Our Culture of Mass Shootings

Okay folks, let’s get some stuff out of the way first thing. I know responsible gun owners and gun enthusiasts. I know people who hunt and go to gun ranges and gun shows and they’re all responsible kind people who don’t relish the idea of blowing someone away. I assume you know these type of people too. I am not here to say that these people are a menace. I am here to say that as a country, not just gun owners, we’ve got a culture problem.

Now, let’s talk about what the problem isn’t, not directly.

Not Enough People with Guns.

This is just… It’s a solution that at the very least lacks nuance. It’s like people saying, “Fight fire with fire!” without understanding things like fire breaks or controlled burns… So they light your car on fire when they see flames on your house. Continue reading Our Culture of Mass Shootings

One Person is Not “Diverse” and Other Irritations

I missed my blog’s second birthday (blogday?), and I haven’t been feeding it regularly at all. Poor thing! Auntie Mommy strikes again.

Part of this is because I like to have something nice and polished, thoughtful, or at least funny if I’m going to release words into the primal soup of the Internet. But then again, who do I actually need, Mr. Right Post or Mr. Post Right Now?

Having taken heed of the perennial nosy, pushy family member who worries about whether or not you’re getting laid, I’m lowering my standards and not being so damn picky.

Words to live by.

So, without further ado, here’s an incomplete list of random things that annoy me. Continue reading One Person is Not “Diverse” and Other Irritations

What Unsolicited Querying Feels Like

So. I wrote a novel, and now I’m looking for an agent to represent me. This is a long process that I’ve just begun, and all my querying has been unsolicited, which means I come out of nowhere to these people and usually end up in their enormous slush piles. I’ve read that I shouldn’t give up until after about 100 query letters. This is what that feels like.
(Click to embiggen!)

Please don’t ask me what the novel is about. I’ll let you know when, well, probably after a couple drinks. But when you try out for a musical, I’m not all, “Hey buddy, sing me your audition song!” That’s mortifying, and a post for a different day.

About Those Race-Swapping Photos

Have you guys seen those photos about race swapping everyday interactions? A lot of people have been excited about them and Oprah gave them the stamp of approval for her magazine. My initial reaction was like, “Oh, I get it.” Followed by anger.

First, allow me to first cushion the hell out of what I’m going to say. There is space for photos like these, and that they may have made a positive impact in a discussion about racism in America is great. I’m no Oprah; I don’t have that magic of being a significant social influencer for millions of people. These photos very well may be what the (fake, TV) doctor ordered.

There are things these photos do well. They portray relatively simple scenes with seemingly low-stakes in everyday situations for women and girls. I like that aspect. There should be more discussion about race relations between women and the effects of power dynamics in everyday life. That’s important stuff.

So why was I pissed? It’s complicated.

Continue reading About Those Race-Swapping Photos

Pop Culture & Bad Archeology

Poor, neglected blog! I was writing so much other stuff that I didn’t take time to write for you. But I did pay real money so you can exist on the Internet for at least two more years, so there’s that. [/end Aunty Mommy “apology”]

So, dear reader, you may be thinking, “What hard-hitting, incisive, thoughtful post are we going to get now? Surely, there’s so much going on in the world that you can’t not talk about it.”

Yeah, no. Look, I know I should probably get into it, but when’s the last time you’ve tried analyzing shitty things happening instead of just acknowledging them? It’s not that I don’t care; it’s that it takes a lot out of me. I was an emotional husk after doing a piece about the Global Gag Rule. I made Mr. Squish watch The Last Unicorn with me, and I cried at parts that weren’t even sad. I don’t feel like revisiting that in my free time.

But what I do have energy for is complaining about pop culture!

Continue reading Pop Culture & Bad Archeology

Scented Candle Expectations

I’ve been perusing The Hairpin, and Kelly Conaboy’s scented candle reviews are truly excellent. I have written my own scented candle nonsense, but it got me thinking about my actual candle-related expectations. You’d think having only ever bought maybe five candles ever, and at least two because I thought Mr. Squish would like them, that I wouldn’t have strong feelings about this.

But I do, dear reader. Continue reading Scented Candle Expectations

Fighting: boredom and frustration punctuated with panic

I haven’t touched on any of the whole  “Trump’s going to be the president” thing in any of my blog posts. Mostly because the thought is exhausting and depressing, and everyone else is talking about it anyway.

However, I do want to address the rather desolate expectations some people have of the next administration. People are talking like disaster is imminent.

They’re probably right, but not how you think. Continue reading Fighting: boredom and frustration punctuated with panic

A Short Story for Halloween

Happy Halloween, dear reader! It’s been too long since a bit of fiction flitted across this blog, and so, I give you a spooky tale for Halloween.

The Bathtub

Image: Yelp
Image: Yelp

The apartment I shared with Laura was clean, spacious, and incredibly hostile, as passionate romances also spur passionate break-ups.

After a week or so of couch surfing, I found a sublet in my price range a mile or so from my classes. Closer to campus were new complexes with attached gyms and single bedroom units well beyond a T.A.’s budget. My new place was one of the classic, yet dilapidated houses infested with young people that were common further from school.

It must’ve been a stunning place when it was new: a grand, old Victorian with broken stained glass windows and faded green shutters. The porch was unsettlingly soft, and the plaster stank of pot. But I was morose and the price was right. Continue reading A Short Story for Halloween

Stupid Haikus 3

The haiku is a classic Japanese poetry form, and the best poets use it to convey emotion, scenery, and a sense of place. Haiku is often also used to convey the essence of seasons.

These are haikus only in so much that I am following the 5-7-5 syllable scheme, and, this time, I’m using autumnal free stock photos as “inspiration.”

3624676 - autumn composition
Copyright: funlovingvolvo / 123RF Stock Photo

Continue reading Stupid Haikus 3