Comments :: The insert song during the first TB OAV, remixed so that - in lieu of the slow acoustic strumming and melancholy of the original - it now sounds like nothing so much as a perky young sarariman karaoking the Beatles after hours. You want to sing right along with him, loudly. XD (I'd say the lyrics were Engrish, but I'm reminded that Sir Paul once considered including the couplet "Scrambled eggs / I love your legs" in Yesterday...)
Comments :: Found off - believe it - MP3.com, once upon a time. It's a Japanese indie concept band, and this is their best song. Simple, elegaic, great fuzz-guitar riff. I've wanted to use it for a fic, often enough (currently the associated idea is YamiEi, but one never knows).
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
"Laki" with hypercubes. Ha-ha, aren't I clever? I swear I'm so sharp I cut myself. XD
(For the uninitiated, Ballanche #45 Fatima Fate Lachesis - in her evolved form, not the
one you see above - is the Goddess of Time, and mitochondrial Eve of the future god-race that
will arise from the dead end of Joker-system humanity. Hence the tesseract, or four-dimensional hypercube, to represent her dominion. Did I mention this was a mech series?)
I've always liked the word tesseract anyway. There's a sci-fi anthology goes by that name.
Tesseract tesseract tesseract...
I think everyone's jumping into new fandoms. It's the shortening days, or something; a way of surviving November... you'll notice the Aussies and Singaporeans are in no wise affected. :P
I'm stuck at ep.24 on IniD, with Preppie Boy and Tofu-ya Boy about to race (but hopeful of being able to wrap up at least First Stage at the Concordia U Anime Club meet Saturday after next). You know I'm obsessed, because I've started giving all the characters mildly insulting nicknames**. I'm not sure what to say about it, really. Tattered remnants of my sanity inform me that it's not *really* a show to recommend to the populace at large: out of all the people I know in RL who've seen it - girls and boys included - only Tania fell for it as hard as I did, and that for different reasons. For her it was about the driving, first and foremost, and then she discovered there was a yaoi fandom. ^^; Me? I just have a weak spot right *there* in my psychological make-up. For... for the world it portrays, I guess. For the pure simplicity of the thing. One more word and I shall start ranting on about imprinting fandoms and old John Travolta movies, and you'd have to commit me for good. I haven't been really unreasonable over a series for *years*. I've forgotten what it does to one's brain chemistry...
**...Although something tells me the Japanese don't use "preppie" as the derogatory term it always was in my youth. There must be a word for the *concept*, though. How can there not be, when Ryousuke is the breathing and walking incarnation thereof? (One also wonders, peripherally, what on earth he would send to ask someone out on a date, being that a dozen red roses with card seems to be a reserved concept... but street racers don't need girlfriends, deshou? -_-;)
Wednesday, November 21, 2001 12:26 a.m.
The IniD telly series is, I understand, 26 episodes.
Tan-chan's CDs contain episodes #1-24.
...This could only end in tears.
(Consider the word out: Sabina and Tania will do *anything* for Second Stage. I'd even copy down the story the little fic gremlin in my head dictated to me yesterday, for which I disclaim responsibility in advance. Most of my enthusiasms have been manageable this past year, but this is not going to be a reasonable fandom. I'd have to blog you an essay to explain the personal idiosyncratic wherefores thereof...)
And and and I still can't find the dratted music. Sure, crack-laden Japanese fanart sites will track me down on their own, but MP3s of the opening and ending themes? God forbid. -_-; So I'm looping the *other* Avex Trax tunes I've collected over the years instead. They're all the same. Curse you, Tetsuya Komuro. *weeps*
Tuesday, November 20, 2001 12:41 p.m.
I swear I was only looking for MP3s... ^^;
In the category of Terror-Inducing Fan Dedication:
Doujin-lovesim. Doujin-lovesim. Are these people INSANE? (But of course they are. Luscious art**, seriously unwell minds. The essays section will hurt your brain if you read Japanese.) The development time/energy alone boggles the mind, even assuming the existence of some RPGmaker-type software that takes care of the low-level stuff. This is not the first one of its type I've come across, actually, but the other times I'd always blinked and assumed my shifty Japanese comprehension was playing tricks on me. But no, there you are, forty-or-so CanDollars plus shipping by international order form. This might just be the new fad in fannish productivity. O_o; The 60,000$ question is, will they run on N.A. Windows?
**You'll click on that link even if you've never seen a pixel's worth of Initial D in your life, I know. Be warned that there's some *serious* shoujo-fication going on, and that Takahashi Ryousuke never wears outfits like that, *ever*. The usual, I suppose...
Monday, November 19, 2001 10:11 p.m.
Saturday noon-time: went to see Harry Potter movie.
I wanted to do that, too. ^_^; It was welling up in me by the time the credits rolled, but I couldn't. Foiled by the massive inhibition of my own adult status. Everyone else in the theatre was either seven years old or the mother of someone who was; crying babies, the works. >_< I had to settle for making muffled squeaky sounds and sliding down in my seat every time Alan Rickman opened his mouth. It's just as well that scene-stealing isn't a real crime, or the man'd have one foot on the step of the gallows. Loved the actors in general. (Hope Warner *pays* them more next time, the greedy capitalist bastards.) Hagrid - wonderful. The children - lovely. I've not often been to a film adaptation of a favorite novel where I could get behind the casting whole-heartedly; I was surprised at how much of a difference it made. It took *hearing* that sneer to make me realise that I've had teachers come in on first day of class and give grosso modo that speech. (I won't detail what my historical reaction to such teachers was. That would just be embarrassing.) To be honest, the lesson was hammered home even before the HP movie started - with the LotR preview. Damned, when I saw the elvish words come up on the gold aglow and fiery, methought I was fair to keeling over in a swoon. *_* Waiting a year for the HP movie is all very well, but LotR was more than a decade in coming for me, and probably thirty years for some folks. Did anyone else note that they seem to have given Arwen a more pro-active part than she had in the books? Had to be done for modernity's sake, I suppose...
Of course, then you have the true joy of the devoted fan: nitpicking for three hours over the changes they made and shouldn't have. XD There were indeed a couple of subtle structural changes made near the end that I didn't like (as they detracted from what I perceive to be the deductive, symmetrical quality of the novels**), but on the whole not so terrible. The direction wasn't so hot (not that there were high hopes on that front); the music was awfully invasive and should have been done away with in three quarters of the scenes, possibly barring an oft-used theme that sounded oddly like the Snowfly Forest in Vagrant Story, and that made the troll fight particularly reminiscent of the wrong fandom. O_o; ("Check the affinities on that wand, Ron!")
Saturday night: Lorraine's birthday party. Four girls in evening wear, one quilt, red wine, Gravitation. :P That show is parody, y'know: a nice poke at the common run of yaoi relationshippy series and/or shoujo band-in-the-making series, both of which genres take themselves far too seriously for their own good. (And thanks to that early scene between Hiro and Shuuichi, I don't think I'll ever be able to look a box of strawberry Pocky in the face again.)
The animation was better than I remember from sjcon too. Pity L's computer kept giving up the ghost...
Sunday, mostly: Initial D. I am so enamoured with this series it's frankly embarrassing. I won't bore you with digressions right now, as this seems to be a mostly-HP-related entry, but prepare to hear about this one. A lot. Oh, for hot rods and late-nite diners and dollar Cokes with a high-school boy... Must watch more. But I have more! :D
Further HP-related notes. *Kicks at chair legs* The Japanese seem to agree with me on the Sirius x Lupin thing. (Rigged game, I know. I only appeal to Asian tastes because I have'em.) ShiriRuu, they say... kawaii deshou? Maybe if I adopt the Nipponese terminology my sister'll take longer to catch me out, as she inevitably will at this rate. (She probably has already. She probably doesn't care. She has yaoi-fangirl sensibilities if nothing else, and my money's not on the nothing else. For all I know she spends her pedagogical days reading Snape/Draco on ff.net. The idea of her finding me at HP-slash still embarrasses me livid.)
Also, Sarah blogged a link to a lucid plea by Japanese fanartists against unwarranted redistribution of their work. Now I feel guilty, and I haven't even done anything. ^^; (But I have been tempted. Ye gods, I have been tempted. Time to brush up on the art of writing polite kiss-up e-mails in one's fourth language...)
**Rowlings writes a good, old-fashioned, British schooldays novel - crossed with a good, old-fashioned, British deductive mystery novel. It's my belief that one *is* actually given all the information necessary to figure out the twist at the end of every HP book; I'd like to hear from someone who went at them in the fashion of Agatha Christie and solved the mystery. I never did, but then I'm not much good at Agatha Christie either.
Saturday, November 17, 2001 08:37 a.m.
A Gustafsson passage, to make a point
Together with the quiet Professor Jantz from Munich, they strolled along the white beach, dressed only in bathing suits.
They had swum a mile or so, but then she'd got frightened by some huge dorsal fins several hundred yards out to sea.
According to the professor, they were not sharks but dolphins.
All three sat down on a silver-colored, sea-polished log and watched the sun slowly enter an immense cloud bank in the northwest, possibly a storm center forming out in the Carribean.
"The year 1866," said the professor, a slightly eccentric specialist in public affairs, a visiting professor at Harvard that fall, "1866 is a hard, dark year in the history of Bavaria. Through the unsuccessful war with Prussia, Bavaria definitely loses her hegemony among the German-speaking peoples.
"King Ludwig II, absolutely bereft of all his illusions about ever being able to play a real historical role, bereft of his friendship with Richard Wagner, who has been driven from Munich after the scandalous affair with Cosima, the wife of the conductor von Bülow, totally bereft of belief in anything even remotely resembling a normal life since his betrothal has been broken off, King Ludwig II of Bavaria leaves his capital and settles, first at the alpine pleasure palace Lindenhof, and several years later at Neuschwanstein, furnished with even greater and more lavish splendor.
"These castles are remarkable, you see, because they are not buildings in the usual sense. They are representations of buildings, three-dimensional fantasies about a life that has never been lived anywhere."
"A sort of Disneyland?"
"Yes. But in real earnest. There is not a normal lavatory, not a closet, not even a proper working stove in either of the castles.
"The King's bedroom is a show bedroom, in one case modeled on Versailles and in the other on Spanish Romanesque examples.
"All normal life, kitchens, lavatories, all the stage machinery is relegated to the cellars.
"Gradually, he forces the servants to appear masked when they have to wait on him; at Lindenhof, he has a table that disappears through the floor of the closet by mechanical means when the meal is finished.
"The rest is mirrors, ivory, Chinese vases clinging like alpinists to high baroque shelves beneath ceilings where neo-Raphaelite angels and putti chase each other toward twilight clouds.
"But mirrors above all, mirrors, silver-coated masterpieces of mirrors that deepen each room endlessly, repeating the gold and the stucco until you get dizzy."
"So Ludwig never got a chance to enter his own life?"
"My God, how you must have suffered to become so wise, little girl," said the professor appreciatively. "Precisely. He was trapped in the image of a lifestyle, trapped in the common idea of royalty, of Versailles, of King Arthur's court, and trapped there forever in such a way that of course he never had a chance to become King Ludwig.
"He is, so to speak, a king whose entire fame consists of the fact that he tried to be something else."
"Possibly with one exception, if you'll allow: the dark and stormy night by the shore of the Starnbergersee, when he strangles his attendant psychiatrist and then himself disappears into the waves."
"It's all a story of a consumer, isn't it?"
"Of course. He used up tremendous amounts of the best. The best marble: the black. The best ivory: the white. Gold leaf. Only silvered mirrors, mirrors with silver wire, would do. Of course, he kept tens of thousands of artisans occupied and raised the level of Bavarian crafts."
"The first consumer? The first suburbanite? The first holder of a Diner's Club card? The first one to make a concerted effort to live inside the image instead of..."
"Yes, instead of what?"
This last was said by the woman, quite surprisingly. She was engaged in a careful inspection of her inside left thigh, looking for something that might be a dangerous mosquito bite, perhaps malarial.
This distracted both of her companions to the bursting point.
"Don't worry, probably it's just me who did it," he said, putting an arm across her shoulders. She immediately shrugged it off.
She was seriously disturbed by this conversation.
"Consumer," he said. "O.K. Someone who lives inside the image of a lifestyle and who himself equals zero. But there are other possible analyses."
"Which ones?" Professor Jantz asked. (He still felt rather excited by this business of the inside white thigh.) There were little, downy, golden hairs that showed up very plainly right now, when the sun had worked through a gap in the voluminous clouds.
"Oh, I imagine him on a cold, dark Bavarian autumn day, sitting by his leaded window, looking out across two valleys and the distant lake, knowing that he's nothing in particular. Naturally, that's what's making him vain, dreamy, and devoted to splendiferous display to an absolutely mad degree: he is the first Wittelsbach without any qualities.
"Of course, he almost has to go under when Wagner leaves him.
"He sits there, looking out over the autumnal valley where scarcely a single leaf remains. The sky is gray, the pack of carefully selected Pomeranians is barking in the kennels, and he can hear it all the way up here, by the leaded window. He's sitting by his leaded window, watching a flock of black crows whirling across the valley, and he is literally nothing..."
"What do you mean by that?" the woman asked. "Don't you want to swim back? I feel like a drink."
"I mean that perhaps it was all simply a way of surviving November."
"Now what do you mean?"
"I mean that a way of surviving November is necessary in everybody's life. It's an art, isn't it? God, how trivial he was, this Bavarian king!"
--Lars Gustafsson, "Stories of Happy People"
The book is an artifact of a philosophy class I took, first year of CEGEP. I've forgotten how much I liked it.
But yes - of course - a way of surviving November. In these latter days in North America it's become rather simple: we pretend that it's December. Christmas, specifically. The worrisome thing is that I buy into it lock, stock and barrel. ^^;
Went to bed at ten; my biological clock woke me up at five, the wretched thing. So I answered my Shioulmail in the morning, just like everyone else for once, and changed the MP3s on the sidebar. And now I wait. Harry Potter matinée in less than three hours! ^_^v
Friday, November 16, 2001 09:02 a.m.
And now, awake for the first time in six days
I want you to disregard everything I've said so far this week, just in case. ^^; Gods, the brain... Happy Diwali anyway, folks - I count it the official start of the holiday season this year. There may not be blogging for a day or two from this evening on: I'm taking my sister and her friend Svet** to the Paramount tomorrow for the HP movie matinée, and straight to Lorraine's b-day party afterward. Considering calling up this or the other of my fellow fans and having them join us, so I won't be the minority in the face of the kids... Is it a cool or a loser-ish thing to have a much-older sibling geeking over one's own kid-lit books, I wonders? I have no idea. When I was thirteen I didn't know any twenty-year-olds at all.
I am told the tables in the current layout go awry in Netscape. I have no fix that wouldn't break up the picture and IME make it look worse, so there is naught more to do beside acknowledge that I am aware of the problem (and, like Sarah, continually astonished by Netscape's inability to count pixels. Autism or sadism, indeed.)
**A conundrum for the geneticists among us. What inheritance factor could account for Chinese siblings separately developing Russian best friends who sl0re them on '70s Alexander Dumas musicals? What chromosome, pray, and to what ultimate advantage in the process of natural selection? ^^;
Thursday, November 15, 2001 12:01 p.m.
Tired. Did not go to bed last night; worked from home, but that's no excuse. I was chipper this morning too, but it's all worn to shreds. Fun while it lasted, though. The sororial unit and I were huddled on the bus and merrily geeking over HP, tLotR, Mary Stewart and more. (Found a ragged paperback of "The Crystal Cave" in the free disposal bin of the McGill used books sale the other day - what sort of right eejit tosses Mary Stewart into the bin, said I to myself, and commandeered it for my sister's benefit. They keep on making her read Marion Zimmer Bradley at school, you see. Not that there's anything *too* much the matter with MZB, but the goddess-worship feminist-revision POV gets much after the first tome or two. Of course, I read tCC's trilogy when I was *very* young, and it inflicted me with a couple more demented sexual models on top of the Menolly/Sebell thing, the Father Ralph thing, etc. Why Merlin/Vivian ate my brain so much as a pre-teen I don't know, but it did. Maybe it was the cross-dressing. Gods, am I still in parentheses?)
Vaguely stunned that the Harry Potter movie is opening tomorrow. Already? Must wander down to the Paramount after this and find out when and how it's playing on Saturday (Friday night's a no go), or the imouto-chan will have my hide. Dear, dear child. It does the heart good to watch her, this shorter and more outgoing version of me - the latter, methinks, stemming not so much from a fundamental difference of personality as from her social context. My sister goes to Geek School. They take three languages courses plus enriched French lit, the class average in math hovers around 90% - and the teacher hands out history project specs drawn in the style of Fushigi Yuugi. I think I'm safe in stating that hers is the only high school in Montreal where the kids cover X Japan for their end-of-year concert. In my sister's life experience, being an RPG-villain-'shipping fansub-sl0ring chick otaku makes one POPULAR AT SCHOOL. With any luck she'll end up at MIT, and never have to find out that the rest of the world runs on a different set of pistons. ^^;
I did Latin in HS, me, but I've forgotten nearly all of it. Enough to jog alongside the incantations in Buffy, or puzzle through the odd legal reference or pompous inscription. And not a word of Greek ancient or modern except for 'retsina' and 'souvlaki' (and that because I'm a greedy piece who's noted for pigging out during Orthodox Easter). Still, this would be a nice crackbunny-Swinburne-ish poem title: Antheia...
I am in love with Kristin's version of Sirius, specifically. I don't have the heart to dock her points, not when I couldn't possibly write him like that. You'd have to be a *real* dog person. I am not. I'm only truly fond of them in literature, like the collie novels I read endlessly as a ten-year-old. I could take the easy way out and blame it on the interestingly-shaped scar left by German shepherd canines on my left wrist, but that was a misunderstanding. I thought the back lawn was common property to our various condos; he didn't. It's really a credit to his powers of recollection that he handed me the belated lesson in trespassing a month later, on the street. ^^;
Thursday, November 15, 2001 12:32 a.m.
Kono kyoku to kimete kaigan zoi no michi tobasu kimi nari "Hoteru Kariforunia"
Sore naraba gonen matou to kimi de nai otoko ni iwaseteiru kissaten
"30 de ore wa shinu yo" to iu kimi to sore nara wa mo sore made ikin
It takes reading Tawara Machi in Japanese to realise exactly how nifty her use of language is. And how utterly, despairingly beyond my level. What the heck is "kimi de nai"? Or is it "kimi denai"? "Kimi de wa nai"? And does "ikin" stand for "ikinakya"? (It had better, or I'm not understanding this.) And... "kyoku to kimete"?
I should have done Representations of Judeo-Christian Religion in Popular Media, or something. -_-;
Also re-reading Swinburne: the first series of "Poems and Ballads". (I'm not into much of his latter output. Who *cares* about the political situation in 19th-century Italy?) No-no, early Swinburne for me, with his Sappho and his lyricism and his fetishes. Not only was the man a masochist of the most classical order, he never met an alliteration he didn't like.
There go the loves that wither,
The old loves with wearier wings;
And all dead years draw thither,
And all disastrous things;
Dead dreams of days forsaken,
Blind buds that snows have shaken,
Wild leaves that winds have taken,
Red strays of ruined springs.
I defy my readers to find an instance in Swinburne where the word 'pleasure' is employed without 'pain' cropping up within three lines. He's one of those poets who have an obvious facility for pure versifying and chasing down a form, and reading "Dolores", "Faustine" etc. always procures me the alarming impression that he could have waxed on *forever*, if he didn't have a page limit or summat to stick to. Only man I can think of who was any decent with Sapphic strophes in English, either. It's like English haiku: a miserable exercise, although I'm told Sapphics run quite well in German. (Actually, if one wanted to be *really* cute and modern one could write Sapphic senryu and let the furrin forms be miserable together. Have the Adonic perform double duty as the first line in the 5/7/5. I'll leave that exercise to the latter-day Swinburnes. It'd be lyrical, that's for sure...)
A recommendation on the book front. If you're tiring of Wilkie Collins (you know who you are), you could do worse than to try Lady Braddon. "Lady Auxley's Secret" was quite the read - neither terribly mysterious nor shocking by modern-day standards, of course, but the eponymous antagonist was *delicious*. Braddon took the Victorian type that Ioana and I were ever fond of calling "Average Intelligence, Above-Average Looks" - the angelic, pure, girlishly-charming wide-eyed wax-doll of a heroine love-interest - attaches it to a pipe bomb and sets it off somewhere public and crowded. I'm guessing the subversiveness went over the heads of the critics of the time, or it would have received far more censure than it did. ^_^