[sticky entry] Sticky: Sticky Post is Sticky

May. 18th, 2011 02:58 pm
wednes: (Wednes Blue)
I am Wednesday Lee Friday, writer of fact and fiction.

I have digital, paperback, and audiobooks you should feel free to acquire in your usual manner of getting new stuff. The links to your left will take you to various places where you can find out more about me or my work, and check out my archive of TV reviews, sex articles, and whatever else I'm up to. You can also ask. I'm really into that sort of thing.


A Stabbing for Sadie
is back!
from Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital.
Available at Amazon, Smashwords,
iBooks/iTunes, B&N, and more.


Also from Crossroad Press:
The Finster Effect
Kiss Me Like You Love Me 2nd ed.
DRM-free epub and audiobook editions available now.



This is my official blog, maintained by me. I've been blogging in it for over 10 years now, first at Livejournal, then here at DW. In this blog you will find swears, adult content, occasional pics or vids with nudies, bloody killings, mental-health talk, or just plain disturbing shit. I talk about my personal life, on the off chance that you've an interest in that sort of thing. There are tons of reviews on movies and TV, and my reactions to all of LOST and Harry Potter as I experienced them. Check out the tags if you want to skip stuff that's boring to you.

I'm also the editor-in-chief of the kickass horror website: The Horror Within. We specialize in horror fiction, reviews, features, art, and whatever else we think horror fans will dig. We welcome your horror reprints, original art, and feature pitches. We'd love to hype your new novel with a sample chapter and interview, or to tell the world about your horror project. Hit us up!

Here's the time Wolfman Mac and Boney Bob talked about my first book on their show: )
wednes: (Diamonds)
As any regular reader knows, we're not wealthy people. That doesn't stop me though, from engaging in an occasional indulgence. There's a company called Florence Scovel that advertises like crazy on Facebook. I confess, I find many of their shiny baubles appealing. Turns out, there were some things I didn't know about them.

For one thing, they totally co-opted Project Semicolon by selling pieces featuring the logo and semicolon--but without giving credit, or a share, to the late founder Amy Bleuel (who passed a few weeks ago). I didn't discover that until I researched them their following the shady way they ripped me off.

A little over a month ago, I ordered a cheap ring that looked sort of like my engagement ring. No big whoop, right? Just a little splurge. A few days after placing the order, I got a notice that my order had shipped. Awesome, right?



A few days later, the package had not moved. I waited 2 weeks, receiving nothing. Then this:

 photo Florence Scovel2_zpsjsgdqoua.png

That indicated to me that the package should have arrived by then. But it hadn't. Not really feeling that ring anymore, I asked for a refund.
 photo Florence Scovel3_zpsk81grcbx.png

Sometimes I do get the buyer's remorse over splurges. Anywhoo...this is how they answered:
 photo Florence Scovel4_zpsxh55skpp.png

This means that even though Florence Scovel sent me a SHIPPING CONFIRMATION (you know, the thing that confirms shipment of your item), they hadn't ever shipped it. It was all a lie. Well, charging my card was real, but the item? Not so much. Yet, they were cool asking me to review an item they know damn well they never sent. And before anyone asks-- I spent 5 years working for a mail order company. So I'm not blind to the inner workings of such things.
BTW, the "end of next week" they refer to is the end of last week. No item, no ship confirmation, no nothing except another request for me to review the item I never got.

Irate, I responded that since they never sent me the item, they should have no problem giving me my money back. Again, it's not as if I spent thousands of dollars. With shipping, it was just over $20. It's the principle. And offering me 20% off my next order to make up for some shit that never arrived? Seriously? I began to wonder if Florence Scovel was pranking me. But they're not that funny.

 photo Florence Scovel5_zpsvgvgh4fo.png

In the end, they've told me that they'll refund me so long as I sent back the item I never received--the one they never actually shipped. Today is April 25th, and I never got a shipping confirmation (not that I'd have believed it) for the supposed back-order shipment. So they're just keeping my money and not giving a rat's ass.

So...all of you in Facebook land who sees constant ads for the pretties and shinies at Florence Scovel? Don't do it. You'd be better off throwing that money into the sewer. At least then you wouldn't have to wait a month to be sure you'd been ripped off.

Medicine

Apr. 19th, 2017 10:31 pm
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
I'm taking a new medicine (no, it's not insulin) that comes in a pen. I give myself a shot in the stomach every morning, which isn't remotely as bone-chillingly horrible as it sounds. With these pens, you screw them into the pen and give the shot. Then you throw the needle part away and use a fresh one the next day.

After 2 weeks, I needed more "pen needles." I can't seem to get them. My pharmacy doesn't appear to have them, so my doc called them in to a medical supplier. They called me today to say that while they do have what I need, they can't take my insurance.

I said "Can I just get a week's worth and pay for it without the insurance? I just used my last one." The lady paused. I heard typing, and she came back with "No." I wasn't sure I heard her correctly. She repeated, "No, they're prohibitively expensive." And she said this to me AFTER reading that I have an Ann Arbor mailing address. This place is a shithole, but many people assume we have money because we have an Ann Arbor address.

Long story short, nobody seems able to help me get them.
Desperate, I look them up online so I can at least find out how much I need to scrape together to get them.

Come to find out, Amazon has a box of 100 for under $15.
What the hell?!?

I'm pondering this, because it happened the same week I got CPAP supplies from the local medical equipment supplier--MedEquip Ann Arbor, if you're wondering. The charge for one "gel mask with headgear" is $149. But I was charged an additional $50 (billing only, it said) for headgear. But guess what? I only got one headgear. I called the place, and they assured me several times that even thought it SAYS the $150 price covers headgear, they actually have to charge me an extra $50 for reasons they can't explain.

Guess what? Amazon sells the gel masks for $70 (without headgear) and $20 for the headgear. So they're charging more than twice what another retailer is for the same exact products. Same brands, models, everything.
When I asked about this, they explained that part of what I was paying for was "the convenience" of having them bill my insurance--which doesn't cover these full amounts. But it WOULD cover everything if they weren't overcharging me out the ass.

I'm not sure what I want to do about that. Can I bill my insurance for reimbursement for stuff I bought on Amazon? How does that even work?
It seems like this kind of fuckery is just another thing making health care shitty in America. If we had single payer, companies that overcharge by this much would never get a government contract and would have to either charge fairly or GTFO.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
Heated discussions with outspoken feminists often make me more angry and frustrated than trying to talk sense into DJT apologists. Maybe it's because I expect more from those who claim to be "woke." Maybe it's because I presume that "being reasonable" means thinking pretty much like I do.

A blogger I enjoy posted on Facebook comparing Bill Cosby's treatment in re: his many rapes, with Bill O'Reilly and his allegations of sexual harassment. Their claim was that these two men were being treated differently from each other, and that the explanation for this was, of course, racism.

I don't mind saying that this seems like bullshit to me. No, I'm not denying that racism is alive and well, or that it often finds its way into the legal system. Of course it does. That's not why this claim doesn't work for me.

Point 1: Cosby drugged and raped at least 40 women while O'Reilly is accused of sexual harassment. If there are allegations of inappropriate touching or anything physical, I am not aware of them.
When commenters brought this up, we were told that these distinctions don't matter.
Um, what? Of course it matters. It matters in terms of criminal law, and it matters in the event of civil lawsuits. What a person does absolutely matters.
Example: Murdering your spouse is well, murder. Beating your spouse, while completely fucked, is not murder. So if two people do these things, one is a murderer and one isn't. Ergo, them not being charged with the same crime has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that they committed different crimes.

Point 2: No one has been charged with anything, meaning nothing has been adjudicated. How can one make a claim that one person is being punished more severely than the other when neither has been punished by the law?
Yes, Cosby has been formally charged. Again, he raped a bunch of people. Depending on the state, O'Reilly's harassment may or may not result in criminal charges. But we do know that he paid women off to avoid civil lawsuits.

Point 3: Much has been made of the unofficial punishments for these men. Public shaming, reruns taken out of syndication, unfavorable press and memes, etc. These men are no doubt experiencing different reactions from their fan bases. But does anyone really think that's solely because of race?
Do we think Bill O'Reilly's audience is made up of radical feminists who will ride him out of town on a rail for being shitty to women? No. it's made up of men who probably think if women don't want to hear him masturbating on the phone, they shouldn't wear skirts or high heels to work. O'Reilly has always been an arrogant blowhard who appeals to wannabe arrogant blowhards.
Meanwhile, Cosby has always presented himself as a kind of moral arbiter, as far back as the Fat Albert show. When you spend decades pretending to be a model husband, father, industry professional, and community leader, you have much farther (further?) to fall. Again, this is not racism. It's the difference between a fan base of crotchety old men versus sitcom-loving American families.

Ascribing motives to strangers is always tricky territory. But what really chaps my ass is this idea that dissenting comments should be deleted. Thinking that rape and harassment are different doesn't make me "part of the problem," nor does it mean I'm trivializing sexual assault. Bullshit accusations like that are why some people think they dislike feminists and feminism.

On my own page, I invite discussion from pretty much anyone. If someone proves that they're unable to discern facts from fevered dreams, persist in name calling or verbal abuse after being warned, or are spouting racist, sexist, or delusional nonsense, they get banned. It's pretty rare. I never delete comments though, because people should own the shit they say online. Taking it down gives them a free pass to pretend it never happened. Plus, I'm not afraid of words, ideas, thoughts, or language even when I strongly disagree with them. I don't mind saying that cowardly bullshit like that pisses me off. Shutting down conversations is the thing that keeps us from connecting with each other and finding common ground.
Obviously, people can run their own pages how they like. But I don't think I'll ever understand the concept of posting something (ie: inviting discussion) and then deleting every comment you don't agree with. That's just preening and posturing. It's not interacting with your readership, and it's certainly no way to consider things in a new way.

In a sense, this exchange illustrates why I didn't call myself a feminist for a long time. I equated feminism with people bitching about comedians not being sensitive enough, or pretending that their offense means every joke they don't like can never be told again. Like deleting comments, saying people shouldn't joke about things is saying "I refuse to have my opinions challenged." Or more confrontationally put, "I'm too afraid to consider that I might not be 100% right on this issue." That's nothing to feel proud or smug about.

In other news, my time at Livejournal is done. They won't allow cross posting since I don't agree to their TOS, and I don't.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
As many of you know, I've been blogging at Livejournal since 2002. When they sold their site to Russians who gave far less control over content, I started blogging at Dreamwidth and cross posting to LJ instead. I've always continued to read at both places, and to make sure my own posts make it there.

I have a pet conspiracy theory about Russia and our internet. It's one that seems increasingly true the more things happen in the world with President Cyka.  It seems super obvious to me that this Syria bombing is 100% fuckery to make us stop questioning DJT's many Russian connections.  And just like every time he gives a speech where he doesn't manage to sound like a sundowning mental patient...the media can't shut up about how "presidential" he's being.  STOP BEING FOOLED.

Even if he was being super Presidential, bombing some random base and killing civilians isn't going to make Assad suddenly be cooler to his own people.  Maybe if we were going to kill Assad or swoop in and take his Sarin and shit, that might make sense.  But we're not doing that.  We're shooting missiles that are killing civilians--in order to demonstrate how fucking awful it is to kill civilians.  And before anyone gives me that shit about how war has casualties, I'll remind you all that once again, we have not declared war.  As usual, we just started shooting shit up and daring the rest of the world to either join in or stop us.  And because most of the rest of the world aren't the buttinski's that we are, they don't.

Anyway...
I went over to Livejournal today to take down my account.  See, any digital info that's stored outside the US can legally be given to the CIA without any sort of authorization. So when I got a notice saying that there's a new TOS, I did not agree.  They also have a policy against "political solicitation."  I'm not 100% on what political solicitation involves, but I'm reasonably sure that I engage in it.  Even if I didn't, I'd prefer to have at least the semblance of privacy as I cling to the idea that no government agency is interested in what I'm getting up to online.  

My plan was absolutely to take my entire account down.  But in order to do that, I have to agree to the new TOS.  I do not agree, and I'm not about to say that I do.  If I agree, doesn't that mean they can keep a copy of all my old blogs?  But if I don't do anything, they already have my old blogs.  Presuming a reality where I've said things that would make Putin mad (like say, I do not like POTUS45 and think he's a lying cyka), I'd just as soon live in a world where that doesn't put me in danger.  I order a lot of delivery food, so poisoning me would be pretty easy.

And you know that guy loves to poison people.

For now, I'm not doing anything and will try to continue crossposting there.  Not sure if they'll let me though.  When I said "not now" to the new TOS, the only choice they gave me was "Log Out."  Pretty scary what happens inside of just a few years, right?  
wednes: (Stephen King)
I'm going to preface this by saying that of course people have different tastes in movies and books. While I do sometimes feel judgy toward people that defend literary or live-action garbage, I recognize that this is a shitty trait I should continue trying to shake. People are allowed to like whatever the hell they want. That's not the point I'm making here. With that out of the way...

What do horror writers and fans think they're accomplishing by talking shit about Stephen King? What is achieved by insulting the work that inspired so many people to pursue the genre, and writing in general? Even if you weren't personally influenced by King, someone you were influenced by was.
Do you think you're being edgy or outside-the-box by pretending that Carrie isn't a good novel? Or that you felt nothing when reading Pet Sematary? Or that The Shining didn't scare you ever, at any point? I'm not saying people are wrong for not having King on their top-ten lists or whatever. But this bland "I don't see what the big deal is about Stephen King" bullshit has to stop. When you say that, you're revealing your own ignorance far more than you're making a statement about King and his work. Besides, it's not possible to dislike everything he's written--unless you haven't read enough.

Until Daniel Craig happened, I did not give half a rat's ass about James Bond. He's basically what a 12-year-old boy thinks it's like to be a spy. I've not read the books, but the movies are silly and campy and don't seem to realize that they are. But I understand that it's a wildly popular series and that people have strong love feelings for it. I can also tell the difference between something being objectively bad, or simply not being to my taste. Bond films are simply not what I'm looking for in a film.

Stephen King is like The Beatles. You can't possibly dislike all of it. There's too damn much. And it's all so different. I Wanna Hold Your Hand and The White Album are worlds apart. Come to think of it, I haven't even read all of King. I haven't touched any of the Dark Tower stuff (no pinkie wags please), and never got around to the JFK thing. The point is that there's so much King work, much of which is not even horror. Don't believe me, read Eyes of the Dragon to your (older than toddler) kids.

King's work isn't perfect. I'm not here to say that it is. He's got that "magical negro" problem. Most of his sex scenes are basically the same. He's got a clear bias against fat people. One could argue that he has a definite formula, but must also admit that he changed it up after a time. His wife characters are often interchangeable.

Admittedly, I'm one of those people who came to love and understand horror because of Stephen King. I was a kid when Salem's Lot and The Shining and Carrie came out. One might argue that 9 was too young to read such things. But fuck that. Letting me read whatever the hell I wanted is one of a very small number of things my mother got totally right. We also watched almost whatever we wanted, horror wise. That's how I got to see Alien and Fulci's Zombi at the drive-in. But I digress.

Rage. I get why he wants it out of print, because actual school shooters had actual copies nearby when they actually killed people. But dammit. If we're really gonna ban every book people use to excuse horrible deeds, the Christian Bible should be ripped off shelves tomorrow. If I was ever gonna direct a short based on a King story, Rage would definitely be the one. And yes, I know it's technically a Bachman.

Those early collections of King's shorts are practically a class in how to tell stories. How to reveal information to the reader for the most impact. How to let readers identify with someone in a very short amount of time. When to use 1st person POV versus 3rd. Stuff like Strawberry Spring and I Know What You Need and The Man Who Loved Flowers inspired me in ways I didn't even notice until I started publishing my own horror stories.
They don't call him the Master of Horror solely because he sells a lot of books. There's more to it than that. Read Danse Macabre, or On Writing (easily the best book ever on the craft, regardless of your genre) and then tell me he hasn't earned his place in both horror history and literary history in general. How can you know anything about horror at all and not know that?!?

Ya wanna fight about it?
Let's Get It On.
wednes: (Inception)
Yeah, it's the same depression and doubt that happens all the time.
I'd been sleeping too much and tired all the time, even waking up often in the middle of the night. That hasn't happened much since I started using a CPAP. Turns out, my sinuses were stuffy and it was impeding my breathing. Since I still have decent health insurance, I got my nasal spray refilled and that's going well.

Speaking of insurance, if the ACA repeal goes through, I'll be fucked. Like a lot of you, it took me years of trial and error (in which I destroyed relationships, jobs, my own credibility, pursuing career goals, etc etc) to find a med combination that worked without debilitating side effects.
If the repeal goes into effect, no insurance company will be required to cover prescription drugs. Also, no mental health care so even if talk therapy was enough without meds (it isn't), I wouldn't even be able to see anyone for less than $200 an hour. My meds are not generic, so those would be at least $350 a month for one, and $750 a month for the other. That's not counting anything I take for blood pressure, which is some. A few of those are generic, which means I probably could afford enough to not die. But since I'll be making the lives of everyone around me miserable--that's not exactly a blessing.

Funny, since every time someone wants to talk about gun violence, the GOP explains that the "real" problem is inadequate mental health care. Their solution is to take away mental health care--not just for the 24 million people who will lose health care, but for the roughly 2/3 of us not rich enough to afford comprehensive plans and the giant deductibles they'll carry.

So yeah, that's gonna suck.
On the plus side, I might be heading toward a manic binge. Yeah, that sucks for my happiness and well being and all. But I'm getting actual fiction writing done. The screenplay is slowly happening, and short fictions are happening even faster.
I was able to put together a new collection bag for my Arizer today. Most of you probably don't know what that is or why it's awesome. But I assure you, it's a wee accomplishment that gives me a slight sense of pride.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
It's no secret that I take issue with some of the messages in Disney movies. I hate how 90% of the time, everyone looks exactly like what they are. Heroes are attractive, villains are ugly (exception for Snow White's Evil Queen), fat people are jolly, women have crazy-long hair. And until recently, with minimal exception, the girl stories end with a wedding, while the boy stories end with a coronation. Okay, not Pinochio, and not Jungle Book. But come on.

So...Beauty and the Beast is being retold, and parents and chicks are going goo-goo for it.

I don't mind telling you that I have never understood the appeal of this story.
An old man steals a rose from a giant, wealthy-looking estate. He gives it to his daughter. We find out that the estate is owned by a beast. Literally, a hairy cloven-hooved person with a foul temperament and a distaste for all people.
What's his problem? Well, one night an old lady came to him for help. He refused to help her. So she cursed him with ugliness.
Later, the girl stays with the beast, and they end up falling in love. That somehow breaks the spell and the beast turns into a hero--by which I mean he becomes handsome.

Really? I mean...REALLY?

Sometimes Beast breaks the spell by finding it in his heart to love a beautiful young woman who is also the sweetest, kindest person who ever lived. Sounds like she wouldn't be particularly difficult to love, right?
Sometimes the amazing part is that the woman falls in love with beast. Because what woman could possibly love an ugly person with a foul temper (insert Melania Drumpf joke here)?

So at best, this is a story about a dickish man who was mean to an old lady, but learned to be kind to a hot young girl.
At worst, it's a story about an abusive relationship where the woman gradually accepts that this is probably the best she'll do. Or maybe it's a story about how loving an awful man long enough will change him into someone better.
Do women really need the message that if you stay with a mean, abusive man long enough, he'll eventually become the person you want him to be? Are you fucking kidding me? Is Disney kidding all of us?

Seriously...until Twilight (which is similar, thematically) this was the worst story ever in terms of the lessons it teaches young women. I mean, Cinderella is pretty bad. And most Disney women do sit around waiting for someone to rescue them (until very recently). But this one seems far worse than even the usual Disney fare.

Am I missing something? What is it about this story that people respond to?
Is it the music? The talking clock?
Why does anyone like this? Why would anyone let their kid near it?
I'd really like to know.
wednes: (Kittens)
For those of you who have never visited my home, I have a tiny desk on wheels on one side of my living room. H has the whole office to himself, and I work near the TV so I can do reviews and stuff. JoJo loves climbing all over the desk almost as much as he loves jumping off of it. But see, it's a cheap piece of crap. I've already bought it twice because the first one had a part snap off after 3 years. This one is about to bite the dust too, and I don't know what to do about it. Spending $70 on a new one would suck. But I can't keep Jojo away from it, so soon I won't have a choice. I'd rather spend twice that on one that won't need replacing in a few years.

I'm totally open to suggestions for any other movable desk that has a pull-out keyboard tray, and at least one shelf that won't be taken up by the monitor. This is what I'm using now.

Little help?
wednes: (Irate typist)
I'm not sure what triggered me to be so irritated by an known writer's claim that "as a writer, words are my life."

Granted, answering every question or prefacing every statement with "As a writer, I..." is already pretentious AF unless you're doing a signing, workshop, or other event designed to showcase you as a writer. Hint: that probably doesn't include the entire internet. The entire internet doesn't revolve around any one person. If it did, it would probably be a porn star. Take THAT, Mia Kalifa, you goddess.
But I digress.

Are words really the life of a writer? There are very few professions that let a person get by without using words. Even if you don't work with or for any other people, you still need words. Words are how we say pretty much everything. Everyone uses them, though with varying degrees of style, flair, importance, or effectiveness.

What about words? Surely there's more to writing than words?
Shouldn't stories, or at least ideas be the "life of a writer?" Obviously, it's none of my business how people regard their own craft (if they even call writing a craft--not everyone does). But after hearing someone make that statement, I can't stop thinking about what the "life" of a "writer" actually requires.
wednes: (Sad)
It's been a few days, so I think I'm finally ready to say something about the death of my favorite living actor, Bill Paxton. I'd always been a fan of his from stuff like Weird Science and Aliens which we saw over and over again when it came out--I was a junior in high school. Plus I remembered him from The Lords of Discipline. I thought he was so versatile and funny and amazing. He was credited as "Wild" Bill Paxton, which I thought was super awesome.
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I didn't realize he was the guy from the Fish Heads video until much later. But I had always loved that vid. He directed it too, which seems insane until you remember that he started his Hollywood career in the art department on Roger Corman movies. I know, right?


I won't do a whole thing about his career, because most of you know all about it. You know about the amazing sci-fi horror trifecta. You know at least a dozen of his movies and at least that many of his famous lines. Maybe you didn't know that he played a Nazi in a Pat Benetar video (that also features Judge Reinhold as a good guy).

Shadows Of The Night - Pat Benatar by KamdenMason

I have to mention Frailty though, because finding out Bill could make a horror movie that blew my mind--I'm sure you can imagine how that made me feel. It was like his artistic spirit came into my TV (I couldn't afford to see it in the theatre) and hugged me. My favorite thing in any horror movie is when I honestly don't see it coming...
 photo frailty-angel_zps88jzt9di.jpg

...(and it makes sense), and with Frailty, I didn't. So bold, brave, intense for a first time feature director. Paxton said that he always wanted to direct a classic. As a horror fan, I have to say that he did.
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When I woke up Sunday morning and checked my communique, I got seven texts and two Emails letting me know that Bill Paxton had died. Still, I spent a few seconds frantically wondering who could have organized such an unfunny prank on me. He has a new show--it JUST STARTED. He looked totally healthy in it. Bill Paxton smoked cigs for a long time, and he probably drank some. But he wasn't some kind of self-abuser. I couldn't believe it. I burst into tears so hard that I scared H, who thought a friend or a family member must have died. I couldn't even speak. I just handed him my iPod touch and he looked at it, then at me, and said "Oh no...honey, I'm sorry."
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People called him an "everyman," which I suppose is true to a point. No matter what kind of character he played, you kind of felt like you could see a little of yourself in him. He helped us identify with his characters, even if they were totally shitty. I mean, what kind of idiot takes on a Predator with a handgun, I ask you? Paxton wasn't just a horror guy, but he obviously was a fan. He wasn't just a smartass, or a jokester, or a family movie guy--he was all of that and more. He was tons of things most of us will never know about. And everybody loved him. Everybody who knew him.

Bill Paxton took shit seriously--the art, the work in general, his family, his fans. He was a good sport and an awesome person. Generous with fellow actors and good to his crew. Nobody spoke ill of him. Even when he found out his ancestors owned slaves, he handled it with grace and without bullshit. I adored him. I really did. Like, it's probably a good thing I didn't rescue him if he crashed his plymouth in a snowstorm. Because I was his Number One Fan. I also should have been one of his wives on Big Love, because seriously.
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Because I have a rich inner fantasy life, I always imagined that someday I'd meet Bill Paxton. I'd tell him how much I liked Frailty, and he would be impressed with my passion for, and knowledge of film. I imagine most of us want to think our heroes would like us, and this was especially true in this case. Plus, he was so damn handsome.

Goodbye, Sir. I'm sorry I'll never meet you.
I thank you for a lifetime of work that will stay with us forever.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
I've spoken before in this blog about the importance of "fake news" shows like Daily Show and Colbert Report. Nutshelled, it's a way for people to keep up with what's happening in the world without becoming suicidally depressed. TDS and CR always made sure to have accurate facts, and a clear way of explaining why whatever thing was fucked up. Watching regular news can be difficult without the comic relief and camaraderie.

Even though Jon Stewart gave up TDS (he's got a new show coming to HBO), we've somehow ended up with more shows in a similar vein. John Oliver is killing it on his show, and Sam Bee is doing likewise on hers. Wilmore took a softer and more focused stance on issues--and he ended up getting canceled. Colbert is on CBS now, and has only recently resumed his snarkery. His new show was pretty corporate for a while there.

H wonders why I watch shows that talk about politics all the time. They make me angry, and make me want to talk about the issues with him--which is isn't really a fan of. As far as he's concerned, if he can't do anything to fix it, discussing it is moot. I understand that point, but I certainly don't share it.

When I hear about all the awful things happening in the world, and see millions of duped idiots falling for nonsense--I get sad, and angry. You know, the way decent people do when the world is being a dick and innocent people are suffering for it. The helplessness we all feel can be crippling at times. Yet we've still got to pick ourselves up, get back to work or life or whatever as if anything we do actually matters. YMMV, obviously.
A good way to alleviate the sadness and anger is to watch even funnier people than I talk about the issues, explain why they're batshit, and basically confirm the stuff I was already thinking. One might call that an echo chamber, but since it's based firmly in reality, I don't mind. I feel better after watching Trevor, or John Oliver, or even Jon Stewart clips online. I have almost no power in the world, so I need to be reminded that far more visible people who are taken far more seriously than I, agree.

Fish Fry

Feb. 23rd, 2017 01:57 am
wednes: (AB/Waffle Man)
After music, architecture, incense, and free wine, the best thing about Catholicism is the Friday night Fish Fry. It was a joyous event back when my family was pretending to be Catholic to get lower rates at St Mary Magdalen school.

These fish frys featured thick cuts of cod filet, deep fried (or deep fried earlier in the day and then baked). They came with, as you'd expect, fries and slaw. It was fantastically delicious.

Most Catholic churches don't do these anymore. If they do, it's only during lent or when people aren't ponying up at the collection plate. So if I want fish fry fish, I have to seek it out at a restaurant. There are a few around here who have pretty good fish & chips, but it's hit or miss since restaurants pop up and disappear on the regular.

What I want to know is--why can't I get fish like this that I can cook at home? Surely these people are getting it from somewhere. But I've never been to a store, even a decent restaurant supply store, where they have these for sale. If I found them, I'd even spring for the good tartar sauce (the kind that only comes in tiny packets now, because Kraft doesn't sell the good tartar sauce to the general public. They won't tell me why). Alas, no dice.

I've decided to pretend that I can't get the fish I want because it's a Catholic conspiracy. Something about saving unborn babies-- maybe the fish is another way of symbolically devouring the flesh and blood of the Christ. Seems like something I should write about...but is there really a fresh angle on that?
wednes: (Zombie Cart)
Like most horror fans, Creepshow has always been high on my list of fave horror movies. I love the cast, the camp, the gruesomeness, and that hilarious dub where it's super obvious that Adrienne Barbeau called Emily Vanderbilt a cunt. Hahahaaha.

H and I watched an awesome documentary about it recently. Apparently, it was on the UK DVD reissue that never actually came to this side of the pond. That's bullshit, BTW. Because then I had to download it on the grey market. Shame on me!

I have always thought of the middle story, Something to Tide You Over as being about revenge zombies. Ted Danson "steals" Leslie Neilson's wife, so he buries them both in the sand up to their necks so they can drown slowly when the tide comes in. It really is masterful suspense and drama. Over-the-top performances make this essentially two-man piece (the chick is mainly a prop) a thrilling watch no matter how many times I see it.

So...In the documentary, Savini refers to these characters as "ghosts." I must say, it never occurred to me to even consider that these might be ghosts. That's probably because Creepshow is Romero and Savini, who are just naturally associated with zombies. Stephen King has done both zombie and ghost stuff (and in-between stuff like 'Salem's Lot, which is technically vampires--but ones that are highly shambly and zombie-like).
It is true that the zombies/ghosts suddenly appear on the other side of rooms, just behind the guy they're tormenting. That can suggest ghosts more than zombies. I had always presumed that revenge zombies are inherently magical, so they could just do stuff like that. Now I wonder if my willing suspension of disbelief is overactive. Probably not though, because watching the Arrowverse is one long exercise in repressing my inner cries of "Shenanigans!"

I ask you, horror fans and cineasts, are they zombies, or are they ghosts?
Do you have an immediate reaction to this that differs from your thoughtful one?
I hate the idea of disagreeing with Savini about his own work (which is funny, considering how often I want to tell Nicotero to go fuck himself), but I'm just not seeing what he's seeing.
What say you?

Argh!

Feb. 5th, 2017 03:54 pm
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
So much annoyance.

Power and internet took turns going out all friggin' weekend. That's dumb, because I certainly don't need help NOT getting any work done. So I'm working today and tomorrow instead of taking some much needed time to work on the outline for my screenplay.

Yeah, I'm taking another stab at this screenplay, this time with a writing partner.

Our door buzzer has been broken for more than a week. Given the impatience of the UPS guy, I've missed a package or two. Just review stuff, but still. A week is a long time for a maintenance request...or was until we lived in this shithole.

Looking at houses bears no fruit. I fear that we'll be trapped here forever.

Somehow, my website/Email domain expired. I thought everything was automatic, but some bullcrap happened and my site was down for almost a week. Lame. Worse, I use that Email for tons of vital work stuff. So it also kept me from getting paid. Imagine my surprise when my bank account was suddenly down to single digits.

All things considered, this is minor shit. Aside from having to pay bank overdraft fees when automatic payments go through, none of this causes more than extreme annoyance.

In other news, droves of politically engaged people are taking long breaks from social media. I understand why that's necessary because this shit is exhausting. But I also think that's what evil people rely on...decent people being too tired and frustrated to keep fighting.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
When they're not talking about the Nazi rally down the street, a lot of people are talking about health care. Health care in America has sucked for a long time, almost got better, but then kinda didn't. Now? It's going to be worse than it's ever been, and for whatever reason, some poor people are happy about it.

I guess if your insurance company decided to raise rates and deductibles, that's bad news for you. But they didn't do that because they couldn't afford to pay for care. They did it so they can still make tremendous profits while providing some people with limited care. The problem isn't how much things cost--it's that HEALTH CARE SHOULD NOT BE RUN FOR A PROFIT. I'm still not clear on how that isn't obvious. Like air and water (yes, we also pay for some of those things), being able to get regular checkups and shots, take the pills you need to stave off disease and whatnot, should not be something every non-rich American has to stress about.

When I was a kid, if someone got bad news from a doctor--their first move was to get A Second Opinion. Because doctor's are people, people who have opinions and who make mistakes. When's the last time you heard about a non-rich person going to talk to a different doctor because they didn't like what the first one had to say? Honestly, I don't think I know anyone who has done this. Sometimes if a mental health doc doesn't work out, people try a different one months or years later when they can. But I don't know anyone with the luxury of shopping around for doctors...and I do know a lot of people who are quite comfortable financially.

But then, rich people have always used doctors differently than the rest of us. Ever see a movie where a woman is crying--usually because something awful has happened? And the men say "She's hysterical. Get her a doctor." I know I've been hysterical a few times in my life. Other times, I've been so angry that I've literally come out swinging. Never, EVER has anyone called a doctor to come to my home and give me a sedative. Again, I don't know anyone this has ever happened to. it's more likely that the person would be loaded into an ambulance and carted away.

On the bright side, we've also done away with the bizarre practice of doctor's not telling women what's wrong with them. There's a story in my family about a mother of young children who's doc discovers that she has cancer. It's fatal, and there isn't much time left. The doctor then discussed his finding with the mother's husband, and the two of them discussed what the mother would be told. Um, WHAT? The story is that the husband respected the mother enough to tell her the truth, which is supposed to be awesome of him. The larger point, obviously, is that it would be monstrous not to tell a mother (or anyone) that they are dying, because of some weird sexist reasons I can't begin to fathom.

Anyway, I predict that medical care is about to reach a Soylent Green-ish lack of access. I think the Supreme Court will hear an overturn of Roe V Wade in the coming months. I'm also pretty sure the minimum wage will be abolished. Once that happens, it could be outright revolution. Walmarts will be burned to the ground--which honestly, would be pretty hilarious.

Low

Jan. 19th, 2017 09:42 pm
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Whelp, it was fun having a president who didn't make me ashamed to be an American. I mean, look at what we've had to deal with just in my lifetime.

Jimmy Carter was awesome, but treated badly due to his "soft" nature. See, when I was a kid, it was Democrats who said we should be a "Christian nation," by which they meant feeding the poor and housing the homeless. Like many things between Republicans and Democrats, this has completely flipped. Now the GOP co-opts religion for their own purposes, but apparently THEIR Jesus has no interest in feeding people or helping them have homes. Now religion means anti-gay legislation and the closing of family planning clinics. Because...god is love?

Then Reagan. Now, I think he was a pretty terrible president, policy-wise. He funded terrorists and talked a lot of smack about the poor and gays. His wife was even worse. But at least Reagan made rich people pay their taxes. Can't get that nowadays. As much as I disliked Reagan, I wasn't humiliated at the idea that he represented my country.

Bush Sr should never have been POTUS in the first place, mainly because he ran the CIA. That's not cool. If you ever work in a big box retailer, they have a particular way the money is sorted at the end of the day. One guy calculates how much money their should be, while someone else counts how much money there is. This is to prevent theft and chicanery. Apparently, the United fucking States of America needed no such safeguards.

Clinton. Awesome guy, down to earth. Solid policies, great economic growth. All he had to do was say "Actually, what I do with my penis is not relevant to how I run the country. Next questions?" But no...he had to do a stupid lying tapdance that eventually made him a laughing stock. That sucked.

Bush 2. Do I even need to explain this one? He and Rick Perry should do a road movie where they blunder their way across the country, occasionally getting schooled by the people they've sought to oppress.

Obama. *sky opens and rainbows so bright they keep us from seeing all the drone strikes, still open Guantanamo, and lack of single payer healthcare* Yaaaay!!! So eloquent, so unwilling to cheat on his wife, so personable...

And now...this.
I still don't get it. I don't care how poor you are, how angry you feel about political-correctness (AKA basic human decency), or how really racist you are. You'd have to be monstrously stupid to think a man like Drumpf is actually interested in helping the poor and middle class. There is no metric by which Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry, Jeff Sessions, or Ben Carson are good choices for goddamn anything. You might as well put Charles Manson in charge of youth outreach, and maybe Yosemite Sam as a liaison to the NRA.

In other news, now might be a good time to buy a set of encyclopedias. People laugh at having a set of books collecting known knowledge of the world. But see, a set of encyclopedias is a snapshot of the world as we know it. It's supposed to lack bias. But if you've ever read an encyclopedia from say, the 60s, some of the biases are much more evident now. The America we enjoy now and the one we'll be left with in 20/20 may be markedly different. Might be nice to have a hard copy to compare and contrast.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
Remember when Archie Bunker and his ilk called hippies "pinkos"? That's because liberal-scum-types were supposedly tinged by the foul redness of communism. Russians used to be the bad guys. Their government restricted information, kept its people in poverty to preserve a ruling class, and generally did all the stuff you read about in Animal Farm. Or Red Dawn

But...now xenophobic Drumpf supporters suddenly think Russia is awesome.
Just what the sam hell crap is up with THAT?!?

Remember when Russians bought Livejournal? It was right after they tricked almost everyone into buying lifetime memberships.

I bet it was to give them a glimpse into American internet culture so they could get clues on how to best manipulate us later on.

Remember that Trololololo guy? Yeah, that was part of it too. Virality gives the Reds a look into our online behavior, so they could see what foolish, skimming share-monkeys we all are. If nothing else, they learned how many people will comment on, or even share articles they haven't even read...because they agree with the (often misleading) headline.

Just sayin'

 photo spongebob_zpse8crdvue.jpg

#Kidding
#NotKidding

Meanwhile, it looks like the Cyka-elect is even more cyka than we realized. The internets are being told by some Brit that the Russians have footage of The Donald having a golden shower party with hookers, arranged for the express purpose of befouling a bed that the Obamas slept in. That's just...proof that even as we thought there was nowhere lower than the underside of rock, rock bottom--Drumpf will go lower than that.
wednes: (Dark Side reflection)
I don't actually have much to say, but feel compelled to post here a few times a month.

Decided not to move my Email to a cheaper server, mainly because I don't know what the hell I'm doing and don't want to risk fucking up my...basically everything because I'm trying to save $60 a year.

It's almost tax time. I always hate tax time, but this year will be even dumber than usual because we got stiffed by a client and had to have a fundraiser to stave off homelessness. I really hate that dude still BTW. While I don't literally hope he dies in a fire, I do smile when I think of him barely escaping an all-consuming fire while losing everything he has. Because fuck him and his lying, ignorant ass.

Work. I have a lot of it. Much of it is not even boring. Some of it, I'm not even behind on. But I'm no closer to having a novel to write than I was at this time last year...or the year before. I have no inspiration, no idea that I feel passionate about. That might mean I'm not really a writer--because wouldn't a REAL writer push through that and create something anyway? Maybe a REAL writer wouldn't blog about nothing while actually giving a fuck what anyone thinks a REAL anything is. Or as Kyle would say: What if I'm not real?

Right now I'm working on a list of made-forTV horror movies for ScreenRant, a 2016 horror TV recap for 411Mania, plus Gotham comes back next week. I've also got some SEO stuff due soon, and a piece about Splooshing for Kinkly. I was able to pay this year's HWA dues, which keeps me looking like a serious professional for the next 12 months.

Also, when I go outside--it's cold. Unpleasantly so.
wednes: (Santa?)
So, we had Xmas. It was also H's birthday on the 20th. This means that at the Webster-Friday abode, there was much materialism, indulgence, and slothery. Why slothery? Because I made a commitment to watch #Arrow in its entirety, and I'm now about half-way through season three. Lots of shenanigans to be called on that show--but it's still a fun watch. Apparently it takes a mere 5 years and a death in your family to become a world-class assassin. Unless you're a girl, or a poor kid, then it takes even less time than that. Some things never change though, by which I mean John Barrowman is hot as fuck, and Ra's Al Ghul can kiss my ass (not literally of course).

Anyway...
For H's birthday, I got him a super cool book about the Whovian universe.
Plus a T-shirt with the Planet Express logo on it.
Plus some high end super spicy corn chips from Paqui. I wanted to get him the One Chip Challenge, but they were out of them for the season.
I made H's favorite cake, which is Frangipan (a buttery white cake made with marzipan). He loves it, but it's expensive and massively unhealthy so he only gets it once a year.

For Christmas, we made our usual holiday lip balms.
Coconut lime, because that's everyone's fave--including mine.
Cherry cordial (which is chocolate, cherry, hazelnut, and almond flavors)
Cinnamon Bun (cinnamon and vanilla). This was a new flavor and I didn't love it. But always nice to have something different. Think I might bring back the chocolate orange next year. That was good stuff.

H and I didn't give many gifts outside the family. We got H's sister a set of knee braces that she wanted, because she's been working super hard to be healthy. She has more discipline than anyone I know, seriously. My brother is getting a batch of Aztec brownies, because he loves them.

H's stocking was filled with a 2-pack of Reece's cups that weighs a pound. Yes, that means he got TWO half-pound Reece cups, which is the very definition of holiday indulgence. He also got a small jar of Jif cookies and creme with hazelnut spread. It's like a swirl of cookies n creme filling with nutella. He loves it, but it's not to my taste. He got an assortment of hot sauces and a huge vinyl decal that is the Crack in the Wall from Doctor Who, plus some jalapeno cashews.

Gift wise, he got a Blu-Ray of #Interstellar, which he loves and I have not seen. Plus a TARDIS pillow since he loves to lie on the couch with pillows. And finally, I got him an Attack on Titan hoodie, that even comes with a cape. He loves it. So that was great. I was pretty stoked to be able to afford it, since when I first saw it it was $75.

H got me a fancy assortment of foodie food. This included 2 types of Zingerman's bacon (1/4 pound each), some nice bread, fresh mozzarella, a tiny box of palmier cookies, and a fancy lemonade. H's mom got me the study bible I've been wanting, and H's sister got me a White Walker fig from Pop Funko. Speaking of Funkos, H got me a Weeping Angel, which is awesome.

H got me the Master's pocket watch from Doctor Who--which is pretty cool and which I have also wanted for a long time. Plus a DVD of Pink Floyd The Wall, which I hope to hang onto by not letting anyone borrow it.

We got a sweet box of cookies from Bre and the kids, and some assorted sweets and cards from family. The Overstreets gave us the Pop-Up Game of Thrones map, which is badass, the 3rd Walking Dead Compendium, and the Hannibal Lector cookbook. The Lector cookbook is pretty amazing, as it's written by the food stylist for the Hannibal show and has tons of cool pics and trivia. Not sure I'll be making those recipes since they require crazy ingredients like calves head, lungs, or of course, Gillian Anderson's left leg. Bahahahahhaa. So yeah, we got gifted up good.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
It's well-known by all literate people that I am not a fan of the Great Orange Cyka-Elect. (Look it up, it's a Russian word, and it's hilarious) But now, he has reached the subjective and fabled land of TOO FAR.

On December 14th, I asserted copyright over the word "Unpresidented." The context was the vain hope that the Electoral College would do what it was designed to do--rescue us from a Nazi-enabling rapist who's already in bed with the Russians. They didn't. Of course there are great arguments on both sides of this, none of which I'm going to detail here.
Because that's not the point of this post.

The point is that Drumpf stole my word. Funny, since I rarely consider myself rich enough to rob. His stupid misspelled Tweet that inadvertently turned MY word into a hashtag has stolen my internet thunder, hasn't it? Okay, no it probably hasn't. It's still hilarious though. I should probably just be happy that he didn't put my beautiful word in the same Tweet as a white supremacist or a lady unfavorably rated with Drumpf's numeric system that lets us all know which chicks he'd sexually assault if there were no cameras. But I digress.

"Unpresidented" is my word. My word. Mine! Down down, go go, mine. *jumps up and down like Daffy Duck during a tantrum*

Besides, once Drumpf is impeached or resigns in a huff because some high school newspaper criticized his latest racist speech--we can all use the word "Unpresidented" again. Hope to see you all then. ;-)
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
I finally finished the first season of Stan Versus Evil. I like it a whole lot.

This is strange.
See, the show is very much Evil Dead-flavored, but I still like it anyway. Trying to put my finger on exactly what I like about it that I hate about Evil Dead.

Maybe it's just because I adore Dana Gould.
Not sure, but I'm stoked for next season.
wednes: (Peanut Butter/Jelly)
Okay, we all know that President Drumpf is going to be a nightmare wrapped in a clusterfuck, wrapped in a urine-soaked hellscape. Chances are, we'll completely lose our ability to feel outrage by the first State of the Union address.

And yet...there are people who are going out of their way to make the best out of what promises to be nonstop global embarrassment. And for these things, we thank you:

The crackdown on fake news. Eventually, most of us were fooled by some "news" story that was at best, an exaggeration and at worst, flat out fiction. Sure, one could argue that a fake-news crackdown now is too little too late. But at least this isn't like guns where we get angry about it over and over but never actually take steps to address the problem. People are now being given the tools they need to recognize fake news from the real deal. Who knows, maybe that will inspire more news sites to stop being such lying liars. They might even start editing stories or hiring actual journalists to write them.

The Obama Biden memes. These are just delightful. It's nice being reminded that pretty much everyone woke is horrified by Drumpf's mean-spirited incompetence.

TIME magazine trolling the hell out of Drumpf with their Person of the Year cover. My gods, this is hilarious. He's touring the country thanking his fans and bragging about how awesome he is (and how it should still be MAN of the year. I agree on one point though, as calling POTUS-E a "person" is a bit of a stretch) while they're putting horns on his head and literally illustrating that he's all just for show.

Jon Stewart's new show on HBO. I don't know that this was a direct result of the election. I'm just glad it's happening.

All the jokes about who Drumpf is appointing to this or that. The Joker in charge of law enforcement in Gotham. Cruella DeVille heading a national ASPCA committee. Hell, maybe if I stop insulting him on Twitter, POTUS-E will put me in charge of the DEA. Just think of all the cool shit I could steal from civilia--...I mean, legally confiscate and "destroy." Seriously though, the fact that we can all still make genuinely funny jokes about it (the internets, not me necessarily) reminds us all that a) we're in it together, and b) most Americans don't think this is okay.

Yeah...most Americans don't think any political party should conspire with the Russians. FFS, Putin is so old-school that he's still poisoning his enemies like he's living in ancient Rome. Nor do most people think we should be on the same side as the KKK. If there's any good reason to remind ourselves that Drumpf lost the popular vote by a large margin, it's so we can remember that Americans are still basically good. We should also remember to work toward making voting easier. How do we go about that?

We know deep down that the Electoral College probably will not grow a collective conscience and save us from Drumpf. Despite the fact that he lost the popular vote. Despite the fact that he clearly colluded with Russia, and has no plan to give up his business interests in any meaningful way. Despite the fact that...well, no point on going over all that again.
But if it turned out that the EC does have a purpose...or just in case they do rescue us from Drumpftastrophe...I'd like to assert copyright on the word:
Unpresidented

Get it? Because this never would have happened before in our lifetime, AND the KKKlandidate-in-cheif would be un-presidented. Ha HA!

In the end, things in our beloved nation look bad. But it's not all bad. And we're damn sure not powerless.

Holidays

Nov. 29th, 2016 05:15 pm
wednes: (Santa?)
H and I were gone all last week, housesitting for some good friends. It's pretty cool, because all the stuff they have is nicer than the stuff we have. Their living room TV is big as a bathtub and has a better sound system than the local indie theatre. The recliner goes up and down by itself, and the fridge makes ice and the most delicious water I've ever had outside an Evian bottle. Plus, dogs. I love dogs, but can't have one in the shitty matchbox I live in.

Of course, I didn't post online that both H and I were out of town, or that our apartment was sitting empty (well, with cats, but they aren't good at guarding things). But everyone seemed to want to put it on my page. "Hey, aren't you guys out of town?" "Are you and H having fun being away?" "Who is watching your cats while you and H are gone?" It's as if people don't know that we live in a shitty neighborhood with shitty security and neighbors who would barely take notice if a stranger stole our shit in the middle of the night. Happily, though, nothing bad happened. Some errant JoJo puke and the eating of birthday flowers. That's all. H and I had a swell time eating unhealthy food (mostly) and watching HULU, which I've learned has even shittier horror movies than Netflix. I was actually tired of bacon by the end of the week.

I got some birthday presents:
A collection of Amazon gift cards allowed me to buy myself this.
I also got a fancy electric herb grinder...for grinding herbs.
H got me a Duck Dodgers Pop Funko, and a kickass book of Grimm fairy tales I've been wanting. Plus he made me another wonderful card like he does every year.
I got a cool witches oven with a cauldron and such. It's kind of amazing.
Plus: chocolates, cookies, flowers, some great cards, a hat, and I'm told--a big scary head to put on display. So yeah, I gots the hookup for sure.

As much as it's fun to hang out in a different place, it's also good to be home.
My own bed, bathroom, cats, and kitchen are always more comfortable--even if we live in a total shitbox. Why? Because it's OUR shitbox.

In other news, we had a death in the family. Uncle Tom (not technically MY Uncle, but the Uncle of my cousins on my godmother's side) was a cool guy. We thought he was a ton of fun, until someone explained to us that he had a drinking problem because of the war--and that the stuff he did wasn't funny. I disagreed then, and still kinda do. No, alcoholism isn't funny. But Uncles at family BBQ's are. He was a nice guy, jovial and bitter in a way that incorporated a lot of humor. He also had a glass eye that he once removed and rolled down a picnic table. How can that possibly be described as anything but hilarious? I don't know. Godspeed, Uncle Tom. The world is less funny, and a little less kind without you in it.

I sort of forgot that I was doing the NaNoWriMo this year. My head exploded after the election and never quite got put back together. Ah well. As [personal profile] flemco loves to point out, I can write whenever the hell I want.

H's work schedule is terrible right now. They switched him to 5 days a week (used to be 4 10-hour days, now it's 5 8-hour days) which means more travel time and expense and less time for us to watch TV and do stuff together. Do we really think people will avoid posting spoilers for Gotham, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, or Z-Nation? I don't. But one of his coworkers accidentally killed someone (driving like a maniac, I'm told) and now has to go to prison. The world is a crazy place, kids.

Par Tay

Nov. 17th, 2016 10:03 pm
wednes: (Homer Dance)
My annual party is this Saturday, two days from now. The apartment is crazy-clean thanks mostly to H. Tomorrow I gotta start cooking things.

Making a big batch of Aztec brownies. That's regular milk chocolate brownies with a heap of bhut Jolokia powder, and a swirl of cream cheese for contrast. They're awesome.

Also, two tres leches cakes. There will be two so one can be out while the other is in the fridge. People are coming by as early as 3pm, though the actual party doesn't start until 7pm. That's white cake soaked in three types of milk (in this case cream, sweetened condensed, and evaporated, though I might scrap one of those in favor of coconut. Not sure yet).

I'm also doing some flavorful refried beans in the crock pot. Those will have tortillas and chips to go with, in case people want bean burritos.

Then there will be a big thing of salsa with tons of fresh veg, and scoopy chips.

We always seem to have booze around here even though neither of us drinks really. There are a few hard lemonades around here, plus some Southern Comfort and wine and stuff.

Also, we're NOT talking about Politics. At all. None. Zero.
Because it's a party goddammit.
wednes: (Sad)
Okay dammit, there have been too many artist and fictional deaths this year.
I'm fucking sick of it.

Like who, you ask?

Alan Rickman -- this was bullshit. Not that old and we had no idea it was coming. Shenanigans.

Bowie -- no comment required.

Prince -- ditto. All of these are utter bullshit

Norma Bates on Bates Motel. Okay, we knew that was coming. So why was it so horrifying and tragic? Because they're great at what they do.

Anton Yelchin --again, this was bullshit. Crushed by a car that should have been recalled months earlier. Shenanigans again.

Glenn and Abraham. *sigh* Just because we read about it first, doesn't mean it didn't tear our hearts out.

Gene Wilder lived a long, full life and was a pretty cool dude. He was 83 and had Alzheimer's. So this one is not bullshit, just regular sad.

Leonard Cohen -- again, not exactly youthful, but a loss all the same.

Hodor. God damn you [personal profile] grrm. A man lacks honor.

It's the middle of November, and I've got to think we're due for another major blow before the year ends. Who will it be? Someone we all love and admire. Another beloved actor? A great musician? Me? As I say in my reviews: Time will tell...
wednes: (Sad)
The Good:

I voted. I'm so glad I did, because several analysts have said Ann Arbor was a potentially pivotal factor--as late as 11pm. We lost in the end, but I can at least know that I did what I could.

I'm gratified to see the good guys coming together, vowing to protect the vulnerable--because they're gonna need it. I'm not an especially powerful person, but if I can do something to help you or someone you know who is being oppressed, bullied, terrorized...please ask. I'll do what I can.

The Bad:

Duh, everything about losing two branches of government before they proceed to corrupt the third. I can't even express the disappointment, sadness, and fear I feel. When Obama got elected, a lot of gun enthusiasts were afraid that their guns would be confiscated, and a lot of uninformed (or lied to, Thanks FOX "news") people thought the ACA was going to murder their grandmother. Obama supporters tried to explain to those people that their fears were unfounded, and kind of silly in their unlikeliness.

But now, when Muslims, Mexicans, the LGBT community, African Americans, children, women, and everyone who isn't alt-right says they're afraid--the response from the Drumpf camp is akin to "Yeah, you should be. You people are in for it now."

Watching Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert both try to put on a brave face was...painful. It hurt to watch. I miss Mitt Romney. Hell, I miss John McCain--and he's batshit now.

Congratulations, America.
You've really outdone yourself this time.

If nothing else, it'll be fun to see the memes you post when Drumpf only fulfills the campaign promises that fuck people over (legally protected bigotry, even further restrictions on abortion, the return of stop-and-frisk), not the ones that help the middle class and below (jobs).
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
H and I decided to get Amazon's Subscribe and Save service for groceries we use often, stuff that's bulky to carry, and stuff that's cheaper or offers more variety than we get at our regular grocery store.

Our first box arrived with a 12-pack of canned ravioli on top of a smashed 30 ct box of 1oz bags of chips. Here's video evidence:


Contacted Amazon and they refunded the whole thing. No need to ship it back, they said. So that was cool. It was only $8 and some cents. But here's the thing--they raised the price on the chips without saying anything--by $4 a month. I thought that sucked, but whatevs. So after two deliveries I'd have paid for all those broken chips anyway. But hey, prices change. Subscribe and Save is probably still okay, right?

I was checking on my items for this month, mainly because the ravioli I got is ghastlier than a thousand ghouls. Accidentally ordered italian sausage rav instead of beef. Ew. Totally my fault though, so no big whoop. I can donate them to a food bank.

But I looked at the box of Fruit Leather I ordered. I planned to get a box two months in a row, and then every other month after that. Plenty fruit leather, right? Except the price was missing on the list. Odd, all the other items had prices listed.
Turns out--the price on the new shipment WENT UP TEN DOLLARS IN A SINGLE MONTH. So not only did they jack up the price by like, 65%, they went out of their way to hide that from me. The difference between $14 and change and $25 and change is significant to people who are actively trying to save money.

Listen, I get that Amazon is a business, and that businesses exist to turn a profit. But dammit, ripping off loyal customers is not remotely the way to do that.

It's bad enough that they charge for Prime while offering fewer perks every year--and then charge more for items that have "free" Prime delivery. I can live with that. Then they offer you a dollar digital credit if you choose standard shipping instead of 2-day. But there's no way to know how much credit you have before you buy a book, song, or movie.
Not only that--but a lot of the digital content you "buy" is really just permission to stream the shows from the website. No downloading allowed. Come on--that's just bullshit. And that's without the Subscribe and Save shenanigans.

It has since become obvious to me that Amazon's Subscribe and Save service is designed to lure you in with low prices, then hope you don't notice when they charge more every month. If it's an introductory price--just say so. We all have cable TV and know how that hoosefudge works. Gotta talk to H about it tonight, but chances are--our use of Amazon Subscribe and Save is going way, way down. Like cat pads only.

I'm sad about it too, Amazon's fuckery makes me look like an idiot since I defend them always--even in the face of other authors who say Amazon doesn't record all of their sales. Seriously Amazon, you done messed up.

Me too.

Oct. 30th, 2016 02:46 am
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
I know this is an incredibly common viewpoint, but I will be very happy when this election is over. I'm excited to go back to a time when Drumpf's hideous face wasn't on my TV and news feed friggin' constantly.

Of course, Drumpf has said that in no way is he starting his own news channel. That means that he is absolutely 100% starting his own news channel. Funny since the departure of Ailes has made FOX news seem positively reasonable (but still biased) compared to FOX under Ailes. As awful as she is, I would love to see Megyn Kelly put in charge of the FOX puppets while Trevor Noah spends a ton of time cataloging the lies the Drumpf "news" organization tells.

Will violence break out after Hillary wins? Probably, but just a little. And you can bet all those cowardly white dudes open carrying through the streets will run home like bitches should the REAL military show up to smack them down. But if the contrast of the Aemon Bundy nonsense with the protestors at DAPL means anything (and I think we all know that it does), the alt-right goons will be cuffed peacefully and held overnight before being released with apologies.

In other news, this Carl Panzram documentary on Netflix is pretty good.
HBO saw my tweet about Larry Sanders show, so they asked for my address so they could send me a present. Cool, right? I predict that it will be a keychain and maybe a shirt that won't fit me. Still, that'll be fun.
I owe one of my Canadian friends a package, but can't seem to find a place where I can mail it. Looks like I may have to take a special trip to an actual post office (which means going out during the day) just to send it. Ugh.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
In case you hadn't heard, The Horror Within website will be offline as of Nov. Sadly, I have neither the time nor the money to do this project as well as I want to. Too busy trying to chase the green and be a "real writer" to do all the non-essential horror writing that I want to. In fact, I'm doing almost no writing that I'm not getting decently paid for these days. I had many hopes and plans for The Horror Within, which honestly were not very realistic after our Kickstarter was a giant fail.

You may ask, Wednes, do you ever get tired of writing books people don't read, making audiobooks no one buys, publishing stories no one gives a shit about, or generally planning things that never end up happening in the way you intended?
Yes, in fact. Yes, I do. H says I only think I fail at stuff because I'm always trying new stuff. I dunno. I haven't written a book in forever, and haven't published one since 2012. I don't even have an idea for a book I'd feel passionate about. I have to think that if none of my stuff has taken off by now, it isn't going to. My mom's voice echoes in the back of my head, making me wonder why I ever thought I had enough talent to write anything in the first place.

Rather than whine about how everyone else's life seems to work out, and how writers I think are totally shitty have huge patreon funding and legions of fans--I'll just thank everyone for their support and figure out what thing I want to fail at next.

As for things to fail at, I'm taking suggestions.
wednes: (Heavenly Creatures)
Finally saw the new Ghostbusters after hearing whinging man-children go on and on about how it's "unnecessary" and how they're only making it with women to be "PC." Because as I've explained before--letting ladies star in a movie is a special gift from the men who run the world. Now that we got our lady-movie, we should all sit down, shut up, know our places, and stop making such an emotional fuss.

This post will have major spoilers, so scroll past now if you don't want to know.

Okay then...

Things I loved about this movie:

Erin is shown at the beginning with a shitty boyfriend. American viewers are trained to know that this is laying the foundation for a romantic subplot. Won't it be awesome when she finds a man who is worthy of her? She deserves it.
Except...she doesn't. Erin flirts with Kevin (more on him later), but doesn't wind up with a new man at the end. This is not thrown in our faces, it's just what happens. Love it. Love that we can have a happy ending (giggity?) without finding love as a prerequisite.

Kevin. First, I don't condone that he was sexually harassed in the film, on a human level. It is not right for Erin to have said and done some of the things she did. But that's the point. In movie-trope terms, Kevin is the Miss Moneypenny, the Miss Tessmacher, Phoebe Cates in a red bikini, the...every hot woman thrown into a movie for no other reason than the movie needed a hot chick. Kevin is also super stupid--just like most ladies in man-movies. And they had to rescue him.
I especially love that at one point, I was thinking "Okay, I like what they're doing with Kevin, bit I wish they'd had him do more. It's kind of a waste of a Hemsworth." And then he got possessed by the bad guy. And then he danced. Oh my Zod...he danced.
Turns out, objectifying people is fun. I see why men enjoy it. And it should be noted that Kevin never expressed displeasure for anything that went on. That doesn't excuse Erin's conduct, but it makes it less squicky.

Abby was super physical and awesome. She reminds me of Chris Farley without the cocaine and early death. Oops. I just made myself sad...

The women were genuinely friends. They didn't try to one-up each other, didn't talk about ways to improve each other's appearance, or PR skills, or anything really. They just supported one another and got shit done. Much care was taken to NOT see these women as messing around with ghost stuff until they all landed husbands.

Jillian. Holy shit, Kate McKinnon was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Okay, that may be an exaggeration--but only a slight one. Jillian is gay, right? I mean, they don't say it. But it seems like they hinted at it enough times that they wanted us to be able to pick up on it without making it (or anyone's sexuality) the focus of the plot. Not sure I've ever been so instantly taken with and charmed by a new character in anything.
I'm not exactly sure why I got choked up during Jillian's big fighting scene. Not sure if I just loved her character that much, or if I was truly overwhelmed by the amount of raw girl power. At least for a minute, I was picturing little girls in Jillian costumes for Halloween instead of being goddamn Frozen princesses or lady-Batmans in a frilly pink dress.

Humor. There was soooo much great humor. I especially liked the gag with Ed Begley Junoir--when they say they talked to him and the tour guide is all "He died 15 years ago...whoooOOOOOooooo." But then it was his son. Ha!

Patty was also great. I like that she didn't veer into "sassy black chick stereotype." At the same time, she was truthfully portrayed--at least to my middle-aged white lady mind. Plus her necklace helped me remember the character's name. Plus, Leslie Jones is so not the type that often gets to be a lead in something. I hope to see her in lots more roles like this. She's way too entertaining to be relegated to the funny friend or quirky office mate.

Cameos. Wow! They were really well done in how they were timed. Seeing Bill Murray was no surprise--though just when I worried that we didn't see enough of him--he came back. Toward the end, I was all "I don't see why Dan Ackroyd couldn't have shown up..." and then he did. I knew there was no Moranis cameo going in, but that still sucked. Ernie Hudson, duh. That was great. And as the credits rolled, I was like, "Well, it would have been cool to see Sigourney Weaver, but I can understand why she might be too busy to--OMG THERE SHE IS!!!" So awesome.

EDIT: I almost forgot to mention the Harold Ramis bust. That was great.

I honestly don't see what there is to dislike about the movie. If you really saw it and hated it, I have to think you were looking for reasons to. I'm told that there were some plot holes that the extended version (the one I saw) fixed. I can't speak to that. But the tone, premise, cast, villain, themes, all of it. So good. If I had a daughter, I'd buy her a copy of it immediately--so she could put it on her movie shelf next to A League of Their Own.

If you honestly couldn't find things to like about it, I'd love to hear why. Not why you think it didn't need to be made, or why you hate that they cast mostly women. I mean a reason why you didn't like the film itself.
Because the movie I saw was fun, touching, hilarious, and another affirmation that women can carry a film that has wide appeal. I really wish I'd seen it before I made my list of Family Friendly Halloween movies. It would have been in the top three.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
Talking about politics is getting ridiculous, even for those of us who don't feel a need to find euphemisms for the word PUSSY. If you still think Drumpf is the sort of person who should run the country...it doesn't matter. You're probably not reading this post anyway. Why would you?

I do find it frightening how many people (roughly 98% men) are still twisting themselves like balloon animals in their efforts to excuse Drumpf's more rapey escapades. Because I don't have time to respond to every absurd comment or note I get when I discuss such things, lemme just stop a few of you before you get started. If you're tempted to say any of the following, here are my responses.

--"If you're trying to convince me that--"
I'll stop you right there. I have no idea who you are. I don't care what you believe, and emphatically not writing anything to convince YOU of something. You must think an awful lot of yourself if you think my comments on Drumpf have anything to do with you.

--"Saying 'Drumpf' is racist against Germans."
First of all, go fuck yourself. That's his family name. Also, I'm German too. As is easily verifiable, The Donald told Jon Stewart that refusing to use the name Leibovitz publicly meant he was ashamed of his heritage. I'm merely holding Drumpf to that same standard.

--"Stop slut shaming Melania."
I haven't. Though I do think she has terrible taste in husbands.

--"By saying Drumpf shouldn't hit on married women, you're not considering whether or not they're poly."
Sure, poly couples are a thing, they exist. But what I said was that if one is going to argue a "presumption of consent" because a woman smiled at Drumpf, that surely her being married should remove at least some of that presumption. At the same time, I think the "presumption of consent" argument is bullshit. Drumpf is objectively not sexy--and him thinking every woman wants him is at once laughable and disgusting.

--"You just love Hillary."
What are you, new? I supported Bernie, and he was the first presidential candidate I ever donated to. I do think she's capable and more than qualified for the job. But you know, there are plenty of high school sophomores who would do a better job and fill us with more confidence than Drumpf.

--"Stop saying Pussy."
No.

Have a nice weekend, America!
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
In all of our (totally justified) horror over The Donald, we seem to be forgetting something important. Yes, Drumpf is a racist misogynist, a master of demagoguery...we know he's the personification of mammon, the truest representation of greed, avarice, gluttony for what passes for glory in his world.

He's also woefully inept, a blithering, blustering incompetent.
He can't run a casino, let alone a country. At all. Not even a little.

Remember when we all thought Dubya was too dumb to run a country, and how he made such a big deal out of saying he's The Decider. That's because Cheney and his people: Rumsfeld, Rove, Libby and the rest were really running things. We all knew it, even though we preferred to blame Dubya for all the fucked up, authoritarian crap that happened. And why not? The guy's got a real Backpfeifengesicht on him!

So here we are again, with a Republican nominee who is, at best, a complete and utter asshat. A failure on a scale so grand, he'd literally have made more money if he'd done absolutely nothing and just collected interest on the money he inherited. And he could hold the highest office in all the land. Which means...

Vice President Mike Pence would be running things. Hell, Drumpf might even quit a month into his first term. There's no way he's ready for the schedule the POTUS has to keep. After embarrassing America on the world stage a few times, he'll never get over the bad press. But whether Drumpf leaves of his own accord, is impeached after some ridiculous act of stupidity he probably didn't even know was illegal, or if he just stands around twiddling his thumbs while Pence runs things--Mike Pence will have far too much power.

Let's not forget, Mike Pence is the guy who signed that ridiculous legal discrimination bill that made Indiana suddenly look like the worst state in the nation (giving Florida, Utah, and Alabama much needed reprieves). Pence would love to wipe Planned Parenthood completely off the map, and has said that condoms don't actually prevent any diseases. He's the guy that wants funerals for fetuses when there's an abortion or a miscarriage. And of course, Mike Pence said there's "no scientific evidence" that cigarettes cause cancer...because he was taking major cash from Brown & Williamson, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, and US Tobacco. For reals. I'm sure we can guess where he stands on Citizen's United.

If any of you are thinking about voting for Drumpf, you should keep in mind that Pence will be, as Fearless Leader has said, "in charge of foreign and domestic policy." That's basically everything. So while Drumpf is busy trying to take us back to 1955 (ie: Make American Great Again), Pence may actually succeed in taking us back to 1955, on race relations, women's rights, reproductive health, LGBT issues, the minimum wage, unions, and a few things I'm probably forgetting. The only place the Republicans ever want to be modern is on tax laws for the super rich. Those should always be the lowest in history, right?

Don't forget, Drumpf fans, Mike Pence is also a career politician. We know how you haaate that.
wednes: (Really?)
Like many of you, I have a family. And within that family, there are a wide range of people, some of whom believe things I think are patently batshit. My favorite Aunt once told me she'd never vote Bernie because "he's a socialist." I have a cousin who swears the min wage shouldn't be raised because it mostly applies to kids working part time, and that Citizens United is a "free speech" issue. I enjoy spirited debates when I encounter beliefs like that, but I find not everyone is willing to discuss what they believe.

So today, my youngest cousin posts a hate video....Cut for what prompted this post )

This led me to think that one reason it's so difficult to talk about racism is this idea white people have--that the only way to be "racist" is to be in a skinhead group, the KKK, or to liberally use the N-word. Kids, that's not so. Even if you've never uttered a racial slur, you can still be less than inclusive. Tim Burton probably does not hate minorities. There's no evidence to say he does. But that doesn't mean it isn't an issue that his movies have very few POC. Thinking "white" people/culture/hairstyles are "normal" and everything else is "other/different/weird/ethnic" is a problem in terms of race relations. So is presuming that every character in every book is white unless the author specifically says they aren't. So if someone tells you that you aren't being inclusive, or racially sensitive, or are being kind of a dick, they aren't necessarily saying you're Mel Gibson or Hitler. That doesn't mean you shouldn't hear them out. Though yes, you have free speech and can absolutely choose to tell them to fuck off.

To that end, I say: Ron Weasley.
JK Rowling made Ron Weasley racist on purpose, and for this very reason. He's not a Death Eater, he's one of the heroes. He's not a supremacist, but he's got issues with squibs (they have one in the family, but he's never talked to them), werewolves, giants, Durmstrangs (or maybe just the one who's sweet on his gal), and Slytherins among others. He's also fine with house elves in servitude and considers Dobby an odd man out (in fairness, so does Hagrid).
Ron isn't a bad kid. He's not malicious, though I do find him petty and tantrummy at times. I don't think he's hateful either. He just believes certain things because they make sense to him, and has never bothered to question it. You know, like how a lot of the people who go around talking smack about Muslims have never knowingly had a conversation with one--or if they have, they come away saying they're "ONE of the Good Ones." It's why the Washington Redskins logo doesn't offend people who have never been called a "redskin" out of hate. Why WOULD they understand it?

But after someone explains it fully, to respond by saying they're lying or being "overly sensitive" is...pretty racist.

When I hear someone say something overtly bigoted, the first thing I try to do is ask questions to make sure I got that right. "Are you being sarcastic? Are you saying he deserved to be shot because he took his earpiece out? Are you saying all Muslims want to kill us for our freedoms?" The answer to that question usually determines whether a discussion ensues, or a screaming match, or I just disable notifications for that post. Calling someone a "racist" is a bad idea most times, since no one, even members of the KKKlan, actually admits that they're racist. Besides, "racist" is a label we slap on a person to let them know we don't like their opinion. It doesn't help anything. Nothing is solved by calling someone a racist. But opening a dialogue? That might help.
It's hard to hear that you're not being racially or culturally sensitive. I hate hearing it, and my first impulse is to explain why I'm not. But dammit, if you've got any kind of privilege, you also have an obligation to acknowledge it, and to think about how life might be (or listen to people when they explain it to you) for those who don't have it.

People tell me it's "not worth it" to "argue" with people on the internet. I maintain that discussions can make all the difference in the world if both parties have some modicum of respect for whoever they're talking to. If I'm wrong, I wanna know why. I want facts or a fresh perspective that tell me why my thinking is wrong, and what I should have noticed that I didn't. I deserve the chance to say, Holy Shit, Long Duk Dong is TOTALLY racist, and I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner.
So yeah, if you begin by calling someone a racist because they posted a meme they didn't even read carefully, the ensuing discussion probably won't go well. But if you open up an actual dialogue you might actually get somewhere. Not always. Some people love being angry and hateful, it's like a fuzzy warm blanket to them. But usually, people just don't want to be afraid. If they learn why they don't have to, that might also help.

Ultimately, my cousin took down the fake video because she "didn't want to argue." I think that's a shame, because the ensuing discussion was a good read.
wednes: (Eclipse)
Last week, I had a doc appt on Wednesday. I hate going to the doc. Actually, I hate going anywhere. I don't like being around people or in environments I don't have any control over. The older I become, the worse this is. But I needed med refills and an A1C, so I arranged my whole week so I'd be sure to make it to this appointment.

The doc was sick and canceled on me. That sucked. It was almost shopping day, so I needed my refills called in. I made another appt for Friday--the last possible day to get them called in so we could pick them up on grocery day.
The doc was still sick and canceled again. At this point, I was annoyed for myself and kinda worried for my doc. Also, I asked the nurse to call in all my scrips.

Long story short, nothing worked. I still don't have my meds and it's Wednesday afternoon. Right now, my left foot has been tapping for about 2 1/2 days. I'm supposed to be working, but my attention span is shorter than JoJo's. It took me three hours to figure out what to have for dinner because even thinking about it seemed so overwhelming that I almost just went back to bed. My anxiety is through the roof. Then I made the foolish mistake of reading the news--the kind of news that really makes me wish we owned a car. I hate for H to be out and about so late at night. He doesn't even tell me now when cops hassle him and ask his business. I worry so much that he doesn't want to worry me further--which in turn makes me feel like a basket case a'la Myra in Deathtrap.

I've also been doing this new thing, where I train my brain to stop thinking about something awful and start thinking about...absolutely anything else. So when I remember that Nightmare Client thinks he totally got one over on us, I can make my brain think about something else (like say, Doctor Who) instead of getting angrier and angrier until I'm punching pillows. It's been going well. I'm getting pretty good about this--even knowing that many people developed this skill as children. I'm a crazy-pants, and I'm just getting around to it now.
It's a whole lot more difficult without my psyche meds. I even caught myself wondering if my doc wasn't messing with me on purpose because I'm so shitty about attending appointments. But that would be insane, right? That's the rambling of a paranoid mind, right? RIGHT?!?

Watching The Daily Show though, always helps me feel better. No matter how crazy I get, I still have a complete understanding of why Barack Obama wasn't at work in the Oval Office during 9/11. Because seriously, WHAT?!?

So yeah, my mind is going both fast and slow. It's laser focused on stuff that doesn't matter while being completely unable to focus on the stuff I need to do. Should be awesome to see how this all impacts my review of American Horror Story tonight.
wednes: (Wizard or the Skull)
Disclaimer: Medical pot is legal in my state. Even if one doesn't have a medmar card, getting caught with pot in my town is like a traffic ticket. If the laws are different in your town, for fuck's sake, don't smoke any pot. This post is not meant as a substitute for medical or legal advice. Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

As many of you know, I switched to vaping a few years ago. After about 2 months, I lost my perpetual pot cough and my vocal range returned to just about where it was when I was in college. That was awesome. I also tend to go through less herb, and H says smooching me is hardly like licking an ashtray at all. So that's nice too. ;-)

I've been using the Magic Flight Launch Box. I'm a fan. They're pretty inexpensive, and they come with a lifetime replacement warranty. I end up getting a new one about every year since they just kind of wear out. The screens rip after a while, or a flaw in the wood gets bigger, stuff like that. The customer service at MFLB is outstanding, I've literally never had a problem. I also bought the AC adapter, which also has lifetime replacement and am on my 3rd one. Always awesome, they are.
But you know, I work from home now and have a rather robust vaping schedule. If I'm not working or asleep or on my way out, I like to be at least a little high. The MFLB seems to be more for casual partakers. Apparently, I'm partaking at expert or advanced level. An aficionado if you will. I needed something better, but didn't remotely have the scratch to spend on a volcano.

So a year or so ago, I did a bit of research and saw that Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion, AKA The Guy I'd Love to Toke With) endorses a line of vapes with a company called Grenco. They had these amazingly inexpensive dealies, and offered a discount for my first order. Why the hell not, right?

I got a couple of these, called the G Slim Vape Pen. I got one for daubs, and one for "ground material." I do enjoy that ground material, you know. Apparently the part called a "tank" goes bad after a couple months, so you have to keep replacing them. They cost half as much as the entire pen. Ditto the bottom (the part that isn't the tank) because that's the battery. If I stuck with those vape pens, I'd be basically buying a few each year. Lame, but not bad if they worked well. Their tagline should totally be, "Fuck it, they're cheap."

Whelp, I couldn't get either device to vape properly. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. It combusted no matter how hard the draw, how little heat I applied. Combustion. Every time. I had that problem with the launch box, but with practice I got better. That was not the case with these. Did Snoop Dogg steer me wrong? No...that couldn't be.

I contacted Grenco Science. I explained the problem I was having with the vape pens and how vaping isn't supposed to taste like eating lunch out of a used fireplace. See, if you stop smoking and only vape, smoke tastes super rank to you within a short amount of time. I hate smoking now, even joints. Gross...I imagine the way a non-smokers feels about cigs. Besides, if I wanted to combust, all I'd need is a bic. The Grenco rep I talked to basically said yes, the vape pens always combust.

I said, "Well, then they aren't really vape pens, are they?" No, they aren't. But that doesn't stop Grenco from putting Snoop Dogg's name on them and selling them as such.
The rep explained that I'd need to spend at least $90 to get one that wouldn't combust on me--which is two models more expensive than the ones I bought (which I got a few of, since I thought it was my fault they didn't work right).
They assured me that this other unit would be fine. No parts that need to be replaced (except screens, such is life). No combusting. Snoop Dogg endorsed.
Note: Yeah, I'm a grown-ass woman who shouldn't be motivated to purchase something because a famous person put their name on it. But dammit, this isn't some greedy loon. Snoop Dogg isn't an asshole or a fake, so why would he put his name on a sub-par product? If I ever meet him, I'll ask him. The vape also came with a Snoop Dogg album called "Bush." It's a good listen.

Having used this product for a few months, let me say a few things:
--It doesn't combust. So that's great!
--The setup is such that the screen clogs with each draw. Bad.
--It takes over 3 hours to charge, which gives about an hour of use. Bad.
--You can't use it while it's charging. Bad.
--It takes 1.5-3 minutes to heat up all the way, depending on the battery. Bad.
But all that is just luck of the draw, right? After all, it retails for less than $100.

Then after two months, the goddamn mouthpiece (made of cheap plastic) cracked in two places. I wasn't even touching it. It was just hot. But...they told me this wouldn't need extra parts, I worried. What if they didn't sell the part separately? Well, they DO sell the part separately. Because see, they know it's a cheap plastic part that would need to be replaced often. Yet they told me to my face (well, a chat window) that I wouldn't need to keep replacing parts.

To add insult to injury, the goddamn part--which you can't use the fucking thing without--was out of stock. So again, they know that this is a problem, and advised me to buy it anyway. The whole point of talking to customer service first is to find out things the website doesn't say. This was the opposite of customer service--and I've worked in sales and customer service for over 20 years. I can't imagine lying that boldly to a customer about what they should purchase. Seriously, I hope the commission was worth it.

I explained all of this to *another* rep, who didn't appear to give half a fuck about all the money I'd spent with them to STILL not have a working vape. In fact, I was informed that their BEST vape (which costs roughly twice what the last one did) doesn't have any of those problems. Had anyone bothered to tell me that in the beginning, I wouldn't have spent so damn much money on vapes that don't vape and parts that don't last. I would have just bought the good one--that I now cannot afford.

So yeah, I are sad.
Grenco Science can kiss my ass.
Snoop Dogg, we're still cool.
I gotta say though, maybe put some more thought in where you let people put your name. They're making you look like someone who doesn't take weed seriously.
wednes: (Carrie & Mom)
September 6th is my mom's birthday.

It occurred to be recently that I tend to refer to mater in the past tense, even though she's not dead. I wouldn't even say she's "dead to me," because I don't pretend she's dead. I just talk to her slightly less often than I talk to (or toward, more like) people who actually are dead. There are plenty of dead people I think of as better, smarter, cooler, kinder, and less violent and psychotic as mater. For the record, I last spoke with mater in September of 1995. So I guess that's a sort of anniversary as well.

Funnily, I've also been thinking about gaslighting lately (Even saw the film from which we get the term. Jessica Lansbury is 19 years old in it!!). More than the violence, constant emotional and mental abuse, being ordered around like a servant, rarely being allowed out, the gaslighting did a shitload of damage to me. It's another one of those things I didn't realize was SO pervasive until much later. It's also another one of those things that I reacted hugely and horribly to when it happened (often to a very small degree) with other people later on.
If someone tells a story wrong, I'd be outraged even if it was a stupid thing that didn't matter. "His shirt was BLUE, not green! Tell it RIGHT!" Because I grew up knowing that when someone didn't tell the truth about something, they were doing it to make me look bad. That's not actually paranoia when you grow up with one of those "You see what I've got to put up with!" parents always harping on how tough they have it while they're using their kid as a punching bag.

Everything my mom ever said about me was exaggerated to make me look bad, stupid, selfish, greedy, vain, or otherwise terrible. Didn't matter if she was talking to a teacher, a neighbor, her husband, or our extended family. If they were impressed with a drawing, she'd tell them I traced it. If someone praised my good grades, she'd lie and say she called the school and "made" them change my grades. If I lost something, she said I sold it or gave it away, or "let" someone take it. Always. Constantly. And the bitch of it is, there are still people in my family who believe that shit. I'm told my mom's husband actually thinks I invited a band of drug fiends into their house to steal sports memorabilia. Nevermind that I don't think I have a single friend who would knowingly walk into a house with a basement full of swastikkas. But I digress.

It was my mom's birthday. I didn't sit around crying, drinking, watching movies we watched together when I was a kid. I wasn't angry or short with H, or walking around finishing arguments from 30 years ago while the cats just stared at me, confounded. I had a regular day, doing all the stuff I normally do.

So I feel pretty good about that.
Guess we'll see how I do next Mother's Day.
wednes: (Neville)
You know what's weird? Given the popularity of Harry Potter fandom with women my age, I'd have expected people in my social media feeds to be losing their minds over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They weren't. Nobody has been all "Oh, you haven't read it yet?!? It's soooo good." None of that. Now that I've read it, I totally understand why.

Cut, because here and Goodreads are some of the only places you can still cut for spoilers. )

So if you feel like reading it and don't want to spend, let me know and I'll loan it to you for Kindle. It's a pretty short read.
wednes: (Heavenly Creatures)
We all have that one friend who doesn't seem to have any idea of their value. That person with a couple of amazing skills and talents, the one who is always there for you when you need them. The person who tolerates unacceptable romantic partners because they're afraid no one else will want them. The person who stays at a shitty job where they're not appreciated--because who knows what might happen at a new place? The person who believes every terrible things asshats say about them because they sound like things they already fear about themselves. That person.

And you, as their friend, think things like "How can they not know how awesome they are? It's so obvious."

Let me ask you something. How often do you tell this person how amazing you think they are? In fact, how often do you tell anyone how amazing they are--for reals?

Personally, I've been known to say things like, "That guy is an asshole, and you can and should do much better," when I should be saying something more like, "Can you help me understand why you think [X, Y and Z behaviors] are okay. You would never do that to someone, and I'd never do that to you. So why is it okay for him?"

I say things like, "Don't you know how amazing you are?" I could be far more specific, like "You've always made time for me when I needed to blather on about nothing, you listen without judgment, you always make me feel listened to and cared for."

Kids, I don't think most of us know our true value. Part of that is from fucked up parenting, a lifetime of being bullied or shamed, mental and emotional issues, or just being surrounded by assholes. But the result of us not knowing our value doesn't just make our lives worse--it whispers in our ear that no one cares what we think anyway.

We don't tell each other the truth about how we feel for a variety of reasons I won't bother to list here. But fear--the fear that we'll be mocked, that no one will care what we have to say, that we'll sound stupid--that's one of the big ones. We're afraid of how we might look to others, so we keep our heads down and our mouths shut about our feelings--even our feelings for good friends. As I've said many times--I'm really good at telling people what I THINK, but what I FEEL is mostly saved for close friends.

So I'm making it a point to tell people not just that I love them, but why. I want the people in my life to know all the ways they impress me. They should know how much they have meant to me over the years, and how much they continue to mean today. I want valuable people to know their value. Or at the very least--to have told them how valuable they are to me. I mean, you can give people information but you can't make them believe it.

Anybody interested in joining me as I embark on what could end up a journey into embarrassment and silliness? This week, pick out a few people and tell them everything about them that you find amazing. It'll make them feel good, and probably you'll end up feeling good too.

Kindness: It's gluten free, low in calories, organic, and readily available.
wednes: (Stabbity)
I haven't blogged in a while. To be honest, my thinker has been a little cloudy of late, and I'm slowly working it all out via the printed word. Can you even bear to hear someone else prattling on about what they think Drumpf is teaching us about America? No? I don't blame you. Feel free to skip this post. For the rest of you...

The U.S of A. has the biggest and most well-funded military in the world. War is where much of our technological advancement comes from (though good old capitalism is no slouch in that arena), and where most of our discretionary income goes. If one argued that military spending was a drug, America would be long overdue for an intervention--we've become beyond obsessive with being well-armed. OVER armed, I think. Ready for anything, even though we're not really ready for things like say, a biological attack. Readiness is a lie, and most of us know that.

Still, as Drumpf loves to point out, we have a YUGE and impressive military. We could fuck up pretty much any country we wanted, especially if we didn't give a crap about loss of life (evidence suggests that we don't). We've used our military to topple democratically elected leaders in other countries. We've armed terrorists who were actively fighting their governments and killing law-abiding citizens. Saddam Hussein wouldn't have had two sticks to rub together if it weren't for us. We've used our military to torture people, and to hold suspects illegally and without charge or counsel. In much of the world, not only are we not "da best," we're not even the Good Guys.

We've all listened to most of what Drumpf has spouted as his ideas for foreign policy: building a wall, keeping out members of one religion, killing terrorist's families, carpet bombing nations we have not declared war on, and even using nukes. Reasonable people can agree that he shouldn't drive a car, let alone be given nuclear codes. And yet, it could happen. If too many people vote 3rd party and split the rational vote, it could happen.

If another country elected a dumbass maniac tire fire like Drumpf, one who threatened to kill our families and banish those of a religion they didn't care for--what would we do? Remember, we're a people who think a cashier saying "Happy Holidays" is being oppressive, and that Occupy Wallstreet protestors deserved to be beaten and pepper sprayed for "not having jobs" and "blocking the street." So I say again--what would we do to another country who elected such a hateful, disgusting, sexist bigot who threatened war crimes as an opener--and was still voted to the highest office in the land???

Seriously. What reason would they have NOT to invade us, attack us, remove the despot from office? If Drumpf was elected president, the rest of the world would have good reason to bomb us back to the stone age. It would suck, but we'd deserve it.

Hootsuite

Jul. 16th, 2016 02:49 pm
wednes: (Peanut Butter/Jelly)
I realized something today.

I use Hootsuite, which means I set up social media posts to go live up to 4 weeks in the future. I do this for my own accounts, and also accounts for The Horror Within. Mostly, this is so I can spend a little less time on social media while remaining connected--and so my posts can go live when other human beings are awake and reading.

This does lead to awkward moments though. Like when say, "Cecil the Lion killed by d-bag" is posted 2 weeks after the dentist responsible was run out of town on a rail. Or any story that has updates, really. So I gotta be kind of careful about timely news versus evergreen articles and stuff.

Then I thought...
When I die (and honestly, how much time could I possibly have left?) my accounts will continue posting for weeks. People are gonna be hella confused. Yeah, the posts are labeled "posted by Hootsuite," but my oldster family members aren't going to know what that means. But how do I address that before my Big Day so it doesn't terrify or upset anyone? Also, that's gonna be a hella awesome troll. I wish there was a way to plan for it to be more awesome in advance...like maybe writing my own hilarious obit and posting it someplace.

As for me, kidney stones have me in terrible hurtful pain. Ugh.

Responses

Jul. 15th, 2016 01:54 am
wednes: (X-files)
It's time once again for me to address some of the utter crap that's been going around the Internets of late, mostly to get it off my ample chest. Because people are lazy and mean and dumb, and I like to think I'm smarter, more active, and kinder than most (based on no factual evidence, just me and my intellectual vanity wishing). For the purposes of this post, I shall refer to the Internet as if they are a cohesive collective--while knowing that, of course, they aren't.

--Remakes/Reboots.
Internet: "Why do they have to remake everything?"
Wednes: "For money. Movies are a business. Businesses work to make money. Duh."

Internet: "Can't Hollywood think of anything new and original???"
Wednes: Can't YOU? You say this same shit every goddamn time a remake comes out. Besides, originality is not the same as good. How many times have we seen a cool new concept squandered by mediocre filmmaking or a godawful screenplay? #Pixels You might as well say "Why do they have to base so many movies on books? Can't they write their own?"

--Pokemon Go!
Internet: "People shouldn't be playing this game in [place where serious historical things have happened]. It's disrepectful."
Wednes: No, they probably shouldn't be. So why are there catchable animals hiding at these places?

Internet: "This is stupid. Why are adults doing this when [tragic world event that commenter has done nothing about] is going on?!?"
Wednes: If you think adults playing a fun game is stupid, how exactly would you categorize going online to complain about it? Also, complaining about others doing something other than charity work is just empty preening bullshit unless you posted it while simultaneously doing charity work.

--Ghostbusters
Internet: "MY RUINED CHILDHOOD?!?!11/1!?!?!"
Wednes: If this is the thing that ruined your childhood, I don't know how to adequately express how charmed your life must have been or how fucking batshit stupid you are now. Remakes do NOT ruin the original thing; and they certainly don't ruin the first time you watched it. If you're honestly letting this "ruin" anything for you, you're a mewling child looking for reasons to feel wronged. Here, I'll help: Happy Holidays!

Internet: "They're making it with women just to be PC."
Wednes: So now it's "PC" to acknowledge that women do things? The only reason to depict women as anything other than a love interest, sex object, or funny fat friend is because of "political correctness?" We must be up to 5% female lead characters at this point in movie history--and it's astounding how many dudebros feel legit threatened by that. Yes, you all go right on telling yourselves that female characters (along with racial minorities, gay/bi/trans folk, those with disabilities, etc) are only in movies to appease whiners. Congratulations. You just demonstrated that many types bias are alive and well, while announcing that you'd prefer that we not do anything about that.

--#AllLivesMatter
[specific demographic of the] Internet: "I happen to think ALL lives matter, because I'm not racist."
Wednes: That's bullshit, and I think you know that it's bullshit. Anyone who says this is willfully missing the point. This can only be because they honestly believe that there's no problem with police and racial profiling, police and the murder of minorities, or minorities and the criminal justice system at large. They have to feel it's appropriate that for-profit prisons to create a demand for prisoners that is then met by railroading poor people (mostly, though surely not all) minorities and at-risk populations. People who are offered 18 months instead of 10 years for crimes they didn't commit--and who take pleas so they don't risk missing their kids growing up. People who get a total of 7 minutes to discuss their case with their PD. Anyone who believes in #AllLivesMatter seem to miss the point that responding to cries of "Stop Murdering Us" with 'Come on, you guys have to be exaggerating. Cops have never done that to me or any of the middle-class white people I know.' IS goddamn fucking racist. Even if you think all the cops in all those videos are justified. Even if you think every last victim deserved to be murdered because they moved their hand, refused to put out their cigarette, or "didn't comply" quickly and humbly enough. It's still racist to respond to "Please Don't Shoot" with "This isn't a big deal, and I'm sick of hearing about it." Beyond racism, it just makes you an asshole.
Stop being an asshole.

[specific demographic of the] Internet: Cop Haters shouldn't call a cop if they need one, because doing so makes them hypocrites.
Wednes: There's a world of difference between "hating cops" and hating that murderers get to wear cop uniforms and get paid by taxpayers even after they murder someone. It's not hating cops to be disgusted that there are otherwise good cops who cover for and defend those that aren't. Everybody knows that there are good cops and bad cops, just like every job has good or bad employees. It's just that cops are given guns and permission to use their discretion to kill if they need to. That means they deserve more scrutiny than those of us who aren't. You're not being kind to the good ones by pretending the bad ones don't exist--nor are you hating on good cops by acknowledging that they do.

There. Now I feel better.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
As most of you know, we lost our battle with Nightmare Client's bank, and he robbed us of almost $3,000 (plus fees). Later, he had some rented legal firm send us a hilarious "cease and desist" that suggests that I posted a bunch of bad Amazon reviews on his terrible book (which would be absolutely legal for me to do, though I didn't do that). Losing the money was a drag, but not ruinous to us thanks to everyone having our backs. I still think it's some bullshit that we weren't even allowed to talk to the people at NC's bank. PayPal purportedly argued for us, but we have no idea what happened or what was said. Even more than the money, it bites that NC actually gets to walk away thinking he was vindicated. The bank didn't remotely get the full story.

Anyway...I learned recently that Alex Nouri (that's Nightmare Client's name, BTW. I see no more reason not to release it) has pulled the same fuckery with another freelancer. From what I can tell, it was the same bullshit that happened with us. Incessant Emails and phone calls, demanding near constant attention, pretending that not hearing back within the hour is "unprofessional." Shit like that. All the while, this ass professes to be "patient" and "understanding." I'm pretty sure he's a drunk, and he seems to have some mental health issues as well. So when the freelancer has finally had enough and walks away, the chargebacks begin even though the work is done. That's also when the bizarre accusations start.

You know how some people talk about how they have friends in high places? Apparently NC has friends who are cops, lawyers, bankers, politicians, and more. Yet he can't seem to convince more than one person (who I strongly suspect is him) to leave his book a good review? Nickel, please.

What I want is to blast this jackasses name and history of fuckery to every freelancer known to mankind. I want to make sure no one is EVER taken advantage of by this self-important, ignorant fuckstick again. I'm putting together a list of warning sites for editors, writers, graphic and web designers, and would love it if you all can hip me to the ones you know about or recommend.

Never in my life have I met (let alone worked with) someone so simultaneously ignorant and arrogant. It boggles the mind that he thinks so much of himself while being such a stupid, needy numpty...I need to contact the people of Scotland so I can amass a more appropriate list of insults. ;-) Despite my impressive vocabulary, I really don't have the words to adequately convey my disgust for this preening jackass and his laughable excuse for "writing" as he steals from hardworking freelancers in revenge for not constantly getting his way. (I can't put a live hyperlink in a print book no matter how hard I try, and I can't magically start coding after saying again and again that I don't code).
wednes: (Tyrion)
Imma talk about Game of Thrones and I'm not gonna cut it even though it has spoilers for earlier in this season. So skip ahead now if you don't want to know. This is 100% showie information, no book stuff here.

I've heard several people speak as if they're "okay" with the death of young Olly. I'm really not. I cried almost as much for Olly as I did for Princess Shireen--though methinks Shireen will be avenged in a few short days. #TeamDavos.

Let's look at Olly's life though.
He lived in a peaceful hamlet where everyone was kind and looked out for each other. Not one to sit around doing nothing, Olly trained and practiced to become the best archer in the hamlet. Sure, a hamlet isn't very big. But He was better than grown men. That's impressive. More importantly, Olly loved his parents and they loved him. They were content to work all day, then eat a meal that was nothing more than potatoes. It was a simple life, but they lived it happily.

And then...
Chaos.

Wildlings raided their village for no good reason. They slaughtered absolutely everyone. His parents, rather than saving themselves or fighting back, spent their last seconds telling their son to hide. He did, though not well enough.
Olly's parents were killed and EATEN by Thenns. Fucking Thenns.

With nowhere else to go, Olly ran to The Wall.
He told them what happened, and the men of the Night's Watch took him in.
Within days, Olly picked himself up and began training to...or so he thought...get revenge on the wildlings who did this to him. That's why he fought his ass off during the wildling invasion of The Wall. That's why he was proud to have killed Ygritte with his badass archery skills.
Olly was a faithful squire to Jon Snow. When it was time to execute Janos Slynt, Olly loyally fetched Jon's sword. Faithful he was, that is until Lord Know-Nothing left to help the wildlings, then returned home with hundreds of wildlings in tow. Those were the people who killed Olly's family and friends. ALL of them.

Even then, Olly would never have taken it upon himself to do mutiny and murder. If it hadn't been for Ser Aliser, that stabbing never would have happened. Olly was led astray by some bitter old men, combined with his own hatred for the wildlings--hatred that developed from legit reasons. Nobody likes those fucking Thenns.

RIP Olly. You were a good lad, and a wonderful character.
So I guess we should have seen it coming that you would die far too soon.
wednes: (Dancing Hurley)
We haven't heard anything else from Nightmare Client since we got that ridiculous letter from his rented legal firm. While that may seem like good news, it worries me.

Some facts:

--Nightmare Client is sure I'm responsible for all of his bad Amazon reviews, and therefore his lack of sales.

--I am not responsible for any, and Amazon can verify this if they so choose.

--As of the 13th of this month, the 21-day deadline sent by the lawyers will be up. As such, Nightmare Client will realize he's powerless in this situation.

I worry that once he realizes this, he will be driven even more insane. While he hasn't made direct threats of violence, it's obvious that he's fuckin' nuts. The stuff we've been sent via Email is delusional to the point of actual psychosis.

NC also knows things about us, like H's work schedule and how often I'm here alone.

We don't have room for a dog (I've been wanting one for a while now) and H won't even discuss having a gun in the house. I very much see his point, and am mostly in agreement. I have a taser, which is meant to discourage people from bothering me. I imagine it would be useless against someone who broke in here with the express purpose of doing me physical harm. And I'm telling you all--I wouldn't put that past this guy for a second. As I keep saying, he sounds deluded to me.

So the question is: How do I keep myself safe from this deranged maniac?
I seriously need ideas.
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
What is an album?

The dictionary gives two definitions, both of which make sense to me.

1. A blank book for the insertion (giggity!) of photos, stamps, coins, etc.
2. A collection of recordings released in a single medium--a compact disc, cassette, etc.

I was saying the other day that Rob Zombie's new album kicked ass. That's mainly because Rob Zombie's new album kicks ass. Yeah, it sounds a lot like every other Rob Zombie album. But see, when you like what Rob Zombie albums sound like, it's nice to get more that sound roughly like that. But I digress...

Someone corrected me, several someones in fact, that it's not an "album." It's a CD, or a digital file. First of all, the new Rob Zombie album is actually available on vinyl. So even if you believe that a vinyl release is necessary for something to correctly be called an "album" (it isn't), that still wouldn't apply here. Whether it's on vinyl or a cassette, 8-track, a wax cylinder, or a fucking reel-to-reel, it's still an album--by definition.

Maybe I just hate being corrected...

In other news, Bates Motel S4E9 was friggin' incredible. If you've been watching for four seasons waiting for a certain thing to happen, that's the one!
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
When I was a kid, if you really wanted to talk to one of your idols, it was a long process. You had to find their fan mail address, which could be very difficult if not impossible. Then you had to hand write a letter, find a stamp, get it mailed (at a mailbox), and wait...and wait...and wait...for a response that might never arrive. When I was a kid I wrote letters to Charles Schulz, Donald J Sobel, Dr Suess, Judy Blume, and a bunch more. I got a few letters back, though they're trapped at my mom's house. When I was about 11, I even wrote a fan letter to Scott Baio. He had a PO Box in Studio City for fan mail, which I found in a Tiger Beat mag. I never got even a form letter back. As a kid, I was sad about that. But now that I know what a gross, womanizing, Drumpf-loving goon is in RL, that sting is gone.

The point is that we only wrote to celebs we really liked a lot. It took a lot of effort and time. We did it because we were fans, and we wanted our heroes to know it.

But now...
Anybody with access to a computer or smartphone can Tweet at celebs in real time. Roughly half of said Tweets are complete asshole fodder. Telling people they suck and should kill themselves is Level One for a lot of these clowns. Unlike occasional stalker behavior from deranged fans (that no one really talked about until the girl from My Sister Sam was murdered by one such nutcase), modern celebs often get daily beratings. Robin Williams's children were hounded off Twitter within 2 days of their father's suicide. Those dicks that harassed Sandy Hook parents for "lying about their kids existing" started on Twitter. Twitter hosts murder threats, rape threats, doxxing (though I hear they're better about removing stuff like that now), and a bunch of other things we used to think only criminals thought about.

Much like men who want to show their dicks to virtual strangers (remember when that was a crime committed by a random pervert wearing a long trenchcoat with nothing underneath), stalking via the Internet is more popular (and less criminalized) than ever. Ditto hate speech. Anybody else find it insane that posting a pic of a nipple can get your Facebook account deleted, but threatening to murder the POTUS or calling him the N-word won't get you blocked from Twitter unless the feds get involved? I'm a staunch supporter of Free Speech, but with great power comes all the stuff Spiderman's Uncle Ben talked about.

And like LSD, the internet amplifies and distorts the shit we see and do every day. While we all know that the internet is incredibly helpful overall--it also allows some of the worst behavior on the planet to be widely seen, or even applauded. The immediacy of social media and the ease with which we're able to communicate with people the world over is being squandered, taken for granted, not truly considered for the opportunity that it is. A lot of that is due to people who live as if the Internet has always been there--for youngsters, it has. I started a Livejournal in 2002, in my early 30's. If that blog was a kid, they'd be old enough to have a smartphone and be on Facebook. Yikes!

Not sure what my overall point is. We can use the internet for good or bad, to help people or bring them down. We can use it to educate, inform, or to spread misinformation either deliberately or through apathy or ignorance. Is there a way to encourage people to make better online choices? Or at least, is there a way to truly hold people accountable (at least morally) for the things they say and do online? No, I'm not saying we should curtail speech. Wednes don't play that. But it's obvious that plenty of online assholes are only being assholes online because of the anonymity the internet affords them.

For now let me just ask--if you're only on Twitter to let female singers know that their asses are big, or to tell Jonah Hill that he's a "faggy asshole," maybe take some time to work on RL interpersonal skills before trolling total strangers. If you wouldn't say it in front of your three best friends or your favorite grandparent, don't say it to Lady Gaga. Besides, no one should ever insult Lady Gaga. She's amazing!
wednes: (Wednes Logo)
Probably the question horror writers get asked the most is "Why Horror?" When I interview people, I ask it too. The answers reveal as much about the author as they do about the power of horror itself. No lie. I've been thinking about my earliest introductions to horror, and how I always sort of knew I would always be a horror fan. I've narrowed it down to a few, which are presented in no particular order.

1. Sir Graves Ghastly. Sir Graves was the Detroit host of scary movies on Saturday afternoons. If I was home on a Saturday at 1pm, you could always find me in front of the TV, waiting for Sir Graves to show a black-and-white horror movie. If I wasn't home, I was complaining loudly that I was missing Sir Graves. I saw King Kong, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Them!, something about a woman who could change into a cobra, and whatever else he had for me. Sir Graves read birthdays (and said one year that I had a cute name), showed drawings kids sent in. Once I sent him a giant ceramic skull that was a bank. He opened it on the air. No footage of this exists, which is true of most of Sir Graves broadcasts. They were tossed out like a bunch of S1 Doctor Who episodes. But I always loved Sir Graves--and eventually got to tell him so when I got his autograph when I was about 12.

2. "How to Care for Your Monster" by Norman Bridwell (the guy who also made Clifford the Big Red Dog). I loved this in particular because it looked at the Universal Monsters in a new way. Horror AND Comedy?!? The idea boggled my 2nd grade mind. And I wanted a Frankenstein's Monster soooooo bad.

3. Jaws. I was 4 when trailers for Jaws started running. I begged my mom for a Jaws poster from the grocery store, which was put up on my bedroom door. However, I had so many nightmares that ended with me waking up screaming, my parents finally took it down. Even the trailer gave me nightmares. This was long before we had a VCR, so I didn't actually see Jaws until they showed it on TV. I couldn't fully explain then why I pursued something that gave me nightmares, but I didn't care. I wanted it.

4. 'Salem's Lot. This made-for-TV Tobe Hooper movie scarred many kids my age for life. Not only is it terrifying, children are not safe from The Master (who in this movie is a silent Nosferatu type). The kids get vampirized, and go on to vamp-up other kids. I hadn't felt so personally targeted by a horror movie ever--and frankly didn't again until Silence of the Lambs featured a killer who specifically went after fat chicks. Reading 'Salem's Lot, while awesome, never scared me as much as watching that movie did. I've seen it a billion times and it still makes me jump when Anchorman's boss gets it, and again when Danny Glick sits up in his coffin.

5. The Oakland County Child Killer. A local murderer with a highly unimaginative name (though some called him The Babysitter), this guy was on the prowl for kids my age in my neighborhood for a few years in the 1970's. He was on the news constantly, everyone was talking about him. At one point, my mom told me that my biological father might have been the OCCK. That's not true, but even if it were, that's an insane and horrible thing to tell a child. When I delivered school newsletters to the houses on my street (literally, my route was 3 blocks long), my mom followed me in her car to make sure no one stole me. So I grew up being told daily that a death by kidnapping was imminent. Again, this is something you'd think would repel me from horror, but it didn't.

6. Night of the Living Dead. I've talked at length about this. It scared the hell out of me, and still does. When I have zombie nightmares, they're often about no one believing me that we're all in danger, that the undead are coming, that we need to prepare.

7. Psycho. A movie about a killer mother who turns out to be about a matricidal son? What's not to love? This movie stuck with me not so much for the shower scene, but because I was so totally taken in by it. I responded exactly as Hitchcock wanted me to, at every turn. The novel is a very different sort of story, because Norman is a very different guy. I talk a lot about this in my Bates Motel reviews.
wednes: (Wut?  JoJo)
Growing up with the name Wednesday sort of set me apart from other people. It made me seem weird, conspicuous, and different at a time when I wanted nothing more than to be invisible--one of the crowd. I switched schools a lot when I was younger. Once, in second grade, I asked to be called "Wendy" instead. For those of you who know me now, the idea that I'm a "Wendy" and not "Wednesday" is pretty fucking inconceivable. After a while, I got used to having a weird name, though it was not until my 20's that I began to turn into the skid of weirdness.

I grew up with two brothers who have a different bio-dad than me. My bio-dad has 3 other kids, all of whom appear to be religious whackadoo bigots who I don't bother to associate with. Of the brothers I grew up with, one is awesome and the other is kind of a violent asshat that I don't talk to anymore. When we were kids, we three had the same last name, the first two letters of which are GU.

With that in mind, the older of my two brothers got the nickname "Gumby," because it sounded vaguely like our last name. The younger brother eventually was nicknamed "Pokey," because that was Gumby's little horse friend. Cute, right?

But see, people who didn't know us actually presumed that my parents named their kids Wednesday, Gumby, and Pokey. This made our fam look even weirder than we already were. That's hilarious now. At the time though, yikes...

The Cameo

Apr. 1st, 2016 05:54 am
wednes: (Wizard or the Skull)
A year or so ago, I bought myself a cameo necklace from Etsy. It was one of those super cheap dealies where the item ships from somewhere in Asia and takes 6 weeks to arrive.

It wasn't a face cameo, it was of a human heart. Lots of veins, plus those giant arteries that lead out of it on top. It was awesome. But see, when it arrived, the heart was upside down.

Bummed, I wrote to the seller to explain and ask for an exchange for one that was assembled correctly. But the language barrier was insurmountable, and I decided it wasn't that big a deal. I tossed it in a drawer and didn't think about it.

Last week, I was cleaning out said drawer and found the cameo. At that moment, I was suddenly very taken with the upside down heart. For the rest of the afternoon I tried to come up with some reason why it would be appropriate to have an upside-down cameo of a human heart.

I didn't think of a reason.
Ultimately, I decided that simply liking it that way was enough.
The proper term for that is, I think: Wabi Sabi.
wednes: (Eclipse)
Weather wise, in-between seasons are my most hated times of year. It's hot in here, 76 degrees in fact--with the door wall slightly open (we can't open it a lot, because JoJo goes through screens like I go through Nature Valley cashew bars). I turned the fan on (the one that connects through the heat/air) and it's still 76 friggin degrees in here. Plus it's humid. I loathe humidity.

I ordered us a fan from Amazon. Amazon Prime used to offer overnight shipping for $5 more. Now it's $7 more. Not only that, but Saturday used to count as a business day. But today, I ordered a fan and with two-day shipping, I won't have it until Tuesday. Still, it's cheaper than getting a cab to the store and back. That would actually cost more than the fan itself.

So, whine whine, complain complain...because my brain refuses to function when it's this hot.

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