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So, I appear not to be invisible anymore

I just got a comment, literally just now, saying that the poster had been recommended to my blog. That's probably the most exciting moment of my internet life. That and the fact that someone actually started watching my senseless youtube videos. What is happening?

So, person who enjoyed my random writings, since you are probably the only person (or two, since you said your cousin recommended you), what would you like to hear about? Because a lot of this is rants, which I don't do so much anymore (which is good), but you did comment on a post about languages.

In any case, I'm going to talk about two things today, two things that take out about 70% or more of my free time: LingQ and Tim Schafer's Psychonauts.

LingQ: LingQ, for those of you who have never heard of it, is, as Steve Kaufman says before every one of his podcasts, "simply the best way to learn languages." At least, I've been convinced. LingQ simulates as closely as possible the way a child learns, while simultaneously providing easy to use tools to speed up the learning process, most commonly by highlighting the words you are currently studying in yellow and words you've never seen in the system in blue. In LingQ, you read and listen to texts of your choice, ranging from audio books to simple course lessons. My favorite thing to listen to are podcasts, as the language is not too formal, but the topics are engaging and interesting. LingQ keeps track of words you know and gives you an avatar that grows and gains items as you learn, as an extra motivator, as well as a vast community accessible through LingQ's forum and tutoring system. Here is a video of Steve explaining LingQ better than I ever could:


Psychonauts: A friend of mine recently sent me this game on Steam, and I'm shocked that I had never heard of it or played it before. I've been playing it obsessively since I got it. As my friend said, it's one part Invader Zim and two parts Inception. The main character is even voiced by the same actor as Zim! If anyone here has played it, please, I would love to discuss it. I only have a few people I know that have played it, and I feel that I've been bothering them by talking about it so much.

I tend to gravitate towards horror games, but I think this game can appeal to almost any gamer. It's got pretty much everything stuffed into it: humor (sometimes on the racey side), a twisted plot, puzzles, fighting, etc. I recommend it to all. I leave you with a trailer. I will warn you; it's a bit quiet:


This second one is the first one I saw, which I think I like better:


Aaaand, that's about all I've been up to. Au revoir, I'm off to do my laundry.

Got into UCSC and found some inspiration!

It's college acceptance season and I think I found my school. I got into UCSC a couple days ago and had never paid much attention to it (a lot of people recommeded that I apply), but immidiately after getting in I did some research. I am in love with the campus. It's so beautiful! And it's by the ocean, so it'll be more of the climate I'm used to. Ah, nature's air conditioner...

Later I was looking at the requirements for a linguistics major and found the unpleasant surprise that I would be using high math and science. I thought I was rid of calculus, but alas. I'm also trying to figure out how to double major in that and theater, but it might not happen. I think I'll bump theater to a minor unless I'm right about my hunch that linguistics will never get tiring. I'm sure after a year I'll be a tad sick of phonetics.

Also, I've found three people that have inspired me to pursue my passion for language and not to be afraid of what people may think, both the people that think I'm weird and the people whose languages I'll be speaking.

The first person I found is the amazing Erin, more commonly known across the internet as Loony. She is simply amazing at French, not to mention an extremely interesting person. So, here's my favorite video of hers:


The second is Paulbarbato, who is the person I want to be in six to eight years. He's just a sponge that absorbs speech patterns. I watched his videos that I could understand first, then the ones that I'm anticipating being able to understand, and then all the ones that made the stare at the screen with wide eyes. Check him out; he's my hero.


Last, but certainly not least, is the best non-native speaker of Japanese I have ever heard. Seriously. And I love how real she is, unlike every other person who records themselves speaking Japanese. Her name is ケロリン (Caroline, yeah?) and her blog is my current supply of Japanese practice.


Together, these people have inspired me to do two things. One, suck it up and take the last few courses of French and Japanese my first year of college, putting of Italian and Greek for later, and becoming fluent in some foreign languages. Two, there is no such thing as studying to many languages. If you have the mind and motivation for it, just go for it.

I joined a stalker-site yesterday, the "Florum" as they call it. Usually I avoid these like the plague, but I started reading this one while I was bored and they reminded me of our thread on Solia. The way they talk, the inside jokes they form, the way I can tell these people are going to talk to each other long after the forum has died, it's all the same. I miss our thread so much, so I suppose I swallowed my pride and jumped in. I'm enjoying it a lot so far. Definitly feels like the good old Batman thread.

College seriously need to send me at least one acceptance letter within the next week or I might die of impatience. I refresh my email every ten minutes hoping I will get something. I just want to be able to fantasize about my college experience, and it's hard to do that when you have no idea where you're going. I reeeaaally hope I don't get a scary roommate...
On a similar note, I had managed to shrink my language list for college down to Italian, Russian, and Chinese. But now Farsi and Greek are on it again. And I'd like to take something on French literature in French. And then there's my realization that I can't leave theater behind. I have withdrawls: I miss the booth, I miss the light and sound boards, I miss the atmosphere of the wings, I miss the chaotic green room, I miss the rush that happens around the theater an hour before the show and complaining when only two people stay to help me clean the stage (whether I'm stage crew or not), and (despite the fact that I never considered myself an actor) I miss the warm feel of lights and distorted silouettes of the audience. I need at least a few of those aspects back in my life.
I've been doing some srs bsns studying (aka watching TV) to get my Japanese from proficient to fluent. It's about time. I'll be sad when I have to actively practice kanji and stop being a partially-illiterate American. Ah well.

It's almost my birthday, which means I'm almost legal. Any takers, ladies? ;D Just kidding.
But I'm a bit nervous. My mom a few months ago said to me that we were not going to discuss the "transgender thing" at all until I was legally an adult. That time is-a coming, and I plan to have that discussion. I thought about doing a letter, but I'd rather do it face-to-face, so she can see that I'm absolutely serious. All the same, I'm terrified. The letter is my fall back.

I don't know who knows or cares, but I started a vlog about 4 months ago. I finally have a topic to talk about, but no computer at the moment. I'm such a fail about those things.
Is it weird that I feel lame for having a vlog? I just hope that it can help someone, because one of them helped me a lot. It was the fact that it gave me someone to identify with that was doing well. I feel like my transition is going decently, so I might as well allow someone, even if it's one person, to use my trials and errors to feel more comfortable in their own skin.

Also, birth control hates me. :|


Ten Days of Honesty- Day 5

Six things you wish you'd never done...

Tried to hide who I am.
Reacted without thinking.
Wrote that article last year.
Emo'd through my freshman year of highschool and jeopordizing my future.
Hurt myself to relieve internal pain.
Said yes to people out of some misquided sense of politeness.

Ten Days of Honesty- Day 4

Seven things that cross your mind a lot

Everything done is permanent. You can never turly undo something.
Fluff writing is fun to read when you're feeling braindead, but it has not real content.
Porn is more arousing when read than when watched. And even moreso when written.
Practice truly does make perfect.
No matter how difficult it may seem, pushing through to the very end is always worth the satisfaction.
What was before the big bang?
What will I be doing ten years from now?

Ten Days of Honesty- Day 3

Have to do this on my phone. Ah well.

Eight ways to win your heart

Give me something yummy. I am a prime example of the old saying "The way to a man's heart is through his stomache."
Stand up for me. I'm terribly shy when it comes to defending myself. If someone misgenders me or attacks me verbally in some way, call them out.
Say something to me in a foreign language. Whether I understand or not, you will both impress and excite me.
Read good books and get something out of them. Literature is the key to understanding mankind.
Sit next to me in silence when I look sad. I don't want to be touched or talked to, but it's nice to know thaty someone noticed.
Text me with random bits of your day. I like hearing from people.
Remember something random I've said. If I mention in passing that I wish Dr. Pepper came out of water fountains, give me Dr. Pepper in water bottle and say something like "Thought this would suffice."
Above all, don't lie to me. White lies are fine, but lying about who you are or what you've done is almost unforgivable in my opinion.


Ten Days of Honesty- Day Two

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is the BOMB. Can't wait for the Epic Mickey game. It seems there are a lot of stories in history of people being forgotten and then finding the one that took their place. This one is certainly the most metaphoric, though.

Nine things about yourself

I am extremely self-concious and am aware of every movement I make to the point that I become stiff and twitchy.

I have a facination with all things wearable. I own a lot of clothing that I've never worn and never will, but I will keep nevertheless.

I plan to double major in linguistics and psychology (preferably neuroscience) and will try to be the best in those feilds, or at least the best I can be.

Although I complain about homework constantly, I enjoy having it. I like studying and I'm grateful when someone tells me how to do it.

I live through books, movies, and other methods of story telling. Everything I know has come from them.

I am a cynical optamist and a misanthrope that enjoys the company of others and gets depressed without enough human interaction. In short, I'm one big paradox.

I am agnostic. I believe strongly in the Gaia Theory; I have since before I had a name to call it by. I don't understand how someone could stand being aetheist. It sounds hopeless.

My favorite foods are curry and fish, my favorite drinks are Earl Gray tea and Diet Dr. Pepper, my favorite desserts are cookies and ice cream.

I make up dramatic stories in my head and pretend to be a different person in order to make daily life more exciting.


10 Days of Honesty- Day 1

Key did it, and I gotta say, it looks like an awesome meme. Gonna update for a sec before I begin, though. Didn't get into Stanford, but oh well. At least I tried, n'est-ce pas? Also, I do believe I'm starstruck for the first time ever. About time, right? I want Flow to have my French-American babies. Not really, because that would be beyond creepy... But I would like to hop on a plane to France and go say hi to him. And catch him in a giant bag Borat style and cart him to some remote village in Russia. :|
Yeah, I'm not creepy at all.

Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now
You're manipulative and overdramatic and I, quite simply, have had enough of you to last a lifetime. Good bye.
You're beautiful and I want to know more about you. If only you didn't leave every time I get up the courage to talk to you.
Just because you're better than most doesn't mean you're the best. Please, just listen to me calmly without interupting for once and maybe we will be able to have a real conversation.
I want to draw fanart of you and your girl (assuming you guys are dating, which you'd better be at this point). Is that weird considering that you're my friend? Practically my cousin (I do call you my cousin sometimes)?
Thank you for all your help over the years. I don't know where I'd be without you and I'll miss you while I'm at college.
When you say I sing terribly, is it like when you call me fat? Because unlike all your other insults, this one actually hurts because I am, probably due to dysphoria, extremely sensative about the way my voice sounds.
Why the hell are you never online anymore? Believe it or not, I do miss you're perpetual whining. It was amusing and completely valid.
I really didn't like you at first. In fact, I thought you were extremely annoying. But, the more time I spend with you the more time I want to spend with you. You're okay, kid, and I hope we stay friends over college.
You should let Makenna do more stuff, like take the bus with me to Little Tokyo. She's almost 18 and trying to control her life like that is simply rediculous.
You're cool. Probably the coolest person I know. Sometimes you think otherwise, but you ought to realize what an awesome person you are. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

What luck!

Oh my, I'm not sure anyone knows how amazingly happy and excited I am right now. In about two weeks, I will be going to my friend Quinn's house and from there a free clinic where I will get a shot of the amazing depo provera. Only downside is that I'll probably gain 5 to 10 pounds. I'm so down for a little chub if it means I don't have to deal with periods anymore. FUCK YES!

There is a small possibility that this won't happen for a small number of reasons, but it's good to hope regardless. Anyways, it becomes more and more apparent how lucky I am to have Quinn in my life. What would I do without her?

She has helped me sneak around my mom in every way possible. She ordered my binders and even my ticket to this years ALA. She is simply amazing.

Quinn, if you ever read this, thank you for sticking around. Love you!

Speaking of ALA, my cosplay list is currently Gideon Graves for Friday, Umbreon and probably Death the Kid for Saturday, and Pavi Largo for Sunday. Subject to change, especially since I don't know how I'm going to get Gideon done in time with no money. -$5, in fact. Oivei.

Wish me luck with those. I promise to take pictures.
Hello my friends. Long time since last I've posted. School has been keeping me mighty busy, as it probably will for the rest of my life. This past week, however, I haven't gotten a whole lot done. In fact, I'm currently 3 calculus assignments behind. Lack of motivation is probably not an option this year.

This year, my friends, has done wonders for my self-esteem. I came out to all of my teachers the first day of school, was featured in an LGBT thing in the school paper, and came out to anyone who was looking at my shirt on National Coming Out Day. I've gotten a lot of positive response and support. A lot of my friends and teachers call me he.
I'm shocked at how secure this has made me. I mean, I knew it made me uncomfortable to be called by the wrong pronouns, but I never realized how insecure it was making me feel. It has been a good three months for the Alex.

Once again considering changing my name. I seem to always be considering. I think I just haven't found one that's right. I really do like the name Nolan and I think it fits, but... I'm rather deep into Systematic. As a rule, I never give a Character my own name, so... I should give myself one of my character's names either. Plus I already reported my preferred name as Alex to all my colleges, not that that should be a huge determinant.
If you have any name suggestions, I suppose I'm always open. I will find one eventually. I just want to make sure it's one I can stick with.

On another note, my my. I do seem to be able to work myself into deep dark holes.
They just always look so promising and I honestly think I can get something out of them, but all I ever do is end up stuck with my mom calling me a bitch.
BUT enough of that until I find a plausible way out that will cause the least damage to myself. Oh geez...

Also, I'm fat. Not really fat, but you know what I mean if you know me in real life. XD
But that doesn't mean I don't need to lose weight, because I do. But I don't have time to exercise more than walking to and from school, and I need to eat to keep my brain functioning.

I feel like I should have more to talk about, but don't. I'll try to update more frequently.

Ciao belli! (Repo has gotten me into the habbit of saying random Italian, so... Yay, more foreign languages!)

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November 2011