Monthly Archives: January 2014

ATTENTION ONLINE GAMING MALES: Losing at combat is not the equivalent of rape. Obviously.

I used to play an iPhone game called Clash of Clans.  It’s a combat strategy (resource-gathering, town building/raiding) time sink that I played for months and months until I finally had to just delete it off my phone cold-turkey.  There was really no way to make any significant progress in the game without spending real money, which I refuse to do because that’s insane.  My clan was cool at first, but started to become a little bro-tastic.  I found myself feeling discouraged from participating in the chat since much of what was said was the kind of shit I would expect to hear in a high school locker room; weirdly explicit talk about sex, using ‘rape’ to describe something other than violent sexual assault and torture, a few instances of homophobic slurs like ‘faggot’,etc.  I would point these things out as childish and backwards, and get promptly shut down: “I can say whatever I want, if you don’t like it, don’t read it,” I was told, as if I could distinguish hateful language from normal, inoffensive language without reading it.  Those same idiots would then proceed to complain about how our clan wasn’t active enough in the chat.  I told them I would participate more if they stopped pretending like the whole clan was male.  I was not the only female in the clan.  They could not have given less of a shit.

I was pretty disappointed by the whole atmosphere until one interaction where one of the adult, male clan members used the word rape to describe how his town could not withstand attacks by other players.  I was especially surprised to hear that kind of rhetoric from him since he had just confided in us not a week prior about how he and his girlfriend had pulled into a parking lot to find a woman (a friend of his girlfriend, actually) who had just been raped.  They found her passed out and beaten in a state of partial undress.  They called the cops and stayed with her until they came.  He sounded pretty shaken up at the time, so imagine my surprise when he started dropping ‘rape’ like it was the equivalent of having his little imaginary villiage adorably knocked over by little imaginary dragons and hot air balloons.

As usual, I spoke up, and was shocked when a third clan member jumped in:

P: supercell needs to lower the cost of shit or give us more gold mines or collectors
P: this game is made for people to spend money
P: fucking bullshit
K: dude this game is for rich people
Toph (me): yeah, im approahing the point where ill have to either put in $ or stop playing.
P: me too Toph
P: like fuck
P: its impossible and i get raped in every damn battle
P: and its hard to 3 star
P: like its not fun if i can barley play…
T: raped? really?
P: Toph… its an expression.
T: …of sexual assault. was it you or S who found a rape victim recently?
T: because that’s what women picture when dudes throw that word around.
P: Toph. i did.
P: im a big boy. i dont need to be corrected.
G: P, Toph has had a bad experience in the past, who knows.
G: But you should show some respect because you really dont know.
G: has maby had a bad exsperience*
P: dude i just found a girl ik raped. i of all people know bro.
P: i show respect
G: I know, and im sorry fo rher and those effected by it, but its not A bug deal to not mention a word if it potentially upsets
G: someone
P: gotcha

So.  Wow.  Words of kindness from a dude in the clan.  Pretty amazing.  What’s more, if memory serves, this guy’s handle was something like Guntotinredneck, lol.  I never thanked him since there wasn’t any way to send private messages, and no way to tell who was online at the time.  I wish I could have thanked him.  I almost cried when I read this.  Thanks, Guntotinredneck, wherever you are.  Maybe next time it won’t take a man’s voice reiterating my point for the message to be heard.

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I go by many names…

Senior Ecuador and I hung out for three days straight over the winter break (Dec 30-Jan 1), first crashing at my place, then at his for New Year’s, during which we killed a delicious bottle of ruby port and watched Mechagodzilla. The next day, after grabbing breakfast at Literati, he worked on a gift for his brother (woodburning Zelda logo onto a box lid). That night we watched Escape from Los Angeles (no words). I’ve taken to calling him Roomie, and he, for his part, has given me a fine assortment of titles which the other members of the dojo have embraced with an endearing amount of enthusiasm: The Wolf Tamer (for my recent excursion to see a particularly vocal coyote outside my house: I threw on some jeans, sneakers, and brought a maglight and my bokuto. I got as close as I could to the sounds this amazing animal was making before every instinct in my body forced me to stop my approach), The Devourer (I was jealous of Senior Ecuador’s hashbrowns), and The Taker of Things (pretty sure this is also hashbrown-related, but I continue to live up to it).

san

I can’t understate how much I love these titles, and I wondered what someone who friended me on Facebook today would think of me. I skimmed through my photos and have decided that my life up to this point has been fantastic, and full of other, excellent titles:

Sensei– Teaching martial arts to kids means I had fun every day, learned how to handle kids (which was a skill I did NOT have before that job), and became an occasionally great teacher.

Beekeeper– I found a new common interest with my dad, got to wear an awesome cosmonaut outfit, and learned a shitload about bees (which are amazing, btw).

Grad student– How long have I been fantasizing about calling myself a grad student? Basically forever.

Thanksgiving attendee– Every year, the shot of my large, loud Italian family on the porch of the beach house. So much love.

Halloween enthusiast– The pumpkin carvings and dressing up, especially at work (especially at my office job where NO ONE else EVER shows up in costume, lol), plus all the pumpkin-related food-stuffs. It always makes me so happy.

Renaissance Faire attendee– And this year I might actually work the faire.  I could counted among the faire folk.  God.  Little dreams coming true, one at a time.

World traveler– Hawai’i to present my own work at a conference, Scotland and Ireland to celebrate getting into grad school, and much more to come (soon!). I’ve been saving up those vacation days, and grad school will be done in 5 weeks…

Friend/daughter/sister– My favorite photos are the unflattering ones, caught mid-laugh with giant grins plastered across everyone’s faces, particularly with Little Iron Friend, Diminutive Friend, and Dad.

So far, so good.


The past two months

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I posted.  Unacceptable.  “Marjorie, pull yourself together!”

Things have been moving very quickly over the last few months.  I’ve started my last semester of grad school, which is bittersweet.  I’m ready to be done with school, but sad I won’t be able to tell people I’m a grad student, which I’v fantasized about doing since I was just a kid.  I’ll be done with classes in about six weeks, and I’ll walk at the graduation ceremony in early May.  My parents will be so proud, which makes me very happy.

give me a life in the country

I’ve applied to the JET program, which, if I’m accepted, will take me to Japan for a year to teach English.  I’ll essentially get paid to do accent reduction as a TA and live in the countryside, which sounds like a fucking dream.  I probably should’ve asked Boyfriend what he thought of that idea before I applied, but I didn’t because I want to go to Japan, and that’s that.  Turns out he’s totally into it, and will come visit/live with me for short stints if it works out.  Very exciting 🙂  I’m signed up for weekly, 2-hour Japanese classes; they start next Thursday.
UPDATE: 1/21/14
I just found out that I didn’t get into the JET program.  I’m totally crushed.  I can’t think of why they wouldn’t take me.  I didn’t even get an interview.  Ugh.  Ouch.
END OF UPDATE

taught my Master Tatsu. no, really.

I’ve taken up Shinkendo, which is very challenging but rewarding (and I passed my first test!  Woot!).  We’ve started learning bō, my favorite weapon, and I could not be more excited.  Bō speaks to me in a way the sword does not, it’s like having a dance partner; it does what it wants, all I can do is give suggestions.  We form an agreement (most of the time), and communicate well.  Perhaps more importantly, I’ve found some amazing people who have become good friends at the dojo, and I’ve had the chance to reconnect with an old friend from elementary school, and can’t wait to help that friendship grow.  I also started another blog, which is what I’ve been spending my time on instead of tigerlilytoph.com:

http://www.dojostuff.wordpress.com

It’s all about life in a martial arts studio, and how hilarious and stressful it can be.

Office Job is still pretty dull, but better since Little Mole Boss was removed from her position as my boss.  She was a good boss (maybe the best I’ve had), but it’s nice to work with my co-workers more directly and speak frankly when we exchange ideas without fear of stepping on anyone’s toes.  I’m taking a more active role in the upcoming events our office is planning, which feels good.

I’ll upload a photo of our bees’ honey soon!

The bees are doing just swimmingly, and we might actually harvest some honey this season!  Soon!  We did a minor inspection and found a few bars dedicated to honey and nothing else.  I held up the comb in front of the setting sun, and it glowed amber and gold.  The comb broke open when I pulled it out (the bees built two bars of comb together, so it broke apart when I pulled one bar out), and the honey dripped out of the cells.  We tasted it right off the top of the hive.  It had a clean, light taste, ultra sweet and just beautiful to look at (surprisingly light in color).  I can’t wait to see what it looks like once we harvest a little bit.

Thanksgiving this year was good, but boozy for the cousins.  I love them, but omg they are annoying drunks, and they drink a lot, lol.  I’m such a lightweight, maybe I’m jealous? (hint: NOPE)  Next year we’ll have to divvy up the apartments by temulency rather than gender.  Diminutive Friend came up for Thanksgiving day to hang out and eat with the family.  She seemed grateful to have people to spend the holiday with since she couldn’t spend it with her family in New Orleans.  I love her so much.

Dad told me a while back that he’s unhappy at work, and since he’s unreceptive to changing jobs, I told him I expect him to find some way to change his attitude toward his job.  Instead of taking his job personally (and constantly checking his damn email), he’ll have to find a way to let it go.  We’ll see how that goes.  It strikes me that I’ve chosen a good path: teaching English as a foreign language is a job I will enjoy (assuming I can find one).  Frankly teaching just about anything at all would make me happy, and I’m lucky to have discovered this as early has I did.

My folks gave Boyfriend a subscription to Bon Apetit magazine for Xmas, which I’ve already reaped the benefits of with a delicious rosemary chicken and a butter-basted halibut.  He is an amazing person.  We’ve been together over 5.5 years, since April of 2008.  I find the idea of marrying him very, very intimidating, even though I would love to have him as a life partner, and he clearly feels the same.  Luckily, neither of us is in any rush to make it official, and I’ve never had a burning desire to wear diamonds.

I spent this past weekend at GameHaus with friends, and, like every Sunday, doing Shinkendo and enjoying my dojo family’s company.

I am so lucky.


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