Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 6

Chapters 38-46. Questions by me. Continue reading

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 5

Chapters 30-37. Shit got real. Questions by Susan.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 4

Chapters 23-29. Questions by Allie.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 3

Lots to think about this week. Questions by Lynn. As always, since I read these before, I’m going to be careful in my answers to not give anything away.

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Once Upon a Time X

So apparently there’s been this yearly fairy tale reading and discussing challenge that’s been happening for the past 10 years that I just found now. And I realized that I have a million things to say. The short of it is that we just moved and we found a crap ton of books/games that we haven’t read or played since they were bought. Lots of them would fit this bill. And since I’ve had 9 addresses in the past 10 years, I’ve decided that it’s either time to read/play these suckers or get rid of them (a good friend of mine once said that three moves equals one fire, meaning every time you move you get rid of enough stuff to have 1/3 of a bonfire. Yeah). So, without further ado, I bring you:


Instead of writing about something I read, I’ll tell you about a game I played.


Image from boardgamegeek.com

I don’t even know where I got this game. The box says it was made in West Germany, so that should give me a clue of how long I’ve had it.

So in this game, you’re a wizard who has to find three ingredients to make a magic potion that are hidden in an ever-shifting labyrinth. (And the instructions are just like this. Like a story. Not like “player’s goal is to collect tokens on the game board.” With each turn, a player–excuse me, a wizard–changes the maze by sliding the tiles that make up the labyrinth.


Image from boardgamegeek.com

The picture kind of shows how the tiles are laid down to form the labyrinth. You slide the tiles by moving an entire row.

My kid and I enjoyed this game, but it can take a long time to play. During game play, the ingredients tokens are upside down, so you don’t know what you’re landing on. Which means it’s hard to find what you want. It was getting late and my husband suggested we flip the pieces over (like as pictured) to make the game go faster. My kid then accused of us cheating and cried.

So, good for family game night. If you have a long night or have a kid who doesn’t mind tweaking the rules. I think it’s good for memory, strategy, and math. It’s definitely one we’re keeping through our next move rather than getting rid of!

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 2

Chapters 8-14. Questions by me.

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Kushiel’s Justice readalong: week 1


Without further ado, chapters 1-7, questions by Susan.

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Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 8

Last week for the Kushiel’s Scion readalong. Questions by me. Once again, thanks everyone for participating. It’s been fun!

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To my friends grieving over Justice Scalia’s death

Dear friends,

I’m sorry for your loss. If you’ll accept the condolences of this bleeding heart tree hugger. Justice Scalia and I didn’t always see eye to eye (though I agreed with him in Kelo v. New London and Kyllo v. United States, to name a few), in law school I found that his opinions were always well written and a good read. I think my favorite line of his might be “The Agema Thermovision 210 might disclose, for example, at what hour each night the lady of the house takes her daily sauna and bath-a detail that many would consider ‘intimate’“.

But as time went on, his opinions became increasingly vitriolic, against the losing side and against his fellow Justices. Rather than point to any example, I’ll just share that the Scalia Insult Generator is a thing that exists.


He was a good writer, but he was an asshole. He contributed to the mudslinging ugliness that is politics today.

But he was your asshole. He was arguably the most conservative justice on the bench. Justice Stevens (a liberal justice nominated by a Republican) noted that through his tenure on the Court, each of his colleagues were replaced with a more conservative justice. But now, with Justice Scalia’s death during President Obama’s term, that will be…unlikely to happen.

So in addition to being sad, you’re scared. With President Obama’s new pick, the Court is likely to become more liberal, a perceived threat to your individual way of life somehow. So you trot out arguments about the balance of powers. We need to wait for the next election to replace Justice Scalia, so the next president can pick.

But the concept of balance of powers does not mean that Democrats need to be tempered with Republicans. There is nothing in the Constitution or anywhere addressing the division of powers between the political parties. Other than voting. Which we did. In 2012. Knowing that President Obama would be president for 4 more years and not 3.

Balance of powers refers rather to the…well, balance between the states and the federal government. The states have some rights and duties, and the federal government has others. Interpreting the US Constitution is one such duty and right of the federal government, in this case, that of the Court.

As I’m sure you know, the Court has 9 (now 8) justices. The reason for 9 is to prevent ties. It can’t be as perfect as that. Sometimes a justice will need to recuse him or herself. But under the best of circumstances, there will be no tie.

But now we have 8. Moreover, we have 4 that are relatively conservative and  4 that are relatively liberal. In recently history, Court decisions have been 5-4 splits. So if Justice Scalia’s seat is vacant for as long as some of the GOP want it to be, we’re going to have a lot of ties.

What happens to a case in the case of a tie? Nothing. It’s like the case was never heard, and the decision of the lower court stands. Considering that cases often make it to the Court because of a disparity in law–some states or circuit courts interpret a provision in a certain way and others another–this means that we will have different rights in different parts of the country. This gives states more rights than they are meant to have in our federalist system and can limit our liberties.

Thus to preserve the balance of powers–the real one, not the imaginary one created when a political party loses popularity–there should be no undue delay in appointing a new Justice. We all can take time to grieve, but we all need to move on.

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Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 7

Chapters 53-60. Questions by Allie.

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