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Okay, some real quick longform about a story the Twitter folk were asking me about: Skaggs and Beechers and the day I decided normal T-fueled boys were pretty damn stupid. :)

So. My middle school had a tradition of taking all the 7th-graders out to this lodge called "Camp Fitch" out in the backwoods of Ohio. The camp was owned by the Kiwanis or Freemasons or Rothschilds or something, and they let us rent it once a year as our winter field trip. There was horseriding and archery and communal showering and all the things that make a small pudgy outcast nerd's life just goddamn delightful. And there was no snow that year, which means we couldn't actually DO half the things at camp that would have actually been fun.

So we were already a little restless.

Well, there were three residential lodges at Camp Fitch, one big one and two small ones. Each year, they swapped off whether the boys or the girls would get the big lodge, and they split the other gender between the small ones. That year, it was "us" boys. Half of us went to Skaggs Lodge, the rest to Beecher's.

It was not FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES before the boys had split up into two hostile factions, based on their heartfelt commitments to the ideals and traditions of the lodge they'd been arbitrarily assigned fifteen minutes ago. One side started chanting "Beechers suck! Beechers suck!" and the other returned with "Skaggs are fags! Skaggs are fags!" Some of these people had been friends for years, but the moment they were given a different flag to wave, they were enemies. It tells you something about me that I don't remember to this day which lodge I was in.

Yeah. Things got out of hand. Kids were throwing rocks and fists. The fucking adolescent reprobate RAs were actually ENCOURAGING this little Lord of the Flies pageant. It got to the point where I couldn't even get any fucking sleep, because the boys kept raiding each other's lodges at 3 am to do petty annoying shit to each other.

There's no climax or resolution to this story, sorry. I was not nearly as assertive at 12 as I am now. I hid from the other kids -- even my "own" lodge -- as much as possible that week. I resolved to spend as much time as possible in the company of horses instead of humans, which may also explain a few things about me. (Thanks, Maggie, you were an admirably quiet and patient friend and I wish I'd been less crap at riding you. <3 ) And that was my first really rounded, philosophical awareness that boys were fucking idiots, especially if you split them into teams and give them flags to wave.

To be fair, I don't doubt there's a Rule 63 universe where I was born XX, the girls got Beechers and Skaggs, and I ended up a transman, because adolescent girls are ALSO fucking crazy and the two lodges still backbit each other to death. But that's not the universe, nor the chromosome, this one of me actually had to live in, so here I am.
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Hi. I'm still me. Are you still you?
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I think playing at being an MLP changeling internally and on Twitter has actually been pretty therapeutic for dealing with my "righteous indignation" issues. I started thinking about it after a Wiki crawl, accidentally themed around the all-around shittiness of J Edgar Hoover, reminded me of how much I hate the NYPD right now and want to lash out (verbally) at them.

This was followed by thoughts of how ugly it would be for my whole household and community if any of my darkest revenge fantasies would ever play out -- don't worry, they never will, that's what this is all about. I pondered all the counterculture literature I've read, and how that kind of dumb emotional overreaction is damn near always what brings a good social experiment crashing down.

So being a changeling is turning out to be a fantastic way to accept and embrace my just, healthy resentment of these abusive fuckers in power, without feeling I need to strike to put up a healthy resistance.

Admittedly most of this will make no sense if you're unfamiliar with MLP but you're welcome to try anyhow. :)  )
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In other Peeve News, I'm getting pretty fucking irritated that my "Who to follow" now seems to consist purely of incredibly self-righteous, anger-fueled* social justice scolds I don't ever want to talk to. Especially because it's a reminder that their attitudes are slowly seeping into my group of friends and I have to deal with the same frustrating set of ideas and habits on a daily basis.

WARNING: ROGUE PROTO-TRANNY. I THINK SHE MIGHT HAVE THE GENDER-RABIES AGAIN OR SOMETHING. )
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Might as well take the rant about The Interview over here.

Pardon the lack of editing! )

QotD

Nov. 20th, 2014 12:47 pm
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"Surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort." - Socrates Scholasticus, 5th c. scholar, on the murder of Hypatia by, let's face it, a bunch of right-wing Christians who believed the rumors on their social media.
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[a small androgynous figure in a lab coat, with red fur the color of fake cherry and a bandit mask the color of real cherry, squints up from their workbench and into the fish-eye of a ceiling-mounted camera lens]

Yeah, Kin, about that note in my tray... So we're doing this intro thing after all? Fine, who for?

["Miss Othmar" voice, i.e., several seconds of muted trombone, from a tinny speaker]

Really. Again. [sigh] Is this some kind of, yanno, primate thing? Seriously, like, one of you heard a wildebeest and now you all have to go running back to this place in a big herd...?

[louder, more insistent muted trombone]

Sure, okay. [looks up] Hi, I'm Jenna James Kirsch, lead engineer of QuunOps. So, we're a consortium of 321 imaginary procyonids, and we've been providing Kin's psychic build/repair and R&D functions going back to around 2013. Technically, though, we're subcontracting out to... uh... other parties. Let me check my NDA, before I get back to you on that. Uh, not sure I'm cleared to talk about the previous administration. It's cool, nothing too creepy, they just like to keep to themselves. [looks about warily; shields muzzle with a cupped workglove, mouths a mildly inappropriate slur about felines at the camera, and winks]

Let's see, my BA's in Neural Grafting, Arecibo Polytech. That's back on Merkur. Got my Masters from a graft--my own honors project, actually. Took pretty well. That's in Sapient Metamaterials. And my Ph.D. is in Memory Engineering, but I guess I blocked out where it's from. Presumably, I didn't have a very good time there. There's a lot missing, to be honest.

Most what we do here in QuunOps is an awful lot of drugs, and we do them very well. Not an amine, peptide, glutamate, or anandamide goes through our primate host's brain without our participation. That's how you can tell us from Kin's other personas. Elle swims in Kin's brain chemistry; Rezy bathes in it. The [DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS] hide in a bathysphere, and Laika just drowns her sorrows. But, you know, we're learning to surf on it, and I think that's why Kin still trusts us with her head, even if it does keep floating off. There's a lot missing, to be honest.

[Kirsch pauses and drums fingers reflectively on bench, staring absently for a moment]

Hmm.

[image in lens starts to separate with tacky analog SFX, bleeding out slightly into three pure-tinted layers whose respective raccoons speak out of synch, phantasmally overlapping each other with their wild gestures]

(α) What else. Dunno. I'm in procyonid haplogroup X5q1n1, probably explains why I'm a little fidgety. Sunsider-recessive, currently XX but thinking of having some more work done? I have a friend still in school who's doing 7ir honors genomics project, so. It's inspired by Tetrahymena thermophila genders, and if 7e can smuggle me out a retroinstaller, yeah, that's probably where I'm gonna go with it.

(β) What else. Dunno. I've just got the two smartgel matrix bodies at the moment, the "lime cream" one over there and this one, the "sour cherry." The green one's actually newer and I like it because it's quartzed hypromellose and totally vegan, and the cherry's just gelatin from Hermesthefuckknowswhere.

(γ) What else. Dunno. Oh, yeah. [undoes a set of four latches around their throat] I'm a second-generation Mad. I mean, this was my graduation present. [cups gloves against their cheeks and lifts slightly, pulling their head right off their shoulders, continuing to speak and emote unimpeded]

[three split color-films merge back into one; Kirsch twitches, stares, and froths for a moment]

It's happening again. I should get back to work.

But yeah. In conclusion, I have so many shinies in here. Life is pretty good.
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Hey, this is starting to drive me more than a little crazy, so it's probably worth saying out loud:

I feel like I've been perennially behind on my social obligations, and perennially worried that I'm going to come back to those friendships to find they've gone cold. I've had people assume out of the blue that a long period of silence means they've fallen out of favor with me. I've done it to people myself, too. So I get a little paranoid if I'm out of touch with too many people for too long, especially with friends who have security issues or don't have as many social contacts as I do.

And it's starting to drive me to distraction. I think it's one of the reasons I'm not getting a whole lot done at work or on my personal projects. Especially with my ADD, I'm really prone to feeling like whatever I do, I should be doing something else. So I've been wasting a lot of time lately spinning my gears, accepting social obligations I probably shouldn't, and guilting myself out when I do manage to turn down an invitation, to the point where I don't get anything done anyway

I'm not neglecting anyone on purpose, I promise. I am just pretty overwhelmed at the moment. I've been very low mental energy, I've been distracted by back pain, but most importantly, I'm actually making some marginal progress on some of my game projects and would like to continue. :)

By all means, keep inviting me to stuff! I do also want to be more sociable with people -- I guess I just need to make sure more of those occasions are ones that will actually energize me instead of just stressing me out. :) I just needed to give people a word of assurance that if I say no to something, it's for the above reasons and not because I suddenly have a problem with you!

And there's just no freaking way I can possibly maintain every social connection that I want. There are too many interesting people in my life, and not nearly enough useful hours in my day. The best I've ever been able to offer is a "come looking for me and I might say yes, and if we happen to cross each other's paths, we'll see what happens" sort of approach.

But I've always felt really awful about it in the aftermath. I have to start doing something about that, because I'm wasting so much time I could use socializing or working, but not both... and it usually ends up with me doing neither. NONE OF THIS IS ANYBODY'S FAULT BUT MINE. It just won't get any better unless I start talking about it!

I'm fairly cheerful about the whole prospect, actually, since 99% of what I need, my friends have already offered me without hesitation. I just have a real shitty time actually accepting it. This message is my magic feather, so I can wave it at anybody who grumps at me and say, "Listen, it's like this..."

Thanks for listening! No actual action is needed on your part except continued patience. :)
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Wow. Okay. I'm humbled, embarrassed, and so very relieved.

A couple of you might remember the "100 Reasons Why" post. I made a list of things that were going wrong in my life and totally wrecking my urge to give a shit about the future. That was March of 2003.

I think... like, five of them are still true and still hurt?

Thank you. This would not have happened without you lot. I really, really need to keep working on having a little faith in us.
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Still struggling to get back into the habit of putting random thoughts here instead of Twitter. But I think it's worth it, good for my social media habits and good for my attention span.

I still have a project on the backburner that's going to involve reading through all my old Livejournal entries and trying to make publishable essays out of whatever dross I find there. I'm not entirely looking forward to confronting myself circa 2003-2008, but maybe if I start with Noelle's journal it won't be so bad...

I found myself getting surprisingly incensed on the bus today, at what was essentially a Rime of the Ancient Mariner cosplayer. :p He made a comment "informing" some poor random kid about some beyond-trivial technicality of his bus fare. Then he used this total non-conversation as an inroad to chew the kid's ear off for the whole trip. Poor boy could not have been more than 20 years old, Archer T-shirt and thick glasses, look of abject introvert social terror when this guy would not shut up.

In retrospect, I really wish I'd had the time and nerve to interrupt the old fart and ask for the time. Maybe I could've saved the kid a few minutes trouble. He seemed like a nice guy and I would've been happy to take five minutes of aimless cootblather for him.

I know, I know, it sounds really mean. The old guy was obviously lonely and needed this. But I have a real pet peeve about people who won't respect other people's time, and I especially have a problem with people who habitually exploit other people's manners to steal attention. I just wanted so bad to bop this guy on the head and say, "Listen! This poor fella obviously does not give a ratfuck about one thing you're saying! Learn to Internet and find a chatroom, if you're so lonely."

I know that makes me a terrible person, but Jesus. That's exactly the sort of kindness these Men From Porlock exploit, and I've been the one sitting there feeling boxed in by some inappropriately friendly boor more times than I'd like. Respect some other people's goddamn social needs.
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Oh, and hello to everyone I haven't seen since pre-Twitter! Trust me, you didn't miss much. :) I curtailed my activity drastically there due to... reasons. I mean, I'm back here, so that should give you some idea how much I care for Twitter at this point. Anyhow, it's good to see you all again and I apologize if I don't reply to your hellos on the previous posts! I'm gonna try to keep Dreamwidth relatively low-commitment for now, since that's one of the many things about Twitter that was burning me out, but it's still awfully nice to have a place to stretch out again...

QsOTD

Oct. 23rd, 2014 03:21 pm
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"Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that when we are, death is not come and when death is come, we are not." -- Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." -- attributed to Marcus Aurelius; actual source unknown, probably The Internet

As I put it to the kid I was just debating with on Reddit... even if there is an entity who's going to judge us according to its moral authority, how do we know it's not the cosmic equivalent of the Kid Who Drinks Tranya? Why would the real Prime Mover need to threaten its own creations? What could a genuinely omnipotent being have to be jealous about?!

No, if I'm gonna go and be spiritual, I'm gonna look for the critter behind the curtain. The real Prime Mover is probably as confused, apologetic, and overwhelmed as we are, if it's even noticed us yet. Do you take a keen personal interest in what the ants underfoot are saying about you? In whether the bacteria on your eyelid are whispering blasphemies about you? Would you trust a god who did the equivalent? (If I thought such a ludicrous thing were real, I would worship it fervently, pray it couldn't read minds, and plot all day and night to kill it.)
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Nothing interesting to say quite yet, but I think I just might be heading back here.

Fuck Twitter. Although I do already kinda regret not being able to passive-aggressively subtweet them from here. It was real good for that. :D

Oh, actually, there was one interesting thing: did a playtest last night for a card-draft driven RPG notion and everybody seemed to have fun, give or take some needlessly stoned confusing instructions on my part. More info to come, but here's a teaser of what kind of characters the system produces!

Ah, cut text. How I've missed you. We should have never parted. )

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