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Happy Chinese New Year from Chow and Baozha!

Happy Chinese New Year from Chow and Baozha! published on 1 Comment on Happy Chinese New Year from Chow and Baozha!

I got a beautiful digital Chinese dragon today, and I was going to throw together a quick comic of Chow and Baozha remarking over it, but I got lazy, so here’s the picture.

Baozha: “Holy fuck, it’s a flying lizard! Get my gun!”

Chow: “As your father, I forbid you to murder the embodiment of good fortune!”

Baozha: “Good fortune my ass! Quick…before he bites your head off!”

Chow: “I will do no such thing! Unlike those greedy monsters of European lore, dragons from my culture are actually a good omen.”

Baozha: “What sort of good omen has four-inch fangs?!!”

Body of Book by Rachel Hadas

Body of Book by Rachel Hadas published on No Comments on Body of Book by Rachel Hadas

A warm, dense poem, like going to sleep after reading, and then dreaming about oneself in another body. Smells like a villanelle, though it ain’t one. Gives new meaning to the term body language. Also, think of the bookbinding terms that take human metaphors, like “spine” and “jacket” and “joint” and “head” and “tail.”

Rabbits do what???

Rabbits do what??? published on 2 Comments on Rabbits do what???

Guess what I just learned about rabbits’ digestive and excretory systems today?

Rabbits are herbivorous, a diet that gives them two challenges: first, they eat a lot of undigestible cellulose and, second, they consume lots of nutrients and minerals that they cannot digest in one go-round.

Rabbits have digestive systems built to cope with the rigors of their herbivorous diet. They have an extra-large caecum and very specialized shit. The caecum is a pouch connected to the ascending colon of the large intestine. In carnivores and ominovres [like Homo sapiens], the caecum is small in size and often replaced by an appendix. In herbivores, however, the caecum is frequently large and populated by bacteria that help the animal draw nutrients out from its food. Anyway, the caecum in rabbits helps them to separate the nutrients from the cellulose.

Rabbits do not need the cellulose, so they crap it out in hard waste pellets. They do, however, need the condensed nutrients that the caecum has separated out from the actual waste. So they have another form of shit in which they expel these nutrients in soft, partially digested form. Then they eat it, usually when they are hidden in their burrows during the day. This time, they can gain access to the nutrients.

I thought only certain types of bugs were coprophages. I was wrong. Pigs, hamsters and gorillas also eat shit, but obviously the gorilla has a different type of digestive system than the rabbit. Interestingly enough, the young of certain animals, such as hippos, elephants, pandas and koalas, eat their mom’s shit to bring necessary digestive enzymes into their sterile digestive systems.

I’m having a very hard time seeing coprophagia as anything less than unsanitary, unhealthy and distasteful, even though it’s obviously a highly beneficial adaptation for some species mentioned above.

Coprophagia: the usually unconsidered biological implication of a rabbit therianthrope. Create transgenic humans [or rabbits] with care. 

Disclaimer: Before anyone tells me, “Well, duhhhh, haven’t you ever seen a pet rabbit eat shit?” let me remind you that I never grew up with animals, except for some extremely dull fish, and, aside from having a cat for a few years recently, I have no experience with domesticated animals.

I got a Deviant Art account…

I got a Deviant Art account… published on No Comments on I got a Deviant Art account…

 …primarily to bother other artists when new eps of LHF come out. I refuse to put pictures over there because they have some mushy TOS that could possibly construed as them saying they have the rights to stuff you put on the site. Anyway, this is me if you want to bookmark me or track me or do whatever the hell it is deviants do over there.

All clotheshorses need more clothes.

All clotheshorses need more clothes. published on No Comments on All clotheshorses need more clothes.

 Butterfly Dress

Basketball shoes

Pedal pushers

Chelsea G2 Sydney

Bubbles A3

Romantic dress V2

Coat with polo neck V2

Morning coat M3

Trouser suit P4 fem

Disco outfit P4 man

More free clothes to get

More free clothes to get published on No Comments on More free clothes to get

Summer Days Jacket

Pinky Dress


Off-The-Shoulder and Platform Boots

Chained Piercings [convert]

Fairy Tales and Lassie of the Seas

Sci Fi Suit

Maya Doll clothes

install and convert Aiko Gothic

Bye bye, Ebay.

Bye bye, Ebay. published on 3 Comments on Bye bye, Ebay.

I’ve been a member of Ebay for about 9 and a half  years. When in college, I used it to buy lesbian pulp fiction. Later on, I got lots of 1:6 goodies there. Most recently, I’ve used it as a source for DVDs and BJD stuff. With the recent policy change, though, I’m through. I haven’t been using the site in months, and I certainly don’t want to buy or sell on an auction site that won’t allow me as a seller to leave negative feedback for buyers! I, and many other members of the Ebay community, find this insulting and detrimental, and we’re leaving. I’m never using the auction part of the site again, although I’ve never had problems with, so I’m keeping my account there.

Will finally has an appropriate digital wardrobe.

Will finally has an appropriate digital wardrobe. published on 1 Comment on Will finally has an appropriate digital wardrobe.

I’ve been trying for years to dress my representations of Will appropriately.

When I worked with my 1:6 plastic versions, his broad chest prevented me from putting him in women’s skimpy tops, and his hips were too wide for most skirts, even though I body-modded him several times. My 1:3 version’s clothes are prohibitively expensive, and he’s a non-standard size of doll [scrawny, 80 cm], so I’m just making due with large, loose, flowy blouses and skirts for smaller female dolls. Any early digital versions of Will, such as pixel doll versions or Meez avatars, failed because, for some reason, there were no options to dress your male avs in corsets and microminiskirts. >:

My first version of Will in Daz looked way too much like a boringly dressed man…until I discovered CrossDresser, that is. While beneficial for certain items, CrossDresser doesn’t work very well at flattening the chest area of tops designed for curvaceous women. Also CrossDresser doesn’t include morphs [body shaping] in the clothes, so I was left with converted dresses that had saggy cleavage and which were too wide for my skeletal Will.

Anyway, then I tried moving Will from a Michael 3 base to a Victoria 3 base so he’d fit in the dresses and heels better.  As a result, he fit into all the bottoms okay, but his upper body was a disaster. Apparently you can either have an emaciated female V3 or a non-emaciated male V3, but you can’t have a convincing emaciated male V3 because the breast area starts puckering inward. [See the first panel here where Will is wearing a second-skin outfit that is essentially “painted” onto his body.] Even though I now have a more sophisticated clothing converter than CrossDresser [Wardrobe Wizard 2], converted dresses still imploded in the chest area if I wanted to fit them to my emaciated and male V3 based character. Arrrrrrgh!

Because I liked Will’s head as developed on a V3 base, I didn’t want to recreate him YET AGAIN on a male model. So, recently, I just did a head swap where I put his V3 head on the body of yet another male figure, not Michael 3, but David. While Michael 3 is blocky and stupid-looking, David, though more petite, has a smoother, more realistic shape that responds to deformation better. Plus he doesn’t have any chest protuberances to contend with, so I was able to create a long, scrawny, body with a sunken chest and no squinching around the [non-existent] boobs. Hooray!

After creating the latest version of Will out of a V3/David hybrid, I worked hard last night and the night before running clothes through Wardrobe Wizard 2 and fitting them to Will. I crunched just about everything in my runtimes that he could possibly be interested in, then went out and downloaded at least 20 free pieces of clothing, which I converted just for him. Just as I have bags of 1:6 clothing sorted by Short Skirts, Corsets, Scanties, Pleather, Jeans, etc., so I now have folders of converted digital clothing, all for Will, with names like Corsets, DressesandSkirts, Pants, Tops, etc. And they all fit, and there’s no squinching at the chest, and he finally looks like an androgynous guy wearing women’s clothing, rather than a non-androgynous guy wearing plate armor developed for a woman. Jubilation! Exultation! Exhilaration! Defenestration! :p I shold have pictures tonight; I know all 1.5 of you are waiting on the edge of your seats.

Now that I’ve run almost everything I have for Will through the wringer so that it actually fits him, I realize a few things. 

1.) Goddamn — this is exactly what I have wanted to do for years: convert one fig’s clothing to another so that I can make truly atrocious and fashionless outfits without being hindered by the outfit’s original designs. 

2.) Will needs more clothes…and more make-up. This is a guy who probably beats the movie version of Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth for frequency of wardrobe and facepaint changes. I need to have at least 3 times as many clothing options and makeup options as I think I will use.

3.) I just realized that I filmed two non-consecutive eps of LHF already in which Will was wearing the same makeup twice. This is an inexcusable lapse that I must correct by changing his makeup and redoing the second ep.

“Charles Atlas says he can give me a REAL body, all right!”

“Charles Atlas says he can give me a REAL body, all right!” published on 2 Comments on “Charles Atlas says he can give me a REAL body, all right!”

While clicking around, I discovered a site by Seanbaby devoted to those bizarre, grainy ads on the back of comic books. I remember, for example, this Charles Atlas ad, this very same one, from a childhood comic book. As soon as I rediscovered it on Seanbaby’s site, I immediately thought two things:

1. That ad struck me as poorly drawn, hokey, outmoded and a big fat lie when I first saw it around age 7.

2. Richard O’Brien didn’t have to push very far to make a parody of the Charles Atlas campaign when he wrote I Can Make You A Man for Rocky Horror. In fact, the ad copy here uses many phrases that show up, barely altered, in that song. I am, however, surprised that Richard O’Brien’s lyrics didn’t use some of the screamingly homoerotic subtext in such phrases as “Do you feel soft, frail skinny, or flabby, only HALF-ALIVE?” and “You want the Greek god type of physique…that makes other fellows green with envy.”

Zero Punctuation Flash comic gaming reviews

Zero Punctuation Flash comic gaming reviews published on No Comments on Zero Punctuation Flash comic gaming reviews

Ben Croshaw does snarky reviews of video games by making simple Flash animations combined with snarky narration. You don’t have to know anything about video games to find this shit hilarious, but you do need to be able to follow a high rate of speech, since he talks very fast. Go watch mini-eps of Zero Punctuation now.

Coloreria Italiana ad for fabric dye

Coloreria Italiana ad for fabric dye published on 2 Comments on Coloreria Italiana ad for fabric dye

When I saw this ad linked over at Feministing, my brain crunched, stopped and blew a few circuits of sheer incredulity that such sexist, racist, ageist bigotry could actually make it to the screen. 

Basically it concerns a young Caucasian woman doing laundry in the basement of her home. She is approached by a hairy, mid-40s [?] Caucasian guy in briefs and tube socks [hahahah] who approaches her with leering confidence. He obviously thinks he is sexy, but she does not because she shoves him head-first in the laundry machine [!]. In case it’s not shocking enough that she assaults him, she sits on the shaking washing, pinning him inside, despite his cries of pain. 

When the washer stops shaking, the woman opens the lid. Out comes a hairless, mid-20s [?] African man. Both the man and the woman look at each other in stupefied mutual admiration. The man flexes his arm muscles as the legend appears on the screen: “Coloreria Italiana. Coloured is better.” 

WHO THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA, HUH? I don’t know about you, but if I’m approached by a leering man when I’m doing laundry in my residential building, I’m bound to panic, assuming that I’m about to be raped by an intruding pervert. [EDIT: It has come to my attention that the man could be interpreted as the woman’s husband.]

Well, dropping the literal interpretation, the leering man in his skivvies is obviously a concretized metaphor for undyed clothing. The man thinks he’s hot shit, but his extremely geeky underwear [knee socks, hah hah, the only funny thing about this spot], his excessive chest hair and his male pattern baldness say otherwise. Furthermore, the woman doing the laundry clearly ain’t impressed with him. Okay, fine, I can partly buy the symbolism of nerdy guy = undyed cloth.

The metaphorical significance falls apart, however, by the sheer violence of the assault in the next portion of the clip. You could say the woman throwing the man into the washer is so absurd that it just highlights the metaphorical freight of the commercial [into the washer goes the undyed fabric]. However, the commercial undercuts its metaphor by using highly non-metaphorical sounds of struggle and cries of pain from the man inside the washer. It is impossible for me to think that the woman threw undyed CLOTHES in the washer because the supposed symbol for the CLOTHES is acting in the way that any HUMAN BEING would if he had been pitched into a tumbling device and tortured. Yes, tortured. The obviously HUMAN sounds of struggle and pain override the equivalence between man and undyed clothes and make him a HUMAN BEING undergoing ASSAULT, which completely derails my attention.

As if the graphic violence weren’t enough, the end results are just as disturbing. Why is the black guy smiling so peacefully after having just bounced around in a machine that caused the white guy obvious physical distress? Why is the black guy about 20 years younger than the white guy who went in the washer? Why is he black in the first place? Why is he so desirable [as connoted by the white woman’s lustful glances] in contrast to the white guy? WHAT THE HELL?

So, to recap, a young, white, generically attractive woman shoves an older, white, supposedly unattractive man in a washer. Out comes a young, black, generically attractive man. How many biases can one cram into a single commercial? You’ve got sexism in the assumption that laundry is women’s work. You’ve also got sexism in the portrayal of guys as objects you can toss into the laundry and simply “clean up” to fit your fantasy of what they should be like. You’ve got ageism in the assumption that the older guy is undesireable. You’ve got heterosexism in the fact that the clothes are symbolized by various types of guys whose ultimate goal is to gain the woman’s desire. And you’ve got that old chestnut of racism in which the white male is seen as unfashionable, undesirable, deluded, weak and probably impotent, while the black male is seen as sexy, strong, highly desirable and full of “raw animal magnetism.” As a comment on  Feministing noted, it’s a “rare trifecta” of racism, sexism and xenophobia.

There’s another commercial in the same series that makes the bias even more apparent. In this commercial, the older white guy from the first commercial is reading a porno about busty black young women jumping out of washers. A non-busty young white woman, connoted as homely, comes down to do her laundry. She and the man share looks of disgust. She confiscates his magazine. He glances at the magazine, lying on the floor so that you can clearly see a busty black woman jumping out of a washer, and then he throws the young non-busty non-black woman into the washer.

As the man sits on the washer, waiting, the non-busty non-black woman struggles, cries and bangs around inside the washer. Her protests diminish, however. The man on the washer rubs his hands together in anticipation of a young busty black woman. When he opens the washer, the same young hairless black guy from the first commercial comes out. He and the white man look at each other with puzzlement. The commercial ends by saying “Coloreria Italiana: What Women Want.” Racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia ensue.

This is an ad that ran in Italy for an Italian product. I understand that there are different levels of what’s acceptable in the media in different cultures, but this series of commercials is blowing my mind for ANY country.

Another free modeling app

Another free modeling app published on No Comments on Another free modeling app

It looks like CB Model Pro operates on the same relatively easy system that Poser magnets  and DAZ D-Forms do, only with more sophistication. Perhaps this is the free modeling app that I’ve been looking for — one that allows me to make organic and industrial shapes relatively quickly?

Comic Life for Windows

Comic Life for Windows published on 1 Comment on Comic Life for Windows

Plasq finally made a Windows version of its sexy comic creation software, Comic Life. I’ll have to inspect the trial version. If it’s better than my limited Comic Book Creator, I’ll go for it….

EDIT: Comic Life allows you to customize your own page templates, a feature that Comic Book Creator does not have. It also has a greater variety of vectorized speech balloons, including thought bubbles… This looks promising.

“Traumatics thick and fast:” goddamned “reality” shows

“Traumatics thick and fast:” goddamned “reality” shows published on 2 Comments on “Traumatics thick and fast:” goddamned “reality” shows

While watching/listening to some eps of Crowned, a mother/daughter pageant competition “reality” show, I realize all over again how screamingly manipulated these so-called “reality” shows are. If there’s an interview that appears before a suspenseful contest, that interview probably occurred way after said event. If there’s an interview where someone seems to make a nasty comment about someone else, that could have been taken out of context where someone was talking about a passing annoyance, rather than a deep animosity…or the interviewee could have been talking about the food served on the set, rather than any one person.

And the actual narration heightens the tension by making everything superlative, either positively or negatively. If there is a supervisor of a competition, the supervisor is the MOST talented and MOST well-renowned and MOST qualified, according to the announcer. If there are awards, they are the MOST significant and the MOST expensive. Of course, if there’s an elimination, it’s always the most TRAUMATIC event ever, DEVASTATING to the losers, STUPENDOUS to the winners. Thus, tension and suspense are artificially created and maintained. Don’t get me started on the sappy music, which spells out what viewers should feel [“Feel sad DAMMIT! FEEL SAD!!!!”].

Also don’t get me started on the manufactured cattiness of Crowned, the lascivious camera angles, the enforced ditziness, the “cabana boys,” the lisping gay stereotypes, the profusion of male “experts” who for some reason supposedly know more about pageant stuff than the women who are actually in the pageants…

There’s no indictment of pageant culture here because there’s no real expose of it here. It’s just a purely formulaic “reality” show that shows the threadbare nature of the “reality” plots.

P.S. The quote is from Sweet Head by David Bowie: “Traumatics thick and fast / Your faith in me can last / Besides I’m known to lay you, one and all!!”

Nemu Nemu: recommended Web comic

Nemu Nemu: recommended Web comic published on 1 Comment on Nemu Nemu: recommended Web comic

I just found a slight, charming Web comic to share with you: Nemu Nemu, about the adventures of two 10-year-old girls and their pets, two living stuffed animal dogs who talk.  The strips don’t have individual punchlines; rather, they knit together to form a story about Anise, Kana and the stuffed doggies. I like this strip for its simplicity, especially the streamlined style of drawing which, with just a few well-placed lines, accurately captures the energy and enthusiasm of the characters. I also like the aimable, rambling nature of its slice-of-life chronicles. 

EDIT: The Nemu Nemu characters get BJDS and, like most owners, take pictures of the shipping box, otherwise known as box porn. 

EDIT 2: And this is how many doll owners think of their dolls: as silent friends.

Publicizing LHF…Help please!

Publicizing LHF…Help please! published on 2 Comments on Publicizing LHF…Help please!

 These are my ideas so far for publicizing LHF. Does anyone have any more?

biz cards
updates here
updates at Daz boards
upload to Renderosity
Deviant Art account and updates there
LJ feed
announce at Men With Dolls :p domain
Vampires do it in cold blood T-shirts
transcripts at
ads on other Web comics [hmmmmm…]
those goddamned comics rating sites
get interviewed for Web sites
tables at Arisia and Anime Boston [scary!]

Some books for LHF research

Some books for LHF research published on No Comments on Some books for LHF research

Avenues to Adulthood: Origins of the High School and Social Mobility in an American Suburb (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1987) by Reed Ueda. It talks about Somerville High School during the period when Will would have gone. Apparently a bitch to get a hold of used….

Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America by John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman. Because I need some more information about precolonial and colonial life.

Not a centaur, but still crushworthy

Not a centaur, but still crushworthy published on No Comments on Not a centaur, but still crushworthy

Several years back, Twigling made an equine girl custom CG 1.0/PB hybrid [I think] with articulated horse legs and a little tail and floppy horse ears and a custom dappled paint job. Now that Twigling is cleaning out her house, she is selling the horse girl to me. I haven’t received her yet, but below you can see some pictures of the cuteness I will be receiving eventually. 

I like most the loose and messy aesthetic at work in her slightly uneven paint job, unhemmed clothes and uncombed hair. She looks like she’s been running around on the moors. And see her little ears poking out from her hair? Also she has a smirk, which endears her to me. Not to mention her voluptuous, muscular thighs…


“Beware of Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookie.”

“Beware of Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookie.” published on No Comments on “Beware of Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookie.”

At the end of one of the Pink Panther movies, Inspector Clouseau is dining at a Japanese restaurant when the server hands him something on a tray. It is a fortune cookie, which contains the following message: “Beware of Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookie.” Being completely oblivious, he takes a while to realize that he should have paid attention to the very person who gave him the fortune cookie. Meanwhile, the “Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookie” turns out to be Clouseau’s assistant, Cato, who takes every opportunity to ambush Clouseau to keep his self-defense techniques up to snuff. Cato attacks Clouseau. A melee ensues. And…curtain.

Beyond the stock comedic elements of drag, slapstick and food fights, this scene also depends on the viewer’s familiarity with fortune cookies. As presented in this country, fortune cookies are a phenomenon strictly associated with Chinese restaurants. Your average American probably thinks of fortune cookies as a Chinese invention, rather than a Japanese one, which is why “Japanese waitress bearing fortune cookie” is incongruous and therefore funny.

However, fortune cookies really are Japanese in origin, argues researcher Yasuko Nakamachi. Years of painstaking research into the fortune cookie trail have convinced her that the ubiquitous dessert of American Chinese takeout restaurants actually first began in shrine-side Japanese bakeries, where the wafers were hand-cooked over open coals. Reports of these Japanese fortune-cookie ancestors date back almost 200 years in literature and illustrations. Go read the article for speculation about how Japanese temple wafers hopped the ocean to California and somehow developed into a quintessentially American institution that was firmly associated with Chinese cuisine. 

And don’t tell me you didn’t learn anything today.

Do you have questions about my dollses?

Do you have questions about my dollses? published on 3 Comments on Do you have questions about my dollses?

If so, fire away. This is about my BJDs only. Questions about the characters’ personalities, dolls’ construction and decoration, expenses, etc. welcomed. My BJDs are…

Frank, a Volks Yukinojo head on a DollMore Model Doll body with TwigLimbs arms, painted by me

Jareth, a modified Dollshe SA Haund, mods and faceup by Armeleia

Jennifer, an Obitsu Friend Gretel, all default

Sardonix, a Delf Juri 06 head on a modded ShinyDoll Thaasa body, mods by elisa_maza, faceup by me

Will, a Soom Sabik I.B. Hunter, default faceup accentuated by me


My Fake Baby: British reborn doll documentary

My Fake Baby: British reborn doll documentary published on No Comments on My Fake Baby: British reborn doll documentary

Hmmm…interesting. Commentary later. 

LATER: I’m rather annoyed by the narration’s tendency to overdetermine the women’s experience by addressing the reborn dolls as if they are actual children, rather than dolls. From what I can see so far, owners of reborn dolls range in their reasons for owning and playing with reborn dolls, just in the same manner that people own and play with any other type of dolls [duh], from action figs to Barbies to RealDolls to 3-D models. The very title of the docu, My Fake Baby, sensationalizes the reborn doll interest as a pathological baby substitute for old woman with empty aching wombs, but, if you investigate the docu closely, you’ll see the dolls functioning as much more than kiddy substitutes.

I’m particularly interested by the woman in the first segment who freely admits that the reborn dolls fulfill her fantasy of having an odorless, docile, troublefree substitute for a child. She says that she likes kids, but she clearly likes the concept of kids, their cuteness from a distance, rather than the actual mess and responsibility. I’m not going to fault her for this ambivalence about children, and I would like to note that she’s rather pragmatic about her interest in reborn dolls. She has an idea of the psychological functions they have in her life, and she treats them like they’re real, but she knows they’re dolls. This is how most people I know play with dolls; they talk to them as if they are real, but they do know that the dolls are dolls, albeit heavily freighted with symbolic value. Despite the film’s attempt to make her come across as some sort of unhinged weirdo swaddled in the pink gauze of unreal baby fantasies, she actually appears to me as a relatively well-hinged doll owner whose major challenge is her obvious dissociation from any real-life experience involving kids.

I really like the artist in the first segment who paints the reborn dolls. She gets into the technical details and allows viewers to see that making one of these dolls is no different from any other detailed artistic endeavor. At the same time, the artist also knows that reborn dolls have a special affective power because they look like babies, which we are all programmed to respond protectively toward, and she cannily exploits the natural human interest in small Homo sapiens with her advertising techniques. She apparently goes out into public with her wares and gets people to do double-takes, then hands them business cards. She respects the emotive power that the dolls have for people and that people use the dolls for various emotional purposes, but she also has a straightforward view that she uses the dolls to make a living. Despite the paternalistic narration of the documentary, the artist also comes across as sane and average.

P.S. I’m never really impressed by the caliber of YouTube commenters, but I would like to point out that some of the commenters think that the reborn doll owners are insane because they talk as if the dolls are alive and because they spend lots of money on them. Oh good God! Just because someone treats an inanimate object as if it is alive, that is not automatically grounds for insanity. For just a few examples of the general populace treating inanimate objects as if they are alive, look at someone who gets angry at a rock after tripping over it, the loving personification that car owners may give to their cars, or the antagonism many people direct toward their electronic devices. Rather than being pathological, personification is more like an innate human tendency. There are pathological extremes of personification, to be sure, but I don’t see that any of these doll owners are manifesting it.

As for the argument that spending a lot of money on something means that someone is insane, that is just a different way of saying, “I cannot fathom what you are spending money on, so you must be nuts.” It’s not even worth a serious rebuttal, since it’s just a value judgment.

In today’s Totally Awesome category…

In today’s Totally Awesome category… published on No Comments on In today’s Totally Awesome category…

…please marvel at the music video for Dionysos’ Tais Toi Mon Coeur. Just in case you couldn’t figure it out from the associated pictures, Tais Toi Mon Coeur is French for, literally, Be Quiet, My Heart. In the dismissive, bouncy tone of the song, it can better be translated as Fuck Off, Heart. The animation reminds me of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride or The Nightmare Before Christmas. It looks like it’s acted out by Victorian automatons. The general ambiance smells like Poe or Baudelaire, with that sort of cheer in gloominess. For some reason, it also reminds me of the BTVS ep Once More With Feeling and Spike singing to Buffy. Then, of course, there are the generally fascinating allusions to death, resurrection, self-objectification and mannequinization [which should be a word if it isn’t]. All in all, it’s quite an entertaining little number. I like the little wire-and-wood articulated hands and the shadowed eyelids the best. Clunky translation of lyrics here.

Woo hoo, improvements in rendering time…

Woo hoo, improvements in rendering time… published on No Comments on Woo hoo, improvements in rendering time…

Okay, I just wrestled my aforementioned Daz scene into a state of more submissive submission. There are still 2 characters in the scene, Anneka and Will, with high-res textures on their bodies, clothes and hair. But I have reduced the number of props in the scene to 30 [from 60 — mostly I got rid of a lot of individual books]. Also I slashed the size of most of these texture files to about 20% of original size and dropped posability information from  the props that didn’t need it. [The stuffed animals don’t need to be posable; they just need to sit there and look cute.]

As a result, now a render of the entire scene [OpenGL, 8 passes per light] takes 40 seconds, rather than over 60.

Hiding everything except what will appear in the frame gets the rendering time down to 18 seconds. I’d like to have it render instantaneously, a la digital camera, but that won’t happen unless I get a more powerful processor or start reducing the resolution of the characters themselves, which I refuse to do.

Test of part of an actual ep of LHF

Test of part of an actual ep of LHF published on No Comments on Test of part of an actual ep of LHF

I just tested with posing, setting up, rendering and laying out part of LHF 1.1. Already I see some things I need to improve on.

1. First and foremost, I have way too many props, textures and gimcracks in my sets. 2 figures in an average set, which is just a sparsely decorated corner, with maybe 60 props total [mostly books :p] and 3 lights, really slows down my compooper. I can’t pose characters quickly; there’s a lag time of several seconds. Also rendering takes too long for my tastes, meaning that it takes 60-180 seconds. I need to relegate as much as possible to the 2-D backdrops except for furniture and 2 books, 1 telephone, 1 doll, 1 mermaid, 1 stuffed animal….the absolute essentials. I must resist the temptation to go insane with detail in the sets. They should be very simple, streamlined and highly stylized.

2. The font in the speech bubbles looks horrid. I think it needs to be 9 point BOLD.

That said, I’m enchanted with how the new medium is working out. I can get much tighter camera angles out of Daz than out of my own physical camera. I can also put the digital dolls in much more realistic, squinched-up postures than I could with my action figs. Plus the digital dolls’ likeness is much closer to what Anneka and Will actually look like. Hooray!!!! Is it strange to say that I am most enchanted with the sagginess and wrinkliness of their faces and the elegance of their hands?


Multi-phthongs published on No Comments on Multi-phthongs

I always knew about diphthongs, but I didn’t know there were monophthongs and triphthongs as well. Monophthongs may be obvious [single, consistent vowel sounds], but triphthongs — single-syllable vowel sounds that vary three times over their duration — are more elusive. The only English example I have found is the pronunciation of “our” in dialects that drop the “r,” like a Bostonian accent, I guess, where someone would say “owww-uhhh-aaaaah,” to put it exaggeratedly.

Wow, I just greatly expanded the number of English words with the -phth- compound in them that I know. Monophthong, diphthong, triphthong, ophthamology [and variants], exophthalamos [and variants], naphthalene [and variants]. Man, that combination of letters together just looks odd.

Freakin’ fabulous fricatives and more

Freakin’ fabulous fricatives and more published on 1 Comment on Freakin’ fabulous fricatives and more

Fricatives are those sounds you make when you’re blowing air out your mouth, like ffffffff, sssssss, vvvvvvvv and zzzzzzzz. In fact, the word “fricative” begins and ends with a fricative! Frickin’ awesome!

Sibiliants are an awesome subtype of fricatives when the air that you’re blowing out is channeled by your tongue through your teeth, as in ssssssssss and zzzzzz. Wouldn’t you know — the word “sibiliants” begins and ends with a sibilant! Simply superb!

Plosives are those sounds you make when you stop air from going through your nose or your mouth, like bbbbbb, ddddd, gggg, kkk, pppp and tttt.  Oh look…the word “plosives” starts with a plosive. Positively preposterous.

Nasal stops are those sounds you make when air goes out your nose, but not your mouth, like mmmmmm and nnnnn. Hey, there’s a nasal stop begining the phrase “nasal stop.”

Affricates are sounds where you start blowing air out your mouth, then stop suddenly, so they are fricatives that end in plosives. They are sounds like chchchchchch and jjjjjjjjj.

As I was writing this entry, I just noticed that almost all of these terms for oral articulation contains in itself an example of the term it’s describing. They are self-descriptive. [There’s probably a technical term for that, but it escapes me now.] They’re almost onomatopoetic. Sound and sense sometimes do go together in a poetical way.

Me-me-me meme

Me-me-me meme published on 1 Comment on Me-me-me meme

Here’s a meme I stole from Batchix…


1. your name: William Philomel Ashby Cox.

2. birthday: Oh bloody Christ…you know…I…I forgot. Some time about 131 years ago.
3. place of residence: Slummerville, Masshole.
4. what makes you happy: lesbians, corsets, Baudelaire, girls who can kick ass. Ass-kicking lesbians in corsets reading Baudelaire.
5. what are you listening to now/have listened to last: My girlfriend trying to drink a blood/pomegranate cocktail and failing miserably.
6. do you read my lj: No. Do you think I should get one of these? Could I use it to promote
7. if you do, what is particularly good/bad about it:
8. an interesting fact about you: I’m named after a woman who was raped by her brother-in-law and then had her tongue cut out so she wouldn’t tell [Philomel]. Typical Greek myth…
9. are you in love/have a crush at the moment: I’m not so sure about that.
10. favourite place to be: Old Burying Ground outside Harvard Square…a great place to mope.
11. favourite lyric: I have control of a story untold / It begins with the father of sin / I walk alone in the garden of stone / I turn into the monster within / Life is too long for me / I realize that I miss being human — Awakening by The Damning Well … No seriously, I really don’t listen to music, although this guy I knew, Mark, used to play the Pet Shop Boys, so I can sort of stand them sometimes.
12. best time of the year: Winter because of the short days and weak light.
13. any pets? No, but, if I had one, it would be a cat.

1. a film: 300, if you like oily beefcake.
2. a book: The Collected Poems of Algernon Swinburne.
3. a band, a song and an album: Can I just go with my answer to number 11?

1. one thing you like about me: You’re pretty hot. I’d hit it.
2. two things you like about yourself: I’m a lot less stupid than I used to be. I also have slightly more fashion sense, which is saying a lot.
3. a picture of yourself! Here’s me over on the left. I have no idea who that is over on the right. :p

4.. put this in your lj so i can tell you what i think of you if you want. I don’t have an LJ, so I’m sticking it in hers.


Hemicorporectomy?!?!?!?!?!? published on 9 Comments on Hemicorporectomy?!?!?!?!?!?

I’m astounded, boggled and vomitoriously grossed out by my sheer accidental discovery of the extremely rare surgical procedure known as hemicorporectomy.

As the word itself suggests, a hemicorporectomy involves the removal of essentially half the body.

This medical dictionary says that the legs, pelvic bones, genitalia and excretory system [rectum to anus] are removed. I assume the reproductive system would be removed as well. This ain’t no double-limb amputation, people. It’s translumbar, which means that it goes through the lower back.

A hemicorporectomy usually happens because of a) a severe traumatic injury or b) horrible cancer of the lower spine or pelvic girdle  that doctors want to keep from spreading. It’s usually done in two stages. The first stage reroutes the excretory system to a colostomy bag. The second stage is the amputation.

Needless to say, this is a radical surgery with a high fatality rate, done only in the extremest cases. If a person does survive, he or she has many special considerations. For example, he or she has just lost half of his/her body weight, including circulatory system. He or she must be monitored to make sure that the heart is adequately adjusting a new blood pressure set point.  Also loss of the colon can lead to loss of electrolytes.

Survivors of hemicorporectomy face many mobility challenges. Obviously, without legs, they pretty much use wheelchairs or stay in bed. Furthermore, they have a smaller surface area on which to bear weight for sitting or lying. Pressure sores may result. Conventional prostheses are like bucket sockets, to put it crudely, with prostheses made from a non-breathing polymer to cap the lower torso. The polymer scrapes against the survivors’ skin, injuring them. Additionally, because the prostheses don’t breathe, the survivors cannot dissipate perspiration out of the area covered by the prostheses — a large area of their remaining body parts! — so they can’t regulate their body temperatures. This article shows some breathable, load-bearing alternatives to bucket prostheses. Check out the pictures, which give you an idea of what a clothed hemicorporectomy survivor’s lower body looks like. I’m still not clear on what’s keeping their remaining organs from falling out. Their diaphragms must be working hard, I guess.

So today I learned that people can survive without portions of their spine. That just amazes me. I always assumed that people needed their heads, necks and entire cores [body minus limbs] to survive. Now that I think about it, though, the entire core is not absolutely necessary. Ventilators can help to work the lungs, dialysis machines the kidneys, feeding tubes the digestive system, colostomy systems the excretory system. I suppose it is theoretically possible to move those bodily functions to machines so that the core consists of heart, [reduced] lungs, [reduced] digestive, [reduced] excretory, head and brain. That’s mind-blowing.

Apparently people can live without pretty much all of their bodies!!! Just think about it… People have been known to live without the following, where “without” means the absence thereof, not the non-working presence of… all limbs, hair, sweat glands, larynx, tonsils, 2 eyes, nose, 2 ears, 1 lung, teeth, tongue, upper palette, lower jaw, 1 or 2  kidneys, reproductive systems, 2 breasts, large tracts of intestine, spleen and other organs that I’m probably missing. People have also been known to live with portions of their brains removed. I want to say that I read about someone who was running successfully on one hemisphere after a radical operation designed to reduce seizures, but I don’t have a source for that.

Don we now our gay apparel…

Don we now our gay apparel… published on 2 Comments on Don we now our gay apparel…

Well, not really, but look we now at some gay ads, fa la la la la, la la la la. Radar’s feature, Gay for Pay, provides proof positive that gay-targeted ads rely heavily on stereotypes of effeminacy/drag, phallic symbols and the assumption that lesbians don’t exist. Part of me is offended by the clumsy use of trite gay characterizations, while part of me is offended that there’s only one ad explicitly targeted at women [the beer ad], although I suppose you could make a case for the Subaru ad [suits/sparkly dress] being for a woman as well.

Continue reading Don we now our gay apparel…

Intimidating Anneka

Intimidating Anneka published on No Comments on Intimidating Anneka

Yeah, this most closely resembles my mental idea of Anneka: tall, buxom, androgynous and intimidating, definitely a dom. Custom second skin outfit from Zew Clother, corset and sleeves [Devilicious] from Runtime DNA freebies. I think I might actually be getting the hang of this Daz stuff…

Ergh, now that my aches have subsided, it’s bed time.

Corpse Re-Animation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists

Corpse Re-Animation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists published on No Comments on Corpse Re-Animation Technology Still 10 Years Off, Say MIT Mad Scientists

I’m especially amused by this old Onion article because the mad scientists who bring back the dead are from MIT, which is where Janet, who reanimated her sister Velvette, studied. 

Serviceable scarf // Clothing porn

Serviceable scarf // Clothing porn published on No Comments on Serviceable scarf // Clothing porn

I’m lazy, so I am not modeling one from scratch. I will just take the Bushy Tail 2.0 that I downloaded for all my therianthropic purposes, make it spiral and hang like a scarf, export as OBJ, then import and use a custom shader on it to make it look fuzzy. Totally tubular. Why reinvent the wheel when I can modify someone else’s wheel? 

By the way, I’m now coveting Wardrobe Wizard. It does what CrossDresser does — translate clothes from one figure to another — but it does so with more sophistication. CrossDresser’s translated clothes only fit the basic shape of the target figure, not skinny ones, fat ones, transgendered ones, etc. WW2 allows you much more control to translate clothes so they fit fit, skinny, transgendered and otherwise altered figures. Since my mostly highly used character is a transgendered Victoria 3 [=Will] who wears lots of women’s clothes but doesn’t have boobs, WW2 should be very useful.

I would buy it right now if it weren’t $75.00. Fidget, fidget.

In an effort to learn 3-D modeling…

In an effort to learn 3-D modeling… published on No Comments on In an effort to learn 3-D modeling…

I have downloaded Wings3D, a free modeling app, and am following the tutorial in the user’s manual on how to model a [very elaborate] doghouse. I have no need for a doghouse, but the tutorial does get me familiar with the program. So far everything seems pretty intuitive, responsive and user-friendly, although I can’t figure out how to easily view my model from the bottom…or how to rotate it un-automatically.

When you’re cold and clammy already…

When you’re cold and clammy already… published on 1 Comment on When you’re cold and clammy already…

You hate getting any colder. Will explains.

Will is freezing in part because he has no scarf. I can’t find a decent scarf anywhere, so I’m so annoyed that I have to model one by my own damn self…

Jacket is  actually part of a Chinese set that I bought specifically for Chow, but it goes along with Will’s atrocious sartorial sense.

Blaming the victim in transphobic violence

Blaming the victim in transphobic violence published on No Comments on Blaming the victim in transphobic violence

Talia Mae Bettcher writes an interesting article in Hypatia about transphobia and its connection to murders of trans people. Basically she points out that there’s this persistent theme that trans people are deceivers and that, if one checks what’s in their pants, one sees what they “really” are. So what we have here is the essentialist notion that gender depends not on how one dresses, acts and identifies, but what one covers up with one’s underwear. 

For example, you can see  that assumption at work in the stupid “Transvestite [sic]” ad for 42 Below Vodka, lambasted here. The ad, which basically tells the story of a potential hook-up between a sloshed guy and a sexy woman which ends in the man’s panic because the woman has a dick, depends on the shock of revelation. The ad wants you to agree with the freaked-out man who discovers that the woman isn’t “really” a woman because of her sexual equipment. This line of thinking would have you believe that the woman is really a man.

Bettcher discusses the deleterious effects of the “trans=deceiver” idea in relation to the 2002 rape and murder of Californian 17-year-old trans woman Gwen Araujo. In part of the pre-murder humiliation and torture, her attackers forced her to show her genitals. The defendants and the defense tried to argue that the sight of Araujo’s penis violated her rapists in the same way that her rapists violated her. Basically, they were saying that Araujo’s identity as a trans woman was a bullshit performance because the existence of her penis was the ultimate truth, negating how she identified herself and how others perceived her. 

Additionally, the defense claimed that Araujo, by being trans, was being a malicious, provocative liar who inflamed resentment and rage in the attackers by having a secret penis. Her secret penis, once revealed, blew her attackers’ minds so completely that it was like a mental and emotional rape. Of course they lashed out at her, raping and killing her! Well, that’s what the defense and the defendants would have you believe.

So…let me see if I get this straight [hur de hur hur]. The defense and the defendants were arguing that Araujo was asking to be raped and murdered merely because her physical unclothed being and her self-identification didn’t “match,” according to some idiots’ limited, provincial, antediluvian concept of gender. And I’m supposed to believe that trans people are using secret genital weapons to flagrantly oppress non-trans people and even rape them emotionally. Oh yeah, and your average straight man is so pathetic and unstable as to become completely unhinged by the merest sight of someone’s penis. Do I need to articulate how biased, insulting, stupid and just plain damaging these assumptions are to everyone involved, trans people and straight guys alike [and trans straight guys]? How the hell is such a bigoted argument supposed to excite one’s sympathy for the proponent?

The rhetoric being spewed in this case argues eloquently that feminism should not limit itself to women’s rights, but also encompass gay rights and trans rights, since much of the sexism and stupidity holding gay people and trans people back is the same sexism and stupidity holding women back.

I was going to title this one “I was raped by the sight of a secret penis!!!!” but I wanted to make it explicit that I am not using such language seriously, but rather mocking those who think that this is a valid defense. Also, despite the fact that this is a transparently public blog, I shy from explicit topic titles, preferring instead to be explicit in the post content, as if that makes it less raunchy.

“And then everyone in the book gets pregnant at the same time!”

“And then everyone in the book gets pregnant at the same time!” published on 1 Comment on “And then everyone in the book gets pregnant at the same time!”

After an excoriation of Nineteen Minutes, Vanishing Acts and My Sister’s Keeper last night, Jill and I determined that Jodi Picoult is actually writing romance novels gussied up to look like Big Important Literature. I personally have a great appreciation for both romance novels [good and bad], as well as Big Important Literature. What particularly pisses me off about Jodi Picoult, though, is that her writing has such transparent, sweating pretensions to Big Important Literature, but her bad form betrays her.

And by bad form, I mean that

she protests that she addresses serious, soul-searching problems, but she always escapes any real emotional or psychological weight through a deus ex machina, rather than pursuing her knotty dilemmas to their knotty and complicated limits. For example, in My Sister’s Keeper, the main story is something about a teenager who was conceived as a potential marrow donor for her older sister. The teenager tries to become emancipated from her parents, which brings about the implosion of the family. Anyway, at the end of My Sister’s Keeper, Picoult killed off her main character basically for no other reason than to fuck with the readers. In an interview in the back of the paperback copy, she insisted that she was being realistic to have a random tragedy occur to said main character, but it was irrelevant, adding nothing to the story, serving only as a pyrotechnic display to get readers to remember the book.

Another example of Picoult’s bad form is her ham-handed bungling with themes and symbolism. One of the characters in My Sister’s Keeper is a fire fighter who ends up fighting a fire that his son, a budding pyromaniac, lit. The fire fighter broods extensively about fire as a metaphor for situations getting out of control, while not realizing that the situation with his family is burning out of control IN THE SAME DAMN WAY THAT HIS SON IS SETTING OUT-OF-CONTROL FIRES. I could forgive the unsophisticated irony if Picoult didn’t bang me over the head with it every time the fire fighter and the son’s viewpoints came around. Her stupidity with symbolism reminds Jill of Johanna Lindsey writing in Warrior’s Woman something to the extent of the fact that her doofus alpha male lunkhead’s name, Challen, “lacked only a G-E to make it ‘challenge.’ She wondered if it was symbolic.” Of course it’s symbolic, and, if you think your readers are impercipent enough to need it spelled out for them, you’re insulting your readers AND demonstrating what an unskilled writer you are. [NB: That’s a rare stupid moment in Lindsey’s book. The rest is pitch-perfect for what it is, and what it is is a sadomasochistic lust novel. Anyway, the stupidity that Lindsey evinces only momentarily appears terminally throughout Picoult’s work.]

Just to make it clear, I respect a good romance novel as much as a good piece of Big Important Literature. I respect even more a good romance novel that pushes the generic conventions, The Spanish Pearl by Catherine Friend being a pretty good example. And I respect Big Important Literature that uses romantic tropes and themes [anything by the Brontes, for example]. I just don’t respect romance novels that push generic boundaries BADLY, and Picoult does it BADLY. She would write perfectly zippy, compelling, melodramatic romance novels if she would just stop trying to address Important Ethical Dilemmas and Heart-Wrenching Current Events and just admit that she is writing soap operas and GO FOR IT!!

Jill says Nineteen Minutes is pretty interesting, despite a high dose of drama… At least, she says, it’s better than Vanishing Acts, which she wants me to read so we can bitch about it together. I love a good, meaty piece of schlock…

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