What happened when I rage bought the $450 laser hair removal thing

As predicted, one day I had enough of plucking my chin and went to amazon and bought this home laser hair removal thing.

You’re supposed to use it once every two weeks.  I’ve been using it once a week instead because my ability to remember something every other week is pretty bad and also I don’t think I’ve been using it as intensely (overlapping zaps) each time as the instructions say to do, so a second treatment probably doesn’t hurt.

There are five levels.  They say to use the highest that you are comfortable with.  I started out with level one, which was a light tingle.  Two weeks later nothing had really changed.  Level two hurt more and Level three was unbearable.  I had to ask DH to take over because I was flinching too much when I tried to do it myself.  Level two did seem to help some.  Then I had a conference and plucked for that.  When I got back, level three wasn’t so bad pain-wise.  I think the difference in pain was because there were fewer hairs to kill given the plucking.  I can also tell a big pain difference between heavily populated follicle areas and areas of sparser hair density.  Level three works much better at killing hairs.  Chin hairs die and fall out over a two week period after use.

I’m not done with the treatments yet, but I have a lot fewer chin hairs at this point.  There’s still plenty, but if I stopped now, it might be a manageable plucking number (at least for this hair follicle cycle– apparently hair grows in cycles and you have to kill off each cycle).

So, on the whole, I’m glad I purchased it.  Of course, I wasn’t expecting all the hair to go away, just to get a decrease to more manageable levels so I don’t spend 20 minutes or more plucking hair every single day.  And that decrease seems to be happening.

And that’s my mid-use update.

We’ll see if I can remember to keep it up once school starts!

Link love

So much politics this week… Let’s see here…

I suspect that all these bizarre seemingly left-field attacks on HRC from Trump “supporters” (many of whom turn out to have twitter accounts from Russia(!)) is Trump realizing what his big weaknesses are and pre-emptively attacking HRC on them.  So these new attacks on HRC’s health… are specifically because Trump’s health is worse than thought.  And so on.  They want to make it seem like she’s counter-attacking or something if these things come out.  But, Trump’s razor is forcing attention on problems he has that she was unlikely to go after.  Like that letter from Trump’s “doctor”.

The other thing about the health thing that gets me… if Clinton dies in office, we get Tim Kaine.  That’s still (the absolute value of) a bazillion times better than Trump.  How is this a bad thing?

These attacks on the Clinton Foundation, which are there because Trump’s business (and “foundation“) ties are so shaky (and Putin-y)– turning a charity foundation that helps people into a liability.  Of course, it helps a lot of black people in Africa, so maybe that’s why it’s not getting any credit for, you know, saving people’s lives.  HRC coverage SUCKS.  I mean, seriously, this AP thing is making my blood boil.  Also apparently journalists are really bad at vetting sources.

You should definitely watch (or listen to) Clinton’s Reno speech if you can (scroll down for the youtube version).  Very powerful.  As Yo is this racist says...

Godwin (of the law) says it’s ok to call Trump a Nazi.  Because he is.

Someone tweeted about Trump denying medical care to a sick baby and I was like, let me snopes that that cannot be true or it must be an exaggeration.  Turns out, nope!  It actually happened.  He cut off promised medical care to his nephew because he was mad at his brother (who was cut out of their dad’s will).  WTF.  I mean seriously, what is WRONG with this person.

The media’s false equivalence is dangerous.

Scalzi is correct.  More rich white privilege.  They don’t even know they have it.  They just don’t understand.  I wish they did.

5 common behaviors CIS men may not realize are abusive and how to stop them

Trump misusing campaign donations.  This was only one of several such stories this week.

Trump being a slimy scumbag.  Snopes makes it almost even worse.

But, of course, Trump antics haven’t stopped the police from brutally killing unarmed civilians.

Mary Jane

Monsters, role playing, and blackness.   Also recommend the radiolab podcast episode she references.

featured patreon of the week

giggle

Fallon and Streisand

Real girls

aww

SHATTER

I love reading about it when Paula from Afford Anything renovates a place.

I got dried dragon fruit from nuts.com.   I am insanely happy about this (not an affiliate link, just happy).  I lived on it from TJ’s back when I was pregnant with DC1, but we moved away and then they stopped carrying it.  :(

Hispanic vs. Latino (I think we posted this when it came out, but here’s a refresher)

Let’s be honest, the French burkini ban is about keeping Muslim women trapped inside.  It would make more sense to ban white guys in speedos since white guys are responsible for more violence than are muslim women

note to self

www.vagendaofmanocide.com  (context)

Is it sad that this looks like my neighborhood?  Fortunately we only have a one-story, but boy did we see a lot of confusing second story weird spaces when we were househunting.  (With our almost 3K square feet, 4 br, 3br, and 2 car garage, we’re really only on the cusp of mcmansion ourselves.  Plus we bought a house from the builder known for quality and it really does seem to have good bones, unlike a lot of the 4K sq foot places we’ve been inside.  We used to have friends who lived at a place that looks almost identical to the “help” though they also had a fountain in the front parallel to the stone path.)

Lists of lists about Asian American books

this site is fun!

Cat pictures, please (hugo award winning cat pictures, please)

Pretty

So pretty.

Historical NYTimes articles about cats

Here’s a twitter account we can all get behind.  Updates every 30 min.

Return of the Googled Questions

Q:  why do accounting professors make so much money

A:  Supply and demand?

Q:  how do annual raises work

A:  Every year your base salary gets raised a little bit.  Usually it’s a percentage, once a year.

Q:  why are people deliberately controversial

A:  For the clicks, baby, for the clicks

Q:  another word that i can call my wife

A:  Her name.

Q: if the marginal tax rate you pay on the next dollar you earn was increased by say 10% what impact (if any) would it have on the amount of hours you would work? why?

A: DO YOUR OWN @#$#ING HOMEWORK. I bet that’s in the textbook…

Q:  right spelling for tear” like to tear up paper”

A:  I think you figured it out.

Q:  how to defeat a patriarchy

A:  if you find out please let us know.

Q:  why people lose touch

A:  Liiiiife goes on…

Q:  do gifted children who are not challeged at school get stupid?

A:  Well, they don’t grow as many dendrites as they should.  And they grow up to be grumpy bloggers.

Q:  best before 30th september 2015 is written on aveeno body cream. can the cream still be used in october 2015?

A:  You know what, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and give you permission.

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Things that positively affect my mood

  • Waking up feeling rested.
  • Coffee.
  • Hillary Clinton getting the democratic nomination for president.
  • Good weather.
  • Productivity.
  • Things moving forward (including R&R and acceptances).
  • Chocolate.
  • Red meat.
  • A soothing novel.
  • Not being sick after being sick.
  • Happy music.
  • Vit. D
  • Hugs from DH.

What positively affects your mood?

Forgetting and a card trick

I have been having short-term and long-term memory problems lately.  I suspect this has something to do with peri-menopause, but it might be a B-12 deficiency or something else.  I mean to get my bloodwork done at my next doctors appointment.

DC1 is really into card tricks right now (after a week of “magician camp”), and all my life I’ve only known one card trick.

Or I used to know one card trick that I learned as a small child.  It suddenly occurred to me that I could not remember it for the life of me.  For a week I tried and tried to remember hopelessly shuffling DC1’s card deck.  I searched all over the internet looking up the term “cut the deck” and “card trick” and “bottom to top.”  Finally, after 2 days of B-12 supplements it came to me while I was trying to get to sleep.  I raided DC1’s room for hir deck and forced a sleepy-eyed DH to play the role of audience member.

Here it is in case I ever forget it again.

Optional:  Ask the person to cut the deck and restack.

Glance at the bottom card.  Do one of those fake shuffles that ends up with the bottom card as the top card.

Ask the person to cut the deck.

Pick up the one that wasn’t the top card without showing it to the person and say, “This is the [top card].”  Then glance at it and pick up the other card that was the top card and say, “This is the [other card].”  Then show both cards.

(And now I’m going back to sleep.)

What is culture for?

I am extremely cultured.  I know history and philosophy and I’ve read most of the classics (and can fake many of the ones I haven’t read).  I enjoy opera and theater (but not ballet or symphony, though my sister loves ballet) and old movies and classical music.  I can swim and play the piano and embroider and cook (though I was never able to get over my complete lack of artistic talent when it comes to drawing or painting or my complete boredom with ballet lessons).  #2 and I can trade Gilbert and Sullivan or PG Wodehouse jokes with ease.  I know which silverware to use at a fancy restaurant (pro-tip:  start with the outermost) and how to pretend I know what I’m talking about with wine.  Sadly I only speak two languages (English and Spanish), but I know enough French and Italian to get around as a tourist or to get most literary references without Google translate (ditto Latin).

I used to think that I had all this culture because my parents were sharing what they enjoyed, and culture was something to make it easier for me to entertain myself.  (And part of this is true– my father is a European immigrant who grew up in a fancy US coastal city, so his love of operetta patter songs is as real as his love for Jacques Brel or the Beatles.)

But a couple years ago I was rereading Penrod, by Booth Tarkington (free on Kindle).  In addition to being shocked by the casual racism and animal cruelty that I did not remember from my initial childhood reading (from my mother’s childhood hard copies), I was struck by a passage.  Penrod, who is established as having been from a middle- to lower-middle- class family, takes ballroom dancing and etiquette lessons.  A public school kid, this is the only time he rubs shoulders with the private school children of the town elite.  His mother wants to social climb.  His parents, I realized, are trying to help him advance.

Recent readers of the blog may also be aware of my current turn to regency romances.  In regencies (and in steampunk), women have “accomplishments”– somewhat useless entertainment skills such as embroidery or harp or watercolors that are class markers.  Wealthy tradespeople could send their daughters to finishing school so as to marry up into the aristocracy without embarrassing their impoverished future sons-in-law.

One of my mother’s refrains has always been, “to make you a more cultured person.”  And “to give you opportunities I didn’t have.”

I suspect that many of these skills and much of this knowledge that was poured into me may have been for the same reason we were pushed into math and science.  To improve our lot in life with the next generation.

But… Penrod was written in the 1910s.  By the time he was an adult, the parlor manners he resisted being taught along with the formal dancing would be archaic.  In Regency novels, the landed aristocracy of the early 19th century would be replaced with the age of industry and business would supplant tenant farming.  Eventually, stenography would be a more important skill for young ladies than the harp.

I always thought, growing up, that once I got to college I would meet people who were passionate about opera and history and so on.  (Note, this is one of the reasons that #2 and I hit it off right away in high school.)  But even though I went to a top small liberal arts college, that was not the case.  I would even occasionally have to explain literary references to professors in college and graduate school.  I did spread my various loves to my friends (especially those with cars!) and in return picked up passions for anime and Asian food.  High school also provided me with nerd culture in abundance adding, for example, the entire Monty Python library to my repertoire.

As an upper-middle class citizen approaching middle-age, I haven’t found my elitist skills to be particularly useful.  They still provide me joy, but to be honest, they are not shared by many people.  I don’t have much outlet for them away from the city.  When I am in a city partaking, I’m surrounded by professionally coiffed white hair.  These elite class markers are markers of a previous generation.

Times change.  Social class markers vary.  The approaching-middle-age elite who we rub shoulders with today are also first generation wealthy and formerly from the midwest.  They are not from East coast old money.  And so, my esoteric knowledge that my mother worked so hard to provide me with, those classics I was forced to read to “be a more cultured person,” were not as useful as the love of math and ambition that she also fostered.  In fact, I’m a bit out of place with them– elitist in many eyes.

But fortunately, even when it is lonely, cultural knowledge still provides personal entertainment.  It still makes jokes more funny and deepens appreciation of even modern media (since people in the film industry who direct and design are remarkably cultured themselves).  So maybe that itself is enough in this ever-changing world.

link love

Despite what the news wants you to believe, there are actually more important things going on right now than Donald Trump’s twitter “strategy” or his change in campaign managers.  Unfortunately, most of that news is depressing too.  Riots in Milwaukee, flooding in Louisiana, Zika spreading in Florida, wildfires burning homes in Southern California.  #2 wants to hear about these things just as little as she wants to hear about Trump.  However, these things are important.  I don’t know what to do about police violence in Milwaukee.  You can write your congressperson about Zika.  Wildfires in CA… write your congressperson about climate change?  But the flooding in Louisiana, that’s something we can actually do something about, and when I switched radio-stations so as to avoid the NPR in depth Trump twitter piece, our non-NPR station was doing an in-depth story on that and lamenting the fact that they’re not getting as many donations as previous major floods because the major news networks were too busy covering Trump.  That’s like the opposite of ironic.  So anyway, there are ways that you can help.  And, of course, since NPR isn’t all bad, the next morning they did a story about flooded schools that were already strapped for cash, which, of course, led me to one of my favorite charities, Donors Choose– they’re letting you pre-donate specifically to Louisiana teachers affected by flooding.  (Problem with donors choose– once I’m on the site, I end up spending more than I had intended!) Man, and August is supposed to be a slow news month.  Interesting times suck.

Texas wants women to die.

More F the police.  Also this one.

A woman escaping from messed up religious messages about sex

Why saying that Hillary Clinton has epilepsy is harmful

Ok, one little trump link.  This just in, WATER IS WET.

Meanwhile, across from Sarah Palin’s house

More cheerful stuff:  Death rates by state.

Not of General Interest discusses class and education and canning.  Looks like we tagged her previous post as well.

Family recurrence map

How Jessica Williams transformed The Daily Show

Why is Sara Benincasa so fat?

These pencils are awesome.  If only #2 used pencils or they made them in pens!

A rare example of a non-sexist article about Clinton.  Read it!  Because CNN needs to be encouraged to write more nonsexist stuff about HRC the candidate.

Everything is f*’d:  The Syllabus

Send gifts pls

Why we say eleven, twelve

Mental floss is a rabbit hole

Escapist fiction recommendations that aren’t primarily romances.

We need fluffy diverse books!

Books about books

This made me smile

 

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