aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-08-18 10:42 am
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Today is my Birthday

I’ve been reflecting on where I was at last year, to where I am now.

Last year I wan't in a good place. I was lonely and stressed, isolated as hell. I'd had a shitty year. I didn't even tell my coworkers it was my birthday at an all day meeting. I got home, my roommate had gotten me a cake, and I cried. Then we watched Stranger Things all night and it turned out much better for a birthday. But last year wasn't so good for me. I wasn’t writing, I was stressed a lot, I was worried for my family and worried about living up to their expectations. I was volunteering just to get out of the house, mostly just talking to malnourished kittens and not other humans. I was doubting myself as a roommate, a friend, a worker, a writer, a person.

This year? I'm in 3 D&D groups, I meet up with friends for board games every weekend, and I have so many friends sometimes we exceed the limits of our board games. I got really into Critical Role and that’s brought me to even more friends. I've had two awesome new roommates, one who was sad about moving out to be closer to her job, one who currently lives with me and my long time roommate. I'm full time at my job and working on not being so stressed. I have the tattoo I wanted for six years. I'm going goth. I'm networking. I got a classmate a job. These are all huge and important things.

There’s still stuff I want to change about my life, I’m still stressed at times, I still have doubts. But where I'm at right now? Is so much better than where I was last year. Last year I felt like a mess, I was incredibly lonely, and I was being crushed under the weight of stress about my job. This year, I have a lot to be proud of, a lot to be happy about, and the drive to move forward and pursue the things I want.

I want to save money. I want to get a new used car in a year if that’s necessary, or paint my current car if it keeps running. I want more tattoos. I want to keep going goth. I want to move into a bigger apartment and get a cat. I want to exercise regularly. Most of all I want to be writing scripts again.

A lot can, and has, changed in a year. If we’ve talked at all here, you’ve been a part of that, small or large. Thank you all.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-05-16 11:38 pm

Discworld Tattoo : DDD

Pics on twitter and tumblr

Six years ago I attended the North American Discworld Convention. It was my very first convention and I was nervous but excited, a wide-eyed recent high school grad. I met osheamobile face to face, and a nicer person you couldn’t hope to meet. That weekend had one of the best times of my life, meeting fellow fans and dressing up and running a game show monitor and even meeting Terry Pratchett himself, if only for a moment to get an autograph. I never wanted that weekend to end. I knew afterwards that if I ever got a tattoo, it’d be something to do with an owl and an ankh.

Two years ago I was mourning Terry Pratchett’s death, and commissioned ruairidhohboy on tumblr for a sketch. I couldn’t afford the tattoo I wanted, but I wanted something to have. The sketch became my desktop background from then on.

Today, credit to Zack Taylor at Evermore Tattoo for inking this onto me. I was nervous and he put me at ease and did a fantastic job. I’m not at all tough, but I didn’t cry once. (Honestly, the HPV vaccine hurt WAY more than getting my tattoo!) I was shocked at how it wasn’t nearly as painful as I’d been fearing. It wasn’t pleasant, but I managed it just fine. The closest comparison I can make is getting scraped by rough tree bark while climbing a tree. Not nice, but not horrific. I’m going back in a few weeks for some shading (and making that lower right segment black.)

I’m so happy to finally have this! It’s been a long time coming.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-05-13 10:23 pm

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Got to watch O Brother Where Art Thou with my roommates tonight, the one who's moving out hadn't seen it before.

I also gifted her with Monstrous Regiment and she seemed really touched.

She said she wishes she could take me and our other roommate with her when she moves DDDDD:

I'm gonna miss her. Thankfully she'll be staying in touch, but still, I'll miss her. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-05-07 11:47 pm
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Gaming Day

Today was AMAZING.

First in D&D my lizard rogue confessed her love and that was too adorable for words.

Then in DC Adventures my character went through a traumatic thing I'd been dreading and almost got dramatically DISOWNED by her crime Family, and then my roommate the DM brought in MATCHES FUCKING MALONE and I SCREAMED and the other players didn't know who that was and I YELLED and it was AMAZING and then and then then I FOUGHT BATMAN AND IT WAS VERY EMPOWERING FOR MY CHARACTER'S DEVELOPMENT AND I ALMOST STARTED CRYING

Today was a good day.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-04-24 01:05 am

DC Adventures Game Night

So after not meeting up for a while, we finally got our group together, mostly. Got to introduce a new character. 

Fun fight and lots of laughs, very exciting ... and then all of the sudden the DM dumped a truckload of angst onto my character. It was so intense I almost started crying, I was so into it. It was GREAT! : DDDDDDD

Just, such great personal conflict now, for my character. She might get disowned by her crime family. Is she gonna be a hero now? Should she arrest her whole family? What would Batman do? Hell, what WILL Batman do? She's still really scared of him. 

I just had such a fantastic night with friends! 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-04-09 11:30 pm
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Game night

 Been having weekly game nights for the past few months and that's really improved my quality of life. 

Tonight was great! Got to break open my new Catan game and build new happy memories with it. Made my favorite alcoholic drink. Told two of my closest friends I'm currently questioning my sexuality and the world didn't end. Laughed a lot. Cried watching adorable musical-themed wedding surprises with two straight men who love musicals. 

I'm just ... in such a better place now than I was this time last year. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2017-01-16 11:55 pm

First Night of the Campaign!

 So after YEARS, I'm finally in a tabletop group again! I'm so excited! 

It's great. It's so great. Sadly one of our friends had to drop out at the last minute so it's three of us and the GM, but that's fine. One of the group has never done tabletop gaming before at all, so she's very confused about how it all works, but that makes it even more interesting because she keeps making choices the three of us who've got a lot of experience would never consider trying. Sometimes these choices work, sometimes they don't, but it's always interesting. 

I got really into the RP stuff. I'm enjoying my character a lot, getting to know her, play around with her morality, etc. She discovered new powers and got into a couple cool fights, and got the first "How Do You Want To Do This?" I'm so happy! I got to punch out Bane, Shoryuken style!

The other players have made "are you a werewolf?" a running gag, after a moment of confusion where I said didn't want to be outside at night. 

I'm so happy and I cannot wait to keep going. It feels good to be in a campaign again. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-11-03 09:53 pm
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Oh dear

My roommate has also messed up his sleeping schedule so tonight he came in to shower and I was like “wait … didn’t you already shower today? What day is it?!” and he he was like “… I don’t remember?”

And we started sadly laughing at ourselves.

(It’s ok, just, today was odd.)
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-11-03 05:42 pm
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Today I found out that Keladry of Mindelan is probably aro ace, and Emily Kaldwin is bisexual, from the creators themselves. 

I gotta get some rest that is too much good news for one day my friends I already cried from happiness once today I don’t have the energy for more.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-11-01 02:11 pm
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November is not Christmas

Look I like Christmas. But I like it when confined to its month, December. If it starts too soon, I don’t feel as much joy about it. I get tired. The songs wear thin. I get stressed. All the things I don’t like about Christmas pile up. I gotta be careful with that joy and make sure it lasts the whole month long. Stretching it out endangers that.

November is not Christmas.

November is post-Halloween recovery month. November is a time when the colors fade, the seasons shift, people get extremely busy at work and school, and the looming sense of winter (and ~The Holidays~ ominously approaching) hovers over our heads like the Sword of Damocles. Stuff is still spooky, but now with an eerie and mournful tone. Halloween is bright and cheerful, and has the energy of a harvest festival, a celebration. November is when you realize you have to ration your emotions and food for the winter months.

November pretty much ends, in America, with Thanksgiving. A coming together of family and friends for food and comfort, for symbols of togetherness and bonding. A holiday of circling together in a group for warmth, food, and reassurance that yes, we are together, and yes, we are grateful for each other, and yes, we can make it through this winter together. This is, I think, no accident, that it has endured as such for so many years.

November is not Christmas.

At least, it’s not for me. If October and Halloween are a bright neon orange tree to me, November is a tree with withering leaves falling one by one. October and Halloween are the dancing skeleton, November is the half-buried skeleton you find in a field.

November is not Christmas.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-11-01 02:06 am

What aunt_zelda Thinks: Halloween marathon, Part 3

Halloween night! : DDDDDDD

I dressed up a little, ate candy, drank half a beer, and did a double feature with my roommate: Fright Night, the original and the remake, back to back. Neither of us had seen either film before, and this was long overdue.

I don't know how to talk about either of these movies without talking about the other one. I can't help but compare and contrast them, since we did a double feature tonight. I'll start with some basic impressions of each film and then talk about them compared to each other:

Fright Night (1985)

For the original, I was super impressed with the visuals, genuinely frightened, in love with the music, and pleasantly surprised by the queercoding and queer text. I was a little annoyed with some of the characters at times, and found the handling of Amy and her sexuality a little troubling. I know it's the 80s, but still. Peter Vincent was my favorite of the lot, and I was genuinely moved by his arc. 

Fright Night (2011)

I consider this a pretty good remake, especially as horror remakes go. I was pleased with the casting, loved the setting change, enjoyed how Amy and Charlie's attitudes towards sex were flipped, and was very moved by the friendship falling out between Charlie and Ed. However I found the story's pacing to somewhat fall apart around the halfway mark, wasn't scared during the second half at all, and was disappointed with some of the effects. While there were some very strong individual scenes in this film (the opening in particular is very chilling, as is the scene where Charlie gets beer for Jerry, and the sequence where Charlie and Doris try to escape Jerry's house) the overall film didn't feel as strong. 

Film vs. Film

My roommate and I talked this out a lot after the movies. We ended up sorta comparing individual bits and pieces to each other.

I gotta say, for a movie that's only 5 years old, most of the effects in the Fright Night remake don't hold up. I do appreciate that they tried to mimic the look of the vampire mouths from the original, but considering the original is 31 years old and the effects STILL had me and my roommate yelping and covering our eyes or cheering and looking closer in awe, that says a lot. 

I'm very torn on how each film handled women and women's sexuality. The original was ... odd. The biting scene between Jerry and Amy plays with sexy saxophone music and seems framed as a sexy scene, but Amy is being mind-controlled (or is she?) and it's a horrifying thing that seems like it's supposed to be a rape. Later she seems to think because of what happened in that room, Charlie won't "want her" anymore, implying some nasty victim-blaming attitudes. While I like how in the 2011 remake Amy is the sexually experienced one who is pushing for sex, the biting scene is clearly unwanted and plays very creepily, and then the next time we see Amy she's writhing around on top of Charlie enthusiastic about her vampirehood and she seems to exist in the script to drape herself over Jerry and metaphorically blow him in front of Charlie to upset Charlie. Imogen Poots is a great actress but she was not given great moments to work with in the latter half of this script. 

The cast was exquisite in the remake. David Tennant saves the Peter Vincent role in the remake, in another actor's hands it would have been pretty bad, his sudden and random backstory was too sudden and not needed. Jerry was super hot and super scary, but I think original jerry was scarier because he managed to be terrifying even in a dorky sweater and I don't think Colin Farrell could have managed that. I liked how the mother was more of a character in the remake. And I really loved the plotline with Charlie's friend Ed in the remake ... though only at the start of the film. I didn't like how Ed then wasn't used for most of the rest of the film, and popped up for a brief moment that lacked the emotional poignancy of the original. Peter Vincent fighting and then killing Evil Ed in the original was a tearful and tragic moment, where you saw the moral conflict within Peter Vincent about murdering a mostly-human-being. That poignancy was wanted in the remake but didn't quite happen. 

What the remake did really well was the setting update. They made great use of the "suburb outside of Las Vegas" location, with the abandoned houses, transient people, proximity of Vegas' glitz, and the abundance of people who worked nights.

I'm a bit split on the queer content in both films. Obviously the original is chock full of that, in subtle and not so subtle ways. I'm unclear on how much was snuck in, how much was meant to telegraph "danger/bad people" to the audiences, and how much was meant as cutting social commentary. I could list things off - the villain literally emerges from a closet and then hurls the male protagonist into the closet early on, not to mention hugs his Renfield from behind at one point - but I'm sure plenty of people have gone in-depth into this before. It'd be easy to say the film is about an evil bisexual swooping in to disrupt the quiet heteronormative neighborhood before being defeated by a hetero couple and their older male mentor, but I could write an entire scene about Jerry and Evil Ed in that alleyway alone so I don't think the analysis is unwarranted. Not to mention the implications in 1985 of showing someone some distinctive marks on your body and saying "he got me." While I'd say it's a lot more subtle and nuanced in the original, the remake is ... not. The few indications of queer content are offhand comments or joke-moments, mostly to do with Peter Vincent. What we have are: a bunch of ladies writhing around on each other, Peter Vincent telling puppy-eyed Charlie "I'm gonna pop your cherry," Evil Ed straddling Charlie and asking "is this getting weird for you? Because I'm feeling a little homo right now!", and Peter kissing Charlie in relief after the climactic battle. I was looking forward to Colin Farrell macking on Anton Yelchin, and I didn't get any of that. It's like they took all the queerness from Jerry and gave it to Peter Vincent in the remake, but only as joke-moments. I'm kinda disappointed? IDK, I have to think about this more. 

Like if I make a chart of bits comparing them, it breaks down like this:

Charlie: Remake
Jerry: Original
Amy (first half): Remake
Amy (second half): Original
Evil Ed (first half): Remake
Evil Ed (second half): Original
Charlie's Mom: Remake
Effects: Original
Music: Original
Opening scene: Remake
Scares: Original
Pacing: Original
Setting: Remake

I think that overall the remake did a good job of doing their own thing while homaging and honoring the old. They succeeded for the most part, but not as much as they could have. It's ok. It's not great, it's not better, but it's ok. 

While there are elements and moments I liked more in the remake than in the original, I think overall the original is a more consistently good movie. I'm glad we have both. I liked doing this double feature and I highly recommend it. I just think in the future I'll be rewatching the original more than I will the remake.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-10-31 01:11 am

What aunt_zelda Thinks: Halloween marathon, Part 2

 So tonight my roommate and I watched three things. 

Completely by accident, all three ended up being narratives that took place primarily in a single location, and could easily be rewritten as a play.

First up was Let Us Prey, a film I've been meaning to see for ages and never gotten around to. My roommate hadn't seen it either. All I knew going in was Liam Cunningham played the Devil, basically, and a vague memory of a trailer I saw like, last year, and that it had good reviews. It was an odd little movie, very cheap to make obviously, but they used their money well and managed to make a good solid film. Some very artistic shots. It did not go in the directions I thought it was going at all, right up until the very end even. Some great gore. Some vile characters, but they were assholes in realistic ways, not horror movie assholes who were too over the top. The film built up well too, something happens towards the end that would be ridiculous if they just started with it, but because of the tension and gory moments ratcheting up throughout the story, it worked. At least, it worked for me. Liam Cunningham was a fabulous Devil. Every movement he made was measured and deliberate, and his dialogue was precise. Some good spooks in this one that even freaked out my normally calm roommate. 
And, mostly for personal reasons, I've been waiting for YEARS for a movie to end like this one did. I don't dare spoil that though. 
I'm not sure this one will stick with me as much as another movie would, there's nothing especially epic or special about it, but it's a solid little film I wouldn't mind rewatching with friends somewhere down the line. 

Next up was the Twilight Zone episode "The Obsolete Man," which my roommate suggested. FANTASTIC. My gods. Just ... wow. What can be said about this that hasn't already been said for decades? I could see how famous filmmakers have studied this episode for aesthetics and concepts and homaged it in their works ever since. A truly great little episode. Never seen someone passive-aggressively read the Bible to someone, but that was a great moment. Plus, who doesn't love seeing Burgess Meredith do literally anything? Nice creepy little story, with a very important message that, unfortunately, is very relevant in today's world. Totalitarianism, devaluing and distrust of education and literature, and politicians questioning the need for libraries, these are issues that sadly we haven't moved past now, more than 50 years after this episode aired.
This one is gonna stick with me for a long time, I have no doubt. 

Last of the evening was Murder Party. I've been meaning to see this for ages. I know the later work of the writer/director, Jeremy Saulnier, his latest work Green Room remains the best film I've seen all year, and Blue Ruin won a ton of acclaim from people whose opinions I tend to trust (but I haven't seen it yet.) Though this film showed obvious signs of low budget, which my roommate and I were quick to spot being former film students ourselves, it's a really great movie. Horrible, gory, all over the place, twists and turns, commentaries on commentaries on modern art, but what surprised me the most was how FUNNY it was. There's a gag about 20 minutes in that had me laughing so hard I think I woke up the entire apartment complex. I knew Jeremy Saulnier was talented as fuck, but I didn't know he was FUNNY. Green Room had a few jokes but it was not a funny movie at all, and from what I hear Blue Ruin is a brutal movie too. So this took me completely by surprise in all the right ways. Plus, where else can you find a movie with two bisexual characters where that's not a big deal or the point of their characters at all.
This movie was obviously cheap and it isn't the best thing ever, but I enjoyed it a lot. I think it's gonna become one of my Halloween go-to movies, especially when hanging out with fellow former film-students. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-10-11 02:39 am
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Did job security improve my creativity?

I just couldn’t stop writing this evening. I worked on three different fanfics. Like, significantly. A lot of writing.
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-10-10 04:10 pm
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Today is the Best

A meeting with my boss I was super stress about turned into a “my goal is to have you hired full time by the end of the year” meeting.

So that’s a year’s worth of work and stress and panic attacks and anxiety and improvement and projects ... all worth it. After a year of working, I’m close to full-time, at an industry job I really enjoy, which I’m incredibly lucky and fortunate to have.

AND I just got my Yuletide assignment and it’s one of the ones I REALLY hoped I’d get matched on.

Like I’ve spent the last week looking through people’s letters and the fandoms I offered and reading the prompts and ideas and omg omg omg I AM SO EXCITED! : DDDDDDD
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-08-26 12:01 am
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Found the winning formula

 If I marathon Leverage commentary tracks at home and Thrilling Adventure Hour episodes in the car, I can calm myself down even from the worst of my anxiety. It just takes time. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-06-19 07:38 pm
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Too Hot

It’s so hot in LA I’m starting to fantasize about Captain Cold shooting me with his freeze ray. 

I don’t even have an ice kink.

Or at least, I didn’t have one yesterday. 

Maybe I have one now.

It’s too hot.

I’m not built for this heat.

aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-06-13 11:29 am
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So my mom called me this morning. We talked about other things, but the conversation turned to Orlando. We'd both been very worried yesterday morning because, see, my dad lives in Florida now. Not in Orlando, but close. Even though I knew he didn't go clubbing anymore, because of the alcohol and his age, I was afraid yesterday. I was afraid for him, for his new boyfriend I haven't met yet, for their friends. They're fine, they were nowhere near Orlando, but still, there was that awful moment where I didn't know. So many people had that moment where they didn't know about their loved ones, and too many people had moments where they did know.

I am sick of these moments. I was in Boston during the Marathon bombings, I had friends at the finish line watching the race. A bunch of girls from my college were hit by falling glass and went to the hospital. One of my best friends was in the subway when it happened and we couldn't get in touch with him for a while. I am sick of these moments. 

My mom heard on the radio this morning about the mother of one of the victims, who'd been texting him that night, and right before he was murdered. And my mom started crying and telling me she loves me.

I don't think my mom has ever been afraid for me before because of my sexuality. She's been afraid for me because I'm a woman, I went to college, I went to college in a big city, I walked at night, I rode the subway, I drove myself cross-country twice alone, and now I live in LA and go a lot of places alone. She's afraid for me a lot. But I don't think she's ever been afraid for me because I'm bi. I think it's easy for her to forget I am, because I've only had two relationships so far and both have been with men, and I don't go to bars.

I hate that this has made her fear for me in a whole new way. I hate this. I'm sick of these moments and I'm sick of being afraid. I'm sick of this never changing, no matter if it's kids or people in a church or college students or people in a movie theater, I'm sick of this never changing. 
aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-06-02 11:45 pm
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Good news/bad news


Good news is I did really well at my job!

Bad news is I have spent the past three days working nearly the entire day, as in, 8-12 hours, two of those days stressing as well, and feel completely and utterly drained. Considering I began the week confident I could finish two fanfics I’ve been promising to finish for some time, and then was swamped and drowned in my job commitments, that is not so good. 

I’m gonna recharge and watch tv. Then work on fanfics this weekend. 

aunt_zelda: (Default)
2016-05-25 12:00 am
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Late night talks

So first my roommate reading out an article from a bitter Hillary supporter full of inaccuracies, and then dramatically reading out the rebuttal comments - many of which were from grandpas - in accents and describing their profile pictures to me in such a way that we were both laughing so hard we were on the floor (it was so funny omg, hopefully she will record that later this week.) Highlights include people with photos of dogs or flowers as their profile pics, grandpas with guitars, an old man dressed in Revolutionary Era garb, a shirtless man, and a man "who is so old, his photo is sepia with him and his son." They used words like "claptrap" and "craven" and "meander round" and "drivel" and it was amazing. Old outraged sass is the best thing in the world. Reading the responses from people who'd been campaigning against the establishment for 30+ years was frankly inspiring.

Then we went to my other roommate's room to tell HIM about that, and laughing about some of the more lurid comments turned into talking politics. That lead to speculation about the ethical dilemma of stopping dangerous presidents from becoming president, and the ethics of time travel to prevent crimes, Minority Report esque prevention of crimes, etc. That lead to discussions of time travel and if we could go back and change X thing from time would we/should we, that spiraled from stopping monstrosities to changing world events, what if scenarios.

Then we started talking about what if we hadn't entered WWI, and then how things would have changed there.

Things got VERY INTENSE. We spiraled out talking about what wouldn't have happened had we not entered WWI, and all the myriad of global changes resulting from that. Entering WWII late. Us never developing or dropping the bomb. Women's independence not being achieved as soon. The UN not being called that or involving us at all. Us not being named a world protector. Us joining the third world coalition. Us distrusting Canada severely due to its links to England. England dropping the bomb. Us forming closer ties with Central and South America. Us de-segregating faster, but getting women's rights slower. Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state. Guam possibly becoming the 52nd state. I really wish we'd recorded this or taken notes, because it was truly fascinating.  

Then this spiraled into a hypothetical "window of time" into what we'd wanna see, and history mysteries we'd like to have resolved once and for all. 
aunt_zelda: (GarlicIsTheAnswer)
2015-12-25 09:09 pm
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My recipient loves the work I sent them! Woohoo!

So I was sitting around checking my Treats and seeing if people had left comments yet and then I realized ... of course they haven’t yet, everyone is at home with their families.

Me, I’ve been sitting around today calling my family, and playing board games with my boyfriend and roommate. (Noir, and Smash Up, EXCELLENT! : DDDD)

First Christmas away from home. I’m not exactly happy, but I’m not crying either. It was tough earlier, especially with the phone calls, but overall I think I’m doing ok.