Thursday, November 15, 2007

Continuing (finally) Tuesday's post

I promised to finish discussing what I had planned to discuss in my last post, but I didn't get to it until now, with a full day of work yesterday and today school and spending the afternoon trying to add music and credits to the last part of Act 21 for my fandub project, which I finally did finish and which I am uploading to YouTube right now.

My computer is working okay now speed-wise but this is only after at least one forced restart (orchestrated by turning the computer off and then turning it back on again).

Transfer progress first, I guess. I have made some. A couple weeks ago, I stayed up late after a long day at work to fill out the application online for Cal State San Marcos, the school I'm planning to go to (it's the closest university to my house). I know it was a couple weeks ago because I printed stuff out from it on my new printer. Anyway, after being busy last week with the book review, I got back to business this week and filled out a Request for Transcript form so that my transcript will be sent to Cal State San Marcos ASAP. I also went to Financial Aid today and asked them when I need to do the FAFSA. They said January (which is what I had figured was true anyway, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask).

I am going to graduate next spring, and since graduating after a semester where you don't take any classes seems sort of silly, I made plans to take classes next spring. Initially, I probably would've gone with more transfer articulation stuff (classes at my school that correspond to classes at CSUSM -- where if you take the classes that correspond you don't have to take the corresponding university courses, supposedly anyway), but seeing how hard it's been to keep up with schoolwork and such with a full-time job, my mom's idea of only taking one fun class sounds better. Not to mention that I already have at least 20 units over what Cal State requires for a transfer student and don't need a ton more -- I'll be approaching 90 units just by the end of this semester (Cal State only takes 60 -- I'm just hoping they take my IGETC stuff or I'm screwed).

Fortunately, the spring print schedule came to campus today (ahead of schedule -- they weren't supposed to be available on campus till the 19th) so I snagged a copy. There were quite a few classes that interested me. ART 210 (Printmaking) is interesting me the most at present, as is Basic Office Skills (which I've taken some sections of already). I was bummed that the class in "research in the online world" (a Library Science class) wasn't being offered next spring, cause since I'd be graduating from our little 2-level junior college library to the 5-story CSUSM library and so I may have to learn research all over again. I'm also bummed that the next "preview day" (this Saturday) for CSUSM I can't go to cause of work.

I found out about the "preview day" cause some CSUSM reps were at school today and there were fliers for the "preview day." The lady at the table told me they do campus tours every weekday so even if I can't make it to that event I can still arrange to tour the campus and stuff. Although, if it doesn't work out, I like exploring. I just don't want to get lost is all.

While I was at it, I picked up a folder at another rep's table with Financial Aid info. I'm gonna need that for sure.


AND NOW THE CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC: DUMBLEDORE. He is now "officially possible as a slash fiction character" as I mentioned in the title of the last post. For those not familiar with fanfiction-speak, "slash fiction" is fiction focused on homosexual relationships, which are usually denoted by a / between the names, hence the name.

That's right. DUMBLEDORE IS HOMOSEXUAL. Now I know everybody probably knows this already. It's been news for a while, and very heavily promoted. I am only writing about it because I have not had a chance to work out in writing my reaction to this revelation.

Now, some background. This revelation came about at a live reading/book signing J.K. Rowling was doing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. At some point, she began taking questions from the audience. One fan asked about Dumbledore's love life. She said:

My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] ... Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.

(Thanks to for the quote, from their transcript of JKR's Q & A section)

Now that she saved this information for after the publishing of Deathly Hallows is certainly shrewd, given the controversy it generated (it might have hurt book sales if revealed pre-DH, I think). Also Deathly Hallows is where we learn of Dumbledore's unusually high admiration of and friendship with Gellert Grindelwald, the wizard Dumbledore would later go on to defeat in a famous duel in 1945 (the duel mentioned on Dumbledore's Chocolate Frog card in Sorcerer's Stone), so the timing sort of fits in that respect as well.

Now I should mention right now that I am a Christian and, while I am not anti-homosexuals in an extremist fundamentalist sense, I do believe the Bible is true, and it says that homosexuality is wrong. Now I suppose there may be lines to draw here. Did Dumbledore ever have sex with another man? I think that is the main Biblical issue with homosexuality -- the idea of having sex with someone of the same gender. It's not so much that being sexually attracted to those of the same sex is a sin (although it's not the norm, for sure) as is the actual act of having sex with someone of the same gender, which is deemed by the Bible as not natural. (One verse I know of on this is in Romans: "For this reason [because they rejected God] God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations with those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error" [Romans 1:26-27, English Standard Version]. The Old Testament has various laws forbidding sex with non-human animals too, as if anyone would be that desperate for sex or even sexually interested in an animal in the first place -- this was long before the Minotaur story, mind you, where a woman fell in love with a bull and even had a "child" with it [the Minotaur], and even in that story her love is considered unnatural, the result of divine punishment on her husband).

I worked with a guy in the deli at the Stater Bros. by me named Matthew. He was a homosexual, the first one I'd ever worked with (and he's a Harry Potter fan too, strangely enough...I wonder what he thinks about this revelation). He didn't like to be called "homosexual" cause it implied he was having sex with other men, which he was not. I think he wanted to be called "queer." Not that I ever called him queer; that's a little weird for me.

Anyway, I am a little nervous about this news, since Dumbledore is my second favorite character (after Hermione). I'm not sure how to view him. I was able to accept his faults as portrayed in Deathly Hallows mainly cause JKR set it up from the end of Order of the Phoenix onward to show that Dumbledore was not perfect.

There does not seem to be any evidence that Grindelwald was homosexual; JKR went on to say Dumbledore's love for Grindelwald was unrequited, which means that even if Grindelwald was homosexual, he and Dumbledore weren't "partners" in the sense that they felt any mutual erotic affection. Age was not a factor here as Grindelwald was actually younger than Dumbledore by 2 years and thus there was not much of an age gap.

This does not upset any relationship preference I have as far as the fandom goes, not like how the Epilogue finally forced me to capitulate my preference for the Harry/Hermione ship (the Epilogue of DH clearly states that the end pairups are Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione). I was not a fan of any Dumbledore pairup, normal or slash. I somewhat supported the Dumbledore/McGonagall ship, but only cause it was the only Dumbledore ship I knew of.

Oy. I better go to bed soon cause I have to get up at 5:30. I'll discuss this more later. But one last thing: in hearing discussion on this topic through the podcasts, I heard that there are people who support the "slash" pairup of Lupin and Sirius. I do not get that pairing at all. Some people claim that pairing is why Lupin was hesitant to marry Tonks (who had feelings for Sirius, her cousin, before his death). THAT IS NOT IT AT ALL. Lupin was hesitant to marry Tonks because he didn't want her to have to share in the discrimination he experiences as a werewolf. Case closed. As for Sirius, I don't think he ever had any romantic relationships, normal or slash, at any point in time. Hope that settles that.

More later. Good night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

School work piles up, new YouTube account, transfer progress, Dumbledore now officially possible as a slash fiction character, etc.

As you can see, I am as usual not writing here much. I am busy, as usual, with school and work. With the semester being almost over, not to mention the school schedule getting disrupted from its normal pace by the wildfires, the work is piling up at school as teachers try to rearrange their semester schedules to accomodate the fact that we missed a week. I had a journal (small essay) due for Lit last Thursday (on White Teeth, the novel we've been reading, which we finished recently -- I did mine on "Irie Jones as the sane one" cause for some reason she is my favorite character), plus a test in U.S. History, and my book review for World History was due the following day.

Having some half shifts at work last week really helped; we have some new people in our department so I got a break from my seemingly endless string of all-full-shift weeks. And I do this week too except that tomorrow and Sunday I have full shifts (10-7) but that's not too bad. The new people are a girl named Rebecca, a girl named Liz, and these two baggers named Matt and Corey who got promoted to GMC (General Merchandise Clerk, which is what I am, except since they just started as GMC's and I've been a GMC since I started at Stater Bros nearly 10 months ago and have gotten a few raises, I probably make a bit more than they do -- in fact, I'm sure I do, cause when I started as a GMC I started at $7.65/hour, which was 15 cents over minimum wage, and now I make $8.55/hour) and ended up in the bakery.

Anyway I worked almost non-stop on the book review the last couple weeks, even ordering a book I felt would be useful through Barnes and Noble and getting it like 5 days before the paper was due (a week after I ordered it). And then when I finished typing it up the night before it was due, it was wayyy too long. Like 12 pages (endnotes included), when the page requirement was 3 pages. I sent it to my teacher asking for advice and how to condense it, and she replied back on Friday night (the night the paper was due) that she'd proof it and if it needed a rewrite, she'd give me an extra day. So I waited and waited for her response and finally got it on Sunday. She said my paper was so well-researched and "fabulous" that she'd take it despite the length. Which was awesome.

Now that I can take a breather after that very time-consuming project, I can focus on other things, like my two Lit papers (an essay project on White Teeth and a homework assignment where we do scholarship research) and the Dark Mercury Arc Fandub Project, part of which has finally been posted on YouTube.

One drag to using YouTube is that they once again deleted my account, after giving me quite a bit of hope that they would not when they didn't do so even after blocking like 4 of my videos in one fell swoop. I guess trying to upload this pic as an avatar is what did it, cause that was the last thing I uploaded there.

Anyway, I managed to create a new account, and as a precaution, put some of my old videos on my Veoh account and created a backup account on YouTube. Here's links:

Primary YouTube account

Backup YouTube account

Veoh account (where even the creator of Veoh sent me a friend invite!)

Oops gotta go 4 minutes till class. More about transferring and Dumbledore later. Bye.