Displaced Housewives and Matchmaking?

It's eleven-thirty and I have a few things to do tomorrow. I can't sleep, of course. I only felt half brainless all day, so naturally when I lay down to sleep things start making sense. Then again, I did punish myself first thing this morning with writing a resume, where trying to pull advice about formatting a Relevant Skills one resulted in advice that consisted of referring to my children as 'junior associates'. Junior. Associates.


I am raising tiny adults, here, not micro-managing a few obnoxious know-it-alls fresh from college. I am not going to refer to myself as a 'displaced housewife' either, you idiots. Things are clearly bad because I now have a Title. The thing has been named so the thing exists. It's not even just being thrown around anymore, it's on educational information. Someone help us. According to them when I am finished stalling, my resume ought to look something like this:

Displaced Housewife, formerly managing two junior associates and an entry-level canine seeks a full-time administrative/office assistant position.


Housewifing (2001-Present)

Responsibilities entailed, teaching the English language, both written and verbal. Intense service care, including clothing, food, wiping and other ooky things. Developing extensive skills at monster shooing and occassionally, the slaying of. Maintaining strong verbal communication at all times and if necessary, utilize a trip to the Wall of Tears.*

I'm fairly certain that these people are suggesting this sort of...um, whatever it is, as a joke. It must be a joke, for otherwise I will not sleep tonight. For the purposes of the collective mental health of the internet, it is a joke.

Anyway, I'm up late and been putting a lot of thought to jobs the past few days—can't imagine why—and it got me thinking about Dream Jobs. Not the ones that exist, the ones that we invent, or think we invent (I'm certain mine must exist, but I don't care to Google it and ruin the moment for myself), that exist just for us. I have a few Dream Jobs, but the one that occurred to me tonight is an interesting and funny one.

I've always been pretty good at matchmaking friends. Not love connections, just friend ones. 'So-and-so would really get along with what's-their-name' sort of stuff, introducing them and having them get along like pancakes and blueberries.

This would be a fun job that wouldn't pay. I could do it over the internet, in the style of the old awesome matchmakers, via word of mouth. So-and-so could send me their name, email, likes, dislike and a little about them and I would then friend match. This would be a fun job. I could do it over the internet. It's kind of like those message in a bottle things I'd do when I was younger, but with something much kinder than the cruel freezing depths of the ocean. I remember riding the ferry, desperately hoping to have someone over in Japan or wherever find it, translate it into their language, care enough to respond and then be EXACTLY LIKE ME SO IT COULD BE SUPERAWESOMEYEAHFUNTIMESGO.

That never happened.

No one ever answered my lonely scrawlings, there was no amazing Other Kristina somewhere in the world just waiting with bated breath. Well, that or there was and she just lost it. I'm old enough now to wonder what the fuck my mom was thinking, letting me throw dozens and dozens of bottles with my address on it into the ocean, but since our house was never robbed by an angry Orca mob, I guess I can't complain at her about it. (Good going, Mom.) Since I was robbed in my youth, I want to provide to others. It'd be awesome fun times to hook two strangers up for a potentially neat friendship/netpal.

I did this on accident recently. By getting paired up with a total stranger for a project I met a chick I like, have a lot in common with and have great conversations with. Completely unexpected and a truly nice surprise.

Anyway, it's midnight now and I have to try to get some sleep for tomorrow. Dream jobs!

*Wall of Tears: It is the wall where my children put their noses when they are especially beastly, because one day I realized there was tear and snot residue on it at their height (fucking. gross.) I can now point in the general direction of the Wall and say, 'Wall of Tears!' and off they shuffle, sullen and belligerent, until I call their names.

(And, because I discovered my dad, step-mother and brother are all now reading my blog: Hi Dad. Hi Monica. Hellooooooooo Little Michael.)


Poodoo: Bullshitting About Star Wars, 1999-2009

Matt Springer has released his second free ebook via Alert Nerd Press, titled "Poodoo". This book ought to be recommended as a staple to round out everyone's Geek Internet reading--the collection of ten years worth of Star Wars articles is the journey we all undertake with our True Geek Love. It's something like a grieving process: the happy, undisturbed love meets the cruel blow of Less Than Good, Actually Totally Fucking Bad and the journey that follows afterwards. Through him, we get all the stages: guilt, denial, grief and anger and onto resignation. Except acceptance. Geeks just can't do that--except for grudgingly and with the understanding that they cannot be invited to talk about this topic. Ever.
His wry humor and the way he comfortably embraces his crazy geekness only make "Poodoo" that much more enjoyable. He's assembled his painful journey for us so that we may keep it as a reassurance that no, we're not alone. We may be fucking crazy, but we're not alone.

It ought to be recommended as a staple, so I am going to go ahead and do it. You will find it here, housed safely at Alert Nerd. Enjoy.


Wise Feminism

The idea of demanding a product and then immediately rejecting that product before it ever reaches your fingertips is one that is both confusing and laughable.

Why would you spend a large chunk of your time (fuck, any chunk of time) demanding, for example, a Female Centered Comic Book and then, when that Female Centered Comic Book comes to fruition, exclaim that you refuse to buy it because you do not like the way it is being pressed.

I might be talking about Marvel Divas again.

I criticized the pitch. I broke the pitch down, sentence by sentence, and discussed what irritated me about it as well as what I liked. The pitch is built on partial suck. The pitch isn't what ultiately matters. It's the product. If, as a reader, the way something is pitched isn't exactly appreciated, make it known. I'm not suggesting that anyone keep their mouth shut, but what I am suggesting is a modicum of common sense.

Well, it seems like common sense to me to give a book that is built a bit around the fact that women like reading about women a bit of a chance.

Here's what also makes sense to me: money. And more importantly, money makes sense to the business producing such a product. Not just money, but numbers. Clearly numbers are important in the comics industry, where when Secret Invasion beats out Final Crisis everyone pisses themselves in one direction or another and makes a big fucking deal out of it. The same thing goes for a book like, uh, Marvel Divas.

Say all the people out there who have been asking for a book about heroines buys the first issue. Say the first issue is less than awesome and turns out to be what a lot of us fear: Just Another Booby Fest. Don't buy the second issue. The numbers will drop off and that's what a businessman sees. Joe Quesada is, at his core, a businessman. As a editor-in-chief of Marvel, this is what he ought to be. He has to consider multiple sides of everything and pitch for the numbers. If feminists keep outrightly rejecting books on the basis that 'surely, this is like every other book and I refuse to pander to their covers, and also refuse to buy albums/movies/etc based on their sexy covers because I never, ever, ever give in at all to Sex Sells', our numbers will never blip on the map.

Consequently, the businessmen will have no idea what the numbers could be. If everyone that's demanded a book like this buy it and find that it is, in fact, a booby fest that has no real value and then do not buy any more of them, this will be noticed. What is not noticed (shockingly) is when these readers don't bother to show up to the party at all, after clamoring for the party to be held. This is a foolish thing to do.

Don't ask for a book about women and then reject a book about women before it's even hit the shelves. Reject the book after you've purchased the first issue and you don't like it. Give Joe Quesada the evidence of your existence, not just an angry post on the internet. Give him what matters to Marvel: the lack of your money. Show that the money is there and when you do not like the product, take that money away. Take it away and demand a better product.

Buy the first issue of Marvel Divas. Help prove to the industry that the number of people who want quality books actually exists. Show up to the party, then do what you want from there, but it is critical that we actually goddamned show up. Joe Quesada is not perusing Livejournal in his free time and giving serious consideration to complaints that show up there, but go no further than bitching in comments. Joe Quesada is considering the money, so show him that your money can be there for him, given that he can give a product that you actually want to buy. If the $3.99 (is it 3? or 2? whatever) is important to your budget, return the book. Talk to your comic seller and say, 'hey, if I hate this, is it okay if I return it? Or can I exchange it for something else that I know that I like?'.

Be a wise feminist and utilize business values. Take their game and make it yours. Your voice is your wallet, not your livejournal/blog/whatever. Use your voice.

Pass it on.


In Your Own Words

Okay, I'm curious. I'd love it if you all could take the time at some point before . . . let's say Tuesday, to do something for me.

In your own words, explain to me what happened in either Secret Invasion or Final Crisis (or both, if you're feeling especially motivated) and what the results have been. That simple. It can be as long or as short of an answer as you'd like, so long as it's serious. It can be as adoring or as hateful as you'd like. It can become your own blog post with pictures and graphs, for all I care. I'm trying to see what everyone got from these Big Great Events now that they're over. And over long enough to establish what the effects have been.

That's it! Thanks to all and I'll post the findings Wednesday.


101 in 1001

Over at Great Hera, Sarah's resurrected the 101 in 1001, which I read and thought, 'hey, you know, I'm having a fairly unproductive first quarter of the year too, let's DO IT'. The first time it went around, I thought it was a great idea but kind of knew I'd be setting myself up for failure. I think I'm ready now. Or at least, I'm ready to fail.

And here you go: Evidence I have promised to Do Stuff (Davy Crockett, this list took forever)

  1. Finish this list and post it. Which completely counts.
  2. Take the Mister and kids to Mount Saint Helen's on a day trip, because they've never been. Hike, have a picnic, enjoy the gorgeous and don't get eaten by a bear/eaten by bugs/fall/lose anyone.
  3. Finish a knitting project every week. Which equals to 143 finished projects, I think. Two to three weeks leeway for Big Projects, but I tend not to lean towards those anyways.
  4. Repaint the living room and get everything properly framed and up, therefore finishing said living room.
  5. Redecorate kitchen. Possibly to a Rooster theme, because nothing says delicious like cocks in a kitchen. Wait . . . what?
  6. Go on a writing/creativity retreat weekend with nothing but my notebooks and crafty things. This is a two-fer, where I will also realize the house will not explode if I leave the Mister and children to their own devices to do something selfish for myself. I went on a road trip two years ago, but it was more chore and less fun/not at all personally productive, so it doesn't count. (Bonus points for only using the phone to check in on family.)
  7. Take a real summer vacation with the fam, where we drive somewhere, get terribly cranky and end the week exhausted but ultimately pleased with 1000 photos no one will want to look at but us. Bonus points if no one gets seriously injured/lost.
  8. Take the Mister and kids to Mount Rainier on a day trip, because again, they've never been. Hike, have a picnic, enjoy the gorgeous and don't get eaten by a bear/eaten by bugs/fall/lose anyone.
  9. Find or form a D&D group. One that I'm actually comfortable gaming in for a long period of time and feel 100% in.
  10. Call my long-distance/don't see often friends to talk. Every two weeks, dammit, and try not to be such a guy on the phone.
  11. Revamp wardrobe to reflect my strong desire for Neo-Victorian/Funky Indie.
  12. Get webcomic live and running. This is an early summer goal, actually, and a project that's been in the works for the last month. I think that it still counts as part of my 101 list.
  13. Form a writing critique group with other writer friends.
  14. Finish RL and get proper critique on it. Then, ashcan the bastard and pimp it out.
  15. Blog more regularly.
  16. Make a more active effort to not lose: phone, phone charger, keys, drivers license, debit card and important pieces of mail that make my Mister twitch.
  17. Be a better commenter--I am forever failing to leave comments on blog posts that I think are great, which is the suckage. Boo on me.
  18. Find rhythm.
  19. Learn to play one of Mister's guitars.
  20. Finish LW. Then harass writer group for critique.
  21. Make Sarah a custom Sackboy.
  22. Make Robyn a custom Sackboy.
  23. Make a custom Zombie Sackboy for Christina, to commemorate her finishing her online novel which you should all be reading at The Occult Consult.
  24. Be Smoke Free.
  25. Redecorate our bedroom/bathroom while Mister is not looking. This will require new carpets, paint and finding a bed frame as well as Decorations. Resist urge to put Templesmith print in bedroom. Bloody, scary vampires are apparently not conducive to sleeping or sexy time. Tch.
  26. Go see Marian Call. I'm bummed that I didn't get to this year, thanks to life being life.
  27. Have coffee and baked treats with Marian. Because that'd be awesome. Go team.
  28. Get the garden and lawn up to snuff. This will probably involve learning how to garden-tend something other than a cactus. And manual labor.
  29. Successfully get all roommates to fly the coop.
  30. Turn first empty bedroom into an office/music room for Mister.
  31. Turn second empty bedroom into Super Awesome Girl Room Of Doom.
  33. While it may seem that I am quite good at not putting up with people's shit--because I am--I tend to later on, second-guess myself. I will stop second-guessing myself, because my first instinct is usually the correct one. Having to eat a little crow and apologize later is easier than putting up with shit I don't have to from people I don't care about. SHORT VERSION: Suck it, whiners.
  34. Convince my friends I will not be mean to them, so that they will always be friends with me.
  35. Get Gargamel tattoo. I will need to figure out WHERE a good home for Gargamel is. And also con my Mister into thinking it isn't an unattractive idea. And also Azrael, curled about my wrist (the evil kitty will be significantly easier).
  36. Learn a language. Any language, just learn it: speaking, understanding, reading and writing. Pig Latin doesn't count.
  37. Go on a cruise.
  38. See a game at Safeco field. It's just silly not to have been yet.
  39. Be a better email friend.
  40. Okay, let's be honest: Be a better friend. You suck, K. I fall into the trap of not doing things Right Then and my days can get swallowed up really easily. I just need to do things when I think of them, not putting them off to that mythical hour where I'll have a free hand.
  41. Con my mister into a snazzy outfit, get a snazzy outfit for myself and go somewhere snazzy for a show and dinner. Then have snazzy all-night sex together in a nice hotel and sleep in until 10.
  42. Put together those homework and art scrapbooks for Bug. That pile of paper isn't getting any smaller. He may never care, but a future significant other may want to see the adorable.
  43. Start taking care of my nails. This has been a goal for a while, continually ruined by chores. Get those chore gloves, stupid, so that your nails look pretty. This isn't as foolish as it may seem.
  44. Get published. Is this already on here? Well, too bad if it is, this one is important. It can be on here twice.
  45. Learn how to make a stuffed animal, then make a chupacabra.
  46. Go on a summer road trip. Try to go by self, since other people in close proximity for a few days may result in an inferno-like death.
  47. Meet some online friends in person for coffee/meals/drinking on said road trip.
  48. Organize and transcribe great-great-great grandmother's journals onto the computer for grandmother's birthday. This is going to be a freaking nightmare, by the way, the woman wrote tiny as hell, the documents are all over fifty years old and there's a lot of them. But my grandmother will be happy, and she is a great lady who deserves labor-filled gifts.
  49. Read 52 novels each year.
  50. Get my sew on properly-finish one project every three weeks.
  51. Attend the Steampunk convention in costume. I am loathe to attend things in costume, as I loathe people staring at me. But my concept design for this costume is gorgeous, will be comfortable and not require baring my Very Pale Legs for this. Also, it is gorgeous and deserves to be made. I will not look as silly as I feel I will.
  52. Drag a group of friends to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror. Volunteers?
  53. Drag a group of friends to a midnight showing of Repo: The Genetic Opera. Volunteers?
  54. Throw myself a MASSIVE 30th Themed Birthday Party. Invite everyone. Send children away for the weekend. Drunkenly enjoy turning thirty.
  55. Up work-out to four times a week, maintain size 6 status. Especially firm up the last bit of the Pregnant Flabby Thighs.
  56. Karaoke. I'll need to be fairly drunk for this, and I still probably won't get up there. Wait--GROUP Karaoke. There. Volunteers?
  57. Throw 8 themed parties. Because they are fun. Birthday doesn't count.
  58. Get Bug involved in a sport, to balance out all the art/music he does. If he hates it, he can stop after the season, but he must do one season.
  59. Figure out how to tear down and replace walls. Then, get rid of the wall separating my kitchen and dining room. Put in an island.
  60. Sell house if market has recovered. Move back up north. Try not to lose a ton of money in the process. (this will be one of the last to get done, I'm sure)
  61. Start taking walks for no reason, other than to be alone and chill out for a bit.
  62. Remember/relearn how to code for websites.
  63. Find someone to teach Bug how to use Photoshop since I am a Photoshop failure.
  64. Start using camera more, and flickr. Possibly join a few flickr groups and stick with them properly. Any recommendations?
  65. Participate and complete Nanowrimo. It's difficult, since I usually make Thanksgiving dinner for a Bunch Of People, but not impossible. Difficult is the juice of life anyway.
  66. Participate and complete 3 other Nanowrimo-like writing challenges.
  67. Stick with Redaction blog.
  68. Set up a Day Plan the night before and stick with it. Organizing my time is key.
  69. Hm.
  70. Make pickles at home.
  71. Learn how to make potato chips.
  72. Each month, pick a cuisine style. Every week, do 2 recipes of increasing difficulty in that style, post results.
  73. Don't give family food poisoning.
  74. Buy a bread machine. I would save a ton of money in the long run, since we go through more bread than you could believe, and also it'll be fun to make craaaaazy breads. Uh.
  75. Find a machine like that robotic little vacuum cleaner, only it's a mop. Buy it. Every room in the house but two are wood floors and I am so. tired. of. mopping. You wouldn't believe it. I may just start forcing people to wear tiny mops on the bottom of their feet.
  76. Make sure I enjoy every day with the kids. I'm never going to have this age with them again, and every day they each do at least one thing that amazes me.
  77. Take more photographic evidence of amazing things.
  78. Clean out garage, then have a garage sale. Give away/throw away everything that is left over. DO NOT KEEP ANYTHING. Once it goes for sale, it is officially Gone.
  79. Secretly redo the garage while Mister is gone for a weekend. This will involve repainting, installing shelves and reorganizing all his stuff for him in a way that makes sense for HIM, not me. That last bit is key. (all this secret stuff works, since amazingly, Mister does not read my blog.)
  80. Take a family picture for photo holiday cards. Force everyone to dress in matching outfits, hopefully in ridiculous sweaters. Possibly also reindeer antlers. Think of something hilarious and mocking to put on them, then mail. MERRY HOLIDAYS.
  81. Get people to stop buying me gifts that I appreciate, but don't need. Get them instead to donate $5-$10 dollars to a small 'indie' cause that deserves presents. Except Mister. He should frequently buy me gifts.
  82. Learn how to work leather and metal and make neat things.
  83. Figure out how to bake without the results looking like something a small child would proudly present to their parent.
  84. Every three months, write a letter for each of the kids for when they are older. Nothing sappy, just about what they've been doing the last few months. Include pictures. They should never think they are not awesome and unique and constantly amazing to Mister and I. Also, so that when they are shitty teenagers telling me that I don't really understand/care/love them, I have Proof that they're idiots. Why yes, I am plotting against my children. Every parent should.
  85. Take a massage therapy class, then use new skills to get Mister to complete Honey-Do lists with a little more speed.
  86. Figure out how to make beer, then try it. Try not to poison people with the results.
  87. Figure out how to make wine, then do it. Try not to poison people with the results.
  88. Go visit my very dear friend in California, she deserves a surplus of love. Take her drinking and dancing without complaining ONCE.
  89. Do another winery tour--we've got enough of them over here.
  90. Learn how to snowboard.
  91. Don't break anything while learning how to snowboard.
  92. Post results for almost all completed list things on blog. You guys can't hear about the two redacted things, and one would just be way TMI.
  93. Do not take in anymore stray people. Or re-admit previous roomies. They'll be FINE on their OWN.
  94. [Redacted because she'd fucking KILL ME if I posted this one. I'm occasionally respectful.]
  95. Interview someone awesome.
  96. Go to 10 author signings--we get a good amount coming through this area, and it's something I forever MEAN to do.
  97. Pressure-wash and restain fence. Borrrrrrring.
  98. Recommended by Palindrome because I got stuck and he clearly wishes to see me fail: To be less Awesome in public so that my friends won't be so jealous all the time. (I AM READY FOR FAILURE.)
  99. Utilize the family's beach house at least 3 times every summer. The packing for/drive up sucks, but it's always worth it. Whidbey Island is one of my absolute favorite places to relax.
  100. Go see a UFC fight in Vegas.
  101. Have an awesome three years, for I will never see them again.


Girls Like Explosions, Boys Like Drama

When I say, 'don't pitch titles at my vagina', what I'm saying is this: Girls like explosions and boys like drama. It's okay. The secret is out, people, stop hiding your Gossip Girl DVD collections/Ultimate Rambo behind all the more 'appropriate' DVD's on the shelf. One person may lean more towards explosions or drama. That one person may be part of a big group of same-sex people that have the same thing in common, but that does not mean they don't lean over the other way sometimes. It's cool! Totally cool. Bisexual tastebuds?

Wait, what?

Anyway, women appreciate male-dominated themes. Men appreciate drama. It's not like men don't like stories that are deep and involved, it's not like they don't care about the characters. The majority of men may appreciate drama on a smaller scale than women, but I think the majority of women appreciate action less than men do. Who cares about the scale, anyways? I just want to read really awesome comics that have both things. They don't even have to be IN the same comic all the time, or have the same amount of each. I just long for the day that women reading comics or men watching drama tv goes unnoticed.

I love it when shit blows up. Those Explosion Money-Shots that were so popular in the eighties/nineties/todaytodaytoday!? Those were my vitamins growing up. The cheesier the better. I want to always see someone casually strolling out of a blazing inferno. That was so AWESOME. It's still awesome today! Look at this Die Hard explosion! I love watching him crawl through the vents and I love action movie one-liners, I love watching Rambo do really random ass cool shit with a really big friggin' knife. I constantly think to myself, 'Hey, this movie needs more explosions'.

But you know what else I love? Creepy. Gross. Outrageous. Stuff that is just entirely not okay. I love it when werewolf sodomy makes utter sense in a comic book. I like violent comic books. I like the sight of entrails on a full-page panel. Fists disappearing into chests? Okay! Guys punching the hell out of each other's faces? Whee! Full-blown alien invasions? I'm on it. It's all so freaking cool and fun and important to me.*

I like expensive or big shit to go boom. Big boom! Bada big boom!

Here's a great movie example of this theory: Fifth Element. I think it's a really, really great movie. It's on my Top 10. For me, it has It All. Awesome sci-fi action-adventure with drama. Delicious drama. It's one of my favorite love stories as well--it's deep, it's quiet and not over-stated, it's not the only drive to the story. But neither are all the really awesome action scenes. It's a great balance, with great acting I <3 sci-fi. It's a popcorn movie that still manages to make itself feel important. Not every action flick has to have a throw-away plot, something that the most recent slew of really popular action blockbuster movies have been realizing.

Everyone likes a bit of everything, it's just the degrees that are different. So when I say 'stop throwing things at my vagina' it doesn't mean I don't like the fact that a certain title/show may exist, it just means I don't like that it to the exclusion of men. Or for it to be loudly aimed at any one group/sex and not just advertised as what it is. You don't need to mention boobies for us to know there will be boobies. You don't need to mention tampons for us to know there will be tampon discussions. Or, drama that needs to apologize to men for existing. Everyone can like everything in different amounts, your comic book/fiction book/movie/television series doesn't actually need to pander to a vagina or a penis. It's patronizing. People don't really need to be told what their body parts would prefer to read, seeing as we can figure it out by ourselves. Besides, obvious pandering is a turn off for people that would be easiest for you to hook onto your product, Comic Book People. Stop over-doing everything. I understand this is fiction we're working in and everything gets exagerrated, but come on.

Besides, actions hurt. How would you like it if I threw things at your penis? You wouldn't, would you?

* Except poop. I do not enjoy poop. I do not think poop is funny or interesting. The word 'poop' is funny, but actual poop? Not funny. Poop is gross. I have to wipe poop off my toddler. Every. Day. No, I do not want a 'poop' sign. Though it is a funny idea and if you like poop, you ought to buy yourself one. You could courtesy-post it outside the bathroom you share with people, as to warn them of the 'beauty' you have created and left for display, if you are inclined to such odd behavior.

Where's the Mark?

Blog post inspired by some awesome Alert Nerding done by Sarah over here. Sometimes I'm just not sure who comic book companies are aiming at. Sometimes it's frustrating being a woman who thoroughly enjoys comic books, because we get paragraphs like this about upcoming titles (in this case, Marvel Divas):

“The idea behind the series was to have some sudsy fun and lift the curtain a bit and take a peep at some of our most fabulous super heroines. In the series, they’re an unlikely foursome of friends–Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon–with TWO things in common: They’re all leading double-lives and they’re all having romantic trouble. The pitch started as “Sex and the City” in the Marvel Universe, and there’s definitely that “naughty” element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means…truly means…to be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it’s just a lot of hot fun.”

-Marvel Divas writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, via My Cup o' Joe

Let's break this statement down.

Judging by the first sentence, which is the Topic Sentence, this is a book aimed at Men Who Want To See Boobs/Ass/Bubble Baths. Also, it discusses peeping on sexy women. Strangely, I do not find this appealing. The next sentence introduces the characters involved and the Main Plot Summary, which is the cliché female standard: Strong women having man troubles. Sex and the City was partially tiered around this-and largely pitched as this-but they did it right. Third sentence . . . wait--third sentence entirely subverts the first two. The third sentence actually makes me interested. What the hell? I was all turned-off, and now I'm doing a 180. I'm confused. I want to be hopeful. I'm interested and a bit cheered and confused as to why Aguirre-Sacasa led with 'sudsy fun' when this sentence was hiding up his sleeve. The sort-of-fourth-parenthesis sentence is a decent one, it tells me that someone's starting to Get It. I'm leaning over the fence now. I'm reading the last sentence. I'm . . . abruptly back on the fence once more. I'm dizzy and also irritated. I may be falling off the fence again, because it feels like a two versus one and my side is losing.

That paragraph tells me they don't know how to sell their product and are also slightly confused about what their product is. Saying 'But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun' after discussing the series going to a deeper place in the connections between strong women seems like an apology to the "WE WANT BOOOOOBIES" crowd for having actual depth. Starting the main definition of the title with 'sudsy fun' seems like this book will just be soft-core porn with a T.V. Repairman plot to string it all together. Is that what Marvel Divas is?

More importantly, are all books possibly aimed for women (they brought up SATC in the pitch room, which leads me to believe they are trying to nudge the door open farther for their female readership) going to be apologized for? I'm not a member of the 'Girls Only club'. I don't feel like I need a comic book that is aimed specifically at my vagina for me to enjoy comic books, but if one is going to be made I think that it should be done well. Sarah brought up Ultra by the Luna Brothers in her post and I completely agree (this is a subtle recommendation that you all read it) that it is a good standard for Female Superhero Books.

I'll ask it again, because this is an important question I'd like an answer to: Are all comic books aimed at women going to be apologized for?


Tax Day and Tea Parties

The Republicans are upset. Gosh, no one saw this coming. So, Fox News is really just a bunch of right wing morons with a cable news show to spout their tripe to the masses. Gosh, I'm shocked. Angry Republicans have figured out how to utilize blogs and Twitter. Okay, this, I'm actually a little impressed. Good job.

Before I get any Tea Party Activists with upgraded Google-fu commenting, I'll state this very clearly: I do not agree with you. This is an entire post about how I believe you are wrong. I am not, however, saying you should not protest. I will always believe in the freedom of speech and the right to protest, even when I do not agree. Especially when I don't agree, because that's what our country is fucking about. Don't you all feel distinctly American carrying your protest signs? Are you enjoying standing up to a government you don't believe in? Are you taking the time to enjoy the fact that you aren't getting pelted by stones or arrested just for expressing an opinion? I did.

I'd like you to remember though, that when I protested the Iraq War while my husband was in Iraq that I was called unpatriotic. I was yelled at. I was called Un-American for exercising my right to be angry at my government. I was accused of not supporting the troops. I was even called a liberal whore--and not just once, while I peacefully held my sign up and took my stand. I'd like all of you loud-mouthed Fox News idiots that are backing this protest to remember that when we took to the streets protesting this war, we and our backing politicians were openly mocked, ignored and politically beaten up for being unpatriotic and not backing our president.

I think you're all wrong, not unpatriotic. I'm pleased to have this opportunity to be a bigger person than you are. (I'm not big enough to not point it out, mostly because I'm pretty pissed about the 'whore' comments.)

I also believe that every single one of these protesters have the most convenient memories in the world. My Mister wishes desperately that I had this kind of memory, where the past eight years of so much worse just . . . magically doesn't exist. It amazes me that these people honestly believe it's President Obama's fault. That he isn't just stuck with the biggest fucking mess and is trying to save a country from death throes Select Republicans drove it into. All this complaining about the debt, about the tax cuts, about how much spending our President is doing is making me ill. As if Bush didn't spend his eight year term fucking us into the ground. As if nothing bad ever happened until President Obama took the reins of our wildly out-of-control bucking bronco Texa-fied country. Amazing. Amazingly uneducated and amazingly blind.

One more time: Uneducated, not Un-American. I believe that in America, you can be as stupid as you would like to be. Please stop taking advantage of that, though, because I saw a protest sign that had misspelled Barack.

Rule #1 of protesting: Don't make your cause look stupid while protesting.

If anyone feels like I'm making fun of them, it's because I am. There's pictures farther down, if you'd like to scroll. I think this is foolish. I think that it is so, so hilarious to watch the people who were, three years ago, enjoying that ride on the high horse. Wasn't it fun? Wasn't it just hilarious to mock liberals who were gnashing their teeth about the war, who were terrified of the direction their country was headed in? Wasn't it so, so funny to mock them when they started crying 'Recession! Recession!'? Did you enjoy that?

Chicken Little my ass.

And now all the people that were so smug, so secure, are standing on the street corners that have been vacated by the liberals and the whole fucking mess starts in the other direction. I, for one, will endeavor to not be smug, to not be overly rude. But I'll be a little rude, because when I was using my right to publicly disagree with my government, I was called a liberal whore.

I understand that a lot of people are Very Upset about taxes. I also understand that we're in a recession, unemployment is sky-rocketing and the phrase 'Second Depression' has become the boogeyman half-stepping out of our closets. I'm scared too. I worry too. Everybody is worried. I understand that it's pretty easy to focus on the day-to-day and blame whoever is in charge right now for our problems. But that will make you wrong.

No debate. No arguing. No reasons, no 'but-but-but's'. You. Are. Wrong. Wrong.Wrong.Wrongity-McWrong with an super-size side of Wrong and a Diet Wrong.

President Obama has not even been in office for four months. His people are ping-ponging, terrified and too many getting poorer by the day. The American people are acting like chickens with their collective heads cut off, we are acting like stampeding, panicking cattle and making the entire problem worse. It has never been more true that the masses cannot be trusted with scary information. Stop inciting your neighbor to panic. Stop revolting. Stop watching every second of news and working yourselves up. We have a problem, we have a big problem and as a nation, we ought to be working to make it better, not divide ourselves further and further and start spouting off about revolutions and civil war.

Would you like to know what happens in civil war, Big Talkers? Are you the same people that swore you'd pick up your double-barrel and go shoot Saddam and Bin Laden in the faces yourselves? 'Just gimme a rifle, ha-yuck.'? Here's what happens:

Alexandria, Va Soldier's Cemetery

A lot of fucking dead people, you idiots.

That said, I also think some of your signs are pretty stupid. Let's review!

Racist and totally 1995.

Should be sitting in on an elementary-level Government class, not protesting.

Actually, this is how they felt in 1773. But you're SO close!

Here's the previously-mentioned misspell.

Racism again, quite subtle this time.

Just confused.

. . . really?

Hey, more racism! Awesome!

This guy's just cool.

Also, I am stealing Anderson Cooper from Q. That is all.


My Scott and Jean


Alert Nerd is hosting an all blogs cross-posting about our Scott and Jean that is all Sarah's fault. And as I've mostly-recovered from the mortifying shame of writing this post and haven't let myself think about people reading this yet (. . . fuck.), I can tell you she had an awesome idea. Thanks to Dan Faust (dude, you thought you were the crackpot? Just WAIT.) for discussing his Scott and Jean on Twitter to start the whole thing.

What the hell is a 'My Scott and Jean'?

The Background: Such an awesome theme could only have been birthed on Twitter. Simply put, when someone says “that’s my Scott and Jean,” it essentially means “that’s my geek sacred cow.” It’s the issue/coupling/whatever that you pretty much can’t discuss because you are too passionate about it and it makes you too crazy. You might hear perfectly reasonable arguments against said coupling/issue/whatever, but you cannot process them. It’s like That One Thing. It could be something like “Scott Summers and Jean Grey are supposed to be together and that is just how it is.” Or maybe “the new Battlestar Galactica does not exist for me because it is not the old Battlestar Galactica.” Or “The only correct portrayals of Batman are the ones that contain X, Y, and Z.” You get the idea. It’s your nerd mental block.

Please go check out everyone else's Scott and Jean's, which you can find Alert Nerd's Master List. There'll be more links as the day goes on, so don't forget to check back. And Sarah wrote that Background summary. Clearly--mine would've been rambling, incoherent and five paragraphs long.

Now that you know what the hell I'm blogging about, here it is:

My Scott and Jean
Spike Shouldn't Have Gotten Souled or: Oh God, I'm So Pathetic.

Giving Spike a soul was a completely useless plot point and that's why it bothers me. The soul bothers me because it's there--it doesn't change Spike, it doesn't exist to give Spike a reason to give a shit about people because he already was. I honestly can't see how him gaining an official Angel Soul would be better than forcing him to work through being a screwed up way overly-emotional vampire--even WHILE understanding the facts of the situation, I Just Don't Agree. It wouldn't have made him less devoted to Fred when he shifted over to Angel, it wouldn't have stopped him from giving a shit about Jerry in his recent mini-series, it existed to give the network and viewers a reason to justify him. It exists because people needed it to, not because the characters needed to. It exists because Buffy needed it to exist so he could play an integral role in fighting the Biggest Evil That Ever Did Evil (Hurrah!) in the next season and continue on and I know his creator WROTE IT and I getitIgetitbutyou'reallstillwrong.

I originally had that paragraph at the end, but at the last minute decided to summarize and then expand. Feel free to not read the mortifying expansion.

So welcome to my Domain of Doom, wherein you get a terrifying glimpse of my younger, kind of creepy side. There's something wrong and demented inside of me and it's all Joss Whedon's fault.

Spike didn't occur to me when I agreed, because I put the crazy in a box and leave it there. After realizing I was probably going to need to branch out of comics to find my Scott and Jean, I felt the dread. I tried not to do Spike being souled. I was convinced I could . . . maybe bend the rules a bit and find my knock-off Scott and Jean. Something else had to come really close to My Spike Issue, close enough to call it a fair shot.

Alas. I was wrong.

Buffy is the reason I got seriously into Geeky Things. I'd always liked the Treks and had read comic books lazily throughout childhood, but it was ultimately Buffy that did it. Specifically Spike, because I was on a mission to find more tortured and sexy villains for my brain to eat. The first piece of television I recorded was 'School Hard', because I saw him in a promo somewhere for the episode and just . . . snap. There. Loved him. Was so excited I figured out how to record something on our VCR. I watched that tape more times than one of my teenaged-male classmates re-watched the shitty porn tape he stole from his dad/brother/uncle/store.

I was crushed when it occurred to me that he was just a one-time character that I'd never have again. I actually spent a month inventing story lines during math and science class to bring him back in. I wrote outlines for fanfiction before I knew what fanfiction was. I couldn't put my finger on it, I didn't really care for short, white-blond mouthy vampire-types, but him . . .

He was hot. Smoking freaking hot and my little sixteen year-old self couldn't help herself. He was also clearly really fucking broken and had a hot crazy lady vampire cooing at him in weird sing-song. Beautiful!!

Then, the most fantastic thing happened. The character kept showing up and oh, oh it made me so very happy. Scott and Jean level happy. When I found out he was shifted to Regular Cast status in season four, I was delirious. More Spike. More greatness--more of his snark and darkness and rudeness and betrayals and hurts laid out for me to enjoy. Yay!

I adored the way they chipped him and progressed his character. His back story was so fascinating and the more that was revealed about him, the more I loved him and how fucked up he was. He was this not-quite-right soulless--and therefore evil--monster surrounded by true heroes and watching him deal with that was some of the best TV watching I'll ever experience.

The bickering with Giles? Beautiful. Watching him slowly unravel everything he'd built himself on, tame for humans and so resentful. Watching him be controlled and broken by the chip. Watching a villain become a non-villain, become an anti-hero.

Then it came. Season Six. And it started . . . oh, it started so beautifully for Spike. He was tortured, grieving, desperate and terribly devoted. So perfect. I liked it even when he and Buffy started working on their private, building demolishing workout routines, which is an event that split most Spike fans in half. Not me--I continued on blithely, and I didn't care that it was Buffy. They were using him to complement Buffy and her main storyline. I got that and it didn't make total unsense for Spike to want to repeatedly cut himself on her.

But then . . . then he went all fucking wrong, tried to rape Buffy in an attempt to get her to love him, realized what he'd done and went to earn his soul. I wish he hadn't gone there. I wish the writers hadn't gone there with him. I think they were Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. And from there on out, my heart would always be a little bit broken.

(As I Edit Note: I'm going to point out here, very loudly and emphatically, that my problem is that the character went down the road to attempting to rape Buffy and thus requiring him to get a soul to remain an empathetic and desired character on the show. My problem is that they didn't let his character naturally progress--or, more appropriately, that I don't SEE that it's a natural progression. If the last few episodes of him in season six just hadn't happened, this wouldn't be an unhappy Scott and Jean. I'm not discussing him getting souled as a result of what he did, I'm discussing that they went to getting him all souled up)

I don't hate the result of what they did, but I hate what they did. I like the Souled Spike stuff, it's good stuff. Especially crazy, hanging himself on a cross Spike. Great character stuff. Just . . . I kind of ignore he's got a soul in Angel. I've actually mentally retconned the last few Spike-centric stuff in the eps of season six. Why?

Spike. Should. Be. Soulless.

Spike. Should. Be. Soulless.

No. Really. Spike should be soulless.

I like it when monsters gain a redemption they shouldn't have. I think it's fan-fucking-tastic to watch something twisted and terrible gain the burden of empathy and regret. And he was gaining it right up until-ARGH. Fuck. FUCK. I hate that he went and got souled. I HATE IT SO MUCH. I hate that you, America, needed to soul something to find redemption value in it, and ruined my Spike. That's right. Mine. Or, uh, Whedon and Co.'s. Whatever. It's not stalking if he's not real, dammit.

(As I Edit Note: I desperately tried to restrain myself to 'Normal People Crazy' in the writing of this piece. I've failed. Terribly. You have my sincerest apologies for that.)

I want Spike to be soulless because that's what makes sense. In the end, it turns out the Slayer mojo is DEMON ESSENCE WHATEVER, so why can't Spike be the most broken vampire that ever did vamp and retain some of that from his days as human. That was one of my Spike Theories, you know, that he was fuckered because it was crazy Dru that turned him and not Angel, because the network can't handle man-on-man biting. Or maybe it was Whedon and Company. Anyway, going through the point of making him souled ruined everything I felt they'd been building towards with him. Shut up, I know, the show was about Buffy.

But why couldn't Spike well . . . create his own soul? Because he already was anyway--did everyone forget late season 5 and early season 6 during their 'Spike is an Evil, Nasty Boy in Need of Spa-souling' lectures?'. It was like all of a sudden everyone remembered that technically, he shouldn't be able to do all the things he's doing because he's an evil soulless monster and that's not what Buffy's supposed to be about. Why couldn't his story be about the weird fucking ways we're all broken, the different ways of being an outcast, why couldn't he have found his moral code while in a group of hormonal teenage heroes? Whyyyyyy?

I'd always felt that Joss Whedon was sitting there back during the Buffy days, thinking about Spike and what to do about him with a vague sense of 'Fuck, I just let this character get completely away from me, what do I do with him?'.


(As I Edit Note: I'm so sorry that sentence was in all caps.)

But that's what Spike's been about from day one. He shouldn't have been able to do any of the stuff he's done, but he's Spike, so he made a way. The character is out of control, goes with his first instinct and just does, but he's got this deep capacity for love and loyalty and RARGH. I felt like he was finding his dark, confused way to his 'soul' right up until he went OOC Batshit Nutbar and did a series of terrible things before motoring off in the night and getting skin-fucked by bugs for said soul.

The soul feels so obvious. I wailed 'No!' when the demon first announced Spike had gained his soul. The cycle BROKE in the evolution of his character, even if it looks like it didn't break at all. Yes, yes, soul to no soul to soul again LOOKS like a wheel, but really, it's a flat wheel. Much like the ones I keep getting on my Neon.

So there, my Scott and Jean, my sacred cow. My utter complete nuttiness. I hope you've all thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse at my Nutbar Crazy.

And, because Sexy Suspenders is my newest obsession, I'd like to connect Spike to Suspenders in two (. . . or is it three? Does he count as the first degree?) degrees.

Spike, played by James Marsters, who played Captain John Hart in Torchwood with Captain Jack Harkness, who wears suspenders. Which counts, because the game of Six Degrees is applicable everywhere.


Conversations With My Mother

I'm very close with my mother. It has never been the sitcom-fantasy relationship and neither of us have ever wanted it to be. For one, I stopped listening to her properly when I was three. Two, she apparently can't ever understand what the fuck I'm talking about. And three, I am her least favorite (out of two, so at least I'm not further down the rungs). Conversations like this are why.

My sainted, forgetful mother emails me wanting to know the details of her watching the kids for the upcoming ECCC. These are details I've already told her about six times starting many moons ago. I email her back, tease her about it a bit and say yes. She tells me she forgot and asks when. I reply with this:

That's why they make pencils and papers and calendars!! :P Friday morning at 7ish, let me figure out if he wants the whole weekend off from life before class starts up again Monday, but definitely Sunday night where I'll pick them up at a convenient time of your choosing Monday morning before you two need to be at work.
I feel as if this is mostly plain English, considering she knows all the details and who I mean when I say 'he'. But this is the way I've always spoken to my Mom.


Her reply is succinct:
Why is it that you speak another language? That made no sense to me at all! Are you saying friday at 7ish AM? Please to speak "momese"
She wounds me deeply and I inform her so. I also tell her 'yes, Friday' and remind her I've always talked like this. In turn, she comments on how 'no wonder no one knows what the hell you're talking about' and also, she'd like to know what time Friday. Yes. Even though I've already told her, twice now, she's asked me again. And apparently she's never understood me.

I feel like my answer sums up our entire relationship perfectly:
Comment 7-7:30? Je vais mettre des beignes et du café comme un pot de vin, si vous le souhaitez. Je t'aime aussi, maman.
No, Mom can't read French. And yes, I just used Google Translation. I don't remember a lot of my French but I'm pretty sure I asked her if I could put pastries and coffee in the wine jug. She will hopefully never find out I've blogged this conversation. I love you, Mom. Please don't friend me on Facebook.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. ~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895


Girls Will Be Girls

The as-natural-as-possible differences between the sexes is interesting, and having both a son and a daughter gives me the chance to check it out first hand. We have a few rules here to keep the peace at The Manor regarding Bug and Sweet Potato, and the biggest one is that aside from stuffed animals they go to bed with, everyone's toys are everyone's toys. This means if Sweet Potato is in the mood to do some Matchbox Car Zooming she can, and if Bug's dearest wish is to play with her tea party set, he can. I do my best not to control or interfere with their play, I just let them figure out what they want to do with the toys they have and so long as there's no blood, bruising, cage fighting or screaming involved, I'm okay with it. With most their toys it doesn't seem to matter at all if it's supposed to be a 'girl' toy or a 'boy' toy. Except stuffed animals.

Bug's never been all that interested in stuffed animals or dolls--he has a Sock Monkey named Happy (inspired by Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium), a wind-up cow named Moo, Super-Bunny, Spider-Bear and another monkey we call Monkey. He goes through phases where he's very attached to one and then goes through others where they stay haphazardly piled on his bed, pretty much forgotten.

Sweet Potato has gone an entirely different route. She has a baby doll (my least favorite Christmas present from my Grandmother that she latched onto immediately) aptly named Baby, a Care Bear she calls 'T.T.' for whatever reason, a stegosaurus and my Carebear from my childhood, B.T. (for Baby Tugs, dude.) Every morning she hands them to me to hold for her, then toddles around the house with one, two, three or all clutched in her chubby little arms. She always takes them into nap with her. If one is missing, she'll call for them and make me help her find it. They always get tucked in with her at official bedtime, they always get kisses from the both of us.

It's a pretty traditionally 'girly' thing she does which I've found to be both hilarious and interesting. I'm feminine, but not girly. The only jewelry I consistently wear is my wedding ring, while Sweet Potato piles on her costume jewelry and parades around the house. I do my makeup and she's always shown way more interest in the process than Bug does, and I constantly find her in her room playing dress-up. Also, dude, a parasol is one of her staple wardrobe accessories.

It's cute, it's sweet, and if it weren't for the fact that she burps like a man, I'd've been a little more concerned I was raising a future cheerleader. This morning, any and all peppy girly-girl worries were swept away when I discovered she wasn't just displaying an honest affection for her stuffies, she was arming herself.

The Weapon

I finally caught one of the louder altercations they've been having in the playroom (they wait until I'm on the other side of the house to go UFC on each other and then act like spies and tell me nothing). She's been whacking Bug with her stuffies while unleashing her admirable level 5 Capuchin Monkey Screech to stun him.

That's my girl.


Harley Quinn

I know she's never left all that much to the imagination, but . . .

Compare the looks of Joker and Harley Quinn in the upcoming Arkham Asylum.

I wonder when it'll be okay to not super-sex everything up for the male video gamers? I understand the desire to see sexy women ('cause gosh, they aren't anywhere else!), but when is there going to be a middle road? Or just a basic understanding that 'sexy' doesn't need to mean 'falling out of their shirts while their pants fall down'?

Pretty sure that's not too much to ask.

Possibly Maybe Coming Soon On Geeked . . .


Jim Cramer on The Daily Show

I think it's extremely important for everyone to watch this interview. And then go research everything they didn't understand, and watch it again. All of us should know what's going on here and the underlying problem in our economy and why you/spousegirlfriendboyfriendsisterbrotherauntunclemotherfatherfriendetc lost your/their job.

And I love Jon Stewart for doing this and being as damned clever and educated as he is.


Format What? or: it's cute because i think you may care

Last week, an email from a friend got me thinking about blogging and the internet and all the things that come along with that. As I was writing the reply (er, still in draft, note to self), I came to a nice mental place about Geeked that I've been wandering about in aim of since I got the internet back.

One of the things I dread is being one of those Repetitive Bloggers, who discusses the same topic everyone else is (important note: I mean topic and not 'issue', since I like to learn the opinions of the bloggers I like to read) and generally doesn't have anything new or interesting to say about it. Maybe funny, but I'm unreliably funny to everyone not myself, which clearly won't work for us in the long run. I feel like the people I already consistently read say it the best and I don't need to echo them. That's boring. I am not, however, a personal blogger. Yes, I talk about my kids, but you guys aren't hearing about my lifelife, just the funny, edited parts. (Don't worry, the cut scenes are just eight hours of rehearsal for the Good Moments), because I don't like the idea that people I may never meet know Too Personal Things about me.

That's what email's for these days, I suppose, though the transition is weird.

Also, I'm busy, thanks to both my children knowing how to walk, talk and how to burn the house down. And Bug''s quite the clumsy-but-determined New Reader, so I'm trying to learn how to share my comic books with him. If you're curious, sharing is exhausting. I don't recommend endorsing it, just buy the little complainers their own damned toy/snack/book/minion. Sharing is for losers.

Don't tell my kids. And, uh, support your local library.

I want to write about the things I'm focused on and not feel as if I have to keep to one certain track--even if it's a self-imposed track and nothing more--so that's what I'll be doing.

You might be asking yourself now, 'Well, that point took forever to get to, but okay. So?'

Er, so. Expect different not-all-comics-related content and stuff from this chick geek's perspective, because, well, I have a lot of geeky paraphernalia scattered around the house and also breasts. On me, though, not really scattered around the house. Unless you count the two roommates. Also, probably some kid-related-geeky things, because that's one part of the I don't feel like I see enough around the internet. Having a sounding board for that as well as hearing back from other geek mom bloggers would be fun. And STILL hearing from the people I hear from before (insert: nonsubtle push not to abandon me and give me issues). I'm going to be making an effort to post daily, since it does help me focus and push my energies into one direction, which helps for getting other things done so far as writing or not throttling other humans.

I can definitely assure you that it'll all be of a Geek Content, in one direction or another, and I really appreciate all ten of you out there reading my nonsense. Every week I sacrifice a Teen Titan in your honor.

Small Print: By no means do I consider this post 'Breaking News'. I feel like the entire thing reads like an 'I AM SO IMPORTANT AND I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN DEVASTATED WITHOUT ME' ego-wank. I wrote it mostly because I know that I have like, uh,
five readers I don't know personally and I feel no matter the numbers if one is writing for public viewing, one has a small measure of 'hey, this is what I'm doing now' sort of fence to keep standing. Or something like that. Basically, it's important for you to know I'm not a self-important asshat.


A Love Story for the Ages

a love story

imaginationed by: x. "bug" wright
camera: kristina wright

Let it be known, for when Bug breaks into one industry or another, I'm the one that gave him his nickname. Enjoy life today.

Edit: Also, head over to Reason Is Treason and prepare to ENJOY it! Wicked Juan, I really love what you're doing with your blog right now.


This Week's Read Pile, or: Economy Sucks

First, did everyone pick up a copy of Locke and Key #2? Yes? Good. And how did everyone enjoy I Kill Giants? I know, right?!

Moving on, there's no specific comic review, since the economy blows and I opted to buy an AWESOME Megatron Mighty Mugg instead of my books (there was like, four this week anyway, I've cut back). And a copy of Mini Marvels: Secret Invasion with all art done by Chris Giarrusso. You and your kids will LOVE it, I highly recommend picking this up. Very clever, well done, funny and awesomely kid-friendly while still being entertaining for the Moms and Dads out there.

--spoilers for both Final Crisis and Secret Invasion, just in case you're that behind and there's also some spoilers (maybe?) about Batman Stuff--

So, I've been thinking about Final Crisis 'versus' Secret Invasion since we're pretty much all wrapped up on both now and the dust is . . . well, in some cases, still working on settling.

I think Secret Invasion did a better job. I don't think that Final Crisis did a bad job. I think that readers, when reading anything written by Grant Morrison, are intensely aware of all the levels he writes on. It's intimidating, even to people who 'get it'. It's awesome and brilliant. But readers are still going to be intimidated because they know how much they don't understand--there's a lot going on in these books, it isn't like Secret Invasion, where for the most part, what you read is what's going on and the themes and subplots and meaning behind it is pretty much out in front. This isn't to say it's simple, or written down, it's just a blunter style.

To approach my point, some people tend to react negatively when they're put in a situation where they feel stupid. Having to reread a series to 'get it' is frustrating for some and a treat for others. Remember how we're all different? Thought you might. This is what went 'wrong' with Final Crisis. In the fan's eyes, they feel it didn't cater to them since if you read such and such and so-and-so and what's-a-who-from-ten-years-ago it makes it a richer, deeper reading experience. Our wallets are a wee bit tight now and the idea of needing to buy four or so trades to feel 'complete' ticks people off. Even if Morrison said, repeatedly, 'No, seriously, you DON'T need to read all that if you don't want to', people felt forced by it, and this is in part a fault of all the 'tie-ins' to big event series. It's a form of 'event exhaustion' where people feel like they should have to pay for a few different books to get a complete view and while a good amount (shockingly good amount, actually) were really relevant, awesome tie-ins, some just weren't. Same goes for Secret Invasion, by the way, though they also did a pretty good job keeping it all relevant so far as I noticed.

Note: I absolutely think that you already should've owned those trades by Morrison.

It's interesting to watch people say 'Well, dude, nothing changed in Final Crisis and everything is different in Secret Invasion. Clearly Secret Invasion is the superior event'. I wonder if these are the same people who spend hours detailing why Star Wars/Star Trek is better than Star Trek/Star Wars.

Uh? What series are they reading? Aquaman's back (DUDE, THE AQUAMAN), Batman's lost in time, Superman can totally kick your ass doing Rock Band vocals, the Monitors are gone which means that the entire multiverse is going on completely unchecked, Mary Marvel sees the same flaws with Awesome Punky Hair that I do, Hawkgirl might love Hawkman this next time (I'd guiltlessly blackmarket my roommate's kidneys to be in a position to write that series, or maybe a 360), Barry Allen's back, the New Gods are gone-for-now-or-ever? and Martian Manhunter is dead. I probably missed some stuff as well, but that's what I can drum up off the top of my head.

But, when all the coins drop, I think that Secret Invasion delivered faster on the 'epic, world-changing totally-worth-your-cash event' than Final Crisis did. I like Final Crisis better, but in the end--and maybe it's the economy as well--people were frustrated by feeling like they needed Morrison's backstory, feeling like they needed to get absolutely everything in every issue to feel like they got their money's worth. It's easier to do with Secret Invasion, because like I wrote before, it's blunter.

If Morrison had written Secret Invasion, that's the one I would've liked better. I'll give you a minute to wrap your brain around the possibilities of that comic. I just love his stuff and all this Super Duper Hate for him is pretty silly. Which makes me think about Morrison's many Final Crisis related interviews, the tones and his opinions on the book, what he was trying to do with the book and so on, which leads to cutting some fans off because Morrison doesn't try to make excuses for writing what he wrote and isn't subtle about his frustration at having to explain the same thing a few different times. Is there a Morrison Remix out there, a la Christian Bale? Please?

People forget that it's actually okay not to get something completely, or they just aren't comfortable with knowing that, frankly, they're Not As MultiSmart As This Guy--this is a really deep story but on every single level, even the most shallow, there is a complete storyline being told. I really don't know a lot of writers who can do this. Alan Moore.

All in all, Secret Invasion and Final Crisis both really knocked it out of the park for me, and considering all the crap that I, and everyone else, are worried about right now: job, houses, cars, the future, having two wicked excellent stories shaking up the Worlds As We Knew Them for Marvel and DC is exactly what we needed.

Amusingly enough, I'm more excited about Marvel titles than I have been since they dropped the ball on the awesome No More Mutants deal a few years back. Expect to see more Marvel reviewed/discussed/whatevered here than before, so as far as my wallet's concerned, Secret Invasion succeeded. I went into the series making fun of SkrullsSkrullsSkrulls and left it being pretty impressed and satisfied with the results.

And here's hoping that both companies follow through on the punches those storylines delivered, because that's the real reason people get so goddamn amped up about them online. It's not the story, it's the effects of the story. We want new, we want it to stay the same, we want completely different we want it all safe and old we want we want wewantwewant. God, I'm glad I'm not Joe Quesada or Dan Didio. I'd've shot the lot of you and then made you apologize for it on national television.

So here's hoping people stop being such douchebags about one company or the other (I write, knowing full and well I'm still snotty over the Spider-Man Thing). For instance: Morrison announced on his part two Final Crisis Exit Interview at Newsarama that he's back on Batman in June (also, funny dig at DC about Batman's 'death')--and that he wants to write a multiverse story that may be out around 2010. Immediately the commenters disregarded all the events in the upcoming Battle of the Cowl event. Which is stupid. You're reading an action drama, people, isn't it all about the story and the awesome one-two punches? How is Battle of the Cowl in anyway obsolete just because Morrison is taking the reins back this summer? We all already know Batman's trapped in the past somewhere--what's important and awesome is that everyone thinks he's dead. What'll be cool to see is where everyone goes with that, how his boys change and what happens to Gotham in the meantime.

And in sticking with my New Years Resolution to approach things less fatalistically, I'm going to let my hopes puff up and see where they go with it. And this is an intensely mentally drifting post, since I'm still getting into my comic-writing-habits.

This whole spiel, by the way, was inspired by an awesome post that Jeff over at Alert Nerd wrote and posted this morning. Go there!


You Were Packing Your Car

Today I ran an early morning errand in downtown Tacoma and was contemplating the $5,000 damages our wood floors sustained during the Inauguration Day Flooding. More specifically, I was forcing myself to look at the bright side of things and contemplating what sort of wood color was going to replace the old and what sort of tile to put into the kitchen, which would've eventually led to fantastic imaginings of me redoing all the kitchen cupboards myself in a majestic show of Homeowner Ability (I'm almost to level 5!).

I heard the man first, talking about rough times in the economy and sighed to myself in agreement, then saw him. Older, balding and nicely dressed but wearing a bitter, tired face and packing a box stuffed with plaques, papers, a stapler and a small sepia globe into the back seat of his car. He was talking to someone who'd walked down with him, then wondered aloud how he'd thought everything wouldn't fit into his car.

And that was the saddest part--he'd imagined taking his entire life down the elevator and jamming it into his car and instead ended up looking at two tiny boxes, stuffed to the gills but not nearly enough evidence of the job he'd lost. The life.

What a terrible thing to be doing this early on a freezing Monday morning and I immediately felt guilty for stressing out about my floors when I can actually still afford to get them replaced. My floors won't fit in my car and for that, I'm glad.


Shayan's Law or: How'd You Like To Pay Out Of Pocket For All Your Doctors?

You want to know something that's really awesome? When I take Bug to his doctor visits regarding his Asperger's (high functioning autism), I only have to pay around $200 a visit. I'm lucky, because his autism is high functioning and the free programs via his school system plus work I'm able to do from home are enough to get him along every day and help him succeed.

There are families out there with children who have autism far more severe than Bug, who pay thousands a month for their treatment. Because Washington State does NOT require any insurance coverage for Autism Spectrum Disorder treatment. Which means all costs--the expensive doctors: the main doctor, the speech therapist, the behavioral therapist, play therapy and even medication, comes straight out of parent's already-tight pockets (Thanks economy!).

People have been forced to move out of their homes to be able to afford treatment for their children, which is absolutely monstrous. Treatment these kids thrive on, treatments that help them adjust and succeed in every day life are seen as 'optional', I've met doctors who give LESS of a damn about what they do because they think they won't get paid and some parents aren't able to get their kids the aid they need at all because of the cost.

Some very excellent and hard-working people have put together Shayan's Law, and passing it will mean insurance companies must cover ASD treatment in our state.
This cause is a very near and dear one to my heart, as it directly affects not just my own family, but tons of other wonderful people across the state. If you guys could take ten minutes today to show your support for us, yourselves and other people you know, that'd be wonderful. I don't really do this kind of thing often, but it's extremely important this law gets passed and what better platform to turn to than you guys?

Thanks, all, we really appreciate it (and just to note, the phone script isn't mine).

Two Ways You Can Help

By Phone: Make nine brief calls to the Senate health care committee members' offices and read them the following script:
Hi. My name is _____________. I live in ______, and I want to ask you a favor. I have/know a (child/grandchild/godson with autism) or (am a teacher/ therapist of a child with autism), and I would like for you to vote yes!!! for Shayan's Law-Senate Bill 5203, when you hear it next Wed. Jan. 28th. Shayan's law provides medically necessary treatments for autism. Please vote 'yes' on this bill.

Karen Keiser, Chair: (360) 786-7664
Rosa Franklin, Vice Chair: (360) 786-7656
Randi Becker: (360) 786-7602
Cheryl Pflug: (360) 786-7608
Darlene Fairley: (360) 786-7662
Chris Marr: (360) 786-7610
Ed Murray: (360) 786-7628
Linda Evans Parlette: (360) 786-7622
Margarita Prentice: (360) 786-7616
If the Legislator or Legislative Aide asks for more information about the bill, refer him or her to Arzu Forough, Arzu@WashingtonAutismAdvocacy.org

In Person: Show your support by attending this important hearing, doors close at 7:45 a.m., Jan. 28th, in Hearing Room 4 at the J.A. Cherburg Building, State Capitol Campus - or, if you can't make it in person, ask someone to come in your place. Consider your friends, family, DOH employees, acquaintances who work on the capitol campus or neighbors who have asked "how can I help?" - here's a way they can: Ask them to spare an hour or two of their time to come and stand for your family.