October 27, 2013

For Science!

by sakuraso

I thought I’d take a moment out of watching MacGuyver (it’s relevant to my degree okay? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it), and just post a load of pictures of what I’ve been doing in my first 4 weeks of my new degree. I might also squee over how great this uni is. Just a bit.

Southampton gave me all my textbooks for free! And a £300 entitlement card on top of that… except I didn’t have to buy my books with it… so I spent it all on frivolous things >D We also got a free calculator and usb stick 8D

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Yes, it’s foundation maths… I’ve not done any maths since I was 16, leave me alone ._.; Every week we have a lab session at the National Oceanography Centre, which. is. awesome. I find something awesome every time I go there.

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What’s been particularly fun, is taking photos and videos during labs – the nice thing is, the lecturers are okay with it, we’re there trying to aim our phone cameras down the microscopes at the perfect angle, but we haven’t been told off. Yet.

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Funnily enough though, my life hasn’t changed all that much, it’s still a lot of writing out of stuff… over and over and over… and over and over again…

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September 16, 2013

Not an update, really.

by sakuraso

My blog has been left abandoned for a long time, mostly due to my constantly recurring hermititis. This blog was never meant to change the world, or tackle serious issues. Which is ironic really, considering I keep getting followers and comments on posts dealing with gender issues. I started a blog, partly because that’s what everyone does, but mostly so I could share things that I like or are on my mind, usually with friends and like-minded people. An occasional rant about something serious was inevitable, mostly because when something riles me up I just can’t let it go. It is however, not something I can do regularly, as I’m really not thick skinned enough, I can’t just brush off trolls and troll-like people who have very narrow-minded views and aren’t open to discourse of any kind. I prefer to leave it to those with a thicker skin and greater eloquence…

I’ve been considering what to do with this blog, looking through old entries, thinking about what to do with them. I’ll probably delete a lot of my old entries to make way for something new.

I’m starting a whole new chapter in my life, I’m going back to university for a second degree, changing my entire path. I got my degree in Japanese, in the end, though for a long time I was rethinking what I really wanted to do. My love for Japanese hasn’t changed, but as a career? A degree in Japanese is quite limiting, in a way. Many of my friends are teaching English in Japan, and many of them aren’t sure what to do in the future. It’s not something that leads to great stability really. I’m not cut out for teaching, I don’t think. Or rather, not cut out for sitting for hours marking homework. I’d be tempted to just not set any for my own sanity, but as much as kids would love that, it would be doing them a disservice.

What other options are there? I could work in a Japanese company. However, I decided early on that I probably couldn’t handle a corporate job. My concentration is just too poor, my procrastination is bad enough, even when doing things I enjoy.

SOAS had once suggested, possibly in a prospectus, that people with a degree in Japanese often go into film, helping to maintain accuracy, or working with costume departments etc. But my (admittedly limited) experience of the film industry, taught me that I can’t handle the many…. assholes that reside there. It only took me 2 shoots to develop an instinct as to who was there for the love of it, and who was there to be a celebrity. And the latter kind, I cannot stand. They usually have no real talents to speak of, and despite not being able to offer anything of worth themselves, look down on everyone else. I remember a would-be-actress who was constantly rude to the director, the director! Of course, he was having none of it. Maybe if she had been the next Julie Andrews or Elizabeth Taylor, he might have taken it, but she was no more than a pretty face, a pretty face that looked constipated whenever she attempted to show emotion – he kicked her out. Don’t know what she’s doing now, but hopefully she’s learnt some humility. Or maybe she’s just applying to Big Brother, and failing, who knows? Another one who sticks out in my mind, was a fellow extra in an advert we were filming, he rocked up on the day blinged up looking like Russell Brand, despite the brief being to look -plain- as it was an anti-abuse advert. He added all of us on Facebook, and when the advert was completed, and I was cut out (possibly ’cause I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls there, it’s just a fact of the industry, if you don’t look right for the part, you just don’t look right for the part, no bitterness on my part – some of the girls there were stunning), he immediately deleted me, and everyone else who was cut. Charming insight no? The last I heard of him was him tweeting about ‘going for a glamorous shoot’ – yeah, I saw him in the audience of the Wright Stuff that day – I’m sure they utilised all your talents there, dude. Didn’t even ask his opinion – probably for the best.

But the point of this rant tangent, was that while there are a lot of wonderful people in the industry, there are a lot of jerks, and I just can’t handle it. So, that option was out too.

I then started thinking outside my little world, and looked at what other things I liked, and what I was good at. To cut a long story short(er), I got an unconditional offer from the University of Southampton for Bsc Oceanography. With a foundation year, since I’ve been so long in humanities I need to catch up on all the science. This hopefully, will lead to a career both scientific, and to do with Japan. And sharks. I will work with sharks even if it kills me. And it probably will, to be fair.

Back to the question of, what to do with this blog? Considering my new start, and my whole new path, I imagine I’ll be posting a lot of fishy stuff, as well as diving stuff, since I’ve been busy getting PADI qualified. However, I’ve not lost any of my love for Japan, so I can’t see myself not writing about Gackt, or the latest jrock gig or whatever. I still love my sci-fi, my love for Star Trek & Star Wars is still strong. I still replay Mass Effect on a daily basis. I still watch Sherlock Holmes, pretty much every day, and I still love me some LotR.

So what does that leave me with?

A very goddam confused blog.

I’m at a loss, really. I can keep being really random. And hope that the lovely people who are following this blog won’t be too annoyed with just filtering out the stuff they don’t care about. I could limit myself to Oceanography, and those people who are following because they’re interested in Japan, or sci-fi or whatever, can just delete me with a clear conscience and safe in the knowledge they won’t miss anything. Though I’m not sure I can handle not being random.

This entirely pointless post, is essentially me saying: I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. But hopefully I’ll figure it out at some point. Maybe I’ll even update regularly, who knows? Stranger things have happened.

I leave you all with a picture of my dog, looking confused.

Scruffy

April 12, 2012

by sakuraso

Originally posted on Helga Bjorgulfsdottir:

The image of feminists has always bothered me. Mostly because the word itself is so loaded that most people can’t get past it. They only see bra-burning, hairy women shouting about the evilness that is The Man. 

As I talked about here some time ago, it took me years to actually admit that, yes, I am a feminist. For the longest part I didn’t know I was a feminist at all because I too, thought that feminists were horrible creatures.

But no, they aren’t… for the most part.  And no they aren’t bra-burning hairy beasts.

Of course there are feminists out there who fight against the normality of women shaving their legs, armpits and groin. But I don’t necessarily agree with that fight. Sure, if you don’t want to shave, don’t shave. But don’t tell me that I’m conforming to the patriarchal misogynistic world of The Men by shaving.

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March 26, 2012

Goodbye, Mr Nice Guy

by sakuraso

This is something that’s always bothered me, and it was once again brought up in a comment to my geeky girl community post, so I thought I could address it… I’m endeavouring to refrain from just writing a rant, as I did last time – last time I thought only my friends, maybe some of the girls from ontd_startrek, and perhaps some people randomly finding their way over to my blog (note trolls: blog. not newspaper, or anything that needs me to be “professional”), I wasn’t expecting the 30,000 views I got. So this time, less rant, and fewer things trolls can feed on. Hopefully. Caveat done, moving on.

“Women don’t like nice guys, they only go for assholes”

This infuriates me to no end. It’s a stupid stereotype, it’s an unfair one, and it makes me angry, especially when it’s purposefully perpetuated by those who should know better. It’s full of assumptions and stereotypes, and I believe that those who perpetuate it are doing so because it’s an easy excuse. There are three things wrong with this annoying statement, and I’ll be addressing women, nice guys and assholes.

“Women.”

I imagine this started when someone got rejected, and decided that because it didn’t work out, all women are the same. If all women liked only one thing, our species would have died out a long time ago. Considering the stupidity of this generalisation I’m honestly surprised people still spout this nonsense. There are women out there who are dating men some of us would consider assholes. That is, unfortunately a fact. This in no shape or form means that all women like assholes. First there is the assumption those girls knew the guy was an asshole in the first place, and honestly, there are very few women who would consider starting a relationship with someone who made them feel terrible. When it happens, it’s usually the case that the guy starts being an asshole -after- the girl becomes emotionally invested, and then start making excuses for them (battered wife syndrome much?).

I know several girls whose boyfriends I would class as “assholes” and so do many of my friends, and in all these cases, those girls tend to get our views on their boyfriends quite explicitly. Over the years I’ve heard so many reasons and excuses, and while I cannot personally understand them, I have never been in that position, so I hold back a bit, and I try to be sympathetic.

First and foremost, you cannot deny pure chemistry. I’m sure every single one of us has done some pretty stupid things when we’ve been head over heels. I know I have, chasing after one guy for 3 years who wouldn’t reject me outright – smart thing to do would be to assume that as there are no obvious positive signs, to just move on, but the emotional thing to do? Cling on to the fact that there hasn’t been an actual rejection. When strong emotions are involved, we all do stupid things. So in the case of someone you’re dating being horrible to you, if you’re head over heels, many people will just make excuses for them. Oh, but he’s not always like that! Granted, those of us looking in don’t see the full picture, but sometimes, you don’t need to see the whole picture to know something’s not right. I also need to point out, men also get in the same situation, great guys who give up their interests, their style and their beliefs for their girlfriends. One of my friends fancied a girl for half a year before they went out, he was then so scared she might dump him, he would forfeit his own opinions in case she got offended because they disagreed on something – not a healthy relationship. And in the girl’s defence, she wasn’t even remotely horrible, I could never imagine her breaking up with someone because they couldn’t decide on what film to watch, but through his fear of losing her, he didn’t give her the chance to show that she’s actually fine with compromise. He didn’t, and then resented her because his personality was …withering away. I will always maintain they could have had a great relationship if there was a bit of communication, but I digress. I did think pointing out that men get into these situations was quite important.

Another reason I have seen time and time again, is simply self esteem. This applies to men as well, as we all suffer from self esteem issues. There are those whose self esteem is so low they believe that if they lose the person they’re with they’ll never be able to find anyone else. I can say from experience that trying to convince someone otherwise is near impossible, having been someone who’s tried to convince people of their worth, as well as having to be convinced myself – I was completely and utterly convinced I was going to be single forever, my friends had been on boyfriend 6 or 7 while I hadn’t even been on a date. It’s not something you can convince someone out of, the only real way is for it to actually happen. In my case it was somewhat easier, as I finally realised I wasn’t hopeless when I met my current boyfriend, but if you’re afraid you won’t find someone if you break up with someone? Very difficult. Even the fact that they got a boyfriend/girlfriend in the first place… The self esteem issue has another problem. When you see someone being wooed by someone you perceive as an asshole, there’s a chance they have low self esteem and are incredibly flattered they’re getting any attention. Again, guilty of this myself, but I wised up quick. Not everyone does, however.

Self esteem is responsible for many of our problems. Never assume that if someone’s attractive for example, they will be confident. The really happy types who tell you to tell everyone they’re beautiful? They have a point. If you’re told all your life you’re beautiful, you will know you’re beautiful. On the other hand, if people don’t tell you, while everyone around you is told such things, no matter how beautiful the image in the mirror is, you won’t see it. It’s also not just about physical beauty. I have a very good friend who pisses me off every single day, because he cannot let go of his idea that without a nice car and a very high prestige job, he will never have a girlfriend. I will never stop telling him:

If someone rejects you for that reason, they are not worth it in the first place.

It just never gets through. If that’s what your relationship is based on, it’s doomed to failure.

Now, there is something to be said about the bad boy stereotype. Only something. To make it clear, bad boys and assholes are not the same thing. Bad boys are about that sense of danger, of doing something out of the ordinary, something thrilling. It has nothing to do with being mistreated in any way. It’s about dating someone who is not part of your social norm. Or maybe even to shock your friends and family, I don’t know. There is also the very popular reason: the change. There are many women who want to change bad boys from their bad habits. It’s not something I’ve ever understood, it seems fundamentally contrary to what a relationship should be to me: falling in love with a person. Not falling in love with the idea of a person, and then moulding one to that idea. Unfortunately, however, it’s an undeniable social occurrence.   I cannot reiterate this enough, not the same thing as an asshole.

“Nice Guys”

I have a problem with this because most of the time, this is a self proclaimed title. I find there’s a big difference between guys who are nice, and “nice guys.” Guys who are nice do not finish last. “Nice guys” however, just might. There is something arrogant about proclaiming yourself as “a nice guy.” Furthermore, it tends to be an excuse. The line often comes up when someone gets rejected. I am in no way saying that a guy being rejected by a girl is never because she’s a bitch. That does happen. Unfortunately however, it’s just an excuse. It rejects the idea you have any responsibility: you’re a nice guy, so obviously you’re only rejected because the girl’s a bitch. It also implies a sense of entitlement, as if she has no right at all to reject you. It doesn’t matter if she’s taken, not wanting a relationship at all, doesn’t find you attractive, doesn’t think you’re interesting, you remind her of someone she doesn’t want to be reminded of, doesn’t like your attitude, just doesn’t feel a connection… or thinks you came across as a creep. If you choose to believe you’re unsuccessful because you’re a nice guy and girls don’t like nice guys, you’re never going to be successful. Whatever formula you’re applying that just isn’t working for you, using that excuse means means you don’t try to change how you approach things. Not only does using such an excuse limit your own success, it foists unnecessary resentment onto innocent people that have done nothing wrong.

“Assholes”

The assumption someone is an asshole because they have the confidence to go up to someone and try to pick them up is not fair. As far as I’m concerned, the guys smugly swaggering towards women thinking they can get anyone they want, is just as bad as entitled self proclaimed nice guys that hate on women because they choose to believe they themselves have nothing to do with being rejected. In my geek girl post, a (troll) tried to point out that the decent guys who I work with are assholes, infuriated me to no end. This is an assumption that floats around far too much. A guy can actually confidently talk to a girl, he must be an asshole. I realise that any other guy will be your competition, but it seems a bit desperate to label guys as assholes because they do what you can’t. It’s like the girls who call other girls sluts just because they’re more confident in going after the guys they’re interested in. So much for gender solidarity. Sometimes I wonder why ‘bros before hos’ and ‘sisters before misters’ even came about. There seems to be far too much hate going round.

Yes, there are assholes out there. It does not mean that they get women just because they’re assholes. Not all men are assholes, and some ladies I know should also keep that in mind. There’s going after what you want, being confident, and being a slut or asshole. I would recommend watching them and seeing what their techniques are, rather than just writing them off under an unfounded generalisation.

I truly cannot comprehend why this stereotype keeps persisting. Is it just those whose egos have been so bruised that they’re so bitter they have to spew hatred towards everyone? Is it people purely looking at situations they know nothing about and just assuming things?

Finally, I would add something that my aforementioned good friend pointed out: those guys who are assholes, who either charm girls into dating them, or find girls with low enough self esteem, they will go through life without meaningful relationships, hopping from relationship to relationship, eventually realising their lifestyle is just not fulfilling. However, feeling entitled and building resentment towards all women because of a few rejections (which you may have been responsible for), is, I think, just as arrogant and unfulfilling as the empty relationships of the ‘asshole’ guy.

Don’t assume the tastes of women. Don’t assume that you have no blame in being rejected. Don’t assume men who aren’t rejected are assholes. And don’t assume that a girl will not talk to you before you’ve even tried. Also remember that self esteem is a huge issue. From being too insecure to go up to someone and talking them, to talking to people even though they’re not the nicest, just because you’re flattered they’re talking to you in the first place. It may be the easier option to assume that it’s not you, and that the fault lies with everyone else. But all it does it feed your resentment, and it won’t lead you to a fulfilling relationship.

Editing help kindly provided by LietenantLoker {Lindsay K.}
March 22, 2012

Chic Chemistry Inspired House-Ware

by sakuraso

I love these, maybe it’s purely due to my regret of not continuing sciences.. Either way, I think they look amazing :O Though I wonder if just buying from whoever supplies school labs would maybe be cheaper… I may have to look into that.

[ Cocktail Chemistry Set ]

Available from ThinkGeek for $34.99, but for us poor people dwelling in the UK, everywhere seems to be discontinued. Luckily ThinkGeek do ship to the UK, if you don’t mind paying those pesky shipping fees :( But… this set is so great, it might just be worth it…

[ Chemistry Vase Conical Flask ]

£29.99 from Firebox, I do love Firebox, though this is a bit steep… And also only a pre-order for now. Really considering looking into laboratory suppliers…

[ Chemistry Vase Measuring Cylinder ]

£29.99 from Firebox, and currently available!

[ Chemistry Vase Boiling Fask ]

Unfortunately unavailable from Firebox right now :( Shame, I think I like this one the most… I did find it at ‘Christmas Stocking Fillers‘ for £29.99, I cannot vouch for the site though…

[ Conical Flask Salt & Pepper Set ]

So adorable! And only £9.99 from Firebox, pre-order though.

Conical Flask Oil and Vinegar Set ]

Unfortunately £19.99, they are adorable though. And currently available! …Firebox are so good at taking sexy photos of their items…

[ Laboratory Beaker Mug ]

Back to ThinkGeek for this, there are two options available, 400ml & 1000mls, $11.99 & $19.99 respectively. So…. £7.50 and £12.64.

 

I’m very much visualising a chemistry inspired kitchen in my future… But at those prices & shipping costs, I might need several more jobs… 

March 19, 2012

Trap That Cowboy, Clive

by sakuraso

Those who know me know that while I’m currently studying Japanese, I do want a second degree in Marine Biology, and in between, I want electrical, building and plumbing NVQs, so those who do know me, shouldn’t be surprised that I adore Cowboy Trap. And furthermore, I adore Clive. He’s big, cuddly, knows his squeegies and his counterforts, but also well versed in the floral prints of Laura Ashley. What a man. So adorable. And so badass at the same time. In my Star Trek circles, we’d call him BAMF. Bad. Ass. Motherf*cker. Because he is. He’s suitably large and scary enough to confront people who purport themselves as professional builders, but actually, just take clients’ money and run, not only leaving them with no money, an unfinished house that they can’t fix due to not having money, and sometimes even in a state where their own house is endangering their own lives, but he’s also cuddly and adorable, and so empathetic, I know if I was in the position some of these people were in, I know I’d feel safe and relieved if he knocked on my door.

There used to be a similar show, or maybe it was the same one, I forget. It was hosted by a less intimidating and also less adorable bald man, and possibly Melinda Messenger. And I did enjoy that show but… It was just not of the same calibre. The guy ran around getting in the faces of cowboy builders who wouldn’t even respond anyway, while Melinda pretty much pranced around picking out cushions. And convincing local shop owners and building professionals to give their materials and time free of charge. It was a bit like Ross Kemp On Gangs meets Changing Rooms, which was awesome. Until Clive and his Cowboy trap came along.

Clive has enough natural charm that he doesn’t need to make the show about himself, he shines through anyway. Instead he first concentrates on getting the full story from the cowboy victims, consoles them, takes a look at the damage, works out what’s wrong, usually realising there’s far more to it than the people realised, and then he calls in “The Good Guys” to fix it. And throughout he gives out tips on how to not get caught in the cowboy trap, as well as various building/plumbing/electrical tips for if you want to get work done yourself. He pulls out a whole lot of amazing gadgets that are so so so useful. The cowboy confrontation is more about giving the people some closure, as well as giving the cowboy builder a right of reply, and not about a butch confrontation.

The skills shown and talked about on the show are ones I’ve wanted for a long time, maybe even since watching my grandad (an engineer), running around his summer property building anything and everything he could think of. And even making a trap door down to the basement in his flat in Warsaw. You know, because your life isn’t complete without a trap door. Every time I watch Cowboy trap I know more and more that it’s what I want to do, I always liked makeover shows, but I’m not satisfied with a new paint job and cushions. I want to give people secret rooms and awesome built in features. I want to be part of that good guy team that comes in and makes it all okay, fixes what’s gone wrong and makes people happy with their homes again. I just need to figure out how I’ll fit all that in with my Japanese degree and my future marine biology degree. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, I think.

I was actually looking through his own site to see if I could steal some nice pictures, but in the end, I went with the promo/still from BBC’s Cowboy Trap itself, as he looks suitably badass in it.

Clive Holland

Galleries, biography etc.
You can even email him, he replies! I admit I would like to email him, but beyond “you’re awesome” I wouldn’t know what to write. He’s that awesome.  So for now, I will remain a quiet admirer. And maybe one day I’ll be on that good guy team he calls in. Well. I can dream.

March 19, 2012

The Girl Geek Community is Hidden, Ever Wondered Why?

by sakuraso

This is essentially on my mind whenever I do anything related to my interests, particularly when it’s something within “the male demographic,” because obviously, as a girl I’m meant to only be interested in Jersey Shore or The Only Way Is Chelsea. If you’re a girl and you like Star Trek or Star Wars, then you’re going against the grain by actually knowing the damn difference, and beyond that, it’s pretty much incomprehensible. Though many would make an exception in Star Wars. Apparently we’re allowed to like Episode 1.

The strange thing is, I’ve found when talking to guys about geeky things, there is a huge discrepancy between the online geek community, and guys I meet in real life; through work, university, etc. The difference being that in real life, there is much less patronising. Recently at the pub with some of my coworkers, once the group dwindled down to four of us, with myself being the only girl, my cosplaying days were brought up (okay, meeting Leonard Nimoy is actually a highlight of my life, and if you give me leeway, ANY leeway at all, I will take it and I will bring it up, can’t help it.) And with the guys from work it was more of a surprise that I used to run around in an original series Starfleet science uniform, tribble, phaser and tricorder too. Which is fair enough, I imagine the thought process is along the lines of ‘you have green hair, and a multitude of piercings, most of which I’m pretty damn sure your mother doesn’t approve of. I could guess you being a Marilyn Manson fan, but Star Trek?’ My geekiness isn’t generally obvious. Well. Unless I’m wearing one of my Star Wars sneakers, that should clue people in a bit but… My point here is that these guys, who themselves probably get a lot of their own skewed looks amongst the ‘normal’ populace due to tattoos, piercings, funky hair etc, or just being really really really tall *coughDavecough* were merely surprised because it’s not obvious from the outside, or maybe because I don’t adhere to what society thinks a geeky girl should look like, should they even exist. Because we don’t actually exist, apparently. Ignoring for example, the Star Trek Oh No They Didn’t community on livejournal which is almost all women, and over 10,000 strong. Don’t exist indeed.

However. Online communities. For some reason, guys (and to be honest, some girls too), get in front of the computer screen and lose track of reality. Or maybe it’s the joy of being anonymous, so you can troll as much as you like. The only time this line is blurred is at conventions, but perhaps because it is a geek haven, internet anonymity rules still apply.

When I first started going to conventions it was because, obviously, I love sci-fi. Going to a place with like-minded people, where I can buy rare fandom related goodies, meet people whose careers formed my childhood and subsequent years that actually, formed who I am today and on top of that, I can dress up as someone from my favourite series. It was all so positive positive positive. The first time I didn’t dress up, I wasn’t going to just jump right in there. I had to check it out first, see how it’s done, what you do. See what the protocols were. I was also all about meeting Leonard Nimoy, nothing else mattered. I was mostly ignored, I was just yet another person in the masses churning round the rugby stadium temporarily converted into a sci-fi haven. But then I started dressing up with my friend. Suddenly things weren’t quite so fun and innocent.

It started around the time this picture was taken. It was fun. Though my ideas of actually being an introvert were tested quite extensively. We started a game of counting how many times we’d be asked for photos. We lost count. It wasn’t a big deal at first, I mean, pretty much everyone in costume was constantly being asked for photos, it’s normal, part of the fun. But then came the lechery. Yes, I’m in a Starfleet uniform, no, that does not give you the right to grab my ass. This is something you brush off though, you don’t dwell on it too much. You tell the ass to fuck off and then you move on.

Then however, I started checking the event forums after the conventions were over. It’s a great place where people can talk about what they did, how much fun they had, who they met, and even, getting in touch with people you met in passing and wanted to get to know better. Then other threads started popping up.

“Which cosplay girl was the hottest this weekend?”

I see. Apparently I was entered in a beauty pageant. And the comments! “There were those two Starfleet girls!” Aww, they noticed us! How nice! “Yeah man, I liked the red one! She has way bigger boobs” Well. Okay. “So true, her skirt was shorter too!” “Nah, the blue one was way better, and she wasn’t wearing black tights so you could see her legs better!

My happy dressing up fun time was just a geeky version of a pageant apparently. THIS IS WHY GIRLS FORM THEIR OWN GIRL ONLY FANDOM COMMUNITIES. You don’t deserve them in yours. It’s not even just the objectification, it’s the fact that we’re somehow meant to be in direct competition with each other. Me and Alice went for fun, we love Star Trek, so we dressed up, just for the damn hell of it. And because it amused George Takei to call us his yeomen. And because it amused John Barrowman because of the fandom clash. It’s also a handy way of identifying people from the same fandoms. And we were there together. Having the experience together. We weren’t there to outdo each other. I go online and apparently we were there to outdo each other.

Guys, you’re a social group that’s still made fun of in society. You get beaten up in schools. And everyone jokes that you’re going to be virgins forever. So why would you make girls -who like the same things you do and don’t judge you for being a geek- uncomfortable in your communities. It’s hard enough having to constantly prove our geek qualifications, because otherwise we’re not even considered part of the community – we have to prove we like the stuff, while the guys have a god earned right. In various forums I frequented half the time I found that I was talking to guys who knew much less than me on topics such as Star Trek or Star Wars were always part of the group, whereas every time people realised I was a girl, I’d be bombarded with very intricate questions those guys couldn’t answer, and if I couldn’t remember USS Potemkin’s registry number off the top of my head, I was obviously not in the right place, ‘run along and find yourself a my little pony community.’

The only time this happens in the realms of real life, is in Warhammer Workshops. Just thinking about it makes me rage like I’ve never raged before. A girl cannot walk into a workshop and be treated like a guy. A staff member will walk up to you, and will assume you know shit-all. “Do you even know what warhammer is?” Of course not! I just wondered in after following a trail of pink sparkles. Well done. I will never grace your shop with my custom ever again.

During a stunt meant to promote the launch of the online Star Trek game, which was an attempt to get a record in the Guinness book of records for most people in Star Trek costume – we did get it, though it was beaten quickly by the Americans. Unsurprising really. Few people knew about it, it was on Chinese New Year AND Valentine’s Day, and on top of that, during a weekend. Travelling on the weekend in London is horrendous at best. Like the conventions, there were a few guys objectifying the girls, but all in all, everyone was in it together, freezing our collective Starfleet, Borg, Klingon, Vulcan and Ferengi asses off in February. A rainy February. Though some of us skirt wearing trekkies were smart and wore thermals. Mmmm. Sexy.

Afterwards, one of the Star Trek fansites covering the event posted pictures and reviews, all nice and respectful. In the comments however, pageant judging started. Nothing as nice as looking at the guys and girls and judging their costume attempts. No. It was all about our collective assets under our uniforms and so on. Luckily not everyone is a douche, and after making a comment on twitter about it, the guys from the fansite told everyone off for their objectifying. Which was nice. That was the day I won an XBox at the record breaking raffle, oh yes.

Those were the days...

 It’s been so long ago I can’t remember the photographer’s name, he did a good job, though at the time we were somewhat worried…

The main point of this rant is this: if you genuinely want to interact with girls who share the same interests as you, stop chasing them away! If we love Star Trek, we want to talk about it with everyone. But if the guys make us feel patronised and as if we have to prove ourselves, not just as fans but as women in general, we’re just going to go off and make communities just for the girls. And we have. It suits us just fine. We can talk BAMF and GQMF to our heart’s content. We’re not off on our own because we’re all ‘girl power! no boiz kthnxbye’. We’re on our own because we don’t compare each other, and make each other feel unattractive or lacking in something, when all we really want to do is talk about our favourite fandoms.

So guys. There are plenty of geeky girls who enjoy all the stuff you do, and if you stop treating us like a rare species that you want to poke and prod and patronisingly teach to walk and talk, then you might just meet one.

If, however, you need to feel superior to someone. Stop complaining that you can’t get a girlfriend who understands you.

I think until conventions stop feeling like I’m being forced into a beauty pageant, I won’t be cosplaying. It’s just safer not to get involved. I also have William Shatner to thank, as he made me realise that when meeting your idol, you can still have a conversation and be memorable without having dressed up. I’m sure his reaction to us dressed up wouldn’t have been as awesome as George Takei’s anyway. Oh Myyyyyyyy. But then, even he talked to us not because of our uniforms, or his love for our tribbles, but actually, because we had a chat in Japanese. Other talents, for. the. win.

March 18, 2012

[ MM ] No Reflection

by sakuraso

What’s the point of having iTunes alerts if I don’t even notice it in my inbox? So 3 days late but… NEW MARILYN MANSON SINGLE. I admit I nearly hyperventilated. Sad, I know, BUT IT’S BEEN SO LONG. I imagine it’ll be on the new album too, but I do not care. I bought it immediately, no previews or anything. Everyone knows: Gackt & Marilyn Manson, I can pre-order and know that I will like it.

And I do. Very much. At this point I do have to go and calm down before I write anything else.

I really do like this single, vocally and lyrically it’s mature like the songs from Eat Me, Drink Me as well as High End of Low, but musically, it’s back to his heavier days, the sound reminds me of some Golden Age of Grotesque tracks. I was already looking forward to Born Villain, but now I’m feeling a bit less worried about the contents of the new album. Marilyn Manson was great when he was a young guy screaming his frustration against the world, and he was still great when he was a bit more heartbroken and grieving for the love of his life – but maybe in Born Villain he’ll be finally over that. I’d like some more screaming frustration again, personally, and since he has that new level of maturity in his voice and lyrics, I’m liking the idea of Holy Wood/Golden Age of Grotesque meeting Mature Manson.

Also. The chorus is damn catchy. Just saying.

Bring on May 1st.

March 15, 2012

Thai rock, oh yes.

by sakuraso

Working at a concert venue, I get to work during some… memorable gigs, although usually they’re memorable because someone called me a cunt for not pouring their beer fast enough, inept because I gave someone 3 ice cubes in their drink, because telepathically I’m meant to know they want 2 large cubes and 2 small cubes without them telling me, or because I get scratched by a man in a cowboy hat who thinks sinking his claws into my arm is cute. There was also the time there were people crowd surfing into the cloakroom…

Anyway, recently I was working the Bodyslam gig, who I didn’t know anything about, due to jrock arrogance or what, I don’t know. But I have decided they are adorable. The gig was generally memorable, perhaps because this time I was an usher, but then, had the people attending been horrible as at some other gigs, then I probably would have hated it as much as all the times I’ve detested the bar and cloakroom. Funny how people being horrible to you can affect not only your general outlook on your job, but also the band that was playing. It’s like a mental reflex: shit fans. shit band. Doesn’t mean it’s true, but you can’t help but feel distaste for a band that spawns fans that shout at you and treat you like some sort of sub-human species that deserves no respect. Obviously I don’t have enough piercing in my face and don’t look scary enough.

This gig however was lovely! Pretty much everyone was nice, or at least civil. Didn’t have anyone call me a name. Imagine that. And since I was an usher, once the main event started, I didn’t have much to do, as all the fans were very much in their seats and enjoying the show, and not running around drunk abusing people. So I got to watch. It was enough to get me intrigued… And the song above pretty much cemented it, helps that I’m pretty much now in love with ศิริพร อำไพพงษ์. She is awesome. Or maybe I just have a thing for folk singers. After all I do have that fascination with Enka. And the band Brathanki from Poland, folk-rock is obviously the way to go.

So far, going through the band’s discography I’ve mostly been finding slow songs, I can’t say ‘ballads’ since I have no clue as to the content. Except for when there’s a music video with obvious and tangible heartbreak. Funny how that translates so easily. I would really like to find some ..’harder’ songs though. At this point I have to also point out that my endeavours to find Bodyslam songs has been difficult, as I don’t speak, and more importantly, don’t read or write Thai, so in my forays into Thai rock, I had to immerse myself in a Thai crash course. …Because I don’t have a dissertation to write or anything.

I don’t know how it never occurred to me to look up Thai rock, but now I shall continue, and will broaden my scope. I already have my eye on a couple of interesting sounding bands. Of course if anyone has any recommendations, I will always appreciate them.

 

คราม
(“Indigo”*)

1. คราม
2. ความรัก
3. Sticker
4. คิดฮอด feat.ศิริพร อำไพพงษ์ (in the video above)
5. ทางกลับบ้าน
6. แสงสุดท้าย
7. ปล่อย
8. เปราะบาง
9. โทน
10. เงา

*I think that’s the translation anyway XD feel free to correct me
link to the itunes website. 

March 15, 2012

Mouse, Mouse in the House!

by sakuraso

Last week, to my flat’s (almost – 2/3rds) collective horror, we discovered that we had a mouse running around our flat. I’m not even scared of mice, but there’s something infinitely creepy and disturbing about something unwanted scurrying around your room. I imagine I wouldn’t be at all bothered if it stayed in other parts of the flat. Unfortunately, I was the one to discover our latest addition that doesn’t pay rent (henceforth known as Minnie.) – or fortunately, had it not been for my desire to stay awake (stemming from a month of non-stop dreams about death, I applaud my mind for all the creative ways its come up with…), we may not have realised until it was too late (i.e. she had babies.)

Illustration by my flatmate, Hattie, via the medium of bathroom tile drawing. Because as any well functioning flat, we communicate by drawing on the tiles whenever in the shower.

…Not at the same time. Just saying.

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