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X-mas Carols [Dec. 7th, 2012|09:54 am]
Cyclops, by Kate Kirby

Cyclops, the red eyed X-Man
Had a ruby quartz visor.
And if he ever lost it,
beams would shoot out everywhere.
All of the other X-Men
Had to follow him to fight.
He never let poor mutants,
Grow up happy, safe, and light.
Then one miniseries day
Wolvie came to say,
"Cyclops, bub, you're such a tool,
I'm opening the Jean Grey School."
Then half the X-Men left him,
Off to follow Wolverine!
Cyclops, the red eyed X-Men,
You're a lonely angst machine!

Buy our album for other such hits as:
Silent Nightcrawler
Let it Storm
O Little Town of Westchester
Silver Claws
Xavier is Coming To Town
Bobby the Iceman
Away in a Danger Room

Have an Uncanny Christmas!
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My GenCon Schedule [May. 20th, 2012|01:34 pm]
[mood |geekygeeky]

Here's my current Gencon commitments. There are some holes for dealers room, food, random socialization, and pick up games. Other people going should feel free to ask to meet up with me during them!

Also, I'm going to mostly do 8am-11pm, because I am not a sprogling anymore that can stay up all night with no consequence.

Thursday:
Morning free!
Running Marvel: New Mutants from 2p - 6p
LARP (The Fey! Boston: 1773 (Tea Anyone?)) 9-midnight. (Join me! No idea if this is any good beyond the description, but I felt like adding in a LARP slot that wasn't Mind's Eye and didn't last all con.)

Friday:
Morning free!
Ars Magica, Noon - 4p
Assisting E running Speed Dating 6p - 10p

Saturday:
Buffy 9a - 1p
Running Marvel: Modok's 11 2p - 6p
Free in the evening!

Sunday:
Playing World of Darkness 8a - 12p
Free until about 4p when I should shuffle off airportwards. (Flight just before 7p.)

(Kind of intimidating that my Marvel games filled up in seconds! I hope people don't hate them.)
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Interesting dreams! [Apr. 19th, 2012|09:53 am]
[mood |creativecreative]

I had basically the end of a story unfold in my dream, writing it down so I remember.


Read more...Collapse )
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PSA: For parents of possibly transgendered children [Jan. 7th, 2012|11:32 am]

Originally published at The Danger Room. You can comment here or there.

There’s a definite sentiment out there, expressed loudly whenever any media articles about transgendered children is written, that they’re too young to be making that kind of decision and nobody should do anything at all about such feelings until they’re 18. I think some of this stems from the confusion between sexual orientation (which often isn’t clear until being a young adult) and gender identity (which is, for most people, absolutely crystal clear by age 10.)

At any rate, this view is not just bad, it’s incredibly harmful. It leads many, many youths directly to suicide, and I don’t think that’s even slightly hyperbole.

If you take your time to figure out your sexual orientation, experiment in college, and then settle down on who you are, that’s all good. However, for your physical gender, permanent, irreversable changes happen (or fail to happen) between the ages of 12 and 16. Consider:

Trans girls (girls with XY genetics): Excessive, unwanted height. Widening of frame, especially shoulders. Larger feet and hands. Facial hair. Permanent deepening of voice. No hip growth. Unwanted body hair. Not even mentioning the psychological scarring from missing out of even more of a chance to be a young woman. The facial hair can be fixed later – for many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of excruciating pain. (Again, no exaggeration – it takes that long, costs that much, and is horribly painful.) You can’t shrink the frame, or get hip curves, later. You can train your voice, but it’s hard and many trans women never quite get where they want.

Trans boys (boys with XX genetics): Breast growth, hip growth, lack of height. It’s not quite as dire, because Testosterone can be delayed and do its stuff (voice deepening, facial hair) later, but no man wants to be much shorter than necessary, and having broad hips doesn’t go away. And a double mastectomy is not a fun or cheap surgery.

So, there’s a lot to be lost by not acting at a young age. On the other hand, some people are uncomfortable with it.

Permanent physical damage, thousands of dollars of painful procedures, years of psychological torment vs. feelings of discomfort in others. Yeah. It’s really not an issue with two equal sides.

Many parents love their image of their children more than their children themselves. That’s the only way you could stop them from fully exploring and fixing an issue like this. Hormone blockers are available and well understood medically to delay puberty and allow time for a responsible decision – don’t hesitate to explore this route. And seek out a therapist who specializes in Gender Identity Disorder, not a child psychologist generalist. Too many members of the psychiatry profession are woefully uninformed about our unique needs.

In a just world, every fourth grade class would have a day where a professional discusses this issue, encourages the children to treat transgendered people like people, and provide a way for students who think this might affect them to confidentially ask for more help. Very very few kids want to be the opposite gender that don’t keep wanting it as they get older. And of course you take every precaution to weed out false positives. But for the kids who need this, you’re turning a life filled with major, painful, emotionally devastating issues into a life with mostly minor issues. There’s no greater act of love for a transgendered child, than to get them the medical help they need as soon as possible.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who it might help! I wish my parents had seen an article like this 30 years ago and asked me some frank questions.

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Don't work it. [Jan. 3rd, 2012|10:40 pm]
So, there's a new sitcom on ABC called Work It. It's remarkable. A very viable candidate for worst sitcom ever made.

The premise is: we're in a recession, and all the jobs are taken by women. Men can't get a fair shake. Two guys have been unemployed for a year and unemployment has run out, and they're forced to make sacrifices like cancelling a teen daughter's cellphone! Oh no! But nobody will hire men!

And so he learns of a job hiring pharmaceutical reps, but they only hire women, because 'doctors want to bang them'. (That's dialogue from this gem. Bang them.) And so he transforms himself (in a 'hilarious' crossdressing montage) into a sort-of passable drag queen. Of course, with his beard shadow that he goes to no attempt to hide, he's very obvious, giving the audience a 'laugh at the tranny' premise, but nobody in the show seems to notice. And of course he gets his best friend in drag hired too.

This really aired. In 2012!

It's not as good as it sounds, though. The Transphobia isn't as bad as it could be, other than two very not feminine men in dresses. They don't really acknowledge trans women exist, which is, trust me, a blessing. Believe me that this drek is the last thing anyone wants to be associated with - it's not trying to say this is a trans woman's experience, but the general public has a misconception that's way too close to this already. Not helping.

But what they do make time for is flat out, firehose-on levels of sexism. Dear god, the sexism. The women are all stereotypes, and all very, very stupid. There's a lot of dialogue about how women are taking men's jobs and emasculating them. They all eat small salads for lunch and are in book clubs where they read chick-lit. They can't fix a car. They don't know their products, they're just vapid pretty faces. Even the lead's wife is horrible - it's clear that she hasn't worked in the last year either, and it wouldn't occur to either of them for her to do so, even while the lead and his drinking buddies complain about women taking jobs. Plus, since the best friend is Puerto Rican, they do make time for a few racist jokes, like how, since he's Puerto Rican, he should be good at selling drugs. That's the level of humor here.

The _entire_ premise here is that women are useless sex objects that have somehow taken over rightful men's roles, and our leads are forced to humiliate themselves by emulating women, where their competence will shine over the actual women. Really, that's it.

And people ask, why do we need feminism in 2012? Because people believe shit like this. This is Patriarchy with the volume turned up to 11. It's so much worse than I thought it would be.

Why did I watch? Because I wanted to complain about it, and to do so intelligently I'd need to watch one. Well, I did. You don't have to!
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IMPORTANT: Massive personal change [Dec. 16th, 2011|09:05 am]
[mood |ecstaticecstatic]

Letter I just sent to everyone at my company:

Read more...Collapse )
TL;DR: I'm transgendered and going full time Right Now. Enjoy!
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PernMUSH [Nov. 23rd, 2011|10:51 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |nostalgicnostalgic]

Hey, ex-PernMUSHers!

Want to feel nostalgic? Recovered from a very old ZIP disc, I present you, the Complete History of PernMUSH, from 1991 to April 1993, as told by Miritha, Deirdre, and Shallana. It is very, very long, and most of this was utterly lost until now!

(Sharing is totally cool. I'd edit out the email addresses at the top if I thought any still worked.)

History of Pern
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Key to Happiness [Oct. 17th, 2011|01:18 pm]

Originally published at Kirby's Dreamlands. You can comment here or there.

There’s a lot of things that, to some degree, we’d all like to do. For me, this list is something like:

* Contribute to an open source Perl project

* Write a novel

* Travel to a variety of exotic places

* Learn to play a musical instrument well

* Learn to speak Chinese

and so on.

I could do any of these things. (There are other types of goals, like Be A Billionaire or Live on Mars or Conquer France that are a bit more out of reach, and are not in the scope of this discussion.)

So the trick is, when I come across one of these ‘would like to’ things, really think about it. What would it take, what would be the reward? And if I end up, like for most of these things, to just ‘would like to have done’, okay, I don’t actually want to do it. The Musical Instrument goal is strongly in this camp for me.

But the other side is, when I come across one that you end up going, “Huh, I really could do that.” I must let nothing stop me. It’s an actual life goal. These are precious, valuable things, and once I’ve separated out all the fakey goals and can see the real ones, there’s no excuse not to do them.

I think I accidentally stumbled across one of these this weekend. I don’t want to set any expectations, so more on that when I’m further along, but it’s actually a lot of fun to realize you want to do a project, and then start doing it and realize that yes, this is only mildly insane and well within reach!

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New York Comic Con 2011 [Oct. 17th, 2011|08:43 am]

Originally published at Kirby's Dreamlands. You can comment here or there.

Short version: Wow, what a fantastic weekend! Spent time with friends new and old, saw some neat things, leveled up in Entourage. Best weekend in a long time. Boy are my legs tired.

I spent a lot of the con hanging out with my friend / bestselling author C.E. Murphy. Some of this was wandering the con, some of it was stalking Marvel for editors and talent scouts, and some of it was helping out during her signings. At one point she was doing a signing after Judah Friedlander, who plays Frank (the guy with the hats) on 30 Rock, and he was running long, so I escorted Kit up to the front, and very politely asked Judah to leave. He was very nice and apologetic and it was perfectly cool on both ends, but that was first class Entourage business right there. And he left a copy of his book behind, so, free book for me! (Kit was on Severe International Traveller Weight Limit.)

Saw lots of excellent costumes. People are neat. Fez’s really are cool now.

In general, the vibe was very relaxed for a con that was this huge. People were smiling, having fun, even as we squeezed past each other in crowded aisles.

Saw some celebrities. Seth Green, who is tinier than I expected even knowing the jokes. Felicia Day and Sandeep Parikh from the guild. Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Jewel Staite from Firefly. Eliza Dushku. Rick Fox, basketball star and dancing with the stars alum. Various comic book folks like Chris Claremont, Peter David, Matt Fraction, Terry Moore, Dan Abnett, Zander Cannon, Frank Miller, Matt Wagner, Jeph Loeb, and many more. Clark Gregg, who is Agent Coulson in the Marvel movie series. (He was great, he’s clearly a geek first who became an actor and just loves what he does.) Matt Smith who works on Dr. Who. (Not that Matt Smith, though, the one who draws the comic book.)

I didn’t go to many panels, but the highlight I went to was the Marvel TV panel. First they announced the four in-development (aka definitely happening) live action TV shows.  For ABC, “aka Jessica Jones”, from the excellent Brian Michael Bendis series “Alias” (which they couldn’t call it, obviously.) Carol Danvers and Luke Cage will be part of the regular cast.  Also, “The Hulk”. Since it’s the same studio as doing the movies, they’re using things like The Avengers as an R&D budget, so it should look good. For ABC Family, live action Mockingbird show, and Cloak & Dagger. (Squee!)  Animation wise, they announced a Hulk animated series (Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., with Hulk, Red Hulk, She-Hulk, and a couple of others.) Then we saw clips from the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man show. Great voice actors, like Clark Gregg continuing to play Agent Coulson, JK Simmons staying on as J. Jonah Jameson, Chi McBride as Nick Fury. It looks good! (This is the first Spider-Man show made by Marvel directly.) And then they announced Season 2 of the Avengers coming out next year, and said, “But this is New York, and you guys don’t like to wait, right? How about we show you episode 1, right now?” And they did, the whole thing on the big screen, and it was fantastic. Doom!

I spent a lot of time in Artist Alley this time. When I saw art I liked and the person wasn’t busy, I went up and talked about it. Turns out this is a great way to meet some cool people. (Hi, Anne Cain!) Spent a lot of time encouraging folks who drew superhero women with sensible outfits.

Overall, wow, it’s hard to come back to work. I’ve got all sorts of ideas in my head, some of which I’ll share later. I really needed a weekend like this, to re-establish who I am and where I’m going with my life.

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Comics! [Sep. 25th, 2011|11:25 am]

Originally published at Kirby's Dreamlands. You can comment here or there.

Everyone’s talking about the new 52 DC books! And there’s some neat stuff, but 3 weeks in, I’ve come to a clear conclusion: They’re still nowhere near Marvel in writing quality. So, if you want to get back into comics, what do I actually recommend?

Journey into Mystery: Kieron Gillen came out of nowhere and is a fantastic writer. This book focuses usually on Loki. Imagine what a great writer could do with the Asgardian Prince of Lies? Plots within plots, treachery, playing two sides against each other for some other purpose entirely – it’s pulled off brilliantly. Love this book.

Uncanny X-Men: Gillen’s other, more mainstream title. I love well written X-Men, and this is it, way better than any of DC’s team books. It’s rebooting at #1 in October, which should be a good jumping on point.

Fables: This is not news to anyone, but Vertigo’s long running title is great, has always been great, and shows no signs of not being great in the future. Fairy tales coexisting, done really well.

Batwoman: The standout of the new 52. Beautiful, inventive art, good writing, I expect great things.

Usagi Yojimbo: Samurai rabbit in ancient Japan. This is not a furry title, despite anthropomorphic animals. It is a beautiful, well researched story of Feudal Japan. There are no bad issues, and it’s been running for 25 years.

Buffy season 9, Angel and Faith: Both just started up in the last month, and are great continuations of the series. Buffy season 8 is also finished in comics, and was good, though they went a little overboard at times, and have acknowledged it publicly. Season 9 promises back to basics, Joss Whedon is involved, it looks great.

Avengers Academy: The best ‘young heroes’ book on the stands. Interesting personalities, uncertain of their place in the world, and several of them very likely to turn villain if the wrong things happen.

Avengers: Brian Michael Bendis is just masterful at mixing big action with strong characterization, and he does it beautifully here.

Amazing Spider-Man: New writer Dan Slott understands what makes a good Spider-Man story, and Humberto Ramos brings a vitality and youthfulness to the art. Spider-Man hasn’t been this good in years.

Daredevil: Recently restarted, Mark Waid is reinvigorating this character, stripping away the angst and making it fun again.

Honorable mentions: Ultimate Spider-Man, Secret Avengers, New Avengers, Generation Hope, Uncanny X-Force, X-23, Captain America, X-Factor

All of these are better than the non-Batwoman DCs. Give one a try!

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