Monthly Archives: November 2011

A Winner is Me!

Haha, damn right. A winner is who?

image copyright WolfmanX.

I’m just going to pretend that he drew this specifically for my NaNo novel, even though I know that’s totally a lie. Anyway, at 7:05 PM PST today, I validated my NaNoWriMo novel with 50457 words. Here’s my progress graph:

NaNoWriMo 2011 stats and graph
click for larger

The original name for my novel, “Snake Oil Charmer”, went out the door almost immediately, since the story that the title is connected to… well, it didn’t really get written. I wrote a Gundam Wing fanfic instead. Hahaha ^_^;;; What? Don’t judge me. But I’m keeping the title for that other story, just in case I ever do write it (and I will because it’s not going to let me not write it, eventually)…

My word count (on the NaNo website) languished at 49898 for hours today, and finally one of my writing buddies messaged me to say,

your word count is killing me! 🙂

But then I updated the word count and input the novel into the “yes, I really did write that much” machine and I won! Yaaaaaaaaaaay. Now I can go back to normal life for a while. First thing on the agenda: homework. /ugh Then: email. /dies

Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove

Show me the way home
I’m lost
Show me the way home
It hurts too much

—Phil Roy, “Show Me the Way Home

So, let me explain about Dr. Strangelove (wiki).

I dated a guy during my first year of college who was basically in love with Dr. Strangelove (the film, not the character) and wanted me to see it. I refused—first out of apathy, then general disinterest for war movies (satirical or no), and then just to irk him a little… because that’s just how I am. (I had a different boyfriend later who let me needle him and still made me do whatever it was that he wanted… because that’s just how he was [and is]… like go to see Casino Royale even when I was an avowed James Bond hater.)

Anyway, this guy was just waiting for the nuclear apocalypse so that he could take his KA-BAR out into the wilderness and fend for himself once and for all. He was a right-wing, gun-loving, self-proclaimed libertarian who hated affirmative action and thought that feminism had run its course because men and women were equal already, just different. Oh, and he was also against a woman’s right to choose.

But that’s another story. I never did see Dr. Strangelove while we were dating, and at the end of our first year in school, we broke up. We remained friends throughout college (he hated that other boyfriend I mentioned, for example, and eventually I told him to just suck it up) until one night in December of our senior year, when our relationship was irrevocably damaged. That is to say, he raped me.

I’m still taking ownership of that idea—the idea that what happened to me on that night was rape—but no matter how I put two and two together, it still adds up to… that. It’s hard to think about; I have many triggers—his name is one that I had to deal with when I got a new job and one of my supervisors not only had the same first name but also the same last initial. Usually, I don’t think about it. I’m not over it. I mostly know my triggers, such as they are, and I avoid them.

What the hell does this have to do with Dr. Strangelove, right? Well, this semester I’m taking a creative writing class because such classes—even though I already have a terminal degree in creative writing—help me and force me to write, and if I want to call myself a writer, I need to actually do some writing.

This writing class is split into three parts—poetry, fiction, and screenplays/playwriting. To help students learn about characterization, plot development, timeline, structure, and so on in the last category, the teacher has taken to showing the class good film examples of said. Tonight, that meant watching Dr. Strangelove. All of it. And then talking about it for 45 minutes afterward.

The teacher told us he was bringing in the film last week, and I was… disgruntled. I mentioned after class that day that I had an ex-boyfriend who loved the film, but we hadn’t parted ways amicably (an understatement if I’ve ever said one) and that I wasn’t really keen on remembering that bullshit. But after my off-handed comment, I honestly didn’t think much more about it.

Then, when he actually did bring it in today [Tuesday evening, 29 November 2011], I said, “Are we seriously going to watch the whole thing?”

And he said, “Sure, why not?”

And I rolled my eyes and said, “Fine.”

And then I sat through the entire film. And you know what? Objectively speaking, it isn’t a half bad movie. Stanley Kubrick is nothing to shake a stick at, so to speak. But I sat there, unable to really focus on the movie to really enjoy it (or scoff at it, or have any normal reaction at all)… because all I could think about was him. Because it had been his favorite movie. And it had been his hands on me, even after I’d told him “no”.

Half way through the film, I slid down in my chair, sick to my stomach, and wrote in my notebook:

watching this movie all I can think about is [him] holding me down in that geology lab @ [our school] that night.


and then I scribbled over the entire page to mark it out.

As soon as the film was over, I knew had been a terrible, terrible idea for me to have watched it when the only thing I could really see was… that, and as soon as the teacher gave us a five-minute break, I was out the door and down the steps to find a relatively unoccupied restroom.

I went into the nearest available stall (the very first stall had a sign taped to it that read “OUT of ORDER”—ridiculous, the things I remember) and threw up. Or rather, I would have thrown up, except that I hadn’t eaten much before the class since I was intending to eat when I got home. (I’m sure you can imagine that didn’t happen.)

After a few minutes, I stood up and went to the sink to wash my face. I went back to class (“You okay?” the teacher asked, and I nodded) and sat silently while the class discussed the film’s characters and structure, fists clenched in my lap. I was so wrapped up in my own crap—just trying not to explode or implode, just trying to stay in that holding pattern until I could go home and fall apart in the privacy of my own room—that I didn’t even notice the film has a single woman character (thereby utterly failing the entire Bechdel Test) until someone pointed out that she’d been wearing a fucking bikini in her only scene.

Finally, at the end of the discussion, the teacher turned to me and said, “You haven’t said a single thing. What do you think?”

And I said, “I’m not going to talk about this film.”

And he said, “What? Having some ex-boyfriend ruin one of the greatest comedies ever to grace the silver screen? What a tragedy.”

And I nearly just cracked up and laughed out loud because he really had no idea how right he was. It is a fucking tragedy, and you know why? Because I sat through the entire thing. I could’ve gotten up at any point and just said, “Fuck this. I know when I’m being triggered” but I didn’t. I didn’t really know it was a trigger at first, but the moment I realized it, I should’ve removed myself from the situation. I had every right to do that, but I didn’t because—as one of my waterbrothers said—I’m “certainly a committed student”.

Really, though, it’s because I still want people to like me, want people to not dislike me, want to not rock the boat, want to be “a good girl”, want to believe that if I do the right things—say the right things, wear the right things—that I’ll be safe. But I wasn’t safe that time. I had thought I was safe, and I wasn’t. I was with someone I trusted, and he betrayed me.

I left the class and started shaking. I called one of my waterbrothers and hung up the phone on the second ring. He called me back. I told him I needed him because I knew I was about to have a panic attack and I didn’t want to be alone. I drove home on autopilot and he found me there, sitting in my car, hyperventilating. He took me back to his house and held me while I cried and told me that I was safe, that whatever had happened was over now, and that he would hold me for as long as it took.

And then, after I’d calmed down some, he kissed me. And he kept kissing me, and I was thinking to myself, “Again? Please, not again.” But I was kissing him back because I actually do like him that way sometimes and I was just reacting, but it was too soon—still, even after all this time—and too fast, and after a few minutes, I was trying to get away and saying “no, no, no” over and over.

He held me there, and it wasn’t the same kind of hold as the one that time because suddenly he was whispering urgently in my ear, “God, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” and I was shaking and crying again and he was holding me tightly, saying, “Goddamnit, I’m so sorry; you were vulnerable and I took advantage and I’m so sorry”.

And I wanted to scream at him, “Yes! Yes, you did take advantage!” but I didn’t because I couldn’t get the words out in between my sobs. When I could breathe again, he stroked my hair and let me just lean against him, listening to his heartbeat, for a long time.

Finally, just when I thought maybe he’d fallen asleep, he said, “Something happened tonight that made you remember something traumatic that happened to you, and I was supposed to be safe for you, but instead I made you remember twice. I’m so, so sorry. I’m no better than him.”

I was silent for a minute, thinking about it, thinking maybe I should agree with him, and then I leaned up and looked him in the eyes and said, “Yes, maybe you did, but you know the difference?”

It was his turn to be silent for a minute, and I could tell he didn’t believe there was a difference. Finally, I prodded him further, “Do you?”

“What?” he asked gruffly.

You stopped.”

The Past Week via Twitter: 2011-11-27

  • @LANoWriMo #LaCanada Flintridge Books #NaNoWriMo write-in right now! I have to write 3000 words to stay on top of things today… #
  • @LANoWriMo I got almost 2100 words today at the #LaCanada Flintridge Books write-in! Just need 760 more to reach today's #NaNoWriMo par. #
  • @LANoWriMo we're almost an hour in here at the #LaCanada Flintridge Books #NaNoWriMo write-in. two hours to go! come write in with us. ^_^ #
  • actually NOT racing the clock tonight because–for once–I already wrote enough to meet today's #NaNoWriMo goal (35000 words). #writing #
  • @anjalibahl good band name. #
  • Gah! I'm suddenly behind 3 days! Stupid real life getting in the way of #writing Word count is currently 36000 & I need 40000. #NaNoWriMo #
  • that's more like it: #NaNoWriMo word count is up to a healthy 43014. less than 7000 words to the finish line. gotta keep #writing #
  • @Zekor I ended yesterday with 36274, today with 43000+ (we'll see, since the day's not over). #NaNoWriMo #
  • @Zekor 7000 words in a day is par for the course when I don't have to do other things that I don't want to do anyway. #NaNoWriMo #
  • woooooork. #ugh #
  • @wldwmn64 hi! #
  • Breaking Dawn; yes, I am. #Twilight is so #ridiculous .. >_> but Taylor Lautner is pretty to look at, so I can probably tolerate it. #

The Past Week via Twitter: 2011-11-20

  • @Nate_TheMan_ haha whaaat. also, is the film going to be in a theater around here? I'd like to recommend people see it. #
  • I like how I attend a #poetry reading and get to chatting with another attendee… (cont.) #
  • … and the first thing she says when she learns I lived in New York is: "Did you meet a nice boy there?" Really? REALLY? #poetry #
  • look, I realize part of the story hinges on stealth & whatnot, but really: why do Camelot's guards have to be such crappy guardsmen? #Merlin #
  • also, does this guy just… never wear a shirt? #Merlin season 4, episode 7 #
  • @wldwmn64 /laugh yes, really. there was 1 character who never wore a shirt the entire episode. not like Camelot is tropical, either. #Merlin #
  • @sammiguidera sheesh, lady; you weren't kidding about Guilty Crown being super shiny and possibly too difficult to resist. >_> #anime #
  • @LANoWriMo and everyone: the #LaCanada write-in is right now! come by and pound out some plot! #
  • yes! just hit the 25000 word count mark for #NaNoWriMo @LANoWriMo @NaNoWriMo @NaNoWordSprints take that, writer's block! #writing #
  • I truly cannot fathom why anyone on Earth would find this idea appealing enough to actually put it into practice. #
  • Thurs to do: get as close to 30000 words as I can #NaNoWriMo & read almost my entire psychology textbook. that's it. short list, tall order. #
  • @Claudebaby thank you. exactly. #
  • I like how the trending topic "Women Who Dont Cook" actually says more about men than it does women. So pathetic. #
  • so there was this commercial, and I was like, "That sounds like Metal Gear Solid" and then it WAS Metal Gear Solid and I was like *facepalm* #
  • and also, yes, I am a lady who's played Metal Gear Solid. >_> apparently there aren't a lot of us around. sad day, if that's really true. #
  • @Zekor haha, I know, right? I didn't even realize I'd recognize it, but apparently I've played it enough. lol. #
  • @Zekor I think I can count on one hand all the video games I've ever seriously played… haha ^_^;; that just happens to be one of 'em. #
  • @Zekor makes me want to play some Metal Gear now, though. T_T #
  • @Zekor what? I don't have a console, so… Damn, I think the last time I played that I was in high school. I'd look like a fool now, anyway. #
  • @Zekor or Skyrim! T__________T I actually care about that one… /cries well, the new Zelda, too, I guess, but nothing will ever beat #OoT #
  • actually, I'm an avowed vampire fan–seriously–and Twilight is the first series that has made me root for werewolves over vamps–no joke. #
  • GODSDAMNIT I AM SERIOUSLY GOING TO READ THIS HOMEWORK NOW FOR REALS. uuugh test in the morning haven't read any of the material kill me now. #
  • the comphrensive 2007 survey that shows that more than 70% of teenagers have "used" alcohol "for non-medical purposes" is making me cry. #
  • in fact, this entire chapter on alcohol, drinking in college, and all the shitty things that can happen while drunk is seriously depressing. #
  • @donnatalarico oh no! well, maybe it's better than…? I can't express… well, here: I'm thinking of you fondly. sorry that I'm so awkward. #
  • @yaoipress I think PWP has a place, but only in fanfiction (where the romance/plot is already established)… #
  • @yaoipress in original fiction, PWP doesn't do it for me. #
  • @veduncan's TwBirthday is on 17 March 2009, godfather is @Zekor, certificate at via @TwBirthday hahaha, there you go, B #
  • @smp5000 hey! I know you. well, my sister knows you, anyway ^_^ #



This is, somehow, my 2222nd published post. Since December 2001, I’ve actually published more entries than this landmark shows because this past August I deleted a bunch of my old posts up through about June 2006. (Hahaha, bet you hadn’t noticed that.)

This month, my family and I celebrated International Pocky Day (11/11/11), so named because it’s possible to use Pocky to write out the entire date!

Now, it’s my 2222nd journal entry here at duncan heights.

I’m waiting for something with 3333 in it. If that happens in the next month or so, I’ll have to add an extra sprig of holly and ivy to my altar to Athena. She’s been on my mind a lot recently, and I think it might be because She wants me to either (1) get my act together for once in my life, or (2) just let my life finish falling apart so she can help me pick up the pieces.

We’ll see.

Here’s to 2222 more entries!

The Past Week via Twitter: 2011-11-13

  • Pretty sure Rise Against is awesome. I don't think there's a song by them that I've heard that I haven't liked… #
  • pretty sure I'm not writing anything today. everything hurts too much. did attend my write-in, though. maybe tomorrow? #NaNoWriMo #
  • @wldwmn64 hi, Auntie… your tweets are… really spaced out. #
  • got to 14944 at 11:55 pm on Nov. 9; goal was 15000. so|close! goal for today (Nov. 10) is 16700 and I'll be just a smidge ahead. #NaNoWriMo #
  • @NaNoWordSprints @amber_squared it's only funnier until you wake up tomorrow and have to figure out what the hell you were talking about… #
  • did it! 16793 at 11:58 pm… haha I cut it really close, don't I? goal for tomorrow (Fri) is 18500 #NaNoWriMo that's just over 1700 words… #
  • !!!!! RT @tofugu ||| || |||||| ||| |||. ||| |||||| || ||||||| || ||||||? ||| |||||| ||||??? #pockyday #
  • #writing time. & then sleep. & then more writing at @Vromans. & then work (woo; excited for that, obviously). & then more writing #NaNoWriMo #
  • I need to #write 2653 words today (Sat) to get back on par for a #NaNoWriMo goal of 20000 words total! Can I do it? #writing #
  • Es regnet. (It rains.) <3 #