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Long Time, No Update...

Wow, long time no update.

As you can see, my plans for reviewing lit-ter-ah-chyoor were quickly abandoned...I have read a lot of great books recently, though, so if you wanna know...ask!

I was planning on spending the evening writing fiction but I wrote this instead. It's a letter to my state rep about the vote on tomorrow's bill to include "gender identity and expression" in the hate crimes legislation. I really hope it passes for many reasons...(A) it's the right thing to do, (B) hopefully that will get us kick-started on the gay marriage issue, and (c) IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Cheers folks...



Dear ----------,
 
My name is --------- and I work and live in Rhode Island. I am a fairly recent Rhody transplant, having moved here for work four years ago. I have very much enjoyed getting to know the area and the folks that live here. My partner of nearly five years and I enjoy exploring the beaches and state parks on the weekends.
 
I appreciate the work that you have done to make Rhode Island a safer place from sexual predators and drunk drivers. Sexual predators and drunk drivers act without regard for the well-being of others. I would ask that during tomorrow's vote on RI-H5432, "An Act Related to State Affairs and Government - State Police," you again consider voting to protect innocent people from being harmed by those that would act without regard for the well-being of others. 
 
RI-H5432 acts to codify tolerance and ensure that Rhode Island continues to be a beacon of hope for all Americans, including transgender people. People can be incredibly unkind to those that do not conform to societal ideals of "masculine" and feminine." Folks that do not fit the currently acceptable ideals of "masculine" and "feminine" face the heartbreaking choice between making oneself happy through honest self-expression and making oneself safe by conforming to societal norms. There are many stories of transfolks out there that have been beaten, raped, and/or murdered because they chose not to deny their true selves - for their courage, they were rewarded with hate. I can understand that some folks may not understand what it means to be transgender, but no one should have the right to injure or kill someone because they don't agree with that person's gender identity or expression.
 
The past fifty to one hundred years have seen gradual changes in gender roles and "acceptable" behaviors. In the not-so-distant past, many women did not work outside of their homes or even wear pants in public. Many men would never have dreamed of being a stay at home dad or envision themselves cheering on their daughters as well as their sons in after-school sports games. There are many, many other examples of shifts in gender roles throughout history, both modern and ancient. These shifts occur when small groups of pioneers fight each sterotype, and these pioneers bear the brunt of society's antagonism until the paradigm shift occurs. Transgender persons are pioneers for the right to express themselves as they truly are, and a simple Google search will reveal just how many have paid the ultimate price from bearing the brunt of society's antagonism. Protection under the hate crimes law may not deter these horrible crimes, but it will help provide justice to those Americans that refuse to pretend to be something they're not.  
 
My father always told me that if you couldn't make someone's day better, then you at least shouldn't try to make it worse. Protecting Rhode Islanders' right to express themselves as they truly are harms no one and protects many - it would give many people a better day. I would ask your help in protecting all Rhode Islanders from the vicious effects of hate.
 
I appreciate your time and I wish you a happy Spring. Thank you for your hard work.

To state the obvious, OMG SNOW

It's the one year anniversary of the day Rhode Island forgot it was a New England state and things like snow happen occasionally, and shouldn't they better get a plow or two out there? Oh wait, let's let kids and business people out on the road first. OK, now plow. Wait, what? The plows can't get through traffic? Aw, man....

Ha.

So today is another storm and we were all released at noon. The kiddies had no school. And I saw no less than 17 plows on my way home. Ridicule and ire can do marvelous things when trying to revamp emergency planning! So M and I took a long walk outside along Blackstone Boulevard and it was incredibly quiet and peaceful. The snow was coming down hard (it's the right in between icy and the wet, heavy nonsense) and the trees and street lights looked like something right out of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Lovely :0)

Now I am sitting in my Underoos trying to stay warm whilst waiting for the shower. We have a frozen pizza and bagged salad mix waiting to go for dinner, and we found a ton of old Disney Christmas special clips on YouTube to watch. I'm dorkily estatic :0)

I am still plugging away on my short story, tenatively titled "The Sea God's Youngest Daughter." It's turning out to be a sweet story (sweet like awww, not sweet like awesome) and it makes me smile a bit. I'm looking forward to finishing it, soon hopefully.

That is all for now...I am off to VT for a week to visit the rents and bro with no internet access, so until then Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas!

PS - I am super excited for the Solstice up in VT, even more so than Christmas I think. Excellent :0)

Short Story in the works

I'm working on a new short story and it's very exciting. I haven't been seized by an idea like this in a long time. It is the product of two images that popped into my head one night when I was overly tired and two experiences that I've had. It's cool to be able to draw on personal experiences and incorporate those in a story but not have it come out all Mary Sue like (at least I hope not...we'll see).

I rediscovered one of my fanfics that is seasonally appropriate so after I figure out how to post it, I might do that. I mostly want to write and post original stuff here but I am really pleased with how this one turned out so what the heck. More later after I figure this out :0) 

Book Review the First

Right, so slight change to my original intentions...I am still going to post about books, but only short plot summaries of the ones I liked. Maybe at some point I will go back and edit them to include, oh, an actual opinion ;0)



The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Hardback, Scholastic Press)

For some reason, I have been having a lot of success with "Young Adult" fantasy and sci-fi novels in the past six months or so. Stephenie Meyer, the author of the both beloved and snarked-upon Twilight series, recently said that she was unable to put down The Hunger Games. I believe that she was quoted as saying that she took it out to dinner with her and read it under the table. Wow. I have been known to do that myself, so I was eager to read a book that sounded that gripping.

 

THG tells the story of Katniss Everdeen and her struggle to stay alive in the annual state-sanctioned Hunger Games, a brutal contest pitting twenty-four teenage contestants against each other in an all-out brawl to be the last one standing and thereby win herself a  lifetime of leisure and her District enough food to last a year. The Hunger Games take place in a specially-constructed arena that features different terrains and hazards (natural, animal, and state-controlled) each year. Contestants must outsmart each other and the elements to win this contest. A limited amount of food, survival supplies, and weapons are placed in the arena, but popular contestants may request much-needed extras from sponsors (who, in turn, are usually betting on the outcome of the Games).

 

The Capitol, the ruling body in Katniss’s country, devised the Games a number of years ago as a way to punish the 13 Districts for rebelling against The Capitol’s control. District 13 was completely demolished during the rebellion, and now remaining Districts must supply one girl and one boy contestant, or Tribute, to compete in The Hunger Games each year. Tributes are selected randomly in a lottery. Tributes from some of the wealthier Districts (illegally) spend their lives training to win the Games, while Tributes from the poorer districts, like Katniss’s District 12, spend their lives trying to avoid being caught up in the Games. 

Watch Katniss as she tries to outwit friends, competitors, Nature, the State, and the public in an attempt to stay alive...



PS - The ending of the book screams "sequel" and I can't wait to read it :0) 


Geetar Love :0D


I just got three new guitar effects pedals in the mail. They're all Danelectro Cool Cat pedals - Metal II, Distortion, and Fuzz. I have to admit that the geek in my really loved the fact that they came with cool 50's retro stickers to plaster, well, everywhere :0)

I haven't had an effects pedal since the distortion pedal my friend Sheara got me died a sad and tragic death by drowning (beer) and dismemberment (my foot trying to kickstart it as I refused to believe that it was actually fried). Now I have THREE. They were really reasonably priced (around $25/pedal) and they're pretty robust so far. I haven't tried the same deathstomp that killed the other pedal, but hopefully without the beer involved it will be a kinder, gentler deathstomp. Haha.

Anyway, I am inappropriately in love with how these sound so far, and I haven't even strung all three together into a proper amp yet. I plugged them into my 60W practice bass amp with the volume on 1 (I have elderly neighbors downstairs). But wow...the sound I was getting from these is just incredible. I can't wait to string it all up properly and really crank it. I was getting some really cool shoegazer style effects (Catherine Wheel, early Pumpkins, etc) and then I stumbled upon the intro riff for the new Kings of Leon song "Sex on Fire." It's really easy but it doesn't sound right without the metal and the fuzzbox on so I don't know as if I would have been listening for it in my noodling had I not had the pedals on. And then there it was. Magic.

I'm definitely going to build my own pedal box for these so I can leave it all in place and ready to go. I enjoy projects like that so that will be fun. Margot and I just worked on a little project together this weekend so I am still in Home Depot mode.

I'm dying to keep messing around with the new gear BUT I promised myself that I would go to Borders and tinker around with a review or a story. Although I was supposed to be there an hour ago and definitely go suckered in by the pedals, so I am already feeling guilty and thinking about just bagging it...no! Must go!

Cheerio.

Book Reviews

Well, I think I am going to try my hand at reviewing some of the books I've been chugging through. Not review in a formal, useful sense, just more of my ramblings and impressions. I have been reading some great fiction lately and I think it will be fun to document it. I'd like to hook up with some more LJ'ers at some point and trade reviews. I bet there's an LJ group for sci fi/fantasy book reviews. Hell, there are probably hundreds.

NB: I'm betting this new reviewing literature hobby will last a week :0) We;ll see. I have about 6 books that I have read in the past three months that I would like to discuss, so hopefully this will become a good forum for that.

 

Reading...


I've been reading all sorts of great things online through the Fantasy Magazine website (www.darkfantasy.org). Discovering this site and reading all of the new stories has been as exciting for me as discovering Asimov's was a few years ago. It's great to have access to all of this fresh material (and FREE! which is cool :0) ) I really enjoyed Becca De La Rosa's stories, and also Willow Fagan's. The discussion boards have provided hours of entertainment as well.

Some days it's good to be a geek :0D

I've been plotting out my book and I'm up to 15 pages of straight up plot, which is exciting. I'm chomping at the bit to get WRITING but I want to at least start with  clear framework. I know that the story will likely mutate (as it already has many, many times) but at least this way I have a direction. I think that I will still be able to salvage the scenes I already wrote. I hope so. That's like 10.000 words :0P I've been tossing around some short story ideas too, so overall I'm pleased with the writing scene lately.

It's been so awesome to have so much fresh reading material available...I was getting stuck in a fantasy rut and it was very frustrating because that's pretty much all I read. Between Asimov's and Fantasy I think I will pull through though :0)

Slainte, darlin...

Lighter

I think I'm ready to do a better job at life now. Not that I've necessarily been doing bad, but just that I'm ready to do better. Hm.

Boring Obligatory First Entry


Wow, this post is even more boring now because LJ just deleted it. Bravo.

Hilights recap:

CTHULHU FOR PREZ 2008! Why vote for the lesser evil? Although the tickets as they stand now give our beloved Ceph-head a run for his moola...

Oops, talking politics, $, and/or Jesus is rude in polite company (So says Dad). Hope you are not polite company.

Why does Sunday evening still feel like a school night? I haven't been to school in several years....

To bed I said!

OH WAIT!

FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY Twilight Snark: http://oxymoronassoc.livejournal.com/463133.html. I hope you are wearing Depends when you read this.


....shoulda done the post that way the first time.

THE END!