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Octavia the cat and a voter's ballot
Octavia reminds you to Vote!

Ready to Vote? Let's Do This!

The truth is that every election is important, but in the middle of a pandemic and after four years of Trump, it seems more critical than ever. Since we can only go forward, let's get to it.

If you have any questions about voting, please feel free to reach out to me. I've gone to WA voter registration training, and I can answer many questions about it. But also happy to help with research into candidates.

I always read the Voter's Pamphlet and 2-4 other voting guides. Sometimes, you might uncover something incredible about a candidate. Other times, like this year, a lot of terrible candidates told on themselves right in the Voter's Pamphlet.

Okay, these are my endorsements, which means I'm strongly moved to vote this way OR moved by the candidate, and all were either on my ballot or in my backyard:

  • WA State Referendum Measure No. 90: Approved 
    Let's get comprehensive, science-based, and age-appropriate sexual health education in all public school classrooms.
  • Vote YES on King County Charter Amendments No. 1-7 
    Let's get accountability for the sheriff's office and their budget, expand affordable housing, be more inclusive in county protections, strengthen public safety, and stop discrimination against caregivers and queer veterans.
  • King County Proposition No. 1: Approved
    Yes, WA has an extremely regressive tax structure. But Harborview is important to everyone, especially during a pandemic.
  • POTUS/VP: #BidenHarris2020
    Prepare to keep engaged, friends. Politicians work for YOU, not the other way around.
  • United States Representative WA Congressional District No. 7: Pramila Jayapal
    This is the district adjacent to mine, and totally wish I had such a rad Rep.
  • WA Legislative District No. 11 Representative Position No. 1: David Hackney
    This is a good endorsement interview with Hackney. Hudgins has been there too long, done too little, and activated only since it became clear he was in a competitive race.
  • WA Legislative District No. 37 Representative Position No. 2: Kirsten Harris-Talley
    Another adjacent to mine endorsement, I cheer on this public transportation stan.
  • WA Legislative District No. 43 Representative Po No. 2: Sherae Lascelles
    For friends in North Seattle, this is what they said about their motivation to run: "I'm told people who don't look like me know better how to represent me. It's gaslighting. It's a literal mindfuck."
  • WA State Supreme Court Justice Position No. 3: Raquel Montoya-Lewis
    She's the first Native American Justice on the State Supreme Court, and she's made a bunch of great calls in the short time she's been there.
  • WA State Supreme Court Justice Position No. 6: G. Helen Whitener
    It's so telling that white men ran against two BIPoC women judges, who are far better qualified than them. Most of the white men and women judges don't have opponents.
  • Superior Court Judge Position No. 30: Carolyn Ladd
    Qualified and supports the LGBTQIA+ community in real ways. North is racist and careless (and Stranger endorsed).
  • Vote YES on City of Seattle Proposition No. 1: Funding for Transit and Related Transportation Needs
    #YesforTransit. Some of us (me) rely on public transportation, so despite our backward state tax system, please vote YES.

This is obviously not every issue or candidate on my ballot. Like I voted Inslee and Culp sucks, but that's also like don't fail a morality test for a 6-year-old. Pretty much all the GOP candidates told on themselves in their official bios, same with the corporate Dems in two Dems against each other races.

Bookworm corner 📚

Amelia Cole and the Impossible Fate (Amelia Cole #4) by Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, and Nick Brokenshire 3/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** Meh. Didn't move the story much, except give Hector something new in his life. Cops aren't that nice in any dimension, and one wouldn't change his tune just because Amelia was nice.

Amelia Cole Versus the End of Everything (Amelia Cole #5) by Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, and Nick Brokenshire 3/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** The ending made sense for the book, and Lemmy was the best character. I didn't understand the need to have an entire part where everyone was mad at Amelia as it didn't have enough breathing room. I don't believe Omega and the police could be easily reformed by just banishing the evil bosses.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson Did Not Finish
I tried, friends. I got to page 190 (halfway through), and I could not continue. While Wilkerson's premises is interesting, it doesn't go deep enough. The text itself is needlessly repetitive at points with the overuse of multiple metaphors. The language was loose enough that important notes about the historical context and positioning and how this injustice has continued in the US could be taken out of context. I had such high hopes for this, given how much hype it had, the unprecedented (or maybe not) time we're living in, and how Wilkerson's other book is highly regarded. Caste needed a strong edit.

(I haven't read Warmth of Other Suns, but reviewers who shared my thoughts about the book's structure and writing said WoOS was an incredible book.)

Catwoman, Vol. 3: Friend or Foe? by Joëlle Jones, Fernando Blanco, and Laura Allred 3/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** The ending and the beginning were by far the best parts of this book. Reading in single issues, this book dragged due to DC's insistence on publishing two issues per month, and when Jones couldn't keep up, they had random stories by random guest authors, which is frustrating for anyone subscribed. The cat ending was purrfect.

Catwoman: 80th Anniversary Super Spectacular #1 by Jessica Chen, Ed Brubaker, Cameron Stewart, Joëlle Jones, Paul Dini, Ann Nocenti, Adam Hughes, Tom King, Mikel Janín, Mindy Newell, Will Pfeifer, Emanuela Lupacchino, Steve Rude, Tula Lotay, Jim Lee, and Jim Balent 1/5 stars
Most of these stories were mediocre at best. The art was surprisingly good. Only two of the stories were written by women with more women on art, probably accounting for the better art. All that said one star because DC still will employee Chuck Dixon, noted bigot, and Cameron Stewart, sexual predator.

Come Again by Nate Powell 2/5 stars
I get where this was going, but it didn't quite make it there for me.

Constantly by GG 4/5 stars
Oof. This one hit harder in the quarantine.

Five Years Vol. 2: Stalemate by Terry Moore 3/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** Meh. Also, the trade title gives away the ending.

Future Fight Firsts: Crescent And Io #1 by Alyssa Wong, In-Hyuk Lee, and Jon Lam 3/5 stars
Cute, but not inspired to read more about this current Agents of Atlas comic.

Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin 3/5 stars
The first part was slow, and the introduction of all the different houses and their gifts is a fantasy book tradition that bores me. Overall, I liked the message and the characters. I couldn't figure out if I found the plot a bit predictable or if Le Guin just did a lot of foreshadowing. I am happy to hear the next two are better books since they're also sitting on my to-read shelf.

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #2) by Tamsyn Muir 2/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** Hate to do it, but the first two-thirds of this book are a slog. It reminded me of how there's a large part of the Hunger Games trilogy where Katniss is in PTSD shock and spends her time hiding in a closet. While this makes sense for the character, the same way Harrow deals with (or doesn't) her grief somewhat adds up, it doesn't make for a compelling narrative.

This book could've easily shaved off 100 pages. There's a trope in fantasy/sci-fi where people think longer books are somehow better. They are not inherently so.

The remixed flashbacks were painful. (The part where Harrow started building new realities for herself and the crew were way more interesting.) Using second person to distinguish between past and present was tiring, especially when the book also used a timeline noted at the top of chapters!

If we were going to do flashbacks, it would've been more interesting to see actual clues in the life of the older Lyctors. In general, the clues were so much weaker than the first book.

I'm quite worried we're going to get more riffs on Christian mythology in the next edition. I will likely finish this series, all that said.

Hild (Light of the World #1) by Nicola Griffith 4/5 stars
This took me a moment to get into it, but the second half I loved. The first half is a lot of enjoyable world-building, and the second more characterization and action. Also, Hild goes from child to teenager/young women along that divide as well. I love the borderline magical realism. Looking forward to the sequel.

An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly #3) by Charlaine Harris 2/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** TW: serial killers, child murder and rape (not explicitly detailed, thankfully)

This is definitely the most gruesome murder mystery Harper has solved so far, with young boys tortured, raped, imprisoned, and murdered by serial killers.

To bring levity, it had to be balanced with Harper and Tolliver finally hooking up. Along with Manfred and Xylda, cheery neighbors, and assorted Southern charm.

This is probably the best in the series so far. Harris' books are fun reads. However, I've lowered my rating because there are bits of internalized fatphobia and sexism from Harper, along with ableist nonsense about how she feels like a useful person because she doesn't complain about her disability and how proud she is that she doesn't draw disability checks from the government.

Reminder: your worth is not your economic output, there's no shame in taking what little social security net this country offers, and we should be doing more for everyone, but especially those most in need.

The Lost Arabs by Omar Sakr 5/5 stars
Lovely poems and reflections about the struggle to discover and uncover identity and what it all means. Many of them packed a punch at the end.

One Million Tiny Fires by Ashley Robin Franklin 3/5 stars
Unsettling, to say the least.

Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu 3/5 stars
** spoiler alert ** The politics of this book are a mess. I liked the obvious twist around the Patriots. However, June and Day's political debates and positions, well, I kept having to remind myself that they're 15.

Speaking of 15, Anden would be 20. While I like that Day and June see him as young, his attraction fixation on June is gross. Similarly, Tess is 13, and Day's feelings are unclear there.

If anything, 2020 has taught me is that the cop military is too soft here.

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson 5/5 stars
This is a great and easy guide to understanding gender-neutral pronouns and why you should care. Aimed at readers who are still getting comfortable with this change in their speech patterns or just learning about the existence of gender-neutral pronouns.

Shuri, Vol. 2: 24/7 Vibranium by Nnedi Okorafor, Vita Ayala, Rachael Stott, and Paul Davidson 3/5 stars
Fun and enjoyable.

Star Pig by Delilah S. Dawson and Francesco Gaston 4/5 stars
This was delightful.

True Blood, Volume 4: Where Were You? by Michael McMillian, Ann Nocenti, and Michael Gaydos 2/5 stars
True Blood, Volume 5: Shake for Me by Ann Nocenti, Michael Gaydos, Greg Scott, and Michael McMillian
2/5 stars
True Blood, Volume 6: Here We Go Again by Michael McMillian and Michael Gaydos 3/5 stars
Sometimes, you just have to read some quick, comforting reads in an old fandom. Even if they aren't great quality, outsides Gaydos' art.

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah 5/5 stars
A beautiful collection of short stories. There's one about a chicken that I'm still haunted by.

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden 4/5 stars
Solid thriller. Engaging. The protagonist is an excellent balance of getting his life in order and just messed up to be real and someone you root for. The story ties up perhaps too neatly, but the climax thriller scene and the ending is not only engaging but emotional and rooted. Can't wait for the sequel.

Wonder Woman/Conan by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti 2/5 stars
This was a struggle. It took me forever to read, which was disappointing because both the author and artist usually do great.

Things I wrote recently


Reviews on my comics blog:

And that's a lot, friends, so until next time.


Erica McGillivray

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