Tell Me Where To Stand

I do not wear a safety pin. I never put a green dot on my hand. The best way I know to show you I am a “safe person” is to be a safe person. To say “good morning” on the bus. To smile as we pass on the sidewalk. To compliment that really awesome sweater you are wearing, even though we have never seen each other before and will not again. To say something if I see something.

To my family and friends who do not have the same privileges as me. To the people I have never met but may need that friendship. Tell me where to stand.

If you want me behind you, offering all the support I can, propping you up, helping push you forward, if that is what is needed. Tell me. I will stand there.

If you want me beside you, marching arm in arm, overlapping our shields to form an impenetrable barrier, blazing this trail together. Tell me. I will stand there.

And if, heaven forbid, you are ever in need of a shield, if you need someone to stand between you and the slings and arrows of this world, to block the worst of the hate that comes your direction, to stand in front and help clear the way. Tell me. I will stand there.

You do not have to tell me in words. Your eyes can speak volumes. The way you stand can tell me what I need to know. I promise to listen with my eyes as well as my ears. To support, share, or protect as desired, with my presence as well as my words.

Tell me where you want me to stand. I will stand there.

Can We Take a Stand Against Murder?

I don’t have a whole lot of emotional energy to spare right now, so if this seems blunt, well, that’s because it is.

 

A civilian killing a cop is not an inherently worse crime than a cop killing a civilian.

A white man killing a black man is not inherently worse than a black man killing a white man.

And those are not worse than a black person killing another black person, or a white person killing another white person, or a straight person killing an LGBTQ person, or an LGBTQ person killing a straight person, or a man killing a woman, or a woman killing a man, or a teenager killing an adult, or an adult killing a teenager, or a Muslim killing a Christian, or a Christian killing a Muslim, or a religious person killing an atheist, or an atheist killing a religious person….

And when I say one is not inherently worse than the other, I also mean that one is not inherently more forgivable than the other.

Every single one of these is murder. Every single one.

It is one person taking the life of another person.

And it’s fucking awful.

 

And that’s what we need to see. We need to stop trying to make value judgements about whose lives are supposedly worth more. About how in some cases maybe it’s not so awful. Because that’s not the case. In every single case it is awful. Fucking awful.

 

The problem isn’t that there are no good: cops, young black men, straight people, men, teenagers, whatever. It is that the good ones are not stepping up to stop the bad ones. In all communities.

In all communities, our initial reaction is to rally around one of “our own”, because we see ourselves in them and them in ourselves, so we do not want to believe they are capable of doing something so fundamentally awful.

We need to redefine our “us”.

I am not saying that being a cop doesn’t matter. I am not saying that being black doesn’t matter. Those are hugely important communities; they absolutely help shape identities.

But sometimes, we need to just be people first. We need to be people who are against harassment, profiling, irrational fear, and killing.

How difficult is it to say, that before I am anything else, I am a person who does not support murder?

How difficult is it to build a community where we can all say – killing is fucking awful. Let’s not do it. Let’s not support those who do it.

I want my primary “us” to not be – white, female, parent, etc. I want my primary “us” to be people who don’t believe in killing other people. And that’s the group I want to rally around. That’s the group I want to support and protect. I don’t care if they are black or white, cop or civilian, LGBTQ or straight, or any other thing. I care only that they believe killing another person is fucking awful.

Do you believe killing another person is fucking awful? Yes? Then you are one of mine. Let us build our community. Let us stick together. And let us speak out against the people who are not part of this community.

Because if you believe that killing another person is not inherently, fucking awful, then I don’t want to be around you. (And yes, I get that sometimes, RARELY, it might be necessary. It really might. That doesn’t change the fact that it is fucking awful. Just changes whether or not it is a crime. I don’t know if I could ever kill in defense of self and family or not, but I do know that if I did, it would be fucking awful, and I would be destroyed by having to have made that kind of decision.)

So can we form the “Let’s not kill” community? Will you stand with me against killing other people? Can we please just make this a basic tenet of our human community?

The Imaginary Family

How do you get a child to talk about what is upsetting them when they probably do not even realize what is upsetting them – that the issue is so deep into their subconscious that they cannot see it, even if you point it out?

Pop Tart has a best friend. That best friend lives just a few houses down the street. She is a good kid. We like her. But the friendship we do not like that much. Toxic is not the right word. Intense. Intense is the right word. If we let them, the girls will hang out with each other to the exclusion of all others. The one time they tried to include a third in their group, the relationship really did become toxic, leading Pop Tart’s friend to harm herself and blame Pop Tart. (For the record, it was not a serious injury, but it did cause serious concern.)

The school ended up instituting a “friendship agreement” which was really an agreement on how not to be friends while at school. And for a while, Pop Tart did not hang out with either other girl, and they did hang out together. But something happened between Pop Tart’s best friend and the other girl, and then Pop Tart and her best friend were back together again.

We have tried having the rule that Pop Tart cannot hang out with BFF two days in a row. She has to play with some other kid in between play dates with BFF. And for a while that worked. But then we became lazy, and tired of fighting about it, and let them hang out all the time. And the intensity leads to Pop Tart in tears once or twice a week.

And the problem is not actually something BFF is doing. The problem is BFF’s family life. And I do not think Pop Tart consciously realizes it.

Pop Tart was born when her mother was 16. She has two younger brothers, fairly close to her in age, and then a much younger sister. Pop Tart was responsible for taking care of her younger siblings.

BFF’s grandmother is only a few years older than me. I do not know how old her mother was when she was born, but she was quite young. BFF has two younger brothers, not super far in her from age, and then a much younger sister. BFF often has to spend the day watching her younger siblings.

See the parallels?

Pop Tart sees BFF’s family, and this is what she imagines her life would have been like if she had not been removed from her mother. Now, this forgets the fact that neither of her brothers was living with their mother and, in fact, neither have ever entered state care. It forgets the fact that Pop Tart’s mother struggled with addiction. It ignores the fact that Pop Tart was 6 years old, left alone with a 6 month old, a 3 year old, and 5 year old, while BFF is 12, and is in charge of her three younger siblings, but with an adult (generally grandfather or uncle) also home. But of course Pop Tart forgets those things. Her birth mother is a mythical creature. She can, if pressed, realize that her mother had problems, but only if pressed, and it quickly goes away.

So Pop Tart hangs out with BFF, helping watch the younger kids. And Pop Tart sees the family she thinks she was supposed to have. And she imagines herself part of this family. And then something happens, something that reminds her she is not part of that family. This is not anyone being mean. It is generally a family event they plan that Pop Tart is not invited to. And that is normal. That is right. Pop Tart is NOT part of their family. And their family needs time without Pop Tart around, just as our family needs time without BFF around.

But Pop Tart does feel it that way. Here is this family that is the family she was supposed to have, and here they are telling her she is not a part of their family. Can you say trigger?

But Pop Tart is 12 on a good day. She is not capable of realizing this is the issue, at least not consciously. Which means she is not capable of working on this consciously with her therapist or with us. She rationalizes her feelings and just says she wishes she could have done activity X, or she wants to hang out with BFF.

And part of me wants to let it lie, or at least let it lie while putting the rule back in place that she needs to hang out with someone other than BFF, at least once in a while. But it is starting to cause problems hanging out with her actual sister.

Now, play dates with her sister are bound to get a little more boring for her right now, anyway, as Pop Tart is 12 and her little sister is 7. They do not have a lot in common, do not want to play the same games, etc. Finding activities for us all to do together is a challenge and one we parents gladly accept.

But hanging out with her sister is also a reminder of how her life actually is. It does not let her pretend that she is part of a different family. She does not get to be the boss of her sister – parents are always around, and different parents for each of them. They live in different houses, have different lives.

And so, she would rather hang out with BFF. And she gets upset when BFF’s family does something without her, when real life intrudes on her imaginary family.

But she is in no way ready to deal with this yet. And she may never be. Just like she may never be able to come to grips with her mother’s addictions, with the reasons she and her sister were removed from their mother’s care.

All kids imagine sometimes that they are adopted, that they have another family out there that would let them do what they want, when they wanted, a family they could run away to and all their problems would be solved. All kids imagine this. Pop Tart actually has another family, and while she is old enough to remember some of the problems, she still loves her mom the way all kids love their moms before they are old enough to see their mom’s faults. And now, she has a family, just down the street, that has the life her imaginary biological family has.

And here we are, at home. The “real” family. The family with rules, with bed times, with chores and homework. The family that does not let her be the boss of other kids. We are the reality break.

And she loves us. And she realizes on some level that she does not actually want a family with three younger siblings because she likes all the attention she gets from us. On good days, she knows she is where she needs to be.

But the imaginary family still lives just down the street.

I Hate Sleep Overs

There is nothing Pop Tart loves more than a sleep over.  I would say candy comes close, but if I were to give her the choice between having a sleep over and having candy, she would choose the sleep over every time. And while a sleep over at our house is good, the best thing ever is to sleep over at someone else’s house. To sleep over somewhere where they do not enforce a bed time, where they can watch scary movies and eat junk food all night. It is the 12 year old version of heaven.

I get that. I was the same way at 12. Staying up late gossiping with friends, talking about boys, doing hair, experimenting with make-up. I get it. I was there. I was once 12.

The problem is, I am no longer 12. I am 40. And Pop Tart, she’s only 2/3 12. The other 1/3 of her is 6-8 years old. And on the day after a sleep over, she is 100% crabby 3 year old, the whole day.

So while Pop Tart loves sleep overs. I hate them. I hate them so much.

Sleep overs at our house are not that bad, because we still enforce a bedtime. We monitor what they watch, and there’s no late night junk food. We are the least fun house ever. But, the next day, I have a mostly functional child. She may give attitude and be a bit grumpy, but she is able to converse. She is able to do what she needs to be doing. She can function.

If she spends the night at a friend’s house, the next day, I have a yelling, screaming lump. She is not even really a person. You try to talk to her and you get “stop talking”. Suggest she take a nap (because the child does not function on less than 9 hours sleep, and 10-12 is actually her happy zone), and you get her yelling at you that she is not tired, that she does not need a nap. Even when you explain it is not a punishment. In fact, explaining it is not a punishment is likely to lead to a meltdown where she just cries and screams for the rest of the day – or until she falls asleep.

I understand the importance of sleepovers, of pushing the limits, even of watching scary movies with friends. And with a normal 12 year old, I might even be supportive. But I do not have a normal 12 year old. I have a 12 year old with emotional delays, and not enough sleep turns her into a grouchy toddler.

And even so, I might be able to get behind an occasional sleep over. The problem is, Pop Tart wants one EVERY weekend. (We do not allow them every weekend, but trust me, she asks.) And this year, with her homework level, we do not have weeknights to do stuff as a family. Week nights are fights about homework and trumpet practice. We eat dinner as a family, but that is about the only family time we get on week nights.

That means that weekends are when we have the chance to do family stuff. Some of it is the boring stuff, like shopping (including shopping for her clothes), but some of it is fun stuff. Or could be fun stuff. If I had a functional child.

And I think that is what bothers me the most about sleep overs. I get so little time with my child for us to be a family, and sleep overs steal over half the weekend from me. They take late afternoon/evening of the night of the sleep over, and then they steal the entire day after. And she is 12. It is only going to get worse as we go into middle school and high school. There will be activities – band, choir, swim team, who knows what – which will take her time. She will become more independent. She will want to spend even less time with her boring parents.

This is her last year of elementary school. And I have only gotten 3.25 years of elementary school as it is. I want time with my daughter that is not filled with her being mad for no real reason. I want to talk to her without being yelled at or yelling back. I want our weekends.

Book Review: Dead Man’s Debt by Elliot Kay

I just finished my second read through of Dead Man’s Debt by Elliot Kay. For the sake of full disclosure, I know the author, and the first time I read the book, it was as one of his beta readers before he published.

That said, I can honestly say I enjoyed the book. This should not come as a huge surprise. It is the third book in the series, and I would not have volunteered to be a beta reader if I had not enjoyed the first two books.

Dead Man’s Debt is the continuing adventures of Tanner Malone and the end of his time in the Archangel Navy. While the two previous books were complete stories in and of themselves, they also started a number of storylines which did not come to completion in their pages. Those storylines were brought to satisfying ends in this book. I would quite happily call this a complete trilogy, but am also thrilled that Elliot writes in his final notes that there will be another book.

One of my favorite things about this series is the way it ties military service to educational debt, and the rebellion against that debt on a grand scale is the precipitating factor for the whole series. On some level, I think this may make Elliot an oracle, as Poor Man’s Fight was originally published in 2014, so it was post the Occupy Wall Street movement, but certainly predates the current political obsession with student debt, and how people carry it with them throughout their lives.

In fact, one of the parts of the book I find most powerful is when Tanner is sitting by himself, remembering friends who fell in the war, and he thinks of them in terms of their debt. And not just those who owed money, but those who did not and still fought, for their friends, to end what they felt was an injustice.

For me, however, the best part about the end of Dead Man’s Debt, and of the series, is that it makes the reader question if the end always justifies the means, without actually answering that question, not even really for the characters. Because while Tanner and his friends have a definite belief that what some people did was wrong, and that they should face consequences for those actions, it is also specifically addressed that other actions done by those same people worked out for the best for the rest of the story’s universe. And Tanner and his friends are reaping the benefits of the ends, no matter how much they object to the means.

Blast from the Past: A Budget is NOT the First Thing You Need

Originally published April 14, 2011 on The Dog Ate My Wallet. Edited and updated on May 25, 2016.

Let us start with the very basics. Everyone always says you need a budget, and you need to stick to it. Which is generally good advice, but not if you do not have the tools to create a realistic budget.  Without the right information, people end up creating budgets that will not get them where they want to go or that they cannot stick to. And that is if they even create a budget in the first place.

So what do you need before you create a budget? Information.

For an entire month, maybe two months, track every single little penny that comes into or goes out of your hands. Write it down. You have to know how much money you have and where it goes. Be honest during this time. Do not decide not to buy something because you do not want to write it down (though if that is the case, think about whether you really need it); do not pay extra on a bill when you normally pay the minimum. That corrupts your data. Just like when talking to your doctor about health issues, your financial tracking needs to be a complete and honest picture of your spending habits.

Most people know the incoming amounts, but very few people (who are not already on the budget journey) actually know where all their money is going. This is why you track. Did you realize that you spend $5 on coffee every morning without thinking about it? Have you thought about the fact that you are running to the grocery store almost every day, getting just one or two items here and there? Have you paid any attention to what your cell phone bill really is? How much do you really spend on all those activities for the kid(s)?

Once you have the data, you need to do something with it. Create categories for your spending.

My categories are:

2011

  • Student Loans
  • College
  • Bills (includes mortgage, utilities, cell phone)
  • Car (car payment, gas, insurance, parking)
  • Credit Cards
  • Groceries (food & household items)
  • Medical
  • Eating Out
  • Allowance (clothes, books, movies, etc)
  • Pets
  • House (home improvement, kitchen gadgets)
  • Miscellaneous
  • Savings
  • Income

The important thing is that you create categories that work for you. But be aware that you might someday need or want to change your categories- sometimes in the middle of creating the budget or even while categorizing. Honestly, I should probably make Starbucks/Chai its own category. I review mine at least once a year to decide if I am still tracking things in a way that makes the most sense for us. And I make changes to them when it makes sense to do so.

2016

  • Allowance (for each of us)
  • Bills
  • Car (gas, parking, insurance, maintenance)
  • Eating Out
  • Family Activities
  • Groceries
  • House
  • Kid Expenses
  • Medical
  • Pets
  • Savings
  • Income

 

On some level, the changes to my categories tell you quite a bit about how our lives have changed. We no longer have student loans to pay, and C has completed college. We also do not carry balances on the credit cards, so each expenditure gets categorized individually, versus being lumped together. However, we also now have a child, so have new categories for that.

Now, I use excel for my checkbook and tracking spending. Mostly because then I never have to do the math. But I am also enough of a geek that I color code everything. This way, even without looking at the budget spreadsheet (which automatically imports the data from the checkbook spreadsheet) I can tell at a glance if we are eating out a lot, or running to the store more often than we would like.

So there you have it- steps one and two, and no budget to even think about yet. Track your money. Know what you spend your money on. Even if you never get around to creating a budget, simply being aware of how you spend your money can help you make changes if you need to.

 

My Husband, the Bum

If you ask C what he does, he will tell you he is a bum. If he is a bum, I do not care. It does not bother me that he spends a good part of every day sleeping or playing video games. Because here is the thing – he deserves it. He EARNS it.

I love Pop Tart. I love her more than just about anything, but there is a reason I am the breadwinner in our family and C is the stay at home parent.

I get home right around 5pm. That means that by the time I walk through the door, he has been dealing with whatever is going on for two hours already. It is generally under control. I get home, and I get to go be a bum myself for about an hour before dinner. He has homework, trumpet practice, chores all under control.

And please do not think this is an easy thing. Pop Tart is 12. She is a tween with all the hormones and emotions of a tween. But, she also has emotional delays which give her the attention span of an 8 year old. However, she gets 6th grade level homework, not 2nd grade. Somedays homework is done quickly and the world is beautiful, and somedays it is a fight.

Tonight, it was somewhere in between. Her best friend was over and they were doing homework together. This is a difficult section – the introduction to statistics in math, so they are doing mean, median, mode, outliers, something called IQR… So C was down there helping them through it. The best friend seemed pretty focused, but Pop Tart was twitchy, in one of those places where she cannot sit still or focus, and makes random vocalizations.

Simply hearing the process from our bedroom where I got to sit and cuddle doggies, I was tempted to ask the best friend to leave multiple times. Again, not because the friend was causing any issues but because Pop Tart was so obviously in an attention seeking mood where the presence of her friend was exacerbating the issue. But C managed to power through, to get them both through the homework, making them do it themselves and just helping by teaching them additional “tricks” of working with the numbers.

And really, this was a “good” night, as there was no crying or screaming, no frustration or tears. Just extreme twitchiness. And I am not saying I absolutely could not have handled the situation without yelling myself at the end of the work day, but I am rather certain that I could not have handled it as calmly and as successfully as C did. He is, without a doubt, the better parent.

And so, if that means he is a bum for a good part of his day, I do not care. He earns it by being an amazing parent every moment he is with Pop Tart. He earns it by being the best partner I could ever ask for.

If you ask C what he does, he will tell you he is a bum. I will tell you he makes our lives possible.

Blast from the Past: My Money Philosophy

This was my first post on The Dog Ate My Wallet. Similar posts had appeared on my earlier (and since deleted) blog Baking the Budget, and a LiveJournal account also called Baking the Budget. This has been my general money philosophy for a long time. Oddly enough, it mirrors my philosophy about a lot of things (and kind of explains why I am a blogger) – which is that the world would be an easier place for us to navigate if people were more willing to talk about the difficult and taboo subjects.

And I am in a very different (and better) place financially in 2016 than I was in 2011, most of the problems I mention in this post are still issues today, some of them worse than they were then.

Originally posted April 14, 2011 on The Dog Ate My Wallet. Edited on May 20, 2016.

Lets start with this – I like talking about money. I know it is supposed to be one of those taboo subjects in every day life, but I do not care. I find finances, especially personal finances fascinating. And not because I am nosy or want to know if I am “better” than you, but because I honestly believe you cannot learn in a vacuum.

This country is currently in a financial mess, and I’m not talking about just the federal government. People are becoming entirely dependent on Social Security because they either failed to plan for retirement or their plans fell apart – 401(k)s demolished in the crash, companies abandoning pension plans, etc.

Most of us are swimming in credit card debt. Paycheck advance companies have become such big business that they advertise nationally. The housing market means many of us are just barely holding on, or on the verge of foreclosure and bankruptcy. Kids are coming out of college with student loan debt ranging in amounts from luxury cars to mortgages. They do not know if they will ever be able to retire, whether Social Security is still around or not.

There are a lot of factors contributing to this situation, and many that we the little people do not have any control over except through our votes. While I may occasionally touch on those subjects here, convincing people to change their politics is not my goal.

My goal is to talk about the things we can control – to put ideas out there and learn from each other. If you are making a decision in a vacuum, luck is the only chance you have of making a good one. We tell people to research smart phones, cars, computers, etc., before they buy. But we rarely talk about making sound financial decisions. We consider it rude to ask about income, savings, budgeting. Many parents do not even talk to their kids about these things. How can we expect anyone to make good financial decisions if no one talks about personal finances?

So that is what I am here to talk about. I can talk with authority only about my personal financial situation. I will present my views on a topic, but please do not just listen to me. Research your financial options just like you would a new car. Shop for mortgages. Make sure you understand what the terms of the loan mean. Look around for the best ROTH or traditional IRA for your situation. Or maybe straight up investing in the stock market is right for you. You need to do your research and figure that out.

There are a number of amazing personal finance blogs out there, written by people with a lot more financial knowledge than I have. If you need referrals, let me know. I will send you to those people.

And if you have something to say about what I post, say it. Agree with me, disagree with me, I do not care. Let us have a conversation, you and I. Let us talk about money, and maybe, just maybe, we will all be able to make better financial decisions because of it.

Blast from the Past: Book Review – Red Sorghum by Mo Yan

As I mentioned yesterday, I have almost 3,000 posts still up online from various blogs. I thought it might be fun to share some of those. My very fist LiveJournal post was really just – hey look, I have an LJ now. But my second post (big surprise here) was a book review.

Originally posted May 10, 2005 on LiveJournal. Edited May 17, 2016.

Last time I was in need of a new book to read, I decided that instead of going through multiple boxes to find one of the science fiction/fantasy books I have not read yet, I would try one of the many books C and I still have from college that we never bothered to get around to reading while we were in class. (Remind me to keep my sentences shorter in the future.) I grabbed “Red Sorghum” by Mo Yan.

I am still not certain whether or not I liked the book. It was certainly an interesting story, and the writing was engaging. While there were sections that were hard to get through, I never thought of stopping reading the book. However, I never really felt that the story was brought to a conclusion. The book ended, but nothing else did.

The story is told in snipets that jump around in time period from the narrator’s grandparents’ first meeting to his own adulthood. Mostly it concentrates on his father’s and grandfather’s activities in a two to three year period during the Sino-Japanese war that preceded the communist uprising. I think I might have been more satisfied with the story if he had never jumped ahead to his own adulthood. In those very few and brief sections, the narrator mentions things that have happened, but never happen in the book. It just seems like there is so much more story than the one we are told.

The book is extremely violent, and quite graphic in its detail. In most scenes this did not bother me, but in the scenes when the violence involved animals (mules and dogs, mostly), I had a very hard getting through them. This was true even when the violence was dog on dog, or humans defending themselves from feral dogs. I do not know if this is a comment on society or on me.

I cannot say whether or not I would recommend this book. Some of my issues with it may very well be cultural. If you are interested in Chinese history and/or want to read one of the modern Chinese classics, then I say read it. It will not bore you. If you are looking for a fun read to get you through the commute or something, it probably will not satisfy you, as you will left with more questions than answers.

If anyone out there has also read this book and would like to comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Book: Red Sorghum
Author: Mo Yan
Translator: Howard Goldblatt
Amazon.com Price: $10.50
Bought for a class at UNR taught by Dr. Hugh Shapiro

My Writing History

Earlier today, on a facebook group dedicated to bloggers, we were asked to post our favorite thing we have ever written, whether it was relevant to the general theme of the group or not. I did not post a link. I posted a 50 word piece of micro-fiction I wrote back when I was hosting a micro-fiction contest. But here is the thing, that question made me realize how long I have been doing this, how much I have written.

I started on LiveJournal 11 years ago, and my first blog around 6 years ago. Between LJ and the blogs I still have access to, that is almost 3,000 posts. 3,000 posts. 11 years. That is a lot of writing. A lot of history.

And none of this counts my actual fiction, or the poetry I wrote as a child and teen. When I say I cannot NOT write, I mean it. And yet, on nights like tonight, when I arrived at the coffee shop with no idea what I was going to write, it boggles my mind. I have no idea how I put out that much content. Right now I struggle to put out one post a week, maybe two. But according to the numbers, I have, on average, written 3 out of every 4 days for the last 11 years.

Now, a lot of that content was not necessarily good content. I was thinking the other day that I have posted almost nothing about the dogs here on Alien Anthropologists, but I used to post twice a week on Life by Pets. What did I write about? I mean, I know I posted about the hard times – losing Moree, Smokey, and Howie. I wrote about finding Junebug and Larry. Those are good posts. But not all of the posts are good posts.  There are also a lot of picture only posts on that site. I kind of miss taking as many pictures as I used to, but I used to go to the dog park with the camera around my neck nearly every day. Now, I go to the dog park maybe once a month, and the camera is almost always at home.

Kind of the same with the personal finance blog. I tried to write on a schedule. I posted about keeping to my budget and goals every Sunday evening for like two years. Two other times a week I put out content. Some of it was good. Most of it was not.

And looking back at all of this reminds me of why I move to this blog – my “one true blog”. I can post about anything I want – pets, finances, parenting, fiction, etc. And that means that most of the content is better content than it was on the other blogs. It is not all perfect (see this post) because I still try to get one post a week up, and I do not always have something profound to say.

But just like I pulled over all of my book reviews from 100 Words On, maybe I will start pulling over some of the better posts from the old blogs. I cannot read my old writing without making edits, seeing way to make it better, so I will certainly do that. But yeah. I have 3,000 posts worth of history to draw from. Why not mine it.