Sugar Friends: An Excerpt from Sara Fuller’s Autobiography

How the fuck do I still work here? I am a millennial, we don’t stay at one job for too long. Now I have been here for over 5 years. At least I have work friends, some of whom are also sugar friends. Today I brought in some Sour Patch Kids and need to let Summer know. I dial her extension and hear her answer as “Queen of Chaos.” 

By Sara Fuller

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ˈshu̇-gər ˈfrend noun. One attached to another by shared love of sweets. Usually sugar friends take turns supplying sweets.
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How the fuck do I still work here? I am a millennial, we don’t stay at one job for too long. Now I have been here for over 5 years. At least I have work friends, some of whom are also sugar friends. Today I brought in some Sour Patch Kids and need to let Summer know. I dial her extension and hear her answer as “Queen of Chaos.”

“I brought candy.”

“I’ll be right there.”

She comes over to my desk and asks where the Sour Patch Kids were made – we eat enough to know they taste different from different places. Somehow we can talk forever about anything, including how candy production facilities manufacture slightly different tasting products.

Although our lives growing up were nothing alike, and our present lives for that matter, we somehow have similar personalities and hobbies. We like sarcasm, dark humor, cursing, the colour black, each other’s glasses, reading, astronomy, and so much more. But we have our differences, too. She is more independent, self-assured, creative, and motivated than me. She is shorter than me, but I forget that because she is professional as fuck and wears heels to work. And she can speak up in situations where I sit quietly.

I try to learn from others, which sometimes is how to avoid parenting like the crazy people at the store, but other times it means taking notes from Summer on how to confidently argue and reading all of her book suggestions.

Robert Baker: On S.G. Baker

By Robert Baker

She stood on the pinnacle gazing at the masses in the valley below, the wind blowing her short hair gently across her un-furrowed brow. As she assessed the scene below, she moved her hand to the sword sheath that carried her sword, a mighty ball point pen. Her shield, the words she would pen, matched the chain mail and leather outfit of a worthy warrior. Turning swiftly, she moved purposefully as she approached her desk with fervor, as she continued her quest for life and truth.

Jeffrey Schiller: On Martin Jacobsen

By Jeffrey Schiller

What is the difference between Rock and Metal? Mental refinement–something like properly aged wine that comes with hard work, but sold at a reasonable price. The manifestation of that complex emotional ore vein hammered into something intelligent walks into the room. Pocket protector fully stocked. Too many keys swing from his belt loop. Kind eyes smile out from behind thin framed glasses floating above a beard of mostly gray. 70% of what he says makes sense, but the other 30% feels, looks, smells and sounds like a psychedelic trip into the encyclopedia Britannica. You feel smarter and dumber at the same time. It’s comfortable and inviting. Intimidating and inspiring. You can hear the waves crashing in his past. His triumphs over tribulation are listed in his prideless confidence. He is a friend and you can’t help but be happy about that, because friends like this are priceless.

Jay Gurley: On S.G. Baker

It wasn’t until I heard a subdued cackle at the mention of my character, Darrin The Defenestrator, that I noticed her.

By Jay Gurley

It wasn’t until I heard a subdued cackle at the mention of my character, Darrin The Defenestrator, that I noticed her. How or when she drifted to the table next to ours was unknown, but I couldn’t deny her presence now. She didn’t impose herself on the conversation, but she fell into step with the campaign discussion easily. She looked like she was made for the coffee shop; her hair matched the wood accents of the furniture, her clothes were cozy, and the gently-held book in her hand was apparently well-traveled.

Book Review: Artemis

The story of Artemis contains a large number of items from the list of things I look for in fiction, as well as some surprises.

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Artemis by #1 New York Times bestselling author Andy Weir

Synopsis

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

(Via Goodreads)

My Impressions

The concept of this book was already fun. A city on the moon, created by the Andy Weir who wrote the #1 New York Times bestselling novel The Martian? Yes, please. Apparently everyone else had the same thought, because with its recent release, this book was checked out at all my city’s library branches, with even more people calling dibs on its return. I only got my hands on it through conniving schemes and shady deals.

I read The Martian earlier this year and found its penchant for scientific accuracy well-balanced with simple, humorous explanations. You don’t need a degree in science to understand it or Artemis by any means. So don’t let its nerdy reputation stop you, because you’d be missing out.

The story of Artemis contains a large number of items from the list of things I look for in fiction, as well as some surprises. For starters, Artemis, the moon-city, doesn’t originate from the United States or even Russia (like one comes to expect from science fiction after a fashion), but from Kenya. A refreshing twist. The city’s population is a showcase of realistic diversity in race, religion, socioeconomics, and sexual orientation. At least five women (that immediately come to mind, though there may be more), each kickass and multi-faceted in their own ways, play prominent parts. There are rich people who aren’t evil so much as cunning and ambitious, and rich people who are spineless cowards. There are enemies who rescue their enemies who in turn rescue their enemies, all in keeping with the complexity of human nature. Romantic allusions spring up all the way through, but the main romance–rather than the fantasized version of love I’ve come to despise–unfolds subtly and naturally, low-key enough that it didn’t leave me rolling my eyes.

Jazz Bashara, the Arabic main character, is the smart, snarky, morally ambiguous woman version of Han Solo I’ve dreamt of all my days. Andy Weir already has a good handle on varied and interesting characters, but Jazz herself comes to bright and vibrant life on the page–a natural conglomeration of flaws, bad life decisions, regrets, virtues, experiences, joys, goals, and individual history, to which she alludes throughout the tale, revealing her backstory as a unique person over the course of time as if the reader were getting to know her. She might be the most relatable depiction of a woman written by a man that I’ve ever read, though I’m sure it helps very much that he consulted an army of women (whom he acknowledged and thanked in the author’s note) to make sure he created an accurate representation. I love Jazz. I would have a drink with her and ask her to be my friend. If any more novels featuring her, or really any more by Andy Weir, crop up, it’ll go straight onto my reading list.

Goodreads rating: 3.73 stars
My rating: 5/5 stars

Dumpster Mimicry

I ran across bait this morning.

I ran across bait this morning.

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There are creatures in this world who mimic useful, everyday objects in the hopes that some hapless animal or person will stray too close, or pick it up, and become the mimic’s next meal. I nearly made the mistake of picking up this UPS vest. For what UPS worker would just leave a work uniform hanging on a dumpster? Curious.

It was alluring, attention-grabbing; soft brown and subtle yellow in the dawn light. Out of place enough to pique the interest of human prey. But as I reached for it, I paused. Swallowed the sudden dryness from my mouth as I turned my wide-eyed gaze on the dumpster itself. Only a UPS worker who’d had no choice would leave this behind. Probably one facing the first stages of digestion right now.

When I came back later, intent upon tossing my trash into the dumpster down the alley, I discovered that only my ordinary dumpster remained, UPS vest vanished. The mimic had moved on, it seemed, perhaps having decided that this area wasn’t good pickings after all.

Joshua Edwards: On S.G. Baker

By Joshua Edwards

The first thing one noticed about her was a certain sense of friendly aloofness; she seemed to watch and process the world in a curiously intent manner, spending the spoken word in a rather cautious way that illustrated that mighty currency’s inherent value