A look into the workings of a strange mind.|
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|Saturday, May 16th, 2009|
The first TEN
people to comment in this post get to request a drabble of any pairing/character of their choosing from me. In return, they have to post this in their journal, regardless of their ability level. If you can't write, you can always do art or something, so no talent is not an excuse for not doing the meme. Besides, you can't be any worse than me.
I can't write worth shit and my art's even worse, but the fandoms I'm familiar with are: One Piece, Bleach, Claymore, Übel Blatt, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure,
Touhou, Might&Magic series, Final Fantasies 6, 7 and 10, Resident Evil,
Harry Potter (except for the seventh book), Lord Of The Rings, Dragonlance,
Buffy, Angel, Xena and Monk. Current Mood: indifferent
|Thursday, March 5th, 2009|
|Saturday, January 31st, 2009|
|Sunday, December 14th, 2008|
|The rules of Silver Age superhero comics
So, a post, or rather a reply to a post
made me think about this. The history of comic books can certainly be separated into several distinct-though-overlapping eras, even though people may not be in agreement about what those eras are. As for me, I see them this way (note that this is simply my opinion based on my experience with comics and in no way claimed to be accurate fact):( Comic book history according to someone who wasn't even alive for most of itCollapse )
But that's not really what I wanted to write about. In my reading of Silver Age superhero comics, particularly DC ones, I've come to the realization that, beyond the Comics Code, they had a lot of unwritten rules that everyone obeyed. This is my attempt at cataloguing them.( The however-many rules of Silver Age superheroingCollapse )
Well, this is what I could come up with so far. I know there must be a ton I'm missing, so feel free to post suggestions.
|Thursday, November 20th, 2008|
|Fail fic is fail.
There was a post here. Now there isn't. There will be a post here again once I stop sucking at fics.
|Saturday, October 18th, 2008|
|I had a dream I remember again.
It was in two parts, but they were connected. The first part started with me visiting my grandparents, who, in my dream world, live in a house in a village quite a ways from the city I live in (they moved there in a dream a few months ago). I was going back home by bus when something happened. A girl got on the bus at one of the stops and soon after, everyone inside started to go mad, including me, and the bus finally swerved off the road and hit a tree. When I came to, I was being bandaged by a fellow passenger, and nobody else was in sight. He explained that the girl could induce permanent, violent madness with a touch and that he had already met her some time ago and found out that he was immune to her touch, but I was very lucky to have come back from the madness. An ambulance soon arrived, called by him, and I was taken to a hospital.
When I was released, I decided to find the madness-inducing girl and after some time, I did. In the meantime, I found out that her touch also allows her to control the person she inflicted madness on and that she is terribly distrustful of everyone and uses her ability to gain protection. I also found out that there was some kind of paramilitary group after her, so I escaped with her and hid her in a mountain town where I had some friends. I wanted to explore the town, because it had some really old parts that nobody really knew anything about and that promised to be an adventure, but just as I was starting, I saw a large mass of armed men arriving at the outskirts of the town. I knew they were there for the girl, so I ran down to the house she was staying at, meeting up with some friends and my sister in the process. I arrived just before the armed men and called the girl out of the house to escape, but she touched my friends instead and almost got me. I decided not to care about it right then, because the armed men have arrived and I started fighting them, when I felt her touch me as well. My mind started going foggy, but instead of flying into a violent rage, I simply became very groggy and my thought were disjointed and a slight haze fell over my eyes. I continued fighting the best I could and in the end, we managed to rout the enemy. During the battle, I noticed that now I found the girl very attractive and surmised that this was due to her power working on me. I tried to find her and saw that she was being attacked by a bunch of men and couldn't use her power. I fought my way to her just as she would have been overpowered and beat the men away. I told her that she didn't need to make me her servant because I would have protected her anyway, that's what I was aiming for from the start. I can't remember her exact response, but she smiled at me in a weird way. After the battle was over, still struggling with the fog over my mind, I asked her to let the others go in exchange for my servitude and she accepted.
The second part started some time after the first, when my madness has calmed down and was replaced by a strong longing for the girl. I knew that this was due to her power, but I didn't care because as far as results are concerned, my love was as real as it could be. She was living with me and my family in our apartment, and one day we were down on the playground, chatting, when one of my friends came up to us to show us the cool new thing he got. It was a large telescope that could look into the space between dimensions, but he said that he was too afraid to use it, because the first time he looked in it, he felt an incredible fear grip him and the second time, he saw something approaching his position and when he looked away, he saw something that looked like a pair of eyes for a split second and felt the same fear grip him again. This sounded like a great adventure, so of course I looked in the telescope.
I immediately saw the pair of eyes he was talking about and a cold terror spread through my body, but I kept looking around. I saw that more eyes were there now, in all directions, and all of them emitted the same kind of terror as the first one. There were also smaller entities there, emitting a much more violent, but at the same time, much weaker aura. And I soon found out what those were, as strange beasts started pouring into the playground. It seems that they were interdimensional creatures attracted by the telescope's ability to look into the space they lived in, and they took advantage of a rift in space-time near my house (I'm not surprised that there was a rift, with all the weird stuff that's been going on around there in my dreams). I also understood just then that the pairs of eyes were incredibly powerful, god-like entities that have also been drawn to the telescope, but were content with frightening away anyone who would peer into their space instead of attacking them.
Well, we fought the monsters and with some help from the girl, who induced that weird, groggy madness in me again, we won, but the something weird happened. One of the entities decided to enter our world and forced itself through the rift in a human form. We didn't know what it wanted and it emitted the same fear it did when I looked in the telescope, so I wasn't sure I could stop it from doing anything. But it didn't attack or do anything hostile, simply waited and watched as we fought the monsters that were still pouring out. And as we finally had a few moments to rest when the monsters stopped coming, it sealed the rift. It approached us and started talking in a weird, mouth-not-moving way. I can't remember what happened after that and then I woke up.
Incredibly weird dream, huh? I'm honestly starting to think my dreams take place in an alternate reality, with that reality's version of me and I might have just let something truly horrible loose on it by accident.
|Monday, August 18th, 2008|
|Sunday, August 17th, 2008|
|Random Ramblings V
First, I wonder why Hungary is such a good country for metal. I mean, we have a lot of rock and metal bands, even some continentally known ones, and rock has a bit of history here as a type of music opposed by the state back in socialist times, which nonetheless thrived among the youth, but nothing really groundbreaking. Hungarian metal bands are mostly unknown or known only to the people in the "scene". and yet, metal has a very large supporting in Hungary. Metal bands like coming here because they're guaranteed to get a large crowd cheering for them and thunderous applause. Hell, one of my acquaintances with a bit of money started a metal club at the end of last year and he's already has Edguy, Sabaton and Brainstorm perform there and there are plans for Therion too. And that's not a huge arena or anything, just a small club that would be hard pressed to hold more than a thousand people. Mind you, these are all bands that, while being internationally famous, are extremely friendly. Hell, I remember the day when Brainstorm performed right after Sabaton. My sister and her friends, including me, managed to get a spot just in front of the stage and both bands' singers flirted shamelessly with my cousin (who does look pretty good) during their entire performances. And then they came out to the bar after they were done and hit on her some more.
Anyway, it's still weird. Even Iron Maiden has said that they like coming to Hungary because of the audience. It's like, we don't make exceptionally good metal and what we do make, only a few people know about, but we do appreciate good metal whenever we hear it. And in the average Hungarian metal audience, you'll find not only rockers, metalheads and the like, but everyone from the nine to five worker with his family to the farmer coming up from the country just for the concert. It's not all that unusual to see people bringing their school or preschool-age children to a metal concert, who of course enjoy it as much as their parents do. It's really strange, but somehow heartwarming at the same time.
Second thing. I don't really drink alcohol normally, but there are times when I do. Usually either at social gatherings, where my drink of choice is beer, or at celebrations, where it's wine. One other case where I drink is during a hike or similar continuous physical exertion, where the drink of choice is wine mixed with soda water. It's a wonderful refreshment. Now, I've drank enough times to realize that I do, in fact, get inebriated at times and I can even separate a few stages of drunkenness.
1. The first stage is when I get a little happier than usual and start to crave food. Yeah, apparently I get the munchies from being drunk. Nothing else. I usually only recognize this stage if I drink wine mixed with soda, otherwise I get through it very quickly.
2. In the second stage, I become extremely mellow and happy and get the munchies really bad. I have been told that people who consume cannabis usually feel this way. Whatever. I already know that I don't need drugs. Again, this state is usually only evident if I drank something with very little alcohol in it. This can also become a self-perpetuating state because if left alone, I will seek out food, but as soon as the food hits my system, it counters the effects of the alcohol, which makes me want to drink more, which in turn makes me want to eat again.
3. The third stage is only reached if I either consume copious amounts of low alcohol content drinks with no food to distract me, or if I drink something stronger, like beer, so quickly that the first two stages are overcome before they can manifest. I become somewhat unsteady on my feet and my speech becomes slurred, but at the same time, I become extremely talkative. This is the state I usually stop drinking at, even though it's also the stage where I start wanting to drink more, because I still have enough of my reason left to realize that nothing good will come of it. Besides that, while stages one to three are actually pretty easy to reach (I usually need around three or four pints of beer, even less of wine), the further stages require a lot more alcohol.
4. Stage four is one I've only been in maybe twice. My movements become so erratic that I run the risk of falling down and my reason takes a backseat to my stupid ideas, one of which is "let's see what I will be like if I drink even more?" Still, it takes a lot of alcohol to reach stage 5, which I've only ever reached once.
5. In stage five, my memory starts to blur and my actions are guided completely by my random ideas. I'm still basically myself, but my inhibitions are all but gone and I'm very unpredictable. The only time I managed to reach this stage was when I drank about a third of a bottle of gin with tonic, followed closely by three bottles and two cans of relatively strong beer and then almost a complete bottle of Unicum, which is a Hungarian bitters with about 45% alcohol content. Yeah, apparently I've got a real good tolerance for alcohol. This drinking binge was committed with two friends, both of whom drank much less than me (the gin was shared equally, they drank a little less beer and almost none of the Unicum, despite me trying to get them to) and both of whom were in a much worse state than me afterwards.
Logically, stage 6 would then be either total loss of consciousness or a state of drunkenness where I actually become incoherent, but seeing as how I couldn't reach it even during the aforementioned drinking binge and I don't want to ever repeat it, it's likely that I will never know.
|Friday, August 15th, 2008|
so, yesterday was the second day of Sziget. There actually isn't much I could say about it, because while I did have plans for it, they sort of got thrown out halfway through. Still, it was fun.( Day 2Collapse )
|Thursday, August 14th, 2008|
So the Sziget Festival has already started and for the next five days, I'll be posting an account of what I did on the previous day. Well, today I'll be in fact posting about the two previous days, because there was Day 1, which was yesterday, and Day 0, which was the day before that and featured none other than Iron Maiden! There's always a Day 0 before sziget actually begins, featuring only one or two artists, but with extensive preparations, much more than can be done during the festival itself.( Days 0 and 1Collapse )
|Wednesday, July 30th, 2008|
|An older dream.
As I said, I have two or three more dreams that each constitute a self-contained story that I can still remember (actually, it's more like four or maybe even five, but there's one I forgot the details of in the two years since I dreamt it and one that I can't post in this journal because I'd have to make it 18+ for that). I'm posting one of these now. Well, I'm cheating a bit, so to say, because I'll simply be copying the plot of the dream from a Word file I wrote it down in just after I had it and altering the text a little so it has better grammar. That was a stroke of luck, I forgot to turn off my computer for the night, so when I woke up and was still in that delightful haze where I remember my dreams in very vivid detail, the first thing I did was plop down on my chair and write it all down. Rather than a coherent plot, this is my dream exactly as I saw it or as close a possible in a non-dreaming state. Therefore, it might seem a bit disjointed.( There are djinns.Collapse )
So... yeah. Weird dream. But makes for a good story, I think. Reading it now, I don't even remember a lot of it, but I do remember that it was that way when I wrote it down. The text is this way because I literally wrote it down as soon as I woke up and corrected it later so it rather reads like a dream. Oh yeah, and I say it again, it seems like my dreams are populated by lesbians.
|Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008|
|Today is multipost day part 1.
So, I'm thinking that maybe this journal will become a semi-dream-diary. "Semi-" because dreams won't be the only things I post here, but the most common, and because dream diaries are for interpreting and decoding dreams and I don't do that crap. My dreams are stories. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes dark, sometimes bright and happy, sometimes adventurous, but always beautiful and surreal. To me at least, anyway. And I remember them somewhat often.
I think I did a post about this once already, but my dreams currently can be sorted into two categories: the kind that's part of a continuity, in the same universe (though lately it seems I've been dimension-hopping because alternate versions of established characters are popping up, but I'm getting closer to home) and stand-alone stories, that are usually more detailed and longer than the first type.
Lately, I've been having more of the second kind of dream and while that's good, it does make remembering them a bit hard, since they are all so involved and it's already hard to remember a dream fully or nearly fully after I wake up. I really wish I could remember them all. Not the way dreams are usually remembered, disjointed and contradictory, but in the same surreal way I see them while I am asleep, where the contradictions make sense in the dream's logic and the flow of the story is preserved. It's so rare that I can remember them like that. Two of those have been posted here before and there are two more. But today, I am going to post the bits and pieces I can remember of four dreams I had while away from home the last week. Current Mood: indescribable
|Wednesday, July 9th, 2008|
|Being me is very tiring sometimes.
There is a site called Gaia Online. I am a member of it. I can't even begin to explain what it's like to anyone who might not know it, so I'll just say that it's a gigantic mass of forums with a cool avatar system where you pay virtual money gained by posting or doing anything, really, to dress up your avatar.
Lately (for about 6-7 months), Gaia's been having sponsorships, where it advertises a movie or anime or TV series or what have you, for money. They need the money, so I can understand that. The sponsorships have all been either cool (The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Golden Compass, various anime) or crappy but harmless (Nancy Drew, Zohan, The Last Mimzy and various other movies) with one exception, an MTV program called The Hills, which is about how awesome it is to be a shallow, petty, rich Californian blonde. There were a lot of protests against that one, but they died down as it was quickly swept under the rug.
Now, there is an advertisement for House Bunny. A movie which can be summed up so: The protagonist is a Playboy bunny and several other Playboy bunnies and Hugh Hefner all appear in the film. The story goes: Bunny is kicked out of the mansion due to scheming of stereotypical petty female rival. Because she has no qualifications aside from looking like a whore, she gets a job as the house mother of a sorority of nerds who we are told are ugly but in fact look quite pretty. The sorority girls are insecure because boys are scared of their intelligence and don't approach them and they need boys to live. So the Playboy bunny makes them over to look as slutty as possible in a family-friendly film. Happy that they can now get guys easily, the girls embrace their new identity, one of them remarking "Now we can be the best versions of ourselves!" The Playboy bunny also learns some book smarts on the way. And there's a subplot about the stereotypical, scheming, petty other sorority who are trying to take the protagonists' sorority house.
Unsurprisingly, threads popped up in protest of the movie sponsorship in the Site Feedback forum, including one by me where I tried to sum up what I think is wrong with this movie: Linky.
It didn't go anywhere really, but I was active in another thread too. And all the people who came into the thread and took the opposing viewpoint had THE SAME FUCKING RETARDED METHODOLOGY. They just KEPT SAYING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN, like "it's just a movie, chill" or "you are misogynistic because you say that the girls are made over to look like sluts" or my favourite, "didn't you read the description, it says that the girls learn how to be themselves and that is a positive message!" They didn't even understand the arguments we responded with, they just KEPT SAYING THE SAME DAMN THINGS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. It was like talking to a brick wall, except the wall doesn't insult me. Is this what socially conscious people feel like all the time?
|Monday, June 30th, 2008|
|Meme by way of hinas_otaku
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List (and upload, if you feel like it) seven songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions
1: Dance of Death - Iron Maiden
2: Day Tripper - The Beatles
3: Deggial - Therion
4: Desert Rose - Sting
5: Death Or Glory - Motörhead
6: Dark Ages - Jethro Tull
7: Drop Dead - Sick Stars.
Huh. It seems that all but one of these are rock or metal. Whatever. I may upload them at a later time. And since the people who read my LJ (all three of you) probably don't know who that seventh band is, Sick Stars is a Hungarian sleaze rock band that I like and whose members I am acquainted with. They write their songs in English though and with a pretty good grasp of the language, so they have a good chance of going international.
|Saturday, June 7th, 2008|
|Random Ramblings IV: Deep and meaningful or full of BS? You decide.
See, I love Revolutionary Girl Utena. It is quite possibly my favourite anime ever and will stay so no matter what. It touches something within me and I resonate with so many of the characters and their struggles so well. And because I'm such a fan of it, I tend to think of it a lot. I come up for self-insert fanfic ideas (which thankfully will never see the light of day) and non-self-insert fanfic ideas (which would see the light of day if I could be arsed to write). I also think of it when I hear new music that I like, and how the music would fit with it.
About three or four years ago, I found the gothic metal band Lacuna Coil, interestingly, through an Utena AMV set to Heaven's A Lie, one of their songs, and after listening to some more (mostly from their album Comalies), I couldn't believe that they didn't deliberately make their songs to fit certain characters of Utena so well. The next few paragraphs will contain descriptions of why I think a particular song fits a particular character or pairing of characters (not necessarily romantic), so it won't make much sense to people who don't know what RGU is.
Swamped: This is about Akio and Anthy, sung by themselves. Really, just listen to it. It describes their rather unhealthy relationship perfectly. The parts of the male and female singer don't fit perfectly with who should sing them, but that's a minor nitpick.
Heaven's A Lie: I will freely admit to being biased, since I first heard this song in a video of Akio and Utena's final duel set perfectly to it, but it does fit either Akio or Utena and Anthy pretty well, if you imagine it sung by Utena during the third season of the show, especially in the very end.
Daylight Dancer: Ooh boy, here is when the connections really start to hit. This is a song about and by either Touga and Utena or Mikage and Utena during their respective duels. The male and female parts fit perfectly and the theme of the song describes the theme of the two duels to a tee. You can just imagine Touga or Mikage saying those things to Utena, trying to feed her insecurity and Utena standing up to them with her lines.
Humane: Again, incredible parallels. This is either a song about Juri, as sung by her and Akio (in which case it's pretty dark, as Akio is trying to manipulate her into being his willing pawn by saying what she wants to hear) or about Mikage, as sung by him and Utena, in which case it's Utena trying to get through to him.
Self Deception: Possibly my favourite. Either Saionji and Anthy or Saionji and Utena, in both cases sung by the people it's about, to each other. If it's the first case, Saionji clearly knows that he is being manipulated by Anthy, who is herself not in full control of her actions (but in her case, willingly), and he's trying to break free, while Anthy denies his accusations. In this case, the self deception is that of Anthy. In the second case, Saionji is blaming Utena for everything that went wrong with his life and Utena is pointing out that it's all him. In this case, the self deception is that of Saionji. This duality really fits Saionji's personality, who is the dominant singer. He was really noble and good and even somewhat perceptive in his youth, but sunk into violence, egotism and hidden feelings of inferiority because of Anthy (and Touga).
Tight Rope: This is about Akio and Utena's fight. Not the characters themselves in general, but their duel in particular, sung by both of them. Not much to say here. Those who have seen the show will find a lot of very obvious connections between the lyrics and the plot of the last few episodes.
The Ghost Woman And The Hunter: This is a bit more of a stretch, but it still fits Juri and Shiori pretty obviously in places and less obviously everywhere else. Their relationship is pretty twisted, but under the hypocrisy, the deception and the insecurity, there's a spark that could blossom into happiness if either of them would let it.
Unspoken: Now, this is another song that fits freakishly and makes me certain that the band are fans of RGU. It's about Juri and Ruka, as sung by Juri. She believes their relationship to be even more unhealthy and full of manipulation as hers and Shiori's, but in truth, it isn't. Still, it can't ever work out due to Ruka's manipulative nature and the fact that Juri just isn't interested.
Entwined: Nanami and Touga, from Nanami's point of view. I've always sympathized with her a bit, even though her attraction to her brother made her somewhat twisted as well, but she was still a decent person underneath who would have deserved better. To anyone who knows the show, think of the kitten flashback in the first season.
Angel's Punishment: For the first time, no relationship or enmity present. Just a character song, about Miki. He's probably the most well adjusted of the duelists in the beginning, but that's not saying much and later on, his need to duel Utena destabilizes him. Conversely, it could be about Dios in a much more obvious way.
Comalies: A pretty dark love song, either to Touga from Nanami, to Miki from Kozue or to Utena from Anthy. All three possibilities have supporting points in the song as well as parts that don't fit them.
I'm tired and hungry now. I think I'll go eat something. Current Mood: thoughtful
|Saturday, April 26th, 2008|
|So I dreamed again tonight...
Well, to clarify, I dream every night, but mostly the dreams are such that I really couldn't share them without sharing every other dream I ever had as well, because they form a sort of surreal continuity. Not this time. This time, my dream (or part of it at least) was a self-contained story again and I'm writing it down so that I won't forget it.( Snippety for long textCollapse )
|Monday, February 11th, 2008|
|Random Ramblings III: Why I shouldn't be allowed to think
I just realized yesterday that I tend to be attracted to fictional monsters. No, not of the hydra/quillboar/dragon/whatever variety, but female humanoid monsters with decidedly monstrous appearances and mentalities. The attraction is not so much physical (although that's there as well in most cases) as rather emotional. I would enjoy being in their company, being
their company, companionship with them in general. Which makes me... I don't know what exactly. Weird, probably. A freak, according to some people, possibly. Mostly, I just have an underdeveloped self-preservation instinct when it comes to females who could break every bone in my body then suck out the marrow.
: Lizbeth, from Clive Barker's Undying. She is quite an old crush of mine (not the oldest by a long stretch though). Apart from her loyalty to the Undying King, which disturbs even me (and so is conveniently missing from my fantasy scenarios), she epitomizes what I love in female monsters. She has an inhuman (in her case, predatory) mindset, no caring at all for her prey, a completely different system of values, monstrous strength and a soft side that's distorted by her monstrous nature (indicated by the presence of her undead mother in her lair). Gods, I'd love to be her hunting companion. Not for humans though, because I don't want to eat humans. I'm rather surprised actually that there aren't more fanfics about her.
: Lisa Trevor, from the remake of Resident Evil. Now, I'm not exactly physically attracted to her (there's not much to be attracted to, really), nor is my emotional attraction really of the sexual variety, but she still belongs in this category. She's completely mad, yet still in possession of her cognitive abilities, is a predator of sorts and she definitely has a tragic side. My wanting to be with her is born more of a wish to support her in her despair. Without her cracking my skull open and peeling off my face.
: Ramona, from Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. Before anyone comes at me with pitchforks and torches, this is again not a sexual attraction, it's more like a wish for an emotional attachment like friendship or a father-child bond. Though I do sometimes imagine what she would have been like as an adult. Actually, Ramona sort of sticks out from all the others, since she wasn't obviously monstrous. However, she had the Innsmouth taint (her mother was a Deep One) and as she matured, she would have eventually turned into a Deep One hybrid herself. And at that point, she would have been just as monstrous as anyone else on this list. Too bad that she dies in the first part of the game.
: That one Wraith girl from that one SG:A episode. She's like Lizbeth and Ramona mixed together. I just want to hug her, except she'd suck out my life force.
: Alexia Ashford, from Resident Evil: Code Veronica. She's both hot and incredibly inhuman in her mentality. She's more devious and remorselessly cruel, rather then the vicious, instinctually crafty types I usually fall for (geez, that makes me sound even more disturbed than I actually am), but I'm still somehow attracted to her.
: Melissa Pearce/Mitochondria Eve from Parasite Eve. Another devious character, but she definitely has traces of the vicious nature present in most of the characters on this list.
: The Vagary from Doom 3. I can't believe I forgot her. She may be the most disturbing of all of the characters listed here, because she has that freaky embryo-thing in her thorax and exposed muscle tissue where her humanoid part connects to her spider part. But I can imagine being attracted to her if she existed in reality.
There are many more, but these seven were the ones who came to my mind now. So now that I've convinced everyone who might be reading of my insanity, I can go to sleep knowing that I spent my day in a productive way. Current Mood: weird
|Friday, January 25th, 2008|
|Random ramblings II: This time with a little less randomness
I love reading fanfiction, or any kind of fiction, really. I'd love to write my own fiction too, but I'm not too good at writing. My style is inconsistent and I get bored and never finish what I started. I have at least five stories that are just waiting to get out of my brain and onto paper, but the way I am, I might never write them down. That kinda sucks.
What sucks more, though, is that I find less and less fiction I like as time goes on. Everything is filled with angst, which can ruin otherwise good stories. The most common form of angst is angst over a dead friend or relative. Now, this doesn't only turn me off the story, but it makes me angry as well. What kind of wimp is crippled just because someone they love died? I'd like to say this is probably an American thing, but I've seen British writers do it too, so it's probably an Anglo-Saxon thing. All I know is that it bothers me.
I've lost three relatives to cancer. The first of them, my grandfather, died when I was 11. Not many people know this, since it's not a topic that comes up in conversations. I loved my grandfather very much. My sister and I were really close to him and he made us all kinds of awesome stuff. He and my grandmother lived in a... shared dwelling sounds too fantasy-ish, but that's what it was. It was too small to be called an apartment complex, as it only had three floors counting the ground floor, and two large apartments on each. My granparents lived in one of those. It had a large yard out back and to the side of the building and a smaller one in the front. The larger one in the back had a part that was a vegetable garden and the one in front was one big flowerbed. I know the vegetable garden was cut up into parts that were owned by the residents as private property, but I never really found out if the flowerbed was private or communal property, since they all maintained it together, but anyone could do things to it alone too. Maybe it was just there.
Anyway, the part of the large yard that wasn't a vegetable garden was where the children in the house played. There was an incredibly large fir tree in the middle of it. My grandfather made us a swing on its lowest branch. He also made us a little house that both of us and even one or two friends could fit into, to play. He had a workshop where he made us wooden swords, little wheelbarrows and other wooden toys. He was the son of a wheel-wright and came from a family that had practiced that profession for untold generations, so he was really good with wood. He loved me and my sister and would play games with us whenever his time permitted it.
He died in 1998 from a blood clot resulting from a botched operation on a brain tumor. Before that, my mother and grandmother visited him in the hospital every day. One day, they were there much longer than usual and my sister was getting restless. My father was watching us at home and we were eating french fries when my sister finally asked why mom wasn't home yet. My father answered "Because this might be the last time she can visit his father." I understood immediately, but my sister didn't and kept asking why, and my father couldn't muster up the courage to just tell her already that granddad was dying until he got angry at her for not getting it. The knowledge itself felt horrible, but my sister's lack of understanding felt even worse. I couldn't eat anymore. In fact, I couldn't do anything for the rest of the day, I felt like shit. When a friend called me outside to play, I went and told him what happened. That made me feel better immediately.
After that, I still felt bad for a few days, but I was over it enough to comfort my mother, who came home only after my grandfather died, and felt even worse than I did initially. We got over it in a few days, though. We visit his grave about twice every year. Once in the summer and once on November 1st, the Day of the Dead. I still think of my grandfather a lot, but I don't really get sad. When my uncle died a few years later from lung cancer, I grieved of course, but it wasn't all that devastating. And when my late grandfather's sister died yet another few years after that, I was the one who got my mother through it. She really loved her, not just as an aunt, but as a best friend. She lived really close to my grandparents, so when my mom was young, she visited her a lot and she was the one my mom told everything she couldn't tell her parents. But she got through it as well, and we were never crippled by the loss. My grandmother still lives in that apartment and tends to her garden and the best damn vegetables I ever ate come from there. We visit her every summer and other times too, if we can.
So, you see, I just can't understand why characters in fiction can't deal with death. I could already deal with it at 11, when I first encountered it personally. It must be an Anglo-Saxon thing. Different culture, and all that.