phoenix64: Zoe holding an apple, text: daugher of Eve (ff zoe daughter of eve)
You may or may not have noticed it but I have been very much absent the past few several weeks outside of the occasional drive-by post or comment. Nothing catastrophic, I'm just going through some sort of phase or cyclical thing. I have missed you and will be endeavoring to catch up.

(I just now noticed that two of my favorite icons are of women holding fruit. Hmm.)
phoenix64: scared kitty clinging to hanging lamp (rose is a rose scared kitty)
OK, truthfully I hope there are no serious injuries resulting from this earthquake in the Northeast and I do realize there are going to be significant damages in places, especially as buildings in that area don't have to be built to withstand earthquakes. Hopefully people's insurance policies are written differently than here, where earthquake damage is a separate rider. And I realize a lot of people probably got a pretty big scare.

But mostly? I'm just kind of laughing my ass off, just a little bit. HA! SEE HOW IT FEELS NOW! People evacuated their office buildings in lower Manhattan? Really? I love how much the news coverage on CNN is clearly aimed at people who never would have bothered to pay any attention to anything said about earthquakes before, ever.

Also I might be feeling the tiniest bit revenged for how anxious I felt walking in downtown Toronto.

But really, I do hope everyone is all right.

*snicker* I'm going to hell.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)
Yes, I stayed up and watched The Wedding, well, through the hymn after the vows at least. I think I watched it more as a sequel to Charles & Diana's wedding (I was 11 for that one and I totally bought into it; I remember waking up at an ungodly hour to watch it in a hotel room).


I did quite adore Kate's dress. I think in the long run she's going to end up just as popular as Diana.
phoenix64: Pencil sketch of Batman's head (batman Neal Adams sketch)
I am really loving the Marvel Noir series. I haven't been picking up the original runs but I have the collected editions of Spiderman Noir and X-Men Noir and Wolverine Noir should be shipping soon. I'm also really looking forward to Daredevil Noir next month. So far the stories have been fantastic with their commitment to the period and the art has been top-notch, and (as long as I'm paying Amazon prices, damn me) I don't mind paying for the hardbacks.

I'll tell you though, X-Men Noir had some bite to it. A lot of the story concerned eugenics and the related ideas that people can be born bad and can have "bad blood". It's incredibly appropriate for recasting an X-Men story during that time period but still unpleasant to read about. It can be easy to forget how prevalent those attitudes were during that time period, even with J.K. Rowling reminding us. A lot of people believed it and it led to a lot of horrible things being considered acceptable. The sad truth is that too many people still believe it.

I was horrified several years ago to read an interview with Dean Koontz in which he made it very clear that he believed aberrant behavior was solely a factor of genetics, with environment playing no role whatsoever. His rationale for this is that he was horribly abused by his father and it had no ill effects on him, though he and his wife decided not to have children because according to him these things tend to skip a generation. I feel more pity towards him than anger, but I can't help but wonder about the attitudes he's influencing through his writing. I mean, what's the point of getting children out of bad situations if it's not going to make any difference? What's the point in addressing abuse or poverty or drug use or any of those things if if won't change anything?

Science has given us a better understanding of the fact that genetics does in fact play a role, but it's more in terms of vulnerability, a stronger likelihood that an abusive environment will have a disastrous result. As we tend to hear pretty often these days, genetics loads the gun but environment pulls the trigger. Or as one scientist studying the brain development of abused children put it, it's not surprising that some abused children become serial killers; what's surprising is that they all don't.

I believe very strongly that if we could guarantee that every child was loved and safe we'd solve a lot more problems than most people realize. Is that an impossible task? Most certainly. But that doesn't mean it should be an impossible goal.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (martha blue)
Wired magazine has an article on Nikon's Small World photomicrography competition, featuring the winners all the way back to 1977. This year's winner:

cut for photo )
There are also links to Nikon's gallery of all the winners and honorable mentions. For me one of the slightly unexpected neat things about this was the fact that this is a truly international competition, and I loved seeing all the different facilities the various scientist photographers were from.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (dS fraser waiting)
I've come to the conclusion that public discourse, especially but not limited to political discourse, is becoming more and more like an abusive relationship. And I want out. Once you've thrown your plate at me or the wall that pretty much releases me from any obligation to respect or even listen to why you didn't like your dinner. No, really. That doesn't make it OK for me to throw the pan in response either. It's not acceptable behavior and we need to stop accepting it.

phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (ff captain serious pants)
Regardless of the cause of Amazon's massive deranking fail and their response to it, the incident has put a focus on an ongoing problem regarding public perception and media and GLBT (or queer labeling of your choice) representation, in that it's all equated with sex. Which is why Heather Has Two Mommies gets hit with the Amazon Cataloguing Ban Hammer, among other problems. [ profile] rm pointed out a good post in AfterEllen about this issue (acutally, you should just look at [ profile] rm's post itself; it has several good links as well as some good discussion).

From my own perspective this brings up issues I struggle with myself. Despite being a reasonably intelligent and thoughtful person I recognize that I have problems when it comes to seeing people outside of binary classifications: man/woman, white/person of color, straight/not straight, vanilla/kinky, vanilla/chocolate. The norm/not the norm. It limits them and it limits me.

And there have been times I realized that I have trapped myself inside the box of equating everything about being not straight as being about sex.

My being straight affects several aspects of my life even if I'm not always aware of them. It affects not just how I go about having romantic and/or sexual relationships, but how I conduct myself in public, how I conduct myself at work, raising a family, health care, and so many other things that have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Now imagine every book about those subjects being tagged as having to do with sex.

Even if we accept that what happened with Amazon was a technical error that was completely innocent, it still happened the way that it did because of a larger problem that concerns all of us.

(Incidentally, apparently I only care about the Amazon issue because I'm just another one of those silly people in the homosexual community. Hey, thanks for having me - my heterosexuality iz pasted on, yay!)
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (DF quote thought before speaking)
Hey, Governor Jindal, what do you say we'll charter you a plane to come up and visit us up here in Alaska, and your plane can just ignore all that wasteful volcanic monitoring. Maybe your plane will choke and fall out of the sky and maybe it won't. It'll be an adventure.
phoenix64: Ten and Martha sitting, text: tell me a story (dw tell me a story)
At the Stratford Festival I had the good fortune to see an outstanding production of The Trojan Women. So I was intrigued by a modern adaption being done at the local university called The Women of ... I had mixed expectations, some positive based on the fact that it was written by a university professor who'd done an Alaskan Othello with an Aleut admiral in the Russian navy a year ago that was fairly well received. It was performed by one of our community theatre groups instead of at the university, and I'm afraid I missed it. I was a little wary, however, about The Women of ... in part because of this photo. I realize these kinds of promotional pieces are usually prepared months in advance and indeed I know I never saw that outfit in the play (I'm unsure about the actress), but I didn't consider it a good omen.

The play started with a Hecuba as some kind of Eternal Spirit of Women Hurt by War, serene and wise. Uh oh, I thought, this is not a good sign. An hour and a half later my fears were fully confirmed as Hecuba agreed to read a portion of a letter to a soldier from his mother in Indiana, so that he could hear it in a woman's voice, and telling the soldier that no, she didn't hate him, that it was important to hate war and not the soldiers, because that only led to more hate and more war.

Yeah, one of enormously huge problems with this play is how often it fell over itself trying to say that Our Boys weren't soldiers who did Bad Things. At times it was almost nauseating. Mostly though it was safe and sanitized and a hell of a lot more comfortable than it should have been. It had the decency to not be 100% about white western women, but it was pretty close. It paid (just barely) lip service to Darfur and the rape camps of Bosnia, but the monologues we were offered included a young woman talking about the death of her sweetheart in Iraq after she'd cheated on him and gotten pregnant and he'd said he wanted to raise the baby as is own, and an American Muslim teenager talking about losing her Jewish friend after her friend's brother was killed in Iraq. A USO singer who got peritonitis and TB that killed her after spending a week or two in a Vietnamese jail. Yeah, these are poignant stories, sure, but they hardly compare to your entire family being murdered or enslaved and your homeland being destroyed. These were not women who'd had anything remotely resembling hope or a say in their fate taken away from them. These were not women who saw everything in their lives torn apart like wet tissue paper.

Those women exist today, right now, and they're the ones who deserve to have their stories told.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (DF quote thought before speaking)
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I'm sorry you can't be here to see President Obama sworn in tomorrow Dr. King.

And a happy 200 to Edgar Allen Poe!
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (casanova facepalm)
It appears that I'm not going to work anytime soon due to an extended bout of extremely nasty freezing rain. I tried, but it was just too insane out there. Folks, I take the bus - if I'm staying home it's bad. I'm not sure I've ever stayed home from work because of the weather.

(ETA 1030 AST: I was going to try and go in later after it warmed up but they just canceled bus service. It's officially time to put my feet up.)

Anyway, I was looking for news stories about the weather and I came across this on the Google Local News section:

The news source is the local ABC affiliate. They've corrected the title of the story on their site, but come on. That wouldn't have even cleared through spell check!
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (bones booth glee)
I hope those of you that celebrate Christmas are having a wonderful one indeed and that anyone reading this who doesn't celebrate Christmas is having a Very Nice Day for any reason at all.
phoenix64: animated batman, text: everybody batdance! (Bat Dance!)
So wait, we really didn't elect the felon? Whee!

The truth is I'm not a huge fan of our shiny new Senator-elect, but I'll TAKE HIM.


Nov. 5th, 2008 06:21 am
phoenix64: animated batman, text: everybody batdance! (Bat Dance!)

In less joyful news, ballot propositions all over the country that are meant to remind those nasty hom-o-sex-u-als of their place are passing.

Also, my state just re-elected a man convicted of seven felonies. Alaska politics: it's just like Louisiana politics only the food isn't as good and the crooked politicians aren't nearly as interesting.

(Sorry [ profile] travels_in_time)

But wait, WE HAVE OBAMA!!!


Sep. 17th, 2008 03:39 pm
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (DF quote good looking)
I swear I'm not going to post much about politics, but I had to comment on this. I noticed the news pieces day before yesterday about Palin using a Yahoo email address to conduct state business and I thought to myself, "And now that they've published that fact how long do you think it will be before that account gets hacked?"

I'm a little surprised it took them as long as it did.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (dS fraser waiting)
To those on my Friends list who live in or have loved ones who live in Ike's path: uh, gah! I'll keep a good thought. Be well.

Oh crap

Aug. 29th, 2008 08:09 am
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (gene and sam at luigi's)
Can I just go into hiding until after the election is over?

phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (ten martha gridlock tell me a story)
I suppose I consider westerns to be something of a guilty pleasure. Genre fiction fights for respectability with mainstream fiction, but westerns have to fight for respectability in genre fiction. People seem to be a lot more willing to judge westerns as a whole by their worst examples while being much more forgiving of the embarrassments to be found in fantasy, science fiction, or mystery/crime fiction. Heck, the "paranormal romance" genre gets better press these days, which just goes to show that success provides its own respectability.

It's a shame that Westerns don't get more respect, because at their best they contain incredibly powerful mythic storytelling. To be fair I find this much more in western movies than western novels, but that's probably as much an issue of what I've been exposed to more than anything else. When it comes to westerns I'm really more of a movie girl, though that expands a bit when you consider writers whose aren't really thought of as writing straight westerns, such as Joe R. Lansdale. Plus, I have issues with John Wayne.

If you've hung around here long enough you might remember that last year I was planning on doing something for Script Frenzy with a Woman With No Name character (started, didn't finish). That actually used a modern setting, but there's no doubting the theme's western roots (I also like revenge tragedies). Anyway, I've been thinking about giving NaNoWriMo another stab this year (I'm overdue; I tried it in 2003 and 2005 but failed to finish both times), and I'm seriously considering a western, preferably something that captures what I like about western movies. With two female protagonists, mind you. No use of The Person With No Name character this time. Expect further noodling on the subject, probably.

How do you feel about westerns? Oh, and have any of you read Preacher by Garth Ennis?
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (gene and sam at luigi's)
I realize I am turning into a crotchety old lady well ahead of schedule, but -

I get irritated every time I see the acronym for the Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome spelled as 'Aids', but I try to not let my blood boil too much, because it's usually in a relatively casual setting. Seeing it on the B-fucking-BC News website is another matter. I don't care if it's because you can't deal with the AutoCorrect function in your word processing program or the like; that is not a sufficient excuse.

Also, in Google News the chosen header for the articles describing the new dictionary additions by Merriam-Webster was an InformationWeek article whose headline spelled "subprime" as "suprime". Despite being up for most of the day, it only just got corrected. The headline.
phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)
I am a bad person: I saw on the BBC News site that the French army chief of staff had resigned over an incident where a soldier injured 17 people at a public military show because he had live rounds instead of blanks in his firearm, and my first thought was, "Maybe he should be resigning because one of his soldiers shot 17 people and didn't kill a single one of them."

This whole fuss over Google suspending several pro-Clinton/anti-Obama blogs because they were flagged as spam? Mostly makes me want to point and laugh. Been there, done that, performed obscene acts with the t-shirt on SixApart's front lawn.

I am ridiculously pleased at the announcement of Diablo III, despite the fact that since I got my laptop last October I haven't played any games.

Have I mentioned that for a Mac person I'm a bit, uh, differently abled when it comes to graphics? I really, really am. So here's the thing: I've gone and installed GIMP. Now I just need to gather up my courage and try and use the silly thing.

How are you doing?


phoenix64: parker holding an orange and smiling (Default)

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