Reading The Stars Dispose, The Colour of Magic, Moll Flanders
Watching Arrested Development, Kitchen Confidential, House, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars
Playing Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, We Love Katamari, Okage: Shadow King, Phantom Brave, Katamari Damacy, Curse of Monkey Island, Final Fantasy VI, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Pretty Barbie Dressup Party Final Fantasy X-2(group gaming)
Back-burner Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance, Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, Planescape: Torment, Final Fantasy VII
Obsessing Ivan Vorpatril, Erik and Ray, Impulse/Bart Allen, Bruno and Boots, Gilmore Girls (Doyle and Paris and Logan).
Upcoming Things of Importance October 21 Canadian politics paper due October 25 Canadian lit paper due
Meimi has apparently decided to make herself my awesome layout fairy. Behold my twenty-first birthday present: A layout of pants!Logan, from Gilmore Girls (and, you know, that girl who's always hanging around him, what's her name . . .).
The day in review
10/29/2005 11:25:00 PM
"What's a guy gotta do to be abhorrent around these parts?" - Black Mage, 8-bit Theater.
It's said when finding this little site of Discworld fanart (there's Johnny Maxwell fanart at the bottom) is really the only high point in my day.
I wrote a paper.
I did the dishes.
I took out garbage.
I cleaned a little bit.
I moved some book stacks.
I threw out old notes.
I organized newer notes.
I didn't really eat much, but I baked.
And I try and I try to be a better person, but at the end of the day, it never matters, because I'm apparently still twelve and why would grownups want to hang around with someone who'd rather play video games and read kids' books than go to a bar?
And, of course, if anyone still read this, this would just be another nail in the coffin of my life, because it would be read and they'd go "Oh, that Ingrid, so angsty and immature".
I'm stoic and have no feelings.
I'm angsty and a child.
I can't win.
I'm not even sure why I bothered getting dressed today.
But the art, the art's quite nice, even if the artist is apparently primarily a Harry Potter fanartists. There's Johnny Maxwell fanart, which wipes clean all ills.
Everything but the things that are actually bothering me
10/20/2005 09:01:00 PM
"'If you knew the trouble we've had because Howl will keep falling in love like this! We've had lawsuits, and suitors with swords, and mothers with rolling pins, and fathers and uncles with cudgels. And aunts. Aunts are terrible. They go for you with hatpins. But the worst is when the girl herself finds out where Howl lives and turns up at the door, crying and miserable. Howl goes out through the back door and Calcifer and I have to deal with them all.' 'I hate the unhappy ones,' Calicfer said. 'They drip on me.'" - Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
Nothing quite like rereading a good book to remind you why you hate half the garbage you have to read for class. Lord. I'm sorely tempted to finally reread Castle in the Air now, just to remind myself that a favourite author's so-so books are still better than a lot of other crap that could be considered litrchur. Also to remind me of how the relationship between Howl and Sophie actually works - that's on the list of things that irked me dreadfully about the movie.
Television has been showing the love less than usual. Veronica Mars continues to be hampered by Duncan the Droid. Gilmore Girls is, as Meimi said, doing the Buffy season six thing (including the bit where I'm really only enduring because I've been promised some Danny Strong airtime). Other things are on the dreaded hiatus. I miss House, which was actually going quite strong before this whole baseball thing. And Arrested Development. I'd even like to see another episode of Kitchen Confidential. Without access to actual tv, there really isn't much I actually consider worth the time to download right now. Ah, television. You try so constantly and fail so spectacularly.
On the bright side, webcomics have at least been reliably entertaining. Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki came back from its extended hiatus, which is quite nice, as has Midnight Macabre. Something Positive's got a great arc going on right now and Friendly Hostility's just wrapping up a surprisingly poignant arc involving Collin and Betsy.
It's almost enough to make a person forget how joyless their life currently is!
Waiting for the ultimatum, Almighty Ingrid, Signing Off
Howl's Moving Giant . . . Shamling . . . Machine . . . Legs . . . Thing
10/12/2005 12:18:00 PM
"The reality is that we may never know who baked your PSP into this flaky crust." - Gabe, Penny Arcade.
It's been a while, several months, in fact, since last we had a wacky adventure here on Fuuma's Shoes, and there's a reason for that.
. . . Wait.
I actually stopped blogging about stuff that was going on this summer because a lot of bad shit was going down in my life and I didn't want to talk about it. Still don't. This got me in the habit of not-blogging, which I'm trying to correct.
Although having a very random post fangirling Ivan Vorpatril up is certainly -nice-.
So! Let's talk about Miyazki's Howl's Moving Castle, which I had the pleasure to watch bootlegged, with horrible subtitles in the past week.
This is nothing like an official review, which is why it's not on Logic and Chaos. I want to wait until I see the official release, to give it the chance to impress me with actual, coherent, grammatically correct subtitles (and I'd rather like to hear the dub, too, because, my word, Lauren Becall!)
This is, instead, the dreaded "Well, in the book" mumblings that I think I want to have off my chest when I actually review the movie, since, uh, it's not really fair to compare two hours or so of animation to two hundred pages of incredible prose.
Some of this is shallow, some of this is . . . shallow, but in a different way.
But mainly for the book.
Okay, and for the movie too.
Sophie - where is your red hair, girl? WHERE IS THE RED HAIR?! Gingerish. Orange. Something. Not brown. I mean, /yes/ plain, mousey girl. But mousey doesn't mean brown, it's more the way of dress, of carrying herself, things like that. The scene where Howl accidentally dyes his hair red after Sophie's meddling is just a different level of special when you know Howl's hair is the same colour Sophie's is supposed to be.
Could someone explain why they even bothered to give Sophie one sister if that sister was never going to be seen again? I'd rather they cut her out entirely, if they couldn't find a way to work in both Martha and Lettie. Martha and Lettie are part of what make Sophie who she is - as is I could see no real reason for Sophie's resignation to her situation, to her conviction tha she was unattractive, all those things. It also takes away the fairy tale aspect somewhat. The fairy tale in Sophie's situation long before the Witch and Howl come into things. Plus, I liked the subplot with the sisters and their subverting of Fanny's plans for them and their romances and even their concern for their older sister. This, of course, means that the characters they were romantically involved with are now considered superfluous.
Which, I suppose, explains Michael's abrupt reduction from teenager to small child. Because we can't have an animated movie without at least one small child running around? Even without the romantic subplot, it would have been nice if they'd left Michael as a young teenager, if only because it seemed more believable that he was there as a student of Howl's and not just some random kid that hung out in Howl's home.
Where was Sophie's magic? There was none of the talking to the hats, I thought there might have been something with the scarecrow, but that was never addressed, and, of course, it ends up that she doesn't even have the power to save herself from the curse, although the way her character design is constantly fluctuating (which I really did like) seems to -imply- that she does . . .
Holy crap there was a lot of emphasis placed on the war. Not saying whether that's good or bad, but I sort of have memories of, uh not so much the war.
I MISS WALES. Seriously. I suppose they couldn't have included it in a Japanese movie but . . . I still miss it. I miss that normalacy, that thing that actually made Howl more human, easier to understand, seeing where he came from, his family, all those simple things . . . I miss Wales.
What the fuck was with Howl turning into that hideous monster thing? I swear, at times he looked like a damn flying monkey.
Howl, Howl, Howl. Why did they have to go and give you courage and a spine and morals? One of the things I loved about you was the way you stayed a shameless coward until the very end, how you could get to the end of the novel and Howl was -still- the same person he had been before, just in love with Sophie.
Sophie was too nice, too. There wasn't nearly as much of that merciless old woman in her, particularly not with Howl. There was no ruthless cutting up of his magic suits. WOE.
Really, as nice as it all was, the very typical way things wrapped up for Howl and Sophie took a lot of the bite out of their relationship. He was -too- nice and sweet to her.
One non-spoilery comment is that it strikes me that whatever else, there is a very consistant depiction of Calcier. In -everything-. The Calcifer on my cover of the book looks quite like the Calcifer on the cover of the first copy of the book I read and at a certain point in the movie animated Calcifer looks just like that was well. It's weird but I like that.
. . . I think I need to reread Howl's Moving Castle now, just to remind myself of how awesome it is.
The books are always better, Almighty Ingrid, Signing Off
7/16/2005 04:26:00 PM
"'It wasn't my fault,' Ivan recited promptly, 'it's not my job, you can't make me, and if you want any of my time you'll have to wrestle m'mother for it. If you dare.'" - Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
Oh, -God-, do I ever love Ivan.
And this kind of sums up why: "Damn that smile. Was it Ivan's fault, that he had been born undamaged while his cousin had been born crippled? No, blast it. It was bloody bungled politics that had wrecked him, and you'd think it would be a lesson to him, but no. Demonstrably, even sniper fire couldn't stop the hyperactive little git. In between inspiring you to strangle him with your bare hands, he could make you proud enough to cry. At least, Ivan had taken care no one could see hsi face, when he'd watched from the Council floor as Miles had taken his Auditor's oath with that terrifying intensity, before all the assembled panoply of Barrayar last Winterfair. So small, so wrecked, so obnoxious. So incandescent."
Amen, Ivan. Amen.
. . . That's really all I have to say. I'm trying to present a positive front, although this is virtually unread these days, so it's probably safe to vent all that negative energy.
But if I've been taught anything, it's that it's -never- safe to vent negative energy.
Mike is my role model . . . no, not that Mike . . . or that one . . . the -other- Mike, stepping on that small child
7/09/2005 12:32:00 PM
"Okay, you met this god and/or king who lives in a dank hole in the ground, and he asked you to get the tail of a rat for him." "That about sums it up." "This dragon. Was he, by any chance, a hobo in a dragon suit?" - Thief and Black Mage, 8-bit Theater.
For no readily apparent reason I've decided to comile a list of webcomics I'm reading right now. Why? Why not!
Friendly Hostility. Y'know, the comic that began after the creator got sick of her other comic, Boy Meets Boy. It's not just that the characters are great and the writing's sharp, evil, sweet, and funny. It's that it's ink baby. Ink! Seriously. I wish I could draw like that. I'd be such a happy Ingrid if I could.
RPG World. . . . Okay, not so much anymore. Once, once, I and it had a good thing going, and I loved the way it parodied the Final Fantasy games I have a complex and mostly angry relationship with. But, well . . . Mr. Jones-Quarterly is planning on ending it. You can tell he just . . . lost interest at some point or doesn't have the time, and so the ending's going to be rushed . . . Which, now that you think about it, is really like an actual RPG. I'll go and check it again when it's done. Just so I can try and enjoy it again. It's still -good- and actually has it's own style, so.
Checkerboard Nightmare. This is usually the place to get an indirect look at what's going on in the webcomic community, although sometimes Straub is just plain -weird-. Some of the strips and arcs in the saga of Checkerboard Nightmare, a comic strip character looking for fame and fortune in whatever way possible, can fall flat, but when Chex goes on a homicidal rampage at a convention killing all the artists of strips better than his, well . . . it's beautiful. Plus Lyle, Chex's friend and lawyer, and Vaporware, the robot Chex built so they could have another cast member.
Count Your Sheep. A little girl, her widowed mother, and the imaginary friend, Ship the Sheep, that connects them. Both very sweet and very sad all at once.
Filthy Lies! I just discovered this comic last week. The wackily offensive adventures of two roommates, of course. Damien, an athiest Jew studying mad science, and Joel, a fundamentalist Christian republican who's also gay, and a law student. And the reanimated hunk of meat called Beefsteak that Damien brought to life. If Matt was a comic strip character, he'd be Damien.
Kiagi Sowrdscat. It just came back from an exstensive hiatus! I'm still not suer what it's about! But the art's pretty and unique and it's funny! And there's a Jason Todd reference.
MacHall. That comic which updates irregularly . . . but it isn't the artist or the writer's full time job, so we don't hold it against it. Plus, Ian's art is constantly evolving and improving as he experiments and takes risks, and it's worth showing up to read -whatever- Matt's talking about.
Midnight Macabre. Randy Milholland's new comic, because apparently he just wasn't busy enough. Midnight Macabre is the story of stand up comedian, Gaspar, and the late night terrible horror movie showcase program that he gets put in charge of. Admittedly, it's still new (which means archives aren't that big!), but Milholland's proved himself about a zillion times over. And it's good so far, even if nothing huge has happened yet.
8-bit Theater. Ah, the comic that has had me and Matt going "I like swords" back and forth at each other until someone threatened to kill us. -The- sprite comic. The story of four adventures, Fighter, Black Mage, Thief, and Red Mage, and how they embark on a trail of destruction and madness when people assume they're the Light Warriors of prophecy.
Van Von Hunter. They have a deal with Tokyo Pop. A deal that involves printing stuff that -hasn't- been released on the internet. Dude. Anyway, Van Von Hunter is just -good-. Good art, good execution, good dialogue, just . . . good. Random humour. Parody. Flaming Prince. Just . . . stuff.
Punks and Nerds. A quirky gag strip that makes reference to all that crap from the 80s and 90s you hoped you'd forgotten. Seriously, dude. It's not just geeky video game references. It's -everything-.
Queen of Wands. It's done. You should read it anyway. The story of Kestrel, her best friend, and her best friend's husband and . . . wackiness. And goodness. And plot and just plain awesome. Seriously, there's a reason Eric over at Websnark is crazy about this one.
Shortpacked! Some people work at a toy store owned by a man who seems to be a crazed dictator. Rick likes ninjas, Robin's a sugar powered crackpot, Amber's the customer service worker who's afraid of people, Mike hates you all and will go to every length to make your life hell, and Ethan . . . has this thing about Batman. And Jon Stewart. But not together.
Something Positive. Oh, the glowing recent success story in webcomic land. Misanthrope Davan, his boneless kitty Choo-Choo Bear, scheming Aubrey, violent PeeJee, and recurring freaks like Pepito the Sex Midget, Mikey Jesus, and a host of others help carefully disguise the fact that this is probably one of the best written comics out there. Not just in the funny, but in the serious, beautiful, poignant, -true- moments, too. There's a -reason- this guy got his readers to pay him a year's salary on a -dare- in a very short period of time.
Starshift Crisis. It's a museum . . . a SPACE museum. In space. On a spaceship. It's very new, but -damn-, do I like it already. Science and art and satire and SPACESHIPS. I love me spaceships. Even when they look like giant penii.
The Order of the Stick. Dungeon and Dragons. There's probably a million comics with the same premise. The thing that makes this one different, though? It's AWESOME.
VG Cats. Like Penny Arcade but . . . different. I'm not quite sure how to explain. Is it more Canadian? More inclined to milk nostalgia? Less of a commentary on current affairs? Or -moreso-? Less obscure or more obscure? All I know is that it's beautiful and I love it. YOU CAN'T KEEP US APART!
I should get back to working on my paper.
Papers are the child that never lives up to its potential, Almighty Ingrid, Signing Off
Dammit, Wally, can you do nothing right?
6/19/2005 01:26:00 AM
"Perhaps I haven't reminded you of my natural eleven superiority in the last five minutes. Let me assure you it includes all matters of dexterity. I'm not saying I could dodge arrows. I'm saying I wouldn't have to. 'cause I'd steal them real fast with my dexterity, see?" - Thief, 8-bit Theater
I was channel surfing earlier tonight and caught one channel in the midst of a program on, of all things, asexuality. Curious, I left it on for a minute or so . . . until the disembodied narrator started going "But are these people -really- as happy with their lifestyles as they claim they are? Or are they repressing things. Some dark event in their past that would explain their current attitudes . . ."
Then I turned the TV off. Seriously, if they were saying things like that about homosexuals, they'd be given so much shit, and rightly so.
But the real purpose of this entry is to talk . . . about Wally! Because if it's been a month since I've blogged, it's been a month since I've had a chance to rant incoherently about my dislike of Wally West, and that just ain't right.
Before I go on to spoilery talk about the most recent episode of Justice League Unlimited (I think it's called "Divided We Fall"? It's not been aired in the States yet, anyway) I found . . . this bit of specialness in response to a letter in an issue of Impulse (issue twenty, the baseball one). . .
... all of the speedsters at different points in their careers (except for Impulse ... and Barry Allen) have tried shaving their legs to reduce wind resistance.
Just ponder that for a little while, if you would.
Now, onto the spoilery screaming.
THEY HAD THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO RID THE ANIMATED SERIES OF WALLY FOREVER AND THEY DIDN'T TAKE IT. SPEEDSTERS HAVE A FINE TRADITION OF DYING AND PASSING INTO THE SPEED FORCE DURING DRAMATIC BATTLES NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN.
. . . Well, a couple of them, anyway. I mean, Barry died in battle (twice!), and he's in the Speed Force now, and Johnny didt he same thing, and it's a perfectly respectable tradition to follow in, dammit!
And there was hand holding and -ew- to pull Wally out and he would have been happy there, dammit!
. . . Of course, he would have been -happy-, and I can't really decide whether it's worse to have a happy Wally, or a still-living Wally.
I have never felt western alienation so keenly
6/17/2005 01:17:00 PM
"Happy birthday, o provider of life." "You're old, mother. Your breasts can start sagging any time now." - Fox and Fatima Maharassa, Friendly Hostility.
Howl's Moving Castle is not here. It is in Toronto. And this makes me sad, very, very sad.
I'm not sure how long I've been waiting for this movie, but it's long enough that I deserve to have it playing here in this city, dammit!
Are you listening, Disney? I WILL TAKE IT DUBBED. I WILL TAKE IT DUBBED.
Even with Batman and . . . Billy Crystal. I WILL TAKE IT DUBBED IF IT'S JUST HERE IN SASKATOON.
Besides, I -want- to hear Lauren Becal as the Witch of Waste. Lauren Becal, man.