About Asher Wolfstein Do I Wear My Fake Fur, On The Inside?

Remember that time you were in the grocery store last Wednesday minding your own business when you turned into the aisle with the anthropomorphic raccoon man doing a tiny jig around the spilled coffee beans? Like that guy dressed in all black, leather accouterments, sporting a tail, and bearing the sigil of Lucifer necklace at the student commons whom you couldn’t figure out if he were goth, satanist, furry, geek, or biker? Or when you were filing in your workday at Best Buy and that weird man with the skunk mohawk came up and wanted to test the monitor with his miniature Linux BeagleBone before he bought it? Yeah, that was me, Asher Wolfstein.

Introduction

A Picture Of Me

My name’s Asher Wolfstein, and I’m a time-traveling wunk. A wunk is a hybrid between a wolf and a skunk. When you have a mephitic dad, and a canine mom, this kind of thing happens… four hundred fifty years in the future, that is, approximately. You have to understand; I am accidentally in this timeline, unfortunately. I no longer possess the resources required to return, to quote the classic movie, “Back To The Future.” Since then, I am now stuck here.

Something A Little Epic…

That wasn’t my only mistake. When I first arrived, I realized something terrible. As an intelligent anthropomorphic fuzzy creature, I’d have a heck of a time finding my way in the 21st century. Since society is only on the brink of genetic engineering, I’d have a lot to explain, and potentially to very clandestine authorities. My perfect life plan does not include being kidnapped, sequestered, and studied by those in power. So I used the last of my raw biomaterials in my now-defunct transmogrifier to make myself more presentable. You know, more shall I say, human. I realize now that this was a mistake. The world has turned out to be far more than I ever imagined. Regrettably, being bereft of any remaining biomaterials, I cannot revert to my original form.

It would be an understatement to say it’s been an adjustment, but I have fortunately learned to survive, somewhat. I couldn’t do it without the loving support of those who’ve graciously accepted and helped me, including my childhood family. I’ve learned a lot about myself and resilience in the face of that crushing force known as modern-day life. For these things, I’ll always be grateful.

Out Of Everything…

In my travels, I’ve realized that of all the things I need to be, being true to myself is the absolute most essential. I won’t ever be genuinely content, nor happy if I don’t allow myself to live the truth of what makes me who I am. I must experience the pain that flows from appreciating the beauty of life, rather than run from it in so many myriads of directions.

That’s why I endeavor now to become what I once was and will be. I wish now to live my life as close to how I was born. I am gradually becoming an augmented human that happens to look like a wunk. Without the technologies of 2467, I am a bit limited in how much I can achieve. However, I have always thought, limitations are the birth of artistic expression.

The Ransoms of Ordinary People

For those looking for something a bit less epic, and a little more detailed, I shall elaborate further. I currently live my life on Earth in downtown/old town Fort Collins, Colorado, as a lowly human of the male variety, one might say. The original incarnation of this blog was started on July 5th, 2014, when one day, I realized my life is pretty beautiful. I came to understand that I’m pretty privileged to be who I am (most of the time), know the things I know, and see things the way I do. On that day, I decided to start the quest to love myself, and this online journal was the chronicle of my efforts for the next four years.

If At First, You Don’t Succeed…

There are several things I’ve been able to get right so far. Being able to be pretty free, more or less, to work on what I desire when I desire isn’t too bad. I’ve worked an odd list of positions in the past: as a professional programmer (despite having no academic accreditation), as an insurance agent, and as an educational paraprofessional in the very elementary I attended. My last job was to hold an advertisement for a “doggy daycare” and grooming business on a street corner, dressed up in a full dog fursuit (a type of costume), of course. Now, my full-time job is to securely (enough) work on my projects. It is a privilege I try not to take for granted.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

I also live in a setting that I enjoy, which sounds more natural to achieve than it is. While I currently live in Fort Collins, Colorado, I haven’t always lived in the fast-paced city life. I grew up in a much more rural area where I had to do many things such as build and fix barbwire fences, raise sheep and swine, haul water, chop wood. I was also required to, most dreadfully, attend a desperately small mandatory indoctrination center (also known as a high school.) While this afforded me some engaging life lessons, I was always a city boy at heart and wanted to live somewhere with a little more… action and variety. In 1998, constantly wearing a faux fur tail and repeatedly talking about the wacky future didn’t exactly gel with all the local kids all the time. But I pulled it off, I think.

Mann Gaygen Mann

Lastly, to round out the trifecta, I am finally married to a wonderful loving husband. As well, I have a very accepting family. The Defense of Marriage Act (signed into law by President Clinton) was struck down by the supreme court some years ago. This ruling makes same-sex marriage federally recognizable. This decision allowed me to marry my Ecuadorian husband after a thirteen-year engagement finally. And this finally let me sponsor him for citizenship like every other male out there. This situation is, of course, how it always should have been. I guess it’s challenging to have progress without dark times.

As you can see, my life is pretty touched by… something. Heck, I mean, reading this makes me almost want to hate me out of spite of all the just, goodness, for goodness sake. But, that’s a good thing, an excellent thing, and why this blog used to be titled My Beautiful Life.

Anyone Can Handle A Crisis; It’s The Day To Day That Kills Us

You can imagine that it has not always been this way. Likewise, it wasn’t always easy to get here. I experienced grave inner turmoil over the last eighteen years and longer. I will most likely continue to experience it to some degree for the rest of my life. I’m not sure when you might say it all truly started, but who is sure of that kind of thing? I can say that it officially began with a diagnosis the fall of my eighteenth birthday.

Tell Me How Does It Feel To Treat Me Like You Do?

People had seen it coming. There was denial, lack of understanding, and a feeling of observing helplessness around the intense maelstrom that was my adolescence. I was always a little different than my peers, understandably. It became increasingly strenuous to reconcile our differences in my mind. After thirteen years of my childhood, I finally propelled myself out of that local teenage indoctrination center. I landed in an even higher, more nuanced, institution of indoctrination. At least this one put up a facade.

In the first six weeks I began to attend the University of Colorado, my sense of life and existence quickly unraveled. I accordingly acted untenably. Long story short, I became subsequently banned from campus, and, finally, there was a diagnosis. The young Dr. Moe, couched in the Behavioral Science Center, uttered the words across an analog telephone line to my confused tearful mother. They rendered nothing ever to be the same: “Borderline Personality Disorder.” It didn’t stop at a diagnosis, unfortunately, but then, when does it?

The Campus Renegade

For the first time, I became displaced from the traditional series of events of people’s lives. I now stood in this weird in-between where no one goes. With a diagnosis in hand, and lacking a degree, I returned home and faced the world at large the only way I could: mine. That’s how I do everything.

In doing so, I was sometimes forced, often by my own hands, into severe situations where I experienced dire circumstances. My archive blog features these kinds of experiences. Their discussions continue in the current venture known as World Of Wunk.

These scenarios and issues finally culminated in the total annihilation of my identity approximately nine years ago. When I started My Beautiful Life five years ago, I was still recovering from the initial destruction four years prior. It’s one of the reasons my old blog was written so, well, placidly. Even when it made waves, it did so in a puddle. That scope isn’t a terrible thing, in retrospect.

There Is A Fifth Dimension Beyond That Which Is Known To Man

Imagine finding one day that you are not only incapable of achieving your aims but entirely unable to be effective in any life domain whatsoever. You have various reasons to think this with absolute certainty. You believe that you are indeed the lowest of all genetically predetermined beings, and you’re curse-blessed with just enough requisite intelligence to realize it. Every day you loathe yourself so much you cry. You consistently sleep eighteen hours a day, and you have virtually no intrinsic will to live, continuing only with dread.

That was the life I lead for two and a half years. I had to move to my childhood home because I couldn’t take care of myself. Shit, I couldn’t even get myself a cup of coffee in the morning left to my own devices. I had such intense chronic anxiety I’d throw up at random. I’d obsess about horrific things (to me) for not just hours, but weeks on end. I thought I’d never program computers, write, create, or anything. I believed I’d live as this fucked up blob of depression and anxiety for the rest of my life, too overwhelmed and anxious about everything to sit down and do anything.

仕方がない (しかたがない)

I tried all sorts of medications and racked up many more hours on my psych ward frequent flyer miles, often in the acute or chronic ward with dissociations. Diagnoses covering everything from atypical psychosis, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive, to body dysmorphic disorder tripped me up repeatedly. Zyprexa, Lithium, Prozac, Lamictal, Ativan, Risperdal, Abilify, Klonopin, and so on were all medications that floated through the ether.

None of this was beautiful.

A Beautiful Life and All Its Friends…

Eventually, I began to stabilize enough to move back out of my childhood home. I returned to my favorite place, Fort Collins. It’s just large enough of a college town to be a happening city and just small enough of a city not to be a metropolis. I wasn’t better, just stable. Through judicious use of Ativan, I became free enough from my always floating severe anxiety to recover and heal. That’s when I started My Beautiful Life and pursued its content. I was finally starting to “get better.”

From that vantage point, it became a matter of unknowingly rebuilding my consciousness. In particular, I needed to reconstruct my thoughts, my interests, my viewpoints, my strangeness, my creativity, and in essence, my life. I had to recover that very thing I had lost that makes me what I am, that ephemeral thing I had destroyed: an identity.

So I wrote personal blog articles devoted to my various random interests and dedicated to my miscellaneous random psychological meanderings. Sometimes I got frustrated, and I wrote about that. Generally, the theme was around launching a project, or abandoning a project, then reorienting to a new direction. All in all, a drawn-out hopeless doldrum peppered with how much worse or how much better I was doing. It didn’t amount to much more than a journal of what happened over the last four years. I guess that was the goal… other than to make friends, which, it didn’t help very much.

Bonfire of the Vanities

The problem, in retrospect, was that I hadn’t found or rebuilt my identity. It showed in everything I wrote. I was still afloat in another in-between where people don’t mean to live. I needed to rediscover the kindling of my eccentricities and burn those bitches in a great bonfire to light the next decade, am I right?

Throughout the majority of my life, I had always had a strong sense of identity (a highly uncommon trait in those with Borderline Personality Disorder). Often it was a force that impelled me to do the unusual things I did. Destroy that, and as I found out, you get only a tiny Asher left.

No, I Mean, Who Are You?

So what am I now? A male gay-straight (hetero-homo) spiritual-atheist (Lucifurryan) futurist wunk in a human body that strives to live by the seven virtues of rationality, integrity, productivity, honesty, independence, pride, and most important of all justice.

I am an aspiring engineer, artist, coder, and intellectual, appreciating everything from opera to Disney. I take life and all its possibilities as they come. Writing, drawing, crafting, costuming, reading everything, programming computers, inventing, creating, and making are my daily activities. I have been doing these things ever since, at the age of seven, I read the manuals to my older brother’s (now antique) TRS-80 Color Computer II from Tandy-Radioshack, and made my first pseudo-game.

Wearing Your Fake Fur On The Inside

It’s exciting being a furry, as they call them in your time, in a human world. Right now, I have the best of both worlds. I can stand out in my pure form, or disappear into the crowd like everyone else any time I want. However, being from the future, sometimes I have trouble fitting in. The (proto-)furries, and humans, of this time, seem to have a few hang-ups and misconceptions (mythconceptions?) These appear to be a product of the times and apt for the occasional focus in the World of Wunk.

When I imitate a non-human, using my original form as inspiration, it’s an experience. It’s one of those things that remind you that there are perks and drawbacks, or as I say, costs to everything. This double-edged sword is always present, even with something as simple as how you look. I get hot in my fur outside during the summer, but in the winter, I stay warm. Some people look at you funny, some think you’re terrific, and some believe you are just plain terrifying. I have to admit there’s an extra level of appeal in appearance as opposed to being my usual human self. Merely being around becomes a statement.

Where Is Everybody?

In the previous incarnation of this page, I stated that I “don’t currently have very many friends.” This lack isn’t entirely accurate. I have said that My Beautiful Life didn’t achieve the goal of gaining many friends, but that’s also not entirely true. I have met new people and acquired a few more friends since I started this online lifespan. But, I wouldn’t say they were a direct result of that blog’s endeavors.

When I was in middle school, I had to tell my closest friends that if they wanted to hang out with me, they had to call me because I wouldn’t call them. This isolation isn’t because I’m necessarily introverted or callous, but because I become so lost in the activities of my mind and creativity that I live in my little separate world every day. I’ve realized that not much has changed as an adult.

So instead of asking to be my friend on social media like I used to, I’ll instead say that if you wish to talk to me, please reach out. I’m always open to new communications, but I most likely won’t autonomously continue them. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything, just that I’m in my world.

You Can’t Do That On Television

Oh, I see, you want to know even moar about me?

Well, wow, okay… I guess we can start with something a little more topical: what am I doing these days. Let’s start with…

ちなみに、お仕事は?

What do I do? I’m a professional furry.

I handcraft and dress up in larger than life animal costumes and entertain other people (as well as myself) for free as well for monetary compensation. I’ve been doing this ever since I wanted to be Gmork from Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story for Halloween in the eighth grade. That was, indeed, my first fursuit.

Honestly, it started way before eighth grade… as I said, I was born as an anthropomorphic wunk, and I’ve never really let go of that. It hasn’t always been easy, as wearing a tail twenty-four-seven to a semi-rural 3A high school every day in the nineties has its pros and cons. I distinctly remember hearing about my mother reading about people like me, they’re called “furries” apparently, in Vanity Fair at the laundromat and exclaiming, “These sound like nice people for Asher to know.” I’m not sure how that’s turned out in the end, but there it is.

Okay, I see that might not be satiating your curiosity, let’s see…

Well, in my past, I’ve worked as a “security consultant,” which translated to building livestock-grade fences up in the Rocky Mountains. Throughout my childhood, I raised sheep and swine on a small ranch. I was an eighteen-year-old insurance agent licensed in all four major lines for a couple of years. And despite not taking a single formal programming class in my life, my self-didactic knowledge culminated in my short time as a professional computer programmer for a financial statement printing firm.

Golden Days

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve dabbled in a number of different things from programming, designing computer games, writing, learning foreign languages (two semesters Spanish and self-taught Japanese), website/online community administration (anyone remember furtag.com?), blogging and social media management, inventing, drawing (three formal semesters), and generally finding myself in everything I see.

I think it’d be neat to learn more about hardware, build robots and human augmentations, dabble some in artificial intelligence, the electric guitar and music composition (I play the classical piano), and more, cause the journey never stops till you die.

My days, as an internet meme once spoke to my heart (I know), and as I explained recently to one of my few non-local visiting friends, are filled with zero plans just “coffee and strangeness.” (Also mentioned here and here.) That’s not entirely true, as I’ve learned and applied myself to have more of a daily plan/routine, but that’s a pretty good sum up for my entire life.

Every day I self-study Japanese, programming, crafting/making, read books/manga, listen to music, drink a lot of coffee, dream lonely daydreams of bright futures where I am finally my original pure form, are financially free, and have lots of friends (do you wonder why I have so much free time?) and above all I write about all of it.

Do Or Do Not, There Is No Try

I have actually “done” a few things; I think the most lasting of which are my programming projects. My favorite programming language is actually PHP, though it gets a bad rap from the mountains of poorly written legacy code (and haphazard language design.) I know it is generally used in an object-oriented fashion, which comes with all that shared mutable state, but there are good points to doing it well. In that vein, I do have one Packagist package out there called Phabstractic (also in the archive site.)

It re-implements some things that PHP has native implementations for, such as SplObjectStorage (what I called a map) or doubly-linked lists, but it also adds some interesting constructs such as object encapsulated predicate logic for types management, sets, self-sorting lists, and a full-featured autoloader that can be custom configured (but supports PSR out of the box). Its redundancy is okay because I pretty much ultimately wrote it as a programming exercise.

I also am “fluent” in JavaScript and Python, and about a year ago, I developed the first version of what I call PYGJS (on pygame.org, and elsewhere on this site), being short for PyGame and JavaScript. The idea is that I’d use a library such as Brython, which executes Python 3 code in the browser, and other JavaScript libraries (GameJS) for graphics, input, sound, and fonts, to construct a run-time environment. In this environment, you can execute and run “PyGame based” Python programs in the browser or using installations such as NW.js or Electron. Version 1.0 is a well-deserved alpha “rough-draft” release, and the whole repository currently suffers from several shortcomings and out-right bugs, oversights, and typos. I have, at this point, abandoned that particular project in its current incarnation.

I was working on PYGJS Version 2.0 for a while, convinced that it would allow me to have the creative freedom and control I desired for creating a custom game engine of my design. However, I have begun to feel that perhaps it is a bit silly for me to insist on a PyGame like structure, which puts you pretty close to the hardware (being in a way mostly a wrapper on SDL.) After all, I found myself writing code for a sort of custom scene graph to provide scaffolding for user interface processing, and that type of system is already a done deal with a library such as CreateJS. I apologize to anyone looking for a straightforward way to run a PyGame in the browser, but, you can always try jumping off where I left the codebase (see above)

But Does It Think?

I have also completed a draft of a manuscript for a small book. It is a childhood fantasy intended for peculiar children. I mean, what else would it be? It is titled Impossible Things and resides in my archive. I have thought of maybe trying to turn it into the basis for a computer game or kinetic novel, but I as of yet have not done anything with it. If you read it and think it’d be a cool idea, shoot me a note!

When I was practicing to increase my drawing skills, I was also selected to be featured in a local gallery alongside my teacher in a “Masters and Apprentice” show. It ran for a little while in a location between Fort Collins and Loveland. I went and visited my exhibition once to see it in person, and I read my friends the artist statement I had written. Alongside that, my work, including the gallery piece, was featured twice in the Community Creative Center in Library Park.

Smaller work includes working as an independent contractor for WordPress sites (one of my favorite platforms) for a stint. The idea was that people would have something go wrong on their self-hosted WordPress site, such as content displaying incorrectly or being unable to access the administration panel, and I’d come in and fix it. I also have written short works of highly creative fiction on a commission basis to be posted online, one of them hitting the top one hundred charts within days of posting.

He Comes From Outer Space To Save The Human Race

I’ve constructed some fursuits, as they are called, in my years here in the 21st century. Fursuits are the slang term for basically larger-than-life-size anthropomorphic animal costumes that you can wear on your whole body, or partially covering parts of your body (they call that a “partial”). I’ve been designing, constructing, and wearing fursuits since I was in eighth grade.

As mentioned, my first fursuit was a throw-away Halloween costume for Gmork, the (were)wolf from The Neverending Story, and from there I made one with a moving jaw and terminator like eyes using sunglass lenses.

Then, I decided I’d go to one of these furry convention things I was hearing so much about with my husband, and as part of the experience, I built Willy, the Red Husky. I dusted off Willy after many years in storage and decided to wear him around all my local cities and towns while filming almost a hundred YouTube videos cataloging my interactions and travels.

Willy The Red Husky

The furry convention was a bit of a bust, however. I went twice, and the second time I didn’t have a fursuit. I think having Willy the first time enabled me to buffer some of the stresses of the immensity of the con. Without him, it turned into a horribly stressful and seemingly isolating experience for me. I decided at that time that I’d only return to a convention if I had a particular reason.

Costumes FC

From Willy, I also developed Copper the Cop DogLarry the Lab Rat, and Isaac Homebrew, the Engineer Raccoon. All of these fursuits were built by myself and used no commissioned pieces. I’m a bit biased and proud of the life they’ve been able to take on. Unfortunately, I don’t take commissions currently.

I currently am working what I call a “fursuit for life,” and it is an ambitious project. I want to be able to implement some costuming ideas that have, so far as I know, been relegated to professional costumers or not implemented at all. My inspiration is the new animatronic Foxy Bingo mascot.

They Told Me To Never Meet My Heroes

It would be remiss of me not to mention the fulfillment of some of my long-held dreams of meeting people who inspired me in the past. I have been blessed enough in this life, through various means, to meet some beautiful people who have done, or did, a lot in their lives. These include Richard Garriot A.K.A. Lord British (creator of the Ultima series of computer games), Carol Channing (the inimitable Broadway legend of Hello Dolly!), Lori & Corey Cole (authors of the Sierra Online Quest for Glory series), and hopefully more to come.

When it comes to Carol Channing, this is where my gayness truly comes out. I’m a massive fan of Maude, The Golden Girls, and I Love Lucy and several other shows featuring older women in showbiz. Bea Arthur and Carol Channing are two of my idols, and I’ve met one of them in person. Unfortunately, the indomitable Bea Arthur died before I was able to contact her in any way (like sending a fan letter), and that was tough. I wasn’t in the best mindset when I heard the news. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the best place mentally when I met Carol Channing either, and it was a very bright spot in a bleak time.

Professor Carol Channing came to the local university for a master’s class, which I was able to see. She also signed copies of her album at the local Barnes & Noble! There I sat in the first row (after lurking around for forty-five minutes) as thee Carol Channing sang four feet in front of me. I later told her how much I enjoyed everything she was in, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, and she thanked me. I have to thank my friend Rachel Holmes for informing us of that one, and my husband Maus for setting it up while I was indisposed. It’s a memory I definitively cherish. Below is a YouTube playlist documenting the entire experience:

That time I met Carol Channing in Fort Collins

I was able to meet Richard Garriot when my husband Maus arranged for us to vacation at Disney Land while also attending the Ultima Dragons’ 25th Anniversary conference. Maus had been invited to sing a round of songs based on Garriot’s virtues featured in the games during the conference, and we took full advantage of the occasion. I finally saw Disney Land (something I had never done at the age of thirty-four) as well as meet and talk to someone I’d only ever read about in books and magazines. It was pretty exciting! Below is my Instagram post about it (of course!):

View this post on Instagram

Kicking it with Lord British

A post shared by Asher Wolfstein (@asherwolfstein) on

In the fall of 2019, my husband and I were able to attend PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) East in Seattle on invitation by Transolar Entertainment to volunteer for the exhibition booth. For those unfamiliar with Transolar Entertainment, they are responsible for the dazzling modern computer game Hero-UHero-U is a beautiful spiritual successor to Quest for Glory designed by the original designers themselves, Lori and Corey Cole, whom I met. While attending PAX, I attended a Sierra Alumni gathering where I also met Al Lowe (of Leisure Suit Larry), Julia Minamata (who’s developing the lovely gem of a game The Crimson Diamond), the Space Quest Historian, and lastly the people behind Giggle Horse Games (who are developing Absolute Zero). I also got to demo Cascadia Quest from IceFall Games, which was quite intriguing.

Does Game Theory Really Explain The Meaning of Life?

If you couldn’t guess by the last paragraph, I like to play video games at times. It’s a shame because I want to experience and catalog all the games. But, I get so busy at times playing the retro classics that I don’t play the new ones! Hell, I get so busy writing and working on whatever project I have burning the top of my head that I forget to play video games at all! How’s that for a first world problem? I’m enthusiastic enough that I even have my original Nintendo Entertainment System console, as well as a working TRS-80 Color Computer II 16k and Commodore 64.

When I was very young, I caught on to the phenomenon known as gaming when my oldest brother’s friend brought over his Nintendo to show off. I had played games on my TRS-80 previously, but this was a whole new experience. When I saw Mario and The Legend of Zelda in their full glory, my mind was utterly blown. I became incredibly passionate about this idea of a computer game. It fascinated me that you could theoretically create a whole world for someone to explore actively. It had become possible to craft a unique experience unachievable through passive media alone.

Since then, it has always been one of my dreams to create a computer game. I have lots of ideas for them, but so far in life, I have experienced difficulty in creating them outside of an online paper doll game. However, I will not give up! Learning how to make games, particularly with how to program them, has been one of the main motivational factors in my pursuit to program computers.

Speaking of video games, these days, I stream my game playing on Twitch when I do play, then I download and catalog these sessions on my YouTube channel. Currently, I don’t talk during my videos, it’s pure unadulterated game footage straight up, but this may change in the future (perhaps… when I make my next fursuit?)

Where The Cheesecake Roams Freely And The Girls Are Gold

Let’s get down and be a fan for a moment, if I may. Today it’s all about fandom, and one of the integral parts of fandom is what you like. So, let’s delve into my personal tastes.

My tastes can vary wildly, but the thing I’m most attracted to is anything catchy, memorable, and unique (usually artsy). It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good, mainstream or niche/underground (though those tend to produce a larger volume of results), retro or new, or, in the case of media, any particular language or format.

I tend to have a pretty open mind towards things worth appreciating, although I’m pretty set in my ways in my own beliefs. Seeing a glimpse of the future, however brief my life was there, has given me a particular perspective on things. I mean, you try telling your sister-in-law that the future of the pre-YouTube internet was video sharing and see if she kicks you out of her room too (although it was night, and she was trying to sleep… but still!)

Two of my all-time favorite television shows that have influenced me are Maude and The Golden Girls. Both of these shows starred Bea Arthur and in the girls’ case, also starred Rue Mclanahan, Estelle Getty, and Betty White. I don’t try to be a hipster, but my husband (Maus) and I were binging the ladies on DVD fifteen years before it became a trending tag on Twitter. I’ve seen the entire series at least a dozen times. Another show I’ve enjoyed is Family Guy. If someone rolls their eyes at the “brilliance” of Family Guy, you’re talking to a fool. I also like Murder She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury.

I mention those four shows because they probably saved me in a weird way when the shit went down. The scant hours I was awake during the most significant depression I pretty much just watched those shows, which sounds simple, but I find it difficult to watch television because it takes up so much time. I’d instead rather be creating, or having a sense of doing, than sitting down and soaking up every detail of a show.

They Called Me Gmork

For a long time, The Neverending Story was my favorite movie of all time. I read The Neverending Story by Michael Ende at my local school library, and it was, of course, better than the film (in the 80s? Never!) Of course, this was before super amazing computer-generated special effects came into the picture. I feel those limitations helped generate some unique visions, and films such as LabyrinthHoward the Duck (the greatest movie ever made), LegendThe Dark CrystalGhostbusters, and more were lodged permanently into my pre-teen psyche via cable.

I’ve always appreciated animated movies as well, starting with All Dogs Go To Heaven, first and foremost. Man, that Don Bluth film pulled the tears out of my little face every time, and it was glorious. From there, it was an inevitable graduation to feature-length animated Japanese films by the likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon ala Princess Mononoke and Millennium Actress.

I’ve always liked animation because you can do anything with it, including make animal-human hybrids (like myself) run around and talk. Secretly, in another life, I learned to animate instead of program computers.

Cult classics always have a place in my heart, like Rocky Horror Picture Show or Donnie Darko, and of course, I can’t forget the stop off at the horror buffet that kicked off with my favorite film (at the age of nine) Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. I’ve seen my share of horror, and these days I can be seen haunting The Gorehound’s Playground as they unveil obscure cinema from around the world. Nothing like a cheesy horror B-movie to brighten up your day.

I Want To Fuck You Like An Animal

In terms of books and music, where does one begin? I’ve always experienced music as this fluid thing that never really has a particular core point in my life, which is funny because I spent the first few years of my life with old seventies style cushy headphones glued to my head. I also spent ten years of it learning classical piano.

Being the youngest, I tended to listen to whoever and whatever everyone else around me was. I do have a vivid memory of when the counterculture kids sat me down in science class one time and asked who I listened to and I cluelessly said, “Uh, Alanis Morisette?” and they laughed at me… guess I should’ve been listening to Marilyn Manson.

I grew up on Jethro Tull and Mannheim Steamroller, but at one point or another, I discovered Trent Reznor, and that was the, to quote, beginning of the end.

Nine Inch Nails is by far the only band I’ve ever truly been a fan of, and indeed I did once attend a concert in Denver to see Trent Reznor live. At the age of approximately twelve, saw the televised version of the Closer music video and was deeply moved. I may have been a little obsessed, but that’s a story for another time. I love Rammstein, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson but I also love Enya, Japanese music, 8 Bit Weapon, Anamanaguchi, M83, Sigur Ros, Bjork, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Electric Six, David Bowie, Jackson and His Computer Band, MIKA, Ratatat, the list goes on…

But That Is Another Story To Be Told Another Time

As for books, how can you go wrong with things like Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story, or C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia? Of course, the non-fiction (or otherwise) books hanging around my family’s library room intrigued me as well, such as Unexplained PhenomenonPyramid Power, Edgar Cayce anthologies, and Jane Roberts’ The Seth Material. I was so intrigued by The Seth Material that as an adult I followed up and read the entire Seth series:

A good flip through of Ayn Rand’s Anthem or Atlas Shrugged was offset by an in-depth analysis of The Perks of Being A Wallflower, George Orwell’s 1984, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and even Emerson’s The Invisible Man.

I read everything, and several books have helped me intimately, such as David Burns’ Feeling GoodDepressed & Anxious, Helmstetter’s What To Say When You Talk To Yourself, and of course the works of Albert Ellis and Victor Frankl (Man’s Search For Meaning).

This is all on top of the fun I have poring over thousand-page technical manuals regarding the latest programming language or technology, ah Python and your snakey ways. If it has to do with programming, I’ll read it.

I’ve expanded my horizons to include manga of all varieties and walks of life, with my first manga being the Orange series by Ichigo Takano. In fact, I revealed my new found love for manga to a new friend I made at the same time who is more familiar with fandom and as I described to her the time travel high school love plot she said, “You picked that for your first manga!?”

Now I’m reading anything that sparks a mild interest, from Shuzo Oshimi’s The Flowers of Evil to Hidenori Kusaka’s Pokemon Adventures, Leiji’s Captain HarlockLife of a Highschool Fudanshi, all the way to Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tale, it’s all there baby.

Millennial… or Xennial?

Like many my age, I grew up with interactive creations being my favorite, mostly “ugly” old video games (pretty much mainly console), but I love trips of the imagination of all kinds be it books (non-fiction/fiction, traditional/graphic/manga), plays/musicals/operas, whatever.

My favorite video game of all time has to be Final Fantasy III / VI for the Super Nintendo as released in North America. That’s the first game that showed me what an excellent Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) could be.

My second choice, if I had to pick, would be Chrono Trigger, of course. What can I say, I’m a JRPG nut. It was the gateway drug to the manga *cough*. Anyways, if you’re interested in retro gaming with various titles (for example, my series on Clock Tower), you might check out my archive YouTube user channel while I continue to set-up my new channel.

The thing that I love about electronic games, as well as table-top role-playing games, is that they enable the drawing of the player into a whole designed world. They place you, the player, in such a way that your artistic reactions are not one of pure passivity, but one of thrilling experience. I feel computer games have a unique position to explore the medium of interaction in a way that more passive formats cannot. They can merge the activity and socialness of a sport with, in the case of narrative-driven design, an artistic expression beyond abstract rules. I love the prospect of being able to not only come up with a fantastical vision but place someone inside that vision to see it for themselves.

“I’m A Lifestyle Blogger and Social Influencer…”

Finally, we come to the end of the journey called “Asher Explains It All.” Honestly, I feel like I’ve only revealed the visible top of the massive proverbial iceberg. But, I guess that’s why I have a blog, right? Here I thought I’d finally provide a list with brief descriptions of the things in which I’m currently involved. I say involved because I am not currently working on all of them at once. Many, if not all, of these projects are my idea, borne from this bizarre noggin I call a head. This trajectory means some projects may get fewer updates or languish a little more than others.

World Of Wunk & My Life As A Furry Comic

I am, of course, the writer and founder of the personal “lifestyle blog” (I guess that’s what they call it) titled World of Wunk. That is what you are reading right now. Here I hope to expand on my musings about computer science and programming, game design, language, manga, philosophy, transfurryism, costuming, performing, life experiences, and the artonautical universe. I’m always working on something, whether it be a new computer language, a new game, a new website, or a new comic. The sister site to World of Wunk is My Life As A Furry Comic, a nascent webcomic, illustrated by Maus Merryjest, set in the artonautical world. It will star Asher’s furry alter-ego as himself alongside other colorful characters such as Kadar Falcraft and Lucifur Pankosmios.

Novelty Factor LLC

I helped co-found, and officially head up as Executive Creative Genius, Novelty Factor LLC. Novelty Factor LLC is a media firm based out of Fort Collins aiming to provide creative support for individuals and businesses in need of tools and ideas for content, marketing, and other productions. Currently, Novelty Factor LLC offers website hosting and other technical consultations. For more information about all of that, please check out their About Page.

Poochie Cures Cancer

This blog is an idea that’s been lying around my hard drive(s) for quite a long time. I am the original creator and writer of an ever-continuing epic cross-over work of pure parody (“fanfiction”) titled Poochie Cures Cancer. I have shared this creation at times with my friends and acquaintances, and it seems to always erupt in raucous laughter. So, by popular demand, I’m beginning to make the adventures of Poochie and his quest to save the Empress of Friendship Strawberry Shortcake from Berry Cancer publicly available at PoochieCuresCancer.com. I hope you’ll enjoy this creation as much as I have enjoyed making it.

The Official Chraki Language Site (Speak The Future)

This project also hearkens back to an idea I had a very long time ago. Approximately twenty-four years ago, when I was twelve, it suddenly occurred to me that though I speak English in this timeline, that wasn’t always the case. I initially spoke an extraordinary language that I could hardly remember, but that I knew was quite useful and unique. This tongue was the language of the future, where I’m from, and it is called Chraki (pronounced “Ch-r-ah-k”.) Since that time, I’ve endeavored to rebuild this language and perhaps embellish it myself as a constructed language (conlang.)

These efforts are so that it can be used today, otherwise what was the point of traveling in time? This project is unique, and a little wild, in that it aims to produce a language that can perform multiple functions. One can speak Chraki naturally, but one can also use it in a technical fashion such as for programming computers and logic. As time goes on, you can find up-to-date information at Chraki.dev.

(I’ve previously written about Chraki here.)

How To Program Anything

I own the domain name HowToProgramAnything.com, which in my opinion, is pretty good! Of course, I plan to do something with it and have been for some time. I hope that over time, this site can be a resource for learning how to program in an essential sense. The idea is to determine the process and theoretical framework of programming and logical problem solving as a whole. With this understanding, you should then be equipped to learn and program in any language and with any technology. There is a lot of potential here, including some creative ways to understand programming. I hope that it can bring a lot of very heady and mysterious subjects in fields such as computer science, mathematics, and engineering onto a level that most people will be able to grasp.

Artificial Dream Productions / Kadar Entertainment

These two companies are the names of my game development house and publishing company. I wrote before that I’m fascinated by computer games, and that inevitably leads to creating them. I’ve had a few ideas floating around for a long time that I hope to make into a game eventually.

One fantastic aspect of today is that we are now free to artistically choose how and in what way we produce our interactive creations. We can go for super realistic three-dimensional graphics or opt for something a bit more imaginatively evocative such as retro pixel graphics. In the past, we didn’t have much of a choice, and it seemed almost required to try to push the hardware. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. Likewise, when we aren’t using modern technology to crank out the state-of-the-art, we’re able to focus more on other exciting aspects such as narrative innovation and artificial intelligence.

I started my programming career, when I was seven, dreaming of making games on my TRS-80 Color Computer II using only 16k of memory and a tape drive. Alas, this dream never materialized as I grew older, and technology progressed rapidly beyond. On top of that, computer games, and their development were often seen as an artistic step-child, or worse simply a fad. It tickles me then that today it is becoming in vogue to not only have a game development team (like a rock band) but to aim to produce a game for older systems such as the Commodore 64 to invoke great nostalgia.

It is in this in-between retro-future demesne that I hope to start making some creations on some form of a regular basis. I’m not entirely sure when this “regular basis” will start or how often it will be at this time, but I hope to craft custom imaginative adventures on either a patron or commission basis as Artificial Dream Productions. You can find out more at the development house website ArtificialDreamProductions.com and my potential future publishing front KadarEntertainment.com.

As for notable titles I hope to eventually make, there are a few main concepts that have floated around for some time. These range over several formats, and all of them, of course, involve a furry element. There is Reliqua Dissimilis (ReliquaDissimilis.com), a point-and-click style adventure game series detailing the epic of Kadar Falcraft, a hybrid wunk far from the far future. I also have Mangy Wolf (MangyWolf.com), which is a slice-of-life dating-sim style simulator set in an exotic private educational facility. These are the two projects that currently have domain names (if not sites), so I list them here.

Opera Metaphysick & Psychoelectric Artonauts

This particular project is one for the farther future as it involves resources and personnel I currently don’t have but hope to one day. Opera Metaphysick will one day hopefully be a modern opera/performance company that specializes in putting on unique and innovative productions. Psychoelectric Artonauts is my idea for a future (rock) band with an exciting sound. They currently have domain names, but not much else, at OperaMetaphysick.com and PsychoelectricArtonauts.com.

Original Pursuits Society

Eighteen years ago, there was an organization called The Clasheerian Order (TCO). It existed, mainly as an unofficial high school club, between several online members, as well as a large number of local members. The cofounders, Asher and Cliff, created an organization dedicated to creativity in the semi-rural area where they lived. For five years, this organization flourished and grew to include several works by members, activities, monthly meetings, and a newsletter.

Based on this organization and inspired by the profound effect it had on its members and the surrounding area, I have co-founded the Original Pursuits Society. TCO provided a welcome environment for unconventional and creative individuals in the county to come together since the county lacked any real alternative outlets. In this near desolation, there were, for example, three stoplights, no book store, no significant after-school programs beyond sports programs, and a local dial-up BBS hosted by the school district.

The Original Pursuits Society (OPS) wishes to bring this effect to the 21st century using the technologies available that we only dreamed of during TCO’s time. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Second Life, WordPress, JavaScript, Tablets, Smart Phones, and the list goes on. Many of the things TCO strived towards internet-wise exist now in broader, more general terms. Now it is time to bring it all back together, by utilizing the current technological tools, and create a robust community of creative individuals like it was meant to be. For more information and up to date news, please see OriginalPursuitsSoc.com.

(I’ve also written previously about Original Pursuits Society here, here, here, and here.)

Other Miscellaneous Ventures

I also serve, or have served in some capacity, as a webmaster for the following sites:

As you can see, I have a lot of stuff out there that my beautiful mind can choose from daily, and honestly, it’s a bit frustrating when I can’t stuff it all into the twenty hours I’m awake. I hope you find something new and exciting here, and maybe something new and pertinent in me. Either way, I had fun writing it.