Thursday, December 24, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
So for those of you that aren't Darcy, you do not understand my deep seated love for dead gay Ted, the second Blue Beetle. For clarification: Ted is dead (although now I think he's a zombified Black Lantern? God, I cannot keep up with the crazy that is DC) and when he was amongst the living he was totally in love with Booster. Seriously, they were super gay together, hence dead gay Ted (or possibly undead gay Ted now).
Even DC agrees with me on that gay thing:
Sweet, sweet vindication. Also, Milagro is totally a slasher.
Now, I sort of want a comic where Booster and dead gay Ted get married and have lots of shenanigans.
Don't you judge me.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
While there are many things I should be posing about, like my new found obsession with Misha Collins (MIIIIISHA), I am brain dead from my critique and my crazy writing schedule to get my thesis jump started. Dear god, I have one semester of school left. Christ.
So, it's another bits and pieces post, I'm afraid.
Let's start with SCIENCE!
This site is pretty awesome. Slide the bar over for SCIENCE!
The World of Chemistry
If Chemistry class was really like this I would have a PhD by now.
Moving on from SCIENCE, this is beautiful, especially for all you Firefly fans out there. Would it be wrong to use my student loan money to buy it?
And since Chicago is approximately the temperature of the vacuum of space, make a snowflake.
As I mentioned above, it's two weeks to Christmas (everyone I know is getting super late presents), and as such we've all been inundated with Christmas songs for the past month and a half. Not to mention my classes are down in the Loop by Macy's. And their window displays and constant music. And the parents with small children that stop in the middle of the goddamn sidewalk to stare while I'm late for class and homicidally low on coffee, omg I will brick all of you in the face!
Ahem. My point being is that if you're like me the next time you hear "I'm Dreaming of White Christmas" you may very well snap and murder everyone in the face. That is why I have developed a UnChristmas playlist, to fulfill all your misanthropic needs!
Another Christmas Song--Stephen Colbert
And this is what Christmas songs are all about: the royalties. Oh, Stephen Colbert, you warm the cockles of my cynical, caustic heart. (Sorry, guys, have no download for this one)
Make it a part of your Holiday canon/Make it the heart of my retirement plannin'Podsafe Christmas Songs--Jonathan Coulton
If you don't know who Jonathan Coulton is you then you cannot call yourself a geek. Do yourself a favor and go visit his site and download Skullcrusher Mountain right now. Go on, I'll wait. You back? Okay.
This is a take off the Alvin and the Chipmunks song, only a thousand times better and less migraine inducing.
Don't think us rude/We don't want to get sued/By the thugs from the RIAA
You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch
You all know this one; I have nothing to add here.
Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass--Arrogant Worms
In the words of Jayne (the one from Firefly) this is hi-larious!
Santa's coming and he's gonna kick your ass/Because you've always been a rotten little brat
Chiron Beta Prime--Jonathon Coulton
Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime/Where we're working in a mine/For our robot overlords
Have Yourself a Bitter Little Christmas--David Ford
A song about breaking up with your girlfriend on Christmas.
The kids are making snowmen out of mud/It makes me think about us
Father Christmas--The Kinks
It's The Kinks. They are awesome
Father Christmas, give us some money/Don't mess around with those silly toys/ We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
So what are your UnChristmas songs? Share in the comments.
The Muppets are never not awesome.
And now I'm off to disappear into work for another week. I hope you all survive this holiday season, one way or another...
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The original, "David After Dentist"
This one is Vader's skit, called "Chad After Dentist"
And the best/worst one, in my opinion:
"David After the Divorce"
I really think I'm going to hell. I feel bad that i laughed AT ALL on the last one, but oh well.
Monday, November 09, 2009
And, of course, I had to share a particular passage with my Hetero Lifemate. You, dear readers, get to see the result (her comments in italics, mine in bold).
The passage (and I swear to god this is a real thing): "'Thank you,' I mouthed. I didn't know why I was thanking him. Maybe it was for killing the hobo. Maybe it was for making me feel the most alive I've ever felt in my life. Maybe it was because he made me feel important. Needed. Wanted. Desired."
I, too, have always found the murder of a hobo to be romantic. I love how in the middle of all this sappy crap there's the casual mention of murder.
Yeah, do they mention why a hobo had to be murdered? Besides to arouse them apparently...
From what I gathered, the hobo was threatening him, so his werewolf boyfriend killed the hobo, I guess.
You KNOW. Not to sound like some HIPPY or anything but...I'm pretty sure that one look at his werewolf from would be all that was necessary to drive the hobo off.
I'm more worried that the poor idiot thinks that having his bf murder anyone that looks at him funny is proof of a healthy relationship.
While killing him [the hobo] is a permanent solution, and I'm sure some would say he provided a good service to society and all, I suppose when you're a werewolf you just kill and it's no big deal to you ever.
Lucky for him he's got an amoral sociopath for a boyfriend who finds murder to be an acceptable token of affection as a box of gas station chocolates.
Oooooh chocolates how delightful!
Hobo murder flavored chocolates!
That's an acquired taste, I think. It's got a musky aftertaste.
Musky, whiskey aftertaste.
With a hint of BO. Well, ok, more than a hint. More like a back handed pimp slap to the face.
With the subtle tang of syphilis.
And possibly lice. They're his friends! He has a name for every single one of them!
The lice will avenge him!
YEAH. WATCH OUT WEREWOLF. You goin' to be usin' that hind leg of yours a whole messa times. Hey, maybe it's not that he killed a hobo, but rather he's just gained a boyfriend AND a pet dog!
And in just a short amount of time we've improved this story and made it about a thousand times more plausible. And, no, before you ask, I have no idea what the actual plot was about beyond hobo killing and gay werewolves, but that should tell all you ever needed to know about it.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Look, I get it. Even though Cracked covers a huge array of topics, from Presidents to deadly insects and everything in between, it assumes that a majority of its readers are heterosexual men, who really fucking love boobs. Because boobs are awesome.
So, fine, okay, I accept there's going to be some casual sexism and homophobia going on, I got that, but this? That is just fucking lazy.
But it's funny, guys, because women fucking love shoes! And men don't! Seriously, we have statistics to prove it! Man, those crazy women and their shoes! So fucking wacky!
There's nothing new or groundbreaking or particularly funny about this. It's just another well worn stereotype being trotted out, complete with some objectification, because the author couldn't think of anything new and creative to write about. This is the equivalent of me getting on here and complaining about how men leave up the toilet seat and can't cook.
But, of course, it really is the comments that pull it altogether, like this gem: "If these articles that make fun of stereotypes make you mad, then just don't read them!!!!"
First of all, I am revoking this commenter's exclamation point privilege. You use one exclamation point and no more, you illiterate jackass.
Second of all, relying on stereotypes is not only lazy humor, but it also helps propagate racism and sexism; by ignoring these articles or remaining silent and not criticizing them is just another way to continue to promote a culture of prejudice and discrimination. Not to mention that it lets people think that lazy writing like this is acceptable.
It was so worth it.
I never really considered myself a heavy metal fan, but after playing this game for a while, I can strongly say it's made of best metal I've ever heard. But that's the point i believe...
The official site
I really don't want to ruin anything for people, but this is worth the purchase if you ask me. Strongly seeped in humor and visual arts, this game is impressive to me as a nerd and a music lover.
On a totally different topic,
Why would anyone go so far as to make this into a sign??
That's just cruel.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
As a "grown-up" with no children or younger siblings to make use of as a "candy beard", I often find myself standing in the aisles around this time of year, staring at the heaps and heaps of purple, orange and black packaging that traditionally encases a delicious sugary death warrant for my teeth and waistline.
The struggle to give in to my inner six year-old is often a futile one...six year olds are mean...but this year I was a good "grown-up" and only had a couple of Reese's cups out of the ridiculous sixteen pound bag of treats that I bought to keep the little ankle-biting terrorists at bay. I AM SO GLAD I DID because Space Buddah decided to reward me....WITH THIS:
I like it too!
I wish they sold that man in Fun-Size...
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Golden State Comic Book Convention, founded and then named San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970, used to only draw around 300 attendees a year. It was a niche group of people who liked to sit around and, go figure, read comics! "Originally showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television (as was evident by the three circled figures appearing in Comic-Con's original logo), and related popular arts, the convention has expanded over the years to include a larger range of pop culture elements, such as horror, anime, manga, animation, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels."(Wiki NP)
Comic-con grew and grew until finally, this year, it turned into such a media marketing event that it had grown beyond anyone's expectations. Over 190,000 people crammed into the convention center this year (up from 125,000 in 2007 and showing a HUGE growth). If you're going to learn about what's coming up in the next year about anything media-related, and of course comic books, you should be keeping tabs on Comic-Con. It is home to the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (given for creative achievements in comic books) and the Comic-Con Inkpot Awards (given to professionals in comic book, comic strip, animation, science fiction, and related pop-culture fields). Early award winners of the Inkpot Award include (to nobody's surprise): Stan Lee (Genius of Marvel Comics), Jack Kirby (Marvel Co-Genius), Frank Capra (American Film Director), Bob Clampett (Loony Tunes Animator), Russell Manning (Comic Book Artist), Charles M Schulz (Peanuts creator), and Roy Thomas (Marvel writer/editor).
Now if youre like us here at the Geekiest Girls You Know, then you obviously are jumping up and down going, "Ooo me! Pick me! I want to go to Comic-Con!" Understandably so, because it sounds like nine million levels of awesome. Listen to any podcast, read some articles, or ask some attendees of this year's Comic-Con, and you might just change your mind before sinking all that money into plane tickets, hotel fees, and the convention pass (now hovering around $100 for a four-day, non-press, general admission pass). The Preview Night passes for 2010 are already completely sold out and general passes are expected to follow in the next couple of weeks.
The guys at "Geek Show Podcast" said they waited in line hours upon hours to just get a toy they wanted or see a panel, and they didn't necessarily get either (and those folks, for the most part, had Press Passes!). I have been reading EVERYWHERE this year that the only reason to go to Comic-con now is if you are going to the lesser-known and lesser-traveled venues like the Comic Book Artists Alley or the Art Show. If you're going for this stuff, then party on! There are also myriads of parties held at geeky venues in the area after the festivities of the day are over, so if you feel like checking out a themed release party, this is also an option. I really agree with Geek Show on this one though, if you're going for movies, don't bother. You will wait in line nine or more agonizing hours to find that you have been duped and will see nothing. My friend K has press passes every year and she even said that she has never been silly enough to try to get into movie panels and trailers (and she probably could considering what major animation studio she works for).
But then I clicked on the album and I realized these were, for the most part, just pictures of good-looking fans who put a lot of time into some sweet costumes. I instantly turned my opinion. This, to me, marked the turning of an era. For the first time ever, a super mainstream website focused on Hollywood Pomp and Circumstance was showcasing some sweet Geeks with talent. Cosplayers, even!!! I spent the next hour of my evening gazing at these photos and thinking about how cool it was, how significant it was to geek culture around the world. In Japan, geek culture is already mainstream in many rights, but in the United States it is just breaching the surface of ultra-popular media and shifting into something it never would have been twenty years ago.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
An ancient labyrinth beneath the streets of Chicago.
A ruthless cult determined to protect it.
A race to uncover the Daughters of the American Revolution's darkest secret
The Last Rune
When world-famous Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to the Sears Tower to analyze a mysterious ancient script--drawn on a calling card next to the mangled body of the head docent--he discovers evidence of the unthinkable: the resurgence of the ancient cult of the Destifori, the secret branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution that has surfaced from the shadows to carry out is legendary vendetta against it's mortal enemy, the Vatican.
Langdon's worst fears are confirmed when a messenger from the Destifori appears at Lake Michigan to deliver a deadly ultimatum: Deposits $1 billion in the Daughters of the American Revolution's off-shore bank accounts or the exclusive clothier of the Swiss Guards will be bankrupted. Racing against the clock, Langdon joins forces with the ambidextrous and charming daughter of the murdered docent in a desperate bid to crack the code that will reveal the cult's secret plan.
Embarking on a frantic hunt, Langon and his companion will follow a 800-year-old trail through Chicago's most exalted monuments and venerable buildings, pursued by a hypoglycemic assassin the cult has sent to thwart them. What they discover threatens to expose a conspiracy that goes all the way back to Susan B. Anthony and the very founding of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
I am so going to write this for my Detective Fiction class. Seriously.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Let's start with the squeeing, shall we? While I have spent a lot of time here making fun of comics--mainly in the guise of Alan Your Tears Are Like Wine To Me Moore and Aquaman I Live in a Cardboard Box Under the Sea)--I have championed graphic novels as literature in their own right. The most obvious examples of this would be Watchmen and basically anything Alan Moore has written and Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
As for the more monthly titles, while it would be hard to argue that some of them (coughTarotcough) construe literature, they are undeniably markers of popular culture, and you can certainly track social/political trends through them. Hell, just look at the evolution of Lois Lane's character, paying particular attention to her 1950s incarnation compared to her contemporary characterization.
The description of the journal as "covering all aspects of the graphic novel, comic strip and comic book, with the emphasis on comics in their cultural, institutional and creative contexts" makes me cautiously optimistic. Since comics have become so twined with American popular culture to the point where even non-comic readers recognize the shorthand used to portray certain personality types, like "man of steel, Wonder Woman" and so on, it's very important to examine comics in an academical and cultural context.
It has only been relatively recently that comics have been viewed in an academic light, since comics have historically been marked as "for children" and by "children" I mean boys. It has only been in the past twenty or so years that papers and books have been published (off the top of my head I think of Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes by Lillian Robinson--if you are at interested in Wonder Woman and female superheroes you need to read this book like yesterday-- and Comic Book Nation by Bradford Wright). There has been studies on horror comics and the war comics of the 40s, but overall comics books have been dismissed as cheap genre escapism for boys (girls, as both Didio and Quesada are quick to assure you, don't read comics).
The journal also wants to include articles about comic book fandom and international comics. I'm happy that they are trying for a wider scope than just the US and maybe Britain. I, for one, would love to see if there's a comic book fandom/culture in, say, Iraq or South America or anywhere that's not predominately white and English speaking.
I really would like to read a journal that explores gender, race, sexual orientation, just among a few topics, in comics. I would love to read about Russian comic book fans, or writers and artists in Mexico creating their own superheroes, and god knows I would kill for a study of Internet based fandom and how much it's dominated by heterosexual Caucasian male fans, and the ramifications of that and the backlashes of criticisms posed by women and fans of color.
So there's the squee, and now we get to my "hmm" part of my reaction.
I'm going to be honest and say this part of my reaction is a bit harder to pin down, and some of you will probably disagree with my reasons, which in that case you need to debate me in the comments, because like I've said many, many times before I love a good argument.
First of all, I'm not entirely certain how successful this journal will be. I know that I'll be buying it, but others? Especially since a majority of average comic books fans aren't exactly inclined to do in depth analysis beyond debating who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? This journal may very well put out one issue and then fold completely.
Second of all, I'm afraid that this journal, like in most areas of academia, the field will be dominated by, again, heterosexual white males, and that would probably, but not definitely, limit the topics explored (like gender and race and even sexual orientation).
Thirdly, how exactly to you tackle some of the monthly titles? It's one thing to write about Sandman or Watchmen, but what the hell do you do with, for example, Tarot (as godawful as it is) or Spiderman or Batman and his eight spin-off titles or the eight bajillion continuities in DC and Marvel? I'm not saying that no one could analyze this, but how do you handle that in a way that non-comic reading people will understand?
Fourthly, the fanboys. Oh god, the fanboys. Can you just imagine all the wank that will come out of this? Granted, most of them will probably never read the journal, but that's unlikely to stop them probably from complaining about how unfair everyone is to them and their comics and how, seriously, it's just not women objectified and there's, like, non-white heroes, dude.
Lastly, I'm afraid that in the end this will be less a serious studying of comics as culturally and literately important and more regulating comics to the ghettoized genre, which is still viewed as being for children and therefore has no literary or cultural value.
That all said, I am cautiously optimistic for this journal and will definitely be picking up the first volume. I am, first and foremost, a geek at heart.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
1. Sushi Plush's and Sushi Pillows: sure, it seems like a pretty cheesy thing to market, but I think they're really cute and secretly want a whole set!
2. Ninja Star Push Pins: Ummm...yeah! Who doesn't want these? You could arrange them in your office as though you are a total bad-ass that hung all your posters with ninja stars!
- Each tiny shot is loaded with 160mg of caffeine and tons of other energy boosters.
- As much caffeine as two cans of Red Bull®
- Provides 5-8 hours of smooth energy.
- No crash you say? I call shenanigans sir.
Develop your powers of concentration, you will."The Force is all around us. It flows around and through us. It is between us and that tree and the rock, around our sunken X-Wing, going through our wallet, tickling our armpits, and flowing between our ears. You think we're joking, but the only way to guide the Force outside your body is to guide the Force inside your head. Yoda told us that once when we had stew over at his house. The stew was ok (if you like licking swamp creatures), but the advice was invaluable.
And now Yoda is ready (in electronic form) to help guide you through 15 levels of mind mastery. The Star Wars Force Trainer is a fantastic leap forward in technology. The headset actually measures your brainwaves - brainwaves you will learn how to control. Seriously, your brainwaves will lift the ball in the Star Wars Force Trainer device (well, technically air will, but the strength of your brainwaves will control the power of the air). This is a toy you will buy for your kid, and then take to your own room and never give back. Your geekling may cry, but you will master the Force. And that's all that matters. With Yoda and the Star Wars Force Trainer, fail you will not.
But Seriously ThinkGeek, How Does It Really Work?
It's quite simple. depending on the amount of Midichlorians you have in your cells, each of you possess differing abilities to control your brainwaves. Using dry sensor technology, the Force Trainer can determine the differences between the alpha, beta, gamma and delta waves present in your brain. You can control these different brain 'states' by using your ability to focus and to concentrate. A micro-chip inside the Force Trainer then uses an algorithm to figure out which brain state you are in and then decides how to raise or lower the ball based on that state. It's kind of like magic, except the kind from a Galaxy far far away."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The SCP Foundation Can be rather hit or miss, but I spend a lot of time here procrastinating (mainly when I have grading to do--nothing is as scary as undergrad papers). It's rather creepy, but it can be rather nifty, too, especially if you know your urban legends and fairy tales and can identify what the things are before they tell you. My favorites are the ones dealing with artifacts, because those are the ones that are really freaking creepy.
Creepypasta Very hit or miss. It's little bite-sized pieces of terror, and when it hits, oh god, it hits.
Candle Cove Related to Creepypasta, but something completely on its own. Also, creepy, because puppets, like clowns, are inherently fucking terrifying. Something a girl in one of my classes disagreed with, and was talking about how she makes puppets and paints them and I just sat there shuddering, because PUPPETS. Ech!
ETA: Oh god, someone made a video of it.
Ichor Falls Origin of Candle Cove (gah puppets!). Haven't really looked at it, but supposed to have creepy things there.
Bad, Scary Place Not so much creepy as it is just bizarre. Sort of feels like you're stuck in an acid trip for hours. Be prepared to get lost by clicking on things.
SFPA Halloween Reading Horror Poetry! Awesome!
Pesudopod and Wormwood Audio horror stories! Hello nightmares!
Sf_drama's latest OTT on creepy shit. I found a bunch of links through this. Well worth it to read through the comments and pick up on things that creep people out, like mirrors at night. My favorite comment is "Wyoming. No one has ever convinced me it isn't really a government conspiracy." I can believe that.
Ted's Caving Page This is definitely not real--was taken from a short story--but it still manages to be claustrophobic and creepy. Vaguely reminiscent of Lovecraft.
ETA: Original short story here
Indian Lake Project I am reading my way through that now. Definitely has that creepy "government conspiracy cover up" feel to it. Plus, there's something about old photographs that freak me out.
The Dionea House A story told through e-mail and chat logs. Have not started to read this, but heard it's really creepy. After you finish with that, go here (oh god, that "found you" makes me want to hide under the bed) and here and here and here
The girl or the weapon A Firefly, River-centric vid. First of all, Firefly is awesome, as is River. Second, fantastically made vid that is, like I keep saying in this post, creepy.
Also, scary clowns:
While this video is amazing, I have to go with OMG SCARY BLANK CLOWN MASK IS GOING TO EAT YOUR FACE. There is nothing not terrifying about clowns. Even worse, I watched this late last night before going to bed. I live in an old building, with creaking floors and whatnot. That meant every time the person who lives above me moves around and makes the floor creak in tortured ways, I was convinced the clown was coming to eat my face.
Since this post has a surplus of things designed to scare the crap out of you, wanna buy a ghost?
In conclusion, sweet, sweet dreams, everyone.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Well, this seems pretty obvious, but if you haven't gotten really good at search filtering or finding recommended videos that rock then you are missing out on the world my friends. Just saying is all. I have around 30 subscriptions and have somehow found videos in other languages without searching in those languages and therefore unlocking a whole new world of youtube awesome.
2. Danny Choo's "Your Portal to Japan"
I've already talked about this blog so I'll be brief here. The Tokyo Stormtrooper and CEO of Mirai is really very good at what he does: post quality content on the interwebs for all to see/learn/and feel as though they are immersed in Japan. He is an expert on internet phenomenon as far as I'm concerned and groups like CNN realize this and interview him quite frequently.
This is officially a cop-out answer, but it has to be on here because I spend A LOT of time on that site. It's social networking, so I can't help it. It's a part of my job, my aspirations to spread Geek Girls FTW to others, my life really. You probably share a similar aspect of facebook in your own life.
4. LOL Catz: aka www.icanhascheezburger.com
Many of you know about the LOL Catz and their silly photograph antics. This website has fast turned into a social networking site to those who love their cats and want to post photos of them with funny text captions. This site can cheer me up when I'm in the worst of moods, because really, who can't smile at a silly cat who loves cheeseburgers? As a side note, there are some other sites linked to this that are really great, like Engrish Funny, which shows you uses of English that have gone somewhat, awry...(a warning: Engrish Funny sometimes contains mature content like swear words and jokes of a sexual nature...so by all means enjoy!).
Although this podcast is located in Utah and I cannot attend their fun social gatherings, this is my number one podcast for all news geek-related. Seriously. I can not speak highly enough of these guys. They really are a quality show. My only complaint is they sometimes make bland jokes about girls that could be interpreted as though they think girls can't be geeks. But meh, they obviously don't really mean it and I just ignore it really. Podcast uploads are every Monday afternoon (when Zack, the Super Producer, gets to uploading them). Check out their fun T Shirts for sale which includes this hilarious one about Star Trek The Next Generation.
6. LOTS of other random ones that are checked randomly....including:
ThinkGeek, New Egg, Kotaku, Gaijin Smash, Wikipedia, VG Cats, Penny Arcade, and I would still check Newgrounds if it wasn't a virus ridden ride to infection town for my computer....Seriously, dude who runs Newgrounds, you are dumb for letting that happen to your site.
So go out and enjoy your daily interwebs! You deserve it!!!
Monday, October 05, 2009
So here's what happened:
Where I think these references/influences came from are in Parenthesis.
The doors close and I turn to look upon some television monitors that are for some reason recording what is happening right outside the facility. I feel hot tears streaming from my eyes as the zombies approach the people who were left outside, and turn away just as the mob of zombies rips into those left to their doom. Merely seconds later, I hear an announcement that "deployment has begun," and look back up to the monitors to see a bright flash of light overtake the screen.
I haven't seen anyone I know throughout the duration of this dream up until now. A random smattering of my friends have collected together to form a group that decides to steal the radiation suits from the soldiers and use them to get the hell out of this nightmare and go above ground. Apparently we decide this is the best course of action because the facility is running out of food and people are saying that those in charge will let some people die off to let others survive (12 Monkeys). We have gathered information that only America is blanketed in serious fallout (Fallout 3), and that we can go south and somehow climb the "Wall of Mexico" to live somewhat normal lives where the zombies and fallout did not extend.
We succeed in taking a few radiation suits, and somehow succeed in escaping through a series of de-contamination chambers to get outside (12 Monkeys).
We make it to South America, where we discover that the U.S. Government was behind the whole zombie apocalypse and subsequent nuking to cover their tracks. The general who gave the order had escaped to some remote corner of South America, and my dream ends with us setting out to kill him, because obviously, he sucks and is turbo evil.
Signing out in terrifying awkwardness,
Lady Lara Jones
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Friday, October 02, 2009
So you all know that I read some truly horrifically bad books, right? Look, we've all picked up a book that was less than stellar quality and end up reading the entire thing out of morbid fascination, or in my case I read it for something to feel snarkily superior to. But, and this is a big but, I sometimes find myself actively seeking out horrible things to read of my own free will. There are days when I could either read a extremely tight paced story with beautiful language and fantastic dialogue and wonderful, insightful characterization or I could read something retarded about angel babies being hatched from eggs, and I am all over the egg hatched angels (I truly wish I was making the angel thing up, but I'm not. Don't ask. Seriously, don't.)
It's like being given a choice between the finest of Swiss chocolates made by a chocolatier that has spent his entire life working and training and preparing to make this one perfect batch of chocolates, one taste of which would make you weep in joy and gratitude that something like this could exist in the word, and a Twinkie and you choose the Twinkie. Worse still, this is not an either/an choice: you can have both the Twinkie and the transcendent chocolate, and yet you reply that, no, thanks, it looks good but the Twinkie filled you up and you feel no need to eat the chocolates.
That might have gotten away from me for a bit, but the point I was trying to make (before I made myself crave truffles) is that I have read some really awful things in my life and I feel it is my duty to offer advice to those young writers out there. And when I offer this advice you better take it because otherwise I may be forced to kill you. Just so you know.
1. For god's sake, keep your tenses consistent.
Seriously, if I have to read one more goddamn piece of fiction where the writer cannot keep the tenses straight for more than two sentence then I'm going to harness Alan Moore levels of bitter and blow something up.
Look, young and impressionable writers, most fiction is written in the past tense (commonly seen in words ending in -ed for those who are unsure), but you can also employ present if the fancy takes you, but don't switch between them. If you're having trouble keeping tenses straight find someone to look over your work and point out where you mix them up or I will find out where you sleep and come for you. Trust me when I say you do not want that.
2. There are point of views other than first
Try investing in some third omniscient or third limited. Please, I am begging you. If I have to read one more story with a whiny, self-indulgent narrator I'm going to snap and voluntarily search out plots involving magical angel babies being hatched from eggs. OH WAIT THAT'S ALREADY HAPPENED SEE WHAT YOU'VE DRIVEN ME TO.
In all seriousness, though, I understand that most new writers employ first because it seems the safer choice, but be aware of what you're trying to achieve in your narrative and what pov might suit it better, which leads me to:
3. Stick with one pov
This is mainly for those working in third person limited. I think there is some confusion between the difference between third person omniscient and third person limited. In third omniscient, the narrator knows everything that's going on, all the characters' thoughts, motivation, actions, ect. In third limited, the narrative is filtered through one specific character, meaning the reader has access to his/her motivation and thoughts, but not to other characters'.
A mistake a lot of young writers making, including me when I was but a wee lass, is that mid-scene you'll switch from third limited focused on character A to third limited focused on character B. Do not do that. It's true that some authors employ that switch, but they are considerably better at their craft than you. Many young writers make the switch clumsy and that throws the reader out of the narrative. If you're not sure if you switched povs then once again get a reader for your work for the love of Space Buddha.
4. It's okay to use the word "said"
It is. You can trust your Aunty Jayne on this. Yes, yes, I know what you've learned in school, that you don't want overuse the word and that you should employ synonyms. But here's the thing in fiction: said is one of those words that become invisible to the reader. They'll just gloss over it. What they won't gloss over is exclaims, demands, argues, and whatever else your thesauruses vomits up. Just stick with said.
5. The use of epithets
I can write an entire goddamn book on this, but in short, if the characters have names, which I'm assuming they do, use their goddamn names. If the reader knows them as John then there is no reason why you refer to him as "the blond" or "the surfer" or "the baker" or what-the-fuck-ever in the narrative when he has a fucking name.
Don't worry about being repetitive. Like the word said, character names become invisible pretty quickly and the reader won't suddenly stop and go, "You know what? I wish the writer would stop calling John by his name. I am so sick of reading it."
There are exceptions to this, like if you introduce character X and character A doesn't know his name and refers to him as "blond boy" or "thug one" or whatever. But as soon as the character has a name use it.
Sometimes in the text, it is okay to refer to a character by, for example, their profession. That will signify them pulling rank on another character or thatthey know what the hell they're doing. But only do that once or twice, not every other sentence. In short, USE THEIR GODDAMN NAME OR I WILL COME FOR YOU.
6. It's "come," not "cum."
Cum is not a word and you are not twelve. Grow up.
7. Cocks should never be weeping.
And no, I am not talking about the bird. Look, I am not about to step in and tell you if you should or should not use a sex scene in your story. What I am saying is that you damn well need to be aware of your language and description in sex scenes or you're going to end up with something that's not erotic but a giant messy ball of hilarious mess.
If you want your sex scene to be awkward then by all means make your narrative and descriptions as awkward as possible to get that across. But if you want your scene to be sexy and erotic then "his weeping cock" is not going to achieve that.
Yes, yes, I am aware that the phrase is referring to the pre-come and all that, but it just makes me think the penis is sad, and no penis should be sad when it's about to be laid. Also, you use "weeping cock" and I will make fun of you forever. Even more than the person with the magically hatching angel babies.
6. Be really aware of your descriptions
This is related to the above, in that you don't want your reader to suddenly start laughing during a dramatic scene because you whipped out a weeping cock.
For example, I was perfectly invested in one story until I came upon "his rock hard abs." Instead of responding with, "My, he is most definitely a ripped and sexy individual," I IMed my Hetero Lifemate this: "ROCK HARD ABS, HL. HE WAS HEWN FROM ROCK."
That led to this exchange:
HL: They made him from the finest granite.
Jayne: He has to be careful if he lays out on the sun, otherwise lizards come to soak up the heat from his granite abs.
HL: He is like geiko-nip.
Jayne: Though he does have to watch out for erosion, because god knows that in twenty, thirty years, his abs aren't going to be rock hard so much as mudslide.
So unless that's what you're aiming for, get someone to read your work over and point out anything that is ridiculous.
7. Learn what the word "literally" actually means.
You know what, let me help you with that. Literally is defined as: "adv. in the literal or strict sense; word for word; actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy; in effect; in substance; very nearly; virtually."
That means when you say something literally happens it actually happened just like you said. This is not a hard concept, people.
Let's look at some ways to use the word in the most inaccurate way possible:
"His eyes literally burned with an emotion."
Unless he is Superman or Cyclops then his eyes were not actually burning with an emotion. If his eyes were smoldering from an emotion (although god only knows which one it is, since the author doesn't specify. Possibly he is bored) then this story would have been far more exciting then it was.
"They literally devoured each other's mouths."
If that was what was actually happening then this is not a sexy kiss scene but cannibalism and drastically different then what the writer was going for. However, if the writer wanted to properly use literally here then just make the two characters zombies and you're good to go.
An example of the proper use of literally: "People who misuse the word 'literal' make me literally want to concuss them with a volume of the Oxford English Dictionary."
I am fully aware that this list will not cure me of my self-loathing quest to consume my body weight in the literary equivalent of Twinkies, but hopefully some of you young writers out there will take this advice and save me the effort of finding you and beating you to death with the OED. Because I will do it. As soon as I finish reading about the baby angel breaking forth from its shell. Aw, it's so fluffy like a little chick!
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Trust me, you want to download that game. And while you're at it, go burninate, cursify, healy-mc-heal, and freeze enough people to get that damn achievement. It's taking me forever and I challenge all of you to beat me to it.
The other game you need to check out, especially if you love Katamari, is the new Katamari Forever. Katamari Damaci is a series of games where you take your sticky little katamari ball and roll things up around town. As you get bigger, you can roll up bigger stuff. It seems simple and boring, but again, it's not. It's really awesome and pretty soon you'll find yourself shouting things like, "What do you mean I can't pick up that school bus of children and the gigantic onigiri! That is so unfair! WTF!" or "Cowbear, I hope you burn in an explosively flamey fire."
So yeah. Addictive. Lovely. Challenging. Mind-bending. Acid Trip? Yeah. These games are a crazy blend of awesome that will suck you deep in to their chasm of un-reality.
Signing out for now,
Lady Lara Jones
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I'm way too nerdy for my own good. I've been observing stores and ranking their value in the case of a zombie invasion/ end of world/ if i get bored enough to get 'accidentally locked in' to a store. It's getting weird. I also introduced myself to my students with several geeky remarks, including "Evee is my favorite Pokemon." I think they like me.
But I'm really not dead, just stuck between procrastinating and having a LOT of deadlines ALL THE TIME.
But I found time to buy Prof. Layton and get the game going. As a college kid who's in her senior year for education (hence all the little kid's work pages I'm grading) I find it funny to be playing as a Professor in a game.
The game is a very nice follow up to the original, I think.
The first game was hard enough to appreciate and yet not so tough to get me frustrated and give up. This one is the same- some puzzles are easy for me to figure out without help, sometimes I draw it out on the memo page, and sometimes i have to really think about it. That makes me happy, as an intense puzzle lover. I like that the plot is different and the connections between old game and new are present, and you sometimes get enough hints to work out small pieces of the plot as they are happening without giving away anything too much. The overall feeling is smooth and neatly put together, but i expect that from these games by now. If you want action and gun fights, look somewhere else. I hear Duke Nukem is making a serious comeback. Or Wolfenstien. Though the older version of Wolf will always have a place in my heart, Prof. Layton is a very solid and entertaining adventure/puzzle/mystery game that is suitable for many ages and worth the cost of the game. I would definitely recommend it to others, so thumbs up boys! Keep up the good....investigating...yeah.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009
And on top of all this, I'm moving to Japan to get another college degree, which means soon you will see shiny posts direct from Tokyo about fun geeky things across the Pacific. Yay!
So please pardon our absence. We are working on some posts and will be back soon.
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Monday, September 14, 2009
But if I was here, I would mention that this is relevant to your interests--well, I'm assuming it is, and since you are reading a blog written by geeky girls then I'm probably right.
I went and saw the original broadcast and, seriously, it was entirely awesome. I was buzzed and the theater was packed with MST3K fans and Jonathon Coulton is there being awesome, as is his wont, and, come on, it's them making fun of Ed Wood. What's not to love? Absolutely nothing unless you are dead inside or Alan Moore (these two states are actually synonymous).
Also, you end up getting a lot of free goodie downloads, including a song about plans 1-8, which if you mosey along over here you can download it. Because I love you guys.
If it's playing in your area you need to go, or Alan Moore will come for you.
(Disclaimer: Alan Moore is going to come for you anyway, so you might as well make sure it's for something you deserve.)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Flashback to two years ago: Anime Boston. Darci and I were attending and noticed a whole bunch of girls and boys dressed in these silly, Renaissance and German hybrid influenced School Uniforms for some anime called, "Ouran High School Host Club." Then we saw a bunch of AMV's devoted to Yaoi (read as girls that like to watch homosexual tenancies between boys because they think it's sexy) influenced aspects of this show. Ugh, we said to ourselves, that just looks stupid and for the 16 year old crazy Otakus (super fan girls) that want to rape young boys. Gross.
Fast forward to last month. Darci and I were running low on the Netflix list and said to ourselves, "Hey, what haven't we watched in the anime section yet?" Our eyes scrolled over Ouran High School Host Club and we thought to ourselves, "Well, out of morbid curiosity we could check it out."
Oh, my, what were we thinking? Not only is this anime actually GOOD, but it sucks you in like Japanese crack that will never, ever let you quit. The story is amazing, well written, and the golden gem of this anime is that it makes fun of Otaku's while writing a ridiculous otaku-driven plot, while at the same time pulling in the comical influences of Japanese dating sim video games, Shojou cheese, and any teenage drama film or novel EVER. I especially enjoy the show's ability to poke fun at yaoi fans (and shojou otaku girls in general), which makes me lol, a lot.
Now, for the plot. I'm going to admit to you right off that I normally am not a watcher of a lot of Shojou (girly anime usually containing a romance driven plot and/or a lot of drama). I do enjoy the occasional cheese fest with a romance backdrop, like that featured in Fushigi Yuugi and the ever classic Sailor Moon, but there are only so many flower covered, glitter driven panels that I can take before I want to barf. But this anime does all of these things: roses fluttering about ridiculously, people with shining eyes dripping with tears, the color PINK thrown about like it's always in season, and RIDICULOUS high school drama and romance, and yet I want to just inject myself with this anime like it's a delicious otaku drug because the plot and making fun of itself makes it not only bearable, but enjoyable.
The story opens with Haruhi, an Honor Student who is stated as obviously only being accepted into the super elite Ouran Academy for her grades and to fulfill a quota. All the other students are so absorbed in opulence, decadence, and being rich that it is obscene. They make the royal families of European countries look destitute. The show, like many European influenced anime, takes all the beautiful and ideal aspects of historic elite culture in Western Europe and makes it terrifically Japanese. Read as: instead of a banquet with escargot, you have fancy tuna.
The one major difference from mainstream Japanese cultural influences is that these students are not obsessed with their grades at all, because they are rich, and you never seem them in class, pretty much ever. Haruhi is the only one ever seen studying because she has to put forth effort to maintain her scholarship. The other students, as the show frequently reminds us, are there to have fun and go to social events that the elite generate with obsessive style and flair. The majority of these events, of course, are hosted by what has driven the title of the show, "The Ouran High School Host Club."
You may say to yourself, WTF Mate? What is a High School Host Club? Aren't hosts in most cultural circled whores and therefore they have no place in a high school environment? Well, yes and no. They are really more like Westernized Japanese Male Geisha. Yeah, I know that seems complicated, so allow me to explain. First off, they are geisha in the sense of "a person of the arts" (so please do not misinterpret the definition of geisha). Now, this host club walks a very thin line. They have a clientele of beautiful, rich women who come to the club to be essentially flirted with and served tea and go to fancy parties or theme dinners. (Cultural note: in Japan there are actually many male host clubs where this is becoming an escape for single women. Some women drop thousands of yen on these places, and if you don't believe me look here)
The boys in this show range from 1st to 3rd years, meaning by Japanese scholastic standards they are about 14 to 17 years in age. There are 6 of them, and each has their own "moe" (meaning sexual appeal or fetish archetype). The six archetypes featured in this are: the wild type (the bad boy but not really bad), the boy lolita (obsessively pretty and cute and drives every girl in the room to say "Awww", borderline incestuous twins (boy love or yaoi which makes a small niche of girls go crazy), the lonesome prince/king (leader of the group and the one who demands he be the center of attention and have the most clients as well), and the cool guy (the vice president who is the CEO of this crazy establishment and as Darci has told me is most definitely her "moe").
To save time I have copy/pasted the character definitions from wikipedia because they are very accurate and I have more to write about:
Haruhi is the androgynous heroine of the story and the Natural type. She comes from a lower-class family, but is very intelligent, so she is a scholarship student at Ouran. Her mother died when she was five years old and so her cross-dressing father raises her on his own. She is a seemingly apathetic and reluctant heroine who has no interest in pretty and flashy things, sweet food, or frivolous males. The members of the Host Club all have a sort of weakness for her and either openly or secretly adore her. Haruhi appears as if she doesn't care about the host club member's feelings; however, she actually studies each and every one of them individually and cares for them all very much. She eventually discovers that her feelings for Tamaki have grown into love.
The president of the Host club and the Prince type. He is extremely passionate and kind, always ready to help people, and has an interest in many things. He is considered the most attractive of the hosts, as he is the prince "type" and the president of the club. He is also very intelligent (2nd in his class behind Kyoya), and a gifted piano player. He is very sincere in what he says, and takes his role to please girls very seriously, which stems from his deep love of his mother. However, the other club members recognize him as an idiot most of the time because he is very dense about his own situations (though perceptive about others), very silly and melodramatic at times, and somewhat selfish and narcissistic. He also has an odd obsession for the "commoner's lifestyle" and loves ramen and instant coffee (considered "commoner food"). He considers the Host Club to be a family and named himself father and Kyoya as the mother. His father is the superintendent of Ouran High School and his family is one of the wealthiest families in Japan. His mother was forced to leave him so he would hopefully one day be recognized as the heir of the Suoh family by his grandmother, who does not like him. Tamaki is half-French and half-Japanese and considered to be very beautiful. He later discovers he possesses feelings for Haruhi, yet, he believes this love to be fatherly love and not romantic. Later, in chapter 64 of the manga, he comes to realize that he is indeed in love with Haruhi, not as a 'father' but as a man. This is revealed in chapter 67.
The vice president of the Host club and the Cool type. He is often called "Mother" by Tamaki and "Shadow King" by the rest of the club. He is behind most of the Host Club schemes and the other club members tend to go along with whatever Kyoya says, sometimes even favoring his leadership over Tamaki's. Despite their opposite personalities, Kyoya and Tamaki have been best friends since their last year of middle school, when Tamaki transferred to Ouran. He is a third son and has spent his whole life honoring his family name and yielding his true abilities so as to not overshadow his brothers; however, it is clear that Kyoya has more ambition, drive, and talent than both of them. Throughout the series Kyoya refers to the fact that as he is a third son he won't inherit his father business, although he has slowly started to come out of that mindset after his becoming friends with Tamaki. He believes life is a game and will lose out if he doesn't have 'fun'. He also manages most of the finances with the club and has a habit of not revealing important information to the other hosts until the problem at hand is already over.
Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin
Identical twins who used to reject others and are the Little Devil types. Only recently after they joined the Host Club did they start to open up and allow other people into their world. They are the same age as Haruhi and are in her class, and so have a special bond with her; Haruhi was the first and only person who is able to tell the twins apart, something that both had secretly longed for. They enjoy playing "games" and tricks on classmates, especially Tamaki. Kaoru is nicer, more sensitive, soft spoken and more mature than Hikaru. Hikaru, on the other hand, is very immature and somewhat mean but has a shy and sweet side, the mean part of him is mostly because he has trouble expressing his feelings. Kaoru tends to have a more high pitched voice compared to Hikaru, who has a lower voice, which makes it easier to distinguish which twin is which. Episode four comically insinuates that Hikaru is the "seme" of their relationship when the twins are concerned over the script of a Host Club movie in which they play basketball players which seems to reverse the roles. The twins later on discover that they too harbor feelings for Haruhi. Kaoru doesn't love Haruhi enough to want her only for himself (because he values his relationship with his brother more), so he ends up letting Hikaru be the twin who loves her romantically. After this development, the twins begin to attempt embracing their differences.
Also known as "Honey" and the Boy-Lolita type. He looks like an elementary school child rather than the 17-year-old third-year student he actually is. Honey is obsessed with sweets and anything cute, much like his youthful appearance would dictate. Honey is loved by the other characters for his cuteness and has a nickname for everyone (such as Haru-chan for Haruhi). Honey carries a plush bunny (called "Usa-chan") around with him. Despite his childish looks, he is deceptively strong and highly skilled in martial arts. He is usually found with Mori, his cousin by marriage. Honey comes from a family that owns a nationally-renowned dojo and are known for their martial arts abilities. In one episode it was said if his full combat abilities were unleashed, he would be considered a threat to national security. Though it appears to be a façade, his cute side and serious side are both very real. After Tamaki explains to him that being himself is "true strength," he resolves never to change.
Also known as "Mori" and is the strong but silent type. He is the tall, stoic character. Mori dedicates his life to Honey by protecting him and only gets angry when Honey is injured or harmed. However, he is also very close with the other club members and many classmates look up to him because of his quiet but gentle nature. He usually only speaks when he deems it necessary, and responds to questions mostly with monosyllabic answers. Mori's family has served Honey's family for years, until a marriage two generations ago made them cousins. Even though the servant-master bond was technically broken, Mori still serves faithfully as Honey's guardian and best friend.
(Haruhi trying to flirt with clients.)
So how does Haruhi end up in this crazy circus? Our protagonist is searching for a quiet place to study when she stumbles into the host club, who think she is a boy. While scaring her and confusing her simultaneously with their ridiculous personalities and unusual habits, she stumbles into an 8,000,000 Yen Vase and breaks it. This puts her into the debt of the host club and thus she has to work off the debt by becoming a host (after they realize under her crummy clothes and hair cut that she is actually quite beautiful in a gender-bending way). Soon into the first episode, they discover she is actually a girl but decide to help keep that a secret so she can continue to be a host (and so that the king, Tamaki-kun can hit on her as much as possible because he is obviously falling for her).
The show spirals into a series of dramatic plot lines and exaggerated character stories that would suck in just about anyone. We even know guys who like this show and admit that it is addictive! Sexual tension and sexuality-driven jokes are frequent, and one of my favorites so far involved the pitcher/catcher metaphor IN AN INNOCENT JOKE which is just ridiculous. Tamaki-kun's constant attempts at making Haruhi love her are poor and funny at the same time. The characters break the fourth wall and the art, character design, and animation are super pretty. Just take my word for it, get past your shame and rent this anime. If you are a guy, just netflix it and no one will ever know. Just do it people! I'm serious! (Darci says if she buys this anime as a box set she is almost positive it will be a little bit sticky...ahahaha awesome)
Alright, I've ranted enough. Get out there and enjoy some cheese, people. Cheese is good for you!
Your 23 Year Old Secret Otaku
Lady Lara Jones
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