Monday, 13 November 2017

My nerd beginnings - LotR

Oh my dudes, The Lord of the Rings.
Peter Jackson. The nerd that set it all in motion for me.
   A nerd friend of mine, my best friend as a matter of fact, tend to tell me once in a while that she was 110% destined to become a nerd. She never had another option really, being surrounded by comic book nerd uncles and an older brother crazy about Star Wars. With me it was an entirely different story because I had to discover the lovely world of nerdiness all on my own. Don't get me wrong, my family has its fair share of book worms but their reading material tended to be rooted in reality and not in far off fictional worlds or alternate universes.

   When I say books were my gateway into fantasy and scifi I'm not being entirely honest to myself because when I really get to dig into it, it was movies. Specifically those my mum didn't want me watching. I was about seven when I watched Jurassic Park (and had nightmares for a week), about ten-ish when I saw Aliens, and Tim Burton's Batman movies (with better results dream-wise). Then came the news that Peter Jackson was adapting The Lord of the Rings for the big screen and I was obsessed. By then my mum couldn't possibly ignore the fact that I was way more into fiction than her history nerd ass had ever been and that it was probably a better idea to introduce me to more age appropriate media than forbidding me to watch that which wasn't age appropriate. She gifted me the LotR books, for Xmas 2000 I believe, and those motherfuckers are heavy to get through when you're twelve years old, I can tell ya! but she wished to be proactive and I, in return, was thrilled. However, though I love the story I never really took to the books (sorry J.R.R.) and although I finished The Fellowship of the Ring it took me well over a year to do so (the Two Towers and the Return of the King didn't take as long). Turned out there was a trick to it; after only a few heavy pages I decided to make a list of every single name mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring and thus made reading into both a hunt for new names as well as the completion of the story. It helped getting me through the book. But it also made loving the movies significantly easier; they were heavenly in comparison (because FYI, there are well over 200 different character names in The Fellowship of the Ring only). However, reading Tolkien and then experiencing Jackson's adaption launched me like a exuberant rocket into the fantasy genre and made me choosy as it comes to universe construction. Say what you will about J.R.R. (prolix, racist, sexist etc) but he started something unique with Middle Earth that has grown, branched out and blossomed.

   As a part of the Ringer cult fandom I didn't just find my place among my immediate weirdo friends, but also grew to be a part of a world-wide weirdo community that I, surprisingly enough, felt really connected to (thank you Internet). Speaking from the perspective of an oddball and somewhat of an outcast, it was pure awesomeness to find so many other people not only sharing my passions but also my experiences when my family didn't.
   The importance of this can't be lost on anyone.

   Peter Jackson didn't just drop my very first real fandom in my lap but also gave me adult nerds to look up to - the cast of the LotR trilogy is littered with different kinds of nerds that influenced what kind of nerd I myself was going to become one day. Unapologetic (thank you Elijah Wood), enthusiastic (thank you Dominic Monaghan), happily and lovingly sarcastic (thank you Billy Boyd), fiercely queer (thank you so much Ian McKellen) and childishly passionate (thank you Peter Jackson). I can only ever aspire to be as nerdily refined, curious and awe-inspiring as the great LotR nerd Christopher Lee (as the only one of the production to actually have met J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee was the ultimate LotR fanboy).
   The Lord of the Rings holds a very special place in my heart and always will.

   My best friend and I are at the time of writing this planning our journey to New Zealand. It's nerve wracking and exhilarating and absolutely wonderful to somehow be able to complete the circle by travelling to the place where my love for hobbits began and in many ways my inner nerd awoke.
   Thank you Peter Jackson, I look forward to Going There, and Back Again.
   "The Road goed ever on and on,
down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
and I must follow if I can.
Pursuing it with eager feet,
until it joins some larger way
where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."

Monday, 6 November 2017

Halloween funsies

   This weekend it was finally the time to get my spook on and let my inner forest sprite out at a Halloween party. I went dressed as a huldra - managed to finish the dress and everything! But I did give up on making it any more complicated than necessary. 
   I had so much fun guys.


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Lungs, please stahp

   It really sucks to be down with the worst case of the flu I've had since ... well, I can't remember having a worse case. I'm coughing. Hard. That's the worst part of it. Going to bed is a chore because you need to take all the right medicines in the right order and sit in the bed just the right way to dampen the coughing fits just enough to fall asleep. After that I might get somewhere between 5 and 6 hours before I can't breathe. If I'm lucky. Oh, the phlegm. In short, I can't do shit. Halloween is around the corner and I wanted to dazzle in a new outfit. Now I'm not sure I'll be able to finish it.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Who's with me?

I don't usually look at trailers because I don't like having my fun spoiled beforehand but goddammit, I couldn't keep away from this one.

My face the entire time:


Sooo....


 Basically.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

With my head in a bag

It's one of those days when one does what one has to do to bring back order to the chaos of life. Or at least organise your chaos in a way more fitting to your life...
   Returning to work yesterday after surgery was tough but seeing as I'm about as hard to kill as a pissed off badger, I did fine.
   Yeah, I know. Surgery was minimally invasive, went really well and has already done wonders to my mental state. "Pleased" doesn't even begin to cover it.
   Today I'm dyeing my hair, drinking my new Earl Gay tea (yes, gay), giving in to my sweet tooth and avoiding folding all the clothes I've washed this morning. It's raining.


EDIT:
It turned out ok.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Another short word on running

I'm keeping it up. For the simple, yet insanely important, reasons. Still hate it though.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Lets talk about ice-cream

   I can't eat dairy product in any greater amounts, not even lactose free stuff works that well anymore though they used to. In the last couple of months I've gradually worked my way from lactose free dairy products to soy and oat products instead. I rarely miss having milk in my coffee. Sometimes I miss heavy cream. I do miss butter. And holy hell, do I miss ice-cream! When Ben & Jerry's let us know that they were planning on launching a series of dairy free tubs I was thrilled, but it took a whole friggin' year before they launched them in Sweden! (Final launch was almost a month ago.) So like... can we please talk about these ice-creams?!
   Today I bought Chunky Monkey which used to be one of my favourites back when I could still eat dairy stuff with a little help of pills containing the enzymes I myself lack. However, I couldn't settle with just trying one so I bought Peanut Butter & Cookies as well. I remember back when I could eat a whole tub by myself in one sitting but these non-dairy ones are heavy. Very filling. Also very expensive. One tub is like 10$. But yum-yum in my tum-tum.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Adorkable misogyny

THIS.
WHY PEOPLE NO SEE WHY CREEPY NERD STILL BE CREEPY.



ME FOREVER MAD.

   This video is by the same people who did the equally enlightening Born Sexy Yesterday video that I also recommend you watch.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Puttin' the face on


   Went to see Logan Lucky with the boys. I put makeup on my face and everything.
   Logan Lucky was a Soderbergh alright. A sort of hillbilly Ocean's Eleven (their words), but not quite as good. Seeing as I'm not a fan of neither Adam Driver nor Daniel Craig, I was only attracted to the Soderbergh heist movie description and Channing Tatum. Tatum was good. Soderbergh was ok. On the whole, it was ok.
   The company was excellent.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Like, really good

Just when I started to relax, lay back, breathe deep and easier, I realised that I'm going back to work next Tuesday. A week from now. I've got a week to just do what I feel at the moment I feel it. Been to the gym (first times since May) two days straight and it felt good. Like, really good. To be going because I feel like it and not because I feel guilty for not going is a treat.
Vacation time soon to be over.
Autumn's approach.
I can do this. (Though I don't want to.)

Monday, 21 August 2017

The Hutt (kind of) Recommends: Black City Saint

Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

I've played Diablo since I was fourteen years old. For a very long time it was also the ONLY thing I played. If the legends and history of Sanctuary, and Tristram, hadn't intrigued me so I wouldn't have discovered Richard A. Knaak's stories at all. The legends of the Sin War and the stories about Zayl the necromancer all have special places in my bookshelves.
   Obviously, I needed to know whether Knaak had written anything else relevant to my interests and that, my friends, is how I stumbled upon Black City Saint - an urban fantasy tale featuring true 1920's flappers, bootleggers, shapeshifters, dragons, Feirie and saints.


   In Prohibition time Chicago there are worse things than getting mixed up in bootlegger wars to worry about, something Nick Medea is trying his very best to not let people find out about. He's been the immortal guardian set to guard The Gate between this world and the world of the Wyld - the dark Feiriefolk  - these past 600 years, ever since... Well, suffice it to say it's been a bumpy road from once being called Saint George to where Nick finds himself now.
   Ever since The Night the Dragon Breathed and set Chicago ablaze some 50 years ago, more and more of the Wyld have been found on the wrong side of The Gate. The more of the Wyld that gathers the larger the problem it gathers around. Like moths to a flame they gather.
   Nick has to look inward to a part of himself he deeply mistrusts to solve this riddle, at the same time as people from his troubled past resurrects and resurfaces.

   Black City Saint has a lot of the elements I like about Knaak: the somewhat sombre but relatable main character, a sarcastic familiar, plenty of dry wit and a lot of action. Unfortunately, it also has all of the things I don't like about Knaak: too many small characters, a lack of female characters* and a way of getting stuck somewhere in the middle of the story and drone on about something rather insignificant before throwing the final boss fight in your face.
   However, it was well worth it for the sarcasm! But honestly I'd rather read 'Kingdom of Shadow' and 'Moon of the Spider' again if I had to reread anything Knaak. Humbart Wessel brings the best disembodied quips to the party.

 * Black City Saint doesn't even pass the Bechdel test;
the only conversation between two named female characters happen
off screen and is only mentioned to have happened. It's absurd.

So this is August, huh?


  I've been back from the Medieval Week a full week and all according to tradition I've been down with the post-Middle Ages plague - normally 'just' a severe cold starting at the end of The Week, but new for me this year were some nasty ulcers adding to my misery.
   In short I've been busy.

  Just going from the bed to the computer's been a strain on me. My favourite hobby eating has been hard work. Holy shit, I hate not being able to eat, 'cause FOOD motherfucker! And don't even get me started on not being able to drink my normal three buckets of coffee in the morning! The RAGE. I am not a good person without coffee.
  This Medieval Week I haven't done all that much but sitting around, laughing, talking, singing and drinking until 3 in the morning. A lot of hugs. It might have been one of those hugs that gave me the plague but if that's the case, it was well worth it. It's been good. My new red dress and liripipe hood were very useful.

And then yesterday this lanky ginger asshole moved in with me.


Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Hutt Recommends: The Day of the Triffids

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Now this is classic scifi!
   More than slightly sexist, but not to the point where you want to high five a man's face with a chair (like I frequently find myself wanting with Heinlein). It's a classic, published in the early 50's, suffering of all the brain damage I expect male scifi writers from that time to suffer.

   A plague of blindness came down upon human kind after a spectacular meteorite shower and in the aftermath a certain kind of intelligent and carnivorous plant takes full advantage of the ensuing panic. Our main man, Bill Mason, is one of the few lucky people to have come out with his eye sight intact after the meteorite shower. It's chaos and the rest of the book is spent trying to make heads and tails of life after the Apocalypse.
   One of the most frequently voiced criticisms against The Day of the Triffids is that there isn't nearly enough Triffids. I disagree. I think it's more interesting to hear about how humans react to disaster/apocalypse/alien invasion. That was the appeal of the movies Jaw and Alien - we dealt more with people's reactions than with the actual monster and that's what made it great. Just how do you rebuild society again when 80% of the population is blind and most of the men who still have their eyesight suddenly turn into arrogant harem-building dictator wannabes? If you can distance yourself from the sexism, which is more telling about the author than anything else, it's interesting.

   I enjoyed it.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

This dress has killed me

This damned dress.

   It took me ages to muster up the energy to fit everything together once I'd assembled both layers of the dress because hand stitching is death... so I redid a few things I'd made a mess of with an older dress. By hand. I'm stupid that way but refitting the arms by hand seemed easier than doing it by machine, especially since I just got a hang of how to refit them.



   It's not entirely historically correct to fit the layers together like I do with my dresses, but with a little help it is quite simple. All historical sources I've consulted point to there being linen undergarments and then a separate outer layer (and then another one after that), normally of wool with silk lining, except in some cases depending on wool fabric quality, but heeeeeeey! So what. I'm really not that strict on the details. This is more of an experimental hobby and even though the amount of money it costs is sometimes beyond absurd it remains only a hobby to me. I'm letting having fun be my first priority and money-worries my second. And I'm planning on having fun in my outfits. Also, I caught on to the idea to fit the layers together in an effort to have a way of not needing to use my modern bra underneath my medieval dresses (makes for a more historically correct silhouette). But that should obviously be something I solve with my linen underwear. It's much simpler (see: cheaper) to redo a linen garment than a wool one. I've done two dresses this way already but it's not quite working the way I want it to (in other words: I still need to wear a bra).

   Just like the people of the late 14th century I have a thing for buttons, and so I'm making my own buttons for the arms; nineteen on each arm in this case just up to my elbows.

   I took a short course on how to weave edges back in 2015 and have been wanting to try it since which of course is also an excellent excuse for buttons this time around. On the other hand this meant I needed a tape loom, something I don't own as of yet, so some improvising was at hand (it ended with me slaughtering a deck of cards, gluing cards together and then carving appropriate windows and holes in them). The books and history nerds I've consulted says the woven edge should be silk (or wool) so I invested in some real silk thread (I've used polyester thread on my previous dresses and didn't want to use wool this time).

   But before I could get to that I picked up on another project; a buttoned and lined liripipe hood. I don't have one and want one since there's nothing better to protect one's neck from the cold.
   My fingers hurt but as my mantra goes; "it'll look beautiful when it's done". So I picked up some old dresses that needed some loving and switched between projects as to not bore my restless mind with the hand sewing.








   And it did turn out beautiful! The hood looks much better than I expected, which is always a bonus (and deserves a friggin' gold star).

  Right! Back to the cotehardie! Weave edges. Yes. Good. Since I had already tried my simplified little tape loom on the liripipe hood (with worsted yarn) I had some idea of how to do it. I also knew that it was fiddly work but oh so worth it. At first I thought I'd use mixed colours but then decided against it (and regret nothing).

   IT LOOKS FUCKING FANTASTIC.
   Next step was to make lacing holes. Again, slow and tedious work, but it's the last piece of the dress I can fiddle together on my own. Just me, my bone needle, needle and silk thread. And then, THEN, turning up the skirt hemline and presto
    - a dress.
And I'm dead. Well, my fingers are.