Friday, November 23, 2012

Sales are mean

So I was doing my usual poke into the Steam store to see if there was anything I wanted on sale last night... Well thity-five dollars later I found myself with Risen and the Ultimate version of Dragon Age Origins. I still have twelve dollars left. Must resist.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Coffee for the Win

So I got one of those Tassimo coffee machines a while back. I thought it would be a good investment considering how much I like expensive coffees and lattes, and how much cheaper it would be if I just made them myself instead of buying them, but I forgot to take into account a few details. Like the fact that I don't actually buy expensive coffee all that often now that I don't live in walking distance of a cafe, and that even if seven to twelve dollars for eight cups of coffee/tea/hot chocolate is a great deal compared to three to six dollars for one cup in a cafe, it is not all that great a deal if you are going to be drinking those fancy coffees frequently. Basically, I've been spending twice as much for a  few cups of (admittedly really good) chai tea latte as I would for a large can of Nabob which can make dozens of cups of coffee. Not my best investment, but still completely worth it for the taste and convenience.

In fandom news, I've been all over the place lately. I've been a bit flighty about finding a new main fandom since the last few I looked into were fairly small or dying off to the extent that they had been around long enough that most of the original fic writers for those fandoms have already moved on, leaving a trail of unfinished epics left behind due to lack of interest. That's one of the worst things when you go back to old fandoms: finding out that all of your old favorites that were unfinished when you left are still unfinished when you come back. Currently I'm poking around in the Supernatural fandom, but it probably won't last since that is a fandom that contains a lot of things I tend to avoid (like RPF -it's cannon even!- and for the longest time the main slash pairing was incest, which is so not my thing even in fiction). Also, I'm getting more and more annoyed with the Buffy Crossover fandom. I used to like Xander centered fic back in the old days, when his characterization actually matched what existed in canon.  These days though, it seems like no one remembers that there are any characters *other* than Xander and his characterization and motivations in fanon are so far away from his canon characterization these days that it isn't even funny. Seriously, part of what made him an interesting character was that he didn't have super-powers and still fought anyway. the most annoying thing though, is that these Xander-Stu fics have become so popular that it seems like that's almost all there is anymore. Other BtVS characters may as not even exist, or are killed off, made into the villains, or just so badly characterized that I wonder if the writer has ever even seen an episode of Buffy. I used to be able to find lots of great fic at Twisting the Hellmouth, but these days its getting harder and harder to find anything even moderately readable and at this point I think I'd be happy just for fic centered on someone other than Xander- even for a power-up fic. Meh.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Today on Fandom Quest

Okay, so before I say anything about my ongoing quest for a new fandom, I'd like to admit that I just bought myself an Iron Man costume for my sack-person on Little Big Planet. It is adorable, as all sack-person costumes are. I also finally bought the Pirates of the Caribbean level pack, which contains water that doesn't kill me. Yay.

And now back to my regularly scheduled blog.

So last time on Fandom Quest I mentioned I was going to look into Hawaii Five-0 as my next potential fandom or go back to Doctor Who. I didn't find much for new Doctor Who fic that I actually wanted to read, and Hawaii Five-0 has some good stuff, but its one of those fandoms where I'd prefer to have seen more of the show before digging into the fic so I've been a bit hesitant to grab onto that fandom just yet. Instead, I somehow just sucked into the Inception fandom, which has lots of great fics, and then the Suits fandom, and back into the White Collar fandom for a bit, and now I've found myself poking into the Star Trek AOS fandom... though I probably won't stay there since Star Trek has never really been a fandom I've enjoyed fic for- mostly because a lot of the good epic fic I've seen tends towards too many technical world-building details and not enough focus on the characters or plot. Although, there have been a few fic that I liked back in the day... who knows, maybe I might stay longer than I thought. We'll see. 

In other news, I was going to do NaNo this year, but signing up didn't actually make me any more inclined to write than usual. These days I can barely muster the energy to write in this blog. Meh. I did get some good ideas for a story though, so who knows, maybe something might come out of it after all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finding new fandoms...

So I somehow found myself at the crack_van LJ community poking at fic reccs and fandom overviews and after a little while I looked up and honestly couldn't remember how I got there or why I was there in the first place. Sure, it is a great place to go when looking into new fandoms or re-familiarizing myself with old ones, and yes, I have been in need to something new, but how did I get there? Finally, I found a link to the fic that originally sent me there for a fandom overview of Grimm, which I haven't seen but which was the other series in an Avengers crossover that I had been thinking of reading. There had been a link on the summary of the fic on AO3 but since this was a good three or four hours ago it isn't too surprising that I forgot. The point is that this tends to be how I find new fandoms: by doing research into the 'other' fandom in a crossover with a fandom I'm already in. I've found a lot of great fics this way but I very seldom recall the exact route I've taken to get there afterwards so I thought I'd write it down today. Not that this means I've found my next fandom, because I haven't, but I've got a few ideas on where I want to start.

For the record, the last few fandoms I've been in are the Avengers, BBC Merlin, and oddly enough Teen Wolf which I still don't know how I got into. All three are active fandoms, but I've either already read the good lengthy fic in them and am waiting for new chapters and new fic, or I've gotten bored or just not finding anything to my liking.

The Avengers fandom has a lot of great stuff and will likely continue to, but I'm really getting sick of the fandom trope of 'let's redeem Loki by making him suffer incredibly out of proportion punishments that only making him crazier/a woobie, having not been responsible for the events of the Avengers movie after all, and make Odin/ S.H.I.E.L.D. a zillion times more evil than Loki ever was to compensate'. Yes, its possible that Loki was crazy/brainwashed/misunderstood, etc. and its possible that Odin was an even worse father than shown in canon, and yes there have been some really good fics with this premise, but seriously, it does not need to be the plot of every Loki centered fic ever. Personally I'd like to see more fic where he has some sort of elaborate plot that showcases his status as a trickster god, not a cliche villain or misunderstood woobie. Basically the Avengers fandom has done the exact same thing with Loki as the Dragon Age fandom did with Anders: taken the 'lets turn so and so into a woobie by piling on amounts of abuse that are insane and ridiculously overkill in order for character x to rescue and comfort/heal with true love/sex. Never mind that said characters already have back-stories explaining their issues that are bad enough that adding more angst isn't going to help. Meh.

BBC Merlin is where I headed once I started getting annoyed with the Avengers fandom but it didn't really become my new shiny favorite. There are some great fics in this fandom- I'm especially fond of some of the modern-verse reincarnation fics- but there was nothing really drawing me to read every single fic ever and then look for more in other archives. I think part of the problem is that a lot of the earlier fic has since been Jossed and that tends to bother me sometimes, and the other part is that I find of really dislike the 'secret identity' trope. Anyway, I think this will be a fandom I poke into every once in a while but never stay in long term.

Teen Wolf seems to have come out of nowhere and it took me a while to figure out who some of the  the characters were, but once I got that down I found I really liked it. It is one of those series where the main character is regulated to side character in fandom- or at least the summaries I've read say that Scott is the main character and not Stiles, who may as well be according to fandom. I don't know, but there is something about a character who is allied with werewolves but stubbornly human and determined to help that is interesting. There is a bit more of the 'Mate' trope than I'd prefer in this fandom but at least they actually have the excuse of supernatural creatures and an overall genre assumption that werewolves are supposed to have mates- which is more than I can say for some fandoms.

The reason I dislike the 'mate' trope is that it is closely associated with the 'love at first sight' and 'soul-bond' tropes that I find to be poor excuses not to actually build up to or work on relationships- basically lazy if not outright terrible character building. Admittedly, I have seen one or two fic where 'mate' doesn't mean 'yay we were/are in love despite never giving the smallest indication we even knew or liked each-other as even friends five seconds ago' but they're uncommon and have a tendency of doing that romance novel trope where one of the characters are possessive and overbearing  and the other is attracted but in denial and resisting for stupid reasons while wallowing in denial or obliviousness. Meh.

My favorite fic in the fandom is the one where Stiles and Lydia are a few years older than in cannon and are secret agents (ala X-Files but better funded and with more credibility) that deal with the supernatural sent to their old hometown to investigate the events of the first season. Its basically Teen Wolf from the perspective of competent adults who think the teen drama is ridiculous and that the teenage behavior of certain characters (ie, Scott putting his relationship with Allison above everything else including not killing people) is stupid beyond words. It is kind of a mirror of how when I was a teenager I was all apologist and 'we're not all that bad' and completely oblivious to the fact that half of the things I did or that were important to me then were genuinely stupid or just made no sense looking back. Now I'm one of those people who would be yelling at 'those kids to get off my lawn and turn down the damn music earphones were invented for a reason stop running around'. Of course I work in a supermarket and I hate everyone sometimes so teenagers are just an easy target since they aren't actually aware that they're crazy most of the time.

Anyway. New fandoms. I'm thinking of Hawaii Five-0 and poking back into the Doctor Who fandom now that enough time has passed since I was there last that there should be a bunch of new stuff. Also, I kind of want to see how fandom is reacting to how the Ponds were lost (*cries*). I've already read one good fix-it, but I kind of would like to see Amy and Rory being awesome in the past. Also I kind of want to see an Avengers/Doctor Who crossover focusing on that episode now. 

In non-fandom news I've been playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lately. I started it because people kept reccing Skyrim to me but I didn't want to shell out that much money if I didn't like the games and I figured Oblivion would be a good way to see. I didn't take into account how addicting it would be. Admittedly, it isn't my usual- I normally prefer my games to be heavily story and character based with at least a moderately sized fandom so I can continue to enjoy the game after I've finished it- but I love the open world concept where I can go anywhere and do anything with having to be in a certain order or in a certain way. Also, I've always loved collecting piles of loot.  So, I'll probably get Skyrim when I can afford it, but meanwhile I'm having fun with Oblivion.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


So my Firefox Bookmarks contains a little more than half decade's worth of bookmarks. They are organized by year until 2007 and then by type and genre and original source afterwards. Some are  better organized than others, and most are kept for the sake of nostalgia rather than actual worth, since a good 75% of the pages no longer exist, or have moved. I hardly ever poke into my old bookmarks unless I'm looking for something old, but I didn't want to loose those old files either so I have kept them all these years, only occasionally going in to weed out the lost and dead pages that can no longer be found even with the Way Back Machine. Nevertheless, I recently discovered that Firefox seems to have issues with such a big Bookmarks file and has been freezing up every time I try to edit anything in it, so I finally had to delete some years- though first I poked in and had a looksie to see if there was anything I might want to move to a more permanent folder. There wasn't much, but I did decide to keep my 2007 folder, since it was the first year I had actually organized my bookmarks by more than date and archive, and in fact still had a comprehensive listing of archives and sites that may still by valid. Plus all my old Stargate fic links, which I do look for every once in a while. Hopefully, deleting 2003-2006 will be enough... and its not like I don't have backups for if I need to find an old link....

Anyway, during my look through my old bookmarks I found my old deadjournal blog- last updated in 2005 or so. I actually surprised me how much has and hasn't changed since then:
I had more hope for the future since I hadn't yet run into the financial stumbling blocks of today and hadn't even realistically thought about getting a real job since I seemed to think it was an automatic thing after graduating university. I was more enthusiastic about the little things and still writing and planning to write- and I still had a passion for learning that I've lately found hard to find. My fandoms of choice were almost entirely anime based- I had just been on the way out of the Naruto fandom for the first time and complaining about the badfic in one of my last entries. What strikes me the most though was that the language I used was still very young and enthusiastic and excited rather than matter-of-fact and vaguely disconnected as I feel my writing is now. I wonder what changed....

Saturday, March 31, 2012

So... it has come to this.

So this blog is now attached to my Google+. I don't know if I like it yet.

Anyway. What have I done lately? Not much. I was trying to finish up my classes, but I got really sick and missed the exams, so that was a bust. Not fun, and will cause trouble later, but right now I'm completely burned out with school so I don't currently care that much.  Got in trouble at work too for calling in sick twice in as many weeks. Also not fun, but not much I could do about it without a time machine to warn my earlier self to save sick days for when I really can't work instead of days that working would be uncomfortable.

In fandom news... actually I'm between fandoms at the moment. I've read most of the good fic for Dragon Age, and a lot of the bad too, DRRR!!! was great while it lasted, but there is very little fic worth reading and most of it is crack. Assassin's Creed has a few good fic, but its fandom is mostly filled with self-insertions, Sues, and a surprising amount of slash between NPCs that I don't really care all that much about. Also, I suck at free-running, and walls are not easy to climb at all (though I heard that free-running is simplified in Assassin's Creed III due to all the trees.

Speaking of video-games, the ones I'm currently playing are the first Mass Effect game (I like to play things in order), Tales of Graces F for the Playstation 3, and the most awesome games ever: Angry Birds Space! I've been thinking about getting the Ultimate version of Dragon Age Origins for my computer, or just getting Dragon Age II for the Playstation, so I can actually try DA:II with my own saved file from DA:O to see if there are any differences myself, but I hate the idea of buying two copies of games I already own. I wish that buying a game bought the *game* and not just a *version* of the game, so I could at least transfer my save files between systems. I suppose that's what I get though, for deciding I want all the console systems instead of being 'loyal' to just one.

Speaking of which, out of all the consoles, my favorite is the Playstation 3 for prices and graphics. I like the Playstation Plus, since for a low price I get several free games each month and awesome discounts. Playstation Home is also pretty cool, since it makes the social aspect of gaming more interesting, and there are some really neat things and 'Spaces' you can get or visit- it does help if you have fast internet though, which I really don't.  Also, the PS3 is a BluRay player which is very handy. I also have a PSP which is nice, and hope to get the Vita as soon as I can justify spending that much money at once... and also once they have more apps and games I actually *want* to play. I'll probably get it when LittleBigPlanet Vita is released.

On the other hand, the Xbox 360 is a little more user friendly, its graphics and store are nice, and since you use your Windows Live account it is cross-compatible with a lot of things that people tend to have even without an Xbox, so it is a lot easier for the average user to figure out. It also has the Kinect, which is better than both a Wii and the PlayStation Move because it is hands-free and actually has a really good camera. The games for it are really fun too.The Xbox player Avatars are also pretty cool, and there are a lot of cool game-based clothing in the Avatar Market, but there aren't enough Avatar Games and nothing quite like PS Home, which is a real shame. Also, to buy anything in the Xbox market except for some of the newer games you need Xbox Points, which are expensive and *not* easily equatable to real money, you you sometimes *think* you are getting a great deal, when in reality you are paying twice as much as you would elsewhere.It would be nice if they put a translation to real money so you knew how much you were really spending. Speaking of spending, the downside of the Xbox 360 is that most of the really cool social and media aspects of the Xbox 360 require you to have an Xbox Gold account. This is more expensive than the PlayStation Plus, doesn't give you any free games, but does give you access to some sales and 'exclusives'. It also allows you access to several apps that are normally *free* to use. Admittedly, many of these apps are not available on other consoles, and they *have* been adding more content lately, but originally you had to pay a bit less than ten dollars a month to use Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix- as well as play any online multiplayer games you might have, not including subscription prices for said games or Netflix. Now included are several other media apps including YouTube and Crackle, which makes the price a little more bearable, and I will also admit that at least the Netflix app was superior to the one on the PlayStation in that it loaded a movie *before* trying to play it, which is very nice if you have slow internet. Still, I don't like having to pay for things that are free elsewhere. Also, I think there should be more compatibility between Xbox console and your computer- especially regarding Achievements. Oh, and it would be cool if there were more games released directly to the Xbox Marketplace, for those of us who live too far away from an EB Games or even a mall to buy things when they first come out.

As for the Wii.... actually, I only use it to play Mario Cart. I'm not the biggest Nintendo fan anymore- though I am tempted to pick up a 3DS one of these days since there're a few games for it I'd like to play.

and... that's about it for today.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

So much for more frequent updates...

Anyway, onto fandom. I don't remember what I was doing last time I updated, but my most recent fandoms were Dragon Age and Durarara!!!! with some brief forays into the Assassin's Creed fandom.
I've mostly left the Dragon Age fandom except for poking at certain authors and checking for news on any new DLCs, novels, comics, or the new anime movie that is coming out. And yes, that does mean that for once I actually played and beat both games- although I want to replay the first again on my computer since I couldn't import my characters for my PS3 saved games for DA2 even though they're both registered on the Bioware site (stupid lack of cross-system compatability- if I want to share my saved games between devices I should be able to). In the meantime I've decided to check out the Mass Effect series- I just started the first game yesterday.

DRRR!!! is great anime but the fandom is a bit odd and there are only a few fics that actually get everyone in character and are not completely AU or based on weird alternate character interpretations based off of album art and character song names. There *are* a few fics that are worth it if one has the time to find them though. One of theses days when I get the time I want to look up the manga.

Lastly, Assassin's Creed is a fandom that I've randomly poked into a bit over the past few years, but have been avoiding lately since I decided to actually play the games instead of just looking up spoilers on the wiki. Unfortunately I suck at climbing walls, but I hope to get better soon.

Oh yeah, another thing that has changed since my last update is my new computer. I finally got sick of my old one and updated to one I actually *can* play games on. I have updated my version on Microsoft Office from the free version though, since for some reason it doesn't allow for putting in footnotes- I nearly had a nervous breakdown on my last essay trying to find the option to put in footnotes until I googled the free version and found out it simply didn't *have* that option. Good thing I was able to find a freeware word program that *did* let me put in footnotes or I'd've been in trouble.