imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So Best Beloved and I have been watching the original Iron Chef shows over dinner, and I've finally figured it out: Chairman Kaga is a dragon, and he hoards chefs and hideous jackets. This explains everything.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Okay, this is going to be sort of a random assortment, so let's start with the short things:

1) For the past many months, I have been working on putting together a comprehensive list of what they eat in the Redwall universe. Anyone interested in the masterlist of Redwall foods can find it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Huiz2sT-4UUMYApFiPNc0hv1jxTtf2i18-Mh7oK0vIs/edit?usp=sharing

2) I don't know why - I've never actually seen The Sentinel, though I've read a whole lot of fic - but the country song "You Should Be Here" sounds like it should be the prompt for a sad Sentinel songfic. Honestly I can think of three or four I've read that would suit the song perfectly.

3) So Best Beloved and I were talking about fiction the other day, as you do, and something interesting came up. Our generation - Millenials, I guess, though we're on the older end of that group - grew up with Harry Potter. It's become such a cultural phenomenon that when I say that we learned something of a Hufflepuff mindset, everyone pretty much understands that what I mean is that hard work, loyalty, and friendship will get you through pretty much anything. Courage and self-sacrifice also help. But I'm a librarian, and what I'm seeing in the YA section these days is dystopias: books which say that you can work hard, be loyal, have good friends, be brave and self-sacrificing...and the world is still going to go to shit, and might kill you. Which is more realistic, I suppose, but a lot more depressing.

But Best Beloved pointed something out about Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which the movie and fandom which have eaten my life these last two and a half months). What TFA says is that there is still hope. There is still light. Here are these damaged, hurting people who meet each other and *love* each other and can find joy even though by rights all of them should be curled up in little whimpering balls.

So maybe the pendulum is starting to swing a little towards hope again.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
I am not going to write this, but here it is for anyone else who wants it: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Princess Bride AU.

Finn is Buttercup, beautiful and a bit naive.
Poe is Westley.
Kylo Ren is Count Rugen, with the torture machines in the basement.
General Hux is Prince Humperdinck, who wants a war.
Rey is Inigo Montoya, who is searching for the man who killed her mentor.
(Lor San Tekka is Domingo Montoya, who Kylo Ren killed.)
Chewbacca is Fezzik.
Snoke is the Sicilian.
Han Solo is Miracle Max, mostly so that we can get Leia as his wife.

...And then you get the pining, and Finn realizing that when Poe says 'Buddy' he means 'I love you,' and Rey starts empathizing with Finn after they kidnap him, and Chewbacca roaring, "I am the Dread Pirate Roberts!" in Wookiee, and Leia snarling, "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!" at Han, and Rey demanding her mentor back, you son of a bitch, and eventually Rey and Poe and Finn are going to end up in a threesome because this pairing, you guys, it is eating my life.

Anyway. Free to good home.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So it occurred to me, in a sort of half-joking manner, that it might be interesting to make Terry Pratchett's Watch books required reading in all police academies - and for all current police officers - in the United States. Because I keep reading things about police brutality and systematic racism and the "black site" in Chicago and all the kids getting shot by police for being the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time, and thinking, Sam Vimes would not stand for this.

Because what Sam Vimes stands for is integrity. It doesn't matter how dangerous making the arrest is - he'll make it. He arrested a dragon. He arrested Lord Vetinari. He arrested Carcer despite the fact that Carcer was trying very hard to kill him at the time. He put the gonne down.

He won't take bribes. He isn't a bigot - or rather, when his bigotry is pointed out to him he grumbles and moans and hires whoever it is he's being forced to hire and then makes them part of the Watch. Angua, Detritus, Cheery Littlebottom, Reg Shoe - he values them as much as he does Carrot.

And he is very, very insistent that the same law applies to the rich and to the poor, the powerful and the powerless - and that, when push comes to shove, the law is on the side of the powerless, because there's no one else on their side, so the law has to be.

Sam Vimes is the sort of police officer I'd really like to see as the model for our police officers - and if our officers were Sammies, I'd be a lot happier about approaching them in times of trouble.

(This post brought to you by the editorials in today's paper talking about the police officer who has actually been convicted of domestic violence and who was recently offered a promotion. Because I, as a female person, really feel safe going to the police now, should I need to. Oh wait. The other thing.)
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So there's this song, "Yeah" by Joe Nichols, which comes on the radio every so often. (I like country music, at least the less misogynistic and racist kinds.) And every time I hear it I have three rather conflicting responses.

1) This is actually a really bad way to enter into a relationship. The singer agrees to everything the unnamed girl suggests, because he's beautiful (and, of course, because he wants to have sex with her) - but that means that she has no idea what his actual preferences are, and entering into a relationship in which one person entirely subsumes their opinions to the other's is...not a good idea. There's going to be festering resentment eventually.

2) Amusingly, though, it can be read as sort of BDSM-flavored: "Whatever you're drinking, that's what I'm drinking / Girl you're calling the shots tonight / Whatever you're thinking, that's what I'm thinking / Tell me what you've got in mind / So I can say yeah, yeah." That reads, to me, a lot like someone agreeing to be the submissive partner in a sexual encounter. Pretty sure that's not what the author intended.

3) Last and least probable: this is a wonderful song about a vampire successfully luring a guy off into the bushes to eat him. I mean, come on: a preternaturally good-looking woman shows up at a tailgate, picks a guy who's there alone, gives him a drink (of what?), and then asks if he'd like to go on a walk with her...alone, in the dark...if that's not a vampire's hunting strategy, I don't know what is. Successful, too. All power to the vampire lady. Well done.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So I had the pleasure last night - genuine pleasure, I should note - of seeing the recent collection of Disney Pixar shorts. They are, of course, gorgeous: wonderful art in many styles, with beautiful music to accompany them, and cute little stories to make the viewer laugh or cry or go awwwwww as appropriate. I enjoyed myself. But there were two things that rather bothered me.

The first thing was the introduction to the story of John Henry, in which all of the directors and producers who were shown were white. I say this as a white person: John Henry and his tragic triumph are not a white person's story. There should have been some people who were not white involved in the production, and if there were, why weren't they shown?

The second thing was actually the adorable Paperman. It is, in fact, adorable; it is what I think is usually called magical realism, its characters were well-developed despite the lack of words and the brief nature of the short film. But. Our male protagonist is instantly smitten with our female protagonist; that's easy to see. And then he spends the rest of the short thinking about her - wishing to see her again, trying to get her attention, searching for her. But while he's thinking about her, he's not actually thinking of her. We see that when she walks into the office across the way, she's there for some important reason: she's dressed to the nines, she shakes hands with the person in the office and gives them the folder she's been carrying, she sits patiently but nervously while the person reads through the folder. This is important to her, whatever it is. And the male protagonist thinks nothing of trying, desperately, to interrupt this clearly important moment in his life. What impact would it have made on her meeting if a paper airplane had interrupted it? Would she have been judged, however unfairly, because someone chose to hassle her from across the street? It's not an unreasonable assumption that she might have been. But the male protagonist doesn't think of this; he thinks of nothing but that he wants her attention, regardless of what else she is doing at the moment.

That bugged me.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
But not all men are like that! Not all men are violent when they are rejected, not all men catcall women, not all men become angry when someone refuses them sex, not all men go shoot up sororities because women won't sleep with them.

Yeah, not all men are like that. But enough men are.

See, that's the thing. It doesn't have to be 'all men' to be a problem. Just like not all sharks are dangerous - we still get out of the water when we see a fin. Not all snakes are poisonous - we still try to avoid getting near them in case of being bitten. Not all raw eggs have salmonella in them - we still cook our eggs to avoid getting ill. Not all of any of those are dangerous - but enough of them are dangerous that we avoid them anyhow!

And it's possible to learn to tell which sharks are dangerous and which are safe to swim with. It's possible to tell which snakes are poisonous and which are safe to handle. The chance of salmonella is small enough that an occasional raw egg probably isn't going to kill you. Violent - or potentially violent - men don't have nice brightly colored stripes on their backs to identify them as dangerous; they don't have clear markings which we can read and be wary of. Sometimes they display clear behavior markers which we can identify; sometimes they don't. The only way to be wary of the men who are dangerous is to be wary of all of them until they prove themselves to be safe.

So yes, women are wary of all men. Because enough men are dangerous that it's the only safe choice.

And those men who don't like that? Well, perhaps they could start doing something about the men who think that catcalling is a fun pastime, that women are required to put out if the man paid for dinner, that 'too drunk to consent' means the sex wasn't rape, that violence is an appropriate reaction to rejection. Perhaps when the best available statistics don't show that four men in every hundred are rapists - and likely to be serial rapists, too - perhaps when every woman out there doesn't have a story about how she or her sister or mother or best friend was violently assaulted, perhaps when walking down the street wearing comfortable clothing is not the catalyst for being obscenely propositioned...perhaps then we can reconsider being wary of all men.

But for right now, enough men are ruining it for all of you.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So I read Captain Awkward, and the DFD thread on Making Light, and Shakesville, and any number of advice columns on and off, because I am fascinated by humans and how and why we do things. One of the big things I see is in the matter of romantic relationships. Someone – usually a woman – will say something like, “My significant other leaves broken glass in the sink,” or, “My significant other pisses in cups and leaves them lying around,” or, “Of course I do all the housework despite working a sixty-hour week because my significant other just can’t do it,” and the thing is, nine times out of ten that significant other is male. And then a whole heck of a lot of other women chime in to say, “Hey, mine does that too, you are not alone!” (or, more hopefully, “My ex did that, and we are no longer together for a reason,”).

And I work in a mostly-female department of a mostly-female organization (librarians: very often female!), and a lot of my patrons are women, and I hear a lot of, “Oh, well, you know how men are,” and what the person means is: they don’t cook, they don’t clean, they don’t do childcare, they don’t do emotional anything, they expect their beer and their dinner and their marital rights and they lift heavy things and kill bugs. Good to have around but not, you know, useful for a whole lot of things, and you certainly can’t expect them to hold up their end of an emotional entanglement; if you want romance you have to pull that weight yourself: just be glad you have one who doesn’t hit you – or at least not much.

And that? That is grade-A prime-cut BULLSHIT. And I wish to dispute it.

First off, you don’t need a man. Nope. It is nice to have a romantic partner if that is something you want in your life, and if you are interested sexually and romantically in men then it is nice to have a man in your life, but for the love of little birdies, just having one is not an accomplishment to be desired, and certainly the attitude of, “Well, this one is crappy to me but at least I have one” – that attitude needs to be taken away in a sack, never to be seen again. So.

Secondly, let’s say you want a man in your life, in the sexual and romantic sense. Let me tell you a thing.

I am married. Have been for just under eight months now, which I grant you isn’t a lot but I lived with my husband for just under four years before we were married, and the pastor who gave us premarital counseling basically said to our faces that marriage was, frankly, not going to change a damn thing about our relationship – that in every way that mattered except the legal, we were already married.

And when someone says to me, “Oh, you know how men are,” and they mean ‘useless violent jackwagon with the emotional intelligence of a small grey rock,’ frankly, I kind of see red. Because that is NOT TRUE of the man I married, and I know for a fact there are more men like him out there.

Let me brag on my husband for a minute, because here are some things which good men do:

• My husband goes shopping with me, after we have made the week’s menus together and looked through the cabinets together and decided what we need.
• My husband makes dinner with me, except on the nights I work late and come home and fall over, when he makes dinner for me, and does it damn well.
• My husband eats dinner with me at our little table, and we talk about anything and everything and laugh our heads off about the weirdest things and discuss philosophical issues and how to rule the world when our grand plans work out and we become evil overlords of the universe.
• My husband does the dishes with me, side by side at the sink chatting about our days or our plans for the week or the story one of us is writing or whatever else happens to come up in conversation.
• My husband semi-regularly scrubbed out the tub (before it started draining properly), and damn it looked nice. Also he does the vacuuming when we clean because I hate that thing.
• My husband tells me if my clothing looks acceptable in public when I ask, because he has a much better eye for color and fit than I ever have, and also he thinks I am beautiful and should wear clothing which looks good on me.
• My husband is warm and snuggly and comes up behind me while I am on the computer to hug me from behind and get his beard caught in my hair like Velcro and laugh at whatever I’ve got up on Tumblr.
• My husband betas my fiction and worldbuilds with me, and I beta for him and worldbuild with him, and both our writing improves.
• My husband plays Diablo III with me and we go kill monsters gleefully and laugh and trade interesting items. And then he quotes the characters at me while we are doing other things so that I fall over laughing.
• My husband explains football to me, very patiently, over and over because I think it is a silly sport and do not understand it but I know he likes it so I don’t mind if the game is on, and sometimes I want to know why everyone is cheering.
• My husband makes really awful puns and laughs at my really awful puns.
• My husband lets me rant about my co-workers or patrons or the computers at work that don’t do what I need them to and hugs me when I am done.
• My husband never tells me I am stupid or ugly or useless, even when my own brain does, but he does tell me I am beautiful and smart and have really good ideas.
• My husband goes dancing with me.
• My husband brings me water and meds when I am sick, and rubs my back, and makes soothing noises. (Especially relevant this week, when I am making horrid hacking noises and snorfling.)

…Look, I could go on for a very long time about what a wonderful man I have married, but the thing is, look at that list. It is a list of ways my husband is kind to me, of ways my husband shares the work of being married with me instead of making me do it on my own, of ways that my husband demonstrates that he cares about me as more than just provider-of-food-and-sexy-times.

And no one, no one, NO ONE DAMMIT, should have to settle for less than someone who cares about them, and is kind to them, and shares the work of the relationship with them.

So if you are someone who wants a man in your life, romance-wise, do not fall for all of the many, many, many lies about ‘how men are’ and ‘you know how it is’ and ‘it’s just the way things work.’ No. There are men in the world who are kind and considerate, who tell awful jokes and hug you when you are sad and make dinner with you and never tell you that you are ugly or stupid or worthless. There are men who marry you after six years together because they want to, none of this who-buys-a-cow-when-milk-is-free bullshit. There are men who choose jewelry for you that is something you like, because they have paid attention to your interests, and buy you Hobbit socks for your birthday, and choose your engagement ring because it hasn’t got any sharp edges and they remember the time you cut yourself on a ring, years ago. There are men who do not make fun of your old teddy that is all flat and worn but you love it so damn much anyway. There are men who lean over and double-check that you’ve taken your pill because you like the outside confirmation, and who geek out about your favorite books with you, and who play computer games with you and never tell you you’re a ‘fake geek girl’ whatever the hell that is.

There are good men out there. My father is one. My husband is one. My husband’s brother, and his father, and on and on and they exist, okay?

If you really want a man in your life, do not settle for any man who will have you. Look for one who will be kind to you, and care for you, and respect your autonomy and your decisions; who will help you do the work of the relationship, and be your friend as well as your lover. Such men exist. Do not settle for less.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Welp, I'm appalled by my country. Seriously, an armed adult can claim he was 'scared' of an unarmed teenager and that counts as a defense?

...In other news, I'm trying to find a place to move, once I get a job, and Florida has just rendered itself quite effectively off the list of places I will *EVER* go. For a job, for a visit, for any reason whatsoever. Just...no. So much no.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Man, I have whiplash from the last few days of Supreme Court/Texas legislature shenanigans. On the one hand, augh, why did SCOTUS squash the bits of the Voting Rights Act which made it work? On the other hand, WHOO! DOMA is dead. On the same hand, WHOO! Wendy Davis is all kinds of awesome. On the first hand again, WHAT EVEN with the Republican party calling a vote after midnight and trying to pretend it was before midnight and then sort of backing down and going, oh, okay, actually Davis won that round.

...Seriously, has the Texas Republican party not heard of the internet? It's this big thing with tubes, Al Gore invented it, it lets *lots of people* talk to each other *instantaneously.* Also lots of people on the internet don't like you guys and are only too happy to point out your moments of idiocy. So maybe don't give them ammo?

Eh, the world is a strange and occasionally frustrating place.

...
In better news, hey, as of a week and a half ago I'm married!
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So Best Beloved and I were talking over dinner, as we do, and we got to discussing the scientific method as it relates to right-wing religious wingnuts. I was thinking specifically about a thing from a while back, where a prominent wingnut said something about all porn turning people gay - don't even ask, I dunno - and thinking, okay. Back when I was going through puberty and figuring out my sexual orientation, my thought process went something like this: 'Data point: I am attracted to men. Data point: I am also attracted to women. Conclusion: You know, I think I may be bisexual. Huh, who'd've thunk.'

Whereas if you're in one of those areas where being gay is not an acceptable option, that process might go: 'Conclusion: I cannot be gay. Data point: I am attracted to men. Extrapolation: Some horrible outside force is tainting me and turning me towards the dark side, aiee!'

Which...no. That is not how science works. You're allowed and encouraged to have hypotheses, because those give you a starting point, but when the data does not back up your hypothesis - and I remember this clearly from science class! - you write up a conclusion which says, in essence, "Well whaddaya know, I was wrong, I thought X was true but pretty clearly X is not true, and Z might well be true instead, we should do some more experiments." And then you come up with a hypothesis about Z and start testing *that*.

Now, this is not nearly so easy with self-image and sexuality as it is with chemicals in a lab, and I quite understand that. But I think a lot of things would benefit from being approached with the scientific method: I think X is true. I will gather lots of data to see if I am correct. If I am not correct, well, drat. Better find a new hypothesis!

Fic Idea

Apr. 9th, 2013 06:08 pm
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
You know what would be awesome - and please link me if it exists, because Best Beloved and I both want to read it - the fic in which Susan Pevensie, after everything goes down with the train and her siblings dying and her being no longer a friend to Narnia (because Narnia kinda fucked her over royally), gets picked up by the Doctor to be his Companion.

She'd be awesome! She's used to weird situations and diplomacy, and to coping with high-strung odd people. Give her a longbow and some sensible running shoes and she would be the best thing since sliced bread.

Bonus points if the Wardrobe is a baby Tardis/Time Lord tech of some sort.

Interviews

Apr. 8th, 2013 08:34 pm
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Aieeeee!

...Just finished phone interview. Am sure they are the most nerve-wracking things in ever. Pretty sure not getting job, but that's ok, I survived the interview, that means I get points, right?

...AUGH.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So fandom is very happy with the fanon that Thorin has a horrid sense of direction, which I am perfectly willing to go along with, but I think we’re all missing a very important point:

Thorin’s grand plan can be boiled down to, “I hope the dragon is dead.”

No, wait, it’s worse. Because at the very beginning of the book he doesn’t have the map or the key, so his grand plan is actually, “I hope the dragon is dead, because we’re gonna be walking right in the front gate.”

And then once he does have the map and the key, well, the plan changes to, “I hope the dragon is dead, but if it isn’t, I will have my itty bitty hobbit burglar carry several tons of gold out of the mountain, without the dragon noticing, and then we will carry that gold across open ground to a floating city, and then figure it out from there.”

Um. What?

And then you add to this the fact that he has no maps that we ever see of the land between the Blue Mountains and Erebor, that he has a blood feud with the king of the Mirkwood elves, that he is genetically predisposed to gold-induced insanity, and that the only support he appears to have is twelve dwarves (and a very cranky hobbit and a disappearing wizard) – well. (Yes, yes, Dain of the Iron Hills shows up to support him, but that’s only after the dragon is dead.)

This is not a well-thought-out plan, is what I’m saying.

Admittedly this seems to run in the family, since the previous generation’s grand plan was, “Let’s go drive the orcs out of Moria! Which has a Balrog in it!” Even leaving aside the vast armies of orcs and goblins, why would you want to re-conquer someplace which has got a giant evil fire-demon living in it? The damned thing is even called Durin’s Bane!

Hereditary monarchy is all well and good if that’s how your fantasy race happens to be wired, but someone needs to whap the collective Durins upside the head and explain that Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance and that dragons and Balrogs are bad to face without proper preparation.

And Thorin needs a better plan.

Writing

Apr. 3rd, 2013 04:40 pm
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So I'm currently writing this series (which started as a one-shot smutfic, because my brain is just helpful like that), and it's made me think a bit about how I write. I was trying to explain it to Best Beloved, who is being awesome about my nattering on about this series, and that got me to wondering about how other people think about writing.

Perhaps it's because I like poetry and fairy tales so much, but when I'm writing prose, especially fiction, I almost feel like I'm putting together a puzzle. I know what the finished product is supposed to look like, I have the picture in front of me to work off of, but every word and bit of characterization is another little piece of the puzzle, and some of them are odd shapes and they all have to fit together. So I have to find exactly the right word, the right phrasing, because that's the only puzzle piece that fits where I need it to go.

Mind, sometimes the shape of the puzzle changes, too, so it's not a perfect analogy by any means.

Does anyone else feel like writing is like putting together a puzzle, or am I just strange? (Well, stranger than I already know myself to be.)
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
So the good news is that drain volcanoes work and are really neat.

The bad news is that now I need to find a new way to empty the dehumidifier.

Also, Best Beloved owes me one for this...
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
You know that feeling when you think you've written a nice little PWP with no redeeming social value and then the plotbunnies attack and suddenly you're seven chapters into a twenty-plus-chapter fic with epic journeys and social implications of arranged marriage and a possible sequel?

...Yeah. That would be where I am now. Oh my gods, you guys, this thing is trying to eat my life. If I end up trying to re-write LotR with Frodo, Prince of the Blue Mountains (adopted), I may have to bang my head against a wall for a while. Re-writing the Hobbit without the dragon is bad enough!

Best Beloved just laughs at me. Suppose I deserve that, really. But seriously, this may be the longest fic I've ever written and it's *not even done yet.* I have sixteen chapters plotted and am nowhere near the end.

Though I admit that writing in a huge fandom and getting such magnificent amounts of feedback is kind of making me squee.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Was over reading a very cogent post from N.K. Jemisin, who is an absolutely wonderful author, on racism and sexism in SFF fandom, and ran into the mention that someone had tried to use Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold as evidence that Heinlein was not racist.

I...just...AUGH MY BRAIN. What? Seriously, the only other Heinlein book as truly awfully racist as that one is probably Fifth Column, and...just...OMG WHAT.

...If you're going to try and prove something, at least give it a good go, okay? Don't pick one of the most racist novels by a given author to prove he isn't racist. Please? It breaks my brain.
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Spent a good half hour this morning discussing Scottish vampire chickens. Clearly these are where hen's teeth come from. Also, according to Best Beloved, Scottish vampire chickens go "Boch boch boch."
imaginary_golux: adult red riding hood and her wolf (wolf)
Dear gods, in slightly under a week I am going to have my Master's in Library Science.

...eek.

...Anyone know of job openings for shiny new young adult librarians anywhere in the Northeastern United States or Hawaii?

...Does this mean I'm a real adult now, or does that wait until this coming June when I get married?
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