Review: The 10th Kingdom

I was JUST talking about this with someone…. telling them they should watch/read/either this one!

Dream by Day

Mini Series poster

This is one of my favorite books and mini-series. The show isn’t exactly like the book, but it does a very close job of it. I probably watch this once a year (maybe every 10 months) and I’ve read the book an average of every 16 months since the first time I read it. If you haven’t read this book – you need to. Not you should. You need to. You’ll never see fairy tales the same way, and it is beautiful for it.

Synopsis: I’m not going to take anything from anywhere, so I hope I do it justice: Virginia is your average young waitress living with her father and struggling to keep it all together. Until the day that Prince Wendell, the grandson of Sleeping Beauty and cursed by his wicked stepmother into the body of a dog, crashes in Virginia on her way to work…

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Writing: The Beginning

I’m trying to decide if I should do Camp NaNoWriMo in July…. I don’t know but I kinda want to face that blank page right now. It sounds kind of wonderful.

Dream by Day

As November and NaNoWriMo creeps closer I am excited and terrified. There is nothing like the beginning of a novel. Or a short story. Or a poem. Or a relationship. To me, often writing a novel is like a relationship. Sometimes I get into it knowing where I want to end up. Sometimes I think it’s just going to be a fun romp and we’ll see if it goes someplace real or fizzles out. Sometimes I go in thinking I know where it’s going and it ends up fizzling out. Sometimes I end up taking an unexpected left-turn or three and before I know it I’m looking at something entirely different and something so much better than I ever expected.

That is why the beginning might be my favorite part of a novel. That first one-thousand words which set everything else up. Many of my novels get written and re-written…

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Life Event: New Family Member!

Last week my husband and I met someone who is joining our family.  It isn’t official-official (we did a week’s trial and that won’t be over until Wed) but we are super happy to welcome this little guy.

Right now his name is Riley, but he isn’t super-attached to the name and so we’ve talked about possibly renaming him, but right now he is Riley.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/dxAGgyrhmEyBqnn4A (album of Riley pics)

Specifically, there are 2 pictues which pefectly exemplify how Genkii & Kawaii are handling this addition:

Genkii is now CONVINCED (like he wasn’t already, but now he’s certain without-a-doubt) he’s a dogggy too:

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Kawaii on the other hand is utterly confused.  This thing is ignoring her.  And doesn’t understand that IT is the intruder and unwelcome in HER house.  She isn’t mad, mostly just confused.  Bewildered at being ignored.  She has never been ignored before.

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We haven’t had any real issues since he came to the house last Wed and although we suspect there might be a few hisses from Kawaii as she learns to assert her dominance, we don’t see Riley having issue letting her think she’s in command.

do expect to eventually find Riley & Genkii cuddled ’cause Genkii wants desperately to be just like Riley… it’s so sad.  He’s so confused.

I don’t understand people who say they don’t like animals.  I don’t understand people who say they don’t like cats…  Allergies are different, but not liking the entire species “because” just means you haven’t met the right one.  They bring so much love and laughter to a family, I can’t imagine not having mine in my life.

Feminism: Single-Income Households

I recently saw an article that young men are struggling with the idea that women might make more money. As a feminist it breaks my heart that we are filling young men with this toxic idea that THEY have to make all the money. That equality means they CAN be a stay-at-home-dad and it’s OK.

Dream by Day

I’ve been jokingly saying for a few years now that everyone who works 40-hours-a-week needs a wife. It’s supposed to be funny. It’s supposed to ease the frustration that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to work a full time job and take care of a family.

Well, I think I am ready to declare that I think this is true.  Well, mostly true.  It really is a case of “the American dream is to have a single-income household.” Whether that is a stay-at-home Mom or Dad; or both parents working and they can afford in-home help (has anyone else noticed that the mom in Brady Bunch was stay-at-home and they had a housekeeper?!?!?).

We just can’t do it.  There a bazillion articles and discussions about the emotional burden of maintaining a home (cleaning, cooking, shopping for toilet paper) – much less adding in kids. Kids are a…

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Politics: Dodd-Frank Roll-back

Ok, so I started writing a piece on the recent roll-back of Dodd-Frank rules.  And I’m going to be honest, I spent about 5 hours trying to read shit about it – and I have no idea how this will impact us.

They didn’t roll back the protections I know I would be up-in-arms about (which are really the “Consumer Protection Act” and until this rollback I thought they were the same bill because I think I’ve always heard them talked about together).  But, I pretty much have the philosophy that anything the Koch brother supports, I should probably oppose on principle.

I am concerned this deregulation will lead to bubbles.  Bubbles like 1929 or 2008.  I’m not going to try to reiterate the arguments – there are people way smarter than me explaining (or trying to!) the issues at hand.

What I’ve decided to say is this: Think about it.

Well, my question for anyone reading this is: who benefits?  Who benefits from rolling back these regulations?  Over 600,000 new homes were constructed & sold in 2017.  I’m pretty sure the loaning business isn’t doing poorly.  In fact… banks made record profits in 2017.

Damn.  It’s like those regulations weren’t “slowing” business.  Unless of course those regulations might have been preventing banks from doing shit “the easy way” (which I should write why easy =/= best).  And what will their impact be?  Another bubble?  Do we really think banks learned from the 2007/2008 financial crisis?  Do you?

Here’s my thing.  I’ve been re-watching Parks & Recs for something “mindless and fun” and Ron Swanson is adorable.  And his instance that people use capitalism as a be-all-end-all runs on an assumption that people work with some kind of ethics/honor.  But they don’t.  Throughout History there are a billion and five examples of someone being incredibly unethical.

  • We wouldn’t need regulations if people could work with ethics/honor.
  • We wouldn’t need these regulations if people weren’t acting with greed.
  • We wouldn’t need any regulations if people weren’t stupid and selfish.

These things being unfortunate realities – we need some kind of regulation.  I am as guilty of the next person of seeking the best deal even when I know that company is rotten.  I’ve shopped at Walmart.  I think they are evil, but damnit sometimes I just don’t have time and money and energy to go hunting the deal… and I need toilet paper now.  I’m not proud that my own selfishness gets in the way of “the right thing” but it happens.  Knowing Walmart isn’t allowed to employee 9-year-olds HELPS. And don’t kid yourself – pun intended – if it was legal Walmart would pay 20 cents an hr to 9-year olds to be cashiers.

Review: Herland

Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman

I saw this on a list of “early sci-fi books written by women” and DAMN.  DAMN.  It was written as a serial and then published as a book in 1915.  Women got the right to vote in 1919.  Just FYI – that means this woman-written-science-fiction-utopian-novel about a society of women-only (literally, parthenogenesis – virgin birth no men society).

It was short and sweet and fun to listen to (via Librivox). The premise is three American men discover/get to this little land which has been protected by mountains & cliffs for two-thousand years.  With no men. Because the men killed each other.

I did get a little tired of the word “motherhood” because the over arching philsophy of these women is motherhood.  And so everything he (the imaginary male protagonist writer) “explores” about this utopia deals with this core concept.

It is fascinating.  I finished it on my way home and immediately wanted to write my thoughts, but that’s actually really hard. I’m going to have to chew on it for awhile. Was she making fun of “motherhood” in some places or did she really think that “motherhood” was the ultimate ideal for humanity. She definitely thinks men are the only reason humanity has wars or fights.

And, I was warned so it didn’t catch me off guard, the author had a thing for eugenics – which granted was a thing in the early twentieth century.  She was not saying one race over others (apparently these women looked like all the races) but breeding out “defects” such as needing glasses or behavioral problems…. yeah, so that’s a thing I don’t want anyone surprised by.

Ok, so without being spoilery; this book is reminescent of books like The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Call of the Wild in tone and pacing.  Low “action” and high “thoughts” but it isn’t boring by any means.  Gilman definitely keeps coming back to certain actions so the reader isn’t JUST reading a treatise.  And there is a mystery that gets hinted at and hinted at and the reveal feels natural.  And not surprising.  And still a hair shocking simply because the narrator was so surprised by it.

My Review: go read it to expand your horizons, but keep it in the context of its own time.

Politicis: Gun Control

I wrote this in Oct 2015 – and it is still true today. I don’t like turning on the news to hear about ANOTHER shooting. I am tired of hearing the GOP wringing their “thoughts and prayers” BS line like a lady’s handkerchief. And I am tried of being told there is “nothing” we could/should do. Pick one of more of these options. Pick another option. But doing NOTHING…. that isn’t working. I would rather we do something WRONG than nothing at all. ’cause nothing ain’t working.

Dream by Day

I am pretty far left on most social issues. This is the one exception. I’m not far to the right, but I am definitely more-right than many of my friends (and family).  And everyone I talk to about this will hear me remind them that I think cars are a more dangerous problem which I want addressed first.

My Facebook has been full of posts the past several days. About half of them are “TAKE AWAY THE GUNS!” and half of them are “STOP TRYING TO TAKE MY GUN.”

It is tragic when someone is killed. There is no remedy for that pain. And yes, guns are terrible weapons which can kill many people very quickly, multiplying that pain.

I also know that my friends who own guns are very responsible. They can drone on and on with each other about various lock-box options, why they like the ones they…

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