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About Gertrude

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    an ok person, just sayin'
  • Birthday December 4

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  1. Trump’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to Wolff’s Publisher to try and stop the release of the book. Jesus, the man is Cersei Lannister. Ripping out his tongue will not prove him a liar, just that Trump fears what Wolff has to say. And too late, btw. Nyahhh Nyah! I love the idea that he’s apoplectic over this, but then I remember that he’s our president and that puts a huge damper on it. I just hope that when this is all over and done, it ends with his utter humiliation and the downfall of his name, his legacy and the ruination of his complicit family and that he actually understands that it was all his own damn fault. It’s the later part that I doubt will come to pass.
  2. Yeah. We do some things very well and there are things to be proud of, but there are so many ways we could do much better, and yes, some ways we are outright horrible. I want us to do better, but first that means admitting mistakes and bad practices. I hate the term ‘ American Exceptionalism’. In my experience it is used to excuse our faults and indicates an unwillingness to look toward other countries to see if they might have better ways of doing things because ‘Murika, fuck yeah!’ Your mileage may vary on that.
  3. Of course not all raw water will cause ill effects, you have to know your water source. I doubt most people jumping on this fad will know how it’s sourced other than what the marketing feeds them. And, of course, the potential for unscrupulous business practices abound. Of course I’m talking about Imp2O, fresh from the Hudson, sold in upcycled glass.
  4. Cities are going to have to ramp up their swat teams to deal with the emerging raw water black-markets.
  5. My cousin is a teacher and I've been hearing her stories for years. She works at the grade school level so doesn't deal with graduation issues, but I can confirm that she's frustrated that there are no consequences for bad performance. She says it's nearly impossible to fail a student, or even give them an F for a specific test or assignment they fail to complete. Her feelings are that the major problems are the parents. Just recently talked to her and her estimation was that of the students with behavioral/ academic problems, about c20% of them had parents who cared and were willing to work with the teachers to correct it. The rest were apathetic or excused their kids. One parent refused to believe her kid had behavior problems, so the school figured they would video a typical day. The mother watched her kid disrespect and disrupt the class and made excuses for each instance and blamed the teachers for provoking him. ( this particular student was from the 'rich kid' district, which she says is worse to work at than the other districts) Another anecdote - I work with teachers from the Czech Republic who come over to teach language classes in the summer. They have a hard time dealing with the parents because it is so much not what they are used to. Mostly it's the over-involved parental type they deal with, but it causes problems. What I got out of our discussions basically boiled down to the fact that they didn't get the respect that they do at home. We've not had major problems, but enough that Lora felt the need to vent at me a little.
  6. I'm hoping someone here can help me out. All the talk about tax cuts frames it as n% goes to the rich, etc. This means practically nothing to me. If the rich are making 75% of the income, then yes, they would get 75% of the cuts. I am looking for a breakdown of percentage of income that is cut per tax bracket. I saw one somewhere but for the life of me can't find it or word a google search to come up with that info. (even assuming that info isn't already outdated) Pretty sure the wealthy got an actual higher percentage cut than the middle, but would love to be able to pull that specific stat out when discussing this.
  7. Just because you judge someone not to have compassion is no reason for you to not have any.
  8. A lot, but most of it has nothing to do with this election.
  9. Just got home and expected to see a Moore victory, but damn. This thing is still live.
  10. When some friends of mine bought a house out in the middle of nowhere, they set up lots of bird feeders. They got tons to come around and they loved watching them. They soon learned that what they had done was set up a hawk buffet. I don't think that's exactly what you're talking about though
  11. My uncle's old house had a nice patch of woods behind it near the river and the wild turkeys loved it. It was always fun to have Thanksgiving dinner there and watch them as we munched on their cousin. His current house is right on the Mississippi, so now we are treated to the bald eagles. Even in places around here (Iowa) not near a river, the eagles are not a completely uncommon sight. I'm always surprised and a little awed when I see them because I still consider them endangered. Hard to shake that habit. I had a truly awesome experience with a bird years ago. I was in Alaska with my father and we were driving through a forested area. The area itself was amazing with these huge, vibrant ferns that seemed primeval - like I'd gone back in time, so I was already in a kind of zen place. I spotted a very large raven sitting on a tree stump ahead of us. As we drove up to it, it lifted off and flew right beside us. I don't know for how long, but it seemed like forever in the moment. In my mind it was like a cinematic tracking shot, the car keeping pace with the bird perfectly. I swear I could hear the rustling of it's feathers. When it flew up, it was like a spell had broken. I'm not a spiritual person, but that small space of time was deeply affecting for me. I'd always had a fondness for the trickster raven god, and we were in Alaska because it's where I was born (but not raised) and he wanted to show it to me. Of all the very cool things we did and saw on that trip, that moment is still the most vivid and still the thing I think about most.
  12. That's what I meant when I said I could justify each thought or action. It makes narrative sense that the eggs give her strength. Reading it, however, It's still awkward and off for me.
  13. I don't think you have to relate to every quality about a character. Earlier I said I related to Arya. I was thinking about Arya in Winterfell surrounded by her family. I can't relate to what she has become, but her at the start of the story, absolutely. I can relate to Dany always second guessing herself even while pushing forward with what she feels is right. I understand Cat's decision making processes, even though they don't end well. I had a little Sansa in me - idealistically believing that people were good, and that the world has rules and you should respect them. I was also a little like Brienne or the Mormont ladies when I was the only girl who refused to wear a dress for a school program. My teacher and parents strongly encouraged it, but I didn't want to and won that fight. Cersei isn't wrong when she notices how differently she and Jaime were treated growing up and resents it. I could go through the male characters as well and find bits I can relate to, and I kind of think that's the genius of what GRRM is doing. These characters feel like real people with real strengths and flaws. I'm not focusing on the non PoV characters because we don't really get to see what they are, just what others perceive them to be. I agree there are some really strong characters in that bunch, and I don't mean to dismiss them. We just can't evaluate them in the same way. These are extraordinary characters doing extraordinary things, so I'm guessing most of us don't relate to the more extreme aspects of these women (and men). But they are all human enough that we can recognize familiar things in their make-up.
  14. I'm not sure how to respond. I think GRRM writes characters well, period. In general, I don't find many things that ring false in his characterizations.There do tend to be some that are over the top, but not in his PoVs. Ramsey and Joffrey are cartoon villains, to an extent Lysa too. We get part of their story and see them from the outside looking in. I tend to forgive these because stories need color and catalysts to move the action along. Among his PoV characters, Dany didn't ring true to me as a young bride to Drogo. When I try to pin point a specific thing, I hesitate and can justify each action or thought, but as a whole, it just felt off to me. She seemed too confidant in herself and taking control of her life and sexuality with Drogo, especially when the major influence on her life was Viserys who bullied and threatened her. I can't say it won't resonate for someone else, but for me, this was the hardest PoV to connect to and understand/believe. The one I most connected to and just groked was Arya. There are steroetypes for a reason. Specifically I'll say young Arya who wanted to swordfight with the boys and screw the needlework. I wanted to play little league football when I was young, but girls were not allowed to. My dad was a coach, so I went and would practice with them, I knew all the plays and could catch and throw a tackle, but I couldn't be on the team. I had always been a cheerleader for them (Go Colts!) but once I was of age with the boys playing, I didn't want to anymore. So that whole thing where Arya is forced to sew is like me being pigeonholed into being a cheerleader. I didn't hate cheerleading, but I resented it because it was the only acceptable outlet for me. So, had he given us progress? Probably, but I don't think it was necessarily intentional. I think he just really has a gift for characterization and he doesn't distinguish between male and female. I'm having trouble with the word 'progress'. I'm not sure what you're looking for, exactly. I think the progress is the higher bar he sets for writing quality in general, not specifically for women.