janegodzilla: (roll ze dice)
I should really be doing my epidemiology homework right now, but instead I seem to be doing this. Suck it, homework!

So. Earlier tonight, my boyfriend told me that he'd been thinking about things for a while now, like really thinking about them, but he'd finally come to a decision: he wants to run a 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

The sound I made over the phone was the vocal equivalent of this face: :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D!!!!!

See, I've been wanting to play D&D again for ages, but...I don't know a lot of people who play? I played a little with Nate's old gaming group, but he hasn't seen those guys in ages and also they made me feel twelve kinds of awkward. They weren't mean or anything; actually, they were really awesome, especially considering I'd never played before. But they were all older than I was and they were also MEGA GEEKS -- we're talking Ur Geeks here, the Geeks That Define All Geeks -- and although I'd been an awkward little lit-nerd since I was wee, I'd only really begun to embrace my geekdom in the past several years or so. Some of them, on the other hand? Had been playing D&D since before I was in the double-digits. You have to admit, that's kind of intimidating.

I'm really psyched about the idea of Nate running a campaign, though, especially since some of the other people at the table will be about my level experience-wise. I just recently discovered that one of my school friends has been hiding his total geekdom from everyone (he finally decided to level with me on the basis that I (a) knew what the uncanny valley was and got all excited when someone else mentioned it; (b) knew who Terry Pratchett was and got all excited when someone else mentioned him; and (c) wear t-shirts that reference Futurama and Portal and quantum physics and Cthulhu and things). It turns out that he runs a Legend of the Five Rings game and when I got all excited about that (sue me, I'm easily excited!), he invited me to join. This means I may have TWO tabletop RPGs in my future.

I am a lucky, lucky girl.

And, just to round out the sheer, unabashed dorkiness of this post, I am SO putting in a pre-order for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning at GameStop tomorrow. I played the demo yesterday and fell utterly in love with it, to the point where I played it twice. It's just so shiny!
janegodzilla: (seriously it's really metal)
Every time I read anything about Monsanto, I feel like I want to vomit with rage. Just reading their name makes me want to vomit with rage. At this point, I feel like they personify everything evil about corporations. Our government wants to keep defining corporations as people? Fine. I guess that makes Monsanto Satan. Satan's a person, right?

Bluh.

In non-ragey news, I finally got around to watching TRON: Legacy, and...my god. This movie gave me so many feelings, to the point where I'm kind of embarrassed about it. SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT COMPUTER PROGRAMS.

I've been trying to figure out exactly why I fell so hard for it, especially since the original movie came out before I was born and I wasn't a huge fan of it growing up, and I think it boils down to the fact that TRON: Legacy hit a bunch of my narrative kinks really goddamn hard. I'm not sure if "narrative kink" is the precise term I want, since I don't NEED these elements to be there for the narrative to, well, get me off, if I'm going to be irreverent and crude about it. But there are certain narrative tropes that almost always hook me into a story, although they may vary slightly from media to media. For example: I love love LOVE "Groundhog Day" AUs in fanfic, to the point where I will read them for fandoms where I have little to no familiarity with the source material, but I'm pretty "meh" about them in movies, TV shows, comics, etc. No idea why it's a thing for me in fanfic and not canon, but there you go.

So I have a pretty massive list of these kinds of things, and anyone who's read my journal for any amount of time will probably be able to guess at least a few of them: boarding schools, Lovecraftian cosmologies, zombies, Victorians, self-aware AI, WWII settings, post-apocalyptic worlds and dystopias, cowboys and Western settings, alternate histories, dinosaurs, fairy tale remixes, time travel that makes logical sense, when people have to huddle together for warmth to stave off hypothermia (this is another fanfic-specific one and I KNOW how cliche it is, but I can't help but love it), the aforementioned "Groundhog Day" AUs, worlds hidden just beneath the surface of this one, non-Western fantasy universes, complicated family dynamics involving parent/children and/or sibling relationships, AND SO ON. Like I said...it's a massive list. This doesn't even scratch the surface.

Anyway. The most recent TRON film. I'm going to cut this part since it ventures into spoiler territory. )
janegodzilla: (wheeeeee!)
I got my tax refund over the weekend, and while I plan to put most of it to practical use (i.e. going halves on a new bed with Nate and getting rid of the remaining tuition on my credit card), I decided I needed to blow some of it on something fun. To that end, I ordered Phoenix Wright, Okamiden, and Pokemon White, which will serve as my introduction to the wide world of pokemon (SO EXCITED!). I would normally just hit up a Gamestop for all this stuff, but PW is old enough that none of the local places carry it and Okamiden doesn't come out until tomorrow. Since I was already ordering PW, I figured I might as well add a few other games to the order so I could get the free shipping.

This means I can't play until next week, of course, but given that my statistics final is this Saturday and the prof assigned us a metric ton of homework to go along with the studying, I think that's probably a good thing. Plus, now I have something to look forward to post-finals! Yay!

It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out which version of Pokemon Black and White I wanted, though. I went with White because it seemed like a better one for beginners and people who want to do a lot of collecting, so...I guess? Also, the electric black dragon guy seems, uh, pretty cool. :I I have no idea what I'm doing. I even googled comparison guides and such, because I had to be sure I was getting the right one. I don't know what it is with me and relatively trivial decisions. I do the same exact thing when it comes to, I don't know, buying eggs or picking a restaurant for dinner. I'm so terrified of making the wrong choice that I end up utterly paralyzed by indecision, and then I can't choose a damn thing.

What's even more ridiculous is that I don't usually get this way over BIG things. Like, stuff involving lots of money or my career or people's lives or whatever? I weigh the choices, I make a decision, and 99/100 times I'm confident that my decision is the correct and/or most reasonable one for the situation. But GOD FORBID I pick the wrong restaurant for dinner! My brain can't even handle how horrible that would be. I mean, someone might be slightly unhappy with their meal choices. MY GOD. Just get in the car, everyone, we're going home.

In other words, I can drop $600 on my half of a fancy TV and be perfectly confident in the awesomeness of our choice, and yet I spent my entire lunch hour researching a $34 Pokemon game and I'm still worried I chose wrong. I just.

Neurotic: It's How I Roll.
janegodzilla: (jesus on a dino your argument is invalid)
I stumbled over the Papo dinosaur figurines whilst rambling 'round the internets, and...holy shit, do I want them. I want them so very much. The allosaurus and stegosaurus especially, because they are gorgeous (and because the stegosaurus is my favorite saurian herbivore), but I also want the tyrannosaurus and the velociraptor. The latter lacks feathers and looks more like a deinonychus than a velociraptor, but that's okay! It's still pretty!

(Seriously, that stegosaurus is like my childhood dreams made reality. I NEED ONE. A real one, preferably life-size, that I can ride to work and park in the Canyon Garage because I'm on a fucking dinosaur and I'll do what I want.)

Speaking of unrepentant spending, I am giddy beyond belief because I found a used copy of the original Jet Set Radio Future (i.e. the one with the cleanest backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360) online for less than $100. I used to love that game, and I've been haphazardly searching for a decent copy of the original for the past few years. It was never super popular in the States, though, so they've always been a) rare, and b) expensive. I ended up shelling out more than I normally would on a video game, but...fuck it. JSRF is made of ZAZZ and AWESOME, and I'm really excited to play it again.

I'm also excited to play Beyond Good and Evil HD, which I downloaded the other day. It's another one of those games I loved when I played it on the last generation of consoles, and from what I've read it's apparently a pretty good port. The story and voice-acting and music were all fab and the camera mechanic was hella cool, so I'm really psyched that I get to play it again.

And then Nate downloaded Torchlight yesterday, so I'm up to my ears in awesome video games all demanding my attention (especially seeing as I still have to finish Brutal Legend and Undead Nightmare...). Why haven't they invented a game system that I can just plug into my skull already? I mean. COME ON.

In other news, I have looked at the word "calendar" so many times today that it has ceased to look like an actual word. :B
janegodzilla: (gettin' my hot cocoa on)
Oh, statistics. You're kind of annoying and you're way less fun than straight-up science (or, as I like to call it, SCIENCE!!!), but everything about you makes perfect sense and I can't help but love you for it. The equations always do the same thing. Always. It's so...it's so neat! And elegant! And precise! Science is messy as anything and I absolutely love that, but the clean simplicity of math appeals to the tightly-wound part of my soul that likes to make lists and categorize everything a million times over.

Nate and I are going camping next weekend, and I am STUPIDLY EXCITED about it. We're staying in a yurt! YURT CAMPING! I MEAN, JUST LOOK AT THESE THINGS! They're like little elf houses! It's way too cold right now to go tent camping*, but the yurts in the Oregon state parks all have heat so weirdos like us can go camping in the wintertime. It's a little ridiculous how giddy I am about the prospect of camping in February. It's just. I haven't been camping in such a long time! And I've never been with Nate, so I'm just really looking forward to the whole thing.

We were originally going to camp at Tumalo, which is down near Bend, but when I talked to my mom about it she was all, "Oh honey, no" about it. Apparently, she and dad go cross-country skiing out there this time of year, because it's the high desert and there's mad snow in January and February. Uh. Whoops! So now we're going to Beverly Beach, which is down by Newport. That way, we can go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium or something even if the weather is shitty. Random shitty weather is how the Pacific Northwest rolls.

Oh my god we are totally going to make s'mores! Eeeee! *flappy hands of delight*


* Also, we don't own a tent.
janegodzilla: (fail hero)
The Map of Metal is my current favorite thing. Before I found it, I had no idea that sub-genres like "neo-classical metal," "symphonic black metal," and "folk metal" even existed. But now I know, and it makes me happy. *devil-horns*

(Seriously, though, neo-classical metal is all kinds of amazing. Electric guitars plus harpsichord? YES PLEASE.)

I'm reading a really fantastic book right now called Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, by Jennifer Pozner. It's a critical examination of reality television -- especially the ways in which it portrays women and people of color -- and what I'm really digging about it is that she's taking an intersectional approach and addresses classism, sizeism and ageism as well as sexism and racism, and also looks at the way non-straight and/or non-cisgendered folks are othered or outright erased. She also addresses the way shows that otherwise get these things right (Project Runway is one of the examples she mentions) still emphasize rampant consumerism and spending as both ideal and normal, and how even though most (if not all) reality tv is sold to the audience as "real people doing real things," much of what the audience sees is manipulated or outright manufactured. It's a fascinating, incredibly comprehensive book, and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in examining contemporary media narratives.

I do have a few caveats. My one big criticism of this book is that as comprehensive as her research is, Pozner hasn't addressed issues of ableism. She's talked about why it's problematic that women of color are so often framed as "crazy" in reality tv, but doesn't talk about why the "crazy" label is damaging to people with genuine mental illnesses. She also hasn't addressed why the differently abled -- both physically and/or mentally -- are rarely (if ever) present in these shows, nor why it's problematic that their narratives (if they are present) are almost always framed in terms of their differences. I haven't finished the book yet, so it's possible she'll address these things farther along, but the rest of it is just so outstanding that it's really disappointing that she hasn't brought this stuff up yet.

The other thing I'd like to note is that it's a very US-centric book, focusing largely on US shows and audiences. I don't mean this as a criticism, since one of her major arguments is that the way these shows are packaged and sold to people blinds them to a lot of the current economic and social realities, or confuses them about the exact nature of these realities (for example, poverty in reality tv is shown as something that individual people struggle with -- something that can be "fixed" -- and not as a massive systemic issue that intersects with various -isms and the availability of jobs, food, educational opportunities, health care, etc.). Had she tried to look at the reality tv of other countries (and whether it's from those particular countries or imported from places like the US), I think some of her central points about the way certain social issues are sold to audiences might've been diluted. That, or the book would've been enormous, heh. The focus on the US might make it a little less interesting to non-US folks who'd like to explore their home media narratives, but I still think it's worth checking out.
janegodzilla: (everyone's a fucking critic)
Every time I build a complicated financial tracking spreadsheet in Excel -- you know, the sort with long, complex formulas that span over multiple sheets -- I feel a strange peace and happiness settle over me. It's enough to make me wonder sometimes if I missed my true calling as an accountant.

Anyways.

Nate and I watched a movie called Frozen last night, because his coworkers were raving about how awesome and scary it was and I am always down for truly scary movies. Plus, I liked the premise: three college kids get stuck on a ski-lift after the slopes close. It's night, no one knows they're there, the slopes won't open again for several days, and a storm is on the way. Freaky, right?

Sadly, the movie was a giant pile of suck. Some parts were genuinely unnerving, I'll give it that, but it wasn't scary. I spent most of the movie feeling annoyed rather than breathless with fright, and what irritates me most of all is that it could've been so much better. Spoilers ahead! )

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] yuletart! [livejournal.com profile] yuletart [livejournal.com profile] yuletart [livejournal.com profile] yuletart! SO EXCITED! *runs in circles*
janegodzilla: (OH SHIT)
ZomBcon 2010, Seattle, Halloween weekend

HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS

GEORGE ROMERO WILL BE THERE

ALSO MAX BROOKS. AND TED RAIMI. AND BRUCE CAMPBELL. AND MALCOLM MCDOWELL.

ASAKMFDNFKJDNFKJNDJKNSKLMKSMKLD

I can't believe I only just found out about this. AND I CALL MYSELF A ZOMBIE FAN.
janegodzilla: (harry potter before hogwarts)
I have now made it through two seasons of revived!Who, and a few episodes of old!Who from the Tom Baker era (thanks for the rec, [livejournal.com profile] chaosraven!), and I have come to realize a few things. First, Nine is still my favorite Doctor. I mean, the Fourth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor are both fabulous as well, don't get me wrong -- at this point, I have a feeling I will adore most of them, because they're all The Doctor, you know? -- but Nine is just so angry and lonely and sad, gah. Cutting for some first seasons spoilers, just in case )

Oh, and that's the second thing about this show! It makes me cry all the damn time! Like, every third episode or so. It's ridiculous. And then there are the finales, which -- while I've only seen two as of yet -- pretty much reduce me to outright sobbing, because I am a PANSY. Nate called me last night during the last ten minutes or so of the second season finale, and this was pretty much our entire conversation:

Nate: Hey, I'm still in Seattle but I think we're heading home soon. How's it going?
Me: I am watching a Doctor Who finale and I AM CRYING.
Nate: Haha, awwwwwww.
Me: THIS STUPID SHOW. WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?
Nate: You have to admit, it's kind of awesome that it affects you that much.
Me: NO, BECAUSE NOW I AM CRYING. AGAIN!

And then after we hung up, I went back to watching the finale and was instantly reduced to a blubbering mess with only my cat there to comfort me. Haha, poor Ivan. I bawled all over him. Are later seasons like this too, with the "we will make you cry every other episode, MUAHAHAHAHA!" thing? Because it's kind of embarrassing.

I've also discovered that the show regularly and consistently scares the bejeesus out of me, although I suppose that's not too bad considering that the older show traumatized generations of children in spite of the truly amazing special effects (heeeeeeee!). I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the writers just sat around making lists of High-Octane Nightmare Fuel and then tried to see how much they could fit into a single episode before the BBC was like, "Oh for fuck's sake, we are NOT airing that". I'm dreading the episode with the Weeping Angels, because I have heard things. They have not been comforting things.

Oh, and I've pretty much resigned myself to knitting the Fourth Doctor's scarf, but now I have to decide which one I want. I'm probably going to go with the first one, the one he's wearing in "Robots", but I don't knooooooow. Decisions!
janegodzilla: (THESE ARE SOME HAPPY GODDAMN TREES)
Oh my god. I just discovered that The Flight of Dragons is out on DVD. AND AMAZON IS BUNDLING IT WITH THE LAST UNICORN ajdsnjfdnjskjd my childhoooooooooooood!!!!

I know my birthday is only in two weeks or whatever, but I am totally ordering this. The Flight of Dragons was my hands-down favorite movie when I was a kid. It had everything! Dragons! Magic! Talking wolves! Knights! Badass archer ladies! Science! Wizards! DRAGONS! This was back in the pre-interweb days ([/geezer]) and our local video store didn't have any copies available to buy, so I just pestered my parents into renting it for me over and over again to the point where the store was like, "Look, kid, other children want to watch this too. YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT BACK." And I was sad, because I didn't want to. Haha, poor tiny self. Now they just need to get Animalympics and the Unico movies onto DVD already, and I can happily roll around in childhood nostalgia.

On a slightly different pop culture note, I've spent the last several days watching Doctor Who on Netflix, and it's made me realize that I'm kind of a giant failure as geekiness goes. Not because I don't like it (because I doooooo, very much), but because it took me SO VERY LONG to get around to watching it. I could've been nerding out about this for years, guys. YEARS! Geek!fail, seriously.

And now I'm going to talk about the house for a bit, so I'll cut for those of you who are like, PAINT IS BORING, GO BACK TO TALKING ABOUT DRAGONS )
janegodzilla: (IT IS A CROWBAR)
Since my LJ's been kind of a giant downer-fest lately (reasonably so, I think, but still), I'm going to talk about stuff that's not even remotely connected to Ivan's cancer or my job or my stupid class that just ended, because all of those things make me sad and/or cranky, and I'm tired of feeling sad and cranky all the time.

There's some good stuff on the horizon, at least? Nate's potentially closing on the house this Friday, which is something we're both kind of desperate for at this point. We've got our fingers crossed that everything will finally work out, and then we can paint and re-floor and ~*move*~ and everything will be SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS AND AWESOMENESS THE END.

Also, ferrets. And possibly chickens. We're pretty keen on the idea of keeping chickens.

I've spent the last week playing the hell out of Red Dead Redemption, and sweet tapdancing christ, that there is an amazing game. AMAZING. It feels more like an interactive movie than a game to me, and it didn't take very long at all for me to get deeply invested in John Marston and his story. As with most Rockstar productions, you can make him a complete and utter bastard in the sandbox portions of the game, but I preferred to play him as a good guy and to my pleasant surprise the game allowed me to do so just about every step of the way. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEHIND THE CUT, ESPECIALLY FOR THE END OF THE GAME. )

I actually have a lot more I want to say about the ending, but I think I'll save it for a different post. This one got way bigger than I intended, and I feel a pressing need to watch Deadwood for a bit.

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