More GoFundMe Nonsense

Spongebob is anxious.

I’m in the middle of packing/moving and everything, but there is something on my mind.

I’m one of those people who, for the most part, believe that online fundraising can be a really great tool to raise money and awareness of diseases, disabilities, etc. It can help people recover after unexpected accidents, especially when, in the USA, medical expenses are so incredibly high. There’s a huge problem when you have to rely on online donations just to get the care and treatment you require to overcome any health issue, but that’s not something that the USA will understand. But that’s not the point of this post.

There are certain situations where online fundraising drives me crazy. I’ve talked about the time when a friend who didn’t speak with me for years wanted $500 for her son’s birthday party. If you read through that, you’ll know exactly how I feel. Basically, I say that paying utilities and such would be a better use of money. In that situation, you work within your means. As long as you do something, it’s not going to be overly traumatic for your kid(s).

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting requests like crazy. A lot of it is because Facebook (which I very reluctantly use) wants to attach a fundraiser to every birthday. Yeah, that’s a really great thing to do and if you can, you should (or could). No one should make you feel guilty that you didn’t or don’t want to. (Some people have actually tried this on me.)

Here’s my problem:

There are situations where I do want to help people out. I’ll admit, sometimes I do (for example, my cousin was hit by an intoxicated driver, so I sent over some cash). Where the problem lies is that I am working with and earn Australian dollars (AUD). For every $1 AUD, it is worth $0.70 US dollar (USD). Because I have to pay in USD, $100 ends up turning into $130 AUD. Then I end up having to pay more fees on top of that from the fundraising platform AND then even more fees from my bank. I end up paying a lot more for things that are based in the USA, so I choose to do so rarely.

Heeeeeere's Johnny!

So, now to the point, another friend who hasn’t spoken to me since I was around 17 or 18 keeps sending me a request to donate to something that I think is insanely stupid. Without saying too much, he’s had a falling out with his wife and she moved a few states over. I’m not sure why it happened, but it did. He’s been posting some pretty worrying things over the past two weeks or so and I don’t blame him. I’d be upset too if my husband had to move back to India and was okay with it because he didn’t want to be around me. Now, here’s the silly part. He wanted people to donate to a fund to get him an RV camper so he could move to the state where she is. (He’s also posting old wedding photos of the both of them and putting them as his profile picture, so that in itself is a bit worrying.) They have kids together so I can understand that he wants to be closer. I would want to do that too. To me, it’s a little bit too unhealthy. No one’s donated though and that’s probably why. The reason I don’t is because I don’t want to pay out the nose to send a small amount and also I don’t think they have the most healthy relationship right now. I don’t know anything, but yeah, it happened for a reason. And this isn’t like a 1 hour drive distance, it’s like a 12 hour drive…. at LEAST! I find it incredible that he’s taking this approach rather than bettering himself so that maybe, just maybe, his wife and he can patch things up or whatever.

Let me get this straight though, I do give to just causes and what I consider as a just cause will differ from everybody else. My cousin’s medical expenses? A just cause to donate. An RV so someone can potentially stalk their wife that they’ve separated from? Eh, no thanks.

People just need to really think these things through before they make an online fundraiser for it. Sadly, they don’t and they end up getting themselves down when they can’t raise $20 of the $27,990 they need. Someone suggested that I make a fundraiser to fly my mom here, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Honestly, I’d rather someone donate to Immigration Equality or to Parkinson’s Australia and pay for her stuff myself since I am fully capable of working and saving money.

That’s all–not worth saving for a podcast episode. Not entirely sure when the next one will be at the moment. 😉 Hope all is well.

Counting Down the Days

Hey there! Over the past few days, I’ve done a few little updates here and there. One of them is that I’ve re-added a countdown of when I am going back to the USA. I’ve also updated my upcoming travel plans for my own amusement. It’s more about helping me get my head around how much time I have left before I go back.

I’ve got about 162 days left before I head off and believe me, I’m counting them down. I’m incredibly eager to go this time. It might be that I’ve got a handful of “new” relatives to meet or maybe it’s just that I’m quite eager to get out of this small town for a while (you know, to go to another small town). Maybe I just need an extended break from work or something.

I’m actually in a much better financial position to do these things now but unfortunately, the currency exchange is horrible. Right now, Every $1 I bring with me is worth $0.70 US. That means that I’ll end up paying about 30% more for everything or if I want $5000 USD, I’ll need to bring $7143 AUD. Add the fact that you have to tip everybody for smiling at you and taxes aren’t added to anything until the very end, you’re looking at a pretty hefty premium to go to the USA. I planned to have a few thousand dollars to do things with, but I’m afraid that won’t even be enough. I’ve put back all my living costs while I’m gone (since I am not entitled to annual leave). I work at my workplace as casual which means I am paid more to make up for it. My pay is about 125% more than the base wage for what I do. Anyway, I’ve been throwing around the idea of getting a part-time seasonal job while I’m there and then quitting in the most lavish way possible.

I’m planning to do a few things this time. I’m planning to stay a few days in New Orleans with my family. It’s going to be really fun. I’ve lived pretty close to there most of my childhood and early adulthood, but I never spent any time there. It’ll be a good experience. I don’t know when, but it’s definitely on my list of things to do.

I’m not even sure if I’ll be around at this time of the year. (This is Mardi Gras–not the Sydney one though.)

As you can see, I am really happy to be able to get back. I’m missing my mom and sister something fierce. I’ve been having a lot of dreams about my family.

I’m also pretty excited that my husband will be going for a few weeks too. I can’t wait to have him see where I grew up. I’ve warned him about a lot of things, but have also said a lot of nice things too. I guess I’m gonna have to ask people back home where to go and what to do for someone who’s never been to the USA.

Wish Trash

It feels like every time I come here to type anything, it’s apologising because I hardly show my face. I’m not apologising this time. Someone told me that I do that way too much and it’s a habit that I need to break. I said I would try to chill out with the perpetual sorry cycle.

Anyway, I’ve been a bit busy with work stuff. I’ve realised that I’m going to lose about 5 paycheques at the end of the year, so I thought maybe it will be smarter for me to work and save while I am able to. Right? Right. That’s the responsible and adult thing to do, I guess. I don’t want to be a burden at the end of the year for my family OR my partner.

I guess this is stuff I’m going to talk about in the next podcast episode. I bought a microphone but I got it from Wish, so it’s not working with my Mac and won’t work with my phone without the little adapter. It’ll work with my iPhone SE (possibly–haven’t tried). That’s if it works. I’m sure I could open the microphone up and it’ll probably be hollow. When will I learn that everything from Wish is a gamble or complete shit? (OK, if cheap and crappy is what they do. I know that.)

Oh, I did get a really bright digital clock from there… that’s not too bad but it lights my bedroom up at night (on the lowest brightness setting, even).

I’m rambling. I hope you guys are doing well! Catch you soon!

Slowing Down

slowdown

Hello everyone. It’s been quite a while since I’ve left anything on here because I’ve just been a little too preoccupied with work-related stuff. I had to take a half a day off today just to recharge. When I work, I work until the afternoon and I am absolutely knackered when I leave my workplace. For the past week or two, I’ve been going to bed about an hour after I get home and sleeping until the morning. I haven’t had much of an appetite and my mood has been a bit down.

I hope things improve, and I know they will.

Still have a new podcast episode coming tomorrow! Stay tuned.

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

Jester hat

Hey folks!

It’s Sunday and the last day of March. The year is going by really fast, isn’t it?! We’re already a quarter through the year! How did that happen?

Tomorrow’s April Fools Day. It’s a day that I don’t believe anything anybody says to me or anything I read. I’ve never been a big fan of it, but I also don’t hate it. It’s fun to think about but probably not something I like being a part of. It’s usually because I totally forget.

I’m not thinking of quitting anything like that, so no thinly veiled threats or anything like that. No worries from here!

Having said that, a big announcement is coming in about a month! Woo hoo! I was going to announce it tomorrow, but just need to get a few more things done first.

I Miss the iMac G4 and Mac OS 9

One of the things I’m going to be talking about in my podcast is my love for some old, obsolete, but wonderful technology. Here are two of my favourite computer-related things:

iMac G4

iMac G4

I loved my iMac G4 but it’s been long-gone. I wish that companies still made such stunning and innovative products. I absolutely loved this computer. It was one of the most reliable and sexiest computers I’ve ever used. (I hated the mouse though because I don’t like Apple mouses.)

Mac OS 9+

Mac OS 9

My first Mac was the iMac G4 so I got Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 on my machine and loved using Mac OS 9 because I could customise it exactly how I wanted. I loved all the noises it made and loved the simple look. I crave the look of it, so I run Mac OS 9 in emulation. It’s not the same though. 🙁

Coming Soon?

As I’ve said, I plan to talk more about the technology I love. I just don’t know when I am going to do it just yet!

Keeping a Safe Distance

I used to be one of those people who used to post things on Facebook at least once a day. As time went by and Facebook started doing more shady things, I chose not to post as many things there. Over the past few years, I’ve posted about once a week or two (sometimes longer) just to let people know my plans to go back home or travel. My family is on there and we more or less stay in contact there so that’s the main reason why I haven’t deleted my account yet.

Up until the end of January, I was checking my wall for things every morning. Sometimes I’d go there during the day too, so I was spending, sorry wasting, a lot of my time checking up on everybody.

Sometime early in 2018, my doctor asked me if I had Facebook and I said that I did. She asked me if I used it a lot and I said I basically just read what’s happening with people back at home but checked it very often. She said it might be beneficial for me to delete it if I didn’t really need it because it could make me very homesick and a bit sad seeing what everybody else was doing because let’s face it, I get jealous over seeing people in relationships (since I have made a promise to my in-laws not to post any of my mushy things). Oh, and then there are the vacations people go on that make me a little jealous. She’s right though. I can see how not viewing all of that can be good for me.

I haven’t deleted my account or deactivated it but I have made a few changes to my social media habits:

  • I’ve removed Facebook and Facebook Messenger from my tablets. I did leave it on my phone, but have turned notifications off and I open it once a day. My family contacts me
  • I don’t post everything I do anymore. I ask myself whether it’s something that “everybody” needs to know. The worst I’d do is post something randomly.
  • I actually like the Screen Time on my iPhone and iPad. It makes me a bit more aware about how long I am staring at a small screen. (I actually have the screens as dark as possible because the screens are too bright. People that I show my phone to complain they can’t see it. I change the settings through the phone’s accessibility options.) My Android tablet has the same thing through the Microsoft Launcher. Have I mentioned how much I like the Microsoft Launcher? It’s pretty awesome.
  • Nothing is allowed to send me notifications. I check on things when I have time, not when my phone wants me to. It has the unfortunate side effect of making me miss things every so often, so I don’t see replies for months (sometimes years).

Since I’ve been limiting my access to these things and not oversharing, things have been a lot better. I think that it makes me feel a bit better too, mentally. I feel sometimes like I miss a few things and don’t know what’s going on in the USA, but hey, my sanity (or what is left of it) is more important.

Naughtiness, Removed

Sometimes I feel like I take certain things for granted, for example, my partner, my freedom of expression, religion, or the ability to go to any naughty site I want. I heard from somewhere that India’s government blocks naughty sites and thought I’d try it out (using the Epic web browser). I clicked a little button that gave me a choice of where I wanted to pretend like I was in and chose India. Then I went to a naughty site and this is what I came up with:

I removed the site because well, I wouldn’t want to cloud your mind with the evil of naked imagery and adult situations, would I? (No. Not on this weblog at least!)

I’m actually a little opinionated on this kind of censorship. I know there are some really intelligent and crafty people in India who could probably do the exact same thing I did and circumvent these little restrictions and watch all the porn they want.

Porn, for me, can be an educational tool. It can also be a tool to get out a bit of frustration, if you know what I mean. When used in moderation (and in normal situations), it’s not such a bad thing. I don’t see it as evil. It can be addictive, sure, but I don’t believe that would apply to 100% of the population.

India, I hear, has a problem in regards to sex and sex education. Myself, didn’t do a sex education bit when I was growing up, or if I did, it was done in a really non-sexual way. My mom basically gave my sister and me a book and said “Read this” and it had everything about it. It also covered homosexuality and maybe that’s when I started to think about myself and who I was. Indians, again, I hear, are not really open about talking about sex. So basically, they need to get the information from somewhere because sex exploration is a part of getting older and maturing. They may go to these sites and see some of this stuff and expect that this is how you act during sex and well, what you see in porn movies isn’t what it’s like in real life a majority of the time. People aren’t normally sexual like that. Maybe that’s what the Indian government doesn’t want Indians to think. Maybe it’s primarily for religious reasons. Maybe this is how they keep their citizens “safe”. I don’t really know, but judging from a lot of headlines, some kind of sex education needs to be done and more free access to these materials should be accessible. It would really make a difference. Banning “all” porn (I say “all” because ALL isn’t possible, but it’s also encouraging some of the most vile material as well), isn’t the way to go.

I do believe that the most horrible stuff needs to be censored though. I don’t think that it should only be censored, but the parties responsible for it need to go to prison or whatever. Absolutely. If any government wants to prevent their citizens from seeing that or accessing that, I think that’s perfectly fine. But who says what is “good” or “bad”? That’s the big question.

Lamer Gamers Podcast

I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you guys that a few friends back home have started a podcast about gaming, and you should really listen to it. In fact, that’s what I’m listening to right this second. Good stuff. It makes me miss the episodes I used to record with my best friend. I love gaming and I know a lot of you out there love it too. I want to encourage them to keep going and keep it up!

Anyway, if you’re still confused, I’ll repost their about information for you:

“We are both full-grown adults with graying hair and failing backs that are actively trying to balance our gaming life with married life, work life, personal skilled life, and more while retaining our sanity. Our goal is to put out a one hour show once or twice a month that you can sneak on your lunch break or on the go that will hopefully keep you entertained enough to keep fighting the good fight against the daily grind, the man, or even Ganondorf if need be!”

If you’d like to listen, you can do so from the player below or you can visit their SoundCloud page.

I Miss Getting Food Delivered

One of the less attractive things about me is that I like junk food. Since I’ve moved to a regional town, access to it has been severely limited and you kind of learn how to go without. Sadly, I have times when I really miss being able to get it without traveling over an hour to get it. When I tell you that the place I’m living has no fast food, I mean it. Nothing. Zilch.

Mmmm… pizza. I don’t even care that it’s from Pizza Hut. (I do miss good ranch dressing to dip the crusts into…)

Because most of my family and a lot of my friends use Facebook, I check it every once in a while to see what’s happening in the USA. You see, Facebook likes to torture me a little bit sometimes. They’re a little tricky when it comes to working with my ad blocker/browser. I still have to look at ads sometimes. I regularly see food that I want and can’t have when I want it. I can’t see someone delivering a pizza one way when it takes them one hour–not like they’d actually do that.

The ads are like 3 pizzas for $36 delivered and it’s always that boring pepperoni pizza (that I love). It makes me immediately hungry for pizza. It would probably cost the same, if not more, to make the things myself. Since I live in a regional area, let’s just say that the prices for food aren’t really that good and when you live in a town with 1 grocery store, they can effectively charge whatever they want. I’d estimate that we pay about 20% more for our food than we did when we lived in a bigger city where the choices were plentiful.

The other problem is that delivery doesn’t exist here. There are places you can order, but it’s really old school where you call in your order, then have to drive up there, pay for it, and bring it home. (I find it a little amusing that when I have to order train tickets from the hardware store, they have all these schedules printed in a binder that they have to look through to find the right ticket, when there’s a computer right in front of them… that runs like Windows 95.) It’s very sad. It would take me about 30 minutes to walk to one of these places to pick up food–another reason to get a car.

I’m also sad that there are no services that would deliver food here like UberEats or something like that. You don’t know how good these little things are until they’re not available.

I thought I’d just complain about that. Ads probably grab my attention a lot more here than they ever did. I’m not sure why, but it’s probably because there’s not much to do around here so you have to look at ads to pass the time.