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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
Very accomplished yesterday. I wrote another chapter of the thriller, but I also have to get a move on with the next Super City Police Department novella. Everyone was happy with Avenging Amethyst, so now I'm diving into Undercover Blues, as well as working on the thriller. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

So yesterday I got 2600 words written -- 1300 words of the thriller and 1300 words of SCPD. I am mighty!

Today I'm going to try to finish the first chapter of the SCPD novella (each chapter is 3000 words) and also get a haircut and get ready to travel. We're driving to Indianapolis at 3am or so tomorrow morning, so today is packing, getting things ready for the cat-checker-onner, and so on.

I'll be at InConJunction XXXVI this weekend, so if you're in Indy, come on by! I'll have a couple of new books on sale for the first time, including Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath and Limbus, Inc. Book 3, among others.


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Current Music: "Heavy Cloud, No Rain" by Sting

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...and has been since college. Frankenstein remains my favorite novel, and its author's life is one that has fascinated me for decades.

This meme I found on Facebook perfectly sums it up:

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Grand Coolee Dam" by Arlo Guthrie

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Kirk may be lost forever, and the Enterprise is trapped in the world's most leisurely deathtrap. The TOS Rewatch is caught in "The Tholian Web."

An excerpt:
In fact, by the low standards of the third season, it’s quite good. Parts of it are superb. The eerie atmosphere of the Defiant in the first act is very effective. Watching as crewmember after crewmember succumbs is likewise, with the added bonus of Chekov—someone we actually know and care about—being our first victim. (Plus there’s no better screamer this side of Fay Wray than Walter Koenig.) It’s nice to see Uhura in her quarters off duty, it’s nice to see an actual acknowledgment of other crewmembers (even if it is only long enough for them to go batshit or to be extras in the service), and it’s nice to see Kirk delivering one last bitch-slap to his best friends to stop being morons from beyond the not-really-his-grave.

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Current Music: "Milk Cow Blues" by Blind Pharaohs

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The Nylons are a fantastic a cappella group that had their heyday in the 1980s. They've done a lot of great songs, both original ("Combat Zone" is a killer, and "Bop Til You Drop" is a delight) and covers (their versions of "Drift Away" and "Chain Gang" are magnificent), but my favorite of theirs is this stupendous cover of "Duke of Earl."

Do yourself a favor -- play it loud.

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Current Music: "Duke of Earl" by the Nylons

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It came in the mail today!

You can order it from JournalStone in hardcover, trade paperback (pictured), or eBook.

Damn, I'm in some fine company there. Hope "Right on, Sister!" lives up to that company...............

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Current Music: "Old Egypt" by Boogie Knights

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I will be returning to InConJunction in Indianapolis this coming weekend for the first time since I was Author Guest of Honor in 2011. This year I'm a special guest along with some other nifty folk, including Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon. I'll be selling and signing books throughout the weekend in the main hall, along with a bunch of programming. Here's what I'm currently scheduled for:

7-8pm: opening ceremonies, w/all the guests (Main Programming)

10-11am: Farscape Q & A, w/Rockne S. O'Bannon (Main Programming)
7-8pm: "Federation Morality," w/Marian Allen (Indianapolis Ballroom C)

There are some other panels I'm not currently scheduled for, but I may jump onto, like the Batman 66 50th anniversary panel Friday at 8pm. We'll see................

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Current Music: "To a Thousand Mothers" by Jethro Tull

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Yesterday, our friend Laura, who's visiting for a few days, joined me and Wrenn in Central Park to see The Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte Theatre, the first of two plays being done this year for the free Shakespeare in the Park put on by the Public Theatre. (The other will be Troilus and Cressida. The theme this year, based on the signage around the park, is WAR! LOVE! Which both fit both plays, actually.....)

The last time I saw Shrew in the park was in 1990, when Morgan Freeman and Tracey Ullman played Petruchio and Kate, with Helen Hunt playing Bianca. It was set as a Western, but without changing any dialogue -- so it opened with a guy with white hair and a white beard doing his best Walter Brennan impersonation drawling, "Waylcome to Pad-yoo-uh!"

Now I should state for the record that I despise this play. I mean, it's not Shakespeare's fault, his theme of wives being subject to their husbands was the morality of the day. But I find it painful to watch, generally, and have found that the most interesting ones are the modern interpretations that try to subvert it.

The production we saw yesterday took an interesting tack: the entire cast was female. Reversing the norms of Shakespeare's day, when all the parts were played by men, this was a fascinating choice, made more so by the framing sequence setting it up as a beauty pageant (complete with Donald Trump-style voiceover -- references to Hillary Clinton and #Brexit snuck in at various points, too), with Bianca and Kate competing in a contest as Miss North Padua and Miss South Padua. (Director Phyllida Lloyd has previously done all-female versions of Julius Caesar and Henry IV.)

This version took the tactic of having Kate give in to Petruchio's torments, not because she was being broken by him (which is the standard interpretation), but because agreeing with him got him to actually do stuff. But Cush Jumbo's Kate never at any point is cowed, just frustrated -- until the end.

The ending is the biggest problem. Up through Bianca's wedding, Kate is resigned, but not broken. However, when Petruchio makes his wager that his wife will be the most obedient of the three at the wedding, and Kate gives her appalling speech about how women must always serve their men, the wind comes out of the sails, because Kate has stopped being defiant. A production that has been aggressively defiant up to this point, that has taken a distinctively modern (from the 1940s fashions to the 1970s beauty pageant to the 2010s attitudes and gestures and speech patterns overlaid over some of the Elizabethan dialogue) suddenly becomes very much an offensive 16th-century sexist colloquy.

The 1990 production with Freeman and Ullman did its subversion by making it clear that Kate went for Petruchio, not because he gaslighted her, but because she thought he was hot. Basically, the sex was fantastic, so she put up with his nonsense. But that version also strongly implied that Kate was in on the bet -- that her speech at the end was bullshit, done entirely to help Petruchio win the bet and win money for both of them.

That doesn't really fit with this version -- instead, Jumbo gives the speech straight, and the audience is totally squirming in their seats at this horseshit. And then the beauty pageant element (forgotten since the very opening of the play) kicks back in, with Kate being given the tiara and the sash and the flowers--

--and then she has a psychotic break, crying out, "What the fuck is this?" and going batshit, before being carried off, the queendom hastily given to Bianca instead. Then the whole cast comes back onstage (Jumbo now in a t-shirt with the word "SHREW" on the front) and they all do a rousing song-and-dance rendition of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation." It was an epic conclusion, a brilliant way to fuck-you the stupid speech. (And Gayle Rankin played Bianca as a spoiled beauty queen in any case, so that worked out nicely......)

Speaking as a lifelong male, I must say that the women who were playing men all did superlative work, utterly convincing as men. In fact, the only one I didn't get a male vibe off of was Janet McTeer's Petruchio, who came across more lesbian than male. Not that that was at all an issue, because the main thing McTeer brought to the table was that Petruchio was just as much of an outcast and just as impossible as Kate -- the difference is that as a man, Petruchio being unpleasant and abusive is acceptable. In fact, McTeer's Petruchio is more unpleasant than Kate (at various points, peeing in public, vomiting in public, abusing his servant physically, and just generally carrying on in an I-don't-give-a-shit manner -- to add to it, while all the other male characters wear 1940s-style suits, McTeer wears a flannel shirt and leather jacket, doing a proto-James Dean).

It takes a lot to get me to like a production of Shrew. Lloyd and the cast managed it.

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Current Music: "Bourée" by Jethro Tull

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Catwoman is stealing voices! Featuring appearances by Chad & Jeremy, Steve Allen, Don Ho, Jay Sebring, and Joe Flynn! The Bat-rewatch does "The Cat's Meow"/"The Bat's Kow Tow."

An excerpt:
The plot in this one is—well, weird. Catwoman’s misdirection by doing a prank with riddles and umbrellas would have made more sense if the primary trio of male villains weren’t all in jail. The whole notion of stealing voices is bizarre in the first place, and it just doesn’t seem like it has much chance for success. The cliffhanger deathtrap is actually clever, and the high volume of the echo chamber is a rare case that gives the villain a good reason to be out of the room while the deathtrap is engaged. Having said that, Batman’s solution to get out is weak tea. And the opening with Bruce and Dick casually talking Bat-business in a live TV studio is just mind-boggling, given the contortions these two generally go to in order to preserve their identities. Also why does Catwoman steal Gordon’s voice, when that gives away that she hasn’t actually reformed? It’s an unusually stupid move.

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "St. James Infirmary" by Cab Calloway

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......to support Altered States of the Union, the alt-U.S. anthology with stories by me (about the Conch Republic of the Florida Keys), a story by David Gerrold, a story of the war between North Alaska and South Alaska by Peter David, and the first-ever fiction from the mighty Meredith Peruzzi about the Philippines as the 49th state, plus lots and lots more. Full details in this blog entry...


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Current Music: "After the Fire" by Roger Daltry w/orchestra

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One of Queen's best songs, dedicated to woofiegrrl:

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Current Music: "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen

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Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are captured and tortured -- and so are the viewers. The TOS Rewatch meets "The Empath."

An excerpt:
But ultimately, it’s a lot of really bad acting by William Shatner, who looks ridiculous when the Vians use their slow-motion gun on him, and even more so when he’s being tortured while making sure we get to see his manly manly chest. Kathryn Hays has her moments, mostly in closeup, as she has a very expressive face, but her body language and gestures border on the comical. And as with far too many episodes this season, there’s not enough story for an hour, giving us way too much padding, particularly during the climax where we’re subjected to endless scenes of Kirk and Spock standing in the force field, Gem gesticulating bizarrely, McCoy lying around covered in bruise makeup, and the Vians just staring blandly ahead over and over again.

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Current Music: "City of Refuge" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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Been a while since I've done one of these. Here's all the covers I have for works of mine released from 2015 forward:

Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido:

William Did It: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet (on StoryOfTheMonthClub.com):

A Baker's Dozen of Magic (which reprints William Did It):

Cayo Hueso: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet:

Marvel's Thor: Dueling with Giants (Book 1 of the "Tales of Asgard" trilogy):

A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe (with my essay "Top Ten Positives About the Prequel Trilogy"):

The Side of Good/The Side of Evil (with my SCPD story "Send in the Clones"):

Heroes Reborn: Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World:

Heroes Reborn Event Series Collection Two (reprinting Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World):

The X-Files: Trust No One (with my story "Back in El Paso My Life will be Worthless"):

Mermaid Precinct:

Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath:

V-Wars: Night Terrors (with my story "Streets of Fire"):

Limbus Inc. Book 3 (with my story "Right on, Sister!"):

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Current Music: "Absolutely" by the Subdudes

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I've got a bunch of books for sale that you can buy autographed copies of directly from me!

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Current Music: "(Nothing But) Flowers" by Talking Heads

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There's only three crowdfunding days left! If you want to preorder the alternate history anthology Altered States of the Union, featuring alternate versions of the United States edited by Glenn Hauman, you've only got a couple days left to support it!

Here's the full, incredibly cool lineup:
    Russ Colchamiro (Genius de Milo)
    Peter David (Star Trek: New Frontier)
    Keith R.A. DeCandido (Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War)
    Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald (Bad Blood)
    Brendan DuBois (Blood Foam)
    Malon Edwards ("The Half Dark Promise")
    G.D. Falksen (Cthulhu Fhtagn!)
    Michael Jan Friedman (Star Trek: Death in Winter)
    David Gerrold ("The Trouble with Tribbles")
    Robert Greenberger (Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Sorrow's Crown)
    Alisa Kwitney (New Avengers: Breakout)
    Gordon Linzner (The Troupe)
    Sarah McGill (And the Imps)
    Meredith Peruzzi (first fiction sale)
    Mackenzie Reide (The Mask of the Troll)
    Aaron Rosenberg (No Small Bills)
    David Silverman (Fighting God) & Hildy Silverman (Space and Time)
    Ian Randal Strock (Ranking the First Ladies)
    Ramón Terrell (Hunter's Moon)
    Anne Toole (Crystal Cadets)

What are you waiting for? SUPPORT THIS BOOK! It'll be debuting at Shore Leave 38 in July (at which editor Glenn and at least seven of the authors will be in attendance)

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Current Music: "Corned Beef City" by Mark Knopfler

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First of all HAPPY FATHERS DAY! to all the fathers out there (you know who you are). In particular, happiness of the day to my father and the Infomancer, who are both fathers to me. I only get to see one of them today, as The Dad and Mom-Like Product are off on a driving tour of New England and southeastern Canada. But The Mom, The Infomancer, Wrenn, and I are having a nice Fathers Day dinner at our favorite restaurant.

Yesterday we went on a major shopping spree to get stuff for the week in Little Italy and our local excellent supermarket, so we're set for the week. One of the things I bought was a ton of tomatoes, so sauce is being made! I started it last night and am continuing to simmer it down today. I maintain that there is no better smell in the world than good tomato sauce simmering. The whole place smells of it, and it's glorious.

Writing has been a bit slow the past couple of days, as the next scene I have to write in the collaborative thriller is a bit unpleasant, and also required a certain amount of research. Gotta do that and the belated Bat-rewatch today around the dinner engagement......

This week is my last week teaching my afterschool program and while I will miss the income that derives from teaching over the next couple of months, I really could use the break, too.....

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Elijah" by Cats Laughing

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If you want any of the books below, then send the total amount of the books plus $5 for shipping (U.S. orders only -- if it's international, just send me the amount for the books, and I'll bill you for the shipping once I've sent it). You can PayPal the amount to me at krad at whysper dot net or send a check or money order made out to Keith R.A. DeCandido to me at PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10185-4976. Please include your shipping address and to whom I should sign the book(s). If you have any questions, comment here or e-mail me.

Defending the Future: Best Laid Plans -- $15
Limbus Inc. Book 3 -- $22 NEW!!!
Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido -- $15

Cassie Zukav
A Baker's Dozen of Magic -- $15 NEW!!!
Out of Tune -- $20 NEW!!!
Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet -- $15
all 3 Cassie books -- $40 NEW!!!
all 3 Cassie books plus Without a License -- $50 NEW!!!

Command and Conquer
Tiberium Wars -- $5

Dragon Precinct
Dragon Precinct -- $15
Unicorn Precinct -- $15
Goblin Precinct -- $15
Gryphon Precinct -- $15
Tales from Dragon Precinct -- $15
any 3 Precinct books -- $40
any 4 Precinct books -- $55
all 5 Precinct books -- $65

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda
Destruction of Illusions -- $10

Heroes Reborn
Event Series Collection Two -- $8

Thor: Dueling with Giants -- $10

Scattered Earth
Guilt in Innocence -- $15

Star Trek
Alien Spotlight Volume 2 -- $20 NEW!!!
Captain's Log -- $20 NEW!!!
Deep Space Nine: Demons of Air and Darkness -- $7
The Klingon Art of War -- $26
Klingon Empire: A Burning House -- $8
The Next Generation: Q & A -- $8
The Next Generation: A Time for War, a Time for Peace -- $8

Stargate SG-1
Kali's Wrath -- $10 NEW!!!

Super City Police Department
The Case of the Claw -- $15
The Side of Good/The Side of Evil -- $16
With Great Power -- $15

Nevermore -- $8 NEW!!!
Bone Key -- $8 NEW!!!
Heart of the Dragon -- $8 NEW!!!

V-Wars -- $10
V-Wars: Night Terrors -- $20

The X-Files
Trust No One -- $20 NEW!!!

Young Hercules
Cheiron's Warriors -- $3
The Ares Alliance -- $3
both YH books -- $5

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Current Music: "The No No Song" by Ringo Starr

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Throwback Thursday: February 2008, an "action shot" of me performing Yaku Soku Kumite #3 during my promotion from advanced green belt to brown belt. This particular promotion ended for me with nine rounds of fighting against three of the best fighters in our dojo. (Which meant that they all got to rest for two rounds between fights. I did not. Yeah. I earned that brown belt, dagnabbit! *laughs*)

Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
Current Music: "Keeping Up with the Joneses" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

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Some of you may have seen this tumblr meme by iztarshi that's been making the rounds:
Humans quickly get a reputation among the interplanetary alliance and the reputation is this: when going somewhere dangerous, take a human.

Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so fast they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster.

You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for.

That’s the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it’s weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It’s even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you. But if you’re hurt, if you’re trapped, if you need someone to fetch help?

You really want a human.

My dear friend Vivian Caethe, author, editor, tea-lover, and all-around groovy person, has, with iztarshi's permission, decided to do an anthology of stories using this meme as its theme (it's got a meme theme!), and I'm going to be part of it. The story will, in all likelihood, be in the setting of Jin the Human Finder, the milieu I used for my story "The Stone of the First High Pontiff," which appeared in Defending the Future: Best Laid Plans and was reprinted in Without a License, and which I intend to some day write a novel about....

Vivian is running a Kickstarter to fund the anthology, so please do support it, as this will be a very nifty project to do! It's a nice palliative to the dystopian SF that's been all the tiresome rage lately.......

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Current Music: "If I Had a Hammer" by Pete Seeger

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Altered States of the Union is an upcoming alternate history anthology edited by Glenn Hauman for Crazy 8 Press and ComicMix. I've been talking it up, as I've got a story in it, even though I wasn't actually listed as an author on the Indie GoGo page. I'm doing a story called "We Seceded Where Others Failed" about the Conch Republic of the Florida Keys.

At last, an update has been posted, and I'm not the only new addition! Here's the just-this-morning-announced list of additional authors:
    Russ Colchamiro
    Peter David
    Keith R.A. DeCandido (see? there's me!)
    Robert Greenberger
    Meredith Peruzzi
    Aaron Rosenberg
    David Silverman & Hildy Silverman
    Anne Toole

This is the first fiction by both Meredith -- a historian, museum director, and ASL interpreter -- and David -- the president of American Atheists and the author of the nonfiction book Fighting God -- with the latter collaborating with his wife Hildy, a longtime author, editor, and publisher.

So please go! Back this! In addition to the above, the anthology has stories by David Gerrold, Michael Jan Friedman, Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald, Brendan DuBois, Malon Edwards, G.D. Falksen, Alisa Kwitney, Gordon Linzner, Sarah McGill, Mackenzie Reide, Ian Randal Strock, and Ramon Terrell.

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Current Music: "Don't Forget Your Hat" by Mark Knopfler

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Love is blind, and so is Miranda Jones. The TOS Rewatch asks "Is There In Truth No Beauty?"

An excerpt:
You might read those three previous paragraphs and wonder why I like the episode then, but it’s for this reason: at no point anywhere in the episode does Jones take any of their shit. She gently deflects Kirk’s (multiple) flirtations, mostly just ignores McCoy, and responds not even a little bit to Marvick’s unasked for kiss. And after Kirk treats her despicably, when she would have every right to just walk out on him or throw up her hands and say that there’s nothing to be done, she still went back in to telepathically save Spock’s life. We don’t get a Helen Noel or a Marla McGivers or a Carolyn Palamas or a Romulan commander, who all lose their professionalism to some degree or other due to meeting a hunka hunka burnin’ love (Jones, in fact, scoffs at the very notion, thanks to both her blindness and her telepathy).

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "Hey Jude" by the Beatles

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I haven't said much online about the shooting in Orlando because others have been more eloquent on the subject, and I'm just wrung out. Mass murders of children didn't change anything about gun laws in this country, so I doubt this will, either. I mean the only thing this country fetishizes as much as it does guns is children, but not a goddamn fucking thing changed after children were gunned down, so -- yeah.

In my ideal world, guns would only be able to be carried by law by law-enforcement or military. Sadly, I'm stuck in the real world, so I know that's not possible, but it's absurd to me that firearms are more easily obtainable than a driver's license -- or fucking sudafed. There is no reason, none, why the process of obtaining a firearm of any kind shouldn't come with a rigorous licensing procedure that shows that you know how to handle the thing, not to mention a background check and waiting period. While the multiple mass shootings over the past few years are appalling and horrible, and it's despicable that they've become so commonplace that we can't even list all of them anymore because there's too many (I'm reminded of Riley's line in Buffy the Vampire Slayer about how before he met her, he didn't know there was a plural of apocalypse), there's also the fact that most gun deaths are from people who handle them wrong, or use them in the spur of the moment.

The argument that people will break the law anyhow, so why regulate them? is specious at best. Of course people will break the law. If they didn't, we wouldn't need the fucking laws in the first place. The whole point of laws against aberrant behavior that is bad for the commonweal is because they will happen, but laws serve as a partial deterrent and as punishment.

One last thing, because I've seen this argument, too: if they can't get guns, they'll use something else. Should we ban gasoline or knives? Here's the thing--guns serve only one purpose: violent destruction. Period. There is absolutely no other use for a gun. It's not a tool, it's not a vehicle, it doesn't have other uses that mitigate the destructive possibilities. All it does is destroy things.

Current Mood: angry angry
Current Music: "Baby I Love You" by the Yayhoos

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The Adventures Thru Wonderland site has a review by Alice L. of my Thor novel Dueling with Giants, giving it 3 of 5 stars. Not the most enthusiastic review, but not the most unenthusiastic, either.....

Money quote:
I loved seeing the character personality show through from anything from as simple as a meal, and carry over to things like fighting style. Many of the characters have traits or quirks, be it size, or how they talk, or even what they use as a weapon, ex. in one of the battles, one of the larger warriors choose to sit on his enemies and talk about all this 'honors'! I also really enjoyed seeing different sides of Loki and Frigga, both in how they care for and treated each other, to how they reacted to the others of Asgard, and even Thor.

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Current Music: "Empty Sky" by Bruce Springsteen

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If you're a Star Trek fan, then it's likely that you at least know about, if not own, a copy of Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise by Shane Johnson, published in 1987. The engineering reference book is one of the classics of its type, and a great guide for the TREK fan who loves the specs and diagrams.

Anyhow, in the intervening decades, Johnson has transitioned and is now Lora Johnson, and she needs help with medical bills relating to a birth defect. She's started a GoFundMe page, and every little bit helps. Please, if you can, give a bit to aid a fellow Trek enthusiast.


Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "One True God" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

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Long, exhausting weekend, but a really good one, most of it involving either karate or spending time with Wrenn.

Friday was a beautiful day, the perfect time to go to the Bronx Zoo (pictures can be found on Facebook). We didn't get to ride the bug carousel, but we did see tigers and birds and bears and such.

Friday night, was, of course, my usual teaching of the kids fighting class. That class is going very well, and one of my regular kids has started taking the adult fighting class, which is pretty groovy. He's a really good fighter and it's good to see him challenged.

After that, Wrenn and I went to a local steak house. We had a bit of a financial windfall, and so we took advantage. It was expensive, but it was YUMMY!

Saturday, we went to Little Italy in the morning for shopping, then I helped Shihan teach the noon kids class, then took the 1pm class. The afternoon was made more entertaining during the former when I was demonstrating a jumping front snap kick for the kids, and something went pop in my right thigh. I pulled a muscle in the back of my thigh. Luckily, I keep pain patches in my karate bag, so I put one on and got through the rest of the day.

Which included a promotion! Several of the kids in the three afterschool karate classes I teach, as well as the one that Senpai Dylan teaches, were eligible to go from white belt to advanced white belt. They all did supremely well, and I'm incredibly proud of them. The afterschool kids are a bit of a challenge sometimes -- they don't have the same level of discipline as the kids in the dojo -- but I really enjoy teaching them and I love seeing how much they've learned, and how much stronger they are both physically and mentally.

Wrenn and I had a nice dinner of fried chicken and corn on the cob, and I watched the first episode of the new Roots and we both watched a few episodes of The Venture Bros., as we finally catch up on season 6.

Today was promotion day at the dojo, which involved four sessions: the first was four-and-five-year-olds and white belt kids, the second was color-belt kids (including one of the kids from my afterschool program who wound up joining the dojo and is now a yellow belt; she did really well, too!), the third was adults, and the fourth was three of the adults who were going for advanced brown belt, and so had more stuff to go through, including fighting.

The three now-advanced brown belts are women who started at the dojo at the same time, and the three of them have progressed together all the way to this highest color belt level. One in particular is like me, someone who was in a sedentary profession and did almost no exercise prior to signing up for karate, and she has progressed superbly. Her technique and spirit are superb, as good as anyone in the dojo. All three of them showed amazing skill, amazing strength, and amazing spirit today as we pushed them really hard, and they came out the other side magnificently. They're all going to make superb black belts.

Just in general, I really love teaching, and weekends like this are a big part of it: seeing people whom I've taught -- some of them exclusively, some occasionally, some more along the lines of mentoring rather than actual teaching -- achieve success at promotion, which is a tangible symbol of what they've learned and how they've progressed. It's wonderful.

Afterward, I was beyond exhausted -- did I mention it included fighting? and I pulled a muscle, so that was fun? -- so Wrenn met me at our local Irish pub for yummy food, desperately needed booze, and live Irish music. Bliss!

Then we came home and napped a lot. *laughs* Gonna make dinner soon and watch more Venture Bros. GO TEAM VENTURE!

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "Don't Think Twice (It's Alright)" by Eric Clapton

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Penguin opens a swanky restaurant. Has he reformed (again) or is it a disguise for an evil plot (again)? The Bat-rewatch does "The Penguin's Nest"/"The Bird's Last Jest."

An excerpt:
On the one hand, I like the fact that Penguin stays on point throughout the two-parter, always coming back to his original plan of being sent to the state pen so he can enlist Ballpoint in his forgery scheme. On the other hand, Batman knows this is his endgame, so why does he go to all the trouble of actually prosecuting Penguin’s case to get him sent to the state pen? For that matter, how is it even possible that a guy in a mask who won’t reveal his true name can prosecute a case for the state? That’s probably illegal. So is faking fingerprints, if it comes to that.

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Current Music: "The Habanero Reel" by Ian Anderson

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