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Got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, but rather than thinking about it, I’d like to do a little reflecting.

Reading week went by so fast. Spent a lot of it playing league, sleeping, eating, and generally ignoring the whole ‘reading’ bit.

Went to the ROM with Alina last Tuesday. It felt really good to get lost in history, art, and really cool objects. I *love* dinosaurs. It’s fascinating to think about what the earth would be like if they never went extinct. Of course, we probably wouldn’t be around if so, but still. Dinosaurs. ❤

Well at least that’s one destination off my list. 🙂

Kind of wish I had done more studying during the break, but I also understand myself enough to know that it’s almost impossible to find myself doing work when I don’t have to be doing work.

Bad habit. Working on it. Kind of.

If I do badly on tomorrow’s assignment, I’ve got no one to blame but myself. Meh. I can live with that.

Found myself constantly refreshing the information page for the internship I really want for this summer. Got worried they weren’t going to be having any this year when I checked the interviewing period for last year. Sent an email to the person in charge and luckily, they responded with an indication that it will be happening this year. I know it’s bad practice to be placing all my bets on this one opportunity, but I really didn’t want to be doing research this summer. Worse comes to worse, I’ll go home for two months and take studying for my MCAT retake seriously.

Starting watching anime again recently – though I’ve been trying hard to stay away from ongoing series (they really take a toll on me via the constant anticipation and checking for new episodes). Did start watching Erased (boku dake ga inai machi). Liking it so far. Really hoping for the happy ending for the protagonist – he really deserves one. Will write my thoughts on the anime when it completes (only 5 more episodes according to the wiki).

Recently finished Gate (meh, too happy) and Mirai Nikki (main protagonist too cringefully stupid) and working on Another (scary, but interesting).

Also picked up Shingeki no Kyoujin (the manga) and The Gamer (the web series, tons of fun to read). The Attack on Titan plotline is so complicated that sometimes I get confused, but reading people’s theories on it have got me thinking and really wanting to read more. Apparently the author had decided to change his ending (which apparently was all the humans dying or something to that effect) since it was too depressing and unsatisfying to the readers. Will be interesting to see what he has decided to do in place of that.

I feel my inner otaku emerging after months of not really paying it much attention (and indulging in korean dramas in its place). Sometimes I feel like I should get some hobbies that don’t involve in lying in bed in front of a computer screen. Other times I feel like I should just be me.

Maybe I should find a balance. But that’s never easy. Will try anyway.

Oh. One more thing.

>Insert reminder here to write about some of the games I’ve really enjoyed over the past year.

Will probably do it after I finish Danganronpa so I can lump all my gaming reflections together.

Nothing makes me happier than finishing a really satisfying video game and I’d really like to get some of those thoughts down so I can look back on it years later as a good dose of happy nostalgia.

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110

So I’m officially the Treasurer for the CSU (Chemistry Student Union). Yay. That NY resolution is achieved. So I can cross another one off the list. 🙂

No one was running against me, so I automatically got the position. Which is both a relief as it meant I didn’t need to be anxious about public speaking and a disappointment at the same time as it means there were fewer people running this year. There was still a fair number of people there listening to speeches and running for other positions so it means we weren’t entirely unsuccessful this year. Maybe we just chose a bad time for the elections. Hmm.

I’ve been feeling really moody lately. Agitated. Irritated over little things. Part of me believes it is due to the fact that my period is coming around soon (it should have been here today…?). Another part of me believes it’s another part of a mental disorder I may have. A third part thinks that it’s just normal. Moods change constantly – it doesn’t necessarily have to mean a thing (could just be a shift in hormones, the weather, the air). But it’s been a good three days in which I’ve been feeling like this. At least I’m not sleeping for abnormal periods of time anymore. My internal clock’s working a bit better (meaning I’m definitely not depressed).

Spring is finally here. It was raining today. Felt bittersweet. Back home, it’d be like any other day. Here, it’s a rare occurrence and one that I Don’t particularly mind. It’s relaxing. Listening to the sound of the rain against the bus windows. Against the pavement. Against the roof above your head. Which is probably why I’m writing this entry (it’s not raining anymore, but the rain does get me into a writing mood).

On a different note, one I haven’t touched on in a while…I finished reading Liar Game. It was, for the longest time, my favourite manga of all time. It touched my psyche and intellectual interest in a way that no other manga ever had. I say, it was, because the ending left me quite unsatisfied. I was necessarily unsatisfied with how it ended, but rather how rushed it was. It got me thinking, “I waited 5 years for the manga to finish, for this?” The last arc was disappointing and lacked the same amount of finesse that Kaitani Shinobu-sensei brought to the other arcs. I understand that sometimes series are rushed to a finish (due to loss of fan base or pressure from the publishing company), but there was so much potential in the manga. I loved it so much that I guess I would’ve been unhappy with anything less than perfect – it was an okay end. Not the worst possible way to end it, but it wasn’t done well. Ugh. Thinking of all the series I abandoned five years ago and that are completed now and are waiting for me to finish, I’m feeling anxious. I don’t want to be disappointed again. I think the main one I’m concerned about is Dengeki Daisy. Another manga that blew me away six years ago. I need to finish it.

To be perfectly honest, my compulsion towards wasting away my time on the computer doesn’t seem very healthy. I spend a ridiculous amount of time playing video games, reading manga, and now I’ve proceeded to an increased interest in watching TV shows (House, Survivor, Masterchef). I think I need to let go of everything for a while. Not necessarily right at this moment, but I think I need to pick a week for which I don’t touch any of these things. Live outside the computer screen for a while. I think I’ll start when my exams begin. See how it goes. Lessen my addictive nature because I know I am biologically prone to addictions (especially gaming ones).

I was all over the place with this entry.

But it feels right to me.

It feels like me.

Jumbled, erratic, contemplating, reflective.

Yeah.

I should get going.

28 – The Bookworm Part of Me

When I was younger, I used to look upon novels as my best friends – my portals to different worlds. I didn’t like the world I saw around me. The books offered me an escape. A different reality. In books, I could reinvent myself – become a character of some sketched out fantasy, some adventurer of a distant land. I could slay dragons, chant spells, or simply enjoy a walk along the river alongside a lovable companion of some nature.

I ravaged my elementary school library. Literally. I read anything. If it had words in it, it was mine to read.

I was a lover of the I Spy series, I liked to spend my lunchtimes in the library just looking for objects among the pictures. A friend of mine would always accompany me. I miss her. We don’t talk much anymore. I flinch a little when I see her running by in the high school hallways. We used to be so close.

I read the typical elementary level series such as the Magic Tree House, The Series of Unfortunate Events, How to Train Your DragonDr. Seuss, Harry Potter, et cetera, et cetera. I enjoyed them and they kept me company through summers of idleness – summers when I didn’t do much but sit around at home. I was never really active with my friends.

There was this one phase in grade five, I believe, when I became completely obsessed with animals and nonfiction. That year, I indulged myself in biology – picking up facts about animals from a couple dozen of nonfiction books. I squealed on and on about Emperor Penguins. And when we were forced to watch March of the Penguins, I was one of the few who was genuinely engulfed in the film. A good documentary, it is. Completely captivating.

I bought myself a little encloypedia of animals around the world. I still reference it to date. I adored dolphins – knew every single thing there was to know about them. Not that I remember much now. I always liked how Killer Whales weren’t really whales but actually dolphins called Orcas. Everyone else called them whales – I knew in my heart they were dolphins. Not that they’re not from the same family anyhow. I remember reading a couple of books on amphibians and reptiles – learned a little, recited a lot, and forgot it all now. I was also particularly fond of horses and bunnies. I liked to draw them in my free time. I can still pull off a pretty good sketch of either now.

In grade 6, I discovered the author love of my life: Shannon Hale. When I first picked up The Goose Girl, I figured it’d be like any other book I’ve ever read. I was, of course, severely wrong. The book captivated me – the female protagonist posessed so many characteristics I could relate to, so many situations I could really feel the emotions to. I fell in love with the book, recommending it blindly to anyone. Not that anyone else really got the same experience. I idolize her. She became the inspiration that propelled me to write fiction, to indulge in fantasy. And so I did. In the same year, I discovered Stravaganza – another series that blew me away. I fell in love with the genre of fantasy. Of alternate worlds.

Finally in grade 7, I floated back down to Earth. I normalized myself. Stopped reading as much and worked harder to fit in. I kind of regret doing that now because slowly it caused my tendency to read to just drift away. In grade 8, I discovered manga. Graphic novels. V for Vendetta awoke a love of comics for me. Manga like Fruits Basket enticed me. I left the world of the written word for the word of graphics. I’ve never really gotten myself back into a state of adoration for reading. I’ll try again this summer. See what happens.

At the moment, I am very much infatuated with Margaret Atwood after enjoying The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake – two lovely books that brought out my love for dystopia. I now focus a lot of my writing and thoughts into that genre though I’m not sure if this is for the better or for the worse. I am also very much in admiration for Ellen Hopkins and her poetic style of novelling. Crank brought in a whole new world for me. Identical being my favourite. I still read a lot of manga, being a total introverted otaku at times seems to suit my soul. I’ve read over a thousand manga in the past four years.

People change. And nothing, nothing can change that fact. I’ve happened to change a lot over the years and reflecting on the past like I have in this entry helps me remember and rediscover myself. I love nostalgia. In fact, I’m addicted to the sensation. Memories…are more than just memories to me.

So kind adventurer who dared to read till the end of this post, do share with me your own story. Flood me with nostalgia – tell me about your own struggles with the written word or the graphic world or any another world you wish to discuss. I’m listening.

 

 

—tumblr: books, books, and more books.

10 – Recommend me some blogs! :)

As the title says, I’m looking for more blogs to look at and read. Sure, I love writing, but there’s something about reading that I love just as much. I’m also an avid fan of art, photography, anime&manga, gaming, and anything cute. I love poetry (in case you haven’t noticed).

I may be doing as a way to relieve my own self-conceitedness, but I honestly do enjoy looking at other blogs. I love commenting oh so much. It may seem a little shallow to just be openly asking for something to read instead of taking the time to do it myself, but I value the opinions of other bloggers. I really do.

Oh my. I’m just making myself sound worse…

So give me some blogs to read! I find quite a lot on my own, but I want more. 🙂

They can be from anywhere, but preferably from either WordPress, Blogspot, or Tumblr.

Like this post if you want me to look at yours.

Comment below if there’s someone you want me to check out.

If I’m already following you, I’ll make sure to read even more from you.

As always, if you follow me, i’ll follow back. (:

6 – Addictions vs. Obsessions

Addiction
noun
the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. (dictionary.com)

vs.

Obsession
noun
the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

———–

So. How the hell do I know if I’m addicted or just obsessed?

There’s a thin line between addiction and obsession and sometimes I question if I’m really just obsessed over something or if I’m actually addicted. To be an addiction its “cessation causes severe trauma”. How severe does the trauma have to be?

I have been sheltered from tobacco and narcotics my entire life and happy for that. I do not need a physical addiction in addition to whatever mental addictions I may have. Though honestly, it’s taking things too far to say I’m addicted to anything. I feel for people who do have addictions, but I honestly don’t see myself suffering a form of severe trauma if I stop doing something I like.

I suppose the closest thing I have to an addiction is my obsession over the Internet. I feel withdrawal symptoms after days without contact with the online world. At the same time, there are too many other factors that affect this obsession. Being online means I can stay connected with friends better. Being online means accessing my other obsessions. I can easily go on vacation for a month and not worry about the online world. The thing is, the internet is such a powerful medium to communicate with. The only fear I have when leaving it for an extended period of time is that an email or message will be sent to me and it could contain something important. Other than that, I have no problem with stopping internet usage for some time. I rely on it too much to stop it permanently.

Anime/manga. Video games. Poetry. Reading. These are things that I have obsessed over or still do obsess over. They come and go. I can go for months and perhaps even a year without them. I have not suffered any serious symptoms of withdrawal when any one of these activities have stopped in the past. I don’t suppose I will ever experience them.

My heart lurches though.

All the time.

When I lose touch with something I’m obsessed with, I yearn for it. I look for it.

A new video game or MMORPG.

A new book.

Or writing a new poem.

It’s annoying that I do that. It’s annoying that I can’t let go of my obsessions quite so easily.

It doesn’t mean they’re addictions…

——

While I’m on the topic of obsessions, I might as well bring up another problem that I have. Quite possibly an addiction too.

When I get into something – like really into something – I can stay glued to that one activity for hours. Hours with no interruption. No interruption of focus (except perhaps occasionally for food). It can last over twelve hours sometimes. It’s scary that I don’t see the time slip away before me.

This happens with games, with books, with online conversations, with projects, with puzzles, with art, and sometimes even with television.

I can’t explain it.

I’m usually distracted and I like to shift focus a lot.

When I go into one of those “trances”, I lose awareness of all else.

It’s freaking scary coming out of one.

I hate them.

—tumblr: on the edge.

3 – 1000 all-time views so…

Thank you to everyone who has given my blog a look. I love reading comments – good or bad – so please continue to give me feedback if you have something to say. I can’t improve without feedback so I’m happy that people are taking a look at my insignificant little blog.

1000 views! Eeek! I just feel so happy that my blog is interesting enough for people to be reading it. As a celebration of meeting this milestone, I’ll start doing anime, manga, and game reviews starting from today. That section will open up soon enough and I’ll soon be flooding my blog with them. As a side note, I’m not turning this into an otaku blog. Heavens no, that would be horrid. I’ll only be reviewing anime and manga that are worth reading or are so bad and clichéd to the point where I don’t want you to read them. I like to recommend anime and manga that have plots appealing to any audience. As for game reviews, I will be doing the same there. Only games worth playing or are so horrible they aren’t worth playing will be reviewed by myself. If you want me to read, watch, or play something, please recommend me things in that section.

In addition to starting that section,  I’ll post a poem up later today to get my creative juices up and running.

My next goals: 5000 views and 50 followers. Things to look forward to if I do meet these two new goals:

5000 views – I’ll start posting up chapters of my novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo this year. Heh, I’m not expecting to reach this goal any time soon so that’ll give me plenty of time to start editing and finishing off the novel. It goes by the same name as the blog (Stronghold).

50 followers – I’ll start regularly drawing and filling up the Art section of my blog. This could possibly include making AMVs…short films?…and music.

Thank you again to everyone who’s supported me and helped me reach those goals. I’ll be counting on you guys to help me reach next my next goals in the next year or so.

I’ll follow anyone who follows me so if you’re in need of followers, just click that button or simply write a comment on my blog somewhere. If I like your comment, I’ll definitely go and check out your blog. Tumblr links are always welcome. ❤

 

 

 

—tumblr: a slideshow of anime goodies to get you all excited for my reviews…

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Mangas

What are they and why would anyone read them?

They’re comics. Simply put, of course.

I’m not here to explain what they are though. Nor am I here to elaborate on the population of otakus in the world.

I will, however, relate my thoughts.

Naruto - Shounen

Shounen manga. Fighting. That’s what you would expect in the typical shounen manga. A lot of conflict, whether it is physical or mental it doesn’t matter for it’s conflict either way.

Idiocy. Ignore my obvious bias there. I don’t indulge in the shounen genre at all. Perhaps because it’s geared towards young males hence the fact that shounen means ‘boy’ in Japanese.

Naruto is a pretty good example of the shounen genre. I’ve watched part of the anime myself…but I’m not here to talk about anime. No clue who or what Naruto is? Google it. I’ve wasted enough words elaborating on the likes of this genre.

Simply put, I am not a fan.

Never will be.

Constructive opinions are usually preferred. WHY do I resent the shounen genre? When have I ever said I resented it? Don’t assume. I like the shounen genre a lot. Just not in manga form. Watch the animes. Maybe I just don’t have the mindset to imagine all the action that occurs in shounen mangas. I need it animated for it to be real. Or real-ish.

Full Moon Wo Sagashite - Shoujo

Shoujo. A genre I used to obsess over. A part of me deep inside probably still does. Shoujo is “girl” in Japanese. So obviously shoujo is targeted at the female population. There’s nothing wrong with guys reading it – just as there’s nothing wrong with girls reading shounen. It’s a matter of taste. That’s all.

I’d love to keep to my biased little self and promote the shoujo genre in contrast to my calling shounen “idiocy.” I’d have to say shoujo isn’t much better than shounen. In retrospect, only some mangas are genuinely good and not clichéd and unintelligent. An original and touching manga doesn’t appear often in either shounen or shoujo. There’s way too little originality. I’d even go as far as to say that you’ll find more originality in shounen. At least the plot differs (though the personality types and conflicting situations are often repeated.)

Sigh. Where is the good manga? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read shoujo or shounen. They’re both extremely popular genres with good mangas – if you know how to find them. It’s just that they can get tiring after you read quite a bit of them. You begin to notice trends. Notice clichés. Realize that the genre wasn’t what you thought it would be. No genre is.

Etowa -Yaoi

The last genre I’ll cover today is yaoi. There are dozens of other genres I could’ve covered, but I choose this one.

Yaoi is love between two guys. If you dislike homosexuality (which you should still tolerate because there is nothing wrong with being gay), then get out. Run away from this genre.

This genre is where I’ve read some of the best mangas ever. I’m not saying I haven’t read extraordinary mangas in other genres (which I have and quite a lot actually), but yaoi just captivates me. It doesn’t happen often in reality. It’s not accepted by many, the concept of homosexuality I mean,  and yet many read it in graphic form.

It’s strange really.

I love yaoi. It doesn’t have the weak female protagonist who is saved by a perfect male bishie (a ‘hawt’ guy) that shoujo has. Yaoi is shoujo without the idiocy. That’s what I think anyway. Simply take the uke and place a girl in his place. Perfection. Yaoi is for those who are tired of weak female protagonists. I was.

Okay. I suppose I’ll stop promoting yaoi. It’s amazing, but not to the point where I have to glorify it. Sometimes it really isn’t all that good at all. It depends on what and who you read. That’s the same with all genres. You got to pick the good from the bad.

My thoughts have been spoken.

I suppose no one really cares though.

I’m just here to rant to nobody at all.

I love shoujo, shounen, and yaoi. I’d read any of them. I’m simply warning future readers that you may find some mangas to be repetitive. To simply repeat the same typical storyline. It’s good to watch out for the good ones. Shounen usually has fresh ideas. It’s just not my thing to have so much action and so little romance. I like a mix of both. Yeah I know, I’m talking like ‘such a girl’. Well this sexist thing has really got to end too.

I like to contradict myself.

Call me crazy.

I don’t really care. 🙂