chukichi

this thing is still about things

Tag Archives: simpsons

A Topical Post?

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A lovely Wednesday morning, 64 degrees and it finally feels like October.  At least it will feel that way for a few more minutes.  I went to bed this morning at 6 AM and woke up at 8:30 AM bright-eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take on the world!

I mean, I will be after I finish this giant ass mug of coffee and HOW CUTE ARE THESE KRISPY KREMES!

And oh…yeah…this mug that I made in 2015…with the Hearthstone logo on one side and my Warcraft guild banner on the other.  Good times.

First, I need to establish the fact that I’m a total hipster when it comes to hating Blizzard:  I broke up with Blizzard way before it was cool and I didn’t need to scream it from the rooftops because I don’t need the universe’s  validation.  Conversely,

PLEASE LIKE AND COMMENT AND FOLLOW THIS BLOG AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS OMG I NEED THE VALIDATION.

I was a Vanilla WoW player and originally quit due to babies and time and I knew that I would have little to no self-control when it came to gaming.  I was young and all I did at the time was work and then come home to play video games with the Mr.  You can Google “baby dies from neglect video games” and there is no shortage of horror stories.  I didn’t think that would neglect my children, but definitely I would tell the rest of my life to fuck off if I was still enmeshed with Warcraft.  With my first baby I was scared of everything.  In fact, I learned about pregnancy and listeria and didn’t have a cold sandwich for my entire pregnancy.  I was so psychologically terrified that I began having an intense fear of a zombie apocalypse primarily, I think, to distract myself from my fear of everything that could actually go wrong during a pregnancy.

The second time I quit was because of how much it was interfering with my marriage; this awesome game that originally pitted me and the Mr.  against the entire world of Azeroth and beyond had imperceptibly over time become a huge wedge between us.  In our desperate need to escape from problems in the real world, we did so separately and nearly destroyed our marriage.  When we fixed our marriage (or at least that aspect) and found our way back out WoW, something was just different.  It was definitely a bigger time sink (fuck you, LFR queue for dps) but the player environment was more toxic as well.  Everything was a mindless grind because the more time it took to complete every goal was more money in Blizzard’s pocket.  Don’t get me wrong, obviously they want you to play more/pay more but at least make it fun or interesting.

But this isn’t a post about how crazy or not crazy I am, nor is it about how I researched the cost of bulk canned water.  It especially is not about how I ultimately calmed my zombie fears by reasoning that a biological zombie outbreak would end rather quickly considering how fast insects and carrion feeders would eliminate the zombie threat, but the fact that Blizzard is once again being a piece of shit.

This all comes on the heels of the big news about Blizzard and the pro Hearthstone player Blitzchung (holy shit, is that a great name).  Literally every article out there can detail the controversy better than I ever could, but basically, Blitzchung is a professional Hearthstone player and in a post-match interview he made a political statement regarding his support for Hong Kong’s protesting citizens.  Blizzard was like NOPE and promptly fired him, rescinded all of his tournament winnings and banned him from Hearthstone professional matches for 12 months.

Personal disclaimer:  I am half-Chinese (half-Thai!) but 100% disconnected from my “roots”.  I speak more Spanish than I do any Asian language, I can’t make a proper dumpling or bao but I make the fucking best Thanksgiving turkey EVER.  Better than the Mr.’s grandmother’s and that’s a big statement in The South.  I don’t have a solid opinion on Hong Kong because I’m 1.) completely ignorant regarding politics in general, world politics even more so, and 2.) very aware of how this can all be manipulated and stirred up by rogue agents from all over the world.  Ultimately, I think the vast majority of Hong Kong protesters are genuine in what they believe in and I have no doubt the violence is very, very real.  However, I’m wary of the media (as everyone should be) and “first hand accounts” are mostly unreliable because you can’t vet and verify it.  I see posts on reddit, imgur, all over social media and if I don’t personally know the poster, how can I be sure it’s not a professional rabble rouser?  Part of a shadow government pulling strings?  While comical and humorous, I suspect most political protests start like this:

Unpopular opinion:  Blizzard is well within their rights and interests to fire Blitzchung.  The wording in their contracts are purposefully vague—they aren’t paying all that money to contract lawyers for nothing.  Nothing that Blizzard had done is in any way illegal, an infringement on Blitzchung’s rights, or against anything that makes them a company.

Just because they have the right to do it doesn’t make it right.

I hate these trends where everyone is suddenly shocked and appalled at corporations being…corporations.  They are financially obligated to their shareholders to MAKE MONEY.  That’s how corporations work.    Blizzard had “the best year ever” and simultaneously laid off 800 employees?  MAKE MONEY.  Pissing off China will be a significant detriment to their ability to MAKE MONEY.  In the second quarter of 2019, Activision Blizzard earned $173 million from the Asia Pacific region, about 12 percent of its $1.4 billion worldwide total revenues.  Just because a company can afford something has no bearing whatsoever on whether they will afford something.

I personally feel like everyone has their nostalgia glasses on and are desperately clinging to early 2000’s Blizzard, rather than the reality of Activision-Blizzard of 2019.  The company that Blizzard was is definitely not the company Activision is.  Like so many others, I want to romanticize Blizzard and remember them in the frame that I created for them:  cool, innovative, involved with their customer base of gamers.  I remember being able to chat with GM’s in the actual game!  Blue text posts were something to look forward to and the people that worked there were (or at least did an amazing job of acting) invested in not only the game that they’d worked on but also how it was received by their audience that mirrored them in joy and passion.  I think it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way about any Blizzard game and even longer since Blizzard was interested in their original culture.

Unpopular opinion 2:  Blitzchung’s right to free speech has not been infringed.  He is absolutely free to say whatever he wants; he is not, however, free from consequences that come from what he says.  My personal opinion is that he’s not an idiot and knew that speaking out would be controversial. He lives in Hong Kong, not the United States, so any argument of US Constitutionality is really a moot point.  Blitzchung’s response and demeanor after Blizzard’s decision tells me that he was not surprised by the outcome and seemed mentally and emotionally prepared for the aftermath.  Like so many voices over the internet have stated, this blow up has just brought more attention to the cause and hopefully at least a portion of this attention will result in actual education rather than coat-tailing.

I’m an old cynical lady.  I know someone that can make a career out of esports isn’t going to go broke and die in this environment.  As much as I want to believe that this all comes from a place of true concern for Hong Kong, I wonder if there was ulterior motive for his action.  Maybe he wanted out of his contract?  Maybe he had an offer from another company that was more lucrative?  Maybe Bart Simpson paid him a good chunk of change to start a riot in the bank?

In my opinion, regardless of Blitzchung’s motive, at the end of the day, Blizzard is still shit and has been for a long time.  I’m glad I haven’t paid them any money in a long time and I’m especially glad that I haven’t gotten sucked back in under the lure of Classic WoW.  I am not going to bandwagon and tell anyone to #boycottBlizzard.  Other people need to make a living either directly or peripherally and as noble as the cause is, eating, paying rent, caring for your family—those are absolutely more important.  No one really wants to be a martyr.  The right or wrong of it, the solution to even one of any of the hundreds of aspects of this?  Good luck, because you sure as hell won’t find it here.

More than anything I hope Blitzchung and those he cares about stay safe and successful.  I hope the employees at Blizzard continue to do what they can without compromising themselves in the process.  More than anything, I hope things don’t get as bad as we all think they will.

Veri-Happy Anniversary to me!

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Today is the 8th anniversary of my most popular post, Veri-Green is not Veri-Good -or- more evidence that I am the most boring person ever.  As of *right this second* this blog has been viewed solely on the merit of that one single post about green beans over 1,800 times.  1,821 people needed to know more about Kroger’s Veri-Green Beans.  You understand what this means, right?

I am the Green Bean Queen

Now, I know those aren’t big numbers or anything, but I’m #1 when you search “zinc chloride green beans” and #5 when you search “veri green” on Google, so that’s basically the only thing I have going for me so stop peeing on my parade.  I was only reminded of this stupid green bean thing again when I accidentally brought home a wayward can of these artificially preserved green beans and realized they were no longer ‘veri green’:

Not veri, but extra

As mentioned before, ‘veri green’ is trademarked, so now I guess Kroger is doing their own store brand generic version of zinc chloride in their green beans?  There are plenty of other name brand food companies using the ‘veri green’ label so it’s still a thing, just not for Kroger.  Now, 8 years later, here are the same side-by-side comparisons:

No color correction for the actual bean photos.

The beans are pretty much identical as they were 8 years ago, down to the smell.  Again, I didn’t taste them so maybe they taste the same, maybe they taste like unicorn farts, who knows.  Arsenic is also undetectable in taste and smell as well so whatever.

I also upgraded from the counter to the kitchen table for pictures.

One thing that I noticed was different now is that the regular cut green beans are in a can labeled as having a non-BPA liner but the beans treated with zinc chloride has no such label.

remember when we didn’t care at all about BPA?

The can on the left is the non-BPA lined can; the one on the right is the zinc chloride bean can which I assume is teeming with literally all the BPA you can shake a stick at.  Is there a scientific reason for the different type of can?  If it was in fact a non-BPA lined can, I’m sure it would be labeled as such the same way that marketers want to label everything they can as ‘gluten free’.

The cans do look different but that could totally be the lighting.

For the record, I had to make a green bean casserole for someone else and sure as shit I wasn’t going to go out of my way to do anything fancy.  I did go out and get a replacement for those eye searing zinc beans, so I’m not a total monster.  I’ll probably get my scientician* license taken away because I didn’t do some actual testing, but here are the facts:

1.)  I’m super lazy.  There is no disputing this.

2.)  Zinc chloride can sound super scary for dummies like me when in the context of a Wikipedia article but in truth is used in a ton of applications.

3.) Even Tom’s of Maine uses zinc chloride and people love them and offer up their first born children unto them so who am I to argue.

Essentially, is it poison?  Not in the amounts used.  Does it sound gross?  Yes.  Is it necessary?  No.  In the same way vaccines sound scary when you break down the individual components, no one wants to see that on the list of ingredients when in reality, green beans, water, and sometimes salt are all you should reasonably expect on the ingredients list of a can of green beans.  If you’re desperate for brighter green beans without zinc chloride, then go with fresh or frozen as a hugely more expensive alternative.  Regular cut green beans in a can are cheaper than treated, and as we all know, it comes out the same in the end so just eat what you want as long as you know what it is.  This concludes my TED talk.

*Scientician is a perfectly cromulent word:

All the rest

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I was originally going to post this back some time in May but I was in a life or death battle with three rhinoceroses and all I had were night vision googles, a kazoo, and a pair of chopsticks.

Or maybe I just forgot I had this draft sitting around.  Whatever.  So anyway…

I have a ridiculous phobia of dentists.  I had multiple terrible experiences as a child and as a young adult on my own, I couldn’t afford to eat let alone go to the dentist.  My problems were from both neglect and genetics, so yay me.  By the time I started adulting, my teeth were in terrible even more terrible shape.

The answer was sedation dentistry.  A full day of drugs, being driven around, and spitting out things.  Dental insurance is ridiculously expensive; not all of us can work a union job.

You know exactly how it sounds.

Not just expensive, but thousands of dollars worth of work at once.  Thousands. I couldn’t bear the dentist and I wanted to get everything done at once, so that’s basically why I did it.  Bursting into tears half way to the dentist and begging to turn around and we don’t have to do this and we can cancel the appointment and it’s so expensive turn around turn around turn around!

(Fact:  we did not get to turn around)

So, recently, I started having tooth pain.  I was terrified because there just isn’t money for this right now ever.  I didn’t want to go but it was excruciating.  I didn’t go the sedation route for the first time in about 20 years.  I did take two clonazepam though.  I didn’t throw up or become hysterical.  This is a big deal as that is what would have happened had I not self medicated.  It was still expensive; about $220 for an x-ray.  That’s all they did, but to be fair, it was a fancy x-ray.

So fancy.

First off, the tooth in question should not have been hurting at all–I had a root canal and crown about 10 years ago.  That’s why the tooth is so opaque.  The nerves are removed/deadened so there shouldn’t be any pain.    Here’s some even fancier animation for you:

Now, if you look at my x-ray, you can see there’s a gap where the canal should be fully filled.  You see the white ‘pool’ under the tooth?  That’s an infection, also known as PAIN OF DEATH.  After my super expensive x-ray, I had to go to a specialist so they could drill through the crown.  Best case scenario:  they drill through the crown, remove the canal stuff, pack it with antibiotic stuff, come back in three weeks, remove the antibiotic stuff, repack the canal stuff, set temporary filling, then go to an additional appointment at the regular dentist to get a permanent filling.

Yeah.  Dentist –> Endodontist –> Endodontist –> Dentist.

Worst case scenario:  They drill through the crown, break it, have to replace the whole thing and send the mafia after me to break my kneecaps after I can’t pay them.

Luckily, everything went as planned.  Expensive.  First dentist x-ray was $220, filling and cleaning after the fact was $300?  I already don’t remember because I like to block out trauma.  The endodontist was $15oo, but the follow up procedure was included.  So as expensive as this was, still cheaper than sedation.  AND I didn’t have any tooth problems other than the original reason that bright me in!  No passive aggressive comments, no accidental stabbing me in the mouth, no jerks, no assholes.  I don’t floss enough which I think is pretty much standard for everyone.  At the endodontist I was shaking and crying but I pulled myself together by the time the dentist came in so no one saw which basically means it didn’t happen.

In other news, I am doing the thing!  I have accidentally been working on my ChÜberlist.  Accidental as in, I have just been living my life and making decisions that were not motivated by a list that I would have already forgotten if I didn’t have it blogged.  So here are my updates:

Self
1. Lose 10% of my current total body weight. – I’ve lost 5% of my body weight!  Yay me!  I decided to start paying attention on May 22 and it is actually getting easier.  I’m only dieting at the moment, but I’ll soon add actual exercise because right now I’m still too lazy and unmotivated.  Baby steps.
2. Practice better drug adherence. – I have been doing much better, actually.  I’m not skipping on purpose but there are nights that I fall asleep early and forget.  That is happening less and less though.
3. Get a haircut that I can maintain. – Is a pony tail a haircut?
4. Sleep like a normal human being. – What is “normal”, anyway?  Who’s to say how I sleep isn’t normal?  I think you’re being rather judgmental.
5. Be conscious about my appearance. – Okay, I bought some things.  I am aware that I have an appearance.  I have ONE picture of myself that I like.  These are all big steps so I’ll take what I can get.

Home
1. I need a meal plan. – Eating human food is the plan for now.  We do follow our breakfast schedule and I have a ton of muffins and breakfast tacos and frittatas in the freezer for consumption.
2. I need a chore schedule. 
3. Major Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter cleaning. – I threw out SO. MUCH. STUFF.  Old computers, the chair I rocked my babies in every night, lots of memories.  Bittersweet.  
4. Get the ice maker fixed.
5. Stop procrastinating on all of the minor repairs and projects. – I replaced a towel bar.  I did something.

Kids – I AM KILLING IT WITH THIS PARENTING THING.  Okay, I’ve been killing it for like, a week, but still, a week is progress.  We have finished our first week back to school since I took almost two months off to deal with that whole business thing.  School every day, violin practice every day, tae kwon do on Monday and Friday, violin on Tuesday and on Friday we go to the park to practice tae kwon do (I let Josh kick and punch the shit out of me) and play.  Their bedrooms are adequate.  If I can just keep this up I will be impressed and very pleased.
1. Enforce a consistent school, practice, wake up and bedtime routine.
2. School at the library or park once a week.
3. Have lesson plans one month in advance.
4. Be more regimented on practice for extra curricular activities.
5. Help the kids stay on task with cleaning their rooms.

Crafty – Ain’t nobody got time for that.
1. Finish hand quilting that giant king sized quilt.
2. Finish water color painting.
3. Sketchbook every day. Eventually.
4. Teach Robin to sew and to knit (those were her resolutions, so now they’re mine as well)
5. Knit at least 2 pair of socks.
6. Blog at least once a week.

Miscellaneous
1. Revamp the fish tanks. – Done, but always redoing.  I feel a bit stretched thin (mentally and financially) to do much more at this time but I want more fish, more plants, etc.  So basically, more money.
2. Wash my car once a month (inside and out)

So I like all this good news lately so if everything could stay consistent for a while that’d be great.  Picture unrelated:

Check out Slack Wyrm for more!