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Thanks! 

 

It's called Number 12 Looks Just Like You and it's about lesbians talking about the Twilight Zone at 4 AM and coming to important life decisions. I don't know when it will be done as I don't have access to editing software (or rather, a computer capable of editing video) and will have to do all that at my friends' (the same friend who supplied all the equipment and technical expertise and the $15,000 camera and walked me through the whole process) so the editing schedule is up in the air.

 

But the plan is to submit it to some festivals when it's done and because a lot of festivals still don't like programming stuff that's publicly available it probably won't be around for the general public for a while yet. That said, as soon as it's done I will post about it on the Plug My Shit thread and give a private Vimeo link to anyone who messages me.

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I actually have no idea where to put this on this forum but I'm feeling shitty about it. It doesn't help that I've also been pretty depressed all last week.

 

So maybe some of you know, Doug TenNapel was up to being a politically charged jerk again. Well if you can actually call misgendering politics since to me that is more about just being straight hateful. I thought perhaps he was becoming more sensitive to some of these because of a bit of remorse he had shown in the last few years, plus specifically not endorsing Trump or the Alt Right, etc. But I guess it'll always be the same with this guy. So I wrote him a heartfelt e-mail saying I think I'm finally done after 15 years or whatever of following his work and gave a lot of examples of me following him through controversy in many different internet settings over that time plus kind of listing all of the small and big things he has worked on, maybe showing I'm a bit more of a crazed fan than most.

 

To be honest, almost every creator I love I track down all of their notable work, but definitely TenNapel has had an effect on me on how I perceive art and animation and my formative years in learning to draw all the way back to third grade when redrawing stuff out of the EWJ manual. His comics I found after Gear and Creature Tech just made me love his work more, plus The Neverhood and Skullmonkeys. But as his online presence because more notable following the turn of the century there was always a sense of frustration, embarrassment, or sometimes sick to my stomach for liking his work and buying all his stuff. But then he would apologize every time he was a jerk to someone and of course it would eventually happen again. I don't generally mind if someone has conservative politcs but they shouldn't be hateful to others for who they are. But this is always a bit more prickly than this because TenNapel is a big Christian and their politics are a little more crazed and one sided more than actually nuanced of a conservative that is not pasting the Republican party to their religion. I try not to paint all Christians one way, but in general I have found them all to be a very hateful people full of judgment. I don't really have any positive anecdotes with any religious friends or family. I still try to keep an open mind out there for "good Christians" though.

 

So I basically just wrote all of that. And then I said I don't even understand why he is so insecure to let some clickbait article on Kotaku bother him. The article is poorly written but everyone already likes Earthworm Jim and even comments on said article do not think it's a good analysis. However as I bought up in my e-mail, the article never once mentions TenNapel, his past behavior, or really gender politics besides nothing the game skewers the Damsel in Distress trope. That should be a good thing right?! But TenNapel seems to think in one of the follow up tweets he should have been interviewed before the article was made. That seems unnecessary for someone to contact one of the game's creators any time you want to write a critical piece, especially when it doesn't even mention the guy. 90% of the article is about the level design, which is what Tom Tanaka was responsible for, not TenNapel, so I said in my message that it would have made more sense for Heather to interview Tanaka. But ultimately Doug TenNapel's ultra hurt response to this a fluff article that doesn't concern him is just to purposefully misgender Heather Alexandra to be a bully.

 

And I'm tired of feeling sick and sad about his behavior. So I said I think it was about time to pack up all TenNapel creations and sell them. His response was saying he would have to write a novel to my e-mail so he wanted me to add him on Skype because I'm misinformed about his opinions and thinks I shouldn't write him off just yet. I thought this meant he wanted to chat, but no it turns out he wants to have a voice call because he was trying to call me noon yesterday when I was on my delivery shift. Since my shift was 13 hours I did not have any time and I told him we could talk today or tomorrow. However this is pretty nerve racking and not really the circumstance in which I want to talk to one of my childhood heroes. So between deliveries yesterday I was looking up why Christians would be annoyed with transgender and all the responses they might have to this. It turns out of course not being the gender god gave you is against god or something so they should be "fixed."

 

And now TenNapel is having a twitter conversation with another person today going over what I think would probably be how our conversation would be, saying that liberals are trying to brainwash people into thinking like them by supporting a different worldview by asking person to call another person by the pronoun they want. (?!?!?!) This is too much. I feel like all of this stuff with Christians and his recorded opinion in mind, that there's no way this conversation could go well. I don't want to talk to him anymore. Even if he's super kind as he sometimes is, it's all wrapped up in a core of hate and I don't think I can deal with this being a live phone conversation with someone who I would never expect to have one.

 

But a part of me feels like a chicken or something or guilty. That I should still hear him out just because, even if it doesn't go well. Which is what of course I'm afraid of. So what do you all think I should do. Should I still have this call or just forget about it and remove him from Skype and sell all this stuff?

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3 minutes ago, syntheticgerbil said:

But a part of me feels like a chicken or something or guilty. That I should still hear him out just because, even if it doesn't go well. Which is what of course I'm afraid of. So what do you all think I should do. Should I still have this call or just forget about it and remove him from Skype and sell all this stuff?

 

Man, that sounds like a rough situation. I get wanting to hear him out, in good faith, because of your history with him, but it doesn't sound like you're expecting a positive outcome of any kind. In your shoes, I would apologize for being stressed and busy, remove him from Skype, and sell his stuff. If I'm wrong and you are hoping for an outcome that's not as unrealistic as him admitting he's wrong, then maybe stick around, but it doesn't sound like he's reliable for that sort of conversation.

 

Also, I've never gotten Christian objections to trans individuals that involve going against God's will. Unless these people aren't wearing glasses or getting their teeth fixed or doing any kind of medical or cosmetic work, I'm pretty sure that it's all just bullshit and double standards. It's funny how many exceptions to "Love thy neighbor as thyself" many Christians find in day-to-day life.

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I don't think you owe it to him or yourself to have a verbal conversation. It seems like it would quickly turn into a debate and you don't need to put that pressure on yourself to out-rhetoric a childhood hero in order to defend your feelings. In some ways I think direct communication is a worse way of exchanging ideas because it can quickly turn into "who is better at talking?" and make someone person conflate their ability to speak their points with the validity of those points. "It would take a novel" seems like a cop-out to me and if he cares enough he can write a response.

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It's hard to see how he could say anything to make his actions (e.g. misgendering someone) okay. If it's not something you actively want to do I don't see the point of putting yourself into such an uncomfortable position so that a bigot can try to make himself feel better by explaining his bigotry to you. Maybe if there were some possibility of a legitimate misunderstanding and this could be a great chance for you to hear straight from the horse's mouth how this guy you'd like to admire is worth it, then the conversation would be worth it, but that doesn't seem like a possibility. Clearly he's either confused, prejudiced for no reason, or some combination of both, and you're not going to be able to fix those things for him.

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1 hour ago, Patrick R said:

I don't think you owe it to him or yourself to have a verbal conversation. It seems like it would quickly turn into a debate and you don't need to put that pressure on yourself to out-rhetoric a childhood hero in order to defend your feelings. In some ways I think direct communication is a worse way of exchanging ideas because it can quickly turn into "who is better at talking?" and make someone person conflate their ability to speak their points with the validity of those points. "It would take a novel" seems like a cop-out to me and if he cares enough he can write a response.

 

1 hour ago, TychoCelchuuu said:

It's hard to see how he could say anything to make his actions (e.g. misgendering someone) okay. If it's not something you actively want to do I don't see the point of putting yourself into such an uncomfortable position so that a bigot can try to make himself feel better by explaining his bigotry to you. Maybe if there were some possibility of a legitimate misunderstanding and this could be a great chance for you to hear straight from the horse's mouth how this guy you'd like to admire is worth it, then the conversation would be worth it, but that doesn't seem like a possibility. Clearly he's either confused, prejudiced for no reason, or some combination of both, and you're not going to be able to fix those things for him.

 

Quoting these and bolding parts of them for absolute agreement.

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Thank you so much you guys, I appreciate the advice. I think you are all right that there's nothing he can say to me to change my mind that I would think this is at all okay. And since he keeps arguing with people on Twitter who are very clearly and plainly saying the same things, I'm afraid it'll just turn into him kind of talking over me and meekly just saying, "well okay" because I'm not interested in getting into some long drawn out debate with the guy. I was worried it might even feel like I've been bullied at the end of it, and I think you're right Patrick, it is a copout to just not write something. I was considering on linking him to an artist I used to work with in town who transitioned to a woman during our friendship and she makes awesome portraits of other trans and queer people in the community as well as always provides a little backstory about them at her art shows. I've mingled with some of these people at parties and it's not a fun time for them, they have been bullied and shunned so much their past is never a happy story. But I think I may cause some trouble for my friend if I sent it to him too.

 

And it's still ultimately so petty of him to get this mad over such a fluff piece over one person's dissenting opinion who just happens to be trans. Like he has it all, he's super talented, has so much great and beloved work under his belt, but then chases everyone away over and over with his bigotry. It's always been tricky because hid work doesn't reflect any of this besides some Christian/Jesus parables, almost like he constantly knows it's wrong on some level. People who didn't really care all that much about his conservatism and Christianity until he gets nasty about it. Also in looking stuff up I learned Mike Nelson of MST3K and Rifftrax is Christian and conservative but most people don't know that because he's not an asshole about it nor make it that important.


So yeah, I think this stuff is just going on Ebay or the used book store. I just learned an hour ago I always have a short video project to get done as quick as possible in the next few weeks that is for a PBS Web Series (!!!) and I don't need this stuff weighing me down nor a bad experience on the phone that I'll replay over and over in my head. I wonder if his shittiness has made the value of some of these rarer things depreciate...

 

3 hours ago, Gormongous said:

Also, I've never gotten Christian objections to trans individuals that involve going against God's will. Unless these people aren't wearing glasses or getting their teeth fixed or doing any kind of medical or cosmetic work, I'm pretty sure that it's all just bullshit and double standards. It's funny how many exceptions to "Love thy neighbor as thyself" many Christians find in day-to-day life.

You are so right. It seems like there's so much contradiction and casual bigotry on the strangest things in the bible that it's so easy to cherry pick the thing that fits their angry opinions about a marginalized group than to just love them for who they are. I guess maybe if their was national outrage about cochlear implants, then yeah it would be more consistent.

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So. On Wednesday morning, I flew out to Houston, Texas, for another set of shifts for testing the telescope I'm working on. I don't know if you've read, but a Hurricane hit the coast just south of Houston, late Friday night, and while the hurricane settled to become a tropical storm pretty quickly, it started to dump a lot of water on the city here. 

 

A lot. 

 

Here are the rain totals for the last 24-hours:

9S8QN29.jpg

 

I'm down somewhere in that cluster of red. Essentially, a foot and a half of water came down over the course of a day. And there's more to come. 

 

lI3kveF.jpg

 

I'm ok, I'm in a relatively safe place, being shuttled back and forth to NASA for my shifts (the testing has to continue despite the disaster), but the city is not. I think that this is going to be one of those events that people talk about for many, many years to come, perhaps one of the worst flooding crises in American history. I just really want you to pay attention to this, and help out wherever you can, if you can

 

I've been super fortunate, both here, and throughout my life, when it came to natural disasters like this. It's actually really terrifying to be suddenly thrust into a situation where you've lost control and you kind of just have to Wait It Out and Hope Everything Goes Ok. I think that there needs to be a real focus on infrastructure spending and disaster preparedness in this country, because this possibility was known, and written about, well in advance.  

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Whoa, RubixQube I did not know we had someone working on the James Webb Telescope on here. I hope all has been well, I was actually just wondering this morning how NASA were preventing flooding to sensitive places like the testing chamber.

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2 hours ago, YoThatLimp said:

Whoa, RubixQube I did not know we had someone working on the James Webb Telescope on here. I hope all has been well, I was actually just wondering this morning how NASA were preventing flooding to sensitive places like the testing chamber.

 

I'm a member of the science team for the primary instrument on the telescope. And when it came to flooding/leaking, the mirror and instruments are all packaged up inside the space environment chamber, and they're incredibly safe. Johnson Space Center, while it got real wet, never flooded: Clear Lake stayed just barely below the banks. 

 

The people running the tests were very conscientious of our safety, switching us from 8 to 12 hour shifts where we were shuttled in twice a day. I was on the overnight shifts and oof, it was rough, especially as the rain kept coming. I would get back to my hotel, fall asleep, wake up, and get ready to come back in. And the testing continued. 

 

I was relieved yesterday evening as a couple of my colleagues drove in from out of state to take over, and I'm sitting in the Dallas airport on my way home. I am very lucky to have been in a place that was relatively safe during this insane storm. I only hope that necessary services: gas, food, groceries, medical supplies, are quickly brought into the city. On my drive north I saw hundreds of trucks moving south to Houston with boats and supplies. It was heartening.

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Man, stay safe out there, Texas-based thumbs.

 

I am a weekend away from starting my fifth year as a teacher and have spent the last few days setting up for the kids who will be arriving on Tuesday. Last year, I was recovering from a nightmare class that dominated my 2015/16 school year and was so tense and defensive that I felt like I wasted the first 3 months with a class that turned out to be incredible. I don't want to make that mistake again, and so am swinging (arguably too hard) in the other direction. We're talking a meditation corner for kids who need it, optional yoga balls for sitting if they don't want to use their chairs, an instrument rack with some of my less-expensive instruments on it for kids who are done their work early and want to mess around with a banjo, etc. I have described it to my colleagues as "going full hippie". I'm a little nervous about it, but also excited by the potential and know that if I don't at least try it out for a couple of months I'd always be curious about how it may have gone, so here we go.

 

Bring it, 2017/18 school year.

 

59a8cefa9cd88_dayonewhiteboard.thumb.jpg.11d453ad7634477fa4ec572e8dff9ed0.jpg

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I'm letting them choose. I have enough chairs for everyone, but also a few standing desks, some yoga balls, stools, etc. Part of the "full hippie" thing. Choose the seat you're most comfortable with!

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First school day today, dropping the kids off at their new classes. Always a thrilling feeling, and so cool to see how everyone comes back from the holidays. 

 

Warm feelings day.

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I've started my first Real Job after many years doing odd contracted labour stints (I actually got into IT back in 2012 while picking farm weeds for money).

I work for the local city's Chamber of Commerce (business community advocacy and networking) I'm basically an office manager in training but I get the salary of a receptionist; there's been a bit of recent office drama that doesn't really concern me except that the two critical admin support staff left recently and I got referred as a good replacement. I'm pretty happy with the minimum wage pay because it's a 6th month contract with the promise of further pay and renegotiation down the line, plus my base hours is 30 a week and they're more than happy to have me working more hours for more pay if the work needs it.

Anyway I'm one week in and I've basically taught myself the job which is fine and fun I just wish I had more to do at the moment since I'm clearing through the easy office tasks while waiting for big events and projects to pick up. I've been learning things like writing and creating newsletters, email and website copy, managing the company website, social media account (I'm even getting some training in that which feels weird), and just your day to day office management stuff short of handling invoices and payroll (it's a really small office so the last office Manager basically handled all that and a lot of events management).

After all that though there's a lot of cool things like attending the board meetings, learning about the problems and politics that go into massive transit plans (turns out creating a 4 lane, 27km motorway from scratch is a lot of work), being under the wing of my ex mayor boss, working daily with listed MPs (they're all centre-right but I can't hold it against them), going to small business talks and learning about new business models (heard how a dental business was delivering free dental care to 12 local low-med income high-schools), and a lot of other cool stuff.

 

Plus it's reeeeeally nice to be earning an actual wage instead of living off of the unemployment benefit (9 months) or student loans (5 years).

 

My boyfriend's starting work soon too for a company that develops car-dealership software.

 

Anyway it's soo fucking nice to feel like we can actually make financial plans instead of riding the weekly budget rapids. We're looking at saving up for our own place to rent in a nice part of town instead of living with super unreliable friends flatmates in a house that calls rubber tubes and a pipe fixed to bath taps a functioning shower.

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On 6/9/2017 at 5:12 PM, Gormongous said:

I'm having a weird moment thanks to some incidental genealogy. A friend had just finished S-Town, and I was telling her how my family history, especially on my father's side, reminds me of Bibb County and its denizens. On whim, I tried to double-check where my grandfather was born, but all I brought up was the divorce record for my parents on some random genealogy site... which listed their date of marriage as 1979, four or five years earlier than I'd always thought it was. I confirmed it with the county records, but I'll spoiler the rest because it's both personal and boring.

 

  Hide contents

The story of my parents meeting and getting married, as each of them have told me once or twice, was that my mother moved from Iowa to Texas after getting a degree in graphic design to work with 7-Eleven on their Olympics sponsorship. Her roommate there, whom my mother knew from Iowa, was a friend of a friend with my father's roommate, whom my father knew from the university he'd attended. Over an unspecified amount of time after being set up by their roommates, they dated, married, and, once the 1984 Olympics had concluded and my mother had left her job with 7-Eleven, had me. However, if they were married in 1979, working with 7-Eleven on the Olympics couldn't have been my mother's reason for coming to Texas, because 7-Eleven only started sponsoring the Olympics in 1981. I understand waiting five years between getting married and having me, if my mother was focusing on her career and saving money with my father, just not what she was doing in Texas before 1981.


I don't know. By now, I should expect everyone to tell fibs here and there about their relationships, even one's parents, but I'm still a little caught off guard by this. Not sad or angry, just surprised, you know? The bothersome part is, I don't think I'll get any answers if I go right to the source, because my mother is still angry about the divorce and my father isn't really someone who likes to talk about the past. I may have to pretend to be anxious about where I'm going in life and ask my mom about her path from college to career to motherhood, just to get it out of her... Kidding! Mostly.

 

Sorry for oversharing. It's just been a bee in my bonnet today, and I thought someone might get a laugh of recognition out of it.

 

This is weeks too late, but I asked my mother over drinks after Christmas. Ends up she moved to Dallas after college because she stayed with her college roommate, who found work there. She worked on a few campaigns before ending up with 7/11 and got promoted to the Olympics campaign, which she finished before quitting to have me. Dad just grunted when I asked him, no surprise there.

 

This post inspired by Night in the Wood's excellent mother/daughter relationship.

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I just came back from a bizarre couple of days. My father died last week, which isn't as big a deal to me as one might think because he buggered off when I was about 2 and was not much of a presence since then. Having a large portion of the people he was close to over the years all stuck together in one house for the funeral and the day or so leading up to it lead to some incredibly soap-like situations up to and including screaming matches and accusations of backstabbing etc, with my mother and I as bemused onlookers and occasional peacemakers. If it had been a hidden camera show I;'m sure we would have been ejected for spoiling the fun.

 

Anyway, that's a rather confusing chapter of my life over and done with. Hard to say his existence was a net positive, though I'm glad to be around.

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