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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back In Business
It's been slow at times, but the internet is now up and running again! So, on to comments from the previous posts:

SomeGuy: Yeah, having the family over will be nice, it's the herd of dogs that's the problem. My uncle always brings 5 or 6 of them (they have nearly a dozen).

darkeangel: I downloaded the Christmas Special, and skimmed through it: it definitely looks better than either of the previous ones. I'll wait to watch the whole thing when my sister wants to as well. Of course, the first thing I had to do was skip to the end and watch the Season 4 teaser XD

CosmicSailor: I'm not sure if our neighbors intend to incite conflict by putting up that flag, but conflict from it's being there is a possibility. Plus I've heard these people have vicious arguments with each other that spill outside, so I wouldn't think they are very pleasant individuals.

Raina: 9 minutes... not bad =) Of course, the absolute longest song I've ever heard is 60 minutes. Yep, that's a single song, and takes up an entire CD.

schultzie: I would say that, if my mom and aunt weren't present =P Or... most of the family for that matter. I still have to watch what I say around here, my family isn't that liberated when it comes to dirty jokes.

2short: Heh, makes me wish I had at least one younger sibling. But in the end waiting wasn't so bad.
I promise to give you immediate advanced warning if Tin Man replays again ^^

master hiko: 26 people??! I do not envy you at all. I would either try to stay out all day with friends or lock myself in my room if the house was that crowded.
Definitely, no matter how long a song is, if it's really good, it's never long enough =P

tomieharley: I wish people would just let go of their prejudices too. The problem is when people raise their kids to believe the same things. I feel sorry for those children, for the way their minds are warped forever.
Excellent, another Tin Man fan! Yeah, it wasn't perfect, but it was good enough. Any errors can be corrected with fanfiction, hehe.

Tsubusa: Yeah, sometimes people are racist, but just as often people see it when it isn't there. And those people can be just as dangerous if they convince others to see it too. As many riots have started over false accusations as true ones.

duorocks17: Yeah, I may complain sometimes but I do love when family visit. It gets kinda dull around here with just the parents and grandma all the time =P

Red: Ha, your parents XD That would've been funny to see. That's kind of why I don't play anime around mine either.
Ah yes, the crossovers. I found a one-shot crossover with Doctor Who in the Tin Man section. Heh, they may not always turn out well in the end, but they are amusing to read.

darkeangel: Oh I'm glad I got Who Season 3 for Christmas. Now all I have to worry about on my own is having the money for Torchwood Season 1 next month.

Alphonse122: That's great that your parents payed for the rest of the trip. I know you've been looking forward to that for a long time.

somegirl: I told you, I don't scare easily =P And I'm not sure hopw other internet systems are set up, but if you have dial up that is separate from the cable.

Tsubusa: I know what you mean. A couple of years ago we were having problems all the time, and it was freaking me out. Thankfully, we only have problems once in awhile now.

Nehszriah: Geek gifts rule! Hehe, of course I would get them in this family. We've all been watching Doctor Who for a long time, so it's somethine the family knows about far more than my anime fandom.

Miss Anonymous: It may be sad, but I think everyone here would say that can't live without internet =P

Since a few of you were openly clueless as to what Doctor Who is (and I'm sure those who didn't mention it are still in the dark), I'll give you a brief run-down of the show:

- British scifi/fantasy.
- Premiered November 23, 1963 (day after the assassination of John Kennedy).
- Originally ran for 26 seasons, 1963-1989.
- Was revived for a TV movie in 1996 in a cooperative venture between the BBC and FOX, but ratings were not good enough to justify a new series.
- Was finally revived as a TV series in 2005, and is still running.
- It's longevity lies in the main character: the Doctor is an alien who is capable of changing his whole body and personality when he is about to die; this means that if the actor portraying him wants to leave, they set it up so a new actor is cast to carry on in the role. Each actor reinterprets the character, but he is essentially always the same person.
- So far (officially), ten actors have played the part.
- The format is limitless: since the Doctor travels through time and space, there is nowhere he can't go.
- The Doctor always travels with one or more 'companions', people he meets on his journies. They are typically human, and the majority have been female.
- Became popular in America when PBS started running it; this is where I saw it for the first time, when I was 4 years old. I've been a devoted fan for the last 22 years.
- Currently airs in America on SciFi Channel and BBC America.

For any further info, look it up on Wiki.

And as it happens, I can also give you a decent glimpse at the show. The new special Christmas episode has aired, and always at the end there is a teaser for the next season: new times, new worlds, old alien foes and new, Agatha Christie, a trip to Pomeii on the day Vesuvius errupts... looks like it'll be one hell of a ride.

So here is the trailer for Doctor Who: Season 4

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Brief Update: Internet Problems
Our internet decided to surprise us for Christmas by dying ><
Right now I'm using my wireless connection to hook up through another network. My brother did his best but couldn't revive it, so if it's still down in the morning we'll be calling the cable company (we get our internet and cable in one bundle).

- Doctor Who: The Complete Third Series DVD set
- Doctor Who t-shirt

With other relatives coming today, there will probably be a few more gifts to be had.

I should haul myself off to bed now, don't want to oversleep too much while people are visiting. I'll go over comments next time.

Later! (Soon, I hope)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas To All!
I hope everyone is having a great (or at least good) holiday this year.

Our usual tradition is to open presents on Christmas Eve, but the parents decided this year to wait until Christmas Day. Why, I don't know... and I'm not that patient of a person =P

I am a mature adult though (I believe), so although I tried to prod them into opening presnts tonight, I've accepted that it will happen tomorrow. And I'll drag them across the street to grandma's house as soon as I'm up and ready for the day XD

My sister and brother-in-law got in last night. They hung out over here most of the day, with bro cleaning up the clutter on our computers to make them run better. I wish they lived closer to us, instead of in Alabama; it'd be nice to have a resident tech wiz.

By Wednesday, grandma's house is going to be full to the point of overflowing. My aunt and uncle from Texas will be arriving, plus my uncle and his girlfriend from across the state, plus a pack of their dachshunds. Expect insanity.

The weather today was gray, drizzly, and cold, so I kept indoors. I knew that going out would leave me feeling miserable, which is not what I want to feel like right now.

At least a new CD arrived in the mail, so I'm rocking out to it right now. Dreamscape's End Of Silence is worth buying just for the 21-minute epic "The End Of Light". The song is so well balanced, you don't even think about how long it is.

SciFi Channel replayed Tin Man this evening; yeah I know, I forgot to mention it but I figured most of you would be busy tonight =P I need to get my recording of it set to the right spot so I can accurately set the scene at the beginning of my short fanfic. Yeah, still working on that but I promise it WILL see the light of day, come hell or high water. If I can get into the writing mode and bash out a few short ones, I'm hoping it will put me in the right mindset to write the ambitious series I have planned.

And one more thing about the whole Confederate flag issue: while those who display it might not intend racism, plenty of African American people can't help but see racism in it's symbolism whenever they look at it. So in the end it is a subjective thing, regardless of intent.
It's like the trail of the guards at a boot camp down here who were accused of beating a black kid to death. The guards were not found to be criminally liabel, but certain 'activists' still cried foul and said it was another example of racism. And it didn't help that the jury was all white either...

Anyway, to get it back on a lighter note, Merry Christmas to all of you!

(And next year, I promise to make my own e-card to send to everyone, hehe)

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Torchwood: Season 2 Teaser
Today BBC America started airing a teaser ad for the upcoming second season of Torchwood, premiering in the US January 26, a week or two after it's UK premier.

Torchwood is a spin-off of the newly revived Doctor Who series, revolving around a top-secret team that investigates alien occurances on Earth. The series stars John Barrowman as Capt. Jack Harkness, a bisexual ex-Time Agent who was introduced in the 2005 season of Doctor Who.

I felt the first season was rather uneven (production on it was rushed), but after seeing this teaser I am confident in the promise of a much better go around this time.

If you haven't heard of Torchwood before and you liked this trailer, I encourage you to go check it out, especially since it's unaffected by the screenwriters' strike (let's hear it for British TV).

And suddenly it occurs to me that you have people from four major English-speaking nations commenting here. That's cool.

Excellent, my site has become and international hub =D

Oh, and about the Confederate flag: to some it may be a symbol of rebellion, but to many others it's a symbol of racism and oppression.

We have quite a few black residents in this neighborhood, so it's highly possible our neighbors have lit the blue touch paper with this and it could cause a stink.

I can recall several times in the recent past where prominent display of the Confederate flag down here in the south has led to highly publicized controversy.

Guess we'll see if anything comes of this.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome to the South
Heh, I know 40s isn't as cold as it gets other places, but for a skinny, not 100% healthy person like me, 60 qualifies as too cold =P

I'm glad everyone thinks MPD Psycho sounds interesting. Some people might read my description for it and think "Sounds grusome, why would you read that?" As I told Tsubusa, I don't want to give any false impressions whenever I suggest an anime or manga. Some people definitely wouldn't want to read something that graphic, and some of you are still living under the watchful eyes of your parents. So I keep my bases covered =P

Besides, like Molly said, I'm into the darker twisted stuff ^^

So I went out to check the mailbox a few minutes ago; nothing yet (but I hear the mail truck right now, so I'll go out there again when I'm done with this post).

But it was hard to miss the rather large Confederate flag in the yeard of the people two houses down from us. Yep, pretty big flag just stuck into the ground, and it also has "I Ain't Coming Down" printed on it.

Oi... I'm not entirely thrilled by it, and I wonder if anyone around here will care enough to make a big deal out of it. And I wonder if it was put up just to cause such trouble.

Now I'm waiting for the news vans to show up.


Well my latest CD didn't show up, but I wasn't really expecting it to anyway.

But I got a card from Red, yay! Haha, penguins... Cain-bot! XD *gives Red a big hug*

Which reminds me, I don't have addresses this year (with one exception now). I will however at least make e-cards to show my appreciation for all of you =)

Heh, next year when I learn how to budget and not blow all my money on CDs, you'll get more =P

Oh, and while I'm still trying to formulate the ideas for the first in my planned epic series of Tin Man fanfics, I'm working on a short one-off that I want to get done and posted this weekend. So look for a link to that next time.


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Monday, December 17, 2007

Road Hell
Since my parents had to stay after church for a meeting today, they asked me to drive my grandma down there for the service and then back home. As most of you know, getting out in the car is still something I'm struggling with because of my anxiety issues. I figured as long as grandma was there to distract me though, I should be OK (I did well the last time I had to take her someplace).

Well it was just my luck that there was a big wreck on the highway today, so we got stuck in agonizingly slow crawling traffic for a good 20 minutes at least. There were a few times I though, "Well this is it, I'm going to start panicking and there's no way out," but I did my best to beat that little voice's ass into submission. Eventually we got past the wreck and made it to church.

When it came time to drive home again, we (foolishly) believed that enough time had passed for them to clear the wreck. Alas, we had barely gotten on the highway again when things slowed down even more. I decided 'to hell with this' and pulled off at the first exit, taking a more scenic route home. I could deal with stoplights, so long as I knew we'd move eventually.

After all that and the adrenhalin I must've had in me from trying to keep a lid on my psychosis, I was drained and ended up taking a nap. If anyone asks me to drive, I'm going to refuse for the rest of the week =P I've had enough to last me after today.

Tonight is going to be cold. It's already down in the mid-40s, and the wind chill will undoubtedly make it colder, so for my friends in more northern climes, I can sympathize with you... except for snow. I'm pretty glad we don't get that here no matter how cold it gets.

I'm addicted to a new manga at the moment: MPD Psycho. It's a very dark and graphic murder mystery/scifi/psychological drama centering around a former police officer suffering from a multiple personality disorder (hence the MPD of the title: Multiple Personality Detective). The art style bears a certain similarity to Death Note at times, but cleaner and more detailed. I would reccomend it to older fans who aren't afraid to dive into something hardcore; just be sure violence, coarse language, nudity, and twisted depictions of murder and torture don't upset you too much =P

I have to say, Dark Horse is becoming my second favorite manga distributor after VIZ: Hellsing, Berserk, MPD Psycho, and now Vulgar Ghost Daydream set to come out this year. They do an excellent job with the more intense series out there.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thank the internet gods for Wiki. Their page for Tin Man states that a DVD release is currently planned for March 11, 2008. It's still going to be torture waiting for roughly 4 months, but at least it's relatively soon.

OK, everyone take a moment to SQUEE! I did =P

Red and I have been keeping up with some excellent Tin Man fanfiction lately. If you're someone who likes reading fanfics, here are a few I'd reccomend:

"Guardian" - A continuation of the story, featuring some DG/Cain romance (something we all need a little of).

"And Guest" - DG travels back to Earth to attend a friend's wedding, with Cain as her escort. Worth reading just for the 'bitch seat' joke in Chapter 2.

"Divided I Stand" - Glitch's brain is put back, but a small complication arises: Glitch and his old Ambrose personality are now sharing one body.

Plus, I have plans in the making to write my own fanfic series. Rather than focussing on the miniseries characters, I plan to expand and explore the world and history of the OZ, revolving around the idea that many crucial points in OZ history revolved around Tin Men. Yeah, I tend to think on epic scales like that. Once this gets underway, I'll post chapter links here for everyone to follow.

I've never been serious enough about my story ideas in the past, but I really want to make this one work and produce a worthy product.

In other news, in about a week my sister and her husband will be coming to visit for Christmas. I wish I could see more of them than I do (about twice a year), for one thing they're the only other ones in the family who like and watch anime. I've built up my collection quite a bit since the last time they were here, so maybe I can surprise them with something.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fanfictions AND Fan Videos...
So, I decided to type 'Tin Man' in the search field on You Tube to see what came up. Most of it was commercials and Making Of... bits.

However, it looks like people are already starting to make fan videos. Heh, it was only a matter of time...

Here's the one I liked the most out of the bunch. Spoilers warning applies I guess, if you still haven't seen the show.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hell Girl vol. 2

Raina - I hope you get to see it someday. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Timber - That's kinda sad actually. I guess girls on motorcycles is the key to get your brother to agree to something =P

CosmicSailor - I do agree that Tin Man had its faults, both in storyline and character, but it's still more watchable than most of what's on TV. At least you gave it a try, and that's cool.

OK, so on to my review of Hell Girl, which I finally got around to watching tonight. Witchblade will be next time. Yeah, I know I said I'd do a double-review, but one thing you learn when you get to know me: when I say I'm going to do something, there's a good chance I will still end up procrastinating. Don't take my word as gospel.


Volume 2 of Hell Girl covers episodes 6-10. Because it's still early in the series, the 'veangence of the week' formula continues, but a few alterations to the basic formula manage to add enough of a difference that it doesn't feel like you're just rewatching the first five episodes.

Ep. 6: Early Afternoon Window
Keiko Yasuda witnesses Namiko Todaka, her neighbor and the wife of a prominent businessman, having an affair, and is threatened and tortured for what she knows. Her daughter Haruka calls upon Ai (Hell Girl), and learns the truth, carrying out the pact that will send her mother's tormentor to hell.
This episode is pretty standard for the series: someone calls upon Ai to avenge a greivance against themselves or a loved one.
I will say I hate Keiko's husband: he cares more about his work than his wife, and thinks she is the cause of all their misfortune, refusing to listen to her explanations and even resorting to hitting her. Men like that disgust me.

Ep. 7: Cracked Mask
Here's where it gets interesting. Ayaka Kurenai, an aspiring actress, seeks to send her adopted mother Midori, a famous actress herself, to hell for supposedly sabotaging her chances.
We learn rather quickly that Ayaka just wants money and attention, and is willing to go to any lengths to get it, including ruining the life of Kaoruko Kurushima, another girl picked over her to be the lead in a play.
In the end the tables are turned, as Kaoruko asks Ai to send Ayaka to hell.
I really, really liked this episode. We had a deviation from the normal storyline back in Ep. 5 with a ruthless corporate climber attempting to use Hell Girl to her advantage, but this takes that idea even further. You find out Ayaka's motives pretty fast, and her internal monologues are quite spiteful and filthy.

Ep. 8: Silent Friendship
This episode throws in the first major change to the ongoing storyline by introducing a couple of recurring characters: Hajime Shibata, a reporter of dubious moral character, and his daughter Tsugumi.
After coming face to face with Ai at the beginning of the story, Tsugumi develops visions that point to Ai's next victims, which Hajime uses to try and track down the infamous Hell Girl.
The actual vengeance story in this episode almost takes a back seat, with much of the time spent establishing Hajime and Tsugumi. I happen to know from a bit of research I did online that these two characters will play a pivitol role later in the season, which will lead into an exploration of Ai's backstory: how and why she became Hell Girl.

Ep. 9: Sweet Trap
Back to a more standard story, although Hajime and Tsugumi are once again present.
Hiromi and Yuka Kasuga are daughters of a baker, and they are about to fulfil their dream of opening their own pastry shop. But after Yuka shows off their creations to their father's old friend and mentor Shinya Morizaki, he steals their recipes and claims them as his own. This happens on live TV, and the girls are the ones accused of stealing, which causes their business to go bankrupt. This was Morizaki's plan all along, as revenge for Hiromi refusing his sexual advances.
This is one of the few episodes that actually freaked me out, but only in the rather disturbing use of a sexual slang term that was also meant to be a play on the fact the story revolved around the world of sweets and the fact Morizaki was a perv; I'm not sure if it was in the original script or something the english dub staff came up with, but yeah... *shiver*

Ep. 10: Friends
This one also followed the standard vengeance plot, but it was a bit more muddled, leaving you unsure of the motives of the aggreived party.
Does Minami Shibuya have a right to want to send her former friend Shiori Akasaka to hell for abandoning her for the sake of popularity? Is she really behaving like a stalker with constant calls and emails, just wanting an explanation from Shiori? It leaves you questioning things right up to the end.
And what an ending: at first it appears as though the girls may end up settling their differences with no one getting sent to hell. But this is a horror series, and we can't have 'happily ever after'.

I believe that if people steer clear of this series due to it's repetative elements, they are missing out on something good.
What I like about it is the way it lays bare the darkest, most detestable side of human nature: some people are truly cruel and callous, and you can never hope to change them. Even the threat of hell does not sway them, so when they actually do end up there, it's too late. It also asks the difficult question: if hell existed, and you could make a deal to send someone there even at the cost of your own soul, would your reason be enough for you to do it? Could you seek vengance, right a wrong, even knowing you would be doomed to suffer after you die?

Hell Girl is not an easy series to watch, and often it is quite uncomfortable, but in the end I believe it's worth it. It's not strictly entertainment; it's the kind of thing you watch when you want to challenege yourself.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

My marathoning skills are rusty...
Rewatching Tin Man was awsome, especially since I got it on tape this time. I haven't sat through 6 straight hours of anything in a long time though, so I was getting a little antsy in the last couple of hours, wanting to move on to something else.

I hope some of you got to watch and enjoy it as well. And Timber, smack your brother for me =P

I hope the DVD comes out soon. I want special features!

Today I will watch the new Witchblade and Hell Girl DVDs and do a double review since I slacked off last week.

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