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Fly with me, stay free, silverwing!

Miss Yael!
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Is just too adorable.

But I think the coconut fiber has to go. She and I are equally annoyed by it!

Where's the North Bronx Mountain Toad?
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I haven't seen them out all summer. :( Usually the toads love to hang out by the Van Cortlandt Meer when it gets really muggy like this but I haven't even heard any. I blew off steam and wandered around the park the other night, loving how the fireflies lit up the bayou bridge like a dance club, but was sad to find my warty companions were nowhere to be found.

If I ever have an obscene amount of money to my name someday, I think I'll ask Save the Frogs to start a Save the North Bronx Mountain Toad movement.

Personal Responsibility
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As we all fell off the fiscal cliff, a thought occurred to me.

Why is it that when these upper middle class wannabe-richies spend disgusting amounts of money on things like $4,000/month rentals in the most chi-chi neighborhoods, designer clothes, and hitting the bars and clubs every single weekend to the point that they whine about being broke between paychecks, no one bats an eyelash, but it's only the poor and really marginalized groups who frequently have "personal responsibility" shoved down our throats and yelled in our ears?

Hey, I haven't had a fucking vacation in six, soon to be seven, years. I have no debt. I only buy things I can pay for, like the grand total of two electronic devices throughout 2012 I purchased, one of which was a replacement for a stolen phone.
Just saying, it's pretty goddamn patronizing that the same people who whine about their tax dollars going to single mothers with three kids seem to have no reservations about making at least $70K/year and pissing it away on extravagant rentals and the latest styles to the point that they complain they're broke but when lightning strikes and pink slips go out, our tax dollars have to pay for their fucking unemployment checks when they had the wherewithal to build savings while poor people just don't.

Maybe EVERYONE needs to show personal responsibility, not just those who have less.

$250,000/year for a married couple isn't wealthy?
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This comments on this Accounting Today article pissed me off. Apparently, a married couple who earns a minimum of $250,000 a year isn't wealthy.

Yeah, the big game these people talk about how "the 65% who approved the tax increases are not among them" is pretty telling. No shit, Sherlock. In the ever-growing income gap, there's more of us than them now.

And I say this as both someone who spent the past 6 years in poverty, and as someone with two accounting degrees: regardless of where you live, a combined income of $250,000 maybe won't deem you Bill Gates wealthy, but it makes you rich. Granted, it gives you far more purchasing power and ease of wealth accumulation in Pennsylvania or Florida than California or New York, but guess what, you're still rich.

Maybe not owning car elevators and 15 iPads kind of rich, but that's a HELL whole lot more household income than what struggling couples and families are earning. Assuming the income is equally split at $125,000 each then that's still much more than what most individuals are making today, easily two to three times as much. If the income is disparate (ie, one spouse earns $50,000 while the other $200,000) then at least one of them is rich.

Seriously, I'm getting so goddamn fed up with these people who earn at least $7,000 a month after taxes then whine about how they're not rich. If you pay $5,000/month for a nice Upper West Side apartment, buy nothing but local organic food, never take the subway, and have to have the best duds and latest electronics to keep up with the ones who ARE the 1%?

Then you're retarded with money, STFU. That's why you're always broke at the end of the month. There's a difference between being broke because you have little to no income; and having a more generous monthly income than most people and SPENDING IT ALL. There's a big difference between living paycheck-to-paycheck when you make barely $2,000 a month (or far less) after taxes vs. $7,000+ not counting rents and capital gains. I can speak from having worked at a financial services firm that there are so many people who go broke trying to keep up appearances. Yeah, for all the talk about personal responsibility that gets shoved at the people who contemplate suicide over medical bills, I think plenty of these asswipes need to show some as well.

First scene of my novel is done!
Woohoo! That sucker is 15 pages, no less!

I'm really looking forward to my next all-day writer's workshop tomorrow too. Maybe I'll also get some additional pointers. The teacher was really awesome in the one I had two weeks ago, and her methods have helped me combat my writer's block so much. Like there's so much creativity that can happen in just 10 or 15 minutes, and that it's okay if I want to write out 20 different scenes jumping all over different parts of the book. I had to shake off that "start at the beginning" mentality high school and college classes stuck me with.

So it's one down and....who knows how many more to go!

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Toads are wonderful.

Toads are fucking great.

There's just something about petting a toad that is so relaxing. Some toads are skittish of humans, but others are quite sweet and docile. They are so maligned and most people they think they're ugly, but I think they are the most adorable amphibians ever.

Writer's Block: Wishing Well
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What world from a video game would you most like to live in? What draws you to this fictional universe?

It's a tough call as many worlds are appealing-- the Land of the Green Isles, Glorianna, the Tri-Island Area...but I'd have to go with Kyrandia. I'd get the beauty and whimsy of a Sierra world where magical creatures and humans live together in harmony, except things wouldn't be trying to kill me every 2 feet.

Writer's Block: Critical Acclaim
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Which television show doesn't (or didn't) get the love it deserves? Why do you think more people should know and love it as you do?

The Critic! God, I loved that show and still do. It's just so 90's it hurts.

But it was too good to last because the humor was intelligent, and it had too much competition from other popular animated shows at the time-- plus it went under fire in that Simpsons cross-over "A Star Is Burns", the only episode where Matt Groening refused to put his name in the credits.

Since network execs concentrate so much on the lowest common denominator, and this was before the days of the internet becoming a means of broadcasting intelligent humor driven shows, it was obvious this gem of a show was doomed and we were lucky it lasted 2 seasons. There were a short series of webisodes that came out in the early 2000s, about 8 years after its cancellation, but because they couldn't get the rest of the original voice cast aside from Jon Lovitz to reprise their roles, it was just about Jay and his new makeup lady and fell flat.

By all means Netflix this awesome show and get overloaded with 90's nostalgia; the 90's are the new 80's. We need Jay Sherman more than ever to pan all the horrible movies out there now!

Writer's Block: Girl Scouts' Day
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What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie flavor?
Thin Mints, all the way! Loooove those.

Writer's Block: Back to the Future
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Given the choice of time travel, would you go back in time or forward?

I'd relive 1987-1994 at the age I am now, with everything I have now. The late 80's and early 90's were the best not just because I was a kid then, but times were just simpler. It was before the non-geeks took over the internet and it took a serious nerd to boot up DOS...the skills and interests that once defined a select group of outcasts are now expected of today's youth. I remember when people looked at me like I had 3 heads for meeting a guy off an IRC chat and spending more time playing computer games opposed to console games or watching TV: Now people look at me like I have 3 heads because I refuse to start a Facebook page let alone meet some random schmuck off of it.

It was before the days of putting young kids on Ritalin and Prozac just for being kids and these counter-productive anti-bullying movements. (and how it doesn't make one iota of sense that the same school boards and watchdog groups who rain fire and brimstone about childhood obesity are the same morons who don't want kids to run around at recess, or even have recess? Are you kidding me? Am I the only sane person on earth?!)

There's some things that I think are great as a result of the non-geeks taking over the internet and the rise of e-commerce-- like the fact that musicians, filmmakers, and software developers are beginning to phase out the old way of selling their products and raising funds for both projects and growing their businesses. The Angry Video Game Nerd surpassed his funding goal on IndieGoGo to make an AVGN movie, and Tim Schaefer/DoubleFine Productions broke all Kickstarter records by raising nearly $2M in one week! (with a $400K goal, only 25% of which was going to go towards the game itself, with the rest towards the documentary film.) Let the publishers and venture capitalists cry all they want over never seeing a piece of the DoubleFine pie: it's what they get for saying adventure is a dead genre and refusing to put up funds for these projects, or putting up funds only on the conditions of massive payouts and meddling with the project to the point it's totally bowdlerized from what it was supposed to.

It's also pretty awesome that the very same game and documentary can be viewed on a device smaller than a sandwich. Since I'm also an audiophile, I also like the convenience of having every song I own all in one place-- no small feat considering the amount of music I own, and I still haven't gotten around to ripping my vinyl! I remember when my dad had a prototype CD writer in 1997 before they hit the mass markets, and it was a big, big deal that I was able to make mix CDs opposed to mix tapes. I also remember when the CD-Man upgrade from a Walkman catapulted you to royalty in the 6th grade. Now...you can get a CD player for $10 or less!

But despite the way some things changed for the better, I just think that for all of the modern conveniences we have now, we've paid a price in terms of society's outlook just not being as simple as they once were. Now that we're not occupied making mix tapes, leaving computer tinkering to us nerds, and having to make arrangements meeting up with people where you'd have to hope they were in the exact place at the exact time you specified-- people just feel the need to overcomplicate things.


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