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Things I will pay extra to avoid having to do myself December 8, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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  • Put together furniture
  • Shred my own cheese
  • Rake leaves, shovel snow, cut grass
  • Wash dishes
  • Transcribe audio, and/or text in images
  • Move a lot of boxes
  • Replace a hard drive
  • Walk any distance to do laundry

(This list brought to you by, though not limited to, my next impending move.)

I may not have house-buying money, but at least I’m still managing to make the Life Transition into “willing to outsource minor annoyances rather than spend the time.”

I also pay for a lot of digital music now. Although I do it with the gift cards Bing gives you for using their search engine, so that may not be quite the same category.

(December talking meme.)

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Give a tree, take a tree December 5, 2018

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Flyboy254 prompted me to write about “Christmas away from home.”

My whole family doesn’t get real sentimental about exact dates of holidays. One year we went to San Diego over the winter vacation, and got Christmas-day plane tickets because they were the cheapest. If people can’t meet up in December but we have a gathering in mid-January, then we’ll just save the presents and do Christmas in January. So that’s nice.

Here’s a photo from one of my first apartment Christmases:

Picked up the tree for free off of someone’s curb one January. It was the perfect size for a tiny apartment. Plus it came apart into pieces you could stuff in any box, and went back together super easily.

Now it’s been six months since I put it out on my own curb before leaving MA. Sure hope it got picked up by a new person who will appreciate it just as much.

Still have the tinsel and ornaments, though! My aunt doesn’t have a tree, so the ornaments are still boxed — but from where I’m sitting now, basically every direction has some tinsel draped over the most convenient surface.

(December talking meme.)

What Do You Carry With You? (December 2018) December 4, 2018

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Prompted by jjhunter. I last did this meme in April 2018 — pre-move, between jobs — so let’s see what’s changed.

Things I almost always take along when I go out:

  • Glasses
  • Smartphone
  • mp3 player + headphones
  • Keyring (with loyalty cards for Heinen’s, CVS)
  • Chapstick
  • Wallet (with photo ID, credit card, library card, debit card, and some cash)
  • Canvas bag (after thinking “I should pick up some groceries on my way home, why didn’t I think to bring a bag” one time too many)
  • Phone charger (USB, with outlet adapter)
  • Regular writing pen(s)
  • Photo ID for Day Job, on lanyard

Things I carry pretty frequently:

  • Sketchbook
  • Plain black legal-pad holder (nothing inside, it’s just for sketchbook sturdiness reinforcement)
  • Nice drawing pens, pencils, eraser
  • Lunch (or, depending on how prepared I am that day, “snacks to eat on lunch break”)
  • Pop tabs & spare change that I picked up off the sidewalk and haven’t cleared out of my bag yet (this should’ve been on the previous list too, come to think of it…)

(December talking meme.)

All these places I’ve been December 3, 2018

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Nova wanted a post about the places I’ve lived! So here’s the executive summary. (Hopefully vagued-up enough to avoid identity theft.)

I was born in…

Wisconsin

…where my parents lived for the next three years. I don’t remember any of it, but I do blame its influence for the fact that I really, really like cheese.

Then Dad got a job in…

Maryland

Mom worked for a while too, but my understanding is that Dad’s job was the driving factor. He’s the one still working at the same place.

A couple of apartments, one of which I have the faintest memories of, then the house in the suburbs where my parents live to this day. Nothing too elaborate (if you remember the neighborhood from Desperate Housewives…yeah, all those houses are at least twice the size of ours), but nice and stable.

Lived there until…

College

Four years spent mostly in middle-of-nowhere rural MA. Interspersed with a semester abroad in the outskirts of Canterbury, New Zealand, which was great.

After graduation, a friend who was studying in Boston needed a housemate (shoutout to Katy), so I packed up all my stuff for good and moved to…

Massachusetts

Spent the next eight years going through a string of apartments, and housemates, and low-paying temp jobs, in the Boston area. (In the middle of this I went to grad school, though you wouldn’t know it from my employment history.)

For the most part I deeply enjoyed it! Met awesome people, followed cool opportunities, felt generally comfortable in the culture.

But the rents kept rising, while my income kept…not. Then 2016 happened, when my vote (among three million others) didn’t matter because of where I lived. And, you know. That sucked.

I considered moving back to Wisconsin. It’s a swing state, there would be a nice feeling of coming-full-circle about it, and I would get to personally vote against Paul Ryan. But then came offers of support from family members, which were pretty hard to turn down. Which is why now I’m in…

Ohio

As of this writing, still crashing at my aunt’s place. A planned short-term stay turned (by mutual agreement) into a medium-term stay. I’ve officially shifted into apartment-hunting mode, though! This post will be officially out-of-date by some time in January. (Barring any unforeseen complications. Knock wood.)

(December talking meme.)

The latest adventures of “good guys with guns” November 23, 2018

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People killed by police in the US, 2018. Discontinued by the volunteer maintainer at the end of July, at 720.

“Roberson was wearing his uniform, including a hat emblazoned with the word “security,” and was holding a firearm he was licensed to carry. Midlothian police confirmed that two officers responded to the scene at the bar on Sunday and that one of them opened fire.” He WAS the “good guy with a gun,” and that’s what got him shot and killed by another “good guy with a gun.”

“Dallas police said Friday they are seeking a warrant for manslaughter against one of their own after an off-duty officer entered the wrong apartment in her building and killed a man who [actually lived there].” That’s right, she didn’t even pretend to be investigating a suspected crime, she just walked into a guy’s apartment and killed him. Justice for Botham Shem Jean.

They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious. They just began pouring bullets … It’s irresponsible. It’s dangerous. It’s mind-boggling, the use of force.” Justice for Diante Yarber.

[A police spokesperson] confirmed that Washington had a valid concealed carry permit. Washington was a Navy veteran and an employee with the United States Postal Service since 1998. He worked with the collections unit as a letter carrier at the main office in downtown Portland, where he also served as the union shop steward.” Justice for Jason Erik Washington.

“Banning large magazines and bump stocks was part of PERF’s call to limit the availability of high-power firearms. The Waffle House shooting also raised the issue of “red flag” laws, under which authorities are empowered to seize weapons from those who show signs of mental illness or other crises. Police had earlier taken guns from the Waffle House shooter, but his father apparently returned them to him.”

This last one, this is the big one. The way to stop this bad guy with a gun was to stop him from having guns, and the law had him clocked before the shooting, but with NRA-tied hands they weren’t able to follow through.

*massive sigh of post-moving-to-Cleveland relief* May 31, 2018

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I made it!

Staying at my aunt’s apartment in Cleveland, which is in a building tall enough that I can see Lake Erie from the window. All the boxes I shipped ahead of time have arrived — they make a surprisingly small pile in the corner of one room.

My parents showed up for the last few days in Boston, so everything I own that isn’t here is in the trunk of their car. Another couple trunkfuls of stuff went out on the front curb — books, dishes, still-half-full bottles of shampoo and body wash, lamps, fans, two entire cupboards’ worth of unbrewed tea.

All the furniture also went. For a while I was thinking about hiring movers for a few things, but finally decided to let it all go, including the couch I brought all the way from Baltimore and have been napping on since middle school. (It’s the one all the cats have sat on.)

The next-door neighbor complained about all this stuff being outside “when trash pickup isn’t even until next week.” Meanwhile, a regular stream of people came by and took things they wanted. (Guess what race/gender the neighbor was. Guess what race/gender most of the picker-uppers were not.)

My two housemates each cleaned their own rooms, but, for various reasons, made no effort to help with the kitchen or bathroom. (Or return rental equipment, or put general-house-use items on Craigslist, or…I could go on.) So, while Mom focused on helping me pack the last round of boxes, Dad basically scrubbed the whole apartment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.

And then…at last…to the airport! It had one stop after Boston before continuing on to Cleveland — same plane, just a new flight number — but I guess the computer hadn’t figured that out, because I had to haul my stuff off, get my boarding pass re-scanned, then turn around and haul it right back on.

Didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. Didn’t get any sleep on the plane, either. Every time I closed my eyes I saw half-packed boxes.

But now I have slept! And eaten. And restocked on conditioner/deodorant/etc from the local CVS. And programmed my webcomics to allow admin access from this IP address.

So far…so good. (Knock wood.)

Anime stuff giveaway…and some things for sale. (Sailor Moon, Hellsing, Peach Girl, Witch Hunter Robin) May 21, 2018

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One more round of pre-move giveaways!

Plus some DVDs and manga volumes that aren’t free, but it’s easier to share them here than set up eBay listings.

Unless otherwise stated, first person to claim a thing will get it. People who ask for a specific item will get priority over people who say “send me everything.” For the free stuff, all you have to do is pay the cost of shipping.

If I tell you you’ve claimed a thing, but you don’t send me a shipping address within 2 days, I’ll move on to the next claimant. Any items not spoken for by May 28 are getting donated.

Hellsing Merchandise – Free

Alexander Anderson 8″ figure (poseable, comes with extra hands)
Walter Dornez 4″ figure
Jan Valentine 4″ figure
Calendar, 2006
Set of 2 pins (manga Bondagecard, anime Seras)

Sailor Moon Merchandise – Free

Patterned sheet set (the fitted sheet is ripped and the fabric is awfully pilled, but you could definitely repurpose it for crafts)
Set of 2 pins (new in packaging)
Handmade f/f pins (Ami/Mako, Rei/Mina, Hotaru/Chibiusa)
Calendar, 2003
Chibiusa poster (same art as this manga volume)
Set of 5 inner senshi trading(?) cards
Miscellaneous packing material

Other Merchandise – Free

Victorian Romance Emma – harem-girl figure
Mahou Shoujo Creamy Mami – 30th anniversary poster

How to Draw Manga Books – Free

Someone claimed these when I first listed them…but never sent me an address. So I’m offering them one more time. From the (translated) Japanese series, with lots of good tips and reference poses.

Getting Started
Illustrating Battles
Colorful Costumes
Bishoujo Around The World
Couples
Dressing Your Characters in Casual Wear

From there, onward to the sales part…

Witch Hunter Robin DVDs for sale

Volumes: Arrival (1), Inquisition (3), Fugitive (4), Determination (5), and Vengeance (6).

That’s everything except volume 2, which is filler-y enough that I owned the series for years without realizing I was missing anything. Take them all for $25, including shipping.

Peach Girl Manga for sale

Peach Girl volumes 1-8 (the non-flipped reprint, in two decorative cases), Peach Girl: Change of Heart volumes 1-10, and Peach Girl: Sae’s Story volumes 1-3.

That’s the entire series, nothing missing. I’ll send you the lot for $60, including shipping.

Sailor Moon DVDs for sale

So, ah, these are worth…a lot. Everything else in the post is first-come first-serve, but on these I’m open to bids. If you’re interested, please comment on this post (don’t email or PM, I want to keep the details all in one place) with what you’re prepared to pay.

The linked eBay listings aren’t mine, they’re just a reference for the specific edition I’m offering, and the price it’s going for elsewhere.

Sailor Moon S (“Heart Collection”, volumes 1-5 of this edition)

Sailor Moon 3-movie boxset (“The Dream Set”, uncut special edition)

Sailor Moon SuperS boxset (“Pegasus Collection”, thin-packing boxset edition)

Book Giveaway, Part 2 April 29, 2018

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It’s another round of “multiple people are moving and need to downsize in a hurry” book giveaways! All you have to do is cover the cost of shipping. (They ship from within the US, so bear that in mind if you’re not.)

Comment to claim the title(s) you want, and you can send me a shipping address by email or PM.

Giveaway will close on May 6, at which point I’ll donate whatever’s left.

Fiction

The Grace of Kings – Ken Liu (autographed!)
The Snow Queen – Joan D. Vinge
The Pains – John Damien Sundman
Mindscape – Andrea Hairston
Misery – Stephen King (well-loved)
Venus, Inc. – Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth (ditto) (hardcover)
Off Limits: Tails of Alien Sex – anthology (hardcover)
Four Ways to Forgiveness – Ursula K. LeGuin (hardcover)

Children’s Fiction

The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish – Neil Gaiman
The Wolves in the Walls – Neil Gaiman
Crazy Hair – Neil Gaiman

Nonfiction

All The Fishes Come Home To Roost – Rachel Manija Brown
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Introducing Psychology: A Graphic Guide
Standing Alone In Mecca – Asra Q. Nomani

Comics

Art and Artists: New Yorker Cartoons from the Melvin R. Seiden Collection
The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, volumes 1-3

How to Draw Manga

From the (translated) Japanese series. Lots of good tips and reference poses.

Getting Started
Illustrating Battles
Colorful Costumes
Bishoujo Around The World
Couples
Dressing Your Characters in Casual Wear

What Do You Carry With You? (2018 edition) April 1, 2018

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Not an April Fool’s joke, just a meme, borrowed from jjhunter.

Things I almost always take along when I go out:

  • Glasses
  • Smartphone
  • mp3 player + headphones
  • Keyring (with loyalty cards for Stop’n’Shop, CVS)
  • MBTA pass
  • Chapstick
  • Wallet (with photo ID, credit card, library card, laundry card, debit card, and some cash)
  • Mini health kit (pads, painkillers, bandaids, alcohol wipes, cough drops, in a little Red Cross pouch)

(The last 4 are stashed permanently in my bag, only pulled out for special occasions.)

Things I won’t pack if I’m just running to the store, but will make a point of taking to work, or on a more extended trip:

  • Phone charger (USB, with outlet adapter)
  • Sketchbook
  • Clipboard (for sketchbook sturdiness reinforcement)
  • Assembly of pens, pencils, eraser

Anyone interested in beta-reading ~4500 words of tentacle sex? March 16, 2018

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Wrote a prospective submission for this anthology, involving a trans male human and a hermaphroditic tentacled alien. (Also incidental cat people and hungry alien flowers. They’re not involved in the sex part.)

I could use someone to look it over and make sure all the imagery is clear, the sentences make sense, the pacing doesn’t throw you, that kind of thing. Plus any SPAG if you catch it. And any brilliant title ideas if you got ’em.

It’s another Leif & Thorn no-canon-knowledge-needed AU, so it would be especially helpful if you haven’t read the comic. In this case “AU” means incredibly AU, but it still can’t hurt to have someone who comes to it with zero preconceptions whatsoever.

If you’re interested, comment with a Google-Drive-enabled email, and I’ll share the file your way!