December 28, 2009

The reunion that came five years early.

This past summer my friend that I regularly went out to happy hour with moved to a different state for grad school. Seeing as how we both went to the same high school, naturally we were both in our hometown for Christmas and decided to pick up where we left off by going out for drinks, food, and desert.

We chose a restaurant that, in hindsight, perhaps we shouldn't have. That restaurant that's staffed by all those people you went to high school with that either never left or couldn't make it. We thought it would be funny to see who waited on us since we're mature like that. It turns out we didn't know any of the wait staff, which was fine, and we went back to our drinks and ridiculous conversations. That is, until some of our classmates came walking through the door.

Don't ask me why it's okay to have a classmate for a waiter, but not to simply run into one in a random happenstance. For my own morality I'm going to pretend the explanation is not as cruel as it actually is and say it's because one familiar face is different than a dozen where conversation is forced and trite. At least at a restaurant you have to acknowledge each other with a preset conversation and sometimes the catch up is fun. Outside of that it's uncomfortable politeness where all body language shows is how many ways can I escape from this building?

It took me a while to recognize who they were, and initially wrote them off in favor of my food consumption as I hadn't spoken to either classmates since middle school. I didn't even bother telling my friend that some of our classmates had walked through the door, it was that inconsequential. However, they didn't write me off, as one of them immediately jumped over to our table, pointed both fingers at me in that "HEY THAR" kind of way, and announced their presence by stating my full name. Then turned to my friend and uttered, "And...I don't remember your name..." Smooth.

After confirming our identities and briefly catching up, our classmate noted that several more of our classmates would be pouring through the restaurant doors any minute. I inwardly groaned, and sure enough, my friend and I felt like ducking as our classmates came in droves, refusing to consolidate in one central location, and instead ran back and forth around the restaurant leaving us in the eye of an unwanted yesteryear storm.

I don't begrudge my classmates, even if it did mostly consist of those douchey popular guys that were fortunate to graduate at all; it's been five years since I graduated. It's not that they ever did anything to me. I was certainly unpopular because I didn't care for the popular kids. I did my thing, they did theirs, we didn't cross the streams, and I went through high school as contently as a moody teenager could. But the last thing I wanted to do is chitchat like we were the best of friends and had these great memories of passing each other in the hallways, not mumbling a single word and refusing to make any eye contact at all. I'm feeling a bit wistful just thinking about it.

I do understand that I'm Asian, despite being wholly American, and I'm going to chalk it up to being the token Asian kid in a predominantly white school that allows them to just not forget me like I wish they would. I used to think my high school reunion would be fun. Sitting off to the side with my close friends, drinking as much as we could, discussing our various classmates buzzing around us, certain that they would never notice us. But after this last weekend, I'm certain my life as a undercover agent would be rather fruitless.

November 15, 2009

All the cool kids are doing it.

My Saturday started out like any normal 23 year old post-grad working a shiny new full time position-- I woke up at 9:30am without an alarm and cursed myself for an hour, at which point I pulled myself out of bed as I had ran out of validations to keep myself in said bed.

It didn't quite dawn on me until a bowl of pho and the entire fourth season of How I Met Your Mother with a few good friends later that my young adult life has snuck up on me, strangling and replacing my college kid life.

Sure, it still has certain semblances of my old life that I put away roughly five months ago. There was the cheap and easy Asian soup of choice, an impromptu drive to Best Buy and purchasing of FFIV (my friends dubbed this a kidnapping with promises of orange Tic Tacs that I never gave them), a trip to sketch Safeway for beer, and an entire season of a favorite show to power through.

Normally this would conclude in a certain amount of college brand alcoholism stretching into the wee hours of the morning. Instead, only one of us attempted said alcoholism while the rest of us exited early, and all of us are ending our very early nights with some sort of gamage.

At some point in the night I mused over our situation. Even more so when it was pointed out it wasn't even 5pm and I speaking as if our Saturday night was over. It seems that life changes so quickly, even though I saw this coming years ago, we all did in the very few fleeting times we tried to imagine adulthood.

It feels like the end of my youth, which is silly because I still have years, and yet I still wonder if it truly isn't too far off to calling it a night at 9pm. How I Met Your Mother is a show about 30somethings rocking a lifestyle many of my friends and I are growing out of. Is that sad or is that life?

November 1, 2009

His name was Naked Lego Man

I've come to learn that I'm fairly awesome at not blogging. But, putting that aside: Halloween. I don't have much to share, mainly because mine wasn't super exciting, nor do I fully feel like disclosing much more as that would be more personal that I've decided this blog is allowed, but I will share that, yes, there was a guy roaming around the U District in a yellow box.

He looked more like a robot than anything, though he was supposed to be a naked Lego Man. He was often stopped for pictures and at one point he and I boogied our way around Dante's dance floor.

So, yes, he's real. He really does exist. The large amounts of pictures of him on Facebook do not lie.

I have to say, though, Tampax Box Girl and Quail Man Dude, you totally made my night.

As for me? I attached large rabbit ears on a white hoodie and crocheted a string of carrots to wear around my neck. Not the most awesome costume, but damn comfortable, and by the end of the night, while hopping around dismantled Naked Lego Man, that's all that really matters.

October 8, 2009

Wow, I'm a big kid now.

This last week I've been learning what a Big Kid Job entails: long hours behind a desk pretending to be busy. For my position I'd say that's understandable as my work flow is dependent on the work of others-- I can't do much unless the work is delegated to me from a higher up. That's not to say I don't have any work at all, I'm currently in the middle of writing up documents and manuals from the ground up as one wasn't available to me when I first started (and, by the way, I've never worked for a company like this before, so my manual will be interesting).

In the meantime, I'm snacking on an endless supply of Dum Dums (Banana Split does not taste like a banana split) and toffee covered peanuts while surfing Google News...and maybe some other sites like this one that I shouldn't be looking at right now, but too late. ANYWAY, during my Google news exploits there's the general terrorist alerts, Jon and Kate doing some more stupid stuff, arsonist in the U District, and...oh yeah...Miley Cyrus deleted her Twitter.



I suppose it's hypocritical for me to be blogging about being annoyed that anyone gives a shit about Miley Cyrus and her Twitter since it's giving attention to something not worth attention, but humor me here, why do we care?

In the meantime, I'm going to go back to my toffee peanuts, read Wikipedia, and pretend to be working on a training manual for a position I don't quite know how to run yet.

September 27, 2009

College life never leaves.

I suppose I should realize and accept the fact that it's hard to turn away from an undergrad lifestyle while still living in the U District. Regardless of only graduating in '09, I've found that I dislike noisy, crowded bars and much prefer the quieter ones where you can actually sit without knocking over someone else's drink. Most of my friends prefer this type of atmosphere nine times out of ten, so none of us were quite sure why we opted to go to Finn's on Thursday night, other than out of fours years of habit (well, for me, two).

Don't misunderstand, my friends and I still have a special place for Dante's as that's our college bar of choice. But more often than not we go to Rat and Raven, a newish English pub that took the place of the Irish Immigrant bastardization.

After about twenty minutes of screaming and being pushed along with the crowd (though I couldn't help but join in on Journey, it is Journey, after all), we opted to go to Rat and Raven to sit and tell some good stories.

Inevitably the undergrad life wasn't quite ready to let us free as at the end of the night there was a near bar brawl in our group, to put it simply. It's one of my favorite stories now, not only because of the sheer absurdity, but also because we escaped from Finn's for a more low key place and ended up with a guy lunging across a table at us-- something I've never witnessed during my undergrad bar hopping.

So does undergrad life ever end in the U District? I'm starting to think it doesn't, and maybe it's futile to resist. Or maybe I should just accept the fact that I'm 23 and not actually old enough to outgrow a young adult life style.

September 24, 2009

Oh yeah, that Recession thing...

Well, if it isn't Swine Flu keeping me from blogging, it's looking for work.

See, I used to have two jobs. Two shitty jobs, but two jobs nonetheless. Between the two of them I was able to work roughly full time. And then I got laid off at one of them without any notice at all. In fact, the only reason I found out is because I inquired about where the hell my schedule was.

So I've joined many Seattlelites, Americans, and people worldwide on a desperate search for employment. It's not that I haven't been looking these past few months, I have, but there's nothing like rapidly dropping to 10 hours a week to fuel the fire under my ass.

In fact, so well fired that I'm about two hours away from an interview that I was contacted about four hours post application sending frenzy.

In the meantime, I've picked up various shifts from other locations in the company chain. Unfortunately, my eagerness for monies has also influenced me to take graveyard shifts.

Why yes, I just returned from graveyard. Fancy that. I've got my energy drink, a substance completely foreign to me without a shot of Jager, ready to go.

This begs the question, how far are we willing to go in order to make ends meet? Should we ever have to go this far? I've been awake since roughly 2pm Wednesday because, you know what? Life doesn't stop for you just because you have to work graveyard. Your body also doesn't like to cooperate want and need of sleep, either. But most of all, how desperate is it to take any shift available and immediately layer them with interviews?

I'm not even sure if I should go to bed upon return from said interview for fear that it will take a severe toll on my sleep schedule, but my body is screaming at me to close my eyes, and my pillow is taunting me like something obnoxious and delightfully comfortable. Woe.

September 17, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: That unexpected gift that keeps giving.

I had originally intended to do a PAX update every few days before moving on to other subjects I wanted to write about in my blog. Unfortunately I also fell to PAX Pox, though in much less severity as others who also attended (still, this did not stop Hall Health from being somewhat exasperated by the number of frantic phone calls they were receiving). Still, I took a four day weekend to suffer in congestion and wheezing, and only Tuesday did I dive back into working with the full vigor of a nerd needing a ramen fix (or in my case, a paycheck).

At this point it almost seems moot to discuss some of the games I had a chance of playing, especially since the two big ones, Muramasa and Beatles Rock Band, have already hit the shelves (in fact, I picked up my copy of Muramasa today). Humor me if I do, though, as I'm sure I'm not the only gamer that spends some time after the release date contemplating my next gaming expenditure.

In the meantime, I wholly recommend Muramasa. It is gorgeous and the first "real" video game I've been able to persuade my roommate to play AND have her enjoy (she's a big fan of Mario Kart, though there's a reason why the Bullet Bill item is a favorite of her's). I did put her on easy mode, but I think it is a testament to Muramasa's enjoyability and playability that she, despite her usual inability in gaming, thoroughly enjoyed herself. There's several ways to play Muramasa, and in her case she chose button mashing. It isn't the most efficient way to play, but I feel that having fun is more important than skill.

In truth, I love button mashing games, which is partially why I find Muramasa so appealing (normally I steer clear of action adventure). This is also why I loved Hulk Ultimate Destruction (it was one of the few games I routinely devastated my then boyfriend at the time since score was based more on destruction than objective).

Also, if you didn't know, Wii Ware has released a new version of Mr. Driller for 800 points. Despite being well above my eyes in games, I'm this damn close to buying it as Mr. Driller is so incredibly addicting. I'd like to see anyone not waste at least an hour of their life after giving that game a go.

September 11, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: 2009 Panels

Admittedly I didn't attend very many panels, mostly because I was more interested in the exhibition hall and free play areas. There were a few panels I wanted to attend but didn't have the time to, and to be very honest, most of the panels covered subjects I simply wasn't interested in-- which is fine. I think nearly all the panels deserved to be at PAX, so it was simply a matter of personal appeal.

That said, here are the few panels I did attend (game previews are coming up next!)...


Most of you have probably heard of Mega64, a number of short videos a group of guys uploaded onto YouTube and have since then grown in popularity (Paper Boy is my favorite). What I enjoyed most about this panel was it seemed more like a giant nerd conversation involving microphones. I learned way too much about all the guys' penises and there were more tangents than actual answers to the Q&A, but I think that's partially what a panel like this should be.

I also learned that Rocko's Final Smash would be a piece of cheese because Shawn is lactose intolerant. It's things like that I remember best from the panel. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, so I'll let you decide.


Penny Arcade Makes a Strip
This was a lot of fun, Scott stood in for Tycho/Jerry until he could make it back from the hospital. Meanwhile, fun technical problems kept Gabe/Mike from drawing too much, so most of the panel was Q&A for a good while. Right about when Gabe finally got things rolling, Tycho showed up and stole of all his thunder.

It was especially great for me to finally see and hear the two in person, their banter is great, even better when paired with thousands of nerds. The penis talked continued, and also dribbled into cumsquates. I've never listened to talk of teabagging for so damn long.

As for the comic itself, at one point Gabe drew Tycho as a three eyed alien (you can see the beginnings of it in my photo post) and a hot dog fairy. I believe there's some kind of inside joke that has to do with said fairy that I've never heard of, but regardless it was fun to watch Gabe draw a fabulous bunned sausage.

Star Wars Old Republic MMO
I am so damn tired of the trailer for this game, I'm not even kidding. Even so, the panel itself was okay and interesting enough. I'm probably going to play it when it comes out, and I'm not an paying MMO player (but it looks so close to KOTOR that I don't think I'll be able to resist!). I think what really shined was the two spokes persons, they were charismatic and funny. Perhaps their presentation was a tad scripted, but it was clear they knew who their crowd was.

And by this I mean that they nerded out the entire time. Once of them even professed his love for pixel women in so many words. I appreciate corporations sending in the right people for the right places in order to promote their material.

So what was the extra special stuff that came with the panel? Knowing that Courscant is a playable area.

Oh, and we were all given free downloads of KOTOR from Steam.

Sex in Video Games
I think my post bellow says everything I've ever wanted to say about this panel ever again.


Localization and Translation
This was a great panel headed by two guys who localized several FF titles, most notably FFXII as most of their great examples were taken from that game. It was very informative on how the localization process is and what exactly they do. I believe gamers often take for granted that localization is more than just translating, and that we don't appreciate why liberties are made with the original text.

Granted, some liberties are ridiculous, and the panelists were very upfront about that. But the work they did in XII is phenomenal. I'm most impressed with the attention to detail and work they put into choosing certain voice types (British for the Empire, American for Dalmasca, Fran with a Scandinavian accent to make her seem other worldly). What impressed me the most is that they actually rewrote script into iambic pentameter. FUCKING IAMBIC PENTAMETER. That's dedication to quality. For anyone who has ever had to work with iambic pentameter, you know exactly what I mean.

Then panelists were also humorous, but I also appreciate how professional they seemed. I liked that they were friendly but also gave the feeling of respect towards those who took the time to sit at their panel. It wasn't fancy, but it was clear, to the point, and provided information in a compelling way. I sincerely hope they return next year.

Wil Wheaton Awesome Hour
I was one of the very lucky hundred to see Wil Wheaton. His lineup started in the queue room hours before his panel was to begin, and I can see why. He's hilarious and fully deserving of the main hall or a bigger room (PAX, are you listening?). All of us were crammed into Serpent Theater (and that is not a small room, by the way. I'm going to say max capacity 200) to cheer and snort at his life adventures (and some people gave him bananas? Whut?). Very personable and gracious, I'd gladly wait over an hour just to see his panel again.

September 9, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: Sex in Video Games (or "Japan Rocks, America Sucks")

What to say about this panel that hasn't already been said? Enough people have already complained about it that Pink Godzilla will not be allowed back as panelists for the discussion, and not to be Why So Serious here, but I think it's important as, not only a gamer, but also as a woman to discuss why this panel just sucked. Hard. To the point that I don't intend to shop at Pink Godzilla ever again.

So let's just start from the beginning.

If you've seen my video post, the American Hard Gay clip was actually from this panel. In all fairness, I think they had the right idea at the beginning, it was fun, though perhaps taken a bit too far. Two people demonstrated well known "sexual" scenes in video game history and American Hard Gay ran around with a microphone in the audience so they could guess and win prizes. This was all fine and dandy except that it dragged on too long, mostly because American HG felt it necessary to actually weave into the aisles in order to pelvic thrust against audience members.

Okay, fine, that's exactly what Hard Gay does. But at a certain point it ceases to be funny and just becomes vulgar and unnecessary. We we're in line for at least a half an hour, some people up to an hour, to discuss sex in video games, not watch a guy in cheap leather rub up against people. The panelists did warn that the panel was going to be adult in nature and could be offensive, but I highly doubt any of us ever thought there would be physical sexual affronts or extremely explicit videos.

Which brings me to the next part, the actual panel itself. I think this part also started out well enough. A brief history on sex in Western video games was presented. It was informative and funny, and I could see it easily tying in to the main topic at hand. It wasn't until a presentation on sex in Japan was given that the panel took a severe turn for the worst.

Firstly, there was an at least fifteen minute BBC video discussing sex in Japanese culture. That's great, but a brief overview with specific video game examples that could be compared and contrasted to the previous discussion would have been preferable. Especially since the video displayed a Japanese man receiving a handjob. Naked women in bondage. Neither of these instances were warned or do I find appropriate to be shown in the context of a discussion about sex and VIDEO GAMES.

After the video, Pink Godzilla went on to claim that Japanese society and their attitude towards sex is vastly superior to America because we allow censorship in mass media.


Right, because censorship only happens in America. It's not like the cartoon Ouran High School Host Club that showed only slightly mature themes wasn't aired in after hours. Or the several cartoons (Kodomo no Jikan, for example) that need mosaics or various other edits in order to be shown during the day. Heaven forbid that here in America we don't allow dicks and boobies to be thrown up on billboards-- oh wait, Japan doesn't allow that, either.

I understand we're a more prudish country, however, I believe we're much more liberal in our sexuality being public than the Japanese are in the sense that they acknowledge it and yet don't at the same time. What I mean by this is that genres like Moe are obviously produced in order to make profit from the consumer, the companies recognize consumer fetishes and capitalize on them. HOWEVER, it's not necessarily acceptable for a person to openly talk about such things. I agree that sex is very much private in Japan, but I don't agree that it's necessarily healthy. I think one of the reasons why America is so militant on censorship is partially because discussing such things have become part of the norm.

Actually, I think Pink Godzilla is grossly ill informed on Japanese culture, or at least is unable to accurately provide information to others concerning the culture. I don't care that one of them studied Asian culture and lived in Japan for some time, his one experience =/= the reality of Japan. Never mind that no one wanted to give a very clear answer on their credentials concerning the subject, which has led many to believe they simply have none. I also would have been more impressed if the guy had a Masters because, honestly, having a Bachelors doesn't give authority to teach the subject and it's laughable to try and use it that way.

Continuing with their line of Japan Is Awesome~!, they tried to justify rape simulators as saying if they didn't exist, more women would be raped, and that the existence of such games have actually helped decrease the number of sexual assaults in Japan.

I'll let you mull that over for a bit.

Done? Good.

WHAT. THE. FUCK. Where the hell are they pulling these statistics? Japanese assault rates going down? Okay. Increase of rape simulators? Okay. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. Want to know why? Because Japan has been introducing new laws and ways to keep women safer because there was an increasing problem with assaults. One of these ways is the all-women train cars. I'm going to bet that train incidents have decreased not because of rape emulators, but because women have the option of riding in a gendered car. But that's logic talking, and we all know how logic works.

And it's not as if Japan hasn't correlated sexual perversion and violence with media. That was how the term "otaku" was coined. It also became a hot topic a few years ago with the Sasebo Slashing. In our culture we often condemn violent and sexual media when we learn that the assailant enjoy such things (see school shootings and the boy who committed suicide and obsessively listened to Blink 182's Adam's Song). However, our backlashes in comparison are not as intense. On the flip side, Japan actually made a minor celebrity out of a murderer who ate his victim by allowing the publication of his memoirs and a publicity circuit to several talk shows.

If that wasn't enough, Pink Godzilla was asked why they didn't have or didn't invite a woman onto their panel. The truth of the matter is, more often than not, women are the subject of sexualization in video games rather than men. In a discussion concerning sex in video games, it would have been well advised, if not necessary, to provide a woman gamer's view on the objectification and portrayal of our gender. And I'm not saying for her to rag on the industry, but open the discussion on what should and shouldn't be acceptable and how this could or will change. Make connections on how male objectification (not necessarily sexual, but definitely in image portrayal) can be just as bad and how it's reaching the same level as how females are portrayed.

Instead Pink Godzilla stated that although women make up 30% of Western gamers, a woman panelist was unnecessary because the industry is male dominated.

I don't even know where to begin with that, so I'll just let it speak for itself.

To top off the whole trainwreck, it was a poorly constructed train that they wrecked. Technical problems can be expected because technology likes to fuck with people, but Pink Godzilla was completely unprepared and it showed. Every little seam. From how to use their equipment to the quality of the information and discussion itself. Even their presentation screamed high school power point project.

Several people asked what was the point of the entire panel. Was it a power trip? Was it another way to stick it to the man of American culture? Was it to objectify Japan like we were at an anime convention? Was it to pull a fast one on PAX? Or was it to teach us the important lesson of what happens when you wait in line for an hour in order to discuss sex?

Either way, the panel did succeed in one thing. Discussion. We're all discussing it now, and technically that was the goal of the panel (I think, anyway). It also proved that PAX is listening and I look forward to a new group of panelists taking over the discussion next year because the topic has so much potential.

September 7, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: Picture Blog

Here's a few pictures I took over the three days of Penny Arcade Expo madness when I remembered I had a camera. I need a little bit more time to write about the panels I went to, the games and activities I played, and a little n00b guide for first timers next year, so hopefully these pictures along with the videos will be sufficient for now.

Friday morning lineup that wrapped all around the central park/garden area of the convention center.

I may have squeed a bit when I saw this giant wall of Edgykins next to a few mounted DSes featuring his game. Am beyond excited for this game, more on that later.

Mega64 guys at their panel. I wanted to note that this was the start of the constant cock chattering I heard all weekend. Knowing that Shawn's penis is shaped like a jet will always have a special place in my heart.

The nerditude even permeated the bathrooms. The game mentioned is No More Heroes 2.

CONSOLE FREEPLAY YAAAAAY. It was fairly empty on Friday.

One of the tabletop gaming rooms. There were several of these on the 2nd and 3rd floor.

Inconspicuous tapeage.

People actually using Pictochat-- when it wasn't crashing every ten seconds, anyway.

DS Gamers World Record, hold 'em high!

My and my friend's contribution. Can you figure out what games we're playing?

An example of the beach ball mayhem constantly happening in the queue room. On Sunday in the Omegathon Final line, this also included a giant game of Frisbee involving shirts. The queue ceiling won.


Bucking hell horse.

Jerry/Tycho's typed out text for Monday's comic.

In progress!

Mike/Gabe making fun of Jerry/Tycho when he finally made it to the panel.

The beginning of the Hot Dog Fairy.

Om nom nom color.

Old Republic panel on Saturday!

The queue room on Sunday's morning lineup. It was fairly close to 10am when I snapped this.

Entrance to the main exhibition hall.

Spider-man dancing. Unfortunately he did not win.

The chalk drawing that took all weekend to complete. It was found outside of the queue and main halls.

Next year I will need to take more pictures, or hire someone to take them for me.

September 6, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: Video Blog

I have so much to blog about in regards to PAX, but in the mean time, here's a few videos I was able to film while at the convention.

DS World Record

How many DS gamers does it take to break a World Record? Thousands. We packed the queue room on Friday night and watched Pictochat crash on itself over and over and over...

Saturday Morning Lineup

Bouncing beach balls around happened all the time in the queue room, though the Saturday morning entrance lineup had the most I had seen.

Pirate Swag

This is how real pirates pass out shirts in the exhibition hall.

American Hard Gay

I'd like to say the Sex and Video game panel will be best known for having a Hard Gay, but it will probably be best known for being the worst panel at PAX 2009. More on that later.

Spider-man Dancing

Unfortunately the audio has been muted by YouTube due to copyright issues, so I've embedded the file I uploaded on Facebook. Enjoy!

September 4, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: Part 1

For those of you who live near a GameWorks, you probably know that most are $10 for unlimited play on Thursday nights. Such is the case here in Seattle. Understandably this makes Thursday nights incredibly busy. My friends and I like to go down there anyway on occasion, and decided to go tonight. The day before PAX.

By the way, GameWorks is across from the Convention Center. Where PAX is being held.

Que large lines of mostly young guys and what I like to think of as my first experience at PAX because the guys were either wearing their PAX passes (WHY?) or smelly. And unfortunately many of them did not understand how GameWorks functions.

But that's okay because, you know what? I think GameWorks Thursday should be an important part of PAX for people staying Downtown. It's a great way to get a weekend devoted to gaming started, and it's only $12.50 if you don't already own a GameWorks card ($10 if you do).

Pro Tips for GameWorks:

-Make sure you're swiping your GAMEWORKS card into the machines and not your HOTEL ROOM KEY.
-If people are standing behind you watching you that you don't know, they're probably waiting to pay the machine you're on next. Which doesn't mean you should be a douche and swipe your card to play again.
-Don't bring your goddamn girlfriend who doesn't play, mmkay? Not only does she take up space and bitches obnoxiously about being there, but she discredits the girls who are actually there to play.
-Remember that there are girls who want to play, so don't try to kick us off of our machines.
-A back corner of the second floor hosts old school arcade games and usually isn't very busy. I was able to play Mr. Driller several times.
-It's usually best to ignore all the fancy-schmancy games out on the floor-- except for the SEGA Hummer game, OMG. It's like Hulk Ultimate Destruction in racing form.
-DDR USA is the worst DDR machine there, don't use it.

I'm listening to advice from my con going buddies about what to bring (DS is charging as I type) and we're heading down right around 10am. The only concern I have is that I sprained my ankle yesterday moving into my new apartment. Perhaps the world is trying to tell me something?

August 30, 2009

My pixel stomping grounds.

I thought I would do something a little different and give some free loving to a few of my favorite websites and comics. You'll find all of them listed and linked on the right hand sidebar, and there's a number of them I won't go into detail here because, well, they're typically very well known and there is a very good chance you already know about them.

Also, feel free to recommend any webcomics and websites you think I may like.


-Hello Kitty Hell is dedicated to showcasing the absolute horrors of Japan's rabid commercialization through the form of Hello Kitty. From the Hello Kitty Bondage Love Hotel to lawnmowers, the blogger has taken it upon himself to reveal to the world the very depths of Hello Kitty's hold.

-Fandom Wank is dedicated to mocking and boggling at fans who take themselves too seriously. Chances are, if you're in a fandom, you already know of this website. For those of you new to fandoms, perhaps you should take a gander at His wife? A Horse and a fannish perspective of Harry Potter just so you know what you're getting yourself in to.

-Bento is a new trend in the West, and a rather healthy trend, too. Just Bento is one of my favorite bento resources. Not only is the blog full of pretty bento pictures, but the blogger shares recipes and tips that are worth looking in to.

-Bakerella is probably my favorite food blog. No only does she share gorgeous dessert pictures and delicious recipes, but she's also generous enough to run some fabulous giveaways. She's the queen of cakepops, if you know what those are. My personal favorite of hers is the cakeballs. I actually had friends and coworkers fight over them (albeit I slightly modified her recipe to include fresh strawberries and strawberry frosting). And I made at least 75 pieces.

-Urban Dead is a browser adventure type of game where you get to play as a zombie or a human. Think of Kingdom of Loathing, but completely multiplayer. I've been playing as a zombie for about six months. It's a great time waster and great for those who enjoy the zombie genre.


-Darths & Droids rose to the feverish callings of a DM of the Rings version of the Star Wars movies. Basically, it's Star Wars told through DND. If you have a basic understanding of DND, plenty of nerd humor, and enjoy both movie franchises, I suggest you check both of them out. DM of the Rings is rather short in comparison to Darth & Droids, in case you're rationing your mindless internet time.

-Stricken Pot Pie is currently on hiatus, but I hope it comes back soon. It's a story of a bear and a bird where each panel is completely hand sewn. I kid you not.

-Awkward Zombie is another nerd comic with a heavy emphasis on the Smash Brothers franchise. The comics are actually fairly funny with quick and obvious humor.

-I'm a long time Sailor Moon fan, so it's no surprise that I read Four King Hell!, a comedic look at the Sailor Moon metaseries through the eyes of the Shitennou, Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask's personal guard (you know, the bad guys in gray uniforms from the first season), and how they're going to bed one of the girls.

-KinkoFry is a very quirky and artistic comic with an offbeat sense of humor. I'm a fan of random and awkward and recommend it to anyone with similar tastes.

August 24, 2009

I Are Reviews: Kigurumikku - Episode 1

I don't know very much about Kigurumikku at all, I tried to look up information about it, but didn't have any luck. Not that it matters much because the series is hilarious enough as it is. However, the intro might make more sense if I did know-- anyway!

I started watching Kigurumikku because I thought it was a Magical Girl show (three little girls with stuffed birds that they put on and fight evil with-- HOW IS THAT NOT MAGICAL GIRL?), but it turns out that's not quite what it is. In actuality, it's a big spoof on Sentai and the superhero genre. *faceinhands*

CURSE YOU, JAPAN. It's like the show was made specially for me. HOW DARE YOU FIND OUT MY WEAKNESSES. ;-;

1. Booming narrator voice announcing the heroics that occurred during the non-existent previous episode.
2. Very heroic 70's style music.
3. Fighting poses. Over ice cream. And anything else, really.
4. Hyperactive, oblivious heroine hellbent on whatever heroic justice thing they're usually obliviously hellbent on.
5. Ride bikes furiously to their mission! WHILE SINGING THEIR THEME SONG.
7. Ridiculous transformation sequence.
8. Fight a ridiculous monster of the day (in this case, the monster is based off of a chocolate cream horn).
9. Long speeches about heroics and justice and empathy that outs one of the characters as being a complete loser.
10. A heroic kick full of justice as the final blow!
11. A teaser for the next episode.

1. Tween girls with color coordinating outfits.
2. A talking plush swan that looks more like a duck.
4. Swan-duck familiar is hinted to be from another planet.
5. Henshin sequence activated by saying "Kigurumi Equip!" putting on all the different outfit pieces, and finishing with "Service Done!"

I'm sure you can guess all the spoof like elements and jokes of the series already. One I did leave out, though, is that during the fight scene, Kigurumikku-Swan addresses the all important question of what do super heroes do when they have to pee during battle?

The first episode is only about 12 minutes long (I believe it's an OAV series?) and consists of Azuki, Kigurumikku-Swan, and Mut, Kigurumikku-Falcon, going to an Okinawan grocer for special ice cream because Azuki ate all of Mut's mother's ice cream. Meanwhile Mut's sister, Nanami, repairs Miruku (the swan-duck thing) and eventually starts coming up with crazy theories about Miruku origins and beats him into telling the truth.

After picking up the ice cream, Chococrone attacks a nearby park. Azuki faces him, summoning a badly hurt Miruku (and Nanami who was holding Miruku at the time) in order to transform. Kigurumikku-Swan attempts to shame Chococrone into submission by asking why he didn't feel sorry for Nanami having 30 boyfriends and being rejected by all of them, effectively embarrassing her in front of the large crown that has gathered. Swan harness the feelings of pity from the crowd in order to deliver her finishing move and destroys Chococrone.

Meanwhile Nanami is beside herself in rage.

And somewhere in a dark place, the OMINOUS VILLAIN Generalissimo X blows up the Okinawan grocer Azuki and Mut had visited.

So how do I feel about this series? I ADORE IT. It's just too ridiculous for me to NOT love! I'm excited to see if Falcon ups Swan in the next episode, her introductory episode, since Mut seems more capable than Azuki.

August 20, 2009

The Rabbit at PAX: Down the Rabbit Hole

If you haven't heard of PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) before, let me enlighten you. It's a three day gaming convention at the Seattle Convention Center held annually by the guys who bring you Penny Arcade. Apparently PAX will also be happening in Boston next year.

This year is my first time going and I recently received my three day pass (red, for those of you wondering) in the mail on Monday. I'm beyond excited and will definitely be spamming my blog with PAX related goodness come Labor Day Weekend.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the things I'm most looking forward to and would like to do at the convention.

1. How to Make it in the Back Door: A Rainbow Colored Perspective of the Game Industry
It's a panel run by gay people. You can already tell that it's going to be awesome just by the title that they came up with. How cheekily fabulous.

2. The Old Republic demo
There's two screenings with advertisements of goodies, I'm definitely going to get into one of them! KOTOR is one of the best RPGs around, so don't fail me!

3. Enter the Pokemon tournament with 5 Magikarps and a Ditto
Magikarp, use splash attack! Great, now counter with a splash!

4. Wil Wheaton presents: THE AWESOME HOUR!!1
It's suppose to be awesome!!1

5. Photos of the Worst Cosplay Evar
So I can torture my friends with the pictures later.

I couldn't go last year, and my friends gifted me a bunch of things, including a Fallout 3 handpuppet. I'm eager to see what I will be gifted this year, even if that means I have to gift a particular display to myself for free.

7. Pictochat being useful.
Finally, I won't have to chat by myself anymore. :(

8. PAX in general.
Since this is my first time going, I have no idea what to expect. I know I'll need my camera, DS, a suitable messenger bag, monies, maybe some extra foodstuffs as I've heard food is routinely expensive at conventions, cellphone, and maybe some air freshener?

I love you, nerds, but I've spent enough time stuck in a basement rolling D20s with your kind to recognize your stench. Don't worry, Febreze solves everything.

August 14, 2009

Woodland Park Hobo

I went to the Woodland Park Zoo the other day. Sure, I'm 23, and sure, I've been there a few times before. It's true that zoos don't change very much, it's still animals being confined into tiny areas, albeit the areas now are definitely much better than what they used to.

In short, you really don't expect change at a zoo, it's hard to justify to your mid twenties self why paying $16.50 to see something you already have is worth it. You go to see animals, and you see animals. Sometimes you see overpriced ice cream cones and the occasional child screaming in horror, the later sometimes being a plus.

And then you go to the orangutan exhibit.

Now, what is a natural habitat for an orangutan? Trees, surely. Some vine like constructions that they can climb with. Rock ledges for perching purposes.

And, oh yeah, burlap sacks that they can use to pull over their heads while smashing their face up against the viewing windows.

I CAN HAS SACK? (click for larger view)

It's debatable on whether or not $16.50 is worth paying to see an orangutan imitate a hobo, but it was surely the highlight of my day.

August 11, 2009

Taking the hobbits to San Francisco.

I went to San Francisco last weekend for a friend's wedding. A weekend surely isn't enough time, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself and wanted to share a few things I learned during my stay.

I hate toll booths.

Words cannot describe my utter rage for them. I've never been partial to toll booths, ever, I don't like the idea of have to stop and pay while I'm driving, or having to pay at all. The worst thing about these toll booths, though, is the sheer amounts of traffic they create. Stop and go traffic for over a half hour is a half an hour too much for me. It probably doesn't help that I'm prone to car sickness (though I thought I had gotten better considering I've become rather bus savvy since moving to Seattle) and was threatening to kill my driver in my sicken stupor while my head was dangling out the window.

At least I had it better than my other friend, the person driving that car rolled up her window the minute she rolled it down.

I would never leave SanFran if I lived there.

You cannot enter San Francisco without paying some kind of fare. Period. I'm sure the tolls are necessary, really, but after living in a state where tolls are virtually non-existent (never living in Gig Harbor ever), I can't stomach the idea of having to pay to come home.

However, I doubt I would care too much having SF as a prison. This has to be the best prison food ever.

Of course, this kind of food also exist in my SanFran prison, and it haunts me in my nightmares.

Seattle is a small city.

I've known that Seattle is smaller compared to other big cities, but inner SanFran confirmed that for me. I wasn't even in downtown and I was surrounded by four sides of concrete. And you know SanFran is a bajillion times bigger than Seattle when it can justify having a gym the size of the Pantheon (and look like it, even).

The French are more interesting outside of France.

I won't lie, my friends and I have several jokes about the French despite us being rather indifferent to them (I'm sure the French have some lovely jokes about us as well). Jokes like...them being the enemy and hitting each other with baguettes, or how I now hate America because I may have kissed one of them. Ahem.

Anyway, the truth is, despite living in the U District and having attended a large university, I have not had the chance to mingle with many foreigners. While these guys were drunk, they were truly nice and not the snooty and jackass perception many of us have about the French. Perhaps they were just looking for some pretty American girls, however, I think they were more curious about America in general. And maybe also why I say I'm from America when I, as said by them, don't look English.

From that last sentence, I'd like to point out the irony of any European that says Europe isn't racial conscious like America. I've never once had someone here question the validity of my nationality due to my ethnicity.

Also that those guys freely admitted that there are several places in Europe suffering from gross amounts of racism.

I need to stop saying this is the sketchiest bar ever.

Last year I went to Blue Moon and proclaimed it to be the sketchiest bar ever, what with the floor littered with peanut shells and hobos. And then I found this bar right outside of China Town. It looked innocent enough, very small and not too busy. However, the bathroom, holy shit the bathroom.

The flash omitted the scariest part about going to and actually being in this bar's bathroom: the dim and flickering lights. Also that the walls weren't completely connected leaving huge gaps of darkness, holes in the wall, lack of locks on the doors, etc. I honest to God though there were cameras hidden in the wall gaps and holes and a group of men somewhere were watching me and bidding on who was going to shoot me while I was peeing.

I want to say that's the sketchiest bar ever, but once I say that I'm going to end up in an even sketchier bar, and probably dead.

Being up at 4am does things to your vision.

My friend dropped me off at the airport at 6am for my 10am flight. By 6:30am I was through airport security and on my way in search of noms. The first thing I saw after walking out of security is this:

A ten foot plush orca (I named him McLovin). I almost think SeaTac put him there on purpose, to freak travelers out in the wee hours of the morning after having to shuffle through security. Perhaps they think the giant, smiling orca will placate any rage security may have caused.

It may have worked.

Alley cafes are the best and worst thing ever.

SanFran knows how to manage space. Stick six restaurants inside of an alley? SUCCESS. I saw many alleys full of cafes while wandering around the six block vicinity of my hotel. However, you know what alleys are also full of?


Isn't that scrumptious?

July 31, 2009

All your free times are belonging to Miyamoto.

Are you still a gamer when you lack the time to play video games anymore?

I've been asking myself this lately during my times between two jobs and the necessities of sleep. I've been itching to play all this week, but I simply haven't had the time. I still read up on gaming websites, glee about upcoming release dates, sift through Amazon seeing if I can afford a few games I do not have in my collection yet, and have already procured tickets and taken off time for PAX.

All of this time invested in gaming and I still haven't played anything apart from Free Cell on my iPod during my 10 minute break this entire week. In fact, my lovely DS has been packed up inside of my suitcase since the beginning of June when I visited my parents for a few days. That was the last time I actually sat down with it, and I love it in all its white glory that I bought shortly after the Lites were first introduced. The DS is my favorite child out of all my gaming items, and its been abandoned in a suitcase for months.

The last time I used my Wii was also in June when my roommates and I were looking for a Brawl fest. The last time I used my PS2 was to play a movie. I actually have used my PC for gaming lately, but even then it's for Heroes of Might and Magic V and The Sims 2. I wouldn't call those games very epic or involved (though I do think that point is debatable concerning my Sims 2 neighborhood, which is a mash of Harry Potter, Firefly, and Sailor Moon characters...and maybe a random elf that pimps himself out. Harry kissing Simon Tam has created a whole host of irreversible ramifications, not to mention that Kaylee is heartbroken because, even though Harry is off pimping himself, Simon is utterly devoted to him. This upsets Ginny).

Point being, I haven't played anything substantial. I've even bought more games during this two month time where I haven't played anything. On top of that, I have a large backlist of games I own but I haven't played or finished. The gaming industry has effectively screwed over my conscious and free time because I actually feel guilt for not playing and not finishing anything within a few months. I'm fairly certain I've been playing Kingdom Hearts (yes, the FIRST one) for three years. Three years. Though at this point I think the game itself may have partial blame because taking so long to finish it may say something about its quality. Never mind that I have KHII sitting on my shelf, eagerly waiting like the orphaned child I salvaged from a clearance sale at Target over a year ago for its turn of attention and affection.

On top of that, I have plenty of good games I need to finish or play before I even feel like moving back to Kingdom Hearts, and the minute the new Edgeworth game comes out, or a new Fire Emblem, or when I finally buy myself a X360 with all the oodles of games I want just for that system, KHII may have already grown up and moved out of the house by then.

Or not. This is a Disney and Squeenix game we're talking about.

July 27, 2009

Everything I need to know in life I learned from Pike Place Market.

Working at Pike Place Market has taught me invaluable life lessons, more so than all the ones combined from watching every season of Boy Meets World (I'm convinced that Mr. Feeny probably setup shop here back in the 1700's, and thus how he learned all about life). Today I thought I would impart a bit of knowledge, a little glimpse into what surely takes a normal human being decades to learn-- if they're even lucky enough to do so.

Keep in mind that I sell fruit (mainly cherries right now, but moving into large, pitted fruits). This impacts the knowledge I'm about share with you somewhat, but that shouldn't matter too much.

1. Cherries have pits in them.
Boy did I not know that until I started selling these babies and a fellow mate in ignorance decided to try one in order to let me know whether or not cherries are pitted.

2. Different types of cherries are grown in Washington.
All of the cherries I sell come in boxes labeled "Washington Cherries." I figured that's what their name was, "Washington Cherries." Not "Bings," or "Rainiers," or "Vans," or whatever signs my employers ask me to put around the display boxes.

3. American money is hard to decipher because it isn't color coded.
I learned this from a European today. American paper money is really hard to count and confusing to use because it's all green, which means people actually have to look at and be able to read the number denomination in order to know the value, instead of being able to say, "Aha, pink is worth 500 dollars!" because the Euro is the currency of the entire world. It was invented before the Greeks.

4. Different types of cherries taste different.
So what if Rainiers are yellow and red, they're still cherries, so they must taste like Bings, right? In fact, all cherries taste like Bings. Even marcino cherries and cherry flavored Starbursts.

5. Just because it's a Farmer's Market in Seattle doesn't mean there aren't farmers selling from a foreign country.
When stating the name of the town or city your product is from, always make sure to say the location is within the state of Washington (example: "These cherries are from Cashmere, Washington"), otherwise consumers will rightly think your fruit came from Kashmir.

6. The best way to entertain a baby is to take multiple free samples.
Really, you just don't understand that hardships of child rearing and needing to steal handfuls of firm fruit in order to entertain your toothless baby by putting them in your own mouth.

7. It's important to know the prices of your competition states away from you.
Arizona is selling fruit cheaper than you? Make sure your lower your prices in order to sell competitively despite being several hours away!

8. The ONLY correct way to say "apricot" is "ah-pree-cot."
Not that the pronunciation isn't a regional dialect or anything. It's important to abide by the linguistic rules of the side of the state that doesn't grow apricots at all.

9. Always have a debit/credit card machine!
How dare a farmer's market be predominately cash only! I need to use my card for a $1 transaction that'll cost the local farmer at least 50 cents to process!

10. Always know where the nearest Japanese Animation and Comic Book store is located.
You never know when an otaku will need to get their fix outside of the International District.


11. Make sure you know what kind of fruit your selling.
Just because the box says they're cherries doesn't mean you aren't actually selling midget plums.

July 20, 2009

Why melted cheese rules me.

Fondue is delicious. A large array of foodie bits next to a pot of melty cheese is one of the most amazing things ever. Imagine my utter disappointment when my mother revealed that, despite every trend her and my father managed to take up since the early 60's, fondue just wasn't one of them.

Skipping to now, I was beyond excited when I learned of The Melting Pot last year after moving to Seattle for college. I went again today with some old coworkers, now friends, for happy hour.

Let me tell you, fondue isn't cheap, and compared to happy hours I've been to before, The Melting Pot out-expenses all of them (which makes sense considering how much fondue is). But what I really wanted to talk about isn't how amazing melted cheese on bread paired with a good martini is, since we all know it's damn delicious, but this hilariously awesome promo The Melting Pot is currently doing.

I learned of the promo after visiting the main website as I needed to acquire an address for Google Maps. The Melting Pot is advertising its Facebook application.

Yes, a Facebook application.

On the plus side, adding the application gives you a coupon for a free chocolate fondue for two, given that you and your partner/friendly friend buy a regular pot of cheese goodness. The downside is that you have to add the application.

But free chocolate fondue is worth it, I tell you! And, actually, the application is quite amazing. See, you need to pick two of your friends you think should date and stir them into a graphic of chocolate fondue. So I picked my best friend's boyfriend and her brother.

I bet you're wondering why I find this so great as seemingly only I would know who I picked in order to get the coupon, and we're going to get to that part right now.

If you're paying attention, pairing two friends rewards you with a coupon...and a few emails to said friends and a Facebook announcement heralding that you think said friends should be together.

The Melting Pot application? Best Facebook application EVER.

Watchathon - July 10th to July 16th

It's time for the second week of the Watchathon, and I think I picked a rather wide selection again, from animated, big eared mice to that gay cowboy movie.

Rating: For women it hits a bit close to home.

I actually really liked this movie, even though bits of it seemed gratuitous and unnecessary, like perhaps all of Drew Barrymore's scenes. I loved her character, but her storyline was shown so sparingly that you forget she existed until her face pops up on your screen. This was perhaps the biggest problem with the movie as the large number of characters vied for screen time, and it is clear who the victors were.

Each pair of characters represents a core issue when it comes to heterosexual relationships. There was a small representation of gay relationships (and stereotypical gay men), but the overall theme of the movie is the stereotype of women agonizing over Will He Call and the men who passively dump women by never calling, so I accept that perhaps a more substantial gay plot wouldn't have fit very well. That said, I adored that when the gay characters did share the screen, they were the ones giving out truthful and accurate advice on relationships.

And when I say the movie hits a bit close to home, I really mean that. The film is certainly a comedy, however, the subject matter is the truth of what happens in hetero relationships wrapped up in a convenient box. When a guy doesn't call us back, we do agonize over it. We stare at our cell phones, religiously check all forms of messaging, ask our girl friends why he might not be calling, make excuses to ignore the truth that he simply isn't in to us, and we build the guy up so much in our heads that his fall from our heart breaks it. That sounds extremely melodramatic and ridiculous, and I've read a review from at least one man who thinks most of the drama in the movie is fabricated.

Well, it isn't. The only thing that's fabricated is how closely intersected all the characters are despite having solitary story lines. So girls, grab your female friends, and guys, take notes, as He's Just Not That Into You pokes at our crazy mating rituals.

Rating: If you haven't, you should.

It's true that calling Brokeback Mountain "The Gay Cowboy Movie" understates the true story of the movie. Yes, it's about two male cowboys falling in love, but it's clearly about how social pressure can destroy lives and the sadness of how it can prohibit love. That said, I teared up more watching He's Just Not That Into You than this movie, and I find something rather disturbing with that.

I feel that the characters are dynamic and they all mix believably together. My favorite character interactions are between Jack and his wife, Jack and Ennis, and Ennis and his daughter Jr. But I felt rather detached while watching this movie, and I think a lot of it had to do with how much time the film covered. I didn't fall in love with Jack and Ennis at the beginning like I should have, and I think if I had their journey would have been much more poignant and their end much sadder for me.

That said, it seemed that the characters always cried at the appropriate times I would have. I certainly felt like a voyager, and their display of emotions emulating for me. While I think a movie should stir the viewer into an emotional response, at the same time I think it's worth noting that I felt like voyager, that I was watching their lives unfold and knew very clearly that I was watching a story, a story that wasn't mine that I couldn't relate to, that wanted to be told. So I don't think my lack of response is a bad thing, or at least that's what I'm trying to justify to myself, but I certainly think it's a movie that warrants viewing.

Rating: Did I mention I love Anne Hathaway?

I grew up watching Get Smart. I loved it, my parents hated it, but they suffered through it because Nick at Night was better than MTV at Night. That said, I think why I enjoyed the movie so much is because of my fond memories of the original TV show. There were a lot of throw backs that I missed, of course, since I was a child upon watching the original, and I probably would have enjoyed the movie even more if I had.

However, I believe there is enough for people relatively new to the idea of Get Smart to enjoy. The humor is straight forward enough, and given that the Bond series has just gone through a reboot, Get Smart came out at a great time.

Does that mean it is an excellent movie? Not even, but it's good, mindless entertainment.

Rating: I turned it off before it ended.

That's right, I turned off an animated movie before it ended. I love animated movies. I absolutely adore them. If I had to chose one passion in life, it would be animation. This is why I picked up Tale of Despereaux in the first place. It does have a few redeeming qualities, the story is interesting and some of the visuals are amazing (enough that I might like to pick up the children's book). For example, the fairy tale within the story has a very pop up picture book feel to it, the depth that was captured was gorgeous.

But the movie is slow and unexciting. The characters are bland. I can't fathom how a child could sit through this movie, especially since I witnessed child restlessness during Wall-E, a movie far more fast paced than this one. Normally I would stick out movies just to know how it ends, but I just didn't care. And that, friends, proves the lack of proper story telling.

Rating: I ate maybe half the cake.

Visually Marie Antoinette is beautiful. The costumes, the sets, and (my favorite part) the food looked luscious, bright, and artistic. I actually really enjoy period dramas, especially concerning royal courts. Marie Antoinette was decent, but I feel that certain parts of the plots and themes were downplayed in order to present Marie as a precursor to, as the movie synop put it, partying like a rock star.

In order to portray "rock star" Marie, the movie was given a very modern soundtrack, and it worked very well with the movie. I was impressed how well, actually, as it didn't detract from the movie being set 300 years in the past. I also liked that many points of Marie Antoinette's history was suggest rather than spelled out, however, like I said before, I believe this downplaying is the reason why the film isn't more than decent.

I'm not a fan of Kirsten Dunst, but the Marie she was meant to portray was done very well. The women who portrayed her inner circle also performed well as I can remember their characters quite clearly. Everyone else is very much pushed to the back when with the character of Marie, perhaps this was intentional, but I think I may just give Kirsten Dunst the benefit of the doubt for this one.

July 12, 2009

Tango Restaurant in Downtown Seattle

My friend and I are currently on the hunt for the best dessert (coupled with a great dinner) in Seattle, inspired by a Seattle Magazine article from last year. Currently she and I have visited the Cheesecake Factory located across from the convention center and Tango, which is on the corner of Pike and Borne.

Since the Cheesecake Factory is a chain restaurant, I thought I'd share some thoughts about Tango instead.

One of the best things about Tango is on Tuesdays happy hour lasts all day, and the happy hour food is delicious (all their menus are listed on their website). Since Tuesday is coming up here shortly, I highly recommend you grab a friend (or more) and go. My friend and I met up after work at 6pm, and it was fairly quite, which was nice.

We went there primarily for the desert El Diablo, which is a large cube of dark chocolate rub in cayenne pepper floating on a pile of burnt meringue and topped with almonds and cocoa bean chunks. And when I say a cube of dark chocolate, I seriously mean a cube. But the chocolate is really fluffy, like it has been whipped and reshaped into a cube. Regardless, the desert is incredibly rich and we believe is meant to be share between several. We brought home the remains of the cube to my roommate, and even she couldn't finish off the rest. I think it may be a four person undertaking.

Anyway, from the happy hour menu we had the muscles, fundido, gachas de ajo, and the pulled pork. The fundido is absolutely delicious, it's basically toasted bread that you top with melted cheese, sausage, and a slice of apple. Highly recommended. My friend adored the muscles and ate nearly all of them. The pulled pork is paired up with a rather mild salsa that is meant to be wrapped inside of a tortilla, and rather good, too. The gachas de ajo, however, is basically spicy humus. I like humus well enough, but compared to the other three items we ordered, it wasn't good enough.

My friend ordered the house sangria, which we wouldn't really classify as a sangria. I ordered the Tango Colada and was quite pleased. Overall she and I spent roughly $24 per person. We included a larger tip because we gave our good humored waiter some guff, and any wait person willing to put up with us and our weird conversations is deserving of our money.

Great food, delicious desert, good drinks, and great staff. I'd love to go again.

July 8, 2009

Watchathon - July 2nd to July 9th

One of my current jobs is working for a certain video rental chain. In the interest of keeping my job, the only thing I will disclose about my employment is that I have the opportunity to watch at least five movies a week for free. This means I watch lots of movies, sometimes before they're available to rent.

This week's movies are...

Rating: MUST SEE if you care whether or not Luke wanted to tap Leia.

You've probably already heard of this movie considering that Fanboys is a very nerdy movie and this is a rather nerdy blog. For those of you who haven't (seriously, who are you and why are you here?), the main premise of the movie is a group of old high school friends meet up in their early twenties in 1998 and road trip across the US to Skywalker Ranch in hopes of seeing Episode I before it is released about in about six months.

There may be something about cancer and true love and mending friendships, but it pales in comparison to the sheer geeky hilarity worked into each scene. So what if the movie wasn't a critical masterpiece? That wasn't the point. I was amazed and truly enthralled by the little details in the sets and clothing, and I'm sure there was much that I missed considering I'm just a casual Star Wars fan. And that is the point. It became a 90 minute Where's Waldo fest for the fans that fell in love with the franchise back in the 70's and the new generation they passed that love on to. It was made so we can reminisce, at times laugh at ourselves, and overall remember why we still love this franchise, the cash cow that it is, thirty years after its creation.

While the Star Wars allusions will top the list for many Star Wars enthusiasts, for me it was the exploration of the contemporary problems concerning the social acceptability of being a nerd. While this was portrayed quite humorously through the various battles of our Star Wars protagonists and Trekkie villains, one of the main dilemmas for the characters is the immersion into fantasy versus The Real World. I feel that the movie stayed true to its 1998 roots, however, many of the ideals and arguments given still apply to today, eleven years after the setting of the film. Plus, it has the Shatner. And you thought he wouldn't appear this year since he wasn't in the Star Trek reboot. Tsktsk.

Rating: Funny until it became too vengeful for The Goddamn Batman.

I like Anne Hathaway. I may even love her. She portrays sweet and interesting characters, let alone that she gives me an excuse to watch Chris Pine and his pompous accent. However, her charm couldn't save me from this movie. Not even her pseudo-relationship with Chris Pratt, co-star in one of my most favorite TV series ever, could stop my palm smacking my head. By the time her amazing sex dance occurred (if you've seen Fanboys, perhaps you're realizing a trend here?) I simply did not care about how it would end, other than I wanted it to end.

I was initially excited for this movie to come out. I love chick flicks, as a girl I can say this without shame. As a woman in her early twenties watching many of her friends engage and marry, weddings have easily become a steady part of my life (in fact, I just finished being in one in late May and will be traveling for one again in early August). Bridezillas is a pleasure of mine, the melt down of a ghastly bitch is like hot fudge on a very creamy sundae. Perhaps I expected too much, or perhaps the movie expected too much of itself as half way through the warring friends were straining to outdo each other in very over the top and vindictive ways.

I'll be the first to admit that my gender is very catty. We're prone to jealousy in rather backwards ways, so the heated conversations between Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson and drawing the line between their mutual friends, let alone the fiances watching stupidly from the background, is to be expected. Perhaps the movie anticipated this and decided to throw a big curve ball of not only one Bridezilla, but two, and watch them rampage around the city shambles that has become their lives. And we're talking about Mecha Bridezillas, here. The armored souped up ones that have added help your friend lose her job and destroy your friend's relationship during their wedding to their list of finishers.

While the movie leaves a sour aftertaste, it will only help sweeten your current BFF relationship under the mutual understanding that you would never replicate the movie in real life. It's nice to know that your friends have the same moral standards as you do.

Rating: Alan Tudyk isn't the only reason to see this movie.

I can't even begin to describe how absurdly funny Death at a Funeral is. I started laughing a minute into the movie, and the scene fit seamlessly into the plot and just kept rolling. Much of the humor is quiet, lots of one liners, misunderstandings, and just the wrong place at the wrong time. There is plenty of physical comedy present as well, rather unrealistic, but at the same time the overall feel of the movie lends itself to the believability of Alan Tudyk's character on an acid trip for most of the movie, for example.

It's hard for me to write much more without giving away good portions of the movie, and a lot of what I would like to rave about simply would not make sense without any context. For those of you who enjoy Monty Python and Wes Anderson films will most likely enjoy this movie.

Plus Alan Tudyk runs around naked. That's 3 Firefly cast members shirtless down, only 5 more to go.

Rating: Just to say you have.

Teeth is not necessarily a horror film. Okay, for females it isn't a horror film, for males it very much is, and it should be. As a one liner, Teeth is about a penis eating vagina. In more lines, Teeth is about the exploration of modern sexuality. It features A typical male behavior where the woman lays submissive to their advances, sexual and not. Eventually the tables are turned when the female lead adopts a more modern ideology to sex for her own empowerment.

This isn't to say the movie holds an anti-sex and man hating message. The main reason why the "horrible" turn of events occurs is because the characters of both sexes are ill-educated and sheltered, mentally and physically. The female protagonist has no understanding of herself or agency, and the men believe women are to their subjugation rather than their equal. All of this plays out against the backdrop of a small Christian town.

That also isn't to say I didn't giggle every time a guy lost his penis, because I certainly did, but the thematics of the movie extends far more than that. I appreciate the exploration of gender roles, society, history, and what it simply means to be a woman, and I certainly love that it was presented in a rather cheeky penis eating package.

June 21, 2009

A girl and her dead blog.

The most amazing thing about blogging is how difficult it is.

I'm not new to the internet, I've been using it since the age of twelve. I transitioned smoothly into geek culture and know a thing or two about writing on the internets. This is why, back in November, I thought I could handle a blog.

Goodness was I wrong.

I have a number of entries waiting to be finished; long, humorous entries filled with photoshops, but that's just it, they need to be finished. In the mean time, I can't seem to think of any small entries worth posting. So I thought I'd introduce myself.

I'm CS, I'm in my twenties, a recent grad of the University of Washington, a huge nerd, loves a good party, and, oh yeah, I'm a girl. I'm ethnically Korean, but my heritage is American, which proves to be hilarious living in a city that's Asian conscious. It's comforting to know that Seattle can be accommodating for other cultures, but I'm not one of those Asians. In fact, I enjoy clomping up behind Asians because I'm much taller than most of them, and their slow turn of horror is reminiscent of Japan's greatest export, Godzilla.

Clearly I'm a very considerate person.

My intent with this blog is to document my entertainment pleasures and life in Seattle. Between goofy entries about Ninja Turtles and lightsaber battles, I want to throw in some decent reviews from movies to video games and beyond. As I moved to Seattle only two years ago, I'm still experiencing many places and mustdo's in Seattle for the first time and want to document that here. I hope you'll stay with me for the ride.