The calm at the center of a pearl

April 28, 2008

I can has tip jars?

Filed under: Reflections — Tags: , , , — kyraninse @ 7:28 pm

I’ve been reading up on the overall internet response to tip jars and it’s been interesting to see how people’s responses go all over the board.

Some people believe that it’s rude, or that it’s “selling out“, or that you’re being a self-delusional egomaniac who believes that you’re actually providing a service when you’re actually just spouting drivel. Certain people seem to actually have a deep-seated aversion to tipping because they feel like you’re asking for extra handouts that they shouldn’t feel obligated to respond to. Still others don’t put out tip jars because they feel as if there’s something not quite kosher about it, in addition to potentially being ugly.

Other people believe that you’re supporting the bloggers you read and that it’s more of a sign of appreciation.

The bloggers themselves run from feeling like their work would be cheapened by asking for handouts to bloggers that feel like they should have the right to the option to ask for tokens of appreciation if they so choose.

The way I see it is:

  • If I’m writing pieces of short fiction and putting it online — then it’s not horrible for me to ask for donations via a discreet Paypal button — because I’m providing you with something that you obviously deem worthy of your attention. As such, I don’t feel terrible about asking because then it’s just another form of self-publishing.
  • If I’m publishing a personal finance blog and I’m blogging about how I’m a million dollars in debt and then I set up a donation button — that’s slightly on the side of problematic for me. It also depends on how the debt was occurred, mostly. But I wouldn’t donate to such a cause and nor would I set such a donation button up for myself.
  • Otherwise, if my blog is mostly a cheese and sandwich blog that has the occasional interesting/useful post on it — I would probably restrict myself to putting up a wish-list and see if any friends I make through the blog would be willing to someday buy me a book or two as a birthday gift or some such. I’d feel slightly icky for putting up a donation button, although I also see it, to a certain extent, as someone showing their support for what I’m doing — although even just leaving comments would be greatly appreciated at this point.

In conclusion, if people decide to put up tip jars, it’s really their business. If you don’t want to tip, don’t. No need to feel bad about not tipping either, I don’t think most of them, unlike waiters, rely on your tips to keep up their quality of life.

On the other hand, no need to bash them for it though. There’s nothing wrong with people wanting a little bit of extra for what they’re doing — and if you are a regular reader, then you really shouldn’t be QQing too much about it.

That said — I’m still torn between my mercenary heart and my delicate artist’s soul. *grin*


On books and kings and other sundries

Filed under: golds and nothing but. — kyraninse @ 10:07 am

I really have way too many books in my possession.

And since I’m a filthy debtor, I need to find some way in which to make money.

Therefore, I will now have a separate web page upon which I will list the books that I have for sale.

I’m afraid that this will all have to be based upon the honor system. Email me the title of the book that you want and I will send it out and email you the cost of the book plus shipping. You can pay either by mailing me a check or by Paypal.

I do not want to go through because of the hideous amount of fees they charge and ebay is too much hassle as well. Yes, I’m a rather crotchety person who is in need of cash and not really willing to compromise — a sorry combination to be sure.

At any rate, here’s hoping that I’ll be able to make some pin money and you’ll be able to get a gently read book at possibly less than the amount you’d pay for it if you bought it online.

April 25, 2008

Blogging for money and so such

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 5:29 am

What do you think about blogging for money?

I keep seeing it touted as “a smart way to capitalize on yourself” or “why not make money doing something you enjoy?” etc etc.

But really, I’m not sure how I stand on it.

Sure, since I’m a couple ten grand in debt, any spare cash is wonderful — but…

To be honest, I’m not a clicker. I might enjoy your site immensely, but I’d really be more willing to donate to your tip jar than to click on all those little Google ads you’ve got lying about. Sure it actually costs me money but to my way of thinking it’s much, much more honest than me clicking on a load of things and then never really paying them attention.

On that vein — to a large extent I ignore all those Adsense thingamabobs. I usually manage to not see them, or ads are just so much a part o’ the usual web scenery that I don’t really notice.

Continuing down that vein, I’d donate to you if I read you regularly and I wanted to support you. Huge tip jars with neon .gifs and glitter demanding/asking/pleading for me to donate will usually result in the clicking of that little red x up in the corner.

Sure it’d be lovely to get money from blogging, but I’m not certain that’s the way I want my blog to go. What with the Adsense and the banners and all that whatnot.

I’m pretty positive that’s what the Chinese call “骨气”1, or what the English might call ornery — but I don’t think I’d feel the same about my blog if it turned into a job or something that I’m trying to sell.

But then, I’d have a long ways to go in terms of cleaning up what I’m writing about and putting up tasteful ads and all that frippery anyways.

So, what do YOU think about it? Under what circumstances would you be willing to donate to a writer, or even pay for writing?

(I really want to be able to set up a poll, but wordpress doesn’t seem to want to support it. Maybe this marks the “need to get own domain” break-off point.)

Literally translated as “bone air/aura/essence”. It’s a noun describing/connotating pride, self-respect, dignity, and stubbornness all rolled up in a jumble. For example, when you say someone has it, you mean that person has ethics he will stand by, he will persevere and will not wilt under pressure. On the other hand, there’s a saying that “you can’t eat ‘it’ for supper” which is disparaging people for being unrelenting.

April 23, 2008

My evil plans still lie undetected! *cackle*

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 7:04 pm

Out of horrible paranoia that I would find a link on the intarwebz of me puking my guts out — I ran a search on myself.

To my great pleasure — nothing came up!

I could be wrong, since I didn’t go through all ten zillion web pages to see if I came up. But what’s really odd was that I didn’t even show up when I tried my name + facebook/myspace etc. And I know I’m on those sites. It might just be that my Google-fu utterly fails.

I’m not entirely surprised. To be frank, I’d be pretty horrified if anything did come up.

Pre-college, I predominantly hung out on Chinese fora and websites. After going to college, my natural paranoia made it so I never put down my real name for anything.

What’s entertaining is that I can find myself all over the internet if I plug in my preferred use-name. And so can anyone who’s been told, really. But who would know that  I didn’t want to?

So what pops up when YOU Google yourself?

Officially passed Senior I.S!

Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 6:28 am

I feel slightly sheepish, since I actually officially learned that I had passed — almost 36 hours ago, actually.

But, I’m officially done with my senior graduate capstone study: “How MMORPGs are used as social networking devices.”

Anyone who is interested in reading it should feel free to leave a comment!

I was shaking like a leaf the entire time and I was worried that I was coming across as not knowing my stuff. But it got better as it went on and in the end I truly felt like I knew what I was talking about — which is the most amazingly empowering feeling in the world.

All too often, even when I’m relatively sure I do know what I’m talking about, I’m not entirely sure I actually do — since, really, searching for the truth is an uncertain business and especially in the realm of psychology, all too often you can put the wrong spin on the data and come up with entirely different conclusions.

Of course, a correlation value of 0.9 would pretty much rule out any opposition — but not much is that clear cut.

I’m done. Done done done done.

Which actually means that I’m almost certainly going to graduate this summer and so now it’s onwards and upwards with the resumé writing and the summer job applications and such.

April 18, 2008

Why is everyone I read on Blogger?

Filed under: Rampaging short — kyraninse @ 11:00 pm

As the title says.

If this goes on, I’ll want to move to Blogger. And if that happens, I’ll miss my color-scheme.

Or I can keep bucking the trend?

Bah, humbug.

Affirmation ceremonies

Filed under: Definitions — kyraninse @ 1:36 am

Part of me cringes at this very New-Age-y attempt to re-define things.

Another part of me is loath to enter into what is popularly known as marriage.

I have many problems with the concept of marriage, some of which have to deal with antiquated ideals of “to serve and obey”1, some of which have to do with lack of participation in a formalized religion, some of which involves insubordination towards the conflict between state and church regarding marriage versus civil unions (especially with regards to alternately gendered persons), and mostly because: “it’s my life, why am I using a cookie cutter ceremony to deal with it?”.

I also really don’t want to deal with the connotations inherent in the use of “marriage”. In my eyes, it would be a ceremony within which I would affirm, in front of witnesses, both metaphysical and real0, my intent.

Namely, to honor and to cherish, to support and to succor, through thick and thin, till life2 do us part.

My ideal ceremony might run something along these lines:

Setting: Within a grove of trees

The officiator (O) stands in front of an altar. There are four witnesses, standing two to the right and two to the left of the altar. I and my betrothed walk together to the altar.

We light incense and stand them in a basin of sand. I pour a glass of wine out on the ground whilst my betrothed scatters seed/bread crumbs.

Officiator asks some version of: “Kyr, do you take X as your husband, to love and to cherish…etc etc”

Me: Yes.

Officiator asks the same of Y.

Y: Yes.

–*– we might or might not exchange self-written vows here –*–

Officiator: I pronounce you man and wife.
Witnesses sign, we sign the documents, etc.

We walk to where the celebration held as either a potluck or catered affair in the park begins.

I really don’t want to consider if there must be more people watching. In my opinion, the actual ceremony with all its trappings is my business and the only people who really have a right to be there would be me, my betrothed, our witnesses and the officiators. If the witnesses happens to not be my parents and his, then the parents would also be there. But I really do draw the line at (at most!) 20 people for each of us. Hopefully enough of our friends overlap that we only have at most 35 people watching.

To be honest, I don’t necessarily want spouses of friends watching, unless we know them very well also. If they want to be hurt, then that’s their prerogative. Considering that I’m not going to be inviting anyone except for my most immediate family to view the ceremony — if they want to be hurt, they can just suck it up. The idea of having something like 250+ people watching just gives me the heebie jeebies, to be honest. Sure, it’s nice to have that many friends — if you really do have that many friends. However, psychology says that you really can’t have deep, meaningful relationships with more than a certain number of people because at a certain point, your brain just can’t keep up.

I think what is most likely to happen is that there will be a ceremony proper somewhere secluded with lots of trees, and then multiple large parties over the course of the next few months to let people know.

Ultimately, I want something formal to affirm our intent, but the bulk of the celebrations would be something to share with friends. I would love to get blessings from my parents and friends and share with them my affirmation. I would also love to share the magic and joy that can come from such a ceremony.

When I went to my first wedding this past summer, I was incredibly touched; both because she invited us to share in her joy and that I was given the chance to give her my good wishes. I want nothing less for my own.

0. I have some ideas regarding intent and magic and spirituality that affects how my ceremony would likely pan out. That would mostly be for another post though.

1. This mostly shows up in religion-based ceremonies, according to preliminary Google-Fu. However, it’s not a “necessary” part to any vow.

2. No, that was not a typo. I do not believe in shackling myself down to “till death do us part” because sometimes life happens to you and you might fall out of love or into a variation of love or something else. This is not to imply that the vows are any less sacred or serious.

April 15, 2008


Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 8:42 pm


To be honest, I think I don’t read “ethnic” (do not bomb me for using that word) blogs because mostly, I don’t want to deal.

I can understand why people post about their concerns about the treatment of blacks/yellows/etc and rant about how there is not enough support against racism and sexism and all the other -isms that abound.

Yes, it’s something that needs to be said, and we are the weaker for not speaking out against it.

Yes, it’s important and if you need to talk about something that’s important to you — that’s your perogative.

Yes, ultimately no one should care what I think about their choice of theme because ultimately it’s their blog and I’m not paying them to entertain me.

All that said — it’s wearying to read nothing but negative stuff about race and how it impacts our world and etc.

I’m not saying this to bash certain blogs or whatnot. I think, to a certain extent, I’m trying to figure out why, although I feel guilty about it, I don’t read Asian-American blogs as much as I would want to.

I think, to a certain extent, I’m looking for what I found, to some degree, in Clotilde’s Chocolate and Zucchini. It’s not frequent, but there’s these blessed moments of grace where she addresses where she’s from, the different cultures she’s been exposed to, and how she’s managed to merge the two into something that is wonderful. Something very like, chocolate and zucchini.

—caution!!—really long post!!–caution!!—proceed at own risk!!—you have been warned!!—

As such, there’s the rundown:

  • I’m a TCK, and as such I’ve realized that it’s not just about race. The people from Taiwan look down on people from the Mainland, and people in Shanghai look down on people who aren’t from Shanghai. I’ve heard that Parisians do the same to their countrymen, and I certainly know there’s the Northern/Southern divide in the U.S, along with the lovely New England  pride.
  • There’s anti-American sentiment also, not that two wrongs make a right. There’s the usual concepts of “Americans are bad at math and stupid” and “American women are fat, lazy, and bitchy.”
  • I have an American BF, and I hate constantly having to deal with other people wondering if he’s fetishizing me and not really wanting him to tell other people that he’s dating an Asian, etc.
  • I don’t even really like people on WoW or forums or MOOs to know I’m Asian. I feel, even if it’s not justified, that a neon light saying “SEX ME UP” lights up.
  • My family is not at all approving of this. There’s no talk of dis-owning, but then that’s because he’s white. I know it’d be so much worse if he were black or even just — say, Pakistani.
  • I have lots of family issues regarding being a “banana”
  • I know I have racism issues. I often feel more apprehensive when wandering near groups of black men in baggy clothing and lots of metal on their body — I know there’s almost the same degree of fear for white men — and I feel bad about feeling worried. Although how much of that stems from being a short girl and how much from racism I really don’t know.

In short, I would argue that I know what I’m talking about when I’m discussing racism. I’ll talk about socio-economic status some other time, that’s an entirely new basket of worms.

In general though, I would like to live my life with some measure of grace. It’s a horrible world out there, but is it so bad to occasionally look at it and say, “this has made me stronger”, and see the beauty that can be, even in shattered glass?

Burnout, is a very, very real word.

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