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Rurouni Kenshin: Sagara Sanosuke [ESFP]

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Sanosuke is another "in the moment" kind of character. He's easily bored, possesses great physical strength, and enjoys physical pleasures such as good food and drink. Sanosuke is a bit of an opportunist as well. In his first scene, Sanosuke beats up some thugs who are bullying a young waitress, but he also takes advantage of the situation to skip out on paying his check.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Sanosuke has complex morals and is dedicated to ideals. Before joining Kenshin, he moves from one street fight to the next as Zanza, the fighter for hire, as fighting is the place where he feels most alive. His insistence on wearing the Aku kanji (悪) on his back emphasizes his idealism and expresses his displeasure with the execution of the Sekihotai. Similarly, Sanosuke's relationships with others tends to be based on their philosophies. His fierce loyalty to Kenshin stems from Kenshin's ideals resembling those of his former mentor and childhood hero Sagara Sōzō, and his most significant battle in the series with Yūkyūzan Anji is as philosophical as it is physical.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): Like many of the supporting characters, Sanosuke will play the role of Combat Commentator when necessary, comprehending the objective concepts of the fight and explaining them to less experienced characters like Yahiko. Tying in with his stronger Introverted Feeling, Sanosuke often has stronger opinions about how others should act, even punching his best friend Kenshin during the Kyoto arc for not telling his friends where he going for their own protection.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Sanosuke does not always think through his actions. His second fight with Kenshin takes place because he and an old friend Tsukioka Katsuhiro intend to bomb their old enemies at the Department of Internal Affairs without any thought of the consequences. He gets lost regularly and is challenged by new ideas, especially Western technology. He believes superstitions such as cameras stealing the subject's soul and claims to see a ghost at one point while Kaoru insists what he saw was steam from a tea kettle.


Final Fantasy VI: Sabin [ESTP]

"Edgar's twin brother, who traded the throne for his own freedom..."

Extroverted Sensing (Se): Sabin has many traits that suggest that extroverted sensing is his dominant function. As a martial artist, he's quite physically adept, and he seems to live primarily in the here and now. Also Sabin's personality is very indicative of a Perceiving type rather than a Judging type. His introduction quote points out that a sense of freedom is especially important to him, and his brother Edgar knew him well enough to know that he would never been happy if he became king of Figaro, held down by the chains of commanding.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Despite his reputation as "dumb muscle", Sabin is surprisingly inventive. He thinks outside the box to find innovative uses for his ridiciculous strength such as escaping an oncoming army of ghosts by leaping from train car to train car, holding up the burning house in the World of Ruin (and correctly deducing how long he can hold up the house to the second) while Celes saves the child inside, and [canonically dubious] suplexing the Phantom Train chasing his friends. Additionally, if his Blitz techniques are any indication, Sabin picks up techniques and concepts quickly under the right circumstances.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): Sabin is fairly open with his emotions. Many of his more memorable quotes are accompanied by a hearty laugh, and he's seen crying in at least one flashback. During his chapter as de facto leader, he sympathizes with Cyan, Gau, and even the mercurial Shadow for some time enough to gain their trust. Also, during the famous "chapters from a self-help book" scene at the end of the game, Sabin like most of the cast mentions another person as his "something" that enables him to keep fighting. And then says "Gah-ha-ha-ha!".

Introverted Intuition (Ni): Sabin knows the things he must accomplish in the short term, but as his inferior function, he doesn't think them through. His primary goal can be summed up as "Get strong; protect Edgar", but aside from training in martial arts, his goal doesn't seem to be any deeper than that. Additionally his strong extroverted sensing and weak introverted intution cause him to make snap decisions without thinking of the consequences, such as diving into the water after the monstrous octopus Ultros. Similarly, while Sabin's reasonably developed introverted thinking provided him with inventive solutions like holding up the flaming house during his introduction in the World of Ruin, he didn't appear to have a backup plan had he not been able to hold up the flaming structure he threw himself under.


New idea

I think I'm going to try writing out the personality types of a few of my favorite fictional characters. I've been reading a very cool Tumblr called Funky MBTI Fiction that does the same thing. Twitter is really my go-to social network these days, but the obvious drawback is that it's hard to write long entries without doing a long string of tweets that come across more like a rant.

I'm not focusing on a particular series. Instead I'm going to try to focus on individual characters that stand out to me, especially when other people seem to have wildly different pictures of them. As such, my first two should be Sabin from Final Fantasy VI and Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin.


"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Anna Karenina

Back in 2012 when I was dating this girl who shared several articles and pictures a day on Facebook, I invented the term for people like her: Takei Nerds. It's not the jock who thinks he's geeky because he saw the Avengers once, and it's not the act of accusing anybody of being a "fake geek girl" that has stirred up lots of controversy on my Facebook feed in the past. It's something paradoxically outside of the mainstream yet characterized by sameness. For example, all Takei Nerds think the word zombie immediately turns a sentence into a punchline. On the other hand, someone with a very niche interest like obscure collections or a love of classic foreign films would most likely not fit the term. In case you haven't made the connection, the gesture that exemplifies the Takei Nerd is constantly sharing pictures and links from one George Takei.

That click sound you just heard is half of my social circle drawing switchblades.

Bringing me back to my opening quote, like many things, geekdom has gained more acceptance in recent years, but part of me can't help but wonder if it's losing some of its heart and spirit in the process. I think as you get older, you're supposed to find the world increasingly chaotic and scary, but I've experienced the opposite. The older I get, the more the world becomes stiflingly tamed into order. The Internet went from a strange wild west to a place with more centralized locations to, net neutrality pending, something that could very well be as subject to corporate control as my radio or television. Geekdom appears to be similarly changing from someone whose interests fell outside the box of what was accepted or mainstream to someone whose interests basically fit in a second box. The box has lots of stickers on the outside, but it's still a box. I imagine this is how longtime followers of certain genres of music, typically subgenres of rock, often feel. Much like the ever changing world of music, after watching a documentary about the Bronies, I got the feeling they partly found one another because their previous safe havens from the rich and beautiful was taken over by them when comic book movies became the norm.

Don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean you can't like George Takei (admittedly the person most likely to read this does so), or Doctor Who, or bemoan the brevity of Firefly. Plus, this more unified geekdom certainly has its share of virtues. In particular, they're quite tolerant and liberal to the point when hateful or just plain politically conservative ideas from them are shocking and written off as not being the real deal. Or 4Chan.

This is probably a puzzling and unpopular topic, and I fully admit I'm using it to simultaneously ruminate on and deflect thinking about the fact one of my best friends just moved halfway across the country. The connection in my head is that we went to his going away party, and my girlfriend had a total disconnect. Her tastes are very mainstream, perhaps verging on hipster, but she's no geek. However, it felt like every single conversation was a fantasy book series, a video game, or a tabletop game. When I was single I probably wouldn't have noticed, but it became painfully apparent when there would be hours between conversations where she could provide input. My friend's wife is in the Renaissance Faire so the majority of the room was carneys which made me wonder if that was part of the disconnect for two reasons.

  1. It's in my Livejournal contract I throw shade at the Ren Faire in every post after May 2011

  2. They're kind of an enormous hierarchical hive mind

According to my lawyers, it's on page 2 right above the "hidden messages in pictures" quota

I can't think of an age I was more ready to be over than 28 because it's the year everyone wants you to hang anything and everything "up", but this is where the conflict comes in. It feels like you're given one of two choices. The first is to completely submit and become what they want. Mowing the lawn is your hobby now. Social endeavors have a strict protocol: they will be 90 minutes, start in a restaurant, and end in the restaurant. At this point, the sticker box starts to sound appealing, but I'm not entirely sold on it. It just doesn't feel right anymore. The truth is the materialism and the big reveals and the release dates all start to feel repetitive and blend together. Plus I believe you're required at this point to start making professionally damning like get a stupid tattoo or dye my hair an unnatural color.

I've been experiencing an identity crisis of sorts recently, and the more I thought about it. It reminded me of a sensation I had about a year ago surrounding one man... Alberto Del Rio. Some background here: Alberto Del Rio is a professional wrestler who has been part of WWE for several years now. For the vast majority of his WWE career, Del Rio has played a heel (wrestling slang for a villain). In spite of his gold motif, propensity for fancy cars, and constant smiling, his role in any given story is that of the arrogant rich guy the average middle class audience member would want to see taken down a peg. However, in 2013 they tried to turn Del Rio into a hero. The move appears to be largely for demographic reasons. Longtime fan favorite Rey Mysterio has probably wrestled his last match, and WWE could use a good Latin American hero.

I said good

I've never had a problem getting behind wrestlers of other races or from other nations. I loved Rey Mysterio as a kid, Jamaican Ghanaian superstar Kofi Kingston currently ranks among my favorites, and I'm incredibly excited for Japanese superstar KENTA to make his debut. However, in the case of the then-suddenly heroic Del Rio, I felt this weird disconnect like I wasn't supposed to be rooting for him. He's come out with Mexican flags and seem to address that demographic to the exclusion of others. The problem was that they were pandering too hard: they made a Latin American who wrestled, not a wrestler who happened to be Latin American. Yet this nationality defined his characterization. He remained sympathetic while fighting a xenophobic borderline racist duo who felt like they were custom made to be his villains. However, soon afterwards they had him feud with Dolph Ziggler, a cocky narcisstic showoff which by wrestling standards is pretty forgivable as far as villainous traits go. By the time the feud was over, they switched roles; Del Rio was once again a villain where he's remained as of the time I am writing this, and the show off Ziggler has remained a popular if underutilized fan favorite.

I know that had to seem like a really random tangent, but it's the best comparison I could make to what's going on in my head right now. I look at ComicCon and a lot of geek-oriented things nowadays the way I looked at Del Rio during that time. The funny part is that it's aimed at me this time, and I still feel the same disconnect. The whole concept seems to be coming at an inconvenient time as it feels like Matt and I are chasing new people off every day, but it seems to be an underlying theme in my relationships with others. I want to be a person with geeky interests, not a geek with some interpersonal skills.

Oh crap I think I just wrote the sequel to Divergent.
To continue the trend of catching up on past events, I won a contest by the the New Jersey Renaissance Faire last year to design their new t-shirts. To be fair, my victory was due in equal parts to my own talent and poor communication on their part as the contest was mentioned to a limited group very late in the game. They repeated the t-shirt contest again this year, and they've been prompt and public about the matter. Amusingly enough they posted last year's "winning design by cast member Chris".

"Cast member Chris" is not impressed.

Personally, I think that they should have included more information than "We're having a contest". I made more than one revision after being declared the winner, which could be a bit much to ask from your average contestant. It's safe to assume the t-shirt will be black as they've been black in previous years, so your design needs to be white and similarly light colors that work well on black. When designing for t-shirts, many places charge by the color so you want to limit the number of colors you use. Last year I thought I was being frugal by using four colors (white, blue, red, and gold), but I was asked to redesign the shirt using white and one other color (I chose the blue). Finally, the finished product had to be a vector graphic. I initially designed my work in Photoshop and had to recreate it in Illustrator, but that only improved my final submission. This could very well be really basic common knowledge for professional graphic designers, but I doubt many professionals will submit designs essentially for free. I received a season ticket and food I would roughly value at $50 in total, but it certainly wasn't a paycheck.

So a new year means a new design, right? Not in this case.

I know at least one person expected me to do so, but I'm not providing them with content, especially after an event I'll be touching upon soon. I won't go into the specifics here, but the gentleman in charge tried to pull a fast one on enough of my friends more than once leading up to this year. In general he reneged on previous promises and seemed a little too be eager to cut them out of the picture. Some quit for the year or longer, some were welcomed back in a reduced capacity, and a few remain unchanged and unharmed. To be honest, I don't trust all the members of the second group to be completely honest with their account of the events either, but he complicated the lives of enough people I call good friends that I don't want to help in any capacity right now. They have nothing that I want so I have no reason to be loyal to them when doing so would betray my conscience. As a result I'm taking a new policy this year:

  • As stated above, I'm not providing any more content. This is especially easy as it just means not doing anything. I had been playing around in Illustrator earlier this year and came up with a halfway decent design that I could submit, but won't.

  • Last year, the NJRF made appearances in other towns, between parades and these sort of makeshift Renaissance Faires, and I don't want to go to any side events.

  • I won't be interacting with NJRF Facebook content in a public forum. I admit we had some good runs trolling their cartoonishly one-sided polls, but that just spreads the word for them.

  • When it finally opens, I'd like to go one time this year. I still have friends in it I want to see and support, but they're not front and center so I figure as long as the show is standing I'm not harming them by not pouring in money. This is the one I realize could most easily fall apart though, as different circles of my friends will want to go different days, but unfortunately this is the one case where I vote with my wallet. A season ticket is $36, and a daily ticket is $20. There are four days in total, and while I can't imagine needing to go once. I will however attend if I'm provided free admission, which is possible to likely but not guaranteed.

In true Chris fashion, many of you are probably wondering what the title of this entry means. More people probably know the story of Robin Hood and the archery tournament. In particular, the fact that Robin felt compelled due to pride to enter the tournament despite the fact that his enemies would be able to identify him by his skill. I've been similarly proud in that I've assumed I would win the contest if I entered again. I've even considered handing a design to a third party to submit, but this wouldn't resolve the problem: I'd still be providing a quality product I believe would sell well to people I don't want to support. In the case of the WWE example, after wrestler CM Punk walked out in January, many were hoping that he would make a triumphant return a month later in his hometown. Whenever the action came to a lull in the three hour show, the Chicago fans would chant his name, but despite their hopes he never showed.
One thing that happened in the past few months was that I became interested in the whole Myers Briggs test. It started when people were posting those personality charts such as the Lords of the Rings and Star Wars MBTI charts. It combined the geeky character study of a Dungeons & Dragons alignment chart with some real life applicability. After a lot of reading, I came to like the system as personal tool for self improvement by identifying one's strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, I don't like it as a tool for evaluating employees on a professional basis. Were I in such a situation, I would probably give the answers that I thought would give me the result of ENTJ as I feel that's what they'd want to hear and would be in my best interest.

At the same time, I find it funny that tests like "Which character on TV Show X are you?" from sites like Zimbio and Buzzfeed are all the rage on Facebook in 2014 after it ran its course on Livejournal like a decade ago. They're harmless enough, even if they irk the writer of this article in Forbes, but sometimes I have to laugh at how mismatched the results can be so long as people get the character they want. My favorite example was someone who posted that they were Sherlock Holmes and Animal from the Muppets, perhaps two of the most incompatible extremes in all of fiction, in the same day. As the trend began to reemerge, I posted a link to the Forrer effect on my Facebook, as Mr. Sherlock/Animal is a perfect example. Basically, the Forrer effect says that we'll accept nearly any assessment of ourserlves that is vague enough to apply to anyone yet flattering enough that we want it to apply to us. It's basically the trick to horoscopes. This isn't to say they're bad or even inaccurate, just not a magic bullet.

To complicate things further, I had a second example that seemed completely contradictory to me, but it's grown into something more interesting and a little stranger. One of my better friends posted that he was a rule bending antihero from a popular short-lived series. However, in my eyes after ten years of road trips, card games, and social dynamics he really, really isn't. To me, he's the guy who obeys protocols to a fault, but there was an immediate response from someone stating unironically how it was so completely obvious. I mentioned it another friend (who is probably reading this) and he was more in the latter camp. It perplexed me for a few days, until I started realizing that the friend I've been thinking about presents himself to the larger world, particularly through Facebook, as a progressive ready to question the patriarchal system, even if he's kind of battling strawmen.

So yes, people are multifaceted. Thank you for that breathtaking conclusion, self. Actually, being multifaceted leads me to the next part of my exploration. As I've become more and more interested in the topic, I became a regular reader of a psychology blog called A Little Bit of Personality. I enjoyed the writer's unique perspective on the different personality types, including fitting them into fantasy archetypes. The writer recently started doing personalized assessments, and while the idea initially sounded appealing, I've since started to doubt whether it was worth my time. For starters, it's five bucks. Sure that's cheap, but if I think it's going to be a waste of time and I'm paying for it, that would just be silly. Second, the process involves writing an email about yourself, and depending on my mood and mindset, I feel like it would be incredibly easy to sway the system. Finally, I have a vague picture of who I am, and I think part of me is afraid the results would be wildly different. The author uses the 16 MBTI personality types, which are comprised of four letters and each letter has one of two possiblities. Long story short, I have one facet where I'm extremely confident of what I am, one I have no clue one way or the other, and two where I think I know the answer but the case could be made for the opposite. In those last two cases, I have a tendency to dislike being presented with the opposite as I feel like they would be a shortcoming in me.

I think I'm going to hold off doing it for now, but I thought it was funny how these recurring themes have been popular around me lately. I think we all want something to help us solve the eternal mystery of who we are. But you knew that because you are an insightful individual with a distinct talent for finding the heart of a matter, right? Right?
...lol Forrer effect.


An overdue reappearance

What's up Livejournal? I figure I was long overdue for a reappearance that was just me snarking at bad fan fiction. In addition to Twitter becoming my social network of choice (whereas Facebook is more like my PR) this account has been plagued with so many Russian spambots that it took the fun out of using it. Anyway, lots of big stuff has been going on for the past year. The biggest being that I've been in a relationship since early 2013. Her name is Miriam, and we made through an undergrad friend. In fact, she used to be a Livejournal friend of mine before she deleted her account on her. Things have been good so far though. Actually one of the oddest parts is that she's one of the most normal people in my circle which means that if I get into tabletop gaming again I'll have to keep the nights with her separate. I've been out of gaming for about nine months now, but I've gotten three offers since the year started so we'll see how that goes.

From an entertainment and pop culture standpoint, I guess the biggest note is that I'm watching wrestling again for the first time in about ten years. It seems funny to be writing this as it's been a habit of mine for at least a year. It started with Matt and I discovering the online adventures of CM Punk, but since then Daniel Bryan has become my favorite. The whole #YesMovement thing is a bit silly, but it's cool to see someone from this current generation break the ceiling and make it to the big time. Hopefully he'll get the big Wrestlemania moment he deserves this year.

Much like how some of my previous long-time updates, I've got an ex I'm not speaking to. This time it's the New Jersey Renaissance Faire. They've been screwing over too many of my friends for me to keep offering input from the sidelines like I had in past seasons. Then again, I don't feel a tremendous sense of loyalty to those folks either, which seems to be the pattern as I often feel like my loyalties bounce around way too much in any given year. I've got a handful of secrets there, but I'll share those in due time.

A long overdue Dresden Files post

I figure I haven't written here in forever so I was due for a post. The truth is that this year has been a whole lot of nothing. Shira left back in February, and nobody's really been on the horizon since then. I went to the NJ Ren Faire, but I wasn't part of it this year. I saw Avengers at midnight the day it came out, loved it, and picked up the DVD/BluRay/3-D--BluRay/Digital/panorama/sandwich/ticket-to watch-it-at-Jeremy-Renner's-house-being-all-Hawkward edition this week. For all of my snark last year, 2011 seems positively epic in comparison to 2012 because at least things happened.

One of the more recent things to happen was that Will started a game using Evil Hat's role playing system based on the Dresden Files series of novels by author Jim Butcher, and it's been one of the best games I've played in since getting my bachelors. A large part of that is just playing in a new setting because having a stronger foundation and new material has given my imagination something new to explore. From a player perspective, one of the coolest parts of the Dresden Files system are your characters aspects. You develop a high concept that sums up your character, a trouble to sum up his or her fatal flaw(s), and five aspects of his or her personality and life experiences. The best aspects are multifacted and can come into play either positively or negatively. It sounds counterproductive to want negative aspects, but being compelled to do something counterproductive according to one of your character's aspects generates "Fate Points" which can in turn be spent to positively affect the actions you take. The book suggests they be fairly catchy as well. For example, for the main character of the novels they created examples of good/better/best versions of the same aspect:

Tepid: Wizard
Toasty: Wizard Private Eye
Fuego!: The Only Listing Under “Wizard” in Chicago’s Yellow Pages

I'll probably be using Livejournal as a workspace to flesh out some ideas for the game. I've been working on a long term plan for my character, who we'll be exploring in the near future, from a mechanics standpoint. The game started fairly packed and has been slimming down over the past few sessions.

Also I've got a pretty epic Halloween costume in the works. Now I just need to find some events during the month of October.
Loucious's(That's how I spell it) Story up until now...

This story is not for the faint of......oh who am i kidding you will get a laugh.He"s not kidding. I think I got brain damage just by reading this.Collapse )
I think part of my lull here amongst other places is that something is missing. In particular, I haven't been working towards something lately, the next step forward isn't readily apparent, and I think other aspects of my life have been suffering for it. Work's been a drag lately. Last year I dedicated myself to two things at different parts of the year: in the first half of the year I had the New Jersey Renaissance Faire, and for much of the second half of the year I teaching and focusing on martial arts in a way I had never done so before. Given, aspects of each were mistakes, but it still felt like progress was being made.

It feels really weird to say this right because I'm at the start of something really good in my personal life. In fact, I put most of this together when I was talking to Shira. Since then, I've decided to try to find something new to do or learn. I have a few ideas to get started, but I'm going to flesh them out before I say anything officially.


Silens Vir

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