alliancesjr: (Default)
The following is a complete list of search terms to MadeOfFail.net - meaning, this is how people found the website in a search engine and clicked through to the site.

made of fail 1,058
made of fail podcast 242
madeoffail 45
worgen porn 33
madeoffail.net 32
lewis lovhaug 29
pokemon fail 28
The list. )

Frightening.
alliancesjr: (we are a Genuises)
Or, in which the highways of Chicago are wrought with construction and Nobody Is Surprised1

One of my duties for the convention was the transport of three Very Special Guests, who were flying in to O'Hare, so I picked up Esther Friesner and her husband Walter, and we went to lunch. I had been instructed to take them to a place that is friendly towards Walter's allergies, so I had e-mailed Esther previously with a list of restaurants near the airport so's they could choose. We ended up going to Harry Caray's, which was a treat since I'd never been to one either.

Day 0 )
alliancesjr: (Vetinari)
(This icon is severely dated. I need a new one for 2012.)

Day -2

Tuesday was a day of introductions and setting up.
Et cetera, et cetera )
alliancesjr: (Default)
Or, I have no idea what is going on what the hell you guys1

I say this is the Abridged Version because it's not over yet I am still here. Although I am leaving today.

Without getting into details2, the following things happened.

  1. Spent time with Rob Wilkins, Terry's Personal Assistant, and drove him to a U2 concert in Chicago.

  2. Had dinner with Terry and a couple other Awesome People at a nice place in Madison.4 There will be details later.

  3. Performed TWICE officially.

  4. Was given The Suit. For free. That parts of it were custom tailored for me.5 I get to take this thing home without paying for it is what I am saying you guys.


Not included in the numbered list is the far more awesome fact that I made a fantastic new friend who happens to be ten years younger than me, this is not creepy in any way whatsoever, this must be how Dayna feels all the time.



  1. Not entirely true.

  2. Which, YES DAYNA I WILL BLOG ABOUT IT LEAVE ME ALONE3

  3. Seriously, I will, don't look at me like that.

  4. I think I made him laugh once. I was mostly listening, though, the man has the most interesting stories and is so incredibly quick with puns and innuendo that it makes me look boring in comparison.

  5. People sometimes say, "Why bother to volunteer, I don't want to work when I'm there to have fun." These people are morons.

So, yeah.

May. 20th, 2011 08:21 am
alliancesjr: (Default)
Twenty-six. And I'll be married when I'm twenty-seven.

    Excerpted from text messages

    Cheer Sister: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRO
    Me: Thank you.
    Cheer Sister: You're old. :p
    Me: I'm sorry, I can't hear you from this far over the hill.


(She just turned 16. We're nine and a half years apart.)

Cats.

May. 13th, 2011 08:48 am
alliancesjr: (Default)
Trekkiegirl and I are starting to work out details of the after-wedding plans, and we've decided to get cats. I suggested hitting up the shelters in the area.

Trekkiegirl, who is allergic to most cats and has grown up showing dogs, has convinced me to find a reasonably-priced breeder for hypoallergenic cats. It's not a bad idea, considering her allergies, and it'd be best for house cats to grow up together, so we'll be picking up a pair of kittens.

She has gravitated towards Devon Rexes, as they're relatively hypoallergenic. She originally wanted Sphynxes, but after a couple searches, she fell in love with these cats.

And really, who could blame her?



With the fact that both of us work, a pair of kittens would be best. We'd take time off initially to help them acclimate; my mother can also be conscriped to come catsit for a bit.

I've always wanted to get a pet, honestly, ever since we got rid of our old cat back in 1990. I didn't realize this until I was talking about cats with my family this week, actually, but she was my cat. There is, of course, a story behind it.

I was very little, and my parents used to take us to the adopt-a-pet store in the mall and pretend we were going to the zoo. I was two years old at the time, and didn't know it wasn't the zoo, and would always get very excited about getting to pet the animals.

According to my dad, one day I raced over to a cat and picked her up in precisely the way cats don't like to be held. This cat...did nothing. She just drooped over my arms, purring.

If they were ever to get a cat, my parents figured, this would be it. If she didn't mind being manhandled by small boys. So they bought her and named her Lindy. Or, as I always remember my dad referring to her, Lindy El Gato O'Shea. That was her full name.

She was a very understanding cat. Very forgiving. From the time I was two until about five, I very distinctly remember she would always play with me, and there was specifically one time I remember pulling her tail. I don't remember if it was an accident or not - I was threeish, who knows - but I remember her leaping away, glowering at me, and leaving the room. I was upset, of course, and my parents scolded me and told me that it hurt her to do that.

I immediately rushed to apologise to Lindy. She glared at me, but let me approach her, and I gave her a big hug and she purred. She had forgiven me immediately.

To this day, I don't remember what happened to her. My parents told my sister and I that they had to give her to a friend of theirs when my brother was born, and we were promised to go visit her someday, and we never did. I'm not certain if this was the truth; I was five and my sister had either just turned seven or was about to, and if Lindy had died I don't know if we would have been told the truth. I'm leaning towards it being true, though, and we just never had the time. My parents never really sheltered us from bad things; if she had died, I'm sure they would have sat us down and explained what that meant.

I'm hoping that when we get these Devon Rexes, Trekkiegirl and I can strike a deal. I hope to name one Lindy.
alliancesjr: (Artoo - RAM)
Print is not dead.

That said, it's becoming a bit of an inconvenience. There's a lot of talk going on about e-readers - Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad Library, etc. - that tends to toss people into two very different camps: Print Is Dead, and Books Are Smelly1.

I understand both arguments, and I've often put myself in the Books Are Smelly camp - or at least, I've defended the position. My actual position, though? Lies in the middle. And no, it's not a Golden Mean2 here; it's an actual valid position.

While real, printed books will always be my preference, I've made plenty of trips where I had a whole backpack full of the things, for the travel, or for relaxing while I'm there. I read fast, and will finish a book quickly; that, or I'll want to switch off between a couple ones I've been meaning to read for a while. For situations such as these, I'm hoping to be able to purchase a Kindle for my birthday coming up.

That said, I definitely don't want to be sitting in my favorite chair on a lazy Saturday afternoon with the sunlight filtering in through the window just so, without an actual book in my hand. I'd feel wrong.

So there you have it. The two can definitely co-exist; you just have to keep an open mind.



  1. "Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower, or a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer, it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible, it should be, um, smelly."

  2. I usually call it the Grey Fallacy, in deference to the X-wing series where I first heard of it.
alliancesjr: (Default)
So, I woke up this morning and my fiancée said check my e-mail. She drew me a picture, apparently.

Large picture. )
alliancesjr: (Janson Can't Look Dignified)
There's no shame in admitting it; practically half the Internet1 has been rallying around Friendship is Magic for months, and the fact that it has a large male following has been absolutely no secret.

Granted, at first the animation style bugged me, but it grows on you. To be entirely honest, there was absolutely no reason for me to believe that I wouldn't have liked Friendship is Magic - the characterization is solid, the writing is spectacular, voice acting is absolutely stellar, and there are numerous pop-culture references that appeal to adults and kids alike, both subtle2 and center-stage.

I honestly feel like I should expand upon the solid characterization; not only are the characters layered and intricate, but they also are beautifully-developed and realistic characters, with all the flaws and strengths of people that you know every day. It's no wonder that Tessa in particular has gravitated towards the character of Pinkie Pie, the over-excited sugared-up champion of happiness and free spirit; the character acts and feels exactly the way she herself does in a good mood.3

It is on that same note that I found myself captivated with this series, even more than I would have been already, given the comments I made above. No, what really got me hooked was the (arguably) primary protagonist.



Twilight Sparkle is Gifted, with a capital Gift. Her potential is an untapped wonder of the world, and Princess Celestia not only recognizes it, but fosters it in the only way she knows how. Unfortunately, this meant that she grew up in a life of solitude, reporting to the Princess from her workspace and dealing socially only with her baby dragon, Spike. It is only when a millenia-old prophecy predicts doom for the world that she ventures out into society, coming into contact with other people ponies for the first time since she was a little foal.

Her initial distrust of ponies actually wanting to spend time with her was what caught me initially, and the acceptance of the idea of new friends in her life was at once moving and excruciatingly heartbreaking. Like Ben Hanscom4, here was a girl whose only friends were the books she read, until she met a group of friends who accepted her - and even liked her - for who she was.

It's a really sad moment in one of the most recent episodes I've watched, where Twilight realizes she finally gets to have a sleepover, and immediately researches what it's supposed to be. It's played for humor, of course - silly Twilight, always with her nose in her books - but as someone who came into his own social life extremely late, it strikes a particularly painful chord to watch her try to rationalize Applejack and Rarity's argument as simply "not doing it properly".

I'm only a small part of the way through this first season, as Tessa and I have yet to find actual time for a proper Ponython, but I'm absolutely floored. Bravo, Lauren Faust, you've made yet another fan.



  1. Yes, I realize that oversimplifications and generalizations like that are passé. I dare you to find statistics proving my arbitrarily-chosen statement wrong.

  2. Fluttershy's rabbit friend is named Angel, and Twilight Sparkle's dragon friend is named Spike. They don't like each other. Your minds have now been BLOWN.

  3. She's an evil ENCHANTRESS, she does evil DANCES...

  4. On a similar note, do we know what Uncle Stevie's opinion of this show is yet? I haven't seen him in Entertainment Weekly in a while, and I know he always tries to keep up with the pop-culture zeitgeist. I'd imagine he'd be completely in love with this series, though.
alliancesjr: (Falcon)
So, I've fallen back in love with Star Wars.

Saying that assumes there was a "falling out" phase, which I suppose you could argue; I donated most of my EU novels to a shared bookswap my friends were hosting, Knights of the Old Republic was gathering dust, and everything else just kind of fell to the wayside.

(I guess the more accurate term isn't that I fell out of love with Star Wars, but that I just lost interest in its antics)

However, a few months ago a Warcraft guildie was talking about her ages-old RP she and her friends used to do for years and how she was starting it back up, and by the way was I interested in reading it, and my ears completely perked up. I started replaying Knights, I picked up Force Unleashed 1 and 2 for cheap and am playing through those, and I've got a custom-built lightsaber model saved on a website. (I'm not going to order it, it's a hundred freaking dollars, but it's nice to know.)

(Shut it, Dayna, you have a frelling gunblade.)

All of a sudden, it feels like the best parts of junior high and high school again. I'm re-reading my favorite books, watching the movies, immersing myself in Wookieepedia, and wishing I could get the comic trades that sound completely awesome (such as the Legacy series). I've even rolled a character for the aforementioned roleplay, and am contemplating a second one as we speak.

I don't know what it is, but the feeling that I've been missing for the past few years, it's back.

I didn't even know it was gone.

WHAT.

Feb. 3rd, 2011 07:13 pm
alliancesjr: (Default)
LiveJournal, we need to talk.

You are not Facebook. I use you specifically because you are not Facebook.

WE DO NOT NEED FARMVILLE KNOCKOFF GAMES.

I love you, but y'all need to access your uncrazy side.
alliancesjr: (*squee*)
Well, it's been a week since Lore1 and I got engaged, and I figure it's a good time to sit down and talk about it.

First up: DETAILS.

Earlier in the relationship, when we first started thinking that this would probably be long-term if all went well and we knew that was our goal, she gave me a claddagh2 to wear on a chain around my neck, and told me that I would be giving it back to her for one of two reasons. I have since worn it every day, and it has been a comforting presence when, say, I've been stressed due to having crazy hours at my two jobs.

New Year's Eve, I got back from my father's birthday dinner - we went to Wildfire, so we got all dressed up and were the classiest people who ever existed (CHECK OUT THOSE GQMFs GODDAMN) - and I got a call from Lore saying she needed to go to the treatment center, she was having a massive anxiety attack. I picked her up and took her there. While we were in the exam room - myself dressed to the nines, she in whatever she could toss on in a hurry - she asked me for the ring back. I took a knee and put it on her finger, and we couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the night.

A few days later, I called my mother to tell her. She was surprised and ecstatic and couldn't wait to tell my father and Cheer Sister3. That evening, we went to Lore's parents' for dinner and we told them then; they, too, were happier than I've ever seen anyone ever. We spent the rest of dinner simultaneously answering questions and trying to fend off instructions on how we must do a humongous, "proper" wedding.

That brings me to a point; the two of us? Not very traditional people. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that we dislike following tradition merely for the sake of tradition. If we're going to do something, it's because it either means something to us, or we really want to do it. Probably both at the same time. It also is starting to be an issue because we'd both like to keep the wedding relatively small, and unfortunately we're both from Irish Catholic families (read: LAAAAAAAAAARGE). To give you an idea of small, we were originally thinking fifteen people each, but that's been dashed completely.

What we're now looking at is this: Family Only. Which, of course, means I must retract a few pre-emptive invitations made to a bunch of people. Unless, of course, things change again; we've only been engaged for a week now, and we're looking at a year and a half from now, so who knows?

I'm really really excited now, and I'm gathering up a whole bunch of wedding planning materials, because I'm a huge girl about it and I think it's awesome. I already asked my parents if the reception (or possibly just party 'cause we want to keep it casual and informal) could be held at their house/backyard, and they were thrilled at the idea. The wedding itself might also be held there; that solves two scheduling problems right there. I picked up a planning book and a binder and will start organizing and gathering information as much as possible; I'm in heavy research mode right now.

So excited.



  1. Laura is Trekkiegirl's name, yes, and she goes by Lore because she is a huge Trekkie. This tells you everything you need to know about her.

  2. As she is not a Buffy fan, she had no idea why I was laughing when she gave it to me. That was an interesting bit of backpedaling for me let me tell you this.

  3. Who called me back later that evening as soon as she got home and found out. I could hear her bouncing up and down over the phone, she was so excited.
alliancesjr: (Default)
    @alliancesjr: So...the term "girlfriend" can't be used to describe Trekkiegirl anymore.
    @alliancesjr: On a related note, I'm going to have to get used to the term "fiancée". It's French for "My parents are going to say we're too young."
    Twitter: *explodes*


So, I'm getting married.



Science!

Dec. 20th, 2010 11:30 am
alliancesjr: (Wonderflonium)
I had a bottle of soda in my car, and I brought it in to work today. It was still perfectly liquid, not frozen at all, but it must have been at just the right temperature because as soon as I opened it, the depressurization caused it to instantly slush completely in my hands.

Science fucking rules.
alliancesjr: (Dreaming)
Magic exists.

My life tends to alternate between coasting along and just scraping by. Sometimes I'm floating high above the clouds, enjoying where I'm going and having not a care in the world. Other times, which is to say about 98% of the time, it sucks beyond belief.

Today I am sick. I have a very bad head cold, which I've had since Saturday night. I've taken Monday and Tuesday off of work, and I'm not feeling any better but here I am, back at work, because I looked at my bills and my bank account and I cannot afford to take another day unpaid because I've used up all my vacation time this year. In point of fact, I've backslid yet again, and I've lost every single bit of that headway I've made since taking that loan. It shouldn't be a problem now, since I've just gotten that second job and I'll be getting a paycheck this Friday - and in fact, it works out that between alternating pay periods between my full-time job and the one at the bookstore, I'll be getting a paycheck of some sort every week. Even if the inbetween ones aren't that great, it's still money that I don't already have.

My brother continues to jerk my family around, over a full year after his first disappearance. There's been some new developments just this weekend, but I won't get into it now. Suffice to say, he's running my parents through the wringer and there's nothing I can do but sit and watch.

It gets overwhelming, but I got to work today and looked outside the window and I remembered why I put up with all of it, why I get out of bed in the morning.

Because magic exists.

Today is the first real snowfall of the season. Big fluffy white flakes of pure innocence were lazily drifting past the windows of the office building, and I couldn't stop grinning for two hours. All of a sudden, I was five years old again, waiting to go outside with my sister and build snow forts and throw snowballs and run around and break out the plastic orange sleds, shrieking in glee as I plummetted headfirst down the steep hill about ten blocks away from my house, crashing into a large snowdrift and running up to do it all again, before finally coming back inside and enjoying some hot chocolate in one of the mugs from my dad's impressive collection, which is the only time I ever even think about touching them.

I look at the freshly falling snow, the first of the year, and all my grownup troubles completely vanish. I'm lost in a childlike glee of Winter come at last.

That's magic.

All around me, people complain that it's too cold. They move down South to get away from it, they grumble all the while it's here, and generally get in a bad mood because of it. I understand that, but that has never been and hopefully never will be my response. I hope to all that ever is that this feeling will last me until the day I die. That I will always feel the magic in the air of the first snowfall.

That's why I can never leave this place. If I ever move away from Chicago, it had better be to a location that has similar seasons. I could never be happy where it doesn't snow. Sure, I could live there, but it would never be Home to me.

Tomorrow, my grownup problems will be back with me, full force. They may even hit me harder, making up for the time they were gone. But now, I choose not to think of them. That's the thing about magic; if you think too hard about it, it disappears. And I choose to believe in the magic. Today, I am happy.
alliancesjr: (Jayne)
I've recently taken on a second job; I'm going to be joining Tessa at the bookstore part-time. This is in addition to my current mailroom position, so depending on my schedule - I have over ten years of retail experience officially, twenty-two unofficially, so I could probably be placed anywhere - I will be having a serious drop in personal free time.

Since previous changes in my personal life have been taken the wrong way on occasion, I feel I must put a disclaimer here. I'm not avoiding people. I'm not being a jerk or purposefully paying less attention to anyone. My e-mail address is not changing; nor is my phone number.

Necessary workings )

Speaking of Trekkiegirl, things are going really well with her. I may not be able to talk about it at length but there's been a few conversations and we're both pretty optimistic about where this is going. In the short term, at least, this relationship is going to Les Miserables on Wednesday, and we're going to dress up to the nines. Yes, we're going to be the GQ Motherfuckers, goddamn. Tessa's coming too, and she's going to dress up as well.

Made of Fail is going to record on Saturday, regardless of schedule (though if the timing is wrong I'll figure something out). I'm taking Cheer Sister to Deathly Hallows on Friday night, and I've got not one, not two, but three awesome guests joining me this month. One of which is Cleolinda, who is both attending on her own merit as well as being my Lovely Cohost in place of Dayna, who once again gets to leave the show when the topic is something she cares little-to-nothing about. Another guest is returning from a previous episode, but the third is someone I'm really excited to have on the show for the first time ever, and who Cleo was amazingly awesome enough to snag for me.

I've also just finished my Podcasting Guide, since I've been asked by a multitude of listeners to give them an easy-to-follow tutorial for creating their own shows. Give it a look if you like; I worked all weekend on it and I'm pretty proud of how it came out.

I'm going to make yet another probably pointless resolve to post more to this journal. We'll see how that turns out, though I have been inspired to write a lot more often these days.

EDIT: Also, I disabled that annoying Twitter thing. I thought it would be useful and goddamn it wasn't. My apologies.

My tweets

Nov. 14th, 2010 12:16 pm
alliancesjr: (Default)

My tweets

Nov. 12th, 2010 12:16 pm
alliancesjr: (Default)
Read more... )

My tweets

Nov. 11th, 2010 12:17 pm
alliancesjr: (Default)
  • Tue, 14:39: Sometimes, being the cheerful optimist and everyone's safety net is REALLY FUCKING HARD.
  • Tue, 16:02: Seriously, sometimes it feels like since I'm the cheery one, I'm never -allowed- to be depressed or upset. Then I'm being "selfish".
  • Tue, 16:09: So you know what? Fuck it. I'm going to finish out my current obligations and give myself some me time. Fun, friends, and fuck-all.

My tweets

Nov. 10th, 2010 12:17 pm
alliancesjr: (Default)

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