Author Archives: Jo

About Jo

Blogger by day, Batman by night.

Closing LABC

We’ve had a good run.

This is the longest I’ve ever had a blog, but with my laptop dying and my life just being super hectic, I’m sad to see this go away. I may stop blogging entirely, but I’m also thinking of starting a new blog with regular posts, one where people didn’t know my previous name. This is a consideration I’m having, a blog detailing my adventures through college as I get a Masters in Social Work, a blog detailing how I’m patching up my family, a blog around “doing me”.

I don’t have an url to direct you to, but if you would like to keep in contact for whatever reason, my email is wolfelore@gmail.com.

 

Until next time lovelies,

 

JO

Batman: No Man’s Land by Greg Rucka

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This book is going to get rated harsher than some of my other book posts. Does it deserve it? Probably not. Is it going to happen anyway? Yes.

Hi, yes, HUGE Batman fan here. We’re talking the girl who had a Batman bathroom. We’re talking about the girl who plans on getting a Batman tattoo sleeve. We’re talking the girl who calls out people on their not-so-accurate love of Batman. “Ohhh, you only like the Nolan films. Obviously you don’t really love Batman.” Yeah, that girl is me.

That being said, I haven’t read every single Batman comic out there. I’ve read a bunch, but not everything, and No Man’s Land is one of the ones I’ve yet to get my hands on. It gets talked about a lot in some of the comics I’ve read, and I know a lot about what happens during NML, but I haven’t read it.

You don’t need to read the comic to know that this book is wrong though. Books can be wrong, and this is one of them.

Picking up this book for $1, I was intrigued. “Someone made a book about the comic book? Okay? Well, I might as well read it.” First off, I like reading books, and I like reading comics. I’m completely fine with reading comics that get turned into books, but comic storylines into books? I feel like maybe that’s a sacred space and shouldn’t be touched on. It’s already a written media. Come up with your own storyline for NML using what we don’t know but still keeping everyone in character and the original storyline accurate.

Did that get confusing? Okay, so let me try and explain. What this person has attempted to do is rewrite the comic book in a strictly “words only” format. I don’t feel that should ever be done though. You could say, “Well, remember this period of time we didn’t know where Batman was? Here’s a short story about those missing days” and I would accept that. That is ok. This just kinda feels like plagiarism, and not even good plagiarism.

Okay, so what you want to actually know about the book: Let’s talk specifics. First, it’s not a bad read. I was entertained y the whole book. A little annoyed by some out of character-ness from Two-Face, Joker, and Nightwing, but still a good read. Greg Rucka is a good writer. I just think he chose a bad storyline to write about.

For example, you can’t just come into the Batman universe and rewrite people’s beginnings. Harley Quinn has a show and a book that go over her origin story. This guy decided she needed to seem crazier, thus giving her an absurd origin story. You can’t rewrite history, guy! That’s what Fanfiction.net is for, not a published book.

I think if you truly love Batman, this book isn’t for you, but if you have a passing interest and don’t really know too much about it, then why not? Pick the book up. I sadly won’t be reading anything more by this guy though, even if the plot sounds good.

Word of advice: Go original next time. Make your own Batman plot line.

An Ode To Hadley

I put every dent in that car.

Hadley arrived two weeks after my 19th birthday after a desperate plea to my father about escaping my current living situation. It wasn’t outright, my mother taught me well how to manipulate. Instead, I called him up and said, “I’m working two jobs so I can save up for a car. Once I get a car, I’m going to move out of B’s house.” And my father, never too excited that my boyfriend and I lived together, was right on board with me getting away from that house.

Hadley already had over 150,000 miles. Her paint was peeling slightly, but when we pulled into that parking lot and I saw her for the first time with that “Happy Birthday” banner taped over her bumper, it was love. She was escape. She was freedom.

And I drove her like we were free, like we were above the laws of man and nature. There were never any serious accidents, but we squealed tires and skidded to stops and hydroplaned and slid and a few times, I thought the car was going to flip on turns I took too sharply. Once, someone ran into the side, and another time, I ran into the guardrail on a turn I took too early. There were the occasional “hitting things against the bumper”. There was no air conditioning. When it rained, I would have to drive with the windows down. The heater would have to be kicked at from the passenger’s side up until I got the actual fan fixed. I worked on the engine more times than I can count. Christmas presents were parts for the car, something else that needed fixed.

But through all that, she persevered. We persevered. In 2012, someone said she wouldn’t last the year. She could’ve gone another five, I’m sure of it. She was magic.

And there were the memories we shared. Cigarette burns trailed up the driver side near the window. I was learning how to smoke and drive, and A sat next to me and my hands would shake, I was so nervous around him. I would watch him drive my car, gripping the “oh shit” handle but still having faith in him that he’d get us back to his house.

There was Jay in the passenger seat and Ida in the back as we blasted Beyonce out of the one good speaker and danced at stoplights.

There was driving home from the Gogol Bordello concert, falling asleep in the backseat at a rest area cause I couldn’t make it all the way home.

There were those months where I was homeless and slept in the car in a Walmart parking lot.

There was my father and I fixing the spark plugs.

There was my mother helping me filled up my oils and liquids before heading back to Maryland. We both agreed that car never should’ve made it there with how low everything was, but it had.

There was this last time, where the radiator hose split and I knew I could fix it, I knew. And so Beatrice and I stayed up all night, trying to find that stupid part that no place open had carried.

Hadley was more than a car; she was my best friend. And I wish I could’ve passed her on to someone else, for someone to appreciate her as much as I had. But with over 250,000 miles and a back door that won’t open, dents and scrapes and no a/c, no one would buy her and it broke my heart, but I took her to the junkyard. I got $270, but she was worth so much more than that. She wasn’t broken. She could still travel.

Is it ridiculous that I’m this upset about a car? It was just a car, right? Just five years of my life.

When I worked at the restaurant, my friends painted my car for my birthday (back when my name was Jessica). That's Kelsey with her handywork on my car.

When I worked at the restaurant, my friends painted my car for my birthday (back when my name was Jessica). That’s Kelsey with her handywork on my car.

Microwave Gratification

I am staring at a spider plant,
staring and checking my watch.
Has it grown in the last twenty seconds?

My grandmother thinks I could have a new car by now.
Instead, she says, I went and bought a video game.
She also says things like “your black friend”;
I wonder how much wisdom she really has.

She says my generation, mine and her daughter’s,
we want things now.
I want now.
I want results.
I just want to know.

Instead of homecooked meals,
it’s simply easier to stick a frozen pizza
on a plate and press for one minute.
One minute is far too long to wait for food.

I am staring at a spider plant,
but I’m thinking about getting some sunflower seeds,
how gratifying it would be
to grow something from scratch.
I just wonder if my patience will hold out.

Toxic Relationships

I’m not the best at holding relationships of any kind.

Friends, lovers, family; I’ll write them off, take it back, and then rewrite them off consistently. It’s not really a good and healthy practice, but it’s just something I do. Don’t be like me. Once you start writing off people, it becomes a bad habit. You start writing people off for stupid reasons and stop working on repairing relationships until the only “real” and good relationships you maintain are in video games, where you’re looking up cheats so you can say exactly what they want to hear and your approval rating goes up.

That being said, sometimes you need to let go of a person. Sometimes, that person is so toxic that they’ve seeped into the core of your very being. Sometimes, it’s healthier to say goodbye.

I’ve gotten a lot of grief for writing off members of my family over the years. I wrote off my mother time and again, but my love for her family has brought us back together repeatedly. She has done some truly messed up things over our lives together, but we’re in this weird kind of shaky friendship at this point. I am re-learning how to love my mother, and it terrifies me, but I am actually trying to make this work between us.

My father, though, is a different story. My family understood how I could write off my mother like I did (like I said, REALLY messed up things she did), but they’ve been on my case about my father since I took that step and officially kicked him out of my life a year ago. I wasn’t able to talk about it before, but I’m finally ready to now.

My father was the most toxic presence in my life. It wasn’t entirely his fault. When you love someone as much as I loved him, you take disappointment a lot harder than you would for anyone else. You take their criticisms harder. You take everything they say to heart and it becomes a very unhealthy version of you.

I want to say the fight at my brother’s graduation caused this whole mess, but I knew the night before that I was done with him. I was done being hurt by him. After years of dealing with his verbal abuse and constant let-downs, I’d finally had enough, though it wasn’t entirely my decision. A lot of my other family wonders how I could just kick him out of my life like I did. A lot of them think it was about the fact he wasn’t going to help me in school after promising he would.

They’re wrong. The truth behind it is that he got rid of me first. When he returned to his almost-ex wife this last time, he stopped talking to me. He chose her over me, and that hurt more than anything I could ever imagine. It still really fucking hurts, because I did love him more than anything, but he chose first. I went from seeing him once a month to not at all. And each month, I got angrier and angrier. And then promises he had made while he and the wife were broken up were null and void, and I. Just. Lost. It.

I left the day after graduation and I haven’t reached out to him since. My brother has, and good luck to him for it, but I won’t continue to be around someone who would choose his third wife over his child. I won’t be around someone who could never respect me as a person because I’m a woman. I won’t be around someone who would abandon his own son.

I won’t say that it was easy, and it’s still not. I have dreams of him trying to apologize, to try and fix this. I went through that deep, deep depression this whole winter and some of spring. He texted me during the Baltimore riots while I was on the phone with my mother, and I burst out crying. This hasn’t been easy, but you know what? It’s been worth it.

I can make a list of at least ten good traits about myself now. I’ll catch myself saying that I’m stupid or crazy, and forcibly correct it. I’m learning to love myself and for that to be okay. I’m learning that being a woman is nothing to be ashamed of, and neither is having people think that you’re gay (even though I’m not). I’m learning that it’s okay to have feelings. Having feelings doesn’t make you crazy. Being a woman doesn’t mean you’re crazy. I’m learning how to actually channel my anger into more constructive means. It’s okay to talk well about yourself. It’s okay to eat what you want. It’s just goddamn okay to be me.

I had a realization the other day, and I texted it to my brother. I don’t know if he got the sigh of relief that I received when I thought it, but wow, it was such a powerful thought. By removing my father from my life, I have years of hurt and pain and damage, but it won’t continue past 2014. He can’t hurt me anymore. The hurting has stopped and everything past that point where I cut him out of my life is healing. There will never be new wounds.

You might be wondering why I’m sharing something this personal. I’m sharing it because you have that toxic person in your life that you’re scared to get rid of, and I want to help. I want you to read this as a success story. I want you to be able to read this and finally get the courage to remove them from your life. It won’t be easy, but if you ever need help, you can talk to me about it personally. Do this for no one but yourself. Do this for a better, happier you.