Thursday, May 17, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. This ode to Amy Santiago on the now saved "Brooklyn 99" is fabulous. 
2. The, as it now stand, last RT convention is going on in Reno right now.  This post about cover censorship is now outdated, the resort updated or clarified their stance and the posters are being redone, but I think it's worth looking at, anyway, since posters in and on hotels are a thing I see at a lot of bookish events. 
3. This post about how reading romance can heal is wonderful. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Full Heart

Having begun working with teenagers, ahem, some time ago, many of them are no longer teens.  (Shocking news, people get older every day, story at eleven!)  I am well aware that being a small presence in these teens lives once a week and the occasional long weekend is the teeniest contribution to their lives.  I am also aware that they have all gone off and done various things, from parenthood to medical school to military service to cashier to still searching for that career path and that each of these is valid and awesome and some of them have (horrors) eschewed social media so keeping up on the specifics is tough.  
But this Sunday I, and others, had the amazing chance to watch one of them be ordained as a minister.  As such, I got to sit in the building where I first met her, surrounded by others, some who had watched her grow up, some who knew her from college, or post-college life, or seminary.  I listened to wonderful people talk about journeys, and leadership, and when sometimes someone elucidates the path you are travelling for you, and sometimes no one tells you but something inside you knows.  I listened to people talk about remembering your purpose even as people try to tell you their vision for you and what you should do next.  
We sang joyous songs and then we had the laying of the hands, and I came away just as filled with love and hope as I expect that our newly ordained minister was.  It is not the only or even most important thing one of my former youth kids could become, but it was one that let me participate in this step in the journey, revisit all those who showed up for this special moment, and for that I am very grateful. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

7 Posts: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Trent

Oh Trent.  One of the things I think Trent does is take a look at how reversing the gender roles of an ex, changes the power dynamics.  Sure, you could argue that Trent and Rebecca never really dated, only fake dated to throw off Josh. But there are two things to note about that.  First, one could argue that boy I kissed while we were proximal to each other tens of years ago who then broke up with me and went back to his girlfriend is just as solid as girl who found my picture, used me as a stand in and then invited me to come visit her to make it look real.  Second, for every rom-com about a girl who does ridiculous things in pursuit of love, there is also one about folks who fake date and fall in love.  So, really, Trent's reasoning is flawed in exactly the same ways that Rebecca's is.  And quite honestly, nothing Trent has done, not researching her college experiences, not creating an intense data file, not trying to spike her wedding to Josh, and not even threatening Nathan to get her to show up somewhere, is really worse than any of the things Rebecca has done.  
The blackmailing Rebecca to let him live with her and bake them appetizers is possibly the only line Rebecca hasn't crossed, and I'm not even sure that is really true.  None of this is to suggest that Trent or Rebecca should engage in these behaviors.  But in the framework of the pursuit of love, we have been culturally conditioned to accept that a little boundary pushing is a sign of dedication.  I listened to a podcast with two screenwriters where they said rom-coms are where the hero does things that would be creepy if they weren't dating.  (Yeah, I deleted the rest of that episode.)  But that is a problem we are facing, there's a lot of pop culture premised on that idea.  You can say it's just a movie or just TV.  But it is not okay to stalk people.  It is not okay to threaten their friends and family, or blackmail them, or interfere in their relationships for the sole purpose of getting that person for yourself.  
Yes, the show is primarily through Rebecca's eyes, so the audience has a little bit more sympathy for her.  But Trent, in addition to being a wrench in Rebecca's plans, is also a mirror.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1.Cassie Sharp wrote a great post about being an author without author friends might lead to something like #cockygate.  (Pajiba has a good summary of #cockygate if you have missed that story in the last week.) 
2. This story of a trans-racial adoptee who found his birth mother after he had a health scare gave me many feels. 
3. I am highly amused by the story of condoms in Georgia that are outlawed.  

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

7 Posts: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Change is hard

It's not like we needed a TV show to tell us change is hard, but I still enjoy how "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" explored that this year.  Many shows look at characters failing to change for an episode or two.  But this season we watched Rebecca try to change her whole life, only to discover she'd fallen into bad patterns with Nathan.  Watching the episode titles switch over from Josh to Nathan was another nice touch.  Paula found that she felt like a teen again she ran into Jeff Channing, (a name that is, ahem, very similar to Josh Chan) and ultimately realized that she liked the life and husband she had.  It wasn't a second choice, it was the right choice.  
Heather had to graduate and figure out who she was if she wasn't a student.  It turns out she's really good at managing things, so she ended up creating a new on site managerial program where she could watch the implementation of the changes she made at several regional stores.  Valencia after spending some time documenting Rebecca's recovery, ultimately parlayed her skills into party planning and also discovered love with a new lady, who reminded her that being from a small town wasn't a bad thing, small towns had made a lot of people.  
And Nathan tried to change and be a less hurtful person, but also tried to have his cake and eat it too, dating Mona and continuing to sleep with Rebecca.  Rebecca after breaking things off with Nathan, only to continue to sleep with him, finally decided that maybe they should try it for real, but was unable to stand in front of his door long enough to try to have a real conversation.  And her therapist expressed optimism that now that Rebecca had a diagnosis, they could make real progress, only to discover that Rebecca was still standing in her own way.  Josh found the loss of his dream job hard and struggled to find a purpose, finding bartending not for him, and trying out dancer at a gay bar, and then DJing for Valencia.  When he expressed concern to his mom after she demanded he clean out the last closet of his stuff at his parents' house and get out, she finally broke it down for him, it was time to move on and also his parents wanted to have sex in the house again.  
So everyone made changes to differing levels of success, and many characters reverted to bad behaviors.  And Nathan, White Josh, and Josh reminded us that guys with abs have problems too.