hooloovoo: sunset, with clouds and hooloovoo written in blue at the bottom. (Default)
Kind of just had a bit of a revelation. I was trying to describe my least favorite book (Little Women), and as I was typing about tomboys (tomboy in this post standing in for non-gender-conforming female-bodied person) who grow up and get married, I realized: My problem with that storyline is that it's got nothing to do with my life. I remember being like 10 and thinking that eventually I'll have to grow my hair out, because I couldn't have short hair forever. But it's not like anyone ever told me that. If they had, I'd've argued. But it was in all the books.

To an extent I blocked it out. Like, if you asked me at 14, I would have said that Little Women is about Jo having awesome adventures and taking care of her family, and that Gone With the Wind is about Scarlett doing pretty much the same thing, but with an added level of not taking any shit from anybody. That is not what those books are about. Those books are about women who are independent because they have to be, until they settle down and get married (happily or not).

There aren't books about people like me. I mean, maybe there are a few. But of the books I read as a child and teenager, there weren't any where the epic tomboy young woman grows up to be an epic tomboy adult.

I'm aware it's unreasonable to expect a multitude of books about people who share my fairly atypical gender identity. But. I also kind of want to write some. Because there have got to be kids out there now who are pissed at the end of Mulan and who find Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret utterly baffling. And those kids should have books that don't treat their gender identity as something they'll grow out of. 

On a more positive front, I'm currently rereading Monstrous Regiment, which features female characters who a) are bad ass, and b) don't get married. It's a Discworld book, so it's really funny, and most of the characters are female. But it's not a "girl" book. There's a lot of commentary on gender norms, but the basic plot is somewhere between neutral and masculine. Anyway, it's awesome, and totally readable even if you don't know anything about Discworld. So go read it. It's still not perfect, but I wish someone had given it to me when I was 13.
hooloovoo: sunset, with clouds and hooloovoo written in blue at the bottom. (Default)
There's something kind of nice about staying up all night reading. I think this might be how other people feel when they, like, play boardgames or something. A return to the simpler pleasures of childhood, that kind of thing. Except I still play boardgames as intently as my 10 year old brother. The conditions have to be just right for staying up all night reading: you have to have things you ought to be doing, but nothing too urgent. You have to have a good book to read... Actually, those are about the only requirements. But at some point even I grew up enough to mostly spend my all-nighters trying to get homework done. Just reading is nice. And summer is also quite nice.

My semester was lame. Well. It had its good points. Dated this girl for a while, she was cool. And I remain quite proud of this paper I wrote about the history of Hawaii-US interactions. It had footnotes. Oh, and I read some great books for my science fiction class. Including the Dispossessed, and now I kind of want to read everything Ursala K. Le Guin has ever written. 

Lots of debate amongst my friends as the semester ended also. Of my five close friends, two probably aren't coming back to this school next year, and I have no idea what I'm doing. The ones who are leaving think I should go to the school they're moving to, and the ones that are staying think I (and the leaving ones) should stay. On the one hand, it's nice to have people who want me around, but it makes it harder to decide to leave, which I think would be the right thing to do.... if I didn't have such great friends here. So I have no idea.

Speaking of books, I'm having a problem in that in the year I've been here, I've accumulated a few dozen books, and now I don't know what to do with them. I'm trying to avoid shipping stuff home, but I'm also constitutionally opposed to getting rid of books in any way ever. As far as personal crises go, though, I suppose that's not a bad one to be having. 
hooloovoo: sunset, with clouds and hooloovoo written in blue at the bottom. (Default)
 I'm in a mood where it feels like my life would make way more sense if I could just think of the perfect analogy.

My minor revelation of the moment is that I'm terrible at habits. Which is sort of a mixed blessing, because it applies to bad habits too. I just.... don't form habits easily. And even when I do form them, they change pretty easily.

Which explains how I accidentally quit smoking a couple years ago. I didn't smoke that much to start out with, like 4 packs a week when I was smoking the most, and then one day I noticed that I'd pretty much stopped. So it seemed reasonable to completely stop. Which I did, with no difficulty. I've started and stopped a couple times since then. At the moment I'd kind of like to be in a smoking phase, but it's too much stress while I'm living at home. So I'll stick to the occasional cigarette when I'm at a bar or something. 

Anyway, bad at habits: I am completely incapable of taking pills at anytime except when I wake up or when I go to bed. Any other time I just won't remember. Sleep habits I don't form, period. It's as hard for me to go to bed at the same time the 50th night as the first, and the same for waking up. Sometimes that's useful though, because I don't get jetlag. On the other hand, it's kind of like I have jetlag all the time. 

Oh well. 

I'm reading The Picture of Dorian Grey. I feel kind of like I've been spoiled about it by A) having seen League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and B) having heard about Oscar Wilde being bisexual. Oddly, the latter is coloring my reading of the book more, I think. It's kind of frustrating, because what I've read of it seems oh so gay, and I'm curious if I'd think so if I didn't know anything about Oscar Wilde. It's cool anyway, though, because good god that dude could write a one-liner. Or a several-liner. Thus far I've restrained myself from quoting bits at random people. I'm not sure that restraint will last through the rest of the book.

I watched the new House last night. Spoilers.... )

August 2011

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