My long bout of vegging out in the week between Christmas and New Year’s included a rewatch of the Star Trek reboot. When the movie first came out back in 2009, a friend and I saw it in the theater five or six times, and I even dragged my mother and brother to see it once when I was home for a visit. It really wasn’t that great, not for me to devote as much time and money as I did to it that spring, but something about it seems to compel me to keep going back. I now think it was my grandmother.
When Chris Pine swaggered across the screen in the scene where he cheats at the Kobayashi Maru test during my most recent rewatch, I had a weird That’s So Raven-esque vision: my grandmother’s long, thin frame stretched out on the couch in her cramped living room, me in the chair right next to her, watching an episode of the original Star Trek. Grams loved William Shatner’s Captain Kirk, and in that moment, I wondered if she would have liked the reboot and its sequels. I was momentarily struck by a sweeping sense of grief. I wanted to watch these films with her. I wanted to know what she thought of Pine’s rendition of Kirk. I wanted to know if the Uhura/Spock storyline intrigued her as much as it did me at the time (Zachary Quinto’s Spock was bae that summer).
My grandmother died 19 years ago this week but as the person who gave me my first foray into geekdom through our Star Trek viewing, she lives on through me. She—along with my mother and my aunt—nurtured my imagination, and gave me the space to be smart and shy and introspective in my formative years. I lost sight of some of that creativity during my teen years and early adulthood, and it took me a while to fully recover from the bandwaggoning that can occur during those time periods, but ever since starting Midwest BSFA and getting into steampunk, I’ve been able to rediscover my love of geeky things. I think knowing that this rediscovery has happened would make my grandmother happy.
Rest on, Grams.
This is my sixth week of playing Dungeons & Dragons with the group at Chase Public and it only took four weeks for things to come to a head. Read More
Back in March, I participated in a conference on “nerd lit” at Miami University. I was invited to be on the main plenary panel (with three other speakers) as well as present my steampunk character building workshop as a breakout session during the event. It was a paying gig at an official undergraduate academic conference, but in the days leading up to it, the thought of participating started to make me a little queasy. And there’s a very easy explanation for that — Impostor Syndrome. Read More
We’re back again with another installment of “Projects I’m Supporting”! Up this time: 23-16-9: A Short Film, Niobe: She Is Death, Kamikaze: Volume 2/Soundbox, and the Patreon campaigns of Mikki Kendall and K. Tempest Bradford. Read More
A few months ago, a white author posted a comment in one of the Facebook groups I moderate seeking a beta reader for the steampunk story he was writing. Because his main character is Asian and he clearly is not, he was interested in finding a person of color to read the story. My response was “hire an Asian sensitivity reader.” Read More
I was a teenager when I started to like jazz. In high school, my marching band director played John Coltrane and Miles Davis in his office, the notes wafting in and out of our practice room during our breaks. I bought jazz CDs through that Columbia House CD Club scam when I was in college and by the time I was in grad school, I was crate digging for jazz on vinyl at local record shops. However, it wasn’t until I got deep into the Cincinnati jazz scene that I fell in love with the art of the live jazz show…and subsequently learned what gatekeeping was. Read More
I love performances that keep me thinking about them long after they’re over. I alluded to this here on the blog when I saw Dana Michele: Yellow Towel and Okwui Okpokwasili’s Bronx Gothic at the Contemporary Arts Center. It recently happened again after I watched Napoleon Maddox workshop “A Dance Between Dana Franklin and Millie-Christine” at Chase Public last week. Read More
It’s been a full two years since I reached out to some of my favorite people to ask them if they’d be interested in being part of a local group that focuses on programming for, by and about African-Americans in the genres that fall under speculative fiction. I’ve had a blast creating and executing programs with them and I’m looking forward to doing more of that in 2017 and beyond! Here’s what they had to say about their involvement in the little spec fic group that could. Read More