Straight Pride Parade? Really? I get a visit.

Leave a comment

straightpride

Last month, if you’ll remember, I wrote about setting up a conference call with the gods, pleading for good weather at PrideVisalia 2019. Despite weather forecasts predicting rain, it was sunny and warm that day. The gods were disposed to grant my request, and held the downpour until the next day. Man, did it rain then! My eternal thanks to all of them for cooperating.

I had thought that would be the end of that, at least until next year, but this morning I learned an important lesson.

Once you become known as a contact point for a group, you’re stuck with it, for better or worse.

This morning, just before dawn, in that in-between time when stories have the spirits at their most active, I got dragged up from a pleasant dream to find I was not alone in my bedroom.

In fact, there was quite the crowd. They were standing around the bed, and they did not look pleased. Normally, this kind of thing would elicit a panicked response on my part, but for some reason I felt fairly calm. I must have been thinking “this is a new dream. Dang, that other one was more fun”, because I just kind of sat there, wondering why these folks were in my bedroom.

One of them, a woman, spoke up. “Jimmie, what in the hell is this thing about a straight pride parade in Boston?” I squinted at her in the dim morning light, trying to figure out who she was. “We were happy to hold the rain off for PrideVisalia, good job on that, by the way, I popped down and visited incognito, had a wonderful time, the Mom Hugs were a fantastic idea. Now we’re hearing that Boston is holding a straight pride? What the hell??” she said.

As the sleep was fading from my brain, I recognized the voice from the conference call.

“Tempestas, so nice to meet you in person,” I said. I thought I heard a thunderclap and rumble off in the distance. I remember thinking, “there’s no storms predicted for Visalia today…”

Another one of them spoke up, “Hey, answer the question! What’s up with this straight pride nonsense?!” I recognized that voice, too. “Ishkur, boy, that graphic artist got you spot on!”

The thunder got a bit louder, and I realized it was not coming from outside.

“uh, guys…  don’t sweat it,” I said. “A group of lonely straight guys, who apparently can’t get laid, have decided they need a pride parade to prove they’re just as cool as the gays. They’ll probably have a few dozen people show up, they’ll have some really lousy music, someone will give a speech that will be roundly ridiculed on social media, and it will be a lot of smoke and noise, and nothing else.”

Tempestas was still glaring at me, and said “I’m thinking of sending a hurricane to Boston that day. They haven’t had one since 1991, and I think they’re due for another, if they let this nonsense go on!”  The rest of the crowd murmured in agreement, and I knew I had to do something, quick. (that god time thing, again. For them, August 31, the planned day of the “parade” might as well be right now)

I asked them not to ruin Boston’s day just for a few nutcases, even if they are jerks.

“Is that Fryer back there?” I asked. “My thanks to you and Odin, and all the others, for granting my request for PrideVisalia. We really had a wonderful time.” The figure standing back in the growing light just nodded, and waved his hand at Tempestas and Ishkur, who had apparently been appointed to speak for the group. I turned my attention back to them.

“Really, please. It’s no big deal. They’ve been laughed at since the news broke that they were applying for a parade permit. Boston, as you all know, is about as progressive a place as there is in the United States, and they really can’t say no to this application, no matter how idiotic it may be. Let them have their straight pride parade, (there’s that rumble again, it’s getting louder… where is it coming from?) and we can forevermore hold it up to those who scream ‘why is there no straight pride!?!?’, and say there you go, you got one. After all, we’ve always told them if they felt they needed a parade, to organize one, and it looks like they finally took our advice.”

Tempestas was still glaring, and Ishkur had little lightning bolts flickering between his fingers as I spoke, and I remember a stray thought that I hoped those sparks wouldn’t damage my phone, sitting on the night stand next to where he was standing. Several others still grouped around the foot of my bed were looking a bit more calm, though, so I was hoping things were looking up. I really didn’t want to feel responsible if Boston got clobbered by a storm that day. Was that Indra standing next to my dresser?

Ishkur snapped his fingers, and the room was briefly brighter than I ever remember anything being, and he pointed at Tempestas. “Pay attention!” he thundered.

“Really,” I said, “don’t worry about it. This will be a one-time thing, and it won’t be all that much at that. Everyone will see this for what it is, another cheap slap at the LGBT community by incels that really feel powerless in their own lives. They’ll make a bit of noise, snarl traffic, and generate more hostility towards their ‘movement’. The difference between their little ‘parade’ and Boston’s Pride parade couldn’t be more stark, and they’ll do more damage to their cause than a hurricane would do to the region. Please, just let it go.”

By this time, the room had cleared out, it was just me, Tempestas and Ishkur remaining. From that I presumed that the other gods were willing to go along with ignoring straight pride, and all I had to do was seal the deal with those two.

“So, are we good?” I asked. “Boston is a really nice place, I hope to visit it one day, and these morons are just background noise. Let it pass, and let them fade into the obscurity they deserve.” I was crossing my fingers behind my back.

Ishkur looked at Tempestas, who appeared to be deep in thought.

“OK,” she said. “I can’t guarantee that there won’t be rain, or even a hurricane on that day, these things generally run on autopilot with very little input or notice by me. What I won’t do is deliberately “rain on their parade”, so to speak.” A small grin appeared, she clearly thought her pun was clever. I was not inclined to disagree, or give any sign of my internal groan.

“Thank you,” I said, as I bowed slightly, still sitting in bed. “You are a most gracious and kind goddess.” I was going to say more, but I got the distinct impression she wouldn’t have appreciated further groveling, and I thought I heard a rumble from Ishkur that implied I should stop while I was ahead. A wink from him as he faded from sight encouraged that idea.

Tempestas winked too, and was gone. I sat there for a bit, and thought to myself “that’s the last time I have chocolate chip mint ice cream right before bed.”  My next thought was as I was waking up several hours later, “what a wild dream. That’ll make a great blog post! What’s that rumbling noise?…”

 

 

 

 

The story can now be told – why it didn’t rain on PrideVisalia 2019

3 Comments

storm_god

Ishkur, Mesopotamian god of storms

Despite a week of weather forecasts predicting rain on Saturday, the day of PrideVisalia 2019 was sunny, clear, and warm. How did that happen? Well, now the story can be told.

The very first PrideVisalia hosted by The Source LGBT+ Center was in June 2017, and the summer gods were out in full force. 105 degrees in the shade (40 for those of you who are on the Celsius thermometer), with relentless solar radiation made for a sweaty and uncomfortable festival. The powers-that-be decided that it’s difficult to be gay (or lesbian, or bi, or trans, or pan, or anything else for that matter) under such conditions, so the festival for 2018 was moved to the end of May. Cooler weather usually prevails, and the festival can be truly festive. It did and it was.

As PrideVisalia 2019 approached, our weather apps began giving us ominous warnings. Thunderstorms, rain, and warm temperatures were threatening to make the festival a muggy, wet, sodden affair. Nerves were on edge, a brave face was put on by organizers, and extra awnings were put on standby.

Why didn’t it rain? I simply asked for a favor.

Yep, I set up a conference call, and got all the gods on one hookup. You wouldn’t believe how difficult that was to arrange! Some of these characters really don’t like each other. Some kept insisting none of the others even existed! I finally appealed to their better natures (for some their vanity, but that’s another story) and got them all on the line.

I managed to snare the major players: Zeus, Ishkur, Tlaloc, Indra, Fryer, Odin (who, like some of the other major players, insisted on being included even though he doesn’t usually handle weather himself), and Tempestas (who you would think from her name wouldn’t be a easy sell, but she was a joy to talk with). Some native American weather spirits joined in, especially those of the local tribes here in the valley, and of course Allah and Yahweh. (I tried to get Lucifer on the call, just to keep some balance, but he was unavailable. Apparently he’s on vacation. In Los Angeles. Odd.)

After some small talk that seemed to last an eternity (God time is very different from human time, it seems) we got down to the issue at hand.

I was prepared for a long, hard fought battle to convince them to hold the rain off for a day, but it was amazingly easy.

Seems the gods are really fond of their LGBTQ+ children, and were eager to grant such a request. They also love a party, and once I described what was going on, they were all on board with very little convincing required. I think the drag queens and the Ballet Folklorico dancers of Mexico Moderno really put it over the top.

I got a bit of flack from Yahweh about my being an atheist and all, but I’m pretty sure he was just ribbing me. (see what I did there?) He, of course, loves all the rainbow gear at Pride. Allah was silent for most of it all, but I’m pretty sure I heard a نعم فعلا from him.

So there you have it. One conference call, some friendly chatting, a bit of ego stroking for the more vain characters, and they all agreed to push the rain to the next day. Sunny and warm, with a slight breeze prevailed for PrideVisalia 2019.

I’m a little concerned what they might require of me as payment for granting my favor. A couple of them were putting on an ominous tone, but I’m pretty sure they were just teasing. Fairly sure. Oh boy… what have I done! Whatever the reality of that is, I’ll deal with it at some future date. A very far-off in the future date. Maybe they’ll forget. One can hope.

Oh, and you’re welcome!

P.S.

PrideVisalia2019_weather

Rainbow Dragons at Pride Visalia?

Leave a comment

Baby Dragon

Draco, in an early pic, 2011

It never fails. I should never let them look over my shoulder when I’m on the computer.

I’ve written about them before, back when they were first born. (I can’t tell them they’re hatched, for some reason they don’t like that. I think it has something to do with an inferiority complex about competing with birds. I know, it’s weird.)

Since then, I’ve kept them out of my blogs, and off my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. They’re already insufferably vain, and making them the center of attention would be unbearable. (oh, if you met them you’d think they’re charming, well behaved, and as entertaining as hell, but you don’t have to live with them!)

They’re seven years old now, and quite the handful. Over the years we’ve managed to not burn down the house or set the yard on fire. Mostly. There was that one time I had to convince the fire department that it was just the BBQ making all that smoke, while they hid on the roof, trying to look like I have a strange hobby of collecting gargoyles. Fortunately it was after dark, and they weren’t noticed. Crisis averted.

Their voices are still juvenile, though. I’m waiting for dragon puberty to hit, and for those sophisticated British accents to kick in. Still sounds like a lot of London boys sniffing helium going on around here, and sometimes it gets on one’s nerves. Good thing they’re still as cute as can be. (When they’re asleep.)

Today, I messed up, and I’m not sure how to contain the furor now unfolding in my dragon lair.

Did you see this?

rainbow_dragon

Boy, they did. I was on my laptop, scrolling through Facebook, when I landed on this. I hadn’t realized Draco was behind me, snooping. (I try to keep them away from the computer as much as I can. It’s really hard to clean smoke residue off the screen after they’ve been watching Dragonheart and Eragon on endless loop.) He let out a very un-dragonly squeal, demanding to know what that was. “Nothing” wasn’t going to cut it.

Draco called the others over, and they all huddled around the computer, squeaking and squawking about it, demanding to know what it was all about.

I told them some humans love dragons (I glared at them enough to make them wonder whether I was one of them or not) and had made some buttons and other gear for the upcoming Pride Visalia. They were quite pleased. And, of course, they want to go.

How do you tell a bunch of seven year old dragons they can’t go to the festival to see the other dragons? They’ve decided it’s not just buttons and pins, and that there are going to be other dragons there. Rainbow dragons.

I’m not sure how I’m going to contain this.

 

Sulu is gay? Could’ve fooled me.

Leave a comment

george-takei

Sulu is gay? Could have fooled me.

I just saw ‘Star Trek Beyond’ last night.  (It’s very cool in 3D) Prior to the release, it was announced by John Cho, who plays Sulu in the JJ Abrams reboot/alternate timeline Star Trek, that Sulu is gay.  There are at least two scenes where Sulu is with his husband and their daughter (Demora, one assumes).  However, based on the scenes in the final theatrical release, you might be excused for not seeing the gay part.

More

This new guy really is a Bad Robot

Leave a comment

horsehead_nebula

Space. The Final Frontier.

First it was Star Trek. Now it’s Star Wars. I don’t like where this is going.

You know who I’m talking about, right?  J.J. Abrams?  The wunderkind of movies these days?  In my little world, he’s trashed the Enterprise, and now he’s killed Han Solo.  Is nothing sacred?

OK, I suppose *he* didn’t kill Han.  The story is Harrison Ford wanted the character to die back in the carbonite block, but was talked out of it (read $$$).   But still.  Bad Robot.

First, the Enterprise.  I really like the bridge of the new version starship.  Especially the ’embedded-in-the-window’ viewscreen.  That was a cool idea.  The engine room, and whatever those huge tank things were, is just… not.  Unless the Enterprise is really a TARDIS, there’s just no way all that inside fits the outside.  Huge gaping spaces for our heros to dangle from is just nuts.  That thing-a-ma-jig that Kirk kicks back into alignment? Bad scripting there, plain and simple.  Really poor starship design.  The same engineers that came up with the viewscreen-window couldn’t come up with a better doo-dad for Kirk to fix at the last second? Really?  And those lens flares. Really annoying. Bad Robot.

I just saw Star Wars – The Force Awakens.  Not much force awakening going on there.  A lot of spaceship-blowing-up and what-not, but the force is not strong in this one.  More vast spaces to dangle the hero from, but mostly a re-hash.  We’ve pretty much seen this movie, before we’ve even seen it.  Bad Robot.

Nit-picking.  Did nobody do an after-action assessment when they lost the Death Star?  Nobody noticed the glaring design flaw in the super-weapon?  They basically built the same thing again, only bigger?  And using a star as a power source?  In such a way that you suck up the star itself to power the weapon?  Seems like a lot of money and resources to put into a weapon with a limited shelf-life! The Dark Side seems to have a rather large blind spot. Probably as big as the ego of the latest evil leader.  Bad Empire/First Order.

And haven’t we already seen this plot device?  The weapon is charging/coming into range!  We have only minutes before the rebel base is zapped!  Everyone’s about to die!  But wait! Our heroes blow up the Death Star/Star Killer in the nick of time, saving everyone!  I suppose if he’s going to re-hash old Star Trek movies, J.J. doesn’t worry about doing it in Star Wars, too.  Bad Robot.

I wonder if Mark Hamill is going to be able to pull off his own Obi-Wan in the next movie? Can we believe Luke going full-Yoda on us?  Time will tell.  JJ Abrams won’t be directing it, so maybe we’ll get something more George Lucas-like.  But it’s Disney, now, so maybe not. Especially after George’s crack about them.

This movie didn’t seem to really advance the story much.  I suppose it’s more a hat-tip to the previous films, and to set up the two to follow.  Seems a bit weak to be a top-grossing movie, but it does show the desire of the public to revisit this galaxy.  Disney and company seem determined to give them what they want.  The merchandising for this episode has just been insane.  Even a YouTube light saber gizmo on the control thingy?  Really?  Bad Robot.

The 3D version was pretty neat.  I enjoyed it, and most of the time didn’t realize I was watching a 3D movie.  When you don’t notice the effect, they’re doing it right.  Good Robot.

I went to the last showing on a Sunday night, and had the auditorium to myself.  Just me and the movie.  That’s both cool, and a little creepy at the same time.  Watching the opening crawl and then the closing credits in 3D was strangely mesmerizing.

Overall, I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Excellent effects, especially in 3D, likable new characters, and the possibility of decent follow-on stories.  Dinged for re-hashed story and plot, no clear emotional buildup on Ben’s part to Han’s death (Ben did not seem conflicted, nor did the murder seem like his climax to completing his journey to the Dark Side), and it’s poor use of R2-D2 and C3PO.

I’ve been here before, but I don’t know where I am

Leave a comment

photo 1The garage is finally getting cleared out (thanks, Travis!), and I found this book while looking through some boxes.  I looked at it, wondering when I bought it, as it rang absolutely no bells.

“Maybe,” I thought, “someone beamed it into my garage at some point in the past, and I’m just now finding it. Or maybe I time-traveled back to leave it in this box because…  something important is about to happen, and this book is the crux of a historical turning point, and I will use it to save the world! Or maybe it’s a glitch in the Matrix, and I should really worry about stern looking men in black suits, wearing earbugs and black sunglasses!”

Well, no, not really.  But I really don’t recall when or where I purchased this book. It’s copyrighted 1991, so at some point after that date, at the earliest 1994, because my bookmark is from where I work, and I must have picked it up at B. Dalton or Waldenbooks.

I sat down last night, and started reading.  I figured I’d remember the story, or at least find it familiar, as I’m pretty good about recognizing something I’ve already read.

Not happening this time.

It’s a collection of shorter stories, all set in the same “universe”, with the main character present in all the stories.  It’s about a man from 1954 recruited to be a “time cop”, and keep history from being tampered with once time travel is invented in the distant future.  The “time cops” recruit from up and down the timeline for suitable operatives, and the various stories in the book jump from a vacation base camp in the Pleistocene era, to millennia into the future.

photo 2 The top marker is how far I’ve gotten since I picked the book up yesterday, and the bottom one is where I must have left off when I put the book in the box.

What I’m finding odd is that I don’t recall any of the stories I’ve read so far.  Nothing is ringing a bell, and it’s like a new book for me. I usually remember things I’ve read, and it’s a bit strange to be completely blank with this one.  I’m hoping I’ll remember it as I read more, but so far, nothing.

I’ve often compared my memory to an old hard drive.  I’ve got everything up there, it just takes time to spin up and locate the data.  I’m hoping that’s what’s happened here, and it’s just taking a long time to find the correct file.  I’m hoping nothing got overwritten in the intervening years!

Time to jump back into the future/present/past, and see where I end up.  I hope nobody screws up the timeline!

A madman in a blue box

1 Comment

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 7.57.54 PM

The strangest thing happened earlier today.  He tells me we weren’t gone long at all.  It seems like it was, to me, though.  Did you miss me?

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: