Life of Raph, Jan. 23rd, 2014

Decided to move in June. Gives me time to pack, sell my dad’s stuff, and maybe write a little more.

I need to get back to a routine. This definitely helps.


This cheers me right up.

Thas like real adoribble.


This cheers me right up.

Thas like real adoribble.

(via evilmarguerite)



We live in a world where cartoons have to explain what a vcr is. I am scared

oh sweet lord I feel ancient


(via evilmarguerite)

Life of Raph January 22nd, 2014

I am going to keep doing this every day, some sort of thought or something. Could be a sentence, could be 10 pages. Usually I’m a long form guyer.

Tanaka’s a Yankee, need to prep for fantasy season.

Need to figure out when I’m moving. Maybe June? I don’t want to wait that long, but it’s either March or June. Cousin willing to truck everything down, will need to look at rentals.

Just checked voicemails, 2 voicemails from mom asking my dad why he isn’t answering. They’re from like 2 months ago, but very creepy.

Latest version of my novel is on chapter 3… missing chapter 3 and all the notes for 4. That’s what happens when I slack, it’s been months. I have no faith in myself, and a big reason I don’t died 21 days ago. Eerie, it’s still eerie being up at night and not seeing him coming out of his room to cough and smoke and listen to music. The last time I saw him, he tried to lock the front door for me, and I kept remembering to grab stuff, he waved me off and told me to lock the door. I thought, typical dad, to myself.

Typical dad… anything but typical.





Licia Ronzulli, member of the European Parliament, has been taking her daughter Vittoria to the Parliament sessions for two years now.


I’m sorry but women get shit done. In fact, not sorry. 

Once I attended a Judo competition as a spectator and one of the athletes had a strange bulge in her gi. I looked better and she had her two-months old baby with her, while she followed her younger students and helped them through the tournament. Tough as stone. When it was her turn on the tatami, she handed the baby to her husband and won the gold medal. And when she retreived the medal, she had her baby in her gi again. Yes, women get shit done. 

That is pretty bad-ass. The member of Parliament AND the Judo competitor. I can barely stand the thought of holding a baby (only because I’ve got the grace of a T-Rex in a China shop that has meat in the back and really narrow aisles… and I mean like that GOOD Triceratops meat that you know is so hard together because those bastards are always trying to impale you on those head spike things… man, wish I had head spike things. They don’t taste good though, and they’re too big for my tiny T-Rex hands… and I swear to Dinosaur God that I heard a bunch of Stegosaruses making fun of me… or was it Allosaurus? They say we all look alike, and while that’s offensive, I can kinda see the truth in the stereotype).

But yeah point is: women can be pretty awesome. And dinosuars are jerks.

(via myveryownriot)

Man of Steel derived existential crisis… again.

It is really hard having something that means so much to you be a fictional thing. Like really hard. It’s really clear that I’m bordering on irrational, but when you come to rely emotionally that things that aren’t real, when you create an identity, a moral base and a lot of your life based on said fictional thing, it throws you for a serious loop when things don’t jive.

Loop, consider me thrown into you. And I don’t know why I bother. I don’t know why I need to care so much. All I know is that I’m still hurt, and it’s a very personal hurt. Like a family member has betrayed me and I don’t know how to look at them anymore. I can’t process it, how does someone so important to me suddenly change so much… and he’s not even real. Does that make me mentally ill? That a fictional thing can hurt me so badly? A thing not even in my control?

So that’s why I let go, because I can’t control it. But it keeps getting thrown in my face, and I can’t let it go… because I see it, I’m reminded of it… and honest to God, it haunts me. I feel betrayed all over again and I feel like I did that night when my dad found out I stole his money to buy comics and he beat me severely and made me tear up my comics and I sat in the closet huddled close to myself. Betrayed. Afraid. Alone.

And that’s the gamut of emotions I go through when I think of Man of Steel. I have withstood beatings for my love of comics. I’ve been yelled at, criticized, alienated… by my own parents. And this one thing that pretty much defines me, they have always discouraged. I wonder if this is how other fanboys feel when they feel their characters have been changed. Is it this deep? Does it strike to the core? Because this strikes to the core of who I am, and maybe I’m over thinking it and over feeling it. But here we are, 2:30 in the morning, and I’m still thinking about a stupid movie I haven’t seen in nearly 6 months.

And for what? Why does any of this matter? Who cares? Why do I need to care so much? Life goes on. I go to work, I pay bills, I have a girlfriend, I have friends… life goes on. And yet, this thing has hurt me. Really, really hurt me. And I can’t let it go. It’s there. I can’t dislodge it. I’m trying, maybe I’m not trying too hard, because I don’t let go of things, which is another of my many character flaws. Why won’t I let go? Why can’t I just learn to let things go?

I can feel it, you know? I can feel it in my chest. I feel it there. It sits there. I know the feeling, in my darkest moments, it comes back. I seldom have dark moments with others around, and maybe that’s the point. Maybe this isn’t about a corporate product, focus grouped and tested and marketed a certain way. Maybe this is just about the pain I’ve had in my life for over 20 years. Can it really be that simple?

So the takeaway point is: parents, treat your kids well. The second you beat them or tell them you don’t know what you did to get a crappy child like them is the second you lose their trust. It just gets all jumbly and fucked up and they latch onto fictional characters and hold onto them to the point of irrationality. Then the corporate owners of said fictional character will change the character to a point where your child’s brain will shatter and he’ll relive old hurts believing it to be a new hurt, when really, all of this is the same fucking hurt. Fuck. I think it’d be better if I was an alcoholic. Then I could just be in drunken stupor than elaborating on my pain for all of the internet to see.

All because Superman was a callous fuck in Man of Steel and I won’t get over it.

Fiction is power. Fiction is so much power.

I need Superman to not be flawed. I need him to be better than me, and I try to be better, I try to be a force for good. And there he goes, blowing up buildings, hurting people (inadvertently, but hurting them nonetheless), and finding an inelegant, flawed, human solution to a problem…

There he goes. Being me.

I don’t want to be me. I want to be better. I want to aspire.

There is nothing for me to aspire to. I need an inspiration to aspire to.

Clearly, I need to be more than I have been. I need to not be the 7 year old crying in the closet. The 9 year old who doesn’t understand why his mom is packing her stuff. The 12 year old who doesn’t understand why nobody likes him and thinks everyone hates him. The 18 year old who is afraid to death that he’s going to die alone. The 23 year old who is afraid to be an adult for real. The 27 year old who recognizes the flaws of his life and is afraid to really move forward in his life.

I need to be more than the 12 year old who saves his friends, only to hear his father tell him he should’ve let his friends die. I need to be more than the 30 year old, afraid of his own life, afraid of the people he wants to help, afraid of what he can do, afraid of what he is. I need to be more than the 33 year old, afraid of his heritage, afraid of the past coming back to haunt him, afraid of a man who was genetically bred to kill. Afraid of fighting. Too afraid to help others, only focused on hitting the man in front of him. 

I found a way to move past my pain. I found a way to have a life. Have friends, fall in love, move out of my mom’s apartment, work with the greater public, decide to live with my girlfriend, move 5 hours south, decide to make myself better. I did all of this.

Is anyone else so deeply insecure? Does anyone else doubt themselves as much?

Superman is no longer what I need him to be. What do I do? What do I need now?

I need to know that good wins. I need to know that most people are good people. I need to know that I am a good person, that I do everything I can to hold myself to that. I need to believe in something beyond me, but I can’t believe in what I used to believe in. This is my great existential crisis. This is Thomas doubting. Along the way this year, I stopped being Christian too. I don’t know what to believe in, especially when the man who’s caused me so much torment in my life claims to have a direct line to God and Jesus and that he’s their favored son… when clearly, he isn’t. Maybe that’s what really broke me, when I sent him to the hospital. When I exercised power over him… only to have him sent back to me.

I feel like a tiny ant swept up in the river. I don’t control anything, and nobody really can help me. Do you see the little ant, as the river flows by? Could you? So tiny, against the raging river, would you even know to look?

Fuck you Zack Snyder. You don’t get what that character meant to me. To you, he’s just another plaything. He was an integral part of my life. You stripped him from me.

Okay, enough with this.

I think fanfiction is literature and literature, for the most part, is fanfiction, and that anyone that dismisses it simply on the grounds that it’s derivative knows fuck-all about literature and needs to get the hell off my lawn.
Most of the history of Western literature (and probably much of non-Western literature, but I can’t speak to that) is adapted or appropriated from something else. Homer wrote historyfic and Virgil wrote Homerfic and Dante wrote Virgilfic (where he makes himself a character and writes himself hanging out with Homer and Virgil and they’re like “OMG Dante you’re so cool.” He was the original Gary Stu). Milton wrote Bible fanfic, and everyone and their mom spent the Middle Ages writing King Arthur fanfic. In the sixteenth century you and another dude could translate the same Petrarchan sonnet and somehow have it count as two separate poems, and no one gave a fuck. Shakespeare doesn’t have a single original plot—although much of it would be more rightly termed RPF—and then John Fletcher and Mary Cowden Clarke and Gloria Naylor and Jane Smiley and Stephen Sondheim wrote Shakespeare fanfic. Guys like Pope and Dryden took old narratives and rewrote them to make fun of people they didn’t like, because the eighteenth century was basically high school. And Spenser! Don’t even get me started on Spenser.
Here’s what fanfic authors/fans need to remember when anyone gives them shit: the idea that originality is somehow a good thing, an innately preferable thing, is a completely modern notion. Until about three hundred years ago, a good writer, by and large, was someone who could take a tried-and-true story and make it even more awesome. (If you want to sound fancy, the technical term is imitatio.) People were like, why would I wanna read something about some dude I’ve never heard of? There’s a new Sir Gawain story out, man! (As to when and how that changed, I tend to blame Daniel Defoe, or the Modernists, or reality television, depending on my mood.)
I also find fanfic fascinating because it takes all the barriers that keep people from professional authorship—barriers that have weakened over the centuries but are nevertheless still very real—and blows right past them. Producing literature, much less circulating it, was something that was well nigh impossible for the vast majority of people for most of human history. First you had to live in a culture where people thought it was acceptable for you to even want to be literate in the first place. And then you had to find someone who could teach you how to read and write (the two didn’t necessarily go together). And you needed sufficient leisure time to learn. And be able to afford books, or at least be friends with someone rich enough to own books who would lend them to you. Good writers are usually well-read and professional writing is a full-time job, so you needed a lot of books, and a lot of leisure time both for reading and writing. And then you had to be in a high enough social position that someone would take you seriously and want to read your work—to have access to circulation/publication in addition to education and leisure time. A very tiny percentage of the population fit those parameters (in England, which is the only place I can speak of with some authority, that meant from 500-1000 A.D.: monks; 1000-1500: aristocratic men and the very occasional aristocratic woman; 1500-1800: aristocratic men, some middle-class men, a few aristocratic women; 1800-on, some middle-class women as well). What’s amazing is how many people who didn’t fit those parameters kept writing in spite of the constant message they got from society that no one cared about what they had to say, writing letters and diaries and stories and poems that often weren’t discovered until hundreds of years later. Humans have an urge to express themselves, to tell stories, and fanfic lets them. If you’ve got access to a computer and an hour or two to while away of an evening, you can create something that people will see and respond to instantly, with a built-in community of people who care about what you have to say.
I do write the occasional fic; I wish I had the time and mental energy to write more. I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of fic these days because most of it is not—and I know how snobbish this sounds—particularly well-written. That doesn’t mean it’s “not good”—there are a lot of reasons people read fic and not all of them have to do with wanting to read finely crafted prose. That’s why fic is awesome—it creates a place for all kinds of storytelling. But for me personally, now that my job entails reading about 1500 pages of undergraduate writing per year, when I have time to read for enjoyment I want it to be by someone who really knows what they’re doing. There’s tons of high-quality fic, of course, but I no longer have the time and patience to go searching for it that I had ten years ago. But whether I’m reading it or not, I love that fanfiction exists. Because without people doing what fanfiction writers do, literature wouldn’t exist. (And then I’d be out of a job and, frankly, I don’t know how to do anything else.)

“As a professor, may I ask you what you think about fanfiction?” (via meiringens)

What are DC/Marvel comics if derivative? Otherwise, you wouldn’t have continuity. You continue the story others have set before you. Not meant to insult any comic book writers at the Big Two, but it’s true. All anyone does to these major institutions is add their own creative stamp. Some make it their own (Claremont’s X-Men), but Batman will be Batman no matter what anyone does. I don’t look at it as an insult, quite the opposite: you’re being entrusted with a character beloved by millions and your work will always be associated with it.

(via brakesforbothans)




omg i miss my dog so much

i read this at the store with friends and it was very emotional,quite the bonding…

laughing and crying whilst reading this

I miss my dog, she’s still alive, I should go see her.

(via myotherblogisatardis)

It's me, Raph. I talk about my life, about comics, baseball, whatever really. Trying to do it every day.

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