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I'm not sure why, exactly, but I'm suddenly possessed of this strong feeling that it would be good to do this: I guess I was just sitting thinking about how, over the years, I've matured a lot, and in the past I've done a lot of dumb things to a lot of people that I now no longer identify with or think were fair. And I've probably done a few dumb things in these past few years, as well. And, you know, there are probably people out there who still think I'm a jerk for having done those dumb things; and while this may or may not prove them wrong, if they still harbour uncomfortable feelings about my jerk-i-tude, it'd be good if they could get them off their chests if they wanted to, and things.

So, basically, a Screw-Ups I Have Made Amnesty Post. Comment here if you have a gripe with me (or any of my system), past, present or (for those time-travellers and precognitives among you) future, and I will do my best to either apologise and make amends, or, if I don't feel like it's something I can apologise for right now, then hush up, acknowledge your gripe and reflect upon it. I will do my level best not to be confrontational, and if you don't want a response, say so.

Comments are screened; I'd prefer no anon, because it doesn't really help me to know that I did something that I now no longer remember to an unspecified someone. If you want a response and don't think I have your contact details, drop me an email address or something so I don't have to unscreen your comment.

(Also, this isn't me fishing for a wave of "no, really, I can't think of anything bad you've done ever!" comments. I really do want people to 'fess up to what still bugs them about me.)

post of survey

Who has a Dreamwidth account?

I'm doing the crosspost thing to keep up with, or in anticipation of keeping up with, a few people who've moved. I cannot guarantee I will add you, because it's friends-only (or access-only, or whatever fancy terminology DW uses) and while I don't really talk about much that's private per se, I've found I'm more comfortable with a smaller audience. I decamped to a smaller journal on LJ with a very small group of people a while back, and if I didn't tell you, it was because I was getting a feel for who would end up commenting and whether their personalities would get along and how much I'd be comfortable writing.

I may add more people; I may not. But I'd like to know who has a DW account, anyways.
Since I haven't seen this elsewhere on my friends list, shatterstripes mentions a sneaky little piece of LJ ad trickery and links to a simple admin-console fix.

This affects all accounts, including paid ones: by default, outbound links to certain sites are being pushed through a site that generates revenue for LJ, and also breaks any links that partly pattern-match with one of the sites they're checking for (e.g. crittersbythebay.com is parsed as an ebay.com link). So if you want to generate your own revenue via affiliate links, LJ is blocking you from that without telling you and while deliberately obfuscating the fact that it's doing so. Fun times.

So yeah, spread it around.

Have a community. ♥

unsentfiction: write letters to fictional characters.

Open to plurals, open to people who just want to shout out into the void, open to everyone. No heavy moderation, no big fuss over who counts and who doesn't: just people sharing their thoughts.

Link it around, tell your friends, all that good stuff.

Dragons, sleeping.

A thought that came to my mind:

That anyone would believe themselves to be a dragon is, the more I think about it, hardly surprising. What is surprising is that anyone ever believes themselves to be human.

For what is this form but a transitionary one?; what are we all but beings caught between falling angel and rising ape, not a thing in our own right but full of the characteristics of both? (It seems no coincidence that human, in games, is usually the race with no particular outstanding traits. Because we are not an endpoint, a species in our own right, but a step on the road, not beginning or end but intermediate. Homo erectus and his ilk came closely before us. Spiritual evolutions will closely succeed us.)

Are we not all, as philosophers have said, spiritual wonders of unfathomable complexity living human lives? And in that spiritual realm which birthed us forth, in that spiritual realm towards which we gravitate invariably, are things not so curious and diverse that it would be quite ludicrous to say we are bound by our human forms; bound to this ape-evolved body alone with its particular instincts and quirks, rather than able to sample from and enter into the vast palette of wonders that is all of animal life and more? Are we not ludicrous to say that the forms of angels, gods and Buddhas are humanlike alone: that we will not someday perhaps be dragons, or unicorns, these mythic images that our consciousnesses seem to repeat?

They say dragon myths are based on dinosaurs. But why then, instinctively, do we still ascribe a certain set of characteristics to the dragon that we cannot to the lumbering land animal from which it was supposedly derived?: nobility, magic, power backed by keen insight and intelligence, a status of near-godliness in our mythologies. The "illusion" has been "revealed", yet we can't get away from the idea that dragons are special. How much more contrived the unicorn: just a horse with a horn, a clearly artificial amalgam, in truth perhaps a goat or broken-horned ibex glimpsed from a particular angle, perhaps a narwhal looking like a horse on the waves. A child could see through it. Yet though the trick has been exposed, that holds no power over us. Our hearts know that whatever inspired the unicorn is real, realer than the sad fiction of a broken-horned antelope.

How do we know? How do we know anything but that with which we are directly in contact? Maybe our hearts are telling us that we will be these powers someday; that we will walk with the grace of unicorns, fly with the wings of dragons. These Otherkin experiences seem like no past lives to me, but future visions; for she who imagines herself to be Cleopatra rarely wishes to be so again, but the one trait these experiences invariably have in common is a longing to transcend beyond the human. It is a looking forward, not a looking back.

In that vein, it would seem only sensible to me, from a spiritual perspective, to long to be dragon (or whatever else; and it would make sense of the fact that over the course of an Otherkin individual's life, there are often a lot of "whatever else"s identified with). It's hardly arrogance; it's a simple admission of the truth of all people, that we are at a point on a continuum whose endpoint will blossom out into something much greater, much vaster, than we can possibly imagine right now, but of which dragons are just a taste. --And when you think about it, that makes all the debating in Otherkin circles over who's a "real" dragon, fairy, etc. and who's not quite ridiculous. Would you deny any living creature its truth: that it is a life designed to transcend someday into magnificent, magical form? There are those who understand themselves poorly, and feel themselves poorly, and exhibit none of the characteristics of a magical being; but that does not mean they are not dragons. They are merely dragons, sleeping.

Even the cruellest of humanity will someday ride the skies of a grander world, majestic and lovely, unburdened by their previous pettiness. And they'll laugh at this idea now; and they'll laugh at it then, too, in a different way, but they cannot deny they dream of it. They cannot deny this magic is made for them, too.
...but at least this time it's not for me.

My friend luna_manar is moving due to a sudden job transfer, which sounds like something she's been really wanting to do and which will be really good for her, but she doesn't have the money for the downpayment on the new place-- so she's asking if anyone can spare a little money for donations to that cause. I just wanted to pimp it here to see if anyone else could help her out.
So the patchy wireless I've been leeching off in my new abode for the past few days... kind of went away. They were supposed to have the internet set up by today, but the actual BT line is broken and the BT engineers need to come and poke it, which won't happen until Monday. (Nall, please say they are coming to fix the line and not just test it, or... or my head will explode. MY HEAD WILL EXPLODE.)

It's Friday. I'm leeching an hour of internet at Coffee Republic. I require sanctuary.

So my question of you is: is there anyone in the UK (preferably the south of England, as that's where I'm currently stationed, but I'll travel within reason) with a couch and wireless who'd be willing to put me up for a few days until BT get their act together? I am clean, quiet and fully intend to sequester myself in a corner with my laptop and stay out of people's way, though if you've really been wanting to meet me or something, I'd be good with taking you out for dinner or such as recompense. But I'm pretty socially burnt out, in all honesty, so this is kind of a last resort.

Rawr. <3

[Edit: Got a mobile broadband dongle at Vodafone. Crisis averted. All is good!]

Help me find my old porn?

Okay, so: way back in 2004 I wrote a story called Pack Dominance, which was hosted on Erica's and my old site, yonicmafia.com. I'm hoping it's on my external drive at home, but I'm feeling paranoid and I don't have access to that right now, and web.archive.org isn't helping, so just in case... I know at least kawakiisakazuki and mousse9 read it, according to the comments, so if either of you two think you happened to save a copy and keep archives that far back, could you check your archives for me and see if you have it? The filename was probably "packdominance", minus file extension.

It was one of the very few NC-17 fics I've ever written, and it means a lot to me, so if you can help me find it at all, that'd be awesome.

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Quick PSA: pointy things!

So, lately a few of you might have been pinged as to the idea that I'm exploring the more feral side of myself, and to this end, I dropped by (in person, as being over in CA right now, I actually could) a place I've hovered around online for several years making wishful sort of eyes at but have never actually bought anything from, Psykic Fangs. The store's owner and designer can create custom fangs and full-mouth sets to pretty much any specification, from a variety of vampire and werewolf-style sets to cat, shark, rodent and other animals, as well as imitating the trademark look of a particular character or working from your completely custom design. This guy's even got fangs in there styled after unicorn horns-- it's crazy.

Well, I went down, and he was such a friendly and reassuring individual (even when I gagged on the dental mould something awful) and got everything together so swiftly, and as we were chatting he told me that a friend of his has been suffering some pretty severe financial problems and he's trying to help her out, and business has been really slack because of the economy and he's been having a sale to try and increase it, so he was glad I came by. And so I thought, you know, I like doing people a good turn and he seems the kind to do others a good turn and I really sympathise with that, so least I can do is give him a bit of a plug on my journal. I don't have the fangs yet (they'll be ready on Friday), but the work on his site is all seriously fantastic, so... if you have fantasies of being any sort of bitey, pointy creature, whether of your own invention or something existing, check out the site, especially since it's now a lot cheaper ($55 per set, by default) to get hold of a pair of custom fangs.

I'd make this entry seem less like adspam, or at least say a little more about the work I got done, but... I'm tired and goopy-headed. Goooop. But I do hope this helps the guy and his friend out, at least.

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Phone death

My phone's officially gone kaput: the SIM card seems to be broken. I don't use it enough to warrant getting a replacement, so I'm out of touch by phone and text for the foreseeable future. c*o*r*i*n*c*a*t*at*g*m*a*i*l*dot*com* is where to find me if you need to contact me; with the exception of travel I will be checking this email regularly (and I usually check periodically even while travelling), so this is a decent emergency contact. There's no way to get to me faster.

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I'm a lazy slacker, but....

I did pop two of the parcels I promised you lovely people out in the mail, so heron61 and flyboy_fox should be receiving their thingies soon. Don't worry about the postage, guys; it was stupidly cheap, both packages came to like £5, so I'm not going to bother and neither should you. Still have to price doujins for shininghalf; if that's anything to go by the shipping may not be that horrible, though admittedly the reason I'm avoiding taking it down to the post office is that it is a heavier package.

Also, I probably should just post it up on furbid, but... anyone wanna snow leopard fursuit? Twice-used, great quality, realistic, will consider selling for really cheap if you're poor. The shipping will be the biggest thing on that, but I'll ship worldwide.

Free stuff!

I own far, far too much stuff. Having a Buddhist moment and deciding to get rid of vast amounts of it; I don't use it, and ideally I'd like to live with little enough stuff that I can travel easily without having to worry about lots of packing.

I ship anywhere in the world, but you gotta pay the postage.

- Box of Noir doujinshi. A fair few are adult, some gag. Various pairings, some pretty art. About 40 or so books. There's some FF6 gag and yaoi thrown in here too.

- Ancient iPod. Battery life is kind of fail, and I don't know where the charger is, but it has a pretty custom inscription, and it does work.

- Blacklight. It's... a blacklight! Like, a neon strip light type of thing. Wall mountable. Needs UK power, or you can plug it into a convertor or some such.

- Nall, do you know any furs/random people who'd buy my fursuit and/or Gamecube for cheap? Come to that, N64, too; I'm never gonna play it again, most likely, and emulators exist. Ask your IRC buddies?

o hai, massive flist purge

So because I don't come around here that much any more, I'm trying to trim down my reading list so that it's not quite so overwhelming. If I don't feel like we really know each other very much any more, or I've completely forgotten why you were actually on here in the first place, or something similarly lame, you've probably been cut. And it almost certainly isn't your "fault", or anything; there were just people on here who I haven't talked to in a long time whose lives I felt I was almost inappropriately keeping up with, because I really don't know anything about who you are as people these days, save from the things you write in your LJs.

I still read pretty regularly, although it's been getting less often lately, which is part of the reason for the trim. Life's different these days, but good; but the consequences have been that I've moved on from certain circles and into other ones, and this place is feeling less like home these days. If you want to catch up, or have something you absolutely need me to see, corincat at gmail is the place to do it; I still love y'all. And if we've shared good moments in the past, I probably still remember, and think about them, from time to time, in a sort of wistful way.

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*ba-bum TSH*

...you know, I was wondering what all that talk about Obama being "President-Elect" was; I'd never heard the term before until I looked it up. Apparently it just means he's not officially in office yet because he hasn't been inaugurated. I'd been thinking it was a dig at how America didn't actually elect its last president. XP

Also, almost harder to wrap one's head around than Obama being president, can anyone quite believe yet that the shining intellects over at the Redubyacan party are... I suppose still technically in office, but ultimately NOT RUNNING THE USA ANY MORE? Obama getting elected seems like even more of a pleasant daydream when you also recall that it means we've finally awoken from the nightmare of Bush.

Seeing Wikipedia links that say For the current president-elect of the United States, see Barack Obama is nice, too.
Something that I feel should be passed around for the benefit of those affected by Prop 8's probable passing. Please link this wherever you can; amidst all the political mudslinging from both sides it's a simple and powerful statement that needs to be heard.

And here's an encouraging link for those on the anti-8 side, too.

Hey, and we have Obama now. And that, as the hype has been saying for a while, is hope.

SEAL OF OM NOM NOMPROVAL

Veggie Scotch eggs taste-tasted and found, quite frankly, to be identical to the meat-based kind. V. v. pleased. Actually, they also taste just a tiny bit like savoury ducks, which made me nostalgic enough for my childhood that I had to go and look them up to see if they were vegetarian-safe (they always tasted mostly like roasted Christmas stuffing to me). They're, uh... not. In any way. Admittedly I didn't know what I was eating when I was a kid....

I was going to say if they make a veggie version of that particular Lancashire dish I'll be impressed, but given that most of the flavour is herbs and it's amazing how well people can simulate meat these days (I feel like I'm posting from a Sci-Fi Future just saying that), it's probably pretty doable. I for one would nom.
So today, I discovered that my last regret as a vegetarian has been resolved by the wonderful people at Quorn, to whom I extend my most obsequiously profusive expressions of undying gratitude: veggie Scotch eggs exist. Given that they were really the last thing I missed after going going veggie, I am insanely pleased by this; they were a staple of my childhood, something I associate with birthday partings and picnicking in the countryside, and a food that I just find plain yummy. Yet to give them a taste test, but I hold out hope.

...also, 1sentence? Scarred for life. SCARRED. FOR. LIFE. (No, I didn't purposely search on that tag; just linking you there with it so I don't have to link to the actual inside of the cut. Contents of link may contain a non-worksafe word or two; non-brainsafe concepts, certainly.)

is this awesome y/n

So this? Technically awesome. I mean, it's FFVI characters in 3D, controllable, and specifically it's Esper!Terra in 3D, and the part of my childhood brainstem that's hooked on the etherealness and alien wonder that is Esper!Terra - the transformation into this lightlike being of magic, the liminality of being half-human, half otherworldly entity - is forcing hot glittery adrenalinesoup through my neural pathways right about... now.

Yet at the same time, "FF6 characters in mindless fighting game" is... eh, there's something shallow and pointless and Not What The Game Is About For Me about that. I mean, sure, FF6 is no Suikoden/FF4 in this regard, and I never minded that Ehrgeiz was a fighter when I paid my credits to exult in running around as Tifa (though then again, as dark as FF6's world can be, I always saw it as clinging to heroism and goodness just a little more than FF7's world did; by FF7 the world had just been debased, really - and I don't mean that in a bad way, it was the intended effect), but still, it's hard to get too excited about a fighting game. I'm guessing my Suikoden exposure since then is part of what's triggering this, but also, there's something just inherently ugly about sticking one's favourite characters in a cage and having them tear each other to bits that FF6's world, in my personal association, is just a little too "above".

If it were Celes... I'm not sure whether all bets would be off or not, for the conflicting reasons of "people I want to see in a cage match even less" and "people I want to see in 3D even moar". ...though blonde!Terra here gives me little hope that they'd do her anything like I imagine her anyway, so never mind.

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...before it's too late.

I'm having trouble working out how to say this without sounding preachy, or overbearing, or otherwise turning people off. As such, I hope that you'll trust in me for a little while, and bear with me while I try to make a statement that I think is important.

Many people don't know the legal definition of "domestic partnership". This means that when one member of a same-sex couple goes into hospital, their partner may not be allowed in to see them, to hold their hand, to know every decision made about their treatment, to influence those decisions, because the hospitals don't know what it means to be a "domestic partner". However you feel about same-sex coupling, I think few people would consider that God would support marriage being defined as only between a man and a woman if it meant that people could not care for their loved ones in what might be their final hours of need. Same-sex marriage isn't about the "sex" part. It's about people who care about each other having the right to support each other in this crazy mixed-up world, and everybody being able to recognise that. It's not enough to wait until people understand the concept of domestic partnership. People go into hospital every day. Couples need protection now.

I'm personally terrified of this happening to me. If I had a same-sex partner in hospital and I wasn't allowed to see them, or give directions as to their treatment, when I knew it was me they wanted to make the decisions, me they wanted by their side, I'd go spare. Illness amongst family members is horrible enough as it is without adding yet more stress to people. Allow same-sex partners the chance to live, and sometimes, sadly, die, in dignity.

That's the reason I think Prop 8 is a big deal. Everything else... yes, it's discriminatory, but what really makes the case for me is the real difference it makes in people's personal lives. If you can't vote no on Prop 8, please donate something to the No On Prop 8 campaign if you live in the US. Even if it's just ten dollars, I don't care; unless you're so broke you can't afford to eat (yep, I know that's some of you, and you're excused), you can do a little something to make the lives of a lot of people easier. Advertising is really making a difference in this campaign; the no vote previously had the lead, but an advertising blitz by the Yes side has threatened that. If you care about marriage... no, even if you don't give a stuff about marriage, but if you care about people not suffering more than they have to during the worst times of their lives... it really is important to support the advertising initiative, even if just a little. I have. And with that I guilt-trip you, because I think you should put the guilt you feel to use if you're able to.

Fun fact, also: apparently if Prop 8 is passed, the status of heterosexual marriages will become questionable. I don't know too much about this, but apparently it's something like... the state currently has equal-rights laws that say that things like marriage must be accessible to everyone. If marriage between same-sex couples is simultaneously outlawed, this will create a contradiction wherein marriage itself, because it isn't equal rights, is not supported under California law. I really need some more clarification on how this works, but it's definitely an interesting factoid. The sacrament of marriage that many religious people value so much could be being threatened in its entirety by Prop 8.

[EDIT: luinied commented with some information I didn't know: Florida and Arizona are experiencing similar difficulties this election. As he said, "California's been getting more attention because it did recently permit same-sex marriage (and because it's California, and people are always paying attention to California), but defeating the other amendments is important, too."]

And yes, you may link this around. In fact, please do.

uwa-uwa-aooo



...I think no more need be said.
This = possibly the best thing ever done with an anime opening song. Worth it even if you don't know the series in question, as testified to by the fact that I lol'd. The only thing that could have possibly made this better is if the same clips had been set to the Haruhi Dance.

It's improved even further once you realise how crackish the lyrics are.


[EDIT: HARUHI VERSION EXISTS. THERE IS TRULY A GOD.]

oh yes please.

I feel like I saw (and linked to) a test/storyboard version of this back when it was in beta, but the finished version is a-freakin'-mazing. You know all you FF6 fans would have sold your souls for this as chibis.

Also, transforming Esper Terra animation omgyessqueeeee. Also, my version of Celes. May actually have to try and icon some of this.

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I went into the supermarket today and saw Doctor Who branded yogurt pots for kids. They were "sonic strawberry" flavour.

Sonic strawberry.

I thought a few of you on the friendslist might need to know this be amused by the sheer lengths that marketing departments will go to to tie in a product and a theme. Lengths that go so far that the connection between the two concepts, essentially, snaps.

Sadly, being yogurt pots, these things will not really remain an amusing collectable for years to come like some merchandise. Oh well.

hats off to krinndnz

The best Talk Like A Pirate Day post ever, mostly because it doesn't actually involve talking like a pirate. Not that talking like a pirate is bad, or anything, but it's not usually worth linking to. This, however, is a wonderful deconstruction of viral holidays, pirate values, and the professed reality, or lack thereof, of the internet.

Highlight:

Also: the Internet is a communication medium. No one would cut you the slightest bit of slack if you said "Yes, I sent harassing voice mails and called him hourly - but it's just the telephone, it doesn't matter!" If you're a skywriter and take off to write "FUCK" in enormous letters over Salt Lake City, you definitely expect trouble when you touch down again. The medium is not an excuse for what you do with it.


Also, something bright and white just flashed within my field of vision from roughly the direction of the chair. What the heck? There's nothing there except a pile of clothing. Does people's vision just occasionally "white out" sometimes, for the briefest of moments?
I've been slowly coming to realise something about fandoms and how they operate. I haven't quite pinned it down yet, but this is as far as I've got so far; let me know if you have further thoughts.

Elaborate speculations ahoy!Collapse )

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A reflection on alternative identities

But then, I strongly feel that when it comes to it, Otherkin don't really have that much room to talk about fic'kin, and furries don't really have that much room to talk about Otherkin. When it comes down to it, it's all variations on "I see something of myself/something that clicks with me/something that feels right to me in X, and that helps me make sense of myself better", spiritual stuff aside. At least, I think the main thing that makes it work for people is "I see something of me reflected in this and that's helped me with my life", as opposed to any woo-woo theories on where it all comes from. And I don't think that's strange, even if people have gone and distorted it in the worst possible way by running around shouting "omg u gaiz these ppl think their REALLY FICTIONAL CHARACTERS OH NOES". IMHO, they're the immature ones, not the people who get it and actually find it useful.

I posted this comment on a friend's journal a little while back, and after doing so got permission to repost it here, as I thought it touched on a side of the experience of alternate identity that hasn't been touched on much before. Not other/fiction as simple metaphor ("I'm like a dragon because I hoard stuff and like shiny things"), nor as a physical/metaphysical reality ("I'm a dragon because in a past life I was a dragon/I have a dragon's soul"), but something trickier to grasp, in parts allegorical but also more significant, more central than a metaphor: I am a dragon because when I look at the idea of dragon, something very core about it clicks with me and reminds me of me.

I feel like whatever else you say about it, whether you believe there's an additional explanation... that's the heart of it, for a lot of people. That's the level on which they click with the concept. Or at least, that's what seems to make sense of the idea for me.

Thoughts?


(Also, anyone notice that LJ seems to have brought back the Deleted Username Strikethrough, replacing the Boldface that followed in the wake of LJ's mass questionable-journals-deleting spree? Interesting, kinda....)
Well, guys. It's been forever. Ten weeks is a small eternity in Internet Time, yes? Somehow I... just fell out of the habit, I dunno. Long stories, longer trails of thought and consequence stemming off from those. But eventually I felt I needed to fight past the waves of guilt-over-not-posting I felt every time I logged into LJ (yes, I've been reading my flist daily) and actually say something. This's happened before, but I do care about LJ, and this time I don't plan to let the guilt win completely.

Odd that what prompted this was an ending. Not too long ago, I was having a chat with Nall, and he mentioned he'd been playing Kirby Super Star on the original SNES. Since we only have one copy in the house, I knew he'd used mine. We talked about 100% saves for a moment, and I told him I had one... he said he didn't see it.

It's the first time one of my carts has ever lost a save through age, though I knew ten years ago that such things happened. Somehow, my saves never died. Year after year, they mysteriously evaded this supposedly inevitable entropy. Like teenagers who think themselves immortal after cheating death, I never really imagined the data would be lost.

I can make that save again; probably a hundred times over, now. Computers, meanwhile, will preserve these games, and their saves, in a much more durable format; emulate and you need never lose your games. But there's something wistful, something poignantly end-of-an-era-ish, about knowing that this generation of cartridges is crumbling into obsolescence. Touching, like watching yesterday's newspapers rot away; only you had more emotional investment in those years of games than you ever had in the fleeting, gossipy headlines.

I sort of wanted to observe that.
So a petition went up recently on the 10 Downing Street website, associated with a site called Stop The Nightmares. (You can Google those things if you're looking for it: I was going to post the link, but now that I've thought about it more, I don't want to encourage people to impulse-click.) I feel very strongly about what it's petitioning against: the religious abuse of children by instilling hellfire and damnation teachings into them from an early age, of schools and religious institutions scaring children into accepting their beliefs by telling graphic stories of what kind of torture awaits them if they don't believe. Specifically, they want to instate laws that will forbid this kind of speech in scenarios such as schools and street preaching.

I think hellfire preaching is destructive and horrible, that it harms people (especially children, but I don't think adults are immune) psychologically, and that all of religion, including Christianity, could benefit from dropping the topic of hell. (Even if you believe in it. You want people to worship God because he's wonderful and loving, right, and to dwell on positive thoughts of him, not to only cling to religion out of fear? I know many Christians think believing out of fear of hell isn't good enough; then why not just avoid talking about hell? Either way those who were influenced only by the hell sermons are damned, so why not just spare everyone the trauma?) You don't have to ban religious schools or compromise their teachings to say "don't terrify children. Present this material in an age-appropriate context, or better yet, let children grow up and discover for themselves what the Bible says once they're old enough to be curious." I think that's reasonable to ask. So I signed the petition, because as I said, I do feel strongly about it.

But then I thought, wait. I'm really in favour of people not doing this. But am I in favour of a law against people doing this? Is that really the right way to go? On the one hand, it might serve as a catalyst for social change; if enough people frown upon this socially, then over time the behaviour might become unacceptable, and a law is a fairly good way to make sure that something is frowned upon socially. But on the other, do we really need more legislation? Would this law just be misused and misinterpreted? Will the people who really care about instilling their violent and hateful doctrine into the minds of the next generation just find ways to get around it, leaving only those caught in unfortunate misunderstandings to suffer? And with laws leading to punishment for those who break them, is it really right to bring more punishment into society?

Well, of course, I should have thought about that beforehand. But I suppose a thought provoked is still a better thing to happen late than never. I still don't know what the right option is: it feels wrong to allow people to hurt children this way yet wrong to use legislation to do that, and I think a lot of people do assume that feeling something should not be done is equivalent to supporting laws against it, because it doesn't seem like we have any other methods to keep people from causing harm. But maybe we do. Maybe there are other ways, like government campaigns, getting the message out into communities, making people think about the topic without pushing laws. I don't know, and I think I have to think about it.

A furry theory....

So, a friend of mine just came up with a really interesting and, I think, quite lovely way of interpreting the whole concept of furry (and perhaps, to some extent, Otherkin, for those who see the idea more as a metaphorical expression of self than a literal reality). Xe isn't furry-identified per se, but does have some non-human characters/personas. I got permission to paraphrase/talk about it here, and I thought those of you on my friendslist who identify with the concept might appreciate it.

Basically, we were talking about how xe is fond of fantastical creatures because their physical forms are usually very strongly expressive of what they are on the inside (e.g. an ice creature looking very icelike), and because they're usually such magnificent, intelligent, magical, etc. creatures on the inside, the fact that their physical forms are able to express that is a really compelling thing. And then xe mentioned that xe thinks that's one thing that's really nice about people who have "personal characters" or furry avatars. Xe's a very spiritual person, and xe's take on life is that on the inside, we're all incomprehensibly beautiful creatures. And xe says that xe thinks a furry/mythical avatar is one way to take some of the beauty that's inside all people, and wear it, in some context, on the outside, by crafting a self-image that displays something of the person through metaphorical imagery that we associate with those traits and also find really pleasing to look at. While a lot of people would accuse people with overly pretty or elaborate avatars of exercising wish-fulfilment, xe argued that there's nothing we could create externally that even comes close to matching the beauty we have on the inside; so, far from trying to play to modesty and create humble avatars, we're all selling ourselves short no matter how beautiful our personas.

And I thought that was a really awesome way to look at furry, basically. That it's a way of making the beautiful complexities on the inside show on the outside. (See also today's Theri There comic.)

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Whoa.

...it is really past 9pm over here? The sky is still blue. Not even sunset-coloured, really.

It feels like it's literally just got this way all at once; that it's gone from being dark at 6pm or so to not even being dark at 9. It hasn't, but it feels like it has. I'm so used to daylight hours being short; it seems I never quite internalise the summer. I dimly remember when I was young how it wouldn't get dark until 10 or so, and it would seem really strange, and I still don't think I've come to terms with the fact that it does that. I feel like my body clock suddenly did a radical shift; it feels almost physical, like when you're staring out the window of a moving vehicle and then all at once you realise it isn't the vehicle you're in that's moving, it's the vehicles outside, and your sense of what's going on is suddenly jerked around.

Nice, though.

Writer's Block: om nom nom

"Describe your perfect sandwich, layer by layer.", says LJ. Okay, then. This I can do.

Take one slice of (preferably brown) bread. Spread one side fairly lightly with a vaguely butter-like condiment that is not strictly butter. But none of that weird olive oil stuff. Plain margarine will do. Then, dust the spread surface liberally with grated cheese. Cheddar is ideal, or another hard cheese of similar variety; Brie does not go in a sandwich. Optionally, add onions. Then prepare another slice of bread with margarine in the same or similar manner to the first. Place, spread side down, on first slice. Cut in half. Marvel at its simplistic, unadorned beauty and perfect balance of flavours. Eat.

Do not at any stage in this process add mayonnaise, for it is an abomination. Do not add gratuitous salad. Do not defile the sandwich, but respect its holiness and purity. Amen.

(Yes, this has been my favourite food since I think I was... one year old, when I miraculously discovered at a friend's birthday party the wonders of cheese. I'm slightly obsessed... and also off to get a sandwich.)

spirit echoes

Why do I hear wind chimes and the sounds of phones vibrating when none of us have phones that vibrate in that particular pattern, or seemed to be going off? I swear this house has some kind of magical aura surrounding it; I hear the strangest noises at the strangest times of day. Weird bells at 5am, people apparently playing the piano (long after Nall has gone to bed) and singing at times in the morning when no person would be rehearsing for anything... Not that I'm complaining; it doesn't generally keep me awake, and is really rather nice. It's just baffling.

happy things are happy

Is that special someone in your life needing a little protection? Needing an extra boost to get them through a tough time? Or maybe you just want to make someone feel like nothing in the world can stop them now. If so, and you're feeling in the mood for gratuitous random (or calendar-specific) gift-giving, I'd like to suggest one of these. Seriously. How. Awesome.

This also makes me ded from happy.

Also, bearded dragon chin is spiny!

Setting as "bulletproof kink"* in fiction.

This is so me, and I didn't even know it until I read the article (or at least couldn't have put it into those words). Setting makes a big impact on me in fiction, and makes a huge difference regarding whether I'll even enjoy a particular work. I'll be drawn to or violently avoid stories based on whether their setting appeals, and some of my best-loved fictions became that way almost solely based on their setting (e.g. Secret of Mana). I think part of it for me is that ever since I was young, I've had the unshakeable feeling that I'm Looking For Someplace, and fictions that tap into elements of That Place will become fast favourites because they help me feel closer to this nebulous thing that I'm searching for, and because I think that if I collect enough strands of the concept, someday I'll be able to assemble a complete enough picture of what I'm looking for that I'll know what it actually is. But equally, my revulsions towards certain settings feel just as intense; and they don't seem to be related to any particular experiences I can remember. I can't exactly explain it, but I know it matters a lot to me when I engage with fiction.

I can't even coherently describe the settings that will do this for me and the settings that won't. There are some "generic fantasy" stories that I absolutely adore the setting of, and others that seem completely banal. It can really turn on a few descriptive words, a particular narrative thread, whatever the author does to impart a sense of place. It's the reason I can never reliably tell whether I'll like a story just from people's descriptions of the characters and plot, and why I'm almost always surprised by the things I end up falling for (or loathing): a lot of it hangs on such a difficult-to-pin-down aspect of the fiction. It's also why I love worldbuilding, and was a huge fan of the sites that people commonly made in the early 00's to describe their sprawling fantasy worlds; often I don't need a plot or a set of characters to care about a place, and sometimes I'm even happier without (though I do value character attachments dearly, and if character attachment is strong enough I can love a fiction without loving its world. It's best when they correlate, though - which they rarely do, even in my most beloved fandoms).

If I ever do get around to authoring that "little snippets of videogames that deeply appeal to me" blog, it'll be largely about placefeel, I think.


*Not of the sexual kind; link is completely SFW. "Kink" = a general term often used in fandom to describe "thing that really grabs move/moves me/pushes my emotional buttons in fiction". There's no other succinct word for it, currently.
Not sure how much good it'll do in the mostly sane and liberal blogosphere of my friendslist, but this still deserves as much publicity as possible, so pass it around. If nothing else, it contains some beautiful lines that will no doubt touch anyone who's truly loved a videogame, and while focusing on an appreciation of the vast array of non-violent games out there, also makes a blindingly sensible case against those who cry out against violent games but ignore that many of our culture's best-loved literary treasures, as well as modern movies acclaimed for representing the realities of various walks of life, could not have done their job artistically without portraying violence.

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ow, my arm

This post from the department of Corin Is Still Alive, And Nico Nico Douga Still Own My Soul.

No, I don't really know what it's about (if it's about anything). I honestly think I'm better off that way.

(Also, this has pretty awesome music that makes me think of Paranoia Agent, even if it is a slideshow about Luca Blight being disturbing.)
...omg. I used to do this. I so used to do things like this all the damn time. (Except I didn't actually have a real videogame club, so I just pretended I did and wrote in notebooks anyway. Also, I would have never written "loose" for "lose". But yeah.) This hit me so hard with nostalgia that I just sort of crumpled up inside and actually forgot to breathe for a moment. The colourful little pictures and symbols next to the game names, the bad attempts at replicating videogame logos with my own hand-drawing, the mixing of cheats, commentary and stats obviously ripped straight from videogames magazines with cheerful abandon... it's all the same.

I would scan the one of these I actually do still have around, but they were also riddled with a great deal of... I don't know what you'd call it, exactly. Kid politics? Thinly-veiled attacks on rival clubs (where by "clubs" I meant "the two girls who always hung out together who I characterised as the personifications of Satan and all his devils, simultaneously*, when I was a kid")? So it's all a bit embarrassing. But I'll see if there's anything I can scan that doesn't actually make me shrivel up and go red from fail.

*...reading through this stuff, I'm not actually exaggerating one bit. The phrase "spawn of Kefka" was actually used at one point, which I'm assuming I considered to be roughly equivalent at the time.

I has a plan.

Does anyone out there have a copy of the Suikoden V English walkthrough that has this image in it, and ability to scan at high quality? I know seika has both, but I know she also won't have access to either scanner or book for a while. The book doesn't need to be significantly bent in order for you to scan it; I don't need a complete, flat image, just parts. If anyone out there is willing to do some scans, let me know, and I'll fill you in on the details.
This niggles me on a couple of levels. For one, the "people should be educated about the Holocaust by watching and reading things instead" quote. Just... ehh. I understand the desire of Holocaust survivors not to see what they went through made into entertainment, but dammit, entertainment is not the only point of videogames. Just because they're called "games" doesn't mean they don't have the potential to be anything else. They're a medium, just like movies or books. (And it seems pretty clear to me from those screenshots that reading about the Holocaust is an aspect of the game.) Movies are frequently thought of as "entertainment", but I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Schindler's List was seen as exploitative, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't seen as creating entertainment out of tragedy. It was meant to be a serious movie. There can be serious videogames. I don't blame the guy quoted for this, really; I blame the ignorance and perpetuation of stereotypes that surrounds gaming in general. Still, it's sad.

And the other quote that got to me: "Not to mention I find it incredibly hard to stomach that a game educating people about the events of the Holocaust is under fire, when there are so many games glorifying the violent aspects of the war." Nothing more to add to that, basically, than a big fat amen. If producers are getting shot down every time they try to make a thoughtful game about war yet are allowed to glorify mass killing as much as they please, something is seriously wrong. I know that's a simplification of the case - there've been a number of games made recently which have focused on the horrors and negatives of war as opposed to glorifying it - but it's still an unfortunate bias that we need to address.


Speaking of videogames involving treatments of war (because there's a time when I'm ever not, right?)... if this is what I think it is, then o. m. g. That link had trouble loading in my browser (it's a PDF, and it keeps being crashy for some reason; I'll have to download it and open it outside my browser, which I haven't done yet, but I will be doing), but it claims to be someone's thesis on the geography of the Suikoden world. Should be essential reading for a good slice of you out there, and I know I'm going to sit down with it as soon as I've finished clearing the thoughts from my head into LJ.
Also, random thing: for a while I've been dithering about whether to watch the ~60 stars ending for Suikoden V on YouTube. Factors involved in my dithering include:

+ I do want to see all the endings, in general.
+ NEED MOAR SUIKODEN.
+ I'm a hapless sucker who seems to have some masochistic need to tearjerk myself more over this game. It's therapy, or something.
+ I'll probably never actually have the heart to do a miserable, defeatist ~60-star playthrough of a 60-hour-plus game just to see a painful Bad Ending. I'm not that much of a masochist.

- It's on YouTube, therefore it'll be cruddy quality compared to actually seeing it on a TV.
- It'll probably be painful and sad and I won't like it. (Yes, this contradicts point #3 above. I didn't say my masochism was consistent.)
- It might just suck, not in the ouchy way but in the "meh, that was just generally not worth it" way, and then I'll be disappointed.

So... how worth seeing is it, actually? How awful is it? And should I watch it on YouTube or attempt to play through the game again (not like I'm doing a Bad End playthrough any time soon) or just not see it at all and write myself some fanfic about the Prince and his happy family sitting around playing Mornington Crescent How The Crap Do You Get Out Of Sol-Falena Anyway* on a sugar high? THE VOTE IS YOURS.

*It's like Mornington Crescent, except no move which puts you within three stops of the exit to Sol-Falena is legal for at least thirty turns.

On symbols and fiction.

So a random thing I've noticed about myself: when it comes to fiction, I'm a big fan of symbols. Not in the "oooo, this giant creature with its arms splayed out perpendicular to its torso is clearly a metaphor for Christ on the cross!/the tattered rose is clearly a symbol of innocent love turned bittersweet!" sort of way, but in the sense of fictional logos, emblems, sigils, crests. I think it's the fact that they're like a sort of code, a secret handshake, an inside reference; nobody except a fan of the fiction would know what they meant, yet they're an instant signifier to a fan that you know the work and identify with this particular aspect of it. Taking that idea further, they're like tribal symbols, perhaps, indicators of belonging. They're a less crude, more stylish way of sporting a "Go Team!" slogan, but at the same time, they're something else, something almost mystical; the essence of something valued distilled into a few lines or a simple, iconic image. They're compressed ideas, concentrated, encapsulated, and that makes them powerful.

I always end up wanting my favourite characters, my favourite concepts and ideas and parts of my fandoms, to have representative symbols. I'd want to wear them as pendants or pins, some kind of jewellery, to represent my love for them, and they'd be something known well enough within the fandom that anyone who saw said ornament and shared my connection would instantly know that we had a bond. There are t-shirts and other such items of merchandise, yes, but there's something powerful and almost religious-seeming about a pendant that I like. T-shirts seem to say, "This is my fandom"; something that looks more like jewellery seems to say, "This is a devotion for me; this is a big part of my life".

Idle musings, yes. I'm endeavouring to ramble more on Stuff That Is Of Pertinence To Me, whether or not it's really a discussion-worthy topic or a novel idea. My simple thoughts, my feelings, my inclinations, have a place here too.
Just a little meme/exercise I thought'd be fun, and might potentially lead to some interesting discussions. (I feel bad for posting this while you're away, seika; I'm just really in a chatting-about-fiction mood right now and could do with a meme. Feel free to respond when you're back! I like not to put time-limits on discussions here.)

The idea is simple: pick a character (or three, or five, or $VARIABLE) we both know, and tell me one or more facts about them from your personal canon (i.e. something that wasn't in the story but is personal to your interpretation). I'll respond with one or more facts about the same character from my own personal canon. I reserve the right to tangent off into Fun Facts About My Connection To This Character, to substitute Georg Prime Facts™ for actual facts about Georg, or to not be able to answer (especially if you pick a fandom I haven't thought about much), but I'll try and pass commentary on your fact(s), at the very least.

Oh, and if you want to ask something about a character you know I know but you don't have anything to say about them yourself, feel free! I'm playing fast and loose with this one, sorta. I just want us to talk nerdy at each other. <3

On traitors, and why sometimes I love them.

So I think this is a realisation that may have hit me before, and I may even have put into words before now, but regardless, in the moment it felt really quite revelatory. (Apparently Neil Gaiman has this happen all the time. Suddenly hits on the idea for THE BEST ENDING EVAR... then looks through his old notes and finds he'd thought it was THE BEST ENDING EVAR in his rough drafts several months ago, too. At least I'm in prestigious company.)

Anyway, talking to bossgoji just now, I think I've hit on a personal weakness I have when it comes to fictional characters. I have a soft spot for good-guy traitors, and I think this is why. Cut for Suikoden V and Lunar: Eternal Blue spoilers. Also, there is discussion of FF6 that's not really spoilery because, c'mon, it's the first thing you learn about Celes. Oh, and did I mention long essay is long?Collapse )

Couple of Suikoden-goodie recs....

Someone's put together a Suikoden III manga moodtheme, for anyone looking to change theirs. I'm just slightly too attached to my Lunar moodtheme to change it (even if Lunar's not my primary fandom any more), but this is well done none the less, and I thought it worth the link.

Also, I've mentioned the existence of these to a couple of people before, but the embodiment of win apparently named Haswar2 has posted up most of the Japanese cutscenes from Suikoden V on YouTube. The voiceover still has its rough spots, but if you disliked the English dub, or just want to get a different perspective on what some of the characters might have sounded like, these are worth watching. Also, bear witness to the brilliance that is Euram's absolutely perfect overdramatic-narcissist-bishie voice, and... cringe slightly at the fact that the very literal katakanization* for "Lucretia" doesn't take into account that it's actually a name with an existing pronunciation, one that can in fact be transcribed into katakana (ru-ku-rii-sha, most likely). /dork, but come on, literally saying it "Lu-cre-ti-a" just sounds weird. XP

*possibly not actually a word


Been pondering doing that thing I was thinking a while ago, of putting up a blog just for observations on tiny elements of games (the background music in a particular level, the glint of light off a certain structure, etc.) that have just made me squee or otherwise stuck in my mind. Or maybe I'll just create a post series here for it. Either way, the idea still is in my mind, I just... haven't got around to it yet. XP
You know, ever since hearing about them I'd always wondered if World 9 in the Lost Levels was real or a myth. I knew the Minus World in the original SMB was real, for certain definitions of "real" (it's not actually programmed into the game, more of an interesting glitch that happens when a pointer redirects you somewhere that doesn't exist), but I'd never actually seen any evidence of the mythical World 9, only reachable when you complete the entire game without warps. (I've never even finished the game; I repeatedly got stuck on 8-4, so I've never been able to do this myself.)

Anyway... it turns out they really do exist, along with some other interesting things I didn't know about. (I know it is bizarre to be saying this, but there are spoilers for the Lost Levels behind that link. If you intend to play the levels, whether by savestate or hack or whatever, don't go look at that link; it's an illustrated guide, and the levels look really nifty, and it'll spoil it for you.) The guide in itself is very nostalgia-provoking; it's all laid out with panoramic strip-screenshots of the levels, the way some of the old SMB guides I had used to. And... yeah. It's just weird and kind of nostalgic in general, just knowing something concrete about one of the things I always wondered in childhood.
We have suffered under the rigid constraints of this tyranny long enough! We have let our minds become enslaved to the tireless meme-machine! No longer! No longer shall five simple words, ordinary words corrupted to the causes of the unjust, cause us to groan and double over in the agony of our helpless imprisonment! Read these words, my friends, the balm for all your ills... and be free. And pass it on, so that all might be similarly liberated.

Tags:

Lucretia-and-Sialeeds doujinshi-thing is scanned in its entirety (I'd posted bits of it before), for those who want. I'd really love to get a translation of this. Like, so much so I might pay you to do it. *_* If I do manage to get one somehow, I'll totally scanslate it (and probably put up better scans than these, too).

Also, apologies for the dorky filenames; I have been spending too much time on Japanese image sites, clearly.

http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin1.png
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin2.png
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin3.png I love the artists' impression of the Grasslander bracelet. So nifty when fandom expands on the canon like this.
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin4.png
http://pics.livejournal.com/eclective/pic/00051ey8 I'd already uploaded this part, hence the divergent filename.
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin6.png
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin7.png
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin8.png Huge spoiler warning.
http://secretmilkshake.com/temp/siarukudoujin9.png


Oh, also, speaking of Japanese image sites, have at these:

Suikoden V search engine.
Suikoden IV and V search engine.
General Suikoden search engine.

Wonderful for finding fanart. Just type in a name in kana and keep a lookout for the sites with イラスト or イラスト・CG (i-ra-su-to = illust[ration]) in their descriptions, as those are the ones with the pretty pictures. "SS" is fanfic, for some reason I haven't quite worked out, which is great if you can read it and unfortunately sort of pointless if you can't. Or in the case of the GSV engine, there are some lovely tickyboxes if you just scroll down the page to make your life easier. Just don't get your hopes up about some of the options presented, as there aren't actually sites for all of them. (Also, I don't know if ticking multiple boxes is an "or" or an "and" option, but I've got better results searching for one thing at a time, so I'm assuming it's an "and".)

Also, note that on most sites the page you're looking for from the splash page will be something like "top.html", which seems to be the default Japanese convention for naming their "home" pages proper, so if you're having trouble finding the right link from the splash page keep an eye out for that. Once there you might be lucky and find an obvious option like "illust" or "gallery" or "graph(ics)" or somesuch, though sometimes it might just be under "main" or the kanji for "Genso Suikoden" or something. If nothing is readable, hover over links and check the name of the page in the status bar, which usually helps.


Also, randomly, this just cracked me up for some reason. "Requires one dusty, beaten-up memory card to play." Seriously, click on the image, it really is.

world of rebirth, krakatoa, what?

So on the subject of squeeinducing heartrendingly awesome FF6-related videos: this is a thing of beauty. "Searching Friends" with original Japanese vocals. I think this Nico Nico Douga person is my new god, or at least minor demi-deity.

My hope that the impossible wonders I longed for in childhood can eventually occur has been fully restored. It just takes a little while for these things to percolate, thassall. :3

Tags:

Awwwww awwww awwwwwww did I mention SQUEE did I mention ANIME STYLE FF6 did I mention win and awesome and win and yay and also I am up far too late?

Seriously, I would have cried over these as a kid. And even at the grand old age of 24 (wait, I did just have a birthday, didn't I? I completely spaced it. Whee. Yep, I'm 24 now, apparently. That is somehow not as strange to me as it being 2008. We are now officially into sci-fi years! Not that I know why '08 is more sci-fi than '07, but somehow it just... feels that way), they have the power to make me go OMG OMG SQUEE OMG YAY, as you can see from the above. The animation might not be the best evar, but you have no idea how much I longed for something like this when I was young. asfdhgsafdgsdhf.

Also, thank you to everyone who's been chatting with me tonight. You guys are the bestest. <3

Tags:

Okay, so this is no longer today's prompt, but yesterday's prompt was something like "what's the biggest leap of faith you've ever made"? And I kept meaning, at various points throughout the day, to respond to it, but it never actually happened because I was too busy posting about, er, the Falenan national anthem.

But anyway, the instant image that came to my mind was "...the Solitary Island, of course". And I wasn't even punning; that scene is just so strongly associated in my mind with the phrase "leap of faith", and even though it wasn't literally me taking it per se, in my mind I was there along with her. (I now know that "leap of faith" there was a change in the English version on censorship grounds, but it never occurred to me that that scene had been censored; it was pretty obvious what was happening, and I always assumed Cid was just trying for gallows humour. I still can't think of the phrase "perked 'em right up" without going "eep!", either. I always thought "leap of faith" was very poignant phrasing, actually, in the sense of having faith that the next life will be better than this, having faith that it won't hurt too much, etc.-- putting all your trust in this one act to make things better-- so I was kind of disappointed that it wasn't what had been said in the Japanese...)

And then I started thinking, "huh, that's not really what they mean. So what other leaps of faith have I taken?" And the next thing my mind immediately went to was... platform games. You know those parts in badly-designed platformers, that are how you can really tell a platformer is badly-designed, when you have to take a jump off a ledge not knowing if there's actual ground beneath you and just hoping you'll aim right? That's known in games journalism as a "leap of faith", or at least used to be when 2D platformers were the standard and before controllable cameras made the term obsolete. I know there was one big leap of faith in a first-party platform game that always bothered me because I thought such things were poor game design, but I can't remember exactly where it was at the moment... anyway, I know it's this really long drop from several screens above, and it's fairly easy to make it, but you can miss. That probably counts, because it always annoyed me even when I knew how to do it. I believe in a model of platformer design that allows you to navigate any obstacle on your first try using just skill and logical deduction, and a leap of faith doesn't allow you to use either; it's pure guesswork, the first time you do it.


And that is pretty much the gist of how my mind works. I thought about all of that before my mind even touched the idea of leaps of faith that didn't involve, you know, jumping; I had to get past those two ideas, and the fact that I was considering them as serious responses to the question, before I could even think about what the question writers actually meant.

And, you know, I can't actually think of any metaphorical leaps of faith I've taken. I'm sure I have, but they don't come to mind. And I like my answer better, anyway. So there it is.


And now a quick headcount, because y'all do keep coming out of the woodwork on this one and I want to know HOW MANY OF YOU ARE OUT THERE, dammit.

Have you ever actually played Suikoden V?

Played and finished!
11(47.8%)
Played but not finished
3(13.0%)
Nope!
9(39.1%)

Have you played any of the Suikoden series?

Played and finished!
15(68.2%)
Played but not finished
4(18.2%)
This plot... I don't understand it.
3(13.6%)

Optional extras:

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
0(0.0%)
I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not.
3(13.6%)
I believe that Gizel Godwin is secretly a Republican.
2(9.1%)
I believe in a thing called love!
0(0.0%)
Everytime I hear a newborn baby cry, or touch a leaf, or see the sky, then I know why I believe!
0(0.0%)

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