Archive | February 2015

All Gussied Up

Last night I attended fighter practice for the first time in ages. What with band practices and the Lish doing derby, I haven’t been able to attend, but my buddy has been going pretty regularly. For here, since everyone gets a special name, I’ll call him Mick. He’s been collecting armor bits, he built a pell, and now has a set of loaner kit (kit=armor) to play with. When I showed up, he was already getting suited up, so I stuck to the pell for the first hour or so. After that, he was tired and sweaty as fuck, like he just got out of the pool at an abandoned hotel. Mick asked me if I wanted a go in the armor. I said yes, but not really to fight. I wanted to see what wearing armor was like: How it moved, how it restricted movement, how much it weighed, etc. While getting suited up, the fighter who was working with Mick, whom we’ll call Bob, came over and said that we can have a go when I’m all geared up. I figured why not. I remembered Hamish’s line from Braveheart when he said “Well, we didn’t get dressed up for nothin!”.

I didn't look anywhere near as badass in armor....

I didn’t look anywhere near as badass in armor….

The armor itself was a bit uncomfortable, which is to be expected with loaner gear. I have an odd body type, which means I have issues finding certain clothes. It also means that loaner gear it not gonna ever fit me right. The armor was thick leather. The top of it dug into my clavicle pretty hard on the right side, and the arms held me back from making good offside shots because it dug into my hand and wrist. Apart from that, and the copious amount of grody Mick sweat, it wasn’t bad at all. Visibility through the helm is something I’ll have to really work at to get used to as well. I’ll also need a helm that fits my heat in the right way. The one I borrowed, Mick’s, sat a bit low and I had trouble seeing high shots coming. To be perfectly honest, though, my armor was most certainly not my problem.

Once we began fighting, I was reminded of a few things.

  1. I’m a very defensive fighter. I know many newcomers may be that way at first, but I’ve been this way for a very long time. I’ve fought in martial arts before, and I’m always defensive. Hell, even when I play fighting games in the arcade, I have a defensive style. Gotta get outta that.
  2. My reflexes suck. I mean REALLY suck. I can’t even count how many times I got hit when I knew it was coming, but didn’t react in time. Because of this, I shall call my persona Internet Explorer.

    browsers-what-are-we

    FIGHTERS!!!!

  3. I’m physically weak as fuck. I pretty much always knew this as well, as I’ve never had upper body strength in my life. I have very long legs, and always had all my power there, and other arts and fighting styles incorporated the use of the entire body when performing a strike. Even a punch’s power, which many seem to think comes from the mainly upper body, actually comes from the hips and core. In this, however, it’s all isolated. Strikes come from the arm and upper body, so I hit like a mildly upset 3 year old in the midst of a hissy fit. Even if I was given a full opening, I don’t think I could effectively deliver a killing blow. Also, my left arm was very underpowered for effectively using my shield. After some fighting and teaching, one of the knights came over to teach me some stuff about shield movement. I could see he was getting a bit frustrated with me because I kept screwing it up, but at that point my arm was killing me and I just didn’t have the strength to get it done.

    My arms actually aren't as big as those depicted in this graphic....

    My arms actually aren’t as big as those depicted in this graphic….

I feel bad about being such a shitty student. I do try, and when I see them getting frustrated I do try harder, but I have a slight learning disability which can make it difficult sometimes. That, compounded with my lack of physical prowess, makes for a tough situation for both student and teacher. Still, they were all extremely patient and awesome. The guys I worked with were very open and kind, and really did a great job in making me feel as comfortable as possible through all of this, while also teaching me what to do, and more importantly, what NOT to do.

Me actually fighting. I'm the doofus on the right about to miss my shot and get blasted....

Me actually fighting. I’m the doofus on the right about to miss my shot and get blasted….

Overall, it was a great experience. I had a lot of fun, and I think if I can get my strength up I’ll have a much easier time learning. Keep in mind, though, I didn’t really get hit much. The only time I really got hit was when I asked Bob to hit me in the head hard enough to be a called shot. It didn’t really hurt, thankfully. It was more like….remember in cartoons as a kid, when one character would put a huge cast metal bell on the head of another and then ring that shit with a hammer like he’s mining for diamonds? It was like that. Not terrible, just different and a bit disorienting. So my takeaway from this is that I need padding, armor that fits a bit better, and strength training, but overall it was fun shit!

Many shades of abusive relationships

I’ve kept pretty tight lipped, publicly, about this atrocity of a story. I only post now because I really want to share someone’s review of the movie, and once the door is open, I can’t help crashing the party!!! (Just like tequila, right Jim?)

"If your BF does THIS....you might be in an abusive relationship" - Please read if Jeff Foxworthy's voice...

“If your BF does THIS….you might be in an abusive relationship” – Please read if Jeff Foxworthy’s voice…

Anyways, by now I’m sure you all know about this 50 shades of grey book, which has now transitioned into a movie. The story, in short, is basically about a wealthy guy who seduces some “innocent” girl and they proceed to have a kinky sexual relationship, and eventually fall in love. Sounds decent, right? Well here’s the kicker: It’s not about real S&M, it’s more abuse than anything else. The dude basically beats the piss outta this girl, even after she screams the safe word over and over, and is generally a complete asshole to her. In the end, though, she “understands him” better, he supposedly grows a minimal amount, and they end up in love. The moral of this story? If you get involved in a physically abusive relationship, and the guy is a complete asshole, just stick around and endure it cuz he might end up changing into an ok guy. Seriously?! Is that what we want young women to believe? Is this the lesson we should teach our daughters? Fuck that! This crap is the least empowering-to-women tale I’ve heard of in recent memory. Twilight is a close second, which is ironic since this book is just Twilight fanfic made into a novel. The worst part about this whole thing is that women were fucking obsessed with this crap, and tons of them read it and got titillated by it (see what I did there? huh?…..nm). What is so exciting about being physically abused? Is it just because he’s supposedly very attractive? So hot dudes can abuse women, and all is cool? Pretty fucked up shit, when you think about it.

Anyways, enough about ME. Check out this article, which is a brief review of the movie. I was laughing my ass off reading it, and couldn’t help but share it. Good times. Oh, and be sure to also watch the Honest Trailer for Twilight if you haven’t already, they sum it up pretty well there too.

Gamergate harassment is still happening…

I just read an article by Brianna Wu, detailing how she is still receiving death threats from people online claiming to be part of Gamergate. She also details how many other women in the industry are still facing the same shit, as well as potential women devs throwing in the towel before really going because of threats. To date, law enforcement hasn’t done anything visibly, and those who run sites like youtube, twitter, and reddit have also not taken action against these hate groups.

I seriously don’t get the insecurity and cowardice required for such behavior. Threatening someone because of their gender is stupid as hell. Different people will bring different ideas and thought processes to the table, and we need some innovation in gaming right now. We’re at the point Hollywood is, where everything is recycling and there are very few original ideas. What sense does it make to keep that limited?

This is all aside from the question, why the fuck do you think it’s ok to threaten people? What possible logical justification do you have for ending the life of one of these women? All because a game developer might be female? All because maybe, in the future, women characters in video games would be portrayed realistically as the relevant people they are and not just set design or plot devices? For all you know, this could greatly increase your enjoyment of games. Oh, and guess what, if you don’t like that shit, DON’T BUY THEIR GAMES!!! Decide with your dollar and get your satisfaction, instead of deciding with violence and threats and getting a prison sentence. I can assure you, you won’t do well in prison, and being good at Mortal Kombat or Call of Duty isn’t gonna help you there. Basically, just stop acting like angry spoiled children throwing tantrums because of something you have an extremely limited perspective about. Man up.

I suck at making decisions

TRUTH!

TRUTH!

actual picture of me...with my makeup on, of course...

actual picture of me…with my makeup on, of course…

I’ve always had problems deciding things, ever since I was a kid. Whether it be something arbitrary like “What do I want to eat right now?”, or serious like “What should I do with my life?”, it’s always a conundrum. Part of the reason is that my personality forces me to look at all my options, all possible outcomes, and all possible points of view I can possibly come up with. Because of this, I end up with these maddening wars of indecision inside my head. Results of this led me to split up and grade the decisions I need to make into multiple categories. Some are left to a day’s worth of contemplation. Some are set to be fully researched projects. Then there are many that I decide to just do the first thing that comes to mind. As you might guess, this got me in a lot of shit throughout my youth, especially when I was under the age of 18. I knew that I could do just about anything and not have to worry about jail time, so I did just that. It was quite the crazy time. Anyways, let’s move on before I incriminate myself. I’m not sure what the statute of limitations is for some of that stuff…..

decision_ahead_sign-221x300

these signs are fucking everywhere….

SO….lately, my big problem is deciding what to do with my time. Currently I’m into so many fucking hobbies and time sinks that my head spins with the possibilities of what to do, and rather than actually make a fucking decision, I just do something stupid like watch an old movie. I hate being overwhelmed with shit, and it ends up aggravating the hell out of me afterward. I berate myself with “why the fuck didn’t you do THIS or THAT?!”, and I just feel worse about myself. Still, it doesn’t help me make decisions, cuz I do the same fucking thing again the next time. This also makes me super paranoid about making the wrong decision, regardless of how subjective that concept may be…

Most recently, this has brought up some bigger decisions, though. Right now, apart from the various home projects I have, there are a few major time sink hobbies on my plate. First is my music. Right now I’m in one active band, one semi active band, and one inactive one that’s starting to ramp back up. Aside from this, there is also the recording projects I was working on at home, one for original music and one where I cover songs on vocals and post them to youtube. Second is the SCA. Right now, I’m not really involved much with it, but there is much about it that I find very interesting and would like to be more involved with. There’s fighting, leatherwork, metalwork, garb making, archery, games, and others that I find interesting and wish I had the time for. Next is my arcade hobby. This has taken a back seat lately, since it’s cold in my basement and it’s tough doing work like that while freezing my ass off and having numb fingers. I do have heaters I can run, but I just haven’t felt compelled to venture down and do the work. Then there’s the myriad of other shit I could be doing, like prepping the house so we can eventually show it, tackling the dozen or so computer projects I have, working on Victoria, etc.

decisions, decisions....

decisions, decisions….

Meanwhile, someĀ  of my older hobbies have all but disappeared. I used to be an avid gamer, and now I have piles of games I’ve either barely played, or played a bit but never finished. My gaming has been on the back burner for quite some time, and now when I look around the living room for stuff to do, they stare at me from the shelf with those accusing eyes, moaning in guttural voices “plaaaay with ussss…..whyyyyy have you forsaken ussss, banished usss to the shelf of the unwanted, not to be played….I mean, seriously, where are we? Gamestop?!”. OK, maybe that’s just me hallucinating, possibly due to oxygen deprivation brought on by horrific clouds of dog farts, but fuck off! It’s a factor, damnit! Anyways, I still end up getting weird looks from my gamer friends when I tell them I haven’t finished Destiny, or GTA5. I also love to do shit like fishing, paintball, and skiing, just to name a few, and I rarely ever do any of those anymore.

always a fear...

always a fear…

So here I am with this conundrum. I have so many interests, and very little time to juggle them. Many of these require commitments, and aren’t things I can just do a day here or there, especially considering my personality. If you don’t already know, I have an abysmal memory, so I’d have to really delve into something for a bit to get back up to speed. Another problem is that when I get into something, I REALLY get into it. It’s all I can think about, talk about, and worry about. I get obsessive over things like that, and that makes it even harder to make accurate decisions. The reason being, I give the stuff I’m currently obsessed over more weight due to my emotional state. So now I end up stuck, spoiled for choice, and rapidly going insane over the constant turmoil in my head. Pretty sure this is a huge reason why I’m so strangely moody sometimes, since this is always going on. The sad result is that I’m gonna look back on this later in life and curse myself for not taking fucking control and just doing shit.

TL:DR I think too much, and can’t decide on a damn thing as a result.

Now I know some people will read this and get angry, possibly saying I’m over-privileged, spoiled, possibly pretentious, or whatever. All I can say to those people is this: Piss off! Love and kisses, PNG….

At least my main priorities are solid: I choose to spend time with the Lish, Peanutty, and the beast above all else, and my time with them is seldom ever used for my hobbies. That decision was the easiest to make, and one of the best I’ve ever made.