ultranos: rastler has no victory parade, holding his sword before an army (i could have been king)
I am pretty close to drunk at this point, but whatever, it's kind of a "holy fuck, the boys and girls in blue got the asshole alive" and "fuck yeah, we're alive!" night.

So, because I'm drunk right now, I'm going to run my mouth on Unpopular Liberal Opinions right now.

Hi, yes, I spend most of my day indoors, unable to go to work based on the MBTA shutdown, the MIT advisory against staff coming in, and the stay-in-place advisory for Cambridge. After getting dinner/drinks with some people displeased with that, I respectfully tell them to stuff it. Yeah, okay, the militarization of police is a concern. The fact that there were MPs at T stations this week: also concerning! But guys, maybe it's just me, but as an MIT alum, I wanted the goddamn asshole taken alive. I was quite happy to comply with police and the state government asking me to stay indoors, even though North Cambridge is at least 3 miles from where things were happening in Watertown.

They killed one of ours. And sure, call me an asshole or whatever because I only got this worked up after the MIT officer was killed instead of thousands of other human beings every day. I don't care. Officer Sean Collier was one of ours. And he died to keep my campus safe. I don't know if people realize that the MIT Police are actual cops. And they're actual cops who will and do go to bat for students against the Cambridge PD, saying that some things are an internal issue and will be handled by the Disciplinary committee. Or that the CPs are honest-to-god more concerned about student safety above all. I've dealt with them before, and even when we complained about it, some of the best people we could have looking out for us.

And if staying indoors would help police and government agencies catch Sean Collier's killers, than I was more than happy to comply. Even beyond "oh shit, there's people with no compunction against hurting hundreds with guns and explosives running around". Yeah, even where I was, I heard the grenades and explosive ordinance these assholes were throwing around.

These people, as a whole, give so goddamn much to keep us safe. And yeah, they fuck up sometimes, and we call them on it. But we don't say "thank you" enough. They do so much for us, but we only recognize them for their failures. We don't tell them "thank you" enough for the times they succeed.

And I don't give a shit if you say that "only 4" people were killed in this shit that went down this week in Boston by these two, and that maybe I should pay attention to the rest of the world. A comment on Twitter I saw today sums it up: "Homeboy killed an MIT cop, now being hunted by machines built at irobot by MIT-trained engineers."

Officer Sean Collier was one of ours, and he died keeping my multi-national community safe. Martin Richards was 8 years old. Krystle Campbell lived in the next city over, which in Boston terms, is probably about 10 minutes away by car. Lu Lingzi died so far away from home, coming to our shores to make the best of herself.

And tonight, I drank to the dead, and I drank to the living. And when the entire bar busted out singing along to "Sweet Caroline", we were singing and drinking to the city as well.
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ultranos: vgcats frame of halo guy saying "i'm going to stab you now...with bullets" (i'm going to stab you with bullets)
I haven't mentioned this here before, but if you know me in real life, chances are that you know that I have a huge professional-type fangirl crush on reporter Mac McClelland. This sort of started when I read her harrowing account of Haiti's reconstruction crisis and metastasized after reading her book on the on-going civil war in Burma, For Us, Surrender is Out of the Question. And I've kind of been a lost cause ever since.

It's gotten to the point where friends send me links as if I haven't already found them, and I've started indoctrinating them. (Mwah hah hah)

In any case, I was kind of wonder where the hell MoJo sent her this time, since updates got sporadic. The answer was apparently working for minimum wage for an investigative report on warehouse conditions in the US for online shipping retailers: I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave.

Holy shit, but this is soul-crushing and rage-inducing. This is horrifying. And you have no idea the level of guilt that crept into my being when I got the email from Amazon regarding something I pre-ordered months ago shipping a few hours after reading this article yesterday. This is not okay. It is not okay to treat people like this, and if I have to pay more for paying for the convenience of online shopping so people are not treated as disposable, I will. Because I'm not sure boycotting would work, even though it's my first instinct, because it's likely to backfire and just hurt the workers more. Because the response corporations will have to less demand isn't "make conditions better" but "have less workers", which means people can't put food on the table.

No, this is the very reason labor unions are supposed to exist. And yeah, I'm a union kid. I'm biased and I'll own that. But read McClelland's article and tell me that is acceptable.
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ultranos: greyscale photo of laptop and coffee mug filled with some beverage (coffee and data)
[livejournal.com profile] beanpot asked for an expansion of a discussion I had with her today about the gaming industry, women, violence, and ethics. As this is a topic near and dear to my heart, as well as somewhat close to an essay I've been meaning to write for approximately forever, you are about to witness a very lengthy essay on the topic. Look what happens when I don't have homework.

Into the Looking Glass: Games, Women, Violence, and Society )
ultranos: XKCD comic: god is a sysadmin, file your bug reports (filing a cosmic bug report)
Before that, though, I'm pretty sure someone on SG-1 would have gotten Sam this shirt. Just sayin'.

Now, we interrupt this day for a message from the Department of Science Doesn't Work That Way, Idiot:

NY Times Op-Ed: The End of University As We Know It.

I suspect that some other people will find this equally as mindboggling as I did. Especially the suggestion to abolish departments and create multi-disciplinary groups focused on ill-defined problems under so-broad-they're-useless headings, like "Water" or "Time".

I'm frothing because, hey, Science And Engineering Don't Work That Way, Idiot. (Case in point, my own major, Mechanical Engineering, used to, waaaay Back In The Day, encompass all of engineering. Eventually, people realized This Was Stupid. Now we have Electrical Engineers, and Aerospace Engineers, and Chemical Engineers, etc. This means we can do really cool things because we're specialized and aren't attempting to learn EVERYTHING.) But it's also pretty unfair to the humanities and social science majors, as it's basically saying "your specializations are Worth Nothing".

I may be interpreting that wrong.

But I'll be over here trying not to beat my head into a wall or slip into a homicidal rage.
ultranos: XKCD comic: existentialism vs. super soaker. Super soaker wins. (existentialism is dangerous)
So, in a fit of boredom the last few nights, for some reason, I found myself scrounging around the 'net for old-school Final Fantasy fic. Specifically, FFV and FF:Tactics, and moreso of the latter. The problem is that I have no idea where any new sort of archive for FF fic is, or if it even exists, now that RPGamer.com stopped accepting fanfic in 2007 and the GIA shut down (and now I've dated myself. Win.)

I trawled through ff.net's Tactics section (yes, I was that desperate). And it was sort of fruitless. I found some old fic (2005 or earlier) that I remember liking, but that was less than a handful. My frustration was growing.

And now I'm going to rant a lot )
And now I'm wondering if I really want to write Tactics fic. Because Meliadoul and the rest of the Tingel family need some love. And seriously? So do characters from every other FF that came before 7.

Maybe I need to go pop FFIV into my DS and start playing. Or pop Tactics into the PS2, and replay it in all it's broken English glory. Old-school games need love too, you know.

EDIT: Because I can't type and spelled her name wrong 3 times. *facepalm*
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
Was looking through Metafilter, as I do every day, when I came across a link about artist Antonio Riello's art project of "turning real military items into fashion accessories for ladies".

They kind of make me twitchy. I will be the first to claim that I "fail" at a lot of stereotypical "girl" things. There is a good portion of my family who can (and will) gush and rave about Italian designers and can throw around those kinds of names in real conversation and not sound like they're faking. These are people who can put together very nice outfits, while I've given up and have a closet full of jeans, black pants, and black t-shirts so I don't have to try too hard. And I'm not being derogatory in any way, shape, or form to women (and men) who do have this kind of knowledge. It's something I don't understand, but it is still knowledge, and I can and do respect that.

That being said, these weapons make me twitchy. And not because I like the black and gunmetal blue steel that standard firearms come in. Nor is it solely that I feel that it's sort of disrespectful to the weapon to put fake jewels and leopard print skins on it, even though it is. (As an aside, ever since I stabbed myself in the hand with a new Leatherman Wave blade and it took four stitches to fix and a lot of dumb luck that I didn't lose any motor skills from it, I have had a healthy respect for weapons in all shapes, sizes, and forms. They are not toys, nor should they ever be treated as such. This is twinging on that.)

No, they make me twitchy because it feels like some underlying conception that weapons need to be made to look "pretty" in order for a woman to use them. Um, what? This isn't like the LadySmith line from Smith & Wesson, where the actual difference is a smaller grip to make it fit a woman's hand better. ( Which is acceptable because it's a biological difference there.) Maybe this is Riello's point, that there is this underlying assumption there. But somehow, I doubt it.
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ultranos: daniel jackson stares at coffee mug and wonders "who drank my coffee?" (need caffeine; this is unacceptable)
If I ever decide to write something involving time-travel (especially something where it is possible to effect past events relative to the story's present), somebody tie me to a chair and smack me in the face with a bokken until I realize am being an idiot.

Really. Getting hit repeatedly in the head will ultimately be less painful than trying to figure out the physics of time travel.

(I've been watching Journeyman. I like Journeyman. It's amazingly smart and has some excellent dialogue. It does time travel better than almost anything else. Except, well, between it and Heroes, the phrase "I hate time travel!" is coming out of my mouth a lot.)
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
The first time I had actually heard of Assassin's Creed was actually from Penny Arcade. And that, that was cute and adorable, and yes, we repeated the comic lots. Because we're like that. And the reason this was the first time I'd heard about the game is because I'm perfectly aware of the world-ending release date of, well, today for Rock Band, Mass Effect, and FFXII: Revenant Wings. (And that I do not have the money to buy any of them. But thankfully, my housemates do. So, um, win?)

And then, I see this, which just makes me froth at the mouth. What? A pretty, intelligent woman can't be a serious game designer/producer without being accused of being a gloryhound or a slut? Gee, thanks. And then people turn around and wonder why the gender ratio between male and female game designers (and players) is so skewed?

What makes this worse is that I'm currently reading From Barbie to Mortal Combat: Gender and Computer Games, edited by Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins. It's an excellent collection of essays on gender, specifically females, and video games. It was published in 2000, and the essays explore such questions like "how to make games more accessible to girls?", "should we make 'girl' games, or make games that appeal to both genders?", and "how do we get more women and girls involved in the industry?" And it's 7 years later, and I read through these essays and feel like a statistical outlier, and then I read an article like the one above. And it almost breaks my heart.
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ultranos: ibuki maya sitting at laptop in shorts and a t-shirt, eating a cookie, with prompt \\ "Rocks fall; everybody dies." (this would be much simpler)
I have a couple of things I could do:


  • Work on 15-minute mini-lecture I have to give on Friday to my Intro to Astronomy class on particle physics. Problems:
    • Figure out topic. Currently leaning towards black hole theory and GR.
    • Figure out how to make LyX do the Right Thing for slides.
    • Figure out how to explain all this to people who would probably freak out if they saw an integral sign.

  • Finish writing up Spearhead run for Friday night.
  • Work on one of the following:
    • Bringing Down the House (SG-1 s9 apocalypse fic)
    • Scaling Bahamut (XAOSverse character study)
    • "Growing Up Gamer" (the previously promised essay on growing up as a gamer girl in the Midwestern US, and how gaming influenced my life in ways I'm still discovering)
    • The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns (XAOSverse fic I haven't forgotten about, even though it still hates me)
    • Mens et Manus (SG-1 s8 AU divergence fic; without writing a word, this thing looks freaking huge)
    • Travelers 0: Scattering Shards (XAOSverse Book I; please don't remind me how many parts there are to this beast)

  • Ignore the strange conversation taking place between Montblanc (FFXII) and Sam Carter (SG-1) in my head.
  • Watch Farscape (because Housemate #1 is awesome and got the entire series for me on our media server.)
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
Dear brain-

Why have you latched on to "Comfort Eagle" by Cake as part of the Ori music for the "Bringing Down the House" playlist? This feels so wrong.

Plz to be making sense again.

Love and razor blades,

-the Management
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ultranos: daniel sleeping on a nuke (even my sleep is dangerous)
I think I'm going to start posting any new Manifestos over here. Or at least cross-posting. At least, the non-political ranty type ones. You know, the ones where I pretend I'm 17 and anarchistic again. *eyeroll*

At the very least, I might start doing essays again. I've suddenly got the urge to write the one about growing up and life as a girl gamer. It's better these days, because I can walk into an EB Games or GameStop without being stared at like I'm a strange creature, but then I sometimes walk into one back in Milwaukee, and it hits me all over again. It also seems to be worse when I'm not wearing cargos, baggy shirt, and leather jacket. Anyway, yeah. I need to dig out my sources, but I think that one needs to get written. (I currently found my copy of utopian entrepreneur by Brenda Laurel, and it's currently sitting on my desk.)

Other fics are not so much stalled as being studiously ignored while I attempt to wrestle with quantum. Luckily, any jokes about quantum tunneling are perfectly acceptable in both universes, so I have little to worry about if it decides to take over my brain.
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ultranos: city at the edge of forever; moon colony with v.small text (where the wild dreams are)
Currently marathoning SGA s3. I wanted to get all of Stargate watched before the s4 premiere on Friday, but...yeah. Not gonna happen. But s3 of SGA is totally possible. Good thing I don't have anything else due this week...

My Spearhead players are boggling me. They're getting to choose which plot to follow through on right now: Ancient weirdshit tech, or scary Goa'uld conspiracy. The scientist-types want to go fight the Goa'uld; the soldier-types want to go find the shiny toys. Um...oookaay...

In between all of this, you know, when I'm not attempting to catch a few hours of sleep, my WIP list grows. Of course it does. At least I'm attempting to work on it. Right now, we've got a toss-up between "Scaling Bahamut" (XAOSverse) and "Bringing Down the House" (a *gasp* SG-1 fic). I have no idea which will get done first. ("The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns" is, still, fighting me. *kicks it* Anyone want to deal with a story that's demanding to be told like epic poetry, only not poetry? Anyone? Didn't think so.)
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
I'm getting frustrated by the Not Writing thing. I haven't written anything down since "Jacob in Reverse" (although I'm discounting notes for Spearhead), and I'm beginning to get frustrated. I suppose it could be a combination of moving and term starting so I don't have nearly as much free time, but still. A couple of characters seem to be looking like they want to talk to me, but haven't yet (although one in particular seems to be making me eat all the yakisoba evar).

I'd been doing a couple of XAOSverse character pieces just to get inside their heads. But lately, even that's seemed to dried up. I suppose there's been a few interesting directions taken, in terms of world-building (I may have figured out just what the fuck the Xaoskuim actually are, and it's only taken me, what, seven years?).

Bah. I'm just complaining. As I said a few weeks ago, I seem to be suffering from writer's block, and have just gotten smacked in the head with "Good god, man, what are you DOING? Get your ass to a pencil!" Except I've got my hands on the keyboard, and I'm still drawing a blank. I even spent an hour two days ago figuring out how to install emacs in Windows XP because staring at a blank .doc or .txt file was driving me insane (and I apparently though a blank emacs terminal was better?).

I'm half-tempted to start asking for writing prompts.
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ultranos: sam can kill you with her brain (I'm secretly amused actually)
I think the heat is getting to me (no, I am not counting being woken up by the poster falling down on my head this morning). Otherwise, I'm at an utter and complete loss as to explain the SG fanfic in my head. Real fanfic, as opposed to stuff I can throw into Spearhead and blindside my players with. (Note to self: Look up other dead languages. Don't stop at Linear B.)

[If my players are going to pull things like buying dinosaurs for six bars of chocolate off of a 37 on a Diplomacy check, I get to pull out the weirdshit.]

One good thing I've noticed in writing out background notes for the new fic (it's the one I've been complaining about, now with title, so we all know I'm serious), as well as Mens et Manus, is that, by walking into this fandom essentially blind, I can make wild assertions (where by "wild", I mean "I am extrapolating these things and not picking it up from fanon". It probably matches approximately few other people's) based only on my understanding of canon. This will probably lead to some people scratching their heads, while other parties get to sit back and be amused.
ultranos: daniel sleeping on a nuke (even my sleep is dangerous)
You know, when I complained about having writer's block, I did not need to come up with another WIP. For Stargate, no less. (At least this one might (maybe?) be short.)

Dammit, Sam Carter! What the hell are you doing? Anjirousu, stop talking to her. You're giving each other ideas! I know you claim to have nothing to do with this latest one, but this is totally something you'd pull. Don't think I've forgotten about the pirate-verse, Targasa.

I will be driven insane by two characters who live inside my head.
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
I need to write. (I am currently suffering from Strike Fiss's definition of writer's block.) I wrote down awhile ago a list of current WIPs. That list never really stays static for long. Usually, I'm writing stuff and gathering more ideas, so the list is fluid. Unfortunately for me, the balance between the two is rather out-of-whack, and in the Creative-Brain-is-Getting-Bossy way. "The number, it keeps growing!"

That sort of thing.

So what do I do, when faced with the prospect of even more things to write?

Apparently, I start making playlists in iTunes.

In theory, these are supposed to be mixes that will "inspire" me to write whatever work, character, or place I'm currently working on. I started out with a XAOS one, that then multiplied, and then the Stargate works I'm "supposedly" writing got their own, and suddenly the characters wanted their own mixes. *sigh* (For as sadistic as I am to these characters, they're awfully bossy. Smug bastards.)

These are also currently very fluid, and it's going to be a pain to get the lists cut down to a reasonable mix length. Maybe when I'm finished with them, I'll put them up here to share (at least, the titles and artists).
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ultranos: daniel sleeping on a nuke (even my sleep is dangerous)
I think I've finally figured out the problem with "The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns", the previously mentioned XAOSverse story that's been causing me grief. The style is still a problem. It's very different than what I'm used to writing, but it must be written like this. It needs to have the lyrical feel of poetry while still being prose. That's just what it is.

The mistake I was making was believing that was the only problem with it. I thought, "hey, I should really write the short story about how the Skyrynians waited for the restoration of the House of Takski." I thought I could quickly pen it out while I was trying to get some other character pieces done. I was wrong.

It's not a short story. Or at least, its on the larger end of the spectrum.

Somehow, I managed to forget I'm dealing with, in the grand scheme of how I've plotted the universe, a span of 500 years that's essentially an information black hole. I have no fucking clue what the hell happened in that time period other than a few events and one particularly gruesome recurring event.

The amount of universe building that needs to be done is slightly daunting, and not really the material for the type of short story I was envisioning. We might be entering into the territory of the novella. Oh, you can hear my absolute joy. Or I still might be able to pull it off in a short story. I'm really hoping for the latter. It's just, I'm willing to think about the former only because it dawned on me just what exactly I was talking about.
ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (I will slay you if you don't shut up)
To save your flist, this entry has been cut into convenient sections. Hurrah, HTML coding.

There was once a time when I swore I'd never write fanfic. )

What prompted this rant? Well, to be honest, I got smacked in the head by an idea for SG-1.

Why Stargate might be the thing to get me to cave and write fanfic: )

So, this will be called The Stargate Fic I Am Not Writing. We'll see how that goes.
ultranos: daniel sleeping on a nuke (even my sleep is dangerous)
Why can I just freaking write a story? Just, flat-out, write the damn thing? Because it seems recently, there is no consistent style between what I write. Everything seems to want to be written as some kind of experiment.

Normally, that's cool, that's fine. But come on. This is getting ridiculous. I'm playing with all kinds of styles and it's all becoming very hard. Because I really, really, really want to just go back to my happy default place of 3rd person limited, swapping characters depending on the scene. But no. The current stuff isn't letting me do that.

(This rant is brought to you by the current piece that's demanding to be written as a freaking fairy tale, lyrical, epic-poetry type...thing. I don't know. *throws hands up into the air* I CAN'T EVEN DESCRIBE THE STYLE, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE IT?)
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ultranos: cecilia adelhyde holding spell book (Default)
ultranos

Memoranda from the Usual Suspects

Media List:

Currently Watching:
-- Supergirl(hiatus)
--Pitch (hiatus)


Currently Playing:
--[null] (PS3)
--[null] (PS2)
--Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
--[null] (PSP)
--[null] (XBox360)
--Endless Legend (PC)
--Fallout: New Vegas (PC)


Currently Reading:

Manga
-[null]

Fiction
-The Rook, Daniel O'Malley
-Fortune's Rising, Sara King

Nonfiction
-Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy, David Daley


------------------

"So she's good cop, he's bad cop, you're morally-questionable cop, and I'm set-things-on-fire cop."

"Sounds about right."

--------

"WARNING: When attempting to be clever, make sure you not actually just being stupid."

--------

"Did you remember to sacrifice the goat before burning the ISO to the DVD-R?"

"Crap! Um, I've got a charred piece of meat here."

"That's called a steak. That's dinner. What about the sacrifices?"

--------

"I escape through quantum-tunneling. What do I need to roll for that?"

--------

"Why is it called a 'Monkeylord'?"

"Because it looks like a spider."

--------

"I have a moral objection to this problem. It implies microwaving a steak."

--------

"Did you eat the crazy cookies this morning?"

--------

"The GPU goes 4 by 4, hurrah, hurrah."

April 2017

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