Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Like Jesus, I like wine - warning: GIFS EVERYWHERE


Oh my god – would you look at that – I'M NOT DEAD!!!! Its like a Christmas Miracle.
Yeah… well… I technically was.

I actually got off my ass and did something!!
And I have done many things in the past few months.

One – I have finished my masters! I AM A MASTER



….i am a master…. master, master, master….

Yes, I have finished my masters studies – and now that its done, I will never make any intellectual propositions ever again.  I shall cease to cogitate at higher levels from now on.

All I will think about from now on are kittens and Turians.  (And shoes) - And Christmas!!!!




Seriously, these studies have sucked the everliving crapping life out of me.  I feel so tired and so, so drained and oddly, slightly lost.  I feel like there should be something I should be stressing about, but I no longer have any assignments or exams to stress out over.
Its weird, I have yet to make up my mind as to whether this may lead me to darker paths – like considering another degree. (My wallet agrees with my gut in that it does not want to be taken on another wild financial ride until I consider buying a house).

I am now catching up on a fuckton of TV shows that i've been abstaining from in order to read my source materials, except not really because I've been watching re-runs of The Thick of It.  As such I can succesfully claim I still havent watched the Walking Dead, except one or two relevant episodes.
Bear with me, there's a reason why I am woefully behind the Walking Dead and always fucking know the fucking story in fucking Bala-fucking-mory.  (I am told there are good looking guys who possibly kiss each other, if that's not yum fodder, I don’t know what is, except – its not true – the actors on the show sometimes kiss each other, is that better?)

I mean, because Malcolm Fucking Tucker is amazing that's fucking why, and he's also going to become a mother-fucking Dalek Fucker.

Look at that intense Angry Doctor Face...
I don’t know, it was partially relevant to my studies (not really), it was Malcolm Tucker.  Need I say more?

But um… yes.
Oh, I went to PAX!!!! the one is Australia that is, the first one ever on Aussie soil, I was like, a pioneer, like Captain Cook, except without the racism (much) and the getting stabbed in Hawaii (well, I did get drunk in a Mexican themed bar, but I did not inappropriately touch ANY chieftain's daughter). Ok - this is super old news.  But still, that's sort of exciting rights? I'm also going to PAX 2014 - yipee! I smell a nerdy tradition involving Cards Against Humanity.

PAX was lovely, I made new friends and had a great time playing card and boardgames.  I actually ignored a lot of the video games because, well, I play video games at home, there's no point.  I tried out some of the indie Aussie developments like Black Annex, which gives me a headache but is really, really cute. (the pixelated graphics animate rather jarringly which is not good on the eyes, but the slightly bland color palette helps a bit).

I also got so see Beyonce live, it was a religious experience and damnit, I cried, I went like a loser Beyonce nerd to the concert on my own, stood next to some kids and a tourist and whooped and cried my way through two hours of booty shakin. 
I have been waiting a long time to use this .gif
I have no regrets.

I also went to a packed Bon Jovi Concert - I didnt really know a lot of their newer stuff but did go bananas because I am wanted.... dead or aliiiiiiiiive.
taken with potato...

I am almost fully caught up on Game of Thrones – yes, FINALLY! the books that is.  I had read the first book when I was like 14, and found it a bit too confusing for my tastes at that time.  Now I am managing to make my work commutes super dramatic and I am really, enjoying the ride.  I wont watch the series because its just too much.  My Daenerys looks wildly different to the one in the series (same for Drogo) and god, Brienne.  Lordy, the TV Brienne is so beautiful in comparison to book Brienne (and oddly, my Jamie is more handsome in a different way). 
I am also planning on maybe, possibly (i'm so lazy so let's just assume I wont) doing several fan pieces of art and sculpture to sell for next year's SydNova.  This includes some baby dragon eggs, some paintings of the Summer ilse's landscapes (guize, Volantis is beautiful guize - re-read the descriptions). 
yeah - that's as far as i go...

Oh, but Jorah Mormont – YUM, Bronn – DOUBLE YUM (I have been, as a result been in love with Ripper Street).
Never my delicious Bear, NEVER
Other than PAX, I have been up to absolutely nothing because, did I mention? I finished my masters!!!!

I have about 4 months' worth of podcasts to catch up on and OH SO MUCH ART AND CRAFT.
so much – I think I am going to cry…

Oh – and in my usual late to the video game party revelations – THE WITCHER MAKES ME FEEL SO DIRTY, HOLY SHIT GERALT WHY YOU SLEEP WITH ALL THE WIMINZ
I guess being a mutant means he won't get STDs. But god, he is such a sleaze, I tried really hard to not get the sexy times conversations – I kept thinking you'd get advice or new entries in your glossaries (like that one swamp lady that reaches you all the swamp herbs – so useful) and sometimes, I just slept with the ladies thinking that would award me some skill or alliance (eg the Dryad) but no, just a collectible graphic.

His pickup lines are terrible! which is why I probably ended up sleeping with a few ladies that I didn’t want to sleep with, the lead up was awful.  I only actually bothered myself with Shani.  She's cool, and actually has proper social interactions with Geralt.  AND WHO PAYS 70 ORENS TO SLEEP WITH A PROSTITUTE?!?!?!?!
Triss, well, I re-loaded an old save file and avoided that pile of crap.

Geralt, you're skanky. 
That having been said, the Witcher is a phenomenal game and I love the crap out of it regardless.

Also… my computer is dead.
Not completely dead, just the hard drive – all my data, corrupted, the partition, dead.

This is the second time its happened guys, AM I CURSED?

will I never see my hentai from ten years ago that I am no longer interested in ever again?!?!?!

what a life.
I have started prototyping for next year's crafts table at Supanova (badly).  To be honest I am so run down that again, I am resolving that this will be my last year.  I don’t know for sure, I don’t even have the energy to set up an etsy store.  I feel very creative but I don’t feel I can do anything with it.  If anyone would want to buy stuff off me that would be nice, but I'd rather do my usual art exchanges.

Speaking of which!
I did a canvas exchange with the Sketchbook Project in August.

I made this:

And got this in return from California!

Pretty cool huh?
Oh and in case you didn't know, or got bored by my last slightly emotional entry - I help out on a lovely movie reviewing podcast, hosted by Miles from www.mustlovefilm.com - he talks and reviews movies and dude, it is so very informative, I learn so much awesome stuff. And also I am having a hell of a fun time.

So – finally, a blog post, not that it matters much, but yeah, I'm somewhat alive.  And obviously still committed, sort of.  Hopefully I can write better things soon and have less reddit ripped gifs to show for my new found creativity – And yes - its Xmas time and I have a surprisingly alrge amount of babies to babysit or play with.  I am super clucky this year, its really perturbing.
But let's not get too excited.



I may eventually change my blog design too - I have been sort of drawing... sometimes...

OH GOD WHO AM I KIDDING I AM GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE PLAYING MONSTER HUNTER.

GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD. (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - I promise I'll post again, super duper promise!!)

Oh - and I got a beautiful Intuos Wacom Tablet doodler for my birthday.  You are now obligated to nag me - in particular on facebook, to get on with the drawing of the things and the artings.  GODDAMNIT DO NOT WASTE SUCH AN AMAZING GIFT!!!

Peace out fellow canines!


Monday, 9 December 2013

Dancing on the streets of Soweto


OK – so I had a long post for November with jokes and happy things and tidings but I was lazy and forgot to post it and now its December and things happened.

Also - before I get morose I want y'all to know that there is an awesome local podcast by Melbourne fella Miles about film, film reviews and movies and movie related stuff (I may or may not contribute to it *winkwinknudgenudge*) at www.mustlovefilm.com - its super informative, simple, clean, and real cool, listen to it folks!!! you'll learn heaps, I know I did.
As you know, I normally don’t do serious pieces, even my pope piece was a lame attempt at angry people humour that frankly, prompted a Christina blogger to attempt to get me to follow his blog in the hopes of, I don’t know, softening me?

He failed in garnering my interest because there were no pictures of unicorns and dragons, I mean, come on.
But last week and important, probably the most important human being in our generation passed away and I kind of wonder what that actually means.

Madiba was a world hero, but his passing marks the end of an era that remembered a time in our recent memory where real, genuine, concrete injustice and cruelty occurred.
His life's work was this genuine fight against real oppression, not the butt-hurt, demands to check one's privilege on tumblr and youtube that seem to get so much social media attention and frankly, do little to create positive effect on our new online culture, let alone IRL.

Because I can genuinely look at some people who keep screaming about their desire to have their trans-kin-colourism respected and recognised and I always sit there and wonder – 'are these weird first world problems? or are these genuine concerns?'
I can't even begin to talk about how genuine his struggle and how inspiring his life was.  Go to BBC, watch the documentaries, in particular a documentary called the Long Walk of Nelson Mandela by NITV.

I think he's also personally touched a lot of lives, not just in South Africa, but world-wide.
Which sort of leaves me wondering, what exactly does he mean to me, on a personal level? (does he need to have an effect on me on a personal level? not really to be honest)

He's an inspiration indeed, a man who was a rebel, a revolutionary, a fighter, who also evolved as a human being, who was willing to do anything for his cause but later learnt that compassion and understanding would do more for his cause than violence.
That's hard to swallow, I can see why the ANC doubted him for a while, I can even see how Winnie may have lost faith in him back then. 

And its easy to look back on his history and agree that what he did was the right thing to do and that he chose the path of the righteous man.  It didn’t seem like that, he once supported violence, its what many apologists keep pointing out when the media and his fans gush about how admirable a man Mandela was.  But he changed and with that change of perspective he succeeded in bringing to South Africa a peace it so sorely needed after decades of horrendous oppression, cruelty and violence.
Its also a kind of cruelty we cannot even begin to fathom.  We still have racism, bigotry and injustice but seeing old photos of whites only signs on streets and public facilities is just horrendous and mind boggling in ways that simply cannot be explained nowadays.  Even a hard-core racist can't sit there and happily justify apartheid without being uncomfortably aware (they may not care but they know it's not a popular way of thinking) of how awful they may sound by justifying it.  Which is why they act like apologists and try to find some sham justification for their stupid ideas.

At it hits me hard because it could have easily been a part of my life, but it wasn’t, so I don’t get what makes me strangely confused about the depth of my emotion, and why there's a small part inside of me that takes this so very, very personally.  In the end, I was lucky, this is not my history and that's something I am grateful for.
For someone who grew up in a country that was quite homogenous, I never really got race except as a label that was as superficial as saying that you liked tomatoes.  Growing up in Spain; straddling the Spanish, English and Filipino divide, I never felt like ethnicity or even skin colour were particularly big deals except in the aesthetic sense.  I never even puzzled why my mother was so much darker than me (her explanation was that she drank coffee and I drank only milk back then, ok, mind you, I was 3 years old).

The implications of what it meant to have a white South African father didn’t even register until I was a teenager, but that was because I lived such a full life with my mother that a not having a paternal figure alone was very far from my mind. 
But one day my mother explained racism to me.  She explained that it was racism why some teachers looked at me funny when I talked about my home life, or when children didn’t want to play with me because I was dirty, ugly and Chinese (as a kid I didn’t get it, I was more angry that they weren’t listening to me when I said I wasn’t Chinese and that I was Filipina and damnit I showered every day) and that yes, it was difficult being a foreign female who had to work a ga-jillion times as hard in a country that was extra racist and extra sexist, but hard work and guts and grit will let you achieve anything.

Even then though, I find it hard to understand.  I simply couldn’t fathom how anyone would be so silly as to dislike anyone for anything other than maybe thinking that Dragon from St. Seiya was the coolest zodiac knight (I took that one personally, he was a douche). 
After all, I lived next door to a Chinese restaurant, I spoke perfect Spanish, I had a British accent and why the hell would you not think it was cool to be able to make fun of people in different languages (especially Tagalog).

Skin colour was stupid, you just drink more coffee or coca cola and Bob's your uncle, you're black. Besides, its just skin , it gets all pink and purple and red and wrinkly and if you're covered with enough mud (especially as a kid), you're all frigging brown.
And it was only later that I understood the implications of my mum's jokes about my dad and why she didn't marry him.  Social justice was probably low on the list, but I only realised them until later.

Would my parents have been arrested upon return to SA? would I have been sent away? seen as a product of not just a socially undesirable, but also an illegal union?
Never mind the fact that now that I am older I am aware that when mum joked, 'your father's mother literally had a heart attack on the phone' wasn’t actually funny when you think about it.  At first I thought, aww geez dad, poor grandma…

now its just… aww geez, my grandma is racist and had a heart attack because of me (and mum). 
Its mind boggling.  For someone like me its just incredible to think about.  My father's family would have despised my mother and me and that just blows my mind.

In my blood there flows the blood of cruelty and bigotry and the more I think about it, the weirder I feel. 
I mean we could day that about all our ancestors (I guess if I go far enough G-daddy Gengis Khan, was doing some really, really questionable things with his… er… swords, and all the Conquistadores are fucking a-holes of the nth degree) but this feels recent.  It feels so, strange and so foreign to a person like me. 

It was the last years of apartheid though, we probably wouldn’t have experienced that much drama, although there may have been some awkward Christmas lunches I guess.
Maybe my paternal family would have eventually learned to like mum and me, who knows.  As the ghost of apartheid faded, maybe it would feel less strange to have a mixed race grandchild, but it would have been a 'thing' damnit if that doesn’t make my head (and heart) hurt. 

I remember meeting a girl in Uni who was also South African, her mother gave her up for adoption because she was, back then, a member of the ANC at the time and she had to be given up for adoption for her own safety.  Her adoptive mother was also South African, an activist lawyer who also supported that anti-apartheid cause and she grew up happy with her new family and remains close to her biological mother now that time has managed to smooth over the scars of the past. 
I've also met plenty of white South Africans who are genuinely wonderful, beautiful people.  But looking at them I keep seeing a shadow of that possible life I could have had and wonder, were you a part of this strange system? did your parents think that what happened was ok? did you NEED TO BE TAUGHT THAT RACISM IS UNACCEPTABLE? DID YOU NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU THOUGHT?

Again, it boggles my brain.  I get it at a psychological level, at an intellectual level, I get their bigotry, I understand this weird idea of needing to exclude a people for X reasons, but wow, it's just such a weird thing to do.
So here is Madiba, a very ordinary human man who wanted nothing but justice for his people, justice against the people like those my father came from, someone who I can totally get behind and understand and like and hell, even relate to on a small level. 

He is amazeballs.  Seriously.  He is an incredible human being.
He forgave the people who imprisoned him for nearly 30 years.

Think about it.
30 YEARS

30 YEARS of imprisonment and generations of racist cruelty.
And he shook hands with De Clerk and genuinely liked him and forgave all those people.

Watch his presidential inauguration, it is bizarre.  He shakes hands with the general who enacted the systematic violent oppression of his party and his people, who personally persecuted his wife.  And there he is, happy and thankful and smiling and willing to listen and move slowly because not everyone can accept change easily and he totally gets it.
Can you believe it, he understood and got the fear that fuelled this racism and he nurtured it and coddled it until it was ready to go away.

Sorry, what. the. fuck.
This man is a saint. 

Men like him are a once in a generation type.  We cannot hope to have anyone in this generation to have the same euphorically inspiring effect that he had on so many people.
I can only hope to have half the integrity he had in his left pinkie.  I hope everyone aspires to have at least as much integrity as he had in his left pinkie.

If we could all be like Madiba's left pinkie, I think we'd have world peace.  And the Asari would totally dig us (and then I'd have to get over my discrimination of Asari, seriously boring omni-gender blue people is boring).  And there's my cheesy humor again.
Rest in peace – there's a theory that you are a modern age Bodhisattva.  I cant argue with that and it makes me feel even more privileged to have lived in your time.  I may have been to young to understand what an effect you have had on my life, but by your actions, you have definitely been a part of it in some convoluted way.

I thank you from the bottom of our planet's cesspool of a heart.
Enjoy your sky-pie and say hi to Luther Vandross and Da Vinci for me.


Lots of love
T