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Vanessa Phin
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Stellaris Builds
Here are the Stellaris builds I've been playing with. Some are min/maxed; others are for fun. Feel free to comment with your own builds and adjustments.  Affable Ants Build: high social research and low social cost Traits: Natural Sociologists, Nomadic (or ...

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Representation in the D&D Player's Handbook
It has been a little over two years since the fifth edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook came out, to acclaim on the part of players who despised 4th edition (forever the Windows 8 of D&D—deservedly or not). Reviewers of fifth edition generall...

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Running in the Dark
It was 5:30 am. I was awake. I’d done my Achilles therapy, I was
dressed, and I was ready to run. I was determined to run, despite the fact that it was dark and the trail I wanted to run on had no
lights. I grabbed my phone and that piercing flashlight I go...

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The Unreadable Face
He looked down from her, his expression unreadable. She stared at them as they milled about with unreadable expressions. I wish I could have told you, but her expression was unreadable. My expression was probably unreadable, but I wasn’t about to change it....

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Writing is Running
Running before sports bras. Ouch. I run in what my mother-in-law
calls the ass crack of dawn. The lee of the day, when sparrows are having
bragging matches and loping foxes are still freaking out crows and jays. When I
stretch and plot my course and scrape ...

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What Not to Say to a Person with Depression ... If You've Had Depression
How many times have you seen it? An article on what not to say to people with depression. Maybe five or ten or three things to say to your depressed [person]. With some stock photo of a thin white woman with her hands on her head in a shadow or a muted blue...

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Nice Little Car Chase; Feminist My Ass
Saw Mad Max: Fury Road. And the fuck. The actual fuck. Is this what passes for feminist? Is the bar so low?
Max and road boy have the character arcs ("redemption" for no damn reason does not make an arc). Max saves Furiosa ten times more than
she saves him....

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The Sea-Change
Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change, into something rich and strange Here I am, restarting my blog after a half-year hiatus of illnesses, fire, and
moving. I missed blogging, but sometimes one simply has to let oneself roll under,
th...

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Grammar Totalitarianism
I keep getting linked to the recent Weird Al song, “ Word Crimes .” On every conceivable form of social media. Multiple times a day. I have no doubt that if you’re an English teacher, translator, editor, or any other sort of wordsmith, you’ve had the same e...

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My Back Is to Venus (poem)
The sun goes up on the other side Where I am, it is dark They are sleeping I pad with crackling tendons to my desk Look outside Lower the blinds Sit before my square of light, my deadlines Glare at them; they glare at me Headache sniffle blow justify copy p...
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