jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So I'm on vacation in Calgary with [tumblr.com profile] alias-pseudonym for all of next week, and at one of the smaller games stores we found a set of Frostgrave treasure tokens! These represent the valuables which the players must try to recover.

We picked up some paints, brushes, and non-spray primer, and these are the results so far:

Picture! )

So that's the story of how I went to Canada, and my partner gave me Frostbite. \ ^^ /

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I spilled an entire cup of orange juice all over my laptop's keyboard.

[tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush is paying for the repairs, but it's still kind of traumatizing. >_> This is the first time this has happened to me in ten years of owning (and eating around) laptops, and of course it would happen to the expensive one.

Anyway, our writing may be slowed down a bit in the meantime. >_< We're currently using [personal profile] chozomind / [personal profile] burning_ground's spare laptop, Hiraeth, and it doesn't have anything set up the way we are used to.

(Incidentally, the tarot deck that [personal profile] chozomind made is really cool! You should check it out.)

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Today I went grocery shopping, and picked up a bunch of basic Japanese cooking ingredients to experiment with: Red miso, mirin, nori, kombu (sadly not in a salt-shaker), a bundle of scallions / green onions, and three types of noodles. I also picked up some disposable chopsticks to practice with, and some "cup noodle" type things to calibrate flavours and use as inspiration.

I then proceeded to spill a bowl of soup all over my lap, my desk, and the floor.

Fortunately, the damage to my books seems minimal, and I was able to successfully eat a bowl of instant miso soup after moving it up to the table. The noodles were slippery and rubbery, and it was not very good, but how's that for a learning experience?

Also life update stuff

Trying to focus on positive things here. Having trouble getting the correct gender marker on our passport, which is causing some stress and anxiety. Consulted with an immigration lawyer by Skype, along with [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush. It was educational, and I think I know what to do in order to prepare an application.

Our revised plan: Visit in January, wedding and move in this summer, when we can hopefully get a place together with our friend / future sibling-in-law. The Canadian immigration process may take about a year or more from that time, so we'll have to try to stay there by renewing a tourist visa in the meantime.

Wish us luck ... I hope you're all doing okay. I'm still working on the next story, and streaming a few times a week on Twitch. You can sign up to get email notifications of streams that you follow, if you'd like to watch Tales of Graces F.

Miscellany

Jul. 29th, 2016 05:37 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I haven't been updating this enough. But the stuff I've been reading online lately is extremely depressing, so I figured I ought to spend more time on things like Dreamwidth and AO3 maybe. >_>

So.

Read more... )

That's about all, I guess. Except that if anyone has any SU fanfic recs, or just things that they'd like to share with us, we'd be more than happy to hear them.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

As of a few hours ago, we evolved from "girlfriend" to "fiancée," and our Societal Acceptance increased by 2 points.

Now it's time to figure out what tabletop games to play at the wedding, and what models should be the cake toppers! We already have ours picked out, of course.

A painted metal model of a kitsune shrine maiden, wearing goggles and carrying a staff and a lantern.

Coral Leafbreak was painted by the [tumblr.com profile] kamitale studio artist.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

From its Tumblr, [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush:

An advertisement for furry art commissions.

It also drew our current avatar.

You want it to draw stuff for you. <3

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

And our system has, in fact, been updated! We're now using a refurb of last year's fanless, 12-inch MacBook, and it's the most beautiful thing we have ever owned. Everything works so elegantly and consistently, we've had fewer frustrations than ever, and OS X is amazing -- you can assign new keyboard shortcuts to any item in the menu.

(App recommendations: iA Writer, and Notes. Yes, the Notes app that comes with a Mac.)

We want to learn Swift, and AppleScript, and page layout / ePub formatting in Pages and iBooks Author, and you don't actually want to hear about any of this. ^^;

What's more important, at any rate, and had an even huger impact on our life, was being able to spend about two weeks with Alias. We love it so much <3 and we took lots of pictures, although we've only posted most of them in a private Facebook group, composed entirely of Alias' family and their significant others. (We're really camera-shy, and we assume that others are as well.)

We played a lot of minis games, though. ^^; And Final Fantasy XIII. Turns out the reason we haven't done much console gaming lately is because there's been no one to share it with >_>; So now we're starting to experiment with streaming games on Twitch, and considering getting a capture card for our old consoles which don't let us do that natively.

... is that something that anyone here would be interested in watching?

Anyway, we're trying to get back into a regular schedule and form some good habits, which is hard without external reinforcement. >_>; And we keep thinking of how to reformat this blog ... with like, index pages of our stories, essays, and games. And maybe a consistent theme, of self-acceptance and learning how to express yourself. It's what we've needed the most talking-through, and it's what we've been wanting to help people with since our old Become Your Fursona stories.

Which we still have, and are considering formatting some of them for ebook stores. Maybe.

We're also hoping to be able to visit Alias in person up in Canada, towards the end of the year. It's scary talking about building a life and a future together, but it's also exciting to feel like this is a thing that can actually happen.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We got to try out a game of Endless Fantasy Tactics with Alias, a day or two ago. It was pretty fun!

Alias' hand picking up a miniature, on top of a hand-drawn isometric 3d map that looks like it came from Final Fantasy Tactics. Various Warhammer 40,000 and Pathfinder miniatures are being used as proxies, and a lot of dice are being used as counters. To one side, there are print-out lists of each model's stats. To the other, there is a magnetic Pathfinder initiative tracking board, with magnets for each mini arranged in initiative order. It also has little red hearts and blue circles for each model's HP and MP.

Those unpainted models are totally beastmen, not XV8 Crisis battlesuits.

It's basically Final Fantasy Tactics: the minis game. Which means we had to draw an isometric map, and HP/MP counters for everyone. Oh, and it uses stat cards normally, so we printed out lists with our models' stats on them instead.

Technically you don't have to go to these lengths. They sell decks of cards for all of the models and items, plus a beginner set with a reconfigurable 3d board. But we wanted to start with the core rulebook, and we figured it wouldn't take that long to make our own play aids.

Turns out, it did ^^; partly because we had to learn how to do layout in Pages first. And then when we actually started playing, our large-sized models took a hit for each square they stand on, every time Alias' Lunarian bunnies AOE'd.

But the Lunarians are just so cute! As are gels, beastmen, and the dreaded Black Kiwi.

(The gels all want to be heroes, or something. It's awesome.)

Anyway, we'll probably be playing this more in the future. And here are some more pics of the play aids we created / used, behind the cut:

Read more... )

Did we mention that [personal profile] aliaspseudonym / [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush has been visiting? ^^;;;

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Wouldn't that be an interesting weapon in 40k, or another miniatures game? You shoot someone with it (rolling To Hit as needed), and suddenly they can't do anything self-serving. Like fleeing from a hopeless fight, or going to ground in order to keep from being shot at.

There actually is a special rule in Warhammer 40,000 which does that, though. It's called Zealot.

Thoughts on negating the self )

At any rate, Alias has been over here for three days now, and so far we've played three games of 40k. It's rekindled my interest in this game, and reminded me what I love about it.

I keep going out of my way to make sure that Alias is having fun, though, and compulsively asking if it is okay. I'm scared that I'm being a bad hostess, that having it play one of my favourite games with me is selfish, and that I should be letting it dictate everything.

Aside from that, though, it's been really nice having it over. In many ways. ^^;

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Okay, so last night we kind of had a meltdown over stuff on Twitter. >_>; We've deleted our account, since it didn't seem to be doing anyone any good.

On the plus side, we lined up all our Warhammer 40,000 Tau models and took a picture of them. Here it is, in case anyone wanted to see:

A photo of dozens of tiny space infantry models, vehicles, and mecha, somewhat carefully arranged on a table. About half of them are painted green.

View options: DeviantArt

Was it worth it? )

Anyway ... we're looking into broadening our gaming horizons, with more accessible minis games like Endless Fantasy Tactics and Frostgrave. [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush is coming over in just a couple of days (!!!), so hopefully we'll get a chance to try them out.

And cheer up a bit.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Despite our disenchantment with Microsoft, we still use and rely on OneNote. It's a free cross-platform app, with free online syncing and no ads, and it takes pictures and formatted text and automatically cites stuff that we copy and paste from online.

Anyway, we've collected a lot of quotes about how it's not surprising to find ourself as a hikikomori / part of the underclass, all things considered. And how we still contribute to society despite being devalued economically. And how society's requirements are unreasonable to begin with, especially when it plays favourites so blatantly.

It's actually kind of a source of hope and encouragement to read them. Sort of like 15 years ago, when we were first starting to come to terms with the idea that we're fundamentally "a writer" and couldn't be happy doing the jobs that the people around us were pressuring us to do. Which led to our taking it seriously and getting a lot of practice, and eventually led to us supporting ourself and another person through writing things that were important to us.

They also note that Apple stuff's been getting cheaper, while housing, education, and health care are all priced for the upper class. Which kind of puts things in perspective, and makes us feel better about owning an iPod and wanting a Mac.

I mean. There are billboards here in the States that advertise schools and hospitals. Srsly. Like, a lot of them.

In the past few weeks, a lot of the hurdles to obtaining health care and such here have been worked out. More than that, [personal profile] burning_ground has proven to be a very good friend and supportive Internet Family Member, and [personal profile] aliaspseudonym / [tumblr.com profile] spinecrawlerrush is now talking about planning a future with us and visiting late next month.

We've gotten out of the habit of checking on Dreamwidth, and have set our fanfiction aside temporarily. But in other spheres of our life -- Final Fantasy XI, miniatures, and earning spending money on Mechanical Turk -- we've actually been Getting Stuff Done. Like, a lot more than usual, and a lot more regularly than usual. A day where we could do anything but read depressing stuff used to be rare, but now we can count on at least a couple hours of work every day. And save up for things, and have dreams and ambitions, even if they don't resemble most people's.

I feel like accepting our place in the underclass, as someone who's not valued enough by society to even be exploited as a labourer, is actually part of that. Because we've gone from seeing ourself as a failed member of the working class, whose struggles are all her fault, to seeing ourself as someone who's lost a lot of life's lotteries but has people who love and support her.

Knowing that, and having that support, has given us a lot of strength lately. It's not something that we're used to.

We can share some of the quotes that we've found if anyone's interested. Today we just wanted to talk about how we're feeling, lately.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We've been having a bad time in the place that we've moved to, in terms of obtaining health care (especially trans-specific health care). Things are starting to look up -- we got seen at a sliding scale clinic and treated for our persistent cough, last week, plus we got an antidepressant prescription that we don't need to be groped for.

Finding a trans-friendly endocrinologist is more difficult; it feels like an underground scene of some kind, not a straightforward medical service. Things are still up in the air, here, but we managed to get blood tests done without breaking the bank ... or at least, [personal profile] burning_ground's bank account.

(She's really the one who's been handling it all. We've mostly been fretting panicking curled up in a ball playing games on the iPod [personal profile] aliaspseudonym got us. Which was much less expensive than the blood tests we needed.)

We're sorry for scaring people / being absent / not replying or noticing stuff / dropping [community profile] capsulerp. We hope everyone's doing okay out there, and we'll try to keep breathing.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Does anyone remember the “Become Your Fursona" stories that I used to work on? [personal profile] aliaspseudonym does, and it’s been posting a lot of sketches and previews and things of its own take on the concept, on its Tumblr.

The upcoming fic, called simply “Transformation Story,” stars Gwen, a girl who lives in a computer-simulated world where things like your species can shift drastically just by modifying your tags / variables. After an episode of data corruption removes her species and phenotype tags, her subconscious ends up rebuilding them … just not in the way that her conscious mind expected.

Alias' drawing.

Transcript follows:

Read more... )

Like the old Become Your Fursona stories, [personal profile] aliaspseudonym’s work so far has a dark edge, and is a serious take on dysphoria. We’ve been consulting with it on this story, and we really like where it is taking things so far.

You can see more of Alias’ work at its Tumblr (RSS link), or add [syndicated profile] spinecrawlerrush_feed to your Dreamwidth reading page. It cross-posts the story and artwork to its DeviantArt and FurAffinity accounts (less frequently to the FA one).

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

This is how my day went

Today I went to the clinic, and talked over my lab results with the endocrinologist. She decided to increase my estrogen prescription, so that I can look and feel more feminine and complete my transition more quickly. The trip went pretty well, and on the way there I stopped at my favourite coffee shop downtown, and got a cup of iced hazelnut coffee and a chocolate chip scone to go.

I stopped at the grocery store on the way back to get things for [personal profile] rev_yurodivy, including vegan hot dogs and some hard cranberry lemonade, since they are working hard on a project and asked for something sweet that has alcohol in it to help destress.

Once I got home, I unwound by going online, checking art sites like DA for updates and peeking in on the Mormons and exmormons to see what both groups are up to. I bought more than a half dozen games in the PlayStation Network's flash sale, where they're all being sold for under $1, and spent awhile playing the remake of Flashback. Then I snuggled with [personal profile] aliaspseudonym some, to help reassure it before it goes to an unfamiliar venue early tomorrow for a Magic: the Gathering set prerelease. Now I'm settled into my den, playing Xcom (I've almost platinumed it!) and sipping some of the hard lemonade myself.

This is how I was taught to see it

An unrepentant, coffee-drinking, alcoholic apostate went out on the town, to buy sex hormones and alcohol. After that she had sex with one of her sexual partners, looked up pornography on the Internet, and played violent video games while drinking.

(Transphobia and poverty-shaming mercifully omitted from the above.)

Why I don't see it that way anymore

I was taught that when you rebel or leave the Mormon church, you become "past feeling," in the sense of having gone past something, so that you can no longer feel the Spirit or anything good. You start chasing empty pleasures, to distract you from the void that fills a life you feel deep down is meaningless.

The thing is, that's exactly what I felt like while I was a Mormon. The emotions that ruled my life then were shame, fear, anger, and lust. I was taught that I had to be a certain way, just like everyone else who looked like me. And I was ashamed that I wasn't the perfect Mormon, afraid of my parents' and church leaders' punishment, and angry with myself and with "worldly" society.

I secretly longed to be in a world where my feelings -- like sexual attraction, fascination with bodies, and a desperate wish to have female gender identity -- were okay to have. I had been beaten down so hard with shame and punishment that I let myself explore these longings, locking myself in my room and going online and imagining being the characters in furry and fantasy art. Reading stories of love and friendship and transformation.

It took me awhile to realize it, but while I felt like I'd hit rock bottom I'd really found a lifeline. A window into worlds that I thought were impossible, feelings I never knew I could have, and people -- both fictional characters and their fans and authors -- who were kinder and more understanding than anyone I knew at church.

On some level, I knew this was good. And as time went on, I choose the good over the bad, until there was much less room in my life for the bad, hurtful things I'd been raised with.

Who is really "past feeling?"

Look at the two descriptions of my day above, and ask yourself which one's more honest, more accurate, and more fun to read. It's like the difference between enjoying a zesty stir-fry with rice, and saying "eww, vegetables."

Imagine being raised on nothing but honeyed gruel, and being told that everything else is awful and shameful and dangerous to eat. That's what my Mormon upbringing was like, with regards to the feelings and stories and people in my life today. And the occasional ice-cold beverage.

I can still empathize with Mormons, see the world from their perspective, and even appreciate the frisson that they call "the Spirit," which their music and ads are designed to evoke. But a lot of them can't appreciate anything I go through, and experience unsettling feelings of cognitive dissonance when they see something that contradicts what they've been taught. They're told that this dissonance means that they're losing the Spirit and displeasing God, and they need to stop whatever they're doing immediately.

They are literally trained to be unable to feel or to empathize. And one of the ways they are scared into doing this, is by telling them that if they do they will lose what feelings they have left, and become the people they're most afraid of.

In closing

I don't know what I would have done, if I could see my present self ten years ago.

I do know that I prefer being her. That "gender euphoria," the opposite of dysphoria, is a real thing. And that my real, chosen family and friends are more loving and genuine than those I was forced to be with, growing up.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The people in the faith community I used to be a part of are scared of anything that could lead them to cheat on their spouses. Since they view any and all sexual or romantic activity which does not involve their spouse, including masturbation or flirting, as cheating, this leaves a lot of them emotionally stunted and sexually repressed.

Measures I've seen them take, and publicly recommend, to avoid "cheating" include:

  • Shared social media accounts and/or passwords. (Yes, they're among those who have the "couple" Facebook accounts.)

  • Draconian limits on Internet use.

  • Avoidance of being alone with -- or even close to -- a person of the opposite gender, to the point of employment discrimination so that they won't have to share an office with someone they find attractive.

Jewelfox rants about Mormons' unhealthy, untrusting relationships )

I personally feel that anything which can be destroyed by love, friendship, and emotional closeness, probably should be destroyed. Whether it's a bad religion, a patriarchal society, or just an unhealthy relationship.

If you really love someone, you don't stop loving them just because you (or they) have found someone or something new to love. Whether it's a person, profession, or hobby. And I say this as someone with two autistic partners, who both have intense focus on interests which dominate their lives for months or years at a time.

I don't love them despite that, I love them partly because of it. I love seeing them come alive, with the same excitement we had for each other right when we declared our romantic intent. They're more fun to be around, and more fun to snuggle as well.

I'd have to lock them in boxes to keep them from finding new things to excite them. Sort of like what Mormon spouses are taught to do to each other.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

... who communicate over Skype chat!

[...] a huge barrel swings and pivots into alignment. A simple but clever little mind carefully pulls back the string of an imaginary bow as far as it can, beeping in satisfaction as it doublechecks the cannon’s firing trajectory, and then —

No! Something destabilizes the barrel at the last second and it swings just a fraction of a degree wide, the shot barely grazes the target. There’s time for a second shot, the anomaly is going to land. An extremely angry message is beamed on a narrow band toward the orbital surveillance station.

[Comlog begins]

MTC: ELO! YOU MADE ME MISS

LOS: i have no idea what you’re talking about, teesi v.v

Go here to read the rest of the first part of [personal profile] aliaspseudonym's quirky story. I really like how each AI's personality comes across so well in the chat logs.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

(With apologies to Wreck-it Ralph. Linked video contains spoilers.)

I used to get Lawful Good on D&D alignment quizzes, because I only picked the "right" answers. Later, and for most of the last ten years, I answered honestly and got Neutral Good ... because I didn't want to rock the boat, but I still went out of my way to help people.

I still do, sometimes. But the most recent alignment quiz I took pegged me as Chaotic Neutral, and the more I think about it the more I think it fits.

I think the tipping point, for me, was seeing how corporations like Mozilla -- which I thought were purely benevolent -- were really more concerned with ensuring their own survival. And while a lot of Free Software volunteers do so out of the goodness of their hearts, after being thrown away by GNOME I saw how others like me were being manipulated thanks to their desires to do good.

Read more... )

tl;dr

The more I realize how little I know, and how messed-up my programming is thanks to my upbringing, the less confident I am that it's even possible to be a "good" person in the conventional sense. Not without massive conflicts of interest, and potential for abuse / exploitation.

Instead, I'm trying to be a kind person. Both in the sense that I want to treat others as people, and in the sense that [personal profile] aliaspseudonym referred to in its Xenotheism essay. Where "kindness is goodness," because the most genuinely good thing any person can do is to just be the kind of person they are.

If you don't believe that, then you can't really help anyone anyway.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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