alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
I was boggling that I hadn't done one of these since June then looked at my post titles for the last few months and remembered how sick I was for a while there. But I managed to draw some stuff anyway through the fog :) Also I got a copy of Manga Studio 5, which does some lovely lines and painting...that make my computer cry :(

All art has transcripts/descriptions at the link.

Prettiest:

Snow White and Red Riding Hood


Most interesting:
News From The Sea: A little fantasy comic adapted from this short story I wrote. Created for a Comic Books and Graphic Novels course. Transcripts in chapter 2.

As far as I can tell I got...120% for this comic? And that's getting less than half of the available extra credit. lol coursera. But it was fun!

Person of Interest, Avatar: The Legend of Korra/The Last Airbender, Guild Wars 2, Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 2, Red Dwarf, Bastion, Dr Who, Original, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, Fresh Pretty Cure )
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
I have to draw a four+ page comic for a coursera course I'm doing and I am TOTALLY BLOCKED.

I'm thinking I'll just adapt part of an existing story, either one of mine or something in the public domain.

Current thoughts tend towards Northanger Abbey but I am open to suggestions! Are there any public domain works, or original/fanfic of public domain works by me that you'd like to see me draw a short story about? Any art of mine you'd be curious to see expanded into a longer story (and have plot ideas for)? AUs are totally welcome but not nonsense crossovers because then I get tangled up figuring out how it WORKS.

It has to be accessible to random strangers so no asking me to write an ending to A Circle of Stars :P Also there is no guarantee I'll actually draw any of it comics are haaaard. BUT I WILL TRY

Also: Penny, I have not forgotten your Asama & Korra prompt, I plan on drawing it the moment the show gets them to a point where I'm not all "Asama & Korra ;_;"

ALSO speaking of AO3 today was FEMSLASHEX REVEALS YAYYY. I drew some Velanna/Sigrun. And I got TWO gifts: Undercover by kiki_miserychic, which is some sexy Root/Shaw art, and Quantum Relations by Settiai which is a very cute EDI/Sam fic.

This course is good but hardddd. I had to write TWO ESSAYS. With an introduction and a thesis and a CONCLUSION. urrrrggghhhhhh essayssssss. Of course we got half marks for even trying because coursera. But the peer assessors said I LACKED A COHERENT THESIS. Luckily we get to do self evaluation too so there was a "you are amazing and all your ideas are gold" to balance things out.
alias_sqbr: (up and down)
I'm nearing the end of a Coursera on basic writing and it's been a weird experience as a native English speaker who's never thought much about English grammar before. I tend to find the rules and definitions either painfully obvious or incredibly difficult to get my head around, and trying to write with them in mind instead of just working off instinct is as difficult as trying to walk while paying attention to the precise movement of my muscles. It was much easier learning grammar in German since everything was new.

And then half the time during peer review I can tell them what the correct version of their sentence would be but not why.

I assumed, signing up, that "Crafting an Effective Writer" would get beyond crafting sentences and paragraphs and I'm not sure it's actually improved my writing but it was certainly an interesting experience. I was going to add "and now I know what a comma splice is!" except I've forgotten already.
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
Moving has horribly sapped my creativity, but while the mess is still not resolved I feel like I have some breathing space now. So! Stuff what I have made! Thank you to everyone who left me prompts, they were great.


A Portrait of Tree


An actual commission! For money! It was an interesting experience, but I am putting off trying it again until my life is more settled.

Descriptions for each image at the link.

A Shrine to Saint Anne, dragon age, iron man, original art, miss fishers murder mysteries, princess tutu, doctor who, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I am bored and the internet is being weird and Cam is asleep so I can't pack. Thus, a post!

First: Flight Rising Registration is opening briefly soon! Afaict it will be 8pm 23rd Oct to 2am 24th Oct Perth time (the rest of you have to work it out yourselves from the site clock ;))

Books:

The Poster Children by Kitty Burroughs: I was sold this as a diverse superhero YA, and hoped the first two would negate my dislike of the third but nope. Two self righteously disagreeable POV characters in and I couldn't take any more and gave up.

Agents of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: Was halfway through this on the plane before I remembered I'd read it before while very ill. haven't gotten back to it since getting off the plane, I really should. Anyway, it's fun! Though I vaguely recall not liking the ending.

Fanfic:

The Vienna Game by Paratactitian: Homestuck, Terezi<>Sollux. An enjoyable cyberpunk AU caper, the characterisations didn't always work for me (more because the AU hadn't changed them enough than because they differed too much from canon) and it was well-meaning-male-gaze-y (eg we just HAPPENED to never see any of the gay/bi male characters express interest in other men) but still, fun.

I don't normally list fic but it got me through the plane trip to Melbourne after Poster Children dissapointed me.

TV: (New)

Watamote: What an interesting show! It's an anime about a socially awkward girl who freezes up whenever she tries to talk to anyone, but instead of the typical adorable woobie she's a genuinely weird loser, with sunken eyes and weird taste in porn and sour grapes thoughts about other more popular girls. She's likeable despite this, at least for me, and the show pokes affectionate fun at her. I saw someone describe it as best enjoyed by those who can go "Oh god I used to be like that", and while I had more anxiety and like to think I wasn't quite so mean spirited there are certainly...paralells. She isn't showing any signs of being Saved By A Boy's Love either, just slowly making efforts to reach out to people off her own bat (often in wrong headed ways, but she takes even the slightest win as proof of her INCREDIBLE AWESOME so it's not too depressing) I'm only two episodes in, will see how it goes!

Brooklyn 99: a surprisingly enjoyable police comedy: light and funny with likeable characters and enough mild continuity not to irritate me. Pretty diverse too, and the "genius manchild"-esque white guy not only gets called out on his crap but improves. A bit fat shamey, alas.

(Continuing)
Natsume's Book of Friends: I am enjoying this an episode at a time, it's very gentle and sweet without much overarching plot.

Elementary and Sleepy Hollow continue well, Marvel: Agents of Shield continues adequately. (And Joss Whedon continues to have Issues with Black People) Am not up to date with Korra yet *resists urge to poke Cam awake* but am not a massive fan of this season so far, though it has it's moments.

Coursera: Finished my "Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative" course which certainly gave me a better grounding in the Classics modern fantasy draws on and got me thinking about remediation (where a work is translated from one media to another) but would have been SO much better if the lecturer had been willing to be more critical. Oh well.

Music: been listening to a bunch of Rihanna. She's great.

And finally: look how pretty my nails are!
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (Default)
First: my "Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative" Coursera course is really very simplistic, I should be finding it challenging, not feeling annoyed at everyone for missing obvious points. And when the one POC in the videoed tutorial ever so gently suggested that maybe The Lord of the Rings has some troubling racial subtext the lecturer changed the subject :/ :/ Then while they happily chatted about the repeated theme of evil cripples in "To The Dark Tower Childe Roland Came" there was no suggestion that any of them saw this as anything but extra flavour to the general unpleasantness of the situation :/ :/ So...yes, let's just wallow in ancient tropes without thinking about their limitations or damaging effects. Sure.

Second: two games I was reccomended as examples of transcending the usual limitations of their genres.

In Dear Esther you wander a small island, hearing fragments of a man's story, and feel melancholy. It's like an interactive sad little art house film. The surroundings are beautifully rendered and they combine with the music and sparse narration to create a very effective sense of melancholy but there is NO PLOT. I enjoyed it to start with (it really does feel like exploring a beautiful desolate beach at dusk) but got bored by the end and didn't think the narrator's story was interesting enough to warrant a whole game. Gone Home did the "Experience a story as you wander around a setting" thing better imo, though it wasn't as pretty. But I don't tend to enjoy arty films with no plot either (or men poetically describing their pain), and a lot of other people found Dear Esther very effective. Warning: some of the content of this game could be very triggering, I don't want to spoil it so will put the specific warnings under a cut.

Ristorante Amore, on the other hand, made me angry. It would be a cute, slick, moderately well written m/f and m/m dating sim...if it weren't for the pretentious gimmick the writers chose to put over the top. It suffers pretty badly from "Not like other girls" syndrome, blatantly mocking other dating sims despite really not being all that different, and clearly thinking female characters only have value if they fit into the "~feminist~ strong female character" box (male characters of course can be much more varied. Also they get to be queer). If you can grit your teeth through all that the characters themselves are likeable enough and I did enjoy the romances, but overall the game left a bad taste in my mouth.

Dear Esther content warning )
alias_sqbr: Me on a couch asleep with a cat sitting on my lap top, with the caption out of spoons error (spoons)
Kira has made it very clear that I am not to move today and I have trouble seeing any good reason to argue with her.

I GOT HULU TO WORK ON MY COMPUTER (using Hola) and am currently watching the Korean drama/comedy Coffee Prince. It's about a tomboyish woman pretending to be a man, (including, at one point, pretending to be the main male character's boyfriend) which is pretty much my het id wrapped up in a bow and it is funny and charming betides. She has a similar "Eh, gender" attitude to Haruhi from Ouran and apparently the show doesn't make her become girly to get her man, woo (though next episode's preview seemed to have the guy have her "pretend" to be a woman, I am sure hiijinks will ensue)

The current Humble Bundle includes the interactive story Dear Esther which I've been meaning to try out for ages. Coffee Prince is only 17 episodes I'll get there eventually :)

I'm watching "I could never be your woman" since it sounded good: older woman romance! Paul Rudd! Same creator as Clueless! But so far I am super bored. There's some aspects I like but if nothing else I think I'd enjoy it more if I was a 40 year old single mother who sees 32 year old guys as endearingly young. *watches Coffee Prince instead, which has TWO sexy brunette leads*

Soooo behind on email. It's all too hard.

The sequel course to the Game Theory course I did on Coursera has started up, this time on Standford's own MOOC. The course itself is fun, we're currently learning about how there's no way to count votes that doesn't mess up under the right circumstances. But the site has some Issues, eg the fact that the first assessment said "Save answers" when it meant "Submit your first and only attempt". Not only did I get 30/100 but it didn't even save my answers! Since Coursera has a "save answers" button which just saves your answers I was not the only person caught out by this, the lecturers say they're looking into it.
alias_sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
I am feeling quite...naughty is the only word that comes to mind. I looked at this weeks homework for my only current Coursera course, Games Without Chance, and it looked so boring I'm NOT GOING TO DO IT OMG. Teeheehee.

The Games without Chance course is kind of like having a pleasant but somewhat dull and confusing conversation with an old mathematician in the maths department lunch room. The guy obviously loves his topic but it's all a bit rambly and vague. I want FORMALISM dammit. WHERE ARE THE PROOFS?? I don't want to have to play actual individual games, I want to learn abstract algorithms for solving whole classes of games!! Where is the combinatorics I was promised??

*mutters about Applied Mathematicians having all the wrong priorities*
alias_sqbr: Me on a couch asleep with a cat sitting on my lap top, with the caption out of spoons error (spoons)
Got back from a holiday down in Bunker Bay near Dunsborough, Cam's work's annual "Christmas" weekend. The beach-and-bush setting and resort (whose name seems to change every year, it's currently "Pullman") was lovely as always, but I was really impressed by the extra effort the chefs went to in catering to my food intolerances, they didn't just help me pick and choose from the given menu (which is the best I can usually hope for) they actually created entirely new dishes just for me! Mostly "subtract what I can't eat, add a suitable replacement" (like steamed rice with poppyseeds instead of spicy fried rice) but I got this amazing cashew-and-herb salad as an entree at the company dinner which I intend on trying to replicate. Afaict it was cashews browned in some flavoured oil then mixed with coriander, a few types of bean sprouts, mint (which i had to pick out, but never mind) shredded carrot, and LOTS of basil. Mmmm. And the mini pavlova I got for dessert was apparently nicer than the meringue-and-mousse roll everyone else got :D

I am currently enrolled in THREE Coursera courses oh god. Luckily the two that I've seen videos for are pretty light and fluffy, I have been getting 100% on all the Game Theory tests without taking any notes, while the first week of Astrobiology has all been stuff I already know. Both are nerdily fun, Game Theory is a little more dense but is also computational mathematics/logic aka my favourite type of science. The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness is presumably going to be much less fun and easy for me, I think the odds of me lasting more than the first week are low but hey it's free. If I really like them all I can even try NOT CARING ABOUT PASSING OMG and just treat them as documentary series.

The one downside of the trip was all the WALKING, urgh. We got an accessible room near the main building/restaurant, burt it was still further than I like to have to trek for meals plus there was all the luggage etc. So now my arms and legs are super sore. I've been talking to [personal profile] hl about the mountain climbing she's been doing lately and sitting on a conveniently placed decorative rock amused myself by imagining myself as a brave mountaineer resting on a boulder after walking FIFTY METRES up a SLIGHT INCLINE omg.

Also it turns out I missed the first weekend of the Fringe festival, which had lots of free events, oh well. Poking at the website to see what's still on I've decided I like the look of this exhibition, will have to see if it's wheelchair accessible.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Happy December 25th to those celebrating it!
Happy December 24th to everyone else!

(Unless you are slow in catching up on your reading list, or are reading this on another date for some other reason, in which case: Happy [insert date here]!)

Why am I awake? I'm not excited about my presents or anything. Maybe 30+ years of waking early have made it automatic. Will be visiting my parents in about 8 hours for hot roast lunch in unairconditioned 40C heat, hooray.

Finished season 1 of New Girl, it has it's issues but I enjoyed it. The characters have a lovely chosen family dynamic.

Also officially finished my Interactive Python programming course with 97%, woo. Apparently around 5000 people of the original 50,000 handed in the final project, and a similar number got 70% or higher. Reading the forums, some were bored uni students or programmers etc, but others were like 11 year old kids or people from remote areas or retirees like me, people who'd otherwise be unable to access this kind of course. I don't think online learning can replace universities, but it certainly expands them.
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
First: There is a very nice gluten free bakery in the Coventy Markets in Morley. I don't know if the food is nice, apart from the hazelnut macaroons (which are lovely) but the store is nice because when I squeed about them selling ACTUAL BISCUITS I CAN EAT the lady gave me an extra one for free :D

Second:

Back in the late 80s, when I was around 9, I got my first computer, an Amstrad. The manual included instructions on how to use BASIC, and while I didn't understand the more complicated aspects I figured out enough to write very simple programs and do some sprite editing. There was also an example game in the back of the manual, several pages of text that apparently produced a game called something like "Ping", but despite trying to type it in several times I could never get it to work.

It was not until much later that I realised that it was a bootleg version of the 70s arcade game Pong.

And now, more than 20 years later, thanks to the Interactive Programming course I'm doing on Coursera... I have produced a working version of Pong. Aww yes.

This makes me happier than it probably should, what with the fact that i have a degree in computer science and have produced many much more complex programs in my time. And it's pretty crappy, I did the bare minimum required for the assignment. But I don't care, my inner 9 year old is still super proud :)

(nb on further thought I should probably hold off on posting a link until after grading. TRY TO BE PATIENT, PONG LOVERS)
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Read the book "Dime Store Magic" by Kelly Armstrong and quite enjoyed it, despite disliking the first book in the series, Bitten. As with that book the heroine spends the start of the book shouting at the male love interest to get lost, but in this case it's just the result of unfortunate circumstances and he's actually a pretty sweet guy. I am wondering if it's a pattern though, I'm all for romantic conflict but heroines learning to be less loud and angry is not my ideal form of escapism. Anyway: urban fantasy/horror with nice worldbuilding, likeable characters, lots of relationships between women and an exciting plot. There is still some gender essentialism (WHY URBAN FANTASY WHY) but I managed to mostly ignore it.

My Python programming class continues to be easy and fun. They have a competition to create educational videos, the ultimate winner of which will receive an iPad. I lack the energy to make them alas, but here is a cute one by one of my 11 year old classmates. Makes me want to play around in screencast-o-matic.

My laptop keyboard is acting up, I'm using a USB keyboard and it is a PAIN.

Am up to episode 17 of Season 2 of Fringe and quite enjoying it. I inhaled a bunch but am taking a break since I kind of like where the characters are at and get the feeling things are about to get intense. I like all the characters, I don't want them to be sad/dead/written out etc!

Kaleidoscope reveals tomorrow!

I made an alt in Glitch called Allie S Squibber, playing again from the start has been super fun. I do still enjoy the ease of playing with my overpowered regular character, though, and look how pretty she is right now. (EDIT: More friends are always good! FYI Sequoia Baer is a higher level and thus more helpful if you ever find yourself in need of someone to plant a tree on your street for your pigs to eat etc)
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I am not doing Yuletide, but for those who are [personal profile] flamebyrd has created a useful looking tag sorting thing (I do not entirely understand it, but I am ignorant of the ways of the goat)

Finished "Unclaimed" and enjoyed it!

Finished Bodacious Space Pirates and enjoyed it too! THERE WERE F/F KISSES. Admittedly, not involving the main character, but the only other romance was the plot-required one between the main character's parents so my f/f/f major character headcanon remains unbroken and there was in general lots of lovely sweet friendship. I was really glad they didn't do the obligatory "oh but really they like boys" subversion of the same sex subtext, as well as how the young cute male teacher showed absolutely no interest in any of his students except as mentor. Oh anime, how low you have made me set my standards. The ending was as anticlimactic as I was told it would be, it basically just stops at the end of a small arc with no major resolution, but I was happy enough.

Have signed up for the female character Homestuck fest Ladystuck as well as Yuletart, am waiting for my assignments for them while waiting for Kaleidoscope reveals. *twiddles thumbs*

The Coursera course I'm doing right now encourages students to make little explanatory videos for other students, which is a great idea and theoretically my cup of tea but I find myself overwhelmed by the prospect so maybe not. I keep having to remind myself that while I am theoretically overqualified I also have massive brain fog etc, so if I can complete the minimum requirements that is plenty.

Currently reading "Dime Store magic" by Kelley Armstrong and enjoying it MUCH more than I did the previous book in the series I tried.

EDIT: Oh, and [personal profile] lilysea lent me a full length mirror which has made it much easier to get dressed into aesthetically pleasing outfits without having to use my imagination for half of it.
alias_sqbr: an airship ladder in the disabled parking (up)
Woke up at 1am INTENSELY AWARE of how dry my mouth was, had to get up and get a drink, and then was VERY AWAKE. And I am still very awake as 3am approaches, ack, oh well I had no plans tomorrow.

Have finished my Kaleidoscope thingy well enough, though I may work on it more once I have taken a break and can find a beta. Which is good, because [community profile] yuletart is back! Woo! Signups close soon if anyone is interested.
Random life stuff )
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
So it finally occured to me that if I put my garden chair in the shade and used an extension cord, I could surf the web outdoors. Brilliant! (I do sometimes sit happily in the garden WITHOUT a computer, but I get bored eventually) The cat is happily exploring the garden and I am getting some fresh air.

Here's Kira sticking her nose out from underneath a black umbrella I was using to shade the screen for a while:
Photobucket

I did my Quantum Computation exam today, after literally no study because I couldn't be bothered and wanted to get it done. I got 75% which seems pretty good unless you know the pass mark is 80%...still, I think I'll pass overall given my marks on the assignments. I'm definitely not up to solidly concentrating for hours any more, luckily the questions divided pretty neatly by subject so I could take breaks, especially since we got 6 hours to do it in. All those years working in the maths learning centre gave me REALLY good skills at quickly scanning through notes (or in this case, lecture videos) to find the relevant equation and answer a question without thinking too hard. It was a fun course, anyway, I may have a go at explaining some of the simpler quantum algorithm wierdnesses at some point since they're pretty cool.

I made this banana baked porridge/oatmeal and snacked on it during the exam. It was pretty nice, like a cross between porridge and banana oat nut muffins. And that's using quick oats and mixed nuts because it's what I had to hand. I think using almond milk added to the flavour. Will definitely cook again, one of the variants looks like a good way to make a low fat alkaline version of fruit crumble/crisp with my leftover frozen boysenberries. Probably veganisable?
alias_sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
The Machine Learning course at coursera just started, the lecturer put two weeks of videos and some linear algebra revision up all at once which was a bit intimidating (THIRTY ONE VIDEOS) but having started watching it's all pretty easy, I'm fairly sure we went through linear regression faster in highschool. Which is good because I am still feeling pretty woozy. Not very exciting so far, it's funny being reminded how much more dry and formal Computer Science lectures are compared to the slapdash intuitive approach of physics. Also he kept talking about the practical uses and job opportunities, when I'm here to write better scifi :D

Coursera very much feels like a beta run before they ramp up to making money from us all somehow, but the two lecturers I've had so far seem to be very genuine about teaching their subject well and getting across their love of it.

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