Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Suneohair - Split

It's a funny story how I came across Suneohair. I was introduced to them through the series Honey & Clover, which was a favorite of one my friends at my anime club. I never quite got into the series, because I've been tired of romance anime for quite a long time now. Nevertheless, it has a fantastic soundtrack with many great artists, including an opening by YUKI and several endings by Suneohair. So while I didn't get into the show, I did love the soundtrack, and at the time I was particularly interested in hunting down songs by Suga Shikao from the OST. Well, the first thing I did was go and download the OST, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get all of it, wasn't able to get more than one or two Suga Shikao tracks, but I did have the part with a large number of Suneohair tracks. I listened to those tracks and found song after song that grew on me, until Suneohair is one of my favorite J-Pop artists today. I really love the unique brand of spacey-sounding rock he produces, and his distinct, honest singing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Super Massive Megathon Tuesday Post

- I went with Clint from work to the 24/7 DIY Summit at USC this weekend, which was all about user created video content online. They had a really cool lecture about Anime Music Videos and all the most influential AMVs of the last ten years. (I had previously seen two.) A couple things I brought away from the lecture:

1. I went and downloaded all the AMV Hell compilations. Those are just too much fun.
2. I really need to watch RahXephon.
3. I really need to listen to Frou Frou.
4. I did not know that before the rise of YouTube, THE place to watch AMVs online was Where was this page during high school??

Here's my favorite video from the lecture, which will answer for half of the points above. Bonus info: This is considered the most complicated AMV ever made, and when it came out there was a lot of conjecture that it actually drove people away from making AMVs because the standard kept getting pushed so high.

- That should serve as my first video of the week too. I've been trying to keep on a video posting schedule: 3 a week, Mon, Wed, Fri; so that I post on my blog at least somewhat regularly and get into the habit of writing here. It seems to be working so far.

My favorite day happens to be Wednesdays as that's inadvertently become the day I post J-Pop videos. I have a ton of YUKI videos I'm just dying to post; both for the songs and the videos...

- I started reading Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky last night. It's really a fascinating tale of how the important spice has influenced civilisations over the ages. The first chapter was all about salt in Ancient China and how it affected the change in ruling dynasties, philosophies, and spawned the harnessing and use of natural gas among other things. Very well written too; more a tale than a dry, factual account.

I'd really like to read The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket next.

- The Spitz chicken doner kabob is really just as good as the lamb/beef doner kabob, and I'm glad because it gives me a healthier option when I go there. I love me some spiced meats!

- Having drank Anchor Steam all weekend, imagine my surprise when I heard my coworker had, along with some friends, won a private party at the Anchor Steam Breweries in San Francisco this weekend.

- I'm going into moving-planning overdrive with only two weeks to go. Annnnnd the worrying starts.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Little Fat Man with the Pug-Nose Face!

Many will know I have a fascination with David Bowie and his fantastic body of work. The Office is also one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Bowie made an appearance on Ricky Gervais' Extras, where Gervais' character runs into him at a party and asks him for some advice on fame, with disastrous results...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shiina Ringo - Hatsukoi Shoujo

This is a video from another of my favorite J-Pop artists: Shiina Ringo. You may remember I wrote a bit on my Nobiai blog a while back about her and her sideproject band, Tokyo Jihen. She tends to do quite boisterous and unique music, often in a big band sort of style. Ever since I heard this song on her album I really loved it. It's got a seductive, dark style about it, and I love that the video captures that mood so wonderfully.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Election Day

Yay! Election time! That time of year, every four years, where we get to decide the direction our country goes in.

At first glance it might appear that I don't care about politics much. I don't often bring up the subject with my friends, I don't often blog about it, and a glance at the busiest shelves in my personal library reveal more flights of fancy than reason. I do care, and I do make strides to keep myself informed. I get my info from a couple different sources: Harper's, the intelligent debate in the Penny Arcade Debate & Discourse forum, and oddly enough through the political channels I've subscribed to on my StumbleUpon. I admit I could be more informed. I often stray away from books on political viewpoints, I tell myself because I have trouble digesting something that large. I could be more involved. I've written two letters to representatives at this point, but I should be getting involved in local politics, groups and rallies.

I'm hardly a paragon of political activity; there's a lot more I could be doing to have a say in how my life is run by the powers that be. Regardless, I'm proud of the fact that I vote.

I get upset with political apathy. (What an interesting paradox.) I hate the argument that your vote doesn't count. Single votes do count; particularly in a proportional system like the way the Democractic primaries operate, and even in a system where large blocks of political territory go to the majority winner that single vote still has the opportunity to be part of that majority, or the vote that decides a close contest. Even on a more philosophical, yet strangely fundamental, level voting is an opportunity to make your voice heard, to make your choice in the political system known.

Voting in the Presidential primaries and the general election may be the lower bar of political activity, but it is still an important part of the process. Presidents determine a large part of the political agenda for the next four years. They can veto legislation from becoming law, they appoint a number of positions, and like it or not they truly do act as a face and voice for America to the rest of the world.

I'm excited to be walking to the polls tomorrow and casting my choice for the next President. I'm even going to keep that silly little sticker.

High As...

I think this is fairly appropriate post-weekend viewing.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Freeman's Mind

One of the more hilarious machinima I've seen, and of course it helps to have played Half Life 1. Note that this is the first episode of the series...