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Irian of the Other Wind

[ Come tread | the forsaken road ]
[ learn about | the lady in the mirror ]
[ turn back | the sands of time ]
[ look into | the lady's dreams ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

New Year Greeting [31 Dec 2010|11:55pm]
[ mood | mischievous ]

My poor, neglected LJ... Hehe.

Anyway, just dropping by to say hi to the people in my friends list who still remember me.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

新年快樂 !

明けましておめでとう!!

10 dragons|fly on the other wind

I Write Like... [16 Jul 2010|10:14pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

From a meme gacked from solidark. Apparently, I use alot of irony in my writing style, if this meme is anything to go by:


I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




I've never even *heard* of David Foster Wallace...

On the other hand, running an older LJ entry gave me a result that said that I write like H.P. Lovecraft. LOL.
fly on the other wind

Frozen... [22 Jan 2010|11:22pm]
[ mood | cold ]

Facebook stat post: "I am frozen here in Tagaytay. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr."

As soon as I get back to Manila, I'm buying a copy of the recently released Philippine edition of Libera's 2008 album "New Dawn". If only for the bonus track "Bayan Ko". ^_^

1 dragon|fly on the other wind

Still alive... [29 Dec 2009|12:28am]
[ mood | gloomy ]

Merry Christmas (even if Christmas is over already) and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Well, 2009 is almost at an end. It's been a crappy year for me all around. I simply haven't had the time or the energy or the inclination to post anything here in a while. Heck, I don't even get to log into my Facebook account either, when everyone around me seems to be busy tending to their farms or cooking in their cafes of whatnot--yeah, that's how pathetic I am.

But 2009 hasn't been a complete waste for me. I've made some decisions about how I want my life to proceed in the next year, discovered who my *real* friends are (and yes, that implies that I'm cutting ties with someone who's proven time and time again in the past year that he doesn't deserve the title of friend), met some new friends online (thanks to my addiction to buying secondhand books on multiply and ebay), and read some great new authors.

Here are some of the new (at least for me) authors I discovered in 2009. Not a complete list by all means, and there's a lot more romance in there than fantasy/sci-fi. I can't help it if it's so much easier to find romance novels at Booksale and on ebay/multiply compared to fantasy and sci-fi... Besides, being tired and depressed for the better part of the year resulted in a marked preference on my part for light reading of the escapist fiction variety.

1. Patricia Briggs
2. Lynn Viehl/S.L. Viehl
3. Sherrilyn Kenyon
4. Christine Feehan
5. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
6. Lynn Kurland
7. Jim Butcher
8. J.R. Ward


Not many new developments on the anime front though. The only new anime I've watched are Full Metal Alchemist:Brotherhood and Inu Yasha:The Final Act, and both only because they're being shown with subtitles on Animax (the majority of Animax shows are now dubbed, but since these are simultaneous telecasts with Japan, I guess that explains the subtitles). Any suggestions for for new (and old, as long as I haven't watched it yet) anime shows would be quite welcome, otherwise I might end up being stuck in a permanent mid 90s-early 2000s anime time loop. solidark ? Anybody? Help? ^_^;;

And oh, I almost forgot the highlight of the year! I got to watch the Libera boys in concert at the PICC during their Philippine tour last October 25. Hehe. Talk about indulging in some serious fangirling and shota-complex. Still, these are some truly talented kids... And I've been a fan since freshman year in college, when my blockmate Cindy lent me her Angel Voices 2 CD. They weren't even known as Libera yet back then, and of course the boys from the CD weren't the same as the new generation boys who sang in the concert (considering the short shelf life of boy sopranos), but either way the overall effect is still angelic...

16 dragons|fly on the other wind

Merry Christmas! [25 Dec 2008|11:55pm]
[ mood | exhausted ]

Hmmm. Been gone for so long, I dn't even know if I have any LJ friends left... Lol.

Anyway, in case anyone's missed me (I might get around to writing about the nasty year that was 2008, but proably not any time soon), I just popped in to greet everyone a Merry Christmas. It's the last five minutes of Christmas day over here.

Am still physically and emotionally drained, but hey, it's Christmas, so I'll forget about all of my problems for now and just enjoy the season. Hope everyone else is doing the same!

I'm off to Baguio again tomorrow morning up to the 30th, and I'm not planning to do anything there other than go bargain hunting at the dry goods section of the local market (you wouldn't believe the selection of sweaters, cardigans, scarves and gloves we've accumulated over the years) and enjoy the cool weather over there--heard that it's gone down to as low as 8 degrees celcius this month, which is cold for a tropical country (then again, Baguio *is* what the history books would term a "hill station", like the ones in India and Malaysia where the colonials flocked to to escape the sweletering tropical heat of the colonies. ^_^;;

4 dragons|fly on the other wind

Greetings from Thailand! [05 Jun 2008|11:47pm]
[ mood | tired ]

I wish I could say that I'm here on vacation, but unfortunately, I'm here for a training seminar. Supposedly an "Expect Course" on Clinical Nutrition. Let's see how much of an expert I am after all this is over, shall we? ^_^

Anyway, my brain is shutting down due to info overload from 8:30 AM-6:30 PM every day, and this course runs until Saturday. I can barely squeeze in any shopping time, and my mom has the weirdest shopping commission for me too--a personal-sized rice cooker, of all things. Wonder if I'll still have time to look for it though...

BTW, solidark, could you email me your address again? I'll try to send you a postcard from here if I can.

*sigh* I am physically and emotionally drained right now. Dug through my old posts and found this post from four years back. Looks like it's time to discard another mask again, not that wearing that one for the past four years ever did me any good. Seems to have made things worse for me, in fact. Oh well. Good bye cutesy kawaii neko-chan facade. Nuff said.

12 dragons|fly on the other wind

Thanks for the birthday greetings, and more mp3s [30 Mar 2008|10:05pm]
[ mood | crazy ]

Thanks to everyone who greeted me on my birthday! I ate so much cake (there's the caramel cake from Estrel's that my dad bought, and the dulce de leche cake from Red Ribbon that the gang brought to my house yesterday) that I'm probably going to gain a pound or so after this. Not to mention drastically increase my risk of diabetes. Lol.

Anyway, here's the rest of the mp3s I promised. I promised the Imago mp3s to solidark, but everyone else is free to grab them as well. And do tell me what you think of the songs if you get any. ^_^

1. Imago - Akap

http://www.box.net/shared/sqyxseask4

I love this band. It's my favorite local band that's fronted by a female lead singer. But I really do love their first album (Probably Not, But Most Definitely, or PNBMD for short) best, because that album had an ethnic/folksy feel to it that the second and third albums don't have anymore. Maybe it's because they lost the voilinist and replaced her with a bassist. Anyway, this song is from their second album. It's a favorite for karaoke nights with the gang. Hee. Lyrics, video and a fan translation in English can be found here.

2. Imago - Hiwaga (Magic)

http://www.box.net/shared/3mbkmbngg8

This song is from PNBMD. For some reason, the opening string sequence reminds me of a Corrs song...

3. Imago - Laya (Free)

http://www.box.net/shared/4vnoolnokg

Also from PNBMD. Definitely has that ethnic vibe going here.

4. Imago - Walang Mysteryo (No Mysteries)

http://www.box.net/shared/awpk7qww00

My favorite song (at least for the melody and beat) from their third album, Blush. A lot of the band's fans were scratching their heads and wondering where the old Imago went. Changes included a bubblegum pop cover and pop novelty songs like the carrier single "Taralets", which I might post someday if anybody's interested.

5. Imago - Rain Song

http://www.box.net/shared/shkhseogcc

Also from PNBMD. The lyrics of rainsong as printed on the album goes:

look away
see it coming
gray skies, gray skies
gray skies, gray skies
see it coming
cool my fire


It "matches" the lines in the actual song... only Aia (the lead singer) sings it as:

kool yawa (look away with the letters reversed)
see, see't koomen (see it coming)
yarg seiks, yarg seiks (gray skies with the letters reversed)
...
kool mi faree (cool my fire)

6. Imago - Loves Tokyo Tokyo

http://www.box.net/shared/59oc4n280g

Imago sang this song for local fast food chain Tokyo Tokyo's commercial. It's rather cutesy, and reminds me of something Puffy Ami Yumi would sing. ^^;; The actual video is available on YouTube, for those who are interested in it. But it comes with an extreme kitschiness warning, so view at you own peril...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzWdcUkwcMI

7. Bamboo - Noypi

http://www.box.net/shared/czgrx46ckw

Bamboo Manalac was a former member of popular local band Rivermaya (if I'm not mistaken, Rivermaya's quite popular in Singapore. peiyu, renovak, can you confirm?). After he left Rivermaya, he went on hiatus for a few years and returned as the fronting man of his own band, Bamboo. His gritty, edgy voice makes him stand out in the local band scene though, not to mention his stage presence. Anyway, this is a rather patriotic song, since "Noypi" is basically "Pinoy" with the syllables reversed. Lyrics and english translation of the song here.

8. 6 Cycle Mind - Trip

http://www.box.net/shared/xgvimlhc0k

Another one of those bands from those late-90s/early 2000s band explosion. This song definitely falls under the category that solidark calls "summer music". BTW, "trip" here is a Taglish expression (word obviously borrowed from English", usually expressed as "Anon'g trip mo?". The closest English colloquial expression I can think of is "What's your poison?"

9. Rocksteddy - Gising Na (Wake Up)

http://www.box.net/shared/90uz8mfswc

One of the "newer" bands, since they were only formed in 2003 or so. I seem to remember hearing them in a Close-Up toothpaste commercial too. Anyway, the name of the band amuses me. Guess these guys watched a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they were younger. ^_^

7 dragons|fly on the other wind

Today is... [27 Mar 2008|06:44pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

My Birthday. So I figured I should finally get around to updating this thing. You all thought I was dead, didn't you?

Ah, the dreaded quarter life crisis. Good thing I don't live in Regency England. Otherwise, at my age, I'd be considered firmly "on the shelf" aka well-on-the-way-to-old-maidhood. Lol. Of course, today's more enlightened times don't prevent my mom and my nosy aunts from dropping broad (and sometimes quite obvious) hints that I should get to work on hooking myself a man. Blegh. I never did have much luck in that department (and no, I do not have self-image issues, I like my face and my body just fine--it's just that aforementioned face and body have never been the type of combination that draws in the opposite sex like flies to honey the way some girls do). ^^;;

Anyway, quarter life crisis bedamned. Here are some mp3s to "celebrate" with. Haha. It's just a mixed bag of OPM (original Pilipino music) lifted from the computer at home (so some of these files are my bro's):

1. Hale - You'll Be Safe Here
http://www.box.net/shared/ffcuw8mwww

2. Hale - Blue Skies
http://www.box.net/shared/n33cg5g0ss

Hale, well, how do I explain Hale? My image of them has always been as a boy band masquerading as a rock group, but maybe I'm being too harsh. After all, Champ Lui-Pio (the lead singer) may have hordes of female fans willing to sell their souls to him, but at least he doesn't do any cheesy boy band dance numbers...

3. Parokya ni Edgar - The Ordertaker
http://www.box.net/shared/ge7ut4a8s4

The Parokya's been around since I was in grade school, and their songs have gone the whole gamut from alternative, pop rock, to grunge and funk. This is one of the grungier songs I suppose. I think it's supposed to be a parody... *Checks Wikipedia* Yup, it'a a mixed parody of "Chop Suey!" and "Toxicity" by System of a Down.

4. Kamikaze - Narda
http://www.box.net/shared/f1aknyko48

Not much to say about this group, except that this rather angsty song got a lot of airtime last year.

5. Spongecola - Crazy For You
http://www.box.net/shared/bpinlasook

Ummm, a cover of the Madonna song? Nuff said.

6. Kitchie Nadal - Bulong
http://www.box.net/shared/r8d4zzijo8

Love this girl's songs, though this isn't one of my favorites.

7. Urbandub - First of Summer
http://www.box.net/shared/wf9qywjs4w

Urbandub is one of the better "new" bands that burst into the scene when I was in college. Back then, I used to tune into NU 107.5 (probably the only dedicated rock/alternative station in Metro Manila) a lot, and if the DJ hadn't announced that they were from Cebu, I would have mistaken them for a foriegn (read--American) act.

More mp3s to follow over the weekend. Gotta go now. My laptop's acting up again, And I'd rather post this before LJ eats up my entire post again.

16 dragons|fly on the other wind

An ode to Booksale, a semi-dissertation on the historical romance novel, and a Merry Christmas [25 Dec 2007|03:31am]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

Kim has been busy...

Catching up on her reading backlist. I think I've been buying too many books from Booksale and ebay.ph lately. I've been on a book buying binge since the Powerbooks and National book sales last August/September. It really doesn't help that Booksale has so many cheap hard-to-find books if one is patient enough to dig through their bargain piles.

I've collected almost all of Georgette Heyer's 20+ book strong backlist of Regency/Georgian romances via Booksale, and at prices from as low as 20 pesos for older copies to 95 pesos for the more recent Harlequin reprints (which I don't like because the copy editing for these editions is horrible).

My Mercedes Lackey collection was patiently accumulated from Booksale over the span of a decade (I started back in high school), and I've got nearly all of Roger Zelazny's Amber novels (for around 20-30 pesos per book) and Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books from Booksale as well.

I'm slowly building up my Anita Blake collection through Booksale (actual copies of the books are definitely better than ebooks, and my copies of Guilty Pleasures and Bloody Bones were hardcovers bought for 160 pesos each--definitely steals).

A great find from last week was a copy of Micheal Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone" (book one of his Elric series. I think I've got two more volumes from Booksale tucked away somewhere, but I can't remember which volumes they are anymore) for 30 pesos. Anyway, you get the picture, right? It really doesn't help that Booksale offers discounts if your total purchase exceeds 1000 pesos--sometimes I find myself picking up extra books to avail myself of the discount, particularly if I find that my "pile" is already close to the 1000 peso mark...

Here's something interesting though. The bulk of my recent Booksale purchases have been regency romances from Signet and Zebra. Seems that my Georgette Heyer binge has made me curious about her successors. Lol. Anyway, reading regencies in between fantasy books is a great way to "unwind" after being exposed to all that world-building. ^^;;

I know I've said countless times that I wouldn't be caught dead reading a romance novel, but I guess that I'll have to revise my views in light of recent events. A well-written historical romance novel is now considered acceptable reading material, but by well-written, I mean a book that is a)historically accurate (with regard to such things as speech patterns, settings, and habits/mannerisms), b)has well-developed characters that detract from the often unavoidable use of tired/overused plot devices in the genre, and c)relies on the plot rather than the steamy sex scenes to hold reader interest.

Which is probably why I'm loving traditional regencies (it's a shame that they've been discontinued after losing most of their market to the longer and steamier historicals), since what I've read so far run the gamut from sweet to somewhat steamy, but almost all of them project a more historically accurate "feel" compared to their longer counterparts, the historical romances. Maybe it's because regencies have to stick to the conventions of the genre (as laid down by Heyer, and Jane Austen before her), while historicals have no such precedent.

For example, one popular historical romance author that a lot of my friends seem to love is Judith McNaught (whom Mel playfully calls Judith McNaught-y because of her looooong, detailed lovemaking scenes), but I can't seem to enjoy her books as much as I should be, because the American speech patterns and the lack of common Regency-era terms/phrases/cant (A carriage is a carriage is a carriage--there is usually no distinction whether a wheeled conveyance is a travelling carriage, a post-chaise, a curricle, a phaeton, a barouche, a landau, a mail-coach, or a common stagecoach. The heroes usually possess all the characteristics of the Corinthian, yet none of the other characters ever mention them as such) and practices (Why is there little or no mention of Almack's, the great Marriage Mart, despite the fact that most of her heroines have gone to spend the "Season" in London? Why do the heroines engage in dancing the "scandalous" waltz, which a debutante is not allowed to do unless she has been granted permission by the patronesses of Almack's, lest she be considered "fast"? Why are the heroes, despite their being business-savvy dukes, marquesses, and earls, never seen taking their seats in the House of Lords?). In a regency romance, such things are explained properly, or at least mentioned in relation to the story, which adds a dash or authentic regency flavor to the book/s. Which is why regency romance authors who later defected to writing historicals, such as Mary Balogh, Edith Layton, Barbara Metzger, and Stephanie Laurens (whose love scenes are even more explicit than Judith McNaught's, BTW), usually turn out more convincing works compared to other popular writers such as Judith McNaught and Johanna Lindsey, who do not come from the same background.

Of course, some people would argue that a great story stands for itself, and a good writer is able to portray and develop the kind of characters that readers would emphatize with. But I do believe that tacking the word "historical" to a novel sets the bar a bit higher than just plain good storytelling. The historical setting adds depth to the characters, and if properly portrayed, often helps the reader define the individual characters' thoughts and actions, thus enabling them to place themselves in the same milieu as the characters.

Anyway, before this post turns into a dissertation on the romance genre, I'd like to greet everyone a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!!

8 dragons|fly on the other wind

Any Josh Groban fans here? [07 Oct 2007|10:03pm]
[ mood | sad ]

Josh is coming to Manila for two nights as part of his Awake tour (his previous stop being Australia), and I'd dearly like to go and watch him in concert, except a) the gala night (October 17) is a by invitation only affair, and b) the cheapest tickets for October 18 were extremely limited and sold out within days of their release for public sale, and I can't afford to pay 20,000-25,000 pesos (at an exchange rate of 45 pesos=1 USD) for the expensive seats at better seating locations.

You know what's so funny? Josh's main fanbase is composed mostly of 20 to 30 somethings, and maybe a smattering of teenagers with good taste in music. But for his concert in Manila, the organizers decided to turn it into a black tie affair for Manila's elite, just like the Andrea Bocelli concert in Manila a few years back. Which is all well and good, since Warner Music is marketing Josh as a classical crossover artist. The crucial difference between Josh's concert and Bocelli's (which I was able to watch, and at a seat that wasn't so far from the stage area that Bocelli ended up looking just like a tiny speck of humanity on it), though, is that Josh's will be held in a much smaller and more exclusive venue (the Philippine International Convention Center or PICC) compared to Bocelli's, which was held in the Araneta Coliseum.

Now, the "Big Dome", as we locals fondly call the Coliseum, has a seating capacity which is double that of the PICC's (as it's also used for PBA and inter-collegiate basketball games), so fans like myself who weren't as richly lined in the pockets were able to watch Bocelli perform, because there were simply more "general admission" seats available. Not so for any concert held at the PICC. I wish that the concert organizers had considered that maybe the fans from the masa (a local term which roughly translates to "the masses") would like to be able to watch the concert as well, instead of pandering solely to a bunch of perfumed socialites who can afford to pay top dollar for their tickets.

*sighs*

Oh well. No use crying over something that can't be changed though. But I hope Josh comes to Manila for another concert soon, and that tickets won't be so expensive (or he performs at a bigger venue) the next time around.

7 dragons|fly on the other wind

Goodbye, Madeleine L' Engle... [09 Sep 2007|09:17pm]
[ mood | sad ]

One month without posting. Again. And belated happy birthday to pere_chan.

Anyway, not much to talk about other than the fact that I started taking up Japanese again last July. I enrolled in the Elementary 1 class at the Nihongo Center in Manila. I was thinking whether I should just take an assesment test and try for Elementary 2, but since it's been a while since my Japanese foreign language class in college, I'd forgotten most of my hiragana and katakana by now (and couldn't bother to dredge my old notes out from storage)...

It's also sale season at most of the major bookstores again--they usually time their branch-wide sales with the Manila International Bookfair, which of course I wasn't able to attend again this year (haven't been able to since they moved the venue from the Megatrade Hall to the much less accessible World Trade Center along Roxas Blvd.). The most interesting book I've picked up so far seems to be Catherynne Valente's The Orphan's Tales: In The Night Garden, which reads like the author's own culture-transcending version of The Arabian Nights.

On a sadder note, I read in a New York Times article that Madeleine L' Engle of Time Quartet and Austins fame has passed away. She was one of the first "serious" contemporary young adult authors (along with Lloyd Alexander, who also passed away this year) I read back in grade school, a time when most of my classmates were too busy collecting the latest Sweet Valley book to care about an "unknown" author like her. I credit her Time Quartet books with getting me interested in science and, to a degree, Celtic history/mythology.

Rest in peace, Ms. L'Engle. You have "tessered" to realms beyond the mortal plane, but you leave behind a body of work that will continue to inspire future generations with its imaginative breadth and its quiet wisdom.

2 dragons|fly on the other wind

Some birthday greetings, and please help me compile a birthday list [17 Jul 2007|10:45pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Belated Happy Birthday jaig!!!


Happy Birthday _rabia_!!!

And pachuchay, if you get to talk to your sister anytime tomorrow, tell her I said Happy Birthday, OK?

Speaking of birthdays, would you guys mind posting you birthdays in this thread, so it'll be easier for me to keep track? I know LJ does have a little section where it lists down upcoming birthdays among the people in your FL, but some of you didn't give out your birthdays so they won't reflect on the list. Anyway, I'll set up this post for comment screening, so if you guys don't want your birthdays on public view just tell me and I'll leave the comment screened.

fly on the other wind

For solidark [15 Jul 2007|11:18pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Happy Birthday solidark!!!

2 dragons|fly on the other wind

Clow/Sakura card hunting leads to Forgotten Realms. Oh my! [12 Jul 2007|12:15am]
[ mood | silly ]

And this is what I get when I try to find a place online other than Ebay that might still sell a set of the オールサクラカードセット (Sakura cards set with electronic Sakura book) or the 劇場版カード&ポーチセット (movie tie-in version Sakura cards with pouch) that were produced by Bandai waaaaay back in 2000/2001. My sister has a set of the electronic book cards, but since she's crazy, it seems she went and gave away more than half of the cards as graduation mementos when she graduated from high school... >_<

The History of Clow Cards in FR ~ Dan Hopkins ~ During 1350 of the land of Toril (the time known better as The Year of the Turrent) a mysterious mage came from another world to visit. He discovered the Realms had a wonderful resource of magic, unlike his own world, and devised a way to 'create' copies of his magical cards. He called his orignal cards 'The Clow' but realized that he then wanted to share his copies with someone of great importance.

He ran into Elimister who told him of Candlekeep and it's remarkable scribes. The mage known as Clow Reed, ventured to Candlekeep where he pawned his 'copy cards' off for entrence into the library. While there, Clow Reed wrote six scrolls documenting how he had created the copies and made an extra scroll telling how one could create new cards useing the secrets hidden within.

After three years in Toril, the mysterious visitor left in The Year of the Wyvern during the battle of Daggerford. Leaveing his legacy of cards behind. But the scribes of Candlekeep made no waste of time makeing copies of each scroll to sell at local fairs. By 1368 a slew of wizards and preists have created copies of the famous Clow Cards. However each card soon proves defective and not as good as Clow Reed had made them. The orginal first copies are kept at Candlekeep secretly studied by scribes and a priest now and again. No further word of the cards is heard until 1374, The Year of the Lighting Storms, when a mage attempted to use a card called The Storm to take over Baulder's Gate. He failed miserably.


Amusing, ne? The summary came from here, and a more detailed list of rules on how to adapt the cards for use in your campaigns is available for download here

So anyway, back to Clow/Sakura cards. If anybody can help me out in my card hunt, do drop me a line, OK? I actually found some google links saying that Mandarake (that big used comics and toys retail chain in Japan) has them in one of their branches, and I immediately fired off an inquiry email to their international customer service email, but they still haven't replied after two follow-up emails, so I guess I'll have to give up on that lead.

*kicks Mandarake's crappy excuse for a customer service email address*

4 dragons|fly on the other wind

Transformers, Darkover, and Harry Potter a.k.a. completely unrelated fandom ramblings [12 Jul 2007|12:10am]
[ mood | still sick ]

*coughs*

As of time of writing, I am still suffering from a dry, rasping cough that was left over from a cold that I contracted last week. Oh, and I just had a flu shot the week before that, which makes the situation extremely ironic, neh? So, I'm safe from the flu for one whole year, but the common cold can still bring me down any time.

Hmmm, what else?

Watched the new Transformers movie during the opening week, but not being a huge TransFan during my childhood (I concede that honor to Russ hehe), I could barely get the names right. I seem to vaguely recall thinking that the Dinobots (Grimlock in particular) were uber-kawaii, wanting to own a Bumblebee car when I grew up (not that I don't love the sleek, new model Bumblebee from the CGI movie, but there's something so round and fuzzy about an old-model Volkwagen Bug), asking my cousin if Starscream was gay (that's the old TV series Starscream who talks with a whiny, high-pitched voice), and wondering why it seems that there's only one female Autobot in the entire planet, but that's about the extent of my Transformers knowledge...^^;;

I mean, when we watched the old 1986 animated movie at Roschie's house in preparation for the upcoming release of the new movie, I had to keep bugging Russ with who's-who questions. Which means, of course, that I am in no position to make comparisons between the "original" and the "reworking", aside from my making the observation from the very beginning that this was a movie designed primarily as a wish-fulfillment vehicle for geeks, so of course the hopeless geek guy will end up with the hot, seemingly bimbo-ish babe who, surprise, surprise, actually turns out to be a closet engine freak by the time the first half of the movie rolls by.

Anyway, I also reserved my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from Powerbooks as close to their July 14 cut-off as I could possibly manage, and I just scored an autographed copy of one of Marion Zimmer Bradley's early Darkover books from a secondhand bookstore--the quality is typical used bookstore fare and cover art is fugly, but hey, it's autographed.

Speaking of Deathly Hallows, Powerbooks is opening all of their branches at 7 AM on July 21, so Potter fanatics can get their grubby paws on the book before regular mall hours. Which also means that Philippine HP fans will be getting their copies of Deathly Hallows at least 7 hours ahead of North American fans (assuming that the stores start selling immediately after midnight on the 21st).

Well, that's about it for my mega-update. I did find an interesting website which tries to relate Clow cards (yes, the ones from Cardcaptor Sakura) with Forgotten Realms though. It's so amusing that I think it actually merits it's own entry here, so I'll be posting two entries together today...

15 dragons|fly on the other wind

Of Dream Kings, Pirates, and Nightwishes... Oh, and some mp3s too. [07 Jun 2007|11:11pm]
[ mood | geeky ]

I finally caved and bought a copy of Absolute Sandman Vol. 1.

*gulps at the amount of money she just charged to her credit card*

Ummm, I think I'm about to impose a spending moratorium on my credit card for the rest of the month... And I think I'm going to have to cut down on ATM withdrawals as well. Either that, or I finally give in to EJ and Mel's urging and invest in some stable stocks (with Mel acting as my broker, of course) so I can use the dividends to fund my, ahem, expensive impulse buys.

Still, this book was worth every centavo I spent on it. I mean, tight, stitched leatherette binding, embossed titles, raised spine, ribbon bookmarker, and heavy weight glossy paper? It practically screams archival quality, and it'll probably outlive me, as long as I don't intentionally expose it to the elements or something to that effect. ^_^

The only problem I can see is that this is the first volume of four (one book to be released every year from 2006-2009), which means that I have to save up for the future volumes. Or at least hope that sales for my product line keep going strong up to the end of the year so I'll get a full four months salary incentive this time around. *sigh*

Oh yeah, rather late to talk about this, but I watched Pirates of the Carribbean:At World's End already. Twice during the opening week. Sooo, the movie itself was a tangled, confused mess of sometimes invented subplots (that's definitely the first time I ever heard anybody call Calypso an all-powerful goddess of the sea--and here I was thinking that she was just a sea nymph), but who cares, as long as it's got more Jack Sparrow in it, ne? I do feel sorry for poor Chow Yun-Fat though. He was playing the caricatured Oriental villain to the hilt, and then they had to go and render his character, ehem, incapable of any further action, so to speak. And they just had to go and do the same to Commodore/Admiral Norrington (my second favorite character in the franchise after Captain Jack), didn't they?

Still, the one thing that I definitely wasn't expecting was the bittersweet ending. Though the bonus scene after the credits did make up for it, somewhat. Maybe they threw that in to appease the Orlando Bloom fangirls?

Two more things before I close this post.

*points to the current music entry on top*

To the Nightwish fans in my FL, what do you think about the band's new lead vocalist? I personally find her voice sweet, albeit rather more generic pop-rock than goth, especially when compared to Tarja's vocals. This girl's got a very big pair of shoes to step into, after all. I'm aware that one song's not nearly enough to judge by though...

And I think I promised solidark (who is currently in Lisbon, if I'm not mistaken, so she'll probably only get to read this after she gets back from her vacation) some songs. *waves* Chinese ethnic pop, to be exact. Well, here you go:

Gao Sheng Mei (aka Malas Gao/Sammi Gao, a Taiwanese pop singer who hails from one of the island's ethnic minority groups) had her heyday during the late 80s to the mid-90s, but unlike other singers from that era, she's still active as a singer/performer. Or at least, she was during the start of the millenium. I'm not so sure about now... ^^;; Anyway, the songs below come from "Pestle Song", an album that was produced waaaaay back in 1998. It's a revival album of sorts, since in the introduction she wrote that Shan Ti Qing Ge (Mountain love songs) were popular during the 80s. In fact, even Teresa Teng, who was probably the most well-known Taiwanese pop singer from the 70s/80s era, produced a couple of these in her albums. But of course, she didn't have the advantage of actually being from an ethnic minority group herself.

1. Pestle Song--the song the album got its title from, obviously

http://www.box.net/shared/6jjk207lyq

2. Na Nu Wa Love Song--I have no idea what Na Nu Wa is supposed to mean, but I've always assumed that it's from a local dialect of one of the aforementioned ethnic minority groups. Incidentally, Teresa Teng also did a version of this song, but I prefer Malas's version because her voice is earthier and the beat more ethnic-sounding. Teresa Teng's version reminded me more of an enka song, actually... Maybe I should rip an mp3 of her version as well for comparative purposes?

http://www.box.net/shared/9doz5omap9

36 dragons|fly on the other wind

Bittorrent and SaiMono fansub ramblings, and could somebody help me get an invite code to Demonoid? [13 May 2007|06:14pm]
Hoookay... I'm currently downloading an English subbed copy of Gedo Senki/Tales from Earthsea. And the good part is that some fans of the book have gotten together and tweaked the subs a bit to conform more to Le Guin's original text without destroying the Japanese script. But I'll have to wait and see for myself, since this is an 800+ MB file and it probably won't finish downloading until tomorrow morning if I keep the computer running overnight. Which I probably will, if the parent units don't notice and insist on having it turned off...

*worships DSL connection, which may not be the fastest package available but is still light years away from old crappy dial-up*

Also just finished grabbing a torrent of episode 5 of Saiunkoku Monogatari Season 2 from KTKJ (a Chinese fansub group, which seems to be one of the few groups that actually use traditional Chinese for their subs). 3Down (another fansub group which uses traditional Chinese) just released episode 6, which I'll probably download after Gedo Senki finishes. But I really do prefer KTKJ's subs--their font is easier to read, their translations make use of shorter (read: easier to read for someone who doesn't exactly consider Chinese as a first language) sentences compared to 3Down, and their timing for their subs is much better. But 3Down releases their subs much faster (usually within a day after the episode airs in Japan, compared to KTKJ's 3-7 days), so I usually grab their releases as well to satisfy my SaiMono fix, even if it requires a lot more pausing in the middle of certain scenes where the subtitles are too long (meaning two entire lines of Chinese text that literally fill the entire screen, combined with sub timing that removes them from the screen almost as soon as they appear) for my paltry command of Chinese to keep up with...

Anyway, episode 5 has a lot more Hyou Riyou in it, so I'm happy. He may come across as a stereotypical mysterious bishie bad guy at this point, but I do get the feeling that we'll be seeing some more character development in later episodes. Oh, and did I mention that I have a weakness for white-haired bishounens? ^_^

Now that I've made this post a bittorent/fansub related post, maybe you guys can help me out? I've been trying to catch the open registrations at Demonoid for a while, but I never seem to manage to get in. So if anybody here's already a member of Demonoid, maybe you'd like to help a poor girl out and throw an invite code my way? *puppydogeyes* ^^;;
5 dragons|fly on the other wind

I am back from Paradise... [09 May 2007|12:00am]
[ mood | bouncy ]

Actually, I got home last Thursday evening, but I was too lazy to type up a post.

Boracay definitely lives up to its monicker of Paradise on Earth.

Unfortunately, since one person in our group was on a student budget, we ended up staying here instead of here. Club Panoly used to be one of the classier resorts in the island (during the late 80s and early 90s), but the management doesn't seem to have maintained those high standards. Plus, the beach fronting the resort (which is located in boat station 3) isn't as nice as the White Beach along stations 1 and 2. In fact, the sea floor was rocky and uneven, and the sand, while indeed white, was nowhere near the "baby powder fine" sand that Boracay is famous for.

Of course, we could have gone swimming at the White Beach instead, but Panoly's beach has the added disadvantage of being detached from this main beach (seeing as it's practically on the other side of the island), so we couldn't exactly stroll along the seashore until we found ourselves closer to the "civilization" that was the main stretch of White Beach, which is dotted with endless choices in terms of shops, restaurants, and accomodations.

So we ended up having to pay 400 pesos per way for a shuttle van to bring the five of us to D'Mall at Station 1 so we could go pasalubong (the Tagalog word for present, which in this instance is used to refer to small knick-knacks and trinkets/souvenirs) shopping and experience swimming/sunbathing at the White Beach. Then again, since it was already late afternoon by the time we arrived there, we weren't exactly in the position to do much sunbathing, so we opted to book a paraw cruise in time for the sunset (and do a bit of night swimmming afterwards) instead.

A paraw is a kind of local outrigger sailboat where passengers sit or lie on hammocks suspended across the sides of the boat. So you're quite literally suspended a few inches above the water, and stand a high chance of getting wet when the boat crosses the path of a particularly strong wave... You'd definitely encounter a lot of photo-worthy scenes though, particularly if you schedule a sunset cruise like what we did. To bad my Pentax wasn't quite up to the task of shooting pictures in low light conditions. It's times like these that make me wish I owned an SLR (a Nikon D40X would be fine), or at least a Canon Powershot G-series camera (the Powershot G7's housing looks sleek, but unfortunately it doesn't have .raw support like the older G6, on top of having a slightly slower shutter because its aperture range doesn't go as small as the G6's).

Anyway, despite the slightly inconvenient accomodations, it was still a most memorable vacation. Boracay is one of those places that offers a little something for every person, be it people watching (there are a *lot* of tourists, of the local, Caucasian and East Asian variety. Koreans seem to be getting more abundant these days, or so the locals say), shopping, clubbing/dining, water sports, sunbathing, or just chilling out by the beachfront. I'd definitely want to return if given the opportunity to do so (and hopefully in better accomodations the next time around).

Roschie has most of the nicer vacation photos in her camera, but she hasn't shared them with me yet, so I can't post any photos at this time. But I will do just that (along with posting some of the photos that we took using the company's Nikon D80 while we were in Bohol) as soon as I have them.

6 dragons|fly on the other wind

Chinese fansub groups are lifesavers [15 Apr 2007|10:47pm]
Why do I get the feeling that this trend of updating my LJ only once or twice every month is going to become a permanent development? T_T

Anyway, I hope everybody enjoyed the Easter break. I know that I did, because the beaches in Bohol are always beautiful, and we actually got to tour around Cebu this time (last year we spent most of our time in Cebu cooped up inside the convention venue). And I took lots of pictures. Which I will probably make a batch post about only *after* I manage to lower the resolutions. My 6 MP Pentax may not be top of the line in digital photography these days, but a shot taken using a 6 MP camera set at best resolution still amounts to a hefty filesize. And some of the best shots that I have were taken using the company's 10 MP Nikon D80, so...

Soooo. I've finished watching season 1 of Saiunkoku Monogatari as well. Very open-ended conclusion, but at least there are some signs that Shuurei might consider returning Ryuuki's affections in the future. *is hopeful* I'm impatiently waiting for the fansubbers to release English subs of season 2, but meanwhile, thank goodness for the Chinese fansub groups! They actually put out their releases almost simultaneously with the Japanese raws... Of course, I only found out after I'd already downloaded episode 1 raw. Baka.

Looks like there might be some tension (of what kind we don't know yet) brewing between Kouyuu and Shuurei, though I highly doubt that Kouyuu can manage any worse than Ryuuki. They both looked so cute in these first two episodes, what with Ryuuki going all lovey-dovey kawaii (complete with shimmering starry/flowery background) every time he thinks about Shuurei, and Kouyuu doing the exact opposite by turning into a red-faced, flustered mess every time he bumps into Shuurei (because he'd just been told that he might have to marry Shuurei in order to become head of the Kou clan). But I figure that Kouyuu will definitely play a bigger part this season than last, because he's in the group shot (the one where they're facing the sunrise) with Shuurei and Ryuuki and Shuuei at the end of the opening song.

I also want to know who that white-haired guy in the opening sequence is, because he looks important. And I want an mp3 of the lovely new lullaby-like ending song. It reminds me of Theru no Uta for some reason. Same pentatonic scale, same tempo.

But of course, I didn't spend my entire Easter break downloading Saiunkoku eps. I also did a bit of catching up on my reading backlog. Mostly Georgette Heyers, because they're in the light reading pile. Lol.

Oh, and I did go ahead and buy those Nike Free 5.0s I mentioned in the last post. And I got my credit card bill as well. Almost 9,000 pesos in one month. Gah.
1 dragon|fly on the other wind

Concerning quarter life crisis, swimsuit shopping, beach hopping, and retail therapy... [27 Mar 2007|01:40am]
[ mood | depressed ]

Meh. Quarter life crisis ahoy. So not fun. Getting older and still haven't achieved anything particularly significant in life.

Oh well. Time to drown out the depressing thoughts by going to the beach! I already bought not one, but two, new swimsuits to wear to the beach this summer, and I'm likely to buy more if somebody doesn't stop me... ^^;;

I'll be going to Cebu and Bohol (remember those cute 'lil Tarsiers from a year ago?) again this weekend on another company incentive trip (loser marketing team goes on a Cebu/Bohol trip, winning team goes to Penang/KL), and I'll probably be going to Boracay with Roschie and Czar (who's just back for a visit after three years in the US) and Mark in May.

The Boracay trip alone is enough to warrant buying a second swimsuit, but definitely not anything that remotely looks like an itty-bitty teeny-weeny bikini. I'm too lazy to exercise my body into anything that would be fit to be seen in one of those, so... boyshort bottoms for me all the way. And maybe a cami top that provides at least *some* coverage. Lol. I'm just lucky that I managed to get the second one (an Arena swimsuit that used to have a price tag of 1,799 pesos) on sale for more than 50% off, because the first swimsuit that I bought (a tankini from the 2007 Triumph swimwear collection, which was an impulse buy because the graphic print on the top was just too cute to resist... >_<) already set me back by more than 2,000 pesos--approximately 40 dollars, which might not sound like much considering the prices for despartment store/designer swimsuits in the US, and probably Europe as well, but this is the Philippines, where a cheapo SM department store swimsuit can go as low as 300-500 pesos, or approximately 6-10 dollars...

And yes, I am maybe just a little bit depressed over work, and other things as well, which is why I'm engaging in some good old fashioned retail therapy to make myself feel better.

And since EJ gets to go to Penang/KL, he has the (unfortunate) duty of bringing back Havaianas flip-flops for me and probably our entire accounting department as well, because everybody says that Havaianas are literally loads cheaper over there. Haha. Oh, and I'm still resisting the urge to throw away another 3,569 pesos on a pair of Nike Free 5.0 running shoes because they're on sale at the Nike Park in Shangri-la Plaza, and I haven't seen them going for that price anywhere else (normal price is 4,495 pesos). To buy or not to buy, that is the question, since the sale ends on the 31st and I won't be around then, since I'll already be on a plane bound for Cebu...

6 dragons|fly on the other wind

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