Thursday, July 31, 2008

Euroland: The Vacation Begins

Sooooo I am jetting off into the great blue yonder to a place called Europe for the touristy triplet deal - Spain, Italy, France. Am I excited? Yea. Am I anxious? Of course. I am leaving on a downer note though - my cot damn period is on the verge of starting and it, well it just sucks. I have had to deal with intense swelling, funky hormonal induced emotions, and the realization that I'll be facing cramps on a plane or in some strange hotel room. Boo. Buuuuuut, it'll start and I'll be happy. Grabbing a pad = the end of PMS horror and well, that's totally worth the cramps to feel happy and at ease again.

So my vacation begins tonight at the airport, I've said my goodbyes and now I'm off.

Look out for part II tomorrow while I'm wittering away in jolly Britannia.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Zapping out laser beams Cyclops-style from my mutant eyes of destruction

So today I went to get my eyes checked and pick out some new glasses.

My new Vera Wang frames model V147

Ah ... the state of my old pair could fill a book with its adventures. It all began three years ago ...

"Oooh I like this pair!" I say as I take off a trendy thick black frame.

"Hmmm ... I dunno ... They look similar to your last pair. I like the other pair so I think you should get them." Says the guy I was dating at the time. He holds the other pair in his hands. They're pretty basic, black with a clear inside lining.

"Sigh ... Let me try them on again." I put the ones he prefers on. They fit nice but aren't what I was looking for. "I wish they were fully black like the other pair. I really like those."

"Hey, they probably sell these pair in a solid black." I hand him the glasses and he goes to ask the ladies if the pair he prefers comes in solid black. They don't like him and his stern adamant nature, which he showed them - from arranging my eye appointment to getting there and checking me in. So the ladies basically say yes even though they could produce no catalogue to point out that they do indeed come in solid black. I picked up on this, but I don't fight the unstoppable machine that is him though. I was weaker back then.

"See sweets, they come in all black." His posture and expression speak 'these are the pair I like on you and I want you to get them.' I meekly give in because I want him to be happy.

"Okay, but how soon will I be able to get the solid black pair? I need something right away." The secretaries tell me they have no solid black pair in stock and that it will take a number of weeks to order in. I was a little peeved over it all. I needed new glasses right away being as to how I could not see with the pair I currently had.

"Can she get a substitute frame until her frames come in? She really needs to see." Oh how I wanted to say forget it, let's just get the other pair - the frames I want. Instead after a few minutes of scuffling with the already peeved secretaries I pick out some maroon frames that are of the same style as the ones he liked and pay my fees. The red frames were cool though, cooler than I thought, albeit a little larger than I would like (they would fall off a lot).

The ordered frames were nowhere in sight. Two weeks went by and nothing happened. So he called, scuffle, nothing. Soon it was time for me to head back to school in Canada with him, since he was only in Bermuda on vacation. So more phone calls, scuffles and the day of when I am to leave "yea the glasses are ready." Those secretaries really wanted to punish me for inflicting them with him, although they weren't very helpful or professional to begin with. So I get the frames and lo and behold, they are not solid black, they were the very pair I tried on from the get go, slightly brown and totally not what I wanted. At least they were smaller, but I liked those red ones. I wanted to say that I wanted to keep the red ones, but again I said nothing because he put in so much fight to get those frames.

Later on I suspected that maybe he wanted me to get those frames because they were the cheaper of the two. I know they looked decent on me, so he paid attention to that, but I know he didn't want me spending all my money on glasses. Instead he wanted me to focus my money on us, even though it was money my mom gave me for school, not for a boyfriend. We had some issues in that area and I never spoke up about it.

Years later I halted getting my eyes checked and picking up new frames, even when my frames were scuffed up and beat up to the point where they were held together by black duck tape; scratched lenses; peeling plastic. In addition, my eyes became a little weaker and needed stronger lenses - ones that would make my world a little sharper and elevate my eyes from the slighty blurry fog it was slowly descending into (and my night vision sucked sucked sucked. Zombies NEED night vision).

The whole experience three years ago left me powerfully mortified. I did not go back to the vision centre because it was a reminder of my failure to stand up for myself over risking the anger and disagreement of someone I cared about. I was whipped, emotionally and physically. It seems so trite and domestic when I reread all of this, but at the time I felt so frustrated and confused and powerless. It wasn't as if I couldn't do anything and didn't try to on numerous occasions, but to have been coddled and deconstructed for so long that when you do try to break away it is so weak and pathetic and that those that hold you down use it as evidence as to why you need them. In your mind's eye you see your terrible stake at independence and hold it as proof as to why you can't function in life without him. Not only were my eyes in a fog, but so was my view on life. I went on to endure two more years of that fog until I couldn't take it anymore.

Four years of fog is a lot and I am clearing it all away, making my stand not just for independence but self reliance. I'll always be dependent on others for something, but I'll never be dependent on others to live my life for me because I let myself stumble into thinking I am not strong enough to do so for myself.

So I went somewhere new, and they turned out to be more professional with better glasses and better staff. I have new frames on the way, very feline Vera Wang frames of the style I wanted to get sooo long ago, and I feel very happy.

As soon as I get my paws on em', these old frames of mines are getting a good and proper burial at sea in a shoe box tied to drift wood with a eulogy and everything. I don't ever want to see them again.

Monday, July 14, 2008

RetroFuturism, SteamPunk, And All That Goodness

So recently I got to rewatched Gargoyles and scooped out this movie called Mutant Chronicles. And got a surprise - they both existed in a world that is called the "Retro Future."

Retro Futurism is a fantastic genre. You take a past age or decade and you place its spirit in technology or a future age. The result is flying ships decorated in mod; Sherlock Holmes looking characters riding on horseless chariots to solve crimes on a distant world; Mayans or Egyptians zooming around in awesome technology. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Retro Futurism and you can reinterpret any age and make a retro future with it.

You take take Retro Futurism in two directions. The first is is taking certain aspects, the soul, of an age and giving it futuristic technology during its time period or in a separate future (the far future after an apocalypse) or dimension. The next is speculative fiction produced during a time period. An example of the first would be something like say Porco Russo. Here you have circa 1940's air pirate. It is somewhat of an alternative history. The technology is not high or very futuristic, but it is taking the spirit of that age and putting a spin on it with the air pirates. Another, but better example would be say Vampire Hunter D. This takes sampling of the 1700's and it's styles during the age of enlightenment and mixes with some styles from the mid 1800's. Amid all of this you have iron machine horse, spaceships, and laser weapons. Very cool. An example of the second would be say Metropolis. Here you have the future as envision by people from the 1920's with robots and super cities. Another example would be 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with its Captain Nemo and his submarine. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plays off of this piece of fiction. Alan Moore takes speculative fiction from the late 1800's early 1900's and weaves it together to form a tale of famous literary characters who wield fantastic technologies not of their age.

Have I made this thoroughly confusing for you yet? lol. There are many genres of Retro Futurism. Let's take a look at a few:

SteamPunk/Foglight: This takes everything from the Age of steam engines and uses it to craft the future. H.G. Wells is a huge inspiration. You get a lot of early science fiction from this age that can be taken to inspire tales from modern writers as it did with Alan Moore.

1900 - early 1960's: You know, aliens on every planet; jet packs; bubble shaped space helmets this is everything before man actually went to the moon and developed more powerful probes and telescopes.

1900 - Now: Each decade is marked with a certain soul that is ripe territory for Retro Futurism. Let us look at the soul of our decade: Terrorism. This has shaped our decade in a monumental way. Cellular technology has expanded and gotten smaller and smaller (120 gig ipods); internet is growing bigger with blogs, while dot coms have died; space exploration and other technologies have leveled off; environment is in peril; and bioplague haunts our every corner. Right now is a very social time as the earth goes from turning outwards to inwards. We won't really feel the spirit of this age until ten to twenty years down the road.

Above I mentioned Gargoyles. This cartoon takes place during the early to mid 90's and has futuristic technology that meshes with the time. Side by side with great flying machines, robot battle suits, cyborgs, and cloned beasts and genetically spliced humans you have boom boxes, mullets, rat tails, 90's lingo, disks, and heavy computers. The show represents 90's retro futurism in its glory. But you can find examples of such throughout the 90's in many of its scifi offerings.

With Mutant Chronicles you have a steam/ironpunk lover's wet dream. In it you get future technologies and early 1900's circa WWI wrapped into a delish package. They even throw in trench warfare to wet our tongues. The style of wear, the ship design, the buildings, the workings of technology everything is wonderfully steampunk. The movie is pretty bad, but for its genre it is very appropriate and you can only appreciate the attention paid to making the film as true to steampunk as possible.

You can argue that given some time any scifi can be Retro Futuristic. This is true because we are only humans and can only envision the past and future with perspective to our place in time and society. Retro Futurism is based so much on where and when. If I were living in some other part of the world, my idea of a spirit of an age would be totally different from now. The whole genre could even fail in some areas. Then again, it is all up to the imagination of the fiction creator. Retro Futurism is very Western.

Here are a list of movies that are out right retro futurism:

Vampire Hunter D
Time Machine
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Escape From New York
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Back to the Future II
Star Gate (Egyptian space aliens)
Howl's Moving Castle
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Mutant Chronicles

Sigh ... I will expand this list as more flicks come to me because there are tons more out there which begs for attention. Best to explore and be aware that retro futurism is present in so many films. Also check out the wikipedia entry on this fun genre.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Letting Go and Frankly Doing What I Want

So I am in yet another mire. In a few short weeks I am jet setting to Europe and have some languages to brush up on and some planning to do; I am working on projects that'll make future scholarship committees have boners; and am getting my stuff together for school in the fall. In all of that I get so insular. My past has led me towards squashing my inner rebel fighter demon and just doing what others think is comfortable. Frankly, I am tired of that. I don't like it anymore. There is doing what one needs to survive and then there is doing what one needs to survive. I think I have been doing a good ob to deconstruct that though, but at times I really feel the weight of it all. I would ever so love to just disappear in some steamy jungle or wilderness or quote unquote country that ain't like the West and its haughty attitude and lifestyle. I want paradise and I want it now and it is this desire that is destroying me and putting me into a mire. I need to find that slice here and now and just live it up happy, now. So many things I have done this past year to further myself and now I realize that my biggest challenge of all is delaying my perilous habit of instant gratification. A little restraint and will power never hurt no one.

So what can I do?

Meditation - I hardly do any and I should set aside time each morning and evening to do this. Perhaps taking a yoga class would help too.

Internet Liberation - I spend to much time on this beast. It has become my life blood. I suppose a goal would be no internet for all of August. I know there are things I need to do online - research for various endeavors, contacting people, etc ... But that takes mere minutes and at max an hour of raw online time. The rest of the time I spend browsing, not being productive. A month of productive only internet at 1 hour max a day would be best for me. And I will expand that as I go.

Running and Walking - I love these two activities. I like waking up early while it is still dark and running for an hour or so. Too late and the brutal sun, 9-5'ers, and everything in between slays me. My body enjoys the exercise and I am pumped for the day as long as I don't over do it.

Rawness - I admit, although most of my diet is raw food, it is typically of the "junk" raw food type. I don't eat enough hearty green salads which should compromise the bulk of my diet. Instead I eat raw bars and other such filler foods that are certainly not giving my body what it needs. And after that, I eat too much fruit. Priorities in my diet should be green green green and a little in between. :D

Those are good starter goals. I can expand later.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Raging She Beast Within (A new asshole of the month)

Today I am mad but the facts that surround said madness will remain anon. All I can say is that this island really peeves me at times, usually a lot of times. No, it's not the politics or whatever, it is a segment of people, a segment of really lazy and really spoiled people. I could care less for them when the figurative bombs drop - that which signals the end of our decadent age. These are the same kind of people who jeer at first responders when they are trying to administer aide by tellings them they don't know what they're doing, or that they are doing it all wrong or whatever bs. These are the same people who will gossip and lie about you while you're just trying to do your job, meanwhile they're lazy shiftless bastards who could care less to lift a finger if it would save their lives. As these people grow their insides will scum up and turn ugly because they're ignorant and pea brained. Unfortunately their destructive bitterness will only grow bringing with them a brand new generation of stupidity which they will inflict unto their unfortunate kids. These are the type of people tyrants love because these are the people who are easiest to shape into sheep. As long as their own tremendously shallow interests are satiated, they'll be blind to getting raped up the arse, unlubed and hemorrhaging to death afterwards with a stupid smile on their faces because at least they looked cute, resting on the spent remains of those who came before them and all the people who had to suffer for their foul rot of an existence. If the world were to go to hell these are the first to stab you in the back, shoot you in the head for something stupid and then go on to die fast, leaving a trail of devastation that could have perpetuated humanity and even kept them alive but now that's lost no thanks to their fear mongering stupidity and selfishness. These people can be anyone - the so called rich or poor or whatever cultural or ethnic background "white man's IQ scale" education or whatever. These are the people that comprise lynch mobs and death squads and nations endorsing genocide. They join the mob mentality and hold no shame towards the bloody gristle decorating their hand - "oh, there's no blood on me, I did nothing wrong; just went with the flow." And I wonder why I hold such contempt for humanity cause I see this rot everywhere, even within my own very soul. I wish people would leg up and fight that which dwells inside them more. Instead they foster it in blind ignorance and it grows into a beast striking down anyone in its path. I am angry and I wonder if that which is inside of me will have blood?

She Hulk watch out! I think I have a new recipient of my asshole of the month award.