Friday, May 6, 2011

Things People Don’t Seem to Get About Me- A Primer

It seems like even the people who’ve known me for years don’t get why I do some things, so here are some of my attempts to explain.

Conflict Avoidance-

I avoid fights, conflict and general disagreement on principle. Simply put, I don’t care about much and if you feel like fighting about something, you go right ahead.

 I’ll be over here. With the camera.


If someone is rude to me, that’s their problem, not mine. Being polite often works far better than being angry back at someone, and as a bonus, sometimes it makes them even more pissed at you.


 Sometimes even saying nothing at all works.


How I Dress-

I dress like either like a hobo, or a guy, depending on who you ask. This occurs for several reasons.

1) I have no sense of fashion

 I don’t get it. 


 2)  I am permanently stuck in the grunge era, for whatever reason. 


3) I think outfits like this look freakin’ sweet: 


Why I’m So Damn Calm:

Mostly, it’s because of my dad.
See, most of my family is the calm, quiet type. We don’t talk about our feelings or problems unless it’s something really big that we think others can help with. My dad’s different. He’ll rant and rave about how the world is ending, how he’ll lose his job, how something terrible is going to happen.


 Like this, but in the living room.

Now that I’m older, I realize this was his way of dealing with stress. He vocalized the worst that could happen, got out his fear and anger, and moved on. When you’re a kid, however, you don’t know about those ‘coping mechanism’ things and instead think: “Oh god, what do we do? What if he’s right and we can’t pay the power bill? What if he loses his job and we have to move?’


 I’m going to be in here for a while.


Eventually I learned all the horrible things he worried about never happened. We got through any problems just fine, the world didn’t end, and eventually I just learned to tune his loud freak-outs out. I had basically become immune to both yelling and any problems that weren’t right in front of me.


 “When the explosion is a half-foot from me, then I’ll start caring.”

Another thing that helped is growing up around animals, and riding horses. One of the first things that you learn about horses is that it’s a bad idea to get scared, nervous, or generally panicky around them. Staying calm and rational is the best way to go.


 JUST STAY COOL MAN.

This basically reinforced the idea that staying calm and looking for a practical solution is the smart thing to do. Trail riding also exposed me to a whole bunch of random dangers that made other things look, well, unimportant. While other people were worried about that thing someone else said about them in gym class, I dealt with what to do if someone’s horse runs into a cactus patch on a midnight trail ride.


Sure it looks awesome, but what if your horse spooks?

So, basically, I have learned to just straight-up not give a fuck unless bears are literally attacking and forcing their way through the door.

And even then I’ll ask if someone has a shotgun handy. 


 Not like it’s a Kodiak or something.


Why I like Dogs so damn much-

Because dogs are awesome.






Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Notebook Chronicles Pt.1

When I get bored, I doodle.
Any little space in the margins, on any handouts, and especially in my notebooks. I don't know why, but my brain can't just listen to someone talk-- it has to be doing something else as well. So I doodle because it allows me to pay more attention to the speaker than if I thought of something else while they were talking. This leads to a whole bunch of notebook comics and sketches, which I've decided to title 'The Notebook Chronicles'.
This little comic originally was in my notebook, but it smeared a whole bunch, so I tried to reproduce it via Paint.


It's entitled "One reason why humans need the ability to lie"--



  

  



 


...yeah, they would never let me have my degree. 
I am generally completely honest about most things, including how evil I would be with some super-powers and just whose side I would take in a fight. But you must be sure that you want to hear the truth before asking me.

I'll probably post some more of my notebook comics later, but for now it's spring break, bitches! I'll leave you with this image by Das Mervin to explain just how I'll be spending my days off:






Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Favorite Game Coincidences

I love games where different actions at different times can lead to a pile-up of odd timing and strange happenings. My love of Oblivion is mainly because the game lends itself to odd occurrences, especially when you least expect it.  These are the moments that make you stop, wondering what just happened, or the things that make you yell at the screen, usually something like ‘what the hell?’, ‘bullshit’ or ‘that was…what?’.
This is a list of my favorite random things that have happened to me in games:


What are you doing in my room?

This happened way-back-when. I had played through Oblivion before and decided to fire it up again because I was bored and there were some neat mods out. During my last couple of games I had tried to get into the Dark Brotherhood and failed miserably. I just couldn’t seem to kill an ‘innocent’ NPC without half the guards in the game giving me the business end of a sword, and no killing= no Dark Brotherhood.


 You never let me have any fun.



So this for this play-through I had decided to say ‘screw it’ and just play the game.  No worrying about the Brotherhood or the Thieves Guild or anything.  There was plenty else to do and by the gods I was going to do it.



  Like killin’ things. Lots of things.


So imagine my surprise when Lucien Lachance, the guy who kicks off the Dark Brotherhood quest line, woke me from my slumber at an inn one night.

 My response? To yell at the screen: “Bullshit, I didn’t kill anyone!”  


  Although, since you’re here and all…


It took me a while to realize that I had installed a mod that upped arrow damage, and that most likely during the Kvatch quest (A quest where you, some monsters and some guards flounce around like idiots through a burning town) I had accidently killed a guard and didn’t realize it. That’s right. After several games and hours of trying, I got into the Dark Brotherhood, a guild of assassins, completely on accident. Go me.

  I’m sure this will work out just fine.



Bill the Unkillable

This was while playing Mount and Blade: Warband. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re basically a medieval mercenary who gathers followers and kills stuff for fun and profit. You can cycle through your basic followers, like knights and archers, pretty quickly if you’re not careful and even if you are it’s rare that someone lasts through several serious campaigns.


 Yeah, unnamed people dying in fights. Huge surprise.


But I had noticed that one Swadian Knight was with me for quite a while, since almost the beginning of the game. I separated him from his Swadian brothers and named him Bill, because I’m not very imaginative.  

I kept expecting Bill to die, but no matter how bad things got there was still one Swadian Knight hanging around. Even my husband would occasionally ask if Bill was still alive as I kept playing (he was playing the game as well at around the same time). Through burning deserts and sea raider attacks, Bill lived. Bill was unkillable.


This tree needs like two more tiers just for Bill.



Hello Officer, nice evening, isn’t it?

On the same game of Oblivion where I was accidentally let into the Dark Brotherhood (with a character named Kibbles, if you’re interested); I was just finishing up a rather fun quest for the assassins. The basic premise was that you were invited to a party and your goal was to be the last person out of that house left alive.  I had stabbed, coerced and poisoned my way into five dead bodies littering the place. 


  Kibbles: Moving up from accidental murderer one NPC at a time.


I left, giggling to myself at a job well done, until I saw who was waiting for me on the steps.



 Shit.


It was actually the guard Captain, and he was there to warn me about a crazy night-elf that I had been talking to way, way earlier in the game. If it had been a more real-life scenario, I probably would’ve said something along these lines: “Haha of course, Captain. I’ll stay away from him. There’s no need to look in the house behind me. Everything in there is completely fine.”

Instead he left, wishing me a good day. The Captain of the Guard was ten feet away from a multiple murder and I got away with it.

Thanks for nearly making me piss myself, Oblivion.



What are you…argbarglejabd!

Remember how I said there were some cool mods for Oblivion? See, my husband had tried out a few and loaded them on to my computer. Most of them were really awesome, but he had neglected to mention one in particular.

I found out about it, and it ate my horse.


 STOP BITING ME AND DIE ALREADY.



You wanna run that by me again?

The game after Kibbles, I rolled a new character and decided to do the Thieves Guild quests right from the start. Now, this isn’t so much as a coincidence as it is something that just surprised me.

I was walking by a guard when he uttered: “Something on your mind, furlicker?”

See, I always play as one of these guys, just because I think they’re fun-




My reputation wasn’t that great, but I had never had the guards actually hate me before. Kibbles, despite being one of the kitty-people and riding around on this-


 Shadowmere- aka ‘Cupcake’, the Best Horse Ever


And wearing this-

 Yeah that’s not evil at all.



And doing lots of this- 






-was loved by the guards. They had called Kibbles things like ‘champion’ and ‘hero’. 

I was just called a racial epithet by a guard, and I was honestly insulted. 




Bill the Terminator

During Warband, sometimes you have to participate in city fights. These are tough, but fun, and you can usually only bring two guys with you. I had forgotten to set who was coming with me and was disappointed to find a Swadian Knight, as they weren’t that great at hand-to-hand combat. I expected him not to make it, forgetting who numbered among my knights.


  No taking the tank-horses into castles, you understand.


During the fight I accidentally slipped off the stairs, landing into a group of enemy archers and swordsmen. I was doing pretty well and managed to take a few of them out, but there was no way I was going to win.

Until I saw something cut a bloody swathe through the archers, through the swordsmen, and right up to me.

It was the Swadian Knight, covered in blood, and he had just saved my ass.

 It was Bill.

Bill looked at me for just a second before running off to kill more punk-ass bitches. We took the castle, despite my complete screw-up earlier. It was then that I became convinced that Bill was a glitch, and he was the best glitch ever.


  Screw it, Bill is his own damn tree.




Thursday, February 17, 2011

So yeah

Hey Zonie! How's school going?

I'll give you a hint:


Yes, this is actually written in my notebook.
Panic-induced and near-suicidal alternatives to staying in class.




That was the second week of class. One teacher I have is quite good. The other...well...




She has no idea how to explain things and gives an incredible amount of homework, leading to much flailing from me and my classmates. Keep in mind we're all seniors in college and this is our second-to-last semester. We're good at being in college by now. We can BS with the best of them and can write papers in our sleep, or in the hour before class, as the case may be. We can slap together projects and deal with demanding professors. What we can't do? Understand a single damn thing this woman wants us to do.

Here are some more excerpts/doodles about what this woman does to my brain:


Yes, this was inspired by this comic.




 I'm not trying to disparage my teacher or be all "OMG! Worst teacher evar!"- she's usually quite nice. She just doesn't seem to understand that our flailing means that we don't understand. I'm not quite sure what she thinks, or why she thinks everyone seems to be so exasperated. Even her attempts to clarify things make us go into a slight panic:
Her: "Oh, I want things in this format, except when I don't. No, I don't seem to have listed or written that anywhere in your syllabus or told you or put it on the course homepage, but you're in college now and I expect higher-caliber work."
Us: "But ma'am, every professor seems to want different things when we do papers, even when they say APA format. Some want a cover page, some don't. Most don't want an abstract either. Could you just write what you want down please?"
Her: "I want an abstract, a cover page and a heading- true APA format."
Us: "Oh...okay. On every paper?"
Her: "No."
Us: "On...the paper we just turned in?"
Her: "Yes."
Us: "But...it's a two-page opinion/reaction paper. An abstract/summary would either be half of the paper itself, or one line of text."
Her: "Like I said, I expect higher-caliber work from college students."
Us: *blank stare, shifting to looking at one another and shrugging* "Okay, what about the paper that's due next week?"
Her: "Oh, no APA for that. Now I'm going to read a story! Also there's a discussion due in two days that I put online!"
Us: "But...how are we...supposed to know...it's not written anywhere...how many things are due next week?"
Her: "It's about a squirrel! It's a metaphor for how you're all afraid to try new things!"
Me: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
 Her:"Now I'm going to write on the board! It has nothing to do with what I was previously talking about!"
Me: Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!



On the plus side I am writing again, so there's that.