Category Archives: Rant

Oh hey, I have a blog…

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No I didn’t really forget. I mean, I kinda forgot. I forgot in that “never think about it when I have the opportunity to do something about it” kinda way that’s like forgetting, but really a whole lot more like laziness.

I never said I wasn’t lazy.  At least I can reasonably argue that I was distracted.

1) We moved. We’re actually settled in. There are a few unpacked boxes, but they’re “these boxes are boxes and will remain packed because the stuff in them needs to be in boxes” kinda way. The only real unpacking we need to do is finally getting around to getting rid of several years worth of old CPUs that are sitting in the corner over there staring at me.

2) Dragon Age 2 came out. There was also a big deal on ME/ME2 to celebrate. I invested quite a few game hours on the former, and quite a few watching-hours on the latter, since my evening of ME was full of frustration and death. (Yes, I was playing on casual)

3) OMG we’re having a fucking baby. Lots of trips to the Dr. Lots of classes. Lots of time spent on Amazon.  Lots of wrangling of parental units. Lots of laundry (oh god, baby socks are so adorable, but they are completely overwhelming with their tininess. And folding onesies make me cry because there’s going to be a BABY in them in a month.)

I do have a hate-on for my Dr at the moment, however. I’ve gone from frustrated to sad to angry over the course of the past couple weeks… but please bear in mind that I’m about to explode with baby, so I’m considered mentally unstable under any court of law.

So, a week and a half ago, I get a nice little form letter from my Dr, saying she’s going to be retiring from her practice as of June 31. For those boys and girls keeping track at home, that’s less than 2 weeks before my due date. So the Dr who’s seen/bullied me through these months of pregnancy is suddenly disappearing. I don’t like change. This upsets me. I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do, but why could she have not announced this sooner? Or stopped accepting new OB patients and seen her current batch through to delivery first?

So I’m feeling kinda RAR!

Monday, I go in for my final ultrasound.  Due to the results of my 22-week ultrasound (back in March), I’ve had to go in several times to monitor baby’s health/size. (For the record, Super-Psychic-Kung-Fu-Ninja-Baby is a two-vessel cord baby. Which can lead to baby being small/not developing on schedule. Scary for the announcement, but has developed perfectly normally since. In fact, baby is estimated to be a ~8lb’er, and 7.5lb is considered statistical average) Everything looks good, and the Dr doing the ultrasound tells me that I don’t need to come back for any more monitoring. Yay!

Tuesday, I have my appointment. I go in, planning on talking to my Dr about the letter she sent out, as well as ping her for advice as to the Drs she recommends seeing me through the last week or two of pregnancy. She drops the bomb.

You know, the bomb related to me having a two-vessel cord pregnancy? The bomb related to the thing she’s known since EARLY MARCH?

The bomb where she says “Oh, and because you’re a two-vessel, you’re probably going to have a C-Section or at the least be induced.”

Excuse me? What? Where is this coming from?

“First time pregnancies almost always run long.  And since you’re a two-vessel pregnancy, they don’t want growth-restricted babies staying past the 40-week mark.”

Growth restricted? You just told me baby was doing great. The other Dr told me baby was doing great. Baby’s head is at 95% (whatever the hell that means, I’m assuming it means head’s almost fully developed) and is estimated to be an 8lb’er.  Where’s the growth restriction?

I mean, I’m all for induction and caesarian as a good back-up plan. Sometimes baby just doesn’t want to come, or can’t get out, or any number of reasons where they are medical necessities. I mean, I wouldn’t be terribly happy had you told me 3 months ago that you felt it was likely, but I would have been able to deal with it at a time when I’m not already stressed, super pregnant, can barely walk and can’t sleep.

But no, out of the blue. Fuck you.

Currently…

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Working on a new Powerpoint Rant (you guys remember my old Powerpoint Rant?) at David’s insistance.

Or, rather, I’ve got the meat of the emails I was sending him saved, to be broken down into proper form once I get over my case of lazy.  And do screencaps.  (That’s right, folks, this one isn’t gonna be just text!)

Not WoW-related, so just random flailings.  But he was entertained enough to make a special request.  And I can never resist those.

(And for those keeping score at home, his responses aren’t any more in-depth than Seri’s were back in the day…  I’m totally capable of going off on a tangent all by myself with relatively little interference/input)

You know, evil little voice…

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Things are looking up.  Things are going right.  Everything that you’ve been worrying about for the past FIVE YEARS?  Finally coming together.

The two and a half weeks of nonstop stress dreams, nightmares and the like?  They can go to hell, and so can you.

I’m exhausted.  I spend all day wanting nothing more than to go back to sleep, only to find myself asleep with all the worst parts of my psyche having a carnival in my frontal lobe.  I know it’s my tendency when things go well to wait for the shoe to drop.  This is my official “not any more.”

I’m tired of your bullshit.  I’m tired of you second guessing me at every opportunity.  I’m tired of you using my very vivid imagination against me with your endless streams of what-ifs and coulda-beens.

JUST ONCE I want you to stick  a sock in it and let me be happy without worrying.  I want you to shut up and let me make decisions for myself without being completely paralyzed by fear.  I want you to stop insisting that the butterfly effect of my decision to wear my hear in a ponytail or a braid does not put the fate of my future happiness at stake.

In short, neither you nor I are as important as you seem to try to insist.

So sit down, shut the fuck up, and leave me alone for just a few goddamned days.

</3 me

Wherein Marianne rants about stuff you probably don’t care about

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Okay, looking back at yesterday’s post (which most of you probably also don’t really care about the majority of… >.>), I seem to be going a bit on the defensive in regards to piracy of media.  Well, I think I was.  So I’m gonna do a quick foray into plunder and booty.

Marianne’s Philosophy of Piracy:  It is the right of the creator and distributor of any media to make a profit from it.

Um, yeah, that’s it.  Really, it’s pretty simple.  There’s no real “Unless they’re a jerk” caveat to that.  You make something, you package it, you distribute it…  You have every right to make a profit.

So why am I watching fansubbed anime on youtube?  I should backtrack.

I don’t download.  I’ll fully admit the temptation is there, and it’s not just fear of the stuff lurking in torrent sites that stops me.  The mp3s I have are all either things I have paid for, be it on something like itunes or ripped from a personal CD, or songs that have been given to me personally by friends.  Not “Hey, I’ve got all my music library up on this webspace, so everyone is free to download” but “Hey, I heard this song and thought you’d like it…  Here ya go.”  Legality aside, it’s the equivalent of mixed tapes.  I also don’t forward the stuff along unless it’s also a case of “Oh, you would like this too.”  It’s personal, and if it’s something I like enough to do that, usually other things by that artist turns up on my wishlist or music library the totally legal way.

I’m the same with anime.  Beyond what’s on our DVD racks, I have two sources for watching anime online.  The first is the official route: the distributor puts it up on Hulu, or licenses it to be aired on Crunchyroll.  The second is the unofficial: youtube.

Watching things on youtube is…  inconvenient.  The quality of subbing/dubbing, because it’s done by fan groups, can be rather hit or miss.  Also, the issue remains that youtube limits video length to 10 minutes, then there is a break where you are either sent automatically to the next part (if it’s in a playlist) or hunt it down (if it’s not).  Now, inconvenience does not mean I have the right to watch stuff they may not want me to…  It’s not like it’s currency.  However, recording a tv show via tivo, or even onto video is much the same way.  The difference being the publisher has recourse to say to youtube : this is my stuff, take it down.  There’s nothing they can do about my old stack of VHS home-recorded Highlander the Series.

What they CAN do is offer quality and extras on the official versions, which they do.  But more than that, it needs to be made available first.  If it’s available, I will buy it over watching it on youtube 100% of the time.

I was first introduced to Higurashi by a friend who mentioned it was awesome and I should give it a poke.  I found it on youtube.  2 seasons, ~26 episodes each, and each of those broken into 3 parts.  No one had any real clumps available of more than a few episodes (since Youtube was taking them down almost as quickly as they appeared) and some of the fan-done subbing was completely illegible.  I loved it, even with all the strikes against it.  I saw it had been licensed to the US.  I was ecstatic.  Season 1 was for sale!  It was super expensive.  I bitched about the price.  But…  I got it.  It’s on my shelf.

I waited for them to do something about the second season.  Over a year later, I’m still waiting on that.  I would also like the license for Umineko to be released in the US so I could get that as well.

Neither is available.  I can’t pay money to get them.  I watch them on youtube/other sites.

Mostly unrelated:  Dubs vs Subs

Subs win every time.  I got into a discussion the other day with a friend about Higurashi having the worst dub in existence, and I found a side-by-side that amused the hell out of me, while also proving my point.  Warning: bad jokes, worse acting, and a good amount of blood and death.  Real fun starts about the 1:30 mark.

Oh irony

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I looked up the definition of Irony when I was musing this post.  My brain is full of memories of the mid-90s and Alanis Morrisette singing “Ironic” and the uproar that she didn’t actually include any irony in the song…  And this may not be irony, but it’s close and it’s a blog post and I just don’t care the difference.

Y’all ready?

The thing I miss most about WoW is the people.

Yes, the people.  Marianne the Misanthrope.  I built my online presence on a combination of bossiness, snark, and general hatred of the human race, and the thing I miss most is the people?  Short answer: yes.  Long answer:  kinda.

I don’t miss raiding.  The months I’ve had free of the weekly evening schedule have been awesome.  If I want to game, I can play Dragon Age.  If I don’t, there’s a myriad of other things to occupy my evenings with.  It doesn’t make me more or less bored than a night in ToC, but it does make me worlds less frustrated.  And what frustrated me?  The people.

So why the contradiction?  The things I miss are the things that pulled me into WoW in the first place.  I miss goofing off on lowbie alts.  I had a paired lowbie hunter with Seri who were the bane of Uldaman and ret pally tanks everywhere.  I had my little holy pally (again paired, this time with David’s warrior) in Bubbles’ guild.  I had my hunter who I’d actually almost managed to get to max level in the current expac (rolled in WoW’s first summer, mid 50s until the cap went to 70, mid 60s until the cap hit 80, and now lingering at the mid-70 mark).

I loved lowbie-LFD.  Yes, some levels are full of pain, when you only ever seem to see Uldaman or Auchindon.  But the groups tend to be friendly, chatty, and look for opportunities to stick together once they’ve found something that works.  And if you’re in a group that doesn’t work, you simply drop and let the lotto find you something else.

I also loved some of my guildmates.  I don’t want this to seem like I was in a guild surrounded by people who made me miserable.  I mean, some of them did, but I really wouldn’t have stayed if it wasn’t for the fact that a good number of them, I really cared about.  (And I had an offer open elsewhere, a strongly worded and frequently repeated offer.  It was very very tempting, and I almost agreed, but my decision was to stay with the people I did, even when they did aggravate me.)

I can look back on might-have-beens and wonder if I’d have quit had I left.  And…  I think I would have, but it’s a moot point anyway.

So, yes, I occasionally miss WoW.  I miss the people, I miss the company, I miss the fact that the “me” that I presented to the people I considered to be my friends for 5 years suddenly isn’t there anymore.  And it’s not like I’m a different person, but…  it was something in common.  And suddenly, I’m moving in a different direction from everyone on my twitter list, and it feels like some strange place where I’m even more an outsider than I’m used to being.

What do I have to say about the changes coming with Cataclysm?  Nothing, beyond teasing trees for their new ToL form, or plotting ways Life Grip could be used to kill your friends.  I’m not invested, however.  I’m no longer part of the WoW-blogging community, and suddenly I have nothing to discuss with my twitter list, or anything to comment on anyone’s blog, or anything to talk on gchat about.

I’m used to being alone.  I’ve always been an introvert, a hermit, a misanthrope.  But it’s always… awkward to become accustomed to friendships moving apart.  And, for a time it feels like the world is suddenly smaller, or larger, and I’m in some strange place where it’s possible to be both surrounded by strangers and entirely alone.

It’s lonely.  I think that was the part I was least prepared for.

So why did I leave?

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This is a WoW post, though not one fit for the WoW-blog…  Feel free to skip, my feelings won’t be hurt if you’re more here for the recipes than the geekery 🙂  Mainly me trying to vent and get it out, in a significantly less public form than elsewhere.

So, while I fully admit my ability to lose my shit, asking to be replaced mid-raid is not my normal modus operandi.  Yes, I’d already spoken to Lori before raid and let her know I wasn’t going to be able to stay on the raid team, but I had every intention of sticking out the night, as well as the next raid week which I’d already signed for.  At base, it sounds kinda petty, though it was things adding up slowly over time.

The larger picture:  Frost Emblems kicked the game fully into the “it’s a job” land.  Simply put: I raid to raid, and I like it when progression goes 5mans > raid 1 > raid 2 > raid 3.  I like the addition of 10 mans, they provide a nice buffer and opened up raiding to the masses.  I don’t like the fact that to progress in 25s (or 10s, I suppose) once you hit ICC-level, you MUST run a random 5-man heroic EVERY DAY or fall too far behind the gear curve to catch up.  I want my raiding progression to be controlled by my raiding.

It has nothing to do with the difficulty (or lack thereof) of spending 15 min running a 5 man.  It has everything to do with the fact that some days, I just don’t want to log in…  Or, I want to log in, but don’t want to play on my main…  Or, I want to log in and raid, but don’t want to do anything else.  The fact that I *must* log in every day and *must* run a heroic just kinda kills it for me.

I mean, I like 5 mans.  They’re the best way to level, and with few exceptions, they’re mindless and boring even in heroic.  I go through phases when I’ll spend literally all day in LFD running heroics.  That’s countered by the fact that at least 75% of the time, I don’t want to bother.

So, yeah, job now.

I suppose if we want to go even more meta, there’s also the fact that I can’t raid on my computer (my one “must have” mod requires more processing power than it can handle so I drop down to unplayable FPS), so I play on Davids; his keyboard, his mouse, his monitor, and constantly bumping into Judy due to how I usually sit.  The irritation of the unfamiliar, and the claustrophobic feeling of too many people too close in my personal space.  The feeling of “I don’t want to be here” is increased when here also includes stuff that isn’t *mine*  (Why YES I’m an only child, why do you ask?)

Also included is leadership.  When I started raiding with Axiom, we had fairly structured healing assignments.  When I was promoted with Eric, they became even more so.  Assignment, analysis, and the like were something he was REALLY good at.  I was left to be the cheerleader, the good cop, the “face” of the healing leads. (inorite?)  When Eric left, I was left with my job, which I was comfortable with, and his…  which I totally wasn’t.  Reviews were a once a month hassle– if that was all that Eric leaving had meant added to my workload, I would have been fine.   The fact I had to handle assignments, especially in new content, left me feeling constantly uncertain and stressed.  My early attempts at more freeform “You’re smaht, heal people” led to all tank healers on the MT and the OT going splat on repeated occasions.

It also became somewhat the guild joke that certain people had problems with listening to me.  And while it was funny for the first few weeks that “Oh, haha Lil has Jov on ignore” as those weeks stretched to months, it turned a job I hated into one that made RAIDING something I dreaded and hated.  (That’s not even touching the fact that it turned Lil into someone I wanted to strangle, kill, maim, and in all other ways JOV SMASH her.)

I’m also conflict avoidant.  (I know, lolwut again– but I am.  I vent and rant, but I have a hard time actually arguing/debating with people.  The minute it goes beyond discussion, I just clam up and stop.)  And even though I’m healing lead,  beyond doing the shit I hate, and the once-a-month annoyance of reviews, it feels like every suggestion I made is instantly countered by my co-lead, primarily because she’s more willing to push back.  Okay, only one suggestion — We so don’t need 6 healers for the first day in ICC (I’m so bored, and some fights I don’t press a heal button), but I’m just too tired to fight it.

All in all it feels like all of the responsibility with none of the ability to get suggestions even tried.  Which I fully take most of the responsibility for, but at the same time, it’s just one more thing on top of a list of one more things.

On Monday, I told Lori that I was done.  I really was intending to last through the night, and the next days I was signed for.  Things didn’t work out the way I had planned.

First, a friend asked me to join his “my friends hang out here and shoot the shit while raiding” channel.  Okay, fine…  I don’t have a lot of attention to give to another channel, but I don’t mind.  Three of the people in there are people I’m not terribly that fond of, a group of friends (rogue, pally, shammy) who apped and joined together fairly recently.  I have no issues with their play, but they do rub me the wrong way.

The problem starts when we move on to Dreamwalker.  I do assignments; they don’t really matter beyond saying that you’ve gotta balance your healing as much as possible, because there’s a LOT of raid damage going on, in addition to needing to heal her up.  I’ve already had the “Why do you have me outside and not in the portal” conversation with the resto shammy once.  (The answer: you’re better at healing tanks, and the “massive HPS” you claim to have on Dreamwalker doesn’t mean shit because we fall apart before the second portal phase is over– and this is gonna last 5 phases likely at best.  We’re nowhere near worrying about getting her up a little bit faster.)  He complained last time we did the fight in healing chat, and I gave him my reasoning.

On Monday, he starts asking again (passive-aggressive much?) in the friend’s channel.  I reply with the answer I gave the last time he asked and ask that the conversation move to either healing chat, whisper, or (better yet) PM outside of raid.  He then holds up the raid for 15 minutes being “not ready” on the ready check while whispering me.  15 minutes of “I’m SORRY but I DON’T APPRECIATE your IMPLICATION that I’m WHINING when I’m JUST TRYING TO HELP” And telling me I should stick trees on tanks and put him in portals.  I kept my cool to him, but seriously–  You want the easy epeen assignment.  CAN YOU BE ANY MORE OBVIOUS?

I’m paraphrasing.  Also, I’ve had it.  I spent 6 months with Lil on the healing team constantly “not hearing” assignments and requests.  I’m not willing to put up with another indeterminate amount of time with the resto shammy of ARGUING with me mid-raid.

I love raiding.  I love working hard, seeing new content, and hanging out with a handful of people in my guild.  Half of them can take a long walk off a short pier, however, and I’m sick of the leadership bullshit.

I would probably STILL raid if I could find a place where I don’t need to worry about anyone but myself– except for that pesky “you still need to log in every day to do a heroic” thing.  As it is, it’s been an awesome 5 years, but I’m totally just feeling done.  Finished.  Kaput.

The Story I’d Like to Read

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Warning:  Rambles

Okay, so the library is sometimes my friend.  Most of the time, however, it’s just reading filler, as the stuff available tends to be old and…  not exactly to my taste.

Which sucks, cause we’s po’.

Well, currently I’m reading a book, and I can’t say I really like it.  The writing isn’t bad, but several things just don’t sit quite right to me.

It’s nominally a romance/fantasy hybrid (released by Luna, for those who that means something.  Essentially, it’s the “fantasy” arm of Harlequin Romance.) but the sex is fade-to-black, and the romance is…  non-existent.  I’m sorry, but “I think you’re hawt.”  “I think you’re hawt, too, wanna fuck?”  *implied sex, but it’s entirely fade-to-black’d*  That’s not romance to me.  Granted, the romance is probably ACTUALLY gonna come from some other guy brooding in the background, but currently the main character is just coming across as a ho.

It’s a fantasy about white horses who are actually god/angelic beings and their riders.  I’m sorry, for all the issues I have with Mercedes Lackey’s writing, she just does that better.  She does.

All the riders are men.  They have to be because that’s how it’s always been.  Even though these god-like horse beings choose their riders with a psychic “calling” from all over the world.  Then the riders get to the school, and have to do a lot of tests to make certain that these gods picked the right people and dragged them out there for a month-long hike are right for them.  The graduating class is picked by men.  So the horses are gods, but they totally don’t know who their riders should be, so they leave that to a bunch of guys.  This is my cognitive dissonance face.  I’m totally not taking you seriously here.

So the main character is a chick.  Who gets a calling.  Which is stressed repeatedly and at great length never happens.  Ever.  But it’s okay, she can cut her hair and totally pretend to be a boy, and fight with the boys on their terms because she’s totally a tomboy and doesn’t like being a girl anyway.  RAWR CHICK PRIDE.

*headdesk*

WHY is this classified as a romance if the only sign of “romance” is the tell-not-show of “Oh I’m totally in love with Mr Dark and Brooding and that sucks!  I’ll hop into bed with hawt barbarian prince instead.”

WHY does she pick the White Horses are Superior Psychic Godlike Beings if she can’t pull it off at least as well as Misty Lacky.  Or hell, just say to herself “hey, this is something that’s already been done.  There’s like a million Valdemar books already” and not try and take advantage of the large, fanatic fanbase.

WHY do these superior beings need random-ass old guys to pick their riders for them if they’re actually gods in control of fate and destiny?

WHY does a heroine only get to be strong and go on adventures if she pretends to be a boy, and IS PRACTICALLY A BOY ANYWAY?

I think it’s the last point that gets to me more, primarily because it’s less an issue with the story specifically, and more something that is endemic to the genre.  But wouldn’t the story have been more interesting if, leaving everything else the same, it was the story of a girl going to the school and fighting her way in without sacrificing being a girl to do it?

This doesn’t have anything to do with girl pride rawr, or the like.  But the minute you embrace the stereotype “girl fights her way into mens club by pretending to be a man, cause she’s boyish enough to pull it off anyway” the plot circles around the lie.  Lies get caught, so the questions become “when will she be unmasked” dun dun DUN.  It also reduces the impact of the character because..  she’s living a lie.  There’s dishonesty there, and the lie cheapens your aims.

If you achieve your dream, but have to lie to do it, does it still count?

But “pretending to be a boy” makes for fluff because it avoids addressing the harder questions.  It’s the easy route.  It’s been done before (it’s also been done by Mercedes Lackey in her Free Bards series…  I’m sensing a trend).  It’s BORING.

I’m not putting the blame here on Harlequin/Luna.  Sure, they published/released it.  But the author wrote it.  She wrote it using tropes established 20 years ago by another author.  She wrote it using stereotypes and avoiding anything which would make it an actual interesting read.  She wrote it because it would make money.

Bleh.