at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
This weekend, in light of having an extra day off, my family took the time to get caught up on Elementary. I have many thoughts about the show in general and the finale specifically. The non-spoilery version is that Elementary is not an "adaptation" of Sherlock Holmes so much as an "inspired by" with nods and winks to certain storylines, themes and moments in the books, and I absolutely love it. Obviously if I wanted to see Sherlock Holmes I'd watch something else, and also obviously there are problems with Elementary – it's a cop show with all the standard drama-driven breaks from reality that implies, for one – but it's got a lot I really like.

To recap, Elementary has the generic white Brit for Holmes himself, but Watson is portrayed by Lucy Liu. This could have been very bad had they used either the hopelessly-clueless Watson of fame or the more conventional average-Joe sidekick, but instead, Liu plays a competent woman who, while not as brilliant as Holmes, holds her own.

Spoilery-as-in-the-big-twists discussion on tropes, gender, and race in Elementary )
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I'm not at all sure I should be writing this, and less sure about posting it publicly; I'm not proud of what I look like in this story, entirely, but I feel uncomfortable hiding it on those grounds.

I just had a week of surprises )

No, I don't really think being bad in one class makes me disabled. It's more that I'm questioning my perception and understanding of disability and how it functions, and I needed to process.

countdown

Feb. 8th, 2013 11:00 pm
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
Submitted my petition to graduate today after some difficulty finding the place I was supposed to submit it. Adulthood looms inevitably, closer every time I look up.

I'm considering ending my journaling career. I don't seem to be very good at it any more, and friends keep gradually fading out. But I like the ones I still have, so.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I saw someone – actually multiple someones – gushing about how nerdily awesome it is that the U. S. government responded to a petition about building a Death Star. This made me think about definitions of "geek" and "nerd" used in different circles, a subject I've been considering for a while and my mother has ranted angrily at me a few times recently. I used to think I knew what it meant. Now I'm really not sure.

The most common definitions I've seen, and some thoughts on them, behind here. )

I suppose what I think about the whole thing now, really, is that if the words were once used to marginalize and hurt people who are different, it seems like the reclamation effort has backfired: either they're too vague to have meaning, or they define a cool kids' club. Thoughts on this would be welcome.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
Internet, I am grumpy. The situation, in brief, recapped, is that I a) am transmasculine genderqueer nonbinary whatsit, b) have a very very feminine name, and c) am shortly expected to graduate from university and have to start presenting myself to prospective employers. Accordingly, I am considering and hoping to make a legal change of my name to something that is either not immediately gendered (to Americans) or is identifiably male. I have been test-driving a name at school, and it hasn't totally worked, so I'm looking for another one. My current criteria are: )

So periodically I go poking around, and when I find a name that strikes me as potentially interesting I throw it at my family, where it tends to sort of float in a sea of indifference.

My philosophy on names )

on Hero-U

Nov. 18th, 2012 10:16 pm
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I was maybe three years old when I became an adventure gamer. Sitting on the top of the bunk bed that then belonged to my half-brother, shaking with terror as he battled monsters and died horribly, laughing at jokes I was too young to understand. When we still owned a version of Windows you had to launch from DOS, I mastered the necessary commands to open the GUI and to launch Quest for Glory I (the VGA version) and explore the land of Spielburg. I have hazy memories: Dad telling me I had talked in my sleep about the game's monsters, crying with frustration because my eyepatch (treatment for the amblyopia that still makes me legally blind in one eye) kept me from reading the conversation options, how vibrant the colors were and how beautiful the soundtrack.

Cut for length. )

That's why, while being uneasily aware that neither I nor my parents will be gainfully employed for at least, uh, six months, and that we haven't been so employed in much longer, I still scraped some money out of my tiny for-fun fund and donated to fund the Coles' new Kickstarter to make a new series of games for prospective heroes. Then I went and scraped up a third again as much to add in. Then today my little brother, on a) hearing the latest on how the funding is going and b) finding out that there's a Meep toy add-on (if you don't know the games, just know that Meeps are REALLY CUTE), asked me to tack on another bit from him. It's still not much, but I believe it will help to make the world a better place.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
It is election day here in the United States of America and this is always very difficult for me. On the one hand, I find casting a ballot a most pleasing experience – a sentiment probably not completely shared by many of my fellow-citizens in less accommodating regions where voter suppression is going on – but I hate watching the results come in and knowing that no matter how many good measures pass or candidates get in, some profoundly bad shit is going to go down too. Here in California right now it's looking like education, police, etc. are getting funding cut again, with 14% of precincts reporting but races already getting called. I don't know how the systems can possibly take more cuts. I'm very worried.

Also I explained how the system works to my baby brother and he's become cynical as hell about it. Or possibly he already was. (I will say, I love that he's thirteen and he's apparently gravely concerned that one of his friends is anti-choice. I wasn't discussing that stuff with my friends at that age!)
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
Hero-U's Kickstarter has started! Haven't given yet; actively trying to scrounge up more cash first so I don't cut too deeply into my fun-stuff fund (which is quite small, owing to a lack of income). I'll end up doing it regardless, but it feels better to spend money I just got somehow. Stupid, really.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I'm doing great at school and working on problems. I feel like a complete loser. :-/
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
Just read a piece on the new Sherlock Holmes-inspired show Elementary that has made me really excited about it. I'd been cautiously optimistic because Lucy Liu as Watson seemed like a good idea, but I was afraid they were doing it so they could do Holmes/Watson without having it be Teh Ghey and frankly I really really really hate the whole "a man and a woman can't 'just' be friends" trope. ("Just" friends is a kind of wrongheaded idea to begin with.) Turns out the show-making types in this case agree with me, which greatly increases the potential that I will love this show to pieces. If I can watch it, anyway*.

(Thanks Racebending.)

*Yes, I know there's always dubiously-legal means, but I'd really like to show up in the numbers for "x people liked this show and want more like it" when the show-funding types crunch those numbers.

new stuff

Sep. 15th, 2012 11:16 pm
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
For the past week, following a good month of furniture-moving and floor-replacing work, my sister and I have been in the process of moving out of our old bedroom, which is cavelike and cramped, and into a much nicer room which was my dad's office (he's now in the cave, which is much less cavelike with only one desk instead of two desks and a bunk bed). Today we finished the move, so I am writing this from my nice new officelike space, which I am re-organizing to make it more purposefully cluttered and less full of stuff we stuck here to be out of the way, and preparing to go to bed in my nice new sleeping space, which has about twice as much headroom as the old one. Luxury.

I also got a new haircut, pictures to follow during the daytime; it's sort of poofy on the top, short on the sides, and has a thin tail in the back that's currently in three little braids. I like it so far. We'll see how it reads at school Monday, though. (University: where I'm simultaneously a total square for not partying and for seeing education as a vital and important part of my life journey, and radical for not wearing the same hairstyle/clothing as everyone else and for walking on the grass. I find this rather humorous.)

Off to bed now. Be good.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
When I was a wee one, I lost a very dear friend – my best friend at the time and since preschool – to her parents' divorce. They split, she began spending an increasing amount of time further away, being cared for by her grandmother, living more of the time with her father (who had moved away, his ex-wife remaining in their old house) and generally having less time to spend with me and my family. It was a huge blow. Some time later, I lost another friend, connected to through homeschooling events and the email list that was the heart of our homeschooling circle, when her father a) ditched his wife for another woman b) brought the other woman back to live with his wife and kids and c) divorced his wife and married the other woman, "got religion" and insisted his kids be put in a Catholic school immediately.

More )
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I've been re-reading Madeleine L'Engle's books recently. It's a risky business, re-reading authors I liked before I was very analytical about my entertainment; sometimes I discover I never loved them as well as they deserved, other times I realize just how much nastiness I overlooked and feel sick at the values I must have absorbed. L'Engle, mercifully, is one of the former type.

Here's L'Engle, the devout Christian whose works were challenged and banned by fundamentalists across the board because her theology is too inclusive, who believed love was the most powerful force in the world and rejected violence and hate. The avid Biblical scholar who described her own holy text as a storybook, impossible to take literally, not factual but true. The lover of science – especially physics – whose stories reflect the delighted curiosity of a small child playing with magnets or making a baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano, only it's warping space and time she's playing with. I really love L'Engle. She's so – true? Pure? She doesn't compromise or play politics with her values. You look up an interview with her and she's saying she hated the film adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time or spouting theology that would make fundamentalists faint (often including how little she thinks of fundamentalism) and atheists squirm in equal measure, or she's talking about gender roles and war. What she isn't doing is giving a shit what other people think of her.

Now I will spoil the Time Trilogy by talking about why I love it )

Snow Crash

Jul. 15th, 2012 11:05 am
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
Long radio silence due to not having anything much to say ending now. *cough*

A little while back Racebending.com made a post on their Tumblr that, well, the title was "Producers of 'The Last Airbender' plan to adapt 'Snow Crash'" and I went "AAAAARGHNO" because I have been saying since I heard about The Last Failbender – before I was a fan of the show, even – that a live-action Snow Crash film would be the worst thing ever. Here's the deal with Snow Crash, see:

Cut for length – one what-I-would-count-as-a-spoiler  )

too fast

Jun. 22nd, 2012 01:15 am
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
My baby brother just turned thirteen, meaning he's old enough to be legally on a bunch of websites he was previously too young for. I feel very weird about this.

orhsteolu

Jun. 19th, 2012 06:04 pm
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I HATE WRITING PAPERS

that is all.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I'm home sick from school today – bad timing – and just got hit with two updates on the State of the Queer World. The first is that another step in the Prop. 8 battle has been completed, resulting in no change whatsoever on the ground. Apparently we can expect a resolution any time between September and next July, whereupon California will hopefully be able to marry anyone who wants it but the rest of the country will be unaffected. DOMA is also going to the Supremes soon, on a states' rights argument which might do away with the whole lack of federal recognition for legal same-sex marriages, but wouldn't change the other big bit where different states don't have to honor each other's marriage laws. This whole thing is frankly a joke, but one that appears to have gotten lost on the way to the punch line.

In contrast, I just found out that Argentina, opining that marriage equality is sooooo two years ago, has passed a new Gender Identity Law which went into effect yesterday. This means that in Argentina right now, a person wanting to change their gender markers and name on their documentation can do so without having to "prove" being trans* enough at all, and health insurance has to cover hormones and surgery for people who want them. This means Argentina of all places is actually the country in the world it's easiest for trans people to get legal recognition, though there's still only two gender categories recognized. That's bloody cool.

I only lived in Argentina for a month, so maybe this all makes more sense to people who really know the climate, but to me it's a really interestingly contradictory place. It's officially Catholic and abortion rights are severely restricted; I talked to one woman who didn't think those laws were actually that much enforced or respected, but I've also seen stats on deaths and they aren't pretty. There's been significant progress in that area in the past couple of years as well. Then they have really entrenched patriarchy and gender roles, like extreme ones, and a female president who was elected not once but twice; it seemed to me when I was there that gender was so strongly constructed that it's not seen as needing enforcement, like the system is impervious and so nonconformity isn't seen as a threat. It's like how Argentinian people know their government is often incredibly corrupt and are very proud of how strong their democracy is. It's simultaneously horrendously backwards and amazingly progressive, not even in different areas a lot of the time.

Meanwhile here in the U. S. it turns out that when opinion polls suggest that the public is leaning towards being kind of okay with same-sex marriage, the President is finally able to "evolve" and when he does suddenly it's cool and trendy and everyone wants to do it and he'll probably go down in history as some kind of big champion of queer people's rights and excuse me if I sound bitter but this is BULLSHIT in all caps.
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
Saturday:

I need to do homework, no distractions. My sister decides to watch the entirety of Sherlock for the first time in our shared bedroom where I do homework. Total homework done, at the end of the day? 0 pages of 0 different assignments.

Sunday:

Make a stab at some critical research, fail will save against internet games and leave it at that. Notice early symptoms of obligatory pre-finals cold, which contribute to laziness.

Monday:

Cold has developed. Get up relatively early, fail will save against internet games, feel like crap for hours. Read announcement that there will be a new development on Prop. 8 tomorrow.

Tomorrow:

Classes I can't miss, have to get up early to go vote, and now I'll be biting my nails about the court decision on top of that. Why couldn't election days be holidays, huh?

Thursday:

Pretty much everything's due and I have a final!

Please let me feel all right Wednesday....
at_sign: The hero from the Quest for Glory series of computer games. (Default)
I feel like an absolute wreck and I have no good reason and I just don't wanna do anything and I have TOO MANY PAPERS TO WRITE. I'm blasting Beach Boys on the stereo right now because my pain demands to be shared. It's not working.
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