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.
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
If I'm trying to be more positive, going on the internet after a polarizing news event is something best avoided. But no...I read all the stories including a transcript of that absurd manifesto. I read all through the #YesAllWoman tag on Twitter until it was hijacked by ugly haters. I fully expect all the pro-control v anti-control BS whenever there's a shooting. It often boils down to "Let's get guns out of the hands of criminals and crazy people" versus "Nobody and nothing has a right to get between me and mah gunz." I hear people fearing that someone will come take their guns away, but I've never heard anyone in authority actually say they wanted to do this.
Please correct me if I'm wrong--but there has been no restrictive gun legislation passed since Obama became president. We've done more to stop the scourge of baggy pants than that of gun violence. I don't know anyone personally who thinks no one should have guns, ever. Most people are more reasonable than that.

However, this latest massacre is more about men versus women. Or rather, who owes what to whom and what the unhappy party has a right to do when their needs aren't met. A few weeks ago, I was unfriended by someone who posted a friend-zone comic. The punchline indicated that the girl (who asked an angel for a nice guy to fall in love with) was called a bitch and told that she "friendzoned" him. I suggested that this "joke" was hateful and sexist, and was told in return that friendzoning works both ways and that it's nothing against women.

As a fat chick, I have to laugh. As a person who grew up with appallingly low self esteem, I had lots of crushes and came to think that I'd like myself better if a cool guy liked me. In my defense, I was a young stupid kid--sort of like this guy. I was also mentally ill, like this guy. But nobody ever tells guys who reject fat girls how "mean and shallow" they're being. Nor did anyone suggest that I "keep at him" or try to "wear him down" or "show him how amazing I really am."
No...I was told to lose weight, get nicer clothes, all manner of shallow shit. The point was that if men didn't like me, I was supposed to change myself rather than blaming the men. Of course, I didn't blame the men, I blamed my own perceived ugliness. But if chicks don't like a "nice" guy (never mind that nice guys aren't pro-torture and don't generally murder people in drive-bys) then they are bitches. And bitches deserve what they get. The internet aftermath and the teenage girl with a FB shooter fan page are evidence that plenty of people still have whacked views on male-female-relationships.

Like most of you, I expect a certain level of stupidity whenever I go online. What I don't expect to see are grown-ass men who say asinine things like "Men and Women have it equally bad." Speaking for myself, I literally do not know a woman who hasn't been raped, stalked, menaced, manhandled, or experienced other physical attempts to sexually control or manipulate them. I would be very surprised to learn that this is true of all men. Personally, I've been hit by several times as many men as I've actually taken a swing at.
It baffles me that there are men, even men who call themselves feminists, who honestly don't see that women have things foisted on them daily that men don't have to deal with. As a fat chick, I'm not sexually harassed often, but it's not like it doesn't happen. More often though, I'm treated as a non-entity because I have the audacity to present myself in such a way that strangers don't immediately want to fuck me at first glance. The nerve of that woman, not being sexy. Duh, being sexy is what women are FOR.

So yeah, agree or disagree about gun control, or mental illness. But to pretend that women aren't on the receiving end of a tidal wave of aggressive inappropriateness, or that we're often dismissed or laughed off when we call people out on it--? C'mon. If you really don't think that happens on a daily basis, you need to open your fucking eyes.
wednes: (Default)
Have you heard? Racism is over! Hurrah!
I heard a while back that there was no more racism, because they changed the voting laws to make it easier to pass racist (anti)voting laws...which of course no one would pass, because there's no more racism.
Except...within hours of hearing that racism was over, a bunch of racists passed a bunch of racist bills to prove how unracist they are now that there's no more racism. Get it?

In my home state of Michigan, we learned recently that no matter what happens in the rest of the country, Michigan is racism free. That's why Affirmative Action is no longer needed at U of M, which must mean that college admissions are more or less evenly split among the races, or directly proportional to the racial makeup of the applicants. Wait, what? They aren't? Gosh...who could have ever foreseen that?
Except, you know, everyone.

I admit freely that I'm not 100% on Affirmative Action. I'm not sure counting and quotas is the best way to go about achieving social justice. Despite the douchebaggery of the speaker--I do think placing more focus on class than on race makes a lot of sense. Plenty of studies exist that show that the number 1 and 2 indicators of a child's educational success are the education of the mother, and poverty.
What is it about being underfed, getting poor nutrition, and having parents who are always tired, worried, stressed, or not home at all that keeps these kids from excelling in school? They must just be lazy, amirite? *eyeroll*

Moving on, The Internets are a great thing, because they get information to The People. Social networking has been a force for social change and even political upheaval. But see, the Internets also give a voice to the most hateful sort of paranoid dickbags. Sure, free speech means avoid the comments at all costs. It means that Nazi sympathizers, holocaust deniers, pedophiles, and Glade-huffers can find kindred spirits and know they aren't alone. Free speech means everybody gets to talk, even if ultimately we have to scour every news story for hints of satire--because gag news looks and sounds so much like the preposterous REAL news that it's hard to tell them apart. Hunger strikes against gay marriage, pro-slavery cattle ranchers, and anti-black-guy basketball profiteers sound like they should be made up.
They aren't.

So...we've got an internet where anyone can say anything, and any opinion no matter how destructive or horrible can be found and read by anyone who wants to find it. No type of legal consequences for willfully spreading lies, even with the express intent to cause anger, injury, whatevs. Amid all of that, we have the impending demise of Net Neutrality. I maintain that Net Neutrality is about a lot more than who'll get the fastest Netflix streaming.

Notice how the same half-dozen people own almost all the newspapers and TV networks? How long before those same assholes are controlling the entire internet? Cutting access to sites that check facts, point out lies, or present alternate points of view? What if FOX "news" loaded in seconds but CNN (or maybe a good news network) took 3 minutes. What if we had to pay extra to get BBC news or anything outside the US?

We like to pretend we're so awesome with our technology and our freedom. We aren't. Our crushing economy is well, crushing us. Many people are using all their energy just to keep their families fed and housed while others are amassing insane amounts of wealth on our backs.
I think it's awesome that rich people tried to buy Mitt Romney an election and weren't able to. But how long is that gonna last? Our current oligarchy is far worse than if we had elected a true despot. Even Kim Jong Un doesn't want his entire country to be 99% slaves to industries who continually fight for the right to not pay a living wage.

This Conservative Cabal is clearly plotting to slowly remove the laws that protect the weak and disenfranchised. They're doing their damndest to cut education and welfare so kids will grow up sick and stupid. They abhor family planning, and while they say they don't approve of working moms--they've cleverly arranged an economy where it's damn difficult to raise kids on a single salary--and it often means going without owning a home. The Conservative Cabal fights for the right to pay paltry wages while raking in billions in profits, all the while pretending that they hire workers based on what they can afford--rather than on what they need. Then they get angry and accusatory when someone is smart or brave, or fed-up enough to call them out on it.

Girl-H's (H's sister) food stamps were taken away this week. Budget cuts. She works part-time, but can't be on her feet for more than a few minutes due to an injury she can no longer afford to treat or medicate. Her ACA application was "lost" so she had no healthcare at present. We found all that out last night. I was saving up to take H to see Godzilla but now it looks like we're going to send that money to her so she can eat. Because 'Murica & Freedumz.


Apr. 5th, 2014 08:00 pm
wednes: (Diamonds)
If there's one thing that sucks about being a freelancer, it's figuring out your taxes. I have waiting until the last minute again, thinking I could just spend a few hours with Turbo Tax and it would all be jake. No dice.

Last year, I claimed a bunch of expenses: advertising, website costs, cable and internet bill, office supplies. Plus we had plenty of medical expenses since I was still paying off the CPAP and getting prescriptions and stuff. State-wise, I was due for a phat refund. But when I told TurboTax that H was probably going to claim me, the refund vanished.

When I later learned that H did not claim me, (or any of our expenses) I was pretty bummed. I had no idea you could go back later and make changes. This year, I vowed to go back to TurboTax and amend my previous return before working on this years. But wait--in order to amend last year's return, the site said I had to download a program (some 2012 version of their site) and install it. That sounded punk as fuck, but whatever, it was a big refund and I really need a new computer.

But wait--what's this?
It seems the program is ONLY available for Windows. So now if I want to amend my return, I'd have to partition my hard drive, score a copy of Windows, and install it before I could even get started. Bullshit. I'm not doing it.

So...I made an appointment at HR Block even though they'll probably be more expensive. But if I go there, I also have to have print outs of receipts for everything. But it's all online or in a folder on my computer. So I'd have to go to Kinkos (paying for another cab) just to print everything out. It's all an enormous pain in my ass.

I complained on Turbo Tax Facebook page, since that generally gets me better results than contacting customer service (and because the comments on my page just annoyed me further), and someone said they want to help. I PM'd them, and am waiting to hear back. Like I said...annoyance!
wednes: (Zombie B&W)
I'd be willing to bet my last $5 that the chick at Terminus is a cannibal--or possibly the leader of a cannibal cabal.
That's why she's inviting people to go there. That's why she was grilling meat when they arrived. That's why she's played by Denise Crosby--because as far as I know, she's only played one non-asshatted character ever.

In other news, I'll be really happy when people stop trying to get Stephen Colbert fired. If one tweet by someone who isn't even him as convinced you that he's nothing more than a hateful bigot who deserves to have his platform taken away, I daresay that you could stand to clean your loop a bit better before turning on your TV. And if you haven't even seen the episode, kindly STFU until you do. No uninformed opinions plz.

Yes, people have a right to be offended at things they don't like. When shit offends me I usually have plenty to say about it. Nobody is being "too sensitive," IMO, and people trying to silence this woman are being just as myopic as she is.
But--not only was the tweet a reference to earlier mocking of racial insensitivity, but it wasn't even written by SC himself. Sure, people have every right to be offended, even outraged, if that's what their misunderstanding of the situation leads them to believe. That doesn't make it true, or reflective of Colbert's intentions.
A few people have explained to me that intentions don't matter if people('s feelings) are being hurt. This is where you lose me. If everyone who uses a certain word is always a certain way--aren't George Carlin and Lenny Bruce also total racists who "don't care about the pain they inflict?" If intentions don't matter, why do people want hate crime laws. NOTE: I do not support hate crimes legislation--not because I think hate crime is awesome, but because I think we should punish people for their actions, not their thoughts.

Hurt feelings necessitate an apology, and perhaps further discussion that leads to greater understanding on both sides. Trying to silence those with whom you disagree--instead of making your case and engaging in fair discussion--is just pointless posturing, just competing to be the Decider.

Maybe we could entertain the idea that we don't necessarily have to get people fired every time they do or say something we don't like. I've worked enough fast food and customer service jobs to know first-hand how much people LOVE to get others fired or reprimanded for doing something they don't like--whether it's not giving away free food undeservedly, saying a word that makes us cringe, or the terrible crime of not smiling. Wanting swift and crippling revenge against people we disagree with is petty, malicious, and an ineffective way to manage hurt or bring about social change. Do we really think all of TV would be better without Stephen Colbert? I don't see how...


Mar. 13th, 2014 10:27 am
wednes: (Pot meets Kettle)
I've had a low grade flu since the weekend. You'd think it would be gone by now. Or maybe I caught it on Monday since I spent the day with a kid. Kids are little sickness factories, especially since they spend so much time with other kids. Anyway, not feeling so hot.

Been trying to get up at a more reasonable hour, lay off that stuff I like, and just generally be less of a recluse. But people suck. I mean, I believe that people are basically good, and that if we take the time to get to know most people--we'll have more understanding and all that there. Internet-wise though, people are assholes. I got so annoyed with someone this morning I told them they had sand in their vagina. Not something I would normally do.

I've always been more of a night person than a day person, and I'm wondering if it might be because day people are jerks.

Was gonna watch Those Who Kill since I still have the first 2 eps on my DVR. Alas, it's already been pulled from the schedule. Sorry, Chloe.

Been waiting for a phone call about a job for the last hour and a half. They gave me a 1-hour window, so I'm irked that I'm still waiting. Plus, I have to call Uverse. Curious to find out why they think we should pay them $193 a month for slow internet and sub-par cable. At least Comcast has an awesome product to go with their awesomely huge rates.

The mag now has a movie reviewer and a book reviewer. Hoping to find a video game writer. You'd think it would be easy, given how many gamers I know. It's not though. *sigh*
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
Been engaging in a bunch of discussions about a new online trend. People are complaining about, of all things, Trigger Warnings. If you're not familiar, a "Trigger Warning" is a single sentence before an article, a TV show, vid, or podcast that contain subject matter known to be triggering--that is to say, can cause profound discomfort or distress to someone. TW's cover things like sexual assaults, child or animal abuse, eating disorders, abusive or hateful language--that sort of thing. Trigger Warnings are also used in the creation of "safe spaces" online (or in RL, I suppose) so people can go to a given forum or chatroom and know that certain topics won't come up or that specific types of asshattery won't be tolerated.

So yeah, there's a backlash now. Apparently, there are "too many" trigger warnings. All this compassion is getting "ridiculous," and the "whole thing has gone too far," say pundits and bloggers everywhere. I can't help but translate this as "Okay ladies, we've acknowledged your feelings, now please stop bitching about X, Y, and Z. Being respectful to your hangups is getting old, and some of your fears and issues are dumb IMO."

I very rarely bust out the "P" word, but people who don't have to give a single thought about Triggering do have a kind of Privilege. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to live a life free of anxiety or without fear of some kind of embarrassing or debilitating reaction to something. If this is your life, that's awesome for you. You should be able to develop some friggin compassion for people who were not so lucky.

I don't doubt that there are writers or publications that are overzealous about their Trigger Warnings. I agree that there are more Trigger Warnings around than there used to be. Some drivers don't know how to use their blinkers--it doesn't mean that blinkers have "gone too far." What the fuck does "gone too far" even mean anyway? Anyway, more Trigger Warnings doesn't necessarily mean they need to be curtailed. It might just mean that we're learning to care more about how our words affect others. Wouldn't that be neat?

When people complain about Trigger Warnings, one of the slippery slope fears is that it creates a fantasy world where people can hide from reality. This is so dumb, I can't imagine that people actually believe it when they say it. If you skip an article about rape, you might just forget that rape exists? Not bloody likely. Maybe you're reading the news on your break at work and just don't want to be thinking about rape for the rest of the day.

Underlying it all, I think, is a contempt for feelings by people (who should goddamn well know better) who confuse emotion for weakness. And boy, do we hate other people asking us to accommodate "weakness." I don't expect to hear that nonsense outside of FOX "news" or Dr Drew. Just as food stamps don't make people dependent on food or whatever, Trigger Warnings don't make people forget that there is bad in the world. If anything, people who appreciate and utilize Trigger Warnings know first-hand about the evils of the world, and just need (and fucking deserve, goddammit) a break from it every now and again. How about not giving them shit for it?

Ultimately, it's a single goddamn sentence. If it doesn't apply to you, by all means, scroll right on past it. I know people are in the habit of skimming most of what they read online. Why else would people send me links to my own articles saying "Saw this and thought of you..." ???
wednes: (Default)
So Harold Ramis died.

No, wait...he didn't.

Actually yeah, he did.

What the fucking hell, man? I know that troll levels on the Internets can be both plentiful and passionate about fucking with people anonymously for no damn reason. It's like an entire counter culture made up of sociopaths who lie for fun. They couldn't ALL be abused children in denial--surely some of these trolls are just assholes at heart, right?

Seriously though, some of these trolls are like yelling FIRE in a Trolls of this type make people jaded, cynical, and angry. It's the kind of shit that desensitizes us and makes people unwilling to care about others. And before anybody gives me that "People shouldn't take the internet so seriously..." or "People shouldn't believe anything/everything they hear on the Internets" shit--let me remind you that the Internets are where most people get their news, do their socializing, and even work. Whether or not you think that's a good thing or a bad thing--people shouldn't be fucking around with that for "fun." If you think upsetting complete strangers with made-up bullshit is fun--get thee to a psychiatrist poste haste! Seriously.

Entire websites that are nothing but troll? Who thinks it's a good idea to build, fund, and maintain such a thing? What kind of sick mind thinks posting nothing but deceitful clickbait is a good use of time and energy?!? I really don't understand the mindset behind this sort of thing...other than general sociopathy. Really--what the fuck is wrong with people.

I have fucking had it with this shit.
wednes: (Doctor Literally Too Stupid)
Hey Internets, I see enough of this crap around that I'm just gonna correct everyone at once.

1. It's possible to drive a Prius and not be gay, a wimp, a liberal, or a self-righteous asshole. Also, judging someone by their car makes you lazy and dumb.

2. Chris Christie's biggest and most mockable problem isn't his weight. It's that he's another GOP asshole who doesn't give a rat's ass about the poor, and thinks "the gays" don't deserve "special rights."

3. Obama didn't lie about people keeping their old plans. What he was saying is that there's nothing in Obamacare that forces people to vacate their own plans, providers, or doctors.
Follow Up: Why are so many people upset about not having a shitty plan anymore?

4. Nobody is staging a "war" on Christmas. We're still having Christmas. We always have it. You can still camp out for shitty presents at the lowest price, greet people however the hell you want, and drink spiked eggnog to your hearts content all while pretending you live like Jesus.

5. There are not "plenty of reasons" it's okay to shoot someone for knocking on your door. That said, if everyone did that, there might be a lot less religious zealots bothering people at home.

6. Mom and Pop stores are just as capable of racism, homophobia, and shitty treatment of employees as big stores.

7. Expecting a reasonable amount of dignity and respect on the job is not "whiny pussy crybaby crap" even if the job pays disproportionately well.

8. It's none of your business how many children other people have.
wednes: (Wednes Logo)
My website is revamped.
I think it's nice.


In other news, I'm beyond stressed at how hard it is to convert my beautiful magazine layouts to epubs and mobi. Apparently, Adobe thinks a Page Break command would make exporting far too easy.
Hell, I'd pay their stupid monthly fee if it meant I could just tell it where to break the page by drawing a line with the stupid arrow.



Oct. 25th, 2013 10:36 pm
wednes: (Wednes Logo)
I am told that my new website will be Up and Atom on Saturday, which is tomorrow. It's a Wordpress site, which is the same kind of site roughly 3/4 of the writers I know have. Except this one will be about good ol' me.
You'll be able to find it the same place as ever:

In addition to hyping the books, it will feature the old podcast eps, the comics I did for Resilient Brainforest, and the various mags and anthologies I may be found in. Then it will talk about the mag, the audiobooks, and all that there.

I'm starting a newsgroup where I'll send out a weekly (or so, I've not decided yet) bulletin rounding up all the places I've been online that week. So it will include my Kinkly articles and GeekBinge stuff, as well as anyplace I've been interviewed or featured. If I do anything else for ZZN, I'll include that as well.
So it'll be crazy comprehensive and informative for anyone with an interest in me and what I've been up to.

NaNoWriMo starts soon. I've carved out some time so I can work on my SyFy script, which I'm pretty excited about getting done. It might also be fun to see how badly it can be fucked up by a terrible director and some godawful acting. I really hope I get to find out.

In worse news, I'm still very far away from being able to convert mag issues to epub and mobi formats. Even worse, I'm not exactly sure how much of this is due to my computer being too old to run the current version of Nook. The mobi files so far are just a big jumble of text I can't make heads or tails of.
So dang and fie on all that.
wednes: (Static)
Big political news means that, if I remain on social media, that I'll be reminded over and over which people I went to school with/used to work with/am peripherally related to are fucking batshit insane.

I have a cousin who supported Citizens United because she honestly believes that money and speech are the same thing. That if we limit the businesses right to give unlimited money to politicians--that we're taking away their right to free speech. I...I still have no words for this, and it still happens.

I went to high school with dozens of people who think the ACA literally has death panels and that insurance companies' top concern is taking care of patients. I also went to school with lots of middle class people who think everyone on welfare (even though many of them got Free Lunch back in the day) is lazy and "refuses" to work. Honestly, how can you live in a poor city like Hazel Park and honestly think it's not possible to work and still be poor? It's fucking delusional.

This is not old news. I know this. But I hate being reminded of how many of these utter loons stumble through life with this crazy idea that no one is working as hard as them, no one deserves the same things they have, and no one deserves any help at all until utter loons like them personally vet their situation and decide that they're not "at fault." Because if you've ever made a bad decision, fuck you--starve!

Now I'm hearing how it's "Not our problem" that war widows aren't getting their death benefits, or kids aren't no longer able to eat the meager crap their parents used to be able to afford. But heaven for-fucking-fend that a monument be closed. *shakes fist* Obaaaaah-maaaaah!!!
wednes: (Under the Bed)
Did I ever tell you that offering critique on short story submissions can make an editor come across as a know-it-all bitch?

Because nobody told me...until recently.
Bahahahahahaa-- *sigh*

I'm finding this to be a tricky issue to navigate. Someone advised me once that when people submit stories, that they're asking for my input and critique. That seems logical. At the same time, authors might just want their stuff published in our mag. So once I say no, they might not give a crap about my opinion. Anything said after that point might just come across as a boring lecture.

I never give personal feedback of more than 3 sentences--I haven't yet, anyway. I tend to offer feedback if I think the story is missing something really obvious, if the grammar is godawful, or if I really like (or want to) like the story but can't for some reason. Even more problematic is when I have to decline stories from people I actually know. This sucks. In fact, it sucks so bad that I'd almost rather accept everything my buddies send so I don't ever have to explain why I don't want to use it. But that would make me an asshole.

The important thing here is, subscriptions are affordable, and you totally deserve to get yourself one.
And also, this magazine stuff is hard.
It's fun, but it's crazy hard.
wednes: (Count Thumps Edward)
Yes, that's a terrible thing to say. Depression, suicide, mental illness, self-harm--none of these are funny or good. But goddammit, if your only life-plan is really about fighting against people getting healthcare, being fed and educated, or being able to vote without having to spend money to do so--fuck right the hell off. If the only people you help are already super-rich and you're only helping them to get super-richer--seriously, fuck off and die.

Politics are making me tired. But knowing that people who already have a food budget of $4.25 a day are about to have even less money? I can't stand knowing that and feeling like I can't do anything about it. I'm gonna call the food bank on Monday and see what I can do to help. Probably not much since I'm poor and have no car, but I bet I can do more than nothing--and so I shall.

My own life is crazy busy right now.
My sleep schedule is weird and I think I might be getting sick.
As such, Friday's Pics won't actually happen until Saturday this week.
wednes: (Really?)
Remember last February, when I bought myself a set of Max pajamas from Where the Wild Things Are? Well, I did. And they are adorable. I posted a few snaps of me in them, taken by H (my husband who thinks I'm totally hot). I later put them on Pinterest, on my board "Fat People Existing." It's pretty much what it sounds like--positive and joyful pics of fat people out in the world doing stuff. Or in this case, me in my fly pajamas being cute and hilarious, and yeah...fat.

Today, I see that someone I don't know had reposted it. As you can see, she didn't even bother to change my blurb. To a fat positive board? No. To a costume or fun pajama board? No. To a chicks being silly, clothing that is grey, or pointy-eared people board? No, no, and nope. A total stranger posted a pic of me looking badass--on a board, and I am not kidding, called:
Oh Crap, Fat People!
Whatever, I think. Probably just some dumb teenager who doesn't know what the hell...right? No. I take a closer look, because I can't imagine why this would happen on Pinterest. Isn't it mostly grandmothers and people buying houses or learning about fashion? No.

This is Ally, who thinks mocking fat people she doesn't know is hilarious. But please, no porn in front of the kids. Mockery and hate-speech, sure, but no porn. She has children, and those children are about to have children. Isn't that wonderful? Lest you think that Ally is a mean person, you should know that her Pinterest actually contains the following boards:

And as everyone who follows the teachings of the Bible knows...

Ally knows how to treat people. After all...

She's also really consistent about being healthy, which is why she has the right to mock fat people without a care for the fact that they're a person.

And if all that wasn't absurd enough, Ally is a little wary about hoodies.

So yeah, you wanna make fun of fat people?
You wanna be some kind of bigot bully hypocrite and terrible role model while bragging about your procreation abilities and adherence to the teachings of Christ? Consider this your big fat calling out--You terrible, terrible person.
Courtesy of my being done with work for the night, and not having posted here yet this week.
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
Lots of you know that I'm a fan of Health at Every Size. This is a philosophy that essentially says I'm going to eat as well as I can, and exercise regularly. If that doesn't make me lose weight, so fucking what. I'm also a fan of Size Acceptance. This means that if you have some sort of problem with the size that I am, so fucking what. One might say I live on the philosophical corner of MindUrOwnBidniss Ln and HateElsewherePlz Blvd. One of the chick bloggers on FA and HAES I've enjoyed reading is Ragen Chastain. I've been reading her for a long while now. While I do think her blog is hella repetitive, I also think it's full of good information.

But here's the thing...
Like many blogs written with a concrete foundation in feminism, Ragen bends way the hell backward to not offend readers. Every opinion, every statement of philosophy, begins with a long disclaimer stating that just because she says something works for her--she's not telling everyone else that they should do it, or that it's the only right thing for anyone to do. I presume she does this because, on the internet, you can't say anything without someone jumping on you about it. If someone says "Hey, what a lovely sunny day it is" someone else will rag on them for being insensitive to people with skin cancer. If someone says "I lost weight and I feel great," others will undoubtedly ask how they enjoy being a tool of the diet companies. People are dicks, and anyone even remotely visible online needs to have a strategy for dealing with dicks up front.

But see, we all make judgements. I actually think the occasional shaming of idiots can serve to better the world, if only to encourage them to be a little less vocal in their idiocy. We all think that some people look better in certain clothes or with specific haircuts, would be happier dating different people, having a cat instead of a dog, finally admitting they're gay, watching HBO instead of Honey Boo Boo. We've all got opinions about other people and the things they do. Me, I can't shut up about mine.
Still, I don't think having those opinions makes me a hater. I'm not putting people down to feel better about me. I don't think even thinking ugly things about others does not make a person evil or mean-spirited. Own your judgements just like you own every other emotion--even when it doesn't make sense. Just like we eat foods we know are bad for us, miss people we know are actually assholes, we sometimes make judgements about people that we later feel guilty about. That's okay, really.

What's my point? I'm getting to that.
it's about my peeve: What I really, super, dooper hate.
When people pretend they aren't being judgemental when they are. I hate when people, even people like Ragen, whom I admire, do this. If someone you admire is doing something you hate (say, a fat sports hero going on The Biggest Loser) fucking say so. Otherwise, you get into this infuriating sacrificial-grandmother posture. Oh no dear, you just go to that party instead of playing cards with me like we do every Saturday. You make your own decision like the grown lady you are, and if I'm dead when you get back...well, that won't be your fault. You just went to a party.
This whole put-upon narrative of You can do any foolish, harmful thing you want...I'm not saying one single solitary word about it...not ONE WORD... thing is such utter bullshit. Prefacing your judgement with passive-aggressive ranting about how judgemental you're NOT being is uglier than simple judgement would ever be.
Why? Because it's dishonest. It also places the judger on a higher moral level than the person being judged--even though in most situations, the one being judged is actually the one being genuine. Look how judgemental I'm NOT being in the face of so-and-so's complete idiocy. I think it's their right to be an idiot so I'm not saying one word... in the middle of a post where you're saying a bunch of words about the idiocy you just said you weren't judging.

If you think people shouldn't buy or use Slimfast, say so. If you honestly believe it's harmful and dangerous-- don't pretend like you're cool with it either way, and will respect the other party just as much if they do the thing you're making it pretty clear that you don't want them doing. Disclaimer: I don't know Ragen in real life. I've not met her so I have no idea if she's the same in her blog as she is in person. She's certainly not the only person who fits the examples I've described. But it was her recent blog post that burst the dam on this issue.

All people make judgements every day. All of us. Even people like me who barely leave the house these days. I still make judgements about people based on what they say, what they do, how they respond to issues, what they say about their children. We all do this. There's no shame in it. It's how you navigate humanity. If you're constantly treating others in a way you wouldn't want to be treated--well, then you might be an asshole. Get that checked out. If not...relax. Having an opinion, even about other people, is normal, natural, and unavoidable. Opinions are actually part of instinct. We need them for survival, though this is less true on the internets

I'm what my mom used to politely call "mouthy." I've got lots to say, and I'm reasonably good at saying stuff--so I do. If I start becoming a pompous jackass, a rude bitch, or a mean-spirited asshat, I fully expect my friends to tell me that. No, that won't be a fun way to spend an afternoon. I can be rather defensive and difficult if I'm feeling insulted. But I also have enough introspective skill that I can look at the advice objectively and see if there are things I need to address.
I feel that improves me as a person the same way an aggressive editor improves prose. While I do have those moments of "Fuck you, really?" I end up a better person for it in the end. I was being a total snobby bitch about fanfic a while back, and a few people took me to task for it. It wasn't fun, but as I was out of line, it was an asskicking I totally deserved. Just because I hate something, people who like it aren't necessarily vapid morons with nothing to contribute to literature. Who knew, amirite? ;-]

So no, we shouldn't all go around thinking we know what's best for everyone. But if we've got something that we feel strongly enough about that we're sharing it with a wide audience--it should be truthful, honest. If it isn't, it's deceptive, which means it might just as well be manipulative.
Don't manipulate me, just tell me what's up.
I'm a big girl, I can handle it.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
So...the KKK is seeking fresh, white blood. They tossed a whole bunch of recruitment flyers all over a Tennessee town. Why? Obamacare is about to take effect. Haters are about to find out what the inside of a doctor's office looks like while still having enough money left over to live indoors. Personally, I'm pretty stoked to be able to get a full physical every year (as opposed to periodic labs and a short discussion of my bi-polar disorder) and THIS year, I'll be getting my first mammogram. I'm sure it will be horrible, but I'm still glad. I'd look pretty fucking lopsided if I had to lose one of my girls. People are pretty upset that The Kenyan is giving people access to health care who may not "deserve" it. Far too many people still worry a lot about "supporting freeloaders."

When I was in college, a mostly black fraternity got into an altercation with a mostly white frat. Once the N-word was heard, the event was called a race riot. Some things led to some other things, and before I knew it, the KKK was threatening to burn the house I lived in to the ground. The Klan didn't like that there were boys and girls, black, white, and asian, living under the same roof. For a short while, we took turns keeping watch on the roof.

I don't mind telling you, the KKK scares the ever loving shit out of me. As far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party is just KKK lite--with a bit more emphasis on stripping women of their rights in addition to minorities, atheists, and poor people. It's scary that they're recruiting, and it's scarier that right now, a lot of people are frightened, ignorant, and lazy enough to follow them and their "take are [sic] country back" bullshit.

Of all the things people can do to change the world and improve the lives of ourselves and others--these people have chosen to formally blame others for their problems--and call upon others to hate who they hate. It's pretty much the antithesis of Personal Responsibility, and doesn't really jibe with Smaller Government either. But then, no one really believes the Tea Party wants smaller government or they wouldn't spend so much time regulating wombs and marriages.

So, how long before lynchings come back? When will cross-burnings become commonplace again? I'd love to think that isn't possible, that people wouldn't stand for it. But then I remember how many people were beaten up by police at OWS or maced by Safety Officers while sitting peacefully. Local cops in Tennessee decided that KKK recruitment flyers aren't a danger to the community. Yeah, we'll see...


Aug. 19th, 2013 07:31 pm
wednes: (Stabby Rage)
I've had a terrible pain in my back for over a week now. The kind where it doesn't hurt to stand up straight, but any sort of bending is excruciating. So cooking, cleaning, getting dressed--all very hurty.

Yeah...I just felt like complaining about it.
If it's not gone by Friday, I'm going to the doctor.
wednes: (Seriously?)
I haven't posted in almost a week. Goodness! You all must be beside yourselves with worry and curiosity. Truth be told, I haven't been on the internets as much as usual. That whole being called a misogynist by strangers thing soured me on my beloved interwebs for a couple of days. Plus, our internets have been out a few times.
I've also been working on the mag, which is alternately awesome as fuck and frustrating as hell. I'm always a tad bemused when grown-ass adults behave like cliquish junior high schoolers in work situations. Seriously? I mean, Really?!?

Undead September is gonna be a badass issue. Having said that, I don't foresee doing a theme issue again any time soon. I'd much rather keep people guessing while avoiding tropes. Tropes piss me off. The only thing worse than following tropes is deliberately doing the opposite of what the trope would require. Predictability is the death of the scare--and if I ever meet Rob Zombie in person, I just might have to tell him that if he's still in the room when I wake up from swooning.
If I wrote a book about my experiences thus far as an editor, it would be called:
Too Many Commas:
My Love Affair with the Backspace Key

People use too many commas.

John Oliver is done hosting The Daily Show...for now. He slayed it, seriously. That guy is adorable, and it's clear that he is well-respected among his peers. Not only is he smart, clever, and really funny--but as soon as he had any pull in the industry, John Oliver immediately started showcasing other comics on a stand-up show. That's just awesome. I love that the Comedy Central late-night peeps seem like genuinely good people who aren't full of shit. We don't hear about them cheating on their wives, driving drunk or otherwise acting like assholes. As sad as it is that this is considered remarkable, I'm glad to know that there are media types who aren't scumbags--not even a little.

Here's a video about how HBO should show more dick that's not of the HODOR variety. Muchas Lulz.

Aura Cacia

Jul. 11th, 2013 08:55 pm
wednes: (OMG!!!)
There's a company called Aura Cacia who makes essential oils.
They are great. I use a bunch of them, as should most people.

Their oils come in bottles that are all the same size, and shape.
The bottles are square and the lids are round and white.

Lavender oil is great on cuts and sores, etc.
It's also good for aromatherapy, so I keep it by the CPAP.

Lemon oil is NOT great on cuts, but is great for aromatherapy.
So I keep it by the CPAP.

Guess what happens when your humble narrator reached over in the dark to grab some soothing lavender oil and apply it to an injured area.


The End
wednes: (Sow the Seed)
My plan for yesterday was to get up, get a few hours of work done, then make dinner and hang out with H. We only get a few nights to hang out, so I look forward to them. Got up, got some work done. Suddenly, I felt like complete crap. Pain in my back and side, headache...I thought I might be having another kidney stone. That would be infuriating, since I gave up almonds, which I love.

A few minutes later, I got crazy chills. Like INSANE chills. I got into bed and put 2 blankets on myself. Still cold. H came in and doubled up the blankets. Still cold. He doubled up a comforter on I had a doubled up blanket, a doubled up comforter, and a patch quilt on me. Still fucking cold. Luckily, H is a furnace, so he covered me with his mighty heat-releasing form. When it seems obvious that there would be no dinner and I wasn't getting out of bed, he turned on a DVD of Salem's Lot until I fell asleep.

Slept 4 hours. Woke up feeling better. Still not feeling tip top, and have no idea what that was all about. I do know that I've been incredibly stressed lately between work and my own fiction and now the magazine. I imagine my immune system is run down. It doesn't seem like a kidney stone now, nor does it seem like my ulcer is back. I kicked that ulcer's ass when I left my old day-job.

Now, of course, I can't sleep. This means I almost certainly won't be up in time to make H last night's dinner before he goes to sleep for work (about 2pm). Fie! He really wants it too, because it's mexican meat pie with polenta crust.
wednes: (OMG!!!)
It seems that my idiocy knows no bounds. I was all set to get up and do a ton of work yesterday, when disaster struck. I emptied my computer trash, knowing that there were a bunch of unedited screencaps from various TV reviews. The little box comes up telling me that it's now deleting...

Four thousand items?!?

What? Four thousand? Son of a--
I look at my desktop, and to my horror see that I have deleted the folder with all my pics, (including the pics I use online) Kindle backups (and thousands of books I downloaded) and about 75 gigs of movies and audio that were not in iTunes for one reason or another. Fuck fuckety fuck!

I manage to stay calm.
Facebookers helped me out with figuring out what to do next.
I ended up paying $90 to use a program called Disk Drill.
It showed me that it could recover most all of my files.
Yay, right?

But wait...
My spare disc drive (not big enough to run Time Machine) conked out in the middle of the recovery, so I didn't get everything back.
I also learned that when you recover files, none of them are named. So I have to eventually go through every single file by hand to figure out what the hell it is. Gah!

So, if anybody wants to buy me a present, I could use a TB drive.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Today, Amazon announced Amazon Worlds.
It's their shiny new fanfic platform so "writers" who can't quite get it together to create a milieu, settings, conflicts, arcs, or characters can still make money from their literary masturbation. For the record, I am pro-masturbation. I just don't want to see it online in places where I should be seeing the real thing. Also, fuck fanfic. Fuck it.

My extremely condescending comments on fanfic are as follows: )
Also, if fanfic is published, how does one distinguish what is actually becoming canon in a given lexicon?

And before someone else asks me if I would be complimented if someone wrote fanfic about Sadie, or Mikey, or any other character of mine--listen up. I'm a mature adult, which means I can refrain from killing you, or even hitting you. But if you steal my characters and do some fucked up shit with them--I will hate you with every fibre of my being. Hate. Honest-to-Zod wishing terrible things on you, lighting black candles in your honor, almost ashamed at my own intensely vitriolic loathing of anyone who would do this where it could be seen by another human being (or sentient being of any other species).

When people talk about their pets as if they are their children, I find that annoying. I'm not Pentelope and JoJo's "mom." That's just dumb IMO.
But my characters? I *am* their creator. They are mine. MINE! And they don't do a goddamn thing unless I say so (are you also noticing that this attitude would not actually be conducive to child rearing?).

Amazon, I've always stuck up for you and your outsourcing ways. And this is how you do me? No...
I'm so sad.
Seriously, I wish this hadn't happened during my menses because I am not taking it well at all. I kinda feel like Writing is over; but that's alarmist isn't it?
Isn't it?

In other writing news, I'm almost half way through reading Oryx and Crake. It's kicking my ass, for sure. What I find most amazing about it is that the writing is lyrical and poetic even though the POV character is not. Because I write mainly in the first-person, I don't do this. I've told myself that it can't be that way--but now that I see that it can, I feel sort of remiss in some way. Like I could have been writing a whole lot better but I wasn't pushing myself, reasoning that the prose had to sound like the character.
Then again, one could argue that the strength of my writing is the raw voices. At any rate, Atwood is inspiring me to try some more 3rd person stuff and to play around with poetic language amid abrasive characters.
wednes: (Default)
When they want to do maintenance work in our building, the office sends us a vague note telling us to crate any animals and move stuff around...and they'll be by some time in the next couple of weeks. Yes, they actually give us a time frame of weeks.

After fucking us over several times with this last required maintenance visit, they finally showed up several hours late today to change the fucking windows we didn't even want changed in the first place.

So what do these assholes do? They take the windows completely out of both bedrooms, and just walk away. Yeah. I admit, I made the assumption that they were not idiots and that they gave something close to a rat's ass about renters. I also thought that anyone who was not a fucking dumbass would take one window out, replace it, then take the other one out. They are in different rooms after all.
After all, that's what a sane person would do. My mistake.

Now Pentelope would never run out an open door or window. Ever. JoJo would not come out if someone was in the room messing with the window. But if say, a window was removed and then everyone left that room...he might very well leap out the window. Since he isn't here and neither of us can find him, I can only assume that's what happened.

Hartman and Tyner is easily the worst, by a WIDE margin, worst place I have ever lived. I've been to trailer parks that have better management, and stayed at homeless shelters that afforded residents more courtesy and basic respect.

Well, I've had it. I'm reporting them for their various illegal entries, and for that asshole who messed with my toothbrush. I'm reporting the lack of fixing things, the lease violations, that time they told us not to call the cops when people upstairs are fighting, everything. Because fuck them! Fuck them!

EDIT: JoJo is back. He was close by.


May. 7th, 2013 12:21 pm
wednes: (Really?)
I hate this apartment complex, and want it to die.

They sent us a letter that was all "we're coming in to install new windows between 7am and 6pm some time next week." They went on to say we had to crate our animals (yes, cats too) and move our stuff around so there's nothing within 3 feet of any window. Yeah, that's convenient.

So we did all that. They woke us up loudly working in the apartment upstairs, and then running up and down the stairs like it's the fucking Preakness. That was at 7:30am ish. It's twenty after noon and they're still not here--despite the office knowing (I called to remind them again) that we both work nights and need our goddamn sleep during the day.

It just chaps my ass. We've been here for years. Our rent is never late.
We don't leave crap out on the laws, and don't even use our parking space.
And they treat us like we're trying to return bloody nylons every goddamn time we suggest that they give a shit what our needs are.

God DAMN I wish I could move out of here and never have to deal with HARTMAN AND TYNER again.


Apr. 8th, 2013 06:27 pm
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
You know what would have been nice?
If ol' Marge had died without me having to read her stupid, bitchy quote about socialism and "other people's money" a zillion fucking times.
wednes: (NaNo Runner)
After giving away thousands of free Kindle copies of Kiss Me Like You Love Me a week has gone by without a single new review anywhere in the world. I guess you can lead the French to download, but you can't make them read.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm far too sensitive to manage my own marketing. Whenever I work on it, I'm overcome with how small of an effect my efforts have, and how much money and time I'm spending to reap such poor results. Even with that realization, I have no idea what's to be done about it.

The only place I've had any success at all are Facebook, where I now have to pay them if I want to reach even a quarter of the people who are supposedly following me, and Goodreads, who just got bought by Amazon. Now only are the reviews about to lose all credibility there, but if their advertising rates become even 1/10 of what Amazon now charges, they'll be out of my budget forever.

I keep hearing about how publishing has changed so much, and everyone has a chance to reach people now. But you can't even get a decent marketing campaign off the ground for less than ten grand. I know I'd enjoy writing more if I could just write good stories and didn't have to stress about the marketing end of things. But that's kind of like saying sex would be better if I could cut out all the relationship bullshit and just concentrate on having more orgasms. Wow, that's probably the most profound thing I've said all day.

wednes: (Really?)
It's always a little unnerving when someone rings my buzzer when I'm not expecting anyone. Any friend who wants to come see me knows enough to call or text first to make sure I'm here, and wearing pants and a bra. So when my buzzer rang at 8pm on a Friday night, I thought that was odd.

It was some chick saying she was from the local gas company. Like everyone else I know, we use DTE for gas and electric. I forget sometimes that it's no longer called Consumers Power, but I guess it hasn't been than in like, 20 years.

The chick was telling me about some kind of savings we could get if we signed up for some kind of...honestly, I was only half listening. I was working, and tired, and besides, H handles all the bills and money stuff. I'm rather a 1950's housewife in that limited sense. So I told the lady I didn't handle that. She was all "that's okay, you can just grab one of your bills," and I said H did everything online. So she was all, "So we can just pulls it up online? Great!" and I was like "No, my husband handles that." By this point, I was starting to get annoyed, and was sorry I'd buzzed her in to the building.

She went away and I didn't think any more about it. But then, someone else from the company came by and gave H the same pushy speil. Apparently, these people are NOT from out local gas company--even though H said the second guy had DTW paperwork with him. I'd have sworn the chick I talked to did too, but I wasn't paying super close attention.

Anyway, the whole thing was shady as hell.
If you live in Ann Arbor, Pittsfield TWP, or Ypsi proper, Beware!
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
Actually I'm not, but that's the stereotype, right?

Few things piss me off as much as people who lose a few pounds and then can't shut up about how everyone ELSE is fat because they do nothing but cram junk in their face, and how everyone ELSE needs to get off their asses and "do something about it." After he lost 100+ pounds (by hiring a personal chef) Mike Huckabee was kind enough to write a book called Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork, which told people that there was "no excuse" for being overweight. Because if he can hire a chef and take time out of his day to jog (because he lives in a neighborhood and climate where that is possible), why can't everyone do it? When asked, Huckabee actually had no idea that many poor neighborhoods don't even have grocery stores, let alone the farmers markets he claims "everyone can afford." He's back to being fat now--fatter than he was before, in fact. He hasn't found the time to apologize to all the fat people he insulted. I wonder what his excuse is.

Now I'm seeing it from people on Facebook, and it's annoying as fuck--what with the blurred lines between people you can't block, and yet can't insult for their arrogance and ignorance. Want a cure for fat? It's called getting off your ass! Hahahahaa, how very funny, and helpful, and not assholish at all. Leading cause of malnutrition? McDonalds! Again, not very funny, or helpful, or even true. It's probably possible to let a kid have soda without sentencing them to a lifetime of obesity. Nor should every person who needs a bathroom break be "accused" of having diabetes.
By all means, keep healthy habits if you want to; and encourage others if that's your bag and they don't mind. But the random, bitchy insults because you lost a few pounds? No. Fuck right off with that shit. Or at least, maintain that weight loss for a year or two before declaring yourself to be everyone's path to enlightened thinness.

Myself, I've gone through some things that led me to tell others of my experiences in the hopes that it would help them. EMDR was helpful to me, so I tell people who have PTSD about it. Giving up caffeine was helpful for me, as was having a sleep study. So if people mention the same symptoms I had, I'll mention that too. But what I could not imagine doing, or at least hope I never EVER do, is insult people because they haven't had the options I've had, or because they made different choices than I. I would really prefer not to be a self-righteous asshole who thinks their experience should be everyone's. If I DO do that, it's my hope that someone will actually tell me.

In other news, my SEX articles are getting picked up and passed around nicely. I've only had a couple up thus far, but they are doing well. If you know anyone who enjoys sex, maybe give them a head's up.

Did I mention that my first book publisher is going out of business? They are. So if you kept meaning to get a copy of The Cat's Apprentice, but didn't--time is running oot. This means that my decision to take my horror to Crossroad Press was an awesome one for even more reasons than I realized. They are good guys over there too. Overworked a bit, but passionate about what they do.
wednes: (Seriously?)
If you haven't been following my horrible maintenance goings on, it's here if you're interested. If not, no big whoop. The office started calling us every time maintenance was going to be making noise in the hall. They might have been trying to anger me, but I wasn't angered. I'd much rather know in advance when my water is gonna be off, when I'm not gonna be able to record because of loudness in the halls, or when they're gonna come busting in here.

I got a call from them on Tuesday telling us that our water might go out for a few hours that afternoon. It didn't. Got a call yesterday telling us that they're going to have to come in between 2-2:30 today. I planned my sleep schedule and whole day around being here to deal with them so H wouldn't have to. Instead, they show up at 11:30am. Then they tell H that they have to cut a fucking hole in our bedroom wall--for water pipes. Why the fuck do water pipes even go through the back bedroom??? Even though I've only been in bed since 6am, (when I took a sleeping pill and a pain pill because I have another goddamn kidney stone) I get up and haul myself out to the sofa. That's when I learn that this intrusion has to happen two more times in the next two days. H and I both work nights, so we find this very, very inconvenient.
Do they care? No.

I find this doubly frustrating because they KNOW we can't afford to move out, take our business elsewhere, stop throwing money into rent that we'll never see again--etc. And I have a FB friend who can't shut up about how people can always move if they "put forth the effort." Yeah, because the US is a complete meritocracy and the reason a banker makes more money than any 6 people I know put together can only be because bankers work so very hard. *spit* I'm sick of feeling guilty any time I spend $20 on something just for fun. It's not as if that money would buy us a house...still.

I have tons of work to do and can't sit at my desk for more than a few minutes. I'd love to move my laptop to a more comfortable position, but alas, JoJo broke my click bar and I haven't spent a whole day yet sitting at the Apple store, waiting for one of those rude jackasses to help me. I don't know why I can't just rip the click bar the hell off and go from there. Fuck! Everything is so annoying right now.
wednes: (Kiss Me Like You Love Me)
My weekend has sucked ass. Try though I might to get stuff done, I only did the bare minimum of reviews, couple of articles, wrestling with the website for the new marketing gig I picked up. Was up until after 6am Saturday morning before I finally got it together to go to bed.

FF to 9:15 Saturday morning. My CPAP suddenly shuts off after a long nightmare about zombies crashing through the window. I rip the mask off (it strangles you if you wear it turned off) wake up just enough to realize there IS crazy banging inside the apartment. I consider calling the police, but then I hear the fire alarm. Fuck! I'm being robbed and they set the place on fire! Wait...I don't smell any smoke.
Then I hear someone say something about caulk.

I put on a robe and walk out to see that my entire hallway is full of stuff that was in my bathroom when I went to bed. There's at least one person in there banging all around. This is when I realize the maintenance visit we were expecting weeks ago during the business week--was happening now. To verify, I approach a third guy in my kitchen and ask him who the hell he is and why the hell he's in my apartment. Apparently, if they say the word "Maintenance" as they key in, that counts as informed consent or some such bullshit.

My nerves are completely jangled by this point. Panic attack is coming, PTSD in full swing. Plus I really, really have to go to the bathroom--which they tell me will be "just a minute." This "maintenance minute" was 45 times a regular human minute.

Finally, H gets home. I tell him, thinking of [personal profile] flemco, that these guys are lucky we're not gun owners, because we could totally have shot them legally. One of the guys in the bathroom yells out, "We don't want to be here either" as if having to work on a Saturday is somehow analogous to being awaked by suffocation, fire alarm, and strangers trashing the place. Trying to calm down, I drink some tea and complain loudly...until I remember that tea and having to go to the bathroom don't mix.

Finally, they leave, but not before reminding me that they "don't want to be here either" as if it was my idea to save up a year's worth of maintenance for a couple of weeks. I go into my bathroom--and you would not fucking believe what I saw.

They took everything off my counter and piled it on the floor--partly on the soiled cat pads Pentelope peed on. I'd like to be clear in saying that at no time were we informed as to when they were coming, nor were we asked to clear off any countertops. Did I say "everything?" I mean, everything except my toothbrush. My toothbrush, this jackass swiped across the area between the toilet seat and the toilet tank, and then left the brush there.
My gods, I thought my head was going to fucking explode. I called the office and left a furious message that they were buying me a new Braun Oral B. I mean, just leaving the brush there would have been terrible enough, but actually swiping it in dirt and cat hair? Fuck you, Buddy. I'm so very sorry you had to work on a Saturday, but Fuck. You.
I swear, I've never even contemplated trying to get someone fired before--but this asshole should not have the freedom to go in and out of occupied apartments. But I could just be choking on my own rage.

Went into the kitchen and saw that they did basically the same things. They put my food processor blades on the bottom of a pile of dishes--on TOP of a cookie sheet from baking bacon last night. Then, they piled cleaning products on top of food--contaminating a sack of potatoes, a sack of onions, a bunch of bananas, garlic, scallions, and some apples.
I called back to the office to tell them they were also buying us some groceries. This time the phone was picked up by a nice young woman I'm afraid I was rather unpleasant to. I relayed this story while she kept apologizing. I thanked her for apologizing, and reiterated that I expect them to pay for everything they ruined. I was told that I'd get a call from the manager on Monday. She and I go way back to the time I told them if they didn't fix my stove and kitchen lights, I was going to spend my days sitting in the leasing office warning people not to rent here. I gave up though, to this day my stove only has 2 working burners. The back two catch on fire if you turn them on.

If they do not apologize profusely, and replace every goddamn thing they messed up with their careless dicketry, this story is going to Yahoo News (Associated Content, which has plenty of partners). Not only that, but I'll repost it, sponsored, during the summer moving season. Happily, when I was complaining about this on FB, a few people approached me about adding their stories in as well. So this is not an idle "threat." In fact, it's not a threat at all, just me being tired of being treated like ass because I'm poor.
Updates to events develop.
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Twitter: I gain more followers just letting my account sit there. I seem to lose people every time I actually post something. And I hate being limited to 140 characters. Arbitrary, anyone?
This leads me to believe that Twitter is an annoying sack of crap.
So yeah...there's that.

As usual, sociopolitical stuff is inescapable since I insist on hanging out on the internets. But I can't talk about guns any goddamn more. I was thinking about opportunity in America, and how lack of it creates hopelessness, which can intensify into fear and desperation. I lot of people feel like they have less opportunity than our parent's generation had. Less money, harder to buy a home, have to take jobs you don't like, etc. But some people think we have more opportunity, mainly because of the internet.

It used to be that when you met someone, you'd ask what they do. By that, you were asking what job they had--ie, what they did for a living. But now when I ask that, I'm asking the person what they actually do. Like, what's their art, their passion, what do they make. For way too many people, what they're passionate about has little to do with how they earn a living. So asking someone what their job is not only tells you very little about them--but it may also be sort of rude. More akin to asking someone how they pay their bills as opposed to actually learning something about who they are as a person.

Then I remember how damn lucky I am to be able to do what I like full time. I'm not just writing, I'm producing audiobooks and marketing for other companies and learning all this wild new stuff. That also frees me up to make comics and learn cooking stuff and review TV professionally. On that note: I want The Following to be awesome. I'll be hella bummed if it's not. Ripper Street also starts this week on BBC America. I'm poised to dig it. My bro is coming for lunch on Sunday, and I'm making eclairs. Well, I'm attempting to make eclairs. Difficult to say what I'll actually end up with.

Tonight I have 5 more marketing articles to write, plus the draft of my next article for Kinkly. I think I have a loose plot for the next Stig & the Puppetman. I have to get that drawn by tomorrow evening so H can scan everything in for me. Four chaps to go until A Stabbing for Sadie edits are done and can be sent to Mr Publisherman for the 2nd edition. Then, audiobooks go into production.

Been watching Breaking Bad for TV night on Sundays. We're half way through season two. It's great, just like everyone says. Still, his wife and her family are so awful. I'm surprised to be liking the DEA agent much more than the women. They suck.
wednes: (Inception)
Still chugging away on the NaNoWriMo. Trouble is, it's all rewrites on A Stabbing for Sadie when it's supposed to be the first draft of Millicent Mixter's CS Guide (to a murder-free workplace), which is being released next year. I'm having trouble organizing it. If I was smart, I'd just start writing the sections and worry about organizing them later. Hey! I think I just figured something out.


Work is fine. Would like to be making a little more money, but when is that ever not the case? TV reviews are going okay. They are fun to do and allow me to write off my cable and internet bill. But the money is small and nobody comments at the site.
The marketing writing pays a lot better, but some of the topics are just awful. I actually had to write for a Weight Loss client. None of that stuff has my name on it, but still... Even though my articles are truthful and fact-based, I still feel like I'm schilling for the enemy.

It's been a terrible week for people who love shitty food. The Hostess company has finally collapsed into itself. Eventually, a business either has to admit that its employees are human beings who require a livelihood--or it needs to shut the fuck down. Hostess has chosen the latter, to the detriment of my passion for King Dons (or whatever they call these in your area).
Meanwhile: PapaJohns, Olive Garden, and McDonalds are going out of their way to pretend that health insurance will ruin them. Fuck you if you don't think raising your prices by a few cents is a small price to pay for ALL of your full time employees to have insurance. You don't deserve to run a business, let alone deserve my patronage. For fuck's sake--it's FOOD SERVICE. That's an industry where healthy employees are for everyone's benefit. And dammit, boycotting McDonalds is not something I'm going to enjoy. Their breakfasts are fucking delicious.

I'm sick of hearing about how when poor people want to see doctors, eat, or have homes, that they are whiny and greedy and always have a hand out. But then people who are already millionaires pretend that paying their taxes is government slavery. Niggah please.
Oddly, a lot of these are the same people freaking out because white people are no longer the majority. Oh Noes?!?!?! Like homophobes in the military--this is another case of people who are terrified that others will begin treating them the way that they've been treating others.

Watched that 21 Jump Street movie with Jonah Hill. I have increased respect for Jonah Hill, and I already thought he was pretty funny. That movie is smarter and more hilarious than it had any right to be. Well done!
wednes: (Really?)
I've been so busy with work writing and NaNo writing and pretending to be a comic-er...whatever you call someone who arts comics, that I haven't been watching any new movies. I like to sit down and enjoy a movie every week. Now that I'm caught up on a few things, I thought it would be cool to watch 2 movies over the weekend.

Cabin in the Woods. Really? This is the movie you people have been blathering about since mid-summer? Let me see if I can set up my review as a cutaway: Remember that Family Guy episode where Peter says he hated The Godfather? And the family is shocked and demands that he justify it? Peter says simply, It insists upon itself. I've pondered that ever since. Peter has a point. I still love GF and GF2, but that criticism stuck with me. Last weekend, when I watched CitW, I realized that it totally insisted upon itself--and everything that came before it. In detail...including my thoughts on Who is a horror fan. )

The Muppets. On Sunday afternoon, I finally checked out that Muppet movie that came out last year. I'd had it on the DVR for a while, and grew tired of waiting for H to be in the mood to watch it. Man, it was fantastic. Fun, inspiring, incredibly moving. I'm exactly the right age to appreciate the intense nostalgia, and the sadness of Fozzie Bear having to endure the drumming of Dave Grohl. Ba-ZING. Just joshing, Grohlly ol' chap!
If I ever meet Jason Segel, I'm just going to hug him and thank him for The Muppets. Chris Cooper was delightful as Tex Richman. I wanted more cameos, but there were a bunch of cool ones anyway. The songs were good, the story was classic, and I swear, I cried through half the movie.
Everyone should watch it, but be ready to be made aware of just how old you fucking are.

If I may issue a plea to some of you's: The Finster Effect is in great need of reviews and good buzz. If you've read it, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. If you'd like to review it and can't afford to buy a digital copy, hit me up privately, and we'll arrange some kind of barter for sexual favors, or cookies. ;-] If you're famous, please blurb it.

Three cheers, as Resilient Brainforest #4 is out. This is a FREE pdf comic collection from people who don't normally make comics. You will find crude drawings and photos, sexy talk, drug references, and #3 of Stig and the Puppetman, my delightful comic about mismatched serial killers who are also roommates. Every issue has a theme, and this months theme is "WANT." Know what *I* want? I want you to download it. We are looking for contributors, so ask me for details if you'd like to be a joiner. (Psst. Be a joiner. It's ridiculous that I know so many people yet haven't brought anyone in to this thing!)
wednes: (Really?)
Dear friend of a friend,

If you're writing a note of condolence, even on Facebook--for fuck's sake, take the time to write out words like "you" and "be."

Somehow im sorry 4 ur loss.........u will b in my thoughts doesn't have the reverence that it might if you, you know...gave a shit.

Then again, maybe I'm just at that point where I want to punch idiots in their stupid monkey faces, so they just have to sit there groovin' on it.
What I feel toward native English speakers who won't even try to write properly is probably what Mitt Romney feels about 47% of Americans.
If Sir Mittington of Romneyshire actually has feelings.
wednes: (Work)
I'm signing a contract for a freelance gig that is essentially well-paid, per project content creation. It's cool, but not exactly my dream job. And I'm not sure how steady the work will be.

Was supposed to hear back on the job I was testing for. Was supposed to get an automated Email last night letting me know. I stayed up until 12am PST to get it, even though 3am on a Sunday is late even for me. Didn't hear. Still haven't heard. The site indicates that I finished the test, but no results. I are irked. It specifically says not to write and ask for results, but if they're more than 2 days late, I probably will. Right now they're only 18 hours late.

Also waiting on another contract that will allow me to make a big announcement. I imagine most of you have figured it out already. Plus, I told 3 people not counting H. I hate waiting, and I suck at it.

For movie night, we watched Hannah. I was hoping it would be pretty good. I ended up digging the hell out of it. Was worried at one point that the ending would flop, but I felt quite satisfied. H and I are fans of Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchette is great in everything. Tonight, H and I are finally gonna watch The Horde. Last week we checked out The Revenant, and thought it was pretty good, and I'll likely write that up for ZZN.
Speaking of ZZN, got some fun interviews coming up. A few of the kids from Zombie Hunter and a Dr Rotz who does a series of web vids that I'm finding pretty hilarious.

Michael Dorn is the Captain in the new Star Trek series.
Imma watch the hell out of it! (Of course, I said that about Enterprise but didn't actually watch it due to its lameness)

And finally Mel Hines and James L Grant have dropped yet another webcomic on an unsuspecting world. Failure to Fire is online as of today. It's gonna be awesome.
wednes: (Default)
So let's just get this out of the way...

In more Wednes-centered news, I'm in a new anthology that is out in paperback today! Fortune: Lost and Found is a collection of short stories about how the pursuit or loss of monies can know, horrifying and deadly. Been reading it on the Kindle, and there are some really great stories in it. I'm quite proud of mine, which is called Trabajando Alegre. It's about a government program to assist poor Latino immigrant-types. Horror ensues.

Speaking of money, it's Election Season. I recall saying roughly four years ago about how incredibly angry I feel at people who would actually vote McCain/Palin. How was that possible? How could anyone look at those people and say "Gosh, imagine how awesome the USA would be with them in charge!" ??? I couldn't imagine. This time is, if anything, worse. Mitt Romney isn't just a robotic war hero who altered all of his beliefs so he could try for a job he really, really wanted (like McCain). He's a monster. A MONSTER.

Mitt Romney is a lifelong bully and snotty rich asshole. No, I don't think all rich people are snotty assholes. But he clearly is. I'm not jealous of his amazing job-creation abilities, his many houses, or his fleet of robot sons. For somebody running on a ticket of profound America-love, it's sort of odd that no one in his family ever served. I mean, Obama never served, but he's not pretending that he loves flags and patriotism more than...well, the American People.

That's the crux of it for me. Romney is NOT a man of the people. No one, ever, anywhere could possibly look at (what's actually available of) his record and think that he was. Unless you're super, dooper rich, voting Romney/Ryan is akin to punching yourself in the face. Romney thinks laborers who want living wages should have gone to college so they could have better jobs--never mind that he wants to cut programs that help poor kids go to college without emerging 30K in debt. He thinks women should keep their legs closed if they don't want to be baby machines, and that EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE should love the same god as him, the same way he loves him, and that anyone not wearing magical underwear is not to be trusted.
Actually, he might not think any of those things, because he's the most dishonest motherfucker in the history of politics. Nixon could advise this guy on morality...if he's still got his head in that Futurama jar, I mean.
Romney accuses poor people of hating rich people when his disdain for the poor is the stuff of legend. He tells every non-super rich person that they are essentially worthless, they're problems are beneath his notice, and that if they want to be equal under the law--they should become a corporation. Now why the fuck didn't I think of that?

And then there's Paul Ryan, who fully intends to cut the many programs that made him rich in the first place. This would include social security (which he received after his father died), infrastructure money (which funded his family's construction business for over 60 years), and of course, the stimulus, which he called "a monstrosity" of spending but still helped himself to--for Green Jobs he now feels are unimportant.

These are the gentlemen calling foul on the NaNaNaBooBoo Stick your head in DooDoo audacity of the Democrats when they finally said "Hey Romney man, do you even pay taxes?" His actual comments were a rousing "No Comment" followed by tons of lies about what other people did or did not do. That'll learn people to question the integrity of Sir Mittington of Romneyshire.
I can't wait to see how giant a write-off Rafalca is now that the Olympics is over. He's probably strapped to the roof of a car someplace...

Okay, so it's Friday. A friend is coming over for dinner and nail polish. We'll probably watch some True Blood just so I can show her how shitty it's become. I'd really like to throw a drink on the new writers. Hey, HBO! Yes, I DO think I could do a better job writing dialogue than that. Fly me out to wherever the hell your writers are, and I'll show you...if I get to do lunch with the guys who play Jason, Hoyt, and Terry. *Cougar Growl*
Maybe while I'm rewatching, I'll count how many times the word FUCK is used where interesting or revealing dialogue should actually be.

This weekend shall be Finster edits, an Epic Subbing, finishing my secret-short-story mashup project, and working on my comic for Resilent Brainforest #2. This time, I have an idea that might end up being multiple comics. I'm kind of into it, though who knows what'll happen once I look around the internet to make sure my idea isn't already a thing. I hate when that happens. I thought I was the cleverest chick in the world when I came up with Welcome Back, Potter about the wizard who returns to teach unruly kids at his alma mater. *sigh*
wednes: (Queen of <3's)
My best good friend, The Internet, has played me false.

You may have heard that there's a Facebook "feature" (yes, they're actually calling it a feature) where random things you've liked may now post on your wall as if they are you. In this case, it was Yahoo! who did this to me. So, if you "like" something on any Yahoo! page, you're sending them an invitation to do this to you.

They've begun posting DIET ADS on my Facebook page as if it was me, following up with a comment on how it "really works," my buddies are doing it, etc, lie lie lie.

This is horrifying for several reasons:

1. As an advocate of Body Equality, I am appalled that anyone would think that I'm telling them that they should want to artificially manipulate their body size in the name of "health" or worse, for "attractiveness." Fuck that shit!

2. As an advocate of Health at Every Size, I am disgusted that someone would push a dangerous hormonal diet product to my friends and fans, and to do it under my name as if I think it's a good idea. It is slanderous.
On that note, at least one person was heard to say "Well, if Wednesday supports it, maybe it's something we should look into." *chokes on own rage*

3. The posts themselves do not exhibit proper grammar. While I'm certainly not immune to typing accidents, I'm pretty sure I can remember to begin sentences with capital letters. As a writer, shitty, ungrammatical posts that read like they were written on a phone make me look like an asshole.
(Ha! edited to fix a typo)

4. While the posts themselves are from Yahoo! the ad redirects to...I can't make this up...FOX Yes, FOX news is slandering me. It should make me feel important, but I'm just too damn angry. And if this shit really worked, you'd think a self-hating fatty like Mike Huckabee would have a few vials of it next to his Chick-Fil-A lunch.

5. FOX News. Yes, I'm saying that one twice. I already hated them, but this time it's personal. Fucking with my integrity as a writer and and activist is beyond the pale. I've got half a mind to Occupy something.

For now though, I'd like for Yahoo!, FOX News, HCG (the company that brings you "Ultra Drops"), and Dr. Simeon (Any guesses as to whether or not he's a medical doctor? I don't know--I'm simply asking questions!) to have their advertising efforts backfire on some kind of massive and hilarious scale. I would LOVE to make this intentional slanderous spamming much more trouble than it's worth for them. Since hundreds of heads MUST be better than one, I'd love your input.

If any of you have ideas on the best way to throw this back in their stupid monkey faces, so they have no choice but to sit there grooving on it, please do let me know. No idea is too silly, too widespread, or too riddled with profanity to be considered--though we shouldn't tell any actual lies.
I am super fucking angry about this.

So, my creative friends...little help?
wednes: (OMG!!!)
Since I was a teenager, I've been hearing eccentric people say that there's a conspiracy afoot--that there are people who want to keep us ignorant and docile, unhealthy and unable to think of pay attention. They want to exploit our labor and what little buying power we have, for their own gains. The people we pay to make our lives better don't give one single rat's ass about us. As much as I question the moon landing and am a hardcore Oxfordian, this was a conspiracy theory on the level of tin foil hats. People are basically good, right? And we're certainly not stupid enough to elect people who hate us, right?

Nope. I look around and see exactly what those people were talking about. Let me see if I can sum it up:

Health: Rich people fight health care for poor people at all costs. This is especially true of any health care that might give women autonomy over their own bodies. They want people overwhelmed with their own lives and without the time, energy, or resources needed to fight back.
The most affordable foods are the most unhealthy, devoid of nutrition, loaded with fake shit. Now there are foods with their own defense mechanism (yes, you read that right, the food defends itself against pests--which presumably include people trying to eat it) and the companies that produce them are fighting any laws that say they have to tell us if we're buying/eating food that might fight back. The cows and chickens are too deformed to fight back, but dammit, that Monsanto corn with fuck your shit up!

Education: Public schools have a wide variance. Rich kids get better schools than poor kids. Now there's a magical voucher program that leads to taxpayer money going to schools that teach hate, refuse to teach science, and generally treat a made-up collection of storybooks as if they are indisputable facts.
If we elect a wishy washy science denier as president, it'll only get worse.
Even though they denied it when someone spilled the beans, they really aren't teaching critical thinking in schools. And parents aren't teaching it, they can't. Have you seen some of the complete dumbasses out there trying to raise kids?

Law: Poor people crimes like drugs, theft, or minor violence net people much longer jail times than people who steal millions, or who fuck people over for a living. Despite claims that "War on Drugs" targets only major dealers and hard drugs, over 90% of arrests last year were for marijuana possession of less than one ounce--this has been the case for over a decade. Laws protect and defend rich people, and everyone else can fuck off.

Jobs/"Job Creators:" The idea that jobs are created by rich people is ludicrous. I can't imagine how anyone could take a single marketing, economics, or business class without being told that DEMAND creates jobs. People buying products or using services creates demand.
Not only are these so-called Job Creators not able to create jobs, what few jobs they DO fill are filled the cheapest way possible, which means NOT by Americans. There is now a narrative that labor is not valuable, and everyone should just stop complaining about how bad they have it, because they're lucky if they have a job at all.

Narrative: When you've got uneducated people with no critical thinking skills, this kind of narrative is really all you need to turn the middle class against the poor:

So yeah, I believe it. Our country is poised to turn into Soylent Green. Within the next generation, poor people will be fleeing America to go to some other land that will afford them opportunity.
Maybe THAT is the Rich People's Plan after all...
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
Some of you may remember that I had a pretty big freak out during H's open enrollment last November. H has been at his current gig for over 15 years and is not eligible for any more raises as he is "topped out." We didn't mind so much, because our biggest expenses were rent and my medical stuff. BCBS is supposed to be like winning the lottery of insurances.

BCBS used to offer us a decent plan. As long as a doc confirmed that I "really needed" something, I got it. That's how I finally got the mental, emotional, and medical help I needed. It's how I learned about my ulcers, my kidney-stones, and my random internal bleeding. It's also how I finally got the sleep study and CPAP I'd clearly needed since childhood.

I have memories of being 5 or 6 years old and not even being able to run for the school bus. I was tired my whole life. Because I was in the midst of such a warm wonderful family (sarcasm, dammit) I was constantly told I was "just lazy." I grew up thinking everyone felt like me, shitty and tired, but they pulled themselves out of it--and I didn't because I was SO lazy. When our appalling eating habits also made me fat, and that fat was then exacerbated by nearly a decade in the fast food industry--my body, and my credit were both pretty much ruined by the time I was 25. Yeah, there's more to that...but I digress.

It wasn't until I met H, and introduced a steady stream of love and support (and okay, income--not a lot of money, but I wasn't at risk of homelessness anymore) into life that it got any better. Having health insurance was a fucking godsend. Finally finding a doctor who didn't dismiss my rampant night terrors and hallucinations as "probably from smoking marijuana" (or saying it's brain damage and then not doing anything about it) and got me a damn sleep study. Turns out, I was damn near insane from lack of sleep, as I stopped breathing at least 80 times an hour.

I have the kind of apena that is hereditary. I've always had it, as has much of my family. Losing 200 pounds wouldn't make it go away. Even if it did, I'll probably need a good night's sleep before that happens. I've lost a bunch of weight since I got the CPAP, just because I'm awake and have energy.

Anyway, H's work used to offer 3 tiers of insurance: basic, medium, and fancy-pants. We couldn't afford the fancy-pants, but needed more than the basic.
They used to offer 3 plans: employee, employee plus spouse, and family.
We have no kids, so our choice was obvious.
FF to last year. They cancelled the medium plan, and canceled employee plus spouse. I worried that we'd have to cancel cable/internet/and one of our phones, which I didn't like, just to keep the insurance. I need the internet and cable to work. Turns out, that still wouldn't have been enough scrimping. We'd have needed to find a cheaper apartment, which would have meant an even worse neighborhood and MUCH farther for H to commute. Remember, we don't drive.

We have basic insurance and are paying for a whole family even though there are only two of us. I learned today that since the insurance changed in January, they've been charging me over $100 a month to rent the CPAP. So now I have a bill for almost $700 that I can't remotely pay. AND since I won't be able to pay any further bills, I have to give the fucking thing back.

And to be perfectly honest, it's making me cry like a little kid.
Pretty sure my mom was in the room the last time I felt this helpless...
wednes: (Vyv ;-()
As most of you know, I'd been putting off getting my query packet together for The Finster Effect. The miserable experience with the last publisher and all that ugliness made me want to put it totally aside and revel in how wronged I felt and how right I felt about how wronged I was.
About 2 hours ago, I got a brainstorm and wrote a fantastic cover letter in the standard: hook, synops, about me format. And unlike the last time I put a packet together, I actually have a bunch of relevant writing credits now.

So I finish it up, feeling totally proud of myself. I trot on over the the first house I planned on subbing to. And I'll be goddamned if they're not

Motherfucking closed to motherfucking submissions!!!

Or the TBS version of that: Monkey fighting closed to Monday-to-Friday submissions! And bully for YOU if you know that reference.

So yeah, I feel foiled up, foil-style.

I'm also working on a top-secret project. I hate when projects are secrets. I'm bad at secrets. I'm much better at telling things than hiding them.

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