morethanthese: (tea 1)
Let me tell you about yesterday, because yesterday was awesome and there's a bit of negativity going on right now and I'd like to relive the good stuff.

Yesterday started with me going to school and having to unexpectedly say goodbye to my English class and everyone in it. I made a journal entry about that earlier. That wasn't so good, but I left about as well as I possibly could, by which I mean I said what I needed to say to whom I needed to say it, and that was pretty good. It was better than I would have done in years past. Also, I found out my grade. I got 103%. My teacher told me he "[didn't] know how that's mathematically possible", but I got it. No matter what I bugger up in the future (because I've been feeling like a general failure lately), I got a 103% in my English class, and no one can take that away from me.

Well, things got even better immediately after I left class, because I remembered there was going to be a stress relief event at school in which some people who keep therapy animals would come and bring their animals for the students to pet. It was called "Paws For Stress Relief", and it was so benefit all those stressed-out students who are taking their finals. I had originally been under the impression that there were just going to be dogs there, but when I got there, I found out there were also rabbits. This is huge for me. I love rabbits. A lot. There was one particular little black bunny who I really liked and who really liked me. (Her handler jokingly accused me of "hogging the bunny", which was accurate.) There was also a piano in the room, and after I pet all the dogs and rabbits, I was allowed and even encouraged to play the piano. I played two original songs and one They Might Be Giants song, and everyone liked it.

Trigger warning for discussion of sexual harassment. )

Then I had my math class, which turned out way better than I'd expected. I think I did really well on the test (we had a take-home, and my math-loving cousin and I did it together, and we apparently got everything right). We then studied with problems the teacher wrote on the board for us to work out together. I understood most of the material, and I was even able to explain much of it to my fellow classmates. I was able to explain math to other people. This is huge. I'm rubbish at math. But I did the math and I explained it to other people, and I think that as long as I do some studying and remember what formulas to do with what sort of problem, I'll do well on the test.

After school, I took the bus to my grandparents', as I usually do on Tuesdays. I ended up having a conversation with someone on the bus, which was interesting. Conversations with people on the bus are something that happens sort of a lot in my life, and I like that. I nearly missed my stop, but when I got there, my grandpa was waiting for me. He took me to my aunt's school. I had a psychologists' appointment to get to, and it was more convenient for my aunt to take me there than anything else. A bit of a stressful conversation took place in the car on the way there, and I talked to my psychologist a bit about it.

Mostly my psychologist and I talked about viewpoint and the way people/I view things. I was telling her about what was going on with me, and we both understood a lot of it was a matter of perspective, but I couldn't help having my perspective. I couldn't help feeling like I was losing something that had been good in my life when I left my English class today, because I don't understand how the permanent end of something good isn't a loss. I couldn't anticipate my future classes as another "adventure" (the term she used) because I don't know enough to be able to imagine those upcoming scenarios, and until I experience them, I won't have enough information to do that, and you can obviously imagine why I'm not going to be able to do anything in-between now and those classes to help me imagine and look forward to those classes. I basically can't help viewing things in a somewhat negative light because I actually think and I consider things and I see things for what they are, and I know that I can't see things as something they're not and I know that I can't properly imagine things if I have no experience with them.

The most interesting thing, at least to me, was that I told her about my facets. We were talking about how I have some disordered behaviors that might be really actually disordered in other people but that I can somewhat control, but I told her that one of these things was something that was sort of like "controlled multiple personality disorder". I then explained how my facets are like parts of my personality personified or fictional characters I'd absorbed into my personality, the fact that I call them "facets" and why, and how they help me. Not only did she think it was okay, she thought they were good. She asked me if there was a facet that could have helped me during the stressful conversation from earlier. I realized there was (Martin), and when I realized there was, I told her I'd bring him up next time the situation came up. The conversation with my aunt was resumed after the meeting, and I was able to get Martin to help me. Also, while Martin was out, we/he made a decision that I wouldn't have ordinarily made but that I recognized as a good one. Maybe I should get my facets to help me make decisions more often.

When we got to my grandparents' house to have me spend the night there, my grandpa was asleep, but he woke up after we rang the doorbell enough times, and he let me in. I studied there, using Powerpoints I downloaded from my history teacher. I knew almost all the questions on my history review off the top of my head, which was pretty heartening. Also, I discovered that listening to glam rock music makes me feel really good about myself, so I listened to a bunch of it that night. (Also I may or may not have consumed too much ice cream, something my grandparents usually have in abundance, and I am not ashamed.)

When my grandma came home from her Bible study, she gave me a porceline figurine of a Scottie dog for no real reason. It was supposed to go with the porceline figurine of a corgi, which I have in my room at their house. (I spend the night there often enough so that I have my own room.) I was really happy about this - it made my already pretty good day even better - and I related to her at length the things I did that made my day so good. She was happy about them, and she then showed me something that made my day profoundly better.

I should first explain what the Ashland Shakespeare Festival is. It's a theater festival that takes place in a town called Ashland, in the state of Oregon (I live in California, for reference). It's mostly centered around productions of Shakespeare, but there are other plays there sometimes. My grandparents have taken me there on summer road trips in the past. Well, my grandparents subscribe to a newsletter sort of thing that is sent out by the folks that put this event on. It has information about upcoming plays and stuff. It lets them know what's going to be performed there and stuff.

Well. Apparently there's going to be a production of A Wrinkle in Time. The world premiere of a stage adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.

You probably don't know how big a deal this is for me. A Wrinkle in Time is my Actual Favorite Book and it's meant a lot to me for a very long time and I saw the film, but the film was infinitely disappointing. If I see the play next summer (which is possible), I will get to see a visual adaptation of it that quite likely doesn't suck.

After a bit of verbal keymashing and screaming over seeing A Wrinkle in Time listed on the list of plays they're putting on next summer, I showed my grandma and explained it to her. She was excited for me, because she knows what a big deal that book is for me. I told her that, if she and my grandpa got me literally nothing else for Christmas but tickets to see that, I would consider that a really really huge present. I think they're going to consider that and probably do it.

My grandma went to bed soon after this conversation, and I went back to my activity of studying, wasting time on the internet, and listening to glam rock. Oh, and drawing. I ended up drawing this. It's OFF-related.

It's under a cut because it's a sort of longish comic. )

So that was my day yesterday. Today, nothing's really happened other than the completion of some last-minute history homework. Oh! And I'm going to go to a party tonight. It's a church party. A Christmas party, actually. Even though I'm a college student, I hang out with the high school group at my church on Sundays (it's because I have some high school-age friends who I understand very well - these are Ashley and Rebecca, the twins - and it's beneficial for me to help them translate their ideas in the small group that meets after the sermon). The high schoolers have a tradition where each small group will make a funny music video, and we'll watch them at the Christmas party, where the leaders will judge them. The winners will get a prize. It's a fun thing and we all like it. My group did a video for "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Mulan, because that's the sort of thing we appreciate and that everyone else will likely appreciate. I've got an outfit picked out for the event, too (because I like dressing up for events) - burgundy cardigan, brown leather jacket, white shirt, blue bow tie. And jeans and shoes and stuff.

So my life went very well yesterday, it's going well today, and it'll probably go well tomorrow, too. Brilliant.
morethanthese: (Default)
Last night was a good night for facets.

I was Skyping my friend Sofya and we were talking about things, and somehow the subject of my facets came up, and she soon thereafter mentioned (for totally unrelated reasons) that she was going to practice drawing stuff and she would draw me pretty much anything I liked. I requested that she draw three of my facets (Eames, Timothy, and Amaliel, who tend to be the main originals, where "main" means "the ones who are out the most frequently"). She drew the three of them. When she was doing the outlines, it looked like this:



and when it was finished, it looked like this:



She now refers to these three as "the Babes" because this drawing turned out well. (That is her sort of logic.) Eames saw it, because he was out at the time, and he said, "Ahhhhyes that is hgood i like that." (He's got like a horrible sort of typing quirk.) He finds the nickname "the Babes" very amusing. (I later informed Tim and Mal; the former thought it was amusing too, and the latter didn't get it but he was okay with it.)

While Sofya was drawing, I talked to my grandma (because I was at my grandparents' house) and, somewhere in the conversation, facets came up. I was explaining to her that I have a "personality" in my head called Eames, and she wanted to hear more, so I told her about the rest of the individuals. Or rather, I told her about Eames, Mal, Timothy, and Betelgeuse. She really likes Amaliel, probably because she's a rather devout Christian and Amaliel is an angel. (He was originally a character from a story I was writing, but he became one of my facets. in the story, he's on a seven-year-mission on Earth to help people, spread God's word, and generally be a Very Nice Person. As a facet, he often comes out to help me explain my spiritual beliefs, mostly in small group with my church friends on Sundays.) She also really liked Betelgeuse (although she couldn't pronounce his name - fair enough, it's sort of strange - so she's calling him Bert, which is his "human name").

She told me a story about my childhood that Betelgeuse reminded her of. Apparently, when I was a very young child, we were at a library, and a woman there was reading stories to children. I wasn't really paying attention to that, because I'd already read that story many many times (I was reading at a very young age), and what I found interesting was the bottom of a particular girl's shoe. It was one of those shoes that have pictures on the bottom (sometimes kids' shoes have that), and I just found that incredibly fascinating. She compared it to how Bert finds small details and small things very interesting. Perhaps Betelgeuse is an expression of traits I have had since a very young age, compressed into an individual and given life because of how my brain works. Fascinating!

So yeah, that was yesterday and facets.

P.S. I am sitting in my room, in my dressing gown, with a cup of tea, with the heater on because it's sort of cold over here, with the satisfaction of having done absolutely all my homework as well as having registered and paid for next semester's classes and having absolutely nothing "responsible" that I should be doing instead. It's beautiful.

P.P.S. Sofya also drew me some OFF fanart. It looks like this: (trigger warning for blood)

Read more... )

(Also since crediting people is good I'm going to credit it her art here. She's my friend Sofya and I mentioned that and I should probably like give a link to her Tumblr or something here's such a link right then.)

OFF fanart

Dec. 4th, 2013 11:39 am
morethanthese: (Default)
I would like to take this moment to say that I am rather disappointed at the lack of OFF fandom here on Dreamwidth. I'd start a community for it or something but I don't trust myself to stick to something long enough and well enough for that. I wouldn't even know how to go about that. Yes, I know that OFF isn't really a very popular thing (not like, say, Doctor Who or The Avengers or even Welcome to Night Vale - all of which are fandoms I'm also in) but surely there must be some fandom for it, right?

Well, not a lot, apparently.

No matter, though. If no one's going to partake in the OFF fandom on Dreamwidth, I'll just partake in it over here by myself.

This is my really oblique way of saying I've done some OFF fanart and I'm posting it beneath the cut.

Read more... )




OFF

Dec. 2nd, 2013 12:04 pm
morethanthese: (Default)
I said I would write an entry about the game OFF and the effect it had on me. Here's the entry.

Before I start talking about the effect OFF had on me, though, I think it would be good to explain what OFF even is, because some people don't know what it is. Warning: if you intend to play the game, I would suggest not reading past the first few paragraphs or perhaps not even reading this at all, because it contains major spoilers.

It's a French computer game (translated into English, don't worry), made in RPG maker and created by a chap operating under the name of Mortis Ghost. In the game, you control a figure known as the Batter, so-called because he resembles a baseball player and uses a baseball bat as a weapon. The first person you encounter is a Cheshire Cat-like figure prone to using big words. He's called the Judge, and he starts off guiding you through the world of the game. Interestingly, he is aware that the Batter is only a character who's being operated by someone he calls the Puppeteer. The Puppeteer is you, the player, and this fact ends up having plot/symbolic significance as the game goes on.

Anyhow, the Batter has a mission: to purify the Zones. (The "Zones" are the different parts of the world of this game.) At first we think he just means he wants to save the world from the spectres that haunt it, but as we go on, we find out that, to him, "purification" means death. We never quite find out what's so "pure" about killing people (and, indeed, the whole world, because his actions result in pretty much the death of everyone and everything in the Zones), but the Batter never wavers in his convictions, and we play on. As we go further on, we find ourselves doing increasingly morally ambiguous things, like killing the Guardian of Zone 3, whose death, unlike that of the Guardians of the previous two Zones, does not feel like the death of a Not Very Nice Person or a mercy kill. It's at that point that a lot of people question whether or not they were doing the right thing by helping the Batter in his quest, and after that point, you get to explore the "purified" Zones, and...well, it's not very pleasant. Everything is white and dead, and everyone is gone (except for one surviving non-player-character, whose presence just makes it even more creepy).

As you play on, you end up going to "the Room" (a place that's even more surrealistic and creepy than anything preceding it and where you get some information that may serve as plot details...or, then again, maybe not). While there, you kill someone who doesn't even fight back (with that someone being a child), and this tends to be seen as the Batter's moral event horizon for those who don't think the results of his actions towards the Zones qualified as such. When you reach the end of the game, you're about to flip a switch that results in the total cessation of everything in the game's reality. There are two endings at this point, and I'm not going to spoil what they're like, but the player gets to choose, and there's one in which the Batter wins.

Here's why this game had such a profound effect on me. When I started off playing it, I believed in the Batter and his quest. I'm something of a Lawful Good (or at least, I try to be) and characters who have quests and goals that result in good effects (or at least effects that sound good, like "purification") really really appeal to me, because that's how I would like to be able to see myself. I also hold the belief that some things that might seem morally dubious might be acceptable depending on the results. To my worldview, the highest moral goal is that of helping people, and if an action involves or results in helping people, and the harm/negative effect caused by that action is not greater than the positive effect, then that thing should be done. That's why I didn't experience any sort of moral qualms about doing the things I did while playing as the Batter. All of it was justifiable to my worldview. It wasn't until I saw the "purified" Zones that I began to think that the harm I caused outweighed the good (there wasn't any good in the end, really), and it wasn't until I killed the child that I began to think that my actions were really incorrect and that the things I did maybe weren't all justifiable.

This contrasts heavily with the experience reported by most people who play OFF. They say that, at some point, they realize that what the Batter is doing is wrong, but they play on for whatever reason. They know that they, as the Puppeteer, are responsible for some pretty bad things, but they don't change their behavior, though they do feel remorse. I didn't have that experience. I was like the Batter himself. I projected my own worldview onto the character, and I realized that the actions undertaken by this bastard were actions I considered acceptable, at least in their context. (To be honest, there are some pretty bad things - I don't want to say what they are - that I think might be the right thing to do, under certain circumstances, and the reason I wouldn't do them is because I don't think it's my place, which implies that it might be the place of other people to do them.)

If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I felt both guilty and betrayed by the end of the game. Had I been looking at the game critically, I probably should have worried about the Batter's quest of "purification" from the start, but I identified and related to the character so much that I believed in him. I believed in the Batter. Even 'til the end, I believed in him, and when he started doing truly awful things, I felt betrayed. Wouldn't you feel betrayed if you had been following and relating to and believing in someone and they turned out to be a monster at heart? That was my experience in regards to the Batter in OFF.

This made me realize that there are some seriously wrong things with my worldview. Even though I still think there's little wrong with my actual ideas of right and wrong (i.e. morality), there are problems in regards to how I think people should enact right and wrong (i.e. ethics). When people ask me the difference between morality and ethics, I tell them that morality is right and wrong and ethics is what you do with it. And...well, if my experience with OFF is any indicator, some of my ethics are seriously messed up. As I was trying to correct this part of my worldview, I realized that some other parts of my worldview are seriously messed up as well. One of my problems is a need to feel superior to people. Like the Batter, I believe that I am "pure" (well, I never used that term self-referentially, but I do believe I am inherently better than many other people because of my religion and my interest in morality and helping people). My belief that I am "better" makes me think that my judgment is inherently better than some other people's, that my heart is always in the right place, and that I am superior. In trying to correct that train of thought, I realized that I feel a need to be "better" than other people because I don't think I can be "good" without being "better". (It has something to do with my belief that, as soon as you describe something, you imply that there is an ideal by which you are judging it, and you can compare it to other things and say that some are closer to or further from the ideal; "more" or "less", "better" or "worse", etc. I might write an entry about this idea later.)

That's what I got out of the game OFF. When I got into the fandom surrounding OFF, well...that was rather a different thing. The OFF fandom, in case you didn't know, is flipping insane. (This contributed to my formation of a theory about fandoms and why some are crazier than others, and I will probably write an entry about that, too.) Sometimes it's a crummy, stupid insanity, and sometimes it's a funny, awesome insanity, and sometimes it's just a "WTF" insanity. I made a text post on Tumblr about it, a text post that became somewhat popular. It read, "I really like OFF. I also really like the OFF fandom. These are two totally different things, but I like both of them." The people who reblogged and liked it were undoubtedly all OFF fans, so the fandom acknowledges how crazy they are. I wonder if it's because they all played a game that made them have deep thoughts and realize important things, and in trying to deal with it, they all sort of went crazy and decided to conform to the opposite of what the game really is.

But yeah, that's what happened with me when I played OFF. I had an experience almost completely opposite to the experience most people had, I realized a bunch of awful things about myself, and I realized I had to change them. Also, I found a bunch of crazy and silly people on Tumblr and I found a fandom to partake in, and that's going pretty well so far. The experience wasn't all bad. Not in the least.

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