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review 2019-06-20 02:00
Rage Becomes Her - Soraya Chemaly

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I received an ARC of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

This is truly and remarkable and magnificent book.

While it did take me about a month to finish, I really enjoyed this book. I am normally a fairly quick reader, but this one took me a while. Part of that was because some of the issues are very difficult to deal with. This book makes you angry. It's supposed to make you angry and it is very successful at that. However, I wasn't always ready to be angry in the moment, hence the long read time.

Still, this was a fantastic read. It covers various topics related to how women express angry and are taught to think about anger as well as in-depth explorations of multiple reasons women have every right be feel angry. I really liked the overall message that anger can be a healthy response to situations. The book focuses on the negative outcomes of suppressed anger and anger directed inefficiently through other outlets and emphasizes the importance of healthy expression of anger as well as the beneficial ways anger powers creativity and motivates change. Just amazing.

A mix of research, history, current events, and personal anecdotes, this book really engages the reader and invites them to think about anger in a new way. I personally know I am horrible at expressing anger. I ruminate and suppress and I'm working on it. But this book helped me re-categorize the importance of anger in life. 

Many of the topics discussed in the book are heavy and uncomfortable, but I think Chemaly did a wonderful job analyzing the research and bringing so many issues together in connection to anger. This is a fantastically powerful and educational read. I can't say enough good things about it.

Also, my TBR pile is now exploding with various books and articles mentioned in this book, which is never a bad thing.

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text 2019-06-13 23:59
This is not tolerable -- BBA

(Update from the blogger is here  https://redhatterbookblog.com/2019/06/14/hatter-chat-the-last-post-about-this/ )






The author is K. Alice Compeau.  The publisher is Limitless Publishing and they have dropped the author.


Title is Easy Love.





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text 2019-06-07 22:21
serious weather damage

UPDATE #1 at the end






I was just sitting here on the couch, minding my own business, when a gust of wind ripped the front awning off my house.  And it's still windy.  Part of the awning is lying in the back yard on the other side of the house.  Two more sections are in the creosote bushes in the front garden, and one mangled piece is in the mesquite tree.  I can't tell how much damage has been done to the roof.




Piece in the tree




Piece that was in the power lines across the street, then fell out of the wires.




Piece in the back yard.  I heard this piece go over the roof and land.  When I went outside to look, while I was actually on the phone with the insurance company, I only knew about this piece, not the others.  I thought the other pieces were on the roof, still attached to the rest of the awning.


They weren't.




As you can see from these ^^^^ two pictures, the corrugations of the awning material are now parallel to the front of the house, so that whole section was twisted 90 degrees.  The corrugation is supposed to be perpendicular to the front. 


One of the supports is lying on the ground, barely visible, but there is another one that's missing entirely.  Maybe it's on the roof???  I don't know where it is.


I have no idea how much damage has been done to the roof itself, if any.


The first time this happened, about ten years or so ago, the damage was not nearly as severe and insurance covered repairs.  The crew was only able to make the repairs, however, because I had matching material on hand from another awning.  That material is gone now.


There is really only one insurance company for manufactured homes here.  When I had another small claim a couple years later for roof damage, the adjuster completely missed the far more serious damage going on under the loosened/missing shingles.  It was so bad that the roofer who put on the whole new roof said it was a miracle that whole section of the roof hadn't caved in: it was completely rotten under the shingles.  And yes I have pictures.


Right now I'm more than a little shaken.  My dog, Moby, has been under the weather (bad turn of phrase) this past week with something called "old dog vestibular syndrome."  He's recovering, but it's been an emotional drain.  Now this with the awning.  And there are some other issues going on that have me really stressed.


Fools on Twitter can expect no mercy!





Tuesday morning


Claim has been filed and I have emailed photos of the damage as best I can take them.


There also appears to be minor damage to the awning on the other side of the house, but so far as I can tell it's only some bent supports and maybe some of them ripped from the concrete.  May be repairable, may not.  I will get photos of those later, after the shade has moved over to that side of the house.


Adjuster called yesterday evening, asked some questions.  He did not inspire confidence, since he didn't seem to understand exactly what kind of "awning" I was talking about.  He acted like it was a canvas awning over a window!  "No, it's metal and it's 60 feet long and about 12 feet wide," I said.


He did not say anything about coming out to look at the damage, but acted more like he was going to make a determination based on my photos alone.  THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.


He also asked what I was doing to prevent further damage.  "Like what?" I asked.  "There's nothing I can do.  There are sheets of corrugated metal on my roof, and I'm not climbing up there to get them off.  I have no way of anchoring any of the rest of it.  I'm not going to risk doing MORE harm and/or possibly hurting myself."


It will be one to two business days before he looks at the photos, three to four business days before he makes a determination.


I am not a happy camper.  And there is a possibility that I will be even less happy when this is over.




Adjuster called Wednesday afternoon, approximately 48 hours after damage occurred. 


His first comment was that he had checked the weather report and there had been no high winds on Monday.


Me: "It was a sudden gust, a microburst, a dust devil, a mini-tornado.  They happen all the time in Arizona.  You think I just ripped that awning up by myself?"


He stammered a bit, then asked me if I had called a contractor to get an estimate.


"Uh, no.  Was I supposed to?"


Adjuster: "Well, when you get a contractor to come out there and look at it, then he can tell if it was a gust of wind that did the damage.  Then you can get an estimate and I can go ahead and figure out where we go from there."


Me:  "Do I get an awning contractor and a roof contractor, too?"


Adj: "What do you need a roof contractor for?"


Me:  "To determine if there's damage to the roof.  You can see in the pictures I sent you that at least one part of the fascia board is exposed where the awning trim was ripped off.  I don't know if there's more damage to the roof."


Adj:  "Oh, there's roof damage, too?"


Me: "Yes.  You can see it in the pictures I sent you."


Adj:  (Looks at pictures again)  "Oh, yes, I do see where it looks like some of the roof is lifted up."


Me:  (Thinking, "No shit, Sherlock.")


Adj: "Well, I'm going to hand this over to a field adjuster and have him come out and take a look at it."


Me: "So do I still need to find a contractor?  How do I find one that's approved by your company?"


Well, then he finally got the message that I wasn't going to go along with his shit -- he had not given me ANY indication how much they were going to offer to pay for the damage -- and said he would give the whole claim to a field adjuster who would be in contact with me within the next 24 hours and take it from there.


Me:  "Is this field adjuster going to come out and actually look at the damage?"


Adj:  "He'll make that determination."


I'm livid.


We're now getting little gusts of wind, nothing more than a breeze really, but it's enough to rattle and bang the damaged material lying on the roof. 




 Update #3 - Friday afternoon


The field adjuster arrived at 10:00 a.m. this morning with a contractor who was qualified to assess all the damage.


The damage to the roof was far more serious than suspected.  Part of the material that had been flung onto the roof had gouged a bunch of shingles.  The corner of the section of the awning flung onto the roof, however, had punched a hole through the singles and through the plywood decking underneath!


The initial determination was that the whole front awning would have to be repaired.  Then the adjuster noticed there were dents in the awning panels.  HAIL!


I don't know if I posted pics here or just on Twitter, but last October we did have quite a hail storm and I went out onto the porch and took pictures.




Further examination of the front AND back awnings revealed extensive hail damage. Not only were virtually all the panels severely dented, but many had huge paint chips. 


The adjuster asked me if I had ever noticed water dripping from the awnings, and I said yes, but I thought it was just condensation.  When I pointed out the specific locations that I remembered having seen this dripping, he easily identified awning panels that were so badly dented that the waterproof joints were likely compromised.


There was also additional wind damage discovered to the back patio awning.


I don't know exactly how it's all going to work out, but two separate claims have now been filed, the one from Monday's microburst/dust devil wind damage, and now a second one for the hail damage from October.  It may mean paying two deductibles, depending on how things are worked out with the contractor.


(Wind is banging the broken parts again already. It doesn't take much.)


The end result should be two completely replaced awnings.  The saga is on-going, however, so we'll see.

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text 2019-06-06 22:59
I do not know exactly what happened because it's complicated

Some of you will understand what's going on here, and for some of you I can only offer my apologies.  I no longer know where to go with this crap.


Apparently another Goodreads member has been banned for negatively shelving a book, or books by a particular author or something.


I don't know this reader.  I think she may also be a writer, but at this moment I'm not sure.


There have been so many issues going on that I don't trust my memory to be 100% accurate on this, so I'm more than open to correction, especially with documentation.  I have some screen shots, but not a lot.


The reader's Twitter handle implies her name is Angela, and that's how I will refer to her.


As I recall, Angela and several others were engaged in discovering the various Amazon book stuffers.  I was one of them.  We all worked together, some of us doing more and some of us doing less, to identify the books and authors who had violated Kindle Direct Publishing's rules to game the system.  That was one of several issues.


There was also an issue with a specific book and it author who appeared to be engaged in some kind of racial insensitivity.  That's the only term I can think of to describe it, because I wasn't involved.  I don't remember who the author was or the title of the book.  Angela engaged with this author on the issue.  I didn't.  I don't even know why I didn't; I think I was engaged in other issues.


Another person on Twitter, an author whose name I won't mention because I don't want to draw her attention, challenged Angela.  I don't want to say she attacked Angela because I didn't see enough of the various exchanges to characterize their interactions as an attack.  The other author was apparently outed as having several Twitter accounts and using them to challenge other people.  Apparently, according to my sketchy memory, she denied having the other accounts, but there was substantial evidence presented to show that she was not being entirely honest.


While all of this was going on, one of Angela's supporters challenged me about something.  I asked for clarification or additional information before I would come dow on one side or another.  Twitter being what it is, with its limited space for expression, there may well have been misunderstandings.  I didn't get any clarification, and the next thing I knew, both Angela and her supporter had blocked me.


I think part of the issue was that I suggested Angela and/or her supporters not keep poking the bear or risk getting bitten.  I tend to do that.  There's a point at which antagonism no longer generates any return on the investment in indignation.


At least one other of her supporters has not blocked me.


The other author, the one accused of having multiple Twitter accounts, has also not blocked me.


I don't know all the details of the Bane event.  I know part of it, but I've not been particularly active in it.


I think everyone knows how I feel about authors who attack readers or tell readers how to review.  Bane apparently was engaged in reader silencing or intimidation.


Bane is also pretty much of a nobody, I guess.  Jill Mansell is not a nobody.  She's now going after readers, and it's getting ugly.  If Angela has been removed from Goodreads due to her shelving of Bane's books, this is further intimidation of readers.  Those of us who go back to 2013 know what that was like.


A good part of the problem, however, goes back to the fact that readers are not protected.  They aren't safe when voicing unpopular opinions, even if only unpopular with the authors.  Bad books are bad books, even if only one reader thinks so.  On Amazon, on Goodreads, on Twitter: Authors feel safe in attacking readers, and too often there aren't enough defenders.


For the most part, we've been very lucky here on BookLikes.  We post our one-star, half-star, and no-star reviews and the authors leave us alone.  Yeah, there were the goofy posts from Weinberg and his minions, but that was minor.  I've had one author on Twitter stalk me here and get all upset because even without mentioning her name or the title of her book, I made a disparaging remark.  But we aren't likely to get booted for negative reviews, and we can shelve without retaliation.


But BookLikes is not in the forefront of book reviewing.  Goodreads and Amazon -- and they're joined at the corporate hip -- are.  And when a reader is removed from those platforms, she's effectively silenced.


Too few of the attackers ever are.






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text 2019-05-30 03:20
Devastated - Part 4 -- New malicious policies designed with me in mind

The art group saga continues.


The background is recorded in a whole bunch of long posts, listed here for anyone who isn't familiar with this  . . . effing mess.














Today, the president of my artists' group, Artists of the Superstitions, sent out an email with the application form and rules and regulations governing the 13th Annual Artists' Studio Tour.


There are two new items that appear to be directed at me.


Studio Hosts must have a studio at their home in either the Gold Canyon or Apache Junction areas and MUST be an active member of the AOTS.  All Studio Hosts requests are subject to Board review and approval.

I have a studio in my home in Apache Junction where I have participated in every single studio tour this group has put on since before it was even called Artists of the Superstitions. Every single one.


We have never required that studios be reviewed and approved by the "Board."  Never.  This has only come up because of me and the bullshit that went on this past February and March.


The second new item falls in a list of




Prepare to have someone use your restroom (remove valuables, prescriptions, etc.).

I've made it clear, both here on BL and of course with the AOTS membership and the "Board" that my studio tour display area is outdoors and I do not have easy bathroom access for a "guest artist," which is one of the reasons why I've never had one.  I have dogs who would have to be sequestered for a guest artist to use the bathroom, and if I'm not willing to do that, I'm sure as hell not willing to do it for some visiting customer.


Am I supposed to hire a restroom attendant to follow these total strangers into my house and wait for them to use the facilities, then escort them back outside to make sure they don't wander through the house?  Am I supposed to clear the path to the bathroom of all valuables and other items, lest these total strangers be tempted by some worthless but sentimentally priceless object?


In other words, what the actual F**K???


Is the next step having a county health inspector certify our facilities as properly sanitized?  Nothing in my house would pass that kind of inspection!


Before you ask, no, these changes have never been presented to the membership for discussion or vote.  The "Board" doesn't work that way.


After the horrendous mess last February, some things were fixed, and I'm not sure I documented all of that here, so let me add to the record.


I had received notice that I could not be listed on the tour unless I had at least one guest artist here, or I could be a guest at someone else's studio.  According to the email that was sent out, these requirements were in the AOTS by-laws.  They aren't and never were.  Shortly after this email went out, we had our regular February meeting, at which another member, who was even angrier than I, got up and confronted the board members about what was going on.


I had no idea she was going to.  At first, I didn't even know she was talking about me.  She and I had not talked about this at all.


But I confronted the board with the fact that I am the ONLY member of AOTS  who has participated in every single studio tour since the first one we sponsored in 2007.  I've chaired the event three times, including that first one which would never have happened if I hadn't demanded that we do it. 


I finally said, "Are you telling me I'm not good enough for the tour?  My studio isn't good enough?  My art isn't good enough?"


The end result was that they took a vote (!) and waived the guest artist requirement.  I got to do the spring studio tour as the only artist in my studio.  I had fun, made some money, and so on.


But now they're pulling this new shit that is quite obviously directed at me.  And I don't know why.  I don't know why they hate me.

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