startredder@hotmail.com (MSN)

Fanlistings, Cliques, and Other Stuff

Reading Lirael, As You Like It, The English Patient, Heart of Darkness, Suikoden III, Candidate for Goddess

Watching House, Rick Mercer's Monday Report, Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, Corner Gas, Aishiteruze Baby, Prince of Tennis, Hikaru no Go

Playing The Bard's Tale, 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 Firefly, Erik and Ray, Impulse/Bart Allen, Ford Prefect, Monkey Island, Nostalgia.

Upcoming Things of Importance
January 5 First day of classes
January 14 Birthday party
January 16 Jaryn and Matt Are Old Day

Ninja and Roommate
Crack for Crack
Story and Art Journal
Mythical Detective Loki Screencap Recaps
Prince of Tennis Screencap Recaps

Previous Games

American Gods
Carnival of Bargain Madness
Grumpy Gamer
The International House of Mojo
Logic and Chaos
Worm Blog

scented // midnight rain

Is by Meimi, that wonderful Goddess who brings joy and happiness to the hearts of Ingrids.
This time, Meimi brought joy by doing a layout of Isumi Shinichirou and Waya Yoshitaka, of Hikaru no Go. It is full of wub.


1/5/2002 11:57:27 AM
Bloody library. You know you're in trouble when the only copy of J. K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat is in audio . . .

Also got a couple of short story collections by A. S. Byatt. Must . . . not . . . read . . . new . . . Connie . . . Willis . . . books.

1/5/2002 09:56:22 AM
Am very very glad to see that someone else has read To Say Nothing of the Dog, Jae-sama, which reminds me that I absolutely must go to the library and try and find a copy of Three Men in a Boat sometime soon. Maybe I'll dillude myself and say I'll go today!

It also makes me wonder why I have never, once, seen a Connie Willis book in the local bookstore. Dammit, if anyone has an extra copy of -anything- by Connie Willis, send it to me, or send it to Bell-sama, who is deprived in good books.

And no, I'm not sending any of mine (sorry, Bell dear), I'm just not that nice, and when your library doesn't even stock the bloody things . . .

Head hurts. Need tea. Buggerall.

1/4/2002 09:09:51 PM
Okay, the following random thought process will contain definite spoilers for both Eight Days of Luke and American Gods so, if you haven't read both, and you read this, I will personally come and hunt you down and beat your heads in with a very large baseball bat. And have a nice day.

The first thing I noticed when I had read both books was the obvious - they involve members of the Norse pantheon. They even involve them in a vaguely similar way - they aren't as powerful as they once were, times are bad, and no one seems to like Loki much.

Gaiman, however, plays with Gods from cultures we've never even heard of, blow their religion, while Jones only uses the Norse gods in this particular book.

The two main players are the same - Odin/Woden and Loki/Luke. Odin even appears vaguely similar on the surface. The old, charming man who easily gains peoples trust by being perfectly sincere while simultaneously lying and twisting and manipulating like there's no tomorrow.

Loki little resembles Jones' Luke at first glance. Gaiman writes a very mature Loki, a tall, redheaded ex-con, playing the fates of his former allies and current ones in order to benefit himself. He's an utter villain who appears at first glance to be a true, fondly remembered friend of Shadow's. Luke, on the other hand, is a young boy, maybe, who seems relatively harmless and is plagued by his "relations." However, both use the main character in their own way, and the way that works best for their purposes. Loki is Shadow's friend in prison, whatever he may be afterwards in his persona of Mister World. Luke, younger and seemingly more sincere, is a friend to David, and is hopelessly greatful to him, but does use David for his own gain. He's honest about it, doesn't deny it, but genuinely seems to like the boy. But, who's to say if they met under different circumstances, later, that things wouldn't be less amiable. He also is seen to delight and thrive upon chaos and destruction, as Gaiman's Loki does, and is said to have killed Baldur, while Gaiman doesn't bring that little detail up about his Loki. Not that it's needed, because Gaiman manages to succeed in maknig his Loki thoroughly despicable with only a few brief apperances, yet simultaneously sympathetic.

Gaiman's Gods have all lost their power - no one believes in them anymore, Americans don't really believe in much of anything, anymore, not for very long, which is the entire point of the book, thoroughly dark and cynical and very real.

Jones' Gods have been without their power for a thousand years or so because of Lukes telling Brunhilda where to hide Thor's hammer, successfully draining the Gods' power.

Gaiman's book ends on a rather hopeful note - not all the Gods are dead, and in Iceland, Odin continues to exist, in a different form, not the one taken to America by settlers.

The ending of Eight Days of Luke somehow ends up being half-and-half. Thor has his hammer back, Luke is forever free from his underground prison, and David is free from Aunt Dot and Uncle Bernard and Cousin Ronald. However, a mention is made of the coming war, Ragnarok, where Loki's Chaos effectively destroys Odin and the other Gods of Valhalla (I believe, someone find me a good, solid book on Norse mythology, please). It's a less than inspiring thought.

Reading American Gods, I have to wonder if Gaiman had Ragnarok, and the battle with Odin on one side, and Loki on the other, in mind. It's certainly a thought, and Gaiman's bloodbath Storm certainly bears resemblance to the mental images of the utter chaos of Ragnarok.

Now, I'm really hoping people reading this are thinking of the mythological-end-of-the-world-Ragnarok (we Norse had -such- a bleak view of things, sometimes), and not the airship-in-Final-Fantasy-VIII-Ragnarok. That would just be sad.

The books are certainly very different, in tone and attitude and message, but they're still similar in many ways that aren't readily apparent.

Even the protagonists are vaguely similar. Gaiman's Shadow is just someone who wants out of prison and wants to be back in the loving arms of his wife and is thrust into the eye of the storm for reasons he doesn't understand until the end, but nevertheless wants to help. Jones' David is quite similar. He gets mixed up in the dealings of the Gods by sheer chance, but manages to persevere and help those involved without once backing down. Admittedly, David is a perfectly normal boy, while it later turns out that Shadow is Odin's son and was mixed up in everything intentionally, but that isn't until the last hundred pages or so. Both also involve the protagonist finding their true self and settling into what can be hoped is a better life. Shadow certainly doesn't seem unhappy in the epilogue, and David's lot living alone with Astrid can't be any worse than what he went through with Dot and Bernard.

In the end Eight Days of Luke is about a miserable boy with awful relatives who makes friends with a childlike God in hopes of finding some fun, and his lot in life is improved as a result. American Gods is about Gods, plain and simple, and how they fit into modern life. But, underneath it, both have a rather sad tone, dealing with the fates of beings long since abandoned for more politically correct beliefs.

Reading them back to back, I got, well, mainly a really big headache, but also, I had to wonder -why- we stopped believing in things like that. I can't help wishing that my ancestral Gods were, if not still worshiped, at least more recognized. Sure, Thor, Odin, maybe even Loki, might still get a bit of recognition as to their names, but I doubt most people would know -who- they were beyond that. Not just for my ancestors Gods, but for all those Gods who've been forgotten for ages. About all anyone remembers these days is the Greeco-Roman pantheon, and even that isn't very detailed, and most people get them mixed up.

You say Hercules, I say Heracles . . .

I wish my library was better, because right now all I want to do is dive into a good, thick mythology book, but I know I can't.

American Gods and Eight Days of Luke are both about changing times, and dammit, it's a bloody shame more people don't realize what interesting parts of their heritage, and other peoples' heritage, that's just being forgotten, as history classes are bombarded with the last couple hundred years or so of history, with not a glance for the stuff that really built the world.

1/4/2002 07:59:31 PM
God, Bell, this layout's gorgeous.

I love Sai. And black and white. But now I'll have to make the Mikael-and-Raphael one myself. 'cause I -must- use You Will Rise Again at some point. Is good song.

You know . . . those archive links -still- don't link to the right archive page. I wonder why.

1/4/2002 07:57:38 PM
Home! A day early too! Am -tired-! But not. More headachey.

Woke up at five on Hogmanay, all ready to leave early. And, of course, Dad slept and slept and slept until around eight thirty or so. When we finally leave, there's a problem setting the alarm, and it starts to wail, and won't go off and won't go off and won't get off.

We get out around nine thirtyish, with Dad in a very foul humour. I spend most of the car ride asleep and listening to the music on the cd player in a semi-concious way.

Arrive at Ghost Lake, Alberta, while it's still light out, and receive a warm greeting from my darling aunt who does not look like she's over fifty. Surprisingly, both my cousins are there, and I gain much pleasure from listening to the sounds of horror they make at the sight of the dreaded one percent milk Guthrie and I drink.

Garret spent the may in the Yukon on some three-person skiing expedition, and we look at slides. We see lots of snow and find out the true evil of power bars. Also, that a truly bored person can read the first book of the lord of the rings at least twice over thep eriod of several weeks.

It's hard to sleep while Guthrie's playing Super Smash Bros. It's easier when he's watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Matthew Broderick would make a good Simb.

There is much sleep.

We go into town the next morning/afternoon, and things are purchased. Most importantly are Remake, Fire Watch, and Passage, all by Connie Willis, and City of Bones by Martha Wells, as well as a Deranged Cousins callendar.

The evening is spent relaxing and watching Billy Elliot. Damn, it would be cool if Guthrie went pro like that. It was also full of shounen-ai. Good, good film.

I want a DVD player.

Dad goes to town - by himself - to buy things mum probably wouldn't let him buy if she was with him.

I study for physics and read.

Later, I go to Cochrane with Mum and Aunt Chris. I buy a present for Fiora, despite my better judgement, and three books to add to the pile for Bell-sama.

And socks, too. Without holes in.

The exhaust pipe of the car still makes noise, and we can't fix it.

Home made pizza is good.

Shrek is funny and makes Mum laugh. Everyone laughs. Except for Uncle Bill, who won't watch a cartoon and enjoy it.

I really want a DVD player.

Guthrie likes to kick my ass in Super Smash Bros. Poor Marth.

More sleep comes thanks to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Dad is reluctant to leave the next morning, and spends a good deal of time drinking coffee and ranting about Municipal Politics.

We pack the car without him.

Leave around nine. I read American Gods until three in the afternoon, when we stop for lunch.

Neil Gaiman makes my brain ache, and I would gladly prostrate myself before him and worship him as a God.

I read more.

Then I'm finished and my brain wants to curl up and die. I don't let it.

I read The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

It's wrong that a cat and a rat should be so utterly wonderful. I love Maurice and Darktan and find myself more thoroughly disturbed and sickened than I have been by any book since I first read Aunt Maria.

We get home around seven.

Unsurprisingly, no one is on.


Will write a very thorough rant on the subject of Eight Days of Luke and American Gods but right now, all I really want is a cup of tea.

1/1/2002 08:06:05 AM
For Bell -

1. Isabel/Bell-sama ^^
2. Of course not, everyone else is on super height increasing steroids.
3. Can I have the bonus points and my eye poked out?
4. Shaven! But you're growing it out right now, silly bugger.
5. Pakiland, Boston, and Japan - bitch.
6. Dude, how can you resist something named blue footed boobies? I think the answer is obvious.
7. Salt isn't ketchup? I always thought it was . . . just with red water added.
8. Dar Williams. And Keiichi.
9. Beer! Drink with me, drink with me, drink with me!
10. A noise that can be applied to virtually any situation, as long as you never pin down one specific definition for it.
11. . . . Behave, or I'll hit you with a french speaking pineapple.
12. Ayame! And . . . lots of other things.
13. Probably not much. ^^
14. Goddess! Or insane . . . Or Wrong-Inspiring . . . Something, anyways.
15. Hmmm . . . Douglas Adams? ^_^
16. Dar Williams, yo.
17. Your brother. At least, the infuriate part. 'cause, dude, don't we all want to kill our brothers at some point? Even if we have none.
18. The great pink clouds of doom, soaking up the suns rays and heat, and the world became covered in ice, and all those wussy dinosaurs froze to death. When they weren't being smited by giant comets or suffocating in tar pits.
19. I'd like to die as one of CLAMP's bishounen. Particularly if it were like Seishirou. I'd like that verrily much. And dude, as for the why, I think it's pretty damn obvious, don't you?
20. Hell - better music, worse weather.

I want to sleep in the car now, mommy.

1/1/2002 05:59:28 AM
Happy Hogmanay, kittens.

In a couple hours, I'll be on the way to Calgary while fate has great fun mocking me and my misfortune in just about everything. I'll be back Saturday evening. Unless, of course, I die a horrible death on the road, in which case I won't be back at all.

And you know what, parents and sibling? I don't really care if you get me anything for Hogmanay or not. But, if you insist on doing so, please try and get me something that I -want- and that shows a bit of thought and consideration. If you can't, just save your money or something. Jeez.

I don't want to go!

12/31/2001 07:16:48 PM
It seems, when it comes to New Years resolutions, that Mister Gaiman and I are on the same wavelength.

12/31/2001 06:48:08 PM
Well, now I think my brain's bleeding. And Eight Days of Luke is one of the easy one. But that last chapter . . . damn. I feel like such a bad little Norseman, having no bloody clue what specifically is going on. Even worse, I doubt I'll ever know, because I can't find a single decent book on the Gods of my dear ancestral pantheon. Alas.

Shall now begin to re-read American Gods and have heaps of fun drawing parallels between them.

12/31/2001 01:42:28 PM
Of course, I finally manage to download all of episode five of FLCL and . . . it's raw.


12/31/2001 11:28:32 AM
Thank you, Meimi-san . . .

Must . . . not . . . give . . . into . . . temptation . . .

But . . . Neville . . .

Moral dilemma, buggeritall. Is Neville worth putting money into Their pockets?

. . .

12/31/2001 12:03:42 AM
Happy Hogmenay, Jinxer.

12/31/2001 12:02:29 AM
I really did mean to go to sleep tonight.

12/30/2001 11:30:56 PM
Someday, I swear, I'll stop using envy.nu.


12/30/2001 09:41:36 PM
So . . . five minutes of gayness in the Harry Potter movie? Still doubt I'll ever sit through it.

. . .

How much Neville is in it?

12/30/2001 09:38:47 PM
Damn, I -so- want DNAngel after reading this.

I wonder if the Sentry Box sells manga in the original Japanese . . .

I doubt it.

12/30/2001 09:34:04 PM
It's almost Hogmenay. Just over twenty-four hours 'til. In honour of the approach of 2002, I have decided to consider the results of my resolution for 2001 - Write more.

Life of an Omnyouji - started sometime in January, I think, thirteen chapters - 47 301 words.
Perfect Gamble - six short stories, started a month or two ago - 15 818 words.
In Love But Not At Peace - one chapter - 5200 words.
Short stories - five - 8883 words.
Random incomplete stuff - 9031 words.
Grand total of 2001 - 86 233.


Resolution for next year? Well, if I were drunk, I'd say something like get published. But - I'm not drunk. So I'll just say, write more than I wrote in 2001. I'm sure it's possible.

12/30/2001 02:29:25 PM
"Jenny Dereham at Michael Joseph read through the first seven books and found only five or six stories which would be suitable; the rest, she said, had a tendency to be about splattered cats arriving on the operating table after being hit by cars."

I knew there were many Herriot stories involving cats, and I thought James Herriot's Cat Stories was a rather slim volume but . . . I'll never look at it the same again after reading that sentence.

12/30/2001 01:41:11 PM
Spoilers for episodes ten and eleven of X . . . Kotori still isn't dead. My money's on the next episode.

Episode ten is another Kamui-less episode. No Kamui, no Fuuma, no Kotori . . . Just Yuzuriha, Kusanagi, Daisuke, and Seiichirou. Wow!

Daisuke and Yuzuriha go off to meet Seiichirou, with Daisuke blushing half the time. Despite the fact that Seiichirou is still Daisuke's uncle in the anime, they spend quite a long time waiting outside of his office at ASUKA (I'm assuming) so that they can talk to him about all that foreordained stuff.

Yuzuriha runs off to get ice cream, abandoning the unfortunate Daisuke, who would just be a burden on her heartfelt flashback/storytelling with Kusanagi, who looks thoroughly ugly in a huggable way while feeding . . . some kind of bird. Hopefully not pidgeons.

Little Yuzuriha is, as always, utterly adorable, and Puppy Inuki is huggable beyond belief in the flashback about Yuzu-chan taking a bunch of disbelieving classmates on a hunt for a waterfall no one else has ever seen. Of course, it ends with one loud mouthed boy falling off a cliff, being saved by Inuki, and no one ever seeing the waterfall but Yuzuriha and Inuki.

Yuzuriha finally remembers she left Daisuke waiting for her (and ice cream) outside of ASUKA and runs off, after saying a proper good bye to Kusanagi, who seems to think nothing of her having mentioned something about being one of the stars . . .

Seiichirou has bloody long legs.

And then everyone has ice cream!

Episode eleven is -also- a flashback centric one, this time, with lots of Kamui and Fuuma goodness!

Kotori has a dream full of feathers (is Kamui molting?), water, and phallic symbols. She tells Fuuma about it. Fuuma Has A Clue, while simultaneously remaining complete clueless.

Tucking Kotori back into bed, Fuuma Thinks and goes outside to find Kamui being a sulky teenager. They Talk and Things Are Revealed. Fuuma finds out about the Foreordained Destiny. Cue teary flashback with little Kamui-chan being called a monster, stating he always wants Fuuma and Kotori to be happy, kicking some serious crap out of a motorcycle gang, skipping class, and finding his house burning down with his mother inside. All is Told to Fuuma, after which they have a very shounen-ai moment, involving hugging and Fuuma's really damn big hand.

Fuuma and Kamui go inside to find Tokiko lying on the floor, bloody and disturbingly happy looking, despite the blood dripping down her chin. More Stuff is Revealed, Fuuma is Shocked (but still nothing is mentioned about his mother and Kamui's mother being happy lesbians), and Tokiko's clothing explodes before she starts glowing.

Then she explodes into many sparkly green lights and the sword floatsi n the air, looking ominous.

There are no bloody limbs to be seen.

I feel disapointed.

12/30/2001 10:28:26 AM
Dear I don't understand why you and half the world population is going hopelessly fangirl for Lord of the Rings. I truly don't. Not that they're bad books (haven't seen the movie), but . . . I honestly don't see that much to go fangirl over. I would reread them but . . . Dude! Look at them! I want to reread The Once and Future King before I tackle those things! I was hopelessly fond of all the little hobbits who -weren't- Bilbo and Frodo though. They were so cute.

But, I shouldn't complain. You're reading Deep Secrets! Yeah! Victory dance time! Now I just need to get Fire and Hemlock, Archer's Goon, The Homeward Bounders, Howl's Moving Castle, Hexwood, . . . and lots of other stuff to you. Damn, now I want to reread Deep Secrets, and I only reread it a few months ago! Gah!

. . .

Why am I blogging when I have to get ready for church and be out the door in fifteen minutes?