athena
01 January 2020 @ 01:00 am

Welcome to my LJ! I have limited access to livejournal during most of my working day, so this sticky post is here for me to keep better track of my flist. If you've friended me and would like to be friended back, please do drop me a line here. I most likely will friend back if you leave me a comment, though I can tell you that the majority of my posts are public. ♥

Step inside the café?Collapse )
 
 
athena
20 January 2013 @ 12:16 am
I think I own way too much lotion. This is what it looks like now, but I actually got rid of a bunch of bottles several months ago that were gathering dust so this actually is the pared down collection. The good news is, I've finally discovered a new favorite lotion! Acure Organics mandarin orange. I ran out already though, and I'm trying to prevent myself from buying more of it until I finish these. (Which might take a couple years, lol).

movies
I finally saw Looper today. I thought it was pretty good! But I wasn't really sure it needed the psi element to it, since time travel itself was already a major premise. It had its problems and plot holes, but I guess those are inevitable in time bending stories.

Arbitrage was good too! I think Richard Gere did a decent job in that role, and his interactions with Susan Serandan (who played his wife) were particularly excellent.

I also belatedly watched The Dark Knight Rises. I have to admit, I was entertained while I watching it, but afterward I felt almost insulted by the whackness of the long, plot-hole ridden ordeal. I don't think I'm a very picky movie watcher, but I think the lengths to which Nolan expected his audience to suspend their disbelief was completely ridic. I'm not even sure if this is an unpopular opinion or not...

I haven't seen too many of the Oscar contenders, but I will attest that Lincoln and Life of Pi were both very good. I'm not sure what the standards of Oscar are though, and I usually disagree with their decisions, anyway. xD


space brothers!
I finally caught up to the most recent episode of this today! And oooh my god I cried and cried and cried, it was not to be believed. I have never cried this much watching any anime, ever. I was not expecting that. I was reluctant to watch more after the first few episodes, because it starts out pretty slowly. The pace picks up later, but even then, it interjects with lots of flashbacks and backstories. I thought I'd be annoyed by all the zipping back and forth and changes in POVs, but they execute it so wonderfully that I was completely drawn in. I absolutely love this show. ♥

Right now, it's at quite the cliffhanger, and I'm so nervous about the outcome!! O__o;;;;


liar game &tc
Started reading The Liar Game recently. It reminds me a lot of old school Yugioh, except much more involved. I admittedly skim through it when they get into detail about the various strategies and explanations. But I like all the characters and I love the concept of it very much. It's very cerebral.

I'm told that I should read Hetalia. I have to say I've avoided this series, mainly because I was skeptical about the concept, and I think the art is kind of ugly (I'm sorry!) I went ahead and ordered vol 1 though, just to take a peek. Maybe I'll like it afterall?? I guess we'll have to see.


ds lite
After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally bought myself a Nintendo DS Lite. It hasn't shipped yet, so I'm still waiting eagerly for it. I mostly got it because I wanted to play Professor Layton, which sounded like a pretty awesome game. A mix between storyline and puzzles? I felt odd buying a console just to play one game, but... xD;;

Hopefully it'll be worth it??


saiyuki gaiden: ants of heaven
I was so incredibly excited when this actually happened! I think MK is incredibly talented at coming up with unique characters in droves. I'm amazed that she did it not just in Ibun but here as well, with a huge cast in both cases. I think she's created enough base material to produce volumes worth of stories! I just worry about her health though, and I hope she doesn't stretch herself out too thin...

Meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing some Ants fanfic. x)


Lastly, I leave you with this link: Things Asians Hate. Actually, I don't hate most of these things, but it mostly depends on my mood?

"You're Japanese? Do you eat sushi at home? Are ninjas real? Has anyone in your family ever killed themselves?"

Hahaha! I almost wish people would ask me these things. ;)
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
athena
31 December 2012 @ 10:35 pm
Still an hour and a half early, but Happy New Year! Hope this year will be better than last, for everyone. ♥

Tags:
 
 
athena
17 December 2012 @ 12:18 am
Why does it seem like everything keeps getting redesigned? Just when I thought I was getting used to the new changes, LJ goes and implements the new NEW changes. I can still "switch" back to the old-new layouts for friend/profile/posting pages, but I know it's a matter of time before I won't be able to, and we'll be stuck with the ugly. Things keep getting bigger and bulkier looking before, simplified to remove useful functions. It's as though they think users are too dumb or lazy to figure out how to interface with the platform (despite the fact that we've been doing just fine for years). I suppose they're trying to compete with the Facebooks of the world (and I've always found FB to be hideous), but it's irritating. Sure, there's a simplicity to things to Tumblr, and I'll be the first to admit that they're much easier to deal with than the more labor intensive journals. But I can't help but feel pretty sad when a journaling website has to turn into something it's not just to compete with the rest of them.

And also...since we're on the subject of changes, what's up with Photobucket? I just had to go through THREE clicks to get to the direct link for my image. That's just ridiculous. If you're going to redesign something, you should strive to improve upon its functionality, not regress.

/end gripes.

Okay!

On to more happy things...thank you to kispexi2 , maeran , golden_bastet , despina_moon and kedi_kedi for your lovely Christmas cards! I was so thrilled to get them. I am proud to say that I have finished my cards as of today. Some are already in the mail, and the rest will be posted tomorrow, so please be on the look out. ;)

I'm also stunned to say that I'm done with my Christmas shopping as well. I was actually done with most of it last Thursday, and I did virtually all of it over my iPhone whilst at the office. I've been eagerly watching my email, and most of the packages have already been shipped. I think I did okay this year. In recent years, I've been very discouraged by how my gifts have been received. We're not a very "it's the thought that counts" kind of wishy washy family. If people don't like their gifts, they make their sentiments known. And I'm apparently the worst gifter. This year, I decided to just buy things that I could use myself, so if they aren't well received, I can always regift them to myself. That way, I won't have to go through the hassle of returns. (One year, I had to return EVERYTHING, which was fucking ridic. Why no one could return their gifts themselves, I do not know, but I was pretty pissed off).

Ah, the holidays. xD I do think it's more stress than it's worth sometimes.

The danger of Christmas shopping is that you're looking at merchandise all the time, and you often end up buying stuff for yourself that you totally didn't intend. One such item was this pictured here: my Shinzi Katoh panda "tea for two" pot. Isn't it adorable? XD I don't even remember where I spotted it first, but I knew I had to get it. I posted a picture of it on Tumblr, and I think Crystal (?) asked me where I got it. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to post a reply on Tumblr because Tumblr is funky like that... So to answer your question belatedly, I got this one on Amazon.com. It comes with two stackable cups and a removeable sieve for making loose tea. It's actually very handy!

My next two buys were more out of need than want, so not too indulgent...

My brother gave me his unused iPad (3rd gen) over Thanksgiving holiday, which was fab of him, and I'd been hunting for a few weeks for the perfect case. After a thorough web search (and watching numerous video reviews - those things are really great!) I decided on the Ozaki iCoat Slim Y+ case in pink. And since I've always wanted to "reviews" of products on my LJ before, I'll post a quick one here. xDD

iPad & iPhone cases!!Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
athena
14 November 2012 @ 12:35 pm
Post-election slump?

Hey all! Election is finally over, which is a great relief. I actually voted early this year for the first time, the weekend before the hurricane came through. I thought to get it out of the way in case the storm shut things down. I wasn't the only one thinking this, and ended up waiting 2 hours to vote. (O.o);; I'm so happy we don't have to hear any more campaign ads. I can imagine how tiresome it must've been for swing state residents!

I'm currently taking a brief break to regroup after a long bout of overtime and continuous work. (I realized I hadn't taken a vacation since June 2011!) I think I'm already getting a little cooped up though. Too bad it's so chilly outside now...it makes me reluctant to venture outside.

movies
But I still managed to get myself out there to catch Skyfall last weekend. I thought it was pretty good, if somewhat depressing. I was a bit surprised that they shifted gears so quickly. Casino Royale was more near the beginning of Bond's career, and by Skyfall he was already an aging spy past his prime. It was weird to see Bond not at the top of his game, and it actually saddened me when Q made fun of exploding pens and whatnot, like as though the past Bond movies were irrelevant/worthy of disdain. While I enjoy the more "serious" Bond flicks, I actually love the campy side of it as well, and we've come to expect a little outrageousness from the series. And I was also majorly disappointed by the "femme fetale" Bond girl character, who was flimsy and useless. Eve was amazing though, and I'm rather fond of Ralph Fiennes' role as well. ♥

I found myself reacquiring a Netflix membership (DVD only), much to my chagrin. I thought I was done with that company, but they still seem to have the best selection of DVDs. Tried a couple Redbox movies, but their choices are very limited, and having to go back to return them after one day is annoying. The first thing on my queue was The Amazing Spider-Man, which turned out to be utterly disappointing. I'm not sure what it was about this movie, but everything seemed so contrived and soulless. None of the characters felt real to me, and I was so bored throughout the story. At least with the Raimi movies, I could care about what happened to the characters.

Finally saw Avengers as well, which was slightly better but somewhat shallow on characterization again. I'll see the sequels to these, but not expecting very much. Slowly making my way through the rest of the Marvel series that came out this year (Captain America, Hulk...)

By the way, does anyone have a Letterboxd account? (Mine is here). It's kind of like Goodreads for movies. I like it!


anime
So I watched Kuroko no Basketball. Think tenipuri with basketball. Ensemble cast of good looking dudes with heavy yaoi undertones. How can I resist, right? xD It's only 25 episodes, which breezed by very quickly. I'm trying to resist getting into it further (ie: the manga), since I really have no room in my house for yet another long series of sports manga. We'll see how far that goes. ;) I was quite thrilled to see Suwabe Junichi doing the role that he does best - arrogant asshole with well deserved superiority complex. I'm equally amused that his main teammate is a shifty megane with a Kansai accent! And yes, they're a rival school. I do love how they feature the rival schools - and the anime even ends with a long match between two rival schools, which I thought was unusual.


And if you know me at all, you wouldn't be surprised that Midorima (in the glasses) is my favorite character so far. Cool, calm and collected, he's also kind of quirky and dorky. (Like he carries around his "lucky items" and sneaks into matches to watch them while pretending to not care).

Sort of started watching Space Brothers (semi-future story about two brothers wanting to be astronauts) but haven't gotten too far yet. Mainly going to stick around for Hirata Hiroaki, who can do no wrong, apparently. ♥
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
athena
06 September 2012 @ 11:23 pm
update

Woot, update! How is everyone? I find myself missing being around here. I still lurk all the journals, but it's not quite the same. Things have been tiring and stressful, and I tend to clam up when that happens. But on the other hand, I do find journaling somewhat therapeutic... I should try to do it more regularly. *nods* Do you guys find that it's somewhat quieter in LJ these days? It feels like 80% of my flist updates are from arama lately.

Work has been busy, busy, busy. Draining, to be more specific. But things are winding down quickly and I think I'll finally have a much needed staycation for a little while. x) I think I'll spend that time catching up on reading and picking up yoga again. I used to try to do at least 15 minutes of it everyday, but I've been too worn out for even that little! And then I end up feeling completely inflexible and out of shape for the yoga class I go to once a week..

Classes are so much better than going along with yoga videos, though. I don't have the discipline to do any programs longer than 20 minutes if I'm in the comfort of my living room, lol.

kogoro
Posting a pic of my Chihuahua Kogoro because I haven't, in a while. xD He does this adorable thing where he sits on his back legs when he wants something, and I was able to capture it on my camera phone. I recently took him to his annual cardiologist check-up, where he got his second echocardiogram. Good news! His heart isn't getting bigger, which means his murmur is under control. It was such a relief! Now he can go back to his usual business, barking at squirrels and gutting his plush squeaky toys of their stuffing. (He also recently discovered the deliciousness of flavored lip balm... I have to be careful not to leave those in his reach!)


books
I'm so behind on reading, but have finally picked up Heresy by S.J. Parris, "An Elizabethan Thriller." It's part of a series of mystery novels set in the middle ages. This is the first of the series, though I actually read the second one (Prophesy), first. It's still too soon to tell if it's good or not, but I had enjoyed the second book well enough, so I'm hoping this will be just as fun. x)

I've been listening to the "books" podcast for NPR, and added a bunch of books that sounded interesting, including a mystery set in Honolulu (Murder Casts a Shadow by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl), a book about animal diseases and what it tells us about human conditions (Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz), and a book by former NY Times "Ethicist" (Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything by Randy Cohen).

What's on your to-read shelf, dear flisters? ♥


manga etc
I recently breezed through a shojo manga called Reimei no Arcana, a pretty-ish fantasy. I like it! There's politics and intrigue, and of course, a little romance. I started out reading shojo as a child, so it's a pretty comfortable place for me to return to. xD And I realize that most of the fandoms in which I've been active are of a different flavor. You can read it here if you're interested. =)

Still reading Hi no Matoi, the Edo-period manga about samurais and fire fighters. The story is progressing a little slowly, but it's a bi-monthly serialization, so it just feels like it takes a long time..

And speaking of long time, Glass Mask is releasing volume 49 this month. This series has been going on since before I was born. Can she please end it already?? ...that being said, I'd like her to really write a nice and satisfying ending. I feel like the fans deserve one, after all these years of loyalty. xD;;

Still buying Are You Alice? but haven't read any volumes since like...vol 3. I understood the drama CDs, but the manga is so whack and confusing, I don't have the concentration to get through it. (o__o)

Poking my way slowly through Kami no Shizuku. I had 15 volumes a few years ago when I first started reading it. I blinked, a couple years passed, and now we're on VOLUME 34. Yeesh. I like this series, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's gonna drag on forever. I haven't purchased the last 14 books or so yet, but I hesitate to do so, if only because I don't have much space anymore on my bookshelves. I wish manga wasn't such a space-killing hobby!


saiyuki
spoilers?Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: goodgood
 
 
athena
17 June 2012 @ 01:06 am
hanged man

A got a couple new tarot decks the other day on a whim. I go through spurts of deck buying, I think. Several months will pass without a single purchase (or even looking for any new ones), and then suddenly I get an urge to see what's out there again. Come to think, I'm not sure if I posted about the Steampunk Tarot that I got a couple months ago. The Steampunk Tarot was something I was watching as it was being made, because the author (Barbara Moore) was blogging her progress on the project in the months before the release. The artist who drew this gorgeous deck is Aly Fell, whose work I'd seen around before online. (See some of the images from this deck here. Check out the King of Wands especially, as it's one of my favorites! I dunno why, but something about that picture is so striking). I looove this deck. It's really gorgeously done, and the accompanying book is actually very interesting. I read it all the way through, which I can't say for most books that come with decks. If you're a fan of steampunk, I definitely recommend it, as he's got the aesthetic rendered beautifully.

Anyway...back to the decks I got this week! I got the Hobbit Tarot and the Angel Tarot, both of which came out relatively recently. The Hobbit Tarot is cool because most cards have some kind of a scene from the book and it helps tell the story behind what each card is supposed to represent. Of course, prior knowledge of the book helps, and at least for me, it's been a long while. I need to reread the Hobbit and read the booklet as well to get a better understanding on how to read these cards. They don't follow the traditional tarot imagery, which makes it harder.

The Angel Tarot is really lovely. Pictured here is XII (The Hanged Man), the angel Gabriel. I think the artwork is amazing, but the drawback is that they tried to make this into a "safe" deck, which means they rename all the scary sounding cards like Hanged Man to things like "Awakening." I feel like it's a cop-out, since there's really no such thing as "safe" decks. But eh...it's pretty. xD The other drawback to this deck is that it's so BIG. Very hard to shuffle. It might be a little new agey and woo woo, but I try to concentrate on the art instead, and the words written on all the cards are actually pretty insightful.

yoga
As I've been mentioning on my Dreamwidth journal, I've taken up yoga! It's been about a month now since I signed up at the studio down the street from my office, and I've been trying to go to class twice a week. The studio is really nice, with several rooms, all wooden floors, brick walls, fireplaces, and skylights. It's such a cozy space, and none of the classes are more than 12 people, so it feels very intimate and spacy. I like feeling zenned out, though I also work up quite a sweat as well. Especially in the ballet inspired "barre" yoga classes!

Bought up a couple Rodney Yee DVDs and a Shiva Rea one to practice with at home. I don't think I'll ever be doing those crazy handstands and body twisting arm balances, but hopefully I'll be more flexible, fit and calm because of it. XD


fandom, etc.
Fandom wise, I've been kind of frazzled trying to mod an RP. It's pretty much sucked up every spare hour that I have during the week, which isn't a lot, since I work all the time (and then some). This is the reason why I've been pretty scarce around LJ as well, though my fandoms in general seem to be on the quiet side lately. The Hanged Man up there really is kind of what I need right now...a change of perspective. Something needs to give. I feel too pressed for time and stressed out lately.

I have managed to get through a few new fandom things in spite of the above though, and I don't think I've written about them here yet. These are new-for-me, and not exactly new, new. xD

I finally bought Death Note and read it all the way through. I tried reading it a long time ago but never got past the first book. This is most likely because I was reading it on the computer, and I hate reading manga this way. That's especially the case for works that are heavy in text and content. For some reason, I find it hard to keep up my attention span in such cases, for online reading.

I liked it! I can understand why it gets the acclaim that it does, and how it's got such a wide following. I think the characters were quirky and interesting, and the plot was always engaging and moving in some way, which I appreciated. So many mangas fall into a rut from time to time, but in this case, it always felt like the author knew exactly where to take the story. My favorite characters were the minor ones, which isn't surprising. xD I liked Namikawa, the pretty and clever VP of Yotsuba, and Matsuda, the young cop guy who's always jumping in head-first. I watched some of the anime too, amusing myself with the fact that Near is voiced by Kikyo from Inuyasha, while L was voiced by...Inuyasha. Lol.

Also saw the anime No. 6 recently. It wasn't a very long series, and somehow I managed to just marathon it over the course of a few days. The themes and mood really reminded me of Toward the Terra: the backdrop of a false utopic society, and similarities in the themes, like environmentalism, authoritarianism, genocide, and rebellion. I found Terra was more epic in scale and had characters I loved better, but No. 6 was not too bad. I'd like to read the novels sometime, when I get a spare moment. ;)

I still have a whole stack of mangas that I bought but never read. (Do any of you do that? I have tons of them. Why do I do it?) These include: Ooku (the gender swapped period manga), Aruosumente (new manga by Aki, who wrote Olimpos. I inadvertently bought TWO copies for vol 1), Are You Alice? (which I stopped reading because it keeps getting more and more confusing with every chapter), Loveless (also stopped reading midway), Vampire Knight (ditto), and Karneval (read half of book 1 and then stopped, but have like 6 volumes sitting on my shelf right now).

At the end of the day, I think it just comes down to the fact that I don't have the patience anymore. I wish I could read something that was effortlessly enjoyable, but those are probably rare, huh? Tenipuri was always just silly fun. You never had to think too hard about it, and there was plenty of room for imagination when it came to the characters. Somehow, even in the ridiculousness of it all, they still managed to pop off the page and inspire something for me.

These manga probably have cool characters too, but I need to make a more concerted effort to like them, which is...tiring.

One on-going manga that I actually AM excited about is Hi no Matoi, which I've posted about before. That's the story about the firefighters in Edo Japan. x) It's still pretty, and the characters are charming and fun to read. Plus, the plots involve treachery, assassins, ninjas, and most of all: estranged brothers. I am such a sucker for brother stories. ♥

Of course, there's also Saiyuki, which is much love. I'm enjoying this arc with Sharak very much, and I can't wait to see what else MK's got in store for us!


All righty, I should stop here for now~

Hope everyone's doing well and having a relaxing summer! What's been up??
 
 
Current Mood: lazylazy
 
 
athena
03 April 2012 @ 06:44 pm
OKAY wow. It's been a while since I updated here! Yeesh. I've been modding an RP and it's been taking up so much of my play time I haven't been able to blog much anywhere (the five other places I have...lol).

Hope everyone's been doing well!

I should do a proper update some time soon. Not a whole lot has been going on aside from work, play, and RP. Not much going on in the fandom front, either. Except of course... Saiyuki Reload Blast~~ ♥! Welcome back, baby! Aaah, I've missed it more than I realized. Even the bad puns. Which brings me to...

WTF GojyoCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: chipperchipper
 
 
athena
01 February 2012 @ 10:31 pm
WTFCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: infuriatedinfuriated
 
 
athena
21 January 2012 @ 03:43 pm


Hahahaha! I got linked by lucathia_rykatu to this hand drawn Shin Tenipuri OP sequence on Nico video. XDD It's hilarious! I've been watching it all day on and off, I can't seem to stop. The comments are pretty funny too. ("My eyes!!", "Creepy!!", "WTF he looked cool for one second").

Anyway. Shinpuri continues to impress with its beautiful art. Of course, they totally expanded the Golden Pair bit from the manga...I suppose that should be expected. But they took out a line from D1 when Niou tells Yagyuu he's more a con artist than himself. That made me sad. =(

ALSO, WTF, they're skipping SanaYuki match? =U Hopefully they'll give them an episode after the captain matches...

The Pretty!!Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: geekygeeky
 
 
athena
15 January 2012 @ 11:50 pm


So yeah. I watched the first half of Hyouteimyu Season 2. Obviously this is gekidasa 's fault.

First off, ATOBE. HAHAHAHAHA. I think his acting was a bit exaggerated, with his crazy eyebrows and dramatic speaking, but...this IS Atobe, after all. XD He certainly looks the part. Also, I really really liked their Hyoutei number, with the Latin inspired music! I think over all, the singing quality is very good too!

A few other things, most important of which is:

PICSCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: ditzyditzy
 
 
athena
11 January 2012 @ 11:12 pm


Aaaah!!!! It's back!

Didn't get a chance to blog it last week when the first ep came out, but there was just SO MUCH PRETTY in episode 2 I had to post something straight away.

First off: AIBA HIROKI. Okay, I wasn't a huge fan of his Fuji. But WTF his voice is SEXY?? I'm not sure if it's my personal bias of the fact that Irie Kanata is my favorite character of the high schoolers, but wow! He sounds so good!

Actually, maybe the bias thing doesn't really apply, because I was supposed to love Coach Kurobe's voice too by that theory, and I don't. At least, not yet. Maybe it's a bit too delicate for him. I know he's got long hair and he's a pretty guy, but I was expecting something a little more smokin'. ;D

MOAR screencaps!Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
 
 
athena
06 January 2012 @ 10:17 pm


Fweee~~!! Finally watched the Aibou year-end special episode today. It was awesome, and quite possibly the best special ep I've seen of this show! And I'm not saying that because I'm biased for Saito Takumi, who guest starred... ;) No actually, the story was very well constructed and I was on my toes the entire time. Loved it from beginning to end! Especially since my favorite character got some great scenes as well. ♥

Some screecaps:

AIBOUUU + TakumiCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: giddygiddy
 
 
athena
03 January 2012 @ 09:55 am
Good morning everyone, and Happy New Year again!  Thanks for all your wishes in return from my last post!  I'm hoping everyone will have a better and happier year for 2012.  I haven't really done any formal new year's resolutions (I'm not sure I'd follow them, in any case), but keeping up with my online presence is definitely one of my priorities this year. 
 
Speaking of which, I've recently resurrected my Dreamwidth journal.  I went through the other day and friended some people (a few of who were wondering who the heck I was, lol...I should've kept my LJ user ID to prevent so much confusion!).  Anyway, I've definitely missed a number of you, so if you have a DW account, please do comment here so I can add you. :)  I haven't really decided what to do yet, in the wake of the LJ bust-up. I've cancelled my auto-pay but aside from that, I'm wondering whether I can really switch over.  Considering the fact that I've made so many friends here and I like the history and connections I've made on LJ, it makes it that much harder to really let go. I'll still post here for the time being.  I considered mirroring on DW, but I've decided to keep that one separate for now.
 
 
Books
I'm still slogging my way through Prospero Regained by Jagi Lamplighter. (Apparently, her husband is an LJ user? I looked up her book and came upon his blog here).  This is the last in the Prospero's Daughter trilogy, and I've been having the hardest time finishing it. I've had it for over 6 weeks now and I'm still on page 300.  I think it's mostly to do with the fact that they're trudging through hell - literally - and it's a bit exhausting to read.  I'm hoping to finish it up so I can move on to other things. 
 
I was going to read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy next, but after seeing the movie, I think I'll read something else instead.  I liked the movie, but it was so slowly dramatic and ploddingly paced that I feel like I've had my fill of Tinker Tailor for the time being. (By the way, for Sherlock fans - Benedict Cumberbatch's character was great!)  My next book will probably be Anno Dracula, a novel about...well, Dracula.  It looks like a more interesting and thoughtful take on the vampire genre, so I guess we'll see how that goes.

 
TV & Movies
Haven't watched the latest Sherlock yet, but my friends who did see it said it was quite good.  Can't wait to finally catch up with it!
 
Project Runway: All Stars will start airing on the 5th, which I'm very excited about!
 
I saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol the other week, and I actually kind of loved it.  I have to admit, I do like Tom Cruise sometimes, even if he is kind of whack.  He didn't take himself too seriously in this movie, which is what made it so enjoyable. There was a bit of slap stick thrown into the action (which was amazing, by the way). And his teammates were probably the best I've seen so far in the MI series.  Guy-who-played-Scottie on Star Trek (the new movie) was so funny! Loved him.  Of course, I will never understand the villains who are all "I'm gonna set off nuclear weapons for no reason at all," but I suppose the crazy is part of the scariness of it?
 
In comparison, Tinker Tailor was a much more cerebral and thoughtful movie, one where you had to pay attention and get intellectually invested.  The slow camera work was actually quite well done, and when it panned deliberately over the four dudes, they ALL began to look guilty to you, lol.  I kind of dozed off in the middle somewhere though.  It's not a movie for everyone. After it ended, my brother remarked, "That two hours of my life I'm never getting back."  I didn't think it was that bad!
 
And okay, I'll admit it...I watched this year's Kouhaku music show, even though it sucks year after year and I always declare that I'm not wasting anymore of my time.  My whole family sat down and watched it, though we spent most of the time fast forwarding through each number.  Lady Gaga made an appearance via satellite, which was kind of amusing.  There were actually some high points, which included Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi (after he finally shut the hell up and started singing) and the cracktastic Hikawa Kiyoshi, who came out in this dazzling Mariachi outfit and jiggled his hips like I dunno what (You can check out his video here - it's not from the Kouhaku, but you get the idea!).  And actually, I kinda loved Ashida Mana and her co-star, who sang Maru Maru Mori Mori.  It was so adorable!   

 
 ☆ Saiyuki
And finally, in fandom news...you must check out this fabulous Gojun/Tenpou/Kenren fic that 7veilsphaedra wrote for me for the theme "Year of the Dragon": King Goujun Wishes to Express His Gratitude and Appreciation... It's fabulous.  Rated NC-17.

 
 
 
 
Current Mood: okayokay
 
 
athena
01 January 2012 @ 01:30 am


☆ ☆ ☆ ** Happy New Year!! ** ☆ ☆ ☆


Hope you have a fabulous 2012~!
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athena
25 December 2011 @ 11:31 pm
SPOILERSCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: giddygiddy
 
 
athena
25 December 2011 @ 03:33 pm


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend, whether you celebrate or not. (^__^)/

Thank you to reposoir , whymzycal , kanzenhanzai , kirathaune , chomiji and ladyofthethread for your Christmas cards! ♥

My weekend has been pretty low-key. No huge holiday meals or family gatherings, just a yule log cake and a few presents. I think I was much more successful in this year's gift giving, which I'm pleased with! And even the cake was better than last year's. I got it from my favorite local patisserie, which makes lots of fabulous not-too-sweet cakes.
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athena
20 December 2011 @ 12:28 am


iphone case!
I've actually kind of struggled a bit with cases for my iPhone 4. I initially got a clear one, which was one of those free ones that Apple offered to placate their customers after the antenna placement fiasco. That one cracked. Then I got an adorable "Alice in a Funny World" case with art by Shinzi Katoh...but then the picture on it faded. =( I did a long and tedious search for a new case, and finally decided to do the "design your own" thing with Case-mate. So here it is!

There's something just incredibly sexy about Tenpou splayed out all over his books. This case is pretty slim compared to my old ones, but I'm quite pleased with it. The ink looks like it's really etched in there, so hopefully it won't be fading any time soon!


holiday careds!
Thank you to rroselavy , kispexi2 , maeran , helliongoddess , despina_moon , theskywasblue , jedishampoo and sharpeslass for your lovely Christmas cards! My room looks so festive now. X)

I finally got all my cards done yesterday, and put them in the post this afternoon. Hopefully they'll reach everyone soon! (^__^)/


next iron chef: super chefs
This weekend I finally caught up with Next Iron Chef, just in time for the season finale on Sunday.

Spoilers!Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
athena
19 December 2011 @ 12:30 am


Okay, so Aibou is the only Japanese drama I keep up with. This police drama is currently in its 10th season, and I think it's better than ever. ♥ Of course, my favorite character is one of the goofy side-characters (Itami), but I do love the two starring detectives, Ukyo and Kanbe.

Now, they usually have 3 extra long special episodes per season - the opener, New Year's special, and season closer. For this year's New Year's episode, the guest star is Saito Takumi, which makes me terribly excited! It's so exciting when my fandoms collide like this. XD Last week's episode was followed by a preview for the New Year ep, so I had to take a few screencaps, one of which includes Takumi being a badass and pointing a gun at one of the main characters, played by Oikawa Mitsuhiro. XD

GUNS he points themCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: giddygiddy
 
 
athena
12 December 2011 @ 10:40 am
Hey everyone! 
 
Hope you've been doing well.  I know I haven't really updated in a while, but I've been keeping up as much as I can with your posts-- Lol.  You know, I feel like I begin every entry these days with that same blurb.  Anyway, I've been definitely trying to update more but somehow I always get sidetracked by other things, even if I'm just on my computer!  My poor neglected food blog hasn't seen an update in a while either, and I feel horribly guilty about that. XD;;
 
goings on
As for things going on personally...not a whole lot of new developments.  Just the usual work and play.  Last week I went to see Tori Amos with twentystitches , which was pretty darn awesome.  She had a string quartet with her, which was kinda cool.  But I have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of the first violin.  He was just SO loud!  And there was a lot of dissonance, though I guess that's the way it is with contemporary string music?  Anyway, it was really cool to see her live again.  It was great to see Tans too, but we were both so exhausted.  Who holds concerts on a Monday night, anyway?
 
Though speaking of Monday night concerts, I'm going to one tonight as well.  It's for a band called Pink Martini, which I'd only vaguely heard about.  Some friends wanted to go, and it's supposed to be a holiday concert, so I thought it might be fun.  They're apparently touring with a Japanese singer named Yuki Saori.  My parents are fans, but I don't know her music either. XD;;
 
I guess the biggest event in the last few weeks is, I went to my friend's wedding in Baltimore. It was a two day affair, a lavish Indian wedding complete with garba (a dancing celebration), the groom's procession on a horse, several hours long Hindu ceremony, followed by an all day gap before cocktails and reception dinner.  Needless to say, it was an exhausting weekend, but full of fun and lots of great food.  My friend the bride got me a beautiful sari from India, pictured here.  It's a gorgeous shade of green with fabulous gold and green sequins ALL OVER.  I was blinged out like a Bollywood star.  Loved it.

 
 
holiday stuff
First of all, THANK YOU to kedi_kedi , rachel_reicheru and velvetina_wonka for your lovely Christmas cards!!  Aah, I envy you for being so on top of it!  I meant to get some of them out this weekend, but I ended up writing...zero.  However, I did print out all the addresses and return labels, so I'm pretty much good to go. I'm hoping to at least get all the international ones out this week. 
 
Holiday time is actually one I rather enjoy, and it's always kind of fun to go to holiday events and concerts.    The shopping part can be fun sometimes too, but ever since my disasterous gift giving of last year (everybody returned everything. Actually no, I had to return it all FOR them, which seems kind of messed up, but I did get it all online...), I've been kind of bitter about the whole process and just wanna get it over with as soon as possible.  It doesn't help that my brother keeps sending me links for gift ideas for himself for ridiculous items like a $10,000 watch, a $4,000 chair and a $5,000 set of speakers.  NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
 
Anyway, aside from the holiday cards and shopping...last weekend, I went to my friend's Christmas concert (he plays second violin in a local orchestra), which was a lot of fun.  Later this week, I have two holiday parties, a Christmas tea and a (actually non-holiday related) birthday happy hour.  Somehow, everything happens all at once.

 
fannish stuff
I've been watching Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, season 2, and I'm enjoying it thoroughly.  I had my suspicions last year, wondering if they could really judge art in this manner, but I think it's just a fun show to watch. I was actually sorry to see The Sucklord go, even though his art was kind of amateur.  He was just a ridic and utterly amusing character to watch.  I thought last week's "Sell Out" episode wasn't very good though, if only because it did what last season's Project Runway kept doing, to fatal effect: combining challenges that don't go together.
 
I'm really behind on Top Chef: Texas.  I guess it's not as super impressive so far as I expected, but I will catch up eventually. The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs has been pretty cool though, even if I was kind of skeptical that Spike equalifies as a Super Chef...  I'm a few eps behind there as well, but I'm looking forward to catching up.
 
Meanwhile... New Game of Thrones trailer is out!  See it here at EW.  I'm so excited!
 
Downton Abbey Christmas special is coming up soon too, but to be honest, I was sorely disappointed by the last season.  There was just too much darkness and melodrama and even though I know Downton has always been a little wacky, some of the storylines were just so absurdly soap operatic that I was rolling my eyes.  Honestly, I WANT Mary to end up with Carlisle at this point, if only because he's so much more interesting than mopey doe eyed Matthew.
 
Merlin is finally getting a little interesting, and maybe it's almost breaking out of its cyclic same story thing it's been suffering through for the past few seasons.  Queen Anis's episode was pretty awesome, and she was such a kickass character!  It's a shame it was only an episodic appearance.

 
I should...get back to work. XD  That's it for now! ♥
 
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
athena
09 November 2011 @ 12:00 am




AAaaah! Another Story OVA II has all my favorites! Rikkai + Hyoutei in one episode, and Shitenhoji (+ Chitose) in the other. There was so much happy ChitoKura love in this episode, I can't stand it. XD ♥

I feel like it's been a while since I've fangirled tenipuri. I've missed it! Okay, so here's the summary rundown after the cut, with screencaps!

Wings of KyushuCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: dorkydorky
 
 
athena
10 September 2011 @ 05:22 pm
ARRRGHHHHHHHHHHH.

SPOILERSCollapse )
 
 
Current Mood: crazycrazy
 
 
athena
06 September 2011 @ 01:22 pm


birthdays~
First off, Happy Birthday to girl_dissolving ! And Happy Belated Birthdays to red_squared , ssjbento and _sabriel . I've probably missed a few others...I keep seeing birthday posts around my flist, but I've failed to note them all! (;___;) Anyway, hurrah for birthdays! I feel like this is a very busy time of year for birthdays...lots of my friends have August and September birthdays..

Speaking of birthdays, I was amused to see that on my official "Song of Ice and Fire" wall calendar, they have "George R. R. Martin's Birthday" noted - it's September 20. I like this calendar, but I'm not very impressed by September's artwork - Casterly Rock. I always imagined the place a little grander than this, since it's the home of House Lannister, who are supposed to be pretty filthy rich. The art makes it look like...well, a giant rock. With a rather phallic looking tower sticking up at the top. Haha. I think there should be more Castlely and less Rock.


downton abbey!!
Second season is coming! I'm so SO very excited. Part of me is kind of worried that it'll be depressing, what with the war and everything. But I'm hoping that the characters will pull through and keep it lively and fun nevertheless. I'm sad that Matthew will be bringing in a new love interest, because I really did think he'd end up with Mary. Maybe he still might?? I was surprised to discover that this is a minority opinion, amongst my friends. They all *hate* Mary!

I dunno, she's done a lot of things she shouldn't have, but I don't understand why they find her so unsympathetic. I think the actress does a fabulous job showing all Mary's vulnerabilities and complexities. She's definitely one of my favorite characters.

Season 2 preview is available here, and first episodoe trailer is here. ♥



project runway
Ridiculous "Avant Garde" episode produced so much fug, none of it remotely avant garde, except for Bert's, surprisingly enough.

I am so utterly unimpressed by this season so far. Too much drama and not enough beauty. I feel like cranky Nina Garcia, demanding to see something fabulous!! Gorgeous fashion...where is it??


links

Pyramid Car! - Artwork by Scott C. I kinda love the quirky little style he has with his art. This link goes to his pop art, and my favorites are further down the page, featuring various cartoon, movie, and comic book characters engaged in funny activities like Slip and Slides and ping pong.

Tiny World in a Bottle - These are so cute! He sells them on etsy..

Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty Exhibit - My colleague went to see this exhibit when it was at the Met in New York (so jealous!) It's apparently headed to London next. ♥

Sherlock fanart - Saw this on Tumblr. Also saw this titillating interesting photo of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. XD

[video] Awesome cell phone commercial plays Bach tune with a wooden ball - Nice! That must've taken a lot of work to set up.

[video] I am Maru - Absolutely adorable home videos of a cat name Maru. Watch near the end - he loves to head-dive into empty boxes. XDD

Tiger Leopard & Bunny Golden Retriever - Too cute!


EDIT:

where's andrew
Ack! I forgot to write about my friend Drew's trip to Japan! He writes for National Geographic Traveler, and he's called the "Digital Nomad" ... he tweets his traveling adventures from the road. I love how you get a very "live" feeling as you follow his tweets and blog posts. (He's the same guy who bussed to Antarctica a while ago).

Anyway, he just started his first trip to Japan, and has been tweeting at Where's Andrew. He started in Tokyo, where he visited the Tsukiji fish market and the Meiji shrine in Harajuku. He traveled up to Sendai for a baseball game, and then lived it up at a hot spring and ryokan in Hokkaido. He's just taken an undersea tunnel back into Honshu and checked in for the night in Aomori. His blog postings are here.
 
 
Current Mood: weirdweird
 
 
athena
27 August 2011 @ 02:24 pm


julius caesar
I'm spending the calm before the storm in front of my computer getting as much done online as I can before the inevitable blackout. (I know the electric company around here too well, unfortunately).

So, on Tuesday after the earthquake, I went to see Julius Caesar at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's annual Free for All production. I went to last year's Free for All, but that was on my friend's spare season pass ticket. This was the first year that I put in for the lottery system and actually won my ticket! Was quite excited about the play, since I feel like it's been a while since I've seen one of his tragedies.

Sometime during Act I, there is a scene where it's storming like crazy outside, and Casca remarks, "Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth / Shakes like a thing unfirm?" There was chuckling in the audience. Laughter abounded when the famous line, "It was Greek to me!" came up. But the real fun times occurred in the middle of Act III, at the dramatic moment when Octavian's servant comes in and sees the body of Caesar. "O Caesar!" he said. Followed by a strange wailing noise, then flashes of light. It was quite an odd moment for sound effects and shenanigans, and just as I was wondering if this was really part of the play, an announcement came on saying there was fire emergency in the building, and we all had to evacuate!

As I was leaving the auditorium, I glanced back and saw that Caesar was miraculously resurrected, being helped off the stage. The audience milled around on the street outside for a few minutes, unsure of what to expect. I didn't catch sight of them myself, but I heard later that there were men in bloody togas standing around as well. I'm not sure what the cause of the alarm was, or whether it was earthquake-related, but they eventually let us back in, and continued on without further delay.

Overall, the production was wonderful, with the war scenes being especially enjoyable. I also loved all the flourish, pomp and circumstance. The actors for Caesar and Marc Anthony were particularly good. (*__*)



project runway
From political intrigue to fashion bitchfest...what did you guys think of this week's episode?? Has there ever been THIS much contention and fuckwittage in PR history? Bert could be the biggest asshole ever, right up there with that tattooed guy whose name I don't remember (but he was despicable). And that Josh of the freaky painted-on-eyebrows is Bitch #2. Honestly, I do like some drama with PR, but this is just too much. Especially when the drama overshadows the fashion, and the designers are so distracted they end up producing shit work. Let's face it, there was a whole bunch of crap up there this week...even though the challenge WAS rather incomprehensible. (Make an outfit that goes with sneakers! But not work out clothes! Dresses are okay! But wait, can you work out in that dress? WTF Heidi).

I really hope that the challenges and the designers step up from hereon, because it's getting kind of ridic.

Also...chick who dropped out of PR because she didn't want to be there: Loser.



irene
Went to the gas station to fill up my tank and had to get Supreme. Looks like they're running low already. One gas station I passed was completely sold out of everything.

Meanwhile, the grocery store was jam packed with last minute shoppers that included myself. The hot ticket items that were almost cleaned out included potatoes, canned tuna, instant coffee, bread, bottled water, evaporated milk, instant ramen and peanut butter.

I grabbed a bunch of packets of ramen, a few apples, potatoes, leeks, canned soup, instant coffee and Washingtonian magazine's "Cheap Eats" issue. I ended up getting only one pint of ice cream instead of two, since it'll just end up melting if we lose power.

And speaking of power, I got an infuriating automated message from our electric company Pepco, telling us in essence, "We're gonna fuck this up yet again. Sorry in advance!" Thanks for nothing, Pepco.

At least I'm ready for the inevitable...I have a stack of books at the ready and my iPhone charged up for precious internet connection when needed.

To all of you on the east coast...stay safe. ♥
 
 
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
 
 
athena
Wow earthquake in DC. Surprisingly enough this wasn't the first time, though it was definitely bigger and longer than the last one. 

The building shook. No one knew what was happening, and we thought maybe it had something to do with all the construction they're doing to the outside of my building..

Anyway, they evacuated us and we stood around on the crowded sidewalk for half an hour until they let us back in. 

Twitter exploded with earthquake tweets. Clearly it's the most useful thing to have in such a situation! I was trying to read the subtitled new report inside a bar at a nearby restaurant but it didn't give me the most useful information. 

After checking in on my friends and fam, the first thing I did was check Shakespeare Theatre. They're staging Julius Caesar tonight and I'd won tickets to see it! (They do free productions every year, and tickets are only available by lottery). They checked the building and the show must go on! I'm very excited. 

"Et tu, Brute?? Then fall, Caesar!"

Hope everyone in the area on my flist are okay! I see that many of you have already checked in. <3 


Also, RT @JohnnyGWeir : So we just had an earthquake in Jersey. I was in the tanning bed, dancing vigorously and missed it. I'll show YOU a tremor Mother Nature...
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm