[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: (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.
wednes: (Cat/Bird)
Like most of us, I don't normally answer my phone when I don't recognize the number. But when it rang around 6:45 this evening, I figured it was either a telemarketer I could mess with, or an amusing wrong number. In fact, it was H's Aunt Sherry, who I don't think I'd ever talked to before.

H's grandmother, a lovely woman named Virginia (also a family name in my own family of origin) had died on Valentine's Day. We hadn't heard from her in a few months, and H was afraid to phone because he kind of expected that this was the reason. Yes, I could have phoned as well. I didn't.

I've blogged about H's grandmother before because she was such an awesome lady. Her husband had a stroke a year or so before he died, and she cared for him full time. They'd been together for over 60 years, which boggles the mind. When he died, she never really got over the sadness of it. Her heart had broken. I imagine that's exactly how I'll feel if I'm unfortunate enough to outlive H. It def speaks to my own selfishness how much I DON'T want to outlive my husband.

I didn't realize, until Aunt Sherry told me, that H and I really were in her thoughts often. She showed off all the gifts and cards we sent her over the years, and displayed our photo prominently in her home. When she went into the hospital and then to hospice, she took our photo with her (and the other grandkids) so she could look at us whenever she wanted. Even when she couldn't keep food down, she asked the nurses to apply the lip balms we sent her for Christmas. She had told me once how amazing it was that I knew how to make them. They're embarrassingly easy. I didn't realize this, but a lot of H's family think I'm a great wife and a wonderful influence on him--and that it's great of me to keep in touch with the family on his behalf.

As many of you know, H's mom and I don't see squarely on many issues. So it's nice to know that there are people in his family that are in favor of our relationship. I mean seriously, we've been together over 15 years. Get over it! H's mom is more bossy than warm, and has been married three times that I know of. I often wondered how H managed to be so kind and loving, fair and patient growing up with his mom. Upon reflection, it was clearly Virginia and her husband Fred who modeled for H what a loving and successful marriage look like. I suppose that means that I owe her a great debt.

It's my job to help come up with something for the inscription at the memorial where the ashes of Fred and Virginia will be interred together. I've got a 26 character limit including spaces. We'll see.

Aunt Sherry told me the greatest thing though. Apparently Virginia wanted to be at home among family at the end. But what she actually said was "I don't wanna go out like a punk," which meant she'd go out on her own terms. And she did.
That is just fucking beautiful.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
People who know us know that H is a wicked talented graphic designer. I love his work, but obvs I'm biased. He's made many cards and gifts for people--lots of posters, printed scripts with cool covers, etc. He designs all my marketing stuff, and created the logos for Under the Bed magazine and The Horror Within, among other things. He's designed some awesome book covers and more marketing stuff for friends, family, and clients.

I'd been pestering him to put a portfolio together, so he could make more money doing something he loves and is awesome at. He didn't. A year ago I figured, screw it. We'll start a business together. I can do book layout and editing, he can do cover and internal graphics. Together, we could help people self-publish their books, and maybe even publish some people outside what I already did with the magazine (except with better communication and more money), and what I do with the site now (again, with more money). So we've had a few clients and done some good work.

Then...one of our clients took some of H's designs to H's day-job for printing. I'm not saying the name of H's work here, and if you know it, please refrain from saying so in the comments. Anyway, this led to questions that then led to H's work informing him that he is not allowed to perform, for profit, any service that his company offers. Even if it's to people who were not customers already. Even if it's something he doesn't actually do for this company, and therefore doesn't involve poaching customers. Even though it doesn't involve using his work's equipment or resources, or wouldn't impact his job function in any way. Even though he's been with the company for almost 20 years and has never been reprimanded in any capacity. He isn't allowed to use his skills to make money on his own time, because employees of his company in another facility H has never even been to, do something similar to what he does--design graphics.

I can't even put into words how sad and angry I am about this.
Our new business was going really well. We had annoying clients who paid us a good wage, and let us work together to do great things for a variety of projects. It was great and promised to only get more awesome as time went on.

Now it's over.
Sure, I can still take on clients for layout and editing. But I don't have H's skills backing me up. We can't offer cover design services or marketing support that requires the use of graphics (ie: most of it). We'd never be a full-service company for people who want to publish books. All because an obscenely profitable and absurdly huge company thinks they have a right to tell H what to do in his own time, with his own computers and talent. And being H, he's not even going to argue with them. Because that's the kind of employee he is.
I can't even let H know the full extent of my disappointment and anger, because he already feels really bad about it.

So long, [name of company redacted].
You were a good dream.
wednes: (Hazel 2)
I was watching That 70's Show recently because TVLand or whoever started them over from the beginning. Before Eric and Donna got together, Hyde made a pretty serious play for Donna. He even learned how to dance so he could dance with her when they skipped town to go to a disco. Her response? "Shut up and dance." Here's what Hyde did:
Kept dancing.
Maintained a respectful distance.
Was happy for his best friend when he got together with her.
Let it go.

What didn't Hyde do?
Kiss her anyway.
Call her a bitch/tease/whore/slut/dyke/etc.
Tell her how sorry she'd be some day.
Shoot up a women's studies class.
Keep pestering her in the hopes that she'd change her mind.
Remind her and everyone else what a Nice Guy (TM) he was.
Develop a disturbing and ever-growing hatred of women.

Even though Hyde is considered less than a moral ideal on that show, he was totally cool about the things that matter. Steven Hyde teaches us that you can drink underage, smoke pot, be lazy on occasion, reject the establishment, and come from a trashy family of terrible people--and still be a good person.

The concept of friend-zoning someone is still pretty hilarious to me. I suspect that teens have been subjected to such a glut of stupid romantic comedies and teen sex romp movies that boys think they have some sort of dramatic imperative to "fight for" and "win" the girl of their dreams. If they don't, they're either a complete loser or they "gave up too soon." That's a shame, because the idea of waiting around until She suddenly sees you as a sex god is about as silly as asking Elon Musk to turn you into Captain America.

I grew up as a fat teenager in the 80's. Back in the day, the concept of "friend zoning" did not exist. If you liked someone and they didn't like you that way you were supposed to get the hell over it and move on. Hanging around with them in the hopes that they'd change their mind about you was considered pathetic. Trust me, I know of whence I speak on this. Never, at no time, EVER was the object of your affection considered an asshole for the mere "crime" of not finding you attractive. Why? Because that would be stupid. That's not how attraction works. And yeah, those unrequited teenage crushes can hurt like hell, I know that too. But your pain doesn't mean anyone owes you anything.

As far as I've seen women never expect someone who doesn't find them attractive to suddenly do so after they're nice for a long time or whatever. But somehow, lots of men do. What's more--these men are often the last ones who would consider dating a fat chick or someone considered not stereotypically beautiful. I'm reminded of the American Dad episode where Francine "lets herself go" to prove that Stan loves her for her true self, and he ends up putting his own eyes out because she's so ugly to him that he can't look at her. He says something like 'Francine, I want a beautiful wife. If marriage was about connection, I'd have married that fat girl I had all those great conversations with.'

This philosophy basically boils down to, "Why don't any really HOT girls realize that beauty is only skin deep?" Because life is not a beer commercial, you assholes. And hanging around waiting for your "nice" friendship to morph into a sex parade is not what a "nice guy" would do.
It's what predators do.
wednes: (Eclipse)
As you know, my fiction writing has been minimal since I started writing for a living. Not that I would change anything, but I feel decidedly unmotivated after a few hours of work-writing, to sit and write any fiction. But that's lame. That's stupid. And I need to do better.

Still, I'm in a new anthology that you can (and totally should) buy Right Now! It's called "Not Your Average Monster" and contains stories by plenty of up and comers. For only $2.99 it's an utter steal.

My story, "Raja" is one I've written years ago and that can also be found in audiobook form as a podcast. That's got a pretty excellent cast and some great music too.

In other news, being a book producer is a pretty cool gig--or would be if it weren't for needy clients. It's allowing me to do cool things and buy cool stuff. With that in mind, I invested in a fake Pandora bracelet and some fake beads. Obviously, the Pandora bracelet thing is a huge scam where you pay $40-$120 for a plain bracelet and between $20-$300 for each friggin' charm and bead. I got the bracelet for $8 and a slew of beads and charms that totaled about $35. Some from Amazon, some from etsy. Will post a pic when I get it put together. Yeah, I'm a chick. You wanna fight about it?

We finally went to Secretary of State to renew my "driver's" license. You should all be frightened by how easy it was for me to convince the state that I'm cool to drive. An eye test that literally took 15 seconds. No driving test (I took one of those in high school, then never again), not even a written test. They asked me if I had any blackouts or memory lapses, and took my word for it. Really?
I mean, really?
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
Remember last summer when Facebook decided I was a liar with a fake name? I had to go through all this bullshit of sending IDs, having them ask for more, sending more, having them tell me they couldn't read what I've sent (despite it being perfectly legible). Eventually, they told me everything was fine. It wasn't. I notice too that Photobucket deleted my screencaps of my Emails with Facebook people. I presume they're in cahoots. Days later, I was again told that this was all fine. Apparently, it still isn't.
Woke up last night to find myself locked out of Facebook AGAIN. The message? "Please change your name. It looks like the name on your Facebook account may not be your authentic name. We ask everyone to use the name they go by in real life so friends know who they're connecting with."
I could count on my fingers the number of people who know me by my legal name, which is Wednesday Lee [H's last name, which I took legally when I got married]. So much foolishness. How many IDs do I need to show Facebook in order to keep arguing politics with strangers and looking at pictures of cats and dinners? Seriously.


It occurs to me, that I won't be able to log into Photobucket for this week's reviews since my login has always been via Facebook. So, if they don't fix this shit by Sunday, this foolishness will start costing me real jobs and actual money.
EDIT: Looks like I can log in via Twitter, who appears to be the lesser asshole in this situation. It's generally the users on Twitter who suck, not Twitter itself.

I wish there was a way to do what I normally do on the Internets without having to bow and scrape to a company that only uses us as marketing chattel in the first place, gives no control over content, and then occasionally accuses us of not knowing our own names. WTF. #Annoyance

Busy

Feb. 8th, 2016 11:21 am
wednes: (Elephant on Trampoline)
I haven't posted at all in February yet. So I feel like I should even though I don't have much to say. Oh wait, there is one thing.

If you're voting for Hillary Clinton solely because you think "it's about time for a woman president," you should shut your face. Sure, it would be nice if gender was less an issue when we choose politicians. But gender isn't relevant to whether or not someone is right for the job, would do a good job, or is the strongest choice for the position at hand.

Me, I don't find Hillary to be trustworthy. She always seems fake and forced, plus she loves big banks. I get that she's experienced and strong-willed, but if she's not strong-willed about stuff I think is important (single payer health care, $15 or higher minimum wage, less war), why the hell should I support her?

Trump

Jan. 28th, 2016 03:19 am
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
I'm trying to say as little as possible about Trump, while still not ignoring his more vile tendencies. I can't imagine that he could ever actually win the presidency. The primaries are mostly wank for the majority of candidates. I'm honestly not sure Trump wants to be POTUS in the first place. But since he's never done anything with skill, honesty, or integrity, I wouldn't expect him to be honest about his true intentions.

I'm not surprised that Republicans and "undecided" voters gravitate toward a showman who lives to shock people with the asinine things he says. I should think the main reason other Republicans don't like Trump is that it's highly possible that he'll get the GOP nomination. And that there's no way in hell that he can win.

It's also looking like Hilldog is not gonna get her wish this time around either. Bernie would have to fall seriously ill (or worse) to lose this thing to her. Yeah, she has a ton of experience and would do a passable job. But she's not really going to do shit about income inequality, the minimum wage, veterans affairs, campaign finance, and a lot of other shit that's fucking things up for everyone who isn't upper-middle class or above.

Honestly, I think what I hate most about Trump this week is that he actually makes me want to defend Megyn Kelly. But dammit, the enemy of my enemy can't always be my friend. She truly is a vile woman.

Um...

Jan. 19th, 2016 01:12 pm
wednes: (Homer/Stones)
Am I the only one who remembers that Glenn Frey was kind of an asshole? Not quite as bad as Don Henley though.

Both of those dudes were bitter jags when the Beavis and Butthead album knocked Eagles Greatest Hits off the charts. "I guess we'll all get together in 20 years for the Beavis and Butthead reunion."

And then we did.

Because Beavis and Butthead are hilarious.
wednes: (Hail Ants!)
Been thinking about Political Correctness, because that's something I do a lot. It began as a great idea, and despite a few who have used it as an excuse to be what I call Word Bullies, it's still a good idea. Living in a liberal town and having almost entirely progressive friends, it's easy for me to forget how much racism, sexism, and general fuckery there is to be had in the world.

And then it becomes an election year, and it all comes flooding back.

Here's the thing about PCness (ha!), that I think it's important to remember. If you think of social change as a pendulum, we can say that the conversation has swung way far in the direction of sensitivity. But that's because we spent a long-ass time on the other side of things.

The further you go back in America's history, the more atrocities we see encouraged or at least tolerated by the government. Colonists were seeking freedom--religious and otherwise. But they first order of business was tricking, murdering, and stealing from the natives who were already here--and didn't murder or rob us when we got here. (Yeah, I know most of you aren't related to original colonists, but without them there still might not be predominantly white people here). Then slavery, witch trials, religious tests not just for government, but for tons of jobs, and general acceptance in your community. Even since the Great Depression, we've gone from having KKK members all over government and police departments to...having much less of that. In our grandparent's lifetime, lynchings happened with regularity, marital rape wasn't considered possible because it was the husband's right and the police shouldn't be involved--ditto most domestic assaults including child abuse.

So yeah, we're finally swinging back the other way. Now I don't approve of passing moral judgements on people because of jokes that fell flat, insensitive comments, etc. In general, I don't think people should lose their jobs for being racist (exceptions for teachers, cops, and other jobs where that can compromise your duties). I don't believe in Hate Crimes Legislation, if only because we should punish people for their actions, not their thoughts. I think people can say something stupid or thoughtless and yet not necessarily be branded Racist For Life.

You know how in the spring when you start opening the windows and letting in natural light? One of the first things you notice is how friggin' filthy your house got. So you figure you'd better at least vacuum and dust a few things. But the more stuff you clean, the more you notice the cobwebs and cat hair and collection of milk ring caps under every goddamn shelf. And before you know it, you're scrubbing out your kitchen cabinets, moving shelves, dusting behind the microwave--vowing to get rid of every last bit of dirt--it's not gonna hide from YOU, by Zod.

Well, that's what's happening to Political Correctness. It's not enough to just get people to stop using racial slurs at parties or slapping secretary's asses at the office. PCness (giggity!) wants to ensure that whether you're a racial or religious minority, a chick, have a disability or a mental illness, are gay or fat or super skinny or trans or atheist or you pass out if you eat gluten--that you're free to live your life without taking a constant barrage of shit for it. And that's a good thing. Trigger Warnings too, are a way to be respectful to people who are dealing with things that you may not be. Complaining about them because you personally don't need them makes you kind of a dick. Being kind and respectful isn't a hardship--or if it is, you might just want to examine your own sense of self-importance instead of blaming people for the inconvenience of deserving basic human courtesy.

So while most of my PC-related posts are about how stifling language is dangerous and counterproductive, I do think it's important that we remember that there's a reason all this is happening.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)
OMFG, I hate everything today.

The washer in our building has been broken since well before Christmas. Once it had been broken for two weeks, they magnanimously decided to allow H a key to a different building to use their washer. Alas, they kept his driver's license (they claim they gave it back, but it's fucking nowhere to be found) so now we can't do any more laundry until H gets a new one from secretary of state--or they actually fix the goddamn thing.

See, our lease says we live in a building with a washer and dryer. They don't give a shit. When I call to say "What's the holdup, it's been over a month," they also don't care. There's no recognition that "Oh, that's gotta suck for people who don't drive to not be able to do their laundry." Nope. It's like they've never worked a customer service gig before, and have no idea that sometimes--people just want to know that you give a rat's ass about fixing their problem. I shouldn't have to explain, for example, that if they don't have an answer for me, they need to call me back when they get one.

Also, I had to buy more socks.

I also have a client driving me insane, and who honestly seems to think that I'm sitting around doing nothing any time I'm not doing work for him. He knows very little about the book market or the industry in general--but refuses to take the advice of those who do. I foresee that he's going to pay me to handle his marketing, then blame me when the book doesn't sell--even though the reason it won't sell is that nobody is going to pay $20 for an eBook by someone they've never heard of, on a topic that's on its way out. Cripes!
The AHS finale tonight (which I'm SURE will disappoint), and the general tenor of the internet being...well, it's the internet. I imagine I don't have to explain.

I'm not gonna go on and on about this, but if you think that within 48-hours of David Bowie's death is a good time to call him a "kiddie rapist" because he may have had sex with an underage groupie in the 70's...fuck you. You couldn't possibly care about that or you'd have brought it up sometime in the 70's, or 80's, or 90's, etc. But no, you clickbaity sons of bitches can't wait to garner a few pennies per click off the not-yet-cold body of a man who--even after he knew he was dying, put together something amazing for his fans.
Let me just say that while there is certainly the potential for abuse when adults have sex with teenagers--not all teen/adult sex is rape (you'll notice that ages of consent vary from state to state) and that people don't magically go from frightened child-victims to fully competent, informed adults upon the occasion of their 18th birthday (or 17th, or 15th, depending on the state). Moreover, I'm tired of people dictating how other people's sexual experiences should be judged...or the idea that they should be judged at all. If an individual asks for your help or guidance, you should give it. If they haven't, stay the fuck out of it.
wednes: (Shaun/Beatin')
I finally, at long last, have my proper medication in hand after being more than two weeks without it. As of last night though, my psyche was pretty much broken. I was within a breath of telling H to "shut the fuck up and stay away from me," which is simply not how we speak to each other. But my brain was broken.

In weirdness news, I learned that there's a way to report people who steal your Tweets. One wouldn't think stealing Tweets would be a thing, since there's a simple button that lets you retweet. But for a few months now, there's a chick who's been copy/pasting my tweets, putting her initials in front--basically posting Tweets that look like she's telling me something I just said. But on her feed it looks like it's her own content. Why would anyone do this, aside from general fuckery? I do not know.
So today, after this person stole and copy/pasted my tweet about (of all things) reporting stolen tweets, I told her that I reported her. She responded as if she had no idea it was unethical to copy/paste other people's Tweets. She seemed to think that because she tagged me in "her" Tweets, that she was giving me credit.

I had to SMH and laugh, because I have a book client right now who I've literally spent hours with, trying to explain Twitter. But they still don't understand it. I realize that all social media sites have their own idiosyncratic elements that have a learning curve. But really?

Blue Cross Blue Shield can fuck right off, BTW. They decided to stop covering something I need. So instead of it costing $5 a month, the new "uninsured" price is $235 a month. Needless to say, that means I won't be getting it. I can almost understand why they wouldn't cover it. But I cannot understand how concentrated hydrocortisone could possibly cost that much. Fucking pharma-bros, all of them! I'm told that in other parts of the world, it's illegal to make a profit on medical supplies. Seems like common sense, right? Another way the US of A is teh oligarchy. Maybe everyone should shut the fuck up and stay away from me, at least until I feel more like my usual charming self.
wednes: (TV!!!)
Every now and then, someone will express surprise to me that I have this person or that person as an online friend, despite them spouting unpopular views or having strong opinions I don't agree with, or even doing shitty things like posting spoilers on purpose. But people who know me well know that I enjoy dialoging about tough topics--especially among those with whom I disagree. I don't want my life to be an echo chamber of shit I already agree with. Plus, I don't know everything, and people I don't agree with are more likely to know shit that I don't know. Though they might still be bugfuck wrong. ;-)

Today I saw a post referencing Jessica Jones on Netflix. Someone else was basically saying that because in the first episode, there was a single joke they didn't like (a joke that was insensitive to, and at the expense of, fat people), they "had no interest in" the rest of the series. Now obviously, people can choose to watch whatever the hell they want. But I found it curious that this post came from a person who, every day, argues that people need to seek out information that conflicts with what they've been taught, and that they need to be more respectful of alternate/new viewpoints. I really can see both sides of this.

On the one hand, we can all choose only to expose ourselves to people, things, ideas, and speech that is to our liking. For most people, watching TV is a leisure time activity and is supposed to be fun. Plenty of people watch TV and movies to escape the bullshit they see out in the world--so the last friggin thing they need is to see mean shit on their down time.
Personally, I like my viewing material to be more challenging, so I often seek out things that will make me think, feel discomfort, ponder and debate, or get really, really scared as I wonder what I'd do if what was happening to the characters was happening to me. But that's me--overall, my life is pretty easy.

On the other hand, I think it's myopic and incredibly limiting to say "I don't like something this character said, so I'm not going to expose myself to any of this material." In this case, that means missing out on the entirety of Jessica Jones, which would be a bummer for anyone who appreciates complex characters, or in-depth discussion of issues like responsibility, trauma, control, and consent. Plus, it's an awesome cast in a well-plotted show that everyone can get something out of--you know, unless they bail after Ep1.
When I say, "It's only a show," I'm not saying that what happens in fiction doesn't matter because it's just pretend. But I *am* saying that fictional characters shouldn't have the same impact as real-life people doing and saying real-life things. If they do, you might need to step back.
The characters in the TV aren't your friends. The rules of interpersonal communication do not apply. Watching a program doesn't make you complicit in the actions of the fictional characters--not even the protagonists. The Godfather is one of the greatest films ever made. Yet most of us don't leave the theatre wishing we had Luca Brasi's job. It's possible to laugh at Three's Company (for lack of a better example) without actually thinking homophobia is hilarious or that gay people deserve to be mocked or belittled.
Surely we're not so fragile that we have to scurry away from any speech we don't like, or pretend that everyone who appears in fictional media has to conform to our personal standards of morality or interpersonal communication-- or we just can't bear to look?!? Or is it a question of feeling "disrespected" by jokes? It might bear keeping in mind that TV shows and movies aren't made with any 1 audience member in mind. If they were, we'd probably know that before tuning in. Why is it so easy for some of us to be offended by people who literally don't know we exist? I'm certainly guilty of this.

It's possible that I'm assigning emotions or motivations incorrectly to behaviors I don't like. It might be that I loathe the superior air with which people say "I don't watch THAT" as if not watching something is analogous to actually doing something that helps oppressed people. Maybe it's the idea that you really can't have dramatic conflict in a world where no one has a problem with women, or men, or rich people, or poor people, or racial minorities, or religious minorities, or fat people, trans people, gay people, people with disabilities, people with mental illness, or takes issue with how people dress, how they dance, who they date, where they come from, or whether or not they can grammar.
EVERYONE sees the world through their own filters. EVERYONE judges other people for reasons seen and unseen. If you think you don't, sorry--but you're a filthy liar.
The more types of people we expose ourselves to, the more we learn about our fellow humans. Obviously, there are valid reasons not to befriend a mafioso, or a gaggle of methheads, or a pray-the-gay-away commune in real-life. But in media? One of the best steps we can take toward understanding each other is to expose ourselves to as much varied media as we can--and do our best to understand what we see viscerally--not just turning our backs on new material one rough comment in. We can do better than that. And for most of us, our lives are comfortable enough that we can safely expose ourselves to a whole helluva lot via the media at our disposal without collapsing into a quivering puddle of sobs or annoying short-lived outrage that doesn't go anywhere.

So kids, watch what you like--or don't watch. But if I may personify Television for a moment: I promise that the mean old TV-box isn't going to hurt you unless you let it. It's just a box. I promise. And if you let fear and potential discomfort keep you from exploring all the box has to offer, the least you can do is not blame it on the box.

Indian Food

Jan. 5th, 2016 12:37 pm
wednes: (MamaCass)
I had Indian food for the first time last night.

Paneer with spinach and a seafood dish in a spicy sauce with yogurt and nuts. Also, garlic paneer. H had paneer as well and a citrusy tomato sauce. It was really spicy. Mine was supposed to be "medium" but I also found it intensely spicy.

Here's the thing.
I need to learn to make--at the very least, paneer and that sauce, which is called "korma" sauce. I'm guessing that this will require a bunch of specialized shopping, since I doubt I have any of the spices I need onhand. Well, garlic. Always garlic.

How did a whole nationality of cuisine this awesome escape me for my whole life up to this point?


In other news, I went to the doc yesterday after not going for almost a year. The new doc is actually pretty awesome. My numbers were slightly worse than last year, which stands to reason since I was out of a few meds and have been taking abysmal care of myself since falling into a crazy depression. I got a referral for a therapist, and they also want me to have an EKG stress test thingy. I don't know why provoking my heart is a good idea, but I'm not a doctor. I'm also behind for a mammogram, so I probably should call back and get a referral for that too.

I need to get one of those lights for seasonal affective disorder. I was hoping my insurance would cover it, but no such luck. They're surprisingly costly. Fie!
wednes: (OMG!!!)
As most of you know, my relationship with children is complex.
There are plenty of individual children that I enjoy very much. I like talking with them, buying them presents, hanging out, watching movies--a lot of the stuff I like to do anyway is more fun to do with an enthusiastic young kid.

Also...some kids are annoying little shits. It's usually not their fault, since they always have at least one parent who's also an annoying shit. But once a kid gets to be 12 or 13, they know damn well when they're being little assholes, and they need to stop that shit if they want an invite to my home.

There's a kid living in my building now. She screams at the top of her lungs on a regular basis, and for no apparent reason. Now, I expect this to happen at home--where I might occasionally hear it from my own apartment. If this was a sometime thing, it wouldn't be that annoying. But it happens at all hours (and this is ME, of no fixed schedule saying that). She screams in the hallway, while running up and down the stairs, and just outside our bedroom window. Okay, that's "outside" and kids should probably have outside places where they can scream--but dammit, there shouldn't be a kid screaming outside my bedroom window for hours at a time.
Worst part is? She's never alone. There's always a parent with her--one that doesn't seem to think that the screaming in the hall, up and down the stairs, whenever they enter or exit the building--is a problem.

I'm certainly petty and manic enough to want to place some speakers directly outside this family's door and treat them to some German industrial music when they least expect it. But it might also be nice if there was a way to say "Shut your kid up, why don't you," and not have it sound like "You are a terrible parent, and might should try doing better before I kick your ass." I'm told that my opinions on other people's parenting can seem judgy and rude. At the same time, I think parents only get shitty about my parenting observations when they know damn well that I'm right. *snerk*

Loot

Dec. 25th, 2015 12:25 pm
wednes: (Santa?)
I gave H a Kindle Fire for Christmas. Its low price allowed this to be the first time in 15 years together that I've bought H any electronics. However, I didn't keep the secret very well. Five minutes after he opened it he went into his office and returned with a case.
Me: "Oh, it came with a case? That's awesome, I didn't realize..."
Him: "No, it didn't."
Me: "But that's a case right there."
Him: "I know. I wanted to make sure it was protected."
Me: ...

I also gave H a ton of candy from the vintage candy store. Funny, because the candy is new and old all at once. Most of it is either sour or hot. He also got an Agents of SHIELD pin, which is awesome, and a Matchbox batmobile, because I was in a mood to buy people batmobiles this year. No reason.
JoJo got a new cat bed that's shaped like a shark, and a heating pad for the inside. Pentelope is too cranky to celebrate Xmas, but she did get some tuna treats that look like tiny steaks.

What did *I* get?
Well, first H and I both got a new vacuum. It's a Dirt Devil that promises to stand up to the hair-nanza that is our cats.
H's mom got us a humidifier, which I'm pretty sure is a passive-aggressive gift. After not acknowledging my birthday last month, she got us something she knew I would hate. I told her at our wedding (before she walked out in a huff before the ceremony) how much I hate humidity. Ah well...

H got me some movies:
Deep Red (Profundo Rosso)--a fave of mine that I lost years ago in a tragic loaning mishap.
Jane Eyre (the one with Mia W. And Michael Fassbender). My 3rd version of Jane Eyre on DVD. Sweet!
The Strangler (starring the great Victor Buono)

He also got me some fancy food:
Salt and Vinegar kettle chips
old fashioned shortbreads from Zingerman's
Zingerman's "magic" brownie (but not 420-magic)
marcona almonds (hilarious, because of the Specific Store on Family Guy)
And a deck of Harry Potter playing cards (or minor arcana tarot, if you prefer).

I'm told that one of my gifts will be late. Not sure what's up with that.
We also got an impressive haul of cards, but no cookies.
That's right, not a single person sent us homemade holiday cookies, and I didn't bake any. Oops. And here my doctor has been begging me to work more cookies into my diet. Not.

Okay, time to make pancakes and sausages.
wednes: (Handfasting)
H's birthday is more fun for me than my birthday.
For my birthday, I throw a party. I clean everything and cook a bunch of food and stress out about invites and reminders and every silly detail. Then the party happens and it's somewhere between fine and awesome, and then it's over.

For H's birthday, we don't really have people over. He's even less fond of other people than I am. So I cook him a nice meal, get him some cool pressies, and do all the other *ahem* stuff a good wife does. ;-)

This year, he was taken to see Star Wars, which he loved. His mom sent him the very grown-up gift of a humidifier with some kind of whiff that goes in it. Ryan got him a combination birthday/Xmas gift. Since it's not Christmas yet, H has decided to wait to open it. Where he gets his self control, I do not know. Hope it's not a puppy, because he'll be mighty hungry by Friday. LOL

I got H the following:
An assortment of classic, hot, and sour candy.
He loves that shit.
A replica of the Lawkeeper badge from Defiance.
A book called "The Science of Doctor Who" which is cooler than most similar sounding books. Not really an examination of what they got right or wrong. Rather, it's about how actual RL science could give us the kind of events seen on the show.
Coooooool.
I also got him a graphic novel version of the teleplay "City on the Edge of Forever," which is from Star Trek TOS in case you didn't know. Ellison FTW, amirite?

Later, I'll be making H some nachoes, because that's what he wants. Also, some cookies. He likes Alton Brown's puffy cookie recipe with Reece's chips instead of chocolate.

Okay, I'm off to do some child-care, which I'll actually be doing at home.
That means kids movies and Ninento Wii for the bulk of the day. Better than what I had planned, which was SEO articles.
wednes: (Santa?)
Have you seen this picture?
 photo 12316143_10206744484384965_2987863546914017243_n_zpsb7sc4orq.jpg
Some lady posted it on Facebook, saying how funny it was that her kid would probably never forgive her. The pic got tons of comments of people LOLing and guffawing over how knee-slappingly hysterical it is that the kid was so angry. People are sharing it all over as if this kid's pain and feelings of betrayal are the stuff of real comedy.

Not surprisingly, it makes me sick.
Look, I get that it's common for parents to collude to tell most American kids the same dumb lie about a jolly fat guy who breaks into their house and leaves gifts. Of course, people breaking into houses isn't funny, no, not even when it happens to little MacCauley Culkin.
Kids taking things from strangers used to also be strongly cautioned against--until we figured out that most kids are kidnapped or molested by people they already know. But yeah, I do understand that Santa is a fun thing for parents to do. Ditto that "there's a doll watching you at all times," elf thing. I get that many people think "pretending" is different from lying, and that this distinction is different in every household. When your teenager "pretends" that they were studying when they were actually out getting high and having sex--I doubt that it will be seen as "hilarious" or "just part of growing up" the way the Santa lie is. Even if "every kid goes through that."

Surely, once the kid actually asks whether Santa (or the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, Jesus) is real or made-up, a parent has an obligation to tell the truth? Everyone keeps telling me it's harmless, or even a good thing for parents to lie to kids. I'm just not seeing it. Of course, I have enough issues that my own life isn't a prime example of what any parent should or should not do. But I can't get my head around why you'd lie to a kid if you don't want them to lie to you.

Let's say though, that lying to kids is fine because they're just kids and kids should just shut up and do what they're told. It's not, but let's say that it is.
Once you realize that your lie has hurt and upset your child, that they don't believe they can trust you anymore and are devastated--why the fuck would you be laughing at that?
If I understand this right, the "joke" is that Santa isn't very important and that kids will "get over it." Maybe parents have forgotten that being a kid is not easy. You're little, you can't do all the things people around you can do. You're trying to figure everything out and find your place in the world you live in. Why the hell is it FUNNY for the people who are supposed to be helping you to a) lie to you, and b) laugh at the fact that their lies have compromised your relationship? Isn't laughing at pain you caused the action of a playground bully?

To a kid, Santa is a very, very big deal. Personally, I used to wish that Santa would find my real parents who were happy and successful and really wanted me around--but I digress. Santa is as important to a kid as your marriage is to you. If you got a divorce, would it be FUNNY for your ex to post a vid of you crying? After all, you'll "get over it," right? Maybe all his buddies can laugh at how upset you are--because thinking that marriage would last was (like Santa) utterly ridiculous, right? Sheesh.
wednes: (Go Crazy?)


Been thinking a lot about online trolls. The point of trolling, when it began, was what trolls used to call "causing emotion." Essentially, the "joke" was that people got mad at stuff that wasn't real. Why wasn't it real? Because it was on the internet.
When someone says something that isn't true, you weren't supposed to call them a liar anymore, according to trolls. Sure, they said something that was knowingly false, and for the purpose of making you believe it. But it was a prank, a TROLL. And hahaha, because by believing something that a person told you--you "fell for it." Yep, you've been trolled. Even in the early days of the internets, trolling was just lying and then pretending it was a joke. You know, because advancing the idea that no human should ever trust another is side-splittingly hilarious, or something.

Later, "troll" became a catch-all phrase for assholes who spread assholery online for their own assholish reasons. Women talking about their own rape trauma--troll trots over to a women's health forum to call other members "sluts and teases." Gay chatroom for suicidal kids is trolled by trolls that say "Do it, Fag, nobody cares about you anyway!" Hahahaha--TROLLING! Isn't that funny? *eyeroll* It's the internet version of a drive-by. No accountability, no real reason for it. Just fuckery for its own sake. Aside from the fact that I don't see the humor in being shitty to strangers for no reason--I have to wonder about the mental stability of a person who thinks such a thing is clever, chuckleworthy, or even a good use of their time.
Sure, misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia are already huge issues in society, and would be even without the internet. Duh. But this sort of trolling smacks of nihilism that asserts that communication is useless, ideas are dumb, and all the good the internet can do should be interrupted by useless dickheads so desperate to create a ripple in the virtual water that they hurl not just stones--but intense hatred, vile threats, and general evil intent. But HAHAHA! Because "trolling!"

At one point, it seemed like clever people might take trolling back. There was a movement to troll in ways that were funny, witty, and not meant to terrorize anyone, or encourage any suicides. But alas, it didn't last.

From where I'm sitting, modern trolls can be translated thusly:
--You care about something, and that is dumb.
--I said something that wasn't true and you believed me, and that is dumb.
--I don't agree with you [vulgarities, threats, insanity], and that is dumb.
--People are enjoying something--we'll see about THAT.
--People are improving a situation--we'll see about THAT.
--Something terrible has happened, but I don't care because it wasn't me.
--Actually witty trolling that isn't meant to belittle or harm anyone.

Even trolling on behalf of outright anarchy would make more sense to me than trolling with the intent of hurting strangers on purpose. You know, people who basically say, "Hey, I'm a fucking asshole. If people are upset because of a fucking asshole, that's their problem." People who think that way should probably just commit themselves to a mental institution and not come out until they're better. But they won't, because they're assholes. Maybe a fun troll would be to SWAT them, except instead of a calling SWAT, call the nice young men in their clean white coats to come and take them Awaaaaaaay (to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time).
No, that won't happen.
But it's a beautiful dream.
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
My annual birthday bash (AKA, amazement that I'm still alive party) was Saturday. As always, there were a handful of people who couldn't make it. Drag.

But plenty of people did make it. There was mediterranean food. I didn't have time to make falafel at the last minute--so I ordered it from the same restaurant that catered our wedding. I did make toum and hummus, a pineapple upside down bundt cake, a nutella cream pie. Friends brought wine, grape leaves, baklava, more wine, candies and snacks. The crowd was wonderful.

I got to give away stuff too. My young friend Emory (age 9) was given a telescope and a book on telescoping. I gave my friend's kid a violin setup, and had a box of awesome books and craft supplies to give away as well. Anyone who wanted to got to leave with pressies.

There are pictures, if you're into that sort of thing.

I got some more gifts, which was amazing:
A really nice kitchen knife
A copy of Faust with awesome creepy illustrations
My fave kind of lemon bar mix
A lego Gargoyle
Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans
Apple chips and Pumpkin spice chips (because I'm a white girl, I think)
A beautiful bouquet of yellow roses
Several new Mad Lib books. I fucking love Mad Libs

Somebody smoked tobacco in our bathroom. That sucks, because H was mad. We don't allow tobacco smoking inside, because it reeks for days. I do have to laugh though, when smokers think they're fooling people. Even if it didn't reek, there were ashes left in my sink.
Also, I was sharing a pack of fortune telling fish with everyone. When I got the pack, there were 100. I've given them out at various function, so there were probably 60-some left. I told every guest to take one, and a few to take some home for their kids. Somehow though, the entire goddamn package disappeared. Again, this is disappointing, because taking more than 50 of them isn't sharing--it's stealing. Imma chalk that up to intoxicants, which were flowing like wine (and pot).

So, you take the good.
You take the bad
You take them both
and then you have
The party for my 45th birthday.

Berfday!

Nov. 27th, 2015 08:10 pm
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
What did I get for my birthday? I knew you were dying to know.

H got me four new Pop Funko figures: Jason Vorhees (#1 in the hockey mask), Pennywise the Clown, and two from The Walking Dead: Little girl with the plushie, and The Governor. Nice!!! He also took the bus to get us Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I love that place.

H's sister got me a Game of Thrones coloring book, and my Aunt sent me a lovely card. So that's all awesome. Tomorrow is my party, which will include fantastic company, yummy food, and conversation that will tear your soul apart...or something. H is gonna take tons of pics, I hope. He has to take them because he doesn't want to be in them.

H's mom did not acknowledge my birthday. If I didn't know better, I'd swear she was MY mom. Ha!

There have been two terrible shootings since the last time I blogged. #BlackLivesMatter protestors were shot at a rally by...well, we know who they were shot by. Funny, I didn't hear anyone lamenting that those protestors didn't have weapons, lest they defend themselves from the racist asshats who shot them.
And today at Planned Parenthood. Without knowing who the shooter is or why this happened, I'm prepared to make the standard presumptions: some fake Christian who wants to protect fetuses while voting away any programs that might help actual children. I'll predict that his weapon(s) were bought legally, and that the media will focus on mental illness and extremism as root causes. Because heaven forfend we talk about how easy it is for violent nutters to get guns.

No word on how many people croaked during Black Friday shopping. I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow when the YouTubes of in-store fisticuffs start showing up.

And finally, I won the #NaNoWriMo. Because I am awesome.
wednes: (Really?)
How much more disgusted is it possible to be with one's countrymen? Every time I think I've reached maximum disgust between the Tea Party and all their nonsense, in-your-face gun activists who can't go out to dinner without packing major heat, and Donald Trump being treated as if he's actually a viable presidential candidate--I get schooled on how cowardly and terrible Americans can be.

I know plenty of Christians online and in RL--of all stripes. I know Mormons who think it's their duty to keep having more children as long as they can, even though they aren't able to support them financially. I know Baptists who were taught, and still struggle with, slut-shaming being the duty of any good parent. I know Catholics who honestly believe that using birth control is a one-way ticket to damnation. I don't agree with these things. Frankly, I doubt the veracity of those who claim to honestly adopt these beliefs as part of their worship of a purportedly benevolent god.

But here's the thing: I've been hearing for years now about how we have to do everything the bible says, lest we be immoral. Of course the people who say this don't really mean it--because they wear glasses to church, eat shrimp, don poly-cotton blends, get haircuts, etc, etc, etc. They also don't own slaves or force rape victims to marry their attackers. But hey, we have to follow at least the spirit of the bible, right? For morality? That's why we're supposed to applaud people like Cliven whatever the fuck who trespassed to graze his cattle, or Kim Davis who "took a stand" against those awful gays with all that gayness. It's because of the bible that we have to refuse to make pizzas for gay weddings or rip our kids out of scouts because the leader is gay. It's why Planned Parenthood is getting ridden out of town on a rail despite a profound and immediate need for it. Because Jesus, because bible.

But now...that war orphans, widows, displaced families are desperately seeking asylum--what do we do? "Sorry, all full. Sorry (not sorry) but none of you can come here." Shit, this cowardly bullshit is even coming from the very people who wouldn't even fucking be here if it wasn't for the US taking in refugees. I'm looking at YOU, Ted Cruz, you shrewish sack of crap. And the Anne Frank thing? It's actually true. She might still be alive now if we hadn't wanted to "stay out of it."

If you have honestly informed yourself about the Paris attacks and the overall refugee situation caused by Daesh (which was, in fact, largely caused by the good ol' US of A), and your takeaway is that they're all Muslims which means all terrorists which means GTFO? You are a monster. You aren't living by traditional Christian morality, and you sure as fuck don't believe that #AllLivesMatter despite your insistence to the contrary. As many others have said better than I: By refusing refugees, we are giving in to terrorists. We're giving them exactly what they want.

The "that's too bad, but this isn't my problem" school of foreign policy has been our ugliest export for some time. We fuck with any country that has something we want, claiming it's about 'necessary regime change' or 'exporting democracy.' But we do fuckall in countries where abominations happen all the goddamn time. Why aren't we helping oppressed Chinese workers? Or any of the other non-Paris places that have been bombed by terrorists in the last few weeks? Because we don't actually care about the people in these places. As a nation, we only care about what we can get from them.

The United States of America has the biggest, baddest, most well-funded armed forces in the world. Yet we're cowering in fear at people running for their lives from the very people we profess to hate? Are we really that lily-livered? Where are all the gun-enthusiasts who need fucking rocket launchers and semi-auto machine guns to "protect their families?" Why aren't they standing by the borders, ushering refugees in and offering to dispatch anyone who tries any terrorist shit?
No, I don't think we are entirely cowardly. But I do think we're that hateful. I think we, as a people, are absolutely callous enough to hear about refugees and think "Well who the hell told them to live in [insert godforsaken hellhole here] in the first place?" You know, the same way people say "Hey, if you didn't want to be treated like shit for 50 hours a week and still not be able to afford a doctor, why'd you choose to work at [minimum wage shithole]?"

The response to this refugee crisis is another embarrassingly ugly case of demonizing victims because it's easier to hate than to help. It's simpler to say "Hey, they brought this on themselves," than to say "Holy shit, that's awful--what can I do to help." It may be true that taking in displaced people or donating $50 won't "solve" the problem of terrorism. There will always be disgruntled assholes who think hurting people is fun and use that excuse to advance some bugfuck ideology. But what there should never be, are people who see these atrocities and say "I'd like to help, but helping might make something go badly for me, so I don't think I'll even try."

I've seen the way some of you react when your basement floods. Now imagine that your house was blown up, half your family dead, your son stolen and forced to fight for terror, and you're literally running for your life. Now imagine a bunch of comfy AF Americans sitting amid central heating, watching Netflix and eating food they can drive to the store and get without anyone shooting at them--got it? Imagine them saying that you can't stay in an empty hotel and get a cold shower and decent sleep, because they're afraid you might be the people you're actually fleeing from.
Then tell me you wouldn't fucking hate the people who did that to you.

So if you're saying that, if you're saying anything like that--stop it.
Just fucking stop.

Hats

Nov. 16th, 2015 04:51 am
wednes: (Jack Mocks)
We finally broke down Friday night and turned the heat on. Obvs, heat is expensive and less necessary than air conditioning as far as we're concerned. Being cold merely means putting on more clothes. Being hot turns our home into a nightmarish hellscape in which no work can be done.

Joke's on us though, because our heat doesn't work. Some maintenance guy came by a few weeks ago. He looked at our thermostat, did nothing, then left saying all was well. I now suspect that his job was turning on the heat to make sure it worked. No dice. No heat is not considered an emergency unless you can see your breathe while inside. Dicks.

So hopefully today one of those dickheads will come out here and fix it. Let's hope he's able to do this without fucking with my toothbrush (again).

In the mean time, I'm wearing a jacket and hat inside. That means JoJo's usual trick of scratching the shit out of me to get my attention--doesn't work. Too much coat for his little claws to manage.

Currently, the temperature reads 61 degrees, but I think it's actually colder than that. I feel like I just bit into a York peppermint patty, and am now standing on a frozen mountain top.

Also, all you people who have already posted TWD spoilers are assholes. Seriously.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
I had a big post planned about nihilism and internet trolls.
But I'm behind on the NaNoWriMo and don't want to half ass it. It's pretty good.

Here are some things of note:

The attacks in Paris are awful. What the fuck is wrong with people? And what the fuck is wrong with Americans who want to blame refugees for the attacks. If they didn't vet refugees properly, that sucks. But it doesn't naturally follow that they're all terrorists--or that any of them are. Let's not let our sadness turn to anger and then to hate, comfortable as that may be for many of us.

Got unfriended for calling someone out on fat shaming. It sucks, because it's a person I genuinely like despite a complete inability to deal with opposition. I kind of hate seeing liberals act like petulant children who refuse to see the other side of something. And I'm annoyed yet bored with people who think "Haw haw, fatties are fat," is a funny joke. What are you, 13-fucking-years-old? Besides, I was just pointing it out. I'm not one of those "take that down or I can't be your friend" people. But when someone is being an asshole, it can take a real friend to let them know.

Barbara Kean is way better on Gotham as a villain. Way. Better.

American Horror Story: Hotel has more nudity than I require in my horrorshows. If I wanted to see that many naked people and that much blood-drenched man-on-man or three-way giggity, I'd wait for Game of Thrones to come back. That said, I'm not really mad that I already figured out who the killer is. Much like Shymalan's The Village--it's not really about that. It's about the journey. Plus, Evan Peters has been great this season.

Read Jack Ketchum's Stranglehold this week. Filled me with terror, then profound despair. I was reminded of Mystic River, in that I wanted to hurl it across the room in anger after I finished. But my Kindle is out of warranty, so I refrained. It's a damn good book. I wish I had Ketchum's skill for developing and building suspense. I do have similar skill for the violence, but that's the easy part. I think I do write with a high level of truthfulness, and my dialogue is damn fine. But these are the things we learn just by living in the world and watching it with an eye toward the story. Plotting, storybuilding, setting descriptions--none of that shit comes easy to me. I wish I was able to workshop more, pow wow with other writers and such.

The new book is coming right along. It's got two main characters who are also POV characters (1st person, because that's what I'm best at). One of them is highly unreliable because her roommate keeps stealing her medicine and selling it. The other is just a fucking asshole. It's loosely based on a few fucking assholes I know. Ha! I can't imagine I'll actually finish in time to win the NaNo, but it's gonna be a hell of a good book. I hope to be ready for beta readers by February.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
The NaNoWriMo is upon us once again. I haven't won it in some time. My first year was 2004. I played and won for five years in a row. And before you say "writing is not a game you play," let me assure you that the NaNoWriMo can be as much a game as you make of it. Little bursts of productivity as you compete with smug strangers for hourly goals, stalking the forums with much clucking and head shaking, and the timeless wily game we fondly call Procrastination. But yeah, I'm doing it again this year, and I fully intend to win. Behind right now, which is why I'm blogging instead of writing--even though that makes no sense.

I've already drafted much of the novel that I'm working on. For now, it's called The Second Funeral which is catchy evocative, I think. As I write a new first draft (so called because I'm making so many changes), I have no idea what the theme of this book is yet. That makes it harder to write because I'm focusing on arcs, plot, and character instead of on theme. What is theme to me? It's the reason people should read the book. The theme of A Stabbing for Sadie is that a) you never know someone else's story, and b) it's wrong to murder people no matter how right, how justified, how fair and balanced you may think it is. The theme of Kiss Me Like You Love Me is that a) we're all full of shit to some degree and we owe each other far better than that, and b) some people never fucking learn. The theme of The Finster Effect is that a) one day all the daily bullshit we deal with is going to go to hell--then we'll be left with the people we are and the choices we make, and b) humans don't know what the hell they're doing, and are doomed as a species.

As far as I'm concerned, if my books don't have a compelling theme, a valid and vital message--then they're a waste of everyone's time. Just typing that out worries me. I fear that I sound like an elitist jag (which, if you're new around here, is something I constantly struggle with). Plenty of people write books without a life changing theme, and that's a totally valid and personal choice. I read books like that, and I rarely come away with a feeling that I've wasted my time. In some ways, I feel like I owe it to the horror genre to elevate it to more than knives and monsters. Then I wonder if horror gives a rat's ass what I feel. If horror loves me as much as I love it, it's keeping a tight lid on that shit.

Somewhere between the 2nd edit, I tend to have that "Aha!" moment where I realize the real-world significance of the book I'm writing. That makes it easier to edit the fuck out of the draft, and then write a 3rd (or final, depending) draft. The one I send out to beta readers. I usually end up cutting a ton of stuff out, tightening all of it, and adding more about things and people who should have gotten more focus initially.

Without a theme, it's hard to know where anything is really supposed to go. Until I figured out the ending of Kiss Me Like You Love Me, I had no idea how it was supposed to end. Once I had a theme, it was clear that it could only end one way. Tough luck, Character!

I guess my main point here is that the new book doesn't have a theme. I can tell you who the main characters are, and basically what is happening. But I have no idea what it's "about." So please don't ask. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.



In other news, Deep Blue Sea is on cable this month. One of those movies that I know full well is terrible and has no connection to logic or science. I must admit though, I find it highly compelling as a film to have on when I'm doing other things. It has a great cast including Samuel L Jackson and Thomas Jane (a blonde, American James Purefoy if you will) along with Aida Turturro, Michael Rappaport, Saffron Burrows, and LL Cool Jay. H and I saw it on a date during those brief months after we were a couple but before we started living together.

Assholes

Oct. 26th, 2015 06:04 pm
wednes: (Zombie B&W)
It seems we need a reminder, so here's an updated list of things. What kind of things? Well, these are things which--if you do them--make it perfectly fine to label you as an asshole. Don't want to be an asshole? Start by not doing these things.

--Post spoilers. We're all glad that you have time to watch The Walking Dead as it airs. But for people with kids, jobs, lives, can't afford cable, etc--they have to watch later. Telling everyone what happens without giving a shit about their enjoyment of the show makes you an asshole. Stop being an asshole.

--Bullshit. Making ridiculous, bullshit assertions online probably already makes you an asshole. But if you're asked for facts to back up your buffoonery and reply "Hey, I'm not gonna do your research for you," you are an asshole. Don't make absurd statements if you can't back them up with facts. And by "facts," I don't mean FOX news, Brietbart, Blaze, or any other bullshit rag. Also, you're not being a "devil's advocate," nor are you "just sayin'." Stop being an asshole.

--Make fun of someone's shitty job. Everyone needs money to live (unless you're a rich asshole or someone else is paying your way). Mocking someone for the degrading job they have, the paltry money they receive, or the horrible treatment they get from customers or bosses is NOT funny. Don't make fun of people for working--especially if you're also the kind of asshole that talks shit about people who get SNAP, disability, or unemployment. Stop being an asshole.

--Turn every discussion into extremes. Gun control does not mean "take everyone's guns away and never let anyone have them again." Pro-choice doesn't mean "taxpayer funded abortions for everyone." Saying no subject is off limits for comedy doesn't mean it'll be a celebration of racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. Everyone you don't like isn't Hitler. Everyone who disagrees with you is not "oppressive." Stop being an asshole.

--Your kids. I like kids, honestly I do. But when you let them come into my house and trash the place because you'd rather smoke my pot than watch them--you're not just being an asshole. You're teaching assholery to a new generation. Sure, dropping something is an accident--which is why the kid was told not to pick it up in the first place. No, I don't expect a small child to know better. I expect you, the fucking parent, to know better and act accordingly. Stop being an asshole.

--Borrowing shit. Not everything I own is okay for borrowing. Stop making that face. We've probably all lost shit to "borrowing," and it sucks. It may not be personal that I'm not letting you borrow a signed, numbered copy of something. But even if it is, I'm under no obligation to let anyone take my shit out of my home. Stop being an asshole about it.

--Lying. I know a lot of the same people you know. So if you're out there spewing crap about people I love (or me), we'll all find out about it eventually. I'm genuinely sorry that the giant chip on your shoulder prevents you from being honest. But if you make it my problem, you may be shocked at how thoroughly I remove you from my life. And you have yourself to blame--because you were an asshole.

--"Sorry, not sorry." Fuck you. Just fuck you. Sorry, not sorry the current "I'm not racist but..." or "I'm not a complete asshole, but..." Sorry, not sorry to be the one to break it to you--but you ARE a complete asshole. Stop it.
wednes: (Wednes Poison)
It's always a drag when I try to have a civil disagreement with feminist-activists, and have to end up explaining that no, I'm not okay with racism, I'm not cool with sexism, but I do think it's okay to tackle these subjects via humor that is not always politically correct.

It's a bigger drag when I'm accused of being "part of the problem" because I disagree that artists are morally or ethically wrong because they approach subjects in a way that leaves a few individuals offended.

Comedy is supposed to be offensive at times. That's not to say that racist, homophobic, or other hateful humor should be celebrated. But the fact that a joke might make you wince, groan, or roll your eyes isn't necessarily indicative of an amoral comedian who thinks your pain is hilarious. If you're so offended that you can't stand to hear more--by all means, turn it off. Nobody is making you watch. Feel free to shout from the rooftops how offended you are. But, if you can, let's not leap to the conclusion that anyone who would dare offend you is a terrible person who doesn't deserve an audience...or oxygen.

Nobody has to find Amy Schumer funny if they don't want to, or Lena Dunham, or Daniel Tosh, or any other funny writer. I don't like Jeff Dunham; I think Larry the Cable Guy embodies much that is wrong with America, and that the best joke Jeff Foxworthy ever told is the one where he got famous. And yet, somehow, I'm able to live my life even knowing that these celebrations of stupidity exist.

Silencing artists is not the best, second best, or 53rd best way to end oppression, or hate, to give the disenfranchised a lift, or to improve anything ever. If fighting for social justice means so much to you (and it probably should), do something tangible about it rather than just tearing down artists because you're angry that people like them even after they've offended little ol' YOU. No artist is obligated to be all things to all people. You are not entitled to a world where no one is ever offended. Even if that could exist, it would be boring to the point of madness, and would likely never evolve or move forward. Discomfort spurs us to action. Being comfortable spurs us to apathy. If we didn't have air conditioners or TVs, I bet a lot more of us would be politically and socially engaged. But that's a topic for another day.

None of this is meant to say that people shouldn't complain when they're offended. They should if they want to. And just as everyone has the right to talk about being offended, so does everyone have the right to offend. I'm sick to fucking death of those who think any hint of offensiveness is morally and/or ethically wrong. Or worse, this idea that if someone is offended, that a) the speaker shouldn't get to speak anymore, and b) the intent of the speaker "doesn't matter." If someone has misinterpreted something, of course intent matters.

In the end, I think there really are people who complain just to demonstrate how very aware they are--even though said complaining is the kind of obstinate, accusatory pompousness that doesn't lead to a discussion or to the finding of common ground. It's not helpful to anyone, and should probably just stop. But it won't. Because the people who engage in it, for all their self-righteousness and feigned empathy, won't even consider examining their own behavior.

Holidays

Oct. 17th, 2015 09:08 pm
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
Today is Sweetest Day, which I completely forgot.
Was going to cab it over to the mall to get H a pressie, but it's football Saturday, which I also completely forgot. I could not possibly care less about football, except that it makes me want to leave the house even less than usual. Drunken crowds, you know.

Halloween is coming up, and I have no plans. Bummer.
If you know of any cool events that I'd be welcome at, do let me know.

Started Xmas shopping. H is probably getting mostly books and movies, candy, socks, and a T-shirt of some sort. If this new gig works out, I might also be able to buy him a small drone. He would have tremendous fun with that.

Thinking that my birthday party will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as per usual. I never know if it's gonna be a huge party or a tiny one. Thinking about making a coconut cake with a chocolate ganache. That would be tasty.

Had given up on getting a regular writing gig I applied for, but then I heard back from them. The work seems pretty straight forward and the pay is good. So I'm stoked about that. Also have a new short story I've been noodling for a few weeks now. Looking forward to getting that drafted before the NaNoWriMo starts. Oh yeah, I'm doing the NaNoWriMo this year. Go me! ;-) Who else is playing? Be sure to add me as a writing buddy.

Movies have and will watch soon:
Green Inferno
The Visit
Knock Knock
Honeymoon

I should probably start working on my list of horror for the year-end wrap up for Geekbinge. American Horror Story is going well, BTW. By which I mean the show itself, and my reviews. South Park commenters at the new sites are often shitty and mean, and make personal slams when they disagree with something. But AHS fans comment about the show, the references, and horror in general. Speaking of TV, Simpsons is having new Halloween eps two weeks in a row. They're totally embiggening the whole season.
wednes: (Go Crazy?)
I quit ArticleCats this week. Nice people there, but I've had 4 editors in the last 8 months because they all either quit or get fired. Lamesauce. Plus, my assignments there were boring, and the pay was too low.
Got offered another geekwriting gig. But again, not enough money for the work they're asking me to do.

It's not that I'm unwilling to write geekery for a low base wage. I am. But I only have so many hours a week to devote to stuff I don't make a decent wage from. Three reviews a week for peanuts is quite enough.

The new business venture H and I are doing is working out well. I've helped a handful of authors with getting their books formatted and ready for publishing. H is awesome at graphic design. So now we're hiring ourselves out as a full-service team for people trying to self publish. We edit, do layout and formatting, design covers and internal graphics, and offer marketing consultation. Our hourly rate is competitive--lower than many other places that do the same thing--yet still a wage that makes us happy. So that's been great.

If you haven't checked out http://thehorrorwithin.com/, you should totally do so. We've got tons of great content up including great FREE fiction, an array of incredible art, reviews for movies, books, and TV, plus a lot of extra horror features. I'm thrilled with how well our staff has risen to the occasion, and with how great everything is going. I'd love to see more fiction subs. And I'd love for more authors to contact us about hyping their horror books.

Here's some fun news: I'm doing the NaNoWriMo this year. I haven't done it seriously since the aughts, so it's totally time. I have enough free time (is there really such a thing as "free time"?) these days, and a story that needs working on. So I'm prepping that now. Wish me luck! Um, unless you hate the NaNo, then don't.

Finally watching the Democratic debate. What strikes me the most after watching the GOP debate is that *this* is a stage full of politicians debating issues. It's fucking tragic to think that the most impressive feat of the Democrats might have done thus far is to not descend into a sea of prideful ignorance and playground insults. Even if Trump wasn't running, the GOP would still be a total shitshow. I'm still feeling the Bern, but everybody except Webb was fairly impressive.
wednes: (Default)
On a huge "She Wants Revenge" kick after the Hunger-inspired killy group sex scene in the AHSH premiere last night. Not a bad ep, but as usual, seeing everyone complain about how much they dislike the show (that they somehow keep watching in the 5th year) is equally fun. I can't imagine hate-watching a show this fun, but to each their own, I suppose.

Was delighted to see that Kevin McCarthy (no, not the good one from Invasion of the Body Snatchers and UHF and such) is no longer trying to be Speaker of the House. Seems that if you hate gays, think women are stupid, and loathe the immigrants you hire to do the shit you think is beneath you, the only thing that can make the GOP hate you is you giving up their plan. So yeah, telling everyone that Benghazi was just a long con to discredit Hillary was never going to go his way. Even though most of us knew that already. Still, it's terrifying to think that John Boehner is the lesser of many evils in that instance.

BTW, I saw a few people making jokes about Boehner's orange face and not knowing what's up with that. Kids, Boehner is an alcoholic--the sort that drinks all day. When some people drink, they get red in the face. That makes it really obvious that they're stumbling around wasted, which is still considered unbecoming of a congressman--even on the right. Hence, the orange face that makes the red accents less obvious. You're welcome.
wednes: (Eclipse)
I think I have shingles. I developed a really painful rash on my back. Now it seems to be spreading. I don't know what else that could be. And I have had chicken pox as a kid. Luckily, H has had chicken pox too, which means I can't give it to him.

Thanks, WebMD.

I've been doing work, looking for more work, and watching TV. Kind of a lot of TV. The fall shows are back and the summer shows are drawing to a close. I think the finale of The Strain is on tonight.

Honestly, I don't want to spend time online as much. Don't want to read the news. Can't take all the bullshit commentary and wish Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz would just crawl into a ditch and stay there with their phones off and their mouths closed.

I did come up with a fantastic short story idea recently. Even better, when I reread the idea a few days later, sober, it still sounded good. I love when that happens. After I'm caught up with work for the month, Imma get on that. It's about a piano.

I wish I had a piano. Once I have a house, if I ever have a house, I'm gonna get one. They have them free on Craigslist all the time. I'd just have to pay movers to pick it up and bring it to wherever my house is.

I never realized it before, but the similarities between Tom Baker's Doctor and Peter Capaldi's are many. Many.
wednes: (Heart Horror)
Facebook is down. Please feel free to take some polaroids of whatever you're eating and mail them to me so I can see.

The season finale of Fear the Walking Dead is next week. I'm digging the slow burn, but am irritated that the little Johnny Deppish kid is still wearing the same old man clothes he stole from the hospital. Ridiculous.

I don't care what the wags say. I'm digging the hell out of Gotham and am stoked that it's back. Penguin is just delightful and Nygma gets better (and crazier) all the time. Sleepy Hollow is back soon too, though why it moved to Thursdays I do not know.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back tomorrow. Yay! Can't wait to see Coulson's new arm.

Scream Queens is marginally entertaining, nothing great. I think it's for teenagers who think American Horror Story has too many references and old people. I don't care who the killer is, or what happens to any of these people. But I do think the killer is the main chick's dad.

American Horror Story is back next week. So. Stoked. Did a bit of research to find out who the hell this "Lady Gaga" is. She seems like an interesting chick, and someone I'll enjoy more as an actor than a singer--like Cher.

I have to make a listicle about American Horror Story by Weds afternoon. Taking suggestions. Normally I'd ask on the Facebooks, but it's down.

New site

Sep. 23rd, 2015 07:49 am
wednes: (Cartman 2)
For those of you who don't know, I'm writing for another media website these days. I'm still doing Blunt Talk for Geekbinge, but am doing American Horror Story: Hotel for 411Mania. I was assigned to do South Park for them as well.
Yeah, that's two shows on one night. Something I used to try to avoid (though not well).

The hard part?

I only have 90 minutes from the time a show ends to make pictures, upload them to a 3rd party site (they don't let writers upload pics to the site), write, post, and format the whole review with an additional tl:dr paragraph.

That's probably going to be okay for South Park. But my habit it to spend 2 1/2 to 3 hours on review for a show that's an hour long (or more, since AHS has a habit of running between 10-30 minutes over). I worry that my reviews won't be as good as readers are used to.

Also, 411Mania gets a lot more traffic. Commenters seem to be mostly dudes, and the sort who immediately get personal when they disagree with you. As such, I'm not engaging in the comments--with anyone. That's almost a drag, because I love a passionate discussion between fans. But I'm not going to validate bullshit with a response.

In other news, I need a haircut.
The chick I like doesn't have any appts open for at least 4 weeks. Just as well, since the cabs to her place cost more than the damn haircut. I'll probably just go to the mall. I'm in the mood for a super short cut.
wednes: (Colbert Well Done)
Remember a few weeks, maybe a month ago, I found out H and I weren't getting the check from our 2013 income tax refile? I was super bummed because it was my fault and we sort of needed the money? Well, the check mysteriously arrived today, over a month after it was supposed to and after we were told it wasn't coming at all.

Wha--?

My back is still stiff and sore and terrible. Normally I'd do some stretches while lying on the floor. But the vacuum we bought last year is already broken and H doesn't want to buy one from Craigslist. So I'm not lying on a floor that hasn't been vacuumed in a month. No, not even when I'm in pain.

That bitch from Nerdly who talked shit about me in a review (and stole one of my pics, which has since been removed) is now attempting to justify her terrible behavior. Did you know that being transexual makes you the spokesperson for every transexual? I had no idea. Fascinating, right? Too bad I'm so "disrespectful" and need to "educate" myself. *shakes head*

Honestly, is there a difference between "she revealed herself to be a biological male" and "she revealed herself to be a transgendered woman" in terms of respect or dignity? If my phrasing (the first one) was honestly disrespectful, I do want to know about it. Though I maintain that calling me out publicly while lumping me in with people who made Crying Game jokes or used the term "He/She" is right out. The review was for Penny Dreadful, which is set in a time period before terms like transgendered or transexual were used, as far as I know. I find this annoying because a) I don't think I'm an ignorant or hateful person, and b) if my verbiage is off, I want to discuss it rather than fend off an accusation--especially from a total stranger. Gah.

Back

Sep. 18th, 2015 10:49 am
wednes: (OMG!!!)
I have this physical thing going on right now, for the last 2 days actually, where I can't straighten my back and legs at the same time while I'm standing up.

If I want to walk, I gotta hunch over like friggin' Methuselah. Wednes no like.
If I want to stand up straight without crushing low back pain, I have to bend my knees. This is bullshit. My knee is bugging me less because I haven't been pedaling as much. But my back even hurts when I sit at my desk writing. Unacceptable.

If this keeps up, I'm actually going to talk to my doc about it. Honestly, I'm sure most of this is weight related. But I can't just be in constant pain because of it.

Crap.
wednes: (FG/Psycho)
I was fully prepared to write about Kim Davis here today. But my Kim Davis stance turned out to be interesting enough that I'm selling it to one of the sites I write for. That means you'll see it soon enough, just not here.

Besides, I realized that this second week of September marks the 20 year anniversary of the last time I spoke to my mother--outside of the screamed conversations that happen when I'm alone. Ha! No, really...

I'm not going to go into what caused the estrangement. Anybody who doesn't know but would like to is welcome to peruse my "family" or "wednes past" tags to catch up with me talking about mumsy and her whole deal. No, I didn't ever call her "mumsy," I just think that's a hilarious way to refer to a mom who wasn't especially motherly. For a beautifully exaggerated and somewhat fictionalized version of life with mumsy, you can always read my self-indulgeant debut novel, A Stabbing for Sadie. When people ask me if I'm Sadie, I like to look shocked while shaking my head and proclaiming that such would be impossible...because Sadie is fat. Hahahahahahaha!

My mom is a big TV watcher. We grew up knowing that TV was the only activity our family could engage in together without screaming or violence. By not talking to her for 20 years--we never got to discuss huge TV events like LOST, Game of Thrones, or even The Sopranos. I bet she likes them. I have no idea if she's seen the Harry Potter movies (she doesn't read, or didn't when I knew her), though I imagine she's all over that Christian Grey shit. Ew. When we last talked, LA Law, Animaniacs, Romper Room, Star Trek Next Gen, and the Arsenio Hall Show were still on the air.
I know, right?

I've changed mightily as a person since last speaking to Mater. It's amazing how much one can grow and develop when no one is hitting them, screaming how ugly, fat and stupid they are, or just generally not having someone figuratively step on your neck every time you try to speak or move. Even if I'm never as kind, considerate, or accepting as I'd like to be--I can take solace in the fact that I'll never EVER be the frightened, duplicitous, lasher-outer that passed for a mother where I grew up.
It makes me happy to hang out with kids and see that I don't have the urge to smack them, even if they're little assholes. For people who grew up thinking smacking people was normal, this is kind of a big deal.

Of course, I have almost no memory of ever speaking to my biological father. I grew up with a stepdad, only I was NEVER supposed to refer to him that way. My mom was hysterical when she thought someone was lying to her--but that was nothing compared to what she would do if someone told one of her truths.
wednes: (Psycho/Shower)
Work is running me ragged, mainly because I can't stop chasing the monies. I still write for a bunch of different sites. Some are paying me more per article than they used to, and others are paying the same but giving me less work overall. My Texas SEO clients want me to cover gun stuff (which I know far too little about to cover with any seriousness) and tween beauty products (which shouldn't even exist IMO). So that's been tricky.

I'm covering American Horror Story: Hotel for a different site this year. Mainly to make more money and get a wider readership. Still reviewing Blunt Talk for Geekbinge. It's one of those shows that's funny and depressing at the same time, like Maron. I think it's for people who miss watching Frasier and thought it needed more overt sexuality.

Really need to find another general news or women's site to write for. Hating a lot of the assignments I'm getting these days. Stuff that takes a lot of research, uses only public domain pictures, and covers subjects I do not care about--for far less money than I should be getting. I'm still quite witty, but I think the quality can't help but suffer when it's posts on things I'm not passionate about.

There's a lull in the TV schedule as summer shows end and fall shows haven't quite started yet. I hope to use that time to get into some fiction writing, or maybe work on my long-neglected Millicent Mixter's Guide to Murder-Free Customer Service.
Yeah, I know--all my titles are too long.

Speaking of summer finales:
Defiance was fucking amazing. I don't know if it's been renewed or not, but the S3 finale provided a nice ending. Plus the visuals on Nolan doing the thing at the end? Wow.
Hannibal was the most beautiful goddamn thing I've ever seen. I owe NBC a huge apology for saying over and over that they didn't have the stones to do a real horrorshow. Of course, they also cancelled Hannibal, so fuck them. I could have watched a few more seasons, for sure. But the finale was utterly perfect, full of animal bloodlust, and featured some of the best looking men on TV.
Falling Skies. Happy ending. So surprises there. This show was always too tame and predictable for me. H liked it though.
HUMANs. Dug it. Looking forward to S2.
True Detective Awful. The whole thing was just shit-slingingly terrible. Bad dialogue, zero meaningful character development. Predictable plot. I was so looking forward to seeing Vince Vaughn in something great.
Extant and The Strain are no doubt ending soon. Extant is not a great show, but it's pretty solid. I like the kid a lot, and hate the chick Meryl Streep's daughter plays. Gods, she's a terribly flawed person.
wednes: (AB/Waffle Man)
I do the overwhelming majority of the cooking around here, since H can only cook bachelor food. His fave meal that I make is chili, because I am the ace at it. I think my chili con carne is so good, that I'd enter it into cookoffs if they happened anywhere near me. But I'm certainly not schlepping my chili and fixin's down to Texas. I hear it's hot and racist down there. ;-)

Tonight though, H wants his second favorite meal--which is abbreviated thanksgiving. I take a whole mess of veggies and mix them with a bag of Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing. Add chicken stock and bake--serve with gravy that came out of a jar. That's right, a jar. You wanna fight about it? Sometimes I mix in some ground chicken, but today I'm keeping the ground chicken on the side for portion control. Meat is expensive, you know. With it, we're having green bean casserole. H friggin loves green bean casserole--and like many African Americans, he had never heard of it as a kid.

This is a discovery that I made in my adult life--that the Campbells cookbook from 1968 didn't make it out of middle-class white neighborhoods. When H and I first got married, H's grandmother asked me for the recipe after having it at her new church. She was the 3rd or 4th black person I knew who had never heard of it, despite being part of casserole culture. As far as I knew--if you knew about tuna casserole, you should also know about green bean casserole. Not so, though.

Like most people, I make personal adjustments to my green bean casserole. I always use frenched green beans out of a can, and more mushrooms than the recipe calls for (I loves mushers). I use cream of chicken mushroom instead of regular cream of mushroom. I also add sour cream and a healthy couple of shakes of Kraft parmesan. No fresh foods to be found, really. I stir it twice during cooking. Then of course the crunchy onions--which H would put on everything but breakfast cereal if he could.

In other news, my short story, "Raja" has been accepted by an anthology called "Not Your Average Monster." I had a feeling it would be a good fit for them if they liked it. I did a lot of work on this one before submitting, since another pub (that folded before they could publish it) made me edit it down to absurd proportions. So I'm pretty stoked for this fleshed out version to be getting some ink. Yay!

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