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Camp Equality



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Introducing the BZP Gender Squad

Posted by Princess Grr , Aug 20 2013 · 1,077 views
gender, feminism, lgtbqa and 1 more...
I'm very proud to announce today something that's been in the planning stage for a while now, and recent onsite events show that the timing could not be more critical.  After many weeks of planning, we are excited to debut the BZPower Gender Squad.

Gender and sexuality can be complicated subjects, especially within the difficult social context of this world, but understanding them is critical to understanding each other and making that world an equal and safe place for us all.  Women, men, and non-binary persons of all flavors face enormous pressures regarding these issues, both conscious and subconscious - and the unprivileged face enormous discrimination.  

It's no secret that this discrimination exists on BZPower as well, as has been shown time and again.  Indeed, many feel particularly unsafe and unsupported on BZPower, which is a very sobering reality about a community that is supposed to be safe, welcoming, and family-friendly.  We can't call this a safe community when members are attacked and degraded for expressing or even merely mentioning a gender identity that doesn't conform to cissexual heteronormity.  

We want to do something about that.

Our main goal is to provide a support network for LGTBQA+ and women members on BZPower, a community of solidarity and support.  We want to make sure that no-one has to feel alone and no-one has to feel unsafe.  Whether you're casually mentioning something about your gender identity, or being hurt by bigots someone is here for you.  We know how you feel; we've been there too - and we've got your back.  

Do you need a support network to listen or help concerning your gender/sexuality issues?  Do you need to talk about something and have no-one to go to, onsite or off?  That's what we're here for.  Is someone spouting hateful things to you and you're too hurt or stressed to reply?  Talk to us.  No matter the situation, you are not alone and we care.  This support network is the most valuable thing we wish to provide.  We all want to feel safe and supported.

While support for LGBTQA+, women, and questioning members will be a mostly private affair, a more public application of the Gender Squad will be education.  As said, gender and sexuality are complex, multifaceted issues with lots of social context to examine.  We'd like to provide a resource for education about these issues here on BZPower - a visible, proactive presence in the community rather than just a reactive one.  We'll be posting essays and articles in the blogs as well as running a Gender Q&A where we'll do our best to answer any questions and clear up any confusion you may have.  We'll also be running an offsite blog as a headquarters for this operation, destroythepatriarchy.tumblr.com.  My blog, Camp Equality, will be the onsite HQ.  

We want to be a positive presence in this community.  We want all members to feel safe, supported, and equal; and we firmly believe that the first step to erasing ignorance and bigotry is education and example.  We're here for all of you, with glitter and kisses.  

I'm proud to be a part of this and looking forward to engaging positively with you all!  

Now it's time for me to introduce you to Team FEMME, the elite action committee of the BZP Gender Squad:

Andi is a punk princess who spends most of her free time playing guitar or reading feminist literary criticism.  She's also an accomplished cook whose banana bread is famous throughout the Mid-Atlantic.  Focus area: Feminism (incl. transwomen issues)

Becca is a gorgeous pansexual who only figured it out after entering a heterosexual marriage. She is a Sailor Senshi who will punish you in the name of animu.  Focus areas: Feminism; LGBTQA+ and Christianity
 
Bryan dies a little inside every time he hears "straight pride". Focus area: Teaching the 12 steps of Oppression Anonymous

Canama is a agendered or genderfluid - he's not 100% sure, because gender can be confusing sometimes!  He also suffers from Chron's disease and depression and may have a history of hositle hospital takeovers.  Focus area: Non-binary identities

Jessica is the proud mother of BAC.  She is the force of LIBERNTY GUIDING THE POEPLE.  Focus area: Transgenderism and people being shmucks

Ran is an angry transgirl who has absolutely zero time for your offal.  She's also adorable but won't admit it.  Focus area: LGBT issues and being steamed about all this stuff all the time

Rob is a useless piece of smut who has a thing for butts.  But he used to be known as the "BZP Staff Therapist" and that's because he's a wonderful listener.  Focus area: being cishet scum

Ryuujin likes music, science, and everybody being equal everywhere forever.  Focus area: sympathy and support for those facing the pressures of life in the closet

Shane is NOT Windrider's gay lover no matter how much he claims to be, because Andi has filled that role since 2004.  Shane, instead, is a lovable screwup.  Focus area: Gay and Bisexual issues


Destroy the patriarchy!


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! Please Stop and Read This !

Posted by Princess Grr , Aug 16 2013 · 559 views

This is just an open letter to, well, everybody, in direct response to the goings-on in the blogs currently.  Please take a moment to read it.
 
1. I understand this is probably all overwhelming for some of you and I don't blame you for that but please don't say that we need a "change of subject."  Because even if you don't want to talk about these issues, they are important and need to be tackled head-on if we want to work to make our community truly safe and family-friendly.  We're finally making some real headway towards safety and equality on this site and that should not be stalled just because you don't want to read about it.
 
2. It's not the right of the privileged to tell the oppressed how to act or be.  That's relevant both in terms of the actual oppression and in how you treat response to it.
 
3. Please don't confuse "everyone should be treated equally" with "everyone's views are equal."  We are all equal as human beings, and part of that means we all should be held equally responsible and accountable for our beliefs, words, and actions.  Some beliefs are toxic.  Some words and actions are harmful.  These things should not be "respected" or be exempt from criticism, because they hurt people and that is wrongDegrading a human being is wrong no matter what you believe.  Criticizing and calling out toxic and harmful beliefs, actions, and words, is NOT wrong - and in fact is necessary if we are ever to move forward as a safe, peaceful, and respectful society. 
 
All right, that's all.  Thank you for reading; carry on now and please remember these three points in your continuing discourse. 
 
Glitter and kisses,
Princess Grr
 
ps: destroy the patriarchy!


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My Previous Entry in One Sentence for Those of You Who Thought It Was Too Long

Posted by Princess Grr , Aug 15 2013 · 427 views

Princess Grr more like Princess Grrrl amirite haha
 
 


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This was originally going to be a comic but I'm too wordy

Posted by Princess Grr , Aug 09 2013 · 1,856 views
gender
On my birth certificate it says "Andrew"

I never liked that name

When I was young, I asked my mother what "Andrew" meant and she said it came from the Greek andros, meaning "manly" or "strong."  I said I didn't want to be either of those, and she laughed.  She thought I was just being precocious.

I'm 24 years old and many of you have known me for about half that.  I've been hiding a secret from all of you for about two decades now.

I'm Transgender.

What does that mean?  Well, put simply, it means that my gender and my biological sex do not align.  I identify as a woman, but my body is male.  I experience what we call "body dysphoria" - extreme discomfort and disgust with the physical body I have.  Hearing my deep voice, seeing my hairy body, my broad shoulders - it makes me want to scream.  It's not me.  I feel trapped and twisted.

You see, sex and gender are two different things.  Sex is a purely biological characteristic - basically, it's what plumbing you've got in your pants.  Your body is born female, male, or intersexed.  But gender is a social construct - the characteristics of "masculinity" and "femininity" (and everything in-between) are invented by society and self-identification, and vary between cultures and eras.  

Gender is usually associated with your biological sex, but they aren't technically intertwined.  If the gender you identify as aligns with your biological sex, you're "cisgendered."  If it does not, you're "transgendered," like me.  In my case, I'm "a woman in a man's body."  

It was very difficult growing up like this.  Society puts a lot of pressure on us to conform to specific gender roles, even at an early age.  My parents were all right with me watching My Little Pony and playing Barbies with my sister, but anything beyond that was taboo.  I wasn't allowed to grow my hair long or play dress-up or play make-believe that I was a girl.  As early as kindergarten I remember starting to hide all the stories and comics and drawings I made constantly about boy characters (generally author inserts) being turned into girls.  I knew if my parents or teachers saw them, I'd be sent to counseling.  I knew if my friends saw them...I'd no longer have any friends.

At age seven I remember hearing the word "transvestite" for the first time...it was used as an ugly word, and it is (for different reasons), but at the time I thought "I know what I am now."  Now we use the term "transgender" instead, which is much more accurate and much less offensive

So what does a little girl trapped in a little boy's body do, to avoid ridicule and violence and being treated like a pariah?

She pretends to be something she's not.  She throws up facades the rest of her life to throw people off.  For years she pretends to be hyper-masculine, even as doing so churns her stomach.  When she's young, and still believes there's a god, she prays every single night, for years, that she'll wake up with the body of a girl.  In college she pretends to be a gay man, because the people around her are more accepting of homosexuality than transgenderism.  

For more than two decades, she does anything to keep people from knowing what she really is, inside.

And why?

Because despite being only 2 - 5% of the populations, transgendered persons make up 20% of all murder victims and 40% of all police violence victims.

Because only 16 out of 50 states in the USA have laws protecting transgender people from discrimination.

Because 90% of transgendered people suffer verbal or physical harassment and abuse when leaving the house, and nearly half have reported employment or housing discrimination - and there are no laws against this in most states.

Because transgender life expectancy is reported to be 23 years, and I'm a year past that and feeling worried.

Because 45% of transgendered people have attempted suicide, and I'm part of that percentage.

Society puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on LGBTQ+ people to conform to heteronormative expectations.  Life in the closet is a psychological ######.  Life out of the closet is an invitation to violent abuse.  When I say I live in fear of someone finding out - it's a fear for my life.

So I'm 24 years old, and I don't feel safe enough to tell my parents, or most of my friends, who I really am.  I live a lie and it kills me every day.

I don't even feel safe enough to admit this here on this site.  

But I know there are a lot of people here who also don't feel safe - a lot of people going through the same, or similar things.  And I can't tell them "it gets better" without the evidence to back me up.  And I can't say "it'll be okay" when things aren't okay, even here on this site, time and again.

But the least I can do is let them know they're not alone.  Let them know someone else understands, and someone else has their backs, when it feels like no-one else does.

I'd like to be proud of who I am and I'd like you to be able to be proud of who you are too.  Let's be in this together.

Glitter and kisses,
Princess Grr


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BrickFair is Incredibly Stressful...

Posted by Princess Grr , Jul 30 2013 · 146 views

BrickFair is Incredibly Stressful... ...but my band is super cool.  Come relax and have a great time at our free concert on Sunday, August 4th.  Special shuttle service provided to BrickFair attendees (free).  PM me if you've got any questions. 
 
http://nervouspuddingband.com
 
https://www.facebook...90583611024999/


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Free Concert at BrickFair

Posted by Princess Grr , Jul 27 2013 · 188 views

Free Concert at BrickFair everybody's posting youtube links and stuff but i don't really go on youtube so enjoy this link to my band's facebook page; like and download our songs if you please: http://www.facebook....vouspuddingband
 
also you can follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/nervous_pudding

we're playing a FREE concert on August 4th so if you're the Norther Virginia/Washington DC area, or if you're attending BrickFair that weekend, you should come.  I'll provide free shuttle service from BrickFair to the concert - it's fewer than two miles away from the convention center.  You can check out the event's page here: https://www.facebook...90583611024999/
 
it's going to be really great and you will regret it if you do not go, trust me



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fatt lyfe

Posted by Princess Grr , Jul 22 2013 · 169 views

I wrote this a few weeks ago and didn't post it because it seemed like too much personal junk but whatever I've decided to publish it anyway
 
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Or something like that.  This is sort of a personal entry where I'm sounding off some feelings about myself so be warned.  It'll probably be really long and meandering and not really have a point - I guess I'm just writing my thoughts down for myself.  Certainly won't be offended if you pass on by. 
 
So, like, I used to be a really skinny person and then one day my metabolism caught up with me, like it does to all of us.  Ever since then I've ranged from the "a little chubby" to the "overweight" territories.  I got my weight down in college through a combination of regular exercise and borderline-anorexia (the latter is not recommended), and even after I graduated I stayed relatively healthy by eating well and taking daily walks and such. 
 
But then some stuff happened in my life that really tanked my depression hard (we're talking clinical "I am seeing a therapist and am on medication now" depression), and I completely let myself go.  I started eating junk every day and sitting around watching Star Trek DVDs and crying into pints of Ben & Jerry's (it doesn't help that it's on sale every other week at my local grocery).  My gut ballooned and I got so out of shape that I found myself getting winded from climbing too many flights of stairs too quickly - not to mention other forms of physical activity. 
 
And it was terrible - I looked gross.  I felt gross.  No, I felt disgusting - bloated and sweaty and revolting.  Like I said, I've been overweight or chubby for most of my adult life, but never before had I felt so gross before.  And that's the crux of the issue - I'm categorically against shaming people for their weight, and moreover, I think any body type and size can be absolutely beautiful.  What matters is how you feel in your body...and my problem was, I felt awful in mine.
 
The real wake-up call came earlier this year when I stepped on a scale and it read 240 pounds and I just straight-up flipped out.  I'd never even weighed anywhere near close to that before and I'm not going to lie, there were some tears.  I basically just had all my personal body issues (the weight issue is just dipping the toe in the water, here) crash upon me harder than ever.  I usually keep them pretty reined in, but this was like a big ol' gash cut through the retaining wall. 
 
So after sitting on the floor and feeling miserable, I decided, all right, I'm going to do something about this.  It's not the first time in my life I've tried to lose weight - let me stress, I hate the feeling of being "overweight" and - but I am determined to follow through all the way - it seems much more important and much more pressing to me than it's ever felt.  And it's going to be a huge challenge, make no mistake.  My whole family, both nuclear and extended, struggle with obesity...we're definitely one of those "genetically predisposed to retain fat" groups.  Which is part of why I get so angry when people who aren't go about talking about how it's "so easy to lose weight."  It's great that it was for you, but for some of us it's a serious struggle. 
 
It's made even more difficult by the fact that I can't afford to join a gym or get a personal trainer or anything like that - I really wanted to, but my eyes bugged out of my head when I saw the prices.  I can barely make rent!  So instead, I'm just trying to make a regimen of basic guidelines, and seeing how effective they are.  I'm drawing on my past experience of what helps me to lose weight, which has historically been "regular exercise and better eating."  Starving myself has historically helped too, but Jen would have my head if I tried that again (and rightfully so).
 
So like, for instance, I'm trying to ride my bike every day and have started riding it to work instead of driving.  And it's exhausting!!  I'm so out of shape, it's ridiculous.  I'm also trying to do daily situps and other at-home exercises like that.  My parents have a treadmill that I might see about borrowing that.  I mean hey, something that let's me watch Star Trek and walk at the same time?  I can dig that.
 
As for the diet thing, I finally took this as an excuse to do something I've been contemplating for years, which is to go vegetarian - or, rather, "soft vegetarian."  I'm no longer cooking meat for myself, but I won't refuse it when someone's cooking for me.  I cook 95% of my meals myself though, so there you go.  In addition to that I've cut out soda entirely and am doing my best to cut out sweets and white grains.  I got a nice new water bottle (my old one is all dented up) and have been drinking 13c a day or so to stay hydrated and such.  I've also been cooking with a lot of hot spices again, since that can sometimes give a placebo effect of making you eat less.  I'm trying to eat less in general anyway, too.  I've also seriously cut down on the amount of alcohol I consume.
 
I half-considered taking up smoking because apparently I'm still a middle-school girl inside, as it does curb your appetite and fulfill the oral fetish without consumption of food, but honestly I don't even like tobacco, and the cancer/yellow teeth/bad breath/bad smell/etc is not worth it.  This is coming from someone who has smoked in the past.  Though sometimes I look sideways at those e-cigarettes with the 0 nicotine green tea cartridges.  Probably best not to go down that rabbit hole, though.  Besides, my SO would probably break up with me and who wants to go through the trouble of finding a new one anyway, I mean seriously.  Golly.
 
Anyway.  I've lost about fifteen pounds so far, and I don't even feel I've really kicked into high gear yet, so I'm tentatively encouraged.  My goal is to get to "healthy weight" by the autumn and to my ideal weight by the winter.  A lofty one, to be sure, but I've gotta believe.  I've been wearing a sailor moon wristband as inspiration, as cheesy as that sounds - when I'm feeling discouraged, I look down at my wrist and it reminds me to keep pushing forward.  Sounds goofy, right?  Ah well. 
 
But it's a lot more than just thinness I'm shooting for here and that's part of why this is so important to me.  Having all the body issues crash on me harder than ever made me realize that maybe I ought to do something about them, instead of continuing two decades of festering.  I don't have the courage I'd like to have, right now, but I'd like to think perhaps I will someday.  Getting in control of this, the weight, is the first step.  The second, I can also see.  I hope for the courage to continue taking steps further.  
 
I'm meandering, and probably sounding cryptic and obtuse - I did warn you!  The overarching point I'm trying make in these reflections, I suppose, is that you have every right to seize and be the person you want to be.  Whether you're comfortable thin or thick, blonde or brunette, in skirts or pants, in suits or dresses, prince or princess - you have every right to pursue it.  No matter the challenge, no matter what you say to yourself, no matter what others say. 
 
And even if you're in a body that makes your skin crawl, for whatever reason - still love yourself.  You don't have to love your body to love yourself.  And you need to believe in yourself, to get somewhere.
 
Does that tie this together enough?  I hope so. 
 
Glitter and kisses,
Princess Grr
 
 
PS: destroy the patriarchy


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Shedding a Single Tear

Posted by Princess Grr , Jul 20 2013 · 185 views

for the poor, poor blog staff


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yeahhhh

Posted by Princess Grr , Jul 12 2013 · 129 views

so InnerRayg has been crankier than usual lately and i'm loving every minute of it because it makes him even easier to annoy :br:

holla


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Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with Avocado Mashed Potatoes

Posted by Princess Grr , Jul 08 2013 · 168 views
recipes, spoon?
So recently I've become what I call a "soft vegetarian," in that I'm no longer cooking meat for myself, though I won't turn away dishes that other people make.  Since I cook 90% of my meals for myself, this is part of my continuing quest to become less of a fat, disgusting lump.
 
I've got a semiregular tradition of posting recipes on this blog, because I don't buy it when people claim they can't cook.  Cooking is easy - you just need to follow the instructions...and I'm here to spoon-feed them to you!  It's fun, it's relaxing, and it's often more cost-effective than ordering in/eating out.  You just have to believe in yourself! 
 
So tonight, spoon on the self-confidence by cooking this delicious and healthy vegetarian shepherd's pie with avocado mashed potato topping (mmmm)
 
INGREDIENTS
 
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  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 oz flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup cream (more if thinner consistency is desired)
  • 1 ground bay leaf
  • 5 - 6 medium potatoes, more if desires
  • 1 fresh avocado
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Whatever vegetables you want!  Tonight, I used:
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables
  • 1 can of mushrooms (a must)
 
DIRECTIONS
 
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Dice the onions and toss it in a pan to sauté, along with the garlic - heat (stirring occasionally with a spoon) until translucent.  If you're using raw carrots, like I did, you may want to boil them for a little bit to soften them up.
 
While the onions are sautéeing (or beforehand, even!), you'll want to get started on the potatoes.  If you have your own way of making mashed potatoes, go ahead with that.  My method is to cut the potatoes into large chunks and boil them in water for fifteen minutes, then mash them with a large fork or spoon, adding about a tablespoon of butter and enough milk that they're smooth without being liquidy.  After you've prepared the potatoes, peel and pit the avocado and mash it in with the potatoes - again, using a large fork or spoon.
 
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While the potatoes are still boiling though, before you've gotten to the mashing stage, the onions will likely have turned translucent, so you'll want to move to the next steps with those.  First, fold in flour and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon.  Reduce the heat and then slowly add the wine and the cream.  Definitely use cream for this, not milk - it'll be very thin if you use milk.
 
After this, add all the vegetables (chopped up, of course!), the crushed bay leaf, and any other spices you wish to include (I threw in some basil and red pepper flakes).  Simmer for a few minutes while you finish preparing the potatoes.
 
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Now that you've got both fronts of this battle all ready, you'll want to great a baking dish and then spoon the vegetable mixture into it.  After this, spread the avocado mashed potatoes over top, using a large spoon to smooth them out.  You can see from the photos that my potato layer barely covers the whole thing - I clearly should have made more!
 
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Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and stick this sucker inside for about 30 minutes.  If you're feeling decadent, pull it out after 25 and sprinkle some cheese on top, then replace for the remaining 5, or until the edges start to brown.
 
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There you go - a fresh new take on an ol' English classic, and it's pretty healthy to boot, for all intents and purposes.  Whether you scarf it up with a fork or a spoon is up to you!
 
Glitter and kisses,
~Princess Grr the Magical Baking Girl~
 
 






Welcome to Camp

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Band Links

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DISCOGRAPHY

Oh, Tonight (coming soon)

Mix Tape 1

"The Problem"

"Words, Words, Words"

 
LINKS

Website

Twitter

 
MERCH

Stickers

Faces To The Names

In relative order of meeting and/or encountering them. There are definitely some missing but I'm bad with usernames. PM me if you've met me at a BrickFair or something but aren't on this list.

1989: ActionMasterBumblebee
1995: Cronua
2002: Antonapoulos
2006: Bionicle Rex, Kopaka's Ice Engineering, Kaiapu, Spoony Bard, Black Six, InnerRayg, ChocolateFrogs
2008: Swiftone, LehvakLah, Makaru, Deevee, Magpi, Kohaku, Roa McToa, speaknspell, Nikira, Twingding, krazyrapdude
2009: Janus, Friar Tuck, Senjo, Hahli Husky, Emzee, Alsru: Toa of Honor, Spink, Disky
2010: Nukaya, ToM Dracone, Arpy, Sisen, xccj, Nuju Metru, Primus, Vezok's Friend, Lloyd: White Wolf, Stubbed Toa, Waffles, dablackcat
2011: Brave Dragon, Brickeens, Toa Lhikan Hordika, and many more at BrickFair '11 who I do not remember!
2012: Tufi Piyufi, Takuma Nuva, Avohkah Tamer, and many more at BrickFair '12 who I do not remember!
2013: !!JOHN CENA!!, Ryuujin, Der Xaeger, probably more at BrickFair '13 that I don't remember

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