The Difference Between Cats and Dogs

Short but sweet post, but I think I nailed it:

After having both a dog and a cat, I have come to this conclusion:

Dogs, no matter how old, come to you as children. You teach them, you mold them, you let them know what your expectations are and you train them to behave as good citizens. Dogs want to please you; they’ll quickly adhere to your rules if you’re consistent and firm.

Cats, no matter what age, come to you as a crotchety old-timer with a cane and an attitude, screaming for everyone to get off their lawn, and you suck it up and deal with it. Because, CAT.

No freaking lie.

Half Year Reading List

I’m about 3 weeks late on this one, but here it is. I’m apparently in a major reading slump right now. Damn.

But, summer is here, so I get to spend nice afternoons on the balcony reading. Hopefully that will increase my book list.

So, for 2014, here’s what we’ve got:

Libertarianism from A to Z – Jeffrey A. Miron
Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch
The Four Man Plan – Cindy Wu
Life Without Bread – Christian B. Allan, Ph.D. & Wolfgang Lutz, M.D.
The Undead Pool – Kim Harrison
Winter Omens – Trisha Leigh
What it Means to Be a Libertarian – Charles Murray
Skin Game – Jim Butcher
Coveted – Stephanie Nelson
Mr. Mercedes – Stephen King
Awakening (The Guardians) – Samantha Long

Share any interesting reads you’ve had in the comments – I’m always looking for good books.

2nd Amendment. You’re Doing it Wrong

Every time I see some ridiculous asshat on Youtube, or on a video shared on Facebook, who stupidly damn near blows his head off (and trust me, sometimes I wish said asshat would remove himself from the gene pool) I just shake my head and think, “Thanks for fucking up, bro.”

It’s in these moments I understand why people want to ban guns. Because, stupid + bullets = dead.

They’re not the rule. They’re the exception and the horrible warning. Guns are not toys.

I am a responsible gun owner. I have a semi-automatic pistol in my apartment; it is unloaded and the pistol and ammo are far enough away that I (living in a security building; you come here you’re coming for ME) have to get out of bed, cross a room, and pop in a mag before I can shoot you. I belong to a gun club and I practice. I like target shooting; it’s FUN. I’m not necessarily training to blow someone’s head off (but ask me about zombie pirate targets; those are FUN).

I know how to break my gun down, clean it, put it back together, and use it. I’m not some paranoid homeowner who heard the words self defense and gun and went out and got one with no real knowledge of how to use it or how to take care of it. Or how to keep it away from little hands. Seriously, you have to lock that shit up if you have kids.

Yes, there are a lot of irresponsible asshats out there. Yes, they scare me too. But, it’s the same with cars. There are a lot of shitty drivers out there, but I have yet to hear anyone saying we should ban cars. Hmmm.

Trying to take my 2nd Amendment rights away because people are stupid is like canceling the bus schedule because people can’t tell time.

Triggers Belong on Things that Shoot

I’m getting more than a little annoyed at this whole “trigger” culture.

You know what they called that in my day?

LIFE.

Seriously? Something upset you in a book, movie, or on the Internet? GROW UP AND MOVE ON.

Life is about unpleasant things. It can sometimes suck. It can, indeed, remind you of past bad experiences.

But you know what? THAT IS WHAT MAKES YOU STRONGER.

We are raising a generation of total pussies. Make them GROW UP, and DEAL with adversity.

That’s what made America America, you know?

Wussifing kids helps NO ONE. Having a SPINE is what built this country, and the lack of it is what is totally going to ruin it.

Relationships and Why We All Need to Mind Our Own Business

A Facebook discussion was the impetus for this post (a RESPECTFUL one, but still, I was a bit annoyed, hence, blogpost).

An article came out talking about what is apparently some sort of trend now – people in relationships that live apart. The article actually made good points for all sides considered, and I’d link to it, but knowing the Internet as I do, the link would go dead in six months and I’d get “I can’t find the article” emails from hell to breakfast. So, just trust me, this is a thing now.

So I’ll say this: I’ve done everything but divorce. I’m going to give you a bit of background to try and explain my reasoning for my opinions.

A) I followed boyfriend #1 from Michigan to Colorado. We lived together for 2.5 years, then got married and were together for 2.5 years before he died.

B) A few years later, I became involved with The Ex. We lived apart. For eleven years. It was AWESOME. He had his house, I had mine, we got together on weekends and the occasional day during the week, took vacations together, and other than that we had our own space and lives. I LOVED it.

So, let me give you Dag’s advice on relationships 101, based on MY personal experience (and you can ignore anything you don’t like, hey it’s your life, after all).

1) Do NOT live with a man without marrying him (or at least having legal documents drawn up).

When my husband died, I rapidly discovered that, had I not been married, his family could have rushed in, taken anything I could not clearly prove was mine, and taken it. Marriage gives right of survivorship. If it was his, it was mine, because I was his wife. That also gave me say over his funeral, etc. DO NOT underestimate this. After he died I heard HORROR stories of women who lived with men for YEARS who were living in a house in his name, and his family, who were all sweetness and light when he was alive, threw them to the curb before they’d even buried the guy. Also, you get NO SAY in medical care if you’re “the girlfriend”. As a wife, you’re the last word. WORD TO THE WISE: if you’re committed to the point you want your significant other to make medical decisions for you and you’re not married, get papers drawn up. RIGHT NOW.

2) Living apart and being committed is NOT less of a commitment than most married people have.

I had an AWESOME eleven-year relationship with a man where he had his house, I had mine, and we saw each other on weekends and occasionally during the week. It rocked. We were both independent people who liked our spaces a certain way and we enjoyed our relationship the way it was. Had we lived together, I’d have killed him. He was perfectly fine with dishes in the sink; not me. I would have lost it. Daily. Also, I had birds, and subsequently a cat, and he was not a “pet person”. He liked my feathered and furry children in the context he could play with them but not have to deal with the care and feeding of them. So this worked out GREAT.

It’s a simple risk/reward formula. If something happens to your significant other, and you have no papers drawn up, and you’re not married, you are at the mercy of his family. This is only something you two can decide and work out, but I beg you to consider it.

Legal considerations aside (and I’m not going into moral considerations, because, frankly, I don’t care) my bottom line is this: if you’re dating, living together, married, polyamorous, or whatever you are or want to be, protect yourselves legally.

I don’t care who (or how many who’s) you love, protect all of yourselves and for fuck’s sake get a lawyer and work it out.

And tell everyone else to get the fuck out of your relationship. It’s no one’s business if you love one person or ten.

Hell, people, this is 2014. Let people love who they love. Married, single, gay, straight, polyamorous, who cares? Love is always a good thing. There should’t be any rules or qualifiers on that.

My Pets are Crazy and I am Their Owner

Someone close to me once (well, many times) made the joke, “pets and their owners” (meaning, I was crazy, so my pets are too. This is not really far from the truth).

My cat thinks she is a dog. She snuggles, she HAS to sleep in my armpit (don’t ask) and she is constantly seeking attention.

Someone apparently forgot to tell her she is a cat. I also got her when she was five years old, so she figured out pretty quickly I was a soft touch. Little furry terrorist.

The dog, however, thinks she’s a cat (well, I guess, all things being equal, this works itself out). She doesn’t climb on the furniture – I don’t think it has occurred to her that a) she could and b) I wouldn’t complain. She comes over for “pets” on her terms, which usually means five minutes, you can scratch my ears, and I’m over you. I’ll be on the floor if you need me.

I live with these little furry conundrums and I wouldn’t trade it for the world – there’s never a dull moment in my household.

Also, the one thing they agree on, is that they are complete and total beggars:

Just look at them. This is the only time they work together. If they actually start holding meetings I am doomed.

2013 Reading List

Well, here it is, the entire list of books I read in 2013:

A Hard Day’s Knight – Simon R. Green
The Slow Burn Revolution – Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Fredrick Hahn
Harbingers – F. Paul Wilson
Winds of Change – Jason Brannon
The Bride Wore Black Leather – Simon R. Green
A Fistful of Charms – Kim Harrison
Bloodline – F. Paul Wilson
Midnight Riot – Ben Aaronovitch
Eaters – Michelle DePaepe
Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter – Brian P. Easton
For a Few Demons More – Kim Harrison
The Last Mailman: Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Zombies – Kevin Burke
By the Sword – F. Paul Wilson
Moon Over Soho – Ben Aaronovitch
The Outlaw Demon Wails – Kim Harrison
The Stand – Stephen King (reread)
Whispers Under Ground – Ben Aaronovitch
Heart of Scars – Brian P. Easton
Ground Zero – F. Paul Wilson
White Witch, Black Curse – Kim Harrison
Fatal Error – F. Paul Wilson
The Tommyknockers – Stephen King (reread)
Dead Ever After – Charlaine Harris
Black Magic Sanction – Kim Harrison
The Dark at the End – F. Paul Wilson
NOS4A2 – Joe Hill
Pale Demon – Kim Harrison
Nightworld – F. Paul Wilson
A Perfect Blood – Kim Harrison
Throttle – Joe Hill and Stephen King
The Dracula Tape – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
The Holmes-Dracula File – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
An Old Friend of the Family – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
Thorn – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
Dominion – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
A Matter of Taste – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
A Question of Time – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Séance for a Vampire – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
A Sharpness on the Neck – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
A Coldness in the Blood – Fred Saberhagen (reread)
Ever After – Kim Harrison
In the Tall Grass – Stephen King and Joe Hill
Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography – Victoria Price
Storm Front – Jim Butcher (reread)
Fool Moon – Jim Butcher (reread)
Grave Peril – Jim Butcher (reread)
Summer Knight – Jim Butcher (reread)
Death Masks – Jim Butcher (reread)
Blood Rites – Jim Butcher (reread)
Dead Beat – Jim Butcher (reread)
Proven Guilty – Jim Butcher (reread)
White Night – Jim Butcher (reread)
Small Favor – Jim Butcher (reread)
Turn Coat – Jim Butcher (reread)
Changes – Jim Butcher (reread)
Ghost Story – Jim Butcher (reread)
Cold Days – Jim Butcher (reread)
Side Jobs – Jim Butcher (reread)
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Katherine Howe
Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
Craved – Stephanie Nelson
Death Has a Name – Jerry Hanel
Hostile Witness – Rebecca Forster
Fever – Mary Beth Keane
After Dead – Charlaine Harris
Bloodlines – Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Summer I Died – Ryan C. Thomas
Deceived – Stephanie Nelson
Chaos Born – Rebekah Turner
Born to Bleed – Ryan C. Thomas
Village Books – Craig McLay
Hunter – Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Rock Star’s Daughter – Caitlyn Duffy
Survival Instinct – Declan Conner
Road from ar Ramadi – Carlos Mejia
Wool – Part 1 – Hugh Howey
To Kill a Warlock – H.P. Mallory
Whispers in Autumn – Trisha Leigh
Dead, But Not for Long – Matthew Kinney & Lesa Anders

As you can see, I’ve been busy, even rereading some old favorites (I see a Dark Tower reread in 2014, oh yes I do). I also discovered Pixel of Ink, and signing up for their emails to get links to free Kindle books has turned me on to a lot of good authors I otherwise wouldn’t have tried (and a couple of really horrible ones, but I’m about 90% to the good). I recommend giving it a try.

What are you reading? Post it in the comments.