**In every anime that features high school life to some degree or form, there will be a Judo Guy. Alternately, there will be a Kendo Guy. This would not be worthy of note if it were not always the *same* Judo/Kendo Guy, modulo the style of the anime itself. Kuno differs from Saionji only insofar as Ranma Nibunnoichi differs from Shoujo Kakumei Utena - considerably, but you see what I mean.
Friday, October 19, 2001 08:46 p.m.
Was in the Shatner cafeteria by noon, doing Japanese homework and drinking raspberry-scented black tea. I'm trying to cut down on coffee: not so much anything else, but I find coffee unpalatable unless it's cut with half a pint of cream, whereas I don't put anything in my tea at all (I have my pride as a child of the Yangtze loess ^_^). Dairy fat clogs up the system, and excess caffeine ruins my fine motor skills. So now I carry tea bags with me, on the days when I'm not sleepy enough to require drastic stimulation, and beg hot water from the Veggirama emporium at a cost of exactly nothing.
Twelve-thirty was Japanese class - you see my infallible sense of planning! - and David got his briefcase back. I must explain. My friend David did his Japanese oral a few weeks back on: Rurouni Kenshin, a creative and romantic interpretation of a pivotal period in Japanese history. ("Shinsengumi wa Shinsengumi, ookami wa ookami, soshite...") When Hasegawa-sensei expressed an interest, he arrived at the next class with a battered brown leather briefcase marked "Tenshinhan", which (when he flipped it open in the furtive yet businesslike manner of a courier in suspicious monies) turned out to contain the entire RK manga series in Japanese. Sensei just finished reading it today. I imagine Dave'll try to sl0re her on Tokyo Babylon next, as he hasn't finished X. (He's at volume 13 or so, working through the Japanese on his own and bien sage about not spoilering himself. Been at it for years as a matter of fact, but was sidetracked onto Kenshin after the first few volumes, and then read TB on my advice. When he restarted X he skipped right to #8 because he "wanted to find out what would happen to Subaru". It's all so cute I haven't the heart to spoiler him, though the temptation is terrible.)
Another girl did *her* oral on: similarities and differences between Crayon Shin-chan and Doraemon, today. I'd do Utena, but I'm not certain I could explain the thing in an hour in *English*, let alone a fourth language. -_- My oral component is terrible, but that's par for the course. It took me eight years to really learn to speak French properly, and now that I'm at McGill the whole lot's going roight downhill again.
After that was Networks homework - highlight of which was the diagram of a LAN switch's 16-to-6 knockout concentrator that took an hour and a half to draw and made my ruler hand ache - and then I took my discman (Gackt) and my purple polar-fleece jacket (still too warm for the black biker leathers) and a Mackintosh apple in a plastic bag, and made my way down to Chinatown to return the Tohjoh Asami I borrowed on Tuesday afternoon.
Things Sabina saw downtown that made her wish she had a slush fund:
- the Noir TV soundtrack
- the Gravitation remix soundtrack
- the Cowboy Bebop movie soundtrack
- Joe Hisaishi's collected music for Takeshi Kitano films
- the new Garbage album (which sounds nothing like the old Garbage, but Shirley's still there so it doesn't matter)
- the new Tea Party album (which has a song titled "The Master And Margarita", so I'm more or less obliged to buy it)
- and posters of Lain, for once.
On the manga front: the Tohjoh Asami. Fluffy shoujo BL, not pr0n (I find her hardcore stuff creepy as all get out); no-plot-what-so-ever. Runs off that pot-boiler topos of modern fluffy shoujo, the Straight Guy In Slightly Gay Circumstances. (Alternately, the Straight Girl Pretending To Be A Guy In... you see.) In this case, guy at private boy's school in love with female twin of roommate. Roommate and twin think it a riot to dress as each other on occasion and play the other side of the fence. Guy confused; so are we. Rufus Shinra (no, really) turns in a cameo appearence as the yakuza dad of yet another roommate, who competes with the Judo Guy** for the attentions of the first roommate (not the twin), and then there's the guy who followed yakuza son all the way from Osaka, and the scary dorm head, and so forth ad infinitum or at least the fourth tankoubon. The boys are cute; the brain is on the hook. When I have time I'll go back to Five Star Stories. ^^;
And then back to school to implement the telephone book as a full trie from RandomAccessFile, with a stop at the Bay's counter to spritz my gauze scarf with L'Heure Bleue. ^_^ It's the only Guerlain perfume I like, really, but I like it a lot. I imagine that it's the scent of something sweet and antique and French, like Madame de Montespan's powder on the premiere night of a Lully ballet.
"There's something satisfying about dealing with a seemingly prurient subject in a nice, dry, academic way."
(He says 'emoticon' sounds like a sort of Roman prefect. I like this man.)
Friday, October 19, 2001 02:02 a.m.
And 'fore the mind goes entirely
Charmian: but I love the music of Hana Yori Dango! It's what makes the show for me. Those classical upswellings of stringed melodrama, those violins in full-flight... the music tells me: see, this is opera, love and sadness distilled to their very essences. Don't think of it as the facile romantic entanglements of the hopelessly young, or you'd have to say the same about R&J or Rosenkavalier. *Certainly* don't exercise your faculty of irony. Time and place for everything. HYD is a show you have to let yourself take seriously, for it's then that it blossoms into something sweet and funny and affecting. Of course, with my usual brand of perversity I like *both* Doumyouji and Rui, which gives me tolerance for Tsukushi's travails if nothing else.
Kat: I have no idea if copping out the end is typical of Kay or not, Sarantine is all of him I've read. ^_^ I'll probably attempt Fionavar once I scrape together enough time, as I'm confident enough of the man now to place myself in his hands for a tale of High Fantasy. (It's sad, really. When did I stop trusting in the inherent ability of published authors to cradle me and enchant me? Nowadays I have to test them out, like a pair of new boots or a rented sedan. I think I'll go read Shirley Manson's journal instead. Don't you wish that Angelina Jolie kept one of these?)
Friday, October 19, 2001 01:05 a.m.
Closing the barn door
(This is what I get for blogging while half-asleep. When will I ever learn the dangers?) ...I didn't promise y'all redhead crossover hell, really I didn't. Lorraine, stop laughing. They come out and stroll about on the movie set like the lot's their property, and soccer around furry pellets of mad content. They don't dare to do any such thing when I'm lucid. Damned figments of my imagination.
Tay: no need to explicate, I wasn't being snarky. ^^; Becki can set out as many restrictions as she likes; the contest is hers to judge and the clearer she is about what she wants to see, the better for the contestants in the end. It's just that I can't remember seeing any other fic contest with *that* sort of restriction. It's been a source of amusement, these last couple of rounds, wondering which pairings would be verboten next... all right, I live a quiet life making square and curly braces, no need to elaborate further. XD And my apologies if you don't want to be fused (or alternately, for making you sound like a game-show host): it's just easier than typing 'Talya-and-Becki', which is how I refer to you in real life anyway.
All these recent arguments and rebuttals make me feel quite wretched. Sasoiuke response to seme displays (wakaru hito wa wakaru, ne) - plus the other night I found yet *another* "Top Ten Things I Hate About..." list that purported to be inspired by mine. I'm half of a mind that I never should have written the thing. I've never gotten flamed for it, mind you; although people have told me it was *awfully* mean but awfully funny as well, and that they agreed with me. It's just that... well, I read it now, and for every item on the list I can think of a story that
a) makes me poing all over and
b) violates that rule,
and usually more than one. (Well, except for the text breaks and the weepy Wufei. No one's convinced me yet that weepy Wufei isn't inherently execrable, and it may be a worthwhile exercise to attempt.) This is why - do my readers notice this? - I almost never rant in print. It's an invitation to be made to eat one's own words, with dressing. I bite the tips of my fingers when I feel the urge.
(And sometimes the daemon-ridden software will pull Setsuna for PuffyAmiYumi's "Love So Pure"; and sometimes it will pull Kinomoto Sakura for "Pink Spider". I should blog hide one of these days. Then we could all share in the psychedelic pink spider goodness! Ahem.)
Thursday, October 18, 2001 10:57 a.m.
Sabina, not asleep, attempts musefic
So taybeck* puts up this little RPG fanfiction contest, with the usual taybeck-ish arcane restrictions on pairings and who-can't-be-uke. (What if I had a *good* Hojo story? Well, okay, the only Hojo I like is D-Hojo and I'm certain the canonical character has clammy palms...) Which is all very well and good, etc. I don't write for fic contests; only did it once, because I'd always sorta wanted to write for the Aesthe Fic Contest, and it damn well nearly killed me. But--
--they didn't put any restrictions on crossovers. Crossovers are encouraged. Even anime crossovers.
Reno: ... *big shit-eating grin*
Ohhh, dude, no. No. Absolutely not. Outta the question.
Schu: But it's a Douglas Adams riff. *wheedle* I know what you're thinking, luv...
Damned straight you do - you're a figment of my imagination! >_<
Nuriko: I'm starting a betting pool. How far do you expect them to get from Ground Zero? Ten metres? A hundred metres? Twoonie!
Rufus: *hands over bi-coloured gil* They'd never go a hundred metres; the boy can read minds and Reno's is one-track. It's only about five metres from the vending machine to the first gym mat, by the way. You may want to modify those odds.
Crawford: I *know*, but I'm not telling.
...They're all conspiring against me.
*Some time in the past month I thought through this little hyphenation problem I have and decided it would be 'taybeck' and 'llamaten'. On the universally-acknowledged principle that What Works For FF8 Works For Real Life, of course, and without consulting the actual people in question. I can do that, because (as Golitzinsky said Angus said right before he took'im to the place where the naked girl asked to be his footstool), "Hey, don't worry - it's me!"
Thursday, October 18, 2001 01:45 a.m.
Speaking of Christianity and barbarism
On the novel front: the end of Guy Gavriel Kay's "Sarantine Mosaic". So. Finally, a fantasy author who understands the why of the thing. Well - it's the Eastern Roman Empire he's riffing off of, so he left out the part about Western secularism and how Imperial Romans map onto the current North American psyche without a hitch - not to mention the *really* bloody gladiatorial sports. (Digression. I loved the movie "Gladiator". It confirmed me in my dearest personal philosophy-inna-nutshell: to wit, human nature hasn't changed an iota in two thousand years, it's just human ingenuity that advanced far enough to give us computer graphics. And as a bonus, well, it had Joaquin Phoenix in mascara and full-blown sister-complex.) But what Kay did do - the Ozymandias-esque mono no aware of an empire at its height - the fleeting glory of human achievement, love and art, the desire for immortality, the conflict between humanism and religious faith - he did with lyricism, with intelligence, and with a *vengeance*. Dear God, that last half of the last volume! ^^; It was all set-up until then. In fact, if you're the littlest bit conversant with the relevant history you spot his foreshadowing from miles away (unlike 90% of fantasy authors, Kay writes geopolitical and court intrigue that's completely plausible, i.e. very cleverly predictable), but you can't quite believe he'd go through with it. Like CLAMP with Tokyo Babylon: Kay has the guts and presumption to break my heart, and racks up points for it like mad.
...Which is why I didn't like the end. I mean, the very end-end. Let's go off and find happiness together, after all *that*? Geez, shoot me now. Let Crispin marry Shirin ten years down the line, if you hafta, and *bloody* well let Alixana stay AWOL. Don't deduce from this that I dislike Alixana, because in fact I'm overly enamoured with her. More than with Valerius, and that takes some doing. I don't want to know what happens, because then I can *imagine*. :)
But that's a nitpick. Really. The duology is worth it just for the chariot racing, which is - are you sitting down? - better than Ben Hur. Speaking as someone who (at 12) stopped reading after the chariots in that'un, because the lovey-dovey Victorian romance bit was untenable after what I now recognize as the slashy goodness of said racetrack climax. And, of course, I was too young to *know* that the mother and the sister were going to be miracled by Christ: I thought they were going to die. It was only thinking about it years afterward that I realized the leprosy was a set-up for the eventual conversion of the entire family, because God forbid the protagonists should all stay Jewish at the end. -_-; So then I went back and read it, and lo and behold it did exactly what I thought it would. Bradley Crawford's got nuffin' on me.
(Do I want to re-read the Sarantine Mosaic with the Gladiator OST on repeat? *Do* I? As Pierre Elliott Trudeau said, just watch me.)
Wednesday, October 17, 2001 02:14 p.m.
Back to the human world
I slept for seventeen hours straight. Could have slept for longer, really. Don't remember what I dreamt, except that it was about Sailor Moon, and long. Three extra seasons' worth, involving Indian guru grandmothers and Ridge Racer... I used to think that dreams were the purpose of sleep. Your body gets physical rest, and your brain goes off and does -- this. To classify the experiences of the day, perhaps, or some other unknown purpose, but whether you remembered or not the dreaming had to happen. Nowadays I don't quite think that's it: it feels more as if my consciousness is being shunted away, given something to play with in the background while time-set daemons emerge to run their own mysterious routines. I'm reminded of the beginning pages of "Count Zero", where one of the characters gets blown up and has to be put together by the square inch; his mind fritters away months in a simstim construct of an ideal New England boyhood... What the daemons *do* I'm not sure, but I suspect it's something like a defragmentation job. Memory cleanup. Bloody inefficient: maintenance subroutines take almost as long as reg'r operation - but how much more information does the human brain have to process in a day compared to a SunSparc, gigabyte for gigabyte?
I haven't answered *any* mail for a week. Busy. I'd *like* to be able to talk to my friends - not to mention that the weblog attracts random questions. More and more of late. Everything from "can you help me with this C++ assignment" to "where can you find TK albums in Montreal?" (The answer to the first is, "You don't want my help in C++, trust me"; to the second, "None since the one big CD mart in Chinatown folded, but if your conscience is cast-iron T'ien-Hua upstairs from Saint-Laurent corner René-Levesque has the occasional Globe bootleg - and if your luck holds a kosher import. You'll know if it costs fifty bucks.") I like to answer these, as you see, but *not* after fifteen-hour debugging sessions. I am human, despite all the rumours to the contrary.
Suze: clear and simple, really. By J's definition of 'slash', you're a slasher. By your own definition, you're not. By Fiona's definition... well, I'm not sure how Fiona's comes into it, but I know it looks nothing like yours. ^^; There's no point in eating eyeballs if you don't even have a common semantic basis to eat off of: you might as well argue the boundaries of slash with someone who's thinking of Freddy Krueger. (And this should have gone in e-mail, except that posting it saves me a paragraph in about three different e-mails and a couple of corporeal discussions. I *heart* my weblog.)
Speaking of Fiona, thanks for the info. ^_^ I was pretty sure the piece was taken from somewhere else, considering that there's no character named 'Yumeji' in the movie... Ah, Wong Kar-Wai, how I love thee. Do you know that I'm the only person in my family who liked "Ashes of Time"?
Tuesday, October 16, 2001 03:32 a.m.
I'm at school. 3:41am on the red-eye coding train, just me and the two dozen FreeBSD stations humming in lab 105n, twenty-four/seven. My best guess is that I'm the only human creature left in the entire building complex (unless the lady guard's still on duty over by the physical sciences library). It's creepy as all get go. At least my wretched program is up and limping; I'm generating examples for the documentation and analysis now. It need hardly be said that the project is due tomorrow. Early tomorrow. Make that today. If I had another week I could have made the algorithm all pretty with a 2D Gaussian kernel smooth... but there's so much I could do with an extra week. There always is.
I have a book review and a movie too, but chances are those won't happen until Saturday. Bummer, as xv tells me when I try to open an empty file.
Monday, October 15, 2001 08:52 p.m.
...This is going to be the first all-nighter of the school year.
Friday, October 12, 2001 02:20 a.m.
Archived, as you see
Look, ma, no Japanese songs this time! Aren't you proud of me? ^^;
Dinner parties in a row this weekend, it transpires. Horrid - if I gain any more weight I won't fit my clothes anymore. This is a purely practical consideration. I haven't budgeted for buying pants.
Comments :: Starts off slow and solemn, rather haunting - and devolves into bouzouki. ^_^ Greek folk is among the most danceable music in the world, if you don't have two left feet like me. I stay on the sidelines with the roast lamb and the retsina...
to know that one is living a moment of intense perfection; the
sensation of drowning in beauty. Also, getting a favorable blurb
on your work from a writer you yourself respect *^_^*
that time is slipping through my fingers, that there is nothing
I can do to stop it - and that perhaps it is my fault
Credit for this one goes to Tan-chan and her copy of Ja!Weiss #4 (I hail thee O volume of the unbreakable spine). I'd honour the doujinshika as well, if I had any idea how to pronounce her name kanji: she had about a dozen strips in the book altogether, and I liked her style immediately. It's... offbeat. Pointy-scribbly art, slightly wacked sense of humour. Like a college-paper comic - except with Schwartz. :P I didn't get all the jokes, and I couldn't translate all the ones I understood properly, but what can you do. And for some reason, the image of Schuldich and Crawford shopping for jumbo packs of single-ply at Wal-Mart strikes me as *extremely* funny...