Well, it’s certainly been a while since I updated this. that’s the problem between meaning to do something and actually doing it I guess. While I haven’t had any deep writings to warrant writing about here, I have gotten some art since. Then I finally get an idea for something I want to write about, but when I came back to check on it, I found out I’d already written just about everything I was already planning to write on this! So I guess I’ll make this a more general update post then.
Rolling the Dice
Still haven’t found a new gaming group and the LFGS I used to go to closed earlier in the year so no way to find a game that way either. The play-by-post Pathfinder game I was in with Jasmine died off as the GM had life issues, and the 4th ed D&D play-by-post has basically been on pause since December – funnily enough the only people still responding right now are the GM, me, and the other player that I had my initial intro thread with. Not sure what’s going to happen there yet, as the GM has not clarified what he wants to do as we were about to go into an encounter.
I got back into WoW with a female Tauren frost death knight using the white and blue skin – I mean it was just begging to be Frost in those colors! I got into a raid guild my dad was running with already, and when I actually started raiding with them I was blowing up the charts DPS-wise a lot! Cleared a lot of content and raids, and even got the challenge appearance for the Frostmourne swords on her, but raiding fell apart near the end between people wanting harder progression, a few folk who couldn’t do mechanics, and people showing up. I did part of the Antorus raid, but I had to move WoW to a VM because it kept crashing in WINE for some reason I couldn’t figure out. This of course made it significantly more annoying to do anything with, but performance was still great, despite it stressing my 5-year-old computer to the max.
Black Friday weekend though I saw that Elder Scrolls Online was available with Morrowind for 50% off. I’d heard that it ran fine in WINE now, and had been eyeing it, just waiting on a sale like this to pick it up. So I bought it, threw it on my 1TB SSD, and tried it in WINE. Once I got past the launcher patcher sucking and redownloading many many GB again, I found it was working great, with the only glitch being the first and water textures glitching a bit, which was unsettling at first but something I could live with. While it took me a bit to wrap my head around how the skills worked, as it was fairly different from any other Elder Scrolls game, the rest of it felt like a legitimate TES game, compared to everything I heard about how it was at launch. A double XP event started shortly after, and away I went!
As a side note, ESO is largely to blame for why I’ve been quieter in all my other channels, Twitter, Discord, and Telegram among them. There’s just SO MUCH to do! And I mean beyond just the daily stuff, though that’s a time-eater too. I’ll actually probably come back to this later, or make a separate post about it. Probably the latter, since I’d like to talk about my characters and stuff.
Funnily enough, I haven’t felt the urge to go back to WoW at all since I picked up ESO, and it was right after I paid for 3 months time. Too bad you don’t get anything beyond access in WoW, like how ESO gives cash shop currency so unused time isn’t wasted. Ah well.
My social life is fairly unchanged from where it has been as well. Thanks to that WoW guild I finally had a reason to get Discord running regularly, and I got sort of involved with the draconity.org Discord.Iv’e been less present there due to the previously mentioned ESO eating most of my free time, but I’m keeping a claw in. I also joined a “server for dragon singles” but honestly haven’t paid any attention to it – first due to the D.org chat being more interesting, and then due to ESO. Still single and open though for any interested dragonesses!
As far as meatspace, as I said, with no gaming group I don’t have anything besides work and shopping that gets me out of the house. Would like this to change eventually, but with no FLGS there’s not much out there to get me out of the house, and as I mentioned in a previous post I have to keep furry/dragon stuff on the DL around work folks, and I’m finding I did enjoy not having to tone that down around friends when I did have the group of local friends I hung out with.
Department of Post Corrections
Finally, there’s a couple addendums and updates I’d like to make or add to existing posts.
Buried Seeds of the Future
I did eventually get that commission I was pondering, leaving Swiftwind out of it due to how shi became her own thing and how shi didn’t really fit thematicly.
I’d like to re-address this more contentious post as well. Since I wrote this a year ago, I’ve seen a different slice of the trans culture, so to speak, by way of Twitter, and the perspective there seems vastly different from what I saw on the Transformers forum I mentioned. While there no doubt are trans folks who just want to be their target gender, and do NOT want to be called trans, just man or woman, there is a segment of non-binary folks that have adopted trans as a way of describing their gender rather than relying on any of the (fetishized) other descriptors of the in-between states.
So yeah, some trans folks don’t want that to be considered their gender, while some do, and as a self-chosen label, it is their right to ask to be called that, and in that respect I was wrong. I suppose it’s all just a bit of a mess.
In general, genderized descriptors and genders themselves seem to be in major flux as the english language and Western society tries to figure out how to handle the long tail of gender expression. Gender constructs have been useful to a society in general as it allowed folks to get a quick grasp or mental picture of someone when discussing or reading them. Men have a certain general look, as do women, and pronouns have been standardized over hundreds of years to take advantage of it.
Now, with gender being looked at as a spectrum, some folk just try to find the standard pronoun closest to where they fall, wile others have revived the singular “they” for a neutral approach, while still others sought to create one that tries to express themselves rather than using any of the standard ones, expressing in language what they are already expressing physically and mentally. This sort of breaks the entire purpose of pronouns however, as it’s a coin toss whether anyone outside certain circles can even make sense of the many pronouns out there. It’s no more informative to those people than the singular “they”. Heck, I’ve had people confused by my use of “shi/hir” in referance to chakat characters in furry circles, and that’s been in use for many many years among furries for herms! (Also the lesser used sie, but I always preferred shi as sie is also a pronoun in German, thus room for confusion.)
As I see it, eventually things will standardize out, either by the lesser used pronouns dieing off from lack of use much like ‘sie’ did, or being slowly adopted by the general population via general knowledge. Until then, all I can say(and do) is be flexible, respect people’s choices in self-expression whether you think them stupid and offensive or not, and just do you.
‘Kats Gonna ‘Kat
Finally, I want to wrap this up with some more self reflection on my own alternative gender self, Chakat Swiftwind. Pretty much everything I said previously still stands, in that I acknowledge shi is indeed a reflection of myself, but not the primary “me.” As I put it not too long ago, I am a dragon OS running on human hardware via driver emulation, and said dragon OS is also acting as a hypervisor for a chakat VM that tends to crash due to missing libraries. (The missing libraries in question are the chakat traits I do not possess myself, which “breaks” the chakat presentation a bit.)
I was actually reminded of the latter part when I did a bit of RPing with another chakat. Shi was a lot more of a snuggler than I tend to be these days, tending towards those things rather than discussion, though some of that wasn’t so bad. Especially when things got intimate, though our interests diverged far enough in that respect that it seems to have died out pretty fast after that.
While I still haven’t really been able to do much with hir, I did finally, after probably too many years, get hir a real reference sheet!
The corset and leather jacket have already sort of become hir “default” outfit, but as shi is or was Star Fleet in the chakatverse for a time, I got a bust shot added as well, since I didn’t have any pictures of hir in that. The handpaw shot is for artists not familiar with chakats, which was a lot more than I realized – but then chakat numbers have been on the decline for years.
Funnily enough, right before I got the “real” referance sheet I was able to get an image by the artist I consider to be the defining one for chakats, Kacey Miyagami! She was doing an experimental flat color sketch, and it happened to fall within my budget range, so I jumped right on it.
Even though the only judge of what is “official” is Goldfur hirself, it still helps me feel a bit more “official” just having been drawn by Kacey, at least among the community.
Speaking of “Official,” I’m still of two minds about how Goldfur is integrating hir MLP fanfic-verse and the Chakatverse. The Chakatverse started out as an imitation Star Trek, but quickly became it’s own thing to the point where Goldfur retconned some earlier stuff that had fanficc-y, for lack of a better word, ties to other things. Shi also explained hir own take on certain tech concepts which were fairly different.
Hir MLP fics on the other hand, while they do their own thing, specifically use canon characters such as Twilight Sparkle. They are undeniably fanfic at this point, and with hir current crossover story, they’re also directly tied into the future of the chakatverse. If it wasn’t for the canon characters being involved, I’d probably feel better about it, but it’s hir creation and shi can do what shi wants with it anyways. The bit of story I wrote with chakatverse Swiftwind however was set in around the same time period… shortly before everything went south, but if I write any more I have to factor that in now as well, or just plain go my own way. Since I’m playing in hir playground anyways with a chakat, I’m obviously going with the latter – though I’d prefer otherwise!
Probably my other disappointment is that I can’t really do much with hir outside of online – with the fur-friendly group I was hanging with gone, and work not really a good environment for it, I’m stuck with expressing hir online. Since dragons are fairly common and I’m among old school gamers, I can get away with putting up a few of my tame pieces on the wall at work, and I’ve even toed the line by using my dragon icons for avatars on a few programs. Can’t do that though with Swiftie. Even if it was fairly neutral to fur, chakats would have their own baggage of sorts that a generic furry wouldn’t have to deal with.
That’s probably enough for now, so I’ll leave it at that. Maybe my next post will come a little sooner than six months later!