startredder@hotmail.com (MSN)

Fanlistings, Cliques, and Other Stuff

Reading Lirael, Hamlet, The English Patient, Heart of Darkness, Suikoden III, Candidate for Goddess

Watching House, Rick Mercer's Monday Report, Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, Corner Gas, Aishiteruze Baby, Prince of Tennis, Hikaru no Go

Playing Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Katamari Damacy, Curse of Monkey Island, Final Fantasy VI, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Pretty Barbie Dressup Party Final Fantasy X-2(group gaming)

Back-burner Star Ocean: The Second Story, Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance, Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, Planescape: Torment, Final Fantasy VII

Obsessing Erik and Ray, Impulse/Bart Allen, Bruno and Boots.

Upcoming Things of Importance
February 3 Chinese folk religion term paper proposal
February 10 Chinese folk religion midterm
February 11 Shakespeare essay
February 12-20 Reading week
February 23 Polisci term paper
February 28 English Patient essay

Ninja and Roommate
Crack for Crack
Story and Art Journal
Mythical Detective Loki Screencap Recaps
Prince of Tennis Screencap Recaps

Previous Games

American Gods
Carnival of Bargain Madness
Grumpy Gamer
The International House of Mojo
Logic and Chaos
Worm Blog

scented // midnight rain

Is by Meimi, that wonderful Goddess who brings joy and happiness to the hearts of Ingrids.
This time, Meimi brought joy by doing a layout of Isumi Shinichirou and Waya Yoshitaka, of Hikaru no Go. It is full of wub.


I think it'd be better if I'd just left the post about lynching
1/29/2005 01:06:28 PM
"And that's why it's nice to have a clitoris! The end!" - Bootsie, Friendly Hostility.

This is one of those depressing, self-involved entries that I mostly just make to get things off my chest, because actually talking about them with another human being is . . . not what I want to do. At all. Ever.

I sometimes wonder how you decide when you should do something you wouldn't really want to do, even though it would probably make people you care for happier.

For totally random example: I know I have a problem. Some kind of problem. Some kind of medical or emotional problem. Somd kind of chemical imbalance. Not, I think, a really severe chemical imbalance. I mean, I can still function normally in society, I don't have alternate personalities, I've never done horrible things and then blacked out the memory of it. But I've had a pretty good idea since before high school that I have something wrong with the way my brain works that can make me a very miserable person at the drop of a hat. Since it hasn't really gotten any better since I've grown beyond that whole pesky hormone problem that I kind of hoped I could use to explain the entire thing, it's clearly something else.

I've had a lot of people, many in a very concerned manner, ask me if I've ever thought about getting professional help. One of them very, very recently.

I never have. I've never considered it, not even in passing. I don't want to pay someone to talk out my issues, and I don't want to get some kind of mood altering drugs. I don't like talking to people about my problems. Ever. Whoever they are. Certainly not strangers. And drugs just feel wrong to me. They alter your brain chemistry. For me, that's the same as altering who you are.

No one's perfect, and part of what makes people who they are are the quirks and the weirdness and the things that make you so happy you could burst, and so unhappy that despair weighs on you so heavily that your very soul hurts. Human emotions and chemicals are weird and confusing and, for me, hard to understand. And I don't know how much any of the things I love doing are linked to them. But I don't want to loose them. I don't want to trade them for some kind of chemically induced happiness.

Since I'm not very sociable, and can still do things when it hits, I don't really think it's a problem when it does happen. But since I moved to Saskatoon, I've been socializing more than I did when I lived in Prince Albert (when I could go months without leaving the house to hang with people around my own age) and . . . sometimes it happens in the middle of a social situation.

And it doesn't go away until I've slept it out or cried it out or whatever I need to do. And I can't stop it, either. I can see it happening, and I know it's really stupid and irrational and there's no reason for it to be happening, but I can't stop it. So then I get, on top of the unhappiness, a massive guilt for bringing what I'm sure is a very uncomfortable and inexplicable silent gloominess to things.

Now, my friends are all really smart. Like, really smart. Brilliant. And not just in the not following mob rule being accepting of people politically correct kind of recognized smartness. Smart in the way they see the world, in the way they think about things, in all the stuff they know about and understand. They're brilliant and it's beautiful and wonderful and kind of awe-insipring sometimes to be around them when they aren't just being goofy, because it just hits you that these people are smart and someday they'll probably do great, wonderful things. They'll change the world, make people laugh, move minds. That's the feeling I get sometimes when I'm around them.

But sometimes the awe sort of gets messed around because I'm a horrible, nasty person and my brain does horrible, nasty things to thoughts and feelings that should be good. I get the same feeling I get when I went to a special lecture type thing on the Anatomy of Curiosity in the Tempest that my Shakespeare prof was giving.

I went because I was curious about what he'd say, because I like Shakespeare, because The Tempest is one of my favourite plays.

And I got there, and people were socializing before the lecture, and talking casually over wine and cheese and stuff. But . . . it was casual talk about really smart stuff. Academic stuff. Stuff I didn't get at all.

I was in a room where every single person was smarter than me, and I was horribly, stupidly out of place, and I did not belong there. Smart people belonged there. Learned people. Academics. People who think the deep thoughts. Not someone who's clearly just a kid who just wants to hear about some neat stuff in a play she thought was cool.

I get that feeling a lot around my friends, and it can kick the depression and the gloominess and the silent-stoicism into full gear. There's only one or two other things that can make it set in that badly, and I don't even want to express them in rambly journal entry form.

I've lost a couple friends because of the stupid way my brain works. Some of the best friends I've ever had, who helped me more than anyone else, and who I cared about a lot. And I don't want to loose these friends too because I'm stupid and socially inept and a miserable person.

So, in that light, would it be better to just throw in the towel and go to a doctor and ask about getting a perscription for something or other that'll fix my brain? So my brain stops trying to sabotage me at every other turn? It's not, I think, like there's really that much at stake, whatever part of me is tied to the mood swings and the misery. I don't really do anything that matters that much, and whatever I loose by fixing my brain won't really be a major loss.

I just don't know any more.

Maybe I just need dumber friends,
Ingrid, Signing Off

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I think I'm one issue of Teen Titans away from forming a society to lynch Wally West
1/24/2005 06:09:53 PM
"The Thing? Silly String and orange paint. Human Torch? Bum on fire. Mr. Fantastic? Sock on my hand." - Penny Arcade.

I know on some level I have other things to talk about. School, the weather, the weekend, people smuggling cats into my apartment . . .

But Ven's recent tumble into Young Justice and Impulse, and the discussions resulting from that, have me thinking mostly about this stuff.

Mainly, it has me wondering "What the hell is Wally's problem?"

This ended up being . . . very long, and rather like a rambly essay, but I'm posting it anyway, because hearing stuff about Teen Titans is -annoying- me.

A lot of the information about non-Impulse speedsters comes from Those Who Ride the Lightning, a site I poured through at great length every time a new character popped up in Impulse in an attempt to figure out what the hell was going on.

The DCU, I've been told, is very big on families. You can group a lot of the different superheroes together like different species that do, in a lot of ways, interact like families. The Bat-family, the Super-family, the Flash-family . . . I dunno, there's probably some others. I only read stuff with Impulse in, dammit!

So, Bart Allen (Bartholomew Allen II) is the youngest member of the Flash family. He's the grandson of The Flash, Barry Allen. He was the student of the eccentric, mysterious zen master of the family, Max Mercury. He's now the ward of Jay Garrick, The Flash of the JSA, and Jay's wife Joan (although I have no idea how much Jay's been doing of the whole teaching thing since Bart became a Teen Titan - I'm guessing the answer is "Not much").

And he's the something-cousin of Wally West, now The Flash, formerly Kid Flash.

Bart's grandmother is Wally's aunt, Iris Allen, and she's the one who brings Bart to the 20th century because he's dying, and she knows that Wally, as the only former teenager speedster, can help Bart temper his powers so he doesn't die from his hyper-metabolism. Unfortunately, she brings Bart to see Wally when Wally isn't exactly in a happy place (although I get the impression that Wally is -never- in a happy place). But, to give Wally credit, he helps Bart out anyway, even though it's not the best time. He realizes that keeping Bart from dying is more important than his own stack of personal problems, for the moment. But as soon as Bart's no longer in any danger of dying from rapid aging, he quickly becomes a very clear annoyance for Wally. Even though everyone compares him to Wally, even though Wally denies it, it's very obvious that he doesn't like Bart, that he doesn't want anything to do with Bart. He says he doesn't do sidekicks.

They don't get off to the best start. Bart's confused and dragged out of the labs of government scientists very quickly, out of containtment for practically the first time, and into a strange century, and Wally has to change him halfway around the world and punch him to get his attention. And Wally seems to be going through a lot of shit. Of course, Wally repeatedly insults Bart and tells him he's stupid. When he vibrates on gut instinct through a wall, Wally's initial response is jealousy, because Bart can do something he can't.

Wally just wants to get rid of Bart, to not have to worry about someone besides himself, and to not be stuck teaching a kid with serious ADD. Max puts it bluntly that Wally is getting angry at Bart for being Bart, which is why the two can't click and why Wally is far from heart broken when Iris gets Max to take Bart in when she goes back to the 30th century.

But they're still family, real family. And Wally's still the one who's taken up the mantle of Bart's grandfather, and it looks like in the Flash family especially, real family is really important. All the Flash's are married. Barry had Iris, Jay has Joan, and Wally eventually got things sorted out with Linda. The other speedsters, too, even if they aren't part of the whole Flash thing. Max has a daughter, and so does Johnny Quick. Family is important to the speedsters. But even after Wally has Bart out of his hair, no longer technically his problem, they still fight and bicker and snipe at each other every damn time they come into contact, practically (there are a couple times when Wally is nice to Bart, but it doesn't seem to be out of any genuine fondness for the kid, he seems to be doing it out of a resigned sense of obligation to his aunt, who loves Bart deeply).

Bart's just a kid and while Wally never becomes his favourite person, Bart does seem to accept that even if he and Wally don't get along, Wally knows -something- and can be helpful, and is a hero. When he's worried his powers are getting out of control after he vibrates all of Young Justice and the Supercycle through a floor, he's shaking violently and he says he needs Max - or Wally - to help him come down from the rush. He knows that if he really needed Wally to come through for him, he would, despite their differences.

Wally's a grown man, more mature than Bart, more experienced, but he's just as bad as Bart when they come into contact with each other, if not worse. In World WIthout Grown-ups, while the Justice League are worried about the kids trapped in some alternate world, Superman and Batman reassure everyone because Superboy and Robin are there, and Wondergirl. Responsible teenage heroes who know what they're doing.

Then Wally freaks out because -Bart's- there. The kid may not be Robin, but jeez, Wally.

So what the hell is Wally's problem?

He's resentful, and says so himself at one point, because Bart is the son of Don Allen, Barry Allen's son, and Wally always thought he was the closest thing Barry had to a son.

Now, Wally's dad, who pops up in Impulse at one point, Rudy West, isn't a saint. He's not a nice man, a bad father, a bit of a criminal, of the petty variety. It's perfectly understandable that he'd look to Barry as a role-model and father-figure when he was Kid Flash. That's a -good- thing.


Barry Allen died not long after Don and his unfortunately named twin sister Dawn were conceived. Barry never knew them. And -they- died before Bart was born. Bart never knew his father, and he certainly never knew his grandfather. He doesn't even recognize his mother when she comes to the 20th century to find him. The closest thing Bart has to a real father is Max Mercury, but Wally's still totally, irrationally jealous. And it's weird that it's not the other way around.

Bart has serious hero-worship for Barry Allen. You see it in Impulse, you see it in World Without Grown-ups. His grandfather is a legend and Bart worships the thought of him. In Sins of Youth when Bart goes to tell Max what's going on, Max compliments him by telling him he's living up to Barry's legacy. It's probably the highest compliment he could pay the kid, and when he's thinking admiringly of The Flash he's not thinking of Wally West, he's thinking of his grandfather. Wally's taken up Barry's mantle, and Bart never seems jealous of this, only angry when Wally tells him that he'll be passing the name on to Jesse Quick if anything happens to him.

Bart's seperated by a thousand years from the members of his family who love him - his mother, his grandmother, his cousin Jenni - and he looses the foster family he acquires in the 20th century, but Wally seems incapable of cutting the kid any slack except when Bart's world is falling apart, and even then he's not exactly sympathetic, because Bart's very existence makes him jealous.

Wally West is a grown man who should seriously be able to sort out his issues after all this time, but he can't. And for a guy who was so quick to wash his hands of the responsibility of Bart, it doesn't seem right that he should be allowed to criticize what Bart does. It's not right that his disapproval should be enough to frighten Bart, or anger Bart, or, God forbid, shame Bart into changing who he is. He's not, and he's never tried, to fill that father role that Bart desperately needs to guide him (a role that, when filled by the right person, can make Bart do incredible things). At best he's like Bart's significantly older brother, and only rarely is he the good kind of older brother who helps you out and shows you how to get through tough times. Mostly he's the annoyingly superior older brother who seems to be playing at Dad and doing a really crappy job of it.

I can accept a lot of the anger and snippiness between the two, because bad first impressions do last, but if the hyperactive teenager is willing to let some of it slide, a grown -married- man should be able to get his head out of his ass long enough to realize that maybe there's nothing really wrong with the kid.

Damn, damn Teen Titans.

Damn Wally West, too,
Almighty Ingrid, Signing Off

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