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: (What?)
As you all know, I had a new fantasy book out in November. I posted about it here, with a lovely cover image and the book description. Please do take a moment to check it out if you haven't seen it yet, just because the rest of this will be more relevant if you do. And probably funnier. :) I'll wait.

So far, I've had some terrific reviews and ratings on Goodreads.com, and two excellent reviews on Amazon.com. And then I got these: Cut for length and O.o )
taste_is_sweet: (Captain America)
I seem to have a severe problem with bobbleheads.

You may think I'm kidding, Best-Beloveds, but it's true. Read on and weep with me.

My sad saga of sadness (and bobbles) starts but a few months ago, inspired by my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] brumeier's request for Captain America and Winter Soldier bobbleheads for her birthday.

Bru has a picture of the two star-crossed lovers long-lost friends here, along with Thor and Deadpool. Aren't they adorable with their little soulless black button eyes? Of course they are. So I decided to get my own.

They didn't have Steve and Bucky at my local Target, so I got a couple of mini-bobbles in 'blind boxes', which means you don't know who you're getting until you open the box. Like Schrodinger's Cat, only six bucks and plastic.

The first one I got was Thor, who'd been out of his blind box for about two seconds when my darling son grabbed him and twisted his head. To see what would happen, I think.

Well, mommy got pretty fucking peeved, that's what happened. Jav tried to fix Thor, but all the twisting in the world couldn't make him stop looking right.

Tis a bird! Tis a plane! Tis Iron Man!

Only somewhat daunted, I got Vision. He's very fuchsia, and was looking right straight out of the box. At least he's more subtle about it.

Fascinating

Of course, what I really wanted was Steve and Bucky, so I ordered them from Amazon. Steve came this evening. And came out of the box looking left. I tried to fix it, and this is what happened.

Bucky!

And this is all three of them together:

I wonder what it is over there

I love how Vision's more subtle about his gawking, whereas Thor doesn't care who knows what he's looking at. And Steve of course is just looking for Bucky.

I'm a little worried about getting the Bucky bobblehead at this point. On the other hand, he'll probably actually be looking straight ahead; he's always been the contrary one.
taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
You may have noticed that I haven't been around much lately. The major reason for my prolonged absences is basically that I suck.

I actually had intended to remedy this around the beginning of May, while Dom (that's my husband) and I were in Montreal. We went to Montreal because Dom had won a prestigious award from his old high school. He was really looking forward to getting it--more even than pretty much any other award he's ever won.
Owie.
Definitely didn't tickle

So naturally, five minutes before he was set to go to the reception, he fell and broke his upper right arm. (I'm not even kidding; he was about to put on his tie.) A Proximal Humerus Fracture means a break just under the shoulder joint. Not to put too fine a point on it, it fucking sucks. What sucks even harder is that my husband is disabled, and without his right arm his mobility's been reduced to just about zero. He's slowly getting better, but he needs a lot more help than normal. It's made it hard to think about anything else, like updating my live journal.

But! He is getting better. His arm is slowly healing and I'm not quite as stressed to the gills, which means I can think about other stuff--like updating my live journal. And I actually have cool news with which to update.

My novella Aiden's Angel is coming out this Wednesday (and still available for pre-order). You can read the cover blurb here.

And...that's it, thank you. :)

taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
I tell ya, O, best-beloveds, sometimes I think that Americans have a hell of a lot of trouble with the metric system.

Now, I readily admit that the basis for my hypothesis is pretty thin (compelling argument though it is, the loss of NASA's Mars Orbiter due to engineers using imperial units instead of metric happened way back in 1999). But when I come across conversion errors, they tend to be kind of mind-boggling.

Like the sci-fi book I read some years ago, where the narrator was describing that 18 degrees Celsius was cold enough for his breath to mist. That's around 64 Fahrenheit, which is definitely too warm for ice crystals. Unless the author actually meant 18 degrees kelvin, which is -255 C or -427 F, in which case, yes. Definitely breath misting. And a much shorter novel due to the protagonist instantly freezing to death.

Admittedly, that novel was also published in the 90s, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and you couldn't just type '18 degrees C in F' and get an instant answer. But in 2012, there was no excuse for messing up the metric versus imperial thing. And yet, the sci-fi novel I'm currently reading was first published in 2012, and messed it up within the first few pages.

Overall, I've been enjoying Gravitational Attraction by Angel Martinez immensely. Unlike loads of other M/M novels, there are very cool female characters in it, and the main character isn't white. And so far the plot's compelling with H/C in spades (which, you may remember, I love like kittens).

Pictured with his girlfriend Nicole Alexander, who is 5' 2" (1.57 m). She can literally climb him like a tree.
Shaq and girlfriend

But--and you knew there was one--the love interest is described at being "well over" two meters tall. Well over two meters, people. And yet, somehow, the crew of the space courier that rescues the guy can find pants long enough for him. Though really, as a reader that was the least of my concerns.

Here's the thing: Two meters is 6 feet, 7 inches. "Well over" that is getting into Shaquille O'Neal territory (He's 7' 1", which is 2.16 meters).

Unfortunately, so far the novel hasn't said how tall the protagonist is, but he's clearly of Japanese descent and described as slender and obviously smaller than his giant boyfriend. So I'm going to guess not much over 5' 10" or 1.78 m (As of 2004, the average height in Japan was 5' 6" or 1.59 meters, so I'm being generous).

This is close to what it would look like, as demonstrated by Peter Meyhew, who is 7' 2" (2.19 m) and Harrison Ford, who is a mere 6' 1" (1.85 m):

You gotta admit though, it is kind of adorable.
Peter Mayhew

I'm not sure if that discrepancy is what the author intended, especially if his or her slender, small protagonist is shorter than Harrison Ford. Which he probably is. Especially as I'm fairly certain the size difference wouldn't end at height, so to speak.

Because, if the apparently seven-foot tall love interest is, shall we say, proportionate everywhere (and there was specific mention made of him being lucky to find a pair of boots that fit. And you know what they say about men's foot sizes), then, well. I just hope he goes for a lot of preparation, that's all I'm saying. I mean, sure, Shaq is obviously not pulling a Vlad the Impaler on Nicole every time they knock boots (which they can't, because he's too tall). But, you know, babies come out of there; there's a certain amount of leeway.

Not quite so much with the menfolk, I'm thinking. And ass-babies only exist in fanfic.

So, either the author is going with the reverse meaning of 'size doesn't matter' (that's a myth, for all my SGA homies), or 'two meters' doesn't mean what he or she thinks it means. Either way, like a hapless NASA orbiter in the hands of Lockheed Martin engineers, there's going to be a lot of crashing and burning. Or at least burning.

Definitely a lot of burning.

taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
Sunday evening, my beloved and almost nine-year old child suddenly realized that I'm a separate person.

I know that totally sounds like the response should be, 'no kidding'. And that's kind of true. It's not like he hasn't known for years that we don't always want the same things (with many, many time outs to support that hypothesis), or that we don't hold the same opinions or enjoy the same stuff.

This ability is apparently called Folk Psychology, which isn't quite as condescending as it sounds. It refers to the ability most humans gain by age 3 or 4, of interpreting others' mental states. More importantly, it also refers to the ability of most humans to recognize that others have mental states.

All babies and toddlers are selfish little fucks. They have to be since they can't meet their own needs, let alone anyone else's. Sure, that baby might hand you her semi-masticated goldfish crackers, but that's because she wants you to take them, not because she wants you to have them. Nothing a pre-kindergarten kid does is personal, no matter how infuriating. It can't be, because they literally can't care less.
They also evolved adorableness so we won't feed them to the wolves.
Baby Girl Playing Toy


And then they get older (::cough thank God cough::), and roughly a million time-outs later they understand that, whoa, you're not the same person.

But there's understanding, and then there's understanding, and the latter is what hit my kid like a ton of bricks the other night. He told me it even made his hands shake, that's how big a deal it was to him. He realized, on a level he never had before, that mommy had: "a mind in your own body", to quote the way he said it.

He'd known for years that I wasn't him, but on Sunday he figured out that I'm a separate, unique individual, just as much as he is. A small distinction that's also astonishingly huge at the same time.

The funny thing is, I got hit by the same ton of bricks when he was a baby, when I really got it that this little guy had his own agenda (yes, I used the word 'agenda', like we were superpowers in a spy movie). An agenda that was completely different from mine. He'd grown inside me, but he wasn't me. And sure, I'd known that, but I didn't know it--until I suddenly did. And now nine years later, he's just figured out the same thing.

And yes, I love the irony about having that in common. ;)

The picture is 'Baby Girl Playing Toy' by Tratong at Free Digital Photos.net

taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
One of the many, many things I love about being a parent is all the ways my kid surprises me. I mean, I like to think I know him pretty well by now, but he still amazes me all the time. Especially when he gives me an opportunity to look at something in a way I'd never thought of before.

Monday during dinner, he sat down at the table and gave a big, heartfelt sigh. Naturally my first thought was that he had a problem with the food (not uncommon, alas). But when I asked him it turned out he was thinking about a YouTube video he watched part of before dinner.

Apparently the video--which was about the Minecraft computer game--had a title in English but soundtrack entirely in Russian. Javier had read some of the comments, and he was upset for the vidders because so many people had said rude, hateful things to them over the language.

This is exactly what they look like.
Troll

We discussed the concept of 'Trolls' on the internet. He'd learned about it in the context of 'pranking' from other videos, but not as referring to someone who purposely writes hurtful posts or comments just to upset people.

He didn't get why anyone would want to do that. He also didn't understand how people could watch videos on YouTube and then 'dislike' them with the thumbs-down button. Then he told me that he always clicks on the 'like' button before he watches a video. If he ends up not liking the video he just goes to something else.

And I looked at my amazing, generous sweetheart of an 8 year-old kid and I have to admit I got a little teary. Because he clicks 'like' to acknowledge people's effort, and thank them just for wanting to share. And I swear to God that never, ever, even occurred to me.

Sure, I have my own philosophy that if I read an entire fanfic story I give the author a 'kudo' or comment. And sure, I have to basically dislike a story enough to stop reading it before I won't do that. But to just thank something for writing a fic in the first place? No way.

It's because I'm an author myself, and I know from both fandom and the professional book industry that in real life, no one is going to reward you for something just because you went to the effort of making it. It's all about putting your stuff out there and hoping to hell you'll either get a positive response or hoping to hell you're thick-skinned enough not to care.

I'm never thick-skinned enough not to care, but that's my problem. And the last thing I would ever want is for someone to leave a comment, or kudos, or even pay me money as a 'thanks for coming out' consolation prize.

And yet.

Somewhere along the line, among the millions of pieces of fanficton and art and videos and published stuff, I forgot that someone actually went to the trouble of making it in the first place. Maybe not for me specifically, but for the joy of creating something and sharing it, in the hope that others would enjoy it too.

Just because the ability to create is so easy these days doesn't make the act of creating itself any less meaningful, or any less worthy of acknowledgement. Jav may not always like what his parents make for dinner, but I make sure that he thanks us anyway, because we went to the trouble of doing it. And gratitude is never a bad thing.

It's humbling that my son was the one to remind me of that. I hope I don't forget it again.



The illustration is by Rien Poortvliet

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: (The Best Part of Disney Land)
I love Disney World.

I have to admit I didn't think I would. After all it's expensive, generally crowded and full of, well, Disney characters, many of whom I don't actually appreciate. The rides all skew to small children and to be able to truly experience the parks you need to get there before it opens, which means getting up at the crack of dawn.

But wow, it was fun. My son had a blast and most of the rides are just amazing (except Peter Pan's Flight. Don't do that one), and almost everyone who works there really, really love their jobs and are about the nicest people on the planet. It definitely earns its rep as "The Happiest Place On Earth".

Except for one problem.

See, one of the reasons I was nearly as excited to go there as my kid was the Marvel stuff. After all, Disney's produced a few Marvel movies (you may have heard of them). So I was all set to enjoy Marvel-themed rides and buy Marvel tee-shirts and blush at the Disney "Cast Members" (as they're called) in superhero outfits wandering around.

And especially to get this bad boy:

Plastic, yet still menacing
WS action figure

This particular figure is only available at The Disney Store. No problem, I figured. I'm going to the mother-lode of Disney Stores. I'll snap one up the first day.

This did not happen.

Nope, no action figures at the parks, except some really lame ones of Captain America. No tee-shirts except two styles for guys and also really lame. No one in costume. No rides.

Undaunted (well, not entirely daunted) I set out to find out what the hell was going on. I asked at the park stores; I went to 'Downtown Disney', which is an outdoor mall entirely devoted to Disney merchandise; I asked cast members at the rides. And this, after literally days of primary research, is what I finally found out:

1) The Disney Store is owned by a separate company to the stores at the parks. You can only find them in malls, and they carry different merchandise. Like Marvel Select action figures.

2) Universal Studios Orlando also have rights to Marvel characters, rights that they bought years before Disney thought it might be cool. Universal's Islands of Adventure has a Marvel section with rides featuring Storm, Spiderman, The Hulk and Doctor Doom. They have employees wandering around in X-Men costumes circa 1996. They have loads of Marvel action figures, including the Marvel Select that you can otherwise only find at the Disney Store.

3) There are Marvel things at Disney Land in California, but Universal very, very cleverly bought the exclusive rights to have Marvel stuff in their Florida theme parks. That's why Disney has to more-or-less pretend that their super successful films don't exist.

As you can imagine, Disney is working to change this. As I'm imagining, Universal is probably asking for Walt Disney's soul in exchange. I can't wait to see how the deal goes down.

And to get to the Disney Store and finally get my damn action figure.

taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
This is truly biblical, o, Best-beloveds. The end of an era. The future opens before me full of opportunity and hope. And the slim possibility of no-longer receiving another Leah's emails.

Oh yes, it finally happened. I did it. After years of following another Leah's academic carreer, I have managed to make contact.

I'd already managed to make contact with the Leah who likes to order online from Macy's, and was able to verify a few months ago that she was indeed not the Cooper Union Leah when I had to call her again. (I didn't even try to contact Macy's this time, just went right to the phone. She remembered me, which was nice.) That Lea spells her name without an 'H', which Macy's seems to feel is a grave error on her part and strives to correct it as often as humanly possible. I anticipate being forced to call her again in the future. At least she's friendly.

But the other, younger Leah who likes skiing and photography proved much more difficult to find. See, her email differs from mine only by one initial in between her first and last name, something I found out from one of the several places I've called on her behalf. But I didn't know what that initial was, and with 26 letters to choose from, I didn't think I ever would. But after some luck and a great deal of effort, I managed to find her on Facebook (where else?).

"Lo, it is accomplished!" I thought (in exactly those words). "For I shall forewith contact yon maiden fair and request of her kindness to make sure no one sends me more of her fucking emails." But sadly she never replied to my friend request or FB message. And I kept getting emails meant for her.

And then, I got yet one more email for Leah the Younger, this one was the second from the Cooper Union Photography Department. Not the first place I'd called who didn't change their records. Except, it turned out, they had. But the bright spark sending out the notices had decided to cover all his or her bases and use both Leahs' addresses.

That's right: mine, and hers.

I emailed her immediately, as you can imagine. I explained the situation, with enough details I've learned about her life to hopefully scare her into understanding how serious this is. As I've said before, she's really, really lucky I'm a nice person.

And she replied.

She seems to be as sweet and vivacious as I could hope for anyone with my namesake. She thanked me for my help and assured me she would make sure it doesn't happen again. She did not, however, tell me she was going to change her email address. I really hope she does before she starts going for job interviews.

Fun fact: aside from having the same birthday, I also had a premonition about what her middle initial is. The might be less about me being wicked psychic and more about me being familiar with the naming habits of Jews. But it was still pretty cool.

I'm hopeful that this email problem may well be over. But I admit I'm a little sad, too. It was kind of fun, getting the other Leah's emails, much as it was also annoying.

Mostly annoying.
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
Meet John: biblical, dependable, easy to pronounce and one of the most popular American names for the last 100 years. Name of kings, princes, presidents, philosophers and my brother-in-law, it conjures up thoughts of loyalty and steadfastness, simplicity and quiet strength. John will always pull kitties out of wells and get his gun and come marching home (hurrah!) and hold the line.

I'm sure it's for those reasons that John is also a name given to a hilariously astonishing number of fictional characters (There was even a John Doe TV series, but I'm not sure that counts). What I find especially interesting is that John is so often used as a first name for the lead character, when the fact its such a common name would imply that the author couldn't think of anything more interesting. Though I suppose that also works in the name's favor, since you could also argue that a John will be instantly more familiar with the audience than, say, an Anthony or Rodney.

A couple of weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] brumeier and I spent a good half-hour coming up with as many fictional Johns as we could. We eventually branched into Jack as well, because Jack used to be a nickname for John.

Here, with a very few more recent additions, were what we came up with off the top of our heads:

(All the links go to Wikipedia, because that was easiest and there are a hell of a lot of links.)

John Sheppard (Stargate: Atlantis)
John Kennex (Almost Human)
John Diggle (Arrow)
John Garrett (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
John Dunne (Magnificent Seven)
John Connor (Terminator Franchise)
John Chricton (Farscape)
Johann Schmidt (Captain America Franchise)
John Constantine (Hellblazer Comic)
John Carter (John Carter of Mars Franchise)
John Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire Series/Game of Thrones)
John Winchester (Supernatural)
John Locke (Lost)
John Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Little John (Robin Hood)
Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider Franchise)
Johnny Storm (Fantastic Four Franchise)
Johnny Mnemonic (Johnny Mnemonic)

Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise)
Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
Jack O'Neill (Stargate: SG-1)
Jack Carter (Eureka)
Jack (Jack the Giant Slayer/Killer and many, many other versions)
Jaq-Jaq (Disney's Cinderella)
Jack (Oblivion)
Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China)
Jack Shephard (Lost)
Jack Power (Power Pack Comic)

Crazy, right? And that's just off the top of our heads. I'm sure you guys know even more Johns and Jacks we haven't thought of, and that's not including the countless Johns and Jacks who appear in fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

I also find it hilarious how SyFy named two characters Jack and two characters John in four different series, and that Lost had a John and a Jack (and a James!). I also love how Jack's last name was 'Shephard', likely for the same reason as John Sheppard on SGA. They roll trippingly off the tongue, do those J names.

So, did we miss any Johns or Jacks, O Best-Beloveds? Any other names that you see on fictional characters all the time? (James seems pretty popular too, as does Peter and Steve.) Any non-American ones? I'd love to hear 'em.
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: (Want to dive into your ocean)
Those of you living in civilized countries outside the United States may not know that recently Arizona (state of that smug bastard Roadrunner and that city where everyone makes a wrong turn; not to mention the state where it is now legal for a cop to ask anyone for their immigration papers at anytime, anywhere, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is insufficiently light-skinned an illegal alien) voted in a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve people based on sexual orientation on religious grounds.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill (same link just above) after even the Republicans who had voted for it realized that pissing off Apple and the Superbowl committee might be a bad idea. Joh Stewart of the Daily Show has hilarious commentary on it below. (Unfortunately it's in two parts.):




But Mississippi, a state I know so little about that I had to look up its capitol (It's Jackson), decided to take up the banner of discrimination and vote in its own law about the very same thing.

The state flag of Mississippi, which perhaps tells us everything we need to know*
 photo Mississippistateflag.jpg

But it's Religious freedom, y'all. It's not about not serving homosexuals. It's about... allowing people to not serve homosexuals. In the name of freedom.

(I hope that my American FListies will sign this petition against it. It's endorsed by Lance Bass! Who should possibly move.)

But the thing I really don't get about Mississippi's bill is this: How do you tell if someone is homosexual before you serve them? I mean, same-sex marriage is illegal in Mississippi; it's not like any give bakery in Jackson is going to have a homosexual couple ordering a wedding cake. And sure, maybe if someone wants two bridal dresses for a commitment ceremony it might tip off the owner of the local Dress Barn. But what about restaurants? Or shoe stores? Or, I dunno, pet salons? Are you really going to ask someone if they're gay before you shave their dog? Even if they come prancing in dressed like Johnny Weir at an Oscar after-party, can you be sure that they threaten the God-given sanctity of your divorce just by existing? Unless a Canadian walks into your ski shop, how can you even know?

Obviously, the next step is for Mississippi to pass a law like Arizona's, that will let anyone ask for one's sexual orientation at any given time. And then they'd need to issue gay IDs. And then have special homosexual ghettos to make sure that no businesses are threatened by gays or lesbians trying to pass as normal people.

And then jail them for acting homosexual in public. Like Russia, to protect the children. Maybe those Reds have the right idea after all!



*To be fair, Georgia only got rid of the Confederate Battle Flag on their state flag in 2003.

taste_is_sweet: (And Counting!)
Yeah, so. ::Coughs awkwardly:: I didn't post anything last week because I was in Washington. Didn't do so great on the stretches, either. But resolutions can be a work in progress, right? RIGHT?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Yeah.

Anyway, I have news! I think! I think I have news about all those emails intended for someone else with my name that I've been getting for years.

True story, O Best-Beloveds. I think I may have actually found the mystery person.

You see, after getting yet one more email intended for this other woman (this one was a confirmation of a new user account at an NYC sports club), I finally snapped.

"What do I have to lose?" I asked myself, though not actually out loud. "It can't really destroy the universe, can it? (Though if it does, I'm calling dibs on being the Dark Matter.)" And I decided to find this person once and for all.

So, taking the clues from the misdirected emails (she lives in New York; she goes to a university that unfortunately had its name Shanghaied by a bar; she was once invited to be a hut ambassador at the Chirpy Ski Resort of God), and knowing that everyone is on Facebook these days, I did a FB search for every account with the same first and last name as I do and information that fit.

And, lo! I found one. She has the right age, right interests (art! Ski pictures!), and started the university with the bar-stolen name at the right time for all the emails.

Taking courage and the possible fate of the universe in hand, I sent her a message via FB. Here's hoping she checks her 'Other' folder (God knows I almost never remember to). Here's also hoping she really is the right name-sharer, and especially that she's the only name-sharer. I'd hate to think I was getting email intended for several different people; one is annoying enough.

But I have a feeling I've found her, because we share the same birthday, as well as the same name. I'm sure it's a sign.
taste_is_sweet: (Harlock Skull)
Just in case you thought there could possibly be a genre of music out there that no one has thought of yet, I give you:



Pirate Death Metal

Aye, me hearties! Buckle that swash and gang the plank! Here be Scottish lads who turned their love of all things pirate and alcohol-fueled into what should have been a cute Ren Faire filking act and instead became a thriving music career.

And of course, after pirates, there have to be ninjas, right? Googling "Ninja Heavy Metal" immediately resulted in--what else--a band called Heavy Metal Ninjas. They're from New Zealand, because of course they are.

Now that I'd found pirates and ninjas, the next step was obvious. "Astronaut Metal" resulted in a link to the Irish band "God is an Astronaut". They're not heavy metal so much as...heavy instrumental? Kind of? They don't seem to actually sing. Check out their YouTube channel. A lot of their stuff is surprisingly pretty.

Just for fun, I Googled "Dinosaur Heavy Metal" because dinosaurs are really, really awesome and at this point I figure you could probably throw random words together and discover a heavy metal music genre for it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Hevisaurus, from Finland. Heavisaurus are a heavy metal band for children, who dress up as dinosaurs. Like you do. Here's a video:



Check out that hair and leather. These guys are hardcore.

Sadly, Googling "Heavy Metal Fairy Tales" did not produce another band. It did, however, result amazingly enough in Heavy Metal Fairy Tales. Apparently a self-published books series which use heavy metal lyrics as dialogue.

"Cat Heavy Metal" is not a genre, alas. But Babymetal is!



At least in Japan.

Anyone else out there have a potential heavy metal genre? I didn't look up unicorns or aliens, but I'm optimistic.
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
For someone unashamedly adverse to danger, I have a fascination with mountain climbing.

(Warning: this deals with dead climbers, so to both set and lighten the mood a little, here is a picture of my son being an adorable zombie for Halloween:)
Cutest. Zombie. Ever.
 photo ZombieJavierHalloween20135.jpg

Ready to read about dead people? Great, let's go: )



This post was inspired by a fantastic Avengers AU fanfic called The Mountain (though the mountain in the title is K2), written by Jay Tryfanstone

taste_is_sweet: (What?)
Tell me, my dear ones, what would you do if, on Halloween, your child came home with this note in her treat bag?

All that yummy fat shaming!
 photo Letteredited.jpg

Oh yes, that is real. It's also everywhere on the internet, though to check its legitimcacy I found it here at USA Today and here at Global News in Canada.

The woman, who probably regrets sending the letter to her local radio station, apparently sees it as her duty to solve the problem of childhood obesity by refusing to give the lil' chunky monkeys candy one night a year. Not only that, but by informing the obviously ignorant parents that their child is too fat to deserve candy. On Halloween.

You can probably tell what I think about this, but the first thing I thought when I saw this wasn't 'that's mean', but 'that's stupid'. How can this woman purport to know which child is 'moderately obese'? And what, exactly, is her criteria? Unlike adults, determining the BMI range for children is far more complicated. Worse, it's not even terribly accurate. If you can't tell if a child is at a healthy weight by measuring, how can you tell just by looking? And who or what gave her the right anyway?

I'm not sure how she thinks this is going to help. First of all, it's pretty damn likely that the parents already know. Second, telling a kid that they're too fat for candy isn't motivating, it's humiliating. And--which I'm sure comes as a big surprise to absolutely no one--fat shaming doesn't work. And it certainly won't work if some person the child likely doesn't even know shoves a note into their treat bag.

As other people said in comments on the sites carrying this story: if you don't want to contribute to childhood obesity, then don't give candy. Give stickers, or raisins, or pencils. Or turn off the porch light and don't give anything at all.

Personally, I'd much rather be known as the stingy neighbor who's never home on Halloween than the bitch who humiliated someone else's child. Though she might end up known as the house everybody toiletpapers or eggs. After all, it takes a village to do some serious pranking.

taste_is_sweet: (Beasts of War and burden)
I'm sure you've all heard of it by now: Dinosaur Erotica.

It's a rising market, apparently. I haven't bought any of the novels myself, though of course with all the hype surrounding them, the co-authors of such gems as Mating with the Raptor are likely millionaires. (According to the interview link above, they were already making more money than their engineer friends.)

I think my favorite part is that beautiful cover, though I wonder how the heroine found that outfit in pseudo-bronze age Europe.
 photo Raptor.jpg

So, I read that short interview and some of the other articles about these writers, and I got to thinking that they were on to something.

I checked out a whole half-page of the Mating with the Raptor novel on Amazon and, well, let me say I've read a lot worse. There's even the beginning of a plot, of sorts. The writing feels kind of phoned-in, but I'm sure that after 200 or so short fics about women in dub-con relationships with mythological and extinct animals, I'd be phoning it in too. I certainly have to admire their work ethic.

And my conclusion, of course, is that I should be doing that. Fuck my attempts at being a novelist! Fuck plot and original, sympathetic characters--just get to the fucking. With dinosaurs.

[livejournal.com profile] sgamadison had the great idea of purposely writing the worst story idea she could think of, and then seeing how well it sold. I think that's awesome! Who's with me? Let's hear those terrible plot ideas (don't forget the sex)! God knows after being a dinosaur's love slave there's not much lower you can go. Except maybe underwater.

Impregnated by the Ichthyosaur, anyone?

taste_is_sweet: (Name that poultry)
I had a dream last night (which I only just now actually realized was a dream, instead of reality) wherein, in no context I can remember, my son (currently 7 & 3/4) told me excitedly that Fluttershy of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is going to die in the next season of the show.

Yer toast, butterfly-butt

I can distinctly remember thinking of what a bold move that was, for the Hub network to kill off one of the beloved main characters of an extremely popular children's program.

I suppose that my son being in any way pleased about the impending demise of the gentle yellow pony with the bunny companion and the constant optimism, might've tipped me off that I was dreaming, but apparently not. I mean, he likes the show, but he's not a brony anymore. He even gave away almost all his MLP toys over a year ago. He's into Lego these days.

But I know he thinks Fluttershy is too cool to be murdered in the name of Nielsen ratings. Which is partially why, when I was casually musing about the strange news of her impending doom, it suddenly hit me that there was no way that could be actually happening; I'd just dreamed it.

Why it's physiologically impossible for me to have any cool or fun dreams, I'll never know. But at least it wasn't one of my usual nightmares where I desperately have to get somewhere and can't find the subway, or the airport, or my clothes.

taste_is_sweet: (Keep Calm and Arrrgh!)
I like to bake. Occasionally I suck at it, though to my credit I've yet to harm anyone other then myself. Luckily baking soda isn't generally poisonous.

With this background in mind, attend, O best-beloveds, my adventures while trying to make this recipe.

It won't be too painful, really. And yes, I f**ked up enough to need a LJ-cut. )

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