Attention Please: Eat this and Forget

July 5, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 5 Comments
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a20tameshi.testbed

a20tameshi.testbed

I finally did it. Way back in Checklist: Emigration, I said I’d be migrating to a free host, and here it is. Well, the site itself is up and working, but I don’t think I’ll move there now. That’s right- I’ve decided. I’ll use a paid host, and not this free one. A20tameshi will be used for, well… I don’t know as of yet, but I’ll be um, testing things with it. So no worries, I’ll be here (On wordpress.com) for a while to come.

Now, as a form of celebration- there’s really nothing much to celebrate besides my finding out that the free host I chose had this thing called the ‘fantastico installer’ or something that allowed me to instantly install wordpress 2.8 after quite a while fiddling with a FTP uploader…. bah, enough of that. The point is, I’m celebrating, and… hmm? No, I’m not having a give-away, I’m afraid. Instead, you’ll have to settle for some amusing junk mail that’s been gathering digital dust in my inbox.

I) Here’s one called the ‘Six Truths of Life’, which I received from chtan2089. Here goes:

1) You cannot touch all your teeth with your tongue.

2) All idiots, after reading the first Truth, will try it.

3) The first Truth is a lie.

4) You’re smiling now because you’re an idiot.

5) You will soon forward this to an idiot.

6) There’s still a stupid smile on your face.

Sorry bout this, I was an idiot too, and I needed company…

Rather charming, in it’s own way. Actually, it reminded me of Lelouch from Code Geass- remember the episodes where he fimed a video of himself which anticipated every reaction of the person it was aimed at? This one works on the same principle. Most people would smile, I suppose. If you’re wondering, I didn’t. Stoneface, that’s me…

II) I also get lessons on love in the mail- am I being prodded towards a relationship, I wonder? Sheesh, the pressure… haha. Listen to this one:

When a girl is quiet… millions of thoughts are running through her mind.

When a girl is not arguing… she is thinking deeply.

When a girl looks at you with eyes full of questions… she is wondering how long you’ll be around.

When a girl answers ‘I’m fine’ after a few seconds, she isn’t fine at all.

When a girl stares at you, she is wondering why you are lying.

When a girl lies on your chest, she is wishing for you to be hers forever.

When a girl a girl wants to see you everyday, she wants to be pampered.

When a girl says ‘I love you’, she means it.

When a girl says ‘I miss you’, no one in this world can miss you more than she does.

Life only comes around once, make sure you spend it with the right person… find a guy, who calls you beautiful instead of hot. Who calls you back when you hang up on him. Who will stay awake just to watch you sleep. Wait for the guy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in your sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends. Who is constanly reminding you of how much he cares for you and how lucky he is to have you. Who turns to his friends and says ‘that’s her!’

If you open this you have to repost it, guy or girl, or you will have bad luck for the rest of your life!!!!

…someone once said something like ‘one or two apostrophes are fine, but three is the sign of a diseased mind’. I suspect Terry Pratchett.

III) I’m not a religious person, but this was amusing nonetheless- a ‘letter from the devil’. Here goes:

Interesting. I think if Satan were to really say all that, the world would change quite a bit.

DARK LETTER

PAY ATTENTION TO THE P.S. at the end.

Letter from the Devil
This can really make you think. It actually made me really mad
while I was reading it, but it made me realize some things.
Plus,
I had to send it because of the P.S.
This is deep… and I wasn’t going to forward or share it, but that last line… you’ll see.

A LETTER TO YOU FROM SATAN


I saw you yesterday as you began your daily chores.

You awoke without kneeling to pray. As a matter of fact, you didn’t even bless your meals, or pray before going to bed last night.

You are so unthankful, I like that about you.

I cannot tell you how glad I am that you have not changed your way of living, Fool, you are mine.

Remember, you and I have been going steady for years, and I still don’t love you yet.

As a matter of fact, I hate you, because I hate God.

He kicked me out of heaven, and I’m going to use you as long as possible to pay him back.

You see, Fool, GOD LOVES YOU and HE has great plans in store for you

But you have yielded your life to me, and I’m going to make your life a living hell.

That way, we’ll be together twice. This will really hurt God.

Thanks to you, I’m really showing Him who’s boss in your life with all of the good times we’ve had.

We have been…

watching dirty movies,
cursing people out,
stealing, lying, being hypocritical, fornicating, overeating, telling dirty jokes, gossiping, being judgmental,
back stabbing people, disrespecting adults, and those in leadership positions, no respect for the Church, bad attitudes.

SURELY you don’t want to give all this up.

Come on, Fool, let’s burn together forever. I’ve got some hot plans for us. This is just a letter of appreciation from me to you.

I’d like to say ‘THANKS’ for letting me use you for most of your foolish life.

You are so gullible, I laugh at you. When you are tempted to sin, you give in

HA HA HA, you make me sick.

Sin is beginning to take its toll on your life. You look 20 years older, and now, I need new blood.

So go ahead and teach some children how to sin.

All you have to do is smoke, get drunk or drink while under-aged, cheat, gamble, gossip, fornicate, and live being as selfish as possible.

Do all of this in the presence of children and they will do it too. Kids are like that.

Well, Fool, I have to let you go for now. I’ll be back in a couple of seconds to tempt you again. If you were smart, you would run somewhere, confess your sins, and live for God with what little bit of life that you have left.

It’s not my nature to warn anyone, but to be your age and still sinning, it’s becoming a bit ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I still hate you.

IT’S JUST THAT YOU’D MAKE A BETTER FOOL FOR CHRIST.

P.S. If you love me, you won’t share this

Whoever typed this out must have had too much free time. Really, though, the postscript was the clincher. What a hoot! I didn’t send it all the same- I hate spam as much as I hate ants. Well, a little less, perhaps. At least spam doesn’t get into the sugar…

IV) Nine words women use, from Sugarcocktail.

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’ . that will bring on a ‘whatever’).

(8) Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying F— YOU!

(9) Don’t worry about it, I’ll do it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

*Send this to the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology.
* Send this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh, cause they know it’s true!!!

Umm, let’s see… which words do I use, in the same way? The first one is ‘fine’- ah, I do the same thing all the time. ‘Five minutes’? Normally one minute is enough for me, but… oh well. ‘Nothing’- haha, I’m guilty of misusing this word too. ‘Go ahead’. Check. ‘Loud sigh’: Oh, all the time… ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll do it’. Yup, I’ve done this. So what’s my score? Let’s see- 6 out of 9. Not bad, I guess?

Well, that’s the end for this post. Had fun? Did you enjoy the lesson in love, the letter from Satan, the Truths of Life, and the guide to the Female Vocabulary? I don’t suppose you’ll remember the first paragraph of this post, which is all good, because I really haven’t decided what to do with ‘it’ yet, and there’re still some bugs I have to work my way around. Toodles till next!

Dreams of Lost Shoes

June 30, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Dreams | 7 Comments
Image is of no relevance to the content. Except maybe the shoes...

Image is of no relevance to the content. Except maybe the shoes...

Haven’t posted anything on my dreams for some time, so here goes. Have fun exploring my subconscious, and try not to trip over the pickled sharks. As for the migration to a free/paid host, I’ll try asking some friends. Maybe the know-it-all techies can help, but if they can’t… oh well:

First up, one dating back to the 21st of January, this year. According to my physical ink and paper diary, I slept in the previous day, and as a result had too many things floating in my head that I couldn’t remember upon awakening. I did remember this bit, though.

I was in back in school, or college, or more likely, an amalgamation of both, although I had no idea what I was doing there. Something about me losing my shoes, which I found in the large hall used for badminton games. Someone had damaged them, and that put me in a foul mood. A friend of mine was there, trying to calm me down. I stormed out of the hall… and saw a girl, standing a few meters away, with some other guys. Our eyes met for an instant. I turned away and walked off, without a word.

I woke up and thought about her. I’ve only told a few friends about my onetime ‘feelings’ for her, but I suppose it’ll be fine to leak everything out now. Upon leaving the protection of school for the bigger pond outside- she was feeling a little lonesome at the time- I think she was ostracized by her classmates, to a certain extent. I told her not to worry, for ‘we’ (Me and my mates) would visit now and then.

Back in school, I’d only told two friends how I ‘felt’ for her. Just a short while after that, I found out something which changed everything- that she’d transferred to my school just to chase after another guy. Something in me just snapped, and I gave up. Naturally, I didn’t visit much. And when I did go, I didn’t bother to look for her.

I wonder why this popped up in a dream. Leftover regrets for not going after her? I don’t think so. Guilt over not visiting, when I said I would? Perhaps. Oh well, here’s a more fanciful one to freshen things up a bit, dating from the 31st of January.

Again, for some strange reason, I’d lost my shoes. In a shopping mall, of all places. I wandered around looking for them with a friend, who’d lost his as well. The next thing I knew, some evil being had infiltrated the defences of a medieval castle, and I just happened to live there. As its princess. Don’t ask why. Oh, and my ‘father’ looked like Beast from the old Disney movie. And no, I did not look like Belle, although I don’t think I had a mirror on hand to verify that point.

The last thing I remembered from this dream was three villains with rubber heads in the likeness of Malaysia’s fourth, fifth, and sixth prime ministers persecuting some innocent villagers, after which I woke up. Which was rather sad, come to think of it- whatever happened after that should have been quite a sight.

Japanese Film Festival ’09 Part II: おくりびと/Departures

June 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Outings | 4 Comments
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おくりびと/Departures

おくりびと/Departures

Before I begin with the review, a little rant. I’ve just signed up for a free site on this place called ‘freei.me’, and tried to install WordPress on it- well, if ‘tried’ covers clicking all here and there whilst reading reams of incomprehensible technobabble and eventually leaving the account to rot in a dark corner of the internet as I grumble yet again… well then. Let the review begin:

‘Departures’, known in Japan as Okuribito (Official Site), was screened in the recent Japanese Film Festival. I missed it, and virtually kicked myself on the head a few times for such a slip, until I heard that the cinema which ran the Festival, strangely, would be screening Departures for a few more days. Still, I ran into a spot of trouble- the online ticketing site crashed as a result of too much traffic (Or more likely, they forgot to pay tech support).

Well then, what else can I say about a show that’s won the Academy award for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’? Nothing much, come to think of it, but let’s start with someting simple. When I heard that a Japanese movie had been nominated for the Oscar, I instantly gave it my support, without even knowing anything about it. I thought that it didn’t win (Obviously I was mistaken on this), but was still disappointed that I couldn’t catch it.

My bad. ‘Departures’ won the Oscar, along with a host of other awards here and there. The director must have had quite a bit of fun, flying all over the world to collect those funny little trophies. Now everyone who has heard of the movie, or who has watched the movie, or plans to watch it, will surely know something about what the movie is about- wikipedia has a smashing summary of it- a cellist in Tokyo finds himself out of a job, and moves back to his hometown in Yamagata, where he becomes an encoffiner. There. A summary as spoiler-free as one can possibly be.

Yamagata is a lovely place. Out of the four movies which I watched in this Festival, Departures is the only one that is set almost completely in the countryside. The locals even speak a charming dialect- for example, they pronounce the pronoun ‘watashi’ as ‘watasu’- and instead of ending sentences in ‘ne’ or ‘na’ they end it with ‘nou’. Watching Daigo (Our former cellist) teach his wife Mika the local lingo was a sweet moment.

Although it deals with death, ‘Departures’ isn’t a gloomy, depressing sort of movie. I watched it with my mom, and although she complained that there wasn’t enough humour in it, I felt that there was just enough to keep the show balanced. It’s not meant to be a comedy, after all. It’s not meant to be depressing, either. Ah, come on, just look at the poster- it’s all cheerful and pinky, and the very first scene in the movie is really an elaborate joke.

‘Departures’ is a relatively simple yet lovable movie, and I found myself actually anticipating what would happen next- would the story turn towards A, or towards B? Ah, it’s taken the high road to C, which means that it will eventually end up in D… get the picture? I’d really love to add real names and events to it, but then that would be giving away too much. So shoot me.

Motoki Masahiro (本木雅弘) as Kobayashi Daigo was pretty good- he carried out his role as the quiet, nice-guy husband role pretty well. According to wiki he even trained under a mortician for the role. Hirosue Ryoko (広末涼子) as his wife Mika was, well… she didn’t have much to do in the movie besides fulfilling the male ideal of a beautiful, loving, supporting wife- although she does throw in a sharp pre-heated wrench into Daigo’s life as a result of him taking up his job.

And about that job… I know that most Asian cultures have some sort of taboo about death, but I’ve never really cared too much for it. It’s ridiculous, really- as Daigo’s boss says in the movie- ‘Even the meat you are eating is a corpse. We all live off the dead… unless you’re these guys’, pointing to his lovely indoor garden.

‘Departures’ clocks in at two hours and thirteen minutes long. It didn’t feel that long at all, though. Time just seemed to pass by peacefully as I sat in the theatre, the seconds ticking along with every word spoken, every snowflake that fell to the earth, every body Daigo had to collect… OK, I’ll shut up now:3

What rating to give this movie? I don’t normally rate, or review, for that matter, live-action movies- it’s a gorgeous movie, but does it deserve a 5/5, which in my definition means ‘epic’? A sublime masterpiece? I don’t know. Yes, I love it, but would I watch it again and again? Certainly not tomorrow, or the week after. But I might pick it up one day months later when I’m feeling bored, and remember, ‘ah, this one’s a gem’… ‘Hey, Hirosue Ryoko was too cute to be true in this one too’. Somehow English just doesn’t seem to cut it here. The only word to describe her would be to squeal ‘kawaiiiii~’

Yes, I’d better shut up before you start to think that I’m only giving this rating- 5 out of 5- because I liked Mika. No, seriously, it’s a good movie! If only you could stop staring at her and listen to me- come on, I managed to do it for most of the show……

Previous Events:

Japanese Film Festival 2008

Japanese Film Festival 2009

Japanese Film Festival 2009

June 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Outings | 6 Comments
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The Japanese Film Festival 2009  just ended today. This time it focused on dramas, and even had a big name in Departures (おくりびと), the winner of the Best Foreign Film prize in the 81st Academy Awards. I’ve attended the festival since it’s inception back in 2004. In that year, I think I watched just one movie. This year, I went for three. In one day too, haha:)

First movie was at noon. I got there sometime around 10am, so I had a bit of time to wander around. Stopped by at a bookstore and read some travel guides- I was supposed to go to Hong Kong before the swine flu scare shelved that plan, but I took a peek at a Lonely Planet guide… and, well… it had nothing to say about the place. It’s just so boring! On the other hand, Hokkaido, which my aunt wants to go to someday… ahh, it’s paradise:)

あしたの私のつくり方/How to Become Myself

あしたの私のつくり方/How to Become Myself

‘How to become myself’ (Offical Site) is about a girl (Juri) who loses sight of who she really is. “Who am I, really”, and all that, having to cope with her parents divorce, and fulfilling their wishes. A friend of hers (Kanako) has a similar problem- once a popular girl, she became introverted and unsure about herself after being bullied.

Upon hearing of Kanako’s troubles, Juri starts sending Kanako anonymous messages, telling her how to ‘become herself’, i.e. her popular self in the past. Kanako takes Juri’s advice and becomes popular again, but finally gives up the charade when she realises that that’s just not her. As for Juri, she finally comes to terms with who she is.

Overall, a sweet and simple movie. Juri was well played by Narumi Riko (成海 璃子), although I felt that Kanako was a little stiff, although that probably suited her character. 4 out of 5 stars for this one.

Had lunch at Jusco’s Japanese food section. Didn’t notice it at first, but it was a good choice for the occasion, eh? Had chicken kariage, some sort of fried vegetable, some sort of ‘fried sashimi chicken with cheese’… oh crud. All fried. This is gonna be bad for my skin>,< Next movie at 3pm.

アフター・スクール/After School

アフター・スクール/After School

Next up, ‘After School’ (Official site), a sort of mystery cum comedy. A shady private eye, Kitazawa, is hired to track down an employee of a big company, Kimura, who was last seen in the company of a mysterious woman. He enlists the help of high-school teacher Jinno, who is also looking for his friend Kimura.

This movie was pretty enjoyable, going from serious to funny and back to serious again. The twist in the end was a big surprise, although it also cleared up everything that previously directed the viewer’s suspicion towards Kimura. 4/5 as well. Oh, most of the audience left when the lights came on- I stayed, and got to see the extra at the end, hehe:)

包帯クラブ/The Bandage Club

包帯クラブ/The Bandage Club

Finally, at 6pm, ‘The Bandage Club’ (Official site), about a group of kids dealing with the usual pressures of life, and more. One day, on impulse, high school girl Wara climbs onto the fence of a hospital roof, but a strange boy (Dino) with a phony Kansai dialect gets her down. Concerned about her, he ties the bandange on her wrist to the fence, saying that he has ‘bandaged her pain’.

Wara later tries this out on her friend, and as a few other friends join in, they decide to start a ‘Bandage Club’, whereby others post their grievances on the site, and the Club goes out to ‘bandage’ the place mentioned, and in the process, overcome their own troubles.

Overall, pretty good, although it started off a little slow and gloomy, at least until Dino appeared. Excellent acting from everyone. Of course, it helped that Ishihara Satomi (石原 さとみ), who played Wara, was gorgeous, haha. Dino’s insane behaviour kinda reminded me of Onizuka from GTO. The music that played throughout much of the movie was a little annoying for me, but if you go to the official site, it’s quite lovely, actually. I suppose it was the humming that irritated me. 4/5 for ‘Bandage’ as well.

Conclusion:

Watched 3 movies out of 8, and gave all three 4/5. Pretty good. I’m just pretty sad that I missed ‘Departures’- I went there on a Saturday but they were sold out. If only the online and phone booking services didn’t give me any trouble, *sigh*. No anime this year (Last year had ‘Toki wo kakeru shoujo’), but that wasn’t much of a problem. In the comment form I suggested that they screen Ghost in the Shell: Innocence or 5cm no Byousoku next year- wonder if they’ll listen.

One last thing- the audience seems to be different from those of other movies. Watch ‘Terminator 4’, or ‘Drag me to Hell’, and you’ll surely be plagued by variform idiots yakking away, beeping cellphones, and the like. Not so here. Not a sound from the audience, and it was wonderful.

Previous Events:

Japanese Film Festival 2008

Nabari no Ou: Of friendship stronger than even Frodo and Sam’s

June 15, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 13 Comments
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Nabari no Ou

Nabari no Ou

Before I go on, a few words: It’s been about a month since my exams, but I still haven’t gotten around to moving to wordpress.org. When will it happen? I keep saying ‘soon’, but nothing has happened yet. And I did say I wanted to move this holiday. Oh well.

Nabari no Ou. Finished this anime sometime this month, or the last. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but it was good enough to warrant a review of some sort. I wonder why I decided to add Nabari to my watchlist, though. I didn’t know anything about it, not even the fact that there’s a Nabari manga as well. or that Square Enix was involved in it (No matter how minute their role may have been). All I knew about it was that it had something to do with ninjas- no, no twelve year old child soldiers involved, thankfully, but a more realistic, grittier breed of ninja. Oh, it’s also set in the ‘relatively’ real world. so logically there should be no devastating ninja techniques such as ‘summon giant smoking frog to give you lung cancer jutsu’, haha. Oh, and that it was supposedly loaded with bishounen.

That’s that. Time to start the review- what format should I go by? I’m feeling kinda lazy, so episodic it is- 26 episodes crammed into one post, without giving away anything about the storyline, I hope. Ah, how about eliminating all names from this review? No facts or plot development, either- only whatever thoughts I had while I watched (I kept notes). Hehe, here goes then:

Episode 1: Ah, spotted the first of many bishounen. Or did I get it wrong? Is he a guy or a girl? I can’t tell! Oh, so it’s a he. Hmm, so he uses his looks and Oscar-worthy acting skills to fool/manipulate others? The little devil (You’ll see why)! I think I can like this character…oh, and the first ninjutsu used in the show… reminded me of Ukyo from Ranma 1/2, haha. Mmm, okonomiyaki:3

P.S. In my notes, I wrote down ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Me and my blasted code… I don’t even remember what it means, bah. You’ll just have to watch it and figure it out for yourselves… oh wait, I got it. Jack here has the amazing ability to grow beanstalks… and he doesn’t need seeds or sunlight, haha. This ability is supposed to be some sort of deus ex machina thingy, but no worries regarding this, as you will soon see- unless you’re the type that enjoys lots of fireworks. In every episode. Every three minutes.

Episode 2: Saw someone who looked like Ishida Uryuu from Bleach. Ishida’s a boring character, but the impression I got from this one was… that I’d like to club him over his head. He’s an older, irritating version of Ishida. And he won’t shut up! Oh, hey, here’s something interesting… the guy mentioned in Episode 1 above has the same ‘school diet’ as me… all he had for lunch was one small box of milk or something. I normally have a small bun or a small Vitagen… or just wait for dinner at home:p

Ahaha what weird clothes! Someone’s granny (Or was it aunt?) has a good sense of style! Granny’s boy (Or auntie’s boy) had to get his clothes changed, because he looked too ridiculous. There were three others travelling with him, one older guy (A bishie with an interesting half-foreign name and a curious phobia), a younger guy, about the same age as him (But rather plain and annoying, plus I don’t like his hair), and a samurai girl. I was looking forward to seeing how Granny’s boy would look like in samurai girl’s clothes, but I ran out of luck there.

Episode 3: Things start to get serious. Is it just me or am I jumping back and forth between past and present tense? Oh well. Another bishie showed up, but I wasn’t too interested. Hold on, where are all the girls?

Episode 4: An interesting scene involving one major character, resting after the noisy events in the previous episode: “That was the first time I shouted out in such a loud voice” (Cough) “My throat hurts”. A touching moment, but I could have laughed there. That’s exactly how I feel at times- I don’t talk much, so lively, sustained conversations tend to wear me out quickly.

I mentioned the  Ishida lookalike earlier, but I forgot to mention that he’s a hentai who dreams of making a harem. It’s hard to tell if he was joking when he said that, but still…=,= Oh, and he’s surrounded by women anyway. They actually tolerate his eccentricity… I suppose his good points make up for it. He’s also the chief strategist for one ninja clan that’s pitted against another, and we are shown a glimpse of his plans… what is this, Death Note? Code Geass? He’s certainly no Lelouch or Light though, haha.

Episode 5: Hmm, let’s skip this one, shall we? Nothing to see here, really *whistles*… All right, I just didn’t think of anything to say for this episode. Next!

Episode 6: Something one bishie said caught my attention: “I haven’t spoken this much for some time- I’m a little tired”. Yup, this one hit the spot, more so than the kid who shouted for the first time in his life back in episode 4. Starting to like this guy more. Oh, and his coat is just gorgeous!

Episode 7-8: I’m hungry…><

Episode 9: About this new character- nope, not a bishie this time. He looks like Setsuna F. Seiei from Gundam 00… only with ugly hair, cat eyes, and a mouth that never shuts up… plus he’s a total fanboy for his work partner. Having your life saved by him is no excuse for that, kiddy.

Episode 10: Some lady: “You’re disturbing the neighbours!” lol, smart woman. Wonder if she could have stopped the next fight, between the samurai siblings, with another intelligent statement? Perhaps “You’re crushing the flowers!” About the problem between the samurai siblings- I can’t help but wonder if their relationship will resemble that of Uchiha Itachi and his kid bro Sasuke… quite a few similarities already.

Setsuna clone isn’t just a fanboy, it looks like he’s been reading way too much yaoi manga since we last met…

Episode 11: Samurai girl runs perfectly well with crutches?! Har? My brain snapped in half. Ah, and we’re given the answer to the ‘samurai sibling’ subplot… they aren’t going through the Uchiha pattern, but rather the R2 Lelouch master plan.

Episode 12-13: Mmm… chocolate would be nice… or blueberry cheese tarts…

Episode 14: One bishie and one growing-up-to-be-one bishie hiding in a box. For some reason this reminded me of Hotaru no Haka, of the brother and sister living in a cave. Many years ago, I’d probably have thought of Robinson Crusoe instead. Bishie! Don’t die on me! I’ll even give you three exclamation marks!!!

Episode 15: Blasted headache=,=

Episode 16: New ending theme, and a new video to go with it. Made me wonder though, whether the producers really wanted to have made Nabari into a yaoi romance.

Episode 17-18: Nothing here, move on…

Episode 19: Square Enix’s rumoured character design guide came to mind: start with a drawing of a female character, and make it more masculine. Samurai boy! His neck is so thin, I feel as if I could snap it between my thumb and forefinger!

Come to think of it, Setsuna clone and Samurai boy seem to resemble Setsuna and his Gundam… nah, ditch that thought. But does the leader of the baddies do nothing but drive his kimono-clad Kansai-ben speaking (Presumed) wife around?

Episode 20: Bishie with the nice coat saw the ‘devil’ in his companion for the first time! I wonder what he thought of it, haha. Shinigami (God of death) and a devil, huh. Nice pair, actually^^;

Episode 21-22: Nothing to say here…

Episode 23: Baddies are revealed to be selfish, blind, irritating, cynical adults, who look down on youngsters and think they’re doing everyone a favour. Bah. A disappointment, really. Off with their heads

Oh, someone important died. Two people who loved him screamed in pain, but… why oh why did they have to take turns to do it?

Episode 24: Tacky space scenery and fish floating around. Uh…

Episode 25-26: The end. All right, I couldn’t resist- here’s some more for you:

Final thoughts: This show really wasn’t too bad, actually. I’d have liked to see more action, but that’s alright- however, it feels as if the ninja world was just foil, or even plain background for the main theme, which was really the relationship between the shinigami and little devil. Despite the lack of action, I was quite relieved that the ‘beanstalk’ power wasn’t overused. Finally, 26 episodes seemed a little too long. Nabari gets 4/5 for me- mostly for character interaction and development.

A bit of May and June, Screaming Utter Randomness

June 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 36 Comments
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Well, quite a few things have happened over the last couple months, some of which I have neglected to write about, until now. Might as well dump them all into one long (I suppose, as of time of typing this paragraph) post. Perhaps a tiny little summary would help? Here goes, then: a brief tale of Malaysia’s charming relationship with communism, getting into trouble on the only online community I’ve ever bothered to participate in, quiz results ranging across the spectrum from rib-crackingly amusing to insultingly ludicrous, et cetera.

It’s really never a good idea to get into a discussion on politics when you don’t really know much about the matter, or worse still, when you don’t really care. Of course, you’ll only get in trouble for that if the person(s) you engaged is some sort of idealogical zealot deaf to everything but his beliefs, or a political aspirant blind to everything but whatever supports the advancement of his career. But never mind all that for now.

Recently, some local organisation (Was it the Bar Council?) held a poll asking whether the government should allow the former leader of the CPM (Communist Party of Malaya), Chin Peng, who has been hiding in Thailand ever since the Brits (With local help- I predict that if I don’t mention this some nationalist dunce would eventually come at me with a sharpened flagpole) drove them out.

Anyway, this other organisation, GAPENA, which is something like a guild of writers, poets, and the like. Oh, but only for those writing in the Malay language. One of their aims is to ‘protect the Malay language’ or something like that. I wonder why they even bother, especially when said language is already enshrined somewhere in the Constitution as the official language of the Federation. It seems they have absolutely nothing better to do- they went and filed a police report against whoever made the aforementioned poll, saying that those responsible were trying to divide the country. Mmm, I’d like the West Coast please.

Oh well, at least they’ve attracted attention to themselves. Recently the Inspector General of Police announced that blogs sympathetic to Chin Peng would be monitored- yet another organisation with nothing better to do. Well then, if GAPENA can do it, why shouldn’t I? Let’s make it formal to boot: To whomever it does not concern, I formally declare my unwavering support for the return of Chin Peng, former leader of the CPM, to Malaysia. So there. Oh jolly good, the entire Malaysian police force’s intelligence department will be reading my blog, haha.

Alright, enough laughter. Why the fuss over one old man? Everyone who’s against his return says that they’re doing this out of respect for all those who suffered during the communist insurgency. They don’t really hate communism- in fact, the government loves China (But who doesn’t these days?), and has, for the last two or three decades,  often spent some time in Cuba for tea and sugar-cane with Castro. “Why can’t these people just get on with life?” is what every young one who didn’t live through that relatively turbulent time would think. Mostly since I don’t really care, however, I can sympathise with both sides (Except the politicians, but which sensible person does, these days). So there. Whether Chin Peng comes back or not, I don’t really care, despite my earlier ‘oath’. But whatever side-effects his return brings would certainly be most entertaining.

Now on to the next issue. I’ve been a member of the online community dannychoo.com for several months now, and it’s been a nice relaxing, if at times admittedly a little annoying place to be. Through it, I’ve come across quite a few other interesting places, bumped into some interesting folks, etc. Recently, though, I’ve come across a spot of trouble- it seems that my posting rights have been revoked.

Now how did this happen? Ever since I was introduced to Masamune Shirow‘s lesser-known Galhound series, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a translation of it, since, presumably, no one else has bothered to do it, being too preoccupied with… *cough*, other aspects of the series. Even comments like ‘no one cares about the mountain of text’ failed to deter me. With the partial reduction of user privilege, however, translation work has been put hold. Despite the dry, technical nature of most of the text, I’m somewhat reluctant to post the translations on what I still consider a relatively ‘family-friendly’ site.

Here’s the story. I posted a translation of the first image in the series, and all was well. I was about in the process of posting the translation of the second image, when I was forced to plug the phone back in- despite having a splitter, it doesn’t work at all, and I have to disconnect the phone whenever I need to go online, and vice versa, of course. As (un)luck would have it, I was forced to reconnect the phone line while uploading- and later, when the post didn’t show up, I didn’t think much of it- I thought it got fouled up as a result. I reposted it, and went out to lunch.

Apparently, while I was out enjoying an overpriced lunch, everything went wrong. I arrived home to find the repost missing… what could possibly have happened this time, I wondered- and clicked on the upload button again. Only to be redirected to the most irritating page on the site. It looked as if I’d broken some sort of rule- although what rule, I had no idea. Now it’s his site, and I respect that- he can do anything he wants with it, but I just hate screwing up and not having a clue as to what ridiculous breach of conduct I committed to warrant such a reaction. I sent him a nice mail (Without cookies, though) asking where I went wrong, along with an apology… but I haven’t received a reply yet. Oh well. As I said in the mail, I’ll just meditate until then. T.T

Now for something a little less serious. I did some facebook quizzes, silly little things with silly questions to kill time. For example, “What do people think of you at first sight?” and the answer I got was “YOU ARE CUTE; People feel like they have to protect you! aww… you are not so defenceless: show them!“. So far total strangers have said that I look hot, or even nerdy, but as for cute, no- oh wait, I have been called cute before. By a hairdresser I went to once.

In another quiz I did, “What bra size would you have if you were a girl? [GUYS ONLY]“, and my result was size A. Not surprising, I thought, but I did think that Iwould have gotten something slightly… flatter. Maybe AA? Hold on, does that even exist? The quizmaker suggested “stuffing, over-eating, or popping out your back shoulders to make your chest look larger“. I suppose this applies to men as well, but no thanks.

…there were other quizzes as well, but it looks like I’ve forgotten what they were. Oh well. Moving on, the topic of blog stats, or to be more accurate, referrals. I remember getting a referral from the WordPress Dashboard, which left me stunned- where could it have been from? Top WordPress.com blogs today? Or Top posts from around WordPress.com? I was happily stuffing myself in dreamland until I realised that it was probably from one of my own commenter’s WP.com dashboard, which calmed me down enough to look at a referral from wordpress.com with a more cynical sneer on my face.

Oh, some have left me wondering, though. Like the constant referrals I get from Google Reader. The only explanation I have for that is that someone has subscribed to my site, although I have no idea who that would be. Oh well. However, I do know that someone has linked me without a word- as mentioned elsewhere, I don’t normally link to others unless I’ve stalked their site for a long time, and I don’t think I’ve stalked her site for that long, but I’ve linked back all the same, and if you’re reading this, thanks for the linkage, Coco^^;

Next up, shows I’ve watched since exams ended. First up, Chaos;Head (Review published); GTO Live-action drama, one special, and a movie; Nabari no Ou; Kemeko DX; Shinigami no Ballad; Higurashi no naku Koro ni Live-action movie; and Amatsuki. As for books, I’ve completed Un Lun Dun by China Mieville; Sandworms of Dune and The Road to Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson; Magic: The Gathering, The Shattered Alliance by Jeff Grubb. Currently in the process of reading I wouldn’t start from here by Andrew Mueller. Which I’m already turning to as I publish this post, even though it’s not all that great.

A Salve for Broken Eyes

June 5, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Thoughts | Leave a comment
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In regards to the title of this post, just ignore the fact that eyes don’t get ‘broke’, unless they’re prosthetics or something. In any case, I don’t think one would apply lotion to mechanical objects. Oh well. Back to the post. I just returned from Redang island (more on it later), and I’m still recovering from the after-effects of car-lag.

The photos for this post were taken sometime just before my exams, sometime past midnight on the 7th of May, I think- I was too tired to study, but not tired enough to spend some time in front of the camera enjoying my own company, haha. Ten photos in the album, but I’ll only be featuring two in this post. So, without further ado…

Trying not to look too curvaceous.

Trying not to look too curvaceous.

Whoever came up with the timer function for cameras was a genius. Ten seconds was just enough time for me to run over and strike a pose.

In Deep Non-Thought

In Deep Non-Thought

I love this one, despite the fact that some think that I look rather androgynous in it. Ah well- even if my whole world collapses around me, I’ll still have my looks. Spoken like a true narcissist, haha. As if that wasn’t obvious already.

And that’s that- I think I’ll do some Masamune translation before hitting the sack again. Toodles till next.

A Tale of Sexual Harassment, Enlightenment, and Amorous Monks

June 1, 2009 at 1:47 am | Posted in Outings | 16 Comments
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First things first: I’d really love to have post summaries, with a ‘read more’ option for every post, but I just can’t seem to find it. Guess I’ll just throw a link to the photo albums for photo-heavy posts like this one. Ah well. Oh, and I’ll be stuck on an island from Monday till Wednesday. What’s this post about, anyway? A long-awaited reunion with ex-classmates, with all the juiciness that can be expected from a horde of five gorgeous people with equally twisted minds. So here goes.

Took a bus to KL Central, which is something like a baby Tokyo station. The only other person who was already there was Chris, but before meeting him I told him to wait as I went to the powder room to put on some makeup. Just joking, of course- all I did was change my shirt, from an expendable one pop got for me from HK to a gorgeous one I picked up in Japan. Just didn’t feel like saying toilet, washroom, or loo. Irritating, I suppose, but what the heck.

Once everyone had arrived, we headed to Sushi King, but despite it being sometime around 11:40 am, was still closed… with a most annoying notice pasted near the entrance. Hello? Open from Monday to Sunday, yet closed during the weekends and public holidays? Oi!

Bad business as a result of stupidity, no doubt.

Bad business as a result of stupidity, no doubt.

5 of us. Two guys and three girls. A little unbalanced for a triple date, no? Never mind that. Went to KLCC instead. Had lunch at Sakae Sushi. Service was a little slow, but the food was alright. I had Chris beside me instead of the girls- hence the first part of this post’s title, ‘sexual harassment’. His specialty is yaoi shots. I play along most of the time, when I’m in a good mood and feeling graceful. Although this time it was a tad annoying as I was trying very hard to concentrate on my food, haha^^;

Sakae group shot

Sakae group shot

Group shot. From left, Elizabeth the Hamster, Jeanie Beanie, Trying-hard-to-smile-Moi, Micchi, and Chrissy. I don’t remember much of what was said, but I do remember this bit, when we were ordering:

Hammie: We’ll have, umm… five Japanese tea”
Moi: Green tea lah. What do you think this is, some Chinese kopitiam? Teh Cina?
Waiter: *trying hard not to giggle to loudly*

Oh, they gave us Genmaicha (brown rice tea) instead of green tea, though. I’ve had it before and thus knew how it tasted, but the rest took some time to get used to it.

We thought of watching a movie, but upon seeing the weekend queue stretching off into infinity, and at times looking very much like a Gordian know, we gave up and headed for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. No luck here either, as they were sold out for the day. Did manage to check out some photos and pictures of Haydn‘s life. I also found the elixir of old age:

Granny Lev

Grannified

The MPO having failed us, we ended up wandering around the mall, checking out formal attire with Chris, and lingerie and shoes with the girls (Without Chris, haha), before finally ending up in Starbucks, and then the park, where we sat and talked away the time, as well as being turned into ant food whilst camwhoring. Here’s where the third part of the title comes in- we spotted two monks having their photos taken, first while proposing, and then in joyful embrace.

Apartment Group Shot

Apartment Group Shot

More wandering around the mall after that- Kinokuniya, here and there, before finally ending up in this place called the Apartment. Some sort of bistro/bar. Prices, of course, were outageous. I’m not really interested in liquor, but I had a glass anyway. Here’s a list of my alcoholic history:

-Sniffed pop’s beer. Smelly, eww
-Shandy. Nice enough, even though my aunt says it’s a ‘girl’s drink’
-Vodka mixed into chocolate ice-cream at TGIF. Nice.
-Sangria. Pretty nice, this one, but not much alcohol
-Grappa. Bloody murder. Didn’t finish it
-Cocktails on a flight back from Italy. Made my skin dry
-Beer, tonight. Felt a little odddddddd….

Why so? Apparently it was because I had it on an  empty stomach. It hurt the whole way back until I found some food to relieve the pain. Never mind that. We had a lively discussion- topics like pre-marital sex, pornography, etc, and other details too personal to let out on a public site. To quench your curiosity I give you a video of Elizabeth dancing on stage, and no, she was not drunk at the time.

Time to end this. Twas a great outing, and this post would have been better still if I could remember all the weirdness that I caused as a result of my constant mishearing of perfectly innocent words. Another outing is in the works- maybe next time, I should record my words, haha. Before I run off, here’s one photo which I’m particularly fond off- I name it the ‘Strange Lost Child’. I had a better name for it at the time, but it took a hike without me. I need chains for my thoughts now too, it seems.

Lost Child

Lost Child

Link to the Facebook album if you’re interested.

Chaos;Head: Delusion=Reality

May 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 16 Comments
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Chaos;Head OP

Chaos;Head OP

I’ve been wondering whether to watch Chaos;Head for some time- it’s been languishing in my hard drive for some time now, but I just never got around to watching it. I even considered getting rid of it. Truth be told, I’m glad I didn’t. I just felt like I had to grant it a review, but since everyone else has probably done it, why bother? Then again… how about a guide through my thought processes as I watched it? Well then, read on if you’d like to see my neurons darting around…

Shes not real. Or is she?

She's not real. Or is she?

In the above picture we have our main character, Nishijou Takumi, along with a pink haired girl whom only he can see. She also happens to be an anime character and object of all his carnal desires… and they’re married. Well, at least in his head they are.

Wonderful, I thought. Yet another story of some wimpy kid who ends up saving the world? Not again… oh well. I can’t understand why someone would believe that he’s married to a virtual character, anyway. I understand having a liking for certain 2D girls, or jokingly saying things like ‘she’s my wife’, but to actually believe that he’s married to one? I found Taku quite annoying in the beginning…

Otaku Stereotype

Otaku Stereotype

Now this is one portrayal of the ‘Otaku’-subculture, that I just can’t get along with, despite the fact that they probably exist in real life. Yes, the stereotypical fat, drab, occasionally with terrible BO, otaku. Apparently the sword-wielding girl in this picture doesn’t either, as she just cut down this one. No, I’m not telling you what she smashed, but let’s just say Mr. big belly won’t be very happy about it…

Takumi wa takumashii ne~

Takumi wa takumashii ne~

As he gets into more and more trouble, occasionally some strange girls come up to Takumi, telling him to find his ‘sword’. Hooboy. Let’s not get into a lesson on symbology, shall we? Oh what the heck, you’re all mature enough to accept what I’m going to say. I’m pretty sure Takumi would have understood the hidden meaning if he wasn’t so busy whimpering… come on, pretty girl tells you to ‘find your sword’. Swords are symbols of male fertility, blablabla, you get my drift. Anyway, Takumi found his sword in the end… and it was pretty long too. OK that was rather crass.

Ashes, ashes! We all fall down...

Ashes, ashes! We all fall down...

Otaku aren’t the only stars of the show- Chaos;Head successfully brings together various moe (Um, likeable? Drive-guys-mad traits?) genres such as the tsundere, yandere, osananajimi, dojikko, imouto, and the ‘reality is a fantasy book girl’. Alright, I made the last one up, but she’s in the show.

Oh, and did I mention how much I like their school uniform, particularly the skirts, with that strip of lace? The guys pants are ugly, though. As usual, the guys get the short end of the stick when it comes to fashion… *sigh*

Ahh, look at me sleeping on a flowerbed...

"Ahh, look at me sleeping on a flowerbed... that's right, look at me"

There’s this word that pops out quite often: gigalomaniac. Apparently it refers to someone who can interfere with human’s sensory input/output functions, and as an extension of that, reality itself (Even your own delusions can be made real). For example, bringing a flowerbed into existence out of nowhere. Never mind the science behind that concept, but why ‘gigalomaniac’? It sounds way too close to gigolo… so they’re all gigolo maniacs? Erm.

You will obey me

"You will obey me"

Forget about gigalomaniacs for a moment, and consider this: what happens when you have a gigalomaniac who also happens to be a megalomaniac? Chaos. Hmm. Chaos? Chaos;Head… ah, yes, the title makes sense now. After all, this show is all about the thin line separating delusion from reality… all that nonsense will just confuse you. Hence, Chaos;Head. And gigalomaniacal megalomaniacs must be the most messed up of them all.

There a Queens Blade fan lurking in this show?

There a Queen's Blade fan lurking in this show?

Yes, there are fights, and quite a few of them close to the finale, but they don’t drag the viewer’s attention away from the main psychological themes. Reality vs. delusion. The power inherent in such an ability… sadly, no matter how much I like it, I don’t think I could use it. I just find it impossible to lie to myself. How could I possibly convince myself that I can generate snakes out of  thin air?

Then again, what if I could? I can’t lie to myself, but if I get my ‘sword’, then I’d be one step closer to believing in the delusion=reality theory. It’s like ghosts: I won’t believe in them until I come face to face with one. Anyhow, if I had full control of such a power… why, no one would be able to stop me. Why waste time jumping around swinging strangely shaped swords and performing little magic tricks? I’d just think of myself as some sort of godly being. Touché.

I can’t stand for the idea of being able to manipulate people to such an extent, however. Total abolishment of free will. Well, not really- more of a diversion of it. How would you react to such a situation, I wonder? I’d fight back, and I can say this for sure. After all, something comparable has happened before… night paralysis. At the time I didn’t know if I was dreaming or if there was some presence pushing me down, but I stuggled against it, and eventually broke free, thinking “ざまーみろ!” (In English: in your face).  So you gigalomaniacal megalomaniacs had better stay away from me.

Since when did girls like frogs?

Since when did girls like frogs?

Yeah, since when? I’ve never liked frogs either. Keroro is acceptable, but these frogs? Like, eww(=,=);;

Anyway, I was quite glad that this show escaped the problem Sola encountered. I won’t tell you what it was, so you’ll just have to watch it to find out. I had many more things to say about this show, deep, deep things, things that would make you think, as well as think of strangling me for being so intentionally vague, and how impossible such a feat would be even if you’re a g igalomaniacal megalomaniac… and, oh. To finish off the earlier part of the previous sentence (I had many more things to say about this show)- the continuation being: “But I forgot what they were halfway through.” So there, haha^^;;

When pro-assassins get hooked on manga

May 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Art | 2 Comments
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Duke Togo.

 デュ-ク東郷、ゴルゴ13という暗殺者の最新情報をお送ります。日本で仕事を受けた時デスノートという漫画を読んで、死神リュークに憧れてしまったようです。ミッション中リュークのコスプレが新しい好みだそうです。ちなみにタバコは止めたが、今は林檎がないと困ります。逆立ちならしませんですが。

Bringing you the latest news on Duke Tougou, an assassin known as Golgo 13. While on a mission in Japan he read a manga called Death Note, and so attracted was he  to one character, the Death God Ryuk, that it seems he has begun to cosplay as the aforementioned Death God during missions. Incidentally, he has also quit smoking, but seems to have a craving for apples. However, unlike Ryuk he does not do headstands if deprived of them.

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