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Name: Sabina Tang

Age: Probably less than you think

Hometown: Montreal, Canada, where it snows in April, 16-yr-olds barhop and big bookstores carry manga in French

Occupation: Computer science, intermediate Japanese, web maintenance

Indulgences: Obscure novels, fics written and read, mp3s, sleeping at odd hours of the day, mooching food off friends

Horoscope: Pisces ascendant Venus + Caged Rooster = nasty chimera-type critter

Fave anime series: Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin, Slayers, Berserk, Gundam Wing, Card Captor Sakura, CLAMP Gakuen Tanteidan

Fave anime movies: Perfect Blue, Ghost in the Shell, Endless Waltz, Yuu Yuu Hakusho #2, shin Vampire Hunter D (mita mita! ^_^)

Fave mangas: Angel Sanctuary, Blade of the Immortal, Fushigi Yuugi, Slam Dunk, Zetsuai

Last watched: A few dubbed episodes of Gundam Wing, the first two eps of Yami no Matsuei in .rm format - pretty!

Fave Japanese pop: Guniw Tools, Utada Hikaru, Gackt, Fantastic Plastic Machine, anything involving Yoko Kanno or Nobuo Uematsu or Tetsuya Komuro

Fave NA pop: Bran Van 3000, Garbage, Cibo Matto, The Tea Party, Melissa Etheridge

Fave Chinese pop: Sammi Cheng, Gigi Leung, Faye Wong

Currently listening: Hikki! Hikki Hikki Hikki. ^_^ I am a big Utada Hikaru fan. It takes talent to write songs that never get tiresome no matter how often they're listened to, even if they strike one as rather incidental R&B on the first go. And her new album kicks ass. I am particularly fond of the ballad "Eternally", and of the fifth track "Drama" (otherwise known as Hikki Drops the Brandy Act). It's a rock song. Really. Hikki takes a break from haunting Hamasaki Ayumi's nightmares and goes after Aikawa Nanase for a change. :P What I don't understand is why she doesn't set some English lyrics to "First Love" and release it as a single here in NA. (Hikki is a New Yorker. Them kids at Columbia U have no idea.) Can anyone who's heard that song seriously doubt its airplay potential?

Currently playing: "Vagrant Story", technically, but in reality "Chrono Trigger" on emulator is far easier to find time for. :P

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Thursday, May 17, 2001
12:58 p.m.

Dou suru? ;_;

I have ideas on the game, but they're all bloody inchoate. The plot is not jelling into a linear thread, and I am worried because - well, because Maya-tachi have been churning out these gorgeous tile sets, and I'm going to run out of specifications to feed her with if this goes on. (I'm sorry to say that - dabble as I do in CG art and hacking both - I have very little idea of *how* the tile and prog teams work; all I know is the end result looks like it was achieved through the wave of a Rowlingsesque wand.) Also I promised Pierre the full summary by the end of the month. ^^;;;

Dareka tasuketekure... ne...

The hardest part, if you'll believe it, is casting about for character names. I have a horrible sinking feeling that I'm going to be dipping into ML acquaintances for minor NPCs. Maybe I can, dunno, have Rietta sell watches somewhere in Sammarkand. Except she'd have to be a member of a worldwide secret society. O_o

This has been your daily dose of panic. In more controlled news, the NnY update should be up sometime in the next couple of days, and the fic is progressing. (As always. There's nothing else to say when you're in the brutal slog stage.) Also, I *finally* saw a copy of "Obsidian Butterfly" by Laurell Hamilton, so I lifted it before anyone else could get to it. (Yes, yes, and I make halfhearted attempts at setting the local Wal-Mart on fire too. Brick mushrooms offend my aesthetics. The fact that people find it difficult to associate me with acts of delinquency is freeing, but I digress.) This is a fun book to crunch a bit at a time, quite-quite well-written despite being in the popular entertainment category (I know because I notice the sex in 'high-lit', whereas the sex in 'pop-lit' sort of slides by me because that's where I place fanfiction, and I'm inured to it. If that makes sense). I like Blake. Most authors who set out to do world-weary and cynical and morally ambiguous don't quite get there, but Hamilton's consistent. I have a feeling that I'd take Blake quite willingly as placeholder in romance, even - her take on Being A Girl is in many ways similar to the one I have to work with - but I don't think this book is going to do more than make one curious about her boyfriends. All my friends RP a bit of Whitewolf; I know enough to know that they sound like Bad News City, which is always fun. :P

Tuesday, May 15, 2001
03:10 a.m.

Chicken and egg

So here's a question for you. Does Shou Hayami automatically make each and every one of his characters sexy, even if they're wacky and speak Kansai-ben? Or does he only *pick* sexy characters to voice - even if they're wacky and speak Kansai-ben?

Yes, we (Tania and I) have been watching anime, and no, it so happens that guessing "Trigun" doesn't garner you any points. ^_^ We'd both seen the beginning few eps previously, but this was the first time we met Wolfwood, and we like him. We like him a lot. The show picked up heaps right about when he showed up; at first I thought it was some sort of fangirl bias showing through, then I realized that his appearance (like Saitou's in RK) really *did* tip the party dynamic that extra little bit that made it click. Vash needs a character just as wacked - and as capable of dead sobriety when necessary - as himself to play off of, which gives Merle space to be the stressed straight-woman and Milly the cheerful one. So now the whole's fun to watch. Not that it wasn't anyways, mind you, with the mind-boggling quantity of *heat* all the characters pack, but more fun than before.

There were already signs from the second tape on of angst and backstory to come, which I hadn't expected. (Couldn't take it seriously with that art style... ^^;) But as it is, the storyline's quite encouraging. I see a sort of riff on RK, Wild West Romantan with bazookas. :P

And I finished watching Cowboy Bebop. Finally. Gods, John Woo can go green in the face...

Monday, May 14, 2001
01:54 a.m.

Nikutai no Yume moved!

In time for Mother's Day. ^_^ Wish me luck on the Chinese midterm tomorrow...

Saturday, May 12, 2001
04:49 a.m.

The camel likes tequila

I'm moving NnY over the weekend. The sidebar was the last straw. >_< FYI the new url will be http://www.kekkai.org/sabina/NnY. No ads. Might as well bookmark it now, amigos.

In other news, I have the Business Chinese midterm on Monday. And the first three level specs due before Sunday night. But I drank three ounces of tequila about an hour ago, so it all looks quite manageable at the moment. I'll be going to bed before that happy impression wears off.

Even the fanfic's making progress. It's become what I write when I want to blow off steam. I am not allowed to be perverse in my RPG, nor - given the constraints of the 32-bit platform - would it advantage me much to be so.

Monday, May 7, 2001
11:04 p.m.

A breather space

I haven't touched my private mail for a week and a half. But at least the first section of story synopsis is done and sent out - a day late, and boy were certain people not happy about that... -_- I keep having to go back and shift things like the magic system and weapons, because for good or ill it's one of those games in which everything's integrated into the storyline, and that slows me down keeping it straight in my head. Maya's got prelim designs and sprites up for the characters I wrote specs to, though. (I'll post the preview link as soon as it's finalized a bit...) Two programmers, three artists and a business dude, all 10x more efficient than little me. Sigh.

In other news, I've actually written a couple more pages of tBD. Really. Might be getting out of the ghetto of this one scene soon. And now I really *must* go do Chinese homework.

(I think all this is just so I can have an excuse to buy metro passes for the summer, since I'm obviously not competent enough to find a real internship... siiiiigh.)

Friday, May 4, 2001
02:20 a.m.

estie qu'chus fatiguée

I need someone to put me to bed with a crowbar, because it doesn't seem as if I have enough sense on my own. >_< This RPG thing is killing me. I finally got people to admit to me what I've been suspecting for a while: in sane, real game companies the designers get a few months to write the effing story and draw everything out by hand *before* they hand it to the hackers (in a document the thickness of a half-brick). In our set-up everyone's still sitting on their hands waiting for my memos, because no one can draw/code if they don't know what to draw/code - and the damned whole of the whole has to be playable by the end of the summer. That's in four months. All the in-game art. All the coding. Which all has to wait on my text.

A nice little exercise right now would be to go take a butcher's hook at the update page of Nikutai no Yume, and calculate how much text I normally output in four months.

...

Yeah. ^_^;;;;;;;

More waterfall development than this, you die. If the people I'm working with weren't so damned talented, I'd be tempted to throw up my hands - but I know that *as* *long* *as* *I* *deliver*, this thing is going to work. Which settles it. I like to say that if I weren't masochistic I wouldn't write in the first place, so might as well be hung for a sheep as for a goat. Look on the bright side and all that.

Things Sabina has accomplished so far:

1) Written four character specs out of a probable dozen (eight playable);
2) Briefed the head programmer verbally on the first detailed 45min - 1h30 of play, including a whole level I made up as I was talking to him;
3) Satisfied bizarre character kinks of four friends, a couple more pending;
4) Freaked out both head coder (told him the game "begins with a pizza delivery" - he saw streets of NY) and the illustrator (told her the main character "was a soldier" - she saw Squall Lionheart meets Cloud Strife);
5) Made up a detailed sidequest game and incorporated it into the storyline;
6) Ripped off everything from Angel Sanctuary to the unfinished fantasy novel I wrote at 16 (CLAMP and Esca have been especially victimized).

Things Sabina still has to accomplish:

1) Think of what happens in the remaining +-25 hours worth of play.
2) Write it.
3) Type it in.
4) Set all event flags with Pierre's homemade dialogue editor.
5) Preferably before the rest of the team kills me.

In other news, the mercury's gone over 30 degrees Celsius for three days in a row, and it still hasn't rained. I'm content, but (in the back of my mind) a little worried. Spring seems to be getting shorter every year: this year the transition between the last of the snow and the first of the mugginess was *two weeks*. Not months, weeks.

Mind you, Canadians say snarkily that global warming is a definite problem... for other people...

Wednesday, May 2, 2001
01:18 a.m.

It's summer...

And I still have no time. ^_^;;; Summer business mandarin course, the game illustrator breathing down my neck for story synopses, scans for Quebec Studies, attempting to answer ML backlog (it would be nice if Yahoogroups would show some sign of receiving my messages every once in a while -_-), wrestling with my new flash layout for kekkai-EDP... The bitmaps are still ugly as hell, but at least the buttons function. Mostly. Not if I try to insert a movie clip into a button action frame. I want it to play once and stop, obviously; what it does is either loop forever or not play at all. >_< So for now it's a glorified java rollover with subtle sound effect... needless to say, a text navigation is also included. ^^;

Demo version: EDP Anime [May 2001]

Private mail will have to wait until tomorrow. I have to get up at 8:30. _o_

Saturday, April 28, 2001
10:14 a.m.

Yatto, owatta...

It was my last exam yesterday, and concurrently 80s New Wave night at the Sphinx. Somehow I never decide to go out until late in the evening at Tania's when I'm not about to make the ninety-minute round trip to get clothes from my house. :/ So we raided her closet as always, lace mini and flowy purple silk shirt and bodice top and collars and cut-out gloves, and two-buck black eyeliner from the all-night Pharmaprix because it was the Sphinx, y'know?... and get this: I was overdressed. @_@ Not by much, granted, and we obviously impressed a number of people *LOL*, but somehow in the interim of six months or so the joint had gotten overrun by clean-cut young men in casual suits and girls in tank tops. Change in management, apparently. This was the club with the leather-chick bartend and pretty goth boys making out in dark corners, the sort that people who aren't *actually* old enough to go drinking in the States write into their Gundam Wing fanfiction. The few goths I spotted yesterday sulked in a corner and left early. Last I went they were playing industrial with excursions into thrash; yesterday someone actually requested Madonna. :/ Most of the night was Depeche Mode and so forth, yes, which is very fine and all, but it was... weird. I mean, Tania liked it better, but I was into the place because you could wear boots and dance however the hell you wanted (the Lord preserve me from "Asian" clubs and all the shimmery platforms and top-40 R&B and breakdancing oneupsmanship within), and I get the feeling that aspect's going to fade out.

I should ask Golitzinsky where the "hardcore crowd" went again. Goths are so much more fun to watch than preppies.

Semesterly reassessment - good finals, with one glaring exception, but rather nasty term marks. (Note to self re next year: get more sleep. Also, homework good idea.) Think I'll take a reduced course load in September... now I have about a week to move all my websites over to kekkai, and scan in a gazillion pdfs for the PÉQ, and do the character blurbs for Pierre and Maya. ^^; No rest for the wicked.

Friday, April 20, 2001
12:56 a.m.

Did I say something about the Stickel test set?

I spent the whole day running the thing. Over and over. >_< I get very nervous when a program doesn't output the same results twice, even if it's timing a bazillion arithmetic operations in seconds. Regardless that they warn you fairly soon into the major that the computer will not necessarily do the same thing twice even if your kernel / mem-management / whatever code is impeccable, because the damned things are AFFECTED BY COSMIC RAYS. I have to tabulate the results anyway. And there is an introduction to write. I forgot there was an introduction to write.

I have an exam tomorrow, dammit.

If I write a serious, non-communicative young girl with short white hair and a mysterious background, is there anything I can do to stop you from being reminded of Ayanami Rei? And would that be such a bad thing?

Thursday, April 19, 2001
12:42 a.m.

Nuh Reul Sa Rang Hae

(Someone who knows what that means, tell me? :P) I've had sinus trouble, off and on, ever since I went back to the Birdcage for an Easter party - and the charming soup of cigarette smoke and exotic pollens that passes for air in there. (What, you thought I made up that bit in VoT? ^^; Zannen nagara, I don't have that sort of architectural imagination. Neckermann's condo is essentially where my parents' best friends live, plus drugs.) Please Lord, let this not be the year I develop hay fever... I'm afraid of the minor sort of recurrent, noisome ailment, and I always end up saddled with them. Canker sores, myopia, hives, chronic nosebleeds, dental troubles so arcane I'm the subject of doctoral papers. Every time I grow out of something, I develop something else. I've had chicken pox twice, lucky me, so I suppose it's going to be shingles before I turn thirty.

Hypochondriac, moi? Surely you jest.

They keep telling me to see/read "Bridget Jones' Diary." But take a look at me if you will, sitting in front of a computer past midnight trying to break in a pair of sandals, complaining about my health, eating a milk chocolate rabbit and listening to the even more sugary Sakai Noriko. I don't think I need any more influences in my life dragging me that way. :P

Erin is awful nice - she found me a recipe for iced chai. ^_^ Mmm...

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
03:22 a.m.

And just as follow-up

I have the strappy gold sandals. With a little sun-design decoration in metal. Also, anklets are in fashion this year.

Truly, the world is a wonderful place. ^_^ *wanders off trailing sparkles*

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
02:49 a.m.

I'm not paranoid!

20% of my CS426 term mark really *does* hinge on a single line of theorem-proving C code. A break condition, so to be exact it hinges on a single number. O_O Finding and modifying *that* was my project; I got the confirmation nod from my teacher today. So I'll run it on the Stickel test set before and after, and... that's it. Print out, hand in. @_@

At this rate, I might actually get enough time to study for my exams.

I am in a very good mood. You have no idea how much the two projects I settled today were weighing on my back... ten-ton elephants the both. And people are offering to send me all sorts of wonderful animanga-related things, and signing my guestbook and writing new chapters of fanfiction and generally modifying the universe to further the cause of my happiness. >^_^< I've even obtained the infamous Weiss Kreuz animated music videos. (Thankee agin, D...) Apocalypse tomorrow, but there must have been arcane budget considerations why the series itself wasn't done this well. The animation styles are rather wacked, but the quality has gone up about 300%, especially in the action sequences. I swear on the saints that "Carnival 2000" is a CTHD hommage. It is also (I noted after watching the thing for the fourth time in a row) the ultimate angstful yaoi hyper-textual multi-POV deathfic of all time, waiting for a writer to take it on. ^^; I hate plot bunnies. Especially fifteen-story-tall ones that sit on you.

Schuldich - Lain-style - standing in front of a Van Gogh. It's *screencap* time...

Sunday, April 15, 2001
11:50 p.m.

Getting hits ^_^

People are linking to me. It's quite snowballing. This is fun. Pity I don't have time to finish up something new for all the visitors to read. ^^;

Meanwhile, there's always Sabina's Fanfic Recs [TM] (anyone think I should collect these into a section on NnY proper?). Today's isn't on a website, just an unadvertised FTP directory, so I don't even know if it's good form to link to it (translation: I will until told to stop :P). Tonikaku...

Jeanne Johnson's "Garden" series has always been a bit of an oddity, if not a downright curiosity. ^^; Doesn't behave like slash, doesn't read like yaoi, is definitely fanfiction - except for the fact that maybe three people in all of North America have read into both canonical universes. And went 'geh?' at the story when they encountered it (I'm sure Eroica slash writers do). I'm undecided as to whether to call it erotica, even, because I think I read "Garden" for reasons other than the joyfully abundant smut. Smut after all can be had at the random click of a mouse, but not rambling novels that career from Ruritanian spy-show adventure to homoerotic drame de boudoir to comedy of manners à la Wodehouse on crack, turning from farce to wistfulness on a pin. And, of course, not Jeanne's Dorian either. ^_^ He's something else in her book, a sort of sunny innocent uber-aesthete with the superego of a cat and the localized sexual effect of a spilt bottle of pheromones. Forget silver spoon; her Dorian got the entire tea set plus crystalware at birth. If I were at all inclined to virtual fangirl glomping, I think I'd glomp him.

Essentially, it's a "me" story - all artsy references and multi-lingual dialogue so sparkly-dry it should come with a wired-in cork. ^_^ I don't see that there's much to say apart from that, really. Read it like it's original fiction (as for most intents and purposes it is, since who among us knows Papuwa-kun's Shibata Ami from Adam? ^^;) There are three fics. The first two are somewhere in the Eroica online fanfiction index (Google it, there's only one). The third I linked to. It's named explicitly after my favorite Swinburne poem (the story some time of how I spent endless summer days lolling on the branch of my willow in the Botanic Garden, declaiming it over and over), and is *very* long. Whether you curse or praise me for that will, I suppose, depend on whether you're crushed beneath work or bored out of your wits, but caveat lector all the same.

Saturday, April 14, 2001
02:52 a.m.

Character design

...is what I'm doing, it appears, since Square calls Yoshitaka Amano's job "Image Illustration". :P And that belongs to one Maya-san down in NY. But before she puts pen to paper she wants every character's stats five ways to tomorrow - everything from battle position to background history and does-he-like-okonomiyaki. And it's yours truly's job to provide, because the programmer can't be bothered. ^^; Not that I'm *really* complaining, mind you. In fact I said yes to the project without thinking too much, because I knew if I tried to think about it I'd fall directly into throes of megalomaniacal laughter. I mean, what would *you* do if someone came up and offered you carte blanche on a script that they then undertake to animate with music, battles and little sprites? And then in all seriousness offer *you* a share of potential profits instead of making you pay for the privilege? :P Yeah... welcome to my rabbit hole.

It's quite wonderful, really. Maya finds people willing to let her be the next Amano. Pierre figures he's *totally* taking advantage, because if we weren't there he'd have to take time off from his tile libraries to write dialogue, and the character faces in the speech boxes would still be blank. And I wake up every morning laughing my head off because they're doing *me* the favor, only they don't realize it. ^_^

Exams? What exams? :P

This has - in case you were wondering - been going on for a while now. It's just that the last couple of days have been a bit of a breakthrough design-wise, and now I have a hope of turning in the basic map/plot/chara stats by the time they're due first week of May. ^_^v I am bubbly with story possibility and heady with the freedom of landing a job class no one else wants to touch, so I thought I'd warn my readers that the NnY 'blog has a good chance of morphing into an indie RPG development journal. Fair notice and all that.

...and Re-mi-e-ru-san - if you're reading this - I shall put in a red-headed whip-wielding ojousama just for you. *nikkori* I don't actually believe I'm going to see a red cent on this project, but it's nice for me to imagine that someone out there could be persuaded to buy the thing. :P

In other news, great floralies of firework sweetness and everlasting gratitude to Alanna, who offered me server space on kekkai.org. ^_^ Adios to pop-ups come May! Yeah!

Thursday, April 12, 2001
10:20 p.m.

Diffuse cravings

I want a rum and coke. Or a tequila shot. But my parents are still up watching a movie, so I suppose I shall have to work my way through this binary-resolution code without benefit of ethanol. If you decide to read this again, Rietta, it does not give you permission to repost details of my incipient dependencies on Shioul. :P I am not at my eloquent best in the weblog; I am in slippers and trailing the tatty bathrobe of my base urges. It would be unfair of you unless you sign up for one of these as well (I rather think you should, actually - and m'lord too, but when I told him so he said all Shioul was his weblog, or words to that effect). Capishe?

(Here's a base urge we can all enjoy: Campino's hard candies. You know the orange-sorbet-and-cream-swirl ice cream flavour? They taste exactly like that.)

I have been listening to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds all day. (I suppose the man counts as goth? I'm ignorant about these things but he gives me more goth-y vibes than the Cure does, and goths seem to have claimed the Cure as their own.) Dunno what impresses me more: that he's one of the few songwriters of my knowledge who tell a good (creepy) story, or that he got Kylie Minogue to sound convincing on a murder ballad. o_o; Good stuff if you like Leonard Cohen, which I do. I was brought up on Cohen. I even went to his alma mater - not that geography didn't play a large part in that. :P It's rather sobering when the campus daily kickstarts its poetry contest by printing a "previous winners" issue, and right on the first page is a Cohen effort from the fifties. Of course none of *last* year's winning efforts were remotely as cool. >_<

The soundtrack to Wong Kar-Wai's "In The Mood For Love" also excellent. Nat King Cole warms my permafrost-bound heart, bad Spanish accent and all. Quizas, quizas, quizas...

Back to the theorem prover... *sighs* Is it disturbed of me to want to write Nick Cave songfic? I mean, even given that it'd be about Schwartz, and therefore murderous to begin with?

Tuesday, April 10, 2001
02:05 a.m.

Aforementioned passage

Two in the morning and I'm typing up Colette's "The Pure and the Impure." Just be glad I own an English version and am not doing a translation on the fly. :P

"[...] 'What does that character over there do for a living?' one of them asked me, adding, 'I can't stomach him. I'll bet he's a paederast.' I could hardly keep from laughing over the suspicious man who was betraying his own naïve and equivocal behaviour - he was limp with anxiety and as irritable as a prude on the point of letting herself be seduced, as he cast contemptuous glances at the suspected man, the very glances I had seen one of [his] mistresses dart at him before she succumbed. She, too, had referred to him as 'that character', to begin with. [...]"

...^_^ It's a tiny book, this, like most of Colette's books: about 130 pages. Not one of her most well-known either, but I think it should be required reading. (At least for erotica writers... ^^;) Colette offers a look at the nature of sexuality and relationships between/within both genders that's truly intuitive, and far more revealing than any of the psychobabble so pervasive now re What Men Want, What Women Want etc. As long as you leave PC at the door (since the book was written before the term was invented), it should be a rewarding experience.

Since I've gotten on the subject of Eroica, I would *so* like to blurble a bit about Dorian and how much I like him (nota bene: this has to do with Sabina's practice of shoplifting poetry ^^;), but I have to go to bed. Really. Or it's not gonna be pretty tomorrow in class, and they're my last for the school year. Remind me again tomorrow.

(And since I'm feeling reckless: my wonderful devoted Swedish fan coming in on the telia server - and the *other* one studying in my old hometown of Ithaca, NY - leave me a note in the gbook or something, will you? Onegai? ^_^)

Monday, April 9, 2001
07:42 p.m.

Mind your syntax, stupid

The for loop statement takes semicolons between its arguments. Not *commas*, fool, semicolons. You'd think I'd learn after - oh - the third program in a row I've made the same mistake, wouldn't you? And of course a semi-colon error screws up the parsing for the rest of the file. Someone do the human race a favor and shoot me now. >_<

Thea will read this sooner or later, won't she, since she linked me? :P I browsed through her 03/25 entry and agree completely, with one caveat: I fall for characters even when I know better. ^^; I'd never be a *fangirl* of Muraki or Rufus (or Akio, god-have-mercy-on-my-soul), not per se, but it's the author in me who's clear-eyed, whereas the girl-child in me is exuding streams of little pink hearts. The author in me despises the girl-child most days. The girl-child stopped talking to the author years ago, except through Deep Upwellings Of The Subconscious. And then you get the, you know, dress-Hotohori-in-drag stories.

(She mentioned Klaus somewhere too, didn't she. I wanted to say relative to this that Klaus has always reminded me of a specific passage from Colette, but it's going to have to wait until I get home. And that's going to have to wait until this segmentation fault gets corrected. Grr.)

Re-read myself, this entry and last. Yappa', haru ga modottekita koro ni sonna kanji... ^_^; Here's the deal with all the rabu-rabu. BL in the simple romance sense is undemandingly pleasant on the senses, simply because (hopefully) it's two pretty boys. B/G or G/G in the simple romance sense are usually rather boring. When it comes to themes and topoi that really *do* press my buttons, however, they'd do so regardless of the sex of the characters involved; unfortunately, I'd have to be insane to want to experience most of these topoi in RL. So much for the world inside my head. All's to say is, I don't picture myself in scenarios with fantasy men. I wouldn't know how. It's not an activity that grabs me. ^_^; I want to be involved, I go out and... involve myself, see? ...Except when I'm plumb out of time for any such pursuits. And then it seems blogger estrogen levels go through the roof. Est emmerdante, la vie.

Link o' the day: Mission Trance. Which I'm sure you've all seen already, because I don't stray much net-wise. Jeanne is right: this kind of story is only readable when told through pretty pictures.

Saturday, April 7, 2001
11:13 p.m.

Natsukashii omoi wa ippai...

I called my friend Em yesterday. Her parents were in the society pages because of the Hungarian Ball; her mother had made Quebec Court Judge and I never knew... We never got into the habit of e-mailing each other, since we saw each other every other hour in high school and college, and neither of us owns a cell phone. So it's hard to keep track of each other. Luckily we're neither of us the type to worry about being neglected. :P

Nevertheless, as a result of said whimsy I got out this morning for a rather nice crêpe brunch Chez Cora's, and a chance to catch up on old news. ^_^ Strange, strange, how things change and stay the same all at once. I've been out of high school almost as long as I was in it. Now even the ones who were innocents are growing up (of course not all of us were, even back then). I'm growing up, and at the time j'étais bête à mourir - without a clue, a real social idiot. One friend dyed her hair red, another divorced and moved to Toronto, a third is in Harvard med school, yet another broke up with a longstanding boyfriend... such commonplaces. Yet from one disregarded moment to the next we've become *other* from the young girls crowded around the cafeteria table to discuss the latest episode of the X-Files, filly-awkward in our chunky-heeled loafers and blue-tartan kilts rolled at the top. Those girls are reflections now, dimming and I am suddenly afraid. I don't even watch the X-Files anymore. Who, I have to wonder sometimes, are these adults usurping our place?

At least we're still friends. Thank goodness for that. It would be too sad and scary otherwise.

Damn this music anyway. I think it's the music. I'm running the playlist of songs I heard late at night on Chinese MTV, the summer in Shanghai I was seventeen. I found nearly all of them online, eventually. Close my eyes and I can taste that summer in my mouth, all yellow construction dust and mandarin-orange jelly-cups and perfumed bug spray. It was the best summer of my life. Nothing but travelling and making friends and watching anime on the telly... I got into Slam Dunk at the same time as all the other kids my age. My father's friends pulled strings to get me into places where the public wasn't allowed. Even the boys were beautiful. Want to hear me whisper? ^_^ The city was full of these lithe creatures with long dark eyes, peasant boys hired to dig foundations for the skyscrapers mushrooming everywhere in '97... All that golden skin under the hazy sun. And there I'd be, tripping out the door of some condominium complex or newly-built hotel in a skimpy summer outfit that cost me six months' worth of *their* salary in one of the boutiques on Huaihai Lu, about to dive into the back of an air-conditioned taxi. Press pause on your '90s-child political correctness. Have you ever felt someone's eyes on you and understood that you were a princess? Have you ever turned and smiled into their gaze?

I'll probably have a thing for adolescent boys all my life from not getting one that summer. Blame my grandparents, who wouldn't even let me go to an Internet café, let alone a club. I should type up the journal I kept, though.

...Damn, not doing too well trying to pull myself into the present, am I? :P

Thursday, April 5, 2001
08:42 p.m.

Revamp in the works

(What is this obsession I have with destroying my health? I've given up doing it through lack of sleep - for good, I think - so now I'm doing it through massive amounts of caffeine and sugar. I find I develop fine motor spasms if I don't have either caffeine or alcohol in my system. There's something wrong here, folks.)

I need to rework this weblog. It deserves being its own page. I did a search for myself on google today and found an alarming number of people who have linked to it. ^^; And really, half of these entries are reviews and recs, aren't they? Not to mention there *are* other people whose 'blogs I read, if only from time to time out of nosiness. So yeah, a number of changes to make.

The story's finished. You heard me: finished. Just not written. But that's almost an afterthought. I now know every detail of Schu-chan's life in my timeline from conception to the age of sixteen, and though only about 10% of that is going to make it into the fic I needed every bit of it to figure out the actions of the players. Including Estet. (I think I confuse them in my head with the X-Files' Consortium, but that could only be an improvement.) Now what I keep on thinking is... damn, if I only had someone to larp this out with like Technomancy does! ;_; You have no idea how tempting this is, when 75% of the story happens between two characters and the rest is an *interview*. Speaking of which, I *think* this is the link through which you'll find their smuttier RPlogs:

Nymphomancy

If I messed up, do a search. On a certain level I'm floored that the idea is workable, and on another I think, well, it's no different from ancient Chinese scholars who composed poetry by bouncing it between friends a line at a time, is it? ^^; And we all know what those peaches and jade flutes *really* referred to...

Tuesday, April 3, 2001
10:17 a.m.

A computer named Deimos

Erin just pointed out to me that whoever named the machines in this lab was on a classical mythology kick. (This is the Sci Undergrads' e-mail center. The ones in the Linux lab answer to vaguely Japanese praenomen. The servers are Simpsons characters.) Here is where I catch up on my communications with the outside world, all the while ruining my stomach with Second Cup aromaticized filter coffee (caramel, hazelnut, chocolate raspberry). Lots of cream. Lots and lots of cream. The cream dispenser at Second Cup is a large thermos with a press spout. I'm starting to mainline any liquid with an appreciable caffeine content; worse, I'm starting to like it. Damn growing up anyway, it creates all sorts of needs. When you're a child you don't have anything to uphold, so you don't need anything to hold *you* up.

I can't help thinking about the movie yesterday, picking out specific camera shots or lines of dialogue in my mind and holding them up - turning them about - trying to make sense of how they fit together, or simply to make the light scatter prettily off of them. ^_^ Oshima Nagisa's "Gohatto", FYI, if you're not on Shioul. Yes, I thought he was dead too. But that was before November '99 when everyone on AMLA started ranting about this movie. :P What is it about? ...Saa ne. I've about convinced myself that the whole thing is really a parable for the samurai class, in its glorious, destructive and ultimately doomed (by Bakumatsu) beauty. What it is about in *journalistic* terms is a pretty teenaged boy who joins the Shinsengumi and becomes an object of lust to everyone from recruit to commander, to the point of creating dissension in the ranks. Yeah, the *Kenshin* Shinsengumi. The concept of that freak Beat Takeshi cast as Hijikata cracked me up - you do not want to know what the last movie I saw involving him was like - but he was perfect in the role. And Matsuda Ryuhei was... *shakes her head* The casting guy must have given himself an ulcer. The boy's a view of the classical Japanese standard of beauty like I figured only happened on rice paper, and if you've seen some Kurosawa or ukiyo-e or whatnot you'd know it doesn't correspond 100% to the modern Western standard. In the male form, which is all the more rare. If I'd seen this movie in Nov.'99, I would have been afflicted with a terrible urge to poke the boy and make sure he *wasn't* in fact rice paper. Now, with some experience of j-rock under my belt, I'm unfazed enough by the fact that the main character is a 3D-ized woodblock print of Mori Ranmaru to at least be able to pay attention to the rest of the movie. :P And the rest... well, just the cinematography was enough to fill my beauty quotient until the snow melts and I see some green shoots cropping up. Makes up for that dry stretch in February/March. (That last shot of Hijikata and the sakura... *delighted whimper*)

The story is one of those uber-Japanese exercises in half-truths and twisted realities, told in such a manner that the viewer stops wondering at all these fierce militia guys who apparently have nothing better to do than to unravel Kano-kun's (possible lack of a) sex life - because she is also totally occupied in trying to unravel his sex life. (I still haven't figured it out.) There's definitely a moral being presented, but I haven't met anyone, friend or reviewer, who agrees on what. ("Beware the deadly bishounen," perhaps? ^^; That's one term in the equation even the Japanese have forgotten over the years.) The symbolism is subtle, recurrent, and massively color-coordinated, and I drank it up like a sponge. ^_^ Oh, and it was funny. Really. I laughed about as much as I did through "American Beauty", though half of it was for nuances in the Japanese and the other half was... well, there was Okita Souji as a classical-BL-novel reader, and this *really* scary geisha, and this old commander dude who sucks at *everything*, and Takeda Kanryuusai whom they dragged in just so they could call him gay, and the infamous line in the bushido code that says the uke always ends up throwing the match... *laughs like a maniac*

(Look, I have a weird sense of humor, all right? Bear with me.)

And I don't know if this applies, since anything that plays in Montreal has either played everywhere already or nowhere at all, but if you get the chance go see this movie in the theatre, on as large a screen as they'd give it. It's worth it for the camera work alone.

(*Why* do people insist on standing there by my shoulder when I'm trying to write? ;_; Two or three times in the last paragraphs. Wah!)

Thursday, March 29, 2001
11:42 p.m.

Semantic point

Here's a quibble to feed to those who think the word "woman" is degrading because it's formed by tacking a prefix onto "man." (That's not actually the etymology.) Ever notice how the English language presumes guilt and appends a suffix for the proof of innocence? ^_^ Think about the words we use. Guilt-less. Blame-less. The one un-suffixed word we have is "innocence" itself, from ye olde Norman French not Anglo-Saxon, and I bet if you go back enough you'd find *that* was formed from 'in-' meaning 'not' plus whatever Latin root gave birth to "noxious" and "nuisance." Almost as if there could be no concept of purity without the sin; no holiness except after the fall.

...Yes, all *right*, I admit this was brought about by me feeding words into the online English->German dictionary (I only own G->E in treeware) and seeing what gives. That and my current exploration of the very concept of "innocence", which is what tBD is sending out fuzzy tendrils toward. I have learnt over the last couple of years that I can dictate every action of my characters and every twist of the plot, but that the story will take on the theme *it* wants to take. 'Dawn' ended up being about fatality, the role of prime movers in personal destiny, and damned if I didn't know it until my beta reader pointed it out. :P I suppose this is part of the reason academics still insist on analyzing the works of living artists, instead of phoning said creator up and asking them. I suppose it's part of the reason why said creators don't give completely satisfactory answers.

Apart from the fact that I also forget why and how I write stuff after it's done, of course.

One thing good about all this work due - forces me to work the story out in my head. Several scenes of tBD now exist in my head in word-by-word format, needing only time to set it down. I'm not sure I like the plot entirely; it seems... melodramatic. Base desires and baser jealousies. The dialogue might save it, but how am I to know at this point? ^_^;

Tuesday, March 27, 2001
03:13 p.m.

Joaquin shoulda worn white

I *liked* "Gladiator", all right? So sue me. Me and the roman epic (written and filmed) go back a long way. And it's not every actor nowadays can pull off the megalomaniac decadent sister-con Emperor with enough eyeliner to tar a trireme's hull. Didn't think Russell Crowe's hair was too hot, either, though the shades were a nice touch. Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson side by side - now that was pwetty. Something about those sweet feathery blondes brings out my 3/10, as Ioana puts it. Loved Renée Zellweger's pale-yellow flapper-goddess number. Angelina Jolie could look good in a paper bag but I wish they wouldn't all pull their hair back like that, it looks sophisticatedly... bald. >_< Jennifer Lopez should not wear grey. Catherine Zeta-Jones looked like the combined GDP of the industrialized world; Benicio Del Toro... damn, didn't know until then that he really *does* see the world through a perpetual squint... ^^; Coco Lee looked *damned* good. And no, I still can't believe I saw Coco Lee perform at the Oscars either. This must be what Hispanics felt when they saw Ricky at the Grammys. ("So... weird!")

Oscars? You're thinking. She's nattering on about the Oscars? All I'm gonna say is, you should be glad it's not comp sci. :P I write about that far too much of late. It's not even that I'm much good, it just so happens that comp sci is what I study and what one studies takes over the world come March-April... Not that my life should have to do with anything. Contrary to popular opinion, a weblog isn't really a personal diary. Personal diaries are invariably boring unless they're written for publication - even Anne Frank had that in mind - which right there makes them a different beast. A weblog is more like a cyberspace soapbox one maintains with the luxury of never having to be told to get off. But that means the rules of good writing/soapboxing should apply, out of courtesy if nothing else. And a major rule of good writing/soapboxing is to preach to the choir. ^_^ It's great for those like yours truly, who's never been able to keep a proper diary because she loses interest in writing anything that no one else is going to read. (And that in a nutshell is why I find my work queue inundated with NC17 yaoific too. -_- Ye of easy literary virtue!)

Shall I tell my visitors what to do, as so often occurs? ^_^; Go read Sahari-san's "Tiger Prince". Yes, I know you've read it already. I want you to read it again keeping *this* in mind: that the story behaves structurally EXACTLY LIKE JANE AUSTEN. *LOL* It's just that, instead of genteel British young men and women going on walks in the countryside, you get fantasy shapeshifter biseinen having sex. Different world, different mores, if you will.

Thursday, March 22, 2001
09:57 a.m.

All optionals on hiatus

I had a job interview yesterday - didn't go so hot. (They *said* technical writing. Then I came in and it turned out not to be technical writing at all. >_<) It's a full-blown blizzard outside, a horizontal wall of white; the standard meteological phrase never makes sense to anyone who hasn't actually *seen* it, but trust me when I say it's an accurate description... Before that it was flakes the size of ping-pong balls. They do not so drift down so much as they plummet. I'm sure the Inuit have really specific words for all this. If you live in milder climes and I've just depressed you, so much the better. Misery is made to be shared. ^-^

You do read right, BTW - I got up at seven this morning. Have been doing so for a couple of days, and my body reacts as if it were trying to work off jet lag, much to my distress and annoyance: I can't afford to be sleepy when I have so much work. It feels damned strange to be studying before school, I must say. (Anyone knows where I can plagiarize a paper on atom selection heuristics in the HERBY theorem prover? Quickly?)

Ah well, whotthehell. If I don't get a job for the summer I shall spend my time learning perl for this band calendar program I've offered myself up to write, even though musicians are notorious for being cashless. Hacker work ethic, if you will. Or I'll offer to build websites for cheap. I'm still rent-free; getting paid a *little* for an activity I enjoy is not such a bad proposition. At the moment I think I'll settle for a peep of greenery, actually.

Saturday, March 17, 2001
02:04 a.m.

Geek girl in a fishbowl

I spent 10 hours in the lab today, not to mention 5-6 more yesterday (welcome to the wonderful world of mutex locks and Unix ttys ^_^;). You know the longer you spend in there, the more you start to disbelieve in the existence of the external world? Wonder not a whit at the Silicon Valley programmers who purport to live in their goldfish-bowl cubicles 24/7. I imagine it's an entirely happy existence as long as one has one's MP3s and numbers to dial for espresso and takeout pho bowls, which is just as well because it's likely to be mine. (They wanted us to program a train-ticket vendor, of all things, so instead of TransCanadian Rail I turned in the FFVIII Balamb Town Train Ticket Machine. With any luck I shall draw a geek of a TA who will nitpick me for gil not having decimal places.)

From two to three in the morning on Friday nights McGill 90.3 plays clubmixed Bollywood movie themes. Everyone should try to get hold of this stuff - tabla / sitar lines over d&b beats make for the sexiest grooviest music in the world, even more danceable than bouzouki IMHO. Dunno who the host DJ is but she has a sexy husky voice (due to her cold, perhaps. There's always a silver lining).

Wednesday, March 14, 2001
01:52 a.m.

New Look

It snowed again today. The humid, blanketing sort of snow, all heavy slushy flakes. The effect is much like being rained on. I think I mentioned back in December that we rarely have white Christmasses. But now that I think upon't, we get white St. Paddy's Days with relative frequency... ^^;

I had one of those energy upsurges that happens when I drink designer coffee and run on reserves. The computer assignment more or less makes sense now, but I have yet to actually write it - and there's math homework as well. But I managed to get to class, answer some mail that I'd left lagging for ages, read through all the documentation for the Unix pthreads library... Think I'll go to bed while my going is still good.

I'm sure you've noticed that Nikutai no Yume has a new layout. ^_^ Atarimae dakara; I change the weblog colors to match. Violet-blue, cream and lavender, just like Kuja-dono himself. :P My sister has a list of what she calls "dieux vénérés", and he's somewhere near the top. As a drawing exercise tonight I un-SD'd him, and he turned out awfully... leggy. o_o Without the cuteness factor rampant throughout FF9, that outfit strikes one as embarrassingly sexy - and try as I might I had to 'curve' him, because the damned straps would just slide off a regular bishounen's slim hips. Not that that wouldn't be a sight to see, but I try to hold to PG13 in my artwork, you understand.

Friday, March 9, 2001
01:16 a.m.

Happy 3/8!

(Though it's March 9th now, but... ^^;) I haven't celebrated International Women's Day in years. It's a statutory deal back in the old country, like most Communist countries I believe, but here only college activist types remember. We called my grandma to wish her well, of course. Then tonight a couple of us schlepped over to Tan-chan's house to watch Remiel's Angel Sanctuary tape, Canada Post having finally come through. (Id est, a few more people'll be going home as Satan Worshippers tonight. ^_^ It's a not-for-distro sub, and I feel like I've come into possession of a cult item - like Utena, the commercial translation could hardly improve, and at any rate will *certainly* not contain footnotes set to Sisters of Mercy.) We put on the Utena movie afterward; since the sound was wonky we muted the TV and synchronized the picture with the raw .avi CD version Tan-chan's last koibito provided, running the audio output through her home stereo speakers... and halfway through Tania said, "My dad mentioned it just now. Isn't this a cool way to celebrate International Women's Day?"

And so it was. ^_^

In other (gaming) news, we're back to playing Vagrant Story, but my sister has the control pad for that one. She plays the piano competitively, which means her hand-eye coordination is hardcore-gamer level. I just sit there giving strategy pointers and watching her pull off the six-chain combos. And is it me, or does the Valendia Knights of the Peace high command remind anyone else of the FBI in the X-Files? If you dressed everyone in Distressed Medieval, that is.

Monday, March 5, 2001
02:09 a.m.

Procrastination of epic proportions

(WARNING: Vague but *very* insistent spoilers for the ending of Final Fantasy IX. I know the people reading this who are most physically present in my life don't care, but as far as I can tell *way* too many people read my blogger altogether. ^^; Hence the disclaimer.)

*So*, given that I have a math midterm, a Japanese oral comp and a project hand-in due for tomorrow, I decided today was the perfect Sunday to finish up FF9. Well. I lie. My chocobo is not levelled up to suit my fancy. So instead I kibitzed over my sister's second-round game, which we are playing in parallel. The difference is in who gets the controls.

...

You know, I was worried for a second there after defeating Necron. I actually thought we were going to have on our hands a Final Fantasy game that made sense from beginning to end. -_-

Of course that isn't what happened. Leaving aside the very weird proliferation of Vivi (although I suppose it holds out hope for the Black Mage race - perhaps something to do with genome input?), the half-hour ending managed to insert a couple of unexplained *years* into the timeline. o_o Storywise I can't account for the delay unless there were tears in the space-time continuum and somebody got sucked into the Dragon Warrior universe, or something. (Is Dragon Warrior even the same universe any more? It used to be, but I stopped keeping up at about DW3.) And what the hell does he mean, he sang the SONG?! That's not supposed to be literal, is it? It's pretty and all; birds seem to like it. Demonic tree tentacles... ehhhnh.

Late nights (although this is by no means late for me) make for cynical and paranoid theories. The above points are godsend for the gen ficcers, but I also think certain events in that sequence were concocted to appease doujinshikas. In fact, by this writing I'm almost as sure of it as if I'd seen Sakaguchi dance the Maze ED's Junk Boy dance in a grass skirt shaking rattles in the direction of Comiket. After all, it's been said the apex of Zidane's character development - and by extension that of the major theme of the game - was reached by Pandemonium Castle *snarls as she remembers those short-handed battles*, so they didn't need to make him go to all that trouble at the end really. Zidane gets it. *We* get it. Even Kuja seems to get it, and even if he didn't they don't show him getting it. What they show is the Fade To Black Of Doom. ("Geez, the *trouble* these people go to just to bring Sephiroth back to life for a ten-page screw! Think we should make it easier on them, Itou-kun?")

Before you write, *obviously* I only complain because I'm enormously tickled and found it all terribly romantic. I was even getting into the plot of "I Want To Be Your Canary" for a while there (did you notice they were playing on a Globe-style Shakespearean stage?). That's just me. Besides, I know by extension anything that applies to djkas applies to yaoi fanfic writers: I'm sure there are many of you out there just waiting to explain said FTB. I don't think I'll be joining you. ^_^ For one, my sister is convinced that MadamHydra's fic said it all, though I don't think it did. For two, the FF9 story I really want to write has to do with Hilda (otherwise known as Her Majesty the Plot Device, just a step away from having Kuja cackling and telling you all his plans before he kills you). I *know* I'm writing WK now, but I'll be working on it eventually. Steal my idea and die.

Saturday, March 3, 2001
02:03 a.m.

Heika-sama wants in...

Two o'clock in the morning between me, a whisky-and-coke and about 3/4 of a new page in tBD - and Hotohori taps gently but persistently on some mental partition hidden away in the cerebellum dark, wanting to talk to Schuldich. Really. A week of non-sleep will do that to you. I'm aware that all the characters I've written are *there* in my head - or at least, that's the way I conceptualize it to myself, much as 'psychic' visions are really just hallucinations the mind creates to explain the information it's getting from out in left field - but they usually don't bother me. It takes stress and booze to make them act up. Or a spike in my writing. Then they all want in. It's perhaps just as well I didn't transcribe the omakes at the end of most of my stories: the one at the end of MitM really only gives you the dimmest of ideas.

(Please, *please* don't tell me I'm the only one, all right? I can't be the only one. ^^; That would be... sad.)

MLs are exhausting me, something that happens every once in a while, without forewarning. Perhaps it's carry-over from how I always get involved in other people's relationship issues. I'd rather be Bouddhist about them, but somehow that never works. I swear it pisses me off how sex is forever dragging misunderstandings in its wake like a right whale trailing torn fishing net... If only there were some beautiful people to look at, to comfort me. But Montreal in late February / early March is not the place for that. And just to pile on the weenie straws of annoyance, shinigami.org has stopped updating because of a plagiarism blow-up between kumiko and Mink's people. The *hell*?!

Oh well. I have private mail to answer; think I'll go do that. Do you know that all my news is old news thanks to this thing? I write in it, and then the next day I attempt to tell my friends about my life and they say, "Oh, I know, I read it in your blogger." Perils of the online existence, I swear.

Tuesday, February 27, 2001
11:57 p.m.

Commentaires sans trève

The Weiss Kreuz (or, as Henrietta pointed out today, Weisses Kreuz) fandom is really strong on C&C. *Really.* @_@ I've gotten more responses to the latest fic than I usually get in three months. My characterization was on by consensus, which is a relief whenever one's been overdosing on fandom while writing. And for some reason, no one seems to care that the story began without a beginning... ^^;; Thing is, now I feel obliged to write 'The Berchtesgaden Debriefing', and that one's a-gonna be a damned sight harder. 'Velocity' was written mostly for personal amusement. tBD is aiming for whatever rarefied territory MitM occupies, which means my feet are going to be on the grill. ;_; If it turns out longer than 'Dawn'... *dies*

At least I didn't fail my midterm today. And I handed in my assignment on time. And I still have chocolate left over from my second b-day party. :) My Japanese-class boyz are now my unofficial heroes: they gave me a Terry Pratchett omnibus (the Gods trilogy, which I hadn't read at that). Took me out to a French restaurant - marvellous rabbit terrine with raspberry-orange sauce - and to karaoke afterwards, so I dressed. Least I can do when the guys think of me as someone who'd collapse without my cargo pants to hold me up. :P It was my Aerith outfit, or would be if Aerith wore black instead of pink.

As for karaoke... well, Sabina can't sing R&B (no surprise so far), but I do a good Gackt and any Kinki Kids tune one's acquainted with can seemingly be managed simply by reading the words off the screen - don't ever try that with Utada Hikaru, you will die. Happiest discovery of the night was a crappy midi version of Ohguro Maki's "Anata Dake Mitsumeteru", otherwise known as Slam Dunk ED1. ^_^ Natsukashisa to the max. It doesn't matter that I can't sing in her key. And I did some CoCo Lee because it was the only Chinese song title I about recognized... and then I came home.

What else? Must link to good Utena fic I discovered, because rare:

http://www.mancer.net/alanna/fanfic/jamais_vu.html

It's by Technomancy no Alanna about Ruka Tsuchiya, and his late-nite radio station I'd listen to for sure if it were on the air in Montreal. Say, apparently Bishounen-Seducing Simulation is considered an actual videogame *genre* in Japan. Are we talking enlightened culture or what?

Friday, February 23, 2001
03:34 p.m.

Latent shoe fetishism

Is something I have, yes. Normally I wear boots six months out of the year, trainers for another three and never pay an ounce more thought to it, but it pops up at the bizarrest moments. Like in Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no Juunin), where all I could think for the first few issues where Hyakuren appeared was "Damn, I *want* those high-heeled geisha sandals!" That was the year geisha sandals were ridiculously in, too, yet there wasn't a similar pair to be had for love or money in stores. ;_; Lord, the perils of the consumer!

Now the shoe thing has intruded upon my consciousness again. The object? Ladios Sopp's strappy flat slingbacks. *LOL* Actually after a lot of peering I've determined that Amaterasu-dono wears them too, just... fancier. Obviously one can remodel everything about oneself with one's godly powers, but the braid and the taste in footwear stay... I think Duo Maxwell's character design must be at least partly a FSS hommage: I've always wondered what sane original-designer would come up with a mecha pilot with a braid down to his butt, but it would make sense if it originated with Nagano-sensei, who is not sane. Well, at least Hail Ye Star Emperor doesn't wear them shoes with ankle socks à la Manx the way Sopp does. :P Anyhow, if no one else on the 'net is Keeper of Sopp's Strappy Sandals - and I doubt anyone is - then I am *so* there.

Five Star Stories is shaping up to be my next manga obsession. It plays to my love for baroque intricacy (the Chinese edition I'm reading has footnotes at the bottom of every *page*), mono no aware (starts with a prologue wherein a war is won but love is lost), not to mention kick-ass female characters (sure the fatimas look like you could snap them in half over the back of a chair, but let them in a MH and a couple trillion ponies is gonna be whuppin' ya outta the System). And, of course, there is aforementioned main character. Nagano-sensei obviously got a kick out of creating him, which slays me because most *fangirls* would be leery of indulging themselves so far... ^^; Sopp is a sort of bipedal essence of shoujo tease, who dresses the way I used to draw my female characters back when I was 14 and in my fantasy-novel-designing phase. The number of people who hit on him in the first volume is just... too wrong... He also turns into a girl from time to time, near as I can figure, and even with the footnotes I don't understand how or why that works. Something to do with codewords. *thump* Of course, what I like about the character is how he looks totally useless but really he can kick your ass from here to kingdom come - and given his genes he'd probably be waiting for you there too. :P That and his whole relationship with Lachesis. Boy was that too adorable for words or what? Not at all what I expected from what I always thought was a mecha series. Then again, I like the design sense of the man in general, mechs *and* clothing. It's all vaguely '80s, of course, but so pretty. Wish I could pull off those A-line mini-dresses and stockings.

Thursday, February 22, 2001
02:34 a.m.

Truly random note...

My friends have decided to do my birthday for me this week, severally. ^_^ Ureshii ureshii... I got kewl controller for the PS2, and a sparkly knit dress-thingums, and HEADPHONES. And chocolate. *munches on chocolate* Almost done with FF9, just a couple of sidequests to complete before I fly the Invincible to the Iifa Tree and what my sister calls Memoria (darn that Kuja! @_@) If you're playing it, the Stellazzio quest is *worth* the trouble, that is a *lot* of gil ladies and gents... also if anyone's got the Japanese text of that little poem Kuja spouts in the public square in Alexandria right before the extremely spoiler summons sequence in the beginning of the third disc, please do send it to me. I'd really like to know. Scarlet hue, indeed... *snerks*

FF9 yaoific officially exists BTW. Remiel *called* it totally too. Damn him. :P

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