Melissa

March 2012

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Mar. 2nd, 2012

Melissa

MAGIC: The Daly Show

MY LIFE IS COMPLETE. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS!?
"The Daly Show"
Starring Tim Daly and Sam Daly
Guest starring Nathan Fillion
Special appearance by Michael Rosenbaum
AND IT'S EVEN BETTER THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE.

Feb. 9th, 2012

Melissa

A Tale of Two Final Fantasies

I realized that I haven't written about two of the latest Final Fantasy games that I'm playing!

Final Fantasy Code 0 (PSP)
This is the school war drama Final Fantasy. Long story short: Class 0 and their two new transfer students help Suzaku win the war against Byakko (with Gembu and Souryuu also involved). You go to classes, take on missions, make friends, and fight for the future of your world. It has aspects of FF13 (crystals and l'Cie) and FF8 (emo schoolkids and an attempt at keeping a schedule). While you (normally) fight in groups of three, you can make up your party from any of your 14 class members, each of whom has a completely different fighting style and set of abilities. Jack has a katana and can be very very slow, Ace has cards for fast but light long distance hits, Eight is a pugilist with short range but fast and easy-to-use attacks, Rem has very weak dagger attacks but extremely strong magic. There's a ton of them, but it's quite fun to explore and get used to the quirks (personality-wise and attack-wise) of each character.

Also, the story is VERY DARK. Cut for spoilers of the first chapter (the "Prologue") of FF0. Because, you know, DARK.Collapse )

Great gameplay with some humorous moments in a very serious story.

Final Fantasy 13-2 (PS3)
The sequel to FF13, this game does a great job of throwing you in the deep end and letting you slash your way out in desperation. The story is, like all FF games, gloriously fascinating and more than a little convoluted. Long story short: TIME TRAVEL. Interestingly enough, this is also a wonderful excuse for adding more exploration aspects to a linear story. Want to go back? You can! Because [wave hands] TIME TRAVEL.

The biggest change to the gameplay is your party. The basic gameplay stays the same as FF13, but you only have two main characters. So who is your third? One of your menagerie of collected monsters! In a rather Pokemon twist, you gather monsters, level them up, and then throw them into battle. However, you are only able to bring up to three monsters with you at any time, which means that you have to think carefully about who you want on your side. I also recently discovered that, in addition to awesome leveling up, you are able to literally absorb other monsters to gain their abilities, which obviously means that I am giddy with the prospect of creating Ultimate Monsters. I have started color-coded charts, and I am having a BLAST! (Chart-making, obviously. I have no time for "gameplay".)

Also, there is this: http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/02/06

No shit, my Cait Sith is wearing the exact same hat. Because Cait Sith is the first (and ultimately probably one of the best) of your healers, so you need to drag him around wherever you go, and what the hell else are you going to put on your Cait Sith besides a freaking jaunty hat? (Another monster has a lovely 4-leaf clover on his head. AWESOME GAME.)

Feb. 4th, 2012

papanga parn!

"I'm a peacock! You gotta let me fly!"

Last month, I was reading Entertainment Weekly and it had a hysterical conversation between Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Joe Manganiello (True Blood) about them being college pals from Carnegie Mellon and upcoming co-stars in Magic Mike, which is the Steven Soderbergh stripper movie based on Channing Tatum's real-life experiences as a male stripper. (FYI, I have known about Magic Mike for quite a while, and yet to this day, the phrase "Channing Tatum stripper movie" never fails to make me laugh and laugh and laugh.) ANYWAY. There was a fantastic moment in the Bomer/Manganiello interview that was simply too awesome to pass up, so allow me to share:

When so many of your gigs today require you to take your shirts off, do you wonder why you needed such a highfalutin education?
Manganiello: The interesting thing is, we've had conversations about the animal projects, which...
Say what?
Manganiello: Freshman year we did these projects where you had to go to the zoo. [To Matt] Were you assigned an animal, or did you get to pick yours?
Bomer: I picked.
Manganiello: I wanted to be a tiger or a lion or something, and they chose a penguin for me. So I had to be a penguin for up to three and a half hours a day for seven weeks, which was ridiculous.
Bomer: I was a peacock. You had to physically embody the animal, and then turn it into a character. Then we had this big town meeting where you brought your character to that meeting, and that's how you were evaluated.
Manganiello: I'm sitting there going, "This is the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life. I'm a fricking penguin, now I have to interact with all of the other animals, and I can't fight back.
Bomer: But now look how applicable it is to True Blood, where you're playing a werewolf!

(For those who are interested, here is a ridiculous shot from Magic Mike. Or as Entertainment Weekly put it: "A movie that is not about five soldiers who save the world. It's much, much better than that.")

Dec. 3rd, 2011

kawaii

Ow, my spleen!

I have just rolled home after eating way too much Indian food (SO. GOOD. SO. FULL.) and seeing the Immortals. I liked the Immortals, as it was basically what I expected from it: pretty visuals and heads flying at you in 3D. However, I did manage to have a couple of feelings about the movie:
Cut because I know that everyone is totally worried about getting spoiled about the plot of Immortals.Collapse )
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Nov. 11th, 2011

the answer

The following is relevant to, like, two people...

If you know nothing about seiyuu (Japanese voice actors), please skip to my post about my dad being weird. For anyone who happens to be left, brace yourselves for some admittedly old seiyuu news that at least came as a shock to me...

Kawakami Tomoko passed away in June.

I am in fucking SHOCK. I did not hear about this one at ALL. People, why did you not TELL me!?

RIP, Kawakami-san. T_T
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Melissa

Coming to America

Well, I am back in the States. I somehow managed to unpack fairly quickly, and I've been spending the time doing American things: eating at Taco Bell, shopping, driving on freeways that are permanently under construction, watching TV, and attending chili cook-offs. I've also been having fun just bonding with my parents, although my father's tastes still amaze me sometimes. We actually had the following conversation today:

Minako-chan: [watching "What Not to Wear"]
Daddy: [wandering into the room] Did you get this kind of TV in Japan?
Minako-chan: [assuming that he means random cable shows] No, not quite like this.
Daddy: I love this show. [pointing to Stacy] She's quite good; she always tells it like it is.
Minako-chan: ???
Daddy: [watches for a bit before laughing] Look at what she was wearing! Some of these makeovers are great.

I... had no idea that my dad was a not-so-secret lover of fashion makeover shows. Especially when he prides himself on finding clothes off the clearance rack at Kohl's.

EDIT: OMG, I just caught him watching a Disney Channel Original Movie. My dad is bizarre.

Oct. 19th, 2011

Melissa

T-Minus 11 Days

NO, I'M NOT FREAKING OUT ABOUT LEAVING JAPAN; WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. [paaaaack need to paaaaaack] But putting aside the (massive amounts of) panic, I've actually been having a good time just getting together with friends and being productive. Two weekends ago, some girlfriends and I decided that we would do something very different and Japanese: we would all get decked out in kimono, eat good food (note to Mako-chan: including the matcha store that has two shops in Tokyo and headquarters in Gion), and then see kabuki. Cut for length.Collapse )

Last weekend, I went to Busan, South Korea, to watch johnabe get married to his South Korean bride. There were lots of hysterical series of interpretations from Korean to Japanese to English and back again, but somehow the conversation kept flowing. And obviously, the bride and groom were awesome. Cut for lots of pictures.Collapse )

Anyway, I should probably get back to packing. And throwing lots and lots of stuff away. Yikes!

Oct. 11th, 2011

Melissa

Uta Heta

There was a news article recently about Wakabayashi (from the comedy duo Audrey) singing the theme to... a Disney Channel animated movie or something, which was horrifying because Wakabayashi is a TERRIBLE singer. And so I've been spending the past day watching clips from Uta Heta Tournament. Here's some of my favorites (cut for length).Collapse )

Oct. 7th, 2011

Melissa

What are you DOING out there?

So our apartment building is undergoing relatively major construction. Basically, they are resurfacing all external surfaces, and so far they have set up scaffolding around the entire building and stripped off every last bit of paint/spackle/other stuff that should not be stripped off (I will get more on that later). It's been going on for about two months so far, and will last after I'm gone until December.

Due to the scaffolding, the fact that I work at home now, and the fact that you never know when someone will drop onto your balcony, I've been keeping the drapes closed and haven't seen the sun in my apartment for a very long time now. This has lead to some interesting situations so far:
  • On the day that they stripped off the paint from my balcony, there were TWO points where there was simply a massive BANG, at one point followed by loud cursing. I almost poked my head through the curtains to make sure that the worker was still alive, but I didn't want to risk scaring him further.
  • When I did poke my head out the next day, I noticed that they managed to knock off a giant 2-foot long strip of molding from the top of the balcony. I guess that's where the cursing came from...
  • Due to A) heavy vibrations from construction equipment and B) a very poorly designed outlet, the water heater on my balcony has become unplugged twice, due to the plug simply falling out of the outlet. Interestingly enough, without electricity, water will not even flow through the hot water tap. I can only get water through my cold water tap.
Today was even more exciting. Here is what happened:
  • While working on my balcony, the worker managed to short the main fuse to my apartment. On the plus side, I got to use my emergency mini-lantern for the first time. Although in hindsight, I should have probably warned the guy before I turned the switch back on, just in case. (Note: Nothing happened, but still, I probably should have at least checked.)
  • I noticed that my water heater was unplugged again. I grumbled, mainly because I was going to wash my sheets this morning. I decided to do it in the evening when I had a chance to go outside and plug the damned thing back in.
  • I got a visit from the building supervisor and the construction supervisor. Apparently, not only did my water heater get unplugged, but they managed to cut straight through the cord while working. The construction supervisor said that they were going to get an electrician out to fix it, hopefully tonight, but it'd be completely out of commission until then. And then the construction supervisor said the weirdest thing ever:

    "But it's not like you use it, right?"

    I think I kinda gaped at him blankly, and I had to ask him to repeat himself because I thought that I was majorly missing something in translation. He was like, "No, you don't use your water heater, right? Because it was unplugged." And I was like, "It unplugs itself, due to the construction." I didn't say what I was really thinking, which was, "Who the hell NEVER uses their water heater!?"
So long story short, I am again without hot water for the day, and I sincerely hope that they turn that shit back on by tonight.

Oct. 2nd, 2011

lion

Why do I not have an icon that exemplifies my sheer panic?

To make a long story short, I am in my last month in Japan.

......

ACK!

I'm still feeling very conflicted about it. It's the right time for me, but I've lived in Tokyo for the past SEVEN YEARS which is, quite frankly, three years longer than I have lived in one place my entire life. Right now, my main concern is trying to pack up and clean out. Holy... you will never feel more of an urge to give up all possessions and live like a monk than when you're attempting to move house halfway around the globe. I'll be chucking out a LOT of stuff, and it's slightly disturbing.

On the other hand, I rechecked the local garbage laws and it turns out that I have STILL be separating my garbage wrong... Shibuya has a rather, um, LOOSE definition of "burnable garbage", which basically includes anything that, if chucked into a high-pressure heat, will eventually light on fire. This includes heavy plastics and CDs. I... whatever. Just as long as you take my trash, Shibuya.
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Sep. 22nd, 2011

ron gets whupped

In conclusion, yeah, it's pretty buggy.

This week I've been working at a company translating bug reports. (Note: I am not actally TESTING for bugs; I simply need to translate everything so that the two teams in Japan and the US can communicate with each other, so it's fairly relaxed.) We normally get 15 bug reports a day. And then... there was today.

Minako-chan: [to translation supervisor] Just an FYI, we got 70 bug reports today.
Translation Supervisor: [EYES BUG OUT] [suddenly calms down] OMG you totally scared me. [laughing] I thought you said something else. Yeah, you should be able to handle 17.
Minako-chan: 70. Seven-zero.
Translation Supervisor: [LOST IN PANIC]

Tomorrow's the last day of my contract, so yeah, sorry dude. I'll do my best...? ;^_^

Friday Update: For those who are curious, I beat the current record by plowing through 47 bug reports today. When I left, there were about 220 in the queue to be translated. lol Yeah, sorry dudes. Have fun next week!
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Aug. 30th, 2011

Melissa

LONG TIME NO SEE.

Whoops, it's been HOW long since I updated again? I am still working on translations and getting ready for my big sad move back to the States, so I've been keeping pretty busy. It's almost too much to update, so how about I start out light by sharing a video that has made my life? I'm sure many of you have already seen it, but in case you haven't, it's a live-action short film based on Portal. and it makes me squeal like a fangirl. Also, their "Chell" is my new girl crush. OMG arm muscles.

May. 17th, 2011

shopping!

My life! (And shopping)

For better or worse, my life isn't very exciting right now. I'm doing the occasional translation or proofreading from my old company, but mainly I've been relaxing, cleaning, organizing, and gaming. It's been... not quite a month, and I'm still technically on the payroll until the 25th, so I think there's still the slight feeling that I'm only on vacation and not actually out of a job. But it's been fun. I've gone out to eat with pretty much everyone I know, getting to know co-workers better than I did the entire time that I was actually working. I've finished the single player game on Portal 2 (somehow managing to keep from hurling due to motion sickness as I fling myself around with physics), and I've been plowing through End of Eternity (or Resonance of Fate in the US). I've even managed to sort through my clothes and come up with a pile of stuff that I need to give away (which is a lot freaking harder to do in Japan; there's all sorts of restrictions and/or you actually have to ship the clothes to the location, so I'll probably end up selling the lot for a few yen at the recycle shop instead).

Since I've had the time, I've also done a lot of window-shopping, which has lead to me testing my wills against, you know, ACTUAL shopping. (You don't have money! Stop trying to throw money around, brain!) In particular, I have unfortunately fallen in love with a jewelry brand called Take-Up. It's tasteful and elegant, but unusually colorful with playful twists on the designs, which is pretty much everything that I adore.

For instance, I am painfully in love with this necklace:

Botanical necklace from Take-up

Isn't it just really really pretty? @_@ The multiple colors, the different shapes, the construction with the gold... it's pretty much everything that I look for in jewelry.

Also, this brand does elegant twists on Disney themes. (I'd seen their "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin" collections before.) Their latest is Tinkerbell, which leads to this amazing necklace:

Tinkerbell necklace from Take-Up

Get it!? It's Tinkerbell trapped in the lantern by Captain Hook. Subtle and elegant enough to wear pretty much anywhere, but secretly super playful and awesome, right?

They also have pretty incredible mix-and-match earrings that make me drool. (Elegant but dangling and colorful!? Sign me up!!) Unfortunately, as you may have noticed if you followed the links, the PRICE is not so awesome. T_T Ironically enough, I would be more likely to splurge and get something if I only liked one piece of their jewelry. But I like at least half of what they make, and I adore about half of that, which means that I can't even tell myself that it's okay to splurge and buy one item as an early birthday present. These are only TWO of my favorites, so don't even get me started on the rest of their collection.

Apr. 20th, 2011

engrish

My life lol

I'm feeling a lot better and calmer about my current situation, so I thought this would be a good time to catch up.

Cut for those who don't want to read about my exciting work saga (lol).Collapse )

Since I'm back to translation a bit, I can even share a really funny mistake (even though it's not actually translation related). I was translating a short article about swimming, in which the writer claimed that a swimmer placed in the "Men's 100mm Butterfly." I... suggested they might want to change it to 100m. It made me lol.
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Apr. 18th, 2011

angry

WHAT THE FFFFFFFF----

WORK IS WEIRD. AND BY WEIRD I MEAN, OVER HALF THE COMPANY WAS JUST FIRED TODAY.

LIKE, AT 10AM.

UM.

SO MY GRAND RETURN TO AMERICA PLAN HAS POSSIBLY BEEN PUSHED FORWARD BY HALF A YEAR. WE'LL SEE.

WE'RE ALL KINDA UPSET. SO, ER. YEAH.
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Apr. 11th, 2011

Melissa

An Open Letter to the Earth

Dear Earth,

Please stop with the scary aftershocks.

Love and kisses,

Minako-chan

P.S. Hang in there, Tohoku! Perhaps literally, if necessary!

P.P.S. HAPPY ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EARTHQUAKE, JAPAN. >_<
senor draco

I seriously wondered why my co-worker was linking me to a sci-fi porn parody.

I can't believe I hadn't heard about this before. There's a Docomo cell phone called the "Touch Wood."

Because I am secretly 10, I nearly killed myself laughing.

But the commercial is pretty awesome:
http://answer.nttdocomo.co.jp/touchwood/#play

It can be found on the Touch Wood website under the "Play Wood" menu.

...... ......

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA [wipes tear away]

Apr. 5th, 2011

Melissa

Home at last!

Well, after two weeks in the States, I'm back in Tokyo. (I flew in Sunday night and am therefore rather tired. T_T) Things seem fairly normal, if still big on the energy saving and with a lack of certain products, like milk and natto, in the stores. Also, I ended up with some truly truly scary lifeforms growing in my refrigerator that I hope I never have to see again. My family still seems a bit freaked out but I promised that I'd keep myself ready to flee again, and that seemed to reassure them.

Also, my co-workers had rather hysterical reactions upon seeing me at work again. One co-worker pulled off an honest-to-god delayed reaction double take when she saw me yesterday morning. (She said good morning, pulled out her chair, set down her bag, and then suddenly whipped around and went, "OMG, you're back!" It was pretty hysterical.) Another co-worker came in to work, settled down, and half an hour later suddenly looked up and said, "Hey, you're back!" (In his defense, it was Monday.)
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Mar. 17th, 2011

Melissa

[sigh]

And in a completely NEW twist to the story, I'm going home for a bit. Um... yeah.

Mar. 16th, 2011

Melissa

Damn you Anderson Cooper!

CNN's Anderson Cooper has apparently been reporting from Sendai (and how the hell did he get there so fast? did he beat the army? he better have brought a couple trunks full of water is all I'm saying), and Mommy watched his report before going to sleep Monday night. Apparently, he completely freaked her out with speculation about Fukushima. Me telling her stuff like, "No, if something happens, it won't be like Chernobyl; it'll be more like Three Mile Island" or "Worst comes to worst, I'll probably only get a few extra years worth of radiation in Tokyo!" didn't seem to calm her down for some reason (;^_^), and she immediately started asking whether I could maybe, you know, visit Osaka for a few months or come home or something. I am honestly, genuinely okay in Tokyo, but I'm starting to get upset that Mommy is so upset. So I've decided that I will blame it on all Anderson Cooper, because having someone to blame makes me feel better. [shakes fist] Damn you, Anderson Cooper.

For those who are curious, I've been reading lots of stuff, and for the love of pete... IT'S NOT THAT BAD (in Tokyo). Things are still dangerous for Fukushima locals, and if I lived in the northeast, I'd probably already be on a plane back to the States, but places farther out are FINE. TOKYO is fine. (CALIFORNIA is fine omg fellow americans...) So stop buying, like 20 cartons of milk. WTH are you going to do with that much milk before it expires? Just calm the hell down and we'll all be fine. (Sorry, but some of the hording that's happening in Tokyo from a small, panicked part of the population kinda ticks me off. Sendai needs the food and supplies more! Stop creating waste! Stock up on extra supplies, sure, but you don't need 60 freaking rolls of toilet paper RIGHT NOW. Holy crap.)

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