Ranting about Representation; I’ll miss you One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time was cancelled by Netflix a million years ago and I wanted to make a post about it in a timely manner… and then I didn’t. Crazy story, right? It’s all true.  I wanted to write a post celebrating the cancelled but marvelous show and talking about how awesome it is, but when I started to do that I realized that I hadn’t even gotten to praising the show yet because I was mostly just pissy about it being cancelled. Basically? It was great and now I’m mad and sad.

Here’s some thoughts about ODAAT, Latnx representation, and queer characters on Latinx shows. And technically, this is still relevant because there is a chance that ODAAT may find a new home. Which yeah, that would be neat. (That’s me playing it cool. I really, really, REALLY want that to happen.)

Rita Moreno is Awesome

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From twitter, no idea what’s happening here, but I liked the pic.

For those who don’t know, One Day at a Time is a Netflix show about a Cuban-American family that has Rita Moreno and is hilarious.

It’s so wonderful. A sitcom that’s not forced and terrible and that’s actually funny! And it’s about a Cuban family! And if that weren’t good enough, queer characters. And if that weren’t good enough, there’s whole storylines dealing with mental illness and working to de-stigmatize needing help for these problems. And if that weren’t enough, Rita Moreno!  And if it that weren’t enough, it even got three seasons.

Sometimes the show is cheesy, sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s silly. Rita Moreno is an occasionally clueless old Cuban lady who rants about things the elderly fear and what is with kids these days, and then she gets worked into a frenzy about having Cuban pride, and then she loves on her grandson and basically I would believe they put stuff in the script like, ‘and here we’ll just let Rita be cute/funny/crazy and it will be awesome’ and it is.

The Stupidest, Greatest Joke Ever

True story, one time I watched this show called Black Sails because I thought it was about wlw mermaids, it was not, but it was really great anyway. I got interested because of the queer women and yet a straight white guy ended up being one of my faves. So, uh, yay Latinx people, but as I’m thinking of my favorite parts, both of them involve the token white guy. Oops.

This is really dumb, yet it’s by far my favorite thing to happen in the show. Yo enitendo means I understand. I don’t know if you need to know that to enjoy the joke, probably not, but there’s your impromptu Spanish lesson for the day.

My other favorite is anytime Schneider tries to do the sign of the cross.

More Hispanic People on TV, Please

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Rosa and Jake from B99, one is bi and Latina and the other could be at least one of those things! Image from Pinterest

When I was a kid, I remember hearing that the Mexicans were going to take over America. Being Mexican American, that sounded just fine with me. But when it comes to media portrayals of Latinx characters… If we’re supposed to take over, where are we? How come we never appear on TV?

Let me tell you something about our representation on TV. It sucks. Latinx people continue to be so poorly represented even though as a whole things slowly seem to be shifting in the right direction with more diverse casts. There’s a few shows like Brooklyn 99 and Superstore, so I’m mentioning them because they rock.

The Only Good Sitcom About Latinx People in the History of the World

That’s barely an exaggeration, at least when it comes to U.S. shows in English.

In the past undetermined amount of time I’ve been alive, I have watched at least one episode of about every sitcom focusing on a Latinx family. Seriously, even completely terrible ones no one remembers anymore like the Rob Reiner one or George Lopez one after the longer running but terrible first show he had. I’ve been doing this at least since I was a teenager and I usually watch with my mom. We do this for two reasons: one, we want the show to succeed whether we end up liking it or not because yay, Latinx characters and two, because maybe the show will actually be good.

They almost never are. There’s just so few of them already and there’s rarely anything that makes us want to keep watching. Occasionally, something has potential like Cristela and Telenovela, which was rough but I still loved, then it gets cancelled immediately.

Remakes, the Show You Loved Now with More Hispanics!

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The power of tres. Yes, I just wanted to say that. Image from the CW.

Not sure if this is good or not, but it seems like the thing to do these days is take a popular show that’s ended and redo it with a Latinx cast. Hopefully, there’s people who want to see it because they liked the first one, but then again there’s also people who liked the first one and hate that another is being made. There’s One Day at a Time, Charmed, Mayans.

 

So if you see the show you really loved when it was on is now being recreated with Mexicans, Cubans, or Puerto Ricans or something, please don’t immediately hate on it. Yes, I know, another remake, but we don’t get a ton of original content with Latinx casts, so please let us have this.

Hella Gay YA

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Elena Alvarez. Pic from Twitter

Hey, that’s me! Or my blog. I figure that, when having a blog, blogging is, you know, better than not blogging. So not everything is always related to my books or gay YA lit, but there is a correlation here!

 

The show has a queer young adult character in a leading role, Elena. If you are well-meaning and awkward, she’s super relatable. She likes social justice and feminism and ladies and not wearing dresses.

 

elenapin Also, I think this is a callback to the original show or something, I don’t know and it doesn’t really make a difference to me, I just love how excited she is to be a handy (wo)man.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stargazing

I’m working on editing One Little Problem and planning for the fourth book, One Little Change. How’s that going? Uh… I’m the one asking the questions here! Only I’m not asking any questions. Except for the one I just asked.

Yeah, today has been tough. Productivity and I are just not getting along today, which is totally its fault and not mine. Productivity knows what it did. Hope your day is going better!

I did manage to get one thing done today. Here’s a quote and excerpt from One Little Problem, out now! Ryan and Luke look at the stars a lot, it’s their thing, along with hand holding.

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Ryan POV

“The one relevant thought I did have,” Luke said, “Aside from why planetariums even exist because we already have outside at night, so isn’t the whole world a giant planetarium already—”

“Oh my god,” I laughed.

“Aside from that,” he said pointedly, moving to take his arm away from me, but I didn’t let him. “I was thinking that even though looking at the stars is romantic, the stars themselves aren’t that romantic.”

“Because they’re giant balls of fire and gas that would instantly immolate us?” So sexy!

“No, just all the myths and stuff associated with them.” We fell silent a moment to hear the recorded voice played over the speakers narrating facts about the stars. The myth about the bear constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, was that Zeus turned his side piece into a bear, so his wife wouldn’t rage quit him or the world or something and then the lady’s son killed the bear not knowing it was his mom. Yeah, that wasn’t very romantic. Both the story and the serial cheating.

“They’re mostly about lost souls and tragedies,” Luke continued. Now the voice-over talked about Andromeda, who was sacrificed to a sea monster. “And some of it was violent, like the scorpion killing Orion.” Oh, Luke knowing things was so sexy. “I started regretting bringing you here because if you were still mad at me, then this place was giving you all kinds of ideas for revenge.” He shuddered. “I did not want to have to deal with scorpions.”

 

Okilly Dokilly

When I was growing up, my favorite show was The Simpsons. I thought it was the height of comedy, and I don’t even want to guess how many times I’ve seen some of the episodes. I used to be able to figure out what episode was on within the first ten seconds, which was more of an impressive thing when there wasn’t a guide that listed all the information.

I don’t hate The Simpsons now, but the show has lost the appeal it once had for me and also I think my brain is still taking a break from it after watching it all the time for years and years. And years. Like, even if I knew how many times I watched, I wouldn’t say because it would be embarrassing.

This post isn’t really relevant to anything, but I just wanted to share that there was such a thing as a Ned Flanders metal band. Have you ever looked at something and just been like, wow, I cannot believe this exists? I’m at least a moderately creative person, I write books!, and I would not have been able to think of this in a million years.

So, I have no idea why this exists, but I am glad that these grown men decided they wanted to dress as Ned Flanders and sing metal songs mostly consisting of Ned Flanders quotes. And because if there was one thing this bizarre combo needed, it’s puns, they call their music ‘nedal’ instead of metal.

Depending on your viewpoint, you’re welcome or I’m sorry that I showed you this exists.

About the Author: Two Truths and a Lie

Oh, you’d like to know more about me? Well, whether the answer is year or no, I’m trying to make this blog more… you know, bloggy, with like, posts about stuff. Blogs have posts. If you somehow didn’t know that, now you do, so there I go providing knowledge already.

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Not the kind of icebreaker I’m talking about, but I wanted to add an image.

If I were being vain, I’d say something along the lines of why not talk about my favorite subject: myself. But I’m probably not my favorite topic. That list definitely goes: nephews, pets, TV, queer culture, chocolate, and then myself somewhere down the line. Hey, maybe I should talk about all that other stuff instead… eh, might as well do this since I already decided.

Have you ever played the icebreaker two truths and a lie? Well, it doesn’t really matter whether you have or not because the name of the game kind of explains it all, but I’m going to explain it anyway. I tell you three things and then you guess which one the lie is and then a good time is had by all and we become BFFs forever. Yep, that’s totally how it works. No take backs, you’re already playing.

Two Truths and One (1) Lie
But which is which? Can’t say, that’s literally the game.

  • I’ve gone streaking and skinny dipping more than once because I’m a total badass. (that’s right, alluding to nudity and ~illicit activities~, I’m hip and you want to follow my blog now)
  • I don’t know how to ride a bike because I’m a total badass who is also lame. (And now I’m also admitting to my deep, dark secret shame! What trilling content I write!)
  • Once upon a time, I could roller-skate, but the last time I tried I almost broke my leg.
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Also not what I’m talking about, but this game is rad.

So, which one is fake? You can’t see me right now, but I’m making an inscrutable poker fake. I threw in a bonus lie just for you! I don’t have a poker face; my trick is I just make ridiculous faces the entire time instead of trying to be cool and nonchalant because those are two things I’m not great at, but I do love winning stuff and am fairly competent at distracting people with inane chatter and ridiculous faces.

Anyway. *drum roll*

The lie is….

~Dramatic tension~

Number three!

I was in California sight seeing at a beach and we decided to rent skates and bikes. As one of my truths explains, I never learned how to ride a bike, so I went with the skates. I had skated before, a lot actually, though only indoors at skating parties in middle school. I rented the skates, tried to move, and immediately fell down hard on the pavement, injuring my arm and not my leg.

So there you go… two truths and a lie. I am terrible at knowing how to end things. Hit that like and subscribe button? Isn’t that what youtubers say? Is that applicable here? Anyway, bye…

Bye!

 

The marshmallow that’s holding together this rice crispy treat.

I’m not sure I have this blogging thing down yet, but they say to write what you know, right? Don’t ask me who they are, but I know pop culture and enjoy the gayer side of things, so. I’m starting a list of my favorite gay characters, mainly based on what I’m watching/reading at the time.

Because I was bingeing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend when I decided to do this, I’m starting with Darryl Whitefeather.

When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?

Darryl Whitefeather is 1/8 Native American and his overemphasis of this minor part of his heritage would probably be annoying if he wasn’t adorably earnest about everything. His care factor is always at an 11, which I can relate to, and he’s an unabashed giant softie who loves his female friends, tries way too hard, and gets very invested in everything he does.

 

 

 

 

 

Darryl’s storylines involve his divorce and his daughter Madison, owning and later co-owning the law firm where most of the characters work, and discovering his bisexuality later in his life. I can safely say he’s my favorite bothsexual because no one uses that term but him.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Darryl & White Josh

His main love interest in the show is White Josh (because there’s already a regular Josh who is Filipino) I love WhiJo because his name is White Josh, he’s snarky, and he balances out Darryl’s love for everything with his contempt for most things.

This is the best thing in the world:

 

 

Darryl explores coming out on the show and I’m really just talking about this so I can talk about how much I love cxgf for their normalization of gay relationships. We got a coming out story from Darryl and another character, a female, starts dating a woman with literally no fanfare. Its possible we skipped her own realizations with a time jump or its possible she was queer all along. (Also cxgf has spoiled me terribly because my two faves are both queer.)

P.S.  For a brief occasion, Darryl is played by a broom on a stand.

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A (Not) Christmas (Not) Miracle

Hi, how are you? Did you say cold? I’m going to assume you said cold. Me too! Yes, there are places that don’t get freezing and snowy this time of year, but I don’t want to think about that since I’m not in one of those places.

This is just a quick post to say that exciting things will be happening soon. Starting next week, there will be sales on F.N. Manning books lasting throughout the month. Every book will on sale at one point except for Entirely Too Gay.

Why isn’t ETG on sale? Because it’s already free and you can get it here.

Breaking Rule 17

I have several ideas for the tattoos I one day am totally going to get. One of which is the phrase “Never knowingly be serious,” which I want above my ass, because where else would you get a tattoo like that?

I have so many mixed feelings about most of Doctor Who (except for Martha, Martha is my girl) but I love that quote and River is my other girl. They’re the best, fight me.

The exchange I’m reference goes something like this:

River Song: Are you serious?
Doctor: Never knowingly. Never knowingly be serious! Rule 27.

This is a fairly long-winded way of saying I’m about to share some for reals stuff, so look away if you are so inclined. I am a very small time writer so while I’m almost positive no one noticed my almost three week absence, I still feel the need to talk about it anyway.

Life has been kind of wild. Americans and weather buffs might have heard about a Hurricane Florence hitting the southern states of North Carolina and South Carolina recently? I guess by the time it actually got to land it was a tropical storm or something, which I guess is normally how it goes.

I’m fairly new to the coast, but hurricane season happens every year and locals never really leave and the impending disaster is rarely as big a deal as the weather people say. So of course for my second hurricane season, the storm had to be kinda a big deal instead. Even though it was downgraded to a tropical storm, it was slow as hell and gigantic and it rained for a million years like directly over one spot the whole time.

Yeah, my location happened to be in that one spot.

Being relatively new to the area and never experiencing a major storm before, I got the hell out. I was kinda hoping I still wouldn’t experience a major storm and that I’d just spend a few days working and chilling into a hotel before it was safe to go back… but that was not what happened.

At the time of writing this, I’ve been back for two days. I came back the day we no longer had to boil water before using it, hooray. Getting back in is part of what took the most time but fortunately there was minimal lasting damage where I live.  I’m fine, my dog is fine, our house is fine.

The other part of all this is that the natural disaster was coupled with a family emergency. Back in the Midwest, my grandfather passed away. It wasn’t completely sudden in that he was 88 but also wasn’t really expected in that he was planning to have his knee replaced the next week and he bought and slept in a brand new bed for a grand total of one night.

So, with me and my one bag, my dog and her one bag, and my parents who live in the same area and their one bag each, we all went back to the Midwest for the funeral. I thankfully had one nice outfit, because I thought ‘I’m not going to need this at all but I’ll take it anyway.’ Though my mom, who didn’t bring appropriate clothes, bought a ton of new outfits because she had to look nice for church and she had to have options, so who really was the smart one there?

And for my dog, this was the vacation of a lifetime. She got to run around with my nephews and she met all kinds of people who loved giving her human food.

Basically, I have been all over the place for what I am told was a time span of nearly three weeks. I had been living in hotel rooms and was barely at my computer and wasn’t on any kind of regular schedule, so I have lost all semblance of time. I haven’t been answering emails or anything, so I apologize for that.

Very long story short, I’m back now.

 

Sale!

For today’s random aside, which was inspired by the picture I chose, did anyone watch the short-lived show Downward Dog? My guess is probably not because it was short-lived for a reason, but it was a show about a dog whose thoughts we heard. I think he was supposed to be like Zen and stuff, but he came off as kinda depressed, which is another reason it didn’t last very long. Still, it was really cute.

On to more relevant matters, there is still a sale going on for many F.N. Manning novels. (BTW, my name is F.N. Manning now. As in effin’ awesome or something. Just go with it.) One Little WordBeach Bum, and Then There’s You are still on sale today and tomorrow!

For another random aside, the new season of Orange Is The New Black dropped recently and I decided I had to watch all the seasons first, so that’s what I’ve been bingeing. As soon as I used the word relevant, I thought of this moment where Taystee says “hella revelant” and as soon as I do that I get confused for a moment about which way is the right way to say that word.

BTW, I’m really enjoying s6 of OITNB. It’s high quality drama but it’s also terrible because I love all of them and just want them to be happy.

Podcasts. I’m so good at titles.

I did a lot of traveling in July, including a quasi-road trip. There was definitely a trip and I was on the road for it, but it wasn’t what I think of as a road trip. A road trip is a car full of friends, fun, and good music. This was a long journey to the Midwest to visit my family. I was thrilled about the seeing family part, less thrilled about the two day drive.

When I hit the road, I like listening to podcasts. I should listen to podcasts all the time but then I think what if I don’t have anything to listen to next time I travel? Here’s some of my favorite podcasts. Because I am that person who is literally incapable of not making everything gay, most of them feature queer characters.

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Official Synopsis: WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide.

My thoughts: Yes, everyone already knows about WTNV and loves it. I’m saying it anyway. It’s the first podcast I ever listened to and it spoiled me by being delightful and weird.

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Within the WiresOfficial Synopsis: Season One takes the form of an audio course on full body relaxation issued by The Institute to you, (the listener) a nameless medical inmate. Who is this narrator? Is she relaying something more than just relaxation techniques, and is she to be trusted? And are there subliminal messages hidden within the music? As listeners move through the relaxation curriculum a deeper and more personal story unravels.
My thoughts: This is one of the Night Vale Presents podcasts that’s made by some of the same people. I was really bummed when I couldn’t get into Alice isn’t Dead, horror is just really not my thing, but my lack of interest in that one is made up by the intense affection I have for WTW. It’s beautiful and there’s lesbians. I mean, what else do you need? Nothing. Well, a lot more of it, but otherwise nothing.

bsOfficial Synopsis: The Bright Sessions is a science fiction podcast that follows a group of therapy patients. But these are not your typical patients – each has a unique supernatural ability. The show documents their struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright.

 

My thoughts: It’s a solid plot and interesting world and it gets better as it goes. There’s supernatural stuff, cute gay teens, and an asexual character, so it’s all right up my alley. This one is finished (mostly), but there’s bonus episodes and upcoming books and maybe even a TV show.

site-banner.pngOfficial Synopsis: ars PARADOXICA is a love letter to physics, fiction, and the future. It’s a disorienting journey through spacetime and the Cold War. It’s a tome of secret history you stumbled across in a library in the dead of night.

When an experiment in a time much like our own goes horribly awry, Dr. Sally Grissom finds herself stranded in the past and entrenched in the activities of a clandestine branch of the US government. Grissom and her team quickly learn that there’s no safety net when toying with the fundamental logic of the universe.

My Thoughts: I have no idea what’s happening in this one at any time ever as the science stuff pretty much goes completely over my head but it’s compelling and a great mystery. This is the only podcast on the list that isn’t gay as far as I know, but to be fair, it could be gay and I just haven’t gotten to that part yet.

These are my favorite podcasts. What are yours?

Blast From the Past

father-2770301_960_720My absent father wanted to speak to me, maybe meet up, and I… I could barely stand to think about reconnecting or whatever.

“I can’t deal with a nightmare from my past right now” I told my mother.

She laughed at me. “You’re so dramatic. That’s a bright side, huh? You won’t even have to come out to your dad, just say that.”

“Ugh,” I groaned. “Shut up.”  Drinking and denial were better than drudging up the past. This conversation was proof. Shit.

“I’m just asking,” she said gently. “It’s your decision.” She was using a weird kind tone I didn’t like. Mom typically took the tough love approach with me these days. Her parenting advice normally involved stern words and phrases like ‘stop being a dumbass’ and ‘make smart decisions because I’m not paying for bail.’

“What would we even talk about?” Dad and I hadn’t had anything in common, something he worried about often. I wasn’t a ‘normal boy’ who’d liked sports and bugs and whatever normal boys were supposed to like. “Maybe dad and I will just hug and go play catch?” I quipped. Oh god, what if he really did want to play catch? He didn’t hide his disappointment at my inability to play sports very well when I was younger, but I was stronger now.

Mom thought about it. “Maybe you could guilt him into buying you beer.”

I laughed. “Tempting.”

She walked to stand in front of me. “I’ve got to go to work.” She bent down and kissed my forehead. I scowled as she smiled back at me. “Make good decisions, dumbass.”

Excerpt from What Love Means

Daily Prompt: Guilty