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Organizing is one thing. The local science march keeps posting images from other marches saying things like “This isn’t the tone we want for our march, but I thought you guys would get a laugh.” There was a discussion (I didn’t see it, but apparently someone discussed it) about how “we shouldn’t express negativity” because “we won’t be taken seriously.” Oh really? Says who? Where’s your proof, science nerd?

Because when the Tea Partiers and churches spouted anger, YOU didn’t take them seriously? Because when Trump would say shit like “I could murder someone and still get elected”, you thought that that was ridiculous? Yeah. And the only thing all that anger got them? THE WHOLE DAMN COUNTRY.

I have every right to be angry at the people who are destroying my country. I feel fully justified in expressing rage at the dismantling of laws, rights, and entire departments, of incompetent people buying their way into the cabinet, at the absolutely TERRIFYING thought of an executive order banning anyone from reviewing the President’s executive orders for constitutionality.

I once dated someone who, when I got mad, would say “I’m not listening to you until you stop yelling.” He was far and away more concerned about controlling my tone rather than acknowledging that I was really, really upset with him. I won’t stick around for that in a relationship – ANY relationship, even one amongst volunteers.

Do not go gentle into that good night, America.
Rage against hate.
Rage against incompetence.
Rage against greed.
Rage against hypocrisy.
It’s still a free country, for now.

If you’re not comfortable with anger, then by all means, don’t react with anger. What works for me may not work for you. But don’t tell me that I’m protesting “wrong”. Liberals tearing at each other over minute is how we got here in the first place. People didn’t LIKE Hillary Clinton, so Hillary supporters hid in secret Facebook groups where they wouldn’t have to get yelled at for it. Meanwhile, people I’ve been friends with for decades were literally screaming at me for not being in love with Sanders. And just look at what that got us all … well, not the whole damn country, that’s for sure.

MY social media icons declared “I’m with Her”. If I’m going to stand up, I’m not going to be quiet about it. I’m not going to limit my stance to “pro-science”, because that’s like being “pro-breathing” – if you’re against it, you’re a dumbass.

And I’m going to tell them so.

Whether you other marchers like it or not.

 

 

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I know, it’s a hard job. There’s so much pressure, deadlines, producers; there used to be a whole summer rerun season to work on the next one and now who knows what the hell goes on. Well, maybe they do, that would make sense, but that doesn’t make it easier.

I know a lot of book authors, and they struggle with just slipping into tropes. There’s even less time to struggle with TV deadlines.

At one  point, The Mindy Project was one of my favorite shows. I was really pissed about what they did with the character of Danny when the show was still on network TV. They turned him from a doctor who happens to be a Catholic mama’s boy into a weird obsessive freak who would go so far as to manipulate Mindy and her surroundings to get her pregnant again right away without her consent. Against her expressed statement that she didn’t want to. Then the show got cancelled, to the surprise of no one watching.

Fortunately it got saved by Hulu, where the writers decided there was no saving Danny, and they split up. They fixed Jodie from a Southern stereotype into someone who is, in fact, rich & white & slightly racist, but wears regular clothes and fits in more with the really real world.

But while Doctor Mindy Leheri got back on track doing her job and looking much better, the new writing team has a constant need to get people together and break them up right away. Not learning her lesson about dating at work she nearly hooks up with Jodi while almost getting back together with Danny who’s marrying someone else. OK, whatever; annoying to me, but maybe other people find it hilarious. That’s not what bothers me.

They just broke her up with her latest boyfriend. No surprise, she was horrible to him the whole time. But you know, there were signs, if he’d paid attention.

On her doorstep one night in the beginning, he told her he knew that she was attracted to him, and her reaction was “What, no, gross”. Which he takes as a sign to kiss her, because nothing is sexier than ‘no’? I guess? But even more distressingly, she liked it.

So they start dating. She’s snobby about the fact that he lives in New Jersey, but he shamed her into being OK with it, and she was OK with that. Then in this last episode, he realizes that every time she introduces him, she can’t admit that he’s a nurse. They get into a discussion about how she’s always trying to change him, and he decides “…maybe *you’re* not good enough for *me*!”

Hmmm. Maybe next time someone responds to you with “eeewww, gross”, maybe walk away and wait for someone who DOESN’T react with disgust.

(quick hint for everyone out there – if you’re the type of person who always says the opposite of what you mean, you suck, and you shouldn’t act all butthurt when people walk away. And trust me, it’s not just women who do it.)

So far, it’s likely I’ll keep watching. They changed the new lady doc’s ‘thing’ from “tells it like it really is” to “has the affect of a robot and doesn’t particularly care if you like it”, which I don’t hate.

Another show that I kept watching was The Goldbergs, even through three seasons of teen stalking. Of course in a sitcom the popular teen girls have weird nerdy guys who have super-strong crushes on them. Nothing wrong with a crush. But one of them is the older Goldberg brother who has a crush on his sister’s hot friend, so I guess we’re supposed to WANT him to be happy. I didn’t hate the writing so much as I hate the fact that people get encouraged by TV and movies to continue their own bad hopeless behavior (I still hate Jerry McGuire to this day).

Of course he gets the girl. At least they didn’t make him immediately popular and hanging with the cool kids & stuff. He was still a weird unpopular dork, but with a hot girlfriend.

IMMEDIATELY after that, they start escalating the brother’s friend’s crush on the Goldberg sister with the hot friend. “Oh no”, I think. I was SO relieved when he started dating someone else, but it was spoiled by the sister first deciding that she really did like him all along. When she rushes to him and sees him with his new girl, I could just hear the cries of the unrequited the world over; “SEE? If only he’d waited A LITTLE LONGER, he’d have had his dream girl! I can’t give up now!”

So, of course, she spends most of a season stalking him and trying to break them up. He eventually sits her down and explains that it’s just not going to happen. Because, apparently, it only works for boys.

After that, the focus went back on the family, and we got to see more of the parent’s relationship as well. I adored the scene of the dad standing on the dance floor while his wife twirls around him. So cute. And yes, that counts in the really real world, I’d be totally happy if I could get a guy to go dancing; knowing how isn’t a requirement.

Some people seem to think that complaining about stuff like this is “political correctness” or whatever nonsense they’re complaining about now. But really, it’s common damn courtesy. If someone only likes you as a friend, that’s not being put in some weird other realm or zone, it’s just how they feel. That’s all.

The media reflects us, but the media can influence us if they want. So here’s what I personally think we should strive for, and maybe it will trickle into our art.

First – stop expecting people  to read your damn mind. Don’t answer the question “What did I do?” with “If you don’t know….” Because obviously they don’t, and you’re just being a dick. Stop thinking that your partner is going to automagically know that your stony silences mean “why don’t you ever ask me what *I* want to watch?” Or whatever it is. The fact that you don’t want to speak up is a separate issue from the fact that they can’t read your mind. Learn to communicate. And not from your friends, they’re probably doing the same thing.

Second, which is sort of in the same vein – say what you mean. Don’t say “I don’t care; whatever you want”, and then get mad if they choose something you don’t like. Don’t say “It’s fine” if it’s not. Don’t “play hard to get” — if you reject someone, don’t get mad if they stay gone and don’t chase you. They’re respecting your wishes and your boundaries. Dating shouldn’t be a game of manipulation, it should be two people getting to know each other.

Third – stop trying to avoid conflict. Some people justify “little white lies” far more than most … they can’t deal with people being mad at them, or maybe not liking them anymore, or when they cry. They’ll say anything to avoid that, thinking that they’re being “nice”. That’s why straight women never say “I’m just looking for a nice guy” anymore, they say they’re looking for a GOOD guy. Someone who will tell them how they feel, even if they don’t like it.

“Ghosting” is taking that to an extreme, but you know what it’s better than? Staying in a relationship you don’t want to be in, just because you don’t want to be the one to break up. These people usually start being more & more of an asshole, trying to get the other person to break up. And yes, I speak from experience, and I am really, really, really bad at taking hints. If you’re upset, I want to fix it for you. As much as I hate ghosting, if that’s what you want, at least you’ve removed yourself from my life and I don’t have to deal with your shit.

Fourth – learn to deal with unrequited feelings. Yes, something else I know from experiencing it. I’m currently experiencing it. And you know what? It’s not his problem. It’s 100% mine. Sometimes the stars don’t align. It’s OK to listen to songs that say “Why don’t you see that the perfect one is right in front of you?” because oh, why can’t they? But they can’t help *not* being attracted to you any more than you can help your feelings for them. That’s OK. That’s normal. And like the guy in The Goldbergs, when someone comes along that *does* feel the same way, you grab them because that’s so much better than someone you have to convince that you’re awesome. I know that for a fact as well, because this isn’t my first go-round. Yes, it doesn’t just happen to the young people. Sorry to be the bearer of that bad news, lol.

Five – stop thinking other people’s wishes should always be worth more than yours. This is hard for some people, but if you think you’re worthless, then why wouldn’t everyone else? The type of person who likes their partner to be a doormat and to always give in isn’t the type of person that’s good for you.

Finally – stop giving bad advice. It’s normal to ask your friends “How do I know when to kiss her?”, but your friends aren’t as good at it as they’re trying to pretend they are. There’s this myth that talking about romance kills it. But it doesn’t! Really! Say you’re at the end of a date, and you’re looking for a “sign” that she wants you to kiss her. Pro tip – most people are just standing there waiting to see what you’re going to do, not signalling. Most of us straight girls never get the memo that we’re SUPPOSED to be sending out signals!

So, just say “I really want to kiss you right now.” Lean in to do so. Does she move out of the way? Then she’s not into it, or you. Say goodnight. It’s OK, sometimes the stars just don’t align, there’s no spark, whatever the hell attraction is. No one knows, the only way to find it is trial and error. The less time you waste trying to “convince” someone you’re date material, or trying to “convert” someone you’re pretending to be friends with, the more time you’re out looking for that person who thinks you’re great just the way you are. I’ve seen a LOT of dorky, awkward people at conventions meet significant others, so I think there really is someone out there for everyone.

Back to the kiss – you’ve told them you want to and lean in … and so do they. Hooray, goodnight kiss! Wrap your arms around them! What you do next is up to your comfort level & theirs, but keep telling them what you want, and you just may get it. Or maybe a “not so soon”. But you can feel good because you don’t have to wonder what’s up, you know for a fact.

*****

So, why is this so important to me that I’d sit down and write a novel about it? Five decades of fending off guys who think that “I have a boyfriend” means “I do actually want it, I just have to put up a token resistance”. That was a big myth back then; that women really wanted sex, but weren’t “allowed” to say so; they had to pretend to fight you. How did you know that they wanted it? They’d signal!

One of the scariest days of my life was finding out about all these signals. My boyfriend was mad at me for “flirting”, and I didn’t know what the hell he meant. Apparently, in his social circle, if you were twirling your hair with your finger, that meant “I want sex”. Not “I’m trying to be cute so you ask me out”, like I always thought. Also, wearing ankle bracelets for some reason. There was this whole LIST of perfectly normal actions that men interpreted as “I want sex”.

Why is that terrifying? Because of the “If she changes her mind, it’s ok to do it anyway, because she’s being a tease.”

That’s right. If you’re twirling your hair, and you start making out, and then he starts taking off your clothes and you object, it’s OK to force himself on you because you’re being a tease. No man that does it considers that to be rape. That’s what they mean by “20 minutes of action”.

These are the possibilities that (mostly) women face when sizing up a potential date. Not respecting your wishes about your meal choices doesn’t bode well for respecting your wishes on more important matters. Men who have never physically overpowered a woman don’t seem to realize just how easy it is for them. Women who have never been overpowered feel the same way. Judges tell you to “just keep your knees together” because it’s always the victim’s fault for not stopping it. I watched a cop laugh at a male friend who’s wife beat the crap out of him with a baseball bat, waiting until he fell asleep on the couch, and hitting him in the face first. Even at 6′ 5″, that’s not really something that you can defend against; you’re in intense, horrid pain before you’re even awake. But it was still his fault, because he was so much bigger than she was.

If someone stops returning your calls or texts, you may have crossed one of their “I don’t think I can trust this person” boundaries. And yes, straight women, men have boundaries as well. Finding out what it was will NOT help you on your next date, because everyone is different. Very, very different. I have to refrain from punching people in the throat that tell me “Good girl!” like I was a dog, but yet I don’t care about being called “sweetheart”. People are weird, man, and you can’t take it personally – that’s right, I just said not to take having your person rejected personally. You can do it. It takes practice, like everything else. Stop texting them and start looking around you for someone else.

I was working the polls this election, and was telling some voter that I remember “growing up in the Mad Men era”. The young ladies I was working with didn’t know the show, so I explained to them that when I started working, it was “normal” for  a boss to pat the women at work on the rear while saying “good job!” If you made a fuss about it, you were a bitch, or were asked if you were on your period, or just fired because you’re not a “team player” or whatever. The look of horror on their faces reminded me that this was no longer considered normal, so things really do get better.

As for dating, I felt unlovable because no one ever asked me out. Well, no one my own age, older men weren’t shy about coming on to me, even at 14. Later on I’d run into people who I went to school with, and they’d say “I had such a crush on you!” This was supposed to be a compliment, but I was pissed off. Most of them were guys I’d have said “yes” to. Sure, I was built like a Barbie doll, but I wasn’t one of the popular kids at all. By that time I’d already latched on to the first guy who made me feel wanted, who actually asked me out; no surprise that he turned out to be an emotionally abusive, manipulative, gaslighting jerk that it took me nearly a decade to escape.

Some guys never ask girls out, saying “I just figure they know that I want them, and that they’ll come up to me”. Um. Most women, most people, even really hot ones, don’t go around just assuming that everyone wants them. Some women will try asking a guy out, but after a couple of times of being told that they don’t like “aggressive” women, the women give up. I have several women friends who have just stopped dating completely because it’s just too damn tiring.

Too long? Didn’t read? Too bad!

Ha, kidding. To sum up … don’t be a dick. Speak up for what you want, pay attention to what other people say they want, realize that what you want may not line up with what other people want, and know that that’s OK, even though it sucks. You can’t stop sometimes being sad, or angry, or frustrated, but there’s always a way to get your point across without being hateful or spiteful. Always. Find it. Leave the room for a while if you need some time. If you can afford a therapist, vent to them, that’s what they’re there for. You can’t control anyone else’s actions or attitudes, but you can damn well control your own, and that will make your own life better.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of the articles posted to social media come with “rape trigger” warnings. There is a reason. For decades, just the word “rape” would see me leave conversations, rooms, parties, movies – quietly. I didn’t make a huge fuss. If someone made a rape joke that was making fun of the victim, I’d point out that that wasn’t funny before leaving as I was sneered at and told to lighten up. I left an entire set of friends after finding out that the ones I was hanging out with didn’t believe it was a “real” rape, and was speculating that it was just someone I fucked, and then told my boyfriend it was rape just in case he found out later. Jeff wouldn’t specify which people said it, so I stopped talking to everyone, and never discussed what happened to me with anyone new I met.

I didn’t go see Jodie Foster in “The Accused” when it came out. For the first time, though, people were debating the “she was asking for it” concept. I still wouldn’t talk about it, though. When told by other women that I ‘had to’, I’d say “No, I don’t. I was a statistic, I did my part.” I didn’t go into the emotional pain and torment that people put me through AFTER the rape, because it still hurt too much.

Thirty years later, society hasn’t evolved on the subject at all. Last year I decided I had to live the concept of “the only thing evil needs to thrive is for good people to stay silent.” After all, how many other women can say that they’ve had their weapon removed from their purse by their rapist and been told “Well, that didn’t do you much good, did it?”

That doesn’t mean that having the discussion doesn’t bother me. It still hurts. I’m still angry. I’m still scared. My feelings are still hurt. The subject still makes me cry. Seeing victims shamed/blamed makes me feel it all over again.

I got angry over pretty much nothing at work yesterday and nearly quit. I’m supposed to be answering convention emails today and sewing a costume for my son. I’ve done nothing but play stupid flash games where the hardest thing I have to worry about is whether I have enough wood to build a bridge yet. I keep going back to news and social media to read like a suicidal moth.

I’m trying to eat healthy, but decided to treat myself to more Coke Zero and some brown sugar/cinnamon Pop-Tarts. On the way to the store, I was explaining to my son why I was upset. He deals with Asberger’s & ADHD, so even at 23 he still doesn’t really care about what’s happening outside of the gaming industry & Deviant Art. So I started with Steubenville, how the coaches “handled it”, how the victim is receiving death threats. I was heartened by the “what the fuck is wrong with people” look in his eyes. I let him know that it had happened to me, and what my friends said, and how people’s reactions on the news & social sites are making me sad & angry. How saying “women should carry handguns for protection” is basically saying “there is no way to stop men from raping or to get people to not give a shit if people are being raped, so if you don’t want to be called a whore, carry a weapon to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.”

The conversation ended with a hypothetical scenario where I walk into a public building with an AK, spraying bullets everywhere and yelling “YOU WANT WOMEN TO CARRY GUNS? THERE! NOW YOU NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING PROVOKED EVER AGAIN!” I was joking … but I did sort of feel better afterward, lol.

Seriously, though, I don’t think me being armed at all times is a very good idea.

 

Strawberry Salsa

Made it into a pic so I could Pinterest it & junk.

Also – yummy, make it!

Strawberry Salsa

Just lately I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. I’ve been doing it since grade school … stories, song lyrics, INTENSELY bad poetry. In the intervening years I’ve continued to write, to enter the occasional contest and even submit a few stories. However, I never really sat down to DO it. Not on purpose. Life kept “getting in the way”.

A few things led to this blog. While going through an old box throwing stuff out, I found the rejection letter from Algis Budrys. He was in the process of moving his magazine “Tomorrow” online (this was the late 90’s) and wasn’t buying much, but he also let me know that he thought it wasn’t right for his readership, although he thought the story was “consistent, and often clever”. Consistent! From an editor! I was thrilled – I was expecting not only rejection, but form letters. Typing out a short personal critique meant a lot to me.

That story was written while sitting around in the airport. At the time I was shining shoes, and the morning shift was VERY busy. We got a new owner of the stands, and she wanted to try a night shift. This was risky, since we paid a lease on the stand for the night & got to keep the rest. Still, I was curious, so I signed up. It wasn’t nearly as busy, and I had a lot of time between flights to think. My mind wandered … from some of my favorite music, to what I thought of the man who makes that music, to fantasies about if we met … and then “What if” scenarios, where suddenly I was thinking “she” instead of “me”. Just like that, I was heading down to the gift shop for a notebook and pen (90’s, remember?)

At home, though, there are too many things to do – social media, movies to stream, books to read, stuff to knit & crochet. I know I can shut myself in my room & write… when John Scalzi decides to have a writing contest for charity and I see it the day of the midnight deadline, I can whip out my Lester Dent outline and SHAZAM YA’LL, story!

I write the reason most people do – I LOVE love love to read, and reading so many awesome stories sometimes makes you want to tell stories of your own. No matter how you feel about fan fiction, it does point out that people do love to tell stories. I had gotten serious enough at one point to take a writing workshop with David “The Trouble With Tribbles” Gerrold at a convention with my then-writing partner & still most excellent friend Lindsey. Also raising an autistic son & dealing with cancer & other stuff. Excuses, lol!

This post was inspired, though, by a far more recent submission, my love of “Harry Potter”, other people’s love of “kids”/YA books like The “Hunger Games” and “Twilight”, and the author blogs I read.

When something’s popular, and people admire it, they either consciously or not will be influenced by that. Originally, most science fiction was very action-oriented, whether it was aimed at adults or kids. It was generally the classic Hero’s Journey – you knew the good guy would eventually prevail, but the finding out how he’d get out of THAT mess never got old. There were always exceptions – Ray Bradbury’s stories were more fantasy than hard SF, but no one cared, because they were so good. “Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed” was a huge emotional punch to the gut for me at age 15, and I get a tingle just thinking about it now. I also read a lot of Harlan Ellison, who doesn’t write the most cheery stuff, either. This was almost a decade after the cancellation of “Star Trek”, however, and ‘space operas’ were still the big thing – as evidenced by a tiny movie that hit theaters without much fanfare called “Star Wars”.

There was a lot of talk about that movie being based on the type of stories intended for kids, probably because the third working draft of the script was called “Adventures of Luke Starkiller, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars.” Really, though, that’s just how Lucas writes, like a big kid. There’s nothing wrong with fun kid-like adventures; where he gets a lot of shit is the boring dialog and lack of physics fact-checking.

As the 60’s & 70’s wound down, people were less optimistic about the future. Punk rockers were mad at their hippie parents for letting the Summer of Love devolve into swinging and cocaine parties, disillusioned Baby Boomers were too busy “finding themselves” to participate in society like people used to, and SF dove head-first into dystopia.

This might have continued to be just one style of many in SF if not for the amazing “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. It was SO influential that when you read it now, certain words/phrases pop out at you – loud, wordless music called ‘dub’, a slim plastic stick of software that you jam into a jack in your head called a “microsoft”. I only read it myself a few years ago. There was still an amazing number of books by authors I currently loved to try new ones, and SF authors such as Piers Anthony & Alan Dean Foster had discovered fantasy settings and were pumping them out, and I needed them all! (Sometimes amazing artwork would lure me in, like “The Sword of Shannara”.) Fantasy is almost 100% ‘good vs evil’, and I like that.

Suddenly, happy endings were not cool, although I don’t find “Neuromancer” really not-happy at the end. It’s like the movie “Fitzcaraldo” – you can either focus on how he failed to get the boat upstream, or you can rejoice at the fact that he was successful at bringing opera to his jungle village, which is why he was messing around with the boat in the first place.

This led to a lot of other amazing novels. There was a split between “hard SF” which was more science/spaceship oriented and the new, more philosophical, “what’s wrong with society” novels. Those split off into cyberpunk, steampunk, dieselpunk – but all the adults were reading some sort of punk, space operas were ‘old school’. Still being written and enjoyed, but not as much.

My writing so far has not been happy, either. I wasn’t happy when I wrote it, and my “love stories” always end badly. 20 years later my story written at the airport has the heroine all alone, but realizing it was all her own damn fault, too late. In another 10 years, I submitted a very short story to “Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine”. Girl finds man w/supernatural things about him in the woods, falls in love, ends badly.

The rejection letter was extremely short as well. I meant to keep it, but I’ve misplaced it, along with the hard copies of the stories themselves (I also can’t find them in my computer backup drives; I’m currently scouring old backup CDs). Basically, I was told that when I get older and have more life experience, my writing would mature as well. I was in my 40’s at the time, so I chose to find it amusing rather than annoying. After all, she didn’t say the writing was BAD, just immature. At this point my friends had talked me into reading the “Harry Potter” series, which I loooove (in spite of huge & annoying plot holes), and they were immersed in other YA books as well as re-reading classics like “The Chronicles of Narnia”.

Why? For myself, I’m tired of sad. Real life sucks ass, I want the good guys to kick the bad guys ass (physically or intellectually), and for the main characters to hook up, or at least find love somewhere. I’m tired of my entertainment ending badly.

My good guys epiphany happen after watching Robin Williams in “One Hour Photo”. It was a very well-done movie, but I HATED everyone in it by the end, and by extension the movie itself. Watching the DVD extras, the writer or director or someone said “we were making a more European film, where there are no good guys and bad guys; everyone has a little good & bad in them.” Which is true in Real Life, but do I want to sit there and watch that? Hell, even in the Lifetime “women in jeopardy” movies, they always get out of it and get justice/revenge/whatever at the end. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series is pretty much 95% revenge.

The new “Star Trek” movies are less depressing Borg and more explosions, humor and ass-kicking. The new Marvel superhero movies are about people with real flaws (even addictions) still getting up and kicking ass when need be. I find the relationships in “Twilight” abusive and disturbing, but if you like Bella, you’re glad that she found her true love & family (I guess, I haven’t seen/read it, although I have many intelligent, reasonable women friends who adore it). YA novels are not all simplistic – kids like surprises, too. I was reading a comedy article a few days ago that mentioned the HP character Snape “… who if you’ve never read the books or watched the movies assume he’s the villain.” The discussions on the message boards on that was epic, and there were many of us at conventions with little green & silver “Trust Snape” ribbons, lol.

So what makes writing “immature”? “The Hunger Games” is fairly dystopian & violent. Simple plots and characters? “Harry Potter” was rejected 13 times for being to complicated for children’s little brains to handle. Lack of romance? “Twilight”. Child protagonists? Usually – although “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card features children almost exclusively, and isn’t considered a kid’s book. John Scalzi (my favorite author blog, obviously) writes about “adopting the ‘juvy’ format” for his “Old Man’s War” in his “Lessons From Heinlein” essay/blog post, linked to from his current post, which is the 10 yr anniversary of that book being sold.

I think it’s a more willing suspension of disbelief. While reading “Holes” to a boyfriend’s kids over a few nights, I was thinking to myself “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read in my life.” Living for months at a time on nothing but onions? But kids don’t care. They’re too busy feeling sorry for the poor dude having to be in that situation. During my discussions of “Harry Potter”, every time someone would bring up an annoying plot hole (like the entire premise of “Goblet of Fire”), it would be quashed with “Well, it’s intended for children, so you just have to overlook it.” But — this is where the problems happen. Poor JK Rowling then decides to write a book “for adults”, and it’s ripped to shreds (I still haven’t had the heart to read it yet). It’s now being judged by adult standards, which are harsh.

Since my writing seems juvenile, I’ve decided that that’s the market I will submit to. There are enough adults out there now who have loved at least one YA series that they would be willing to pick it up if their friends recommend it. YA novels can make the best-seller’s list. Fan fiction can be published with the names changed and be a big hit. I don’t think labels really matter that much any more, and yet you still see comments online about people who read kid’s books or watch cartoons – as if they’re mentally challenged, immature emotionally or burgeoning pedophiles. I think that’s what bothers me, the “what’s so wrong with adults liking spunky kid wizards?” question.

I’m in a more “give zero fucks” part of my life than I used to be, but during quiet times, I still have questions and fantasies rattling around in my brain. Now, they’ll be spilling out onto here. You’re welcome.

 

 

Today is not that day.

Have you ever sat through a movie you’re not enjoying just to figure out exactly WHY? Almost done with “Pineapple Express” right now. I never really knew what the plot was, but I did hear people saying it was funny. I love Seth Rogan & ESPECIALLY James Franco. The whole movie is filled with actors I’ve fallen in love with in TV shows. Hell, it starts out with James Remar & Bill Hader, you don’t get better beginnings than that. Still, I’m not amused.

Is it because I don’t find stoners funny? While this is true in real life, there are movies that I like, such as “Harold and Kumar”, which I adore. Is it the creepy ‘grown man dating a high school chick’? No, that’s not it. I mean yes it’s creepy, but the main character is breaking so many other laws that it’s hard to pick the one that’s the most illegal. Her parents willing to sit down to dinner with him creeps me out more.

The movie is 3/4s of the way through before I figure it out. It’s the whole “Comedy of Errors” thing. Where the whole story is based on a series of misunderstandings that never would have happened if people would just fucking listen and/or not jump to conclusions. My dislike of this story device goes all the way back to the original “Comedy of Errors” play by Shakespeare. Admittedly when I read it the first time, I was very young & likely didn’t get a lot of it. Plus, it wasn’t really written to be read like a book. I just sat there being sad for the characters “Oh, poor little dudes!” Later, in college, I’d go to see the play, and I did find parts of it funny.

That’s also the difference in what sitcoms I like & don’t like. Now, it’s a common device, but in your series, is it EVERY DAMN EPISODE? If you’re “Three’s Company”, the answer is yes (it’s true, I’m old). It’s popular to dislike “Friends” at this point, but I’m not embarassed to say that I enjoyed stupid stuff like debates on which celebrity you’d let your significant other sleep with, and what happens when they walk in to the establishment. “You’re going to let him go over there?” “Let him? I’m just sorry I don’t have popcorn.” Also, Smelly Cat.

And that’s all I really have against this movie. There’s a lot of unrealistic stuff happening here at the end, but it’s a stupid comedy, not a documentary. Just because I’m not laughing, doesn’t mean I think the writing is bad, it’s just not my taste. I can see why people would like it. I am happy, though, that FX is making it up to me now by showing “Tropic Thunder”.

 

This is a test … also, if anyone knows how to get Hootsuite to show my G+ profile instead of just my business page, that would be AWESOME.

AVENGERS!

So awesome. My thoughts (very minor spoilers)

1) Proof that Joss Whedon is a genius: I didn’t hate Gwenyth Paltrow for the first time ever. Potts & Stark have actual chemistry for the first time in 3 movies.

2)Mark Ruffalo – best Dr Banner? I vote yes. I looooves me some Bill Bixby, but he’ll always be Mr. Eddie’s Father to me. And while the actors in the Hulk TV show were excellent, the show itself isn’t all that good.

3) It’s cute how often they get Scarlett Johanssen’s ass into the shot. It IS a great view, but it does get funny after a while.

4) Why do I always find the bad guy sexy? What the hell is wrong with me? Oh well, RDJr is there to distract me back to the light (sort of) side.

5) Black Widow’s first fight is in a cocktail dress, but SHE FIGHTS SANS HEELS! You see her picking them up again as she walks out. Oh Joss Whedon, you really do listen…

6) I want chicken shawarma now. That after-credits scene is cute, but if you have to pee really bad, it’s not THAT cute.

7) I like how they make battle look dirty, brutal, hard … not “glorious” at all. I do like stupid explody popcorn action flicks, but Avengers is a movie that wanted to be taken seriously, and that’s a good start, especially for a superhero flick.

8) I never subscribed to any Avengers comic titles, but I did get Hawkeye’s solo books. He was always my favorite. Before the movie came out I saw a lot of people post wondering how they were going to handle making a “wimpy” char like Hawkeye not lame. I was never worried. I was glad to see the stupid purple suit gone, though.

9) I cannot put into words how much I love Banner’s how-I-stay-not-green tactic. “You see, the trick is … I’m always angry.” Martial arts-like, instead of fighting against the anger, trying to stop it like a dam, he lets it flow. Sometimes, it gets too strong and sweeps him away, like in the plane. Other times, he can direct it, like in the final battle. Good advice for all of us that have a slight temper.

I should probably watch “Captain America” and “Thor” at some point. I have, of course, seen the two “Iron Man” movies. You’re not lost if you haven’t seen any of them, but they did reference a couple of things that I’m curious about now.

But, yeah. Two thumbs up.

Hi. Yeah. Never start a blog saying “I’m going on a diet” or something hard, because if you fail, you just never come back, rather than admit it to everyone.

I’ve been trying to fix superficial health issues, because it’s the only thing I can control right now. I can eat a healthy diet. When I can afford it, or talk the roommate into buying it, since he as pretty severe health issues as well.

My financial situation has not recovered as quickly as it usually does. Yes, my life has it’s tragic periods, everyone’s does, but then you pick yourself up and move on, right?

Of course, I know it’s the economy, and so many people are suffering. I’m lucky, because I have a friend who will let my son & I live in his house. But it is other things, too. I’m almost 50, with tons of experience in the clerical and customer service field. Which disqualifies me from entry-level jobs; how could I possibly be happy with a low-level job and pay? It’s assumed I’ll get bored and leave as soon as I find “something better”.

Listings for jobs that REQUIRE experience are getting really, really specific. You have to have years of experience in a narrow field, a BS or BA in a degree that didn’t exist when I was last in school, like “Administrative Assistant”. With my old student loans falling into default last month, I can’t even get grants to go back to school.

Because of my health, I can’t do warehouse work anymore, either. I can’t stand all day. I can lift boxes, but it wears me out, and I don’t last in jobs where it’s up to me to put away the paper order in the copy room. I can’t work evening or night shifts.

I am trying to sell my skills. I went back to doing tarot readings on a psychic phone line. I have an Etsy store with stuff for sale. I’m doing alterations for friends. I’ve run out of supplies to make things to sell, though, which is why I keep signing up with temp agencies.

I wasn’t doing too bad at the beginning of the year. I had a temp job at NAU that the dude at the agency told me could turn permanent. Well, it turns out that NAU *never* told the guy that – plus quite a few other things that she DID tell him that he apparently forgot. I had turned down a tax-season job at Jackson-Hewitt for that one, so I was pissed off.

I didn’t think that was a big deal, though. I had my tax return, so I could survive until the next temp job. That company had kept me pretty busy.

Then, my mom got ill. That doesn’t happen very often, and it was pretty damn serious. I told my sister “keep me posted”, ’til my brother said on FaceBook that he was scared. THAT doesn’t happen often either – at least admitting it out loud. I hadn’t seen my family in years (they all moved, one by one, up to Washington State), and I couldn’t risk not being there if my mom died. I hit the road, feeling that I had plenty for gas.

Which I would have, if I didn’t have to stop so much. Fibromyalgia includes chronic fatigue, which is exascerbated by emotional stress as well as physical. I was driving, getting texts from my mom & sister, keeping me up on “ok, surgery scheduled for tomorrow”, “ok, maybe she doesn’t need surgery”, “oh man, the pleurisy is around my heart as well as my lungs” – so I had to stop for the night three times on the way up, instead of just one.

You know what happens when your exhaustion gets extreme? You get stupid. Leaving your wallet in a rest stop in Oregon stupid. So, in order to just get there, let alone get home, I had to have my son use HIS bank card, using all the money that he had saved up to get a Nintendo 3DS. So, not only am I stressed about family and money, I now feel guilty about THAT. I figured I could pay him back when I got home; in my brain fog I wasn’t really aware of what I had spent, and I had spent nearly my entire tax return check.

Some good things did happen. My mom didn’t need surgery, and was sent home. Someone turned in my wallet, and the Oregon State Police mailed it back to my house – which was a different address than is on my driver’s license. My sister was in Phoenix last week for a friend’s graduation, and came by with a 3DS for Vincent that my family had chipped in to get for him. I still cry when I think about it – I’ll never be able to express what that meant to me.

So I try to be grateful. It’s hard, when you can do two temp jobs with Yelp, get an interview with them for that job, and STILL not get it. I’m thinking of quitting my dance classes because it’s too hard to scrape up the gas money to get there each week. I spend the days on my computer, logged into the tarot line so I can tell myself I’m “doing something”, then stare at the computer, not doing laundry, cleaning, or anything else, trying not to think about … stuff.

But I guess staying positive helps – right in the middle of the last paragraph, I get an email from AppleOne about a temp job that I had expressed interest in a few days ago, and never heard back about. The message was, “The client wants you to start on the 15th, are you still interested?” Unprofessionally, I replied “OH HOLY HECK, YES I AM!” It was Tara who emailed me, though, and I’ve been working with her clients quite a bit, so she knows me.

They must be a big client (it’s for Best Western), because the branch manager just called to make sure I could troubleshoot, and can work in multiple windows, research, and paste into spreadsheets. It’s for a month – but that will help a LOT! Ten days until I start – but the tarot line pays weekly, so I’ll make it, and now I’m not paralyzed with sadness. I may celebrate by ignoring the laundry for one more day, though…

 

 

A Better Day

Getting stuff accomplished … but still not the stuff I intended to get done. No new hair clippies, but I have a potential voice-over gig, potential new boy dance partner, and maybe finally getting some pics taken of the clothes I’ve been making. It’s hard to take those yourself, lol. Especially my ‘pinup’ dress; as I was writing this, I received my application to be a model for Vintage Vixens of Arizona! I had some truly awesome swimsuit pics taken a few months ago … maybe someday I’ll even get copies of them, heh.

Woke up with the beginning of a headache, but I’m carrying my bottle of Ascriptin around the house with me, so I staved it off. Used it again after taking an afternoon nap … maybe it’s trying to sleep that’s bad for me! If there was a way to function without it, I would have found out YEARS ago. Seriously, I have stuff to do.

I need to get started on my fundraising for buying the former Paper Heart building before someone else does. Yes, it’s been sitting there for years already, but all my life whenever I have an idea, I’ll see it out somewhere within the next year. Thomas Edison beleived that all of our thoughts went out into “the ether” … apparently, mine are easy to pick up! So, yeah, need to get crackin’ on that fundraising.

Well, off to try that elusive “sleep” thing again. Wish me luck!

 

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