Blessed Be The Fight?

WARNING: Significant spoilers ahead for season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale and the ending of Game of Thrones. If this matters to you, come back after you’ve caught up.

Ofmatthew deserved better.

There was a definitive moment this past Wednesday when I was staring at my screen with numb fury and thinking, Fuck June. If you watched the episode too, you might have experienced the same almost-but-not-quite-disloyalty I felt when Ofmatthew, who from here on out will be referred to as Natalie, murdered a Guardian and aimed his gun at June. I say “not quite” because this is a June I do not recognize. In the lead-up to season 3, one of the crew – possibly Bruce Miller – stated that June would be radicalized over the course of the season, and that it was necessary to harden her into the person she would need to be to lead the revolution. That person, apparently, is selfish, pigheaded, and cruel.

Don’t get me wrong: a little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, especially in Gilead. If we see nothing else in the ten seasons Bruce Miller has been threatening to inflict on us, I want to see Gilead fall. I want this regime to burn, even if we’re left with nothing but ash. The first two seasons were promising: season 1 primarily focused on adapting the book, which it did excellently, and season 2 was fascinating as well. Season 2 succeeded because even though it was off book, the writers continued to incorporate elements from the book that didn’t make it into season 1, most notably June’s mother and Luke’s first wife. Season 3 on the other hand has gone completely off the rails, to the point that it feels more like Game of Thrones started to feel when it ran out of book material and started to sacrifice story for spectacle. As with Game of Thrones, nothing makes sense. We’re meeting new characters and going through new story arcs, but all the rules from the first two seasons have gone out the window, and a lot of the things I thought I knew – both as a hardcore book fan and a more cautious TV fan – have been turned on their heads. (Why, for instance, has June suddenly become untouchable? Is it because of that weak-ass Nichole video excuse, or is it just because she’s the main character?) I have now officially become one of those people who claw through cast/crew interviews and Inside the Episode videos to try to understand the intentions of the writers. This approach sort of worked with the first half of season 3 but it’s apparently not foolproof, because I don’t understand Unfit. I don’t really want to watch the episode again, so here’s the general gist of it while I still remember:

June and the other Handmaids, excepting Janine, embark on a joint campaign to destroy Natalie. They are wildly successful. Everyone is somehow surprised when Natalie snaps and tries to shoot up the grocery store. Flashbacks inform us that in the time before, Aunt Lydia was a devout Christian teacher who had an amazing first date with an embarrassing aftermath, which made her angry and bitter. Okay, if you say so.

It would be easy to blame this lack of sense on the absence of book material, but season 2 didn’t suffer from the same problems. If I didn’t know better I’d think season 3 had been taken over by a completely different team who didn’t know the story, because June isn’t fucking learning anything. Her mistakes in the first seasons were forgivable because we were all learning together, but we’re kinda past that now. If she’s going to spearhead this revolution we’ve been promised, she needs to start making smarter decisions, which is something at which she historically has not excelled. In more practical terms, this means she needs to try to get Commander Lawrence on her side instead of sucking up to Fred, who will never help her get out of Gilead. It means she needs to stop dragging other people into trouble on an impulse, without ever once thinking of the potential consequences. It means she needed to try to cultivate a relationship with Natalie.

One of the most frustrating aspects of June’s character is her longstanding habit of shunning women she doesn’t like, then learning too late that they’re actually people too. I was hoping she’d learn something from her experience with Lillie/Ofglen 2, but then she met Natalie and she started doing the same damn thing that she did with Lillie, rebuffing Natalie and abandoning her for secret conversations with Alma. Natalie wasn’t completely hardened: I can’t say I liked her, but she did show signs of a softer side from time to time, especially when she told June she was glad Nichole and Luke were safe in Canada. June could’ve taken this as an opportunity to try to befriend her, but she didn’t. To be completely fair, I have no idea if she would’ve succeeded. I have no idea if a real friendship would’ve changed the decisions Natalie made, or if she still would have acted the same way. We’ll never know now, because the new radicalized June seems utterly intent on burning all her bridges.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER, BECAUSE WE ARE ON THE INTERNET: I know June has good reason to be angry with Natalie. I realize Natalie’s actions led to the execution of Frances, who also deserved far better. June’s bullying cabal does not excuse Natalie’s decisions. I know all that and I still say Natalie deserved better, because The Handmaid’s Tale has done to her what Game of Thrones did to Daenerys Targaryen.

Natalie vs. June

June is angry with Natalie in the wake of Frances’ execution and Hannah’s relocation (episode 7, Under His Eye) and sets out to make her life miserable, completely ignoring her own role in this mess. Most of the other handmaids rally around her and gang up on Natalie, relentlessly bullying and isolating her. Though June acknowledges that she pressured Frances into helping her and is in fact an indirect factor in her execution, she doesn’t express anything approaching real remorse until Aunt Lydia points out that June’s actions have harmed Hannah, (1) because her family relocated and (2) because she loved Frances. In a grand twist of irony or hypocrisy or both, part of the reason she’s mad at Natalie is that Natalie has not expressed remorse either. After her testimony, June decides it’s time for revenge and throws Natalie under the bus.

Wow, that was bitchy. Is this what the Handmaids social media team means when they say “Blessed be the fight”? Is this the fight? Are we expected to cheer for June as she sticks it to her fellow Handmaids, who have suffered the same things she has? Is this supposed to be revenge for the death of Frances, inflicted on someone who didn’t actually order Frances’ execution? Somebody please explain this to me, because my numbers aren’t adding up.

After June outs her, Natalie is forced into the center of the circle, and is quickly driven to tears by Aunt Lydia and the other Handmaids. The only one who feels bad for her is Janine, who has a much stronger moral compass than the others. The rest of the episode is a study in the development of mass shooters, interspersed with flashbacks from Aunt Lydia’s past, all of which culminates in Natalie’s attempt to shoot everyone in the aforementioned grocery store before she gets shot herself. I THOUGHT HANDMAIDS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE SACRED AND PROTECTED WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCKING FUCK.

This was about the point where I started thinking Fuck June, because this smile did not amuse me. In the Inside the Episode video, Elisabeth Moss says Unfit is a real sign of what the Gilead regime can turn someone into, and that’s fair enough, but then Bruce Miller went and said that while it was creepy to watch the main character enjoy so much death and violence, we’re just as satisfied as she is. Uh, no, Bruce. I enjoy watching women taking power for themselves. I do not enjoy watching women getting unceremoniously gaslit and then murdered by shows that should know better. I do not enjoy watching June standing by with that fucking smug little smile while Janine gets beaten in a grocery store. I was so proud of her when she threw herself over Janine to protect her from Aunt Lydia’s completely irrational attack (episode 4, God Bless the Child), but apparently she’s decided that Janine doesn’t deserve to be protected anymore. Equally upsetting is the fact that while June somehow found a way to show compassion towards fucking Serena, of all people, she made no such effort with Natalie. You could argue that Serena was potentially useful, being highly placed, or just capable of sending June to either the gallows or the colonies, but you would also have to remember the multiple occasions that June talked back to Serena, cursed her out, or defied her in some other way; and, given the thoughtlessness of many of June’s other actions, long-term strategizing doesn’t seem too likely.

Aunt Lydia vs. The World

This week we were treated to a bit of Aunt Lydia’s backstory, which I never knew we needed and am still not sold on because I honestly don’t give a fuck where she came from. Apparently she started as a family law attorney, then divorced her husband and became a teacher. She then befriended a young mother, Noelle, who was struggling to raise her son, and enjoyed a happy relationship with them until Noelle pushed her into dating again. She went on a date with a coworker and had a great time, then invited him to her house, where he told her that he didn’t want to go too fast because he wasn’t ready to move on from his wife’s death, but he still wanted to see her again. This somehow turned her bitter overnight because, I don’t know, maybe she was embarrassed at how close she got to extramarital sex? In any case, she decided to get revenge by reporting Noelle to child protective services – or maybe she just felt Noelle’s sinfulness had rubbed off on her and was punishing her instead of punishing herself. It’s all ridiculously unclear. The whole backstory makes about as much sense as Hermione turning evil and bitter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child after Ron fails to fall in love with her. I don’t know which one is more disturbing, Lydia’s decision or the clear parallel between the petty, bitchy revenges exacted by both her and June.

TL;DR

I hope Janine can talk some sense into June next episode, because if I have to watch seven more seasons of June throwing other women under buses and burning whatever bridges she has left I’m going to scream. Actually, I really just need June to stop making stupid-ass decisions. Seriously, what the fuck did she think she would accomplish by dragging Mrs. Lawrence to Hannah’s school? Did she have a plan at all? Was she hoping Commander Lawrence would turn up in his big black car and spirit them all away? THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING.

Anatomy of a Food Blog

I am a food blog junkie. I surf food blogs during my lunch break and have a whole board dedicated to recipes I’ll probably never try. If there were a Food Blog Lurkers Anonymous, I would join it.

Me: Mew.*

Group Leader: Did you just fucking mew?

Me: Mew.**

* Hello, my name is Karo. I’ve been addicted to food blogs since 2014.
** Yes.

Yeah, that would go really well.

Anyway. I love food blogs but there are days when I find them le rage-inducing, and this was one of those days. I have a very long list of Things That Do Not Amuse Me, but one of the top ones is cooking blogs that are so bogged down with ads and fucking autoplay videos that they literally SHUT DOWN MY COMPUTER.

For those who suffer rage blackouts before the scroll, here’s a more accurate screen view:

I’m not even joking. I went to grab a recipe from one of my favorite blogs today and waited five minutes for the page to load, at which point my laptop told me I had run out of “application memory.” After another five to ten minutes of spinning wheels of doom the screen went black and I had to force-restart the computer what the actual fuck I just want recipes and I don’t have money for a machine that can keep up with this shit (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

PSA: IF YOUR WEBSITE IS LOADED DOWN WITH ADS AND UNNECESSARY VIDEOS TO THE POINT THAT IT’S NO LONGER USABLE, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

Don’t get me wrong: I love instructional videos and accept that ads are a necessary evil, but I want to flip a table every time a food blogger thinks they need to have a gratuitous autoplay video follow you all over the screen. I visit the recipe page and there’s the autoplay video mucking up my page load and giving me rainbow death wheels. I scroll down and IT FUCKING FOLLOWS ME because Jane Blogger is just so confident that this video is exactly what I need even though it has nothing to do with the recipe it’s preventing me from reading. I love this blog but I don’t like visiting it, which seems somewhat counterintuitive. /rant

On a happier note, I finally got my Try Guys book!!!

I am a hardcore Tryceratops and go out of my way for everything and anything relating to the Try Guys, up to and including watching all their videos, supporting them on Patreon, donating to things that they care about (but only if I care about them too, I’m not a complete sucker), listening to their podcast even though I never listen to anybody else’s podcasts, and going to their show even though it’s on a weekday and I almost never go out on weekdays, all of which means that I also had to preorder their book, both hardcopy and audio. (Yes, you, judging me. I don’t care.) I never thought I could love four strange men so much, but that was before I saw them doing ballet and asking little girls for fashion advice. ❤️

I’m on page 39. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT THRILLING INSTALLMENT

The Count of Monte Creepo

I’ve been chugging through this brick for the last couple of months and it’s very interesting but man there sure is a lot of it x____x

Goodreads says I’m 70% through, and I’m gonna have to take its word for it cus this thing is huge. There’s about five million chapters, but they’re all pretty short, so overall you can get through large chunks of it fairly quickly. After I’m done I’m going to go back and reread the abridged version I started with, because I have almost no memory of the details and have no idea what got cut out when they abridged it. In this translation it takes him about 230 pages to break out of prison and get to the treasure pffffffft no wonder it’s almost 1300 pages 😣

I’ve been enjoying the book, but lately I’ve been getting that creeping feeling you get when you know that Adulthood Is Ruining Everything. I first found out about Monte Cristo when I was 11 because my mom started reading it to me when I had pneumonia and couldn’t run away from her, which didn’t seem like much of a compensation when I was missing the sixth grade Outdoor Ed trip. For context, here’s what I was probably reading at the time:

YES I KNOW I’M REALLY DATING MYSELF HERE SHUT UP.

Suffice it to say that Monte Cristo was a bit different from what I was reading by choice, but I liked the book and ended up finishing it on my own, which is a damn sight better than what happened a year later with Gone with the Wind. That was the abridged version, which is now falling to pieces and is currently sitting in my drawer at work because I keep forgetting I was going to run it through the glue binder. It worked for me because it was about getting revenge and punishing your enemies, and I wasn’t quite old enough to realize that the hero is actually super fucking creepy.

Maybe it’s adulthood, maybe it’s because I know the story now and can pay better attention to the details, maybe it’s because the unabridged translation is more precise, maybe it’s a little of all three, but the Count is so unabashedly creepy that I can’t quite like the book the way I used to. When I was in sixth grade, it was beyond reproach. As an adult, I’m finding I don’t particularly care for Monsieur le Comte. I’m currently on page 890. Here are the things the Count has done in that time:

  • While in Africa, he buys a mute slave named Ali, who was supposed to be executed by having his body parts hacked off over the course of several days. Ali is not naturally mute. The Count doesn’t offer to buy him until after his (Ali’s) tongue has been cut out, because “[he] had always wanted to have a dumb servant.” Ali is painfully loyal and grateful; the Count, in return, refers to him as “[his] dog” and makes it clear that he is willing to kill him if he stops being useful.
  • He lures Franz d’Epinay blindfolded into a cave, introduces himself as Sinbad the Sailor, tells him the creepy story about Ali with “cruel good humor,” gets him high on hashish, and sails off early the next morning without so much as a how-d’you-do. Actually, considering what he does to everybody else, this one seems remarkably kind.
  • He follows Albert de Morcerf to Rome, then proceeds to stalk the shit out of him, up to and including taking the hotel rooms right next to Albert’s, showering Albert with extravagant favors, and getting his bandit friends to kidnap Albert so that he can then rescue him. This kind of behavior looks like kindness and generosity to clueless Albert, but nowadays we call it “grooming.” If I didn’t already know Monte Cristo’s actual intentions, I’d think he was a rapist.
  • While posing as an abbot, he learns that a Corsican smuggler named Bertuccio tried to murder Gérard de Villefort. After hearing Bertuccio’s confession, he bails him out and sends him to himself (literally, he gives him a letter of recommendation and tells him that the Count of Monte Cristo will hire him as a steward), then buys the house in which Bertuccio attacked de Villefort and forces Bertuccio to retell the story of the murder and its aftermath.
  • Shortly after arriving in Paris, he arranges for Héloïse de Villefort’s carriage to crash in front of his house, then stages a dramatic rescue. When Madame de Villefort tells her son to thank Ali for saving their lives, the obnoxious little snot refuses on the grounds that Ali is “too ugly.” Ali does not speak French; the Count considerately translates Edouard’s remark into Arabic for him. (Excuse me, but why was this necessary?) After the rescue, the Count sends Madame de Villefort a recipe for poison, knowing she will use it to bump off most of her family.
  • He also owns a woman named Haydée, who was sold into slavery after her father was betrayed by Fernand de Morcerf. Though he treats her well and is about as affectionate with her as he can be with anyone, he still regards her as a slave. He makes her relive the story of her father’s death for the benefit of Fernand’s son (Albert), but specifically instructs her not to mention that Fernand was the one who betrayed her family while simultaneously telling Albert not to mention that his father served hers. After she finishes her story, she looks at the Count “as though to ask if he was satisfied with her obedience.”

I would include his manipulation of the Calvacantis and the Danglars, but I don’t give a fuck about either one of them. To be fair, the Count also uses his vast and apparently inexhaustible wealth to help the people he still cares about, but these acts of benevolence are so few that they don’t really balance out the fact that he’s expanded his revenge to include people who had nothing to do with his arrest. GOOD JOB, MONTE CREEPO.

I seem to have become one of those people who take pictures of their books, so here we go:

Since it was (1) Memorial Day weekend and (2) just generally a lucky day for buying books, I hit up two used bookstores today and I swear I was only looking for Moral Disorder but I somehow came home with nine books and since I seem to be confessing all my sins I might as well mention that I cracked and read Ghost Bride even though I said I wasn’t going to until I’d finished Monte Cristo oh gawd don’t judge me.

(Full disclosure: Moral Disorder actually isn’t my favorite but the main character is a copyeditor and I feel really represented and it’s still by Margaret Atwood and I’m about to build a shrine to her greatness and I will be the High Priestess and yeah okay you can judge me now 😖)

Awesome Con 2019

Don’t talk to me about season 8 also LITERALLY NOBODY BETTER COME FOR MY SWEET BABY I WILL MURDER THE FIRST PERSON WHO TRIES TO SPEAR HIM (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

In other news, I went to Awesome Con! I wasn’t planning to, but my friend Heather was curious and neither of us had ever been to a con, so we went together.

I’m glad we went but holy shit there was so much stuff x___x The pic only shows like 1/4 of it at most. It was definitely way bigger than either of us thought it would be and tbh I’d heard that it wasn’t that great so I wasn’t expecting much lawlllllz but then we walked into about a gajillion booths and almost didn’t make it back out. Maybe it would’ve been different if we’d gone to any of the panels, but we were mainly there for the shopping to see the artists and geekery. There was definitely a lot of lovely geeky stuff:

We also stumbled across this completely random little triceratops:

He turned out to be a candy bucket!

And lunch, which we got from one of the built-in Food Stalls:

Heather was hungry so we ended up agreeing to a quick lunch at Food Stall since that seemed to be the only thing around, but of course after lunch we found a whole line of food trucks on the other end of the hall and realized exactly how hard we’d settled #tableflip (I guess the tater tots were okay………..who doesn’t love $12 tots?)

AND NOW FOR A COMPLETELY RANDOM PHOTO GALLERY CUS THIS IS GETTING LONG AF AND I ONLY MANAGED TO CUT MYSELF DOWN TO 40SOMETHING PHOTOS OF THE 108 I ORIGINALLY TOOK:

And my loot, because you can’t go to a con and not bring back lots of loot:

We saw everyone and their mom carrying this damn backpack tote around and I kinda have a raging obsession thing for bags so I ended up buying one but it was expensive af but one of the other con-goers told me he was handed one at check-in…??? Did we not get there early enough or something?

The pet dragon doesn’t like to stay on my arm but the artist said he could be wound around a lamp so I might stick him on my desk light. Not sure what I’ll call him yet, I feel like I had a name for him at one point but I completely forgot it so it must not have been that great lawlllllll

The only kinda weird point was when I was thinking about buying this necklace, because the guy who was selling it claimed it was an Indian good luck token. I asked him if he meant Native Americans, thinking it was an Eskimo charm, but he said he meant actual southeast Asian Indians which is odd as the charm is clearly a polar bear………? I mean obviously I bought it anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter but please do let me know if you’ve heard of any polar bear sightings in India cus this is very slightly bothering me (or, better yet, tell me how I can stop caring about it #OCDfordays)

I thought I was going to be more organized about this but LOOKS LIKE I WAS WRONG HAHAHAHAHAHA my life is garbage 😀 Rounding out this shitstorm with more food pics because that’s literally who I am as a person:

NO MORE GALLERIES FOR THIS POST CUS FOOD PICS GET THEIR OWN SPACE OKAY. We made up for the not-really-worth-it tater tots with a lot of excellent Japanese food, including the katsukarē don above :3 I slept over at Heather’s the night before the con, so we went to a donburi place near her apt and it was amazingggggg. Then after the con we hoofed it to another Japanese place (also near her apt) and had even more good food!

Everything at Toryumon was awesome, but the highlight was the chocolate chip ice cream mochis:

So good.

Bonus pic: We found the world’s biggest crayons.

That’s it from me. x____x Looking back, I’m not entirely sure why I had to finish this tonight.

So Over April

Spring has come to Maryland and apparently this is a good thing? I can’t speak for everybody else, but tbh I’m pretty over it because we’re right smack in the middle of The Pollening and everyone’s been sneezing their brains out. The good news is that cute Easter rings arrived in the bakery at work:

My mom said the bunny looks like an egg and dude she’s not wrong 😂😂😂 I’m not sure what I’m going to do with Mr. Bunny, but right now he’s down in the kitchen keeping the owl salt and pepper shakers company. In the meantime here’s more food pics, because apparently this is a food blog now #IAcceptFullResponsibility

Yesterday one of the senior designers wanted tacos for lunch, so she mobilized the rest of us and we dropped all our projects and piled into two cars and ran off to the nearest taco bar. I’d never been to this place, but I see it all the time because it’s fused to the convenience store attached to the gas station down the street from the office. I’m not really sure if it’s actually part of the gas station or not, but either way it’s apparently so popular that by the time we got there there were about a billion people milling around trying to buy tacos. Luckily we weren’t planning on staying anyway, so we got our food and scooted back to work before anyone noticed the entire design department was missing. And after the tacos there was cake, because it was somebody’s birthday and the universe is clearly trying to kill me.

I. REGRET. NOTHINNNNNNG.

In other news I was going to talk a little bit about my progress on The Count of Monte Cristo but it quickly spiraled out of control and ballooned into a huge long rant and I couldn’t figure out how to finish it and I am le tired so that will have to wait for another post x_____x (but seriously I have to finish Monte Cristo because I finally got my hands on The Ghost Bride and it’s by a new  author named Yangsze Choo who sounds literally like my twin and it looks divine and I want to read it nowwwwwww gaaaAAAHHH #bookwormproblems)

This is how fucking inconveniently OCD I am: I bought Choo’s second book before I bought Ghost Bride (meant to buy them both at once but it wasn’t meant to be), but I made the mistake of peeking into The Night Tiger a little bit farther than I should have and I saw a line that looked like a reference to Ghost Bride and now I have to read Ghost Bride before I read Night Tiger because SPOILERS.

And now it’s way later than I planned and I am still le tired, and it’s time for kitty-dragons to go to bed. Good night, world. We’ll rant together tomorrow.

P.S. I JUST THIS MOMENT SAW A GOODREADS REVIEW THAT SAYS GHOST BRIDE IS SPIRITED AWAY FOR ADULTS AND IF THAT’S TRUE I’M GOING TO CRY HUGE TEARS OF HAPPINESS NNNNNRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHH MUST FINISH MONTE CRISTO T_____T

Kitty Paws

After five(ish) years with a 5S, I finally upgraded my phone!

Okay so technically that’s not accurate: I did upgrade somewhere around 2016, but literally only to swap my 16GB 5S for a 32GB 5S. (Seriously, that was the reason.) There’s a number of reasons I’ve been resisting everything past the fifth-gen iPhones, including (1) the missing headphone jack, (2) the missing home button, and (3) the sheer fucking size of every phone that wasn’t my dainty little 5S. Unfortunately that same little 5S decided to stab me in the back by killing its own battery (look, I said I was sorry about all the times I threw it), so I finally got fed up enough to trade it in.

The main problem that I didn’t really anticipate was that I have teeny-tiny kitty paws and this thing is the size of Jupiter wtf

SERIOUSLY I COULD BLUDGEON SOMEBODY WITH THIS GORRAM PHONE WHY ARE PHONES SO BIG NOW THEY’RE LITERALLY MINI TABLETS AND MY HANDS ARE NOT BIG ENOUGH TO DEAL WITH THIS SHIT. The other problem was that I put off upgrading for so long that Apple wasn’t actively looking for my phone model so I only got like $28 for it ;____; I mean that’s better than nothing but considering I got my last two phones pretty much for free it was a bit of a blow. Next time I’ll know better!

Rocky start aside, I love this phone. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to the missing headphone jack and home button but I’ve caught myself trying to use XR-specific gestures on my iPad so apparently I’ve acclimated and I also finally get to use the Totoro PopSocket my friends gave me, which is now one of my favorite things ever ❤️ also I now have a phone that doesn’t scream and kill itself every time it gets down to 31% battery THIS IS SO NICE EVEN IF I DO HAVE TO PLAY TWO-HANDED TEMPLE RUN and of course the first thing I did with the shiny new camera was start photographing my food because #priorities 😀 😀 😀

Last Sunday my parents and I went to a new Thai restaurant for dinner, and it was fucking amazing. We had the curry puffs, wok-charred rice noodles with chicken, squid, and Chinese salted cabbage, spicy fried catfish with Thai eggplant, curry soup noodles with chicken drumsticks (like, literally chicken drumsticks in a big bowl with the soup poured over them), and Thai tea croissant pudding. The pudding was a little too soft for my taste, but everything else was pretty much perfect and I’m currently trying to figure out how I can kidnap all my friends introduce all my friends to this restaurant. If  this keeps up I’m going to be a roly-poly dragon but I don’t even care right now because NOODLESSSSSSSS ❤️❤️❤️

Aftermath

Or: It’s been a little over a week since we woke up to a Jennicorn-shaped hole in the wall, and I suddenly remembered I promised journal comics.

On Jennicorn’s last night, I decided it would be nice to stalk find her and say goodbye before I went home.

Fortunately everyone else on her floor had gone home, so there was nobody around to wonder why a dragon was scaling her cube. Unfortunately the cube was empty, so I said goodbye to her coat and then went off to my car.

Epilogue

There actually was a happy ending to this because (1) I decided this would make a good journal comic, (2) I realized I had no idea how to draw a cubicle, and (3) I’ve watched too many movies. Jennicorn turned out to be in a nearby conference room while I was saying goodbye to her coat, and she came out in time to catch me taking pictures of her cube because I’m ridiculous. Whatever works…

We Interrupt This Program

Things I was supposed to do this week:
  1. Ship two projects.
  2. Buy a baby shower gift.
  3. Try to get my ass up to Boston. (Don’t ask if I’ve started applying to the 50 bazillion jobs I bookmarked on Monday, cus I’ll never tell.)
  4. Draw two of the journal comics I promised when we first launched this site.
  5. Get started on a couple of freelance projects.
  6. Generally keep my shit together.
Things I wasn’t supposed to do but still did anyway:
  1. Get into a fist fight with InDesign.
  2. Lose my shit, rage across the Pacific, and rampage through Tokyo.
  3. Leave my music folder at school.

I usually have my violin lesson on Saturdays, but I’ll be at a baby shower this Saturday so my teacher let me come in on Wednesday. We had a good time and made fine progress reteaching me the Schindler’s List parts I learned a couple weeks ago which I 100% have practiced I swear and then when it was time to go I remembered to zip up my violin case properly but somehow managed to leave this smug little shit on the music stand AND IT IS LAUGHING AT ME
(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ (non v.g.)

I wasn’t planning on raging across the Pacific, but just as I was congratulating myself on leaving work 30 minutes early I remembered I needed to go pick up my folder. Which is not in itself a tragedy, but I’ve been feeling weird today because, I don’t know, it’s a Thursday? (Yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me either.) Whatever the reason, I spiraled hard during the drive and was on track to devolve into full-blown Order of the Phoenix Harry when I arrived at the school and got blasted with a huge dose of nature’s answer to mental health problems:

 

ASD;JKFGHKLVHHHHHH WHAT MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS I DON’T HAVE ANY MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS I MEAN LOOK AT THAT SWEET LITTLE FAAAAAAAAACE /dead

Then since I happened to be by a bakery (total coincidence), I bought three cookies, ate one in the car, and wondered vaguely why all my problems can’t solve themselves so politely.

At least tomorrow’s Friday?

Taxes, Tips, and Tantrums

I must’ve angered the tax gods because I’m still unable to cross this damned project off my list. What’s taking me so long? I always itemize my deductions, a task that will always and forever be tedious. Nonetheless, in the adult world, it’s important to itemize your deductions to see if itemizing or taking the standard deduction will benefit you. Feel free to check out Nerd Wallet’s blog on Itemized Deductions if you want to learn more.

Another added delay is due to my decision to use the TurboTax Live Self-Employed ($199.99 or $179.99 + 2% cash back through Ebates) option. Once you complete all the requested information and provide blood and your firstborn child, you will have the option of scheduling a live meeting with a CPA/EA to review your taxes before submitting, which is comforting for someone who is recently unemployed and has a small business and other complex tax situations.

I should note that this is my first time meeting with a CPA or EA via the web, so I’ll make sure to report back tomorrow. I can, however, vouch for the EA with TurboTax’s Max Audit Defense, who assisted the Mister and myself during a stressful tax review of our 2016 returns. Long story longer, during a 401k rollover, one of the two institutions we were working with inadvertently transposed some numbers, and we were staring at a pretty scary notice of:

Please remit XX dollars to Uncle Sam within the month, or we will slaughter you and your entire bloodline.

Thankfully, our superhero EA was more than empathetic each time I lost my shit on the phone.  He explained that he would (i) manage all correspondence with the IRS moving forward and that we should notify him if the IRS reached out; (ii) superhero EA would then review all documents and contact me with any additional needs and/or updates; (iii) after an eternity, the IRS would decide either (a) we don’t owe squat or (b) we owe a shit ton of $$$ + interest, which superhero EA would negotiate to the lowest amount possible. The end result? We didn’t owe a dime since I file/save pretty much EVERYTHING.

Looping back to the last delay, I received a Student Loan Debt Relief Tax Credit (thanks Maryland!). For Marylanders with student loans, each year you can apply for a tax credit to use towards your student loans. The only con is that those of you who e-file, like me, will need to mail in your MD taxes along with the Final Certificate of Approval that is mailed to you. How is this a con? Snail mail means state refunds will take a while to reach your pockets.

At any rate, the 64th Annual Taxing Games are upon us and I hope my tips will help others but please feel free to comment below with your own suggestions and/or experiences.

May the refunds be ever in your favour.

Unproductively Productive

Or productively unproductive…

Regardless of how one might perceive my productivity on the third day of my 30 Days of Projects campaign, I certainly worked a lot but did not accomplish what I intended to accomplish – my taxes. I wholeheartedly blame TurboTax as it didn’t auto-save the information I entered. It decided to time out when I ran downstairs to refill my sad and empty glass because GOD FORBID a human being get thirsty whilst entering her taxes.

Despite its flaws, I still love TurboTax and for those who love a bit of extra savings, if you use TurboTax via Ebates.com, you can get $20 off plus up to 7.5% back on Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed Editions.

Anyhoo, I’m 75% through this annual traumatic ordeal and hope to have a more productive update EOD 4/4/19.

Cheers.