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Poke'-G Warlord

The Evil Lord Dictator of All Things Kaiju

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January 6th, 2010

Hey hipcats, it's been ages, but at last I give you another real post. I swear I'll get the hang of the bi-weekly bit again, but only time will tell for sure. I hope the Avatar post convinced some people to at least give the movie a shot.

It's worth it. Holy sweet Jesus is it worth it. The major criticism I've seen from people is the story line, which is legitimate considering the ecological, anti-imperialism, and romantic outsider stories have all been done before, some by Cameron himself. And this is completely true, Avatar is one of the most predictable stories I've ever seen. What's stupid is that people are somehow letting that destroy everything else the film has to offer. Despite knowing every twist in the movie, I still found it ridiculously entertaining. The characters are phenomenal especially thanks to the people portraying them. Colonel Quatritch is one of the best badass villains I've seen in ages, a gung-ho military jerk who refuses to lose.

The film is also a schmorgasboard of science fiction concepts. Among all the flak for unoriginality Avatar has been getting, no one seems to bring up the subtle plot point of a real living planet. This is the first time I've ever seen the idea done without being ridiculous (Mogo of Green Lantern, or Ego the Living Planet), and to tie it together, this is also the first example I can think of for a hive mind race that completely keeps their individuality. The hive mind aspect is so well hidden that it wasn't until well after the movie that I realized that was exactly what Pandora and all its species had. It was really cool for once to also see tribal mysticism given a legitimate physical explanation without relying on the "It's magic, I don't have to explain anything." pitfall.

In the end, Avatar is just a movie that was executed very well, plain and simple. Yes the film is filled with classic story points, but they are time tested plot devices that Cameron did not abuse and wrapped up with a spectacle that is an ubelievable experiance. And at $1 billion and rising, clearly the story skeptics raising Hell against the film out there are in the minority. And keep in mind, this was the fastest to hit $1 billion, and it did so without being hyped to Hell and back because of a dead overrated cast member. This is a piece of cinema history, so don't miss out just cause bloggers or net critics are saying Fern Gully did it first.

Which is ridiculous, Fern Gully wasn't even that good.

Anyways, I do think I'll continue to post my Black Taxi articles here for people back home to read, but I digress. On to life in Japan.

------------------------------------------------

I'm now well over a third of the way through my first year in JET. In fact, it's fast approaching the half year mark which feels so bizzare. It makes the amount of time sound far more significant than it felt.

So what's been going on in my neck of the world for the past few months?

Well, I've slowly been getting used to a completely new and diverse crowd of people. Shimane's got JETs literally from every corner of the English speaking world, and they've all come here for all manner of reasons and desires. I have run into a couple fellow geeks, in film, in anime, and in general geekery, which is cool. One of the fellow ALTs right here in Hamada is even a big MST3K fan. Pretty damn cool.

Get togethers of some level happen every few weeks or so for various reasons, especially for holidays.

Halloween came and went a while ago, and under the pressure of being socialable I put together a ghostbuster costume for party in Matsue, the prefecture capital. Fastest cosplay effort ever. I had the idea a week before, but spent the entire week looking for and buying materials. This essentially left about eight hours to actually paint and assemble the damn thing. I thought it was pretty terrible. The glue for the straps on the proton pack failed, and so they were fastened with a lot, and I mean a lot, of clear packing tape. No one seemed to notice though, and it turned out to be a popular costume.Collapse )

By far, the most bizzare happening is that Hamada has been the setting for a brutal murder mystery. Given that they're not very common, the media attention has been quite heavy for one of the least populated regions in Japan. No killer has been found yet, nor has the entirety of the victim's body to my knowledge, so police are scrambling to keep up Japan's amazing conviction rate.

These two factors (being the media attention and the desparation of the police) come together to create one major problem for JET.

The victim excelled at English at the Hamada campus of Shimane University. Japanese logic therefore dictates that foreigners are involved. The press found out about a weekly get together the Hamada ALTs have for reminiscing and English practice for a few Japanese friends. It wasn't surprising since the event is pretty much on the level of legend; everyone around us knows about it. And so the newspaper interviews started, and then it turns out that the victim worked at one of the shops we frequent. Regardless, we never actually met the girl or even knew her name. Whether or not the press has listened is unclear, but soon after the cops cornered each and every one of us over the exact same subject, the weekly meeting and practicing English with the victim. Again we atest to never meeting the girl, as the BoE has even made a point of limiting our activity on the University long before this whole affair. Kendai (University nickname) has its English professors, Hamada has its ALTs, and the BoE said that official collaboration is out of the question.

Or was, as now that the press and cops have come calling about Kendai affairs, they've been kindly pointing all inquiries in our direction. Thanks Hamada BoE, you're swell.

The last was a TV interview. Thankfully the BoE came through on that one and nixed cameras and had people present to try and steer away from overtly personal inquiries.

The worst part about the whole thing is knowing that so many parties are wasting effort on a useless tangent that is leading them nowhere, as English speaking foriegners have nothing to do with this. They've gone so far as to question ALTs in neighboring cities, and probably won't stop until the prefecture's supply of gaijin is exhausted.

In all likely hood, it's a creepy stalker native who's God knows where by now with the headstart everyone's given him. Or her.

You never know.

That or the rumor of Yakuza goons trying to collect on loans is true. But I doubt that one since killing is not how the underworld collects when a young woman owes them money. Not to mention they could hide a body much better than in the middle of the woods.

-----------------------------------------------------

I've not actually talked much about Hamada have I? It's a pretty decent city in the second least populated prefecture in the country, which is hard to believe considering no one lives on Shikoku, and there's four prefectures there.


Hamada is a bit smaller than Youngstown, but not by much. Add that it's surrounded by mountains and you have a city that's not too different from home. You know, aside from the language, the culture, the food, the use of insulation and other modern building innovations, and such.

Not too different.Collapse )

On the flip side, a sparse population means one can stumble across some awesome used stuff, since no one's around to snipe them off. It's still hard to find uber rare stuff, as people are not stupid, but I've managed to find some cool stuff. There's a pawn shop near my apartment and they have a NeoGeo CD, but just the NeoGeo CD. No controllers or even cords. They've got a ton of laserdisc players, and I'm considering how worthwhile having one would be.

The remastered THX ( NOT Special Edition) Star Wars movies were released on laserdisc, and that's the ONLY way you can see them in a digital form. (The original original unremastered versions are on DVD, not the THX remastered ones) Godzilla vs. Biollante was also released on the format, and HBO has never bothered to rerelease the movie to DVD (but cares enough not to let the rights revert back to Sony, the jerks). Laserdisc is also the only home format to recieve the original widescreen treatment of The Land Before Time.

And then there's the tech geek angle. The privelege of being able to say "Yeah, I've got an LD player." is a fun thought.

I'm gonna need a second multiout if I do though. My poor TV.

-----------------------------------------------------

My Life According to DragonForce

Ganked from Saker days before I left the states. Yes, it's been sitting on my laptop that long.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to at least 5 people. You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "my life according to (band name)"

Pick your Artist:
DragonForce


Are you a male or female?
"The Warrior Inside"

Describe yourself:
"Heroes of Our Time"

How do you feel:
"The Fire Still Burns"

Describe where you currently live:
"Where Dragons Rule"

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
"Where Dragons Rule" (Duh)

Your favorite form of transportation:
"Soldiers of the Wasteland"

Your best friend is:
"Heart of a Dragon"

What's the weather like:
"Inside the Winter Storm"

Favorite time of day:
"Evening Star"

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
"Reasons to Live"

What is life to you:
"The Last Journey Home"

Your fear:
"Body Breakdown"

What is the best advice you have to give:
"Prepare for War"

Thought for the Day:
"Once In a Lifetime"

How I would like to die:
"Storming the Burning Fields"
"Through the Fire and Flames"

My soul's present condition:
"The Flame of Youth"

My motto:
"My Spirit Will Go On"

---------------------------------------------------

ED'S PICTORAL BLITZKRIEG!!!!



Cut for your convenience!Collapse )

Ed tired now. Go sleep.

But first...

-----------------------------------------------------------

THE THINGS OF WHICH ED ATE




This is ice cream.

From Baskin Robbins.

I bought it in Japan, that makes it Japanese.


This... is

is...

...

I have no idea what that it. Oh God it looks disgusting; I hope I didn't eat any of it.


TOFU! It tastes like nothing, but it's awesome cause it's TOFU!


Curry. Good ol' curry. One of the best Japanese foods around.


...


What?


...


What do you mean it's not Japanese?


...


What the Hell does "Nan" mean? That doesn't make any sense.


...


Indian food? I'm living in Japan, I should be showing people Japanese foods! NEXT SLIDE!


...

...well it is Japanese.

-------------------------------------------------------

And that's all he wrote. I'm off to try and stay warm.



Later kids!

December 17th, 2009

Hey friends back home, sorry I haven't been posting so much. I've got another I'm working on that I should post next week. In the meantime, please enjoy this article I wrote for Shimane JET's magazine, the Black Taxi. It's all about James Cameron's new film Avatar, a film I have waited years for. If you're are a Shimane JET reading this on Facebook, there's nothing new here for this entry, but thanks anyways for checking the post out.

Enjoy!


Cameron’s Back!

What’s the big deal about Avatar?
By Jonathan Edwards

Anybody out there remember Titanic? You know, that movie that won five billion awards because Leonardo DiCaprio played this impossible romantic hero who died before Kate Winslet could find out it really wasn’t going to work out. Don’t get me wrong, Titanic was a good movie, but not sweeping the Oscars, highest grossing movie of all time good. Seriously, The Dark Knight was the biggest movie of this decade, yet Batman and Joker’s earnings didn’t even come close to what Titanic made. The movie has actually irked me the most not from any fault of the film itself, but because of the director, James Cameron. Not that I hate the guy, in fact I love just about everything he’s done. But the man hasn’t made a real film in the twelve years since Titanic’s release, just documentaries about underwater sea life… boring, boring sea life; which is tragic because Cameron is a fantastic film maker, giving film buffs amazing classics like The Terminator, Aliens, and Abyss. His name may not be as recognizable as the likes of Spielberg, Lucas, or Jackson, but his contributions to cinema are just as epic, and I’d say more important.

Many people associate Jurassic Park with the onset of modern computer special effects. Before that, dinosaurs, monsters, and other non-existent enigmas were manifested through normal animation, animatronics, or the now (sadly) ridiculed stop motion animation. In fact, Spielberg’s prehistoric epic nearly went with stop motion in its pre-planning stages, if not for Cameron’s influence in the special effects industry at the time. Cameron was the first to prove that computer generated imagery could create realistic images without being surreal or cartoony. With Abyss, he pioneered CGI to create a living tentacle of water, one that could mimic those it interacted with. The effect could have been done with hand drawn animation, but drawing water realistically is time consuming, not to mention nearly impossible. Simply put, Cameron had put into film a creation that no film maker before could ever have done. He refined the trick and created the shape shifting T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a character that baffled audiences a full two years before Jurassic Park. So with all that talent and creativity, why the twelve year hiatus after making the biggest movie ever?

Avatar. No, not that Nickelodeon cartoon that some of you might be familiar with. The movie for that one is titled The Last Airbender to differentiate the two. After Titanic James Cameron had an idea for a science fiction movie, one he felt he could not properly tell given the technology of the time. I remember reading way back when in high school (about seven years ago) about this science fiction story called Avatar Cameron wanted to do, and how he felt the character Gollum in The Two Towers showed him he could pull off his new creations. But still he would wait. CGI was only part of his vision; the other half was 3D technology. I laughed at the time, and thought he was nuts. 3D films are the stuff of 1950s sci-fi, a long lost zeitgeist (kick ass word, look it up) that just seems too cheesy to resurrect. They tried in the 1980s and failed. Yet in the past two years, more and more North American theaters have been building giant 3D IMAX screens with smaller ones converting to normal 3D projectors, and studios are pumping out movies that utilize them, far more than twenty and fifty years ago.

Unfortunately, the problem with most 3D movies is that the extra dimension is utilized solely as a gimmick, rather than an extension of the artistic medium. Film makers find any excuse to point and throw objects and characters at the screen for shock and awe value that quickly wears thin and becomes annoying. Until Cameron, no big name director has actually stated any vision of how to use the 3D potential to actually enhance a film, rather than supplement one. He has claimed his vision for the movie was one that could only be conveyed through the third dimension. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t give such a claim much weight. However, the trailer highlights a world with land masses suspended in midair, and a great deal of aerial machines and creatures. A good director could create some impressive perspectives in three dimensions, and Cameron’s created brand new cameras to do so along with a resume for technological innovation backing him up.

And so for several years I have paid close attention to what has been a very secretive project. The trailer I mentioned was not even released officially until mid September, a dangerously brief three months before the release. With that trailer, a sudden realization hit me. I am in Japan now, where international films are often delayed for months or even years, assuming they arrive at all (District 9 anyone?). Thankfully, Japan will be part of Avatar’s world premiere this month on December 18th. With that bullet dodged, I’ve run into one more problem: This is Shimane. Despite the physical size, you can count the prefecture’s movie theaters on one hand, none of which utilize the extremely new 3D IMAX technology James Cameron spent twelve years waiting for. In fact the nearest commercial 3D IMAX screen is in Osaka, and they might be the only ones.

Now I’m not so crazy as to say people should be making such an expensive trek just for one movie. Even a film buff would call that stupid. But any film buff will also tell you that this is a one time opportunity, as 3D IMAX cannot be duplicated in the home. Pirating the film or waiting for the DVD release will not capture the intended scale or effects, and theatrical rereleases are very rare. In fact, that’s the whole reason the movie industry is pushing this new format, to entice viewers back. So if you do find yourself in an area with 3D IMAX over the holidays or the month that follows with the time to spare, give seeing the film some consideration. Especially if you like Aliens or The Terminator.

October 26th, 2009

(no subject)

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Poke G
Man, I used to love doing this. I got bitter as I watched more and more friends slack, their updates becoming infrequent and scarce. Now I've joined the club, and I'm trying to figure out why.

Not that it takes a ton of retrospect, though. I think the varied reasons are fairly obvious.

To start, I have long been of the belief that one does not read a post if one does not leave a comment. While blatantly untrue, the mindset stands and I try to comment on every post I read, as best I can. Shorter entries are both harder to comment on and not as likely to garner interest, so I got into the habit of making long entries. After my last trip to Japan, making sure the post was saturated with photos joined that habit. From there, two problems arise. The first is that such posts take a significant chunk of time to do, with the other being that when I didn't have photos or they weren't uploaded and ready, I didn't feel like posting. Couple that with Facebook's ability to keep people up to date on little things, and it takes forever for the desire to post to coincide with having enough new meaningful material.

Which at the moment is ridiculous seeing that I'm living abroad. Really I should have more material than I could ever want.

Considering FaceBook, many people losing interest in LJ and checking infrequently contributes to a feeling of "What's the point?" I tried to fix that when I linked this up to FaceBook to post automatically (Something I think everyone should do). It's just too bad that FaceBook has such a shitty interface for blogs; all the fun html stuff I use is often omitted in the importation since they use the more "modern" version of html that eliminated scrolling, blinking, many size alterations, and such.

Of course, you Facebook people could always just click the link at the top of all imported blogs to take you to the source.

You know, just saying.



...




There's a better interface for commenting there too.



...



Did you click the damn link yet?


Also FaceBook revolves around tagging which gets annoying. I am of the opinion that tags are exclusive invites. If the poster bothered to tag people, and you were not among them, then the post was not for you and what business have you in commenting. With no tags, you place trust that your friends will see you have posted, read it and comment. Also, if tags are made, the people who aren't tagged are left to wonder why they weren't, wether deliberate or accidental. Thus with all that considered, I simply don't tag unless it's something important for an individual or group.

The reverse of this is what I really hate about tags, the desperate grab for attention. People who tag to the limit to remind people that they are there and making a post, or to maximize spread of a meme. It's worse when they acknowledge the previous mindset and tell people that they can comment even if they weren't tagged (And I've seen plenty of Facebook friends pull this). Sure, everyone blogs in hopes that people will read, but tagging like this is digitally screaming:

"LOOK AT ME, I POSTED!"

"SHOW AFFECTION!"


"LOVE ME!"




But then people are also leaving Facebook for Twitter, which really irks me. And I'll try and stop here before this segways from my original intent any further.


What was my original intent... ?


Oh, yes. So with an abundance of free time at work today, I decided to try and get back into the swing of things. In truth, just as I haven't been blogging myself, neither have I been reading others, and there are a few I really do want to follow. I've decided to try and readjust to primarily text based postings. Picture updates won't disappear, but I do want to eliminate the mindset that they are necessary to create a post at all.

And seeing as during my weeks at Higashi I have my laptop with no net (like today), I can just type up me blog in Notepad and post it when I get home.



Ha October, I've made a post before you passed.

-------------------------------------------------------

Also, it was late October five years ago when Saker, Chuck, and Andy first convinced me to blog. I wondered at the time if I'd still be using this five years later.

I wouldn't have believed the answer as "Yes, and from Japan too."

Along with that milestone, another more tragic one comes as well. Geocities goes offline today, and with it, much of my highschool experience. I saved what I could from LewisVerse and Pocket Gojira, but SLF was already gone, and there's no way to feasibly save QNA2K without access. When saving page by page without logging in, Geocities cuts off bandwith far too often.

Alas, I'll miss being able to reminisce every so often.

Still trying to bring one of those sites back via PHP. But that's a slow process thanks to stupid languages.

---------------------------------------------------------

And, since you were robbed of it in my last entry due to manga cafe time limits, I give you the return of:

THE THINGS OF WHICH ED ATE




Hello pre-made five dollar bentou box. I'm back in crazy land again, aren't I?


Omuraisu, which is a Japanese bastardization of Omelet Rice. Big ball of rice, wrapped in delicious scrambled egg. Often topped with ketchup as seen here, but I've seen other toppings.


Apparently melon soda is radioactive.

I did not know this.







Later.

(Hopefully another shall surface soon.)

August 17th, 2009

日本 Yet Again...

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Gai Senei
Whelp folks, as per the title I find myself in the land of the rising sun for the third and longest time yet. I've been here as a psuedo-tourist, an exchange student, and now I'm employed here as a full fledged immigrant.

I have a salary... damn that's bizzare to consider.

Anyways, this time around I am in a little place called Hamada in the prefecture of Shimane. To the geographically illeterate of America, I'm on the southern tip of the main island, seen here:


大きな地図で見る

The green arrow would be my apartment building. More on that in a moment, first I guess I should recap me summer.

------------------------------------------------------

Holy shit, summer. I went all over the place and did many things. Went all over the state in one weekend to attend a few fellow BG Alumni's grad parties, both of which were worth the travel. RP'd quite a bit, which was fun to roleplay again although having scenarios taken out of the players' hands is never my cup of tea.

I've also been working on and off on a website, to help a friend and at the same time practice PHP. Regardless of whether or not the end product will be needed, at least I'll be getting practice in. Hopefully someday I'll have stuff to show, but for now, all I can say is linking up Apache, PHP, and MySQL is a gigantic pain in the butt.

But enough text, why type when I can show you my adventures!Collapse )

---------------------------------------------------

And now for the part that I guess people will most care about:

Being back in Japan.Collapse )

And sadly kids, I'm out of time. With no internet yet, I must rely on net cafes for decent LJ access (mobile version sucks). However I can get to my gmail, facebook, and phone mail with my new cell phone.



Later.

May 26th, 2009

Guess Who's a College Grad.

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Charzilla
Heeeeeyyyy LJ.

Long time no see, buddy.

Sssso, how was April?


...


Yeah, sorry about that guys. LJ definitely took a back seat this year, but I haven't given up on it yet. I'll try to get back into the swing over summer and be using it bi weekly once I go back to Japan in August.

Holy crap, August. I'm no longer a college student, and I have a teaching job lined up through JET. Scary and exciting times await. Life as I knew it for the past five years is about to radically change, and I could be outside the US for five years or more depending on how life stacks up.

Weirder still is this time I'll be in Japan with other people I know. Alicia and Bill of ANO fame are already there, Steph is studying abroad in Osaka, Dan (a friend from early BG) is also with JET, as is Sara (one of the room mates this past year).

And now even Saker has a shot at going there too.

Wow.


Wwwooooowwww.

----------------------------------------------------------

So my last real update was in January.

Alot has happened since then... alot. Overall, the year was pretty awesome. Even with it being my final year I still met a ton of amazing new people, and living with Steph, Sara, and Erin was fun. I guess the biggest news I just covered above, but what else happened...

Animarathon VII

We had over 1600 people attend, which blew all the officers away. We prepped badges on card stock for 1500 and felt that was a safe estimate considering the 972 from the year before. Personally I had hoped for a jump of around 200, so 638 really caught me off guard.

Good luck to next year's crew, as I honestly have no way of trying to predict attendance. Hopefully BG will have the kinks worked out of the store and pre-reg can be used as more than an experiment.

--------------------------------------------------------------

What else...

My home is being almost entirely renovated. The kitchen and bathroom were already done when I returned home this month, and they are completely different than what I've known for the past 21 years. The floors have been refinished, and currently we are repainting the living room, hallway, and dining room.

With moving two college students back in on top of all this, the home is literally a war zone. Neither of us had much of an opportunity to unpack and put away stuff before the next round of remodeling started, and so everything is piled all over the place.


But at least the kitchen and bathroom look nice.

----------------------------------------------------------------

I think I'll finish for now. Once I can hook my laptop up to the net I can post pictures and such in the next update.


Later kids.

February 2nd, 2009


Hey Everyone!

I'm testing out linking YouTube and Live Journal together, which in turn will probably wind up on FaceBook as a note through even more linking.

What an age we live in!

As for the Ohayocon post, that will come in the next few days. In the meantime you can check some of the photos I uploaded to FaceBook.



Later.

January 30th, 2009

Hello World

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Godzilla
Hey everybody!

What's up? Yeah, I figured I should try and do an update before January goes by.

I've begun my last semester at BG, which still isn't quite sinking in. Classes feel as though they'll go by without many problems, although picking Chinese back up after two years is a tad difficult. It appears I will manage though.

With spring semester in full swing, that also means Animarathon prep has gone into full gear. I've no idea what to expect this year, but as long as attendance goes up, I'll be happy. We've got some interesting plans put forward, and I hope they'll help improve the con as a whole. The big one we're looking into is using the university online store space provided to clubs to "sell" pre-registration, essentially just guaranteeing you a program and getting you a shirt for cheaper than you would at the con itself. That way we could start estimating attendance. But really, there's alot to cover, so who knows if we'll pull that off or not.

Speaking of anime, Ohayocon is tomorrow. Not only am I attending with many other ANO members, but am actually co-hosting a panel. Possibly two. Exciting to be sure.

-------------------------------------------------

Life in the apartment has been enjoyable. One of the roommates had work done on her jaw, meaning no solid foods for six (three done as of now) weeks. It sounds miserable, but she's taken it fairly well, and the rest of us have tried to come up with foods/snacks that work out.

We've also left up our Christmas decorations:



Offhand, I'd say it was because we didn't have them up for that long, and all four of us enjoy the lights at night.


But really, we're just too lazy to take decorations down and just let the holiday seasons bleed into one another, as this picture shows.

------------------------------------------------------

Break happened, that was alot of fun. It's crazy to have Saker permanently back, although weird to that be so while not having the group back together.


But that's not to say there wasn't comradery.
Adorable, adorable platonic male comradery.




Platonic.


Despite awkward abandonments by several, there was much hanging out and fun to be had, mainly by Chuck, Saker, and I. If I had to sum up Winter Break 2008 in one word, it would probably be:


Zombies.

Board games, video games, movies, we did alot of zombie related activities, and were they ever fun. Left 4 Dead is officially the game that made me regret not getting a 360.

It's holy shit amazing.

But alas, I must focus on financial survival for quite some time. At least the three console developers have for all intents and purposes said they're going to sit on this generation a while. A failing economy is good for something at least.


That and raiding failing businesses for dirt cheap stuff. Namely Godzilla figures and a working copy of Dynasty Warriors 5.

Alot of Godzilla figures.

Poor Baby Gamera had no idea he was in the wrong part of town.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

You know, I think I'll call that a night. I'll post meme stuff and more importantly an Ohayocon rundown later.

Later.


















Platonic.

December 31st, 2008

One Last Post for 2008

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Godzilla
Yeah, I thought I'd do one last LJ post before the year changed over.

And what a year 2008 has been. At the Japanese equivalent of this time one year ago (so as to ignore time difference) I was on a subway in Nagoya bound for the legendary Atsuta Jingu, resting place of the mythical Kusanagi. What a crazy way to kick off a year, stuck in a crowd waiting to pray for luck, fortune, or what have you for the new year.

In contrast, this year I kick off the turn over relaxing at home, considering half my friends made out of town plans and the rest made it clear they want alone time. No big deal though.

Supposedly 2009 is the year of "change", and not because of some over used political slogan. I have five months left of college left, and then I'm done with undergrad studies. I'll be stuck in the real world with all its currently failing industries looking for employment. There was a point in time where I was considering grad studies, specifically Pop Culture at BG, but the current administrative mess at BG plus the question of paying for grad school put that on hiatus (hopefully not indefinitely).

Ironically, as I went from Japan to America in 2008, 2009 may reverse that and put me right back in Japan. That depends on a lot, but if I do go, when I might return is anyone's guess. Even if I don't make a return to Japan, a year from now I still don't know quite where I will be.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Year in Review

Here are the first sentences of the first posts of each month from 2008:

January:
Hey everybody, I hope all found some excitement or fun for New Year's Eve.

February:
Back, and less than a week later.

March:
Hey there everybody.

April:
And so here I am yet again.

May:
So my semester is over, and I have one lone final to do next Tuesday.

June:
Well it's June 16th.

July:
Nope, no siree.

August:
Holy crap man.

September:
Whoops.

October:
Considering I didn't even cover everything I wanted to last post, I should get to this before too much piles up.

November:
DID NOT POST BECAUSE ED:
A) IS A BAD FRIEND.
B) WAS ENGAGED IN EPIC BATTLE WITH JAPANESE BEASTS.
C) FORGOT.
D) POSTED, BUT YOU DELETED SAID POST BECAUSE YOU SECRETLY PLOT ED'S DOWNFALL. (ED WISHES YOU TO KNOW HE IS ON TO YOU)
Q) ALL OF THE ABOVE.


Your answer is worth 139% of your final grade. Choose wisely.

December:
I haven't posted since October.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And lastly, a meme from months ago. So long that I can't remember who I took it from.

Hit forward and place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X
from the ones you have not. Answer the 30 questions at the end and send it
to your friends (including me). The questions cover your entire life!

( ) Gone on a blind date

(X) Skipped school

(X) Watched someone die
Only if videos count

(X) Been to Canada

( ) Been to Mexico

( ) Been to Florida

(X) Been on a plane

(X) Been lost

(X) Been on the opposite side of the country

(X) Gone to Washington , DC

( ) Swam in the ocean

(X) Cried yourself to sleep

(X) Played cops and robbers

( ) Recently colored with crayons

(X) Sang Karaoke

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?

(X) Made prank phone calls

( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(X) Danced in the rain

( ) Written a letter to Santa Claus

( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe

( ) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about
Nope, have watched the snow fall though.

(X) Blown bubbles

(X) Gone ice-skating

(X) Been skinny dipping outdoors

(X) Gone to the movies

1. Any nickname?
Ed

2. Mother's name?
Sue

3. Favorite Drink?
PEPSI!

4. Tattoo?
I don't get the appeal of marking up your body at all.

5. Body piercings?
Not at the moment

6. How much do you love your job?
Not a whole lot, but it's just for the moment.

7. Birthplace?
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKLAHOMA
WHERE THE WIND COMES ROARING DOWN THE PLAINS

8. Favorite vacation spot?
Um?

9. Ever been to Africa ?
Nope

10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner?
Probably

11. Ever been on TV?
Briefly, in the background.

12. Ever stolen a traffic sign?
No

13. Ever been in a car accident?
Nope, I'm a pretty good driver.

14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle?
4-door

15. Favorite salad dressing?
I'll say Italian.

16. Favorite pie? Ice cream?
Pumpkin. Vanilla Swiss Almond.

17. Favorite number?
25

18. Favorite movie?
Tough call... I'll go with Raiders of the Lost Ark

19. Favorite holiday?
Tie between Halloween and Christmas

20. Favorite dessert?
A treat known as the crunchy fudge sandwich (not actually a sandwich)

21. Favorite food?
If you don't know, you don't know Ed.

22. Favorite day of the week?
Friday or Saturday, I can't decide.

23. Favorite brand of body wash?
Body wash? Ivory soap.

24. Favorite toothpaste?
Always been partial to Crest.

25. Favorite smell?
Uh...

26. What do you do to relax?
Video games or Godzilla movies

27. How do you see yourself in 10 years?
With a time machine, duh.

28. What is your favorite kind of music?
Parody or video game remixes.
'80s hair metal is a guilty pleasure.

29. Furthest place you will send this message?
Well, it will show up on Facebook, and people in Japan can see it.

30. Who will respond to this the fastest?
Uh, no idea

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Post anything that you want here, and post it anonymously. A story, a secret, a confession, a fear, a love, what you think of me, your parents, anything. Just make it honest. Make sure to post anonymously and honestly. Post as many times as you'd like. Then, put this in your LJ to see what others have to say.

And so that's that.

I hope you had a fine 2008 as you sit back in retrospective, and best wishes for the coming 2009.

Later.

December 8th, 2008

I haven't posted since October.

OCTOBER!

Shame upon me, for I am a terrible friend. I used to be decent at this, and did not need photos to share with all around me.

But I digress. First order of business, FaceBook.

I do believe I have re-enabled commenting on FaceBook, as I disabled it long long ago, back when I thought I wouldn't use FaceBook that much, and didn't want to deal with two sets of comments on LJ and FaceBook.

Simply put, things change, it's a year later, and I find I use FaceBook more than enough to warrant comments being enabled.

Of course, it could be a mute point, but only time will tell.

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So how 'bout I fought in this grand ol' war of humans against zombie kind. Holy shit was it fun, and holy shit was it forever ago. Bowling Green now has one of the larger player bases in the country, and playing got insane for one week where a green bandana meant you were either a hunter, or the hunted.

Long story short, zombies completely annihilated the humans to the point where they started quitting in poor sport. The final extraction was nearly 200 zombies versus 74 humans, and only 14 survived after 15 minutes in the final hourlong game.

Do you know how much fun it is to charge a group against a wall and see the fear in their eyes?


View Larger Map

You see, the humans' mission was simple, get from start (not mapped) to point A (actually the white oval above the marker). As long as one third of humanity's last hope arrived at point A, a helicopter would be called in to point B (actually the X area directly left of the marker).

Simple enough plan, two stops, with at least 23 people, and humanity continues.

Yet humanity was slaughtered...


So it begins, the Zeds in three groups of 60-70 zombies strike out to engage the humans, whose destinations we do not know. The humans branch out in an unknown amount of groups, at least two of meritable size. I set out with group 2, and we head off the southern passes sending scouts ahead.


The humans also send scouts, and they head straight for their rendeveau point, and group 2 fans out around East Hall to catch them (I take the north path) and keep the southern areas occupied. Group 1 may have also fanned out, but they do help in taking out the scouts. A human group changes course to go around the south side of East Hall, while the northern human group is surrounded by group 3.


The northern human group is embroiled in a cacophony of chaos. I know not what occurred there, but let it always be known that there was a general large area of senseless slaughter, and the humans within were lost. Meanwhile, the southern group of 30-40 humans see a gap as the lower group 2 back away momentarily, unaware that the rest of group 2 and group 1 descends upon them from the north.


The pitiful band of humans is backed up against East Hall as two small hordes keep their distance to the west (my path) and south. The group slowly inches eastward, unaware of the large group waiting to charge around the corner.


The cry of "FOR THE HORDE" is given as the the waiting Zeds turn the corner, and all groups rush in on the last hope for humanity. Nerf weaponry cannot fire quickly enough, and for each Zed lost, two more are left unphased to take the reloading human down. The humans realize this before we even reach their huddle, and their weapons pull back as they embrace their fate with fear.

And it is over. A New Legion of Sufferance descends from the northern battlegrounds and sweeps the playing field to pick off the remaining scouts and humans who dared to strike out on their own. Only 15 make it to their destination, and the choppers refuse to select a landing point for a lost cause.

The sweet taste of brains and victory was ours that night...

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What else is new?

Let's see... I filled out and turned in the JET application, and what an ordeal that was. But, if it's all good, then I get to interview in February, and then potentially return to Japan for the third time.

I think my granddad thinks I'm an ex-patriot or something.

HEY, speaking of grandparents, the last of me dad's parents passed on about a week ago.

As such, I spent what may be my last time ever in St. Louis this weekend attending the funeral, which was fairly impressive. Since she served in the Coast Guard, she gets her own grave in a military cemetery next to her spouse, rather than on top as the case usually goes.

Just like the other grandparent, the lack of any consistent interaction didn't leave anything to really be missed. On top of that, being told "This is it." for about two and a half years or so kind of takes the impact out of it. A year ago it had been assumed I would be in Japan when it happened.

Go figure.

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Break happened.

I got to hang with Saker, Jeff, and Chuck, while see very briefly Kat, Andy, and Brandon. Fun times.

We pulled out ye olde Perfect Dark on Katanaka and rediscovered what an amazing FPS it still is. Especially when I posses the nightmare gun that is the Farsight: the alien xray sniper rifle of doom and joy. Also went bowling for the first time since... nearly... two years. It's an activity the group doesn't do nearly as much as it should.

Wanted to roleplay, but schedules didn't quite allow a decent amount of time for play with everyone. Somewhat disappointed at that, but I will play Privateers with everyone sooner or later. Far too much work has been put into the characters, setting, story, and historical research to let the game just fade.

-------------------------------------------------------------------



Dear God,

Thank You.

Faithful Believer,
Ed.

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And finally, a meme, for you all:

RULES:
1. Pick 20 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them for everyone to guess.
4. Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions.

1.)"I merely chewed in self defense, but I never swallowed" - clnyboi232

2.)"My friends need to be punished." - violetessence

3.)"Welcome to Earth." - clnyboi232

4.)"If I were my real size, your cow here would die of fright." - clnyboi232

5.)"Swingin' the chain. Swingin' the chain." - jedite333

6.)"Your entrance was good. HIS was better."

7.)"Now I'm not one for blasphemy, but that last one made me laugh." - clnyboi232

8.)"Good God."
"Yes, that's just what the Hebrews thought."
- clnyboi232

9.)"You can't just go around killing people."
"Why?"
- saturn_firefly

10.)"Hey Claudius! You killed my father. Big mistake."

11.)"I guess it never occurred to you that you might actually have to bleed to pull off this little coup. "

12.)"It's because I'm white, isn't it."
"Larry's white."
"Larry's not white. Larry's clear."

13.)"What's that odious stench? Smells like... teenagers..." - clnyboi232

14.)"Do you guys remember a couple of years ago when that guy was lighting homeless people on fire in the subways?" - jedite333

15.)"The word is no. I am therefore going anyway."

16.)"Ouch time."

17.)"I'd kiss you, but you're so damn ugly." - clnyboi232

18.)"Now you deal with me, young prince. And all the powers of Hell!"

19.)"If you think it over, let me know. After all, I'm not in the book you know." - violetessence

20.)"Talking... parrots?" - clnyboi232

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Later.
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