Posted by: T.J. Baer | April 21, 2019

Queer Stuff and General Recommendations

I’m currently celebrating my second day off of the year (which does in fact sound bad now that I type it out :P), so I actually have both the time and brain-power to write up a blog post. I shall offer you a moment to rejoice.

In any case, I wanted to share some awesome queer-related content I’ve run across over the past…however long it’s been since my last post. (Self to Self: You know you could just open up a new tab, open your blog, and see when the last post was, right? Self to Self: Ain’t nobody got time for that.)

Rowan Ellis

I just discovered this excellent individual yesterday, and I’ve been zipping through her videos and very much enjoying them. She has a ton of interesting, thought-provoking content regarding queer representation (and the lack of it) in media, and there’s also a piece on homophobia in schools that is informative, uplifting, and of course also absolutely infuriating. It’s pretty incredible that we’re able, these days, to surround ourselves with like-minded people and become somewhat insulated to the ravages of homophobia, but videos like this remind me both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. In any case, Rowan Ellis is insightful and well-spoken, and her videos are definitely worth a watch.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Much like Steven Universe, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a show meant for kids that features a queer showrunner doing her absolute best to include as much representation as possible within the narrow realm of what kids shows are allowed to do. While I would love to see shows like this being more overt, She-Ra is probably one of the least subtle about its queerness of any show aimed at children that I’ve ever seen. It’s both a show about female power and a show that rejects any notion of traditional gender roles. While there are some suggestions of possible heterosexual relationships in it, nothing is overt on that side, either – the entire universe has a pansexual feel to it, existing outside the binary, and I really like that. Plus, the characters are awesome, the writing is fun and engaging, and it’s just a really freaking good show all around. Highly recommended.

This Is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel

I happened upon this book when I was at Target yesterday, and while the generic, YA-sounding title initially put me off, when I turned it over and read the back, I was pretty much hooked. It tells the story of a quirky, rather awesome family whose youngest child is transgender, and it follows them on their journey to try to both support and protect her. It takes the subject matter seriously but also finds joy and humor in it, and the characterizations, plot turns, and story crafting are all top notch. My only not-even-really-a-criticism is that the author takes a bit too much pleasure in inserting “BUT LITTLE DID THEY KNOW~*~*~” lines at the end of many of the chapters, and while this is effective to a certain extent, I do think it’s a bit overused throughout the story. But that’s the most minor of nitpicks, and as far as literary sins go, it isn’t even on the list. This is an excellent book, and it also has the distinction of being one that I finished, closed, stared at for a few seconds, and then flipped back to the beginning to start reading over again. Good, good stuff.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I’ve been a 99 fan for years (Noin Noin!), but the show has recently done me (and many others) the glorious service of revealing that fan-favorite Rosa Diaz is bisexual. I’ve always felt drawn to Rosa for her ability to exist in both stereotypical “masculine” and “feminine” spheres (plus, she’s just freaking hilarious), but this latest addition to her characters is great, particularly since they actually give her a coming out narrative, female romantic interests, and – at long last – a girlfriend we get to see and meet. And it’s Cameron Freaking Esposito! ‘Nuff said.

I also recently watched Netflix’s Voltron series (all eight seasons straight through, because I am insane and obsessive), and that show is an example of a very good series that nonetheless got the idea of LGBTQ+ representation somewhat wrong. They do a good job of having a lot of gender-nonconforming individuals, strong women, and hints of LGBTQ relationships throughout, but what they thought to be their crowning queer achievement, the revelation that Shiro is gay, was a bit of a flop.

On the one hand, I like that his gayness is something that just exists and doesn’t have to be a big deal, but on the other hand…it’s a big deal, and it would be nice if we got more than, “This scene implies he has a boyfriend. Now the boyfriend is gone. Also, he got married to a man after the show ended, KISSSSSS.” Is it nice to have a legit gay kiss concluding this series? Yes. But we don’t know this person Shiro is marrying, there was no lead-up to it at all, and the lack of romance or even meeting this character before makes it feel very tacked on, as if the showrunners are saying, “Look, see? GAY PEOPLE. Behold, we give you representation.”

I’m one of the fans who felt cheated by the ending of The Legend of Korra, because while I love the fact that the showrunners are implying a romantic relationship between two female characters, it’s one of those cases where there’s just Nothing for the entire series and then BAM, look, There Is Gay! No lead-up, then surprise gayness. Voltron’s handling of Shiro had the same sort of feel to it, though they at least took it a step further and spelled it out. Korra and Asami hold hands, look at each other in a way that could possibly be construed as romantic, and step off together into the future, but Shiro and his nameless man-love at least are shown getting married, are outright stated to be in love, and are given a kiss that the “camera” lingers on and which ultimately closes out the series.

There was definitely effort there, but it was ultimately lacking, I suppose is the point I’m going for.

Anyway, this got way longer and ramblier than I was anticipating. :P The point: There are many exciting queer-related developments in media, and I’m anxious to see what comes next. <3

Posted by: T.J. Baer | April 3, 2019

“Jump” on Flash Fiction Magazine

I’ve recently had a few short fiction pieces accepted by literary publications, and the first one is live, live, LIVE!

You can now find “Jump,” a short action piece, on Flash Fiction Magazine‘s website, direct link here:

“Jump,” T.J. Baer.

If you read it and find yourself overflowing with love and admiration, feel free to leave a comment. :P

 

Posted by: T.J. Baer | March 13, 2019

Nutritiony Things I Have Learned #1

Join me today, won’t you, for the glorious first installment of…

NUTRITIONY THINGS I HAVE LEARNED!

Today’s topic? Protein.

Read More…

Posted by: T.J. Baer | March 8, 2019

In which my heart is soft and squishy

So, yeah, if you want to break down crying over a story about a friendly beaver named Chopper, have I got a book for you!

I’ve heard so many people say that this book is the reason they went vegetarian or vegan, and now that I’m reading it, I can see why. It puts into words things I’ve felt but never been able to express, and it also does this awesome thing where it grabs my poor little heart and pries it open and pours All the Feelings inside. I’m not sure how it would affect someone who isn’t already soft and squishy in the emotions department, but it’s a very good book if you’re ready to look some very uncomfortable stuff straight in the face and decide how you honestly feel about it.

It’s weird: There are so many stories we tell ourselves to justify how we treat animals, and I can remember telling them to myself, too, for so many years. And then when I finally decided to stop doing that and live in accordance with my actual beliefs, I felt such an immense sense of relief, like I was finally doing what I should’ve been doing all along. It was like coming out, to a certain degree, in that I was finally allowing myself to live in a way that felt natural and right to me.

Anyway. Ramble, ramble, heartfelt confessions, ramble, ramble. This is a good book, animals are awesome, and I hate that we hurt them for stupid reasons. The end. <3

Greetings and salutations, internet!

I opened this tab with the fervent intention of writing a brilliant blog entry that would live forever as an example of my scintillating wit and talent, but my body has reminded me that I’ve been up since 2 AM and attempting to create anything “brilliant” is just not likely to happen.

So! Here is a decidedly un-brilliant blog entry, for your possible (?) enjoyment.

 

Read More…

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 24, 2019

On Chosen and queer lady vegans

Greetings, friends. Today I found myself faced with a truly monumental decision: Should I watch The Jeffersons marathon or the Supermarket Sweep marathon?

Sometimes life is hard.

In other news, I’ve been doing some work on Chosen (also knows as the LGBTQ fantasy epic I’ve been chipping away at since approximately the age of the dinosaurs), attempting to inject some more action and awesomeness into the book. It’s going pretty well so far, and I’ve also done another experimental gender-switch and transformed the main love interest, Nicholas, into a female character who is primarily attracted to women. This wasn’t something I planned, but it makes her romance with Kaine (biologically female but male by every other definition) all the more interesting and complex, and also ups the number of main female characters.

Read More…

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 18, 2019

Vegan Learning Curve

There are lots of things I’m learning as a relatively new vegan. One of them, sadly, is that you can’t show people what they don’t want to see.

In my innocent youth, I always thought of the dairy and egg industries as being pretty benign, just a bunch of happy cows and chickens roaming around on the picturesque farms shown on the milk cartons. When I found out the truth – which I won’t go into here, but feel free to Google “egg industry” or “dairy industry” if you never want to sleep again – I was pretty horrified. “Appalled” would be a good word to describe it, in fact. And I thought, “Do people know about this? People can’t possibly know about this or they’d be as horrified and appalled as I am!”

Read More…

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 10, 2019

In which Satan enters my washing machine

The Scene: A peaceful Sunday. Our protagonist stretches out on the couch for a much-deserved nap, the washing machine sloshing soothingly in the background. A documentary about vegan eating plays on the television, the light from outside is dim and gray, two cats nap on comfy cushions nearby, and all seems perfect for an undisturbed sleep.

AND THEN.

Read More…

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 10, 2019

Actual recipe! Chocolate-Date Pie.

Greetings! I’ve been half-awake for most of the morning, but I’ve still managed to teach some lessons, correct some homework, and do some cooking. As the cooking was actually successful, I thought I would include a recipe here, more so because the creation I speak of actually did not come from someone else’s recipe, and instead came from the depths of my fevered, chocolate-craving mind:

CHOCOLATE DATE PIE OF AWESOMENESS

Ingredients:
-Medjool dates (4 or 5 = good)
-Cocoa powder (I just dumped some in, but uh, a tablespoon or so?)
-Vanilla extract, a few drops (optional but delicious)
-Store-bought mini (vegan) pie crust, because ain’t nobody got time for that
-1 can of unsweetened “classic” coconut milk
-Sweetener of some kind (agave, maple syrup, whatevs)

1. Put dates, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Turn it on! Process! Hooray. (You can also add a little almond milk for a creamier texture.)
2. Refrigerate can of coconut milk (preferably overnight – should this be the first step? :P), then strain and scoop out the creamy chunk at the bottom. Blend with sweetener until it tastes…ya know. Sweet.
3. Smush the date chocolate stuff into the pie crust, top with coconut whipped cream (and a sprinkle of almonds or pecans, if you like that sort of thing), and then dig in.

Delicious stuff, totally vegan, and somewhat less guilt-inducing than a traditional chocolate pie.

Posted by: T.J. Baer | February 7, 2019

Vegan Stuff!

Greetings, friends. I’m off to the shower in a moment, but I thought I’d share the fact that I’ve compiled a page of links and resources for anyone interested in vegan stuff or plant-based eating. It is, creatively, entitled, “Vegan Stuff,” and you can find it either in the top site menu or right here:

VEGAN STUFF <–Here.

Check it out, peruse, consider, and feel free to leave comments, questions, or your own recommendations in the comment space.

And for now, adieu~!

 

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories