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Posts Tagged ‘with a side order of wtf’


My most recent gem of WordPress spam:

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what
youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Indeed. My problem is that I don’t write enough — I’m just throwing my intelligence away.

A funny thing happened during Mary’s reading . . .

The Book Bin in Salem, OR (where today’s event was held) has a lovely orange tabby cat named Rose Weasley. Naturally I made her acquaintance when I arrived, both while I was still in street clothes, and then again after getting into costume.

I did my bit — reading, passing around “dragon bones” — and then Mary got up to read. About two thirds of the way through her piece, Rose comes wandering by my chair. I offer her a few discreet pats, not wanting to distract anybody from Mary’s reading, and Rose sniffs inquisitively at the skirt and train of my dress. And then she decides to investigate this fascinating new cave she found.

Which is to say, she wanders under my skirts.

I’m sitting there attempting to keep a straight face — remember, Mary’s still reading; she doesn’t need me making a spectacle of myself behind her — while these odd little tugging sensations ripple through my petticoat, as Rose sniffs at things/steps on them/god knows what she was doing under there. Not attacking, I think, for which I am very grateful; there’s lots of dangling fabric that could easily have been interpreted as a cat toy. Off to my left, one of the store employees has seen the whole thing and is trying not to crack up. I manage to hold it together until Mary finishes, whereupon I share these fascinating developments with our audience, and ask whether Mary needs me to move out of the way of her puppet show. Fortunately her answer is “no,” because I’m kind of afraid that if I try to raise my skirts to evict the cat, she will decide my costume is her new toy. She seems happy to be settled against my left ankle for a time, and wanders out again before the puppet show is done.

If you someday read a book or story of mine in which a very proper Victorian lady has to maintain her composure because she cannot possibly tell the other people in the scene that a cat has gone spelunking under her dress, now you’ll know why.

I’d say “you can’t make this stuff up,” but apparently you can

So there’s this game called Crusader Kings II, which is a strategy game in which you play a medieval European dynasty — yes, you read that right, a dynasty. At any given time your “character” is the king of that dynasty, but when he kicks the bucket you switch over to playing his heir and so on. (Or her. But getting female inheritance going is near impossible if you aren’t Basque, and playing as Basque is near impossible all on its own. So.)

It’s quite well-designed; the people behind it seem to have a decent grasp of how medieval politics actually worked. You can’t go to war unless you have a casus belli, so no invading your neighbor without at least a fig leaf of justification. You spend half your time marrying off your unattached relatives, so that you’ll have allies when you do fight a war and three generations down the road your heir might inherit the crowns of four kingdoms. Etc. And after a while they started releasing expansions for non-Christian or non-kingdom options: The Old Gods for European paganism, Sword of Islam for the Middle East, The Republic so you can play as Venice or some place like that, Sons of Abraham for Judaism, Rajas of India for the subcontinent, etc. I haven’t played those personally, nor do I know all of the cultures in question well enough to judge quality, but I get the impression they continue to do a decent job of modeling historical dynamics in a realistic fashion — within, of course, the abstracted framework of a political/military strategy game.

. . . a mostly realistic fashion, that is. Because one of the DLCs is Sunset Invasion, in which the Aztecs invade Europe during the 13th century. Y’know. Like they did.

I thought, okay. The people making this game are obviously geeks, and geeks come up with these wild, over-the-top ideas. They’ve gotten it out of their system now.

Friends, I was wrong.

I was so very, very wrong.

You guys. I wrote a CKII fic for Yuletide this past year. I made it as crazy as I could, based on my experiences with the game and some advice from my husband, but I’m well aware that it fell short of the full craziness CKII can produce. But even had I hit my mark . . . it would have been nothing compared to that tale above. All hail Sebdann, spawn of Satan and Queen of Milesia!

Seven Souls in Skull Castle

Tonight I saw a movie which is probably the most refrackulous thing I’ve watched in ages.

Its Japanese title is Dokuro-jo no shichinin, and it’s actually a recording of a stage production, deliberately intended (so the blurb for it said) to be a blend of cinema with live performance. That much is comprehensible.

But the plot, you guys. The plot.

It just —

These characters —

I — I have no way to describe it that wouldn’t be full of spoilers. Which you probably don’t care about because the number of you who will ever see it is minuscule. But I can’t tell you why Tayu’s crew of prostitutes are so awesome. Or who exactly that one dude turned out to be (though I can say that I turned to my sister about ten minutes prior to that reveal and said “if he turns out to be X, I am going to laugh my ass off.” Of course he was X.) I just —

Okay, look, here’s an example. The story takes place in 1590, eight years after the death of Oda Nobunaga. There’s this guy who’s set up shop in Skull Castle in the Kantou region, calling himself Tenmao, the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven. (This story: it is SUBTLE, yo.) It turns out that he, along with several of the other characters, used to be one of Nobunaga’s retainers, and hasn’t really gotten over his lord’s death. I believe the technical term for his state of mind would be, hmmm, how do they put it, oh yeah — bugfuck crazy. So one of his former comrades-in-arms goes to Skull Castle, and something like the following conversation ensues:

TENMAO: See this mask on my helmet? It was made from the skull of our dead lord!
FORMER COMRADE IN ARMS: That’s a little crazy, dude.
TENMAO: That’s funny, coming from you. I happen to know those beads you wear are made from our dead lord’s bones!
FCIA: . . . okay, that’s true. <caresses bone necklace>
TENMAO: And this drink in my cup is made from our dead lord’s blood!

Whereupon he drains the cup, kisses his former comrad-in-arms, and spits the blood into his mouth, which turns out to be drugged, so FCIA also goes what you might call bugfuck crazy.

It is kabuki on crack and cranked up to eleventy-one. It also dodges the Smurfette trap (three of the seven heroes facing down Tenmao are women), swings wildly between broad comedy and rather grim drama, features some kind of amazing stage fighting, and has a character who basically figures out how to turn the fact that he can’t make up his mind which side he’s on into his superpower.

I am so buying this the instant it’s available on DVD. And then I am going to inflict it on everybody around me.

ridiculous costumes for your weekend entertainment

Picked these up from wshaffer: the “national costumes” from the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

2009: “This is in no way safe for dial-up, or for your sense of a just and rational universe.”

2010: “Since I have a different criteria than the judges of the pageant – they enjoy ‘bras that look like eyeballs’ and I enjoy ‘Icelandic schoolmarm’ – I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about picking a winner of my own.”

2011: “For some reason, there is a large Miss Universe contingent that forgets, every year, that this contest is coming up, and they make their costumes the night before. This year it was elevated to an art form of sucking, to the point that many of them walked the entire stage with an earnest expression of ‘What the Fuck, Seriously.'”

Warning: not drink-safe. Clear the keyboard area of all hazards before clicking through.

a possible explanation of the Amazon thing

I don’t know if this theory is correct, but I frankly consider it a more likely explanation than “Amazon’s executives got lobotomized and decided to institute a PR disaster over Easter weekend” —

Short form is, some organization (no idea who) may have mobilized to flag certain content on Amazon until an automated feature kicks in to remove it from the rankings. It would explain the bizarre selection of items hit, and also why the initial response of Amazon flacks was to say they’re de-ranking “adult” content — if this theory’s right, that’s exactly what they’re doing, but they hadn’t yet realized somebody was gaming the system.

And Easter weekend is a sadly unsurprising time to see positive LGBT* content hit in such fashion.

So. We’ll see what develops. But this makes a lot more sense to me than this being some kind of actual corporate decision on Amazon’s part.

*Or whatever form of abbrevation you prefer. Man, I hadn’t realized just how many permutations of initials that cluster of ideas had until I started seeing posts about this incident all over my flist. What the heck is the (QQI) add-on?