I decided to drop by on a whim today and it looks like it's been over two years since my last post. And boy, has a lot changed for me in those two years.
Firstly I've been two Russia twice as part of my studies, once for a week and once for a summer. My week long trip was totally awesome. I went to Vladimir, one of Russia's medieval capitals, and met tons of great people and became enamored with the culture and country. My summer studies were in St. Petersburg, which is a gorgeous city. The trip was less excellent than the Vladimir trip though. I did a solo study program which meant I never really met anyone outside of a few roommates. I had 30 hours of one on one lessons each week which was way too much. I was also struggling with some personal issues at the time, so being in a foreign country where you don't know the language too well, don't really know anyone, and are having an identity crisis doesn't make for the greatest trip. But more on that later.
Last school year I had to take care of a house of five people almost entirely on my own. It was incredibly grating, especially since one person was a complete idiot who always made things worse when trying to "fix" things (often on his own without informing others). I chewed him out for it once and he basically became a sulking mess and turned everyone in our mutual friend group against me. There was a lot of stupid drama that went on, but the details aren't important. After taking care of a house of five by myself I never got so much as a thank you and I was the bad guy of the situation. One other person in the house (who wasn't an idiot) did all of the dealings with the landlord, so that at least saved me a fair bit of trouble. Our landlord was a serious piece of work so I'm thankful for that.
I've also transferred universities. After last year's house debacle and for academic reasons, I really didn't want to be around anymore. I transferred to a new school in order to major in Russian studies, which was only a minor at my old school. I'm very, very glad I did. For a number of reasons Case Western wasn't for me (Sorry Adam?). I'm now at a large state school which is a much better environment and atmosphere for me. I've met a lot of great people and am enjoying things a lot more than at Case Western. Although I seriously hate being a student. I enjoy what I'm studying, but I hate all of the bs that goes with it. I want to learn about Russia and the Russian language, not write papers about an esoteric topic brought up in a medieval Russian book, or read 150 pages of scholarly verbal diarrhea a night. Once I finish undergrad I honestly never want to be a student ever again. I'm not really sure why I'm even sticking it out now. The education system as a whole just really kills my motivation to learn. :/
Anyway, back to that identity crisis from earlier. As I started to figure out just before leaving for St. Petersburg and really came to accept while there, I'm a transgender woman. It turns out all guys don't secretly wish they were girls, or spend birthday candle wishes on becoming a girl, or wish aliens would abduct them and run experiments on them to turn them into a girl, or have any of the other signs from my youth that now blare like a foghorn. I started my medical transition in September and I haven't felt this good since before puberty. I've gone from an angry, depressed sack of shizzle with no real goals for the future to a girl who is ready to start living. It's really hard to capture the night and day difference in how I feel with just words on a screen. I actually look forward to the future instead of being apathetic. I've also been incredibly lucky with my transition. The only people with a negative reaction were my parents, but for a number of reasons I don't really talk to them anyway, so whatever. Everyone else has been great about it. I also pass (Look like my target gender) really well, which is pretty unusual for only six months of transitioning. Maybe I'm finally catching a lucky break after a pretty hellish past.
Apart from a few bumps my past two years have been really great, how have you all been? ^_^
A while back I joined a guild in a game I play. It was a relatively small and tight-nit guild, so we all became good friends. Eventually a most people quit or became inactive, so I decided to leave in order to find a more active setting.
Unfortunately, this made one guild member lose her mind. She disappeared from the game for over a year, deleted everyone from her friends lists, and left the old guild. I know she has been back recently, and I talked to her briefly this summer. From what I gathered, my leaving sent her spiraling into depression (Which was pre-existing, but this sent her over the edge), made her reclusive for the time she was gone, among other things that aren't relevant here. I also said some things this summer that I meant as sincere and true, but may (and probably did) have come off as rude, snide or condescending.
So my question for you guys is should I try to make amends or just let bygones be bygones and avoid her? It may not sound like it from the rest of the post, but I miss having her around as a friend. It's like losing a really good friend you had for a number of years who disappeared out of the blue.
I was playing Old School RS today and killing unicorns in the wilderness in order to collect horns for Herblore. I only had a d scim, rune kite and rune RFD gloves equipped and those were the only items on my person apart from any horns and bones I was picking up. Along come Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb who proceed to kill me. As they slaughtered my defenseless character, I asked them, "Why?" to which one of the Tweedles responded, "Burn happy face" while casting Flames of Zamorak and one of the ice spells on me.
So my questions for the PKers of Sal's are, firstly, why? Did they honestly expect my mostly naked character to have massive treasure troves of cash or other valuables hidden in my inventory? Is it really that "fun" to decimate someone when they clearly aren't interested in fighting and don't have any rewards to offer? Or were the ~12 unicorn horns and bones in my inventory really worth the runes they used to kill me?
I'm a little peeved at the moment for them wasting my time, and frankly their own, as well as baffled as to what could possibly be gained by killing me.
P.S. If you play Old School, feel free to say hi. I only know of Warrior Zynk from Sal's who plays.
After a crummy orientation week, college has been fantastic. I've been having a really great time. But as my blog title proclaimed, man, is my roommate a weirdo.
When I met Adam? in late August, he asked if I had a roommate or not. I do, and he said that sucks. At the time I didn't think much of it, my roommate seemed ok, albeit a little dorky. I don't have a problem with being dorky.
The first thing he did that was a little off putting happened in September after he had been sick. He asked me to do some food shopping for him, which I did. A few days later, I was sick with the same thing and he had gotten better. I asked if he could go to the store to get me some ginger ale. He said yes, but then he never went. He got someone else to do it. Maybe I'm being silly on this one, but I'm a little ticked he couldn't be bothered to get off his lazy ass and go down to the store for a bottle of ginger ale after I had shopped for him.
In October, he one day asked me if I could leave the room so he could Skype his girlfriend. Uhh...Sure, why not? It's not really my business what they do in there on their own time. But it soon became a pattern. At least once a week he'd kick me out so he could flog his carrot with his girlfriend. We had a short break from classes in the middle of October, and he went home. The day after he got back, he kicks me out again. Seriously? You just had the past number of days to do things with your girlfriend, and now you're kicking me out the day after? It got me a bit peeved.
Oh yeah, remember how I said it's not my business what they do in there together? He seems to think it is, cuz he shows people on the floor the kinds of things he and his girlfriend watch while his ham is being rammed. Without going into too many details, it's really weird stuff. Like, really weird stuff. Some of it isn't even human. Everyone seeing it has the same wtf? reaction, but he keeps showing it to us. Still not weird enough? There's more.
I mentioned that my roommate is dorky, he's also incredibly white. Everything from the way he acts, to the way he dresses, to the way he talks screams nerdy white kid. Again, I don't have a problem with this. What bothers me about it is the fact the he seems convinced that he's a brotha from da hood. He always watches gang documentaries on his computer and drinks it all in with a goofy smirk on his face. He also bought some durags and a number of flat brimmed baseball caps. He absolutely cannot pull of the look and looks like a complete retard wearing them. Here's a photo of him wearing them. One of his hats is a Cleveland Indians cap which he said he bought because, "the ironic racism in the logo is funny." He also throws lots of "Yee," "Word," "Aight," "That be chill," and other "ghetto" phrases into his speech to sound cool...or something.
The main thing that bugs me about him trying to act black is how fake it makes him seem. He's the biggest poindexter I've ever met, but he thinks he's black. His personality and actions are such a weird mixture of those two things that it turns into the worst of both worlds. It's almost like he's a terrible comic relief character from a movie that a director created by pulling ideas out of his ass but he falls flat on his face in terms of funniness. He's kinda like Jar Jar Binks in that regard.
I'll cut the rant short here, because it seems like this is entering tl;dr territory. There's more stuff to tell, but maybe that will be in a different blog entry. Outside of my roommate, college is pretty darn cool. Not that I had a weight problem anyway, but my "Freshman 15" is more like a Freshman -5, and I've grown an inch or two. My classes are pretty enjoyable, although some of them are getting stale after a semester.
P.S. My bad, Adam?, Clarke Tower is filled above the fifth floor. The sophomores hadn't moved in yet when I misinformed you.
So I'm finally off! Hooray?
I was expecting to really enjoy college and have a great time. I'll finally be leaving the personal hell I've lived in of my house back home (long story for another time), and I get the freedom to do whatever I want. But so far, I've been pretty miserable.
I unpacked and did all of the set up garbage yesterday, so today was my first real orientation day. I'm at Case Western Reserve University, which for simplicity's sake is usually just Case or Case Western. Orientation takes place the week right before classes start, which makes more sense than doing it months beforehand like most places do. So far none of the stuff for orientation has been very interesting or informative. We've had deans babble on to us about what great students we are, and yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. There's also junk we already (should) know, like don't cheat, don't do drugs, blah, blah, blah. It's all the mandatory stuff they have to do.
What most irks me, though, is the fact that there's absolutely no down time in between things. We woke up at 7:30 AM, then went to all of those long, dull meetings we're required to go to. After the meetings, we had a mock graduation set up thing, during which I played Bejeweled on my phone. For whatever reason, I started feeling really sad during this event. Change is hard, and I understand that, but it's incredibly difficult for me (same long story for another time). I'm also fairly introverted, I like to spend time alone drawing or playing games online. I prefer peace and quiet to just about anything else, and I'm not one for crowds at all. So being packed in large, noisy, people filled rooms really stressed me out.
More than anything, I wanted to just head back to my dorm and have some alone time. But no, we were shoved into the next long, loud, crowded activity. When we finally were allowed some free time, I went back to my dorm and just cried for a bit for the first time in years. I feel pretty lame for it, but oh well. It has been a really stressful day, and I'm feeling really overwhelmed with just the people aspects. I don't even mind the orientation at college stuff, I figure that stuff out pretty quickly anyway. I really just want some time to relax and do what I want.
I'm sure it will get better, but so far college sucks. :/
In my recent blog entry, I posted about some artwork I had drawn. In this entry, I'd like to expand a bit on my previous one by going over how I make my drawings.
First, I'll think of something I'd like to draw. I had already done a fair amount of work on Disney films from the early 90s, so this time I went with a piece from Pocahontas. Just about the only thing I remember from that film is the song Colors of the Wind, so I looked up the song on Youtube in HD. I watched through the video, making note of places that I might want to draw. I ended up picking this shot.
After picking the scene to draw, I save it to my computer and open it up so that I'm looking at what to draw the whole time I'm making it. The next part is probably the simplest, I make a basic outline of the drawing with the shapes of characters and objects as they will look in the end. Anything done in this stage is subject to change, and most likely will end up changing in some way or another. My outlines will look something like this. My outline was shifted a little too far to the right, so you can note my mediocre Photoshop skills at moving it to the left.
Now that my outline is done, I move on to making the characters look like they will in the final drawing. I'll add most of the major details to the characters, but I'll leave out more precise things like hands or smaller facial features. Certain aspects from this stage are also subject to change, depending on how I think they look at the end. I ended up changing a part of John Smith's helmet, among other things. I also noticed at this stage that my drawing was showing too much of the characters' lower bodies, so you can once again note my mediocre Photoshop skills at shifting the drawing. My second stage pieces look like this.
I'll now sharpen my pencil so that it is extremely sharp. I'll work on the finer aspects or things that I couldn't quite get right with a duller pencil. In this drawing, one such thing was Pocahontas' eyebrow. I'll add in the smaller details and things that are intricate, like hands. This can provide a problem by making other parts of the drawing look less sharp or dull, but the drawing as a whole usually ends up looking ok, anyway. Once I'm happy with the final drawing, I'll scan it in and compare it to the original by shifting between the two in a photo viewer. If there are any parts that I still don't like or just look weird, I'll fix them until I think it looks as best it can. Here is the final product for this work.
I've recently discovered I really enjoy drawing cartoons. As such, I've been drawing a lot of cartoon characters and scenes from Disney movies lately. I wanted to share them with you guys because I think they turned out really well. I chose Disney characters to draw because they are detailed enough to be a fun challenge, they look nice and they are familiar characters to most people. I outlined my earlier drawings in Sharpie, but they lost a lot of detail by doing that. I had to doctor a few images where the Sharpie bled too much, so I've left my recent drawings in pencil.
So here are some of my drawings categorized by movie.
Feel free to criticise, compliment, etc. on the drawings. Please ignore any wrinkles in the paper.
I've kept the images as links because they scan at 300ppi, making them VERY large. Users with slow internet beware.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel Singing on a Rock #1, Ariel Singing on a Rock #2, Kiss the Girl
Beauty and the Beast: Belle Singing to Sheep, Wolf Pack, Ballroom Dance
Aladdin: Aladdin in the Cave of Wonders, Jafar
The Lion King: Long Live the King
As many know, Jagex has decided to bring back the old Wilderness and free trade. In one of their posts on the subject, they said something like, "A lot of people think that something has been missing from rs that doesn't make it feel like the Good Ol' Days anymore. We hope bringing back the wilderness and ft will add that missing piece back to the game." But will these returns make runescape feel like that warm and fuzzy friend from your childhood? (or maybe high school and college) Or will it feel like the same game just with a few added aspects? I think it will be the latter.
In my opinion, the good old days are something you experience once and once they're gone, they're gone. They just serve as a reminder of how crappy your life is now, versus how fun it was as a kid. In RuneScape, the good old days were coming home after school and playing rs with your elementary or middle school buddies. They were competing to see who the first one to get full rune would be, or the first to defeat Elvarg. It was sitting in the cafeteria during lunch talking about the latest quest, or latest achievement, or being jealous of your friend who got members first. Now that all of your real life friends have quit or moved on, runescape is just missing that one thing it used to have. There's no real fun to it, for me anyway. It just feels like a grind, where as it used to be a fun competition between friends. Now when I see my friends list, I just see a big wall of "offline." Before the screen would be lit up with yellows and greens. I can't even remember the last time more than three friends were on at once. I keep my friends list small, half of the random people I add forget who I am in a week.
Jagex seems to think bringing back the w and ft, these times will return. Unfortunately, I believe they won't. The only thing that could truly bring the good old days back, imo, is if all of your childhood friends rejoined the game. But even then, it wouldn't be quite the same. Then it would be playing a game with your friends. You would all know the basics and what was going on. Back in the good old days, you didn't have a clue. You would aimlessly wander the seemingly huge free game in awe of the seemingly infinite things to do. I remember being scared the first time I followed a friend to Falador. Now those days are gone. I know the game, the only thing I find interesting anymore a quests, but those a few and far between. Nothing can bring back those days, unless all knowledge of the game suddenly left me, and all of my old friends returned in the same position.
But the good old days aren't completely gone, far from it. I'm sure a trio of middle schoolers from god knows where are 'Scaping it up right now having the time of their lives. For them, it's their good old days. In two years or so, only one of them will be left playing wondering why this game doesn't seem as exhilarating as it once did. It's because his good old days have left, never to return. Jagex can release as many new quests, skills, items and other things as they wish, but a man's good old days are a thing once lived. To him, the game will never feel quite as fun, it will never be the ecstasy it once was. The good old days are a one time deal for everyone with no refunds.
So Jagex will give us the old wild and ft back, but nothing will feel any different. It will just feel like two aspects of the game have returned. In essence, the return of these things will be more of an awesome update than a return of the good old days. Many people want these things returned out of nostalgia, among other reasons. The only thing changed in pking will be the drops, not the methods. I'm not saying Jagex shouldn't bring these features back, I'm totally for it, I'm just saying these things won't bring back any nostalgic memories we had of our once beloved game.
tl;dr version: Bringing back the old wildy and free trade won't bring back the good old days.
Today a friend and I decided to 2 man pest control. Luckily, there were 3 other people on the boat when we arrived. All three quit once the boat left. :/
The two of us thought we were screwed. Oddly, we were wrong. We killed all four portals with ease and not a single spinner showed up. :) Best two pc points I've ever earned.