Good advice. I think.

I don’t know where I read this or where it came from, but I’ve had it in my head for a long time: when something in your life disappoints you, you throw yourself thoroughly into work that you love.

Thoughts? 

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IT IS FINISHED

The semester is FINISHED and now it is time for blogging and reading and writing and coding-for-fun and Netflix and video games and sunshine and swimming and taking dogs to the park and grilling and no mayo please and tanning and burning and peeling and flaking and FUN.

I wanted to take a moment to give a shoutout to some of the reasons I got through those last 3 weeks of this semester:

1. A big thank you to CURE-EGG. You make waking up in the mornings possible.

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2. I’d like to thank this fellow here for keeping me on track as my wallpaper when the lure of “fun internet” became so strong.

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3. To all the “OH-GOD-PLEASE-HELP-ME-CRAM-FOR-THIS-FINAL-EXAM-I-SWEAR-I’LL-NEVER-SIN-AGAIN-IN-MY-LIFE-IF-YOU-HELP-ME-PASS-AMEN” playlist curators at 8tracks.com, thank you so much!

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4. I wanted to thank my dog, Raven, for putting up with hours of her owner sitting on the floor, nose touching the computer screen, fingers hammering out code. You are a good dog, we’ll go to the park all summer and I’ll let you roll in the mud.

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5. And finally, I’d like to thank all my friends and family for still liking me, even after not seeing me for 2 months because I’ve been cooped up in my lair working on projects and tests.  You guys are the best.

LET THE SUMMER BEGIN. 

You are AWESOME, but you are not invincible.

So as some of you lovely (and in this case, NAGGING) readers already know, I am currently a walking cliche. I am 22, a college student, and I don’t have health insurance. Shocker, right? I’m FINALLY getting around to looking for/learning about/cursing at/despairing over the hows&whats&whos&wheres of the insurance industry, having finally convinced myself that the whys were worthwhile.

health-insurance Here’s where I really need some advice though, WordPress. Where do you get health insurance? Where do I start? Being on a family plan is not an option, and I’m not yet at the point in my life where your job gives you health insurance packages. So what next?

As a dedicated and devout Webist, I’m going to start googling and see what I can come up with, but if anyone has any suggestions for a clueless little girl  THE WORLD’S MOST PROACTIVE AND DETERMINED ORPHAN then, by all means, leave a comment here. Any bit of advice is greatly appreciated!

-Sarah

Kiva: loans that change lives

Want to make the world suck a little less?

Kiva: loans that change lives

Join Kiva, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.

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I’m going to be honest- working for a payday loan company really gets me down every now and then. I mean, it’s not as if my company scams people, but the interest charges are very high and oftentimes the customers I speak to don’t even listen to the instructions I give them for repaying the loan. They don’t even read the loan agreement documents, and they often end up paying more for the loan in renewals than they originally borrowed.

I don’t, however, hate my job because (1.) I’m a broke college student and it’s steady work that pays more than minimum wage, (2.) I have a flexible schedule that allows me to work the hours I need to pay bills AND get home in time to study, and (3.) there are plenty of customers I work with that do understand the payment options and do make wise decisions based on the advice I give.

But when I do get stressed out and depressed from listening to, for example: struggling moms calling in to ask for a due date extension because their child is sick and their dad just died and the rent is due on the first and those charges for each due date are ridiculous anyway and I would’ve never taken out this loan if I had known that on the front end and YES I DID listen to the payment options when they were explained before getting the loan and I read the documents and NO I don’t remember the exact amount of the interest charge and won’t you be a dear and try to understand what it’s like to be a single mom and not getting any child support from my good-for-nothing ex and just please please please let me skip my due date and I promise I’ll pay you back as soon as possible…………… I log on to my Kiva account and try to give small personal loans to people looking to make a better life for themselves. 

Well, first I drink some wine, and THEN I try to do some good in the world.

Joining Kiva is free, and if you join by following THIS link then I get a referral bonus of $25 that I can lend out to someone else who needs help to buy chickens for their farm so they can become self-sufficient. Oh, and once you make your first small loan, YOU get than bonus $25 to loan out, too.

These are LOANS, not charity, so you are going to be receiving your money back! Keep in mind, though, that the $25 you lent to the chicken farmer might be paid back in very small amounts each month, allowing the farmer to get up and on his feet in his business.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent $25 on much, MUCH ‘stupider stuff’. For example, last Christmas I bought myself a pair of Keds from Forever21 because they were on sale (near the checkout line, which is where they always get me to pick up just one more thing! Forever21 is a tricky puppet master….) for $26. They were white, and I grabbed them while I was waiting in line to buy my previous, well thought-out purchases. They were an impulse buy- I literally just picked up a pair as I was walking to the register. It wasn’t until I got home and tried them on that I realized not only weren’t they my size, but I hadn’t even checked the size before I bought them. My brain was completely off- I spent over $25 on shoes that I didn’t even bother to look at.

Ugh, I’m a consumer.

ANYWAY, the point of the story is that today, September 16th, I made up for that severe lack of judgement and loaned Mrs. Narantsetseg $25 so she could put some insulation in the walls of her house before winter in Mongolia. She told Kiva, “It will be very beneficial to reduce my cost of coal purchasing. Yet, it will be healthful to the environment (if) I could reduce the coal usage in winter.” Mrs. Narantsetseg and her husband live in a very old house without insulation, so they heat their home with a coal burning stove during the cold winter months.

Best $25 I’ve spent.

Mrs. Narantsetseg (50) in front of her home in Mongolia.

Help reduce worldsuck today.

In the mug this morning

Well, this post is a bit late since work has been so busy, but here’s what’s in the mug this muggy morning:

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I’m pretty sure we brew Starbucks Breakfast Blend here at the office, but whoever is in charge of my morning fuel adds the coffee grounds with a heavy hand. Still, it definitely gets me going.

I work in a call center as a verbal punching bag for people who are incredibly unhappy with their little lives customer service representative for a financial company. Without going into too much detail about the company (since I’m not completely sure my supervisors would like that), let’s just say I only work here for the steady job, the good pay, and the people I work with (not to be confused with the customers themselves.) It’s a fairly easy job, so you may just catch me blogging in my downtime.

I’ve got a few ideas for post series to put on here, but I’d like to know what YOU want to read! My ideas so far:

1. Obviously this “in the mug this morning” series will go stale pretty quickly seeing as I’m a poor college student without the extra means to buy all the caffeinated desires of my heart; HOWEVER, I’ve been salivating over several pinterest recipes for coffee/smoothies/shakes/teas/cocktails that I’ve been dying to try, so maybe I can add a few posts like this?

2. “In other news” is a segment I’ve been wanting to blog about for a while. It will focus not on politics, wars, celeb betrayals, or ax-murderers, but instead shine a light on all the stories you didn’t hear about on the front page (i.e. English artist Sue Austin scuba diving in her wheelchair or Vernissage’s fashionable new take on boxed wine.) Sure, these may not be the most need-to-know stories on the current state of the world, but I find them soothing after being assaulted all day by stories of violence, greed, and power-plays.

3. “SARAH’S FAVORITE THINGS” is a series much like Oprah’s Favorite Things, only more disappointing because no one gets a free car/plane/cruise ship/island/beluga whale. Still, it’s nice to discover new items that may be just what you need to gift that hard-to-please teenager or “Oh-don’t-get-me-anything” mother-in-law.

4. DIY Saturday! Number of things I’ve pinned/repinned on Pinterest: 1,664. Number of crafts I’ve attempted from these pins: 7. That’s ridiculous. Enough said.

5. “Where in the World Wide Web” is a series of posts where I’d like to showcase some of the awesome things on the internet that you may not have known about previously. There’s really no need to play FarmVille- there’s a whole Wide World out there just waiting for you!

I’d love any feedback you have on these series, feel free to leave it in my comments!

Until then,

-Sarah