la_belle_laide: (D)



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So with that said, here's what else is going on. Thanksgiving, Mom and I had to take turns going to visit Boychild's Parents' house because Haku couldn't be left alone. I went over first. It was nice to see my aunt again, finally (Boychild's Grandma.) She lost her leg in a car accident in April and I hadn't seen her since then. Of course, neither had my Mom (her sister.) This was the first time she was allowed out of the rehab facility she's been in.

Tons and tons of kids were there, playing video games. But they all seemed way more excited over the Dr. Who app on my phone, and my Sonic Screwdriver. Which is hilarious, since it does nothing but light up and make a noise. But they were just enchanted by it, and they each had to have a turn carrying it around. Boychild has taken to saying "Ex-taaaaahhh-minate!" and "Don't blink! Blink and you're dead! Good luck!" When he likes something, he gets stuck on it and he asks everyone else if they remember it. "'Member EXTAAAAAHHMINATE? Member that? Member blink and you're DEAD? Member? The Daleks are the Doctor's bad-guy friends." Because to him, Bad Guys are always your friends. Sometimes you have to fight your Bad Guy friends, but then after that, everything's cool. He loves Star Wars and Advent Children. Darth Vader is his favorite Bad Guy friend, and of course, Sephiroth is Cloud's Bad Guy friend. (Which is pretty close to canon, actually.)

The day after Thanksgiving, we had another TG at Mom's house. SB and Jo-chan showed up around 3:30, then Boychild and his Mama came at around 4, then my Uncle showed up as well. We all kind of hung around playing Soul Calibur (actually, watching Boychild own every Bad Guy friend in the game,) and then Boychild and his Mama had to leave.

SO! We fired up Skyward Sword! Historic Fangirl/Boy moment. Both of my cousins and my uncle are hardcore Zelda gamers and always have been. My uncle and I have been gamers since gaming was invented. So this was kind of a big deal. We played Skyward Sword till around 5 and then I started heating up TG dinner.

My Mom came home and we sat down to eat. Then, BBBBZZZZTT all the power went out. We had to eat by the old fashioned way: by candlelight. Oh, and of course light from the various cell phones too. While the lights were out, Jo-chan played "Still Alive" from Portal. Some of you know that song: "This was a triumph!" etc. SB, Jo-chan and I all sang along.

About an hour later, the electricity came back on. We all went in the living room to play Zelda, but no one could actually move for a while so we all sat on the couch making cow noises for about fifteen minutes first. Then, we fired up Zelda and played some more. (Oh, apparently I have to buy a new Wiimote. The one we were using last night was on loan from Boychild's Mama. Seriously, a new Wiimote? And they couldn't tell me this when I made the order? >_< )

So that was Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, I have to get a bunch of things done. It's my last chance to get out there and buy a tree and put it up. Haku's coming home soon and I won't be able to leave him alone long enough to get one, and I don't want to freak him out by putting it up when he's trying to sleep. (Things like that really worry him.) Then I'm going to decorate a bit, then go pick up the Wiimote. Hit up the hospital to visit with Haku for a while, and then go to my Mom's office party because her work friends want to meet me. :)

I have work on Monday, but it's later in the day and first I have to drop my car off because the effing "check engine" light is on. Also, the brakes are going and the timing belt, whatever the eff that might be. When they told me that at the shop I was like, "Timing belt, what's that about?" and he was like, "It's about seven hundred dollars."

So uhh, yeah, I am doing the holidays this year? But that doesn't mean I'm going to be buying mad gifts for everyone. Haku's surgery was $3500, and that's not counting if he has to stay an extra day, and it's definitely not counting his rehab. My car is going to be about $1500 and my work hours have been cut drastically.

At this point I'm just like, screw it. Just pile on the bills.

The other not-so-good thing is Belle. Belle is the mastiff that my Gran left when she passed. She's almost 13 now, which is unheard of for a mastiff, right? She started losing her ability to get around last spring, but then over the summer she rallied and did really well for a while. Last week, it rained for an entire day, like full-on pouring down. Since that day, it's like Belle is paralyzed from the waist down. Not entirely – she can wag her tail and she can sort of move her right hind leg a bit. But she can't walk at all and has to be carried to her food dish and outside. She can't control where she goes to the bathroom anymore either. I've always thought that once a dog stops eating, then it's time to put them to sleep. But the thing is, Belle still loves eating her food. It's the only thing she can still do. When she's not eating, she's lying on the floor barking hysterically. I'm pretty sure that's a sign of dementia. Actually she's doing it right now and has been at it for about an hour and a half. It's like a constant noise anymore, and it's not a happy bark. It's a confused, scared bark. I just don't think she's happy anymore, aside from those two times a day when she's eating.

So, it looks like that's something that's going to happen soon. I keep going back and forth. Is she really not happy, or am I projecting my "OMG I can't keep carrying her around and cleaning the rug three times a day" thing onto her? Then I think, well my god, if all I could do was lie on the floor and yell all day, I wouldn't be happy either. Neither option seems any good to me.

Well, that's where everything is right now.



la_belle_laide: (D)



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Today, five days after Haku blew out his other cruciate, I dropped him off at the vet's first thing in the AM. He's been hobbling around in a sling for the entire time since it happened, bones crackling and popping every time he tries to move. So gross and upsetting. He's on tramadol, which seems to really work for dulling the pain. That first night at the hospital they gave him hydrocodone, which just made him cry and wobble around all night.

So I dropped him off and his surgeon did an evaluation and gave me a call. She said she's really happy with how his other leg looks from last year, in other words, strong enough to hold him up while this one is out of commission. If this had happened six months ago, it would have been more of a challenge. Basically he's got the same exact injury on this side now (busted cruciate, with meniscus involvement and a lot of arthritis already,) but instead of trying the prosthetic and failing twice and then having to wait months and months for him to get some muscle in his leg before doing the TPLO (bone re-sectioning surgery,) they're just going straight to the TPLO. He did really well with that one last year once it was done.

The TPLO is super painful for the first few days (you're basically walking on a broken bone,) but then once it heals, it's sturdy. He was 4 feet down only weeks after that last surgery, and running on the beach again by summer. Of course, we're looking at another few months of super costly physical therapy every week. They're' giving me a discount on the surgery again (frequent client, you know.)

So that's Haku's story as of today. I hate that it happened again, but I knew it was going to. So I'm prepared for it mentally, if not financially. (Seriously, I am never going to be able to go to Japan with all these bills constantly piling up – and let's be honest here, getting to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip is the least of my worries. I don't want to lose my house.)

Oh, my car is busted too. The "check engine" light came on. Aside from that, they found that my brakes are going, and I need the "timing belt" or something replaced, which alone is like $700, apparently.

Should I even mention that all our hours at work cut cut to by, like, half? Because no one is coming in for appointments this time of year.

Well, anyway. I've just been spending my time writing, reading, and watching Torchwood. Torchwood is my new comfort show. :)

That aside, I've decided to do the holidays again this year. Last year I tried, a little, and failed at snark-decorating. Snarkorating? This year, I'm going to do like I used to. With all the stupid lights and tree, and junk like that. Because honestly, I really like the holidays, with the stupid songs and bells and all that nonsense. This is my third Christmas without Dad. Again I have to point out how strange it feels to say that, because it still feels like the first. That's something I can't explain to anyone who hasn't lost someone. I say "third holidays without Dad" and it still shocks me because it still feels like yesterday. For as much as I say that or try to explain it, I'm still not being totally clear, because you can't know until you feel it yourself. Very strange. BUT, I am still going to holiday it this year. Christmas is going to be my bitch.

Though I'm kinda pissed off because I ordered Skyward Sword for, well, for me and also for my cousins, for Xmas. Boychild can wait till Xmas because he's not, you know, clear on the release date, which was Monday. SB and Jo-chan however, are waiting to play it, and they're coming over tonight (along with my uncle for a belated TG dinner,) and I STILL DON'T HAVE SKYWARD SWORD. WTF, when you pre-order something you're supposed to get it the day it comes out, and now it's almost a goddamn week. I could have gone to mothereffing Gamestop and picked that bitch up myself.

Right, so anyway, today, Friday, is our belated TG, so that promises to be fun, at least.

And I'll update on Haku when I know more.




la_belle_laide: (D)



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I posted this photo on Tumblr tonight:

Photobucket

With this text:

This is how you cuddle a crow, if you are a crow’s people.
Crows can only have people if they forever can’t have the sky or other crows because they are life-long sick or unflyable. And crows can only have people if their people is allowed to belong to a crow, legally. Crows’ people has to know all kinds of things about their owner-crow.
Such things as, what sort of troubles crows can get and what to do if that happens. Such things as, crows like to scream CAW, DAMN IT, CAW at all hours. Such things as, if crows can’t have other crows then their people has to give them cuddles and kisses, because crows subsist on cuddles and kisses just as much as on chicken and fruit and bread and eggs and cooked sweet potatoes and leftovers and worms and other suchlike.
Anyway this is one way to cuddle a crow. There are many other ways, too, as well as scritching and such.


And it got about sixty reblogs in about an hour. O_O NEAT! People really do love crows and animal stories.

I also finished and posted my 4 minute jaunt around Long Island, for HitRECord. It was fun creating it. I went everywhere, recorded all the pretty things I saw, etc. I really had a blast going around and searching for things to put in the video.

Two days ago, I took Sano outside and shaved him down. He looks so goofy without his fur but he is so much more comfortable and his skin has calmed down a bit. I'm starting to wonder if his skin gets really bad after a round of pred. I've never put that together before. It might be.

Last night, SB, Jo-chan and UD came over to my Mom's house for dinner and video games. We ate too much and laughed for hours. Did I mention that my Mom bought me Soul Calibur 4? Well, it's hilarious. Apparently if you take enough damage, your character's clothes come flying off. I purposely let Kilik get hit a lot. Also you can dress them in these insane outfits. Jo-chan put Kilik into this total S&M bondage looking outfit, pink. It was awesome.

Today I tried to knock down the remainder of the pool with a mallet. It didn't work. So I gave up and went inside. Gold Dragon called and we talked for about a half an hour.

I think tomorrow I might actually go to the ocean for a while. ^_^


la_belle_laide: (Kilik bo staff)



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Work today was fairly mellow and went quickly. I had four neat appointments, two of which were deep tissue. One of my clients is a pathology patient and he said he felt a lot better after last week's treatment. So, I hope I can keep doing right by him. I'm getting some nice reviews and repeat clients. The best part is that they are so nice, so polite, and always so happy when they leave. It's kind of cool, really, being a massage therapist. It makes you very popular! ^_^ Everyone likes the massage therapist. It's a nice feeling, making people feel good.

Tips are iffy. I mentioned this last time, but I need another reminder. Today wasn't so bad. The first guy didn't tip. The last three did and it made a big difference. I am starting to rely on tips and I know I shouldn't, because they are sporadic. But they bought lsat week's groceries, and now, with the gas stations charging an extra $.10 PER GALLON if you use a credit card, I really need the cash.

Make it rain, people, come on. ;D

One other thing I love about my job is that even for my earliest appointments, the earliest I need to be out of bed is 8:30. Okay, 8:30 is still early to me, I am so not a morning person. My natural waking up time is 9:30 - 10. But, 8:30 is also just fine. It beats the hell out of 7, which I had to get up at for my old, crap job, (NOT the last one,but the one before that,) and freaking 6AM for school sometimes. 8:30 is pretty reasonable, I think.

SO! My good friend Drex came over yesterday to help Mom and I clean up the massive piles of leaves in the yard. It was hard work, really gross work, too. Together it took the three of us about 3 hours – and that was only the backyard, not counting the tons of leaves in the torn up pool liner. Boychild just chilled out in the yard, basically being mellow and fighting imaginary bad guys with his sword and staff. But, who's to say they're imaginary? Not I.

Then we had pizza and Drex and I played Soul Calibur 3 for like 3 hours, just like we always used to. It was a super close game, but I was playing Kilik and I had a slight edge. :D Anyway, good times. Now I really want to pick up SCIV but I already bought two things for myself this month (a HitRECord bag and a DVD.) So maybe next month if I can find a cheap one.

Interesting things are occurring at Kung Fu and that's all I'm gonna say about that. Sifu says it's "Leopard Month." We're doing tons and tons of leopard style drills. Super fun.

This movie, Hesher, looks amazing. I feel like when I see it, something is going to really click with me. What-with how these last two years have gone, (Gran, Dad, various aunts, uncles, various serious illnesses within the family, drama, the threat of losing my home, generally a ridiculous trauma conga line,) I can nearly guarantee that this movie is going to make me bust out crying. But I'll probably love it, still. If it's playing around here, that is.

Finally, a link I need to share: Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous for Human Consumption

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.
Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.
A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent.


Okay, I have been saying this for YEARS, first of all. Then, when I took one of my classes in school last year, I found out even more about this. I basically sent a PM on FB to tons of people, with this link. "SEE, I SAID THIS. PLEASE STOP EATING THIS STUFF!" The thought of cancer keeps me awake at night. How can people not know this? And when they do know it, how can they continue to poison themselves? I think this is just as toxic as smoking. But OTOH, people continue to do that, too.

Well, let me not end on a frustrated note. Umm. I got my cool HitRECord bag, the Tiny Stories one. Weather has been a bit too chilly, but it's getting there. Tonight is nice and windy, you can smell apple blossoms and the ocean. Doesn't get much nicer than that. ^_^ The leaves are raked up, my rugs are vacuumed, my bathroom is clean and there is Kefir in the fridge. I get to sleep late tomorrow.

ALL GOOD THINGS. ^_^

la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



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Last night was what we had been looking forward to for months: Distant Worlds! It was a little nerve-wracking with catching all the different trains, esp. the Atlantic Terminal which has a tendency to shut down at random times etc.

Jo-chan and I left at around 3:45 and were at Syosset train station around 5. SB wasn't far behind and we got some snacks and water from Dunkin Donuts, got our train tickets, and were on our way. (Note to self: That nice conductor was right: when in doubt, get off-peack tickets. DO NOT listen to the idiot woman on line in front of you and buy PEAK tickets when you're going west in the afternoon. *Kicks random woman*)

Train rides were pretty quick and went smoothly, and the BAM center was literally right around the corner from the Atlantic Terminal. It was a 3 minute walk, 5 at most. We got there, had a look around, and then had another snack upstairs at the BAM cafe, which was really cool. That done, we got our awesome orchestra seats by raound 7:30, and waited, chatting with the folks around us who were just as excited and geeked out as we were.

Jo-chan and I were the only ones in any sort of costume. I'm glad we went subtle. Actually, in the bathroom, two girls were like, "Oh my god, Raine! And Edea!" We were like, "Oh yeah, score. Someone got it, at least."

We all somehow expected Nobuo Uematsu to be the maestro, the MC, really anything. But instead, he came out on stage, took a bow to thunderous screaming and applause, and then took a seat in the audience next to some very lucky fans. He's so cool, with his musical note doo-rag and his long, floofy hair.

They opened the show with the general theme to Final Fantasy, and went right into Liberi Fatali. It wasn't the kind of show where you could be screaming and stomping and cheering, like Video Games Live, so reactions from the audience were limited to whispered "ahhs!" and "OMGs!" and quiet squees. I saw a lot of people hand-flailing just to contain their excitement during their favorite numbers. Personally, I would have gone for Liberi Fatali alone. As I mentioned in a past post that song and I have history.

History. )

The live version is, of course, amazing.

The show went really heavy on FF7 and FF8, for which I was personally so thrilled. They did a little FF13 too, and some Chocobo stuff which was awesome. And the live version of JENOVA blows away about any version I've ever heard.

I have pics and videos of much of this, but they are mostly crap, since filming and photographs were prohibited, and everything was done on the sneak.

At the end, though, I just shamelessly started recording. I couldn't not, because Uematsu came on stage to sing One Winged Angel with the choir. I can't even tell you how epic that was. (Of note: The choir was singing the words "ira vehementus" when I'm sure the actual words are "ira vehementi. And I saw Uematsu singing "ira vehementi" also. I just thought that was weird.) I swear I also still hear "haryuu no hanekata the last two times, instead of "Gloriosa Generosa."

The ended the show with One Winged Angel, of course, because you can't follow that. It's impossible.

We had our meet+greet tickets, which was part of what the ridiculous extra cost was for. It was mad expensive, but we all thought, really, when else might we get a chance to talk to Nobuo Uematsu? Maybe even never. But we were concerned because the last train out of Brooklyn was 10:55 unless we wanted to either get a cab to Jamaica and wait until the 1:38 train (and if we missed that one, the next train out was 3:20. WTF. No one wants to sit in Jamaica station at 3 Am.)

So even as the orchestra started leaving, we jumped out of our seats and to the one, teeny tiny elevator. We were actually the first ones to the meet and greet. Uematsu came up at around 10:30. Well, I guess we all kind of lost our cool for a bit then. I wanted him to sign my soundtrack. It's the original, from ages ago, which you can't really find anymore, or so I'm told.

So I went up first, and I forgot the word for "sountrack." I just went, "Uematsu-san, thank you so much, could you sign my, my, my, my.... my thing, my soundtrack paper thing?" He was like, Sure, sure! And I was all "oh, thank you, thank you!" He asked if I spoke Japanese (I might have gotten totally ridiculous and stuttered out an "arigatou gozaimasu!") and I was trying to remember how to say "a tiny bit," (chiisai, chiisai!) but couldn't remember, so I just said, "a tiny bit. BUT I TRY VERY HARD."

Umm, then I moved aside from SB who went, "Umm, wow, thank you for the music, umm, HAHAHA!" and shoved his ticket to be signed. Uematsu was very obliging and he was like, "Oh, you're welcome," and SB was like, "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO NEW YORK, HAHA."He couldn't stop grinning. Then he said hi to the conductor, Arnie Roth, who also signed his ticket.

Jo-chan came up next, and she had the presence of mind to actually FORM WORDS to him and have an actual conversation. She told him that Final Fantasy came out when she was five, and that his music had been a part of her life since childhood. He asked her, "Did Final Fantasy come out when you were five, because I doubt that," and she said, "No, Final Fantasy VII, my favorite." He asked her if she had played when she was a child and I jumped in and said, "They both played Final Fantasy since childhood, I insisted." Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got our pics, thanked them both again, and then sort of floated euphorically out of the building.

Outside, Jo-chan said she'd been close enough to smell his hair, and we decided that he smelled like the Promised Land, or newly formed Materia.

When we got to Atlantic Terminal, they had a gate across the entrance. I pushed it aside and went inside anyway, where some guards were like, "No, no, you have to take the elevator, the stairs are closed!" I was like, "Umm, why are the stairs closed? And there had better be a train at the bottom of the elevator."

Fortunately there was, and we caught it in time. We made the 10:55 train by a ten minute margin; that's how quickly it was all over. We were laughing and ridiculous for the entire trip back.

We got back to Syosset at 12:15 AM. Jo-chan got a sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, while SB headed back to campus.

We were back at my house at 1:15 AM, which was such a relief, when my worry was that we wouldn't even catch the 1:38 train.

But anyway. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful concert, what a fantastic experience. We got to talk to Uematsu-san, and Jo-chan expressed for all of us what we wanted to say to him.

Pics, of course! )

Too cool to cut!
Photobucket

Squee, squared. Pun more or less intended. :)

Today is much less awesome, but that doesn't belong in a post about things like this – I don't want to cheapen or lessen the thing that happened today by mixing it in with my fannish joy, because it's, sadly, too serious in nature for this stuff.

More later, but for now, I'm going to hold onto lsat night's joy for a while.
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



statistics for vBulletin



Last night was what we had been looking forward to for months: Distant Worlds! It was a little nerve-wracking with catching all the different trains, esp. the Atlantic Terminal which has a tendency to shut down at random times etc.

Jo-chan and I left at around 3:45 and were at Syosset train station around 5. SB wasn't far behind and we got some snacks and water from Dunkin Donuts, got our train tickets, and were on our way. (Note to self: That nice conductor was right: when in doubt, get off-peack tickets. DO NOT listen to the idiot woman on line in front of you and buy PEAK tickets when you're going west in the afternoon. *Kicks random woman*)

Train rides were pretty quick and went smoothly, and the BAM center was literally right around the corner from the Atlantic Terminal. It was a 3 minute walk, 5 at most. We got there, had a look around, and then had another snack upstairs at the BAM cafe, which was really cool. That done, we got our awesome orchestra seats by raound 7:30, and waited, chatting with the folks around us who were just as excited and geeked out as we were.

Jo-chan and I were the only ones in any sort of costume. I'm glad we went subtle. Actually, in the bathroom, two girls were like, "Oh my god, Raine! And Edea!" We were like, "Oh yeah, score. Someone got it, at least."

We all somehow expected Nobuo Uematsu to be the maestro, the MC, really anything. But instead, he came out on stage, took a bow to thunderous screaming and applause, and then took a seat in the audience next to some very lucky fans. He's so cool, with his musical note doo-rag and his long, floofy hair.

They opened the show with the general theme to Final Fantasy, and went right into Liberi Fatali. It wasn't the kind of show where you could be screaming and stomping and cheering, like Video Games Live, so reactions from the audience were limited to whispered "ahhs!" and "OMGs!" and quiet squees. I saw a lot of people hand-flailing just to contain their excitement during their favorite numbers. Personally, I would have gone for Liberi Fatali alone. As I mentioned in a past post that song and I have history.

History. )

The live version is, of course, amazing.

The show went really heavy on FF7 and FF8, for which I was personally so thrilled. They did a little FF13 too, and some Chocobo stuff which was awesome. And the live version of JENOVA blows away about any version I've ever heard.

I have pics and videos of much of this, but they are mostly crap, since filming and photographs were prohibited, and everything was done on the sneak.

At the end, though, I just shamelessly started recording. I couldn't not, because Uematsu came on stage to sing One Winged Angel with the choir. I can't even tell you how epic that was. (Of note: The choir was singing the words "ira vehementus" when I'm sure the actual words are "ira vehementi. And I saw Uematsu singing "ira vehementi" also. I just thought that was weird.) I swear I also still hear "haryuu no hanekata the last two times, instead of "Gloriosa Generosa."

The ended the show with One Winged Angel, of course, because you can't follow that. It's impossible.

We had our meet+greet tickets, which was part of what the ridiculous extra cost was for. It was mad expensive, but we all thought, really, when else might we get a chance to talk to Nobuo Uematsu? Maybe even never. But we were concerned because the last train out of Brooklyn was 10:55 unless we wanted to either get a cab to Jamaica and wait until the 1:38 train (and if we missed that one, the next train out was 3:20. WTF. No one wants to sit in Jamaica station at 3 Am.)

So even as the orchestra started leaving, we jumped out of our seats and to the one, teeny tiny elevator. We were actually the first ones to the meet and greet. Uematsu came up at around 10:30. Well, I guess we all kind of lost our cool for a bit then. I wanted him to sign my soundtrack. It's the original, from ages ago, which you can't really find anymore, or so I'm told.

So I went up first, and I forgot the word for "sountrack." I just went, "Uematsu-san, thank you so much, could you sign my, my, my, my.... my thing, my soundtrack paper thing?" He was like, Sure, sure! And I was all "oh, thank you, thank you!" He asked if I spoke Japanese (I might have gotten totally ridiculous and stuttered out an "arigatou gozaimasu!") and I was trying to remember how to say "a tiny bit," (chiisai, chiisai!) but couldn't remember, so I just said, "a tiny bit. BUT I TRY VERY HARD."

Umm, then I moved aside from SB who went, "Umm, wow, thank you for the music, umm, HAHAHA!" and shoved his ticket to be signed. Uematsu was very obliging and he was like, "Oh, you're welcome," and SB was like, "THANK YOU FOR COMING TO NEW YORK, HAHA."He couldn't stop grinning. Then he said hi to the conductor, Arnie Roth, who also signed his ticket.

Jo-chan came up next, and she had the presence of mind to actually FORM WORDS to him and have an actual conversation. She told him that Final Fantasy came out when she was five, and that his music had been a part of her life since childhood. He asked her, "Did Final Fantasy come out when you were five, because I doubt that," and she said, "No, Final Fantasy VII, my favorite." He asked her if she had played when she was a child and I jumped in and said, "They both played Final Fantasy since childhood, I insisted." Everyone got a laugh out of that.

We got our pics, thanked them both again, and then sort of floated euphorically out of the building.

Outside, Jo-chan said she'd been close enough to smell his hair, and we decided that he smelled like the Promised Land, or newly formed Materia.

When we got to Atlantic Terminal, they had a gate across the entrance. I pushed it aside and went inside anyway, where some guards were like, "No, no, you have to take the elevator, the stairs are closed!" I was like, "Umm, why are the stairs closed? And there had better be a train at the bottom of the elevator."

Fortunately there was, and we caught it in time. We made the 10:55 train by a ten minute margin; that's how quickly it was all over. We were laughing and ridiculous for the entire trip back.

We got back to Syosset at 12:15 AM. Jo-chan got a sandwich from Dunkin Donuts, while SB headed back to campus.

We were back at my house at 1:15 AM, which was such a relief, when my worry was that we wouldn't even catch the 1:38 train.

But anyway. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful concert, what a fantastic experience. We got to talk to Uematsu-san, and Jo-chan expressed for all of us what we wanted to say to him.

Pics, of course! )

Too cool to cut!
Photobucket

Squee, squared. Pun more or less intended. :)

Today is much less awesome, but that doesn't belong in a post about things like this – I don't want to cheapen or lessen the thing that happened today by mixing it in with my fannish joy, because it's, sadly, too serious in nature for this stuff.

More later, but for now, I'm going to hold onto lsat night's joy for a while.
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



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This week has been such a stupid amount of awesome, I'm actually concerned. There was a brief writing thingie-bit-of-awesomeness, and Kung Fu awesomeness, but I'll save them for another post.

This post is just for the awesomeness that was Video Games Live.

SB, Jo-chan and I have been planning this trip since around summer time. This was like, our BIG THING that we all got to do together. In the fall, SB wrote an email to Tommy Tallarico (VGL creator) saying that he was also a composer, and that he really hoped his future would be in video game music etc. Mr. Tallarico wrote him this really nice email back, giving him tons of links to work from. Eventually SB got a really sweet, short-term internship out of it. He did some voiceover work for an MMORPG (but I forgot which one.)

SO! Saturday comes along, and we're all peeing our pants because we've decided that we're going to show up to the venue early, stake it out a little, and maybe, if we're lucky, get to meet Mr. Tallarico.

Jo-chan got there around 3, and we left by 3:40. (She was Link. I was Raine from FFVIII again.) SB left from his school and was going to meet us there. Jo-chan and I had a ridiculous amount of fun driving there, singing along to J-pop video game music and generally acting like geeks. We got there at around 5, found a prime parking spot right directly in front of the venue, and headed on in.

As we were going inside, who walks by but Mr. Tallarico. I recognized him right away and I was like, "Jo-chan. Jo-chan!" And she got all, "OMG. No way." He came over to us, complimented her on her Link costume and told her to enter the contest, then he went on his way. She immediately called SB to tell him that we'd already met the dude. SB turned into Rage Guy for a few seconds on the phone there, and then he hurried on down.

Then, Jo and I went to search out some kind of sustenance. We ended up crossing behind the truck with all the orchestra's gear in it. We joked for a minute that if this was a video game, there would be an item in the truck that we'd have to retrieve to unlock a side quest. We stood there staring into the truck, doing sound effects and music for various "YOU GOT THE ITEM" scenes. Some guy saw us lurking around and asked, "Are you with Video Games Live?" We were like, "Umm. Well we're here to see it," and other babbling suggesting that we were not, in fact, trying to get back stage or take something out of the truck; we were just looking for a restaurant or cafe or something. He told us where the cafe was, and off we went. We paid $25 for two sandwiches. O_O

SB showed up at around 6, and we went to meet him, and then went back to the cafe so he could get a sandwich too. On our way back to the venue, we went around the backstage area again. And who was hanging around out there but Mr. Tallarico himself. I had to restrain myself from shoving SB in front of him and going, "And this is my cousin, and he's a composer, and he's really awesome, and, and, and..."

So we went up to him and SB thanked him for his email, and said he'd gotten a sweet internship out of it. Mr. Tallarico actually remembered him, and they spent a few minutes talking about the internship. Then some other guy was hanging around with us, and he joined in the conversation which veered off to things like Hot Topic and how Twilight had ruined everything. Yup, we totally hung out with Tommy Tallarico for a good fifteen minutes talking about how awful Twilight is.

Then I asked if I could get a pic of him with the two kids, and we thanked him and went on our way.

Jo-chan and SB were so freaking happy, it honestly made my night more than anything else.

Some other folks started following us around too. I have no idea why. People kept coming to us and saying, "Can I hang with you? My friends aren't here yet." We got the heads-up that there was a free dinner in with our ticket to the show (hi, thanks for telling us after we spent over $30+ on sandwiches?) and by the time we got to the dinner, a group of people pulled an entire table over to where we were sitting so that they could hang with us.

I kind of started to think that maybe we literally felt like good luck, and people wanted in on that.

After dinner it was time for the concert, which was its usual geeky awesomeness. It touched me, like it did last time, with its reverence for gaming, and for gamers. This concert makes a point of how relevant video games are, and how the music that goes to games has become the kind of music that used to be odes to gods. It's not 8-bit bleeps and bloops. Characters get their own choirs. Video game music can stand alone as brilliant pieces of art. And video games themselves are as artistic, thoughtful, and relevant as movies, as theater, as great novels. They're stories – just interactive ones.

VGL has moments of irreverence and it doesn't take itself seriously either. (Little side-segments on big screens, about the Top Ten Worst Voiceovers Ever, the Top Ten Worst Titles ever etc. [A game called "Irritating Stick" and one called "Touch Dic". O_O ] ) There's a Guitar Hero playoff, like there usually is, a costume contest, audience participation, and retrospectives on gaming history. All sorts of games are included. Big, huge titles like Mario, Zelda, God of War, Halo, WoW; lesser known ones such as Afrika, and older ones like Pac Man, Space Invaders, Tetris, and yes, Tank and Pong.

And again, they did One Winged Angel. ^_^

Oh, and of course, acting as conductor this time around was Wataru Hokoyama, the composer for Resident Evil 5 and Afrika. He was adorable and amazing.

So, yes, this was just a day and evening made of awesome and win and success and geekery.

Next up?

DISTANT WORLDS, THE MUSIC OF FINAL FANTASY, WITH COMPOSER NOBUO UEMATSU. MEET AND GREET AFTERWARDS. April 1st, Brooklyn.

There's so much I can say about Uematsu and what his music means to me, and also to SB and Jo-chan. I could talk about how in '00 we all discovered Final Fantasy VIII and the song Liberi Fatali, and all the memories that go with that. How it led to an admittedly ridiculous and unrelenting Final Fantasy fandom, and all of the things that it brought to me. How, when they were little kids, 8 and 11, I'd set up the video camera in the back yard and let them have sword fights with Uematsu's music blasting in the background. They were my wee little fankidlets back then, growing up with Uematsu as their number one composer, and now they're brilliant young adults still just as smitten with the games and the music that goes to them. There is so much I could say, but it wouldn't even begin to cover it. We always swore that if we ever got the chance, we'd have to go and see a concert where they would perform our music, and if we ever got to meet Nobuo Uematsu, it would be A Very Big Deal. They actually are performing Liberi Fatali that night, so yeah. I grabbed the tickets yesterday. :)

I know this is all really geeky and I don't expect most people to understand. I can't even put it into a perspective that a non-gamer would get. I get judged a lot for being a gamer, people thinking that games are some sort of time vampire, that you get nothing at the end of a game, and that everything you win is meaningless. Just, how is that any different from reading a novel, watching a play, or a movie? You don't "win" anything after that either, except for the memories of something well-enjoyed. What, honestly, is the difference? If anyone can tell me, I'd love to know.

Anyway. Pictures and videos.

Video Games Live! )

I can't wait to see what pics and videos I'll have after the Uematsu one. April can't come soon enough! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



website statistics



This week has been such a stupid amount of awesome, I'm actually concerned. There was a brief writing thingie-bit-of-awesomeness, and Kung Fu awesomeness, but I'll save them for another post.

This post is just for the awesomeness that was Video Games Live.

SB, Jo-chan and I have been planning this trip since around summer time. This was like, our BIG THING that we all got to do together. In the fall, SB wrote an email to Tommy Tallarico (VGL creator) saying that he was also a composer, and that he really hoped his future would be in video game music etc. Mr. Tallarico wrote him this really nice email back, giving him tons of links to work from. Eventually SB got a really sweet, short-term internship out of it. He did some voiceover work for an MMORPG (but I forgot which one.)

SO! Saturday comes along, and we're all peeing our pants because we've decided that we're going to show up to the venue early, stake it out a little, and maybe, if we're lucky, get to meet Mr. Tallarico.

Jo-chan got there around 3, and we left by 3:40. (She was Link. I was Raine from FFVIII again.) SB left from his school and was going to meet us there. Jo-chan and I had a ridiculous amount of fun driving there, singing along to J-pop video game music and generally acting like geeks. We got there at around 5, found a prime parking spot right directly in front of the venue, and headed on in.

As we were going inside, who walks by but Mr. Tallarico. I recognized him right away and I was like, "Jo-chan. Jo-chan!" And she got all, "OMG. No way." He came over to us, complimented her on her Link costume and told her to enter the contest, then he went on his way. She immediately called SB to tell him that we'd already met the dude. SB turned into Rage Guy for a few seconds on the phone there, and then he hurried on down.

Then, Jo and I went to search out some kind of sustenance. We ended up crossing behind the truck with all the orchestra's gear in it. We joked for a minute that if this was a video game, there would be an item in the truck that we'd have to retrieve to unlock a side quest. We stood there staring into the truck, doing sound effects and music for various "YOU GOT THE ITEM" scenes. Some guy saw us lurking around and asked, "Are you with Video Games Live?" We were like, "Umm. Well we're here to see it," and other babbling suggesting that we were not, in fact, trying to get back stage or take something out of the truck; we were just looking for a restaurant or cafe or something. He told us where the cafe was, and off we went. We paid $25 for two sandwiches. O_O

SB showed up at around 6, and we went to meet him, and then went back to the cafe so he could get a sandwich too. On our way back to the venue, we went around the backstage area again. And who was hanging around out there but Mr. Tallarico himself. I had to restrain myself from shoving SB in front of him and going, "And this is my cousin, and he's a composer, and he's really awesome, and, and, and..."

So we went up to him and SB thanked him for his email, and said he'd gotten a sweet internship out of it. Mr. Tallarico actually remembered him, and they spent a few minutes talking about the internship. Then some other guy was hanging around with us, and he joined in the conversation which veered off to things like Hot Topic and how Twilight had ruined everything. Yup, we totally hung out with Tommy Tallarico for a good fifteen minutes talking about how awful Twilight is.

Then I asked if I could get a pic of him with the two kids, and we thanked him and went on our way.

Jo-chan and SB were so freaking happy, it honestly made my night more than anything else.

Some other folks started following us around too. I have no idea why. People kept coming to us and saying, "Can I hang with you? My friends aren't here yet." We got the heads-up that there was a free dinner in with our ticket to the show (hi, thanks for telling us after we spent over $30+ on sandwiches?) and by the time we got to the dinner, a group of people pulled an entire table over to where we were sitting so that they could hang with us.

I kind of started to think that maybe we literally felt like good luck, and people wanted in on that.

After dinner it was time for the concert, which was its usual geeky awesomeness. It touched me, like it did last time, with its reverence for gaming, and for gamers. This concert makes a point of how relevant video games are, and how the music that goes to games has become the kind of music that used to be odes to gods. It's not 8-bit bleeps and bloops. Characters get their own choirs. Video game music can stand alone as brilliant pieces of art. And video games themselves are as artistic, thoughtful, and relevant as movies, as theater, as great novels. They're stories – just interactive ones.

VGL has moments of irreverence and it doesn't take itself seriously either. (Little side-segments on big screens, about the Top Ten Worst Voiceovers Ever, the Top Ten Worst Titles ever etc. [A game called "Irritating Stick" and one called "Touch Dic". O_O ] ) There's a Guitar Hero playoff, like there usually is, a costume contest, audience participation, and retrospectives on gaming history. All sorts of games are included. Big, huge titles like Mario, Zelda, God of War, Halo, WoW; lesser known ones such as Afrika, and older ones like Pac Man, Space Invaders, Tetris, and yes, Tank and Pong.

And again, they did One Winged Angel. ^_^

Oh, and of course, acting as conductor this time around was Wataru Hokoyama, the composer for Resident Evil 5 and Afrika. He was adorable and amazing.

So, yes, this was just a day and evening made of awesome and win and success and geekery.

Next up?

DISTANT WORLDS, THE MUSIC OF FINAL FANTASY, WITH COMPOSER NOBUO UEMATSU. MEET AND GREET AFTERWARDS. April 1st, Brooklyn.

There's so much I can say about Uematsu and what his music means to me, and also to SB and Jo-chan. I could talk about how in '00 we all discovered Final Fantasy VIII and the song Liberi Fatali, and all the memories that go with that. How it led to an admittedly ridiculous and unrelenting Final Fantasy fandom, and all of the things that it brought to me. How, when they were little kids, 8 and 11, I'd set up the video camera in the back yard and let them have sword fights with Uematsu's music blasting in the background. They were my wee little fankidlets back then, growing up with Uematsu as their number one composer, and now they're brilliant young adults still just as smitten with the games and the music that goes to them. There is so much I could say, but it wouldn't even begin to cover it. We always swore that if we ever got the chance, we'd have to go and see a concert where they would perform our music, and if we ever got to meet Nobuo Uematsu, it would be A Very Big Deal. They actually are performing Liberi Fatali that night, so yeah. I grabbed the tickets yesterday. :)

I know this is all really geeky and I don't expect most people to understand. I can't even put it into a perspective that a non-gamer would get. I get judged a lot for being a gamer, people thinking that games are some sort of time vampire, that you get nothing at the end of a game, and that everything you win is meaningless. Just, how is that any different from reading a novel, watching a play, or a movie? You don't "win" anything after that either, except for the memories of something well-enjoyed. What, honestly, is the difference? If anyone can tell me, I'd love to know.

Anyway. Pictures and videos.

Video Games Live! )

I can't wait to see what pics and videos I'll have after the Uematsu one. April can't come soon enough! ^_^
la_belle_laide: (Effing SPACE)



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The new year starts in February when it's the year of the rabbit. This "January 1st" thing is some arbitrary western milestone. So there.

Here's the thing, I took Haku for his two-week post-op checkup where they informed me that the prosthetic ligament had snapped, and he had to have the surgery redone.

If you could see my Angry Face.

They re-did the procedure for free, (on New Years Eve) which, yes, that kind of goes without saying. I did have to pay for the extra meds. Worse, though, Haku is in so much more pain this time than he was the last. He's actually screaming when he tries to move. And his leg doesn't actually even look as bad as it did the first time. Maybe this is because I took him home the day after the surgery instead of two days, and they had given him morphine the first time around. Still, today is the second day, and this would have been around the time I picked him up last time. And he's still knocked out and really hurting. I hate to see this.

And it sets me back another two weeks.

For some reason, today is just a random day when I really miss Dad. Maybe it's because I'm already in a bad mood though. I can just about see him patting Haku's head and saying, "Poor little guy. He'll get better." Today's just, UGH, really hard in terms of missing Dad and I'm not sure why. It's not a special day or anything.

Well on a brighter note, I played my new PS3 into the new year. I busted out FF XIII and fired it up for the first time just before midnight. It's beautiful beautiful beautiful, graphic-wise I mean. Story seems pretty interesting. Fighting is fairly fluid. I hope I can finish it, because I'm led to understand that it becomes really difficult down the line. And for right now, I don't want anything too epically challenging. I'd like to just be amused for a while.

Umm, I haven't studied for my state boards. Haven't even thought about studying. My book bag is still beside my sofa. I did get the letter telling me where to go for it. And also that I have to leave behind: My entire purse and any coat or sweater I might be wearing. I have to leave them in the entrance room, out in the open, at my own risk. Phone, car keys, wallet, money, everything. We just have to leave them sitting there. No lockers, nothing.

This makes me actually sort of disproportionately angry, but I don't know who to complain to.

And to round out today's bad mood:

Dear all you hunters today, shooting up the wildlife in my pretty swamp-woods and scaring the christ out of my two dogs by constantly firing off your obvious peenextensions:

Photobucket

I swear to god, people.

Grr.

Does hot chocolate count as "juice" if you're trying to do a juice fast? How about pizza, if it's organic?

Oh, but here's something nice. I got an email from my boss congratulating me on having the second highest sales on the entire island, after only the biggest store in the region. *slow clap* Give me more money, then. No but seriously. That's cool. It is, right? Being good at sales?

I'm not usually this pissy. But I think that once in a while I'm allowed to be.
la_belle_laide: (Effing SPACE)



website statistics



The new year starts in February when it's the year of the rabbit. This "January 1st" thing is some arbitrary western milestone. So there.

Here's the thing, I took Haku for his two-week post-op checkup where they informed me that the prosthetic ligament had snapped, and he had to have the surgery redone.

If you could see my Angry Face.

They re-did the procedure for free, (on New Years Eve) which, yes, that kind of goes without saying. I did have to pay for the extra meds. Worse, though, Haku is in so much more pain this time than he was the last. He's actually screaming when he tries to move. And his leg doesn't actually even look as bad as it did the first time. Maybe this is because I took him home the day after the surgery instead of two days, and they had given him morphine the first time around. Still, today is the second day, and this would have been around the time I picked him up last time. And he's still knocked out and really hurting. I hate to see this.

And it sets me back another two weeks.

For some reason, today is just a random day when I really miss Dad. Maybe it's because I'm already in a bad mood though. I can just about see him patting Haku's head and saying, "Poor little guy. He'll get better." Today's just, UGH, really hard in terms of missing Dad and I'm not sure why. It's not a special day or anything.

Well on a brighter note, I played my new PS3 into the new year. I busted out FF XIII and fired it up for the first time just before midnight. It's beautiful beautiful beautiful, graphic-wise I mean. Story seems pretty interesting. Fighting is fairly fluid. I hope I can finish it, because I'm led to understand that it becomes really difficult down the line. And for right now, I don't want anything too epically challenging. I'd like to just be amused for a while.

Umm, I haven't studied for my state boards. Haven't even thought about studying. My book bag is still beside my sofa. I did get the letter telling me where to go for it. And also that I have to leave behind: My entire purse and any coat or sweater I might be wearing. I have to leave them in the entrance room, out in the open, at my own risk. Phone, car keys, wallet, money, everything. We just have to leave them sitting there. No lockers, nothing.

This makes me actually sort of disproportionately angry, but I don't know who to complain to.

And to round out today's bad mood:

Dear all you hunters today, shooting up the wildlife in my pretty swamp-woods and scaring the christ out of my two dogs by constantly firing off your obvious peenextensions:

Photobucket

I swear to god, people.

Grr.

Does hot chocolate count as "juice" if you're trying to do a juice fast? How about pizza, if it's organic?

Oh, but here's something nice. I got an email from my boss congratulating me on having the second highest sales on the entire island, after only the biggest store in the region. *slow clap* Give me more money, then. No but seriously. That's cool. It is, right? Being good at sales?

I'm not usually this pissy. But I think that once in a while I'm allowed to be.
la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



click tracking



Had a great weekend. Jo-chan came over on Saturday, (she drove here herself. I can't say that didn't kind of give me the warm fuzzies and, at the same time, break my heart a little.) Once I got home from work we watched a few funny clips on the internet, then set down to play RE:DC. I kinda missed that game and it was fun to revisit it. We talked a lot about: fish, pets, wellness, school, fandom, and how gaming is kind of like meditation. My Mom was at work, and we decided to cook dinner before she got home. I got my iPod and dock from my house, plugged it in, and we listened to music while we cut up tomatoes, mushrooms, and hearts of palm to mix in with quinoa rice. After dinner, we listened to the hilarious "Dramatic Reading" clips (see below,) then the three of us sat down in pajamas, ate dairy and gluten free ice cream, and watched Blazing Saddles.

Sunday, Jo-chan and I played RE:DC some more, and then she drove herself home. I absolutely teared up when she drove away. Seeing her in her little VW, sleek little sunglasses, Bluetooth in her ear, driving down the road like, well, like a woman, got me all emo. I thought, "Look at her; she looks like Gillian Anderson. She's going to college next year. She's ten times smarter than I was at that age. Dad and Grandma should be here to see this." And all other manner of other similar, to-be-expected things.

Today I slept late, started the laundry, did some critiques on SFF, talked a long time on the phone with Gold Dragon, and took the dogs outside for extended playtime. Playtime for all three of us, I mean, because it is SIXTY DEGREES TODAY, PEOPLE. For the first time in months, I went outside and my ass did not fall off and shatter with the cold. I could actually breathe. Once, while running with Haku, I even took my coat off and just wore my heavy sweater.

It makes me wish it was Spring, and Spring makes me wish it was Summer. I adore summer, but I also realize that this one is going to be really difficult. I just hope it's not too bad, and that I can squeeze in some joy, too.

Things that mean nothing to anyone but me:

I can do pushups. I never could before, and now I can.

I downloaded the OST for TsuiokuHen. I wanted to buy it, but I know I absolutely can't keep putting things on my credit card, and TsuiokuHen is mad expensive.

Sifu actually wants to borrow TsuiokuHen, the movie, which I think is neat, actually, and I hope he likes it.

Kenshin the fish is better! No more white spots! And, I think I want a big yellow snail, and a green cory for the little tank. My fish completely rule, by the way. They let me pet them. Fish tanks this year have been my best investment. It's weird, the sort of peace they give you. Except for the fact that my angelfish Quatre is kind of acting like a douchebag to swordtail Kaoru.

I started jogging again. God damn, I forgot how hard that is to begin.

My Wonderful Glassworker Friend is having a major upcoming change, and I'm so happy for her.

I ordered Samurai X, the movie. I love ordering things and then forgetting that I ordered them. Then, when they get here, it's like a nice little prize.

Gluten-free pasta for dinner, and then Kung Fu tonight. Spring-like weather always makes me happy to work out, and to be with my friends. You know, it makes me want to kick ass, but in a good, happy way.

Well, I'd better finish up this last critique while I've got time.

Ciao!
la_belle_laide: (Wildflowers)



click tracking



Had a great weekend. Jo-chan came over on Saturday, (she drove here herself. I can't say that didn't kind of give me the warm fuzzies and, at the same time, break my heart a little.) Once I got home from work we watched a few funny clips on the internet, then set down to play RE:DC. I kinda missed that game and it was fun to revisit it. We talked a lot about: fish, pets, wellness, school, fandom, and how gaming is kind of like meditation. My Mom was at work, and we decided to cook dinner before she got home. I got my iPod and dock from my house, plugged it in, and we listened to music while we cut up tomatoes, mushrooms, and hearts of palm to mix in with quinoa rice. After dinner, we listened to the hilarious "Dramatic Reading" clips (see below,) then the three of us sat down in pajamas, ate dairy and gluten free ice cream, and watched Blazing Saddles.

Sunday, Jo-chan and I played RE:DC some more, and then she drove herself home. I absolutely teared up when she drove away. Seeing her in her little VW, sleek little sunglasses, Bluetooth in her ear, driving down the road like, well, like a woman, got me all emo. I thought, "Look at her; she looks like Gillian Anderson. She's going to college next year. She's ten times smarter than I was at that age. Dad and Grandma should be here to see this." And all other manner of other similar, to-be-expected things.

Today I slept late, started the laundry, did some critiques on SFF, talked a long time on the phone with Gold Dragon, and took the dogs outside for extended playtime. Playtime for all three of us, I mean, because it is SIXTY DEGREES TODAY, PEOPLE. For the first time in months, I went outside and my ass did not fall off and shatter with the cold. I could actually breathe. Once, while running with Haku, I even took my coat off and just wore my heavy sweater.

It makes me wish it was Spring, and Spring makes me wish it was Summer. I adore summer, but I also realize that this one is going to be really difficult. I just hope it's not too bad, and that I can squeeze in some joy, too.

Things that mean nothing to anyone but me:

I can do pushups. I never could before, and now I can.

I downloaded the OST for TsuiokuHen. I wanted to buy it, but I know I absolutely can't keep putting things on my credit card, and TsuiokuHen is mad expensive.

Sifu actually wants to borrow TsuiokuHen, the movie, which I think is neat, actually, and I hope he likes it.

Kenshin the fish is better! No more white spots! And, I think I want a big yellow snail, and a green cory for the little tank. My fish completely rule, by the way. They let me pet them. Fish tanks this year have been my best investment. It's weird, the sort of peace they give you. Except for the fact that my angelfish Quatre is kind of acting like a douchebag to swordtail Kaoru.

I started jogging again. God damn, I forgot how hard that is to begin.

My Wonderful Glassworker Friend is having a major upcoming change, and I'm so happy for her.

I ordered Samurai X, the movie. I love ordering things and then forgetting that I ordered them. Then, when they get here, it's like a nice little prize.

Gluten-free pasta for dinner, and then Kung Fu tonight. Spring-like weather always makes me happy to work out, and to be with my friends. You know, it makes me want to kick ass, but in a good, happy way.

Well, I'd better finish up this last critique while I've got time.

Ciao!
la_belle_laide: (Mappy)


I have no idea how I let this entire week run away from me. I wanted to get on here and update every single day, but couldn't find the time to dedicate to all the things I wanted to say. Minor things, major things, and in between. In the time I haven't updated, an entire country crumbled and hundreds of thousands of lives along with it.

The Whitehouse's earthquake relief page. Rush Limbaugh doesn't want you to donate or even help through that page. Awww. I hope someone punches him right between the eyes someday.

And how shocked wasn't I to read about the asshead Pat Robertson saying that the Haitians deserved this because they made a “pact with the devil” and the devil was now collecting? I find that so strange, because he made a similar comment about 9/11 along with Jerry Falwell, that “God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen.

Well, it just seems to me that if their silly “god” made 9/11 happen and their doofy “satan” was responsible for Haiti, then God and Satan operate in much the same way, don't they? When they get mad or collect on a deal, they're kind of the same person.

Whatever, the whole “a wizard did it” mentality from “creation” to destruction just makes me laugh. It's when they say disgusting things at the expense of hundreds of thousands of suffering families that they really make me want to kick some fictional god square in his fictional cojones.

And speaking of fictional characters, last Saturday my Wonderful Friend the Glassworker came over having decided that we would forgo going to the movies to see Sherlock Holmes or Avatar, and instead use her online Netflix to watch DEXTER. I am a total Dexter n00b so I really didn't know what to expect. I'm please to say that I was immediately caught up in the story and the hot, ginger sociopath lead character. I watched it every single night for the entire week until I finished the first season, and then found out yesterday that said hot, ginger sociopath lead has cancer. A huge WTF. He is only a year older than I am. I know that cancer knows no age or any other boundary but it still shocks me and I hope that homeboy will be all right. The world needs more hot, ginger actors capable of playing sociopaths.

The show itself stole into my heart in the same way that House did years ago, and I love it for the same reasons. It's edgy, gross, funny, engaging, and occasionally stupid with plot holes you could drive a spaceship into, but such a fun ride and so well-acted that it's worth it to go into those holes with them.

My week was actually so nice (aside from the bad news reports and another agent rejection – my third,) that I almost kinda want to go day by day. I have pictures, too.

Sunday was such great fun. My aunt and uncle, along with Jo-chan and SB and SB's adorable GF, came over and brought The Beatles Rockband over. Later in the day Boychild's Mon and Dad and Boychild came by. SB helped me finish Silent Hill. (Creepy, but the MC didn't engage me because he didn't seem too worried that he couldn't find his little girl and that skinless creatures were chasing him through icy nightmares, although the reason for this is revealed in the twist ending. The game was very short, and there was no way to fight the bad guys, but the creep factor satisfied me.) We had a great time playing The Beatles. I sang all the John songs, my aunt sang the Paul songs, and my uncle, SB, Jo-chan and SB's GF took turns on guitar and drums. At one point I was playing guitar and singing “Can't Buy Me Love” and thinking I was doing such an awesome job, only to find out at the end that I hadn't actually pressed the “pick” button on the guitar a single goddamn time. That gave everyone such a laugh for the rest of the night.

Beatles Rock Band )

My beautiful freakin' goddessdaughter looking all like Gillian Anderson over there. But actually she's going to an anime con this weekend, and she's decided to cosplay Claire Redfield. She needed the red vest to complete the costume, so her mom found the vest and I painted the back with Claire's “Let Me Live” Valkyrie design.

Photobucket

It's not the best, but I'm fairly pleased with it.

On Sunday, I worked, entered my data, and then went to pick up my free fish tank from the nice gentleman who was giving his away. I still haven't filled it or put in any fishes. The time in which to do any of that just hasn't presented itself. Plus, the whole entire room is still a shambles. Nothing painted, and I even find myself at a standstill with taking down the paneling. There's just too much stuff, and I don't have the time or the spit to get into it. School, work, Kung Fu, family, friends, and still querying agents and re-writing...I just don't know how I'm supposed to fit that in, too. It bums me out. I hate seeing that beautiful room just sit there. By now it should be silver-green with a nice floor and my massage table. And I really want some nice swimmy fishes.

Sunday night, I uploaded my Kung Fu class pics that I had taken the previous week. Also a video of Red-haired Assassin and CC sparring. The one of me sparring CC was way too long. As was the one of Snarklit and I trapping, though I wish it wasn't, because it's hilarious. Some of the pics in that album demonstrate that. ;)

Funny dog pics from Monday afternoon. )
That one of Haku's face is priceless. My Mom is petting him in that one. It was so ball-chillingly cold that day that I can't even tell you.

On Monday night I went to Kung Fu and we did some of these anti-rape drills (that's what I call them because honestly you could use them for that kind of attack, but really it is for any attack where someone gets you on the floor.) Those always lead to moments both awkward and of varying degrees of hilarity and that night was no exception. The move ends in an arm-break you do using your groin. (“Do women have a groin?” Sifu asked. “I think you call it a groin in women, too.” “Yes,” I told him. “The scientific term for what we don't have is 'package.' I learned that in my medical class.”) After class, I gave the Dragon his b'day gift (because he took me out for my b'day) which was this really lovely black Chinese shirt with dragons subtly embroidered in black down the front. Also a card with a tidy little Japanese poem in it and a note thanking him for everything.

The next day the Gold Dragon called me and said, “Let's go out.” “Let's stay in,” I said, “and watch Family Guy DVDs,” but he really wanted to see a flick at the theater. We both decided that Avatar was way too long and probably retarded, so off we went to see Sherlock Holmes. It was better the second time around for me. We were both O_O to see the same arm-bar used towards the end of the movie. I hadn't even noticed that the first time! Anyway, it was a seriously nice night out, though so cold I thought I was going to go all Silent Hill and spontaneously turn into a block of ice. It was RIDIC.

Wednesday was back to school, and what a long day Wednesday is. I'm either on the road or in school from 8 to 8, give or take, with a three hour break in between. That break gives me time to: eat, do that day's homework, AND get a massage. These things I did, as well as going to see about my GODDAMN MONEY FROM THE CANCELED CHINA TRIPS.

Thursday, yesterday, I finally got what little amount of the money they were willing to return. $1900, out of the $4500 I paid. But, I'm so tired of fighting for it. Seriously, all this time, and only now, and only after I rode them about it. Death certificates, letters, calls, emails, all this other stuff that I didn't need to be doing—or shouldn't have needed to be doing—at an already hard time. I want to get my damn license and run as fast as I can the other way.

However I continue to enjoy taking the actual classes, and I have some great teachers. In fact there are some professors there who I love to see, just even see them in the hallways or in the cafe or whatever. Like in high school and college, I find myself keeping a distance from the other students but really enjoying the company of professors. I don't know why I do that. I like them and they seem to enjoy me as well. Yesterday in class, a girl randomly told me, “You have beautiful eyes. You never really see that dark green color.” I thought it was really sweet, it made my day. I feel like I need to collect nice things that people say to me, to break them out once in a while on days I'm feeling blue and self-hatey.

And today is Friday, my one true day off where I don't actually have to be someplace. (Although I might start going to KF on Fridays, in which case I will have absolutely no days in the week when I don't have to be someplace.) One thing happened today that quite upset me. I went out shopping (red wine, organic dog cookies, avocados, broccoli, carrots, a sweat-shirt for Sano so he doesn't keep itching and licking his rash, etc.) and as I was going into the store there was this not-so-little old lady with a cane, trying to get over the curb. It's not as tit-freezingly cold as it was—actually it's about 45* today—so the snow is melting into slush, but it's still slippery and she was having some trouble. I asked her if she needed a hand and she said that in fact she did. So I took her hand and helped her up onto the curb. She said she also needed help stepping down, so I held onto her arm. She started talking to me, and as she did so she turned her head to look at me. I don't know if she got dizzy or what, but I saw her do this weird cross-step and she started to tip over backwards. She was considerably bigger than I am and I tried to hold her up, but the most I could do was get her to fall really slowly so that she just sat down, and then she damn near pulled me on top of her because she just kept going over backwards, like she was going to lie down. It was like her brain went somewhere else for a second and she didn't know which way was up.

I helped her up and became aware that someone was standing there watching all of this, another older woman, though younger than her. The older lady said, “That's my daughter!” and at first I thought she must be imagining things, because why would her daughter just be standing there watching all of this? Finally the younger lady came over and she was, in fact, the old lady's daughter. She was all, “Mom, why did you cross your legs while you were walking, this girl was trying to help you and you know you can't walk and talk at the same time!”

I was a little shocked. I said, “Don't worry about it; I can't walk and talk at the same time either.” It took both of us to help her up, get her cane and her bag and get her to the car. Why was her daughter just standing there that whole time waiting for her, instead of helping her? I found it odd. Most of all I felt so terrible for offering to help her and then letting her fall. I told her that I had slipped in my own yard the other day, and I couldn't wait for this treacherous ice to melt, etc. I didn't actually fall in my yard, but I didn't want her to feel silly. (I did fall up the stairs though, twice, and quite hard. My slippers are deflated and keep slipping off and tripping me.)

Long, pointless story, I know, but it just kind of bummed me out, this old lady falling down. I like old people and it bugs me out when bad things happen to them.

By the way, even with all of this going through my head—Haiti, religious freaks, school, family, friends, writing, ginger sociopaths who need to get better—I cannot get PANTS ON THE GROUND out of my mind. Honestly that crazy “song” is trapped between my ears and won't go away. Which is fine, because it tickles me. It's just a little random among the many other random oddities happening in there this week.

I hope I can find time to update again soon, because I hate being away from my journal and then dumping a week's worth of baggage on the doorstep like this. Yet, tomorrow I have work and then hanging out with My Wonderful Friend the Glassworker, and then Sunday I have work and then I think I'm hanging out with some old pals from The Bad Place who seem be bursting to tell me something HUGE that I am just wiggling to find out. Hmmm!

la_belle_laide: (Mappy)


I have no idea how I let this entire week run away from me. I wanted to get on here and update every single day, but couldn't find the time to dedicate to all the things I wanted to say. Minor things, major things, and in between. In the time I haven't updated, an entire country crumbled and hundreds of thousands of lives along with it.

The Whitehouse's earthquake relief page. Rush Limbaugh doesn't want you to donate or even help through that page. Awww. I hope someone punches him right between the eyes someday.

And how shocked wasn't I to read about the asshead Pat Robertson saying that the Haitians deserved this because they made a “pact with the devil” and the devil was now collecting? I find that so strange, because he made a similar comment about 9/11 along with Jerry Falwell, that “God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen.

Well, it just seems to me that if their silly “god” made 9/11 happen and their doofy “satan” was responsible for Haiti, then God and Satan operate in much the same way, don't they? When they get mad or collect on a deal, they're kind of the same person.

Whatever, the whole “a wizard did it” mentality from “creation” to destruction just makes me laugh. It's when they say disgusting things at the expense of hundreds of thousands of suffering families that they really make me want to kick some fictional god square in his fictional cojones.

And speaking of fictional characters, last Saturday my Wonderful Friend the Glassworker came over having decided that we would forgo going to the movies to see Sherlock Holmes or Avatar, and instead use her online Netflix to watch DEXTER. I am a total Dexter n00b so I really didn't know what to expect. I'm please to say that I was immediately caught up in the story and the hot, ginger sociopath lead character. I watched it every single night for the entire week until I finished the first season, and then found out yesterday that said hot, ginger sociopath lead has cancer. A huge WTF. He is only a year older than I am. I know that cancer knows no age or any other boundary but it still shocks me and I hope that homeboy will be all right. The world needs more hot, ginger actors capable of playing sociopaths.

The show itself stole into my heart in the same way that House did years ago, and I love it for the same reasons. It's edgy, gross, funny, engaging, and occasionally stupid with plot holes you could drive a spaceship into, but such a fun ride and so well-acted that it's worth it to go into those holes with them.

My week was actually so nice (aside from the bad news reports and another agent rejection – my third,) that I almost kinda want to go day by day. I have pictures, too.

Sunday was such great fun. My aunt and uncle, along with Jo-chan and SB and SB's adorable GF, came over and brought The Beatles Rockband over. Later in the day Boychild's Mon and Dad and Boychild came by. SB helped me finish Silent Hill. (Creepy, but the MC didn't engage me because he didn't seem too worried that he couldn't find his little girl and that skinless creatures were chasing him through icy nightmares, although the reason for this is revealed in the twist ending. The game was very short, and there was no way to fight the bad guys, but the creep factor satisfied me.) We had a great time playing The Beatles. I sang all the John songs, my aunt sang the Paul songs, and my uncle, SB, Jo-chan and SB's GF took turns on guitar and drums. At one point I was playing guitar and singing “Can't Buy Me Love” and thinking I was doing such an awesome job, only to find out at the end that I hadn't actually pressed the “pick” button on the guitar a single goddamn time. That gave everyone such a laugh for the rest of the night.

Beatles Rock Band )

My beautiful freakin' goddessdaughter looking all like Gillian Anderson over there. But actually she's going to an anime con this weekend, and she's decided to cosplay Claire Redfield. She needed the red vest to complete the costume, so her mom found the vest and I painted the back with Claire's “Let Me Live” Valkyrie design.

Photobucket

It's not the best, but I'm fairly pleased with it.

On Sunday, I worked, entered my data, and then went to pick up my free fish tank from the nice gentleman who was giving his away. I still haven't filled it or put in any fishes. The time in which to do any of that just hasn't presented itself. Plus, the whole entire room is still a shambles. Nothing painted, and I even find myself at a standstill with taking down the paneling. There's just too much stuff, and I don't have the time or the spit to get into it. School, work, Kung Fu, family, friends, and still querying agents and re-writing...I just don't know how I'm supposed to fit that in, too. It bums me out. I hate seeing that beautiful room just sit there. By now it should be silver-green with a nice floor and my massage table. And I really want some nice swimmy fishes.

Sunday night, I uploaded my Kung Fu class pics that I had taken the previous week. Also a video of Red-haired Assassin and CC sparring. The one of me sparring CC was way too long. As was the one of Snarklit and I trapping, though I wish it wasn't, because it's hilarious. Some of the pics in that album demonstrate that. ;)

Funny dog pics from Monday afternoon. )
That one of Haku's face is priceless. My Mom is petting him in that one. It was so ball-chillingly cold that day that I can't even tell you.

On Monday night I went to Kung Fu and we did some of these anti-rape drills (that's what I call them because honestly you could use them for that kind of attack, but really it is for any attack where someone gets you on the floor.) Those always lead to moments both awkward and of varying degrees of hilarity and that night was no exception. The move ends in an arm-break you do using your groin. (“Do women have a groin?” Sifu asked. “I think you call it a groin in women, too.” “Yes,” I told him. “The scientific term for what we don't have is 'package.' I learned that in my medical class.”) After class, I gave the Dragon his b'day gift (because he took me out for my b'day) which was this really lovely black Chinese shirt with dragons subtly embroidered in black down the front. Also a card with a tidy little Japanese poem in it and a note thanking him for everything.

The next day the Gold Dragon called me and said, “Let's go out.” “Let's stay in,” I said, “and watch Family Guy DVDs,” but he really wanted to see a flick at the theater. We both decided that Avatar was way too long and probably retarded, so off we went to see Sherlock Holmes. It was better the second time around for me. We were both O_O to see the same arm-bar used towards the end of the movie. I hadn't even noticed that the first time! Anyway, it was a seriously nice night out, though so cold I thought I was going to go all Silent Hill and spontaneously turn into a block of ice. It was RIDIC.

Wednesday was back to school, and what a long day Wednesday is. I'm either on the road or in school from 8 to 8, give or take, with a three hour break in between. That break gives me time to: eat, do that day's homework, AND get a massage. These things I did, as well as going to see about my GODDAMN MONEY FROM THE CANCELED CHINA TRIPS.

Thursday, yesterday, I finally got what little amount of the money they were willing to return. $1900, out of the $4500 I paid. But, I'm so tired of fighting for it. Seriously, all this time, and only now, and only after I rode them about it. Death certificates, letters, calls, emails, all this other stuff that I didn't need to be doing—or shouldn't have needed to be doing—at an already hard time. I want to get my damn license and run as fast as I can the other way.

However I continue to enjoy taking the actual classes, and I have some great teachers. In fact there are some professors there who I love to see, just even see them in the hallways or in the cafe or whatever. Like in high school and college, I find myself keeping a distance from the other students but really enjoying the company of professors. I don't know why I do that. I like them and they seem to enjoy me as well. Yesterday in class, a girl randomly told me, “You have beautiful eyes. You never really see that dark green color.” I thought it was really sweet, it made my day. I feel like I need to collect nice things that people say to me, to break them out once in a while on days I'm feeling blue and self-hatey.

And today is Friday, my one true day off where I don't actually have to be someplace. (Although I might start going to KF on Fridays, in which case I will have absolutely no days in the week when I don't have to be someplace.) One thing happened today that quite upset me. I went out shopping (red wine, organic dog cookies, avocados, broccoli, carrots, a sweat-shirt for Sano so he doesn't keep itching and licking his rash, etc.) and as I was going into the store there was this not-so-little old lady with a cane, trying to get over the curb. It's not as tit-freezingly cold as it was—actually it's about 45* today—so the snow is melting into slush, but it's still slippery and she was having some trouble. I asked her if she needed a hand and she said that in fact she did. So I took her hand and helped her up onto the curb. She said she also needed help stepping down, so I held onto her arm. She started talking to me, and as she did so she turned her head to look at me. I don't know if she got dizzy or what, but I saw her do this weird cross-step and she started to tip over backwards. She was considerably bigger than I am and I tried to hold her up, but the most I could do was get her to fall really slowly so that she just sat down, and then she damn near pulled me on top of her because she just kept going over backwards, like she was going to lie down. It was like her brain went somewhere else for a second and she didn't know which way was up.

I helped her up and became aware that someone was standing there watching all of this, another older woman, though younger than her. The older lady said, “That's my daughter!” and at first I thought she must be imagining things, because why would her daughter just be standing there watching all of this? Finally the younger lady came over and she was, in fact, the old lady's daughter. She was all, “Mom, why did you cross your legs while you were walking, this girl was trying to help you and you know you can't walk and talk at the same time!”

I was a little shocked. I said, “Don't worry about it; I can't walk and talk at the same time either.” It took both of us to help her up, get her cane and her bag and get her to the car. Why was her daughter just standing there that whole time waiting for her, instead of helping her? I found it odd. Most of all I felt so terrible for offering to help her and then letting her fall. I told her that I had slipped in my own yard the other day, and I couldn't wait for this treacherous ice to melt, etc. I didn't actually fall in my yard, but I didn't want her to feel silly. (I did fall up the stairs though, twice, and quite hard. My slippers are deflated and keep slipping off and tripping me.)

Long, pointless story, I know, but it just kind of bummed me out, this old lady falling down. I like old people and it bugs me out when bad things happen to them.

By the way, even with all of this going through my head—Haiti, religious freaks, school, family, friends, writing, ginger sociopaths who need to get better—I cannot get PANTS ON THE GROUND out of my mind. Honestly that crazy “song” is trapped between my ears and won't go away. Which is fine, because it tickles me. It's just a little random among the many other random oddities happening in there this week.

I hope I can find time to update again soon, because I hate being away from my journal and then dumping a week's worth of baggage on the doorstep like this. Yet, tomorrow I have work and then hanging out with My Wonderful Friend the Glassworker, and then Sunday I have work and then I think I'm hanging out with some old pals from The Bad Place who seem be bursting to tell me something HUGE that I am just wiggling to find out. Hmmm!

la_belle_laide: (Leander)



counter for myspace


Having decided that it was Agent Time, I took out novel, query, and synopsis and got down to some serious panic and despair. Then, I took said bits and pieces to That Well-Known Writing Place (where all the agents and editors actually come and hang out sometimes as if they were real people and not angels with the keys to heaven wrapped in their unyielding fists) and asked for criticism.

I got tons on the query: Too confusing, too vague, too specific, too many words, add a word here or there, I can't pronounce the title, strike this paragraph, add this and remove that.

And on the first eight pages, the best piece of critique I've gotten (on this new, revamped version anyway) was: I like your style; it's nice and tight. I like the premise. But I have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

And there is my biggest problem. I know what I'm talking about, I know where I'm going with it and what comes next. And I know my own reasons. I think I'm taking for granted that the reader will be patient with the story, as I have been patient. But really, that's not so. People have told me again and again to drop my guy right into a fight for the first chapter. I suppose they're right; readers want action! No one wants to read any mysterious goings-on, or clues to what might happen or what has happened. People want excitement while reading a story, not a stingy author who says, “Wait for it! It's coming, let me just do this my way in my own time!”

Note to self: In fiction, there is no “in my own time.” You are on the reader's time, and that's all there is.

So I tossed around the idea to throw some zombies into the first chapter. I dunno. Not really. ;) It Needs Work, is the very short synopsis.

Kung Fu tonight was good, and the fullest house I've seen there in months. We just had a ton of folks, so there was no sparring 'cause there just wasn't any room. I was a little disappointed because the Dragon was there and I've been wanting to spar him again. But, we did some really cool drills and I got to work with Lady Chrysanthemum who was gracious about the whole broken rib thing. Te Ji Nan returned after having broken his ankle, and the Red-haired Assassin got his brown belt, to much applause.

Also, The Empress not only drove herself to and from the kwon, but in her own car; a big monster white Caddy. I sighed because it marks the end of an era - our car-ride together and our conversations about body hair, men, deodorant, music, college (and the prospect of it, in her case,) culture, life, and of course Kung Fu. Also because my first car was a Caddy too. I don't mean Shinigami; I actually had a Caddy before that. A big, black dinosaur: an 81 Sedan DeVille that I loved to the moon and back. But I was also thinking of Shinigami, still sitting there in the driveway. I know I should sell it. Not only for the money, but because someone should be driving it and loving it. But, just not yet. My Dad adored the car as much as I did (it became his after I got my Elantra, whose name by the way is Ronin,) and I just associate the car with my Dad. He came with me to test drive it during a huge snowstorm.

Anyway, now the Empress has her own big dinosaur of a car on the road, and I'm happy for her. :D

Here's what rules: coming home from Kung Fu, taking a hot shower, and knowing that when I go to bed tonight, I do not have to get up any kind of early and drive over an hour to a longass day at college. In fact, I really don't have to do anything tomorrow except take care of birds, play with (and medicate) dogs, and go to the store for soap and yogurt. (I'm hooked on this freaking fabulous Greek yogurt these days called Oikos. It has honey in it and just thinking about it makes me want to stuff spoonfuls of it into my facehole.)

While I was at the store the other day, they had this little holiday party type of thingie-thing going on, with demos, reps, free stuff, coupons, samples, and a two-person band playing holiday tunes. They played holiday and winter themed-songs throughout, until I was bringing my stuff to the register. Then, randomly, they played a Dinah Washington song. I said, "Hi, Dad" and then I had to get right on out of there before I got all teary.

Let's see, what else what else what else. I started playing Resident Evil Zero (RE:0 from now on,) and I kinda like it in some ways and kinda don't. I think if it had come before RE:DC on the Wii I might have liked it better, because you get to walk around at least. But it's really just a revamped version of the one that was on Gamecube, so you don't aim at the screen (WTF, how am I supposed to get headshots?) and the controls are very oldschool Playstation. Eight-way directional, unwieldy, and too slow. The puzzles are neat and the characters are kinda cute, but I'm not in love with it. Actually I rather like RE:DC much better, come to think of it.

Oh, wow, what else have I done to fill my days off? Oh, I took this weekend off work so that I could spend time with Jo-chan, but my poor girl got ridiculously sick about as soon as she walked in the door. I mean like biohazard lockdown sick, as in I thought she was going to sprout an eyeball from her arm or something. She had to go right back home. The SUCK. So after she left I threw the dogs in my shower and gave them both a bath. Now they actually look like someone's pets again. Then I cleaned the tub and the entire bathroom and after that is when I sat down and started to truly despair and panic over the novel and the prospect of sending out queries and samples which are too wordy, too sparse, too vague, too bogged down with detail, too confusing, too sprawling, just too, too, too.

I watch Family Guy DVDs with Mom, and last night Lois Griffin had a quote that just nailed my thoughts in Twatlight and everything else that I hate but everyone else seems to love:

Oh, my God! They liked it? Stop it! Stop clapping right now! What's wrong with you? These people shouldn't be encouraged! They should be punished!... This is the kind of mind-numbing schlock that's turning our society into a cultural wasteland! This isn't art! This isn't even entertainment! This...blows!"

Let me do something awesome!

Universe, I'm asking!* ^_^





*But I am not asking iUniverse.
la_belle_laide: (Leander)



counter for myspace


Having decided that it was Agent Time, I took out novel, query, and synopsis and got down to some serious panic and despair. Then, I took said bits and pieces to That Well-Known Writing Place (where all the agents and editors actually come and hang out sometimes as if they were real people and not angels with the keys to heaven wrapped in their unyielding fists) and asked for criticism.

I got tons on the query: Too confusing, too vague, too specific, too many words, add a word here or there, I can't pronounce the title, strike this paragraph, add this and remove that.

And on the first eight pages, the best piece of critique I've gotten (on this new, revamped version anyway) was: I like your style; it's nice and tight. I like the premise. But I have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

And there is my biggest problem. I know what I'm talking about, I know where I'm going with it and what comes next. And I know my own reasons. I think I'm taking for granted that the reader will be patient with the story, as I have been patient. But really, that's not so. People have told me again and again to drop my guy right into a fight for the first chapter. I suppose they're right; readers want action! No one wants to read any mysterious goings-on, or clues to what might happen or what has happened. People want excitement while reading a story, not a stingy author who says, “Wait for it! It's coming, let me just do this my way in my own time!”

Note to self: In fiction, there is no “in my own time.” You are on the reader's time, and that's all there is.

So I tossed around the idea to throw some zombies into the first chapter. I dunno. Not really. ;) It Needs Work, is the very short synopsis.

Kung Fu tonight was good, and the fullest house I've seen there in months. We just had a ton of folks, so there was no sparring 'cause there just wasn't any room. I was a little disappointed because the Dragon was there and I've been wanting to spar him again. But, we did some really cool drills and I got to work with Lady Chrysanthemum who was gracious about the whole broken rib thing. Te Ji Nan returned after having broken his ankle, and the Red-haired Assassin got his brown belt, to much applause.

Also, The Empress not only drove herself to and from the kwon, but in her own car; a big monster white Caddy. I sighed because it marks the end of an era - our car-ride together and our conversations about body hair, men, deodorant, music, college (and the prospect of it, in her case,) culture, life, and of course Kung Fu. Also because my first car was a Caddy too. I don't mean Shinigami; I actually had a Caddy before that. A big, black dinosaur: an 81 Sedan DeVille that I loved to the moon and back. But I was also thinking of Shinigami, still sitting there in the driveway. I know I should sell it. Not only for the money, but because someone should be driving it and loving it. But, just not yet. My Dad adored the car as much as I did (it became his after I got my Elantra, whose name by the way is Ronin,) and I just associate the car with my Dad. He came with me to test drive it during a huge snowstorm.

Anyway, now the Empress has her own big dinosaur of a car on the road, and I'm happy for her. :D

Here's what rules: coming home from Kung Fu, taking a hot shower, and knowing that when I go to bed tonight, I do not have to get up any kind of early and drive over an hour to a longass day at college. In fact, I really don't have to do anything tomorrow except take care of birds, play with (and medicate) dogs, and go to the store for soap and yogurt. (I'm hooked on this freaking fabulous Greek yogurt these days called Oikos. It has honey in it and just thinking about it makes me want to stuff spoonfuls of it into my facehole.)

While I was at the store the other day, they had this little holiday party type of thingie-thing going on, with demos, reps, free stuff, coupons, samples, and a two-person band playing holiday tunes. They played holiday and winter themed-songs throughout, until I was bringing my stuff to the register. Then, randomly, they played a Dinah Washington song. I said, "Hi, Dad" and then I had to get right on out of there before I got all teary.

Let's see, what else what else what else. I started playing Resident Evil Zero (RE:0 from now on,) and I kinda like it in some ways and kinda don't. I think if it had come before RE:DC on the Wii I might have liked it better, because you get to walk around at least. But it's really just a revamped version of the one that was on Gamecube, so you don't aim at the screen (WTF, how am I supposed to get headshots?) and the controls are very oldschool Playstation. Eight-way directional, unwieldy, and too slow. The puzzles are neat and the characters are kinda cute, but I'm not in love with it. Actually I rather like RE:DC much better, come to think of it.

Oh, wow, what else have I done to fill my days off? Oh, I took this weekend off work so that I could spend time with Jo-chan, but my poor girl got ridiculously sick about as soon as she walked in the door. I mean like biohazard lockdown sick, as in I thought she was going to sprout an eyeball from her arm or something. She had to go right back home. The SUCK. So after she left I threw the dogs in my shower and gave them both a bath. Now they actually look like someone's pets again. Then I cleaned the tub and the entire bathroom and after that is when I sat down and started to truly despair and panic over the novel and the prospect of sending out queries and samples which are too wordy, too sparse, too vague, too bogged down with detail, too confusing, too sprawling, just too, too, too.

I watch Family Guy DVDs with Mom, and last night Lois Griffin had a quote that just nailed my thoughts in Twatlight and everything else that I hate but everyone else seems to love:

Oh, my God! They liked it? Stop it! Stop clapping right now! What's wrong with you? These people shouldn't be encouraged! They should be punished!... This is the kind of mind-numbing schlock that's turning our society into a cultural wasteland! This isn't art! This isn't even entertainment! This...blows!"

Let me do something awesome!

Universe, I'm asking!* ^_^





*But I am not asking iUniverse.
la_belle_laide: (Leon)



web statistics


“Recently opened” files in my OpenOffice program: “Blog37,” “Haecceity1,” “Heacceity2,” “Something with Krislar,” “New general query letter,” “Shorter query letter,” “ten page synopsis,” “shorter synopsis,” “Shortest synopsis EVER.” So those of you who follow my “OMG the NEXT JK ROWLING 4EVA!!1111!11%*#&^%” nonsense will gather that I've been querying again. Why all of a sudden? Because the last query / sample I sent was to a specific publisher who said they had a “no later than three months” period for acceptance or rejection, and the three month mark is Saturday. (Today is Sunday.) They said to resubmit if you just don't hear back from them; none of this “Oh hey did you get my work of genius?” emailing junk. But, that's another three months, you know? I'd actually rather have the rejection right away than send it yet again to the same folks and have to sit by another three months. And I keep getting the same advice: Stop bothering with publishing houses, get an agent yesterday. Maybe that is the way to go? It's worth trying.

SO! There I was, researching agents and I found this one terrific, just effing spectabulous resource for agents and you can search them for the kind of stuff they really like to read. You can also find their blogs and such which, reading the blogs of agents and editors is mucho helpful. At least I hope so. Because they are, like, people and stuff, contrary to popular belief.

I am ever hopeful. Aren't we all, though?

Sano: Still in the hospital. I called today after work to see how he was, and if I could take him home, and was told that they'd pass on a message that I'd called and that the vet would “get back to me” when he had a chance. I fully understand it is an emergency clinic. But, I have a life and I miss my dog. Yeah, today's “life” consists of nothing more than shopping, entering my work data, getting my books ready for school, and playing the new Resident Evil, but still? Waaah.

Rib: Still busted, (I think? No X rays yet,) hurts worse than a few days ago actually. I don't think it's too big a deal because, what, all they do is tell you not to act the fool and go stabbing yourself in the chest for a few weeks or something. (And I guess, no heavy lifting or anything of that nature. No sparring? Well, we'll see. Maybe some light sparring, some sane, retard-free sparring.) I should get it X rayed I guess, but I didn't get my new health coverage yet (letter from ex employers on the 12th of this month: “Just letting you know in advance that your Cobra is expired as of the 11th!” Thanks, assheads!) but more than that, when? When am I going to go and sit around in the ER for ridiculously American hours on end to get an X Ray? With Sano in the hospital, with work, and school, and studying, and finals starting next week? But I saw a doctor at school who assured me it was at least cracked. So, wahh to that, too.

Today at work, I had A Moment. It wasn't one of those moments when missing Dad took me by surprise, but I suspect that all of these wildly illogical urges that I keep having still have something to do with that. I was looking at the rats, and had the insane, almost undeniable urge to just buy one. They were so cute, so engaging and sweet, I wanted one to crawl up my arm and take a nap under my hair. I had it all figured out (I have a cage in a shed somewhere, I can buy some bedding, feed it vegetables, give it a wheel to play on and I can train it OMG, I can give it a cute name or something retarded like call it Heero Yuy, and train him to come when called and do obstacles and, and, and...) I really had to sit there and force myself to see reason. I only have one day off a week; I don't even have the time I'd like to have to hang out with my beautiful crow like I used to. Where am I gonna find the time to train a rat for godsakes?

But it's like I said: Every emotion and thought I have is times a hundred. If something would normally irk me, lately it makes me nuclear. If something makes me sad, lately it makes me want to cry. If something would normally get me nervous, it's a catastrophe of epic frigging proportions. Happy = manic joy completely inappropriate and out of proportion to the situation. And apparently, “Oh, rats are cute” becomes “HOLY EFFING GOD, I WILL TAKE ONE HOME TODAY AND IT WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND.”

Oh! So yeah. So the new Resident Evil, Darkside Chronicles is out and I've been playing it and can I just say, I'm a little disappointed? I mean, hey, great, Leon Kennedy is in it, you get to shoot tons of zombies (their heads have gone from exploding to exploding and shooting disgusting spurts of blood all over the walls, yay!) and they recreated the Raccoon City PD beautifully, so big YAY to that. But here's the deal, you cannot walk the eff around. No, I mean seriously. It is a true first person shooter, meaning that the game walks and looks around for you. All you have to do is shoot. You can't: look behind you unless the game does it for you, go back and pick up something you missed, stare at things, stand around, take your time, enjoy the scenery, talk to people twice, or, hello, move out of the way of bad guys. I'm getting really frustrated! But, at least it's nice to be with Leon Kennedy again.

Additionally, I had a cracked out dream last night that I was getting married to Bill Murray. It wasn't bad, actually. He's kinda hot. I know, dude. Whatever, okay?

Welp, on the menu for tonight: WHO THE HELL KNOWS, because I have to schedule my evening around when vets feel like giving me a call. I would love to take Sano home and then play some RE Darkside Chronicles (hereafter: RE:DC) then, at Mom's house watch Gundam Wing and eat ice cream and then, home to write some more and get into that enjoyment mode and go to bed and read Pattern Recognition which I am really enjoying. But, I don't think it's going to go like that. We'll see.
la_belle_laide: (Leon)



web statistics


“Recently opened” files in my OpenOffice program: “Blog37,” “Haecceity1,” “Heacceity2,” “Something with Krislar,” “New general query letter,” “Shorter query letter,” “ten page synopsis,” “shorter synopsis,” “Shortest synopsis EVER.” So those of you who follow my “OMG the NEXT JK ROWLING 4EVA!!1111!11%*#&^%” nonsense will gather that I've been querying again. Why all of a sudden? Because the last query / sample I sent was to a specific publisher who said they had a “no later than three months” period for acceptance or rejection, and the three month mark is Saturday. (Today is Sunday.) They said to resubmit if you just don't hear back from them; none of this “Oh hey did you get my work of genius?” emailing junk. But, that's another three months, you know? I'd actually rather have the rejection right away than send it yet again to the same folks and have to sit by another three months. And I keep getting the same advice: Stop bothering with publishing houses, get an agent yesterday. Maybe that is the way to go? It's worth trying.

SO! There I was, researching agents and I found this one terrific, just effing spectabulous resource for agents and you can search them for the kind of stuff they really like to read. You can also find their blogs and such which, reading the blogs of agents and editors is mucho helpful. At least I hope so. Because they are, like, people and stuff, contrary to popular belief.

I am ever hopeful. Aren't we all, though?

Sano: Still in the hospital. I called today after work to see how he was, and if I could take him home, and was told that they'd pass on a message that I'd called and that the vet would “get back to me” when he had a chance. I fully understand it is an emergency clinic. But, I have a life and I miss my dog. Yeah, today's “life” consists of nothing more than shopping, entering my work data, getting my books ready for school, and playing the new Resident Evil, but still? Waaah.

Rib: Still busted, (I think? No X rays yet,) hurts worse than a few days ago actually. I don't think it's too big a deal because, what, all they do is tell you not to act the fool and go stabbing yourself in the chest for a few weeks or something. (And I guess, no heavy lifting or anything of that nature. No sparring? Well, we'll see. Maybe some light sparring, some sane, retard-free sparring.) I should get it X rayed I guess, but I didn't get my new health coverage yet (letter from ex employers on the 12th of this month: “Just letting you know in advance that your Cobra is expired as of the 11th!” Thanks, assheads!) but more than that, when? When am I going to go and sit around in the ER for ridiculously American hours on end to get an X Ray? With Sano in the hospital, with work, and school, and studying, and finals starting next week? But I saw a doctor at school who assured me it was at least cracked. So, wahh to that, too.

Today at work, I had A Moment. It wasn't one of those moments when missing Dad took me by surprise, but I suspect that all of these wildly illogical urges that I keep having still have something to do with that. I was looking at the rats, and had the insane, almost undeniable urge to just buy one. They were so cute, so engaging and sweet, I wanted one to crawl up my arm and take a nap under my hair. I had it all figured out (I have a cage in a shed somewhere, I can buy some bedding, feed it vegetables, give it a wheel to play on and I can train it OMG, I can give it a cute name or something retarded like call it Heero Yuy, and train him to come when called and do obstacles and, and, and...) I really had to sit there and force myself to see reason. I only have one day off a week; I don't even have the time I'd like to have to hang out with my beautiful crow like I used to. Where am I gonna find the time to train a rat for godsakes?

But it's like I said: Every emotion and thought I have is times a hundred. If something would normally irk me, lately it makes me nuclear. If something makes me sad, lately it makes me want to cry. If something would normally get me nervous, it's a catastrophe of epic frigging proportions. Happy = manic joy completely inappropriate and out of proportion to the situation. And apparently, “Oh, rats are cute” becomes “HOLY EFFING GOD, I WILL TAKE ONE HOME TODAY AND IT WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND.”

Oh! So yeah. So the new Resident Evil, Darkside Chronicles is out and I've been playing it and can I just say, I'm a little disappointed? I mean, hey, great, Leon Kennedy is in it, you get to shoot tons of zombies (their heads have gone from exploding to exploding and shooting disgusting spurts of blood all over the walls, yay!) and they recreated the Raccoon City PD beautifully, so big YAY to that. But here's the deal, you cannot walk the eff around. No, I mean seriously. It is a true first person shooter, meaning that the game walks and looks around for you. All you have to do is shoot. You can't: look behind you unless the game does it for you, go back and pick up something you missed, stare at things, stand around, take your time, enjoy the scenery, talk to people twice, or, hello, move out of the way of bad guys. I'm getting really frustrated! But, at least it's nice to be with Leon Kennedy again.

Additionally, I had a cracked out dream last night that I was getting married to Bill Murray. It wasn't bad, actually. He's kinda hot. I know, dude. Whatever, okay?

Welp, on the menu for tonight: WHO THE HELL KNOWS, because I have to schedule my evening around when vets feel like giving me a call. I would love to take Sano home and then play some RE Darkside Chronicles (hereafter: RE:DC) then, at Mom's house watch Gundam Wing and eat ice cream and then, home to write some more and get into that enjoyment mode and go to bed and read Pattern Recognition which I am really enjoying. But, I don't think it's going to go like that. We'll see.
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



free hit counter


Video Games Live was of course AWESOME. Okay, so we hit tons of traffic and got there at eight o'clock when the show was starting. But we had great seats and didn't miss a thing. I did not have time to buy a t shirt but that's probably for the best because I saved some money. :)

Video Games Live at the Beacon! )

As I mentioned, I went as Raine and Jo-chan was an awesome Selphie, especially the hair!

Selphie and Raine: )

Not too bad, huh?

Before I begin, I want to point out that Tommy Tallarico is kind of a genius, not only for his compositions and his ridiculous musical talent, but for putting this whole thing together. Hot damn, but what an idea. (I had no idea until looking at his Wiki that he is Steven Tyler's cousin. Hence Aerosmith on Rock Band I suppose, Hootah. Do I vaguely remember that Steven Tyler's real last name is Tallarico, or am I making that up?) And Jack Wall is weirdly very adorable.

First thing first, it was hard going into the city. Usually when I would go into the city it would be with my Dad, who was the best at driving to Manhattan. So seeing all the signs, the skyline etc. was kind of difficult. Also pretty hard for me was the Kingdom Hearts section. They introduced it with, “WHO HERE LOVES DISNEY” and then instead of showing scenes from Kingdom Hearts, they showed the original Disney film clips, a huge montage to the orchestrated version of “Simple and Clean.” Of course, my Dad was just about the biggest Disney fan in the world; he's seen every movie, and in fact has a “Disney room” (my childhood bedroom) with tons of rare Disney memorabilia. His favorite characters were Jiminy Cricket and of course Mickey Mouse. So they ended this huge montage with a scene of Jiminy Cricket, and then it went dark and quiet for a second and then without any music they showed the famous scene from Steamboat Willie. I cried through the whole thing but the end really got to me. It was totally unexpected. So of course I took it as a sign. Of what, I don't know, but I wanted it to be meaningful I guess.

Also emo, but in a good way, was the fabulous piano version of different Final Fantasy songs.

Final Fantasy on piano: )

This is Aerith's Theme, Eyes On Me (I got teary because Eyes On Me is a hugely relevant song for me—because I'm massively cheesy I've sung it about nearly every guy I've liked who liked me back, and I also used to sing it to SB and Jo-chan when they were wee—and SB and Jo-chan got teary during that part, too,) Fragments of Memories (Raine's song, which was awesome because HELLO!) Waltz For The Moon and Gloriosa Generosa (better known as “One Winged Angel,” Sephiroth's overwhelming, Wagnerian theme.) This guy was the BOMB, he came out a few times and played tons of songs, some of them he even played blindfolded. I think he's out there on Youtube somewhere, and that's how VGL found him.

Of course, the Zelda section was another huge thing for me. I taped in two parts because the middle part is so long and I wasn't sure I'd have room. This is the ending part. )


It was during this part that I realized I kinda use video games like other people use church and god. When things get really sucky, this is where I go to worship. Is that so strange, do you think? To me, video games are no more fictional than the Bible, their characters no more fictional than God. It's comfort and inspiration—to do better, and to be better—but without the history of genocide and subjugation. :) Link was my childhood hero; I've always loved the character and the story he was in. I've had a thing for heroes since childhood. Villains too, but heroes more. I've always loved the character who's going up against something so much bigger than him/herself; s/he knows s/he's already licked before the battle starts, but goes into battle anyway and then wins.

Wow, wandery tangent. Anyway, so I've semi-sorta considered this before, the idea that my gods were characters and games were my church, but since losing Dad I've especially noticed it. I think a normal person would be going to mass every Sunday or something and getting comfort from that. I'm not going around in need of constant comfort because I find the world itself comforting—the colors, sounds, smells, and experiences—but once in a while when it gets a little overwhelming, that's where I turn and so watching this whole big montage last night which glorified everything I've loved since childhood really nailed this down into my psyche. Call it what you like.

After Zelda there was an intermission and they had up this cute sign:

Loading! )

I took a fabulous (if blurry) picture of SB: )

One of the coolest things they did last night was to show a video from 1968 of the first video game ever created, being played by its creator Ralph Baer. It was Pong, or Pong's precursor. After playing the video on the big screen they had Ralph Baer himself, now 88, on Skype. Tallarico thanked him for creating his and the audience's best hobby and industry, and the guy got a standing ovation from hundreds of gamers. It was one of those moments.

Then they busted out Gloriosa Generosa, the huge, orchestrated version, as it was meant to be played. This was the highlight of the night.

One Winged Angel: )
BEAUTIFUL.

Oddly, they closed with an overly-long Halo section, and for an encore they did Megaman and Castlevania. I was thinking, “WTF, how can you follow One Winged Angel? Nothing is going to top that.” I was right, nothing did top it; I wish they'd saved that one for the encore. But hey, I got to hear it played live, right? And you just can't beat that.

After the show, we managed to catch up with Cloud and Sephiroth.
Weee! )

A funny thing happened to me after that photo. My uncle took it, and the dude playing Sephiroth was holding a really neat-looking Black Materia (don't know if you can tell what it's supposed to be from that photo.) After the picture I somehow thought he was holding either my camera or my wallet, and I tried to take it out of his hand. He was a little, “WTF?” and I stopped myself and said, “I'm so sorry; I thought it was my camera or something.” And then “DUDE, I almost stole the Black Materia from you!” It was weird, right? Raine trying to nick the Black Materia from Sephiroth? Sounds like some kind of deranged crossover. The Black Materia compels you!

Then we stopped at Starbucks for a quick pee before heading back. I bought a pumpkin apple spice hot chocolate because I've been in the mood for a seasonal kind of drink and I've never really had one before. We got a little lost getting out of Manhattan but the traffic was a breeze and I was home by 12:30.

Whew, it was a fun night, and I would so totally go and see this show again. Next time I do I'll get there a bit earlier and buy something maybe, perhaps get better costume pics or something.

Oh, and Jo-chan had so much fun cosplaying we decided we're definitely going to ICON in March and we're for sure gonna play dress-up again. I might go as Matron or maybe Julia Heartilly. Errr, or maybe Tifa if I get brave and ambitious. Who knows. :)
la_belle_laide: (ShinRa slut)



free hit counter


Video Games Live was of course AWESOME. Okay, so we hit tons of traffic and got there at eight o'clock when the show was starting. But we had great seats and didn't miss a thing. I did not have time to buy a t shirt but that's probably for the best because I saved some money. :)

Video Games Live at the Beacon! )

As I mentioned, I went as Raine and Jo-chan was an awesome Selphie, especially the hair!

Selphie and Raine: )

Not too bad, huh?

Before I begin, I want to point out that Tommy Tallarico is kind of a genius, not only for his compositions and his ridiculous musical talent, but for putting this whole thing together. Hot damn, but what an idea. (I had no idea until looking at his Wiki that he is Steven Tyler's cousin. Hence Aerosmith on Rock Band I suppose, Hootah. Do I vaguely remember that Steven Tyler's real last name is Tallarico, or am I making that up?) And Jack Wall is weirdly very adorable.

First thing first, it was hard going into the city. Usually when I would go into the city it would be with my Dad, who was the best at driving to Manhattan. So seeing all the signs, the skyline etc. was kind of difficult. Also pretty hard for me was the Kingdom Hearts section. They introduced it with, “WHO HERE LOVES DISNEY” and then instead of showing scenes from Kingdom Hearts, they showed the original Disney film clips, a huge montage to the orchestrated version of “Simple and Clean.” Of course, my Dad was just about the biggest Disney fan in the world; he's seen every movie, and in fact has a “Disney room” (my childhood bedroom) with tons of rare Disney memorabilia. His favorite characters were Jiminy Cricket and of course Mickey Mouse. So they ended this huge montage with a scene of Jiminy Cricket, and then it went dark and quiet for a second and then without any music they showed the famous scene from Steamboat Willie. I cried through the whole thing but the end really got to me. It was totally unexpected. So of course I took it as a sign. Of what, I don't know, but I wanted it to be meaningful I guess.

Also emo, but in a good way, was the fabulous piano version of different Final Fantasy songs.

Final Fantasy on piano: )

This is Aerith's Theme, Eyes On Me (I got teary because Eyes On Me is a hugely relevant song for me—because I'm massively cheesy I've sung it about nearly every guy I've liked who liked me back, and I also used to sing it to SB and Jo-chan when they were wee—and SB and Jo-chan got teary during that part, too,) Fragments of Memories (Raine's song, which was awesome because HELLO!) Waltz For The Moon and Gloriosa Generosa (better known as “One Winged Angel,” Sephiroth's overwhelming, Wagnerian theme.) This guy was the BOMB, he came out a few times and played tons of songs, some of them he even played blindfolded. I think he's out there on Youtube somewhere, and that's how VGL found him.

Of course, the Zelda section was another huge thing for me. I taped in two parts because the middle part is so long and I wasn't sure I'd have room. This is the ending part. )


It was during this part that I realized I kinda use video games like other people use church and god. When things get really sucky, this is where I go to worship. Is that so strange, do you think? To me, video games are no more fictional than the Bible, their characters no more fictional than God. It's comfort and inspiration—to do better, and to be better—but without the history of genocide and subjugation. :) Link was my childhood hero; I've always loved the character and the story he was in. I've had a thing for heroes since childhood. Villains too, but heroes more. I've always loved the character who's going up against something so much bigger than him/herself; s/he knows s/he's already licked before the battle starts, but goes into battle anyway and then wins.

Wow, wandery tangent. Anyway, so I've semi-sorta considered this before, the idea that my gods were characters and games were my church, but since losing Dad I've especially noticed it. I think a normal person would be going to mass every Sunday or something and getting comfort from that. I'm not going around in need of constant comfort because I find the world itself comforting—the colors, sounds, smells, and experiences—but once in a while when it gets a little overwhelming, that's where I turn and so watching this whole big montage last night which glorified everything I've loved since childhood really nailed this down into my psyche. Call it what you like.

After Zelda there was an intermission and they had up this cute sign:

Loading! )

I took a fabulous (if blurry) picture of SB: )

One of the coolest things they did last night was to show a video from 1968 of the first video game ever created, being played by its creator Ralph Baer. It was Pong, or Pong's precursor. After playing the video on the big screen they had Ralph Baer himself, now 88, on Skype. Tallarico thanked him for creating his and the audience's best hobby and industry, and the guy got a standing ovation from hundreds of gamers. It was one of those moments.

Then they busted out Gloriosa Generosa, the huge, orchestrated version, as it was meant to be played. This was the highlight of the night.

One Winged Angel: )
BEAUTIFUL.

Oddly, they closed with an overly-long Halo section, and for an encore they did Megaman and Castlevania. I was thinking, “WTF, how can you follow One Winged Angel? Nothing is going to top that.” I was right, nothing did top it; I wish they'd saved that one for the encore. But hey, I got to hear it played live, right? And you just can't beat that.

After the show, we managed to catch up with Cloud and Sephiroth.
Weee! )

A funny thing happened to me after that photo. My uncle took it, and the dude playing Sephiroth was holding a really neat-looking Black Materia (don't know if you can tell what it's supposed to be from that photo.) After the picture I somehow thought he was holding either my camera or my wallet, and I tried to take it out of his hand. He was a little, “WTF?” and I stopped myself and said, “I'm so sorry; I thought it was my camera or something.” And then “DUDE, I almost stole the Black Materia from you!” It was weird, right? Raine trying to nick the Black Materia from Sephiroth? Sounds like some kind of deranged crossover. The Black Materia compels you!

Then we stopped at Starbucks for a quick pee before heading back. I bought a pumpkin apple spice hot chocolate because I've been in the mood for a seasonal kind of drink and I've never really had one before. We got a little lost getting out of Manhattan but the traffic was a breeze and I was home by 12:30.

Whew, it was a fun night, and I would so totally go and see this show again. Next time I do I'll get there a bit earlier and buy something maybe, perhaps get better costume pics or something.

Oh, and Jo-chan had so much fun cosplaying we decided we're definitely going to ICON in March and we're for sure gonna play dress-up again. I might go as Matron or maybe Julia Heartilly. Errr, or maybe Tifa if I get brave and ambitious. Who knows. :)

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