Drinking margaritas made with the $200 bottle of tequila I gave Kay for her birthday last year. DAMN they’re good. So while slightly tipsy I thought I’d blog a bit. Unfortunately the best suggestions twitter could offer was a request for “blogging about drunken giraffes fornicating“. And since John Green of the Vlog Brothers already covered that way better than I could:
…you get a hodgepodge post instead.
Today at my job (I work at a law firm) was “Diversity Day”. I have no idea if it was intentionally held on Cinco de Mayo, but it was. Everyone in the firm was invited to bring in a dish from their cultural backgrounds for a pot luck. The food was surprisingly good and diverse, from Scottish meat pies to Chinese dumplings to knishes and homentashen.
They invited Jarrett Barrios, the president of GLAAD, to speak. Barrios used to be an attorney at the firm, and our firm has given a lot of support to GLAAD in terms of office space (across the country) and financial support.
Barrios’ speech was great; funny, touching and insightful. I won’t relate the stories he told because they were personal and I’m not sure I should share, but he clearly learned a lot about public speaking while a MA state senator! He talked a lot about the significance of diversity and specifically about opening up channels of communication and how important that is. It is after all what GLAAD does, brings dialogue to situations and uses the court of public opinion to give a face to LGBTQ people.
He did say one thing that I didn’t entirely agree with. He talked about how there are ‘good men’ and ‘bad men’ when it comes to discrimination – that is, people who really try to do good but just mess up, and people who don’t care if they’re discriminatory, or do it on purpose. That’s clearly true. And he said that there was no reason to jump down the throat of a ‘good man’ because it makes them want to shut down and never say anything.
This is all true, but it kind of glosses over the fact that we are responsible for how we approach the situation too – we can choose to engage the ‘good man’ without jumping down their throat, but instead in a firm but non-antagonistic way. This is too important to dismiss – the ‘good man’ will be a real ally but can only change if they’re made aware of what they’re doing. These situations must be addressed – it just doesn’t have to be in a confrontational manner.
All in all, I was pleased with Barrios’ speech and thanked him for it after. He’s a nice guy, very approachable. I can see why he was chosen to be GLAAD president.
Just started reading NK Jemisin‘s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Haven’t gotten far enough to really get a big impression yet, but 3 things:
1. It’s in 1st person.
2. The first scene is essentially a short infodump.
3. Despite the first 2 things, I’m enjoying it.
Jemisin’s voice is clean and engaging without getting flowery. And she’s laid out a scenario that’s rife with possibilities in just the first couple chapters. So far, so good.
Speaking of reading, I’ve noticed a significant shift in my reading preferences.
My first real interest in SFF was in science fiction – I devoured everything Bradbury wrote. Of course I liked some of each, but initially I think I enjoyed SF more. Then I shifted, started reading more fantasy. I read Diana Wynne Jones, Mercedes Lackey, etc. That actually lasted a long time, and up until maybe 2 years ago or so, I think 90% of my own writing was fantasy too.
However, recently I’ve noticed a distinct preference for SF. I’m sure this is largely Kay’s fault, and the influence of Science in My Fiction, but it’s not a bad thing. I still enjoy both, and good writing trumps the distinction between the two anyway. But I’m searching novel submission to Crossed Genres for the next novel we’ll publish, which I’m to edit, and I found myself looking for the SF submissions… which for some reason are relatively few. We’re getting about two fantasy subs for every one science fiction sub. Odd.
I don’t know if there’s a correlation between this and the F/SF breakdown, but we’re also seeing about 5 subs from men for every 1 sub from women. What’s up with that?! CGP usually gets a fairly even split between men and women, though that’s the short story subs. And the 2 novels we’ve published/will publish, A Festival of Skeletons and Broken Slate, are both by women. I hope to see more novels submitted from women!
Back on Friday, Kay and I went to see the play Breaking the Code at Central Square Theater. This was a birthday gift from my mom – back in December she gave me a program for their season and said she’d buy us 2 tickets to whichever show we wanted to see. Sweet!
Breaking the Code is about the life of Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician who cracked the Enigma code during World War II, but who was later ostracized and prosecuted for being gay.
The play was very good: the acting was very solid, the actor who played Turing (Allyn Burrows) standing out. The staging was simple but never felt like anything was missing. Kay and I agreed after that the director, Adam Zahler, deserved a lot of credit for drawing good performances and wonderful staging in a round theater setting. The play only runs through the 8th (this Sunday) but if anyone in the Cambridge/Boston area has time to see it I’d strongly recommend it. I learned things about Turing I didn’t know, and now want to find out how much of it was real and how much was creative license.
On Sunday, on Twitter, the Hiyao Miyazaki tweetup group will be getting together (probably at 4pm US EST) to watch Castle in the Sky. One of Miyazaki’s more action-packed films, it’s still very charming and a lot of fun. Anyone who has/can get the film is welcome to join us! We all just start the film at the same time and then tweet our comments/observations, with a #CastleintheSky hashtag. Join us! You know you want to!
Post title from “Raise Your Glass” by Pink: