Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday evening random

* Something discussed on ITFF, in re someone's question about: "A colleague of mine died. I'm not sure I have it in me to go to the funeral; is going to the viewing 'enough'?"

And a friend of theirs told them: "Do whatever you can do with grace" meaning to only do the things that will not push you to the point of being overwhelmed or over-emotional and I really like that advice because I often am the kind of person who will push myself a little beyond the limit because I feel like "must do what people want me to do; must keep up appearances" and sometimes I think I probably try to do too much.

* another thing from elsewhere: Sethisto (one of the authors of Equestria Daily) commented that he did not watch "Brony" reviews of My Little Pony because

I just don't pay attention to details. It's a show about illogical cartoon ponies. The last ep was Fluttershy taking on a bunch of fun personalities. I'm not going to nag about her S1 sewing skills, or OOC

And I see that. That's how I feel (also, the more awful bits of the fandom, though v. small, are sufficiently awful that I prefer to avoid much of it)

But yeah. I might say "this wasn't my favorite episode" or maybe "Yeah, I think this one really was more aimed at the kids watching" or some such, but I'm not going to pick things apart. And I realized part of it is this (as I said on Twitter): "I have to spend so much time on my job picking stuff apart (evaluating journal articles, grading student writing, rewriting my own crummy writing) that I just want to enjoy my entertainment stuff"

And I think that's a big part of it. It's just nice to relax and take off my critic hat and not worry about things like internal consistency* and style and all that, and just ENJOY something.

(*Though I will say, in terms of continuity: Pony is better than 90% of the cartoons out there about having an internally-consistent world, and even doing things like callbacks to earlier seasons).

If I want to enjoy something, I just want to enjoy it. If I don't, I'll wander away to something else (several cartoons I used to watch went to rather dark and sad places, and I don't care for dark or sad, so I quit watching them and found other things). I don't want to have to criticize.

(I think of someone I knew, a former English major, who complained that she could no longer "just enjoy" reading novels for a period of time after some of her more intensive analytical classes)

(And I will say: I think I'm done with the recent incarnation of The Simpsons, after Sunday's episode :(  I still enjoy the early episodes and when I can find them on FXX, I will re-watch them. But sometimes I wonder if the writers have developed an overblown sense of their own importance as cultural arbiters...)

(And elsewhere, someone was snarking about how they weren't watching "Bob's Burgers" any more because "after season 4, the family got totally Flanderized" (and I had to look that up to remind me, and no, I haven't noticed that and I still like the show - as I've said, it does surreal humor fairly well and I kind of like how the core cast is more-or-less a normal family, and then the side characters - like the Brothers Fischoeder and Marshmallow - are very *different* sorts of people, and yet, are by and large accepted - the fact that Bob simply says, "Oh, hey, Marshmallow" when she walks in [for those unfamiliar with the show, Marshmallow is a tall, African-American, transgender (or transvestite? It's a little unclear) prostitute who dresses in that white strap-thing like the girl in "The Fifth Element"]....and yet Bob just kind of accepts that she's going to be there, and it's not a deal when she walks into the restaurant)

* I got my bank statement and rectified my checkbook today. For ONCE, I was able to get it to come out the first go (taking into account that the $200-and-some dollars had not been siphoned out for my state taxes, though I had written that down in the check register and already subtracted it).

And yes, I am that old-skool: I do not use the online portal. I rectify my checkbook once a month and the rest of the time keep track by subtracting checks or debits as they happen.

And I did get verification that my Federal refund has been deposited. (I figured it had, based on the "balance remaining" I got on the receipt one day I withdrew some money).

So I'm back to being mostly okay again, though I do need to be careful in the future (and start trying to chunk a few hundred dollars into my savings account every other month or so, if I can, if I have no emergencies, so I can have a fund built up for when I have to replace my current car)

I did do a bit of "frivolous" spending - I ordered one smol Pony (Baby Lucky, one of the rare baby boy ponies, and he has a "mohawk" cut to his mane). And I ordered a few things (some hair masques, a new nail polish) via Ulta....

and I wonder, where is the line between "kinda okay" and "frivolous and should not be done"? It's hard to cut out ALL "frivolous" spending if that is the stuff that makes you happy. (Maybe I need to set a budget of X amount of dollars per month, and I can either blow it on one biggish thing, or several small things. I don't know).

I did look up my old W-2s, after reading the new survey of faculty pay that AAUP puts out's kind of shocking what a pay cut I took not working summers. (Like: $10,000). But then again, that last year I taught summer, I made about $2500 instead (adjunct wages) and I'd rather just have to strictly budget than do that much work (because I can't not give it my best) for that little pay.

(I will also note I make less - by a fair bit - than the "full professor salary" quoted for my institution. I suspect part of that is seniority differences (though I am now approaching being one of the more senior people in my department) and perhaps discipline differences - some B-school and computer people are paid "off the card" (at higher rates than the rest of us) because otherwise, the argument goes, it's hard to attract people....I guess. I suppose the other argument there is a finger pointing at me saying "you should have chosen a more in-demand specialty if you wanted to make more money." I don't know. Money isn't everything but I can see how pay cuts can lead to scrambling and unhappiness....)

So yeah, it's not my imagination that my pay went down sharply. (Also, one of the much-higher-pay years, I taught an overload one fall and got paid the overload rate, which added to my income).

I mean, I'm still comfortably well off, especially compared to many people in this area. It's just I have to be more careful than I was.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

I watched The Simpsons religiously for the 1st decade, only sporadically since.