No, I won’t make you a sandwich.

October 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm (Julia) (, , , , , )

I play online games quite a bit, over Steam. Mostly it’s L4D2, or TF2. L4D2 I tend to play only with my close friends – people I know in real life. The larger servers on TF2 mean that I’m often playing with strangers. Sometimes I stack a team with my friends, sometimes I don’t.

I also use my microphone. A lot. I like talking – sometimes to tell people what’s happening in the game, or to ask questions, sometimes just to dick around. However, sadly, I have a very obviously non-adult-male voice, as do the two women I game with most frequently.

The first thing that happens is that people try to guess whether we’re female, or young boys. We’re different, you see. The norm in online gaming, they believe, is to be a post-pubescent male. After establishing that we’re female, the other players seem to split three ways.

1. People who don’t care either way, and just continue playing. These are my favourites. They’re the people I’m mostly likely to accept friend requests from. People who enjoy the game, like having a chat and a bit of fun, and who enjoyed playing with me, but aren’t going to get weird about it. They’re well-adjusted and mature, and tend to be people like myself and my friends – adults who are unwinding with a bit of fun.

2. Young men who get kind of… obsessive. They’re fascinated with the concept that women are on the internet, and you can tell, over the course of a few rounds, that they’re beginning to imagine themselves in love with us. They are lonely, and they are a bit sad, and I feel kind of sorry for them. I won’t accept their friend requests, though – that way lies madness, and angry steam messages because you were logged on and they tried to talk to you and you were AFK and they assumed you were ignoring them. No thanks.

3. Men who have a seething hatred for all womankind, and choose to express it using incredibly violent, vitriolic, sexist language. People who will tell you how much they hate you, simply because of those two X chromosomes you’re carrying around.

This post is about that third group.

Last week, Heather told me about a particularly negative gaming experience she’d had, in which men on a TF2 server hurled huge piles of abuse at her, including the phrase “Speak when you’re spoken to, bitch.” That’s a particularly violent example of the kinds of things one hears as a female gamer, but jesus, it made me pretty angry to hear about it.

The issue here is not that gamers like this are making TF2 a less woman-friendly place, and therefore cutting off their nose to spite their face. I mean, sure, that’s an issue, but that’s kind of a male-centric one.

My issue with this is that the men who talk like this are the most fucking gutless idiots on the face of the earth. They are the worst kind of internet tough guy.

Can you imagine these young men, late teens, early 20s, in a real-world situation, using that kind of language? I’m a teacher, and while I’ve copped some abusive language, I’ve never heard anything quite like that. Imagine them using that in the workplace, to a superior, or even to just a colleague. Imagine them trying to tell a female student in a tutorial, or a lecturer, to speak when she’s spoken to. Imagine them saying that to their mother.

We have social rules that clearly state that behaviour is inappropriate. They know it – there’s no way they can’t. And I know a lot of you are thinking, well, what do you expect, it’s the internet, people behave badly there.

No. There is no excuse for that kind of behaviour. The internet is becoming an increasingly important means of communication – young people are doing most of their socialisation on it. Hell, I do most of my socialisation on it. It’s where I get my news, where I plan my social events, where I unwind with my friends at the end of the day. Imagine if Heather and I were on the bus, having a conversation, and a guy behind us started telling us to speak when we were spoken to, or that old chestnut, to make him a sandwich.

I would call the cops. If someone was harassing me like that in public, I would get the five-oh on them. That behaviour is completely inappropriate, and it’s not okay on the internet either.

The shitty thing is, though, my opinion doesn’t matter. Douches like that guy have managed to transform the internet, and online gaming, into male space. Women are told to show tits or GTFO, as though the whole internet is one of those “exclusive” but seedy men’s establishments where women are only allowed in if they’re taking their clothes off. ‘Fraid not, guys.

But if you are a lady and you encounter behaviour like this (and you will), even your actions are limited. If you go off at them, you’re a raging bitch feminazi lesbian who needs a good dicking to sort her out. If you leave the server to find one where you can play without being subjected to verbal violence, you’re a whiny crybaby. There’s only one way to make them happy, and that’s to giggle, to get sexually suggestive (in a non-threatening way) and tell them you’ll make them that sandwich, while wearing a french maid’s outfit. This is because by making it male space, they also get to redefine people’s reactions to their awful behaviour in ways that fit their skewed worldviews. And in turn, it makes women feel as though we’re playing those roles. Leaving a server feels like losing. Getting angry can feel like losing. Either of these actions are, of course, totally justified. No one should stay somewhere they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. And no one should be made to feel bad for defending themselves.

Strangely enough, I, and all the women I know, don’t really feel like stroking the egos and confirming the world views of a bunch of pathetic, angry losers who have, for some unknown reason, complete and total rage for my entire gender. Because that’s what it is, at the end of the day. It’s not just because it’s acceptable behaviour on the internet – it’s because for some reason, they want to treat women with that level of contempt and disrespect. You only do it on the internet if it’s how you want to act in real life.

What the fuck is that about? People will say things like “oh, they’re just mad because they can’t get girlfriends” or “they’re lonely basementdwelling losers” and so on, but the truth is, some of these guys have jobs and girlfriends and friends and lives and yet they completely and totally hate women.

Remember that guy I used to know, the one who ended up being the worst person in the entire world? He was a guy whose complete hatred of women developed over time. I figured it was largely a joke, but then, no.  He spent a lot of time at the bodybuilding forums, and you want to see some misogyny? Go there. It is mindblowing how much they hate women. Now, not hating women is a pretty key element for any person I’m friends with. I need all my friends to be people who have decent gender politics. I don’t think this is completely unfair. And I don’t hate men – I love them. I don’t think all men are dreadful people. Hell, until I started using the internet, I hadn’t really experienced that level of total hatred for women. I don’t know why some men can hate women that much. I know I don’t want to be around women who hate men that much, either. That’s a lot of hate to be carrying around with you all the time.

The internet is normalising this kind of behaviour. It’s not normal. If it’s not appropriate to say it in real life, it’s not appropriate to say it on the internet.

Finn showed me this video. Have a look at it. It’s supposed to be a comedy, but while you watch it, consider the fact that during my hundreds of hours of online gaming, I’ve had most of those things said to me (the female version, anyway).  I’ve had random strangers threaten to rape me. I’m not particularly afraid because, well, they don’t know where I live, but I want you all to seriously think about what kind of person actually says these things to another human being, actually attempts to verbally intimidate them and silence them and make them feel bad about themselves simply because of a factor like gender. Think about if you’d tolerate that kind of behaviour in your workplace, at your uni, in your home.

Now; do me a favour. If you’re a guy, and you’re gaming, and you witness behaviour like this, speak up, even if you don’t know the people involved. If someone does something dreadful like this, make your opinion known. Tell them it’s not okay. Help reduce the shitty misogynist culture of gaming; it’s the right thing to do. Ladies: I’m sorry that this happens. I hope you keep playing, because fuck, these games can be so much fun. If you feel like you can speak up, speak up. There are good guys on the internet – I know, I game with them all the time. Or, you know, you could just ask for a sandwich for yourself.

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TF2, BRB

March 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm (Dan) (, , )

I was gonna post, but I have the, hehe, burning need, hehe, to burn some people.

later!

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Sims Fortress 2: Total War

March 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm (Julia) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

When I was growing up, computer games weren’t allowed. My mother abhors anything she considers violent – quite famously, in the early years of her marriage to my father, she was shocked to discover he enjoyed watching The Bill, and felt that this meant he was a violent and angry man. I’m talking about 1984 The Bill, with Reg and Polly and “You’re nicked, my son!” “Fair cop, gov!” Not exactly Oz. But this hatred of violence (mostly because she can’t stand raised voices or conflict) meant that computer games didn’t happen for me.

Even as a teenager, when I had friends with consoles, I didn’t enjoy playing them because invariably, my friends were much more familiar with the game and controls, and always kicked my arse. A steep public learning curve is NOT the Julia way.

I didn’t really get into computer or console games until I moved in with Tom. A month before we moved in together, I bought him a PS2 as a moving-in gift. I figured he’d love it, and that it would work as a DVD player. This was in 2002, when DVD players were often over $300. $400 for a DVD player that als0 played games seemed like a bargain (and it was, we still use that thing 7 years later). I wasn’t really expecting to play games on it, it really was a present for him. One of the games that came with it was Project Eden. I really enjoyed watching Tom play, and he often let me have the controller to do certain things. I found that I was surprisingly good at the puzzle-solving aspect, as well as being able to spot important items. The game can be played as co-operative multiplayer, but we were doing this as co-operative single player, and it was a really enjoyable couple activity for us.

About six months after we’d moved in together, Tom bought me The Sims for Christmas. I’d seen ads for it on TV, and it seemed sort of interesting. I’d dabbled a bit with Civ 3, and I liked that, because of its history-basis, but this seemed like even more fun. So, he bought me The Sims, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

This was also during my recovery from bulimia, and Tom quickly worked out an excellent reward system – if I went a month without purging, he would buy me an expansion pack for The Sims. I LOVE extrinsic rewards, and because I wanted The Sims so badly, and because I couldn’t bear the thought of lying to Tom, it gave me the willpower to break patterns of behaviour I’d had in place since I was 14. I stopped seeing food as the ultimate reward for good behaviour, and started focusing on computer games instead. Say what you will, but I think that’s a lot healthier. Also, it got me totally hooked on computer games, which I think may have been Tom’s cunning plan all along.

I love The Sims because there’s no winning. I grew up as an only child, and so I’m far more focused on narrative-based play than Ludist (or Gamist)-based play (Hey Tom, I payed attention to your thesis). Competition isn’t exactly enjoyable for me, and so if people are playing MarioKart or another party game, I’ll generally just read a book. I like WiiBoxing, but only because I have competed against some EXTREMELY sore losers. But for me, the story is the most important thing. With The Sims (and these days, The Sims 2, and soon to be The Sims 3), I can create my own story. It’s got all the features I loved about Lego when I was small, which was my favourite toy. I can build whatever the damn hell I want, and be creative and have fun, but I also have little people to play dolls with. I can change their clothes, in The Sims, I can build a house to look like whatever I want. I can tell stories. The Sims franchise is a game which I believe encourages imaginative play, and I absolutely adore that. I also really love the potential for user-created content – websites like Mod The Sims 2 have anything you could want. I have downloaded Victorian clothes and furniture, medieval stuff, and an entire set of Harry Potter themed stuff, including uniforms for university-aged Sims (like, for all four house, and for boys and girls, and some with robes on, and some with robes off, and some with shirts untucked etc), and furniture for the different common rooms, and so on. If I want to make a themed neighbourhood of some kind, the stuff will certainly be available. I even have some downloaded furniture that’s better than the stuff in the game, which I think is rad.

As well as The Sims etc, I find I also dig city-building games, like Sim City, and recently, CivCity: Rome. But I like to play these with the cheats on: I want to build a beautiful, functional city, not having to worry about running out of cash or shit like this. I don’t like my gaming to be stressful, I like it to be creative and beautiful. When the little dude pops up to tell me my treasury’s running low, I tend to shout HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO WORK UNDER THESE CONDITIONS and go off and have a liedown. This is probably why I’m not allowed to be Prime Minister. (“All children should travel to school on elephants!”)

I’m digging the Total War games pretty hard, and I think I actually like them better than Civ (don’t taze me, Tom), just because everything is themed properly. With Civ, I find I can’t deal with the concept of the Americans v. the Roman Empire, and things like that. So I’ll make a Classical Period game, with the Romans and Greeks and Persians and Celts and Carthaginians etc, or a Modern Europe game, with England and France and Germany and Russia and so on. But I am deeply uncomfortable with crossing the streams, or playing America as an ancient civilisation. It’s just not right, man! So, the Total War games appeal to my sense of order.  The map is correct, (none of this “London is right next to York and right near sources of ivory and dyes” malarky) and I understand where things are. If I want a medieval game, I can have one, and there’s no Americans.

Fucking Americans.

But, I also like how the game dynamics change depending on the era. Gameplay for Medieval II is very different to Empire, and a lot of that is based on the historical period. They’re also games that are more enjoyable if you’re a bit of a history buff, which appeals to my love of entertainment which doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator. I’m just getting used to Empire, right now, and it makes me want to play Rome: Total War, which I avoided when Tom played it due to my lack of knowledge (at the time) of Ancient History. But now I’ve done a bit of Ancient, and learnt more, and I think I would get a bigger kick out of the game. Awww yeah.

I find that I have varied and extremely specific tastes. I don’t tend to like everything in a genre, I will like one or two examples of that genre. The only real-time strategy games I like are the Age of Empires/Age of Mythology games. I mostly enjoy the campaign, rather than the multiplayer skirmishes, probably one again because of my love of narrative. AoE III and AoM were also very pretty games – I liked building the towns, and deciding where things went.

WoW doesn’t appeal to me, but that’s mostly because I don’t care about the world it’s set in.  If they made an MMORPG set in Regency London, with society intrigues and you could go to Almack’s and have a character and run around and be social and go to balls, I would be all up in that, ALL THE TIME. I would call it World of Ballcraft (hurr). I would also totally play an MMORPG if it were set in Rapture (from Bioshock) before all the shit went down. But I’m not interested in Second Life, because I can get that shit on The Sims, and The Sims is less full of furries and French fascists (I am not even kidding). I only want to run around in a virtual world with other people if the world has a cohesive narrative and aesthetic that I enjoy.

Another game I really enjoyed was Portal. I played Portal before I played TF2, and I adored it. I know people call it an FPS, but I find this to be a useless description. It’s a puzzle-solving game! You don’t shoot other people! It’s first person, and there’s a gun, but FPS, to my mind, conjures up stuff like TF2, or Counterstrike. Portal kind of is a genre all its own. I think I also dislike the idea that a computer game genre is based on some mechanic of gameplay, because for me, the primary appeal of a game is its narrative and setting. But yeah, back to Portal. I kicked arse at it, and I was actually better than Tom, which was sort of a new thing for me. Being good at things is always exciting, and because Portal didn’t really require me to have spent my teen years with my fingers permanantly glued to the WASD keys, I loved it. I’m good at that kind of puzzle-solving, too. But, at the same time, it gave me greater familiarity with FPS-style controls, and this eased my way into TF2.

Now I will talk about Team Fortess 2 for a while.

I freaking love this game. Before this, the only FPSs I’d actually enjoyed were things like Battlefield: 1942 and Battlefield: Vietnam, because I knew the period quite well, I enjoyed the different type of gameplay (I’m gunning down planes! I’m sniping the VC! I’m steering an enormous ship!), and it was fairly low-stress. Counterstrike never appealed to me, because, I guess, modern-era real-world killing is kind of depressing. I don’t like futuristic sci-fi games (I don’t really know why). So, these few historical FPSs were what I played at shootybang nights, until the arrival of TF2.

TF2 is, I think, the perfect game for people who didn’t spend their teen years playing FPSs. The wide range of classes means that you’ll find at least ONE class you’re good at (for me, it’s sniper and pyro), there are different maps, and the visual aesthetics of the game make things extremely obvious. There are huge arrows pointing the way to intel rooms or control points, the other team is very obviously the enemy, marked out by colour, and it’s obvious what each character can do. It’s fun, too – it has lots of injokes and doesn’t take itself seriously, which I think is good for a game where the whole point is to kill people. The flavour text is always hilarious, and you can play a really team-worky character, or a solo one. I think it’s got more flexibility than most other FPSs, and I enjoy being able to play one round, and then going off and doing my own thing. I also like being able to play with friends, without having to have them in my house.

Lastly, some console games. I enjoy some things on the Wii – I really like WiiBoxing and WiiPlay, but mostly to do on my own. I enjoyed Zelda, and I liked the Harry Potter 5 game for the Wii, because the spellcasting was fun, and running around and getting a sense of how the school was laid out was really interestiong for me. But ultimately, I am a Playstation girl. I’m looking forward to earning money and buying Tom a PS3, because I love cooperative RPGs. We’ve played a few really good ones together: the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games, as well as the X-Men: Legends had really fun cooperative play, and I kind of loved sitting down on the couch next to Tom for a whole day and killing bad guys together. But I also love Rockstar games, like Bully, which Heather already talked about, and I’m looking forward to LA Noire when it comes out.

So, yes. From being someone who never played video games, they’ve become kind of a staple of my entertainment. I enjoy playing them, and talking about gameplay and mechanics with Tom, and all that kind of stuff. I think that it’s also a good time to be a lady who games, because game designers are making games with women in mind (which means that World of Ballcraft is only a few years away, I hope), and so I can find games where “winning” isn’t necessary. Video gaming is, for me, an activity which can be done solely on my own, with Tom, or with groups of my friends, and I kind of love that. I can be running the British Empire in 1700, or I can be Harry Potter at Hogwarts, or I can be a guy who sets people wearing a different coloured shirt on fire. I can play games requiring thinking and strategy and puzzle-solving, or ones that need me to be creative, or ones that require improving my reflexes. Ultimately, I guess, I think that video gaming has broadened my mind and taught me new skills, and any hobby that does that has to be pretty awesome.

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What even happened there?

March 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm (Dan) (, , , , , )

So, it is sunday. Sunday is not the day I post, that day is saturday.
But I did not post on saturday! I must have been doing something else.

And I was!

I went to inspector some houses. They were crap. It was rubbish. Then I had lunch with my sister and her boyfriend. He is called Daniel, which is very close to my name, and a bit creepy. But he is a pretty cool guy in general so it’s not so bad.

(help)

For lunch we went and actually ate at Petersham Charcoal Chicken as though it was a restaurant. They gave me a beer! And some chicken and some pork belly and some chips. It was: epic overeating. I still have some chicken and pork belly in my fridge, later I will eat it. Om nom nom.

Then we went to Summer Hill, to drop me off at a cafe, and so they could go look at a house I already looked at this one time, to see if it was as good as I had made it out to be (hint: yes).

We already have an application in on that place, but because we liked it we decided to bump our rent offer up some, because, I guess, we can afford it, and also awesome places are awesome.

I could put pictures here but I won’t because it’s not like I live there yet.

On the other hand, when I live there, there will be so much space, you guys! I will also have a BBQ. I may have mentioned the BBQ? It is important. For my lifestyle. That there is a BBQ.

Then, from the cafe, I went to the brand new Chez Heather, about which I will also not speak as I do not live there. And it’s Heather’s job to speak to it, anyway.

We hung out there some, then a Finn came! it was a glorious time. We went to an IKEA (thanks Finn! it’s much appreciated!).

It was a glorious time.

For a given value of glorious – I can see how shopping could wear on a person, for instance.
On the other hand, impulse arm chairs and shiny, shiny homewares? That’s what I’m talking about.

Also, daim bars.

Daim bars, guys. Daim Bars.

It is currently my goal to make Daim Milkshakes and Daim McFlurry.

In fact, if a plan goes ahead tonight, there will be smashDaim in a gelato and everyone will be like ‘oh shit, this is heavenly’.

Which reminds me! I gots to link you people to a video. It is a video about making foie gras out of a duck’s liver. I don’t know if maybe you’re not down with organmeats, or what, but I think you should probably watch this video anyway, just to see how enthusiastic this guy is about food. He is a Swiss dude, and as far as I can tell, he travels around the world, eating things and buying knives and cooking stuff, for his website, and that’s all he does. Goddamn, I wish I had a rich Swiss banker in the family who was prepared to bankroll such activities.

So, anyway, a video:

Foie Gras Terrine By Francois Xavier
View in HD  Download 720p HD Version  Visit Francois Xavier’s ExposureRoom Videos Page

That guy, man.

Also, I want a terrine. And the liver of a duck. Anyone?

anyway! I have been playing Team Fortress 2. This is the first time in, literally, 10 years, that I have played an FPS on the PC. The last one was the original Unreal Tournament. Do you remember that?

Actually since it came out in ’99 it’s probably been 8 or 9 years since I last played an fps on the pc, but that’s not really the point, the point is skill atrophy. I am rubbish at FPSen, and it is taking me some time to get my groove on.
On the other hand, I got my first unlock today (not sure how! I signed into steam and it realised I’d killed some spies, killed them with fire, and it gave me a flare gun. Why I did not get this when I, say, finished burning the 10th invisible spy, I don’t know), so I am doing things and becoming an achiever! GG, valve, for putting achievements in things so I feel like I am learning and not just sucking up the place.

So, anyway, now it is time for me to run up behind some dudes and totally set them on fire. So much fire. Then maybe there’ll be a minigun, that’ll be good times. And then I will get gelato! And that will be good times too.

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I wish I could quit you, university + what is Julia doing these days anyway?

March 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm (Julia) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So, I’m considering going back to uni. I know, I know, it’s like I’m Dan or something (Hi Dan!).

I think it’s probably not a surprise that I am massively gay for formal education. I love learning, I love thinking, and I love university. I also love letters after my name. I have slight dreams of ending up lecturing in the Education faculty, I think that would be pretty awesome.

So, what is driving this new desire to go back to uni? There are some real reasons and some reasons that are extremely subject to change. I’ll put my whim and fear based reasons first.

1. I am SO BORED. I’m currently in the middle of sorting out a massive bureaucracyfail with the DET, and I’ve done all the stuff I can for now, and it’s their turn to do send me some things. It’s like the slowest and most boring game of tennis ever, and considering tennis is shit to start with, yeah. I haven’t had anything to do since last September and I am bored. My brain, it craves stimulation. So, obviously, when my casual teaching finally kicks in (DET I AM TALKING TO YOU SEND ME MY GODDAMN FORMS), I may reassess this plan. But right now, I’m bored, and so uni is the first thing I think about.

2. Sutekh is awesome this year. It’s like I’m the Queen Mother. I’m not in charge of anything, but everyone pays me respect and thinks it’s adorable when I’m drunk and listens to my stories. Sutekh has FINALLY become the way Newtekh envisioned it – there’s a really competant, drama-free committee that runs about a bazillion events, all the n00bs are freaking awesome, and everyone’s super friendly and welcoming. I’m also a bit afraid of finding another community, I guess – Sutekh is just how I want it, and the idea of starting from scratch, working my way up and effecting positive change seems overwhelming. Sometimes at schools I feel like I don’t fit in in the staffroom – people talk about Rugby League and stuff like that, and while I can fake it, I don’t feel like I’m totally surrounded by My People. Obviously, working at the right school would fix that – I’ve gone to three public, non-selective schools for prac, so I assume a private or selective school might house a few more geeks in the staffroom. There are some, but not quite enough. It’s a strange feeling – and it reminds me of being in high school and feeling like I shouldn’t talk about what I’m into for fear that people think I’m strange, and man, I kind of hate that. Stupid social phobia.

3. It’s that time of year. O-Week is awesome, all my friends are doing cool classes. Seriously, Finn has a class where they have to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Uni was SO not that cool when I was an undergrad. Fucking new cultural studies department. But, you know, I’m fairly certain that in about seven weeks I’m going to be feeling pretty superior about the lack of essays.

4. I have a hard-on for academic dress. No, really. I’m graduating on the 3rd April, and it will be so awesome. I’m going out for tapas and sangria afterwards with my family, and it’s a 4pm graduation so I can wave my robed self (different to my rabid self) at n00bs. Aww yeah. (hey guys, come for free food in the Quad). I get to wear Masters robes! Shit yes. But, yeah, I love ceremonies. Especially ceremonies about how I am AWESOME.

Now, the more sensible, grown-up reasons.

1. Either an M.A or an M.Ed would make me a more awesome teacher. I’m leaning towards an M.Ed right now (different to the M.Teach), because I could do something on G&T students, and I’m considering something about how G&T kids need extra-curricular stimulation to keep them focused (or “Why Sutekh Should Be In Schools). That would be awesome, right?I would be more employable and I would be able to focus on the aspects of education I’m really passionate about. Alternatively, an M.A could let me play with history some more, and man, I could go for some of that right now.

2. It could help me on the path towards Academia. Man, teaching at uni? Teaching at Sydney uni? Best thing ever. I would sit up in that ivory tower and just piss on everyone. I would be all THIS IS HOW TO BE AWESOME and people would cower in fear, while taking notes.

3. M.Eds are designed for workers. I could take some evening classes, and still totally casual-teach, which would rock. Money AND study, aww yeah.

4. I really like research. I do. I’ve been re-reading my Action Research Project from last year (the big bit of research I did during my internship) and shit, it was awesome. I’m pretty impressed with what I did, with what I learnt, etc. I love that kind of higher thinking. Education is a field with so many problems, and we’re only JUST starting to move away from the old-fashioned teacher-centred learning. I have all these theories of how school and learning could be totally awesome (because it SHOULD be) and getting to explore that some more would totally rock. I think casual teaching could really help me with this, too, because I’d get to see the different ways a lot of schools function, and incorporate the best bits into my theories.

This plan is by no means set in stone right now. I’m aware that a LOT of this urge is based on fear of NOT being in formal education for the first time in 21 years, the fact that I’m bored, and the fact that university is so awesome at this time of year. But an M.Ed is in my plans SOMEWHERE in my future, so I’m giving this some fairly serious consideration. I’ll see how I feel about it in six months, basically. Of course, I’ve just check out the Masters of Education (Research) page and I think I may be having an attack of the vapours due to the thesis requirements. I shall loosen my stays, find my smelling salts and then think seriously about this for six months.

In the meantime, here’s another post (sort of) about what I’m doing with myself at the moment, and how I’m keeping myself busy.

1. Flametiger Throwdown

Centrefold Kitty!

Centrefold Kitty!

How did I even go without having a pet cat for 8 years? I LOVE having this little guy around. We’ve had him a week and a half now, he has pooped in the box EVERY SINGLE TIME (this may be one of his most endearing qualities), and he is basically just awesome. He has a few modes that he cycles through during the day. There’s Insane, where he runs from room to room without reason, attacks feet, tulle skirts, bits of dust, dead cockroaches that he killed the day before, etc. There’s Smoochy, which often happens when we get home from being out of the house, where he follows us around, wants to be carried or to stand on our shoulders, and rubs his face all over ours. There’s Helpful, where he climbs things and watches us in the kitchen (he is like our own special bodyguard), and wants to explore everything (like the oven). He also watches me in the bath with great concern, probably to make sure I don’t drown. It’s very endearing. And finally there’s Sleepy, which pretty much speaks for itself. He likes sleeping on our pillows, but he also loves my massive new computer shelf-thing (the one I built from Ikea stuff). He likes being behind the monitor, as well as in the very narrow shelf underneath the monitor. Anyway, he is just gorgeous.  I assume you’ve read Tom’s thoughts on the matter, but as a seasoned cat-owner, I can definitely say that Flamey is one of the loveliest kitties I’ve ever met. Particularly because I’m not doing much at the moment, he is very good for company. He’s like Finn, except nicer to stroke and he doesn’t give me sassmouth all day long about Maggie Gyllenhaal.

2. Hanging with Steeni.

So, Christina is well and truly ensconced in our front room, and this is pretty awesome. She’s easy-going, she seems to do the dishes ALL THE TIME and she brings me cups of tea. I also get to talk to her about school and what she’s doing (apparently, Newtown High is what highschool would be like if they made highschools AWESOME and fun), and she comes along to Sutekh things and hangs out with my geeky friends (who obviously all adore her because she’s fantastic)

She’s probably the easiest semi-flatmate we’ve ever had. Since she’s an only child like myself (both of us have siblings, but not in our immediate household experience) AND because she’s related to me she understands about the need to long periods of solitude, interspersed with meaningful conversations over cups of tea. She seems to go out most evenings, but she’s pretty competant and doesn’t need looking after, which is good. I really like having her here, and one day when she’s not doing all the social things ever I will bring her to stuff. For real!

3. Regressing to Sutekh

I know, I said I would quit. But, O-Week! It was so fantastic, and I really love the n00bs this year. I went to B&C yesterday, and I got to go on Aidan’s radio show, and I got to talk to awesome new people, and tonight I’m seeing Watchmen with everyone (HAY YOU GAIS), and it’s really good. There seems to be minimal fail, it’s good to see the new committee working so well (since there’s no one on it who seems to be more concerned with causing bullshit drama than making the club AWESOME), and I’m enjoying being able have awesome ideas about stuff to run, without having to worry about the day-to-day stuff. I’m currently planning:

– Victorian Marvel. One day, Percy and Finn and I will get together, drink over 9000 coffees and plan this shit right up.

– League of Awesomes. I wrote this semi-freeform with Finn and Aidan for O-Week, and Jonan has said I can offer to put it up in one of Sutekh’s wildcard P&G slots, where you  basically say, hey General meeting, instead of P&G one week, how about this cool event instead? And then they vote, hopefully in your favour. Anyway, it’s a faction-based freeform based off the Sutekh Zodiac, and it’s full of mad lolz and good times.

– N00b sub-committee. Mostly, I hang out with n00bs, and I’m going to P&G tomorrow to run Geek Charades. Good times!

4. Forms

I know, my greatest fear. The university either didn’t send my confirmation of completion to the DET, or the DET didn’t get it or lost it. Either way, that’s why there’s no workz for Julia. I’ve sorted this out, now, and am waiting for confirmation from the DET. This will allow me to hand out resumes to schools, without them throwing them away. Then I will (hopefully) get some work, and have fat stacks of cash. Or even small stacks of cash. I plan to blow my first paycheck on tequila, who’s interested? Finn has said he will drive me to schools for epic resume drop, so obviously I will have to find some way of repaying him. I guess that’s one way he’s better than Flametiger. But oh, Flamey would be so cute if he could drive. Mohh.

5. Social Life. This one’s pretty important. I’m trying to throw more parties, because hey, what was even the point of all that cleaning if I don’t have people over to my house? I’m planning to throw Zombie Thursday again, probably just with selected awesome people. I want to have an afternoon tea one day, with mah ladies. Tom has some plans for board game evenings, I believe. I’ve also really been loving Weekend Breakfast, it is always so cheerful and fun. I really dig this thing I have going on right now where all my friends are this amazing positive force on my life. Good work, you guys.

6. Stories and Shooty-bang. Oh, Team Fortress 2. The scout update has been good fun for me, because I play pyro. Oh, teensy scouts, you on fire now! I really need some headphone with a microphone, possibly a guy could maybe give me that for our anniversary. Crazy! I love being able to play with my friends, too. I’ve been watching some good stories, recently. I’m underwhelmed by Dollhouse, but a n00b girl who is Whedon-crazy told me that apparently the first six episodes are heavily Fox Network controlled, but after that, Joss had a pretty free hand. So I am willing to stick around to if that pans out. I’m sad to see that Joss has gone back to his abusive ex-boyfriend Fox, but maybe he’ll learn. If nothing else, there’s some decent eye-candy on that show, and honestly,  the WORST of Whedon is still better than a lot of other TV shows. I’m also loving the final chapter of BSG, and this season of Lost and Heroes are also doing good things. Well done, television.

So, that’s about it for me. Pretty epic post this week! Woo! I hope to see most of you tonight at Watchmen – the movie’s at 8.20, but we’re meeting at about 6-6.30 at the Lansdowne first for noms.

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