SNAP Judgements and why I'm not a fan. A Rant on Food Stamps.

Tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch are both put together. Birthday debauchery day is done, and thanks to BUREAUCRACY! I’m staring at a month sans Link assistance—meaning $35/10 days is the food budget until they fix it. (You don’t live on minimum wage—you scrape.) Luckily the problem is fixable in 2 weeks and I played Stockpile this month, so I have a nice little stash of frozen meat and meat-alikes packed for just such an emergency.

I hear people all the time griping about people gaming the system, and I will admit, the system does have a few huge, glaring flaws—but most of the complaining I hear is ‘Oh, this person bought a bag of chips and a peach soda, they don’t NEED that program’ and not on the real problems, which is the people you catch trafficking their benefits for an equivalent amount of things that aren’t eligible. While for some this can include drugs and alcohol, it just as often involves things like diapers and straight out cash.

I’ve seen it. People I know have been there. (I was always too paranoid to do it, even if it meant I was going without the meds that kept my foot from being one giant blister.) And while there needs to be some reform to the system, griping when a guy buys a Twinkie—wait, those don’t exist…OK, an apple pie—and a Red Bull instead of some celery and a bit of meat? That solves nothing.

What people do not seem to realize is that SNAP benefits—the formal name for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps—are not meant to be the sole source of food. They’re there as much needed assistance—as I said earlier, you don’t live on minimum wage you scrape.

“But Rai!” I hear you say. “Why would a single woman even need such things?”

I’ll tell you!


Congratulations! You’re me on payday! You skip into the building to pick up your paycheck (Let’s call it weird and say that you have the day off for some unknown reason). Timing couldn’t be better, since rent’s also due this week (we’ll assume the beginning of the month). You open the envelope to discover that you have—oh, generous hours—$360 to work with. Sounds nice, right? Keep in mind that this is an atypical check. Maybe the great Dogakittenspacewestern Con was in town.

Got the check still? Good. Let’s run along, shall we, to the bank/grocer. You deposit the whole damn thing, because you’re paranoid about losing cash. All transactions will be on a card now.

  • Your rent’s due! That’s $170. But there’s a $5 service fee for the secured money order. You’re down to $185 now—which hurts, and you try not to think about that as you put the rent money order in your wallet.
  • A text message pops off—your phone bill is due in four minutes (ok, maybe an exaggeration, but it IS due that day). You reply to the message and pay the bill—the dollar sign with wings flies off of your screen as $61 leaves your clutches. You’re down to $124, now.
  • Did you remember the bus pass? If not, now’s the only time you’ve got! For a month, that’s $72 bucks! You now have $52 to work with. Now the only thing left–
  • –is light bill—oh. Wait. You’re four bucks short, actually. If it wasn’t for the fact that you put that $5 from your tips in with the paycheck, you wouldn’t be able to pay that $58 bastard.

You begin the month on a loss, therefore, before you’ve bought so much as a bag of chips and a bottle of vitamin c-fortified punch to keep your blood sugar from dragging its busted-up legs across the ground just to beg you for a morsel.

…you’d be screwed if it wasn’t for that program now.

Next paycheck is more forgiving—you have paid off the biggest bills—but it would’ve been dicey.

Now keep in mind that there are people who want to discontinue this program. All because they got cheesed off that someone bought something that wasn’t leafy green with their benefits/assistance.

Go ahead. Discontinue. Opt out. But what the HELL am I supposed to do?

Don’t pass blanket judgements based on one person. You don’t know what they’re coming from, what they’re trying to do. The guy who just bought Doritos and Monster Zero-Cal Energy Drink on his card might’ve just spent the last of his cash on his meds.

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Letting old male fogies control my body: why it's bullshit.

I occasionally jump in on things that my friends on Facebook have weighed in on. Today, a person was lamenting that their now ex-girlfriend has apparently gone on birth control (referred to hereafter as BC) when she apparently wasn’t before. The original poster seemed to be, to put it bluntly, rather butthurt about the whole deal: he bought into the conservative fallacy of being on BC = promiscuity.

In all likelihood, the odds are she was on it in the first place, so I took a devil’s advocate position on the whole thing, explaining that hormonal contraception is used not only for contraception, but also a form of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for reproductive issues.

I for one went on birth control around the time right after seeing my now on-again first boyfriend: mostly because it would give me relief from the migraines. (What they don’t tell you about it? YOU GET MOAR BEWBS.) The fact that it gave me free license to jump his bones (didn’t happen, I kept getting cockblocked) was a bonus.

The point is, there’s more than one reason to go on BC. And that decision should be up to the woman in question. NOT a bunch of white-haired old men who think that the body has ways to shut down unwanted pregnancies as in the case of incest and [trigger word redacted]. The fact is, most of the government trying to regulate what we do to our bodies are men—who therefore have a barely-working knowledge of how making babies work in the first place—Todd Akin, anybody?—and don’t seem to bother with science at all. Look at the conservatives’ positions on the subject, and you see a lot of DIVINE VIRTUE and GOD’S WILL and ABOMINATION AGAINST NATURE and AGAINST THE HOLY WORD!

You don’t see…what’s it called—oh, right. SCIENCE. You don’t see the medical experts’ views. You don’t see doctors. You don’t see internists. YOU DON’T SEE WOMEN. Or at least, you don’t see women when you’re not looking inside of Mitt Romney’s infamous binders. Pretty much, the one segment of the population that has anything to do with this whole thing is being silenced. The right to do to our bodies what we want to do, even in cases of improvement of our own health, we’re stuck under the thumb of conservative pols and the damn Church.

And I’m not comfortable with a bunch of old men who won’t let girls join their club trying to tell me what to do with my own huevos internales at every chance they get.

An ancient institution should not be taking the place of a trained medical professional. Church, I don’t turn around and tell you how to massage your prostates. Don’t tell me how to make my ovaries behave, and DON’T go around sticking lighted wands all up in the Promised Land just because you think that a cluster of cells that has not yet even developed a rudimentary nervous system should have sole control over what I do.

That isn’t pro-life. That’s pro-birth. After the birth, where are these people? “Oh, we’re not going to provide assistance to you, you should have known better than to get pregnant in the first place. Oh, and spermicides and condoms and stuff like that is also the devil so no you can’t have it unless you want to go to hell and you don’t want that now do you, silly woman?”

We’re not baby machines. Stop treating us like baby machines. Get out of our laws. For fuck’s sake, start treating women like PEOPLE, you old dustbags. Until then, I’ll just travel about until I can get the medical help I need for my hormonal issue.

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LTTP LP: New Vid's up!

This week’s video is kind of short, I realize. I also missed it on Friday because…

 

OK, I honestly don’t remember Friday right now. I remember there was a nice little PTS-freezeup. But when the day ended I was DEAD TO RIGHTS. There could have been an earthquake—well, ANOTHER earthquake—and I’d’ve slept through it much like the last one.

 

Hey, maybe if I move to California, I’ll get more sleep. xD

 

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100 Things #33: Nostradormouse

There were a few things in my Nook that were pre-loaded when I bought it—Nostradormouse, a story targeted ostensibly to children, was one of them (Or it might not have been. My memory is fuzzy). For some reason, I could not access the book on my first device, but when I grabbed my Nook Tablet, I read it.

And fast.

Nostradormouse begins with the birth of a mouse with prophetic abilities, who goes on a pilgrimage of sorts. As he travels, the animals are given names (not as in “You are a possum, and you are a beaver”). As he names his ‘people’ the animals go from being a collective without any differentiation to individuals.

The story has gentle underthreads of Norse mythology, something you rarely see outside of video games nowadays.

Got a Nook? I’ll lend it if you ask! See, me going much further than I have here will result in me gushing over it and spoiling the whole thing.

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100 Things #32: Terribleminds.

The year before last, I was preparing for NaNoWriMo, when I got an article in my inbox spotlighting ‘dubious writing advice,’ as the writer put it. Being morbidly curious—bad advice is sometimes the best thing you can get, because it takes you out of your brain—I clicked on the link in the article.

There should have been a pop-up warning. “NSFW. Probably NSFB [brains].” Because the man is good. His advice is good.

And he’s fricken hilarious.

Incidentally, the coffee was where he got me hooked.

The man’s advice is solid, and his writing—oh, his writing!

…You know what, I could gush all day, but I think I’ll let the link speak for itself.

…and make coffee. ‘Cuz I’m out of coffee.

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Dear Building: AAAAGH

OK. The hell.

I’m burning up.

Decided to go easy with dinner. Just some broccoli. Maybe a hotlink. Nothing fancy. I’m burning up.

Get up to discover that the apartment is, in fact that yes, it is that damn hot.

Too hot to think. Call me when slow-moving clipper…er, clips.

To make up for missing Friday’s post, 100 Things AND LTTP LP both go up tomorrow, even if it means I have to go to Starbucks to do it.

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