5454346653 a3a135cde7 kansas city - Worldcon Thoughts After Sasquan: Next Year in Kansas City
At playBooks and book reviewsIn the worldNoodlingsShared joy & pain

Next year in Kansas City, we will be hosting Worldcon (“we” meaning we Missourians, not me personally, as I am a minor player at best in this drama). I am thrilled and excited to finally be in a place in my life where I can participate in person instead of through my endless babblings on line. Last night I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the Hugo Awards 2015, and I have opinions. I started to write them as a Facebook post, then decided to move them here: My more coherent (daylight) thoughts on the Hugos: The puppies got socked in the nose with a newspaper last night, and they are yipping that they meant to get socked, and besides, the Hugo isn’t so great after all and they didn’t really want it. Which is par for the course. There is so much spin in their position at this point that if they were to stop spinning there would be no there, there, at all. I have a great deal of compassion for many of these folk. They will never be able to live their support of this down, and some (many) of them will probably eventually realize how

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Bob and Lucky - Lucky Puppy Crossed the Rainbow Bridge
At homeShared joy & pain

Lucky came into my life in February of 2003. I was getting new tires on my 1992 Ford Tempo (and a good thing – a week later, they probably saved my life, when I had the accident that resulted in changing careers and going back to college to be a social worker). It was unseasonably warm, and I was hanging out in front of the tire shop with the owner. I only half paid attention when he yelled something at the street, where someone passing had just thrown a bag of trash out of their car at 35 miles per hour. A few seconds later, a passing school bus screeched to a halt. In the road, out of nowhere, was a small terrier puppy (possibly a mini schnauzer – we were never quite sure). I ran into the street, snatched up the puppy, and brought him inside. He was infested with worms, filthy, and shivering in terror. He still had a bit of the trash bag caught on his leg. As luck would have it (hee!), we were looking for a dog. But not a terrier. My husband was hunting for a bird dog. I picked up the phone and

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free speech - Free Speech, Sea Lions, Sad Puppies, Comment Moderation and the Modern Day Salon
At workIn the worldSocial justice

I stuck my neck out not too long ago on the Sad Puppy debate, and got some criticism. Some people criticized my use of a psychological frame for what they saw as a social justice debate, others had trouble distinguishing between my identification of common psychological tropes evident in public actions of people involved in the debate with diagnosis of those people. I have addressed these issues privately with those involved, and will probably write a post about the importance of understanding underlying psychological issues to social justice arguments in the future. My website is now set to having comment moderation on at all times, which is new for me. I was unprepared for the influx of people, most of whom created new accounts specifically to comment on my blog, or in some cases to comment on the Sad Puppy issue in general, who, rather than debating in good faith, spent as much time as they could wasting my time, moving goal posts, insisting that their concerns be addressed (in an article that specifically addressed the issue of entitlement, no less) and generally acting like bad guests.

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hugo sad puppies rabid puppies
Books and book reviewsIn the worldPolitics and political scienceShared joy & pain

The State of the Puppies Up to Now For those of you not familiar with the current controversy about the Hugo Award in Science Fiction, go here, here, and here to read up on what is happening. I do have skin in the game. I am a Worldcon supporting member, and I have long standing friendships and correspondences with several authors and editors and artists in science fiction. I am also a feminist, an anti-racist ally, an LGBTQ ally, and overall what the Hugo Sad Puppies would call a “SJW” (social justice warrior, meant as a pejorative when they say it). I am not going to try to diagnose anyone involved in this issue, I am only going to discuss some broad psychological principles that apply. I am trained in social work, and hold a license to practice in the state of Missouri. My “day job” is as a psychotherapist in my own practice, and I have specialized over the last ten years on issues of poverty, trauma, and personality disorders, with a lot of depression and anxiety thrown in. I have had a fascination with, and have done a lot of work with, people who abuse. The basic premise

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Before remodeling spring 2015
At homeBudgeting

Okay, so my house has spots and saggy bits, as I’ve said before. It’s remodeling time. Last week a guy came by to measure up the house and give us an estimate on new siding, windows, soffit and fascia, and maybe even insulation in the attic (Ouch! That sticker price was high). This week, Husband and I are heading to the bank for a talk with our friendly local bank (big banks are evil!!!!) about a consolidation/home improvement loan in order to get that done and reduce our credit card debt and bring the payments down. It’s not ideal (we would rather have been able to do it with cash), but it looks like we are finally making steps toward having a house that doesn’t have a breeze through it in the middle of winter. This is exciting stuff, on a par with the year we got a real live furnace (prior to that we were heating the downstairs with a floor furnace that was over 50 years old, and the upstairs with a standing unit that only heated one room. Mostly we hung out in front of the wood stove), and the year we got a new roof and it

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candles for Mason Atagi and Dylan Thompson
Shared joy & pain

I live in Independence MO, which is an unusual town in many respects. It is overshadowed in terms of size by Kansas City to the west, but Independence is the older city, and the county seat. It is the first home of the Latter Day Saints before they moved west, and when they left they left the Community of Christ, an offshoot of the LDS church, to form their own religious center here. Both churches firmly believe that Independence is the literal paradise the Bible promises, which many find ironic due to the severe methamphetamine epidemic that swept through here in the late nineties and still leaves its mark on the town. Independence is also the home of Harry Truman, and the town from which pioneers headed west left in their wagons.  Like our town, the people are a well of contradictions, and this is reflected in these two deaths. And two teenage boys died last week here, Mason Atagi and Dylan Thompson. I didn’t know either of them, but this is a small enough community that I was affected by both of their deaths, and my youngest sons was “friends of friends” with both of them. What I say

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