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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in BouncyMischa's LiveJournal:

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Monday, October 6th, 2008
10:41 pm
Weird More Dreams (WMDs)
Okay, this won't be nearly as long as last time... since these dreams happened right before I woke up, and I had to go to work.

There's actually been lots of other stuff going on in my life that's worthy of livejournaling, but... I don't wanna clutter up a post with it. So for now... dreams!


For some reason, my subconscious is obsessed with the end of the world, or something. The first dream I had this morning happened right before my alarm clock went off. I can't remember many details, although I know at the end I was on a bus with a bunch of other people. The main issue, however, was that there was a giant Rei Ayanami. Like, 'End of Evangelion' Rei Ayanami, ready to destroy the world. Fortunately (?), the government used a nuclear weapon on her.

Yeah, that's right. There was a nuke in my dream. Even weirder, I had another dream only a night or two ago, in which another nuclear weapon got used on another monster (which ended up just making it worse, a kind of psychic energy monster instead...).

At the point my alarm went off. I normally set it a half hour early, then reset it so I can get some more sleep, but won't sleep so deeply, so it's easier to get up. Except then my dreams pretty much picked up where they left off.

As I recall, now the action took place in a hotel. I believe that there was some kind of convention or fair or the like there. Unfortunately, the earlier problems were still going on (Rei Ayanami and whatever else there was), so people were evacuating. For some reason, I wanted to go up to the top floor, but it was proving to be difficult. (I actually 'sabotaged' an elevator that was annoying me, just to piss off whoever was messing with me... which was probably my subconscious. I wouldn't be surprised if I was semi-lucid at that point.) Another nuke was used, this one configured as an 'ion bomb'. After finally making my way up some stairs to the top floor, I encountered some people who were worried the use of so many bombs would wake up other kaiju monsters in the area, including Cloverfield. -.-

It's perhaps telling that the focus of my dream shifted at this point, as I made my way downstairs to where they were breaking down the fair, and became obsessed with obtaining some giant latex balloons people had. Yeah, it's the end of the world, and I still wanted to play with balloons. Then again, at the end of the world... having something fun and cheerful might not be such a bad idea... <.<

I'm just starting to wonder if my subconscious is resorting to worse and worse scenarios to try and scare me. That psychic energy monster was pretty damn scary... but why the heck are weapons of mass destruction getting used in my dreams??
Monday, March 24th, 2008
1:54 pm
Weird Dreams
Oddly... I nearly always tend to have weird dreams when I nap. Maybe I'm just more likely to remember them?

At any rate, I woke up and had breakfast and all, but was still feeling worn out so I took a nap in the living room... which proved to be uncomfortable and not very restful, so I went back to my bed and slept for a couple of hours. I had some weird dreams in the process, though.

The first dream I recall involved me buying a couple of pieces of furniture -- some kind of chair with footstool, and an ash tray, for some reason -- considering I don't smoke. Apparently, I didn't have the money for them though, but my plan was to get some gemstones I had appraised and sell them for the money. Except the gemstones turned out to be the transparent plastic tokens I use in gaming, and were worthless. That was rather disappointing... although I recall hanging around the appraisal place a bit (it was an office in a building similar to the ones at my local university), and I recall taking a poster that had some cute pictures on it. o.O

I must've found a way to pay for the furniture, since I remember later running into some friends who had a car, and asking them to help transport it back to my apartment. They agreed, but then retrieving the furniture from the storage place (again, another part of the university) I got sidetracked, and never did get back to them...

This must've been the point I moved to my bed... because the dreams changed at this point. I started out wandering around a more remote part of the city, and came across another branch of the furniture store. Since I -still- hadn't actually gotten my furniture, I must've tried getting it from there, because I hung around for a while talking with the people there. I walked off to get my stuff from the storage place again, but left my bag behind because it was a short trip. The dream then changed to being about pirates, though -- perhaps inspired by a television show they were talking about.

My memory's a bit vague at this point, but I recall the pirates had gotten together to have a big party of some kind. One of the pirates was Skarre from the Iron Kingdoms setting, although she seemed a bit more blonde and ditzy than she is in the IK. I know the party got pretty chaotic, because the next morning they woke up to find they'd blasted away most of the surrounding area, leaving them on a plateau. I guess the plateau became a ship at this point (or they moved to a ship), because the next part of the dream revolved around a young girl whose father was a pirate. She thought he didn't love her, but when I explored the pirate ship and found him it turned out he was going to refurbish the ship's saloon (?) with new furniture to make it child-freindly, for his daughter. The other pirates caught wind of this, however, and decided to cast him out and kill him... but weren't able to catch him after they tossed him off of the ship.

Captain Bartolo Montador (also from the Iron Kingdoms) had shown up to flirt with Skarre, however, and decided to shoot the outcast pirate with his heavily overgunned ship. The outcast had managed to reach a cache of fireworks, though, and fired at Bartolo's own gunners, setting off his rather massive supply of powder and explosives. The ships exploded, and most of the pirates were either flung into the sea, or had to abandon ship. Skarre seemed to be in some trouble, but a rather chivalric young crewman jumped in to save her, and she developed a crush on him. Many of them seemed to be in danger of drowning, however, and so I got some guys that had showed up from nowhere to help me to give me a subermsible powered suit to use to save them. I ended up having to use it to fight off several sea monsters, but I was ultimately able to guide the pirates to safety through a flooded movie theater, that was still showing 'Jaws'.

The dream then changed to be about this mad scientist, who was apparently miniaturizing people and having them get attacked by engineered cells so that he could some how evolve into a superior form of human being (I'd been thinking about transhumanism lately, so I think some of this leaked in). The previous part of the dream, with the underwater escape, got muddled into this -- I think our mob had gotten exposed to some substance that miniaturized us, and we had to escape from some of the cells. After the escape (and presumably getting backto normal?) I left the research project I'd been involved in, accusing the scientist of unethical behavior. He continued his work, however, this time attacking his fellow scientists instead of strangers, injecting them with the substance so they'd be miniaturized and trapped in the injectors. One of the other scientists started noticing the disappearances (apparently because this unbalanced the administrative system, since they were no longer eligible for promotion... o.O), and confronted him about it. She found vials apparently labelled with their names, or something, as she looked for genetic samples, and upon examining the contents of one with her equipment found a miniaturized scientist under attack. Her unconscious figure was being encased in some sort of protein shell or the like, so that it could be consumed by the cells. She managed to rescue the scientist, who escaped to some kind of nanoprobe. The mini-scientist, confused about what had happened, beleive this was some kind of hazing ritual, and was determined to show she wouldn't give in. The other scientist, on the outside, managed to contact her and tried to convince her of what was going on.

At this point, I kind of woke up, but felt to tired to get up yet... so drifted in a kind of fugue-like state, half-awake and half-asleep. I think I wanted to get the dream over with, so I semi-guided it, as the two scientists tried to think of a way to stop the mad scientist's plans. I couldn't come up with a decent solution, however, as the mad scientist's body had evolved enough that he could just regenerate being shot. :( Around the time I was trying to think of some way to use the nanotech to destroy all of his cells, the phone rang and woke me up fully.

Current Mood: confused
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
12:34 pm
Conflicts of Interests
So... I know I hardly post anything here. Last night I thought about posting something, since I've updated my list of goals I want to achieve in my life... but was too exhausted after work. And today, well... now I'm feeling depressed.

Thinking about it caused me to think about -why- I don't post much... so I thought I'd babble about that a bit.

I suppose at the heart it comes down to: what is the point? I mean, the main purpose of the livejournal seems to be sharing things that you want to share with your friends -- news about your life, your feelings on things, and so on.

But what do I have to share? My life is not particularly exciting. I've had some frictions and problems at work, like always, but who wants to hear about that? I've been somewhat depressed about the lack of meaning and purpose in my life, but what's there to say about that? What's the point of talking about anything depressing? After all, it's not like anyone else can reach into me and fix those faulty parts that keep causing these problems. Nobody can wave a magic wand and make me feel happier about myself or more optimistic about my life. It's something I have to do on my own, and I've drawn on the support of others so much that by this point, it almost feels like all people can do is to offer platitudes. I know my friends want to be there to support me, but honestly, what can they do? :(

On the other hand... when I do turn to my friends and talk about things, it usually helps to some degree. I feel rather shallow, in that simply knowing people do actually care about me and value me in various ways helps me feel better... but maybe that's just part of being human. I spend an inordinate amount of time feeling worthless or wondering how much people value me... I just wish I could find a way to get over that.

On the other hand, sometimes it seems when I have too many people around me, every movement just ends up hurting someone.

One other part that discourages me is that even when I do get over whatever is depressing me, and I rebound... the deeper, underlying issues don't seem to get resolved. I know I've gotten a LOT better than I was 10 years ago, so some progress has been made... but there are still these deep, deep faults in myself that keep triggering my depressive episodes. I hate being repetitive and not making any progress with them... but I'm not really sure if it is even possible.

I think I've rambled a fair bit about this at this point... I'll just leave off here. Maybe later I can post that updated list of goals, for something more cheerful to think about :3

Current Mood: pensive
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
5:44 am
Lucid Dreaming
I've often wanted to be able to lucid dream. A few years ago, I read some books on lucid dreaming, and how to try and induce it. I didn't have much luck then, however...although the culimination was one night when I actually did become lucid in a dream, although I didn't do very much. It only lasted a few minutes, as I recall. I've been fairly lucid at other times, most notably in situations where I was being chased by monsters and the like, and I realized that I could actually do what I wanted... which was usually fighting back.

I suppose I've had a fresh interest in it recently, however. On Monday or Tuesday, I'd gotten up early to talk with someone, and then laid down in the living room to take a nap... I must've reached some sort of half-awake half-asleep state because I entered into a weird near-lucid dream state. Weird as it sounds, I dreamt that I was lying there in the living room, as I was... but that I had boobs. <.<; I could feel their weight and everything, so it was... quite strange.

Last night got -really- weird, however. I was having my usual esoterically weird dream, in which I was running around some kind of... apartment or housing complex, that was somehow attached to the West Edmonton Mall through some pedways, or something. I think there had been an earlier element of monsters in the dream that were chasing us, so we were trying to escape via the complex and pedways.

I remember running into this guy in the pedways, however, and... hit a lucid moment. The pedways connected to the mall's waterpark, or at least went right beside them, and I could tell looking at the waterpark that I was in a dream. I even pointed it out to the guy, pointing out how there were inconsistencies... it was daylight outside at that point, apparently, and yet the waterpark was only lit by interior lighting despite having numerous exterior windows, is the point I remember making the most.

But I explicitly stated within the dream that I must be in a dream, which is probably the most lucid I've ever been. It was just too bad that the dream state started to fail before I could take advantage of it -- I started waking up within a few minutes of becoming lucid, again. Ah well... maybe it'll happen more often. :3
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
12:29 am
I Am Not An Artist
As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I was thinking about some of the artworks I'd looked at during the day, and my own efforts to draw... and I came to a realization.

I am not an artist.

There are probably people who would dispute this. But it's not the quality of my work that causes me to think this. It's more the mindset that I approach it with.

I only started drawing when I was in my mid-20s. Most of the people that I know who are talented artist are around that age, and many are working professionally, or at the very least have professional quality work. From what I know and have read, I believe most of these people have drawn their whole lives. (For an example of this, there's Elaine-sensei's essay - [link])

From what I can tell (and admittedly I could be wrong), those people out there whose art astonishes me, they've spent hours and years honing their skills. For them, art and drawing is a fundamental part of their lives. I can't really say if it's something "meaningful" or "purposeful" or even "passionate" in their lives, but I just figure... it's something they invest themselves in, even if they don't do it consciously.

On the other hand... I'm not quite like that. Perhaps it's because I started it so late in life, but... I don't seem to have the same commitment to it. It's something I chose to do as a hobby, as a form of creation and expression... not something fundamental to me. If I stopped drawing, I could still write or role-play or choose any number of other means of self-expression to see my ideas take form.

That's why I can't really see myself as an artist. If I had to assign a word to it, I'd call myself a 'creator'. What I've done since childhood, since my earliest memories of building Lego cities and fictional worlds with my brother, is create things. Create worlds. Characters, stories. In junior high, I started to write fiction. In high school, I found fantasy and role-playing games. By the time I hit university, I found myself constantly coming up with new ideas and detailing older ones.

I started drawing because I'm a rather visual person, and once I started watching anime I wanted to be able to express my ideas in a similar style. But because I don't commit myself to art as a medium of expression, I'm developing my skills much more slowly than others might. At my age, well... it's probably harder to learn a new skill like this too. Ah well.

It's a little discouraging, particularly when I look at some of the fantastic art other people do, and try to learn from it... and find I can't even manage that. But I suspect if I was disappointed enough in myself, I'd goad myself onwards and push myself harder. Maybe I'll get better, maybe I won't. I don't know.

But that's the reason I won't call myself an artist. :3
Wednesday, July 25th, 2007
3:50 pm
Technical Difficulties
On Tuesday morning, I woke up to find my modem couldn't connect to its remote host anymore. It dialed out fine, but never got a return signal or anything, apparently. I contacted my service provider, but they didn't have any problems, so it's not something wrong with their servers...

There was a thunderstorm in this area on Monday night, so it's possible some of the phone lines in my area were affected. My phone still works properly, but a co-worker told me modems tend to be a lot more finicky, so it's possible. But I've also been having problems before this, so the problem could be within the modem or the software itself. At any rate... sorting this out is being a definite pain.

I miss everyone! Q__Q
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
8:23 pm
Mischa the Pool Toy!
Bah, forget basil! I finally got to live out one of my dreams! Kind of. :3

You see, the local water park has a new attraction, these giant (7-8' diameter) clear plastic inflatable balls. They unzip it, and you climb in, and then they seal it up again before inflating it. And then you can roll around in it on the water in the wave pool! I'd heard about it over a month ago, but finally got the chance to go and try it out.

It was awesomely fun - if extremely exhausting. It's virtually impossible to stand up inside the globe because there's absolutely no traction on the water's surface at all, although I was almost getting the hang of it the second time around. Doing it when the wave machine was running made it all the trickier, but the second time out I was more prepared and had a total blast. Heheh... there was quite a few people with inner tube, but I was the biggest floatie out there. :P I kept bumping into people and things.

My only regret is that I didn't have a camera or anything to get someone to take photos. I'm hoping to drag my brother there sometime soon, so maybe I can get him to take pictures next time.

Aside from that dream fulfilled, the water park was a very fun visit. It's been years since I've been there. Most of the slides are the same (of course, they won't go and rebuild the whole thing), but there was one wild new one. It used to be a corkscrew that'd end in a several foot drop into a deep tank of water, but now it's more like one of those coin-things, that's shaped like an inverted cone (or, more accurately, a gravity well. :3) You'd slide the coin in, and it'd go round and round until it lost momentum and slid out the hole in the bottom. Well, they took that old slide, and made it like that. You go shooting down this tube, and out into the well, sliding round and round and round until you finally fall out the hole in the bottom and the pool of water.

I also rented an inner tube, went down a bunch of the old slides I remembered, and played in the wave pool. All in all, a very fun day, but extremely exhausting. I'm probably really badly out of shape, but there's also a heck of a lot of stairs to climb. XD

But yeah! Mischa the pool toy! Yaaaaaay!

Current Mood: bouncy
Monday, June 4th, 2007
10:45 am
Am I crazy, or am I just... the Basil King??
So... if I were a superhero, and I couldn't be all rubbery or a genie or both... well... I'd probably end up as the Basil King. :3

You see, at the Olive Garden where I work I normally do production work -- which means pre-portioning items so the line cooks can use them to prepare the actual dishes. Given that we can serve close to a thousand people a day, having a handful of us spend 8-10 hours doing this greatly saves time in the actual cooking process. Now, some of those dishes involve chopping up basil, and when we have promotions like the one going on now, I can go through an entire box of basil or more in the process.

Now, we're supposed to break down empty boxes and fold them up when we're done with them. One day, while breaking down an empty basil box, I noticed its base was fairly sturdy, and pushing it out partway formed a roughly conical shape, with an ovoid opening at the end. The upper part, opened up to gain access to the basil, had interlocking notches on the flaps, which looked rather like crenellations. The end result was something vaguely crown-like, and just about the right size to fit my head.

So I did the obvious thing. I took out my felt marker, wrote "The Basil King!" all over it, and wore it while I chopped up my basil, to the great entertainment of my co-workers. (Many, many people commented, "Nice hat". XD ) Of course, I had to throw it away when I was done, but... it was fun. Once I was wearing it when it went into the server's area to get some tablespoons, and a server walking in the door just then burst out laughing. When she asked what that was all about, some of the others just said, "He's the Basil King!" by way of explanation.

Sadly, yesterday while the Basil King was answering the need for basil products, a manager came across me and asked why I was wearing a box on my head. When I explained that I was the Basil King, answering the needs of the populace for food items containing basil, and that this was my crown, he pointed out that the Olive Garden's dress code didn't really permit the wearing of crowns -- er, boxes. So he confiscated my crown. Q__Q

Thusly, the Basil King has been temporarily foiled by the tyranny of the uniform dress code. But fear not, citizens! When the clarion call for basil goes out again, the Basil King shall be there!

( In the end, though, I'd probably still prefer to be a bouncy genie. :p )

Current Mood: amused
Monday, May 28th, 2007
11:31 pm
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
So tonight at the anime club meeting, we ended up watching "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"... which, despite the oddity of its title, was probably one of the best time-travel movies I've ever seen. :3 Perhaps it's because in the end, it wasn't about technology or paradoxes or saving the world, but about the characters.

That, and the fact that the protagonist used time travel to get pudding! Mmmmm...

It was also one of the few times a movie actually sprung a twist on me. (I won't go into what it was, though... nyahahah...) Still, all in all, an excellent movie.

It ended up putting me into a rather pensive and serious mood, though. I've been quite, quite lazy of late, but at least it shook me from my complacency. I wonder if I'll be able to do anything with that tomorrow, or if I'll just slip back into my old habits? Ahhhh...

I'd say more, but honestly, I don't want this to turn into a(n admittedly introspective) rant about my life. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow, if there's time....

Current Mood: pensive
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
10:59 am
I'm such a nerd...
A conversation in the Napping Cat's Dream about the '70s and '80s reminded me of Halley's comet, one of the earliest things I distinctly recall from my childhood. The freaky part is, I can still recall the names of three of the probes from the top of my head -- Vega 1 and 2, and Giotto. Giotto always stuck in my mind as it was the probe that tried to get the closest to the nucleus.

Ah well... I was always an astronomy buff, so it's no surprise something like that stands out for me. I also remember the Voyager flybys of Uranus and Neptune (Uranus was a total letdown for everyone, I think, but Neptune more than made up for it...) Too bad I didn't apply myself a little more to science in school... I think there was a lot of neat stuff I could've learned in junior high had I tackled books with a little more detail and depth. :3

Also, one last note about my nerdiness... by in 1986, I actually built little Lego models of all of the Halley Armada probes, and hung them up in my room. XD
Tuesday, December 12th, 2006
8:17 pm
Monday, November 13th, 2006
6:54 pm
Further Reflections on Self-Insertion, Character Discrepancy, and the Character-Artist Divide
I've done some more thinking about the topic that I wrote about earlier... specifically, the discrepancies between genie-Mischa and rl Mischa. :3

Back when I first started playing in the Napping Cat's Dream, Kasumi Murasaki was my primary (and, for a while, only) character. As such, I'd often find myself called 'Kasumi' in other situations with people from the NCD. For example, I'd go on AIM or into the chat and people would go "Hi Kasumi!". I found it rather uncomfortable, since in my mind Kasumi is a very distinct person. All of my characters reflect portions of myself, but at the same time Kasumi has her own history, her own family, her own friends, her own enemies, her own job, her own goals and aspirations... and so on. She is so vividly her own person that I cannot see myself as her, or vice versa.

I tried creating Chad Robertson, another character, as a reflection of myself. His name was a slight distortion on my own, but that small gap proved to be enough to make it hard to identify him as myself. In the end, he became his own character as well... similar to me, but not a perfect reflection. Thus, in the end, I created Mischa as my 'player-god' avatar. She's still gone on to be very different, but I still identify her as 'myself'.

The issue I had before largely related to the discrepancy between how I depict Mischa online, and how I am myself -- not the variation between Mischas in different worlds, other than rl vs. fantasy. For example, how would someone who'd only perceived genie-Mischa react when they encountered the real Mischa? Most people that I know who use characters as avatars have avatars with different names, so there's a divide between themselves and the avatar. Thus, you expect the real person to be different. But in this case, by associating myself so closely with my alter-ego -- particularly one radically different from myself -- I wonder how it might affect people.

The main issue that I was considering today, then, is the matter of [i]name[/i]. After all, Kasumi and Chad felt unique because their names differed, while Mischa still feels like me because her name doesn't. Other people's avatars differ in name and thus are distinct from the artist or writer. Names are always important identifiers, especially in an online environment. So it makes some sense.

My quandary, then, is that if I change Mischa's name she won't be the reflection of me that I want her to be. And yet I'm also worried it'll cause people to develop a false impression of me! Ahhhh, paradox...

One idea came to mind, though. At first I thought genie-Mischa could use a nickname (like Mi-chan, or something) that could be derived from 'Mischa'... but I couldn't think of much that worked off-hand. But then I realized I had another option available to me.

I'm Mischa. She's Bouncy Mischa.

Muahahaha!
Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
4:15 pm
Reflections on Self-Insertion and Character Divergence
Ahhh... I miss writing university essays, with titles like that. I suspect not many people will actually read this entry, but I've been feeling a little uneasy about something and wouldn't mind feedback on it. Then again, I may have managed to find my answer while thinking things through anyways.

I've always had a very strange tendency towards self-insertion. Way back in high school or so, the first stories my brother and I wrote actually used ourselves as main characters, in a sense. Being new to writing fiction, we didn't really feel confident in creating main characters of sufficient depth, so we used 'future' versions of ourselves, who'd grown up and gotten careers and so on. The rest of the cast was fictional, but it still had a core of, essentially, self-insertion. (They were even written first person! Gah!) As I started to read more fantasy and the like, I also found myself often wondering "What would I do in this kind of a setting?", or in a more Mary-Sue sense, "What would a more idealized version of me do in this setting?" Usually they were rather contrary things, with teched out characters ending up in a fantasy setting and the like, but it was rather amusing.

As I got better at writing, this trend sort of died off as I built more rounded and unique characters. But the self-insertion fantasies never did quite die out, as they were often entertaining. Once I started roleplaying in places like the Napping Cat's Dream, however, a new dimension developed. I created Mischa in the NCD as both an OOC outlet, and an IC roleplaying outlet that let me direct some of my weirder ideas (like various transformations and such) away from my more serious characters, which were suffering a bit for it. It worked out adequately within the 'player-god' concept, as there were already several other PGs in the Dream, although it got problematic sometimes when I let myself go a little too wild, and didn't pay much attention to things like consistency. Still, this generated a bad habit in that roleplaying as Mischa let me essentially use my own personality and emotions. When I started roleplaying in the Gaming Guardians forum, however, this caused a problem. I brought over Mischa because the GG universe also carried the 'player-god' concept in a sense, with the Primary System, so it made sense that Mischa could be involved. But by making the character wildly divergent from the original (it made some sense, in that he did often change form, and was given an opportunity for a new form when he arrived since he'd 'lost' his old body), I created a degree of friction. Playing her off of my own personality and reactions caused even more problems, as I becamse too deeply enmeshed with the character and took some things too personally, letting my own RL mood swings affect her roleplaying. In the end, things smoothened out a bit, as I focused more upon the character, and some friends helped me develop more of a history for her. Everything she's been through in the past year or two has helped define her as a unique individual in my mind.

As I started to work on some new comic ideas, however, a problem has come up. Genie Mischa has essentially become my default incarnation in three forums, and I basically consider her my alter ego -- an eidolon, perhaps. In reading some comics, though, I started to regain an interest in reviving some of my older ideas. Early on when I'd first started drawing, I'd created a storyline for a series called "Hen na Gakuen (Strange Academy)", with a bunch of misfit students that were put together into a single class. I beleive their instructor was basically supposed to be a self-insertion, one of those 'future extrapolations' that I'd written about in the past. Later, for practice I did random "Life With Ryan" comics about myself and my friend Ryan, and eventually I started considering doing a series called "My Strange Life", which was basically a synthesis of the two. In reading some online comics recently, I've been thinking about trying to do some short MSL-related comics. Previously, characters from MSL showed up in my comic war with Dr. Ink, in the DMFA forums, and I'm wanting to do something similar. But the question arises... what to do with Mischa? Originally, the Mischa in MSL was essentially my rl self... but now many people are largely aware of Mischa as the genie version.

I've been at something of a loss as to how to reconcile the two. One idea was to rename bouncy rubber Mischa as an independent character. Another, perhaps more feasible, was to use normal Mischa, and keep a genie character in the series using the alternate name. (I'll probably still do this anyways, since more genies is always good! :D ) Still, it's been something of a stressful matter for myself. I'm hesitant to try and draw much with any of these ideas until I can decide which I want to go with.

In thinking about it today, however, one solution may have presented itself. In thinking back, the Mischa in the MSL storyline did rather break the fourth wall. In the first episode, he was frequently accused of slacking off and not doing enough drawing (which I wasn't, at the time), until the various MSL characters attacked him as punishment. During the whole episode, he continually objected that he wasn't really the artist... just an incarnation of him. In the end, it may be best to maintain MSL-Mischa in this fourth-wall-breaking sense... using the discrepancy between self-insertion character and real-life self as a matter of irony and humor. I have this image of him at one point saying to himself, "I'm going to kill that guy... even if he is me!".

As of yet, it's still not an issue... but it is on my mind. :3

Current Mood: pensive
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006
12:16 am
Revenge of the Towering Inferno!
Most of my journal entries these days seem to be about... distressing events, I guess you could say. Still, they're more than I usually have to write about. Well... in a way.

I had been planning to post a rather uplifting entry last week, but then disaster struck. Again. It seems that last week, after the fire early in September, they'd finally gotten around to repairing some of the damage in the apartment below ours -- at least, ripping out drywall and tearing down portions of the ceiling.

Unfortunately, in the process, they tore out our phone line. My brother and I didn't really notice until I tried to use the internet in the afternoon, and found we had no dial-tone. That was bothersome, but not entirely a surprise -- we've had problems off and on with the phone line in this place for the past year. So I gave the phone company a call, and they came out to check it the next day. Unfortunately, it seems the damage was worse than usual -- the phone line was completely severed. At that point, we started to suspect the renovations downstairs, and called the owner of the building. But they didn't manage to arrange to have someone come out to inspect it until today.

When we finally got into the apartment below ours, it was pretty obvious the phone line had been ripped out and cut -- you could see both ends dangling from the ceiling. It took a little work, but the repair guy managed to get it fixed, giving us a phone line again -- and internet access!

It was a bit of an educational experience, however, as it taught me just how reliant I am on the internet. I can get by without it, but it is my major means of communicating with my friends, and without it I feel rather lonely and isolated. Reading my newly purchased Amber novels, and playing Disgaea 2 just served to remind me of how I wished I could talk about them with my friends. Not to mention how all of my role-playing urges got all pent-up. :3 I'm glad I can get back online and enjoy myself doing those kinds of things again.
Sunday, September 3rd, 2006
1:57 pm
Towering Inferno!
Okay... well, not quite. But around 4 AM this morning, got woken up due to the fire alarm going off. At first I thought it was just another false alarm or something... but my brother was apparently up and checking on it, and it turns out the apartment below ours had caught on fire. With smoke starting to fill up the bedroom, I grabbed a few things (mostly clothes) and tossed them into my suitcase (easy grabbing distance). My brother called 911, and we also managed to get our cat into her carrier, before heading outside.

Fortunately, the fire department arrived within minutes, and put out the fire. According to the building's caretaker, there was only surface damage, so the structure is still sound. I guess we were lucky, seeing as the fire didn't spread to any other apartments. I've often wondered what I'd do if there was a fire (I'm paranoid that way...), and at least those reactions kicked in when I grabbed my stuff. I still would've been heartbroken at the loss of a lot of things had the apartment caught fire, though. -__-

In the end, we got back inside around 5 AM. I'd inhaled a lot of smoke, so felt rather ill, and being unable to get back to sleep I ended up calling into work and taking the day off. I feel guilty for doing so, since we're short-handed and I'm certain this put a lot more work on my co-workers... but given my own condition, I didn't really feel up to facing that kind of stress on top of what I was already suffering from.

Ah well... I'm gonna head out in a bit to get some fresh air (I suspect hanging around the apartment isn't helping me feel any better), and hopefully will feel better within a day or two.
Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
8:43 pm
The Hateful Symbols
Augh... I thought Livejournal was cropping my previous post when it proved to be an error resulting from the use of certain symbols, as DatBan explains below. :P Silly me...

Ah well, just go read the full document below!
5:09 pm
A Tale Of Two Cons, or An Introduction To Anthrocon
I missed out on writing up an ACen con report, so I'm going to do my best to write one up today. I figured I'd mostly do it in point format, since my thoughts range rather widely. :P

- First/business class is something people should try if they get the chance. Aside from really comfy seats and decent meals, I got access to the executive lounges in the Edmonton and Toronto airports. It was rather fun to hang out there, amidst the people with their nice suits and business clothes and all. I wonder what they thought of me... XD It's also rather convenient getting to board first, get off the plane first, and go through shorter lines at security. :3

- Pittsburgh is actually a really nice city, at least the part I saw. It apparently has several river valleys, and there was a lot of greenery from what I saw. Of course, I didn't exactly go through many parts of town, just to and from the airport, but it still looked pretty nice. Plus, it was my first encounter with an East coast city. It was pretty cool to see buildings that looked like those from New York and such -- older architecture I really didn't see out in the West, only on TV. Also, as Charles pointed out, it was incredibly clean. The alleys and streets were pretty much spotless.

- I'm too used to using hotels with free shuttle buses, thanks to Anime Central. Didn't realize I'd have to PAY for the bus to get to the Westin... Q__Q Ah well, it worked out in the end.

- Registration on Thursday was rather amusing. Unlike ACen, at Anthrocon they had us line up according to the first letter of our last names. The lines were divided up A-D, E-K, L-R, and S-Z. When I was there, at least, the A-D and L-R lines were quite long, with virtually no one in the other two lines. Are furries predisposed to having certain last names?

- Gorn was able to do a surprisingly good imitation of a (sort of hippy) Mexican. :P

- Friday morning proved to have an example of mob mentality, as people seemed intent on heading out to the dealer's room early, but in the end it proved no one really had an idea of what they were doing. :3 I ended up camping out with Forestcat, and my ACen experience proved to be true as a line did eventually form to get into the dealer's room. Not as bad as ACen 2005 (*shudder*), fortunately. We got in quick, and I ambushed Amber to buy a calendar and try to get a commission -- which ultimately failed. ^_^;; Ah well. I did get some fantastic art from artists in the Artist's Alley.

- One of my biggest discoveries about Anthrocon was how art-based it was. While Anime Central obviously revolves around anime, and the dealer's room predominately features commercial groups selling merchandise, like DVDs and t-shirts and all, most of the dealers at Anthrocon were artists -- which meant there seemed to be little difference between the Artist's Alley and the dealer's area. Not to mention the art show was huge, compared to ACen.

- I also discovered that pretty much everyone at Anthrocon had a sketchbook they'd give to the artists to draw in. Even Amber's commission were done in sketchbooks, which is pretty much why I failed to get a commission. Q__Q Ah well, next year I shall take a shiny sketchbook or two and try to get much art.

- Encountered Roxikat, who said that Mischa looked like a pretty fun and cool character. Or something to that effect. :3 Managed to get a commission, which turned out quite amusing. Roxi also had a really cool costume/fursuit.

- Next year I have to track down more artists. I came across Eric Schwartz, and bought some of his comics. If I can manage to take more money, I'll have to try and get commissions from him, Michelle Light, and some of the other very cool and talented artists there. ( In hindsight, I wish I'd at least stopped by Ursula Vernon's table! )

- Many people commented that my genie pants looked quite comfortable. They were, of course, especially in the (relatively) sweltering 90-degree weather. Summer starts around July up here in Edmonton, so I was caught off guard by the hot June weather. :3

- Many people also commented that my 16" balloons, which I dragged about on Friday and Saturday, were huge. Which they are, but not as big as the 36" ones. At least I didn't inflate one of those at the con. :P

- The oddest event at the con was when I was sitting on the 3rd floor, waiting for the elevator with my big pink balloon. A fursuit took a picture of me. o_O It was a rather surreal experience.

- Charles and I twice took pictures of each other taking a picture. Now I have to get my film developed to see how they turned out. XD

- When not hanging around in the dealer's room, I mostly hung out in my room. Partly because I wasn't sure where everyone else was, partly exhaustion, and partly because the big crowds intimidated me at times (like at the tea party). Still, all the forumites I encountered were awesome, and I wish I'd spent more time hanging out with them. It sounds like they did some cool things, although I'm rather glad I didn't go out drinking. Maybe next year I'll stalk them more, or at least hang out at the Zoo.

- I did go online a few times, thanks to the free (if slow) internet provided. I managed to run into Lady Marianne from the Napping Cat's Dream, as her PG ironically sat down next to me while I was doing stuff on the forum. That resulted in a rather amusing chat encounter, as Lady Marianne was asked to track me down, and simply had to reach over and poke my shoulder to do so. :P

- At least the elevators kept working at this Anthrocon. I did learn to try and avoid them at certain hours, though.

- There were several decent places to eat on a reasonable budget near the hotel. Which is good, since they had really STEEP prices for food. Like $13 for some fruit and cereal for breakfast...

- The Bleach pizza party with Charles was fun, although we distracted Taski entirely too much. On Monday morning, as we tried to finish the Soul Society arc, I discovered just how much it draaaaaaags on. Jeez.

- I'm shocked Taski did such cool art for free. I managed to get an awesome Mischa & Gryphon (sp?) comic from him. I also have to admit I feel in love with Gryphon, even though he hates me. He's just a cool character. Taksi also found the picture I drew in his sketchbook hilarious, which was rather flattering. I have to admit, Mischa looks cute with bananas in her ears.

- I also managed to draw Gabi looking evil. Those two were the only really decent pictures I drew at the con, sadly.

- Visiting Blade's table in the Artist's Alley, I noticed she was offering to bite people for $5. Being tight on money, she suggested I ask Wildy, who'd probably do it for free. In the end, Wildy DID bite me for free, and ended up chewing on my arm for a while.

- Watching a lot of TV in the room, I noticed that you could find furries (to some extent) in nearly all television programming. It was rather amusing to flip through channels, and point out various furry and pseudofurry references in different programs. :P

- Who is Uncle Kage? Although Charles told me a lot about him, I think I only saw him in brief passing on Monday morning. :P Next year I'll probably try to go to his story hour, but this year I was just too exhausted.

- My flight back SUCKED. Things were going relatively smoothly, until as I was getting ready to board my flight back to Toronto, I discovered my passport was missing. I found it back at the security checkpoint relatively quickly, but by the time I got back to my gate (around 15-20 minutes later) the flight had already left. I had to rebook my flight, and ended up laying over in Toronto overnight. Security wouldn't let me through to wait by my gate, so I had to sleep in a rather uncomfortable chair until it opened the next morning. Riding business class on the return flight, and using the executive lounge did help lift my spirits a little, but it nearly sunk what had been an excellent mood the day before. I'm just mostly disappointed that I was feeling exceedingly relaxed and wanting to do some drawing the day before, but the ordeal getting back home ruined that. Still, focusing on the better parts of the con has helped me recover. :3

Before the con, I was feeling dubious about whether or not I should really go. In the end, I'm glad I did. Everyone was awesome to meet, and a lot of fun to hang out with. A couple of times, my depression in groups acted up, but everyone was friendly, and I never did really feel left out or like an outsider. I really hope I can go next year. ^__^
Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
2:03 am
So tired...
Lately I've gotten into the bad habit of snoozing in the living room around midnight or so, trying to regain a little energy in order to drag myself off to bed properly. It's probably one of the reasons why I never feel properly rested at work. Ugh.

But it's currently 2 AM here, and I just woke up from another of these 'naps'... but at least I remember part of a dream I was having. I recall being dragged along to ride on a roller coaster -- something I've never done in rl, so the one in the dream was probably rather wussy... well, at least until the point it started missing gaps of track, and the roller coaster jumped between them.

I remember starting out somewhat scared, but by the end I was plotting how to make it better. Or something. My companions were all freaked. I think the guy next to me was Jyrras, from the "Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures" webcomic, but I can't be sure.

I also vaguely recall a genie, but can't remember how she was involved. Bah.

Back to bed! :3
Wednesday, April 12th, 2006
11:43 pm
What are LJs good for? Ranting!
Perhaps continuing my little series of mood-swings... at the moment, I find myself feeling rather aggravated. The most serious culprit responsible for this mood is problems at work. I won't get into too much detail, but recently there was a fight between two of my co-workers, neither of whom showed up today. We're already short-staffed, and that just exacerbated the problem. In both of their cases it's somewhat understandable (one is ill, and the other I beleive is still rather distressed), but it intensified an already stressful situation. As an example of the results, I ended up working an eleven-hour shift.

The problem is, I beleive both of them are responsible for the fight... but from what little I've heard, I suspect each feels they are in the right. Both acted unprofessionally, and yet each points the finger at the other. What's more, I suspect other of my co-workers have their own biases, as people have been gossiping about the fight behind the backs of the participants, usually pointing fingers and saying insulting things about one of the other, whomever they blame as being in the wrong.

All in all, it seems like an exercise in stupidity. Both of the people involved in the original fight made assumptions and acted foolishly, and everyone that's getting drawn into the affair because of the aftershocks is doing the same thing. Nobody stops to think that maybe, just maybe, their assumptions are wrong, that their perceptions are incorrect. Particularly since I think most of the people gossiping about the affair know very little about it, and many probably have their information from only one of their participants, after the fact. Hardly reliable sources. Even I only saw part of the fight, although what I did see didn't impress me.

Things might just get worse from here, as the vitriol continues to seep through my workplace. I doubt it's going to get better anytime soon, as some of the people involved I know can carry grudges a long, long ways.

But then on top of that, I'm finding some of my friends doing the same thing. People acting up, saying whatever they like without stopping to think about the assumptions they're making. They act upon their own biases, without considering that maybe those biases are wrong. Now, I'm probably a hypocrite for saying this. I know depression can warp my worldview, and even when I'm not depressed, some of my own assumptions don't really match what others see... and I'm often quite stubborn in refusing to change them. But why... why is humanity this way? Why does concession or compromise seem so foreign to people? Everyone seems so caught up in themselves, they don't stop to consider other people. They rarely seem to stop and think, "Hey, why am I doing this? Why am I thinking this? What if what I beleive or think is wrong? What alternatives are there?"

I still suspect it's what I call "the myopic principle". People are short-sighted, focusing on the immediate and the simplistic. It makes some sense... the human brain has to handle an incredible amount of information, and Occam's razor favors the simpler solutions. It's not surprising people want to simplify their beliefs, to think less, so they can free up more of their brainpower for other tasks. But still... can't people be a little more gnostic, at least?

Maybe modern culture discourages that. Independent thought doesn't seem to be too favored, these days.

Ah well. In the end, it's not a situation I can do much about. I can wish people were different, but I don't think that'll change anytime soon.

Current Mood: aggravated
Saturday, February 18th, 2006
10:01 pm
The Flip Side
Well... after my last entry, I figured I should post again... just to show how much of a struggle that kind of attitude shift is. Ironically enough, since soon after posting that, I've been struggling with depression again -- triggered by a familiar source.

Jealousy.

I have a jealous streak a mile wide. And when I get jealous of someone, or something... it tends to be so corrosive, I can almost feel it eating its way down. Since I usually get jealous of people who get to do, experience, or receive things that I dream about, or at least wish I could... it usually eats away at the foundations of what little self-esteem I have. I usually end up feeling kicked in the teeth, seeing another dream shattered. And at that point, with very little to look forwards to in the future... I start to wonder why I bother going on. I struggle onwards, from day to day, but in the end... is it all worth it?

I know there are good days when everything's going well, and it definitely seems so. But at times like this, I look at the endless struggle, and honestly wonder.

The worst part is, I rarely can escape these triggers. Sometimes I've talked with people involved, talked about my feelings, and gotten some measure of comfort. But often, it's something I can't do anything about. After all, I don't want someone else to be miserable just to salve my own problematic emotions. I can't ask someone to throw away a picture they got, or to not do something they're planning... but every time I run across those things, it tears open the wounds all over again.

I know time eventually heals all things. I think waaaaaay back, to Black Tuesday... one of the worst incidents of jealousy for me. It messed me up for an entire week. Now I can feel better about it, but it took years, literally, to get over it.

I know I'll probably be unhappy for the next few days, at least. I tend to have a single-track mind, and it's very hard for me to distract myself.

Unfortunately, I'm rather exhausted at the moment... which just makes things all the more difficult. Maybe I'll say more when I'm feeling more coherent.

Current Mood: depressed
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