Life Events: Election 2020

By the time this post goes up it’s “yesterday,” I am writing this Wed night. My heart aches. I do not have WORDS for how much I grieve.

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Life: Anxiety in 2020

I can finally give a concrete example of anxiety manifesting in 2020. For the past two days or so I am bothered. I am turning it over and over and over in my mind. I get upset and grumble and gripe about it to myself. I literally start arguing with myself over it. No, I am not upset with my husband or even politics. I am worrying on a Star Trek Deep Space 9 episode. I haven’t seen it in a year or more, but it’s on my mind. For the STDS9 fans, it’s the episode when Kiko O’Brien is possessed by the bajoran Fire Demon. She has been on the planet seeing the “fire caves” which is a tourist destination and is possessed by this evil (in the bajoran religion) non-corporeal entity (a spirit). The show begins when she comes home and Miles O’Brien, her husband, is waiting for her with her favorite exotic chocolates as an apology for

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Review: Black Jewels Trilogy

This is not my normal fare of fantasy. These three books by Anne Bishop; Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness. They are borderline romantic, without the erotic elements most romance novels feature. Reading these three books, it felt like I got dropped into a world without a lot of context. But since this was her debut novel, it’s not like I accidentally picked up a trilogy in a world she’s written other books in (I did that with Mercedes Lackey before). I want to start here that I would not recommend this book casually. There is too much dealing with trauma and abuse to just say “everyone would enjoy!” and not in a “everyone would learn good lessons from her approach” way. A LOT of people would be made very uncomfortable with the issues it addresses. These issues are very interwoven throughout the three novels, although the most in the first novel. By the

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Life Events: Furniture Feelings

We sold our guest bed this weekend. I have feelings about it. It didn’t start as our guest bed. It started as my bed. The first bed I even actually bought. When I graduated from college I took the old double-bed from my parents house which I had been using. It was ok, but after my second move with it, the wooden frame was EXTREMELY creaky. So my parents and I made me a custom bed with storage underneath (I’ve always carted around far too many books for apartment living with roommates). This bed was large enough to be upgraded to a queen mattress, but it survived through with a double. Homemade beds don’t last well when you move almost annually, and when a friend at work posted she was getting rid of her wrought iron bed and queen mattress… I jumped on it. I have since replaced the mattress, but I loved this frame. It is a great frame.

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Review: Book of a Thousand Days

Book of a Thousand Days by¬†Shannon Hale is written like a diary, the entries numbered by days. The story itself is an interesting melding of eastern and western fantasy. I like that the world isn’t a direct correlation to Chinese or Japanese imperialism. At least not anything so directly recognizable. The plot is such a cool retelling of Rapunzel. Sort of. Which I love. I love when authors give me what I think is a story I know, put it a cool twist on it, and drop me with a swift kick in the expectations. And this book delivers all that inside an intriguing medium of the “diary” storytelling method. Which is challenging. And I love the illustrations (James Noel Smith¬†does them and they are really good). The villain is well written and evil and scary and yet realistic (in the world Hale created). The magic is there but not blatant. The romance is subtle and kind of funny and

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Review: Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea: One man’s mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time has taken me about three years to read. It was my toilet book and for a very long time, I would look at it feel utterly intimidated by it, so I would read and re-read the first chapter or two. I finally started making myself read a paragraph at a time. Once I did, I began to steadily devour it. Then I had a kid and often my bathroom time was too rushed to even try. Or worse…. I had a crying baby in my arms while I tried to do my business. But finally this year I finished the book. I feel bad because this books deserves so much better than this. I will go back and re-read this book someday over a vacation at the beach while I make my husband play with the kid in the sand and I just read. However,

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Review: Mulan pricing

I can’t review Disney’s live action Mulan because I haven’t seen it yet. But I have had several conversations with people and seen a good bit of commentary on the “they are charging $30 on TOP of the Disney+ sub to watch it” debate. I even know of people who are pirating it (or at least say they are) because of the “principle” of paying on top of a subscription to watch the movie. I am against piracy. If there is a legal means of attaining the property, even if you think it’s ridiculous and unreasonable… no. Just no. The word is piracy – and that is a bad thing people. Always. The only time I have “pirated” media was when I could not find it legally (this was also like 10 years ago, the internet has evolved a little since then). Literally, I tried to reach out to the publisher listed on an old CD (out of business). I

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Review: Freakonomics

This isn’t going to be a true review. This IS however a HUGE recommendation for their podcast this week. I listened to it this morning on my walk and… I might have freaked out another walked coming towards me at one point when I did the double-hands “yes, that!” gesture. I looked up a little further right after I did it and the guy was moving off the sidewalk already…. So yeah. Go and listen. It is a fabulous take on how we can and possibly should look at saving the rainforest. I think my favorite quote was something like “Brazil’s strategy was a lot of sticks, but not a lot of carrots” which made me all the more excited to see how we could add more sticks to the solution.

Politics: School ReOpening

I work in corporate education. I have trained soft skills (customer service, management, and HR compliance training *shudders*) and I have trained “hard skills” in IT. I LOVE teaching Microsoft Excel certification training. Word is number two. Excel is probably my favorite because when people can use Excel, they almost universally like the application they hated the most and that is soooo gratifying. I have literally trained on a global scale. I have worked for multiple companies with locations in other countries. Both in developing training that isn’t in my time zone and delivering that training. This means I have worked with giving training in person and via a remote tool. I hope that this world will bring useful advances to schools. But there are some pretty bad pitfalls that the corporate world has learned. Which leads to my some advice for schools and teachers. Number 1: DO NOT MIX IT UP Learning can be done remotely. It is more

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Life Memories: John Lewis

I was in college when I first learned about John Lewis. I was doing some research regarding Georgia history and the civil rights movement (specifically some cases which started in Georgia). My professor made a comment about “Representative Lewis” and I blinked. It rocked me mentally to realize that someone still alive (and honestly not that old in 2005) had marched with Martin Luther King Jr. Marched as an adult. Not a child holding a parent’s hand. A man grown and finished with his education. Mathematically I knew this was possible. But this was the first time I felt it to my shoes. I didn’t know anything about John Lewis at the time. I didn’t grow up with him as my representative (honestly, I didn’t know who my rep WAS growing up so…. this wasn’t surprising). He was one of the people who inspired me to begin paying more attention to my local politics instead of just presidential. This meant

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