tweets for 2020-03-15

March 16th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-14

March 15th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-13

March 14th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-12

March 13th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-11

March 12th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato
  • RT @JuddLegum: Trump's address to the nation:
    1. Said he was banning cargo shipments from Europe (He is not)
    2. Said the travel restricti… ->
  • RT @MMarvelousone: Please help this beautiful soul get out. She has so much potential!!! She needs sum love and a lil training!! Can som… ->
  • RT @ObsoleteDogma: The guys who were willing to create trillion dollar deficits so rich people could get tax cuts are pretending to be fisc… ->
  • RT @josheidelson: "two California cities, San Francisco and San Jose, are advancing legislation that would put a moratorium on evictions fo… ->
  • RT @RottenInDenmark: Just went to Seattle’s UW Medical Center to ask how much patients are being charged for a coronavirus test.
    $100-$500… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

Sixteen Little Rennie Things

March 11th, 2020 1:20 pm by Kelly Garbato

2018-03-03 - Kelly & Rennie - 0005 [Original] [Flickr]

My dearest Rennie,

When we celebrated your birthday/gotcha day last year, I was painfully aware that it might very well be your last. But I still can’t believe how soon after we had to say goodbye. Still, I’m glad I was able to give you a good death, or at least as good as circumstances allowed; that we didn’t drag things out and prolong your suffering. I learned that much from Mags, so I guess you could say that she was still watching out for you, that she had your back (such a chubby little fatback!), even from the grave (or the freezer, as it was. Gah, I still can’t bring myself to cremate either of you! Please forgive me, babygirl.)

Anyway, now I’m left with Finnick and Lemmy, daddy’s boys, and words can’t express how much I miss my little ladies. My badass bitches. My girl pack. Don’t get me wrong; I love Finnick and Lemmy. (I kind of have to, right?). But you and Mags were my heart and soul and everything in between. I’d give anything to have you girls back again.

Failing that, we’ll have a lifetime of memories, and a literal hundred thousand photos. (When my computer got bricked thanks to the mandatory Windows 10 upgrade, I had them build me a new one with an 8TB hard drive. To contain ALL THE MEMORIES!)

You girls are always in my thoughts: your harness still hangs on the hook by the back door, right alongside Mags and Finnick’s. Your balls continue to litter the house, and the extra-special ones – red fox and panda, I’m talking about you – are displayed on high shelves so that a visiting Hash or Roxy cannot steal them away. And of course the many x-mas cards you modeled for grace the walls year-round. I’ll never get over you.

Until our atoms meet again.

Love,

Mom

2018-03-01 - Playing Ball With Rennie - 0004 [Original] [Flickr]

(More below the fold…)

tweets for 2020-03-10

March 11th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: My Bison by Gaya Wisniewski (2020)

March 10th, 2020 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

A simple yet lovely story about grief and loss.

five out of five stars

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

The unnamed narrator of this tale is just a child when a chance meeting with a bison sparks what will become a lifelong friendship. She first encounters him in a clearing at the edge of the forest, and the fellow youngsters continue to meet there daily – sharing tentative pets, food, and stories – until it’s time for the bison to rejoin his herd in the spring. However, the two find their way back to one another every year, each growing older with the passing years. She misses “her bison” terribly when they are apart, but the thought of seeing him again keeps her going.

Until, one year, she returns to the clearing to find him gone. Gone, but not forgotten: he lives on in her memories, in the beauty of nature, and in the little dance of her heart.

My Bison is a simple yet beautiful story about love and loss, for readers of all ages. The artwork might be a little sophisticated (one might say “dreary”) for younger readers; the color palate begins with black, white and gray, and becomes more vibrant as the story (and the human-animal bond) progresses. The blues add a splash of color yet are somber enough to complement the overall tone of the story.

I had to laugh at the early reviewer who bemoaned this is as another example of “European authors romanticizing dangerous North American creatures,” when clearly the bison is meant to be a stand-in for any loved one who has passed away, human and nonhuman alike. Personally, I can’t read this without thinking of the many doggos I’ve loved and lost. I mean, geez, a bison’s lifespan is only fifteen years, and seeing as he sticks it out until the narrator is a wizened old lady, I don’t think a literal interpretation is really the point.

(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 2020-03-09

March 10th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-08

March 9th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-07

March 8th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-06

March 7th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-05

March 6th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-04

March 5th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-03

March 4th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

Book Review: The Companions by Katie M. Flynn (2020)

March 3rd, 2020 7:00 am by Kelly Garbato

A haunting glimpse into one possible future.

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

four out of five stars

Where I live now is a blank space. I imagine you live somewhere similar. I can fill it with light, with sorrow, drench it in horror, erase it all with an ocean roar. I can fill it with memories, you putting on your sister’s clothes, Lea! I can remember her name—I don’t know why. There are washes of gray nothing where whole years should be, but I remember thinking something bad would happen at that house party.

Standing on the cliffs, holding that shovel in my living teenage hands, the hot feeling of anger. We were just girls—what was I so angry about?

The Companions imagines a future San Francisco that feels all too possible; one shaped in equal measures by disease and capitalism (or are they just one and the same?).

Ravaged by several successive waves of a mysterious and highly contagious virus, the citizens of California are under quarantine. In San Francisco, residents are confined to crowded high rises; children attend school online and socialize in carefully planned and closely supervised play dates in their buildings. The internet is many peoples’ only link to the world outside their tightly sealed towers.

And then there are the companions: when people die, they can opt to have their consciousness downloaded into a semi-immortal body. But this comes at a price: companions are the intellectual property of Metis, the giant megacorp that birthed the companion technology. For a hefty fee, the grotesquely wealthy can remain in the custody of their descendants; the less fortunate belong to Metis, to rent out as it pleases. The bodies used to house the companions’ consciousness run the gamut, from beat-up, trashcan-shaped robots that sport hooks for arms, to lifelike human bodies capable of regenerating skin. Distribution is predictably class-based.

When I read the synopsis for The Companions – a sixteen-year-old murder victim turned first-gen companion goes rogue in order to hunt down her killer – I was hooked (sorry Lilac, no pun intended). However, this plot point primarily serves as a jumping-off point for a much larger story: about technological developments, corporate greed, unintended consequences, and cultural backlash. As much as I wanted to delve into story about robot revenge, I still greatly enjoyed the end result. (Unmet expectations aren’t always a bad thing!)

The narrative unfolds from the alternating perspectives of a whole host of characters, all of them bound by Lilac’s rebellion:

* There’s Lilac, of course, who wakes in her Rosie the Robot-esque body to find that she’s been requisitioned as the plaything of a teenage girl named Delilah.

* Nikki, Lila’s childhood best friend (and secret crush), whose unknown fate haunts Lilac decades later.

* Red/Mrs. Crozier, the teenage girl who killed Lila in a fit of jealousy, now a lonely and bitter old woman who lives in the Jedediah Smith Elderly Care Facility.

* Cam, one of Red’s caregivers.

* Gabe/Gabrielle, an orphaned street kid in San Francisco who ekes out an existence as a semi-professional thief.

* Diana, one of the scientists who developed Metis’s companion technology.

* Kit, an illegal companion duplicate.

* Rachel, a companion recruited as a mercenary.

* Jakob Sonne, an actor with dangerously independent ideas of his own.

* Mrs. Espera, ex-wife of studio exec Sydney Espera and mother to their adult daughter Isla.

* Rolly, the son of a farmer named James, who turned to disposing of companions for Metis after he lost much of his land after the quarantine.

* Andy, Rolly’s brother, who goes missing for a time when he’s kinda sorta kidnapped by a pair of companions.

While Lilac’s escape from Dahlia’s custody does set subsequent events into motion, the story becomes so much bigger than one person. Lilac’s singular act of rebellion inspires insurrection in others – sometimes with disastrous results. There are bombings and terrorists attacks and recalls. Acts of stunning inhumanity, as well as tiny moments of kindness and bravery.

Despite its somewhat diminutive size, The Companions is an ambitious book: it dares us to contemplate what immortality might look like, given our current sociopolitical climate. How might such a promising technology be twisted against us, made dystopian? How can we stop this happening? Can we, even?

Read it if: you rooted for the Cylons in BSG.

Read it with: Arwen Elys Dayton’s Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful, which is grander in scope yet has a similar vibe.

(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 2020-03-02

March 3rd, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-03-01

March 2nd, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-02-29

March 1st, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato

tweets for 2020-02-28

February 29th, 2020 2:00 am by Kelly Garbato