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Sun, Apr. 11th, 2010, 12:17 pm
Vash's Japan Adventure

If you want to read my adventures in Japan, check out my travel blog: http://vashabroad.blogspot.com! I realize I hadn't told you guys yet! Gomen ne!

Sun, Nov. 29th, 2009, 01:20 pm
O-Hisashiburi desu ne!

Yup, I haven't posted in a while, in large part because I haven't been writing much of anything lately, and in part because I find that once I summarize the events of my life into the Facebook haiku form, I'm less inclined to expand my thoughts into an actual entry. It's dumb, but there you are.

With that being said, there have been some really interesting developments in my life lately. First, I now have my MA in Creative Writing! Yay! (and what a LOT of work, so much more relaxed now) Second, I've gotten a job in Japan teaching English with Altia. I'll be leaving (hopefully) in mid-March. I'm super excited about this opportunity!

Well, I'm going to make an effort to update more so that it's not just once every six months you guys hear from me.


Sun, May. 10th, 2009, 09:56 am

I did it! If you had asked me 10 years, 10 months, or even 10 weeks ago if I would be able to run continuously for 34 minutes, I probably have laughed and said "what you talkin about Willis?"

I was always the girl in gym class who when called to do themile run, which for us at Masterman meant 10 awkward, sweaty laps around the parking lot, would instead do my best to walk as slowly as possible so as to avoid that out of breath feeling, the painful stitch in the side, or any other sign of physical exertion. Sure, put me on the dance floor for a few hours and I wouldn't sit down, but running that was something else entirely.  Like torture.

When Steph told me she was doing Couch to 5K, and how she had gotten to the point where she could run continuously for a half-hour, I realized this was my chance to take charge of my long-time troubled relationship with running. Besides, the first week only required that I run one minute, followed by 90 second walking session.  Walking I could do, so I figured "what the hell." Now nine weeks later, new expensive running shoes on my feet, and a spring in my step, I did it! In under 35 minutes, with no walking!

Even so, halfway between one and two miles, I was filled with doubt. I felt a bit like I was running the event horizon of a singularity. There was a certain endless quality to putting one foot in front of the other. But I decided to go it with sincerity, in the way of the samurai, I would succeed or die trying. Okay, that's a bit melodramatic, but I really planned to finish it. And now I sit here, hot and sweaty in front of my computer, dictating this with my new voice dictation software, and eating free cheese. When my mom wakes up, I will give her a hug and let her know that I love her. That is after I take a shower. We will all appreciate that.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and support for me in this endeavor.

Love and hugs :-)

Fri, Mar. 20th, 2009, 11:15 pm
BSG Finale: WTFr!!!!!!!!!!

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BSG was a brilliant show that I will truly miss.  We cannot judge it by the last 71 minutes.  Even so, I wish it hadn't gone out like this.

Sun, Mar. 8th, 2009, 03:05 am

Expectations for this film were high for me, having loved the Graphic Novel, and the movie made it happen.  Most of the film followed the graphic novel's panels shot by shot and the acting (particularly by Jackie Earle Haley who played Rorschach) were excellent.  Also, what an amazing attention to detail in every regard for the sets and costumes!  This was clearly set in an alternate U.S. history, and the differences were seamlessly integrated through the film--it felt real and at the same time different.

As a note: this is NOT a movie for kids.  It's packed full of graphic violence (against women, children and animals as well as just generalized), cursing and sex.  It's a bit more extreme than the graphic novel at points.  While some people think this runs the line of being gratuitous, I think the violence especially needed that heightening.  The GN was supposed to read like a kick in the gut at points, but our tolerance (and immunity) for violence has if anything increased in the past 20 years, so the ratcheting up makes sense to achieve the same effect.  But it is not a kids movie or one that kids should see.  Period.

Reviews of the movie seem to be mixed, but for my money, I recommend this film wholeheartedly (for adults).  I already can't wait to see it again!

Tue, Mar. 3rd, 2009, 02:20 am
U.S. Post Office International Shipping Adds Another Senseless Restriction. Email & Protest Today!

In response to the fact that a publisher from whom I order books from England discontinuing shipping to the U.S.: http://www.casperianbooks.com/blog/?p=96

I realize I spent way too long on this, but I was a bit irritated.

I understand that the U.S. Postal Service is suffering financially due to the rise of the internet as well as the global financial crisis, but the decision to reclassify international flat-rate postage as (in addition to the original requirement of under four pounds) having to be "completely flat" is not the solution.  "Completely flat" is not only a subjective criterion but a costly one, considering that this forces the Post Office to sit out of the growing field of international shipping of books and other "non-flat" goods that are in heavy demand. 

For example, over the past three years I have ordered multiple books from Casperian Books, a British publisher, and had these books shipped to me without problem from England to the U.S. using international flat-rate postage.  However, due to the rigid redefinition of "flat-rate" shipping, in addition to the long ago dissolution of International media mail and economy (ocean) parcel service, this left the publisher with no choice but to discontinue shipping to the U.S., as Airmail Parcel costs more to ship than the cover price of the book itself. 

What other options does the U.S. Postal Service offer for the international shipping of items like books, DVDs and CDs? If the goal of the Postal Service is to increase product demand and thus revenue, how does making it cost prohibitive for businesses to use the U.S. Postal Service offer a viable solution? Lastly, as a government institution that serves U.S. citizens, do you see a responsibility to provide affordable international shipping options for U.S. citizens and allies? 

This may not seem like a big deal, but if you go overseas and need something shipped to you, or if you order anything outside of the U.S. or Canada, this change in shipping rates will effect you.  I'm especially thinking of this because I plan to go to Japan in the Fall, but even if I wasn't, I'd be annoyed.

If you want to complain, the online complaint form is here. The applicable regulation is on this page–the part where it says you can’t include a bulky item (in this case books) to create a small box shape, even if the items otherwise fit the dimension and weight restrictions.

Sat, Feb. 14th, 2009, 04:20 pm
Sci-Fi TriplePlex: Sarah Connor, Dollhouse and BSG!

This entry is going to be spoileriffic, so cuts will abound. Cuts = Spoilers. 

In general, I'm extremely happy with the two premiers and the general new season of BSG!  It's also nice that they are basically daisy chained on Friday night (although I could have murdered FOX for pushing Dollhouse to the itty-bitty screen at random to give us "breaking news" we also couldn't understand because it was on the itty-bitty screen as well.  Either interrupt the show or don't!  Don't do this half-assed BS!)

I know a lot of people have had trouble getting into Sarah Connor Chronicles, but for me, it's definitely second only to BSG in my estimation of current SF TV.  The show is ridiculously character driven (I'd venture to say at points even a bit more than BSG, solely because BSG can lean on prophecy and acts of the one true God at points for plot necessity, a mythology that Sarah Connor Chronicles does not possess).  I'm continually impressed with how the show continues to draw me back in; even though the premise really ought to run out of steam, it keeps expanding and becoming more layered.  Season 2 blew me away, and Season 3 looks like it's going to follow in those footsteps.

To specifics:

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Overall, strong opening episode.  I'm so glad this wasn't cancelled.

Next of course was Joss Whedon's much awaited (by me for sure) Dollhouse.  I'm not going to lie, the show is interesting, and I'll definitely be checking out the next episode, but it didn't blow me away.  I have a high degree of faith in Joss, and there was enough there, that I'm curious.  I guess a part of me was hoping for something akin to Firefly or Dr. Horrible on instant "grab you!" Someone else equated this opening instead to closer to first season Buffy, and I can see that. 


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All in all, I liked the episode and will watch the next one (and the whole season, if it lasts that long).  This show has potential. 

And oh BSG!  So much love!  The past three episodes have been magic. 

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In short: Holy Awesome!!!

Can't wait for next week in BS G and for the entire SF Triple-Plex of joy!

Tue, Jan. 6th, 2009, 10:41 am
Arisia, Roommates?

Figured I'd drop a line and see (a) who is going to Arisia (b) if anyone wants to get in on my hotel room and (c) if anyone wants to grab lunch or dinner at some point during the Con if you're there?

On the Con, I'll be getting there on Saturday morning at 8:30am (I couldn't miss the BSG premiere and with my test schedule for school, that means I have to watch it at home and catch the midnight train and sleeping my way to Boston) and will be in town until Monday morning.  If you're going to be there, let me know, so maybe we can touch base and hang out.

On rooming, I'll be staying at the Boston Marriott Cambridge.  I'm an easy roommate, general convention veteran, nonsmoker (if you smoke, I'd prefer you didn't in the room), quiet (I'm likely not to be there that much), with very little stuff.  I hope to have two double beds, but it is just as possible from my reservation that I will have one King.  I'm happy to share a bed with another female, and anyone (of any gender) who is willing to crash on the floor (or take an extra bed or cot, etc) is also welcome.  Bed-space is on a first come, first serve basis.  Currently, I have two others who are sharing, but we're willing to go up to eight.

Let me know if you're going, and drop me a line if you want to room or have lunch, dinner, or party.

Hugs :)

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