God, I've become the biggest lurker in the world :-(

You get to a point where RL takes over to such an extent that to keep up with all the obsessions online results in never having time to say anything to anyone anywhere. So, just to let you know I'm still alive, but kinda...quiet. There's a bit of action on the moblog,  but that's about it. Maybe one day I'll get back into active online life, but 'til then, I'm flying under the radar...

(no subject)

Oh my god. Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS has eaten my brain...It's so refreshing playing a game where I don't have to kill anything, battle anything, solve any type of puzzle (apart from where to plant my trees and the best way to catch fish) and just concentrate on planting flowers and decorating my house. Strangely, and horribly, addictive. The real kicker has to be the wifi connectability, where you can go visit friends towns (and steal their residents) which adds a whole extra dimension to the game.

I'm so suggestible. There goes what little remained of my social life...
  • Current Music
    Imogen Heap wibbling away

Quick fly by thingy

I am obsessed with a very peculiar game at the moment. There is no culture on earth apart from the Japanese that could give us something this..odd. Yet addictive. Plot? Your dad is the ruler of the universe. Or something. He got a bit drunk one night, and accidentally knocked all the stars out of the sky. You are his very very small sized son. You have a strange little sticky ball that you roll around collecting things on until it's large enough for your dad to make a new star out of. You start small - drawing pins, buttons...you work your way up as the ball gets larger and larger until you are collecting cars, cows, small buildings, trees and hapless screaming people. It is a work of genius. Deceptively simple, yet endlessly enthralling. And the soundtrack! And the little people exploding as they are made into stars!

The game in question is Katamari Damacy, and the Japanese site for the game is crammed full of donwloadable goodies - wallpapers, paper art, greetings card, bookmarks. Go.

And if you can, play this game. Just...yea.
  • Current Music
    Katamari Damacy soundtrack


Spooks crashed back onto our screens in a satisfying and blood soaked conclusion to last season's evil cliffhanger. Wee. Spies.

I missed out on Spooks first time round - my love of TV was fast on the wane by that point, and my belief in the BBC's ability to provide well crafted and convincing drama hadn't existed for ages. Then, thanks to one of HMV's never ending sales, I picked up the first season in a box set. Whoo boy. What a treat. Snazzy editing (alright, admittedly lifted from 24) great characters, great performances from most, close to the bone story lines, and not afraid to show a little gore here and there (hot boiling oil, anyone? *Shudder*). And what a great lead in Tom. Angsty, hot in a public school boy kinda way, miserable luck with the laydeez...Me like. Season 2 kept up the good work with more 'ooh, controversial' storylines, and loads more developing angst and grimness for Tom, ending in big ol' 'who's alive, who's dead and who's framing who' cliffie.

And so to season 3 - got some new blood in the form of Adam something or other, MI6 agent drafted in to help sort out the mess left last season (bit like Tom but in a slightly scruffier more cockney form) new evil nemesis for spy boss Harry in the form of the pinch faced head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, more conspiracy, more wheeler dealing, more spy stuff, more wire taps, more people blowing their brains out. Life is good. Any bets on whether Tom will last the season are off - he was looking well twitchy at the end of the first episode, and we have a new face to replace him if need be - one who isn't afraid to nut someone. (I have such a soft spot for that bit of dirty fighting) Although, if my luffly Tom cracks up and leaves, I will be very sad. All they need to do now is to bring back Hugh Lauries's fabulous MI6 spy boss from Season 1 to make this the best drama series on english TV at the moment. Not that it isn't already.

So yeah. Add one more show to the very small list of TV currently on the playlist. BBC1 , 9pm Mondays for the next 9 weeks. (probably available shortly on your favourite BT site as well) DVDs available online etc etc. You know the drill.
  • Current Music
    Osymyso - Milk Run 10

5 Random Tunes

Just to jog my memory in years to come, 5 random tunes from my ipod 'top-rated' playlist. Expect this to be a regular occurence. If I can be arsed, I may even wibble about some of them.

1. Drunken Tiger - Return of the Tiger. Korean rap stars! (Although they seem to be slowly attempting to turn themselves into US rap stars. Eh.)
2. Nat King Cole - I could have danced all night. Writer of well known advertising jingles.
3. King Prawn - Someone to Hate. London Ska-punk(ish) nutters. Play loud.
4. 2manyDJs - Smaxxlaws. Belgian record smiths remix Beck with the Prodigy. These guys rock. Especially the 'Radio Soulwax' mixes. Clever clogs.
5. Theme from He-man. I...just don't know...

Haha! Can't get much more random than that.

I <3 my ipod.
  • Current Music
    Afterlife - Breather 2000


Gah. A post. A mere one day ofter the last one!

So, let's talk about the show that made me believe in anime again. There's always one - I'll be really into anime, then get bored as everything gets samey, and clones of the shows that originally appealed clutter the airwaves, and I drift away - and then someone will say 'you gotta watch this!' and whoops - sucked back in. This time 'round, that show was Fullmetal Alchemist.

Not that promising a title, I think you'll agree. And on initial viewing, the first couple of episodes are kind, 'huh. o-kay. But where is it going?' And then the plot kicks in and you go 'whoa!'. And this is a show with a lot of plot. The kind that keeps you on tenterhooks as it twists and turns, and throws you new curveballs. Also a show that's not afraid to kill off a character or two - even ones who DIDN'T DESERVE TO DIE! *sob* And if you watch the show, you'll know what I'm talking about. And I guarantee you will cry. And wail in disbelief.

In fact, it's a show where you're not even sure the main characters will make it through to the end, and that's what makes it great. It's grim as hell sometimes. Depresses even me, the angst queen. Setting is a vaguely European looking world, wherein there's a limited amount of technology, but the real power lies in the hands of alchemists - people who are able, with the help of a complicated drawn array, to transmute items and release the power in sundry materials. Although this doesn't come for free - you need to exchange something of equal value to accomplish any transmutation. Edward Elric is the youngest ever Nationally Certified Alchemist (ie, alchemists in military service) although he has an ulterior motive for joining the army. Ed, and his younger brother Al, needs the army's resources to hunt down the legendary Philosopher's Stone, an item that perform any transmutation, without the need to exchange any materials or energy. The brothers need this to sort out the massive screwup they made whilst attempting to bring someone back from the dead. Erg. Creepy. This screwup -wherein you find out how difficult it is to come up with the right amount of materials to re-create a human - leaves Ed minus an arm and a leg (heehee) And poor ol' Al as a disembodied soul bound to a hulking suit of armour. And it just gets weirder from there folks.

I'm not even going to try to go any further into the plot. Suffice it to say, there's a hellalot more going on than appears at first glance, most of it will leave you yelling OMG! and WTF! at the screen, and the storyline everyone gets caught up in towards the conclusion of the show has been brewing for 400 years. Deep enough for you?

I <3 FMA. I love this show to bits. Even my friends who think anime sucks like this show.

So where can you get your hands on this bounty? Well, the show's been licensed in the states (coming soon to Cartoon Network) so finding it online is getting tricky. However *adopts best mysterious voice* it can be done...start at your favourite Bittorrent site, and go from there. Or wait for the DVDs. (yeah, right. 3 episodes per disc for $30? Na-uh)
The manga can be found online at Anime Source (chapters 26-39), the work of a tireless one man scanlation demon who translates chapters about a week after they come out in Japan (monthly), and earlier chapters are here and here (although you'll have to join a group to get to the ones on MSN) This is also a show where the anime and manga versions diverge quite significantly, so you get double the alchemical fun.
Good fansite for news, reviews and media is here.
And after you've caught up with the 52 episodes of the anime, the 39 chapters of the manga, and you've become an FMA crackhead like me, fanfiction is here. LJ community is here. And don't blame me.

  • Current Music
    Radio Soulwax 9 mix

My poor neglected recs journal...

This journal sees even less action than the main links one. So, thought I'd kinda do a quick roundup of the (far too many) things I'm reading/watching/listening to, and then maybe in the future I'll get round to wittering on at greater length about some of them.

The world o' anime is taking up the majority of my time recently. Funny how my love affairs with anime seem to come and go, with fallow periods where I watch little if any, and then suddenly there's loads of good stuff about, and I can't escape it. So *deep breath*, let's list the anime:
Fullmetal Alchemist/Naruto/Samurai Champloo/Soukyuu no Fafner/Elfel Lied/Gundam Seed/Tenjou Tenge/Panda Z/Sweet valerian/Oh! Super Milk-chan. *phew* And of course the odd movie/special, most noticably the fabulous Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.
Quite a list. And most of them are very very good. Which is bad for me - less time to keep up with all the other interests! Next post will probably be me blathering about either Naruto or Alchemist, both great but in quite different ways.

Right. On to TV. Er....not much good about at the moment, is there? Remember a couple of years ago, when you couldn't flip through the channels without encountering some type of Sci-fi/fantasy/weird-ass show? We had X-files, we had Buffy, we had Farscape, we had Angel - we had a schedule, dammit! And these days? We got...Stargate: Atlantis. Er. And Stargate. How is it that shows that are occasionally genuinely interesting/well-written/fun get cancelled, and yet Sliders ran for years? Still, there's lots of older shows coming to DVD in the next couple of months, so maybe that will fill the gap. (To be honest, I think that's why I'm watching so much anime - need my SF fix!) And where's the comedy? Where's the Jam, or the Monkey Dust? Still, some good DVD releases in store here as well, so I'll make do...(Big Train! *squee*) Ooh, and for those of you with Sky - watch Deadwood. I don't even like westerns, but this show fucking rules. Dark, grim, violent, funny - and fantastically foul mouthed. Great performances as well, especially from Lovejoy fella. And any show with Brad Dourif wins my vote.

Music. Everything. BitTorrent is evil. It makes you download the weirdest old crap that you wouldn't usually think of. Of the new (actually purchased) music, am enjoying new Dragon Ash single, Goldie Looking Chain, Keane (I know I know, it's sappy. But I like it!) Angie Reed, DJ Yoda mixes, De La Soul remixes, Soulwax...and many more. The ipod has reminded me how mcuh I like music, and how many different kinds I listen to.

Books. Um. Havn't been reading much in the way of actual, printed on paper books recently. *is ashamed* Most of my reading material the last couple of months has been the kind that comes with pictures. BUT, have just started on Al Franken's 'Lies, and the lying liars who tell them' which from the introduction alone promises to be a fun read. And I'm oh so very tired of Michael Moore, something a little more caustic might be nice. Am still trying to get through Neil Stephenson's latest (very very large) historical-technology-science-adventure trilogy thingy. Also reading Andrew Collins' 'Where did it all go right?', a refreshing childhood memoir of someone who grew up in the 70s, and had a pretty nice time really. No angst, no misery, just catching tadpoles in rivers, eating sweets and generally having fun. Is nice. Last Christopher Brookmyre book was loads of fun, in his usual amazingly violent but hilariously funny way. Also, have finally cracked and actually subscribed to some magazines - Vice, Smoke quarterly, Word and Giant Robot.

Comics. Again, the Golden Age (Sandman/Preacher/Transmetropolitan) has passed, but there's still a couple of good reads out there. The list: Lucifer/Books of Magick/The Witching/Kinetix/Top Ten/Bear/Fables/Planetary/Hellblazer/Blue Monday/Kabuki. Wow. That's quite a short list really. And some of those only come out every 6 months or so (I'm looking at you, Mr Ellis!)

Manga. If the comics list is a short one, the manga list is massive. I remember ('Back in my day...') when the only manga you could get in english was Akira. Now, between every US publisher that can getting into the act (Penguin releasing Yaoi? *keels over in shock*) and the uncountably large online scan and translate community, we're spoiled for choice. And this is where the rest of my life has vanished...
Graphic Novels: Samurai Deeper Kyo/X-1999/Hot Gimmick/Ruruni Kenshin/Fruits Basket/Angel Sanctuary/Hana Kimi/DN-Angel/Alice 19th/Juvenile Orion/IWGP/Banana Fish. Am also still reading I'll in Japanese (someone translate this dammit!) because it's so so pretty, and has basketball, and pretty boys and nice drawings of trainers (satisfying my sneaker/training fetish) Looking back over the list, there's a rather large number of shoujo titles in there...I read 'em for the angst, honest! ... (and the pretty boys)
Scanlations: *deep breath* Naruto/Fullmetal Alchemist/Addicted to Curry/Bleach/Aishiteruze Baby/Vulgar Ghost Daydream/GANTZ/Gokusen/Midori no Hibi/Parfait Tic/Spiral/Tenjou Tenge/MAR/Peace Maker Kurogane/Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle/XXXholic/Death Note/Lilim Kiss...and that's not mentioning all the Yaoi and Shounen Ai one-shots and short series. And the doujinshi...*groan*. Somebody stop me.

What else. Games? Who's got the time? Joe gave me a very self serving birthday present - the full, all the expansion packs as well, version of Final Fantasy XI, hoping to tempt me into the dangerous world of online gaming with an old friend I've havn't seen for a while (oh Final Fantasy series, what happened to you? Why was FFX so bad?) Must. resist. online. gaming. Or. win. lottery. so. don't. have. to work. Yes. Am still trying to get the time to finish off Wild Arms 3/Disgaia/Onimusha Tactics/Fire Emblem/Gundam Seed RPG and F-Zero GP. So he may be waiting some time. (and let's not mention the copy of Doom 3 that's glaring balefully at me from it's shelf...)

So. When you wonder why you never see me down the pub, and I often forget to call you for months at a time? See list above. ;-)

At some later point, I'll go into detail about some of the things in the lists above. I like to share.

And next entry, I'll try not to use so damn many ellipses...
  • Current Music
    James Brown - Sex Machine

Loooooooooong time...

'Cos I'm lazy. 'Cos there doesn't seem to be too much good fic around, and even if there was, I'm too busy to read it. 'Cos all my shows have been cancelled, and I'm underwhelmed by the new crop...(apart from Everwood. That's cute.) But I thought I should post something here, if only to keep the blog alive. So, here's two fics that pay homage to the best Buffy episode ever - I refer of course, to the musical episode.

What was really happening during the episode - starring my faves, the evil Trio. Now reduced to a mono...if only Andrew had transferred ove to Angel instead of Spike.

And this little Harry Potter musical interlude ain't half bad either...

And I'm sorry for all the ellipses.

One Ring. But Who Gets It?

See, this is what I dig about fanfic. I'm a big fan of the Alternate Universe storyline, a sucker for the 'What If?' type of story, so the One Ring story challenge is right up my alley. What if Frodo had lost the ring? What if Boromir managed to snatch it? What if Galadriel couldn't resist the lure? Surprisingly, pretty much every entry in the challenge is a cracker - stories cover a wide range of characters, from the obvious to the obscure (Rosie Cotton stories anyone?)The stories are strange and haunting, eerily beautiful, perfect short little forays into paths untrod. Mmmm. Big fun - go read.
  • Current Mood
    busy busy

Wibble on Baybee!

Found 'exanimate' in the LJ moods list. Wow. I'm not really feeling exanimate, I just thought it was a lovely word. And the definitions - very classical.
\Ex*an"i*mate\, a. [L. exanimatus, p. p. of exanimare to deprive of life or spirit; ex out + anima air, breath, life, spirit.] 1. Lifeless; dead. [R.] ``Carcasses exanimate.'' --Spenser.
2. Destitute of animation; spiritless; disheartened. [R.] ``Pale . . . wretch, exanimate by love.'' --Thomson.

Anyhoo, enough. Here's two little humour fics from the world o' Harry Potter. There's some surprising HP fic around - tiny little gems of moments, exploring the darkness inherent under the boarding school/whimsy front; long (and sometimes long-winded) efforts to fill up the time 'til Rowling produces that bloody Book 5; a whole heck of a lot of frankly disturbing slash (I never want to read another Harry/Dumbledore as long as I live) and some wonderfully saucy slash :-),some great epics, and some wonderfully observed short glimpses into characters. The following two stories are neither of these.

Clam Chowder-The Ultimate Harry Potter Cliche Catalogue
Every HP fanfic ever in a silly little tale that made me snort milk up my nose. Good primer for the fandom - covers about every fanfic ever written I should think. (On the same tip, this little roundup of fanfic cliches covers all the other genres.)

Liz Barr - Lord Vodkamort
From the author's summary - 'Sex! Alcohol! Sporks! The adventures of an intrepid team of Hogsmeade sharehouse residents as they battle carnivorous wardrobes, inter-dimensional showers and boldly drink what no one has drunk before!'
God, this was funny. And so possible - after all, what do you do after you've saved the world? I too, would probably drink vodka.

Go. Read.
  • Current Music
    Lloyd Cole - Brand New Friend (ah, sweet nostalgia)