In Pursuit of Bookish Hell Mode

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*Originally posted at Oh, the Books! on 3/31/2014 | Posted again here for archival purposes on 1/5/2018.

Part I: Choosing a Difficulty Setting

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The book that changed everything.

A few years ago, when my husband (then boyfriend) suggested that we read The Shadow of the Torturer together — and after the first couple of pages we’d already looked up a dozen words — I’d gotten one of my biggest clues about the kind of person he is and how he walks through life.

By that point I was already well aware of two things:

  1. he’s really good at almost everything
  2. he doesn’t like it when he isn’t immediately good at something.

I’m sure you’ve met someone like this — or perhaps you are someone like this. I know I am, and so I can relate to his perfectionism, even if his level of skill is pretty much higher than mine at everything (except for, like, organizing or something, I guess).

What took me a bit longer to finally realize (or perhaps, come to terms with) is that because of this, he constantly seeks challenge. And he doesn’t want just a challenge; he wants The Ultimate Challenge (or something like that).

In essence, he prefers to go through life in HELL MODE.

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(Diablo III) This is his preferred difficulty setting.

Allow me to explain. Hell Mode is a term birthed from the video game industry. Some games allow the player to choose a difficulty setting, often ranging from Easy to Normal to Hard — and beyond. Hell Mode? Well, it’s the Beyond. It’s the far end of the difficulty spectrum, on the I-love-to-torture-myself side of things. As you’re no doubt expecting by now, my husband loves to choose the hardest difficulty setting.

In fact, he’s really good at making things harder for himself than they need to be, just because he enjoys a challenge, and he loves the feeling of overcoming some seemingly insurmountable obstacle. I have to admit that this can be entertaining at times, but it can also cause me a fair bit of anxiety (don’t even ask me about Skyrim).

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(Diablo III) This is my preferred difficulty setting.

While on our travels in Ireland last year, I made this joke about how he always has to choose the most ridiculous combination of options possible: a rogue class (low strength, high dexterity), a two-hander heavy weapon that requires lots of strength (eyeroll), all gear and stats aimed at maximum offense and little-to-no defense or healing capabilities (the healer in me cringes at this, every time). And then? Then he goes out with his level 5 character and tries to take on a level 50 boss. He and his friend nodded vigorously at my description, giggling gleefully at one another, at which point I threw up my hands and left them to their mania.

But here’s the best part: he gets frustrated when his little scheme fails him over and over (while I watch from afar, sighing in frustration). Okay, wait, there’s an even better part: a pretty high percentage of the time, he actually succeeds after a while. It’s ridiculous, but it empowers him.

By now I hope you’re realizing what kind of person I’m living with here.

If it’s not painfully challenging, it’s not worth doing.

Have I digressed enough yet? Yes? Okay, let’s move on.


Part II: The Search for Bookish Hell Mode

Right, on to the part of this that has to do with books. Yes. Shadow of the Torturer. Gene Wolfe. Look, don’t get me wrong: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series, and collecting all of the ridiculously archaic words within their pages. (Yes, sometimes I enjoy a little Hell Mode.) It’s one series I will definitely be rereading at some point (hopefully this year). My husband, naturally, wants more books like it.

But here’s the thing. He and I have this knack for choosing the BEST of something and experiencing it first. Then when it’s over, we look for more things like it, but continually come up empty-handed. Like watching Death Note and then trying to find any other anime that compares (although Attack on Titan is finally a contender in this category, years later!).

Gene Wolfe and his Book of the New Sun series? They’re in a league all their own.

At least, as far as I can tell. As we all know, I read a lot of books, and I read about a lot of books. So it was only natural for me to attempt to come to the rescue when my husband began his search for more Wolfe-ish books. This turned out to be way harder than I thought. My husband was specifically looking for books that would challenge his vocabulary. He wanted college-reading-level books, but without the air of English Major snobbery (for example, he DNFed The Master and Margarita).

First, we browsed the bookstore.

This was not really a great option. We spent quite a while looking through all the books on the Science Fiction and Fantasy shelves at our local B&N, and ended up coming home with nothing because he couldn’t find anything that satisfied him at a glance. I tried to do a little research on my phone while we were there, but there wasn’t much, and what I did see — of course — wasn’t at the damn store.

Next, I searched for books at a certain reading level.

I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found this website called Lexile. The site offers reading suggestions based on one’s lexile measure (basically, a reading ability level).

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The Mists of Avalon – one of the suggestions I found from Lexile.com.

I signed up on the site, adjusted my lexile measures, and even uploaded a few samples of The Shadow of the Torturer to see what level it falls within (which turned out to be lower than I expected).

I created my own list, Books for Fans of Gene Wolfe, and did a custom search, filtering my lexile level, so I could find books to add to my list. Unfortunately, I ran into a couple of problems.

  1. This site is obviously meant for grade school teachers and students (although it does have some college-level stuff).
  2. This site’s book database is not all that vast, and I’m not sure how to improve it.

So, in the end, I came up with seven whole books on my list, six of which I’m all that confident about, one of which is a study of Gene Wolfe’s work. In fact, none of Gene Wolfe’s books are even on there! Hmph. I have a few more issues with the site as well, but we’ll leave those for another time.

Then, I just started searching more broadly.

I came upon a list on Goodreads called Highbrow Fantasy Books, asked my husband how that sounded, and he gave me the nod to look through the list. Almost immediately, I was disappointed, because this list contains books that are obviously not of the Gene Wolfe caliber. No doubt, they’re excellent books; they’re just not what we’re looking for. I’m not really sure what the creator meant by “highbrow” but it obviously was not what we were looking for.

Then I came upon a webpage titled Books for the Wolfe Fan, and here is where I found some actual good suggestions. Rest assured, I looked through every single book on this list, and they met with varying degrees of approval from me and my husband. At this point, I decided it was time to create my own Goodreads list: Books for Fans of Gene Wolfe.

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Books for Fans of Gene Wolfe

This list contains books from all of my sources up to this point, complete with some notes and references so I can remember them later. Needless to say, through all that searching and list adding, it still took some time to pinpoint one that was exactly what he was looking for.


Part III: At Last

Nearing my wit’s end, I pulled up one last book on Amazon so I could see a preview of the pages: Time and the Gods by Lord Dunsany. I began to read aloud, to my husband who was busy across the room.

Once when the gods were young and only Their swarthy servant Time was without age, the gods lay sleeping by a broad river upon earth. There in a valley that from all the earth the gods had set apart for Their repose the gods dreamed marble dreams.

What a mouthful. A pause. “How’s this?” I asked him, dubiously. (Surely this was a bit much, right?) “Yeah, it’s good, keep going,” he responded in his typically vague and noncommittal way. I continued, this time adopting a more lofty reading voice, because surely this text required it.

And with domes and pinnacles the dreams arose and stood up proudly between the river and the sky, all shimmering white to the morning. In the city’s midst the gleaming marble of a thousand steps climbed to the citadel where arose four pinnacles beckoning to heaven, and midmost between the pinnacles there stood the dome, vast, as the gods had dreamed it.

Well! It was clear that this Lord Dunsany fellow was not aware of the Oxford comma, or surely he would have employed it! I took a deep breath. My husband nodded approvingly.

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The winner

“So, you like this one?” I asked, an eyebrow raised.

“Yeah, it’s good.”

“It meets your standard? You want me to get it?”

“Yeah, I like it . You can get it if you want, but you don’t have to.”

“Well, you’re in luck, because this guy’s been dead so long that we can get the ebook version for free. Muahaha! It’s on my Kindle so you can read it whenever.”

He was appreciative and happy.

SUCCESS! At long last.

(This happened 2 months ago. I still don’t think he’s started reading it yet.)

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The Anti-Troll Love Connection

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This is how it happened

First, I saw a tweet from @popurls about a cockatiel singing the chocobo song, so of course I clicked on it. What I found was not only an adorable video of a cockatiel singing the chocobo song, but an entire website that seemed as if it were made just for me: Limit Break.

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(Little did I know, the link in that tweet from was a redirect from Reddit to Limit Break; the whole thing orchestrated by Sol Invictus, who is a master at manipulating SEO and Reddit popularity. He was also a member of GameRiot and moderator of one of its other portals.)

Limit Break was a video game community website — a portal of the larger hub, GameRiot — that focused on RPGs. MY FAVORITE! I quickly felt at home on Limit Break, made friends with the community moderator, and starting blogging there. I met a number of great people on that site, many of whom I’ve continue friendships with even after the site went defunct, only a couple of months later.

(I won’t go into the specifics, but if you are familiar with the site, then you probably know what went down. It was messy and disheartening and ugly. (Hint: Sol Invictus was involved.))

Saddened by the lack of activity on Limit Break, I decided to try my luck at one of the sister sites on GameRiot called WoWRiot. I knew this site existed because I followed a few posts over there that ARCTURAS cross-posted to Limit Break, and I liked what I saw from him. Since I played WoW for many years, I figured I would feel somewhat comfortable in that community, even though the atmosphere was much less friendly and much more toxic than Limit Break.

The air, it was thick with the scent of trolls.

I won’t bore you with all the details, so let me lay down a few of my initial observations about WoWRiot. There were a few different types of member in this community:

  • People who were posting seriously about WoW (mostly involving PvP). This included the likes of Ming (World of Ming), Yiska (Hydramist), and Hafu.
  • People who were there to read about WoW. (Some who wished they were as popular as the big names listed above. Some who were just spectators.)
  • Trolls. That is, people who had nothing better to do than spit vitriol at everyone, indiscriminately, no matter the content or context.
  • Anti-trolls. This is my term I just made up to describe this group of people, but basically, whether they realized it or not, these people were cleverly trolling the entire community in a way that actually contributed positively.

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After watching mostly silently for a few days, and leaving some commentary here and there, I felt comfortable enough to attempt a blog post. And yes, I was somewhere in that anti-troll category.

I had a strategy.

  1. Copy the format of Vir’s posts. (Vir was a very outspoken and well-known member who straddled the troll/anti-troll line.)
  2. Fill my post with content that is actually interesting, funny, weird, and basically all manner of things I like. (My first post included links to things like goats, a service that turns one’s cremated ashes into pencils, and who knows what else.)
  3. Alter my format enough to be slightly mocking Vir (who was basically mocking the “serious” bloggers with his nonsense content).

I have to tell you, I was nervous when I published that first post. There was a high chance of me being trolled and abused — not only because I was one of very few female members swimming in a sea of misogyny, but also because my content was non-game-related, and I was trolling the trolls.

Thank the goat gods, it was a success.

From then on, I was someone to watch. People enjoyed my posts and I actually began to make friends with many of the non-toxic members of the community. I had the eye of the two people I was hoping to catch: Vir and ARCTURAS.

I began interacting regularly on the blogs and in the forums on WoWRiot, and got to know several of the members quite well. It was my favorite place on the internet, because there was interesting conversation if you knew where to look. I enjoyed trolling the trolls of WoWRiot, and eventually my content became well-liked enough to garner some invitations.

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My WoW Baking posts earned me an invite from Yiska to join the Hydramist blog — I was in with, and respected by, the Serious Bloggers. Vir and ARCTURAS decided to invite me to join their blog Serious Business, which meant I was also in with the trolls/anti-trolls. DOUBLE SUCCESS! And even more so because I — a woman — had risen to the top of the troll ranks, and I was turning them inside out without them realizing it.

(I hope it is clear that I was not a troll. I mocked the trolls. I cleverly disguised *actual content* so as to catch the attention of trolls and make them like something they would probably otherwise spew venom at. I was tricking misogynists into respecting a woman!)

And yes, this is where the love connection happens.

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Goat cookies I made for Valentine’s Day!

ARCTURAS and I began exchanging private messages about some topics we had discussed briefly in blog comments and on the forums (you know, things like really obscure visual novels). Within days, we were talking as much as we could, and within a couple of months, we had met in person.

Basically, he came to visit me and never left.

We both continued to blog on WoWRiot, now reveling in our clever creativity even more because we could collaborate more thoroughly in person. But then things started to go south on WoWRiot, and we knew the end was near. (Sadly, the site seemed to have lost its funding/sponsors and just died.)

We gathered some like-minded gamers and started a new blog.

But things went awry almost immediately. In short: I wrote a post that, thanks to my naïveté, brought much ire down on our site. Harsh commentary was made, and vitriol began to spew, not only from visitors, but from some of our members. The situation was eventually smoothed over, but not before some damage was done. To my reputation, to our blog, and to a fellow gaming site.

And here is where Sol Invictus showed up again, this time trolling our site AND another. By the end of it, Sol had become our “enemy,” and relationships were muddied all around. It has taken me years to repair some of the relationships (some that were over before they started) — but only part of that is his fault (the rest is mine, for writing about something I didn’t know well enough). Again, I’m not going into details, but ask if you’re interested.

Our new blog flourished for a while before we all became too busy to contribute regularly, which is a shame, but seems to be the way many things go in life.

The important thing is that four years later, ARCTURAS and I are still together.

Today is our 2-year wedding anniversary, and I’m ecstatic!

Yes, this is the actual artwork commissioned for our actual wedding invitations.

Yes, this is the actual artwork commissioned for our actual wedding invitations.

Our story is a testament to the notion that there is good out there, even amongst the cesspools of the internet. Two weird, wacky minds found one another and resonated, came together and made something good. And it may not have happened without the likes of someone who ended up being somewhat of an enemy to both of us.

Despite all of the bad blood and insidious behavior Sol has had a hand in over all these years (I’m not really here to debate this, but send me a private message if you want to discuss it in more detail), and even though he and I are no longer friends (Were we ever? It’s hard to tell with a person like that.), I’m still grateful for his actions, too.

If he’d never submitted that post to reddit, I would probably never have seen it, and I may never have met my favorite person in all the world.

So, hey. Sol. Stillgray. Iain. Whatever you like to call yourself.

THANKS.

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[I realize I may have just alienated a significant portion of my twitter feed due to this confession of enmity between myself and Sol, but I guess it just has to be that way. I’m not here to paint him in a negative light — only to share the truth of my circumstances. Do with that what you will.]

The Trouble with Magic and Me

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From a young age, like many people, I’ve been interested in games. My siblings and I would argue over who got to be Mario and who got to be Luigi, whose turn it was to play Yo! Noid (yes, that was a real game), or who got to pick the next title to rent from the video store. When my friend Katie would come to my house for a sleepover, we’d sneak up in the middle of the night and play my brother’s borrowed copy of Strider (which I’m only recently learning is very similar to Metroid). I’d go over to my friend’s house just so we could play Super Mario Bros. on her SNES all day.

Whenever my family went on vacation, I would follow my brother to the arcades so we could play Street Fighter (Guile was my favorite) or Mortal Kombat (I wanted to learn ALL of Sub Zero’s moves). When the Sega Genesis first came out, it was all my sister wanted for Christmas, and we spent the next year playing the crap out of that Lion King game that came with it.

During my childhood, it was never suggested — and I never considered — that playing video games was a boys-only activity.

Flash forward past my middle and high school years (during which I apparently forgot about video games for the most part), to my first year in college. My passion for video Princess Garnet from Final Fantasy IX (aka the best RPG ever)games was reignited when my then-boyfriend brought over his PlayStation and we’d play Kessen into the wee hours of the morning. And once I saw his little brother playing Final Fantasy 9? I was completely, unbelievably hooked.

That was also the beginning of my trading card game (TCG) obsession. We played so much Pokemon that I ended up buying whole boxes of cards online. I had binders for every type of Pokemon, complete with color-coded cover pages, organized by rarity and name. I later forsook Pokemon for the Star Wars TCG, and then eventually learned about the satisfying complexities of Magic: The Gathering.

TCGs took a backseat after a while, though, when I began gobbling up every MMORPG I could find. I made an awesome group of friends and we traveled from MMO to MMO together. World of Warcraft, perhaps unsurprisingly, is where the bulk of my online gaming took place. My guild had a significantly large percentage of women — seemingly by chance — and for most of The Burning Crusade, I was escalated to GM. There were a few rather crude guys, but for the most part our guild was a safe and comfortable place for women.

Once again, in my 20s, I wasn’t really exposed the idea that video games weren’t for girls, or that we’re not as good at games (video, TCG, or otherwise) as guys are.

Maybe I got lucky. Maybe it was actually a setback.

One of the things that brought my husband and me together when we first met was playing MtG Online. From there we branched out to visiting a local shop for draft tournaments, and eventually started playing in standard tournaments a few nights a week.

I fell in love with gobblers, burning my opponents’ faces off, and the watching the way crazy strategies could play out (or go completely awry). When I would Top 4 and actually win prizes (ooh, treasures!), all the better.

There was nothing quite so satisfying as taking Top 2 with my husband and our matching mono red decks (in fact, he’s still heralded as “the best mono red player in Texas”). At one point, it got so bad (good?) that people stopped coming because they didn’t want to lose to us anymore, so we had to change up our decks. Oopsie!

But the more time I spent playing Magic with the general public, the more I began to understand the discrimination and isolation many women experience in the gaming community.

Miss Demeanor | Flying, first strike | During each other player's turn, compliment that player on his or her game play or sacrifice Miss Demeanor.

At first it was fun, being underestimated by my opponent. People saw me as a new player, so my match wins would often come as a surprise to the other person. I relished being able to outwit my opponents with unexpected deck choices and mind games.

It wasn’t until I started receiving certain commentary, however, that I realized there was more going on. My supposed newbie status wasn’t what was throwing people off; it was the fact that I’m not a guy. People would try to bully/sweet-talk me into letting them win. People would try to convince me to make bad plays, like I was an easy target. People would RAGE when they lost, and I would have to stick up for myself and not back down when I knew I was right or had announced something they “didn’t hear.”

After narrowly losing a mirror match (we were playing Tempered Steel at the time) against a seasoned player, I was told, “You’re one of the better females.”

Perhaps he meant it as a compliment, but it instantly made me uncomfortable. Why wasn’t a “good game” and a handshake good enough? Why mention my gender? (And why not “women” instead of “females”?)

One night I was playing in the final round and my opponent hit me with a double-whammy. In the end, I had to admit to myself that he was better at mind games than I was (and I wasn’t familiar enough with his decklist — also my fault). But the thing that made me want to crush him?

“Whew! I didn’t want to lose to a girl,” he quipped as he packed his deck away.

I’m still annoyed with myself for responding with a soft snicker and embarrassed silence, but at the time, I was kind of shocked numb. I’m a good player and the match win came down to one mistake I made (and will never forget). I was disappointed that I’d lost the match when I was previously undefeated, and had been paired down that round. He wasn’t concerned that he might have lost the match and gotten pushed out of the Top 8. He was worried that he might have lost a match to a girl. Good thing I’m not concerned about losing to guys, or I would hate playing Magic.

Oh wait. That’s actually what started to happen.

After a while, it wasn’t about fun anymore. It was about proving myself as a Magic player. If I lost, it was because I’m a woman (and thus obviously bad at Magic). If I won, it was because they were having bad luck that night.

I wanted to destroy that mindset among the players. I wanted them to see me as a good player. I wanted them to see me as more than an easy win. I wanted them to see me as an equal, as a peer, and as a challenging opponent. I know that not every Magic player thinks this way (we’ve made a core group of friends who rise above the rest), but the general atmosphere and attitude among players still pushed me to feel this way.

I didn’t just want to be seen as a good player. I wanted to be seen as the best player in the room. No excuses, no doubt.

I played only to win. If I lost, I was frustrated with myself. If I didn’t Top 8, I was embarrassed and would spend the ride home apologizing to my husband for sucking at Magic*.

Maybe I sabotaged my own success, though. When people talked about cards, or strategies, or new deck ideas, I wasn’t always able to follow the conversation or chime in (or understand all the jokes). I’ve never been as deep into learning about ALL the cards as my husband and our friends are. [Truth be told, I even became too lazy to build my own decks and just let my husband do that for me (but I would make the final decisions on card choices and sideboard composition; I didn’t want to go in blind).]

Sex Appeal |  	  Prevent up to 3 damage total to any number of creatures and/or players. If there are more players in the room of the opposite sex, prevent up to 3 additional damage total to any number of creatures and/or players. So I don’t have time to read about Magic all day long. So I don’t have every single card (which set it’s from, and its current trade value) memorized. So you might have to remind me what the mana cost is for Incinerate if I haven’t used it in a while. Does that mean I’m to be dismissed from the community? Does that mean I’m not a “real” player? Does that mean I’m a poseur for wearing my Simic t-shirt every week? (Dear god, does that mean I’m some sort of “fake geek girl”? Hint: No.)

I don’t know how different things would’ve been if I were a guy. I don’t know how different things would’ve been if maybe I was just more studious about Magic (my husband says everyone who likes Magic just naturally reads about it outside of the game — news, spoilers, new card mechanics, etc.; I contend that I can like a game but still not have the time or desire to delve so deeply into it).

In the end, all I know is that my need to prove myself killed my love for the game.

While I’m still a very active gamer, and I still want ALL the trading card games (have you SEEN Vanguard and the Madoka one and The Spoils and…?!), playing a game of Magic always comes with a large helping of self-doubt and trepidation these days. I hope I can shake that eventually.

For now? At least I’ve got Civ5 to keep me company.

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*To his credit, he always insisted that I shouldn’t apologize for not topping, and that I was not a bad player. It was mostly my own self-deprecating attitude that pops up when I’m on a downward slope. (But his desire for me to be a top player largely influenced my own desire for the same.)

The Best Parts Are the Violin Parts

Lindsey Stirling - photo by stirlingites
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I am not a concert-goer.

Lindsey Stirling - photo by Nicole Lautore

Lindsey Stirling – photo by Nicole Lautore

I love music, and it is very important to me, but I’ve been to a total of 4 concerts (5 if you count the symphony) in my life. I just do not enjoy the large crowds of people. Up until this past week, the best concert I’d been to was an Ani DiFranco show many years ago — because at that one I’d actually had my own chair to sit in the whole time, and everyone else remained a designated distance away from me. (It was also at that concert when I fell in love with the music of Andrew Bird. If you have not heard that man pluck a violin, I suggest you start with this song.)

So it was with trepidation that I bought tickets for, and actually pushed myself to attend, a Lindsey Stirling concert. My husband (himself a violinist) and I love her music enough to brave the crowds and see her live.

About a quarter of the way through the night, I had begun to regret the whole idea. Her opening act was less than appealing and the poor guy actually became more and more annoying as time went on. (As a non-concert-goer, I’d forgotten about opening acts and how disappointing they can be. Plus, I’d been spoiled by the likes of Andrew Bird.)

But as soon as Lindsey finally got on stage, my mood turned.

It was so, so worth it.

Music is one thing that makes me feel in a way that very few other things do. No, I don’t think anything makes me feel the way music does. Like it can reach in deep and touch my soul.

I have a thing for instrumental music; especially when it is written and played by someone who deeply loves their instrument and their music. It comes through in the notes, you know? Though Lindsey’s music is amazing in its own beauty and technical perfection, it touches me even deeper because when I listen to it, I can feel how much of her soul is in the music.

Lindsey Stirling - photo by archxangel20

Lindsey Stirling – photo by archxangel20

Getting to hear that live? Getting to be in the room as she played her music? Absolutely breathtaking. Halfway into the first song, I already had tears in my eyes, and it wasn’t even a song I recognized! When she began playing the songs I knew and love dearly? Oh man. I was squirming like a fool during Shadows.

At one point they played a video of Lindsey talking about the Maya Angelou poem, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and why it was the inspiration for her piece, Song of the Caged Bird. I was trembling with anticipation. Folks, when she began to play that song? I lost it. I don’t think music has ever made me cry openly — certainly not in front of other people — but tears were streaming down my face.

You probably think I’m just like a weirdo or a weenie and why am I blogging about this anyway?

Her music compels me. Her music is powerful! Hearing it live was completely overwhelming.

It was interesting (and also frustrating) to see, though, that she got the largest and loudest applause for the cover songs she played. Especially the Zelda and Phantom of the Opera ones. But the energy in the room was so different when she was playing her own music. When playing covers, Lindsey is a vibrant performer. But when playing her own music? Lindsey is the violin! And the best essence of the violin that there can be.

It was undeniably, unregrettably worth it.

Featured/Header image by _stirlingites_.

FanFiction Daydreams: Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid: Still Solid
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Today on our lunch break, my husband and I were musing about fan fiction. Well, actually it started out as him telling me about a dream he had last night that involved a new Metal Gear Solid game in which Snake gets a new suit that lets him jump really high (and gives him glowing, yellow butterfly wings during the jump – hello Bayonetta!).

So. I was suggesting that maybe Snake really COULD get a suit like that, in one of the future installments of the series. He thought some of my ideas were too ridiculous (as he often does), so I said perhaps this could be a MGS fan fiction instead of an actual game. (Spoilers ahead, sorry.)

Metal Gear Solid: Still Solid

2213 AD. Snake found a way to inject himself with the nanomachines that basically made Vamp immortal, and so now he’s going to live forever (duh) and this is why he’s still around like 200 years later. In this future, they’ve invented a new kind of octo-camo that they call mirror-camo. Instead of just making Snake look like stuff, it goes one step further and actually mimics the target of Snake’s choice.

Metal Gear Solid: Still Solid

Metal Gear Solid: Still Solid (…or should that be Liquid?)

Okay, so like, remember those flying enemy things in MGS4? Me too. Whereas back in the 21st century Snake had to shoot them from afar, NOW he has mirror-camo that actually lets him copy them and then HE can fly too. (Isn’t Snake the coolest?)

And Otacon! Naturally, they’ve found a way to preserve someone by storing their brain in a jar, right? So Otacon still exists in brain form, and he follows Really Old Snake around with the Mark 500, which he controls with his brain from inside a jar (which just kinda sits on the desk in their spaceship! which he also controls from his brain).

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Check out these legs!

Oh, but every fanfic has to have some sort of romance, right? So somewhere down the line, Otacon figured out how to clone Naomi, kinda like how they cloned Big Boss with Les Enfants Terribles, only this is more like Les Enfants Secret or whatever. And so he made a new Naomi so they could finally be together, yay! Only once she realizes he’s just a brain in a jar, she’s not attracted to him anymore and then he’s just sad all the time. Oh and she gets pissed at Snake for using her immortality nanomachines and then she becomes their next villain.

Also, something to do with Metal Gear, somewhere in there. And Raiden makes an appearance and there are many scenes involving his exceptionally muscular cyborg thighs.

What do you think? Yes, no?

Okay, I found this so amusing (and I admit that I may be the only one, but whatever) that I’ve decided to post the rest later. Kind of like a new series (!) on my new blog! I just know you’re eagerly awaiting the next one.