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Writer's Block: Dynamite with a laserbeam

Is there a specific song or band that makes you yearn for the past?

So, in prep for taking on another NANOWRIMO project this year, I'm going to try to do some blogging excersizes so I can assure myself that yes, I can stick to a daily word-count deadline. 50,000 words in one month is damned tight. Today's writer's block idea and the fact that I have 16 days until NANO begins seemed like a good idea. Let's shoot for 1,000 words -- no, better yet, let's shoot for 1,000 well-chosen, interesting words.

There are a lot of bands that make me yearn for the past. I listened to country music pretty much exclusively until I hit middle school, and got made fun of a LOT for my musical choices. The only time I really felt like it was an acceptable preference was when I was visiting relatives in Nebraska. I grew up Denver, and while there's no dearth of country music fans there, it wasn't as pervasive as in the rural Midwest. My cousins liked alternative rock as well as country, and my godparents listened to country nearly exclusively. Whenever I hear "American Girl" by Trisha Yearwood, I remember being ten years old and spontaneously dancing to it with two of my cousins when I was about ten years old or so. Mom's best friend was sort of the events coordinator for the Lincoln County Fair and Mom always took a week off in August to be Julie's go-fer during Fair time. We always got concert tickets and I remember going to see some really good acts at the Fair, like Chris Ledoux , Little Texas and Jeff Foxworthy just before he got that god-awful sitcom. The bleachers were always hard and no matter how warm the day was, my pre-pubescent body would always get cold at night, so Mom always packed an extra blanket. I wouldn't say it was a more innocent time, but it was a time without much drama or worry for me. Country music's changed, the town and the Fair have changed, and my cousins have all grown up and started families of their own. But I hear the steel guitar intro to a Garth Brooks song or the aching chorus of Little Texas's "What Might Have Been," and I'm a nine year old moppet in cut-off jeans shorts and a second hand teeshirt, tagging after Mom and Julie at the Fairgrounds or playing with my cousins. There isn't a single band or song that evokes these memories, but most country music from the late 80s to mid-90s will do it.

Another band that makes me nostalgiac is the Smashing Pumpkins. I won't say that they were the first rock band I got into, but they were my favorite group in middle school and high school. I got started on them with singles from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on the radio and bought the album in 1997, my freshman year. This was the album that actually turned listening to music from a merely enjoyable activity to a safe haven and a quasi-obsession. The juxtoposition of rage and desolation and hopeless love on Mellon Collie pretty much summed up my entire freshman year. I was in love with the melodies, the lilting guitar solos and strong bass lines -- I tumbled head over heels with rock music as an art form with this album. I won't say that these were songs that had a lot of happy memories attached to them, but these were songs that always soothed me during some very trying times. Songs like "Muzzle", "To Forgive", "Zero", "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" and "Here is No Why" remain some of my favorite tracks to this day. Billie Corgan also taught me a lot about bending a phrase to evoke an image or mood, which actually gave way to some really good writing (as well as some verifiably shitty drek, but all writers produce that at some point.) My love for Smashing Pumpkins followed me well into the rest of high school, even though I despised Adore and was somewhat ambivilent about Machina. I'm not suddenly transported to high school when I hear anything from Mellon Collie, but I really wish I had that kind of naive ear that isn't always analyzing everything I hear, like I listened to music in high school. When music was all about raw emotions and poetry.

The third band that makes me really nastalgiac is the Lawrence Arms. I don't know if nostalgia is the correct word here, since they still remain one of my top five favorite bands that I listen to consistantly. I discovered this Chicago punk trio shortly after graduating high school, when Apathy and Exhaustion had just hit the shelves. I was intrigued by Fat Wreck Chord's new act and promptly downloaded "Navigating the Windward Passage." Ironically, this was one of the first bands that I started listening to so I could analyze and critique them. I found very little that I actually disliked, since the first two albums from Fat Wreck Chords had a distinct style that was a little bi-polar, given that the band was had two singers/wrongwriters with very unique ways of approaching the art of songwriting. What makes Lawrence Arms a nostalgia-inducing band is that I was in college when I discovered them, and they were as much as "transition" band for me as the college years are a "transition" period for most young adults. You are labeled an adult, now, but you still have absolutely no idea what you're doing and you're pretty sure you're going to disapoint everyone. Cynicism starts creeping in, but you're still hopeful that you can make some kind of difference. You've got a pretty good idea of what kinds of things are and are not acceptable to you, and you're a little loudmothed about expressing your opinions. Since those themes crop up over and over in the first two Larry Arms albums off Fat Wreck Chords, that's what reminds me of college. And I loved college. Listening to Apathy and Exhaustion and The Greatest Story Ever Told reminds me, just a little bit, of how great that time period was for me.

Now I want my readers to be very proud of me. Not once did I mention Tori Amos in this post. I've been listening to her for years, and there are many, many songs I could write about using nostalgia as a framing device. It would become an entire series of blog posts. And I don't think many people other than avid Toriphiles are willing to put up with me rambling for several weeks about her, so be very proud I resisted the urge! 

Oct. 17th, 2010

Ok, so late one night a couple of weeks ago I went outside with a glass of Maker's Mark to have a cigarette. It was early October and we'd been having definately un-autumnal weather, warm and with green leaves on the trees and the quality of light during the day had been definately been more like summer sunshine than autumn sunshine. Don't give me that funny look, there is so a difference between sunshine in the seasons. Probably something to do with earth's yearly rotation and seasonal angling of the axis and whatnot. But we were starting on the first true cold snap of the season that didn't involve a lot of rain, and the breeze had picked up and it was definately chilly. A hint of almost-but-not-quite-frost, a sharp smell that bespoke of falling leaves in a week's time, and maybe a hint of woodsmoke from a neighbor's fireplace. Mix that with the bourbon buzz and the cigarette smoke and Tori Amo's Suede on my iPod.  And I got a series of images...

Dark haired girl with a short, raggedy-ended pageboy on a roof, smoking a cigarette and looking out over a city. Flashes of same chick with gun later. Same chick with glowy hands, probably doing magic. Same chick smoking a cigarette in a big leather chair talking to a shadowy figure. Just as Tori hits "You'll forgive me one day" I had a vision of her crying and pleading with another chick -- maybe in the rain, maybe not.

And that was it. But the images, and the mood that the song and the bourbon and the weather had put me in were overwhelming. I was really drawn to the chorus of Tori singing "Call me Evil, call me tide is on your side, anything that you want" and how it fit the dark-haired girl. She wasn't a good person. She probably had a very dark outlook on life and did really illegal things for a living without remorse and about the only thing she regretted was doing something bad to her sister. I knew, instantly, that she used magic but liked guns and torture. And that's as far as I got ... that night.

I got a couple of flashes of backstory throughout the next couple of weeks. And then I read a little snippet online about magic being a form of insanity and it fit with The Chick -- not that it would play out the same as the snippet I read. This is what I got so far on her:

--She has a sister (the chick she was arguing with) whom she loves.

--She has regrets about something that happened when they were little and the sister visits The Chick at some point. Obviously there is a confrontation.

--She has a day job, something very low responsibility. I was tempted to put her in a cafe as a barrista or work retail, but it doesn't fit with her. She's also not an office person, but she needs a flexible schedule.

--Magic working is a form of a mental disorder, possibly inherited, about half the rate of schizophrenia (so approximately .05% of the population) that possibly also inhibits the ability to relate well to others. High functioning magic-users are sort of anti-social (to what degree and how they manifest this anti-socialness is dependant largely on the individual) and things like "impulse control" and "emotional stability" tend to escape them. The limbic system and prefrontal cortex are a little off with them, but no one has quite determined why because technology hasn't advanced enough that scientists can slice open a magic-users brain without a whole lotta people going up in arms about ethics and human decency, and brain scans can show that the activity is abnormal, but can't determine exactly why. Those that were low-functioning ones tended to act like a lot like those with acute schizoprenia or autismn -- and they got locked up.

--Since they're naturally pre-disposed to not liking or being around people, magic users were easily hidden and with witch-craft laws in effect right up until the 20th century in some cases, they didn't work magic in public often. This means that it was really, really easy for the government to lock 'em up in special asylums until a reporter snuck in the 1950s snuck into one and recorded Some Kind of Magic Manifestation going down. And since no one in the 1950s was able to duplicate those things with special effects, it became a really iconic image. Magic's cover, so to speak, was blown. 

--The insanity gets worse if you work magic, but slowly. If a magic worker cannot work magic for an extended period of time, due to sedation or just full out refusal, the insanity gets MUCH worse MUCH MORE QUICKLY. Treatment options are limited.

--Magic is very, very highly individualized. There are some clairvoyants, some can change things into other things, some people can shoot fireballs from their fingertips. Some people can utter specific word and your skull will crush itself. No one relies on it much, except for the the armed services, law enforcement, and large criminal organizations.

-- Possibly the trauma that the little sister went through had something to do with her carving spells into her own flesh. 

--The Chick does have at least one "friend" who's sort of attached himself as a handler/guardian. His name is Sean. She calls him Seanie because it annoys the crap out of him, but she does feel affection for him.  They met when they were teenagers and he is originally from the Bronx, with an approriate accent. He is clearly of Black Irish descent, with blue-grey eyes and dark hair and a vaguely Celtic cast to his features.
--The Chick may have been a possible law enforcement officer in the past, but she got sort of bored with it. And so she became a dirty cop, and she got fired for it. She now does wetwork and espionage for some underground criminal organizations ... hence the need for a flexible schedule and not much interpersonal contact at her day job. She may or may not be recruiting, but she gets talked into taking on a partner for a particular job. 

 --There are no faeries, no demons, no vampires, no werewolves. All magic use is done through humans.

So in other words, I've come up with a character completely unlike myself and a premise that may turn out to be absolutely impossible to write from, since I have my issues but I'm not completely batshit crazy. I donno if I want to take this in an anti-hero direction, or just scrap labels and try not to push the Good/Evil distinctions at all. I'm still gettig flashes, and I think this may end up being myt NANOWRIMO project this year. I guess we'll just see how far this story takes me, I guess.


100 Things To Do Before You Die

Good lord, how long has it been since I updated this thing! A long ass time, I guess. I really blog mostly on FB when I got something to say, and eventually I'll start up a wordpress thing since LJ has been pissing me off with the ads and the cross-posting to social media. However, for the nonce, this is what I have. A lot's happened since -- lord, December? We moved from a largish Denver suburbs (of 600,00 people) to small town western Nebraska (of perhaps 25,000 people). I went to Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota on a road trip. I am currently looking for a job that will allow me to further my career and finally move out on my own (it's a work in progress, but promising since things are so much cheaper here!) I started a diet and I am determined to lose 25 lbs by New Years Eve. My social life has stalled since the majority of my friends are 260 miles away. Consequently, I'm on the internet a LOT more. Like, all day, unless I'm running errands or unpacking or job hunting (and granted, most of the job hunting is done via internet.)

And lo! I came across a list of "Things People Should Do Before They Die." Actually, it was culled from something on the archives of ursulav and subsequent comments. This is not something like "Go see Mt. Vesuvius" or really major, life-altering and time consuming things that require lots of money. These are, as she put it, "stuff that you can do in an hour, or a weekend, or on a whim." She compiled a list of 50 (which I edited) and I took additional suggestions from the comments, as well as some of my own.

  1. Ride a horse Did this when I was in middle school, but decided to give up horse riding when my fellow riding student's horse bolted and she bruised her crotch on the saddle horn. Still like horses, but you probably won't get me on top of one for a good long while.
  2. Eat an ethnic food you wouldn't normally try Authentic French Escargot, and it was delicious
  3. Bake a cake from scratch
  4. Dye hair a weird color Purple, age 15
  5. Get a tattoo
  6. Fire a gun
  7. Ride in a helicopter
  8. Pet an animal normally found in a zoo, that can't be easily domesticated
  9. Get a brazilian wax
  10. Swim in the ocean
  11. Get something pierced Ears
  12. Go tidepooling I did this when I was six, with my cousins, in Oregon
  13. Eat an unusual species Deer, buffalo, quail, antelope
  14. Write a love letter Yeah, as a Valentine's present in high school
  15. Write a poem Many, many, many
  16. Play a lengthy video game all the way to the end Quite a few, actually
  17. Have a facial
  18. Try to write a novel Several, most recent effort was last year
  19. Place a personal ad This is how I met some of my friends, through Craigslist ads, and more than one ex
  20. Visit another country Nogales, Mexico when I was fifteen. It was interesting, being stacked and redheaded and a teenager, and having some of the shopkeepers try to lure me into the back to see "special merchandise." Uh, right buddy.
  21. Get flowers Long time ago, but yes
  22. Give flowers When I was little I picked boquets quite frequently for my mother and grandmother
  23. Attend a large stadium concert Green Day, The Cure, and Tori Amos spring immediately to mind but there have been others
  24. Travel alone
  25. Stay up to watch the sun rise Several times, occasionally not on purpose
  26. Go camping Which I hate doing, but I've done it!
  27. Ride an elephant or camel When I was little, at the zoo
  28. Grow a plant from seed Do beans for a science project count?
  29. Sit outside in a thunderstorm
  30. Walk in the rain until thoroughly soaked
  31. Sweat in a sauna/sweat lodge/thingy
  32. Make a snowman or snow angel On several occasions
  33. Get a professional massage Once. It was glorious.
  34. Walk barefoot on a beach (not all beaches are appropriate for this.) Lake McConaughy, as a child. I don't remember if I walked barefood in Oregon when I was little, though, and the only OTHER opportunity was when it was Cold As Shit in Washington State.
  35. Go fishing Frequently when I was little, and I intend to take it up again.
  36. Swim nude
  37. Have sex in a relatively public place (preferably without getting caught!) Define public
  38. Grow hair very long Well, it was long for me, anyway -- I donno, chest length when it was straightened I think.
  39. Cut hair very short, or shave it entirely Never shaved my head, but yeah, I've had very short hair on a number of occasions
  40. Dance Badly, but I do it
  41. Collect eggs from chickens I visited these distant cousins I had when I was a child, who were close to my grandparents. They had chickens, and me and the husband collected eggs every morning during our visit. They got rid of the chickens shortly afterwards, but rented chickens from a neighbor (this was in rural Nebraska) just so I could repeat the experience of caring for chickens.
  42. Take a spontaneous, multi-day roadtrip Recently to Montana, when I hadn't expected to go and no one knew where we were going, precisely, except to Montana.
  43. Stop at a really dumb tourist attraction (i.e. Corn Palace, World's Largest Ball of String...)
  44. Hike at dawn
  45. Stand behind a waterfall
  46. Drink a good liquor or good wine at the distillery/vinyard where it was made
  47. Try to learn another language I tried to learn Spanish. I hope someday I can learn American Sign Language
  48. Perform on a stage I've done at least three amatuer theater productions and several failed karaoke attempts
  49. Respectfully and willingly attend a religious service not your own as an adult
  50. See an endangered species in the wild Bison, prong-horned antelope, and grizzly bears
  51. Volunteer 100 hours in one year (about 2 hours per week) at a registered 501c3 nonprofit Over 250 hours at Angels with Paws (no kill cat shelter) in 2008, and between 150-200 hours at Foothills Art Center in 2007.
  52. Make something, with you own two hands, that has a practical purpose (and no, cooking does not count).
  53. Raise a butterfly from a catapillar I got a monarch-raising kit from my aunt in 6th grade, and it was the coolest thing to see them from the catapillar stage to full grown adults (watching the crysalis break = coolest thing I did all year)
  54. Vist several state parks or monuments Rushmore, Yellowstone, Bear Butte, Devil's Tower, Dinosaur National Monument, Joshua Tree National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, The Grand Canyon National Park ... I can probably dredge up a LOT more, too
  55. Take dance lessons
  56. Learn to play a musical instrument
  57. Learn to make a seven course dinner
  58. Touch the fossil of an extinct species I did mention I went to DINOSAUR National Monument, right? My grandparents were camp hosts and got me in good with the people on a particular dig...
  59. Give something to a total stranger (I'd like to add non-monetary, non-STD)
  60. Wish upon a falling star Yeah, I did this last summer during the meteor show after Donnie Darko at Film on the Rocks
  61. Have yourself professionally photographed or have your portrailt painted Photographed at least once per decade I've been alive
  62. Go through photographs that pre-date you with a member of your extended family, preferably elderly. After an elderly relative's funeral, the whole extended family got out a box of really old photographs and went through them. It was REALLY interesting.
  63. See a psychic or get your tarot read, even if you don't believe Had my tarot read several times, but it was very inaccurate.
  64. Attend a concert of a type of music you that you would not normally attend (like a metalhead at a zydeco show) Punk and alternative rock girl at a classical guitar show? Yeah, I fell asleep.
  65. Take an etiquette class, even for just a day I had to do this for a job, and it still bugs me when people people toast sitting down, don't make eye contact, or the recipient of the toast drinks after the toast.
  66. Keep a pen and paper journal for a whole year First two years in college, which means they are embarassing as HELL since I was eighteen and nineteen...
  67. Paint a picture and hang it in your home
  68. Tip a delivery person, a waitress or bartender 100% or more Me and my ex Shane did this once during a particularly snowy night to the calzone delivery guy. Dude, he totally deserved it because it was very cold and there was already at least six inches of snow on the ground.
  69. Invent a game or sport with at least four rules
  70. Attend a non-work-related convention
  71. Collect something I collect unusual rubber ducks
  72. Wear a silly outfit in a public place where it is not expected (cosplay at a con doesn't count) I did this for a "breaking social norms" experiment for a college class. Walked downtown in a hot pink boa, long black dress, full length formal gloves and a very bad Lady Godiva wig for an hour.
  73. Throw a surprise party Did it twice
  74. Physically destoy a piece of equipment, a la Office Space
  75. Go on a cemetary tour Did it once, would do again
  76. Memorize at least one poem I did this a lot in elementary school, and I should take it up again.
  77. Spend the whole day naked
  78. Get to know your neighbours We had wonderful neighbors in Arvada and I intend to live in an apartment building or someplace where I can do this again someday.
  79. Learn how to complain effectively - and do it!
  80. Write a piece of fan mail and mail it
  81. Give a speech in public Class presentations totally count, and it is one of my few marketable skills
  82. Make love on the kitchen floor *Whistles innocently*
  83. Be an extra in a film or be in a student film I did this for a friend-of-a-friend's student film. It was a frustrating experience, but I wouldn't turn down a chance to do it again.
  84. Participate in a protest Went to a couple of gay rights rallies.
  85. Perfect the mixing of one cocktail or mocktail, preferably with more than three ingredients
  86. Eat something you killed or grew yourself I mentioned I liked to go fishing, right? I don't always do catch and release.
  87. Be debt free
  88. Win an Award
  89. Sit on a jury This was actually a really interesting experience, I was 20 and it was for a string of armed robberies. Trial took about 3 days, including deliberation, and it was a very cool way to see the judicial system at work.
  90. Go to a performance of something attended by less than 50 people Several community theater experiences -- so much fun!
  91. Watch a film outdoors Film on the Rocks twice, Goonies at Cheeseman park this summer.
  92. Read a book about something completely new to you (not a textbook) I read several in college, and kept them all afterward (One Malcom Gladwell, one book on women in Islam, couple of others on shit I'd never really researched or read in depth before)
  93. Give compliments to ten people in one day
  94. Remember something you always wanted to do when you were little, the dumber the better, and do it (especially if it's something you always told yourself you'd do when you were "grown-up")'
  95. Do something that terrifies you Roller coasters used to scare the CRAP out of me.
  96. Visit every museum in your city, or the nearest metropolitan area
  97. Learn a real magic trick, not just sleight-of-hand
  98. Pee outside There are some times when one cannot avoid it, but I suppose it's possible to go your whole life without doing it
  99. Take a long-distance train ride Chalma, New Mexico Somehow I doubt from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO counts, right? It was about an 8 hour trip on 64 miles of track...
  100. Visit another continent
And that's my list so far.

Owl ID?

Ok, I'm at a total loss her on how to ID this owl. I'm in Colorado, in a western suburb of Denver. I've spotted at least 3 juveniles, possibly a fourth or another adult, and a mother. We *think* they were Northern Pygmys, but we are not sure. I have a massively crappy camera, but I had my mother point a flashlight when I wanted a shot. This was the best one of adult.  I have a video with a decent call, but hoping for a visual ID at this point.

Favorite Albums of the Decade

Okay, so everyone I know is doing their Best Of the Decade list, or whatever. I'm not immune to being prone to self-reflection, so I dug out Ye Ol' iPod and thought -- well, shit. I'm not qualified to do a Best Of List, I'm not a musical expert, I'm just a chick that likes music and putting out the occasional blog. I'm much more album-oriented than my peers, since I didn't actually own an iPod until 2008 and still listen to that by artist or album rather than on shuffle mode. So I started thinking what my favorite albums of the last 10 years were, which ones moved me and why I thought they were superior to other albums by the same artist or in the same genre. How these things worked holistically, an an entire piece... and if I'm not careful, this could easily turn into a rant about Albums Versus Individual Songs, so here's my list.


My Favorite Albums of the 2000'sCollapse )


Okay, normally when I post on here I post about music, sometimes politics. I made a promise to myself to never let this be a forum for my personal drama, and as a result this journal has gone dormant. But in all honesty, a friend got my dander up the other day and I started to unpack why what happened upset me, and I realized that I don't have issues with him, per se, but a position that he holds that is inherently disturbing to me. So I'm ranting about it here, because part of my reasoning is about identify politics and power politics.

So, as anyone who knows me for more than say, two days can probably figure out that I'm bisexual. Actually, I'm pansexual, but that particular term hasn't perculated into our popular lexicon regarding sexual orientation and it's a lot easier to say I'm bi than say "Oh, I like men and women, and some genderqueer people are hot too." Even in the gay community, people look at you a little funny if you want to sleep with a trans person. I'm not really labeling myself one thing rather than another because of the funny looks, mind you, it's just a hell of a lot eaiser to use a term that's more widely understood.

But I'm not afraid to label myself as an alternate sexual orientation, regardless of the technical accuracy of the term. And I'm sure as hell hope that I would label myself as straight if I ever really thought I was heterosexual. And here's the thing -- straight culture is co-opting bisexuality  as their own, and it's pissing me off.

Bi (for any given of value of non-hetero, non-homo queerness) people are marginalized in straight culture, and in gay culture, which may be a rant for another time. We're not one thing or another. We're seen as "willing to do anything that moves" kind of people. In television, the only time bisexuality comes up is if Hot Girl A needs to somehow get with Hot Girl B, and ta-da -- Insta-Bi! I In the gay community, I gather that bisexuality is looked at poorly too -- you're half a breeder, a traitor-in-waiting, or confused. In my experience, many women (and some men) that identify as bi are using it to gain attention -- kind of like that Katie Perry song. It's trendy, edgy. Granted, we're making progress but we've got a long way to go before bisexualism is seen as a valid orientation. We're pressured to "choose a side," or told that we're not really bi unless we've had sex with both genders. And then comes along straight culture, which co-opts our identity for their own use.

Okay, I have an acquaintance -- not a very close friend, mind you, but someone I've been really getting to know. I originally thought that Said Person was straight, but he's recently implying that he's bisexual, without using the term. Finally I got sick of not knowing, asked him how he identified, and if he was out. "Oh, I don't like to use labels. I'm open to a sex with a man, but I don't want to a relationship with one and I've never come across  a man I'm attracted to," was his basic answer. When pressed, he says, he may be a Kinsey 2*.

Whoah, back up. I can get not wanting relationships, but to never have a guy give you that funny feeling in your pants? That doesn't sound like any kind of sexual orientation other than straight.  Now, I get the whole sliding scale bisexuality thing. I identify (when pressed) as a 2. For me, a 2 means that when I go out to, say, a bar or a grocery store, that most of the time I will notice sexually attractive men, and once in a while (maybe one out of three or four times) I will notice one or more sexually attractive women (take me to a goth club or surround me with Adorable Butch Girls and my Kinsey rating goes up significantly). Cute girls DEFINATELY register though. And I get that sexual attraction does not have to be strong enough act on or even conciously acknowledge, but there has to be some level of "Oh yes ... I rather like that" going on.   

Now,  to be on this planet for 30 years and have it never happen, or happen so rarely that you're okay with labeling it never? That's straight. To back it up with saying that you don't label your own sexuality? That's laughable. 

Labels matter. Humans are hardwired for them to matter. We like to have things line up in neat little categories, even when they don’t always squish into one, like the human psyche. And labels are powerful, powerful things – often used for not-so-nice things, like persecution and marginalization, but just as often used to create a community, a political power base, a sense of oneself and our place in the world. We’re herd animals, we like knowing who we are and how we fit. And co-opting a sexual identity that is false, even by implication and not by label, robs those of us who do use that identity label of the ability to use that label. And consequentially, robs of our power.

Sexual identity labels aren’t, in every day use, about the “maybe one days” of attraction. Sexual identity and orientation is really fluid thing, but most humans do have the potential for both same-gender and opposite gender attraction. Theoretically, most of us have the potential for bisexual encounters. In practice, it is really, really unlikely to happen except to a select few. Orientation and identity labels aren’t about potentials, they’re about definable attractions, the likelihood of something to happen, and what feels right to a person when they think about who they’d like to have sex with. In the socio-political climate today, if you even imply you’re queer in some way, people expect a certain permanency to that identity.  And last time I checked, if someone says he’s a Kinsey 2 then he is definitely implying bisexuality. He is adopting that identity as his own, even though he has never had sexual feelings for another male. And in the process, robbing those of us who are bisexual, who are trying to make bisexuality something more than a cultural joke or attention ploy, of our power that the label of bisexuality affords us.   And that’s what pisses me off.


So, I'm bored on a Sunday morning and I'm in the mood for a little punk rock to jump start my day. It's not all I listen to, there are definately days where I'm more into chick-rock or indie pop, or even bustin' out a little of the classic rock that I used to listen to with my father. But today I'm in the mood for three chord progression, so I fire up iTunes and look at my selection. And I'm stymied -- I have a ton of this stuff, both single artists as well as compilations, and I can't choose which album to pick first (and I almost listen by album. because let's face it, if an album's any good you want to listen to the entire thing and if it isn't of that particular quality, there's no reason for it to be on my possession.)

So, long story short, today's topics is favorite punk albums.  If I'm going to be stranded on an island and I can only take ten albums, which ones would I choose?


In No Particular Order, my 10 Favorite Punk RecordsCollapse )


I should have posted this yesterday...

... and you know, make an actual post. But seriously, who can pass up 2 chicks, one of whom is a lesbian, talking about teabagging?


Because This Is Darn Cool

I'm not going to lie. My favorite instrument is not the guitar, it is not the violin, it is not a wood wind. I love the piano and think most pieces can be improved by adding a piano to it -- it's the musical equivilent of garlic, it just adds that much more flavor to a composition. Granted, hard rock and punk doesn't necessarily lend itself to the instrument well, but it can be done successfully! And if you can't get a piano in there, the harpsichord or the organ are also suitable substitutions -- hell, the organ intro in "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" by Type O Negative is hellaciously cool, even if the song itself was sort of the goth version of bubblegum pop.

I also love the Smashing Pumpkins. Simpy put, they got me through the 6 years of hell called "junior and senior high school." Imagine my delight when I stumbled across this little gem:

And for as a bonus, Fan Tested! Cobain approved!

Apperantly, I want moar piano this morning. Guess it's time to fire up Tori on the iPod. Again.

Top 10 Fantasy Standalone Novels

Someone pointed out once that I read more than anyone else they knew, and I guess it's true. I go through at least two novels a week, so whenever I go my local library I come home with a stack of books as big as my arm. So I decided that since most of my reading list consists of sci fi and fantasy, which many of my friends also read, I would like to do a top 10 list of my favorite novels.

Now, fantasy and science fiction is a funny thing.  Most of the novels that come out are part of a series or trilogy. I can see why authors do that, but there is something to be said for a really good standalone novel. So, without further ado, I present

My Top 10 Standalone Fantasy and Sci Fi Novels, In No Particular OrderCollapse )