Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Old Newfound Appreciation for JRock and the Like

Quite some time ago I asked a few friends for recommendations to Jrock. See, I was (and still am) learning Japanese and I thought immersing myself in the music would help seeing as music was a great teacher when it came to English. Well, back then I listened to a few of it, liked some of it, but then dropped Japanese due to lack of time....until recently. My appreciation for Jrock is back with a vengeance and bigger than ever. Here are some artists I think you should know if you want to dive into the world of Jrock.

Dir En Grey

Chances are you've heard these guys mentioned somewhere. They're doing a really good job of infiltrating the American market; they've toured with American rock groups such as Korn and their last two albums are available from Hot Topic, iTunes, and some other retailers. "Saku" seems to be a fan favourite but mine is, hands down, "Kodou." The earth-shattering screams near the end just do it for me.




One of my favourite bands in the world. These guys aren't very well known here in the USA but they should be. I think a few people will be turned off by their looks; they are visual kei. Don't be put off by the lipstick because these guys rock as well as anyone else. They have an extensive catalogue so you're sure to find an song you'll like from them. It was hard for me to pick a sample since I think a lot of their songs are wonderful and different from one another.

(Gianism Shichi)

Star [K]night (live)

Orange Range

Now for something a little different. Orange Range (orengi rengi) is the kickass band that performs "Asterisk", the first opening to the anime Bleach. That's where I first heard of them and that's how I got into them. The interesting thing about OR is that they have three volcalists, one for each range. This makes their harmonies a joy to listen to. Some people catagorize them as a Jrap band; I just think they're crazy.


Ika Summer

Maximum The Hormone

I actually don't know much about this band or like a lot of the music but they have the coolest transition from pop to hard I have heard in one song. Watch "Koi no Megalover" just for that.

Koi No Megalover

Online Videos by

End of Part 1. The next part will be writen up and posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My baby, Poco

I took my doggie to the vet for what was supposed to be a simple check-up and nail trim. Instead I got news that Poco was going blind, had an ear infection and allergies. I was crushed. How did I not notice all of that?? Yes his ears seemed slightly red and his eyes would get a bit dirty but people assured me it was normal for a Shih Tzu since he has long hair that covers his eyes.

My poor baby. He'll be okay but I need to give him five different medicines two times a day. It's not a problem because I'd do anything for Poco but I'm sad. I feel like a bad mother. And it is my fault and I know that, besides the usual hugs and what not, I have not been taking care of him like I used to. Before I had the time to spend an hour a day checking him over, brushing his hair, trimming his nails, etc. I'm going to spend more time with him from now on. That's my promise.

He seems alright. He's playing with a toy and looks as happy as ever. I'm just taking this really hard. All my other projects are now on hold until I get into the routine of all this.

One day at a time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Spongebob Sort Of Update.

So, as if I didn't have enough projects to do, I added one more. I'm going to spruce up the utility room. It's in my bedroom and, while it's a finished room, it's grey and just drab. So I bought Spongebob Wall Appliqués and a roll of Spongebob Wall Border. And no I didn't pay that much for that stuff.

The first thing to do is look for any holes or anything I need to sand down and repair on the walls. Then I'll add a nice ocean blue paint to the walls and make the inside of the shelves a nice yellow for accent. Then I'll put up the border and appliqués. I think it'll make the utility fun. I might even smile while doing laundry.

The items for SAL have been ordered and are taking forever to get here. *Taps fingers impatiently*

Yesterday was a very tiring day. I went food shopping...and it took six hours. $500 later I have enough food to feed a few armies. If I am careful this should last a month. I'll be making a menu so we stick to it and make the food last as long as possible. Now I need to go make a huge batch of sofrito to freeze.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Fuck Yeah! (Or Comics Are Love)

See that? That's Claudio Sanchez's signature. Fuck. Yes.

I had a beautiful day. If you live in the Tampa Bay area go check out Emerald City Comics and Collectibles. They have two locations, one in Clearwater and one in Seminole (addresses and maps located on website). I trekked to the one in Seminole today.

It wasn't too long of a drive on paper but traffic made it icky and it was a muggy day and I really should have taken more water.

Anyway, the whole point was to track down some copies of The Amory Wars so I could give away to some fans; see, I want to support this comic as much as possible and supporting it means buying as many copies as I can. I don't really need three sets of the series but you do what you can, right? Anyway, the staff is Emerald City is boss. They know their comics, they're friendly, they have free subscriber services, and I never felt like a total n00b, even though I am. They even listened to my suggestions on what to bring in (Deathnote, here we go!). Did I mention the stores have an amazing selection? This is just Iron Man and the beginning of the 'J' section.
Imagine my surprise when the guy at the front register said "Oh hey, Claudio shops here from time to time. We have autographed copies." I melted and told him to ring one up without a second thought. It's the variant cover too (see the very first picture). I'm peachy-motherfucking-keen right now, people.

I wish I could have stopped with one (or three comics) but I ended up buying a whole lot more.

Yes, that's JTHM and Ranma 1/2. Hey, it's not everyday a girl drives two towns over to buy comics; I stocked up. The really really cool part is that they have a bargain box next to the register and you get free comics for every X amount of money you spend. I'm not going to even mention how much money I dropped on these comics, I'll just say I got the bottom twelve (12) free. This is the part I hide my head in shame over. I definitely need more shelving in my room.

Oh before I forget, I saw this and I just had to stop the car to take a picture. It's a replica of a statue right next to a sewing store and a no parking sign. Brilliant.

Until next time <3 Jess

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Shopping, Writing, And The Reason Cutting Ties Is So Goddamn Freeing

Today was such a pleasant day. One of those days I remembered there is more to life than finishing the pot roast by six pee-em sharp and making sure the silverware is shiny. I went for a ride today in a really crappy Ford and found pieces of myself scattered along HWY 19: I got my bedroom set from that store, I got lost at the next exit once, I used to take that bus, there's that crappy mexican place and the dumpster I once threw up in...Ah, so that's where I've been.

I went to Borders. Who knew salvation could be found in an overpriced chain bookstore? I found it in the glossy map section; laminated oversized illustrated maps that were cleary thought up to overstimulate the mind and cause children to have seizures right in the middle of social studies class. No matter, I picked the NYC one up anyway and found myself staring. The setting of the story of my life captured in a tacky 2D placemat complete with outdated drawings of the World trade Center towering over the streets. Underneath a caption, "As of September 10th 2001. See editor's note."

"Well, that should be fixed." I didn't turn around to greet the stranger, just nodded and pointed next to Yankee Stadium. "I used to live there," I said. He made a clicking sound with his tongue. "The Bronx. huh. Well, what are you doing?"
This time I turned around and raised an eyebrow. "What are you doing here, I meant." "Oh," I said, putting the map back on it's rack. "I don't know." He nodded and walked away. I went to the writing section and grabbed a dictionary and a book on common grammar mistakes. I almost grabbed a book on fleshing on characters but I'll save that for the library.

All in all I bought more books than I care to mention, more books than I honestly can afford but that's okay. What could be better than losing yourself in fiction after finding yourself in a bookstore?

Dinner was taken in at a good Mexican restaurant. Mmm jalapenos and some serious hot sauce. Three cheers for the inevitable 2am tummy cramps!

As for cutting ties...well, I did. It wasn't to be bitchy or make some kind of point, I just needed to get away from a constant source of negativity and whining. It hasn't been very long but the effects on my psyche are beginning to show themselves and I'm pleased. Sometimes when people act like children you have to pick your battles; this time I chose to just walk away. It was not worth it in any shape or form. Maybe I just need a breather but I'm not going to focus on it other than to write this blip. I do intend to keep in touch with people, though. Somehow...*strokes chin*

Anyhoo, I'm off to spend more plastic money and buy some supplies for SAL's enclosure. I'll be posting about that again soon. I'm also considering turning half of my bedroom into a mural. Yes? No? Maybe so? While searching for artistic inspiration maybe I'll get a story idea for the newest Edit Red challenge. I hope so.

Until next time <3

Monday, October 01, 2007

Building an Enclosure for SAL, Part I

Sal, love of my life, is my Eastern Box Turtle. She was found by my father in the streets of NYC apparently abandoned by some dipshit and possibly attacked by a dog. She was injured, hungry, and sick. Tons of reading, veterinarian visits, and money (aye) later, my little girl is walking fine, eating like a hog, and a beloved member of the family.

SAL used to be kept in a large enclosure inside the house. That didn't work for my little escape artist. After months of fighting her about it, we finally decided to just let the little brat be free and roam the house like she owns it. Hence why in the picture above she is chillin' on the kitchen floor.

However, I think it's time to try the whole enclosure thing again. Now, I don't want to necessarily keep her confined; I think she enjoys the exercise and stimulation she receives from wondering around But I also think she needs some hidey-holes, something to burrow in and a much wider dish of shallow water than she has now. So this is where my craftiness (and insanity) come in. Using highly advanced graphic tools (MS paint) I've sketched out how to turn a large Rubbermaid tote into a nice get away spot for SAL.

So the picture itself is not that great but here's my quick explanation: On the floor of the habitat will be reptile carpet cut and fitted to size. Attached on the left hand side of the container will be a UV light with a sunning rock placed several inches underneath. Right near the middle I want a large shallow pool so SAL can bathe herself; she's not a swimmer whatsoever so it only needs to be deep enough that she can waddle in and out of. Because stagnant water is home to all sorts of insects and bacteria I'm looking into something to keep the water moving. A small fountain, bubbler or something here would work. If not, I guess I'll change the water twice daily (I do that already). Directly opposite of that will be a food plate. This needs to be large enough to accommodate the fresh fruits and veggies as well as the canned food and supplements she receives.

On the other side of the habitat I'll lay down a shallow pan filled with substrate. I think I wrote "mulch" in the picture; don't worry, I'm not going to run to home depot and buy bark that's been spray painted red. This is more of what I had in mind. The pan underneath will be to ease changing the moss often. Over part of the moss will be a cover SAL can hide under when she doesn't wish to address her adoring fans.

I think that's pretty much it. Of course I'll regulate the humidity and temperature and drill a few holes in the container to promote some airflow. Hopefully SAL will give her new a home a thumbs up and not sniff in disappointment.

Once I get all this stuff, I'll make another post showing the process and finished product.

I'm excited. :)