What happened, Torrid?

Dear Torrid,
Hi, it’s me, I know we haven’t really spoken like ever, but I was wondering what happened to you? There was a time when you were the go to spot for girls who wanted Hot Topic like clothing but couldn’t fit into the XS sizing– somehow that’s changed, hasn’t it. It’s like you got a date to the prom with the Captain of the Football Team and decided that wearing Invader Zim’s Gir on your shirt didn’t look as good as it used to– you abandoned the style you thought you had and instead took on the guise of the Couture Girl who knows everything about how to make her fat as look good in those tailored Z. Cavaricci jeans and weirdly patterned top that just screams “I was going for a pirate look, but because it has sequins, it makes it fashionable.”

Believe me when I say I’m not the only one who misses the days when we could get Invader Zim, Anime, Manga, and Band merchandise from you– and I’m not just talking Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber (really, Torrid?), I’m talking bands that your sister store covers, but somehow you’ve got it in your head that every fat chick in the world wants to look as fashionable as possible, so you figure that 80$ vest is a better investment than a couple of comfortable, of size shirts with some characters we might have become familiar with and grown up with. What? You offer Hello Kitty stuff? That’s great! What about the rest of the spectrum of random ass cartoon characters we love and wouldn’t mind having around? I miss those days when I could look fashionable and still be myself by representing something that meant something to me, or means something to me.

I can barely even recall the early days before the site went all pink and your entire styling thoughts went towards High Class Fat Girl Boutique, but I assure you, I miss those days. Yes, I’ve seen you collection of corsets and mini-skirts– they’re very nice, and I do like their edge, but I still miss the shirts and comfortableness– it’d be awesome to get a super soft t-shirt in my size that extols my love for Five Finger Death Punch, or even Bullet for My Valentine (I know, guilty pleasure, right?), but somehow I’m stuck looking for men’s sizes at Hot Topic instead of getting that from you. Wasn’t that your original purpose? Or am I confusing you with another store?

We miss you, Torrid, please come back to us as you were meant to be in the beginning.

Andrea, and countless others.

Love is tricky, apparently literally.

I realise I haven’t blogged in a while, which is amusing since for a while I was able to actually keep up with the idea of topics and being clever more often than not– yet however I find myself of late without issues or things to blog about– when I do think about things I’d like to share or write about, by the time I get to my laptop to write them the inspiration is gone and I realise the blog would have been nothing but diatribe anyway, but sometimes, just sometimes… something piques me enough.

Such as this article from iVillage– at first glance, completely harmless… no wait, at first glance you can already tell it’s going to be complete bullshit– yes, how to make ANYONE fall in love with you, because love is such an arbitrary thing that it can be bought with tricks and cleverness, I promise. It’s not something that develops on its own through years of knowing each other, or even just a spark of a common interest that leads to a bond that spans beyond just flat out lust. Let us all hope harder for the love from Twilight that comes with weird nuances of things you never even think about until you’re standing outside of that whirlwind of bullshit text– the fact that it’s conditional love is always fun, as well as the fact that you must have a secondary option hanging on there in case your first love falls apart. Or even, let’s go for some Fairy Tale type love, the kind that we dreamed about when we were little kids because Disney managed to make the horrible Fairy Tale stories seem palatable, even though if you read them they turn into something far more wicked and sinister.

Gone are the days of wanting real love, we just want it all, and we want it now. As interesting as that is, love isn’t so easily tricked into being by these so called ‘pointers’. You can’t just manifest feelings because someone starts being a little less available. Yes indeed, because everyone in the world wants something they can’t have, and while that’s true in some aspects, it doesn’t equate to love, nor does the suggestion of not doing nice things for them, and letting them do nice things for you instead ring as true love to me.

What kind of society do we live in that this is the kind of information being portrayed as self-help. Love doesn’t come because you trick it into thinking you’re unavailable, or because you ooze sexual promiscuity– no, love exists in spite of those things. It’s an entity in and of itself and I wonder just how many women have fallen for this kind of thing as a kind of last resort. You don’t need to do anything to make a man love you other than be yourself, and love yourself. You do not have to be sexy in appearance, or clad with make-up and that whole “oh, other boys are sending me flowers, how thoughtful.” backhanded crap– all you have to do is find the guy that is right for you. Yes, sometimes you are going to fall in love with someone you can’t have, but that’s what love is… it’s falling, whether good or bad, it’s realising that sometimes you don’t get what you want, but you will find what you need if you stop trying to force it.

Articles like this do nothing to reveal who you truly are, and honestly, they only seem to mask love further– how can a man truly feel anything for you if all you’re doing is smoke and mirrors? I wouldn’t love someone who tried to deceive me, not by a long shot.

I’m just saying.

Story vs. Graphics

In the past 15 years or so we’ve seen a weird incline of games that are more graphically intense– it seems that every time we get newer hardware, we end up with games that are graphically superior to its predecessors, and while that isn’t a bad thing, it is when it detracts from the story.

Yes, we’re going to have me ranting about this sort of thing for a moment, because honestly I remember when games were so immersing story-wise that you actually went out of your way to stay up and all night and play them– it wasn’t about getting that new achievement or unlocking some weird content or staring at the pretty graphics, it was about learning more about the fundamentals of the game and advancing the story. This doesn’t just apply to RPGs, either, as a lot of games have in-depth stories but would be considered well outside of the realm of a role playing game.

Things have come a long way graphically, and while that is utterly fine and dandy, I still despise the kids that claim Final Fantasy VII to be superior in story and graphics to Final Fantasy VI, considering the huge leap from 16-bit to a more polygonal design, it’s kind of a given that VII is more advanced graphically, but if you look at it now and compare it to today’s games, it seems ridiculously underpowered, and the story doesn’t really hold up– I know, I know, half of you are looking at me like I’m retarded considering the mass awareness of Final Fantasy VII and its sequels, prequels, and the mass amount of merchandising that has been done to continue its legacy, but honestly, the story didn’t really give me much that made me want to continue playing. I’m not saying I didn’t love the game or the story, but I can play it once every few years and just be completely meh about it– it seems like the more characters that got added to that story, the less you knew about any of them. Whereas with VI, every new character you got had some epic back story that you could play through and made you fall in love with them, and their story, all over again. There wasn’t a character in that game that didn’t have some kind of depth, and none of them were throwaway characters you could just ignore as a whole.

That’s not to say that the rest of the Final Fantasy games weren’t the same. Sometimes you got good story, sometimes it was a mixed bag, it’s just a bit of a pet peeve of mine over people claiming the story in VII was superior to all others when it was not– and if you look further down the line at X, I couldn’t even play through the first hour of that game without getting so immensely bored that I just gave up– it was graphically superior to its predecessors, but I was /bored/ to tears with the new things they’d brought in, the fighting style, and everything else.

I understand a company’s want to make their game somewhat better with new tidbits and things for people to play with, but there’s a part where your new fangled whosamawhatsit is denigrating the story you could have had. Some people have never played Wild ARMs because of its graphics and game play (even though I find them to be rather interesting), but it has one of the most amazingly heart-felt stories I’ve ever experienced in a game. When does graphics get to take-over the rest of the game?

On another side of things, people have completely badmouthed Metal Gear Solid 4, even though I found its story and game play to far outweigh a lot of the games that came out at the same time– mostly they felt that the story took over, and the game had strayed from its long, arduous hours of game play through stealth action formula that had won it so much. But honestly, that story was good enough to carry it even if the thing had been hideous and not at all fun to play. Snakes development was enough to make me want to play it again and again, and let’s not even get started on the supporting cast of awesome.

There is a point when graphics are an issue and you don’t want to look at something ‘ugly’ while you’re playing it, but story should always weigh in first, at least as far as I’m concerned. I fear for the future of gaming when titles like Final Fantasy who used to be met with mass amounts of fanfare are now just throw-aways because of the way the series has gone. I haven’t even touched XIII, and I used to play them all pretty religiously, that should tell something.

( also posted at SPiRiTLiNG, at least in part. )

Defining Love.

After my rant a few days ago about Stephenie Meyer’s misconception of the simple fact of love, I’ve been pondering writing a post on what love is, at least in my eyes– it’s going to turn into a rant however, so I’m easing myself into it piece by piece.

People have this idea that love is something that can be manipulated, that it can be tamed, or reasoned with– but it can’t. Love doesn’t listen to reason, love doesn’t listen to anything but the rush of blood through your body at the mere mention of someone. Yes, it can be confused with lust, but love is something altogether different, it’s consuming in a way that is subtle sometimes, and beating you in the face at others. It has taste, feel, scent… it has everything you’d ever want, and some of the things you wish you didn’t. Love is destructive, and powerful, and should be respected, not handed out like candy on Halloween.

Love isn’t something conditional, it doesn’t come only when someone loves you in return, it burns through you like fire whether they return your affections or not, you are happy for them, you are happy for yourself for not being completely obsessed and thus giving into the false feeling of lust and faux-love, but instead a healthy kind of love– the kind of love where you know that no matter what happens, the love will be there. Even if you hate each other one day, you’ll always love them, want to see them do well in life, want to touch them, be near them, hug them, even if you can’t stand the sight of them. You won’t act on these wants– you won’t even let them be a ruling force in your day to day, instead you will go on, you will live your life knowing that you are blessed that love even touched you, knowing that somehow, you will always be a part of someone, and someone will always be a part of you.

Everyone is entitled to love, no matter what you think, no matter where you’ve come from, you deserve to be loved, and I assure you, you are. Someone loves you, and while it may not be what you want, it may not be who you want, love that feeling, love knowing that someone out there thinks you’re special, because you are– love gives you that, love gives you a feeling of purpose, whether it’s from who you want or not, it’s love… it’s real and it’s love and you should be happy for it.

Love should not technically be an end all for you, but being a romantic isn’t a bad thing– loving love is natural, loving love to the point of foregoing all other emotions is not. While it may seem healthy, it isn’t… somehow people seem to think as long as they’re happy and loving everything is fine, but you’re denying yourself other experiences, and therefore denigrating love’s entire purpose. Love lifts you up, and makes you feel like you’re high as a kite, but it can also send you crashing right back down if you treat it poorly.

I’m ranting, and have been ranting, but I’m honestly not sure how else to define love. It’s raw, passionate emotion that comes out unbidden, and that’s what this post is. Something that I’m just letting myself write, without thought for grammar, or technique, or even how many people will care I’ve written it, but more an expression of adoration for love.

Maybe later I’ll post some of my best love stories, that I’ve personally experienced. How about you guys, any stories you want to share?

My Top 5 Biggest Fears.

It happens a lot that people make these huge lists of things to want, to aspire to, or even things that they just think are nice– but today I’m going to do something a bit different, we’re going into the realm of DO NOT WANT here and touching up on some of my worst fears– there are some of them that might have images to elaborate and give some colour, but there are some that freak me out just by looking at them that won’t get images so you can suck it up and use google to your advantage.

These fears are going to range from the totally logical to the most completely weird things for someone to be afraid of, most likely– some of you won’t agree, or won’t even realise why they scare the bejesus out of me, but honestly, these are huge fears of mine. On to the list, non?

It’s worth a mention that Heights would have been on this list somewhere, but all of these out-shined that fear. Not that I’m any less terrified of them, just that these seem a) more interesting, and b) more terrifying and constant than heights themselves– I avoid heights, it’s easy.

5. Wasps

All right, don’t look at me like that. Wasp terrify me, and I’ll even go as far to say that anything that can fly and sting me will likely get me to scream like a girl and flee in terror– I honestly freak out to the point of nearly becoming paralysed with fear, but most of the time I’ll just run right over whoever is between me and the exit– I’m not proud of it, but I’ve nearly bowled my mother over to get away from a wasp, and that’s fear taking over, not something I’d normally do.

When you live in the middle of the country, like when I lived in Kentucky, Wasps are a problem during the summer, they latch onto houses and build nests in the eaves and stuff and invade your home. Twice I’ve known of wasps nests in that house that scared the crap out of me– in our old house in Kentucky they’d made a nest in my ceiling fan ((we’d taken it down to install a new one and never gotten around to it, so it was an open hole into the roof with wiring, apparently they like that)) and when we pulled down the posters on my wall to get ready to move into our new place, they were lined up on the wall like a little Nazi Wasp Army– I nearly peed myself and fled in terror. I don’t like them and I don’t want them near me, all right? All right. Just move if we’re in the same room as a wasp or yellow jacket or something.

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