Vixeny goodness

Black Sheep

a walking barrel of contradiction monkeys

This won't make it into the final draft...
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
Most likely, anyway. People who haven't seen IRC conversations about Marvel wouldn't get it, but it would probably make those of us who have laugh and wince.

In the end, the IRC drama, for the most part, can be best compared to Marvel's Civil War arc: a stupid, [verbally] violent, pointless, arbitrary dispute in which there was a noticeable lack of moral high ground, all parties acted poorly, and everyone had much to regret afterwards. Initially about the nature of laws and authority, it became a conflict into which ad hominem attacks and questions about character and integrity were continually dragged. (We even had clones* of questionable integrity involved, for pity's sake.) And now, we'd all like to move on and try to forget it ever happened.

*Seriously though, I don't know who the Name-Thief troll was, but may they tread 1,000 Legos.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

Inextricable Weft
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
Sometimes I get to Civ class and nobody's there yet, and I spend the next ten minutes wondering if I hallucinated that class, if I've just been sitting in an empty room one night a week all semester. It's unsettling how much of a relief it is when somebody else walks in.

Last night when I went out to my car from the grocery store, there was a dark grey pigeon walking past it. Pigeons are diurnal, so I was weirded out. I put the groceries in the car, and then walked around to see if it was okay, but it wasn't there anymore. I'm still not sure if it flew away, or if it was never there in the first place.

I'm considering giving up driving for the semester. But I have to get to class from work, and the only way to do that without being late or giving up hours is to drive.

I might give up wearing fitted t-shirts without a sweatshirt over them, too. I really, really don't like when I'm doing something and guys keep talking to me? That sounds wrong, but it's a weird Really Friendly sort of talking that I am inclined to think of as flirting, but I can't really tell for sure? It's just annoying when I'm trying to do something. And they stand too close. And life is just that much easier when people can't tell what gender I am.

Sometimes I want to go back in time and punch Thomas Jefferson in the face for his "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants" quote. God, people repeat that shit as if it was infallible. It was hotly contested at the time! By a lot of people, some of whom were also founding fathers! Like Abigail Adams! Man, she was awesome.

The deeper we get into Ethics in Journalism, the tougher the questions get. Last week was a bunch of stuff on cooperating with the cops, this week is a bunch of stuff on anonymous sources. [The case: your college has made it mandatory to submit papers in a format that requires expensive software downloads. Some students have figured out how to copy the software, and are freely distributing it around campus; they agree to talk to you, but only if you obscure their names and faces. Later, the police go after them for copyright infringement.] "Would you identify the students? Would you change your mind when lawyers begin to talk about how long your stay in the county jail might be?"

And that's one of the more clear-cut ones, actually. For me, anyway; I'm an open-source fan, and I've joined technically-terrorist organizations before, and stuck around after the state started going "Stop that!" It never came to police action, but I made up my mind about then that if the right thing, as I saw it, diverged with what the law said... I'd rather be right than legal.

Anyway. Classes are good, I'm still working on stories - both news and fiction - and reading whenever I have to walk places (yeah yeah yeah, I'm careful), and actually getting along at work. I got sick of waiting for my hair to grow out and spent a careful hour with scissors chopping it off. It's nicely shortened, now. I figure I can always pick up a wig, if... well, I can always pick up a wig.

H'm. I do have to work tomorrow, and I do have to finish this set of briefs for the radio people before tomorrow morning. Back to work, then!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

So... Dragon*Con.
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
It... it was a thing that happened.

Cosplayers. So many cosplayers. So many epic, seriously epic cosplays. We saw a guy in a full-body dragon suit that was about ten feet tall. There were Links, good and bad, and lots of Doctors in various incarnations and regenerations (including Doctor Horrible), and a Rincewind (at least one) and lots and lotsa ponies (two that were in FULL pony costume!) and lots of stormtroopers, and quite a few military pieces (DML was full-out in 'Nam gear, all the accurate military issue, except for an airsoft gun), and a Dovahkiin and a Forsworn and several TARDISes (but no Idris, sadface), and at least one Kaylee (squee!) and a few Thors and just all the yes. (And a few "...wut."s) Squee, squee, squee.

Of course, this also required being surrounded by Lots And Lots Of People for three straight days, and then some. The PPC (and PPC-expat) group was amazing, everyone was awesome and totally real and made of cells/molecules and everything (except Phobos, who is made of stories, not molecules), and stuff was awesome. We played Sea Dracula (has nothing to do with Dracula or the sea (unless you want it to) but still awesome), and I played Rabbitloop McDevilface and Dann played Laserfish Jenkins and Phobos played Pickle Albatross (a sloth) Esq., and Data played Magic Mark and Dann called Robot Santa (the evil one) to the stand and guys Phobos makes an excellent Evil Robot Santa and totally won the game, and there were lots of crazy dance-offs and I represented the hydro-oxygen separatist party (end the forced conjoining of hydrogen and oxygen!) and it was crazy and awesome. Exhausting as hell, but awesome.

Also, caffeinated smoothies were the food of the week, oh my God they are amazing delicious and caffeinated without the sudden EVERYTHING IS MADE OF ACID and glarblegarghrar.

And I has a boy, I has a Dann even, and he is the best of all the people. And we have about the same level of People-Noise we can take before both of us withdraw to engage Crankiness Avoidance Procedures, and guys do you know how awesome it is to just sit and read quietly (and occasionally not-quietly) with a dude? And we have shared universes in our head, which is awesome, because not only are we in the same universe, but we can go to other universes and talk about Mars and mean the same Mars and guys, Bogdanov|Boone for 2016, yeah he's fictional Russian SO WHAT.

(I discovered a knitting/sewing shop in the center of work!town, I can make stuff now, and Bogdanov|Boone 2016 is a shirt that will be made. Two, actually, and one goes to Dann.)

So now is a bit of a crash, but it's weird, because I'm still... happy, because it's only until January and then we get to spend time together without con-level-craziness, and this is awesome! It was incredibly painful at the airport, not made better by having to wait around for my plane to land after seeing him off, but it will not be long before we are together again, and I am going to see the rest of the world with him.

We're gonna take the world by storm, guys. If Bogdanovism isn't a thing yet, it will be by the time we're done. And it's gonna be awesome.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

(Because if you think negative, you've already lost.)
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
You are not allowed to give up; you are not allowed to stop trying. You must put your all into this, every time, denying any weakness, throwing all of your efforts into one. You must not let yourself be denied. If you push and are rebuffed, push again - and again, and again, and again, every attempt must be perfect, and every repetition better than the last. You will not allow yourself to be shot down, and so you must persevere always, no matter the cost. You must finish, you must succeed, and you must do it to the maximum satisfaction. Compromise is not an option. Failure is not an option. You must follow all commands with pleasure and determination, carry out all orders as if they meant your life or death. You must concede all demands, deny your desires, and fall into place as planned. You must follow the plan. You must improve the plan. You must carry out the plan to the letter, never change it. You must know where the plan needs a change, and enact those changes without hesitation. You must not balk. You must be strong. You cannot move without confirmation. You need the independence to move without confirmation. You should seek for the best. You need to fall back when ordered; you need to push forward at all times. You should always be striving harder. You must not give in.

You must be able to take this lightly; you must always take this seriously.

You must never give up, unless ordered to give up.

You must accede that the failure was your own fault, and you must never, ever fail.

You must give up when ordered to give up; if you give up, you were not strong enough.

You must always strive to be stronger.

You cannot carry this alone; you cannot ask for help.

You are not allowed to stop trying. You cannot believe that your efforts are not enough, but you must realize that you will never be enough. You should not blame yourself, but you must be aware that it is all your fault. You are not allowed to give up. You are not allowed to opt out. You must remember, at all times, no matter what, to

always

think

positive

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

Damn.
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
No matter how far you've walked, there will always be an infinity left before you.

When you put it out there without context, it almost sounds poetic. Like a song about the never-ending road, or something. If you put it in the context of knowledge, it can be exciting.

But when you realize that as far as you've come from the immaturity of fourteen years, when you technically had empathy but the critical thinking skills of a sea-slug... as far as you've come from the years of teenage depression and angst, where you were pretty sure the world would end when you did... as far as you've come from the years of anarchism at eighteen, where you were caught up in a daydream and failed to notice reality spinning out of control around you...

As many years as I put between myself and my last failure, there will always be a worse disaster around the corner. For example, taking your friends for granted. Arrogance and self-centered thoughtless pontificating. Rampant egoism. Taking your friends for granted. Being disparaging about things that people close to you hold sacred (while somehow simultaneously whining when others do the same).

I can go on all night about how I didn't mean to, I didn't think, I didn't expect, I didn't realize, but in the end, the fact of the matter is, I took one of my closest friends for granted, and was high-handed and arrogant, disparaging his belief system, behind his back.

Rereading it, the whole piece was a helluva lot more angry than I remembered it - all under the surface, I think, bursting out, and I didn't even notice. That says more than I'm comfortable with about my state of mind - that I could be ranting about one of my best friends without even realizing? Disturbing. For all my clatter about communication, and keeping open the lines, and being honest, I'd really not been honest with him. Or even myself.

The dualism remains, really. I find myself torn, in the inevitable human struggle, between spirituality and skepticism. Astronomy versus Astrology; Spirituality versus Science; Cold Hard Facts, thrown up against the great and unexplainable mysteries of the universe. The green world and the white one - viriditas. Ka. But it's a struggle that can certainly be lived out without attacking one's fellow man. We can't judge our progress along life against each other - it's like measuring the growth of a tree by the speed of a river. Something is fundamentally off.

But aside from that, I am, beyond all hope and certainly beyond all reason, forgiven for my trespasses. If I can, perhaps, forgive myself... it is doubtful. In all likelihood this will be added to the deep, dark pit of things buried deep and far and hidden, moments wherein I learned something about myself that I wish I had not. Moments wherein I hurt the people I care most about, and beyond any rationale I can see, they manage to not cast me aside like the rusty, mostly-broken blade I am.

(Forgive me; if I'm talking in weird circles, it's because I can't look at this directly, or it will overcome me. But there is the sin, and so I must address it, however obliquely. And swallow the sword; and move on.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
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God, I'm tired.
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
The idea of people is not more important than people. Just like philosophy is less than who makes it up in the world.

Aesthetics trick the mind into changing these truths. We want the minds of people to be as aesthetically subjectively pleasing to us as we find their external images. We forget, we idealize, and we make our image of someone's internal based on their external more important to us than their reality.

This is (partially) why all over America, people wear feathers and weave mats and hang flutes and dreamcatchers from their rearview mirrors, while on reservations people die of curable maladies. We internally homogenized* the indigenous Americans into an aesthetically pleasing archetype, both their external images and their cultures and philosophies, and then we assigned them to a box in history - dead - and moved on to ignore the living people. Because our dream of them is pretty and clean and glorious, as dreams always are, and the reality is, well, realistic.

And so we write songs about wolves and mustangs and warriors while children sicken and die.

In another hundred years, if given the chance, I'll bet western culture does the same thing to Muslims and to Arabs.

It's all quite fucked up.

*Because there's no such thing as a pale Native American, or a black Native American, or handicapped Native Americans, or physically unattractive Native Americans and they are all tall, partially clothed, athletically built, attractive, perfectly-skin-toned beautiful people with melodic voices and Spiritually Attuned Minds.

Seriously, the fuck is wrong with our culture that we have actually disappeared an entire continent of nations and cultures because we like the pretty dreams of them more.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

Fiction and the like.
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
I made it all the way up to Cryoburn. Then I had to stop. I don't think I'm psychologically prepared for the ending of that book. I know what's coming. I just don't want to face it. I'll give it a few days and maybe think about it again.

I have not yet slept tonight. Crawled into bed at two in the morning, laid in bed awake until now. Yaaaay.

There's a young, earnest, and not-entirely-normal marine biologist wandering around in my head. He stumbled across interesting things, and he wants to know more. He's about to fall into a heap of trouble, too.

Sometimes I feel guilty that my protagonists are most often male. But I figure, I'll try crossing over some other time. I wonder sometimes if it's terror of being called a Suethor, having crept subliminally into my brain, even while I can't mesh with the PPC on that point. I hope not. I don't know how long those things last. I suspect it's a lifetime. And that would suck. But I find myself more and more just straight-up not giving a flying rat's tailfeathers about who says what I am and am not allowed to enjoy/create. I wrote a Stu. Nobody said anything. I'll write Sues. I read Sues and Stus, too, and it's getting to the point where I do wonder if it's anything more than jealousy - "Your character is allowed to be only so awesome." I know it's more than that. I know when people complain - at least, the people I know - what they mean is "Everything goes right for this character, and it becomes boring to read about." In fanfic, there's the added subversion of the canon characters.

But I maintain that the way to respond to that is A) click the 'return to home' button and try again, or put the book back on the shelf and try again, or B) click the 'review' button and, gently but honestly, point out the issues you have with it. NOT "Oh my god this is a flaming sue, rewrite the whole thing OR ELSE," but... correctly. I dunno, once I found a Tortallan assassin who... eh. It was pretty bad. She appeared in Jon or Thayet's window, turned Alanna into a deranged anger-bot, immediately commanded the fear and respect of George and Jon, had the trust and care of Daine and Numair, was somehow related to Jon but had been brought up in a secret assassin's school and trained from five years on or so, had killed thousands of people after graduating at thirteen (was seventeen), politically significant... I winced. I wrote a review that basically said "Hey, I feel like the Tortallan court would be a lot more hesitant to trust a random-but-feared assassin who popped up in their palace at night, and also the math of your assassin doesn't quite work, she'd be a lot more believable of a character if you toned her back a little. If she's killed thousands of people in four years..." and crunched the numbers.

She got back to me over a year later, and thanked me for being honest, said she'd put a lot more thought into the story since and was working on the logic of it. Made me absurdly happy. I wish the kids I see in the PPC blasting "badfic" and leaving bad reviews would focus on concrit - at this point, they don't even concrit each other. It's a thing that older members have frequently grumped about - when people plug their works, they tend to get a "Great job, more plz, I laughed," reaction. Almost never a detailed... review. Something helpful. I don't bother plugging there anymore - most people don't bother reading stuff that's neither badfic nor a mission, and besides a handful of oldbies, I doubt I have a wide, breathless audience looking for more about the Cafeteria workers. Alas.

I am having fun with them when I write, though. Their only missions involve the purchase of food - the only on-site work I've done with them mostly was an excuse to have someone fling durians as a projectile weapon. (Yes, it is brought up that as cafeteria workers, they really should not have found themselves involved in a combat of sorts.)

The community... well. I'm holding my tongue. I would point out, though, that "Power corrupts" is hardly a 'new' philosophy, let alone a juvenile one. And it seems disingenuous to have a nice, long thread discussing how the community has meant so much to so many people, how it's saved some people from suicide or other terrible things, helped us through life drama and tragedy... and then have people talking about how 'real life' government principles, like checks-and-balances and balance of power and not putting 100% authority in any one person or group's hands - how all of that doesn't apply because this isn't important enough to warrant careful handling, I guess.

I would also point out that it's not so much disingenuous as flat-out dishonest to say you agree with a policy or decision, act like it's a good idea, never speak out against the rules and, in fact, set up a nice long topic of discussion so people can all talk about the rules... and then dismiss the entire system as 'sheer spite for authority' when the next authority crisis comes up. Not to mention the incredible bad faith it implies on the parts of, oh, I don't know, everyone who worked on it. And I cannot help but notice that that topic is something that has only come up in a room with very few people in it, and fewer actually paying attention - rather than a concern brought to the attention of the community.

So I guess I'm not holding my tongue after all. I think saying anything much above this, though, would be more venting my emotional reactions to the various factions and parties than saying anything of value. And if there's anything I've learned about online journalling, it's that your emotions are the part that should not come out.

His name is maybe Farid. He's single. He was in a relationship - getting ready to propose - but his research took him to the other side of the world, and he decided to break off with the girl rather than ask her to wait for him. (No, he didn't sit down with her and discuss it. Yes, he is a bit of an idiot sometimes.) His research is in the ecosystems of gulf streams, maybe, and he comes across, one way or another, something very interesting about some migration...

It's a bittersweet tale in the grand scheme of things. I think I know how it ends - on the main, actiony plot, anyway. I'm not sure how his personal life ends, and I suspect that's going to be important. I think I will be doing some research before I start this thing, too. I do not want to make marine biologists or physicists cry.

I am yawning, but somehow I doubt I will get much sleep in the remaining two hours before I have to get ready for work. Yaaaay.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

Yay!
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
It's the first thing I've written and finished and actually... put up somewhere that wasn't my own blog, in a very long time. And I think people like it?

I am suddenly hopeful about writing again!

Grey Eyes, a Vorkosigan Saga oneshot fic.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth

Light?
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
The colors are back.

I can see colors again! I can see colors.

When I am depressed... well, I don't see black and white. But the world loses its lustre. I don't know how else to put it. When I'm seriously depressed, everything loses... loses. I don't have words for it. When my brain is working, I look at the world and see COLORS. I see shapes, and lines, and I can stare at a fountain for hours and all the silvery motion of the curve of the water falling, and the light playing off of each surface of every drop and splash, and it's incredible and beautiful and pulls my entire attention. Until I look up, and see the contrast of the dark sky behind it, and the electric light putting every individual oak leaf into silhouette, and above, the stars...

To look up, and see every blue in the dusky sky, and the black silhouette of every tree against it and how it looks just a little bit purple, where it is turning, and on the other side the clouds still hold a fading light in orange, and all the world is quiet darkness broken up by light, shattering beams of sharp-edged white that come and go, and leave you blinking at the bat that scoops down and up again, and the soft yellow-orange monochromatic puddles that linger at the edge of the curb...

I missed that feeling. God, this world is so very beautiful. And I love seeing it, actually seeing it, and the only thing about depression that sucks worse than the apathy (and the constant-tiredness) (and the emotional sharp edges) (and the tears that are never more than a few words away) (and the pain) (and the brain-weasels who never stop telling you how worthless you are)... is the lack of beauty, or the inability to see it. Yeah, sure, I see beauty, but my eyes don't dive into it, I don't drink it in with all my soul and revel in the love and the intricacy of it.

My writer-brain is back.

I hear music again.

I walk, and I see leaves in all the colors of green that can be seen, and the light shining through them makes a tapestry of motion and soft translucent life, and I hear music instead of hearing background music while my brain screams at itself in fury.

Hello, writer-brain. I missed you.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
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(no subject)
Vixeny goodness
vixenmage
It's a bright, cold, sunny afternoon; the air is clear, and there's a note, distantly, of frost, and woodsmoke. It feels more like early winter than late, but that does not bother me, for that is my favorite of the seasons.

There's a flock of sparrows congregating in a bush, and the wind is brisk and lovely, and I am quite happy, and it is a lovely day.

More importantly than that, I will soon be borne by steel wings, westward to the Emerald City, she of mountains and glaciers and towers and bay-- but more important yet,

to the most beautiful pair of eyes I have known and the light behind them,

and today is a good day, but

tomorrow shall be better still.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
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