wednes: (The Horror Within)
In case you hadn't heard, The Horror Within website will be offline as of Nov. Sadly, I have neither the time nor the money to do this project as well as I want to. Too busy trying to chase the green and be a "real writer" to do all the non-essential horror writing that I want to. In fact, I'm doing almost no writing that I'm not getting decently paid for these days. I had many hopes and plans for The Horror Within, which honestly were not very realistic after our Kickstarter was a giant fail.

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

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

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

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

Okay then...

Things I loved about this movie:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--"Stop saying Pussy."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So yeah, I are sad.
Grenco Science can kiss my ass.
Snoop Dogg, we're still cool.
I gotta say though, maybe put some more thought in where you let people put your name. They're making you look like someone who doesn't take weed seriously.
wednes: (Neville)
You know what's weird? Given the popularity of Harry Potter fandom with women my age, I'd have expected people in my social media feeds to be losing their minds over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They weren't. Nobody has been all "Oh, you haven't read it yet?!? It's soooo good." None of that. Now that I've read it, I totally understand why.

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

So if you feel like reading it and don't want to spend, let me know and I'll loan it to you for Kindle. It's a pretty short read.
wednes: (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.
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: (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: (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: (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. 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: (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


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?


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.


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: (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: (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.
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*
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: (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.


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.


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.
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: (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.


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.


Aug. 25th, 2015 01:14 pm
wednes: (Sow the Seed)
Been spending less time on the internets lately.
I hate people slightly less than I usually do.

Facebook does this weird thing now where it keeps automatically switching the feed I'm reading back to the "home" feed. The Home feed has the posts of every (according to FB's weird "we're hiding tons of random posts from people you've already said you want to read, because fuck you" matrix) person who I've friended back, and all their shitty ramblings. Whereas I read from a list called "Buddies," which is people and groups I'm genuinely interested in, and haven't hidden or blocked due to the barrage of misinformed, hateful, or churchy garbage that makes my blood boil. So when I'm reading my list and suddenly come across 5 "repost if you love Jesus" memes in a row followed by some hateful shit about fat people, welfare recipients, or Obama--I know FB has switched me back.

And yes, boiling blood is a major health issue for me.
Even worse than back pain.

That said, this Ashley Madison thing is bumming me out. Specifically, the glee with which people celebrate the doxxing and even subsequent suicides of people who were doing things that are, in short, none of anyone's goddamn business. Sure, if you're lying to your partner--you're probably an asshole. Though your partner might be a worse asshole. Or you might want to keep your family together for your kids. Or you might be in a place where you had little or no choice over who you'd marry. Or you might be somewhere you could be killed for being gay or trans. Or your partner might not care if you have affairs as long as they aren't humiliated publicly over it.
In short, if you think the Ashley Madison hackers are a benevolent group of justice-seekers standing up for marital fidelity, you're fucking kidding yourselves. At best, they are jaded asshats who've been hurt by a cheater and therefore don't care who else gets hurt as they punish a few strangers for things that are--again, none of their goddamn business.
If you're defending the shits who think doxxing is funny or "justice," I hope you take a long look at the way you live. Ask yourself if you do anything you wouldn't want splashed all over the alternative internet--and eventually the regular internet. Anything strangers would be thrilled to shame you for, that could potentially hurt your spouse, children, parents, friends, jobs, or anyone else you've dared to care about. Maybe ease up on the internet lynch mobs and concentrate on living your life as best you can. And stop being such self-righteous assholes.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
I'm doing a really, super good job of not freaking the hell out even though at least 3 hatchling centipedes have come out of our bathroom faucet in the last 2 days. I dismissed the first one as a random fluke--at H's behest. That's after screeching like a little girl, obviously.

I am most displeased.
H promises that he is taking care of it, which I guess means purification by fire (my idea) will be a backup plan.

Maintenance around here is usually hardcore weaksauce. But this time something will be done or we will move the hell out of here despite our intense poverty. I'd rather stay at the friggin shelter than deal with venomous insects breeding in our goddamn water supply.

As a horror writer, this is the sort of thing I would never include in a story because it seems cartoonishly horrific. Now that I'm living it though...I might have to.
In the mean time, I'm going to continue my quest for calm.


Aug. 5th, 2015 11:01 pm
wednes: (Pot meets Kettle)
Think I'll address some of the stupidity I'm seeing on the internets here. It allows me to get it off my ample chest without having to interact with idiots. Here goes:

--If you're opposed to abortion because you're "sick of women abdicating their responsibilities" you've just admitted that you think raising a child for 18 years is a suitable punishment for the terrible crime of having sex. Go fuck yourself.

--If you think that, and don't support harsh crimes (like jail and forfeiture) for men who sire children and then are not involved fathers who support their children financially, you've just admitted that you're punishing women for sex--but not men. Go fuck yourself.

--If you think women should be forced to bring embryos or foetuses to term, but then vote for people who slash education, SNAP, WIC, oppose the ACA, or accuse mothers of being "welfare queens," you are not pro-life. You're pro-foisting-your-hangups on others. Go fuck yourself.

--No one has suggested that gun control will end all gun crimes forever. Nobody is that stupid. If you have reduced the gun-control argument to that, you're purposely twisting the issue. Go fuck yourself.

--Guns are not a magical amulet that prevents harm from befalling you--which I'm sorry to say that people have essentially said to me. "I need guns, because only guns can defend blah blah blah." Statistically, having a gun makes you more likely to be shot...either by yourself or someone in your household. Still want one--be my guest. But let's not pretend that those who prefer not to are asking to have violence done to them.

--Guns can and do go off when dropped. Sorry gun fans, there are many documented cases. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but drop safety standards only apply to handguns anyway. Most rifles, shotguns, and the like are not subject to drop-tests as a matter of law.

--Jade Helm 15 is not a plot by the government to take over the South and institute martial law. But even if it were--aren't a lot of you pro-fire-power types longing for martial law anyway?

--Even if Jade Helm 15 was a plot to take over the south, you and a couple of buddies in camo pants aren't going to stop the US Army Special Forces, the Navy Seals, or any other specialized military group. You're kidding yourselves.

--Hitting your kid out of anger is indeed abusive. It's not "discipline" because it doesn't teach anything except 'watch out or you'll get hit again'. Discipline is teaching someone what acceptable behavior is. Hitting is punishment, which some do think is a valid parenting option, but it doesn't teach anyone a goddamn thing--except maybe "one or more of my parents is violent and unstable." Not sure if what you're doing to a kid is abuse? Ask yourself, "Would I do this to an adult in a public place? If I did, could I be arrested?" If you answered No to the first question and/or Yes to the second--that's abuse.

Wow, I feel so much better now.
wednes: (Handfasting)
I live a life rich in anxiety, which is not a surprise to anyone who knows me. My main way of dealing with anxiety is to stay the hell at home and not go out into the big, scary world unless I have to. So if you've seen me socially outside my home--that means that I probably love the hell out of you. It also means that if I've inexplicably dashed away from a planned gathering, that it has nothing to do with you.

Anxiety. One of the things I'm most anxious about is that something bad will happen to H. He walks a long way to take the bus to work, and has been hassled by cops as to why he is out at night, where he's going, etc. I used to stand outside the video store where I worked waiting for cabs for upwards of an hour without incident--but when H was waiting with me we'd be questioned regularly. We were even pulled over in a cab once.

So, I occasionally call H at work, just to say Hey and to quell my anxiety. I'm aware that this is lame, and could be perceived as needy and controlling. H is cool with it.

Last week, I called H after waking up from a dream that he was shot in a robbery at his work. Not out of the question--especially since he's there alone during the overnight shift. So yeah, I called just to make myself feel better. The phone rang and rang, but he didn't answer. Doing my best to stay calm, I waited three minutes and then called back. Again, no answer.

I wanted to call the cops, explain the situation (leaving out the dream and some of my own ridiculousness) and just ask them to check in and make sure everything was okay. But I didn't.
See, H is a black guy who stands over 6 feet tall. Statistically, this is the scariest type of person in America. I then envisioned multiple circumstances by which H could be "accidentally" shot by "helpful" cops who thought he was robbing the place. This week, we learned that some cops think it's okay to beat the shit out of people for being "arrogant," or not properly kissing the asses of cops as they hassle us. If anything bad happened to H because I asked the cops for help, I couldn't live with myself. Seriously. I'd have to be hospitalized to prevent my own suicide after something like that. No lie.

It occurs to me how incredibly fucked up it is that I should be afraid to call the cops, because it seems that being helped and being killed or beaten are roughly equally likely in some circumstances. People like to pretend that the cops only kill people who are criminals, or who are threatening their lives. But we know better now. The proliferation of cameras on phones, on dashes, or in businesses have clearly proven that you can be standing around near a slice of pizza, making a minor traffic error, or just walking down the street and be murdered for the crime of looking scary, making someone uncomfortable, or standing up for your own dignity.

Nutzo police are not the norm in Ann Arbor. But they did murder a mentally ill woman last summer when a relative called the cops to help calm her down. Apparently 2 (or 3, I forget now) grown men couldn't take down a mentally ill woman with a kitchen knife in any other way except shooting her in the head. So yeah, why take chances?

No point to this story, I guess.
H was actually vacuuming the floor and didn't hear the phone ring.
He was fine...probably because I didn't call the cops for help after all.
wednes: (Heart Horror)
 photo Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 12.28.12 PM_zpsdds3ryh7.png

Good ol' Maude. If you know her in RL, tell her from me that she's awesome.
wednes: (Really?)
So, I got a reply from Facebook while I was sleeping.

FB Dicketry photo FB Dicketry_zpsp6bf7tni.png

Seems like that means their issues with me are over, right?
And yet, I still cannot log into my account.

I don't think I'll accept their apology for my inconvenience, since it has multiplied since the first time they called me a liar.

On the funny side, the Email makes me think of Peter Griffin watching TV:
"And then there's Maude..."
wednes: (Default)
I really wish I didn't have to use Facebook sometimes. They are such lame pains in the ass about this name business.

As you may know, they logged me out of my account last Thursday morning, telling me I had to prove to them that I was using my real name. Why they couldn't just google me, I do not know. Since I use that name on both of my own websites, plus every online account I've ever had, it seems like that would be the easiest way. But no, they gave me one week to get my documents in order.

The next day I sent them their required ID (my wedding certificate, and 2 pieces of mail from different senders--neither of which were hand written). After 6 days, I heard nothing. Suddenly today, I'm locked out again. I resent everything, and am still waiting to hear. Now not only can I not use my Facebook account--I can't use any account that I usually sign into via Facebook. So no YouTube, no commenting on various websites, all that annoying shit.

And like an idiot, I have business correspondences that happen through Facebook, so I can't do some of my regular work. I don't even know how long this bullshit will take.

Funny thing, when I was paying them for advertising, or back when I'd occasionally pay for game perks--they had no such desire to confirm my identity. Now suddenly it's some huge problem?

Keep in mind, that this is a site that says right in their TOS that they don't have the ability to keep our info safe. Yet they want a pic of my driver's license (even though I don't drive), my marriage certificate, and all this other shit? Just to prove that nobody is impersonating me? Fuck that shit, Facebook. Fuck it right in the ear.

Worst of all, they couch these intrusive requirements as a matter of safety for me, and truthiness for them. Bullshit. It's as much bullshit as when Google tells me that giving them my phone number makes me "safe" when all it really does is increase the amount of scam texts and calls I get. All this name bullshit combined with their facial recognition software makes this something downright Orwellian.

So why couldn't they look over my shit when I sent it 6 days ago? Nobody knows. You can't talk to or even Email an actual person. I have roughly a dozen bylines using this name on different sites: LJ, DW, Kinkly, ZZN, Associated Content, Geekbinge, Puckermob, Articlecats, Disqus, and a few more that are eluding me at the moment, plus my own pro website, Amazon, Under the Bed, and The Horror Within, not to mention the scads and oodles of fiction I've published.

What a fucking pain in the ass.

My name is Wednesday Lee Friday, and I despise Facebook's bullshit policies.
And we have always been at war with Eurasia.
wednes: (Farnsworth/zombie jesus)
I wasn't going to weigh in on Rachel Dolezal in any sort of public way. As a white chick, I don't feel like the issue in general is any of my business. But I also don't feel like all the hate ascribed to her motives is okay. I'm hearing people say she lied to "steal a job that should have gone to a person of color," and that she, "engaged in cultural appropriation in order to obtain privilege she didn't deserve." If Black Privilege is a thing, this is the first I've heard of it. Her actions have been called "insensitive, self-aggrandizing, hateful, hurtful," and the ever-popular PC standby "problematic."

To my mind, she wanted to change her identity to distance herself from truly horrible people that, sadly, she had a biological bond with. I relate to this fully. Yet, I hear people railing on about how "She lied, SHE LIED!!! OMG, how can you let it go that she LIIIIIEEEDDD?!?!?!11/11" For fuck's sake, if any of you try to tell me that you've never lied--or even that you've never lied about anything important, I'm gonna have to tell you that you're a goddamn liar. Yes, I realize that there are racial components to her lies, and that I'm skipping right over them in this post. I'm not going to argue with anyone who thinks the racial implications of Dolezal's actions make them unforgivable. That's none of my business.

I'd like to tell you all something. Given some of your reactions to Dolezal, this may come as a shock to you (though honestly, I bet it won't).

My legal last name is NOT Friday. That's right, I "lied." When I wanted to distance myself from a family that didn't give half a fuck about my well-being, I toyed with the idea of changing my last name to Friday, legally. This was around 1997, my lowest point of mental health crisis in my adult life (though I had suicidal ideation all through high school and most of college). I finally said to my family, "I don't want to have anything to do with any of you until you can treat me with some basic goddamn courtesy and respect." I never heard from my mother, or her husband (my adoptive "father") again.

To be extra clear, this was long before I started writing "A Stabbing for Sadie," my first published book, and the first time I used the Friday name on anything substantial. I continued to use the Friday name in my personal and professional life. I legally took H's last name when I married him, but continue to use the Friday name anywhere that isn't a bank, doctor's office, tax document, or other situation where it's illegal to use a false name.

I never changed it legally. That shit is expensive. Plus, my mom paid the state to falsify my birth certificate as a kid, so I don't even have a copy of one that says what my birth name is. I was told that it's perfectly fine to use whatever name I want so long as it's not for the purpose of committing fraud.

Let me ask, how many of you feel "lied to, deceived, taken advantage of?" Who thinks I should apologize to everyone I've "misled?" Who thinks the abuse I've endured has "nothing to do with the adult" I am today? Who thinks lies are NOT an integral part of growing up with a mentally ill parent with no clue about their own mental illness? If you really don't understand why abused children lie, and why the habit of lying is so hard to break--hit me up. I'll be happy to explain it to you--that is, if you think you can trust a liar like me.

God dammit

May. 11th, 2015 07:53 am
wednes: (Carrie & Mom)
I fucking hate Mother's Day.
I hate it.

And I hate it even worse when...
dammit, I can't even...

I'm fine now.
But it's just such a difficult goddamn day.

To be angry on top of it is almost too damn much.
Seriously. --the fuck.

And you know what's weird?
Mad Men was actually more depressing than Game of Thrones.
Isn't that weird?
PS. Don't fall for it, Trudy.
wednes: (Eclipse)
The news is making me hate everyone right now.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
It appears that Trevor Noah is the latest comedian to face a shitstorm on the Twitters. Now that he's been announced as Jon Stewart's replacement on TDS, bloggers have taken the time to go through his previous years of tweets, searching for things to be outraged about. Of course, they found a few. Among other things, he made some fat jokes. I don't approve. But you know, Jon Stewart appeared on TDS in a fat suit and there was no steamrolling Twitter army calling for him to be fired for it.

As someone who often finds herself defending people like Seth MacFarlane or Lena Dunham, I have to say "What the fuck, Internets?" Are we really so lazy that we have to decide the totality of a person based on a single <140 character sentence? OMG, someone made a joke I don't immediately think is funny--let's get them fired! This has happened to a few people, and had been attempted many other times. Really? We really think if someone says something we don't like--that they should lose their livelihood? That sounds like the mindset of a petulant asshat resentful of the fact that people are legally allowed to disagree with them.

When Obama first got elected, I talked a lot about how people didn't "get" him because he speaks in paragraphs rather than slogans and zingers. Now that everybody and the Nerdist's mother is on Twitter, this problem has gotten much, much worse. It seems that people are so willing and ready to declare people as Hateful for using the wrong word, for a joke that falls flat, for anything outside the party line. Sadly, social progressives are just as likely to form these mobs as conservatives are--and just as likely to cloak themselves in self-righteousness while doing so.

Sorry, but if you really want to be a tolerant person, you can't lash out at everyone and everything who thinks differently than you do. If you don't like someone's joke, maybe complain a bit and then watch something else. Or consider making it a teaching moment. Assume that terrible statements are made out of ignorance, rather than hate. If it turns out to be hate after all, disengage. If you're only tolerant of shit you already like, you're not being tolerant at all.

To paraphrase Jurassic Park: The Internet is one of the most powerful forces on Earth, and people wield it like a kid who's found his dad's gun.
Sure, Twitter et al can be a force for change. That doesn't mean it has to be a hammer used by virtual lynch mobs to terrorize anyone who dares say something we don't agree with. No. not even if they're hateful. Not even if they're wrong, stupid, or think bad thoughts. No one should be threatened, doxxed, or have their web pages hacked for the terrible crime of being an idiot, or even an asshole. People don't deserve to be fired for things they say in private--even appalling things. That's one of the reasons I don't support Hate Crimes legislation. I prefer that we punish people for their actions, not their thoughts.
wednes: (Diamonds)
Still looking for work, and have a few leads.

Got hipped to a gig writing short SEO articles for a company servicing a variety of clients. Got approved right away, and found that for a chance to earn $8, all I'd have to do is:
--Research an entire industry to get a baseline of what that industry is, how the competition works, and why businesses or citizens totally need this.
--Research the types of articles this client likes, and what they don't.
--Write an article of about 400 words that is unlike anything they've received before, or like anything their competitors are doing.
--Learn the silly, non-intuitive interface that doesn't allow me to write with a real goddamn word processor and then cut/paste.
--Make edits to "fix" things the client forgot to mention they want/don't want.
If, after all that, the article gets accepted, I make $8 that I can get paid after I make enough $8's to achieve the minimum payout of $100.
Seriously? People actually work like that? And you can't just research one industry and write about it, because you can only submit one article to a client at a time.

Guess I didn't realize how lucky I was writing 4-12 articles per month for the same client who pays five cents a word and requires only minimal research after the baseline. Oh, to still have that terrible wallpaper client!!!

Was invited to write Marvel articles I am in no way qualified to write, because I stopped reading comic books in the 90's and only watch Marvel stuff now.

Was invited to appear on HuffPo live again. Declined. Not only do I have no interest in doing TV or vids (after that bullshit appearance on Thom Hartmann show), but HuffPo runs ads for fracking, and can therefore kiss my ass.

Was invited to do ghostwriting for eBooks. That's where you write an entire goddamn book, and someone else takes credit for it after giving you a minimum payment. The icing on that cake was that they wanted me to write diet books "because you know so much about them." Yeah, that's how I found out that they were bullshit.

Question: What kind of tablet is best for word processing, editing, and the like? I probably won't be typing drafts on it, but will want to do editing that way. I want to hear from people who actually do this. Is 7" too small? It seems like it would be. Is the Kindle fire fast and responsive enough for this? I need the wisdom of the experienced before I buy one.

With the extra time I've had on my hands, I've watched a few things:
Spiders (2013) Meh. This had better production values than I was expecting, and was pretty scary in parts. Ultimately though, the writing was lacking.
The Host (2012) Been meaning to watch this forever. Pretty good, but not great.
House of Cards (2013-present) Holy shit, this was awesome. I don't think I'd ever seen a Kevin Spacey sex scene before. Also, Princess Buttercup turned into a terrible person (except during the last moment of S3--WOW!!)
Dead Snow (2010) & Dead Snow 2 (2014). Enormous, tremendous fun.
Attack on Titan: Wow, this was gruesome as shit. Loved it.

Still reviewing Bates Motel, and it's still badass. Penny Dreadful and Game of Thrones are both coming up. Can you believe I almost ditched reviewing GoT so I'd have more time for Puckermob (those fuckers!). SO glad I procrastinated on that.
wednes: (The Horror Within)
Whelp, we didn't make our funding goal. I seem to have dramatically overestimated my own visibility and esteem in the horror community. So, we won't be having a print mag where we pay pro rates any time soon.


But you know, that doesn't mean we're all washed up. We have a sweet masthead, a cool logo, and a staff who seems to want to keep it going. I'm pondering doing a quarterly digital antho, or maybe running The Horror Within as a website (one of our feature writers came up with that idea). This is something we can probably afford if any one of the many gigs I'm working toward pans out. We can certainly post regular features a few times a month, and maybe showcase some novel chapters and reprint fiction that deserves more notice. And we can have a newsletter so people can sign up if they want. Our main expense there would be paying someone to build the Wordpress site. I already have hosting and stuff.

In the mean time, I'm working on getting some out of print lit back on sale. And yeah, I did pick out an unfinished manuscript that totally deserves to see the light of day. Who knows, maybe I'll actually finish the Millicent Mixter draft while I'm about it.

Even though this turns out to be a fail, I'm not feeling like a failure because of it. If you read my self-indulgent rantings often--you'll know that this is kind of a big deal.
wednes: (Homer/Stones)
Turned on the Daily Show tonight as I have for years--even when it involved some blonde guy and ended with Five Questions. The last time I watched, Jon confirmed the internet declarations (which I fervently hopes were merely rumors) that he is leaving TDS to do something he probably thinks is more important--though nobody seems to know what that is. Tonight, Jon jokingly asked "Did I die?" This was in response to the internet's reaction to his tragic announcement.

I realize that famous people owe us nothing. As Bart Simpson would say: They've given us countless hours of entertainment for free--so if anything, we owe them. But this isn't really about who owes who what. We can all agree that JS and TDS have given us much, while we offer little but ratings, adoration, and occasional internet mockery.

So what is it about?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but we need Jon Stewart. We need TDS to keep doing what it does. Less than 3 months after Colbert left us forever, we are terrified of what will happen without it.

Now I'm gonna speak directly to Jon Stewart, even though I don't know him and have never met him.


I've been watching you on TV since you were covering Mtv Spring Break as if it were actual news. I rejoiced with you when you got your first show, and sad when you lost it. I rejoiced again when you got your next show--sad and angry when you lost it. Every time you were in a movie--I paid good money to see it. Hell, I own a DVD of Death to Smoochy and am not remotely ashamed.

We Americans feel powerless in today's world. We work hard but barely scrape by. We hear all about how if we're not rich, it can only be because we're lazy. If we don't want Christianity foisted on us everywhere we turn, it's because we hate Jesus. If we don't support endless wars, we must love terrorism. Poor people, and the ever-shrinking middle class constantly hear that it's all our fault--for supporting the wrong candidate, for not having any guns, for not listening to nutjobs like Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney or John McCain (who actually used to seem sane to me). We don't have a voice, not really. OWS protestors were beaten and arrested despite committing no crimes. Unarmed citizens are gunned down by cops who aren't consequenced--or even facing trial. We post about it, argue about it online, we try in vain to convince older relatives that No, the days of lynchings and rampant sexual harassment weren't "the good ole days." But we don't feel heard.

Then we turn on The Daily Show, where a guy (You) we've known since high school tells us that yes--we're being lied to. We're getting hosed by a system that doesn't give a shit about us. Bad people have great lives thanks to the work we do, the taxes we pay, the things we buy (often because we can't afford real/good stuff). You help us laugh at the horrible things we must endure--and laughter is often the most powerful coping tool we have. You help us remember that our problems aren't all new--that people before us have survived, overcome--even thrived. TDS gives us more hope than Barack Obama and the Avengers 2 trailer put together.

In many ways, TDS speaks for us--people who read, who understand nuance, who prefer paragraphs to slogans. The difference between you and us is that you're "In" and we're wherever the hell we are. If we are the people, the future, the trees if you will. That makes you the Lorax. You speak for us because in the grand scheme of things, we might as well have no tongues.

And now you're leaving.

Honestly, nobody wants to make you feel bad or guilty or wrong for making this choice. We really do love and respect you, and want you to have a happy life with your family. But we're frightened. Not just of change, but of what will happen without you in the next election cycle. Who will hold people accountable? Who will demonstrate the foolishness, expose the chicanery, or help mitigate the ruthless lie machine we endure every election? I know we say this every time--but 2016 is gonna be a nasty one. We're afraid of what will happen, and how we will cope with it, if you are not doing what you do so well.

I hope that makes our collective response a little easier to understand.

--Wednes (a lifelong fan)

PS: Jon, if you respond, you better be nice. My review DVD of Rosewater is going to be here this week.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
I've been thinking a lot about cops lately, and the problems many of us have with them. Aside from the multiple unpunished murders of unarmed civilians, I learned recently that in many places, cops are legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes before arresting them. This is, I am told, done in the name of "gathering evidence." When you read the article, you'll note that the cop who pointed out to the press that this is legal and "by the book" lost his job--while the one who fucks prostitutes while being paid by taxpayers did not.

Let's look at that. Prostitution is a crime. Paying a prostitute for sex is a crime. So this means it's okay for a cop to commit a crime in order to stop a "more serious" crime. How serious could the crime be if cops are legally allowed to commit it? How long does it take for a cop to find a prostitute, have sex with her, then arrest and book her for the crime of engaging in sex with him? How might that time be better allocated into things that actually help citizens?

Honestly, unless you have a spouse who cheats with pros, I defy anyone to explain to me a way in which their life has been adversely affected by prostitution. Aside from sex trafficking, abusive pimps, and other bi-products of the black market--I don't even know why prostitution is illegal in the first place.

The NYPD went on a half-assed work stoppage recently. It seems their widdle fewwings were hurt when the mayor said he has given his son tips on how not to be shot by police. This petulant tantrum of a work stoppage came in the form of--and I'm not kidding--only making arrests that were "necessary." Arrests went down 66%, leading some to conclude that well over half of all arrests made by the NYPD are total bullshit. Couple this with stop and frisk stats, and you've got a pretty ugly picture being painted. Remember, this work stoppage was intended to be a "screw you" to the mayor--and a tacit admission that the city budget relies heavily on fines levied on these bullshit "crimes" that cops have since admitted are Not Necessary.

I realize that the typical stereotype of any cop on the job more than say 5 years is that they're angry, racist, drunk, and if they're still married--that the marriage is hanging on by a thread. I bet there are things we can do to make things easier on cops that don't involve giving them a free pass to beat or kill civilians, or to get busy with hookers as part of the work day. I don't know what though. I confess, I'm ignorant of how most cops live each day. I'm also ignorant of the rules they follow in order to get the job done.

But I shouldn't be.

I think citizens should be able to get a copy of current police codes of conduct. I want to know what they're told during training, and what the specific rules of their jobs are. After all, cops are paid via tax dollars which come from citizens--even citizens who have at some point, broken a law. See, if you work, you pay taxes. That should give you a say in how you're governed and under what rules. Then we can know for sure whether using minority mug shots for target practice is something every cop supports. I bet it isn't.

Why don't we have access to a list of the rules cops are expected to follow? Some will no doubt argue that if we know the rules, criminals will find ways around them. Like maybe prostitutes will stop having sex with clients if they know one might be a cop, or something. But see, that would mean that cops rely on citizens not knowing the law in order to catch them committing crimes. How is that fair? How can there be secret laws and rules that citizens aren't aware of that can be used against us?

I'll ask again--why can't citizens have--for the asking--a copy of the rules that all police follow. Like the Freedom of Information Act, all we should have to do is ask, and we should be sent a copy of the rules governing cops in our city, county, and state. This should be current and unabridged.

What I don't know is how to go about making this happen.
Open to suggestions.
wednes: (Snakes on a Plane)

Seems I was slow on the draw with this article that I actually wrote to post someplace newsy.  I'm posting it here despite the fact that it's not the typical style for this blog.  

             I'm not ashamed to admit that I was looking forward to "The Interview," the new comedy from perennial stoners Seth Rogan and James Franco.  But I'm gonna have to make new plans for Christmas Day, since it will no longer be showing in American theatres.  Thanks Obama!  Oh, I mean Thanks Sony!

            What led up to this?  Well, "The Interview" reportedly angered North Koreans since it…you know, openly mocks their leader.  Kim Jong Un, of course, was rumored to have fed his own Uncle to wild dogs, has outlawed anyone having his name, and is generally a crazy cuckoo-pants.  He also seriously needs to fire his stylist.  Right before thanksgiving, it was believed that angry fans of "Dear Leader" hacked into Sony's most secure servers.  The hackers called themselves Guardians of Peace or "GOP."  Embarrassing exposures ranged from the new James Bond script, to tons of private Emails and some bullcrap about Alex Trebek not wanting to reshoot Jeopardy around a kid's temper tantrum.  The massive hack left Sony angry and embarrassed.  The FBI is still investigating.

            Cut to December 17th, and several major theatre chains refused to show the film after GOP released a warning that included the message: "Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made…the world will be full of fear…remember the 11th of September 2001."  Sony has since decided to indefinitely postpone the release of "The Interview."  So I guess that means that the terrorists got exactly what they wanted.

            Theatre chains declining to show the film include Regal, AMC, Carmike, Cineplex, and Bowtie.  I imagine more would have joined this group if Sony had not decided to pull the film altogether.  The statements from the theatres and from Sony all lamented the decision, reiterated their commitment to artistic freedom, and then said that safety was the most important thing.  Odd, because usually when people talk about America, it's the freedom that takes center stage.  Would theatres or Sony Pictures be responsible for those hurt in a terrorist attack protesting "The Interview?"  Of course not.  The terrorists would be.  But Sony is responsible for giving in to those who would use fear to gain control over others. 

            In the immediate aftermath of the Sony hack, ponderings that it may have been North Korea were quickly shouted down by both Sony and the FBI.  In recent days, Gizmodo , CNN, and Kaspersky  have all asserted North Korean involvement according to their own sources.  Internet wags have wasted no time in pointing out other times American films have mocked world leaders.  Team America: World Police spoofed Kim Jong Il relentlessly, causing controversy—but nothing that delayed the film's release.  Trey Parker and Matt Stone have never been shy about ridiculing dictators from Osama Bin Laden, to Saddam Hussein, and even showing a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed back before people were routinely murdered for doing so.

            Cynics are wondering aloud whether this is all some giant publicity stunt.  I don't see how.  I also can't see how a decision that will surely lead to massive illegal pirating could possibly be helpful to Sony.  Does anybody honestly believe they'd allow the new James Bond script to be leaked to promote a Seth Rogan movie?  No offense to Mr Rogen, but I don't fucking think so. 

            Can a company truly support freedom of artistic expression if they're pulling films because people are upset by the content?  I don't see how.  Are we really a free society when humor is stifled at the behest of terrorists?  Freer than some, perhaps, but not as free as we claim to be.  I certainly hope Sony won't keep "The Interview" under wraps for much longer.  A Video-on-Demand release seems inevitable, yet no one has confirmed that anyone is even discussing it.

            To some, a stoner comedy like "The Interview" may not be vital or important enough to warrant this kind of attention.  But that's not the point.  It's also not about whether you like James Franco, think Seth Rogan has a dumb laugh, or believe that mocking people is mean.  If pioneering smut peddler Larry Flint has taught us anything, it's that every form of expression needs to be protected, even those we don't personally like—even under the threat of arrest, censure, or terrorist threat.  Otherwise, we're not protecting freedom.  We'd just be sticking up for things we already like. 


wednes: (Criminal Minds)
HBO, you are entirely too killy.
Game of Thrones isn't back until March.
So just calm the fuck down, why don't you.
Also, I wasn't actually ready for the series finale to be next week.

You are really trying my patience, HBO.
wednes: (Really?)
What do you do when you find out someone has been holding a grudge against you for months (or years even) and you don't even remember the incident they're talking about? I certainly won't deny that I can be hella sarcastic. When multiplied by the vagueness of typed correspondences, I'm sure that can come across as flippant, condescending, or even downright shitty.

This weekend, someone I only know from one social media site PM'd me to let me know they were unfriending me. Now, if I upset someone, I def want them to tell me about it. I want to make sure that there were no misunderstandings, and that whatever the issue is, that I've been clear and kind and all that there. IMO, telling someone you're unfriending them when you have no intention of discussing the issue is just lamesauce. I get it. You're taking your ball and going home for some terrible internet slight or disagreement.

I was informed by this person that I'm totally condescending (a critique that I accept for the reasons above), and that my skill with words makes me both awesome and prone to upsetting, or even hurting people. I don't doubt that this is true, and it made me pretty bummed to hear it.

But then...this person told me that they already knew I was mean and condescending because apparently they asked me to collaborate on a project with them. I have no memory of this, couldn't even narrow down when it might have happened. When I told this person I was "too busy," (they quoted me as saying exactly that) they took that to mean "I'm too good to work with you." To that, I say I dare you to knock this battery off my shoulder, by which I mean "Why don't you have a doctor look at that chip on your shoulder, seriously."

Overcompensating for abysmal self-esteem is something I'm pretty good at. So I get why some people think I have great self-image. I don't. If I did, I'd probably be much better at marketing my books. I'd also chase after big gigs instead of writing for one startup after another. (I admit, I do enjoy startups for a number of reasons) So yeah. Do I have an attitude problem? Probably. Do I come off as an asshole occasionally? I don't doubt it.
But do I go around declaring myself to be better than other people? Hells to the no. And if you ever think that's what I'm saying--for the love of Zod, tell me. Because that's some shit I want to know about.

While I'm here, True Blood finale was obscenely bad, even considering how bad the show had gotten since Season 4. My gods that was terrible. Horrible dialogue, convoluted and absurd plotting all dragged out to a ridiculous degree. Go home HBO, and make sure The Leftovers finale is better.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Been reading articles (and comments--oops!) about shelters for women and children. Apparently, some nobs think they're "sexist" because they only cater to women and children, when way more men are homeless blah blah blah.

For those who are blissfully ignorant as to how these shelters work, a women & children shelter with a secret location is for people who are fleeing from abuse. The secret location is so their abusers can't fucking find them, and therefore not abuse them and the children. It's emphatically NOT "a bunch of feminists who want to keep men out because they think we're all rape-happy." Though now that they bring it up, I can see why someone fleeing from abuse may not have to deal with strangers telling them how pretty they look when they cry. (I have seen this happen in a "regular" homeless shelter.)

If your #NotAllMen fixation is so keenly developed that you actually feel cheated that men aren't allowed in secret-location domestic violence shelters--my suggestion would be to keep spouting that bullshit. Once women everywhere want to smack the shit out of you, you might actually have a valid claim to stay at one of the shelters (and boy howdy, are they luxurious!) you lament.

I've mentioned before that I've given volunteer time and stuff to local shelters, both for the general homeless population, and in what we used to call "battered women's shelters." I don't tend to mention that I've actually stayed at a women's shelter, as a client, when my (now ex, obvs) boyfriend was too dangerously unstable and threatening even for me. I cannot overemphasize the fear, the feelings of failure and embarrassment, the complete and utter shame people feel when they have to turn to such a place. Wait, did I say "people," because I meant "me." I felt terrible fear, shame, humiliation, and as if I had failed everyone who ever believed in me. I can only imagine that it's 100x worse when children are involved.
In addition to that, shelter living is not sitting around all day "living off the government." People staying in any shelter are required to have, or be actively seeking (with proof) a job. They have to pitch in with cooking (try making spaghetti and salad for 50 people and tell me if it feels like work) and cleaning, and must work with a caseworker to get a safe housing plan in place. There are rules, regular drug screens, mandated counseling, and if you break those rules you have to leave no matter how dire your situation.

Women and children who need these shelters often have different needs than the homeless population at large. It is not hyperbole to say that some are fleeing for their lives. Check out the stats on how many women are killed by partners after leaving them. No, one group isn't "better" than another, nor are some "more deserving" of help than others. Every human being deserves a safe, warm place where they can sleep without fear of vermin or violence.
If you honestly have a problem with that, I'd suggest that rather than focusing on the "breaks" others get that you don't--that you take a good long look at whatever ugliness inside you makes you see victims of abuse and say "Damn, I wish I could live like those lazy bastards...seems like a sweet deal." Because while that hateful, misinformed gibberish may not make me want to hit you, it sort of makes me wish that somebody else would.
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
As many of you probably know, GRRM has give HBO the broad strokes of the A Song of Ice and Fire in case know, dies before he can finish writing it.

During Season 4, HBO decided to release a giant book spoiler on their website. I don't mean for something readers know about because they've read all the books. I mean things that haven't been put into the books yet--only hinted at. Want details? Clicky here!

With that in mind, you can imagine my dismay at the Game of Thrones spot HBO On Demand has been showing. It has Jon Snow sitting in the Iron Throne, juxtaposed with a shot of Daenerys looking all queenly. Of course, that is the dominant fan theory about how this thing is going to end. Was HBO really foolhardly enough to let that slip as well? Sure, it's possible that HBO is just playing into the fan hype. Honestly though, they aren't usually that witty about things. And in all frankness, I don't trust them anymore.
Have you seen True Blood since Alan Ball left? However much money he wanted, they should have just given it to him.
wednes: (Count Thumps Edward)
Actually, I want to talk about gun rights activists--the wacky kind.

Reasonable people can disagree on which gun regulations have the most effect, as well as on the percentage of gun owners who are careful, responsible, and compliant with the laws governing gun purchase, storage, and use. The two extremes of the gun argument seem to be "No one should have guns except soldiers and law enforcement," and "Everyone should have whatever gun they want, and carry it anyplace they want no matter what anyone else thinks."

Obviously, both of these are problematic.

The majority of outspoken gun rights activists are also socially and politically conservative. They use phrases like "take our country back," and espouse the virtues of smaller government and less regulation. Taking Our Country Back sounds inherently bigoted to me, not to mention scary. For me, I'm less unnerved by people wanting guns as I am about the reasons people cite for needing guns.
Defense and hunting are fine by me. Target practice in the middle of a city? No. Carrying large firearms (so large they must be strapped to your body and can still be easily seen from a distance) into a place where families are eating seems not just excessive, but willfully aggressive. Ever watch a movie where people rush into a space carrying huge guns? How many of them are "just exercising their rights?" I can't think of any. But yeah, if you think you need guns to take on the US government (insert Cliven Bundy comments here), our military, or your local police--you're clearly hoping for a scenario in which it's okay to shoot cops. That's a little unnerving too.

So okay, let's say you believe guns should be everywhere--schools, bars, churches, any business that's open to the public. Oh yeah, and the airports. Does this mean that we aren't even going to acknowledge the feelings of people who don't want guns around themselves, or their families? Are we really going to tell business owners that they must allow guns in their stores if they don't want them there? There are plenty of legal things people aren't allowed to do in stores. For example, I've worked several retail jobs where we did not serve any customer wearing a mask--even on Halloween. If a customer walked into a party store in a mask, they were told to remove it, or leave. Why? Because someone wearing a mask might be up to no good. Fucking is legal. Most stores don't let you fuck in them (so WHY do you have beds here, Mr Furniture store?!?) even if you're not showing anything. Taking a shit? Also legal, but try it on the pool table of your local tavern, and behold the annoyance.

What I'm wondering is if responsible gun owners are irritated at these lunatics who carry giant guns into a family restaurant and then act surprised that people respond with alarm. Seems they are. Seems that even Wayne LaPierre wants these assholes to stop acting like petulant children having a gun-fueled tantrum. So what happens now? Can we reach a consensus, or does it all just get crazier until we're literally shooting it out?

Story: When I went to Woodstock '94, the tenor was such that we could smoke pot out in the open and no one would do anything. Amazed, I raised my freak flag high and smoked as openly as I could. My friend pulled me aside and said "Wad," (people called me Wad then) "Just because you can smoke out in the open and announce every exhale, doesn't mean you have to." I looked around at all the families and random strangers, wondering if my friend was right. I didn't admit it immediately, being a dumbass 20-something. But he was. This rings the same way to me. Yeah, you can have your stupid gun. Do you really have to brandish it around in public rubbing everyone's nose in how little you care about their comfort and safety? Apparently so.

See, if you know someone has a fear of snakes and you throw a snake at them, you're an asshole. You can say it's a joke, or it's your right, or that it's legal, but you're still an inconsiderate, selfish, slightly sadistic asshole.
Don't be an asshole. Every single part of life is easier that way.

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