Archive for the ‘ Daily Life ’ Category

Ender’s Game: an amateur review

Saw Ender’s Game tonight because there are too many movies I’ve been wanting to see lately and while Gravity would have been my first choice, I knew Chris was likely enjoy the more action-oriented classic sci-fi flick. I’d heard mixed reviews from others who’ve read the book, but that it certainly wasn’t overtly bad. Then I was torn about the whole boycott: Orson Scott Card is a fucking douchebag and I don’t want to give him any money, but the combination of Lionsgate saying they wholeheartedly do not support his anti-LGBT views and plan to donate some proceeds to LGBT-oriented charity, that Ender’s Game in and of itself doesn’t perpetuate those hateful views in any way, and that unfortunately some people out there make it so to enjoy their art or craft you have to ignore them as a person had me deciding I could live with myself if I saw it. How many batshit or jackass actors or musicians do we know that are extremely talented at what they do, but horribly people? Yeah I try not to support them either if I can help it, but… I don’t know. You can like things while admitted that they are problematic, or the people behind them are problematic. Then again I don’t know. It’s generally accepted to love Michael Jackson’s music even though he was a supposed nutjob with questionable morals when it came to children. Mel Gibson’s widely known for the derogatory shit that he spews and you’re not looked down on for loving Braveheart, etc. Then again, everyone gags a little if you admit you bought a CD of Chris Brown’s. So who knows. I was TORN.

But Ender’s Game is one of my favorite classic science fiction novels that I read when young and it blew my small mind even though I didn’t understand any of the political aspects of the plot in 7th grade and always just wanted the story to get back to Ender and his games. I remember it was the first of the “classic scifi” that my parents handed me when I’d proven that I officially enjoyed the genre and reading and wanted MORE (but there were an overwhelming number of Star Wars books so mom, dad, help!) I read that, then Doorways in the Sand, which I hardly remember understanding at ALL, and then attempted the Chronicles of Amber and Dune, but didn’t quite make it through either before I went back to my Animorphs.

That disclaimer out of the way, my brief thoughts under the cut, because I’m pretty tired tonight and just want to crawl into bed with some Netflix – spoilers for anyone who’s not read the book, if you have I guess still spoilers for how main plot is handled, but not details? For anyone who hasn’t read the book, I’d say READ IT FIRST if you can manage. I’d say knowing what I did made me enjoy the movie more, even if it means I’m a bit pickier about it too. The emotions just pack such a bigger punch in the novel.

I made this blog to ramble about videogames WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT BOOKS SO MUCH LATELY? Continue reading

Belated Halloween!

BAD MEG. Didn’t write yesterday. But I think I will do two entries tonight to make up for it. They might both be very photo-heavy. Don’t curr.

I went to a sci-fi themed Halloween party at small microbrewery over in Fremont last Thursday, and while driving back meant it couldn’t be WILD, I still had a great time just being with people on Halloween again. It’s always been tied for my favorite holiday with Christmas – I mean, it’s hard to beat presents and vacation days, but every holiday was sort of ruined last year. Halloween’s never been super family-oriented so it wasn’t ruined in THAT way, but the fact that I could not muster up an ounce of enthusiasm for it because it was so soon after the fire made me super sad. I’ve always loved Halloween, back when it was dressing up as various types of animals to compliment the Power Rangers of the boys next door, back during the 91 Halloween blizzard, where everyone in Minnesota STILL went trick-or-treating, even though we had what, 3 feet of snow or something that night? All costumes needed to be able to fit over snowpants back then. I was a purple rabbit, a black cat, then I was a Kangaroo for like 3 years in a row because having a pouch to carry candy was both awesome and immensely entertaining to anyone giving me candy. I was a fox for a couple years, and then junior high was a thing, so it wasn’t cool to be animals anymore.

The first Halloween party I went to I was a pirate – I remember always thinking that looked like a way-fun costume, but I quickly found out an eye-patch and large round glasses do not go together well. Still it was a holiday-themed party and everyone dressed up and OH MAN THIS WAS SUPER FUN. So I put on my own party the next year with my 8th grade best friend, and my mom being the amazingly good sport she was put together a pretty nice Padme/Queen Amidala battle outfit for me out of this shiny purply-maroon fabric and some gold ribbon. I remember I was also so happy that my boycut hair had finally grown out enough for me to put my hair into a bun like she had. That was back when my Star Wars obsession had been reinvigorated by Episode 1 and my love of costume design exploded (though I never did anything but draw them cause ew sewing). I think there was another year I went as a hippie to something, but then finally it was high school and you didn’t really DO Halloween anymore, which I was always SO secretly sad about. Then college hit and people started dressing up again for fun even if we weren’t really trick-or-treating, and then parties with alcohol happened, and I gladly put together a hippie outfit for a couple years. I remember one year my roommate and I did a last second 15-minutes before a party trip to the local WalMart to grab whatever we could left on the shelves and throw something together. I ended up grabbing a wig and some black makeup to be a goth (because while pasty enough bahahahaha talk about not me) and she grabbed some shiny butterfly wings and I did some fairly swirls on her face to match.

I don’t know what it is, I just LOVE IT. Then after leaving Stetson, I went to the parties of my long-time WoW friends down in Florida every year for three years. And it was great, because everyone was actually as into their costumes as I was, even if we just ended up playing games and drinking at a rented beach house, we all looked fantastic while doing it. I was a Steampunk something the first year, then I was Mother Nature, and then the last year I took the Mac make-up template of a Roy Lichtenstein-esque pop art woman, with a bright yellow wig and red dots all over my face. DRESSING UP, YOU GUYS. So much fun, you put something together and then it actually looks awesome and then it’s a bit like you’re a kid again, not necessarily playing pretend in the back yard, but for one night you just get to look like someone/something else and that makes me happy every time. I get a sense of pride in doing something a bit creative, or having the satisfaction of an idea that actually works.

So, THIS YEAR, I wasn’t expecting to do anything though I had a few ideas mulling around in my head, so when I was invited to the party, I picked the sci-fi fitting one and went with it. I wanted to go off my current Star Trek kick that I’ve been on since winter last year (and ESPECIALLY since I finally sat down and watched the entirety of TOS this summer), but no way was I going to put together or splurge on a normal uniform. Then I remembered that I had a black fall vest, and all I needed was a white sweater underneath and I had the makings for TOS Scotty’s film outfit. So the day of the party, I ran to the local craft store after doing some research online, bought some fabric and fastenings, busted out my metallic acrylics from their still-in-moving-boxes state and got to work. The hardest part was figuring out how to stick the pieces of fabric to the vest temporarily so that the vest was still wearable afterward. The solution I found, after seeing toupee tape suggested online, was this body tape, or fashion tape, that people use to keep all their bits in place and covered if they’re wearing a precarious outfit. It worked fantastically, with no residue afterward! I also used this cosplay post to help me see the details, because references of the actual outfit weren’t great, so a big thanks to that person. I obviously did the poor woman’s alternative in a lot of areas, but after spraying my hair with white and dousing it in baby powder, I don’t think it turned out half bad for a day’s worth of work. Also one of the most comfortable costumes I’ve ever warn because it kept me warm on the deck of the pub, and DIDN’T INVOLVE A DRESS. Fem-Scotty to the rescue!

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My Kingdom for a working outlet…

It figures that as soon as I commit to something online, the next day we have an all-day power outage. Apparently it had been going in and out all morning and completely went out around 11am. Faaaabulous. So, instead of wasting my Saturday being online and or working on my Dragon Age II Bastard play-through, I picked up my copy of Divergent and hunkered down on the couch. I’ve been meaning to read it since the road trip out here, but since my days without internet were cut shorter than I had anticipated (for which I thanked many dieties I don’t actually believe in) I didn’t end up touching it until now. It was a bit bizarre sitting and reading as the already cloudy day got darker, and by the time I busted out a flashlight to read by, I didn’t know what time it was. We don’t have any battery-operated clocks in the place yet, and my phone was dead, so all I knew is that I’d started reading around 3:00pm, and now it had been dark for probably(?) an hour.

It wasn’t until I ventured out into the strangely sky-lit dark orange of my condo parking lot and got into my car that I found it was 7:30. Excellent, four hours well spent on a good book – but now it was time to get to a place with food, power, and wireless so I could post this. But of course, it’s a Saturday night and I was not the only one thinking this way. After ordering food that was promptly forgotten about by the staff at Panera I found the outlet I was excited to claim had the ground prongs broken off in both sockets. No wonder that table had been so blissfully empty. But, at least since the staff forgot about my food, I decided to get it to go and save it for later – and they have me a free cupcake, then proceeded looking for another place. After a few calls around on my plugged in, barely 1% charged phonein the car, I found a restaurant that had a table AND an outlet and no wait at 8:15pm on a Saturday night. Score. I will gladly pay the 13 dollars for your overpriced burger and bottomless fries when you are the only place that would reserve such a thing for me.

So after a hardy meal, Chris has joined me here and in return for me charging his phone with my laptop he is waiting patiently for me to get my daily blog in. He spent the afternoon getting some hours in at work where there WAS power. Now I believe we will return home to level our Pathfinder characters by the light of a fire in our fireplace (that I have wrongfully scoffed at being from a place that gets well below zero). The power company’s only update at the moment is that King county has the most outages of anywhere, and that they were down to 55,000 customers affects (from 90,000 at the storm’s peak).  I wish them the best in getting it fixed, and now that my phone is charged, I don’t have to hog the lamp to continue reading. Divergent is good. If you liked the Hunger Games, read it.

NaBloPoMo + New digs

ImageSo, in an effort to resurrect this blog from where it’s fallen quiet due to a whole slew of things, I’ve joined NaBloPoMo which I’ve done once in the past and it was really fun. Plus I should have plenty to write about now, right? It’s strange looking at my last entry, wherein I’d just returned from visiting Seattle. Now I’m there, officially moved in for the better part of two months.

I came out at the end of August to attend PAX Prime 2013, as well as stay with a friend and begin my job/apartment hunt. It was pretty fun, although being three hours behind the East Coast took some getting used to. The weather’s been fantastic for as much as everyone immediately raises their eyebrows and goes “Oooh, Washington. Rainy.” as if they are giving me the inside scoop on a place I must know nothing about to want to live there. Well, that, or it’s just the only thing everyone knows about Washington and therefore is the default response. Smalltalk 101 stuff. But it’s been beautiful, and only just now as we head into November am I really seeing a rainy sort of trend. Even so, I don’t mind. My mom was worried the grey skies and drizzly weather would make it hard for me to shake off depression when it gets ahold of me. She’s been very pro-sunlight ever since I went on anti-depressants back in college, reminding me how much being indoors all the time can scientifically make you feel worse. I’m sure there’s truth to it, but the way my mom reminds me of it like she reminds me to make my bed or something kind of makes me laugh.

At the end of September, I hadn’t found a job (and still haven’t) but I did manage to grab a cozy 2-bedroom with my friend Chris over in Redmond. It’s on the “East Side” – that is, of Seattle, and of Lake Washington, and it’s much more suburbany than living in the city, but it’s 2 minutes from where Chris works and I like not HAVING to go into the city for everything. Traffic out here is ridiculous (and don’t even get me started on their street signage). So I flew home, spent 2 weeks saying  couple goodbyes and packing up the stuff from my old apartment to ship it out west. Then, Mom, Dad and I piled into the Prius that belonged to my grandfather, then my brother, and now me, to make the 3 day road trip.

That road trip could encompass a fair few entries all on its own, and I don’t feel like rehashing it at the moment, but despite a rocky start and a satisfying conclusion, I’ll say this: I’ve never actually cried when saying goodbye to my parents before. I’ve never been homesick. I’ve gone across the country to college for four years, not batted an eye missing the occasional holiday, not really cared if my parents and just happen not to chat for a month at a time. But there were some tears this time. I signed a lease. We know I’m out here for a year, if not (hopefully) longer, and that would have never THAT big a deal until we lost Ross.

I’d hoped to write more tonight, but Chris and I ended up FINALLY going grocery shopping to stock the fridge and cupboards after being in our place for a month and mostly just grabbing snacks and eating out, and then we watched the first couple episodes of Sleepy Hollow, but since I was out until midnight last night for Halloween, as per usual didn’t actually fall asleep until early this morning, and woke up at a decent hour thanks to a friend I hadn’t chatted with in awhile texting me (not being sarcastic, btw, seriously, so glad they texted) – I am exhausted. And being exhausted at 11pm for the first time since being on the road for 10 hours a day with my parents feels great. It was a year since we lost Ross on October 8th, and I did not want to go through this month again. But at least by the end I had a reason to smile about what was previously one of my favorite times of year

Now let’s hope I remember to write again tomorrow.

Ends of March…

So today is Easter, and it’s been a long time since my last post. Things are… busy…ish? Like I’m still spending the majority of my daily hours in front of a computer screen, gaming or watching shows, but enough other stuff has been happening that the weeks seem to end much faster. It’s the last day of March, and I don’t know where the hell that month went.

Suddenly the counselors are chosen for the summer at camp, I go to Seattle to look at potential neighborhoods in about 10 days, I have an online First Responder course to get going on, and then I’m due up at my summer job on the 29th of April. Somewhere in there I’m supposed to appeal for tuition. Suddenly these things that I thought I had time for need to happen RIGHT NOW and some days that feels good, and some days it feels like I’m desperately wanting to press pause and tell the world WAIT wait wait – hold on – I’m still absorbing yesterday, I’m still absorbing this morning, I’m still dealing with 6 months ago stop stop STOP. I’m not ready! I’m okay with this having things to do every week but deadlines… christ, I was terrible with deadlines before, let alone now.

Still, it’s a bit different. The things that are happening are things I want. Things I’m motivated about: preparing for this summer’s camp season, preparing to move to Seattle, preparing for… some sort of fresh start. It’s much easier to reign in the panic when it’s things that will inevitably make me smile rather than the misery I was putting myself through with school, slogging through anxiety day after day, only to feel like a failure come finals and wanting to give everything up.

It has purpose. A degree technically would have had purpose too, but, well, I was too buried to see what it could possibly be at the time. I do better with something tangible, and while that’s near-sighted of me in the grand scheme of things, right now I need things to have direct results. I need to be able to do something, and see the difference I make – however minor – to give me more reasons to get up every morning and keep doing that thing.

You know, I thought this blog was going to have a lot more gaming nonsense on it than it has so far. I’ve got ideas for posts in my head but it’s hard to get myself to sit down and type. I used to have trouble because I always felt like as much as I wanted to journal, I wanted to talk to people or have fun or sleep (priorities, I has them) more. Now I know journaling is probably one of the more productive or healthy things I can do with my time – I mean, do I really need to watch the latest Project Runway right now? [If Michelle doesn’t win this season, I will curse Heidi Klum to break a stiletto.]

I want to talk about March, but it would be long involved so I will bullet-point the highlights: Continue reading