Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CERULIAN SINS--Chapter 2-3

Well, fuck. Vertigo came back this evening. Not a good sign. Google fu still turns up a consistant result of YOU ARE NOT EATING RIGHT IDIOT EAT MORE MAGNESIUM THINGS which is basically all the things in sushi+edamame. So hopefully I can avoid the "are straight lines supposed to be this hard?" stage of vertigo. Right now we're still at the "gee I feel like the floor is moving, maybe" stage.

What I don't want is for this to be a lifetime stress reaction thing. Because I get a lot of stress and yeah, I don't eat right. At least not when it's American food. I crave food from other countries more than I do stuff from the states. Probably because it hasn't been processed through six different kinds of machine before they put it in the microwave packet.

(...did you know they make nukable edamame? They do. That was the happiest part of last week)

Right. Book review. Yeah, don't get me started talking about food. I love food.

Chapter two opens with a cematery where one is not allowed to plant flowers.

Okay. That would be the deal breaker for me. Actually the deal breaker is "Cemetery" because I want to be cremated and turned into something you can drop onto a distressed coral reef, because reefs are the awesomest thing on the planet and I'd kind of like my final memorial to be the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Anita rants about how unfeeling this is, and I kind of like it too. The whole point of a cemetery is not to make the dead person feel good. It is to make the still living feel better. (...while in scuba gear and watching out for anemones.) We then find out that the reason why we are here has nothing whatsoever to do with the preceeding chapter. Anita has to raise a dead person because his insurance wants to make sure that he died in an accident and didn't suicide.

...And this is why I actually wanted to read this series in the first place.

But...uh, the fail kicks in real fast.

There were three groups of cars in the cemetery. Two of the groups were at least fifty feet apart because both Mrs. Bennington and Fidelis’s head lawyer, Arthur Conroy, had restraining orders against each other.
HOW NASTY DID THIS FIGHT GET? Seriously, there is this implied aura of crazy there that I just don't understand. You don't get restraining orders because of nasty things said in court. Restraining orders are obtained once you are shot at and/or discover the person pissing enthusiastically on your geraniums.

Anyhoo, we meet Insurance Lawyers and get a rant about how nasty insurance companies are. I am sensing a lot of OOC hate for insurance people. Anita then interacts with Insurance Lawyer bodyguards, because we need to establish muscle/cannon fodder and indicate who Anita will be having pissing contests with today.

And you know, I went over that "implied aura of crazy" paragraph three times to remove any implication that LKH had the woman as the source of the crazy, because I wanted to give her credit. Apparently, this is entirely undeserved:

I heard raised voices, one of them a woman. Shit.

Yep. The wife of the dead due punched the lawyer, who "bitch slapped" (LKH's words. Not mine) her back, and it took baliffs to seperate them. Anita wanted her to be kept home because the woman couldn't be kept under control.

And then LKH mananges to piss me off on every single level.

I called her Mrs. Bennington at her insistence. When I’d referred to her as Ms. Bennington, she’d nearly bitten my head off. She was not one of your liberated women. She liked being a wife and mother. I was glad for her, it meant more freedom for the rest of us.
Fuck you. Seriously. Fuck you. You can't be a wife and mother AND be a liberated woman? You can't like a neat house without being June fucking Cleaver? And chaining a woman to matrimony allows more freedom for the rest of you? WHAT. THE ACTUAL. FUCK. ARE YOU THINKING. I read this less as "not a liberated woman" and more as "Woman whose fucking husband HAS DIED UNEXPECTEDLY AND HORRIBLY."

So Anita goes over and is nice to the cops while Mrs. Bennington accuses Anita of being on the insurance company's payroll and that she will force the dead man to lie. Except that the dead can't lie because Plot.

 Mrs. B goes over to scream at Anita. A cop blocks her. She assaults the cop. The cop makes several threats. This is all played as being unreasonable on her part. You don't believe me?

“Striking a police officer is considered a crime, Mrs. Bennington,” he said in that deep voice.

 Even by moonlight you could see the astonishment on her face, as if somehow she hadn’t quite realized any of the rules applied to her. The realization seemed to take a lot of the wind out of her. She settled back and let her cadre of dark-suited lawyers lead her a little away from the nice police officer. 

I was the only one close enough to hear him say, “If she’d been my wife, I’d have shot myself too.”
 I laughed, I couldn’t help it.

 Again: Played as if all the bad behavior was Mrs. Bennington's. Folks, Captive of Gor was more fucking respectful of women. Seriously. What did Femininity do to LKH?


Anita and the cop go over into a corner to continue shitting all over a woman whose husband has died. This includes calling her "that crazy bitch" and implying that she deserves to be left in the cold for being awful. Because somebody whose husband dies horribly and who is then subjected to a long and ugly legal battle reacting a little emotionally is far worse than implying that her husband killed himself because of her.

 In the end they conclude that Mrs. B will go ballistic if her hubby says he committed suicide and that it's a damn shame nobody will be allowed to shoot her when it happens.

Everybody in this book is officially terrible.

And then Anita and the cop start flirting. And the chapter ends.

Okay, fuck it. We're getting the damned Zombie out of the ground before I go to bed.

Anita gets her things out. For once she is actively practical about how she keeps her stuff around. It's in a duffel bag. Also, we have not been subjected to a clothes description yet. I hope I'm not speaking too soon. We also get a description of what Zombie Raising requires. There is a rosemary based ointment that Anita doesn't use anymore because she's raised without it. Anita only really needs steel, salt and blood to raise corpses.

And...oh, fuck. Yeah, she's cutting herself to get the blood. She used to use chickens but her Wiccan teacher didn't like that part. Uh...yeah. Let's just say that with my background, the combo of magic and self-harm squicks me out a bit. (part of why I branched out spiritually was to get the SI stuff under control.) It's not a trigger for me, but it's more like an uuhhhh...really? 

 Anyway, Anita has damaged herself so much that she's decided to go back to chickens. The cuts hurt and that slows her down while she's shooting.

Uh. Um...yeah. I...uh, do not think that slicing up your left arm every night would work that way. Nobody ever caught me limping is what I'm saying.

Anyhoo, Anita finds an unbandaged part of her body, makes it require eventual bandage application, and then walks the circle letting her hand drip blood on the ground. Magic things happen.  The zombie comes up and it is established that because Anita isn't killing things to make the Zombie come up, he's all dead and drippy looking. Anita lets him drink from her bleeding finger so that he will talk.

His wife is over in a corner having hysterics. Because, you know, us flighty females do that.

Mr. B quickly tells the assembled lawyers, legal people and whatnot that yes, he shot himself, but it was an awful accident because he's not dumb enough to commit suicide. The lawyers are pissed. Mr and Mrs. B share a last touching goodbye, in which Mr. B calls her "my little hell cat." Anita uncasts her magic circle, the lawyers argue, and then Asher shows up and apparently this is the signal for all the cops to lose their minds and bring out the guns.

End of chapter.


  1. Flirt had a Mr. Bennington too. And a (deceased) Mrs. Bennington implied to be a horrible person in all the ways that Anita hates most--blonde, skinny, conventionally feminine, and wanted some sexy times with Anita’s men. According to Nathaniel, she treated them like whores and just wanted them because they were shifters…which is totally worse than how Anita treats them like pets and sex slaves and has flat-out said she doesn’t do humans.

    Huh. So freedom is a limited resource that there is only so much of available. I had no idea! Cheese whiz, somebody better put a cap on this feminism thing, because it encourages ALL women to be free to make their own choices! Including the choice to be married and their choice of prefixes! Damn, we’ll run out of freedom thanks to those unworthy hausfraus!

    Foolish woman! The only person whom the rules don’t apply to is ANITA!

    Self-injury is dark and edgy and cool, but of course only weak people would do it out of depression or other mental illnesses, Anita has to have cool reasons to do it instead.

    How the fuck do they even know Asher is a vampire? Cemeteries are a place that people do regularly visit. The way he dresses, they probably think he's just one of those very obnoxious brands of Goth that likes to lounge disrespectfully on people's graves for dramatic photoshoots.

    1. Oh, no, see, it's the hausfraus who are providing freedom for everybody else by not strapping on guns and getting awful mullet haircuts or whatever else it is that defines female freedom.

      ...I now think Anita is the kind of feminist you find when you kick over the wrong tumblr.

      I think that's the reason I REALLY want SI normalized. Nobody (except for a few select morons who are openly acknowledged as such) treats alcoholism or drug addiction as something *dark* or *edgy*. It's something you go and get treatment for. I think what bugs me the most is, from what the book describes she doesn't really need that many deep, nasty cuts. Part of it is that she is doing it with her machete instead of taking a couple sessions off to magically charge a razor blade, but part of it is that it IS being treated as an edgy and special thing instead of part of the job, as evidenced by "lookit all my bandaids and my edgy edgy sliced up look." as opposed to, IDK, keeping things confined and easily concealed so that Anita DOESN'T look like a hausfrau having a gothic midlife crisis at best.

      And sadly I have read a summery of the book and fuck if this doesn't become a major plot point. I already hate the book.

      ..."Obnoxious brands of Goth"...can we recommend killing it with fire?

    2. "can we recommend killing it with fire? "

      I say this with nothing but love for the Gothic fashion and subculture, which I am a genuine admirer of...but if I caught anyone using my grandfather's headstone as a prop like I've seen people do for their ~dark and dramatic~ photos, that would be my reaction. At least find a grave too old for anyone to care, for crying out loud! And even that's in questionable taste imo, to be honest. Sorry, tangent.

      Though come to think of it that's the exact kind of thing I could see LKH doing.

    3. There is a beautiful old graveyard in a neighboring town. The graves totally date back to the 1800s, I think we've got a couple of civil war vets in there. Every year the flowers come out and people flock on over to take pictures.

      Nobody is posing with the goddamned graves. In fact, I think there's a caretaker with a shotgun. Also, it's very hard to take a dark and dramatic photo when the monument in question is covered in Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes.