starfire11: (Default)
So the hurricane is pretty freaky. I'm really starting to creep myself out and I am going to blame it on five nights of going to sleep after 2 AM.

The good news is that I got a lot of reading done for class and I'm halfway done with the homework 4 assignment for computer science. I also took the trash out of my purse, cleaned off some dust from my desk and got rid of some more trash hanging around my area and fixed my bookshelf. I've also started packing stuff up to take home when I go back later.

The bad news is that I need to do more reading for another class, think up a thesis and find some sources for that class, finish the other half of homework 4 and work on project 3. I also need to edit my workshopped papers, write 1-3 more articles for the newspaper... and possibly other things I'm not remembering at the moment. I also have a lot more organization to do and I need to eat dinner.

I know I keep writing this, but ".hack//Sign's" soundtrack is SO PRETTY!!! AHH!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

I rewatched the older "Clone Wars" cartoon that George Lucas produced to fill in some of the space between movies 2 and 3. I'm not entirely certain how much I would have understood the beginning of movie 3 if I hadn't watch the show. It takes you up to at least a short time before the opening of the movie. It introduces General Grevious, why he's having some sort of breathing problem, how Chancellor Palpatine was kidnapped... and why there's a space battle going on.

So when I originally watched this, I completely missed the old movie reference. Obi Wan and Anakin go walking through a sewer Anakin found, and Obi Wan, disliking the situation, comments wryly "What a magnificent smell you've discovered" (or whatever word stands in for 'amazing')... and, well... that was in movie 4, when Han is sarcastic towards Leia after they jump down into the sewer. I may know diddly squat about the "Star Wars" universe outside of the generic plot of these movies, but by golly, that made me feel slightly happy about myself.

I watched the recent "Once Upon a Time" episode yesterday. I was actually a bit disappointed.

On the one hand, I'm very happy that Hook's original "play possum" routine didn't work. That would have just been... eeeeh.

Also, I adore the fact that this is one guy and four women, and it's not a) a harem, and b) a "we're not afraid of you because of numbers."

Yes, they have a numerical advantage over him. But there's also the fact that at least 3/4 of them could easily hold their own against him. And Aurora probably has some tricks up her sleeve. We don't know much about her. We don't know how she and Phillip met or fell in love. We don't know what she does in her spare time or what. She could probably talk him into unconsciousness if she wanted to, at the least. She also has her dagger. I really see Hook taking advantage of her as the "least dangerous" piece, and she either knees him or stabs him or bites him or something.

They also finished the Daniel storyline with Regina. I was holding out for him coming back, but I guess the writers really want an excuse to not redeem her character or something in the end...? Whatever. That end of things is solved. For so long as they have other material to play with, anyway. And they undoubtedly have a lot.

They showed a rather realistic look at horse care in relation to soldiers. While, arguable, a knight (depending on his wealth/status) would probably have had a squire to do such tasks for them, Charming's character is improved by the fact that he takes care of his own horse, and so passes this on to Henry and, well... I like that. Horses need to be cared for. "Lord of the Rings"  and a bit of Native American folklore aside, they don't just APPEAR when you need them. This scene also added to Henry's character development. I love how we're in season 2 and only NOW do we start getting character exploration in one of primary cast members. But whatever. At least it's happening.

We're starting to realize that Henry is just like the average kid: he wants to go off and have adventures. He doesn't consider the consequences. He doesn't consider the responsibilities. Let's face it: he just got a BIG ego boost from "being right all along, and the ENTIRE town knows it". While this is good for him in the way that "everyone thinks I'm crazy" is bad for him... it's also not necessarily a good thing. Kids shouldn't be put down just cause. But there are reasons that certain things children do are brushed aside and children are chided for things. Some are bad, but some of them are really good reasons.

I like the fact that we're finally getting into Whale's backstory. He was the only real enigma (other than James' adopted father) left in the story among the primary cast. Other characters are new or could always use further explanation. And honestly, with all the world creation they needed earlier, I don't mind that they're only getting to some of Emma's backstory NOW. Plus, if they'd gone over it back in season 1 and only NOW is she talking with her real parents about it... it would have been silly. Supernaturalesque, even.

I like seeing the Hatter of Yesteryear. We see how he met Regina. We see how he used to be, and where Regina's impression of him grew from. I am now VERY curious about how and where Jefferson met his wife, what happened to her, and how she changed him to a loving father from a stock rogue character.

I didn't like what they were doing with the travel between the hat scenario. I thought someone had to go through AND go back. I didn't think it was a one-way thing. If he brought Frankenstein... who did he take in on the first try?

I thought the first Frankenstein revival scene was a bit eh. I kept thinking "why can't they see what's happening? Nothing's happening."

Also... no one ever brings up the fact that MAYBE it depends on WHOSE heart you stick into the person. Are hearts ALL the same once you pull them out of people? A murderer's heart is no different than a fairy's heart? They have to have some connection to the creature in question, so some spiritual connection must exist. I'm not expecting an "evil" person's heart to look markedly different from a "good" person's heart... but I have to wonder if any thoughts or feelings can be left over from certain individuals. Perhaps a heart from a monster would make another person monstrous. Perhaps the heart of a sickly person would make another sickly. I don't know. Heck, I'm fine with them all being the same beyond 'this is mine, this is theirs', so long as SOMEONE explained it.

The episode was also kind of boring. They took a character everyone was curious about... and gave away the big reveal in the trailer for the episode. After that, the episode would have to deal with "so how decent is this latest spin-off of Mary Shelley's novel?"

And it was okay, at best. Not great. Okay.

I am VERY curious about Whale's history though. Who was his brother? What's his family like? Is he married, like the original Frankenstein was.... or at least was after he brought The Monster to life.

I really... really... really... REALLY want to know who Henry's dad is. Like seriously. I'm 80% sure it's Bae. Seriously. They have not finished off that storyline. IT IS CANDY!!! There is NO reason they wouldn't use it... other than that it's what everyone's expecting...

I do not consider learning about Emma's ability to steal cars as a decent bone throw to OUAT's audience. Unless it relates to Henry's dad.

A friend did bring up an important thought, though. Emma keeps bringing up the fact that she's a human lie detector. I'm not entirely certain how foolproof she is, but she seems pretty good at it so far. While I REALLY think she's going to turn out to be the Swan Princess (Emma SWAN, in a world where so many character names have meaning, just what Regina would do with that opportunity...), I also have to wonder... what does this ability have to do with her fairy tale story? I cannot recall a male or female character who could detect lies as a superpower. The devil comes to mind, but I don't think Emma is going to be the devil. Just a thought.

Pinocchio is also taken. As are Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy. The three characters related to lie-telling outside of the devil that come to mind.

Out of the Disney princesses (stuck under the official term), the only ones left unused are: Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Jasmine, Ariel, and Tiana. Emma does not fit three of the ethnic categories here, and she doesn't fit ANY of the storylines in any way. Nor do any of these characters have anything to do with lying, as far as I can recall.

There's also Meg, Lilo, Esmerelda, Kida, Jane...

Oh my god. COULD EMMA BE JANE???

So Jane wears this big-ass yellow dress for 90% of "Tarzan". She's the outsider coming in. She falls in love with a "wild man".

Emma has a bright yellow Beetle that she drives around. Outside of crime shows, cars are almost never accidental, especially something THIS flashy.

Emma has also repeatedly commented that Henry's father is someone she doesn't ever want to talk about because he was something terrible. Crazy, a coward, stupid, whatever, WE DON'T KNOW!

And if he's Bae... he's the outsider coming in, too. Bae comes from the Enchanted Forest, and enters Emma's world at a young age. He has to adjust to COMPLETELY different rules. Sure, Pinocchio did great... but could Bae?

Tarzan and Bae share backstories: the "wild" man going into the "civilized" world (Medieval peasant going into the 21st century).

...

Oh. God.

So with that, I'm going to go eat dinner.

... Wow. That was a bomb shell.

Woo.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
You know... I don't really know what to think about this movie.

It was bad, of course. Certain aspects were blatantly ridiculous. I didn't understand the obsession with the constant wannabe-300 moments. They were kind of... weird and overbearing and annoying.

The acting was definitely not the best. The guy who played Lincoln did okay. The guy who played Henry was perfectly fine for what he had. The guy who played... I think his name was William (Lincoln's best friend) was pretty good for what we had. The woman who played Mary did the best with what she had.

That was what most of the movie was. Characters doing the best with what they had. The villain was cheesy. The "vampire" premise was cheesy. So the villain was cheesy. There was a moment where seeing "yeah, I can do that, cause my species is JUST that cool" flash across the bottom of the screen would have been no surprise whatsoever. The explanation given previously was like that. His expression confirmed it. It did better than any lame speech would have.

The CGI was definitely not the best I've seen (but then again, I'm uncertain how much budget was given to such a franchise, even if Tim Burton's name is on the cover). At one point, we're shown an image of the White House and the surrounding area, and I thought it looked like it would have easily fit into an Assassin's Creed game. Heck, they could have used it as stock footage about a hundred years from Assassins' Creed, what... 3 or something?

The point being that movie CGI and game graphics are two different things, and I do not expect game graphics in a movie, nor vice versa. I'm pleasantly surprised when game designers even get close to movie graphics on the levels I'm familiar with, but I don't expect it. Designers can only do so much. Computers and consoles can only take so much.

There were a couple problems with the story, and I'm going to separate it from the novel because I've only read the first couple pages of the novel. I have no idea whether it is ever explained (I would assume it is), but I would have really liked to know Henry's backstory. We get a brief glimpse of his history... and it's right before his recent life began. Heck, we don't even know how long he's been a vampire. We have no idea how successful he's been being a thorn in the side of the vampire coalition (or whatever it is). I mean... vampires can't kill each other. So... what's he been doing? Getting drunk all the time? How is he wealthy? How does he find out about certain vampires?

Also... why make it so that vampires can't kill each other? I can understand not being able to kill your maker (heck, that's what I was expecting when Henry couldn't do that)... but not being able to kill each other... at all? How would you deal with competition? Everyone would just die of starvation if they ever ran out of food. Also... morale. How do the people in charge stay in charge? Sure, they can't KILL each other... but they can obviously fight each other. Which works... how? Do you have to have killing intent in your brain? If you were a cold-blooded killer, would you be able to do it? If you were just fighting and accidentally went to far, would that still work? "Not being able to kill" an enemy is a ridiculous thing that has to be handled delicately. Typically the rule relates something to "cannot physically harm" in any way. Of course, this brings up the question of mental assault, which enemies just LOVE... but, well... There's also the avenue of "if you hit me, you get the hurt, or you get just as hurt". Sometimes this means that killing the enemy is suicide, which plays well into revenge stories.

Of course, if the mission isn't suicide... solving that problem is rather hairy on your own. There's the question of "what damage do I cause that counts as 'damage I caused and which then affects me'". For instance, if you're in a fight, and you trip someone over a cliff to their death... does that count? Or do you have to physically like... cut their head off or something?

If you send vital information to someone else so THEY can kill the enemy... does that count?

Having played with this myself, I know what it means. Originally, I needed an excuse for a character to not kill two other characters. And so the whole "you can't fight me" thing came about. Thankfully I've matured at least slightly since then. So that part and the "need" was taken out. Also I learned about things like character creation, outlining, good plot design, world creation... and lots and lots of little things. I also actually wrote down more of the story instead of running through scenarios in my head like "well, I haven't really explored this part yet... but I just REALLY want to write the part that takes place x years later..." So I'm far more familiar with how I want the story to run. And, shockingly, the fixes for this ridiculous situation, once everything lined up... were rather simple. There's plenty of problems left, but I don't feel like a complete moron for having something so ridiculous in my story anymore. Well, that and the spirit tiger. And other things.

I wonder if that was something the movie changed... or added. It kind of looks like something the author would throw in so Henry's character has an excuse to not have killed the villain yet.

So I just learned some interesting things about some terminology and genres in the anime/manga world. Things that I will probably forever regret knowing. I suddenly see several of my peers in an entirely different light.

To babysitting little kids! Because life doesn't give you enough joys!

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So, as usual, I was an ass in class.

I want just ONE DAY where I don't say anything stupid.

Just one. I feel like this is a small thing to ask for. Big things include like... food, maybe?

I suppose I just need to not talk or something.

So I got my paper workshopped and everyone was mostly nice. Of course they all focused on an issue that was rather inconsequential... and, well...

And then when I got to speak I was kind of an ass and answered a number of questions no one asked or even needed to know. I apparently just like to hear the sound of my own voice. Then again, I'm writing here, so...

Also, it's apparently hard to spot "chapter 1" at the top of a page. Apparently if you start a piece with chapter 1 and then end it, the piece is over.

Apparently no one got that this was a chapter, and not a full-fledged story.

My respect for this group of readers largely continues to plummet beneath the negative line.

Sigh.

I need to work on comp sci.

Ta.

House of M

Oct. 24th, 2012 12:52 am
starfire11: (Default)
So I finished "House of M", at long last!

I like that I now recognize most everyone on the main cast, and even some of the secondary characters. I've at least seen a couple of the "villains" turned "good guys" elsewhere, and I can piece together bits of their backstories from what I know of elsewhere.

There were some gorgeous bits of dialogue in that story, and some amazing stories. True, there was plenty of bad stuff and, well, the ending...

But that's that. I finished it. I get the whole picture. I have read ALL of it.

On to "The Darkness"! Because "Deadpool" is almost unreadable for me (it's incredibly boring, especially the really old stuff) and, well... if I get into "New Avengers", I won't be able to put it down until the end of "Runaways", and well... that'll just leave me with the choice between "The Darkness" (which is quite awful for the most part, for many reasons) and "Deadpool"... and I want to end on a high note.

So I basically did all of this because I really, really, really didn't want to work on my comp sci project. I still really don't. I'm really angry at myself for not starting this back when all of this stuff was still in familiar in my head. Now I'm staring at a blank screen and I can't remember where to look for a file I supposedly created in the program.

I also went through the "Highlander" soundtracks today and got rid of over half the songs. Part of it was generic music I have in boatloads elsewhere, better done; another part was simply bad; another was uninteresting... and another was just "what? This is... I don't even..." And the rest was pretty enough that it stayed. It really was not much at all. Out of 41 tracks, I kept 16. Wow.

Hopefully I'll actually listen to these.

Funny story today. So I have to get a paper workshopped during class discussion, which means I print out 18 copies of my story and bring into class today, and we discuss it next class. Everyone has to do this twice during the semester. Most people wait until the last minute to make the copies, so most people are late. I've been known to deride people who "should get around to it earlier".

So today I was maybe one or two minutes late to class (I didn't check the clock), and my entrance was very noted. Although I made up by apparently knowing the material better than most of the people there, as well as having done all the assignments for class.

Also, I wasn't late because I was getting the copies.

I was aware that I was pushing time a little when I went to pick them up from the copy center, but I didn't check the time after I left lunch. I somehow walked twice as slow as I usually did from lunch to class, and so was rather surprised to find that class had started.

So now there's a mistaken impression that I'm a hypocrite.

And I am, but still... not for this, really. My tardiness was due to a rather lackadaisical attitude gleaned from a lunch enlivened by a good discussion with a friend, the completed copying of my story, and the hopes of finishing my day catching up work. Not because I waited until the last second to get my copying taken care of.

I don't know.

I'm also more concerned about the ridiculous pretensions of my classmates. They are so bloody quick to label "masculine" and "feminine" and have this idea that there's a singular standard we all have for these categories, and that we should all be shocked when someone steps outside them without blatantly declaring "LOOK AT ME, I'M OUTSIDE THE NORM", which basically related to being non-heterosexual. No one has yet to write about a transgender character, or even a bisexual or asexual character. No one has written about a disfigured character, a mentally challenged character, a midget, a crossdresser... the most we've gotten is a few homosexual couples, who actually haven't been the center of their stories for the most part.

They're so close-minded and I agree with my professor, who has not accused anyone of anything (being very charitable) - the phrases people are throwing around step into the territory of using such things as an excuse for not looking at a work critically. For example: "that's just a woman's writing!" "That's just a man's writing!" "That's how men think!" "That's how women think!" It is an excuse. And at least three people used it today.

I was very good (to an extent, I guess, although no one actually heard or took note of my other comments). I kept my comments pretty neutral in an attempt to stay on topic while sparking some actually intelligent discussion. It was difficult when someone next to me, launching off of one of my own comments, made a blatant falsehood about writing, ignoring at least one and possibly three or more historical periods of writing for her analysis. I wanted to ask "Are you actually an English major? This is just an elective credit for you, right? Cause you can't be an English major. Or even a college student. You just can't."

Another student made a blatantly false claim about "gendered" writing, which I was very nice about correcting. Honestly. It's the most neutral thing I have ever said. Okay, so I hinted at the wrongness. But I wasn't really mean about it. But she honestly always sounds like she's arguing with someone whenever she talks, even when she's complimenting someone. She has an odd strident tone to her voice All. The. Time. I do not get it at all. She also grimaces whenever she laughs, as if she's being sardonic. It's really creepy. So I don't feel all that bad about this, especially since she's leveled a number of ridiculous claims this semester. And I just... I can't get over what she said. It was so... so BAD. So ridiculous stupid and close-minded and INSULTING. Not just to me, but to basically everyone. I don't just mean in the room, but world-wide. It was insulting, in the first part, to men as individuals, and insulting to women as writers.

Since I don't want to just rewrite the whole rant I did earlier, I'll just repost it here.

"Yeah it was pretty mild. I think that was because the speakers talked for less time. For instance, when unnamed persons declared that a certain genderless character was "female because she's peppy", she talked for quite some time, while today she talked for maybe half that time. I just... when the comment relating to what authors write about where "women write about these things" just isn't true. To be true, it would have to completely IGNORE at LEAST the entire Romantic period, along with (most likely) the Gothic and Victorian periods. My issue there was principally "uh, you're an English major right? Cause if you are, you can't be a good one." The first time the "feminine" aspect of the writing was brought up was completely wrong in every way. I have seen countless examples of writing from male authors in the same narrative style. It's a stylistic choice that has a very low chance of being related to one's gender, and it also appears cross-genre. For the "I always need to label gender" girl, there was no explanation for WHY the writing was "feminine". This type of discussion has been repeatedly used in class as if we all agree on what is "masculine" and what is "feminine", as if there is one standard that everyone agrees by, which is by no means true. She repeatedly acts like we should be SHOCKED that no one else was upset by this mislabeling or absent labeling of gender. It's just... UGH. And people DON'T talk about it. I was actually very reluctant to bring it up because a) I could go on for hours about in numerous fields, b) I'm obnoxious in that class as it is, and c) we were supposed to be talking about the book itself, and if I had continued in this vein, it would have further escaped from the book. And this happens A LOT. I am just TIRED OF IT."

"Genetics plays a part in numerous aspects of our behavior, which plays with society's views of who we are and how we should act, and then that goes to how we're taught and everything is mashed together. It does not declare that "this gender shall write with long exposition, while this gender shall write with short exposition". It does not declare that "men shall not think before they act, while women do". That's not how it works. People write in certain ways for numerous reasons, not just because their "gender" made them write that way: 1) they learned to write that way, 2) they learned not to write in a certain way, 3) they enjoy writing in a certain way, 4) it is easier for them to write in a certain way, 5) they have a purpose in writing in a specific way, 6) what they want to do can only be accomplished by writing in a specific fashion, 7) the company they worked for demands that they write this way, 8)8) the editor fixed it to be this way, 9) the audience wants it written this way, 10) they don't know a better way to write, and so on and so forth. Cutting it down to "women write this way because this is how ALL women write" is just... no. No. It's like looking at a set of statistics and saying "this is the only way to read these". Arguing the implications of statistics is a big part of learning about these types of things. Was there anything wrong with the sample group? Was there anything wrong with the questions asked? Who asked the questions? How where the questions asked? Even when looking at language studies, every single study has to be taken with a grain of salt. You could be studying Korean women in a specific neighborhood in an attempt to learn about the language. But maybe they get influenced by the Italian kids from down the road. Maybe they have slang from school. Maybe some of them imitate pop idols. Maybe some of them have speech impediments. Maybe some of them have shared ancestry, and use lingo from other cultures. Maybe some of them moved to the area later in their lives, and so use speech from other areas. I just... too many people in this class seem to have the idea that "this is male, this is female" and that's that. And I can't stand it..."

So yeah. There we go. The fire has kind of died because I'm listening to some very relaxing music right now.

I do have some homework I can take care of outside of the comp sci thing, so this night won't be ENTIRELY wasted.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
"Once Upon A Time" pulled off another good episode. I'm glad that my sister agrees with me, though: you don't watch the show for the acting. You watch it for the story. Most of the actors have their moments, but overall it's the story.

I am also just NOT getting over how wicked awesome it is to see normal-looking people talking like fairy tale creatures. It's just... fun. I've seen out of place fairy tale creatures in "the real world" before, but they always LOOK out of place. In Storybrooke, these are people who are, well... basically like most other people. They're normal and live normal lives. They just have bigger secrets and more magical past lives than most.

It's just... it makes me happy.

Also, Captain Hook is hot. So, of the three hot guys on this show (Josh Dallas/Prince Charming, Jamie Dornan/The Huntsman, and Colin O'Donoghue/Captain Hook), two of them Irish. Clearly I've been missing out on something here, especially since the two Irish guys are MUCH more attractive than Dallas (no offense, love, you look AMAZING in leather).

So Dr. Whale is Dr. Frankenstein, apparently.

...

I never saw that coming.

For starters, the story of "Frankenstein" was never in my pool of movies to pull from. The only cartoon I can recall including a reference to the character is "The Pagemaster", and that was produced by Fox, not Disney. But then again, apparently the producers of OUAT were planning to have the protagonist be "Sherlock Holmes" (or at least the town's sheriff... omg does that mean he would have been pushed off a waterfall??), and while at first that sounds kind of weird, especially because they wanted Benedict Cumberpatch for the role, considering his relationship with the character, it's not all that weird when you consider that Disney HAS produced a Sherlock Holmes based story: "The Great Mouse Detective". Which I haven't seen full-way through yet... maybe I should rectify this...

So I go to wikipedia and look up adaptations. And I actually should have remembered this one, although I blame the fact that I didn't even think about stop-motion films for possible Disney canon inclusions. The short film Tim Burton based his 2012 film "Frankenweenie" on was originally created under the Disney umbrella. The recent movie was also released by Disney. So yes, they do own (distantly) rights to the story.

I still want to know where the "Whale" part comes into the picture. Too many character names have been related to their characters for this to pass. "Ruby" (Red Riding Hood), Mr. Gold (Rumpelstiltskin), Mary Margaret Blanchard ("Blanchard" - White; Mary - mother of the savior, Jesus/Snow White, mother of the savior, Emma; also maybe a reference to Mary Magdalene, MM, which... ouch), Archie Hopper (Archimedes - Merlin's Owl, and Hopper - a reference to crickets; both relate to Jiminy Cricket, the conscience), Sidney "Glass" (The Evil Queen's magic mirror), Mother Superior (it's more her sense of authority - she's really the end all on magical authority in the Enchanted Forest), Astrid (Nova... starish names) and so on.

So it should be interesting to see these unfold. The series seems to have a couple of purposes: 1) to take some of the more ridiculous bits out of these Disneyfied fairy tales, possibly in an attempt to return to the dark themes of the original fairy tales and 2) to give a bit more realism to the fantastic.

For instance, there is no ticking crocodile in the Captain Hook backstory (so far, anyway). Rumpelstiltskin provides this role. Captain Hook isn't as ridiculous as he is in the cartoon (which I always thought was a slur towards closet homosexuals, but whatever), and you actually get the impression that this man could be really terrifying. He's changed from stock villain to actual pirate.

Gaston was not an overbearing, ridiculous, misogynistic suitor, at least on screen. The focus was pushed onto Belle and her relationship with her Beast.

Charming ACTUALLY finds the time to fall in love with Snow, and vice versa. It's not a simple love-at-first-oh-he/she's hot. Snow is also actually useful to the seven dwarves, as a fighter and as a friend, and as a leader. And we got some backstory for the Huntsman! Sure, it's a lot less astonishing than I thought it was the first go-around, but it was still fun and tragic and AHH. And the Evil Queen gets a backstory! Heck, RUMPELSTILTSKIN gets a backstory!

It's just fun and I really really really need to get a move on with this workshop story. See, I had something and then I realized "no, no I don't really because I'm just spazzing and I have NO freaking idea on what to write about here...

"So I didn’t have a plan. I did, as I stood there, start to get the seeds of what might, sometime, become a vague step generally in the direction of an intention. I may be stating that too strongly." - Vlad Taltos, always awesome.

So
... Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I finished listening to the audiobook and it was a little silly in numerous ways. It was an okay read. The ending... I don't know. I guess I feel better because the ending, which sounded a bit like a movie ending sentiment was made by an actual soldier.

I found a half-decent essay I can use for a writing sample, which is nice. Otherwise, I've just been clearing more stuff off of my computer.

I was on WoW last night in an attempt to get into an ICC 25 run. Then no one messaged me to join and I got roped into a Mogu'shan raid which was relatively successful, in which I prayed no one noticed that I was missing half of my enchants.

I played Okami today. It was rather fun. I liked the art and the gameplay was a bit aggravating but also enjoyable.

I don't like my workshop story idea again. It's too boring and simple. A romance, of all things!

I have a lot of writing and reading to do. Watching a very bad episode of Doctor Who. As usual. I really, really, really want to be done with the first doctor. I have three more episode arcs left, including this one.
starfire11: (Default)
It's WoW. Always pick WoW.

So I spent entirely too much of my vacation doing dailies in WoW. And dungeons. Admittedly, I half don't regret the evening/morning before I came back to school, where I stayed up until like 2:30 running dungeons with my new guild, giggling in the background as they all competed to make me laugh because I couldn't talk as it was late and I'd have woken up my Mom who was sleeping on the other end of the very small and echoey hallway.

Also channeling Esther from "Bleach House", apparently. So much hate for you Dickens. So much hate!

The result of all this being that I got some rep up. Hooplah.

I also got rid of my last green for the new xpac. Hooplah. Well, I did that today, but they got me close!

I don't want this to turn into "what I did today on WoW", so, in other news: things that happened elsewhere.

So we were watching this week's "Highschool of the Dead" episode and, amidst it all, I had to take a moment and realize "you know, this is either barely soft porn, or it's not even soft porn. And that's really sad."

Seriously. It isn't even soft porn, and that says REALLY bad things about the world at large. Really.

I'm listening to "Helmet For My Pillow" now, in order to slowly delete it from my hard drive and clear off a bit more of the space I seem intent on filling up over time. I have made a lot of progress - I'm most of the way through the fourth CD! I think it's an interesting read and the narrator's voice is definitely growing on me. I certainly won't keep it, though. I have no interest in rereading it.

I am FINALLY writing my workshop story! I agonized over it over the ENTIRE break and beforehand and yesterday and today and I just... UGH I just started typing and I have like three or four pages now. It's really bad, of course, but it's starting out.

When all else fails, apparently, BE SARCASTIC!

I wrote two entire character bios by being sarcastic. I don't know how but I did.

It terrifies me.

I don't really have any big topics to go over tonight. I've been too distracted by WoW and school work and the LSAT and jobs and the Hillel thing that I don't know about yet and, well... thinking about the whole "not soft porn" thing is the deepest I've gotten in relation to any story in a long while. Which says something to me. I haven't analyzed an image, a book, a show, a WHATEVER... in so long now.

Admittedly, I also have to read 90 pages of Dickens before bed.

Also, for things I've learned about Dickens: he wrote slash, used Victorian bloggers, and it's like he peeked into my current career path and is now mocking me in the form of "Bleak House".

So.

Ta.

Argo

Oct. 15th, 2012 02:07 am
starfire11: (Default)
Argo was a very good movie, actually. I think it's shit that they felt the need to shit on the contribution of the Canadians (wtf Ben Affleck and Co.) and I'm sure it pissed off the Iranians, but I still enjoyed it.

I have a lot of luck with movies my mom picks that I'm either not aware of or not really into beforehand. "The Queen", "Argo", "Pride and Prejudice" (the TV series), "Out of Africa", "The King's Speech"... and so on.

I'm very annoyed. Well, sort of. On the one hand, I did read a lot of "Bleak House" today. On the other, I'm just behind where I should have STARTED for today.

I also don't have an English version of "Cradle of Stars" (Kiddy Grade) and cannot find one, even though I would really like one.

I still have to write a journal article, my workshop story and my hangman Computer Science project. I don't really know if it's worthwhile to re-do my homework 3, especially since I don't know what went wrong with it and the things he wanted us to run through them never got to my email for some reason.

But I have finished the Irish plays, read the school newspaper, gone over the two workshop stories I do have and read a lot of "Bleak House"... sort of. Plus, I've been running through ideas for the stor(ies) in my head.

I really want to and don't want to write this article. I have no idea how to write it.

On the other hand, I'm REALLY tempted to write something on gender roles at school.

In two classes now, several students have presented gender roles as if they're established fact, everywhere, which obviously isn't true and for some reason no one takes umbridge to this, other than friends and I outside of class. In one class, a girl took issue with the fact that the male protagonist was effeminate, in relation to the fact that the protagonist's sex is not identified until page two or three. Three classmates then proceeded to suggest ways to get around this: make him do stereotypically heterosexual masculine things. When I suggested "Just start with 'My name is Alvin, and I like the beach because blah' (which is basically how her story started, minus the name) and then move on", people laughed. I like making people laugh and I'm glad no one openly disapproved, but I mean COME ON! Yeah, I was a little confused about who or what was specifically talking (was it a kid, an adult, a man, a woman, a disembodied narrator?), but I didn't care all that much and I wasn't so desperate to identify who it was that I had to pick one sex over another. You get the guy's name out there, BAM, you know it's a guy (unless told otherwise, which we weren't) and you don't have to change the character. I don't see Alvin doing the ridiculous stereotyped things they suggested. I do not want her to change the character like that. I think he's fine as he is. The only person doing something wrong in relation to his being marginally "effeminate" is his accuser, the moron in our class who has this obsession with fitting men and women into specific little gender role boxes.

I find it amusing that "I'm" the conservative Jew and she's the reform Jew and yet "I'm" apparently the more liberal, at least when it comes to gender discussion.

Every time she does this she acts like it's a BIG. ASS. SHOCKER. Her reaction was like this: "OMG, he was just SO effeminate! Wasn't that WEIRD?"

Wow. The guy acts like he walked out of the Romantic Period and he's automatically homosexual to you, Miss I Walk And Breathe Stereotypes.

So he likes the beach. So he notices his surroundings. The only reason the narration before he gave his name didn't seem "masculine" was because it was lacking action, crassness and/or references to women as sexual objects. I mean, seriously? Seems like a person I'd want to be friends with over some of the guys I know who like spitting on the ground, punching walls and laughing when sexism is brought up in discussion.

Note, we never learn his sexuality. He shows what might POSSIBLY be a slightly attraction to the other character: Orelia. A slight something that's never really explained. But it's not really sexual or romantic and we don't really know what their relationship is going to be after the story ends. It never really turns into anything other than friendship, as far as we're aware. The author could have easily explained away Alvin's personality by using sexuality stereotypes. "Oh, he's just gay." "Oh, he's bi." "Oh, he's asexual". She could have.

But she didn't. I don't know whether it was purposeful or not, but she didn't.

And I am so tired of people sticking people into these boxes. I sat in the car with a friend while driving back from wherever it was that we went together and she was talking to me about her "gay friend in denial". I asked her why she thought he was gay and she told me about his clothing choices and the type of water bottles he drank from.

...

I asked her if she had any other evidence. Like did he comment on the attractiveness of men or did he have a boyfriend or was he not interested in women or something?

She repeated the clothing choices.

I tried to explain that clothing choices don't make you anything. Well, other than a member of the KKK or MAYBE Muslim, I suppose, but people can wear head scarves and not be Muslim.

She didn't believe me.

I RESPECT this friend. I LIKE this friend. I MISS this friend. But I think of this conversation and I just cringe.

Heck, I even liked Miss Moron until I realized that this was a thing with her.

I kind of liked the other guy who does this until I realized that... well, there are a number of issues with him. Besides the fact that he never shuts up.

My issue with gender roles comes from what I know and experience. Yes, people need to be aware of the way our society and different societies reinforce them. They deserve studying. The media's portrayal and reinforcement of them deserves studying.

But forcing them on others because that is the way you view the world is ridiculous. If a writer wants to write about a guy who's a nature lover and not a skirt chaser, then I say by all means.

You know who's bought feminine hygiene products and taken my sister to Victoria's Secret when she wanted nice underwear? My Dad.

You know who makes more money from their job? My Mom.

You know who likes Enya and New Age music? My Dad.

You know who likes the supernatural, horror and ghost hunter shows? My Mom.

My parents are both computer engineers. They both scuba dive. They both cook and bake and do it well.

And you know what? I liked barbies. I liked barbies for a long time. I liked Polly Pockets. I listened to Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync (admittedly, only one CD), and thought that was good. When I was little, of course, and didn't know what good music was. I also watched and read "Sailor Moon" and thought it was amazing. Before I knew what good art and story was.

You know what I also liked from a young age? "Gladiator", 3rd Grade (eight years old). "The Last Samurai", 6th Grade (eleven years old). "The Mummy Returns" 5th Grade (ten years old). I liked "Ronin Warriors" from when it aired on Toonami when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I watched the 1984 film version of "Dune" on laser disc many a time when I was in Elementary School and beyond (age seven and earlier). I watched the mini-series when it premiered on TV in 2nd grade. I ADORED it. It was the first soundtrack I fell in love with when I didn't even know what that really meant. It was the first series that made me love specific actors and voice actors before I knew what that meant. In 5th grade I waited with bated breath for and watched the premier of its sequel: "Children of Dune", in the hopes that it would be just as good. It was good, too. I grew up watching "Doctor Who" on laser disc. Dad started collecting the old series episodes on DVD LONG before Christopher Eccleston showed up in 2005 (7th grade, age 12) as the 9th Doctor. We were prepared for the new show beforehand. I was skeptical. He was anxious. We were surprised and pleased when we saw what it was.

My most-read manga genre is shounen. My favorite manga is "Rurouni Kenshin", hands down. I started reading the swords-manga in 4th or 5th grade when I realized that I wanted to get into mange because a) I like books and b) the anime looked cool on Adult Swim. I picked up volume 1 in the bookstore of the University of Maryland. I was immediately hooked.

Of the three serial manga I read, "Bleach" is my favorite, due to the preponderance of bishounen and the beautiful art. "xxxHolic" is probably my second-favorite manga, followed by "Fullmetal Alchemist", "Buso Renkin", "Fruits Basket", "Sailor Moon", "Ranma 1/2" and then "Flame of Recca".

I think pink is an okay color, but it's not my favorite. It's too bright for some of my moods. Cerulean blue is my favorite color. I always kept and never used the Cerulean crayon because I didn't want to run out and it was so pretty. I like country, rock, heavy metal, folk, new age, classical and electronic music, but I have far more soundtracks and Musical CDs than anything else. My favorite artists are composers, not singers and not bands: Joe Hisaishi, Hanz Zimmer, Yoko Kanno, Yuki Kajiura, and Vivaldi. Enya also possibly wins out, but that's a slight thing. She's like everyone else out there: after a time, it's all the same sound. Big Bang also fits into this category.

I like action-adventure books and webcomics. Currently, I'm watching the on-going series "Supernatural" (sorta), "Sherlock", "Doctor Who", "Young Justice" (fav), "Legend of Korra", and "Once Upon a Time" (eh). I'm reading two hard SF books and an assorted number of high fantasy books, as well as an autobiography from WW2, the fourth "Wizard of Oz" book, and a thesis about the Holocaust, Judaism, Christianity, social theory, politics, perception, religion and so many other things.

My desk bookshelf features "Howl's Moving Castle" (fav book), next to "Macbeth", three hard SF books, a Steven Brust (high fantasy) omnibus, some "Gargoyles" comics, an "Avatar: The Last Airbender" comic and an assorted group  of manga. My Chris Hemsworth Thor bobble-head stands beside my Black Knight sans limbs bobble-head, a Pocahontas action figure and three Pokemon action figures.

I am good at cooking. I do not do it often. I do not necessarily enjoy it. When I have a choice, I weigh the pros and cons: "Is it worth having to prepare and clean up after, as well as wait for it to get done?" Typically it's not. I do not hate gardening, but neither do I like it. I do not dislike sewing, but neither do I like it, nor am I necessarily good at it. I like singing. I have, like many, a special relationship with God (not that I'm better than others, but that I approach religion in my own way). I like cats and dogs, but now prefer cats because they require less maintenance. I play computer games, and play WoW rather well. I write fantasy. I enjoy swimming and soccer. I'm okay wearing a dress or skirt but I prefer pants. Heels make me look better but non-heels are more comfortable and practical. I do not enjoy putting on make-up or fixing up my hair. I hate clothes shopping because it takes forever, women's clothes are too flimsy and pricey and nothing really nice fits me anyway.

When I was little I wanted to be a mixed version of Superman and Pocahontas from Disney's "Pocahontas", with Ariel's hair from "The Little Mermaid", AndrAI's body from "ReBoot" and Bell's fashion sense from "Beauty and the Beast". I wanted Morticia's personality from "The Addams Family" and Velma's sense of humor from "Scooby-Doo", as well as her intelligence. I also wanted Sailor Jupiter's fighting abilities. When the Ridley Scott "Spider-Man" film came out in 2002, I wanted to be Spider-Man and that was it. When the "Justice League" TV series aired in 2001, I wanted to be Wonder Woman.

People are not what gender stereotypes you label them with. People are complex and weird and surprising and interesting and amazing and disappointing, but you need to find that out for yourself. Don't fit people into boxes.
starfire11: (Default)
So I wanted to write something tonight about posing (as related to costumed heroes) and why it's stupid, for the most part.

To start off, what is posing for in the spotlight?

In a normal life, people subconsciously (or not) pose themselves around rooms as they read the atmosphere or pick a place they find "safe", whatever definition that fits for them. Whether it's a warm spot, a cold spot, a shaded spot, a place in the spotlight, a corner, near their biggest crush, near their best friend, seated, whatever... people pick it out.

In the media, people are posed (typically movie stars and politicians) so that they can look their best. Politicians typically wave, grin, shake hands with minorities and hug babies. Models and TV actresses show off their boobs and butts. Actors lounge to show off their manliness. Everyone else tries to sit relatively primly.

When you want to show authority, you take a firm stance. At least while you're waiting for things to happen. Typically this means crossing your arms with your legs apart. When you want to put people at east, you laugh and crack jokes, put your hands in your pockets, and smile.

Natural stances I'm familiar with include: standing behind someone, hands in your pockets, leaning against a wall, arms crossed, hands clasped by your crotch, Or different sitting positions (more for comfort and modesty than anything else). People tend to make more points with their expressions than with a stance, outside of an actual combat situation. And no, prepping for a combat situation does not merit the posing that occurs in most comics. A large portion of the posing is stuff that occurs long before there might even BE a fight. My main issue with that is how much time it takes to pose, and how ridiculous it is to take that time, while being quiet all the while, when SECONDS count.

Let's start with a simple pose: the finger point. There is one moment in Ultimate X-Men where Wolverine visits New York, runs into Spider-Man, gets himself shot up and knocked unconscious, and all in time for Spidey's call to the X-Men to go through. They show up, in a POSE OF GLORY splash page which could, arguably, just be a filler page and not an actual image of what happened after Spidey turns to look at the arriving jet hidden by the side of the panel. Prominently featured were, for no apparent reason, Jean sitting cross-legged in mid-air, Iceman on a rather large frosty walkway, the Beast lunging with a roar at, well... the empty roof of the building, I suppose, and, most prominently, Cyclops with his hand pointing towards the audience.

I am trying to picture the last time I saw anyone purposely point their finger at a specific person for any reason, in real life.

I believe it was to indicate who the speaker was referring to, because they couldn't remember a name. It wasn't dramatic or anything. Just a hooked thumb or a crooked index finger that was quickly put down to avoid rudeness, shortly before a quiet apology for forgetting the person in question's name.

I don't even have teachers who do it. I think my mom did it once, years ago. I can't remember why. Politicians point at their podiums a lot. It's actually a pretty common speaker action.

Why was Cyclops pointing? What was he pointing at? The only two people other than the other X-Men on the roof were Wolverine (unconscious) and Spider-Man (holding Wolverine up). So he was pointing at Spider-Man. Why?

I have no bleeping idea, and it is a question that has haunted me for years.

Why would he do this in a normal situation, assuming Spidey and Wolverine were replaced by a villain, instead?

For starters, why would he take his precious time to a) jump out of the X-Jet, b) walk up close to said enemy, and c) point his finger menacingly rather than just start shouting out orders or threats or requests from way up high where he a) can't be easily reached, b) has a better view of the whole situation, c) can better use his RANGED powers, and d) WILL SAVE THE MOST TIME.

There was no reason for the ENTIRE X-Men team to jump out of the plane. None.

I keep going back to this time issue. Posing really does TAKE TIME. It can take a LONG time just to get people into position to SHOOT other people. Line of sight and all that. It takes time to load people into planes and cars and what-not. It takes time to smooth out your clothes. It takes time to make sure you're standing straight. Now imagine jumping out a plane and stepping forward and pointing at someone. Yeah, it's probably a matter of seconds. But it isn't instantaneous. And NO ONE NOTICES when they do this. It happens ALL THE TIME, and nobody notices when they do this! They just look up and BOOM, look, it's the cavalry! It's IMPLIED that this takes almost no time at all.

A big example here is in Fullmetal Alchemist, when Ed is fighting Scar for the first time. Ed is lying on the ground, one-armed, ready to die because it's the only way he knows of to save his brother because he's not strong enough to fight Scar, and Scar is leaning down, ready to blow his head off. Mustang then calls out for him to freeze, and Scar looks to the side to see a line of Amestris military, led, dramatically, by Mustang and Hawkeye. Ed is surprised. Al is surprised. Scar is most definitely surprised.

Scar is a powerful fighter. He's like Wolverine a few levels down. Seriously. He has the whole "sensing" situation. He's been in a LOT of fights. He's a really strong fist fighter.

Depending on what school you're in, narrowing your focus is a REALLY bad idea. If you're a marksman, it's probably a good idea. If you're a melee fighter of any kind, then it's probably a bad idea, especially if you're fighting in a city with alleys. You don't know where your next opponent could come from.

Sure, Scar is focusing in on killing Ed. But I really don't think he'd be so focused on something like that (tricky as Ed's been, he's admitted defeat at this point) that he could simply IGNORE the arrival of a squad of cars and the unloading of a number of people from said cars and the click of guns being put to ready position.

Did they simply pop into the street situation? It's possible. Someone could have seen where the fight was taking place (which is I think how they were found anyway) and they just came to an open area and were starting to spread out to go look in the alleyways, or they were waiting for the fight to come out into an open area.

See, there's the problem. They waited. They waited for the SERIAL KILLER fighting the INEXPERIENCED TEENAGERS (they've had training, not experience - and what experience they had... well... heh) to just POP into the street.

Two scenarios just pop into mind here. 1) They were already spread out and waiting for the fight to come out. And they said nothing as Scar and Ed, who were talking and fighting for a bit of time out there in the street, did their thing. Until I guess Mustang thought things were going too far. Because they needed to be taught a lesson or something.

2) They waited UNTIL they were spread out. While this might be good in a scenario where they were looking at a hostage situation or a building with hostiles inside or something... I don't know. I don't like it. True, Ed could be considered a hostage, but Hawkeye is a sniper. Beyond that, they had a lot of riflemen. Scar was WIDE OPEN for some time. They didn't need to take time trying to get a shot. They had one. The only reason Scar survived was because of reasons.

In another scenario: "The Avengers". When Loki is crawling up the steps in Stark's bar/office/whatever near the end of the movie, and then turns to see the whole cast standing behind them in a gorgeous vista of badassery, all staring him down, ready to pounce...

He never noticed them all coming up there? He never noticed the Hulk climbing up the building? (I'm assuming he can't fit into the elevators or the stairwells and that he can't be carried - although maybe Thor could..., and all their jet was shot down and all the Chitauri stuff is down). He never noticed them all arraying themselves properly so that they could stand like that? The dude's tired, not deaf, and he is by no means a moron. Crazy, but not a moron.

Then again, we are talking about a movie featuring an organization for world defense who FIRED A GATLING GUN ON AN AUDIENCE OF CIVILIANS TO HIT A GOD.

So this is sort of nitpicking.

I understand not calling attention to yourself until you're in a good position to fight, but that doesn't require posing. You could be hiding behind rocks. You could make a message over a microphone from inside a cockpit. You could make a phone call. Surprise and all that. This is where the problem of "dramatic dialogue" comes into play. The idea in real life is typically "shoot first, ask questions later". Typically because enough information has been gathered and enough orders are given that people know that they should be shooting who they are shooting, and if there's been a screw-up, well, that's for the higher-ups to handle. For dramatic dialogue to occur, the characters need to be facing each other. And too many people don't like dramatic dialogue while hiding (although I don't know why - I've seen TONS of variations of it, and it's still badass). So posing.

If you come out of cover to threaten someone, typically you either do it so fast that they don't see you until you have a knife, sword, arrow, gun, whatever at their throat, and so hold the upper hand. Or they don't see you because you sneak up to them and do the same thing. Or you go in fast so you can take them out fast, before they can react.

Negotiating from the upper hand is something you ALWAYS want to do. It's how you survive. It's how you get what you want. Diplomacy does not start with two angry people in a stand-off. It starts with telephone calls. Letters. Liasons. Face-to-face meetings come WAY later, and even then there are typically a lot of security and bodyguards involved.

If you're arresting someone, you don't do dramatic posing. You either do it fast, you talk the person down (which typically requires being as UN-threatening as possible, which means no posing, which is SUPPOSED to be threatening), or you take the person out (knock-out gas or something), and hand-cuff them later.

I'm not touching on the ridiculous other poses people are given. For women it's mostly mock-porn poses that don't make any sense in a fight and really aren't threatening (it just turns the page into soft porn). Guys mostly get at least half-decent poses, but there are poses that really are just ridiculous. Poses that given them "crazy people wearing costumes" as a name. They pose. It's dumb.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I've had this rather unimportant problem recently where my computer has been in dire need of a clean-out in order to make room for (apparently) simply running new programs I need for, like, school.

So I was very happy when I managed to clear out 9 whole GBs of space a while ago. I was very happy!

I don't know how it happened, but between then and now, I've cleared, all-together, over 20 GBs of space out. I haven't really gone on an overhaul since then. Well... sorta, anyway. Although I didn't think I was deleting all that much at the time. I thought the entire folders of pictures I was looking at amounted to about 1 GB each and that just deleted things out of it wouldn't mean much. In the long run, it might get up to a GB, but not just in the short time there.

And then I added a lot more pictures.

But apparently I was wrong, because the count was at about 20.2 GB before I started my most recent cleaning spree. And... it hasn't increased all that much, apparently! Mostly because my recent cleaning spree involved more along the lines of organization than actual cleaning. I've made a lot of progress with the picture folders.

So I like having space on my computer! I like being able to start stuff without having "you don't have enough space on your compy for this" messages pop up all the time.

I need to clean my half of the room. And the bathroom. I need to do laundry. I need to write some homework stuff. I need to read a ton of "Bleak House" (which is, understandably, bleak). I need to do SO many things and ugghghghghg I hate midterm week...

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I was honestly planning to do a lot of LSAT studying and homework tonight. I really was.

I ended up spending way too much time on WoW. I got to 90 and, well... yeah.

So we did some more workshops today and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the choices. One of them was some sort of religious epic like Brust's "To Reign in Hell". Except really poorly written.

Then there was a cutesy story that was cutesy that I was okay with for once. I'm not a fan of cutesy. Worse yet, it was realistic fiction.

But I liked it anyway, so that was surprising. It could use some polish and some more explanation and another look-over or three and some more development and some backing away form some overused tropes I really dislike, but it was a really good start. Considering that most people in the class can't even get a quarter as far, that's saying something. The religious mythological story that read like a bad fanfiction had a half-decent plot concept that I really would like to see edited at least two dozen times, completely overhauled, spread out, further developed, and, well... I mean, it's a good idea. Half of a good idea. Terribly written, but a good idea.

[Doctor Who] So here's a thing. I thought the Angels vanished into the Crack.

Although this could be explained away by the fact that the Doctor and Amy closed all the cracks and so... Rory never vanished, came back as plastic Centurion, and all the Angels were never destroyed.

Oh that's a burn Moffat. That's a burn. That's a dark, evil, nasty burn.

Oh, is River gonna travel with the Doctor now? That's interesting...

The Doctor's bowties keep changing... but I'm a little confused as to how... now it's blue, now it's red. It feels like a mistake, but it's too blatant.

I feel like Amy Pond was an experiment, like almost every companion has been an experiment. I don't really know if it's a good idea to keep things in this pattern... but, well...

They finally commented on the age difference between River and the Doctor, physically and literally. That was interesting.

And now I'm just tired.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I feel like this cold is karma for staying up till 3:30 on Saturday to try and get my main to 89. I get her to 25% past 88... which was enough of a pain. My throat feels dry. I've gone through tons of napkins today because I cannot find any tissues. It's made me question where snot comes from, given the whole mass... thing... and I've come to the conclusion that, barring further evidence, I've sneezed out every meal I've eaten in the past 24 hours.

Did I mention that I'm not a scientist? I'm an English major. It's my excuse for not knowing what is PROBABLY a basic biological property of the human body.

Also, I keep meaning to say this, but the human body is really awesome. Yes, I have a cold presently (I think), but it really is awesome. Up until a certain point, it keeps trying to fix problems. When you get cut, your body is already working to heal the spot (or is just quick to start dealing with the problem, assuming you don't have a disease involving clotting problems). Even the way we deal with diseases is a good response system. Your nails break, they grow back. Your baby teeth pop out, you get more. And so on. The human body is amazing.

The extent of my homework for the weekend thus far has apparently devolved to finishing two readings, looking over instructions for two projects and an essay, shrinking another reading to lower the number of pages and printer ink required to print it out, and pick up and put down the school's newspaper, which I technically have to read for tomorrow. Except not really. This has followed me all over campus and off-campus, because I took it with me when mom came up and took me to dinner. And as I apparently commented in a picture on facebook, if my stepfather had shut up for any period of time, it would have been a perfect meal, or as near-to as can be.

So I was watching the "Avengers" today at school. For the third time. Trying to cheer myself in the wake of missing valuable time I could have used for homework because a group of friends had urged me to join them in going and then I was the ONLY PERSON who showed up and I was sick and trying not to cough or BREATHE too loudly or sneeze or sniffle during any quiet parts (which are surprisingly frequent in that movie)... So it's a good movie. I enjoyed it, even the third time around. Even if I didn't get to see the schwarma scene because they cut the film right after the credits started rolling.

But I was looking for some random stuff, instead. I looked for Phil Coulsen in the end SPOILERS - he supposedly is standing in the background in Fury's last scene. Now it MIGHT have been him, but this wasn't HD and it was just a little too fuzzy to be certain. I also listened to the scene where they're all arguing and caught more of the mixed speech than I had previously (but only cause I've seen all the quotation gifs on tumblr, really, and knew what to listen before - still didn't catch everything).

Basically... all it ended up being, most of the time, was me admiring the heavenly figures of Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston. Also, Marc Ruffalo is just adorable.

I found a post a while back commenting on movie comic-book adaptations, and the many reasons for why they're awesome. One of which is that they actually contain attractive men. The author then commented that she would watch Hugh Jackman read a phonebook, which I completely agree with. Honestly, I would watch Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Tom Hiddleston read phonebooks. So... yeah.

I did enjoy it though, truly.

I really, really, really don't want to go back to homework. I'm not going back to wow for a bit, certainly. Tomorrow there's a raid and I'll do brewfest and check my plants, but I doubt I'll level to 90 before... I don't know... I've lost interest, at least until I take the LSAT on Saturday.

I have lots and lots of work to do. I have to write an essay, complete some labwork that I would have liked to have completed MOSTLY during class but NO, my bloody stupid lab partner made us take ALL of class time to work on the hard problem so we could ask for advice from the teacher and the lab aide. Both of which were useless. I have to complete a project and this week's homework for that same class, and then we get our midterm, which is a take-home thing (supposedly). I have to read "Bleak House", starting tomorrow. I have another reading of this ridiculous play for another class, which is completely ridiculous and I have no context so I have NO idea what it's supposed to be saying about anything... I have to read at least half the school paper, technically. I really should (but don't have to) write an article for another paper about voter IDs using information I haven't read yet because I'm lazy. I need to write an essay for a scholarship. I need to find a job or an internship and I need more volunteer hours for my honor society.

I find the irony here ridiculous, by the way. You get put into an honor society because you have a good record when it comes to academic achievement. And then, to stay in the honor society, you need to perform extracurricular activities that take away from the amount of time you can spend on your academic achievements.

... HOW does this make sense? Did ANYONE think that maybe people who get better grades are studying and doing homework and researching and what not, and that they don't need to spend time doing some of this ridiculous stuff, and all this will do is make some people hate volunteering, rather than enjoying it?

I also need to practice my chorus music, finish some books I borrowed from Dad, and do lots of LSAT studying...

I'm a little bit very aggravated because my roommate's desk is right next to my bed, so her lamplight was shining in my face while I slept. Typically a light source doesn't bother me while I sleep, and I can just fall asleep after a short while. But I guess that being sick, when I'm having issues breathing and lying in most positions and just very sensitive to light, I really just couldn't manage it until she finally turned out the light and went to bed. But she didn't say anything when I stayed up before, so... yeah.  I didn't say anything. Admittedly, she was reading up until like 2:45, anyway, but whatever. But that means that I probably only got a couple hours of sleep. I've been meaning to ask her when she went to bed, out of morbid curiosity. Since I wasn't watching the time, she could have just been awake till 1:30 for all I know. When you have insomnia, time just DRAGS. If, on the other hand, she really stayed up till like 4 or 5 in the morning (which was it felt like)... I don't know. I'll just sigh.

So I just threw out a milk that I thought was my roommate's. And I have to wonder if she either forgot it was hers, forgot about it, or thought it was mine. Or whether I forgot about. I'm pretty sure I wasn't putting my milk there (since we get some of the same things we've sort of of "unofficially" taken up sections of the fridge, and it was in her section, so I didn't touch it. So it was almost a month old. I'm glad I finally got to it. Thankfully it was never opened. Uggggh wasted food..

I finally finished going through the "Babylon 5" music! There was a lot... and not all that much, really. There were some duplicates. Uuuuugh... but I got rid of them. So now there aren't. Sort of. There's a lot of repetition in the soundtrack (repeated themes and such) so there really still is some soundtrack... and maybe if I gave it another listen to, I'd catch them, but whatever. There's only one song left form one album so... I don't really know what to do with that.

I also listened to most of another album that I put on my computer because it contained Pachelbel's Canon in D. It's a collection of some of his music. I never listened to it all. I'm pretty sure I never even listened to all of the Canon (it's loooong). It's actually some nice music. I'm biased towards Baroque music cause I like busy music. I think. I'm just biased towards it. I don't really know why.

Sigh. Imma go take a shower. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
You don't believe me? Hah. Hah hah hah I say.

For starters, there is literally nothing else I'm proud to have marathoned.

Now THAT is a compliment.

Things I've marathoned include: all six "Star Wars" movies, all three extended special edition "Lord of the Rings" movies (mutiple times; yes, I had no life), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (such a wasted summer), basically every "Star Trek" series (except the first one and the cartoon, which are just really difficult to watch and not high on my priority list), old "Doctor Who" episodes (I can assure you that watching anything before... Doctor 3 is a marathon, even if it's a single episode - I was sitting through an "episode" from the second doctor, looked at the time on the DVD, and realized that I'd already seen over two hours of episode - they didn't give a crap about cliffhangers back then - they invented "Lost" LONG before the concept ever became a TV show of its own)... um... yeah. That's my resume for the stuff, really. I don't have the time or patience to marathon anymore.

I am so ambivalent towards "LOTR" now that it's REALLY sad. It was such a big part of my early life that I just... I do not know. I'm putting it down to overload towards the franchise, but really...

I would gladly reread "The Hobbit", if I had time. And I do not get tired of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in gifs, pictures, or videos. I would still cosplay as a Ringwraith any day. I love that costume so much! If I had enough money, I'd get metal gloves for it. I still want to visit Oxford principally because Tolkien lived and worked there.

My mother gave me the blu-ray edition of the entire extended series and I was just so... nonplussed about it. I had to FAKE happiness. Yes, I'm a spoiled brat.

I didn't ask for something else instead! Hey, I still like it! I just... I was so AMBIVALENT towards it... it was terrifying.

I honestly cannot stand the "Star Wars" movies anymore. I just can't. I would probably, given the opportunity, rewatch the cartoon TV series (not the 3-D one), since that was fun and good and short, and I've actually had a hankering to do so. For starters, I have seen the last three movies WAY too many times. The four things I watched the most out of Dad's old laser disc collection were "Doctor Who: The Five Doctors" (aka "the three doctors, old footage, and a stand-in for the dead guy who did better than Hartnell ever did"), and the three original "Star Wars" movies.

Yeah, they make me smile. But I just... there are so many things I notice that are WRONG about them that just HURT and I just... I'm so TIRED of them...

Would I gladly cosplay as Darth Vader, a Jedi, or a storm trooper? HELLZ YEAH! Do I REALLY want to go to Disney World to try out the revamped "Star Wars" ride? HELLZ YEAH! Am I still planning to read as many of the books as I can someday? HELLZ YEAH!

With LOTR, there are a number of problems ranging from things I cannot forgive Jackson and the producers and writing staff and so on for leaving out and/or changing. That's part of the reason I'm ambivalent towards the three-way-split for "The Hobbit". Hopefully they will have time to do EVERYTHING that way (although Jackson also wants to throw in some stuff from The Appendices, so... I don't know how that'll work, but I hope it's good!)... and to do it right, although right now the only two things that are impressing me from the trailers are that a) we're learning more about what's going on behind the scenes during the story (namely, where Gandalf disappears off to, which I never about, other than that he mysteriously disappears), and b) Kili is hot, and will hopefully get tons of screentime. Just sayin. Other than that... I am not very impressed. And considering the fact that one of the few things Hollywood can get right anymore is a decent trailer, that's really saying something.

I think I would rewatch Buffy. I liked the show. It had some issues but it was cute and fun and had some good actors in it and a lot of humor.

I would not rewatch all the "Star Treks". I just wouldn't. "Next Generation" is rather painful. "DS9" had some great episodes. "Voyager" I would rewatch. I would not rewatch "Enterprise". Not all of it. If I ever get around to finished the original series, I'm never rewatching it.

There are so few things I just all-out enjoy anymore in fiction that seeing something like "Code Geass: R2" is... well, it's mind-blowing. Yeah, of COURSE there are problems with it. BIG-ASS problems.

But it was enjoyable. The ending was... astonishing. Not because I was surprised but because I just... wow. It just... wow... The way they chose the soundtrack, the narrative, the decisions, the EVERYTHING...

I can't listen to the soundtrack for that scene. It is a GORGEOUS soundtrack and I have it but I just... I start it and after a bit I have to turn it off because it's just TOO PAINFUL (in a good way).

It had a good amount of humor. The art was... well it was a fight between good/fanservice and stylistic that I feel like I could get around. It was good enough. The music was...

...

Can we just have a moment to take in the soundtrack? It's not ".hack//Sign" by any means, but... d-aaaaamn...

You want to know the last book I enjoyed? "Bridge of Birds". That was earlier in, what, August? I've read several books since then. The ending to "Sailor V 2" was good. But just the ending, really. "Ayiti" was good writing, but it's not something I'll return to maybe ever. "Oliver Twist" was funny and enjoyable, but I'll never reread it. It dragged at a number of points.

I cannot remember what I read before that, that I was genuinely happy with. I haven't read any new Steven Brust books since the summer of 2011, so that's clearly a far marker for that.

Yes, "David Copperfield" is improving on me. I still hate it intensely for its ridiculous length and repetition. WE GET IT ALREADY!

Although the fact that there is just this amazing bit of slash that I just keep fangirling over and laughing my ass off at is just... wow... Someone out there needs to write a DavidxUriah fic. Someone. Not me, cause it would be terrible, but someone who is a very good writer.

All right, I need to sleep. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
Clearing more music out of the library! Hooplah!

I finally listened to the whole Spongebob album.

I was not all that impressed.

Now I'm taking a gander at my Disney albums. I never listened to "Beauty and the Beast", "Snow White", "Pinocchio", "Sleeping Beauty", and ALL of most of the other CDs. A lot of them have ending extras like demos and auditions and things that I just skipped, or there are pieces I skipped over or something.

I never listened to all three of the Dune soundtracks full-way through. I still have to go through "Children of Dune", which I have heard many times, but which still needs the treatment because it's more of a mindless listen through.

I still need to listen to the Babylon 5 soundtracks, and the Genesis CDs, the Highlander CDs, the Keith Urban CDs, all the LOTR soundtracks (which I've also heard full-way through, but never on my computer), The Police CD, American Pie, and the BSB CD, among others, no doubt.

...

So I just went through my music library. On a whim. I knew that I didn't have everything organized into easy-to-find playlists, so I wanted to see if there were any changes I could make, because if it's not in a playlist, it is VERY unlikely that I'll listen to it, because I'll probably forget that it's there.

I found twenty-five CDs I completely forgot I had. They just DISAPPEARED into my library because they weren't stuck in playlists.

...aaagjlkjg;lskgj;lkjG:LKJGL:KJGL:KJGL:KJGLKJGLKJOIJOE:GJLSKDJF

Yeah. Yeah. Well, now I know where all that space is coming from! I don't even know where one of these albums came from. What the heck is "Shinedown" and why are they on my computer? It looks like I listened to them near the end of 12th grade.

I look forward to getting rid of most of this! Hopefully! Maybe! I really, really, really hope I don't keep it all! I don't LISTEN to even a quarter of all of this... it's not like I need it all.

Pandaria is coming out in a couple hours. I don't even... I have some work to do. I managed to read straight through 80+ pages of "David Copperfield" today, and I only have about twenty pages leftover for the day until I'm caught up, at last.

So I can read my usual 41 pages for tomorrow!

Did I mention that I really, really dislike this book? It is so bloody boring. Once you get past the beginning, there is a lot of humor and a lot of fun characters. The satire is a little deeper than what you read in "Oliver Twist", but it also involves some complicated outdated English law that is a little over my head. You don't really need to understand it to get what Dickens is pointing out, but it would really help.

I feel like the only downside to this novel is the length. Dickens could have easily accomplished ALL of this in a book a third the size. I understand that this was not published as a novel, but in serial form, so it wasn't written to be this long, and the length made Dickens money at the time... but UGH... I mean, he does accomplish the same thing in a book a third the size! It's called "Great Expectations"! That novel is like... a quarter the size of "David Copperfield". And it is a LOT more enjoyable, in my opinion.

So I was in class today. This is an upper-level 300 college English course. I have two good friends in the class, and I'm friendly with some other people, but one of my good friends is one of my suitemates and the other is a girl I met in a previous course. So I've been sitting next to my suitemate in the back of the class, while my other friend sits in the front of the class because she has disability issues of some sort.

So she's had issues with the course. I really do not understand how she's planning on passing this one when she really does not understand basic material that ANYONE should know from Elementary or Middle School, let alone material that ANY English major should know, but whatever.

Also, note, she's in the drama department. True, she seems to focus more on costume design and creation than actual acting and other things, but she's very involved there. She's also very into journalism. For some reason.

So today she asked the professor what a "minstrel" was.

...

She then proceeded to ask what "nationalism" is. And then she asked what "colonialism" is.

I don't even... I just... My head almost MELDED with the desk in a desire to avoid staring at her. My suitemate did a soft head-desk motion.

For starters, as my suitemate has commented, we've been talking about nothing but nationalism in this course since the semester started, which is over four weeks now. Even if you somehow managed to survive middle-class, English-speaking, Maryland education and life without learning what nationalism is, you should have figured it out by now!

As for the colonialism issue... WHAT? Just... WHAT?

We have a second class together on Mondays (Journalism) and we sit together and it's basically wound down to her ranting about things that bother her while I sit and keep my mouth shut because I cannot make any polite comment other than a vaguely agreeable grunt or two.

So today she ranted about how she hates our first English class because the professor is "impossible". She's sorry she doesn't understand a lot of things because she's "not an English major".

I kid you not. That is what she said. Apparently knowledge of minstrels, irony (yes, she also doesn't understand irony, and chooses to be active in the journalism department... I don't get it either), colonialism, and nationalism are limited to the English department.

I was not aware of this.

I just don't want to deal with this. I want to ignore it. She can, on occasion, be a nice person. She can even, on occasion, be pleasant to be around when she's not ridiculously opinionated. To the point where "yeah, I hate feminists. It's all just the same bitching." She can even listen to the occasional counter-argument. And then completely ignore it and go right on anyway, but still! She listens! A little! Ish!

...

Whatever.

Catching up on some "Doctor Who". It's goodish so far. Hah. Moffat. Nice trick.

You know, people can hate on Matt Smith and Moffat all they want. Honestly, these episodes just end with me wearing a goofy grin on my face.

I say it's a success in my book.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I picked up the new Jaina Proudmore book from my library (yay public libraries) and it's okay. It's not amazing. BUT IT'S NOT AN ASSIGNED READING FROM SCHOOL AND IT'S SOMETHING I ACTUALLY WANTED TO READ AND IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!

"But-but you find time in your schedule for shittons of WoW and stupid ol' Doctor Who and-"

SHUT UP ME INSIDE OF QUOTES! All of things! And those don't require much thought, so there!

So, SPOILERS, but apparently JainaxKalecgos is a thing.

I feel like I was theorized this, but then I pushed it aside because I've shipped JainaxVarian ever since ICC came out and I got past gunship and paid attention to the RP and was like "OMG ARE THEY SAYING THAT JAINAXVARIAN IS GOING TO BE A THING because it is ALL RIGHT THERE!" Seriously. They're like the same age. Varian NEEDS someone. He's too young to spend the rest of his days as a bachelor :D And what if Anduin gets kilt?

Also, like... I want mini Kalecs and mini Jainas running around in future Azeroth along with mini Tyrandes and mini Malfurions (OMG GAIS MOVE IT ALREADY! YOU'RE GETTING OLD!)... but I don't think a dragonxhuman hybrid is possible.

Admittedly, this is a world where a dragon and a stag gave birth to a centaur. Somehow.

BUT SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE! Come on!

I suppose it could happen.

Whatever.

I read some of the "Before Watchmen" bits. I don't really know what to think about them. They're mostly better than the reviews I read. The Ozymandias one was a little silly at times but it was interesting. I don't really know what to think about the Comedian one. The Nite Owl one was quite interesting - I enjoyed it greatly. The Silk Spectre one... was curious. I can see Laurie-of-Watchmen forming out of Laurie-of-Before Watchmen. The Minutemen one has potential. It certainly makes these characters more well-rounded for me. I look forward to seeing the next installment.

Overall, the art was a GREAT improvement. The things they showed that they couldn't show (or couldn't show WELL) in old comics were good (little kids in "good" families having opinions other than "mommy, I'm scared", being one of them, along with some of the more intimate moments between youngsters that created intimacy without being overly intimate... and so on).

Here's the thing. I enjoy some of the thing Watchmen says about the comic industry as a whole. There are a lot of problems with it, but some interesting things are said, and a lot of interesting things are done.

What I would love, even more than a revamped version of the graphic novel featuring updated art, would be a Watchmen styled in the Digital Age.

Watchmen was designed to use tropes in the comic industry without using known heroes like Superman, Batman, the X-Men, and so on. Tropes like age-transitions (the Silver Age to the Golden Age) for heroes, costume iterations (from the obscene - Emma Frost - to the ridiculous - Galactus), the heroic tradition being carried through families (Black Canary), animal companions (Ace the Bat Hound, Krypto), the anti-hero (The Punisher), the wealthy/playboy by day (Batman, Green Arrow), women being heavily sexualized, and so on.

Again, one of the especially amazing things about Watchmen is the fact that it did all this WITHOUT USING COMMON HEROES like Superman, Batman, and so on. What they're doing nowadays for the most part is updating old heroes or streamlining old stories. "New Frontier" is old storylines with new art and a bit of a realistic bend. The animated movie I watched took place in (I believe) a Vietnam-ish era, but with more realistic art. A more diverse cast is being introduced into stories: homosexuals, more blacks and minorities and religious diversity... and so on. Plot points that people wouldn't DREAM of using years ago are becoming widespread.

Okay, sure. That's great and all. But there's still plenty of problems in the industry, ESPECIALLY with all these things they're "combating". The industry seems to embrace stereotypes more than just write a character who HAPPENS to be homosexual or who HAPPENS to be Muslim. These things shouldn't DEFINE a character. They should just make the character more realistic. And if they do define the character, they should do it in a creative way. It shouldn't be that a homosexual male character hates or fears women and only likes purple and pink, or so on. Feature a group date between heroes where a female character brings her girlfriend. Show a day in the week where a character stops to pray in a mosque. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Heterosexual characters who show up with dates or who stop in churches or synagogues are no big deal. Why should these "new" characters be?

The problem a lot of these comics are having is the retconning of old characters, which makes a lot of people angry. A lot of writers are getting rid of the more ridiculous bits of comic past (see "Batman: The Brave and the Bold", and Wonder Woman and bondage, for two random examples) to create more "realistic" characters.

It's a battle between what they think the public wants and what they're willing to write.

But I want a new Watchmen! I want to see what that would be like in today's world. Something like Kickass... but more extensive. Kickass... I'd have to actually read the comics. That might be something close... but it still goes a little over the top.

Hmm... maybe this requires some extensive look-see...

Now, I haven't read the graphic novel, so I don't know how successful the movie adaptation was. But I did see the movie, and I did enjoy it, and I remember it somewhat.

It doesn't include a lot of the old tropes from comics: oversexualized superheroines (in the clothes department), animal companions, stupid catchphrases (to an extent - the writers and audience are aware of the awkwardness when they are used, and it is done away with after a time), most ridiculous costumes (we'll ignore the rich kid trying to impress his father who turns evil - he's kind of stupid and crazy, so he gets a pass)... and ridiculous weapons. And some others.

Yeah, it has some randomly rampantly sexual girls who are kind of weird and just fall in love with the nerds for not much reason at all. Nerds who become the center of things. It features those bits of current pop culture that are still widely used, and it makes fun of them.

While I would have liked to see a bit more development on the part of the female characters (there's only one major female character who gets a decent amount of plot devotion, and that's Hitgirl... who takes Lolita to the next level in certain ways), some interesting points are made.

We are shown characters who do not have superpowers. Who do not walk around wearing fortunes (except for the evil kid), who are not invulnerable, who have normal lives, who are not constantly Brady-Bunch-style happy.

We are shown characters who BLEED when they get beat up. Who get BEAT UP when they get beat up. Who DIE and STAY DEAD. We are shown the results of tragedies. We are shown how simple it is for someone like this to get tracked down. We are shown how trauma changes a life, especially a child's life. Especially for a child who isn't as damn lucky as kids like Bruce Wayne who are left with extensive fortunes. We're shown a male protagonist who actually wants a girlfriend in for physical reasons, not noble ones. I appreciate the noble ones, but honestly, I'm a bit tired of EVIL characters being represented by being desirous of physical wants, while good characters only care about noble things. That's NOT the way the world works. People have physical urges. While I would prefer a well-rounded relationship, a character who doesn't act like a soap opera is a welcome change from things. Plus, women aren't THROWN at this guy. He only gets ONE girlfriend the entire movie. While it's nice to thing that putting on a set of tights is a way to attract the ladies... it's really not. I can honestly say that there are two attractive costumed men in the comicverse, from my perspective: Spider-man in the Toby Maguire movies, and Captain Marvel's cape (the DC version). That's a dude and A CAPE. I don't like Captain Marvel, physically. I think he's really ugly, actually. His powers are fun. OP. But that's just like Superman. And I don't find Spider-man physically attractive in the comics. I don't find Toby Maguire physically attractive - just either him in the suit or WHOEVER is wearing that suit. DAMN can they wear a costume!

Note, I prefer Chris Hemsworth, to his depiction in the comics. There are a few instances were characters while NOT wearing their costumes, are attractive. And those are few and far between. Too many heroes are ridiculously over-muscled and grotesque to be called "attractive". And sorry, but I don't drool at the sight of muscles.

Heck, the only male costume pieces I like in the comics are Spider-man's red-blue costume (for the most part, in recent comics) and Captain Marvel's cape (which is amazing). The female costumes are mostly meh (and ridiculous, to boot), and the rest of the comic world is a Tye-dye mess of screw-ups.

So yes. Kickass showed a somewhat realistic depiction of the Digital Age reacting to a costumed hero. One) YouTube phenomenon. Phones everywhere. Internet spam. Two) Professional criticism. Any trained fighter would see the massive flaws in a plan like this. Cops and soldiers exist for a reason. Three) Only people with mental problems are attracted to a person dressed in a stupid costume who gets beat up by thugs and does what in the world? Nothing that important, really. And so we have the Females of the movie, who have demonstrated their issues throughout the movie!

If you put on a crazy costume, most likely you will get the same response those "real costumed heroes" get when my mom turned the show on a couple months ago. We laughed and mom said "crazy people like that actually exist. How sad". This, from a woman who rates male actors with me on sexiness, and who argues with me about what makes a man attractive. I assure you that, for most people interested in men that I know, less is more. Yeah, the guys (and other people interested in women) are obviously loving women dressed in like nothing, but that's not reserved to them. You start sticking men in nothing (do you wonder WHY women flock to Hugh Jackman's movies? Because he finds some excuse to take his shirt off in almost all of them!), and you'll see some more attention.

Now I don't mean that the answer to getting increased female readership is to pop more Hulks into the comics. The Hulk is not attractive. Wolverine in the comics is not attractive. Sabertooth is not attractive. Just... seriously.

Crazy people. Crazy people like them.

Then there's guns. You know those scenes where the screen is FLOODED with gunfire of some sort, and the hero MIRACULOUSLY dodges it all? Those scenes?

See, THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN (that often) in real life! It just DOESN'T happen! People shoot you a lot... you're gonna get hit SOMEWHERE. That's part of the reason people make fun of amateur gunfire: spray the target, hope one bullet makes it. Try to beat a fight through probability. That's why people liked Gatling guns when they were first created. They were first, you didn't have to reload them like older guns, which had a PAINFULLY long reloading time, and they fired LOTS of bullets, so you had VASTLY higher chances of hitting your target.

And then there's recovery time. You see characters in comics get but up and OCCASIONALLY you will see them facing the consequences of these fights. It's mostly women (Oracle, cough cough), but it OCCASIONALLY happens. Most of the time, you just see them show off MAYBE a couple bruises, and then just go right back into the ring.

I love the one moment when Lara Croft falls through a window and says she can't rest yet, even though she's exhausted. And then, for the rest of the story, she doesn't show any sign of weariness, even though she doesn't sleep a wink.

Sigh.

Do we need to mention that time when Batman REPAIRED HIS BROKEN SPINE?

I'm not entirely certain that Kickass escapes this. But at least it features a hero who gets shot... and experiences the results of getting shot. And a hero who experiences the results of getting beat up.

I don't know...

I've been reading more Civil War... it's interesting. I really, really want to read Deadpool now. The only Deadpool I've read outside of Civl War is his brief cameo in Ultimate Spider-Man... which was really nothing big. It wasn't funny. It was kind of... eh.

Civil War so far has been... you know, I don't really know what to think about Civil War.

I'm very confused about WHY Peter and Tony had to reveal themselves. For Tony, it feels somewhat superfluous. For Peter it's like... um, okay?

I don't recall there being a part of the act that stipulated "you have to reveal your identity to the public". All it seems to require is that you report it to the government. It's like you put yourself into a database, like CIA or Secret Service operatives. It isn't public knowledge. It's just data. They know who to turn to. They have your file.

Yes, that knowledge could get out. It's in more hands. More eyes see it. More people know it. But honestly, even without government control, that information can get out ANYWAY!

So I'm done for the night. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I'm sitting on my quiet concern, contemplating writing bad fanfiction, the shittiness of that time of the month, along with the shittiness of school food, and how much people are disappointing.

Take myself, for example. My first entry on this thing is about falling asleep. Amusing as that was. I documented myself waking up and falling asleep. This was apparently fascinating way back when.

Then again, I'm writing this. So whatever.

I will undoubtedly be spending all night on homework. Le sigh. I may also restart Warrior Baek Dong Soo. Because Sad Eyes is hot and there are fights to be had and love triangles to fail and that assassin dude who REALLY freakin knows how to ride a horse and like... wow...

I've been in an ambivalent mood all day. It happens when I'm not reading or watching anything interesting. I'm reading "David Copperfield", which only wins out over "Gone With the Wind" because it uses satire, and some Irish poetry which has only a couple gems, and all of them are long. I am so bloody bored by this book that I just... UGH... At least half the book has been spent repeating "I remember this well" or something of the like.

And when I have nothing better to do, I watch more of William Hartnell's doctor.

....

THRILLING. Just THRILLING.

And in my other time, I do homework and waste life doing pointless raids in ICC. It is supposed to take TWO WEEKS to get this mount meta. TWO WEEKS. I've done ICC like twelve times. Completed the whole raid at least seven times.

I. Am. So. Tired. Of. This. I've screwed up one achievement. The others, I did nothing wrong, except not exist in two places at once. As I said before, it is too easy to do every achievement in there.

We weren't able to do the ones I wanted because people were completing the quest for Shadowmourne. I understand that people want it, but seriously? The next expansion is being released next week and people will be level 85-90. A flying mount would at least get used. A level 80 axe wouldn't be. The most it would be worth is for transmorg, and it's honestly not that amazing. The final two achievements are simple on normal, but we did the fight on heroic, and most of us were dead before we could get the second.

... It's JUST THOSE TWO... and the one before, which is nothing.

[Doctor Who] Heh. Hehehehehehehe...  Yeah. Yeah, spaceships on strings. Moving all wibbledly wobbledly down. Yeah, they don't move smoothly. But they certainly don't move like THAT.

THIS SHOW!

"Our forefathers", "men who replace us"... ahh, our vaunted past. "Man", "man", "man". Yes, man creates everything. Man is responsible for everything. I forgot about the point in our past where men were carrying and birthing babies and making all their own food and keeping their homes and making every decision and raising their children who replaced them and any other number of decisions and discoveries. Sorry, but women haven't spent all of history being pregnant and keeping house. Sure, they've spent a large chunk of it that way, but they've done other things. Half of the world's population is female (or around that much, considering that sexuality is a rather vague concept). It would be next to impossible for women to not have done something in their time here. Servants, laundresses, cooks, tailors, nurses, midwives, healers, authors, scientists (in numerous fields)... some of my favorite classics are written by women.

I'm tired. I'm going to bed. I finished this stupid show. That only leaves two... maybe three more of these silly things. Then it's on to the second doctor... who was somewhat better, anyway.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I've been pretty busy these past couple of days. Well... for me, I guess.

I got a lot of homework done over the weekend. I had to read quite a chunk of "David Copperfield", since I was so lazy with it before. I still need to read through the rest of today's section. I have not read a book this boring in quite some time. It honestly has some interesting events, but they are stuck between such vast amounts of fluff and repetition that it's almost superfluous. For instance, the narrator has spent almost as much time stating that he remembers it all perfectly as he has been relating the plot. Then there were some emails to send and answer. I wrote an article for the school newspaper, finished an analysis of "Ayiti", helped run a first club meeting, went to another discussion meeting, and read and watched quite a bit.

I played Portal 2 for the first time with a friend. It was very enjoyable and pretty relaxing.

You know, much as I dislike the first doctor (and I've probably said this before), it's starting to pick up. There's a lot of the later doctors in him. Contrary to what I used to think, the first Doctor didn't simply fall so deeply into other problems and get dragged along with the tide, doing relatively little. He sees problems and jumps in and deals with it. He takes note of a great deal of little facts and puts them together. It's rather interesting.

I've returned to reading "Runaways" and I've even started Marvel's "Civil War" series, which is really, really, really long. I'm glad I didn't start it ages ago. I wouldn't have known even a quarter of the characters. Now I don't know a fraction of the cast and I'm at least slightly familiar with all the rest. "Runaways" is also pretty fun, still. I really like ChasexGert, and I like the idea of a woman running the Avengers someday, especially someone like Gert, who's just awesome.

I was in the middle of trying to update Parallels last night and I left it going while I slept. And then I woke up and discovered that a) I'd unplugged the computer over night and the computer had thus run out of power and shut down, and b) it couldn't finish updating because it needed more space.

So I have spent over seven hours today clearing stuff off of my computer.

I am very concerned about getting Pandaria now. I don't even have it on my computer yet.

I've been cleaning out music I don't listen to for a while now. Evidently that hasn't been doing all that much. I'll keep at it. Hopefully it will make a difference in the future, because I still do have a long way to go.

On top of that, I've been going through photos. I don't have any big applications to delete (or small ones, really), and photos are on the large scale. I go through my Word and Excel documents pretty frequently so I'll just go through them again sometime soon, I suppose.

I've known for some time that I've had more than one copy of some of my photos. I had my backups from my blackberry, which were spread throughout my normal photo collection.

But that was not the worst of it.

I didn't realize that iPhoto was nearly full. I love how I've never seen the message before, but when I had spent half an hour deleting photos and videos from collections I'd apparently never bothered even looking through once, this message pops up four times.

Whatever. It hasn't popped up recently.

I also finally managed to organize iPhoto. That's a pleasant side effect of this.

So I deleted well over 407 photos/videos from iPhoto. And then I had to go and find all the copies of things I kept and things I wanted gone. I found the duplicates. And the triplicates. And the quadruplicates or whatever they're called. And the backups for the trash.

... Yes. Did I mention that I've been clearing things out for over seven hours?

I've managed to clear off 6.36 GB. Just that much.

... UGH...

I've at least managed to do a practice LSAT and work on some other stuff. Now I need to take a shower and finish reading and go to bed.
starfire11: (Default)
So I was in an achievement run in H ICC 25, and we had this guy... I don't know if it was a language barrier or he's just new or it was really a troll or what.

Anyway, there's a scenario on the 2nd to last boss in order to get the achievement for the mount that I've been working at for, well, months, and when you get a bigass blue mark over your head, you have to run to the bottom of the stairs, while everyone else stays at the top of the stairs. If you're standing near a blue mark, you both get iceblocked, and there aren't enough people to kill the ice blocks after the phase ends and there's more push on the healers to heal up more people.

So it's a REALLY bad idea to be in the wrong place during this fight. It's very simple.

So twice someone stayed at the top of the stairs and iceblocked half the raid. the first time we were shouting over vent and in chat for the person to go to the bottom of the stairs if they got the blue mark. We also had an extensive fight explanation over Vent. We repeatedly stated "bottom of the stairs" and "down".

The second time, he came over Vent and said that he thought that we meant "upstairs".

...

So we didn't get the achievement. Yeah. He'd basically been demonstrating how much of a newb he was the entire time. I understand that there are new players, but it wasn't like we expected people to know the fights. We explained everything. We were patient. We answered questions. The strategies were rather simple. With a full group and only like two-non-85s, a surprisingly large number of fights consisted purely of "hit the boss". Heck, you can just STAND IN FIRE for the first boss. The second boss is "stop firing until the raid lead says, THEN kill the boss". The green dragon fight is just a clear trash phase - the dps don't really have to do anything. And the tanks don't even really have to do anything anymore. And the healers HONESTLY only have to grab little floating red things. It's odd, I know.

All three bosses in plague wing involve mostly standing still and hitting the boss. The final boss in that wing involves a bit of moving to avoid puddles of bad, but it's still not that big of a priority.

In blood wing... the first boss is a dps spam. The second boss is a dps spam coupled with biting other people every now and then and some running around.

The Sindragosa fight involves running forward and back and hitting the boss at specific intervals. That's BASICALLY it. The LK fight, without achieves, is hitting what and when, and staying out of bad stuff.

The place is REALLY simple now.

We wiped three times on Sindy, trying to get the achievement. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want this mount. I might get it next week. I probably won't. These raids take HOURS.

And then this... idiot... UGH.

So we get to the Lich King fight, and people are derping a bit before the fight starts. Someone pulls out a pinata we all get candy from. People are cracking jokes and getting lost.

Two people pull out mole machines. These things lead to Blackrock - a set of dungeons in another zone. It's an old trick to get people to click on them and get sent away from where they are. Or to click it accidentally.

So they came over Vent and told people to click it so that it would take them to the last boss. People laughed - they knew what it was.

So we're starting the fight explanation... and He pops in and says his screen changed. He's very confused.

And we all go silent.

And then we realize that he took the mole machine.

People fail miserably to contain their laughter. And there's a round of refusals to summon the guy back.

Someone starts the fight so that we can't even do if it we want.

He spends the ENTIRE fight trying to get back, not really comprehending that it's too late. Everyone doesn't really try to communicate it to him.

So when you get the Lich King down to 10%, he kills everyone. Then there's some RP, and Tirion Fordring rezzes everyone and you just finish the Lich King off.

So we're all dead, and someone points out, "Hey, [the moron] survived!" He was the only one still alive on our screens.

A couple people were surprised. Some of them hadn't been in there before, or seen the Arthas fight.

So someone says, "Hey [newb], there's a way you can join the fight. You just have to kill yourself. It works best if you find a high place and jump off."

Now this was all in the game. He wasn't telling someone to go kill themselves. Literally. People on WoW kill their avatars for fun. I don't get why, and it's just silly in my opinion, but whatever.

So the other guy responds "Okay!" And, about ten seconds later, he dies. And he responds, "Okay, done!"

And we're all laughing too hard to really do anything. It was... I was crying.

I know it's really terrible. I know it is. But it just... wow...

So even while we were doling out loot, he tried to get in. He just didn't get it. I feel really bad for the guy.

So yeah. That was... the highlight of the day, I suppose. We got like... two achievements and a title I didn't have. That was nice.

I'm just watching some more Season 2 of Code Geass now. Trying to get it done. Shit's gettin REAL man!
starfire11: (Default)
Because that is the only the only exciting thing that happened today.

So First Lady Michelle Obama visited my campus today for a chat. It was actually pretty neat. I've never heard a political figure of any sort speak in person (and heard pretty darn few who haven't been dead or out of office for years otherwise, too).

We ended up standing and waiting in place for about two and a half hours. Some speakers came on. I actually got some homework done while we were just sitting doing nothing. So it wasn't completely pointless.

It was fun. A little eery for a couple reasons, too.

So we did the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning, which I haven't done in a while. But I remembered all the words. It felt very weird.

Then we sang the National Anthem. I was a bit confused about that, like others around me. We thought they'd just pick one or the other and be satisfied.

And in between, someone came on stage and said a Christian prayer of some sort.

I don't know exactly WHY they did that. This wasn't a "Christians for Obama" (sects aside). This wasn't a "Christians" or "religious ANYTHING". We are not a specifically Christian or religious school. This event was not only for Christians or members of a specific religious group of any kind. I haven't gone to any official events here where we began by praying.

I'm not certain that it's mandatory for such events to start with a prayer, but I'm pretty sure it's not. Especially not one specific type of religious prayer.

I'm also pretty certain that this county is not designated as a Christian county. They have synagogues rather close by our school, at the least. I don't even know if you can designate a county as Christian. I don't think you can.

So why did they do it, exactly?

It could have been that the minister (or whatever) they picked, is a local public figure connected with Obama who was offered a chance to speak. And, instead of a speech, he gave the prayer, without informing anyone of his intention. And no one could easily pull him off the podium. It was televised, after all, and getting him off might send any number of bad messages.

Okay. I understand that surprise. IF that's what it was.

But if it was intentionally done, I really dislike the decision. I found it insulting. I wasn't there to do anything Christian. I didn't feel respected as an individual with possibly different beliefs than others present. I didn't feel "represented" by the prayer.

All that aside, if they REALLY had to do the prayer, there are ways they could have made it... relatively denomination-ally neutral. Heck, it could have been lacking in direction towards monotheism if they'd tried. But they didn't bother. We knew what it was.

Was it supposed to state the county's stance on the separation of church and state? Which is very appalling if this is supposed to do that.

I know that members of the audience appreciated it. I know a lot of them didn't, judging by the expressions and actions of people I saw when I was looking around during it.

So that was annoying. Then there was the girl up front who kept taking pictures with her iPad.

... She basically stood for long periods of time with the bigass thing in the air spamming pictures on it and blocking the view of everyone behind her. Really didn't like her.

Then there was the point where the First Lady snuck in an interesting bit on illegal immigration at the end of a sentence (when people had already started clapping) that I don't think many people caught on to. There was a discontented murmur when she did that. I like her style.

We got more stories to workshop today. They were actually really, really bad. For once, I thought we might get all-around good ones for a class (mine aside). But no. These were really bad. One girl who I already have a poor opinion of for over-stereotyping with gender wrote a story attempting to imitate numerous mental disorders and failed miserably.

There's another story that was just really bad. It's racist and sexist and extremely illogical and terribly written otherwise. The decisions are like a really poorly written conspiracy theorist. Someone had an idea that sounded neat (and, given a little more meat, it might even be neat), and then failed miserably in the writing.

I don't really get the third, which is written by someone I like. I hate it when people you like do things poorly. You feel really bad about knowing they're doing it poorly. It's a bunch of vignettes on ending relationships. I get the concept and where she's coming from, but I have zero interest in any of the stories. One's an outright steal from a rather popular series I'm somewhat familiar with. I've got no problem when you're using the same basic narrative idea... but it just wasn't all that remarkable for it to be worthwhile. There's another one that's too short for me to have any meaning. Another one that only seems to be remarkable because it features a BDSM relationship between two gay men. I like seeing non-heterosexuals in fiction... but honestly? She's done that for two stories and it's like the stories are remarkable because they don't feature heterosexuals. That's not a reason I'd read a story. If a story is good and it HAPPENS to feature a woman or a lesbian, that's fine. It shows that a good story doesn't have to feature a heterosexual or male character, and it gives people who are in those represented categories someone to look up to and a way to feel represented in fiction. If a story is only attracting a readership BECAUSE it features a woman or a lesbian... that's a problem. The writing should be interesting. The story idea should be interesting. The messages should be interesting. But the message and story idea seem to be the same, and it's just not interesting whatsoever.

A lot people screw this up and write a homosexual character to write a homosexual character to show representation. If you want to write a character, they shouldn't really be defined by their sexuality or their gender (unless there's some important defining story plot point that involves such things, like a Gay Bar or a pregnancy/birth). Knowing that they like men is or not is a good thing to know about their back-story. Knowing what gender they identify with is a good thing to know about their back-story. It helps understand how they relate to other people and the world in general. Don't write a homosexual character to fill the ranks if you're going to make a Homosexual. If you have a troop of soldiers and 30% are heterosexual members of a gender, and 30% are lesbians, and 30% are homosexual males, and 5% are bisexual, and 5% are asexual, that's fine. But don't create a Band of Stereotypes: the Gay Guy, the Lesbian, the Male, the Damsel, the blahblahblah. It's just stupid. Writing to show a diverse cast is different than writing tropes.

I'm not entirely certain I said that properly but I know what I think, so...

Yeah. I'm good with that. Watching some really bad Doctor Who. But hey, another episode down! Only a couple more to go!
starfire11: (Default)
So, like most days in an average person's life, today is a day full of good things. And bad things. Mostly bad things, but there are some nice ones in there.

For once I wasn't COMPLETELY moronic in my Dickens class (yes, I'm wasting my life by taking a Dickens class - putting your money to good use, Daddy!). I believe I accomplished this by saying little and only repeating a story told to me in brief terms, and not inserting any of my own beliefs.

I also worked on two articles for our newspaper. Both of which suck intensely, but hey, I worked on them!

My prospects continue to worsen as this 3rd week of school continues. And when you can't even do well in English classes... you know you've hit an all-time low.

I'm good at the comp sci stuff, though!

Pity that's not MY DAMN MAJOR!

...

So we workshopped that story I turned in. There were some rather glowing remarks about it, and I failed, epically, to say "thanks". No. Instead I had to mouth off about my writing intentions for longer than the other two authors combined.

I know the story should really be a longer short story, at the least, but I think it could still work in a ten-page format. There was commentary to support this fact. That others had seen it, as well.

There was also a... a problem. Well, a couple problems that I failed to address. Because I prefered to make two jokes about how I was surprised it reminded people of "1984", when I've never read "1984", and how I might have been channeling the "Twilight Zone". And I was distracted by the fact that people were talking about things like the "red rain" and "crossing the line" and "the Edge" as significant features in the story and it sounded like people talking about "The Great Gatsby" (yes, there's a lot of arrogance involved, tyvm). And that made me laugh because it felt really weird.

So people brought up the fact that I didn't use gender pronouns. The author isn't supposed to talk during the discussion (at least until the end), so I stayed quiet and let people talk, and didn't respond to the problem. One of them commented on how it was interesting that he felt a NEED to get a gender pronoun. And I was thinking "there's hope for the world yet because they know there's a problem". And then another student commented on how one of the characters was definitely female.

...

Worse, a lot of people agreed with that person.

Yeah. Why? Because the character is peppy? Sorry to break it to you, but guys can be peppy, too. People who don't identify with either men or women can be peppy.

I didn't write the story with the intention of addressing the issues of writing gender and gender stereotyping and addressing sexuality. In fact, once I fully realized what I was doing, I just thought it was a challenge to write a story without using gender pronouns. Personally, I don't see the characters as anything. They could be men. They could be women. They could be anything. Gender is a social construct. The characters in the story exist in a world without social constructs. They don't interact with each other. They don't have a society to begin with. They don't even have a sense of difference. Physically, there should be no differences between them. They're mass-produced robots designed to clean carpets. There's no reason to program that information into them.

What they were programmed with, which makes them easy to connect with, is curiosity, inventiveness/creativity in the wake of new problems, and logic. They even almost have a belief in a higher power/morals, if you can look at programming in a different light. They are also willing to work together and face problems when confronting the unknown. So, even lacking some of the concepts we consider basic to human life, like "fun", "enjoyment", and others, they are remarkably like us.

I don't know if my peers in that class are sexist, close-minded, stupid, or what. Even an idiot could consider the fact that "hey, there aren't any gender pronouns here, but I need them... something funky is going on here!" rather than just assign one to the character and move on.

I know this, because of the discomfort a large portion of people feel when they give an undesignated author a gender in casual discussion. If you are given a neutral name and use a "he", what does that say? If you use a "she", what does that say?

People wanted me to give them nicknames. The professor thought it would be interesting if I let them get inebriated on the wine. Which would let them change.

...

So anyway. The story is quite flawed. I'm aware of this. There were two problems I'm very annoyed at myself with. One was that there was a typo I missed early on that was very important. I switched the location of the main character halfway through writing the piece, and the typo got them mixed up.

The other is the fact that this story type is listed on the "Don't Do This" list we read early in the course. It's a big reveal. I didn't even... I mean, the "reveal" is kind of required for the way the story functions.

I didn't make it that difficult to catch on without the reveal. There's plenty of clues if you're not distracted by the lack of gender pronouns. Their names. Their duties. Their environment. The way they speak to each other. Sure, you might not picture vacuum bots, but it's pretty clear that they're robots of some sort. The "big reveal" could far more easily be "ah, so that's what it is" and not "What the--? There's no reason for that!"

That's part of the problem with relating it to a Twilight Zone episode. I didn't do a reveal that shows they're in a crystal ball at the end. I didn't do a reveal that showed aliens doing an experiment up above all the chaos. I did something simple that just gives you a bit more information on what's going on.

It's not really amazing enough to say that it's okay. And some of the answers to the problem are okay. There's actually a few things that I could do.

I'm just really annoyed. At myself and the others.

Sailor Moon 7 came in today. Ooh, I found cover art for the first short story collection. It's cute.

I started playing this old Lord of the Rings game I got years ago and gave up on because a) the controls suck and b) I got lost in Moria, which is confusing as, well... yeah.

So what did I learn today? A) Walkthroughs are awesome, and b) the controls still suck.

While this is further informative about the volume-arc breakdown in SM, I'm still confused about things. I was write that the current arc is 2.5 volumes. But if the pattern continues, that means that Stars is still stuck in one volume, which I still can't comprehend.

Aaand there's the cover art for the other volume.

So the first lady is coming to our campus on Thursday. That's really cool. Only you need tickets to get in. That's fine. I went to get in learn half an hour early, and the line stretched back to the street, so I gave up. I apparently shouldn't have, because they still have leftover tickets and they'll be putting them out again tomorrow.

So that's annoying.

And then there's the really bad translation that continues to plague the new SM. Yeah, it's better than the old one in many ways. But... in others it's almost comical for being bad.

A pile of stupid stuff, really. Just a pile of it.

Ta.

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