Thursday, October 30, 2008

Everyone's Favorite Holiday Orb.

Behold.... we do nothing small at my house. I give you 2008's offerings in the jack-0-lantern category, and I am seriously proud of all of these guys.

The Nerdcore Pumpkin Parade by *Red1332 on deviantART

From left to right it is Cthulu, lord of madness, the Oh Noes! Emoticon (Bob carved that brilliantly), a kodama's face from Princess Mononoke, and finally Lamar the headcrab from the Half Life video games.
They were VERY fun to create, but my hands are sore and chafed, cut and bruised from all of this work, so I'm very glad they'redone. I hope everybody enjoys looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saw V

You know, I made this HUGE deal of going to see the fifth installment of the series and then just didn't write anything about it. How....weird.
Considering it was a completely epic night, I guess I was too wrapped up in it to really pay attention.
Long story short, we completely pwned Alien: Extinction in the lobby of the movie theater. Bob got 3rd for all time high score, and I got all time high score for damage to company property. Pardon me if I see a row of gasoline barrels and decide to use them to our tactical advantage. Geez. But it was very cool to get to put my initials in to the game.
We had dinner at Olive Garden, and I finally gave in and had coffee to wake myself up. I was constantly exhausted without it, and while I probably could've counteracted it by sleeping a full 8 hours for the past few days, it turns out I actually built my activity schedule around the ability to stay awake on less sleep thanks to caffeine. So I caved, had a cup of it with dessert, and was able to fully enjoy everything.
After Olive Garden we went to Barnes and Nobles and scoured the place for DVDs and fun looking books. They had a copy of Arkham Asylum there, which I fawned over and whimpered about repeatedly before finally putting it back on the Halloween display. I don't have a lot of friends, and what friends I ~do~ have aren't nearly so in to the mythos as I am. It would've been a waste of nearly $50.
Bob found a rather cool looking book called Death: A biography. He hasn't read it yet, but from the synopsis it seems fascinating. If he doesn't start reading it soon I'll nick it and read it myself.
I found a book on ghost haunting in West Chester (only about 5 miles from me now) so that seemed fitting to pick up. I also grabbed the next installment of Chibi Vampire. I'm up to 8 now, almost done with the series. There was no Tokyo Mew Mew or Bride of the Water God except for what I already had, so I had to content myself with my findings.
After we got fairly kicked out of there (the place closed at 11 pm) we made our way to the theater where Alien carnage ensued. After that we acquired popcorn and sodas, and watched the movie.
Now, as anybody who lives on the east coast and carries a pulse knows, the Phillies are in the World Series right now. Even myself, with as little interaction with the outside world, sports and the common man as i get, knows that this is occuring. So while we were in the theater there came a great many hoots and shouts of "GO PHILLIES!" from random twenty-somethings hyped to be there. Oh, and I should also mention this theater was PACKED.
In the midst of this I suppose someone got sick of people shouting about the Phillies and other inanities and stood up....and proceeded to recite a Shakespeare solilquoy. Loudly. Which one, I couldn't tell you. I only caught 3 words, although I swear "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" was in there under the heckling. He projected this to the back row, with perfect cadence (the main reason I recognized what he was doing, pretty sure it was iambic pentameter) and stood there for 3 minutes solid doing this. People hollered. People booed. Someone shined a laser pointer on his forehead. He kept going. And when he was done and sat down, two groups of people cheered... those happy that he shut up, and those happy that he actually pulled the whole thing off. It was a completely random and beautiful thing to have witnessed, and to boot, it shut people up from hollering about sports.
The movie. Hmmm....
Well, the puzzle/game he had everyone run through was brilliant. It presented itself as one thing but was really another, and came crashing home at the end. There was a lot of back story explaining how Jigsaw passed along his ideas and setup to others as he was dying, and that helped a lot in understanding a few things. But it just didn't have quite the Oomph that 3 or 4 did, and while there was a bit of a mindfuck, overall it wasn't like usual where Bob and I would immediately be compelled to go to a diner and tear apart the movie section by section for any clues or possibilities we might have missed. It just seemed to be cleaning up the first 4 movies, setting clues for the future, and getting ready to progress on.
If I am recalling this correctly, they are shooting Saw VI right now, and there is a script for VII and draft scripts for VIII. So that was sort of the awkward halfway point in the series, almost. It's like the movie that hits the teenage years and starts to grow fur in places they didn't before, the voice cracks, that kind of thing. They should mostly have it together when the next movie comes along next Halloween. I look forward to seeing that one with Bob as well. :)
Epic evening y'all. Honestly. It should be written in purple on my calendar!

Games Galore

Little Big Planet is a fantastic game. Yes, in the beginning it's pretty much a weird hybrid of platformer and....RPG-esque thing, but it is utterly adorable and a blast to play. That you can control the thing using the sixaxis controller is great. That you can do that AND the hands just means that every time you finish a level "Jungle Boogie" MUST be danced.
The only downside is my accidental foray in to public indecency. I dressed up my little sackgirl in a cute striped bathing suit with pigtails and went cavorting off in the world with her.... unaware that a bathing suit in this game consists of two parts and she was running around without pants or underwear on for the better part of an hour. Ooooops. And they were worried about parts of the Koran being chanted in this thing....
Per usual we now have a dearth of games and it will be a while before all of them can be completed. Too Human is occupying Bob (I keep meaning to play it and getting distracted.) as is Fallout 3. We grabbed a copy of My Japanese Teacher for the DS to learn a bit more for the trip, but so far haven't even cracked it yet with all that's been going on. And me? I'm still in the middle of Braid, OTRPODS 1, The Legend of Zelda for DS, Pokemon for DS, and NOW we can add to it Super Mario Bros. for the DS. Also, on the way are Kuon and Call of Cthulu. Because I swear I will break this stupid fear of survival horror games!!!
While waiting in line for Fallout 3 I got started on the first part of God of War for the PSP. I miss how fun that game is, and I'm glad they scaled it down to a size that's portable. Only issue, I got stuck at one point battling a cyclops where the game completely froze up. I couldn't even powercycle the thing. I had to pop out the game and turn the PSP off. I seriously hope that doesn't keep happening or there will be issues. *sigh*
So.... yeah. Up to my ears in games. And this isn't even counting leveling up my new night elf rogue for WoW (oh crap, just remembered the expansion is coming out soon. >.< ) and a few other things. At this point I've decided the best course of action is to win the lottery so I can stay home and complete all of these things. By not finishing them, they're weighing heavily on my psyche and will eventually lead to a complete breakdown. Seems entirely logical when put in that perspective, ne?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The first of the season!

It snowed today. Several inches, covering the grass and the cars in the parking lot at my workplace.

Long live winter, whose impatience drives autumn before it like the hound harries the fox. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Games Galore

Little Big Planet is a fantastic game. Yes, in the beginning it's pretty much a weird hybrid of platformer and....RPG-esque thing, but it is utterly adorable and a blast to play. That you can control the thing using the sixaxis controller is great. That you can do that AND the hands just means that every time you finish a level "Jungle Boogie" MUST be danced.
The only downside is my accidental foray in to public indecency. I dressed up my little sackgirl in a cute striped bathing suit with pigtails and went cavorting off in the world with her.... unaware that a bathing suit in this game consists of two parts and she was running around without pants or underwear on for the better part of an hour. Ooooops. And they were worried about parts of the Koran being chanted in this thing....

The world just got more awesomer.

Glow in the dark cats exist, and didn't even require a nuclear holocaust.

Thank you Universe. This made my Monday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Caving under pressure...

Shoot me. I have a Facebook profile.

The headache showed up for about 5 minutes, then disappeared as soon as I drank some tea and took some advil.
So far this is the wussiest withdrawal EVER.

Using Tea as a Wet Nurse

It is Day 3 with no caffeine and I have done my best to avoid coffee in its myriad forms. So far in my life that means "Look at the coffee machine but don't touch."
It's not THAT hard, really. I just don't make a cup. But then the ~side affects~ started and now I'm wondering if it was such a wise idea. Then again, it's not like I'm ever going to NOT be tired, at this job or the next one, so I've been sticking with it.
I noted a spike in my craving for sweets last night, to the point that I couldn't ignore it. Indulging in some Sinnamon Lesser Evil candied popcorn helped abate it, but my general hunger then came back with a vengeance.

I'm wondering if my brain knows better than to try the bullshit headache route and instead is just trying to tap in to my former fears about starving and trying to push that button until I drink it again.

I shall keep on with observing this, as it's downright fascinating. I was expecting a major headache by now, and it's rather surprising it hasn't hit yet. I'll go with it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

When Output Exceeds Input, or, I could've made this stuff better myself.

It's been quite the week for visual input. Although whether or not it was ~good~ input, that remains open to debate for those that rank such things. Like whether someone "won" a debate. I think if you don't die on stage - literally, not figuratively- you pretty much win. Then again, to say that is to assume death is losing... there's a lot of work to be done in ridding the mind of all these dichotomies!
Tangent in sentence and a half. That, I think, is a new record.
Visual input. Right. Yes. SO... many moons ago Bob and I endured a crowded movie theater full of teenagers who joined us in watching the live-action Death Note movie, complete with dubbing. It was... interesting. I did enjoy seeing someone else's take on the story, but as usual there were a few things in Japanese that didn't translate well in to English. Cultural things, mostly. My one bone to pick was the fact that the story involved so much of the written Japanese language but had so few times where it was actually translated for the American audience. Then again, the entire premise is based on writing names down and words in general, so going in to it really I had no right to be surprised. My handle on kana and kanji is shaky at best. I can do days of the week, months, age, people, and a few other things. So sitting there staring at wanted posters on the screen irked me. I knew some small details were probably couched in those shots that we were going to miss.
Because we are both sticklers for completion of a series, even if it proves itself to be boggling in its execution (a la Frank Herbert's Dune. What. The. Hell. We have that play already. It's called Hamlet.) we were both excited to hear that they were bringing out the second half of the movie in a special Fathom event. Death Note II: the Last Name is the entire story from the time Misa gets the notebook to the time everybody carks it... at least in the live action movie. It already became obvious they were taking liberties with the story line from the first one, so I was interested to see what they would do this time.
Well, for the most part it remains somewhat serialized and cheesy. The special affects were obviously special. For some reason they introduced the shinigami (which my spell check is trying to tell me should be "bigamasts, lawl) as actual interact-able characters with the WHOLE cast. To my knowledge that doesn't really happen anywhere else.Also, Rem was constructed oddly and had an obviously male voice. It really threw me, as it didn't "feel" right for the animation. And it made me wonder if they did something similar with the Japanese voice.
My one major huge gripe... the movie is advertised as "the last name" The entire time it is about getting Ryouzaki's last freepin' name. When they wrote names down in Ryuuk's book, they showed the name.
Guess what? When Ryouzaki held up the death note at the end of the movie... 1.5 second shot of his actual written name, in Kanji and kana. No translation. NO TRANSLATION.
I had to go out and GOOGLE it. And after that, it turned out I already knew it. So there was frustration, and then it turned out I got frustrated for no reason.
But we saw it, it's done, and Japan needs to work on its uncanny valley. I probably won't watch it again, even if I see it's on cable late one evening.
Now, the other film... this one's a cult classic. I finally set my eyes upon the Big Lebowski.
Two hours of my life I will never recover. The only redeeming thing about it was that I now have a general understanding of what people might like about it. I will also get the references and be able to point it out as one of the Coen brothers' earlier works at a cocktail party I'll never be invited to. But as reconnaissance, it was actually worth it.
I'll just never, never watch it again. ^_^
As an aside, the theater where we went to see the Death Note movie had tickets for a midnight showing of Saw V.... hell yes, we were all over that like white on rice. I look forward to it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My cat's a helper.

In the midst of working on decorations for the Halloween Party that comes shortly, I was trying to stretch out the cheesecloth I'd been working to stain and age that will be serving as the majority mood-setting item throughout the house. Of course, when that much fabric gets in motion, Chaucer decides I surely mean to include him in the action.

When I was done stretching it, I left the room for a few moments to go grab something. When I came back, kitty was back in the middle of everything, helping to further "age" it by putting holes and claw-tears in it.
Normally I would freak. But at this point he can do better that way than I can with scissors. So for the first and last time, he got to trash it and I didn't holler at him to get out of it.

Shortly after this he celebrated by coughing up a hairball in our newly cleaned-out office closet. Well done, kitty.
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Actual Conversation # 31 - the particulars of what makes something priceless are revealed.

Ben: by the way
Helen: ya?
Ben: ive got you beat on funny last names
Helen: whut?
Ben: We've got an SAP consultant here named Rama Gottipati
Helen: What's that worse than and why?
Ben: its pronounced gotta potty
Ben: and its worse than Castrati
Helen: Well.... being that your male and saying that, it carries a bit of weight.
Ben: in hilarity factor
Helen: Hmm.
Helen: I would call that even, myself
Helen: But then, I think the concept of castrati is really, really funny. And you probably do not.
Ben: i think its funny if its not ME
Ben: stupid fucking kids
Helen: If they did it to you it'd be pointless.
Ben: they seriously dont realise the implications
Ben: if you let them become a MAN first THEN ask them to cut their nuts off
Ben: they will for sure say no
Helen: And never sing beautifully again!
Ben: yeah fuck that beauty shit
Ben: i want balls
Ben: my balls
Helen: I would assume this isn't an issue.
Ben: cant have my balls
Ben: definately not
Helen: ...
Helen: ..........
Helen: I did not request your balls.
Helen: Those may stay put.
Ben: cant have em
Ben: they are happy right where they are
Ben: happy balls
Ben: not separated from me
Helen: *sigh*
Ben: keep them that way
Helen: Once two monks were debating over what was the most precious thing in the world.
Helen: The master came along and overheard them both talking and laughed.
Helen: "Silly pupils," he said, "you talk of silver and gold and gems. You talk of enlightenment.."
Helen: "But none of these things is truly priceless."
Helen: "What is truly priceless then, master?" asked one.
Helen: "Ben Oven's balls. For he will not part with them. He will not tell you what they are worth because they are not for sale. Ergo, they are priceless."
Helen: And with this, the master continued down the hall and left them to ponder this wisdom.
Ben: .........
Helen: in the original story it was a cat's head, but somehow that seemed more apt. Also, I am now blogging all of this.

This is absolutely, positively 100% true.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Take 2

Time for some actual writing instead of just some putzing around posting chat logs. It's just that I've been so busy, I've had VERY little time to sit down and actually do the blag thing.
A few weeks ago we finally managed to go see Shofuso in Philly. It's a beautiful Japanese house in Fairmont Park not too far from the conservatory and a lovely section of arboretum. We spent the better part of 3 hours walking around touring, reading books, marveling at the Bonsai displays, and enjoying the layout of the house. I loved the smell of the tatami mats most especially. They reminded me of the mats we'd sat on when I went to Hawaii and Kauai with my family. And the house just smelled...weighty? Can that be said of a scent? It had gravity just in the age it told to my nose. I'm still not sure how, as the doors were open and a fairly constant breeze was blowing through. There was no smell of dust or staleness. But the tatami mat-scent was everywhere, as was the smell of something else I can't put my finger on. It just says "age" when it hits you.
After seeing this place I have vowed that my lottery winnings will go towards a vacation house built in the similar style, right down to the mulberry-papered doors.
We whirled around the conservatory and Ooohed over what is the largest succulent I have ever seen. It was taller than I was, and each leaf of it strung out, tentacle-like, across the display at the length of at least 5 feet if not more. I grumbled repeatedly for not thinking to at least bring the digital. We followed that up with a whirl around the gazing pool, a bit of the arboretum, and staring at the biggest bumble bees I have ever seen in the butterfly garden. They were mining the flowers with a vengeance, fat little black abdomens wiggling around as they tried to get everything they could from the orange flowers. Plenty of butterflies, as well. I got to see a spicebush swallowtail, one of my faves.
We followed this up with a trip in to Philly to eat at Monk's Belgian Cafe. And let me tell you, if I EVER get back to this place in my life to have some of their mussels and Pommes frites, I will die one very happy girl. It was the sort of immensely fun meal I think most people really don't get to do more than a handful of times in their life. I think that one rounds me out to a baker's dozen and it was great! The building was ancient, not too far from downtown historic Philly, and done in the style of old pubs everywhere. There were advertisements for European Ales everywhere. In light of these obvious proponents of good beer, I had myself a Chimay white and loved every sip of it.
The meal was so good I find myself thinking about our lunch there and sighing, wondering if we'll get to go back. I know for certain we're going to try, probably in the middle of the day on the weekend so we aren't battling the crowds that are warned about. It was a great place. Some day I hope to have friends I can take there that will get home safely after having fun. As it was, I could barely walk straight.
We've been reaping the benefits of our garden, although we never got more than one tiny watermelon off the promising looking water-melon vine. Oh well, next year we know what to do different! And we still have quite a few peppers and eggplants, not to mention tomatoes, on their way.

~~you know, originally I wanted to go indepth about a bunch of things but I've forgotten them and I'm returning to this entry on the 27th...having completely forgotten what I was going to say initially. I wish I had more time to write down full thoughts. For now, this'll do.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Meaningful glances

It's definitely a special relationship when your boyfriend can look you deeply in the eyes and say with great feeling "Honey...please. Don't put mustard on the cat. He might get it on the couch."
I respect him as a man and as a solid, logical thinker. But in this case I feel I really made the right decision in putting mustard on the cat. The cat would not have tried it himself, and it kept him occupied and away from my sandwich while I tried to eat. In the end anybody would be forced to agree with my logic. He sighed and shook his head after I did it, and accepted that it happened. Because we have an understanding

Later that night we discussed why ant lions were the accountants of the animal kingdom. Then we laughed so hard we spit on each other by accident.

I'm sooo in love.

If this doesn't sound like your idea of a wonderful pairing, just remember... you can now be grateful you're not dealing with it. I keep this alllll for myself. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Actual Conversation #30, wherein the wonders of catfish are discussed

me: Okay. This is a conversation I JUST HAD:
Me: Those little catfish you put in aquariums to eat algae get huge. Like the size of an actual Mississippi catfish.
Mike: Yeah I've seen that before.
Me: If they live ten years they'll easily get that size.
Mike: Even the albino ones, though?
Me: Are albino humans really short, Mike?
Mike: .............. I didn't do the math on that one.

Robert: heh
me: I'm still laughing

(don't ask how we got to talking about aquarium catfish)