Thursday

This and that



A navel-gazing roundup.

Watching: On a whim, I binged on the single-season series Caprica, a prequel to Battlestar Galactica. I'd never seen Battlestar, but I was in the mood for new stimuli. The prequel is a soapy saga about two families brought together — and often placed at odds — by a terrorist attack that claims their children on Caprica, one of 12 planets inhabited by mankind.

Along the way, it deals with heritage, corporate intrigue, organized crime, religious extremism, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, a subject I started writing about in a novel last year. But frak me if the show doesn't put me to shame. The intricacy of the virtual worlds is dazzling. The very first scene is set in a virtual nightclub where teens go for simulated group sex, fight clubs, murder and human sacrifices (!!!). And there's this very cool, very noir aesthetic that develops later in the New Cap City world, which is where I think the show really hit its stride.





It's all an elaborate precursor to the near destruction of our race by Cylons, a robotic race that evolves to  look like us. I'm now dipping my toe into BG. I think it greatly enhances my geek cred.

And because of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. GRRRR.



Also watching: the new season of Doctor Who! I originally intended to recap the episodes, but meh. There's enough people doing that, and too few people who would be into that read this blog. I might mention it from time to time as I see fit. I love Peter Capaldi as the Doctor! It'll be interesting to see in what direction they take him, but so far I love how cantankerous he is, how much humor arises from that, and the very different dynamic he has with Clara compared with the flirty levity she had with Matt Smith.

Reading: I'm on a graphic novel kick. I read Marjane Satrapi's Embroideries in one sitting. That's the author of Persepolis, the film version of which I fell in love with immediately after reading Embroideries. While Persepolis is a broad memoir of a childhood in war-torn Iran, Embroideries is a more intimate story, about one evening among the author and a gaggle of women drinking tea and talking about marriage, sex, and getting your vajayjay stitched up. It's poignant, raunchy and funny as hell.



Next, I went back to Phantom of the Attic in the 'Burgh and picked up Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which I also read in one sitting. I haven't been in a comic book shop since I was in middle school/early high school, and then I went back one summer during college to visit my former crush who worked there. (It's kind of a funny story.) I still haven't seen the movie that's out now, but I rewatched Sin City, got a lot more out of it than when I first became obsessed with it, and now want to read two of the graphic novels it was derived from, That Yellow Bastard and The Big Fat Kill.

I'm also dabbling in Wonder Woman comics. Why not?

Swearing: In Spanish. It makes me feel closer to my culture.

Missing: My friend Carlos. He was visiting from Santa Fe — his sister also recently moved to Pittsburgh, of all the coincidences. It had been more than a year since I saw him and I really, really needed to catch up with him and do pizza, booze, telly nice and proper like we used to. He said I needed a blue wall, like I had in a Santa Fe, and even that made my little drunk heart giddy with sentimentality. Eric and I had major Santa Fe flashbacks with him being here.



Carlos. You need to just move here already and give up this charade.

We've had lots of visitors lately! Eric's Aunt Lisa and Uncle Joe were here, along with their sons Kevin and Ryan, who stayed with us. I hadn't seen Ryan in four years. I was unfortunately struck with the plague during their visit and wasn't much fun, but I liked having people in the house, and Eric liked having people to bro out with.

BRO OUT!


Knitting: I'm still working on this damn shawl. I'm still on the first skein even though I bought the second one weeks ago in anticipation of needing it soon. I'm so in love with the colors and just want to wear it already! 


Resenting: Petty neighbors. My psychobabble. The lingering life effects of being a gypsy wolf child. My twisted, scumbag brain.

Considered re-writing this for proper grammar. Decided to not be an a-hole.

Fantasizing: About writing another screenplay, one low-budget enough that I could shoot it myself, get discovered by Judd Apatow, then get lots of money to make the project I really want to make (yes, I'm aware that's what happened to Lena Dunham. Bitch). Traveling to Europe next year, God willing. Getting my shit together, getting my life going, finally.

All right, that's enough rambling punctuated by out-of-focus iPhone photos. Later, babes.

Monday

I am not a good girl. Neither are the Litchfield ladies.

What do you know! I'm not dead.

I didn't intend for an extended absence on top of my already sporadic posting. I've been distracted. Among my distractions has been Orange is the New Black. Since I'm late to the party (I'm probably the opposite of a hipster sometimes, loving things not before they're mainstream, but once they're already passé) a review is worthless. So instead I'll use it as an excuse to GIF and as a frame for some introspection.



Like WASPy Piper, sweet but psycho Morello, manipulative Alex and vindictive Red, I am not a good girl. I thought that I was. Everyone has always told me I am. And the world sure wants me to be one. But. Having to live up to expectations to only have traits that fit a very narrow definition of "good" is agonizing. It makes me feel like I'm evil if I fail. Like everyone will hate me. Like I have to be vanilla. God forbid I ever offend anyone even if no one cares if they offend me. God forbid I have a dissenting opinion, make a lapse in judgment, choose wrong, say a bad word, break a rule. What will people think?!

It sure messes with your sense of self when you think you're one thing that's universally praised and realize you're a multitude of others.



That's what happened to me. Years and years of proving myself wrong when I said, clutching my pearls on my righteous high horse, "I would NEVER do that."

Let me tell you something if you have a long list of your "never woulds": yeah, hooker, you would. So shut the fuck up.

They tell you, your whole life, "Good girls don't." And you listen. Because when you're bad, bad things happen, right?

Be a good girl, or else.



Well, I've been a good girl, and I've been a not-so-good girl. The "or else" comes regardless. It's trick logic.

People act like all you could ever offer is being a "good girl," which often means you're just someone who does as you're told without question to fulfill what someone else wants. To stay out of their way. So they make you feel like being a "bad girl" is the worst thing in the world. Ever notice how in the movies there's always a "bad boy" with a heart of gold, but the "bad girl" is just, you know, a dirty slut we aren't supposed to sympathize with?




That's one reason I love the show. None of the characters fit a lovely description, but you love them regardless. Crimes and all. You see something pure and human in Morello, even if she's a stalker, in Red, even if she starves people out, in Crazy Eyes, even if she throws pie at you. 

I don't want to be a good girl. It's infantilizing as a motherfucker. I'd rather be a good woman. Whatever that is. I'm not even sure. You can be a criminal, a liar, a thief, and all your prayers can be those of a criminal, a liar, a thief. But you could have that mythical heart of gold. You could let more tears fall on your shoulder than the ones you cause to spill. You could be constantly trying to learn from your screw-ups. You could have just the tiniest bit of light that makes your dark bearable. You could be doing your time. 

I'm not sure I'm a good woman. But I sure try to be. Sometimes I'm not nice. I don't always do the right thing. I don't always apologize for it.

What else am I? An incisive thinker. Creative. Tough enough. Kind, usually. Forgiving, sometimes (I'm learning). Funny. A down ass bitch, when I want to be.

And when I don't want to be? Then I'm like Piper. I'm a lone wolf. A vicious one.


What are you going to do? Lock me up?