fetal position much?

August 26, 2009

so, it’s been a while since I last rambled on here. Truth be told, summer (after Toronto) was pretty much filled with simple relaxation time — stay up until 4 in the morning on msn with Ed, Risa, and/or Mai, sleep until 10:30, wake up, play Pokemon, possibly make plans with Ed (since he was virtually the ONLY PERSON in Trinidad apart from Nic, who apparently was infected with a mysterious disease), possibly go to the mall, POSSIBLY to all these generic, yet LOVELY, things.
August the 19th was my 15th birthday. I didn’t do much — just went for lunch with Ed and had a Pokemonfest — but my party-esque/hang out/thing is probably going to be on Saturday. Mai is going to spend the night, and we’ll marathon Season 1 of Skins. I’m really looking forward to it, because Skins is so amazingly lovely. Mai thinks I’m a hybrid of (mainly)Cassie and (some)Effy, and Mai is pretty much Sid’s female carbon-copy. The “Sid-Cassie Moments” we have are priceless.
That aside, Summer has come to a close, and school has started again. It all feels so completely alien to me. It’s hard to believe that this is going to become a routine again.

In a nutshell: yesterday was terrible. I spent the most of it feeling like puking my guts out, I’d look around and there would be no Robin and no Mrs Chesler. It was horrible. Luckily, Mr. Kaster got ahold of Mrs. Chesler’s room (sorry, dude, it’ll be forever known as that), and so we didn’t have to go on some epic stake-out to find a new cafeteria substitute. Also on a good note, my shitty homeroom luck evaporated COMPLETELY: I was put in a homeroom with Ed; Mr. Blackburn’s — he’s a witty, cynical man, but these are obviously positive traits to me; thus, he’s absolutely brilliant. (Today, though, Lentz pulled some strings and got Ed and I into his homeroom. SO, SCORE! Now Mai, Ed and Jamie are in ONE homeroom — no more “Jamie bumming around” like I did for the past…what, 2 years of high school? Hahaa.)
Anyway. back to the first day. AP Biology put me in the worst mood ever. Our teacher was OBVIOUSLY trying to psychologically scar us. And she did. She was saying how “the workload will CRUSH you if you’re not GENUINELY INTERESTED in Biology” and I was like “AW SHIT I’M NOT GENUINELY INTERESTED IN BIOLOGY ;A;” I’ll admit, I’m good at it, and I’m definitely going to consider it for senior year (…maybe), but. Jesus Christ, that was too much for me to handle — even in “baby steps.” Plus I’m doing two other AP Courses, including the really big AP World History — so what’s the point of mucking up all of them just so I can do well in a subject which I’ll most likely not even bother to pursue? I talked it out extensively with my mother and father — and I’ll admit, I was sobbing the ENTIRE time — and we decided it was best to just drop out of it and focus on what’s important to me *right now*. It’s not like AP Courses rule the world, as most over-achievers in high school tend to preach — they do them all, wear themselves out, then just wither away later on. I was talking to one of my friends who is a Biology Major in a university in England, and she was telling me that she didn’t even sign up for AP Biology and it didn’t effect her Uni Education in any way. I don’t think I should spend most of high school being dragged down by too much work than I can handle. I don’t care because that’s not why I go to school. Sure, I’ll gladly do the work, but I really just want to develop REAL skills which I’ll REALLY use in life — not just learn shit for the sake of learning shit. :| If that means I’m not destined for any GLORIOUSLY ACADEMICALLY WONDERFUL fate, then so be it… I’d rather be happy anyway.
But thinking about the future makes me feel like rubbish, since I honestly have no clue what to do, so I’ll stop with that.
Back to school — English seems okay; I don’t have Blackburn as my English teacher, but I have Mr. Deery. He seems ridiculously strict, but I think his bark is worse than his bite. Today’s class was pretty good — despite the fact that before it, I asked Ed “what do we have now?” and he said “English” and I was like “Oh, so we can just stay in Chesler’s room… wait… oh.” Either way, it seems like an interesting class, and I hope that things work out. Psychology was sort of “meh” yesterday, but I really enjoyed it today. It’s one of the few classes which Mai, Ed and I have together — and it’s SO relaxing, despite it being an AP course. The class seems like it has the potential to grow close together, as a Psychology class should be. And we all sit around and crack jokes while doing what must be done, so that’s always enjoyable.
A.P. World History is pretty good — but the class is GIGANTIC. Like, overly full. I don’t know half of the people in it. History is history, though, and I’m a history junkie. SO IT CAN’T BE *THAT* BAD, though the whole “Grouping DBQs” thing which we’re currently practicing confuses me a lot.
Ed and I finally ended up in a Math class together — Pre-Calculus. Our abilities are pretty much the same in math — in that we’re not mathematical geniuses but we understand certain. stuff. It’s pretty weird having Math in an *English* room, though. As long as no (dull) math posters are stuck all over those bright green boards, then I’ll be fine — though I doubt such a thing can be avoided. Or can it? MATH CAN BE FUN… maybe.
Spanish 4 is grossly under-populated. The teacher — who is at least 600 years old — decked herself out in a new *bright pink* wardrobe. I know, what. She was also oddly enthusiastic. I guess she thinks that because the class is so tiny we will just be all quiet and sweet. Tomorrow’s our first full class — I’m hoping it ends up being at least *a little* bit as cracky as it was in Spanish 3. If not, I will be disappointed. ):

Overall… not bad. But still suckish.
The whole ~AP Biology~ thing really hit me hard though, I’m not sure why. I guess that’s what they call “knowing your limits” or something. At least my parents agreed with me and didn’t force me to — if they did that, I’d just want to crawl under a rock and die.
If I wrote this entry last night, there would be a considerably greater amount of whining. Today, however, was a very good day, so yes… Maybe I’ll make it. Here’s to hoping that this year doesn’t suck that much. :3

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It’s PROM.

June 5, 2009

It’s everything, it’s nothing; it’s a hell of a time, it’s a waste of time. Whatever you think of prom, there’s one thing that never changes: the anarchy which ensues during the week leading up to it.
Gossip flies around the high-school body.
“Did he ask her yet?”
“Are they going together?”
“OH MY GAHD HE ASKED HER INSTEAD OF MEEEEE”
“That man-whore!”
“That slut.”
“That poohead!”
And, of course, you’ll see the clusters of teen-aged girls prattling on and on and on about how incredibly awesome their dress is, how they intend to do their hair (apparently, it takes 2 hours to straighten one’s hair for prom. I don’t know. Those girls are bloody crazy), how they want their make-up done and such. In my high school, it’s also customary for the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY to bitch about prom during the weeks leading up to it. “It’s such a waste of time!” A girl was telling me. “I have better things to do than stand around in a damn dress.” It was this same girl who I heard going on with her friends about how she bought 4 dresses and couldn’t decide on which one she should wear, and OHMYGOD they should totally try on dresses together!…It’s amazing, it sounds so hypocritical and weird, but that’s how everyone in school is. Even though they complain about it, they all end up going anyway. Pshhh. And don’t get me started with the sheer amount of break-ups and get-togethers during this week. I’ve seen people randomly bursting into tears and having “emotional breakdowns” in Chemistry for no apparent reason. It’s tedious, and I try to avoid getting tangled up in it as if it were the plague.
Contrary to (somewhat) popular belief, I actually love prom…because I love dressing up. Prom is, therefore, an excuse to wear a pretty dress and make my hair all nice, to take some silly (and some serious) pictures, followed up by frolicking around and munching on the occasional hors d’œuvre. Despite my slight fondness for it, I’m usually horrifically unprepared for prom. Last year, I sorted out which dress I was wearing to prom on the same day as it. I kid you not. Other people had bought their outfits months before. Craziness.
I’ve improved a bit this year, though. …Okay, not a lot, but. I bought my dress today — Thursday. It’s bright red and fabulous. This is paired with black heels. Yup. …Prom’s on Saturday. Not too bad? Okay, it’s pretty bad, but eh, what’ll you do. I also got my shoes today, and my mother offered to cut my fringe for me so that I would be able to see once again. …I took her up on this offer, and while my bangs are a bit short now, they look decent and THE WORLD IS CLEAR.
Before that moment, I have a class trip, which I mentioned previously, I think? We’re heading off to watch turtles plop out eggs; it’s an overnight stay at some inn near the beach. I’m nervous for some odd reason — mainly because whenever I go hiking, I tend to fall in the oddest of places. But I’m sure I’m not the only klutz, so that’ll end up alright.

…I hope.

Confession: I still like Avril Lavigne.
She’s not the same person she used to be back in Let Go and Under My Skin (Let Go specifically), but c’mon. Ignoring The Best Damn Thing‘s general fan-base, which has the potential to make me lose faith in humanity as a whole, it’s pretty awesome. It has that “chick rock” feel, and it’s oozing with self-confidence (maybe a little too much? xD) and general wildness. I don’t really LOVE it, but I don’t hate it. …Of course, this is blasphemy to many of the people who I associate with. I think listening to Girlfriend is like a guilty pleasure.
Then there’s Decode by Paramore. Ignoring the fact that it was in Twilight — which etiolated it for me, since I can be shallow like that — it’s an amazing song. I listened to it over and over this morning, and I have to say, the lyrics are brilliant. Paramore’s amazing, I don’t think it’s even capable of disappointing me. The fact that they support organizations like To Write Love On Her Arms only sweetens the deal. Their name is rather clever, too — Paramore → “paramour,” which is basically a love affair, or “par l’amour,” for my love. PRETTY COOL.
The band which has been on repeat on my iTunes ever since Spring Break began is… *drumroll*… The Killers. This River Is Wild, Bling (Confessions Of A King), Bones, all of it. Is there even a song by them which I don’t obsessively fawn over? The lead singer’s voice is so unique! It’s something that’s rare in general, not just nowadays. Most of the bands these days have lead singers which sound exactly the same. And the lyrics which they come with are amazing, too.
Flyleaf and I have such a love/hate relationship, it’s not even funny. x_x Sometimes I love them, and at other times I think they’re melodramatic and that the lead singer sounds as if she’s yodeling. What’s This?, which they did in Nightmare Revisited, was pretty epic though — it took a while to grow on me, seeing as it’s so different from the original in The Nightmare Before Christmas… it’s more toned down, more mystified, a bit more depressing. The original was in awe, excited, dance-like. Both work though.

I can’t stand the All-American Rejects. I don’t even want to talk about my hatred for them. They just…fail. Miserably. I don’t like Fall Out Boy that much, either — but that’s only because of Pete Wentz, I think. He thinks he’s hot shit, and that’s pretty much the BIGGEST TURN OFF for me. ): I like some F.O.B songs, but only a little. They’re reeeeally overrated and overplayed, and as much as I’d like to say that I can ignore that aspect of their music, I can’t. Blleeeeh.

Yiruma makes me shed tears. That’s how beautiful his piano sounds. I recommend Do You, it’s simple, soft, and gorgeous.
In contrast to this is Mindless Self Indulgence. They’re crude, they’re vulgar, the lead singer is probably mentally unstable… but agh. Their music just makes me want to DANCE, not in the cutesy way, but in MY way, which is basically jumping around and letting your inner demons loose. They perfectly balance hardcore with electronica, and the results are deliciously evil. …Some of their songs make me feel like vomiting, though… I usually ignore their lyrics and focus on the beat, but sometimes the lyrics get waaaay too prominent. xDD; They’re so not for the faint-hearted. .__.;
The Birthday Massacre’s sorta like MSI, but they’re way less vulgar and more electronic than hardcore. Still, they’re pretty damn awesome.
Hellogoodbye makes me so happy. More electronica. Happy beats, happy lyrics. Plus, they have a song called “Dear Jamie…Sincerely Me,” what’s not to love? xD “All Time Low” is another favourite. Another good electronic band is Freezepop (“I’m Not Your Gameboy” is SUCH a cool name for a song…) …I listen to too much electronic stuff, so I’ll stop rambling about it xDD

The Ting Tings are more mellow, but they have this jazzy sound to them which made me fall in love with them from the first song. Traffic Light, Fruit Machine, and Be The One are my three favourites — I have to look more into them, but still! So much love.
Sticking to the mellow thing — Coldplay. Who doesn’t like Coldplay? ‘Nuff said. Lenka’s pretty brill, too — she’s soft, but not in a sickening way, in a sweet way. Her “Like A Song” is my favourite, along with “The Show,” which STILL MAKES ME THINK OF JUNO. It should so be on the Juno soundtrack! Errgh.
Speaking of soundtracks (segways ftw!), there’s Danny Elfman. I LOVE HIM AND I NEED MORE OF HIS WORK. Then we have Shoji Meguro (who did both of Persona 4’s + Persona 3’s), is incredibly capable of balancing electronica, rock, and classical. I crave his music, even though I cannot understand a word of it, since it’s in Japanese. (Then again, I have tons of jRock. There’s the Gazette, Alice Nine, An Cafe, D’esparis Ray, Girugamesh, LM.C…)
I heard Aqualung’s “Strange & Beautiful” SOMEWHERE, I think it was on a fanmix for one of the anime which I like… so, technically, it’s not considered part of a “soundtrack” (is it?). That aside, it’s so sad. Unrequited love, combined with a sad little piano? Do you want to make my heart melt, Aqualung? Jeez. ;_;

Anyway, it’s time for me to go download more stuff — specifically The Ataris, who I think I am falling in love with. My friend sent me an album of theirs, and god. ♥

This post is epically long, but I guess it makes up for my lack of posting, right? xDD I’ve been meaning to write a Persona 4 review for a while. Sorry if it’s a bit redundant, and if you don’t want spoilers, you may not wanna read it. xDD

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The sixth in the Persona series by Atlus; Persona 4 can be described in one word: “epic.” If you know me personally, you know that from late January (January 27th) to early March (March 1st), I was inhaling this game as if it were a source of life. (Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration…)

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (ペルソナ4) was released in America in December, 2008. It had incredibly high expectations; since Persona 3 was a massive success. It’s a role-playing game; meaning that you have full control over who your character associates with, who they befriend, and who they generally ARE; i.e: the noble hero? The shy kid? The cynical ass who probably should actually be the antagonist but somehow isn’t? You also have control over who he dates, if anyone at all — where he works, what his name is, everything. You have semi-control over who your group is — 7 other people make up your “team,” (one being support-based, so you don’t battle with her) but you can only choose 3 whenever you take part in the actual gameplay.

But now I’m rambling~ So, I’ll give you a rough outline of Persona 4 — or really, what it’s about. xD

Persona 4 takes place in the fictional, rural Japanese town of Inaba. It has one high school, a lonely shopping district, one MASSIVE department store which you never really enter (save for the store’s foodcourt — it ends up becoming the group’s secret base of sorts xDD), and, of course, various housing areas and an inn. It lies among the floodplains, too. You’re character is a transfer student from the big city — upon arrival, you learn about “The Midnight Channel;” an urban legend which states that when you look at television on a rainy day at midnight, your soulmate will appear.
Naturally, this is all a bunch of crap — the Midnight Channel is actually an insight into “The Television World,” who’s origin I won’t tell because it’s a HUGE spoiler. If any common person looks at it, they can see the events going on inside of the Other World — however, they won’t be able to enter it, and (prior to the events in the game) are usually greeted with a technicolour screen.
Certain individuals, however, have the ability to reach into any television set and enter the Midnight Channel directly. These individuals have Personas — a powerful form of themselves, sort of like a weapon, which is “the facade used to overcome life’s troubles.” However, in order to enter, they must be able to fit through the set’s screen, or else they’ll just reach in and nothing’ll happen.

Each television set leads to a different area of the Midnight Channel. The weather conditions inside the Midnight Channel are the opposite of what exists in Inaba — a thick, nasty fog naturally exists in the Midnight Channel. Anyone who enters it without proper gear suffers from severe nausea and head pain, which results in a comatose state.
However, after a long period of rain, a thick fog sets in to Inaba — due to the ying-yang aspect which Inaba and The Midnight Channel have, this causes the fog in the Midnight Channel to disappear. Sounds like good news? Well, it isn’t — it’s HORRIBLE NEWS and just THINKING ABOUT IT is annoying me. Once the fog disappears in The Midnight Channel, the “Shadows” (sort of like the “monsters”) that reside in it get all hyper — they get stronger and are deadly. Anyone inside fog-less Midnight Channel has no hope in hell — they get killed by the Shadows. Instead of their corpse deteriorating, it is transported back to Inaba — dangling among telephone wires. CREEPY MUCH? One of the reasons why the game’s rated ~M~, I suppose.

Now, The Midnight Channel is pretty harmless — once no one messes with it. Normal people don’t have the ability to enter televisions — however, one guy gains this ability, and through tons of complex manipulation, he manages get normal people tossed into the Midnight Channel. Thus begins the GRAND MURDER MYSTERY, the base of the game — the ~investigation~.

Once you learn the basics about the Channel, you learn that people thrown into the Channel are killed by their “Shadows” — unlike the normal monsters dwelling the Channel, these “shadows” are the darkness which conceal people’s inner Persona. In other words — it’s like the darkness of your heart; the hidden part of yourself which you don’t want to reveal to anyone, the part which you put a facade over and reject. When saving victims who’re thrown into the Channel, you have to confront their Shadow-self. Afterwards, if the victim clears their head and accepts the Shadow as part of themself, the Shadow will purify and manifest itself as a Persona, thus granting the “vicitim” the ability to enter the T.V. world and kick ass. Oh, and you have to save them before the fog rolls in to Inaba — which is roughly once a month. If it rolls in BEFORE you save them, you’re given the option to either return to the title screen and continue from where you last saved, OR you can go back one week in time. Missing the deadline is BRUTAL, because most of the heavy training is done in the last week. Therefore, if the victim is killed, you’re taken back one week before the fog and must train all over again; this time managing your time more pro-actively.
Furthermore, the game has a total of 3 endings: One “Bad” Ending (the result of accusing the wrong culprit), One “Normal” Ending (people usually get this; it’s if you stick to the default storyline), and the ultimate “True” Ending, which is a bit more complex and features one extra dungeon which is BEAUTIFUL.

As for your character: You’ve just transferred to Inaba during this time of madness. While in Inaba, you stay with your uncle, Ryotaro Dojima, a police detective who’s usually out doing work due to the murder cases (little does he know that his work is for naught, seeing as the crimes are taking place in another world) and Dojima’s six-year old daughter, Nanako, who’s SO adorable and SO sweet, and has managed to take care of the household chores for her father.

Aside from the main storyline, you’re a normal high-school student. You DO have to pay attention to the random facts given out in class (talking to plants really does make them grow faster — also, moustaches excrete toxins), lest you totally bomb the midterm exams. You snag a part-time job and you can join a few clubs, too. You socialize with characters who aren’t directly related to the storyline, and you can “intensify” your relationship with them by talking to them regularly.

The key theme of Persona 4 is “facing yourself”; accepting you for who YOU really are; letting down your facades and revealing your true power. It’s also about “seeking the truth” — where the murder mystery comes in — but it also sort of overlaps with the first theme: seeking your true self. Thus, every character which you interact with in the game has a unique backstory, and if you choose to be close friends with them, you help them… come to terms with it. xD

Anyway, I guess I’ll talk about the characters now. Here’s where you’ll find the actual spoilers.

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Soji Seta ~ You. Your character. The MC (main character). You have total control over him, pretty much. I think I’ve said enough about him already. xDD He’s pretty cool. OH, DID I MENTION THAT HE’S A SILENT GUY? You choose anything and everything which he says. I ♥ Silent Protagonists. The MC doesn’t formally face himself as a Shadow — how he gets a Persona is a key point of the game.

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Yosuke Hanamura ~ Born and raised in the city, he recently moved to Inaba, where his parents manage the MASSIVE department store which puts in peril the local economy. As a result, he’s sort of unpopular and looked down upon by townsfolk. Clumsy, outgoing, and sort of stupid — but passionate and serious about the investigation. He’s a total sweetheart. You cannot hate Yosuke.
Yosuke’s Shadow isn’t that dramatized — it’s basically just said that it doesn’t give a crap about anyone or anything; that it was glad that people were dying because the investigation gives him something to do. Yosuke’s “dungeon” isn’t really a dungeon, either — it’s a thrashed shop in the Shopping District. This is prolly because he’s the first boss you encounter; it eases you into things.

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Chie Satonaka ~ Chie has the most vague background (or, at least, the most normal life) of the group, although we know she is passionate about Kung-Fu and martial arts. She’s Yukiko’s best friend; they’re always there for each other. She’s also a total tomboy. My personal opinion of Chie is sort of non-existent… she’s really just there for me; she doesn’t stand out that much… her voice, however, was REALLY good.
Chie’s shadow takes the form of some form of dominatrix; it’s a woman with a long, pointy hat, covering her face. It sits on a cloaked surface, like a chair, but under the cloak is a bunch of faceless schoolgirls, holding Shadow Chie up. It represents her jealousy of Yukiko’s feminine side and her talents, as well as her wish and need to maintain control over Yukiko. It also says that Chie truly doesn’t give a damn about Yukiko and that the only reason why she associates with her is so that she can stand out more. Chie’s dungeon is a sublevel of Yukiko’s, which further enhances what the Shadow’s saying.

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Yukiko Amagi ~ Yukiko is the daughter of an innkeeper — the Amagi Inn is the most popular area of Inaba. She’s quiet, calm, and apparently beautiful (I don’t see what’s so gorgeous about her, but I guess she has that ~special charm~), but she has insane laughing fits which tend to go on for hours. She’s a pretty alright character, though~
Yukiko’s Shadow takes the form of a massive, gaudy, pink bird, held in a cage. Before going into that mode, her shadow is dressed as if it were a Princess — with a pink and white dress and crown. Her dungeon is a pink castle. Yukiko’s Shadow is obsessed with “finding her prince” who’ll take her away from Inaba and her “destiny” — i.e: inheriting the Inn. Her shadow’s one of my favourites — its dialogue is AWESOME.

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Kanji Tatsumi ~ Son of the owners of Tatsumi Textiles, he harbors the street-punk style… although in truth, he only hurts those who deserve it (i.e: Biker Gangs who wake his mom up at night with their noisy engines and crude behaviour).
Kanji’s character is the most complex of all the group. Kanji’s actually gay; one of the very first uber-popular game characters to be out so openly. Despite his rough outer appearance, Kanji actually loves sewing, animal crackers, and cooking.
He grows “interested” in another one of the characters — Naoto Shirogane. However, this was before it was revealed that Naoto’s actually a girl cross-dressing as a boy — which results in Kanji questioning himself even more than before. Later on, though, Kanji comes to terms with the side of himself that was attracted to Naoto, snapping out of it and being able to act normally around her. If you choose to develop your character’s bond with him, Kanji later on admits that “his shadow really does resides in him,” which implies that he accepted his sexuality.
So, it’s kinda obvious that Kanji’s Shadow is a stereotypically gay man. His shadow’s true form is a huge, muscular creature, which looks like a massive body-builder. Out of it is Shadow Kanji’s normal self, which is surrounded by a heavy layer of pink flowers — thus representing Kanji’s struggle to “be a man” yet still true to himself. It also represents his resentment of having his softer side and his artistic abilities ridiculed, as well as his fears of being rejected by society. Kanji’s Midnight Channel dungeon is a men’s bathhouse (teeheehee).
FFFF KANJI’S MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER. I love him. As soon as I got him, he was in my party permanently. He’s kickass in battle, too. 8D

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Rise Kujikawa ~ Rise (aka “Risette”) is a former idol, who recently retired from the show business world due to stress and personal conflict. She moves to Inaba, where her grandmother owns a Tofu Shop; Marukyu Tofu. Rise’s cheerful and giggly — IMPOSSIBLE TO HATE. D8
Rise’s Shadow is a colorful pole dancer which looks like Rise; i.e. it has her brown pigtails. Her Midnight Channel dungeon resembles a strip club, including stages with poles, curtains, and sexual-looking Shadows. Rise’s shadow represents her anger with being stereotyped as an indecent, airheaded popstar, represented as a sex symbol . However, her true motive was a desire to find her real self-identity — which is pretty much the reason why she left show biz and moved into Inaba.

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Naoto Shirogane ~ Nao-chan is young, serious, and has an androgynous appearance; almost always wearing an officer’s cap, conveying an appearance not unlike the classical gakuran school uniforms of the late 19th century. A well-known detective and somewhat of a child prodigy, Naoto was dubbed the “Detective Prince” by the media, though still attending Yasogami High.
Naoto’s Shadow is a robotic doppelganger, equipped with large, toy-like laser guns, rocket feet and a jet pack. This form represents Naoto’s resentment towards being treated as a child by the police (since she’s a renowned detective). It reveals that Naoto is, in fact, a girl who’s pretending to be a boy in order to gain whatever scraps of respect she can from the police force.
Naoto’s Midnight Channel dungeon is a scientific military complex based on Japanese superhero shows for children, filled with mechanical shadows and falcon symbols.

and finally…
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Teddie ~ Teddie is a weird, yet ADORABLE, stuffed-bear-like creature with blue fur and a red/white jumpsuit. He lives in the Midnight Channel. He makes tons of horrible puns on the words “bear” and “teddy;” mostly on bear, though. (BEAR-SONA!, what a TEDious fight!, I’m the M.V.B!, I can’t BEAR this anymore! etc). He is often used as comic relief, and he really lightens up the entire party’s mood. Teddie’s human form later in the game is a young blond guy. He’s very innocent, and he usually makes a lot of “suggestive” comments without realizing that he really shouldn’t. xDD
Teddie’s Shadow is a larger form of his bear costume coming out of a hole in the ground, with portions of its face missing, revealing a void underneath, + it also has REALLY FREAKY EYES. It represents Teddie’s fear that his existence is superficial and “hollow”. The Shadow also hints at his forgotten true identity – that is, the fact that he is a shadow. He learned to speak human language and became friendly with humans, taking his bear-like form so that people would like him upon meeting him. Teddie eventually takes a human form upon acquiring a persona so that he can be with others in the real world~

AND THAT’S IT FOR THE (playable)CHARACTERS.

What I absolutely adore about P4 is the realism of things, the rawness of it. Chats teenagers would really have, playful bantering, situations that could really happen (even though there probably isn’t a Midnight Channel…this game will so make you believe that there is.), and realistic reactions to pretty much everything. It’s amazing. The voice-acting enhances this, of course. Perfect voice casting, I swear, PERFECT — save for MAYBE Yukiko, but eh, it works. xD Rise’s voice is my favourite, along with Kanji’s.
With great v.a comes awesome music, and Persona 4 also has this… thanks to Atlus’ Shoji Meguro~! The game comes with a free soundtrack, so you have access to all the songs without having to hunt the Internet. They follow a constant theme; electronica with classical undertones. Makes a horribly addictive combo. xDD (I’m actually listening to it now on my iPod, haha)

The gameplay in battles (LOL WOW I didn’t even mention this before xDD) is really awesome. It’s simple; turn-based tactics. Om nom nom. If you’re close enough to your party members, they’ll even take a mortal blow for you by jumping in the way of an enemy’s fatal attack. IT’S PRETTY AMAZING. + If you’re even closer, you get “bonus turns” where your bud will perform a special “critical hit” attack with a fancy name, like “Atomic Smash” or something. Really useful~

And that’s it for my “review”! I could really talk about it for ages, eh heh heh. P4 is a seriously dazzling game. It’ll catch you; hook, line and sinker. It restored my faith in good gaming, seriously. One of the best storylines which I’ve ever played. EVERRR. I highly recommend it! xD

The Much-Needed Carnival Post

February 28, 2009

The past Monday and Tuesday are two days which are known by all in Trinidad and Tobago. That’s right, Carnival. Basically, it’s the celebration of the emancipation of African slaves back in the early 1800s. (Or maybe that date’s horribly wrong. I’m far too lazy to consult Wikipedia right now) For some, Carnival Monday and Carnival Tuesday (along with the accompanying fetes surrounding them) are chances to be “dirty,” for others, simply chances to have “fun,” and for the rest, it’s a combination of the two.
My outlook on Carnival has been one of great disgust for a long time now. I mean, come on; from any outsider, it’s pretty vulgar, in a sense. Grinding your ass on some stranger’s “manly bit” doesn’t sound that whoreish at all, am I right? (sarcasm)
This year’s been different, though.
This year, I’ve actually sort of embraced the idea of Carnival.
…That’s right. Let it be known that I, Jamie, have discovered that I have a slight love for Carnival.

Before I am pelted with “OH GOD WHAT WERE YOU WAITING FOR”‘s and the alternative “JAMIE, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A DOCTOR?”‘s, Let me defend myself. xD
I am what people would label “a concert girl.” I like to be “wild,” in a perfectly normal sense; I hate people who carry themselves too well, I hate prudes who can’t take a joke or some mischievious antics every now and then. Actually, “hate” is a strong word. I think the proper term would be, “I want to throw tomatoes at them.”
…I dance wildly on my bed (…sometimes when there’s no music around. Now, when my mother walks during such times, she tends to just label it as me being strange) to the horror/fascination of some; I’m liberal in almost every aspect of my beliefs, I listen to pounding techno music and dream of one day going to a rave… or of miraculously growing an inch or two overnight so that I can face the onslaught of a proper mosh. I like tatooes, piercings, and bright, in-your-face hair colours, along with mismatched, Harujuku-style clothes. + Did I ever mention how much I LOVE the Victorian Era’s style?

Carnival itself; its traditional self, is pretty gorgeous. The costumes were amazing. And, even in modern-day times, the costumes are STILL amazing. A good few focus on showing as much skin as possible, but even those costumes tend to have SOME SORT of legend behind them. The creators know their audience, I guess. The more extravagent costumes — which are pretty much GIGANTIC and the way which people can walk in them is a mystery to me — are just plain epic.
I have to admit — the only big “issue” I have with Carnival, aside from the “sudden outbursts of ghetto” (as Nic puts it) which tend to occur, would be the music; and even *that* isn’t so bad for me. I mean, it’s all about letting loose and having fun. And, as I said before, I’m used to music which makes no sense whatsoever. Of course, you won’t catch me dead listening to “soca” and all that — the beat just isn’t me, and I don’t really think that the people who sing it suit my musical taste (…that sounded weird, but you know what I mean), but that doesn’t mean that I want its existance to just vanish off the face of the earth. I think.
So, this year was pretty much a breakthrough in terms of my outlook on this celebration. It’s pretty much what I’m into, except with a “Caribbean” twist. This “twist” goes into the negative, “no thank you” zone… but I think that realizing that it’s actually not utter crap — and actually uber fun — is pretty important. Who knows, I might actually take part in it next year. We’ll have to see.

(Plus, I really want to take some photos of the costumes. xD)

1oo Things About Jamie

January 7, 2009

I did this list last year, but I can’t seem to find it right now. My friend, Robin ♥, did it, so I figured I’d hop on the bandwagon and do it, too. :D
(Plus, right now, I feel sick to my stomach. This should help me take my mind off things?)

1oo Things About Jamie
1. I feel like a flamingo in a crowd of pigeons
2. I consider myself open-minded, but I cannot stand conservatives
3. My body is in Trinidad, but my heart is in Japan
4. The reason why I like Art so much is because I hate reality.
5. I don’t dress to impress — I dress to kill
6. I can trip over air
7. I want to dye my hair electric blue but I can’t find/afford/get my hands on any dye
8. Sometimes I want to feign my own death, just to see those who would care
9. I am not nearly as quiet a person as people tend to make me out to be
10. I wish I was born on October 13th, purely because that date sounds cool
11. Spazzy people are the best
12. I hate chick flicks with an almighty passion
13. I love the colour pink, but red is my favourite colour
14. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it annoys the hell out of me.
15. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to walk up to a stranger, hold out my hand for a handshake, and say, “Meet your newest obsession.”
16. I’m happy that I have a few close friends who I can trust with anything — they don’t expect me to act a certain way, and I can go to them for anything. I think that’s way better than being popular.
17. Though I do wish I had more friends.
18. I want to meet April, Megan and Resa in person someday.
19. One time, in the mall, I told a random man that I was (still am) a virgin and he eyed me strangely. I don’t know, I was feeling random. Looking back on it, it would’ve been really, really creepy if he actually replied.
20. I am terrified of hippos. I’ve been so ever since I saw a documentary on them. One ripped a guy to shreds, ate one dude’s head, and tore off another one’s leg.
21. I hate sloths. (The animal.) Edward and Robin are fully aware of this, yet BOTH spammed MSN chat windows with pictures of them last year. >__>
22. I don’t give a damn if it’s “thrilling” — I will NEVER zipline. Ever.
23. I secretly love how people look when they’re smoking.
24. I just got a tablet. How the hell do I use it?
25. TOKIDOKI IS THE BEST THING EVER. I cherish everything which I have from this line.
26. Headaches and migraines seem to accompany me wherever I go
27. I love cats xD;
28. I hate how the majority of these points start with “I”.
29. The reason why I use emoticons is because when I don’t, I’m afraid I might come off as bitchy, mean, or stuck up.
30. I hate being formal. For my sister’s wedding, I wore my black converse shoes underneath my stuffy dress. No one noticed.
31. Usually, I say I like being short, but I really wish I were 6ft tall.
32. I hate boobs and I really don’t want my chest to grow any more than it has. D: (..I am aware that this is rare for a teenaged girl. x3;)
55. Tim Burton is my main role model. I would marry him if he proposed to me.
56. The Ting Tings = the shizz.
57. Robin and I are going on a road-trip across the world. It has been dubbed as “The X-Perience: With No ‘E’, Because We’re Just So Bad Like That.”
58. On this trip, we want to befriend a gay man and/or a drag queen.
59. The reason why most of my recent stories have a same-sex couple in them is because if any of my works, for some strange reason, get published or become “big,” I want people to see that homosexuals aren’t different from heterosexuals.
60. I sometimes feel like I am 2 different people. Sometimes I know EXACTLY who I am, and at other times I haven’t the slightest idea.
61. The environment which I’m in really effects me.
62. I don’t like photographs or paintings which don’t tell a story.
63. I like taking pictures of myself, as vain as it may sound.
64. I sort of wish that I were paler.
65. Nausea is the worst thing ever. And right now, I am INCREDIBLY nauseaous.
66. I hate when people call me Jamie Lee (seriously; not in jest like my friends do sometimes)
67. I really want a lime green top hat with a neon blue bow.
68. Drop beats, not bombs.
69. I would be lying if I said that the number 69 doesn’t make me giggle.
70. I am paranoid when it comes to how people see me whilst simultaneously refusing to change myself for them. Yeah, a pretty deadly combination.
71. I idolize an IMVU developer known as Ange. He’s a huge inspiration to me, mainly because I know about him and his current situation, and therefore I know how strong he is. (Plus, he makes awesome stuff.)
72. I don’t like how people expect men to act one way and women to act another.
73. My favourite genres of music are Electronic, Alternative, Emo, Hardcore, Techno, Trance, Pop Punk, Punk, & jRock, though I listen to a little Pop/jPop.
74. I hate when people ask me who my favourite band is because I can never answer with just one
75. I also hate most “rebellious” teenagers who think they’re so hardcore. It’s so fake.
76. I wanna get married in a white or black kimono
77. I hate animal-print.
78. I don’t show people some of my art because I’m afraid they’ll misunderstand it and make me go to therapy.
79. Paramore has a way of hitting the nail right on the head.
80. I’m agnostic. No members of my family know this.
81. I LOVE the Lolcatz book which Robin bought me. Like, a lot.
82. When I’m an old woman, I want to live in an old mansion with my husband in some isolated area near a conservative town to scare the living hell out of residents.
83. I want a boy BJD so that I can make him pretty. Not sure why.
84. The phone just rang really loudly, totally out of the blue, and I let out the most girly scream ever. o_O
85. I’ve always wanted to send PostSecret something
86. I want to go to a rave later on in life; when I actually look like myself on the outside.
87. I wish that clouds were like…solid, because it’d be really fun to sit on one
88. I cannot listen to music when doing work or studying; I need to be in an environment where I can focus soley on my iPod.
89. That being said, when I listen to music in my bedroom, I tend to run around rampantly.
90. I can recall almost every single thing which I learnt in my Ancient World History class in 9th grade. Never will I forget what Cleisthenes did in 508 B.C, never will I forget the whole Rise of Nations ordeal which I oh-so-proudly explained to my friends last year before exams, never will I forget what a hoplite is, or who the Fathers of Medicine, History, etc, were. That’s one class which I really miss.
91. I want to cut down on the amount of meat I eat.
92. Dear homophobes, suck it. Love, Jamie.
93. I don’t like to start conversations on msn and I hate having people who I never talk to in my contacts list. I clean it out frequently.
94. I like Myspace more than Facebook.
95. Honestly, I worry a lot over whether or not I’ll ever get a boyfriend. But I don’t want to give the wrong guy the honour of being “Jamie’s First Love.”
96. I think unrequited love is one of the most painful things in this world.
97. I might have said this before, but I LOVE piercings and I am going to get my lip pierced once I graduate from high school, regardless of what anyone says.
98. When Alice In Wonderland comes out in 2010, Mai and I are totally going to cosplay as characters for the premier.
99. Sanrio and San-X = pure love
100. I think milk and spicy fried chicken make a perfect meal when put together.

I don’t really follow actors, actresses or celebrities. I’m pretty stupid when it comes to that sort of thing, which is pretty weird for a teenaged girl. But, I have to say, the one “celebrity” which I can, and always will, obsessively stalk look up to and devote every bit of my respect to is a director known as Tim Burton. To me, he isn’t just a director — the man is a mastermind; a genius which deserves recognition higher than any other man. He is an artist; his mind works in a way which is brilliantly difficult to understand. He is complex, surrounded in this aura of mystery.

It all started with The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m aware that he didn’t direct it, but still — “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The name just…stuck in my head. The songs were amazing; the characters (even Oogie Boogie ._.) were all loveable, and Sally was (and still is) one of the very few female leads who I actually do not regard as a complete and utter pansy (and LYDIA, can’t forget her). Not to mention, The Nightmare is what planted the seeds for my complete and utter obsession with stopmotion films. I recently downloaded Nightmare Revisited — a bunch of my favourite bands re-did all of the musical pieces in the original Nightmare Before Xmas, and whilst the original will always be my favourite, the remakes really do them justice. (Except for Jack’s Lament by The All-American Rejects. SERIOUSLY, WHY THE HELL DID THE LAME BAND GET THE BEST SONG IN THE FILM? Ugh. KoRn did “Kidnap The Sandy Claws” justice, and Marilyn Manson really and truly aced “This Is Halloween. :DD But I’m getting off-topic, so…xD)

Then came Edward Scissorhands. This is the film which blew me away with all its metaphorical content. It hit a very, very sore spot for me. In Caroline Thompson’s commentary, she described it as “a fable…a story that people don’t necessarily believe, but they understand…. [Edward Scissorhands] is about feeling like you don’t belong…about wanting to belong, about trying so hard to belong, yet you just can’t belong.” She hit the nail right on the head — given that heart-wrenchingly, nostalgic feeling which I experience everytime I watch it, overflowing with beautiful imagery, exquisite music… Edward Scissorhands had a huge impact on my life, in a way I can’t even put into words. “It expresses the feeling that your image and how people perceive you,” Burton said, “are at odds with what is inside you.”

(Yes. I look at his films’ commentaries. Sue me. I also have most of the soundtracks.)

Burton grew up in the suburbs — just like the town we see in Edward Scissorhands. Happy faces, cute little families, all of that. I think I can relate to him in how he must’ve felt. I’d describe it as feeling “like a flamingo in a crowd of pidgeons.” It may sound vain, but think about it. A flamingo in a crowd of pidgeons may stand out, but what makes you think that that’s a good thing? The pidgeons wouldn’t exactly acknowledge or appreciate the flamingo, the flamingo would hate the pidgeons — probably sometimes wishing that it, itself, were a pidgeon — and then it all just ends up being one big mess.

When talking about his teenaged years (regarding his love for horror films rather than going out in the sun and being another All-American Boy) Burton said: “I felt most monsters were basically misperceived — I thought that they usually had more heartfelt souls than the human characters around them.” I couldn’t have put it better myself — I’ve always felt that way — even before I knew of Burton’s works. As a child, I loved the Witch in Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent? I’m not sure I spelt that right. “She was just upset about not getting invited to the princess’ party,” I’d tell my mother. My mother would chuckle and pat me on the head, saying that I was a strange one. Never has someone honestly agreed with me. Many just say that they do — but I know they really don’t. Tim Burton saying that line alone — without even knowing how much of an impact it had on this silly girl — was enough to gain a lifetime of respect from me.

Next was Big Fish. The film itself beautifully blends reality and fantasy. It brings fiction to life without seeming pretentious or ignorant. Edward Bloom was able to live in his beautifully magical world — all the while, staying in reality. Amazing, profoundly amazing. The ending was THE BEST, and the characters were all so silly — each having their own little quirks.

I guess, in a nutshell, Tim Burton will always be my idol. I’ve always, always, ALWAYS wanted to meet him. Just to shake hands with him would be a great honour. He’s my idea of an artist — he is what I want to aspire to be. He can convey so much expression, so much emotion, in the simplist of scenes.

To put it simply:
He is a genius.

People are ignorant.
It’s something I have to get used to, it’s something which I must accept and move on.
I always tell myself I need to learn how to ignore them. It’s just, it’s far more difficult than it sounds. It’s either racist slurs or homophobic rants — I sit through it all on a daily basis, my brain being grated by the complete and utter lack of understanding. Sometimes I say silent, sometimes I don’t. But that’s not the point.
This happened today.
Basically, two of my classmates were sitting in class, going through an online encyclopedia, looking up the names of different diseases. For each page, they would laugh at the symptoms. Not even chuckle to themselves — they would burst into laughter, so loudly and so authentically that their eyes would be watering.
This is what has pushed me off the edge.

I don’t know how anyone can think that way.
I don’t know why some people act the way they do.
Why?
Is it somehow humourous?
Is looking down on another human being something which one can recieve pleasure from?
Is it “cool”?
Is it what has been engrained in our society?
Is it right to just close of your mind, to live in a box; to destroy everything which is not like yourself?

I search for answers — I’ve been searching for years now — and I haven’t made any progress from the day which the question emerged in my head.

People are ignorant, and I can’t help it. I can’t change “people.” They can only change themselves.
But, like a stain on a pure white surface — it’s hard to focus on the beauty of the light when there is a dark, disgusting object right in the middle of it. The more I interact with these close-minded people, the more I feel like I’m being stifled. The more words which leave their mouths, the more air I choke on.

You can’t swim in a town this shallow
You will most assuredly drown tomorrow.

Soda-pop and Tears.

December 3, 2008

I think that the purest moments which can be experienced in life are those associated with tears.
As depressing as it may sound at first, it’s true.

It’s human nature to struggle more than necessary. We panic, we plan, we try to control. You can’t deny it — I’m pretty sure everyone does it at least sub-conciously. We have to struggle in life to get somewhere — usually, if we don’t, it seems as though we’re not putting thought into it. To put it simply; we love stressing ourself out. It’s what we do, it’s how we roll.

Of course, writing about it is simple. But I’ve been there. Things pile up, slowly but surely, and eventually, you find yourself in front of a mountain of tasks and have no clue what the hell to do. So, you begin to climb — to slowly, but surely, ascend.
After giving it all you can, after climbing as fast as you can possibly go, as high as you can — you eventually feel like you’re just about to break; to shatter into a million different pieces which are blown away, forgotten, in the wind, and go tumbling down that vast summit. Or, you might just be so fed up that you want to just jump off of it and give up. In times like this, the best thing to do is pause your ascent, sigh loudly (and dramatically), say “screw this,” and take a long, good cry. You may want to try sobbing, or wailing, too. The more emotion, the better.
Tears, you see, are powerful things. They wash away the world — they clear your mindset and they give you freedom. Society pelts these silly little “rules” at us, like how “CRYING IS FOR THE WIMPS LOLOL” and that “boys don’t cry, only little girls do.” All of these little tidbits do absolutely nothing but put a lid over our soul and clog our heads.
To think, people actually believe that showing emotion is for the “uncool.” If being “cool” means that I have to be an emotionless droid, a clone — then I’ll take being the “uncool” one, thanks. (I can’t help but remember what my friend in my old school says — “I may be a loser, but I’m the coolest loser you’ll ever meet. =]”…she had no shame, hence why I love her to bits xD)

Anyway, what I guess I’m trying to say is — don’t be afraid to show emotion. Without expression, you keep every single thought, every burden and ever woe, contained inside of you. And then one day, you just EXPLODE, like the oh-so-many cans of shaken soda. And the clean-up is dreadfully messy.

The Building Blocks.

December 1, 2008

Music is my lifesource.
Whilst I don’t exactly play any instruments — save for a little piano — I constantly have a song in my head, I’m constantly on the lookout for another good band, and my iPod is always with me.
I listen to just about every single genre, however the majority of hiphop, rap and r&b doesn’t exactly appeal to me. I can’t be all stylish and say “I don’t like songs which don’t have meaningful lyrics,” because, seriously. If you heard some of the songs which I listen to, you would ask me just what the hell I’m smoking. (not to mention the assortment of japanese rock on there. I don’t even know what the lyrics mean. They could be singing about dancing cows and I wouldn’t know.Oh well.)
But yeah, I have a broad taste in music. Zappy, hyper electronica, loud, in-your-face punk, and deep, magical classical — I listen to it all. It’s a pretty good mix of the lesser-know, underground-esque music and normal mainstream favourites.
I think that through music — just as with any Art — anything is possible. In fact, I think that music is what opened my eyes to Art in the first place. Watching bands peform live, with their over-the-top style and complete and utter lack of self-concious..ness, is like watching freedom on a podium. It’s amazing, it’s breath-taking, it’s everything.

Lyn-Z of MSI

Lyn-Z of MSI

I haven’t seen any of my favourite bands live — I’ve only been to one show, in fact — however, that’s bound to change. (i.e. next Warped Tour. With Mai. In Canada. It will be brilliant.)
But, as I was saying before… music is what opened my eyes to endless possiblities and to Art in general. It pretty much explains how I live today, and it definitely formed my idea of fashion. You will not catch me dead in a plain white shirt and jeans. I swear, the day you do, I’m probably off to do some epic Art project or something messy like that. Likewise, you won’t find me clad in the latest trendy fashion which hundreds of other people worldwide are drooling over. I don’t dress to impress — I dress to kill. Through my look, through my music, and through my art, you see me, the one & only Jamie. I don’t write, draw, create or dress to satisfy anyone but myself — if it doesn’t make me happy, I won’t do it — regardless of what other people might think. If I’m in the mood to go out in my neon-pink skinny jeans, I’ll go out with my neon-pink skinny jeans. In this world, being an individual means having individuality — and if you don’t have it, you might as well just be nothing.