Saturday, May 31, 2003

My wallpaper is an Altoids commerical. I wonder if this means I suck. Then again, I like the idea of gothiness. I wouldn't like to actually be a goth, because then I'd have to fit into a dying subculture, but I like the lack of the bright and sunny ideal. I can be bright and sunny on occasion, but don't expect enthusiastic smiles from me when everything's just ok.
Today I bought Life of the Party, and worried about ankle injury. I was going to get Berlin as well, but I was short on cash, so decided to get what would be hardest to get if Fantagraphics went out of buisness, although I really wish I could have gotten Dori Stories, too. Through the anthology Twisted Sisters, I really got to know some female cartoonists work that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to see. While men write very compelling stories, I'm always interested in what the girls are doing, a tendancy that probably dates back to my old Archie obsession. Archie was ok, and Jughead was funny, but my favorites were always Betty and Veronica, best friends forever, and worst enemies for a lifetime. I also in those prepubscent days loved how Betty and Veronica were drawn- it was sexy before I knew what sexy was, and those fashions didn't hurt at all.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Maybe I should buy comics in themes. Like this month is Fantagraphics month- I want Berlin and Life of the Party. Maybe next month will be black comics month. Maybe I'll get Sugar Kat or Days Like This. While it's all well and good to not care about the racial composition of comic books, I want to start supporting a world where blackness is more positive, and it certainly can't be done with me sitting on my duff saying this and that, but never doing anything. Although I'm more of a sayer than a doer, since people are such harsh judges, even if they haven't done anything
Today I walked for an entire hour. It seemed like the entire neighborhood was out, fishing or just sitting in the sun. I just walked past the teen boys talking about fort construction, their fishing poles forgotten, and the little kids who were displaying their fishing prowess to their father. I was nearly ran over by a young mom, pushing a three wheeled baby buggy in front of her, while her children asked her about clouds. Summer�s always the easiest time to walk- people are out in the sun, flowers are blooming, it is freaking hot� but when winter comes, most people prefer the treadmills inside, which is a bit of a problem for the terminally clumsy and un-athletic who fear going to the gym. Yes, they exist, everyone. I know, I�m one of them. To me, nothing is more frightening than going someplace where they don�t appreciate a little healthy variation. It�s like being in the 50s, and being a black commie at the same time. (and yes, the analogy doesn�t match up perfectly.)
A bit of a followup about Fantagraphics, with actual pictures of the president and vice president, who look nothing like I thought they did. (see this for details.)

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Much better. The link is to (supposedly) Jame Joyce's dirty love letters, so there is explicit content.
A sad quote from a BBC article - 'All opinion polls show most Americans are unconcerned about the failure so far to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq'. I am feeling substantial loss of faith in humanity today. I wish there was some way I could reafrim my faith in humanity. I don't mean in that sappy 'inspirational' way, I mean in a way that actually means something. It's all well and good to regurgitate cliches, but quite another to get to the real heart of the matter.
Opps! Maybe Fantagraphic's distributor was 7 Hills, not LPC!
Now Clinton has gone plum crazy. Without term limits, it's too easy for the public to elect the same guy over and over again. With our current system, no matter how much one president screws up, at least the next president can attempt to remedy the damage, but under this system, we'd probably be stuck with some neo conservative president that keeps us back instead of moving us forward. I'm not saying we couldn't have a string of neoconservatives, but at least they'd have different approaches to the same problems. The no consecutive terms is the only good part, but I can just see the same two guys switching off, while I'm not the black helicopters type, I can see how alliances could be made.
Some more coverage on the Fantagraphics story. Gary Groth on the money problems. I always thought that Gary Groth would look like the chubby small comics magazine writer from Box Office Poison, and that Kim Thompson would look like the skinny one with a receding hair line, but long hair all the same. However, I have not ever seen pictures of them, and plus, it's pretty childish of me to speculate on what the publishers look like when they are in need. But it's so fun anyway.
More fallout from LPC's bankruptcy. Fantagraphics (an indie comic publisher- i.e. not capes and tights) is in trouble now. Over the last year or so, Top Shelf AND Drawn and Quarterly have had financial problems due to this bankruptcy. Well, since I was going to buy something anyway, just couldn't decide, I might just stock up on Love and Rockets.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I love the new boyshort trend that is happening now. Last year, I was idly wishing for tap pants, and wondering how I could get some, now they are freaking everywhere. The closet substitute were unsexy boxer shorts, which were comfortable, but weren�t cute enough. My mother wondered why I got three pair- because it�s like �breast slings� (not exactly a sports bra, lets your breasts be supported yet feels so comfortable, maybe they are called bralets.), the trend may not last, and as it is underpants, it doesn�t matter if it is out of style, and I can have cute panties in perfect comfort for years. Oh, and in other news, the US gov't has plum lost its mind.
Today, I watched Far From Heaven, which was a pretty pleasant movie.
It got in there, made its point, showed its story, with a minimum
of melodrama or why can't we all be friends grandstanding. Julianne
Moore really portrays a naive housewife, really well. Although,
I did not like the music; it isn't really a melodramatic movie
so why does it need melodramatic music?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Yesterday, I watched Moulin Rouge and High Fidelity. Moulin Rouge was very hyperactive, with tons of dazzling costumes and wink and a nudge pop songs. It was very fun, a total spectacle.

High Fidelity was also good. It's such a nice record of a turning in someone's life, a realization. It seemed very real, like it was someone's personal story instead of some pap cliche. Also, it had a good soundtrack.
Today I made a great eggplant pasta. There's nothing better than the smell of sauteing eggplant and mushroom. I may have put in a bit too much red pepper, but that wasn't too bad. Now, a page of good contemporary and retro pinups!I love pinups. I don't know, there's something about the unabashed objectification of women that appeals to me. They have a great sense of fun to them also.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Here is a cute story about terrorists. It's so sweet! Too bad terrorism can't be stopped with love more often.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

This is a very interesting essay. I would like to play with form without substance. I would like my clothing to be costumes for what I'd like to be today, but I know that others look down on form without substance- if you look like a hippy, be one, if you look like a trendi girl, be one, if you look like a goth, be one. Maybe that is truly form without substance- as if you can't change your look without changing who you are. Then again, I have noone to be, so why not change it?
Today, I finally watched the 5th episode of Rose of Versailles, a classic 70s anime series about a fictional guard of Marie Antoinette. It is full of the lovely court drama you'd expect such a show to be about, and directed in such a grand style. It is so sad that nowadays anime fans are more focused on the boobies than fine shows like this, but what are you going to say? This show is the precursor to such shows as Brother, Dear, Brother(Onii-sama E) and Utena.

Friday, May 23, 2003

And now for medical horror stories. Breast implants gone wrong. and a shocking case of a very overweight youngster.
Look, it's Death from Sandman! How cute!
Personal Responsibility porn is a new fetish, not for me, but for many people. It allows us to get our lip smacking, and high horsing in, without considering any complexity. We all get off on lynching someone, and saying "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT". However, while that feels really good, I don't think that anyone is going to change because you just said "it's all your fault". But then again, doesn't it feel good to have the illusion of superiority?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

My hero of the day is Jhonen Vasquez. Warning, this interview is hosted on Suicide which might have pictures of naked girls if you dig hard enough.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Salads are not always healthy. Some people may say how can a salad not be healthy, but they are crazy. Salads are not healthy when you load them up with meat (especially fried), cheese, bacon bits, and a vat of dressing and mix it all up. The sad part is that the iceberg lettuce on which most of these sad salads rest barely has any nutrients at all.

If you want a healthy salad, load it up with veggies instead of meat and cheese. Don't just sit back and have to hear folks moralizing about how bad fat is. Step up, and shut those people up.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Fancy Lala Volume 6 or Shannon Finally Makes Good

Well, I finally received Fancy Lala volume 6 on Saturday. Instead of being charged a ridiculous $40 at Best Buy, I got it for $20 including shipping (although that wasn't the cheapest price-but Deep Discount DVD was out of stock) I made good, and the DVD was as good as I thought it would be.

I really like Fancy Lala, because it's a good anime show that doesn't need all that to be good. It doesn't need panty shots or violence or tons of bishounen or gay innuendo to be good. It goes on, is down to earth even with its fanciful plot (a young girl gains the magical ability to appear older).

An example of this is Miho and Taro's relationship. Instead of trying to shoehorn a romance into the story of kids, they merely grow closer, and there are hints about the future, but it doesn't try to make little kids be like adults. It keeps that integrity.

The end is also an example of this, although there are spoilers for the very last episodes following this sentence. Miho loses her sketchbook, but the story never loses its integrity. There is reassurance here and there- Pigu and Mogu live in all times, etc, but still in a pretty down to earth framework- the magic is gone forever, and Lyrical Pro is left with a mess on its hands. Miho tries to make amends, but her former co workers don't have a miraculous flash of insight, except for Komi, who has seen the Mysterious Man in his youth.

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Texas Democrats are my hero of the day. Instead of giving in to unfair tactics, and then crying tomorrow, they said "Hey, this is unfair!" and cut out. Some people may complain about this, but they were never the underdogs. This is the sort of initiative I can respect, instead of the initiative that most people follow- call people bad if they don't know what to do perfectly at every juncture.
This is a bad historical moment. It's so easy for us to race around saying everyone is bad nowadays, and now I just happened to be in my difficult college years when bad labeling is in vogue. I guess it does have benefits for the person doing the labeling, but our society can't really thrive if we leave the problems unsolved, because just saying someone is bad doesn't do anything.

For example, a depressed person isn't going to cheer up because you tell them they think too much. Actually, you'd make them more depressed if the crux of their problem was rejection by others. You may think casually sprinkling rejection is fun, but by making the problem worse, you have fucked up. So learn to have some sense, fuck ups. Thank you.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Today the link of the day is to the 34 Million Friends . Basically, their mission is to make up for the 34 million Bush failed to send to aid reproductive health in poor countries. While this service does not provide abortion, they provide contraceptives and help for complications in child birth. It's a good cause, and helps to nullify some of the damage that this Presidency has inflicted on the world.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Anime News Network gives some more Lala love. I can't wait til I get the final volume. It's shipping!
Today I woke up and was troubled by a painful memory. Since I did not cause the suffering of others, nor picked any unwinnable fights, which the outcomes were to be blamed on what a horrible person I was, the more steeped in American culture may want to step off and read someone else�s story about that fag they pushed to suicide, and what a loser he was.

Ok, junior year of high school, I of course committed the cardinal sin of being too trusting. Some may say you should always be trusting, but they say that to create more lambs for the slaughter. Anyway, me and an acquaintance of mine from class and clubs were in the same lunch period. Back then my clueless self was aware I could not sit with the pretty and popular or some of the snootier middle classes, but in my naivet�, I thought those people merely didn�t like nobody, and most others would have some sense. I mean, it was just sitting at lunch, for god�s sake!

So I sat with this acquaintance and her friends during lunch. At first, it was ok; I ate my lunch and mostly minded my own business, talked a bit. In my own eyes, I didn�t do anything objectionable, but one of my problems is that I have a hard time making up things to object to. If it isn�t hurting me or isn�t too too stupid, I usually don�t have a problem with it.

Now, one day, I was busy being clueless as usual and eating my lunch, which of course, made me an awful person. So I opened my mouth to say something. I don�t remember. I�m sure you�ll all say it was something foolish at this point, because noone could possibly been mean without some sort of motive. According to people who have never been hurt, pure uncalculated meanness doesn�t exist in this world.

Yet, it did. She said �Don�t you notice that noone listens when you talk? Nobody likes you� and something about how I should go away. No, I did not put up the sort of admirable fight people like to blame you for not putting up. Everyone else was silent, and silence gives consent. Remember that, teens, silence gives consent.

I did call her a bitch and continue sitting there a week in defiance. But I then moved to the library and suffered starvation after thinking it wasn�t worth my health for a lunchroom quarrel. I could eat during English, but in no other class. A year later, the girl dropped out, and I was slightly glad. The people who had tons of friends who wanted to sit with them who were in the same lunch, or those who never desired friends may wonder why I remember this story. I am glad you guys got the brass ring, and never had to work for it.

However, this story is a constant reminder of what I should not do. Whenever I want to give up to my trusting instincts, I remember this story, and how there is danger even in seeming safety. Maybe that is a good reminder even for those who were given the brass ring.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I sure every blog in the entire universe has a link to this, but the new twenty is looking pretty sharp.
Lipstick is my favorite cosmetic. Nothing is better than creating sexy lips with nothing but a swipe of the tube. It's portable, and I love to reapply. The sensuous feel of the lipstick on your lips is just addictive. Lipstick is fun, but I can't see how anyone could pay twenty dollars a tube for lipstick. I wonder what requirements their lips have that can't be satisfied with a regular three dollar a tube lipstick (and even that is a bit of a splurge for me). Sometimes a little splurge can be justified, especially if you want some specifically for women of color-noone wants to look wrong because the colors don't work with their skin tone.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Sequential Tart needs cash! They want to have a booth at a con, and an outreach program for non comics readers. Now that's a good way to celebrate your 5th anniversary.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Today I read Mars. It's the story of an art loving girl and a motorcycling 'bad boy' who fall in love. While it is lots of fun, with many semi melodramatic plot twists on the way, I do not think it will achieve the depth of a Paradise Kiss. However, not all manga must be deep.

I also read Between the Sheets. (which according to this link isn't out, but I bought it at waldenbooks? WTF? Anyway, it's not for kiddies, it has an 18+ rating for nudity and sex talk) It was a pretty straight forward story of a girl falling in love with her best friend. While it lacked subtly at some points, it still managed to tell a pretty interesting story. I think that reading it again would be interesting, because something in the character's psychology strikes me as interesting.

I am on a manga kick lately. I don't want to read a long book, but I want to be entertained. I'm so restless lately.
Here's a nice offshoot of Black People Love Us . Rent A Negro! Have all the benefits of having black friends without the hassles of learning anything at all! Another thing about race that pisses me off is that some people think that you're supposed to be this or that because you're black.

The sad part is half the time blacks are more worried about whether you're a 'real' black than anyone else. I think we could be doing better things than trying to hold someone into some little box. People act like race is some single state thing, but many black people in the states actually have white blood, while they are trying to go around acting silly just to fit into some silly ideal of blackness sold to us by the media and saying how evil whites are.

We should create our own ideals of what we want blackness to be, and mine surely doesn't inculde being materialistic or loud. Mine is the blackness of Toni Morrison and Richard Wright, two intelligent people who worked hard and achieved, and used correct English. I wish the media would push all the successful and intelligent black people instead of the ones who are ignorant.

Friday, May 09, 2003

I think I should try this again. Personal Responsibility is a crock of shit. My advice to everyone is not to forget the long and winding road between hard work and success. There are rain storms on the way and some people get tired more easily than others. Some people may not get there, and it isn't because they are just bad people or just lazy, it's because of bad luck or not having enough talent or not knowing what to do.

I'm sick of everyone thinking you are a good person because you are successful. There really are people who can just wake up, not do much work and succeed, whether they are 'good people' or not. People who are getting there or aren't striving for the same thing get the shaft. People can be good people despite whether they have success or not.

Not to mention, what ever happened to compassion and empathy? I'm not saying you have to put up with just anything, but there is so much more in life than just work hard and you'll succeed. You can do everything right and still fail. Not to mention, you will fail. Everyone fails in their life, so I don't see why some people act high and mighty just because they are having a good spell. I may be in college, but there are so many things that could be in the way of my goals.

I could end up working retail, and getting looked down upon by people who had good luck and think they are better people because they are successful. The world is so big and complicated, but here, we want to make it simple, we want to blame people. If someone gets lemons thrown at them, it's because they subconsciously want to be hit by lemons. I've said it once, and I have said it again. Being an asshole is a CHOICE. CHOOSE not to do it, and don't say that people choose to be victims. The fact of the manner is that you take away our choice. We can't magically not be hit, no matter what responsibility we take.
Today I will be bitching about our society's ideals. First take 'personal responsibility'. Noone could possibly complain about that, right? But most people don't use it to help empower anyone or move anyone up. They use it to reduce a complex problem to one that is simple- just blaming someone else.

For example, weight. It is certainly a fat person's fault if they are fat, right? Why don't they just eat less and exercise? That's all well and good, but some people just won't lose or lose so slowly that while they are losing the weight, you're calling them names. There are personal factors, but there are others too. For example, I am naturally skinny.

There are personal factors, I'm not denying it. I try to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables and not to eat so much horrible stuff. However, there are also environmental factors. I can safely run if I wanted to. I could get up enough cash to join a gym without causing major problems. I can afford to eat decent food and I can understand nutrition information (some high school graduates can barely read) and also through my education, I can tell healthy eating from fad diets. If I didn't have this environment, I either wouldn't know what to do or not be able to execute it.

Not to mention, genetics play a part. If I had a slow metabolism, I couldn't be skinny on just eating a little less. Note that this is a complicated problem- it involves socioeconomic status, safety levels, education, and many other things. It cannot be reduced to simply 'you are fat, therefore you are a bad person'. I think I need another whole entry to fully discuss this since it just scratches the surface of this huge subject.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Racism pisses me off. I mean, how is a whole race of people going to be to blame for what some of them did? Whenever black folks start to talk about reparations, some white folks will talk about how they don't need to pay for what some people who weren't even their ancestors did, but some will turn around and act like all blacks are lazy criminals.

How do they think blacks feel? I am going to college, and doing work, but I don't want to be grouped into someone's misperceptions based on what they saw on BET. When I was going to a college tour for the small private college I attend now, I was in a large group of blacks (yes, there is a minority college tour) and the whole group was waiting for the bus. So some morons decided to lock their doors, like a bunch of black teens could never be up to any good. I mean, no black teens could ever be anywhere for a good purpose, could they?

Sadder still is the fact that people think helping folks is bad because they obviously must be just lazy. Hard work is good and all, but if you don't have oppurtunity(yes, some people have less opportunity than others), you aren't getting very far. If you had the choice between feeding kids on Burger King wages or on the money you can get from getting a criminal, nuff said. Some people will just offer coulda woulda shoulda, but they'd be the first ones selling the rock if push came to shove.

So if you see negative portrayals of other racists or see a black person who is a fool, think of it like you would think if you would if you saw a white person in a negative portrayal or being a fool. The freedom of whites to just stand for themselves, and not have their actions stand for the whole race is a very important part of white privilege.

Monday, May 05, 2003

A link to the Viz Hana Yori Dango covers. (Although nicked as Boys Over Flowers) I am excited. Also spurring anime rumors, here. I need a job.
It seems that Macintosh's new iPod may be the wave of the future. Decent people can preview thirty seconds of a song and decide whether they should expend ninety-nine cents on it. Also, a Windows version of the itunes software is coming soon. That will be the big test-do people want portability and cheapness or just to rip people off?

Sunday, May 04, 2003

A few days ago, I was reading a beach side novel about the dangers of unrestrained optimism. Confessions of a Shopaholic is about a woman named Rebecca Bloomwood, who has totally bought into the culture. Obsessed with beautiful clothes, she gets her self further and further into debt. At every turn, she believes that things will turn around. She could win the lottery, or do mail order frames for money or take a job in a shop although she has no idea about working in retail.

Basically, she does everything that a typical American (although she is British) would do. Instead of confronting her problem, she just ignores it and gets deeper and deeper in it. She doesn't seriously consider that her addiction could be ruining her life or attempt to take steps to stop it. Basically, while it is a silly book (I mean, it even has a happy ending), one can glean some commentary on the basic flaws of the Western Consumerism attitude.
Books For Soliders. Seems like a worthy cause.
There needs to be a support group for the non perky. Everyone seems like happiness fascists nowadays. Think positive, put a smile on your face, and similar patronizing crap runs amuck, and for everyone who simple cliches doesn't fix, there are drugs. However, what is one to do when they are not as depressed as not perky.

My 'mood disorder' is actually just having a different personality. I don't engage in positive thinking- I'm too easily hurt. (try believing that people are nice, kind and giving for a day) My moods naturally don't lend themselves to jumping for joy. Most of the time, I feel just fine, but not ecstatic. I personally think that I would be much happier if there wasn't so much insistence that you be happy or positive.

It's like a vicious cycle. The more people try to force me to be happy, the more depressed I become. If people wouldn't be so judgmental about someone not being happy all the time, I'd be a lot happier.

So please, examine your attitudes. The next time you're about to say some patronizing crap to your depressed friends, examine why you feel this way? Would you want to be insulted when you are sad? Why act like a jackass? Do you get satisfaction from being an asshole?

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Here is a gallery of erection photos. It is good for men to not feel bad about their penis size, so this may be helpful. But warning, there are pictures of men without their clothes on. Oh no, call in the presses.