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Showing posts from November, 2016

Saturday Serial: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz part 4 FINAL

Saturday Serial: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz part 3

Once upon a time, over a decade ago now, I made plans to spend my spring break visiting friends in New York. I had tickets to fly out to meet them at their university upstate, then we were going to take the train down and spend a day in Manhattan. It was sometime after 9/11 -- not so long that we were used to all the airport security theater yet, but long enough that New York had more or less returned to its normal background level of muggings, stabbings, and fraudulent cab drivers.

About a week before I was scheduled to go, I had a nightmare. I dreamt I was walking down the canyons of Manhattan, concrete cliffs towering above me, when I saw someone in the crowd look up Then more people. So I looked up, and we all saw a glint of metal high up in the air, and then the obliterating brightness of a nuclear flash.

I woke up in a dead panic. I think anyone would. That's a pretty terrible image.

I have never believed in prophetic dreams. I've never even had one of those weird coinci…
I don't really have anything useful to say anymore. But as far as useless trivia goes, if you were interested in the Bowie Legacy album that just came out, it's a very sharp collection of remasters and newly-balanced mixes. The extreme stereo separation on things like "Space Oddity" and equalization on "Life On Mars?" have been fixed, and in general someone's just gone through and cleaned everything up properly for high-def formats.

I bought the 2-disc edition, which seems to be already sold out at Amazon proper, but there is a 1-disc edition that's still listed for $9.98. Collector's edition vinyl comes out on January 6, for $39.98.
I have been sitting here for a week trying to figure out how best to explain the American clusterfuck to people overseas. It's not easy. There's a lot of context. It's the kind of thing that doesn't make any sense unless you're in it at the time.

The hard fact is, people here are dying. Not of anything so easily romanticized as bombs on barricades, but of things that no citizen of any industrialized nation has any business dying of in 2016: Diabetes, anaphylactic allergies, asthma attacks, endocarditis pursuant to chronic dental abscess, stress-induced suicides, malnutrition. There is a huge economic underclass here who used to work making things, like in factories. They were, to some extent, indispensable; you have to have actual humans with actual hands to put together cars and televisions and shoes, and you always need a certain number of hands to fill your orders. But everything is now made overseas, where it's cheaper, and the "working class" who…

Saturday Serial: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz part 2

So on Saturday, apparently I'm going to go eat pizza and drink and commiserate and plot with a bunch of very scared and upset queer/trans people. I'm friends with these particular people from a context in which being or not being a GSM was not relevant, so I'm welcome there on the basis that they know me and are fairly sure I am not going to somehow make things worse. I'm not particularly sure I'm not going to somehow make things worse, but there you go. We all apparently had too much faith in people this fall,

I'm not sure I belong there. It depends on whether you're talking physically or emotionally. There are people for whom anatomical configuration is not that important; I am unfortunately not one of them. I wouldn't rule out someday meeting a female-bodied person who is just so hot I decide it doesn't matter, but to date all the people I've crushed on are physically male, which means they're generally legally male, which means that all …

I'm fine. Sort of.

So that happened. I would like to apologize on behalf of America to... everyone, really.

It's chaos in the US right now. Not in the physical Tahrir Square sort of sense, but in the sense that everyone, on all sides of everything, is angry right now. Anger is easier to admit to than fear, and everyone, no matter who they are, is really afraid that their very existence, the way they've lived and imagined living and hoped to live all their lives, is vanishing.

The people who envisioned that working hard in a blue-collar job for decades meant they could retire to a comfortable, if small, house to garden in the afternoon and bowl with the team on Thursday nights and visit with grandkids are coming to terms with the fact that that's not how the world works anymore, and they may never get the rest they were promised. The people who saw us racing towards a world where they could be a girl one day and a boy the next, and raise 2.5 children and a dopey Labrador retriever with their …
I fail planning. Hard.

You would think this would make me also fail at the end result, but no. I have a perfectly clear idea of what I want, and also a decent idea of what I'm needs to be done in order to get there, so the project I'm working on usually stands a pretty good chance of success. I'm not bad at doing. I'm just really, really, really, fucking atrociously, sometimes dangerously bad at the part where I take the things out of my head and lay them out before me in an orderly fashion, so that I can use it as a guide to the process.

I have had this problem all my life. When I was in school, I hated those assignments where you had to write a paper in graduated stages, all of which were due at different times, and all of which were graded. I used to just write the motherfucking paper and then reverse engineer all the brainstorming webs and outlines and rough drafts I needed for the points. It hurt my shriveled little grammarian soul to introduce errors into my &quo…
A couple of my friends were discussing Election Day worries last night. Specifically, about the prospect of "poll watchers" hanging around and being douchey. Firstly, yearrrghghgh I do not have enough drugs to deal with this, but secondly, it made me think about demographics.

Dorchester is, as I may have mentioned, heavily not-white. Historically, this has been a very working-class neighborhood -- around the turn of the 20th century, there were a mix of family homes and rooming houses for Irish immigrant workers where we are now -- and this seems to have held true even as the definition of "working class" has precessed from "daily toil in the factory" to "daily toil in a boring pointless office job". I see an international panoply of clothing all the time in my various neighborhood wanderings. One night on my walk home from the T, I passed a guy in a dashiki, a lady in hijaab, and a Buddhist monk in traditional beads and kesa using his bank card…
I have discovered, doing NaNoWriMo, that I would be a rubbish romance author.

Not, I hasten to add, that I am rubbish at writing people into romances. Judging by the speed at which the dialogue is writing itself, I am fine at that. The characters are flirting their little brains right out, and both of them like it. It's the same thing that happens when you get two real people in a room together and they hit it off -- the two of them have postes and ripostes and are too invested in that to let anyone else get a word in edgewise.

No, I'm talking about romance as a genre, the kind of story where 'will they won't they' is the central all-absorbing conflict of the plot.

There are various ways to make it difficult for your characters to link up. Environmental factors are popular. The dramatic version has them separated physically by unpleasant circumstances, or socially by class or tribal affiliation. Disney's Aladdin is a classic example -- she's a princess, he&…

Saturday Serial: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz part 1

I recently caught a notice for auditions for a show whose producers expressed a particular wish to cast actors who were PoC, queer, trans*, or genderqueer. I am definitely not a person of color; my family is almost entirely of Celtic extraction. If I had any less color to me, I'd be clear. I am also definitely not trans-anything. I'm at home in my body; it does cool stuff, even if it does hurt for no reason sometimes, and I can get it to look the way I want it to when I check the mirror.

The rest of it, I really don't know how to answer.

I generally tell people that I'm a straight woman. This is the fastest and easiest way to get across that I am perfectly fine being considered female by the general public, and that the bodies I want to get my grubby little paws on are fundamentally male, if you catch my drift. This is really all the information most people need in order to get the pronouns right and judge whether it's worth the effort to hit on me, and suffices ev…