Monday, June 17, 2024

Bias and Privelege

In going back to revisit some of the posts from around RWA's newsmaking, I realized I alluded to something about DEI programs. 
I do want to be clear. There are great DEI and DIBs and other programs. I have been in some. 
But some programs are a little sanded down. And so what can happen goes something like this. The program will talk about things like unconscious bias, how we all have it. It happens to everyone. 
And yes, unconscious bias does happen to everyone. We live in a racist and bigoted society. And so those things seep into everything. Being not racist and not bigoted takes work. 
But if you don't also discuss privilege and power structures, then its easy to walk away thinking oh, we're all a little bit racist, and so people can be racist about me too. And that's not true for everyone. 
I can be personally biased towards doctors who speak French, but that is not something that our whole society is designed to support. If I say I simply am more attracted to blondes, so much of our society is set up to reinforce that. 
And I can be a person of color and still be racist. I can be a woman and still be sexist. Our societal structures are designed to support all that.
So in a DEI training that just teaches we all have biases and should look out for them, well, it's not wrong. But that lesson on it's own does very little to help me unpack those biases. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Tara Describes the Tony Nominated Plays and Musicals Badly

Technically these are one sentence descriptions, but, yeah, no claims to accuracy here.  This is done with love and appreciation for all the hard work that goes into making theater.  I only counted those nominated for best play, musical, or revival of one of those

Jaja's African Hair Braiding - A day in the life of terrible immigration policies, and hair. 
Mary Jane - Being a mom is super hard. 
The Mother Play - Mothers are a lot. 
Stereophonic - Making art with other people is so great and also so hard and awful.
Hell's Kitchen - Not-quite-Alicia-Keys is coming of age. 
Illinoise - Campfire tales with dance. 
The Outsiders - In the 1960's it was hard being a parentless boy. 
Suffs - What if we let women vote, that would be cool.  I'm sure no one will oppose that.*
Water for Elephants - What if you really did run away to be with the circus.
An Enemy of the People - What if you tried to warn people of a deadly risk, and they got really mad. 
Appropriate - Sorting through a dead relative's things always leads to drama. 
Purlie Victorious:  A Non-Confederate Romp through the Cotton Patch - A preacher has a plan to win back his inheritance from the plantation owner. 
Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club - One needs a good place to relax and sing, when there are Nazis and political upheaval going on outside. 
Gutenberg! The Musical! - Two guys try to pitch a musical about Gutenberg. 
Merrily We Roll Along - Telling a story about friends breaking up backwards, so it seems happy.
The Who's Tommy - PTSD can sometimes result in excellent pinball skills.

*I know.  It's two sentences.  Oops.  My bad.   

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. Some of the survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting are graduating high school, and they talked about that. 
2. While it sounds a little like a sci-fi plot, they are airdropping special mosquitos in an attempt to help preserve some special birds in Hawai'i. 
3. A hotel fire alarm went off in Dublin, Ireland, and one of the hotel guests made a point to meet the fire fighters, a man named Henry Winkler. 

Monday, June 10, 2024

7 Things about Tricked by Love

1. Side characters in books are always fun because they can be like cue balls, bouncing off the other balls, and resetting the table.
2. Making them main characters is always a little tougher, because now they need internal thoughts and feelings. 
3. When I wrote Hot Bartender, and created Lillian (Zane's sister) and Xavier (Zane's friend and eventual co-worker), I had no additional plans for them.
4. But well, Lillian apparently had plans. So when in Troubled by Love, Lillian mentioned a secret relationship, I realized I had to write that.
5. As with my other books, this book stands on it's own. The only thing you will learn from reading Tricked by Love that is that the couples in Hot Bartender and Troubled by Love are still together. Also, timewise, Tricked starts before Troubled but ends after it. 
6. Is there a museum date in here? Yup. And food? Yup. And a reference to DC's dinosaur, aka dinosaur butt?  Also, yep.
7. Lillian doesn't date bartenders. Xavier doesn't do secret relationships. They are both about to break their rules.
Lillian's brother is a bartender, and the bartender circle in DC is too small for her to date within that pool. She meets a hot guy on the customer side of a bar and goes home with him. When she discovers he is a bartender too, she decides they never need to meet again. And that works, until he shows up to Thanksgiving dinner.
Xavier's family drama means he likes things clear and upfront. But he never forgot Lillian, and when they end up seated at the same dinner table, he decides he'll agree to just about anything for another chance with her.
Except secret relationships never stay secret for too long. When Lillian's brother and Xavier start looking into working together, Lillian and Xavier are either going to need to go public or end things.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Three Interesting Things

1. As someone who has worked in benefits, I have a lot of thoughts about why hospital pricing transparency would be hard, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a great goal.  NPR talked to Fat Joe who has been working on this issue
2. In other healthcare news, there's a possible tooth regrowing drug that's about to go into testing. 
3. And it has come to my attention that a new cat color has been identified and named salty licorice