reileen: (Default)
So, that GPS drawing I was babbling about in the previous entry? A horse A hoax. (Via [livejournal.com profile] holyschist.) :(

Lynn Viehal blogs about the reality of a Times Bestseller. (Via [livejournal.com profile] jimhines.)

***

I still owe giftmas presents to people, whoops. There's some I can ship out tomorrow once I pack 'em up tonight, but others will require a wee bit more browsing. Hopefully I can be done by this weekend.

***

Finished Mike Carey's Vicious Circle (which I enjoyed greatly) and Gail Carriger's Soulless (which was merely okay; I adore the cover design though).

To expand a bit on my reactions without devoting entire LJ posts to them:

Vicious Circle: Second installment in the Felix Castor series. Felix (whom I don't recall as having a physical description in the books, but even if it's there and I just forgot it, I will continue to amuse myself by imagining him as looking like Felix from the Golden Sun games) takes on an odd case where he has to find a missing ghost, but finds himself entangled up in Satanic plots to raise one of the most powerful demons of Hell. It's fairly obvious early on which demon it's going to be, and the Satanic cult in the novel itself is rather hokey. There's other more interesting things going on in the book, however: seeing the succubus Juliet kick some ass alongside Felix, the actual story behind the missing ghost and how it intersects with the Satanic cult story, and some worldbuilding stuff involving the legal status of ghosts. And - not to spoil it too much - but this is one of those novels where technically the good guy wins, and yet it has a completely depressing ending. I really enjoy Felix's character and this world, and I hope I can get my hands on the other novels.

Soulless: First book in the Alexia Tarabotti series. Takes place in a magical AU Victorian London. Alexia Tarabotti is a literally soulless spinster who accidentally kills a vampire in the first couple of pages of the novel. She didn't do it because she was soulless, though - it was the vampire's fault for being completely ignorant of his proper manners! Hijinks ensues as the local head of the supernatural bureau in this particular 'verse, Lord Maccon, tries to figure out what the hell is going on, among other things. A fun, fluffy read, though YMMV on the pseudo-Victorian tone and the romance. I wasn't as impressed by this as I thought I'd be, but I think I might check out the second book anyway (although the question of buying it or not is still up in the air).

I think I need to revamp the "books" tags into "authors" tags...
reileen: (Default)
I've had this link-o-llection lying around for almost a month now. orz

Best. Soda. Display. Ever.

Steampunk duel on YouTube. It's like Victorian-era Gundams duking it out!

[livejournal.com profile] yhlee talks about merely convincing your reader that a complex, multi-layered world exists, as opposed to SHOWING everything to the reader:

If you are trying for a certain kind of mimesis, the trick is in hinting: instead of playing the fool's game of trying to generate everything pixel by pixel, provide instead the key stuff and then a bunch of--best analogy I have here is fractal generators. Something small that generates something complex; and you are offloading a lot of world-generating functions to the reader (or gameplayer, etc.), who will take that fractal generator and produce the pixels for you.

[livejournal.com profile] jimhines offers up a list of Neil Gaiman "facts".

[livejournal.com profile] cleolinda explains that the problem with working for yourself or working freelance is that it's task-based as opposed to time-based, which changes how you perceive yourself to be "done" with work.

Should there be a manga canon?

***

Been getting used to a school schedule again. Finding myself dealing with less and more problems than I thought.

I recently finished a project for my 3-D Foundations class in which we had to create a "chair" using only two pieces of cardboard and hot glue. I put "chair" in quotes because, as the professor put it, it didn't have to look like a conventional chair, but it did need to function like one, supporting one person's weight. My initial idea was something involving a weird 3-D star-like form, but after hearing the professor discuss the architectural concept of a "decorated shed", I decided to be lazy and apply that concept to my project.



In this case, the place where you sit - the top of the main gear - is merely a 6"x6" square column that's 18" high and reinforced by an X-shaped structure on the inside. Everything else is just chewy, papery icing.







I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, actually. The problem is trying to figure out what to do with this thing once it's graded and I have to bring it home. I don't want to just chop it up and throw it away, but it's not like I have any room anywhere for that thing.
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
I found this lovely poem from the POV of an aswang:

I am the dark-hued bitch; see how wide my maw, my bloodmoon eyes,
And in daylight, see the tangles and knots of my riverine hair.
I am the bad daughter, the freedom fighter, the shaper of death masks.
I am the snake, I am the crone; I am caretaker of these ancient trees.
I am the winged tik-tik, tik-tik, tik-tik, tik-tik; I am close,
And from under the floorboards, the grunting black pig,
Cool in the dirt, mushrooms between my toes, I wait.
I am the encroaching wilderness, the bowels of these mountains;
I am the opposite of your blessed womb. I am your inverted mirror;
Guard your unborn children, burn me with your seed and salt,
Upend me, bend my body, cleave me beyond function. Blame me.










The author talks more about the mythology of the aswang in the blog entry. I need to do more research into the aswang and the babaylan...

-Reileen
why am I loved only when I'm gone?
reileen: (Default)
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I took the Myers-Briggs for a high school leadership conference something-or-other and I was classed as an INTJ. It describes me rather well for the most part, although I think my personality bleeds over into INTP territory as well.

I actually still have the booklet from that leadership conference that summarizes the different personality types, so here's what it says about INTJs and INTPs.

INTJs
Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance - for themselves and others.

INTPs
Seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.


***

I realize I've been slacking on the link-o-llections lately, but I hope this latest edition makes up for it!

Kit Whitfield has two interesting blog posts up about fictional villains: one on how she personally conceives of a villain/antagonist and one on various categories of fictional villainy. Writers on the flist, hop on over!

[livejournal.com profile] vyctori sent me this one a while back - the 10 Most Insane Child-Warping Moments of '80s cartoons.

XKCD exposes the truth of Amazon's Kindle 2!

The blog of a Las Vegas escort girl who actually does not hate her lifestyle! Obviously NSFW.

[livejournal.com profile] wadewilson presents "an instructional discourse on how best to avoid being petty, divisive and annoying to other people when enjoying an online role-playing game of any sort. For I have grown tired and weary of seeing people I like behave like unpleasant high-schoolers, and I am also weary of trying to stop foolish misconceptions from growing into utterly inane enmities".

Got some time to kill? Have some free sci-fi short stories.

This has to be one of the most amazing things from nature I've ever seen lately - a fish with a transparent head with eyes that rotate around inside the head. Holy shit, that is so cooooool!

[livejournal.com profile] eyecatching_art brings us the Stooge Lanterns. I would totally watch this show!

Finally, you don't Twitter about ongoing secret negotiations while they're in progress. You just don't.

***

Talking about music I've been listening to lately: Memoira (gothic symphonic rock), Karl Sanders (ambient rock with heavy Egyptian influences), Versailles (visual kei) )

***

Talking about music I've been working on: Like the Dew on the Leaves, Gospel of the Shadow of Nobody, Regretfully Yours/No Longer Yours Truly (Written Letter #2) )

***

HON301 paper due date got moved to next Tuesday! Rawk.

-Reileen
no creation without destruction, no destruction without creation
reileen: (reading - books)
I'm currently reading Empress by Karen Miller, and am a little under halfway through the 700+ page book. The story revolves around a village girl named Hekat, who is initially sold into slavery but soon proves to be a lot more special than that. While I like the world-building (non-Euro-flavored fantasy world FTW - I think this particular world, Mijak, has very faint echoes of Egypt in it?), I'm far less sold on Hekat herself, who is easily one of the most unsympathetic main characters I've ever run across in fiction. Yes, she was a slave and she had a hard life, so I understand why she's so bitter, hateful, and aloof, but there's almost no humanity in her - she has very few moments of doubt and weakness. Maybe it's a result of being godtouched in her world: Hekat's life revolves around serving the nameless god of her world. We do see that there is a palpable divine influence in Mijak, and so Hekat serving as "a slave to the god", as she herself put it, isn't so farfetched.

At the same time, because of this, Hekat's character rings shallow to me. She's only a vessel for the god; she has no wants or real needs outside of serving the god. Because of the one-dimensionality of her personality, we as readers have to turn to the overall external plot for a reason to read on, which is actually why I'm continuing to read the book. This book doesn't feel like it's about Hekat herself at all; it feels like it's about how Hekat ended up as this slave to the god. Essentially, it reads like a fanficcer trying to explain how a canonical Big Baddie became that way. Not in terms of quality or anything like that, but in terms of Hekat's character development, or lack thereof. And judging from the summaries to the other two books in the Godspeaker trilogy, which indicates that there's a change in the main character POV from Hekat to someone else, I half-wonder if Empress wouldn't have done better as a prequel apart from those other two books.

***

As a result to getting to campus late, I'm skipping ART105 at the moment, which I think either pushes me one absence closer to having the instructor drop my final class grade by one letter, or has already done so. (So even if I get an A in terms of classwork, my absences will drop that grade to a B.) It's already more than halfway through the quarter and I still end up being wildly inconsistent with what time I end up getting to LPC on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, well - I think I'll actually be able to score an A in ART200, and I'm almost certain I can get an A- for JPN105 and a B(-?) for HON301, so it shouldn't affect my GPA to the point where I'd lose my scholarship (cutoff is a 3.3; my GPA as it stands from last quarter is 3.486). At any rate, I should be able to make up for it with spring quarter. Here's hoping, anyway.

I finally got to meet with an A&D advisor this past Tuesday. It turns out that, yes, I will be able to feasibly graduate with a BA in art & design by spring 2010, so now I can write a request to my scholarship director to extend my scholarship and refer her to my A&D advisor for proof that I only need one more year at DePaul!

My schedule for next quarter looks like this -

MONDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

TUESDAY
ART227 Digital Imaging 8:30am - 11:15am
ART264 Typography I 5:45pm - 8:30pm

WEDNESDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

THURSDAY
ART227 Digital Imaging 8:30am - 11:15am
ART264 Typography I 5:45pm - 8:30pm

FRIDAY
JPN106 Intermediate Japanese III 10:50am - 11:50am
HAA115 Principles of Asian Art 2:20pm - 3:20pm

Pah, so much for never taking another 8:30am class after finishing with ANT120. But my advisor really stressed the importance of this course, since it's a foundation course in design theory, so I figured that I just gotta put up with it if I want to graduate. I'm also not exactly thrilled with having another huge gap of time between classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I think I can figure out how to deal with that. (Hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill?) I decided against taking my Honors Senior Seminar next quarter and thus finishing up my liberal arts requirements, because I still have to work on stuff for Artist Alley and I really do not need the stress of an Honors class on top of everything.

***

Working setlist for 2/21:

1. Bacchanalia (instrumental)
2. Triskaidekaphobia
3. Gravity (Vienna Teng cover)
4. Cold
5. Cynthia's Lullaby
6. Sphinx
7. Between the Lines
8. Almost

I'm not entirely sure of the total running time for this setlist, but I imagine that it's similar or even less than the setlist I drafted out in this entry. I might try to time it when I get home today instead of studying for a kanji quiz tomorrow. I actually had Vienna Teng's "Augustine" as the final song for a little bit, until I realized that 1) I needed to find a way to capture the bass part without killing my wrist and 2) I had to get a better set of pipes to sing the damn chorus. Then I switched to VT's "Harbor", but then realized that I might not have the stamina at the end to sing that particular song (again, especially for the chorus). So finally I decided that I'd just take the happiest-sounding original song I had and stick it at the end ("Almost" was initially #3). The Gods know the audience would probably need it after the emotastic, six-minute ballad that is "Between the Lines."

Dear Gods, I hope it's not freezing on the 21st. That would be horrible for playing "Gravity", "Sphinx", and "Almost." I think I might have to bring, like, a hot water bottle or something.

-Reileen
well, I know it's wrong, why do I do it?
reileen: (Default)
Common mistakes made in fiction about guns.

At Fandom Wank, we have an epic wank revolving around an AU Twilight fic in which Edward and Bella are both human and in which the word "orgasm" was massacred by the search-and-replace function, being instead substituted by the word "unicorn". This has to be one of the funniest things I've seen out of Twilight fandom so far! "CHAAAAARLIE! CHAAAARLIE! WE'RE HAVING SEX, CHARLIIIEEEEE!" The mental image of which is made worse considering that Bella's dad is named "Charlie". Man, I love wanks involving BNFs!

Remember this entry, where I asked whether cloaking technology would ever go mainstream? Well, here's my answer - apparently cloaking material can be used to kill static on cell phones and improve the overall quality of cell phone reception. I'm so down with that! Now I want to see invisibility bras and undies, to be used by strippers and poledancers to completely boggle everyone's minds as their clients wonder where their happy parts went.

The Smart Bitches ask their readers whether the Insta-Sex trope in fiction turns them off from a story. I'm going to echo a bunch of the comments over there and say that Insta-Sex (in which two romantic leads meet each other for the first time and then OMG HAVE TEH HAWT SEXXORZ) can be good or bad, depending on the situation. I judge it within the context of the story: if the rest of the story is well-written, I'll forgive the Insta-Sex. Also, is there any significance to the Insta-Sex, besides showing that the romantic leads are Totally Made For Each Other? If there is, that bumps it up a notch in my book.

What bothers me far more is Insta-Love. I'm not saying that Insta-Love doesn't happen in real life, but I'm personally far too cynical to give the trope much credit in my mind, especially if the relationship that spins out of the Insta-Love thing doesn't explore both the good sides and the bad sides of the relationship, or the wonder (...or possibly horror) of discovering something new about this person that you instantly fell in love with.

Check out this Obama action figure from Japan. It's awesome enough that he's got, like, interchangeable hands and all these awesome accesories like a stool, a microphone, and an American flag. But then! You get to the bottom of this web page and you see Obama doing his best James Bond impersonation, wielding dual katanas, napping under a kotatsu...and fighting Darth Vader

Also, apparently all of his clothes are removable, according to [livejournal.com profile] vyctori (who is the one who sent me this thing of beauty, thanks!).

[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: ...You know, all of Obama's clothes come off, apparently.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: ...THIS CAN ONLY END IN TEARS.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: OF LAUGHTER.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: Imagine what someone good at sewing could do!
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: And everyone knows that the best cosplay comes from Japan!
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: *is now imagining Obama in Jade's uniform and is dying of roffles*
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: asldjhsaljdahjl!!
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: Actually, fuck that - OBAMA IS THE NEXT DOCTOR.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: FUCK YEAH.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: THAT WOULD MEAN HE COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND FIX ALL OF OUR MISTAKES!
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: SWEET
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: AND, LIKE, USE A SONIC SCREWDRIVER AND STUFF.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: THAT WOULD BE INSANE.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: BRITAIN GETS THE MASTER AS A PRIME MINISTER AND YOU GUYS GET THE DOCTOR.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: XD!

ilu Vyc.

Here's a post about the idea of creating a universal attribution symbol, to be represented for the moment as (i). I love the idea, but have heard some concerns that the "i" looks too much like a Roman numeral to some people, and thus they expect to see (ii), (iii), and so forth. Still, this is something worth thinking about. (Thanks, Eridanus!)

A list of America's most mysterious places. WE'RE ROADTRIPPING, BABY!

John Scalzi features an article from the NYT on "easily misinterpreted place names in the UK." Gee, with names like "Crotch Crescent", "Titty Ho", and "Spanker Lane", I can't possibly see what the problem is, no, sir!

What wishful thinking - If Movie Posters Were Honest.

***

Finished my ART200 paper, but that wasn't so hard to do in the first place - it's the HON301 paper that'll kill me. Today, I'll probably quickly read through some assigned ART200 articles before watching Gattaca, reading one article for the group presentation on Tuesday, and taking preliminary notes for my HON301 paper.

Also, neither my A&D advisor nor the coordinator for the Japan CDM trip has gotten back to me, so it's time for me to bug the backups!

-Reileen
and I pick myself up like a champion

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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