Obligatory Post AX Post

In reality, there isn’t much for me to talk about… I didn’t do much this year, so I’ll just be sharing my spoil of war, which still isn’t much because I’m on a tight budget this year.

Manga
-Vagabound 5-12. I have the first 4 volumes in Chinese, actually, and that got me insterested in buying the rest. $9×8 = $72.
-AzuDai 1-4 (translated by ADV). As much as the translator tries, most of the humor is lost. It is so much more fun to read the original Japanese text even if all you can do is to read the words out loud. $7×4 = 28.

Books
-How to Draw Anime & Game Characters 1. Yes, I owned a copy of it… so whoever is borrowing the book right now, keep it. It’s a gift. $19.
-How to Draw Manga vol. 8, “Super Basics”. A heavy volume covering every aspect of drawing briefly. It’ll probably make a good textbook if I’m teaching manga drawing again. $15.

After much consideration, I’ve decided not to buy any artbook this year. I didn’t find any for the series I’d like to own artbooks for (Gunslinger Girl, Midori no Hibi, Peace Maker Kurogane). No wall scrolls for those series either. And this year, I didn’t get lucky and find any surprisingly cute yet obscure art books like the Angelic Serenade artbook last year.

Software (you heard it right)
-Deleter ComicWorks… an inking/toning software. It costs $100, but just considering that it packs with more than 200 screentones (each costing more than a dollar), the software is already worth the cover price. I’ll be messing around with it for the next few days and show you what I can come up with.

Total Spending: $72+28+19+15+100 = $234. Still a lot, but that’s half as much as I’ve spent last year.

I want to staff next year. Being a regular attendee is so f*ing boring now ;_;

Time Warps.

This seems to be a recurring dream that I keep having after I graduated.

If anyone had seen me in person, they’d know that I have a keychain watch that used to hang from my belt. In my dream, the watch becomes magical – it seems to store different timelines, so you’d be able to see different dates and different times when you switch modes on the watch. When you go to sleep in a different time and go to sleep with the watch in your hand, you’ll wake up in a different time line – so that it’s the same world, but maybe you’ve done more or less things than the last world you’re in. So I’d find myself jumping back and forth – making mistakes, and trying to fix it a second time, and when I make another mistake, jump back to face the consequences of another time line…

This would make a lot of sense scientifically if you believe that time is linear and only travels in one directional axis naturally.

But to bind that closer to reality, I’m facing a similar predicament with the choices that I have right now. When you graduate, you find yourself floating in the middle of the ocean. You know where you’ve started and you know the destination, but it’s just water water everywhere – every path seems viable and yet every path takes something away from you. I find myself feeling enthusiastic about one way to break into the game industry – and then, hearing some bad news about it, I shrink away from it and look somewhere else.

In other news, I’m actually quite busy dispite my resistance to do anything at all. My two part time jobs are still there, one had already taken off with a cell phone/GPS/DB programming project, and the other pending, but will begin soon (if the CEO isn’t lying to me, anyway).

For entertainment, I’ve added Frag.Ops along with Alien Swarm to my list of “great UT2004 mods to play”. In addition, I bought a copy of Silent Storm, which is a X-com esque turn based strategy game set during WWII, with ragdoll physics and a fully destructable enviroment (want to lay a surprise attack on some Nazi a floor below you? Throw a grenade to blow the floor up!). Now that I know George is not living three states and a half away from my home, getting Champions of Norrath isn’t such a bad option either, since its price finally dropped.

I went to the premire of both Ferenheit 9/11 and Spiderman 2, the former by myself and the latter with George and Ann. Having purchased and gone through the Bowling for Columbine DVD along with 2 hours of extra materials for the DVD, I was a little excited to see Ferenheit 9/11 and I feel sufficiently rewarded. Sure, it’s a documentry in its loosest sense (in that it records a series of factual historic events), but it makes you laugh, makes you cry, and most important of all, makes you angry and makes you think. Perhaps what’s most tragic about the film is that everything is real and is happening right now – 9/11, all the ridiculous homeland security measures, and a war fought for all the wrong reasons… if you already believe that Bush is the *next* best thing God sent to America, then by all means, skip this movie… but everyone else should watch it, if not for the ironically entertaining myths of our time.

As for Spider-man 2, my feelings are more mixed… perhaps it’s my “this movie is not going the way I want it to be” syndrome again, but some of the plot decisions just make me feel a little dubious. So without spoiling the movie, here’s a few points that I’d like to bring forward:

1) Peter Parker is taking off his mask way too much… and seems to enjoy it for some reason. It really takes away the drama of keeping and ultimately revealing his secret identity to the people that matters.
2) Watch for the woman with the violin. That scene is hilarious.
3) Same hilarity ensues when Spiderman is stuck on the elevator with an average joe.