azurite: dream BIG (dream big)
 I remember a few years ago reading part of Jonah Lehrer’s “Imagine” -- because I tend to devour any sort of book on creativity. I have an entire shelf devoted just to writing books. 

What ended up pissing me off about his book was the notion that in order to be a creative person, you have to be inherently depressed, angry, or some sort of addict (whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or something else). I hate that idea, even if history seems to support it.

I just finished watching a Fuji TV program called “Ghostwriter” on Crunchyroll. It’s only 10 episodes, but it’s easily one of the most dramatic, unpredictable shows I’ve ever watched. That it’s about something I love (writing) made it even more watchable.

I’m not sure how accurate a portrayal it is of the Japanese publishing industry and trends when it comes to writers (for example, there aren’t a lot of works by co-authors, or ghostwriting is considered extremely taboo there), but the suspense kept me binge watching, practically Netflix-style.

Read more... )

azurite: (Default)
I haven't changed the layout of my Azureshipping fanlisting, "Blue Eyes and Apricots" since 2008 (!), and it's long past time I do so.

However, I'm stuck trying to come up with a theme. The previous themes and general color schemes/concepts have been as follows:
  • Version 1: Fond Memories: khaki, brown, photographs
  • Version 2: Dreamscape: Blue monochrome, cloud pattern
  • Version 3: Celebrity Style: Black, purple, turquoise, lavender, silver, lights
  • Version 4: Spring Icing: Pink, other pastel colors, flowers
  • Version 5: Weathered Rainbow: Grunge-style, dark blue, pastel rainbow colors, stars

I hope once I come up with a theme, I can commission a talented artist to make an image I can use exclusively for the next layout!

So what do you think the next theme of BEA should be?

Some random ideas I've had:
  • Anniversary (BEA's been around since 1/10/2004)
  • Cosplay
The hope is to come up with a theme that can be used year-round, or else I'll have to commission multiple pieces of art per season or holiday! (Not that I'd MIND having more layouts, but it might get expensive and difficult to program.) @_@
azurite: dream BIG (dream big)
I'm so excited about this that I honestly just want to tell everyone, everywhere.
So I got myself a new phone, and for once, I just couldn't pick a case for it. So I designed my own. Using my fanlisting Blue Eyes and Apricot' layout as inspiration, I designed an image that's usable for my new case, but also stickers, journals, totebags, and more!

Here's the image I ended up using:


Plus, I'd love to do more stuff like this. I don't consider myself much of a digital artist, but I love Azureshipping and would love to see more fan merchandise out there that shares that love. If you've got some ideas for things for me to try or want to collaborate, let me know!

So check me out on RedBubble!
azurite: (Default)
I posted this on Tumblr yesterday to see if I could stir up any kind of a response from this "teaser" for the first chapter of a new fic I'm working on. I'm not "holding it hostage" or anything-- I've written more of this than what's posted, and I'd like to finish it, but I'd like to know what people think.

More notes follow.

Thrice Gone
A Yu-Gi-Oh! Fanfic
By Azurite - azurite AT seventh-star DOT net
seventh-star DOT net

Rated: T/PG-13
Pairing: Seto x Anzu (Azureshipping)
Timeline: Post (anime) series – within a few months or so, when the gang is in their third and final year of high school.

Idea Date: 5/16/2004
Written Date: 8/10/2015 - Happy belated birthday, Anzu! Sorry Not Sorry I keep throwing you into tragic situations for the sake of romance.
Posted Date: 9/24/2015 - Part 1

Disclaimer: I don’t own Yu-Gi-Oh! This is all for fun, not for profit.

Author’s Note: So yeah, I’ve been off the radar, so to speak, for what, several years? I’m sorry. A LOT has happened. Suffice it to say, I got writer’s block of epic proportions, despite “What Doesn’t Kill You” chapter 27 being 75% or more written, with the outline complete… but I can’t write duels to save my Life (Points). Anyway, thanks to a combination of re-watching the series again from the start in Japanese (!!) and my awesome boyfriend/editor, the chapter is now coming along more-or-less nicely (unless you’re Kaiba, then it’s being somewhat mean). And in the meantime, I’ve decided that if the writing bug strikes me and it’s not for WDKY, who am I to fight it? So here we are with an idea I’ve had for a long time, prompted to finally being in prose form thanks to a fully-realized scene that popped into my head today.

Thanks for joining me.
Read more... )
azurite: (Default)
Okay, so in the episode right before Yuugi goes to duel Dark Malik, Ishizu convinces Seto to witness the duel (and help increase Yuugi’s chances of winning from 3% to 20%, according to his “master calculations” or some such) by saying the words pert kertu.

This is just ONE example of Yu-Gi-Oh! series creator Kazuki Takahashi trying to get something right and failing, just a little. There are three main Egyptian-related ones that bug me.

1) The thing Ishizu is referring to is a funerary prayer. She says as much. She recites it –a poem written from a friend to a deceased friend (the Pharaoh). She reveals it is the same person who was dueling the Pharaoh depicted on the tablet–[Priest] Seto! Of course, modern-day Seto won’t buy any of this occult nonsense, but he still ends up going to the Duel Tower and handing over his Devil’s Sanctuary card, NOW thinking that watching Yuugi try and make a miracle out of 20% will at least be “entertaining.”

The actual funerary prayer is called Pert em hru, a.k.a. “Going Forth By Day,” a.k.a. The Book of the Dead.

Of course, the text of the Book of the Dead is customizable, so I guess we’re supposed to assume that the poem that Priest Seto wrote for the Pharaoh was just one of the customized parts–the whole actual Book would NOT have fit on a single tablet (especially if that tablet was also somehow describing the duel itself, the people depicted in the duel, why they were dueling, what monsters/spells/traps they were dueling with, etc.)

Now, she also says it’s in Hieratic, which is basically Egyptian hieroglyphic cursive. WHERE? I can’t find examples of it being used on STONE (in real history), either. Do they just like saying HIERATIC TEXT a lot? (BTW, when they say “There’s Hieratic Text on the Ra God Card,” they are actually being accurate about that. So if you look at the Ra card and try and find similar writing on the Stone of Memories, you won’t find it. The Stone/Tablet only has hieroglyphs.)

And where are the “missing” chunks of the tablet that supposedly featured the Pharaoh’s name? Are we to believe they were never inscribed, because sealing the Pharaoh’s name also meant sealing away the darkness that he dueled to prevent from destroying the world? (After all, the Pert em hru is supposedly written by the SURVIVOR/WINNER of the duel, Seto.)

2) Ishizu. NO. In the Ancient Egyptian arc, Takahashi got it right by calling her “Eye-shi-zu” (Aishizu in Japanese romaji), which is basically the Japanese pronunciation of “Isis.” And there is NO GOOD REASON why the modern-day woman could not have been named Isis as well. There’s NO GOOD REASON why the dub had to perpetuate the mistake, either.

3) Speaking of mistakes that thankfully WERE NOT perpetuated by the dub (which felt the need to edit and change everything else), the Millennium Item that Isis/Ishizu/whoever owns is called a “Tauk” (Ta-u-ku) in the Japanese manga and anime.

There is no such thing as a tauk. The correct pronunciation of the type of necklace Isis wears (a torque) is Toruku. So the dub did better by not bothering with the correct name for the specific type of necklace, but just calling it the “Millennium Necklace.”

I guess that’s far simpler than why the “Ring” is actually a pendant, and the Puzzle is too, because it wasn’t always a Puzzle, and the Ankh is actually a Key, but still an ankh in shape… At least the Eye, Scale and Rod are self-explanatory.
azurite: Life is short, talk fast (life is short talk fast)
Every time I go away from Dreamwidth blogging for a while, Dreamwidth goes and gets more awesome. I decided to nix my Premium account because even though I love the site and service, I was using it so rarely I couldn't justify the expense, especially when I've got my own domain and am often trying to post to my various WordPress-powered blogs on sites there.

The problem is, my sites are so new, so thin on content, that I don't have that built-in community.

This gets crossposted to LiveJournal, and why? Well, LJ has been around even longer than Dreamwidth, but LJ also had so so so many issues when Six Apart sold it (even before that, when Brad sold it to Six Apart). I really didn't like a lot of those changes, and I saw a lot of my fellow LJers move over to Dreamwidth. The communities sometimes followed, but not always.

I have a permanent account on LJ, which means it's not supposed to go anywhere, ever. Theoretically, all the interconnected services there are these days should mean that it's EASIER to cross-post and always stay up-to-date, but the real experience of LJ and DW are the Friends List/Reading Page, and these days, if I'm reading anything for a prolonged period of time, it's Facebook. Yes, there are fan communities there too, but it's very much NOT the same.

I never really divided my fandom self from my "real" self-- I'm not afraid to tell people who I am on Facebook or deviantArt or wherever, and I've never particularly cared about "IRL" friends or family finding out about my fandom activities.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" I guess.

Long-winded entry continues here... )
azurite: (cat and mouse)
I'm finally getting around to working on Indigo Ink, my portfolio website and online resume. I've been tinkering with it in various small ways for a while, but a recent decision to re-watch and actually DO the tutorials in a Lynda.com lesson, "Building an Online Portfolio with WordPress," got me actually working on the project.

The Lynda.com lesson uses an example chef to build the portfolio, making custom post types and taxonomies for recipes, photos, and videos. These post types make sense for a chef, but what about for me? My portfolio has three different types of content: writing (the biggie), graphic design, and website designs.

I made three custom post types to reflect this, but now I'm struggling with the taxonomies. Whereas regular blog posts have categories (hierarchical sorting) and tags (non-hierarchical), what would I use for my three new custom post types?

For the example chef in the Lynda.com lesson, the recipes, photos, and videos all have some common ways of organizing, such as meal type. Then it can be further sub-categorized--hint hint, this would be a hierarchical taxonomy, e.g. a CATEGORY--into things like breakfast, dinner, dessert, and so forth. And even those can be further sub-categorized, into things like meat, vegetable, and so on.

But what about my writing?

Well, I have articles--ones I've written for university publications, and ones I've written for GamingDead.com. I have essays. I have fiction. There might even be further ones. But are these categories? Can I break down the writing custom post type into a category of articles, and then further into specific KINDS of articles? Or would it be better to have something like a "purpose" category, which can span across multiple custom post types? That way, I could say, my reason for writing this article, or designing this website was "school assignment."

I'm trying to find example portfolios that have custom taxonomies that might provide an inspiration as to the architecture or structure of how I should organize my content, but so far, no luck. Any suggestions?
azurite: Annie (Piper Perabo) of Covert Affairs, holding up a half-eaten donut with a huge smile (covert affairs - annie haz donut)
I was so, so excited to hear about Amazon Fresh expanding outside of Seattle, but when it first debuted in Los Angeles, it wasn't in my area. Now it is, and I'm contemplating whether or not it's worth it to even try it for 90 days for free (because I'm an existing Prime member) and then upgrade to their Prime Fresh program, which is a whopping $299/yr (vs. Prime's $79).

Here's my attempt at breaking it down.

Grocery delivery is only available through Vons, a supermarket chain affiliated with Safeway. They're located a few blocks from my home. However, being the oddball Los Angeleno who doesn't drive, if I go grocery shopping, it either has to be with someone who has a car (infrequent) or get only enough to fill up my vertical cart. It's not a huge cart, but it works for laundry, so it should work for groceries, too. Intermittently, I'll run to the grocery store late at night to get one or two things that I can fit in my backpack or carry.

Vons delivers in 1-hour, 2-hour, or 4-hour timeslots. A delivery of $150 or under (which would be my usual, since I'm only buying for myself) costs $12.95. I can sometimes save $3 (for a 2-hour window) or $6 (for a 4-hour window), which means the cheapest that delivery fee would be is $6.95. Sometimes the delivery fee is free--if you buy participating items. Obviously adding these random, probably-don't-need items to my cart would probably add up to at least $6.95, if not more.

However, not every item that's in their stores is on their online site, and sometimes even their stores don't have what I need.

Assuming groceries every two weeks or so, I'd be paying a minimum of $166.80 just in delivery fees from Vons every year. Maximum, I'd be paying $310.80, if I only used the one-hour timeslots (or otherwise picked timeslots that didn't have "save $3/6" on them). If I factored in the occasional grocery run on my own or with someone, that might mean Vons is more cost-effective than Amazon Fresh. This also applies to if I go to Costco, where buying in bulk means I don't go shopping as frequently. That membership is $55/yr.

But what Costco and Amazon have in common is the variety of items; even if Vons has sales for club members, I have to admit, tallying up the coupons, promotional codes, special items, and stuff is a pain in the butt. Costco and Amazon simply have low prices, and that's it.

Considering all the stuff I usually buy on Amazon--I recently renewed my Amazon Prime account because of it--this is where it really determines if Amazon Fresh will be worthwhile TO ME. I'd still get all the benefits of regular Prime, plus free delivery for any order over $35 (for groceries, that's pretty much a given), and the option for early-morning delivery.

The selection includes local fare, which is a huge bonus--supermarket chains like Vons tend to get as much stuff as possible from out-of-country, it seems, so prices get driven up by the cost of gas trucking all this stuff from warehouse to warehouse to store. Plus, organic and fresh items are expensive as heck!

So, aside from all the grocery stuff, Amazon Fresh gets me the usual Prime benefits of:
* Free two-day shipping
* Access to Amazon Instant Video

I ordered 7 things in 2010, 15 things in 2011, 50 things in 2012, and 28 SO FAR in 2013. Considering how much I use Subscribe & Save for "necessities" like bulky items that would be a pain to get at the grocery store OR Costco (or Target, or wherever), I'd wager I'm on track to surpass my total number of orders in 2012. Of course, not all of those orders were for ME, so there's a margin of error to be had.

I'm sure there's a way to look at the CSV reports Amazon can generate about which orders ARE mine, and just how much I spent, but I don't know if that alone would justify the jump from $79 to $299.

I can always try it free for 90 days, but I don't know how long they'll be offering that promotion to existing Prime members.

So, what to do? To Prime Fresh or to not Prime Fresh?
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
Do you remember when LiveJournal used to be cool? You had to get an invite to even get a journal there. It was not only exclusive, it was run well. It just seemed to work. You didn't have this big complicated install, where you had to understand CGI or PHP or any of that stuff. You just went to the website, logged in, and wrote. You could get comments if you wanted, attach different moods and icons to each post to express yourself. You could organize things into Memories, and later, add tags. You could customize the look of your own journal, get friends, join communities.

You can still do all of that, and more (Scrapbook! Games!) but it's bloated now. I think everything went downhill the minute the site got sold to SixApart. They didn't know what the hell they were doing, and when SixApart sold it to whatever Russian company owns it now, it got even worse.

The amount of spam I get on my various posts throughout my LiveJournal history has increased nearly exponentially over the past few years. Communities are the one and only thing that LiveJournal and similar sites (like Dreamwidth, bless its heart) have over better, spam-free, more customizable blogging software--like WordPress, which I am now using for pretty much all of my websites.

I remember trying to deal with some of the spam over the past few days while my computer was "recovering" from an Erase and Install of the OS. I was busy installing updates and such, so I couldn't do it on there. I tried accessing the LiveJournal mobile site on my iPad, and I couldn't even tap on the login boxes, because every time I did, it thought I was tapping on the LiveJournal logo, so it just took me back to the homepage. It's because the mobile site wasn't properly optimized, and the full site must have used some Java that caused the login box to move around on the main banner. The mobile site--if one can even log into it--sucks, and that's becoming an increasingly dangerous thing in this day and age. Something that's BUILT to be accessible and responsive should be a priority for websites of any kind in this day and age. It's definitely something I'm aspiring to for my sites.

It's no longer a case of LiveJournal working; it's a matter of "if" and "when" -- it's also getting hit more and more frequently with DDoS attacks or other various outages that are never fully explained. LiveJournal doesn't have any sort of reliable presence to notify us of such outages AS they happen, so people are left in the dark. Sure, LiveJournal isn't exactly a crucial service, but it's still a pain in the butt when you're trying to access something specific--or perhaps writing something important--and all of a sudden you can't access it. If you've paid for any portion of the service--which a lot of people had, including me, way back in the day when I thought a Permanent Account might be a good idea--then you're essentially losing money for every moment of downtime, which is why LiveJournal is probably bleeding out its coffers trying to pay back users for all their lost time.

I'll miss it, but honestly? Bring back the blogroll. I can import my LiveJournal into WordPress now, maybe even figure out a way to crosspost it here to Dreamwidth (because I like Dreamwidth and at least want to support its continued development via communities I run), then I can just do everything I want from one single place. That'd be nice.
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Dragonfayth, my site for Azureshipping (Seto Kaiba x Anzu Mazaki/Téa Gardner) fanfiction from the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom, has recently been inundated with spam. I've deleted it all, but as of right now, there's no solution for the problem as a whole.

The people behind the software aren't that numerous, and the package is pretty customized--after all, a fanfiction archive, while something hugely popular, isn't as mainstream as blogs. So it takes a while for updates to go through, patches and mods to be made, etc. And since the software is free, these people all have day jobs that take away more of their time.

I can't blame them, but I've reached the point where I'd rather pay to get a better solution, or use something else.

Since I don't really have the money or budget for hiring someone to make and teach me/maintain such a site for me, I'm stuck trying to find another solution. Finding software ready-made for fanfiction is harder than it sounds. Fanfiction.net and AO3's software is proprietary--not released to the public, not available for free. Same with FicWad, may it rest in peace. And don't even get me started on MediaMiner.org.

Most people who want their fanfiction archives use eFiction. It's been on version 3.5.3 for ages now; the supposed release of 4 hasn't happened yet, and I'm teetering on "lost hope" for it altogether.

Enter: WordPress.

I'm already using it for the new Seventh-Star Network (the main site, seventh-star.net, I'm building a What Doesn't Kill You site for my biggest fanficton project ever, and I've started making subsites for all my other sites for the various fandoms I've been involved in over the years. I've been using WordPress for ages, not just on GamingDead.com, but for sites that I've built for class projects, like Chixflix.

There are plenty of people who post their fics on WordPress.com, but making a fanfiction archive is a bit different.

I've already got a WordPress Multiuser installation setup for all my other sites; it wouldn't be a headache to set up another site with multiple authors (similar to GD) with open registration (still approved based on captcha codes to eliminate spam sign-ups), and utilize everything like making pages for fanfics, using tags for ratings and warnings, categories for...well, categories, and so on and so forth.

It's very, very tempting, but I don't know if I even want to try starting it as an experiment if it's not a good idea.

So, some questions for you:
1 - What does a good fanfiction archive REQUIRE? (For example, the ability to leave reviews)
2 - What separates an okay fanfiction archive from a GREAT one?
3 - If you have experience with WordPress, what do you think its limitations are for posting/sharing fanfiction?
azurite: (fanfiction - canon error)
Long time no write--at least, here. I've been trying to keep up with writing 750 words (about three pages, which is the suggested amount from Julia Cameron's famous "The Artist's Way," except she called them "Morning Pages"), and I've been semi-successful at that, though November has been all kinds of crazy.

I tried to do NaNoWriMo too, and though I've got an explosive opening for my first original novel (set in a fantasy world that my BF David is developing for a roleplaying game), I do not have a full and complete novel by any stretch of the imagination.

In the meantime, I've been trying to set up my sites as WordPress sites now, since learning Joomla! was just too damn difficult and time-consuming, even with a Lynda.com membership. I've been using WordPress off and on for years for various other sites, and it makes sense to use the biggest, easiest-to-use CMS for my own personal fandom sites, too.

Now, it's not (currently, as far as I'm aware) possible to integrate WordPress with every other script out there--I'd love it if there was eFiction and WordPress integration, but there's not. I'm keeping Dragonfayth around as the Azureshipping fanfiction archive, but I'm considering not making Epiphany, the archive I was going to use to gather all of my own fanfiction, using eFiction.

I was considering WordPress, since I'm planning to make all my fandom sites using WordPress as well, and it seemed appropriate (maybe) to make individual sites for my particular epic fanfics, like "What Doesn't Kill You" (especially since the PLANS for that story involve at least two sequels), and "Wax and Wane" (formerly "Only 16").

A quick Google search reveals that plenty of people use WordPress (the self-hosted variety OR the WordPress.com variety) to post fanfic, much as people use Dreamwidth and/or LiveJournal. The thing is, a blog-style format for posting fanfic ISN'T a great idea. It's timeline-centric, and the whole point of fanfics is that they can be found and read by anyone, at any time. You'd need to take extra steps to make navigation so people can get to all your fics, make that navigation obvious, and make it uncomplicated--which is why "Pit of Voles" or not, fanfiction.net is the repository for fanfics on the web. It categorizes everything by type of fandom, name of fandom, world/universe, author, rating, genre, characters, language...you name it.

I could probably very easily post fanfics as "Pages" within the WordPress schema, and have another "Master Page" that I update regularly with new chapters, edits, or whatever, but I'm just wondering if anyone else out there has taken this approach or has suggestions for another.

My main WordPress projects now are getting the non-fanfiction material from my fandom sites up on my new network of WordPress sites, and for those sites that might be specifically fanfiction related, there's a ton of other content to include: ideas, Easter eggs, edits, fanart...stuff like that.
azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
There's a lot of discussion floating around the web about what the 2013 Sailor Moon anime announced by Nico Nico Douga at a Tokyo event this past summer will be about.

Will it be closer to the original manga?
Is it a reboot of the original anime?
A remake?

No one "in the know" is talking right now, so that leaves fans (and those of us old-school enough to call ourselves "Moonies") speculating. Here are my questions for the future of the Sailor Moon anime:

IF IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE TRUER TO THE MANGA...

1. Does that mean we'll get to see Minako's "original" origin story, taking place in Japan (and a few other wild places like China and Greece), along with Kaitou Ace?

2. Will "evil" be more black-and-white instead of having a tragic backstory, being manipulated by a greater power, etc.?
2a. Will we see Queen Beryl's "tragic" backstory along with the origins of Queen Metallia?
2b. Will Rubeus and some members of the Black Moon Clan be mere one-shot characters meant to be destroyed by powered-up Senshi, while Demando and others are more fleshed-out and possibly tragic (because they were being manipulated by the Death Phantom)?
2c. Does that mean some enemies will die quicker than they did in the original anime, where they may have repented (Nephlite), been healed (the Akayashi Sisters, the Amazon Quartet), or been "reborn" without the influence of evil (Galaxia)?

3. Does that mean the Senshi will have more, fewer, or the same amount of powers, attacks and abilities? (In the manga, they had powers that never showed up in the anime, like Mars' "Snake Fire," or Jupiter's "Coconut Cyclone." But the anime also had original attacks, usually one-shot ones, like Mars' "Fire Soul Bird" and Jupiter's "Thunder Dragon")
3a. Does that mean the Senshi will have less focus, because their stories will be like "filler episodes," similar to Chibiusa's Picture Diary, the High School Exam Battles, etc. and Usagi will be the primary character throughout the main storyline?
3b. Does that mean Usagi will be more mature, as she was in the manga? (In the manga, she didn't cry nearly as much, was VERY mature about her sacrificial decisions and those of others, dealt with grief in a very different way, was much more determined in her role as a Sailor Senshi/a lot less silly, etc.)

4. Will it still take place during the original timeline of 1992, or will the timeline be bumped up to modern day, similar to the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon live action TV series?
4a. Does that mean the fashion, activities, and accessories of the characters will change (cf. PGSM, where Usagi's transformation "pen" got turned into a cell phone)

IF IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A REBOOT... (in that it will feature new plot arcs, possibly new characters, or new look at the same classic story, similar to how PGSM did with the first season of Sailor Moon--it somewhat followed the manga, but was very original in many ways too)

5. Will it follow any of the plot lines from the PGSM drama, such as...
5a. Princess Serenity is the one who destroyed the Moon Kingdom (a.k.a. Silver Millennium)
5b. Minako is already an idol
5b1. Minako is dying from an unnamed disease
5c. Mercury turns dark before/instead of Mamoru/Endymion
5d. Mars doesn't consider herself a "friend" of any of the Sailor Senshi, even Usagi, though she has an interesting, tolerable relationship with Minako
5e. Princess Sailor Moon exists, and will destroy shit
5f. The plot will stop after the first season
5g. If there is a "special," OVA, feature film, or other sort of continuation, it will take place in the far future, be it when the Senshi are in/graduated from college, Crystal Tokyo (if the original manga/anime's plots are followed at all), or similar.

6. Will we see original characters from PGSM, Sera Myu, or characters briefly mentioned in the manga like Mio, Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon, etc?

7. What about characters that were unique to the original anime, like Yuuichirou?

8. Will it even focus on the original Sailor Senshi, and not Chibiusa and her team, the Sailor Starlights, a team in a different solar system/time period/galaxy?

9. Will it even have the same storylines at all, or will it have a fixed number of episodes in which any and all story arcs must be divided into?

IF IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A REMAKE... (different from a "reboot" in that it will follow the SAME plot as the original anime, but have improved animation, stereo/5.1 surround sound, HD video, more special effects, etc. and MAYBE update a few things like cloud storage instead of CDs/floppy disks)

10. Will it have protracted transformation sequences like the ones from Pre Cure, Toei's current magical girl franchise?

11. Will Toei even be responsible for animating it? (Does Naoko Takeuchi have the rights to get it animated by another company if she so chose?)
11a. Who would be good at animating a formerly multi-million yen franchise, if you could pick any other studio currently operating right now?

12. Will the remake produce all-new merchandise, like the coveted Star Locket, if a version of it exists in the new anime? (This ties into the question about series length too, because while modern anime tend to have a preset, known number of episodes, Sailor Moon as a series is a known cash-cow, and it might be in the best interests of the license holders to either name a huge number, like the former anime series' 200 or simply not announce how many episodes the whole series will go, but go an episode at a time, adding story or prolonging story arcs as necessary.)

AND FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE....

13. Will it be dubbed into English/Cantonese/Mandarin/Spanish/Portuguese/Thai/Polish/etc. and will English-speakers be able to get DAMNED TALENTED VOICE ACTORS who commit to a continuous contract until series' end, barring horrible disagreements with their co-workers, bosses, Naoko Takeuchi herself, or Acts of God?

What brought all this on, you may ask? I've been watching the original Sailor Moon anime with my boyfriend lately, and he's asked me what I like about the current arc we're on (R2), how it compares to the manga (which he's skimmed through my Kodansha English volumes of) etc. I've come to the conclusion that much as I love the original source material, the R arc of the anime--and all its changes--will always be near and dear to my heart.

Also, Ai no Senshi (the song).

Mooniecode [1.14.15a]
SM:6m+ F:sMo>Ma++ΩPl<+ Sa>+:vAyall>+ Asall<+:aMo>+Ka+:pR2 D:sCh-:vZoEs--:aSh:pSS X:a68dic|200jp+Ω:m60jp|60mx|35xm+ O:d+:c--:s-:o?a-:h++:x- P:a++:s155:w?:f: eGBrg:hBrD+:t--:cWJ:bA-:zAr++:gf+Ω
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
Customer service is so important to me. It's why I love working for the company I do, because the company holds customer service to a higher standard than so many other organizations.

That said, we may be in the "customer service" era, and people have come to expect a lot out of customer service, but the customer is NOT always right, let alone "king."

I went to a Subway here in the San Fernando Valley tonight, about 10 minutes before closing. I always get the same thing whenever I go to a Subway, but there was a girl ahead of me--bedhead, super-tan skin, bleach blonde hair and a sliced-up sweatshirt dangling off her at a weird angle. She looked stoned. She was slowly drawling something about the different kinds of bread available, then decided on 9-Grain Wheat, and asked for "everything on it."

Now, every single Subway has a sign that shows with words AND pictures, just what "everything" means without charging you extra. So the guy starts loading up her footlong sandwich as requested, and then by the time she gets to the end of the counter, she starts complaining: more of this, NONE of that, she asked for THIS, not THAT, and on and on. The guy did his best to try and make the changes, but the girl was so out of it (or something) that she just got snotty and said "You know you're so rude!" She started going on this tirade, to which the guy responded, "I'm sorry miss," and repeated what he thought she'd asked for, but then after the whole sandwich was made, she just said "Ugh, forget it, I don't want it, you don't have what I want, anyway" and she walked out.

The guy was tired and no doubt more than a little irritated, but he never snapped at the girl. True, he didn't exactly offer to scrap the footlong and start over, either, but the girl cut him off (by insulting him repeatedly) before he could. And she didn't seem to really know what she wanted, anyway.

There are all kinds of customers--all kinds of people--in the world. Some people are ready to buy, and some people just want information. But while there's never any reason for a salesperson to ASSUME anything about a would-be customer, there's also never any reason for a customer to be rude to the person trying to assist them. If they're not helping the way you want, take a deep breath and ask for assistance from someone else. Explain what's not working for you. Don't immediately get angry, get rude, or get egotistical and start complaining.

And if service is THAT bad? Ask to speak to a manager, or simply leave and write a review on Yelp or something.
azurite: (sailormoon - angel)
There are quite a few "Sailor Moon" live-action fan movies in the works these days, but [twitter.com profile] SailorMoonFilm was one that was getting a lot of press from folks I follow and the Sailor Moon community at large. The initial previews weren't my thing--it didn't quite seem "true" enough to Sailor Moon, though it was marketed as an "Americanized modernization."



So, in a nutshell, my thoughts as a Sailor Moon fan... )

In sum: it's an awesome short film, and it looks very well-made, which should make those folks that contributed to the production effort very happy. I hope that if it catches the interest of anybody major, or if they petition the fanbase for money to make a longer film, that they improve some of the things I mentioned above--not for my own edification, but to make it more true to the Sailor Moon canon we clearly all know and love. Keep the Americanization, the modernization, fine--that's actually best for obvious budgetary constraints. But fix things like the costumes, because they're WORTH it. They're so iconic, there's just no reason to alter them. Naoko already came up with so many amazing versions, with any ridiculousness built-in and long-since accepted by fandom! Adapting them for no good reason (I'd love to hear it/them if there are any) just makes people seem like those pompous "artistes" with no respect for the original work that they're adapting.

I'd like to see how the story is further adapted, and I'd actually shell out for a soundtrack if there was one made.

I did not contribute in any way to this production, and the above commentary is purely my own, as an interested fan.
azurite: (sailormoon - manga venus fade)
Well, after much anticipation, I finally got my hands on Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 2. And of course, I'm going to review it. How does it fare against the Mixx version? Is it a good translation compared to the Japanese re-release from the early 2000s? What new facts or possibilities does it uncover? Read on to find out!

Moon Power 2000! )

Steve

Oct. 5th, 2011 06:51 pm
azurite: (apple)
I thought my co-worker was joking when he told me that Steve Jobs died today. It sounds mean, but he's joked off-color things with me before, and I've been told I have a weird sense of humor, so I sometimes expect people to try me to see my reaction.

But it was for real. When we get folks asking about the iPhone 5 or whatever, we say "Until it's on Apple.com, it's not official." So I go to Apple.com, and there he is: Steve, with a stupidly short date range. I click through to see a short message.

For the remainder of my 15-minute break, I wavered between abject shock and a morbid curiosity to see what others have said. I checked websites and Google news. There's no way this is a rumor, no way this is a bad joke.

I've had a hard time not crying ever since I found out, and I've failed on numerous occasions, leading my co-workers to ask me what's wrong. This just makes me feel pathetic, because clearly I'm no good at holding my emotions in...not like I used to be, or like I thought I did. It also makes me mad, because I feel like it should be obvious why I'm upset, why everyone in the store should be upset.

But it's business as usual, and it's GOT to be, because that's what we're doing, honoring all of Steve's hard work, his memory, right?

It still sucks. I'm halfway tempted to take up the HR Admin's offer of telling the leadership I don't feel well enough to work, but we're short-staffed as it is, and I don't want to seem even more pathetic in the eyes of my co-workers. It's bad enough that when I cry, I get red-faced all day long, but to top it off, I decided to wear mascara today, so now I look like some insane zombie raccoon.

Given time, I might come up with something halfway decent to send to the Remembering Steve email address, but for right now, here's all I know:

My planned entry for the Adobe Imagination Challenge will still feature Steve. My plan was to put together a scene featuring the silhouettes of people/characters that have inspired me, and of course Steve is among them.

I'm sad because Steve really did inspire me. Even with horror stories, even with failures, even negative press, I still admired the guy because I saw something of myself in him: someone who was creative and believed in the possibilities that technology could bring to everyday people, not just super-geeks. Steve was (I hate the past tense right now) the kind of guy that pushed everyone's limits, that demanded the best, that had high standards. I'm like that too, and I get a lot of flack for it, but thinking of Steve helped me think that there's not something "wrong" with me for being enthusiastic, for being determined (and yes, sometimes very stubborn), and for taking all the things that I feel haven't gone my way in life and trying to make something positive of them.

I don't want to let go of my crazy dream that I've had lately, and that's to be a bit more like Steve, to make a footprint by making a difference: by having a crazy idea and sticking with it, no matter what. I want to stay part of Apple, not just because of the amazing people, the energy and creativity that flow throughout every part of the company, or because of the iconic products, but because of the foundations that Steve laid out. What we have today, what we take for granted in the forms of Apple Stores around the world, and iPods, iPhones, and iPads in every Starbucks and on every street corner, is because Steve thought something along the lines of "I don't care what people think. This is a good idea and I'm going to make it happen." And he did.

I'll admit to still being a bit afraid of giving more of a voice to my dream, of sharing the specifics with anyone I don't wholeheartedly trust (to keep their mouth shut but to provide me the support I know I'll need to get there), but it's a lot bigger than just "be like Steve." There are probably a lot of things people could counter that notion with, like how exacting Steve was, how private, how difficult to work with. If I'm not those things already, they're things I can empathize with, that I can understand and respect. I'm not saying I want to be Steve 2.0 or anything like that, but who could blame me for hoping to live up to the amazing legacy he set forth with his ideas, his products, his ventures?

I'm also not saying Steve did everything. He's not the sole inventor of all things Apple. But there is a reason why he's so iconic, why Apple is what it is today, and why a lot of those other people have jobs at all.

I wish he were still here. I wish I could have paid the Apple campus at 1 Infinite Loop a visit and just breathed the same air as him for even a moment, made a complete fool of myself by squeeing or turning into a statue instead of knowing how to say "Hello, you're an inspiration to me and I want to thank you for everything you've done." I wish I could have known him and he could have known me, and he could have told me that I'm just at the beginning of my road, that no matter what roadblocks manifest (of my own invention of otherwise), I can succeed, because he did, too.

Several years ago, I hated all things Apple. Steve Jobs didn't mean anything to me. My goal was to "topple Bill Gates." Things change. People change.

In his commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Steve made a lot of references to death and dying. Observations from various people throughout the years noted that he seemed to have an obsession with making an impact, because he thought he would die young. And he did. Fifty-six is young. I know he did a lot, and maybe that means he accomplished a lot more in those short years than anyone else has or could have, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have done a lot more.

That he died of a rare form of pancreatic cancer just means that even the greatest among us are still human, that money can't fix all problems, and that you can make a huge impact even if you're stubborn, even if people think you're a lousy leader or a pathetic programmer, and even if you set the bar incredibly high for yourself.

Thank you, Steve, for everything.
azurite: (sailormoon - usagi sweater)
Sailor Moon is back! I got the first volume of the re-released, re-translated, revised English manga, as published by Kodansha USA, the American branch of the original publisher of Sailor Moon. Mine wasn't packaged up quite as securely and pretty as [twitter.com profile] moonkittynet's was, but it didn't arrive damaged...at least, not by the packaging.

Turns out my page 159-60 was cut improperly though, resulting in a garish sticking-up amount of paper on both the top and sides of the book. I'm going to review my copy and then promptly return it to Amazon in the hopes of getting a new copy that isn't so fashmoogled.

Moon Power 1000! )

Venus Power! )
azurite: (sailormoon - crescent wand look)
So tomorrow is the official release date of the new version of the Sailor Moon manga in English, and the first time Sailor V has been translated in any official capacity. Because I'm a late-pre-orderer, I'm getting mine tomorrow, rather than having gotten it already, the way some lucky cats (*koff*Brad*koff*) have.

What I've read of Brad's tweets (he's [twitter.com profile] moonkittynet if you didn't know) so far makes me nervous. You could say I'm "living nervously," which is apparently going to become the next big Sailor Moon in-joke, and I've been abusing it so throughly today without even having read the first volume of the re-translated Sailor Moon manga where is appears, I should be probably be fined (or, you know, rewarded by Luna, since "living nervously" is apparently a good thing in her eyes).

Anyway, Kodansha has done what I personally consider to be a good job with translating their own titles in the past, but everyone has their own standards of what makes for a good transation. I watched a YouTube video recommended by Brad in his tweets, by a guy nicknamed OtaKing, who did a five-part "documentary" which was more or less a rant about how fansubbers have become cliquey, elitist, and generally lazy while bringing more awesome anime to English-speaking audiences. Like many of his other commenters, I generally agree with OtaKing's (and Brad's) perspective on translating, which surprised me a bit, since I got into learning Japanese because of my love for anime and manga, and I do understand the difficulty in translating things like Japanese's honorifics, or the politeness levels in speech. Rather than translate something that is "English" but sounds bizarre, out of place, or stilted, I think it's perfectly sensible to contextualize and make the speech fit the language. The examples OtaKing gives are sometimes extreme, and I disagree that some of the phrases he said "don't sound like English" actually do, but I guess it depends on the kinds of speech you're used to reading and hearing, which in turn has a lot to do with your education. And that's a whole other can of worms.

As for Sailor Moon, my attitude right now, before having received anything and only glanced at the few screenshots Brad posted on Twitter, is "anything's better than Mixx, right?" I'm still going to keep my original Japanese manga (or the 12-volume re-release and what little I have of the "true" original set...mine really has no value considering the stupid stuff that's been done to it over the years), but I plan on buying the complete English release.

Brad did say that Miss Dream's translations were better, and I'll frankly have to judge for myself. Not because I think Miss Dream's scanlations are bad in anyway, but that it feels awkward to have them up when Sailor Moon is finally, finally re-licensed for manga, and not just by some cute little startup that has no sense of money management (Tokyopop!) but by the American branch of the original publisher, a powerhouse of manga in Japan! I don't want even the best-intentioned of translators to screw things up for us Moonies. We all want to see a great Sailor Moon published, and here's hoping Kodansha responds to feedback when given, but we have had nearly two decades to set our standards so high. I just hope they realize that, if Miss Dream continues to translate the manga despite the licensing. After all, Alex Glover kept his translations at Kurozuki.com live until the re-release announcement, because Mixx/Tokyopop's translations just stunk that badly, long before TP went under (dare I say "got flushed?" Haha!).

Here's what I'm hoping for:
* The original names, not translated meanings like "Bunny" or dub-isms (or any other anime-isms) like Amy and Raye, no matter how close they "might" sound to the original.
* Accurate, consistent translating of everything, from minor character names to locations and attacks.
* Not a metric fuckton of translator's notes, sidebars, glossaries, or other things that aren't in the original Japanese re-release of the manga. I can understand the usual honorific chart that Kodansha puts in all of their manga lately, but Brad and OtaKing are right: the translation should read naturally in English, and honorifics interrupt that flow. You usually CAN translate them, or else adapt the speech to fit the context. Still, it is hard to explain that the way Michiru and Haruka (whom we won't meet for some volumes yet) speak to one another is very indicative of their close relationship, versus the kind of relationship Usagi and the girls have with one another, or even the relationship Usagi and Mamoru have. So...I'm actually in the middle.
* A normal, readable comic font, nothing fancy or crazy. Sure, it might be the speech of a dark villain, but if it's not readable, what the hell is the point?
* No flipping or cutting of pages. No editing of lines (drawn lines, that is) to make things "appropriate." Know your audience Kodansha: while there might be a handful of Tweens reading Sailor Moon for the first time, the vast majority of readers will be those of us that were there from (more or less) the beginning. As such, we're old enough to handle the suggestion of breasts. *shock!*

That's not too much to ask, right? What are your expectations? If you've got your hands on the manga already or will by the time you read this, what do you think?
azurite: (sailormoon - angel)
Sometimes finding sources for the little details in Sailor Moon can be annoying.

For example, everyone and their moon cat says that Naru Osaka was born on January 1, and that Shingo Tsukino is 12 years old, but can someone please point to me some sort of official source that says that? An act in the manga, a line in an episode (Japanese or English), a liner note in an artbook?

Sailor Moon was full of fanon, and it's usually pretty easy to sort the junk out, but stuff like this is a lot harder, especially considering the anime and manga have two VERY different timelines, and as such, one cannot logically be used as a resource for the other (for the most part).

Case in point: Mamoru. How old is the guy, anyway? We know he's older in the anime than he is in the manga, because he drives (something you have to be at least 18 to do in Japan), has at least one job, and is enrolled in university.

In the anime, if you take the movies as part of the larger continuity, then he first met Usagi when he was six years old, shortly after the accident that claimed the lives of his parents, and his memories. How old was Usagi during this meeting? Well, she was there for the birth of her younger brother, Shingo.

Shingo is said to be 12 years old at the start of the Sailor Moon series (supposedly...where does it say this?), and we know from Usagi's introductions that she's 14. That means there's a two year difference between the siblings, which means Usagi was all of TWO years old when she met Mamoru! That seems a bit odd to me. Three or four I could accept, considering that she was capable of talking, had a full head of hair (complete with odango) and no one seemed to be freaking out that she was wandering around the hospital by herself, but two seems a little low.

In any case, let's pretend she was just an intelligent, precocious two-year-old. That would mean Mamoru is four years older than her, and that at the start of the Sailor Moon series, he was 18. You can drive, have a job, and be in university at age 18. It seems like an awful lot for Mamoru to have accomplished in the short time he was "allowed" to do those things, but he might be like Haruka, and have found ways to "bend" those rules. He was, after all, an orphan, and may have "improvised" where necessary.

In the manga, Mamoru is in high school--Year 2, to be precise (Grade 11). That would make him either age 16 or 17. So he's a bit younger than he was when he first appeared in the anime, but not by much.

Wasn't there some particular reason why people thought it was so naughty for Serena/Usagi and Darien/Mamoru to be dating, especially given their ages in the anime? I seem to recall something like a supposed SIX year age difference, but I can't find any canonical evidence to support that, even from the dub, where I suppose he might have said something like "I'm X year in university" or something, and that might have made him 20 instead of 18, and a sophomore or junior instead of a freshman.

Help?
azurite: Organized people are just too lazy to look for things (organized = lazy)
Before my iPad 2 arrives (or at the very least, before iOS 5 comes out in September), I want to get my iTunes library sorted out.

At some point in the past, I deleted chunks of my library somehow, and I either ended up with "MIA" files that iTunes didn't know how to locate, or songs that were just plain missing. Occasionally I would look at a massive copy of my iTunes library that I'd put on one of my external drives and try to find different songs, but it was a lot of work and I didn't get very far.

Enter Dupin. It's a piece of software for weeding out duplicates, even more specifically than iTunes does from its own File > Display Duplicates menu option. I decided to dump everything from my external hard drive and sort it out using Dupin.

And for the most part, it's been okay--I try to match songs using Name, Artist, and Time, because kind (mp3, m4a, m4p, etc.) can be different, and Album might be different if I've imported the song from multiple albums (which happens when I have singles and full albums, or Best Of/Greatest Hits albums in addition to either of the other two).

It was still a pain in the ass. Before I officially deleted anything, I still had to compare that what I had deleted was what I actually WANTED to delete--anything with a lower bit-rate, a protected file, or that was confirmed to be EXACTLY the same as something I already had in my library. Sometimes artists will release a song a second time, not change anything about the title, but extend the song out, remix it, etc. You have to listen to it very carefully to know the difference(s), and that takes time.

I opted to start using beaTunes 3, which allows you to clean up your music library using a LOT of other factors, including sorting issues. And this begs the underlying question: just what fields are important to have for your music?

See, I have lots of albums by multiple artists, e.g. Singer, but also Singer feat. Singer 2. Normally I'd tag these as Compilations, but apparently they're not--if Singer is in the beginning of the Artist field, then Singer feat. Singer 2 is regarded as the same. I don't want to put the "feat. Singer 2" in the Track Title, because in my mind, that's not accurate. The artist is asking about who is behind the song: the vocals, the instrumentals, what-have-you. That doesn't belong in the song title.

But iTunes has all these other metadata fields you can sort by, including Sort Artist and Album Artist. The question is, do I type the artists like I have normally (First Last), or do I type (Last, First feat. First Last 2), kind of like I would be if I were compiling a Works Cited list for a paper? Do I list Singer feat. Singer 2 as (Singer, Singer 2) instead? What exactly is the hierarchy for these sorts?

I get the impression that a track has Artist, but Sort Artist can dominate that, and Album Artist dominates both of those. Does that sound about right?

And if Compilation only matters when you have different Artists (not Sort Artists? Not Album Artists?), and it automatically organizes the tracks by Album instead, then I should be using Grouping instead for my fanmixes, right? Or just make regular playlists, instead of Smart Playlists?

Help!
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
At one of the Borders Going Out of Business sales (*sigh*) I got a book I'd been eyeing before, "The Daily Writer," by Fred White. It's got a lot of daily prompts that should encourage you to write, but what I find interesting about it is that they're not just phrases or interesting facts or pictures or things like that--it's a short "study" on something, like experiences and how they affect your character, or what fantasy and magic do for us as humans.

On August 9, the topic was "The Opening Sentence," and on August 10, I actually cracked open my notebook while riding on the bus to work and started writing. I have a lot of opening sentences from various works--fiction and non, fanfic and original--but because it's my current project that I am Trying To Get Done Already, I focused on "What Doesn't Kill You."

The activity asked readers to write 10 openings for an already "finished" story (which WDKY technically isn't; I haven't written the end of it yet, but the beginning is pretty much set in stone), and 10 for a story that is simply "in the works," or being planned.

I didn't quite get around to that part of the activity yet, but I might shortly.

In the meantime, what the entry on opening sentences, their impact and their purpose, had on me while riding the bus:

Another one rides the bus )
azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
I have this nifty tool on my Mac called beaTunes 3 (it's available for Windows, too!) that helps you take better care of your music and make better playlists. If you're missing information (genre, album artist), if information is misspelled, or if it's inconsistent (Utada Hikaru sings in Danish?!), it can fix it for you. It can also provide interesting information about a song, such as its "color" and what key it's in.

The color is supposed to help you organize your songs. For example, red songs tend to go better with other red songs.

This reminded me of how folks make fansoundtracks and fanmixes for fandoms, characters, pairings, and so on. There's a huge mish-mash of music out there that I never would have heard had it not been someone putting it together for the sake of this fandom we have in common!

With that in mind, I propose a challenge for myself and anyone else who wants to try and take it on.

Pick one of the following colors:

Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Blue
Indigo
Violet
Magenta
Brown
Black

I will pick five songs that fit into that "color," and you will tell me what fandom to write ficlets or drabbles for them in.

So for example, if you say "Red," you might also say "Sailor Moon," and I have to find five songs that I can somehow relate back to "Sailor Moon," and possibly (somehow) explain why that song fits a "red" color. And I shall do it with fic! You can also give me other information to work with, like a character or pairings, a period of time from canon, etc. (Just don't be overly specific, otherwise it'll be like a commissioned fic or something...)

The only rule: A fandom can't be repeated with the same color.

If you do pick a fandom, please pick one that you know that I know...(as in, have watched/read), even if I've never written for it before. Otherwise it might be too challenging! :P

So, here's what we all get out of this:

Me: practice writing again, a sense of excitement
You: a fanfic or five that you've helped create, some suggestions for interesting songs that fit your fandom/character/pairing of choice! It's like a mini-fanmix!
azurite: (kitty catch)
At some point in the not-so-distant future, I will finish my cute wallpaper of a kitten trying to be a lion. And possibly make matching icons.

In the meantime, now that Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) is out, I'm going through my list of apps to try and determine which ones are PowerPC (read: not going to work on Lion, ever!) and which ones are Intel/Universal binaries (read: probably will work, but not guaranteed).

Of those, I'm trying to find out which ones I can and cannot live without. For the ones that I can't, I'm looking for solutions. For example, realMyst. It's an amazing game, with levels you won't find in the other versions of Myst out there, even for Windows (as far as I know). It's also PowerPC-only and unlikely to get patched or updated in any way to be compatible with Lion.


The solution? Get Steam for Windows and download it there for cheap. That particular version of Myst from Steam IS realMyst, so it'll have the special world that doesn't exist in the other Myst releases, will be all kinds of awesome and while yes, I'll have to run it in Windows, for a game like Myst, it's actually kind of worth it.

For everything else, please offer suggestions as to other/better/newer apps that are Lion-compatible, or let me know if there's an update I should get (hopefully free, but if I have to pay for it, them's the breaks).

PowerPC-only apps )

After this is looking at all the other Intel-based apps and seeing which ones
a) haven't updated lately, and therefore may not work with Lion
b) I don't care about/use no matter how recently they've updated

And I think that's it...right? I almost seem Lion-ready...
azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
So I went to Anime Expo this past weekend, and I was all geared up to cosplay Sailor Saturn. I was also willing to go as Kayabuki, the Prime Minister from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, since my boyfriend David was going as the Laughing Man and his friend Liam as Gouda, but the costume is far from comfortable in the heat, and I couldn't get her short hairstyle quite right. What was supposed to be a one or two-day costume ended up being my ONLY costume (and probably not a very obvious one at that, which, to me, halfway ruins the point of cosplay), though I ended up wearing "street clothes" for the other days. It's one thing to wear a red skirtsuit that I already own, quite another to get a custom-made Sailor Saturn seifuku from an FIDM graduate on commission for $390.

Originally, the commissioner, Ashli of Loserific Commissions, told me we'd meet up sometime on Day 1. I went to the Opening Ceremonies and texted her, but got no reply. As the day wore on, I texted her a few more times, asking stuff like "Hello?" until I finally called her. I left a voicemail that basically said if I didn't hear from her, I'd have to contact Paypal (where I'd made the payments) and file a claim for goods not received. Later, I got a flood of texts from Ashli apologizing, saying that she'd just gotten her phone (why didn't she have it on her? I don't know.) and that she would do her best to get the costume done by Day 3, Sunday.

Not cool, but not horrible, either. She said we'd meet early on Sunday, leaving me with two full days of the con to cosplay.

Sunday rolls around and I still haven't heard from her about where or when to meet. When she finally does text me, she says that she hasn't been able to finish the costume, that she doesn't want to deliver something to me that isn't the quality I'm likely expecting, and that she will give me 10% off and ship it to me for free--by the end of this week (that's this Friday).

Reluctantly, I agreed to this, even though I only go to two cons a year as of late (Anime Expo and Anime LA--one in January, the other in July). I commissioned Ashli back in mid-March, and I've been excitedly waiting for the costume since then. Dad and I pretty much slaved over the Silence Glaive prop that was the one component of the costume that Ashli couldn't provide, and now it's sitting, useless, at Adam's apartment.

It's Thursday evening now, and I haven't heard from Ashli about whether the costume is done, what problems she was having (did she take on too many projects? Were others that she was already working on better-paying? Due sooner?), or if she's already sent it with tracking. If she said she'll "get it to me by Friday," then shouldn't I have heard SOMETHING by now?

I don't want to give up and just ask for a refund, but I know I have to draw the line somewhere or lose my investment. I would be really disappointed if the first "major" cosplay commission I got, or a fellow Moonie, shafted me in this way. But I think if she still can't come through by tomorrow, I'm going to ask for a steeper discount (refund), and if I haven't gotten it by the middle of the month, I'll file a claim with Paypal or ask for a complete refund. It would frankly suck, but maybe I could find another SM commissioner in time for Anime LA in January.

On what makes for a good cosplay )
azurite: (ygo - pharaoh = porkchop)
To both prove I am not dead and am still thinking about Yu-Gi-Oh and to clarify something I've been stewing over (which, in a convoluted fashion, revolves around WDKY), I ask you this: What are the core concepts of the individual Millennium Items?

I'll start: we already know the Millennium Puzzle's concept is "unity." This is stated at the end of he series, and well-supported throughout. Its "power" is to bring people together, to bring forces and abilities together. This makes sense, because a puzzle itself is made up of many disparate pieces. (That said, the "puzzle" wasn't originally MADE to be a puzzle--it somehow became one in the years AFTER the Pharaoh was sealed in it and when it ended up in the tomb that Sugoroku Mutou later found when he was a young gambling explorer.)

If the core concept of each item somehow ties to what we've seen it do otherwise, then we have these rough approximations of the rest (my thoughts, anyway):

Eye - Awakening, seeing an individual's decisions (can be circumvented by rapidly changing one's mind, or acting on "impulse," as Yugi and the Pharaoh did in the battle with Pegasus)

Necklace - Foreknowledge, seeing the future based on the current path that events are on (can be circumvented by "going with one's gut," and doing something surprising...this is similar to how the randomness of an individual can alter the "power" of this Item, the way the Eye can be wrong, but it has more to do with "seeing" events for many people than seeing the thoughts of one person)

Ring - Guiding/Placement, seeing the connection between things (where the Millennium Items are, if one is close); transferring souls from one place (the body) to another (Bakura did this in the DMRPG arc, didn't he? Or am I getting confused?)

Rod - Transfer, moving souls from one place to another. This is what Priest Seto did with Shada in the ancient past, right? I'm not sure how to explain Malik's usage of the Rod, since it was pretty screwy no matter how you dice it.

Scale - Balance/Justice/Truth, the weighing of one's deeds versus one's intent, or one's heart versus one's words. Ties back to the Egyptian myth of the heart being weighed against the feather of Ma'at after death; if the heart was heavier than the feather, the person would be devoured by Ammit and never reborn or allowed in the presence of the gods.

Key (Ankh) - Seeing the unseen, seeing the true soul/heart of an individual. But this doesn't tell you what a person will necessarily do, only more of who they are as a person. If the Eye tells you WHAT, the Necklace tells you WHEN, the Ring tells you WHERE, then the Key tells you WHY, or perhaps even WHO (who really is the person behind these actions?). But I don't know if any of the items really tell a user HOW...

I'm not sure about these. Even if you can boil down the Millennium Items' powers into a single word or concept, some of them seem to have overlap which doesn't make sense to me. In canon, they were created via a dark ritual, but with good intent (to protect the people), so it WOULD make sense, to me at least, that these concepts are either vague or can "go both ways," and be used for good or ill. After all, "evil is in the eye of the beholder," right? (Or rather "history is told by the victors.")

Discuss!
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Not that long ago, I finally got a DVR, which enabled me to play catch-up with some of my favorite TV shows that I have missed due to my crazy schedule. It's weird, because while I'm working only part-time and, up until this session, have been only taking one class (eight weeks) online, I feel like I don't have the time to do my usual activities--even staying up-to-date with my Feed on Facebook, let alone checking journals and other sites, working on fic/art, getting organized on my computer, etc. I'm not even playing video games or writing articles (like I should be). Where does my time go?

So when I finally do get some breather time and I can watch TV, imagine my shock to hear that the Monday evening episode of Stargate: Universe (the latest iteration in the Stargate franchise, which began with the Kurt Russell MGM movie and became Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis on the SyFy--formerly Sci-Fi--channel) was the final one! As in SERIES FINALE.

What the hell!?

The show's only been on for two seasons now, and intermittent seasons at that. Meanwhile, "SyFy" (which is a joke of a name, but it's "trademark-able!") is showing cooking shows, ridiculous ghost/urban legend/paranormal shows that everyone with a brain knows are staged, and oh yes! WRESTLING.

There are a handful of science-fiction television programs on these days. A few of them are good. Not all of them are on SyFy, and of the ones that are, not all of them even have a true sci-fi bent the way Stargate: Universe (henceforth "SGU") did. To name a few: Haven, Eureka, Sanctuary, Being Human, Doctor Who, Fringe...etc. There are also some that places will list that I honestly don't consider Sci-Fi. For example, Smallville, another favorite show of mine. It's not sci-fi. It's action, if anything, because it's based off the early years of SUPERMAN, for Pete's sake! Or call it drama, or romance, because it's like a slightly more angsty version of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, from the 90s! NOT SCI-FI.

Merlin? Also not sci-fi. In fact, anyone who likes Merlin really ought to know better: it's fantasy, pure and true. Call it myth, call it legend, call it fairy tales--it sure as hell IS NOT sci-fi.

What follows is a rant about the cancellation/ending of SGU; there will be spoilers.

Save Stargate Universe! )
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
So May is the month for humor, apparently, because Wired's Humor Issue features not just SNL's Andy Samberg, but also the uproarious kicker "How Android Beat the iPhone." Being the curious sort (and someone who has been using Android phones for over 2 years, currently works for Apple, and just switched to her first-ever iPhone), I flipped to the article, and I have to admit, I'm a bit mystified. Is it really humor, or are they being serious?

A few points that they make as to why Android is "better" than the iPhone's iOS platform:

There are approximately 170 devices on the market that run the Android OS.

Uh, is more supposed to be better? I think it makes it more confusing! Sure, there are more carriers with Android devices, but how do you know who has the better PHONES? If the software is so awesome and the carriers vary depending on where you live and how much you pay, doesn't it really come down to the hardware, and how capable it is?

My mistake was sticking with a carrier that I loved, and that had good coverage where I lived. I heard good things about Android, but T-Mobile simply didn't have phones with hardware capable of running the software properly. I got stuck with a myTouch 3G (the HTC Magic), which SUCKED. It's hardly worthy of the moniker "smartphone," and is only a hair's breadth better than its predecessor, the G1.

Android gives the carrier 30 percent of app sales, minus credit card processing fees, while Apple keeps that 30 percent for itself.

Someone please explain to me why the carrier deserves ANY of the cut of app sales. Here's how apps work:

(1) A developer makes an app to work on the software's platform. Either Android's OS or Apple's iOS.

(2) The developer submits it to Apple for review, or Android for placement in the Android Marketplace.

(3) If/When it's accepted/posted, people can then download it. Paid apps result in the developer getting paid for their idea and hard programming work, while free apps sometimes include ads, and other times just test out if a good idea can compete. People download apps while on a wireless network (usually "free," as-in, a home Internet service, an office network, or a local wi-fi hotspot like at an Apple Store, mall, or coffee shop; sometimes "paid" as at an airport and hotels) or using their carrier's 3G service. Since most apps are fairly small, this barely takes any time at all--maybe a few minutes, maximum--on either network.

(4) People rate and review the app, it gets more attention, and the developer makes more money, yay! And normally the other developer--the one that built the code base that the entire phone runs on--would get the other chunk of the profits. This is how it is for Apple, but Google gives their code away for free, and they don't "need" the money, apparently, so they give it to the carrier...because the carrier is SOMETIMES used to download things like apps (or apps which result in heavy load on their networks, like Netflix) to offset the cost of things like network maintenance. Bwah? What if someone downloads an app that never needs any additional network access, for anything? What if it's an app that requires the faster connection of Wi-Fi, not the carrier's 3G? Or what if it's an app that connects, but only at the user's discretion (when they connect to Facebook to download friend lists, for example), or only downloads a minimum amount of content--not streaming movies or whatnot?

This is what I don't get: if your network is too shitty to handle the load, upgrade your damn network! Don't try and pass that cost off (in any form) to the end users, who already pay you for their service in the form of ridiculously-priced data packages, overage limits, roaming, etc.! I guess it's Google's prerogative to give what should be THEIR profits away to whomever, but honestly? I think if they want to give something away, it should be to the developers who bother to use their crappy system (because yes, it's crappy. I would say it's "the Windows of smartphone operating systems," except Windows HAS their own smartphone OS, and it's probably even shittier than Android)!

I'm so sick of carriers whining about how they have all this work to do because people are flinging their money at them, making contracts and getting plans and then wanting to use the networks the way normal, connected people do nowadays. Get with the program! The hardware (network and phone) needs to be able to handle what the software (Android or iOS) throws at it. Apple's devices never seem to have a problem with this; why do the Android's partner manufacturers?

You could argue that Android runs on AT&T and Verizon, but also on Sprint, T-Mobile, and heck-knows-how-many other carriers out there, and this is true, but bad software--whether it's the apps themselves or the Android OS--will have more of a ping on an unstable, outdated network in small numbers than great software running on the best hardware currently available on the two largest, fastest 3G networks in the country. And if Android's marketshare is growing, that's even worse--all these carriers will have to upgrade to keep up, because people are going to demand BETTER networks, networks they deserved to have from the beginning. How is it the end user's fault if the carriers underestimated the phone's capabilities, even though the hardware manufacturers and software developers (well, the OS developers, anyway) should have known better?

I guess what makes it all the more humorous is that the article pretty much concludes by acquiescing that Android has all these failings--too many crappy apps in the open Marketplace, no guarantee that any given app will work on a phone, even if it has the latest Android OS available--all because carriers muck things up in their own way. It says that the Android OS doesn't have the largest marketshare of smartphones now, even though the growth is pretty amazing, and sales did, at one point, surpass sales of the iPhone. But then again, if you're only looking at iPhone sales vs. Android on ALL its devices (smartphones and tablets), that's not really a fair comparison, is it? Better to compare the sales of all iOS devices to the sales of all Android-powered devices in the same period, and then see who comes out on top. And yes, since Android is on more devices in general, on more carriers, it may very well win...but is that marketshare the same six months down the line? Has it increased or plateaued? How long do users put up with Android's bullshit? I know I did--for too long, and now I'm happy to have finally switched.

If Android has "beaten" the iPhone, it's by pulling one of those hitting-over-the-head-with-a-chair moves like in the WWE. And the iPhone may stagger a little bit, but it's far from out for the count.
azurite: Manga illustration of Galaxia from Sailor Moon walking against a starry sky (sailormoon - galaxia)
Okay, so late yesterday I got and activated my new temporary phone, the Samsung Galaxy S. I did a bit of research beforehand, seeing as it wasn't really my CHOICE to get the phone; I was sick of using the HTC Magic (T-Mobile myTouch 3G) and basically told T-Mobile everything that was wrong with it and how I worked for Apple and could drop them like a hot rock and get an iPhone that day. They looked at my account and my amazing loyalty (always pays bills on time, one time paid a $900 international phone bill) and said they'd get me the latest phone in their line, the Galaxy S for $249.

Sure, it's 16 GB when I would have gotten a $299 32 GB iPhone 4, but it's my understanding that this is fairly close to the full upgrade eligibility price, and since I'm paying it in 3 installments, it's not so bad. If I decide I don't like the phone in 20 days or less (though shouldn't it be 30 since I'm in California? Or is that only with new contracts...?), I can mail it back and get a new phone--whether it's from T-Mobile or not. If I stuck with T-Mobile till at least July, I could reduce my Early Termination Fee to $100; if I wait until September 22, I can make it $0. Right now it's a hefty $200, which is nothing to laugh at, but when you hate your existing phone as much as I do, you might be willing to eat it...and I probably will, if the Samsung Galaxy S fails to impress.

Ring ring ring on my telephone )

So that's it...for now. The new phone is called "The Galaxy Cauldron" (almost all of my electronics are actually a geeky reference of some sort; I kind of like this one because of its potential for Badass), rather than the very boring "Nullentropy." :P

Let the hardcore testing commence!
azurite: (sailormoon - usagi sweater)
Well, it's here...the last day of the 30 Day Sailor Moon meme. While I've been late on some days, I've done ALL 30 entries. Check them out by seeing which entries are tagged "30 Days of Sailor Moon." If you've done (or are doing, or plan on doing) this meme too, don't forget to link me to your journals so I can read them, too! And feel free to respond to my responses...it's always good to hear from fellow Moonies and engage in fandom fun!

This meme was compiled and edited by Frizzy of Sailor Failures.

♥ » Day 30 – Favorite Moon Cat )
azurite: (sailormoon - crescent wand look)
Second to last day, folks. Hard to believe it's already been a month! These posts have been bought to you by the letters S and F...for Sailor Failures.

♥ » Day 29 – Solar System Soldiers or Sailor Starlights? )
azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
OMG, only two more days to go! But I'm sure I'll still have lots to say on Sailor Moon. The past 27 days have been pretty thought-provoking, actually. The problem is, since this originated from Sailor Failures on Tumblr, there's no way to see everyone else who's doing it, because they could be posting ANYWHERE on the Internet! And perhaps not everyone who happens to be using LJ or DW is even using similar tags to mine...

Well, if you are reading this and have participated (or will participate in) this meme, link me to it! I want to read your responses, too!

♥ » Day 28 – Soldier you are least like )
azurite: (sailormoon - mars M)
Ah, the question so many of us Moonie fans ask ourselves and others. We take quizzes, we read profiles, we watch episodes and do panel-by-panel comparisons of the manga. But there's still a huge selection of personality in each of the soldiers, from the very first (Sailor Venus) to the newest (Sailor Chibi-Moon), along with those from beyond (the Sailor Starlights), and those that only appear in the manga (Sailor Kakyuu).

But for me? Well...stop me if you've heard this one before! ^_~

Once again, this meme, closing in on its end, is brought to you by Sailor Failures.

I finally got something of the Tumblr system clarified by Frizzy over there, btw. I asked even though it had nothing to do with the Sailor Failures topic (Sailor Moon, obviously), because Tumblr's own FAQ sucks, as does trying to Google the answer anywhere, even on answers-oriented websites. :( Anyway Frizzy, not like I think you read this, but I asked only because I knew you'd answer. So thanks!

♥ » Day 27 – Soldier you are most like )
azurite: Black and White manga illustration of Black Lady from Sailor Moon (sailormoon - black (and white) lady)
Sailor Failures is not Zoisite posing as a Sailor Senshi, nor is it a Senshi from beyond the Gates of Time. Sailor Failures is not a Senshi of the Outer Solar System, nor a brainwashed future Sailor Senshi...and especially not a member of the Sailor Animamates! Sailor Failures is where I got this fun Sailor Moon meme from. Just so you know. :D

♥ » Day 26 – Dark Kingdom, Black Moon Clan, Death Busters, Dead Moon Circus, or Shadow Galactica? )
azurite: (sailormoon - double trouble minako & usa)
I'm early/on-time, dagnabbit! In the spirit of the other recent posts asking about "Sailor Moon moments that make you feel...,"here's a new one, about humor. Now, there's me: a girl who supposedly has no sense of humor, or if she does, a dark, dry one. (My humor is a mothball?)

But I find the stuff at Sailor Failures quite funny!

♥ » Day 25 – Funniest Sailor Moon moment )
azurite: Usagi and Mamoru from the SM manga, with Serenity & Endymion in the background (sailormoon - usamamo serendymion)
I'm not very good with timeliness on these things lately. But at least this time, I'm only 35 minute late, and not a few hours! And even if the timestamp doesn't reflect that, I am being honest!

There are only 6 more days left of this! Thanks to Frizzy at Sailor Failures for editing and sharing this awesome list!

♥ » Day 24 – Sailor Moon moment that makes you cry )
azurite: (sailormoon - angel)
I'm a little late for this one, too, but in my defense, I was enjoying some really good meatloaf (!), mashed potatoes, and brownies with my dad and bf. :)

We're getting close on the days here! Even if I am a bit late with some of my posts, I hope to say on March 30 that I have completed all 30 of these topics, and I'm still inspired to write and create things...not just for Sailor Moon or even fandom in general, but EVERYTHING! I do believe this kind of "free challenge" has helped in ways other assignments or challenges have not.

Still, I know I take on more than I can usually handle, which leads to stress, which leads to...projects being left undone. It'd be nice if I had a more formal structure telling me where to go next, what's the most important or what's the easiest to get done soonest, that kind of thing. Wouldn't it be nice if there was some sort of auto-prioritizer that could take things like skill, time, and resources available into account?

Anyway, these are from Frizzy over at Sailor Failures.

♥ » Day 23 – Sailor Moon moment that makes you happy )
azurite: (sailormoon - usagi alone)
It's Day 22/30 in the Sailor Moon meme! How unbelievable! It feels great to be writing again, though. I'm really looking forward to AX now...I hope I can decide on which commissioner to go with for my Saturn costume, get a Silence Glaive made, and still save up to have lots of fun while I'm there! Ah, planning, planning....

Anyway, this is ganked from Frizzy of Sailor Failures!

Hey, should I be warning you about spoilers? Because this post has LOTS of them. For everything. :P This is your first and last warning.

♥ » Day 22 – Sailor Moon moment that upsets you )
azurite: (sailormoon - angel)
Okay, so I'm a few hours late for this one, too, but you wouldn't know it by my backdating technique...! But I feel compelled to be honest. What can I say, I was distracted by good food, a hot man, and anime! A wonderful combination, if I do say so myself.

Once again, this thought-provoking post is brought to you by the amazing Frizzy of Sailor Failures.

♥ » Day 21 – One thing you wished the show had )
azurite: (sailormoon - iPunish)
It's still Sunday, it's still Sunday! So I'm back on track with the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, and there are only 10 more days to go before it's over! Wah! But I shall not bawl like Usagi, no...I shall be motivated to write on (Frizzy of Sailor Failures poses some interesting questions on the Four King Hell comic, after all), revise on ("Only 16" needs a new title! Suggest away!), and be excited for Sailor Moon!

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon, while late September 2011 will bring us a revised version of the Sailor Moon manga, courtesy of Kodansha USA (hip-hip-hooray!), and the Sailor V manga to boot! Yahoo! I'm sad I never finished Project: Sailor V sooner, but frankly I had no idea what the hell I was doing, trying to get a scanlating group together, before I even knew what scanlating was. AnViL actually did one, but they didn't do a fabulous job, but at least some folks actually know of Sailor V...and soon, even more will! Huzzah!

And for Anime Expo 2011, I plan on cosplaying the one, the only SAILOR SATURN! At long last! Which form of Saturn, I haven't decided yet--it's basically between her original (anime) form and her Super form...but hey, there's her ORIGINAL form, from the Materials collection, where she's got a standard circular brooch, a purple ring, Saturn earrings without a dangling crystal, and frayed shoulder "sleeves" that are purple instead of white. Oh, and her tiara gem is purple instead of silver, too. Should I do that version instead, be super original?

Anyway, let's get on with the show.

♥ » Day 20 – Worst dressed Soldier )
azurite: (sailormoon - iPunish)
Once again brought to you by Sailor Failures on Tumblr. A macro a day keeps the youma away!

♥ » Day 19 – Sailor Moon episodes Subbed or Dubbed? )
azurite: (sailormoon - saturn S)
Okay, so I can have an absolutely kick-ass cosplay for AX 2011 this year. I can afford it. It can happen.

While the temptation is to do a cool, maybe even slightly-obscure character with a funny costume, I think it's time to revisit Sailor Moon--or rather, the Sailor Moon series, because it's almost the 20th anniversary, and both the Sailor Moon and Sailor V manga are going to be reprinted in the USA starting September! WAHOO!

So, who to cosplay?

Well, I did Mars once...when I was a kid and my "costume" was a felt collar I'd made myself, ruby red shoes (everyone thought I was Dorothy from Oz because of those), a red pleated skirt, and a white t-shirt with a red plush satin heart and purple bow that I haphazardly made myself at the last minute. In the anime 'verse, Mars is the character I feel the most like, whose personality I most resemble. In any canon, she's an amazing character.

But so are a lot of other characters...

I don't think I'd ever do a Sailor Moon, Venus, or Uranus cosplay--it's either too much blonde or not enough. Neptune and Mercury are awesome senshi, sure, but I'm just not into them. Jupiter is kick-ass, but while I have the "talent" (heh), I don't have the height, even though, height aside, she's the one I'm closest to physically--maybe if I lightened my hair, even more so.

Pluto is even taller than Jupiter, and is darker-skinned. Her hair would be as much of a pain in the butt as Mars, Venus, or Moon. And Chibimoon is NOT EVEN ON THE TABLE.

So that leaves Saturn. Her image color is purple, my favorite color! She wields a bad-ass scythe/glaive! She went from being the supposed Messiah of Silence and bringer of death and destruction to this innocent little girl who just wanted a normal life with friends!

I've contacted a few folks regarding a possible Saturn commission, and I thought I was being generous by saying I'd pay $350 max for the whole costume--fuku, gloves, tiara, choker, earrings, wig, boots, etc. Everything but the scythe, which I would hopefully get help from my dad to make.

One amazing commissioner has gotten back to me so far (it's only been a day), and she's saying I can get Super/Infinity arc Saturn for $420, or SuperS/Dream arc Saturn for $390, and that's FOR EVERYTHING. If I went without the wig and boots, it would be $290 and $260 respectively, but the other places I looked for Saturn-esque wigs and boots either charge just a teeny bit less for possibly questionable quality or don't have quite the look I'm going for.

So...do I do this? And if so, do I go for the original, first-appearance Saturn with her crystal brooch and everything, even if it's more money than I ever thought I would spend on a cosplay? But it's SAILOR MOON and it's SATURN and it's PURPLE and wow, if this costume looks like the commissioner's other pieces--and she's an FIDM grad, so I have fairly high expectations--I would be an amazing Saturn.

Sure, a Saturn with a feisty, Mars-like personality, but that's a minor detail. Maybe I'll work on my acting and try to be a bit more quiet, reserved, and loving of lamps. :P

The two versions of Saturn )

HELP!
azurite: (sailormoon - serenity lifts crystal)
Ugh, I'm a little late again...but in my defense, I spent a TON of time today on Sailor Moon-releated things! For example, catching up on Sailor Failures, which is a truly hilarious and thought-provoking assortment of mostly-Sailor Moon related things.

♥ » Day 18 – Manga or anime? )
azurite: (sailormoon - iPunish)
Okay, the honest-to-God truth is that I'm a teeny-tiny bit late with this. Two hours late. (But I'm backdating it so it appears properly in my archives. *cheater! cheater!*) It's the first and hopefully only time, so forgive me 'kay? I've been playing Star Ocean 4 a lot today and trying to complete a lot of sidequests....

Once again, another day in the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, brought to you by the inimitable Frizzy of Sailor Failures.

♥ » Day 17 – Favorite attack overall (villains included) )

On Japan

Mar. 17th, 2011 12:27 am
azurite: (peach girl - momo nails)
I don't live under a rock, but as far as the crises in Japan go, I've been trying to; I'm too afraid of watching some earthquake or tsunami coverage and seeing someone I know being reported missing or dead, or some place I've been/used to visit/lived near getting washed away or sitting as a pile of rubble on the ground.

I sent out an email to one of the few people whose emails I have that I know is still up-to-date from when I went to college at Tokiwa in Mito, but I haven't heard from him yet. I've seen mangaka spreadsheets for fans who want to know about their beloved creators, reunions of friends and family on TV shows, and fandom auctions going up (like [livejournal.com profile] help_japan). I myself have donated $10 to the International Red Cross by texting "redcross" to 90999, and bought a Japanese Garden in Restaurant City, with all proceeds going to the relief efforts.

But it doesn't feel like enough for a place that, even if it was only for five and a half months, I once called home. I'm worried and I hate feeling helpless, or that what little I've done won't make a difference to anyone. Part of me wants to just go out there somehow and do whatever I can, even though it's been so long since I've really spoken Japanese that I don't know how I'd communicate how much I want to help to anyone.

I'd love to be part of Help Japan, but I still haven't done my part for Help Haiti (write a fic for the person who donated for me), and I was just thinking earlier today that I tend to bite off more than I can chew for projects. I need to do things that I can start and finish in the same day, or in a weekend, because otherwise I get involved in too much and guilt myself when I don't finish in a "reasonable" amount of time.

I'd love to bid on people participating--and I will, but so far I only know one fandom friend who's participating and I'd bid (if the auction's not over yet)! Anyone know of others with things they're volunteering that I'd like? I'll bid pretty much anything on my favorite stuff...icons, fanfics, etc.

I thought about writing fanfics and volunteering to donate $1 for every review I got, but the truth is, I'd donate anyway. And I never liked holding fanfics hostage for reviews, even for-good-cause donated ones (assuming the reviews were good...I don't mean positive, necessarily, just not "update more k plz!")

What do you think?
azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
Day 16! We're now officially more than halfway through the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, and it's been really fun so far. I can't wait to get back into the SM fandom and do more revisions on the fic-currently-titled "Only 16." More on that later.

Anyway, this meme is brought to you by Frizzy of Sailor Failures on Tumblr.

♥ » Day 16 – Best Inner Soldier attack )
azurite: (sailormoon - unforgotten uranepu)
And we have reached the halfway point of the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, brought to you by the genius talent, Frizzy, over at Sailor Failures. Frizzy is the mastermind behind Four King Hell, a Sailor Moon webcomic that I powered through yesterday...laughing (almost) all the while. It's excellent, so if you're a Sailor Moon fan, check it out. And if you know if any other good Sailor Moon webcomics, point me at 'em!

♥ » Day 15 – Best Outer System Soldier attack )
azurite: (sailormoon - mars M)
I'm back, I'm bold, maybe even--ah hell, how many times have I opened a post with that line? I clearly love alliteration too much. Or similar-sounding words. Like Sailor Failures!

♥ » Day 14 – Best dressed Soldier )
azurite: (sailormoon - crescent wand look)
It's lucky day 13 of the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, brought to you once again by Sailor Failures on Tumblr. Actually "Sailor Failures" is a pretty fun insult. The dub does some things well.

♥ » Day 13 – Favorite secondary character )

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