Better late than never, happy Bilbo and Frodo's birthday!
I have been reading my son The Lord of the Rings. Alas, we are making very slow progress because I only read it once a week (the rest of the time his dad reads other books), and since school started, he's been so tired with his own evening reading to himself that he falls asleep after about one section.
"When will we reach the Black Riders again?" he asks.
"If we never reach the Prancing Pony, it will be a while," say I.
Other than that, my mind has not had much room for LotR this season. It is filled with many things, but the love is perpetual.
Here's something that I've been thinking a lot about lately, after a handful of incidents on different social media platforms.
People who feel the need to tell others that they're not allowed to like something really grate on my nerves.
The something in question can be anything from a hobby, a franchise, a movie, a book or book series, a tv show, an anime, a character, a relationship, a food, their culture, their favorite sport or sports teams, whatever.Comic by Adam Ellis
I don't mean respectful disagreement, as in "I don't agree with you for x, y, and z reasons," or even "that's not my cup of tea, but glad you're enjoying it." There's a way to express disagreement or dislike of something without attacking someone else for liking it. I'm also not talking about good-natured teasing of someone you know well.
I'm talking about people who feel it's their job to be the "fun police". Who think that if they don't enjoy something, no one should because somehow that thing is inherently bad just because they dislike it. Who reply to posts about something only with "Anyone who likes XYZ is an idiot" or "It sucks", without offering even a discussion point or something to encourage some kind of discourse. Who belittle people for the things they love, and hurl angry insults or disparaging comments at anyone expressing an opposing viewpoint.
It's not just in fandom circles. Plenty of people are told that their hobbies or interests are "strange", or hear the classic "aren't you too old for that?" or "you should grow up" from their peers. In fandom, it's often more specific, including disdain or hatred for a particular series, calling things "overrated" or mocking them for being "mainstream", "ship wars", or hatred for specific characters. (Disclaimer: I know I was guilty of this kind of behavior myself when I was younger, before I realized what I was doing.)
Of course, you have every right to like or not like anything you want. But it costs me nothing to just scroll past a post about something I don't like and move on with my day. If the poster is asking for opinions, I will respectfully explain what I do and/or don't like about it.
The key here is respect and empathy. There is often too little of that on the Internet. I've reached the point now where I can respect and admire people's passion for the things they love, even if I don't share it. If someone posts an article or a video or a fanwork about something they love, I will try to appreciate it even if I'm not a fan myself. Because really, that passion is something that unites us across fandoms.
I think at least part of the problem is that people take any opposing viewpoint as an attack, on both sides. The us vs them mentality comes out in full-force. This kind of attitude festers in comment sections on blogs and YouTube, and on Tumblr. Add to this the kind of trolling and cruelty that happens in any anonymous Internet spaces, and it's easy to see why people can feel attacked.
So what does this mean? It means fandoms are often splintered and it can be hard to find community sometimes. Many fans, myself included, retreat into their own safe spaces where they have tools to help restrict who can see or comment on their work. Many stop creating or sharing altogether. Overall, it leads to less communication and dialogue about both the positives and the negatives of our fandoms, and that cannot be good, either for individuals or for fandom as a whole.
What can we do to fix it? That's a harder question. I welcome more thoughts on this. Because I think it's something that's up to each of us as individual fans to think about and to help foster the kind of fandom environments that we want to see.
"Oh, I know just the menu to use for this... I can have them order..." *digs out fancy restaurant menu, starts perusing*
Ten minutes later...
"WAAAAIIIIT! This is supposed to be a short smutfic with minimal lead-up."
*scribbles notes for longer epic foodporn fic to write later*
Well, I need to go back to it at some point and rework it into a list for this week, but I'm pretty confident in saying I didn't get most of my weekend to-do taken care of. ^^;; I did get a lot done in the bookroom, which was definitely one of the most important things. However, a lot of it involved unpacking and sorting books and now my bedroom is a disaster of bookpiles (whoops?). I ended up moving a couple of bookcases and the desk twice, because I had ~~different ideas, and then I had one more but ended up not doing it, because instead of trying to incorporate the cedar chest that's been floating around, I should see about parting with it. I don't use it, stuff gets piled on it, and like many pieces of furniture that came over here, it's not actually in very good shape. Well... I don't have to decide on anything today.
Basically, I have to keep reminding myself that not only can I be flexible, it's okay if I am. So if this layout isn't working in a few weeks, I can try something new.
Just unpacking and sorting, I've pulled out three books to go already. Well, for one, I read one chapter and immediately deposited it in the 'take to pagan shop' basket. Not my cuppa. I suspect this will happen more and more as I keep going, especially with reference books that are interesting but not the sorts of things I'll ever need to reference that often, or that seem impressively redundant (like the dozens of gardening books).
Other than that, words! I'm sort of trying for the impossible, lol. Wish me luck! (And words!)
Well this week was somewhat frustrating, but such is life. I've been having some issues with money due to student loans, but I've been budgeting as much as I can. No new video games for a little while anyway. I also found out that the company that has my students loans is being sued by the federal government in a class action lawsuit. I hope those fuckers loose the lawsuit, and I can some relief from these loans. It'll probably take quite a few years before everything plays out. Apparently a lot of people have been having issues with them, and they've committed fraud against a bunch of customers.
That aside I went to pick up my niece from work the other day, and a small rock hit my windshield cracking it glass. D: I have to figure out how I'm going to get that fixed. Ugh, I swear it's so frustrating. I'll have to call my insurance company, and see what they say about it.
As for fandom type things I've been getting caught up on Dragon Ball Z. I used my amazon gift card to buy Season 5 recently. Also I've still been playing Fallout New Vegas, and I like it a lot more than Fallout 4. It has more RPG elements than FO4, and isn't just mindless shooting just for the hell of it. I also bought my friend Ocarina of Time for her DS, and she loves it. I was glad I was able to get her gift to her on her birthday.
I've also been playing lots of Nier Automata lately, and the plot is taking a very interesting turn. I'm really enjoying the game, and I'm glad I bought it.
My anxiety has been a bit better as of late. I don't find myself getting anxious nearly as much. I do wonder if I'm becoming apathetic towards people though. I find myself having that "I don't give a shit" attitude a lot more lately than usual. I asked my mom about it, and she said she doesn't think I'm becoming apathetic which is good. I don't want to be, but some people really annoy me sometimes.
Well that's all for now. Here's a song I've had on repeat lately from the new Brand New record.
This is VERY tasty, I love it, 10/10 highly recommend.
4 or 5 scallions
3 ears of corn
4 ripe peaches (yellow is better)
1/2 large red onion (or equivalent volume of any onion)
1 tbs minced jalapeno
1/4 cup chopped herbs: basil and/or mint (I recommend having at least some basil)
Lime juice to taste
Salt/pepper to taste
1. It's supposed to be grilled corn but I don't have a grill and wouldn't know how to use one, so I cut off the corn kernels and cook them in a skillet.
2. While that's going I chop the scallions and set them aside in a cup. Important to do this before the corn is done.
3. While taking breaks to stir the corn, I pit and chop up the peaches (preserving as much juice as possible), chop the onion, mince the jalapenos, and chop the herbs (a food processor would work well for the herbs).
4. When the corn is done, turn off the heat and add the scallions> Let sit for a bit, stirring occasionally.
5. Combine all ingredients. This is when I add a vigorous dose of lime juice. Stir.
Makes a heck of a lot of salsa!
I've decided my "look" is black and pink, and some gray. Too bad I never go shopping!
I still need to get an ear piercing and have no idea what I would tattoo on myself. But I'd love to have some streetwear clothing. :x
Sorry for not posting in a while! I do have things to say and share, but it just takes too long to spend the time, especially when I find it hard to manage time and juggle different things in life already. My vacation was nice. I'd like to expand and write more, but it's the same issue. ^
I saw some people on my reading page were just numbering their entries, which seemed like an attractive way to sidestep having the name each post every time. But I didn't start my posts by doing that, and there are some entries which seem to be different in type than others (like some are just pithy musings and others are real posts) so I'm just going to label some posts untitled and number them when I'm lazy and no title seems forthcoming.
Disclaimer: this post may be hard to follow because of unintuitive flow and commentary, and I won't have time to edit it to make more sense to others for a while.
Guess what time it is? It's 4:57 a.m.! (By the time I post this, it will be past 5 of course.) That was stupid, tarobun. I know that, so I'm going to acknowledge it and move on.
To give some context, my co-worker June gave me a spare steam access key to a dating sim game.*/** Why did you do that, June? It makes me deciding to make convo with her in the company instant messenger seem like a fatal move full of portent in retrospect. I'd lost stream towards the end of the day because I had stayed up late the night before to get some errands done (for once, being productive when staying up late instead of the other way around).
Ironically, because of that decision, I've neglected my sleep again, but this time for far more typical and dismal reasons. Sure, part of it was that it's titillating (get it?) to simulate interaction and achieve steamy scenes with 2d girls. Gosh, sorry you didn't know I was so trivial when you subscribed to posts. :p But really, the other bigger part of it is that the simple mechanics of a game which gives and feeds into a short-term gratuitous loop is enough to hook into my simple brain and hold it hostage when common sense ought to prevail.
Games in general, as well as other distraction methods like anime and manga, are generally a bad idea for me. I won't know when to stop, and I just won't stop, with each moment stretching into the next until I'm too far gone in the wrong territory (or hour of the day).
When I finally did get around to stopping my clearly ill-thought-out behavior, it was 4 a.m. Basically, from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m., that was what I did. :>
A couple repercussions to mention:
- I did not reply to my Facebook recruiter, so it's going to be at least 2-3 days since she emailed me; and I should get back to her not only with times for my initial interview, but also my resume which I still need to update.
- I did not reply to a semi-professional lunch (for networking reasons) arrangement I had initiated with a casual acquaintance, so there will be a lapse of one day in my communications
- I did not do research to keep momentum going in a conversation about a get-together I am arranging wth some of my friends.
- The most immediate issue for concern: I'm supposed to give a presentation*** today for team bonding sort of thing; I need to finish it, and then figure out how to wing it to present it.
Due to the last point, I can't belabor this post too long.
I'm also a bit sorry -- I can't imagine why anyone would want to read these sorts of details about my life. (It's more of a catharsis post than anything else. I could have written it to myself and reduced it to "That was stupid. Some things now: [above list]" but I don't like having notes lying around in various places so I opted to write it in an entry here instead.)
I showered to reset my state. I'm going to have to work on the presentation now -- thank god I rough drafted it last night in my moments of productivity -- and pull through the rest. Definitely, I'll be pretty tired and in a poor state to enjoy the day's plans (today is slated to team bonding agenda, which normally would be fine enough but now will be a long day due to my choices). Don't know how I will stay awake through other people's presentations, and a team dinner/movie afterwards. Do you have a habit of sabotaging yourself with ill-timed poor behavior? If so, we have something in common.
My final comment is that you'll see with this quickly-written post why I like the asterisks footnotes I use in most of my posts so much -- my unedited writing has tons of parenthetical asides and I use those footnotes to try and circumvent that. ;)
That's all for now, I'll leave it here like this until next time.
* The game was HuniePop, if you must know.
** June is into anime waifus. I was recommending Riveira: The Promised Land to her and she then offered this key.
*** Not a serious presentation, it's supposed to be for fun. But still, I don't like being unprepared.
I don't have much to add this week, but I'll post this music video by Chelsea Wolfe since I've been listening to her new album. She's a singer/songwriter from California, and I've been listening to her for a little while now. Her music is insanely good, and her acoustic stuff is really beautiful. I can't really describe it genre-wise, but if I had to it would be Doom metal/dark folk. Her voice is really ethereal, and fits the music very well. Also this video reminds me of that movie "Jacob's Ladder.