badness, goodness, life

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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goodness, manfolk, nerd

Doggie toof brushin’

Boyfriend plays WoW arena with a guy who has a menagerie of pets at his folks’ place (he’s a college freshman this year), and occasionally tells us hilarious stories about their personalities and habits.  He off-handedly mentioned that he has taken to brush the dogs’ teeth almost every day since they were puppies, and I almost died.  SO CUTE.  I demanded a video of this, and he sent a pic with this IM conversation:

I was sitting in the back yard and she’s on a bench
she was like sleeping against me
and then i started playing with her mouth
it was funny
whiter than mine... by a lot

whiter than mine… by a lot

Apparently the dogs are so accustomed to him sticking his hands in their mouths that they don’t freak out about it at all, which is adorable.
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goodness, humor, nerd, school

A guide to online comics

I realized I’ve been referencing a lot of online comics to friends recently, and it’s super awkward.  “In this one online comic I read, there’s a character who’s a troll with really terrible gas, and he’s hilarious, but anyway…”  Not what I could call a quality, two-sided conversation.

Flow chart to the rescue!  This is the last week of my first semester in my online Master’s degree program.  I made this during class.  In fact, class is still going on as I type this.  I still have a 10-page paper to do for this class, so I don’t feel too bad about making time to do something fun.

i made this

 

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goodness, nerd

I love you, Japan

by Kono Bairei

The art of the Japanese woodblock print is a fantastic demonstration of how, with very limited means, humans make spectacularly beautiful art.  Woodblock prints are some of the most delicate, intricate works produced from Japan.  They’re just gorgeous.  Hokusai’s Great Wave of Kanagawa is probably the most famous, and it’s not hard to see why.  [Then there’s the erotic woodblock print genre, which is pretty hilarious, and occasionally horrifying, but I digress]

I found today a series of classic video game characters (Samus, Megaman, Link) illustrated in the style of traditional Japanese woodblock prints.  They’re so silly and cool.  Nerds are the best.  Japan is the best.  I love you, Japan.

I remember playing through the first few hours of Metroid Prime (which I need to replay, what a great game) before Diminutive Roommate told me that Samus was female.  I’ve played so many male characters, I was super excited to play a lady.  I became attached to the game, fond of it even.  It’s an old friend who made me die a lot, and freaked me out with space pirates.  Good times.

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goodness

Must.. resist… childhood pastime…

Let’s be honest, I’m going to buy this someday soon.  The 1992 version of Clue is clearly the best.  It has the best cover art, and it’s the version played as a kid.  Case closed.

I don’t remember playing with any one particular character.  I do remember the little plastic rope piece vividly.

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family, goodness, humor, life, manfolk, nerd

The one percent

I was looking through my iPhone photos this morning, and a random thought occurred to me: what would my life look like if I could only see every hundredth photo?  I recently cleaned out my phone of extraneous contacts, photos, emails, apps, etc., and the aftermath is just over a thousand photos of the past year and a half.  Here’s what one percent of my life looks like:

#1
I have to include number one; it’s a good starting point.  My mom gave me her iPhone 3g when she got a Blackberry from work, so I inherited some of her photos, and haven’t had the heart to delete them.  She travels for work (too much), and took this shot at a waterfall.  It was nice to turn on my “new” iPhone for the first time, and see that my mom has a good eye.

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#100
I work at Karate Job in Redondo Beach three times a week now, and there’s a pretty strong jalopy following down there.  I used to see at least one every few weeks.  This one was particularly shiny and handsome.  The owners are always  happy to let me snap a quick shot.  It’s like a car version of really good cosplay; they put a ton of work into it, and are happy to share their enthusiasm with others.

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#200
I’m your average nerd in a lot of ways: table top/online/video gamer, cosplayer, renaissance attendee (with costume), BSG fan, anime fan, manga reader, etc.  When I bought some go-karting tickets for Boyfriend for his birthday, we decided to go with a group of friends, who promptly decided it would be fun to dress up like Mario Kart characters.  Some of us bought our costumes, others made theirs from whatever they had lying around.  I did a combination: I painted an old helmet like an 8-bit piranha plant, bought a green spandex body suit, and voila!  A costume I could wear on the track without using any of the public equipment.  This is the helmet in-progress.  It turned out really well.

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#300
My friends are (of course), nerds too, bless their little hearts, and for a while, Wrath of Ashardalon was our game.  We couldn’t get enough.  I even drew my own character art, and wrote a dozen spells specifically for him.  This is one of those games where you pick your final boss at random.  Our first game, we pulled the game’s namesake: the main boss, Ashardalon, a giant fire-breathing death lizard.  His character dwarfed ours.  We were honestly a little scared.  It was a close one, but we pulled it off!  A very exciting game, and one that I felt the need to document.  As you can see, one of us has already died, while another has just rolled horribly.  Note the cave-in in the adjacent room.  That was a fun series of disasters.

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#400
I love the Renaissance Faire.  It’s so harmless and fun.  Women dress like tarts and men dress like warriors, and no felony sexual assault results.  People walk around fully armed with many very sharp swords and daggers, and no one fights.  Everyone is friendly, even to that one guy who dresses as a ninja, or that other dude who came as Captain Kirk that one time.  Everyone is so wrapped up in admiring costumes, eating turkey legs, playing games, and going to hilarious shows that a sense of good will permeates the fair grounds, and one feels out of place without a smile.
Boyfriend couldn’t make it to last year’s fair, so I took this photo to remind him of how pretty I look wearing girly stuff.

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#500
Diminutive Roommate has been on the hunt for a house for the past year or so, and most of the houses within her price range are in the valley.  I like to go with her whenever I can go give her a second set of eyes, and just to hang out.  Of course, it’s sweltering hot in the valley half the year, so on our way back from visiting one of her prospects this past summer, she blurted out, “Let’s get a watermelon!”  I said, “You’re a genius.  You’re my favorite person right now.”  We pulled over at a Trader Joe’s, grabbed this little guy and strapped him into the back seat.  I’m still pretty protective of my new Fiat, and Diminutive Roommate was eating raspberries or something in the front seat, and had her hands full.  So I improvised.

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#600
I can’t believe it took six hundred photos to randomly fall on one of Calico, Diminutive Roommate’s adorable cat.  She’s like a dog trapped in a feline’s body.  She flops over to have her tummy rubbed.  She loves smelly feet.  She begs when we eat delicious meats.  She’ll cry until we feed her, or if she just wants some company in the morning.  She tackles our legs with all the force her little body can muster, and sometimes it’s really scary.  She’s very sweet, and super cute.  She loves her tennis ball, and she occasionally chirp/meows at the birds outside.  She had just gotten trimmed before this photo, so she looks tiny.  She’s usually pretty poofy.

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#700
My room needs some overhead lighting, so when Dad and I went to Ikea to pick up some cabinets for the apartment we’re fixing up, we decided to see if they had any cool light fixtures.  In order to get to the lighting section, you have to pass through the entire store, so like most people in Ikea, we went a little crazy.  Dad has a great sense of humor, so when he saw these stuffed sharks, this is the first thing he did.  I made him freeze so I could snap a quick photo.  Y’know, for posterity. (note the Lanikai Canoe Club hat 🙂 )

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#800
My family has had a rough time this past year and a half, but this Christmas was really nice.  Mom asked Sister and me to spend the night Xmas eve, and sleep in our old beds, just like when we were little.  She coerced us with a promise of pancakes and bacon in the morning.  It’s a commonly-known fact that my mom’s pancakes are the best pancakes.  You didn’t know?  Yeah, they’re the best.

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#900
Diminutive Roommate and I used to go grocery shopping together all the time, and we always had a blast.  It was like going to a theme park.  Every isle held something fun and stupid to laugh about.  It was a golden era; we were both dating nice guys named John, we shared a room in a pretty gated community in Culver City, we were still in school, and everything was as it should be.  This talent to find fun in ordinary places is one she and I have retained, but when we found a hat in the shape of a giraffe at Joanne’s while hunting for fabric to cover my couch, the pieces sort of fell into place on their own.  I think it really suits her.

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#1000
I just took this photo last night!  Diminutive Roommate’s coworker came over a couple weeks ago to play poker, and mentioned that he had taken up playing the ukulele.  He’s the outdoorsy type, and wanted an instrument he could take with him on backpacking trips and the like.  I said I had always wanted to learn to play the uke, and he offered to teach me.  Diminutive Roommate said she wanted to learn too.  My Lanikai uke just arrived yesterday; hers is arriving tomorrow.  I can’t wait to jam with her and her friend.

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A quick summary of the first thousand photos on my phone:
Mom has quite the artist’s eye on her travels.
Jalopy’s are fun and remind me of Archie.
Go-karting is a perfect venue to show off your love for Mario Kart.
My friends and I love our table-top games.
The Renn Faire is the only place I feel comfortable dressing like a lady.
Watermelons are the ultimate summer snack.
Calico is as adorable as she is deadly.
Dad allows himself to be mauled by a shark to keep us sane at Ikea.
Mom makes a delicious Xmas morning breakfast.
Diminutive Roommate does her part to maintain tradition of being weird and fun.
I love my new uke.

I’m pleased with the turnout here: family, hobbies, friends.  It’s a happy collection, but I’m disappointed at the locality of them.  New goal for the next thousand: exotic locations, new experiences.

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