In other news

First things first, because it happens to be in front of my college and I’ll be heading over after Socio tomorrow. ‘ray for cheap books. I can afford to buy something out of Kino or Borders the same way I can afford to casually waltz over to Towers, choose a CD from the racks, pay and walk out — which is not a lot. More of like “hardly ever” ” for birthdays and Christmas”, so here’s to hope of a good selection at the sale… although that metaphor’s invalid given how I don’t buy music for myself. Anyway.

Because good things don't come near my college... not always, anyway
no witty caption this time because there’s nothing funny about almost-free books

What I did in 31 days, in no particular order:

  • Ping-pong (read: massive improvement)
  • Writing for R.AGE
  • Heroes
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Death Note 2


Ping-pong: I learnt a lot from Uncle Vincent, whom, as some of you might or might not know, is the guy to go to if you want to learn anything. Aside from playing a lot more than the usual once-per-week, I guess I learnt quite a bit more. Apparently I was hitting the ball with the wrong posture. And the wrong stance. And the wrong grip, and basically wrong everything. Dunno how I actually managed to play all this while, but I guess the lack of points and an inability to smash (that’s fixed now) should’ve tipped me off earlier. It’s great to have someone so patient. No, make that really, really patient, given how inconsistent I can be at times.

Writing for R.AGE: Nothing to see here, move along. Ego Boost +20, Confidence +5% because I got a whole page dedicated to some 700 word fiction I wrote. Seriously, it’s nice to see your name in print (more weight for the college interviews). Not nice when they misquote you — because long and elaborate opinions are harder to scribble down on a notepad and translate to an article paragraph than short and general ones, apparently. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever get to write an interview or something.

Heroes: Related to Writing for R.AGE — approximately three people through sms and one on MSN told me on Monday evening, I kid you not, within 3 minutes of each other, told me at the same time about my being on the newspapers. Really odd, what more since the drama in question happens to be about people with superpowers. Simply amazing, although I’m guessing that my side-profile’s something people also recognize easily.

I was invited for a première screening of Heroes, the first episode, last Saturday morning. Went with Grace and Joanna. Had a blast watching it in this little corner R.AGE’s set up ever since their relaunch this year. Saw it on something that resembled a 40″, maybe 50″ widescreen TV, but which was actually some reverse-projection thing made to look like one. Peanut-butter waffles, corndogs, and iced lemon tea after. The nine or so of us talked about the episode after that, someone took pictures, wrote down inaccurate things on a notepad.

Final Fantasy VII: Yes, I’ve been playing it, a lot. And chocobos are still adorable. Separate post on this later.

Death Note 2: I read the manga.

All 13 volumes of it. For the record, since I don’t remember blogging about the first movie; it was alright if you hadn’t read the manga, where it’s based upon. It was alright if you hadn’t, or haven’t seen the anime adaptation either. If you’d either, it sucks. Big time. It’s awfully hard to judge something that impartially when it’s something of interest, something that could’ve been a bit more longer. Maybe the absence of M and N made it awful. Maybe it was how the extent of L and Light’s intellectual prowess was dumbed down in favour of that god-awful thriller movie pacing we all know’s essential to keep an audience captive.

And then those who think they know better mutter something under their breath about making it mainstream, how it takes a niche to actually sit through a movie full of dialogue and logical reasoning ala Sherlock Holmes with minimal action in-between. And I mutter back, rather loudly, that if millions in Japan could follow the manga to its very end unconditionally I don’t see why they couldn’t have done the same for the movie. Still don’t get it?

Guess two glaring points wouldn’t hurt: Light’s 17 in the manga, not in his early 20’s like in the movie — the concept of a school-going kid murder en masse was a whole lot more impactive. As for the replacing of Light’s “chosen one” from a clearly delusional male lawyer to a jealous female newscaster — I’m sorry, but women can’t do this (killing people) as well as men can, because they come off petty in the result. What’s-her-name came across as nothing but an airhead with a grudge against her colleague, and, let’s get this straight, you’re handing over the Death Note to her? I thought a pop idol was ridiculous enough (hint: there’s a reason why the plot’s written so that Light controls what Misa writes in the book). And that’s just for starters.

I could go on, but I guess a better analogy would be bread. Take a whole loaf of uncut bread. Now, carve out a huge hollow in the centre of the loaf, put turkey slices, salami, chilli, eggs, bacon, mozzarella, cheddar, bell peppers, olives, and cherry tomatoes in it, and then take a step back. What do you call that? Definitely not a “loaf of bread”. All because it begins and ends with bread doesn’t mean it’s a damn loaf of one. And the same applies to the movie, I guess. It begins and ends the same, but they ripped out the guts of what made Death Note Death Note, and replaced it with something rather unlike its namesake.

So that was my January. Here’s to the rest of the year!

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