reileen: (Default)
Obama urges Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to step down after he was charged with trying to sell off Obama's Senate seat on eBay. Major fail, Chicago. Major fail.

A cast has apparently been decided for Shymalan's film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. You know what kills me? Jesse McCartney is apparently angling to play Fire Prince Zuko. I mean, what? What? "Jesus, get Hannah Montana to play Azula and be done with it." The odd thing is, Miley Cyrus as Azula would almost work, in a brain-breaky sort of way. She has the 'tude and the voice - she'd just need a bit of a makeover.

In another exciting episode of "When East Meets West And They Have a One Night Drunken Fling", J-pop Queen Ayumi Hamasaki will be singing the theme to the live-action Dragonball movie. I'm kind of ambivalent on this. On the one hand, it almost feels like the makers of the movie suddenly got scared that maybe their movie wasn't going to be Japanesey enough to draw in the otaku, so they decided to add some local wasabi by dragging Hamasaki into it. On the other hand, it would feel almost as wrong if they got, say, Britney Spears to sing the theme song. I believe this entire shebang is a case study of fractal wrongness.

This shirt kills me. It's so wrong and awesome at the same time (or, as [livejournal.com profile] vyctori put it, "wrongsome").

The Yao Ming Transformer. It's a plastic basketball that turns into a figure of Yao Ming a la Optimus Prime. No, really.

A steampunk-styled computer mouse.

***

YEAR IN REVIEW MEME: Post the first sentence of the first entry of every month in your journal.

January: OH YEAH, STARTING THE NEW YEAR OFF WITH A FLU, SNOW, AND A POSSIBLE FIGHT OVER RELIGION WITH A FRIEND!
February: In what world, Bizarro or otherwise, is it okay to title a romance/erotica novel Death by Ploot Ploot?
March: I've only ever seen the ending of the first Carrie movie.
April: An absolutely fascinating website on Aztec Reconstructionism, which one doesn't see a lot of amongst the neopagans.
May: Found in a .txt document of random notes I'd saved on my desktop: The Liars' Club - "Where the only truth is that everything here is a lie."
June: To make up for my posting drought (not that anyone noticed...), have a picture I just did of my friend's original character, Shinya Toshio the Esper.
July: I was reading through back-entries in the archives of Slacktivist's dissection of the Left Behind series, and found this list of permutations on the Number of the Beast to be amusing.
August: I went with my friend Melissa to see a live performance of Vienna Teng for the third year running that I almost forgot I was going to go see because I haven't been paying close attention to the passing of the days.
September: First off, check out this teddy bear cell phone handset.
October: A recent conversation with [livejournal.com profile] dantaron reminded me of a song skeleton in my closet.
November: It's day two of NaNo and I've got 4,695 words thrown into the bucket now - a modest word count.
December: Uses the Gamma themeset from [livejournal.com profile] 1sentence.

-Reileen
in the terminal, she sleeps on my shoulder
reileen: (anime - Neuro)
From Tokyomango: REAL! LIVE! POKEMON!

***

Two gems from Whatever -

Scalzi looks back on some of his older entries. Here, he tries to console one of his books about not being reviewed.

In this second reminiscing entry, Scalzi argues that the new Muppets fails because they're not neurotic enough.

***

[livejournal.com profile] dantaron pointed me to The Terrible Crossover Fanfiction Idea Generator. REFRESHREFRESHREFRESHREFRESH

***

Make sure you're not eating or drinking anything while watching this first installment of Terry Tate: Office Linebacker. This has to be one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen. I first watched it back in a comedy screenwriting class in spring of my freshman year of college, but I was reminded of it because the Terrible Crossover Fanfiction Idea Generator vomited up the idea of writing a fic that crossed Super Mario Brothers with Terry Tate: Office Linebacker and had gay sex involved somehow. No, for serious. Here's the Wikipedia link for more information, as well as making sure you've seen all of the produced segments, which you can reach from YouTube's related videos feature or whatever.

RESPECT THE ARTS, OR THE ARTS WON'T RESPECT YOU!

***

Judge Robert Pattison Patterson rules in favor of JKR in Lexicongate. FUCK YEAH.

***

Okay, I saw a Yahoo headline earlier today that said "McCain and Obama dead even in opinion polls," and totally read it as "McCain and Obama are dead, even in opinion polls." I think I need to get more Mountain Dew, stat.

In somewhat related news, I was thinking of trying to find a nice Obama support banner thingy I can stick up on my LJ profile. I was considering just yoinking the "AAPI For Obama" pin preview image from the official website, but that's kind of boring. Maybe I'll make a "Shiroko For Obama" banner instead.

***

Was at [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill's apartment again today with [livejournal.com profile] mia_noire. Much music was shared, which includes this album of...traditional...Indian...something-or-other that I got from Emily which is really nice. We also watched Rosemary's Baby, which is, in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the stupidest fucking movies I've ever seen. Debating on whether I want to formulate my feelings into a more coherent, quasi-scholarly/intellectual rant later. At any rate, my rifftrack for this movie consisted of exclamations of:

-"Are you fucking kidding me?!"
-"What a fucking asshole!"
-"Shut the fuck up!"
-"Go the fuck away, fucking morons!"
-"Oh, fuck no!"
-"What the fuck is this shit?!"

Yeah. Uh. I was pretty profane tonight, even for my normal heathen standards of profanity.

-Reileen
we're the terror of the skies, but a danger to ourselves
reileen: (anime - Neuro)
Shit, I just looked at the links I collected over the past few days and realized how much of them have to do with religion and politics. Oops. Although I suppose it's only fitting, in light of the DNC and the fact that McCain has chosen Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin as his veep. There's definitely a lot to be talked about there, even from the point-of-view from someone as politically unsavvy and out of it as myself. Debating on how much about this to post later, if anything at all.

***

Here's an article describing what it feels like to die, from a scientific point-of-view.

Death comes in many guises, but one way or another it is usually a lack of oxygen to the brain that delivers the coup de grâce. Whether as a result of a heart attack, drowning or suffocation, for example, people ultimately die because their neurons are deprived of oxygen, leading to cessation of electrical activity in the brain - the modern definition of biological death.

If the flow of freshly oxygenated blood to the brain is stopped, through whatever mechanism, people tend to have about 10 seconds before losing consciousness. They may take many more minutes to die, though, with the exact mode of death affecting the subtleties of the final experience. If you can take the grisly details, read on for a brief guide to the many and varied ways death can suddenly strike.


***

Tales of Vesperia, another installment in Namco-Bandai's immensely successful "Tales" series, was released in North America three days ago. This game is seriously making me consider begging on my hands, knees, and whatever other bodily appendages I have for an XBox360 come Christmastime. I've been waffling on asking for one or saving up for one because of my sporadic gaming habits, which would have resulted in $400+ of plastic and other components that I'd never get around to overheating.

***

A sparkly text generator. With bonus sparklepeen font in honor of Twilight. Seriously.

While we're on the subject of Twilight, Fandom Wank (where I learn everything that there is to know about life) reports on Stephenie Meyer taking her toys and going home after finding out that 12 chapters of Midnight Sun, the re-telling of Twilight from Edward's POV, were leaked.

On the one hand, it was classy of her to actually make the leak officially available. On the other hand, that entire entry on her website (linked in the FW write-up) basically reads to me like a mediocre BNF going: "I AM VERY DEPRESSED NOW AND I WILL NOT WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER IF I DON'T GET AT LEAST X AMOUNT OF REVIEWS." I'm not saying that she doesn't have a right to be upset at whoever leaked the book, but judging from her entry, she's dealing with it in such an amateur, unprofessional manner - which is why this ended up on Fandom Wank.

What really cheeses me off is the fact that Meyer is apparently directing a music video. What the hell? Why is it that an amateur, hack writer like her has a trilogy/quadrology of best-selling books, a dedicated and zealous fanbase, a movie deal or two, a Twilight guide coming out, and a job directing a music video? If there is any evidence that a higher power hates the world or has a really twisted sense of humor, this is it.

***

Making Light reports on a Firefox extension that filters unsavory YouTube comments. Wow, Internet. Wow.

***

[livejournal.com profile] wyld_dandelyon posts about
preserving the balance between development and wilderness in today's world. In a similar vein,
[livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith compiles a number of links to help keep cities and other urban areas beautiful, livable, and positive.

While I'm an urban girl at heart, I definitely wish there were a lot more greenery and wildlife for public visitation in my area of the Chicago suburbs.

***

"Baby Got Book" is supposedly a Christian version of that song we'd all love to hate, Baby Got Back. No, f'rreal, f'rreal.

***

I got into a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] dantaron recently about our preferred breakfast foods. I mentioned that one of my favorite ("favorite" meaning that this was what I tended to eat while still living on-campus) breakfast meals was a can of Mountain Dew and RAWBERRY strawberry Pop-Tarts, but that lately I've been craving more fruits and other such light things for breakfast. He responded that my sudden thirst for the fruitilicious goods was a good things, since the nutritional value of Pop Tarts was pretty much zip, zilch, and zero.

So when I went to pop open a can of sliced peaches for early morning nom nomming, I checked its nutritional information against the box of Pop Tarts in the pantry.

IN THE BLUE CORNER: Strawberry Pop-Tarts with no sugar frosting

Total Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Sodium: 180mg
Total Carbohydrate: 37g
Protein: 2g

And then there's 10% of daily serving of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, and other stuff.

IN THE RED CORNER: Kroger's canned peaches

Total Carbs: 22g
Vitamin A: 2%
Vitamin C: 2%

...

...

...yeah. I think I need to have a word with my parents about the kinds of canned fruits that they buy. (Those peaches didn't even taste much like anything - no surprise there.)

***

I also seem to have discovered my long-lost emotional/mental twin. Sure, he's the wrong gender, two years younger than I am, and living on the West Coast, but those are minor details. He even shares the same obsession that I do with Bomberman 64: TSA, which is a miracle in and of itself.

-Reileen
is anybody here I know?
reileen: (Default)
From Disgrasian: The Problem With Socialist Inculcasian

A UK man reported on a MacRumors Forum last week that he received his new iPhone pre-loaded with pictures of the factory girl who made it...

Aww, the girl's cute. And Disgrasian's response is loltastic.

***

[livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith posts links to lists of companies that have gay/alternative-lifestyle-friendly policies.

***

Remember me in this entry talking about how Focus on the Fags Family prayed for a torrential downpour to "drown out" Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention?

Well, they got their wish.

Sort of.

DENVER - A sprinkler system partially flooded part of the Pepsi Center Monday morning.
Advertisement

The Denver Fire Department, which has a crew stationed at the center all week, was able to respond quickly before 5 a.m. when the sprinkler went off.

The sprinkler was located on the club level in a skybox which had recently been renovated to host a news crew. It appears the skybox belongs to Fox.

Emphasis mine. God really does work in mysterious ways!

***

I finally finished re-touching my profile layout! Changed the banner because it was bugging me, re-worded some information, and added a couple of links.

As I was digging through some old printouts, I found quite a collection of quotable things that I plan to post later. For now...well, I don't know what I'm going to do now. I should go to bed, but that would be the sensible thing to do. I'm really fucking pissed and frustrated at some drama that's happening at the moment, and I'm stuck in this sort of limbo where I know things I could do to calm myself down, but I don't feel like doing it for whatever stupid reason.

The Gods have mercy on us all. Mercy, not justice. We would be fools to ask justice from the gods. [/channeling Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion series]

-Reileen
daring to risk even life itself
reileen: (TONIGHT WE BLOG IN HELL)
Making Light: The honor of your assistance is requested in a small matter of language

Gentle reader,

In the course of her duties today, this blogger was obliged to consider the vast range of input to be expected from the ladies and gentlemen who do her company the honor of using its software. In particular, she was occupied with the task of addressing the tendency of some users to express an excess of emotion, or to seek to produce an improper effect upon the unsuspecting reader, with the strength of their language.

In order to curb these unfortunate tendencies, and forestall the employment of coarse and unsuitable language, she was enjoined to produce a list of particularly crude and unsavory terms whose use would be most strictly prohibited. Nor would variants of the selected expressions be permitted; the software produced at her place of employment is of a sufficiently sophisticated nature to encompass the derivation of gerunds from the raw verbal forms &c. There will even be some discussion in the forthcoming weeks regarding the inclusion of the recently popularized “leet” forms produced by the systematic substitution of numeric characters for the letters to which they most closely bear a resemblance.

Due to the popularity of her employer’s product, this blogger’s task was further complicated by the requirement to produce appropriate lists in both the American and British dialects of the English language. Furthermore, because even within the several nations who have adopted the product there exist variations in the level of local sensitivity, it was deemed appropriate to produce two lists per dialect. The “core” assemblages contain those of the gravest offense, which are liable to shock and horrify even the most liberal-minded and worldly of readers. The “additional” lists are provided to broaden the range of prohibited speech in order to protect any more delicate-minded communities which may choose to uphold a stricter standard of decency. The selection of the list to adopt is of course entirely within the purview of the customer.


As always, Making Light's comments are prime reading material as well. Favorite new swear words include "slore" (slut + whore) and "gutterfucker" (a term that has the verbal impact of "motherfucker" but without the misogynist implications). I was boggling at some of the synonyms for semen, though.

Found in the comments is also the amazing Roget's Profanisaurus, where you can find - for real - some of the most creative uses of profane slang and euphemisms that I've ever seen. I mean, dude. I can't list all of the gems, but this one caught my eye:

cliterature n. One handed reading matter.

And then there's this:
cockoholic n. One who is addicted to cockohol.

Holy hell, I can feel my productivity slipping away already...

***

Yahoo!News: McCain unsure how many houses he owns

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

[. . .]

"I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."

The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.

Best response I've seen yet: "Sheesh, people these days! We've got only one house, but we share it generously with the bank!"

***

Interesting thing I found while on a Googlehunt: When an unknown number called my cell phone for the second time in three days, I googled the number out of curiosity to see what would come up, and the first hit was Who Calls Me?. It's a site where you can post about a number, and others can chime in about their own experiences with being called from this number in order to determine who to send the stink bombs to is calling and why. The Interwebs is a fascinating place...

***

Redbook: Never Feel Tired Again

A link that's almost custom-made pour moi!

***

[livejournal.com profile] ozarque muses on the different "genres" involved in writing an instructive textbook for a conlang.

There are an assortment of different genres of traditional teaching grammars for foreign languages. There's the one that's strictly for tourists; it has a lesson about finding the bathroom, a lesson about buying a ticket, a lesson about going to a restaurant -- that kind of thing. There's the one that's mostly scripts -- it has a lesson where two people greet one another, a lesson where two people tell one another goodbye, a lesson where one person orders a meal and another takes the order, a lesson where one person asks another how to say something and the other person answers the question, and so on. There's the one that has a Nuclear Family as its cast of characters and takes them through their daily lives -- it has a lesson with the NF at breakfast, a lesson with the NF at dinner, a lesson with the NF going to the mall, a lesson with the NF celebrating a birthday, and so on. There's the one that describes the world -- it has a lesson about a country, and a lesson about weather, and a lesson about transportation, and so on. And there are more. Choosing your genre from this assortment is critical, the way choosing your genre for a novel is critical, because the choice immediately dumps a bunch of rules and constraints and tropes and stuff on you.


***

Yahoo!News: Wis. woman arrested, booked over library fines

GRAFTON, Wis. - A Grafton woman has been arrested and booked for failing to pay her library fines. Heidi Dalibor, 20, told the News Graphic in Cedarburg she ignored the library's calls and letters as well as a notice to appear in court.

[. . .]

The incident cost Dalibor about $30 for the overdue paperbacks "White Oleander" and "Angels and Demons" and her mother nearly $172 to get her out of custody.

Speaking as a perpetual tardy returner of library books: Dude, just pay the library fines.

***

-Reileen
sinesine, sinesine sa bata pa
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
reileen: (Default)
I hereby dub these linkposts as "link-o-llections", a portmanteau of "link" and a misspelled "collection"! I r witty.

***

From the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] sannion - Rihanna's Hymn to Zeus (otherwise known as "Umbrella"):

Rihanna goes on to sing:

You can stand under my umbrella

And this is one of the most powerful metaphors in the piece. Here she is comparing Zeus to an umbrella, by which she means that Zeus is our shelter and protection from the storm, a noble sentiment indeed, and one that is truly worthy of the god that she hymns so lovingly. No doubt that is why she chose to give such a name to her piece, for it is truly the central theme of the song.

Be sure to check the comments for a brief expose on how Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback" is an allegory for Hephaistos. No, seriously.

***

From the Angry Asian Man - Obama on vacation in the "foreign, exotic" state of Hawaii:

Oh, please. As you might know, Senator Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, which—last I checked—is a state. One of those United States, actually. Of America. But it turns out, according to political analyst Cokie Roberts, Hawaii is too "foreign" and "exotic" a locale for a campaigning presidential candidate to go to for vacation. Huh?

On yesterday's edition of ABC's This Week, Roberts criticized Senator Obama for "going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii," which she said "does not make any sense whatsoever." Funny, it makes perfect sense to me. Can't a guy go back to his home state to chill? According to Roberts:

"I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place... He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time."

Hawaii isn't American enough, apparently. What the hell kind of criticism is this?!

***

From Making Light - Classifying the Novel:

Novels may be classified in this manner:

(a) Those that are best-sellers, (b) those that were assigned to you in school, (c) those that you feel you have already read even though you have not, (d) classics, (e) those that are not read as the author intended, (f) those that many intend to read “some day,” (g) fantasy trilogies, (h) those that are otherwise not flawed, (i) those that were written on manual typewriters, (j) those that can be judged by their covers, (k) those that were padded by their designers during production to appear longer than they are, (l) those that are only called ‘novel’ by courtesy, (m) those that have been condensed by Readers Digest, (n) those that look well upon the shelf.

Making Light is a wonderful place full of simultaneously inspiring and intimidating individuals with a knack for wordplay and verse. Make sure you go through the comments - there's even more gems in there.

-Reileen
in another life, you and I worked West Virginia coal mines, side by side
reileen: (general - strawberry)
An absolutely fascinating website on Aztec Reconstructionism, which one doesn't see a lot of amongst the neopagans. Probably because, according to the author of the site, the Aztec deities do demand blood, and Lady knows real pagan deities are all benevolent and whiteness and light and if they demand something from you, especially icky icky blood, that means they're Very Bad! [/sarcasm] No, They're not looking for human sacrifice, at least not in the same way it was practiced in Ye Olden Mesoamerican Tymes (although you should check this guy's essay on how to bring back the concept of healthy sacrifice in today's society - I have to say, it's got some interesting implications), but voluntary drawing of one's own blood is a necessary part of being an Aztec Recon. 'Cause if you don't do it of your own will, the Gods are going to take it from you. Yeah, it sounds harsh, but They're Gods, so They'd have every right to do so.

Of course, being who I am, I'm thinking about this topic not just in terms of how it might apply to my own worship (Artemis, after all, has demanded both human blood and human sacrifice in her mythos), but also in terms of how I can incorporate this into my creative endeavors, particularly for world-building. I'd love to use the idea of "healthy sacrifice" in a sci-fi society.

Related to my own personal worldbuilding: John Scalzi tackles the practical issues surrounding polygamy in modern America. Be sure to check out the comments too; they bring up some really mind-boggling points. Holy shit, the legalities, they are over 9000! (And yet I'm tempted to incorporate some of this into Ryker's society, since I have the impression that, at least in one city he was in, polyamory was alive and well. But I hadn't decided yet whether that acceptance was realized in legal form in that particular city.)

Related to worldbuilding in general, yanked from the awesome [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith: A Collection of End of World Scenarios. Already I can hear my characters shivering in fear at my amazing authorial powers of doom! Ohohohoho.

***

Perhaps this just shows what an elitist whore I am, but I'm really dismayed at all the American-based "How to Draw Manga" books that have been coming out lately. I'd like to think that it's not so much that I'm not Super Special Awesome anymore in my love of Japanese comics and animation as it is that the art that often accompanies these books looks like the shit I drew in 6th grade - when I first started out in anime style. Seriously, y'all, what the fuck is this? This is a marked improvement, but it still can't compare to this. YMMV, of course.

***

Read through vols. 1-4 of Tokyo Mew Mew after I received them from a trade on [livejournal.com profile] garagesalejapan. I've been finding myself wanting to revisit the magical girl genre lately for some reason, but instead of returning to old-school Sailor Moon on crunchyroll, I decided to branch out a bit (though I still do want to return to Sailor Moon, omgnostalgia).

Well...I got TMM in a trade for some of my other manga, so I don't feel like I wasted money or anything, and I still want to read vols. 5-7, but the series seems lacking to me. I could have overlooked the outlandish premise ("Rich high school kid tries to fight invading aliens by injecting Earth animals with the DNA of endangered species, but he totally misses and hits five middle-school girls instead!"), since that's pretty much requisite for any magical girl series. And I could have overlooked the generically cute art that sometimes hovered at a "just technically competent enough" point (although it made the fight scenes boring as hell).

But I was not willing to overlook the one-dimensionality of the characters. In fact, these characters are so commonplace that I can describe them in terms of other popular anime characters.

Ichigo
Otaku-speak: Sakura Kinomoto, only much less cute and endearing.
Translation: The goodie-goodie middle-school girl who just wants a normal life and to have a boyfriend, and is always unselfish, etc. and so forth.

Mint
Otaku-speak: Tomoyo Daidouji with Rei Hino's personality minus Tomoyo's 'cesty crush on Sakura and her love of dressing Sakura up.
Translation: Snobby rich girl who in reality Just Wants to be Loved.

Lettuce (I kid you not, that's her name)
Otaku-speak: Fuu Hououji crossed with Usagi Tsukino.
Translation: A professional doormat that keeps on slipping out from under people's feet.

Pudding (yes, that is really her name, too)
Otaku-speak: A bite-sized Shampoo with Mokona tendencies.
Translation: A hyperactive Chinese acrobat.

Zakuro
Otaku-speak: Rei Hino (or, if you're going by the live-action Sailor Moon, Makoto Kino works here as well) with the looks of Arashi Kishuu.
Translation: Super-gorgeous girl who is cold and distant for some reason that I haven't yet been able to discern, and is initially antagonistic towards joining the Tokyo Mew Mews.

Let's not even get into the love interests, which include Masaya, the requisite Nice Classmate Who Has No Fucking Clue What's Going On (a.k.a. the Houjou of TMM); Ryou, the Jerk That Needs to Get the Hell Offa Mine Side But Is Really Cute/Hot (Inuyasha crossed with Tamaki, in this particular instance); and Kish, the Conflicted Baddie (Nephrite). I admittedly have a weak inclination for shipping Ichigo with Ryou, but that's because I have a general preference for that sort of dynamic in the romances I read about. Otherwise, I'm scratching my head over what these guys see in Ichigo. Is it her Sakura smile? Her pink hair? What?

The plot is even more confusing and vague. TMM follows a monster-of-the-week formula, which would be fine by me, except that these monsters aren't even remotely amusing or even scary. The aliens who sent/created the monsters in the first place are marginally more intriguing, if only because it's revealed that apparently they used to live on the Earth a long-ass time ago and now they want it back 'cause they're pissed that us stupid humans have fucked it up with pollution and shit. I have to admit that I (or a certain Huntress, at any rate) was amused at the environmental angle that TMM takes in setting up the core conflict of the story.

Overall, I might have liked TMM back when I was still a Sailor Moon Maniac. At the very least, I wouldn't have been bothered by the numerous problems I've just pointed out. But I wouldn't recommend it to other SM fans my age or older; it's best left to those of Ichigo's age bracket.

***

And finally, people think that deviantArt's little icon switcheroo deal for April Fools' this year is akin to rape! Oh, internets, nevar change.

-Reileen
I can't believe that I would keep, keep you from flying
reileen: (general - strawberry)
John Scalzi takes on the theory of 1000 True Fans
An interesting look into the business aspects of the creative industry, as well as the relationship between creator and fan.

Britney Spears to be animated in her latest music video
I'm pretty sure that there are pictures of animu!Spears out there, but I'd never thought it would become official. I have a masochistic urge to watch this video when it comes out.

Mysterious craters seen on Mercury
NASA spacecraft spots shiny things on Mercury!

The life and death of Stefen Colbear
Artist Todd Lockwood was commissioned to create a WoW Paladin named Stefen Colbear for the WoW TCG. Unfortunately, it was never made offishul because Colbert's agent was an idiot and said "NO GTFO" to the idea, not even bothering to show the artwork to Colbert himself.

-Reileen
see the structure of my pride

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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