Stock Splits, White Collar Crime, and Leases v. Mortgages

Stock Splits, White Collar Crime, and Leases v. Mortgages

Both Tesla and Apple stocks split today, and if you’re wondering what that means, I’m going to try to explain it because I only have a general sense of knowledge about market speculating, but I also find that when I do work to try to explain shit, I end up understanding it better myself. There’s nothing really too complicated about it, but I am not a teacher (and really good teachers are quite difficult to come across, so I have no idea how teachers aren’t paid $100K; if they were, the position would attract the type of people who should be teachers), nor do I really consider myself a good teacher because I’m not a great explainer because I’m not good at simplifying complexity, but again, like I said, there’s nothing too complicated about stock splits, in and of themselves, but they exist within the realm of the fantastic, and so, the world in which they exist is extremely complex (beyond the comprehension of any single human mind), but again, like I said, the splitting itself is quite simple in concept. 

…and then I will get to the thing I actually want to touch upon, which is white collar crime.

For the sake of easy computation, pretend you bought ten shares of TSLA five years ago when the stock hovered around $200/share. You shoveled in about $2,000. No, I’m not going to use any exact figures from the actual price history of TSLA; I will use “abouts.” If you owned ten shares at the end of last Friday, they were worth about $2,000/share. This means your $2,000 now represents $20,000.

This morning, after the market opened with the 5:1 split, you would now have fifty shares, when added together still equaling $20,000. So, now, you have fifty shares each worth about $400 as opposed to ten shares worth $2,000 each. 

What this does is a number of things that can and cannot be known because I am not on the board of Tesla, which means that very few people actually know what Tesla hopes to accomplish, while everyone else speculates, but one of the obvious reasons would be to allow for new speculators to enter the market. A $2,000 share price is steep, but $400 is far more reasonable. 

The market is open now, however, and so, there are speculators speculating, and the price per share has already gone up since the market opened. So, what was originally your $2,000 that you shoveled into TSLA five years ago is now more than $20,000 and counting with each second that passes as you sit on your butt doing nothing. 

This is how the rich get richer without doing a lick of work, and without paying taxes (a theme for another post). Here’s a quick example of how being rich just makes you richer. Say you’ve got enough cash to purchase 250,000 shares of anything. Doesn’t matter what the entrance price was/is. All that matters is that you can afford to buy 250,000 shares. Consider this, the stock you invested in rises by literally, $0.20…twenty cents in one day. You make $50,000 because you were able to afford a butt-load of shares all at once. Is this unfair? Absolutely. Is this how the world works? You’d better believe it.

So, now to the thing I want to talk about…White Collar Crime (and the difference between the approval processes for a lease and a mortgage). 

And no, this is not another racist rant about white people, but the overarching implications are racist because, let’s face it, basically all the rich people in this country are of caucasian descent (there). 

My point is that I (we, my bodybuddy/lifemate/roommate and I) recently renewed our lease, and there was a new little thing in it that we noticed that differed from our last lease. When it comes to cannabis use where I live, it’s recreationally legal for those 21+, but because I live in an apartment, there are house rules, and so, there is no smoking allowed in the units. Duh. Our last lease stated, in so many words, that if you’re caught, the management has the right to evict. This lease, however, states, in so many words, that if you’re caught, it’s $150 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and then after the third offense, the management has the right to evict. 

Now, I’m not gonna lie. I know what pot smells like (but I definitely do not partake in it in the confines of my own home), and it wafts from every hallway on every floor in our building. Nobody’s gonna turn anybody in or complain. I’d guesstimate that 50% of this complex houses 65+, 40% 40+, and 10% under 40. And some seniors like pot, too. 

The thing is that that little change in our lease is not insignificant because what the management has done is they put a price on the crime. Crime is now officially something that can be budgeted. It’s that simple. It’s our first opportunity to commit a crime, knowingly, and get away with it by simply shelling out a hundred bucks. That’s only if you get caught, and getting caught in this scenario means someone telling on you. 

I only mention this because of the type of apartment we live in. We had to be approved through multiple tiers of financials, which means it houses a certain income level, which signals to me that the entree into the white collar crime life begins early. The approval process for apartment living is a completely different world from that of homeownership. 

And this is the thing I want to say about mortgages. When you apply for a mortgage, the less likely you are to be able to afford to pay, the more likely you’re going to get approved for whichever amount it is that the banker offered. The application process scans your credit score (an arbitrary number that “calculates” the amount of debt you have in terms of whether or not you’re making your payments) and your income. Nobody looks at your wealth. Income is variable and in a state of flux at all times. Your wealth is how long you can sustain your current life without any income. 

So, when you apply for a mortgage, all the banker wants to see is how large your monthly income statement is and how much of it the bank can take. 

And I know what you’re thinking, “But a home is an investment.” How? Yes, a house can be an investment, but not if you’re living in it. A home is ONLY an investment if it is making you money. And I know what you’re going to say now, “But it will appreciate and then the house will be worth more than it was when I bought it.” Well, it MIGHT appreciate. But then what? You sell it? And then where will you live? You have to use that money to buy another home, not to mention the extra taxes you have to pay for now owning property. Your home is not an investment unless you have a space that you can rent or unless part of that home is an office for your business, etc. But if you buy a house to live in, you are not making an investment. If you buy two houses (you live in one and rent out the other), then yes, of course, buying a house is an investment. That’s the rule I learned in all of my real estate training, you don’t buy a house until you can afford to buy two houses. And again, I know I am speaking specifically to a certain income level. This obviously is not very good advice for anyone being victimized by the System.

The thing about a lease (for some apartments) is that you don’t have to have any income, if you have enough wealth, AND if you are applying with financial information about your income, you have to prove you can afford MORE than your rent (we’ve seen upwards of 5X). A lease is also not a mortgage because your landlord is the one who holds the mortgage. This is why a landlord’s tenants must be more able to pay their rent than homeowners need to be able to pay their mortgages. 

A bank wins every time a family can no longer pay their mortgage because the bank gets your house as soon as you can no longer pay, and then they turn around and sell it for what you owed them. Banks are in the mortgage business to see you fail. And mortgages are debt. Not that there’s anything wrong with debt; there isn’t. Everyone’s got it, because it’s necessary. It is what makes money go round. But it is debt, and you need to think about it that way. Sure, you may rationalize that it isn’t debt (like a friend of ours did when talking about a new apartment venture), but it is, because, like I said before, that money has to provide you shelter…forever…in an endless cycle of taking on a new or different mortgage with every new place you ever want to live. 

And I know the messaging of the dream…you buy a house because then, when you’re old, you don’t have to pay rent to a landlord, your shelter is secure. If you’re lucky enough and diligent enough to pay off your mortgage (look it up, find out how many homeowners have no mortgages), you’ll still owe the taxes on the house every year. 

Landlords need you to win; they depend on you winning. And yea, obviously some landlords are shit, but if you’re paying your bills and adhering to your lease (and again, this is not blaming or shaming victims of the system), you can’t be evicted. And like I stated earlier, rent money doesn’t go nowhere. Your shelter is all part of your living expenses. There’s no such thing as a free place to live.

The biggest selling point for me, however, when it comes to renting, are the amenities and the maintenance team. When we added up the cost of a gym membership and pool membership and a rough estimate of the cost of new appliances, the numbers didn’t lie. It’s significantly cheaper for us to pay the amount of rent we pay for the things we want access to. So, if anything, I’m just outlining our reasons for renting, I guess *shrug*

But, like always, do what you need to do. I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m nobody’s supervisor. I’m just here to help define the landscape, for those who want/need help. But seriously, this is your life. If a house is your dream, definitely get a house. You just need to know what you’re in for, and I’ve found in the past that most people do not know what they’re getting into because someone has lied to them. 

Thanks for reading, if you’ve found yourself here :)

06 May 2020 | Petty Report

06 May 2020 | Petty Report

Settled now at my “desk” (at the, what is it? bar-height countertop area that open kitchens sorta have?) with a homebrewed iced coffee (cause reasons…duh), and I’ve decided on something like an update, but instead of talking about my ruminations, I will simply show you.

There’s little to nothing to be said about what I’m up to these days except that I’ve been making a ton of shit. Typically, I feel guilty when I focus all of my energies on seemingly unproductive (because they do not make me any money) hobbies. I do not ever wish to make money from my hobbies. There are far better ways to make money. I also am not very fond of making a shit ton of money for someone else while they doll out a pittance to me for “my time.” No thank you. And all of this makes me wonder about the nature of work these days and why people love their jobs just oh so much. Yea, I get it…money. But again, there are better ways to make money than essentially being a paid slave. Employment could be so much more, so much else, so much liberty.

These bootstraps are made of rubber

Anyhow, “the guy” came and replaced our refrigerator today. It’s been on a slow decline since about the beginning of Quarantine (for us). After lengthy updates about the status of the fridge, the fridge stopped keeping things cold yesterday, and so, a final email notification blasted into the webosphere, and then, we received a phone call yesterday afternoon and were notified that a replacement fridge would be installed tomorrow, BUT it’s from an apartment with the opposite layout, meaning the fridge door will open not into the kitchen. The “guy” had to actually confirm that this was okay with us. When I asked him why it would matter, he looked at me like I was crazy. “You’d be surprised,” he scoffed and then continued with a shake of the head, “the things people care about.” Obviously, I do not mind the eccentric nature of a fridge that doesn’t open the “right” way…especially if it’s a “thing” that people are really self-conscious about…ha!

*sigh

I made a picnic blanket by repurposing an old quilt my aunt made me many years ago. She has a salvageable portion of the quilt with her so that she may add it to a new quilt. The picnic blanket turned out well, and we took it for an indoor spin (#StayHome) just in time for the new orders here (#SaferHome) that will allow for us to enjoy the outdoors for means other than exercise or commuting. Yay.

I’m pretty bored today, actually. I will get some sun for maybe an hour, a little later today, but in the meantime, I am literally burning time by “writing.” I’ve been very motivated to do things, physically. But the mental activity of reading and writing is simply beyond me right now. I cannot focus long enough to make any sense of anything I read, and I am not fond of the idea of writing. Nevertheless, I am doing it today, but like I said, only cause I’m finally hella bored.

I’ve also crocheted two little yoga tops, and I’m doing a May yoga challenge. But the picture taking is the thing that has really helped to keep me sane. My brother sent me a new camera for my birthday last year, and it took me a few months to figure out how it would fit into my life. I already have a number of cameras with which I am very comfortable, so the prospect of getting to know a new camera was annoying. I even went so far as to not use the wifi function out of spite for loving it the “old way.” Pathetic, I know. No matter, I set up the damn thing with all its features and started playing around with it in early March. It’s basically an appendage now. I have a prime lens attached to it, and I am using the shit out of the flash, which is giving my photos an excellent vintage sort of film quality. And since the body is so much lighter and smaller than Kenneth, I carry it around with me all the time, which means, I take a lot more pictures, in general.

*sigh

We only recently moved into the apartment we are living in now, and then we’ve been quarantined inside it. I’ll admit that we made a good choice. This apartment has been incredibly comfortable, and I feel extremely grateful that we were able to move in when we did. It’s also been interesting to spend so much time in an apartment I truly enjoy.

I had to drop one of my prospective students. Another student whom I thought was done came to life and completed an incredible assignment. And so, plans for the biz and “school” have been halted dramatically as I have not been able to meet with anyone in person, and I’m an in-person kinda person. Basically, as soon as I stop seeing or speaking to you regularly, I just forget. Those most present in my life are the ones who get my attention. I am realizing (yea, I know, again, very pathetic) that I am a bit aloof, live mostly in my own world, and so, I pay really close attention to those in my proximity, those in my orbit. If you are not in my orbit, you basically have to enter my atmosphere to get my attention. Some people are really good at this. Others truly suck. Yes, I am a complete narcissist who never takes any time to think about anyone else. It’s all me. If you want or need me, how am I supposed to know unless you tell me?

*shrug

I’m sure there’s more, but the length of this thing is probably enough. But life is really making me think about life these days, and how I’m also realizing that most people really do not do anything other than go to their jobs and “socialize” (party) with their “friends” (from high school). And I suppose that this is plenty for the every-person. Nobody needs to strive for anything more than mere survival. BUT if you are of the ilk wherein you’ve got this “life thing” down pretty well—like everyday living doesn’t break you down to your core every day (and you’re a little bit privileged)—consider more for yourself, for your life. And I’m beginning to understand that it’s the doing of things that is the challenge. How is it that you do? How do you do?, now has a completely different connotation and “meaning” for me, cray.

Anyway, no worries, if you are at a loss, stuck in this nightmare of wanting to DO but not knowing where to start or HOW to DO, then fear not! You’re a person, just like everyone else. The difference between you and those you see doing is that you just don’t. It’s really that simple. Whatever the reason is behind why you DO NOT DO matters very little because the hardcore Truth is that you DO NOT DO. And yea, sure, you can give yourself all sorts of excuses like, “It’s a pandemic,” “This is a crazy stressful time,” “Nobody should be expected to be productive when all hell’s breaking loose,” but the bottom-of-the-pit reality is that you just DO NOT DO. Some people are being productive during this time of great stress, and sure, you can cut yourself some slack, but this is also a huge opportunity. Those who see that the glass will be half full again are the ones busting their butts right now, pressing on despite The Virus, and they will also be very far ahead of those who “took a break” during this time. The choice is yours, every single fucking day…Get up and do or don’t. But don’t make those who do feel bad for doing. You’re the loser (again, if you’re healthy, a little rich, bored, and your life has little to no consequence and yet you continue to do nothing more than eat, shit and work) not doing anything, not putting yourself out there to be seen doing (and I don’t mean sharing on social media, obviously, they’re just video games), not allowing the world to see your creations, not existing in beautiful vulnerability for judgment, lacking ideas for a life well lived.

Seattle doesn’t look good in sunlight.

Seattle doesn’t look good in sunlight.

A non-native’s ten-month stay in the Emerald City Part I

We moved into our apartment in Seattle, Washington, on 1 January 2019 after living in an airbnb for about three weeks while we searched for said apartment, and we will move out of this place on 31 October 2019. Since I’ve been mentally checked out of here for about two months now (after a rousing experience with some Chinese “entrepreneurs” went sour quite quickly after discovering that the “management” had some serious “issues”), my mind is clearly revealing some of the theories its developed about this place, and one of them regards the rain.

We had lived in South Korea for the past five years, and upon our departure, moved to New Zealand. Our plan was to fly to Auckland and decide whether or not we would stay. Under the assumption that we would love it and want to live there (oh so badly), we booked departure flights ten weeks after our arrival, hoping that would be enough time to decide whether or not we would stay (and we booked that flight to Honolulu [a cheap destination from NZ, quite frankly, and cheap enough to flush if we did indeed stay {and we had to book outbound flights because we lacked visas for our arrival but can easily stay with US Passports for up to three months as visitors}]). Unfortunately, after about ten days, we realized that there was no fucking way we were going to stay there. As urbanites, willful city mice, Auckland was not enough of a city for us, and NZ as a whole is rural. Obviously, we knew this going into it, but we thought that there would at least be some character to the city, some culture, some anything. But alas, Auckland is a little baby city and will require quite a lot more time to really mature into something interesting, a place of real interest. And NZ really feels like the edge of the world, and we were wanting to stay connected, get reconnected.

These things I am saying about NZ may seem obvious to most of you, so just go ahead and call me The Idiot. Despite having about two months to burn in a place we didn’t want to stay (for us, meaning no longer wanting to spend our money in), we tried to make the most of it. I started a Meetup for writers and met a handful of people (one of whom was American, funnily enough) who were all very friendly and amicable but who lacked … ambition. Everyone was so content, and it was a beautiful thing to behold. Just not the place for us.

And so, we also spent many hours of those two months deciding where in the United States we were willing to live. After much debate, we settled on Seattle. The climate in Seoul is a sort of hellish nightmare-scape. I needed some relief from the bitter, biting, relentless cold of winter and the melting, muggy, suffocating weight of summer. Seattle is supposed to be temperate. Seattle is supposed to be gloomy. Seattle is supposed to be wet and rainy. Seattle is supposed to be mild. And it is, but it’s also way too sunny for its own good.

From what I can gather from strangers is that this past summer was unusually sunny. The last winter was unusually snowy as well. The temperatures and climate overall were more extreme this year than past years, which screams to me climate change, duh (and Seattle has supposedly made some major changes, but those changes are not being reflected in the cost of living). And so, to my theory.

Native Seattleans were born into a climate of rain and gloom. Sure there are sunny days but not like the ones of late. Thus, there is a certain air about them, a somber sort of goth depression and a “don’t give a fuck” kind of attitude. This demeanor and thereby aesthetic suits rainy days, the gloom and darkness of long stretches of overcast spitting-type rain very well, extremely well; the two came together out of the climate conditions of Seattle itself. In the bright light of a sun-filled day, the look is a bit heavy.

Seeing a Native Seattlean in broad, cloudless sunshine feels like seeing a turtle out of its shell; they look a bit naked, pale, white. And maybe they are all trying to soak up as much sun as they can, when they can, but the general aesthetic is not pleasing. The worst part, however, is the climate change. This past summer, Seattle felt like a place where there is a lot of sunshine, but the type of people who live in places with a lot of sunshine are not like the type of people who do not. Thus, there were a few instances of people who live in sunshine climates strutting around in Seattle during the height of summer, and even they looked out of place. Seattle’s climate forces people who exist within it to dress and thereby look a very strange way. There’s really no way to look good. Not that looking good is important or even worthy of something about which to be written.

Anyway, Seattle feels full (and I use “full” in comparison here as this city feels mostly empty, either dead or dying or preparing itself for a boom) of mostly people who have been shipped in for work in the tech sector. We have met few natives and we’ve met even fewer people our own age (everyone being either older or younger than us), yet everyone we see while walking around seems to be our age. And obviously, Seattle, too, feels like a little baby city with a little too much sprawl, expensive public transportation, and nothing to offer as far as the fun of “street culture” (street food, street fashion) is concerned.

It’s raining again after about two solid months of hot summer sunshine, and I’m excited and energized by the gloom that rainy weather brings. This is why we chose this place for our ten-month stay, after all. I cannot honestly admit that it has been nice, but it’s been whatever it is that this time was supposed to be. Is it someplace I would ever like to live again? No. Am I upset that I lived here during this time? No. My point is simply that Seattle looks good in the rain; the sunshine only highlights its flaws.

Friendly Shortbread

Friendly Shortbread

As a long-time friend of a certain person, I have decided to share a recipe of my own making with and for her. To be clear, I did not make the recipe for this friend, specifically (obviously, as a high-functioning narcissist); I made it for myself. My mother has a “secret family recipe” for a thing called “Raspberry Squares,” and as a long-time eater of said “Squares,” I wanted to create a slightly healthier option that I could eat more frequently than twice a year (both for the “Holidays”). To be clear, this is not actually that much healthier of a recipe, but it feels healthier to eat, therefore, it is. With nothing left to say, I present to you …

shoatbread.jpg

 

Whole-Wheat ShOATbread Jam Squares (or Rectangles in this case) 

350 degrees F

Cream together:

1 c plant butter (aka margarine, a worthy change in perception by Country Crock, if you ask me. I saw it in stores for the first time last week [on massive sale, btw], and so, tried it out. It’s basically pure fat, which is perfect for baking shortbread.) or butter, Crisco, etc.

1/4 c white sugar

1/3 c brown sugar (loosely scooped or poured, not packed down)

1 large egg

1/2 t almond extract

Add drys:

2 c whole wheat flour

2 c rolled oats (not oatmeal)

1/2 t baking power

1/4 t salt

Mix until batter sticks to itself (easy to make balls or something) but still crumbles

Portion half the batter into a pan and evenly pack down (I used a square ceramic pan)

Smear 1/2 c jam (of your choice) to cover entire first layer of batter

Cover layer of jam with a second layer of batter and evenly pack down

Add 2 T jam as a glaze on top of the second layer of batter

Bake 32 minutes

(I’m not at high altitude, Babe, so I’m not sure how to differ the recipe. It doesn’t rise all that much anyway, so, maybe it won’t be a problem.)

 

 

Mid-Year Update

Mid-Year Update

Dear Life,

Obviously, I’ve failed miserably at my 365-days of writing, but fear not, I am not disappointed in myself. A strange thing happened, and I’m not really one to gossip, so I’ll not go into great detail, however, I began working (at a meager job, no worries), and this employment situation turned into a place of great opportunity, minus one small detail: The “owner” who had hired me had introduced himself as the “owner” and continued to play the role of “owner” until the truth became known that he was, in fact, a manager with ownership stake.

Now, if you do not know why this is such a big deal, well then, much of this post will probably not … interest you. Nevertheless, if the difference means something to you, in your own mind, well then, the “one small detail” is no small detail at all. And thus, it was an eight-week nightmare of lies, deceit and overall futility. I cannot say, at this time, whether or not I even work at this place. The point is mostly to convey the seriousness of my life over the past month (all of the nonsense began to take shape around the middle of June, with it all coming to a head around the second week in July, with the issue still at large as of today). In total, I only worked at this place for exactly two months. Dramatic much?

And so, I’m mostly apologizing to myself for not being able to follow through on a goal that I had very much wanted to accomplish, but there is still time. I am not so naive as to make any promises at this point, but I am working on refocusing my efforts toward shit that matters, as opposed to on a shitty situation, in a restaurant, a place, in my opinion, not worth this much effort and stress.

*sigh*

What am I going to do now?

Well, I’ve already started reading quite heavily again, and I’m writing this post now. The lifemate and I already had plans to leave this place for another place in a few months time, and so, this is not so much a blow to us financially as it is just a complete annoyance, and something about which I would like to complain very heavily to anyone who will listen. But this is really not about that. I will apply this past two-month experience to both the efforts of learning and accepting. Knowing full well about my relationship with patience, I understand this circumstance as another fucking test in a long line of tests that is fucking LIFE.

But perhaps that’s much of the problem with the marketing scheme that LIFE provides, these things are challenges or tests or trials that need to be overcome. That, to me, sounds like spin set upon life through the mechanisms of organized religion, organization affiliation to anything, really. “These are the challenges we must face!” I say, “Fuck you, LIFE!” We’re here, and everything is working against our being here. There’s a much larger force at work than a mere challenge or test or trial; it’s LIFE. Life isn’t hard; it just is. Life isn’t cruel; it just is. Life isn’t challenging; it just is.

I mean, have you even seen those BBC productions about Our Planet? From our perspective, that’s some cruel shit. But from the perspective of all things living together, being together, it’s just life, and that is what’s fucking crazy.

We (the lifemate and I, always) watched the goddamn Mueller Testimony this morning, and what a thing to behold. It makes me wonder, like, if every generation has its crook, then why are we surprised? Also, the word upon which everyone should be fixated is not “exonerate” but rather, the word procure. Did anyone on Trump’s team (including Trump, himself) help procure the disinformation/stolen information used in the 2016 election? That’s my two cents.

I’m very muchly looking forward to the second round of Democratic Presidential Candidate debates that are set to air next week. Obviously, we are still way too far away to know or pick a candidate we prefer.

… And we’re charging full-steam ahead with our business plans for our next location. Oh and we’re playing our way through the free Borderlands 2 DLC in eager anticipation for Borderlands 3.

I think that’s all for now.

 

 

 

#Goals

#Goals

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE

2017 April 24 [Monday]

Mundane Monday (obviously)

*sigh. Well, a lot of time has passed, and yet, I don’t really have much to share. There are a few topics, maybe two or five, about which I would like to diary-type write simply because so much time has gone by and so much fiction writing has been accomplished. I suppose, then, I ought to just get to it. I remember being able to write more interesting or compelling intros to these things, but honestly, I just don’t care. As you’ll soon find out, I’ve been writing my ass off (but not really [but really]), and I’m tired. No matter, I finally have my first Monday off (I like to take the day after a ten-day due-date off from writing) from the fiction writing since February, and so, I thought it might be a “fun” “exercise in remembering” to write a Mundane Monday post. I have the time but more importantly, the energy.

First things first, the reason why I’ve been so thoroughly absent across all of my various blogs and social media (well, I’m always absent from social media, but I was on Instagram for about four months before I pulled the plug, so, yea, that’s what I mean). Yesterday, I proudly announce!, marked day 130 of my 200-day, 150,000-word-count extravaganza! For Episode Thirteen (due yesterday), I (easily) surpassed my 9,350-word ten-day quota. Each episode has had a steady increase in word quotas, with a slow growth from 900 – 8,000 words over Episodes 1 – 8, culminating at a 9,350-word goal for Episodes 9 – 14. This steady increase has proven itself demanding. And so, not only have I not had the energy to write anything else, but also, I simply do not care about much else except the book. Are you dying to read it? Probably not. Oh well. Woe is me.

What happens after Episode 14?, is sure to be the question hanging from all your lips! Well, that brings the second topic to the forefront, but for now, I’ll simply introduce it. We are going on our vacation next week, so Episode 14 is due next Wednesday (May 3rd), and then we will embark on our ten-day vacation, through which I will do no writing. This means that I have to reach 100,000 words before the trip, and then, when we return, I will have an 8,350-word, ten-day quota for the remaining six episodes (Episodes 15 -20) to reach that coveted 150 big ones. All of this will come to its deeply anticipated end on July 12, 2017. In total, my manuscript currently sits at 91,783 words, which amounts to roughly 152 Letter-sized pages of printer paper, typed upon in Times New Roman at an 11-pt font size. As you can see, I only have about 8,200 words left to reach 100,000 total words (before our trip), but I have a 9,350-word, ten-day quota for Episode 14, which happily means that I will (presumably) surpass my 14-episode goal! Obviously, I’m talking about all of this in future terms, so I still have ten days of writing work ahead of me. Nevertheless, I hope that all of this droll info helps to convey my current writing sitch and excuses my lacking presence here in this blogspace. Oh, and about Instagram … I sort of found it to be mind-numbingly prosaic, so I deleted everything and got the hell outa there. I wasn’t using any other social media, other than this and my photography blog, so that’s the only update I have for ya.

Now, for the good stuff! The lifemate and I are embarking on our 2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition in just ten days! We fly out to Sydney, Australia, on May 03, 2017, and we’ll be back on May 13, 2017. I’m finally so excited that I can’t stand it! I’ve had to push the trip to the back of my mind as I write, write, write, but now that we’re so close and my word-count goal is all so possible, I allow myself now to daydream about the trip. I can’t fucking wait! It’s going to be so awesome – lying by the beach, eating cheap western foods, doing a whole lotta nonya, swimming in a pool, getting up to no good, smeezin’ some serious beez. *sigh. The lifemate bought a new backpack for the trip on Saturday, and it’s so damn cute. I wanted to take a pic to post here today, but I forgot to ask him if he’d mind, so a pic of the thing will just have to wait. I will say this, however, the backpack, as a whole, looks like a panda bear. Haha! And it’s not like a kids’-sized pack either. It’s a full-sized thing, and man, it’s so damn cute! He looks great with it.

What else … tutoring? Yes, I’m still tutoring two days a week but on Tuesdays and Fridays now. SJ is less-enthused about middle school, but she’s still convinced that school makes her happy. I could write a whole book about her. Perhaps one day. Uh … I’m gonna do some last-minute shopping today to pick up some travel stuffs so that I can focus on the last bit of fiction writing over the course of this last weekday week. What’s the book about? Well, if only you knew how irritating that question is, you wouldn’t have asked. Wait, but I asked. So, let’s see … yea, I’m definitely not ready to broach that subject. I will, however, (maybe) post a tiny portion of it here once it’s all finished. Obviously, there will be months and months of editing afterwards, but I have to at least get this “principal photography,” as the lifemate likes to put it, all wrapped up.

I guess that ought to do it for today. Like I said, there’s not much to say. Every day I wake up sometime between 8AM and 2PM, drink coffee, watch a movie, eat breakfast, drink more coffee, write for 1- 2 hours, go to tutoring (when applicable), workout (when necessary), grocery shop, eat dinner, watch basketball, watch one other show or another movie, eat more food, drink libations (wine, sparkling wine, beer, or vodka), read a chapter from a book that’s already taken a month to read, and I’m only a third of the way through it, and then pass out or fall asleep. On weekends, the sitch remains. I think we’ve “hit the town” three times this year, so far. The poor lifemate has to deal with my lame ol’ life, but he’s being a righteous (not like religious, but like badass) trooper. So, yea, I love life right now, it’s just not all that “shareable.” Hahaha! Suckers! I’ve read a few articles lately … okay … never mind. I cannot go there right now. Anyway, I’ll just say, when reality meets delusion, a life spent mostly online reveals itself as a life not at all.

Bis später (oh yea, and we’re learning German)!

Surprise, Surprise: a failure at large

Surprise, Surprise: a failure at large

On this |how.odious| DAY, ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO, of Year Two, being Monday, February 20, 2017, the purpose of this blogspace has been redefined yet again. Back in October 2016 [exactly four month ago, to the day, actually] at the beginning of this |how.odious| Year Two, I was not currently writing fiction. Thus, I had set the goal to write twice a week for the rest of the year, once on Mondays in diary form and once on Fridays in researched, nonfiction form. Then, in December, my two metric months [one month equaling 100 days] of fiction writing commenced, with the goal being to write 150,000 words in 200 days. The end of this 200 days is July 2nd, 2017. So far, I am marching very efficiently and effectively toward completing this seemingly daunting, impossible task. Honestly, though, the fiction writing could not be going any better. I enjoy writing every day, even though, some days I don’t actually write, but all of my mental faculties are being pressed to produce each metric week’s [ten days] word count quota, which, to date, has been hit every single metric week with great aplomb.

The problem, then, is not the writing of fiction. The problem is the demands of this blogspace. As you can see, I missed last Friday’s “Feature Friday.” This was due to the fact that I was simply too burnt out to write or even think about what to write by the time Friday rolled around. Fiction writing deems itself far more taxing than I initially imagined, and I had a truly onerous perception of the task I had set before myself. Thus, I imagined that writing here on |how.odious| would at some point become too much. And, so, here we are now, reexamining not only what it possible for me as far as reasonable writing goals, but also, what is truly necessary as far as my level of consistent output. Remember, my fiction writing goal is the absolutely priority. The conclusion to which I have arrived, thus, seems reasonable enough, but, like all things, only time will tell of its feasibility. Therefore, here are the new guidelines for what this blogspace ought to be.

Every week I will consciously attempt to write an extra piece, meaning something unrelated to my fiction writing. Each day of the week will have a certain theme attached to it, and they are as follows:

Monday: Mundane Monday

Tuesday: Truthful Tuesday

Wednesday: Wednesday Wonderer

Thursday: Thorough Thursday

Friday: Friday Fable

The way it works should be pretty self-explanatory, but I will explain, nonetheless. If [if being the operative word] I write an extra piece of writing and it ends up being something researched and of the nonfiction genre, I will post it on Thursday, for Thorough Thursday. Get it? Mondays will remain essentially the same in theme. If/when I write a personal narrative either about the happenings in my life or about some revelation via introspection, I will post on Truthful Tuesday. Wednesdays are for posts regarding thoughts that I have surrounding the more existential. And Fridays, since Thursdays are now reserved for researched nonfiction, will host any extra short-form fiction, if anything “extra” is ever written.

The difference between the way |how.odious| worked at the beginning of this Year Two [which began on October 21, 2016] and now is that I am not required to write any particular type of post during any given week. I am, however, requiring myself to [try my damnedest to] write ONE post each week, but, as of today, I imagine they will most likely be posts on Mondays for Mundane Monday, as this type of post is the easiest, least-demanding of the bunch. If I write anything beyond the fiction quota that is required of me on any given week, I will feel like a success.

The good news is that my two metric months of fiction will end, eventually, and so, I will most likely return to a two-post-per-week schedule here on this blogspace. Until my 150,000 words of fiction are completed, however, I think writing here, once a week will be enough while not being too much. I am not entirely sure under which category this particular post falls, so I will simply post it as a diary-type post within the context of logging my life. Yea, sure. Okay. So, that’s it for this post and this week. I will see you again sometime between Monday and Friday next week. Laters!

Week-Long Ultra-Feast

Week-Long Ultra-Feast

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN

2017 February 13 [Monday]

Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday!, couldn’t come soon enough! The week started with a light cold that left me feeling a bit dull and snot-ridden for about three days, but the whole sitch came and went quick enough. I went for a light jog on Wednesday to get some new blood pumping through my system and felt pretty good the rest of the week. Today, I feel fine. The cold, however, brought about the beginning of a week-long ultra-feast, meaning the lifemate and I indulged ourselves in all of the unapproved foods we normally never eat.

We ate bags of chips, bags of [Snyder’s-style] pretzels, half a dozen fudge-filled brownies, half a dozen super-fancy Krispy Kreme donuts, hash browns, potato hash, Taco Bell, honey biscuit sandwiches, BLTs, bacon, cheese-filled corn dogs, cream cheese-filled and ice cream-filled Belgian waffles, vodka and pricier beers. Basically, we stuffed ourselves so that we would not want to eat anything so heavy and carb-loaded ever again!, and it worked.

I felt so bad by Saturday night that I was sure I would not be able to eat anything on Sunday, but a deal’s a deal. We had to gorge ourselves [and not workout] through Sunday so as to be sure we’d land somewhere truly disgusted with ourselves. It was not awesome. Luckily, today is now today and so, I woke up and immediately hit a hard circuit workout, ate a bowl full of veggies, and soon, I’ll be meeting with the lifemate to eat a chicken stick and grocery shop for ginormous salad stuffs. I’m so excited! From here on out it’ll be back to business as usual until our vacation in May!

02-17-justwaitin-1

As far as other happenings from the past week are concerned, there’s not much to tell these days since most my days revolve around writing the fiction. I had a fiction word quota of 7500 words due yesterday, and I pretty much kicked the thing in the ass. All-in-all the fiction writing is going really well. I easily write anywhere between 1500 and 1800 words per sitting. Lately, I’ve been doing one writing sesh per day on five of the ten days in each metric week. It’s a pretty good system, honestly. I have the freedom to relax my mind and come up with ideas, but I can only take one or two days off at a time and have to write on back-to-back days. The challenge of consistently having to output fiction is truly wonderful, while the consistent time off helps the ideas flow constantly. I’m finding a rhythm, and I gotta say, it feels great.

02-17-yakultuploadMy other weekly responsibility of teaching English to my student, SJ, on Thursdays and Fridays has been great as well. Her mother bought her some new social studies textbooks, and SJ really seems to enjoy the content. During class, her mother always provides me with some delicious drink and sometimes a treat, and last week, her mother gave me the coolest little yogurt drink. It was one of those Yakult probiotic drinks, but the packaging was not only twice as big as usual, but also, it was upside down! So amazing. That little treat made my day. It was so fun. We, SJ and I, then discussed whether or not she thought her mother was cool. I think that her mother is really cool cause she seems to know what’s “now,” but SJ disagrees. SJ thinks that her mother has such “old style.” That may be true as far as what her mother herself likes to eat and wear, but the things her mother buys SJ is always pretty hip and on trend. AND the food and drinks her mother provides for me are always pretty cool, I think. Haha.

*sigh*

Anyhow, I suppose that’s all. There’s not much to talk about since I just don’t feel all that connected to these Mundane Monday posts anymore. They’re totally pointless from a writing standpoint, but maybe they’re nice to have when considering where I might be living in the future and how nice it might be to look back on these posts from our time in Seoul. No matter, I will continue to write them. If I figure out some other topic about which to write instead, perhaps I will rethink these diary-type entries then. For now, I still enjoy how easy these entries are to write, and I probably need to have some writing output that requires less brainpower. *sigh* Back to the fiction.

Until next time …

This Not That

This Not That

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED TWELVE

2017 February 10 [Friday]

Friday Feature

I’m not entirely sure when my love for notebooks grew into a full-on obsession, but it did, and I am. Thus, for today’s post, a little something different. I spent most of the day photographing every single notebook currently in my apartment. It was a nightmare, and that’s enough about that. Instead of going through and talking about how I shot them and why, I will simply get started.

These are the notebooks that traveled with me from The States to South Korea when we first moved here in 2013:

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[pictured above]

Mustard Pattern: Mead, spiral-bound, college-ruled, lined notebook

Puce: Moleskin, book-bound, single-subject, lined notebook

Cerulean Pattern: [brand unknown], book-bound, watercolor paper pad

Crimson: Moleskin, book-bound, strapped, lined notebook

These are all notebooks that either house important information I might need in case of emergency and other such data or are notebooks that have particular writings I thought would be of interest to me in the future. Thus, they traveled all the way from my apartment in Denver, Colorado, USA, when we moved to South Korea. Of course there are many other notebooks that are in storage at my parents’ house, but these were the ones I thought were the most important. So far, only one has proved its worth. We live and we learn, as the saying goes, yes?

These are the notebooks used through 2014:

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[pictured above]

Denim Panda Graphic: Design Lab, mid-fold, lined notebook

Red Orange: Morning Glory, A4, spiral-bound, lined notebook

White Text: Morning Glory, A4, spiral-bound, lined notebook

Lime Mustache Graphic: Pinkfoot, three-quarter-sized, spiral-bound, lined notebook

Wine Text: Morning Glory, half-sized, book-bound, lined notebook

All of these notebooks were purchased during the end of 2013 and through 2014 in Daegu, South Korea. I have always loved notebooks, for as long as I can remember. I have also been quite obsessed with them, but when we moved here to Korea, the obsession became quite real. I’m not entirely sure how many notebooks I bought during our year in Daegu, but these are the ones that survived the trip to Seoul. They were all used for writing, with the exception of the tiny-panda graphic. The panda graphic was used to document the books I read in citation format. My favorite of them is the purple/wine book-style notebook with the text that reads,

Write down your wishes … This magic book is gonna help you

Secret Magic Spells Purebook

Precious memories

Linenote, Idea, Memo, Daybook

Since 1981

Tradition Notebook

Bah … hahahahaha! I love it! I do not believe that any of them were written in once we moved to Seoul in late 2014, but I’m too lazy to flip through each page to find out. I would consider all of them except for the White Text to be full.

These are my used notebooks through 2015:

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[pictured above]

Kelly Green: Ibis, three-quarter-sized, spiral-bound, strapped, lined notebook

Cobalt: Ibis, reporter-style, spiral-bound, lined notebook

Navy: Godo Diary, half-sized, book-bound, year/month calendar, full-page day-timer

2015 was the first year I decided to use a daily scheduler thingy, and I didn’t really use it. I was not particularly fond of this half-sized style, so I did not end up using it much. I liked the idea of it, however. Also, as you can see, I did not do much writing in notebooks because 2015 was actually the year I did ninety-percent of the writing for my first novel, Red & Blue Make Green. Thus, these notebooks were mostly used as diaries and as a place to jot down things. No long-form writing was really done in them. There are a few ideas sprinkled throughout, but it’s mostly poetry, which is kind of odd, and daily goings-on.

These are the notebooks I used in 2016 [some will show up again in the “current notebooks” section, but they were first scrawled in during 2016]:

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[pictured above]

Charcoal 2016: Everyday 25, full-sized, book-bound, year/month calendar, full-page day-timer

Cherry: Ibis, quarter-sized, spiral-bound, strapped, lined notebook

Silver: Paperpack, quarter-sized, book-bound, “1-Paragraph” per page diary

Teal Sushi Graphic: Waru Waru, minature, spiral-bound, lined notebook

Beige Sushi Graphic: Waru Waru, A4, spiral-bound, newsprint, blank notebook

White Sushi Graphic: Waru Waru, A5, mid-fold, lined notebook

I’ve listed the notebooks of 2016 in chronological purchasing order so that I may easily refer to the last two Waru Waru notebooks as also being currently used now in 2017. No matter, I opted for a larger day-timer in 2016 and immediately fell in love with the idea. I didn’t really use that day-timer as a scheduler. Instead, I liked the idea of already-dated pages! So, it’s just a notebook with the dates already written in. It worked out quite perfectly, actually. The red spiral was our trip-planning notebook for our 2016 ETMC Travels: Vancouver Edition. Thus, it holds all of the pertinent information needed for international travel, as well as other such info for the trip itself. Upon our return, the notebook doubled as a scrapbook after I glued in all of the receipts and fun mementos from the trip. The totally fucking awesome silver “1-Paragraph” diary is, by far, my favorite notebook purchase of all time and will be the notebook of choice for every forthcoming trip I ever take. The concept is simple, there’s a date line at the top and then only enough lines to write one or two sentences. It was so incredible to use on a vacation. I mean, no one really wants to sit and journal every single second of the day while you’re trying to enjoy each day. But you can easily jot down a quick note, no problem. Hence, the totally fucking awesome-ness of the silver diary. I absolutely love it! I can’t wait to get my new one for our 2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition! The small blue sushi notebook holds all the little notes from editing my first novel. And that’s probably enough about that. The large beige sushi notebook holds all of the secrets for my fiction writing. The small white sushi notebook holds all sorts of gibberish that doesn’t really need to be remembered for an extended period of time. It’s sort of a catchall for things like Instagram captions, yoga challenges [where I write the name of each day’s posture, etc.], a running list of numbers that coordinate with pictures I want to keep while filtering through my SD card after a shoot, and other such nonsense that doesn’t need to be remembered and documented for all time. Some things get transferred into more permanent notebooks, but most of the stuff that is written in this type of notebook, for which I find this particular notebook to be perfect, is frivolous.

Now, to the good stuff: The entirety of my current Collector’s Notebook collection, i.e. notebooks I’ve either bought or have been given but have no intention of using. Here they are:

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I don’t really feel like there’s a need to go into great detail about each since I don’t use them. I realized a while ago that I had a little problem, and that problem is as follows: I have a really hard time using new notebooks. Obviously, I am more than capable of using a new notebook, but sometimes, when I buy a new notebook for myself and don’t exactly have a perfect use for it, I just won’t use it. Other times, the notebook itself is just too damn gorgeous to sully with my idiocy. Thus, I had a revelation! Maybe I can just be a notebook collector, duh! And so, I am. Case in point, this thing of beauty:

notebook-26

This notebook was a gift from my lifemate on my most recent birthday, AND it is the impetus behind this post. I love this notebook so much that I cannot ever use it. There’s no way I will ever use this beautiful piece of bound paper. I mean, it’s just absolutely stunning. And then, this was when this became not about that. I thought that this post was just going to be a simple photo essay of my notebooks past and present [since 2014], but then it sort of dawned on me that this is a full on documentation of my relationship with myself as a writer. Really, though, I should’ve also printed off all of my digital documents and had them bound by month and year so that I could get a seriously good look at all that I’ve written since moving to Korea.*sigh* I’m not entirely sure what my relationship with myself as a writer truly is, but now that I’ve spent so much fucking time photographing every single notebook in my life over the past three years, I am realizing that maybe it’s time for a nice, long heart-to-heart with myself about my “career” as a writer. Ugh. In the meantime, I bet you’re dying to see my currently-being-used notebooks! I will warn you, though, the notebooks of my present are quite serious compared to those of my immediate past.

Nevertheless, here is a glimpse into my current notebook situation [there are a few notebooks that I’ve intentionally left out because I just can’t get myself to share all of myself, so there’s that]:

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[pictured above]

Aquamarine 2017: Morning Glory, full-sized, book-bound, year/month calendar, full-page day-timer

Black & White: Oxford, study-style, vertical, book-bound, lined, mathematics notebook

Mint Shrimp Graphic: Ibis, miniature, reporter-style, lined notebook

Blush Sushi Graphic: Waru Waru, A5, mid-fold, lined notebook

White Legal: Oxford, A5, lined legal pad

Yellow Legal: Oxford, A4, lined legal pad

Beige Sushi Graphic: Waru Waru, A4, spiral-bound, newsprint, blank notebook

White Sushi Graphic: Waru Waru, A5, mid-fold, lined notebook

My 2017 day-timer is fully used for scheduling my day-to-day to-do list, and it also doubles as a predated notebook. I schedule each week on Sunday nights. I use the monthly calendar to write the actual total of each fiction-writing quota, i.e. if I have a 6000 word quota for a particular metric week [ten days], I’ll write the actual word count, say, 6340, and I keep track of what number each |how.odious| day actually is. The tall, skinny, black notebook is something about which I don’t really want to share because maybe I just don’t want to share my best ideas. So, I’ll just leave it at that. The mint shrimp, reporter-style notebook is used for meal planning and grocery-list making. The notebook itself will soon have no paper in it since the lists are torn out when we go grocery shopping. The blush sushi graphic is a replacement notebook for the white sushi graphic and will most likely be used in a very similar way. The white legal pad is for scratching out shit for nonfiction writing. I use it to take notes while reading research papers and whatnot. It’s also the first place I write down citation info before they are entered into my official references document. The yellow legal pad serves as a place where I note each phase of my fiction writing. I use it as a place to document a sort of timeline to help keep my shit together while writing fiction. I do not use the legal pad for writing ideas or any sort of writing. It’s a mere notepad whereupon notes about my own fiction collect for organizational purposes. Unlike the yellow legal pad, the beige sushi newsprint pad is where the fiction magic happens; new ideas are almost strictly written into it. I also use this pad as a place to work through sentence structure if I’m having a problem with how an idea is coming together. AND … I’ve already discussed how I use the white sushi graphic.

Finally, we’ve come to the end of this truly banal post. I hope, if anything, my notebook collection is somewhat interesting to you. If not, I guess whatever you think doesn’t really matter. So … yea. Thanks for reading! Catch ya later with [hopefully] something much more interesting next Friday. Laters.