reileen: (Default)
Y'know, it can be really hard to tag things appropriately. I'm finding this problem with both LJ and with trying to bookmark stuff on my Delicious account again. How specific should I get? Should I be general, or should I name as many specific details as possible? Do I tag by subject matter? Sub-subject matter? Source website? Do I tag with some witty phrase of my thoughts on the matter (i.e., "stupid things")? Should I do all of 'em? Would that be overkill? Am I overthinking this? (Probably.)

I think there's two generally different approaches to tagging that aren't necessarily exclusive to each other. One is to help yourself find things; one is to help other people find things. The difference is that with the former, you can tag things in a slightly obscurish manner, or in a haphazard manner, and most of the time (when you remember) you know why you tagged it the way you tagged it. When trying to tag things to help other people find those things, though, you have to be a little more objective/factual/whatever about it, and probably stick to the basics. Here on LJ, I waver between the first approach to tagging and the second approach. My Delicious account is private, though, so there's not too much of an issue there.

Still, one area where I'm personally running into tagging issues is when I'm trying to tag things about various kinds of Serious Business, i.e. politics, economics, racism, anti-oppression/anti-prejudice in general. I'll probably be able to work out some sort of personal system as I continue wading through these things and making sense of them, but at the moment it's pretty overwhelming. (I am also going cross-eyed at the thought of trying to tag all of my imported Firefox bookmarks, some of which were left untagged from the last time I substantially used Delicious about a year or so ago. Eep.)

***

"Moe: The Cult of the Child" is an evenhanded analysis of the moe phenomenon in otaku culture, where there is a lot of focus on the cutesy antics of young, adolescent girls who sometimes look like they've got girls' heads pasted onto women's bodies. The author discusses the appeal of the genre and what that appeal means for society as a whole.

This is an informative but depressing interview about the crap-covered state of the U.S. insurance industry by Bill Moyers with Wendell Potter, the former Head of Public Relations of Cigna, one of America's largest health insurers.

An A-to-Z Smorgasbord of Overused Graphic Concepts and Resources.

[livejournal.com profile] cupcake_goth, a.k.a. Jillian Venters, a.k.a. the Lady of the Manners, recently posted about plans for a book-promoting picnic at a large graveyard. She was apparently berated by a fan who thought she was disrespecting the dead in doing so. However, in the comments to the entry, one learns that the big public/non-churchyard cemeteries and graveyards were, to some extent, intended as large public parks, to be freely enjoyed by anyone who wanted to hang out there for whatever reason (whether it was just to sit down and read or to take a walk or even to have weddings). There's an interesting discussion about the intersection of life and death with regards to that particular context. Myself, I remember visiting this one pretty large cemetery up on the North Side (I think it was off the Addison Red Line stop?) back in my freshman year of college, and being both haunted and fascinated by the history in it. I've always wanted to go back and wander around some more, especially in nicer weather (since when I went it was cold and rainy; wouldn't mind the rain so much if it hadn't also been chilly).

Two instances of HELL FUCKING YES for the Reileen! First off, Dead Fantasy III has gone live, focusing on a one-on-one fight between Tifa from FF7 and Hitomi from DoA. I cannot tell you how much I love the Dead Fantasy series for its absolutely ri-cock-ulous Physics Does Not Work That Way fight scenes. It's absurdly beautiful and beautifully absurd. And as impossibly beautiful as all the women are, I'm glad that the creator seems to be focusing more on the amount of ass they can kick instead of the amount of ass they've got exposed. I can't wait for the next few installments, particularly in light of the ending scene for DF3.

Secondly, remember or not how I was blabbering about Jeeja Yanin starring in a new film? Raging Phoenix's trailer has also hopped onto the webz. It's short and with no indication of the plot, but the bits we see of the action scenes seem promising.

AvatarFail continues with four headshots of the four main characters. Leaving aside the obvious racial problems, what the fuck is up with Zuko's "scar"? It looks like the makeup artist smeared clay on the side of his face and then called it a day. And I know that this is only one headshot, but Aang just looks so RAWR and sulky and I'm like WHERE DID MY SEAL-SLEDDING AVATAR GO NOOOOO. As a bit of an antidote to this clusterfuck, here's a survey in three parts about the many ways that A:TLA subverts the status quo (and some of the ways that it doesn't!).

Cool nature thing of the day: watermelon snow, which is snow that is not only pink but also, indeed, smells faintly of watermelons! Look but don't taste.

While soldiering through the archives of The Straight Dope (I actually got through all 57 pages! Though I didn't read all the columns, obviously), I found that they had addressed how the word "gay" came to mean "homosexual". I'm particularly fascinated by the fact that "to gay it" once meant "to copulate", and am now imagining the word "gay" in place of another certain word that also means "to copulate." For example: "Well, gay you to hell and back!", or "GAY THIS GAYING SHIT!" or "That's gaying awesome." Certainly "mothergayer" would have interesting implications. In a situation where things have just gone to shit, I think the mood would be lightened considerably if someone uttered "We're totally gayed." (This totally puts Jade Curtiss' "A Definition of the Word 'Fuck'" in an entirely new light. WHY DON'T YOU PLAY HIDE AND GO GAY YOURSELF???)

Nine reasons the economy is not getting better.

From Lifehacker (that name is epic), how to bake cookies on your dashboard harnessing the heat accumulated inside your car on a steamy summer day. WIN.

Finally, this entry is one that I swear everyone needs to be smacked with at least once in their life: [livejournal.com profile] jimhines discusses why it's even more important to dissect pop culture for problematic themes and attitudes than it is to do the same for more "literary" works. The very accessibility of pop culture is exactly why problems with the culture need to be examined and brought out into the open. It sends a message to people, hey, look, these problems haven't gone away. They're not hiding under the dustbunnies of history and obfuscated academia; they're in the center of the room, flailing their hands and dancing. (IN UR ROOM, FLAILING THEIR HANDZ)

***

Also watched Police Story 4: First Strike recently. This is one of Jackie Chan's American/English films. Long story short, Chan plays an HK police officer who gets whored out by his superior to the CIA in order to track down a suitcase nuke. His job takes him first to Ukraine, then all the way down under to Australia. The version of the movie I was watching was all English-dubbed, but apparently in the original cut, there were instances where some of the characters were speaking either Cantonese, Ukrainian, Russian, etc. Anyway, plot is kind of silly, the fight scenes were slightly disappointing until the end, where not only did you have Jackie fighting for a couple of minutes while on stilts, but then you also had underwater kung-fu in a tank with a man-eating shark. I shit you not. I also liked this scene, set inside what looks like a large warehouse - among other things, Jackie performs some seriously amazing stunts with what looks like a 12-foot-tall ladder or thereabouts.

*looks back over this entry* ...RAWR, how am I going to tag this thing?

-Reileen
or am I just wasting time?
reileen: (art - paint jars)
It is, instead, going to an audition for an art instructional DVD on using colored pencils to enhance marker colors laid down on a drawing...only to get to the studio and realize that, hey, you left those colored pencils of yours at home!

Thank the Gods the studio happened to have a set of colored pencils that was apparently on loan to them from Prismacolor. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to do much of anything besides hide in a corner. As it was, it appears that the audition went well - I wasn't nervous, and the director seemed really impressed with the fact that I possessed the ability to draw and talk at the same time. (lol.) I think I should hear back from the studio some time next week - they'll be meeting with Prismacolor reps on Monday and show them the demo footage they took of me and the other artists using their stuff. It was kind of odd - this was the first time I've actually gone out in real life under my Reileen nomer, as opposed to my real name. I did warn the director on the phone the other day that Reileen wasn't actually my real name, but I wonder if she remembers.

And, because I haven't posted too many links in a while, here's one that should appeal to the Greek mythology geeks out there. It might be hard to believe, but someone actually managed to take the tragic tale of Prometheus and turn it into the basis for a gag comic strip. Oh, yeah, I lol'd. Be sure to click on the title at the top of the page to get more comics. And then, of course, there's "advanced divine intervention"...

Also, the giant pink rabbit that can be seen from space. I imagine that this might baffle any aliens that are keeping an eye on the third stone from the sun.

October is Filipino-American Heritage Month! I wanted to do a big-ass link-o-llection about this, but now I'm tired and the month is halfway finished anyway. :( Maybe if I find some Rex Navarrete stuff...

In unhappier news, the banks are sinking in the land of the Rising Sun. "Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches..."

I have a slightly unhealthy urge to re-organize my tags on this LJ.

-Reileen
but a-one step, two step, you fall behind
reileen: (Default)
What Reileen Ate Yesterday
Breakfast: Half a can of Mountain Dew.
Brunch: Two small packs of Welch's fruit snacks. Eaten during JPN104.
Lunch: Two fried breadsticks stuffed with pepperoni and a Mountain Dew from the soda fountain.
Lunchinner: One package of Maruchan pot ramen, chicken-flavored. A small bottle of water, followed by a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade.
Dinner: One hot dog with ketchup. Finishing up the bottle of Mike's Hard.

What Reileen Ate Today
Breakfast: A bag of regular chips (Miss Vickie's brand, yum) and a bottle of Mountain Dew. Consumed during ANT120.
Brunch: Another bag of regular chips; still working on that bottle of Dew.
Lunch: Five pieces of crab rangoon. Finally finishing up the bottle of Dew.
Dinner: Will be pasta, apparently, and another can of Dew.

I'm not sure why I thought this would be interesting to post, but there you go.

***

Despite staying up 'til 11:30pm working on an ANT120 lab report that I'd wanted to finish earlier and waking up at 6:00am grumpy and groggy as hell, I actually found myself less likely to want to nod off today. This may have been in part because 1) I had a lab today in ANT120 that actually required me to do work and to stay for almost the entire scheduled time of lab, and 2) I went to Chinatown today to stock up on incense, which required train travel and ambulatory travel. I bought sandalwood, cinnamon, strawberry, and "fragrant forest", and the total came out for around $11 for all of it. Yay.

Received my "specialty area" for ART233 today: it's Classical Greece, of course. Although I have to admit I was also leaning towards Sumerian or Babylonian art as well despite the fact that I skipped the lecture where the professor actually talked about these areas. I think I'll probably look those up on my own. Also, I'm wondering if there's a book or a few out there that deal specifically with studying temples from all over the world. In class today, we were looking at the temple of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, and I was "dfkljaldkfjaldkf GLEEEEEE!" I love temples. I can't articulate why, exactly, beyond "OMGCOOLANDPRETTY!", but I love 'em. If I'm in a game and we're exploring temples or temple-like areas, it's likely that I'm going to spend a large part of the game with the character just looking up and around at the exterior and the interior of the place. (The Temple of Time in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess makes me squee. Am also fond of many of the Sephiroth points in Tales of the Abyss and the Spirit Temple in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.) In short, I am a whore for nearly anything that evokes ancient pagan temples.

(...would that make me a "temple whore"?)

Anyway, I think that's it for interesting things from Reileen's life (which tend to be few and far in-between), so onto the link-o-llection!

***

Kit Whitfield blogs about depression and children's fiction, comparing depictions of depression in Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and in Antonia White's novels. Hefty, but a very interesting read. In particular, I love her interpretation of the Fire Nation royalty in Avatar in the context of depression-running-through-families. She also nails down the strength of Zuko's character in the show - and by strength, I mean not only how Zuko himself would be a strong person if he existed in real life, but also what makes his character from the show so memorable. He struggles; he despairs; he makes mistakes; and ultimately, he grows. I was pleasantly surprised at the care given in drawing this portrait of him throughout three seasons of the show.

Here's a set of candid shots of Barack Obama taken before, during, and after the debate in Oxford, Mississippi last week. My personal favorites are this one, this one, and this one.

And here's Build-O-Bama, where you can cut and fold your very own Obama paper doll for...some...reason!

For every comment made on this blogpost, Tyson Foods will donate 100 lbs. of food to food banks in the Bay Area. Easiest charity since Free Rice. How do these types of things work, though? Technically speaking, this strikes me as a more charitable version of "Give me five reviews and then I'll update with the next chapter!"

Artist builds "temple of science". Let me tell you, I've got at least two characters in my headspace who are going all drooly-mouthed and starry-eyed at this idea. (For background, they're both scientists - or as much of scientists as a scientifically-handicapped person as myself can write - of strong divine heritage.) And now I'm tempted to see if I can build a "religion of science" in a novel. I can already see places where I'd be running into problems, but it would be a fun thing to play with.

[livejournal.com profile] kaigou recounts an interesting anecdote that reveals insight into why a person might seem gluttonous when eating. She also now has a post up of 348 personality quirks that could be worked into a character, which would be an excellent reference for all the NaNoers out there.

Disgrasian wonders about where the hell Asian Barbie is in Mattel's current line of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie Dolls. Meanwhile, Reileen wonders how it's possible that Barbie has gotten skinnier over the years.

At the Temple of Kraden, a Golden Sun forum (that I actually am on under my fandom name), there's a thread going on in which people post funny pictures, and others reading the thread try their best to get as far as they can without laughing. Man, I didn't even try that - I just wanted to see the lulz. Which there is a fair amount of. (Be warned, though - that thread is 38 pages and counting.)

Quoting [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith for Major Fucking Truth from here: "In each faith are found strange and subtle truths. The study of comparative religions is learning the shape of the Divine by groping your way all around the elephant, in the happy company of other blind people."

Also quoted for MFT is this excellent post from [livejournal.com profile] dien about writing fanfiction vs. writing original fiction:

So when you remove fandom from the equation, you're removing exactly what people came to fandom for in the first place: the characters and the worlds. You've got to create your own. And maybe writing in someone else's world has been like training wheels, maybe it's shown you the kind of thing you're going to need to do for yourself. Without having actually written narrative fanfiction, I still look at what JK Rowling's said about her process in terms of planning out a long series. What do you give away, how soon do you give it away--her decision to move Horcrux info from Chamber of Secrets to a later book, that kind of thing. But you're also in danger of having steeped in someone else's world for so long that you write your own thing, and it's like everything everyone's already seen.

Yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Eerily enough, look at [livejournal.com profile] dien's list of things you learn writing fanfiction vs. what you learn writing original fic. Replace "things you learn writing fanfiction" with "strengths as a writer" and "things you learn writing original fic" with "weaknesses as a writer", and those two lists describe me to a big fat T. My strongest points are easily dialogue, characterization, and "the power of well-crafted language" (at least I'd like to think so). My weakest points are plot (which I quickly found out doing NaNoWriMo for the past few years), stories with staying power (again, NaNoWriMo pointed this out to me), and stories that matter.

Also, check this interesting analogy in the original entry from ETA 2: "...we might think of fanfic versus original fic as two different musical instruments-- you can learn how to play music on either a guitar or a piano, but learning how to play one doesn't necessarily mean you will automatically be able to play the other."

-Reileen
your eyes tell of a star's death
reileen: (Default)
Got really fucking carsick on the way to DePaul today while riding in my dad's work car. I tend to get some semblance of motion sickness in that thing, because it's tiny like a clown car but nowhere near as cool-looking, but it was so bad today that Daddykins had to drop me off at the Midway station so I could just ride the train instead. I don't get motion sickness as bad on trains or buses or vans, or roller coasters, even; it's usually small cars that do it, even if I'm sitting in front. (Not if I'm driving said small car, though. At least, I don't think so.) There's a pressure point right behind my ear that I can press to alleviate some of the nausea, but that only helps for so long. Plus, my arm starts to get tired holding that spot real quick.

Feeling slightly better now, although I'm still groggy from having to actually wake up this morning. ANT120 is in thirteen minutes, but whatever. Lab's today, though I have no idea what it is and I'm too lazy to check Blackboard.

***

Yesterday was a pretty interesting day. After JPN104, I decided to follow some of my classmates to the cafeteria and hang out at the anime/gaming (...anigaming?) Corner of Geekery there, since I had an hour to kill (again!) until I had to meet with [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill. 'Tis very odd to be, um..."socializing" again. But I think I might start haunting that place more often, and see where things go from there. Definite highlight: finding out that my classmate Lydia, who was the first person I started talking to in Japanese class, is not only a huge Bomberman Jetters fan, but also a Nougami Neuro fan. I mean, dude! What are the odds of that happening on the 'tubes, never mind in meatspace?! (Too bad she wasn't also a Gintama fan, 'cause then it would've been the royal flush of otakuness for me. But there's room for conversion, I think. Meanwhile, she's determined to get me to watch Keroro Gunsou...)

Once I met up with [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill, we roamed the Loop trying to find a DVD of The Boondock Saints, which is Liz's current movie obsession and which we were planning to watch later at her house (which we did, and it was quite enjoyable, despite the movie's flaws). After walking a couple blocks around to a Borders and some independent music/movie store, we finally found it at an FYE that was seriously right off the train stop we'd gotten off at. Durr. But I also scored a quality used version of the first season of The Big Bang Theory, which made me happy.

Oh, hey, what do you know, it's 8:31. Class time!

-Reileen
and I'm not breathing for you
reileen: (music - proofread score)
A working, functionally complete version of Bacchanalia [YouSendIt]

I have issues with this regarding melodic and chord progressions and overall structure, but I can perform it live if I wanted to. Will be leaving it for a while to simmer and cool down before I start trying to work on it again, if I'm inclined to do so.

I also showed this piece to [livejournal.com profile] sannion, who is a devoted follower of Dionysos, and he wants to play the song during the next ritual he's going to do for the god. Which is good, because that's sort of why I was doing the song in the first place (albeit a few months late).

***

[WARNING: RAMBLES AHEAD]

I left my ANT120/ART233 notebook at home today. *facepalm* So I couldn't study for the ANT120 quiz I had this morning (which wasn't hard, actually, but it's the principle of the thing I'm talking about here), and I had to/will have to take notes on looseleaf.

Am falling asleep here trying to murder time again (fucking thing just keeps coming back from the dead! Do I, like, have to cut off its head and gag the mouth with garlic or something?!) until I have to meet with Professor Akiyoshi at noon. Need something to eat, since I only had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with milk for breakfast and then a can of Mountain Dew during ANT120. Am craving sushi again.

In the middle of reading Greek Folk Religion by Martin Nilsson. There's nuggets of information here and there, but the style is impeccably snore-inducing. I can't go more than a few pages at a time, because otherwise my eyes start glazing over. That is why I am here killing brain cells on the Interwebs instead of killing brain cells on studying the history of my adopted spirituality and taking notes. My logics, it is invincibles!

Am also obsessively refreshing Twitter, what.

***

The recent issue of the Hudson Fanclub Insider newsletter has pointed me to the official English site for the Bomberman Blast game for Wii. There's still no release date for the American version. Wiccapedes says that the WiiWare version of the game was already released in Europe on the 12th (wtf? What's the logic in that?), while the Japanese console and WiiWare versions will be released on September 25 and 30, respectively.

Wiccapedes also reports an overall positive reception to the game, with critics making favorable comparisons to the similar Bomberman Live. But y'all know I'm a little Bomberbitch who doesn't really care about multiplayer, so the comparison is mildly useless to moi. I'll probably ask the buttmunch to go pick it up if he can (thank the Gods that we have similar tastes in games), but I'm not sure I'd be willing to shell out the cash for it not in the least because I have no cash to shell out.

To slightly paraphrase [livejournal.com profile] mia_noire's sentiments on finding a parking space at MVCC for my own use: "Who the fuck do I have to blow around here to get a decent Bomberman single-player platforming adventure game again?!"

-Reileen
there's no need to tell anyone, they'd only hold us down
reileen: (music - proofread score)
I bought sunflowers (3 for a dollar) at the farmer's market going on in the plaza near City Hall downtown today. It made me oddly very happy, even though I had to carry those poor things around with me for a couple of hours before going home - I bought them early in the afternoon because Liz had told me that the farmer's market closed fairly early, and since I had a late afternoon class I didn't want to miss a chance at getting some greenery. I gave the flowers to Mommykins, who cut them and put them in a vase on our kitchen table. The thought of them still makes me happy.

The thought of going to Japanese class tomorrow in the rainy morning, however, dampens the sunniness a bit.

***

I did some minor edits to what I had of "Wasted" from a few days before. Save for one line that is bugging the fuck out of me, I'm pretty satisfied with this current incarnation of the lyrics, and will keep them unless musical constraints demand that I do more rewordifying. (I swear, I need to learn to write shorter songs...)

Wasted

The things I pack in the suitcase of my heart
Don't always fit like they should
Ancient locks forced on unfolded dirty laundry
And stubborn mementos eat up space
That should be reserved for necessities
Of a future time and place

I'm just one face of many in your life
But I can't face being incognito in your eyes

Because the words that I've spoken
Would end up broken upon the ground
The tears that I've cried
Would only chide me for my grief
And the bitterness I've tasted
Would just be wasted on you

I'm ready to ditch this dusty hotel
Gonna leave it behind and hit the road running
Thoughts of you cut straight and true
To my heart and leave it bleeding
But that's okay, I can walk it off
I'm still breathing

There's something to be said
For leaving you for dead

But I know, I know
I'd plant the seeds of hope at your grave
And that's how the road to hell would be paved

Because the words that I've spoken
Have been broken upon the ground
The tears that I've cried
Have chided me for my grief
And the bitterness I've tasted
Has been wasted on you

Does he know that she holds what he wants to find?
Does she know how to forgive an innocent crime?
Do they know, do they know
Do they know, do they know
Do they know, do they know
Do we know if it's all been wasted?

The words that I've spoken
Have been broken upon the ground
The tears that I've cried
Have chided me for my grief
And the bitterness I've tasted
Has been wasted on you
On you...
On you...

Okay, cool. My musical conscience is now free to work on minor things, like the homework that's due for Japanese tomorrow. To borrow a sentiment from Emperor Peony IX of Malkuth for my own purposes: "Pfft, kanji! Who needs 'em?"

Dude, [livejournal.com profile] vyctori, Peony has a Facebook account. I just found this out when I googled his name to double-check which number Peony he was in the Malkuthian royal line.

***

EDIT: The PV for Yousei Teikoku's new single, "Weiss Flugel"! I love how, instead of the electric guitar, this song - which is a slower one than the previous single, and a slower one than "Wahrheit", which was the first YT song to have a PV - has Takaha Tachibana rocking out on violin. Badass.

-Reileen
you, in somber resplendence, I hold
reileen: (Default)
Reileen's Resolutions (...ish...things) For The School Year 2008-2009

1. I shall not go without caffeine in the morning. (Or a decent Reileen-portioned breakfast.)
I was woken up at 6:50am after about five hours of unsleep (unsleep : sleep :: undead : dead). In-between doing my morning pages (thank you, Julia Cameron), trying to get my perpetually stubborn sister to go get dressed for school, and checking my usual net haunts, I attempted to eat a package of Pop-Tarts, but found out that I was too sleepy to get through even 0.5 of one. That and one paper cup of Arizona Iced Tea was the entirety of my sustenance until noon, upon which I snagged a bag of white cheddar Cheez-Its to munch on while reading Martin Nilsson's Greek Folk Religion in the library, waiting for [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill to get out of class.

So. Yeah. One grande mocha frappuccino at the very least. Supplement with Mountain Dew during the day, if feasible. Wind down with water or iced tea near the end of the day. Otherwise, I will end up like in this picture:



This pretty much sums up what today was like for me. And I only had one class.

2. I shall study for some-yet-undetermined number of hours a day. F'rreal.
I will be waking up at normal-people times for once. I end classes fairly early in the day, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I have two classes, I have a couple of hours in between those classes. I can spend that time either studying or otherwise being productive (for certain values of "productive"). If I follow Resolution no Ichiban, I should be reasonably conscious and coherent enough to continue being productive up until nightfall. I has no excuses.

3. As often as possible, and as comfortably as possible, I shall "dress up" for classes.
Mainly just to amuse myself. But I got compliments from three different people* on the blouse I wore today, which was a black-and-purple-and-white plaid ruffled dress blouse with slightly puffed sleeves and a black ribbon tied around the waist, which I am quite fond of myself. Fuck chicken soup - compliments are good for the soul. Also, I'm a girly-girl and I like experimenting with my fashion style, which ranges from goth-ish to bohemian-ish to punk-ish to Harajuku-ish.

4. At the very, very least, I shall make an effort to put up the facade of being a normally sociable human being.
I'd intended to stay mostly anonymous during JPN104 today, but somehow I ended up being decently chatty with the person sitting next to me, a Korean girl named Lydia. I think it started because both of us were bitching about how we didn't remember anything from introductory Japanese. Which then led to discovering that the both of us are fourth-years who will have to take an additional fifth year to get our shit done (though our reasons differ). She also thought she had seen me in one of her classes before, but decided that she was mistaken. I decided, what the hey, I'd just introduce myself then, since it seemed like a good chance to do so. In addition, there's a line of folks on her other side with whom she seems somewhat acquainted, and who seem to be - if their self-introductions and side conversations are any indication - fellow anime/gamer fans. Which could either mean total awesome or complete fail. Time will tell. I'm still trying to acclimate myself to living out in the real world again, and I'm the type of person that gets completely drained of energy even just by talking in-person with a really close friend. Some people are energized by person-to-person interaction; I'm not one of them. In going to classes, I find that I'm torn between conserving energy by keeping to myself, and making acquaintances so that class-time is slightly more entertaining.

5. I shall try to explore Chicago more.
Me and [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill always talk about visiting this place and seeing that thing and checking out that store over there, but we have a hard time materializing plans. (We have a hard time materializing plans about anything, actually.) But we're finding that we have free periods that coincide with each other, particularly in the afternoons because we both have morning classes, so it's easier for us to meet up in the SAC Pit after classes and figure out how the fuck we want to murder time today. From there, we can both plot how to take over the world. She's a criminal-obsessed Polish housewife; I'm the Asian call girl. Together, we fight time! Er, crime!

***

To my utter surprise, I actually managed to finish a working version of the lyrics for "Wasted." I basically took the lyric sketches that I'd done at the DMV yesterday, wrote them on pieces of notecards, set them out, and tried to cohere them into something that made some amount of sense. Once that was done, I hit upon the chorus melody almost immediately, with chords for it and the rest of the song following soon after.

-Reileen
I hate you, why are guys so lame



*One of whom was the hyperactive barista who served me my frappuccino at the Starbucks near 87th and Cicero. Apparently being in the proximity of that much caffeine does odd things to someone.
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
ART233 - Ancient Art
A survey on the principal works of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the industrial arts created in the Mediterranean basin and in Europe from the Paleolithic times through Roman Empire.

JPN104 - Intermediate Japanese I
Intensive practice in the use of Japanese through listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and continued enhancement of the cultural awareness intrinsic to those skills.

ANT120 - Science of Archaeology
Archaeology spans the academic worlds of the physical sciences and the social sciences. In this course, the physical science qualities of the discipline are introduced. Students explore the various ways archaeologists use model building, statistical inference, and evidence analysis to reconstruct past human experiences. The course includes two hours of lab and two hours of lecture/discussion per week.

JPN104 is my first and only class on Wednesday. I have the same teacher and the same room (I think) as I did when I first attempted the class last year. It's like I never left! [/sarcasm]

***

Went to the drivers' facility place or whatever to get my license renewed. I is nao organ donor. \o/?

While I was waiting for my number to be called, I began working on the vague, hazy threads of a song that I am currently calling "Wasted," which is, mind you, not about going out and getting trashed or high. Images are coming into view, sliver by sliver; the story is much more stubborn in coming out.

-Reileen
love your hate, your faith lost
reileen: (spirituality - temple/Artemis)
This article about doing temp work is probably going to be me in a couple of years: working odd boring office jobs that leave me enough brainpower and net me enough money to do my more useless work (that is, my art/writing/music) on the side and hoping I can make it big there.

***

From picking up Dancing in Moonlight: Understanding Artemis Through Celebration on a random whim from my bookshelf and flipping through it, I found out that there's a festival for Artemis, Kharisteria (roughly translating to "thanksgiving"), coming up on September 6. *glances at calendar* Well, I have little less than a week to figure out something to do within my space and money limits. :Db!

I'd really like to burn something as a sacrifice, since the origins of this festival dealt with the Athenians sacrificing goats to Artemis in thanks for the victory She granted them at the battle of Marathon. I'm not sure of how much I can burn before I set off the smoke detectors in my house, though. I think things might be okay if I leave my fan running on turbo (two fans, even!) and facing the open windows.

It is a fact of nature that some animals eat other animals. Some people may argue that with our intelligence as a species we ought to move outside that pattern and cease preying on other creatures. While I can understand that ideology, in my mind plants are just as alive as animals, only they have no mouths with which to cry out when they are cut down, no faces to express their sorrow, no hooves or claws with which to fight back, and so we can too easily forget that even vegetarians and vegans must kill living things and eat them in order to survive. Death feeds life.

This concept is at the heart of the modern Kharisteria. Nothing in this universe can be gained without some kind of sacrifice. Those things that we pay for the most dearly are, by definition, the most valuable. That which we suffer to learn we will never forget. As Burkert says, "Artemis is and remains a Mistress of sacrifices," and at the Kharisteria we honor Her as such. At this festival we thank Her for everything that has come at a heavy price or that has been difficult to obtain, and we ask Her for help in all our future struggles.

-Thista Minai, Dancing in Moonlight: Understanding Artemis Through Celebration, pp. 61-62

"Nothing in this universe can be gained without some kind of sacrifice"? Law of equivalent exchange, right there! [/alchemy geek]

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill, are you using that one empty room near the kitchen in your apartment for anything in particular? If not, would it be all right if I occasionally utilized it for my own purposes? I wouldn't do anything too messy (no sacrificing virgins or anything like that), and I'd clean up and be mostly quiet. It's okay to say no if you're not comfortable with that sort of thing.

-Reileen
dear Ophelia, you know I'm hurt
reileen: (general - strawberry)
Heaps of thanks to:

[livejournal.com profile] mugging_hipster, who randomly decided to buy me a new wallet. We were at some store, and they had a "buy one, get one half-off" deal, and Liz said "HAY I BUY WALLET AND YOU BUY WALLET TOO, YE-E-S?" And lo, there were twin wallets, though one was pink and the other was black! Unfortunately, it's not really very big, so it doesn't hold everything from my old wallet. I think I can make do, though.

[livejournal.com profile] mia_noire, who gave me a new journal (can never have enough!) and Feminist Fairy Tales by Barbara J. Walker as a birthday present. I am mucho excited about this book - it looks quite promising.

Today I bought these heels in black from Kohl's with the gift card that Joanna gave me. I've been wanting more...how to say..."statement" shoes lately, as opposed to shoes that I know will go with (nearly) anything in my closet. I'd love to get a pair of, say, obnoxious lime green heels just for the hell of it, but I'm not really a shoes person like some girls are. They did have a couple of adorable styles at Deb, but most of those shoes are designed so that the inner arch of my foot ends up showing, and it just looks kind of bad.

I nearly cried today because I found the cutest teal overcoat at Express, but it was $168. D: I really do need a new dressy-yet-casual jacket, and this one fit me perfectly, so I think I'mma gonna look into finding ways to get funds towards this coat...

***

birthday (chorus)

Yeah, yeah, long way to go, both on music and vocals, but y'all can listen to that if you're curious.

-Reileen
then I'll use your cellphone, baby, long-distance
reileen: (Default)
Tired of getting rickroll'd? How about getting Barackroll'd instead?

***

After 400+ pages of absolutely hideous wannabe thriller tripe (to say nothing of questionable theology and the morality that goes along with said questionable theology), Fred Clark conclude's in this week's Left Behind posts that the illogic and paradoxes of Left Behind stem not from unreliable narrators used in the literary sense, but unreliable narrators that stem from unreliable authors.

We readers come to this novel with certain expectations. We expect that it will tell us a story -- a coherent narrative that makes sense. Those expectations are so habitual and fundamental to our experience of reading novels that it can take us a long time to accept that such expectations are really being thoroughly frustrated. That's why it took me a very long time -- hundreds of pages -- before I finally conceded that the constant, flagrant contradictions between our narrators' perceptions and their reality weren't some kind of deliberate, meaningful narrative device.

[. . . ]

This chapter might have been more interesting if Buck had turned out to be only partly immune to Nicolae's enchantment and he had emerged from this room less than certain of what he'd really seen -- as though he really were having to fight to keep his sanity. He is, after all, a brand-new RTC, a mere infant in the faith, so the divine counter-enchantment might not have been fully operational just yet.

But that wouldn't work because that's not how the authors' notion of RTC magic works. It's a binary system. You're either 100-percent saved or you're 100-percent damned to Hell. There is no half-way, no partial, no blurring of categories. Truth is wholly true and lies are wholly lies. Good is wholly good and evil is wholly evil.

And that, ultimately, is why readers don't have to worry about things like unreliable narrators in this book. The authors can't have intended such a device because the authors don't believe in it.


***

From [livejournal.com profile] dark_christian: Focus on the Family prays to God for rain to "drown out Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in two weeks' time. Word to FotF: I think you're better off using this as your guide for making it rain on Obama's parade. (Yes, I am being completely ironic in recommending anything from Spellsandmagic.com.)

***

I recently discovered the blog of author Kit Whitfield, who comments on Slacktivist under the pseudonym "Praline" and always has articulate and thoughtful commentary to add to any Slacktiposting. She has since been mentally added to Reileen's Roster of Awesome and Brilliant Bloggers To Whom She'd Like to Be as Awesome and Brilliant As Someday, which currently includes the Smart Bitches Sarah and Candy, John Scalzi, the blogginating team at Making Light, and, of course, the Slacktivist himself. Also, throw Vienna Teng in there. Because, y'know. Vienna motherfucking Teng. I wish she'd blog more on her site scrapbook, but in all fairness, she's busy recording her new album, so I'm not going to fault her too much, since anything she puts out - music or writing - is something I whoreship.

Anyway, a sampling of Kit Whitfield's blogging:

Writing sex scenes versus writing porn
The thing is, if your story is intended to be a piece of straightforward porn, you can pick a style and go with it. The usual objections to blunt writing are removed; graphic words for body-parts tend to leap off the page in a rather glaring way if your characters spend most of their time dressed. The reader gets to know the characters in, basically, a social context, like you'd get to know a friend, and if your friend suddenly whips out his genitals, it's a bit startling. Overly graphic sex scenes in otherwise fully-clothed books can feel like too much information, like the characters suddenly changing style and going from Regency elegance or lyrical melancholia to porn-speak, which is as disconcerting as if the vicar poured a cup of tea and then started talking dirty. All of which gives a sense of 'whoa!', which is not exactly the mood for sexual bliss. If, on the other hand, the story you're writing actually is porn, there's no reason at all not to use pornographic language. Direct language can be used all over the place without the style taking a lurch.

But if you're not writing porn, you need to match the sex scenes with the rest of the book.


The myth of the Macho Sue
A disagreeable variant of Mary Sue, often found in action films, cop shows and the more battly kind of science fiction. While Mary Sue is a fictional character who bends the universe around herself with her amazing specialness, Macho Sue bends the universe around his manhood. He has a particular ability to get away with behaviour that would be considered bad in a woman - to the point of behaviour that would be considered typically female by a misogynist if displayed by a woman.

Kit Whitfield's lexicon of issues in fiction
Phantonym
The feeling you get when you're searching for the perfect word: that there is a word for this concept that's not in the thesaurus, but you can't quite remember it. Usually this is not the case, and you're forced to go with a word that's slightly wrong, or else rewrite the whole bloody sentence. (Reileen sez: "I get this one all the time.")

[. . .]

Naglet
A concept or action that you have the nagging sense really should have a single word to describe it-the action of a dog putting its head between its paws on the ground to invite you to play is one that always bugs me - but most unfairly, it doesn't. (Reileen sez: "This is often a jumping-off point whenever I'm doing in-novel conlanging for SF/F. What concepts exist in such-and-such culture to the point of ubiquity, and thus would probably require a word or a short phrase describing it?")

[. . .]

Subconscious-Packing
Reading and absorbing as much as you can in the way of good stylists and general information, on the understanding that it'll mesh together in your subconscious and make your writing richer. Not to be confused with procrastination. (Reileen sez: "It's probably the equivalent of eating past being full, but I follow this philosophy for my art, my writing, and my music. Needless to say, it drives me nuts, but it drives me nuts if I don't at least attempt to do it, so I'm pretty fucked either way.")

The tricky business of defining national insults
It strikes me that a key element of English insults is the idea of self-awareness: a great many of the insults denote someone who, were he aware how he was coming across, wouldn't be acting so stupidly.

The kind of insults a nation creates are an unusual insight into its general character: you wouldn't bother to invent an insult for something that nobody does or nobody minds. Whether this means that, say, England has more wankers and America has more jerks, or that England notices wankers more and America notices jerks more, I couldn't really say. (As an interesting side-note, many English people feel that 'arsehole' is a stronger insult than 'asshole', even though the only real difference is in pronunciation. Curious, huh?)

***

From Strange Horizons, an online speculative fiction magazine: Stories We've Seen Too Often and Horror Stories We've Seen Too Often.

***

METALLICA IS PLAYING AT THE ALL-STATE ARENA ON JANUARY 26 NEXT YEAR. WANTS TO GO PLZ. D:!

***

For a while now, I've been looking for a decently plain white blouse that I can pair with different items, such as a sweater vest or a plaid skirt (...probably both in my case), and today, I finally found one.

It was from Avril Lavigne's new Abbey Dawn fashion line.

I'm trying to figure out whether I should be embarrassed by this or not.

-Reileen
fortune, fame, mirror vain

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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