Monthly Archives: November 2013

Raising funds for my education

I don’t often post personal things here, because I have other online platforms for that, so people who only follow this blog (if that’s anyone at all) don’t get to read about the more mundane things going on in my life.

One thing I’m currently doing in addition to writing is studying to teach German as a foreign language. I’m taking a distance learning course through the Goethe Institute, at the end of which I’ll get a certificate that says I am capable of teaching German as a foreign language. One of the requirements is either to get 120 hours of teaching experience (which, as you may know, is difficult to do without already having experience to get the job…) or to do a 50-hour practicum in an approved location. Because of various factors, like there not being any schools where I could get a 50-hour practicum anywhere within 200 miles of my house (yes, I emailed the local high schools that offer German, too, and asked about student teaching), I’m doing this practicum at the Goethe Institute Mannheim.

That means buying plane tickets, and paying for housing, public transit, food, and other incidentals. Which is expensive. I found a room in a shared flat for €90/week, which is much cheaper than a hotel (the cheapest of which I found was €32/night), and I procrastinated/was indecisive long enough on buying plane tickets that the price dropped $100+, so I got them for three digits instead of four.

Because I haven’t been paid for working in a long time and I used my savings to pay for Viable Paradise, I’ve gone the route of many other people and started an online fundraising campaign at GoFundMe. I’ve offered a few reward levels for things like German lessons and translation assistance, because I feel weird just asking for money without anything in return. I may add a level of “digital photograph of something in Mannheim or Stuttgart” (I’m visiting a friend there after the practicum).

So if you have a few spare dollars that you want to toss in my basket because you like reading this blog, please do! Or if you liked reading my story U8: Alexanderplatz (1989), there’s a PayPal button at the bottom of that page.

If you donate, I thank you. If you share this link with your friends, I’m grateful. Continue reading

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This is a problem.

There’s someone out there who thinks my email address is theirs. Normally it’s just a nuisance, like the eye doctor in Wilmington who used it to apply for a job, or the law student in Chicago who put it down as the contact info for a reference for the … Continue reading

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In which I express my disdain for the idea of a Loki movie and enrage half the internet

I’ve seen calls across the web, like this one, for a standalone Loki movie. I am not on board with that at all.Don’t get me wrong: I think Tom Hiddleston is a great actor, and Loki is a very interesting, complicated villain. However, I’m going to argue… Continue reading

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Armistice Day

“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,Till on the haunting flares we turned our backsAnd towards our distant rest began to trudge.Men marche… Continue reading

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Friday things and a grammar rant

I currently have two short stories out on submission, and I’m working on revising a third, which I’d like to get out by Thanksgiving, possibly. This is highly unusual, because I don’t generally write short fiction. Also, it’s distracting me from finish… Continue reading

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Current anime season roundup

I’m watching a lot of shows this season. Let’s see if I can remember them all for this post.

Valvrave the Liberator: Picking up where it left off in summer, Valvrave continues the story of the space colonist high school students who think they can be a real government and outwit the other governments made up of real politicians. I’m finding that I hate it less than last season, because the increasing levels of WTFery seem to have plateaued. I mean, once you have space vampires and space nazis, an evil space illuminati isn’t that much of a stretch. Also, there’s more L-elf, who is actually competent and knows what he’s doing, and he’s in charge. They also appear to be pandering to fangirls with L-elf and Haruto. Watch it on Crunchyroll.

Gingitsune: Gintaro is a fox spirit in a shrine. Makoto is the priestess (in training) at the shrine. She can see Gin and other holy spirits. Her father invites the son of his teacher’s fellow student to live with them, and when Satoru arrives, a young fox spirit is with him. I think this show is a lot of fun, mainly because I want a sarcastic fox spirit with a giant floofy tail of my very own. Makoto has traits that remind me of Tohru from Fruits Basket (relentlessly cheerful; helpful, if clumsy). Watch it on Crunchyroll.

Gundam Build Fighters: Bandai & Sunrise made a show about building plastic model kits (plamo or gunpla), because they knew fanboys would eat that shit up and also buy their plastic model kits. The trick is that they handwaved a magic game system where people put their models and fight other people’s models, and the fighter’s strength is based on how good the model work is. I’m not making this up, I swear. This show is targeted at avid Gundam fans, and it includes mecha from all the series. I’ll be happy if I can buy a GP-02 model kit because of this show, though I’m reminded of the large stack of gunpla I need to build…

Kill La Kill: Ryuko Matoi arrives at Honnouji Academy to find out who killed her father and stole the other half of his magic scissors. Honnouji is under the control of Satsuki Kiryuin, who is working to take over all of Japan and turn it into a weird fascist system. School council members get special uniforms that grant them superhuman abilities. Ryuko finds a special uniform under the ruins of her family home. It is very strange, and every episode has homages to old anime. It treads a fine line between self-awareness of the trope of female armor that isn’t really armor and fanservice pandering. (I think it falls slightly on the self-aware side.) Watch it on Crunchyroll.

Samurai Flamenco: Model and sentai-show fan Masayoshi Hazama decides to put on a costume and become a vigilante. He meets police officer Hidenori Goto, who tries to convince him to give it up and let the pros handle it. Hazama doesn’t listen. He befriends an idol singer who is also a sentai-show fan, and she teams up with him. It’s very silly. Watch it on Crunchyroll. Continue reading

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Book review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards #1) by Scott LynchLocke Lamora, as you may guess from the title, is a liar. He’s very good at it, as a matter of fact, and he uses his skill at lying to separate rich fools from their money.His little band o… Continue reading

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Photo Friday

My 15-year college reunion was fun. I got to see my friends and the new things on campus. The leaves were turning, so the mountains were really pretty.I’d forgotten just how beautiful and how depressing central Pennsylvania is. Driving on the highway i… Continue reading

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