Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I was introduced to the book "Against Love" a long time ago. And completely forgot about it until a friend of mine picked it up a few months later. This friend was inspired to fill her mp3 player with songs void of romantic sentiments. Mysteriously, her occasional moody days decreased in number and severity.

So I tried the romance-less playlist too. Even at the research stage I noticed about 99% of popular music is romance-inspired. Hooking up, breaking up, making up, yikes! No wonder people get so depressed when they're single. Western civilization never ceases to amaze and annoy me.

Here is a sampling of what I listen to on my daily commute:

Made to Heal - Our Lady Peace
If you Believe - Our Lady Peace
Still - Alanis Morisette
Crazy - Alanis Morisette (Seal cover)
Wunderkind - Alanis Morisette
Birthday - The Cruxshadows
Windbringer - The Cruxshadows
Spring Ahead, Fall Back - Scott Helland
Rocky Road to Dublin - Dropkick Murphys
Intercede Light - Iris
Let the Bells Ring - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Low Room - Peter Murphy
Gamble Gold (Robin Hood) - Steeleye Span
July, July! - The Decemberists
Feign Amnesia - They Might Be Giants
Midnight Radio - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Tear Me Down - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Freaks - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day - Jethro Tull
Spanish Bombs - The Clash
All Souls Night - Loreena McKennitt
Starseed - Our Lady Peace
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!! - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Ringing of Revolution - Phil Ochs
I ain't marching anymore - Phil Ochs
Lets Get This Party Started - Pink
God is a DJ - Pink
Warlocks - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Make you feel better - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Experimental Film - They Might Be Giants
I will Follow - U2
Come Sweet Death - Voltaire
Kingdom - VNV Nation
Along comes Mary - The Association
Dancing with Myself - Billy Idol
The Reels - Black 47
Clocks - Coldplay
Never Let Me Down AGain - Depeche Mode
Sultans of Swing - Dire Straights
Floaty - Foo Fighters
American Idiot - Green Day
I Wish You Were Here - Incubus
Lady Vagabond - S.J. Tucker
Alligator in the House - S.J. Tucker
Teacher - Jethro Tull
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Simple Creed - Live
Southside - Moby + Gwen
No One Knows My Plan - TMBG
Hundred Mile City - Ocean Colour Scene
Cuts you up - Peter Murphy
Final Solution - Peter Murphy
U + Ur Hand - Pink
Can't Stop - RHCP
In the House of Mama Dragon - S.J. Tucker
Crystal CAve - S.J. Tucker
East - Cruxshadows
Flame - Cruxshadows
Dominion/Mother Russia - Sisters of Mercy
This Corrosion - Sisters of Mercy
Birdhouse in Your Soul - TMBG
Beautiful Day - U2
By the Way - RHCP
In the House of Mama Dragon - S.J. Tucker
Crystal CAve - S.J. Tucker
Mummy Medusa - S.J. Tucker

That's an interesting cross-section.

What about you, fellow bloggers?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Apocalypse Me.

When I was in high school, I had tons of dreams about apocalypses (apocalypsi?). It was a different scenario every time, so I wasn't worried about it being prophetic. I always survived with the people in the dream that I liked to build a new world. Metaphorically speaking, my subconscious totally backed me up on getting out of suburban NJ. When I went to NYU the world stopped ending in my dreams, probably because I was rebuilding my life within a place and a people I liked.

Years later I'm still very affected by apocalypse fiction. There was an NYC Radio Theater production of War of the Worlds that moved me to tears. Promethea* was made of awesome and reflects how I think of "apocalypse," after studying mysticism at NYU. It's not a disaster, but a great revelation at the end of an era:

Rejoice. Your world is ended. The beliefs whereupon it was founded turn to air before the quantum scrutiny of your new science; were never truly there. Time's jail-yards are unlocked, the prison of material ambition that reduced you now demolished. Rejoice. Return now to your separate moments, selves, and rooms, and know that separation for ILLUSION. Know that you were one, were here, and in eternity are here forever. Here, where sudden firelight in your soul startled you from your worldly slumber. Stay awake.

Promethea, book 5.

And then there was last week.

Monday a blogger I read started a new short fiction blog called Apocalypse Daily, within the obvious theme.

Tuesday held another episode of The End of the World at UCB theater. It's a limited engagement improv show for the month of June, very fun so far.

Wednesday I went to an awesome Fantastic Fiction nite at KGB, where Brian Francis Slattery read/sang excerpts of his book Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America backed up by his own bluegrass band. This is the only recording of it so far, and I'm sad I didn't bring my own sneaky recording device. (And this is what the band looked like with better lighting, for reference) It was absolutely magical.

Friday, XKCD puts in a witty two cents, tho the punchline only really makes sense if you work in mathematics and/or academia (like me).

I wouldn't say I believe in Synchronicity per se. I look at the other way around: what you put out into the universe, it sometimes returns in kind or in synch. Reminding you of your own choices and plans, and things that need to be changed or finished.

So what exactly am I doing or creating to attract apocalypsi NOW?

*If anyone ever tries to make Promethea into a movie, I will handcuff myself to relevant office furniture in Hollywood until they stop. Unfortunately, I don't think Moore has control over that book anymore.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Save Our Cat!

So remember that book I raved about a few days ago? The author is in some financial trouble, like so many indie artists and writers right now.

But her cult of loyal fans have banded together to help, and it's super heart warming:

Help Catherynne M. Valente

There are instructions on where to buy her awesome e-books, information on a serialized novel (that cameos in Palimpsest, yay), more of her projects, and a smorgasbord of goods and services for auction from her cult/army of artists. Jewelry, crafts, offerings from other indie writers, all full of awesome.

What's the best way to help any writer or artist? BUY THEIR STUFF.

If you are a professional artisan, see my appeal to professionals here on my jewelry blog. I don't cross-post these blogs often. This is a special case.

Go forth, feel the love, spread the word. Save our Cat!

Breaking all the right laws ;-)

I have the Soul Flu today :-/ To combat it, I'm trying to focus on happy stuff.

This is just about the happiest thing I see happening in my circles of friends right now. Ironically for this blog, it's a wedding. But it's a really fantastically awesome wedding.


From their blog, because of course they are blogging this:

In a few short months, my fiancée and I hope to be the first couple married in zero gravity.

When we started talking about marriage, Noah joked that we should have our wedding “in space”. Although most girls would take this to mean Noah didn’t want to get married, Erin knew he was sincere, and that this was a serious request. We decided marrying on the zero gravity plane would be a good compromise.

As kids, we both wanted to be astronauts - at least until we discovered the extensive higher-level mathematics skills involved. Erin attended space camp at the Michigan Space Center, and Noah volunteered at his local planetarium.

We hope that by having the first zero gravity wedding, we can promote the new wave of private space travel and space tourism. We hope that we can one day experience space flight and perhaps make a small contribution towards space exploration.

I know Erin from the NYU Sci Fi Club (we were both Doctor Who fans before it was cool), and I think this may qualify her as one of our most awesome alumni ;-) This is also the first zero-g wedding of all time, so there are lots more articles about it linked from the blog. Also pics of the wedding dress. *giggles*

This is why I don't want to settle for less than awesome in relationships, romantic or otherwise. Because my friends have set the bar pretty damn high :-D

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kiss and Makeup

It's Summertime, according to the campus calendar. Despite the unseasonably cold/wet spell that hit NYC this month, people aren't wearing giant overcoats anymore. It is nice to have something to look at when I can't focus on whatever book I have with me :-)

Been pondering, as always. I've always turned my head at more women than men in the streets, but in practice I'm bi-curious at most.

The "why" of it finally struck me last week. It's not that women are more attractive then men. Although IMHO the female physique is naturally more attractive & interesting to look at. There's a wider variety of shapes and sizes that develop independently of how many Twinkies we've eaten, and the male physique mostly just expands and contracts via latitude and longitude. (Shapes, I need shapes!) But I digress.

Women may or may not be more attractive than men naturally, but we definitely work harder on our appearances collectively. It's not that men don't try to look their best. I live in NYC, boys definitely know how to dress up (and put on too much cologne :-P). But the average male almost never wears makeup unless it rubs off on him from a female.

I think that's really the base of it. 200 years ago things were different, but in the 21st Century most men don't wear makeup or constrictive, shaping undergarments. And true, women don't have to wear this stuff if they don't want to. Many don't, and still look awesome. But when was the last time you saw a cosmetics company put out an eyeshadow/mascara line for the average male? Or the makers of girdles and tummy-tucking pantyhose? Or home waxing kits? Occasionally I'll see a man in a corset (HAWT) but those aren't your average dudes on the street (sad).

So overall, women are more attractive on the street because they make more of an effort than men. Some want to, but I wonder how many feel they have to? There's a trillion dollar makeup & clothing industry more than happy to back up that work ethic.

It's pleasant to look at, but I'm not sure I like the subtext :-/

Also, I would like to see more girl-loving men in corsets and makeup pls.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An oddity locked away somewhere safe ...

Awesome new song from S.J. Tucker!

<a href="http://skinnywhitechick.bandcamp.com/track/girl-with-the-lions-tail-lucias-song">Girl with the Lion's Tail (Lucia's Song) by Skinny White Chick</a>

It probably makes a lot more sense if you've read the novel Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (and why haven't you yet?), but I think it stands well on its own :-) I can definitely relate.

Palimpsest is a sexually transmitted dream city full of wonder and ritual. If you've been there you develop a mark on your skin like a tattoo- a small neighborhood map from the city. If you want to get back, you sleep with someone else who has the tattoo. And the city aims to please the souls that love it. A small community of people scattered all over the world spend their nights there as often as possible, most trying to figure out how to emigrate permanently. Persons on both sides of the divide have their own ideas about that...

The myth-punk and surrealism is close to the authors' earlier books (The Labyrinth, The Grass Cutting Sword, and others). She weaves the stories of four different "immigrants" and the city together, similar to her previous book The Orphans Tales, but not in such a septuple-helix-oh-god-get-me-cards-and-string way. I loved both, btw ;-)

Also, sex on the wholesale. With flavours of polyamory and BDSM for good measure. Not a kid friendly book.

Probably not the most eloquent review it's had so far, but it's mine :-)

As for Spinster-ism, there is at least one in the book until she falls in love with the city, it's Matriarch, and it's bees. The book doesn't support singleness as the perfect state, but it is in no way a limited view of love and relationships. Another girl falls in love with a train. Yay for the surreal :-)

Friday, June 5, 2009

In a nutshell

To offset the moodiness of my last post. Today I stumbled across a way to explain paganism quickly and concisely, as compared to mainstream religion.

Mainstream religion - guilt + dragons = Neo Paganism

Enjoy! :-D

Trying hard to understand

Forgive the moodiness. Life is OK overall, but NYC is unseasonably cold and wet this week. Also, the new Our Lady Peace single sounds terrible. *fan girl angst*

Lately I've had some run-ins with people who don't seem happy that I exist. Looking at other social connections with them and working backwards, I can pinpoint a mutual acquaintance that hates my guts. That person spits venom behind my back whenever we end up at the same social events though I make no noise about it. I'm just keeping to myself, why should they care?

To add an extra layer of lame, this person despises me for something stupid I did in a LARP three years ago :-P

(Note to other nerd girls- NEVER date within your gaming group. 9 times out of 10, it ends in disaster. Especially if you are rebounding.)

Since that embarrassing era I've made new friends IRL, continued my career and education, established a side business, bought a home, traveled, tons of awesome ensued. I am respected and cherished by my chosen peers and tribe. And long ago I cut off most of the old gaming group. I don't bother them, why should they bother about me?

So it's seriously disheartening to see that no matter how hard I work to improve myself and my life, gamer drama will return to haunt me years later.

And what happens if this stuff segues into real life? Job, career, relationships? Is this worry just another character flaw I need to work on?

But back to the news that's really bothering me: here's a sample of Our Lady Peace from back when they were GOOD.

Why must you break my heart so, OLP? You were the cornerstone of my angsty adolescence, and now you're all ... bouncy :-P

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don't Pity the Spinsters ;-)

My friend emailed me about this awesome article:
Don't Pity the Spinsters

Yay! It it so awesome to see women taking care of themselves, and their own. In a large swath of our society women are supposed to take care of themselves last. Supposedly a man is also supposed to take care of her, and children are supposed to be grateful and respectful, but when that fails the wife/mother has to pick up the slack anyway.

I agree with the author that if a person has found a partner that truly works and cares in equal amounts, awesome! Unfortunately, lots of people have a hard time distinguishing the differences between a partner and a parasite. Both men and women need to watch out for social/emotional/economic parasites. But when society still tells us we need to get hitched, this can get confusing and depressing.

I really like my life, I take care of myself :-). Well... I'm getting there. At least I have the time and space to listen to myself and fix my problems. It actually saves a lot of time and energy when you're not waiting for someone else to fix things for you.

Some people have not been supportive about this path I'm on. My friends and this author have similar stories. I still think that kind of nastiness stems from insecurity, that weird unhealthy need for people to tear others down. Especially when different choices lead to less miserable outcomes. Insecurity leads to the Romatrix, Neo.

While lurking, I found another article from Charleston that I liked:
A Home of One's Own

After my own real estate adventures, I'm still not quite ready to post advice on it. But I will someday. I totally know where this lady's been, although my situations and plans are a little different. Real estate makes ya crazy.

Now I'm leaving work to hang out with writers, bohemians, and crazy types ON A BOAT!