I am writing this entry assuming I can make this as an entry. I promised a rather lengthy ramble, and I intend to deliver it, and then some. Let's start with the 'some'--today was a long day. A long, loooooooong day. From work to counseling to college. It was exhausting, it was tiring, and I am so ridiculously behind. (I really really really REALLY need to get updated on, for instance, Go Get A Roomie.)
But as per the usual at work, I did do some productive thinking. In this case, about colors. When I was younger, I assigned blue as my favorite color arbitrarily, since it wasn't a favorite color of any of my siblings. Orange, similarly so, became my second-favorite color. Green, my brother's favorite, was my third, so there was overlap. Butstill. This was exactly that:
While for them, these favorite colors of theirs were favorite colors, for me the favorite colors were a lie. I didn't know why at the time. I did insist on them, I liked them well enough, I continued on with the color scheme for years, but all the same it was a facade, since those colors meant nothing more to me than others.
I similarly held a hatred of red, blue's opposite color. There was no logic behind it. There was no reason for it. There wasn't even any feeling, any belief. I just avoided it, entirely on an arbitrary basis: "because I could". Because it was the image I presented. Because it was what was expected of me.
It took me until much later to realize the truth. Specifically, I began exploring the aspects of the myriad of colors: all their many meanings, all the things associated with them, what they symbolize, what they invoke, how each has strengths, how each has personalities, how they are essentially a living canvas of life, all with their own stories to tell.
And that's when I realized that I didn't really have a favorite color. I loved them all equally. To this day I still insist on the blue as favorite. But my real feelings are that basically any color is awesome, all of them are great, and that my favorite will shift from one to another depending on my mood, depending on what's appropriate, depending on my feelings, since those different colors, they all mean something different and that's an awesome thing.
...But here's the really really really really interesting part.
As it turns out.
Actually a color association for me.
Rather specifically: mastina from the get-go has had blue as her primary color. (Or should I say me? Because right now I'm very largely mastina.) It started with her using the little blue moglin Zorbak as her avatar, and never really went away. So. I really actually in a sense do have that. And funnily enough, white is also a color I heavily associate myself with.
In contrast, Ranger from the get-go has had red as her primary color. It started with her red dragon avatar, but it has transcended that. I associate Red Hood Rider with Ranger more than anything else (after all, largely, I believe it is Ranger who makes Ruby), and guess what Ruby's colors are? Yep. Red and black.
The full dynamic and history is far, far, far more intricate than that. It's not quite forming coherently in my mind right now, which is a shame, because this feels like it's a wondrous tale to share, about how it turns out that both versions are true.
In a sense, I really do have blue as my favorite.
At the same time, blue is not my favorite--me insisting it was, was actually a little bit of denial on my part I believe.
And that applies to all aspects of my nature.
I associated red not with masculinity, but femininity.
So when I was young, rejecting it was me pushing it away, in denial of who I am.
Of course, now I understand colors a lot more, though to some extent that's actually still true believe it or not. Ranger I feel is actually more feminine than I am as mastina. I'm definitely still a girl. But I'm more of an androgynous blurring-the-gender-lines girl. As in, still a transwoman. Very much so. But. Not very girly. (Except when I am.) The spectrum of genders is near-infinite, but I actually feel more fluid (and as a result, more neutral) as mastina than as Ranger, who is solidly on the girly side at all times.
It's really really complex, I wish I had the words to describe it better. I'm always a girl, no matter what. But some of my mes are more so than others, some are closer to neutral, some fluctuate, some are both closer to neutral and fluctuate, and some are just flat-out full-on girls, no masculinity at all.
Let's see...college...didn't go so well.
Well it wasn't terrible.
But I wracked my head trying to do the quiz I knew I needed to do.
And in spite of my best efforts.
I just couldn't.
I hit a wall.
I kinda...gave up.
I'm not sure if it was the exhaustion of the long day.
Or the panic.
Or the feeling of pressure.
Or the simple frustration of knowing I should know the material yet not knowing it.
Or just not having it click.
Or being forced to skim since it's literally 90 pages I had to read through.
I couldn't do it.
I couldn't connect things.
I couldn't make it work.
I did some of it.
I don't think I've done it well.
I don't know when it's due.
If it was due today I'll get docked 20% by turning it in late, on top of all the deductions for the things I'll get wrong.
It's just hard.
And I don't know why.
I cruised through the actual part design.
I basically nailed everything else in class.
I even will get bonus points if I remember to send an email for them.
That quiz? It aint a quickie. 66 questions, nearly 200 points total in worth.
And I'm blowing it.
It's not a great feeling, and rather demotivating, and not something I really wanted to think about.
What I do want to think about?
Well, places that I'd like living at.
There are three basic locations where I want to live.
One is exactly where I am right now: maybe not this house, but this area. The Pacific Northwest. The reason? I love it here. I love all this area has to offer. I love the technology, I love the culture, I love the people, I love the environment. You know there's actually a ridiculously high number of my friends who're less than a 12 hour drive from where I live. British Columbia (usually Vancouver), Idaho's panhandle, Eastern Washington, Oregon (usually Portland), northern California (okay this might be pushing it a bit), and many places within my own Western Washington.
There's like. A ton of people here. With one exception (who I stupidly could contact yet haven't because I am a moron), I've never actually met any of them, for a myriad of reasons (namely, lack of established meetups, schedule conflicts on the few which do get established, and me being a huge freakin' coward), but they're HERE.
And the weather? The weather is what I like here. It's amazing. Plus the scenery is drop-dead gorgeous almost regardless of season, though I have a soft spot for Autumn. It's just. It's a place with a lot of supportive people. And lots of great stuff. And lots of connections. It's comfortable. It's safe. (Safe enough.) It's easy. What's not to love?
The second location I might want to live is in the United Kingdom--more specifically, nearby (but not actually in) London. Why there? Well for a start: it is also one of the locations most of my friends are in. I realize it's a whole country, meaning, not exactly a place where I can take a walk and go from one friend's house to another's.
...But all the same. In spite of that. There are in fact a bunch of friends in the UK, and quite a few around London. The other reason I'd want to go to the London area is that, by my understanding, the weather there is nigh-identical to Western Washington weather.
Why, I don't know. But my understanding is that it's essentially "mostly temperate, with occasional extreme heat or more commonly extreme cold; not usually too windy but windstorms can happen; stereotypically known for always being rainy yet not actually being that bad with plenty of sun, however, with that stereotype having existed for justifiable reasons given rain more often than not-rain".
That's my understanding of what it's like there, and that's literally what we have here. I believe this is actually backed by science, that the similarity between our two locations is actually well-known, and yet they exist for entirely different reasons. (Something to do with the seas I believe and the direction of the current, which makes the weather there be very weird compared to other places, yet that very weird is also in our state for different reasons.)
The third and final location where I'd love to live?
...Not like the other two.
Would be Australia.
The problems of living in London would be magnified tenfold in Australia: just because I have a ton of friends from there doesn't mean me also being there would mean we could meet. It's quite literally a full continent. Them being across the country is them being across a country, making them dead seriously the difference between living on the west coast of the US and living on the east coast: there's no ease of access whatsoever.
It also is rather...unusual, weather-wise. I mean. I'm sure if you looked hard enough. There'd be some place in Australia with weather comparable to my home. It is a full continent, and all that. Butstill. It's basically...all of an entirely foreign world.
Stereotypically, everything trying to kill you. (Whereas in Western Washington, nothing can kill you--except for a black widow which doesn't even exist except in areas of the state I'd never be in in the first place.) Also stereotypically, very very very very hot and arid: dry, desert, and with population largely focused in specific areas.
The reason Australia makes the list after all that, then, though, is quite simple:
The quality of the people there is just that worth it.
I have friends in Canada, though that to me is basically just living in the US. (I know I know they're not the same but there's literally no discernible difference to me between a British Columbia native and a Washington native; the boarder means very little. It might be a different story if going to Ontario, but the same could be said of going to, saaaay, Texas.)
I have friends in many places across the world, another prominent place being Germany.
And the friends I have nearby, and in London, are really good friends.
And I have really good friends elsewhere in the country too.
I'm thinking about it.
And I'm dead serious.
Across the years.
I've had my closest of my closest friends all be from Australia.
And that's what makes it be a place I'd be willing to move to.
The people there.
It'd be worth it.
And I know it'd make them so ridiculously happy.
Again, being on the same continent does not equal being able to see them all, butstill...
...One can dream, right?
Anyway. I believe I owe an update on Civ 3 as well.
The good news is: I found an alternative between being completely and totally utterly annihilated and holding out for beyond-impossible odds.
The bad news is: I really really really really hate the alternative solution I have come up with for my problem.
Because the name of this miracle?
Scorched earth tactics.
As in, "If I can't have Thessalonica, then nobody will!"
I tested it out once: it WORKED. Persia did not attack my two armies.
The problem is.
This is something I absolutely wanted to avoid.
When I faced a force I knew I couldn't hold off with my nearby elephant army, I ended up having to burn a formerly-Macedonian city to the ground, razing it, in order to keep the Persians from having it. (This city was the one north of Athens but south of Thessalonica.)
I really didn't want to be forced to do that again.
Especially given that it doesn't get rid of my problem--it only delays the problem.
I still would have 24 immortals nearby.
And then on top of the 24 immortals to the north...I have about an equal number to the south. (Well, less. On a bad turn, I counted about eight or so near there, but on the one time I did the scorched earth burn, I believe there were far more than that located there. Less than 24, but still of a rather large number. The total they have in immortals is I believe something like 36? In that range, at the very least.)
The problem with the Persians is that I can win any individual fight--even perfectly so. And I can replenish my forces faster than the Persians. I can build units almost every turn. I can attack multiple times per turn, killing more units than they can field.
My two normal armies can attack at least once a turn (if they have to traverse terrain), sometimes twice a turn.
My elephant army, twice a turn (if they have to traverse terrain), sometimes three times a turn.
So that's anywhere from 4-6 dead immortals per turn. This, plus my other units slowly but surely killing one after another immortal and then retreating out of range. (At least, for the most part.) The thing is. The Persians are just. Too dang close. With too dang many. For me to actually hold the line.
I can win the battle by atrophy. By denying them land, I can slowly but surely wear them out. Like I said. I can make units almost every turn. These units don't die easily, getting to live. (Albeit, often with only one health.) Meanwhile, I'm killing the Persians time and time again. It's just. It's a matter of scale. How many turns will it take me to wipe out their force?
I have a southern offensive. In that field, I hold a distinct advantage.
I will claim city after city there, albeit me needing to give my units some rest at the moment.
With the Persians where they're are.
We're looking at me essentially abandoning in addition to Thessalonica at least one, maybe up to three cities, all of which are conquests from Macedon I didn't want to ever lose. (Among them, I believe it's called Ambrasia? Would have to have the game up to check the names, but it's a city with a very good location.)
Cities with a lot of established buildings. Cities with a lot of established history. And I'd be burning them to the ground, in order to stop the Persian offensive.
You can understand why I am hesitant to employ this tactic, yes? After all...if I held Thessalonica, killing off all their 25 units in one stroke. (Or even 24 of said 25, or even 23 of said 25.) Then I'd keep all my ground, and be able to singlehandedly stop the offensive in one stroke. One decisive move, one decisive battle. Their strength would be gone.
And if I raze Thessalonica. Then I maybe, just maybe, slow the Persians down enough for me to wipe them out bit by bit. But also quite possibly very realistically end up having to sacrifice more than just Thessalonica. More than just the city I literally just as of that turn claimed. I might end up having to sacrifice cities I've held for ages.
And thus, the dilemma.
Hold on for a miracle.
Or make a tough sacrifice which might not even give me the results I want.
It's kinda sad that those are the two options I have, since the original was "let myself be pummeled into mush" or "hold out for a miracle", and now I'm substituting the first for the third of "hurt myself to not get badly hurt".
It's something I'll have to sleep on.
(Speaking of which, sleep's something I will be needing. Quite a bit of, considering I get up tomorrow early for class. And have Tae Kwon Do that afternoon, so.)