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Everything posted by Danielle

  1. I've had this open in my browser for 10+ minutes and I am still laughing heartily at it.
  2. Ughhh... having only played the first episode thus far, I didn't know about that subplot (unless I'm being completely thick). That's really disappointing...
  3. That's it! That's the one. I'm clearly still angry, 17 years later.
  4. This is why I do it too! East coast language stuff is, as we say in my homeland, WEEEAHD. (translation: weird)
  5. Infinite Jest

    Now that I've had a day to chew and ponder and really think about aspects of the book outside of the sheer force of finishing/beginning/finishing the book, I wanted to share some thoughts!
  6. Infinite Jest

    I'm absolutely planning to continue with DFW's writing. I'm hooked, I think. Which is a weird thing to say, maybe the most appropriate thing to say, after reading IJ. A few other things -- as others have pointed out with the Swartz link, it's incredibly profound and sad that this is Aaron Swartz - THE Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide because of the constant, gov-mandated surveillance on him. Just how tragic and sadly, perfectly it fits the theme is... I'm not sure how to describe it. I'm completely in this IJ mindspace where something like that makes too much sense, and it's upsetting. I also found this link helpful, for a possible interpretation of the ending, and the mathematical structure of the story: http://chloereadinginfinitejest.blogspot.com/2010/05/end-again.html Man, this book. This book.
  7. Infinite Jest

    Thank you!
  8. Infinite Jest

    I finished the book last night at 3 am, and holy god, I think it may actually be my favorite novel. I finished it, and of course, immediately re-read the first chapter (something I did like 3 times over the course of the book, as it started to make at least a little more sense to me). There are certainly a few things that still escape me, which I know I'll spend the next week poring over forums and wiki pages and interpretations... mainly, this line from the first chapter I might gush further, about how much obvious love for these people DFW had, for the sad, absurd future-from-the-90s world, which felt so prescient in so many ways, for the pure quality of comedy-gold-turned-depressing that the whole book has. Just an an incredible piece of writing.
  9. I think I may have mentioned this in the episode, but I still think the greatest horrible Star Wars character is Elan Sleazebaggano
  10. This is an extremely cool idea! Depending on the timing, I'd be interesting in helping out a bit, with teaching/support/general cheerleading. Maybe I could even make a thing! And also - a possibility I'd love to explore is streaming some of the finished games on the thumbs twitch channel after the jam. Ideas!
  11. Life

    This was something I struggled with, actually, until I was in my first job at the ACLU. It was a word I'm ashamed to admit I used far too often until I was finally confronted with the fact that it's really just not a respectful or kind term to use in any situation. I still have a really hard time with ableist language (saying things are 'dumb' or 'stupid' etc.) in my every day life.
  12. Idle Workouts

    Running kind of sucks at first (even I hate most of my first miles, and I really love running), until you're warmed up and start to feel free. Distance running is not for everyone, but I do encourage people to give it a shot - past two miles - to see if they start enjoying it. A few things that may help: - Run outdoors if at all possible. Treadmills are the WORST. They are little boring machines of death that just count numbers at you and remind you of how much longer you have to go. They have their uses (I like them for sprinting, since the track near where I live is closed for repairs, and sprinting on the streets of SF is close to impossible), but they really, really suck most of the time. Being outdoors - preferably if you have a park, lake, beach, safe city streets w. sidewalks, trails, etc. nearby - you can lose yourself in the scenery and let your mind wander. I do all of my best thinking while running (it's winter in most of the country, and I sympathize. I'm one of those people who runs in blizzard conditions, if necessary, but even an indoor track is better than a treadmill) -- and if you must use a treadmill, definitely have music/podcasts/audiobooks/whatever to help. I prefer music. And on that note - I'd advise against music or other audio while running outside. It can be distracting in dangerous ways, and the sound/feeling of a real place (forest, beach, city streets, etc.) is often interesting enough, for me. This may be a slight tangent, but I actually get a lot out of really exploring a place while running, even if I've been there before. Something about a heightened heart rate and senses make running, say, a new way to the park more interesting/exciting. - Vary your pace. This is an easy way to stave off boredom. Warm-up at a jog for ten minutes, then do alternating pick-ups (faster pace, whatever you're comfortable with) for 3 minutes, with 2 minutes of jogging after each. Time goes by much, much faster. - Run with a buddy/partner who is around your level (or is willing to run at your level). Having a good conversation while running can help pass the time (and keep the pace comfortable), and doing it with someone else helps to keep you accountable. Just don't pick someone who goes waaaay faster than you, or it will make you miserable when you're starting out. - Addendum to that last point - a casual running club can be the best thing in the world for the last point. Not a crazy track and field group, but a nice group, preferably w. people of all different levels. It helps to make running social and more pleasant. I love running with these folks -- http://www.sffr.org/, but there are clubs all over for different age groups, social groups, etc. Hope this is helpful! I am always happy to give running advice
  13. Idle Workouts

    You may actually want to try minimal shoe running -- it strengthens your feet and calves like nothing else in the universe. I've been distance running since I was 7, and used to be extremely injury prone. Like, I actually broke my tibia from overuse. Since I trained myself to do barefoot running (and currently run 'barefoot' once a week or so), I've been doing better re: injuries. It helps with form, and it really helps strengthen everything up. You need to start very slow though - there are some good tips here: http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/5BarefootRunning&TrainingTips.html I used a treadmill at first when I was learning how to run this way, and it takes time to build the appropriate strength.
  14. Feminism

    It was! I am nothing if not a dorky joke-maker.
  15. Feminism

    I do wonder, on some level, if some of this badass lady stuff is tied into queer identity for me. A topic for another post, I suppose! I think you're right, also - the 'strong badass lady' trope is the only one that pops up w. certain forms of genre fiction (i.e. the only women who can function in a 'man's world'). So, I hear that. I also love women with more complexity (though, I'd argue that Aeryn and a few other of my lady-badass examples are decently complex), with vulnerability, shades of gray, and deeper thoughts than 'punch/shoot that guy' Chiana, another Farscape character (can you tell I love this show?) is an interesting example. She's every bit the 'woman who uses sex to get what she wants' trope, and simultaneously infinitely more complicated than that. She's wily and smart and sexy, and also vulnerable and warm and kind. She's a sort of opposite-world Aeryn, and handled with enough care to not fall into gross stereotypes.
  16. Feminism

    I have so very many thoughts about Thor as a woman. First off, I will admit that many of these feelings are conflicting and contradictory, but I will attempt to unpack them with some semblance of grace. Ok, here goes: At first blush, I like things like this. I love woman characters that are strong and tough and physically capable in the most traditionally masculine ways. I love Aeryn Sun from Farscape, Tasha Yar from TNG, Buffy, B'Elanna Torres from ST: Voyager, Starbuck from BSG, Vasquez from Aliens and yes, I know my examples are limited to a certain sci-fi nerd-vernacular from my younger days. (I'm a nerd and these were my touchstones I grew up fantasizing that I - tiny little white girl Danielle - could grow up to be a BAD ASS LADY who could physically master her world and hold her own with big, gruff dudes. And Klingons. Definitely with Klingons. So much of this is tied up, for me, in a psychological need to feel strong/tough/capable, and not weak/vulnerable/hurt. So, I love that for ten seconds, in the back of my head just as I step into the real-life boxing ring, I get to pretend I'm Aeryn Sun, or whatever fictional badass character. Or Rhonda Rousey. She's real, at least. And I love combat sports. I love the intensity of competing in them. I suppose I can't be a 100% non-violent person because of that. But I certainly don't think that actual violence solves anything, or should ever be practiced without express consent. I wish the world we lived in glamorized the hard work of training and the purity in competing, not in the money shot of someone getting their face caved in. I also know that this is a big commercial property, and nothing marvel does - or will ever do - is because someone feels it is the right thing to do. Things get done because they are the commercially smart thing to do. The degree to which this reality is depressing drives me to go back to the boxing gym to punch things. So, I'm conflicted. But, with all mainstream things that may actually have a drop of merit to them, I withhold total judgement because there will undoubtedly be little girls growing up that will see a strong, badass lady in a piece of mainstream media, and they will find some kind of comfort and happiness engaging with that fiction. TLDR: I like tough women with traditionally masculine kinds of power, capitalism is a depressing reality, and I hope 7-year-old little girls will get something positive from reading about a woman Thor.
  17. I Had A Random Thought...

    Posting again, because, there's so much goodness in this thread! I *loved* Three Ninjas as a kid. Not only were these kids awesome Ninjas (and, inexplicably, all white, though their grandfather was a Japanese dude skilled in Ninjitsu and there's a throwaway line from the - white - mom about having a "Japanese side" and it's so dumb, god, but yeah, kids movies), but they were brothers and basically best friends. They had bunk beds and an NES in their BEDROOM and they had cool friends and got to ride their bikes wherever. I think I had a crush on the oldest brother, Ninja codename: Rocky (Colt is the middle brother, Tum-Tum is the youngest, why do I remember these things), and I really liked that the girl he was in love with looked like a normal girl-next-door type, not a blonde bombshell 12-year-old. 8-year-old Danielle was a budding feminist. There was something really appealing to me about the most boring parts of movies like that - the establishing shots, the hanging-out scenes. From a very young age, I was obsessed with the inner lives and worlds that characters lived in. Even in terrible movies like 3 Ninjas. Surf Ninjas was pretty great when i was 11, but I only really remember the magical Game Gear. I also have a strong love for Labyrinth, which I first saw at 13, so, kind of on the cusp. I thought it was really weird and colorful, and yes, I had a crush on David Bowie for years (forever) after that. I think it holds up reasonably well, if you're into bizarro imagery. The acting is pretty decent, the soundtrack is amazing, and I actually really love the story itself. -- Ok, and now I need to ask the important question, re: kids movies from this general era. Who here was into the animal stars? Homeward Bound? Beethoven? Air Bud? At Disney World last month, my girlfriend (jokingly) tried to convince my parents that Air Bud and his ouvre consisted of must-watch films. I was a little too old for Bud, but I think if I were tiny at the right time, I would've thought a golden retriever playing sports was pretty cool.
  18. I Had A Random Thought...

  19. I Had A Random Thought...

    31 (so, I think I'm about right for Goonies-age), and I have never seen The Goonies. I've been exposed to a scene or two (in college, I think), and sure, .gifs, but I have no earthly idea what that movie is about.
  20. Infinite Jest

    Page 230. I'm making what is, for me, good time and generally really enjoying the book now. I have no idea if I'm right about this, but I have this theory about where the story will go... It's fun to have theories! It's also fun to post in this thread.
  21. Infinite Jest

    There are definitely girls there as well, they just (as of page 182) hardly get mentioned. And yeah, I totally agree it's not a negative that the book focuses so squarely on male characters - if that's the story DFW wanted to tell, then by all means, it was his right to tell it. I suppose it's (very mildly) off-putting to me, on some level, as I think I'm primed to identify more strongly with women characters in fiction. Maybe that's a failing on my part? I'm certainly not incapable of identifying strongly with male characters, just more prone to feeling mildly alienated. As a little jock, though, I actually really love the tennis stuff, the grueling workout descriptions, etc. Because of course I do.
  22. Infinite Jest

    I've been tweeting about this a bit, but I've gone ahead and dived into Infinite Jest. I'm about a week (or so?) in, page 168, which is actually very fast for me, I tend to be a very slow let-it-all-melt-in type of reader. It's been a long, long time since I read a novel that anyone could really call 'challenging' in any significant way. I got really into greek and roman mythology last winter and starting reading old translations, and there are some aspects of that that feel familiar while going though IJ. I'm really loving the experience for the most part, but I am definitely hate-reading some sections. And some footnote sections. There's no doubt that DFW was an insanely talented writer, but there are many parts of this book that feel... I don't know, weirdly gendered? The Wardine stuff threw me off, and the fact that, thus far, there has been one woman character that I felt anything for kind of feels bizarre to me. That, and some of the elements that are so absurd that they cry out for laughter are messing with my head. The sheer volume of bathroom humor, next to the wheelchair assassins, next to the heartfelt psychiatric examination... I *think* I know what DFW is going for with this, but maybe I'm too early to really tell. Going to go back and give this thread a nice, hearty read now.
  23. Exactly this, Bjorn. I think there's a lot of value to Serial, and I hope my earlier comments weren't implying that it's crass or thoughtless. It has great value in its highlighting the fucked CJ system in America. But I stand by my (admittedly, poorly argued on the cast) difficulty with its more problematic elements. I worry, sometimes, that when I express troubling feelings about a work, based on issues of representation, that others feel as if I'm judging *them* for not feeling that same way. This is something I struggle with a lot, and I think a lot of us do, on some level, since we're all stumbling towards understanding issues that are almost infinite in their complexity. My discomfort is precisely that - discomfort. It's a personal, "gut" feeling, based on the factors I later described. I think that's why I was so inarticulate when first confronted with defending my position - those feelings are complex and weirdly subjective, more so than usual.
  24. I feel I did an incredibly poor job articulating my thoughts re: Serial on the podcast. I apologize for that. The last thing I want to do is come across as someone who just spouts off opinions about what I'm "supposed" to think as a *good intersectional feminist* With that said, I think the Awl piece does a fair job of representing my issue with Serial. I don't think Serial is poorly made or thoughtless, by any means. If it existed in a vacuum where a sort of cultural tourism for white people re: the lives of people of color didn't exist, it would be all good, basically. But it does exist in that context. And I do feel mildly uncomfortable with its packaging as *entertainment* in that context. Koenig does do admirable original reporting in the podcast. There's a great deal of value to Serial, and I don't want to imply otherwise. And my point about it making people aware of just how deeply, deeply fucked out criminal justice system is still stands.
  25. I knew Yoshi had a Shadow the Hedgehog equivalent!