Thursday, October 13, 2011

This article is why

As someone who is pro-life, I've been snottily asked a few times what I think about gay parents adopting children, and I usually surprise the asker by telling them I'm in favor of it (hell, I voted against a 2010 gubernatorial candidate in the primaries just because he wanted to make a law against gay adoption here in NH. Fortunately he lost). I understand that many pro-life folks are religiously motivated, but I'm not really a religiously motivated about much of anything kind of girl. First and foremost, I want there to be fewer unwanted pregnancies to begin with. And then, if people give their babies up instead of abort them, they need homes. I can't see what about someone's sexuality would rule them out as a good parent, so I don't care the genders of the would-be parents. You (generic you) maybe being uncomfortable explaining to your kids why Meg and Jack have two mommies or two daddies is an absurd reason to make it harder for a child to find a home, so... just no.

Really, articles like this one are why I'm a fan of laws that allow gay folks, both as couples or as single parents, adopt. How could you not be in favor of children finding loving homes like this one?

"They call kids like us vicious and carved out of stone but for what we've become, we just feel more alone. Always weigh what I've lost against what I left. Progress report: I am missing you to death" - Fall Out Boy, I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And...

Monday, October 10, 2011

September Music

Beulah - Your Mother Loves You Son
City & Colour - Fragile Bird
Class Actress - Keep You
Damhnait Doyle - Darkness Round The Sun
David Bazan - Wolves At The Door
Daybehavior - It's A Game
Dead Snares - City Sparks
Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
Eric Anders - Looking Forward to Your Fall
Glasser - Mirrorage
Holana - Dolphins
Intruder - Teeth In Your Heart
Jakalope - Pretty Life love love love this video
jj - Let Them
Jon Fratelli - Rhythm Doesn't Make You A Dancer
Kidney Thieves - Before I'm Dead (Acoustic)
Kye Kye - Knowing This the band's name reminds me of my favorite lemur, the Aye Aye. Doesn't everyone have a favorite lemur?
L.P. - Wasted
Love You Moon - Why Pop Stars Sell Silicone
Mason Proper - Point A to Point B
Matt Pond PA - Love To Get Used
Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper
Mona - Listen To Your Love
Mottorama - Far Better (Superpose Remix)
Niki & The Dove - The Fox
Ruby Jean and the Thoughtful Bees - Danse Danse Resolution
Santogold feat. Karen O - Go
Say Hi - Devils if only this band would tell me who to say hi to...
She Wants Chaos - Digital
Soulstice - Color
System Of A Down - Lonely Day
team9 vs. Stereogum - Disturbed Youth
The Barlights - Sometimes
The Grates - Like You Could Have It All
The Grates - Welcome To The Middle
The Gutter Twins - Circle the Fringes I still <3 Greg Dulli
The Loyal Divide - Labrador
The Soldier Thread - Fool
The Streets - Let's Push Things Forward
The Strokes - Machu Picchu
The Subways - It's A Party
The Wealthy West - Love Is Not Enough
The Wombats - Our Perfect Disease
The Wooden Birds - Two Matchsticks
Those Dancing Days - Fuckarias
Toby Mac - Made To Love
Trances Arc - Don't Like Leaving
Trophy Wife - Microlite (Acoustic)
TuĆ³ - Walk With Me
William Fitzsimmons - The Tide Pulls From The Moon

As usual:
Bold = I have other songs by them in my mp3/cd collection
Italic = I'd heard but didn't like other songs by them
Neither = never heard of them before

"I don't want to let you go, but it hurts my hands to hold the rope" - Brand New, Sink

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Flash Fic October

This story came to me almost all at once. I hope it makes sense to readers too! As usual the stories must be no more than 2000 words, and they have a photo and three words to "inspire" the stories, which must be written within sixty hours. (I have, oh, 57 to spare, so I have time to revise if necessary.  

Anyway, the words are "Album", "Bizarre" and "Perspiring" and as usual too any form of the words are acceptable. The photo is apparently of some sort of wishing icon in Europe, and that's what ALL of the stories so far are about, so voting will probably be fiece considering how pointed the photo part of the prompt is.  Ready?

The Judas Tree
"We can't," he said, voice throaty and strangled.

Ignoring his protest, she stroked his thigh, making him groan. Clarissa knew that was too close to the full moon to be trying to seduce Chase this way, but a naughty little part of her wondered. What would it would feel like if his bones began to lengthen and he started to sprout fur, to change while insi-

I snapped the book shut with a sigh. The premise had seemed so promising when I read the summary in the bookstore, and I'd thought it'd be just the thing to lift me out of my sour mood. I mean, how could werewolf themed erotica not yank you out of reality? But then, the werewolf just had to be named Chase.

Of course the book was a failure, Chase was my problem in the first place. God damn Chase.

I'd had a crush on him since the 8th grade, and he finally noticed me in 11th. We went to homecoming together, and it felt like all my dreams were coming true. The feeling didn't last, though, because two weeks later, just days after I'd printed out pictures of Homecoming for my photo album, he was caught with Alison McCreary at Ben Long's party.


If he'd only kissed her I might have forgiven him. But they weren't kissing. Even that literary whore Clarissa would have blushed if she'd seen what I'd walked in on.

Chase tried to apologize later, but I didn't want to hear it. I mean, really, what could you say to excuse yourself from accidentally forgetting you were dating someone and screwing another girl at a party? He was now dating her, of course.

After letting myself stew over it for a week or so, I tried to find distractions from it all. In so many different ways, really. None of them worked, though, because I'd almost get to a happy place and then the memory of seeing Alison under him at the party would surface and blot everything else out. Reading urban fantasy porn as escapism was attempt number 67. Number one had been sending that page of my album through Dad's paper shredder.

Maybe it was because it was Halloween, but after the werewolf story, I knew what I had to do. If I couldn't be happy with Chase, Alison damn well wasn't going to be either. Going back inside, full of the pleasant fire of determination, I gathered up my supplies and jumped on my bike.

I knew exactly where I was headed, and I should have done it a week ago, just like Kenna and Hunter told me to. Back when they made the suggestion I thought I was a bigger person than that, but it turned out that I wasn't above revenge after all. A visit to the Judas tree was the answer to my problem.



From a distance the first thing you noticed about the Judas tree was the stump next to the trunk. Part of the tree, actually. Once the tree had been a set of Siamese twins, but one of the trunks had gotten diseased, so someone had hacked the sick half away to save the rest over a hundred years ago. The stump was no mere humble reminder of a tree's better days, though. It had a sinister look to it now, and the coins sticking out of it resembled nothing so much as the raised scales of some prehistoric beached sea creature. It was only as you walk towards it that you noticed that the scales were in fact metal, coins. Malicious offerings.


There were always thirty coins. From what I had been told, and in fact could see on the tree itself, more than thirty people had availed themselves of the Judas tree's dark breakup magic, but if someone took the time to count the coins, there were always thirty. People said that as time went on some of the coins worked themselves deeper into the stump, which was probably true. But how that meant only thirty were visible at a time, I couldn't tell you.


The stump was an ugly thing, when you came right down to it. The living part of the tree on the other hand, was much more lovely. In bloom it had rich pink flowers, but now in October it was bare. People didn't come to the tree to admire the flowers, though. No, it was the bark that was of interest: it held the name of dozens of lovers. Many of the names were crudely carved, but some of the names had a scrolling ornate look to them, as if they had been placed there with a great deal of care. Some of the pairs of names were surrounded by hearts that were quite ironic.


The irony, of course, was that every pair names on the tree represented a couple who did not stay together, which was the tree's spiteful gift to the lovelorn. In my high school, people like to tease couples and tell them that they would they did something to piss the teaser off. A lot of people acted like the threat was hollow, but deep down, I think most people did truly fear that they might come upon the tree and see their name there.


And it wasn't just students, some of the names had been carved by vindictive ex wives, ex-husbands, ex-somethings, stalkers, and shy adults still too cowardly to ever do more than long for the object of their affections to suddenly become available.

As the legend went, you had to do two things: the first was, with malice in your heart, carve the names of soon to be doomed lovers into the bark. The second was to pound a coin into the stump beside the tree as an offering.

When I slipped the coin out of my pocket, it shone in the autumn light, more silvery than it had looked when I'd scooped it off my dresser. No one told me which order you did things, so I took my hammer out and pounded it into the stump. I could almost swear that another coin sank from view while I worked, but it might have been the sun in my eyes playing tricks.

That done, I picked up the knife my brother had given me before he left for college, and examined the tree. I found a bare spot just barely within reach, and began to carve the C first. By the time I was done I was perspiring, and my back and arms ached from having spent that much time reaching up. Chase and Alison's names were neither the neatest or messiest there, and I left with a bitter lightness in my step, satisfied that I'd done the only thing I could to get revenge.


The next morning seemed like any other, at least until I got to school. The hallways hummed with whispers, and I felt happy when I finally heard someone say "Alison." I looked forward to someone blurting out the details of their break up.

But it wasn't to be.

Instead, as I slid into my seat during first period, I noticed that Mrs. Creek looked like she was barely holding back tears. As soon as the last person sat, she sighed and addressed us. "I'm afraid that there was an accident last night. Chase Holt and Alison McCreary were in a car wreck-"

She didn't get any farther than that before someone else who hadn't known about the accident already asked her if they were okay. She shook her head slowly. "They think Chase will be okay, just a few broken bones, but Alison is in Intensive Care. Things...they don't look good."

I sat in class, and wondered if how terrible a person I was showed on my skin. It was all my fault, all because I'd decided that they needed to break up too. Had I been too full of malice when I carved the names? Was the coin supposed to have come afterwards and I'd somehow bizarrely intensified the spell by doing things in the wrong order? That hardly seemed possible. I couldn't be the only one to give the coin first, and no one had ever been hurt, physically anyway, before.

By the end of the day my guilt was threatening to swallow me whole: after lunch Alison's brother had been pulled out of class to go to the hospital "just in case."

We all knew in case of what.


I felt more than half-crazy with remorse by the time I got home. But I had a plan. I was going to fix everything. My parents didn't even know I'd gotten home before I'd darted into the basement for my bag, and left again.

The tree seemed to glower at me in the distance as I pedaled up to it. Had anyone else ever come to take back their misdeed? I thought not, but I had to try. Chase and Alison didn't deserve what I'd done. No one deserved that.

"I'm, um, I've changed my mind," I muttered, not really feeling strange to be talking to a tree.

If it had been a fairytale, the stump would have immediately spit out the coin, and the broken bark smoothed over. But it wasn't, so nothing happened.

"I'm calling it off, okay?" I asked, looking down at the stump. I thought I saw my coin, and tried to pull it out. It didn't budge.

This wasn't supposed to be happening. I poked at the coin with the tip of the knife, and barely felt it as the sharp edges of another one bit into my skin.

"I'm sorry!" I wailed, tears streaming down my face. "I didn't mean it!"

Looking at the tree, leaning over the remains of its twin, I think I finally understood what made people so sure that its curse would work: it was forever separated from its other half, and looked so unhappy. Why wouldn't it inflict that on others?

I shook my head, strangely convinced that the tree was merely trying to distract me from my task. Determined anew, my fingers scrabble against the stump, and I couldn't pry the coin back out. If it was even the right coin. The coin wasn't going to come out, I was pretty sure of it. So I turned to the tree's trunk instead.

Frenzied, I attacked the bark where I’d so happily carved the day before, using my knife to score over Chase and Alison's names again and again. Eventually the knife slipped and gashed my thumb under where that other coin had already cut it. I ignored the pain until the slipperiness of my blood made it too hard to hold the knife any longer. The bark was a smeared mess of lines and a red wetness I didn't want to think about. Maybe it was a good thing, though, a blood offering to show I was serious instead of a mere quarter.

When the knife fell from my aching fingers, I was startled to see that the cuts on my thumb and palm looked almost the same as the C I'd carved the day before. That had to mean something.

By the time I got home, my sweater was red to the elbow, and my mother screamed. I didn't whimper or cry out once on the way to the e.r., though, because I was gone on a feeling of serenity. I'd erased my mistake, and everything would be okay.


Three Days Later

It took seventeen stitches to close my wound, and all I could think about was how white the bandage looked on my hand as I stood in the cemetery during Alison's funeral. It should have been dirty, dirty to match the new darkness in my heavy heart.

The End

"Got my hands full, so full of trouble. There's something evil when it's double" - Starflyer59, Something Evil

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall TV Pilot Report Card

Note: this post will be updated as more shows premiere.

I guess that alphabetical order makes as much sense as any...

American Horror Story: B
This is one of the three shows I was most looking forward to, despite not being much of a Dylan McDermott fan. The pilot had some interesting moments, but so far it also is a bit disjointed. Hopefully the next few weeks will knock out some of the rough edges.

Hart of Dixie: B
You know what the CW has been missing? A replacement for Everwood. This show might just be it. It's kind of cute, and it's always nice to see another The O.C. alum on TV.

Pam Am: incomplete
I bailed after fifteen minutes. I'd heard that this was one of the shows this fall hoping to cash in on the popularity of Mad Men, but you know, I'm not a fan of Mad Men either. January Jones is one of those women, along with ones like Eva Green and Anna Silk, that I find beautiful in a wistful "why can't I look like that?" way, but that's not enough. As for Pam Am, like with Mad Men, maybe I'm just too young to find it very relatable, considering I didn't live though any part of the 60s myself.

Person of Interest: D
If someone had told me that it was going to appeal to the same sort of people who like the Jason Borne movies, I could have been spared the hour I wasted on this one. How can something with action in it be so boring?

Revenge: A
I'll be honest. I will watch anything with Emily VanCamp and/or Nick Wechsler in it. Anything. So, it's happy fortune that not only are they both in this show together, it's a pretty entertaining show to boot. We probably all have revenge fantasies, and it's interesting to see how one might play out if you had both the resources and the ruthlessness required to pull it off.

Ringer: C- I watched the first two episodes, and stopped caring after that. Sure, I own every season of BTVS on DVD, but I was always a Spike fan at heart more than a Buffy one. If this show is really supposed to be noir, it's a pretty clumsy one. I'd much rather watch Brick several more times than try to invest myself in Ringer.

The Secret Circle: B-
I'm still trying to decide how much I like this show. I'll stick with it for now, but I can see myself eventually growing to love or loathe it with equal odds.

Terra Nova: B
It's not as fun as Jurassic Park or Primeval, but I do like dinosaurs, so I'll probably continue to watch until it's prematurely canceled. For a show based millions of years in the past, though, they've been very sparing when it comes to showing us the dinos. And I find it slightly disconcerting to hear a man being called by his last name, which happens to be my first name, so I'm thinking that the whole unisex thing didn't work out as well as 70s-era parents who gave their boys my name hoped...

So there you have it, for now. Once Upon a Time and Grimm, the other two shows I've most looked forward to, don't begin until the end of the month, so check back later. FTR, Grimm is the most anticipated - I've been suggesting a supernatural-themed version of Law and Order for years, and TV won't get any closer to that than this.

"Feel me, completer, down to my core. Open my heart and let it bleed onto yours. Feeding on fever down all fours. show you what all that howl is for." - TV on the Radio, Wolf Like Me

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So far a good week

This week has been pretty good so far. Vynce got married (see last post) on Sunday, and from there:

Sarah Palin has announced that she will not be running for president. Happy days! I'd like for there to be a strong female candidate for president as much as any other not particularly feminist female voter would, but Palin and Bachmann are not candidates I can get behind. They're exuberant, I'll hand them that, but neither comes off as particularly bright. Why must the only potential female candidates spring from the cheerleader contingency of the Republican party? I'd so much rather someone like Rice run. Hell, I'd sooner vote for senator Snowe, even, despite her overly liberal voting record. Anyway, the thought of Palin running made a little part of my soul curl up and die because I could not vote in an election between her and Obama. I just couldn't be part of deciding between the frying pan and the fire, and it'd be the first presidential election I'd sit out since being old enough to vote. Now I don't have to worry about that any more!

And on Saturday, after being awake for 23 hours, I decided to write a cover letter and apply for a part time job that I was interested in. I don't know the hours, but it does pay nearly twice as much as my real job, so it wouldn't need to be many to be good. hyped up on caffeine and lack of sleep (I get more hyper the less I sleep. Thanks, ADHD!) I decided to try some of the "power words and phrases" in the two books I've read this summer about writing resumes and cover letters. Reading it over after I woke up, I couldn't decide if what I'd written was completely obnoxious, or brilliant. Since I was contacted today for an interview next Wednesday, I guess brilliant has it. Wish me luck!

What could make this week even better?
* my favorite TV show getting a 2 or 3 season renewal
* having the publisher's clearing house prize patrol show up
* meeting a tall, dark and available guy (and age-appropriate!) with a high tolerance for sarcasm and a propensity for redheads
* finally finding the missing pieces to novel #1 so the first draft can be completed before Christmas

Hey, you never know....

"Did you want all that you bought? It feels good to destroy. Push it down, let it up. Still empty, it's not enough. Like you could have it all if you had 24..." - The Grates, Like You Could Have It All

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Wedding

After being engaged for more than two years, and changing the date a few times, Vynce and Megan got married today. I'd post pictures of them so you could see the happy couple, but I haven't asked if it's okay, and I don't post people-pictures without permission.

The ceremony was very small, and very sweet. I'm happy for them both. A bit envious too, maybe, but still very happy for them. Megan has been a very positive influence on my brother's life, and I'm glad that he found her because he was kind of wild before he did. Here's to many more great years together.

I'm less happy that my folks have suddenly noticed I'm single, though! God, I don't know how my mother ended up with my father, because her taste in what she thinks would make a good guy for me leaves a lot to be desired. I don't want to be her next project, truly. ::fingers crossed::

"Me and you, And you and me. No matter how they tossed the dice it had to be. The only one for me is you And you for me. So happy together." - The Turtles, So Happy Together <--the wedding DJ didn't know this song when I requested it. Can you believe that?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fair Day

Yesterday was that time again: the Deerfield Fair. We go every year, and it's mostly the same year to year, but why not? How often do you get to pet sheep or look at piglets? It's probably bad to enjoy looking at the cute animals and be an unrepentant meat eater, but I never claimed it was logical to think that they're sweet but not feel bothered about the thought of eating them.

This year they had a Portuguese food stand, which disappointed me a little because they didn't offer Portuguese fried dough. I amused myself by getting my friend to try to pronounce chourico, and she was stymied since it is pronounced nothing like it's spelled ("shu-REES"). I hate to admit it, but it's one of the few words in Portuguese I actually know. You'd think that considering that my great-grandfather, who was from the Azores, lived until I was 11, and my great-grandmother, from Bermuda, lived until just before I turned 19, that I'd know some more. But no, their families were very much "now that we've come to the US we speak English only" so not even my grandfather spoke it. So, all I know is "bless me", "so-so" and slang terms for feces and bugs.

In all, it was a pretty decent day at the fair. It would have been better if I hadn't fallen to the communists the day before and been sore and having to deal with it all, (in deference to male readers I'll just say that 7 hours of walking can do unpleasant things to a menstruating woman, and leave it at that) but what can you do? Mother nature's kind of a bitch, and at least it should ease off considerably before Vynce's wedding tomorrow.

"Promises you never gave, but your eyes have told me so much more." - Intruder, Teeth In Your Heart