Friday, 25 January 2013

I GOT MAH TICKETS =]


... for Shen Yun 2013 and I am SO EXCITED!

It was a bit of a blow to the stomach to find that I was paying £70 for my ticket (last year I paid £30 for a balcony seat, this year it's a bit closer but the theatre is also smaller. I guess that's why the cheaper tickets sold out so fast.) and I'm also brining my Mum along with me this year, so that £140 gone in puff of smoke.

Trying not to think of the food/books/outings/clothes/games/travel expenses that money could've gone towards because I know Shen Yun will be damn worth it... but really. Next year I MUST BE QUICKER.

(Although saying that, the £40 seats were crap. They're right at the side so you'd only be able to see half of the stage anyway.)

I asked my sister Azure (she teaches dance in a college) to come along and she sounded keen until I told her how much I was paying for my ticket. She point blank refused and didn't mention it again.

I get her point. We - well, more recently 'she' - goes to see shows all the time, and I think the most she's ever paid for a ticket is like £50, and that was in the very front row of the theatre, right in the middle.

Anyway, thinking of it reminded me that I haven't been to Sadlers Well's in a while. God, last time I saw Zoonation perform was yonks ago, it was the very first showing of Into The Hoods. I'm thinking of going to see Some Like It Hip Hop this time, but then there's Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty performed by New Adventures which will also be phenomenal. A few summers ago I did a workshop with the New Adventures company, and I've seen Swan Lake, so I don't think I should miss this one. But then there's Sadlers Well's Sampled. That's always good.

Ah, it's strange doing to see dance and not being a dancer any more. Weirder still as I only made the decision to, er, discontinue... my dance education last year. It's not too late.

And yet, I don't see myself dancing again.



Star xx
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Friday, 18 January 2013

Gloves: You Are Not Worthy

So as usual, people are fucking gassing and getting excitable about the fact that it's snowed (I'm in London and that only happens once a year, if at all). My sister said some people's facebook statuses are like, "Having fun playing in the snow hahayaysmileyface !!! ", reminding me why I deactivated mine in the first place. (Ironically, now the search bar at the top of facebook has disappeared, which has pissed us both off immensely.)

The snow wasn't that fun when it was blowing in my face and freezing my fingers off.

Yeah, although I am thrilled that it has snowed, and I stood for ages watching it fall and swirl outside my window, I did have to go out in it this morning when me and my Mum figured that it would be too cold and icy to go anywhere over the weekend (the gov don't put enough salt down on the pavements so it's really dangerous. People normally walk in the road, if it's a residential street) so we stocked up on food, hahaha. Anyway.

So I thought I'd share my Glove Pain. I have about seven or eight pairs of gloves, none of which keep my hands particularly warm while wearing them outside, for flip's sake.


1. Okay. So. These are my reliable Nike Keystone gloves that are soo, so warm, cost me £20. At the time (5/6 years ago) I bought them for style, but little did I know that they would be the most efficient gloves I'd ever owned.

So about 2 years ago, I lost them. This REALLY irked me, not just because they were £20, not just because they were my best gloves, but because I hardly ever lose my things, yet I'd just lost something that was really good and pretty rare.

2 & 3. So I was forced to start wearing (again) these crappy knitted ones from Primark which probably cost a pound; they have fingerless black gloves outside normal, puke-green ones. I normally wear the black ones indoors when my hands are cold but I need my fingers free. I wear the nasty green ones when I'm inside and my hands are cold, full stop, because if my hands are that cold, I don't give a f- what they look like.

4. I found (actually, may have 'borrowed' these off my Mum) these thick black knitted ones, which were perfect for the weather leading up to this snow, save that they're not touch screen. But they're useless now.


5. About a few weeks ago, I finally got my touch-screen gloves ^ from china on ebay, and they work fine, feel quite good, even have a grip on the palm for bike riders - but they are not warm against the snow. At all. After seeing my oldest brother doubling his gloves up, I had a stroke of genius...

6. ... and bought thinner, crappier touch-screen gloves to wear under the other touch screen gloves. When I wore them out this morning, instead of keeping the cold out, my hands froze, and - listen to the joke, now - when I got back in my Mum's warm car, they actually INSULATED THE COLD and kept my hands colder than the rest of my body. When I took off the gloves, my hands warmed in seconds. So how the hell can they insulate cold and NOT HEAT?!?!?!?!?!

7 & 8. I got these gloves for free so I can't really complain, but I'm going to anyway. Each hand of the first pair, grey fingerless gloves, are TWO DIFFERENT SIZES.... I'm not kidding. One is large and the other is small, in other words, one is perfect and the other one cuts off blood supply to my hand. The second pair is like the pukey-green gloves from Primark, just normal, thin knitted ones. I just don't need 'em. I gave both pairs to my younger brother.

9. These were also free - they're black fingerless gloves, identical to the grey ones mentioned in [7] only they're both large, thank God -rollingeyes- I always keep them in my coat pocket, just in case. They were so, so useful from September to December, and obviously touching my iPod wasn't a problem. Now, it's like... don't even think about it. Too cold, too cold.


Stupid-ass gloves. YOU ARE NOT WORTHY.


OMG OMG 10 - I just realised I had a pair of leather gloves that my sister gave me for my birthday ages ago! I remember because on that same birthday, I got my (first and current =] ) iPod and they're both a beautiful shade of purple! HA - I know what I'm gonna do. I'll try wearing the LEATHER gloves under the TOUCH SCREEN gloves. I swear, if an ounce of cold gets those that, I'll just chop my hands off.



HOW I KNOW IF A PAIR OF GLOVES IS GOING TO FIT

My Mum got leather gloves from Tiger, and like my fifty-million gloves, they didn't do shit when the sky opened this morning.

Before she'd decided whether she was keeping them or not, I was explaining to her how she could figure out if they would be comfortable or not. My Mum was astounded when I told her to spread her palm out, then bend her fingers at both knuckles, then bend your fingers back at the knuckles where they meet the main part of your hand, spreading them as wide as you can.

It's not rocket science. I am a tall girl. Long feet, long fingers, long legs, long arms. I've had to wear leg warmers in the past, not for warmth, but to hide that my jeans were too short for me. No longer a problem now. So, if the gloves are tight when I do the motion above, or if the gloves struggle to stretch, I know that when I'm trying to do normal stuff wearing it it will be difficult, hence, it doesn't fit and I shouldn't be buying it. I only get men's gloves or ladies gloves in large now - just no point in getting normal ones.



My brains all up and down and everywhere today. I doubt this entire post made much sense and I can't be bothered to check for typos. Those who know me know that this is not uncommon.

Tried to write The Urban Piper, tried to condense my ideas, tried to at least plan the story, but I couldn't settle. My head's starting to feel woozy, but maybe I just haven't had enough water today. It's snowing outside - a sign...

...that I must go to bed with a book and a cup of tea at once.



Star xx
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Friday, 11 January 2013

Nabari No Ou Anime Verdict!

SPOILER ALERT: My view on the anime after having seen it. So if you haven't, watch it on Netflix or read it online.


It was quite a lot of weeks ago that I watched Nabari on Netflix. The moment I saw the opening, with the musiiiiiic and with Raimei and her swoooord and Koichi and his leaf-teleportatiooon.... just like Gunslinger Girl, I was hooked. Of course, I didn't know their names then. But the premise of ninjas in a modern world was so gripping!

I was really into the whole five regions each with their own kinjutsushō, or forbidden art, which I will probably have to look up again cuz I forget but that was awesome. It really did inspire me. Okay so first of all, and characters are pretty much the most important aspect of any story for me, so lets start with those.

MIHARU I WUV YOU!! So very apathetic, so very adorable. Having him as the main character was a good move. I love how he changed over the episodes after meeting Yoite, you could see how much they affected each other. One thing I kinda don't get is why he could fight in the manga and not in the anime. It pissed me off that he was so helpless! It was like JUST FIGHT! But then, with him containing the shinrabansho, it's not like anybody was gonna kill him anyway.

Yoite I ADORED. His past was so, so tragic, I couldn't stop thinking about it for ages. It sickens me that parents can treat their children that way, but also made me so (tearfully?) happy that he found a new family in Miharu, Raimei, Kouichi, Tobari (to some extent lol), Hana (LOVE HER!), Yukimi, Raiko and Gao.

The way they came together was really endearing although it crushed me that Yukimi couldn't bring himself to see him once more before he died. His bond with Miharu is so heart-wrenching! Although it did seem like bordering on Yaoi. Maybe because Miharu's... well, prepubescent so he looks like a girl. I guess the creators can get away with it hahahaha.

Okay, fucking Raimei! She annoys me so much! Especially her voice, no offence to her voice actor. Towards the end, you get used to her, but when she first appears, URGH! I like that she's a samurai but that's pretty much it. Argh I can't believe Kouichi likes her.

The bit when you discover Kouichi is immortal is completely like WAHHH!!! It explains why both him and Shijima have white hair and red eyes, (lol you think somebody would have noticed!!!) and the outcome for him did NOT make me feel good. I wish Miharu could've uncursed him. Kouichi's fighting abilities are epic, but then he is immortal. Call me twisted, but I did laugh when Kouichi put a sword through Miharu because he thought he could stop the shinrabansho... like DUH?! UNSTOPPABLE POWER HERE?!

One of my favourite characters is Shijima Kurookano, I love her voice, her name, and just the way she acts and looks. The discovery that she is Miharu's cat really shocked me because it was so subtly revealed. (How can she be such a pretty human but such an ugly cat? Cats don't look like that!)


So many secrets in this damn anime makes it so damn gooooood...

Okay, so I really liked Tobari (I couldn't help laughing that a grown ass man is travelling around with a bunch of kids) and I felt HORRIBLE for him when Miharu stops trusting him at the end. I could see that he was only trying to help him while keeping his promise to Miharu's mother. It was a nice addition that he was a ninja who couldn't kill anybody. It made him complete in my head. A well-rounded character.

HANA! She should be my Godmother! Her place the anime was just perfect, she was always there when they needed her. She's too wonderful.

Tobari's relationship with Hanabusa was so, so sweet. Also, and I don't know why, but it seems really fitting that she is older than him.


-Probably missing out a shitload of people but there you go. WHY is Saraba's boobs spilling out of her clothes? If you have a huge bust then fine, but wear a decent kimono or something!!
-GAHH Kotarou was so clearly evil! He was an EXCELLENT character though, soo funny, I did really like him. But God couldn't anybody see he was up to something?!
-Gao was a little irritating but his good-nature and loyalty to Raiko was sweet. Always fucking complaining though.
-Raiko's voice bugs me a little - why does he sound almost English? Like, transatlantic? WTF? But by the end, it suits him perfectly. I cracked up when he crashed Yukimi's car because I didn't believe he would really do it - at least not so fast!!


Okay, abilities.

So Fuuma's forbidden art, the Tenpenka - which is basically shapeshifting, was pretty cool. You know. Seen it before but it's cool. Though, compared to the Kira technique, why  is Tenpenka forbidden?

The Kiroushu's forbidden art, Kira, was an AMAZING concept. There are so many little parts to it that make it intriguing, like eventual loss of all five senses. It infuriated me that Hattori makes Yoite use it. How you see him deteriorate is freaky, but realistic.

The Togakushi's forbidden art, the Izuna Shingan, is actually better than it first appears. Yae Oda pissed me off quite a lot but you knew her motives for everything. When you think about it, this forbidden art is really powerful.

The Kōga's forbidden art, the Daya, was also an excellent idea, and in my opinion should REALLY be just forbidden and locked away like the Kira technique. You can't just go around killing people to heal other people, but people in this world are fucking crazy, so be on the safe side... lock it up.

Okay now, Banten. RIGHT. After trailing through two seasons to find out what Tobari has kept soooooooo secret, I thought that Tobari's Engetsurin was a COMPLETE hax. Like, how convenient! Something that takes away and restores memory. But then, ironically, it was also very good how every single person forgot who that last Shinrabansho possessor was because of it. Tobari has this secret hanging over him for the whole anime. Even though the idea was really good, I still this his kinjutsushō was a shit little cheat. But there you go.


So yeah, that kept me busy for a long time. the art above is for the soundtrack to the first season, which I LOVE. (And MAAAN look at the scenery of Banten, in the artwork above! So beautiful!) As you know, I'm addicted to anime soundtracks. I'm addicted to every type of music, hahaha (listening to Phil Collins and Genesis right now) but ANYWAY my favourites are Main Theme - Seijaku, Tobari no Ketsui (FREAKING LOVE THIS ONE), Koakuma Shounen (the violins are too good), and Shinra Banshou no Sasayaki (every time the shinrabansho activates, this song plays. Love it.). This soundtrack is, although sad at times, also quite lively. But Soundtrack 2... damn...


Art above is for soundtrack to the second season, and oh my God, it is so damn depressing. I can understand that though, because Yoite is dying in the second season, but damn. This soundtrack is titled in English. My favourites are The Tragedy of a Brother and Sister, Deep Darkness (I always think of Yoite drinking Yukimi's lemonade at this song), Miharu's Perplexity (so sad! so good!), The Profile of a Death God (SO DEPRESSING! SO AMAZING!), Hanabusa (I LOVE HANA!!!), Two People (cough Miharu Yoite... lol Mihite...? Yoharu? Okay wait stop, that's Yaoi if I do that right? OKAY STOP NOW), Wailing, Main Theme Piano Solo, and Departure.

Main Theme Piano Solo and Departure are variations of Main Theme - Seijaku and I think that's really cool. Like in Gunslinger Girl with TEMA I, II, III, IV and V.


Last but ABSOLUTELY NOT LEAST! I just HAD to get Crawl by Veltpunch because the opening credits make me pumped up for every episode. The full version is even better than the TV size. Hikari by Elisa, which plays at the closing credits for season 1, really annoyed me when I heard it, I used to skip it. But the full version is actually very good. I surprised myself because I don't normally like ballads like that.


Favourite song ever - I would trade all the songs for this one - is Aru Ga Mama by Anamu and Maki, which played at the closing credits of season 2. I love it to death (no pun, sorry Yoite). The full version has extra harmonies that the TV size doesn't have so naturally, I'm in love with it. I've never heard Japanese (?) Alternative or Acoustic music before and I'm desperate to find more. It's a beautiful song.


And it sums up Mihite perfectly.


Still making my way through the mangas online when I'm not doing Uni work. Pretty good so far, but no urge to be buying them yet. I DID just buy Psyren 3 and 4 after reading 1 and 2 in the library - they are fucking awesome, about kids projected into a game which may possibly be Earth's future - but that's a story for another day.


Star.
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Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Urban Piper (Development)

(I'm supposed to be writing my uni essay right now. Deadline Monday.)

I'm shuddering as I write this: I am so in love with my story. It's insane. I adore my characters, they now walk and live completely on their own. How bizarre to think that made concepts I thought up years ago are alive, doing their own thing, living their lives and playing out the story their own way.

The Urban Piper, QUE$T, Architecture/Clear Faith, and Detonator are rioting around my head. Whenever I play a certain type of music, one of the latter three start playing in my head, like a movie. The Urban Piper isn't yet 'set' to music, but that makes it even more amazing how one action, or thought, or spark of inspiration makes several scenes unfolded in front of me.

Well, I say 'in front of me'...

The Urban Piper is so, crazy. I know Nicole, Chante, Jaiye and Jansci Blythe, the Piper himself - especially Shaire (Alleycat), Kitten and Leigh, like we're close friends. They tell me, 'I wanna go here, and do this'. 'I don't want to go out with him.' And Airo tells me, 'Ummmm I think it's time I made an appearance in this bitch!' I'm really excited to get it finished. It's a bit of a struggle, but with the end so clearly in sight,  gotta keep trying. So many secret things unfold and reveal themselves, and I'm like AHHHHHH I CAN'T BELIEVE I THOUGHT OF THIS!

There are a few issues really bugging me though.

US or UK English? Set in Paducah or London? Or in a fictional town? Is that like, a cheat, if I do that? I wondered whether to make it supernatural, but now there's enough substance without that. Also the chapter are arranged by location, and in each chapter are three parts. I'm wondering whether to leave that or take it out. Eh. *shrug* I'll figure it out.


Real Life

Okay so, back to what's up with me. I changed my diet drastically, now it's mainly fruit and veg, little bit of protein in the form of meat or nuts, drowning myself in water, tea and organic pressed apple juice from Sainsbury's and spending a fortune on all these organic vegetables but GUESS WHAT?

Sleep has come easy. Insomnia's been banished. My depression has pretty much lifted. I knew this would happen when I changed my diet but putting it into practice and feeling the effects?

....well yeah, that's pretty fucking amazing.

I have my moments were I feel really lost, alone, or sad or angry for no reason. I still think this world is going to shit but I'm trying to think positive (lol clearly). I gotta keep it up - I think it's going pretty well so far! I'm just glad that I can finally stop with the depressing suicidal blog posts. To think, I started up this blog for my bloody fiction and I've hardly posted any!

In terms of alter-egos, S.K. has taken a hike. I'm back to me now, but who am I? Well... I guess I'm Star.



Peace and Love.
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