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Friday August 7, 2020
2020.08.08 03:33 ifoundxawayFriday August 7, 2020
Hey you guys, how's it going? At work we had a staff meeting and I guess it went well? It was basically our supervisor asking for our feedback on the processes of the things we have to do in the library (what we liked, what we didn't) and what we would like from the supervisor. I found it pleasant enough. My coworker got me an americano so I drank that and wandered around leaving my comments on different papers. I laminated the big signs I made for our library, and one for another branch. When I went out to put a sign up I saw the ladies that "Do Pilates" on the ground outside the library. I'm not sure what sort of pilates they're doing because we can see them from our big windows. And today while I was outside putting up signs they were....twerking? IDK WTF but they were laying on their bellies jiggling their butts. Both of them. To music you would twerk to. Like is this what they come to the library for? To twerk? Why am I not surprised. I found it hilarious so I told my coworkers and we all had a big laugh. We already think it's weird that they "work out" on the ground outside the library when if you go up the stairs it goes into a freaking park! Maybe they don't want to twerk around the homeless people who hang out there. Who knows though, homeless people STILL hang out outside of the library even though we're closed. Maybe they're watching. IDK. It's just funny that we aren't even open to the public and weird shit still happens. I have a coworker who is panicking about school starting next week because she has 2 kids and she isn't really technologically literate. She's really unsure about her ability to be there for her kids because of this. I know she's not good at getting information from websites (like how to find links that she needs or whatever). So I looked at her kids school district website and made a cheat sheet for her based off of what they had posted (which wasn't super easy to find). Videos to watch, instructions to print (because she's not going to go online to figure out what to do), tech support's contact info. Gave her a pep talk. She seems to think that she will have to be her kids teacher all day when she doesn't know the information. I told her that's the teacher's job, it's her job to be supportive. Like, kid has tech support issue, goes to mom for help. Mom says "Let me call tech support and we'll figure it out". Helping her kids get used to a new routine because everything went to shit when the pandemic really got here and we shut down and now they're all out of whack. Encouraging them to keep trying if they find something hard. Talking to the teacher if she needs to. That sort of thing. THAT'S her job. And her kids are 5th grade and highschool jr, they've already been using chromebooks because their schools got rid of textbooks a while back. They know how to log in to google. Still, I told her to text me if she needs support. We're all in similar boats here. My kid has NEVER done school. So yeah, new routines for everyone. I talked to my therapist today and that was good. I vented a little, got some advice that I will be working on doing. I asked for advice last time about something else and I've been working on that this whole time too, kinda successfully. So now I have two things to do. One of which I don't want to do. I told her I don't like having to feel my feelings lol. I'm waiting on a response from a computer science teacher. The last time I asked a question (nutrition), it turns out that the lesson was incorrect so it wasn't that I wasn't understanding it. Anyway I may have to extend the due date for this class if they don't get back to me soon. Tomorrow we are going to get some succulents. My friend is going to give me a baby from one of her rare plants. Bub had all of his bouncy/soccer balls in the trampoline outside. He just went out to play and all of his balls are flat! In fact, they have BITE MARKS. Some animal bit every single one of his balls. He had like 20. I feel so bad because we told him he has to keep them outside. If he has them inside he will try to kick them and we have windows inside separating two rooms that we don't want broken. So he put them all outside and now they're all destroyed. :( Dinner was nachos. D got me some fancy french soda that is lavender lemon flavored. Right up my alley. He knows me so well. How was your day? What's for dinner?
Background Este es el primer post en el que me han ayudado tres usuarios residentes en la República Argentina. Los conejillos de Indias de la Banca Internacional que dieron un paso al frente mediante una pesquisa vía discord de mi parte. Bajo un acuerdo unánime y siguiendo el modus operandi de Banca Internacional, se los mantendrá en el anonimato. Los detalles sobre las transacciones, tarjetas y bancos de Argentina han sido posible gracias a ellos, inclusive del tacaño. Introducción Durante los dos últimos meses han cambiado montones de cosas en la República Argentina. De los eventos que son de mi interés, se han impuesto controles de capitales conocidos localmente como el “cepo cambiario” y mediante estos posts algunos usuarios han expresado interés en servicios, divisas o inversiones las cuales no están disponibles en Argentina. Más allá de los cambios a nivel económico, se han generado oportunidades de inversión local vía arbitrage. En principio de Bonos como el AY24 hasta que el Banco Central de la Republica Argentina actuó para mitigar el fácil acceso al yield que esta operatoria generaba. Luego, bajo una operatoria similar un gran grupo de usuarios se volcó a realizar arbitrage de crypto-assets. En general topándose con problemas de libre movimiento de capital desde y hacia los exchanges o viéndose forzados a pagar comisiones medianamente altas las que disminuían el yield de la operatoria. Este post, ofrece una solución efectiva a este problema de manera (esperemos) permanente. Otros usuarios han demostrado interés en poder resguardarse de una futura crisis en el Dólar Americano, vía depósitos en Francos Suizos, Yuan Renmimbi, Singapore Dollar, Euros, Libras Esterlinas y metales preciosos como el Oro y la Plata. Para estos usuarios este post también es relevante. Suiza Suiza, oficialmente La Confederación Suiza, país que se encuentra en el centro de Europa. Si bien su capital oficial es Berna, esta y Geneva son capitales (y centros) financieros globales. Zug y sus alrededores, se han (están en proceso con algunos setbacks) convertido en centros de desarrollo de crypto-assests, blockchain y fintech. No es parte de la EU, European Union, tampoco del EEA, European Economic Area o de la Eurozona. Pero participa del tratado Shengen(en parte) y del EU Single Market. Si bien la divisa nacional, tanto como la de Liechtenstein es el Franco Suizo (CHF), el cual posee un protocolo de pagos y transferencias propias también es parte del área SEPA. El CHF es también usado en otras zonas de Europa de facto o simplemente no oficial como Campione d’Italia. Campione, un poco off-topic, es un enclave Italiano dentro del territorio suizo en la costa del lago de Lugano. Utilizan el Franco Suizo ya que la mayoría de sus residentes eligen utilizar bancos Suizos. Campione, es un tax haven y los residentes fiscales tienen beneficios interesantes como poder hacer trade de bonos vía entidades Suizas libre de impuestos. Centro financiero mundial, las ideas asociadas con Suiza siempre son las mismas. Secrecía bancaria, lavado de activos, “cuentas numeradas” y similares fantasías perpetradas por Hollywood. Es verdad que en Suiza la evasión impositiva no es considerada un delito. CRS, Common reporting Standard, es una realidad inevitable. -Argentina es miembro- Las cuentas numeradas son una idea de los 60’s de las películas de James Bond. Y el lavado de activos, si Uds. Siguen estos posts saben que sucede a nivel global y es un mal que afecta a todos los centros financieros. Como en otras jurisdicciones a nivel global existen diferentes tipos de banca. Private Retail (No confundir con Privada), Privada, Transaccional, de negocios, Corporativa y de Inversión. Dentro de la banca de inversión existen brokers de prácticamente todos los instrumentos y commodities a nivel mundial. Los brokers de FX Suizos tienen una peculiaridad, siendo que bajo regulación del FINMA como requerimiento para brokeringFX se les exige una licencia bancaria. Consecuentemente los brokers de FX son a su vez Bancos que pueden funcionar como bancos retail. CRS: Si. Taxacion:
No residentes Dividendos: De 0 a 35% Intereses: De 0 a 35% Regalias: 0%
Controles de capitales: No. Dukascopy Bank S.A. uno de los gigantes suizos en lo que respecta a banca de inversión. FX, CFDs, Commodities y Cryptocurrencies. Las cuentas disponibles varían medianamente entre jurisdicciones pero en general existen por separado y en conjunto lo que genera una gran confusión al momento de intentar decidir a qué servicio o paquete aplicar. Operan en diferentes jurisdicciones bajo diferentes entidades y subsidiarias. Suiza, Latvia, Japón, Rusia, Ucrania y Hong Kong. Al que le interese hacer trading de FX, Dukascopy ofrece soporte para MetaTrader 4, JForex, JForex Web y aplicaciones móviles. Las cuentas disponibles son
Gold (es XAU no físico)
Standard Current account (Se puede invertir en oro directo desde esta cuenta)
Mobile Current account
Y mixes de las anteriores. En general hay una sobreposicion de servicios entre los ofrecimientos y es lo que genera más confusión. Diferentes jurisdicciones tienen productos iguales o similares pero bajo diferentes costos. Por una cuestión de simplicidad el post está centrado en Dukascopy Bank S.A. Suiza y no solo en esa entidad, sino en particular en el producto de nombre Mobile Current Account. Regulación:
En Suiza: FINMA, OFCOM, SBA, Swiss TV Broadcasting (tienen un canal de televisión).
En Japón: FSA, FFAJ, SESC, FINMAC.
Dukascopy Bank – Suiza
https://www.dukascopy.bank Licencia: Bancaria (Licenciado y supervisado porFINMA) Cuentas: Personal/Business. Deposito Mínimo: No requiere. Costo de mantenimiento: No. Tarjeta: Si, Visa física y virtual disponibles. No-residentes: Si, total soporte. Detalles: La Mobile Current Account ofrece acceso a depósitos en 23 divisas. Todos los IBANs son suizos, con lo que se puede recibir EUR y CHF vía Transferwise. Tiene soporte para enviar y recibir depósitos vía SEPA y SWIFT para todas las divisas. Pueden efectivamente hacer una transferencia desde su banco directo a Dukascopy. Suiza, por no ser Unión Europea permite la emisión de tarjetas de débito a no residentes en la confederación o la Unión Europea. Cosa que muchos bancos o EMIs con apertura de cuenta online no ofrecen. La tarjeta tiene costo.
Cargos relevantes(Para transacciones en EUR, para operaciones en otras divisas consultar el link)
https://www.dukascopy.bank/swiss/fees-limits/ Transferencias entre cuentas internas: Gratis Transferencias dentro Dukascopy Group: Gratis Depósitos a Dukascopy Card: Gratis Retiros de Dukascopy Card: Gratis Depósitos vía tarjetas de Crédito o Debito: 1.2% (En EUR) Transferencias SEPA: EUR 2.30 Transferencias SWIFT: EUR 20 Aviso: Existen más cargos no relevantes al post, otras opciones de depósito y retiro vía tarjetas de otros bancos, Neteller y Skrill. Lean los detalles antes de operar.
Cargos de la tarjeta Dukascopy
Costo tarjeta Dukascopy física: CHF 18.5 Costo mensual de la tarjeta Dukascopy física: CHF 1 Costo tarjeta Dukascopy virtual: CHF 5 Costo mensual de la tarjeta Dukascopy virtual: CHF 5
Depósitos per quarter: EUR 3000 Balance: EUR 50.000 Los límites se pueden ampliar hasta el 450% enviando documentación sobre su ocupación, ingresos y residencia fiscal. Los limites se resetean los 1ro Enero, 1ro de Abril, 1ro de Julio y 1ro de Octubre.
Registro y onboarding Dukascopy Bank(Mobile current account) con onboarding digital vía una app llamada Dukascopy 911, la cual es una especie de social network bancaria. Por registrarse vía esa app el usuario recibe 5 DKUs, un token de Dukascopy que tiene un (soft)peg al Euro. El chat de soporte y los webinars son vía esta aplicación. Una manera de generar extra DKUs es contestando preguntas y participando en la red social la cual dependiendo de la performance del usuario reparte tokens a modo de recompensa. La cuenta bancaria en si una vez registrada, si bien se puede operar desde Dukascopy 911 es preferible operarla desde Dukascopy Bank, otra aplicación. Desde esta última, pueden abrir una cuenta en EUR y hacer el funding inicial vía tarjeta de débito o crédito. Particularidades importantes En los fees se discrimina entre transferencias SEPA y Wires(SWIFT, de más alto costo) sin embargo en la aplicación solo existe una opción, Wires. Si el usuario elige EUR como divisa y utiliza datos bancarios de la Unión Europea, el banco detecta esto y hace la transferencia vía el medio más económico. Hay que prestar atención de usar los datos bancarios correctos de la entidad a la que se intenta hacer el deposito cosa de evitar a toda costa utilizar datos bancarios SWIFT en lugar del preferido, más económico y eficiente SEPA. Beneficios El beneficio principal se preguntaran…? Dukascopy acepta depósitos vía tarjetas de crédito y débito bajo una comisión de solo 1.2% (En Euros) y la cuenta móvil no tiene fees de mantenimiento. Se pueden hacer transferencias SEPA directo a exchanges como Binance Jersey la cual ya establecimos que tiene de los fees más bajos del mercado. Se han probado tarjetas de Argentina Visa y Mastercard de débito y crédito. Un solo usuario tuvo problemas con tarjeta de BruBank pero pudo utilizar su tarjeta de crédito y como beneficio sumar millas (en el caso del usuario el deposito fue tomado como compra y no genero gastos de adelanto de efectivo). El monto máximo que se ha podido autorizar con tarjetas Argentinas fue de EUR 1000 , sin embargo varios depósitos consecutivos de EUR 500 también funcionaron. Un usuario se comunico con Visa para autorizar los pagos y desde ese momento no tuvo más problemas. Lamentablemente depositos de EUR 1.7 han fallado... EDIT:El monto maximo depositado en las pruebas fue de EUR 1000 y no de EUR 850 como se habia posteado originalmente. Referrals Algunos usuarios me preguntan sobre referrals de servicios que he posteado en el pasado a modo de recompensa por el tiempo que invierto a nivel personal haciendo research y escribiendo. Si bien algunos de estos servicios ofrecen recompensas, no es algo que vaya par en par con mi moral. Desde que comencé a escribir sobre banca y servicios financieros, solo ha habido un solo referral, el de Binance Jersey. El cual visto las reglas no paga absolutamente nada, pero si me interesaba a modo de monitorear el nivel de suscripción. Desde mi punto de vista, los referrals, viniendo de mi parte son poco éticos. Se puede dar a entender que en lugar de informar sobre el mejor servicio, se comparte uno el cual beneficia al que refiere a costas de los usuarios referidos y es posible (muy) que los usuarios no estén al tanto de esta situación. Por este motivo desde este momento empezando desde el artículo titulado Digital assets C01 – JE Offshore digital assets, al final del post se van a encontrar con una sección de Donations con 5 direcciones de crypto donde pueden transferir lo que les parezca adecuado. Los cálculos de retorno efectivo haciendo arbitrage de crypto utilizando los servicios de mis posts varían desde el 12% al 17%. Desde ya les agradezco por su generosidad y si ustedes quieren hacer referral de cualquier servicio por su cuenta me parece perfecto. Esta regla es pura y exclusivamente mía por una cuestión de neutralidad y ética. Desde ya muchas gracias por ofrecer el apoyo que ofrecen y los comentarios constructivos. Links de registro e información
2020.05.21 14:53 LastingFragrance29 [M4F] Scientist trying to get away from the mundane
Hope your quarantine is relatively safe. Since labs are closed during quarantine and have just finished grad school, I have more time to pursue personal projects ie. exercise, music, writing, and online classes. This quarantine however is also making me feel out of touch, so I'm hoping to find like minded people to chat with. About me Great listener but can't hold a conversation for too long. Likes cats, iced americano, and Japanese food. More active past midnight, sleeps when dawn breaks. City guy, but prefers to be in countries he's been to. Preferred shows: HIMYM, Love is War, Witcher Recently watched: Extraction and Perfect World Oh, physicals - 5'7, slightly chubby but exercise is doing wonders, has an unknown accent :[ Looking for something wholesome and someone single. I think if the person is in a relationship, it makes me lose interest, even in wholesome convos.
2020.02.03 05:52 RupindahA week on $15/hour in Edmonton, AB
Hello all! I know my financial situation isn’t ideal buuuut might be more fun than someone with their life totally together? Age: 24 Location: Edmonton, AB Employment: Starbucks barista & student Wage: $15/hr Paycheque amounts: between $600-$900 biweekly, depending on how many hours I picked up Paycheque deductions: CPP, EI, and I lose $33 a cheque for extended health and dental for my spouse and I Other sources of income: $0 Savings: $70 holla - I had to borrow out of my TFSA to pay for my program as I had enough to do so but I’ll be reimbursed by work Expenses Rent: my spouse, S., owns the home we live in and is very generously shouldering the burden of the mortgage and utilities until I’m on my feet. I am in a specific career program, with a job lined up after I complete it (April!) He makes $63,000 a year and I... don’t. Last year I made just under $10,000. The reason I am not working somewhere where I can earn more than $15 an hour is because the benefits greatly outweigh the cons. I get extended health and dental for just 20 hours a week (though I work 30-40) and combined with my spouse’s we have complete coverage, which is important, as you’ll see this week. Starbucks is also going to reimburse the cost of my program once I’m done. The free pound of coffee and the flexibility help. I don’t want to work somewhere until just April, too. That’s really annoying for me and the employer. So, I spend 40 hours a week pumping out macchiatos and frappucinos. As far as jobs go, it’s not bad. As soon as we transition from this phase I will be taking over the mortgage and utilities for an equivalent amount of time that he did. Any OT will also go to paying him back. Everything else we put on a joint credit card and it gets split down the middle. The rest is my half. Utilities: see above Groceries: $350-$400 a month (Alberta...) Cat expenses: $10 for one’s antidepressants, $50 a month for their food (we have 2) Car: $170 for insurance monthly, $50 for gas. I luckily have a paid off vehicle and I live 8 minutes from work so I don’t use much gas. Recurring Expenses: $2.79 for Google storage (photos), $103.95 for an unlimited yoga pass (I know... yikes), $58.21 for my phone bill, $4.99 for Spotify, $14.28 to the New York Times (I use their Cooking and Crossword app every single day) Shopping: in 2020 my goal is to not buy anything new - all secondhand - and to have more no spend days than not. Starbucks: all of my tip money gets reloaded onto my Starbucks card and S and I share it. I usually take home expired pastries and food though so we don’t spend much at my work. I get free beverages during my shift. Donations: I am a volunteer at a mental health organization and am too broke to be donating $ right now. For my birthday every year I donate $200 to the local children’s hospital as they saved my life but otherwise nothing else. Debt: Credit card debt: $2000 ... I had to abruptly move out 2.5 years ago and am still carrying the debt. It used to be $6000. Slowly and steadily paying it off. Tax debt: $5600 - I get audited every year and for some reason they think I made $32,000 last year and owe them back. I didn’t. So we’re fighting that but right now I technically do have that debt Day One 9:00 AM: my daily alarm goes off and I snooze it. I roll over and see my boy kitty, M, giving me a snuggle, and I fall back asleep petting his soft fur. 10:30 AM: Girl kitty, Z, comes in crying and I get up to appease her highness. When I’m home in the morning we have coffee and cuddles together and she’s clearly wanting it. 10:45 AM: the horror - my coffee creamer went sour! I try to have some tea and cuddles with Z but she knows it’s not the same. I have to go to the grocery store anyway. 11:30 AM: I finish a chapter of my readings then change into sweats to head to the grocery store. On the way in I get an Americano at the Starbucks by our favourite store. They generously partner beverage me! (make it free!) $0.00 12:30: Done grocery shopping. S is visiting his brother this weekend so I only got enough for the nights I’m home this week. I’m an amateur home cook so I cook dinner every night and S eats leftovers when I close. My half is $44.23 1:30: I double check my schedule and see my boss moved my shift up to 3 to account for some training that’s overdue for me. Good thing I checked as I was originally scheduled for 3:30. I always bring a lunch to work to avoid buying butter croissants because I fuckin’ love butter croissants, but I’m closing tonight so I’ll get to take home the day olds, and have to eat snacks to avoid tempting myself into paying for one. Then I head off to work. 2:57: make it in too early and eat a peanut butter bar before I wait to clock in. We’re on some serious labour cuts so clocking in too early invites my manager’s ire. (Also, labour cuts after the CEO gets a 7 figure bonus is so blah.) 3:00: immediately get shooed off the floor for some overdue online modules. My brain numbs over. 5:15: on my first break drinking a strawberry lemonade and eating more peanut butter bars. The lemonade was free since I’m working. $0.00 7:25: second break, just a water this time. I heat up my spaghetti and find another peanut butter bar in my bag. I love these and always grab two when I leave the house so I end up with quite a purse stash. I text S while resisting the call of butter croissants. There’s two left in the pastry case so I’m hoping to take one home... 9:30: Croissant acquired, success. Home and hang out with my babes for a bit then head up to bed. I work at a different location tomorrow. Day 2 6:45 AM: I wake up and check Waze to see what should’ve been a ten minute commute is now 40, which means I’m running late. It’s -4 and snowing. But that means everyone forgets how to drive. I quickly get up, brush my teeth, moisturize, kiss everyone goodbye, then head out. 7:40: spent 45 minutes on the road to go 10 km. Annoyed and late for a shift at a borrowed store, which makes my manager look bad. Luckily I called ahead but I’m still frustrated. 12:45: the employees at this store are awesome but this place is really grimy! I spend a lot of my shift scrubbing. Ahh! I have spaghetti for lunch again and another lemonade. 3:00 PM: I’m home and having a slice of lemon meringue while snuggling Z. We take some pics to send to S but mostly I rub her back and tell her about my day. She purrs. Heaven is kitty purrs, I’m pretty sure. I was on bar all day so theres splashes of syrup and milk all over me and I smell like coffee so I have a quick shower. My textbook is calling my name but I’m two weeks ahead in my course and I have a headache so I choose to nap. I’m on Depo Provera and the first week of the shot involves a really annoying headache and some cramping, but then smooth sailing from there! 5:00: JK. I wake up when S comes home and have the most intense cramping. Over Christmas I had this and it turns out I shed my uterine lining all at once and you have contractions to pass it (sorry... TMI?) He asks what I want to do and I lay with a hot water bottle and he gives my Tylenol. The Tylenol helps more than the water bottle. M, the kitty, seems to know what’s up and comes and lays down with me. 7:00: S has made chicken fajitas while I’ve laid on the couch. Tasty. 9:30: We head up to bed and I’m laying upright when I spot a water spot on our ceiling. We immediately go look at it. It’s still wet to the touch so it’s fresh which is expected as we just came out of a heavy deep freeze (-47C!) and then it snowed tons today. We take photos and measure it and then turn on the dehumidifiers. I hope it’s not indicative of a major leak. 10:15: finally settled in to sleep. I work at another store again tomorrow. Day Three: 5:50: up before my alarm goes off and try to ignore it but give in and get up anyway. I’m heading out of the city for this shift into a smaller town so I have to leave early. 6:50: despite leaving early I come across a pretty bad crash and get stuck. End up 2 minutes late. I promise I’m usually 15 minutes early but everyone in Edmonton thinks their massive trucks can handle the snow and ice and inevitably they spin out or hit someone else. 8:45: this store is bonkers! We do 38 cars in the drive thru in half an hour. My store’s record is 32! It makes the shift pass fast but is terrifying. I have an Americano. $0.00 11:30: I have a black tea lemonade and more spaghetti. They also still have snowmen cookies so I buy one off my card. $1.78 with discount. But on my card. 3:30: sweet release 4:00: I stop at the co-op by our house for potatoes and end buying stuff for my weekend alone. The shopping reminds me to text my retired neighbour who adores our kitties and ask if she will feed them when I have an opening shift this weekend, because S will be gone. She quickly agrees. I expect she likes the cats more than us. $16.23 4:15: get home and S is expecting a package from the gluten free bakery here so I check the step. Instead there’s a tiny box addressed to a unit 15 houses down. I get my big boots (they haven’t shoveled our walkways yet) and trek down there, only to discover S’s food is there. Wtf, FedEx. Now I have to knock to avoid looking like a porch pirate and have an awkward convo about how those are mine and I’m not stealing them. 6:00: I cook lamb chops with a potato chickpea arugula salad. It’s pretty good. S doesn’t like chickpeas so he plays with it. M wants some and we give him one and he loves it! Who knew. We watch TV for most of the night and try the new salsa I got. 10:00: mayday, mayday! The salsa has made my stomach feel tight and bloated. I pop a Gas X and drink some mint tea, only to throw up several times afterwards. My stomach feels tight so I lay in bed with a heat pad and it helps. I fall asleep at like 2 AM. Day Four 11:00 AM: I wake up and feel much better. I go downstairs and have a cup of coffee with my stinkers. 1:10: whoops. Fell asleep. Brush my teeth and meet S outside of my dentist’s office (right across the street!) to say goodbye. He’s heading out because the drive is 5 hours. We say goodbye and I feel a little sad and head in for my root canal 3:00: dentists are sadists. 4:00: root canal completed. When my dad lost his job 5 years ago he retired early and thus we lost the comprehensive dental coverage. Then I moved out and never got it back. Because of my Crohn’s I’ve lost some serious bone density and it’s reflected in my teeth. We’ve done $6k in dental work since I got insurance under Starbucks and S and I officially became common law. I had some awful cavities but only one more appointment and I’ll have a healthy mouth! Today’s appointment cost me $0. 4:45: I head out to work with my mouth still frozen because that’s how I am. 5:15: we are slammed and my manager is watching us from a table and not helping out, then comes in after the rush and tells us everything we did wrong. Ooooh, boy. She’s been in a Mood the last few weeks and I found out they’re opening a new store by her house so I think she’s trying to prove she can open another new store. (Ours is only 3 years old) 7:00: S texts me he made it. I drink another strawberry lemonade. I didn’t bring a dinner so I preorder a $10 pizza from the pizza place next door. 9:30: we’ve closed up and I go over to the pizza place and pick up a Medium tomato chicken Caesar. $10.50 9:45: I pop into the drug store in the plaza and get some Pepto Bismol and some mint tea on sale. 11.14 10:00: the cats are so mad about dinner being late. I’m kind of scared they’re going to kill me tonight. I take an Advil for my tooth, eat pizza, and watch Netflix. 12:30 AM: I fell asleep on the couch and wake up to S calling me to say goodnight. I trek up to bed after. (I had to continue this in the comments cuz I hit the character limit.)
2019.11.19 13:10 vetinthecityI'm 27 years old, I earn £33,300 ($43K), I live in London and work in the public sector
This is my first ever MD, I’m a classic over sharer and I’ve tried to be very thorough, so this might be a long one. Also I’ve called my partner B for boyfriend because I was getting stressed about being identified? I suspect I worry about things unnecessarily. I’ve also gone through and tried to include my expenses in USD as well but just rounded to the nearest $. The exchange rate at the time of writing was 0.78p to 1$. Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance (and how you got there) I have a workplace pension through Aegon with my employer, and I pay 6% before tax monthly. My employer then adds 12% making 18% total. This is a pretty good pension for the UK, and one of the reasons why people stay at this company for so long. I’ve got no idea how much is in it total and I’ve tried to find out for this MD with no luck so far! Savings account balance Currently £64 ($84). Normally I transfer £400 ($515) in here on payday and then dip into it through the month. I do leave more in there but I paid £344 on payday for my holiday last month, and also the first month’s rent for my new flat (more on that later) so it is now so empty. Checking account balance £99 ($128). Credit card debt (and how you accumulated it) £7143.35. ($9170) This is part consumer debt and part rental deposit that built up when I moved to my current city and was appalling at budgeting. I used to have a more highly paid job and live in a lower COL. Then I burnt out at my job and went through a career redirection, where I am generally much happier. I pay more than the minimums each month and they’re on 2x 0% balance transfer cards. I’m trying. Student loan debt (for what degree) £38890 + £10K. ($64000 total) The first number is for my undergraduate degree which was 5 years of tuition and maintenance loans. I’m currently paying that back. The second is for the part-time Masters I am doing so I won’t start paying that back until the April after I graduate (April 2022). Student loans are much less stressful in the UK in that they are taken off my pay check at source (like a tax) and I pay £95 a month. I barely pay the interest despite it only being 1.5% but they just sit there really and then they will get written off after (I think) 26 years. IF YOU COMBINE FINANCES WITH A S/O PLEASE INCLUDE ALL OF THEIR ASSETS / DEBT AS WELL My boyfriend and I have a joint monzo and we transfer £100 each at the beginning of each pay month for all our joint food, date nights (unless we’re treating each other) and days out together etc. We also use this for holiday spending. This is our only j/a at the moment, but we are moving in together in February and when we do I might come back and do another MD. Currently there’s £7.70 on this. Section Two: Income Main Job Monthly Take Home: £1977.60. ($2557) This is minus my income tax, national insurance contribution, student loan and pension contribution via my employer’s salary sacrifice scheme. Side Gig Monthly Take Home £0 at the moment. I am negotiating doing some locum work on a rota in my old profession which should give me approx. £100/month after taxes and student loan contributions. Trying to weigh up if this is worth it because boy do I need the money but also I know my mental health will suffer. Currently thinking I can just suck it up for 3-4 hours a month but haven’t been able to commit yet. Any Other Monthly Income Here £200 ($257) from my mum. I make the car payments (see below) on my car which my mum basically has sole use of now because it’s at home, not with me in London and she doesn’t have another car. We also have a family dog which I am able to get cheaper insurance for, so that’s in my name. We share these expenses, and the split is currently 70:30 my mum:me. I feel really guilty about this because Mummy is retired and a widow since my dad passed away last year, so as soon as I get a better paying job I will try and cover more of this. Section Three: Expenses Rent / Mortgage / HOA fees (please specify how you split it if living with a partner): £758/month ($973) for a room in a three bed shared house. I live with two flatmates and it’s been great but my boyfriend and I want our own space now and have signed on a flat for February. My new rent will be £850 including bills into our joint account and B will pay the rest, which will come to about £1000 for him. He makes more than double my salary plus bonus so we might adjust that down, I’m not sure yet. Savings contribution £400/month ($513) goes into a savings account which is then usually withdrawn at various points. I usually end up with about £50-100 left which builds up over a few months and then promptly gets spent on the endless cycle of weddings and hen weekends, gifts, Christmas and then holidays. Also drained this recently for the first month’s rent on the new flat. Debt payments £50 ($64) to one CC with a balance of about £2100, £75 ($96) to the other with the rest of the balance as above. These are both 0% with long repayment periods but I will not manage to pay them off in that time so will have to bounce the debt around at some point. I do pay more than the minimum. Donations (please specify if monthly or annual). I volunteer at my old school doing various careers events throughout the year. I also donate £5 for Children in Need, £10 for Red Nose Day and then other random small bits here and there. I’m also part of a careers networking and mentoring group and give my time monthly organising events and also speaking at those. Electric + gas Quarterly payment split between my housemates and me. The last payment was £88 ($112) each and I paid it earlier this month. Wifi and Council tax £38.83 ($50) a month each. Not sure of the split for these because my housemate pays it and we pay her back. Cellphone £38.95 ($50) and it is beyond annoying but I’m on a contract and so I’m stuck with it. Netflix and Spotify £10 ($13). I chuck B a tenner a month for these as we have a shared family plan with his family as well. Professional memberships £13.67 ($18) monthly. Sort of optional but it’s the representative body for my profession so I feel obliged to be a member. Pet expenses £38.50 ($49) insurance, with a discount. Shared with Mum as above. Car payment / insurance £175 ($225) on the car finance. £48.50 ($62) a month insurance. Tax is free because it’s new ish and low emission ish. Either my mum or I will put petrol in it depending on if I happen to need to fill it up if I’m at home. Paid hobbies Choir membership £100/term ($128). This works out at £25 a month but it’s paid termly. Always an expensive month when this one comes out but I love it so much. Travel I have an Oyster and a 26-30 railcard linked to it, so travel varies depending on how much I use. Approx. £80-100 (~$120) a month on TfL. I get off at a Zone 2 station and walk in to work approx. 20 minutes because it’s cheaper, but I’m still bitter about this because when I lived closer to work I could walk all the way for free. When we move in February I will happily be able to walk again. Also £18.95 ($25) return (with 1/3 off due to my railcard) off-peak trains home to visit my mum at least once a month, usually more. I count these in here because I try and remember to budget for them, as opposed to random trains to visit friends etc. Day one 7am – nope. We snooze. 7.15am – we snooze again. 7.30am – OK this time we at least don’t turn the alarm off. Cuddle my boyfriend B and listen to the news until 7.42am and then we jump in the shower. I live with roomates x2 but one has already left for the airport and one has gone to work. I used to be such an early riser in a past life but we do tend to get up about this time now. 8.10am – My skincare routine consists of nivea moisturiser in the mornings. Both ready and we leave for work. It takes 15 minutes just to get onto the tube platform this morning and reminds me how much I dislike living in the bit of London I’m in at the moment. We actually only do this about twice a week when we stay at my flat, but it’s twice a week too many. I kiss my boyfriend goodbye halfway through the tube journey and we go our separate ways to work. 9.15am – arrive at work and grab my porridge sachet, water bottle and mug and head upstairs to the kitchen. We get free coffee most of the time at work, unless there are meetings on that floor which happens about 1 week per month. I also buy porridge, raisins and golden syrup in bulk every 1-2 months and have it for breakfast at my desk every day. It is cheap but I do actually really enjoy it. I get the milk from the work fridge. 9.23am – merrily eating my porridge and scanning the news when my colleague rings me about a meeting at 9.30am which I had completely forgotten about. Luckily it’s a project which I’m in charge of and very knowledgeable about, so we get through it fine and get some really useful advice. 11.50am – emails, reading the papers for a meeting this afternoon. I take a break to chase up someone about a job I was provisionally offered last week. It’s a long process from provisional to firm offer (can’t really go into details of why) and this is frustrating because the advertised salary range would be a minimum of £5K more, which would be about £200/month (~$250). I’m also applying to a training programme in my field which would be another 5 years of study/work but comes with huge career development and so I do a little more of that application too. 12.25pm – realise I forgot to put any make up on this meeting because of the meeting palaver so I pop to the loo and do it. I wear Bare Minerals powder, L’oreal liquid eyeliner and Mac waterproof mascara daily and a Bobbi Brown nude lipstick if I’m feeling fancy. 12.45pm – lunch time! I have a loaf of bread, some cheese and some salami I bought yesterday (about £4) for the week so I make myself a sandwich. I also sold a dress on eBay for £9.50 yesterday so I print the label and pop it in the post. 2pm – a bit more work before a meeting, during which I write this MD because it’s a bit slow. I’ve been at my company for nearly 3 years (with no promotion or performance related pay rise in sight…) so I’m finding it less and less stimulating. Fortunately I got offered a new job last week so yay! Haven’t been able to give my notice in yet because of the way the process works, so that’s less yay. 3.30pm – The meeting continues. I log on to my university portal during a section where I’m not needed to see whether any of my seminars have been active. I’m studying for my MSc part-time online which I love, although it can be hard to juggle around a full time job. I get bored easily though and it helps keep me stimulated. 5.15pm – back at my desk and eat an apple whilst I knuckle down to some proper studying. I’m quite lucky in that I can study at my desk but I tend to do it once other people have started to leave and I make it clear my actual work day is done. Speak to B about a job offer he has received. We’re both job hunting at the same time which has been exciting and stressful! 6.45pm – done for the day and head out to meet an old friend for dinner. Get the bus (£1.50 ($1.90) prepaid on my oyster) because I’m running late but it’s cheaper than the tube. 10.30pm – had a really delightful evening catching up on our lives and eating delicious Lebanese food. Annoyingly it was meant to be £16 for two courses but our bill comes to £73 with wine even though we shared a side and a pudding. I’m too tired to think about how this has worked out though and suspect it’s probably because we ate less than two courses or something. Anyway, we split it so my share comes to £36.57 ($47). 10.45pm – get home to B’s flat (Oyster £1) and we catch up on our evenings and snuggle. He’s going to accept the job and I am so pleased for him. It’s a really good opportunity and a decent pay rise and is very well deserved. We cuddle and chat some more and then clean teeth and bed. I have an app called Rain Rain which if I were an INflUeNcEr I would get paid a fortune to shill because I go on about it all the time. It plays different sorts of rain/forest rain/camping rain/ocean sounds etc etc. on a fade out timer and you can make up mixes of different sounds. It’s the most soothing and we fall asleep to it every single night. Total: £36.57 ($47) Day two 6.50am – B has a dawn simulator alarm thing with the radio so we lie in bed half asleep and listening to the news on Radio 4 until 7.30am. We jump in the shower, I moisturise my face and we’re off. 8am – I’m cross because I need to top up my oyster, but the machine at the tube station doesn’t take my visa debit card. What kind of machine doesn’t accept a debit card?? I start huffing about transferring money to my monzo and then using that, but we’re in a rush so B just does it for me and puts £20 on it. I sit on the tube feeling equal parts annoyed at the machine and miserable at myself about yet more money woes. I’m very grateful to B and tell him I’ll pay him back next week on payday. 8.45am – speak to Mummy on the way to work. I call her everyday on my way in to work. It’s just the two of us since my dad died last year and we’re really close. She tells me the cat was an angel at the vet which is surprising because he’s usually a big stresspot. 9am – porridge, make-up, emails. Quickly apply for a freelance content creating company someone has recommended on a professional Facebook group I’m in. The test was easy so hopefully I will hear back soon and pick up some extra work through that. 10.30am – another long meeting. I’ve got a small presentation to do in this one and these still make me quite nervous. Any tips on how to stop the nerves would be great! 12.15pm – still in the meeting and no sign of my bit coming any time soon. My stomach is rumbling. 12.32pm – OK I need a wee so I sneak out during a break in the agenda and grab a biscuit on my way back in. I also got an email about a paid market research opportunity so I submit my details and cross my fingers. Its £40 ($51) for 90 minutes of my time so I hope I get it. 1.25pm – finally get my bit of the meeting done with no difficult questions and we break for lunch. I feel accomplished and relieved that there was no grilling today. Happily this meeting comes with a free lunch so I eat four little sandwiches and some crisps and save an apple for later. 1.45pm – back at my desk and I email the vacancy organiser about the 5 year training programme I’m applying to because I’m confused about some aspects of the application and I really want this, so I need to get it 100% right. 3pm – take a quick break from work to check my personal email and eat the apple, and find that my application for work shadowing for the training programme has been accepted! I rattle off an email to the person they’ve matched me with to get a date organised ASAP. I’ve still got some annual leave left for the year so I’m going to take a day to do this. 5pm – I shoot a text to my choir whatsapp group telling them I’m not going to make it tonight. It’s on at 6-9pm, and I was almost tempted to go just because I’m doing this MD this week but I’m behind on studying for a deadline on Sunday and I’ve also got no time for the rest of the week because I’m going to a conference. I am sad because I was looking forward to it but studying has to come first this week. 7.30pm – done with studying and head home to B’s (Oyster £1 as it’s off-peak), and he’s already been to the shop and bought fishcakes and salad for dinner. Normally we split these on the joint account but there isn’t anything left on it this month so B has paid. 9.30pm – Bedtime! My routine consists of brushing my teeth. I don’t even take my make up off most nights because unless I’ve also put the bare minerals liquid tinted moisturiser (which is amazing) on I tend to find there’s nothing left to take off by this point in the evening. We watch a bit of a Simon Reeve documentary series we’ve been enjoying, cuddle and fall asleep about 10.30pm. Total £0 Day three 7.30am – up we get and in the shower first try this time, because I’m heading to a conference. Normal routine (or lack thereof). 8am – on the tube (Oyster £3.30 but will be expensed) and today we commute most of the way together because my conference is close to his work. We get excited about living together again and talk about how we can fully get invested in it now everything is signed and paid. 9am – head to Starbucks near the venue for a coffee (white Americano) and a bottle of fizzy water (£3.75 ($4.86)). I will get this expensed but I have brought my own breakfast and lunch today from what was left in the fridge at work. This is because our expenses system is so slow (as in, more than 6 weeks) and it’s too close to Christmas for me to be able to afford having £40 floating around in the ether. 11am – I’m half working half attending this conference so I go and sit in the lounge to catch up on some work. I’ve already bumped into three friends and been talked into taking part in a careers workshop. Although I don’t feel like I’m very successful because of my salary and debt, on the surface I can provide very useful advice and support for other people in my profession who are looking to make a similar career change. I have to remind myself sometimes that it can’t all be measured in finances, but since this is a MD generally I feel pretty low about my position most of the time. 12pm – However, I have just caught up with a friend I did some freelance work for back in the summer. She hasn’t paid me yet and I’ve invoiced her a couple of times but felt awkward pressing it further. She’s just told me she will pay the £150 this week! I won’t count it until it’s in my bank account but exciting anyway. 12.15pm – B calls me to tell me he might have to go to New York right before Christmas and he wants me to go with him as my Christmas present. The flights are apparently £300 return and we could have a long weekend plus I could catch up with my dearest friend whilst he is at work. I have enough annual leave but I’m not sure whether this is a sensible use of our finances and I struggle with spontaneous fun like this as it feels so irresponsible. What to do what to do! 1pm – catch up with some of my closest friends from uni who are also attending the conference for lunch. We’ve also bumped into loads of other people we know (it’s a small world) so it’s been a really fun lunch. 3pm – some of the stands have started handing out prosecco so I help myself to a glass. My day has consisted of attending some lectures, working and networking. It’s great but exhausting! 5.30pm – the end of the conference for the day but I’m attending an after event about…personal finance. It’s a very useful hour and has convinced me I need some specific financial advice. For example, I don’t have any income protection insurance or a private pension, but I’m unsure if I should prioritise that or building up savings. I take a business card and head off to meet B. 8pm – home to B’s (Oyster £1.85 since it’s now off-peak but will be expensed) and I am exhausted. I’ve also got a massive headache so B cooks fajitas from things we already had in the flat. He’s so good to me. I guess this would have come to about £5 when we bought the stuff a couple of weeks ago. 10pm – watch a bit more of the documentary series we’ve been following, cuddle and an early (ish) night. Daily total £3.75 (expensed) Day four 7am – up and in the shower. B’s flatmate is working from home today so we have a catch up about our weekend plans whilst I make my sandwiches with the remains of the food I bought on Monday and then head out. 9.30am – make it to the conference (Oyster £3.30 expensed) for day 2 and I’m straight into a lecture so no time for coffee. They do have free pastries so I take a chocolate croissant. 11am – my colleague tells me one of the stands is doing proper ground coffee for free so I go and get some and am annoyed I bought the Starbucks yesterday. I take an hour to head round the exhibition for freebies and pick up a new bamboo coffee cup, a smoothie and a lot of pens, as well as a power bank for my phone. These conferences often have a lot of junk freebies but I feel I’ve done well this time! There’s also much less plastic waste at this conference compared to last year which is great to see. 2.30pm – I get a notification I have sold a bauble on eBay for £10! I message the seller to say I will pop it in the post on Monday. 5pm – the whole day was similar to yesterday so I’ve spared you the details. We head to the pub but I’m meeting B at 6 and with limited funds I don’t get a drink. Instead I stand and chat to some people in my network and meet a couple of interesting new people. At 5.45pm we get kicked out of the pub because of my friend’s dog, and she gets upset about having to go home. As I’m heading off anyway I volunteer to look after her dog for the night… 6.15pm – I got the dog! She’s adorable and so well behaved on the tube (Oyster £3.30 expensed). 7.30pm – I’ve left the dog outside Sainsbury’s with B and buy some breaded cod, lettuce, tomato, orange pepper and garlic bread for dinner. I also get rolls and bacon for bacon butties tomorrow breakfast. £8.86 ($11.49). Get home and cook the dinner whilst catching up with my housemate and one of her friends and playing with the dog. 9pm – having a delightful evening with some wine we had in the house, watching a Christmas film (Let it snow, it was pretty good) on Netflix and cuddling with B and the dog. By the way, we decided against the trip to New York as B will be handing in his notice around that time anyway. Probably for the best. Daily total £8.86 ($11.49) Day five 6.45am – honestly why are we wide awake at the weekend when we can’t get up during the week?! Answers on a postcard. We chat and cuddle some more and cuddle the dog and it’s a delightful morning. 9.30am – eventually we get up, shower and take the dog for a walk. I take my new reusable cup to a coffee shop en route because I’ve run out of coffee beans. They do a 25p discount and also have a 20% off discount for some public sector workers which I can’t use right now but will be able to in my new job, so I make a note to go there in future. £2.35 for an Americano with hot milk. ($3.05) 11am – the local butcher has ribs for tasting and they are delicious. We also get some pheasant and sausages, and then some veg from Sainsbury’s for our lunches for the week. This is slightly extravagant but B and I both really love game and eating things in season. He will pay me back for his half of this at some point. £17.10 ($22.17) 2.30pm – lunches are cooked. We roasted the pheasants with the sweet potatoes and carrots, and then cooked the sausages and broccoli as well and portioned it all up into 10 lunches and now we’re feeling very accomplished. I also did some washing and tidied my room, and finished some of the ongoing processes for my new job. B also made us bacon sandwiches whilst I struggled through one of the tasks for it. It’s frustrating me greatly but all I can do now is wait. 3.30pm – ended up having fifteen minutes to get ready so I went for black jeans and a silky green top with my favourite jumper and heeled boots. I really need a wardrobe update but these things require cash. We packed up the dog’s belongings and hopped on the tube (Oyster £1.85) to central to return her and get a present for tonight. She’s so good on public transport, and my friend was very grateful. I feel like she did us a favour and I told her we’d look after her dog anytime. 4pm - In John Lewis we go up to the furniture section to try out the mattress we picked out last week. We narrowed it down to two last time which took about two hours. Trying mattresses is so weird! It’s amazing how different they all feel. The one we’ve chosen is £599 which makes me feel somewhat ill but that is apparently on the cheap end, and we don’t want to scrimp too much since we envisage sleeping on it for many years. We will wait to see if there are any Black Friday deals (unlikely) or January sales (more likely) before buying it though since we don’t need it until mid-Feb. We bought a fondue set for B’s friend’s birthday and I chose the card and got it gift wrapped in the shop (£38. B paid as it’s his friend). I also did my make up in the loo because I ran out of time earlier. Same as usual except I put on the Bare Minerals tinted moisturiser as extra coverage and also a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow stick thing and some lip liner and lipstick in sandwich pink. 5pm – the 30th is wine tasting and dinner for 12. Wine tasting was very boozy and the best fun and then we went to the restaurant for 8pm. We’d pre-ordered and I went for 2 courses for £28 instead of 3, so I had pheasant again and then crumble. Very seasonal and delicious with more tasty wine. The birthday boy pays for the wine tasting for everyone and then covers the dinner and will let us know how much we owe him for that later. It was such a great birthday party! 12am – got the tube home (yay for the night tube on Friday and Saturday nights! Oyster £1.85). Felt smug that we didn’t succumb to an uber, but also slightly worried about tomorrow’s hangover. I drink two pints of water and we snuggle and talk about what a brilliantly cosy and fun weekend we’re having so far. We actually haven’t had a weekend in London for ages and it’s nice. Rain rain on, sleep time. Daily total £19.45 ($25.22) Day six 8.30am – alarm goes off and oof, not feeling it. We snooze it for a bit and try to go back to sleep but it’s that post-alcohol crappy sleep. The house is also cold because the timer is broken on the heating, which does not help. Eventually we get up at 9.30am because my mum rings asking us what time we will be there and we feel guilty. 10am – showered and ready to go. I actually feel great now! I didn’t wash my hair this morning because I couldn’t be bothered and I know I will regret this later. I should have said earlier but I wash my hair every day. I know it’s bad for your hair but I have really thick but fine hair and it gets greasy unbelievably quickly in the wispy bits around my ears, so washing it daily makes me feel professional and clean. Anyway, I grab a couple of jumpers Mum asked me to bring home which have holes in them and we had to the tube via the coffee shop. I take my coffee cup and buy coffee for me and a sausage roll to share (£4.60 ($6)) and then we hop on the tube (Oyster £1.85 again - love these off-peak fares). 11.34am – I bought an off-peak return using my 26-30 railcard which saves 1/3, so £19.95 ($25.87) instead of £29ish. Annoyingly the day return was £1 cheaper but I didn’t notice until B did his. I know it’s only £1 but I am unreasonably irritated by this. It’s a beautiful sunny and frosty day though so I feel better soon. 12.15pm – Mum picks us up from the station. My home house is in the countryside about a half hour drive from the station in a beautiful little village and I love it. It’s actually commutable (ish) to London and plenty of people in my village do. I looked into how much this could save recently when I was despairing about my rent and after paying for the train and contributing to groceries for my mum’s house I wouldn’t save anything. Also with only one car Mum would have to drive me backwards and forwards, so that’s clearly out. Instead, I go home as much as possible to spend time with Mum and see my dog and cat, and get some fresh air. We spend the afternoon reading the papers, talking about furniture for the flat and playing with the dog. 2pm – our neighbour calls and asks if we’d like to measure up the sofa bed she has offered us. Her husband sadly passed away shortly after my dad, and her children are both in their 40s with their own families so no one has any need of the sofa bed. We love it, it’s perfect for our new flat and we try to offer her some money but she won’t have it. We arrange some movers to come and take it from her house to Mum’s for now because it is far too heavy for us and up some twisty cottage stairs. They will come on Wednesday for £70. B pays for now and I will pay my half back on Wednesday (and yes, I’m keeping a tally of all of these IOUs). On googling the exchange rate from where they bought the sofa bed we discover our neighbour has given us a ££££ piece of furniture so now I feel a bit sick. We have a long discussion with my mum about what to give her to say thank you, and decide on some bulbs for her garden and a thank you note and photo when it’s safely installed in our flat. 3.30pm – B and I take the dog for a quick walk around the village before dinner. I adore her so much. We got her as a puppy when I was in my old job and she is such a source of joy for my mum at the moment, plus she’s a very happy dog. I pick up some chocolate ice cream from the village Co-op on the way past for pudding (£3.50 ($4.54)). Mum also darned two of my holey jumpers whilst we were out, and they’re good as new! What an angel. 5pm – time for dinner. My mum is an amazing cook and does very large portions. Today we’re having…pheasant! I’m in no way sick of it and this is probably one of my top five recipes of hers, with a creamy apple sauce, fondant potatoes and buttery cabbage. Pudding is a blackberry and apple cake with the ice cream from earlier. Someone roll me home. 7pm – time to head for the train back. I’m sad but we’re coming back next weekend so it’s not too bad. 9pm – home via the tube but I needed to top up my oyster. This machine took debit so I put £10 ($13) on it. Crossing my fingers this will last until payday this week. (Oyster £1.85 again). At my flat the smoke alarm was beeping all night so it needs a new battery (£3.99 ($5)). Eventually we get into bed with a glass of the wine from Friday. The birthday friend texts to let us know what we owe for dinner. With service and wine mine comes to £38 ($49)…ouch. He says he is fine to wait until my payday in 2 days thank goodness. I also transfer the bills for this month to my housemate (£38.83 ($50). I persuade B that he really wants to watch Legally Blonde and he loves it. What a gem. Cuddle and sleep by 11pm. Daily total £118.87 ($154) Day seven 7am – honestly I feel like I am dead I’m so groggy this morning. We finally get up at 8am. I actually miss the days where I had to be in work by 7.30am because at least it got me out of bed. 8.45am – grab my lunch from the fridge, pack the tape measure for tonight and we head to the tube to work (Oyster £1.70). Say goodbye to B en route as usual and arrive at 9.30am. Same breakfast routine as before. 10.30am – oh my goodness it’s the annual bake off and I’d completely forgotten. How joyous! I donate £1 and help myself to an orange butterfly cake which was absolutely delicious. I also vote for it to win best cake, but I can only eat half so I save the rest for after lunch. 12.52am – busy working away and get a notification that I sold a book on eBay for £1.19. I know this is a tiny amount but I’m happy either way. I’m new to selling on eBay so three things in a week is very unusual but it all helps! I will run out of stuff eventually though. 1.40pm – I suffer through the expenses system and submit my claim for £15.50 for last week’s travel and Starbucks. I’ve got another £11 sitting there waiting to be approved and paid back too, from about 3 weeks ago. I hope they hurry up and do it soon. 1.55pm – lunch time! The food we cooked at the weekend is delicious. I fill in my application form for working at the polling station for the upcoming General Election. This pays about £150 but it’s more that I actually love getting swept up in election fever and I’m really excited to be a part of it. Crossing my fingers I get accepted! Also do a bit of studying. 3.30pm – today is very busy but I take a quick break to print out 2x eBay labels and I’ll post them off tomorrow because I’m on a study day for my MSc. (£6.18 but the buyers pay for postage so I will get this back). 4.45pm – B calls to say he is leaving work to make our appointment at 6. I’m still really swamped at work but I head out at 5 and think about having to do it later. 5pm – walk the commute to the new flat to go and take some measurements for furniture. The new commute is honestly delightful and I can’t wait. Especially in the dark, all the bridges across the river are lit up and I can see into some cosy houses and imagine them with Christmas trees in the windows in a few weeks’ time. 6pm – we meet the agent at the flat. I’m a bit nervous in case we don’t like it anymore but it’s better and more beautiful than I remember and I thank my lucky stars we got it again. Bring on February! 7.30pm – B buys the ingredients for dinner in Sainsbury’s. We’ve gone for a cheesy chorizo pasta bake because it’s cold and I feel cosy. At home I make the béchamel sauce, fry the chorizo with some leftover mushrooms, grate some cheese into the sauce and put it all in the dish with the pasta, then shove it in the oven. I also field some emails and reorganise some work for later in the week, and then finally sit down with B and eat dinner. My housemate and her friend are in too so we have a chat whilst we all eat about our days. There’s enough leftovers for dinner after climbing tomorrow night too which is perfect because we will be back late. 9pm – glass of the wine from Friday and bed with B – I persuade him that today is the day he’s finally going to watch Dirty Dancing (“I carried a watermelon…!”) and he loves it! He asked a lot of questions about the abortion storyline (spoilers, sorry, but hoping everyone has actually seen this film because it’s great) and we have a chat about abortion and women’s rights. In the UK we are very lucky this is safe, legal and funded, and I don’t think B really appreciated before this film that others are not so lucky. We go to sleep about 10.45pm to rain rain as usual. Daily total £1 Weekly total £188.50 ($244). I will get £15.50 back on expenses. Food + Drink £111.98 ($144) Fun/entertainment £0 Home + health £42.82 ($55) Clothes + Beauty £0 Transport - £59.40 but £11.75 will be returned on expenses so £47.65 ($62) Note – I know my totals don’t add up but I think it’s because some of the travel is Oyster and some rail, and also some top ups vs what was on there already. I get paid on tomorrow so this is right at the end of the month for me. It’s an extra squeeze this month because I paid half my holiday last month from this pay check so I have struggled more than usual, but even so I’m fed up and I think that comes through. Also friend didn’t get round to paying me the £150 I’m owed and I know really need to nag her about that - I just hate doing it so much. I attach a lot of self-worth to salary so I am fairly unhappy about my career trajectory most of the time, even though to an outside perspective in my profession it looks like I’m doing very well for my age. I also struggle not to get upset with myself when B picks up the tab for groceries because I am not used to that. Basically I’m looking forward to getting my raise in my new job, saving on public transport by being able to walk to work from the new flat and building up some savings. I might volunteer another MD in six months to see how things (hopefully?) have changed.
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Esta compilação deveria ter saído há semanas, porém muita coisa aconteceu desde a apresentação do sub em fevereiro de modo que até o compromisso semestral deve ser alterado por conta dos produtos da colaboração com u/6-bit que inspirou o desenvolvimento e criou os códigos fundamentais para toda essa gambiarra funcionar. Não é tanto, mas foram seis meses trabalhando remotamente no tratamento de dados dos subs listados para lançarmos agora um site e um aplicativo para Android com o banco de dados de subs em português ou sobre cultura lusófona com mais informações do que as tabelas destas compilações e atualizados diariamente graças a um crawler; aqui também aproveitamos para apresentar u/BoEmPortugues para cuidar do sub junto com u/AutoModerator. Pedimos paciência por parte de vocês ao usarem estas ferramentas porque elas acabam de ser apresentadas, então começaremos a tomar conhecimento de uma série de erros e comportamentos inesperados daqui pra frente; para saber mais sobre o funcionamento e ajudar na manutenção, visitem a nossa organização no GitHub. Com esses códigos abertos também incentivamos a participação da comunidade lusófona do Reddit no aprimoramento dessas ferramentas e adoraríamos contar com a colaboração de redditors que tenham interesse e competência para colaborar com programação, design, tradução etc. E não podemos deixar de dizer que ficamos contentes pelo crescimento do sub durante esses meses e agradecer pela confiança; esperamos que a automatização de várias tarefas dentro e fora do sub bem como a administração de dados de quase 1000 subs lusófonos possa melhorar a função principal do EmPortugues que é dar visibilidade a outros subs que falam a nossa língua no Reddit durante o início da era das máquinas. ⟵ 1ª compilação com 503 subreddits tabelados em fevereiro de 2019
2019.06.13 16:06 PibbleLove43Money Diary: I'm 33, make $50k/year and I live in Buffalo, NY!
Ok - here's my MD for the past week. Initial thoughts: Ooooof what a week. As you can see, my situation is ....complicated...Hopefully I put everything in and that it makes sense. For those of you in similar situations, fear not! You're not alone! If I was 23, I would have made MANY different decisions (public, in state college; wouldn't have gone to grad school immediately etc). Happy to answer any questions as well! Ok...here goes! I am 33 years old, I make $50,000/year and live in Buffalo and work in advancement/higher education. Section One: Assets and Debt Retirement Balance (and how you got there): ~$21,000 Total: around $21K (roughly $13K from a previous job’s retirement, plus around $8K from my TSP account when I worked for the federal government). Once I’ve been at my current job for one year, they will start a 7% contribution (not a match, a straight contribution). I will be contributing more when my debt is paid down. Savings account balance: $1,013.35 (currently) I currently have a $1000 emergency fund in my savings (I am back to (mostly) following Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, and am in Baby Step #2 and am aggressively paying down my debt!). I also put any cashback rewards I get from my checking account in here. Checking account balance: $2356.09(at the beginning of the MD) Credit card debt (and how you accumulated it): $19K (cries inside) - I separated from my ex about 6 months ago and I got way too comfortable with using credit cards while we were married. I also had to pay to get back home from overseas and this also includes balances for paying for my dog to come overseas with me and back. My goal is to pay off the highest interest one in under a year. Student loan debt (and for what degree): Current remaining balance is $23,645.37 (combined loans for undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Relations. To give you an idea of how much I’ve paid off - I’ve paid $94,373.94 off up to this point). Section Two: Income Main Job Monthly Take Home: Approximately $3000/month I’m only about 6 weeks into my new job, so all of my deductions haven’t kicked in yet, so I’m estimating based on the couple of pay cycles I’ve gone through so far! Side Gig Monthly Take Home: Approximately $240/month I work at an Orangetheory Fitness part-time - I’m scheduled for 5.5 hrs per week (22hrs/month), but I try to pick up extras (extra shifts or working events) where I can - for example, this month I’m picking up over 30 extra hours, so my pay will be more. I also get to (and am encouraged) to take class 2-3x per week, so I definitely take advantage of that. Next month I’m helping a former colleague by copy editing her new manuscript (I did this for her first book when we worked together and she reached out to see if I was interested in doing the 2nd one - heck to the yes. She is paying me $500 - ½ as an advance this month and ½ upon completion next month. I’m not including this in the total, because this isn’t a regular side gig, but I will happily take it when I can! Any Other Monthly Income Here: As part of my pending divorce agreement, I get $800/month from my ex (long story short, he’s active duty military and we lived overseas, and this is a portion of the money he gets for having a spouse). We had a prenup, so I won’t be getting anything afterwards. Over the last few months, this has basically been what I’ve been paying my loans/debts with. Going forward it’s alllll going on my credit cards so that I can pay those suckers off. Section Three: Expenses Rent / Mortgage$946.00/month (+ $3.95 service charge when I pay online) - this includes all utilities. Retirement contribution: $40.00/month (I put in $10/week into a Stash Retire just to feel like I’m at least doing something - current balance is $167.82) Savings contribution: $0/month (Debt payments are the priority) Investment contribution: $40.00/month (Again, I use Stash Invest - $10/week - current balance is $214.26) Health/Dental/Vision Insurance: $70.50/month (Through work, it gets taken out biweekly) Debt payments Ahem… Student Loan minimums: $803.43 Credit Card minimums: $565.00 Debt Snowball Target: My target for my debt snowball is an extra $1000/month. This will go towards the highest interest rate credit card, with a goal of paying it off in under 9 months. If I have over this amount at the end of the month, I’ll put that amount onto my lowest student loan. Wifi/Cable/Landline: $49.99/month (For internet only, I set this up during this week) Cellphone: Currently covered by the parents (they’ve been amazing the past 6 months - well, they always have been, but they’re really helped me and I couldn’t be more grateful) Subscriptions: Apple storage - $2.99/month; Netflix - $8.99 - signed back up on the last day of the MD. Also fitness subscription that I included under the gym membership section, and Headspace, under Therapy. Laundry (if you pay per load): $0/month (included in my rent) Gym membership $40/month - I get free OTF classes for working there, so I budget this much for my ROMWOD and Movement Vault monthly subscriptions (mobility and flexibility daily routines cause getting old blows), as well as for trying an extra class every so often. Pet expenses: $75.00/month - includes $27.50/month for pet insurance. This is what I put into my budget for insurance, food, grooming etc.) Car payment / insurance / average gas: I budget approximately $150.00/month (it’s a fully paid off car that my parents are letting me use - they are also currently covering insurance - seriously - they’re the best. Hands up for the early 2000s Subaru wagon!). I don’t plan on driving as much going forward, so this money will also cover metro passes. Renter insurance: $14.50/month Average groceries / household supply spend; My grocery budget is $250/month - approximately $75/week. Regular therapy: I currently use Headspace for both meditation and sleep help - 12.99/month, but I plan on finding a regular therapist once my insurance all kicks in. Annual Expenses: YNAB (You Need A Budget): $83.99/year Day 1: Thursday 6:00am: Alarm, even though I’ve been up since around 5:30am. Wake up, albeit reluctantly. I’ve been slowly moving into my new apartment, but the pooch and I are still at my parents’ house, so early wake ups are still needed. I make my first cup of coffee, shower, morning skincare (Dr. Thayer’s Toner, Origins Ginzing Eye Cream, Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, and Neutrogena Moisturizer with SPF 30) and makeup (Sephora Skin Tint, Tarte Blush, NAKED eye palette and mascara). Today’s outfit is literally the coziest grey dress that I have, pointy toed Toms, and a scarf. I also grab a cardigan for the office because you never know how warm or cold it will be. I take the pooch out and give him his breakfast. My mom or dad will take him out while I’m at work. I hit the road just before 7:00am. 7:50am: Arrive at work. I make breakfast (I brought a Kodiak Cakes Flapjack bowl thing from home + coffee #2) settle in for a day. I work in university advancement, specifically corporate and foundation relations. 10:30am: Morning snack - I have a Lemon & Ginger seltzer from Trader Joe’s and a Blueberry Larabar - I keep a drawer of work snacks in my desk. 12:15pm: Lunch time! I usually bring my lunch, but on payday weeks I treat myself to one lunch “out”. Today’s choice is a spicy Tuna Poke Bowl from Wegmans, which I bring back to the office to have with a Raspberry Lime Spindrift from my stash. My current lunch book is Winter of the World (2nd in the Century Trilogy from Ken Follett - re-reading it for probably the hundredth time, but it’s a nice escape for a lunch read!). I snap a pic of the receipt and upload to Ibotta since they have a $0.20 cashback offer for any item right now. It’s not a lot, but it can add up, so I try to make sure I check it when I shop. ($15.23) 3:15pm: Afternoon snack (this is why I keep a snack drawer, your girl is ALWAYS hungry. Plus I’m taking an Orangetheory Class at 4:30pm so I need to be fueled up!). I see I’m running low, so make a note to refill during my grocery shop this week. Another Blueberry Larabar it is, plus some hot tea from the office kitchen. 4:30pm: Workout Time! It’s a Strength Day at OTF (think more inclines on the treadmills and heavier weights/lower reps - plus there’s some insane core work….hey hey abs!). Such an awesome class - I cue up some music for the drive back to the parents. 6:30pm: Dinner! Mom has made tortellini, meat sauce, and roasted asparagus - yum. Plus there’s enough leftovers for me to take for lunch! The rest of the evening is spent watching Jeopardy and Last Week Tonight, plus packing clothes and shoes and doing laundry. 9:30pm: I start my bedtime routine - evening skincare (wash face, toner, plus a serum sample from Tatcha that I got with my last Sephora order) + CBD oil (Meet Ned) + stretching (ROMWOD) + snuggling with the pooch and Headspace sleep sounds. I’m probably asleep by around 10:15 or so. Total spending: $15.23 Day 2: Friday 6:00am: Same wakeup process as yesterday. Coffee, dog out for his morning business, feed dog, shower, skincare, and in the car with the morning podcasts by 7:00am. 7:50am: Work arrival, Kodiak Cake (Flapjack - Buttermilk and Maple flavor - AMAZING) and coffee. Podcasts go on in the background while I start prepping for a meeting that I have later in the day. 10:45am: You guessed it. Snack time. 12:00pm: Lunch! Followed by a nice walk around campus because it’s GORGEOUS OUT. Thank you Buffalo for finally realizing that it’s June. Afterwards, I get into prospect research while blasting Queen <3. 4:00pm: Boss tells me to leave early while is awesome (a) because who doesn’t love leaving early on a Friday when the weather is gorgeous? And (b) the sooner I scoot, the sooner I can move a bunch of stuff into the new apartment. 8:00pm: Home after moving a couch, IKEA bed, IKEA table and chairs, and a crapload of stuff into the new place. I start assembling a few other boxes and spend the last night at my parent’s place! Total spending: $0 Day 3: Saturday 5:45am: Up and at em. I work a Saturday shift at Orangetheory, so early to rise for me. Coffee, dog, skincare, breakfast. I get to work a few minutes early for my 7AM shift. 12:30pm: Work is done! I stop at Target to get various apartment things ($112.72) and at Trader Joe’s ($59.90) and get frozen gyoza, stir fry veggies, shwarma chicken, cauliflower tabbouleh, hummus, cauliflower crust pizza, palak paneer, a succulent (and other stuff too). I snap a pic of my receipt for Ibotta ($. ).I then drive up to the parents house again to get apartment things and the pup! My dad drives down with me to help start building IKEA things! Yay Dad! ($172.62) 5:00pm: Dad has nearly finished the bed building, and I’m slowly getting things put together. Mom and my sister and niece come on down and we all walk through a local art festival. We stop at a Greek diner (YUM) for dinner (I get the chicken soulvlaki) and the rents treat! I take the pooch out for a walk when we get back. 9:00pm: I’ve finished 2 chairs and the bed and I’m about to fall over from exhaustion. Last potty break for the pooch and I flop into bed after completing the usual evening skincare. Total spending: $172.62 Day 4: Sunday 5:45am: I miss sleeping in. I’m covering a Sunday shift today ($$$) - it starts at 6:30am and while my apartment is MUCH closer, pooch still needs to go out and I need to look semi-presentable. I head out and am PSYCHED to see that I have time to grab Starbucks on my way in. I order a venti iced americano (SF cinnamon dolce syrup, SF vanilla, splash of coconut milk - it’s super complicated, but ordering on mobile makes it easier - go follow @themacrobarista on IG for some awesome macro friendly starbucks orders). It’s $4.62, but I have money on my app. I try to use the promotions as best as I can to get those bonus stars! 12:30pm: Work is done! I have a few more things to get from my parents house, so up again I go. On the way back, I stop at Aldi ($39.71) for a pitcher for my cold brew, and other assorted groceries; Wegmans ($61.27) for a 6 pack of craft beer, kale quinoa cakes, another little succulent, and more groceries (seriously, stocking an apartment from scratch is insane, hence the spendy grocery week); and Home Goods ($101.02) for things like a bathroom garbage, silverware, knives, rubber spatula, a kettle…. My wallet hurts. Ibotta upload gets me $.20. ($202) 5:00pm: Pooch has been fed and is ready for his walk. We are having fun exploring the neighborhood, and we meet 2 cats - neither of whom is terribly friendly, but I imagine it’s a tough life as a street cat. 6:00pm: DINNER TIME. I make a quick potsticker stir fry with all TJ’s ingredients (gyoza, stir fry veggies, and gyoza dipping sauce) and crack open one of my beers (the Sparkale from 21st Amendement Brewery - it’s a Sparkling Rose Ale with Apple, Cranberry, Peach, and Cherry and it’s….interesting…..super fruity, but not bad for summer if fruity beer is your thing!). Pooch and I meander around the apartment putting things away and making lists for what else I need. Bedtime around 9:30 after the usual evening routine. Total Spending: $202 Day 5: Monday 6:15am: Woke up a bit earlier than intended, only because pooch was ready to pee lol. Oh well. I have a ton of time to get ready, which is great. I make coffee in the french press, shower, usual morning routine, adding makeup and put on grey pants, a bright yellow tank and a grey cardigan with sparkles. I head out around 7:30am, and it’s pouring. Guess what I don’t have? An umbrella...and I left my Hunter wellies at the parents house. Le Sigh. Yay Monday. At least I have cold brew… 7:55am: Door to door in about 25 minutes - not bad! 9:30am: The downside of actually eating breakfast at home? It’s early snacktime…. Banana Chocolate Chip Larabar! 12:00pm: Stomach is audibly growling now, so it’s time for lunch! Leftover potsticker stir fry it is! 4:30pm: Orangetheory time! Another strength day filled with heavy deadlifts and inclines (do I have a booty yet? nope…). After class I head into Target to get a kitchen garbage can, garbage bags, matches, a toilet brush ...so fancy. Ibotta upload for $.75. ($30.76) 6:30pm: Home again home again! It’s pouring again, so I have to force the pooch outside to pee and poop, which he does and then immediately beelines back for the door. I get dinner started, and tonight is another 3 ingredient Trader Joe’s meal (check theKitchn for these, I haven’t been disappointed yet!). I make a cauliflower pizza crust, top it with a thawed palak paneer meal, and then broil with assorted frozen veggies! It’s pretty delicious, and I eat the whole thing (since the whole thing is basically vegetables, zero f*&6s are given). Paired with a summer ale from the craft beer 6 pack I got the other day - yumm! 9:00pm: I slowly work through unpacking things, take the dog out one last time to pee, and get ready for bed. Evening skincare, CBD, and To Have and Have Not. I get to sleep sometime around 10pm. Total Spending: $30.76 Day Six: Tuesday 6:00am: Up early today to go to a gym class. I pour myself cold brew and take the dog out for a quick morning walk. He does his business and eats his breakfast when we get back. I put on leggings, a light sweatshirt and chucks, grab my work clothes and makeup and head to my class - it’s a 15 minute walk up the street and since it’s my first class there, I get there about 15 minutes early. I paid for this class a couple of weeks ago and they have a first time special, so it was only $10.00. 7:50am: What an awesome class. I forgot how much I love Lagree Method. It’s on a machine called the Megaformer - and it’s kinda like being on a pilates reformer, but waaay different. Slow, controlled movements, lots of core focus - a perfect complement to OTF. I don’t sweat too much in this class - amazing - so I wipe off with a Sephora wipe, throw on deodorant and slap on a little makeup and change into my work clothes. I walk about 15 minutes to the closest metro stop (Buffalo has a metro yes….but it’s just one line…- bonus, it has stops very close to my new apartment, and work). I get ready to pay for a single ride ticket ($2) and remember that the machines in the station are cash only, good thing I have cash in my wallet for the trips today! I may look at getting reimbursed for the trips through pretax withdrawals from my paycheck, but we’ll see how often I do this. I make it to work by 8:30am and settle in with breakfast (another Kodiak muffin) and get to work! ($2.00) 10:30am: Call Spectrum to set up my internet at the new apartment. They mail you the modem, which is awesome, because then I don’t have to worry about setting up an appointment! Internet will be $49.99 per month and there is a one time fee of $9.99 for the modem. ($9.99 - internet included up top!) 12:15pm: Lunch time! Didn’t bring lunch today, but thank goodness for university cafeterias. I get a make your own salad with spinach, chickpeas, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, feta, tofu and chicken. ($8.04) I pair that with a raspberry lime Spindrift from my stash and a couple of mini cupcakes from an office birthday. I text with my BFF who now only lives like a 7 minute walk from me and we make plans to get together for happy hour on Friday! Yay! ($8.04) 5:00pm: I head out from work, take the Metro home ($2.00) and walk the 15 minutes from the station. The pooch is eager to go for his walk, so I change out of my work clothes and we head for a 30 minute walk! It’s so beautiful out! Back home and I make dinner - TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi, Italian chicken sausage, spinach, tomatoes, and kale/cashew pesto. YUM. ($2.00) 7:30pm: Pooch wants to go outside again, so we suit up for another walk - another 30 minutes :) I’m impressed, he’s 9 and usually really lazy, but I think he’s enjoying exploring and that it’s not raining! 9:00pm: Nighttime routine starts - ROMWOD, CBD, Magnesium and then I fall asleep with Christmas in Connecticut on in the background. I fall asleep around 10pm, with the pooch snuggled in next to me. Total Spending: $71.84 Day 7: Wednesday 6:15am: Wake up! Naturally, before my alarm. Who am I - I love/hate this. Up, shower, morning skincare/makeup, make coffee and out with the pooch for our morning walk. Back home, I fill up my travel mug with coffee and walk to where I parked my car on Monday to drive to work today. I get to work just before 7:50am. 10:00am: I really need to make bigger breakfasts - pop open a mini bag of “No Cheese” Cheesiness Paleo Puffs. 11:30am: Stomach growling - Banana Chocolate Chip Larabar, TJ’s Sparkling Coconut Water, and tea. (Lol, this is definitely more a food diary than a money diary isn’t it?) 12:00pm: YESSSS lunchtime - leftovers from last night, followed by a quick walk outside listening to the last few episodes of Retropod. 4:30pm: Orangetheory time - it’s an ESP day (endurance, strength, and power) and it is SOOO good. I feel beat up afterwards, but in such a good way. I scoot over to Trader Joe’s afterwards for peanut butter pretzels for the office, pita chips to have with lunch tomorrow, tandoori naan to have with dinner, and couple bags of frozen sweet potato gnocchi because it’s back in stock! ($16.43). Drive home, take the pooch out for his walk, and start dinner. Tonight is shwarma chicken thighs, cauliflower tabbouleh and hummus, with a naan. YUM. As dinner is cooking, I get my modem/wifi set up - super easy and hurray! I have interwebs! I re-sign up to the cheap Netflix and put on Outlander in the background. ($16.43) 9:30pm: Evening routine. Pooch out, skincare, ROMWOD, Headspace. Total Spending: $16.43 Final thoughts: This was a spendy week by my standards. Starting from scratch with food/pantry in a new apartment meant a much higher grocery bill than usual. I also spent a bit on apartment necessities - those I had budgeted for by saving from previous months. I’m really looking forward to fully settling into my new place and making some serious headway on debt! TOTALS: Food + Drink: $200.58 Home + Health: $254.49 Clothes + Beauty: $0 Transport: $4 Other: $0
2019.05.21 03:59 Mary_Pick_A_FordSpit out not one but two sugary Starbucks drinks before I ended up with the right one(sorta)
So I ordered my usual Americano with a splash of heavy cream but just used the Starbucks app to order online. I get to the place, see a single grande sized drink with no name on it. I ask if that's mine and the barista goes, I believe it is but it's unusual it's not labeled. I take it, due to the fact it looked like an Americano with heavy cream and I was in a hurry. I go in the car put it in my mouth, automatically the sweetening hits my tongue and I go, no..... that's not mine. So I do what any good keto person would do, I spit out the sugary stuff without swallowing it. What exactly did I taste? Was another mouth potentially on it before mine? Who knows but I was pissed for the first time in a month, I had accidentally put something with sugar in my mouth. Sure I spit it out, but I still tasted the sugar on my tongue. I go back and they get my order wrong again, nothing catastrophic, just they made an iced version of the hot one I ordered. I patiently wait for the order to come on and the barista goes, here you go and we apologize. I take the two and leave. I get back home, put the iced drink in the freezer so I can enjoy it tomorrow and get excited over my hot drink finally. I take a sip and sugar coats my tongue again.... WHAT IN THE FUCK??? I look at the label and I realize it's not mine at all but it's a chai latte for this guy named David. Whoops........ So I got rid of it sadly, and now I have my original order just iced and poor David's order might still be in limbo. Apologies to David and I believe next time, I'll either go through the drive-through or order inside and wait the extra 5-7 minutes. Needless to say, I don't think the residue on tongue from both sugary beverages will affect anything but I made extra sure to spit everything out. So just a tip for those who are on keto and like to regularly go to Starbucks, if it's not labeled don't taste it, if you're ordering online, make sure it's labeled when you pick it up, also if you see a drink placed down and nobody is claiming it, still check the label to make sure your name is on there.
2018.11.04 23:36 TherokinrollaFuck you pop music, this is ARTPOP: Revisting Gaga's Most Infamous Album, 5 Years Later
I am posting it now because i will not be available to do it tomorrow, so please enjoy.
11 February 2013. This is the date of the most haunting moment of Gaga’s career, other than Jewels N Drugs of course.
ARTPOP: The History
Gaga was soaring high with the release of the positively-received sales powerhouse, Born This Way. It had her third #1 song, gave us 4 top 10 hits, and hit over a million sales in its first week, making her one of three people to achieve it in this decade (Taylor Swift and Adele being the others). Gaga’s high-intensity dance routines were an important part of her shows However, during one intense routine, it went a bit wrong. You can see the exact moment here, where Gaga’s career path changed entirely. She broke her hip during this routine and had to cancel the remainder of the hugely successful Born This Way Ball to heal, when she couldnt even walk. This obviously took its toll on Gaga herself, she fell into depression and inflamed her fibromyalgia to an insane degree. She developed an addiction to marijuana, as it was the only way she could deal with her pain (this ended up being the influence behind the track Dope). She used this extra time to continue work on her third full length studio album. August 19, 2013. The ARTPOP era was going to begin. There was the introduction of a quite frankly gorgeous aesthetic with the Applause single cover. She even announced the development of an ARTPOP app made by the same people as Björk’s Biophilia app, which would come with a download of the album. Well, that was the plan anyways. August 10, 2013 the lead single to ARTPOP leaked online. Lady Gaga went to twitter to express her distaste, defending Katy Perry in the process, who’s lead single Roar also leaked the same weekend. While Katy released Roar on the 10th, Gaga’s team waited until 2 days later, on the twelfth, to released Applause. This is where things went wrong. This is pop music and pop music has a history of sexism, and feuds between two successful women is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at Cardi B v Nicki Minaj, look at Britney vs Christina, and now, two of the most powerful women in pop, releasing a track the same weekend? It does not matter how successful both songs are, one must come out on top. That song was infamously Roar, which went to number 1. Meanwhile, Applause didn’t even get top 3, it fell behind at #4. Of course, this can partially be attributed to a Tuesday release, a notably inconvenient time to release music with such hype behind it. Either way, only one woman can come out on top, and it was Katy. Gaga perhaps infamously took this about as well as the leak. Was she actually angry? Was this an “art display” to compliment the art pop? We will never know.
ARTPOP: The Era
Something we partially glossed over that I think is incredibly interesting is that Applause was NOT the first song from ARTPOP to leak. Nay, on August 5 2013, an incomplete version of a song rumored to be called “Burqa” leaked on the internet. Interestingly, around the end of 2012 Gaga sent Zedd a message that said, “"been listening to *rq all day” and posted it on Twitter. This song, with its burqa references, was a demo version of Aura with verses that seem more “yelled” than the complete version. Here is the original link if you are interested. Gaga and her label had never super duperty got along with many things, very often singles (Boys Boys Boys v Bad Romance, Dance In The Dark v Alejandro). It had not only been rumored that the label had been restraining Gaga’s creativity for ARTPOP, but also rumored that Gaga did not want Applause to be the lead single of ARTPOP. In fact, she wanted Aura. So it has been heavily rumored that Gaga herself released Aura as a rebellious action against the label that she frequently found herself at odds against. And this release wasn’t quiet, it broke the record of most searched song in 10 minutes with 6 million searches of Burqa/Aura. The era was off to a shakey but salvageable start. Applause’s chart run, while it had a somewhat underwhelming peak, was relatively good. It stayed in the top 10 for fourteen weeks and stayed in the BB100 for twenty weeks, both figures being larger than Born This Way. Gaga just had to nail the second single and everything could be okay. Lady Gaga wanted Venus to be the next single, and for good reason. This is the first song Gaga created as the lead producer. She wanted to prove herself as a producer and release this song as the next single. THe video was planned out and ready, and release was set for October 27th. Do What U Want was released on October 21st as the first promotional single for the album, and it received rave reviews from critics and fans. It surpassed expectations for a promo single sales wise, and in the infinite wisdom of Gaga and her team, the day after the release of Do What U Want (the 22nd), they announced that this would be the REAL second single and that Venus would be the promo single. The Venus music video was scrapped and one for Do What U Want needed immediate attention. R. Kelly is a pedophile. This is true and we know this. Apparently Gaga’s team did not until they finished the music video and decided not to release it. In the end, other than an AMAs performance that I honestly consider one of Gaga’s best, Do What U Want was as much a single as Venus, and now Lady Gaga was associated with a pedophile. The delay and eventual cancellation of the music video came accompanied with a message from Gaga for her fans, which address “mismanagement” and not being allowed for all her creative juices to FLOW. It was also around this time that Lady Gaga split with long time manager Troy Carter, who had been with her since she was dropped by Def Jam, before Just Dance ever existed. Well? Not to be overdramatic it all seemed like a failure frankly. ARTPOP released five years ago today on November 5, 2013. In that time she actually achieved another top 10 hit with Dope at number 8, largely due to this performance. The album debuted at #1 with an underwhelming 258,000 sales, quite a drop from Born This Way’s 1 million+ sales. There were plenty of broken promises this era: the first music performance in space, the song Brooklyn Nights which was supposed to release thru the ARTPOP app that didn’t stick around, Telephone Part II, and she even claimed a music video for every song. She wanted more than she could possibly give. But it was Gaga’s plan to salvage it. In the previously mentioned letter to fans she promised to make it up to them. She now had the control she needed to do what she want. She is willing to die for ARTPOP and she is not quitting easily. The solution? G.U.Y.: An Artpop Film
ARTPOP: The Conclusion
Gaga invests hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of her own money to make this GUY music video everything it can possibly be and then some. She is the director of this music video, which she conceptualized and would fully realize. She acquired permission to film at Hearst Castle in California, quite possibly the most extravagant setting possible. She hired the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to star in it as sirens. She got the youtuber SkyDoesMinecraft, for better or for worse (probably the latter). She also used 300,000 gallons of water to fill the pool during California’s drought… But, unlike most of this eras promises, this one came to fruition. The 11 minute epic featured 3 songs from the album: the title track ARTPOP, Venus, and center-stage was GUY, plus MANiCURE during the credits. The video was released and it was…. Well received? For the most part? It was extravagant and artsy and sometimes campy, but it was complete, which is more than most ARTPOP projects can say. G.U.Y., however, flopped, and peaked at #76. In comparison, a month ago Gaga had 4 ASIB soundtrack song chart above that in one week. The era is dead. Gaga put in her all, and we will never know if it was too much or not enough, or even both. There was a lot of madness during the ARTPOP era, and not much of it good. However, what actually matters, the important part and meat of any good pop era is the music. And while this is very controversial and debatable, even on popheads, Lady Gaga released IMO not only her best album, but the best ??? album ??? ever???
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ARTPOP: The Album
Something I wholeheartedly believe about ARTPOP is that, sure, you can dislike the songs, but you cannot call them filler. All the songs have such distinct and unique personalities with distinguishing characteristics that each song is clear in intent and one-of-a-kind. I will attempt to explain this and why I feel this way for each songs, and even if you hate the song (@ the 4 GUY 0s, I still remember you all), I hope you can see what I think is so special about each track. Aura When I listen to this song I understand why Gaga wanted this to be the lead single, for much the same reasons Perfect Illusion was in theory a not awful lead single. It introduced not only the sound for the era but also a story for the era. Gaga has “killed” her former self and style and moved on. Just the introduction seems to reference a bunch of major themes Gaga has toyed with: murder (a fitting cohort to the Telephone/Paparazzi story), rebirth, and even a western-guitar reminiscent in sound to “Americano” from her previous album. The song is honestly somewhat saddening because Gaga is asking the listener to take a peek at the real, weird her. This song is a tribute to the theatrics and chauvinism Gaga puts on, with her inviting the listeners to see what’s really underneath that look. Is she really that weird? Is it just a phase? Hmmm. And people kinda said “lol no ion’t wanna see this” because it was so fucking weird for Gaga. This is weird for the sake of its weirdness and the GP kinda isn’t here for something like that. A song of this structure? With such jarring electronic noises? And its the first track? Yes, and God I love it so much. Venus Okay first let’s talk about the transition from Aura to Venus sometimes I forget the song has changed because it’s such a strangely smooth transition. Venus, as previously mentioned up there somewhere ^ is the Gaga-produced single that never was. Venus makes sense as a single, with a plethora of hooks and beat shifts that command attention; however, I’d be lying if I said this song would be too overwhelming for radio attention, even in 2013. Perhaps the most obvious oddity of the song is its… interesting lyrics? With such gems as Rocket Number 9 take off to the planet Have an oyster, baby, its Aphrodi-sy Aphrodite, lady, seashell bikini, get with me Venus And of COURSE Uranus! Don’t you know my ass is famous!? Going from the somewhat clumsy of her self-acceptance anthems to the full on clumsy this is stark. But it has so much personality. It is brimming with character and you CANNOT deny that. G.U.Y. Along with Venus I feel this song best accomplishes the goal of ARTPOP as an album: a collection of at first strange but overall unique hooks and sounds. Let’s take this song apart piece by piece: a brief honestly ICONIC introduction to let you know that this song is sexsexsexsexsex yeah! And even then you STILL aren’t ready for this POWER BOTTOM ANTHEM. The first verse explodes into the room much like the Kool Aid man and quickly swells into the pre-chorus which is literally one of my favorite pieces of music ever? Like, I don’t know how to express how much i love this without using /cumtributes. The chorus is so smooth in Gaga’s singing, and the layering of spelling out G-U-Y with saying it (seriously the “jee” and “guy” on top of each other is just,,,,,,). And don’t get me started on the bridge kjenfiuerfvcreiuoodfj. Sexxx Dreams Okay I have left “incoherent typing about my fave song ever” phase and now I will be a bit mode. Now, after some conversation about sex songs, lets move onto a song with sexxx with 3 x’s in the title. This song could’ve been tragic but it’s pulled off so effortlessly. The speak-singing in the verses is honestly magnificent when put against the harsher electronic background. And I really like the lyrics in this song. They sound so much like someone that knows they are about to get into something no good, but will jump right in at any second anyways. “We’re both convicted criminals of thought” sticks with me for some odd reason that I can’t quite nail down. And I love the bit of women power in the Medusa reference in the bridge “You could turn to stone Or the color of men petrified by a woman.” Of all the songs on ARTPOP, Sexxx Dreams sound the most mature. Whereas all the other songs run wild (but delightfully so) in terms of lyricism and EDM production, Sexxx Dreams remains restrained. And a bop. Jewels N Drugs https://68.media.tumblr.com/2b8205448925c637bef7c47a9905de56/tumblr_o5zzwuQnkN1tl1wfio1_500.gif MANiCURE I am going to start with this: I understand why ARTPOP is polarizing and controversial. I understand why Swine and Dope are not well received, but a lot of people dont seem to like MANiCURE and I cannot fathom why. Gaga has very rarely gone this fucking hard in a song. Gaga sounds like a rockstar here, and the chorus does not hold back. I said that Sexxx Dreams is an attempt at restraint (with respect to the rest of the album), meanwhile, MANiCURE says hell fucking no. The production, when you think it can’t go off anymore, just goes more and more and more. The bridge is fucking E T H E R E A L. Shouting “MAN CURE” is so fucking fun. I don’t have much to say about the meaning of this song other than its so wholesome, saying “fuck men, let’s go have a girls night out and forget fucking MEN”. Do What U Want R. Kelly is still a pedophile. I will leave the ethics of streaming and scrobbling this song up to you guys, cause I don’t think there is a complete answer, as shown by my 90 scrobbles of this song. This song is a gold star from ARTPOP otherwise. The production here is so fucking spot on. The, for lack of a better word, “wubs” sound so fucking good. I don’t have any words for it other than “so fucking good.” Gaga, as she started to enjoy doing around this time, flexes her vocal muscles brilliantly. The subtle growls places smartly throughout the verses create such a sultry atmosphere, accompanied by a build up to a hook that feels gargantuan but in reality is smooth. Ignoring the fact that R Kelly is a pedophile(pe·do·phile /ˈpedəˌfīl/ noun 1. a person who is sexually attracted to children.), it is easy to see why he would fit if he was not someone who had sexual relations with children. His voice, much like the rest of this song, is smooth. I genuinely think he adds to this song. It’s a shame he illegally touches the underage youth. Plus, the lyrics don’t come across as cringy outside the context of the era. They are smartly written, and cleverly thought out. “You can’t have my heart and you won’t use my mind but do what you want with my body” is big dick energy. THAT is the biggest dick. And it is really an important and strong point for her to make: she doesn’t care anymore what the media calls her (remember when Gaga was called fat after her superbowl performance?), because her mind is what is important, and ain’t nobody taking her brilliance. ARTPOP I want to get abducted and probed to this song. It sounds so distinctly * a l i e n*. In the beginning the song glides in and so elegantly fades into Gaga inquiring into the synthesis of ART and POP. This song is actually really nice after DWUW, as it retains a more minimal electronic sound, with mostly electronic beats and synths sometimes emphasized by strings. And, much like DWUW, the prechorus sounds like it could stand on its own as a chorus. In fact, in many ways, this song sounds like a reaction or a sequel to DWUW. This is her mind and her heart. The chorus is the discovery of “yes, art and pop can come together, they can BELONG together, and they do belong together.” One small thing I want to point out: possible the most beautiful moment on this album is her singing the artpops in the chorus. The: “artpop, artpop… artpahhaahop. It is BEAUTIFUL. Swine This song is shocking at first. This song layers the EDM on so heavily that it doesn’t even sound like a Lady Gaga song. The winding 20 second buildup to the drop sounds par the course for many generic rap songs and so if you leave now and hate this song, acceptable. But this may be the most emotional song on the album, and i don’t mean sadness, and wallowing in one’s emotion. I mean rage, fury, and anger. Lady Gaga was raped at 19 when she was just starting out in the industry and this song is the outlet of the anger she felt at the hands of her assaulter. Gaga is literally calling out this dude as a pig: “You're just a pig inside a human body/Squealer, squealer, squeal out, you're so disgusting/You're just a pig inside.” This isn’t some metaphor, this is on the nose and straight up a roast. A lot of the song is really dark when you think of the lyrics she’s singing during the production that yes sounds straight up “nasty.” “Paint her face and, paint his face and, be a swine just, for the weekend,” is somewhat horrifying in the context of this song, implying oral sex. This song is nasty through and through and is the result of her dehumanization at the result of her abuser. So she dehumanizes him back as a fucking pig. And it’s sad, but it is a cathartic release for Gaga. She said she’s still too scared to reveal his name. #FuckThatPig Donatella After a brief stray into seriousness and maturity, let’s get back to the campiness that is a staple of ARTPOP. I’m gonna do what I did with Venus and just highlight some of the camp here:
I am so fab/ Check out I’m blonde, I’m skinny, I’m rich, and I’m a little bit of a bitch
Tailor these clothes to fit your guilt/ What’s your size?
And literally the whole second verse: Walk down the runway, but don’t puke/ It’s okay/ You just had a salad today/ Boulangerie/ Just ask your gay friends their advice/ Before you / Get a spray tan on holiday/ In Taipei Okay then. This song is so quirky in its structure. It does what several songs on this album do and have the fun little intro (the one written above). Then, the structure goes: melodically weird verse -> somewhat normal prechorus -> melodically fucking wild and banging chorus -> melodic relief in a straight up normal banging postchorus. One of the reasons I love ARTPOP so much is Gaga’s refusal to use a single verse and single chorus in her structure, but rather sprinkle it with a bunch of shorter and unique verses and choruses. It sounds like it’s always developing into something new and keeps you hooked, and this song is a perfect example of the constantly morphing nature of this album. Fashion! Did anyone else listen for this song for the first time and go “aw a standard ballad” when you heard the piano and then get absolutely scalped when you heard the bass come in and Gaga telling us she’s looking good and feeling fine? I did. Then it turned into my third favorite song on the album. It is even more camp than Donatella, but it oozes style. I love the feeling that Gaga is giving me advice in the semi-spoken verses. And another one of those moments from the albums when i get chills every time: “I ooown the world, we oooown the world!” The all the electronica drips in in the chorus and I feel like I should be on the catwalk and I feel like I do own the world. Will.I.Am. then escorts us out of the song with some Fabulous French and the campiness of the album peaks. It will come back, no doubt, but never will anything fill more fulfilling than will.i.am. Singing french to me on ARTPOP. Mary Jane Holland An ode to marijuana, and a juxtaposition next to Dope, which is about the pains of a marijuana addiction. Mary Jane Holland is actually a gasp alter ego that Gaga claims comes out when she is under the influence of the marijuanas. The song, however, feels oddly at odds with itself. It both sounds like a confident feminist anthem (“Lady of the ‘Dam won’t be a slave to the blonde and the culture of the popular”) and also a tragic addiction (“Cause I love you better than my darkest sin”/ “I think that I could be fine if I could be Mary Jane Holland tonight”). I think it can be both, however. It displays a dependence, but at the same time the song feels… euphoric? Gaga also gives a quick little shout-out to psilocybin truffles. Is Gaga ADVOCATING drug use??? WhaaA????? Dope Oof. A disliked song, but a powerful one nonetheless. I think the weakest part of the song is that it isn’t very personal. Based solely on the lyrics themselves, Gaga’s persona doesn’t fully shine through. But this song is a drug-confessional to her fans. Imagine Long Live by Taylor, if Long Live was sparked by a depressive episode and derailment of Taylor’s whole career, and if she had a chronic disease, and was generally fucked up. Yea, that. This reminds me of Gaga’s promise to her fans, except instead of saving the era, she promises to save herself. Which honestly makes this song so hard to listen to as a Gaga fan. People repeatedly point out Gaga’s weird diction in the song, and while i totally understand the distaste towards it, it represents her pain and it sound like she’s in the comedown from a drug. It’s not pretty, but its raw and a significant track in Gaga’s career, and it also peaked higher than Formation. Gypsy Gypsy is like Dope but instead of being a morbid drug-based confessional, its generally happy and cheerful and just an ode to her fans. So, imagine Long Live by Taylor. I love this song so much. I love it so so so so so so much. Being a touring popstar is hard, where you are constantly away from home and its hard to have a family or a lovelife. But Gaga promises here than she can do it and she will do it, she won’t be held down, and she will travel the fucking world for her fans and she will LOVE IT. Honestly, this song is a better closer than Applause. Yes technically Applause always comes at the end of a performance, but Gypsy is fantastic as an ode to her fans and her travelling life, rather than Applause which is an ode to… herself. The burst of speed at the end when she lists all the places she has been, and also hilariously throws in “someday in Jakarta” where she got kicked out because she was a devil or Judas or something. It’s upbeat and happy and feels like a journey complete. Applause But goddamn I love Applause either way. Applause is intense and relatively clean in comparison to the rest of the album. The synths feel powerful and crazy, but they also feel well put together. Compared to the rest of the album, the structure is relatively simple and she kinda skimped out on a bridge entirely (unless you count a fade in and fade out). This song was the highest rated on ARTPOP in my rate, which is fair, but it feels the least creative. Its camp and meta, but is it too meta? It feels too early in her career to go meta and make a song about her success and career. It bangs fucking hard and there is no forgetting that at ALL. It is a superbly put together piece that I wish had a more enticing theme. Just last era Gaga made an acceptance anthem for everyone as her lead single, and here its just a song about how she can’t live without crowd’s cheering her. It may appear as though I’m being very critical of Applause and that’s because I am. It is one of my least favorites from ARTPOP (still a 10 tho) and if the whole album was like this song, I don’t think I’d like it. But ARTPOP is so much more than some ego-inflated meta bangerfest. It does so much, says so much, and has so many different sounds that it’s a shame some resort to claiming this album has “filler.” ARTPOP is vast and exciting and ugh i came seventeen times writing this because maybe ARTPOP isn’t the most technically impressive album of all time but goddamn if it isn’t an album brimming with character. It took balls for Gaga to go “weird” so early in her career and sadly it didn’t pay off commercially, but it did pay off in being my favorite album ever, which I’m SURE Interscope gives two shits about.
ARTPOP very ironically became a pop culture staple due to its infamy and how much it “flopped”. When people think of poorly ran eras and high-profile commercial failure (more or less), you think of ARTPOP. Under this cascade of problems and issues with the era, however, I think ARTPOP is a fantastic album tainted by its reputation (Taylor is shaking) and legacy. I implore you guys that haven’t heard it or only have heard the singles to give it a chance. It is far from perfect, but that isn’t what it is striving to be. It’s a weird messy conglomerate of EDM that is goddamn stylish and bangerific and I will accept nothing less than absolute praise of this album. ARTPOP Spotify Apple Music Tidal Youtube Videos Applause Music Video Do What U Want Scrapped Video Snippets G.U.Y. Full Music Video Notable Live Performances Applause Live at the VMA's ARTPOP Live On The Tonight Show Do What U Want Live AMAs ft. R.Kelly Fashion! Featuring RuPaul So guys, what do you think? Has your opinion on ARTPOP changed over 5 years? Is ARTPOP a flop? What went wrong? Could the era have been massive if handled successfully, or was the idea doomed from the start? Lemme know whatchu think bbies ily. /rantover
2018.10.07 02:08 AlexvincenttBV1500TS Coffee Machine vs. Nespresso
First of all, I want quick conviently made consistent coffee in the morning. Both have their pros and cons. Right now I currently have a ninja single serve coffee maker with a Bodum burr grinder and wanting an upgrade. Would love some help making a decision! Budget is 200 Canadian dollars. Nespresso Pros: Convienece of dropping a pod in and makes consistent coffee. This is a major plus for me. Possible to use my own coffee with a reusable pod? I like the espresso idea, can make more variety of drinks like Americano, latte, etc. Cons: Genuine pods can only be bought online with minimum 50 order. Cost of around 90 cents per pod is a little steep. BV1500TS Pros: Can actually use my Burr grinder, can make multiple cups at a time, quite a bit cheaper. Good quality and highly rated automatic drip machine. Costs less than the Nespresso inissa Cons: Don't have a kitchen scale to measure coffee, not as consistent, more of a learning curve
2018.10.07 01:09 AlexvincenttBV1500TS Vs Nespresso?
First of all, I want quick conviently made consistent coffee in the morning. Both have their pros and cons. Right now I currently have a ninja single serve coffee maker with a Bodum burr grinder and wanting an upgrade. Would love some help making a decision! Budget is 200 Canadian dollars. Nespresso Pros: Convienece of dropping a pod in and makes consistent coffee. This is a major plus for me. Possible to use my own coffee with a reusable pod? I like the espresso idea, can make more variety of drinks like Americano, latte, etc. Cons: Genuine pods can only be bought online with minimum 50 order. Cost of around 90 cents per pod is a little steep. BV1500TS Pros: Can actually use my Burr grinder, can make multiple cups at a time, quite a bit cheaper. Good quality and highly rated automatic drip machine. Costs less than the Nespresso inissa Cons: Don't have a kitchen scale to measure coffee, not as consistent, more of a learning curve
2018.09.06 04:24 TeresaRScruggs[Kindle] Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu
https://i.redd.it/juu6z72gds121.jpg Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side. Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price. Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?...READ MORE►► Details of Book Author : Marie Lu ISBN : 0399547991 Number of pages : 352 pages Editor : G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers Date of Publication : September 18th 2018
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– The journalist claims J.B. confessed being the Zodiac and the Monster of Florence. What is actually true is that mr. J.B. denied to have made that confession. According to a newspaper he admitted to have met with a journalist but he decided to give up on him “when he noticed that the journalist wanted to attribute to him sentences that he would never have pronounced”. – The journalist claims several times in his articles that there is an investigation going on in Italy. Actually the only reliable information about this aspect comes from another newspaper (La Nazione, 1-2 June 2018) and reads as follow:
“For the prosecutor’s office of Florence, the report by Amicone was already a dead track when he was summoned by the judicial police the last April. To the investigators, that thread that linked two of the most mysterious serial killers of the history, appeared nothing more than suggestive and fascinating, with forced “joints” based on a “personal” decryption of a code for what concern the mysterious message by Zodiac, and little knowledge of the judicial history regarding the “Monster” case.”
– The journalist said that the Vallejo Police is working on the case. I’ve sent an email to the Vallejo Police Department asking if they know something about mr. J.B. This is the reply I get on 14 june 2018 from detective Terry Poyser:
“Mr. Bosco,The Vallejo Police Department does not have fingerprint evidence in relation to the Zodiac cold case, that would only be with the San Francisco PD.The name you provided is not a person of interest, suspect, or lead in the Zodiac case, as the name is not in our files.Perhaps you should check with the SFPD.”
VIEW SCREENSHOT – Ulisse IS NOT J.B. The nickname Ulisse was given to an american man called Mario Robert Parker. When a friend asked to Mario Vanni who was the person responsible for the murders he first agreed on the name of Pacciani. Later on the same conversation he denied that the murderer was Pacciani and said that the killer was “Ulisse”, “the american”. At first he called him the “black” then he used the word “nigger”. When asked further he stated that it was the truth and that even the TV talked about that! (not true). At that time Mario Vanni started to develop some serious mental illnesses, certified by the psychiatrist of the prison. The whole conversation between Vanni and his friend do not make too much sense. In any case: it’s not sure if Mario Parker was black (maybe he was mulatto), but the only Ulisse (or Uli, as he was called by Lotti according to the statements of Ghiribelli – who talks about him several times during the trial) in this story, very likely, is him and nobody else. – The birthday of J.B. DO NOT match Zodiac birthday. AFAIK the “birthday call” did not took place on December, 20 1969. The date of the call seems uncertain but all the sources indicate dec 18, dec 29 or the first weeks of jan 1970 as the possible dates for the call. The date of Zodiac’s birthday is not exactly known, so the journalist’s statement is based on unverifiable assumptions. – Even the real name of J.B. is not clear. J.B. himself declare that his name is G. at the Pacciani trial. But the only available record I was able to find on a U.S. gov. site list him as J.B. Even in a document about the murder in Scopeti, written by lawyer Vieri Adriani, the italian-american witness is called J.B. – Has been said that J.B. served in the Cambodia campaign. At first it was claimed that he was part of the 25th Infantry. The problem is that the dates of three letters sent by Zodiac (between April and June 1970) overlap with the dates of the Cambodia Campaign, that took place between April 29 and July 22, 1970. Given the short duration of this military operation it is unthinkable that he may have had the opportunity to return to California for two or three times with the sole purpose of posting the letters (and then returning to the battlefield). Later, references to the 25th Infantry disappeared and has been said that J.B. was part of the 5th Infantry. Here things become even more problematic because the dates overlap both with the timeline of the Zodiac case and with that of the Monster of Florence case (Lo Bianco/Locci murder of 21.8.1968):
“By 1968 the division was stationed atFort Carson, Colorado*, as a mechanized formation.1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was dispatched toVietnamafter theTet Offensiveto replace aU.S. Marine Corpsunit. The brigade, consisting of one battalion each of infantry, mechanized infantry, and armor, served therefrom July 1968 until 1971.” (Wikipedia)*
It should also be noted that before the dispatch to Vietnam, the 5th Infantry Division was stationed at the Fort Carson base in Colorado. So it is very unlikely that J.B. (even if he may have taken part in the mission with a slight delay) may had the time to make a trip to Italy to commit a murder. Another interesting thing to note is that in the pictures available online J.B. wears a Navy uniform, not that of the Infantry. – Since his deposition to the Pacciani trial in 1994, the alleged perpetretor of the crimes, shows a lack of knowledge concerning the events: he says that the french girl had short black hair (erroneously reported by several witnesses deemed unreliable) and a great imprecision in placing temporal events; for this reason his testimony is considered unreliable by the lawyer Vieri Adriani. The same gross imprecision is reported by the journalist author of the scoop: J.B. is not aware that Mario Vanni is dead and he doesn’t know the exact name of another person involved in the story (GPV); he calls him “Raggianti” *. It is strange that the alleged protagonist of the MDF case, the killer, is not aware of facts so trivial and within everyone’s reach! * This point is interesting. In some of his statements the journalist suggests that J.B. could be in some way connected to GPV (the famous “Uncle Joe”, from which GPV received an inheritance). How can this be possible if he doesn’t even know his name? – The Zodiac/MOF theory do not provide any explanation about the 1968 murder (MOF) and the gun used by the “Monster”, which is one of the biggest mysteries of this case. When asked about the the gun (if it was the same of the crime of 1968 and how J.B. acquired it), the journalist demonstrates an approximate knowledge concerning the importance of this element and simply replies: “We’ll know it only when the gun will be found”(?). – This theory, to be honest, do not provide ANY explanation at all on any aspect of the MOF case! The journalist provided just a list of unverifiable “coincidences” most of them related to the Zodiac Killer, and not a single useful verifiable information about the MOF. – The journalist do not provide any real proof about the Zodiac case like, for example, the solution of the cyphers or details about the crimes. It just provide some naif interpretations which shows a kiddish method of solution, but not a real solution of any cypher. – From its participation on social networks (Reddit and Facebook) it is clear – as already noted by the prosecutor in the cited article – that the journalist have a lack of knowledge about the Monster of Florence case (inaccuracy concerning the facts, the name of Gabriella Ghiribelli becomes Patrizia, Francesco Vinci is called Fabio, etc.) which is inadequate with the knowledge required by the author of an investigation aimed at revealing disconcerting truths such as those presented in his inquiry.
LOGIC vs CONJECTURES:
– The solution of the “my name cypher” doesn’t make any sense at all! The solution do not follow any real logic, it’s just something you can come up to by starting from the solution. The solution do not solve the cypher, it just skip it for no apparent reason. Also the jump from the word Ulisse to the word Enea (to solve the first part of the cypher) do not have any logic explanation. Last but not least: as said above J.B. is not Ulisse, so he can’t be Enea as well. This is a big problem because it is the proof that the first part of the solution must be wrong and, consequently, the whole logic behind the solution become uncertain. – According with the journalist the Halloween card solution allows to find all the letters of the name G.B. No, this is not true (in order to obtain the name you have to select some letters several times). – According with the journalist, when asked where he would hide the bodies of his victims, “Joediac” replied that he would have thrown the bodies on the peaks of the mountains… from an elicopter! (Then he changed his mind and indicated the Emerald Bay on a map. Then he changed his mind again and choose Heavenly Valley). – In one article the journalist claims that the US judges started to work on the case. [Corrigendum: the author of this statement is the journalist Edoardo Montolli in an article published on "Il Giornale" on May 31th 2018].Actually it seems no one knows about this story in the USA, but reddit users. The explansion he gives for this statement is embarrassing; he says that since some old images depicting J.B. when he was still in service appeared on the web, this must mean that the US judges started to work at the case (!). – When the journalist rang Joediac’s bell he looked out on the balcony and… he was scared! Really? – In half a century Joediac allegedly teased SFPD, FBI, italian Carabinieri and Police, never get involved in any trial, never left any known clue behind him, no one ever decoded his cyphers, no one ever solved the gun mystery (MOF)… All of this just to confess (all of a sudden) who he really is to who he really is to the first journalist passing by… in change of a beer. Really!? – On 31 may 2018 I sent a mail to the journalist congratulating with him for the fake news and wondering how they thought to get away with it. He sent me this reply: “con ironia” (with irony). Whatever it means it doesn’t sound good. TO SUM UP: There is not a single valid point in this story, either on the zodiac or mof case. There are not real proofs. Most of the statements cannot be verified, some elements are just distorted to fit the story and explanations (see Ulisse), others are just pure fantasy. There is only one source for all the claims that have been made: the journalist behind the “scoop”. If you look for other sources you either cannot find a confirm or you find just mismatches. I’m not saying that this is fake, but right now, with these “proofs”, this theory can be believed just as an act of faith. Maybe it is true but as far as I can see this whole thing it looks like a bull but it smells like shit!
2018.03.04 05:07 ChuckPaisleyMr. Paisley's Tobaccompendium: Merde de Cheval
Have a blend you're curious to know about? Just want to hear me ramble on like The Caveman's Valentine? Let me know! I'm making a list, and won't ever check it. Not even once. Being the eccentric that I am, I always like to start out my posts the same way; with some sort of amusing, interesting, tangential-but-always-metaphorically-connected-to-the-review anecdote or other story. This week I struggled to come up with something to say other than just to talk about this tobacco. It wasn’t writer’s block. It was more writer’s shock. I, like everyone in this community, am still reeling. With the McClelland announcement, this was an incredibly sombering time for all of us. Some of us just puffed at bowls of Frog Morton or what we had left of 5100. Some of us went on mad shopping sprees to scoop up as much as we could. All of us dealt and wrestled with what this meant for the future of our hobby, and for tobacco. I’ve been smoking since I was, and I’m not proud to admit this, around 15 years old. My choice was Camel Turkish Royals, but I wasn’t picky being underaged. When I was 18 I bought my first cigar. It was a Cohiba Churchill. I bought it because it was the biggest and most expensive I could find at my brick and mortar, a hole in the wall pipe shop that had a small walk in humidor. It was called Piper’s Haven. Check it out if you’re ever in Lafayette Louisiana. Then go next door to BJ’s Pizza and get a Full House. Neither will disappoint. I mostly smoked cigars. They were easier, less codgery. The big pipe boom going on now hadn't started yet. I had roommate that worked at the other shop in town. It was a fancier, more high end place that catered toward the small town elite, complete with cliche mahogany furniture and dark green walls. They also had an honest to God cigar store Indian. I went there a lot to hang out with my buddy, but I always preferred the old pipe shop. They were more welcoming, more blue collar. It was there that I got my first basket pipe, when they were still big name seconds, and tobacco. That must have been around 2006 I suppose. That was the first time I’d heard of McClelland. Now, I know there are guys out there, and even on this board, who have been in this game for a lot longer than I have. In the last 12 or 13 years, McClelland has always been around. They were a major player, a titan in this industry. They walked among giants and commanded attention. Over that time, I’ve seen a lot of things come and go. Blends gone, companies shut down, whole stores shuttered forever, but somehow none of them hit so hard as McClelland. I suppose I just never thought that it would have ended this way, or even at all for that matter. I think the last few days on this sub have shown us all that. The public outcry and pouring of support and mad rushes to buy up what we all can shows that they were something special. They weren’t just a company, or a brand, they were part of our family. They were cornerstones of our community. This week saw a major loss, and not just a few amazing blends from the market, but a loss of passion and drive, a loss of a few people that did everything they could, lived and died by the leaf, to make this practically monastic order we are all a part of something inseparably important from the rest of our lives. I’d been planning tonight’s review for a couple of weeks. I started wondering a few days ago if I should do something of theirs instead. I don’t think anything I could say would match the legacy they leave behind them. So there’s the anecdote, I guess. I just wanted to say my eulogy and maybe move on with things. There’s no fancy segway here, so let’s just get into it. Let’s talk about some horse shit. It’s called what now? Yeah, I bought it because of the name. You’ve been wanting to as well. Don’t lie. You probably don’t even know what kind of blend it is. That’s okay though, neither do I and I’ve been smoking a bowl of this every day for a week. This tin was part of my ISPD haul from SP. I used the discount to get a few tins that I’d been wanting to try but never pulled the trigger on. It seems like people are enjoying my little articles, so I figured I needed to stock up on some fodder for them. I mean, come on, how many reviews of Orlik Golden Sliced does the world need? As the story goes, or at least the advertising copy, there was once a cantankerous pipe smoker (who expected that turn of events? /sarcasm) who never could quite find the right mixture. He went to a local shop where something was blended especially for him. On his return, he exclaimed, "I want more of that horse shit tobacco you sold me." There’s also something written in some moon-language I’m told is French about the production and distribution of this blend being done under the strict supervision of a one Marquis Pierre de la Crotine. Sadly though, my Google-Fu is no match for this seemingly evasive French aristocrat. Other than this little tidbit, I can’t find anything about it. He may not even be real. Who knows? What struck me as odd right away is that this is branded as F&K Cigar Company. F&K mostly imports other manufacturer’s blends. They’re the sole importer, as far as I know, of John Aylesbury, Svendborg, Former (tobacco and pipes), and a couple of other well known brands. I can’t quite figure why this, along with their additionally comical named Bat with a Hat are branded as their own. About all I’ve been able to find out about this one is that it’s made in Denmark. Don’t even try going to F&K’s website. I think the last time it was updated was when they moved it off of Geocities. It’s a very elusive tobacco to say the least. There isn’t much about to be found online. I’ve never seen it at a local store. There’s only seven entries on Tobacco Reviews. It’s rather obscure. It’s exactly my kind of smoke. It doesn’t taste like shit...right? When you read the components of this blend, it’s illustrious backstory starts to make a little more sense. I can picture a short, stocky Frenchman with fingers like Vienna sausages, pointing furiously at the mutton chopped tobacconist demanding something good, something special. With an unwavering smile, he goes back to his blending bench and starts to passive aggressively throw everything he has into a bowl. “Fine,” he says, except in French, under his breath, “I’ll give you something special.” He grabs demonic fistfuls of equal parts red and bright Virginias. He adds another unmeasured hand of burley and a scoop of Oriental. Then comes the Latakia and the Perique for good measure. He snickers as he reaches for his sickeningly sweet Black Cavendish only to find that it’s empty. That’s okay. This monstrosity will do. Only, his plan backfires. The customer comes back and wants more. Regardless of the fact that he put literally every tobacco in there except for Cavendish, this is actually good. It's very apparent from the first whiff that this is something else entirely. Even in just the tin note, every tobacco in there is apparent. The cedary Latakia hits first, then you notice the Virginia, then the Burley, then Orientals, then finally the Perique. It’s all there, and as the smells become more apparent, it’s like boxes all lighting up on some 70’s game show board until someone hits a buzzer and screams “MERDE DE CHEVAL!”. It’s tobacco bingo at its finest. So now is the time where we argue the different between an English and Balkan. It has both Orientals, including clearly sweet Turkish stuff, and Latakia. So that makes it a Balkan, right? But the Orientals aren’t such a main player as one might think. They’re pretty neck and neck with the Virginias for dominant secondary note. Doesn’t that make it more of an English? But then we have two very uncommon components turn up, the Burley and the Perique. Who even does that? Okay, so the Perique might be a little less out there, but the Burley? Virginias and Burleys, is that Classic American? Plenty of American blends have Latakia and Orientals. It gets even more complicated when you smoke it. You see, there is no single dominant note. Every tobacco chosen seems to be mixed in exactingly balanced proportions. When I say balanced, I don’t mean harmonious, I mean blended in such away that there’s nothing really any more forward than anything else. Every tobacco in there is such a prototypical example that you can sit and pick out each and every flavor. The Latakia is woody and cedary. The Virginias are grassy and sweet. The Burley is nutty and earthy. The Oriental is tangy and spry. Even the Perique is spicy and fermented. It's all quintessential Tobacco 101. Every scent and flavor is on the nose. They're easy to detect and pick out. But the sum is greater than the parts here. It achieves all of this while being rounded and creamy and never sharp. There are no edges here. It is mellowed to perfection. Nothing stands out or dominates. Nothing hangs back afraid to speak up. It’s all there, take it or leave it, for better or worse. A lot like the French really. And then, underneath it all is the nicotine. While you’ve been puffing away, that Vitamin N sank in and you didn’t notice it. It’s not chair melting, but I got a hit. Now, I’m not a hard ass that mixes Five Brothers with 1792 on the way to work, but I don’t normally feel nicotine from pipes. Did I also mention earlier that I was pretty regular dipper? What can I say, tobacco has always been my vice. It makes me wonder if it’s more on the stronger side of things than a lot of people claim. Your results may vary, but I feel the need to inform because of this. From what I’ve read, a lot of folks seem to want to recommend this as a novice’s English (or Balkan, or Latakia Mix, or whatever the hell it is). They say it’s mild. I think that mellow is being confused with mild here. There’s a lot of flavor going on. There’s a lot of stuff in there that might scare off an unseasoned smoker. I also disagree that it should be a starter English. It’s not, in my opinion, representative enough of the genre. I think Early Morning Pipe will always hold that title for me. In the end I wanted to love this tobacco. I was ready to devote a shelf just to it’s mason jar and a dedicated pipe of an equally obscure maker. I just can’t though. I’m sure this is someone’s long lost love, but it isn’t mine. I’m glad I tried it. It’s a highly premium, well made, endlessly thought out blend that does everything right for an English-sort of Balkan-with Americano tendencies. It’s going to really hit home with those who enjoy it. It will find it’s niche and have a dedicated following. What more can you ask for? It’s a tobacco that defies classification. Calling it anything just won’t do it’s justice. It won’t properly pinpoint exactly what the smoker should expect from it. It’s everything and nothing all at the same time. So I guess, maybe the best thing we can call it is just… Wait for it… HORSE SHIT! You knew it was coming one more time. Don’t pretend to be shocked. Quick Facts
Brand: F&K Cigar
Blend: Merde de Cheval
Contents: Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Red and Bright Virginia, Burley, Perique
Cut: Delicate ribbon
Tin Note: Everything Bagel (only replace garlic, onions and poppy seeds with tobacco)
Room Note: Yep, that’s some Latakia...and some other stuff too.
Star Rating: 3 out of 5 (admittedly based on personal preference)
2018.01.28 19:22 sfsdfdPSA: Tapingo tacks service charges onto your bill
I stop at Starbucks pretty regularly, so I decided it was time to look into Tapingo to speed up the process. I downloaded the iOS app, created an account, etc., and got all ready to place my order for a single venti americano ($3.25) - and at the very last step, Tapingo quietly added this $0.59 service charge. A $0.59 service charge on a $3.25 drink is an 18% markup. Okay, but they're offering a valuable service, right? Here's where it gets irritating. Starbucks also has an iOS app that lets you order online. It's got all the same options as Tapingo, but there are there differences: 1) The Starbucks iOS app is free, and it doesn't tack on any service charges to your order. 2) The Starbucks iOS app also lets you use a Starbucks gift card, plus you get Starbucks rewards (free drinks, etc.) But... 3) You can't use the Starbucks app to order at either Starbucks on the GMU campus. The Starbucks app pretends that the on-campus stores don't exist. Seems that Tapingo has secured an exclusive right to offer this service to GMU students... in order to charge us a pretty hefty markup on every single transaction for using it... rather than being able to use the ordinary Starbucks app to do the exact same thing for free. The More You Know. =======---------* I suppose that I'm irritated by this surcharge partly because the cost of functioning as a GMU student is already so high. Seems that undergrads are constantly getting dinged with fees - classroom fees, iClickers, MasteringPhysics subscriptions. GMU is the only university I've ever encountered where students are required to buy and supply their own Scantron forms for exams.
2018.01.15 17:08 V_vicious[SELL/SWAP][DE to EU] UD, MAC, Hylamide, Spectrum Brushes & lots of 1€ DS items
Hey guys, time for a new declutter! I ship from Germany to anywhere in Europe. All of my items are sanitized with 90% alcohol, wiped down and all brushes are freshly cleaned. I'm totally open to offers, especially if you're willing to buy multiple items. Please make sure to make a minimum purchase of 5€. I do prefer F&F , but if you're willing to pay the fees, I'm happy with regular PayPal too. Feel free to pick a foil and at a purchase of 8€ & over you may want to pick one of the GWPs with your order. Feel free to ask me any question, I should have receits for almost all of my products, cause 90% is bought online. I'm willing to swap for any of those items: MUG single eyeshadow in Cocoa bear, Cupcake, Americano ABH single eyeshadow in Birkin, Orange soda, Blazing Mac Blot Powder in Medium or Medium dark Milani eyeshadow primer or Kat von D lockit correcting eyelid primer in light BrushesVerification Spectrum Brushes C03 used not very often - 4€ Benefit Hoola brush used, great condition - 5€ BH cosmetics studio Pro 2 brush used very little -2€ Wet’n’wild Powder brush used, great condition -1€Zoeva luxe fan brush used, good condition - 2€ Spectrum brushes B06 used very little - 2€ Zoeva luxe classic shader used very little - 1€Morphe E28 used once - 1€ SkincareVerification Hylamide Pore Flush more than a half left - 6€.The ordinary reservatol + ferulic acid used twice, almost full - 3€. Missha sun essence SPF 45 used ~ a week, hard to tell how much is left, but should be a lot , bought & opened in october - 7€. LRP toleriane Rosaliac UV riche SPF 15 aswell opened in October, used twice - 3€ Base Makeupverification UD naked skin loose powder in light used around a half of it, therefore cheaper in price - 3€. UD naked skin loose powder in medium light used ~4- 5 times - 6€. UD naked skin powder foundation in medium light warm used a bit , hard to tell on the pic but there is some missing in the middle and I lost the sponge - 7€. The balm shelter in light medium used ~3-4 times - 4€. Mac Powder fix + in NC30 used a bit, tiny dent in the middle part, sponge is missing - 9€. Nars radiant creamy concealer in biscuit used ~5 times - 8€. Niod photography fluid tan opacity 8% used a bit, bottle is still almost full - 4€ Cheek & Faceverification Zoeva blush palette opulence wore once - 7€. Urban decay afterglow blush in rapture little used - 7€.Sleek blush palette lace only used the middle shade once, other 2 are just swatched - 5€. Sleek blush in pomegranate used twice - 3€. NYX HD Blush in intuition used little - 2€. NYX duochromatic highlighter in crushed bloom only swatched - 5€ Palettes & gift setverification Smashbox Masterclass lighting palette used the cream part mostly, but nothing much except the peach corrector, eyeshadows I used ~3 times, blushes are untouched - 9€. SophxMuR eyeshadow palette used ~ 3 times, most shades are only swatched - 5€ Pixie glow set only swatched the powder highlight, rest is untouched - 6€. Single Eyeshadowsverification MUG peach smoothie, MUG creme brulee,Mac Amber lights , MAC sumptuous olive all are used - 3€ each or 10€ for all four. Everything 1€ -Drugstore & Deluxe samplesVerification Milani baked blush in luminoso & Rose d'oro essence the moon face& cheek palette. essence metal chrome blush in the chrome and the beast. WnW color icon blush in mellow wine Maybelline Lumi Touch Concealer in Nude.used once. Loreal true Match Concealer in vanilla used ~3 times. WnW photo focus concealer in light medium beige used twice. Nyx pro foundation mixer in olive used ~3 times. Nyx glitter glue used once. MUR aqua seal used maybe twice. The balm meet matte Hughes minis in captivating & adoring both only swatched. Nyx Sliptease in I woke up like this & Bang bang both used once. Korres Wild Rose sleeping facial unused. Oskia Renaissance mask unused. Caudalie vino source sorbet cream unused. Please pick your GWP with any order of 8€ & more right here and a foil or a perfume sample with any order here Edit: format
2017.11.16 11:47 ImLike9SoSTFU[Technique] My Moka Pot.
(from the Uk so instant coffee isn't too shit here)
My journey begins with the casual cup of instant coffee, with 4 sugars and a lot of milk. I grew up with this type of coffee from a young age and thought this was how all coffee was make.
After watching Netflix and YouTube. I always saw the filtered coffee machines with the glass jug on a heating pad (no idea what they are called) This caused me to look up coffee in Google. After hours of reading into coffee, different methods of making it and different drinks. I ended up wanting to try everything.
A few weeks after, I am in the local town and see a Starbucks, so with all of my new coffee knowledge, I decide to go in and get an espresso because it was the drink that sounded the most exciting online. Drinking it I quickly learned that some coffee requires an acquired taste.
I started to head into town with friends more and more often, and would always order an espresso in Starbucks, quickly adapting to the taste and having a love for the caffeine boost it gave me.
In this time, my parents decided to buy a Dolce Gusto podded coffee machine. I instantly went to the store, bought the espresso pods and realised that not all espresso's are equal. I had 15 pods of espresso left so found a way to drink them, topping them off with boiling water and adding milk and sugar.
I decided to look online on how to make good tasting espresso at home, and was greeted with large expensive machines. Then I saw on ebay that they done reusable pods for the Dolce Gusto machine. So I purchased a pack of two that included a measuring spoon and a pack of ground coffee and proceeded to experiment. The pods never produced the strong espresso I was after, But done an amazing job of making an americano. Which I started drinking without adding milk and sugar.
But I wanted more, The pods would leave grounds in the bottom of the cup and I couldn't find a way around it.
I was in the local supermarket one day, and was looking at the french presses. Next to it was this weird retro futuristic looking tall teapot, reading the label it said it was a moka pot. That night I went back to Google and looked up moka pot. And it seemed to be everything I was looking for, Coffee brewed under pressure and being able to give an espresso like taste. I was sold, the next morning I went to the supermarket at opening time and picked one up, along with a fresh bag of ground coffee.
I get home, put the kettle on and fill up the coffee dish thing with the measuring spoon from the reusable pods, It takes 6. I fill the bottom up with recently boiled water, put the coffee in and screw the lid on making sure the top filter was held on and the washer was in the right place. I placed it on the hob and waited. The coffee made weird noises, I thought I had broke something, then all of a sudden a trickle appeared out of the top spout. It looked really dark and had a few white bubbles coming out with it. I pulled it off the heat before it had finished to ensure that it wouldn't boil dry. I tipped it into a latte glass, waited for it to cool down, and tried it.
Even after drinking an espresso, It was too strong to drink as a whole glassful, So I done the only thing I knew what to do. Add milk and sugar. This made the drink taste a lot better, but when getting to the bottom, there was a sludge of coffee grounds.
A couple of weeks later, I decided to experiment with the moka pot again. This time I thought of an amazing idea. I would only put half of the coffee in, so 3 of the measuring spoon. It made the coffee so much more enjoyable. But I quickly realised I enjoy milk and sugar in my coffee a lot more than having it black. So I added a tiny splash of milk and 1 sugar.
But still there was grounds in the bottom.
I look around to see if theres anything that I can do to remove grounds. And I see it, Under the table in a clear box. Coffee Filters. Had some laying around after the last batch of homebrew wine I had made.
I create another cup of coffee using the moka pot and pour it through the filter into the glass. The Filter broke. The coffee I had just made now had a bit of filter in it and I decided to make a new cup.
Thats when I had the idea. Quickly rushing into the drawer I pulled out a pair of scissors. And cut the filter to be a circle, exactly big enough to cover the coffee (and a bit bigger so that the washer would hold it in place when screwing the lid on.)
I put three measuring spoons of coffee into the holding bit. Put boiling water into the bottom of the moka put. Put the coffee into the moka pot. Put the freshly cut filter on. Screwed the lid on. And put it on to boil.
It took a bit longer than without the filter, but eventually coffee started to brew out of the top. I pour it out into a latte glass. The top part of the moka pot is the exact right size of my latte glasses, But still allows room to add a bit of milk into. Add Milk and Sugar. And taste the coffee.
It tastes slightly different, but I prefer it. Also, at the bottom of the glass. No Ground at all.
Since discovering the little trick of putting the coffee filter above the grounds, I have not gone a single day without a cup of coffee from the moka pot.
As a sketch artist, keeping a growing art portfolio is important. When you can't find the inspiration to spend days on a piece however, keeping a few sketchbooks is a surefire method of keeping your skills refined for the day when you do find the motivation to start a project. So that's exactly what I do. My name's Brendan, and at the time of this series of events, I was just wrapping up my last year of highschool, with my sights set on attending my local art university in just a little under a year. Every day I would try to get at least five sketches completed in my current sketchbook, and then at the end of every week, I would start working on a more professional piece to put in my portfolio, which I would use to help with my application. When my parents passed what is now eight years ago, they left me their place of residence; a small aging house up in the highlands area of my city. Most of the inspiration for my sketches come from the large forest surrounding my abode, and I often found myself taking night walks for inspiration. My days pretty much consisted of going to school, completing online commissions for art pieces, occasionally helping my uncle Ralph with his landscaping business, and deep sleep. It's wasn't the most enthralling living in the world, but I did what I can so I could buy myself cup ramen and the odd salad from my local market. My life was pretty much just gathering money in whatever way was available, and adding sketches to my lineup. One strange constant that has always been in my life though, is my odd sleeping habits. Ever since I was little, I'd occasionally wake up in the middle of a peaceful sleep, and preform strange tasks. It wasn't sleepwalking though, as I was semi-conscious of what I was doing. It was like I was in a dreamy trance, half in control of my movements, but never knowing why I was doing what I was doing. It always felt uneasy as well, as most of the time my perception of my surroundings was bathed in a sort of eerie blue light. I wish these random bouts of “dream walking” as I like to call it had stopped after I moved into that creepy house in the middle of buttfuck nowhere; but unfortunately they did not. Instead, every month or so I'd have a night where I'd climb out of bed and pace around an empty old house that was surrounded by thick forest for acres on end. One night however, my dream walking behaved a bit stranger than I had seen it act before. It was around the end of June, and the weather had just started getting hot. This prior mentioned heat was only made more intense by the mountainous location of my living space. After a full day of driving out to help my uncle with some hedge trimming, swimming at the pool in the rec-center in his town, and driving back; I was just about ready to climb into bed and pass out like a log. As the moon shone through my thin curtain covering my bedroom window, I clambered under the sheets, and hugged my pillow tight, shutting my weary eyes in anticipation of some much needed beauty rest. It took me a minute or two of thinking about a book I had been planning on reading, but eventually; sleep found it's way to me, and I drifted off into unconsciousness. It must've been around two in the morning when I faded back into an uneasy half awareness, my foggy eyes adjusting to the pale blue glow of a typical session of dream walking. It had been a long while since my last dreamwalk, and naturally it felt as unsettling as ever to be experiencing my already spooky nighttime surroundings through a will other than my own. I remember standing before my bedroom door for a minute or two, before slowly creaking it open to reveal a dark hallway painted navy by my warped vision. I paced the hallway in drawn out, rhythmic steps, the floor icy cold beneath my bare feet. I made my way to my studio room in the same zombie-esque fashion, until I came to a stop in front of my artist's desk; it's surface a cluttered mess of pens, markers, charcoal, paper-- you name it, it was somewhere on that table. I reached out my tired arm, and retrieved a sketchbook, and a standard graphite pencil. Tools in hand, I spun around, and headed back into the gloomy hallway, hardwood floor still chilling to the touch. Now, the house my parents had given me had a basement, but even since my parents were still living in that house, they could not find a way to open the basement door. It seemed to be blocked from the other side by something extraordinarily heavy; so you can imagine just how shocked I was when my idle dream walking lead me to the steps leading down to the basement, to reveal it's wooden door wide open. The darkness from behind that door seemed to leak out, plaguing the rest of the house with an uneasy coldness. As I stood, staring down at the writhing blackness; a void so dark it almost seemed to be moving, I opened up my sketchbook, not able to pull my bewitched stare from the inky black. I could feel the hand holding the pencil gliding across the page, painting the paper canvas with god knows what; but I couldn't look down at what I was drawing. My body wouldn't allow me to pull my eyes away from the unsettling shadows, writhing and intertwining on each other like a well full of leeches. It was only after I shut the sketchbook that my eyes fluttered closed, my body falling limp to the hard wooden floor beneath me. My next memory was lifting my throbbing head up from the floor, trying to recall any of the events leading up to my painful collapse the best my aching mind would allow. As my blurry vision turned to a now shut basement door staring at me from the bottom of a flight of stairs, I began to remember bits and pieces, although the full story still was a bit rough. My head still a cluttered and painful mess, I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil, and marched them back to my studio; throwing them down onto the table and marching straight into my bedroom. I flopped down onto the bed, barely having time to wonder if I had been concussed before sleep came back for me. Waking up at noon proved to be much more tolerable than the morning, as my headache had pretty much subsided. I threw on some slippers and headed to the kitchen, popping a Keurig pod into the coffee maker. As I listened to the machine do it's job to brew me a cup of joe, I couldn't help but relive the somewhat blurry events over in my head. All I could remember at the time was that damned basement door, hauntingly staring at me from the bottom of those steps. It was just a door, but it's presence had felt so largely intimidating. It really was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. The coffee maker finished it's work, and I grabbed my mug of americano from the machine. Before I even had time to take a sip, the sound of my landline scared the piss out of me, almost making me drop my mug. I reluctantly placed the coffee down, and picked up the phone to hear my uncle Ralph from the other end. “Hey Brendan, 'was wondering if you wanted to come up with your aunt Linda and I to the swimming hole we took you to last summer. Figured we could get a couple beers after we've caught some sun.” My head still ached, but to be honest his offer sounded like heaven. “Yeah, when about should I drive out there?” I asked, finishing the question with a long sip of hot coffee. “I was thinkin' around one thirty-ish?” We continued scheduling for a bit as I finished my drink, and then I hung up and started to pack for some swimming. That afternoon actually went by really nicely. The water was amazing, and a couple of drinks were a great way to take my mind off of the image of that god damned basement door. In fact, it wasn't until I got home that night to my dark forest residence that I remembered the events of the night before. I flipped on the T.V, eventually settling to watch a re-run of Storage Wars. As I half-assedly watched the bidding take place, my mind wandered to the prior night's dream walk. Without a headache it was a lot easier to recall, and I managed to put everything together in pretty solid detail. I put together more and more unsettling details until I remembered the sketch I had done while in the trance. I never did actually get to see what I had drawn that night while my mind wasn't my own. Uneasily, I walked from my living room to the studio; flipping on the hallway lights as I went. I turned on the lamp in the corner of the room, bathing the little space in a dim orange. I carefully opened my sketchbook, nervously leafing through it's pages until I stopped dead in my tracks. The last used page consisted of a scrawled black figure, jaw distended as it reached up at me from the page. All over the paper rushed handwriting read “COME TO TAKE” some text even overlapping other letters. I had to breathe heavier than I ever have in my life to keep from vomiting out of fear. I did not draw that consciously. It didn't resemble my artstyle at all, and the strange method of shading mixed with the odd angle of the portrait was something I would not have thought to do.How could I have drawn that image just from the shadow of the basement? That night I stayed up watching T.V until the morning, and when morning came I called my uncle Ralph as soon as possible to ask if I could stay with him for a while. At least while I figured out how to proceed with my life. He took me in immediately, and I can't thank him enough for his concern, and for not locking me up in an asylum somewhere. This was around six years ago, and from that night on I've lived in a one bedroom apartment downtown; VERY far away from that god forsaken basement. The thing that still upsets me is that I haven't had a single case of dream walking since. No more walking around in the dark, guided only by an unearthly blue light and the will of something I couldn't perceive. I have, however, had extremely vivid nightmares. Horrible visions of being in that house, and looking into that basement, only to see the glowing face of that monster I had drawn with my own hands. It left me with so many questions. Who is the dark figure? Why and how did I draw him? What does “Come to take” mean? What's in the basement and why was the door open? But I had just about let it leave my mind completely until last week. See, last week I was asked to take a look at the old house I inherited to see if I had left anything in there, or to see if I wanted to keep or sell the place. While walking down the nostalgic yet unnerving hallway, I shot a glance to the basement door accidentally as I walked by. On the door, scrawled in what looked to be charcoal, I swear to god it read; “COME TO TAKE”.
2016.11.03 04:39 GeneticSpeciesAre there any coffees for Keurig that match the quality of those for the Tassimo?
We've had a Tassimo machine for the past few years (also have a Nespresso). Although the coffees we buy are excellent, they're not available in supermarkets. We have to go out of our way to Bed Bath & Beyond, or order online. We've just got a K55, but haven't found a single good coffee yet. So far, we have tried Seattle's Best Breakfast Blend, Newman's Own Italian Dark Roast, Starbucks Pike Place Roast, Donut Shop, and Pete's Major Dickinsons. They're all rather poor. Are there any rich and smooth European styles available for the Keurig? For the Tassimo, I consider Carte Noir Signature Roast and Costa Americano to be excellent. They have great aroma, are silky smooth and rich, with no bitterness. I really hope to find something similar for the Keurig. There's so much choice, it's hard to know what to try.
2016.09.29 15:42 GoityePowerhouseFocus on a black line
At the moment I'm working as a driver for Deliveroo. They're an Australian company who take online bookings for local restaraunts and deliver for a reasonable price. We pick up the take away orders from the restaurant, then take it to the customers house. The company is making a huge profit, basically because they pay their drivers shit all money. I work night shifts quite late, we deliver until 3am, so I often see unusual things, deal with odd customers and occasionally scare the shit out of myself getting lost in nefarious, shadowy alley ways.
This is a true story about something that happened to me one night.
I think my manager hates me. Dillon. Maybe he just hates his life. I get he didn't always dream of being the owner of a Deliveroo franchise but I can't work out why he singles me out particularly. Somehow, every time Dillon gives me the orders on the farthest edge of the city. Maybe he's sexist. He gives Alison three deliveries right next door to each other; just down the road. I ask him why and he says (as if it's MY fault), 'Because I'm your manager, mate. Just do your fucking job.'
I've only been working here for five months-- but I can't fucking stand it. If I was contemplating quitting before, then the night before last was the clincher. I knew I should have flat out refused when Dillon sent me to Maroubra beach on my last order, by the time I got there and back and cashed out it would have been 4am... And that's not part of my contract. But I took the order like the corporate robot that I am.
We get these douchie neon mopeds to ride ; with the company name and logo on a big, heating cube strapped to the back. A big Ol' square, white kangaroo head stares out of the cocaine addled mind of some marketing team. There's no parking outside our office, so I usually have to park the bike illegally, horizontally between two cars. This always gets me in to trouble, but this particular night I only had to contend with a homeless lady. She was screaming the usual crazy stuff and yelling at me. When she saw me straddling my motor she stood up- out of the puddle of piss she was sitting in- and started asking me for money and food. I hope you don't judge me when I tell you I didn't look her in the eyes, or respond. I just hit the clutch and drove off. Everybody's just trying to stay above water, no time for people who are just gonna pull you down into their personal misery.
I do get scared in the beaches that time of morning. The highways are fine, even the red light district doesn't bother me. But, I'm tellin' you man, only fucking lunatics and psycho's hang around Maroubra beaches in the middle of the night. I've seen loads of domestics, fuck heads beating into their girlfriends skull, seen plenty of race related lynchings. Seen a dude chasing a teenage girl with a pair of kitchen knives. I know for a fact it's rape central down there, but the cops don't touch it for some reason. Maybe they're scared.
You get a charge of adrenalin. When you've been driving all night, and towards the end there's nobody on the road. You're tired, charging down the highway, with nothing but tarmac, the repetition of lights, and the entrancing white lines : which illuminate a pyramid stretching out before you, unchanging, Reaching into darkness. The horizon line stretches all around you like a black armband. Then you pull off into the onyx black suburban streets, and your pupils suddenly get all big, it's like you've taken an ecstasy tablet.
Maroubra is a hole. Whole load of McMansions, then all the ugly brick council flats filled with European backpackers. There's too many hills, and corners and I fucking hate driving around the place when it's dark. Because it's my last order I take my time, you know? So I pullover down on the coastal road to check my GPS. It was a night only Robert Chambers could have put into words. The moon was pale, almost full, bulging out of the darkness like Salome's naked belly, as the stars danced along preordained trajectories. And the only thing blacker than the night sky, was the ocean horizon --which decapitated the skyline --like the bottom of the blooded head of John the Baptist. A black line Aubrey Beardsley could have inked.
The only sound you could hear was the dull war cry of the ocean waves, rolling over Neptune's dead. I left my bike for a minute and stood at the old wooden railing, staring into the black ocean. Then I heard that clucking, giggling sound for the first time.
You know when your mind plays tricks?.., and even though your ears barely heard the muffled voice, somehow your brain tells you that it was directed at you. You jerk around, your face freezes and grows cold, and you can feel hot blood pumping through your veins. A tiny little flutter runs through your heart, like a fatal spasm.
Then you realise it was just an owl. Your pupils shrink again and you tune back into natures monotone symphony, the insect chirping rises up (as if somewhere a conductor was waving tiny, black batons). After I get scared; my first thoughts are usually guilt and self doubt. It's like that Hollywood cliche, where the plane is about to go down and suddenly everyone on the flight starts to confess their darkest most-perverse secret.
I remember thinking 'Am I a good person?'. Then running endless events over in my mind, playing back my life and getting nowhere. My ex girlfriend, who I recently had a huge fight with (and subsequently broke up with) hit me with a diatribe of hate when I was collecting my stuff, a month or so ago. You're self absorbed. You'll never be happy. You always fake everything in life and everyone can see it. You're nobody. One in seven billion.
Bitch. To prove to her i'm not self absorbed, of course, I finished my mental moment and checked the GPS again, then started up the bike.
See, it was the weird address of the house which first built up my anxiety. Hexton under Sydney is such a messed up city, you know. Only a delivery driver really sees how shit it is. There's no forward planning here. Every year, rich developers build some new estates up on uncleared hillsides. Way above the culdesacs, so you find yourself searching for 88d/R3 Colonial drive. You have to follow a maze of winding extensions, sometimes walk up rock paths, or catch mechanical inclined lifts just to get to the front door, and have some assuming old prick waiting impatiently to tell you how long you took, and not give you a tip. It's as though the city was designed by some God who, for some unknown reason ; hates delivery drivers.
Of course I'd gotten half way up Colonial drive when I found it was a dead end at number 35. I slammed my fists into the speedometer. I knew I was already going to be hitting my pillow as the sun rose, I didn't need any extra hassle or hold ups. Sometimes I get really hot and flustered when I'm stressed out, the doctor said I had high blood pressure and that I should try not to upset my heart. As if I had any goddamned say in it.
I started reversing slowly, with no plan in mind, just cursing under my breath and trying to out think the fucking mindless city planners, my headlights glittering through the trees. That was when I had noticed the light on in the dark-purple convertible at number 29. It was an old Holden Astra with a soft, black leather roof. The paint was stripped and faded. I could see the dim yellow light was on inside, and it looked as though the door on the far side was open. I slowed right down, so the motor of my bike began to splutter and choke, expecting someone to reveal themselves from behind the car, but nobody looked up.
I waited for a short time, looking about nervously, seeing shadows slinking in the harsh bushland on the dark side of the road, and patterns forming in the angled perpendiculars forged by the streetlights. After a brief moment, I pulled closer to the far side of the road, drove up the rounded bumper gutter and parked on the grass. Then I got off to re-examine the convertible.
Could someone have left their lights on, or door open --and then gone inside?
I could smell sulphur, or engine oil. I just wanted to ask someone for goddamn directions. Crossing the road at a distance from the car, not wanting to startle the driver, I moved around the back of the convertible, noticing that the break lights were on, gazing like two red, robotic eyes. I also noticed a barely audible noise, like mumbling, or singing.
As soon as I hit the sidewalk I could see there was no one in or near the car. That was when the anxiety started seeping back in. Like, how were the break lights on? As I walked along the side of the old Holden I had the most unsettling sensation of dejavu. I don't know how to describe what happened next without sounding mentally ill. The driver side door was open, the light was on, and I knew whatever that muffled sound was, it was coming from inside the car. My only description of what happened inside me as I approached the open car door was ...something to do with memory... As I poked my head in at the pastel leather seats, I felt like I had lived this moment hundreds of times before. As though the memory was etched on my soul. Of course it was that moment when I realised the noise was only pop music, and it was coming from the old car stereo. See, it's strange, I know I'd never heard the song before, as far as I can find, the song doesn't exist. But it was so familiar, like something from a dream. The yacht-rock 1980's synth and cheeseball vocals reminded me of Simon Le Bon and Duran Duran. It was so surreal. I can remember the lyrics clear as day;
'Centuries, you swore they would be yours. They've scratched out a path with their cat's claws. You prayed for a sign; I only hoped that one day you'd be mine. Finally, they take you out the back and tell you ; Focus on a black line.'
When I brought my head up out of the car, I felt the movement of my body as though it was a pre programmed machine. I can't explain what went through my head, when I looked back out at the street, the shadows in the streetlight seemed like perpendicular legs walking towards me. I felt agoraphobic from the dark, and when I turned and looked up the stairs of the old house where the car was parked, and saw that the front door was open, and the lights were on... Something possessed me to go in. I remember pushing aside the green, rusted metal gate, something about it was all so familiar, like a house party I'd been to once. A long, long time ago.
The front of the early terrace house was run down, the grass on the lawn was browning and it was littered with old newspapers and rubbish.
As I came to the peeling white paint on the door frame, I did question my actions slightly. Although there was a light on in the front room, the rest of the house was completely dark. The wooden floorboards were thickly laquered, for some reason I called out, and the whole hall echoed; 'Hey? Is anybody there? I'm a delivery driver. I need some directions.' I don't know why I didn't turn around at that point. Everything inside me was terrified of going in, and my heart had started palpitating heavily. But my curiosity from this unexplainable feeling got the better of me. I placed one foot inside, and the floorboards began to creak. I felt some kind of presence early on, I was sure that I wasn't alone.
At first I tried to step softly, so the creak of the floorboards would settle, but then I remembered that I wanted to draw attention to myself. Sneaking around would just make me seem like an intruder, so I allowed the heavy groan of the old wood its full force. Creak. Creak.
The hallway seemed infinitely long as I walked along, breathing heavily, and listening to the sound of my own blood flow. A specific memory suddenly crashed into my head. It was a party. A real memory from high school. The house was exactly the same layout as the one I was in, and I remembered walking up the steps, then through the hallway, and finally out into the backyard. Stephen McGinty. It was McGinty's party. I remember because they had a keg on a white table in the left corner of the backyard. That was the first time I met Denise. My ex-girlfriend. She was standing by the punch bowl and I had asked Robin Varado who she was. Weird.
This was all running through my head as I came towards the end of the hallway, and found there ; a doorway which led into a room as black as an Americano. I hesitated at the door, breathing rapidly and unable to speak. I thought I could hear something from inside the darkness. A tapping. Or a scratching sound of some kind.
God knows what came over me. I felt myself walking through the barrier of darkness. Raising my hand to the wall, and slowly, quietly fishing around for a light switch. In sporadic moments I would stop in fright, hearing what sounded like metal on metal, a knife running over metal. Shit!
After forcing myself three times to ignore the sound, my fingers finally found the cold, smooth plastic and flicked the switch. Only a dull orange glow hit the room, as the antique light bulb flickered and struggled to glow. I could see now, the space was a lounge room, and from the input of my senses, there was apparently nobody inside. On the floor was a cheap Persian rug with a latticed green design over an ugly mandarin base colour. There was a large flatscreen digital TV in the centre of the room, the curtains were yellowy and stained. A range of bookshelves displayed haphazardly arranged books and DVD's. There was also a khaki coloured bean bag strewn in the corner of the room... But my eyes were for some reason drawn to an archaic looking stereo in the right hand corner of the room.
The stereo was very last century, fake wood paneling on the sides, loads of large square knobs and buttons, it had two tape decks, and the top encased an old school CD player. It looked like it hadn't been used in decades. But, the most remarkable thing was that the digital display was on somehow, glowing a neon green colour. I moved in close to examine it, confused and terrified by the very existence of such a relic, a little dusty, but somehow in good condition.
I put my hands onto the black surface of the cabinet, exploring the shelves like a child, fearfully, almost sensually. Then I found my fingers curling over the rounded corners of a cassette tape, lying next to the stereo. Hypnotically, I picked up the cassette, lifting it closer to my face so I could read the hand drawn label. It was coloured in purple texta, then the title was inked over in permanent marker. On one side it read 'The man in the brown coat', and on the other side 'Mix'. A shiver ran down my spine for no apparent reason, as I instinctually pressed the hard plastic button to eject the tape deck, slowly I placed the cassette inside, carefully pushing the door so the tiny spokes pushed into the two holes. My finger rushed to the play button and pushed the indent with a marked click.
A familiar refrain broke out. Surf guitars. The ghostly song echoed through the old terrace house:
'Thoughts, you know they were never yours. You borrowed them/ Still some lonely day we will all return to blackened jaws. You say you want to understand, but I think you're only looking for someone to hold your hand. The only lie I can tell you is that everything is going to be fine. You learn to focus on a black line.'
With an unexplainable jolt of terror I hammered my finger on the stop button, and took two paces backwards.
My body was tingling. I couldn't explain the unnerving, unholy feelings. My shoulders were coated in bulbous goose pimples. Then I jolted again, because I heard the sound again. Scraping. Metal scraping. But this time I could hear where it was coming from, the adjacent room in the hallway. Somebody was in there.
For a moment I contemplated running-- returning to my bike and bailing. What the fuck was I doing? But something prevented me from running. There was an answer to some indecipherable riddle I had to find, something almost...supernatural pulling my strings.. to travel onward into the dark room on the other side of the hall. I felt like a child, who woke up early on Christmas day, wandering towards some forbidden prize. This time I was forced to stop upon the creaky floorboards in the hall. I was conscious of myself, not wanting to make a mark. I slowed each step to a minute pace. Something loud!
I turned to look ...only to notice a strange light in the living room from which I had just came. The light was flickering more than before. But now it was glowing with an unnatural digital light. I stopped like a hunted animal, waiting for the surprise bullet. But nothing came.
With enamoured perplexion I turned and walked the nine steps back into the lounge room in an attempt to discover what was causing the unhallowed glow. Instantly upon entry I saw. The television was on. Ghosting with an archaic snow storm, there was nothing on the screen. I stared, mesmerised, unable to move. Then I saw it flash. Text. Had I actually read it? Or had my mind just planted the words in my vision. I was sure I had read it, in simple Helvetica font; 'Have you yet seen the man in the green Cravat?'. Another noise. My eyes were drawn to the tape deck again, where to my utter despair I could see the impossible in action. The play button on the tape deck was quivering, as if some enormous pressure was being applied to it from an unseen force. I backed away, defying the things my mind was telling me I beheld. Almost tripping on the raised wooden floorboards. Without even conceiving it, I had walked backwards into the dark, adjacent room. As it dawned on me where I was, trembling in the dark, my ears propping erectly outward, fearing and hoping that I was just imagining the terrible scraping noise. With the instincts of a jungle animal, I spun around placing my hands on each side of the door frame. Staring into the darkness, I wondered if I had the inner strength to search for the light switch again.
Apparently I did. I was almost disappointed to find nothing in the dawning light but a dingy old bathroom. There was no one inside, no answer to that curious scraping. There was an old pink bath, a shower curtain with strawberry print. Old patterned tiles you could almost imagine little faces peering out of. The sink was rusted and bare. The tap dripped loosely. But I found myself merely staring at the lime-stained mirror. Moving into view like an eclipse, I stared at my own face. Sorrowful eyes, worry lines, weathered pores. It was one of those rare moments where you actually stop to look at yourself, with no preconceived notions. You just absorb yourself in a raw honesty, and accept that all the self delusions you implant in yourself every day are just pointless deceptions. It all means nothing. Retreating into my own mind I hadn't paid attention to anything beyond my focus. Of course, when I saw the girls reflection in the mirror I leapt out of my skin.
There she was, behind the shower curtain. Pale. Naked. Covered in cockroaches. Her black, Japanese eyes starred straight into mine; as her plushed lips spoke; 'Don't go looking for the man the man with the orange cuff links.' She sobbed a little, holding out her clenched fist. I couldn't help staring at her flat breasts, she looked malnourished and yet exquisitely beautiful. As she opened her fist, and stretched her hand out I finally realised she was offering me something. I couldn't tell if I was hallucinating or experiencing some kind of haunting, but nothing allowed me any respite. I knew I couldn't keep looking at the girl in the mirror. I defiantly knew I couldn't turn and look at her. Not whilst her eyes were bleeding, and... And...the blood between her legs. I grabbed the small, thin, black object out of her hand and closed my eyes. When the stereo turned on in the other room and began to play the last chorus of that haunting refrain I think I went completely mad. Utterly unborn, I began to bash my head against the mirror. Twice. Three times. The mirror shattered. My blood stained the circular centre of the spiders web which clouded my reflection. I kept hitting my head against the mirror until the blood was in my eyes. Finally the girl was gone.
You probably find this story absurd. The product of a psychotic mind. Maybe.
I don't know what it is I experience out there that day. I left the house after seeing the girl. Needless to say I never returned to that old terrace house. I didn't finish that delivery, and I'm not sure if I'll go back to that job. Everything is different now.
Whatever compelled me to share this story ; is still inside me. I know it's not enough.
I'm going down to the old gaol in Kings Cross. I've got this piece of willow charcoal, and I'm going to write the lyrics of that song on the sandstone wall. So everyone can see it. Because that's what the girl wanted me to do. I think that last verse will be playing over and over in my brain like a broken record for as long as I live. That melancholy saxophone blowing through the breeze as I hear her mouthing the lyrics;
'Plans and pleasures fade with time. Can't fit the sorrow into a rhyme. Guess you'll have to grow a spine. While heroes try; and go insane. You'll lose it all and die in vain. And at your tomb, they can read it all scrawled on your headstone, and pine....
2016.07.19 11:45 necheredBasic Tourist Information
There is always a lot of questions when visiting the city; hopefully this will answer the most common ones.
Traveling to/from airport
Oslo Lufthavn Gardemoen (OSL) Airport Express train : costs about 190 NOK to Oslo Central Station (Oslo S), takes from 19 to 21 minutes. Train (NSB): cost about 101 NOK (28.05.18) to Oslo S, takes about 23-25 minutes - buy the tickets in advance as there is a surcharge if bought on the train. Bus: This is practical if you are going to the suburbs, Moss (including Moss Airport) or Fredrikstad. Prices vary depending on where you are going, same goes for how long it takes. Remember to check closely which bus you need to take. You can use Ruter https://ruter.no/en/ to check.
Travelling within Oslo
Ruter is the transport authority in Oslo, a Ruter ticket is valid on all transports (train, bus, tram, underground, boats) within the zones the ticket is valid for. You can buy 24h, 7 days, 30 days or 365 days travel card. These can be bought at a Ruter service point or from the app (iOS or Android. You can also buy a Ruter ticket/travel card from the NSB app. My suggestion is to download the Ruter app and register yourself, you can also use it to buy single (or multiple single tickets) if need be. Remember to check the zones, as a tourist zone 1 should suffice most of the time. If you are travelling to a point outside zone 1 you can buy an extension ticket (cheaper than full price), for instance when going to the airport.
If you are planning to see a lot of museums and sightseeing you should look at Oslo Pass. Giving you public transport, access to museums, free parking, discounts to restaurants and much more. This could save you a lot of money if you plan it right. There is also an app (iOS/Android) and you can buy the Oslo Pass right from there.
Now you can register yourself with a non-Norwegian number and they have different subscription including a day pass. They close down for the winter, usually they are available between April and November. However check with your hotel, some of them rent/lend bikes to guests.
I don´t drive a car in the city, so I have no help here. If you can avoid it (drive to/from hotel) do so. Maybe someone in the comments can elaborate.
General information about Oslo / Norway
Stand to the right, walk on the left on escalators
Especially in Oslo Central Station (Oslo S/Jernbanetorget), or you might get some nasty looks from people trying to get to their trains/metro on time.
You might find the selection more limited quality should be more than fair. You will also find ecological products in most stores, these are usually marked "eco" or "Økologisk". Most stores are closed on Sunday and holidays. Alcohol (wine, spirits etc.): Can only be bought at Vinmonopolet. Beer: Can be bought at most supermarkets, but only until 20:00 on weekdays and 18:00 on Saturday (excluding holidays). Light beer (low alcohol) is sold on Sundays and "after hours".
As in any capital, there is crime in Oslo (and Norway for that matter). I feel safe in Oslo, but your mileage on this matter might vary. It´s safe to say that for being a capital in Europe Oslo is very safe. However people do drink a lot on the weekends, and it´s common for commotions to start in the lines to get into bars or taxi lines after closing time.
There is a lot more to see in Oslo that just these things, these are just a small selection and mostly the most popular ones. Prices indicate 1 adult, there are usually discounts for senior citizens, students and families. Look at the provided links for more price information.
Parliament - Stortinget
They have free tours! * Spring 2018: Every Saturday from 13 January to 16 June (except 19 May). * Summer 2018: Closed * Autom 2018: No other information other that it starts on the 14th of September. Last about 45 minutes, however there is no booking, so come early and expect to stand in line. There is also a security check (like in the airport). More Information : Guided tours of the Parliament building
The Royal Palace / Det kongelige slott
There are tours (paid) during the summer. They last about 1 hour. You can find more information here: The Royal House of Norway - Guided tours of the Royal Palace I have never taken the tour, but been inside several times and don´t expect Buckingham Palace style to the place, but still unique. Change of the guards is at 13:00 (takes about 40 minutes)
There is a lot to see and do in Oslo and Ruter has made a crowdsourcing site where people put in their recommendations on things to do in Oslo. All of the tips are in connection with a public transport stop (get it now?). It´s in Norwegian, but with some ingenuity and Google translate you should be fine (or ask here in Reddit).
There is no denying that Oslo has become a splendid city to visit if you love coffee or are a coffee snob (like me).
This is the only Solberg & Hansen store; they are a large coffee roastery retailer. They also have a concept store at Mathallen. There are of course many more places: Norð, Steam Kaffebar , Stockfelths and so on. If you love coffee then Oslo will not disappoint.
You are in luck, Oslo has an excellent selection of restaurants in all price ranges. However you do have to remember they are still Norwegian prices, so if we say a place is "cheap" I mean "cheap for being Oslo". Here is a small selection of places that stand out. But it´s a subjective list, you can also use Google or TripAdvisor to find a good place.
It might look a bit run-down. However the main floor is a preserved site (has been a theatre and a brewery). Lompa has a good selection of beers. They also have a terrace with a grill menu. Food: Modern Norwegian / European Price range: inexpensive
This is a rock solid burger joint, in the last years, there have been a lot of burger places popping up all over the place. However Illegal is still a solid choice. However there is limited seating in Møllergata, they have opened a new branch in Grünerløkka with better seating options. Food: Duh! Burgers! Price: inexpensive
I was surprised by this gastropub, the food is good and so is the beer selection. Situated near Majorstuen underground station. Food: Bistro / gastropub Price: inexpensive
Bars / Pubs.
There are enough of them in Oslo and every flavour. So it should not be difficult to find a place that suits you. Here is a small selection of pubs based on my own experience. Oslo Camping. Indoor mini golf and bar. Costs 105 NOK pr. person. Crow Brewery and Bar. Good selection of beers. Try the kebab! (2nd floor). Tilt Bar. Retro gaming and bar. Most of the tables have built-in gaming consoles, and there are pinball machines. Also shuffleboard. Wurst Pølser og Øl. Beers and sausages. Tucked away in a side passage so it might take some looking. They also have board games. Heimkok. Famous for their drinks, so if you prefer an excellent drink, this is the place. Smelteverket. Located by Mathallen, it's supposed to have Scandinavia's longest bar. They also have live music.
This food hall has a lot to offer. there are some good places to eat and shop for food. You can buy food from different places and eat it in the common area. There are also several good restaurants nearby. Food: All types Price: expensive (for groceries)
Buy a cheap luge at a sporting store and find a park and have some fun. If it´s the conditions are right, there will be many others with the same idea. lightwrangler suggest Korketrekkeren. Warning This activity requires snow (just saying)
During winter there are two skating rinks in Oslo, in Spikersuppa and Frogner. You can rent some skates and enjoy a cold evening out. More information here
More information about Oslo
Visit Oslo: http://www.visitoslo.com/en/ edit 190716: Added some more places and spelling.edit 190716: Added "Winter is coming" after a request from boJmoT, more spelling errors (both removed and introduced).edit 200716: spelling, added some more information and fixed some formattingedit 110116: general update, added paragraph about coffee. edit 110617: been a while since an update, so went over the whole post *edit 280518: Yearly update.
2016.06.26 02:43 sailor_doctorwhoIced Americano vs Iced Cold Brew Help
Hey there. I've done research online, but I want your opinion /Coffee ! Our shop only serves decaf coffee as single-serve pour-over as it's not popular enough to have a carafe. This means we do not have any decaf cold brew. I'm only two months into my position, so I'm still learning some things about different drinks. The baristas (I'm only a cashieeverything but a barista) tell me to offer a decaf americano. I've read that a single shot pet 6-8oz water should taste similar to coffee? I've only tried our hot americano 12oz that comes with 2 shots. It tasted like watery espresso. So. I guess my question is...is it a valid replacement for decaf coffee hot and iced? Can it taste similar to coffee? If so, what is the best ratio? For cold brew [Edit: For ICED AMERICANO], should I suggest an extra shot due to the ice? [Edit: I've figured this out...thanks.] All our drinks are 2 shots. Hot sizes: 12 - 16 - 20 Cold: 16 - 20 -24