I'm really feeling the tragedy in Haiti on a more personal level than I normally might. When I hear about natural disasters in other countries, my usual reaction is to say "Wow, that really sucks", maybe say a prayer, and halfheartedly follow the news until they stop talking about it. But I have a good friend who has family in Haiti, and she has no way to know if they're even alive. Even though I don't know any of her relatives there, it makes the whole thing feel closer to home. On one level, I feel bad knowing I wouldn't care as much if I didn't have a connection there, but on the other hand it makes me realize the value of being friends with a whole lot of different people. The more people you know, the more connected you are to everything that happens in the world, and the easier it is to truly understand the impact when things like this happen.
A Star Trek fan community I'm in has been raising money for Haiti through UNICEF, and has raised just shy of eight thousand dollars in roughly the last 24 hours. What makes this extra amazing is that:
1) This isn't any major organization or official fanclub or anything. It's just a Livejournal community. Granted, it's an enormous one, but still.
2) Part of what's making the effort so successful is that our donation page was linked on Twitter by Zachary Quinto, Tyler Shields, and Wendi Lynn (who does makeup on Heroes). I'm trying to focus on the good cause and not get all starstruck, but I can't help going holy shit about that. Just a tiny bit.
I've been feeling shitty that I can't do anything to help because of my economic situation, but I'm really proud to be part of a group that's making such a big effort to help out.
Speaking of Livejournal (which I spend entirely too much time on), I'm also a member of a tiny glam rock fan community, and today someone posted Sandra Dodd's letter from David Bowie. They thought it was adorable and wanted to know if it was for real. I was momentarily stunned when that showed up on my friends list, because it's so rare that my unschooling life and my pathetic fangirl life overlap so neatly. But I was happy to be able to verify that the letter is real, on the grounds that "I totally know the person he sent it to."
Wanna know a random thing I learned today? Mayonnaise lasts a long ass time. See, I've had this jar of mayo in my fridge for longer than you probably want to know. The expiration date says June 2010, and it smells and tastes fine, but for a long time I refused to use it because I believed mayonnaise couldn't possibly last for six months. I'm not sure why I was keeping it if I wasn't going to use it, but I'm glad I did, because it turns out it's still good. I did some research and found that it's so acidic it's hard for bacteria to grow in it, which is why it lasts so much longer than you'd expect from an egg-based product. (Note that this only applies to store-bought mayo; the homemade kind doesn't last as long.)
This is probably going to sound weird coming from someone who lives in Florida, but I'm pretty sure I have some form of SAD. While I'm usually happy in December, I tend to spend January wanting to crawl in a hole somewhere and maybe evolve into some kind of plantlike creature so I can just absorb nutrients from the dirt. I also tend to leave my Christmas decorations up well into January, partly because they cheer me up, but also because I'm too listless to take them down. Today on a whim I finally took down the Christmas tree in my bedroom, and after that I felt a whole lot better. Turns out my cheery, happy Christmas tree was blocking most of the light from getting into my room, thus making my depression worse. Face, meet palm.
The job hunt is not going so well. And by that I don't mean I'm having trouble getting an interview. I mean I'm having trouble finding anything to apply for in the first place. There just isn't all that much around here right now. I finally put a profile on some babysitting websites and I'm hoping to hear back from a family I'd like to apply with. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to panic too much over money. My gut is telling me everything's going to be okay, and even though my gut is usually right, it's still hard to listen to it when my head is screaming oh my god I'm gonna run out of money and I'll starve and my electricity will be cut off and my house will magically disappear into a puff of smoke even though I don't have a mortgage, just because the universe feels like punishing me some more. Any prayers, kind wishes, positive energy, happy thoughts, affirmations, or whatever it is you do are appreciated.
Holy hell I forgot what a load of bullshit high school homework is. I have a good friend who's a senior this year, and she's overworked and overwhelmed and basically just comes to me and goes "What the hell am I supposed to do?!" I'd be tempted to just mail her the Teenage Liberation Handbook with a note that says get the fuck out, but she's graduating in a few months anyway, so for now I'm just trying to help her through the work. The stupid, mind-numbing, pointless work. When you have teenagers upset because their school schedule doesn't leave them enough time to volunteer at a homeless shelter, and lamenting the fact that they have to write essays on Nineteen Eighty-Four because it keeps them from really getting into the book, it's a damn sure sign that whatever kids are being forced to do is a waste of time.