Friday, September 28, 2007

Whether You Acknowledge it or Not...

Yes, you take it with you.

Being top of the pile means that whites are peculiarly and uniquely insensitive to race and racism, and the power relations this involves. We are invariably the beneficiaries, never the victims. Even when well-meaning, we remain strangely ignorant. The clout enjoyed by whites does not reside simply in an abstraction - western societies - but in the skin of each and every one of us. Whether we like it or not, in every corner of the planet we enjoy an extraordinary personal power bestowed by our colour. It is something we are largely oblivious of, and consequently take for granted, irrespective of whether we are liberal or reactionary, backpackers, tourists or expatriate businessmen.

I Really Should Get Back to Writing...

Really, really.

I need to find some angst to funnel. I know it's there. I've just been too good at distracting myself to deal with it.

I've got to review my writing schedule for the year, too. Black Desert isn't going to get done all by itself, and right now I open it up every day and it just sits there and stares at me. It's like that world is a thousand miles and three lifetimes away.

Maybe I should distract myself with some other writing project.

I feel sort of adrift, writing-wise, these days. Been that way since mid-August, which may not sound like a long time for some of you, but not writing, for me, is really tough. I'm usually a much saner, clear-headed person when the words come.

Joanna, Fire

And of course, her name is Joanna....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Classic Cards to Know and Love

More here.

Grow Island

I'm getting better. I beat this one in, like, an hour.

And, By the Way...

The podiatrist cleared me for kickboxing.

I can start up again next week!

All Quiet on the Western Front

Things here have been all quiet on the western front, mainly because I've been out and about a whole lot. I knew there had been some sort of odd turn when I realized that I hadn't read my LJ list in several days and didn't particularly miss it. I finally understood that what keeps me spending loads of time on the internet is, often, lonliness.

And I've been desperately lonely for a long time.

David and I bowed out of our year-long distance relationship a couple weeks before I went to Switzerland, and even so, we spent a grand time together there as friends. Though the ending of the relationship wasn't my first choice, I respect and understand his decision. I think you can build a mutually fulfilling relationship over distance, but both people have to want to do that, and have to want to work at it, and the passion for doing that was, alas, one-sided.

So it goes. Nobody you can blame for that.

So you get up. You rebuild.

And in this case, what that means is that I've been out a lot doing this bizarre "dating" thing that, apparently, the majority of people do in this country.

"Dating"... ha ha.

When was the last time I actually fucking "dated"? I mean, really?

You know, I'm so bad at "dating." If somebody makes it past three dates, it's either cause I'm serious or... well, OK, really, it's only cause I'm serious. Or bizarrely attracted to them even though I know we're not good for each other.

I'd like to say that it concerns me that I don't "get to know" more people, but you know, I get to know a lot of people everyday - at work, on line, at cons - I figure those are as much casual dating experiences as actual dating, only without the uncomfortable "interview-like" atmosphere of a first date, which I appreciate (there is nothing, NOTHING worse than one of those first-date "interviews"). I think my preference is always to be friends first. Then there's less pressure, and you're already familiar with some of the more standard quirks by the time you end up making out.

Anyhow, lovely as it's been to get around Dayton and actually eat out and see shows, I've come to realize that DATING IS REALLY EXPENSIVE.

Sure, splitting most expenses while traveling to see your SO is also pretty fucking expensive four times a year, but going out three times a week? Pretty fucking expensive. Expensive: all the time.



Hanging with somebody and laughing ridiculously all the time?

Having somebody around who holds your hand?

Engaging in Shakespearean-like insult wars?

But anyway, dating = good but expensive.

Also, dating = less writing time.

But that's OK, because the dating is distracting me from the cold hard fact that my book's on the examining table in two particular places right now, and it's something I have no interest in dwelling on. Or thinking about. Or, in fact, writing about.

So I'm going to eat some Chipotle, read some books, and go be silly somewhere.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Group Conformity

One of my fav social experiments:

Asch conformity experiments

Demonstrating the power of one person speaking up and making a fuss. Groups need the impulsive individuals to keep them honest. This is why I speak up and talk back.

If you don't, it's very possible that no one else will.

If you do speak, it's very likely somebody else will stand up, too.

Sometimes you have to have courage because others don't.

Stephen Colbert vs Steve Carell

The hits.


Um, I mean... REALLY??? WTF?

One of the toughest things to find when you're going to an SF/F art show looking for art that features tough female heroines is finding tough female heroines who are actually wearing clothes and looking like physcially tough female heroines. You know, the sorts of heroines whose outfits don't make you burst out laughing.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mixing In

My nephew practices his super ninja camouflage skills.

Friday, September 21, 2007


It takes so little to delight me...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

September Simmer

The good news about getting a writing job is that 1) it's a writing job! 2) it pays me more than 20K a year!

The bad news is, all that extra moolah needs to start getting funneled back into stuff that I couldn't afford to do back in March.

This month I'll go back to paying two regular student loan payments that I deferred back when I was unemployed, and starting October 1st, I'll be paying a "token" rent payment of $250 to my far more fiscally responsible roommates (this basically just covers my share of expenses and maybe some book money for them).

To be honest, being able to pay *all* of my bills *and* make a token rent payment again pleases me to no end. There's nothing I hate more than feeling like I'm not pulling my share. I want to be the strong, fiscally responsible one - letting other people take care of me when I'm down is one of the most frustrating, aggravating things about being sick and unemployed. Yeah, yeah, I realize people are supposed to take care of each other when they're down, and there's the karma thing, and when I'm successful, I'll take care of others, but it doesn't make accepting kindness any fucking easier.

I'm glad to be in the place I am right now, but fuck did I have to burn through a lot of scary shit to get here.

Have I mentioned how much the last year has SUCKED??

But there's a lot of light out here on the other side.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Visions of Tinkerbell

More here. But, predictably, this is as butch as they get...

Workaday Morning

First impressions and assumptions (from here):

The family picture is on his desk
Ah, a solid, responsible man

The family picture is on her desk
Um, her family will come before her career

His desk is cluttered
He's obviously a hard worker and a busy man

Her desk is cluttered
She's obviously a disorganised scatterbrain

He is talking with his co-workers
He must be discussing the latest deal

She is talking to her co-workers
She must be gossiping

Read the rest here

Still Funny

Oh so funny.

Boy, I'm easy.

The Dresden Files

Why do they cancel good shows?

No, seriously, why? What's the politics of this?

Let's take a show about a perpetually single guy wizard and his ghost-in-the-skull assistant who gets to help out these distressed-but-oh-so-not-weak, usually very kewl, romantically inclined female characters, throw in a tough female police lieutenant who he can work with and have lots of sexual tension with, and then....

Cancel it.

Let's do that, because, you know, too many good characters here, too many roles for Women Who Don't Completely Suck (no, it doesn't bother me that they're often hot on the geeky male lead - that's the genre. If it was a woman wizard [omg the kewlness!] I'd expect the same sort of men [and possibly ladies!] being romantically inclined toward her thing), too much fun and world building.

I mean, for fuck's sake, Buffy got seven seasons.

Granted, OK, I've only see the first disc of shows. But COME ON people.

This is why I don't fucking watch TV, because people keep canceling Firefly, Carnivale, and shows like The Dresden Files.


The politics of these decisions are just baffling.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Hot damn.

Today's Song, Stuck on Repeat

Melissa Ferrick - "Every Three Words"

I can only hear
Every three words
So make 'em count
Cause I'm out here
Barely hanging on

There's no else I'd
Wait around this long for
Take this much no for
Makes me wonder what we're in for

So would you give me some hope
Ya give me a reason
To keep on trying
Come on buy me flowers
Smile me that smile
Cause I just need a little something from you
For the rest of my life

And I'm sure that I've got some kind of
Motive here and when I figure it out
I'll fill you in
But every body knows
That I'm a sucker for a hard sell
Ya look at me dancing
All the way into your slaughter house
Look at me dancing for you

So would you give me some hope
Give me a reason
To keep on trying
Come on buy me flowers
Smile me that smile
Cause I just need a little something

All I need is one crack of light
To see where the entrance is
Come on open the door baby
And let's expose the answers
Yes as to why we have been through
All we've been

So would you give me some hope
Ya give me a reason
To keep on trying
Buy me flowers
Smile me that beautiful smile
Cause I just need a little something from you
For the rest of my life
For the rest of my life

Why Do I Find This Shit So Funny?

Monday, September 17, 2007



Seriously, people. SERIOUSLY.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
~ Samuel Beckett

The Family: Here, There and Elsewhere

Back in Washington, my nephew decides to borrow my mom's glasses and do a little light reading....

And my little brother, now in his MIB program at Portland State, teaches my nephew how to look stylish.

Here in Ohio, Ian and Steph acquire another four-footed friend for Casa de Dayton - Kimmy Lou.

Getting the girls ready to go out...

Kimmy Lou takes it easy...

The Brave One

Jodie Foster's boyfriend, Naveen Andrews (mmm Naveen Andrews... ah, sorry), gets beaten up and killed. Foster, sick of living in fear, buys a gun. And you know all those people who harass you on the street? The guys who bully and threaten?

Yeah, she goes out and starts picking them off....

And it's called The Brave One.

There are some delicious moments in here, of course, like when the guys on the subway bring out a knife and start threatening her with it, and she calmly pulls out her gun and blows their brains out. It had about the same appeal for me as that chick in The 300 gutting the guy who fucked her and then sold her out.

Problem is, you know, these are delicious movie moments, not ways to solve real problems, and certainly not any way to fill up the hole left in your heart when you lose someone you love, nor any way to assuage the fear you have after being menaced and/or attacked.

I had a lot of trouble with the obviousness of the plotting - Foster's character actively wants to get caught, and does everything in her power to get caught. There are some great things they *tried* to do, like her pseudo-romance/attraction to the guy who's investigating her case, but there were too many neat and tidy coincidences and run-ins and she was just so blatantly obvious in her murders, she wanted to get caught so badly, that even my thinly held suspension of disbelief began to flag.

I thought Foster was a great fit for this role; it reminded me a bit of her role in Silence of the Lambs - the fact that she's such a small, seemingly physically weak woman who's got this incredible sense of inner strength, of power, really works well here. You can see, physically, why she's intimidated, and you can see on her face, inside, there, where all the power is when she blows your fucking head off.

But at the end of the day, the movie avoids dealing with the really tough issues that it brings up. It doesn't deal with how you actually do overcome grief, doesn't fully explore that incredible danger we all court when we try and become strong and brutal in order to combat those things we fear (it's ever so easy to become the exact same thing you hate), and it doesn't adequately explore how you go on after losing everything, how you remake yourself, whether or not you can come back from becoming a monster; how you atone.

Mostly, it just sort of ends, and all of those cheesy coincidences and convienent plot clashes were a little too annoying.

But damn, it was satisfying to watch a woman being bullied fight back.

Indeed, if nothing else, this movie was a sort of good example of *why* violence doesn't solve or address anything, it merely opens up more holes (we should have seen more about how the loss of those people she killed tore up holes in others). It's not an adequate solution, and one that only belongs in the movies, but I don't mind getting that satisfying substitute on the screen so I can remind myself why, in fact, it doesn't work that way, and why I have to work so hard to find other solutions to fear, to intimidation.

There are better solutions.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pirate vs. Ninja


For serious.

(thanks, Travis)


.... but I must admit, functioning on less than four hours of sleep never felt so fucking good.

Should Diabetes Be Considered a Disability?

Interesting discussion......

On the one hand, I'm dependent on something grown in a lab in order to survive, but if insulin grew on trees and you could eat it like food (cause we're all dependent on food), would I be considered able-bodied?

I don't know, cause it takes blood sugar testing too - it takes an external device, external means that can't be grown on tress, in order for me to stay alive.

On the other hand, there are definately some days where the joke about me being one of the "special" people with a "condition" hits a little close to home, like when you have 10 units of insulin left for the last 10 hours of an international plane flight....

Believe me, you start feeling real "special"....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Switzerland: Full of Cheese

I am back in the country (though stuck in Philadelphia), and finding it strange that I can now, once again, order a coke using fewer than three languages....

Saturday, September 08, 2007



“Why does anybody tell a story?” Ms. L’Engle once asked, even though she knew the answer.

“It does indeed have something to do with faith,” she said, “faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”

Read the rest here.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Blogging Break

I'll be radio silent for the next couple of weeks. Have some wounds to lick, some traveling to do, some books to write, and all that jazz.

Really, you know: par for the course.

See you in a couple weeks.

Be excellent to each other.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

How I Play the Game of Thrones

Your Score: House Lannister

72% Dominant, 36% Extroverted, 72% Trustworthy

Confident. Dangerous. Unrelentingly sexy. The master of all you survey, you are of House Lannister.

You are a dominant personality—and how! When someone asks “and who are you, the proud lord said, that I should bow so low?” your response is probably, “FUCK YOU! I’m a fucking LANNISTER, that’s who the HELL I am!” And then you’d pimp-slap them with your golden hand. All joking aside, you view leadership as your natural, god-given right; it is a trait, just like your golden curling hair and irresistible sex appeal. It’s who you are—a Lannister.

You are introverted, meaning that you prefer to keep your ambitions and devices to yourself. Unfortunately, your personality is so vivacious that (despite all your intended secrecies) you are still a very obvious person. Though no one knows what avenues you will travel, your destination is clear to all. And of course, yours is a road to greatness! You have a magnetic, polarizing personality: people either love you or hate you. They also probably find you exceedingly intimidating. Their fear is probably well-placed.

Finally, you are trustworthy. Does this surprise you? Remember your unofficial motto: “A Lannister always pays his debts.” Though you enjoy keeping secrets and playing games, everyone knows you are a major player. Underhanded tactics are so expected from you that they don’t particularly count as untrustworthyness—it’s more of a family legacy than a choice. Your promise is as good as the gold that you shit.

Representative characters include: Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, and Tywin Lannister

Similar Houses: Greyjoy, Stark, and Targaryen

Opposite House: Tyrell

When playing the game of thrones, you play it balls to the wall.

Link: The Song of Ice and Fire House Test written by Geeky_Stripper on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Quote of the Month

"The grand essentials in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." -Addison