Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gotye--Bronte



Sharing, because this is an amazing video.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Moribito Episode Six "Perish in Aogiri Mountains" --Review

The episode opens with Balsa practicing with her spear. She is still badly wounded however, and a wrong move causes her to stop abruptly, holding her side. The scene moves on to show us Chagum getting his hair cut and Tanda, who is chopping wood. Balsa returns from her practicing and watches as Saya cuts Chagum's hair. When she's done, Chagum tries to put on a brave face, saying that he looks nothing like a prince now in a confident voice, but it's clear he's actually pretty upset.

Balsa and Chagum head off for the Misty Blue Pass. Torogai has apparently decided to go with them, and has borrowed (read; stolen) a donkey from Tanda's uncle for that purpose. Farewells are said, and Balsa and Chagum head off.

The scene then shifts to the manhunt currently in progress, and we some exposition in the form of army officers discussing the progress and strategy of the manhunt.  As they’re talking, we see the results of Balsa’s decoy attempt; multiple false reports of her alleged whereabouts thanks to the decoys.



While the army officers are off investigatingall of the various sightings, we see the emperor’s black ops team, whoimmediately realize that Balsa has arranged for distractions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random Funny: Cajeiri in Intruder

Recently got Intruder by C.J. Cherryh via interlibrary loan. I am extremely amused by a scene that went down something like this:

Cajeiri: Woe, I will be living with my parents and their terminally uncool staff. Woe!

Cajeiri: Woe, I will also be without my grandmother who is awesome, and Lord Bren who is similarly awesome. Woe.

Cajeiri: I AM GOING TO BE BORED FOREVER.

Messenger: Your mother would like to speak with you, young sir!

Cajeiri: Woe, I am about to be lectured within an inch of my life.

Cajeiri: Which I deserve but lectures are completely the opposite of awesome.

Cajeiri's Mom: Guess what, Cajeiri? You get to decorate your own suite, with only a few specifications since we still can't trust you with antiques!

Cajeiri: O_O

Cajeiri:

O_O

Cajeiri: OMG. OMG THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.



Of course, he is still not allowed to have a television, even if it's "educational." Cajeiri is just perfectly "like a kid" while being an alien kid.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Homestuck Fanvid



I saw the art for this a couple weeks ago. Great song, and some really terrific art!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reading Homestuck Part Eleven: ==> Rose: Engage in NSFW Rapping!


From here to here.

Rose answers Dave and discovers that he is apparently buried under a pile of horrifying perverted toys. He is extremely traumatized by being in this situation and is relating his tale of woe and puppet proboscis.  Rose is less than sympathetic, and seems to take a sincere joy in making fun of Dave’s situation. Much to his eternal horror, she even engages in a little slam poetry about it in a way that is definitely not safe for work.

TT: Prong of flesh bereft of home
TT: Found solace 'twixt a cleft of foam.

(And it continues from there, much to Dave’s horror.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Near Life Experiences: Ten Formative Books/Stories

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What it says on the tin.

Near Life Experiences: Ten Formative Books/Stories: This is for WBE2 Prompt 44 1. Dragonflight , by Anne McCaffrey As the first sf book I ever read, it stands out the most in my mind. ...


The Mystic Archives of Dantalian Episode Nine “Book of Twilight”--Recap

This episode uses an older art style that is vaguely reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki's work. (The costume designs some of the other characters in this episode reminds me very strongly of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind.) We see a barren and desolate landscape that looks like nothing on Earth. Huey and Dalian turn up, walking toward a fortress. They appear to be on some sort of important mission. When they reach the fortress they find it in ruins. Dalian looks extremely sad, and Huey notes that the world is falling apart. Then we go to the opening credits.

When we get back from credits, we are introduced to an old woman who is currently complaining about her apprentice and granddaughter, Ira. Ira meanwhile, is heading off to town on an errand. While visiting an elderly man named Mr. Salut, we get some back story on Ira. She apparently has a crush on a young merchant named Tito, whose caravan is due to arrive in town soon. As the old man is teasing her about her crush, she catches sight of Dalian and Huey, who have been wandering around the town.

The next scene is Ira dispensing medicinal herbs to a young soldier. She's interrupted by Gianni, who appears to be an officer in the town guard. He needs to speak to her grandmother. The grandmother is extremely unhappy about having soldiers anywhere near her home and she is not really willing to hear him out at first.

He explains that there has been an invasion of monster bugs called "Baziumu," and he needs the grandmother's shamanic expertise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview: Seanan McGuire


Seanan McGuire is the author of the October Daye novels, an urban fantasy series about a half-fae private investigator. The most recent series she is working on is InCryptids, which is about a family that would prefer to study monsters rather than hunt them, which is what a rival organization known as the Covenant of St. George would prefer to do. Writing as Mira Grant, she has written the “Newsflesh” trilogy (the third book of which is coming out in May), which involves zombies and journalism in some fashion. Seanan McGuire is also a singer-song writer, and further information about her books and music can be found on her website here.  


Where did you go to school? (And what did you major in?)


I went to the University of California Berkeley -- go Bears! -- where I majored in folklore and mythology.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip


Ace
277 pp.

Buy on Amazon
Patricia McKillip is one of my favorite writers, but I generally find her works to be somewhat hit or miss. She is a writer who excels at creating modern fairytales and intricately described landscapes that seem to be both concrete and dreamlike. Her prose ranges from the flowery to the simple and practical and can draw you right into the story, except when it does the opposite. The Bell at Sealey Head would be one of the novels that threw me right out of the story. (Largely through no fault of its own in this case; I just could not form an attachment to any of the characters.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (sound track medley)



Joe Hisaishi at 25 Year Concert in Budokan

List:
1. Opening [Legend of the Wind]
2. Requiem ~ A Battle Between Mehve and Corvette
3. Tooi hibi (Days Long Gone)
4. Tori no Hito (Bird Person)

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian Episode Eight “Book of Equivalence/Book of Relationship”--Recap


The episode opens with Camilla showing up at the door wearing men's clothes, a top hat, and a fake mustache. Huey is understandably startled by her appearance, and then we go to the opening credits. When we get back from the opening credits, Camilla is saying hello to Dalian. Dalian as usual, doesn't not approve of Camilla's outfit. Camilla teases Dalian, and gives her a present.

They have tea, and Camilla notices that Dalian is reading an old auction catalog. After some conversation, it turns out that Dalian is extremely fond of one of the bears that had been part of the auction. (She claims she only likes the toys presented for their aesthetic and market value, but she is lying.) Out of the blue, Camilla asks for something out Huey's pocket. This turns out to be a paperclip. Camilla takes the paperclip and heads off, much to the bemusement of Huey.

The next scene is Huey and Dalian talking with a bookshop owner. The bookshop owner wants Huey and Dalian to assess a book he believes to be a Phantom Book. Unfortunately, when he goes to get the book, he discovers that he has already accidentally sold it. Huey enquires if the shop owner remembers whom he sold it to. It turns out that this book was sold to Camilla. Dalian asks the name of the book, which is "The Book of Equivalence." 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GBE2 Prompt 43: Shenanigans


This is for GBE2Prompt 43

I have been doing prompts for WBE2. This time around, the prompt is “Shenanigans.” Due to my complete inability to shenanigan, I have a great admiration for characters who are shenanigan-enabled. So, have a list of characters that enact shenanigans. “Shenanigans” will be here defined as “brilliantly sneaky or ridiculous thing.”   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moribito Episode Five "Secret Plan, the Blue Hand"--Review

This episode opens with the closing scene of the previous episode. Torogai enters the hut, muttering "an egg" under her breath, and then she catches sight of Chagum and points at him, shouting "the egg!" Torogai decides to enter Chagum's personal space, and in general reminds me strongly of Aughra from The Dark Crystal. She questions Chagum but the poor kid has no clue and looks to Balsa to provide context and an explanation for the strange old woman.

Torogai turns her questioning to Balsa, and provides a little exposition in case you completely lost track of what was going on. (Which did sort of happen to me for the first few episodes, the exposition is very smoothly inserted, and I do not have any issues with it.) They talk, and Balsa indicates that Torogai needs to examine Chagum, which she does. The old woman examines Chagum, and does something that enables her to take a look inside Chagum. We see water, and a tiny glowing ball of light. Torogai attempts to take hold of the egg; she fails, walking and muttering something about interacting with Nayug (the spirit world).

Apparently Chagum has become some kind of annex to the spirit world. The egg belongs to a water spirit called a Nyunga Ro Im. We get some exposition about the differences between the native Yakoo culture and the imperialistic Yogo culture in that the Yakoo think in terms of "spirits" while the Yogo think in terms of "demons."

Balsa asks if Torogai would be able to removethe egg.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Web Comic Review: Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell


This is probably one of my favorite web comics.

Gunnerkrigg Court is a continuing web comic about a girl named Antimony Carver and her experiences at a very mysterious boarding school. It is primarily a fantasy, but there are also science fiction elements (with a general theme of science versus magic, or nature versus technology, though a lot of the “technology” later turns out to be some variety of magic). Our heroine has a number of adventures that become increasingly more complex as she slowly learns more about her past and her parents’ connection with the school.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homestuck Music: Song of Skaia/ I'm a Member of the Midnight Crew




This song is extremely pretty.




This song is amazingly funny and fun to sing. I think what I like most about it is possibly the line "Bring your wife and Trouble, it will never follow you, make her a member of the Midnight Crew"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blue Exorcist Episode Twenty Five “Time, Stop”--Review

We open with a scene from Mephisto's past. It seems the Mephisto is the demon from Christopher Marlowe's play, Dr. Faustus, in which an alchemist makes a deal with the demon Mephistopheles. (Interestingly Mephisto's usual alias is "Johann Faust the Fifth" and his other alias of "Mephisto Pheles" is just "Mephistopheles" with a break. Demons are apparently really bad and obvious about aliases.) Mephisto is discussing the terms of their agreement, which involves eternal life. Then we go to the opening credits.

When we get back from the opening credits we see Rin and Yukio attempting to exterminate the demons pouring out of the huge gate. They are not doing so well, as they are severely outnumbered, even with Shura on hand. (Shura is currently holding Shiemi.) We shift to Shiemi who is waking up just in time to see a fireball heading her way. She and Shura are saved from being immolated by Arthur, who jumps in between and deflects the fireball. (It seems that Arthur has decided to join the fun and games.)

Arthurl makes a very arrogant statement telling Rin and the others to sit still while he defeats Satan, which Rin of course ignores. Both of them charge up to the gate. Arthur is blocked, but Rin keeps going, but not too much farther before he's blocked as well. Arthur and Rin land, and Yukio tells them that everyone needs to time their attacks, which Shura backs up. (One of the recurring themes of the series "you do better when you are supporting other people and acting together than you do when you are working separately," so this is not surprising.) 

Book Review: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Simon and Schuster
329 pp.
Buy on Amazon
Fair warning: I did not much care for this book. It was more or less readable, but I had no feelings for any of the characters, who were basically cardboard figures being dragged along by the plot. I also found some of the writing to be very clunky, and flat out disagreed with several of the points the writer seemed to be fumbling toward. (My feelings for this book are nearly the same as my feelings for the The Stand, another apocalypse novel that I really do not like very much.) It has a very open and somewhat weak ending, and the last couple pages are not numbered for apparently atmospheric reasons.