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Sorry about yesterday

Published February 6, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m sorry I totally dropped the ball and didn’t do a “Missing Letter Monday.”  (I really need to start getting those up in advance again…)  I’ll just pick up again next week.  I’d like to briefly explain what happened, but in the interest of laziness, I shall copy-and-paste the explanation I just posted on my other blog:

It starts out, of course, that it is that time of month, and a particularly bad one.  So, I’m a bit more hormonal than usual.  And when I was at the bookstore yesterday, I happened to find a new volume of one of my favorite manga, which I decided to read in the bath…and on the last two pages of the volume, it looked like my favorite character got shot in the face.  (Such violence is not super-common in that manga, but not as uncommon as I’d like.  However, the victim has never been such a long-standing character before; normally, if a good guy is killed, it’s someone who’s only just been set up in that arc.)  For the first time ever, I went to the publisher’s website and followed their links to buy a single chapter of the next volume (they publish them online now within days of their release in Japan, but at $2 a chapter for digital only, that more than a little sucks) because no way was I going to wait goodness only knows how long to find out if the author was just screwing with us and he was fine, or if it was a horrible, horrible, evil thing and he’d been killed.  It turned out to be a little of both:  he wasn’t killed, but over the process of that chapter his closest friend (my second favorite character) was brutally slaughtered, giving up his own life to protect him.  After I finished sobbing like a little child, I called my brother and went over to his place for pizza and light, funny stuff to distract me.  On getting back, I wasn’t in the right state of mind to try and communicate like a human being, so I forwent my Monday features on both blogs.

was going to follow that explanation up with more a more detailed reaction to Persuasion, or to get going on my next review (though I still haven’t finished the book) only I don’t really have enough time before I have to leave to get lunch before the movie (tryin’ to make the most of my weekend, here!) so I’ll just post this as-is and do another post for those things.  (Or just edit the Persuasion post when I have a chance.)


Calling any “Revolutionary Girl Utena” Fans!

Published January 12, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

Reblogging from my other blog, in case there are some anime fans seeing this blog that don’t see the other one. Because I spam like that.

Crazy Doll Lady

Desperate help is needed from fellow Utena fans!

There’s a Kickstarter going on right now for some really awesome enamel pins.  I’m not asking anyone to back them, though.  (Although if you like enamel pins and anime, you probably don’t want to miss these!)

From Kickstarter campaign. Click for link.

The pins are already fully funded, and they’ve unlocked the four designs shown above (in silhouette and skintone versions), which is all the campaign originally had planned.  So now there’s a vote for what the fifth and final design will be.

And this is where everyone else comes in.  The update with the poll is actually for backers only, so I can’t send you to it, which is a bit awkward.  I’ll just pass on the links contained within it, then.  The artist’s also polling on Instagram and Facebook, where I can’t vote, as I don’t have accounts with…

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I’m back

Published December 1, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So, NaNo is over.  (I’ll post the details on Wednesday.)

The only thing this bodes for sure is the return of Missing Letter Mondays (hopefully with new content, but I don’t want to make promises) but I would like it if I could somehow get back in the swing of blogging again.  (Though, as I said, I’d rather not make promises than make ’em and break ’em.)

MLM No “U” – Ack

Published October 23, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

I need to be reading instead of writing posts — or anything else, for that matter.

I’m reading Xenophon’s “On Tyranny” right now.

Like with everything else, Xenophon spoils the party.

Think ya know how the Ancient Greeks felt regarding same-sex love?  The ideal that was Patroclos and Achilles, all that?

Along comes Xenophon, with his near-homophobic views, insisting that they were only friends, and that proper men never do more than like other men.

Think ya know how the Athenians felt re: Sparta?

Don’t read Xenophon, then. (Spoiler:  he didn’t feel the same way.)

And now he’s got a tyrant — a real, historical tyrant of Syrac– a place I can’t say today — saying how terrible life is for tyrants and generally acting like a Platonic ideal character.

Will ya stop it, Xenophon?!


Yer totally spoiling my research here.


I’m gonna hafta totally retool my whole thesis for the semester if ya keep the same tone for the whole dialog.

Please don’t make me do that, man.

Pretty please?

I’m too far behind on this project as it is.  I can’t stand the idea of having to retool now…


A Kickstarter Campaign in need of assistance

Published August 16, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Unlike on my dolly blog, I have so far left this blog free of “hey, please help out this Kickstarter I’m backing,” because, well, a lot of reasons.  (Mostly because it’s easier to gauge the tastes of readers of a doll blog than of a…uh…whatever kind of blog this has become.)  However, that’s changing now, because I want to do all I can to help this Kickstarter campaign, and since I can’t afford to fund the whole thing myself, and I don’t use any of the more typical social media, all I can do is to plug it here.

The campaign is to fund the fifth year of a digital magazine called Sparkler, which features a variety of types of content, inspired by Japan’s mega-sized manga magazines, of which the most famous in the West is probably Shonen Jump.  The campaign describes its goal thusly:

Twelve more issues of women-oriented, LGBT+ friendly webcomics, light novels, and audio dramas in our digital magazine!

And that seems to sum it up pretty well.  (Of course it does.  Why else would they have picked it as their campaign header line?)

I’d never heard of Sparkler until I came across this campaign, but judging by the free download sampler of first chapters, it’s completely freakin’ awesome.  I ended up making a pretty hefty pledge in order to get all the back issues so I can catch up.  (Which will likely take absolutely forever, but…hey, it’s always good to have extra reading material, yeah?)  Of course, that means there’s not a lot of extra material I can add on to my pledge to help out further.

Anyway, despite that it’s aimed at women, I think a lot of this content would also interest men.  (Just as there are a lot of Shonen Jump properties that also have female fans.)  The genres run a complete gamut, from slice of life comedy to magical girl (and magical boy) to sci-fi to horror to fantasy adventure to revenge story to romance…and I probably left a lot of the genres out.  And the romance covers all the main bases:  straight, f/f and m/m.  (I don’t think it covers trans, but that’s about it.  But there are also a couple of Kickstarters for trans-focused comics going on right now.)

Please check out their campaign page, okay?  And/or send word of it to any friends/relatives/acquaintances/co-workers/total-strangers you’ve got who might be interested.  They have a long way to go and a short time in which to get there.

Sample Sparkler issue cover.

Sample issue cover. Image source Kickstarter. Click for link.

I may be a Doppelganger.

Published June 21, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m serious about this.

You know the legend of the Doppelgänger, right?  A mysterious double of you, and when you meet it, you die.  But what happens to the Doppelgänger after the original human dies?

I’m concerned about this, because I think I’m the duplicate, not the original.

Let me back up a minute, here.   For years, I’ve said I have a Doppelgänger around here somewhere, because I’ve often been mistaken for someone else, particularly in stores.  One time I went into a hardware store with my brother, and a salesman came up asking how the fridge he sold me had worked out.  I told him I’d never bought a fridge from him, and he insisted that I had, a mini-fridge for the teacher’s lounge at a local high school.  I assured him he was mistaken, but my brother and I were both freaked out by it, because it was the high school my brother had attended.

Now, that was years ago.

And since I started wearing braids in my hair, the incidences of people mistaking her for me began to taper off.

Then I went swimming on Monday at the Y.  It was an unusual time for me to be there, and I was stupidly trying to swim laps in the open swim lane (forgot there was one of those at the time) and this guy who was just hanging out in the open lane suddenly started talking to me as if to an acquaintance, and while I was standing there being confused, he said “You don’t remember me, do you?”

Well, I honestly answered that without my glasses on, I couldn’t see a thing.  I literally wouldn’t have recognized him even if I did know him.  (Seriously, all I saw was a human-shaped blob.)  And since he hadn’t made it clear where he thought he knew me from, there was always the possibility I’d taken a class with him, y’know?

But no, he thought I was the person who had taught him how to swim.  I barely even remember how to do the various strokes anymore (I keep meaning to take some refresher lessons), and I certainly never taught them to anyone else.  After explaining that I wasn’t who he thought I was, I did comment that I have a Doppelgänger around here, and how people are always mistaking me for her.

And in laughing about that…he mentioned her name.

And it’s the same as mine.

She and I not only have the same face, but we also have the same first name.

Admittedly, I just looked it up, and my name was pretty popular all through the ’70s.  (In the Top 30 most years.)  So it’s not at all weird that there are other women about my age with my name.  But for them to also have my face?  And considering I’ve sometimes talked to these people at some length without them realizing their mistake, she must also have a voice very similar to mine.

Therefore, one of us must be a Doppelgänger of the other.

And she’s a teacher, someone who touches a lot of lives.  (Though it sounds like she’s no longer at my brother’s alma mater.)  Meanwhile, I’m a near-hermit who avoids other people like the plague.  So if one of us isn’t real, it’s obviously me.

But if I just met someone at the Y who learned to swim from her, then she might be a member at the same Y.  And even if she isn’t, the encounter being so extended surely indicates that she and I are getting close to meeting.

So what’s going to happen to me after I fulfill my purpose as a Doppelgänger and my appearance before her eyes heralds her end?  Am I just going to wink out of existence?

And am I supposed to be okay with that?  The idea that it’s okay I’ll be causing her death, ’cause I’ll cause my own at the same time in a supernaturally imposed death penalty?

Because I am totally not.

I don’t want to disappear, and I sure don’t want to cause anyone else’s death, either.

But if I’m a Doppelgänger, do I even have a choice?

I’m seriously freaked out about this.

About April…

Published March 24, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m sorry to say that this year I won’t be taking part in April A-to-Z.  I already had a plan in mind for this year’s A to Z by the time last year’s ended, but I kept putting off working on it, and consequently instead of it all being done by January, I still haven’t made even half a start to it.  And I’ve got a take-home test and a research project due in April, so there’s just no way I’d have time to do it on the fly.  Not unless I was going to abandon my plan and just post anything, willy-nilly, that happened to have to do with the letter of the day.  That I could do, but I’d feel like I was being half-assed, and I wouldn’t like the results.

But I’ve done a little bit of the pre-work for what I was going to do this year, so if I keep building on that, I should be able to do it next year.  So I’ll go ahead and tell you what I was planning, as a long-range preview.

Last year, my thing was comparative mythology, with no post-titling myth one that had been represented in video games, using the Shin Megami Tensei series as my guideline about what had made it into games and what hadn’t.  (Because if it hasn’t made into a MegaTen game, it’s probably not in any game.  Very heavy mythology and folklore basis to those games.  That’s part of what I love about them.)

So what I was going to do this year was the reverse:  I was going to exclusively look at mythical beings that are included in the Shin Megami Tensei series (limiting myself to the games that have officially come out in English) and compare what the game says about the original myths to the original myths themselves.  And then looking at how else the myths have been treated in popular culture otherwise, where applicable.  I got most of the way through compiling the list of possible subjects, but no further than that.  And there’s a lot that was going to go into it just from the list to the final selection, since I wanted to make sure that every major region of the world was well represented, and to make sure I had some decent sources for the original material.

And I guess that’s about all I have to say in this post.  I’m only just barely beginning to actually recover from my cold/bronchitis, so things have been pretty dull around here.  And I haven’t been able to go into the library to do the ludicrously massive amount of research we’re supposed to do for the take-home test, either.  (Which really, really sucks, let me tell you.  That take-home test is evil.  It’s brain-dead, parroting busy work, appropriate to low-level undergrads, not graduate students.  We should not have to put up with this garbage.)

Privilege Check

Published January 20, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

In the light of the social upheavals going on in this country right now – and in despair that my work prevents me from joining Saturday’s protest marches (the museum can’t be run by one person, and only two of us can work on Saturday, so if I don’t show, my co-worker will be helpless to do her job, and the museum will be effectively closed for business for the day) – this seems to me to be a good time to take stock of myself, in the form of a privilege check.  (Thanks to EclecticAlli for the example.)


            The most obvious privilege (or lack thereof) right now is sadly based on the same thing it has been in Western society since said society began:  where your ancestors came from, made apparent by what color your skin is.  The fact that this is still a thing disgusts me.  Society should have moved past this centuries ago.  Or at least decades ago.  But it hasn’t, and so the fact remains that light-skinned people, like myself, are still given privileges that the rest of the world – the majority (or at least plurality) of the world – are being denied.


            Again, this is something our society should have long since gotten over.  How men became the dominant force in human civilization because they’re a little bit larger (on average) is almost as much of a mystery as why this is still the case.  History and current events alike have proven that women are in every way man’s equal, if not his superior, but there are still large sections of human civilization that insist we are somehow inferior because we were born with vaginas instead of penises.  Today’s world makes me ever more grateful to have been born with a womb, even though I will never use it.


            I admit to having trouble wrapping my head around the whole ‘gender’ issue.  Thanks to the NaNoWriMo forums, I now have a good term for what I am:  “gender apathetic.”  Gender is a socially defined construct – unlike sex, which is biological – and I’ve never really cared one whit about what society has to say about how I should behave.  When I was a little girl, I played with Star Wars figures, marbles, toy cars, Barbies and She-ra dolls.  Some of those were “okay” for girls, and some of them weren’t, and I rarely cared one way or the other.  I care even less now than I did as a child.  As such, I have trouble understanding why people find their gender identity so important that they feel the need to change it (but one of my Read Harder books this year is going to be about a girl becoming a trans boy, so hopefully that will help me understand) and I absolutely cannot imagine why anyone would get upset that someone else wants to change (or has changed) their gender identity.

All that aside, the bottom line is that because I was born female, I consider myself a woman, and that’s what society wants me to think, so no one bothers me about it.  (Apart from misogynists, but that’s a different issue.)  My ‘femininity’ is more for linguistic convenience than anything else, however.  I would be totally happy in a world where no one has a gender.


            Given what I said about gender, it will probably not come as a surprise that I am asexual.  (Though it took me 40 years to understand that about myself.)  However, I don’t think I’m quite cookie-cutter asexual.  (If there is such a thing.)  I’m more “a-bisexual,” in that I find both sexes attractive, and like the idea of all combinations of love (m/f, f/f, m/m), but have zero interest in entering into a romantic or sexual relationship myself.  In terms of privilege, I’m not sure where that ranks.  I suppose it’s a close second to heterosexual, because no one can say “you’re wrong for who you love” when you don’t love anybody.  They could, technically, tell me I was “wrong” not to love, but I’d tell them to take a flying leap if they did.  More importantly, it’s not like they can tell I’m asexual by looking at me; in fact, whenever I go places with my brother, a lot of people assume we’re a couple.  (Despite the fact that we look just freakin’ like each other.  I mean, gross!)


            Here, again, my standing is atypical.  I’m areligious:  I believe there is some higher power out there that was responsible for the Big Bang, but I also think a puny human mind cannot possibly comprehend a being of such enormous power, and that all organized religions must therefore be to a great extent wrong, even if they have aspects that touch on the truth.  But it’s important to say that while I don’t believe in any religion myself, I do have strong respect for them and their place in other people’s lives.  The religious freedom on which this country was founded is one of the most important freedoms we have, and it’s one of the many freedoms I have great fear for in the next four years.

It’s hard to judge where having no religion – while not being atheist, as such – fits into the scale of privilege in our culture.  It’s not Christian, so it’s not at the top, but it likely won’t get me assaulted or make anyone threaten my life, either, as being Muslim might.  And again, it’s not something that shows; you don’t know by looking at me that I lack a religious affiliation.

Financial Status

            This is probably the way in which I am most privileged.  I’m not rich by society’s larger standards, but I was raised in an upper middle class family, and some of my extended family actually does qualify as rich by most definitions.  I’ve inherited enough money that I was able to pursue my own interests, and though I am now (finally) gainfully employed, it doesn’t matter that I don’t really earn enough to live on comfortably, because I have enough already that it cushions my currently somewhat low rate of pay.  Additionally, I have no debt.  No credit cards, no car payments, no mortgage payments.  (And no, no rent, either; I own my house.)

I am very much aware of how much better off I am than so many other people, and though I have often in the past neglected charitable giving (mostly due to forgetfulness on my part), I will in the future be giving generously to important charities, particularly to the ACLU and LGBT+ charities.


            My family holds education very dear, and I was lucky enough to be sent to a prestigious high school with a good reputation, and to be permitted to attend any college I chose.  (Sadly, I chose the wrong one, but that’s another matter entirely.)  I have two undergraduate degrees, and am working (slowly) on a Master’s.  I know many people don’t have the luxury to study as much as I did, and don’t have access to the quality of schooling that I did.  I wish everyone could study as much as they want, and could have the very best of schooling.  On top of the general privilege my education offered me, I also got good grades, which makes me sound more impressive, intellectually, than I actually am.  Not sure if that’s privilege or anti-privilege, though, especially with the way this country is going.


            My family is becoming more unusual with every passing year, or so it seems:  my parents have been married for almost fifty years, and their marriage is still strong.  Though I often complain about the way they still treat me like a child, the fact is that in most ways they respect my choices, lifestyle and rights as a person, and are supportive of me in what I do.  (Which isn’t to say that they aren’t given to lecturing.)

Additionally, my family has lived in this country for a very long time – my mother’s ancestors came over before this country was a country, in fact – so I’ve never had to deal with any of the stigmas that recent immigrants have.


            I’m a native English speaker with no ability to speak other languages.  In this country’s current climate, that’s viewed as a good thing, though it’s a mark against me in every other country in the world.  I’ve tried to learn other languages, but ever since high school, my efforts have failed drastically.  (Pity I didn’t stick with the German; I was pretty good by the 10th grade.  If I had stayed with it instead of switching to Latin and Greek, maybe I’d have stayed with it in college, too.  If I’d followed six years of high school German with four years of college German, I’d probably have become fluent, and maybe then I’d never have lost it.


            Apart from being obese and asthmatic, I have no physical disabilities.  My weight and general out-of-shapeness can prevent me from going to a few places (mountain tops, theaters with really narrow seats), but for the most part I am unimpeded.  I do have a few minor mental issues – mostly an almost crippling social phobia – but they don’t account for much in the long run, since my financial standing prevents me from being absolutely required to go out and work.


Though in my day-to-day existence, I rarely sit around thinking “gee, I’m privileged,” it’s very clear that I am.  I try to be aware of that in my dealings with others, try not to act out the part.

The way the country is now, I wish I had less in common with the minority that thinks it’s the majority.  If I could become someone else, I would become a Mexican immigrant of mixed African and native descent, Islamic faith, and (of course) a lesbian.  But I can’t change where I was born, or my ethnicity, and no amount of calling myself a lesbian would make me interested in having romantic/sexual relationships with other people, and it would be hypocritical and disrespectful to enter a religion without believing in it just to make a political point.

However, the next time the census comes around, I’ll probably list my sexuality as “bisexual.”  It’s not entirely true, but it’s not entirely a lie, either.


Published October 9, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

I have decided to place my blog more or less on “hiatus” status until I figure out why I’m no longer motivated to write for it.

I’ll still come back every week for Missing Letter Mondays, but if I can’t think of anything good to do for it, I’ll re-post an old one that I think was actually good.  (Or at least decent.)  I’ll also be back on the 1st Wednesday of every month for IWSG, but that’s it.

So, really, nothing’s changed except that I’m admitting that something’s fallen out of joint, instead of pretending “yeah, I’ll be back to normal any day now” all the time.


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