New Basic

Books Read 2014 and Not Many from 2015

II. On Being a Woman by Caitlin Moran
III. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder k
5. Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley YA
6. Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller
7. Feed by M.T. Andersen UA

8. ttyl by Lauren Myracle YA
9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
10. ttfn by Lauren Myracle YA
11. l8r, g8r by Lauren Myracle YA
12. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
13. Prude : Lessons I Learned When My Fiance Filmed Porn by Emily Southwood
14. Mira in the Present Tense k by Sita Brahmachari
15. My Basmati Bat Mitzvah k by Paula J. Freedman
16. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted and all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
17. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn


18. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
19. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak YA
20. Cut the Lights by Karen Krossing YA
22. Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm k
23. Couch Tag by Jesse Reklaw (GN)
24. Jews Without Money by Michael Gold
IV. On the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder k
25. Chains: Seeds of America by Laurie Halse Anderson YA
26. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson YA
27. Ten Miles from Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell YA

28. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell YA
29. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson YA
30. Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild by Deborah Siegel
31. Sleeping With Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety by Wendy Kaminer

32. </i>Fangirl</i> by Rainbow Rowell
33. </i>Clubland: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture </i> by Frank Owen

34. The First Affair by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krause
35. Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask</i> by Dalton Conley
36. Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick

37. Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
38. The Harlot's Tale by Sam Thomas
39. Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wildeby Moisés Kaufman
40. True Story, Swear to God by Tom Beland
41. True Story, Swear to God: Chances Are by Tom Beland
42. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand
43. My Booky Wook 2: This Time It's Personal by Russell Brand</i>

44. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
45. The Haunted Smile: The Story Of Jewish Comedians In America by Lawrence J. Epstein
46. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
47. Attachmentsby Rainbow Rowell

48. The Book of Mormon: The Testament of a Broadway Musical by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
49. The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
50. Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian YA
51. Lulu and the Hedgehog in the Rain by Hilary McKay k
52. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
53. Binny for Short by Hilary McKay YA

The Doll's House by Rumer Godden k
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett</i> k
54. Revolution by Russell Brand
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

55. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
56. Blind Faith by Ellen Wittinger YA


1. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga YA
i. Heart on My Sleeve by Ellen Wittinger YA
ii. Freak Show by James St James
iii. Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin
iv. Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin
v. The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin
vi. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
vii To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


2. Carsick by John Waters
3. That's Not Funny, That's Sick: The National Lampoon and the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream by Ellin Stein
4. The Missing Pieces of Me by Jean van Leeuwen k
5. Revival by Stephen King
6. Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock YA


7. Unsouled by Neal Shusterman YA
8. Moving Pictures by Kathryn and Stuart Immonen GN
9. Choose Your Own AutoBiography by Neil Patrick Harris
10. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
...Claudia's Story by Anne Rice, illustrated by Ashley Lee Witter
11. The Mallet of Loving Correction by John Scalzi
12. Sisters by Raina Telegmeier GN
13. Drama by Raina Telegmeir GN
14. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
New Basic

I'm in the middle without any plans

That Number Eighteen

I wonder what it would be like
To always be sure I'm right
Even as I pawn humanity with my justifications.

That childlike belief in zero-sum happiness.
Path undeterred by logic, temperance or mirrors
Victory defined by your own declaration.

I cannot imagine the feeling of void
The lack of memories of those I love
People you would have thrown away.

All the hearts and minds and bodies
Loving and caring and knowing I love back
Some longer than others have been alive.

Do your bridges burn so bright?
A moment worth years of ash through your hands?
How sad to lose the paths on the other side.

What isn't, was. I strove for "is," you wanted "will be."
Rewrite history but we can see through the scratches.
Such a bad trade, years for a month.

Ways to grow, a reading rainbow.

So, there's a challenge going around to diversify your reading, or rather who you read. Even today, the bulk of authors are white, male and heterosexual.

Don't overthink it! Don't say "Well, I read what I like and it's not my fault if writers like me are just better. Reading is to challenge and open your mind. If you are reading sci-fi or fantasy and have no trouble believing that there is interstellar travel or elves, but never see a three-dimensional non-white, non-het, non-male character, something is off.

Before I checked out my shelf (this is the hardback shelf in the living room), I figured I probably skew slightly female, fairrrrrlyyyyy white and have a fair amount of LGBT stuff.

What I found was of the 71 books on that shelf(not counting ones that actually belong to my mom), (numbers won't add up because these are three different lists)
45 of them are by female authors,
16 by LGBT folks (though only four authors, 9 are by Armistead Maupin, 3 are graphic novels/collections of Allison Bechdel, and two are by Maya Angelou (not a lot of people know or remember that she identified as bisexual).
The most telling part is that I have two, (TWO) by a person of color, and those would be "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "Mom and Me and Mom," both by Maya Angelou.

I have no doubt that the larger shelf of probably 150-ish paperbacks in my bedroom, including a lot of children's books , picturebooks and more pop culture-y stuffkskews similarly, maybe leaning even more female, with the LGBT's represented by Alison Bechdel's memoir The Indelible Alison Bechdel and the paperback versions (there are bonus stories not included in the hardcover compliation in the living room) and three John Waters books. Off the top of my head, I am pretty sure that only Striped Ice Cream by Joan Lexau (whom I'm not 100% sure was black herself, though a number of her books involve black characters) and Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan are by POC. Just over 1%.

I'm not impressed.

Now, the books I own and the reading I do in general are two different things, I tend to only buy books when I've checked them out of the library several times and realize that I'd be happier having a copy in the house (I call these "go-to" books), and most of the books I've bought for myself are part of a series that I love. I'm a little more diverse in my library reading, and quite certain.

A few years ago, rather than doing the 50 Books POC challenge (to read 50 books by non-white people in a year) I decided to just keep track and see what I read, and I read 17 new-to-me books by POCs that year, but it probably would have been fewer if I hadn't re-discovered Jacqueline Woodson, 9 of those were hers. (She is also a lesbian, which I just realized when I was Googling her. It has only been an incidental theme in her books that I have read.).

So, this is interesting to me.

She lost all her innocence. She said, "I am not a feminist"

Saying "I don't need feminism" is like saying "I don't need wheels." You probably don't NEED them, but your life is a lot easier. Just today, I've moved some heavy stuff on a dolly cart, pushed a grocery cart and rolled my desk chair back. Later, I will get on a bus. I could have managed to carry the heavy things, pulled the chair out fairly easily, and walked the couple miles to where I'm going, but wheels have and will made those things easier.

People who say they don't need feminism haven't thought about what it's like not to have the systems in place that often happened before they were born.

Were you able to vote yesterday? Have you been allowed to have any formal education? Are you reading this on a computer or a phone that you know how to use? Have you gotten through all of your job interviews without someone informing you that they'd rather hire a man because a pretty girl like you is just going to up and get married and leave them in the lurch? Do you have credit in your own name? Can you, finances willing, buy a house in your own name some day, or have your name on the deed of a house you buy with someone else? If you are sexually harassed at work (and I don't mean the strawman of "If I say a chick has a nice blouse, I can get fired?" I mean the kind of daily assessment of your body and possible sexual activity that makes the idea of going to work on days that That Guy is present a depressing, nauseating chore.), are there channels in place to deal with the situation when he inevitably ignores your wish that he stop?

All of those things are feminism. Most were in place before I was born (though my mom went through the job interview thing and I went through the sexual harassment thing). Like wheels, they're not something I have to think about, but something that benefits me constantly. It is ungrateful and ridiculous to say "I don't need wheels." while using them in many ways every day.
New Basic

(no subject)

Please don't cite outliers as if they are the voice of very large group.
On the other hand, please don't tell me that since most people don't do a thing, it's not a thing at all.

Most feminists are simply women who want gender equality for everyone (everyone includes cismen and trans*people), Very few wrote insane manifestos, and only one shot Andy Warhol.
A lot more people than most cishet folks realize are on the QUILTBAG spectrum, and most of them just want to love who they love, be who they are and have more of the world leave 'em be, as most of the world leaves most people be.
Most people aren't asking for special rights, just equal rights. The only thing special about the rights is that they haven't gotten them yet.
Most people receiving government assistance will be off of it within two years, and are barely scraping by.
Most gun owners are sane people who keep their guns safe.
Most monotheists are decent people who don't adhere to the bizarre parts of their religion's holy book.
Most polytheists are decent folks who who don't find comfort in monotheism.
Most atheists are decent folks who don't find comfort in any theism.
Most people who are privileged are unaware of their privilege, and find it hard to accept that they ARE privileged, because they are aware of their own hard battles.
Most people who are underprivileged are fighting even harder battles that they are amazed others aren't seeing.
Most people don't mean to be unkind
Too many people find it harder to sincerely acknowledge or apologize for their accidental unkindnesses than to explain why what they did isn't unkind.

This post brought to you by The Letter Things I'm Tired of Hearing and the Number Comments I'm Tired of Reading.
Demeter and Persephone

And I am fine, I am fine, I am completely fine

My brain keeps me entertained.

To fulfill a reasonable request made by my daughter, we are going to barbecue tomorrow, using one of the grills at our local beach.

Stepping into the local supermarket, I realized that A)I had NO idea where the charcoal lives. I don't know if I've EVER bought it. I've helped barbecue when other friends have brought the grills, I've barbecued in my own back yard, many years ago, but, as far as I remember, a bag of Kingsford just kind of showed up

and B) I had no idea what charcoal costs. I couldn't help but remember the scene in Rain Man when Raymond, having been established at being brilliant with abstract numbers and with estimating and rememebering, has no clue about dollar values; "How much does a car cost?" "About a hundred dollars?" "And a candy bar, how much does a candy bar cost?" "About a hundred dollars." Seriously, as far as I knew, a bag of briquettes costs "About a hundred dollars."

The aisle marked "Pet Food, Kitchenwares, Picnic," among other things? Absolutely briquette-free. So, I stood and tried to grab the memory that was darting just out of reach at the very back of my mind. Finally, it came to the front. Me, anywhere from maybe 6 to maybe 14, standing in shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops, either in Southern California or Florida, goosebumpy from the AC, reading the labels on the Duraflame logs and charcoal briquettes in the front of the store, waiting for my mother to finish checking out. ONWARD AND FRONTWARD!

A small, one use bag is $3.99. Good to know.

There will be marshmallows, too.
Caitlin at Blackpoint

You'd better best to rearrange

You know how to deal with an onerous task that's hanging over your head?
You sit down (or stand up, or put on your gloves, or take off your gloves or grab your workboots or whatever) and DO IT.

Then it's done. For me, it's often done in a LOT less time than I took to dread doing it.

Done and done.

Repost: Voting

There are local elections happening all over the US today.

Voting is a right in this country, but it is also an incredible privilege in the face of history.If it's too much trouble, you don't have to vote.

If you don't feel like it, then you don't have to vote.

If something for which men went to war, for which men and women were beaten, which some of your ancestors didn't fully have until less than half a century ago, matters so little to you that you can't make time for it EVERY COUPLE OF YEARS (and you could've voted by mail WEEKS ago), within blocks of your house, well, then don't.

Don't put yourself out because of peer pressure. If it means that little to you, you don't have to waste poll-workers' time.

Let those who care vote.

If you send out lies which are easily debunked and continue to believe them even though your only defense against the careful point-by-point explanation of WHY these lies ARE lies (or at least exaggerations or twisted truth) is "Well, yeah, you'd say that, you're a liberal/conservative/woman/man/etc!" or "I don't have time to read all that!" you don't have to vote.

If you send a lie and someone debunks it and you say "Yeah, but it TOTALLY sounds like something that person would do/say/think" or "Who cares about the facts, it's funny!" or "Who cares about the facts, s/he sucks anyway!" you don't have to vote.

If you spread funny political memes without actually having heard or seen the source in context, you don't have to vote.

If your contributions to political discussions consist entirely of phrases that begin "Well, pundit/celebrity/guy on the internet says" " you don't have to vote

If you think that a site with its agenda right in its URL is a useful news source, you don't have to vote.

If you're voting for a candidate based on looks or previous non-political fame, you don't have to vote.

If you don't think there's really any difference between candidates, and refuse to educate yourself as to what that might be, because there's no difference and there's a game on, you don't have to vote.

If you don't care about any of the issues and just fill in circles or arrows or punch holes at random or in a pretty pattern, or based on liking the candidate's name, you don't have to vote.

If you think that getting yourself to a place within a few blocks from your home within a thirteen-hour windowis kinda inconvenient, and so is voting by mail, you don't have to vote.

But you can.

The wonder of this country is that, as long as you got your act together and registered, you can vote. So, if you truly want to vote, do so.

Bring your notes and sample ballots with you (but don't leave them behind for the next person, that's actually illegal. Also don't wear anything or carry anything that visibly shows a side you're on; you don't want to be turned away!), take time to make sure you punch or fill in the correct places, and make sure that you don't take it for granted. Or vote by mail and take your time. Or fill in your vote by mail ballot in the comfort of your own home and drop it off at the polling place in person (that's what I do; best of both worlds, a nice leisurely fill in and feeling the physicality of being part of the process.).

Savor it.

Think hard about what and who you're voting for, why you're voting that way, and how it will affect not only your lives, and your children's and their children's, but the lives of all Americans. Most of us are allowed to vote simply because we were lucky enough to be born here.

Never take that for granted.
New Basic

It's Friday night so everythang is poppin

I really enjoy having an original answer to a question that's mostly asked to be polite.

The adorable young man at Trader Joe's was chatting in that way that I never can tell if someone is just that friendly and good at small talk, or if they might be flirting, or if they flirt with everyone or if this is for me. But I was pleasant, remembered that the nice answer to "How's your Friday so far?" isn't "Fine," but "Pretty good, yours? When did your shift start?" (In other words "I acknowledge that you are a human and not just my cashierbot.") "Three. I'm working closing. So, any fun plans?"

And I decided to just answer, even though there was no way that my plans were exciting. "I swear I have a reason for asking you watch South Park?"

"Yeah, when I get a chance, I do."

"Well, my daughter is cosplaying Kyle at Fanime and I'm making her an Ike doll."

OK, I know the next spurt of enthusiasm was genuine "That is AWESOME! Is that what's in that bag of fabric, a future Ike doll? If you had said 'I'll give you a million dollars if you can tell me what I'm doing tonight...' That's really cool! Good luck with that, have a great weekend!"