bliumchik: (quantum)
This post was pretty popular on tumblr so I figured I ought to post it here. Although it seems like I've properly migrated to tumblr :( it's a pity, because Dreamwidth has a much better designed system for community and conversation. alas. Oh well, I'll try to keep posting here anyway in hope that it picks up a bit.

Without further ado: Since my tumblr has apparently become a Discworld blog – introducing someone else to a fandom turns out to be surprisingly similar to initial immersion when it comes to said fandom colonising your thoughts all the time – I thought I may as well have my flail about Monstrous Regiment and why it is my faaaaaavourite aside from all my other favourites. Er, and then it sort of turned into a kind of essay like thingy? So be warned :P

Amazing as Terry Pratchett is generally, he’s always been kind of short on LGBT inclusion – oh, there’s any number of characters that could be background gays, but when it comes to named characters and canon sexuality, he seemed a bit flummoxed for quite a while. Aside from Nobby Nobbs’ awkward comic relief cross-dressing, the closest thing for a long time was the fact that Dwarfs, we were allowed to assume, did whatever they did and nobody Mentioned Gender, so really any given dwarf couple were Schrodinger’s Queers. They also got the closet metaphor with the whole “coming out as female” thing, and I believe later there was one named dwarf who was in fact transgender as we would understand it. But at the same time, Trolls, whose genders were usually clear, managed to fail the Bechdel Test as a species.

And then came Monstrous Regiment, the book which increased genderqueer visibility in fantasy fiction by approximately 300%, as well as introducing the Disc’s first proper lesbian couple and quite possibly failing the Reverse Bechdel Test.

The trope of a girl dressing up as a boy to join a traditionally male military institution is old stuff by now, the most salient example in my reading being Tamora Pierce’s Lioness series. It’s a fairly polar trope, really – on the one hand, you get what is usually a fairly badass woman doing badass things and being as good as or usually better than any number of boys (who are not, after all, protagonists) – but at the same time, it means your main character can quite easily be the only female character of note, and as a tomboy in a gender-segregated society she’s not likely to have great relationships with other women who fit into their assigned social roles – conveniently perpetuating the Not Like Other Girls idea that’s partly responsible for the massive difference in popularity between Arya and Sansa Stark.

 

Spoilers yonder! )

bliumchik: (quantum)
I found it odd initially that the UTS theatre society, Backstage, wanted to do a double bill of The Real Inspector Hound and Mother Courage & Her Children, but I must admit it's worked out pretty well. You come away from the night with a real sense of the general theme being Plays That We All Studied In High School er Won't Let You Forget You're Watching A Play. Fourth wall? Hound's got five. Suspension of disbelief? Bertholt Brecht spits upon suspension of disbelief. And yet, it goes without saying, the skill of the respective playwrights means you can actually make a pretty entertaining evening out of it, and this the actors did with aplomb.

We open with Tom Stoppard's absurdist classic The Real Inspector Hound, and let me reassure you I am fully aware of the irony of making any sort of critical review of The Real Inspector Hound, and promise not to use the word "elan" at any point other than that one. To say this production was on a budget is to make university students the world over laugh uproariously and insist that it is your round, so rather than engaging in funny business with mirrors, the traditional Messrs Moon And Birdboot Are In The Audience game was played by means of several chairs extending the audience seating onto the stage (floor) in a curve with Reserved signs on two of them, not that this was necessary because the audience knows what's what and nobody wants to sit in the weird seats where the lighting kids can stare at the back of your neck. I hadn't brought a companion, so I ended up sitting in the middle of the second row next to pair of men with accents so incredibly German they could not possibly be actual Germans from Germany.

Read more... )

What can I say about Mother Courage? Many things, but a lot of them involve trying to pronounce Verfremdungseffekt. It seems like each new production uses different theatrical devices to shoot for Brecht's ideal of estrangement, and each one manages to shoot itself in the foot by casting likeable, empathic actors. This was basically the case here. It is of course possible that the artist's goal of undermining audience immersion in the story to breaking point in order to make them think about the issues presented is truly impossible to achieve, and it is also highly probable that anyone who's going to think about it at all is capable of doing so while totally engrossed in the story, but it is more to the point to note that the spread of postmodernism and the vagaries of student theatre mean we are entirely accustomed to a fourth wall that's more of a colander, to highly non-naturalistic scenery and to metanarrative commentary. The only things that remain unique to Brecht and therefore remotely jarring are the thing where you announce what's going to happen in the following scene and the thing with the awful music. All of the above were used quite well in this production.

Read more... )
bliumchik: (nothing sus)
So anyway, I have clearly not kept up with my good intentions of updating lots. I should really stop waiting for my life to calm down to do stuff like this - all signs point to not any time soon, so I may as well figure out how to work around ALL THE THINGS for blogging. I have been keeping up on reading blogs, but not really commenting - sorry guys, I'm always either feeling like I have nothing relevant to say, like you've forgotten who I am since I haven't updated in so long, or like it would be awkward to comment because the post is two or three days old in the time it took me to read it. But I am reading! I have reverted to lurkerdom. Sorry :( I'm going to try to both post and comment a bit more, but we know how that has turned out in the past :P

I'm writing this first bit chilling at a dinner party on someone else's laptop while I wait for stuff to happen. By stuff I mean food. Since the last entry I have had a fairly solid block of social life and work.

rock and roll! )

tattoos! )

parties! )

extremely nerdy pursuits! )

work! and dashing about madly! and more work! ...and then moar social life, this time more sedate )

So yes, that was A LOT OF THINGS. I have conveniently split them into sections using The Magic Of Cuts (although it will be of most utility to DW users on their reading page or anyone browsing [personal profile] bliumchik, because of Dreamwidth's handy little triangle cut thing). It has been a fun week, but I am also glad now that the weekend is appearing sedate. There was a party on Friday as well, but I had to babysit, so instead of flailing at people on a beach I played scrabble with a sevenyearold. And I lost, because I kept telling him what words to use. It's just really frustrating to play against someone who keeps putting down "at" :P

I'm just gloriously lazing around my room and immersing my brain in the internet, while outside my window my new neighbours yell incoherently and splash about in a kiddie pool with all their housewarming guests.

SO, PEOPLE WHO INEXPLICABLY STILL READ MY BLOG: if you have gotten this far, or even if you have skipped all of the random anecdotes, Answer Me These Questions Three!

1. I am submitting a sample Advice Column to my student magazine, hoping to write a monthly one this year! Give me sample questions to answer in it. They can be serious or humorous, preferably some mix between the two - you can post them screened if you like. LET ME ADVISE YOOOOOUUU MOOHOOHAHAHahem.

2. Who wants to volunteer at Armageddon Sydney? I'm not sure if it's too late or not, but the form is still up on their website... I'm thinking of applying but obviously it's more fun with friends!

3. What hilarious horrifying yet realistic tattoo shall I tell my dad I'm thinking of getting before revealing my comparatively classier one so that he doesn't freak out about it? (nothing will stop my mum from freaking out :P)
bliumchik: Dr. Horrible laughs evilly (mine is an evil laugh)
Hokay! So I am in the midst of another fortnight'o'doom but this time I am trying to keep up with the internet. Having got those mixes up my to-do list contains two gulf_aid promises and more stuff for uni. My more immediate to-do list consists of stuff to put in a perzine i shall hopefully print tomorrow evening have already printed by now because this entry is SO LONG OH GOD to take to This Is Not Art, where I shall spend the long weekend in a Newcastle hostel with some people from the Writers' Society, doing writery things.

What has my fortnight'o'doom so far consisted of? Well, on Monday1 I went to a short story reading in Newtown entitled Penguin Plays Rough. My boy Alexander, meanwhile, was also going to Newtown to see the Rumjacks with his cousin, so I showed up at his place and we all walked down there together. The Rumjacks are a local sort of celtic folk punk type of band, which means they are basically Al's power animal2. They were doing a free gig at the Townie, the performance space area of which has an approximately 60-40 pool table to regular table surface area ratio. Anyway, we got there before the first set, had some drinks and giggled a bit at the circle of little old ladies sitting on couches near the door. Little did we know, grannies were hardcore! When the band started they were totally into it, two of them even stuck their hands in the air and did those little palm rotor movements that old people do when they listen to music.

As soon as I finished my screwdriver I ventured forth to locate the location of Penguin Plays Rough, which heretofore I had only encountered in the form of WriteSoc newsletters. onwards! )

...and today I hung out with Alice and ate cupcakes and impulse-purchased comics before coming home to finish writing this LUDICROUS ESSAY OF A BLOG POST, OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, WHAT THE HELL.

What have I been up to since I last posted? EVERYTHINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG.




1 LAST Monday *looks sheepish*
2 Thank you, [personal profile] jkrockin, you are entirely responsible for this figure of speech entering my vocabulary.
3 Also, spent way too long walking behind this one woman going in the same direction, which made me feel awkward about singing under my breath as I do when walking semi-deserted streets.
4 The third or fourth author to read began by apologising for not deviating from the unintentional "women's issues" theme of the night, before proceeding to read aloud her draft of a touching and hilarious story about abortion clinic waiting rooms.
5 Okay, Tasmanian Tigers, but dingoes are inherently funnier creatures :P
6 Heh, long entry is long too, BUT NOW DO YOU SEE WHAT KIND OF WEEK I AM HAVING.
7 Of course, the only ink I had was blue.
8 The men in my boyfriend's family are REALLY FUCKING TALL.
bliumchik: Item: trebuchet. Item: zombie. Sound effect: braaAAAAaains. Zombie Badminton: priceless.  (zombieminton)
Well, it's been a bit of a week. On Monday night I noticed an odd lump on the left side of my neck, just at the base of my skull. Having been sitting in front of the computer all day, I thought it must be a tension knot, despite never having had a protruding one like that. BUT THEN I felt two tiny ones right next to each other lower down on my neck, kind of like someone had surgically implanted smarties beneath my skin when I wasn't looking. Naturally I was a bit freaked out, I mean, what? LUMPS? NECK CANCER! But then I told my mum, who immediately took over ALLLLLL OF THE WORRYING DUTIES and flailed around calling all my grandparents and This One Friend Of Hers Who Is A Doctor. I promised to make a doctor's appointment forthwith, which turned out to be Wednesday, so she decided to continue to panic.

We cut to a commercial break as Maggie contemplates the ultimate destiny of... NECK LUUUUMPS! ...actually this is mostly about buses and thespians, sry )

Thing Of The Day: RIOT NRRD, a webcomic linked from Tiger Beatdown, which is SO VERY ADORABLE. I mean its name is RIOT NRRD, for fuck's sake. It basically does what it says on tghe tin :P also JOSS WHEDON PUPPYYYYY. I totally made a DW feed :P
bliumchik: (hat)
I did that thing again. The thing where I don't post for ridiculous lengths of time because a post about some big event is just a-sittin' there in my draft box, steadily receding into the past. I know, we're all shocked.

So I really did spend most of that month procrastinating. I didn't even get much further in Portal, because I was hit by that curious mental tic whereby doing anything substantial is Admitting I Am Not Doing Work. Unlike, say... compulsively refreshing twitter and playing solitaire.

Yup.

But I finally handed everything in, not too late if you don't count extensions, and only slightly under all the given word-counts. Probably a lot of it was a bit shit, but oh well. I got at least one decent poem out of the Culture & Poetics final, a decent novel opening that I can hammer into better shape later (and the realisation that HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS NOVELS ARE LONG), and I had fun writing about tiny communists for Utopias. The stress was probably good for me! Or something.

My final extension ran out oh... a couple of hours before my volunteering gig at Supanova began. So that was good timing! I even managed to get my hair properly bleached for the first time on the way (which: holy burning sensation, Batman!) and which was handy for my Corinthian costume, seen here albeit not in sufficient detail to see the awesomeness of the facepaint on my eyelids. It was generally agreed to be a great outfit! Also, the sunglasses made me feel extremely badass standing next to queues with my arms folded and telling people when they can go forward and when they are in danger of turning into a snarling mob. That was handy because on Saturday morning I got commandeered for that particular duty at the Supanova Store just after doing my make-up but before getting a) my badge and official shift-times and b) breakfast. This is because a shitload more people showed up than expected and allllll of them wanted Lou Ferrigno autographs. Well, no, all the scruffy middle-aged men wanted Lou Ferrigno autographs, everybody else wanted Eliza Dushku autographs. We were so swamped that the coordinators couldn't find anyone to relieve me for another ~three hours (by which time McDonalds were no longer serving breakfast). I felt very put-out about this until I discovered that Jenn, Mish and Nat were about three times as swamped at the photobooth, because everyone and their mum wanted a photo with Eliza or Summer Glau.

Sydney Supanova is held in a big dome thing out in Olympic Park. I camped out at Al's place because a) he actually lives on a train line which significantly reduced my travel time and b) the man is some sort of crazy morning person and was pretty much certain to ensure I was going to be awake by seven. (The whole relationship thing is going well, by the way!) Somehow I still managed to be late on Saturday morning though (hence the lack of breakfast). That is because trains and me? We are not friends. We are not even frenemies, we are more like a rickety wooden bridge over a canyon, and a semi-trailer. I should probably put the rest of this story behind a cut, huh? Ahhh, the return of my epically long posts :D

TRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS sorry, no, I mean FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAILS no wait, excuse me, this is so embarrassing, EXPLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS fuckit )
bliumchik: (nothing sus)
Well, my two-week flood of assessment deadlines is over! Now I have at least three weeks before the next one starts, and I am naturally going to use them to procrastinate.

In TOTALLY UNRELATED NEWS, Portal is free from Steam for another week or so :D

...you guys, I get motion sickness from this game. And it's awesome. I do not even.

So anyway, since handing in my final assignment last Friday I've been tumbling and shooting portals at things and vegging out on the internet, woo! This sluggish state has been partly in response to the freedom from all that writing about socialists and french philosophers and moths, and partly in order to recover from Friday itself, which was approximately 36 hours long. (PS: I totally started this post on Tuesday :P oops!)

cut for length of the recount and a bunch of random tangents and an aside on the topic of good-touch/bad-touch and uh I got a little carried away...? )
bliumchik: THIS IS NOT SPARTA. I AM LOST. (scenic detour!)
If you've been reading my journal for a while, you're probably used to my dropping off-radar in the aftermath of big events - I usually spend about a week feeling like I can't post about anything else till I've posted about the event, and after that I feel like I shouldn't post until I have enough time to write a massive catch-up entry. I hear Dreamwidth may be implementing a multiple-draft-queue new entry page, which might alleviate this problem somewhat. (Also, I could just use notepad files, it's only a few extra steps. Passive barriers: consistently surprisingly powerful.)

Anyway, in this case uni started right after I came back from Melbourne, and I am always a twitchy messy wreck the first week or two as I'm forcibly reminded that real life involves constant interaction with people who are not close friends or otherwise people I can assume like me, but I'm settled in now so here's that belated post about Soundwave! And, uh. Highlights of. The next. Month or two? I'M SORRY. This post has been accumulated in bits and pieces, so excuse any chonology weirdness. Under the cut, of course, this is going to get long.

so fasten your seatbelts! or something, idk )

So that was my Soundwave trip! It was pretty great, overall, despite the cold, which opens up whole new vistas of me actually leaving Sydney ever, provided I am not doing so alone. Hurray!

Since then I have been:
-procrastinating heavily on university, despite the fact that all my classes this semester are BRILLIANT
-going to parties and being my hilariously awkward self
-making out with some people despite this
-doing TROUTS and WriteSoc things (more on this later! this entry is long enough already)
-going to MOAR CONCERTS (ditto!)
-failing to go to other concerts because I fail
-obtaining a ~boyfriend (!!) (funnily enough, neither airplane dude nor one of the people I made out with at the aforementioned parties)
-buying things from the internet, including a T-shirt depicting A CAT WITH LASER EYES, FUCK YEAH
-&c.

I'm going to try to actually post things here more often. Since my Grand Return coincides neatly with the beginning of Three Weeks For Dreamwidth I think I shall disable comments on LJ for these three weeks. Don't worry, LJers, I still love you and OpenID is very simple :D

murrgruhhh

Feb. 23rd, 2010 07:41 pm
bliumchik: (fight the system)
I think I have some sort of persistent opportunistic flu infection that pops right up as soon as my immune system is compromised by stress or leaking or lack of sleep. grah. hate. Also I have had a weird skin reaction to this lotion my gran brought back from Israel. Fuck you, dead sea! However this resulted in hilarious twitter conversation yonder:

jk_rockin: you're allergic to the Dead Sea?
me: Apparently so! This does not bode well for any undead israeli boys that want to sweep me off my feet in the future!
fishmouse: Better a vampire than a zombie anyday.
me: yeah I'm pretty sure EVERYONE is allergic to zombies :P
me: oh man, imagine if you were allergic to the kiss of death! talk about adding insult to injury!
me: MOOHAHAHA, NOW YOU ARE VUN OFF USS! ...and svellink up somesink awful. Armand, is zis supposed to happen!?
jk_rockin: ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US

Further such hilarity occurred IRL last night, when I showed up at Jenn's Batcave (a warehouse full of amazing giant piles of junk, omg I wanted to put on a snorkel and wade in) for adventures with hairdye! But first, a scenic detour to the Shire. "Hey Jenn... I think I am on the wrong train. Where is Panania?"

Anyway I have a red skunk stripe now. Oh did I mention I got a superdykey haircut last friday? I did that, yes. It is. Interesting. I can never quite impress upon a hairdresser that MY HAIR IS A LITTLE CURLY and they keep giving me styles I have to straighten bits of otherwise they look ridic. But anyway I have a red fauxhawk with an S-curl and brown lady-sideburns with almost-shaved cut-outs behind them. I like it but I don't think short and rectangular is really my thing in general - next time I will let my hair grow out much longer before I go in, give them something to work with. On the other hand, it looks excellent under hats! :D

A meme I tagged long ago and forgot about:

Reply to this post asking for words and I'll give you five I associate with you, which you then talk about in an entry on your journal!

From [personal profile] amber!

slam poetry: hahaha I am not sure why you associate this with me? I have done it all of twice. I find it interesting how rhythms are different when you're writing poetry to speak aloud, than to look at on a page. It's a matter of long and short beats, internal rhymes and consonance. Whereas book-poetry is less about how the words sound aloud and more how they look on the page, what kind of beats a space, a line break, an indent create. I think the best poetry combines the two, really, but I can't quite express the process.

Russia: ZE MOTHERLAND. lol. I identify as Russian without any particular tie to the place we call Russia, I think that's common to a lot of immigrant kids like me. It's about the language, the food, some little customs and cartoons. Family history plays a part, too, anyone whose family spent a few generations in the Soviet Union generally has a fairly russo-unique set of "grandpa stories" and interesting familial neuroses.

The actual place is by all accounts a corrupt racist alcoholic winter wonderland, but I'd still like to go back there some time just for the novelty of getting by in a language other than english.

neutral_omens: Ahh that old game. A Good Omens based "let's throw some characters into a place and see what happens" roleplay, albeit much smaller than ones like CFUD and la. We actually got together in OOC-chat and worked out bits of plot :P also, it was HILARIOUS (or maybe I just thought it was because I was sixteen). Angels, wizards, demons, an antichrist and some random bewildered humans in a hotel that used to be a satanic nunnery cum paintball retreat? OH yeah. I played Newt Pulsifer, toying with a proto-accident-field-superpower that has inspired a comic book character who now lives in my head. At some point I will script the first issue and find an artist for that.

Here are some of my favourite threads I was in: John Constantine and Newt Pulsifer vs. the Cellophane Beast was fun times, as was American Gods character Loki prodding Newt's Special Fail Powers. That one also resulted in a hilarious AU drawing based on what else could have fallen through the ceiling (hint: there was nudity).

Amanda Palmer: lol this list was given me before Evelyn Evelyn drama drama went down. I should have done it then, I could have gone on about her voice and lyrics and audacity and ability to connect with people instead of her privilege and public relations failure. And after all I said in the last post I STILL ended up arguing about it with strangers on the internet. God, both sides, too! I guess I am just one of those CAN'T SLEEP, SOMEBODY IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET people, regardless of whether that person agrees with me or not. Well, you know, you don't want people who agree with you to be wrong, do you?

Honestly I am more disappointed in the way Amanda has handled this whole fiasco than with the concept of the record. Like, sure, that was problematic, but as an initial provocation on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is accidentally saying "stand up for yourself" to a wheelchair-user and 10 is Spartan social darwinism, Evelyn Evelyn is maaybe a three. She could totally have salvaged that situation, but instead she's managed to make everyone who started off going "amanda I love you but I feel a little uncomfortable with this" feel like she sees no difference between us and people who tried to censor Oasis/think her photography is "goffic snuff porn"/hate her for dating Neil Gaiman (disclaimer yes I know those are all different people). For somebody who has cultivated such a feeling of closeness with her fans that just feels like a bit of a betrayal.

Also I am a little disappointed in the manner in which many people pursued this complaint against her in the first place, but that's a whole essay on effective privilege-checking that I want to save until tempers are less frayed, so that I can use this as a specific in the general case without putting people on the defensive.

And speaking of defensive don't even TALK to me about the people jumping in with "it is your responsibility if you feel offended because we choose our feelings" (more or less verbatim from one) because OH MY GOD. Alternating fury and motts at those people, why must you remind me that just because somebody likes the same stuff as me does not mean they are not a douche? (also mottsy because it reminds me of times when I have leapt to the defense of something without thinking, although I can't recall specific instances right now, but that just makes me paranoid!)

talking-really-fast: it's. a thing I do? XD I think out loud, and thoughtspeed is always faster than we are physically capable of forming words, so sometimes I trip over myself. Also sometimes people say "okay now say that again only use a spacebar" (not in so many words). Aside from that it's not much of a thing one way or another. Now talking really LOUD is a real problem I have, whereby I forget that I have a volume setting that can be adjusted until someone goes OMG STFU MAGGIE. (I feel that is a good note on which to end this post.)
bliumchik: (hat)
It is a neverending source of bafflement to me, these days, the way my life lines up in flowers for the theoretical social butterfly inhabiting my incidental position in the space-time continuum. I spent a good deal of time as That Kid who reads in the library at lunch time - in fact, true story, one of my teachers had to gently remind me that I had a library card in order to convince me, grumbling, to read the book under a tree in the park instead1. Then I graduated to spending lunchtimes in a computer room, in the general vicinity of some other kids who could loosely be termed friends because we congratulated each other on our high scores in Icy Tower and mutually complained about Geography assignments.

Somehow something I always thought of as popularity snuck up on me. Somehow I do things on weekends, now, and text message people, and lend them clothing or leave clothing at their house by accident and tell them get it back to me next time I see them. Somehow multiple people want me at multiple events in multiple places at the same time with disturbing regularity. My cup, literally, runneth over. Part of me still doesn't believe it.

And so two things: One! I am always pretty cheerful about having to maneouvre around double-bookings in my social calendar because I have double bookings in my social calendar wth :D srsly. And two! I am kind of bad at saying no to people. I want to do EVERYTHING. I want to go to things just because people ask me. I'm still not very good at reciprocating, you know, despite having evidence that people like me in them asking me to spend time with them I can never quite convince myself that they like me enough for me to ask them to spend time with me. So I want to take allllll of the opportunities to spend time with people without having to flog my brain into invitation gear - it is just less stressful.

All of which is an exceedingly lengthy lead-in to explain why I spent most of last night in transit between Newtown and Annandale, trying very hard to be in two places at once.

cut for my return to my trademark Very Long Story From Last Night )
bliumchik: (hat)
What do I do as soon as I start posting again? Stop posting :P naturally. I have had a busy couple of weeks, internet! Let me tell you about it! With pictures, mostly linked in-text for the benefit of anybody who’s capped or something, because there are rather a lot of them. This entry’s written in fits and starts so a couple asides are out of date, particularly the one pertaining to my stab wound, but I’m leaving them in anyway :)

did I just say that about the stab wound to make you click the cut? maybe I did, maybe I didn’t… )

So that was that. Next post: a meme and a macro and some awesome statuary, plus tales of my further clubbing adventures if all goes well (or hilariously unwell) tonight (and David actually shows up :/)
bliumchik: THIS IS NOT SPARTA. I AM LOST. (scenic detour!)
The sky was taunting us. Not two days ago I had been convinced that summer was coming early, but on the day we set off for Newcastle with tents and sleeping bags in tow the clouds appeared to have settled in for the long haul. “Come to TINA they said,” I grumbled, heaving my backpack into Natalie’s car. “We’ll all camp out, it’ll be fun. Oh yes.”

We continue... )
bliumchik: (quantum)
...and some of you may have forgotten who the hell I am. This meme is going round my flist:

You know how sometimes people on your friendslist post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when were they working THERE? Since when were they dating HIM/HER? Since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy the topics below, erase my answers and put yours in their place, and then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration. One-word answers seldom help anyone out.


Now, I'm a weird one who can ramble forever about some stuff and volunteer personal information at length while completely sober, yet apparently completely random topics will make me cringe and hide unless somebody has specifically asked me a specific question about them. And also I'm not very good at being able to tell what bits are the need-to-know bits. So the meme is slightly altered: I'm going to write some stuff, idk, and if there is anything missing that you're curious about you may ask me in the comments.

meeeeeeeeeeeem )
bliumchik: Item: trebuchet. Item: zombie. Sound effect: braaAAAAaains. Zombie Badminton: priceless.  (zombieminton)
No sooner does my ludicrous week of assignment deth finish than begins a ludicrous week of social overclocking. This is preferable, but I don't think my room is getting tidied any time soon.

I am writing this in a computer lab at my uni, so I sadly won't be able to include pictures at this point in time unless they were already online: but rest assured - there are indeed pictures. I'm hanging out here because I had to be in the city at noon to be photographed by the extras agency I signed up with like, last year, who still haven't got me any work, but that's cool because they don't have a sign-up fee. They want to have a current picture on the books whenever possible - I emailed them about a month after I cut off all my hair and dyed it red, and we have collectively failed to fix it for about three months. But that's done now, and good thing too because my original photo there was really pretty awful considering they had a professional photographer called Pierre and everything. This time it was just the receptionist with a digital camera and I am pretty sure it's better. Did I mention I dragged a giant bag-full of library books down there? I was going to return the books first and then show up, but I was late, so I had to schlep them all the way across the city to uni afterwards. I have no idea why I borrowed quite so many books. Some of them were not even related to my assignments - when did I think I was going to read them?

Anyway, I'm still here because I'm going to see Wicked this evening with Stan and Des and David. I'm excited! So I shall use the time before they show up to try and paint you guys a word-picture of quite how hilarious my week has been and is going to continue to be.

cut because oh my god how much stuff can happen in one weekend? )

And then I came home and discovered that I got quoted three times in last week's ljdq. My weekend, dear internet, was fucking AWESOME.

But the thing is. This week? Directly out of hibernation? Today I see Wicked. Tomorrow Avi's having a hotpot and wine night. Friday is the TROUTS end-of-semester party. Saturday is Nicky's birthday party.

I may actually die.
bliumchik: (Default)
Eep, that makes three, count'em THREEEEE consecutive nights of rock'n'roll. You know that wesbite, "fuck my life"? I want one called <3 my life omg. Oh hey, I ask and [livejournal.com profile] snarkaddict provides!

Talkbox at the Harp )

Diana's birthday )

Zombies vs. Vampires Party of Massive Fucking Win )

Finally, go here and fight my weird sprite thing. They're adorable! STAB STAB STAB.

And an RTMI video from [livejournal.com profile] drjon:


bliumchik: Jared Padalecki's thinkyface (deep thought)
So the other day I was thinking about that whole SF/F racism kerfuffle again (people who are sick of it feel free to skip this post) and about trying to unpack some of my own unconscious issues. (I would like to note before I start that I am not holding my hand out for Nice White Lady Cookies here, seeing as people have been accused of that throughout and often rightly so. I'm just trying to verbalise this for myself and guess it might be food for thought for somebody else too.) cut for rambling )
bliumchik: (fight the system)
Okay, okay, I TRIED to stay out of it because I KNEW it would be full of the same old infuriating People Who Just Don't Get It, but I caved. I read up on the blowout currently going by RaceFail 09. And I found to my surprise that I did, in fact, have something to say about it.

Okay, firstly, to get it out of the way, my take on writing characters with a different cultural background to my own )

Now, on to the actual controversy. EDIT: I got distracted and ended up waffling about something only vaguely related? So my actual comments about the actual internet kerfuffle are in the next post. *looks sheepish* All right. So. The thing about fantasy is - quick summary of my understanding of the background here before I get into what I think I can actually add to the discussion. The thing about fantasy is that offensive themes are very easy to disguise in it. Mostly subconsciously. Because, of course, it's not our world. Back before anyone was really talking about Coded Language and whatnot it was very easy for someone whose personal worldview was very self-centered to create a fictional world in which all those pesky things which do not fit either don't exist or are warped into something that doesn't make them uncomfortable. It's still easy, it's just nowadays people actually notice and talk about it. And nowadays most good fantasy writers are not quite so blatantly xenophobic as, for example, H. P. Lovecraft. The problem is that most good fantasy writers regardless of race grew up READING fantasy written by white people for whom race was a d'n'd style straitjacket. Like Tolkein, who imagined the whole world to be a cookie-cutter clone stamp of about a hundred acres of British countryside. Can't really blame him. After all, the man lived on an island.

and some more waffle )

This post has been getting more and more poetically incoherent as the time gets closer to four am. What I'm trying to say is I believe our lack of humility is in part geographic, and our construction of race in opposition, of whiteness and Other, is influenced by that disconnect. (Obviously I realise that non-island nations also have racist and nationalist dialogues. But go and count how many of them are not primarily based on territory, religion or both, go and count how many involve an conflict that did not begin across a national border or a line of scripture.)

And western framing leaks, we impose our ways of dividing society on the rest of the world whether purposefully or otherwise. Information flows OUT from us, and it is SO easy not to look elsewhere, not to look in any other way than this one. Is it any wonder that our fantasy worlds take on that same affect?

I want to see a fantasy Eurasia. I want to see countries upon countries upon ex-empires upon conquerors upon conquered, I want to see DEPTH to the history of fantasy universes, I want to see a character get six completely different Once And Future Exposition speeches from six different Wise Old Folks who live within sixty kilometres of each other. I want to see descriptions of racial characteristics that don't stand out like a sore thumb because everyone but that character defaults to fantasy-caucasian, I want to go through ten characters before one repeats a skin colour. I want friendly four-way arguments about religion in which none of them are barely-disguised Wicca or obviously-coded Christianity or Generic Oriental Philosophy X.

...

Possibly what I want is more Ursula K. Le Guin. Yes, I do! I want people who have learned from her! After all, it's fantasy. If you can write anywhere full of anyone, why write Grandad Tolkein's Good Old Days?
bliumchik: Jack Harkness says Allo, I have come to have sex with your species  (sex!)
now that my legs are no longer waging revolt upon me. I would post photos but did not take any, so I shall have to post a thousand words to make up for it!

glitter and glue )

It was good fun and honestly I saw almost as much of the parade and definitely got equally sore feet to last year, when I was on the sidelines but through a series of frankly typical events ended up late, three people back from the barricades on an extortionately priced stool. Would volunteer again! Hopefully next time I will either sign up as a gopher in the first place or my section will get extra megaphones!
bliumchik: (Default)
It's been a while since I nattered on about science and religion in this journal, but Nicky linked me to the whole crocoduck kerfuffle (just... just google it) and I couldn't help getting a bit riled up. So uh, this is cut for your convenience )

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