Year 50 Day 31

Me wearing a short-sleeve button-up shirt with a print that looks like rainbow paint was poured over and is dripping down the shirt. I'm leaning on my office wall. On the wall next to me is a rainbow-colored laser-cut wood plaque of the Vulcan calligraphy for Kol-ut-shan, or IDIC - Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.

Day 31: Happy Pride Month, take two—this time with color!

A friendly reminder: While I‘ve generally defaulted to “straight” as my most common shorthand, in conversations about such things, I’ve also been noting for decades that it’s “somewhere in the 80-90% range, depending on the situation and people involved”. But I’ve really never felt like “bi” applied to me, even if it might be arguably technically correct for anyone who isn’t a solid Kinsey 0.

So I think “statistically straight” is a good way to put it. All of my relationships have been with people who (at the time, and as far as I know, carrying into the present) were and are cisgender women, so a graphed trend line would certainly go that direction, but the totality of my experiences plus my awareness of my own self would definitely introduce some wobbles into that theoretical trend line — certainly enough for a qualifier of some sort on the “straight” designation. Hence, “statistically straight”.

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📚 The Weight of Worlds by Greg Cox

28/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kirk and Spock travel to another universe as the Enterprise crew try to counter an invasion by aliens on a religious crusade. The alien’s religion didn’t really make sense to me, their gravity-controlling weapons seemed to work mostly as required by the plot, and Cox’s referential style is as present as ever. (I feel like I harp on this, mentioning it in every review of one of his books, but it really stands out every time. He’s not a bad writer at all, he just has this stylistic quirk that likely doesn’t stick out nearly as much to some people as much as it does to me.) Not a bad adventure, but not top-tier, either.

Me holding The Weight of Worlds

📚 Unspoken Truth by Margaret Wander Bonnano

26/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Saavik-centric story, mostly set after the events of Star Trek IV, but with flashbacks to her youth. The first half of the book is mostly planetary exploration with a dash of mystery surrounding Saavik’s past; the latter half takes that mystery and becomes a somewhat odd spy story, with various disguised motivations. I found the latter half far less engaging than the first, but overall, I liked diving more into Saavik’s character and fleshing out some of the wider consequences of the Star Trek II/III/IV trilogy. Also, though not a comedic adventure, one brief mention of a character “stepping over a Thermian’s tentacles” in a bar did make me laugh out loud.

Me holding Unspoken Truth

📚 Cast No Shadow by James Swallow

24/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set seven years after the events of Star Trek VI, this does a good job of fleshing out Valeris and exploring the motivations and rationale behind her actions. It also follows up on some of the practical and political fallout for the Klingon empire of the events in the film. Definitely one of the stronger Trek novels I’ve read.

Me holding Cast No Shadow

📚 Allegiance in Exile by David R. George III

19/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Not quite what I expected. There’s a pretty standard Trek adventure as a framing story (with a surprising connection to post-TOS Trek that I’m curious about), but it’s really more focused on Sulu and his having to deal with a tragic event. Not bad, just be aware the back cover blurb is a very small part of the actual plot.

Michael holding Allegiance in Exile

📚 The High Country by John Jackson Miller

16/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A fun, light romp of an adventure, rather perfect for the first Strange New Worlds book. Several Enterprise crew are stranded on a world where electronics don’t work and technology is tightly controlled. This results in a mishmash of the Wild West, mountainside castles, tall ships, mysterious aurora, and steampunk-ish clockwork creations. All with a welcome dash of humor throughout. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Michael holding The High Country

The Enstickering

A couple months ago, I replaced my old hand-me-down laptop (a 10-year old MacBook Pro) with a shiny new M2 MacBook Air — my first brand-new laptop. And while it is very pretty, and it was tempting to leave it as-is…after a couple months of dithering, I decided to go ahead and personalize it with some of the stickers I’ve had sitting in a drawer for ages.

After all, what’s the point of keeping stickers in a drawer? There’s always the “I’ll put these on something…someday…” thought, and finally, “someday” is here.

A black Apple MacBook Air with seven stickers applied.

  • In pride of place, dead center, covering the embedded shiny Apple logo, is a vintage rainbow Apple sticker. I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve been hanging on to this, but it has got to be close to a couple decades since Apple went all monochrome. I have one of these left, too.

  • Top left: “I was a Mac user when Apple was doomed.” From R. Stevens of Diesel Sweeties. I have the t-shirt, too. And it’s true!

  • Center left: Gothic Pride Seattle, repping the local SeaGoth community.

  • Bottom left: “Computer, end program.” How do you turn this damn holodeck off, anyway? Don’t remember the source.

  • Top center: “Creepy but Careful” by AmberStone, received as a bonus goodie when I got some of their vaccine-supporting enamel pins early in the pandemic.

  • Center right: “Highly illogical.” Yes, Spock, we know. Don’t remember the source.

  • Bottom right: Doom! Didn’t initially remember the source, but it has a URL for Chance of Doom, a webcomic by Robert Tritthardt, also part of the local SeaGoth community, so I probably got it from him at one point or another, possibly along with a Mercury shirt or hoodie or with one of the Writhe and Shine books I have.