wednes: (Wednes Blue)
2011-05-18 02:58 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: Sticky Post is Sticky

I am Wednesday Lee Friday, writer of fact and fiction.

I have digital, paperback, app, 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.

Using the Radish app? Available on iPhone, Android, Google Play, and more! My new serial, Hellish Calling is available now.
New chapters drop every Wednesday!


Buy my horror books on Amazon or from the good people at Crossroad Press:
A Stabbing for Sadie
2nd Edition
Kiss Me Like You Love Me
2nd Edition.
The Finster Effect
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.

Here's the time Wolfman Mac and Boney Bob talked about my first book on their show: )
wednes: (Hail Ants!)
2017-07-14 10:56 am
Entry tags:

Stuff I like:

Taking a break from my usual complainy-pants ways to post about things that are going on in the world that I actually like. Here goes:

Patton Oswalt is engaged. This makes me very happy.

HBO leads the Emmy nominations, and Netflix is next.
This bodes well for people who enjoy quality television, if any.

Free drones. H and I (well, they're mine, but H is better at flying them) have gotten a total of four free drones for review. The most recent one is hella tiny. Like, hilariously so.
View post on imgur.com


Jim Jeffries show is pretty good. He looks good in a suit too. If I was merely moderately good looking and had a TV show, I'm not sure I'd bring in Brad Pitt. Or are they having an affair now too?

Still looking at dogs. Want to find a low-energy guard dog that isn't drooly and won't have a bunch of expensive health problems. Sorry, Bull Mastiff.

I think my sister-in-law might be my favorite person in the world. I totally hope she comes to live with us.

Still writing over to the Radish. This serial story seems to be going well, though this is not at all what I'm used to. Few things make me feel more like a horror writer than actually writing horror. I guess that's how it's supposed to be, right?

TV I'm going to try to get caught up on soon:
Glow
Fargo
Fear the Walking Dead
wednes: (Cartoon JoJo)
2017-07-02 07:08 pm
Entry tags:

Ending Up

When I was a kid, the phrase "ended up" was heard often. It's supposed to indicate the end of a story. "She ended up marrying that guy from two towns over." As if that's the last thing she ever did. Kinda reminds me of fairy tales that end with a wedding, as if that's the last interesting thing that will ever happen to a person.

The older I get, the more I realize that people don't "end up" anywhere until they die. The guy who "ended up" getting a job at his dad's company after college? He doesn't work there anymore. In fact, the company doesn't exist. The chick who "ended up" moving to California has lived in six other states since then.
I kinda wonder how many people have stopped doing things, trying things, or pursuing things because they felt like they "ended up" somewhere they didn't want to be.

But really, does anyone really "end up" anywhere, except cemeteries and places ashes are thrown?


In drone news, we're having better luck with the tiny drones than the big ones. I think they sent us the wrong propellers for the big drone. One side won't lift even though everything seems to be in order. Dronies I've talked to say it's probably a misaligned propeller.
Still, the box did take a mighty whallop on its way to us. The inside box wasn't damaged, but who knows. Anyway, waiting to hear back from the seller.

Have also been fielding questions from a total stranger asking me why I think I can spend "their tax dollars" on drones. WTF?!?
a) We didn't buy the drones, they're review items we got for free
b) If there's a government program that gives away drones, this is the first I'm hearing of it.
c) OMGLOLSTFU seriously.
d) *block*
wednes: (Sad)
2017-06-23 08:23 pm
Entry tags:

Selfishness

I'm going to be completely selfish in this post. What's new, right?

I am far too young to have lost so many classmates to early death. Sure, I'm almost 50, (well, turning 47 this year, so closer to 50 than 40) and that's a lot more time than a lot of people get. Hell, it might be more time than most people get. I haven't looked it up.

At this point, I went to school with people who died and left behind young kids. Cancer, brain tumors, AIDS, accidents, and a bunch of suicides. Come to think of it, I think I know of more suicide deaths from my peer group than accidents or violent crimes.

Feeling the death of another classmate today.
He was a good guy, never a dick to anyone online--which is a major achievement in my world, since most of the people I know online are the occasional penis-for-brains.
Jim left behind friends and family who are devastated by the loss. I can't even imagine it.

As many of you know, my greatest fear is H dying. When something really frightens me, I sit down and try to think up all the worst case scenarios and figure out what I'd do if they happened. I've figured out zombies, alien invasion, fire, plague, nuclear war, my mom showing up here, and a militia takeover of the state. Damn glad I know people in the militia now.
But when I try to think through what I'd to if H died, all I can see is me sitting in my good chair, staring into space and waiting for someone to notice that they haven't seen me around in a while. Then I'd die. That's not supposed to get your attention or make you feel bad for me. It's rather a crushing defeat to know that after 17+ years with H, that I literally have no idea how I'd manage to live and function without him. Hilariously, most of the people I know have ONLY known me with H. Aside from family and a few classmates I talk to on FB, "Wednes and H" are the only way we exist for them.
So yeah, I have no idea how people pick themselves up and get over it. I'd probably just send messages to Patton Oswalt every day until his agent's assistant's social media manager told me to stop.


As for the rest of life, working on Hellish Calling and dealing with the Radish site not working well, or maybe me not knowing how to work it. Either way, it's slow going.
wednes: (Irate typist)
2017-06-14 12:58 am
Entry tags:

I'm Sure I Don't Know...but Radishes though.

I have a terrible track record when it comes to media and popularity. What I mean is, some of the new shows I hear about...I think are the most disgusting and offensive ideas ever. And then they become huge hits:

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (stereotype much)
The Biggest Loser (surely people know that's unhealthy and fake)
Storage Wars (strangers fight over cherished possessions of poor people)
American Idol (mostly that beginning part where they mock sincere people)
Dancing with the "Stars" (who the hell cares if Ben Nye can dance?)

That doesn't even get into reality shows that exploit families with any sort of unusual traits. Too fat, too skinny, overwhelming amounts of kids, poly, weird religions, dwarves, rednecks, whatever, or things like Prime Time wife-swapping. I'm terrible at determining what kind of things will be popular, and what will be scorned. That's also why shows I like so seldom make it past 3 seasons.

With all that in mind, it's probably good that the new project I'm embarking on feels somewhere between an unholy terror and a colossal waste of time. Cut for complaining ) I've begun so many projects thinking, "Okay, this is the thing that will get me noticed," but then it isn't. Even bearing in mind that there's really no tipping point where people go from nothing to SUCCESS, I have to think there are stages at which large amounts of new people take an interest in the work.

The new project is at the Radish app. It's new around here, but has been popular in Korea and Japan and thereabouts for a while. They publish serial fiction in a whole bunch of genres. They said they were looking for horror writers, but that's not even an option yet on their site. So we shall see...
I'm publishing chapters weekly in a serial format. I get paid based on readership, which is not really the important part. It's a way to reach a new audience and get some new fiction out there, which I haven't been doing much of in favor of commission work and paid media stuff. New chaps will go up every Wednesday (see what I did there?).

What's the story? I'm so glad you asked.
But I'm not telling you except that it will feature a revolving cast of regular people and their interactions with Max, a guy who looks normal but is actually an employee of Hell.
Yeah, that Hell. ;-)
H has been a bit of a stressbag since they changed his work schedule.
That means I had to do my own cover design, which I'm not great at.
They also don't allow words on the covers. This is what I ended up with.
View post on imgur.com
wednes: (Eye of Wednes)
2017-06-01 03:51 pm
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What ISN'T Offensive?

Did you see the piece in Teen Vogue about a makeup artist that transformed a white model, giving her the look of a woman of color? Apparently, people are calling this "blackface" and saying how super offensive it is. As you might think, I disagree.

Obviously, whether someone is offended is between them and the art. My point is not to tell anyone that they shouldn't be offended. But blackface and minstrel shows are not remotely the same as using makeup to transform a model. It's not done to mock, harass, stereotype, or profit from the images of POC. Again, if that still offends you, that's your business. But telling the artist that he's hateful is not cool. Demanding that he take down his work or stop making it is also not cool.

There's something else though. There's an idea among white liberals now that if you hear any POC say they don't like something--you're not allowed to like it either, else you're oppressing people. Obviously, not all POC will agree on any one issue, and suggesting that they should or do is pretty fucking racist. It's a good thing for us white people to ease up on the idea that everything should be catered toward us. But I'm already tired of having white people explain to me that my views are wrong--because they once spoke to a POC who held a differing opinion. I know POC too. How many do I have to find that agree with me before I'm allowed to maintain my personal opinion?

In the end, the purpose of art is to challenge people, make them think. That means being uncomfortable sometimes. It also means that people will discuss, even argue, the way they see art differently. That's not just okay, it's vital and necessary. By that same token, there's no art (or humor, for that matter) that one couldn't describe as offensive to someone or something.

Take one of my fave paintings, Picasso's Guernica (take THAT!).
Here's a smattering of what people might say about that painting if it were unveiled today, and depicted a more modern tragedy:
"He's making a painting about [tragedy]? What sicko wants to see that?"
"Oh sure, profit off the war why don't you? Fascist!"
"This asshole wouldn't be painting pretty pictures if he'd ever fucking been in a battle!"
"Where does he get off speaking for people of [place]?!?"
"There's nothing artistic about war. War is hell."
"I'm so sick of hearing about [event], why can't people just let things go?"
"Artsy Fartsy cuck paints woman holding dead baby, calls it art. Bullshit."
"We should boycott [museum] and make sure Picasso never works again!"
"Fuck painters! Sit inside all day and didn't even join the military! MAGA"
and so forth.
"Great, another white man speaking for minorities! Shut up and listen, Pablo!"

IDEA: I've been thinking about a project wherein people send me jokes and I explain what's potentially offensive about them. The point is to demonstrate that ANY joke can be considered offensive, because every joke comes from a place of absurdity or exaggeration. I just don't know how to figure out the mechanics of such a thing. Is Twitter the best place for that? Or a Reddit AMA?

Example:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
"Who are YOU to interrogate that chicken? He was probably escaping from the harrowing industrial farm complex where chickens like him/her are tortured every day. But you don't care about that, you savage carnivore! Where that bird wants to go is none of your business, they don't owe you an explanation, and it's offensive that you would even ask."

I would accept responses within a specified period. The goal would be for people to try to find a joke that can't possibly be described as offensive, then I point out how it could be.

Ultimately, we're all allowed to find things awesome or offensive if we want to (or against our will, I suppose), and to share those thoughts with the world. What we don't get to do is force people to stop expressing themselves because we don't like what they're saying. Sure, we may want to limit our exposure to such things, or even limit the venues that allow such people/works to have a voice. I wouldn't want my tuition dollars supporting an Ann Coulter or Milo speech. But they still should be allowed to speak.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
2017-05-23 12:48 am
Entry tags:

The Signs

I'm trying to identify the signs of when a person starts slipping into alt-right theology. I'm not sure if the people I'm noticing have always been a little off, but I know a few people now who have gone from normal and reasonably intelligent to Alex Jones listening, Glenn Beck agreeing, 'why are people so hateful to Trump/Pence' spewing.

Imma focus on two guys I knew in college. I don't wanna use their real names, so I'll call one Bee and one Jay.
When I met Bee, he was a non-trad student with a giant ego who acted like he was way smarter than other students because he "waited to go to school." What? He treated women poorly, drank a lot, lied to get out of trouble, paid me to do assignments, and presented himself differently to different people in huge and humiliating ways. We also slept together a bunch of times, and he told everybody not only that we DIDN'T sleep together, but that I was telling people we had and nobody should listen to me. I won't bother explaining how hurtful that was to a fat girl who thought she had a friend with benefits.
So when I ran into this dude on Facebook years later, he told me all about his wife before asking if I wanted to meet someplace and fuck. When I said No, I got a long diatribe about how I didn't understand how the world worked. He started sending me insane links and racist shit all the time. I'd try to discuss it with him, but he just went more and more off the deep end. Finally he said he was going to ban me from Facebook. I eventually learned he thought that if he banned someone from his page, they couldn't go on FB at all. Smart, right?

Jay and I had a similar background, except we lived in the same house. We ran in the same departments, had the same friends, and fooled around a few times despite never actually dating. Because college, yo. We did a few projects later on, and again, I was offered some no-strings sex even though Jay was clearly in a committed, live-in relationship with someone. I don't mention the sex stuff to advertise myself as a slut or whatever. It's just that treating women as a tool rather than a person seems part and parcel to the alt-right. (and make no mistake, if you're STILL supporting what Trump and Pence are doing, you're alt-right)
After 9/11, I started getting racist forwards from Jay. When I told him at length why I didn't want him sending me racist, anti-Muslim shit, he told me it was no big deal and not to get riled. Lately, Jay has been posting stuff on social media, then saying he doesn't want to discuss it. He deletes comments he doesn't agree with, and makes outlandish statements he can't defend with a single fact or verifiable example.
If Jay says something "happens equally on the left and right," Jay needs to back that shit up with at least two examples. Telling someone to "google it" when they ask you to defend some outlandish assertion you've made? No. If you know the facts of the point you're making, either state them or admit you don't have any.

Sure, it's not a lie to say that I get fired up about politics. The word "obnoxious" may not even be far off at times. While I've always done this, it's extra important now that so many poor/middle-class people are about to have their lives made a whole lot more difficult, dangerous, and full of denial of services.
On the off chance that one of my comments is deleted, I spend a few minutes considering whether I've been rude, off topic, or said something false. If none of those are the case though, I'm out. I don't have an interest in playing on an unlevel field. I have to do that in real life every day, so I'll be damned if I do it in conversations with friends. I won't discuss anything in a forum where dissent is silenced. Even if I'm not the one being silenced, I don't want any part of that.

These are the signs I've noticed in people turning toward the alt-right"
--Dislike for/distortion of PC Culture (being sensitive to the fact that not everyone is the same gender, religion, race, color, orientation, etc as you are, and that there's nothing wrong with that)
--Victim Blaming
--Vague admiration for how things "used to be," usually while forgetting many, many things from that era.
--Lumping people into groups and then into We and They.
--Being angry about things they can't explain ("Hillary did Benghazi" What do you mean? What do you think she did exactly? "Look it up, stoopit")
--Anti-woman sentiment (includes lying to wife/gf, trivializing or minimizing their concerns, slut-shaming, as well as basic rape culture stuff)
--Complaining about other people's English when they write like a sleepy toddler.
--Pro-confederacy or anti-BLM statements (including "it's my heritage")
--Distorting other people's statements to more easily discredit them
--Denying that they've said things they've said
--Refusing to take major news outlets seriously--including WaPo, NYT, and Reuters.
--Asking for explanations, then shouting over responses

Why is this important? Honestly, I wish it wasn't.
I wish this was as simple as "Oh, you like Reagan? I think he's a liar who doesn't give a shit about the poor, so I'm for Jimmy Carter." You can disagree for a bit and then talk about something else. Now, supporting DJT means thinking women should be punished for having an abortion, or that banning people from our country based on their religion is not just okay--but a step in the right direction. To support this administration, you have to either believe, or not care that the law will reflect beliefs, in misogyny, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and that will ensure that most people will no longer be able to get treatment for illnesses or injuries regardless of their seriousness. Oh, and you have to be okay with Christianity (and ONLY Christianity) being taught in public schools.
I know I'm not exactly saying anything new here. But dammit, this is getting harder and harder as time goes on. I can't imagine the logic or reasoning of why a normal, educated adult would suddenly buy into that garbage. The answer has to be that it's not as sudden as I think it is...
wednes: (OMG!!!)
2017-05-05 11:58 pm
Entry tags:

Handmaid's Tale and Us

Thinking I was clever by waiting until all the eps dropped, I signed up for some commercial-free Hulu so I could watch me some Handmaid's Tale. That book gave me serious nightmares. It was also the only Atwood I'd read until a coworker suggested that my not having read Oryx and Crake was a goddamn tragedy. Damn, that's a great series too.

But I digress...
The show is incredible. Elizabeth Moss is incredibly sympathetic as the Everywoman telling her story. Ann Dowd will break your brain as Aunt Lydia, who has an expanded role in this series--one that implies that the area housing survivors is smaller than the book led me to believe. In fact, I thought the book took care NOT to indicate that Gilead was the USA. Now I'll have to read it again. Of course, I see the value in making it America.

There's a lot to love about the show, even given the horrific subject matter. My fave thing though, is the music. At first I found it highly jarring that the show would end with modern music. Because the show itself has the look of something long ago--a colony for super oppressed Amish or Quaker people (pardon my ignorance at lumping them together), or something from the most repressive parts of the 1950s.
But that's the point. This shit didn't happen in a time before modern communication, or before people understood about gay issues or gender equality.

I wish they hadn't given Offred a name. The other movie did that too. They called her Kathryn. Here, she's June.

In other news, my new desk is huge and amazing. Will take some getting used to, since it led to a dramatic reduction in walkway space in the apartment. Maybe some day we'll get to move out of here.

Anyway, there are six more eps remaining, which means I'll be paying for Hulu for at least 2 months. Lucky them.
wednes: (Diamonds)
2017-04-25 10:38 pm
Entry tags:

Florence Scovel: Just Say No

As any regular reader knows, we're not wealthy people. That doesn't stop me though, from engaging in an occasional indulgence. There's a company called Florence Scovel that advertises like crazy on Facebook. I confess, I find many of their shiny baubles appealing. Turns out, there were some things I didn't know about them.

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

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



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

 photo Florence Scovel2_zpsjsgdqoua.png

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

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

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

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

 photo Florence Scovel5_zpsvgvgh4fo.png

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

So...all of you in Facebook land who sees constant ads for the pretties and shinies at Florence Scovel? Don't do it. You'd be better off throwing that money into the sewer. At least then you wouldn't have to wait a month to be sure you'd been ripped off.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
2017-04-19 10:31 pm
Entry tags:

Medicine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not sure what I want to do about that. Can I bill my insurance for reimbursement for stuff I bought on Amazon? How does that even work?
It seems like this kind of fuckery is just another thing making health care shitty in America. If we had single payer, companies that overcharge by this much would never get a government contract and would have to either charge fairly or GTFO.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
2017-04-14 02:46 pm
Entry tags:

Racism? Maybe not always...

Heated discussions with outspoken feminists often make me more angry and frustrated than trying to talk sense into DJT apologists. Maybe it's because I expect more from those who claim to be "woke." Maybe it's because I presume that "being reasonable" means thinking pretty much like I do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other news, my time at Livejournal is done. They won't allow cross posting since I don't agree to their TOS, and I don't.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
2017-04-08 02:41 pm
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Livejournal: Now Under Russian Control.

As many of you know, I've been blogging at Livejournal since 2002. When they sold their site to Russians who gave far less control over content, I started blogging at Dreamwidth and cross posting to LJ instead. I've always continued to read at both places, and to make sure my own posts make it there.

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

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

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

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

And you know that guy loves to poison people.

For now, I'm not doing anything and will try to continue crossposting there.  Not sure if they'll let me though.  When I said "not now" to the new TOS, the only choice they gave me was "Log Out."  Pretty scary what happens inside of just a few years, right?  
wednes: (Stephen King)
2017-03-31 03:40 am
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How fresh! What a clever smart girl (or boy) you are!!

I'm going to preface this by saying that of course people have different tastes in movies and books. While I do sometimes feel judgy toward people that defend literary or live-action garbage, I recognize that this is a shitty trait I should continue trying to shake. People are allowed to like whatever the hell they want. That's not the point I'm making here. With that out of the way...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ya wanna fight about it?
Let's Get It On.
wednes: (Inception)
2017-03-24 06:57 am
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What if I told you...

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

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

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

So yeah, that's gonna suck.
On the plus side, I might be heading toward a manic binge. Yeah, that sucks for my happiness and well being and all. But I'm getting actual fiction writing done. The screenplay is slowly happening, and short fictions are happening even faster.
I was able to put together a new collection bag for my Arizer today. Most of you probably don't know what that is or why it's awesome. But I assure you, it's a wee accomplishment that gives me a slight sense of pride.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
2017-03-17 01:59 am
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Beauty and the Beast

It's no secret that I take issue with some of the messages in Disney movies. I hate how 90% of the time, everyone looks exactly like what they are. Heroes are attractive, villains are ugly (exception for Snow White's Evil Queen), fat people are jolly, women have crazy-long hair. And until recently, with minimal exception, the girl stories end with a wedding, while the boy stories end with a coronation. Okay, not Pinochio, and not Jungle Book. But come on.

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

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

Really? I mean...REALLY?

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

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

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

Am I missing something? What is it about this story that people respond to?
Is it the music? The talking clock?
Why does anyone like this? Why would anyone let their kid near it?
I'd really like to know.
wednes: (Kittens)
2017-03-07 06:37 pm
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My Poor Desk

For those of you who have never visited my home, I have a tiny desk on wheels on one side of my living room. H has the whole office to himself, and I work near the TV so I can do reviews and stuff. JoJo loves climbing all over the desk almost as much as he loves jumping off of it. But see, it's a cheap piece of crap. I've already bought it twice because the first one had a part snap off after 3 years. This one is about to bite the dust too, and I don't know what to do about it. Spending $70 on a new one would suck. But I can't keep Jojo away from it, so soon I won't have a choice. I'd rather spend twice that on one that won't need replacing in a few years.

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

Little help?
wednes: (Irate typist)
2017-03-02 07:15 pm
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"Words are my life," said the writer.

I'm not sure what triggered me to be so irritated by an known writer's claim that "as a writer, words are my life."

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

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

What about words? Surely there's more to writing than words?
Shouldn't stories, or at least ideas be the "life of a writer?" Obviously, it's none of my business how people regard their own craft (if they even call writing a craft--not everyone does). But after hearing someone make that statement, I can't stop thinking about what the "life" of a "writer" actually requires.
wednes: (Sad)
2017-02-28 06:14 am
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Bill Paxton (1955 - 2017)

It's been a few days, so I think I'm finally ready to say something about the death of my favorite living actor, Bill Paxton. I'd always been a fan of his from stuff like Weird Science and Aliens which we saw over and over again when it came out--I was a junior in high school. Plus I remembered him from The Lords of Discipline. I thought he was so versatile and funny and amazing. He was credited as "Wild" Bill Paxton, which I thought was super awesome.
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I didn't realize he was the guy from the Fish Heads video until much later. But I had always loved that vid. He directed it too, which seems insane until you remember that he started his Hollywood career in the art department on Roger Corman movies. I know, right?


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

Shadows Of The Night - Pat Benatar by KamdenMason

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

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

Goodbye, Sir. I'm sorry I'll never meet you.
I thank you for a lifetime of work that will stay with us forever.
wednes: (Colbert Rage)
2017-02-27 06:27 pm
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Why do you watch that stuff if it makes you so angry?

I've spoken before in this blog about the importance of "fake news" shows like Daily Show and Colbert Report. Nutshelled, it's a way for people to keep up with what's happening in the world without becoming suicidally depressed. TDS and CR always made sure to have accurate facts, and a clear way of explaining why whatever thing was fucked up. Watching regular news can be difficult without the comic relief and camaraderie.

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

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

When I hear about all the awful things happening in the world, and see millions of duped idiots falling for nonsense--I get sad, and angry. You know, the way decent people do when the world is being a dick and innocent people are suffering for it. The helplessness we all feel can be crippling at times. Yet we've still got to pick ourselves up, get back to work or life or whatever as if anything we do actually matters. YMMV, obviously.
A good way to alleviate the sadness and anger is to watch even funnier people than I talk about the issues, explain why they're batshit, and basically confirm the stuff I was already thinking. One might call that an echo chamber, but since it's based firmly in reality, I don't mind. I feel better after watching Trevor, or John Oliver, or even Jon Stewart clips online. I have almost no power in the world, so I need to be reminded that far more visible people who are taken far more seriously than I, agree.
wednes: (AB/Waffle Man)
2017-02-23 01:57 am
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Fish Fry

After music, architecture, incense, and free wine, the best thing about Catholicism is the Friday night Fish Fry. It was a joyous event back when my family was pretending to be Catholic to get lower rates at St Mary Magdalen school.

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

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

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

I've decided to pretend that I can't get the fish I want because it's a Catholic conspiracy. Something about saving unborn babies-- maybe the fish is another way of symbolically devouring the flesh and blood of the Christ. Seems like something I should write about...but is there really a fresh angle on that?