Saturday, July 17, 2010

Widening My Anime Horizons

Having had some free time, recently, I've been watching a few anime series that I've heard about but hadn't seen. So here is my list and the ratings I've given them:

Hetalia- I love it. I saw every episode available subbed, and am already saying, "PASTAAAA" at any appropriate moment. I thought it was a neat idea when I first heard of it at Nebraskon 2009, but I only saw the series a couple weeks ago. I'm looking forward to when I can get the Hetalia movie with subs.

Tokyo Mew Mew- I love cats, so when I first heard of this via a totally cute Mew Mew boy cosplayer at Nebraskon 2009, I made note to watch it later. Again, I procrastinated and life got in the way, so I only saw it recently. I watched what was available in dub, then the rest in sub. At first when I started watching it, I wasn't too sure about the series. It seemed too little-kid-ish and waaay too similar to Sailor Moon. But I realized when I switched to sub, that this was a result of Americanizing the show. I kind of regret not starting out in sub, even though I hate subtitiles. (I feel like I'm paying more attention to the words than what's going on in the show.) In this case, however, I stongly recommend watching in sub. Also, the last two episodes are heartbreaking. I'm not too sure how I feel about the very end, but overall, I'd give this show a good rating.

Fruits Basket- I haven't completely finished watching this show, but I plan on it. I think it's a very good story concept, and having seen references all over the place from every con I've been to so far and my friends at Anime Club, I knew I had to watch it. So far I am very pleased with the show. I must say, however, that MegaVideo sucks. Big time. I'm very cheap, so I'll watch any shows I can find online anywhere. I don't understand why Funimation is so worked up about people putting episodes on YouTube, when the Funimation website doesn't have the same shows available. I don't think they have the right. Anyway, back to the show. I haven't seen all of it yet, but I intend to. I'm not so sure I agree with all of the personality the writers gave Kyo and Yuki, but I do appreciate some of the little cat-like details they've added to Kyo. For instance, how he likes to be in high places. Cats love high places, and among cats, the higher up you are, the more important you are. I am a bit confused, however. I don't recall there being a seahorse anywhere in the zodiac. It's true that cats aren't in the zodiac, either, but the show has an excuse for that. It might be that there is an excuse for the seahorse, too. If so, I haven't gotten that far. Anyway, please no spoilers. I'll have an update for my Fruit's Basket review later.

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Did Have Fun, but Sheesh!

Yesterday, I planned to go over to Domi's current domicile to play a video game that he loves on a system that I don't have. I knew that probably wasn't all we would do for the 8 or 9 hours we had planned, but that was the main activity I had planned for. (I say main activity, because the main purpose was to have fun, which I did.) We had planned that he would pick me up at 1pm, and Dad would come pick me up at 9 or 10 before he went to work for the night.

It was a nice day and I was ready to go, so I stepped outside at 12:45 to wait. You never know, Domi could be early. He had, after all, driven to my house a couple of times already. 1PM arrives pretty quickly, and I'm still just fine. The hispanic kids across the street were playing soccer in their yard, keeping me entertained. One of them noticed me watching and asked what I was waiting for. I told him I was bein picked up by a friend and that he had a good kick. Around 1:15, I started getting a little tired of waiting, but 15 minutes isn't too late, really, and I wasn't worried. At 1:30, I had sat down on the plastic chair on our porch, despite how likely spiders are living under it. The little boy across the street asked me if I was still waiting, and I said yes. I started to consider why Domi might not be here yet.

My first impulse was to get angry, because that first impulse was absolutely certain that he had sent me an instant message to cancel and hadn't bothered to text the message to me, because he sent it online. It was sure of that despite the fact that Domi had spoken to me about an hour earlier and the plans were still a-go. Now, First Impulse is very quick to anger, but don't think he doesn't have reason. That exact thing has happened in the past, but with a different person. However, Reason told me to wait until 2, then go inside to check if he hadn't contacted me by then via my cell phone.

Five minutes later, my second impulse said that something was wrong. This is where I got creative. Second Impulse made up a whole scenario for me to work through, which actually kept me occupied for another ten minutes. In this scenario, Domi had been kidnapped by bad people. Any minute, Domi's car would come around the corner with strangers in the back seat because Domi had convinced them that I would be very worried and suspicious if he didn't come to pick me up today. Sensing immediately that something was wrong, I would wave and call to Domi to assist me in bringing more stuff out to the car. I would let him inside and ask him about the suspicious strangers in the back seat and he would tell me all about how they totally tried to kidnap him, and I would call the police.

BUT WAIT!!! What if the kidnappers came up to the door with Domi to help him assist me in taking things out to the car? Surely then, they would be after kidnapping me alongside him! Seeing the suspicious strangers get out of the car, I would nonchalantly go inside and lock the door. When they reached the porch, I would call out and admit that I wasn't comfortable letting them in, since I didn't know them. That's where Clever Domi would tell me how he's close friends with them, just like (Insert name/description of someone I know Domi doesn't get along with), knowing that I would know that he wasn't saying nice things about the kidnappers. Then I would say, "Well, let me just get my stuff and bring it to the door for you," and instead go to call the police.

Again, Reason had to ruin my fun and say that this situation is completely implausible, and if two-o-clock came around and he hadn't contacted me at all, I would be perfectly capable of calling or texting him to find out what's wrong. Thankfully, I never had to do that, because at 1:45, Domi called me. Apparently, despite having driven to my house a couple of times in the recent past, he was lost and needed directions. He arrived at about 2 just as the mailman handed me the mail. Having prepared well before hand, having everything ready so I can just jump in the car and go, I hesitated over what to do with the mail. I unlocked the already locked door, set the mail just inside on the phonebook stand, then relocked the door before going to the car.

First we went to his mom's house to print directions out. To where? I wasn't sure, although thinking back, he did mention we were going to visit a friend of his. I just wasn't very good at paying attention. While waiting in the car for him to come back, I saw someone come out and bring the trash bins back to the house, looking very angry. When Domi came back to the car, I told him, "You alright? You looked very angry bringing in the trash bins."

"That wasn't me, that was my brother," Domi replied. I mentally facepalmed myself. Of course it was. He wasn't even wearing the same clothes! How racist this must have made me look, since the last time I had been at his house, I'd asked who the girl with him in a photo was, when the person in the photo was his uncle. I am clearly not the most observant or intelligent person in the world. Maybe it's the hair.

So I helped navigate us to a highway with no trouble whatsoever. The next direction was to turn left at Potter St. It estimated this would take about 7 minutes. We passed several streets that weren't Potter St. and a few streets that didn't appear to be labelled. 10 minutes on this highway, we started to wonder whether we'd missed it. When we started to see signs for a different city, we turned around and headed back, planning to call his friend to get directions, since GoogleMaps was being sucky. Well guess what street we passed on the way back? Apparently there was a sign for this street, but it was four lanes over on the left and tiny.

We drove into this really creepy looking neighborhood where the houses are all really nice-looking, but also all the same, and there doesn't seem to be a building that isn't a home in sight. When we got to this friend's house, his name was Kenneth, we stood outside and talked a while. Another creepy thing about this neighborhood was that this was a huge neighborhood, it was nice outside, and we were the only people in sight! Kenneth and his girlfriend are fun people and I had a good time. By the time we left at around 4:30, however, I was mildly sunburnt on my face and starting to get hungry.

We left and went to Domi's current domicile, which is actually a different friend's house, but whatever. That friend lives in another creepy neighborhood, just like the one we'd just left, except the houses were even more alike. We made our way to the basement after I scratched their pet dog on the head and got on the wii to play a gamecube game called Tales of Symphonia. I mentioned that I was hungry and Domi said something along the lines of that he could reheat some pizza for me, but his culinary skills weren't good enough for anything else. I thought to myself that I disagreed, but shrugged it off. I brought chips along for a reason. I opened the bag and started munching and sharing with the sister of the friend that lives there.

These chips were jalapeno flavored, so pretty quickly I needed something to cool off my tongue. I had also brought along a single can of Sparkling Water which had been put in the fridge when I got to the house, because in the two hours we had been at the previous house, the can had gotten warm. I figured that 20 minutes was long enough and got the can out to drink. It was still a bit warm, but my tongue was on fire, so I didn't care. Pretty soon, I was out of water and still eating chips. When I noticed that my tongue was on fire and I had nothing to cool down with, I stopped eating. I had, at this point, had enough chips that I wasn't so hungry anymore.

By this point, Domi's and my friend, Adam, had arrived at the house and had been talking about how his new X-Box had arrived at Gamers and he had to go pick it up. Apparently the new X-Box is shiny, and so Domi and I were to also go along to see it. I stopped playing the game, and we all went to Gamers. Outside the door of Gamers, was a friend of Domi's and Adam's, Athena. (That is a totally awesome name, by the way.) She was waiting for some friends, so we talked to her until they arrived. We were outside at least 15 minutes. I was already sunburnt, my tongue was still on fire, and the day was no longer so 'very nice', and more so 'very hot'. So while I enjoyed talking to Athena, I was dying from thirst and wanted very much to go inside. We did eventually go in, and while I was a bit skeptical as to going to Gamers in the first place, I was glad we did. I had my Poke'walker on my hat and got two people to connect with me. Yay.

Then we went back to the house. I was already hooked on Tales of Symphonia and was thinking, 'Yay! More playing!' But Domi wanted to play a racing game. I was fine with this, since I got to play with him, and any video games is better than no video games. We raced a few times, I think four or five, then we had to go pick up Domi's girlfriend from work. (She works at Nobbies. I was still thinking about Potter St. when we pulled into the parking lot, so I made a crack about it being a store for house elves... Nobody appreciates my jokes.)

This is where things got awkward. You see, Domi was my first boyfriend. We haven't been together for 4 years and even though we're split up we're still good friends... But I have a tendency to be close and flirty with all of my friends, which I have the sense not to do around the friend's date, at least until I know the date well enough to be close and flirty with them, too. I had never met Domi's girl before, and from what I'd been told, I had mixed feelings about her. You see, I want to get along with everyone, especially people that my friends like, but everything I had heard about this girl thus far made her sound like someone I wouldn't get along with, especially the fact that she knows I used to date Domi and already hates me. I can't get along with someone who doesn't like me.

However, when she got in the car, I did my best not to judge from previous statements, and she did her best to tolerate me. I soon learned, after we went to Adam's house to see his shiny new X-Box, however, that she is like me... In little ways. In the big ways that shape a person's personality, we were complete opposites. In little ways, like habits, quirks, or oddities, we were alike. This was very odd to me, and I found it slightly annoying. Being the girl who just can't shut up about things that I really shouldn't say, I told her that we were a lot alike and I found that weird. Despite the fact that she said it was okay, I still think it was a mistake. I know I certainly wouldn't like it if people I barely knew compared themselves to me. Who knows? That might have been one of the oddities we share alongside having rock hard calves, a tendency to lick people we like, and visible disappointment when we aren't winning a game. (We played Apples to Apples, one of my favorite games ever.)

So after I made Domi's girlfriend hate me worse, and decided that I didn't really care for her, either, Domi took her home, leaving Adam and me at Adam's house. Had I realized that the reason he was driving her home instead of just walking to her house, since she apparently lived really close, was that she wanted fast food, I would have asked to go along. (Granted, they probably preferred I didn't go along, since they're all date-y and need private time.) I was starving! The only things I'd had to eat in nine fraking hours aside from those chips were a cookie I was offered and a slice of cake I was offered. I was offered another slice of cake, granted, but I was pretty sure I had scarfed down that first piece really fast (at least compared to Domi who takes tiny bites and eats really slowly) and I didn't want to look even more piggish than I already did, so I turned it down.

While Domi and girlfriend were gone, I gathered the idea based on Adam and sister's actions that Domi and I were going to stay the night. (By the way, sometime during this crazy day's activities, Domi decided he would be willing to take me home himself if it meant more time he could spend with me.) I didn't like the idea of staying at Adam's house, but not because of Adam and not because I wasn't having fun. (I was totally having fun despite all this.) His parents smoke in the house. Long term exposure to cigarette smoke gives me every normal reaction to second-hand smoke you've ever heard of times ten. The smoky smell that clung to my clothes plus a bit of dog slobber from Adam's dog made me really feel the need to shower. That's reason one. Reason two was that I hadn't prepared to sleep over anywhere and while I'm not opposed to wearing the same clothes two days in a row, it isn't my favorite thing to do.

Reason three needs it's own paragraph because it's the biggest reason. I seriously would have been mostly okay with this if it weren't for this reason. In the basement of this house, which is also Adam's sister's room, is a Halloween decoration- a guy wearing prison clothes in an electric chair. It is right there in front of you when you walk down the stairs, and nearly gave me a heart attack the first time I saw it. It creeped me the hell out! I wasn't sure I would be able to sleep there and even if I did, I would certainly have nightmares. I was told that if you plugged it in, it would even shake and make noise. Having been told that, I couldn't help but imagine it shaking and screaming and electrifying and a ghost coming out and haunting me because I intruded the space of the electric chair guy. *shudder*

When Domi came back, I was reassured that I wasn't going to be staying there, only Domi, and that I would be taken home at midnight. Relieved, I watched the middle half of Avatar in blu-ray on a high-definition TV, which was theater quality, even though it wasn't as good as the first time I saw it because I first saw it on the IMAX in 3D. When midnight rolled around, Avatar was still playing, but apparently I was the only one thoroughly entranced with it, and I went home. Amazingly, I directed us there, despite my complete lack of navigational skills.

I drudged inside, got in trouble for not putting the mail on someone's chair instead of putting it on the phonebook rack, popped a couple frozen pizzas in the oven, downed 3 cans of sparkling water, ate, and fell asleep on the couch. What a day! I had a ton of fun, but also a ton of stress, and I woke up today with 5 new stress pimples. Yay.

Until next time,
Cap'n Kyrie