Getting Snobby: A Rant

I try really hard to not judge other people’s taste in things. I also try not to hate on things, because making things is hard, getting things out into the world is even harder, (Check out The Marina Chronicle! New Entries every Thursday morning!)  and maybe your thing just isn’t for me. Also, walking around looking for shit to hate is exhausting, it’s much easier to just avoid things you don’t like. It’s not always possible and sometimes, things are unavoidable.

And oh boy, has it been tough this week on the unavoidable front.

I mentioned my myriad of issues with Ready Player Onethis book was very deeply, not for me in a lot of ways, which is fine, except for that I am, at the moment, feeling alone in that. Not in my web life, where my feminist nerd circles are happy to rant against it’s bro-ey fantasy fulfillment, it’s trash fire female characters and it’s tediously bad writing, But my real life, that’s different. Someone recently asked for book recommendations on facebook, and knowing this person’s taste I recommended Crazy Rich Asians, (But also like everyone, read Crazy Rich Asians.) There then proceeded to be about 10 people, who’s taste I generally respect and overlap with, recommending Ready Player One, which among other things, I don’t think this person will like, but you know what, it’s her call.

With books I have to be really careful, because people tend to tell me that I’m asking people to take it as seriously as I do. But I just want to scream, that no! That’s not it! I think the thing is bad! And yes, I do take it seriously, because I want to be a writer and I studied literature for a long time, and maybe you should listen to me when I say a book is bad, because like, I know what I’m talking about! I have a diploma and everything.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t bad books that I love. (Twilight…and…well, mostly Twilight.) But I know that bad things I like are bad. I cop to it. I don’t go around telling everyone they’re great.

Also, on Saturday, I met an adorable 16 year old theater kid on the train to NYC. I’m always happy when I meet teenage theater geeks, and I want to hug them and tell them: YES! EXIST! ENJOY THIS TIME IN YOUR LIFE! IT WILL NOT LAST BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOK BACK ON IT FONDLY! She was obsessed with The Great Comet, (I really liked this kid!) and was on her way to see Hello Dolly! because to use her words, “OMG Bernadette! Right?” We touched on Dear Evan Hansen, which she loved but felt didn’t deserve it’s win over The Great Comet (AGREED)

I managed to keep this rant in. Even more than judging people’s reading and watching habits, I don’t judge people for liking bad music. I have terrible taste in music. I think The Backstreet Boys should be considered high art. I adore ABBA, and own, not I’ve downloaded to stream, paid actual money for all of Katy Perry’s albums.

But that’s not the case when it comes to showtunes. Oh sure, I like my share of trash and mediocrity. (The Pirate Queen, table for 1!) But generally, I know bad when I hear it, versus knowing when something is just not my thing. (To use one composer as an example: Elton John. Lestat: The Musical, bad. Billy Eliot, excellent, not to my taste.)

And now we get to Pasek and Paul.


I don’t like them. I don’t think they’re particularly good. They’re fine. The do serviceable work. I thought as a cohesive whole, La La Land was spectacular. But I remember next to nothing about it’s songs, it’s the strong visuals and good performances that made that movie. Not the songs. A Christmas Story is a serviceable musical with again, no real memorable songs. And then there are the big two. Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman.

None of these songs are great musical theater songs, except maybe “Waving Through The Window,” and “You Will Be Found.” The rest are vapid, derivative, predictable with next to no lyrical depth or anything interesting going on musically. They also wrote that horrendous “Running To You” song from The Flash musical, which following after Rachel Bloom’s delightful, “I’m Your Super Friend,” was particularly egregious and all of the dumb mushy duets from Smash season 2. (Ok, fine I listen to “Heart Shaped Wreckage” and “Rewrite This Story” a lot but only because Jeremy Jordan’s voice is from God, and “Original” is still mega dumb.)

And why does this annoy me so much? So some guys made some dumb, derivative, commercial art, so what?

I wouldn’t care, except for that their dumb derivative commercial art is being talked about and rewarded over actually good masterful art in the same genre.

Look, I get it, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t exactly hurting for prestige, but I still burns me that fricking “City of Stars,” beat “How Far I’ll Go” for Best Song. And it really really burns me that The Great Comet and Come From Away lost out on Tony’s to a stupid vapid pop musical with dumb bad songs. And it really really super burns me that because of timing and this inexplicable prestige of theirs, that they’re always going to be mentioned alongside one of the greatest musical theater composers of all time (Miranda) and the pop musical composers we should be talking about instead (Sarah Barielles and The Lopezes) and are getting mainstream attention that could be going to someone who the mainstream hasn’t found yet and might be better than all of the aforementioned people. (RACHEL BLOOM! RACHEL BLOOM! RACHEL BLOOM!) 

Anyway, all of this was just a roundabout way of saying that instead of Ready Player One people should read Crazy Rich Asians, and instead of doing literally anything else, people should watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Not this again

One of the reason I haven’t been writing for the past few days is that people are talking about Olivia Munn being a fake geek girl again and this topic gives my brain an angry buzzing noise.
Also it’s boring. We’ve had this fight a million times. Munn wrote a book about it. (It’s only an OK book, but she’s dressed as Wonder Woman on the cover, so if that interests you…)
I too, sometimes have moments of wanting to gatekeep. When I’m obsessing about something, the second stage for me, is “this is MY THING, I want it to MYSELF.” I then quickly go to “I must tell everyone I know about this awesome thing,” but I get the impulse, is my point.
I’m guilty of “fake fanning” people, and it’s something that when I think back on really embarrasses me. I grew up a sports fan. I’ve always been a sports fan, baseball particularly. When I was in college I became a football fan. Also around this time, The NFL & MLB (and probably the NBA and NHL too, but just thinking about basketball and hockey makes me want to take a nap.) partnered with Victoria’s Secret PINK to create a line of super cute and comfy tee shirts sold locally with the team’s colors and insignia.

Wanna guess how my big jersey over leggings every Sunday wearing ass reacted to these shirts?

They made me nuts. It took years and a lot of reading feminist thought and actually getting to know other female sports fans to ditch my, “real fans don’t wear that sort of thing” The way I see it now, was that this was the beginning of women owning sports fandom on their own terms. I still prefer an “official” jersey, but I love an adorable tee shirt. (And I will never understand the pink, as in the color, bedazzled jerseys worn by Eagle and Cowboy fans. Just because those aren’t team colors and what’s the point of wearing a differently colored jersey…also it means that you’re a fan of The Eagles or The Cowboys…not the point)

So having examined my own stupid ingrained biases and moved past them, the “fake geek girl,” conversation really pisses me off. Because there are so many kinds of geeks, because I’m a geek girl, and proud of it.

I’m not addressing the disgusting use of  the phrase “appropriating nerd culture” that started this round of the conversation because it’s gross and it’s the day after St. Patrick’s day, and pots and kettles and all that jazz. (If you want to hear my thoughts on the Irish-American assimilation into mainline white culture in and the general misunderstanding of that, you’re in the wrong place. I only have those conversations with my cousins after a bottle of wine and half a whiskey. Suffice to say there’s a difference between going to the parade in NYC and appreciating my cousin Joey’s excellent leading of the parade with his bagpipes and some idiot wearing a shirt he bought from Urban Outfitters and drinking green beer until he pukes because “everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s day,” one of those is insulting.)

I’m just really sick of this conversation. Let’s have another one. Let’s talk about how great Olivia Munn is going to be as Psylocke, or how cool it is that she did her own stunts, or how badass the babies that she and Aaron Rodgers might have will be. Ms. Munn is at liberty to have or not have as many babies as she likes. That’s between her and Rodgers, but I really hope they do, because those kids will be awesome.

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rodgers

Bad Ass!!!!


Time To Get Serious: WHAT IS GOING ON?

I don’t get overtly political here. (I mean, I guess as identifying as a feminist and talking about those issues, I can say that everything I’m doing here is political, but that’s an ideological conversation that I’m not having.) But, this week, I have to, I mean, HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, why are we having this conversation?

A certain political candidate, who’s name rhymes with Stump, and the party that he’s running for (that I was once a card carrying member of, and still affiliate myself with from time to time.) has proposed the plan that we no longer allow Muslims to immigrate to the US.

Aside from the fact that this is a batshit crazy plan, and only a batshit crazy person would think you could implement such a law in a country that (at least you know, according to our own national mythos, if not actually in historical reality) was founded by a group of people fleeing religious persecution.

I’m baffled, and I feel a little bit like I’m dreaming.

I started noticing in college that the Republican party was not the thing I’d always thought it was growing up. My family are (mostly) all Republican because of a belief in the strength of a free market and the enfranchisement of the individual.

Do you want to know what never once entered into conversations about politics with my conservative family members when I was growing up? “We are better than those that are different from us, and they are going to destroy our way of life.”

This year in particular, my heart is breaking and I feel disconnected and disillusioned from something that I’ve grown up believing in so strongly. I don’t understand how people can have so much hate and fear in their hearts. I don’t understand how, “beating the other side” became more important than, “creating a better world.”

I just don’t.

I’m not letting myself off the hook for this. Other people who have watched over the last few decades while the Right (I mean politically, not “correct”) side was dragged down into fear and hate and done nothing are not off the hook. People on the Left who laughed and thought it was a joke and demonized moderates along with the loud crazy voices, rather than engaging those who have a different perspective are not off the hook.

NO ONE IS OFF THE HOOK HERE! We all need to take a big step back and look at this mess and say, “how did this happen and how do we change the conversation?” Not in a few months, not next year, right now, IMMEDIATELY.

We need to say, “NOPPPPEEEEE, no more excuses, no more, ‘I’m not like that,’ no more laughing at the big dumb powerful racist/homophobic/xenophobic assholes. Now we stand up, now we say, ‘WE DESERVE BETTER THAN YOU, we deserve better than having our base fears pandered to.'”

I’m done, I’m straight up, flat out done.


Life Finds A Way

This week has been kind of stressful but oddly there’s been a lot of time for worry…which doesn’t help.

Which is a round about way of saying that I don’t actually have a post for today, in general real life has been in the way of me obsessing lately.

This is not a bad thing by any stretch.

Real life is wonderful. Real life is tactile and fun and immensely enjoyable.

But real life means a job that I need to decide if I want to stay at. Bills that I need to pay. A car that needs repairing. A theater troupe that requires triage. Apartments to hunt for. Friends and cousins’ weddings to plan. Girls weekends to coordinate. Mental health to tend to. Work outs to fit in. Dinners to cook. Wine to drink. Men to go on first dates with. And maybe second dates. Graduation and birthday parties.

These are real life things that I’m coming to appreciate more. But as they crowd my life, there’s less time for the things that make up this blog. Less time for books and comics and movies and obsessions.

Fandom isn’t real life. Oh, it spills over into real life. Meeting new people through it. Talking Game of Thrones with, well, everyone I know. Figuring out what I to write and say. These are all major factors in my life.

But life will always find a way.

And tonight I’m leaving real life behind for two hours.

And I’m seeing Chris Pratt train some raptors.

We’ll talk about it later.

And The Living Is Easy

It’s officially summer.

Well, not officially, but as far as any conventional measurement goes…

My daily walks have given me enough color that I don’t feel ghosty pale anymore…I’m ready for beach time, though I don’t know when it’s going to come.

I sometimes long for the summers of school time, when your life would slow down. Now it seems like everything goes crazy at summer time. This is partially because Tomfoolery Theatre, the group I help run, does it’s main work in the summer. (Auditions were this week! So, there’s that.)

Put here’s a (brief) look at what I have coming up in the next few months:

Summer Movie Season Trudges On:

I’m hoping to get to either Mad Max: Fury Road or Aloha this weekend. Next weekend Entourage is hitting, and I’ve decided to be unapologetically excited about that, followed by Jurassic World and Inside Out, which then lends itself to a nice little break before Terminator: Genysis (I need to find a minute to rewatch the first two Terminator movies…)

Special Edition NYC!

That’s next weekend. I have a hotel room, I have costume plans. I’m really excited and nervous. I had a ball at ACBC but I’ve also pretty much given up weekly comics reading, because I got really far behind and also because there have been so many good books coming out lately (Prose books) and I don’t have unlimited reading time, so something’s got to give. (I’m currently working through Gumption: Relighting The Torch Of Freedom by Nick Offerman. Hilarious. And educational. I admire this man so much.) But I’m looking forward to it. Since I’ve decided to jettison NYCC in favor of Disney World this year. (Where I will be, exhausted, dehydrated, and waiting in line a bunch. Seriously, it’s 80% the same activities) this is (probably) my last con this year. I’m comfortable with the decision…I think.

Usual Stuff

Obviously, Game Of Thrones will continue, and I’m about to launch into season 3 of Kim Possible and Sailor Moon seems like an endless trove of joyous pretty colors and glitter. (Seriously, I’m trying to figure out how much original anime I have left and my Google-fu is failing me…does anyone know what Hulu’s deal with the movies is going to be? I mean, I assume they’ll be there, since we’ve been promised “full and unabridged.”)

Life Things

My sister’s boyfriend Joe graduated from college! So we’re celebrating that. A couple of my cousins also graduated from college and high school and what not, so there will be celebrations of that. Plus work, and trying to write things that aren’t this blog.

But I swear, I will get to a beach. I will do it soon! (Or possibly in August, when all of this stuff is done.)

Happy Summer Everyone!


Time To Get Personal: Body Issues

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I feel the need to do this one. I’ve been feeling really raw about this issue lately, and generally, even when I do these, I don’t get quite this personal. I ask for you kindness and compassion on this.

I remember a time that I was comfortable in my body. It lasted for about 6 months, the summer and fall of 2011. I don’t remember a time before that, since pretty much from the time I noticed my body, I was uncomfortable in it.

I was always tall. But until puberty, which for me came early, towards the end of fourth grade, I was tall and gangly. Thin, with a flat stomach and spindly legs. Then my body settled into what it looks like now. Still tall, but big breasts, a large butt, a round tummy, thick thighs.

And this all happened a good two years before the development of any of my friends. I was always a little insecure, I dressed in leggings and oversize sweaters. This was both after and before this was considered an “in” look. When shopping for Bar Mitzvahs and school dances, I went to Annie Sez, while my friends got to gleefully play in Mandee. The first pair of jeans that didn’t make me feel like a mom were a pair of Gap boot cuts that I stumbled across when I was 15. I wore them until I was 20 and a hole wore into the crotch.

I remember my worst body image day. It was junior year of high school and I went shopping with my mom and sister. I tried on a pair of jeans that I couldn’t even zip. I burst into tears in the dressing room. Meanwhile, my sister, who’s tall and lean and a natural size 6, still had to shop for bathing suits. My mom was apologetic, knowing that watching that would be impossible after what had just happened, still needed to soldier on. She sent me to the mall Starbucks and a few weeks later, I was signed on with a nutritionist and personal trainer at a studio gym.

I hated every moment of it, but for once I felt in control. Then school started up again, and theater, and there just wasn’t time anymore, and I fell back into bad habits.

College didn’t help, and there was another bad day when picking out Christmas outfits when something was too tight, or revealed too much of a muffin top and my mom tried to coax me into something else and I snapped, “I want to dress my own age for once!” She relented and I still cringe at the pictures.

By my fifth year of college, I was pretty much OK with the fact that I was never going to be thin. It’s just not how I’m built. But I was determined to be fit. So I stopped snacking between meals. I cut out beer. (SO HARD your final year of college.) I ran 3 or more miles a day. I lost 30 pounds. I managed to keep it off for about 6 months, and then put about 15 of it back on.

There was a moment that summer that I remember as clearly as the breakdown at the mall. I was at a pool party in a bikini (The first one I’d worn since age 10) I was drinking a miller light and eating a piece of pizza. And I thought. “I did it. I’m over my crap. Girls who hate their bodies don’t eat pizza and drink beer in bikinis.”

This past year has been great for me in a lot of ways. I’m more mentally and socially healthy than I’ve been in a very long time. My financial situation is immensely improved, to the point where living with my parents is actually “a responsible decision I’ve made” and not, “my only choice if I want to ever go outside or eat food that isn’t cereal or spaghetti.” But I’ve let my weight go. I gained back that other 15.

I don’t exercise nearly as much as I should, and I make horrible food choices. (Still not much beer though! Seriously, wine drinking instead of beer drinking is the best habit I’ve ever gotten into.) I’ve made some strides there, but not enough.

I don’t like the way my body looks these days, although I’ve committed in the past month or so and I’m happier than I was with it. I envy people who like their bodies, who are comfortable in their own skin.

Because I don’t hate my body anymore. But I’ve never been comfortable in it, and I want to fix that. I voiced some of this on facebook this week and received an outpouring of love from friends. One in particular really made me feel good.

But I’ve recommitted to things, walking every day at lunch, working out with Darebee’s superheroine work outs (which I’ve been posting on twitter and facebook, so that I’m accountable to someone. It helps!) And I’m also immensely proud that this past week, feeling insecure and frustrated with my body didn’t translate to feeling depressed an useless in other aspects of my life, save a few hours of self indulgent self pity I allowed myself. (See “more mentally healthy” above.) I was able to remind myself that this is something I can control and make choices about. That my life and self worth are not defined by my weight, waistline and dress size.

I’m just saying that there are days that it’s hard to remember that.

I’m Sorry, but the damn snow

Look, guys, I’m really sorry, I have nothing for you. Do you know why?


This damn winter has zapped all of my energy. 

I cannot take another day of snow. Of having to get up early to brush snow off of my car, of wasting gas to warm my car up in the morning. Of wrapping myself in a cocoon of blankets in order to sleep.


I want it to go away for ever. 

 Normally, around this time every winter, I go a little crazy and start looking at jobs and houses in Florida. I’ve managed to not do that this year. Because I’ve been planning conventions instead. So we’ve got that going for us folks. 

 But it’s so cold, and so snowy, and I’m just so very deeply over it. 

 This is a picture of what my yard looked like today:


 And I’m done with it all. 

So I’m going to spend the weekend in bed trying to write. 

And watching SNL, because it’s Chris Hemsworth with musical guest Zac Brown Band this week, so we’re going to go for that.