textualdeviance: (80's hair)
If you ever want to know what growing up in Reno in the '80s was like, read this blog.

I'm not sure I actually knew Courtney. We ran in similar circles, but she's a few years younger than me, so we likely didn't actually cross paths. But her stories feel like my stories. To a frightening degree.

The stories are horrifying, of course. Basically everyone who wasn't middle class or higher who grew up there at that time had similar levels of life suckage. But they're comforting in a way, too. It's validation that what I remember actually happened; that it's not just my imagination that life did, indeed, suck like a jet-engine-powered Dyson. It's validation that the scars I bear are real, and evidence that I didn't do anything wrong to earn them.

There were things about my life that were better than hers (my parents were considerably more sane) and things that were worse (living out in the boonies = social isolation) but the overall quantity of suck was pretty much the same. And there's comfort in that. Comfort in shared experience that makes it all real, and helps us acknowledge that we went through some truly horrible things that no kid should have to experience, and managed to survive anyway.

D and I were chatting the other day and lit upon a rather cool-but-sad epiphany: somehow, being odd/queer actually helped us survive our trailer-trash beginnings. We knew early on that we were weird, and not like the other kids (and were, of course, constantly reminded of this by said other kids) and that forced us to find community elsewhere. We gravitated to the other odd kids, and were united in our oddness, and that helped us avoid getting sucked into the downward spiral of the lifestyle that all the other kids eventually grew into. We knew there was life beyond where we were right that second, because we'd found other people who were determined to make that happen. We knew survival was possible, and that made all the difference. So we worked our asses off, and made it happen.

Now, of course I'm always going to be at least a few steps behind where I really should be (on an effort-to-result scale.) Starting out the race of life while wearing concrete running shoes means you're pretty much never going to make it to the finish line ahead of anyone else. But I kept on pounding, and eventually the concrete disintegrated, and now I can see that line. And dammit, I'm going to give myself credit for getting here even despite those handicaps. Because they WERE real, and they DID take a monstrous amount of effort to overcome.
textualdeviance: (maui)
Normally, I'd be writing about the Lost finale over on [livejournal.com profile] fanbitch, but a) That journal is pretty heavily about a different fandom (and the trashy fic I'm writing in it) right now, and b) This is more about personal stuff than the show, so...

I already made a post over here about the religious stuff (though I may do more navel-gazing that direction later); this is more about my experiences as a fan.

First, one funny little aside: I went poking around YouTube for some old-skool Lost goodies (and posted one of my own), and ran across several DomLijah vids. Which, naturally, I had to watch. And then I read the comments. Oh, lordy.

Not only am I astonished that that fandom has been going on for 5+ years in my utter absence, I'm also astonished that the screeching teenie HDU SAY THEIR GAY STFU FREEK crap is still going on, too.

All of this has happened before. All of it will happen again...

Oh, wait. Wrong series finale.

Anyway.

Picture your mild-mannered Texty in spring 2004... )

And then I went back to school and became a Legitimate Media Person and here I am now, only slightly worse for the wear, and having a delightful time in my new fandom in part because of learning my lessons before.

Still, the finale last night brought up a lot of memories, and did sort of act as a bookend for that time of my life. Though I was really done with it five years ago, because the show continued in my absence, in a way, my lasting influence as a fan did, too. And now that it's finally over, I kind of feel like my involvement is finally over, too. I feel like I can finally put that chapter of my life to rest.

And so I shall.
textualdeviance: (Connor:Reading)
I can't decide whether it's sad that I'm getting such a kick out of getting back into writing fic again.

Went and reread some of my old stuff--making sure I wasn't retreading--and oh, that brought me back. Most of my writing I did before things really started getting nuts, so it was still fun. Well, aside from some of the fussier folks who were horrified at the very idea. Tch.

Very much looking forward to having more free time soon when my contract ends so I can start working again on my legit novel (and also maybe start singing again, too), but in the meantime, this is filling the bill and helping keep my mind busy so I don't stress out over other stuff over which I have no control.

And really, I could certainly have worse hobbies (ahahah--I almost wrote "hobbits"--*snort*).
Jan. 1st, 2010 08:47 pm

Bookending

textualdeviance: (reading)
I just closed a chapter in my life. Fitting, I suppose, to do so on this day.

My first introduction to SF/F, courtesy of my dad, was reading one of the I, Robot stories (Robbie.) Don't remember exactly how old I was at the time--10 or 11, maybe--but it did give me the jones for something more, so he handed over some of his Alan Dean Foster books. I don't remember which one I read first (may have been a short story collection or one of the Spellsinger books), but somewhere in those early days, I picked up For Love of Mother-Not, the (chronologically) first book in the Flinx and Pip series.

Stories )

I've read and enjoyed many other series in this time, of course--Pratchett, Asprin, Jacques, Rice, etc.--but I didn't grow up with those books the way I've grown up with the Commonwealth. Flinx's journey has been a thread of my mental life for so many years now that it almost seems as if it's a story of my own (that the story covers his life from early adolescence to the completion of young adulthood also reinforces that feeling.) 27 years of my life have been punctuated by periodic returns to what he's been up to, like a childhood friend with whom I never really lost touch, so to finish his story is almost like saying goodbye to that friend.

Yet somehow, it's not melancholy. It was a satisfying enough end to the story that I don't feel a sense of loss. It feels, instead, more like graduating or something. Like saying goodbye to childhood, and moving on to the next phase. (Of course, given that I'm turning 39 this year, childhood isn't exactly a recent thing!) Reading these stories has been a unique experience in my life, and something I'm grateful for (and especially grateful to the author!) and I'm glad I could be there on this journey.

I only hope that maybe my own kid(s) can someday have a similar experience with someone else's stories.
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
This is probably the coolest, most hilarious, most awesome thing I've seen in MONTHS.

Aug. 3rd, 2009 11:19 pm

Ponderance

textualdeviance: (fuzzy grammar)
Maybe I'm just imagining it, but it seems to me that the quality of online discourse has declined at the same rate of improved connectivity to remote areas in red states.

Used to be, when you'd have a debate on some forum or whatever, you'd get a certain quantity of misanthrope trolls, Randian megalomaniacs and far-out space cadets, but overall, things were relatively sane.

Sure, people would disagree, and politics and such were never homogenous, but people knew that a poorly spelled missive with no research beyond "this happened to my cousin's best friend" would earn them a boot to the head. You had to be sharp, coherent and completely prepared to back up whatever you were spewing or you'd be Instant Breakfast for one of the guys who ended up founding Wikipedia or something.

But now that one-horse towns have broadband, all of a sudden, the whole internet's becoming less literate. It's no longer enough to simply avoid users with AOL or WebTV accounts and the back-fence chittering spaces they'd frequent. Any public posting that hits on a topic of interest to mouth breathers with an eighth-grade education and a sincere conviction that gay people and feminists are agents of The Terrorists will, as a matter of course, be flooded with barely readable posts from said numbnuts.

Oh, for the days when it was just the script kiddies, the occasional Ponzi schemers and that one weird guy who kept trying to get you to believe that the Masons are behind everything and you can get free electricity by sticking paper clips into pickles.

And when forums actually had moderators.

Sigh...
textualdeviance: (Uprooting)
Now that we have a pending offer, I figured I'd take a few moments to think about all the time we spent in Chez Fou, and the big events in our lives in the nine years we were there.

I haven't had a lot of direct emotional attachment to the house itself, but the time we spent there definitely was eventful. In addition to the big stuff--9/11, market crashes, Katrina, two wars, three presidential elections, etc.--there were a lot of major events for us personally.

Some highlights: Feb. 2000 - Apr. 2009 )
May. 2nd, 2009 10:48 pm

Sad

textualdeviance: (80's hair)
So, part of today's house tasks involved cleaning out the closet where the formal wear and other gussying-up gear lived. I ended up tossing out the vast majority of it because it just didn't fit me anymore. Some of it is stuff that hasn't fit me in 15 years, and was horribly out of fashion, but some of it really was gorgeous, and it's quite sad that I can no longer wear it. Not that I ever have the opportunity to do so, but the option would've been nice.

One of the things that readily went in the box, though, was my old wedding dress. From my first wedding. Why I'd been hanging on to that scary old thing, I have no idea.
Tags:
Mar. 1st, 2009 01:22 pm

Random

textualdeviance: (reading)
Something today reminded me of the library I used to spend a lot of time at when I was a kid.

It was really cool--probably one of the only truly awesome places in Reno, actually.

Washoe County Library

More pics )

I can still hear the sound of the fountains and artificial creek running through the place. And I remember getting dizzy going up to the top of the spiral staircase and looking down through the middle of it.

What with so much research and information being available online, and now things like the Kindle gaining popularity, libraries are probably less interesting to a lot of folks. I admit that I'm a little ashamed that I haven't spent much time inside one in a while, myself. I think the last time was when I was looking for an archived newspaper at the DT Seattle one (which is, in itself, pretty awesome.) Other than that, maybe just a few minutes inside the campus library at WWU, and that's about it.

I'm not remotely a Luddite or a book snob, so I'm not going to piss on the Kindle or anything. I think anything that gets people to read more and learn more is a good thing. But there really is a unique and valuable experience to be had when one is surrounded by the physical presence of books. And not just the popular stuff Bunns and Noodle stocks, but the vast archives of old and obscure stuff you just can't find outside a library or certain exceptional bookstores (like Powell's.) One may be able to find much of the information contained in those volumes, but the experience itself just can't be found in digital form.

I miss it.
Aug. 12th, 2008 04:18 pm

GRRRRR

textualdeviance: (80's hair)
In addition to the bullshit travesty that is the JCPenney Breakfast Club commercial, now, thanks to Wil Wheaton, I find out that MTV is trying to remake Rocky Horror.

Uh, just... NO. NO. And... NO.

Fortunately, there's a petition.
Apr. 14th, 2008 10:06 pm

Lost youth

textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Surfing around tonight, I found this and felt compelled to watch.

I wouldn't call it a favorite movie, really. As a film, it's not that great. But there's something about the culture it captures that is so familiar to me that I can't help but watch every time I get the chance.

I wasn't quite on the generation this was about--I was only 9 when the film came out--but I was close enough to it to feel it filtering down to me, and to recognize in this film so many people and situations I knew growing up.

I can almost smell the Dr. Pepper LipSmackers and Love's Baby Soft. )
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Someday, a very aged Molly Ringwald will be shilling life and long-term care insurance to my generation.
textualdeviance: (avatar2)
I've been pulling some late nights in recent days. Not sure why, just on my nightowl cycle, I suppose.

I used most of tonight to put together a music mix for the party, and sort of just threw in a little bit of everything--mostly upbeat stuff from my entire collection. Or at least the part of it that's been ripped. I still have a bunch of vinyl I need to rip (pardon me while I covet a USB turntable...)

The whole shebang ended up at about three days' worth of music. Ack! Ah, well. It'll make for a good road trip mix, too.

It was definitely a walk down memory lane, though. I got too busy to finish that life soundtrack meme of several months ago, and this brought back some of the '90s part of that I hadn't yet gotten to. One of my biggest music consumer jags was in the middle of that decade, and there were so many major things that happened to me around then. I never really got into grunge, per se, but a lot of the crunchier pop--Super Deluxe, Eve 6, Garbage, Veruca Salt, etc.--ended up in my collection. That was also the time I was really neck-deep in my voice studies, so perhaps I needed it as a respite. :) I have some really incredible memories for some of this stuff, though. Lots of the early stages of meeting and dating M, for instance. Things were chaotic, in a zillion different ways, but in a way, those few years really were the foundation of who I am today, so the music from that time is kind of essential to my current self concept.
textualdeviance: (avatar)
I'm officially done with finals, after sending off a report today. Got two of my grades in: a B in psych and a C- in jazz. I feel shitty about the C-, but it's a passing grade, which is what I needed. Unless I completely cock up spring term, I should graduate with a solid B+ average, and I'm comfortable with that. I kind of feel that the B+/A- range is really where I am with most things, and it's nice to have a GPA that reflects that.

I've enjoyed the last couple of days of doing next to nothing. After being away from home for three weeks, I needed the downtime in my actual home, instead of the bachelor pad. It's a bit frustrating to not be able to do much, though. I keep looking around and seeing projects I need to work on here, and I just know I won't have the time or energy for any of them. We're going to SD for a few days starting Friday, and then I'll have five more days here before spring term starts. Really not a lot of time to work on big things like filing the stack of old bills sitting on my desk, or sorting through the contents of the closet where things go to die. Time isn't really the issue, I suppose. It's more a matter of energy and mental bandwidth, both of which are in short supply. I'd rather play video games and fuck around with memes. To wit:

Gacked this movie quote meme from [livejournal.com profile] markxiii

I do feel like a zombie these days... )

I'm also still working on the life soundtrack meme. Should have another installment of that posted tomorrowish. It's been quite the nostalgia trip so far. Running into that pic of my ex just kind of capped it off. I'm in this really weird drowning in regret headspace right now. I know I don't have a lot longer to live, what with my various illnesses, and so now that my life's half over, I'm regretting the time I wasted on stupid things like getting married at 19 or spending endless hours in flamewars about petty, pointless shit.

But then I also have to remind myself that wallowing in regret is itself a waste of time. Looking back and evaluating one's life and learning from one's mistakes--and one's triumphs, too--is good. And it's also good to remember some truly fun times and wonderful people I've had the privilege to share time with. But really, I can't go back and change things like getting on the wrong meds or picking a fight that ended a friendship with someone I loved.

Sometimes I do wish I could get in touch with some old friends again and try to repair some of the damage, but life has moved on for all of us, and there would be no picking up where we left off, especially with bitterness and resentment being the most recent memories. The best I could hope for is that we'd both grown up and learned from our stupidness and somehow manage to bury the hatchet and start over or something. But that's unlikely--and near impossible in some cases. I did some really stupid, awful stuff back in the day, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are still plenty of people who would like to see me twisting in the wind.

Now, getting back in touch with old friends that I just kind of accidentally lost--that I'd love to do. I'm actually kind of hoping that I can have the summer off after I graduate, because I want to focus on getting some sort of a social life back together (among other projects.) At the very least, there WILL be some sort of Thank God I'm Home Again party. Hopefully uninterrupted by power outages this time, dammit.
textualdeviance: (avatar)
So, I'm roaming around, avoiding sleep, and on an almost completely random page, I stumble on a pic of my ex and his new wife. Well, I shouldn't say new--they got together within a year after he and I split up.

I haven't actually seen the guy in something like 12 years. I barely recognized him. Though he looks a heck of a lot like his dad. And from what I can tell, time has definitely not been kind to either of us. I don't know why, but I'm strangely comforted by that.

So, tell me, dear flist--have you ever accidentally run into an old ex zillions of years later? Was it weird? And by ex, I mean someone you at least lived with.
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Some random quote on a comm reminded me of this song (and video.)



TFF was one of the seminal bands that influenced my musical and cultural development in the early 80s. Their first two albums (along with those of Berlin, Duran Duran, 'til tuesday and Missing Persons) were on heavy rotation on my lame little record player. I remember having a giant crush on Roland (though, looking back, I think Curt's actually cuter) and getting a huge jones for his dancing--especially that in this video. I seem to recall that every clubqueer I ran into within a few years of that did similar kinds of things, usually in a haze of clove smoke.

I suppose most younger folks probably only know this song because of its remake for the "Donnie Darko" soundtrack, but the original, imho, is still better. I highly recommend listening to the whole album--it's all really divine, moody stuff.
textualdeviance: (80's hair)
Got grades back for my psych exam. 45/50. 90%. And I haven't been to a single class since the first one.

A quick perusal of the scores on the sheet...

Average score was 37.

No one got a perfect score--the best was 48.

Only 20 people out of 187 got score of 45 or better.

21 people failed. Eep.

I think I'm doing well, all considered. I'll probably study a bit more for the next one.


A little depressed today. A few days ago, my parents told me that this place is closing.

It may not seem all that big a deal, but consider that 20 years ago, this was the ONLY place in Reno that sold espresso. It was the only euro-style cafe in the whole town, and it was open late. So the RHPS crowd would always descend on it, in full regalia, every Saturday after the show. Oh, the stories I could tell about my time there...

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