Mirth Alia
13 June 2012 @ 01:49 pm
Note to self:  
Make and upload summer banners.

Also maybe ask for opinions on series ideas idk how does I do writing.
Current Mood: '-'
Current Music: world spins madly on . the weepies
Mirth Alia
10 January 2012 @ 03:57 pm
Winter banners!  
I will never tire of Jeffrey Friedl's photography. ♥
Current Mood: chipper
Current Music: you . gold panda
Mirth Alia
10 January 2012 @ 11:46 am
Moving over!  
Hey guys, Livejournal keeps crashing Firefox for me, is accumulating spam, and has continually pissed me off with their CR, so I'm looking at moving completely over to Dreamwidth and deleting this journal in its entirety. (On the less negative side of things, DW is pretty much made of candy and rainbows and mindblowingly amazing admins who work really hard to protect their users and make the site accommodating for everyone, including those with disabilities and screen readers, so I'm not over there solely as a result of spite.)

I would love to see all of you over there! If not, I'll probably be pestering you guys for email or twitter or what have you so I can continue to be a constant irritation in your lives.

[livejournal.com profile] pretzelcoatl, you're covered, don't worry.
Mirth Alia
21 December 2011 @ 11:33 am
In other news: TELL ME STUFF?  
Man, I have been so boring lately.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR MORE INTERESTING LIVES, FRIENDS. I probably won't have anything interesting to talk about until I finish my George Clutesi books. WHAT HAVE YOU ALL BEEN UP TO.
Current Mood: thoughtful
Mirth Alia
20 December 2011 @ 10:51 pm
Oh. Uh. Huh.  

LJ sure did do a thing.
Current Mood: they were THIS incompetent
Mirth Alia
07 November 2011 @ 04:33 pm
Semi-reminders for myself. Cultural appropriation is Not Cool.  
"Although neighbouring peoples such as the Salish nations also traditionally produced art which shares some of the characteristics of Northwest Coast art, these styles of art are not usually included in the term, since the patterns and artifacts produced are rather different. For example, Salish peoples traditionally created standing welcome figures not created by other Northwest Coast peoples, did not traditionally create totem poles, and did not traditionally use the form lines and shapes of other Northwest Coast peoples.[4] One corollary of this fact is that — contrary to popular belief — other than some of the peoples of the Olympic Peninsula, no Native American nations of Washington and Oregon states produced totem poles and other characteristic, formline, Northwest Coast-style art objects before European contact.[5]

Traditionally, within a given community, some patterns and motifs could be used only by certain families and lineages, or with the agreement of those families and lineages. Today in British Columbia it is generally acknowledged that only First Nations artists of the appropriate nation have the moral right to produce art of given types and using given motifs. Some non-Native artists, such as John Livingston, have been adopted into First Nations and have thus formally acquired the right to produce such art.[1] In some Nations such as the Haida adoptions are simply seen as gestures and claims to produce work are viewed as economic and cultural appropriation."

Gotta be careful about this stuff.
Current Mood: thoughtful
Mirth Alia
03 November 2011 @ 03:19 pm
I live! Kinda.  
So those [community profile] aather and [insanejournal.com profile] sabra_la_tau games that I mentioned I needed distraction from?

I kind of joined them.


So that's what I've been doing lately, along with reading Diana Wynne Jones' Enchanted Glass and tearing through all of Kimi ni Todoke in one weekend. I've been trying to push more art practice and writing progress out of me, but it's still really tough for reasons I have yet to figure out. I swear I didn't have this much trouble a few years back. Maybe it's because I'm tired all the time now?

I have made some progress in the character development for the Mahou Shounen thing, so that's encouraging. Research for the game idea, however, is at a standstill, partly because I keep checking out awesome books and then... don't get around to reading them for whatever reason. Stuff for [personal profile] after_nightfall has been progressing in bits and tiny pieces, and I need to keep telling myself that I don't have the time to try and join Dreamwidth's development team, much as I would love to and everyone on there is awesome. (I guess I'll have to keep throwing my money at them instead.)

I did head down to Geek Girl Con last month (which was amazing), and that on top of Halloween on top of friends leaving for Spain on top of concerts a few weeks before might have just been too much. I've been having trouble at work, too. November and December are looking to be much quieter, so we'll see if that changes things.

In other news, I've been hearing very mixed reviews about Wacom's new Inkling. Does anyone actually own one who'd be willing to give an opinion?
Mirth Alia
01 September 2011 @ 09:30 am
Guys guys  
Guys give me something to talk about other than incoherent fangirling over all the awesome players and threading at [insanejournal.com profile] sabra_la_tau. It's just making me want to play like crazy or at [community profile] aather's parallel awesomeness but I've done this too many times before not to know how it'll end up. Saaaave meeeee.

On the upside, I'm doing more drawing! Kind of? Hopefully this will continue to be a trend.

There is nothing else interesting going on in my life. Still coming up with ridiculous transformation items and convoluted world rules for everyone-is-a-magical-girl verse. Still researching for the Mystery video game of Mystery (I'm doing it ass-backwards so the plot is coming first, then mechanics, then the actual learning of the programming). I'm loving First Nations culture more and more the deeper I get into it. I've always loved the art and mythology, ever since I discovered the Museum of Civilization back in Ottawa, and the societal structures and ways of living are fascinating. Plus there's been a lot of awesome related specials on TV lately, leading to my discovery of stuff like this and this, which excites me to no end. I hope I can do the culture justice. ahh so much research ahhh
Current Music: All I Do . Cleptomaniacs
Current Mood: cold
Mirth Alia
25 August 2011 @ 09:06 pm
More Portland than Chicago.  
My beautiful pocket watch from @duchessclothier came in the other day!

Some of you may find the engraving familiar.

A mirror-polished nickel pocket watch with a closed face, engraved in scripted font with the quote 'Dare we, Grant? Dare we?'. It's leaning against a square marble coaster sponged in green and yellow dragonfly patterns, bearing curly script reading 'Live well, laugh often, love much'.

The same pocket watch and coaster, only the watch's face is open, showing a plain clock face numbered 1 - 12.

I absolutely love it and will be carrying it everywhere I go. It's made out of very polished nickel, so it's tough and shouldn't tarnish like silver, and I was assured that the back can be popped off to change the batteries. The only way it could possibly be better would be to have a date ticker and a light-up face, but apparently it's almost impossible to find those types these days.

I look forward to explaining the quote to curious passersby.
Current Mood: excited
Current Music: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is . Chicago
Mirth Alia
22 August 2011 @ 03:53 pm
Adventures in manga time! Cuvie's "Dorothea".  
I'm borrowing a page from Chira's book for this review, because I can't think of any other way to appropriately display my glee.


The cover of Dorothea vol. 1, by Cuvie. Features white-haired, red-eyed Dorothea dressed in chainmail and (very short) armour and wielding a sword in front of a background of flame.The cover of Dorothea vol. 3, by Cuvie. Dorothea looking horrified with one hand in front of her face and her sword held in front in a defensive position, in front of a background of church colonnades.


Art of Pegasus from FATE/Stay Night done in purples and white on a black background, wearing a dress with a miniskirt and a pushup bodice, blindfolded, and whipping around a giant spiked chain. Also striking a stripper pose.


A promotional image from one of the performances of The Crucible, featuring an overhead shot of a bunch of fingers pointing accusingly at a woman dressed in conservative 1600s clothing, sitting in a chair, gripping the arm rests with all of her strength and looking beseechingly upwards.


An animated GIF of Barney from How I Met Your Mother raising his hand, with the caption 'I request the highest of fives'.

I have a more detailed summary that I'll hopefully have the chance to add later, but for now I just wanted to get this out there.

Click the manga covers to read the few chapters MangaFox has up!
Tags: ,
Mirth Alia
17 August 2011 @ 09:51 pm
Because I'm positive I'm not the only one who'll find this helpful.  
Determining line weight and artistic style, and what to do with it. )
Tags: , ,
Current Music: Feel Good Time . Pink
Current Mood: thoughtful
Mirth Alia
11 July 2011 @ 09:46 am
...my links appear to have been stripped from my layout by LJ's latest navigation bar. Thanks, guys! </sarcasm>

I'll have to try and fix it while putting together my summer banners. (Which I'm very much looking forward to. Any excuse to rummage through Jeffrey Friedl's photography is a good one.)

Haven't been posting much because I'm still trying to figure out this internet privacy thingamajigger. It's hard! Like playing 3d chess with social networking accounts.
Current Music: On the Wing . Owl City
Current Mood: okay
Mirth Alia
05 July 2011 @ 02:34 pm
The desk experiment may be coming to an end.  
I started using a makeshift standing desk at work several months ago. It's definitely been helping with my digestion issues (supposedly because I hunch over a lot while sitting), but I think I'll have to change back. I haven't been experiencing the higher levels of energy that so many people seem to gain from standing — if anything, I've been more tired. On top of that, my heels and arches have really, really started hurting. Except for the parts of my heels which are going numb, which I don't believe is a good thing.

I'm entertaining the theory that standing desks are best when you actually, you know, have some freedom of movement so that you can wander and such at regular intervals, but I'm only allowed to leave my desk for lunch and bathroom breaks. I'm guessing that's not enough.

Maybe I can find a happy middle ground by getting a high stool.
Current Mood: tired
Current Music: Memories of Light and Waves . Final Fantasy X-2 soundtrack
Mirth Alia
27 June 2011 @ 10:57 pm
There are NO WORDS.  


Oh gosh this is so absolutely gorgeous. And Merida is made of pure win and awesome, and best of all the writers don't seem compelled to shoehorn in any kind of a love interest. Instead the focus is on Scottish highlands and witches's curses and FIGHTING GIANT BEARS and ahhh she moves like such a warrior ahhhhh.


just watch, i'm going to wind up fanarting the hell out of this. or at least i really, really hope i will, because if this can't get me out of my slump nothing will

As a downside, though, Brenda Chapman getting kicked out of the position of director is confusing and disappointing. Especially given that she conceived the whole damn thing.
Current Mood: excited
Mirth Alia
23 June 2011 @ 03:48 pm
-insert dramatic music (or the theme to Rocky) *here*-  
I'm going to be posting this here primarily because this journal doesn't get that many views, and I don't think I want this to be commonly known yet. This is a big, ambitious project I'm embarking on, and I know it, and I'm tentative about whether I'll have the grit and knowledge necessary to see it through to its finishing phase. I'm even more nervous about what the gaming community could do to me - I realize there's the potential there for great partnership and the kind of support I could direly need, but there's also the risk of entering into deals with people who would want to sabotage a project like this or steal my ideas, and I don't believe I have the experience in the industry (or in intellectual property law) to tell the difference and properly defend myself.

I am well aware that this is almost definitely not something I can do on my own (in the short run, anyway - it definitely definitely isn't something I can do on my own in the long run). I'm also well aware that games live or die by their audiences, and this is a game that I really, really want to see living. So I'll do my best to be careful, work hard, have passion, and talk about what I can.

Granted, there isn't a whole lot to talk about at this stage anyway since it's all baby steps and conceptualization. That said...

The goals of this [mysteeeerious~] video game currently stand as follows:

  • To provide some basic-to-elementary education about First Nation mythology and ways of life to those unfamiliar with them.
  • To create a world and characters intriguing enough to make people want to learn more about these things on their own initiative.
  • To be, at the same time, respectful of historical and mythological figures within the First Nations communities.
  • To develop a simple-to-use, attractive [secret!] system and use it to its full potential within both plot and gameplay.
  • To make copious use of the native regions and fauna of Canada (and possibly upper United States).
  • To devise a fun, sly, manipulative main character who is relatable despite not being a traditionally accepted (western) form of hero or good guy.
  • To create enemies and events that provide comprehensive gameplay, but aren't presented as morally black/white or good/evil.
  • To achieve a balance between being easy to share, being easy to play (requirements-wise), and being within my capabilities as a programmer, while still adhering to my artistic vision as a designer who wants to make really cool stuff.
  • To be primarily self-funded/low in monetary cost, so that profits can be forwarded to various associated charities.
  • To create a kickass RPG that's just as fun to make as it is to play, bitch.

All I can say for sure about the programming platform is that it won't be a Flash game. I don't have the means or the training to create something like that, and using Flash products leaves a rather sour taste in my mouth that can take a while to fade. Blegh.

C++ is likely, though I admit to being abnormally fond of Python. I don't know much about its UI capabilities, though, and first I need to research my options as far as Linux-compatible rendering engines go.

That's all for now. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Current Mood: nervous
Current Music: There's A Fire . OK Go
Mirth Alia
17 June 2011 @ 05:19 pm
Streetside fortune telling  
So this morning on the way to work I found a handful of playing cards lying on the sidewalk. A 5 of diamonds, 7 of spades, and a 6, 8, queen, and king of clubs.

I'm sure this is a portent of something, I'm just not sure what. Low pay, moderate troubles, and playing auspistice for a married couple?
Current Mood: exhausted
Mirth Alia
09 June 2011 @ 12:35 pm
Analytics for music! Totally worth doing.  
I was just reflecting on the fact that I have no one favourite song or artist — at least off the top of my head, but then I realized that there's probably some song on my mp3 player that has a number of plays ridiculously higher than the rest. I just have no idea which.

It'd be interesting to keep track of that sort of thing from an analytic perspective: how many plays and skips each song on your player or hard drive gets. Scores could be aggregated for albums or artists, and you could see if your mp3 player's random play really is rigged if the same song keeps getting plays in that mode.

It's too bad there isn't any way to embed that natively in the mp3 filetype. It'd need to have a way to detect being played by any kind of player, and even if you could, you can't really retroactively add filetype properties on a mass scale. The closest approximation you could get would be a program for your player or desktop that could aggregate your plays/skips between devices.

Of course that isn't to say it couldn't be a possibility for a future format like mp5 or whatever, but it's not like those guys are reading this blog.
Current Music: A Night Like This . Caro Emerald
Current Mood: thoughtful
Mirth Alia
08 June 2011 @ 09:48 am
I seriously have nothing better to ponder about today.  
Am I the only one who was really disappointed as a kid when I learned the actual swear words? What with all the secrecy from the parents and malicious superior glee from the older kids I expected them to be something that sounded like R'lyehian and physically paralyzed people where they stood.

Instead I got a handful of four letter words that just sounded silly and fun to say. Major letdown.
Current Mood: thoughtful
Current Music: Rooftops . Lost Prophets
Mirth Alia
06 June 2011 @ 03:29 pm
Hitachiin twins? In MY alternate Venice fantasy?  
The white-robed boys swept back their hoods and Locke saw that they were twins; perhaps a year or two older than himself, and far sturdier-looking. They had the olive skin and black hair of the true Camorri; their identical long, hook-ended noses, however, were something of an anomaly. Smiling, they joined hands and bowed in unison from the waist.

'Um, hi,' Locke said. 'Which of you is . . . which?'

'Today, I am Galdo,' said the one on Locke's left.

'Tomorrow, I will probably be Galdo,' said the other one.

'Or perhaps we'll both want to be Calo,' added the one that had first spoken.

'In time,' Father Chains interrupted, 'you'll learn to tell them apart by the number of dents I've kicked in their respective arses; one of them always manages to be ahead of the other, somehow.' He stood behind Locke and placed both of his wide, heavy hands on Locke's shoulders. 'Idiots, this is Locke Lamora. As you can see, I've just bought him from your old benefactor, the master of Shades' Hill.'

'We remember you,' said presumed-Galdo.

'A Catchfire orphan,' said presumed-Calo.

'Father Chains bought us just after you arrived,' they said in unison, grinning.

'Knock that bullshit off," Father Chains said, his voice somehow regal. 'You two have just volunteered to cook dinner. Pears and sausage in oil, and a double portion for your new little brother. Get. Locke and I will deal with the kettle.'

Sneering and gesturing rudely as they went, the twins ran for the curtained door and vanished behind it. Locke could hear their footsteps trailing away down some sort of staircase, and then Father Chains motioned for him to sit beside the copper money-kettle.

Thankfully Tamaki is nothing like Locke and Kyouya only has a few shared similarities with Father Chains. I'm sure you can pick out which.

Obligatory crossover bunnies aside, I've only just finished the prologue and I'm absolutely hooked. The writing is brilliant and obviously well researched, the dialogue cracks me up, and the characters are absolutely fascinating.

The summary pretty much says it all:

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a fantasy novel by Scott Lynch. It follows the adventures of a group of con artists known as the Gentlemen Bastards. They live in a city called Camorr, heavily based on late medieval Venice. The book is divided into two interspersed stories. In the present time, the Gentlemen Bastards must contend with the Grey King, a powerful figure terrorizing Camorr's criminal community. Every other chapter, however, delves into the history and mythology of Camorr, the Gentlemen Bastards, and especially the protagonist Locke Lamora.
Wikipedia entry accessed June 6 2011

The author, Scott Lynch, has his own [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch, and finally, there is the following:

"Locke's first name is an homage to a character in SquareSoft's Final Fantasy VI, also known as Final Fantasy III in the United States. This game had a huge influence on me when I was in my mid-teens; I think it's one of the most brilliant and heartbreaking console roleplaying games ever created, a real work of art. "

So there is next to no reason why anyone who even remotely likes this genre shouldn't read this book.

If I can get my act together I think I may be compelled to illustrate some scenes from this book because seriously the lights and the glass bridges and dilapidated temples and hnnng
Current Mood: excited
Mirth Alia
04 June 2011 @ 11:24 pm
Flist fangasming! "Magical realism and colonization and Nietzsche/Foucault." My day is made.  
So anyone who happens to like any kind of fantasy writings and particularly awesome stuff pertaining to fantasy writings should go follow [livejournal.com profile] ipsius right now.

Right now right now.

Her most recent post is entitled "Magical realism and colonization and Nietzsche/Foucault" seriously there is no reason why you shouldn't be clicking right now.
Current Mood: excited