Review: Tiger Burning Bright

HOW HAVE I NOT REVIEWED THIS ALREADY. I feel like an idiot. I realized the other week, I haven’t reviewed this one!! So I have to do this: Tiger Burning Bright by three of the most amazing women authors ever Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Mercedes Lackey. I first picked up this book from my local library when I was in middle school. I can still remember where it belonged on the shelf. I knew this because I think I checked it out of the library 10 tens times in the next three years or so. Then I stopped. Then I went to college. Years passed. I never forgot this book. One day, when I had a little money in my pocket I went looking for it again. It took me a minute, but I found it. And I bought it. Why do I love this book? Well, there is definitely some sentimental attachment for sure. I remember loving

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Writing: Science Fiction Evolution

I am reading some classic science fiction (Foundation Triology) and have found an understanding why I didn’t enjoy science fiction as much as fantasy when I was younger. There is a trend in the genre to be plot, world, and science focused with characters only being a carrier for these things to be explored. Asimov, Heinlein, Butler, and even Douglas Adams. It generally isn’t the characters we love and quote from these authors. Dune was an interesting books, but I didn’t connect with any specific character. The world, the politics, the exploration of different societies on different worlds feels like a core to book. Heinlein’s characters are notoriously flat and repetitive (if I read 3 Heinlein books in a row, I begin to confuse names they are so alike). Butler’s book I read was amazing and emotional, but it wasn’t the characters. Then I compare to the fantasy I loved when I was young: Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, Mary Herbert,

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Review: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned

Anyone who reads my book reviews has probably noticed a dearth of non-fiction. I don’t read much of it. I generally read for escapism and reading something real isn’t escape. There are exceptions to this rule. Alan Alda is a fun actor. I’ve known of him pretty much my entire life – mostly from M.A.S.H. I don’t know when or why I picked up his memoir, but I needed something different to read recently and so I started it. It was very interesting. I had no idea he was a child of vaudeville although it makes perfect sense to his acting style. I will admit, I had to struggle some to separate “actor” from “character” (Hawkeye) and stop trying to pigeon-hole the actor into the character. As I did, I feel like I got a better glimpse of the creative process of the creative artist behind the character. I never would have guessed some of his struggles, emotional or professional.

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Politics: Non-compete order

If you haven’t heard, President Biden has asked the FTC to ban non-compete contracts for workers. (Click here to read AP’s piece on it). THANK GOD. I have had a non-compete at almost every job I’ve ever worked at. Retail is probably the only exception. And I think for every job it has been BULLSHIT. I worked for a company that did helpdesk phone work. With a non-compete. Theoretically, I wasn’t allowed to take any other phone-based helpdesk role. Now, how enforceable was it? Probably not very, but there were a LOT of people hired at this company at 19 or 22 while they were in college or just after and they were extremely anxious that they weren’t allowed to look at other helpdesk roles when they were ready to look for better pay or benefits or commute…. Several took advantage of the “50-mile” rule (if you move more than 50 miles non-competes are harder to uphold?) and I only

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Writing: Fearless vs. Brave

This idea came to me because my son is taking swimming lessons at the local YMCA. The age range is 6-36 months, and he is probably one of the older kids in the lesson. The younger kids are fearless. I’m having to teach mine to be brave. It’s a fine difference and yet another example of the beauty of the English language. Fearless – without fear. The younger kids do not imagine danger in the water and thus they show no fear. My child has moments of fearlessness, and then moments where I can see his little mind working through the fears. He must learn to be brave. Watching this human dynamic really was so fascinating. At this age, they can’t mask their feelings, so I got a great view of the variations. It’s a spectrum, not an “on” or “off” setting on a person. I think about some of the protagonists (and villains) I’ve written and consider whether they

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SCOTUS: I missed one

I missed a case being 9-0! Lange v. California. Again, this one is pretty clear-cut. A police officer turned on his lights to pull over a driver. The driver (Lange) was almost home and pulled into his garage. Lange then tried to claim the officer doing a sobriety test in his garage was a warrantless search. So the question became does the fourth amendment protect someone “fleeing” categorically justify a warrantless search? Especially a misdemeanor? The syllabus describes it thus: “The Fourth Amendment ordinarily requires that a law enforcement officer obtain a judicial warrant before entering a home without permission. But an officer may make a warrantless entry when “the exigencies of the situation,” considered in a case-specific way, create “a compelling need for official action and no time to secure a warrant.”” All of the justices voted the same, but most of the conservative men each had to give their own opinion… I wish I was kidding. Kagan (generally

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Life: Toddler Exhaustion

I used to think (before I became a parent) that being a parent was exhausting because your kid couldn’t sleep through the night and if you could just get a full night’s sleep without “get up and feed” or “deal with nightmares” or “sick kid” (the constant “sick kid” syndrome). I have learned, this is patently untrue. An awake toddler is exhausting. First there is the “I randomly don’t like what’s happening” tantrums. Tantrums in general are exhausting, but when you know the reason and anticipate the fight you can mentally brace yourself. It’s the “you were just laughing and giggling and now you’re crying – what the hell happened?” fits that are hard. Now, I am very lucky and almost always can instantly mentally pivot to see what set my kid off – it’s almost always about not having choice (shocker, my kid is stubborn and opinionated). I try to give him as much choice as possible, but this

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SCOTUS: Unanimous

So there have been 5 cases to have opinions put out in June 2021 with 9-0 (unanimous) decisions. Considering how much the media expects the court to be always and forever divided by political leaning/affiliations/appointment – what are the issues which the court stands all together on? I find these to be both relieving and enlightening. As of today (I think) these are the unanimous decisions. Some of them are “well, that seems obvious” for the decision. UNITED STATES v. COOLEY Issues: A tribal police officer has authority to detain temporarily and to search non-Indian persons traveling on public rights-of-way running through a reservation for potential violations of state or federal law. Background: Joshua James Cooley was pulled over and the tribal officer (James Saylor) who saw guns and a glass pipe and methamphetamines (all in plain view). Now, Saylor was not a federal or state officer and there was a question if he could stop and hold non-Indian people.

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Review: Spice and Tea (St. Augustine, FL)

I recently visited St. Augustine for a much-needed beach vacation. It was fabulous, and I was so excited to find Spice and Tea in downtown. First I smelled several teas, they smelled good. I finally settled on some 1 oz “sample” bags and 2 larger 4 oz bags: Emperor’s Chai (4 oz) Peach Turmeric Herbal (4oz) Sinfully Cherry (1 oz) Florida Sunshine (1 oz) Grapefruit Basil (1 oz) Oh. My. God. These are amazing blends. I did not expect to like the grapefruit basil, I smelled it thinking I would recoil. It smelled good. Quite floral and fruity. Hence the 1 oz bag to try it. Holy crap, it’s amazing! It is a little sweet by itself, I added a hint of sugar and…. I swear I almost had to take my clothes off (if you have seen Food Wars anime, you’ll get that reference). It isn’t a subtle flavor it sinks in and you just have to ride the

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SCOTUS: Opinions Unread so far

I am still playing “catch-up” on May and this week I’m seeing the Supreme Court put out opinions – and some of the headlines I’m reading are making me want to drop important chores (like dishes) to the wayside and find out how some of these judges are leaning and WHY. I know, I’m a nerd. So I am bookmarking the SCOTUS opinions page (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinion/20 if you’re curious) and I am going to read and blog about at least some of the cases. I’ve already heard some commentary on the Van Buren v. United States case, but I am curious about the opinions – because Gorsuch, Barret, and Kavanaugh all sided with Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagen. I will probably blog Sanchez v. Mayorkas and Garland v. Ming Dai together because they both deal with immigration (that’s about all I know, I’ve only read the abstracts). This isn’t my area of expertise, so we’ll see when I read them if they

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