Perfume

I apologise ahead of time… When I started writing this post, which favours Japan, I didn’t think about the fact that I’d be posting it on Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese attacking America during World War II! LOL my bad.


I’m not talking about the oils or artificial scents that one sprays on themselves to cover up whatever it is they think they smell like. Nor am I talking about the UK band from the 1990s. I am talking about my favourite J-pop group. (J-pop is short for “Japanese pop,” though the group’s technical genre is techno-pop. This is not to be confused with K-pop –Korean pop– or C-pop –Chinese pop.–)

I know what you might be thinking… that Asian music is strange. The lyrics don’t make sense, and the videos are even worse. (My thoughts go to the recently famed “Gangnam Style,” which I actually had yet to see until I started writing this post.) For the most part, I would agree with you. I admit, I myself still don’t really understand Japanese poetry or figures of speech. (I figure as I continue to learn the culture and language –and I need to be more devoted to taking my lessons as I should be fluent by now– I’ll eventually figure things out.) I get the gist of some songs, fully understand very few, and probably most of them I like purely for how it sounds.

This group Perfume currently consists of three girls (all around the age of Hubby): Ayano Oumoto (“Nocchi” – the one who seems to be the “tomboy”), Yuka Kashino (“Kashiyuka” – the adorable one that looks the youngest, but is actually the oldest), and Ayaka Nashiwaki (“A-chan” – the pretty one, my favourite — not to say the others aren’t pretty, but I’m not sure what other word to use to describe her as separate from the others). Originally, the band had Yuuka Kawashima (“Kawayuka”), who was quickly replaced by Nocchi. (Kawayuka withdrew because she wanted to pursue her studies.) The group got its name because the three original girls had the Japanese character (香) for fragrance in their names.

Left-to-right: Kashiyuka, Nocchi, A-chan.
A very basic history, these girls attended the Actors School in Hiroshima, in its charter year of 1999, beginning in sixth grade. They released their first single, “Omajinai Perori” (or “OMAJINAI★ペロリ” as it appears on my iPod), in Hiroshima in March 2002, and their next single “Kareshi Boshuuchuu” (translation: “Looking for a Boyfriend”) later that year.

I’m not going to go on with facts and leave no room for why I like this band or how I came to know of them. Back in 2007, I randomly came across a J-pop video on YouTube called “Super Jet Shoes.” I don’t remember what group it was, it wasn’t Perfume, and the video has since been removed. I was strangely intrigued by it, and there were related links to more J-pop videos by a group called Perfume. I watched maybe ten of their videos before I realised that I really liked how they sounded and I had to own some of their music.

After listening to them for about a week, I started looking online to find the lyrics. I came across Perfume City, an unofficial fansite but my number one Perfume resource, and they have the lyrics to their songs in Kanji (the more famously known written form of Japanese), Romaji (Japanese transliterated into English letters), and also in English! I picked some of my favourite songs at the time to learn. I printed the Romaji lyrics for “Computer City,” “Electro World,” and a couple others (but I only got around to learning those two at the time), read them aloud several times to myself, and even typed them until I finally could sing along with them. The lyrics in English are what helped me find out if the words were actually the kind of things I wanted to be singing, and simply to understand what the songs are saying.

My personal favourite song, “Dream Fighter,” is amazing. It actually makes sense, LOL! The poetry is understandable, it sounds great, and it’s encouraging enough to have gotten me through many tough days at work. This song is about keeping your dreams in sight and no matter how tough it gets, no matter how many times you get knocked down, never let go — get back up and keep fighting for your dreams!

They finally made a music video after months of me returning to YouTube in hopes of finding it. The video is a bit strange for the song, but it’s very classy compared to most of their stranger earlier ones.

mcqueen_in_japan

Have you seen the movie Cars 2? Then you’ve already heard Perfume! Their song “Polyrhythm” plays in the scene when Lightning McQueen and Mater arrive in the Japanese club. (See that clip again by clicking here.)

With the recent popularity of “Gangnam Style,” I know that the general (or at least younger) populace of America can understand that songs (or at least music videos) can be enjoyable even if you don’t fully understand it. (Although, the song “Gangnam Style” is about making fun of the lifestyle in the region of Gangnam in Seoul, Korea. You can read more about that here.)

I’ll finish up with two music videos. First, “Dream Fighter,” because it’s my favourite song:

Second, “Nee” (translation: “Hey”), because it’s actually a really cool video. It’s my sister’s favourite song. And I really want A-chan’s black-and-white striped jacket! (Also, the random cat cracks me up.)

Post-Apocalyptic Dreams Are the “Bomb”!

Please see the “About any stories I may post” section of the About This Blog page.


I love doomsday movies. Armageddon, 2012, The Core, Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, Arctic Blast,… Post-apocalyptic are just as great. The Book of Eli, I Am Legend, Planet of the Apes,…

Of course, watching these movies can lead to some fantastic dreams.

The dream I’m going to write about, however, wasn’t necessarily triggered by anything in particular, except for pure random fandom. Although, it was a sort of post-apocalyptic thing, but I don’t think it was on Earth. I also may not remember everything, nor remember it in any particular order, because I had the dream about two weeks ago.

Now without further ado…


Everything was desert-y: the landscape, the huts made of stone and some sort of skins, the sand-coloured clothing, and even everyone’s hair was either blond or brown. I (whatever sort of character I was “playing”) arrived at the camp of a tribe with my sister (who appeared to be only about age seven). (I guess the tribe we came from had been wiped out.)

Some period of time had instantly lapsed because we had already established at least a small acceptance into the tribe. There was some sort of fair going on at the edge of town and my sister was eager to go. I told her I wasn’t sure because I didn’t have the money to spend on much. The chief (whom I kept noticing throughout the dream looked exactly like Michael Shanks) had been nearby and overheard, handed me £160 without a word, then returned to discussing a matter with another tribesman. In shock of what just happened, I handed the money to my sister (though I planned to soon follow), and she immediately ran off to the fair with excitement. I looked over to the chief, surprised that he, personally, would take care of my sister and me.

Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson in “Stargate SG-1”

Another sum of time instantly passed and as I was walking, I saw a blond-haired man holding the hand of a little girl as they walked in my direction. As they got closer, I saw that it was Joey and Michelle, about age 2-3, from Full House. She was eating a cake pop, and when they got to me she held it out. She said, “My daddy won’t let me have this, so you can have the rest.” I smiled, amused, and accepted it, noticing her tiny hands were covered in cake. (Yep – Danny sure wouldn’t have wanted to see that mess, haha.)

Joey and Michelle

More time had passed, and apparently I had made a few friends. There was some sort of celebration happening, and as the chief (to whom I had taken a fancy) and I walked passed the area where dancing was going on, a guy friend (who had taken a fancy to me) called me over to dance. (Let’s call this friend “Derek.”) I hesitated because I didn’t want to lead him on, but I figured there was no harm since it wasn’t slow music. We had fun, even though I didn’t dance very well (just like in real life, haha).

Some time later (maybe a day or two), my sister and I were walking with the chief, who was showing us to a new lake. (It looked more like some sort of small religious man-made pond with the concrete steps and the engravings on the pillars surrounding it.) I saw Jolene Blalock swimming slowly toward the steps, and as she got out of the lake the water level started rising quickly. I picked up my sister to prevent her from drowning, but it continued to rise several feet above our heads. At that point, I thought, Wait a minute. This is a dream; I don’t have to hold my breath. So, I took a deep breath, thought about the emerald and red waters from Ted Dekker’s Circle series of books (where the people breathe the waters), and tossed my sister in the “air” and she did a flip.

–This is where the order and events of the dream become quite foggy.–

The next thing I remember was that I was hanging out with Derek (who, by the way, sort of looked like the first Deputy Andy from Eureka, but was really tall and had a “fluffier” body). We were floating on the edge of a river in a giant hollowed out log. I think it was here that I was at a point where I had to “choose” a man. I felt uneasy around Derek because I didn’t want to choose him, but I knew he hoped I would.

The first Sheriff/Deputy Andy from “Eureka”

The last part I remember was me sitting by the lake with the chief. I told him that I had chosen someone (him, of course — makes sense since Michael Shanks somewhat resembles Hubby in certain ways), but I was nervous about telling Derek that it wasn’t him.


Yep, that’s the end of what I remember of the dream. Although, when I woke up I stayed in bed and was still tired enough that I was able to let the dream continue. I don’t count those parts of the dream because I had some influence ;oP. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole next day. If I still wrote stories it would have made a great mini series. Even the way it ended before I completely woke up left it open for a whole new major plot. Oy… But since I can’t write stories based on the dream I figured I’d write about the dream itself.

Years ago, I would do that all the time. I hated to forget anything, including dreams, so I would spend a couple of hours almost every morning writing out in my diary the details of anything remotely awesome I may have dreamt. It greatly contributed to my ability to write — even if it’s not stories that I’m writing.

247

Years ago, my favourite numbers were 2 and 47.

“2” was because when I needed to create a new email address about 11 years ago, my name was taken, so I chose to put a “2” at the end.  (That email address is no longer in commission.)  It became my username for most websites.  I saw that number so often that eventually I sort of fell in love with it.

“47” is a number purposefully put everywhere in Star Trek shows, books, and movies.  I once found an article that explained why “47” is special, and it was the reason that it is used so often in Star Trek.  (I don’t remember what all the details were, but basically it came out to “all numbers equal 47.”)

I have favoured other numbers in the past for different reasons, but they are frivolous to this blog entry.

One day, I decided that with 2 and 47 being my favourite numbers, then 247 is awesome as it’s both of them together!  Eventually, 247 even succeeded its “parents” as my favourite number.

Being the dork that I am, I point out, or just smile, every time that I see my favourite number.  On license plates, the time, mile markers, pretty much anything, though I rarely allow “24/7” to count.

Why a whole post on my favourite number?  Not only because I’m a dork that way, but because this blog has reached 247 all-time views.  (It’s not much in general, but a lot for having not promoted by blog in any way including Facebook.)

I’ll end with five occurrences of 247.

1.  The cable channel number of the local weather where I lived in Oklahoma was 247.  (It was “24/7 local weather.”)

2. 247°F is the name of an R-rated 2011 American B movie.  In this movie, four friends travel to a lakeside cabin for a weekend holiday, when three of them end up locked in a sauna.  “Every minute counts and every degree matters as they fight for their lives in the heat up to 247°F.”  (Quote from IMDb brief summary.)

3. The Boeing 247 was an American passenger aeroplane that entered service in 1933.  It was faster than that year’s premier fighter plane, the Boeing P-12.

4. 247drums is a drum shop in Winchester, Massachusetts, where you can buy, rent, and trade to your drummer heart’s content!  And for those who want to learn to play, they offer free video classes on their website!

5.  Hmm… how about just some pictures of the number?

Do you see it?! :o)

Some screenshots from online games I’ve played:

Some Enchanted Evening

Plays are amazing — musicals the best, obviously. I prefer seeing them in person to recorded, but sometimes a movie version will capture my attention. Never will a recorded stage play pique my interest.

Except for South Pacific. Specifically, the one recorded live from Carnegie Hall in 2005. It stars Reba McEntire, Alec Baldwin, Brian Stokes Mitchell (Trevor from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!), Broadway actor Jason Danieley, and others.

I happened to catch it on PBS one day and I fell in love quickly. As soon as I had the chance (I didn’t have the Internet at that time) I found the DVD online and ordered it without hesitation.

Why it stood out over other versions of the play, I don’t know. I mean, the stars are even reading the script as they play their parts! (Don’t worry — the actors are so good it doesn’t distract from the play itself at all — except for the one hilarious time that Alec loses his place!) But I adore Reba McEntire as an actress. And she’s so cute with her red hair, southern American accent, and adorable smile!

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Nellie and Emile singing “Some Enchanted Evening”

The story takes place during World War II, and centers on a “hick” US Navy nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas, Nellie Forbush (Reba McEntire), and the Frenchman she’s fallen for, Emile de Becque (Brian Stokes Mitchell). Apart from most others’ worries about the war, the two of them are sure that everything will turn out alright (cue song “Cockeyed Optimist”). When Nellie meets Emile’s two children, she discovers that he is the widower of a Polynesian woman. With this new-found knowledge, Nellie is faced with the struggle to decide between love and prejudice.

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Nellie and Luther Billis entertaining their fellow seamen with the song “Honey Bun”

The secondary love story involves US Marine Lieutenant Joseph Cable (Jason Danieley).  (When Bloody Mary meets him, she misunderstands and calls him “Lootellan.”)  It’s another choice between love and prejudice when Lt. Cable falls for Bloody Mary’s daughter Liat.  I have to let you know (sort-of-a-spoiler) that, despite odds, Liat eventually refuses to marry anyone but Lt. Cable.  But can you blame her?  Look at the hottie that plays him! ;oP

Don’t worry — the play isn’t all lovey-dovey, tear-jerking fun.  There is actually a war plot to the whole thing.  In fact, it’s the reason that a Marine enters the story among all the sailors.  Even Emile is in the story for more than love.

It’s a wonderful play filled with romance, comedy, and tragedy.  Happy endings and sad endings.

There you have it — my usual “cheerleading” review (thanks, Pisces Muse!) of something I geek out about.  There may be things wrong with it, but I refuse to try and look for them (or focus on and write about the ones I do know about).

Now, what kind of review would this be if I didn’t include links to help you find the DVD to buy online if you wanted to?  Because surely, you will want to buy the best live recorded stage play ever! ;o)

Amazon.com

ShopPBS.org (probably where I bought it because I didn’t yet know better than to buy something at full price without shopping around first!)

Good-bye, My Doctor

I finally found the document I wrote right after seeing the Doctor Who special “The End of Time.” I warn you, there are spoilers! I give my summary of the end of this special, plus spoilers from a few previous episodes. So, if you haven’t seen the specials between series 4 and 5, series 3 episodes “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood,” and series 2 episode “Doomsday,” then I suggest you wait to read this.


2 January, 2010

I just finished watching Doctor Who: The End of Time. It was, by far, the best episode I’ve ever seen. Lots of action, lots of eye-opening discoveries (seeing how and why things have happened), and lots of emotion. I’ve only had the chance to see one of the specials after series 4, but it was an important one. When, at the end, the woman tells the Doctor he will die “when he knocks four times.” All through this last episode I’m thinking that the drumming was the four knocks. Then, after the Time Lords and Gallifrey are gone, the doctor was still there. He was getting excited that he was still alive. I knew that wasn’t the end. Not only did I know there’s a new doctor coming, but with all the “prophecy” and stuff that had been in the show, even in series 4, I knew that Doctor #10 was supposed to die that episode. He’s on the floor, overjoyed that he’s alive, and then you hear Donna’s grandpa in the chamber knock four times. The Doctor loses his smile, knowing full well what’s about to happen. After a short conversation, the Doctor lets him out and absorbs all the radiation himself. After he says good-bye to the old man (mentioning that he’ll see him once more), the Doctor goes off to see and save some people that meant a lot to him while he was Doctor #10. Sarah Jane and her son, Mickey and Martha (who got married sometime between then and the last time we saw them), the granddaughter of the woman he fell in love with while he thought he was human (asking if she had been happy in the end), stopping by to see the old man again at Donna’s wedding, and finally Rose Tyler before they had met. He was leaning against a building, beginning to feel the pain of regeneration. She stopped and asked if he was alright and then figured he’d had too much to drink (it being New Year’s Day of the year they met). He said he thought it’d be a great year for her. She smiled and left. Even as he was walking to the TARDIS in pain, the Ood showed up and kept him going by keeping the song going until he reached the TARDIS. The Doctor’s last words as his tenth form were “I don’t want to go.”

They ended the episode the same as they do every episode; with excitement to prepare us for more adventure. Even with a new face and personality, they make sure we fans are coming back. Usually at the end of a series I’m so caught up in it when it’s over that I write a story or something. After watching the series 1 finale I had a half-asleep dream that spawned a story I started. It wasn’t really Doctor Who, but Christopher Eccleston was in my dream and he was the Doctor. I just had to change that for the story that I never completed. After the series 2 finale there was no story, but a video that I later redid to focus more on the Doctor and Rose than those last two episodes. I’m not sure if there was anything at the end of series three. After series four, I went to seto-kaiba.com where I have a Rose Tyler account and wrote a journal entry as if it was the night of that last episode. I’ve started a video since then, and had ideas for more, but haven’t had enough episodes in the right format to complete them. After these specials, it’s just this document.

This is it. After these specials, there is no more Doctor 10. I was sad when Christopher Eccleston was no longer the Doctor, too, but I had already recognised David Tennant as the Doctor before I started watching the show. I was late, I know. Series 3 was getting ready to start when I finally saw an episode. I should be happy since there are still adventures I haven’t seen with Doctor 10 (the other two specials), but it won’t be the same knowing that he’s gone.

I’ve been sitting here now for about 5-10 minutes. This is just so weird. I’ve known it was coming for almost a year, but I’m still sort of in shock. David Tennant’s been the Doctor for longer than I’ve been watching. I saw my first episode the first time I was living with Shelly*. I watched all of series 1 & 2 that summer. I got Jenny* to be a fan. She and I both cried (or at least I was miserably saddened) when Rose was left in the alternate universe to be eternally separated from the one she loved. That was only two-and-a-half years ago. Yet I feel like David Tennant’s Doctor hasn’t been just a part of my life, but part of me. Not only was he the perfect actor for the part, but the writers, directors, and everyone else involved in any way with the show are absolutely brilliant! I fell in love with Rose, not like she was a loved character or a sister, but like she was me. It’s true that I was never fond of Jack Harkness from the moment he showed up, but honestly it’s never bad to see him. Just thinking of Mickey, how he was, and what he has become.

The Doctor touches lives. The Doctor changes lives. Doctor #10 is, and always will be, my Doctor.

–space–

But bring on the changes.

–space–

*Names have been changed for protection purposes.


Sadly, seto-kaiba.com apparently no longer exists or I would have shared a link.

Fluorescent Lights vs Kitty Power

What is it about him? Is it his chill nature?  His sarcasm?  The way he knocks his buddy around like a little brother?  The fact that he hates Mondays, loves to eat, and will stay curled up in his bed all hours of the day?  Why do we love him so much?

I am, of course, talking about Garfield; that fat, old, lazy cat schemed in the mind of Jim Davis.

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I’ve always enjoyed the Garfield comic strip — almost like it was born in me.  I don’t even remember a time before I knew who was Garfield.  I do remember when I got a chance to really enjoy the comic.  It was at the library where I lived when I was a pre-teen; they had many books of Garfield comics.  I checked them all out (not all at once), and eventually “got to” keep one.  (It was lost for a long enough period of time that the overdue fines ended up paying for it.)  It made me so happy to read so many short (and some actually book-long) adventures with this lazy little cat (or do I mean “big”?) who does nothing but treat the world as would a half-grumpy old man.  (This was also when I started dotting my “I”s with circles like Jim Davis does.)  I even drew a couple of my own Garfield strips.  (Sorry, I can’t find them to share with you. I think my old art folder is still in a box I left in my parents’ attic…)

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The evolution of Garfield

I had some things I could have done today, but when I saw the library I decided I could use a break. I went straight for the adult fiction section, to a book I’ve been considering reading by my favourite author, but not until I finish the series I started. After looking it over a bit, I instead decided I wanted to finish the last series book I have yet to read. I read the prologue and couldn’t continue. It’s a great series by a great author, but the low fluorescent lights in the building were already starting to bother me. So instead of continuing to read at the moment (I have the series at home, after all), I wandered around just to pass some more time.

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Garfield laptop skin

I happened across a comic section, and in browsing it I found some Garfield books. Ah, memories. I decided on one to start looking at, but would probably take it home –where I don’t have fluorescent lights– to finish later. I sat in one of the “comfy” chairs, kept turning pages with laughs (quiet ones, of course) and ended up finishing the book. Yes, the lights still bothered me, but for some reason I was able to carry on easily through the book.

I grabbed a couple more to check out before I left to grab some actual sunlight.

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The strip that was printed the day I was born. Reminds me of my pillow sometimes :oP

So, to answer the question at the beginning: I think we love him for all of those things. He says what we all want to say at times. “No, I don’t want to get out of bed today — now go make me a sandwich!” We would love to stay in bed all day, finish the entire lasagna, and smack into the table the face of anyone who comments on our weight. Since there are repercussions for such things in the real world, we’ll just watch our favourite orange, fat cat — *SMACK* *BLAT* Ow! Sorry, Garfield — do it for us.

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(Andrew) Garfield, LOL

Thursday?

Nope!

Happy Thor’s Day!

And this epic illustration of his father, Odin, just because it’s epic:

–THOR 2 SPOILERS!!–

I got so excited one day when I was exploring IMDb, to find out that in Thor 2 (Thor: The Dark World) Christopher Eccleston will be playing Malekith! (Bad guy.) I’m so looking forward to it! Not because of Malekith, but because of Eccleston, of course! WHOO!!