriage and home-ownership.  The other goals are more open-ended: I didn't exercise every day last year, but I did exercise some days.  I didn't play much with Feisty, but we did get her a playmate.  I didn't write a book, but I did start writing one.  So, while I sat down to write this feeling like a failure, on reflection I see that I was actually quite successful last year.  Hurray!  And damn this self-criticism!

So, for 2007:

1) Finish my book (first draft, at least).  I have started writing a novel, probably a fantasy novel, though in heart it feels more like SF. The world needs it like a hole in the head, but I'm doing it anyway.

2) Keep exercising.

3) Stop falling back on damaging behavior when I feel upset, like eating lots of sugar and dairy.

4) Read 50 books this year.

I'd like to learn Spanish, but I don't know when I'd make the time for it, now that I'm working full-time and writing.  I list this here not as a goal, but an aspiration.  I shan't give up on this.

This goals list seems thin as I look it over.  I must give it more thought.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have been wanting to post for several days, now, and feeling as though I am dropping the ball by not doing so, and now that I sit down to do so, I'm at loss for something worth typing. There are five online diaries that I read with some regularity, all of them because they are interesting and because I like the people writing them even though I have only ever met one of them. At times, though, I read them and feel like a failure, because I feel like I should be devoting my time and energy to interviewing famous people and writing lots of reviews of new books and films and gaming a lot (well, to be fair, I do spend too much energy on gaming), or making films with Dave McKean, or building a frickin' space robot.

I have to remember that, if I'm going to experience the adventure of life, I have to walk the path before me, and choose my destination. Currently, I'm doing too little of either. It's still all too easy for to pull into my shell, especially if I feel that no one is paying attention. Perhaps this is where my little interest in secrecy comes from.

Anyway, I'm off to take my next three steps (exercise; dispose of Xmas tree and buy groceries; enter more data in my how-do-I-spend my money project) and then run my game tonight. I'm excited to do that, but I'll feel a lot better if I have done enough to 'deserve' some fun. Christian moralism can fuck off with the other hypocrites, but I do like the title "Purpose Driven Life".
grinninfoole: (Default)
Primary Goal (because other goals depend upon achieving this one):

Get a job.  More specifically, get a job that provide sufficient income to cover my half of Team Aguilar expenses.  I'm currently going to look for a teaching job, one that will allow some for personal life with Millari, and also allow me to keep working at least one day a week at Modern Myths (Wednesdays would be best.)

Subsequent Goals:

Buy a new home with Millari.  Beyond the money, this is complicated by the possible softening of the housing market, and  our ability to find a home we like, where we like, that we can afford.

Get married.  In many ways, the easiest of all, complicated by the fact that I want to have a lot of people there when I get married, and how do we pay for that, and when and where do we have it?

Non-Contingent Goals:

Write a book.  I don't know right now if I want to write a novel, or perhaps a history.  I have a few ideas which sound exciting to me, before I commit myself to actually doing any of them, but while this goal does involve some soul-searching, it's otherwise entirely under my control.

Play with Feisty for at least 10 minutes every day.

Exercise, at least 10 minutes every day.

Take Dancing Lessons with M on Thursday nights.

Learn Spanish







Looking over last year's goals, I see that I am repeating myself more than I'd like.  I wanted to learn to speak Spanish, and to dance, and to write a book, last year.  I did nothing whatever to accomplish these things.  On the other hand, I have gotten my MA, made a lot of progress on my intimacy issues, proposed to Millari, become more financially independent, and I have started to plan the wedding.  I shall review my progress in a month.

Coincidentally, I post this exactly a year after last year's goals.  I am shocked that Will Eisner has been dead for a year, now.

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