Distanced Parties

My daughter skips down the stairs and pauses at the big mirror in the hall to preen. Her fashion, like the fashion of most her age, makes my skin crawl. Bare arms, exposed neck, no gloves. I know skin contact isn’t a direct infection vector but a careless touch of the face is all it takes. I stifle my concerns; my daughter has grown up disinfecting her hands, avoiding touching her face, and keeping her distance from people. It’s my generation that still struggles with the new culture of distance.

Even with the exposed skin she’s well prepared to keep herself safe; her face mask already on and sealed, a sanitizer pack clipped to her collar, and a wipe package strapped to her thigh.

“Going out tonight?” I ask as casually as I can. Becky usually tells me or puts it on the family calendar when she goes out.

“Yeah Arya is picking me up. We’re going to a party.”

“A party?” I sit up straighter a look expectantly at her.

“Mom. It’s not a big deal. Just ten kids hanging out talking.”

“Ten including you and Arya?”

“Yes. Adam has a big living room. Everyone will have their own chairs, no touching, food and drinks are single serve packs. We aren’t wild infectors like you were.” She’s seen the old movies where parties were a few dozen teenagers standing shoulder to shoulder talking faces inches apart. Nowadays it’s irresponsible to gather in groups larger than ten and sit closer than double arms length.

“I know honey. I know it’s just I remember when this all started. The panic and people disregarding warnings about large groups.” I pause collecting myself. A car horn beeps once outside. Becky glances at the door but looks back at me; her eyebrows knit together worried that I’m still worried. I smile as broadly as I can. “That’s Arya, better go before she gets worried.”

“Are you sure? I can cancel; no big deal.”

“No, no. Go have fun. I’m just being a worrywart.” I hold out two fingers. She presses two fingers to mine for a second. We disengage, touch our sanitizer packs, and rub our hands clean.

Another car beep comes from outside. Becky laughs and runs to the door. Before it closes she looks back and waves. It’s her world now. A world of brief contact and small gatherings but not one without friends.

***

Author’s Note: After reading an article titled “Will Corona virus Happen Every Year Like The Flu?” which discusses the factors that cause the flu to be seasonal and how covid-19 might or might not have those same factors, I ended up thinking about a world where corona virus was always waiting in the wings to cause an outbreak. I didn’t want to write a depressing story about a society on the brink. So I wrote about a new society that is cautious about touch and large groups but not afraid to live.

My X-Men Movies Watch Order

x-men watch ordersmall

I recently watched Dark Phoenix, The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Afterwards, I realized I have now watched all the released movies in the Fox X-Men franchise. (New Mutants is set to be released at some point in the future(maybe?) and will be the last movie in the franchise.)

The first X-Men movie came out in 2000 near the beginning of the current era of comic book movies. After three mainline movies and one spinoff, the franchise was soft rebooted with X-Men: First Class. It was set in the ’60s as a prequel to the first movie but it also contradicted some events of the preceding movies causing most to simply declare it a full reboot. The next movie X-Men: Days of Future Past confused things further by strengthening ties to the Original Trilogy era movies but also creating an alternate timeline for future Retro Series movies whose future was portrayed by actors from the Original Trilogy movies. And then you have the DeadPool movies doing their own thing.

All in all, it can be confusing knowing where to start. You could watch them in release order but the movies weren’t planned to tell an overarching story like the MCU movies. Imagine if Endgame was released after Civil War and then followed by Ant-Man.

Watching in continuity order creates its problems. “Early” movies while technically a new continuity can not help referencing “later” movies. Also in this order, the second movie in continuity draws entire characters and actors from “future” movies. The already muddled meta-story is thrown in complete disarray.

The answer is a custom watch order. I’m not going to claim this is the only way to watch the X-Men movies but I’ve done my best to reorder the movies to support the overall X-Men story and make the overall experience enjoyable.

Click on through to read my Watch Order for the X-Men Movies. Continue reading

Is Katie From Upcoming Movie “Connected” a Trans Girl?

Honestly probably not but let me lay out some evidence that I have collected from the two minutes of film shown in the trailer.

First, make note of child Katie’s t-shirt.

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It is a bright red color. Anyone who has shopped for young children will know that most young girl’s clothing is made in shades of pink, white, yellow, and maybe pale blue. Bright saturated colors like her t-shirt are more commonly found in boy’s clothing.

This is not a hard and fast rule and there is no reason her parents couldn’t have bought the t-shirt from the boy’s section. Also, I realize child Katie’s t-shirt is the same color as young adult Katie’s jacket as part of her overall character design.

Second, take note that her hair is fairly short but a small section is pulled into a very short pony tail.

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It does not appear that an adult has brushed her hair and pulled it into a ponytail. It is off center like a child did it. Is this a young trans girl attempting to express her gender? The small pony tail appears throughout the videotape scenes but Katie’s hair doesn’t get longer despite the scenes covering four years suggesting her parents kept her hair short.

Third, while reminiscing about their relationship during her childhood, Katie’s dad refers to her as his “little buddy” and “killer”. While neither term is exclusive to young boys, there is a distinct lack of girly nicknames or terms of endearments in these past scenes

Fourth, Katie’s phone and laptop have her name prominently displayed on them. Perhaps to remind her family of her new name?

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To trans people the names we choose for ourselves are important. Personally I can recall how happy I felt seeing my name-tag display my real name. Also in the years before I could come out I would write my name in notebooks just to see it.

Obviously cis people can write their names on their possessions. Another thing to note is the “Hello my name is” sticker on her laptop which is probably also a nod to Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse in which Miles used as mini-art pieces.

Fifth, throughout the trailer two symbols are heavily associated with Katie: rainbows and lightning bolts.

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Katie’s brother’s main symbol is dinosaurs. He wears a dinosaur t-shirt, his phone case is a dinosaur, and his cup has dinosaurs on it.

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But his cup also has lightning bolts on it. Could this cup be a hand me down from Katie? This cup could just be the bother’s but when considering the thought and planning that goes into designing themes and color palates for animated characters it seems odd to mix symbols from two characters on this cup. It’s not impossible for a little girl to have a dinosaurs and lightning bolts cup but it does blur gender lines.

In conclusion, Katie may or may not be transgender but there is enough circumstantial evidence in this short trailer for me to make this post. How much more evidence will be revealed in the actual film?

 

I’m happy for my roommate, a little scared for myself

So, earlier tonight my roommate told me she has a job offer in another state and she’s going to take it. I knew she was looking for a better job but it was still a surprise. I’m happy for her to advance in her career. I’m also scared at the thought of being left alone. Ideally I need to find a new roommate because finding a new apartment is going to be much harder.

It occurred to me that over the course of my life I’ve experienced major upheavals in my living conditions roughly every ten years.

When I was nine my family moved to a different city.

I moved back for college and lived with my grandfather for a couple of years before moving in with my older sister and her kids around age twenty.I lived with them for close to ten years before I ended up left behind while she and her kids went to live with her boyfriend.

I was technically homeless(squatting in the past due apartment) for a few weeks before staying with friends and then getting my first solo apartment. It was a small three room (bedroom, kitchen, bathroom) studio apartment.

I stayed there for five months until a friend mentioned one of her friends was looking for a roommate.We met, got along, and have been roommates and friends for the past nine years.

Age 9, age 19-20, age 29-30, and now age 38. Even if I get a new roommate and stay in the same apartment it’s going to be different. That’s not a bad thing nor a good thing. It just is.

I wonder what the next ten years will bring me?

One is a Statistic, A Million is a Tragedy

A star goes dark; vanished into the black

Some notice but most don’t see a difference

Then another goes out and another

Snuffed like candles before going to bed

 

How many before it becomes News?

Ten? Two Hundred? Five Thousand?

Would we only care if they were the famous stars?

Sirius? Betelgeuse? Vega? Antares?

How dim could the night sky become?