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Archive for August, 2011

I have been busy lately. First of all, my friends have made it apparent to me that I run a lucrative brothel called “The Den of Iniquity” and almost all of my friends are my employees, half of them volunteered personally. We bought phallus-shaped door knobs from ancient Pompeii especially for the brothel. It’s been great.

Aside from that, it’s approaching the end of my high school life and I’ve been handing in major works, writing and giving and listening to speeches, keeping up with all the extra activities such as Slave Day, Muck Up Day and the Formal – though our politically correct principal has renamed them Personal Assisstant Day, Fun Day and the Farewell, respectively. So it’s been pretty all over the place.

On Wednesday it was Lizzy’s birthday! We’re celebrating this weekend with a movie, and I bought her paperclips, since she asked so nicely. I have to keep planning for the formal because I still need a dress and now I’m going with Ryan again because he asked and because why not? Ryan’s been my friend for a number of years now and yeah, it was awkward in year ten because he fancied me (why?) but now it’s much more relaxed. Thank heavens for our different subjects! Also the Highland Ball is coming up quickly and I need a dress for that. I won’t need a date though, because Lizzy will be coming with me so I won’t be lonely like I was last year – well, I danced with my sister, but it’s always nice to have a friend come with.

My cousin had her first baby on the seventh too! Happy birthday Raiden (this is the only time that phrase is accurate, so I had to)! I haven’t seen Raiden outside photos yet, but I’ll get there ^^;

I’m back at work, two nights a week, so I actually have money now. Money is good.

In my spare time I’ve been happily writing and drawing. I found ‘my style’ now, inspired by the comic style of AceroTiburon, and it’s really working for me, though I’ve got a long way to go still folks. When I’m not drawing, I’m writing – my story Lorelai, which has a cast of characters whose personalities are unlike any I’ve worked with before and are fun but really tricky to write! I might post a bit up here for you guys at some point.

I still plan to review ‘Never Mind Me’, by the by. Maybe when I’m not so overwhelmed! And that’s it for now. I just kind of wanted to record all of this stuff, because August has always been such a busy month!

Chill-axed,
Lexiconish.

PS: Listening to Code Geass music, reading Warriors Book One: Into the Wild. Again.

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Guilty As Charged

We all have a guilty pleasure somewhere along the line in our lives.

For my school yearbook, I put:
Name: Lyndsay
Nickname: Boris, Kura (I have other nicknames, but I didn’t list them. Chicken Goddess, Lex, Lexiconish, Kura-chan, Lyn-Lyn…)
Most Memorable Moment: The Gentleman! Tate landing a hat on Connor’s head on a fluke.
Aims for the Future: RICH and FAMOUS, ruler of an evil empire.
Confession: I am a figment of your imagination.
Farewell Message: So long and thanks for all the fish.

Anyone who read that would know I not only like How I Met Your Mother, but I’m also a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I don’t take these things seriously. There wasn’t much I could put down for a ‘confession’ though, since at school I’m fairly open about my likes and dislikes. I had nothing to hide, and everyone already knew all the weird things about me. I joked with friends about putting down ‘I secretly hate you all’ or something about ‘I actually don’t care about grammar. Kidding, I’ll kill you if you mix up your and you’re again.’ But we settled on that because it was fairly simple and it confused the hell out of Connor who tried to work out if he was a figment of his own imagination.

Well I’m getting off topic. The point is, I do have ‘guilty pleasures’ even though they weren’t really confessions since, yeah, everyone knows about it and just brush it off as a ‘Lyndsay thing’. For example, I really like the show “Young Dracula”, CBBC. It’s for kids, yeah, but it’s quite enjoyable and made vampires pretty cool without having to resort to sparkles. I also like “Summer in Transylvania”. It’s one of those shows that I really shouldn’t like, because it’s cheesy and it’s aimed at a younger audience but um… you know what, I don’t care. For me it comes under ‘It’s so bad it’s good’. I love shows that make you think and send a strong message, but once in a while it’s just nice to switch off my brain and watch something awful, yet not cringe-worthy.

I can confess to liking a crappy show here and there. I like fan fiction, and I write it. I like AMVs and wish I could make them. I still enjoy the odd Disney movie. I absolutely love anime, Doctor Who, Merlin and Sherlock. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with that… do you?

Now, I may begin to question my mental health when I start having conversations with my friends about owning a brothel – and I certainly do not, by the way, the business world isn’t my scene – but really it’s all Yaniah’s fault. She’s the one who brought up the fact that in Tokyo, one can actually hire a friend. That’s right. Lonely, depressed? Why not hire a stranger to laugh at all your jokes for a day! It’s just like a prostitute, except without the sex.

Well, see, that’s what brought it all up. Now I apparently own a brothel, Yaniah hires out pretend parents for a day who read you a story and tuck you in, Lizzy owns a friend service and Kieran owns a housewife business. In other words… Yaniah can give you a dad, Kieran can give you a maid, Lizzy can give you a friend, and I can give you a special friend. Don’t. Ask. We’re full of quirks, it’s good, ja?

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have a business to run I have to get ready for work. I work at a pizza place. Pizza. Just so we’re clear.

Suspectly,
Lexiconish.

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PIP hell.

It’s the worst.

The PIP is the Personal Interest Project for Society and Culture classes in Australia. It is evil incarnate. Oh, it sounds like sunshine and daisies – I get to bull shit through a class talking about something I like? Sweet! So this is you at the start:

And then you have a little peek at what the PIP is and you think… ‘What the hell is this? It makes no sense.’ And you realise you don’t even know what a PIP is. So you hesitantly set it aside and start thinking about what interesting things you could research a bit. So now you’re like:

Then you think you find something and realise that because you have no idea what the assignment really is, you can’t even start work. So instead of doing the smart thing and admitting it, you procrastinate.

And procrastinate some more.

Then your teacher starts to lecture your class about the PIP. You nod along and think, ‘Why isn’t this clearing anything up?’ and then you find out that because the teachers never actually get any feedback on PIPs and you never get a mark for it, no one actually has any idea what they’re doing. So you’re like:

Finally you look up the Board of Studies web site to try and work everything out and oh crap… this is all corporate language which means no one speaks plainly. Ever.

To recap you’ve gone from joyful daisy field with rainbows and blue skies to big black cloud of what the?

Still you’ve got to write something down. So you vaguely ask a random question and you start researching. You throw out a survey here and there. You’re confused and you don’t even know what you’re doing. You just kind of drift through.

And then suddenly it’s the night before its due and you haven’t written anything.

This is you:

Try to scrabble something together, get to 3,000 words and realise you’ve got about 5,000 more to go and you’ve said all you have to say.

You:

And guess what? This is me. Right at this moment. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?

Then finally I finish… and realise, it’s pretty much a pile of wordy goo but I don’t care anymore. So hey, what the hell, not the end of the world.

Sincerely,
Lexiconish.

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You know what anime I’ve actually been watching lately? Well, there’s a few; Durarara is one, and Code Geass and Nabari and such are others… but I’ve been having a tea party with nostalgia. See, though not technically the first anime I ever saw, I count it as perhaps the anime that started my obsession; Cardcaptor Sakura. If you’ve heard of it as ‘Cardcaptors’ only, get out – the dubbed version is not even fit to… look, it was absolute crap, all right? So if you know of Yukito as Julian, Tomoyo as Madison, and Touya as Tory… GET OUT.

Anyway, Cardcaptor Sakura is basically about a twelve-year-old girl who accidentally scatters 52 magical cards created by the magician Clow Reed. As a result, she has to collect them up again and turn them back into cards – she has a bit of magic which gradually grows more potent throughout the 70 episode long anime. Anyway, a boy from Hong Kong has been sent by his family to collect the cards as well and initially is Sakura’s rival and is arrogant and all that towards her, but in a way that you still find him endearing, bless him. His name is Syaoran Li. Sakura’s best friend is Tomoyo Daidouji, and she knows about it all and Sakura has a little ‘plush toy’ called Kero who is actually the Guardian of the Clow Cards. The series is spent on her collecting the cards while maintaining her personal life as well etc. The third series takes a bend in the path, but I won’t get into it.

Well recently I got bored of the crappy fan fictions so I went onto TV Tropes… be careful, as side effects of this web site include never having a life again due to dependence on computer and internet access. Anyway I was looking into the fan fic recs and the only one that vaguely appealed to me was a fic called Never Mind Me by watercircle.

Words cannot describe the amazing-ness of this story.

So beautiful. So sad. So heartwarming. The movie world has a lot to learn from this writer. The impact she (I believe it would be a she, I should probably check) creates with the simplest of sentences is inspiring.

It’s about Syaoran being a ghost and when he finds out that Sakura’s going to die prematurely, he decides to make a sacrifice to save her. I settled in for a cliche story to pass the time. So this was me at the start:

But by the end of the second chapter I was like… not bad…

And then we get this: [“I’ll watch her,” Syaoran said, speaking as if he were taking on a grave responsibility. “I’ll make sure nothing happens to her.”] No, he doesn’t fancy her yet or anything. It’s just a kindness; and it is quite well played. And it continues.

[“Now this part is very important,” Clow said, looking directly into Syaoran’s eyes. “Your energy level was fairly high, but it will only give you thirty days at the most. The full moon seems to slow the process of deconstruction, but once it wanes, you will begin to slip back into the void. Do you understand, Syaoran? You have until the new moon to take care of your business. After that, it’s all over.”
Syaoran nodded solemnly. The concept of time was still foreign to him, but he figured he’d catch on eventually. “I understand. Until the new moon.”
The magician smiled softy, a knowing twinkle in his eye. “You have no idea what that really means, do you? But you will. It’s hard not to count the days as you live them. The new moon will come faster than you think.”]

The concept of time is cleverly approached in this; humanity is constantly aware of time – that it is running out, that time moves too quickly or too slowly. Syaoran as a ghost has never paid much attention to time and doesn’t really understand the full limitations he’s been given. So now Syaoran is ‘human’ for all intents and purposes for 30 days.

In fact there are a lot of things that Syaoran has to adjust to over a limited space of time. Unaccustomed to communicating with anyone, or being seen by anyone, he doesn’t really think about the fact that people blink for example. He doesn’t know what the fourth day of every month means. He doesn’t realise what a strange impression he’s leaving but fortunately he’s very single-minded; Sakura must be saved.

Sadly… it turns out, Syaoran’s becoming ‘alive’ to protect her is the cause of her premature death; it is a paradox. Syaoran broke the laws of life and death and the balance was disturbed. Sakura, his complete opposite, must therefore die to correct it. Syaoran will rejoin The Void at the end of 30 days which would correct the balance as well, but in the meantime everything’s a little messy. So, Syaoran is suddenly laden with guilt and furthers his resolve to protect Sakura for the duration of his ‘life’ and then he will leave in peace.

My face at this point:

So since this story is so worthy, so worthy of being a novel in and of itself, I’ve decided to review it chapter by chapter, starting at the start and you’ll see why I broke down by the end. So look forward to that!

Adieu,
Lexiconish.

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‘The White Knight Awakens’

I think I’ll have a hard time nailing down things to talk about. This episode shows that the series is going to be very action-packed and possibly hard to follow…

Lelouch quickly begins to learn about his power – it only works with direct eye-contact. Yay for limitations! Also, this:

* “My name is Alan Spacer.”

What kind of a name is that? Oh well, I’ll give Lelouch the benefit of the doubt; he was thinking on the spot, and God knows I can never settle on a good name when pushed for time.

I do have one comment though; I find it hard to believe that everyone can just automatically pilot a Knightmare Frame expertly. Lelouch jumps into his (actually someone else’s) Sutherland and knows how everything operates. I’m not sure, but I don’t think this is standard education on the average school curriculum. We can excuse Kallen because she’s driving a Glasgow that she (for all we know) has had plenty of time to practice with prior to these events. But the fact that then everyone can pilot a Sutherland so easily? I don’t think so. But whatever, plot flaw.

So anyway Lelouch is stuck in Shinjuku Ghetto in the midst of a *cough, cough* ‘planned urban renewal’. This means, Prince Clovis (fancy-man extraordinaire!) couldn’t stand the idea of being disinherited and ordered the massacre of everyone in the ghetto. Wow. What a douche. Sorry.

Now Lelouch needs to escape… so because chess is a universal metaphor for war, he gathers his pieces and begins ordering them around with the communicator he picked up last episode. This means Kallen and her gang – this being some guy with a perm called Ohgi and some guy with an attitude problem called Tamaki and a bunch of other people – are obeying a mysterious voice and managing to gain the upper hand in the battle… except, you know, my new best friend Lloyd has a special Knightmare Frame ready to deploy. Every second Lloyd is on screen I love him a little more~

Suzaku, as it turns out, is alive after all. Saved by a pocket watch – now that’s what I call ‘good timing’ ahahaha… no? – and Lloyd decides that he’ll be a good piece of equipment; i.e. the ‘devicer’ for his Knightmare Frame. This gets me too – yes, Suzaku has trained with simulators, and he ‘read the manual’ apparently (speed reading…) but he still operates a brand new Knightmare Frame perfectly. Oh, and the Knightmare is called the Lancelot. Hmmm, I’m sensing an Arthurian theme here for no apparent reason…

How do these Knightmares work? I mean, sure, there’s someone inside operating them… but they’ve gotta be wired up to the brain or something because every single move including raising their heads that the pilot makes, the Knightmare makes as well. I don’t get how. Especially when Suzaku manages to do his spinning kick IN THE LANCELOT (with an injury no less). Yes, that spinning kick seems to be another thing exclusive to Suzaku. And, he basically pwns Lelouch… or would have if Kallen didn’t rock up in her beat up Glasgow.

Oh, as Suzaku and Lelouch fall through the levels… does no one else think of ‘The Aristocats’? No? Just me? Oooookay.

And hello! Lelouch reveals himself to his big brother Clovis after forcing him to stop the fighting and have everyone treated (very nice of him, don’t you think?). Hold on though seventeenth in line to the throne? Uh… that’s not right. If Lelouch is the seventeenth in line to the throne, and a prince and… did he say his mother was a consort? Okay. I foresee familial problems…

All in all, I actually don’t have much to comment on regarding this episode. I guess I’m waiting for things to really pick up plot-wise, and to see who is who and motives and stuff like that. I still think I hate Brittania.

Au revoir,
Lexiconish.

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So I haven’t had the opportunity to read anything new yet, unfortunately. I’ve been suffering a bad cold and my exams were on but now that they’re over I’ve a little time on my hands again.

We’re finally studying Pompeii and Herculaneum! I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time now. We haven’t really done much yet though, sadly. Mostly I’ve been re-watching old animes… the fact I haven’t seen them in a while actually made it all ‘new’ again.

Spoilers ahoy! I will be reviewing as if I have never seen the rest of the series, so I will pretend to have no knowledge of later episodes. For lack of anything else to review, I’m going to begin by reviewing the very first episode of the anime Code Geass. This is a show about terrorism, war, heroes, and whether the means is more important than the end. It also has copious amounts of pizza, bizarre festivals and cats. So let’s proceed.

Episode one of Code Geass (and the dubbed version is quite faithful to the subbed version, so it matters not which you watch) opens with a lovely little back story provided by a disembodied female voice overlaying some brief shots of what the Britannian invasion on Japan was like. This is all exceptionally important; if you skip it you’ll be pretty confused later on. I do love that the show’s creators feel no need to explain what ‘Britannia’ is or what happened to cause the current timeline we’re following in-series. There’s no really natural way of telling the audience when everyone in that world would of course be quite aware of why things are as they are.

Companion booklets to the DVDs do provide history for the world, but that’s ‘in the handbook’ and not really necessary to enjoy the series.

We are immediately shown a world controlled by a dictating empire where discrimination is rampant. Two boys (who I assume are our main characters) sit in a barren area exposed early in their lives to an apparently horrific experience and we are given the driving force behind the main character’s actions.

* “I swear, Suzaku… I swear I will one day obliterate Britannia!”

Strong words from a ten-year-old. Clearly this is not intended for a young audience! This brings us to the opening credits, which like with every anime tells very, very little about the series upon first viewing.

What is clear is that the first episode is arranged more or less to establish what we’re in for; there is no beating about the bush! I cannot think of many animes which launches right into the massacre of the elderly and the young.

Let me explain; you can be forgiven for being emotionally traumatised by this series opening. It’s not pretty. Lelouch, our main character, goes gambling – chess? Really? – and is unfortunately caught up in a terrorist affair. ‘Elevens’ – Japanese, to you and me – are rebelling in small ways and have, apparently, stolen poisonous gas. Poor Lelouch goes down to help out when the truck crashes and tumbles inside the vehicle when it takes off. Terrorists really don’t wait around regardless of injury.

Meanwhile Rivalz (Lelouch’s pal) sees the truck drive away (having watched Lelouch go down to investigate) and then moves away wondering where Lelouch went, completely unconcerned for his apparent BEST FRIEND. Can I just say… WTF?

Anyway… so Lelouch is being dragged off in a terrorist vehicle with poisonous gas and is being shot at. He knows where he is exactly because he recognises little things (terrain, darkness, WHAT?) And when one of the terrorists, a young red-haired woman, dumps her jacket near him – AHA! Communicator! This turns out to be very important too, but it’s a blink and you’ll miss it thing so pay attention.

Oh by the way, there’s a character who appears briefly who I can already tell I’m going to love; a scientist by the name of Lloyd. Why do I love him?

* “Ahaaaa!”
* “W-what are you doing?”
* “Looking at a man who blundered, am I correct?”

This, as well as his pose and his voice. I love this man. I don’t know what his purpose is yet but I like him.

The truck crashes again (rubbish driver) underground and instead of being smart and trying to escape Lelouch hangs out a bit. Britannian Lackey #253 now signals his commanders and goes to investigate with what I must say was an incredible spinning kick. This obviously signifies that BL #253 is not just any lackey. He’s a main character! Lelouch goes down and I was like… Oh no he didn’t just do that to a helpless citizen! He is going in my Bad Book!

But then whoa! Hold it! Because #253 recognises Lelouch from his words; obliterate Britannia, am I sensing a catchphrase here? And behold it is Suzaku, the kid from the beginning who Lelouch apparently hasn’t seen for seven years. Happy reunion time!

This reunion is cut short though because POISONOUS GAS OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING? Ahhh it’s the standard pretty girl (she has green hair, what?) making her appearance. Being men Lelouch and Suzaku promptly begin to strip her of her straight jacket. I don’t suppose it occured to them that there might be a reason she was wearing a straight jacket? Anyway, then Suzaku’s superiors arrive (Suzaku’s Japanese working for Britannia and Lelouch is Britannian and wants to destroy it – ooooh conflict!) and order Suzaku to kill Lelouch. Suzaku says no and then WHOA THEY KILLED HIM! I thought… that’s a kind of abrupt ending to that guy I was just starting to like…

Now they’re going to kill Lelouch! Lelouch and girl escape and hide and the Britannians come after them and a baby cried… Followed by gun fire. No more crying. My heart is breaking; this is insane. I think this is going to be very emotional… But then Lelouch’s phone rings! Here we get a little contrast with Lelouch’s schoolfriend getting annoyed about him hanging up on her whilst the sound gave Lelouch away and now he’s in big trouble. They know he’s just a student, oh my  God I think I hate Britannia and oh crap the random girl just protected him and took the bullet and…!

In short the last five minutes of episode one are action-action-action! The girl, supposedly dead, grabs Lelouch’s arm (I’m confused) and then somehow she gives him special power which he automatically knows how to use. Wimpy Lelouch becomes Confident Lelouch and a red bird flies out of his eye (… what now.) as he commands all of the little troupe to die… whereupon they WHAT commit suicide! Also, they called him Your Highness. So… Lelouch vi Britannia, eh?

The Geass: (red bird)

Lelouch now treats us to a delightfully evil smirk which lets us know EXACTLY what we’re in for…

Meekly,
Lexiconish.

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