Fascinatin’ Givin’

Want to mix up your donation game?  Here are some cool, weird, impactful, wonderful places to put your charitable moneys that you may not have heard of:

TOP DD: donate to support much-needed research to end mental suffering.  They run on a shoestring and produce amazing results.

Survivors Ink: helps victims of sexual trafficking overcome their experiences by transforming the tattoos with which their pimps marked them as “property”.  Cover-up tattoos are expensive and hard to do, but life-changing.

sadly, this has been pulled: Blood Sport, the video game that donates blood!  I thought this was an interesting idea, though I wouldn’t do it.  However, the project’s been taken offline.

Child’s Play: We continue to love a charity started by gamers, which gives toys to kids in hospitals around the world.  Most active around Christmas, it runs throughout the entire year.

Cat House on the Kings: a no-cage, no-kill cat shelter that lets ‘unadoptable’ or feral cats live happy, safe lives — and you can adopt the kitties that want human company!  They have wards for FIV, kittens, quarantine, indoor/outdoor, outdoor only, etc., and they really need donations right now.  They also do boarding.

The Nine Lives Foundation takes cats out of high-kill shelters and works to get them homes.  They also work on TNR programs and low-cost spay and neuters.  Help spay and neuter more cats before kitten season comes again!

Note that there’s probably a local shelter in your area that could use your help!

As you know, We need diverse books.  Be part of the solution by supporting writing workshops for people of color!

Speak your Silence:  dedicated to ending the stigma on adult survivors of sexual abuse.  A small charity that’s growing and spreading a great message of awareness, acceptance, and providing counseling.

also, why not a video?:

 

 

Advertisements

‘Twas the Link Love before Christmas…

… and all through the blog, links were stirring… something something, eggnog… hmm.

The cuttlefish were snoozing all snug beneath sea…
And Obama took questions from women only.

This link is true and I like it a lot
Please don’t give money in the shiny red pot.

Ayn in her mischief and I in my cap
had just settled our blog for a long winter’s nap
When out on the net there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.

On rapey, on diets, on hypocrite ho!
On saving for retirement, as these people know.
To the top of the world, to the top of the mall,
now dash away, dash away, dash away all.

As grading time that before the wild holiday flies
when they meet with an obstacle mount to the skies
so up to the savings, my dollars they flew
in hopes that this blog post would amuse you.

Sorry…?  You can hear me exclaim, as I dive out of sight:

happy Festivus to all, and to all a good night.

Good Gosh Google!

Q:  who do you choose when you have so much to choose from?

A:  Our partners, obviously.

Q:  why are u rood mum on hamsters saying it

A:  ?

Q:  can you get out of debt with part time pizza delivery job

A:  How big is the debt?  What’s your cost of living?  How many hours is part-time, and what’s the take-home on that?  How long is a piece of string?

Q:  potty training research. does it confuse children when you put them im a diaper at nighttime?

A:  No.

Q:  how do i introduce a romantic partner

A:  “This is [name].”

Q:  how dense is a cat’s hair

A:  Pretty darn dense?  I’m so curious about the reason for asking this.

Q:  did you marry for mony

A:  No, but DH does make me feel all right.

Q:  is it a good idea for parents to pay off student loans

A:  We think so, but it depends on your objective function.

Q:  when did you want a second child

A:  Once the first was around 5 years old

 

Do you feel any pressure to be a “super mom”?

whatever that is

I don’t.  The only time I even come across this concept is when I accidentally click on the NYTimes or spend too much time on blogrolls full of professional mommy-bloggers making their money pretending to be SAHM.  (Oops, hear that sound?  that’s the sound of us losing readership because we’re terrible horrible people who could never make it on BlogHer. Whoops!)

From what I can tell it has something to do with being Martha Stewart + Sheryl Sandberg put together.  Not 100% sure there.  And not having an equal partner in parenting and taking care of the homestead, despite living with an adult husband.  Having a sparkly clean house definitely fits in there as a measure as your worth as a person.  Thank goodness nobody I know IRL ever talks about that kind of thing.  We would have to get a house-cleaner or something.

Maybe this is why people get weird about how much responsibility we’ve piled on our elementary schooler.  Maybe I’m supposed to be taking care of all that stuff under the super-mom rubric.  Meh.

This is kind of like that post where we asked if baking was a *thing* in reality or just on the internet.

I was flipping through mommy blogs recently and felt like I’d seen every single topic before and had already posted a reaction post, like 2-4 years ago.  Some of my reaction posts though aren’t very polite to post on people’s sites who are clearly hurting because the patriarchy is making them believe stupid things.  Still, I kind of wish I could.  WTF is up with people’s entire feelings of value and worth being wrapped up in whether or not their house is clean?  Oh wait, we already asked that two years ago.  Oh and Choice feminism, we’ve addressed you (we’re pro-, but not for the standard, why can’t we all get along reasons).  Women feeling like they have to say they’re not perfect, check.  Why we can thank our mothers for not feeling guilty for working…  And what is UP with all that guilt in parenting nonsense in the first place?  If you believe the internet, all women hate each other, are neurotic about the state of their houses, and are wracked with extreme guilt about their parenting choices (or are super defensive about not being parents).  That just doesn’t mesh with our reality AT ALL.  The internet is a super weird place.

Am I just oblivious and is this super-mom pressure really a thing?  Or is it yet another way the patriarchy introduces anxieties to women in order to make money off them?

Things to be paranoid about part 2

Did you even know there was a part 1?

One of my friends from graduate school occasionally reminds me that the world is a very scary place.  Because it is.  I recently shared a hotel with her for a wedding and found out the following things.

Bed bugs are everywhere.  When finding a hotel it is important to check bedbugregistry to make sure that the hotel hasn’t had a problem with bedbugs.  Most hotels have.

This one we already knew:  Door handles are carriers for diseases.  Use a paper towel or kleenex that you then throw away anytime you have to touch one.  If you don’t have one, well, do your best with whatever cloth you have available that you’re unlikely to touch.  (After surviving the job market without a single illness using this advice, compared to the way I got sick every time I got on a plane before, I actually am a believer on this one.)

Glasses in hotel rooms… trust me, you don’t even want to know what she said about this.  In fact, I’ve blocked it out of my mind. LALALALALA.  Not thinking about it!

Your dryer can set your house on fire.  You should never leave them unattended.

MRSA … I may have to email her about this one…. Or maybe not because I probably blocked it out for a reason.

airborne mutant viruses on airplanes … I also seem to have mentally blocked this one…

Sitting down a lot.  It’s bad for you!  But we do it.

What things are you paranoid about?

What did we get people this year?

Shopping for DH’s family is sooo hard!

MIL:  This year we gave up and asked MIL what she wanted.  The answer?  The same luggage she got me for Christmas last year.  Not a problem!  We added a “Grandma” luggage tag because she seems to like things labeled Grandma.

FIL:  Another giving up year, a gift certificate to Cabela’s.  (Last year was an exception–we got him something he really wanted but he didn’t want to spend the money on that he still talks about.) This is probably still a good choice because he loves shopping at Cabela’s and MIL hates the way he spends so much of their money at Cabela’s.

BIL1:  games off his amazon wishlist

SIL1:  the first two books in the finishing school series.   She had the first on her list, but I know from experience that once you read the first you end up buying the second on kindle because you can’t wait for it to come in the mail.  So we got her that too.

Cousin 1:  Kid’s fun and healthy cookbook  Also one of the pigeon books from his wishlist, which seems kind of young to me, but whatever, it was on the wishlist.  And if we hadn’t had DC2 we might have gotten the entire set without the excuse of having a younger kid… (my sister loves those and she’s 30 years old!)

Cousin 2:  Three books off her wishlist, including a couple of elephant and piggie books and a knuffle bunny.  Maybe it’s mom who has the Mo Willems thing…  We were going to send her M R Nelson’s new book, but after looking at the heavily be-princessed wishlist (including 4 princess outfits), we decided that might get misconstrued.

SIL2: Her wishlist had been decimated, with only 3 things left on it (it had a tonne of stuff the week before, but we think MIL swept in and bought up the bulk).  Two books and a wish for “iTunes gift-card.”  We got her the two books, which were both kind of boring looking things about her job, one of which she’d put on recently, and the other something rated “low” that she’d put on a couple of years ago.  Oh well.

BIL2:  Was happiest the year we got him an Amazon giftcard, so an Amazon giftcard is what we got this year too.

Cousin 3:  A busload of pigeon books (it’s been a very Mo Willems year) and a couple of smaller books of hir wishlist.  Also we’ll be donating to the 529 plan.  We would do this for cousins 1 and 2 also, but BIL has never gotten around to setting them up, even though in his state they get a 20% tax credit(!) off their state income taxes.

Grandmother-in-law:  She’s now in a nursing home with early stage Alzheimer’s.  MIL didn’t have any suggestions.  She’s crunched for space, so no knick knacks.  MIL takes care of things like linens and clothing and so on.  She’s not really able to do her hobbies anymore.  Someone has already signed her up for fruit-of-the-month.  So we looked online for suggestions for people in nursing homes and people with Alzheimer’s and decided to make picture magnets, one for each of our little families (DH and his siblings and all our kids) with names underneath each person (the names part is the part suggested for Alzheimer’s patients).  Each family is color coded with a different color for the names.  We had an extra magnet leftover on the online thing and put a picture of DH’s mom and aunts on it.

My parents: I wanted to get them an air conditioner.  The two wall units they have are literally from the 1980s, inefficient, and ran out of freon before I left for college.  Every summer there’s a heatwave I worry about them dying like all those people in Chicago back when I was a kid.  Also I have to listen to my mom complain about how difficult it is to sleep in the heat.  Home Depot has a thing where they will install the a/c and take an old one away, so that’s what I want to do.  After much back and forth we decided to send them a giftcard to Home Depot for the amount we would have spent on a window unit, and they will replace one of their wall units in the summer.

My sister:  Well, for various reasons, I wanted to buy her that $369 automatic litter box, but the conversation kept going like, Her: “Why don’t you buy me a new washing machine for $369 instead?” Me:  “Because I don’t feel guilty about anything involving a washing machine.” “How about a stand mixer, I’d really like one of those fancy stand mixers”  “Would you ever USE a stand mixer?  Plus, I don’t feel guilty about anything involving a stand mixer!”  (Note:  earlier that evening she’d suggested we get her a vitamix, and I was like we got you an Oster hand blender a few years ago, and she was all, “You did?  Huh, I’ll have to check.  I know you got me that food processor that one year that I’ve never taken out of the box.  And that crockpot I never use.”  Note she’d asked for said food processor and crockpot.  She always wants cooking implements when she’s saving up money for something, but never actually uses them.)  So what did I get her instead?  $85 worth of cat toys and feliway.

DH’s relative with all the kids:  probably  money.  Daughter #2 is pregnant again…

As always, Target gift cards for teachers.

#2 says:  I have no income.  I am spending out of savings for Christmas, combined with not traveling, and not getting people extravagant gifts.   I’m buying used for people who are ok with that and looking for Kindle sales.  I also used the cashback on my Discover card to buy gifts.  I got my grandmother a box of pears.  There’s a group gift for the other grandmother, who doesn’t want a lot of Stuff.  But I’m trying to write her more letters and let her know I’m thinking of her.

I’m going in with my siblings on a lot of things.  Joint large gifts for mom, dad, stepmom (split between me and sis and our partners).  My brothers got stuff off their wishlists.  Stuff for my sister?  Well, I won’t say it here in case she ever finds this blog!

Did you get anything good or fun or interesting for folks on your holiday list this year?

Link love

This is cool.  We have a surgeon friend who often complains that surgery tools are all built for men’s hands.  There’s definitely an incentive for more women-sized medical stuff!

this is a great post on energy and academic work-life balance

Many thanks to the reader who sent us this verra speshul link

In which we violate the Geneva conventions

What are your thoughts on this cover letter?  Down with terrible cover letters!

A macabre twist

US Capitol staffers

Diane Feinstein on the CIA director’s defense of torture

An insurance dance.

The annual Hater’s Guide to the Williams Sonoma Catalog!  You won’t want to miss this!

beautiful!

Miser Mom takes down a chair.

Teaching Laura Ingalls Wilder

How not to shoot civilians

Soooo glad I quit teaching

Why women leave tech?  The answer may not surprise you.  Microsoft CEO tells women not to ask for raises.  Male tech leaders vs. feminism.

The entire novel

Best new show 2014

I think I’m going to try this out sometime.  Maybe February.  And maybe only one circuit worth.

Right wing lessons learned

This week in mansplaining:

10690081_690732061042202_1780612777619272160_n

ugh