The top month for horror films is coming up, it’s still plenty hot out where I am (and thus beach weather if there were beaches), and I am here to offer a preview of my next big post series and also ask for some much needed help so I can not only keep writing (and be able to finish what is going to be a biiiig, research and writing intensive series), but so that my partner and I can both stay housed and so that my partner does not lose his job.
Since this requires a description of both our situation and needs (which I will list first – this is going to be a long post when I’m done, folks) and what I’m going to write about and why, it’s time for a page break. And a page break image, of course.
So, these are not quite post commissions, but, since my partner and I have had next to no luck ($20 is something but it won’t stop the eviction or the power turn-off) after weeks of trying to raise rent and bill money so we don’t sink under, I’ve decided to write a more detailed post and also offer detailed info on my next big writing project. It’s something I’m interested in doing anyways, but this type of project is a massive amount of time and energy (even without the emotional drain of the big queer depictions in sci-fi and fantasy writing project I did for Pride Month) and one that I straight up can’t do if I lose housing or have that and utility turnoffs hovering right above me (while also running solely on small amounts of food bank calories and with no vitamins to supplement because I ran out).
To that end, what’s up is this – after a long period of unemployment and trying to stay alive and afloat during it, my partner has a full-time job again. Unfortunately, we were, understandably, not caught up on all bills and rent when that happened and, delightful surprise of surprises, there were weeks of unpaid training that my partner actually had to pay his new employer for (and he won’t actually get to keep the first aid certification part of it until around early December) from his first two bi-weekly paychecks. This did not put us in an advantageous situation and car emergencies and the needs of the job (time, energy, and out of pocket cost-wise) and the way the company runs itself and the pay it gives out have also not helped. Schedules are also not set, so, in addition to being extremely exhausted and sometimes having one or no days off in a given week, days that clients (or, rather, clients’ caregivers/legal guardians/etc) cancel mean lost pay and smaller paychecks.
All of this means that, as is likely for people recovering from extended joblessness and living below poverty level (which I think is where we still are) and is also common for the field my partner works in (and why it has such a high turnover rate), we are on the brink of eviction and thus homelessness and job loss. Plus even closer to a power shut off than that. And we can’t get out of this situation on our own and we will be in even less of a position to recover if we lose the apartment (and thus both partner’s job and near all our belongings – if we somehow lived and eventually got rehoused somehow we’d have to replace furniture and dishes and utensils and pots and pans and …).
So, if you are willing and able to help (and signal boosting is also very helpful and much appreciated), you can donate via Paypal using firstname.lastname@example.org as the e-mail address. I don’t have solid numbers (and I am extremely tired and undernourished) but $300 would address the most immediate bill problems and keep the power on for us (and would in fact make the power bill entirely caught up). $700 was what we were trying for earlier in the month to avoid the eviction (and, honestly, I think we need the two amounts combined now if we’re to not end up with a fresh eviction notice next month) and when we were unsuccessful in getting help, we had to (and were lucky we were able to – and this is also the last month the complex’s policy would allow for it) use almost the entire small paycheck plus a hundred dollars from selling the last thing we viably had to sell to pay part of the rent plus late/eviction fees with a promise to pay the rest, with even more late fees, when partner gets his next paycheck. That money was meant for bills, including the power bill, and to pay for things like the gas that my partner receives no compensation for and that is very necessary for his job and now that next paycheck is going to go to catching up the rent and all the added late fees instead of the bills and other job costs it’s meant to handle (not to mention next month’s rent).
This is a bad bad situation and I really don’t want us to finally sink under when my partner is actually employed again. So I’m going to try to keep my fingers crossed and try to keep hoping that help comes through and in time for us (which, given that the power bill needs to be in before Thursday the 22nd and the other nearest bill is due Tuesday the 20th and rent is the 25th, may not happen).
So, thank you all so so much in advance and now on to the fun stuff – the writing! the jokes! the shark movies! now with bonus giant squid! And, also, if you want to know more about the state of the job for DSPs (Direct Service Professionals), and also what that job is, an official statement was released earlier this year that you can read here.
Deep Dive: Where Sharks Bite Back With Facts: When that movie (and the novel it was based on) you wanted to homage is characterized by a big pile of regret and a subsequent sharp changing of tune and you skip all of that to try to promote the killer shark mythos instead … and I then decide I want to write an interactive web of posts about it.
- Deep Dive: The Shallows – I came, I saw, I might have started seeing red a little. I take, as the name I picked for the series indicates, a deep dive into this year’s shark attack film The Shallows and the problems of homaging Jaws without understanding the problems it created and the regret and later learning and actions and activism of Peter Benchley (writer of the source novel and contributor to the original Jaws film – neither he nor Steven Spielberg were involved with any of the sequels). I will also do that thing I do where I have a bit of playful fun while I discuss something. It’s no good if you don’t have fun and if you don’t know if something will be fun, even if in a bad way (spoilers: the heroine tries to hide from the Killer Shark on top of the dead whale carcass it was eating before her leg got in the way. yes, she does the equivalent of hide on the giant sandwich. it’s as silly as you think).
- Deep Dive: The Beast – The Jaws homage the people need and deserve. Yes, the movie that’s about giant squid not sharks is a better Jaws homage than the shark attack movie. I promise it all makes marvelous sense, although if anyone wants to make a shark movie somewhere between The Shallows if they had actually gone with just an exploratory bite (do not worry, I will be explaining any terms I use – not everyone was an X-Treme Shark Lover as a child) and then the heroine trying to get back to medical aid without bleeding out and a movie where the sharks are the heroes – I am so down for that. And The Beast is just a really good film (actually a three hour miniseries in two parts) on top of being a Jaws homage that doesn’t perpetuate misinformation, fear, and hatred, while still having thrills and suspense. And a better opening and pacing than, sorry my old friend, Creature, also a miniseries adaptation of a later Peter Benchley novel. I have also done a live-tweet of a viewing of it and would be willing to do it for the other programming I’m going to mention, if anyone is interested (all of my work is always available free to everyone, but leaving a note on a donation to say you’d like a live-tweet of Creature or want good books for kids about sharks is super-cool and much appreciated).
- Deep Dive: Creature – Sometimes there are things that go bump in the night and sometimes there are ones that go ouch … which is kind of the sound of me watching Creature (especially when I then have technical difficulties and only get halfway through the film). Not to warn anyone off from it, because dang this is going to be a cool discussion and I’m going to get into the source novel and Peter Benchley’s conservation-minded-ness and addressing of what Jaws wrought in the public consciousness and to shark populations, but Creature (original title White Shark, but republished as Creature to avoid confusing readers because … it’s kind of an important plot and thematic point that the white sharks are innocent and it’s actually a man-made experiment wrecking havoc on the island’s population) did not get as even and well done of an adaptation as The Beast did. It does smooth out but changing the origin of the deadly experimental subject should not have wrecked the opening and the set up (and subsequent story ripples) as much as it did. Also the opening is just dang weird, but that’s something to save for a live-tweet.
- Deep Dive: Jaws 3/3-D – Am I brave? Am I foolish? Am I determined to entertain you? Probably rhetorical and probably all of the above. I don’t really want to touch the Jaws films themselves but this one is prime “Oh gosh how did this happen why can’t I look away??” material. And it does have some interesting tidbits in it that could have actually been something if handled differently from a) the film b) the mess the behind the scenes of the script writing process was. Which also makes it an interesting contrast to the two miniseries based on the two later Peter Benchley deadly underwater novels because … reasons I’ll discuss and explain in the actual post. 😉 Really running long on words here. And I need to save my material for the actual posts. 😛
- Deep Dive: Shark Week – Aka, that feel when you meet back up with somebody you used to know and they’re kind of the dark timeline version of themselves now. Little bit of history and context on Shark Week and a lot of me being sad and disappointed that a lot of its more recent programming runs counter to its original purpose. Meaning it may as well be airing actual Killer Shark movies like Jaws and The Shallows at this point for all that it’s promoting calm and understanding and a lack of panic and fear and killer shark mythos.
- Deep Dive: Supplementary Material – Do you want kid friendly book reccs (or at least resources – it should be obvious I don’t have the money to buy the stuff I’ve found in my research)? Did you know a shark tagging and tracking program has an app where you can follow all the sharks live and also look at detailed information on each of them? And that many of those sharks have their own twitter accounts (serious info and cute videos are good, but so is a shark tweeting a picture of a shark in a bowl of guacamole for National Guacamole Day)? Do you even know how awesome and amazing and great for shark conservation that is? The answer is hella great, btw. 😉
- Deep Dive: ??? – I think I hit upon everything that was in my original plan (some stuff may show up in a different post or in multiple posts, of course) but that doesn’t mean I can’t include more, especially if people want it. This does depend of course on the power not getting shut off and on not being evicted, but I can see (again, especially with the amount of research and media watching involved) this series going on into October proper and maybe adding a film or two. If I did, it would probably honestly be Deep Blue Sea. I’m just not interested in (rerererere….)watching Jaws I, 2, or 4 and Deep Blue Sea is the kind of silly that’s still fun to watch and that I could maybe (probably?) make an additional post out of. Or at least a really fun live-tweet session (I should probably figure out Storify then).
Thank you all again and fingers crossed that both life and my writing go on. And now to finally finally go to bed.
Notes: In case it isn’t obvious, Deep Blue Sea and its posters don’t belong to me.