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5/6/10 06:17 pm - Blarg.

No one reads this and I don't have much to say anyway. Been using facebook for the whole what's-going-on-in-my-life thing lately. I'll hang onto LJ just so I can comment on other people's journals. If anything gets written here ever again, it means the situation has changed. So, this journal is for now... hibernating.

3/14/10 10:11 pm - Just maybe.

While my depression seems to have gone away for now, it really left my life in a mess. My overall health went to shit, and my artistic inspiration died. It was an artist's block that lasted for several years. Whenever I tried to get anything on paper, I immediately felt like I couldn't draw at all, and drawing itself made me feel nauseous and frustrated. It was horrible.

I'm still not quite back to normal, but it's getting a bit better now. I still feel like everything my pencil spews is pure shit, but the act of drawing doesn't feel so horrible anymore. I have managed to doodle a bit without feeling like I should snap the pencil in half and set the paper on fire and rip my hands off.

I also awoke to seeing exactly how bad my health is when compared to what it was before I moved to Raahe. So far I have managed to implement some limitations to my computer use, in an attempt to bore myself enough to a) draw or b) exercise. I also make sure to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, and I try not to take the bus so often. Oh, and I got medication for my respiratory problems.

So let's see where this goes. Maybe I'll make something of my life after all. Maybe I can go back to calling myself an artist without lying. Maybe I can soon go up two flights of stairs without risking an asthma attack. Maybe, with some time and effort.

2/1/10 10:50 pm - Angst.

Mainly about loneliness today. I want a girlfriend. And more friends in general. But I have trouble meeting people. I'm not interested in hanging out at bars that are full of smoking, drunken, noisy heteros. And there are no gay bars in this town, none at all. And all my hobbies are the solitary kind, something I do at home. And since I'm nervous outside my own safe space, I don't have much desire to "just go out and meet people", as people have suggested I do. If only it were that easy. Social situations are incredibly taxing to me, and I need long recovery times.

Taxing and tiring. Let's take looking in the eyes for example. It's considered polite and normal to look people in the eyes when you're talking to them. For me it feels awkward and artificial and I'm constantly trying to figure out if I'm staring too intently or if my gaze is shifting around and making me look untrustworthy. I have to put all my energy and concentration into appearing polite when talking to the neurotypicals. When I'm concentrating on operating "normally", I can't think very well, I can't speak very well, I can't pay attention to my surroundings. Goodness forbid if I have to actually read the body language of the other person as well, that would totally overload my brain. After situations like this I'm sweating, twitchy and scared. I have to rest to regain my composure. It feels like I've passed some horrible test, well or badly, and I know other such tests are looming in the future. I can only fight through them every time.

What would dating be like for someone like me? I know my criteria - she can't be a smoker, she has to be intelligent, she can't be allergic to cats, I would really prefer for us to share at least some interests. But would she like what I have to offer? I know my own worth, and I rather like myself, even with the annoying faults. But where do I find someone else who likes someone like me? Who would tolerate my tics, my inability to keep long eye contact, my demand for open communication because I'm completely unable to read body language and subtle hints? Would my good points really be enough for her to look past the bad points?

I've read a lot about special needs children, but what about special needs spouses?

1/6/10 02:22 am - About the nasty reality.

I've been reading a lot about racism and sexism and privilege and stuff lately. Blogs, reports, news... For a while I had the rosy image that Finland is, while not perfect, not horribly bad either. But actually Finland doesn't have its act together at all. Women still get paid less, all possible minorities face discrimination in their everyday lives, and the majority of people either have no idea or are downright proud of their bigotry. Public workers, businesspeople, civilians, they all keep treating other human beings like shit.

Here is one report (in Finnish) of the situation in 2008 - very current. www.ihmisoikeusliitto.fi/sivut_print_book.pdf

It was shocking to find out the extent of this, and for some time I was really down about it. I lost hope, I felt like nothing in the world can be trusted if even my precious home country can be this bad. But as I always do with things that terrify me, I kept reading and learning. Now my view is somewhat jaded - it was naïve and narcissistic to think in the first place that Finland is some kind of Shangri-La of peace and love, in any field. Just because some countries have it even worse doesn't mean we have yet reached perfection. On the other hand I got some of my determination back - even if there is less hope now, there is more anger and more awareness. I'm not sure if I can do anything about the problem, but at least I now know enough to be unable to hide behind my ignorance and privilege anymore. Now I know that if I find a way to ease the situation, it is my absolute responsibility to do so. No excuses.

Dear Finland, I would very much like to love you in all ways, but you are making it impossible. Please stop sucking.

6/8/09 12:54 am - Mindless carnage for fun and profit.

So I finally tried the Team Fortress 2 I had bought because everything on the net had convinced me of its awesomeness. And had so FUCKING MUCH FUN I nearly hyperventilated from all the laughing afterwards.

Didn't have much luck playing as a Pyro because I suck at close-range fighting and my shitty mouse makes it hard to toggle between weapons so I couldn't switch to the gun when needed, so yeah... Next I tried soldier. UNF, JACKPOT! It felt sooooo good. Noob as I am, I still got killed pretty fast, but DAMN I made one awesomely sweet kill.

So, I was stopped at a yard somewhere, my teammates gone ahead. Then I looked up and saw flames coming from one doorway. I aimed there, waited a moment and launched. And enemy Pyro goes SPLATTER! Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (And the next moment someone killed me, but oh well. Details.)

Arena battles are really fun, it seems. It's all so goddamn fast-paced and CHAOTIC and MINDLESS. IT ROCKS! Dying doesn't bother me at all, because I pretty much expect it - I know I'm not the best possible player. It's more a matter of staying alive long enough to do as much damage as possible. ^_^

Ah, I never would have thought I'd gush like this about a first-person shooter. Just like I used to think I would never truly like a car game of any kind. Yet there are now few of each of these types I adore - Team Fortress 2 and Carmageddon 2 (1 is good too). Notice the similarity? Both would by genre default have pretty simple objectives (walk around and shoot, drive around in a circle) but these particular games actually reward you for playing around. I LOVE GAMES THAT LET YOU PLAY AROUND. Carmageddon has made it the main point, even. I don't even classify it as a car game in my mind, because... Drive the laps? Why would anyone want to do that when mauling the opponents, squashing the pedestrians and breaking your own car with insane stunts gives more benefits?! And is a million times more enjoyable. And Team Fortress 2 has managed to make the dying of EVERYONE, including the player themselves, JUST SO MUCH FUN. And I swear, if I some day manage to get even one of those achievements, I'm going to faint from sheer fangirly happiness.

Yes, this post was shameless fangirling all through.

I just had to get that out of my system. 8D

2/2/09 02:41 am - Randomity once again.

I want to babble but roommate is sleeping, so the journal shall suffer this time.

I'm a bit tipsy right now. Quite a rare state, as I don't drink alcohol often and never much. Drunkness tends to resemble flu in my case, and I usually don't enjoy that feeling very much. Floaty light-headedness and badly controlled muscles can only be tolerated if I'm sitting down. I'm also really picky about the taste of alcoholic drinks, so far I have learned to like the taste of only few liqueurs. Drinking is definitely not something to do when I'm supposed to be active and social. No drunk partying for me. I drink when I want to enjoy the taste of my darling liqueurs and when I'm able to sit down, listen to music and do something peaceful and nice. For some reason, I often get the urge to write when tipsy - another reason I'm updating my journal after all this time.

I've been way too lazy with my schoolwork lately. The last few courses tired me out a lot and now I'm having to stress about money because the welfare people are being bitchy. I should put much more concentration into the languages I'm studying, but somehow it feels like the brain activity needed to actually study is just too much. I tire fast, as I have done since the start of my burnout some years ago. Still recovering from that. I should take studies slowly at this point, but it would feel stupid to take too few courses at a time. Besides, a steady and constant stress level seems to be exactly what keeps me going. If I had more free time, I would just use all of it at the computer anyway. Still, I have high hopes about my Spanish studies - it's an awesome language, and I'll be damned if I can't get fluent at it with enough effort.

Yeah, still being a lifeless nerd. I've been reading a lot about storybuilding in TvTropes and Limyaael's blog, and they can take up whole days easily. I also recently bought two new games, as if I needed more things to get addicted to.

Yes, the story and the world, which I've been writing about here earlier. The project keeps getting bigger and bigger as I notice things that need to be thought of to make the world functioning and plausible. It complicates things that I'm trying to approach the world from different angles at the same time. Time itself being the main problem. For example, let's say I want to insert one fact into the world about a thousand years after the humans arrived there. Now I have to consider how this fact affects all the things that come after it. No problem, right? But then I start making stories about a time six thousand years into the future, and I see there several things that I don't know where they came from. And I have to track their history backwards and fit their origins into the grand scheme of things. One mess-up could change the whole history so that the world wouldn't make sense anymore. Aargh.

And now that I've gotten addicted to world-building, two other projects of mine have started to harass me as well, wanting attention. One thing at a time, please! I'd like to get at least the world map and basic history of Bhejenin done before trying to create several alien societies and languages!

Tipsyness starting to wear off now, I think I'll go read some more of Limyaael's ramblings. Good night.

5/25/08 04:38 am - World-building.

With my artistic inspiration slowly starting to return somewhat, I've been thinking about my fantasy world Bhejenin a lot. If I ever actually get it done, there will be several comics and hopefully one game situated there. The world-building has been progressing somewhat oddly because I started it from one dream vision and then dumped it chock-full of basic fantasy clichés. And now that I'm finally taking it as a serious world-building project, troubles arise. I have to get rid of some clichés and find plausible explanations to some. As much fun as totally converting some fantasy clichés would be, it could turn against me by looking obvious, cheap and ridiculous. Better to just make everything from scratch, in the limits of my original vision and some of the newer things I've gotten very attached to.

At the moment the setting of Bhejenin is a planet quite similar to ours in terms of sunlight, gravity, atmosphere and thus, ecosystem too. On the other hand, not similar. Humans still are from Earth though. They came to Bhejenin a long time ago - how long exactly, still is a bit fuzzy. At first it was a few thousand years, then I cranked it to 11000, and now I'm thinking if it should be even longer, because I need some minor evolutionary changes in humankind to explain one species (or 'race') I have and will not get rid of no matter how unoriginal it might be. And evolution doesn't happen overnight, not even in alien environment, and especially not within a species that reproduces as slowly as humans do.

Logical timeline pains, in addition to tiredness of fictional clichés made me get rid of the medieval Europe type setting Bhejenin originally had - of course it did, because that's exactly the kind of fantasy I was reading daily when I had the dream that inspired the creation of Bhejenin. But I've grown up and so shall Bhejenin. Medieval Europe copy wouldn't make any sense in a world that has never seen even the first glimpses of Middle Ages, or the nations on which European culture was founded, for that matter. So I can (and must and will) base the cultures, their politics, mythologies, architectures and people, on what makes sense and happens to happen in that strange world. They are colonists, only trying to survive. The faeries might help them (more about them in a moment) but there are many things that can hinder them as well. Like, let's see... A totally alien world perhaps? Which plants can be eaten, which not? Is that animal safe to approach or will it kill us and eat us? Is that water drinkable? How fucking long will this winter last, will we have enough food to survive it? OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT IN THE SKY AAAAA. And so on. Given the long timeline (which really might expand even farther if I can't find a plausible way to fit those minor evolutionary changes in ten millennia) anything can happen. Cultures may rise, they may fall. People die, but never enough to make humans perish completely. And then some of the cultures actually last long enough to have impact on the history, or even be present, of the current setting of the world.

Oh yes, the faeries. They've been somewhat present from the very beginning, but their meaning to the world was very minor until quite recently, as I came up with the theory of faeries having come to Bhejenin alongside humans. I still haven't decided if they brought humans here or was it the other way around, or did they just happen upon the same interdimensional rips together, or what. Anyway, their influence on Bhejenin's written history has been significant.

The 'faeries' in this case mean the highly magical, somewhat chaotic beings with no one stated form. They don't live on the planet as much as they live in the dimensions around it, in its 'neighbourhood' so to say. The wispy-minded live-in-the-moment energy beings that dance in forest clearings all nights long. The dark, furry critters that steal babies. The folklore faeries.

In Bhejenin there are also dragons, which have come there from elsewhere (or possibly evolved there, I still haven't decided and I might even leave that open since the dragons don't know either) and demons. The demons are very much like faeries, in that they're highly magical, don't have a set appearance, and some of them live in the planet's neighbourhood rather than on it. They're not servants of evil (unless the evil pays well or is really fun), they're not the enemies of the world (as long as the world isn't their enemies) and all in all they're not Always Chaotic Evil (check TvTropes if you don't know the meaning of this). They are, depending on the level of intelligence and magical powers, anything from hungry and territorial otherworldly beasts to god-like beings that rarely even pay attention to mortals or the world they live in. If HoofFoot and I ever get that game done, there will be one demon as a playable character.

The dragons. They were very much part of the original vision, and besides they are such an important symbol of imagination to me, that this cliché I was not willing to get rid of. Now the only thing to do is to explain them somehow logically. How can a giant reptile fly? The easy answer is magic. But even that needs a bit thinking. Do the dragons actively use magic to fly? Or is it somehow part of their genetic code to be so awesomelly magically charged that they can defy the laws of physics? To dodge this cliché I've already made two non-flying dragon races and one that consists of ghostly energy beings, and thus can fly without even needing wings. Still haven't decided what to do with the traditional western fantasy dragons. I would like to keep them in honor of the original vision, but they bother my logic senses so badly I might change or scrap them in the end.

And then there are the 'relatives of humans' as I call them. I this case, goblins and elves. The Bhejenin goblins are actually just a different human race, and the result of that 'minor evolutionary change' I mentioned earlier. They are to 'normal' humans kind of like what homo sapiens neanderthalensis were to homo sapiens sapiens, except maybe not even that much difference. The elves are actually a hybrid species of kinds - what the people of Bhejenin call 'elves' are all the children of both human and fairy heritage. Someone with one fairy parent and one human parent is an elf, but so is someone with one great-grandparent of the other species in a family of the other species. I also don't intend to make the elves 'perfect' or 'high and mighty' in any way. Some might be flaky and chaotic like the faeries, or more organized and prone to science like humans, or something in between, but their personalities are their own. And the goblins are not sneaky, stupid, little green-skins. They're very much like humans, just more adapted to the planet Bhejenin.

In fact I might even name those two 'species' something completely different because the names are so misleading. Originally the names were supposed to be a relic of the humans' past home - the elves and goblins were supposed to be named after creatures from old human folklores. But since they came to Bhejenin so long ago that those myths may not have been born yet, and travelling with faeries no less, it doesn't make sense. There's just one thing holding me back from renaming them, and it's the chronology known as 'elven memory' which starts from the children of humans and faeries being given their own name. So any name I give them will also make it to the chronology. It must be something good.

So I have a few name issues, one time issue, and the dragon issue to solve before I can really get into designing the history and cultures. In the meantime, I'll have to finish the world map with all the funny stuff like tectonic plates and mountain ranges so I can know how the ground and climate behave... And only after that I can really concentrate on creating the flora and fauna.

Sometimes, just sometimes, it's really tiring to be such a science nerd.

5/22/08 07:14 am - Rays of hope.

This time I might actually manage to get away from Raahe. Now that I'm finally well enough to seriously consider trying studies again, finding an apartment shouldn't be that hard either. Not sure exactly when I get to move, but before autumn at least. So while I may not get to enjoy this summer to its fullest because I'm still here, a nice, cool autumn in a completely new city would be full of awesome.

And then I could get to start things again. Everything's been on hold for a couple of years because I haven't wanted to make any commitments in this town, in case I'll get to leave in a hurry. As soon as I finally get to somewhere I'm actually planning to stay in for a long time, I'll start going swimming again, I'll get a dentist's appointment (gotta check those damn teeth again) and I'll buy a bike. I'll get to know the city. I'm going to settle.

In other news, I made some wicked macaroni casserole yesterday. Good to know my cooking skills haven't gotten too rusty.

4/12/08 08:05 am - Good morning.

Didn't really sleep well at all. Had uneasy dreams and woke up with a slight headache. But the day keeps getting better. I managed to go through a really good workout and then I had a rare moment of inspiration regarding my darling fantasy world. I hadn't progressed with the world-building almost at all in the last year or so, and it was getting quite depressing. But just now, I spread the map papers on the table and started sketching. One continent that had been eluding me previously finally got its basic shape. The size of the world is easier to picture now as well, and I can just feel the shapes of the other continents forming in the distance.

Maybe I'll finally start making some progress in this world-building. The map is the most important thing, because I can't really invent anything else in that world unless I know where they happen. The enviroment shapes everything in history, from evolution of species to the developing of nations. When I've finished the world map, I can pinpoint where exactly humans first touched the ground of this new world, and start tracing the pattern of their migration from there. And so the history will start forming.

3/18/08 06:25 pm - Pain.

After having a headache five days in a row I decided to make sure I never slack with exercise again. I have started putting a reminder in my cellphone for every day to help me actually get it done. I also went and bought (really, BOUGHT) a new mattress and a pillow. Buying furniture instead of dumpster-diving it makes me feel like such a normal adult (NOOOOOOO!) but it can't be helped. My body is way too sensitive to handle that old, crappy excuse of a bed anymore. Waking up with a stabbing pain in my head every morning is not fun, so I'd rather not experience it anymore if possible.
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