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Happy S.A.D.! February 14, 2012

Posted by aggrogahu| in Anime, Figures, Life.
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The master actually can't hear anything Madoka's saying.

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Drum Roll Please… October 25, 2011

Posted by Spockle in Anime, Life, News, Power Rank.
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Hello everyone! I’m making this short post to kind of introduce myself. I will be helping with PR this season. I’m fairly new to all of this and haven’t watched a very large amount of anime, but I do really enjoy it and hope to bring something new and useful to the table. To let you readers know a little about me, I’m 19, going to college as a Psychology major, I enjoy reading, writing, watching anime/reading manga, watching television and movies, watching/playing baseball, and the theatrical arts. If you’re curious about what shows I’ve seen or what manga I’ve read, I have an MAL account that’s also spock1013 where everything is listed. Currently I don’t own any interesting merchandise, nor have I done any cosplays, but hopefully in the coming spring that will change. If you have any questions feel free to put them in the comments or send messages or whatever, I’ll gladly answer them. I hope you all enjoy my writing. See you again when it’s time for fall PR!

Happy Birthday Wideface February 14, 2011

Posted by aggrogahu| in Life, News.
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February 14th marks the birth of this humble collaborative blog of ours. To commemorate, the header image was revamped a bit; its got new font for the tagline and it actually contains the title of this blog (in a clever weeaboo way) instead of empty space with polka dots.

keeki

Have some ケーキ

(more…)

Year of the NEET April 6, 2010

Posted by physicsdm in Essay, Life.
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Ladies, gentlemen, boys, and girls, consider this a public service announcement: don’t let yourself become a NEET.

It may seem like a life of doing nothing but sleeping in, mooching off others, playing video games, and surfing the internet is somehow glorious (and for the short term, it actually kind of is), but in reality it’s a horrible experience…or maybe that’s just for people with self respect and dignity let’s not go there.

Let me describe my daily routine for about the past 10 months (ladies grab a hold of your panties, you may feel the need to throw them at me after hearing about this sexy lifestyle): wake up bewteen 2:30-4 p.m., check email/facebook/other random sites/etc, grab some kind of instant food for lunch, play 4 hours of video games, quit the video games to get back on the internet for a sec to check IRC, go get some dinner and eat it while watching TV, continue TV/video games for another 4-5 hours, get on to IRC and chat till 5-7 a.m., watch some anime, then force myself to sleep. rinse repeat.

Sexy, huh? I forgot to mention I was living in the den of my sister’s house, sleeping on a couch, and using my mom’s credit card for groceries.  Since my friends have all moved elsewhere with their new wives/husbands/kids, I didn’t get much human contact either.  The only thing that’s changed recently is that I live in my mom’s house now.

I’ll have to be honest.  In the short term day-to-day viewpoint, this kind of lifestyle is amazing.  Now let me be honest again: for all this time I have never experienced more self-loathing and depression with the way my life was going.

The nasty truth: being a NEET is an incredibly empty lifestyle.  Wasting your time everyday, having others do everything for you, it really begins to wear you down.  I’ve never felt more worthless as a human being.  And trust me, it’s even worse if you have friends that are leading normal lives, and being successful at it too.

But there’s good news: finally getting that letter from a grad school saying they want to accept you is all that much sweeter after 10 months of being a worthless pile of wasted human potential.  Please realize the bittersweet nature of my previous statement.

I hope that this will help you make better life decisions.  Spending a summer break like this isn’t a bad thing at all, but don’t let it go on any longer than that.  Stay in school, apply for college after high school, go to grad school after college, get a job if you’re done with learning, travel the world for all I care.  Just do something with your life, whatever it may be.  You’ll be happier in the end, take my word for it.

This message has been brought to you by a (hopefully) ex-NEET.

P.S. Further proof of the consequences of being a NEET:

no one wants to see this happen

Note: watch Eden of the East if you don’t understand the image.

Jury Duty February 25, 2010

Posted by aggrogahu| in Essay, Life.
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Two weeks ago I got a jury summons in the mail—and I proceeded to bawww accordingly. To be honest though, I only did so because that seemed the natural course of action: jury summons arrives in your mailbox > complain, but my story is a bit different in that, even with the considerable amount of regrets I’m left with (or going to have) after missing one and a half days worth of classes, I came out of it with a fun little experience that I felt the need to blog about.

First off there’s the jury selection process. To establish a little background on me, I’m a full-time student at the University of Oregon (obliga-GO DUCKS). With that said, any registered voter of Lane County is essentially a candidate for a jury. The option to defer to a later date is there for those who are busy at the time (like a full-time college student). However, me being a full-time college student of the lazy variety, neglected to send in the request to defer in time, so there went my first level of defense. Secondly, the evening before the trail, you call in to double-check if you were indeed needed for the jury summons—and indeed I was: second level of defense was gone, time to go to the front lines.

From there I had to appear at the court house. All the potential jurors that showed up (lady at the desk said 50% of who are summoned actually come) were divided among the cases taking place that day, eventually the attorneys select the final jury from the pool given to them. We filed into the court rooms accordingly, and this was where it started to set in. People in suits were sitting at the council tables, there’s the jury box with 12 empty seats on the opposite side, and in the middle was an elevated place for the judge. The bailiff/judicial clerk came in and said, “All rise,” while the judge made her entrance. Bailiff/judicial clerk hit the mallet and we were seated. At that time they started calling people to fill in the jury box. First name: ‘Leonard Madarang’. In my mind: ‘Fuck me’.

Attorney for the state actually resembled Steve Carell

Unfortunately this was not the judge

Once the first 12 selected people filled up the box, they asked us to introduce ourselves. I gave them a life-sketch, “I go to U of O… CIS major, Multimedia & Chinese minor… involved with my church…” and that was it for me. Then it was the turn for the dude next to me. “I hate the judicial system… I don’t want to be here… frankly I’ve already arrived at a verdict… I don’t want to be here…” and I thought to myself, ‘oh, this is the part where we’re supposed to complain.’ I don’t actually recall much of the rest of the lulz that was everyone else’s introductions and interviews, but that dude next to me was pretending to be a fucking psycho (he was excused obv). Some lady said she had dance classes to teach and was excused on the basis that she wouldn’t be able to focus on the trial as a result. In my mind: bawww. I thought I could use that excuse if it came down to it, but the other half of me didn’t want to be a pussy and complain so I thought to wait until it was my last chance. Unfortunately, that was my last chance. Before I knew it, the judge said we have our jury. All the people sitting in the back who never got a chance to sit in the box got off the hook and won’t receive a summons in another two years. Fuck me again. Now it’s on to the trial.

The defendant was accused of the following:

  1. Dealing Marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school
  2. Dealing MDMA within 1,000 feet of a school
  3. Possession of the controlled substance meth-amphetamine

These were felony/criminal charges so the defendant was innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To be honest, the defendant looked pretty sketch and in general just really sad kinda like he was guilty, and his attorney was an old guy with a monotone voice.  The side representing the state, on the other hand, had a strong presence and the attorney had a great speaking voice. The trial began with this bias in my head (I’m such a good Catholic).

Here’s a rundown of the accusations. On Count 1, the defendant indeed had marijuana on him at the scene of the crime (less than the amount that you can charge someone over). Evidence, such as a scale (maybe for weighing drugs?), a baton (maybe for protection against bad deals?), and text messages on a phone retrieved from the defendant (maybe to arrange deals?), was offered to suggest that the defendant was a dealer. Count 2/3, one of the text messages on the phone said something along the lines of ‘Come over, I have some X.’ Moreover, a pipe that was received from the defendant was examined in a lab and resulted positive for MDMA residue.* Lastly, the defendant’s apartment is indeed within 1,000 feet of a school.**

That old fart of an attorney for the defendant responded horribly during the cross-examination, making me question how he made it through law school, but despite his inability, there really wasn’t a case against the defendant. The state presented quite a bit of well-organized yet ultimately irrelevant evidence to the charges at hand. All the evidence used to say the defendant is/was a dealer was solely suggestive at best. The other text messages on the phone were just exchanges like ‘I’m waiting for you’, ‘Where are we meeting’, etc. The cell phone itself, according to the witness, was used by the rest of his house mates, and the particular text message pertaining to X did not involve him. As for the pipe with the X residue, that was also said to be a community pipe of the apartment. At this point, it was word against word, which in this case was not enough to constitute unreasonable doubt.

Closing statements: the state’s speech was well spoken, but parts of it seemed to almost acknowledge that the evidence really didn’t hold on its own to prove unreasonable doubt, essentially admitting he was going to lose the case. The defendant’s attorney goes off on a passionate spiel (almost like what you see in movies), saying do what is right, suggesting we examine our ‘intellectual honesty to ourselves’ in making the decision. At this point I’m thinking, you’re a horrible lawyer, stop talking before I go against your client out of spite.

Now comes the time for the jury deliberation—the light at the end of the tunnel. I volunteered to be the presiding juror, mostly for the lulz. Mainly I wanted to read the verdict like a badass and then go home and blog about how badass I was when I read the verdict. Deliberation was quite short itself, with the vote being 10 out of 12 for not guilty on each count. Sadly, I only got to hand the verdict to the judge with my signature and confirm the answers on the verdict  to the judge with a few “Yes” responses.

The look on the defendant’s face was quite rewarding when the judge read the verdict. At this point, I felt a little happy inside knowing that I was partly responsible for the huge feeling of relief that guy had—proud to fulfill my civic duty, if you will.

From this experience, I can say that real life court cases are somewhat like court dramas on TV. You have your fair share of Objections!—sustained or overruled. Attorneys pace around and interact with the witnesses and jury every now and then. Big difference is that there are long awkward pauses while the attorneys think of what to say next and there are more boring testimonies that may or may not prove relevant to the issue—a lot of waiting time in between everything in general.

With that story out of the way, here’s a glimpse into the lol that went on in the case.

*So lab report says that the pipe was positive for MDMA, hard proof for the existence of MDMA, yes? The fact that MDMA is said to leave a white residue when you smoke it was then brought up. Fucking baka defense attorney for the defendant on the cross examination proceeds to asks the lab tech to look into the pipe itself and testify if she can see any white residue at that moment. Well, it’s in a plastic bag because it is evidence so that makes it a little hard to see anything. Moreover, defense attorney is stupid enough to say “Well, I don’t see any white residue in there.”

**So the apartment is within 1,000 feet of a school, no reason to contest that, yes? Well the state calls to the stand a map analyst or something to point at a map to say that it is within 1,000 feet of a school. Baka defense attorney on the cross examination asks, is it 1,000 feet if a crow were to fly from the apartment to the school or is it walking distance while using streets and sidewalks. The following day, the state attorney calls to the stand a police officer that measured out the walkable distance after the first day of the trial. The officer traced out the route he took from the school to the apartment on the map with a marker during his testimony. He was talking us through while doing so, and I quote him, ‘we asked to go through this lady’s yard…’ ‘we hopped this fence…’

Waifus February 21, 2010

Posted by physicsdm in Anime, Essay, Life.
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Do I hear wedding bells?

I started watching a new show recently, of which I started watching solely because of a picture I saw of the main character wearing thigh highs.  As I watched the first episode, I found myself analyzing the female lead’s looks, personality, and actions, and decided she passed my standards.  Then I thought to myself why I was doing that and decided it was simply waifu selection related…which got me thinking about waifus themselves.  What exactly is this obsessive notion of waifus?

For those that don’t know, a waifu (which is a rough version of saying “wife” in a Japanese accent) is an anime character, video game character, or generally any fictional character that a person becomes emotionally attached to despite the character being fake.  What exactly is the motivation for people for the otaku crowd to look for a 2D waifu?  Does it stem from loneliness or roneriness (there is a difference)?  I’m a single guy.  Do I search for a waifu in order to fill some void left in my real life, or maybe because it’s easier to become attached to a character in a show than a real life person?  I’m starting to consider it being some kind of instinct, in that whenever I see a female I must consider her qualifications for being my partner, whether she be real or fake.  Maybe it’s just another way to enjoy the show.  Who knows.  And another thought that’s been bugging me: do female viewers search their favorite shows for husbandos (if there is such a term)? (I’m thinking it’s a male thing)

There are a  number of limitations on the waifu search as well.  The most prevalent is age.  I’ve spent enough time on the internet to have been called a pedophile for watching an anime about high school girls (which is even funnier considering there are people in high school which are of legal age).  But what does the age of your perspective waifu really mean?  When I’m analyzing a potential waifu, I’m not taking into account the age given to her by the context of the show, I’m thinking of her as a normal adult.  It’s only after that I remember contextually speaking what her age is.  Even so, if by some miracle she were to materialize in the real world, if it were my real choice as a waifu it wouldn’t be a problem waiting for her to age a few more years before starting any kind of relationship.

Which raises an interesting question: what do people actually expect should their waifu suddenly appear before them in real life (ignoring the obvious impossibility)?  Does a materialized character automatically fall in love with you when she appears?  What’s the point if the girl just falls in love with you as soon as she shows up, that’s just a fake love forced upon her by god you whatever force brought her into this world.  I would much rather spend time with her real self (figuratively speaking) and see if the love doesn’t form on its own.  What are the rules for her suddenly appearing in a completely new world?  If it were a normal person, they would flip their shit about being removed from their normal life and placed in a brand new strange world.  Does that mean being brought to the real world comes with a rewriting of her mind/memories to accomodate her for being in a new world?  That of course just begs the question of how similar that is to the whole instantly falling in love problem.  Maybe it’s just best if they can’t be brought to us in reality and we continue just admiring from afar.

In the end, no matter how futile, having a waifu can be a very uplifting and calming thing.  In dire times when everything in your life is going wrong, sitting back and watching an episode of the show your waifu is from can really calm your mind and grant you a momentary respite from reality.  Or maybe coming home from a hard day’s whatever-it-is-you-do to a picture of your love as your computer’s desktop.  That’s the real message in all of this.  No matter how strange people may say it is, fact of the matter is that choosing a waifu is a harmless gesture that can improve a person’s well-being.  It’s all in the name of love.

P.S. The timing of this post and Navy’s is purely coincidental.

P.P.S Since I’m sure you’re all wondering: Tomoyo(CLANNAD), Rei(Pani Poni Dash), Plug(Juuden-chan), Ninamori(FLCL), Yomi(Azumanga Daioh). No particular order.  No, I haven’t chosen one as an official.

Love Chocolate February 15, 2010

Posted by bjw in Essay, Life, Miscellaneous.
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Ah yes, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. A holiday where bubbles and sparkles accompany the background of each and every couple, thus stagnating the air with love and infecting any single onlookers with diabetes or rage. Valentine’s Day is quite possibly one of the most scrutinized holidays celebrated in not just America, but around the entire world (or at least, those who criticize Valentine’s Day are really, really loud). This is especially obvious on the internet. Bloggers, for whatever reason, always seem to feel compelled to express their extreme dislike for the holiday. Those who find themselves on forums or other various online communities also seem to find the need to offer their own account of why Valentine’s Day is one of the worst ideas conceived by man. For many, it serves as a reminder that you’re single. For others, it perpetuates the importance of socioeconomic status or, more generally, the size of your wallet and the role of capitalism in the modern world.

What a stud, buying her a gigantic bow.

However, there’s no question about it. Whether you take a negative or positive stance on the topic of Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it’s most certainly a holiday controlled by those damn Hallmark Cards and chocolate companies. It’s a day that summons a black hole right at the very core of your wallet. It’s a day that causes incalculable stress in trying to impress that certain special someone. It’s a day that many wish never existed in the first place.

But it’s not that bad. Yeah, I’m single. I don’t have to spend any money on Valentine’s Day. Yet, I don’t seclude myself in the corner while lamenting my lack of a 2D waifu that magically crawls out of my LCD girlfriend either.

I’m realistic. Therefore, I can be cynical and pessimistic. Conversely, I’m hopeful. I aim for things. I have goals that I may or may not be able to complete. There is a path that I’ve chosen to walk along, and although it’s a bit foggy, my life ultimately has some form of direction. And it’s a scenic path at that; I can be as optimistic as the next person. I can recognize the beauty in the world, and I am in tune with its flaws. Feel free to disagree, but I believe that most people fall into this category. It also happens to be an ideal location: one that understands life’s limitations, but at the same time, reaches outward to go above and beyond.

Such a definition is surprisingly characteristic in anime. After all, who hasn’t watched a scene that’s unrealistically happy or care free? Or perhaps, unimaginably painful. Maybe even both back-to-back: a possibly messy and most peculiar juxtaposition. Modern media in general plays around with these foundations in order to form characters or stories that, in the end, purport a message or set of morals. Getting across these messages doesn’t necessarily require a deep set of characters or a multifaceted plot. Characters don’t even need to remotely resemble what real people are capable of. Nagisa Furukawa (Clannad) is impossibly sweet. Kamina (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann) is impossibly determined. Touma Kamijou (Toaru Majutsu no Index) is impossibly stubborn. And Makoto Itou (School Days)? Well, he’s impossibly retarded.

And in the spirit of the holidays, this aforementioned concept comes into play in the form of specific, theme-based episodes. Yeah, while you’ve got your Sports Festival and onsen episodes, you also have episodes detailing Christmas and Valentine’s Day (as well as the Japan-exclusive White Day). Such episodes are almost always shown in a positive light. They promote themes that can hype up and further your anticipation for whatever upcoming holiday is next in line. The best part of it all? Oftentimes, the gifts are very simple. It’s most literally adaptation after adaptation of the phrase “it’s the thought that counts.” Sweaters, plush toys, homemade cookies, you name it. In the case of Valentine’s Day, love shouldn’t be fueled by materialistic desires, but rather, presents that are capable of conveying feelings and emotion. What’s funny is that despite being such a widely known interpretation of gift-giving holidays, this idea is essentially thrown away and forgotten when the time finally arrives. These holiday centric episodes in particular happen to serve as a much needed reminder of what these special days are all about.

They’re special because we make them special. Big business has nothing to do with it.

Would you accept it?

Valentine’s Day? Well, to paraphrase a certain dense blue-haired butler, Valentine’s Day is the day when you try just a little bit harder than usual in order to see the smile of someone dear to you; or, the day when you do things you usually can’t muster the willpower and courage to do.

It’s about happiness. It’s just as much about making yourself happy as it is making others happy.

For Valentine’s Day, you might not have had a significant other to share your time with, but chances are, you had something or someone else that made the day special in its own way. Maybe you hung out with your friends and ate dinner with them. Or maybe you spent your time on a forum discussing your holiday woes with others that share similar opinions.

No matter what it was, there was probably something to look forward to, and a day later, something to smile back on.

I don’t know about you, but that’s surely enough for me.