So, in thinking about what makes Alice tick, I started looking through supplemental material on the Touhou Wiki and I came across a few things I hadn't noticed before, and saw a few connections I... wouldn't have, on my own. As of such, I'm putting them here for my own records, and to share with others.

cut for tl;dr and triggers of death, murder, and fictional suicide )
I wanted to apologize for how I acted to, well, just about everyone this last week. For those who don't know, my laptop charger broke so I was functionally left without a computer.

I did not take it well, and turned into a raging hosebeast.

This wasn't really just about the computer, not exactly... most of the folks who watch this journal know that I've got rapid-cycling Bipolar II, severe anxiety problems, and anger management issues. The crux there? I've been off my medication for more than a year. Now that I'm on SSI, I can get the assistance I need in order to get it again, but before a few weeks ago I wasn't able to. And.. you know... funny thing about depression: When you have it, you don't have the motivation to do what's needed to help the depression. It's like a muddy hole you can't QUITE crawl out of.

The tl;dr of this all is simple. Even as soon as last Sunday (when I first found out about the laptop problem) I said a bunch of things that I didn't quite mean, out of anger or panic.

I apologize to any and all I may have hurt in that time, and wanted to reassure you all that steps are being taken to try to prevent such panic attacks in the future.

Thank you for your time.
(6:16:09 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: Anyway, going back to our original point, you're right. S2 has lost a LOT of internal continuity.
(6:17:33 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: Especially when it comes to Rainbow Dash, who seems to bounce back and forth between popularity-obsessed pseudojock to slightly tomboyish coolkid.
(6:17:53 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: Sometimes multiple times in an episode.
(6:19:22 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: The CMC stuff has gone from being endearing to forced - I understand needing a younger perspective, but "maybe we'll get our cutie marks!" is basically a pony-based way of saying "We're doing this because the plot says we have to!"
(6:22:27 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: Pinkie has remained consistent insofar that she operates almost solely on Rule Of Funny, even when she's more serious, but what HASN'T remained consistent is that others - particularly Twilight - are starting to edge in on her territory, be it intentionally (the CMCs in the VDay ep) or unintentionally (Twilight's antics in Lesson Zero and It's About Time, which are painfully Genre Blind to a point Twilight never is otherwise)
(6:22:52 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: Hence my "the show is cartoonier now" claim.
(6:24:50 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: The Flim Flam ep was a high point, Read It and Weep has introduced my favorite one-shot secondary character even if it was basically a blatant expy, and Hurricane Fluttershy is probably one of the most /relatable/ narratives about its subject matter I've ever seen
(6:25:18 PM) [personal profile] swordianmaster: But past those three? Yeah, S2 is as a whole mostly weaker than S1, ESPECIALLY if you take the Discord eps as technically part of S1 like some claim they were meant to be.
So, it's about this time of year that friends of mine start posting their Amazon wishlists for people to give gifts if they want. I've done that a few years in a row, too.

This time, though, I'm just going to list, in descending order of priority, the things I wish I could have for Christmas.

  • The money to pay off our outstanding utility bills. We make enough to get by, but since we got screwjobbed by Verizon, we end up just sinking further and further into debt. We're currently sitting at about $500 owed, give or take, between Verizon and our electric company.

  • A replacement computer and/or DS. The computer is all but dead-on-arrival and I don't know if I'll ever get it fixed, and the DS is basically on its last legs - broken hinges, top screen that has to be held just right or it loses signal, dead pixels on the touch screen, the works..

  • Paid time and/or icon space for my RP journals. Because sometimes, dammit, I just wanna RP. :|

  • Anything else. Seriously, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth; if anyone wants to give me something, I could care less if it was something I actually wanted, I could find a use for anything. Plus, the thought that counts and everything.


To those whom I wanted to send holiday cards to (up to and including the people who helped me out a few months ago when the problems with Verizon first STARTED) I regret to say that such probably isn't an option this year. As it is, we're basically begging and pleading just to keep everything here at home stable.

I dunno. It kinda just makes me feel better to write this, to know that people can see it even if they don't want to/can't afford to do anything for me. Like I've actually asked, as opposed to just bottling it out of fear of being selfish.
Okay. Waluigi Elephant in the room time.

I know a lot of people - LJRPers, predominantly, but also some normal rank and file peeps - are foaming at the mouth regarding LJ's ASTOUNDING customer service recently. For those not in the know, LiveJournal has made a "minor edit" to how cookies work "in order to prevent automated spambots"... which, coincidentally, has completely FUBAR'd how the user-made LJLogin plugin for Firefox (and by proxy Google Chrome's LJJuggler plugin) work. Their response to the massive outcry on this? "Ain't gonna fix it, how about we give you a new feature for it!"

This resulted in even more outcry of "HOW ABOUT YOU DON'T FUCKING FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKEN", as LJ's tech staff is near-infamous for bringing around new "features" that cripple their servers for spans of a month or more, or that cause Russian DDOS attacks, or all sorts of fun things.

Now, I find it a minor inconvenience at most. There are others out there, folks with millions upon millions of LJRP accounts (Only very slightly exaggerating) who are having heart palpatiations at it. I've heard actual friends, as a matter of fact, propose that 1) "they just give up on RPing" (which I really think is making a minor situation out to be a life-ending ordeal, but again, I don't know how things are in THEIR shoes) and 2) cancel their paid account over it.

That second one gets me. Now, hear me out. I am all for boycotting LJ and their pants-on-head Customer Relations staff. I myself have not given a PENNY to this site, and I've been on it for more than ten years. On the other hand? LJ doesn't do "partial refunds" or any shit like that. If you cancel a paid account, or roll it back into a lesser account, what you're doing is essentially throwing away money. Worse yet, you're LETTING LIVEJOURNAL KEEP IT WITHOUT GIVING YOU ANYTHING IN RETURN.

THAT IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF BOYCOTTING. THAT IS CHARITY.

To put it in the words of a much wiser man, "Hey. Cut it out."
swordianmaster: (supernerdy)
( Oct. 26th, 2011 04:38 am)
I feel like rambling, and I feel like explaining myself, so here goes.

By now, most people have been sublimated by the memetic appeal of the phrase "first world problems", ie the type of crap that only people in a overwealthy, pampered society would be overly bothered by. A lot of folk in real life have had to deal with third world problems - ie REAL problems - because of the recession: lack of food, shelter, medical attention, that sort of thing.

A lot of what I have to deal with, instead, are what I've dubbed "second world problems".

For those who don't know their socio-political history, the whole Three Worlds theory first started as an "Us Vs Them" portrayal in the Cold War era, strictly political. The particulars are sketchy, but the First World was whichever side you in particular were on (usually the US's side, or one of its closest allies such as Britain or France), the Second World was the other side (in turn typically the communist nations of the world). The Third World was unaligned countries. This got noticed when the definitions took a more financially-slanted term - most of what had been labeled as 'third world' were typically too impoverished to CARE about things like WW3, a nuclear winter was nothing when everyone in your village was dying of cholera, as an example.

However, as the "Second World" died out in usage after the cold war, I've kind of adopted it as a go-between. Second world problems, for me, are the type of problems that you wouldn't get in a third-world country... but that you WOULD get in the less fortunate sectors of the first world, namely slums.

"That hooker gave me an STD" would be a second-world problem. "I'm trapped in a rival gang's turf without any means of defending myself" is another. "My father-in-law is selling his prescription drugs to get a nicotine fix", in a more personal example. Stuff that is deeply disconcerting, but does not directly counteract the BASIC needs for living - food, water, shelter - even if they are potentially life-threatening.

Where do my recent computer issues fall? I'm not sure. By all rights, were this a third-world scenario (or even second-world) I would already be dead, insane, or imprisoned. I cannot handle face-to-face social interaction. Period. The computer, and the internet, is my voice, it is my sanity, it is what keeps me alive.

So it's hard to say. "The complex machinery that is allowing me to function on a level resembling human is starting to fail" isn't really a shallow, minor inconvenience like a first world problem, but... it still sounds overly priveledged.

I don't know where I was going with this. I just wanted to ramble. Hope nobody minds, as I don't much care.
So. TheWhiteDragon finished the Vagrant Story LP recently, and I'm catching up on it now that it's complete. In the ending sequence, he has the following to say, something that I was TRYING to touch on in an earlier post.

Quoted from TWD's Vagrant Story LP, cut for obvious and not so obvious spoilers )

And to be honest? I agree with most of it. Yasumi Matsuno is not a good storyteller. Fuck, if you want proof of that, look at FF12 and, more importantly, Vaan. FF12 was the last game in the Ivalice Alliance that Matsuno worked on; Revenant Wings and FFTA2 had him only in the most minor of supervisory positions. And it's in those two games that Vaan stops being a slightly-moldy cardboard cutout and starts being an actual -character-. (I can't say much the same about the other FF12 chars, alas.) On the other hand, I have fallen in love with Matsuno's worldbuilding, and in turn will defend the games he has penned until I stop giving a damn about games any more.

In slightly-ironic retrospect, I figure this is probably exactly how Tolkien's fans feel.
swordianmaster: (gfherghnrfgh)
»

Guh

( Sep. 21st, 2011 07:36 am)
So. Remember how I said "crisis averted"? Well, it still is, don't get me wrong.

But that happiness died off REAL QUICK. I'll simplify my tasks and DeAnna's into a single lump itinerary as she's the one who usually deals with bureaucratic bullshit; it's her specialty being a lawyer, but either way, here's a rundown of what happened in my day after that point:

  • Have father-in-law head to doctor to get prescription painkillers. Find out that transportation has taken too long to show up, and then proceeds to DROP HIM OFF, and then proceed to wait FOUR HOURS for him to get home from a THIRTY MINUTE excursion due to Medicare Transport fuckery.
  • Get continually harassed by whom I believe is a freaking addict who previously knew father-in-law, wants to buy said painkillers off of him.
  • After fath-in-law gets home (at about 2:45p, remember this time), call Verizon to pay off outstanding balance. Find out that next month's bill will be $50 MORE and will continue to be that much. Fight constantly with them in order to figure out exactly WHAT these extra charges are coming from, find out that they're from things that we were told were not fee-based (replacing faulty equipment), things we did not intend to sign up for but did anyway due to misplaced button presses (for some reason, they thought we wanted the Cinemax bundle, wtf), things that we thought we needed but no longer do (second phone line, the most understandable thing there).
  • Proceed to yell and scream and curse at Verizon to get the problem fixed. Finally, it's resolved... at 4:15p. Sigh, pull out hair for being on the phone for an hour and a half, try to get online to actually PAY bill since somehow that whole thing got tangled up in so much bullshit.
  • Scream.
  • Find out that the online billpay won't let us PAY bills for some braindead reason. (Turns out later that we needed to clear our cookies, HRRRRRR.) Call Verizon and waste ANOTHER half hour.
  • Thank whatever deities exist that we're finally done with Verizon.
  • Realize we need to get groceries. Get on bike with oppressively standard-sized backpack, bike to store. Make two trips due to backpacks really not being designed to be used in grocery delivery. Curse the fact that society expects ALL CARS, ALL THE TIME.
  • Do best to not get run over despite the fact that brakes on bike do not work and motorists think you're an OBSTACLE instead of a LIVING BEING.
  • Come home, forget about actually eating, crash at first possible opportunity for almost twelve hours.


So... yes. So much rage. Enough so that I'm going to be setting up a few new tags to quantify my hate.

Those of you familiar with Touhou and/or Japanese folklore might recognize Kaguya-hime's five impossible tasks. Well, I've got my own set.

Impossible Request #1: Deal with Verizon Customer Support
Impossible Request #2: Work at Jack In The Box (Renamed from the old "Jack in the Bfish" tag, and will not so much be used now that I have left that shithole)
Impossible Request #3: Raise Children (renamed from "Children are Demons" tag)
Impossible Request #4: Survive Texas Roads and Motorists
Impossible Request #5: Endure Texas summer heat

Kaguya would be proud. I'm just livid.
swordianmaster: (TACOOOOS)
( Sep. 12th, 2011 06:34 pm)
(my little sunburn)
i used to wonder what heatstroke could be
(my melanoma)
until celly made it a hundred degrees

fuck the world. fuck everything. FUCK.

SUMMER IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUCKING OVER, KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF GUYS
[5:00:12 AM] Bahamut725: Twelve.
[5:00:16 AM] Bahamut725: 12, 12, 12, 12, 12.
[5:00:18 AM] Bahamut725: So much.
[5:00:23 AM] Bahamut725: I wanted SO BAD to like that game.
[5:00:32 AM] Bahamut725: I am a GIGANTIC Matsuno fanboy.
[5:00:50 AM] Bahamut725: I love everything that even TOUCHES the "Ivalice Alliance".
[5:00:57 AM] Bahamut725: And the worldbuilding in 12? Fantastic.
[5:01:53 AM] Bahamut725: But... then the story is just incomprehensible, your viewpoint character has less personality than a wet cat dropping, and the combat system is just stupid.
[5:02:24 AM] [redacted]: All the issues with 8 and 10, with none of the good parts.
[5:02:36 AM] Bahamut725: No, not even that.
[5:02:41 AM] Bahamut725: You want my analogy?
[5:02:47 AM] [redacted]: Go for it.
[5:03:03 AM] Bahamut725: "Silmarillion: The Video Game".
[5:03:36 AM] [redacted]: ...
[5:03:37 AM] [redacted]: Y'know...
[5:03:47 AM] [redacted]: You've got a point.
[5:04:43 AM] Bahamut725: It's a cash-in on a famous franchise's success. It's a glorified world omnibus that tries to parade itself as a readable narrative. It's obtuse as shit and at least part of that is due to the author's fucking insanity.
[5:04:49 AM] Bahamut725: The parallels are more than a few.

EDIT:
[5:07:15 AM] [redacted]: But Silmarillion had saving graces in that it was basically just whatever the heck he wanted to write in the style he did. I actually understood it - then again, I'm verbose and over-literary. It's got reasons for existing.
[5:07:24 AM] Bahamut725: ...
[5:07:40 AM] [redacted]: Can't say I enjoyed it, but I did follow it.
[5:07:58 AM] Bahamut725: j.r.r. tolkien
[5:08:07 AM] Bahamut725: is a writer i will never be able to stomach.
[5:08:23 AM] [redacted]: Not so for me.
[5:08:37 AM] Bahamut725: This is a man who spouted platitudes about the phrase "Cellar door". He was a linguist first and anything else /never/.
[5:08:45 AM] Bahamut725: The world he made? Fantastic. Beautiful. Detailed.
[5:08:53 AM] Bahamut725: Actually READING about it? Oh god where is the acid.
fourteen loads of laundry

thirty five dollars worth of washer/dryer cash

and we still have at LEAST four loads until we're done - at $2.50 a load ($1.25 per wash and dry) that's another ten dollars, plus the cost of washing whatever we've worn until we can get that money.

Holy SHIT we have too many clothes. Fuck.
Okay, so I opened a can of worms in a thread on SA; I had second thoughts and snipped out what wasn't really important to the point I made out of fear of overreaction, but the whole thing says something I wanted to get off my chest for a while, so here's the unedited bit:

The problem is how to stop the whaling. May I bring up what I myself refer to as the "Whale Wars Problem" - people so focused on the culture of an alien species that they forget about the culture of their own. Japanese whalers are doing a Bad Thing, everyone can agree to that. What environmentalists didn't take into account was that Japanese whaling was actually on a DECLINE before the Sea Shepherd intervention - Japan had realized the same thing America had, and the demand for whale-based goods was ebbing away. Simply put, the problem MAY have fixed itself with time.

However, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has called out those whalers, though, and on American airwaves, at that, if not internationally. Anyone with any knowledge of Japanese society can tell you that they're a violently honor-driven people - reporters held hostage in the Middle East were greeted, as an example, not with relief but with "go away" signs. For a single Japanese whaler to hang up his hat now, after how America has basically thrown their superiority into the ring, would be an enormous dishonor; one that could very likely get him and anyone he was related to not only shamed, but potentially killed. Hell, the single Japanese national on board of a Sea Shepherd ship demands to be left anonymous because she knows that should her identity get out, it will harm her family.

By challenging the whalers on the open seas, the Whale Wars crew has stupidly made things worse with their incompetence; it's now a matter of honor to Japanese whalers, so now they aren't even doing it for profit, they're doing it because some stupid foreigners are telling them they can't.
swordianmaster: (we all float in ponyville)
( May. 6th, 2011 09:29 pm)
There was an analysis of ponies here.

I moved it to my old review-oriented journal which I will from here on out use for such tl;dr endeavors.

CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK, ESSAY CONTAINS SEASON 1 SPOILERS, UP TO AND INCLUDING MOST RECENT EPISODE (Best Night Ever).
.

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