Accidental racist.


I was reading some great old books I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, and came across several passages in these books from the early 1900’s that were positively cringe-worthy.  There were n-bombs, bits about dressing in “black face,” and innuendo about various nationalities and colors.  I happened to be reading one of those books while sitting next to a person of color, and found myself very worried that she would glance over and see something like that in the page I was reading.  Would she think I condoned that language and those ideas?  Would she understand that while I don’t agree with it and don’t speak that way, I can enjoy other aspects of the book, and can appreciate that the racism was a product of that time and society and doesn’t belong in ours?  What I want to know is this: is it racist to read books that were written at a time when racism was a non-issue to many; de rigueur behavior and no one thought anything of open prejudice?  I know for me, I had to stop reading Isaac Asimov even though I love classic science fiction because the blatant sexism was just too rankling.  Also why I don’t read more from many of the Beat authors.  Is it hypocritical that I don’t put down a book that includes racist language?  Maybe because the racism isn’t smacking me in the face in every chapter, I sort of give the book a pass and take it for what it is.  Still, it did make me feel a little racist.

Dark Shadows, three times over.


Off the bat, let me say that I have NOT seen the current incarnation of this story done by Tim Burton.  The trailers looked goofy beyond belief, and since his abysmal Alice in Wonderland, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory mess, the Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd which I felt were lackluster as well, I’m a bit put off of Mr. Burton as of late. I’m just tired of him shitting all over stories I usually enjoy.

When I heard a long while back that there would be a remake of this story, it inspired me to refresh myself on the remake from 1991 with Ben Cross and Joanna Going, and then begin the task of watching the original 1960’s afternoon soap opera starring Jonathan Frid and Joan Bennett.

For those who have not seen the original: Is it campy?  Yes.  Unintentionally funny?  Yes.  Is there also some good acting mixed in and an interesting storyline?  Yes and yes.  Things slowed down a bit when a key character was eliminated from the show after being the major source of conflict, but I’ll have to see how it evolves and develops other conflicts.  It seems like these shows were done on a very tight schedule because there are line-flubs in every episode which went uncorrected.  Also, something about the way it was filmed (or is it video?) makes all the candlelight and firelight have a strange “black aura” around the flames, which is both eerie and distracting.  Overall it’s an enjoyable little soap for fans of the supernatural and macabre.  I hear that in later seasons they add werewolves, zombies and more to the vampire-ghost mix.

I have similar feelings for the 90’s version.  It was fun, campy, good acting mixed with bad (check out a laughable performance from a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt).  Many of the “night” scenes were obviously filmed in California daytime sunshine with sorely inadequate light filters.  Unfortunately it was cancelled after one season and never got a chance to get better.

If you enjoyed Dark Shadow’s 90’s reboot, check out Werewolf–a late 80’s primetime drama which was great fun and reminded me a bit of the Incredible Hulk.  Happy horror-shows!

Update: Micro-rolling treatment.

(painless, my eye)

So, if you haven’t been reading from the beginning of this weblog, I mentioned a cosmetic treatment I was currently engaged in to combat signs of aging.  The process is called micro-rolling or micro-needling and you can turn back to my previous post to get a quick overview of how I came to engaging in this insanity.

Well, after four treatments over six months, I am happy to say I can see some subtle but concrete improvements.  Minor forehead lines are significantly diminished; the deeper one is shallower.  No major change on pigmentation.  The only changes I did see in this was when I first began and was also using a hydroquinone “fade” cream.  I left off with it, but in the last month have added one back with a different active ingredient–Avon Anew Ultimate (review to come at the end of the bottle).  Don’t dare get this serum anywhere near your eyes.  I was careless and woke up with irritated, swollen eyelids that fortunately did return to normal before I arrived at work that morning.   I never before saw results from skin lighteners so I can only assume that the needling allows the product to penetrate to the correct dermal layer to address the hyperpigmentation.

Most impressive though is the decrease in the depth of my nasolabial folds.  As a frequent smiler and face-twister, I am developing quite the “parentheses” lines and was very glad those showed some improvement.

My verdict: if you have the skrilla to spare, go for it.  It’s much less expensive and dangerous than fraxel, there is basically no downtime (my face looked a little sunburned for 24 hours and I couldn’t wear makeup for that day).  With laser there is much oozing and crusting.  Ick and ick.  There is also a danger of developing hyperpigmentation!  Also, if you happen to have acne pits, this is supposedly an effective treatment for those (I don’t happen to have those types of scars so no notes there).  Still, you’d likely need to do this series of treatments at least 2-3 times before seeing some major improvements (NB – this is conjecture as I have only gone through it once).

If you decide to take the plunge, go to a reputable doctor, make sure to use the acid cream to keep the holes open longer, and use the collagen-boosting cream vigilantly.  The pain was worst the first time but much like waxing, once you know what to expect, it doesn’t hurt as badly.  Also, listening to relaxing music and deep-breathing help during the more sensitive areas.  Under no circumstances could I stand to have my upper lip rolled.  I would suggest a nerve-block if you need that area done.

Stay beautiful friends!

Oh Injury: rude-ass people.


While taking public transportation this afternoon after an extra-long day of work, I was obliged to stand as there wasn’t a speck of space to sit my weary self down (though I was literally carrying 15 lbs easy of stuff in two different bags).  For some unknown reason, a woman who had been lucky enough to snag a seat decided to stand up for a moment without bracing herself first with a good handhold, even though the vehicle was clearly about to lurch forward.  Lurch it did and in her attempt to prevent a fall, she flailed out wildly and landed a punch squarely on my nose.

This was painful and irritating enough, but to add insult to injury, instead of looking sincerely sorry for almost breaking my face, she did this half-assed “Oh, so sorry!” while giggling and grinning like an idiot.  While I understand it’s human nature to laugh when someone gets injured, I have trained myself out of that habit.  I find it completely insensitive to laugh at the person until you have thoroughly ascertained that there is no permanent damage or severe pain.  Pain isn’t humorous to me.  I actually ended a lifetime long friendship with a person after I slipped, fell, and split open my knee while playing tennis.  He laughed mightily and never apologized.  Forget you, jerk-face.

If you see someone get injured, do your best to suppress your chuckles.  It’s rude as hell.  Maybe that’s why I never liked the Three Stooges.