Writing: Solutions shouldn’t be a conversation

I am reading a series where about half the book would be cut out if characters would just say shit aloud. “I don’t like this plan because I feel like…” would literally prevent half the plot points. And they keep doing it. It has made me close the book, stand up, and walk away muttering darkly more than once. And this isn’t uncommon. In movies and in books. A simple conversation could solve so many issues. And I know why so many times it gets used. Sometimes because it’s easy. But other times, I remind myself it’s real. My mother and I were talking about this the other day, how boundaries are hard because they require open, clear communication and that is hard. It’s hard to tell someone you love what you need or an outright, “No.” It’s definitely something I think I am going to try to be aware of. There are times when I have seen it used

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Review: Spider-Man No Way Home

This review will contain spoilers. I literally do not know how to review this movie without “spoilers” because it is so about the references. I mean, it pulls in Spiderman villains and such which we haven’t seen in the MCU to date. My short review (without spoilers) is this: It’s a fun movie for Marvel fans, but I wouldn’t send a non-Marvel fan to watch it. This isn’t like Black Panther or Iron Man (1) or Shang Chi where I could say “just go see it anyway, it’s so much fun.” You need background. Now, as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – this was soooo much fun. More in-depth I have seen a bunch of people saying how much they love this movie and it’s one of their favorites in the MCU. Nope. Not at all. I wouldn’t put it in the top 5, maybe even the top 10. Honestly (controversial take here) I don’t think it will

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Politics: Death Penalty

I am against the death penalty. I decided to write about it this week because yesterday the Governor of Oklahoma commuted a man’s death sentence hours before his scheduled execution. Seriously, he commuted the sentence at noon for a 4pm execution. And this is after a lot of protests, including school walk outs. God, I kind of wish I was teenager right now because these kids are so cool. When I was in ninth or tenth grade I read Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean, a catholic nun who ministered to death row inmates. It opened my eyes to some serious injustice in the death penalty. And it’s really simple: We keep killing innocent people In 2014 a study concluded approximately 4% of the people executed were innocent. That doesn’t sound like a huge percentage – but some of the people were innocent. That is morally unacceptable to me. This isn’t a long point because I don’t know what else

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Religion: Sins of the Father.

I don’t write about my faith a lot. I don’t know how most of the time. But especially with everything going on in the world right now, this is one that I have been coming back to over and over. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation. Exodus 34:7b 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Deuteronomy 5:9-10  ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ Numbers 14:18 So I

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Review: Raya and The Last Dragon

I mentioned I watched this movie, but it wasn’t really the focus of that post. So here are my thoughts on the movie. So I was distracted trying to pinpoint aspects of various cultures, and there really are some interesting references to various cultures. I, personally, really like it. I never thought about mismashing viking culture, monogolian culture, and japanese-northern cultures together (they did!). It works really well surprisingly. The world is pretty amazing really. I think it’s one of the best parts of the whole thing. It was really unique. I feel like it was a brave decision to produce the movie with such an interesting and challenging world to build up. The plot is not complicated (it is a kid’s movie), so I can’t think of anything that surprised me. I would say it probably follows the very typical beats of “high-low-high-low-done.” Without doing an in-depth dissection, that’s how it felt. I don’t want to give spoilers, but

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Writing: Appropriation

I recently watched Raya and the Last Dragon (I know, I’m slow on these things). I wanted to see it because it said “dragon” in the title AND because I’ve heard some stuff about appropriation in it. Some hub-bub around the film’s release said it was insensitive to other cultures. You know, Disney perhaps not being known for their cultural sensitivity… I get it. Mulan is…. well it is based on Chinese legend but VERY westernized. Specifically, when I use this term I mean social appropriation, which Dictionary.com says is: the adoption, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers from subcultures or minority communities into mainstream culture by people with a relatively privileged status. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cultural-appropriation Examples include white people wearing clothing/styles of Native Americans, or (white people) making art based on African cultural style(s). You have probably heard some of these things. In the past several years, there have been conversations about people dressing as Michael Jackson (if you aren’t

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Writing: NaNoWriMo plug

I am not sponsored. Especially by a 501(c) non-profit. I have participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for years now. I have rarely “won,” but I keep trying. It’s a fun exercise if nothing else. A challenge. And even if you are not a writer, I would like to shout out the organization, because they do so much more than just entertain me every year. They manage a Young Writer’s Program for K-12 educators to use. This includes classroom kits, workbooks, and more. Getting them creating early and addict them…. I mean educate them in the love of writing. It’s also quite the community both in person (though not in 2020 and at least in Atlanta most of the “Come Write In” events are listed as virtual) and digital. There are regional volunteers who help wrangle the events and community. Seriously, if you have a few bucks to spare this month, I would encourage you to potentially donate to

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Politics: They called that a deal?

If you aren’t a political nerd, you might not be aware of the “impending crisis” called the debt ceiling. There is a lot of rhetoric and a lot of bullshit. I have an amateur’s take on it. The history of the ceiling: The “debt ceiling” was created in 1917 with the Second Liberty Bond Act. This took us from a system where Congress had to pass/approve EVERY LOAN to allowing the Treasury department (and therefor the President) to borrow as much money as they wanted as long as it fell under the debt ceiling (hence the name). In 1917 this meant putting out as many war bonds as the president needed to deal with World War I. Instead of congress having to sign off on literally every bond that went out, this meant the Treasury could borrow from Sam Everyman x1000 without getting 1000 approvals – allowing for smaller loans from individuals instead of just big loans with lots of

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Life Events: 20 years after 9/11

I remember the day of September 11th, 2001 with unusual clarity. I remember where I was and what I did when I heard about the initial attack (my response to my friend was “that’s not funny” because I could NOT imagine it being real). I didn’t see the towers fall live. It was the only teacher the rest of that day who didn’t turn on the tv and watch the coverage. I wish I had thanked him for that. As anxious as I was to know in that class, by the end of the day, I was basically sick. Physically and emotionally I was absolutely sick. Twenty years has now passed. This week I watched a documentary on MSNBC called Memory Box which interviewed survivors of the towers and the pentagon attack in 2002 and again this (2021) spring. I really liked that because we heard about the day through the lens of these survivors as the primary source within

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Pets: Aging

I adopted Genkii and Kawaii in fall of 2007. When I adopted them, they were less than a year old, about 7-9 months old. At 14, Genkii is finally less “energy” and turning into an older man. He doesn’t get “zoomies” as often. He is “talking” less. More alarming to me are some physical signs of age. His spine is probably the one I worry about the most. Genkii has always been skinny. I have always had to do a mix of 1/2 kitten food, 1/2 adult food to keep his weight at a healthy level. Kitten food has a higher fat content. When I have tried to cut out (or been unable to get) kitten food, he gets so skinny you can feel his ribs when you pet him. His ribs have a nice layer on them right now, his spine however is boney. Almost spiky. In my experience, when a cat begins to be boney like this –

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