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text 2018-12-13 05:37
24 Festive Tasks | Door 16: Human Rights Day



(December 10)




12/12/2018:  Completed Tasks 2 & 3, with a Book Task being chosen pending my mood and the last door reveal.



Task 1

Book hunt for human rights: Search your shelves for books with titles containing human rights words such as (but not limited to): hope, friendship, equality, justice, love, liberty, etc.  Put them in a stack and take a picture for posting.  (5 book minimum).

Apparently this task was a little harder than I thought it would be.  Most of my physical bookshelf books are all Romantic Suspense with some random YA or fairy tale retellings.  And somehow none of these books have even the example words listed above.  We're either looking at words like dead or dark or a lot of other stuff.

I found three books with the word love, but that's it.  I might go through my digital shelves for a look see and maybe update later.



Task 2

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Find 3 books on your shelves with protagonists or other key characters who are -- or can reasonably be assumed to be -- 70 years or older.
-- COMPLETED 12/11/2018 --

This was not an easy task, but I was determined that I had read at least one or two books wherein a key character is surely 70+ years old--I was sure none of my books had a main protagonist who is even 70 years old.  Upon further searching, I found out that at least one book I've read had a protagonist who is 70+ years, but the book switches back and forth through time wherein we see the main protagonist as a young girl (Kate Morton's House at Riverton)... so I wasn't sure how well this one counted.

Fortunately, I DID come up with at least two books off the top of my head.  Being that I read mostly YA for a long time, there weren't a whole lot of main protagonists over the age of twenty.  Even the romance novels I read only have protagonists in the 20 to 40 age range.  So I'm lucky to have found a third book to list.

Unless of course, I decided to go with those eternally youthful looking, yet obviously hundreds of years old characters like vampires, fairies, or demons, oh my!  My second pick might be stretching it a little bit.


1.  Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
 -- Recently listening this book, there was a monologue by our powerful, foolish, rich multi-millionaire, John Hammond, stating that he is 76 years old.  He's a pretty essential key character in this book, as the man who created Jurassic Park.

2.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling -- I Googled "how old is Dumbledore" and got the response "about 150 years old" (though other sources mention that he was truly 115 years old when he died).  Either way, this book (as well as the rest of the Harry Potter books) will do, because I figured that he's pretty old anyway... so it counts, right?

3.  The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsely -- Not a main character, but a key character, Peter Quinnell is the old archaeologist who offers the main heroine, Verity, a position on his dig in Scotland.  He's present throughout the book and is quite adamant that there is something to find.



Task 3

The symbol of Human Rights Day is the dove, which in its incarnation as a homing pigeon is also renowned for its navigational skills. – Tell us: Did you ever get so thoroughly lost (either in the days before GPS or because GPS, for whatever reason, was of no use to you) that you wished you had a homing pigeon to guide you?
-- COMPLETED 12/11/2018 --

I don't think that I actually wished for a homing pigeon as much as just for somewhere I could stop and ask for directions.  My friends and I were driving around on a weekend vacation one time in Kansas City, at least ten or so years ago, and realized after the second pass through a familiar highway that we didn't know where we were going.  This was a time before Google maps was a thing, and your few options in GPS included the infamous, yet quite useless (IMO) Garmin.

Unless you update Garmin for a pretty expensive fee, you don't get a lot of in date information on highways or any roads or new businesses.  And of course, the Garmin my friend had in her car didn't have those nifty little "there is heavy traffic coming up, here is an alternate route."  I'm sure Garmin has become more advanced and user friendly, but I don't know that, since I've just stuck with Google maps at present.

And so there was one particular morning, while trying to find a certain mall where we could do some window shopping, we couldn't find the right exit.  There were a couple times where the GPS would tell us to turn off at a certain exit that wasn't actually there, or was closed off due to construction.  We ended up outside of the main city and had to try programming the hotel's address again in order to get back.

The truth is, yes we were a bunch of ignorant young kids who had no sense of direction.  And I hadn't gotten a chance to print off a bunch of maps and directions to other possible locations to go to.  We were completely reliant and dependent on my friend's Garmin GPS system.  And it wasn't taking us where we'd intended to go in the first place.  I think we even started joking that my friend had ignored enough of the Garmin's directions in the past that it finally got fed up with her and decided to just take her out into the middle of nowhere and leave us all for dead.

On the other hand, as my brother has recently told me, Kansas City randomly adds and takes away freeway lanes and exits.  He hadn't really lived there for very long, but he said it took him a long time to even figure out how to get around town because there was always construction somewhere as another entrance or exit or highway was added to one route or another.

In a way, the constantly updated Google maps might have been a bit more useful to us.

Though in contrast, there was that one time that my best friend and I were in danger of getting lost if I hadn't just turned back around and tried to back track.  We were in Colorado and had just left the Cliff Dwellings where I stupidly didn't realize that my Google maps would not work in the mountains.  It took me a while to realize that, well duh, cell service wasn't going to be available, ergo, no data and no Google maps.  Surprisingly, this was one time that the old Garmin I'd had in my car at the time actually came in useful since it didn't run on cell service data, but actually picked up satellite.



Task 4

Human Rights Day was declared by the U.N. General Assembly, whose seat is in New York City.  Treat yourself to a Manhattan (classic recipe: https://www.liquor.com/recipes/manhattan-2/ ; virgin [non-alcoholic] recipes: https://www.anallievent.com/virgin-manhattan/ , http://www.1001cocktails.com/recipes/mixed-drinks/800238/cocktail-virgin-manhattan.html and https://www.liquor.com/recipes/not-manhattan/ ) or to a bagel or pastrami sandwich and share a photo with us.

I will probably try to do this one.  If I don't do a Manhattan, I might do a bagel.  I'm not really big on hard liquor, so it'll be a guess as to whether I go for the classic Manhattan recipe or the non-alcoholic one.



Book Task

Read any book with strong female characters, or written by an author from any minority group; any story about a minority overcoming their oppressors either individually or as a group. OR: A book set in New York City.

I might claim Vivien Chien's book, Dim Sum of All Fear for this door.  But I also want to read A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, an anthology of short stories based off of many East and Southeast Asian myths and legends, written by a group of minority authors.




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-16-human-rights.html
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text 2018-12-08 05:44
24 Festive Tasks | Door 14: Hanukkah



(December 2 thru 10)




12/07/2018:  Alrighty!  I'm getting caught up!  Tasks 1, 3, and 4, as well as the Book Task completed.  Task 2 might be coming later.  =D



Task 1

Have you had any miracles in your life?  (Kids are a given.)  Just enough change for tolls?  Just enough gas to get you to the station?  Been tragically late for a flight only to find the flight was even more tragically delayed?  Nothing is too small - share your miracles with us!
-- COMPLETED 12/07/2018 --

About a year (and one month ago) on the cusp of a job change, if everyone will recall, I gave a news update about my near miss with a situation that could have gone very, very bad.  When my friend and I were on the way home, in the middle of the night, a deer had shot out into the middle of the highway, and my SUV slammed right into it.  Just the fact that we both made out it unharmed, with only my car taking the brunt of the damage, in honesty, I feel like was a big miracle.

If I hadn't been driving slower than the speed limit because of the dark; if I had tried to swerve instead of just hitting the breaks; if my car had not been an SUV, and had been a smaller, less durable car...  There were just so many factors that, looking back, could have worked against us.  But they didn't, and instead, I am thankful everyday that there were so many factors of that night that kept us from a worse fate.

This is only one of few miracles, but probably the one that affected me the most as a personal experience.  But lately, I keep noticing other things that I might call miracles as well, whether big or small.  As I work at a hospital that specializes in cardiology as well as regular open-heart surgeries, I feel like it's a big miracle each time a patient comes out of the OR and is able to stabilize and get better.  Especially when some patients end up in surgery, start going bad, and manage to pull through after hours of post-op recovery work.

Meanwhile, a couple incidents in my own personal life have occurred the past year that are of note.

My mother had been having some strange stomach discomfort, causing a slight bump in her lower abdomen each night, something she only really noticed when she went to bed.  My mom isn't really one to see a doctor all that often.  She prefers to just let things play out because she doesn't like being bothered with doctor's visits.  But after I had a brief health scare involving prolonged abnormal vaginal bleeding that lead to the discovery of a benign polyp, she's been super vigilant about everyone's health.

So without having to be convinced, she immediately made an appointment to see a doctor who proceeded to just have her do an abdominal ultrasound wherein they discovered two things: 1) My mother's stomach discomfort was the result of eating too much, as well as eating things that don't digest well, while the slight bump was just bowel movement that was more prominent because she's too thin; 2) Mom might have gallstones.  While I still don't like the non-diagnosis of the slight bump, the doctor says she's done all the examinations and nothing seems to be amiss with Mom's lower abdomen.  In fact, it had been the gallstones she was worried about.

So Mom got sent to a specialist with the possibility of having to have surgery to remove her gallbladder.  Needless to say, no one was happy about that diagnosis either.  Even though the procedure is said to be pretty simple, it is still surgery, and the removal of the gallbladder would be a huge life change for Mom.  We were all worried.  Fortunately, after seeing the surgeon, Mom was extremely happy to hear her say, "Keep your gallbladder and keep your stones.  You won't need surgery."  Basically, she really just needs to watch what she eats, and as long as the gallstones weren't going to obstruct any ducts, they were eventually go away and she'd be fine.

But no more really oily or greasy foods--fewer french fries and lay off the fried chicken.

We just need to help Mom watch her diet, and Mom needs to say something if there's any pain or discomfort.

Most recently, our family heard from my uncle who lives in Australia with his family--my aunt and three cousins.  One of my cousins was in a motorcycle accident.  He was hit by a car on Halloween night and thrown from his bike.  He ended up in the hospital with a broken leg, as well as needing a skin graft to his knee area.  We'd all been exchanging messages online for a few days before hearing that he'd be fine and would be starting physical therapy soon.  The most recent exchange from his elder sister about a week ago told us that everyone is relieved, he's out of the hospital, and he's "zipping around on his crutches."

While I'm happy that he's fine, it doesn't escape my notice that motorcycle accidents can be dangerously fatal.  The fact that he got out of it with just a broken leg, I believe, is a big miracle in itself.  I can imagine how relieved his family must be feeling, as the rest of us were waiting daily for updates on his condition from across the world.  It was a scary situation that I'm extremely glad hadn't been worse.

And things like this really make you truly thankful for the miracles in life, big or small.



Task 2

Light 9 candles each representing something you’re thankful for (share a picture with us; sharing anything else is optional).

I'm in need of at least seven more candles to complete this task.  A bit of shopping might be in order.



Task 3

Have a donut – and let us share it via a photo.  Homemade donuts and shared recipes encouraged … but any donut will do just fine.
-- COMPLETED 12/07/2018 --

I honestly don't really go for donuts as a sweet snack or anything--yeah, I know, the nerve.  But if I DO ever eat a donut, it's usually a cake donut, or the Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts.

When I got to work earlier in the day, there were a box of half-eaten donuts that I was tempted by.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a great picture of the donut I chose, but here's a picture of the box of half-eaten donuts.


I took this picture to show one of my coworkers when I got to the lab, as the donuts weren't in our area, but in the front room of the offices, free for all.  My coworker wanted me to tell her what kinds of donuts there were, so I just took a picture for simplicity.  I'd forgotten that I had this and was quite upset that I forgot to take a picture of my chosen donut, by itself.

But hey, this works too, right?

The one on the bottom right is the chocolate cake donut with chocolate frosting.  It chose that one immediately because they are one of my favorites.  If I ever came across a chocolate cake donut, it typically got dunked in hot chocolate, letting the frosting melt into the chocolate and making my drink even more chocolatey!  =D



Task 4

A miracle crucial to Hanukkah is the Miracle of the cruse of oil, which concerns a jug of oil that (ostensibly) only contained enough oil for a single day, but miraculously turned out to last all of eight days. – Miracles aside, tell us: Have you ever experienced that something you had bought or you owned lasted a lot longer than anticipated … or where you expected a shortage which then fortuitously didn’t occur after all?
-- COMPLETED 12/07/2018 --

The only thing I can think of would be some of the various supplies we utilize in the hospital lab.  I was recently put in charge of inventory and supply ordering.  And one of the things that had me freaked out a few months back are these big, five gallon containers of high purity, reagent grade water that we use for one of our instruments.  When items are on back order, it is a nightmare, and this particular item ended up on back order for at least a month, and even with my conviction that we only went through one box each week, anything was bound to happen, and we only had a couple boxes left of this water.  And back order dates are notorious for being inaccurate, and in this particular instance, the back order had gotten pushed back an extra week.

Fortunately, either we were running fewer tests or there was some miracle, we managed to hold out until one of my orders finally came in.  Meanwhile, I'd already been making inquiries and arrangements to find a possible back up or replacement.

On a more personal note, does anyone ever find that their conditioner seems to never run out?  I think I've been able get through one bottle of my Loreal Ever Creme Conditioner versus at least two and a half, or even three bottles, of shampoo of any brand.



Book Task

Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel. OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title.
-- COMPLETED 12/01/2018 --

I chose to retroactively claim Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire when this door was first revealed.  As the second book in the InCryptid series that I finished reading in November, it fits right in for this task.




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-14-hanukkah.html
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text 2018-12-06 08:10
24 Festive Tasks | Door 13: Advent



(December 1 this year - Four Sundays before Christmas)




12/06/2018:  It is 2:00 A.M. my time and I really should be getting to sleep right now.  But I also really wanted to do one more 24 Festive Tasks update.  I'm really bad about general delegation of sleep and time in my life.

But hey!  I completed Tasks 1 and 2.  And there's a Book Task update for a planned read!  Yay?



Task 1

Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade.
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

I've never really thought of advent calendars and have never actually bought one before.  HOWEVER, if I were to buy an advent calendar, it would probably be this one:


It's a 12 Days of Wine Advent Calendar.  I'd seen those infamous wine advent calendars on Pinterest a few years back and always thought it was a great idea... if you lived with a big family, or planned to have 25 parties until Christmas Day.  While I love myself a nice glass of wine, I'm also not sure I can handle a full bottle of wine daily, for 25 days straight.  And given how quickly wine can start going bad, obviously you don't want to open a bottle of wine, drink a glass or two one day, then open another bottle the next day before finishing the first.

While 12 bottles of wine might still be a bit much, it's a bit more realistic for me, if I want to be honest.

Barring that, I also came across some wine advent calendars that apparently have smaller bottles of wine rather than full 750 mL bottles.  They look super cute as well!



Task 2

The holidays season is in full swing – tell us: What’s your favorite tradition?
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

Truth is, I get asked this question a lot--not in those words, but more of as a general, "What kind of holiday traditions do you have?"  Of course, this question is usually following on the tail end of, "I don't know if your family celebrates Christmas or anything in your culture."  I don't know why I find that lead-in so amusing--probably because I know people try so hard to be politically correct and inoffensive.  And it gets asked almost every year by the same people.  Understandable, though, since it IS true that Christmas isn't a traditional Asian holiday.

So even while our family DOES like to celebrate holidays indiscriminately, we don't really have any actual traditions.  Unless you count the one where we simply find any holiday (Christmas or otherwise) as a great excuse to go out to a nice restaurant.  It really IS as simple as that.  There isn't any decorating of tree or house, no going to see Christmas lights around town, nor do we even really exchange gifts.

My parents don't believe in randomly giving people things that they won't be able to use.  Surprise gifts are definitely out of the question.  So for Christmas every year, Mom and Dad just give my brothers and me a holiday themed envelope with a certain amount of money--I suppose this could be counted as a tradition--and we can use said money however we wish.  In return, we treat them to dinner at a nice, fancy restaurant.  We may take my parents shopping if they so desired, and typically Dad ends up with some fun new technology to fawn over.  Mom never wants anything, though I might buy her a cute new scarf, or pay for the pretty shirt she's picked up and put down a dozen times with the excuse that she doesn't need any new shirts.



Task 3

The tradition of carol singing in the Advent / holiday season is linked to the old Anglo-Saxon (and medieval) custom of wassailing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing).  Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit.  Post a picture and enjoy!

I really do want to do this one.  It might happen sometime this weekend.



Task 4

Make your own Advent wreath and share a picture of it.  Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw83CCa2cg

Yeah, no.



Book Task

Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent. Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title.

I'm a little peeved at myself that I haven't gotten to this book yet.  I've been really slacking in reads these last two months of the year, but I DO want to finish the Nichelle Clarke series.  If I'd already read this in November, I could have retroactively claimed it already.  As it stands, I will definitely do what I can to work it into my reading schedule.

Devil in the Deadline is the fourth book in the Nichelle Clarke series by LynDee Walker.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-13-advent.html
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text 2018-12-06 06:33
24 Festive Tasks | Door 11: Russian Mother's Day



(Last Sunday in November | November 25, 2018)




12/06/2018:  Updated with completion of Task 3.  With lots of pictures!

12/01/2018:  I've been out of touch, because work has been so busy that I'm dead on my feet when I get home.  Really, I've just been skimming my dashboard when I get a chance, but never really getting much time to see everyone else's posts.  I was thinking that, fortunately, there haven't been too many door reveals, but apparently I've missed three door reveals already.

It looks like I might spend the weekend playing catch up.

At this point, I've completed Tasks 1 and 2 for this door!



Task 1

Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)?
-- COMPLETED 12/01/2018 --

I'm going to follow in Darth Pony's footsteps and also say that it irritates me when supposed authors don't respect the craft.  I'm stealing this particular sin because, it certainly is an umbrella that houses many other sins that I cannot stand.

For instance, I absolutely despise books that are poorly edited, unedited, or unfinished.  I'm paying to read your product, and if it's unfinished, I feel like I got cheated of my hard earned money.  Getting updates of later editions makes me even angrier--if you weren't finished, why is the book on sale?

And as I'd mentioned in one of my comments, following up with excuses for why the book was being sold unedited or unfinished doesn't really pique my sympathy.  Having the gall to demand credit for even writing a book in the first place just makes me roll my eyes, especially if your book is an unfinished product.

Having a poorly written book is a question of perspective, so I'm not even going to get into that.  But on a more technical level, at least have the decency to sell a finished, properly edited product.  Readers are not your beta readers.  Editing, outlining, and the actual writing of the book should have been completed before I saw it in the store (or even at the library).

Would you be happy eating a meal at a restaurant if your order was only half-cooked?  If your Spaghetti and Meatball order was missing meatballs?  Or if your dish was lacking taste altogether?  And then being expected to still pay full price for it?  And then being asked to be patient with the cook because he or she has had a hard week?  Come back next week and try again, our chef will be in a better mood... maybe.  And you'll get the more updated, best work!  Besides, cut the poor cook some slack, this is said cook's first time cooking this meal.

Look, maybe I'm just irrational, but I don't get a free pass for half-assing my job, because, you know what?  I work in a hospital.  If I half-ass my job just because I'm having a bad day or a bad week, that AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES, HEALTH, AND WELL-BEING.  I could kill someone by half-assing my job.

On a side note, I'd even commented that I never understood authors who openly admit that they don't really read.  Say what?  Not everyone is a writing prodigy, so I find it hard to believe that someone is able to do their craft properly without studying other examples--i.e. reading other books.  I mean, even I'm constantly checking out other's blogs for ways I can better present my own posts.  And I'm doing this for free.



Task 2

Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share? Photos welcome but optional.
-- COMPLETED 12/01/2018 --

In the present, what we really do for Mothers' Day is simply take Mom out to eat and enjoy ourselves.  She certainly does.  As Mom is apt to say, anything she doesn't have to cook is the best meal ever.

But I'm recalling one Mothers' Day where I'd inadvertently made Mom's day without really thinking about it.

I used to work in hotel catering while I was going to college.  One Mothers' Day weekend, on Saturday night, we had a pretty big wedding with these beautiful elaborate floral centerpieces.  At the end of the night, the wedding party offered the staff some flowers to take home if we wanted, and almost everyone decided to grab a bunch, either for themselves, or for their mothers.

My parents are proponents of, "If it doesn't have a use, don't bring it home."  And they get annoyed if you buy anything unnecessary, thus spending money unnecessarily.  So I'd never bought my parents anything that wasn't pre-approved.  But since these flowers were freebies, my coworkers urged me to take a handful home for my mother.  Surprise her for Mothers' Day, they said.  And so I shrugged, grabbed some flowers, wrapped them up in plastic, and took them home thinking that Mom and Dad would just roll their eyes and throw them away.  I left them sitting on the dining room table since it was late and everyone was asleep.

But the next morning, after I came out of my room, my Dad had this huge smile on his face.

"Mom was really happy about the flowers you brought home last night," he said.  "She loves them."

It was a super surprise to me, to be honest.  And to prove it, he showed me the flower vase she had dug out just for those flowers.  I can't remember how I had felt at the time, nor what else went on, or if there was a subtle change to my parents' motto of "don't spend unnecessarily, and don't bring useless things home."  But after that day, I simply started trying to surprise my parents with little gifts here and there, or simply a pretty card from Hallmark.

Of course, now we just settle for going out to eat and hanging out.  Mainly because I'm starting to understand my parents' motto of "don't bring it home unless it's useful."  You just start collecting a lot of things and might one day become a potential guest on that Hoarder's televisions show that I've never actually watched...

But every so often, it's kind of nice to get something impractical just because you want to.  =D



Task 3

Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe.  Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes?  Post a photo if you should still own them.
-- COMPLETED 12/06/2018 --

Oh my goodness, I love shoes!  If I had to list all the pairs I've ever owned that I love, this might take a while.  Shoes are probably my most fashionable indulgence, as I usually don't really care to shop for anything dressy or pretty.  I mean, I work in a career where my uniform are scrubs; fancy clothes (or even shoes) are not recommended, after all, as certain bio hazardous materials could end up on them.

So... I DO have a lot of shoes I especially love, including some pairs from my youth, and pairs from the present.  As for a favorite pair... I go through phases of favorites...  So rather than listing an special, favorite pair, I'll just list a bunch of pairs I really love.

At current, my favorite pairs include a pair of Bearpaw winter boots, and a pair of Teva flip-flops.  One pair of footwear for summer and one pair of footwear for winter!



In the past, I never really cared for flip-flops.  I'd tried buying plastic, flat, $3 flip-flops in the past, but didn't like them.  After a certain amount of time, your feet start hurting.  So I stuck to sneakers.  My friends never understood why I didn't want to buy flip-flops to let my feet breathe, and pestered me about it.  I just couldn't stand those flat bottom flip-flops that gave no cushion support at all.

It wasn't until my friends and I went on a cruise about five years ago that I finally found myself a pair of flip-flops that I could wear without my feet hurting.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to look for a pair to wear when we walked on the beach, not really wanting to get sand in my sneakers and all.

I browsed a couple retailers before I found them.  They were raised flip-flops with a cushioned heel, $12 at Target!  I loved them.  But they got discontinued--fortunately, I'd bought a second pair before that.  I still have them and still wear them.  But they still weren't my favorite pair of footwear.

Last year, I discovered the Teva flip-flops, with a slightly raised bottom that were memory foam cushioned!  I fell in love with them.  I bought a second pair.  They're pretty expensive compared to most flip-flops...  My brother gave me crap about spending so much money on a pair of flip-flops.  My response was pretty much along the lines of, "I wanted them, they're comfortable, and I'll wear them all the time.  So whatever."

As for the Bearpaw boots, they were on sale, I tried them on, they kept my feet warm, I fell in love.  When I wore them for the first time in a winter storm, I fell in love with them even more.  I had traction, I had warm feet, and I had feet that stayed dry.  These things are awesome!

Backtracking a little bit...  When I was younger, I fell into the trendy L.A. Lights phase where I saw a commercial and decided that I must have light up shoes.  Of course, I don't have a picture of them, since I was just an elementary school kid then, but with a simple Google search, I found the closest approximation to what I remember being what my pair looked like.  These were my very first pair of super expensive shoes, because back in the day, my mother used to stick to the buy one, get one half-price shoes, running about fifteen bucks each, typically.

If I remember clearly, it was one of the few indulgences my mom allowed me, a pair of sixty dollar L.A. Lights.


Nowadays, apparently I don't even really blink at a pair of fifty or sixty dollar Nikes, especially after learning that the cheaper shoes truly didn't last as long as the Nike shoes I wear now.  And I'm on my feet a lot more than I was as a kid.  For fifteen to twenty dollars a pair, with a buy one, get one half-price deal, those shoes usually rarely lasted me a year per pair.  But the Nikes I wear now, I can usually manage a good two to two and a half years, working on my feet on a regular basis.

Finally, for dressy shoes, I decided to just include a brief look at some of the ones I particularly love.


The second pair from the left with the thin buckle-ankle straps are actually a pair of almost platform-like dress shoes I bought when I was in high school.  They weren't all that comfortable, and were a pain to get the buckle off, but they were my first pair of dress shoes and I loved them.  In fact, they were my only pair of dress shoes for years.  I don't wear them anymore, because they don't really fit... and to be honest, I'm a little surprised I was able to find them.  I thought I'd thrown them out already.

The other three pairs of dress shoes are more recent purchases.

The two on the right were bought five years ago when I was shopping for a pair of dress shoes for my cruise.  I liked both of them and so decided to splurge for vacation.  I don't wear the one on the far right a lot--the crisscross design, the ribbon tie, and the weave design on the heel (see below picture) are super gorgeous... but the heels are four inches, and the last time I wore them my feet were cramped and bruised for days.  The brown pair are only three inches of heel and much more comfortable--if you can call dress shoes comfortable--and I DO wear them a lot when going out.

Finally, the first pair on the left were bought last year for my brother's wedding--I think I gushed about them in a previous post already.




Task 4

Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us. Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html

I'm going to put this one on the back burner for now and browse some recipes to see what I might be able to put together.



Book Task

Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother.

I'm sure I've got many books where a key character is a mother.  Otherwise, this will require some searching.

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/12/24-festive-tasks-door-11-russian.html
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text 2018-12-04 06:07
Can Bad Credit Affect In Personal Loans

Personal loans are loans that are not secured against anything of monetary value. This means that the lender has nothing to take from you if you do not make payments. A mortgage is not considered a personal loan because the money is borrowed against your house. They are often also called unsecured loans and have many pros and cons. However, when you have bad credit, the cons can stack up quickly.


When banks and lenders consider handling personal loans, they rarely consider lending amounts smaller than $1,000 regardless of your credit score. This doesn’t mean that applying for a larger loan will guarantee approval from the lender. Like any other type of lending situation, a low credit score raises your chances of being denied outright.


People with poor credit are attending to pay higher loan interest when trying to realize unsecured financing


You are more likely to be approved for a smaller loan if your credit scores are low than if you have high credit scores.


Finding the balance between the minimum allowance and the maximum you will be entitled to borrow can be tricky. A personal loan might be more appealing than a credit card. But, this doesn’t mean it will be easier to manage. It definitely doesn’t mean you will receive a great interest rate. You may be lucky enough to be approved for a personal loan. But you will receive it on the conditions of a higher interest rate than those with better credit scores. This is due to the risk the lender is taking by on by lending you money. Many lenders use ‘rate-for-risk’ pricing where they consider the risk of lending to you and charge higher interest rates.


Individuals with dangerous credit are attending to pay between 17-26% for a private loan. Those with sensible credit pay 5-8%.


You should check the interest rates before you agree to the terms of a personal loan. You are not automatically entitled to the rates that the institution advertises.


While this is important information as you apply for a personal loan, the lender is also at liberty to check up with their customers. This means that your low credit score can affect the amount you pay on your loan even after the agreement has been finalized. Keep an eye on this and the terms you initially agreed upon with the lending institution, especially if your credit score begins to dip.


About the Author:


My name is Paty Lewis a Financial Adviser at Zinu Credit Repair. It is a legitimate credit repair firm in USA. Helps you to fix bad credit. And offers a free credit repair consultation, which includes a complete review of your FREE credit report summary and score. Please contact me. I am more than happy to serve you.


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