Politics: Democratic Candidates

Now that the primaries are about to kick off, I am going to take some time to discuss my top 5 Democratic candidates. I am going to begin by explaining my “ranking” here: I don’t have one. I like these candidates best. I will vote for anyone with a pulse who is not Trump. I don’t have a specific favorite among the democrats, I have elements I like about these 5 more than the rest. So to put some kind of order, I went with national polling per FiveThirtyEight.com as of 1/29. Biden is still leading the pack with more than 25%. I like that he’s a moderate, I think it makes him more appealing to more people (if the left-extremists don’t decide to sit in the corner and pout again this cycle ’cause they didn’t get their guy). There are still somewhere between 15-25% of “undecided” and “independant” voters in key states who flip flop between the parties. I

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Memories: New Year’s Eve Fireworks

I always had great sympathy for pet owners who had fur-babies who didn’t like fireworks. Animals don’t understand the noise, it just sounds dangerous. Intellectually, I felt sorry for parents of small children. But as I hold my exhausted baby and he whines and cries trying to sleep and waking up with a startle reflex he doesn’t understand where is coming from, can’t control his reaction, or even apply understanding and logic that everything is ok…. I would fix it if I could.

Memories: Milk

Every November I remember the gallon of milk a strange bought for me. This year it somehow feels poignant all over again. The reminder of how vulnerable we actually are. How impermanent things actually are. It might be increased anxiety speaking right now, but every time I begin to feel overwhelmed I remember – when I desperately needed it, a complete stranger bought me milk so I could eat.

Writing: Cost of Writing

Originally posted on Dream by Day:
It’s difficult for writers to make money. I went out into the cold corporate world after college because I don’t like going hungry. Some days I hate it. I hate going to work. My fingers itch and all I want to do it use post-it notes on a wall and figure out the plot hole burning against the back of my face. It’s all I can do to look human instead of speaking inhuman tongues which have been tumbling around my tongue. I took a part-time job in desperation when I was unemployed. Unemployment covered my car payments and gas, but that was about it. Thank God my parents had space and resources to support me during that time. But I loved the job. I like working customer service. I like balloons. I loved that my mind could roam across landscapes beyond the mundane while I stocked shelves. I loved the creativity of building displays. I…

Writing: Death of the Author (Part 2)

Click here to read Part 1 Wondering why there is a part 2? Because I think this actually goes beyond merely literary critique. Let’s take an example: The Bible. One of the big areas I see this is around homosexuality. And it makes me see a little cross-eyed because every verse that gets brought up is brought up either without the cultural context of the time it was written and/or the linguistic context. I’m not going to break down all the verses (there are 6 and you can Google it for yourself). But when people talk about Sodom and Gomorrah they always talk about man-on-man sex. It ignores the custom that when you feed someone in your house (as Lot did), in that culture – you have taken on a responsibility to protect them. This is huge. I would compare it to spitting in someone’s face in today’s world. It is such a taboo you’ve probably never seriously considered it except

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Short Story: Squirrels in the Attic

Originally posted on Dream by Day:
The family had three cats and a dog.  Two of the cats were hunters and came from the same litter – Taffy and Cinnamon. There was a long debate about which cat to put into the attic the first time the family heard squirrels.  Taffy was far and away the superior hunter.  He brought in everything from snakes to bats.  Alive. Apparently bringing them home and letting the humans play with them was the most affectionate thing he could think.  No matter how many times he got yelled at. No matter how often he was reminded “you bring it inside, you lose it!” Cinnamon might or might not be an amazing hunter; she was smart enough not to be seen bringing in her prizes. The only time anyone knew she had been hunting was when remains were discovered.  Her favorite spot to take these “toys” was the bathtub in the hall.  Somehow she learned that if you put…

Life Events: Water Heater Adventures

This weekend was a roller coaster. It rained a lot last week, and sometimes when it rains the water comes in under the garage door. So I don’t think too much about a little water on my side of the garage when it’s raining. But it was dry all day Friday. I went to go get pizza for dinner. I came home and parked in the garage. There was water. I followed the water path to the hot water heater and the wooden boards it was on (it was rested on 4 cinder blocks with a board on top) was soaked. Oooooooh. Shit. We’ve known since we bought the house that the water heater is old. Like 15 years or more (there isn’t a date on the thing). So we knew it was going to go at some point. Our plan was to finish the kitchen and bathroom renovation, see what our water consumption was for a few months and

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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…

Review: Simon Sinek

A friend posted this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MC2X-LRbkE) and I ranted on his Facebook. I’ve written about Millennials before.  I AM a Millennial.  I struggle with the term because I hate fighting the negative stereotypes.  I HAVE known people who are entitled shits.  But you know who else is an entitled narcissictic shit? Donald. J. Trump.  And he is a baby boomer. You know who has a history of being selfish? Baby Boomers.  Look at how many bust-boom cycles the economy has been in from ~1980 (the “young” end of Boomers is 1964 which made them 16, so a large majority were at least voting).  Look at the boom-bust cycle since 2000.  Look at Enron.  Look at the recession of 2008.  And the economists say we’re probably about to have another one.  So AT LEAST one per decade! I know awesome Baby Boomers.  Unlike many of the critics of millennials who love to use sweeping statements about “most” and “all” – I

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