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Trapped on a Strange Planet

The sublime is ridiculous

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6 October 1979
I'm Garth W. Wallace, also known as "gwalla" online. I'm 27, male (some people get confused by that "a"), and working as a temp for the State Department. Despite my Berkeley upbringing, I went to college at the University of Southern California.

I've been into webcomics since about 1999 or so, although I've been a fan of comics since long before that. I stumbled across the first User Friendly collection in the USC bookstore's computer science section, and was susprised that O'Reilly published a book of cartoons. I read it, loved it, bought it, and discovered that it came from online. This led to a lot of time spent in the computer labs. Through a crossover, I discovered Sluggy Freelance, then through Sluggy and Plan 9 I discovered some others, and it just ballooned from there. At one point I was reading something like 20 webcomics regularly. I lost interest in UF a while back, and Sluggy is starting to pall, but I still read several. I currently read College Roomies from Hell!!!, Roomies!/It's Walky!/Shortpacked!, Melonpool, Nukees, and several comics on Modern Tales and GraphicSmash. I'm a longtime Keenspot supporter. I was around for the beginning of Keenspace. I was also an early supporter of Joey Manley's Modern Tales family.

I'm an oper on the Nightstar IRC network. I mostly hang out in #itswalky!, #warpzone, #talkaboutcomics, and #nightstar. Sometimes I join #webcomics, #puroresu, and #progrock.

I'm a forum addict. I post a lot on the Keenspot message boards, the Nightstar Zoo, and TalkAboutComics.com.

My musical tastes are eclectic, and tend towards the obscure. I'm into prog rock, especially when that implies more avant-garde stuff. I'm not so into the "big six" (or whatever) groups, aside from King Crimson and some Gentle Giant: Yes (before they went pop) is growing on me, but Genesis (before they went pop) and ELP leave me pretty cold. My favorite band is probably Magma, from France. Jazz fusion, "downtown" jazz (a la John Zorn), zeuhl, and harder-edged prog get me going. I also like a lot of electronic (especially jungle/drum'n'bass), J-pop, West Coast "cool" jazz, and other stuff. I find modern (as in 20th century & beyond) "classical" fascinating--Bartok is my favorite composer, along with Stravinsky, but I also like Ives, Cowell, and Hovhaness. Unusual rhythms, meters, and especially harmonies will usually get me to sit up and take notice.

At times I have been an avid Wikipedian. My user page can be found here, and from there you can find what I'm working on (longer-term: not counting quick corrections & such while I'm browsing, or articles I'm inspired to write on the spur of the moment), and my recent contributions. For a while I was a bit of a wikiaddict, but I cut back because it (particularly Votes for Deletion, which has since been renamed) was stressing me out.

I'm a bit of a nipponophile. Ever since I was small I wanted to visit Japan. I've been an anime fan since Robotech was on the air, and a manga fan since my parents used to pick up issues of Urusei Yatsura and Nausicaa at the comic shop. I took Japanese in college, although I didn't get very good grades. In college I got involved in Tomiki Aikido, and I'm currently a brown belt. I've been to one national tournament, which was awesome although I got my butt kicked mercilessly. Due to work conflicts, I haven't been able to practice for over a year, and it's looking likely that that phase of my life is over.

I started conlanging in high school while taking Latin, and rediscovered the hobby online in college. My conlangs tend to be involved in world-building projects intended for use in fiction, although I have yet to get one anywhere near the appropriate level of usability. I have a lot of fun with grammar and phonology, but I get bogged down when it comes to making words for the lexicon.

I consider myself a skeptic and "hard" agnostic. I'm not religious, although I find religion (especially esoteric religion, early Christianity, and Gnosticism) interesting in an academic sense. I despise pseudoscience. I'm not a member of the Skeptics Society or the James Randi Educational Foundation, mostly due to lack of money I can spare on dues.

I'm also greedy. Buy me stuff!

I adopted a cute lil' tempura fetus
from Fetusmart! mm..yummy.

His name is "Ebby", short for

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Garth Wallace

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