Category Archives: Geekery

In which I am doing a “Dear Diary” thing

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Which really is a fancy way of saying I’ve managed to hit new lows on the whole how-to-human thing and this will result either in a breakdown of some sort (I suspect it will involve plenty of walking in the cold and/or cooking) or in a spectacularly bad piece of writing (even by my own standards). Funny thing is, if I’m to be 100% honest here, for once it’s not entirely my fault! Cold comfort but hey!

So how did I manage to dig myself even deeper in my hole? It started when, after months of nagging from certain parties, I finally joined Tumblr. For obvious reasons I will not be linking THAT account with this one. Ever. For those who don’t know why that is obvious, let me sum it up with two gifs:

This is me excited about my fandoms and wanting to talk about it with someone: running-around

And this is most people I am on regular speaking terms with:

really

Btw, Dean you are not fooling anyone! (But that’s beside the point….)

Well, not everyone and not all the time but often enough that I figured joining a platform that’s famous for it’s geeking out on any and all subjects might be in order. There seems to be this misconception that storytelling is confined entirely to the literary medium, that other modes of expression are somehow….less everything. Less valid, less important, less worth your time…. But I love storytelling in all its forms and expressions, good or bad, thought through or impulsive. And no, not like this jackass:

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For me a novel, a TV show, a movie or even a song stand on the same ground. But so does fanfiction and fanart and all those little head-canons that are the inevitable results of late night conversations with those friends that also get it. And this is where I’ll go all academic on you, but dammit it used to be that oral storytelling was just as important (if not more) as its written counterpart! Has anyone paused to consider that maybe, just maybe, in our digital age, the explosion of expression that is summed up as “geeking” or “fangirling” is the natural evolution of oral storytelling. We study mythology and folklore, always with the caveat that this is merely one expression (the transcribed one that is) of a story that has been reworked no one knows how many times. Be it memory deficiency, adapting it to different audiences or even tailoring it to the storyteller’s personal beliefs, so long as the heart of each story stayed true it remained current and loved. And you cannot convince me that there has never been a skald or a bard or a minstrel that’s been booed to silence because he messed up a beloved story. Want a more recent example? How about the recent explosion over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and whether or not it stayed true to the source material? Or the changes made in adaption from book to movie for the Percy Jackson trilogy or even the Hobbit? We love our fandoms because they are our generation’s mythologies, so it stands to reason that we’d want to talk about them and defend them.

This little rant out of the way, you’d think, since I feel so passionate about the subject, that Tumblr would be a virtual paradise for me. In some ways it is. So much more material for me to access on all my interests. People with the same likes just as eager to talk about them. I don’t have to hold myself or my enthusiasm back, at all! It’s like the first day in a new school all over again! Which, for someone who makes this awkward nugget…

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…look well adjusted  on her worse days, is not the best of scenarios. I didn’t think it’d be possible to get tongue-tied writing anything other than covering letters (which I’m blaming on whoever is currently taking credit for bureaucracy) but it has actually happened! I read once that people who cover their mouth when they smile, usually, have been repeatedly told that they don’t have a nice smile/white enough teeth/something else equally stupid. By that logic, being told too often that being passionate about something and eager to share it is wrong/boring/irrelevant/immature (and yes, I’ve heard all these, most often followed by or preempted by “What are you up to these days”), will eventually lead you to hesitate sharing anything. Even in an environment where you know it is safe, nay welcomed to do so. I guess it goes hand-in-hand with my eternal question “how do you make friends?” but when I have to stop myself from typing “sorry for bothering you” when I am giving an episode reaction/recap to a friend even after being expressively told that it’s cool…well…. There’s a reason I tend to identify with the socially awkward and/or antisocial characters.

What am I gonna do about it? Most likely take it in stages, move at a glacial pace and hope for the best. The whole social-butterfly boat sailed but when I was five but maybe I’ll find a few more quiet, screaming-inside people and we can apologise and share fun facts to each other like the world’s weirdest game of Chinese whispers?

This is a fangirl post about Dr Strange

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And there will be SPOILERS! You have been warned! I finally watched it amidst a horrible cold that left me with the mother of all scratchy throats and slightly feverish. It was all very much worth it in the end!

I’m not gonna lie and say I haven’t been twitching impatiently about this movie since it was first announced on the rota. I’m not gonna lie and say I did not love the posters. I’m definitely not gonna lie and say that when this scene played on the trailer I didn’t cheer.

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για dr strange trailer screenshot

-looks around- Ok, I think this is enough to hide the spoilers from showing up on any thumbnail-sized previews or whatever. Now on to the proper stuff. My only actual contact with the character before this was the (admittedly meh) animated movie which -ironically- handled the exact same storyline. So basically going in on the theatre I knew the bare minimum about the character, that this was an origin story and that they had shamelessly whitewashed the Ancient One. I had this pipe dream of seeing him being played by Mako but unfortunately the film was made a few years too late. But let’s be real here. Uncle Iroh mentoring Dr Strange to the mystic arts would have been a gift. Not that Swindon was not badass on the role, just a pet peeve of mine I suppose. The character of Steven Strange (Doctor! Must not forget the title!) initially reminded me a little of Sherlock but I’ll have to rewatch the movie (what a tragedy, indeed!) to tell if that was character bleed or just me being used to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch as a detective. Although, with Martin Freeman officially on the MCU boat I am hoping for at least a reference joke at some point!

Other than any hypothetical character confusion, I liked Strange’s character. His arc was believable as a man of science thrust head-deep to the mystical and I liked that he kept his pragmatism and flexibility of morals (not sure if that’s the right word choice but there’s a French film playing in the background here and it’s hella distracting). The majority of characters were believable in the portrayals, except for Mordo’s Heel-Faced Turn in the end was a tad (ok, a lot!) out of nowhere. Especially accounting for the end-credit scene… I liked that the romance, what little was there, was not the central focus, and honestly I see these two more as friends than lovers. Also anyone who can receive surgical instruction by the astral projection of her patient without having a full-blown panic attack is a person worthy of admiration in my book.

Speaking of side characters that are full of win, I’d like to spotlight the Cape. Not only it looks awesome and it makes you fly but that thing has an attitude. And seems to be insanely protective of its owner. I’m really curious to learn who was its creator, but my money’s on Merlin. He just seems to be the type to enchant the leaving daylights out of a piece of fabric…. Favourite scene had to be after the Ancient One dies at the Hospital where it looks like the poor thing was actually trying to comfort him!

I’ll leave the discussion of special effects and the like to those who can offer more feedback than “That looked cool!” In my case they were, indeed, cool. And surprisingly not-migraine-inducing. Unlike Inception that my brother likened the film to. I resent the comparison! Leonardo diCaprio wasn’t nearly as charming! (My personal opinion, I don’t why I don’t like that guy but I just can’t!) Anyway, what else is there to talk about? The Cameo was awesome as usual, definitely top 5-worthy, and the mid-credits scene, oh the mid-credits scene!

—quick author’s note: I nearly fell off my keyboard from sleepiness at that point last night so I’m continuing now—

Now where was I? Oh yes, the mid-credits scene! The internet is already going on and on about a potential bromance between Dr Strange and Thor, and yes their chemistry was pretty cool. But here’s what I want to see:

My though favourite British actors (and Marvel characters), together, on screen, in character, snarking about their more hit-first-ask-later companions or geeking over some spell or other. The Avengers -Thor included- in a corner in various stages of shock because this is their supposed archnemesis and he’s conjuring floating cups of tea and talking multidimentional travel and the fine details of spellcraft with their newest member like it’s last night’s football match. And then Tony is like, “Screw this, I’m curious” and jumps in the conversation and next thing you know they need to be convinced that lightsabers are probably not a good idea against Thanos.

Anyone know any fics like this or do I need to dust my typewriter?

In which I go to probably unjustifiable lengths for my anime fix

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All this grumbling I’ve been doing about the new house? Lay to rest with a touching eulogy folks for we have found the true evil! My new internet provider and its terrible habit to block websites -in the distance sirens and screams-. All those lovingly bookmarked streaming websites that I can no longer use! Mind you, I’m all for buying the product and supporting the franchise and/or artist in question, but when the product happens to be an anime from the early ’90s… Well, good luck finding a decent sub that’s not gonna cost an arm, a leg, and possibly your liver to buy.

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And no, the gif was not chosen arbitrarily. I haven’t watched Sailor Moon since I was seven and got my first taste of anime through a godawful Greek dub of the godawful American dub. (And I swear, I tried so, so hard to like it but some of the voices were just…wrong!) Anyway, I only watched for that one summer and even then only if I happened to turn on the TV when it was on. By now any recollection of it has been covered in the golden mists of nostalgia (and the fact that I remember how cringe-worthy some of the voices were despite that goes to show). Yet recently, for no apparent reason, I was suddenly in the mood to see what was it about that show that made it so good at the time. It may have had to do with the fact that Sailor Moon Crystal started showing up randomly on my YouTube recommendations and, vague memories or not, stylised drawing or not, I just KNEW that the girls were not supposed to look this thin. I mean look at them!

These are the original designs. Thin, yes, but not frighteningly so.

These are the original designs. Thin, yes, but not frighteningly so.

And here's the new version....

And here’s the new version….

Considering one of the running jokes of the show is how much Usagi (that’s the blonde in the middle for the uninitiated) is capable of eating, why the heck does she look like her arms and legs are made out of spaghetti in Crystal. (That being said, I WILL watch Crystal once I’m done with the original show… If only because I hear it’s closer to the manga and I’m curious to see the differences…)

But I digress. It took some digging until I manage to find a streaming site that a. was not blocked, b.had the original show, c. had it subbed. Unfortunately it did not include the movies and while technically they are filler-stuff and not 100% canon, I’d like to watch them only for the extra interactions. That I can’t get enough of the opening sequence song. Unfortunately for me the only site that was not blocked and had the movies was YouTube, and unfortunately they were the dubbed versions.

not-impressed

My solution? Find a different network to stream the movie of course! And since I don’t have Charlie Bradbury’s epic computer skills (kudos to those who get the reference! 😉 ) I decided to relocate at Starbucks. I study better when I’m surrounded by white noise anyway, so while I have the movie loading (in an agonisingly slow pace at that) in one tab, I’ve been working on my TEFL coursework on another (yeah, I’m doing the TEFL course too on top of everything else. Have I mentioned this here before? Can’t remember.) Of course all this will have been for naught if I go home, wake up the laptop from its hibernation (gods I love that they actually call it that on the menu!) and get instantly blocked, BUT! No jinxing it! As far as I can understand the webpage gets blocked as it tries to load. But if it’s already loaded then there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Right?

I’ll see if I remember to add a note here to let you folks know the result of my herculean labour to load a 1993 Japanese cartoon…

 

P.S. Lucifer season 2 is starting next week. I. AM. SO. EXCITED!!!!!!

In which I found the one thing scarier than interviews

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Filling out forms. Have you ever noticed how scary these things are? Passive aggressive language, legal jargon, pretty big consequences if you make a mistake, (in my case) tight submission deadlines….-shudder- It’s an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Of course all this not-so-internalised drama could be just me craving chips and being too busy to pop by the kitchen and heat some on the microwave… Or me being new to the whole “adult” scene (which is rather sad coming from a freshly-minted 23-year old…).

Regardless! Remember how I used to moan and gripe about my dissertation? I’d like to humbly apologise for that. Compare to my day today, the dissertation is more than relaxing, it’s soothing! And I am at the re-drafting stage! Also affectionately called the bizarro stage where I need to be my own hardest critic if I’m to get any editing done BUT I also need to be my number one fan in order to not convince myself that my baby isn’t going anywhere. Still! With this fine gentleman as my main topic it’s so worth it!

Alright, hold your horses, I’m not just doing Marvel Comics, I do have a degree in Viking (and other stuff) studies to prove my competence on. But modern adaptations play an important role to the overall result.

I’ve also discovered that I can make some damn fine connections and arguments between midnight and 4, dosed up on coffee and chewing dried prunes. If your stomach just rolled a little at the prospect, good! Your lifestyle is probably much healthier than mine. I don’t get it. I’m not a night owl, not by choice. There was this one very memorable instance when I was awake for close to 48 hours, but it was a special case. Maybe my mind goes to sleep and I write whatever my subconscious fancies? It would certainly explain some of my more bizarre grammar choices. Apparently I don’t like the definite article when I’m sleepy. Go figure.

Anyway, I am seriously getting hungry for those cheeps now, so I’ll leave y’all to your own devices.

Peace out-

Oh, Technology why do you vex me so?

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I’m no computer whiz. Heck! If I had superpowers one of them would probably be frying electronic devices just by looking at them! Alright, maybe I exaggerate a little, but the truth of the matter is that if it has electronic components it will probably die in my hands. Whatever it is. And the funniest part? I don’t do it on purpose! I even try to be considerate, I cover my touchscreen with that protective film-thingy, I do a regular anti-virus scan on my laptop, I even take care not to bang it around when I’m on the bus! Really, on the surface there is no explanation as to why my gadgets tend to revolt against me. But they do. And seeing as I do not have the technical know-how to fix them myself I end up  running around like a headless chicken, looking for someone who does know what to do.

Case in point, since the latest Facebook app update my phone has been going bananas. Other than Facebook not working (Messenger too, since it updated too yesterday), some of the apps that include an optional Facebook log in are getting stuck on their opening screen and the phone looses signal without warning (and apparently for no reason). But all this I could deal with. They are frustrating yes, but I just have to force the apps closed (or restart the device) and problem temporarily solved. No! The fun times truly start when the entire phone get stuck. Like I’ll just freeze your screen with no warning, no apparent reason and no easy solution. Normally I’d go for the shut-down-and-restart route but unfortunately my model has no manual option for this. Most forums I scanned through advice to take out the battery and put it back. -sigh- This would probably work on older models but mine is one of those thin ones that seem impossible to take apart without breaking something vital. I’ll take to tech support once I’m done here, see what they have to say.

It’s not as much the inconvenience that bugs me (okay that alone pisses me off big time), it’s that there is no apparent reason for my phone to be acting up. I’m sure someone more tech-savvy would be able to give me a more extensive explanation other than “It just happened” and part of me hopes that the phone doctor will have a lecture in store for me on how to avoid something like this happening again. Gotta congratulate the Powers That Be for their impeccable timing however! They chose to pull this whammy on me just when I’m expecting a slew of Really Important E-mails (capitalisation intended) before they went after my electronics. You know, guys, there are other ways to draw my attention. Just saying…

I have an evil plan!

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Or at least it would seem so, wouldn’t it? Just look at this beautiful, colourful, paper-y chaos!

Every evil genius needs their planning tools.

Every evil genius needs their planning tools.

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A looooooot of tools!

Heh, I remember, back in high school, one of my teachers telling me off for -apparently- paying more attention in making my notes pretty and colourful than the lesson. She was kind of right, honestly. I only took Economics because I needed the credit, bu she was also wrong. I like colour-coding things. It makes them easier to remember. In elementary school (when books still have pretty pictures to go with the texts) I could remember better text surrounded by colour. That and the highlighter bug I think I caught from my mother. She was the one to teach me the difference between turning the page a different colour and actually highlighting the most important point.

So here I am, more than a decade later, almost compulsively taking multi-coloured and badly illustrated notes on all important modules. The beautiful chaos on these pictures is me trying to cobble together my thoughts and ideas for my thesis into something that makes sense to someone that does not have a psychic link with me. My supervisor advised me to make the outline in the form of a map in order to see how the different points I’m trying to make connect to one another. The end result is something like this:

A map alright. A map of the multiverse if you will.

A map alright. A map of the multiverse if you will.

I’m going to attempt and turn this to the standard bullet-point format but I am not sure I’ll manage. The thing is, as confusing (and frustrating at times) it was to make my little diagram (little, ha! That’s an A3 paper, baby!), when I look at it, it makes sense. Starting from the centre and moving outwards and clockwise, coming back to certain points again and again, I suppose it’s as close to an illustration of my thought process as I can get while remaining confined in two dimensions. Yeah, remember those awesome hologram things Tony Stark has in the MCU (that I will not even try to pretend I understand the “science” of)? Boy, would they have can in handy when I was working on this. Or the dangle-y paper thingies Megamind used. Really, the third (and fourth) dimensions are not used nearly enough. Also, once more, all together: What is it with me and crazy/evil geniuses?

Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll figure it out. Until then let us all be thankful I stuck with literature instead of the sciences. In the immortal words of the Big Bang Theory:

I may not have Sheldon’s IQ but… -cue the ominous music-