#MyFirstPostRevisited

Lately, I’ve been less likely to do these WordPress tagging games but this one struck my interest. Thanks Mei-Mei!

Only because…I HIT MY 5 YEAR BLOGGERVERSARY A FEW WEEKS AGO! (Is it blogoversary or bloggerversary or blogversary? Anyone know?) And I kept meaning to make a post about honoring that exciting day but never did.

So here we go.

 My First Blog Post: July 24, 2012

Honestly, we don’t need another Star Wars blog, and I understand that.  But I’m dissatisfied with the Star Wars blogs out there and I want a place to write real thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints of how my life is connected to Star Wars.  Also, I did have another Star Wars blog, but it got shut down on starwars.com (shakes fist), so I’m starting fresh and new on WordPress.

First of all, there will be many times when I can be quite cynical about the movies and the fan base.  I thought I should put that out there as a disclaimer because some of these posts may not be all roses and “I LOVE STAR WARS ALL THE TIME.”  I do love Star Wars, I really do.  I’ve loved Star Wars for going on 15 years now and sometimes, when you love something so much, you can’t help but poke fun at it or be slightly cynical.  Because at the end of the day (and I hope no fans hate on me for this)…it’s a movie.  It’s a brilliant, wonderful, amazing movie…but it’s a movie.  It’s fiction and I love that it can take me to another world, expand my imagination, and have me still fall in love with the saga time and time again…but it’s still a movie.

That being said – a little bit about me and my love of Star Wars:

I have been working on an Old Republic Jedi Knight costume because I hope to join the Rebel Legion.  If you don’t know what that is other than in the movie sense – look it up.  However, I’ve been saying that for about 6 years now, so we’ll see where that takes me.  It’s really hard, especially as I am definitely not good at sewing (in fact, I hate it with a passion).

I’m not your stereotypical geek, but I do have a love for sci-fi and fantasy that draws me to conventions and cosplay (if I had loads of money).

I used to have another Star Wars blog on starwars.com, but they discontinued their services.  Alas.  Well, I paid for it, and if you know me, I am notoriously cheap so after two years I stopped using it.  There are so many free blogging sites out there, so why pay for what you can have for free?  Sigh, story of my life.

Along with Star Wars, I love Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter (notice how I did not mention Twilight?  That’s because Twilight is a poor excuse for fantasy and a copout), so if I ever get any followers and people are also interested in those topics – shoot me a note and I’ll devote a post to it every once in a while.

A lot of these posts are just going to be honest thoughts and not too many pictures or one liners.  I want to create something that is slightly interesting to the above average Star Wars fan, but not too high level that I lose anyone who only likes Star Wars for, well, Star Wars.

Ok, the introduction on me is over.  I hate introductions, but it’s done and now you can get to know me through future posts.  Have you noticed I also like using parentheses?

I wasn’t sure what kind of pic to put, so you end up with  me writing this post in my home office au naturale (aka no makeup)

How Has My Blog Changed Since Then?

I do use pictures. Sometimes I even use gifs! The horror!

But in seriousness, I’m curious as to why I thought I wouldn’t use pictures. The only thing I can think of is that I wanted my posts to be in the style of essays.

I think I have done that in some posts, but I think one of the main factors that prohibited me from doing them ALL the time is that,

  1. The posts take a lot of time, and
  2. Not everyone is interested in reading all of it

That was a hurdle I kept hitting. Sometimes I would devote so much time to a deeper post, only to have no one interact with it. Then I would spend 30 minutes writing up a shorter post on something I had a thought on – and it would explode! It was frustrating.

So what I do now is write down possible blog topics in my phone and pick and choose based on how I’m feeling.

Another way my blog has changed is definitely in consistency. I used to blog twice a week for a few years. Then in 2015, I quit my full-time job and went solo with my business and it took a lot of energy out of me. In 2016, I had my daughter which took out whatever other energy I had left.

It’s been a blow to the views for sure but I continue to blog because as long as I get some interaction every once and a while – it’s still fun. It’s a creative outlet for me and a way to talk about Star Wars as I’m surrounded by non-Star Wars lovers. Hopefully that will change as I raise my daughter in the Force, though!

I’ve never written about any of the my other fan loves, though…not much on LotR (unless it relates to Star Wars), not much on BSG (unless it was in reference to a con), and definitely haven’t written about the Hunger Games or Harry Potter (barring when I went to Universal). Oh, but funny I had to blast Twilight in my first post.

The Rules for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop

  1. No cheating. You must highlight your first post. Not your second post, not one you love… the first post only.
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).
  3. Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine, but NO editing.)
  4. Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  5. Tag five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  6. Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  7. Include “the rules” in your post.

 

So, I’m horrible, but I never actually tag people in these things because it annoys most people.

That said, I’m really curious to see L. Palmer’s first post, so she is the only one I’m tagging – just because. She’s been around WP long enough, I’ve even communicated with her a bit via email and she always has something wonderful to contribute (when she’s not working her butt off, which she currently is doing). (And I “know” her well enough that she won’t do this anyway so not holding my breath. I’ll probably have to go search through the endless bowels of her blog to find the first post…but I’ll never know how her blog has changed waaaah!)

 

HAPPY FRIDAY ALL.

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Haiku Me Friday! Droid Starfighters (and ramblings about AI, losing our privacy, etc)

Not flown by people Similar to BSG This has a droid brain

Not flown by people
Similar to BSG
This has a droid brain

Okay, one of the not-so-great haikus I’ve written, but the Droid Starfighter showed up on my calendar today and I needed a topic.  And then I began to think about jets being flown completely by Artifical Intelligence…and my post formed.

Doesn’t the Droid Starfighter look similar to the BSG Cylon ships?  And the BSG ships are also robots.  Look at them side by side.  Okay, one of them is curved more, but I feel like the concept is the same:

 

This all got me thinking about our real life little Earth…I did some research and currently, the Navy and Air Force are working on their next ships to have AI installed within them.  They wouldn’t have AI completely driving and flying the ships, but instead would have them as a co-pilot.  Their argument is that having the AI as a Chewbacca frees the pilot to focus on fewer tasks, giving them an advantage over the enemy.  The jet will be called F-X (Air Force) or F/A-XX (Navy).

Concept art for the Navy's F/A-XX

Concept art for the Navy’s F/A-XX

Am I the only one blown away by this?  It also makes me slightly nervous.  I feel like there’s a lot that could go wrong.  Obviously, I’m sure they’ll have an override, but remember Hal in 2001?  Yeah, we’re inching towards that.  Further, what if the AI feature can be hacked by enemies?  Oh goodness, that would be horrible!  I feel like that’s always a risk with anything computer oriented.  Even if the AI is just a co-pilot, the enemy could hack in, turn off the override feature and the pilot would have no control.  If the AI is completely in control of the plane and it gets hacked, uh-oh.  In the words of Threepio, “We’re doomed.”

Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies.  I think AI can be a good thing, honestly.  At other times, AI pisses me off.  A lot.  Like yesterday when I was on the phone with Apple support for a client and the robot transferred me to a department that was the wrong one.  Usually not the biggest deal, but when you’re on hold for an hour with crappy music, I thought I was going to break down when I finally reached someone and they told me they were going to have to transfer me.

Do we want AI in our cars, fighter jets, or even fridges?  (Yes they make “smart” fridges now)  At what point will we want our privacy to return?

CortanaMy Surface Pro/Windows 10 has Cortana built into it.  I wanted to use it because I’ve heard great things about it…but in order to use it, I need to let Cortana access my location.  And for some reason, I really didn’t want to.  I’m not sure why I don’t mind so much with my phone – probably because it’s portable and I have a GPS on my weather and maps app so it feels okay.  But on my home tablet/laptop?  Really?  Just so you can spew more ads (“recommendations”) at me?  No, I don’t want that.  I would like to keep my Surface blissfully ignorant of where I am on this planet, thank you.

When is AI useful?  When is AI too much?  I guess I’m not sure of the answer.  I have my limits, clearly.  My fridge and TV are not “smart”.  My phone is riddled with AI and probably knows too much about me.  I refuse to connect my phone to my washing machine or thermostat though both have the options to do that.  Most of the time I don’t even think about it, though occasionally when I’m out, I wish I could turn up the heat slightly so it’s warmer when I get home.

The Trade Federation loved AI.  They were all about droids as were the Separatists.  General Grievous was practically a droid himself.

But then why did Palpatine decide to move to human intelligence?  What are the advantages?  The disadvantages are clear – as we saw with FN-2187.  But the advantages could be that there is common sense and the ability to sense when something is not right/gut feelings.  The Clone Wars did an excellent job in showing us why human clones are a better choice than droids, especially with the camaraderie they build making a better team.  Living beings can’t really be “shut down” or hacked like robots can.

 

What are your thoughts on AI?  Is our American society striving too hard to have everything become easier, but instead, we are only losing more of our privacy?  Is it something we should just accept and let it assimilate into our daily lives?

Aaron Douglas who? (ConnectiCon ramblings)

Well, finally.  I finally went to a con for the first time in over a year.  I try to get to one or two a year, but the last few cons really haven’t interested me.  Unfortunately,  I was only able to go to Friday of this years since I had to leave early Saturday morning for my vacation, but I’ll take what I can get.

This year, however, ConnectiCon grabbed my interest early with four Battlestar Galactica actors!  FOUR!  This blew my mind.  When do you ever see a con with four BSG actors in the same place?  And they were all presenting at a panel on Friday, the one day I could go.  The stars were aligned.

And, to top it all off, my favorite actor in BSG was going to be there…Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol for all four seasons and turns out to be a very prominent character.  That’s all I’ll say on that just in case you have not yet seen the series (and if you haven’t, you really should, because it’s amazing).

Let me tell you a little bit about my history with Aaron Douglas.  It’s a sad tale.

chief tyrol

Back when I started watching BSG (2007, I think), I immediately fell in love with Aaron Douglas/Chief Tyrol because he looked like a guy I was dating.  Well, to say “dating” would be an overstatement – let’s just say that I was very into someone who was not very into me.  So instead of showing my feelings for this Unnamed Man of my unrequited love, I transferred my feelings onto this character in BSG.

Makes perfect sense, I know.  Don’t worry – I wasn’t totally obsessed with Aaron Douglas, I realized he was in a TV show and his character does not really exist.  But it’s hard to explain what happened…Unnamed Man didn’t like me, though he continued to string me along and we continued to hook up a lot.  I was trying to play it so cool that he wouldn’t see how much I liked him, that instead I became obsessed with BSG and Aaron Douglas.  In my head, I knew that if I was in BSG with Cylons chasing us to extinction, Chief Tyrol would be in love with me.   And Chief Tyrol looked so much like Unnamed Man that the connection is clear.  Right?

During this time period when I was in college, a local convention was happening and lo and behold – Aaron Douglas was scheduled to be there.  Oh. Em. Gee.  I was so excited.  I signed up for autographs, pictures, and anything where I could get to meet him.  Again, if I can’t make this clear enough, I was so excited.  I was counting down the days I could meet him and get a picture with him.

And then.  And then.  And then three days before the convention, he backed out.  Oh man, I was devastated.  I had worked this up in my head so much.  It was my first experience with local conventions and how flip-flop they can be with actors.  I thought it was going to be like the Star Wars Celebration…when an actor is pinned down, they are going.

Honestly, what was really happening in my life was that I was having a sucky first semester back at college.  My roommate and I were on our way to being ex-best friends, I was still hooking up Unnamed Man that I should have left behind a long time ago, and my birth control was making me kind of depressed and down in the dumps.  This Aaron Douglas meeting was the only shining light and HE BAILED ON ME.  At least, that’s how I looked at it.

So, when I saw that Douglas was showing up at ConnectiCon, I couldn’t help but get excited again.  The days of my obsession with him are long gone, but he still is my favorite character on the show and I have a soft spot for him.

Oh, but guess what?  He bailed on ConnectiCon.  Yup.  I didn’t have a hissy fit or make a big deal out of it this time, but now I’m even more determined to meet him one day.  Oh, and then, another BSG actor bailed.

So, at the end, I was left with seeing Tahmoh Penikett (Helo/Karl Agathon) and Michael Trucco (Sam Anders) at a panel.  I enjoyed it and thought the panel was pretty good for them just walking in and saying “Ask us whatever you want.”  Side note – Michael Trucco is way hotter in real life than on the screen.

Helo bsg                   2013-07-12 16.26.23                   Sam Anders BSG

My initial feelings that the panel might be boring were unfounded and a favorite question that a fan asked was,

“Would you be able to fall in love with a Cylon today?”

It turned into an interesting discourse on robots becoming more and more like humans, and actually reminded me of Epicipseity’s short story “Pushing Daisy.”  Will human beings eventually be able to fall in love with robots if they can look and talk like us?  But they can’t feel, right?  Everything is just a machine, whirring around in their body, so they can’t really feel emotions like we can.  It’s all programmable.  But as we see in BSG, it’s not that simple.  People do fall in love with Cylons and it was a good question to ask.

Other than that panel, which was what I mainly went to the convention for, the other interesting parts of the convention were, of course, the cosplay.

Surprisingly, I was one of the few people dressed in BSG gear, though BSG was a headliner at this con.  I saw tons and tons of Anime and Manga cosplay, which I’m not into at all so I had no idea who they were.  There were some Star Wars costumes, though I heard that there was more Star Wars on Saturday and Sunday.

Another very prevalent cosplay in attendance at ConnectiCon– Homestuck.  What in the world is Homestuck?  You’ve got me.  I didn’t take any pictures of those cosplayers, but they were rampant.  I looked it up when I got home and Homestuck is a webcomic published on MS Paint Adventures.  I’ve tried going through Homestuck on my own, but it really does not hold much appeal for me.  http://bit.ly/18AEQ2s  Feel free and try to figure it out.

Here are some of the greatest pics I did take at Friday’s ConnectiCon (to follow me on instagram: http://instagram.com/krlrix).  My favorites were Flo from Progressive and the Mario Party friends!  Original costumes always crack me up and I wish I could be that creative with costumes (I did once do a Mario Kart costume for Halloween and won the office prize for best costume).  Enjoy some of the cosplay:

Yes, I chose Helo, Sam, and my photo positions on purpose (hands on hips)

Yes, I chose Helo, Sam, and my photo positions on purpose (hands on hips)

Up next month is Boston Comic Con with Kili and Fili!  Unfortunately, their panel is on a Sunday evening (really?!) but I’m still going to try to make it…if they show up.  I’m more seasoned now and always take these smaller cons with a grain of salt because, you know, actors might bail and you just get used to it and have fun enjoying the cosplay of different attendees.

Girls and Sci-Fi

Why don’t girls (in general) like sci-fi as much as boys?  I love Star Wars, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Dune, and more, so I can’t speak for most girls, but I was grumbling to myself the other day about how none of my girlfriends like sci-fi.

Yup.  You got that.  NONE.  None of them even have a shred of understanding about my love/obsession and most have not even seen all six Star Wars movies.  I have one friend who is borderline understanding because she has a twin brother who is really into sci-fi.

So, with my girlfriends, I never talk about anything related to sci-fi.  I have great group of diverse friends and all of us have different interests but occasionally, I would like to have one girlfriend who wants to go to cons with me and encourages/challenges me in my love of sci-fi.

I think one of the main reasons that girls do not like sci-fi, whether they realize this or whether it’s subconscious, is that sci-fi has always been geared towards men.  It’s hard to empathize with the characters in a sci-fi movie when there are not many female characters actually playing a key part.  As a young girl, being brought up to like flowers, pastel colors, and butterflies, it’s hard to see yourself getting dirty and shooting guns.  I am generalizing on all this of course – we all know that – and there are always exceptions, myself being one of them since  I love the thought of running around in unknown landscapes and fighting aliens.

So if you are raised on The Little Mermaid or Barbies (which my mother would not let me own and even returned ones that I got as a birthday present to my dismay and anger…story for another time), and there are few females to relate to in a science fiction movie/TV show, how can you see yourself in that setting?  This is a much more complicated subject than my brief analysis and I’m only speaking from my own point of view.  Simply put, I loved movies and books where I could see myself as the main character.  Don’t get me wrong – gender did matter to me, I always wanted to be a boy when I was growing up and thought they had it so awesome and had it so easy (sometimes I still think that), but that didn’t mean that I didn’t want to be the main character just because he was a boy.  I could easily translate that into my head as a girl playing that role instead.

But if gender was a big hindrance for some girls growing up, then perhaps they could not imagine themselves in a sci-fi setting because there were no main roles for girls.  So instead, their parents plop them in front of movies with a female character because they think, “Oh, another girl, so my daughter can relate to her,” and those movies are usually Disney princess movies, Lizzie McGuire/Hannah Montana, My Little Pony, etc.  If that’s what young girls are supposed to relate to, well it’s no wonder they shy away from science fiction.

If directors and story writers took the time to carve out strong, relevant female lead characters in a science fiction narrative, perhaps more girls would be interested in the genre.  There has been a lot of movement in this area with TV shows/movies by Joss Whedon, Disney’s “Brave”, and the “Hunger Games”.  I think the public is recognizing the need to show females in a relatable format on the big screen and in novels, but it will be slow and a long time coming.  And even if something progressive should happen for young girls, like Brave, will there be an attempt to mold her into something our male dominated society is more interested in seeing?  Think of a curvy figure with long flowing hair and see this article.  Thankfully, Disney quickly turned around their decision on that but it still raised a lot of eyebrows and voices against it.  Even Joss Whedon was pulled into the madness of marketing a sexier female on his Avenger movie poster…as if Scarlett Johansson is not sexy enough.

avengers scar jo butt shot

Am I making sense?  This is just a small, minor theory and there are some excellent, more in depth blog posts out on the internet with a better analysis about why sci-fi has not always been female friendly.  (Here are a couple good examples: Lois Lane and the Case for the Female Superhero Movie and Girl Power?)

Based on these musings, I decided to ask around between friends and colleagues to see if I could get any answer on what girls don’t like about the sci-fi genre.  I only asked girls because…well, we’re girls.  I tried to ask a good range of sci-fi fans and non-sci-fi fans, but it was heavily weighted on the non sci fi fan side since my female sci-fi fans are few and far between.

The questions I asked were, “Why do you think girls are not as interested in science fiction as men?” and “Why are you specifically not interested/interested?”

I’m not expecting anything ground breaking here, just something to satisfy my own curiosity because I’ve actually never asked my friends these questions.  It would be interesting to post them and see what the answers are and if my small theory is at all correct.

Stay tuned!

Sulk

I’m at a terrible writer’s block, but I don’t believe it only has to do with this blog.  I have a block in my life right now.  I’m not motivated and I’m becoming resentful of “stuff” in my life.  I don’t want to go into too much detail, but one of the problems is that I’ve reached a plateau.

Throughout the beginning of your life, you are handed education (if you’re lucky).  You go to school from kindergarten through to senior year of high school.  That’s 13 years in my town.  Even before kindergarten, your brain is developing so quickly that everything is a new lesson to learn through social interactions and physical limitations.  If you’re so blessed to go to college, you have four more years to go to class and get more learning and knowledge to soak up, all handed to you on a silver platter.

After college, you can go either to graduate school or find a job and start making money.  I decided to go the route of the latter because I am not interested in grad school and never have been.

I’ve begun to discover that you need to help yourself if you want to keep learning.  I guess I expected to continuously be motivated in my life and job and to always find fulfillment.  But everything becomes routine after a while: marriages/relationships, jobs…just life in general.

So you need to find a way to shake it up.  You.  Yourself.  No one else.  You need to make yourself learn because it’s no longer supplied to you all the time, everyday.  And when you don’t have the opportunity to learn from others, you have to unlearn what you have learned.  Grow, and then grow some more.

This week has been funky for me with this blog.  I have felt downtrodden and not interested in writing about Star Wars.  I’ve been jealous of bloggers who live on the West Coast and get to go to tons of Cons because it means they have more material to write about.  I then got really sad because the one Con I have been SO excited about this year (BSG folk + one of my favorite authors) is during my family vacation.

Yes, I’m sulking, and yes I’m pouting.  But by admitting that I’m in a funk helps me move on and helps me to get out of it.

Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.  I am not going to try to write a post that I don’t feel right now (I have been working on one, but it’s really half hearted and not flowing).  I am going to write how I feel at this moment and what’s going on, even if I’m the only one who reads it.  If I want to learn more, I need to make the effort to do so.

So for “do”ing – I’m going to invest myself more into Star Wars and try to learn beyond what I know.  As of right now, I’m not sure if that means I’m going to read more EU books (I read a great snippet from the new book Into the Void: Dawn of the Jedi that was in the latest Insider that peaked my interest).  Maybe it just means surrounding myself with more or unlearning what I have learned already.  There’s always something new in this universe, and with the release of VII rapidly approaching, there’s even more fresh news to be excited about.

As for “do not” – I am not going to be complacent.  Not only in my blog, but in my job and my relationship.  Trying is unacceptable to a Jedi.  We DO.  And when you have to do something yourself, it means picking your feet back up, standing tall, and getting to work.  Learning what works and what does not.

Ok.  I feel more motivated.