Bogey men

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When I was a little kid, probably about six or seven years old, I had this recurring nightmare: A tall thin man would float outside my second floor bedroom window. He was always dressed in a black business suit, and had a gaunt profile with thinning white hair. I could never quite make out his features through the … Continue reading

Fifty shades of blah

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I have mixed feelings about the “literary phenomenon” that is Fifty Shades of Grey. Mostly with the word “literary” being in any way associated with this book and partly with people recommending it so highly to strangers. Strangers like me, a bookseller who is paid to interact with you and doesn’t at all want to … Continue reading

How to be an F1 geek

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Many people believe geekdom is defined by a love of a thing, but I think […] that the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. […] When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME … Continue reading

Schumer humor

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Amy Schumer’s first hour-long special, “Mostly Sex Stuff,” recently aired on Comedy Central. I’ve read some negative reviews claiming that she’s just another typical female comedian, oversexed, and too caught up in talking about dating, but I tend not to agree. One brilliant internet dude claims that we shouldn’t bother with Amy because if we’ve … Continue reading

Hopelessly devoted

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Anyone who knows me at all knows I am not particularly musical. It’s not just that I can’t play an instrument or carry much of a tune. I don’t even have much of an ear for music. My iPod, at any given time, has about a dozen songs on it — ones that would make … Continue reading

The name beneath the name

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When the woman who shelves the scifi section at my bookstore slid the new Orson Scott Card book to me last week I saw something disturbing on the cover. Aaron Johnston. Who was this guy? Was Card headed down the James Patterson path, using a helper to write his stories? I was concerned. Card has … Continue reading

Blood in the water cupcakes

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Sorry, did you say the summer of 2012 would have The Dark Knight Rises, The Olympics, AND the 25th Anniversary of Shark Week? I couldn’t hear you over all the awesome. Having seen The Dark Knight Rises (twice) and having lost interest in the Olympics about halfway through, Shark Week is all I’ve been thinking … Continue reading

A fate worse than death

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I’m writing this essay acknowledging how precarious it is to take what would appear to be a dissenting stance in the aftermath of what took place at Pennsylvania State University for only God knows how long. I would like to, if possible, sensibly evaluate the repercussions of PSU’s behavior. I am aware of how I … Continue reading

Growing pains

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My parents were divorced and my mom was mentally ill throughout most of my childhood so I didn’t always learn a lot about how to be a “proper” girl or woman — I’m an adult who is still figuring out liquid liner. In a number of ways, I love that I wasn’t forced into a … Continue reading

Historical fiction, with cyborgs

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As a historian, I’m a sucker for time travel novels. To go back in time and observe is a historian’s dream. (We’ll never know, though, even if we were there, exactly what people were thinking and feeling at any given time in history. People are unfathomable. Some things will always be guesses.) In some time … Continue reading