Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm Grateful for Some Stuff


I'm having a pretty lame Monday, and I was going to just loll around in bed and listen to depressing Mass Effect playlists while feeling sorry for myself, but instead I thought, why not at least try to counteract my emo bullshit with something positive? So here, have a list of...

10 THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR or whatever:

1. Lyall. He loves me no matter what, and is a warm, happy little creature who depends on me and comforts me and never ever gets tired of spending time with me!

2. My friends. I love my friends more than anything. I don't have any siblings, but I consider my girl friends to be sisters. I would take bullets for them and I know they'd do the same for me. No matter how ridiculous and stupid I am, how unhappy I am, no matter how confused or lonely I am, they are always there and they always love me. I love you guys.

3. My parents. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have such accepting, loving, supportive, and encouraging parents. I feel like I can be 100% myself around them, and I know that no matter what choices or mistakes I make in life, they will always stand behind me. I will never forget their generosity a year ago when I made the sudden and heartbreaking move to Oregon. My dad dropped everything the day I broke up with Greg and wanted to get out, took the next available flight from Phoenix to SLC, and drove me all the way to Portland overnight. My mom, even though she was grieving a brother who she lost the same day I lost Greg, was there for me, helped support me while I floundered without a home or a job, and bought me a car so I could drive to interviews and potential jobs. Thanks, parents. You rule.

4. Mass Effect. Seriously, this game makes me so happy. Being passionate and excited about something is one of life's greatest joys, and I'm deriving so much joy from it!

5. My home. I love my little cluttered-up, cozy room. I love my duplex. I love my roommate. I love our little neighborhood. I feel so safe and relaxed here.

6. These fuckin things. They're so delicious, I'm legitimately addicted, and they are only 3 Weight Watchers points. I genuinely lose myself in happiness whenever I eat one okay. They are great.

7. The tumblr BioWare fandom. Checking my dashboard periodically throughout the day and seeing new Garrus gifsets on the reg seriously keeps me going. And they're such a passionate, fun, positive group of people who make my internet life brighter all the time!

8. My new haircut. I'm really, really happy with my new hair. It's vain and not very meaningful, but it is everything I dreamed of and more. My advice to each and every one of you is to do something crazy with your hair that you normally would never do, because you will probably love it.

9. My job. It's not my dream job (my dream job is to be the new Neil Gaiman, so), but it's really great. I love the people I work with, I love correcting grammar and complaining about references all day, and it's just a place where I don't mind showing up every morning at 6:00 a.m. Which is saying a lot.

10. Myself. I'm grateful that I've made it this far in life and am generally content and pleased with where I am. I'm grateful that I can be grateful for so many things. I know it might come off as conceited, but I'm proud of myself. I work for what I have, I treat myself, I take care of my sweet little dog, I get sad, I keep going, and I enjoy life. Because life is awesome!

And now I feel a lot better.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

100% Unapproachable


So I got a new haircut todayyy! Well not much of a cut; more of a shave. Here's a pic from inside the bathroom, where the light is best and there are towel racks. I figured my hair was short enough already, and I've had vague inclinations to do some sort of undercut in the past, so I thought I may as well just go for it! I love it so much. I went to Lu at Fancy! Hair Salon, who is my favorite and you should all get your hair cut by her. If you live in Portland.

I love being able to go out and get a haircut like this, on almost a whim, and not have to worry about pleasing a boyfriend anymore. I know one should never worry about pleasing other people when it comes to one's own appearance, but. I did. And while he always told me it was my body and I could do whatever I wanted with it, the message was always clear: he didn't like short hair, he didn't like tattoos, and he didn't like big glasses. Well I just shaved off a chunk of my hair, a pair of new (even bigger!) glasses are on the way, and I have an appointment for the first session of a big ol' tattoo next Friday. All of these things are exciting and make me so happy to think about, and now I can say gleefully: Anyone who doesn't like it can happily fuck right off!

In that vein, it's weird to think I've been single for a whole year now, and it feels like I'm just beginning to truly and fully enjoy it. There's nothing in the world more freeing than being in charge of my life, taking care of myself, and doing whatever makes me happy no matter what. I'm in love with being single; and I'm in love with the person I've become, am becoming, and will become. Life is awesome and this haircut is awesome. It brings me ever closer to my new goal of being 100% unapproachable to men. (The chronic bitchface does most of the work though, let's be honest.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Human/Geek Interactions (ugh)

"Ugh, social interactions!"
The main problem with being a geek, I've found, is making other geek friends. Most people around me tend not to know or care what I'm talking about when I make some stupid reference to a Skyrim mod, for example (I don't even fuckin play Skyrim), and while that's fine in general, sometimes I just want to talk to other girls (or guys I guess) who have played Mass Effect! In person, over beer! But I seem to have the worst time trying to befriend other geeks. I don't know if it's just a symptom of all geeks being socially awkward and incapable of engaging in relaxed, easy conversation with one another, but I always find myself feeling totally lame and like a social fail whale every time I attempt to interact with another geek.

I feel like, whenever I'm interacting with geeky people who I don't know very well, I either come off as way too awkward, fangirly, and excitable, or -- on the opposite spectrum -- way too normal and aloof. What the hell! How does this happen? I find it so hard to not feel like I'm failing in some way in these types of social situations. Am I just so anxiety-ridden that I'll never have what I feel is a successful interaction with geeks? It's easy with normal people, you just talk about Breaking Bad and your favorite bar or something and you're done. But with geeks there's this whole layer of insecurity and terror. For me, at least.

I think part of the difficulty with geeks is that I always feel this pressure to know what I'm talking about, but also not be a crazed fangirl. You know -- I need to read every Thor comic and play the entire BioShock series and watch all of The X-Files or whatever else, but on the other hand I can't be all like, "Do you wanna see my Garrus body pillow? Do you wanna see this slashy fanart I'm drawing? What's your favorite Sherlock/John fanvid?" I mean those are all totally plausible things that I would say, but I worry that it's veering into the creepy realm of geekery and I'm scared that people will judge me.

I don't even know. I'm just generally the type of person who has no idea how to interact with other humans, and when I do it successfully it's like the best thing, and worthy of celebrating. But when it goes even slightly wrong, it haunts me for days. And I haven't yet mastered the art of communing with my geek brethren. So as it is, I feel like it's not even worth risking the embarrassment most of the time? I should practice. Maybe I'll do that at Rose City Comic Con by hitting on dudes in Dragon Age cosplay or something, because that won't be an awkward means of meeting new people at all! Life's hard for a socially awkward geek. It's real hard.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's a Monday

Garrus and Thor have nothing to do with this blog post!
I don't have anything specific to discuss on the blog tonight, but I've been trying to update more frequently and to try not to feel like I need to be super interesting for anyone except me. I love it so much when people read and comment on my blog, but in the end I do it so that I'll have a record of my exciting life to go back and read years from now when I'm like, "What was I up to on August 18th, 2014? Something cool, probs!" And I'll be wrong, because I'm sitting in bed with no pants on, listening to my stupid Mass Effect playlist and blogging.

"What's that, Meg? Mass Effect playlist?" Funny you should ask! That's right. I made a dumb playlist of songs that remind me of Mass Effect. To be completely honest I got most of the songs from other people's ME playlists on 8tracks. Okay SEGUE can we discuss 8tracks for a moment please? Okay so:

1) Is the 8tracks app working properly for anyone else who just so happens to have the 8tracks app and also reads my blog? I know for a fact that there are hundreds of ME playlists on there but it only shows me between like, 10 and 20 at a time and then just stops scrolling at an arbitrary point. Does this happen to anyone else? Am I using it wrong? HELP.

2) 8tracks is the most amazing site and I'm addicted to it. I've always loved associating certain music with my favorite things, be it books, video games, TV shows, etc. It's a way to enjoy thinking about/experiencing the thing you love when you can't actually read/watch/play it. So I sit at work all day and listen to people's ME playlists, and it makes me feel like I'm connecting with their ME feels through the music, and it's a beautiful, magical thing! The greatest feeling, though, is when you discover that somebody else in the world has a song on their fandom playlist that you also have on your fandom playlist, that you thought nobody else would have because it seems kinda random?? Okay my song (obviously I'm talking about a specific experience here) was "Un Nouveau Soleil" by M83, on some soundtrack they did for a French sex comedy (???), which I happened to be listening to a lot when I experienced the onset of ME feels. It was all space-y and epic and so I would listen to it and think about Shepard and all of her adventures and all of the things she had yet to accomplish and the pain that I assumed she would have to endure (this was before I'd finished ME3). It was My Song for ME and Shepard. And then what do you know, but last week I was listening to somebody's 8tracks playlist and BOOM, there was my song! On their ME playlist! And it totally made my dayyyy. It's actually still making my day. Just knowing that someone out there listens to that same song and feels the same or similar emotions about ME makes me feel so connected to that person on a deep level. I know I sound crazy but dang do I love that crazy.

Moving right along. So I've been going to Weight Watchers meetings since I got back from visiting my mom in Montana with Megan (which I feel like I should blog about but it's weeks ago now so I probably won't). Apparently I gained 10 lbs since I moved back to Portland (due to having too much fun and eating too much amazing food, obvs), and I've been trying to lose weight for ages but have only succeeded in gaining more. So because I can't get anything done unless I'm afraid of being shamed in front of other people (they don't shame you in WW, I'm just saying), I paid a lot of monies to go sit with a bunch of mom types every Monday at 5:30 and talk about healthy eating and stuff. And I actually love it? Not only do I get to sit with mom types who give me milkshake packets and share their pens with me, but it makes me feel like I'm part of something aside from work and writing group, which I like a lot. And it's helped me to lose 2.2 lbs so far! Hooray, me! Only like, 5 more lbs until I can actually fit into my clothes again. I've honestly had to buy pretty much an entirely new work wardrobe due to this weight gain and it's not cool man! I miss my old clothes.

God could I have written a more boring blog post? Probably, but we will never know. I have to try to sleep now, which won't happen for another hour at least, but a girl can dream.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sexual Orientation: Garrus Vakarian

"Some women find facial scars attractive."
Welcome to my blog! Where I write entire posts dedicated to video game aliens who I find attractive! You're welcome. Today I would like to explain to you, dear readers, why I find Garrus Vakarian (from Mass Effect, obviously) to be so goddamn sexy. Like, so sexy. So sexy I'm not as attracted to human men anymore now?? YOU GUYS HELP ME my life is a shambles.

Whatever, what's the point of living if you can't be sexually attracted to a turian at least once in your life, amirite!!? Ahahaha... haa.

Moving along. Garrus is Commander Shepard's turian bestie and, if you're not a loser and romancing someone else, her boyfriend. The best boyfriend. He sticks with her through all three Mass Effect games, and in ME2 gets some wicked hawt facial scars (as seen above). He knows they're hot, too. And he knows Shepard is into that. Plus he's supportive and fun and badass and takes her bottle-shooting on top of the goddamn Presidium, so what's not to love?

If you're still having trouble finding reasons to love Garrus, here. Read this handy list I just made! (Note: I refer to Shepard as "you" because she is you and you are Shepard.)

Reasons to Love Garrus Vakarian:

1. His voice for the love of god. His voice. It's all deep and gravelly but also sarcastic and just a little bit bad boy and kill me please. Here's a video of nothing but Garrus dialogue.



2. He doesn't give a shit if you push people out of very high windows to their deaths. Kaidan Alenko gets butthurt if you so much as look at him while wielding a gun, but you can literally shove a dude out of a skyscraper window for no good reason and Garrus will not bat an eye. He'll just be like, "Yeah okay, Shepard. Go right ahead with that." And still bring you wine and attempt cheesy pick-up lines later! He accepts you as you are. What a man turian.

3. He watches how-to videos on turian/human relations. I can't stress this enough. He watches how-to videos on turian/human relations. He's basically sitting down in the main battery between calibration sessions, watching youtube videos of how to make sexy times with the captain. He also attempts valiantly to do things that the vids tell him the ladies will like. And then he says to you that he learned it in vids. He doesn't give a single fuck! He just straight owns that he has no idea how to date a human let alone a living thing, and his awkward charm is disarming as FUCK okay.

4. This fucking song. Go listen to it now. Somebody made a stupid fucking thing with Garrus dialogue from ME2 over electronic shit and I don't ever listen to this on repeat for hours at a time. Never.

5. He calls himself your boyfriend. And he calls you his girlfriend. And the fact that Commander Shepard, the first human Spectre, savior of the Citadel, renowned badass and uniter of the goddamn galaxy, can simply be somebody's girlfriend is just... it makes me really really happy, okay. The fact that Garrus feels so comfortable around you that he casually calls you his girlfriend (while checking out your ass in a tight dress) is just the most painfully sweet thing I can think of in the universe right now. FML.

6. He wants to be a goddamn dad. I can't elaborate on this or I'll fucking cry but he wants to be a dad.

7. He's a huge badass. When you first meet him he's basically working as a fucking space mall cop, but he's one of the only people (turians?) who agrees with you that Saren (a turian Spectre and murdering jerk) has gone rogue. So he joins you so you guys can kick ass and take names together. And then when you meet up with him a second time in ME2, he's known by the nickname Archangel and is such a goddamn badass that every mercenary group and criminal on a space station that is chalk-full of mercenaries and criminals wants him dead but can't kill him. Why? Because he's just moseying here and there, dispensing vigilante justice willy-nilly like a TOTAL BOSS. No big. Then he gets shot by a fucking rocket and survives. Ain't no thang.

8. HE ROLEPLAYS WITH YOU ON A DATE. He literally pretends he's just meeting you at a bar because you asked him to and then he hits on you awkwardly and tells you how great his voice is. Yes, yes please tell me more, Garrus. I mean, stranger. And then he reveals that he's learned the goddamn tango and dances with you in a bar in space, I mean can we please talk about this. He roleplays with you and then tangos with you after taking dance lessons on the side, which he somehow managed to fit in while rallying the various fleets of the entire galaxy to join with Earth to defeat a race of beings that were created solely to destroy all of life as we know it. I mean look! Look at all the effort he's putting in! Look at it.

9. Whenever you make a headshot, he sometimes says "Im-pressive!" And it's just the highlight of my day every time.

10. He'll be there whenever you need him. In the Shadow Broker's dossier on Garrus, it says that he has great leadership potential, but that he's likely to be overshadowed by Shepard's badassery. Which is just painful, because Garrus probably knows it, and Shepard is too obtuse to realize it, and Garrus sticks with you anyway. Because he's loyal and he loves you. He chooses you over his career and it breaks my goddamn heart. Fuck this guy for real.

"Lucky for you, Archangel's your boyfriend."
If all of this doesn't make you wanna take this turian to the boneyard right the fuck now, there's something terribly wrong with you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

OMFG Hawke

Ugh look at this sexy jerk like who do you even think you are, Hawke.
Okay you guys, I'm having a fangirl meltdown over here. If you're a BioWare fan and not living under a rock, you've probably (hopefully) been peeing yourself a lot lately in anticipation of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Perhaps you have even been enduring a steady stream of pee in your britches ever since the first trailer came out? I know I certainly have. Well, today at Gamescom 2014 (I didn't know this convention[?] even existed until this morning), they released more gameplay footage from DA:I and a new gameplay trailer, which usually I'm kinda like, meh, I prefer cinematic trailers to gameplay ones because the characters always look sexier? Whatever. Anyway my pants were already soiled from the excitement of simply hearing that new DA:I info was afoot, so I figured I'd better watch the gameplay trailer on my phone while I ate lunch in the break room, just 'cause.

So I watched it.

And guess fucking WHAT, guys. GUESS WHAT. Not only is Morrigan in there, not only is your grey warden (supposedly) in there, but HAWKE IS IN THERE.

HAWKE.

I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH WHAT EXCITING NEWS THIS IS YOU GUYS.

I am really fucking excited about this you guys. It was kind of embarrassing how much I flipped out in the break room in front of multiple coworkers, though. I lost it. I had a minor stroke and/or lost consciousness for a split second in between bites of sad salad. Because Hawke. Fucking HAWKE.

First, just watch this fucking thing:


Did you see Hawke at 1:35?? Did you? 

Bask in it. Bask in femHawke in her sassy glory.

Good. Did you bask? Okay. So. I'm not sure if all of you know the relationship I have with Dragon Age 2. Probably not? DA2 is the reason I love console gaming, essentially. It's 100% the reason I discovered and fell in love with BioWare, which is a huge deal because every BioWare game I've played has meant a lot to me. I played DA2 before Dragon Age: Origins because I'm a terrible person and didn't care about anything about the game except for romancing Fenris. However, I quickly fell in (deep deep) love with the protagonist, Garrett Hawke, aka Sassy Hawke because he's so damn sassy

And honestly? Until Commander Shepard, Hawke was my man. My favorite video game character, nearly tied with Alistair but just winning out over the babely templar. So, long story long, I love Hawke. I love love looooooove Hawke. I've played DA2 five times now (it doesn't even sound like that many when I write it down, what a lame fan I am), and it doesn't get old. Hawke's stupid sarcastic dialogue, his relationships with his friends, and his quips about boneless women flopping through the streets of Kirkwall (what a jerk) just win over my sad little pitter-pattering heart every time. 

So I was really really hoping that we'd get to hear even a tiny bit about Hawke in DA:I, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up or anything. I would've been happy with a little plaque somewhere that read, like, "Here is the mine where Hawke and friends saved everyone from dragons, repeatedly, at least different five times. In memoriam," or something, BUT NOW! But now we have confirmation that Hawke is indeed going to be in the game, however briefly! And it has 100% completely MADE MY DAY.

Also I'm assuming that the dude in the trailer next to femHawke is the Grey Warden from DA:O, which would be amazeballs if they allow you to import saved games, or at least use Dragon Age Keep to set the stage for DA:I -- allowing you to make the major decisions in the first two games (not unlike the Genesis DLCs for Mass Effect 2 and 3) -- which had better get its shit together and officially launch so I can do whatever it is I'm supposed to do with it before DA:I is released. That was a really long sentence. BUT SERIOUSLY, can you imagine your DA:I inquisitor, some badass Qunari mage or whatever, joining forces with the Hero of Ferelden and the Champion of Kirkwall???! I CAN'T IMAGINE IT BECAUSE IT'S TOO FUCKING AWESOME. What if Hawke makes sassy remarks? Oh god what if Alistair shows up?? What if he's with your Grey Warden if you two hooked up? What if Hawke is with his boyfriend Fenris because they've been traveling the world kicking ass and taking names together!!?? WHAT IF.

Fml I can't take it anymore, being a fangirl is too stressful. This is why approximately 15% of my hair is grey. I'm just really really worked up about this. And the damn game doesn't even come out until November. NOVEMBER, for christ's sake!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Fucking Tattoo


Here, have a horrible photo from Mass Effect 3 that's not even a proper screenshot it's just a phone pic I took of my TV (which is really a computer monitor)! Because I'm gonna talk about Mass Effect some more. It's been what... seven weeks? Almost two months straight of intense Mass Effect feels over here in my too-hot corner of Portland (news flash: all of Portland is too hot and I hate it), so settle in for more where this came from in the days to come! You're welcome!

On Saturday I had a consultation for my next tattoo. I bet you can't guess what sort of tattoo I'm getting. Hint: It's a Mass Effect tattoo. I'm getting another one. An even bigger, stupider one than the N7. It's going to be my Shepard, in her armor and holding a gun with like, some fucking botanical shit framing her because I guess if I'm gonna spend upwards of $500 on permanent fan art on my body, I may as well throw in some flowers.

I'm a nervous wreck pretty much 90% of the time, so when I showed up at the consultation I was literally shaking and felt like a complete FREAK because I was like, zooming through my printed out references, all, "And this is her gun, ahaha and this is her armor (but ignore that head use this other reference for her head), and I like the way this tattoo looks, haaa, and this is her head, and this is a picture I drew of her but it's horrible I'm sorry, please don't hate me." But the artist was really cool about it all! When I showed her my drawing of Shepard she said it was really good, and then said my horrible "screenshot" of Shepard's face was beautiful, and then I got really happy/embarrassed and even more awkward and tripped over my words even more.

So clearly I'm an emotionally stable, responsible adult who should be making decisions like putting $500 video game fan art on her body permanently.

It's just that I haven't been this excited about something since Doctor Who. Maybe Sherlock? But that wasn't quite the level of obsession that this Mass Effect mania has reached. And there's no Steven Moffat here with a mission to ruin everything I love.

I just... I feel like a total freak trying to talk about Mass Effect because I know how I sound to other people. "Oh yeah, it's this video game, but it's special because you actually make decisions that affect what happens. Oh and you can sleep with various aliens. And it made me cry!??" Wow okay, yeah, that makes total sense, please get a bunch of tattoos of that on your body where everyone has to see them.

I dunno. I figure at this point only the people who have played a game and really, really really loved it will understand. Or maybe people who have read a book and become overwhelmingly obsessed with it. Or maybe even anyone who's loved anything? I'm not sure. I feel sometimes like I enjoy things far too much, to the point of excess, but then I realize that life is way more fun if you can get so fucking excited about something that you can't sleep and all you wanna do is immerse yourself in that thing. So really I guess I'm about passion. Getting passionate about things. Mostly aliens, though. I could get passionate about aliens for days.