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Showing posts from January, 2017

No, Pence Would Not Be Worse Than Trump

No, Mike Pence would not be worse than Donald Trump. 

The conversation always goes like this: "something something Trump should be impeached" "BUT IF WE IMPEACHED HIM THEN WE'LL GET PENCE AND HE'D BE SO MUCH WORSE"

No. No, no, no, no, no. Stop it. I need you to stop saying that. 

Here's why:

It's an abuse tactic

This is the same logic abusers employ to keep people from leaving them, reporting them, or taking any action. "But I never hit you." "Sure, baby, I hit you, but only a couple of times. I could have put you in the hospital." "Well, at least she's never raped me, not like such-and-so's wife." "I spent twenty years being psychologically abused and manipulated by my parents, but Joe's parents actually beat him." "I'd like to leave, but I'm afraid that living on my own will be worse."

Over time, this creates a twisted gratitude for the abuser -- instead of outrage over the things the…

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène, a YA Book By A Young Author

Review time! Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow is a young adult novel by a young adult, so I was very interested to read it. There's also a #MuslimShelfSpace tag going around, and this review is a nod to that. The idea is that there's been a lot of stereotypes and anti-Muslim sentiment spread around, so buying and boosting books about and by Muslims can help educate people and break down harmful stereotypes. 

The author is French with an Algerian background, and Guène wrote Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow when she was in her late teens. Although the novel is not autobiographical, she shares many things with its main character. Doria, like her creator, is the child of immigrants and lives in poor suburban housing projects.Guènewrote that she realized girls like herself weren't really represented in books, and felt that Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow was a way to tell the stories of people in the suburbs who are ignored by the elites of French literature.



Plot: Life Sucks, Until It Doesn't

Doria is an unhap…

I Donated My Hair, and You Can, Too!

Today I got an email notifying me that Wigs for Kids received my hair donation!



Wigs for Kidsis a nonprofit which provides free wigs to children without natural hair. Getting a wig can give many kids more self-confidence about their appearance, helping them get through a difficult time. 

My hair was around 22 inches braided, probably making it a good 24 inches in length brushed out straight. It was a lot of hair. Although I have straight hair, people with any hair type or color -- including gray hair -- can donate, as long as the hair you're giving hasn't been dyed or chemically treated. They put the donated hair through a whole treatment process when making the wigs, so split ends and the like don't matter, either. 

I have no personal use for my long hair. I had made a resolution -- what, two years ago now? -- that I was going to grow out my hair for donation. It's bright blond and fine, and I have a lot of it. According to the hairdresser, it's also very similar to …

Chelsea Manning vs. Noor Zahi Salman

President Obama will commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. I'm a little conflicted hearing that, because it comes on the heels of the news that Noor Zahi Salman, the wife of the Orlando shooter, will be prosecuted.

On one hand, maximum security prison as a trans woman would be more dangerous for Manning than many others, and she's served seven years already. In principle, I'm against a justice system which is all about punishment with no chance of rehabilitation.

But also. Also, also, ALSO.

Chelsea Manning is a white woman and a veteran who acted independently. While history suggests that some good came of her information leaks, she also endangered lives. She took her actions of her own free will, knowing full well what she was doing. She clearly believed enough in her cause to do so despite the consequences.

She gets clemency.

Noor Zahi Salman is a Muslim woman who claims to have been unaware of her husband's plans for the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 pe…

I Need Advice On A Creative Block

I still can't write what I want. 

I mean, I do want to write these posts, and I'd even say I enjoy doing so, but nothing much has changed since I blogged about feeling unable to create after the crushing results of the 2016 election. 

I've focused a lot on nonfiction and other projects, but whenever I want to write creatively...meh. I can't bring myself to open a Word doc. Nonfiction writing can be creative, but I feel more personally invested in fiction writing.

I'm trying to think of how to describe the feeling. It's like when I think about continuing something fiction -- or even re-reading an old draft to ease myself back into it -- I want to glue myself to the floor (and not get up). Or, maybe it's more like a weight pressing down. Or when you know you ought to take the trash out, but it's freezing outside, and all your winter weather gear seems to have disappeared. So you leave the trash in the can. 


I've always been able to at least open the docum…

The ACA Is In Danger. Please Contact Your Reps.

I had this plan the other day where I was going to call the wavering or opposing Republicans who didn't want to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act, Obamacare) without a replacement plan. They only needed three defectors in order to stop the repeal -- and, as of yesterday, anywhere from 6-12 were reported as wavering. 

Conservatives who have opposed Trump and his policies have tended to make a big fuss at first and then lie down and roll over under party pressure. ("Who's a good ol' boy? Who's a good ol' boy? You are! YOU are!") I wanted to contact people who were wavering and say, hey, this is super important, please vote against your party and don't give in to that pressure.

But then the Senate voted by a tiny majority to repeal the ACA without a replacement. At around 1 in the morning. So, that was my plan gone out the window. 

Now, I'm going to call and send personalized emails to my Representatives, in the hope that the House will see this nonse…

Book Review: Defying Convention by Cecil Wilde

I don't read a ton of romance, but Defying Convention was just the romantic novella I needed at the moment: sweet, adorable, but with enough serious themes that I didn't feel like it was total fluff. 

This book was the cutest, OK? The. Cutest. 



So What's It About?
Defying Convention is the story of two best friends, AJ and Danny, who have known each other online for five years yet have never met in person. On impulse, they decide to attend a con together, hoping that their long-distance chemistry will translate to friendship...and potentially romance. 

Characters, Cuteness, and More Serious Stuff
AJ was my favorite of the two. They are witty, sarcastic, and a ton of fun to read. AJ ends up being the sexual mentor of the couple (this is romance, so duh, they become a couple). We get the sense that Danny has a lot of body insecurity as well as sexual inexperience, so being with AJ helps his confidence.
These two are just?? So?? Cute?? And so perfect for each other? Their online fr…

Audiobook Review: A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot

This was, if not my first-ever audiobook, my first-ever Audible purchase! The narrator was fantastic in every way. She really nailed the emotions, inflection, and overall delivery, bringing characters to life in a way that resonated with me long after the book was finished. I may go out of my way to seek out more audiobooks by Quincy Tyler Bernstine regardless of content. 

Audiobook review

Let's start with that, then! This is a 5-star audiobook for sure.

From my friend who narrates audiobooks, I know there's a bias against female voices in the audiobook industry. The assumption is that they aren't as versatile and can't imitate male characters "believably." Quincy Tyler Bernstine had a mid-range voice and was perfectly able to perform all the male characters in A Wish After Midnight. I call B.S. on this double standard. Every voice had a particular way of speaking which felt natural to the character, no matter their gender.



One of the main characters is Judah, an…