Ever actually noticed your brain’s chemical balance shift?

I’d been fighting thick, heavy depression for several days, and though the battle was going well by this weekend, the war hadn’t been won. Then yesterday, it was as if I blinked in mid-afternoon and suddenly felt fine, up to dealing with my personal issues and being pleasant company to others around me. I felt the change, it was sudden and slightly disorienting.

Strange how a funk like that can be like a poorly-designed, ill-maintained roller coaster that you didn’t realize you’d gotten on until you’re screaming down the first hill. You don’t want to be on this thing, but you can’t work out any way to get off immediately, and you’ve got to ride it until an opportunity for escape presents itself.

With my 5-year wedding anniversary coming up, and Invisifest to boot, at least I should now be in a frame of mind to enjoy them properly.

Congratulations to jdunson on his birthday Monday, and to raininva for having been WizKids MechWarrior Rules Arbitrator for five days now and not having killed a single gamer fanboy yet! A further hello to the friends page of the filking blog dandelionreport. I look forward to the White Plectrum reunion at Rising Star 12!

The Few, The Proud, The Odd

Found this while looking up some furry info:

Furry fan to web columnist: I’m offended by how you bid for cheap laughs by portraying furries as sexual deviants in your previous column. Some of us just suit up and role-play for the experience of being a fur!

Web columnist to furry fan: Chill out. The Trekkies learned to accept being made fun of years ago, you’ll have to also. Besides, wearing a fursuit for the purposes of kinky sex makes more sense to me than wearing one for any other reason…

Why am I referring to this? It’s beginning to seem to me that openly, honestly weird folk seem to get a lot more back-handed respect than the timidly weird, the “weird only on weekends”, the “weird as a form of social protest” types. When one’s cheerfully, openly different, yet basically functional in society, they’ll still be made fun of, but there’ll be an undertone of sneaking admiration for someone brave enough to take a different path and make it work.

On the other hand, the posers, the people who only act different ’cause they’re not getting enough attention, the ones who need to constantly defend their differences to people who really don’t care, seem to draw more honest scorn.


Battle Fury

Every time I see a hostage situation in the movies, the angry, violent part of me wishes I was watching the Klingon version, where the good guys sorrowfully declare the hostages martyrs, sing songs of their brave sacrifice, and blow up the building.

One of the worst times was actually during a Star Trek episode, where some culture had gotten hold of a space probe of ours, reverse-engineered the matter-antimatter technology (wrongly), and wrecked their planet. They then had the gall to blame us, and kill off a hostage to show that despite their idiocy, they still had really big sex organs. And to make it worse, our captain starts feeling guilty about the whole thing!

On the other tentacle, the Klingon version:
Terrorist: “Despite the fact that you were agreeing to our demands, we’ve killed one of the hostages. I bet you regret your mistake now, huh?”
Klingon captain: “I sure do. Good-bye, honorable landing party.”
Klingon landing party: “Bye! You’ll find some death song ideas in our personal logs – we’ve been working on them just in case!”
Terrorist: “What? Hey! Wait! Wait a minute!”
The landing party’s communicators, being really sturdy, register the first half-second of incoming photon torpedo fire.
Klingon captain: “Too bad. Let’s go find a planet with some real warriors!”

Now, I want to make it clear that I’m not suggesting this as a solution to any real-world situation. Whatever the flaws in the idea, though, I bet it would cut down on hostage crises.

Declaring a vent order

Just read an article yubbie posted elsewhere on the impending return of Battlestar Galactica… it’s a somewhat annoying article, full of smug talk like “we’re taking the opera out of space opera”, and “our spaceships won’t go woosh”, and “we’ll never do a time-travel story”, and “no bumpy-headed aliens”.

It makes me want to grab them by the throat and say, “Look – you morons!” Since the days when our hide-clad ancestors squatted around a fire and told stories of the gods to avoid thinking about how cold and hungry they were, storytelling has only needed two elements: engaging characters, and a stong plot (in fact, if you’ve done one of those elements extremely well, you can often skimp on the other).

If you’ve got those elements, you can do anything else you want. Technobabble? Fine, the fen will compose dictionaries for their own amusement. Bumpy-headed aliens? Makes it easier to tell ’em apart. Time travel? I’ll just point out that time travel is at the core of much of the favorite science-fiction and fantasy of the last 40 years.

Stop telling us what you won’t do, and show us some damn good writing. Do that, and all else will be forgiven.

While I’m in the mood to rant… yesterday, I was once again informed by a younger fan how lame classic Star Trek was, which is something I’m so sick of hearing. Kid, maybe the show isn’t to your taste, which is your right as a language-using primate. But I challenge you to find me a better science-fiction show with a continuing set of characters on late 1960’s American network television. Can’t think of one? Fine, then don’t blame a Ford Model T because it couldn’t break 100 miles per hour and didn’t have a CD player.

Aaaaahhhhh… that felt good.

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday…

An unscientific poll seems to indicate that, not only are geeks having more sex, it’s often pretty kinky. I guess that’s not a great surprise when you combine the sterotypical geek willingness to embrace new ideas and desire to avoid conformity. (Or sometimes beat conformity over the head with a baseball bat.)

Kinky is, of course, a relative term, but since the only part of sex necessary for the species’ survival is the act itself, I find it interesting that our brains are wired in such a way as to make all these variations so enticing. I gues that, in the long run, it encourages even more sex, which is what our DNA wants from us. I can just hear the Great Designers now…

“We’ve come up with this great advantage, better even than claws or wings. We call it ‘intelligence’, and with it, this species should be running the planet soon.”

“What’s the downside?”

“Well, now they’ll have things to do besides eating, sleeping, and making copies of themselves; it might slow the program down a bit.”

“All right… you can try this ‘intelligence’ thing… but make sure you tweak their circuitry so they’re still fixated on food, sleep, and sex. Otherwise we’ll never get this project done.”

Paging Ensign Rorschach

Couldn’t resist, I took the online inkblot test. I do feel that a lot of what the results say is pertinent… which I wasn’t really expecting, being suspicious about online tests and answer forcing. (I’m a practiced Tarot reader, so I know about getting people to answer their own questions for you) And the results are…


Michael, your unconscious mind is driven most by Curiosity.

This means you are full of questions about life, people, and the potential of your future. You spend more time than others envisioning the possibilities of your life — things that others are too afraid to consider.

Your curiosity burns with an almost physical need to know and do more. It’s only through new experiences that you feel a greater understanding of yourself or the world — which ultimately is the greatest way for you to feel satisfied.

It is possible that the underlying reason for your drive towards curiosity is a deeply rooted fear of boredom. That means that you are probably more susceptible than others to feel like you’re falling into a rut when life slows down into a comfortable routine.

You need to make sure you have stimulation in your life — that makes you feel like you’re innovating or being exposed to the ideas and experiences that truly inspire you.

With such a strong orientation towards curiosity, you’re also prone to a rebellious quality that shows up when you feel you are just going through the motions, and are unable to really influence the world around you. But interestingly enough, your drive towards novel experiences also indicates an openness others don’t have, but wish they did.

Unconsciously, your curiosity presses you to learn more, experience more, and get the most out of life.


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LiveJournal Use Survey

(copied from madwriter)

This survey looked like fun, and a chance for a little more introspection than the usual character quiz (such as the fascinating “Which Space Rogues Character Are You?” quiz by raininva). Ahem. Anyway…

* * *

1. Your LiveJournal “user name” and what it means:

Nothing complex or mystical at all – I’ve used “mikailborg” since my AOL days. “Mikhail” is an infrequent nickname for me in my local group of fans, a group which is overloaded with “Michael”s who need nicknames for clarity; “Borg” becuase of the artificial hip I recieved in ’89 after my car tried to imitate Buckaroo Banzai‘s and tunnel through a mountain. I had to pull the “h” from “mikhail” because, at the time, AOL screen names had to be 10 letters or less. It stuck, and my Elfie e-mail is still missing the “h”.

2. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) how well does your LiveJournal represent who you actually are?

Boy, the last question was so easy… I’d give it a 7-8. There are things about me which I may never discuss on LJ; on the other hand, I’m working on really opening up my mind and heart here once in a while, just to give them both some badly-needed fresh air. We’ll see how the experiment goes.

20 more survey questions and answers

Musings on a game of Mechwarrior: Dark Age

The simple fact of the matter is, as much as I enjoy all kinds of games, I am a rotten loser. It’s just something built into my personality, and I’ve never been able to overcome it. I honestly don’t know how to be casual and cheerful about losing a game; I envy those who have mastered that. I sympathized greatly with Jim Kirk in The Wrath of Khan when he stated flatly, “I don’t like to lose.”

Still, I want to be a good sport. Win or lose, I’ll want to play again, and throwing a fit can make it hard to find repeat opponents. So, when the burning feelings of anger and embarrassment hit, all I know how to do is to try to keep them hidden inside, let them sear through me quickly, and be calm and normal by the time I’m asked if I’d like to play again.

Well, I have to face facts… that’s not working very well any more. Shutting down my feelings fails completely around friends who know me and can see right through my mask. Besides, I can tell that my spirit is beginning to rebel against the decades of attempted stoicism; the mask is getting thinner and more transparent with every use.

I just have to figure out how not to let it bother me when I lose. Or give up all forms of competitive gaming; but that’s not exactly the answer I’m looking for.

Very Personal Stuff

Well, we all have a face, that we hide away forever
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone
Some are satin, some are steel, some are silk, and some are leather
They’re the faces of the stranger, but we love to try them on
— Billy Joel, “The Stranger”

So often, I want to bring my stranger out into the open, and just openly be that facet of myself. I repress him and keep him locked away, but he won’t stay there, and I can always feel him rattling the bars of his cage. Sometimes, he gets loose for a bit and expresses himself – in fact most of my self-expression comes from my stranger.

I dream of just breaking the lock, showing everyone I care about my bare naked self, and being free of the pressure. In my fantasy, this makes everything in my life okay, and we all live happily ever after. I rather doubt that reality would work that way.

Over the years, thanks to my friends and the semi-anonymous means of expression that is the Web, I’ve been able to let the stranger roam farther and for longer periods of time before he’s locked away again, and I’m thankful for that. Half a loaf really is better than none, and I can accept him a little easier than I once could. Rain, of course, has had a great deal to do with this.

My stranger is, of course, mainly responsible for this post. It make my heart race and my body tense simply to write these words, but I hope he’ll be satisfied for a while.

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