redwoodalchan: (pic#5898571)
 This past Christmas I listened to tons of Iron Maiden. Then I watched This is Spinal Tap with my family. On Christmas Eve my family and I went to see a play called, well, "The Play That Goes Wrong," which is probably the funniest play I've seen since "Spamalot" or "The Drowsy Chaperone" and is basically what it sounds like.

I've noticed that Iron Maiden seems to be taking the place in my heart that has for the longest time been occupied by anime. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Hopefully I'll keep being into anime for at least the remainder of the school year, especially since I hope to give more panel presentations at cons (I had some good, long thoughts about Masao Murasako and Clair Leonelli earlier today, so there's some hope). I'm not sure what I'll do with my Iron Maiden CD's when I get back to the States. I might play some of them when I get wistful about England, and my favorite one, "The Number of the Beast," I might play more regularly. I might keep "Somewhere in Time" in my car to play for my friends, since that's the only one I feel comfortable sharing. I think I may end up putting "Dance of Death" and AMOLAD into cold storage until my next trip to England, though, as they're just so heavy I don't know how much more of them I can take.

Today my dad, my sister and I went on the London Eye, and then I spent the next few hours exploring a carnival nearby until it came time to go see the third Hobbit movie in IMAX 3D. Super cool. I was interested in how they basically made Thorin a tragic character, something I remember him not at all being in the books.

(And now I'm wondering what Cori Falls's reaction would be. Did she ever comment on The Hobbit, or only LOTR?)

Tomorrow we're going to see a Shakespeare play, and it'll be an all-day thing. I'm so excited.
redwoodalchan: (pic#7834867)
 FINALLY I have a "Xam'd: Lost Memories" themed icon! Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, my absolute favorite time of the whole entire year!

And it's got cute little cuddly-wuddly Furuichi on it, of course (it's wrong that I relate to him) XD
redwoodalchan: (pic#5898571)
 Today is the twenty-first day/third week of Omer.

It's also Yom Ha'Atzmaut, aka Israeli Independence Day! Woohoo!

redwoodalchan: Artwork lifted from Pokemon wiki; character belongs to Pokemon (pic#4865891)
All the usual family friends came over, and one of my sister's friends from school came over too, and we had so much fun! We had tons of food: my mother made soup, my father made pasta, my sister made chicken wings, and I made pizza. We also each made a dessert. I made some whoopie pies flavored with pistachio and cardamon with rosewater cream filling, and they were so good one of my mother's friends asked if she could take me home with her so I could make them for her again. And when we weren't eating all the young people went into the basement and watched so bad it's good Barbie movies, just like we always do.

It was just. So. Much. Fun. And now it's over and I'm super tired. And I ate way too much. But it was worth it.
redwoodalchan: (pic#4920144)
May 2014 be the best year yet.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
I still remember my first encounter with this movie. I don't think I was any older than nine or ten (maybe eleven at the very, very most). My parents decided that it would be a good movie to watch with my sister and me to celebrate Chanukkah. I remember we got about 10-15 minutes in before I became so disgusted with it that I went and turned the TV off.
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Baccano!" (pic#5236477)
I went to visit my grandfather in New York City, just like usual. My parents and sister were there too (though my sister had to fly all the way from Berkeley, where she goes to college). I'm so thankful to have such a great family.

Also, I ate way too much. As you do.
redwoodalchan: Artwork lifted from Pokemon wiki; character belongs to Pokemon (pic#4865891)
 This one was a little worse than usual because I've been battling a cold and at one point began to go faint from low blood sugar. But I'm alright now (and my cold's feeling better too).

I just love the synagogue in Geneva. Everyone's so nice.

Next up: Sukkot!
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah! I'm so happy!

I really miss the synagogue I used to go to back when I was in Troy, though. I've gone to services with the Geneva synagogue (which is right across the street from where I'm living for the year) several times now, including for tonight's service, and everyone's really nice...but it's just not the same somehow :,(  I guess it remains to be seen if that will change once I've spent all the holidays with them at least once.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
The other anime series I checked out this holiday season was “Princess Tutu.” Now, I'd heard great things about “Princess Tutu” from my friends before I started watching it, and I was intrigued by the focus on storytelling in the grand scheme of the plot. Now that I've watched it, I have to say, it lives up to the hype.

WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS )

 

redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So, there are a few resolutions I made for this New Year. Here they are:

1) Actually friggin' FINISH my long fanfics about my favorite Pokemon characters
2) Actually friggin' do any other creative projects I've had in the works for awhile now
3) Actually friggin' decide how to best participate in the environmental movement
4) Draft my perfect Anime Calendar and track down all anime in it to add to my collection
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 Sooo... in honor of the winter holidays this year I've decided to watch three anime between now and New Year's: "Rozen Maiden," "Princess Tutu," and the Satoshi Kon movie Tokyo Godfathers. Expect to see more commentary on them in the future.
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Baccano!" (pic#5236477)
 So... since it's the holiday season and all I thought I'd jump on the gift-giving bandwagon. The environmental-protection organization Defenders of Wildlife is selling wildlife adoptions, and all proceeds go to causes to help animals. If you give me your name and address I'll get one for you and you'll get a cute little stuffed toy of your choice out of it. Comments are screened.

The animals you can adopt are as follows:

See list of animals )
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)

So, now that I've gotten back from the (belated) Halloween party at my old martial-arts school, I think it's finally time to bring this year's Halloween festivities to a close. So I'll just end by sharing my final thoughts here.

Read my final thoughts on Halloween )

So, that's the note on which I end Halloween this year, I guess. It's time to put away the Halloween decorations and costumes, roll up my sleeves, and face what the rest of the year will bring. Here's hoping that Halloween as we know it is still around next year.

Well, at least I still have the Pokemon holiday fic exchange to cheer myself up.

redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)

Three to four years ago now, I first started watching episodes of the original “Neon Genesis Evangelion” series. Less than two years ago now, I attended an Anime Boston panel where I got to meet cast members of the “Evangelion” remakes coming out, including Spike Spencer (Shinji), Brina Palencia (Rei), Trina Nishimura (Mari), and J. Michael Tatum (Kaji). However, it was just this October that I finally got around to picking up copies of the remakes currently available on DVD. Even now, watching the DVD's really brings back the excitement and wonder I experienced when I first discovered the original series as an older teenage girl.

 

Read on (WARNING: spoilers of original  )

 

 

redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)

Holy crap, this got long!

Aah, “Shiki,” how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that “Shiki” is probably my favorite horror anime ever, and I've seen a lot of horror anime in my time, including such heavy-hitters as “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” “Elfen Lied,” and “Hellsing” (the original series, anyway). So, it was a little hard for me to decide how to write this without giving in to the temptation to gush all over its face, but I'll do my best.

Additionally, there's really no way to discuss the plot or characters of the story without giving it away, so you were warned.

See the rest (WARNING: SPOILERS!!) )

Go on; you know you want to watch it!

redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)

I'd just like to preface this by relating a bit of background here. Since Otakon 2011, which I volunteered at, I knew that the dark magical girl show “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” existed and was coming to the States. This past summer, at Otakon 2012, I went to a celebratory panel with Christine Marie Cabanos, Sarah Williams, and Lauren Landa, who provide the English voices of Madoka, Sayaka, and Kyoko, respectively. And although I hadn't actually started watching “Madoka Magica” at that point, I had such a great time at the panel and autograph session (where I was ecstatic to have Lauren Landa say two whole sentences to me that didn't have to do with the show) that I decided I just had to watch “Madoka Magica” this very Halloween.

Fortunately, “Madoka Magica” turned out to be fairly short, which meant it was easy to fit in—and, if anything, I found myself having to pace my viewings of it so that I wouldn't finish the entire thing in a single night (then “Shiki” came along...). This is a good show. It's compelling, it draws you in, and it really makes you feel for all the various characters. I'm not sure if I'd say it's quite as good as “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” or even that it's as groundbreaking as it's been made out to be—though more on that later. But there's a lot it does well.

WARNING: There's really no way to talk about the plot of “Madoka” without giving away the story, so if you haven't seen it yet (and you want to be surprised) DO NOT READ ON!!

SPOILERS AHEAD )

 

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