In December 2016, the best OBZPC on this site and I got together, and our relationship is still going strong almost two years later now. Strong enough that we're serious about our future to the point where I am going to finally start toward the independence I've wanted for myself by moving up to Ontario to live with her.
This also comes from my recognizing how far I've come in facing and dealing with the trauma I finally put a name to in early 2017. I've come through spans of daily panic attacks, depression to the point of complete inertness, anxiety of a severity I don't care to look at again, and through so many periods of instability and stability that I still doubt the permanence of my progress. But I know that I am more resilient now, and even if I don't understand entirely, I am able to keep moving forward.
To get myself up to Ontario and settled enough to start working toward citizenship, I'm going back to finish my PhD. I'm starting applying to various schools, and hopefully have enough credentials to pick up where I left things. I have my MA and some incredible references and work from Penn, at least.
Aside from the motivation Emily gives me, I'm also increasingly terrified by the state of things down here for LGBTQIA people, and especially for a trans woman like me. So while I have to face uprooting my entire life while still working through difficult emotional and mental troubles, I figure that, somehow, it's safer. And too, that I'll never fully heal and recover if I stay close to the places where all of my trauma has its roots.
So, this should all come together for better life? I can only say I will do everything to make it work. It's a future I've told myself many times that I would never have, or didn't deserve, but now, I will make sure of having it.
(And if you want to help with some of the initial logistical work, I do have a fundraiser.)
And while I did wonder, I've felt pretty confident that we were better off not being together, as painful as that may be. It does feel liberating in a weird sense, and since we broke up, I've been being a lot more social. (I'm really enjoying all the time I'm spending with my friends.) That was up until Saturday night, where I ended up breaking down and crying about some other problems in my life. I realized I didn't really have anyone else I could talk to about these things, who even knew. It was moment of weakness, but in that moment I wanted him back, and that's the only time I've felt that way since the breakup.
I just felt like venting that a little, and I had a BZPower dream last night, so I figured I might as well use this lil old place. I'll probably end up saying all of this to my ex since we're meeting up tomorrow to give some stuff back and talk a little, but there's one other thing I wanted to say to someone, that I can't say to him, even though he definitely already knows.
Today, we would have been together for a year.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before really feels like a classic 80s teen romcom, except it was made much more recently. It’s delightfully sweet, and has that uncynical honesty that readily calls back to fare like Sixteen Candles or Can’t Buy Me Love. Honestly, this movie is almost an anachronism, but a delightfully refreshing one at that.
Now here’s the thing, unlike all those 80s teen romcoms, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’s protagonist is Asian-American. Lara Jean Covey, played by Lana Condor, a Vietnamese-American actress, is one of three sisters. Their Dad’s white, their passed-away mother Korean. This isn’t really relevant to the plot, it’s mentioned in passing here and there, and their dad makes a decided effort to blend some Korean culture (namely: cuisine) into everyday life. But beyond that, Lara Jean and her sisters are just typical Americans.
Point is, she’s really pretty normal.
Which is actually pretty unusual. Lara Jean’s narrative has nothing whatsoever to do with her identity. She just happens to find herself in the midst of some romantic comment shenanigans after some love letters that were never meant to be sent got sent.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is based on a book of the same name by author Jenny Han. Apparently, there was a few groups interested in adapting it to a movie, but they all wanted to make a change: make Lara Jean white. Han stuck to her guns and eventually a studio came along that was alright with keeping Lara Jean Asian (as, let me remind you, she is in the books) and so we got the movie.
Let’s focus in on just how ridiculous this is. You’ve a bunch of movie studios game to adapt a book, on the condition that the protagonist be white. Only one of the ones that approached her agreed to keep Lara Jean as an Asian-American. Sure, the story’s got basically nothing to do with her race, but that’s all the more the reason why it’s important for her to be Asian.
If you’ve read this blog for a while you probably know that I am a really big proponent for representation in fiction. So of course I want a character who’s a minority in the source to remain such for the adaptation. Especially when it’s a story where her race doesn’t come into play.
Yes, there’s a time and a place for 'Asian stories' and all that, but there’s also a space for stories about people-of-color getting to be normal. Look at all those classic 80s teen romcoms we love so much, everyone’s white. Kevin Bacon in Footloose, Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, John Cusack in Say Anything. There’s the implicit suggestion that those stories are their stories; sure, they’re meant to be everyman, characters who the audience can see themselves in, but there’s still this undercurrent of the everyman usually being a white dude.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel with any of its plotting. Yet it’s a delight of a movie, especially coming in an age when we really don’t have much in the way of romcoms anymore (Set It Up, also on Netflix, is wonderful too, by the way). Having an Asian-American woman as the main character, adds a small, cosmetic spin on things and makes these stories just a little more inclusive. So if we’re in the middle of a romcom renaissance, I’d like more of that too, thank you very much.
STRANGE LIPS, fronted by yours truly: http://strangelips.bandcamp.com (twitter/IG: @Strange_Lips). If you live in or around New York, come see us sometime; we generally play at least one show a month.
Most-recent picture of me, post-haircut:
Some pics from a gig last month, pre haircut:
For starters, the marketing was very misleading. Saying the new scenario “gets to the heart of the story” when it’s tangential at best is a flat-out lie, and focusing the teaser around a Hype-chan scene and Coco reviving Sho really give you the wrong idea about what to expect. Also, the latter is basically the last scene, and using that in the very first teaser is…odd. There was also that new art that showed basically every major character facing off, and it might’ve just been me, but that combined with the shot of Sho made me think all those characters were going to be in it—though to be honest, it might be for the best they didn’t go that way. A New Day isn’t quite what the marketing would have you believe it is.
So what is it, then? Well, it’s sequel bait. And…pretty much only that. While the fact that it’s been added onto TWEWY as a bonus scenario makes it seem to be some kind of epilogue, playing through it, it feels more like a rather bloated prologue to a new story. Very little actually happens over the course of A New Day, and while I think that would have been alright if it had stayed a self-contained bonus chapter, the ending gives the impression that you did all that largely pointless stuff just to get to this exact point…which just so happens to be a cliffhanger. If you want to tease a new game, you make a secret movie! Don’t have us slog through a long bonus chapter where we don’t learn anything or see anyone change just to throw that at us! Now it feels like this whole event was meant to be an important plot development, and in that light it just doesn’t hold up. The only scene that made me genuinely feel glad to be watching it was at the end when Neku gets a call from Shiki (seeing him be so casual about the fact that he’s got friends now is beautiful) and then Beat immediately calls Rhyme to make sure she’s okay (he’s a good brother). Other than that…well, I enjoyed seeing Coco freak out when Hanekoma blew her cover, but I wouldn’t say that endeared her to me or anything. Even Another Day gives us more insight by revealing that the reason Neku is the way he is at the start of the game was because he previously had a friend who died and he blamed himself. I don’t think anything in A New Day is comparable to that.
Anyway, if they’re hyping up a sequel then that’s good news, right? Well…yes and no. True, I’ve always wanted more from this IP and a sequel would certainly give me that. But there are two big causes of concern for me, the first being that this is not the first time a sequel has been teased. The whole reason we call Hype-chan that is because when she appeared for a split-second we were all sure it meant a sequel was coming. That was in 2012. Heck, in Another Day Hanekoma mentions a Noise visible from the RG which I’m fairly certain is whatever messed up Shinjuku, and that was as far back as the original DS version in 07/08! Following this trend, they’ll announce a sequel out of nowhere in five years if we’re lucky. Point being, it’s hard to get super excited about supposed new developments in this IP when previous such teases have gone nowhere fast. Secondly, on a more personal level…I’m officially sick of Kingdom Hearts’ garbage. As a result of this I’ve come to realize that Nomura was nowhere near as involved in TWEWY as I once thought, and can’t help but think that that’s why it’s actually a good game, but the thing is…we don’t know what the team for a sequel would look like. And A New Day is more or less an empty rehash, brings a character from a mobile game into official cannon, and revives fan-favorite Minamimoto for no apparent reason. All of which is Kingdom Hearts garbage. I’m worried that Nomura is going to take the reigns on a sequel and screw TWEWY up, and I really, really don’t want to see that happen.
A lot of this is harsh, but I don’t actually hate A New Day. Even if it’s not stellar, it is new TWEWY content—for the very first time! A lot of the new pins are really sweet, and while the tweaks on the gameplay can get frustrating (screw the Raven Ball) they can also be fun in short bursts, and serve as innovation on the basic game that really does keep things fresh for even us longsuffering players. I’m glad Final Remix was made and I’m glad I bought it. Plus, maybe we’ll get news on a sequel soon, and maybe it’ll be good! Those outcomes are still possible. I’m definitely going to be cautious as we wait to hear more from Square, but I haven’t given up all hope entirely or anything like that. The chances of getting a good TWEWY sequel are stronger now than they’ve been in years at least, maybe the strongest ever. And I definitely appreciate that.
(Side theory: Coco is either the Composer or Conductor of the Shinjuku UG, and her initial plan was to “feed” Neku and Beat to the Dissonance Tapir to drastically increase its power and fight whatever messed up her city. Now that the Tapir’s gone, she’s pulling Neku and Minamimoto into her Reaper’s Game to fight on her behalf. It would explain how she’s so powerful; plus, Hanekoma has some knowledge of this type of Noise and implies someone else may have taught Coco about it, which could mean that Shinjuku’s Producer is the one who taught her. Hype-chan isn’t a part of her plan (yet), she’s just someone like Neku with a unique Soul composition, and perhaps the visions Neku received were the result of some special Pact he and she made unconsciously—Pacts protect Players from Noise, and that might be why she’s the only one left in Shinjuku. Also, the CD for the track that plays when you fight the Dissonance Tapir implies time travel might be involved somehow? (More Kingdom Hearts garbage!) Hopefully not…)
- Antiquity - Hercules
- Late Antiquity - King Arthur and the gang
- Renaissance-Baroque Period - Belmonts, Solomon Kane
- Enlightenment Period - Joana Constantine
- Victorian Period - Van Helsing, Johnathan Joestar
- 1900's - Present Day - Joeseph Joestar (and Speedwagon Foundation), Zatana, Dr. Stephen Strange, Ghost Rider, Ash Williams, Blade, John Constantine, Heckboy, Raven, Jotaro Kujo, Josuke Higashkata, Swamp Thing, Animal Man
- Kull of Atlantis
- Conan the Cimmerian
- Dante (Dante's Inferno video game)
- Dante (Devil May Cry video game)
- Alucard (Hellsing)
- MeninBlack (film and animated series)
- Hoss del Gado
- The Doctor (Doctor Who)
- Danny Phantom
- Yugi (Yugioh)
I'm going through a long and expensive process of getting a new diagnosis. I am on new meds now. Some professionals seem to think I'm bipolar. We'll see.
So yeah I was reckless with my health, I was overworked and constantly making overtime, and by the end of one sour week I was jobless, homeless, and wound up working with a charity and then later transferred from two separate hospitals to a behavioral health center (which was actually probably one of the most helpful places I'd visited for me to sort things out).
So yeah, kinda heavy news here. I would like to say the last thing I need right now is pity. I always felt annoyed when people just say "I'm sorry" to this sort of thing when they don't know what else to say. I know I'm guilty of that too, but some of my favorite responses have been words of wisdom, or gentle encouragement, or even from some of my closest friends just saying "I love you and I'm here for you," or something to that effect.
I've been plenty scolded by nurses and a few other people in my life (with very much good advice, to their credit).
So all that aside I've been reaching out to old friends in Ohio. I've been cleaning my room from adolescence and doing my best to ignore the news. It's one step at a time.
I was missing my friends from the west earlier, but I realized all of those friendships and bonds were made in the past three years. I'm still in contact with a lot of friends, and I'm still in my mid twenties. I have so much longer than three years left, and if I can build myself a happy social life in three years, then well... who knows? This chapter of my life is part of the adventure. It may seem like a step backwards, but life doesn't stop, even for these kinds of events.
I dunno. The glass is kinda at an equillibrium to me at this point.
I stumbled back here after I found that someone had made a small page about me over on a wikia site dedicated to the old BZP comics community. I don't know how I compared to someone like Dark709 back in the day (though my younger self certainly felt I was right up there with the big dogs), but it was nice to see that someone remembered me enough to record a couple of random facts and images.
I should really go back and see if I still have all of those old comics buried somewhere on my computer. Now that Majhost is gone, a couple of twitter avatars are the best things I can find outside of Brickshelf.
These days my main presence on the internet is a YouTube series reading some silly old Japanese Visual Novels with a friend of mine, so if that's your speed I'd love if you could check it out.
So hey, if you happen to run past this post and you want to chat about anything old forums, new forums or how much we've all grown up while this place has been around, drop a comment. I promise I'll try not to disappear for at least that long.
its so weird
like bein in an abandoned hospital but the lights're still on and you can jus hear your voice echoin down the halls
man and i spent like... idk, i think i was active mostly through 2015? but like, 12 years of havin an acct
my acct is older than elementary school
also nearly half my current lifespan
my icon cute tho
I have for so long now felt as though I am in a limbo, I have recently, more or less, cut off the stress from my life, and though my OCD still reminds me of it, I live each day knowing full-blown well that I do not have it on my shoulders any more. So, I have fallen into sort of a limbo, a limbo where I try to ready myself for a major personal task one day, only for that day to come and I lose the will to go ahead and do it, with examples of such, personally, for myself to get anywhere, literally and metaphorically, I need to do my GED, I need to apply to accomplish getting my learners permit; eventually learning to drive, and so on from the GED more-so, though admittedly from both, I need to get a job, and beforehand finish my resume. There have also been lessor things I've been more or less held back from, like getting my iPad repaired for some damage that peeves me (which is regardless of money for me and my family, money isn't an issue), as well, I've been looking to find a relationship, but everytime I get to talk with a girl I just lose the will to see them, and I don't know why. I talk to 'em, and get to know them, but than I just seem to not care anymore, and I seriously can't put my finger on why. And, I know, not everyone is going to know or be interested in my personal hobbies, like bionicle, like conlanging, such and such, but, going back to the original prefaces, how am I supposed to do anything when (and admittedly I may not have originally said this) I feel like I'm being shot down left and right from reaching my goal.
I do have anxiety, and depression, but the former of those two, in regards to me actually reaching and achieving those things, my anxiety I feel is that which is holding me back the most. I want to get my life in order, I need to get my GED done, but why would I want to remind myself of school again?, I want to get my learners permit, but why would I need to drive when I have nowhere to go?, I want to be in a relationship, but why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't care about your interests or someone who you don't feel attached to? This is my conundrum.
And, back to the regard of my personal interests, and a going back to my disclaimer of I mean no offense, I feel like-, no, I know that my friends are simply not interested in conlanging and linguistics, but can I blame them? It's a very specific field, and a very finite detailed creative field at that, in fact if anything it shows I do have a degree of autistic tendency to how I function, which may to some degree be something that is holding me back, but more so I feel the lack of care or passion people; my friends, family, peers, show towards me is seriously hampering me as a person. It's a very basic conundrum when you get down to it, why would you want to keep on living and doing something if no one appreciates you? And not in the regards of my close friends, but some of my less close friends, I know they simply do not in their hearts appreciate me, even if they say they do, they just don't care. So, why would I want to care about them you may ask? I care about all my friends, not simply because I consider them as such, but because I want to try and come to an understanding with them, but there is no way to achieve that from where I am.
I have become so sick and tired of the petty tendencies people do to each other, "we have a difference of opinion, so we're going to fight one another and make ourselves tear our own hair out in anger because of it." just absolutely petty bulldung as that, and it drives me insane, so I cut myself from it, even though it hurts me, because I do truly believe that understanding can be found, despite how much we allow something to tear us apart from eachother.
Now, I have come to the realization that I have to make something of my life, I try each and every day to get myself motivated enough to get to doing just that, but as I have stated here already, I quickly lose my motivation to keep on going, and as so clear as day, I may look to the mirror, see my reflection, I may see my shadow, see the light I block, as is such the nature of future and past, we may try and look to the future, but be will never truly be able to see it and live it before it's time, and the past we may very well remember it forever on for the rest of our lives, but there is somthing keeping me from looking in the mirror so-to-speak, and I simply cannot overcome it, and so this is my limbo. Neither in pain nor in suffering, not in joy or pleasure, but as has always been there, sadness is the only fallback, and the only adictive substance of my limbo which I simply will not be falling back on again as I have so many times, and even if I somehow do, I can't be there for long. So, I am stuck here, in a limbo, with no way to get out.
In related news, I'd currently be up for roommates or crash space in the Philadelphia area. I figure I need to start with some temporary arrangements until I can find a place to move into permanently. I'll still be paying a mortgage in Camp Hill until after I've secured a house (or equivalent) within reasonable commuting distance of Center City.
Been welding since about May now, pretty fun stuff, I know my way around a stick machine and even have my own home machine.
Still got a lot to learn regardless but my classes are great.
Got advanced stick classes in a couple weeks and MIG as well, Tig most likely next year.
Vakama: Ah, Turaga Dume! Welcome! I hope you're prepared for some unforgettable Kanohi!
Vakama: Oh Great Beings, my masks are ruined! But what if... I were to purchase someone else's masks and disguise them as my own crafting? Oh ho ho ho ho... magnificently Makutaish, Vakama!
Vakama: Turaga, I was just, uh... just stretching my calves on the windowsill. Isometric exercise! Care to join me?
Dume: Why is there smoke coming out of your forge, Vakama?
Vakama: Uhh... no! That isn't smoke. It's steam. Steam from the steamed Hau I'm making! Mmm... steamed Hau!
Vakama: Turaga, I hope you're ready for mindblowing Kaukau!
Dume: I thought you were making steamed Hau.
Vakama: D'oh, no. I said steamed Kau! That's what I call Kaukau!
Dume: You call Kaukau "steamed Kau?"
Vakama: Yes. It's a regional dialect!
Dume: Uh-huh... uh, what region?
Vakama: Uhh... Metru Nui?
Dume: Really? Well, I'm from Ta-Metru, and I've never heard anyone use the phrase "steamed Kau."
Vakama: Oh, not in Ta-Metru, no. It's a Ga-Metru expression.
Dume: I see. You know, these Kaukau are quite similar to the ones they have at Nuhrii's forge.
Vakama: Oh ho ho ho... no, patented Vakama masks. Old crafting recipe.
Dume: For steamed Kau?
Dume: Yes, and you call them "steamed Kau" despite the fact they are obviously injection moulded.
Vakama: Ye- hey- you know, the- one thing I should- excuse me for one second.
Dume: Of course.
Vakama: Well, that was wonderful. A good time was had by all, I'm pooped.
Dume: Yes, I should be- Great Spirit, what is happening in there!?
Vakama: The Red Star?
Dume: The Red Star!? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the city, localized entirely within your forge!?
Dume: May I see it?
Brander: Vakama, the forge is on fire!
Vakama: No, Brander—it's just the Red Star!
Dume: Well, Vakama, you are an odd fellow, but I must say... you steam a good Kau.
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