Review: Christmas “Artists”

This is NOT a review on Christmas music.  This is a review on the artists who cover Christmas music. A Lot of them are doing this wrong.  This is not opinion.  It’s FACT.  If an artist doesn’t have the skill to make a song their own, they need to follow directions someone else gave them.  Anything else is wrong. Let’s start with the ultimate example of an artist “covering” a Christmas song right.  Jingle Bell Rock.  In 1957, Bobby Helms put out a version of the classic “Jingle Bells” but in his own tune.  From the very first note you know this isn’t “Jingle Bells” – this is Jingle Bell Rock.  There is never doubt that he took the “Jingle Bells” song and made it his. Now, when you are listening to a singer “cover” something like “Silent Night” or “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” you probably can sing along because you know the words. People love singing along.  What is wrong with the

read more Review: Christmas “Artists”

Theory: Pregnancy Brain

This is 100% my own theory based on my own (still relatively short) experience with pregnancy.  So, with that disclaimer – take it or leave it on my theory. Let’s start with “What is Pregnancy Brain”  WebMD has an entire article on it, but the jist of it is – pregnant women struggle to continue to function at full use – “momnesia” I never understood how real it was until I was pregnant – nor how early it starts.  I always assumed it was a 3rd trimester thing and because you feel so weird and out of sorts.  Nope, it definitely started late 1st trimester for me and has only gotten more noticeable as I move through the 2nd trimester. So here’s the theory: Momnesia is because there is a cycle or two of the brain always processing the pregnancy. My brain continuously cycles anywhere from 3-6 different things at the same time.  I don’t necessarily control these cycles.  On a “normal”

read more Theory: Pregnancy Brain

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

read more Review: Simon Sinek

Miss Manners: Holding Doors in the 21st century

Originally posted on Dream by Day:
Anyone who knows me, knows I have strong opinions about holding doors. A lot of my guy friends complain that the rules are “always changing” on them and I have to say, I don’t entirely agree. There IS a problem that there are people playing by different rules. But within those people – the rules are consistent.  I propose a simplification of “holding the door” and the first thing to be aware of: gender doesn’t matter. Let me say that again – stop looking at gender as the reason you should (or should not!) hold a door. I think part of the problem has long been that there are too many rules to decide who and when a door should be held. I live by a simple set of rules: Am I in the way if I hold the door for them? Am I improving their day by holding the door? If I can not answer…

Review: Moist Von Lipwig

I can finally review this trilogy since I finished it over the weekend.  I’ve read and re-read Going Postal and Making Money for years, but somehow I never got around to Raising Steam.  Moist was my real intro to Discworld and Terry Pratchett.  Then I went back and red Guards! Guards!  I’m working my way (slowly) through the Witches books. But I hold a special place for Moist.  He’s awful in a lot of ways.  Like really a bad person who wants to be selfish and greedy.  At least in the first two books.  Now, he also has a strong internal set of morals and ethics – his own which no one else would ever agree with but… So Going Postal is probably my favorite of the three.  I thoroughly enjoy seeing Moist struggle with his desire to run away and his determination to do something interesting.  The character is “forced” into his position but never loses agency or personality.  In Making Money, he’s somewhat

read more Review: Moist Von Lipwig

Review: Audiobook Players

This review is specifically how these players work with Android Auto (AA) in my Kia Sorento.  I can’t speak as an authority that Android Auto is the same everywhere, so this is definitely MY opinion. There are technically 5 different audiobook players I have used/do use during my commute.  I’m really only going to review 4 however since Overdrive is pushing towards Libby – either way this is the library, so 100% free (well, paid for by our taxes).  Both Audible by Amazon and Google Play Books require you purchase your books (Audible having a subscription, Google Play doesn’t).  Lastly, the mostly-free option of Librivox. Libby I love getting books from my library.  I do not love Libby.  This app is awkward. It only recently (like maybe this summer) finally updated to even work on Android Auto.  And it’s…. usable.  The controls are all-but useless (the skip is worthless in the car – it skips too much – I made this mistake once). The worst thing is the launch.  Libby

read more Review: Audiobook Players

Writing: Fixing Clue

This game has a huge plot hole that has always bothered me.  IF I am the murderer, why would I be helping solve the murder?  Theoretically, my “character” knows they committed murder – but I, the player, do not (unless the rare time you get your own card at the beginning and know you’re innocent) Clue, the board game, was originally conceived in 1949 – so we’re talking a game that’s 69 years old.  The hay-day of board games when manufactures were figuring out how to manufacture those tiny pieces reliably and ship them…. Monopoly was 1935, Scrabble 1948, and Candyland was published in 1949 as well. In case you’ve never played it, the premise of the game is that six people were invited to a house and the host ended up being murdered by one of 6 possible weapons. The six guests are then trying to solve the murder.  But one of these guests WAS the murderer – they know

read more Writing: Fixing Clue

Writing: NaNoWriMo

Le sigh.  I want to do NaNoWriMo but with everything going on in my life…. hell 500 words a day has been challenging much less 1,667. I am pregnant which is one of the most exhausting experiences of my life.  The only other time(s) in my life I slept this much was when I was SICK – bronchitis, pneumonia, and influenza.  It’s almost scary how exhausted I am so much of the time.  How much a nap every day means I get to stay up until the uber late hour of 9pm….  and even that “staying up” is staying awake watching YouTube or anime – NOT doing something actually mentally stimulating. My husband and I are embarking on tearing out our kitchen (ok, paying someone else to do it) and master bathroom.  It’s been a thing already and we haven’t even touched anything yet – so far it’s just been the shopping around/comparisons and dealing with an incredibly poor communicator at our bank… (I

read more Writing: NaNoWriMo

Politics: Ga Amendment 1, Portion of Revenue from Outdoor Recreation Equipment Sales Tax Dedicated to Land Conservation Fund Amendment (2018)

This is another easy one.  This initiative allows Georgia to use sales tax from sporting goods to be put in a trust fund for conservation.  Honestly, my mind was made up when I saw it was supported by The Conservation Fund, The Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Park Pride, and The Trust for Public Land.  Several of those organizations I would trust to support this law if they thought it would actually be useful –  not just a squeeze on people to get money for other uses. It also will expire in 10 years and can be extended in 10-year increments.  I like laws that expire.  I think there should be a constitutional amendment for any law to have to be re-written/extended in X time.  Any law older than N should be automatically expired (ie those funny laws from the 1800s that are just weird now).  Now, should that be 5, 10, 50, 100 years? I dunno.  I’d want to hear other

read more Politics: Ga Amendment 1, Portion of Revenue from Outdoor Recreation Equipment Sales Tax Dedicated to Land Conservation Fund Amendment (2018)

Manners: “Caravan” language

I don’t really want to talk about the racism inherent in the discussion of “brown” people “invading” our country.  The UN did a good job talking in broad terms, there are articles comparing it to conversations/books in the mid-1900s, and calling out politicians for using racist language.  It’s definitely part of this conversation, but there is something I want to address that I haven’t seen before. There has been a lot of conversation in the news about this “caravan” coming up from Central America.  And I realized the other day – this is coded language.   And let me start by defining “coded language” – it is terms or phrases that are designed to bring forth certain cultural images & context (negatively).  Collins English dictionary defines it as “If someone is using coded language, they are expressing their opinion in an indirect way, usually because that opinion is likely to offend people.” An example of “coded language” is Thug.  (I hate this word so much). 

read more Manners: “Caravan” language