Unrepentant geek. Introverted deviate. Specialist in fairy stories. Run like hell because you always need to. Laugh at everything because it's always funny. Never be cruel and never be cowardly. And if you are, always make amends.
Well, this throws a wrench (or spanner, depending) on my thought that Jo Martin’s Doctor is the Doctor from Pete’s universe. Russell Davies did put a lot of time into establishing a parallel universe for Rose to exist in after THINGS HAPPENED but I suppose it’s a universe where Gallifrey doesn’t exist, which makes no sense because there’s a counterpart for nearly every other person in the show.
Hrm…well if Chibnall isn’t throwing fans off by blatantly lying (which is something Moffat did constantly, remember when he said that he wasn’t going to bring the Master back?) then we have to look at not!Ruth (Ruthless?) being one of the Doctors in the current timeline. In the classic Who episode “The Brain of Morbius”, the Doctor gets into a sort of psychic battle with the titular Morbius, and the battle uncovers the Doctor’s past lives, faces we’ve never seen in the show. It could be possible that this is where Martin’s Doctor comes from. Technically, we don’t know about any Doctors before Hartnell, even if he’s canonically referred to as the “First” Doctor. The show has been pretty consistent with showing the regeneration into the next incarnation without interruption. The show has also given us scenes of the First Doctor stealing the TARDIS along with Susan, but could this also be a false memory that the Doctor has? The Master’s figured out something terrible about the Time Lords’ origins and has told Thirteen that “everything you know is a lie.”
I mean we all know the Time Lords were complete assholes and that’s why the Doctor fled, but did the reason why the Doctor flee get buried? Is the Doctor the Timeless Child alluded to by the Remnants? This also throws out the idea that every Time Lord only has 12 regenerations but the Doctor’s an exception because Gallifrey gifted him another 12 cycles. But what if this was ALSO a lie? What if the Time Lords can regenerate forever but they eventually lose their memories of their past lives in the process/ I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I haven’t been excited for Doctor Who like this in quite a while so yes I’m very much enjoying the Chibnall era so far!
Well it’s a new year, so I’m going to attempt to revitalize this blog (again) by posting, hopefully on the daily, but we’ll see.
First post will be my top 5 anime series of 2019.
Carole & Tuesday
Set on a future version of Mars (which feels surprisingly modern-day) Carole & Tuesday follows two young women and their quest to share their music with the world. Carole is an orphan, originally from Earth but she moved to Mars as a refugee. She takes a number of odd jobs in order to support herself, but her real passion is music. She performs as a busker on the daily and one day she meets Tuesday, a girl from a privledged family who runs away from home to follow her dream of becoming a musician. The two form a fast friendship thanks to their shared love of music.
This series is a departure for director Shinichiro Watanabe, whose mostly known for perhaps one of the most popular anime shows ever, Cowboy Bebop. How does one go from space-faring bounty hunters to a quieter story about two young women finding empowerment through music? I don’t know, but I really loved this show. From the first story arc which resembles a Mars version of American Idol to the second major arc, which focuses much more on the politics that loom large on the Red planet. Namely, Tuesday’s mother is a politician who is running for president of Mars on an anti-immigration platform.
But the show isn’t preachy about its politics, and in the end, the music is what really shines about the show.
O Maidens in Your Savage Season
If Kevin Smith wrote a slice of life anime featuring teen girls I think it would come close to O Maidens in Your Savage Season. The members of their school’s classic literature club are starting to notice how horny some of the fiction they read makes them. As puberty washes over them, they begin to look at boys (and girls!) in entirely new ways.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from this show but it came highly recommended as a rare and frank anime depiction of what teen girls go through as hormones hit. And, gosh, did some of this stuff hit home for me, as I recalled being a teen girl and ridiculously confused about all these feelings I was suddenly having. The show doesn’t shy away from the nastiness, the petty behavior that teens go through while in the throes of hormonal angst, and I appreciate the show’s absolute candor.
MacGyver meets Lost in this celebration of science and friendships. Senku is a certifiable scientific genius, the kind of kid who would take something apart to figure out how it works and then put it all back together again and somehow make it work better than it did before. One day (there’s always that “one day”) a mysterious green ray spreads across the entire Earth, turning all the humans to stone. Senku eventually breaks free of his stone prison and figures out that 3700 years have passed since the incident. He goes about awakening his friends and trying to rebuild civilization in the new stone world.
What a delightful, life-affirming show about science is what my impression of Dr. Stone is. I love the cast of characters and I love that Senku is more than willing to teach others what he knows rather than just hoarding the knowledge for himself. He understands that he’ll need help in order to bring back some of the technology that humans took for granted thousands of years ago, and I love that even though he’s pragmatic, he still sees the value in all human life, a point of view that his rivals lack and will surely be their downfall.
The Promised Neverland
It’s going to be hard not to spoil the twist that makes this anime so compelling but I’ll try my best. A group children are being raised by a doting “mother” in a mysterious, isolated house. They are tutored rigorously and only the best children are rewarded by being able to be adopted by new families and leaving the house. But, of course, when children leave, they don’t get adopted. What happens to them is much worse, and when the children find out their true fates after leaving, they set up a plan of escape.
This anime hits all the major enjoyment points for me: dystopian, plucky kids who are in danger but determined to get themselves out, real danger and real consequences. My only quibble is that it’s only 12 episodes so there’s a long wait to see what happens next.
Fruits Basket (2019)
The venerable shojo manga series gets a new anime adaptation (one that promises to adapt the entire series instead of just ending after the first major story arc like the previous anime adaptation did). I love this because I loved the original manga and of course there’s very little (if any) changes between the two. It’s comfort food to me, something to watch and feel good about.
Two dorks travel from planet to planet trying to get enough money to pay off their debts. Hilarity ensues.
Astra Lost in Space
A group of teenagers on a normal school trip (in space) end up getting lost (in space). Drama ensues.
I’ve got to say, rebuilding a blog from scratch when you’ve lost backups and the Internet Archive Wayback Machine fails you is quite the experience. But I think I’m ready to work on this personal site again. Join me on this journey and let us walk this path of destruction together, won’t we?
I feel that odd sensation where I don’t want to commit to writing about my amazing week because it would just mean that I’m accepting the idea that it’s over until next year.
So, after last year’s illness debacle where I sort of stressed myself into a disastrous migraine by Sunday of the con, which probably compromised my immune system and made more more susceptible to catching Con Crud, which landed me in bed for nearly a month, etc. etc. etc. , I decided to take this year’s con in stride. Every panel I decided to place on my schedule app was a “nice to have.” I promised myself that I wouldn’t stress out if I didn’t manage to make it. I kept a Clara quote in mind: “Tomorrow is promised to no one, Doctor.” I think this made for a more relaxing con for me, and a much more enjoyable experience overall. This was my ninth Gally in a row, and it’s become more of a homecoming than just a Doctor Who con experience. Meeting old friends is kind of a plus, but mostly it was a time just to marvel at how the Doctor Who fandom has changed, even during the time I’d started attending.
It’s a lot more queer, or much more visibly queer, at least. A great plus. And a lot more racially diverse too. I wasn’t able to attend the POC Whovian meetup but perhaps next year I should. I loved that cosplayers of all genders and body types and ages were able to cosplay as Thirteen and it looked amazing. I spotted a black cosplayer in a spot-on Five outfit and he looked FANFUCKINGTASTIC. We can only hope that fandom becomes even more diverse and representative in the coming years.
Next year, the ballroom level will be renovated to match the rest of the modern look of the hotel. That iconic Marriott carpet will be no more next year, and many attendees took “carpet selfies” to commemorate its passing. I did my own. And because attending a Doctor Who convention has taught me love, patience, and pain:
L.A. y u so COLD? I came down south hoping for a slightly warmer February but I wandered around downtown LA today and it was cloudy and rainy and whenever the wind picked up, I began to shake from cold. Add to the fact that stress and unfamiliar surroundings have shortened my sleep time to 4 hours or less a night, I’m nearly running on fumes. But today was a fun day nevertheless.
– started the day with breakfast at Pann’s, or it would have started at Pann’s if the restaurant was open today, which it wasn’t, because something was filming there, which meant the diner was closed, and I was deprived of Pann’s chicken wings and waffles for another day longer than I expected. Boo. But hopefully the diner will be open tomorrow, because I need it dammit.
– so instead of going to Pann’s we ended up going to the Grand Central Market, which is a history food hall in downtown L.A. Wandered around and was tempted by the ramen stand (because I was freezing) and scoffed at the line headed to Eggslut (which might have the world’s best breakfast sandwich but idk I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy into the hype). I ended up at Sari Sari Store, a Filipino influenced stand which specializes in rice bowls. I got the lechon kawali bowl, which were strips of deep fried pork belly, mixed in with some pickled vegetables (mostly onions) and a fried egg. They offered a dipping sauce made up of soy sauce and vinegar but I ended up just using straight up rice vinegar the most. The flavors invoked my childhood and it was definitely a familiar flavor presented in a new way.
– Afterwards, we went into the Bradbury Building, which is right across the street. Probably better known as the Blade Runner building because of its connection to the iconic movie. The lobby is open to the public and I got to wander around some of the stairs and got to watch the elevators go up and down, so that was pretty neat.
– I wanted to check out some of the anime stores in Little Tokyo so we headed over there, even though I ended up not getting anything. Anime Jungle is a pretty neat place, and I sort of love that they still have a huge selection of Gundam models and the like, even if hobby shops in the US have overall gone through a huge decline within the past 20 years. I was a bit tempted to get some things, but ended up no spending that much money. Ended up at Marukai Market, one of the local grocery stores in the area, where i picked up some fancy instant ramen noodles because of REASONS. I got a Nong Shim kim chi rammyun (sort of the Korean version of ramen) plus a clam and seafood flavored ramen which cost twice as much as any of the other selections so I’m hoping that it tastes amazing. Ended up getting an early dinner at Curry House.
– I didn’t want to overexhert myself on my only really full free day considering I ended up getting the flu last year after pushing myself too hard. I just wish I could sleep better, but I keep stressing over money and the fact that the hotel is placing a hold on my credit card for an amount far more excessive than the stated price of the room. I’m PRETTY sure I will be able to pay for it but I’m not entirely sure right now and the result is that I’m finding it difficult to sleep without having terrible thoughts about getting kincked out of the hotel for not being able to pay. 🙁
– anyway, hoping to get to Pann’s tomorrow and then helping to set up the pipes and drapes at the con…
So, yes, I ordered the game from Best Buy and obsessively refreshed the tracking page at home and at work until I saw that it was delivered. Luckily Tuesday was my Friday so I’m right in the middle of my weekend, which allows me plenty of time to play around with the game and MY HEART.
I’m grateful that I actually was able to play Birth By Sleep on the PS4 Remix version of the games (couldn’t get the game originally because I didn’t have a PSP) because MY HEART. The Wayfinder Trio (Terra, Aqua, and Ventus) are quite possibly my favorite group of friends in the whole series, even though they only showed up for one game. SO MUCH HAPPENED between the three of them and I just want Aqua to be happy (even though she got Norted, as we’ve seen in the KH3 trailers dammit). But then there’s also Axel, Roxas, and Xion, and then the original Destiny Islands trio whom I also love and adore and only want good things for but nothing is easy because Reasons.
The controls for the game took a bit of getting used to, but I’m grateful that the Gummi Ship stuff is now a little more intuitive, at least flying and the battles are, but I’ve always needed the Gummi Ship stuff to be more than it always was. I’m happy for some bullet hell style gameplay to break up the RPG character building and…of course…the grinding for materials to synthesize into better gear because it’s Kingdom Hearts and grinding for shards and stones is like…90% of all gameplay.
Anyway, the game is attempting (very valiantly, so far) to bring together the disparate epic story of Xehanort and how he wanted to Voldemort himself into immortality (or something) by finding 13 versions of himself so that they can get control of Kingdom Hearts and control everything because something something dark side vs light side. I mean basically the story is every single good vs. evil trope in existence mashed with Disney and Final Fantasy characters. And I’m a sucker for angsty anime tropes and fighting for friendship and love and following your destiny is enough for me to sit down and play this damn game.
So far I’m enjoying it immensely. I’ve made it to the Toy Story world, but not very far into it, because I do love exploring every single nook and cranny for treasure chests. The completionist in me adores the KH series because Jiminy Cricket’s journal has always tracked all the collectibles very nicely. I have some quick thoughts so far:
– Sora is willing to sacrifice himself to bring Roxas back and Donald and Goofy are just…okay with that?
– I’M SO GLAD THEY PUT IN SHOTLOCK ATTACKS. The best part of the BBS combat system, by far.
– The attraction summons are, like, so fun. Do I wanna kick butt with the Teacups? Hell yeah I do!
– Lea and Kairi bonding are just *chef kiss*
– Speaking of chef kisses, I’m so amused with how they worked in Ratatouille into this game. Basically it’s like the recipe system in FF XV, to the point where I kept hearing Ignis’s “That’s it! I’ve discovered a new recipeh!” whenever Remy and Sora made a new dish.
I’m in the middle of my workweek so it’s been hard for me to update. But in these last few moments of 2018 (which has been overall a kind of garbage year) there have been bright spots.
I spent most of March and some of April battling the flu, which sent my finances into the dumpster, but I did get a job (eventually, after months of stress and more digging myself into financial ruin) so now I’m trying to dig myself out of the hole I sent myself in. But such is life. I have enough money now that I’m not stressed out every single day (like I was for that stretch of 2018 from March to September). I’ve learned a lot so far and met a bunch of cool people at work. I don’t know if I’m staying there for long but my shitty luck with trying to find a job that was more in line with my previous office work probably means that I’m going to be working retail for a while longer. I’ve been asked to begin full time now (i started as a part timer) so that means more money. So I’m going into 2019 with a little more optimism than last year.
I’m still annoyed with current affairs though. *sigh*
Anyway, Happy new year and hopefully this coming year will be better than this annoying year…
I know I shouldn’t care any more about shitty male characters after Breaking Bad and Mad Men but my gosh Better Call Saul is a woeful American tragedy and I’m all for watching Jimmy stomp down and exorcise all of the “good” parts of him, the parts that loved Kim and loved Chuck and had respect for Howard and just remold himself into a monster. It’s what Chuck expected out of him, after all. Like, Jimmy was a public defender. He worked with senior citizens. Probably out of some obligation to show to Chuck that he wouldn’t be such a fuck up all his life.
And it didn’t matter.
Chuck would always be jealous of Jimmy. Chuck had the acclaim and the success but Jimmy still had the charisma (people just loved him no matter what) and that would always rub Chuck the wrong way. Jimmy even took care of Chuck, maybe to the point of enabling his mental issues? Sometimes it seemed that way. He didn’t push Chuck to get help and just sort of tended to him without a second thought because maybe he thought then THEN Chuck would finally be proud of him and like him.
Chuck always took Jimmy for granted. And Jimmy grew resentful and there you have the fallout between the two brothers.
Better Call Saul is filled with broken, angry men and I know I shouldn’t like it but I do anyway because all those angry men are so damn compelling to watch.
Also Kim Wexler is everything to me. Kim loves Jimmy deeply, but she’s ambitious and has her own plans for her future and she just can’t wait for Jimmy to get his licence back so she decided (because even though Mesa Verde is a huge get) that she wants something more out of life. She wants to do the public defending. It’s what she went into law FOR. Help people. And she doesn’t need Jimmy for that, and Jimmy doesn’t understand that. He wants to be Kim’s partner, for life. In work and in romance and Kim wants things that she doesn’t expect Jimmy to give.
I really hope nothing happens to Kim. Maybe Kim makes partner someday? Maybe she lawyers so hard that she becomes one of the best lawyers in the southwest, maybe the country. She has that much ambition and I don’t doubt she could do that, with or without Jimmy’s help.
My life isn’t that awesome right now and some people think that Twitter should be nuked from orbit. But I’d been looking at those fancy Japanese toilets for a while and contemplating getting a bidet attachment for the bathroom (because I just convinced myself that having a bidet would be neat). I also thought that I’d probably get one once I get a steady paycheck again. Jeff knows about my near-obsession and made a joke, which I posted onto Twitter, because it was a good joke:
So a few hours later, I receive a DM from Bio Bidet, which is an American bidet company and they sell their products at places like Home Depot, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. So, it’s not just a tiny company. They apparently saw my tweet and wanted to send me one of their bidets? For free??? What is my life????
Fast forward one week later and now I have a bidet installed on the toilet, it works great, I’m somewhat happier than I was a week ago, and it’s all because of a pun.
Anyway if you’re looking for bidets check out Bio Bidet. At least their social media marketing person thought I was cool. And Twitter isn’t always a garbage site.
I did a Twitter thread thingy and I wanted to record it somewhere else:
This thread is gonna be about #CrazyRichAsians Let the records show that I saw the movie on its opening weekend. But this thread isn’t about me, it’s about an older biracial couple I know. Husband is white, wife is Asian.
This couple is in their 60s. The wife came to the US from Japan in the ‘50s, overstayed her student visa, and there you go. The husband is your basic baby boomer born and raised in the midwest. CRA wasn’t even on their radar until the hype train came barreling into town.
I mean, this is the Bay Area. Lots of Asian-Americans, lots of local news hype. And then the movie started making bank, and older couple started paying attention. This couple go to the movies a lot more than I do, usually seeing the latest art house flick. They go watch CRA.
And my gosh you don’t know how hyped I was for the wife to see the movie. Her story sort of mirrors Rachel’s mom’s. She raised a daughter as a single mom before marrying current husband later in her life. I was eager to see what she thought.
The next time I saw them, I asked her about it. I was hoping for a rave. I was hoping for echoes of what I felt, of what many Asian-Americans of my generation felt seeing an all-Asian cast on the big screen in a blockbuster movie. She didn’t get the hype.
Granted, she’s not the type to watch romcoms, so I get that she might not have enjoyed the movie as much. But wasn’t it great to see so many Asians together? She didn’t care.
And I wasn’t sure how to process that? How this woman, who was often the only Asian person at her workplace, who raised a biracial daughter, couldn’t see the significance of CRA. What is Asian-American identity when we still have people like her who call themselves “Oriental?”
And I’ve been stewing on this for a while now. I realize that she isn’t a part of the Asian-American community. Most of her friends are white. She might’ve given up vast swaths of her Asian-ness to live in the suburbs.
[That she couldn’t even recognize herself in the story of Rachel and her mother is particularly damning and sad to me]
Whereas I cling to my Filipino-American identity like a security blanket. I’m this, and I cannot be anything else. I suppose it’s a generational thing as well. Asians were once expected to be demure and quiet and are finally allowed to be brash and visible.
And she has blind spots. She arrived in the US in the ’50s. The Japanese-American internment camps hadn’t even been closed for a decade. And although she knows *of* that awful history, she doesn’t think twice about doing the same thing to undocumented immigrants and refugees.
So is it a kind of internalized racism? A kind of adopted white privilege? A desperate need to look past race because denying one’s race was the only way to survive? I don’t know.