Lightning and lightning bugs.

Was thinking of movie commentary in the car this morning, and of Return of the Living Dead, and something that’s been in my head on and off came to mind:  Why isn’t there a word that defines what gender you’re attracted to, but doesn’t do so in relation to you?

I mean, the movie has a striptease scene in a graveyard, and part of the commentary (or possibly an interview I read once; regardless) is along the lines of “Yeah, we did this for the guys… If we’d known there would have been so many girls in the audience, we’d have put in eye candy for them too.”

Which is actually kind of nice to hear, but that’s a tangent–what I’m trying to address right now is that the group meeting the definition of “finds women attractive” is not the same as the group that meets the definition of “guys”.  (And yes, I get that the movie is nearly thirty years old, I am perfectly aware of colloquial assumptions, I know there is a long habit of going with the “everyone is straight until proven otherwise” assumption, and I think it’s at best a bit of a lazy and horribly erasing habit but that is neither here nor there.  So.)

So what is the word or term for people who are attracted to men or women?  As humans we tend to label and categorize and articulate; I can’t believe that there hasn’t been a term a little less unwieldy than “straight women and gay men and bisexuals of either any or all genders” created yet.  I doubt it’s a perfect term, because one of the other things we tend to do is simplify and generalize, but there has to be something.

And am I completely missing something?  Christ knows it’s possible–this knapsack is invisible, but it does one hell of a job as a pair of blinders.


Edited to note:

The terms exist! They are androphile and gynophile.

It’s much blacker than they smear it… (My name!)

Got to see Oliver today at the NAC. 🙂 It’s a preview show, which means they let the audience in, but the director and people are sitting in front taking notes on what needs changing, and the real real show isn’t on until Friday. Dress rehearsal writ large.

Pros: Nancy. Also Fagin and Charley, but Nancy was amazing. She was less starry-eyed than I’ve seen her played before[1], and it made “As Long As He Needs Me” a lot more touching; I hadn’t noticed the line When someone needs you,/You love them so quite so clearly before, or started to unpack it. It was much more a portrayal of a codependant adult than an ingenue.

Also, they had a magician consultant listed in the program (I will check the exact title shortly); I had no idea why, until “You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two”, when there were silk scarves appearing and disappearing all over the stage, plus Dodger flicking a silk scarf up and suddenly holding a cane in “I’d Do Anything”, as if the fabric had unfolded into one. Seriously impressive, especially sitting in the fourth row from the stage. (Charley was doing most of it, I think; I actually went looking at the program expecting to find that he`d been the magician consultant.)

Cons: Casting an adult as Oliver made it a bit harder to swallow some of the lines, particularly the ones that refer to how small he is, and it was weird to see Dodger as smaller and slighter than Oliver, although the actress handled it really well. And I found that the mob scene and Bill’s death were rather quick and flat.

(A note: the last performance of Oliver that I saw involved Bill Sykes running from the maddened mob, a light-and-shadow show, and him eventually falling from a rookery, getting tangled in some lines hanging therefrom, and strangling. Yes, onstage. It’s hard to top that.)

Flipside, the lingering on Charley and Bet picking up Nancy’s body to take it away was well-done. The program included a rather grim photo of group of children (identified only as “from the period”), and the tone of the picture–which I can, at the moment, only describe as being worn and possibly foredoomed–was notably not absent from the play. I mean, it didn’t overwhelm it–I can’t actually imagine a grim and foredoomed rendition of “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”[2]–but it was there. Clearly not a setting where the greatest complaint children have is that the gruel is bland and a bit sparse, you know?

I was also rather surprised the Bill Sykes didn’t show up until the second act. Apparently that’s not unusual, so I suppose that’s more a reflection of how much the relationship between Bill and Nancy impressed me–has always impressed me about the story–than anything unusual about the staging.

[1] …and it’s beginning to occur to me that I’ve seen two performances of Oliver, but never the movie. May look into that, since the person I was with was observing that he thought the choreography was very like the movie.
[2] Okay, now I can. But I couldn’t before, and it’s still jarring.


It is ridiculous to get stage fright when you are going to see someone else. Still.

Off to Scottish crime authors night; details later, from keyboard rather then phone.

ETA at 1 a.m. on the 25th:

I had a lovely time.  😀  Stuart MacBride, who was the author whose name caught my attention in the first place, is very funny in pretty much exactly the way you’d expect a man who writes gritty (and/or morbidly cheerful) stories about serial killers to be.  He read the short story I just linked, too; said it was the first time he’d read it for an audience.  He signed my copies of halfhead and Flesh House, and seemed pleased to hear I’d liked halfhead.  Apparently he got a lot of grief for writing something that wasn’t in the series he’s best known for; I think that’s a serious shame, as it was a good book and a damn fun story.

Ian Rankin I had heard of and read before; Denise Mina I hadn’t.  I’m rather regretting the last, now; I would have picked up her book The End of Wasp Season if I weren’t on a strict self-imposed moratorium of Only One More Book This Year Dammit.  (There was an accident incident with a bookstore in Niagara Falls.  Oh lord, was there an incident.)

The road goes on and ever on.

Checked out and waiting in the lobby for the shuttle to the off-site parking. My nerves are killing me and I’m not sure why. I think part of out might be leaving the hotel, rather than a friend’s place. Feels a lot more final and a lot less amenable to having anything we forgot mailed to us.

Also, going to the States. I’m looking forward to seeing John’s friend and family, but I am not looking forward to the border crossing. Never had any trouble, but I know that sometimes they take (very boring) ages, and have heard the horror stories.

That, and, well… it’s the States. It’s NotHome. Which is an interesting disconnect, since as far as I can remember I did not have this anticipatory flinching when I went to London, and that is considerably less close to home and rather more anxiously edging towards draconian.[1]

Call it half lack of familiarity and half the horror stories John keeps finding.

[1] Than Canada.

Old-fashioned cheese and water power

Upper Canada Village today. Kingston. Dinner with Becky. The Long Sault and the Lost Islands. (Had never heard of them before.)

Cat here purrs like splitting celery. And is warm.

Probably not making 200 words today.

Back of thighs starting to ache really badly just above knees on the outside sides. Not used to this much walking.


Rhinos and llamas and tigers, oh my.

Went to the Granby Zoo today.  Walked for about seven hours.  My feet are gearing up to kill me, my hair smells faintly of something that I persist in identifying as llamas[1], and I don’t think I’ve been so ready to sleep so early in months.

I had a wonderful time.  😀

I have 380 pictures on my phone, and more on my camera (the batteries died).  I’ll be sorting through those later, but I think some of them turned out pretty well.  It was cold (7’C) and  very seriously rainy; we’d been expecting a light drizzle.  I ended up buying a disposable poncho in the guest shop for a couple of bucks.  (I don’t think it was meant to be disposable, but after the rainbow lorikeets descended upon me en masse it got a couple of holes in it and the situation just got worse as the day progressed.)

Watched a tiger for about twenty minutes.  She was playing with a giant plastic ball, which fell into the pond and which she then spent a quarter hour trying to get out.  It didn’t work; she was sort of quite adorably sad.  I took a *lot* of pictures, and really need to figure out exactly what the “action shot” mode on my camera phone is meant to do.

[1] It’s totally not llamas.  I suppose it’s “ruminants and straw”, or more generally “zoo”.

Living up to deadlines.

It’s odd, I don’t usually think of deadlines as something to live up to.

I also don’t usually think of the day as being over at midnight, but that seems like a possibly specious distinction to work with at the moment, so I’m here again, composing on my phone. I’ve set it to vibrate, which is slightly less annoying than clicking for Sudoku, but I am finding it a bit buzzy for typing.

It’s occurring to me that I have a lot of electronic wafers–little slices of screen and plastic and buttons that exist as ways to get to something else that isn’t exactly tangible. My Kobo. My laptop. This phone.

I say, sometimes, that I love living in the future. Usually I say it when John tells me something new and wonderful about technology or medicine or astronomy. But I think the first time I really noticed was several years ago…

I was watching the realtime map for the London Underground, and some of the stations lit up (means there was a service interruption). I was curious and clicked for details, and it said there’d been an incident on the tracks with a passenger. The timestamp was seven minutes old.

Someone got onto the Tube tracks in London and I found out about it in seven minutes. I can’t walk a mile in seven minutes, and…how far away is London? How many people do I know who’ve never even seen it? And I’m getting news from there in less time than it takes to drink a coffee, unless you really chug it.

(Full disclosure; I am a slow coffee drinker.)

((Fuller disclosure; I had a morbid streak when I was younger, and my second thought upon seeing the map information was “I wonder how far he splashed.” Which is ridiculous, really, I don’t even know that anyone was hurt rather than just being a Gap-hopping twit, but… Oh, the lurid imaginations of youth.))

I think the second time the shrinking of intervening distances really hit me was several years later, when a friend in the UK had forgotten his wallet at work and didn’t have groceries in the house and I ordered him a pizza. Because Internet. You can do a lot with the Internet.

Have noticed a possible downside to composing on the phone; small screen means it’s harder to glance back up at what I said earlier, and easier to ramble very far afield. Will mind that in future. Of course, it’s also easier to not get bogged down in going back and editing yourself, which is something I’ve been hoping to work on for a bit.

Right. Been writing for half an hour, and want to get up early tomorrow. Think I will call it a night.