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.