Time Machine

This is not a very sophisticated time machine, just a budget-friendly model. But it works well enough for my needs. "Wow, I have become so more mature and wise! I will never embarass myself like this again!" is quite an intoxicating lie.

This is a screenshot of the desktop of my first laptop, taken in 2013. The background was from Love Candied, a sozai site that isn't around any longer. I played around in MikuMikuDance a lot during this time, and I was teaching myself how to use Blender and Metasequoia. For digital art, I used...GIMP and a pirated Paint Tool SAI. Yes, I was part of the problem. Adobe Illustrator was also most likely aquired through dubious means. I played a lot of Osu and The Sims 3. Also, Petz, which is the blue thing glitching out. I can't seem to figure out what this "Skype" thing is. It looks really dumb. Probably a virus or something.

This is a picture of my childhood bedroom, from around 2009 or so. It's a small room, I think this picture was taken just a little away from the doorway. About two feet from the end of the bed is the other wall. The fish mural was already there when we moved in, I never really liked it. A little while after this was taken, a couple of years at most, I was allowed to repaint my room. I was really into hot pink and neon green at the time, it matched the bedsheets. I remember begging for the princess curtain thing after I saw that one of my friend's had one. I outgrew it shortly thereafter. They become very annoying when you're trying to sleep. At this age, I liked putting everything on my walls, including deflated birthday balloons. My biggest regret in life is not keeping those Neopets posters.

Warriors

there was literally no reason to call them manga but the Scourge one was my favorite XDDD :3c

cover of Erin Hunter's Warriors: Bluestar's Prophecy Super Edition book with a purple sticker that says 'exclusive manga adventure inside'

I will never forgive the ignorant Hollywood execs that robbed me of a shitty talking cats movie. There's no way this series wasn't pitched a million times. No way.

Well, whatever. Despite it being a very heavy obsession for me, I really can't remember if the books were actually any good. I read all the way through Power of Three, the two thick special editions that were out at the time, the comics manga, and even the guidebook. But was any of it any good??? I stopped reading after being terribly disappointed Power of Three. But it certainly had high-stakes drama, non-intimidating romance, bloody battles and good female role-models, pretty much all of the things girls are actually interested in that was severely lacking in most other relevant media at the time. Probably even now. So for me, it was good.

Of course, I couldn't hold on to the books forever. I donated them all a few years ago so some other giganerd could discover them. Even up until the box left my hands for the last time, I thought "Perhaps these might have value to me as an adult?" but then always, "No, they refused to let Cinderpelt die a meaningful death," And that's how Warriors left my life!

Weebism

Well, of course I had a weeaboo phase. Then an anti-weeaboo phase. Then a weeaboo phase. It's kind of an oscillating cycle. Do weeaboos truly even exist anymore? I think it's OK to have various interests.

Anyway, I watched a ton of Hamtaro, Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Powerpuff Girls (this is a hill I am willing to die on, but I will get to it another day) on regular TV as a smaller child, so the leap from that to actively seeking out anime to inhale was really not that big. But I've given it a lot of thought, and if I had to pick a single piece of media that marked the beginning, it would probably be Triple Baka. I don't know how, but this was it.

But to be honest, I'm kind of envious of those who could really commit to being an unapologetic weeb. I never lacked the self awareness to wear cat ears to school, read yaoi in public, glomp people or call my friends Soandso-chan. I wasn't even allowed to dye my hair an anime color. Of course, I no shortage of other things to cringe about so maybe I did myself the slightest favor.

The only weeaboo "fandom" I was really involved in at the time was Vocaloid (probably because of Triple Baka). The creativity of the community was what really drew me in. Everyone was free to make whatever they wanted. The ability to make music was cool and all, but if you weren't a musician, you could sing a cover instead. If you couldn't sing very well, you could make your own UTAU to do it for you. And if singing wasn't your thing, you could dance instead. And of course, there were the animators and artists too who made PVs for the songs. It was a lot of fun!

I was in the animation/MikuMikuDance scene. It was a little disappointing the English-speaking MMD scene pretty much only involved pumping out endless OCs by Frankenstein-ing together the work of people with actual talent, which of course lead to equally endless drama. But my small circle of friends made some pretty cool stuff, if I do say so myself. I worked a little with Vocalekt Visions, a group that brought small-scale Vocaloid concerts to local conventions before official concerts came to the US. I think my personal claims to fame are a few motion data. I'm quite embarassed by it now (I mean it was okay work for a 14-year-old but still). I sure hope one day I'll magically remember my old YouTube password, because its existence definitely sometimes keeps me up at night.

I don't know exactly why I stopped, probably because the community just became very annoying. I think I will blame Tw*tter. That, and I wanted to move on to more amibitious projects that I couldn't really do in MMD...and then I just didn't. Well, despite only having a fraction of my original files, I've still kept MMD around just in case I have the urge to make something again.

Imageboards

I started browsing 4chan (really just /cgl/) when I was about 16 or so because that's where the cool kids were. I think my first impression was that it was not as bad as everyone made it out to be. So I stuck around.

Eventually I ended up on Stamina Rose and Lolcow, though I can't say I care much for the drama anymore. It used to be so much less serious. Harmless stuff, like someone allegedly pooping herself at a meetup. I don't want to watch people actually destroy their lives or the lives of others. But I'm appreciative of any space where women can post freely without having to tolerate the usual "male here, I think she is ugly and I would not have sex with her." "male here, plz be my gf." "male here, fix my depression."

I think most of the internet is really quick to discount imageboards as being safe havens for violent losers living in mom's basement. "Why would you want to be annonymous unless you have something to hide, hmmmMMMMMM?" For me, the point of annonymity isn't the ability to "hide," but to remove any bias you otherwise might have if you could see the face or name or background of the person sharing their thoughts. And you can't be attacked for arbitrary reasons or bullied off the site, either. Sure, everyone has their own typing quirks that can give some insights into the person behind the screen, but it's expected that you learn to integrate to minimize that as much as possible. It's one of the only ways everyone's message can be truly equal, and I think that can be a beautiful thing. That being said, really not sure that I'd argue against the idea that 4chan in particular has brought more harm than good to society.