adiva_calandia: (iBook)
 I have really enjoyed Doctor Sleep -- I like Dan Torrance a lot, and I like Abra Stone, although I think Sai King has a somewhat shaky grasp on the voice of 21st century teenage girls -- but I also have the hugest cognitive dissonance around the ode to AA. Like, it's clearly deeply personal to King and I really like that, in the same way I like a lot of King's obviously autobiographical stuff. The sections on writing in Misery come to mind.

But also AA as an organization is so freaking weird and religious and dubiously effective and treats illness like a lack of willpower that I'm like "???" There's a line near the end of the book where one of the AA members says "For every seven alcoholics who walk through our doors, six walk back out again and get drunk. The seventh is the miracle we all live for." I don't like them odds, man!

I have mentioned on Tumblr before that I find AA-style narratives really compelling in media, particularly TV -- e.g. Sherlock on Elementary, Reid on Criminal Minds, Leo on The West Wing -- because one, it has such a classic arc of descending to the underworld, overcoming battles, returning to the light, and two, because it offers an ongoing and interesting source of internal conflict for the character. (Today I have also been thinking about rape being used a plot device or backstory for female characters, because of Maureen Ryan's piece on that topic, so I'm also pondering how addiction functions in a similar way.) But does presenting that narrative over and over do harm to addicts who aren't helped by AA? Are there any good stories out there about alcoholics who get therapy or medication and recover that way?

I dunno. Anyway. I should probably move off King and back to Octavia Butler, but I like him so much! And I gotta reread The Wasteland before the movie comes out, obviously.
adiva_calandia: (At Tara)
So hey. It's been a week, hasn't it.

Obviously this is some emotional vomit about the election. )

Here's something that's maybe a little more fun, though. [personal profile] ladysingsthe  suggested, and I jumped on board, that we run an Inktober/30-30 style art challenge in the 30 days leading up to Trump's inauguration. We're calling it Art Trumps Hate (#arttrumps3030), and the goal is twofold: to start channeling our feelings into creation (the opposite of war, as Jonathan Larsen said), and to troll that fascist motherfucker. I'll post about more details as we develop them.

Anyway. I love you. I am not going anywhere anytime soon (even if I do continue to stay off Facebook).
adiva_calandia: (Drink of CHAMPIONS)
Couple of vivid dreams this morning, one involving going back to college and seeing a bunch of my classmates. (Kyle R was in there, Ben F was in there, Arya was in there, I think Kaleigh might've been in there.)

More interesting was the hypnopompic dream where a female figure was standing behind the head of my bed, reaching down to touch me on the chest. I woke up enough to jerk my arm through where her arm ought to be, and was aware I couldn't touch her, so I asked (thought?) "Are you a ghost?" Then I fell back to sleep enough for the dream to move to a stairwell, where the female figure was sitting with a black fox. The fox moved away from her and it turned out its body was made of/like those expandable tissue paper decorations -- like the tissue paper Chinese dragons? -- so when it moved its head and front legs expanded away from its hindquarters and did this sinuous thing. Very Miyazaki. Then the fox appeared right next to me and put its chin on my shoulder, and the female figure said, "Yes, the Ghost of Christmas Past," and then I woke up for good.

I have joked in the past about this apartment being haunted, buuuuut.
adiva_calandia: (All will be well)
Whoo, I did it! I wrote a coming-out letter to my parents, and they called me last night to tell me they got it and discuss logistics. Highlights:
  • Because I handwrote the letter and my b's sometimes look like 6s and sometimes look like Gs, they misread it as "This probably won't surprise you, but I'm GI" -- which they parsed as "Gender Indeterminate." My mom said that processing that took about thirty seconds and her reaction was basically, "Oh, that makes sense." (Which ... it probably does, but I am not ready to have a discussion about gender identity with my parents, and anyway I think of myself as more of a cis woman than anything so identifying as non-binary is not what I want to do right now.) "No no," I said, mildly panicked, "BI, with a B." "Oh. Well, that makes sense too."

  • Their main question was "How do you want us to deal with telling the rest of the family?", which was something I hadn't even considered. I told them that I plan on making a Facebook post, which means a decent fraction of my extended family will get the message, but we agreed that the chances of it even coming up were pretty slim. Since the most likely question they'll get asked is "Is [Adiva] dating anyone?" and the answer continues to be "Nope, she's happily single," the gender of my non-existent significant other never even needs to enter into it. I told them that if someone did ask "Is [Adiva] queer?" or something along those lines -- which is not outside the realm of possibility given the kind of stories I write and the way I present to the world, in my Doc Martens and flannel -- they were free to say "Yes."

  • And then we got sidetracked into a discussion about the word "queer" which I will probably need to revisit with them because I didn't get to my real point about "It is the umbrella term that I and many people I know prefer, but you'll want to be careful, as straight people, using it that way," because we got sidetracked from the sidetrack by talking about one of my college friends who has gotten really TERF-y and I had to explain what "trans-exclusionary radical feminist" means.

    • Which also got into a discussion about how I've known an awful lot of trans men but don't personally know any trans women who have identified themselves as trans to me, and I gotta keep working with them on understanding that our old neighbor's kid identifies as non-binary, not male, and the neutral "they" is your safest bet when talking about someone whose gender is unclear to you. But they're working on it. I'm proud of them.

  • Mom: The only other person I can think of who might have a problem with it is your grandmother, and she's not around.
    Dad: Yeah, I'm not expecting to hear from her.
    Me: Right. And anyway, maybe now she feels vindicated. "I told you if you went into the arts!" Well, look at me now!

  • "Was there an irony in the fact that you wrote the letter in pencil? So it could be easily erased?" "Uh, no, well sort of, since I did do two drafts of it, so I wrote it in pencil ..."
I guess it's very me that I'm trying to choreograph all of this to maximize both the intended emotional impact and the entertainment value; I gave myself a deadline to come out to my parents so that I could come out on Facebook before the Democratic convention, specifically so I can have the punchline "In other news that shouldn't shock you, Bernie Sanders hasn't conceded."

There's a ton that I want to write about -- the political reasons I came out now, in the aftermath of Orlando; the personal anxiety I felt for years about writing stories about women who love women and whether that would out me; watching Sense8 and feeling like the Wachowskis were standing behind me and pushing me gently but firmly towards the closet door; how very strange it felt last night to say to my friends, as we left the bar, "I have to call my parents because I just came out to them as bi," which in turn was my way of coming out to those friends.

Not to mention silly but no less real issues that I'm still grappling with like how do I signal my availability to both genders at the same time?? If I perform queerness really hard with my rainbow accessories and comments about attractive women, won't straight guys assume I'm off the market for them? But if I don't perform my queerness by wearing more traditionally femme signifiers and talking about attractive dudes, how will cute girls know they can flirt with me? And should I cosplay hipster Steve Rogers at ECCC next year and make a denim vest plastered with bi pride flags?

Important questions, y'all.
adiva_calandia: (Default)
happiness at the fortunes of others

Happy Thanksgiving and happy Thursday.

I am going to make another pot of coffee and do some writing.
adiva_calandia: (I am a MODEL of MENTAL HEALTH)
Oof, you'd think that with having the show done and not being sick anymore and not being on my period, I'd be really relaxed! Instead, my anxiety's been flaring up and my mood's been see-sawing like anything.

If I've been a dick or a flake to you recently, I apologize; I'm probably aware of it and I'll try to make it up to you.
adiva_calandia: (Drink of CHAMPIONS)
Oh lord, hi! I'm alive. I have a bunch of shit I should be doing but I also have THIS WHOLE WEEKEND OFF so I'm kind of inclined to just not do anything. I finished BioShock Infinite, I'm watching National Treasure, I'm looking forward to the Hannibal finale tonight. The apartment dog is staring hopefully at me to let her up on the couch, but she's being nutty so she has to stay on the floor.

Life is pretty good; I had a shitty day on Wednesday, but the rest of the week has been good. I haven't been on my reading list in ages, though -- I've been spending most of my time on Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook, or on [community profile] fail_fandomanon .

What's up, guys? How's life? Have I missed anything especially awesome, online or off?
adiva_calandia: (Default)
This summer I keep meeting people who are incredibly self-assured (and younger than me) and are kind of dicks as a result. I have to go run errands before work so I don't have time to unpack this to my satisfaction, but there are these people who fall somewhere on the spectrum of thinking they're all that and a bag of chips, and they're actually all that but not the chips, or in some cases they're just that. You know?

In every case I suspect that their loud self-assurance is covering insecurity -- in one case I have it confirmed, in another I'm not sure -- so I try to remind myself to be sympathetic. I'm insecure too! But my insecurity usually manifests as self-deprecation and people-pleasing. That's not necessarily good, but I do think it's better than insult comedy.

(I also keep meeting people who are like "Firefly is the best show ever" and I'm like "okay we can be friends because you are somewhat conversant with SFF pop culture but I need to watch what I say around you." Which is really to say, I miss the days when I also though FF was the best show ever and had less awareness of its flaws.)
adiva_calandia: (At Tara)
Walking to rehearsal on Saturday I was trying to brainstorm stuff I would want to write if I have the chance this summer by thinking of tropes I like, topics I'm enthusiastic about. Like, if I were going to put all the things I'm fascinated by and that I enjoy writing and thinking about into a blender, what would they be? So my free-associating list was something like:

-Stage magic/sleight of hand
-Characters dealing with major physical scars
-Characters dealing with sensory differences -- deafness, blindness
-The ocean
-Characters with an iron-hard sense of right, wrong, and duty
-Women who like women
-Characters keeping a lid on intense anger
-Classical pantheons (Ancient Greek, Hindu, Norse)
-Scared-but-ambitious young woman + charismatic-and-dangerous older man

. . . So Hannibal. Given the opportunity I would like to write Hannibal, but with more lesbians and a little extra iconography.
adiva_calandia: (Default)
Oh wow, everyone told me that House of Cards was about Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright being the Macbeths -- which is true -- but nobody told me the first episode also had a scene where an extremely ambitious young woman faces down Kevin Spacey at his coldest and highest status and barely blinks.

Helloooooo my narrative kryptonite. Please tell me Kate Mara and Kevin Spacey have many more such scenes. Even better, tell me Kate Mara and Robin Wright have such scenes.
adiva_calandia: (Default)
REPRIEVE. The deadline for the thing I'm applying for has been moved to Friday, which means I have a little extra time to update my resume and finish my ghjkfdsing cover letter. After I finish my actor packet for Little Bee.

Which means, of course, I immediately have all the focus and energy in the world for the application, and none left for the actor packet. Ah, me.

(Mostly I just keep rereading the writing sample I'm submitting and being happiterrified? It's really good writing! I'm really really really proud of it! It's maybe not as polished as it could be, but dammit, it's good, and I want them to like it.)
adiva_calandia: (I am a MODEL of MENTAL HEALTH)
As Agents of SHIELD improves throughout the first season, watching the show increasingly becomes like having a kink meme in my head.

Look, I ship everyone with everyone, it's just what I do! And May wanders around in black leather, and Fitz says things like "I'm the gadget guy. Sometimes I like to do things with my bare hands," and can you blame me if my interests are prurient?

ETA: FINE, SHOW, go ahead and have the whole team pulling together as a found family and make me clutch at my chest, YOU GOT ME, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW. I CARE ABOUT THE BLAND STOCK CHARACTERS.

adiva_calandia: (Piano playing)
 I know I do this literally every time PigPen does something, but they continue to be awesome, so here's some more stanning:

They just released their first single from their sophomore LP, "Weathervane." And you know how there's that kind of song that builds up to a driving, upbeat bridge or coda that's heavy on bass drum and has tons of voices/instruments? Like "All These Things That I've Done"? (I know there are more, but I'm not thinking of them right now -- "Tables and Chairs"? Oh, and "Down In the Valley" by The Head and the Heart!) It's that kind of song.

You can listen to it here! And you should. They're still very in their folk-rock-indie vein, but I think they're leaning a little more into the rock modifier. The lyrics are still delightfully poetic and slightly incomprehensible, and Ryan Melia's voice and the group's harmonies still hit me right where I live.
adiva_calandia: (I am a MODEL of MENTAL HEALTH)

I'll be over here lying on the floor screeching.
adiva_calandia: (iBook)
All righty, well, that's two new SFF books I've read in the last few months (Zoo City and now The Throne of the Crescent Moon) that emphatically did not end how I expected them to!

What should I read next? My effort for this year is to read more stuff that's not by white men. (I have a physical copy of Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler, that I should probably read, but I kind of want something fluffier than Butler at the moment.)

That said, I will also happily take recs for stuff by white men that has awesome worldbuilding, female protagonists, or both.
adiva_calandia: (Default)
That moment when you suddenly remember that you left a nice dress to air
dry in the shared laundry room weeks ago and then forgot about it--

Yep, it's gone. Unless my pre-coffee brain is misremembering and it's in my
closet or my floordrobe somewhere, but I don't think so. I really loved
that dress, too. :(
adiva_calandia: (Are you -- Nobody -- Too?)
Whoa, I was farther behind on my reading list than I thought!

Hi! I'm still in London. The cold I had thought I'd staved off before leaving is trying to creep back in; I spent last night in that peculiar half-asleep-but-not-restful state I find myself in when I'm feverish, and I felt pretty punk all day today. And yet, we still managed to go to Whitehall, book a backstage tour at the National Theatre for tomorrow, and go on a river cruise to Greenwich where I straddled the prime meridian. I have been such a tourist this whole trip, with my map in hand and selfies in front of every landmark, and I don't even care. (Okay, I care a little.)

Biggest most exciting thing of the week thus far, though, was seeing The Comedy of Errors at the Globe. (This has been very much a Shakespeare/theatre trip, with the day in Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Globe and Whitehall today and hopefully Henry IV next week.)

I insisted I wanted to be a groundling -- why come to the Globe and pass up a chance to see a play from that close up? -- and in the hopes of improving my view I wore my high-heeled boots and queued an hour before the show. Which was, of course, still too late to get a spot right at the edge of the stage, but I was just behind the group of French students who were right at the edge of the stage. I was well within the splash zone (which was literal: one sequence involved Antipholus chasing Dromio around the stage with a fish, pulled from a bucket of water, and the Dromios in particular were pretty spitty). The heels may or may not have been a good idea; I think they did improve my view slightly, but oh god did my feet hurt by the end.

The production was fantastic. CoE isn't my favorite comedy, although I've always admired how skillfully the plot is put together -- you know, it's kind of contrived, it lacks the romance of a Much Ado, and it doesn't have the poetry of Midsummer or Twelfth Night. (This production did a nice job of highlighting some of Dromio's more democratic speeches, though, which I think are some of the most interesting parts of the play.)

But oh, man, did this production make up for the poetry with comedy. They played up the slapstick with enormous energy and skill, including the most perfect brick joke I have ever seen or hope to see onstage.* And seeing it from the ground was definitely worth the aching feet. It really was almost like being in the play -- it was much more active and intimate than sitting in a seat, even a close seat. You have to be a little more actively involved when you're standing; you can't be relaxed.

I'd be really interested to see what it's like being a groundling for a tragedy -- Julius Caesar is also running -- but I probably won't get a chance this trip. But it's okay. After a week here, I'm starting to think things like "You know, I could live here, maybe." I could see that.

Although it'd be nice if the exchange rate came down a little.

*A long-winded description of the brick joke, for those who won't get to go see the play and for my own memoirs. )

ETA: Also I owe some of you RP related emails! You are not forgotten, I promise!
adiva_calandia: (Piano playing)

My favorite PigPen song is the weather on this week's Night Vale! So if you have not checked them out before this, now you can get a sample of them for free!

I have thought for ... well, over a year that these guys should submit to the weather. I'm so chuffed that it's happened.
adiva_calandia: (Default)
Safely arrived in AK!

My cat has gotten fat(ter) and remained skittish. Bless.
adiva_calandia: (Default)
Someone is WRONG on the INTERNET and being a JERK about it.

Look, whatever you're evangelizing for, if you start from the premise that
people who disagree with you are idiots, you're gonna have a bad time.

I'm preventing myself from arguing further by trying to figure out what I
can do that's creative now that I've been tagged in the ice bucket
challenge. Suggestions from the floor?


adiva_calandia: (Default)

December 2016

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