Adventures in Landscaping: Reevaluating the Yard

It has officially been over a year since my first Adventures in Landscaping. I promise it has not been a full year since I’ve landscaped my yard (although we got pretty lazy over winter).

With another year gone and a baby in the house, our priorities and our available time to landscape have shifted. Last year, I wanted to install a rock garden in front of our fence. That did not happen, but check out what did!

Our front yard and porch, with a fancy new railing and a designated gravel path for our trash cans and man-door in the fence.
Continue reading “Adventures in Landscaping: Reevaluating the Yard”

Blog Rewind: My Philosophy of Ice and Fire

Nearly two years ago, in anticipation of season 7 of Game of Thrones, I wrote a piece about what I view as the philosophy of the books and show.

At the time, I was excited to see how the show would tidily wrap up all of its weaving plot threads in two unnecessarily truncated seasons. Oh, how naive I was.

Still, it wouldn’t be ethical of me to espouse philosophical theories about a fictional universe and not actually revisit them at the story’s conclusion. Let’s see how my predictions panned out in the wake of the series finale!

Beware! Here be spoilers…

Continue reading “Blog Rewind: My Philosophy of Ice and Fire”

Abortion Rights are not about Your Feelings

Don't tread on me

They’re about autonomy.

Autonomy for a living, breathing woman to decide–for whatever reason or in whatever circumstances–that she does not want to carry a baby to term.

It doesn’t matter that abortions make you uncomfortable. No one likes abortions. Nor does it matter that it’s against your religion, your personal moral code, or your sense of decency.

If you argue that a woman does not have autonomy over her own body, you are arguing for the oppression of all women by the government–and worse, by your self-righteous moral code. It’s that simple.

And before you start, here are some preemptive reasons why you’re wrong:

  • Life does not begin at conception. An embryo is a collection of cells that is utterly dependent on the mother for its existence.
  • There is no clear line at which life “begins” in the womb. If the fetus is not viable outside the womb, then it is not an individual.
  • If you want to claim that a fetus has the full rights of an individual human, then you must also believe that fetuses should have social security numbers, health insurance, and be included in the tax code as dependents. Let’s go ahead and register them for selective service while we’re at it.
  • If all life is sacred, even in the womb, you would want to support services such as childcare, education, healthcare, and foster care for all of these children you are forcing women to carry to term.
  • A woman is not a vessel for pumping out babies. That is not her duty, responsibility, or privilege in society. Claiming such is misogynistic and oppressive, and the fact that anyone has to explain that to you idiots in 2019 is unconscionable.
  • Your religion does not dictate how others should live their lives. Move to Iran or Saudi Arabia if you believe otherwise.
  • If you honestly want to limit abortions, try providing birth control and female reproductive healthcare for ALL women. You could also stop with the abstinence-only sex ed bullshit.

In conclusion, you’re wrong.

Steve D

An Open Letter to George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones spoilers probably incoming. I’m not doing this ironically. I have already expressed my frustrations with the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, and I legitimately want to see Martin finish out his series the way it deserves. It would be really cool–however unlikely–if he read it.

So, you know… if you know him, pass this along.

Continue reading “An Open Letter to George R.R. Martin”

Steady Hands and Unsteady Minds

 

I’ve been missing.

For quite a bit longer than usual, really. Before the series of family emergencies and life obstacles, I simply have not been present. Moving back to my home state has been, for lack of a better word, disruptive. To my routine, my writing, my health. Mostly that last one: Health, the kind with no outward sign that sits in your noggin. Continue reading “Steady Hands and Unsteady Minds”

#AmConsuming: Super Heroes are Super Distracting

April has been a weird month so far, hence me posting this almost halfway into it. I’ve been binge-watching Supergirl on Netflix the last few weeks, and I really can’t get enough of this show.

It’s basically taken over my life, and with Avengers: Endgame coming out in a couple weeks, the super hero hype train is real.

#AmFinished

The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future, Joseph E. Stiglitz, (audiobook)

I reviewed this here.

A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan

I ended up really enjoying this book, the seventh in The Wheel of Time series. Despite the sometimes sluggishness of the plot, there were some truly surprising and exciting moments, especially near the end.

Parador, Peter A. Dixon

Yes, I finally finished this book on Wattpad. Overall, it’s good.

#AmReading

The Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan

I jumped right into the next book in this series for the first time since… I started reading it. I’m not really far enough into it to comment yet.

Everything Trump Touches Dies, Rick Wilson (Audible)

This book is more cathartic than informative. Wilson is a GOP strategist and one of the founding members of the Never Trump movement. His rants against the president and his cohorts are unforgiving, and he manages to provide a lot of intriguing insight into how political strategists think and operate.

Although his audience is definitely other opponents of Trump (including those on the left), this book is not for the faint of heart. He has more than a few sharp words for Democratic leaders who have failed to evolve their campaign strategy in over a decade and effectively lost their base. (I basically agree with him on that point, but that’s for another time.)

Something on Wattpad

I haven’t chosen my next Wattpad book, but I have a handful of interesting fantasy and sci-fi stories on my reading list.

#AmWatching

Supergirl, Netflix

I’m on season three of the CW’s Supergirl show, and I love it. Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood are charming, and their on-screen chemistry is entirely authentic (which makes sense, because the two actors are now engaged).

This show has a great cast with compelling character arcs. Most of the villain showdowns are a little predictable, but those usually tend to be beside the point. Thanks to some crossover events with other DC hero shows, I’ve gotten glimpses of ArrowThe Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.

The portrayal of Green Arrow comes off as flat to me, and I couldn’t really get past the first couple episodes when I tried to watch it. But Flash seems like an engaging, likable character. That may just be my next show. I don’t really know anything about the Legends of Tomorrow, and their minor appearance in Supergirl didn’t really sway me one way or the other.

The point is, Supergirl  is fun, funny, emotionally poignant without being cheesy, and extremely well acted from top to bottom.

Short List

That should give you a good idea of what I’ve been up to recently. With a new round of job applications going out this week, I’ve been otherwise occupied, mentally. Supergirl and my readings have provided some much needed escapes.

Speaking of escapes, we’re visiting some family coming up, so I’ll be posting more traveler’s haiku from the road, with pictures!

Steve D

15 on the 15th: I’m Shipping Up To Boston (Massachusetts)

…A few days late, but not a song short…

By The Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Liberty.

Highly Suspect

These Cape Cod natives are a relatively new addition to the music scene since their first studio album’s release in 2015. They’re practically newborns compared to some of the other Massachusettsites? …Massachusettians? Massachusettsers???… on this list. Continue reading “15 on the 15th: I’m Shipping Up To Boston (Massachusetts)”