taste_is_sweet: (And he will actually kill you)
Hello, my beauties, and Happy Friday! Monday the March Break officially begins and I will be going to Canada with my kid to visit the fam. It should be awesome.

While I readily admit that I, too, can be at times almost as awesome as a trip to Canada to visit the fam, I am, as I'm fairly sure you're aware, human and therefore extremely fallible. Occasionally more fallible than your average bear, so to speak. There have been times, I admit, when the only thing keeping my mouth shut or my fingers still is the fact that I don't like hurting peoples' feelings. I am a big adherent to the rule that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all (or just hit the back button). I've also gotten pretty good at keeping things to myself.

All that typed, between you and me there have been many, many times with I've just wished I could, for example, leave a comment on someone's fic or their post that completely represented what I was thinking. Now, I would never actually do that (see above). I'm not generally a mean person and life is too short not to be nice.

But. And I hope I'm not alone in this, but. That hasn't stopped me from compiling a list of things I could say, but have and will not. I've included it here, because I can.

I hope some of you might unleash your baser selves and contribute in the comments, bearing in mind that this is nothing but venting, not aimed at anyone. Just devilish self-indulgence that I won't partake in out loud again.

I just think that we're entitled to what we feel, and allowed to feel things even if they're bad. The point is not to inflict those feelings on anyone else. Which is why they're under a cut.

But if you'd like to join me, there's plenty of room on the dark side. And we have cookies.
Mind the gap. )
Thank you for your forbearance and understanding. Now I'm going to take a shower.
taste_is_sweet: (Harlock Skull)
This was written for [livejournal.com profile] wordsinthebrain. The prompt was 'Invasion'. The Train isn't my idea, and was used with the creator's permission (you can check out the other passengers via the 'the Train' tag at the community).

2232 words; warnings for heavily implied death and violence. Hover over the French words for a translation.

Cliff wants to ask what the hell’s waiting for him at his stop, that the kid’s still this fucking scared. You don’t ask, though. Not in this car. Maybe the other passengers do, but in this car they know better. )

Betaed by the lovely, talented and extremely generous [livejournal.com profile] brumeier, considering I make her cry all the time.
taste_is_sweet: (Totally Tasty!)
Earlier this evening my son was looking at my author's copies of my published work, and asked why most of the short stories were under my real name, but some stories and both novels were by Aundrea Singer.

I explained about pen names, and how I started using the pen name for the gay romances I wrote because I was worried our conservative, fundamentalist neighbors wouldn't let their children play with him anymore if they knew about them. I used the example of this dickwad to remind him that this is how a hell of a lot of people think where we live.

My kid shuddered at the memory of the bigoted dickwad, then said, "I have a suggestion. We take your books to that guy, and do this...."

I thought he was going to mime giving the books to him, and was about to explain why it was a sweet idea but wouldn't make any difference.

My kid actually mimed using the books to hit the bigot over the head.

I love my kid.

The paper says "I wrote this". He thought it was hilarious.
Mommy wrote it

taste_is_sweet: (Want to dive into your ocean)
Starting today and for the next 12 days, there will be a charity giveaway from 224 authors, review bloggers and publishers, to reward anyone donating at least $5.00 to a LGBT charity of your choice.

You can access the giveaway and links to charities via this post at Diverse Reader. There's a short story in italics at the beginning, with the full information at the end of how to sign up, as well as a video showcasing the people and publishers donating books. I wanted to donate a book myself, but I only found out about it on April 10, when the call for book donations had closed, alas. But I'm going to give $10.00 to #Pizza4Equality after I finish posting this.

You may be asking, 'Why pizza, Sweet?' And Best-Beloveds, I shall tell you.

Memories Pizza sells pizza in Walkerton, Indiana. Indiana, of course, has been in the news lately because of Governor Mike Pence signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on March 26, which was widely criticized as allowing any business to refuse to serve anyone whose existence they deemed contrary to their religious beliefs. Specifically, members of the LGBT community.

Memories Pizza became a poster child for exactly what liberals feared, when one of the owners stated that if asked, she'd refuse to cater a same-sex wedding.

Now to be fair, no one had asked. And at least according to this article, Memories Pizza has never turned away a gay customer. However, the statement infuriated so many people that the Pizzeria ended up closing under the media storm and barrage of negative comments. Whereupon TV host Dana Loesch of the extreme conservative network The Blaze started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the embattled restaurant. (Do yourself a favor--don't read the comments on that link.)

And they got nearly a million dollars in two days.

So, enter #PizzaforEquality, started by Scott Wooledge, with the idea that maybe that much money could be raised to fund charities protecting LGBT people and their rights, rather than to fund those places who would deny them. It's been a good start, but it's been more than two days and the campaign closes on April 29, so I thought I'd boost the signal. And get a book. Because books are awesome.

So is pizza! But only if you're willing to share.
taste_is_sweet: (Pony!Bucky)
(Pony!Bucky icon because reasons.)

So, yeah. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., guys. Last night was episode three of the new season, and while I wasn't exactly surprised at yet more murky morality, three episodes in and it's already murky enough that it's hard to see. Like when you're in a vault.

Such as this one:

But it's S.H.I.E.L.D., so it's fine. Really.
I'm sure there's nothing morally dubious down here.

Check it, O, best-beloveds--this is the door leading down the dark, narrow staircase that goes to the dark, dark, basement, where our remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. are now keeping their prisoners like fetishists in a Tarantino movie. Coulson even refers to them as 'Assets', which is in no way creepy or dehumanizing. (Though to be fair, I guess he can't use 'consultant' since it's probably not a volunteer position.)

The prisoners do get a bed, which is nice. But as far as I can tell, if they're not being interrogated the room is kept soundless and dark, and it's about three and a half meters wide and maybe five meters long. Larger than my kid's bedroom for sure, but he has a nightlight and a window. And he can also, you know, leave.

Naturally, I couldn't help but be reminded of this:

At least he's safe! (Get it?)
We Love you, Bucky!

The Winter Soldier, in all of his shirtless, woobie glory, being kept in a vault like a particularly important document. Now he's in a bank vault, because Hydra is classy like that. But it's still, y'know, a vault. Like S.H.I.E.L.D.'s, only with actual overhead lighting. And it's used pretty much for the same purpose as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s vault. Oops.

I'm assuming S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't going for the horrifically painful memory-wiping. Yet. But I have a feeling that being treated like a hamster in an aquarium (but without the adorable plastic wheel) would count as torture too.

These are not comfortable similarities, my darlings. They're especially uncomfortable when coupled with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new willingness to go for culling rather than trap and tag, so to speak. This ep, they went after someone ostensibly to rescue them from Hydra, but it became evident very early on that the 'rescue' part wasn't the priority. The actual priority was, 'if we can't have 'em, no one can,' like a psychotic ex-boyfriend. Or like Hydra, which had the exact same agenda.

And yet, it's not even either of these things--the hamster cages or the culling--which make me go, O.o, so much as the seeming casualness with which it's done. Yes, I'd like to see a little remorse among my heroes, beyond the expected 'gee, I just killed someone' moment. I'd like to see some reluctance, some unhappiness with the way things go down, even if there was truly no other option besides vaults and bloodshed. Hell, I'd really like other options to be overtly considered.

Nick Fury himself said that S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded to save people, because everyone is worth saving. But S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't seem to be doing much saving anymore. This isn't the S.H.I.E.L.D. who talked Mike Peterson down from literally going ballistic when it would've been far safer and easier to kill him; this S.H.I.E.L.D. would've put him down to make sure Hydra didn't get their hands on him first. And that's a bit too much like what Hydra itself would do. And when the good guys are just the same as the bad guys, then what's the point?

If I had to choose, I'd of course take the hamster cage over the agonizing mind-wipe, but I shouldn't have to choose the lesser of two evils. There shouldn't be two evils--just one evil, with many heads.

I love visual metaphors.
Where's a streetwise Hercules

And sure, sometimes it takes a monster to defeat a monster. Except S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn't supposed to be about monsters; it was supposed to be about heroes. But I've watched three episodes of the new season so far, and I'm still waiting to find them.

Holding out, if you will, for the heroes. Or at least I'll hold out for a few more episodes. But when you're in a vault, it's hard to know it's the end of the night.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. screen capture from screencapped.net

taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)
I love the internet.

You probably do too--you're here, after all (and thank you for that). The 'net has given me fandom, friendships, introduced me to things I never knew existed, and enabled my first professional novel.

The World Wide Web is a repository of the simultaneously best and worst of humanity. Name anything you could possible want to learn about, see, hear, share or buy and it will be there in one form or another. Because of the internet we can debunk urban legends; learn new and awesome terminology; revel in fandom; and read stories and stories and stories and stories and stories.

And if you live in the U.S., you might lose it.

This excellent excerpt from Last Week Tonight not only makes the situation pellucid (that was for [livejournal.com profile] brumeier), it's incredibly funny. Well worth 13 minutes of your time. Just be careful of the NSFW language.



For those of you who don't have 13 minutes, the TL:DR version is this:

The biggest cable companies in the U.S., like Comcast and Verizon, want the Government to enact a law that will let them charge internet companies (think Netflix; Amazon; Etsy; that place where you bought that stuff that came in a box with no return address) more money to enable them to load faster on your computer.

That means companies who can't afford to pay (like that place with no return address) will suddenly become far less accessible. It's like the Fastpass at the Universal Theme Park in Orlando: The companies who can't pay will end up waiting in line to get to the consumer Revenge of the Mummy ride, while the rich ones just walk on through.

We can't let that happen. It probably will, but there's still time to do something about it. Go to fcc.gov/comments, read the simple instructions, and leave a public comment. Hopefully if enough people remind the Government who voted for them, it might keep this from happening.

Might. I'm not holding my breath--I'm not Comcast; I can't afford it.
taste_is_sweet: (Harlock Skull)
Though Pedro de Valdivia looks like he could have used a tissue.
Pedro

Yes. Hence my lack of brilliance today (I'm always brilliant otherwise, right? RIGHT?). But today, alas, I woke up feeling like I hadn't slept at all. Astonishingly, it hasn't gotten better the longer I've been awake. I blame the weather, because it's windy as hell and likely blowing billions of metric tons of pollen all over the Brazos Valley. "Brazos" is short for "Brazos de Dios", which is Spanish for "Arms of God". Obviously the conquistadors didn't have allergies.

The Brazos Valley is known locally as being particularly bad for allergies, by the way. You can imagine how much I enjoyed learning that.

So, I'm stuffy, sleepy and considering having a nap, which would make three this week. I feel like a toddler.

However, since I have posts to post and main characters to torture novels to write, I'm just guzzling coffee and hoping for the best. This blog post seems reasonably coherent so far, so I'm optimistic.

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee.
ID-10089544

I should probably have an 'exhausted' tag, or something more thematically appropriate. But I'm too tired to think of one. ::Lethargic rimshot::

I think the coffee's brewed, thank God. Catch you all later if I'm not qafsjd;lwq;rwetgj;lka



"Businesswoman Sleeping On Desk" by imagerymajestic via FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
Hello, my lovelies. I'm off to CANADA next week for March break! It's a total Whoo-Hoo! for me, of course, but it means I most likely won't be posting. I can hear you crying already.

But before I go, I wanted to write about something interesting I saw in a TV show last night. And by 'interesting', I of course mean 'jaw-droppingly out-of-character and violent.' I won't name the show because I don't want to spoil anyone, and also because I'm not even sure the particular show matters. Here are the particulars:

1) Character A is very, very badly hurt by Reoccurring Bad Person
2) Reoccurring Bad Person is captured
3) Character B beats captured RBP to within an inch of xir life in retaliation
4) Character C refuses to turn RBP over to The Authorities, apparently only so C can threaten RBP with the 'If xie dies, you die' trope.
5) All of this is supposed to be a) perfectly acceptable, and b) to show how awesome characters B and C are.

Now, because TV Tropes is my new internet boyfriend, after I had my few moments of O.o and assorted exclamations along the lines of, are they really keeping that bad guy just for the if/then murdering? and, If Character A bites the oatmeal, how will killing RBG bring xir back?, I went to the TV Tropes site to see if the "If X dies; you die" trope had an article.

I couldn't find one, alas. But I did find Knight Templar Big Brother/Parent. It's not quite as specific as I hoped for, but it's close enough.

The Knight Templar Big Brother/Parent basically refers to going apeshit on anyone who hurt your sib/kid, and I think the trope fits even if the characters aren't related. Like beating the snot out of the Reoccurring Bad Person who hurt your buddy, for example.

"I'm not going to hurt you now. But I will probably kill you later, depending."
 photo KnightsTemplarcopy.jpg

Okay, sure. Makes sense. I'd be pretty peeved too, if my adorable protege of adorableness was gutted like a prize-winning salmon. And the Character B who did the beat-down is, shall we say, not entirely unknown for such things. But, Character C is definitely not known for the apeshit beat-downs. In fact, C tells B to back off on the curb-kicking, which is somewhat odd considering Character C's intention in doing so is, apparently, to keep RBP alive in order to chuck xir out an airlock if Character A kaks it.

That's not very nice.

It's also not very moral, and considering Characters A, B, and C are all very much supposed to be the GOOD GUYS, the idea of Character C especially refusing to give up RBP while calmly anticipating spacing xir in the near future is not what I signed on for when I started watching the show. I mean, this is basic cable--I like to know which end of the spectrum my heroes are supposed to belong to. And murder for revenge is a little too far in the red for me.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, as they say, and killing someone because they killed someone is way more Judge Dredd than My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, if you know what I mean. Not that I'm talking about either Judge Dredd or MLP:FIM (though I'm sure Rainbow Dash would go apeshit if Discord killed Fluttershy). But you get the point.

Which is, I want my heroes to be, well, heroic, thank you very much. That doesn't just mean being badass, it means knowing when not to be as well. And sure, fallibility and conflict and drama and all that. But honestly, this show offers plenty of that anyway. If I wanted antiheroes, dark themes and gratuitous violence I'd watch The Walking Dead, which I don't. Because I don't really like antiheroes, dark themes or gratuitous violence. What's the point of escapism if you can't go anywhere?

I might as well watch the news, except for how it's way more depressing.

Picture is from The DVD cover for this Knights Templar movie, available from Amazon.co.uk. Coincidentally, it has Norman Reedus in it. Unfortunately the film seems to be very, very bad.

taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)
(Yes, "oppilant" is a real word. I totally looked it up.) And edited because I can't believe I spelled 'losing' with two 'O's. What the hell, brain?

I've been told in no uncertain terms by the lovely woman I pay to bitch at that I may be losing out on opportunities because I'm terrified I'm reluctant to move out of my comfort zone.

Since I pay her to tell me these things, I can only assume she has my best interests at heart and is probably right. Therefore o, best-beloveds, I've decided that this year I need to get off my frightened little ass and go to a writers' conference.

What am I frightened about (I know you're not asking, but I'm telling you anyway)? That would be rejection, my friends. Plain and simple. I've posted about this before, because I'm nothing if not redundant consistent, but I didn't realize just how terrified I am of rejection until I contemplated being rejected in person by other writers I don't know.

Seriously, nauseous with terror just from looking at a couple upcoming conferences in Texas. All I can think of is going to these panels hosted by beautiful writers (that's not even a joke--they all look so pretty and thin in their pictures) who are way more successful than me and then I'll say something or offer something, or just, something...and there'll be crickets. The metaphor for the deadly silence just before the hapless comic taps the microphone and asks, "is this thing on?"

But, I'm going to be brave and do it anyway. However, it'd be a lot easier to be brave if I wasn't alone. So, is anyone else out there planning on going to a writers' conference, who would like some company? Even if it's outside of Texas, if it's not too far I could probably manage to go. And I can be extremely encouraging to other people, if necessary. It's just me I have trouble with. I'd love to meet more people on my FList, too.

If not, well. I was thinking of going to the Writers League of Texas Agents and Editors conference in June. If you happen to be there, I'll be the plain, geeky older woman in the back. But my tee-shirt will be awesome.
taste_is_sweet: (Want to dive into your ocean)
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but:

This is beautifully written but very sad Huffington Post blog by Linda Robertson, about how she learned to truly love her gay son, but too late to save his life.

Initially, Ms. Robertson and her husband told their son Ryan that they loved him no matter what, but that he needed to reconcile his sexuality with the teachings of Jesus and the expectations of God. But because it's impossible to change how you're born, naturally all the prayer and good intentions in the world couldn't make Ryan 'normal'. Ryan eventually became a drug addict to numb his self-loathing.

Shortly before Ryan died of an overdose, his parents realized that having their child home, safe and well was far, far more important than his sexuality. They also came to the conclusion that if God wouldn't change Ryan's sexuality, than maybe it was because Ryan had been born exactly as had been intended.

I have deistic leanings though I don't believe in God, but even so it seems eminently logical that if an all-powerful, perfect being keeps dropping humans onto this overcrowded planet, then whatever way we're born is how we should be. To me this is as obvious and indelible as needing oxygen. God doesn't make mistakes, right? Right.

The problem is that a lot of--far too many--people think that God's repertoire is limited. That somehow the supreme being who gave us Sunflower Sea Stars and Echidnas could only figure out binary sexuality and gender when it comes to Hir supposedly favourite creations. So God doesn't make mistakes, but we can somehow choose to be mistakes. Which doesn't even make any sense--why would anyone choose to live in a way that most people still abhor?

They wouldn't, and they don't. But children (and adults) are still dying because of the pain of denying who they are or trying to change it. I'm sure that's not what God wants. Too bad humans are far more fallible.
taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)
Otherwise known as how I'm turning 41 this June. Yes, 41. Forty-one. The big 4 - 1. Ol' One and forty.

Aside from finally remembering how to spell 'forty', I've come to the unpleasant understanding that despite how I'm well on my way to decrepitude (occasionally feeling every second of it; believe me), I still almost constantly feel as completely unprepared for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as my kid, who is seven. Hell, sometimes I feel he's way more together than I'll ever be.

Anyone else feel like that, out there in the blogosphere? Like a total fraud who is going to be discovered for the completely green, soaking-behind-the-ears newbie to life in general that she actually is? At least sometimes?

Of course, I also get to add to it the small but sad daily reminders that I'm no longer 20-something and cute but 40-something and matronly. It certainly doesn't help that I live in a small city where the average age is something like 24, because of the big community college and huge university, each with their multitude of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed boys and girls running around. All of them so cute and vital and young enough to be my offspring.

And yet in my heart of hearts I feel like I've barely made it to 18, which is at least the legal drinking age in Montreal. If I felt like drinking, but I don't have the same tolerance I used to.
taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
On the tenth anniversary of the death of the Columbia crew, this is a fascinating article and a good reminder that we can't properly commemorate an event unless it's with the knowledge of what actually happened.

Top 10 myths surrounding NASA's Columbia space shuttle disaster - Science
taste_is_sweet: (Pills)
Yeah, so, if everyone's saying you need to get the flu shot? Don't wait until January to do it. Because chances are it'll be too late by then. Like it was with me! It turns out that my poor little boy had already caught the flu a few days before we got the vaccine, and my husband and I caught it from him. Which was well-deserved, considering how much we suck as parents for not getting him the vaccine earlier.

Having the flu sucks, by the way. In case any of you were wondering. ::whines::

Don't let this happen to you, kids! Get the flu vaccine!
taste_is_sweet: (Carry This Weight)
Yeah, I was mostly fine the whole weekend after learning about the school shooting on Friday, but today it seems I can't stop seeing things about it and I keep crying. Maybe because Jav's in school. I keep putting myself in the place of all those parents who lost their precious little boy or girl on Friday. And all those kids who were only five and six and who died frightened and wanting their mommies and daddies.

Obviously, I shouldn't do that. It's not doing me any good and it's not like it helps anyone, least of all me. But I can't not. I don't have very strong boundaries at the best of times and things like this tend to throw me. A lot.

I'll probably be fine tomorrow. But maybe I'll get my kid early today.
taste_is_sweet: (Fallen Angel)
Hi, FList! Yet another petition, I realize, but this one is pretty important.

At any moment, Nigeria's parliament could pass one of the harshest anti-gay laws the world has ever seen.

10 years in prison for living with someone of the same sex
10 years in prison for supporting the idea of a pride march
14 years in prison for trying to have a wedding

Stop Nigeria's "Jail the Gays" bill | All Out

Please add your signature to let them know the world is watching! Thank you.
taste_is_sweet: (Fallen Angel)
Please help this petition get to 100,000 signatures. No one should be put in jail for sending a romantic text!

Cameroon: 1 day to free Roger | All Out
taste_is_sweet: (Want to dive into your ocean)
Putin's tyrannical oppression of anything considered to be 'homosexual propaganda' (like, you know, daring to hold a banner for gay rights) is terrifying. Please help to put international pressure on Russia to stop treating their citizens like criminals for who they love.

Hooligans? Bring it on, Putin! | All Out
taste_is_sweet: (What?)
WHAT THE HELL, OBAMA? I thought we were done with this shit.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] alizarin_nyc at More signal boosting for Internet Privacy.
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] dameruth at It Never Ends...
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] jjpor at It Never Ends...
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] abbyromanaat Signal Boost
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] clocketpatchat Signal Boost
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] calliopes_penat CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [personal profile] spikedluv at CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [personal profile] velvetwhip at CISPA is the new SOPA


Here's their next move: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States.

And CISPA would provide a victory for content owners who were shell-shocked by the unprecedented outpouring of activism in opposition to SOPA and Internet censorship.

The House of Representatives is planning to take up CISPA later this month. Click here to ask your lawmakers to oppose it.

SOPA was pushed as a remedy to the supposed economic threat of online piracy -- but economic fear-mongering didn't quite do the trick.

So those concerned about copyright are engaging in sleight of hand, appending their legislation to a bill that most Americans will assume is about keeping them safe from bad guys.

This so-called cyber security bill aims to prevent theft of "government information" and "intellectual property" and could let ISPs block your access to websites -- or the whole Internet.

Don't let them push this back-door SOPA. Click here to demand that your lawmakers oppose CISPA.

CISPA also encourages companies to share information about you with the government and other corporations.

That data could then be used for just about anything -- from prosecuting crimes to ad placements.

And perhaps worst of all, CISPA supercedes all other online privacy protections.

Please click here to urge your lawmakers to oppose CISPA when it comes up for a vote this month.

Thanks for fighting for the Internet.

-Demand Progress

taste_is_sweet: (Game On!)
I know Russia isn't exactly my country, but this seems to be an instance where international opinion will make a difference. Please check out this website and sign the petition.

All Out

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