Politics: AOC’s Plan

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (AOC) has announced a proposal for a tax plan with a top rate of 70% on anything over $10 million. She is nicer than I am. I wrote two posts on the realities of costs & taxation in the 1950’s back in 2017 Part 1Part 2 In my research I found less than 20% of households in America break across the $100,000 mark. HOUSEHOLDS – not individuals. So for better than 80% of people an increase in taxes on over $100k (much less $1M or $10M) – DOES NOT IMPACT THEM AT ALL. I can’t express how confusing I find it that so many people who I am sure are NOT in that top 20% are upset when the taxes are raised on them. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that there is something in their brain saying this: As much as I hope that someday I too am one of those rich people, I

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Review: Early Access Games

There has been a been hullabaloo in the gaming world lately over “Early Access Games.” This is really on the tails of a larger conversation of “unfinished releases” which are more and more common. Just go watch some early reviews of Fallout 76 or Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 – and their “day-one-patches” which are basically the same size as the game itself. I’ve played a good handful of Early Access games. I always go in knowing they are a gamble. They are promises from the developer that they will finish, but “finishing” a project is a mutable idea. I’ve worked on several projects where the line of “done” moved back and forth for damn good reasons – you run into a hurdle that you just don’t have the time or money or energy to meet the original line. Or you moved the line and then had to move it back again. The bad about Early Access (EA for short)

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Resolutions: Books

So for 2018 I did the “Goodreads Challenge” – and if you aren’t on Goodreads, I recommend it – I love being able to add stuff in the library or bookstore or wherever to my “to read” list and go back later to re-find the things I couldn’t pick up at the time but want to read. Sorry, that’s my plug for the week. I set the challenge of reading 60 books in 2018. I ended up reading 62. Now, I counted anything that was on Goodreads. All my re-reads, all my new books, audiobooks – everything. I read a lot. I never felt like I had to go find a short book to fit in the challenge. There were 2 books I started and gave up halfway through (rare, but it does happen!) In 2019 I set the goal of 12. This year I am going to work on reading some of the classics I’ve always missed for one

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2018 Resolution Review

My goal for 2018 was to say “yes” to life. I think I succeeded in some ways and still fell down in others. But overall, I feel like 2018 was a “win” on this resolution. I didn’t write as much as I wanted. But I forgave myself that because I wasn’t prioritizing it over friends, family and work. I got a lot done that I didn’t expect to – including adopting a dog, getting pregnant, and starting a major home renovation project (and the stress that has introduced to my life). All of these were things my husband and I had sort of had circling, but we took the plunge on ALL of them in 2018. I had an incredibly stressful year at work and I feel like I came out on top of it. I made successes. I learned a LOT. I did a lot of growing and developing to be better for future projects and roles. I DID

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Review: Aquaman

Let me begin by saying, this review WILL have spoilers. The non-spoiler review is that this a fun movie. If you like the Fast and Furious franchise, I think it’s safe to say you will enjoy this (James Wan, also directed F&F7). I didn’t know this going in, but when my husband told me afterwards, I could feel the similarities. It’s a fun rompy-action movie with great special effects. Ok, so everything after this might be spoilery. Fair warning. Let me begin with the good. The action scenes are GOOD. Not always great, some of them might have gone one a fraction too long for me, but it was VERY GOOD. They were well choreographed and well shot (no shaky cam or other shitty camera tricks). The characters styles fit their personality (I always hate when the “well training tiny dude takes on gianormous dude hand-to-hand”). The colors were spectacular. It felt like a comic book. Nolan’s Batman was good, but I am

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Life Memories: Christmas Presents

I was about 5 when Christmas was ruined. My older brother found the stash of Christmas presents. He showed my older sister and myself. I don’t specifically remember looking through the presents, what I remember is the sense of wonder when he opened the closet door and dragged the box out. Nothing was a surprise that Christmas. Again, I was young enough I don’t remember the specific emotion of disappointment. What I do remember is my mother’s future rule about presents. She labeled the box(es) (some years we each had a box) in her bedroom. They weren’t even in the closet. I never looked again. This experience changed Christmas presents for my family. Not just because my mother – instead of feeling somehow “at fault” for making it “too easy” to “discover” our presents – was smart. She made sure we understood the consequence of our actions. If we didn’t care about the surprise as we unwrap gifts, we could go

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Writing: Reading or Listening?

NYT had an interesting piece on reading vs. audiobooks and I wanted to put in my 2 pence on the topic.  I try to be very clear in my reviews when I’m reading vs. listening.  I know a few times I’ve missed the mark on it, but I try.  Because I do see the difference between an audiobook and the visual-reading experience.  I struggled with Terry Pratchett until I checked out “Making Money” on audiobook.  The reader helped.  A LOT.  When I recommend that book, I always recommend the audiobook version – because it is a different way to approach the book. Now, some of it comes down to the reader(s).  I also listen to free readers on Librivox and some of them improve the experience, many are neutral, and a few have a negative impact.  It IS a skill to read well.  It is art to read and entertain someone else’s work. I listened to “Lock In” by John Scalzi.  I got the

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Writing: Thoughts on magic systems

Originally posted on Dream by Day:
As a fantasy and sci-fi writer and fan, I spend more time thinking about different magic systems than I probably should. In every system I design for my worlds, I like to answer several questions to myself: Are people equally equipped to access or utilize magic? (example: if the system is based on alchemy than the limiting factor would be the character’s ability to get raw materials) If there is inequality (mage A is stronger than mage B) what determines their relative strength? Genetics? Luck? Dieties? I get it, my protagonist might be the strongest mage, but why? Where does magic come from? Is it a limited resource, and how does it reproduce? Are all mages/magic users good at all types of magic or do they need to specialize in something? Does magic have rules for how it impacts the natural world? (ie: how does the presence of a dryad affect the forest) Sometimes I…