Tuesday, May 29, 2007

From today's Questionable Content

I love this comic! Check out the one from today, especially this bit of dialogue at the end:

Penny: I don't need any "fixing up"! I can get guys perfectly well on my own!

Faye: Really? Does the public library have a Happy Hour?

Penny: That's a terrible idea! Have you ever SEEN a gaggle of drunken librarians?

Martin: A friend of mine in college got jumped by a gang of 'em one night. They shushed him so hard that he can't speak above a whisper to this day.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Anime North

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post these, but I figure I might as well do them now :)

This post will be very picture heavy, since I don't think blogger does cuts like Livejournal does. Also, if you want to see pictures of the cosplayers, go to my website. I'm not going to repost them here.

I will, however, post the pictures I didn't put on my website. Here they are!

J and J, pretending that they're too cool for an anime convention.

The Artist Alley part of the con (aka the boring part) - the work is all very pretty, but also expensive since its done by talented artists who are trying to make a profit. Nice to look at, though

Me, with two of my toys - a stuffed Chocobo, and Momiji in bunny form! I love that rabbit!

The rabbit likes J, too!

And now, onto the loot! I'm not saying how much I spent, but I got some great deals!

The loot, an overview.

My Chocobo, with seasons 1 and 2 of Magic Knight Rayearth

Momiji, with the 5 volumes of Tokyo Babylon I bought (I only need 6 & 7 now!)

The Munto movies, and the complete season of KareKano (or, His and Her Circumstances, in translation)

Not a bad haul, huh?

Incidentally, this post will be x-posted to my Livejournal, so everyone can see what happened at Anime North and so I don't have to type this all out again :)


Anime North!


Hopefully there will be many pictures taken, and much money spent. If only the weather didn't look so craptastic. Ah well.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pom Poko

Before the long weekend, I saw another Studio Ghibli film (working at a library *rocks*) called Pom Poko.

First off, this movie is *strange*. I realize that most of the Ghibli films are weird, but this one was bizarre. It was about a bunch of raccoons whose forest was being destroyed for a housing complex. The neat thing about the raccoons was that they can change their shape, so they try to sabotage the construction to regain their home.

Raccoons and foxes in Japanese myth are magical, and able to transform, so that premise wasn't too far-fetched. The things the raccoons changed into were pretty strange, and how the males used their, ahem, "sacks" to crush humans and blind truckdrivers was pretty funny.

I found the ending sad, but the movie overall was entertaining.

Pom Poko poster

The male raccoons using their "sacks" to fly

The raccoons learned about the humans by watching TV - and quickly got addicted!

(I'll put these pics on my own server when I get home... promise!)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Something that caught my eye

While reading through the "Booklist" magazine at work, I spotted this title that made me think of all my knitting friends:

Knitting with Balls: A Hands-On Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man
by Michael del Vecchio

It's a collection of patterns for men, good for men who knit and women who knit for men. It also encourages male knitters to come out in public with their knitting, and be not ashamed!

Anyway, check it out if you're so inclined. I thought it sounded interesting :)

Travelling Librarians

Deep in the snow, in the middle of a windswept moorland, a small band of travelling librarians sat around their cooling stove and wondered what to burn next.

Tiffany had never been able to find out much about the librarians. They were a bit like the wandering priests and teachers who went even into the smallest, loneliest villages to deliver those things - prayers, medicine, facts - that people could do without for weeks at a time but sometimes needed a lot of all at once. The librarians would loan you a book for a penny, although they often would take food or good second-hand clothes. If you have them a book, you got ten free loans.

Sometimes you'd see two or three of their wagons parked in some clearing and could smell the glues they boiled up to repair the oldest books. Some of the books they loaned were so old that the printed had been worn grey by the pressure of people's eyeballs reading it.

The librarians were mysterious. It was said they could tell you want book you needed just by looking at you, and they could take your voice away with a word.

(Taken from Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, pg 224)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Future Project

One of these days, I'm going to reread all the Terry Pratchett "Discworld" novels and make special note of all the times he talks about librarians. Not just the Librarian, but libraries and librarians in general.

I'm reading "Wintersmith" right now, and I came across a particularly funny passage about librarians. When I'm not at work (or when I'm off-desk, perhaps), I'll write it out to start my project.

I seem to recall something in "Going Postal" as well... of course, if anyone who is reading this blog happens to also read Discworld novels and would like to assist me in my project, please do!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


The Sims 2 is one of my recurring obsessions - meaning that it completely consumes my soul and I play it as non-stop as I can, then I get bored of it for a while, and then the cycle repeats.

I could torture you with indepth character and family profiles of my Sims, but I won't. I'm sure you're all thanking me as you read this :)

But but but! A new Sims 2 expansion pack has come out - Seasons! Yes, now you can make your Sims experience the joys of weather. When it's hot, they can get sunburned. When it's cold, they can freeze to death. You can give them complex gardens, make snow angels, and much more!

I must own it.

But alas, I haven't bought it yet. I'm trying to be responsible and not spend a lot of money every month. And since May's purchases have already included a new karaoke game and (at the end of the month) Anime North, I'll have to wait until June. Which is fine, because right now my soul is consumed by Final Fantasy XII (see previous post).

But check out the awesomness of Sims 2 Seasons yourself!

Friday, May 4, 2007

*blink blink* Where did the morning go?

I love the Final Fantasy RPG series - ever since I played FFII (which I think, in the Japanese line-up, is actually #3) on the SNES.

The latest installment, FFXII, is super fun and *so pretty*! Seriously, the landscape design, the cities, the people, all gorgeous. Half the fun of playing is watching the scenery. The other half is killing monsters :)

Typical plot: the world is at war, and it's up to a rag-tag bunch of people to sort things out. These include: two street urchins (Vaan and Penelo), a sky pirate (Balthier) and his outcast lingerie-wearing-bunny-eared viera partner (Fran), a usurped princess (Ashe), and her protector (Basch).

The battle structure takes time to get used to. It's not quite turn-based like the earlier RPGs, but relied heavily on this strange pre-programmed-fighting-moves system called gambits. If you don't watch it, your people will pre-program-fight themselves to death. People have told me they really like this system, but maybe I'm not just not a very good tactician.

The box (in case you haven't seen it in stores)

The Japanese artwork - the picture is of a Judge (the bad guys - they're hard to kill!)

Fran, the lingerie-wearing-bunny-eared viera

And, a staple in the FF world, CHOCOBO! (That's Basch riding it)

Also: it is a very addictive game. Not quite Sims 2 caliber, but pretty close :)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Studio Ghibli (one of my favourite vices)

I watched "Whispers from the Heart" last night, one of the few Ghibli movies I had yet to see (along with "Porco Rosso", "Pom Poko", and "My Neighbours the Yamadas").

First of all, this movie tied so closely with my 2nd favourite Ghibli movie, "The Cat Returns", that I enjoyed it just for that. I adore The Baron (even more when he has Cary Elwes' voice!) and it was cute seeing Moota prowling around Tokyo.

One thing that really *really* bothered me was the song. The main character Shizuku (spelling may vary) wants to be a writer (which struck a major chord with me) so she's writing lyrics to a song she and her friends will sing at graduation from junior high. I'm not sure what the original Japanese song was, but Disney in all it's patriotic glory, had them singing "Country Roads". It's a horrible song to begin with, but it also felt completely wrong. It just didn't fit with the scenes of Tokyo. That bugged me the entire movie.

I loved seeing Shizuku's apartment and the wonderful views of Tokyo, although I realize it's just an animation and Tokyo probably doesn't look exactly like that. Still, it's as close to Japan as I can get on my budget and I can pretend that everyone there speaks English :)

The movie was adorable and, upon proper consideration, might be bumped up to my 3rd favourite Ghibli movie... or maybe 4th. I do love "Spirited Away"!

In case you're curious, here's my ranking:
1. Howl's Moving Castle
2. The Cat Returns
3. Spirited Away /Whispers of the Heart (tied for now)
4. Princess Mononoke
5. My Neighbor Totoro
6. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds
7. Castle in the Sky
8. Grave of the Fireflies

... did I miss any?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Knitting babies

I warned you the next post would be about knitting!

My cousin A and his wife S are having a baby in August. As a result, I got the notion stuck in my head to knit them a baby blanket. I started several months ago (after a few false starts) and the blanket is really coming along now.

But then, the surprise baby shower was sprung on me - and that my cousins are having a girl! So during my weekend visit to London, I knit a baby bonnet - with D's help!

The beginnings of the bonnet:

And modeled on my lovely bunny (the closest thing I had to a baby since Hermes wouldn't sit still):

Finally, the side view. It's kinda elf-like, isn't it?

I may or may not put ears on it. I haven't decided yet. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Here's the low-down on a few books I've read recently. Future posts about books will probably be in much more detail, but rather than have a zillion posts today, I'll give you the condensed version:

The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
A strange quasi-fantasy book about a guy named Henry with a genetic disorder that causes him to leap backwards and forwards through his own history (and future). It's a love story, since he meets his wife when she's a child, and not as confusing as I thought it would be. For me, stories about time travel are always complicated (unnecessarily so), but this book was excellently written and extremely difficult to put down.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
I read 8 pages and all I could think was that it was written in the same manner that I used to write when I was a teenager. I know he was a teenager when he wrote it, and usually I can overlook stuff like that, but I found he was using words awkwardly and I found it hard not to correct the text with a red pen. Perhaps I'm getting old, perhaps the horrible movie ruined it for me. I was hoping I would like it, but I didn't.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Read it. Oh my god, go read it now. I've become addicted to Neil Gaiman.

That's it for right now. Next vice post will be about knitting!

First Post

Like the title says, it's a post about my vices. If you're expecting sex, drugs, alcohol, or anything like that, go to a different blog.

My vices are much more ... boring.

You can expect posts on books, knitting, anime, movies, video games, stuff like that. Those are my vices :)