Late Night Ramblings

Hello beautiful! It’s been a LONG while.

I apologize for the hiatus. I’m busy with a lot of new and exciting things in my life, so I haven’t found the time to just sit and write. This post is gonna be more of a rant and life update rather than my usual commentary about geekdom, Asian-American issues, or feminist topics. So if you follow my blog for any of those reasons, you can come back tomorrow. Or if you do find my personal life interesting, then read on, brothas and sistas!

Well I guess first things first, I’ll start with what’s going on in my life. I’m officially on a competitive hip hop dance team! *insert applause here* It’s always been a dream of mine to really invest myself in the SoCal dance scene and I’m very grateful the opportunity has been given to me. I still intern for Boogiezone so now I’m balancing these two amazing dance activities and I couldn’t be more appreciative. The only REAL issue I have is that the commute fucking sucks. Like, I’m not even going to sugar coat it. I get that’s the sacrifice I have to make in order to pursue my passion, but it’s just super difficult for me. If I could, I would move out to LA in order to be close to my dance world, but then I run into the problem of not having sufficient funds to be paying rent and supporting myself in general. Ugh, life is TOUGH! These are the dog days, you guys. We just gotta keep working hard until we take our last breath.

Damn, sorry I got real morbid there. ONTO happier thoughts, I’m really enjoying my refurbished life as a dancer. Notice how I didn’t say “new.” (Yet I said refurbished which not only is pretty much the same thing… I made myself sound like a piece of furniture. I shake my head at myself sometimes.) I don’t want to say this is my “new” life because I like to think of our lives as an ongoing journey that continues to reinvent itself day by day. If you’ve followed my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I’ve mentioned a couple times that the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 really sucked for me. I really went through a toxic time and lost myself for a bit. But now I’m proud to say I’m very happy and at peace with myself. Sometimes you just gotta remove yourself from a situation to truly understand the bigger picture. I’m happy to say I am in a healthy and happy state of mind and although I do still stress out from time to time, I am grateful for the life I’ve been given. (And btw, stress is normal! Too much of it is a bad thing.)

Aside from that, I’m just finishing up school and working. I’m trying to find a job out in LA so that I can officially move out, but right now I’m still searching. Ugh, the struggle is real! And yes I am being picky about what kind of job. I’ve been working at this coffee shop for almost 5 years. I don’t need another shitty customer service job, thank you very much. I’m a semi college graduate… I need something a little better.

I’m still attending conventions! I’ll be going to Comikaze next weekend on Saturday so if you happen to be going, let me know! 🙂 I love meeting other fellow bloggers in person! I’ll also be at Pacific Media Expo the following week (also on Saturday) and it’s kinda up in the air right now, but I might be going to Long Beach Comic Con as well. So if you’re going to be at any of these conventions in the next month, don’t be shy, come say hi! I’ll be cosplaying as Psylocke in her X-Force uniform so let’s take pictures and be friends. Cuz lord knows I need some.

Just kidding! It’s not like I’m desperate for human interaction or anything. Haha….

Ok I am. I SWEAR I’M NOT WEIRD! Anyways…

I’m actually prepping to get started on Maid Cafe plans for next year. I’ve been brainstorming some ideas so all I need to do is just discuss them with my director and get the OK to start implementing everything. I’m pretty excited, to be honest. Maid Cafe is my baby and I just love watching it grow and become better and better each year. I’ll be honest, I used to be really fixated on the “competition” (a.k.a the other Maid Cafes) but now I’m just like “fuck it.” They’re gonna do their thing, and I’m gonna do mine. At the end of the day, that’s just how it is. The biggest competitor I have is myself and I can only become a better leader if I continue to strive to be better than who I was yesterday. So with that being said, y’all better be excited for next year’s Anime Expo. We goin’ in, son.

I’m trying to save up and buy myself a nice camera so that I can go back to vlogging. (This is why I haven’t posted any videos on my channel… in case you were wondering.) So you know what that means! I’m going to be partaking in Black Friday festivities this year. I AM SO EXCITED! I don’t know why nerdy shit like this gets me ridiculously pumped, but you best know I’m already packing my shit and setting up camp. Don’t underestimate me because I’m small. I will cut a bitch to get my camera.

Okaaaayyy maybe not… but I WILL be aggressive. I’m going for the sneak attack. You won’t even see me coming cuz I have the stealth of a ninja. HADOKEN!!

(Ryu’s not even a ninja. LOL. Don’t judge me, it’s late.)

Um… so this post wasn’t very entertaining like some of my other content. So I’ll just leave you with one of my crazy ass vines. (Which btw… go follow me. Ya know… if you have nothing better to do.)

It’s good to be back. 🙂 See you guys soon!

-Ally

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The Fake Geek Girl & Heroes of Cosplay Controversy

Photo from albinwonderland

Photo from albinwonderland

Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

So I’ve been wanting to chime in on this topic for a very long time now, but I’ve just been waiting until the right moment. The reason I think this moment is the right one is because of what’s currently happening in our community right now. As some of you may or may not know, the SyFy reality show Heroes of Cosplay is turning our community into utter chaos. How this show is relevant to this topic… well, just stick with me.

First off, a Fake Geek Girl is defined as a female of any age faking it in the geek culture, i.e. cosplaying characters she doesn’t know, saying she’s a gamer but has never touched a Playstation, etc. You might have seen some of these girls or know some yourself. But here’s a newsflash: Who the fuck cares?

A girl cosplaying for attention? Oh my gosh, who would do such a thing?! It’s not like anyone, male or female, dresses up in these costumes to get attention or anything! It’s not like your standing out from the crowd by wearing something different, right? Who cosplays for attention nowadays anyway?!

If you’re cosplaying, then you’re obviously trying to get noticed. I mean, THINK ABOUT IT. If you don’t want to get noticed, wouldn’t you wear clothing that doesn’t make you stand out? Let me break that down even more. If you’re trying to get noticed, you’re trying to get people’s attention. So by the transitive property that we all learned in high school, ANYONE cosplaying is trying to seek attention.

And why is that a bad thing? People make that out to be a terrible, vain factor of cosplay. If you poured blood, sweat, and tears into your costume as well as months and months of paychecks, you totally deserve to show that shit off and get recognition for your hard work. Cosplaying for attention isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually the norm. So get that out of your head that we females are doing this to get attention.

If you’re thinking more in terms with the fact that females who wear revealing outfits are trying to get attention, then so be it! Maybe they are, maybe they’re not. Again, who the fuck cares? Is it ruining your life? Is it deterring your will to live? No, so stop making it a big deal. If they’re confident in themselves to model a sexy cosplay, then let them do it! If you’re more on the conservative side and don’t really like sexy cosplay, then don’t do sexy cosplay. There’s no rule book on how to cosplay. Photographers are going to flock to sexy cosplays whether you like it or not. This is how the world works, unfortunately, but don’t let that get you down. Don’t let other people’s opinions morph your view of yourself. Strut your stuff, and be proud of whoever you’re cosplaying as.

So let me state the obvious here: most of the content creators in our geek culture, i.e. comic book writers, artists, manga artists, etc, are STILL mostly men. Therefore, they will most of the time have a patriarchal perspective on most things. If you’re wondering why most female super heroes are dressed that way, that wasn’t a coincidence.

But hello, welcome to the year 2013. Females like this shit too. I know, crazy, right? Females like anime, video games, and comic books. Some females are aspiring directors and filmmakers. Some females want to make their own comic books. If you’re sitting here reading this like this is a new concept, then again, welcome to the year 2013. Sorry your distant planet didn’t have concepts like this.

This is no longer a Boys Only club, and it never should have been. There’s plenty of strong females who are content creators and it’s only a matter of time before their work can be seen by millions of people. Call me idealistic, but I have faith.

So let’s stop feeding this outdated idea to young girls that they have to grow up and be a secretary and like Barbie. If they want to be a secretary and like Barbie, that’s totally cool! But if they aspire to be the President and like Iron Man, then that’s pretty damn cool too.

And the next time you see a girl “faking” it, just remember, we all had to start somewhere. You didn’t come into this culture being a fcking expert at Call of Duty. Let these new fans explore their interests and don’t be an asshole about it.

And how does this tie into the current Cosplay crisis? Well, a lot of fans are upset at how the show is portraying cosplayers. Apparently, the show is showcasing a very catty, egotistical, dog-eat-dog world of cosplay. While I agree with these fans that this is an inaccurate portrayal of the cosplay world, I’d also like to remind everyone that this is TELEVISION. Hi, Welcome to the year 2013 again. TV is fake and sometimes scripted. Oh my gosh, no way!! You mean the Bachelorette doesn’t really find true love at the end?!?

The producers of the show are going to edit the B-Roll as they see fit. What makes it into the show is whatever makes it into the show. A TV show or movie or any sort of film is STORYTELLING at the very core. You need a plot, you need characters, and you need a conflict. Otherwise you might as well show a live stream of a convention. And as we all know, that’s definitely not gonna get any TV show good ratings.

To me, it’s also an issue of new fans vs. old fans. Also known as elitists vs. noobs. Now these people who don’t know what the hell anime or comic books are are gonna start cosplaying and acting like they know shit. Raise your hand if you heard this argument before.

Let me repeat myself. Let these new fans explore their new interests. If a new fan discovers cosplay through this show, that’s great. Share your craft. And see this as an opportunity to be someone’s senpai.

So fellow Internet friends, what have we learned today? I hope you’ve taken something away from this, and that I’ve challenged you to think a little differently. 

Leave a comment and let them feels out.

-Alice

We Need More Female Super Heroes

Hey guys! Happy Monday!

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Photo from indigograce.wordpress.com

I recently read this article from xojane.com about how a fellow fan was so captivated and moved during a panel at this year’s SDCC. The panel featured actresses involved in Marvel movies and they spoke about something a little out of the ordinary to address at conventions: sexism. When the moderator asked, “what was the most egregious example of sexism you’ve seen on set?” EVERY actress had a story to tell.

And for this, I’m glad. Mind you the audience for this panel was 85% white males who obviously can’t identify with this kind of discrimination in the workplace. After reading this article, I felt so proud to be a woman and I felt so compelled to write this post.

If you’ve kept up with my blog thus far, then you know I’m a proud Geek Girl. If you don’t know what a Geek Girl is… well… let me fill you in. We’re the minority in this fandom. Why? Because this fandom is still being controlled by men who feel this is still a “Boys-Only-Club.” Now I’m not trying to say EVERY man is this way. I’m just stating that most are and it creates a schism in our community. A community that’s supposed to be welcoming and open to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and age. But alas… here we are in the year 2013 and we still see this shit happening.

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Photo from videogamesblogger.com

I’m not trying to say that I hate all the females in comic books, I’m just merely saying we need more female LEADS. For instance, take Lara Croft here. She’s one of the few successful female leads in a video game series. I admire her, as I do with my other favorite female super hero, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. We need more females characters like THIS! Strong, determined women who tenaciously achieve their goals. Now that’s a story worth writing.

And why do we need them as the LEAD versus just another supporting character? Because the whole series/video game surrounds the main character’s life! You get to understand the complexity of the character and see that character’s vulnerable points, which is what makes that character so human and relatable to others. You don’t get those kinds of connections with supporting characters. I mean, why do you think people love Captain America so much? Because he was that scrawny kid from Brooklyn that had a heart of gold and wanted to protect others. A lot of people can identify with that.

So my fellow readers… this argument I’m making ties in with the ever-going topic of “Fake Geek Girls.” That topic alone is for another time, but I’d just like to leave you with this – be open and welcoming to your fellow geeks. Don’t you fcking judge them if you don’t personally know them. Don’t we get that enough as fellow geeks? How many times do non-geeks look at you like you’re an alien when you start ranting about the latest video game releases or the latest comic books? And don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about! We need to stick together and support our love for the fandom.

So… don’t fck it up. Just be cool with everyone.

-Alice

It’s Cool to be Uncool

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Hey guys! Happy Thursday!

Do you remember back in the day when being a “geek” or a “nerd” was a bad thing? I mean, remember Screech from Saved By The Bell? Toby Isaacs from Degrassi? Umino from Sailor Moon?! Nerds in mainstream media have always been portrayed as unattractive, unpopular, and uncool. But now I’d like to argue that here in the year 2013, geeks and nerds have become the coolest kids on the block.

For the sake of clarity, I will be using the term “nerd” and “geek” interchangeably because there’s a difference between the two. Check out Burr Settle’s article on this topic by clicking here.

Flashback to 10 years ago. In elementary school, I had an obsession with Hello Kitty and anime. (Still do, lol.) This was the year I started attending anime conventions with all my older friends. I was one of the “smart” kids (which is ironic now because my IQ is totally average.) To put it bluntly, my interests were a lot different than most of my friends my age. Don’t get me wrong, I also loved the mainstream music and pop culture at the time (Spice Girls anyone?) but whenever I would start talking about Dragonball Z or Pokemon in very deep detail, people would look at me funny. And then I’d realize only a handful of the other kids were just as enthusiastic as I was. That’s when I realized… people dubbed us as “geeks.”

The point I’m trying to make is that being a geek was seen as weird and different… and not in a good way. I mean, when I would try to talk to the other kids about anime and video games, I always got mixed reactions. The boys in my class would understand whenever I’d talk about Gundams or DBZ, and the girls would kind of have a general idea if I talked about Sailor Moon. But there was never any moment I can full on geek out with anyone over these things. To avoid being an outcast, I always changed the subject to a topic everyone would know about, just so I can fit in and not be different. Has this ever happened to you? I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this.

It didn’t help that I started cosplaying the year after. Now MOST kids definitely didn’t understand this shit. They couldn’t even comprehend why I loved these Japanese cartoons so much, and now I’m dressing up as the characters and attending conventions? I was always pretty sad that none of my school friends could relate to what I loved.

Now here we are in present time. The reason why I argue that it’s cool to be uncool is because the mainstream media has made the “nerd” or “geek” likable to people. No longer are the days of awkward, isolated social skills, but now we’re put to the forefront and are admired by many. I mean, Big Bang Theory anyone? One of my sorority sisters told me she loved that show and I was beyond shocked when she told me that it was basically about these group of nerdy friends just being nerdy. I kept thinking, “Wtf… Hollywood actually finds this amusing now? Whatever happened to us being so weird and different?!”

And I think that’s just it. Being a nerd or a geek is about being different. It’s about separating yourself from the “norm” and to people nowadays, that’s cool because we all want to stand out somehow. It’s seen as people having so much depth and knowledge about different things and it makes them cool. It’s crazy to think the day has come where my vast knowledge of the first season of Pokemon is actually valuable to people.

I can distinctly remember a time when the manga section of Barnes and Noble was literally just one shelf. Now if you go to a bookstore, the manga section takes up a whole aisle. The proof is in the pudding, you guys. Just look at how Hollywood has infiltrated Comic Con. I remember when I was younger, there wasn’t any big shot Hollywood actors and directors there, and if there were, it wasn’t really emphasized on different news outlets. Now Comic Con has become one of the most anticipated events in the entertainment industry.

I’m not saying any of this is bad. In fact, I welcome the attention! It’s about time cool stuff like anime, manga, video games, and comic books are getting their chance to shine in the spotlight. Look how well all the comic book movies are doing in the box office.

Therefore, I’d like to end on a positive note. This goes out to all the kids who always felt like no one understood their obsession with their favorite anime, comic book, or video game. We’re the shit. Embrace your geeky and nerdy knowledge. Because people wanna be like us now.

-Alice