The calm at the center of a pearl

May 30, 2008

How many Earths did you get?

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , — kyraninse @ 8:56 pm

As a natural result of tooling around online and reading about greener ways of living — I looked up the website for Consumer Consequences: the interactive website that tells you how many Earths would be needed if everyone lived like you do.

Frankly, I think it’s a useful thing to take a look at, but I don’t put that much store by it.

For the record, I plugged in some numbers based on my predicted living methods when I go to Boston, upon which it told me that we would need 3.1 Earths if everyone lived like I did. If I used the numbers for when I’m living at college, it would be 2.7.

It’s useful, yes, but only so much as it reminds me to live more lightly on the Earth and doesn’t plunge me into depression.

I think, the simple fact is that the Earth has way too many people. I’m not saying: “Oh hey, it’s all hopeless and we’re never going to get the result of 1 Earth unless we all start living on communes and farming our own food — so let’s all just screw it and do whatever we want.”

But, at 6.6 billion people on this planet — really, what can we do to make it so the results get down to 1 Earth? I got down to 1.1 Earths by almost never leaving the house, walking when I did, and eating all vegetarian. At that point, I said: “Fuck it, this is ridiculous.”

I’m willing to try and do my best, but I draw the line at where life becomes not-fun. Although I try to eat vegetarian most of the time, I like my bacon once in a while. I also like steak once every so often. The need for commuting isn’t going to go away, and neither am I going to sit at home all night after work and twiddle my thumbs because buying books involves cutting down the Amazon and going out to the movies consumes too much energy.

Also, if you really think about it — having kids is really bad for the environment. Throw-away Pampers, anyone? And you’re essentially bringing someone else into the world to help consume it, and what’s even worse is that you might raise a kid who is a veracious carnivore, who hates recycling, and was born to shop.

What then?

In the end, sure there’s some entitlement going on — but I’m not going to make my life a study in asceticism just because there’s 1.3 billion people in China alone and India close behind.

Not that I’m bashing those two countries — they have so many problems regarding population and they know it. Neither am I saying: “ZOMG, white man’s burden!”.

But the question isn’t always as clear cut as edifying yourself.


May 29, 2008

The sky as blue as love

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — kyraninse @ 1:59 pm

I’m feeling out of sorts.

I’ve been fiddling with setting up a blog and hosting it on my own domain and whatnot — and it won’t work. It runs and hiccups and stops and starts and drives me nuts. Chris mentioned once that I might enjoy web design — for all I know he could be right and I’d like fiddling with sites to make them tick and shine — but oh my god I hate the tech aspect.

I try looking at guides and forum posts to piece together what went wrong and it’s all over my head. It’s not just something I can jump into, nor is it that intuitive.


It’s a gorgeous day out and all I can think about is whether I want to go to Courtanna’s wedding. I want to, but I’m not sure I can afford it. Between opportunity costs and Greyhound and hotel — ergh.

“The sun runs like silk down the waterfall of your hair and the wind glows with your spilled blood.”

I also want this summer to be over. College was limbo and now I’m still in limbo. I want a home, a stable job and permanence. God knows I haven’t had it, ever. I so envy Courtanna’s domestic bliss.

May 26, 2008

Applying for a citizenship …bah

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 12:15 am

So, I went and downloaded the forms today.

I’ve always found it interesting that the civics exams can cover questions that even the average American might not know the answer to. Such as, how many representatives do you have? Or, how does your state number in being added to the United States?

I think that cultures where they actually required their members to undergo a rite of passage and prove their mettle to the collective before they would be accepted as full-fledged members of society made slightly more sense.

As for right now, I’d say our youth has no idea if they’ve reached adulthood or not. They get sent conflicting messages constantly. They can volunteer for armed service before they can drink. They’re also charged with voting while they’re still considered underage. Even better, the many laws regarding sex is simply funny at times.

I often wonder how our society would be different if we actually made it a point to educate and train the younger generation. Not to romanticize  the good old days of yore — but it’s interesting to think about the things that they actually did do right in certain aspects.

May 24, 2008

For all that’s good and holy …

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 8:05 pm

I just found out — rather belatedly, I’m afraid — that an Austrian man locked up his own daughter since she was 18 in the cellar, fathered seven children on her…

And is now appealing insanity.

So, after he plotted it out in great detail since she was 12 — including constructing the jail where she was kept for 24 years with a door that weighs half a ton — raped her repeatedly, forced her to bear him seven children without the benefits of medical assistance, allowed her and her children’s health to deteriorate to the point where one of the kids is in a medically induced coma…

He’s pleading insanity NOW?

I don’t even know if I agree that he’s insane or not. Certainly his actions support the idea. But I can’t imagine someone who so cold-bloodedly and logically planned this out as being under the control of a mental disorder — which is what cinches it for me, in the end.

Sure, he may be insane, but I don’t believe that should free him from being imprisoned in a dark cell underground and hopefully raped up the ass till he hemorrhages out repeatedly and fed sugar till all his teeth fall out like Elisabeth’s did.  Too bad he’s 73 and probably wouldn’t survive that long even if they did convict him.


Money blogs and college students

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — kyraninse @ 12:53 am

Bah, it’s now 51 minutes past my deadline. 😦 So I’m going to be double posting today.

Anyways. I’ve been reading financial blogs and it’s struck me that no one really has many good ideas for college students.

To be honest, I don’t think the “spend less than you earn” concept applies when you don’t have a job.

I suppose that begs the remark “then get off your lazy bum and find one”.

Frankly, I went to a private college that required you to petition for a class overload because the normal 4 credit course load was considered more than enough work to keep us occupied, and I wouldn’t have liked to have taken on a 40 hour work week on top of that.

Not to mention, really, if I’m paying out my nose for a good education, I really want to make the most of it. Maybe do an internship or two, participate in some extracurricular activities, do some networking — perhaps even have a life.

Call me spoiled if you like. I suppose I am.

But then — with that mindset it’s undeniable that the run of the mill financial blog is not very helpful. With an eye towards that, I’m looking for ideas that are slightly more feasible.

May 22, 2008

Procrastinating versus impatience

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — kyraninse @ 9:21 pm

I really want to call Zora and ask her if the landlady approved of having 5, potentially 4 people renting the apartment Zora found.

We’re not taking the 2k a month apartment after all, since Zora found something that is slightly more run-down in the kitchen, but $700 cheaper and no broker fee.

The only problem is that the landlady had to talk with her husband about being willing to rent to 5 people. The other thing is that there is no rent control — which considering that since the house-buying market is slumping, it means that rents will be taking a hike. Very unpleasant.

I’m not sure how much to poke Roza about it. After all, she has her own matters to attend to, and I feel vaguely guilty about her doing all the legwork — but then I’m not in the area. It’s at this point that I almost wish that I had taken up my parents on their offer to find me an apartment in Boston and just jump-start the search there.

In the end, when looking at apartments in such a housing climate, it may be worth it to get a more expensive apartment with rent control than a cheaper one without — depending on how long you plan to live there.

Personally, I don’t want to move again once we get to Boston unless it’s to a house that I bought, so if I were living with life-minded people, then I “might” go for the 2k a month place. However, that 1k broker fee is seriously frightening.

I tried looking up broker fees and I’m not sure that 50% of a month’s rent is typical, since I saw some people commenting on 12% broker fees for their apartment.

Anyways, we’ll see.

May 21, 2008

Really don’t know why I bother…

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , , , , — kyraninse @ 1:48 am

But I henna-ed my hair again today and have spent the past 2-3 hours reading about henna on the Internets.

Couple of points.

Henna is a natural dye that is absolutely safe for the majority of people to use, except if you have glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. In that case, it can be extremely dangerous for you to use it as it will cause a hemolytic reaction and can be fatal. Also known as “can’t eat fava beans or will die” disease, so if you can’t eat fava beans without having to go to the ER — don’t henna, mmk?

Henna deposits dye molecules onto your hair shaft, so it will give your hair a reddish tint. It will not lighten your hair color — it’s very much like doing a red water-colour wash over tinted paper.

At this point in time, I have white hairs growing out, so henna-ing my blue-black hair isn’t an exercise in complete futility – but it’s pretty damn close.

I’ve read a lot of conflicting views on preparing mixtures, body art quality henna (BAQ) or simple natural food store henna, dye release times…etc.

I’ve concluded, after reading more than 11 pages into the forums at that henna apparently can work however way it pleases and there’s not necessarily rhyme or reason to it. Including to add oil or no, to acidulate or not, to wait for dye release or no…etc.

Actually, there’s actually multiple very logical reasons for why/how one way works and why it also works the other day. But I’ll go into that some other time if people are interested.

What I did today was I made tea with 1oz of hibiscus flowers and then put in 5 oz of henna powder and fucked up here cooked it for faster dye release. What I forgot was that you can’t over-heat it or the dye starts demising — which led to only a blonde tint on the white hairs.


At least, I know my henna shipment is in at the natural food store, so I think I’ll try again tomorrow. This time, I’ll just do what I’ve always done, which is to use hot tea to make the paste, and then just glop it on and sit around for 4+ hours.

What’s interesting, is that using henna almost always gives me a headache. I’ve also noticed that the headache gets worse progressively — the longer I sit around with it glopped on my head, the more my head hurts.

There’s a couple of hypotheses I have for that.

Some people say that it’s the weight of the hair. Considering I have waist length hair and the henna paste weighs a lot — that’s not implausible.

What I think is the real cause is that henna is supposed to have a cooling effect on the body. There’s also Chinese medicine theories that say that if your head is too cool, you will get headaches and be less healthy. The two theories combined explains the headaches.

Before I get slapped down for woo-woo voodoo henna Chinese mysticism crap — I have to say that sometimes when I don’t blowdry my hair and my head stays cold, I get terrible headaches that only get better once I break out the blowdryer.


More likely to believe in the latter, with that personal anecdote.

Anyways. Henna! More henna tomorrow, possibly!

May 20, 2008

Greens, greens, and nothing but.

Filed under: Journaling — Tags: , , , , , — kyraninse @ 12:39 am

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what to do when we move to Boston.

There’s going to be a hella lot of money spending coming our way then, both as one-time expenditures and higher fixed costs of living in a big city.

If we take the apartment the broker found, then there’s going to be a one-time $1k brokerage fee. Then, since it’s a $2k a month apartment, not including utilities, internet, or the initial furnishing — then the fee breakdown for the first month will look more like this:

$200    – Brokerage fee
$400    – Rent
$100    – Water/electricity (this is the quote the landlady gave)
$50      – High speed internet (No idea how much it actually will be, but much easier to budget more)
$500    – Deposit
$500    – Transpo to Boston from Ohio along with STUFF
1750*2 = 3500

This isn’t even counting the furnishings that will have to be bought for our room or food or student loan payments or commuting costs. And if we don’t manage to find a job in time for the next month? Then we’re so screwed it’s not even funny.

It might actually be better to find another apartment — except I’m not so sure that we will find another one that is as good as this one by ourselves.

So, the one we’re seriously considering right now has rent control, free use of the dryer/washer (fantastic even though we pay for utilities), is in a good neighborhood (has a preschool opposite), four bedrooms, decently sized kitchen and living room, good lighting, hardwood floors, and is near a bus stop which takes us right to the red-line.

I really don’t think that Zora can find something better. I sincerely hope she does — because then I can save up that $400 brokerage fee (Chris and I) that is breaking my heart — but I doubt it. Nora was telling me about a $2000 two bedroom apartment somewhere else and that seems pretty typical for the area.

Therefore, I’m trying really hard to think of ways to save more money before and after we get there. My costs right now are pretty fixed since I’m living in the college housing which is $7 per night including all utilities and internet. Then there’s laundry and food. I’m going to try and stick to a $5 a day food budget — I’m going to hate it, but I don’t think I have a choice, really — and pray for the best.

After we get there, I’m thinking of having shorter showers, drying clothing using a clothes-line or rack, packing our own lunches to try and stick to a $10 dollar maximum food limit, and in essence — be the tightest penny-pincher I can be.

I’m hoping that Zach, Zora and Kell will be with me on this — because I can’t kill utility bills by myself alone. I’m pretty positive they will be, but I’m so apprehensive about the future.

May 19, 2008

Condos versus single family homes versus …?

Filed under: Money Musings — Tags: , , — kyraninse @ 4:49 pm

When we went to Boston and looked at houses, I noticed that single family homes of about greater or equal size to condos were going for more than slightly less.

This may have been a fluke in both what we were looking at and where — after all, it’s not an entirely static comparison.

On the other hand, I was wondering why one would choose to live in a condo over owning a single family home — or maybe even sharing a duplex with a friend or family member.

Those condo fees do add up — not to mention that often you might have to negotiate with your other condo-mates to fix it up, which might or might not be worth it to pursue.

I’m pretty sure there has to be an aspect I’m missing here, but at the moment, I think I’d cheerfully go for a single home and then try to rent out one of the floors if I really wanted to go into the renting business. Not that either is on the horizon as of now — but just saying.

May 18, 2008

Twitter or no? And on that note…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 2:42 am

It seems that people first heard about the earthquake in China through Twitter.

That’s pretty impressive, I can see how it is a powerful tool — potentially even more amazing if you have a network of dedicated journalist-bloggers who have a good eye and ear on the grapevine.

Now I’m tempted to look into getting Twitter — although I can see how some people would only be talking about what they just had for lunch. Not to bash cheese-sandwiching — but still…

Also, I love the “schedule” your posts function so I can leave home for a jaunt and still maintain my daily blogging hope. I never even really took a good look at it before this.

I’m really thinking about getting my own website so I can set up slightly more complicated functions such as polls, archive backups, and so on. Or it may be that I can do it all from WordPress, and I’m just too tech-illiterate to do it. On the other hand — I’d have to poke Chris about setting it up for me, so I should probably only do it if I really want to look up how to do it myself.

Also, I’m feeling pretty torn about what comments to allow. In the name of free speech, maybe I should be allowing whatever non-linkage spam that is posted. However, I really don’t think that endless strings of lol really helps the free-speech movement.

Any takers on that one?

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