Category Archives: childhood

You Can’t Erase Yourself

Embrace the life that the Internet has chosen for you. All the pictures create your image. Your home is made of everything you’ve created a profile for. The anonymous commenters you’ve argued with are your noisy neighbors and your regular YouTube vloggers are the people you have coffee and a chat with.

It has been over 12 years that I have been active on the Internet. Sometimes I stop and try to think hard of all the places where I participated in discussions or signed up to be a part of a community. I’m recently battling with online sites to find IRL friends. I have made decisions to put time and effort into attractive profiles, but flee in terror when something comes along that could lead to a *physical* meeting. My life and ideas exist more fully online. I can talk to someone in person, but I remember that I have a blog where they can see how good my writing is or tumblr where they can see what I find funny or beautiful or they could find my old LJ and see what a complaining bitch I can be, but also how I see the world and my dreams. The real life me can’t be summarized in a profile, but I wish it could.

That went a little off the mark of what I originally wanted to say. I wanted to explore those weird niches that I fit into online. For a long time, when I first entered this digital world, I didn’t care who knew what about me. Those words I’ve said fill the background radiation of my Internet universe. I really liked posting to a site called Divine Whispers to defend my liberal religious paganism and to grow as someone of faith. I joined this site before deciding to become a religion major. I think I should have foreseen that decision. Anyway, I haven’t posted in forever, but my words are still there for anyone who wants to see all the biggest arguments from early 2000s. (I also tried to post on pro-Pagan boards like Witches’ Voice, but found it much more fun to face challenges from people who were serious about stupid opinions.)

I was reminded of this topic because I haven’t posted to my LiveJournal recently, but occasionally the little LJ bots will spam a post so I’ll see, “I am doing research for my university thesis, thanks for your great points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.” Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. Today I got one such e-mail and it was on a huge post about dreams. This was from 3 years ago. I remember the details. I mourn now not keeping that journal up, but from 2004 to 2010 I made enough posts to make it worth having.

frank

I did *not* make enough comments on Dead Nigel’s DeadJournal to warrant its existence. Apparently I wanted to make an advice column based on Dead Nigel. I think most of the questioners were ex-boyfriends and my roommate. I’m kind of glad I let that one go.

For years my high school friends and I maintained a website on a character we called “The Evil Elf”. I know we actively took it down, but part of me always hopes I can find some scraps of it that exist. The e-mail address I had is no longer in use and Anglefire didn’t have any other personal info. So I guess that part of my Internet self is gone, but my real self remembers… and cringes.

During college I had an Emory Learnlink… message board thing. Learnlink was our inter-college mail system. My message board was called “Of Gods and Men”. My friends thought it was cool. At least they told me it was. I will accept this delusion. It had sub-boards for different topics. I guess it was like Reddit, only we knew the identities of the flamers. That didn’t make the trolls any less bold. Unfortunately we all graduated and got kicked off the LL so alas “Of Gods and Men” is no longer active.

I’ve read webcomics that have evolved into monsters or disappeared forever. I’ve blogged on all manners of topics, including a specialty blog on my mom that has since been deleted since she discovered the Internet. If she read that sentence, I’ll have explaining to do. I’ve found hundreds of recipes and art projects that will never get done because the pictures make me feel inadequate as a human being. I’ve used the Internet to feed all sorts of weird fandoms (think Xena RPGs) and have been called a stalker by people who are one to talk. And I have pushed and pushed to have my meager additions to the world acknowledged. “Likes” “Reblogs” “Follows” and any comments (good or bad) can become an obsession for things I put a personal touch on. (I keep away from my Twitter account for the sake of my ego.)

I’m not sure why I went on a nostalgic trip like this. I could probably find more stuff in my Internet closet that hasn’t seen the light of day in years, but I’ll save that. If not for another post, I’ll have to write it down somewhere because those are the pieces that ultimately tie me to the ether that is The Cloud.

This may be the longest personal blog post I’ve ever written. Don’t expect any more of these out of me. I just want people to know that death cannot undo the scars I have left on your precious set of tubes we call “The Internet”.

Oh, and Big Brother is watching.

A Box of Anxiety

What happens when your relationship with a computer is tested? The death of a computer can be either heart-breaking or a sigh of relief. The PowerMac that Mom and I used in high school was a waste of space. It had an Internet connection, but I often walked to the library for their public-use PCs to save some sanity. And see the color red. The RGB on the PowerMac became just GB.


(This was useful for Solitaire, if you were willing to deal with all black suits.)

I went to college and still had to use public computers until sophomore year. I was elated. I had finally joined the American tech revolution (which had started 10 years earlier). The Internet was faster. The resolution richer. The downloading illegal songs… I mean research for papers was easier.

I’m not sure how to convey my feelings of a computer relationship. I referred to it as a him and felt like he was a pet, a part of my family. I can’t remember what I had named him. He lived for 6 years until one day the power button did not do anything. Actually, it went ‘tick-tick-tick’ and then ‘thunk’ and then nothing. If it just hadn’t turned on it could have been a power source problem, but I was advised that the ticking… that was the heart of the hard drive beating its last.

There is a moment of grieving when something electronic that is *important* to you passes on. Maybe that is my experience because I wasn’t someone who could plow through toys and computers, replacing merely for technology. Something beautiful had to replace it. I found a Dell replacement (which was put on a payment plan which spent roughly two years ripping me off) that was white and silver and full of promise. I named her “Dr. Girlfriend”… for some reason. I blame my ex for that.

For 5 years she has worked. And she has worked hard. Part of me wants to buy a new computer (as soon as I get a job, of course), but it would feel like betraying a family member. Three days ago she didn’t turn on. It was the same as before, except no ticking. And I remembered that there had been some surges earlier which would either fry the power source or the motherboard. One was good, the other a cause for a psychotic meltdown. I finally took it to the computer vet and was told they could replace the power source for (relatively) cheap. So that has been done, but for three days I fretted. Yes, I have a net book from my loving family so I can blog abroad or write papers or something productive. The tiny laptop is not the same. Nowhere near so. It is with the large screen and tower and separate mouse that I can truly feel comfortable.

She is back and working (and the guy even fixed my second CD/DVD drive which I thought was FUBAR), but it reminds me of the mortality (ed: I originally wrote “morality”, which may or may not apply) of our electronics. I posted before about electronic evolution, but I’m not ready to rely on the portable, easier to look at, faster machines. Am I the only one?

30 Day Disney Challenge: Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen: The first movie you saw

The first movie I saw in an actual theater was The Little Mermaid. I’m almost positive. I remember stumbling into the light afterwards and feeling a little excited and disoriented from seeing a cartoon on such a large screen. (Checked the date: this movie came out in 1989 so I was old enough to not be a pain in the ass at a theater.)

Favorite character: Scuttle

I don’t know what Disney movie I saw before that. My family had video tapes of some of the oldies: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. My mom and sister remember when I spent an entire summer watching Cinderella on repeat. These days I can’t care less about that movie, but I drove my family insane. I loved “The Work Song” sung by the mice as they are making her dress and I wanted it played over and over.

I also really liked Lucifer the Cat:

30 Day Disney Challenge: Day Twelve

Day Twelve: Your favorite villain song

“Poor Unfortunate Souls” as sung by the talented Pat Carroll. She has a rich voice and the character was convincingly evil. Years later I also see it as a statement on body issues. You have this large woman, who seems to prefer being large, urging impressionable youth that image was all that mattered in relationships. The message was beauty before personality (not like Ariel had much of one to begin with).


(This was embeddable, but the better version was not.)

In true villain fashion she wasn’t looking to keep a fair trade or make someone happy: she knew it was a path to ultimate power. She used appearance to be the deceiver and dropped the attractive countenance once she got what she wanted. It’s on the inside that counts:

There’s also a bit of a gender fight going on:

And in keeping with the female/evil depictions, I feel I need to add this:

(“Evil Flush” by Ponsho)

This question was tough since are some great songs to choose from. Several years ago I made a CD called “Evil in the Ear of the Beholder” and distributed it amongst my friends. (This may or may not have been illegal.) It included many Disney songs, but a handful of songs from so-called kids’ movies (like Anastasia and Fern Gully). If anyone is interested in the playlist let me know.

30 Day Disney Challenge: Day Ten

Day Ten: Your favorite song

I have several favorites, but many of them are villain songs. That’s a separate question, though, so I had to ponder my other options. Most of the 90’s movies had fantastic songs (Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King). It was difficult to choose from the selection. I feel most of The Lion King songs were great, but I don’t really feel like picking one of those today. It feels like a cop-out.

Ergo, I limited my choices down and ended up with a tie. Most of Disney’s “princess” movies tend to have at least one song about the woman wanting to explore and be free (despite the fact that they end up in their correct gender roles due to some handsome man interfering).

Since Belle is my favorite I’ll let her go first:

(Is it just me or does the end remind you of The Sound of Music.) Here’s a Harry Potter/B&B tumblr spin-off.

Next is Avatar Pocahontas. She was also the “free spirited” main character who doesn’t dream of meeting a handsome prince, but wants adventure. I loved “Just Around the River Bend”, but YouTube will not allow me to embed that one. So instead you get “Colors of the Wind” which is just as good (dirty Native American propaganda that it is /sarcasm):

(Does that rock outcrop remind you of anything… circle of life-ish?)

BTW, when researching Disney songs I was reminded of “Best of Friends” which I listened to. goddamnit.

EDIT: Question for the audience. Which did you like better: Colors of the Wind or Circle of Life?

30 Day Disney Challenge: Day Nine

Day Nine: Your favorite original character

Goofy is without a doubt the best of the original characters. He’s always relaxed, usually jovial, and he can laugh at himself even in his clumsiest moments. Mickey and Donald have both seemed more aggressive and self-conscious. The female versions of Mickey and Donald were either damsels in distress or harpies (go to hell Daisy).

Since Goof Troop was on during high school for me, I enjoyed it. He’s depicted as an honest and caring parent, but his teenage son is embarrassed by him so the conflict is often learning how to accept people for their faults. It’s also coupled with children growing up in a single parent household.

On a lighter note, my admiration for Goofy was sealed with the Kingdom Hearts video game series. It was bizarre that he ended up the brains of the game. The main character was just a kid who wanted to do right, but rushed into things without thinking. And Donald was Donald. Goofy was the protector and the one with the highest Wisdom score:

TRON GOOFY!

30 Day Disney Challenge: Day Five

Day Five: Your favorite hero

I am torn on this one. I feel I *should* say Aladdin since it was another of those “I grew up with” movies and I also watched the animated series regularly. Unfortunately, the movie paints him as a compulsive liar and despite the “diamond in the rough” description, his motives seemed questionable. He really wants the girl and wants money, ergo he is driven by lust and greed to do stupid things. I’m not saying heroes should be without fault, but Disney seems to have a difficult time in getting a good man right:

I think Robin Hood wins out over Aladdin. Yes, he’s another thief. Maybe that’s my thing about Disney: I don’t like the rich guys. Robin and Aladdin have a lot in common, except Robin Hood was much more generous and while he yearned for the hand of Maid Marian (someone higher than his socio-economical status), his motives were driven by socialism. Mmmm… tasty socialism:

And I think he kind of brought the furry out in all of us.

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