Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Now I'm reading a bunch of books at the same time. I'm still reading A Dance With Dragons, and I'm at the Windblown chapter. I just finished The Faeman Quest this morning, and I started re-reading the first book too cuz why not. I'm re-reading So You Want to Be a Wizard cuz I'm about to start the newest book in the series. And I've also started on The Dresden Files because, well, I don't know much about it, but it seems like the sort of thing I would enjoy, and I've read the first chapter of the first book so far and it's promising. Oh, and I'm re-reading The Eyes of Kid Midas because I never got around to doing the thing where you read it again but keep an eye out for tropes to add to the trope page, so I'm doing that now. And I'm listening to audiobooks of the Peter and the Starcatchers series. (Jim Dale does the readings. He's the same guy who did the Harry Potter audiobooks. He's pretty good; I like him.) Also, I've got the books from two of the freshman seminars I'm thinking about taking next quarter if they're open, and I've been looking at them in advance because hey, why not? And of course there are the readings I have to do for my classes. We had a Ray Bradbury short story "Mars Is Heaven" assigned in my Lit class, and some bits about rap and hip-hop for Sociology.

The great thing is that I can do this. I mean imagine carrying eight or nine different novels around with you everywhere you go. What a drag. But since I have my Kindle, I'm set. I can swap between them whenever I like. Just this morning when I finished The Faeman Quest, I got to immediately swap over to a different book. That's a nice feature.

Man, I keep doing this thing where I write the titles as a WikiWord and have to go back and add spaces. This is what happens when you spend too much time editing TV Tropes. It's dangerous.

Anyway, I have this homework assignment where I have to do a reading response about this reading that I did for Sociology about how black fans and white fans interpret rap and hip-hop music in different ways, so I'mma start working on that.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh man, you're never going to believe what happened to me today. So I'm biking down the street like normal, right, and all of a sudden my bike turns into a giant badger! What! And if you've ever tried riding a giant badger, well, let me tell you, those things are vicious, and I was lucky to escape without any major injuries.

Actually, the dumb thing has been doing this on and off for a couple weeks now. The random polymorphing, I mean. I have no idea what's causing it. Maybe the tires need more air. I heard you're supposed to check the tire pressure regularly and I haven't been doing that.

I mean, yeah, it's back to being a bike again now...I have no idea what fixed it, but it's working at the moment. Still, I'll probably be taking the bus for a while. First it was a potted plant, then it was a statue of Grover Cleveland, and now a giant badger. I'll have to bring it in to the shop one of these days.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I just started a YKTTW for the trope where a sphinx asks you a riddle. To mark the occasion, I'm going to think of a cool riddle.

Okay. Hmm. 

What has a beard but no hair,
Was brown but now is grey,
And is a piece of moldy bread?

Wait, I think I messed up somewhere. This is hard. 

Okay, if I were a sphinx and I wanted to eat some poor schmoe, what would I ask?


What is the fifty-first Merseinne Prime?

I'm not sure if I'd make a really bad sphinx or a really good sphinx.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm boycotting textbooks.

Textbook prices are ridiculously inflated. Supply is monopolized and demand is inelastic. And publishers come out with new editions frequently to make it so that bookstores have to stock brand-new copies, and anyone who uses the old version will discover that all the page numbers are out of whack and they can't follow along properly. They get away with it because the professors who assign the textbooks don't have to buy them or even know how much they cost, and the students who pay for them have no choice.

Well, as far as I'm concerned, the textbook manufacturers can go to hell. I'm not paying.

If I need the book during class, I'll mooch. If I need it for homework, I'll go to the library. If the library doesn't have it, I'll go to the bookstore and read it off the shelf. And I'd happily pirate it* if I could--if you call it theft, then I'll say that's giving them a taste of their own medicine, because a hundred bucks for a textbook is highway robbery. It's not as if most of them even offer legitimate ebook editions anyway, or if they do, they price it the same as the paper edition so what's the goddamn point?

So yeah. Textbook companies can go die. I'll save my money, thank you very much.

* Disclaimer: Oh, don't take this the wrong way. Intellectual copyright violation is ethically dubious. I do not endorse digital piracy. Pirating the works of people you hate is like the scene in Jurassic Park where the Tyrannosaurus eats the jerkass lawyer. Or like this. It's awesome. But at the same time, you know that it's illegal to eat people, or to cut someone's car in half. So by all means, support your local used bookstore.
I think I've just won five straight games with my Rhys the Redeemed deck.

I'm not sure because the losses are never as memorable as the wins, so I might just be blocking out the bad games. Also, I haven't been keeping a real count. But on the whole, the deck's been performing exceptionally well.

I think people sort of assume token decks are vulnerable to Wrath of God. That's not really true. Actually, the Rhys deck is extremely resilient against board sweepers because it can put a lot of creatures on the board without investing a lot of cards. What happens is I can play my general turn 1, start making tokens, and if they don't do anything, it gets out of hand and they flat-out need a Wrath to keep from getting overrun. But they're not getting any card advantage out of it--I only spent one card. And it went right back to my command zone, too.

Of course, 1/1 elves alone are kind of slow if you're spending your whole turn to make them. You want to get some ramp out there so that you can play some enchantments too. Ideally you drop a Primeval Titan. Titan is insane in every deck, obviously, but the token deck really loves him because he fetches Kjeldoran Outpost and Vitu-Ghazi, which are extremely important for quickly rebuilding the board post-Wrath. You don't want to leave up six for Rhys, get Wrathed, and then feel like an idiot because you wasted your turn. That's awful. So you get some token-making lands and start making more 1/1 durdles at the end of their turn.

Oh, and Gavony Township--I've only added that recently, obviously, since it's a new card, but it's kind of ridiculous in a token deck. I guess that probably isn't surprising to anyone who's ever read what the card does. The utility lands are so sweet that I'm also running Sylvan Scrying and Reap and Sow to fetch them, and I run Green Sun's Zenith just to find Primeval Titan.

The real sweet thing the deck does, though, is just surprise-kill people. End of your turn, instant-speed X-spell token generator, make 20 guys. Untap, Overrun effect, kill you. They never see it coming. It's great. Especially after a Wrath effect. (See? Wraths won't save you!) White Sun's Zenith is one of my favorite cards in this deck; it's a lot of fun to use.

Biggest weakness is probably Elesh Norn. I mean come on. How do you even beat that card? Also, decks that go over the top with combos and stuff can be pretty tough, since GW doesn't have a lot of ways to disrupt them.

From Dark Ascension, I've been trying out Jar of Eyeballs and Haunted Fengraf. Jar's been nice. I got it out in just one game, but I had Perilous Forays + Seedborn Muse to sacrifice dudes and charge it up, and it ended up being pretty godly--basically a tutor. Fengraf has been nice for when I get out an early Primeval Titan. I can search up Fengraf, and if they kill the Titan, I just bring it right back because it's the only guy in my graveyard. Ha!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I thought about writing about a dream I had, but I decided against it. Why? Because dreams are boring. Seriously, don't tell me about your dream. It's boring. Nobody cares.

Dreams are like bad fanfiction. Nobody wants to read your erotic Sonic the Hedgehog/Street Fighter/Animorphs crossover. It's not interesting to anybody except you and your New Age therapist. Or at least, it's not interesting to me, and that's the important thing. Incidentally, I may have just gotten a good idea for a fanfic.

Friday, February 24, 2012

So yesterday was my pass time for Spring Quarter registration.

I had an awkward slot because it conflicted with one of my classes. So I missed class. Oh well, it could have been worse.

Here's what I ended up signing up for:

  • Statistics 13: Elementary Statistics. I need three Science/Engineering GE credits and I have two. So here's a third. I've been meaning to take statistics for a while because statistics are just a really good thing to know about. With this class, it was between Statistics 13 and Statistics 10 ("Statistical Thinking"), and I went with this one because a. it fit better into my schedule and b. I looked on Rate My Professors and the instructor was pretty popular, so that's always reassuring. (I've started checking all my classes before I sign up...I got burned pretty bad a couple times last year when I didn't.) This is one of those ones where the textbook is really expensive, so I'll end up doing all my studying at the library instead.
  • Plant Sciences 5: Plants for Garden, Orchard and Landscape. This is a 2-unit class that I took to round out my schedule. I had 12 units, which is low, so I wanted some more, but I still wanted space so I could maybe have room for a Freshman Seminar when Pass 2 rolls around. This is a hands-on class where you actually plant stuff in a garden. The downside is that I'll probably have to buy gardening supplies, but on the upside, maybe I'll take home some fresh-picked tomatoes, or something like that.
  • Comparative Literature 6: Myths & Legends. I was looking at two different comparative lit classes--the other was "Fantasy". Could have gone either way. I went with this one because the other had a schedule conflict.
  • English 10A: Literature in English. This is a historical lit class.We'll see how it goes. I'm taking these lit classes because I'm thinking about doing an audible over to an English or Comparative Literature major. Still haven't decided.
That's 14 units. I'll swing by registration again on the second pass and maybe sign up for a Freshman Seminar or two, if any good ones are available.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

When I walked out of the house this morning, I put my hands in my pockets and realized that I had a glove in my left pocket and no glove in my right pocket. This is a terrifying thing because it means that one of my gloves fell out of my pocket. So I spun around and looked on the ground behind me, but I didn't see anything. This is also terrifying because it means one of my gloves fell out of my pocket and I have no idea where it is. Now, the ideal situation is that it fell out of my pocket when I tossed my jacket on my bedroom floor. But by this point I was halfway to the bus stop, and if I turned back, I'd end up missing the bus and have to bike to campus instead, and even then I probably wouldn't have time to comb through the bushes searching for a missing glove.

So all day long I'm at school and I keep putting my hands in my pockets, and every time I do, I feel the empty space in my right pocket and I'm grimacing because I have no idea if I'm ever going to see that glove again.

I had a cup of soup for lunch. Clam chowder. Heated it up in the microwave at the MU and sipped it on my way to my Sociology lecture. It tasted like clam chowder. Those little soup cups are nice because I can heat them up in the microwave at the MU and drink them while I'm walking to my Sociology lecture. Bought a plate of rice and spicy chicken from a food cart for dinner. It tasted like the sum of its parts. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't very good value bucks and it's mostly rice and lettuce with a little chicken. Tasted fine, but I'd rather have the value. This is why it's better to pack a lunch. If you don't pack a lunch and you get hungry, you have to buy food on campus, and the value is so much worse. One bagel sandwich at the CoHo is like $2.50, but you go to the grocery store and that same price will buy you bagels for a week if you're willing to spread the cream cheese yourself.

I'm on the fifth Song of Ice and Fire book now. I just finished the part where King Joffrey forces Robb and Arya Stark to duel to the death. I can't believe Arya would cut off her own brother's head, just like that. Did not see that coming. Oh, sorry, I guess that's a spoiler.

Anyway, I got home and my other glove was on my desk. Phew.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Huh, I just looked at the theme this thing had and it was super-high-contrast white text on a black background. Ew, that's awful. So I tried this white-on-darkgrey instead. Better,, it's...meh.

I don't want white on black because that's awful. I don't want black on white because that's almost equally awful. I sort of like the cyan, but that's kind of Twittery. I'll try this cloud background and see how that looks.

This has been an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the production of things that I wrote in this place.
Okay so this is a blog.

Why am I writing this? Because fuck you, I wanted to write it.

You know, I always feel a little uncomfortable casually writing "fuck you" like that...the more you use strong language in casual speech, the less powerful it becomes, and when I write a cheap gag like that it feels like I'm desensitizing myself and anyone reading it, and then when I'm really mad and I need to cuss, what am I supposed to do? So I try to avoid the biggest expletives. The problem is, sometimes, especially when you want to be concise, it's just hard to effectively convey that same emotion with a bowdlerized alternative like "screw you". Imagine I wrote "Because screw you, I wanted to write it." It just doesn't sound right, does it? Sometimes you can get creative with things like "Holy flying garbage pails", but then you end up sounding like you're auditioning for Cheesy Batman Sidekick. Or you can think of something that sounds obscene without being explicit, like "Stick your head in a blender, donkey vomit." But that doesn't work because first, it's ridiculous and usually stupid, and second, I didn't think of it. Well, I thought of it now, but it's too late, I'm already explaining this whole thing.

Anyway, the point is, I'm writing this because I don't do enough writing. I like writing. And if you want to be good at something, you need to do it a lot. Like, I skimmed the Malcolm Gladwell book, but really it's just common knowledge. You have to practice to be good at something. Practice makes perfect, whatever.

Like, last quarter I took a writing class, right? And every lesson we had writing practice, where we had a prompt and we wrote something for it. Like not even a free write, just a creative exercise like "Write a short story that uses no punctuation" or "Write a short story that uses no adjectives." Well anyway, that was all fiction, but that's not important. I mean, I could write fiction if I wanted. I'll write whatever I like, fuck you. There, see, I did it was weaker this time, wasn't it? I mean, it was a comma splice (unless you're the Asian gal from the Austin Powers movie with the cheap pun name, in which case you can pretend I was talking to you, assuming you're using a text-to-speech program to read this and you didn't see how I spelled it) which could weaken it, but anyway.

Okay, so I have a blog already, that being the one over here, but I pretty much only use it to write about RuneScape, right? And that's what the people reading it are expecting me to write. This is mostly in my head because as far as I know there are only, like, one or two or three people who actually follow it faithfully, I dunno, I mean I'm not really that great and I'm definitely not famous or anything so it's not like I have a loyal fanbase...but it's on a RuneScape website and it has "RuneScape" right at the top and all the posts are about RuneScape and the fact of the matter is, I don't really have all that much to say about RuneScape these days. I mean, maybe I have things to say, but nothing interesting. Or like, maybe it's interesting, but it's still boring, you know? It would just look like this. Like this right here. Except about...some RuneScape thing instead of whatever this is. Which isn't inherently bad except that none of my other posts look like this. Except the first one. This is my first post here too. Maybe it's only the first post that looks like this. Who knows. But most of my posts are actually, like, real-looking. Like, I could send them to a RuneScape, like, magazine, or something, and I wouldn't be embarrassed if they published them. Mostly. Like, they're actually clever. Or if not clever, then funny, at least a little bit, or maybe even informative or opinionated. Whereas this...well, this is just a brain dump, right? Pretty much. Hopefully that's obvious by this point, if you got through the third paragraph.

The real point is, I need to write more. Or I want to write more. Or whatever. I'm going to write more. And so this is a blog. I guess. It's this place where I posted this thing. And I'll post some more things. And they could be things about anything, so if I'm not playing much RuneScape right now I'll just write about something else. Whatever.

Drinking game: take a drink whenever I say "whatever", "I guess", "anyway", "so yeah", "stuff", "y'know", or the adverbial or hedging forms of "like", or start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. Yeah, it's gonna be like this.

Y'know, people think "like" isn't a real word, like, that it's just thrown into sentences at random without any meaning. But that's really not true. It's an actual thing with actual grammatical...stuff. There's, like, research, and...see, now that I wrote the thing about the drinking game, I'm all self-conscious about saying "stuff" and "whatever". But anyway...damn...anyway, it's an actual real word. And it's actually really old. It's been in common usage for, like...drink...ages. Like centuries. You can look this stuff up. (Drink drink.)

 So yeah. Writing. Things. Whatever. I'll post again later.