And that’s another semester done with.
I only enrolled in the one unit as I’d chosen the rather intense introduction to biological chemistry. Juggling that and another unit between work would have been a precarious balancing act which I probably wouldn’t have survived.
Although it has no bearing on my geology degree at all I wanted to expand my knowledge about chemistry further. It’s given me a great deal of insight into the fascinating chemical factory that is our bodies. It’s good to be able to understand what happens inside us on the molecular level, beyond the vague notion of a simple name of a metabolic process. The intricate complexity (not to mention possibilities) of it all is humbling, and it amazes me that as organisms we have developed to this point. Similarly the history behind the experimental processes that lead us to where we are today in terms of knowledge is incredible.
It also played havoc with my inner hypochondriac. Throughout the course I came out of lectures convinced that I had the following diseases: Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, a pair of failing kidneys and several extra chromosomes.
Despite doing very well on assessments during the semester I choked on the exam quite badly with a severe bout of anxiety. Trying to interpret answers with the constant need to urinate is not easy, and I blanked helplessly. I left ~70% of the ‘long’ answers blank, and then helpfully remembered all information once I left the examination room. I find it infuriating that I scored less on the unit than other people, when it’s clear that I have more knowledge about it than them. It’s insightful at least, in that I figure I’ll look into medicating myself for exams in the future to avoid a repeat of that.
I guess the entire unit did badly and was bumped up in score though, because I managed to score a pass in the end.
Despite all that my applications to University of Queensland and Griffith University have been rejected, and while I didn’t get an offer from QUT in the first round of offers, I still might get a place in the second round in the middle of this month. I can’t say that I’m too optimistic, and the energy and excitement I was channeling in the move has been severely diminished, but I reenrolled at UWA to go full time next semester if it falls through.
This won’t be an ideal situation for me. I want to start living my life with Atpaw rather than having to defer it for another half year. I’ve also been looking forward to the interstate move as some kind of cathartic process in building a different life for myself. I haven’t really been enjoying my current surroundings for the last couple of years. I loathe the constant feeling that I’ve had my two friends stolen from me. I hate seeing those friendships enjoyed by random strangers. Trying to maintain an inter-continental friendship is about as effective as trying to do the same with a relationship. The whole thing makes me feel abandoned, mocked and foolish.
I don’t like feeling that way, and the hatred that it generates. It erodes my self worth and drops me over and over into the depths of depression which I continually have to draw myself out of. The struggle of it all is mentally exhausting.
I’m finding the furry fandom in general is becoming increasingly unsatisfying. As I detailed back in April after returning from FurDU, it’s not something that resonates well with me anymore. I like my artwork and commissions, and I love my furry pornography, but a majority of the extended social aspect is disappointing. After a string of attempts to contribute or approaching people resulting in a null response I’m thinking that it’s time I focus my interests elsewhere. (Regardless of how dull other parties find them)
On that note, I’ve been dabbling in geology when I can, delving through my text books and trying to keep on top of things while I’ve been away from that academic side of things for the last year. I take a fair bit of pride in being able to interpret the physical landscape around me, to discern what has happened over the millions of years. I'm still learning, but it's like I'm privy to this great big secret that's in plain sight to everyone else. Layers upon layers of history that make up a dynamic planet.
I’ve been doing a few chemistry experiments with some of my rock samples and it’s been great fun. I’ve found a website which supplies laboratory equipment and I’m hoping to set up something a little more formal once I move, which doesn’t use pint glasses and scotch tumblers for volumetric flasks and beakers.
Regardless of what happens, I’m looking forward to getting back into my rocks for 2013.
Good news everyone! bastett
is going to be back in Perth soon, and camping weather is upon us.
Seems like a reasonable excuse to get out there and do some camping and socialising. I've had a lovely looking site in the Warren National Park pointed out to me that looks like it would be ideal, with minor facilities to make things a bit more comfortable.
We'll be leaving on the Friday, 5th of October, around 11am I figure so that we have plenty of time to get there and set up, and find an alternative site if none are available, stay there two nights and then scoot back on the Sunday.
Fees seem reasonable. From what I can gather it should be somewhere around the vicinity of $40.00Warren Park info
And that's the gist of it. We'll sort out the rest as we go along.
And that's another semester down at UWA, with another about to start up.
I guess the biggest thing of note this year is that I'm in a relationship with atpaw
, as we started to date around the beginning of the year. We've been good friends for a while, and I guess as we got closer and closer it seemed like the reasonable way to progress. It's developed really well, works on multiple levels, and I'm really looking forward to the two of us developing it further. I have to admit, at one point I was scratching my head and pondering 'So this is what one of those functional relationships feels like!'
I would never have predicted that things would end up where they are between the two of us, but then again I guess nobody plans these kind of things. I'm pretty darn happy.
On to the school side of things though, this semester involved some introductory courses, pre-calculus and chemistry.
Mathematics is as fun as I remember it. The last time I touched this kind of stuff was 18 years ago. There's a large degree of elegance to it, like taking a chaotic mess and deconstructing it gradually into structured, ordered bits that make sense, or solving an elaborate puzzle, peeling it away bit by bit, revealing more of the mystery until the solution finally presents itself. Excellently stimulating.
The prevailing attitude when I talk about how much fun mathematics is seems to be 'Well just wait until you get up to [insert more advanced mathematics here]. You won't be saying that then!'. I can see what they're trying to say in that things get more complex, and just plain weird, but I'm still not buying it. I'm really looking forward to the challenge. The atitude reminds me of people who don't see the fun in something like camping, because it seems unreasonable to willingly make yourself grimy, dirty and uncomfortable.
I was a bit dismayed to see how the rest of the class performed. The final exam was tough, a lot tougher than I expected it to be. It's the second time I've ever had to stay in an exam for the entire duration of the examination period. (The first being my chemistry exam a week beforehand) The problems were heavily layered and it really took a lot of effort to peel it all away and lay it out as required.
Chemistry though, oh boy, chemistry is.. odd.
A lot of the chemistry course was very simple mathematics and easy to work with. It's the abstract nature of the whole thing that I struggled with at first. Trying to picture how invisible forces work on molecules that you can't see in the first place really did my head in for a while. Concepts were difficult to grasp, and because they all build on top of each other it really snow balled out of control. I managed to wrest control of it in the end, but I still feel like I under-performed, getting my lowest unit grade so far of 66%.
Having said that it's an amazing subject, learning about how everything in the world interacts with each other. It's like a delightful magic show, except that everything is real and happening right in front of your eyes. What an amazing place the universe is. I just wish I didn't struggle so much with it academically! Like calculus, it was the first exam I ever had to sit for the entire duration and there actually was not enough time for me to finish everything. I had to rush through a lot of things to the best of my ability in the last 5 minutes.
My usual complaints about university remain. I'm disappointed to see pointless rivalry between disciplines and general poo-pooing of various academic pursuits among students. The whole thing seems pointless and childish, but I suppose university is generally full of people who have just emerged from high school, so it can't be too surprised. I feel like I'm still struggling a bit applying my knowledge as well, but that will hopefully change as my confidence and experience grows. The additional work was welcome, the extra money meaning more trips to Brisbane to see Atpaw and less worry in general, but at the same time I would have preferred more time on campus. That, and I'm finding my work to be under-stimulating and toxic in general these days. I look forward to when I can resign in January.
With only one unit under my belt this semester I'll hopefully perform well. Then it's off to the University of Queensland to join Atpaw and study full time. I'm really keen to experience full time study, with the entire work day that I can devote to study and revision. Fun times lay ahead.
Teaching is over at UWA. We’re currently doing revision classes for exams in a few weeks, and it’s nice to see that my studying efforts are paying off. Concepts which frustrated me weeks before are now starting to make sense, and questions which I once found difficult now unfold nicely in front of me. I’m amazed at how much the unit has shrunk in size since the beginning of semester, but not that surprised as geology was exactly the same last year.
I sit at the front by myself just as I have for the whole semester, except for the odd straggler to class who takes the nearest available seat, which suits me just fine. The rest of the mature age students take up the rows behind me and then everyone else. My lecturer is throwing up example questions for us to figure out as a group. Confused muttering ensues behind me when he prompts us for a solution. I’ve got the answer figured out in front me, and after a few failed attempts by other students I finally speak up:
“It’s zinc positive two.”
"It’s zinc. Positive two.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because an atom with 30 protons will have an atomic number of 30, making it zinc. Twenty eight electrons makes it blah blah blah..”
I’ve mentioned before that I’m an introvert. There’s a perfectly good reason why I am in general a very shy person who doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. It’s not necessarily a bad thing so to speak, but it does prevent me from confidently reinforcing my knowledge in situations like that by proudly proclaiming I’m right. Similarly I think it also holds me back from participating in a lot of activities that I think I would enjoy.
I’ve been toying with the idea of fursuiting lately, chatting with a few folks about it, tossing around a few ideas of what I’d like to do eventually. I particularly like the common aspect I hear about it being a very liberating experience because of the ‘barrier’ that the suit creates between the wearer and the environment around them. Then I came across this post
and I figured yeah, this is something I’d like to try!
And then I read the comments.
And I think cripes, this sounds awful
It seems to pop up every time I start to talk about suiting. A culture of taboos, Do’s and Do Not’s. And what starts out as a fun curiosity all of a sudden becomes terribly intimidating to contemplate trying. Oddly enough the very thing I want to do in order to feel less self conscious about myself, is making me feel more
self conscious about myself!
And so hilariously I contemplate just doing it in private. At which I point I file the idea under ‘Maybe not for me.’
I wasn’t planning to (actually I was, but attending university put a wrench in the works), but a change of schedule in March made me decide to attend Furry Down Under after all. The decision had it’s consequences but I’ve dealt with them as best I can to minimise the impact of my absence, and managed to have an awesome time. (Duh! Furry convention!)
Notable moments include going out to the pool and spa in the middle of a heavy rain storm with limited visibility and chilly temperatures, attending a rubber fur party with atpaw
, and the fursuit walk down to the beach. It was such a great setting to see a whole bunch of critters frolicking about, and the first fursuit walk I’ve ever attended. (All others I’ve usually been either busy/hungover) I’m certain at least four people drowned when the lifeguard stopped patrolling to get his photo taken with a bunch of suits.
The con is very worthwhile and I’m delighted to see it getting bigger and bigger. I don’t know if I can give an objective opinion about Midfur anymore, but FurDU resonates with me a hell of a lot more. I actually enjoy FurDU for the con itself, rather than using it as a springboard to do touristy stuff around the delightful city of Melbourne. This is evident more so by the fact that FurDU is held in Australia’s vomit stained toilet, Surfer’s Paradise. (Unless your idea of entertainment and sightseeing involves vitriol and hookers) I recommend that more Western Australian furries check it out, although I have to admit that a good deal of FurDU’s appeal for me is that I’m interacting with people I’ve never met before, as no one else from Perth is in attendance. The usual regrets are in place. I simply couldn’t be everywhere I wanted to be in the short amount of time I had, and I didn’t get to socialise with certain furs as much as I wanted.
Life isn’t all flowers though, and there was a bit of a rain cloud hanging over my head for the duration of the event from the moment I got to Brisbane and it’s followed me home, and it still lingers with me at the moment. I had a good chance to think it over on the flight back to Perth, because it’s come up at other large furry events too.( Cut for navel gazing.Collapse )
On that note, I found a textbook example of a conglomerate in an exposed section of the Swan River bank on Saturday. I'm going to go back there on Saturday and properly record it, and I'm going to enjoy it damnit.
*That was a real response after I'd just finished going on at length about why the fox is such an important animal to me and an amazing animal in general.
I’m moving to Brisbane.
I had to go up there and change that from ‘I’m thinking of moving to Brisbane’, because I have a terrible habit of hindering myself. It’s a difficult mental block to try and get around, because it seems to be based quite heavily on self preservation.
A close friend of mine once introduced the concept of ‘risking success’ to me in terms of life changing events. It’s a train of thought that is extremely difficult for a person with a very pragmatic nature such as my own to get their head around, but I think I’m finally getting there. It’s a bizarre process of turning my fears of failure around on itself and turning it into a drive to succeed.
An excellent example is my experience as a mature age university student. For a long time the prospect of tertiary study as an adult looked very much along the lines of this:
- How will I earn enough money to live?
- What if I send myself broke and fail my courses?
- How will I handle the adjustment from independent adult to struggling student?
- This is reckless and irresponsible!
They’re valid concerns and certainly not worth dismissing. The unfortunate thing is that while I was busy predicting and trying to account for everything that could go wrong, I was also building myself a rather lengthy mental list that I could whip out any time I wanted to justify thrusting myself back into my comfort zone. No one wants to risk failure. So instead, how about I turn that on its head and dare to risk the following instead:
- I’ll earn more, be more in control of my life
- I’ll get a job that I can take pride in
- I’ll become more aware of how the world around me works
- My sense of self worth and outlook on life in general will be validated and improve
Well now, when you put it that way it sounds like it’s worth the risk after all. And I’ve been recently trying to apply that formula to how I live overall.
At the moment in I live in jm_horse
’s house in Perth while they live in London. It’s a big place, and I’ve never really had so much space to myself before. The rent is cheap, I effectively live in the city. It has air conditioning! My job, despite the change of owners in December, is flexible with my university hours. I’m financially secure, and academically performing well.
I never thought I’d be in the position where I’d admit to myself that all these nice things are bad for me. The idea always seemed abstract and absurd. How can things be too ‘nice’? It’s a bit of a spit in the face of people who are genuinely struggling as well. I know that, I’ve been there. It’s not fun. But I’m not at that point anymore.
One painful truth I’ve come to know about myself over the years is that I excel under pressure. I do all my best work when I’m under the pump, either through time constraints or workload, or even under the pressure of consequence of failure. That survivalist instinct prevents me from throwing myself into those difficult situations willingly. I know that I can achieve more, but I need to give myself a forceful push in that direction.
I’ve been idly pondering the feasibility of moving to Brisbane for several months now. (An idea persistently hinted at by a number of furs over there) I began to shelve the idea over time as something I might do in my final year of university, or post graduation. Then as I got closer to the end of my first semester I started to think about it more, and once I got the result of my first exams I started to take it more seriously. I achieved two distinctions, and it was, relatively speaking, very easy. I didn’t push myself nearly as hard as I could have. I pulled out of it without a graze financially. I was careless with my time management. There was definitely room for improvement. But if I continued as I am now, with my comfortable lifestyle, my comfortable job, I’ll continue cruise easily throughout the whole thing. And it’s that which is driving me mad. I know I’m capable of better. I don’t want to tread water anymore, otters are meant to swim.
With that in mind I’ve been proactively researching the move. My trip to Brisbane in January was more about exploration on a personal and practical level than anything recreational. (although I did end up having a wonderful time. How terrible) After a few weeks of cool down and contemplation I decided that this was something I wanted to pursue. I’ve queried about the demand of geoscientists interstate, my obligations at UWA as a probationary student, transfers to University of Queensland (hopefully), projected my costs and finances. I can do it. I’m going to do it. I could be a geologist within three years instead of six. The only thing that could possibly hold me back is myself.
So some time around January or February next year I’ll be flying out to Brisbane for good. It’s going to be terrible, and difficult, and traumatic, and it’s going to be for the best and the best of times.
I’ve just finished my first semester of study at the University of Western Australia. I’m doing a Bachelor of Science in geology. It’s hardly an ideal situation, but it’s something that I feel I have to do. Let me tell you what it’s like to go to university as a mature age student.It’s an isolating experience
Just in case you don’t know, I’ll set the stage. I’m 33 years old and starting my first year at university. I’m fifteen years older than a vast majority of the other students. Almost twice as old as them.
It really gets to you after a while. At first I was so frantic and full of panic to notice, but once things settled I really started to notice how much I stick out. I found it difficult to relate to the other mature age students as they mostly discussed things like their families and sports. My chosen major seems to be filled with people who have the goal of getting a high paying job in a field they don’t really care about. Hell, even the friend I do have on campus is an associate professor.
During my labs I think I’m looked upon as some kind of teacher or tutor, as everyone at my table turns to me and asks ‘So.. what do we do?’ I’m flattered that they seem to think I have all the answers but I’m just a student like them. (I think the young guy I usually partnered with started to resent me for always volunteering us to demonstrate something) The field trip.. well, I can’t really express how hard it was to work in a bunk environment filled with 17-18 year olds, let alone work.
I’m disappointed there are not many other students who I can really get into the subject with or perhaps share studies with. I’m already sick and tired of people telling me how boring it must be to study rocks, or looking at me with a vacant stare while I get into an excited spiel about metamorphic petrology. I miss Monty, the cat I was looking after, but I doubt I could lend the proper amount of time to tend to him these days. I don’t like the idea of doing this alone, but that’s where I am with it at the moment. I’m hoping my ‘second year’ will change a bit in that regard as I interact with people who are more intent in the course.You have no time for university
Despite all my cut backs and budgeting I still wasn’t able to afford to go to university and work at the same time. It puts me in the red by about $40 a week or so. I can’t put in enough work hours to support myself and study at the same time. Fortunately I’m a fiscally responsible person and I think in the long term, so I have enough money in the bank to support myself until I get my degree.
Not only is the balance of work and education a tricky thing, but so is free time. Every hour of free time spent on anything ‘frivolous’ such as recreation is an exercise in procrastination. There’s always
something that needs to be done. I’m used to going hard in spurts and then recuperating, but that hard, marathon that you run in getting a degree has been a bit of a shock to my system. I still take the personal time though. And my education suffers for it.A passing grade can be more unsettling than a zero
Around the middle of the semester I had a day where my timing was completely off by an hour. I left home thinking I’d be in time to reach my faunal remains practical for archaeology, only to get a reminder pop up on my phone that it starts in five minutes. Naturally I ended up missing it, and was going to get a zero for that part of the assessment. And I was cool with that.
By contrast, I had to do an essay on an oral presentation I gave about the Australian Holocene. I spent night after night scouring the library and browsing through journals and books searching for that little bit of extra evidence to support my argument. I was thoroughly gutted when it game back to me with a mark of 60%.
The 0% was deserved because it was my own fault and negligence that caused it. There was a perfectly valid reason behind the mark. By contrast, putting everything you have into something and then having it come back to you with the overall impression of ‘Pssh! Pretty average.’ can kill your confidence in a pretty big way. I felt rubbish for weeks, wondering if I wasn’t just pretending my way through all of this. In the end I spoke to my tutor and was able to sit in on one of the other labs to get a mark for that missed prac anyway. I got 80%, and utilising critique from my that first paper I managed to get 88% on my second.The difference between liking something and hating something is just a small twinge of perspective away.
I can’t tell you how much I fucking hate cooking.
I’ve always cooked most of my meals but starting university meant that I had to make a few drastic lifestyle changes, so most of my meals suddenly became vegetarian by default. It’s the cheapest way to do things in terms of nutrition and the amount of food you can eat.
But it’s a tremendous chore. After working half the day, being on campus half the day, and then studying the rest of the time, having to come home and cook meals for the next three days (that won’t go rancid in your backpack) isn’t a hurdle I really want to jump. All I want to do is pay someone else to feed me cheaply (fast food) which just sabotages me financially and doesn’t do my health any good. I swear I have never been fatter than the last three months.
Once my oven eventually gave out things became even more difficult. Which leads me up to..You’re one small dilemma away from packing it all in
It’s easy to prepare for the things that you expect to go wrong, but there’s so much just primed and ready to go wrong when you don’t expect it, and it’s those curve balls that really do the best job at trying to defeat you. The oven breaks. The washing machine breaks. (I managed to fix it by twirling random internal parts) I changed the battery in my UPS to keep my PC and monitor protected, then someone deliberately flicks the main switch to my house and fries the DVD player and stereo.
They’re tiny disruptions to a bizarrely structured and stressful environment that really just push you to the point of snapping and giving up. You’ll forgo everything for sleep
I wasn’t even giving it everything I could last semester and I was exhausted for a majority of it. Once or twice I just had to give up and write a day off of work and pay to catch up on some much needed sleep. Or I’d come home and not bother cooking, going straight to bed instead. Or go to a lecture and pretend to learn, only to come out of it and go ‘Well shit, that’s going to need some revision’ because my body aches and my eyes barely want to stay open.
Despite all of the above I really enjoy the learning. Geology has really gripped me and caught my interests. I’m disappointed that I won’t be doing any more of it for another two years. I find studying the earth to be utterly fascinating. I love learning about the processes that shape and will continue to shape the surface that we live on. And that’s such a tiny bit of it. There’s so much going on underneath us! Comparatively speaking the existence of humans are a species, as a society, everything we’ve achieved over the last 10,000 years and what we’ve yet to do is utterly ephemeral compared to what’s been going on in the past from a geological perspective, and what will continue to happen long after we’re gone. (Australian nationalists will be delighted to know that we’re just going to be pasted onto the side of Asia eventually). It’s humbling. It’s my kind of science.
I’m seeing things that I was completely and utterly oblivious to before. In ‘high-definition’ so to speak. It’s a physically painful effort to train your brain to notice all the details in a rock that I do now. The unit co-ordinator warned us that it would happen. I never really believed her until I’d been squinting and concentrating on samples long enough to want to vomit.
My assignments and projects are difficult and challenging, but enjoyable. The good kind of challenge, as it’s actually a process of progression and you have something to show for them at the end of it all. I think the word ‘challenge’ is thrown around too liberally by some in regards to a really shitty and unpleasant situation, but it fits nicely here.
I guess if I had to sum it up I’d say that I love the learning, but I really loathe university and university culture. It’s a young person thing.
I’ve completed 9% of my degree. Current forecasts put me at finishing my degree in six and a half years. No amount of forecasting on my behalf can predict where I’ll be in a year’s time. Just last week, my bosses sold their business and we have new owners, which left me wondering if I’d even have a job anymore and if I’d have to just bite the bullet and go full time. I’m still working so far. I’ve looked at doing my degree at University of Queensland in 2013 (I love the sound of the Mount Isa field trip) but I keep finding ways to thwart myself. The natural sciences faculty and staff at UWA are just running such a great course, and are such great people that I wonder if I’d get the same level of education from another institution. Where would I live as a full time student? Do geology majors even have jobs outside of WA? I sometimes wish I could switch off my sense of caution and foresight and just go.
For now though, Mr Feesh and I will just continue to go out and enjoy our rocks. It’s an otter thing.
I got home yesterday from Brisbane, and attending one of the best experiences of my life. It's hard to articulate into words the kind of fun and sense of well being that I had, but on the way to the airport ozkangaroo
played this song, and I think it sums things up nicely.
FurDU was, as well as being an excellent con, a significant step forward in my own personal development in regards to being comfortable with who I am as a person. I'm deeply grateful towards everyone I got to know during the experience.
And if you don't like the BEP, that's your problem, not mine. ^.^
For as long as I can remember when my bladder gets full and I get up to empty it, my first urge is not to head towards the room with the toilet in it. No matter what location or whose house I'm at I'll instead I'll head towards the front or back door. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, I promise!
For decades my family owned Newman Island, one of the coral attols in the Pelsaert group of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
. This ceased around 1994 when Dad sold his crayfishing outfit. I'm currently writing in more detail about the place, and it is a fascinating and unique place on this world of ours, and due to it's exclusive nature it's not something everyone will get to experience, so I want to document what is was life was like over there, but this is a good start for now.
The islands are located 60kms off the coast of Geraldton in Western Australia. This means there's not a lot of infrastructure! No electricity or plumbing. Power is handled by diesel generators, supplies delivered by carrier boat once a week. No ducking out to the shops when you need something. You shower with an overhanging bucket with a shower nozzle attached. Water is obtained through rain water tanks. Water is precious.
The toilet, which is a unique experience in itself, is located at the end of a jetty and opens up into the water. It's a bit out of the way and if you don't need to use it you don't have to which, as a male, is most of the time. As a result whenever I needed to urinate all I did was walk out the door, go around the corner, and piss on the ground.
I find it bizarre how much this behaviour is ingrained in me. With a perfectly functional toilet in the house I still walk outside and pee in the garden. It's something I have to be wary of when I'm visiting someone else. Even when I was living in my small flat in West Leederville I'd get up and walk out onto the balcony whenever I wanted to piss, realise what I'd done, and go back inside. My Dad does it as well. It's just kind of normal for us. Convenient for sure, but not without it's perils.
You see, the Abrolhos are statistically right up there as one of the windiest places on the planet. Typically it blows a gusty southerly, so you get used to facing the north while going about your business. But the wind is awfully strong and a bit flaky about which direction it wants to consistently blow in from. So sometimes it will decide it wants to suddenly come in at 30 knots from the west, stagger you, and turn your stream or urine into a fine shower before picking it up and splattering it all over you. Which is fine for some, but I don't swing that way!
I've been sitting on a written re-visit to Associated Student Bodies
for several months now. Old-school furries may remember that I wrote a piece about it over a decade ago that basically focused on why I thought the comic was terrible with a satirical spin. It actually went down pretty well. People thought it was funny, and I was just fine with that. Nothing bad about entertaining people, except maybe the way I went about it. Which is why I'm reluctant to let this new stuff out. Don't get me wrong, I still think the comic is terrible, I just don't really feel justified in putting this new piece out there, even though I wanted to approach it from a more sensible angle.
Let me try to explain.
It's pretty safe to say that I'm at my happiest when I'm being creative. This manifests itself the most in two activities for me: Cooking and gardening. That's always kind of there, but go back ten years or so and you could have added drawing into the mix. While my confidence in my cooking and gardening is sound, I really drifted away from the drawing. I was afraid of exposing that side of myself to ridicule, (there was a lot of room for it) which is something that I unfortunately see a lot of within the furry fandom. (Actually, on second thought it's not so unique to the fandom) Not so great when it's something that's so creatively driven.
Let's say for example that I somehow manages to write or illustrate my own furry comic. Obviously I wouldn't put it out there unless I was pretty happy with it. Then all of a sudden someone comes up to me and says 'Your shit sucks. Here is reason one through to seventeen why.' It bothers me to think that I'm doing that to someone else, because that kind of behaviour is something that would really make me pack up and not want to create anything like that ever again. Basically, unless I'm contributing in terms of creating my own work I don't really feel like I'm in any sort of position to criticise the works of others. I'd much rather encourage them. When people are willing to expose their balls I don't want to be the one who is going to waltz up and kick them.
Likewise with Jet's Massive Summer Orgy, the modified Dog Days of Summer book that we started on. I mean, it's funny but in a malicious kind of way. I'm really not so comfortable with singling someone out like that behind their back and creating satire at their expense. I know I sure as hell would feel hurt if the same thing happened to me on that kind of personal level.
It's behaviour that I've been been very wary of over the last couple of years and trying to train myself out of. I slip up every now and then but I like to think I avoid it for the most part. And honestly, aspects of ASB were perfectly find. I actually found The Lion in Winter to be kind of endearing and just downright pleasant and enjoyable.
However, I'm going to detach my halo for a moment and indulge myself.
Chris Mckinley went on to make another furry, gay themed comic that you may have heard of called Coyote River
. He wrote and illustrated it. I didn't care for it, but on a different level to ASB. Where I felt ASB was a massive disappointment, I was just kind of 'eh' about Coyote River. However, I have to give huge props to Chris for raising the bar in at least one aspect.
You know how in ASB it took one issue for one of the characters to go from straight to homosexual? Coyote River does it in one page( Not safe for workCollapse )
Chris Mckinley, I salute your bravery.