Book Report: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Volume 1

Published January 19, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

And it’s another fast one!  Because this time I’ll be reporting on challenge #8, “A comic written or illustrated by a person of color.”  And my comic of choice was written and illustrated by not one but four Japanese women, the manga master-team known as CLAMP.  (This would also work for challenges #15, 18, and 19.)

Of course, in a way this is me cheating, because it was a no-brainer that I would be reading this.  A) I read almost every CLAMP manga translated into English and B) I follow Cardcaptor Sakura with an almost religious zeal.  (Though I admit I haven’t started watching the new series (based on this new manga) yet.  Largely because that will involve signing up for Crunchyroll, and I’m notoriously slow about signing up for new things, particularly if I have to pay for them.)  Actually, the only surprise about me reading this now is the fact that it was published almost a month ago, and I only found out a few days ago.  (Amazon failed me yet again!  They’re supposed to notify me every time a new CLAMP book is listed!  And yet I still only find them by browsing the manga shelves.  I think they’ve only actually notified me once since I signed up for those notifications like two years ago…)

The original Cardcaptor Sakura manga (and the television show and movies based on it) was back in the late ’90s, so this is a twentieth anniversary sequel, but it takes place soon after the original.  (Sort of.  I was really thrown off by the sight of Eriol-kun talking on a freakin’ smart phone.  Those hadn’t even been invented yet when the original series ended!  So it’s like…the entire world of the manga jumped over nearly twenty years and no one noticed…or something.)  CLAMP has been doing some direct sequels to finished manga lately (Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles (which starred alternate versions of Sakura and her love interest) and xxxholic both got them, and Wish sort of got a stealth sequel) so the appearance of a new Cardcaptor Sakura manga isn’t as surprising as it might be.  From watching the trailer for the anime, I thought it was just going to be a series-length adaptation of the second movie, but that certainly isn’t the case with the manga, though it does seem to be borrowing at least one theme from that movie.

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MLM No “C” – Thinking about Read Harder 2018

Published January 15, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, so, really I’m just late.  As, you know, life happens and I keep missing things.

But I have been thinking what books I want to use for Read Harder 2018.

I’ve made up my mind what to read for about ten of them, and have some ideas for several more.

Some of them are going to be pretty hard to find the right book to read.  #13 is all kinds of unusual, in that there’s a finite number of possibilities, y’know?  I had a look at them, the other night, via GoodReads.  I have a small list of them I might read, though I’m leaning towards two of them.

#20 is just plain nuts.  What, how, I mean, who…who even thought of something like that?!

Oh well.  I better post this before Monday ends.


 

Calling any “Revolutionary Girl Utena” Fans!

Published January 12, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

Reblogging from my other blog, in case there are some anime fans seeing this blog that don’t see the other one. Because I spam like that.

Crazy Doll Lady

Desperate help is needed from fellow Utena fans!

There’s a Kickstarter going on right now for some really awesome enamel pins.  I’m not asking anyone to back them, though.  (Although if you like enamel pins and anime, you probably don’t want to miss these!)

From Kickstarter campaign. Click for link.

The pins are already fully funded, and they’ve unlocked the four designs shown above (in silhouette and skintone versions), which is all the campaign originally had planned.  So now there’s a vote for what the fifth and final design will be.

And this is where everyone else comes in.  The update with the poll is actually for backers only, so I can’t send you to it, which is a bit awkward.  I’ll just pass on the links contained within it, then.  The artist’s also polling on Instagram and Facebook, where I can’t vote, as I don’t have accounts with…

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MLM No “B” – Liar!

Published January 8, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

“Liar!”

Open request to the designers
Of automatic telephone surveys everywhere:

STOP FREAKIN’ LYING!!!

“This survey will only take up four minutes of your time.”

On what planet?
Whose definition of “minutes” are you using?
It isn’t the same as mine, that’s for sure!

That thing couldn’t take “only four minutes”
Unless you said “No, I’m not registered to vote.”
Rather, pressed #1 when it told you to,
In order to indicate that no, you’re not a voter.

Total waste of time, too.
All they had to ask was
“Are you an idiot?”
And then they’d know how I was going to answer,
As only an idiot would say they approved.

That’s not what gets me, though.
It’s the “only four minutes” malarkey,
As I had hastened to answer the phone,
Half-way through changing clothes.
“Only four minutes” my fat, naked ass!

It’s too cold in my house for this crap.

I need to learn to just hang up the phone.

 

(At least I got a post out of it…)


 

Book Report: Fern & the Moon Rabbit

Published January 7, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

Well, I’ve got one of these up sooner than expected!  Though I’m not 100% sure this counts.  (Book Riot hasn’t posted its list of suggestions for this challenge yet, but the people in the Goodreads group seemed to think this type of book was okay.)

Fern & The Moon Rabbit is a book I backed on Kickstarter.  (Which is where this image came from; click on it to go to the campaign page.)  It’s a series of images drawn by the author during “Inktober,” which seems to be a lot like NaNoWriMo, except that it’s drawings and in October.  These stories cohered into the story of Fern, a cute and strong little troll, on her quest to restore the moon rabbit to its proper place, facing off against a slew of dangers in the process.

Each picture is matched with four lines of verse, in the form of two rhymed couplets, to tell the story of Fern’s journey.  It’s half art book, and half children’s picture book, and all very imaginative.  This is the kind of thing I’d have liked to do with my fairy tale-like stories “A Tale o’ Seven Suns” and “The Story of the Many Moons,” only unlike my stories, this is actually really good.

Tragically, I don’t see anything on the Kickstarter page indicating that the book is available for sale anywhere; it looks like they only printed up enough copies to match the number ordered by the backers.  Which is a real shame, because this is a beautiful little book, with a heroine who could easily endear herself to the whole world if given the chance.

Anyway, this is my pick for Challenge #15, “A one-sitting book.”  Because “one-sitting” is very vague, and I don’t seem to read as much in a sitting as I used to, but this is super-short, and I literally read it all in a single bath.  (Yeah, I read in the bath.  So what of it?)

Looking at this year’s list, btw, I feel like maybe it’s a bit lighter weight than last year’s:  there are three challenges that specifically require a comic book, and one that specifically requires a children’s book.  Which isn’t to say that comics and kids’ books can’t be heavy-duty (or really long), but…I dunno.

Oh, looking at the comments on the Goodreads thread about the final challenge, “An assigned book you hated (or never finished,” I found myself being reminded of a number of so-called classic works of literature that I had to read and hated and have zero desire to re-read…but I also noted some people talking about how they thought books they had only been assigned to read selections of might count as books that they had never finished.  So that opens up a lot of possibilities.  Though most of them are really long and unwieldy…but maybe Gulliver’s Travels would be a good choice.  At the time I enjoyed the 3/4 of it we were assigned to read.  (They had us skip Laputa for whatever reason.  Possibly because my high school did teach Spanish.)

IWSG – Late but not skipped!

Published January 3, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

I totally forgot about this, again!  If I hadn’t checked my Reader on my lunch break, I’d still have forgotten.  *deep shame*

Aaaaaanyway, my self-thingy as a writer is not really in a good place right now.

I mean, technically, nothing about me is in a good place right now because things have been so crazy in the last week that I literally forgot I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday until two hours later, and then I was going to call today to apologize and reschedule only I forgot again.  (Ack.)

But, yeah, I’m not feeling good about my writing right now.  I put up a Christmas/New Year’s fanfic in my favorite fandom, and a bunch of others went up at the same time, because there’s a gift exchange at Christmas, so a lot of other fics went up at the same time, and they’ve all been read and liked more than mine.  Which doesn’t really mean much, since I write because I want to, not because I care what other people are going to think about it, but it’s depressing to realize that I suck so badly that everyone else avoids my work.  Also brings up the question of “wait, why am I even bothering to post it in the first place?”

I still haven’t started work on the re-write of my NaNo novel, because it’s going to be a hefty endeavor.  And it’s too cold to think hard right now.  Also I’ve kind of been hooked on a video game for the last month and a half, so that isn’t helping.  (Embarassing, but…it is what it is, y’know?

…hmm.

Not much of a post.  But today was a long and exhausting day at work, so I really don’t have the energy for much more.

Hopefully I’ll be in a better headspace next month.

MLM No “A” – Enter 2018

Published January 1, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

Enter 2018.

Hopefully, 2018 will be better than 2017.

I don’t do resolutions, but there’re still things I’d like to do in 2018:

  1. Get my house in order.  This isn’t some question of choice; it must get done.  Period.
  2. Get more clothes, esp. more clothes for work.  This, too, must be done.  Most likely within the next week.  My closet of winter clothes is pitiful.  (Most of them shrunk & got too short.)
  3. Rework the project I wrote in November.
  4. Try to stop spending so much money on my hobbies.  Not going cold turkey, just not spending quite so much.
  5. Losing some weight would be good, but…
  6. Improve myself entirely.  (Why not, right?)

Yup…not much, yet completely overwhelming.

*sigh*

Good luck in 2018, folks!

Looking back on Read Harder 2017

Published December 31, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Because it’s something to post about.

So, this year is finally going to be over (good riddance to bad rubbish!), and it seems like a good time to look back on the only reading challenge I’ve ever taken part in.  (Aside from, like, children’s summer reading things from libraries.  I think I did some of those.  But it was so long ago that I don’t remember for sure.)

Anyway, here’s the recap on Read Harder 2017: Read the rest of this entry →

MLM No “Z” – “Loki’s Christmas Guest”

Published December 25, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Loki’s Christmas Guest*

*Warning:  has very little Christmas-related content

            A particularly raucous — and raunchy — office Christmas party was playing out at full volume on the central television.  The one to the right featured the usual maddened, last-minute shopping at a particularly wild American mall.  The one to the left, of course, featured a rapid montage of mortals being trapped underneath the mistletoe:  that was always Loki’s favourite.  The chaos of the conflicting audio streams of the three monitors was the best music to his ears.  (Certainly far better than listening to just one of the streams by itself:  how the mortals could stand listening to so much of that unfiltered dreck mystified even him.)

The noise of someone pounding on the front door could be heard even over the delightful cacophony, however, and Loki wasn’t fool enough to think it was someone dropping over for a casual chat.  The friendly guests knocked:  they didn’t try to break the door in.

The obvious ill-will of their visitor didn’t stop Sigyn from answering the door, naturally.  She was far too dutiful for that.  Besides, she knew that Loki could handle anything any half-wit might want to dish out.  And only a half-wit would behave in such an uncivilised manner as their current guest.

“Where is he?!”

Ah.  Who else could it be, really?  Most of the other gods in Asgard had calmed down over the centuries, but that hot-head…he was never going to learn.

“My husband is observing mortals in the hall,” Sigyn replied, her voice melodious as always, uncowed by their guest’s barbaric fury.  Her constancy was both a blessing and a curse:  sometimes, it irritated Loki so much that he couldn’t stand to be in the same world as her, and other times it made her the loveliest female he had ever set eyes on.  Just at the moment, it was slightly annoying, but not worth more than an eye-roll or two.

As the interloper stormed his way into the den, Loki took the opportunity to revise his appearance a bit.  Visitors from other realms might not do more than twitch an eyebrow at the sight of a comfy, microfiber robe and warm, furry slippers, but an Aesir?  A risky prospect at best, and with that Aesir, a recipe for disaster.  But by the time Odin’s most comical son entered the hall, Loki was ‘appropriately’ dressed:  like his visitor, he suddenly looked as though it was still the Middle Ages.

“It’s all your fault!” Thor bellowed as soon as he arrived, beady eyes glaring at Loki above a fearsome scowl that was almost overwhelmed by the bushy, blond beard that hadn’t been groomed in eons, by the looks of it.

“That is usually your assessment for everything,” Loki agreed.  “What, exactly, have I done now?”

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Oh, Bai, Dine-in Movie Theatre!

Published December 19, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, so I finally got to go see The Disaster Artist, which I’ve been anxiously awaiting ever since I first heard about it.  And yes, it’s fantastic.  Definitely see it, especially if you’ve seen The Room.  (I have no idea how well it works if you haven’t.  Seems like it ought to work, though.)

But for some reason every theatre chain in this city decided it was “an arthouse flick.”

Which means it was only showing in the two artsy theatres — one located in a shopping mall (this close to Christmas!) and possessing the tiniest seats ever, and the other located in a hard-to-deal-with shopping district and only open at night — and in the “dine-in” theatres of the regular chains.  You know, the ones with the La-z-boy seats and the double price tickets.

The one in the shopping mall was absolutely out.  That’s a last resort theatre even when it isn’t Christmas-shopping season, just because it’s so uncomfortable to sit there.  And the one in the shopping district really wasn’t appealing as a prospect because their first showing of the day starts at 4-something, and trying to park there is a nightmare.  And Tuesdays are half-price ticket days at the major chains.  (Possibly only for their frequent viewer members; not sure about that.)

So we decided to risk it and went to what used to be a really nice theatre, packed with viewers.  In fact, that might be where I first saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with a lobby so crowded that it’s giving me agoraphobia just to think about it.  (Thank goodness I was less mentally fragile as a teenager! (Yikes, that’s a terrifying sentence.))

The place was deserted.

Clue one that closing it down for a year to re-fit the entire interior to “dine-in” viewing was a mistake.

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