Friday, March 30, 2012


Are we in third grade (in 1933) and the boys still need to have a He-Man Women Hater's Club? I'm honestly too baffled to even get as far as being offended.  It just seems like a bizarre story from several generations in the past.  And these men actually think that being expected to ... allow a woman to PLAY GOLF ... is akin to having a bayonet pointed at them?  What?

Way to minimize things that are actually dangerous, guys.

This is beyond my paltry feminine comprehension:  that there actually, really are still any men walking and breathing who are this scared and resentful of their gender privilege.

And all that over this cheesy, ugly garment.

Nice one, Augusta.  Yeesh.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


A new reader I can trust, and possibly her sister.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Of All ...

... the episodes to turn on when I shifted to my Roku box:  it had to be this one.


Today I had a conversation which damn near shattered me, precisely because it has meant so much to me recently that I did not have this coversation sooner.

I don't feel freed.  I don't feel empowered.  I have, it may be said, an almost physically painful shortness of breath, and the most intense headache I've had in some months.

But I do feel *hope* - that what I chose to do to myself ... simply won't be a choice for for anyone again.


While I chose to leave at a mildly scoffing dismissiveness from the manager I spoke with "informally" at the time this happened, I know frankly and simply what happened was sexual harassment.  For me, this does not translate into lawsuits or punitive action against my company - I stayed on the alert for any escalation, and when my extreme and instant brusque, cold, keep-it-professional attitude apparently headed off any further "hopes" this person had in my direction, I nursed a quiet grudge, contenting myself with feeling I didn't have to do anything.

It was probably within the last eight or ten months I witnessed a woman having to speak with the same man, who was clearly discomfited having to deal with him.  I knew her well enough to ask her if he had disturbed her, when we were alone, and she did not specify what he had done, but it was clear that she was profoundly creeped-out by him.

And so, I know:  it's not just me.


When I was cc'd on a note from a higher-up responding positively to this person's interest in a permanent position with my employer:  I felt I had to say something.

This was a difficult decision to make, but not a lengthy one, and, rather dizzyingly, the opportunity to have the conversation came up extremely quickly.  From email to decision to dread to conversation:  something under two and a half hours.

Today was simply bloody difficult.  I had to have a conversation I stipulated at its outset I never wanted to have.  I had to present the situation, the context of why I was bringing it up, AND the context of why I had never brought this up before, professionally and coolly, honestly and somewhat dispassionately.

And I did.  And it is done.  I gave permission to the higher-up to use my name; and have already spoken with someone in HR, setting a time on Wednesday to have a conversation about this.

The worst of it is over - the event itself, long ago.  The conversation, today.  I am no longer stifled.

And I pray:  no other woman will have to make this choice.


And so for me, tonight ...  If not peace and power - then Big Bang Theory, set to "play all" (or perhaps a new purchase on Amazon, of a new season I can stream in my digital library) - and, if not the satisfaction of feeling whole ... then at least the contentment that I've done the right thing.

I am so blinking exhausted.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Illuminating Illuminators

As an inveterate marginalia-ist, I loved this and wanted to share the link.

Right Now

Right now, The Ax and the Vase opens with the death of Childeric, Clovis' father.  It ends with Clovis' own death; an echo of the first scenes of the novel.  This was not my original plan; at one time, the entirety of the story was going to be the love of the king for his Queen, Clotilde.  The story moved back in time, more than once, to the point before a prince's first battle.

With help from Leila, I found the right beginning for the book - the beginning of Clovis' reign.  And reigns begin with a death.

Today, spending time in the death of Clovis' friedlehe, the woman he loved before his queen, I'm somewhat oversaturated with death.

So much for the squirrels of this morning!

Emotional Content

I have gone back - gone into the death of Theuderic's mother.

I sat ... and only looked at her.  No farewell.  No sight, nor shred of memory,of my friedlehe.  Only her pain.  Only my own culpability.  Only the sure knowledge I could never repent; and she was already gone.

I want out almost as much as Clovis must have.  Would have - if only this scene even approaches history.

Layers of Distractions

Apparently, it is a "SQUIRREL!" kind of day for me; having gone off the task of working the dialogue, I've now gone off the task of working the emotional content - and spent a good half hour upstairs redistributing my winter/warmer wardrobe (nothing like bowing in defeat before the weather), as well as stripping my own bed and changing the dog's.

All this just because I went upstairs for a quick break.

The writer in me should feel guilty.  (See also:  HOW many posts have I put up today ... ?)

The hausfrau actually feels kind of productive.

Instead ...

I seem to have taken a turn from dialogue, and am working on ... inner workings.

Probably not a bad focus.

Dialogue Revision

I think the thing I'm finding frustrating about the work I *am* getting done, since I don't have any readers to give me direction on the work I am *not* getting done (cutting, cutting, tightening, cutting, killing off my darlings, cutting), is that refitting the dialogue does not shorten the work overall.  It does provide a nip and tuck here, and I know there's a whole scene or two I can ditch outright, when I get there ...

Even so, this repair work doesn't provide the same satisfaction that 60-page whack several months ago:  its obviousness, its enormity, its loss of weight, relief of bulk.

Yet I must settle down.  Must realize - not all work can be showy and fantastical like that.  Sometimes ... it's just grinding.

Sunday Morning

It's not as cool as it should be for late March - but it is at least cool, and the grey wet day (not actively raining, so evocatively still) lends a layer to Sunday morning time.  I'm hunched forward over the laptop on the beautiful coffee table, glasses perched low on my nose, peering sporadically over the rims at "Law & Order" circa Lenny and Julia Roberts' ex boyfriend - an episode, oddly enough, featuring a supporting role with Jennifer Garner, whose charm and talent have always been lost enough on me I can't particularly deny them, nor care.

Revisions depress me.  The work as it goes feels like progress; then I back away, look at the whole thing, and see how little I have done.

Another friend excitedly said, "Oh, I'd love to be a reader for you" this week, and - when told what it actually requires - evaporated.  This happens.  Sigh.

The birds are the one most consistent thread of noise, of life, these days.  They're quieter today.  But still making sure I know it is spring.

Today will be a bit of cleaning.  As little as I can make it, and still feel I have done enough.  A bit of revision.  Hopefully more than it seems to ever look like.  Never enough.  And, perhaps, the final few pages of my last "lunch book" - the novels I take to work, and read over my non-lunch hours, this last one close enough to its close I brought it home and took in a new one to replace it.  When they get close to the end, it's best to read them to completion without interruption - without the office setting.

I may do laundry; I know I'll ignite some lights around here.  I may even swipe a few windows with some cleaner, because the dinge is depressing me.

Just a few hours.  The weekend will be over.

Quiet Sunday time.  Not a bad place to be.  Never a slow (as long-lasting) as it promises you it will be ...

Friday, March 23, 2012


Hootenanny on a Friday night at my house:  achingly HOT bath, followed by analgesics, muscle relaxant, heating pad, and early bedtime.


89 degrees today, before 3:00 p.m., and the pollen counts are through the roof of course.  Yeah:  no.  I don't feel bad one BIT about napping before cutting the lawn.

Nearly ninety in March.  And this heat is sustained, Fella Babies - not a one-off day in otherwise cool temps.  Two weeks now, and we never had a winter.

Global warming deniers, please line up at that path over there marked "Good Intentions".  Don't mind the scent of brimstone - it's totally not global warming.

*Watching for a little more overcast to build*
*Gonna have to mow anyway dammit*

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Can Actually Deny ...

... that I do ANY writing at work (anymore).  If I tried plugging in a flash drive to pull up my novel, The Lord on High would get a security alert.  I wanna keep my job, because I don't expect those fantasies about movie deals and all that to come true, and because it is, frankly, a bitchin' position.  I LOVE my job, and (most of) my team.

I can remember, though, jobs with a little smidge more time for things like that.  (Not at all) sadly, I haven't had one since starting on Ax.  Poor me.

The piece is pretty good, though, and *does* remind me of those days before I actually really was a writer - or author ...


Finally, space trash I can get behind.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Siddy is restive, because she did not get her nice long walk tonight.  Even last night's stroll was short; she tried to spin me like three or four times.  I can't go but so far after a good leash-yanking.

She's not being punished as a matter unto itself.  I just have too much crap to do around the house.

There was the hand-washing I needed to do before I even got around to dinner, and then there was the shade (its bracket fell down last night - when it did) I had to drill back into the sill.  Not my finest carpentry project, but the thing is up - and the shade is down.  And the skirt I hope to mend before the night's out.  Oh, and the laundry (one load down, and a bedspread now hanging to dry), which I am just to cussed to carry up and down stairs one sock at a time.  So I carry the damned basket.  And that doesn't feel great.

And here I sit, with the novel's handy little drive all plugged in the laptop ... not quite getting round to opening it.  And it's coming up on 9:00.  Which ... how in the devil???

Good lord, in an hour I'm going to be setting myself up for bedtime.

What an endless day.   *ZONK*

A Riddle or A Bet

There's a genre of philosophical posers, such as "What if ... we're all tiny tiny creatures, living on a speck of dust, inside someone else's freshman dorm room ... ?" and "Would you rather marry a woman you knew to be faithful, but all the world thought she was a whore - or marry a woman everyone honors as virtuous, though you know she is not true to you?"

For the most part, I can't really engage with stuff like this.

But sometimes ... I do chuckle rather dryly to myself (aridly ... positively sere) and think I live in my own answer to such a riddle.  "Would you rather be without a love more perfect for you than you would ever have dared ask ... ?"


Yeah, that's where I start the dry laugh.  Or be *with* - what?  Meh.  No way.

Erick has enough guilt over the distance between us he's wished in the past he could erase himself from my experience.  Even apart from the hideous usurpation of autonomy that represents to me philosophically - it's flawed remediation at its base.  He wonders whether I could have had a "better" life without him.

He simply can't believe that my life is more joyous that I could have ever prayed, since meeting him.  Yeah, I'm deprived of things it's not as if I don't complain about.  But what I would have been deprived of otherwise ...

No bet in the world, no stake, could ever make me take that wager.  There is no "better" than The Best.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ex Giving

Proof my former husband knows just what to get someone:  he sent me this.  And I think everyone here would like it too.

Total grin-fest.


Oh sigh.  Even with cutting, I'm not actually cutting.


BUT ... the dialogue is coming along.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Layer Poop Cake

Is there synchronicity, irony, or simply poor thematic writing going on - that I am ranting about stifling my voice ... and working on DIALOGUE in my revisions ... ?

I seem to be running into this sort of thing a lot recently.  Le sigh.

In Celebration

Four weeks ago today I was rear-ended, and today I am celebrating by again using my half-day off work to deal with the accident.  Last week it was doctor's visits, week before it was picking up the car (over and over) - this week I'm throwing in a little variety by chasing down medical adjusters and maybe even topping it off with a call to the county where the incident took place, and asking them where the heck the subpoena is for this hearing supposedly set for April 9.  Of course, I have no card for the sheriff who took my information and cited the other driver - just a scrap of paper with his name and the incident number.  So I get to go web surfing to even find a number for the county, then get shuttled around most likely.

I'm also celebrating by having my back hurt like gangbusters.  Most excellent, that.  Blah.

This investment of my time, for a month now, has been FUN.


*Insert snarking, eyebrow-up expression of sarcasm here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Well, THAT Was Loud ...

... and it was my neck.  Yoiks.

The little bitty pops and cracks have been going on since the accident, but this was a full on freeze for a minute, and I basically had to pop my neck like people pop their knuckles because (unlike knuckles) it was sort of stuck for a minute.

So that was fun.

Thank goodness it's time for bed!  Whee!

Put Paid

When I was eighteen years old, my parents took me to the bank and set me up for college including getting me a credit card under my and my dad's name.  I was good about that card during those years, but once I was "out of the house" as it were, though the account didn't really change, I took on responsibility for it.

Back then, the limit on the thing was something like $500.

Back then, too, I made enough money that my eventual spouse and I had conversations such as, "Can we afford toilet paper this week?"

By the time we were married, I think I had already maxed out my paltry limit - and, over the past 19 years, I probably have used that card to pay for something fewer times than I could count on one hand.

Tonight:  I paid off that card, for good and all.

It was the only debt I carried not actually paying for anything - no house, no car, no financing on my windows.  Simply debt.  Over the years, I've come close to paying it off a few times:  but its extensiveness had become something of a benign tumor in my mind.  "At least I'm not in credit debt like 'everyone else' (in my mind)."  Certainly, it's incredibly common in our culture to carry credit debt of five digits, and even six.  Mine stayed in the 4-digit range.  But it stayed there for the better part of a GENERATION.

And it is gone.  100% of the debt on my plate today goes toward equity in my home, toward the improvements upon it.  I own no other credit cards which have ever been used (a Macy's one I filled out the app for, for that stupid discount they give you to do that; one my mom holds, which I would no sooner use than I'd borrow money from my nieces).

I have no credit card debt.  Dang, that's not bad.

Even as shameful as it is, how long it took me to say this.

Acronimical ...

... for when you are JUST that tired of the Acronym Soup of just about any office job.


This has been Diane's Made-Up Word of the Day.  Thank you for tuning in!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've had a surprising emotional confrontation lately, with myself, and X has been helping me to figure some things out.  Basically, something I have thought for sixteen years was a non-issue has cropped up recently, causing me a lot more angst than a non-issue should, and I've been grappling with (a) why it should be making a nuisance of itself so unexpectedly, and (b) how to deal with it at all.  After something like a week and a half of staring at this thing almost like I've been staring helpless at my novel, feeling dumb as to what I am supposed to do, X reminded me of a couple of things the problem is NOT.  He got me bonking my head on a particular piece of brick wall, and lo and behold a few thoughts came out.

There've been a few thoughts of my own, to be sure.  Some of the feminist posting this weekend was born of the mindset all this has put me into, and I have had a couple of random conversations which have me thinking, too, about the nature of openmindedness and personal autonomy.

Personal autonomy appears to be lying, rather quietly coiled, at the bottom of this thing with me lately.

It has been, for some years now, a matter of policy for me to minimize the dramatics of my life.  This grew centrally out of a marriage in which I was utterly immature, completely self-centered, and frankly just mean in a way so obvious even I could see what a nasty piece of work I was becoming.  Perhaps ironically, and almost certainly cruelly, it seemed to me necessary to dissolve the marriage in order to put myself in the position to grow - and I think that has been the right choice for me, but it was still a bit of a presumption upon the life of my ex-spouse.  An act of selfishness, to overcome selfishness.

To some degree, I've been able to compose a story about some level of growth, out of all this, and as far as I am able, I do work to live up to the narrative I like to believe (and tell) about myself.  Certainly, I'm not the flailing wreck I was back then.  Still, like everyone, there's always room for improvement.

One of the major focal points of the past fifteen years or so has been to discount the premium I place upon myself.  It requires a certain amount of honesty, a certain amount of simple self-denial, and I've taken perhaps inordinate secret pride in my ability to put things first, other than myself.

Women are raised, indeed, to do this.  Some internalize a service ethic so extreme they forget they exist at all, and live lives of generated-generosity which it is possible to view as either admirably altruistic, or extreme and martyred.  I maintain a healthy dubiousness regarding motivations for what is often defined as generosity, and am pretty strict in my judgment regarding anything I may do which could be seen as being "giving".  I know my motives, and I know what lies at the core of those things people tell me are so great, that I do.  I am grateful not to be the wench I used to be, but minimize the illusion I'm exceptionally nice, too.

But there's another thing women do, and that is wink at certain things.  We don't make a big deal about being heard, all the time.  Sometimes, we don't make a big deal about being misunderstood.  We're conditioned into competition with each other.  We're trained in passive aggression.  And victimhood is a part of the curriculum, for every little girl in our society, in our culture.

For a certain segment, the mindset of victimhood is strongly adopted - leading to either the martyrdom I was mentioning above, or to a sense of entitlement accompanied by the soundtrack of drama.  For others, the requirement to repel victimhood is so strong THAT becomes a raison d'etre, and we become so *above* those things we consider remotely victim-ish there can be gratitude for deliverance, and even, sometimes, a tendency to become a bit "above" anyone who "allows" herself to be a victim.  Even pity can express this assumed superiority.

And I think there's an extent to which ... this is my problem.

I have been so loath to "claim" victimhood - "there are so many people who have had it so much worse than I" - that I've shut my eyes, I think, to certain injustices in my life.

This isn't new.  All this thinking, of late, about these things has led to a positive assault of memories, dating back to pretty early youth, I know are worse than I "let" them be.

It's not that I feel some sudden need to sing a song of sorrow, and transform myself from the confident semi grownup I have become.  But I want to give voice, now, to those things I never peeped about before.

To every much-older-than-I-was man who told me as a very young girl that I "needed to smile" - as if my emotional state were nothing more than window-dressing to more attractively decorate his life.  This started at age ten or so.

To the older boys at the party at my cousin's house, who knew I was very young, and who knew my cousin was passed out drunk, who beat on her bedroom door for hours, expecting ... satisfaction.  From an utterly terrified little girl.  And an unconscious one.

To that one frat boy.

To all the other frat boys, who once said of me (a sexual innocent at the time), "Oh, dude, you were alone with Diane, and you didn't nail her?"

To the one who took advantage.

Even to the other one who gained advantage, but whose "fault" I swore from the moment it happened, it was not.

To the ones who scream "whore" at any woman who WON'T service them simply because they shouted out a car window.

To the ones shouting "I need some P****" all night long, the night before graduation.  And gave my mother an all-too-explicit understanding of why I had NOT dated the college boys she'd always been a bit disappointed I spurned, in favor of the townie she in fact came to like very much, when I married him.

To the one who ... left notes on my car.

To that guy in commuter traffic between Dayton and Columbus, in 1991, with the porn magazine prominently held high up, on his steering wheel, so people would be sure to be able to see it.

To the guy who slipped something in my drink - and still failed to make time with me.

To the one who approached me IN MY OFFICE (that night a bit over a year ago, when he thought we were alone in the cube farm), gave me a CHERRY STEM, and said, "NO HANDS" - and I did not instantly go get the guy terminated.  Who, I know, has disconcerted other women too, including a building employee I've seen shudder visibly in his presence.

*Sigh*  And, yeah - the (female) manager, who dismissed that behavior.

To the one who came at me in the hallway with, "I have to say something" and I failed to respond, "No.  You really do not."  (And who then thought that apparently my non-married status meant I surely I must be obligated to date him.)


I have always had a facility for adapting, for making the best of situations.  In my professional life, this makes me an asset, but did also lead me into two years with a company which had no use for me, and a job I despised more than I could stand to admit.  In my personal life, certainly there are those who think I 'settle' too easily.

We'll leave that assessment aside (I do still give myself pretty outsized credit for being smarter than my loved ones like to think).

I am not known for my silence.

My ex used to call me a dainty, demure flower as a joke.  The personality on me is as pungent as it comes.  It's fairly bizarre for me to discover the array and breadth of times I have muzzled myself, sometimes perhaps even dangerously.  I've had cognitive dissonance for a week now, coming to terms with this.

I haven't come to terms with this.  (Thank goodness for X, though - at least I have been able to talk it through, to this point, where at least I have some comprehension of it.)

At least I've reached the point where I can at least express some coherent frustration.  It may be whinging to the world.  But it's progress, for me.

From HFO

Another snippet from a post I was putting up at Historical Fiction Online, and decided would look nice in here.


It was EIGHTY today in the midatlantic. Holy smokes - 40 degrees above normal, that. We never got winter this year, and it's creepy.

Because this is the best thing thread, though, I should not use it for kvetching! Okay, so today's best thing is The Best Dog in the History of Ever. And a nice dinner. And my mom, whom I love so much. And the man who reminds me with gut-wrenching acuteness why I admire him even more than I like him. Which is rather a lot, really.

Monday, March 12, 2012


As if Goths Up Trees weren't enough fun, this is going to stay with me for a long time.

Wolves and Wednesdays and stereotypes, oh my.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

TNG Women/DS9 Women

Having completed DS9 not long ago, I've been dipping again into the Picard chronicles, and one of the things I didn't put my finger on at all when these shows were current is leaping out at me pretty brazenly now.

Watching Galaxy's Child yesterday while cleaning house, I had one of those moments where my toleration and love of Trek Nerdlery is challenged.  Geordi LaForge arguably represents an avatar for the major stereotypical member of the Trek audience when his series debuted - the guy who doesn't have any particular alien power or character flambouyancy, who isn't at the forefront of power - the guy who keeps the engines going, and gets to be on the show, but isn't a driving factor beyond that engineering stuff.  And Geordi never gets the girl.

Geordi at one point creates himself a girl, of sorts.  Generating a computer reconstruction of a warp engine designer, Dr. Leah Brahms, he finds the synthetic work partner she's meant to be unpleasant, so has the computer gin up some spicier traits - and ends the show with a truly embarrassing scene in which Dr. Brahms (by now, his close "friend", Leah) spouts some goo about how "every time you touch this engine, you're touching ME, Geordi" and kisses him.

Unpalatable to an actual living woman, but at least still "only" a fantasy.

A year later, though, we get to meet the actual woman used for this little roleplay.  Inevitably, she discovers her avatar, is understandably horrified, actually emits the extremely accurate word "violated" ... and then gets YELLED AT by Geordi - because she wasn't nice to him.

And she apologizes.


The women on TNG were not far removed from the hot-alien-of-the-week Kirk got to mash with, back in the 1960s.  Brahms was chastened for her failure to understand that criminal stalking and the most perverse possible form of identity theft should have been FLATTERING to her (and, indeed, in one timeline of the TNG universe, she actually ends up marrying Geordi).  Crusher - even named in a castrating sort of way - gets to be competent ... and therefore somewhat less than an actual woman.  Lwaxana is the caricature of a woman past thirty daring to find herself relevant.

Oh, and Deanna.

Deanna Troi, the inexplicable presence on the bridge intended to represent softness, femininity, and the pointless revocation of any conformity to the uniform requirements (so she may be portrayed in fantastical hairpieces and the ugly mauve textiles so overwhelmingly adored by the production staff).  A "senior" crew member senior only so that Trek, at that phase of its existence, could prove a supposedly-evolved attitude towards women (even the most glancing familiarity with Trek's history, unfortunately, reveals that its very first episode produced included a far more prominently responsible, intelligent woman, in the form of Number One - ironically, played by Majel Barrett/Rodenberry, by TNG's time firmly demoted to the role of Troi's mother, Lwaxana herself, that bastion of "isn't femininity past forty EMBARRASSING and so FUNNY?").


Deanna gets violated, possessed, raped, compromised - even IMPREGNATED - without her consent so regularly throughout not only the series itself, but even into the movies (and Marina Sirtis babbles so happily about getting to make out with Tom Hardy - a scene which, in the film, unquestionably comprises rape), it boggles the mind.  She is sternly told by her captain to man up and work through, when these things happen to her (if the plot demands it), and neatly stowed away when the plot doesn't.  As ship's *counselor* - she never appears to experience aftereffects of any kind from these myriad assaults (meanwhile, Jean Luc's abduction by The Borg earns him angst points for years to come).  She gets the same treatment Brahms got, when Lieuteant Barclay fantasizes about her on the holodeck (The Federation, for all its wisdom, appears to have zero regulations around either identity theft or replication for "entertainment" (or sexual) purposes), and this is funny.  Barclay only gets into trouble when Commander Riker and LaForge find *themselves* also replicated in these fantasy programs, losing fights to him by programmed command.

TNG, suffice it to say, is not exactly enlightened entertainment, if you're a woman.

DS9, on the other hand, provides us with Jadzia Dax.  A symbiont alien, whose life as an ongoing entity "hosted" within male bodies, female bodies, and through nine lifetimes, Dax has been a father, a mother, a wife, a husband - and even by the time she's finally put into a reluctant, and very young, unsure host for life-and-death reasons, even THIS character (much unbeloved by Trek fans everywhere, poor Ezri) has more power and potency than Deanna, bless her for trying, ever gets.

DS9 gives us Kai Winn, the evil politician and semi-religious head of a worldwide faith - marvelously malevolent, and never once enacting her wicked ways by dint of excessive cleavage or smooching.  Louise Fletcher is a joyously wonderful villain, bless HER for trying - and succeeding.

DS9 gives us Kira Nerys, who gets to indulge a little Evil Feminine Sexuality in the parallel universe - but does so with a lot more gusto and fun than that cliche usually gets - and who in the "real" world is strong, flawed, sometimes floundering, a woman of faith, a woman willing to learn, and a growing power in her own right.


What I am saying is that ... it's obvious to me why I've gravitated to the "dark" series, the one so many Trek fans rejected for its scarier themes, its embrace of an aspect of mankind (alien-kind) less supposedly-enlightened than some of the other offerings of the Trekverse.  Other fans have found me perfectly blasphemous, dismissing Picard as a self-righteous, blundering ninny.  Or for finding so little substance in Deanna Troi's character (seriously, Marina; thank you for at least trying; and sorry they dealt you the abusive hand they did - even if you're not).  But DS9 didn't dismiss me for my failure at softness.

Or for my failure to fill out a bodysuit the way Seven of Nine did (I won't even bother with the obvious, and short, essay on visual sexual cues in Trek).

Hanging In There

I started the Battlestar reboot recently, and there's a lot there to enjoy, but some of the larger themes and major plotlines are pretty demanding to work with.  The major obstacle for me is the rather looming specter of Evil Feminine Sexuality, one of those cliches, especially in science fiction, which is guaranteed to tire me out - and this iteration is certainly exhausting me, all of three episodes in.

Odder, though, is the constant resort to Ultimate Dramatic Tension.  In BG's case, this comes to a painful choice to sacrifice some excessive swath of the ever-dwindling human race - and in BG's case, every single time, that sacrifice has been made.  To do this once produces tension.  To do it now three times already in less than five hours' total airtime for the series - it's sort of like a Rose Ceremony, after a while.  Make the cut we can see you think we're supposed to find devastating.  Get on with the effing plot, please.  Because surely there's some plot beyond how many times WE MUST MAKE THIS PAINFUL SACRIFICE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE.  There's certainly an abundance of writing.  I still hope that is in service of something.

The third thing I'm getting tired of watching them wrestle to the ground is the religiosity of the Cylons.  It's a pretty interesting choice, actually, but of course the making of it is all about the point of how religion is itself necessarily evil.

I get why people feel that way.  I don't argue their right to feel it - any more than I argue anyone's right to believe or do whatever they do, which I don't.  Believe in astrology ... give a crap about Snooki and the Kardashians ... make a living shouting to the world about how awful Snooki and the Kardashians are, thereby further underscoring their pop-cultural "importance" ... be a republican.  Hey, whatever.

It just bores me when suddenly I realize no matter how much I want to let-live, I find I am not allowed to live, myself.  That MY being and my beliefs are not acceptable, EVEN IF I accept others.

I have faith - and, what's more, I have religion.  By whatever paltry example my life may be, I witness to that. I don't proselytize.  I know there's plenty of that in the other direction.  I even understand the tendency toward stridency in atheism.  I just wish that, given a lack of provocation, it were possible for me to RECEIVE in kind - a lack of provocation in kind.

Yeah, life is not balanced in that way.

It's got enough going for it - and I'm curious enough - that the squicks this stuff gives me, I'm willing to work around (even if it appears unlikely the show will let me get *past* them).  But some of the themes here I simply find dispiriting.

Profile Pic

I don't actually like this new photo, but unlike the previous Laughing Diane, at least this one is not two years old. Call it a certain brand of truth in advertising.

Friday, March 9, 2012

When I Really Get Into It ...

... I'm grateful that I have the willpower, when need be, to get back OUT of it.

When I am writing, revising - down in the trenches of my work - it seems to me possible I could write this one book forever.


Today's background to revision work:  "Reclaiming the Blade" - a documentary about the (European) history of the sword.  Apart from some beauty shots from Asian film, and what feels like a respectful gloss of Eastern martial arts, it's a bit west-o-centric and perhaps Hollywood-focused; but it's a nicely researched, engagingly presented, attractively made feature.

Good show, and recommended.


Went to the doc today and came away with no recommendation for physical therapy (fine by me as I was already being a cranky patient about the hassle of having to do that) and a prescription for a muscle relaxant I expect not to fill (as I am a cranky patient and don't feel my inconvenience is enough to make pills thrown at it worthwhile).

If I were more my mother's daughter, I'd fill the Rx and just "have them in the house" - for some future theoretical need I might have for muscle relaxants.  But, to my memory, in my entire 44 years, the only muscle relaxants I have ever taken (if a plural is even appropriate here at all; I'm not big on heavy prescription lifting) have been administered from the "just to have them in the house" supply of my mother's.

I'm little enough my mother's daughter, that I see pretty much zero point in spending money (even money the other driver's insurance company should be reimbursing to me) on something the record shows I simply do not use.  On something, for that matter, I devoutly hope not to have any need of in the first - or the second - place.

At the end of the day:  three weeks to the day after the accident and injury - yep, it still bothers me, and that is irritating.  And it may take as long as another three, or even four, weeks, to be whole again.

In the meantime - a prescription, if I want it.  A free pass on heat therapy (ice, evidently, is no longer on the rec list, which again is fine).  And time.

So it goes.  And off I go.  The plumber is here, and I'm getting good work done on revisions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I love the stats function here, it's almost as poor a tool as Loti Noti.

Today, for instance:  I have had 7 pageviews.

35 of those were on Windows machines, with multiple views also coming from Linux, Firefox, Safari, and Mobile Safari, among others.

FUN WITH MAYUTH.  And Blogger is funnin' with my paltry brainmeats.

I'm going to take my stupid back and my stupid, distracted, and slightly depressed brain to bed early again tonight.


It's hard to believe how much my back still pains me, after two and a half weeks now.

Follow-up, with an open mind to everyone's much-insisted-upon advice to get physical therapy (ugh - time out of the office, and what a hassle), will be Friday.  I'm still bent like a crone, in between periods of feeling pretty normal.

Not a fan of pain.


Comedy Trigger

How is it that sometimes, a funny moment can be so acutely important, it can force you into something almost like dread, because you have to look at something so powerful you suddenly have no idea how to even approach it at all ... ?

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Poor Lead - But Funny!

Search results today:

How to avoid tangentiality

Oh, my friend - were you ever steered poorly here.  This is a *blog* - the very essence and happy home of tangentiality!  And a writer's blog, yet - the worst kind for tangentiality?  Hee.  Poor sap.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Good Sunday Stuff

A good bit of writing and a little bit of manicure maintenance make for a nice Sunday.  Finding I suddenly have more maintenance to do on the laptop is mildly irritating, and it'd be nice to have back muscles I could ignore, but all told I'll take it.

Now for a hand soak as hot as I can take it, and then some nice basil hand lotion.  Mmm.

I Wish I Could Ask My Readers ...

... do we need Merochar?  It still looks like he's important, to my reading.  But I know I have so little perspective.


Definitely Intentional

Okay, the cheese and badness is *clearly* intentional here.  At a police station, Zane complains that a woman forced him to have sex with her, blackmailed him, and tried to kill him - and the officer on duty says, "Was it forcible entry?"  All right, I am loving this.  This is how trash entertainment is supposed to work.

"What makes you think she's not dangerous - because she's beautiful?"  says Desperate, Disheveled Billy Zane.  "That is some real TWISTED reverse discrimination you've got going there."  And his performance is really working perfectly.  Aww, Billy.  Too much fun, boyo.

I still wish that show you had with Clancy Brown (j'adore Clancy Brown!!!!) a couple years ago had survived.  If only for the fabulous hair and baldness (seriously - even as a woman who loves long haired men - so much better than today's wig).  And Clancy Brown, whom I have dearly loved for such a hugely long time now (go, Urbanna, OH!), and Billy Zane, winning ever more points with this let-it-all-hang-out-ness and his wonderful villainy in that show.

To reiterate:  Blue Seduction.  Too much fun, boyo.

Also:  the women look like actual, human, beautiful women.  HUGE points on the casting director.

**Ed. note:  this post marked 80s Bimbastic Glory, because Zane plays a HUGE 80s bimbo indeed**


Okay, getting some work done in another window, I swear - but Billy Zane letting it all hang out (seriously - literally) and playing artist-trying-to-work-through-writers-block is hilariously cute.  Man with a plan.  Geez, I wonder whether that might even have been an ad lib.  Pretty funny.

Five Months - and Three Hours

I was planing to work on the novel today, and then had a White Screen of Death moment (after an initial grinding-noise-in-the-drive moment ... aiieeee).  So ran several scans, defragged in two different ways, and concluded with a forced dismount and deep scan.  Which takes half the afternoon.  I spent it watching the first episode of the new Battlestar.  My first time.  So, good entertainment, but less work.

For now, all recovery appears pretty good, and I've finally got myself set to do some work.


It's been five months since I supposedly started this revision work - but, apart from the sixty-page ditch, I've had no feedback nor direction from my readers, Mr. X has resigned the post since he actually disagreed with that big cut, and I'm sort of on my own.  I had hoped to have something done by January.

It is March.

Sprained backs and life notwithstanding - even I can see, that's a bit much.

Sitting here watching some nice trash entertainment (this time, no accidental treasures uncovered, though Billy Zane's dialog, and his performance, are oddly appealing) and off to the races with some work on the dialog.  In this case, It's more a case of jumping around a bit, rather than taking this in the organized fashion I was able to attack the festa, but for the moment that appeals to me.

So does Zane, of course.  I used to like him because he reminded me of an ex of mine, and a few years ago X told me he's been told on occasion he looks like Billy Zane.  I think Zane's hair tends to miss the mark, and his mouth is far poutier or petulant than X's is, but it's funny - I think he looks like that ex - and the ex and X have a more powerful resemblance, actually, than is precisely comfortable.  (X once saw a pic of ex, and was taken a little aback).

Um, so - light entertainment with a side of romantical familiarity.  Boy, Billy's wig in this is a bit outta hand, though.  Good thing for him he's working the funny guy irony thing.  And the eyebrows and squinky eyes remind me of eyes I like even better.


Okay, to review.  Dialog work today, to the background of Dangerous Feminine Sexuality (TM).  If not artistically inspiring, at least it won't distract me from the actual work at hand.  Heh.  Obviously, I'm distract-able enough.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bad - Excuses

The car is going to be a pain, it seems, so I grab a book tomorrow and go to have them listen to it creak and squeak, and only HOPE I won't end up in yet another rental.  My hope's not good - but it's damned hard stuff to kill, so I've come to a good sort of roommate relationship with it.

The one good possibility, if they keep my car again and fire me home in a rental, is that I will then use the time to get back to the G-d revisions.  My back is bad again today, and though (again) I hope it will not be so tomorrow, it does provide the excuse to keep physical activities - and, possibly, time in any rental car - to a minimum.

For *tonight*, though - I'm afraid the stiffness requires a bit of a lie-down.  Which, blessedly, means first a shutting-down, ablutions, and - ahh - rather a deadline-free night's rest (I took tomorrow off, to manage this car crap).  I could be in bed by 10:30 and stay parked there for nine or ten hours.  Mmmm.  Bliss, right now.