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16 September 2010 @ 07:31 am
The air has chilled a bit and frost is likely weeks away. As the summer gives up it's ground, the fall usually brings days of melancholy.
Admittedly, I have always been ashamed of those years at the close of the century. Mentally, there was much my mind locked away, to painful to remember. After I lost Toby, I floated in a light haze, and when my own mother became severly  ill, I shutdown. What followed was a patchwork of laughter and tears leading up to this month in 1998 and beyond.
We died that day, you see. Whatever we thought we were, was washed away by a light rain, and when the mist lifted, everything was in disarray. Grey, broken and surreal.

In a conversation with my brother recently, this surreal feeling was piqued again when he said one of those profound things in his usual way. That since time is linear, things that happen in the past don't exist in the present.
It was with this thought in mind, I started to cry at work last night over the oddest of things. My mother's magic wand.

The story of this trinket was humorous, as I believe it was a gift from one of her students. This was no Ollivander crafted work, but a clear with a star on the end a convex cabochon in the center that bended light in such a way as to make a diffused rainbow if light was aimed thorugh it. It came with an instruction manual that explained how to cast a few spells (and hexes) using gestures and words. It was the most awesome thing ever and no one could tell me it wasn't a powerful magical device. It was pretty and only could be used by it's owner. I would sneak and play with it, but it would never work for me of course. Over the years, it had gained embellishments and such that now seem like spoilers for it's simple prettiness.
But with all the powerful magic of this wand, it, like all good magic, could not be used for personal gain. I could not wish her pains or ailment away with a wand that wasn't mine, and she could not for herself.

I've always believed in magic, and still to this day. Not in the sense of any Rowling or Toliken penned work, but something more Narnian that Lives in the breath of evertything. It is in the creation of a thought that becomes reality through will and hard work. That breath that a parent shares with a child. My mother, times 3, plus 1, breathed a little of what she was into us. I can not talk to my father or siblings, without speaking to her in some way. Inversely, it is the same with with her siblings and my cousins. Why I long to be with my family, always, is that together we are Carole Ann and Ella Mae and Andrew.  And they were us. There is something magical about those feelings. That even with someone I had never met before, to still feel a strong familal bond. With the new generation coming up, it's like watching little dandilion seeds dancing nervously in the breeze.

Like many things belonging to my mother, the wand's location is lost in the mists of my memory. It could be in storage, or with my father or siblings, or lost to us. It was a simple thing, after all. Full of magic and for a moment last night it decided to remind me that even with time's linear nature, the past finds a way to touch us. Living in memories and in us all.

Current Mood:
Currently Reading: "The Grimoire of Marisa"...
  • Marisa's lesson of how to "Spark"
    • Concentrate your mind
    • Mutter the spell to Mini-Hakkero tenderly
    • Aim at someone you don't like
    • Now unleash your annihilation of love!
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13 September 2010 @ 10:10 am
Nice long rambling post ahead. I would suggest if you must read is to at least finish the first paragraph.
If you want more political and religious views, read the rest as well.

A show of hands at how many times you have been impressed by someone's lack of common sense.

How many times you have been impressed by someone's lack of common sense in last month?'
1 to 8

10 to 15
16 to 20
20 or more

I will not chalk this off at something regional. People here are simple, but not stupid. They know their world very well and have a wry sense of humor and wit.
But constantly watching people err on the side of idiocy makes me very uncomfortable in the way this country's I.Q. is headed:
•While other countries are all about advancing technologies and sciences, people here fight tooth and nail to actually teach less in schools.
•Why drop Civics from the curriculum when there is a national debate about how the country is run and your average American can't name the 3 branches of government.
•Universities being called "Re-Education Camps". Nice way to scare kids into flipping burgers for a living.
•Students turning in term papers typed entirely in SMS shorthand.
•Sarah Palin.
•An age of information where a quick Google search can at least turn up some basic information and then you see this.
•People who speak of the President secretly being Muslim, while forgetting 2 years ago they were complaining about his pastor and the church he attended.
•"Death Panels" WTF.
(Then there were people that actually thought Pandora existed and we
had space travel to go there. Sure, it's called the Amazon)
•I had just seen "How to Train Your Dragon", in theaters, and a woman I was having a conversation with was asking me if Wal-mart had it in stock. To an older adult, I had to explain that it was only available in theaters, to which she seemed disappointed that we didn't have it in stock cause her kids really wanted to see it. She has kids? Like, little people that learn from her?
Being stupid is not a crime. I mean, even if you are ignorant, an open mind allows one to grow and learn. What is the frightening part is close minded ignorance. A mind that has calloused over with searing mind-boggling stupid that no force on earth can move them from an opinion that makes no sense to you, or them.

Since I enjoy the theater of politics, let me see how ignorance will prevail in the election midterms.
While the Republicans continue to ship in the message that they have the solution for all of our woes,  they will, if elected, throw up walls to every proposal and challenge our country will face, because President Obama still holds office. All in hopes of securing a Presidential elect in 2012. How very short term of them. But for an increasingly confused public, it could do just that.
In being the albatross, they are going to have to hope people will overlook the glaring oversight in that the entire agenda was to be obstructionists. They are running now on stopping the President from "his  Socialist Agenda".
So that means if we elect them in November, they plan to sit on their asses and do nothing but bitch while my tax money pays their salaries and insure the "Capitalist Agenda" continues as that 2% of the population is expected to generously support the survival of this country via tax breaks for themselves, giving less back at higher cost and shipping industry overseas.

And then there is the rising fear of Muslims in America.
Faith is a personal thing in life. If education lends intelligence, your faith offers wisdom.
What I see in both is that when the plans of men are spun with the Word of God it is a potentially volatile.  Arrogant men blinded by self-righteous motives going off to do stupid things in the name of God, is nothing new.
But you think that with the wisdom of your faith and the intelligence learned from history, people would know better. That is why this country has Freedom of Religion.  So no one faith can dictate a blindly self-righteous motive to subjugate the populace.
 A flash point of the recent fears, is a plot of land amid the concrete jungle of New York City is planned to offer an interfaith community center which is to be hosted withing a Mosque/Culinary Arts School. It happens to be blocks away from the site where the World Trade Center buildings stood.
In politics, it is denounced as insensitive by those seeking to gain politically.
The self-righteous in this country rage, and some idiot decides to troll with the idea that burning the Holy Qur'an would make some sort of point. He declares that Islam is some evil antithesis of Christianity, even though he admitedly never actually cracked open the book and read anything in it. I questioned if he actually read anything in the Bible too.
The self-righteous in another country troll him back in hopes his stupidity will cause others to lose all common sense and start believeing their BS.
Sane Christians and Muslims all over the world are denouncing the more radical element, and Jews are sitting it out because for once no one is tarting about them. Humor aside. Everyone is trying to quell the rage within an element in their midst that feeds on ignorance.
This feeds the Troll.
Regardless of your faith or political opinion, some matters in life are going to requiire you to think for yourself while others will require you to think outside yourself. The truth is in knowing the difference and with truth, ignorance cannot exist.

Current Mood: Poopy. I ate something that did not agree with my tummy
Current;y Listening too: Touoiu Project stuff. Yay.

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04 September 2010 @ 04:33 pm

Note the date of that post
So a month out of warranty I get a red line halfway up my screen on the left-hand side. Fiddling with it made it go ALL the way up the screen, Sure there are fixes out there for some cases, but basically it's time for a new monitor again and the funds are severely lacking.

Current Mood: apply hammer to monitor and...
Currently Listening to: Necrofantasia - Yukari Yakumo's Theme from Touhou 7: Perfect Cherry Blossom
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11 August 2010 @ 11:26 am
A few months back, I was looking up the source for a meme on Know Your Meme.com and stumbled across what was a wellspring of meme called Touhou Project (東方 Project).
While the article says much about Touhou's influence, I noted the tremendous amount of fanart and music mixes it spawned. The music is great, the designs are cute and Just typing Touhou in YouTube search will bring up loads of videos. I became intrigued and found that the a lot of the character's stories were fanon based of little idocincracies that come specifically from fan collaboration and discussion on message boards.
It also solved the mystery of some characters I've seen over the years that were connected to the series and I never knew.
SInce the end of FMA manga and series, there really wasn't much to fill my interest in anime, but when fans go out and produce their own movie,doujin,games in multiple genres (there is a Touhou mod for GTA San Andreas XD) it says something of the source material.

So in the running for character association, I am torn between

Kanako Yasaka Yukari Yakumo Yuyuko Saigyouji
Kanako Yasaka Yuakri Yakumo Yuyuko Saigyouji
Who: Goddess of wind and rain that can create sky
Who: Youkai of all boundaries Who: Ghost of a Princess
Why: Purple Hair! 
         Associated with snakes    
Why: She's a prankster
        Sleeps about half the year
Why: Fannon has her as a bit of a glutton
Why Not: A Goddess  
Why Not: She is likely very powerful
Why Not:  Sne commited suicide

These three are also associated with the "Old Maid's Alliance" referring to the fact they are well over 1000 years old (although Yukari will insist she's only 17).
Right now I am having fun tracking down videos, music and such. I even got into a checkout game, for purchase totals. The change determines which song I get to sing/hum. "" means I get to act silly and do a dance (if there is a pasue between customers).
I even made a avatar of  the main character Reimu for Whirled. I hope to do more soon.

Curent Mood: AlrightOkay, for the most part.
Currently Listening Too:
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06 May 2010 @ 12:03 pm
You know what else I find appalling about the response BP has had to this recent disaster?
They aren't trying to stop it, and I question if they ever were.

They are making a dome to float over the blowout area. This will allow them to pump oil again. Convenient that their only solution is in the pursuit of profit.

It's people had to die because a cooperation would rather pay a fine (or a lobbists) than go the extra mile to protect their workforce and the communities operate in. Massey Energy and BP, we are sick of your BS.

Current Mood: Enraged
Currently Playing: Downtown
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02 May 2010 @ 08:05 am
There have been quite a few disturbing headlines about bullying lately. Kids harassing each other to the point of emotional meltdown or physical injury. The outcry has been it's the fault of teachers, the media, peer pressure, anonymity and the security being faceless while attacking from the internet. Some have placed the blame on the parents, who have defended themselves saying there is so much out here for them to compete with, they can in no way monitor everything their children are influenced by...

Truly, I though that it was a parent's role to set the standard. If your kids are playing video games, they should at least know from their parents what is acceptable and what isn't. For a parent purchasing "Fallout 3", due to it's rating, I had to explain the content that was clearly labeled on it as they brought it for a 10 year old. It was a reward for good grades in school, but if they approve of that sort of thing, then there is way to argue later what they didn't have an opinion on before.
Fallout 3, is a fun game, but clearly for adults. There is a fool notion "Video games are for kids", just as with anime "Cartoons are for kids". Today there is a whole generation that have grown up with both video games and anime, yet the notion still exists and I have no idea as to why.

If I recall, there was a video store in Williamstown that my mom was browsing and had asked about something good for us to watch. Some guuy at the counter recommended a movie we never heard of  (I still don't know what it was). Turns out it was pretty boring for kids, until the adult dialoge, then it got racy and *BLIP* they T.V. was turned off and she took the video back with a complaint.
That's called setting a standard.
Tom and Jerry cartoons, with the "Mammy" maid. *BLIP*
G.I. Joe. *BLIP*
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. *BLIP*

Sure, we did sneak and try to watch some of this stuff, but the standard was set. We watched knowing there was something inherently questionable about what we were watching. And when we saw it, we had the epiphany of understanding not that we were being sheilded from the content, but that it was insulting the intelligence of a child as a viewer.
Kids are smart. They pick up on everything you do and don't do. I am still amazed at parents that have overlooked an obvilously inquisitive and bright child dismissing behaviour as disruptive when they have parents that are trying to keep them "Stuck on Stupid".

But, I digress. The bullying issue is not something I am innocent of. I was an older sibling. I did my fair share and not without consequenses. This, I think, is at part of this issue. When standards are set, there is a foundation. When standards are not met, there are cosequenses. With no standards set there is no way for a parent to present consquenses.
It's as simple as physics: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".
You may pick on another child or sibling, but what do you think will happen afterward? That they will just take it? That mom and dad will not tear you a new one? That the injury will go unnoticed, or no one will talk about what they saw and heard?

It can be an important lesson in understanding that things people do,good and bad, can have long term effects. That their words and actions can mean something important one day, even if at the moment, they seem dismissable. We will do them a great service in the long term by imparting this knowledge to them.

Current MoodOptimistic... it's Sunday, after all
Currently Playing: Down Town, Bejewled Blitz, and Dragon  Age (Alistair is adorable ~! )

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08 April 2010 @ 07:45 am
Jason and I went to the city to see a double feature of "How To Train Your Dragon" and "Clash of the Titans"... IN 3D!!11!!
For "How To Train Your Dragon", I totally expected to enjoy myself, which I did. It was fun, cute and of course having plenty of dragons made it more awesome than one movie could contain. Toothless was cute and I was amazed at the detail in his eyes. A major character with a beautiful, yet wordless presence is a delicate balance done well in this. I loved the other dragons a well. Jason compared the little "Terrible Terror" dragons to Ger. I agreed, as they are my next favourite dragons after the Night Terrors.
I fully expect a sequel.

"Clash of the Titans" was...okay.
I mean, the original had me on the edge of my seat and at the time, the special effects kicked ass three ways till Sunday. This new version was rather blase in comparison. Modernizing the tale meant Perseus became a bitter anti-hero, full of angst and seeking revenge against the gods.
Seriously? I mean I could just pick up a copy of "God of War" and be more interactive about it. But there were some pleasant surprises in there.
A curiosity was the palette change on Pegasus. Changing him from a white to a black version I suppose served the "The darker, the more raw" crowd. There were other pegusai about, white ones in fact, peacefully grazing in idealic fashion, until this large, disruptive black pegusai stallion shows up, from which the white pegasai flee.

Call it what you want. I found it all types of messed up.

The other point I looked forward to, was the encounter with Medusa, which I loved. She was totally hot and relished taunting her prey. And the look on her face when she was distressed broke my heart. I almost felt sorry for her if she hadn't been such a psychotic, snakebutt witch.

Plot wise, nothing new or innovative about the story, or it's portrayal. The original will always hold a higher place in my heart than this one. I mean, "The Last Unicorn" inspired me to put a horn on every horse I drew. "Clash of the Titans" inspired me to put wings on every one. Perseus could have been Batman, Riddick, Kratos, Neo, The Staypuff Marshmellow Man™, and I don't think the story would have gone any differently.
The real story of it is in the characters that support Perseus on his journey. While he has his self pity party, they work and sacrifice to save the only world they know.
Overall, I needed to only look at the 2 main characters of both movies to see what happens when good writing and character development take priority. Hiccup was disadvantaged, but innovative, witty and understood others but knowing himself. Perseus just whined about his demigod status most of the time.

To rate them, I would give "How To Train Your Dragon" a generous A-, as there was a minor plot point that irked me. It would be a buy for your movie collection. "Clash of the Titans" gets a C for average and incurs a rental recommendation with encouragement to see the original movie instead.
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01 April 2010 @ 01:12 pm
I was coming home from work last night and as I got to my car, I thought I heard someone or something along the side of the building where Jason and I usually park. I kinda ignored it and started the car and backed out. As I did, I heard a sickening *THUD*. I panicked and instead of stopping,  drove off and went straight home. I told Jason everything. It was then he got scared and said, "You're movin' with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air." I whistled for a cab and when it came near The license plate said "Fresh" and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought, "Nah, forget it. Yo, Holmes to Bel-Air!" I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8 and I yelled to the cabbie, "Yo Homes smell ya later!" Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-Air.
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21 March 2010 @ 04:55 pm
In reference to this stupidity...
Historical fact is pretty linear. However, one can tell you everything they know about history, or only the parts they think are worth the mention and sometimes filling the details with the dramatic yarn. This is the history we know and children get in school these days.

In my years in High School, we had 2 History classes: Western Civilization and American History.
From Western Civilization classes, I was taught...
The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers existed in limbo that seem to either have vanished or moved northwest and into Italy.
In truth the rivers STILL run through the Middle Eastern nations of Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
That there were no cultural advancements in Africa aside from Ancient Egypt. Everyone else was huddled around a fire in a cave.
I had learned about the Ancient African Nations from home. Nothing in any textbook I found noted anything otherwise.
Egypt was not part of Africa, it existed in some limbo and was populated by Caucasians.
My brother, Kairi, had an issue with this when an "expert" came to our school and literally told the students about Caucasians Egyptians. Kairi had to educate this man with a doctorate
about the peoples that lived in Northern Africa in Ancient times. This was not as bad as people who chalked up Egypt's rise to power was from extra terrestrials.
Hannibal was an anomaly as no one of consequence came from Africa except slaves.
Hannibal had Rome shaking in it's boots. Carthage was full of a rich history and culture that students were taught seemingly rose from the mists to challenge Rome's influence.
Only things that happened in the Bible have historical importance.
A student of another faith would have been disappointed at the dismissal of the importance their religion on the world. Only The Crusades nodded to other faiths that were practiced and they were deemed as the enemy.
Only Tea, Silk and Spices came from the Far East.
When we did get to the part in our textbooks about India Russia and China, I started to read ahead, until I was told to stop because that wasn't going to be on the test and skip about 4 chapters. Seems rather odd to only learn about the ancient trade routes, but not learn about all the countries that benefited from trade.
Columbus was a genius.
Trying to discover a new trade route to India, he sails in the opposite direction and depends on luck. He does discover something, but a Columbus failboat ends up getting called "West Indies" and it's people "Indians".

From American History classes, I was taught...
England was only cool until the Colonists came to the Americas.
The Colonist came to America to exploit it for themselves. The King overstepped his bounds by wanting a cut.
George Washington didn't have slaves, because he was a good man.
Washington, as did the rest of our forefathers, had slaves, and viewed they  and women as property. It was common practice throughout history.
It did not make it right, it was just normal.
Slavery was a minor accessory in Early America.
America's wealth was built on the backs of slaves. Period. When the U.S. decries to other countries about it's labor and human rights issues, we are seen as hypocrites for this very reason.
When other countries  come to reap the wealth of this sort of labor, they may change their laws.
Native Americans were either kind savages, or annoying obstacles...
There were a few notable Native Americans that came across the pages of my textbooks. Exhibiting examples of diplomacy to Colonists to eventually driven into the periphery of our culture as icons of an age long gone. Those that fought to preserve and just exist had bounties on their lives. It is to me the saddest part of this Nation's Legacy that it was not just tolerated, but encouraged.
The Civil War was about ending Slavery.
"It's the Economy, Stupid". As the the Industrial North competed with the Agricultural South, tensions rose. While the ideology of Slavery was distasteful, it left the North at a disadvantage.
It was more an effort to break carrying the Feudalistic practice, west, as the nation expanded.
America was involved with World War II due to moral obligation.
Prior to Pearl Harbor, the US had expressed a dislike of the situation in Europe, but was apathetic to the situation. After the attack, however, The US gained a moral backbone and outrage against what was going on in Europe, (but mostly against the Japanese). Sure it was morally right to uphold the rights of the Jews being oppressed, but the response stateside was to create interment camps for Japanese descended citizens...

So this new and improved stupidity, takes it to the next level by not only teaching the same half truths I heard growing up, but rewriting them into something more palatable for the conservative earhole. History is falling to the wayside as Science did with Evolution, and Health did with Sex Education. Civics has been completely removed from some school cirruculums. What sort of world will American children inherit if they aren't even taught facts as the rest of the world is. They currently use chatspeak commonly in papers they write and have a computer and phones that use icons rather than words to specify feature functions.

We will age, and as we become old, these are the children that will growup to care for us in our later years. I shudder to think in what state we will be in with a generation of de-educated youth that we are encouraging now.

Current Mood: ConfusedConfused
Currently Listening To: The News, which is never encouraging

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25 February 2010 @ 10:00 pm
Political rant here... (isn't it always)

Recently, the "Blueberry" has been having issue with the dashboard lights, power windows, dome light and radio, in that they don't work. In addition, the car will be fine for a while before stuttering to a stop as the engine dies.  We have made a few hopeful assumptions about the issues and have done the usual oil change in hopes that it was the source of the engine issues. No such luck. I took it for a diagnostic and they gave me 2 possibilities of what it could be, both rather pricey fixes.

The analogy comes when GOP representatives present a plan that makes slight changes to the current system with the expectation of dramatic. The system is clearly broken when you understand that it needs an overhaul, not maintenance or a patch. I honestly wanted to slap Eric Canton with that copy of the Senate bill he keeps hauling out when he want's to point out the obvious: Longbill is long. Besides, his health care will cover any paper cuts he gets from my weak threat. He still says that he knows Americans don't want reform in a big bill, just malpractice reform and the ability to buy insurance across state lines. What does this achieve? Anyone that has car insurance can telll you, diddily squat. Cherry picking and premiums based on where you live, usually the norm in the car insurance insudtry will be matched in medical form. Eric Canton, stop putting words in my mouth an the mouth of the majority of Americans that voted Democrats into the White House and Congress. I voted for them specifically because I wanted health reform. This is why you are a minority now and sure there is a revolution coming on election day. Every incumbent that sat on their thumbs and either couldn't or wouldn't make an effort to do what we pay you to do. Or as one gentleman said of this, to leave Congress without their own coverage until they can pass a the bill!

In other news, I got my hair done today and went to the movies with my husband. ^_^;

Current Mood: Pissed.
Currently Listening too: "Gekokujyo" by The 469 and sung by my fave Vocaloids Rin & Len Kagamine
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