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I am tired. I am tired of working for mediocre straight, cis, white men who I'm much smarter than, and who got where they are not from any particular intelligence or talent, but just because that's the way things work. I am tired of being treated like a secretary because yet another Boomer boss just treats all women that way. (There's nothing wrong with being a secretary, but I'm not one, and I'm definitely not my boss's.)

I am just tired. I don't want to have to do this anymore just to pay my way in life, just to be able to live. I am doing all I can to not have to do this anymore, but everything moves so slowly, and the supply of mediocre straight, cis, white men seems inexhaustible, and it just seems impossible at times to gain any forward movement.

But I'm also angry. I'm also determined. I'm also genuinely smart and talented. And damn it, those things are going to work in my favor someday. Somehow. So on I will fight.


And now, for some non-whining

One perk I've wrangled recently is a trip to Chicago for Book Expo America 2016 (BEA). It was my first time attending, and though I often heard how much smaller this year's event was than those in past years (because it was in Chicago instead of NY), it was still pretty great to my eyes. A book lover's dream.

In addition to conference sessions and meetings for those in the industry, BEA boasts author events (like the talk that Berkeley Breathed gave, which was awesome), author signings (I met Laini Taylor and got to tell her that I love her work), and best of all, free books. Like, everywhere. Just sitting, in stacks, for attendees to take. Once I figured this out (it took awhile for me to actually believe this was for real), I grabbed all the free books I could get my hands on. And here's the result (about 50 books including comics, and many cool tote bags):

I wasn't nearly as strategic about this as I could have been. It took me a day and half to really figure out that the best way to go about this is to circle the big publishing booths repeatedly throughout the day, because different books are given away at different times of day. Once I caught on, I grabbed a PW Show Daily paper/magazine each day and checked out the ads, which told you what was being given away and when.

How is this possible, you may ask? The books being given away are Advance Reader Copies (also known as ARCs, galleys, or proofs). They haven't been through the final editing process for typos and things like that. And most of them aren't out yet, and won't be for months. What the publishers want is for people to take them, read them, and buzz about them, whether in person, online, in print, whatever. Some of them are just given away, some are given away once the author signs them (you stand in line to get your copy signed in real time; the book is still free AND you get to meet the author).

So I'm working my way through the stack (other than the things I grabbed as gifts), and feeling lucky to have been able to go. I'll definitely go again.


Primary season thoughts

*climbs atop soapbox* I'm seeing more and more political posts as primary season launches into full swing, and I'm going to go into teacher mode for a moment, and encourage everyone to exercise critical thinking skills. If you know me at all, you know my political leanings, but this is for all of us.

Beware painting any candidate as a savior or a devil. Literally every candidate, the ones we adore and the ones we despise, are humans. They have good qualities, they have bad qualities. They have ads that skew the truth, debates that don't get to the heart of matters, and hyperbole contests to see who can scare people more. Yes, some candidates are worse than others in that regard, but they all play the game to some degree. That's the way the game's rigged to be played. Don't give them your heart - they will break it.

The only things remotely reliable when it comes to whether a candidate aligns with your views or not, is what actions they've taken, and to whom they're beholden. Don't take what candidates and media say at face value. How did the candidates vote on issues you care about? What policies have they championed, and what have they demonized? Who's donating to them? This requires some homework. Start with Project Vote Smart - where you can look up voting records. Then look into the money. Open Secrets can tell you who's giving how much to whom. And don't give the mainstream media a pass - to whom are they beholden? What agenda are they pushing? Why does one candidate get constant airtime over another? Look in more than one place for your news, and look outside of the U.S., too. You might be surprised by how much clearer things may appear from afar.

Politics is a dirty, fascinating, important game that won't be washed clean until we get as much bias and money out of the system as possible, but in the meantime, we can seek out as much factual knowledge as we can, and make sure our involvement, at least, is as pure as we can make it.

*climbs down from soapbox, wanders off*


I heard the news today, oh boy...

R.I.P. David Bowie. Too heartbroken to say much more right now.


No Auld Lang Syne

Most years on NYE I stay in and watch old movies and read. Sometimes I have people over, but it's always small and quiet. NYE at bars generally sucks, so I avoid going out that way, and really, nothing can top NYE in London in 1999/2000, which was easily the best going-out NYE I've ever had. This year, though, some friends I don't get to see often enough had a NYE party in their fabulous downtown condo, newly expanded with a full bar, among other things. So out I went, for a change.

I went with many good friends, and many good friends were there, as well as new friends and acquaintances. One friend brought along a guy none of us had met before, who joined our pre-game as well as going to the party with us. A good looking guy, seemed pretty intelligent and interesting, so he was a welcome addition.

The night went on, alcohol was imbibed by all (though no one seemed to get too messy), and at some point the new guy was talking to me and my friends about relationships. And he started talking about one person in the relationship being dominant and the other being submissive (understand that he was not talking about kink, BDSM, etc. - he was talking about the relationship in general). Most, if not all, of my crowd disagreed with him, but he was insistent that not only must one person be dominant, but the dominant person in a hetero relationship should always be the man.

Oh, come ON. Is a 29 year old man in 2016 still trying to sell this nonsense? So he was. And he was trying to sell it to me.

He held my hands, told me that I was beautiful and he had thought me beautiful as soon as he met me (hours before). And then he told me that I wanted to have a man dominate me. And no matter how much I told him that he was wrong, that I most definitely do not want that, and that it is not only possible, but preferable to me to have relationships where the people in them have equal positions, he would not accept what I was saying.

It was at this point that I realized that this was no longer a somewhat amusing discussion, but one that I found profoundly disappointing and saddening. I realized that I definitely didn't want to fool around with this guy in any way, and I don't much care if I ever interact with him again. Why such a strong reaction? Because what he told me, more than anything else in that conversation, and without saying it outright, is that what I think and say do not matter. That he would not accept my statements about myself, about what I want and don't want, about what I think and feel. And that is not someone I'm interested in being around. I wasn't scared or anything, but alarm bells were going off in my thoughts, in the direction of Wow, if he doesn't respect what I have to say in this context, what other contexts might he refuse to accept what I say and feel?

So while it was nice to be hit on by an attractive guy, all attractiveness disappeared when it became clear that he didn't respect me, or women in general. I'm sure he would disagree with my assessment here, but that, in essence, is what he was saying. And it was a massive turn off. Honestly, if this is what's out there, even in a younger generation of straight men, I'm 100% fine with my solo status.

And if this retro attitude is rising to prominence, then I've no interest in the attitude of olden times - no auld lang syne for me, thanks.


Happy new year!



Another fraught-with-meaning horoscope

Cal Garrison Horoscopes (Dec. 16 - 22):

VIRGO (August 21 – September 20): As you contemplate the need to refurbish things that got set in motion six or seven years ago, get as real as you can about what you can live with. If things have out grown your interest, and there's nothing but money keeping you here, you got a lot of soul searching to do. Weighing the good with the bad, you want to have your cake and eat it too. Wrapping your mind around the idea that this is actually possible is where it's at right now. If you can break things down, and keep what only appear to be opposing forces in check, having it all will manifest with no sacrifice on your part.



Jesus H. Christ, Cal Garrison!

Horoscopes (December 9 - 15)

VIRGO (August 21 – September 20): You are in a situation that keeps you stranded between two poles. Going back and forth, opens the space for you to see yourself. At the moment the ebb and flow of energy is at the mercy of people and things that call you to get off the see-saw. And what pulls you toward one thing or another, has to be weighed against what will allow you to be who you are. Openings that involve people of influence and opportunities to travel, study, or teach are much more than they seem. This looks like a chance to get involved in projects that will really make a difference.

I'm so close, so very, very close...
The Big 3 in life: Love, home, work. The joke is that you can never have all 3 at once, only ever 2 at at time, if that. I'd just like one.

I've pretty much accepted that finding some sort of life partner or whatever is not for me. And that, because of student loan debt and medical debt, I'll probably never own a little corner of the world.

So, Universe, let me have the job of my dreams, that I've damn well earned. And let me have it ASAP.


The waiting really is the hardest part

As I check my home voicemail 2-3 times per day and constantly refresh my personal email, I know that limbo is my least favorite place to be. I will be heartbroken if my big day from last week doesn't bear fruit, but I do know that I did my absolute best, and that's good no matter what happens. It was an amazing, stimulating day, regardless of outcome. (But OMG, I hope, I hope, I hope.)

Sorry for the cryptic, but that's just the way it is, for now.


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Other worlds I inhabit


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