Archive: January 2020

tweets for 2020-01-26

Monday, January 27th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-25

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-24

Saturday, January 25th, 2020
  • RT @eve_ettinger: My great grandmother was a welder in a shipyard and her boss tried to rape her one morning at work so she knocked him out… ->
  • RT @MorrisAnimal: Get yourself a dog who can do it all. Who can walk and play and snuggle and love. Get sweet senior lady Foxy. Adopt: http… ->
  • RT @taralconley: Um hey. 43% of Houstonians in the low income neighborhood of 5th Ward are being diagnosed with cancer.
    Seems like somethi… ->
  • RT @EstherThePig: I'm very helpful in the kitchen. #ChefEsther https://t.co/tSPBtWN7QS ->
  • RT @thatbilloakley: hello i am a person you don't follow on twitter who thinks you are wrong but perhaps if you would consider devoting an… ->
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tweets for 2020-01-23

Friday, January 24th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-22

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-21

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Book Review: Dangerous Games to Play in the Dark by Lucia Peters (2019)

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Spice up your SPN viewing party with a game of Sara Sarita!

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing’s Early Reviewers program.)

Flashlights. Darkened rooms. The chanting of names, of mantras, of mysterious incantations. Giggles in the dark – some out of bravery, others out of bravado. Dares. Challenges. Ghosts.

You might be familiar with them: the kinds of games you play at sleepovers, around the campfire, or on the playground – more rituals than games, really – meant to summon spirits, communicate with supernatural beings, or otherwise connect with a realm beyond our own. You may have learned these games from your older friends or siblings, or out of books found in dusty and forgotten corners of the library – books like this one, perhaps. You might not be convinced the games will actually work, believing them to be simply stories or urban legends – but when you play, you hope all the same that this time, maybe something will happen. You’ll fall into a trance. You’ll defy the laws of nature. You’ll look into a mirror and see not your own reflection, but the shape of someone … or something … else.

In Dangerous Games to Play in the Dark, Lucia Peters shares twenty-four spooky games you can play at your next sleepover, Halloween party, or Supernatural viewing party – the options are endless. Each game includes a brief history about its origins, along with step-by-step instructions, a list of materials, additional warnings (open flames + mild scares = a fire risk, for obvious reasons), risk level, and objectives and rewards.

The games are roughly divided into different categories, including:

Party Games
– Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board
– The Answer Man
– The Picture Game
– The Games of One Hundred Ghost Stories, or Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Summoning Spirits
– Bloody Mary
– Blue Baby, Baby Blue
– Lady Spades
– The Hosting Game

High-Stakes Hide-and-Seek
– The Midnight Game
– Hide-and-Seek Alone, or Hitori Kakurenbo
– The Bath Game, or Daruma-san
– The Candles Game

Long, Strange Trips
– The Doors of Your Mind
– The Elevator Game
– Closet to Another World
– The Black Telephone Game

Contacting the Other Side
– The Closet Game
– Musical Chairs Alone
– The Corner Game
– The Sister, Sister Game, or Sara Sarita

Games of Knowledge
– The Red Book Game
– The Compass Game
– The Fortune Game
– The Playing Card Game

Dangerous Games to Play in the Dark is a really handsome gift book, with red-edged pages; an attractive, embossed black, red, and white cover; and matching interior artwork. Some of the instructions could be a little clearer, but overall they’re easy enough to follow. I would’ve liked more detailed background on some of the games, but the book does have a short list of resources at the end.

My only complaint – and forgive me while I show my age here – is that the type is teeny tiny and very difficult to read. It’s eight point, tops. Maybe spring for the ebook so you can adjust the font size and read along in the dark to boot?

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2020-01-20

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020
  • RT @_SJPeace_: Tamir Rice, was a 12 y/o black boy carrying a TOY GUN was percieved as a BLACK MAN carrying a GUN in an OPEN CARRY STATE of… ->
  • RT @Basseyworld: You can hear the pain in his voice.
    I really hate that the candidates with this level of empathy for Black folks are out… ->
  • RT @GrimKim: Weird how selectively some laws are enforced; it’s almost as if those who enforce them are heavily biased against leftist prot… ->
  • RT @VinceSchilling: So the #Superbowl this year is the @49ers and the Kansas City @Chiefs.
    As a former Sports Editor, and as a Native Amer… ->
  • RT @SebastianMurdoc: Just seeing this, but this guy was identified from my tweet and his now former employer saw. You wore a mask and still… ->
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tweets for 2020-01-19

Monday, January 20th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-18

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-17

Saturday, January 18th, 2020
  • RT @iconickbeauty: idk who needs to hear this but you are significantly closer to being homeless than you will ever be to being a billionai… ->
  • RT @corbin_dewitt: always a good time to remember that incarcerated people are denied the right to vote but are still count as residents in… ->
  • RT @rahm3sh: That cat said this is not a mf drill
    😩😂 https://t.co/1ODzyCidMU ->
  • RT @Vanessa_ABee: In which, the carceral system that Warren finds too “racially tinged” to execute people is somehow redeemable enough to s… ->
  • RT @Vanessa_ABee: Liz Warren on the death penalty: “I also oppose it because I think that people who have committed heinous crimes should d… ->
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tweets for 2020-01-16

Friday, January 17th, 2020
  • RT @AdoptLexiMama: LONGEST RESIDENT at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, NY. Lexi Mama has been in the shelter system since 2014. She n… ->
  • RT @knifefemme: no more jokes about being trash or whatever the fuck in 2020, this is the vibe now https://t.co/eHCeHfWKxs ->
  • RT @rerutled: Read this fascinating (law journal) article by @ma_franks." It describes a legal argument to support justified violence by w… ->
  • RT @monaeltahawy: That time, the day before our IRL 3rd anniversary, that I beat the fuck out of a man in a club for sexually assaulting me… ->
  • RT @nberlat: I'll just reiterate that there are virtually no kids who are rich. the money belongs to their parents, who can hold tuition fe… ->
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tweets for 2020-01-14

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

Book Review: The Living (Warm Bodies #3) by Isaac Marion (2018)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

This is the Warm Bodies ending we deserve.

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley.)

We are ten thousand generations of humans and millions more of simpler things, a vast history of lives and experiences condensed like an ocean of oil, growing deeper and more refined with each new moment of beauty. We want to ignite. We want to be heat and light. After billions of years, we are running out of patience.

“What we had before is what burned the world down. I’m ready for a whole new everything.”

“Chairs on the ceiling,” Tomsen adds. “An otter for president.”

Gebre looks at us for a moment, then tosses up his hands and turns back to his husband. “Well. Okay.”

Gael erupts with laughter. “You’re out of touch with the youth, old man.”

“I might even agree with them,” Gebre says with a shrug, “but they’re hardly representative of the general population.”

“We might be someday,” Julie says. “Maybe sooner than you think.”

“How do we make a better world without giving up a single piece of the old one? We don’t. We can’t. That’s a fucking stupid question.”

“No way around it, zombies are magic.”

Warm Bodies is a personal favorite of mine; if not in the top ten, then definitely the top twenty. (Hey, the likes of Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler = stiff competition!) Until I met R. and Julie, never did I imagine that a book about the undead could be so beautiful and poetic. Romantic, even, and in a revolutionary, universal heartbeat kind of way.

The Burning World proved a letdown (albeit a teeny tiny one), as Marion traded some of the ardor for action adventure; it felt almost like an intermission between the more important stuff. In all fairness, bridging the gap between the beginning and end of a trilogy is HARD, and the second book in the series is still filled with its share of beautiful, transformative moments. (I challenge you to find a more tragically exquisite scene than when Nora’s patient, Mrs. A, pulls herself from the pit of the plague, only to succumb to her injuries after enjoying a few brief moments of her newfound humanity.)

I’m not gonna lie: I was nervous as heck to read The Living (especially right after the dumpster fire that was Fury, the series conclusion to another one of my faves, Menagerie).

Thankfully, The Living is a harmonious marriage of the previous two books: it’s got the race-against-time action-adventure chops of The Burning World, with all of the humor, heart, and humanity that made me fall head over heels for Warm Bodies.

The Living picks up immediately after the events of The Burning World, as R., Julie, Nora, Marcus, and (Huntress!) Tomsen flee an imploding NYC. What ensues is a road trip across the United States – including an especially precarious and trippy (as in LSD) journey through the Midwaste – as they try to beat Axiom to Post; save their kids from being assimilated into Axiom’s military-industrial complex; continue to spread the Gleam to the Dead and Nearly Living; and confront their pasts.

For Julie, this means finding her Nearly Living mother before she dies a second time; for Nora, it means confronting – and perhaps forgiving – memories she’s tried long and hard to repress; and for R., it involves a trip to the basement, and bringing his crimes against humanity – as both the head of the Burners and the heir to the Atvist megacorp – to light. And they’re all chasing Tomsen’s white whale, BABL, hoping to bring it crashing down, thus opening the lines of communication to humanity.

One of the delights of The Living is watching R. grow and evolve – and with it, his relationship with Julie. There’s this wonderful scene where Julie confesses that what first drew her to R. was his distinct lack of a background or baggage. He was a blank canvas on which she could project whatever she needed. Slowly, though, he has become full-fledged person – imperfections and all. R. didn’t have much of a choice when he devoured Perry; he was just following the plague’s biological imperative. But the towns that were consumed at his behest as a Burner, and the humans devoured by the machine that was Axiom? Those were R.’s doing. How could that young man grow into the monosyllabic zombie that Julie fell in love with? How can she reconcile the man she loves with the person he once was? How can he?

We also learn more about the nature of the plague; in general terms, it’s an allegory for the times we live in now, and one that’s perhaps more apt today than when the series began. The plague is forced unity and conformity; it is greed and pessimism. It is Axiom (Amazon, Blackwater, Purdue Pharma; Bethany Christian Services, CoreCivic, Wells Fargo): objectifying, tabulating, assimilating, corporatizing, mechanizing, consuming, regurgitating, and reassembling humans, nonhumans, and the natural world. It is apathy and stagnation; bigotry and tyranny. The only way through it? Love – and otter presidents.

The loveliest part of The Living, far and away, is the Library: a subconscious, supernatural, subatomic collective consciousness. A vast, limitless record of everyone and everything that ever has been, and ever will be. Though it has a longstanding policy of steering clear of human affairs, the state of the world has become such that the Library can no longer bear silent witness. This burning world, so desolate yet still so full of potential, needs a nudge. A bit of wisdom. A tiny miracle.

And the so Library whispers, cajoles, and calls out to our protagonists. Well, the older ones; the younger ones, Joan and Alex and Sprout and Addis – they can flit in and out of the stacks at will. They are able to sip and guzzle from the Library’s incomprehensible stores of knowledge whenever they like. Perhaps they can even use this wisdom to bend the laws of reality. They are the next generation; our future.

I hope they don’t mind, but I’m going to pocket a small piece of the Library, and slip it into my own weird, godless magpie version of “religion, not quite a.” There it will rest on the shelves alongside Octavia E. Butlers’s Parables duology; Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials; Carl Sagan’s starstuff; Aaron Freeman’s essay, “You want a physicist to speak at your funeral”; and pieces of Light from Other Stars and The Psychology of Time Travel, by Erika Swyler and Kate Mascarenhas, respectively, and among other things.

It’s strange and perhaps a bit confusing, but also as magnificent as all get out. Just roll with it and you’ll have an extraordinary time, I promise.

Also awesome and compelling and worth a mention: Nora’s reunion with Addis; Nora + Marcus; Tomsen vs. BABL; The Suggestible Universe; Paul Bark (sounds an awful lot like Paul Blart!); Gael + Gebre; random philosophical debates with strangers in dive bars; and the feeling you get when a ghost smiles at you.

Gleam on.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2020-01-13

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-12

Monday, January 13th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-11

Sunday, January 12th, 2020
  • RT @dcpoll: Trump offers up our US military as mercenaries for hire to the world's richest autocrats: “I said to Saudi Arabia…you're a ve… ->
  • RT @funder: Impeached Trump is heading to his resort in Florida again next week. This is such a waste of taxpayer money. The travel, securi… ->
  • RT @OriginalFunko: RT & follow @OriginalFunko for a chance to WIN a @hottopic exclusive Summer Stitch Pop!
    #Funko #FunkoPop #Giveaway #pop->
  • RT @gullfire_: just remembered i was once at a college party where a girl had a panic attack after getting too high and she just kept frant… ->
  • RT @Muttville: Norman was at the shelter as a stray and no one came for him. We stepped in and he was quickly adopted. He's put on 4 lbs! F… ->
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tweets for 2020-01-10

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-09

Friday, January 10th, 2020

tweets for 2020-01-08

Thursday, January 9th, 2020