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Got back home earlier this morning at like...3AM, lol. I met so many amazing people, got to go to a couple of fun panels and workshops, cosplayed for the first time (woo!), and got to hang out/meet up with several friends :D

I'm feeling really good, and I'm feeling especially good about getting some work done with my comic with so many blocks and barriers out of my way now :D
  • Listening to: The Last of Us Soundtrack
  • Watching: Krull
  • Eating: Tilapia
  • Drinking: rice punch
Fanime weekend was interesting to say the least. Lots of sleep deprivation and building stress. Then explosions and other stuff. I feel like I just caught up on sleep... and then some, and will continue to catch up for a while. A lot of stuff to think about on my plate....
  • Listening to: k.flay
  • Watching: The Princess Bride
  • Eating: fatty, fatty foods
  • Drinking: gatorade
Hey, so as I've previously published on this journal, I've got a table, but I'm splitting it with my super awesome friend Alexandra who's stuff you can check out here: www.krop.com/AlexandraSherwood…

I think she's planning on cosplaying a Final Fantasy XI dancer at Fanime! Also, she's an amaaaaazing painter u@. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has up her sleeves!

Be sure to drop by and say hi!
  • Eating: Curry!
  • Drinking: Neuro Bliss, lol
So yeah. What the title says. Oh jeez. I have to make so much stuff.

Also, my DA is horribly outdated. I need to upload so much stuff, not to mention the comic I've been working on. The site's empty, but the site's URL is timefiddler.com. Who knows, maybe I'll have some stuff there if you're reading this two weeks after the fact!
  • Eating: So hungry...
Finished watching the season finale... makes me want to draw Korra stuff.

Does anyone know any PaintChats I could join? I feel like going in one and just doodling...

Also, got a new sketchbook! Will post new drawings soon; Hell, maybe I should post old drawings too, but it's such a pain to go through each page....
  • Listening to: Carly Rae Jepsen over and over and over in my head
  • Reading: Elantris
  • Watching: FINISHED KORRA D:
  • Playing: lol... FFXIII-2? Nah, Lollipop Chainsaw
  • Drinking: IBC root beer?
www.welovefine.com/vote.php?id…
www.welovefine.com/vote.php?id…

Not my best ever, sure, but if the Mass Effect one won, it'd set an awesome licensing precedent! Imagine the potential!

Also, if you vote for mine (with a 5 rating), leave a comment or send a note, and I'll make a pony sketch for you of your choice~!
  • Listening to: K.Flay
  • Watching: Sailor Moon
Right now, I'm working on a commission for a PonyGAFer by the name of Blacklawn, and it'll be my first commission ever :) (Update!: DONE!!!)

Rough sketch in Sai - $5 (sample: dark-pen.deviantart.com/art/Po…)
Clean lineart  - $10
- Additional characters $2 each

Physical sketch physical copy - $15 (US Only)
Physical inked physical copy - $20 (US Only)

Full digital simple coloring (1-3 shades) - $15 (sample: dark-pen.deviantart.com/art/Be…)
- Additional characters $3 each
Full digital painting - $20 (sample: dark-pen.deviantart.com/art/Ap…)
Full digital painting physical copy on 8x11 premium heavy glossy stock - $40 (US only)
Full digital painting physical copy on 11x17 premium heavy glossy stock - $45 (US only)
- Additional characters $5
- Full background $5-10 (varies)

*physical copy prices include shipping cost
*physical sketches/inks are approx. 8x11

I do My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ponies (canon, OC, and human ponies), original characters, anime, realistic, video games, books, whatever.

Please send a note/PM/whatever if you're interested :)

(Pssst, I am open to bargaining!!!!)
  • Listening to: The Xx
  • Reading: Alloy of Law
  • Watching: Lost Girl
So serious.
  • Listening to: K.Flay
  • Reading: Alloy of Law
  • Watching: Lost Girl
My most favorite fictional characters ever:
Rei Ayanami
Nausicaa
Marina Wulfstan
The Boss
April Ryan
Beatrice (The Bride; Kill Bill)
Prishe (Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia)
Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)
Dilandau (Escaflowne - the ORIGINAL crazy white-haired androgynous anime cliche)
Morrigan (Dragon Age)
Kazuma Kiryu
Rebecca Chambers
Raiden (Metal Gear)
Samus Aran
Welkin and Alicia (Valkyria Chronicles)
Aegis (Persona 3, even if I haven't played it)
Female Shepherd
Yuffie Kisaragi
Shinji Ikari
Fluttershy
Rainbow Dash
Rarity
Twilight Sparkle
Caprica Six
Admiral Adama
Starbuck
Dexter Morgan
Princess Aurora
Ariel (Disney's The Little Mermaid)
Master Chief
Solid Snake
Aya Brea
Elizabeth (<3 :iconormeli:)

lol, I like how its like a 9:1 ratio of women to men :S
  • Listening to: K.Flay
  • Reading: The Illusion of Life
  • Watching: Mawaru Penguindrum
  • Drinking: Soy milk
My favorite videogames ever are:
Metal Gear Solid 1-4+PW
Final Fantasy 4/6/8/x-2/11/Tactics/TacticsAdvance
Valkyria Chronicles 1-2
Yakuza 1-3 (haven't played 4)
Devil May Cry 1/3/4
Flower
The Longest Journey/Dreamfall
Star Wars: KOTOR, KOTOR2, Republic Commando
Resident Evil (franchise in general)
Pokemon Blue + Gardevoir :P
Ninja Gaiden + Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Metroid: Zero Mission, Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, Metroid Other M (Come at me, bro!)
WET
Alice Madness Returns
Folklore
Heavy Rain + Indigo Prophecy
Demon's Souls (notice how my list progressively grows obscure and specialized)
Deadly Premonition (vicariously through Giant Bomb's Endurance Run)
Chrono Trigger
Tomb Raider Anniversary (Best game ever), Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (GOTY)
Dragon Age Origins

To-do gaming backlog:
Assassin's Creed 2 (in progress)
Infamous (got free)
Sakura Wars: So Long my love
Skies of Arcadia (GCN)
Persona 3 FES
Odin Sphere (fuck my friends for borrowing this the day I bought it)
Metroid Prime 2
Jeanne D'arc
Crisis Core FF7
KH: BbS (did Aqua, need to do other 2)
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together (Do I go be an asshole and recruit the new character, or do I choose to be morally upright and let her die?)
God of War 2 (Ugh)
R&C:F Crack in Time (double Ugh)
Zelda: PH (triple Ugh)
Vampire Masquerade or whatever its called

Want to play:
LA Noire
Deus Ex
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Dragon Age 2
Mass Effect 2
Call of Duty: Black Ops (singleplayer)
  • Listening to: K.Flay
  • Reading: The Illusion of Life
  • Watching: Mawaru Penguindrum
  • Drinking: Soy milk
I don't make a commission, as they're sold at-cost, but hey, buy them, take a photo of yourself, and send it my way and I just may have something to give away :3

You can see all of my designs here: dark-pen.deviantart.com/galler…

Check out the US spreadshirt store, as it should have most of my designs, though the European store should hopefully be updated with more of them soon.

Use this coupon to get free shipping on purchases over $30... or something (for both US and Canada):

www.abjecthubris.com/images/ne…

Shipping countries and rates: www.spreadshirt.com/help-C1328…
  • Listening to: K.Flay
  • Watching: The Walking Dead
  • Eating: rice and beef
  • Drinking: water
And its awesome.

I remember seeing the original pilot online, and just being blown away by how silly and awesome it was. Really glad that it was picked up as a show. Looking forward to seeing the Fiona episode, though seeing the end to 13 year old PB was really saddening :(
  • Listening to: K.Flay
  • Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Videogame Writing and Design
  • Watching: About to watch 2010's Alice in Wonderland e_e
  • Playing: Bioshock 2 (Finished Alice: Madness Returns)
  • Drinking: green tea
So I got a new sketchbook, and its awesome. I also got PITT pens for the first time, and they're super awesome.

Will upload art later.
  • Listening to: Kate Nash
  • Playing: Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition
  • Drinking: water
While I haven't been uploading anything onto my DA account for a good year now, I feel like I should try to do something a bit more serious than scratching randomly into my sketchbook during my commute to school (and even that's been hampered by a whole shit load of PSP time).

A few months ago, I was playing nothing but Peace Walker, now its Valkyria Chronicles II. I know I should try and do the other two playthroughs of Birth By Sleep, but VC2 is so much more compelling.

Last weekend, I went out to Come Out and Play in San Francisco. That was totally awesome and different, and perhaps exactly what I needed. I was actually contemplating not going after I skipped Friday, and frankly, that would have been the easy way out, but my chance decision to watch Jim Carey's "Yes Man" really just changed my mind.

I wish I could have played Chamball and The Duel, but The One, Strawberry Hill, and Circle Rules was totally sufficient.

Strawberry Hill in particular was awesome. Its confusing to talk about it when its named after its location, though. Its even worse trying to explain the concept without making it sound stupid and lame. I'll tell you what, though: it was totally worth it. Being out with 50 people and grouped with strangers and in the rain and the dark, playing a made up game; so satisfying. Its just a shame that some friends would choose their routine UFC night and beer pong than something more unique.

Then again, I can't hold it against them for not wanting to be out in the rain and mud.

Circle Rules was pretty awesome, though, even if I did slip on my back and knock the back of my head on the mud no more than 2 minutes in on the field.

Mud, rain, new faces and new friends. It was a welcome change.
  • Watching: hulu
  • Eating: Oh, by the way, I broke my vegetarianism
Thing's haven't been going right. I just checked my email last night, only to find out the contract job I had been waiting weeks for had just flew by me without notice, just because I made the decision to stay off the internet for a few days during our school break.

It doesn't help that I don't have a job right now, and I really needed that contract job. The lack of clarity around my possible internship doesn't help anything, either.

I just checked my grades, post-finals, and while I've maintained an A in my business class somehow at 89.9, the fact that our business presentation was graded at 83 just makes me so angry and sad.

I've been fucking up with my life lately. I only draw during my commute, and even then, I'm lately distracted too much by my PSP games to even do that.

I haven't been scanning and uploading anything on here, either. Its an entire sketchbook of stuff.

I promised two people that I'd make them around 3 drawings, too, during break, but I'm not even sure if I have time or energy for that.

Talking myself down like this isn't helping any. My mom always tells me about how we're barely managing to get by with her work. I need to put in a bigger effort, but I haven't been doing so. I've been using videogames to run away from my problems, when I really need to be more up front with myself. Its not a problem of pushing people away, or putting people at arm's length, or shielding myself in a cocoon of video games, but rather that I'm not being true with myself and my issues.

I look at my room and its a mess of papers, mostly blank college rule sheets and assignments from past quarters that I never threw away.

Its weighing me down.

I thought watching Glee would make me feel better, and while its served to be mildly cathartic (as has playing "Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love," I'm afraid that after an hour, I automatically forget my lessons learned.

Watching the "grilled cheesus" episode sobered me a little, reminding me of the people that have disappeared in my life, and for a while, I felt a little elevated, but now I'm just crashing back down, typing this elongated rant, but I guess that's what rants are by definition, so fuck you.

When I tough my Wacom tablet, I feel nothing. I feel the warmth of the electricity running through it, but I don't feel an artistic jolt. I'll scribble something, but so what.

I need to practice back my skills, and about an hour ago, I told myself I was going to practice, that I needed to, that I'm the best damn artist in Alameda, but now I feel hopeless. I feel like reverting back to my old lifestyle that I've found so comforting over the past half decade. Holing up in my room, with the curtains of my window ever remaining and retaining its visual symbology of prison bars. My room is my self-imposed prison, and my legs at held down by reality.

Its no surprise why I go so far for school and work. I hate living here. My first job? I worked for Gamestop all the way in hayward. A round trip for bus and bart cost an hour's pay and then some. School? I'm not even working right now.

And then there are those student loans to think about.

Its so depressing. I need to get out of this eternal funk I've been stuck in. Maybe I should start taking my prozac again. Maybe that'll help me. I don't know.
  • Listening to: the sound of wind hitting my curtains
  • Watching: stuff
  • Playing: all sorts of shit I shouldn't have time for
  • Eating: I don't want to think about food right now
  • Drinking: nothing
I won't put any spoilers here, but I just want to say that not having anyone that I know in person to talk to about the ending of Peace Walker, or to get hyped with over e3, is really... depressing. Whether its the emotionally complex and conflicting nature of MGSPW's ending, or the hype and excitement over the e3 Nintendo and Sony press conferences.

The graphics on the 3DS are just beyond stunning. Resident Evil and MGS3D are insane.

Peace Walker's ending... I don't know what to make of it. Sure, there were a few odds and ends and plot holes on the backburner in your mind, but you didn't expect them, or want them, to be filled the way they were. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first ending. All of the closure that Big Boss gets and what have you. But to remind us about Zero, and the Patriots... I dunno.

If anyone wants to say something about PW's ending in the comments, please feel free to do so.
  • Listening to: the wind outside my room
  • Playing: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
I find it a little odd that there are two Studio Ghibli films with the word "Castle" prominently placed within its title, and frankly, it can be confusing until you watch both films, which is exactly what I did.

Having resubbed my Netflix account, I had my queue start again, frontloaded with Ghibli films I never watched (which are most of them).

Castle in the Sky was surprisingly good, and it just shows how amazing Miyazaki is with his style of characterization and world development. Even though the characters look so "normal," they are not only incredibly engaging, but fleshed out in ways that few movies bother with in contemporary "children's" movies, let alone "grown-up" films.

Sure, there's nothing that pushes the bleeding edge of storytelling and children, but I think it certainly says something about how poor storytelling has become in modern day films... no, wait, *hollywood* films.

The closest thing to compelling children characters that's on the level of Ghibli that I've seen recently came out of Europe, which is no surprise. I'm speaking, of course, of Let the Right One In. I can't help but feel that political correctness and the assumption of stupidity is the reason why American "family" films can't be as smart as something like LTROI or Ghibli films in general.

In the behind-the-scenes footage for Howl's Moving Castle, there's a bit where the Pixar localization director who was responsible for Howl's English/US release talked about how different Ghibli's storytelling worked in comparison to Pixar's more coalescing intellectual/communal brainstorming, it all made sense to me.

I had liked Pixar films, but they weren't great. They didn't have that directorial drive and vision that you felt in something like a Ghibli film. The same can be said for a lot of western videogames in comparison to Japanese videogames, or more specifically, a Japanese videogame that has a director put squarely infront of it's name, like Hideo Kojima, Suda 51, Hideki Kamiya, and so forth. Sure, you have people like Sid Mier, Tim Schafer, and "American McGee," but how many AAA western games have a director on the box? None, I'd say.

The famous Valve system of game development (and more specifically, their credits scroll) reflect upon us this idealized system where everyone gets a say, and everyone's workload is shared. Naughty Dog has a similar system, except its in shared criticism. But despite that, Amy Hennig's placement as creative director shows vision, which is something that is absolutely necessary with game development. David Cage's work on Heavy Rain is an even clearer example of western games with a director that has a vision and goes for it.

Metal Gear Solid 2 stands as a contemporary AAA game where the director's vision came through (*mostly) unimpaired. In a lot of ways, its the benchmark for cinematic videogame design giving total directorial control to the director, with every quirk and oddity left in place.

*The events of 9/11 affected the ending of the game, causing for cut content and confusion in storytelling and imagery.

If one thing that both the gaming industry and the animation industry shares, however, is that when there's a changing of director's chairs, there is an utter loss of vision, resulting in a quagmire of confusion and a loss in strength.

Final Fantasy XII is a famous example of a AAA videogame completely losing its vision and purpose mid-development due to the director's leave, resulting in loss in creative authorial impact, as well as confused and rushed ending. It doesn't help any that the game was tampered with by focus testers and higher-up corporate execs to appeal to the female Japanese demographic.

After watching Howl's Moving Castle, even though I felt pretty satisfied, it wasn't as empowering or clear as Miyazaki's other films. Upon reading the Wikipedia entry for this film, everything was made clear:

They originally had another director on-board for Howl's Moving Castle, only for him to suddenly jump ship, requiring Miyazaki to come back from retirement and brought onhand to finish what had been started. Not only that, but the fact that its a world that wasn't entirely his own (as its based on a book of the same name), the division of vision and delivery is made clear.

While I absolutely hate Roger Ebert for his ignorant attacks against videogames, his statement of Howl's Moving Castle being Miyazaki's weakest film is something that I absolutely agree with. It might not be 2 and a half stars bad, but its certainly weak.

But regardless of it all, one thing that is consistent with Miyazaki's films is the score. Howl's musical motifs work wonderously throughout the film, and make me want to pick up the soundtrack.

I, of course, watched both films with the Japanese track with English subtitles, but was surprised by how Pixar tried to manage in voice casting Howl for the English adaption... which was to go from having a lofty, bright-eyed pretty-boy voice, to Christian Bale.

Yes, Christian Bale. He sticks out, and his voice doesn't work when the character has big wide eyes. It just doesn't. He does a great job with the scene where Howl freaks out about his hair, but I just don't buy everything else. Also Billy Crystal for Calcifer? Seriously?

The western dubs are pretty hit and miss for Ghibli films, though I do admit that the "misses" are still at a pretty acceptable level. The fact that they tampered with both the score and localization for The Castle in the Sky's opening 20 minutes is utterly atrocious, though. The film's made more "hollywood" by the insertion of unnecessary music and dialogue, and makes me disappointed.

I'm pretty surprised by how much there was to say about what I learned from watching these films and their behind-the-scenes knowledge, and makes me appreciate good dubs and good games even more. It makes me respect publishers that don't interfere with the creative process for game development, and it makes me question what games and films go "by the numbers" more than anything else.
  • Listening to: 1000 Words (stuck in my head D:)
  • Watching: movies!
  • Playing: Resonance of Fate (or trying to!)
I began last night by watching Aliens vs Predator, and Aliens vs Predator 2: Requiem. I followed that with the sobering experience of American History X, and then brightened the morning with Whip It.

To start, the first Aliens vs Predator, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, was definitely a solid popcorn flick. Not to mention, I am all for strong female protagonists. I think its interesting how the Predators are portrayed as honorable warriors throughout the films. If there's one thing I like, its how quickly they get into the thick of things, in terms of pacing and time spent. I kind of found it funny how the predators all looked like linebackers, though. I give it a 4/5.

But much like Predator 2, I can't say the same for the sequel. What is it with films involving predators, and making the second film take place in a city? I don't understand this. It wasn't as terrible as P2, but the beginning took way longer than I would have liked. Not to mention, the lighting was atrocious. I don't know which was worse: AVP 2 or Prince Caspian. Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoyed Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, but what is it with these people and bad lighting? Overall, it was a predictable film, and I was disappointed that they didn't make the little girl more important in the film with her NV goggles. 2/5

I had heard about American History X for the longest time, and how much reverence people have for it, but I never watched it until now. And now I understand. The film touched on so many gray areas, yet reflected on my own interactions with other people and the kind of rhetoric I've heard, it was kind of frightening. I think that living in the Bay Area, and more specifically in Alameda, puts me in a very specific bubble, and it makes me wonder just how things could have been different if I wasn't introduced to the concept of fallacies and propaganda. It also makes me want to ask a certain highschool peer who had their hair cut really short about why they did that way back when, because as far as I could recall, no one really asked, or at least, the answer never reached my ears.

I really don't know what to say about this film aside from just gray areas. Most of the arguments that are made in the film by its various characters aren't necessarily wrong, but as the black principle guy says, "I was asking all of the wrong questions," and that really syncs the whole film, and its message, together.

5/5

Hoping to not leave myself at a down note, I decided to watch Whip It. The trailer came across as something I'd enjoy watching, and boy did I enjoy it. Its almost everything that I want out of a film regarding female role models in contemporary America. The pacing was great, it didn't dwell at all on "girly" thing as some might assume prior to viewing, and it had just a solid message of "do what you love." I applaud Drew Barrymore's directorial work with this film, as well as the original author's work, and if anything, I hope it begins a trend this type of storytelling and its context in forthcoming films from Hollywood. Its a film I definitely plan on buying and keeping in my collection, right next to Nausicaa and Kill Bill. I give it a solid 5/5.
  • Listening to: Heaven's Divide
  • Watching: movies!
  • Playing: Resonance of Fate
Last night, I watched Ninja Assassin (starring Rain), Predator (lolz), and Predator 2.

Ninja Assassin, despite its flaws, and much like Predator, is definitely an enjoyable popcorn flick. The story's absolutely terrible, or at least, the way its presented and the pacing is horrible. The two non-asian actors come off like B-film actors. Rain's Korean-English lisp is awfully noticeable, but nothing to get hung up on. The action and special effects, however, totally deliver. You don't see a lot of ninja being depicted using the sickle-and-chain type of weapon, even though that actually is the classic ninja weapon, so that was definitely refreshing. I'd give it a 4/5.

Predator... oh, what to say? I have never come across a single film that had more one-liners than Predator. It was incredibly hilarious to watch. The film melts with cheese for the first half, and then kicks the action up a notch in the second. This isn't First Blood, but definitely a unique alternative. 4/5

After watching Predator, I was expecting something awesome from the sequel, and while the last third of the film brings the film back to what the audience came in for, the first two thirds are absolutely horrendous. Sure, you have the off-the-rails cop and whatever, but it doesn't do enough. The fact that it takes place in LA just threw me off for the longest time as well. The ending was definitely a surprise, though. 3/5
  • Listening to: Heaven's Divide
  • Watching: movies!
  • Playing: Resonance of Fate
Yes, I watched the Twilight movie. The second one. Yes, I saw the first one, too. I think the author is a terrible person, and the Twilight books are the worst trash for any girl or woman to ever read.

HOWEVER, that doesn't stop me from watching the films.

So... this character, Alice, played by Ashley Greene... she is super fucking cute and sexy. I love the shit out of her hair style. Maybe its because I just love short black hair that's styled like that to begin with, but omg.

Her hairstyle wasn't all that great in the first film, looking like a variation on how MGS fans used to speculate how Meryl would look in a live-action film. But here? In New Moon? Oh my god. Like... I want her, with that hair style. Its such a cute and sexy hair style, and she looks super cute with it.

I may just draw her. Not to mention the stylish and tasteful clothes.
  • Listening to: Heaven's Divide
  • Watching: movies!
  • Playing: Resonance of Fate