Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cooking for One’s Self

The kitchen is its own recipe book.


Or more particularly, the contents of the fridge and the food cupboard are a recipe of its own. That's what I learned during the many times I was left alone to fend for myself and act as housekeeper, something that frequently happened ever since I was a kid.


There's never a need for me to look up any recipe whenever I need to cook for myself, or to cook according to any tried and true family concoction. I just get stuff and cook. It's a nice exercise of uberraschung; I'm not too certain about the taste of the end product until its finished cooking.


Sometimes, I hit pay dirt with some of the combinations I come up with. Like this one:


Unnamed Sweet and Sour Broth


  • Water, four cups
  • Tamarind bouillon cube
  • Onions, sliced
  • Leeks, chopped
  • Pineapple tidbits, with light syrup
  • Ginger, crushed
  • Fresh turmeric leaf, crushed
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Powdered oregano
  • Salt

Dump all in an uncovered pot. Cook to boil. Let boil for at least five minutes. Do not eat turmeric leaf.


It's really not bad, provided that I stock my fridge and cupboard every two weeks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Brain just died: King of Fighters Sky Stage

Brain too numb to write anything coherent after seeing the official website for King of Fighters: Sky Stage, so I’ll just do the usual lazy post-your-YM-convo for now.


Mai: excuse me
Mai: what is this?
Ryan: What is? D:
Mai: oh...sorry
Mai: this is...confusing
Ryan: Wai D:
Ryan: What is it D:
Mai: King of Fighters Sky Stage
Ryan: Sky Stage? D:
Mai: its a KOF shmup.
Ryan: Uh what? D:
Mai: shoot em up? Ikaruga? Touhou?
Mai: it's not April 1 right?
Ryan: Uh...yeah D:
Mai: or did I unknowingly go back in time and this is really April 1
Ryan: It's not April 1, and that looks about right D:
Mai: because this is a pretty bad joke
Mai: I don't know what to think about anymore D:
Mai: is it awesome?
Mai: is it purely retarded?
Ryan: It looks okay...
Ryan: I mean, it makes sense.
Mai: it...does?
Ryan: Kyo has the fireballs, Athena the psychoballs.
Mai: I...I don't know D:
Ryan: Kim Kaphwan would have the kimchi balls
Mai: /;_;\
Mai: please, stop the brain hurt
Ryan: Myuh \;3;/
Mai: I mean, what the hell are they going to shoot in the first place!?
Ryan: Uh, flying....rugal clones??? D:
Mai: I dunno man. I really…
Mai: maybe a flying juggling monkey but I don't think you even know about the juggling monkey in KoF history
Mai: but I think it'll make sense...
Ryan: I dunno that one D:
Mai: yeah I guess you don't...
Mai: *gurgle*
Ryan: D:
Mai: maybe they'll shoot down flying porkbuns or maybe its all a ploy to let fans get what they wanted the most: a game that lets them see Mai's butt every freaking second of the game's duration
Mai: maybe they'll shoot down flying red caps
Mai: I dunno, I dunno. I think I won't be sleeping well tonight
Ryan: Uh D: D: D:
Ryan: Myuh, calm down Mai-Mai \o3o/

Mai: it’s…its a bad world out there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Poorly suppressed power levels.

The T and I got around to comparing our workstations earlier despite our somehow busy workdays. Behold the signs of barely (if ever) suppressed power levels:

The pic on the left is T's, the one on the right taken with a crappy camera is mine.

...goddamn, he has a Decadriver. In the office. ONORE DI--pffft, whatever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Yay, pink again.

All that orange was getting to me, so I decided to revert to the usual pink. I’ve had a lot of turtles in some of the past layouts, so I guess its time for some FROG.


(Frogs are nice. Looking at them makes me feel like all’s right in the world.)


Not much in the way of updates this time, so the following will have to do:


Currently Watching:

  • Kamen Rider Decade
  • Bakemonogatari

Currently Playing:

  • SMT Devil Survivor (paused indefinitely; goddamn single save file)
  • SMT Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon

…I just hate games with single save files. Goddammit, I want to break things.


Thanks to the Nyan for scribbling the coffee frog x frogstyle banner.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon Raiho Limited Edition mini review

(also, Gundam 00 Multibox Nandemo Haro)

Something awesome happened during my usual weekly date with the Nyan yesterday.
We were facing the front display of the Data Blitz shop in MoA, and our conversation went like this:
Him: Hey, look!
Me: (stares at the display box  of an arcade stick and Wii Fit) Er what?
Him: Look!
Me: (peers at the WoW toy) What am I supposed to look at?
Him: (takes hold of my head and turns it a bit to the side) LOOK!
Me: (sees the SMT Devil Summoner 2 Limited Raiho Edition) OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT
A few minutes and almost three thousand pesos later, we got out of the Data Blitz branch toting around a big yellow plastic bag containing what could be my luckiest find for these past few months:

This is Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon for the PlayStation 2. Now, saying that what I bought is a limited edition of the game really isn't accurate - this is the only edition of the game's North American release, with Raiho plushies thrown into every copy of the game with nary a dollar added to its SRP.

However, the game itself is rare, and each box bears a serial number "to ensure its rarity and collectible value," according to Atlus' press release. (Note to self: when selling items in the internet, add a serial number sticker to increase profits by 50%)

These are the contents: the Raiho plush and the game. The Raiho is immensely cute as promised, sporting its own bancho uniform and sharp sideburns just like his predecessor, Raidou Kuzunoha. He has a little cape , though his bunny tail is nowhere to be found. Leaving out a small detail like this is tantamount to blasphemy, but it's okay. A tailless Raiho is better than no Raiho, after all.

I regretted opening the package when I realized that every copy of the game has its own serial number, but then again I really don't have any plans of reselling it. Raiho and Devil Summoner 2 will join Ouendan and other awesome games in my shelf, and it will of course be the centerpiece.

Oh look, Raiho's snuck out of the box and is trying to hide in--wait, is that a Haro? Yes I believe that's a Haro; The Gundam 00 Multibox Nandemo Haro, to be exact. As hinted by its name, its a Haro that serves as a box to hold various things in: knick knacks, snacks, toys, etc. You may even use it as a desktop trash bin if you like, but...that's a Haro!

I managed to spot it despite its rather unassuming box, which was almost covered underneath a mountain of model kits in Robinson's Galleria's Toys R' Us. The packaging is rather plain, but hey, there's no missing Haro. The box contains the upper and lower half of the Haro, and a stand so it won't go rolling off your desk and to its doom, as well as a sticker sheet containing two pairs of Haro eyes, one black and one red.

I decided to use the black eyes; red against bright orange background doesn't look too good.

It's rather large, and it's by far the biggest Haro in my collection. Shown in this picture alongside the Nandemo Haro for comparison purposes are the pink Haro Capsule, which contained a Gundam Seed figure, and a tiny silver gift Haro that came with additional gift packaging and ribbon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A snippet of stolen time yields a lot of amusement.

This blog post is actually a test done on one of the business-related applications that we’ve been testing for eventual roll-out. ‘Related’ somehow similar to the concept of the Friendster six-degrees of separation, haha.

I love my work so much. In the most mundane sense, at least.

And now, back to work.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The weather last week was like Mum. Also, Manila Ocean Park.

If I were to anthropomorphize last week's weather, she'd look and act a lot like my mum. I even have almost the same kind of misgivings towards the weather as my mum (thank you for NOT letting me go to the company outing). That's all I can say about last week's weather.

Mother-flavored weather or no, Sunday still saw me being treated to a sunny day with the fishes in Manila Ocean Park, courtesy of that someone who will remain seriously awesome...until our next argument.

With the exorbitant ticket price (400 can see me through an entire work week complete with a Wendy's side salad for each day), I wasn't expecting the place to be packed with people. While there was no line for the tickets by the time that we came, we were still greeted with several families gawking at the fishy population once we got into the park.

Needless to say I'm actually glad; while the park is relatively small I wouldn't want to see it close down due to lack of visitors.

The fishes were hard at work in entertaining the guests: a trio of huge Amazonian fishes - touted to be the largest freshwater fish in the world - tried tried their best to be as cuddly as possible, making me feel a strong urge to jump into the aquarium and hug them. Too bad that doing so would see me getting hauled away from the park.

Rays were also employed to shade the underwater tunnel visitors from the harsh rays of the sun, using their flat, wide bodies. Some of them looked grumpy, begging to have their pictures taken and used for macros such as "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. AND I DO NOT LIKE IT."

Of course, there are the doctor fishes of the fish spa. If I ever have to tag one group of fish as the company "overperformers", these lot would be it. The moment we dipped our feet into the shallow pool, hordes of nomnom fish instantaneously approached our submerged limbs and nom'ed on our feet and legs.

It was, I suppose, the doctor fishes' way of saying "Ma'am and Sir, we advise you to change your year-old loofah and scrub more. In the meantime, we recommend that you let us NOM on your dead skin cells. Nomnomnom." Having crowds of fish happily nibbling on your skin could very well make up being born with chronic dry skin.

A precarious boat ride and a nice lunch later, my companion and I mellowed out in MoA, strolling around hand in hand, just as we always do.

1: Even if we fight a lot, I've never been happier in my whole life.  
2: What made you say that so suddenly?
1: I just wanted to let you know.
2: Uhm, is this the point when the couple goes all lovey-dovey, then parts afterwards with one of them dying because of a freak accident, and the other goes emo and eventually saves the world?
1: Let's just look at them balls touching, shall we?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A spot of photography: Squirtle

Squirt's been with me for quite some time now and I'm just happy that he's still the grumpy, hungry turtle that I bought from Megamall Bio Research after Ryan accidentally dropped him and I cried...gah, it's a long story.

Even though he made me bawl my eyes out once, he's (the vet finally confirmed that Squirtle is indeed a 'he') still my beloved baby turtle. And he's grown a lot <3

Thanks to my bro for lending me his SLR.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Manga Review: Saint Young Men (aka Jesus is a weeaboo)

...or, what if God (and Buddha) was one of us.

If you're still familiar with one-hit wonder Joan Osbourne's If God Was One of Us, then you may have played around with that thought. Did you imagine the earthbound Jesus as the  holier version of King Midas, who turned everything he touched into gold? Did His footsteps turn the hot asphalt He walked on into holy ground? Was He even remotely human, in every sense of the word?

What if He was just chillin' in a rented studio apartment, with Buddha as his roomie?

In Nakamura Hikaru's Saint Young Men, two of the poster men of religion, Jesus Christ and Buddha, decide to take a break from their work and descend into Japan (surprise, surprise) for good old R&R. They rent an apartment, and judging by Buddha's stricken reaction at Jesus' exorbitant purchases, they're also restricted to a certain budget. Will they enjoy their vacation? Maybe, if only their divinity wasn't in the way.

Contrary to the Jesus Christ in every Christian's minds, Nakamura's rendition of the Son of God is incredibly human and a tad carefree, to the point of being a bit out-of-character at first glance. To Japanese highschool girls who catch glimpse of Him buying food in the nearest kombini, He is that Johnny Depp-lookalike who has a penchant for the Shinsen-gumi. He owns a Vaio, and is a J-dorama blogger who makes sure His reviews come out the same day that the episodes get aired - and His blog gets thousands of hits per day.

Tl;dr, Jesus is a weeaboo, just like us.

On the other hand, Buddha of Saint Young Men is truer to the Buddhist doctrine as the man who has discovered the Middle Way (the path between the two extremes of hedonism and self-mortification): he is temperate, scolds Jesus for squandering their limited vacation allowance on needless luxuries like a beginner's clay modeling kit, and a full set of Shinsen-gumi cosplay, and absolutely loathes the extreme sensation of riding the rollercoaster. But he finds it in himself to become a Leah Dizon fan.

As expected of a manga of this genre, Saint Young Men pokes a small jab at its protagonists, putting Christianity and Buddhism in a humorous light. The manga even goes so far as to "reveal" that the fabled Baptism in the Jordan River was not a proof of Jesus' divinity more than a show of John the Baptist's great compassion, and that the white dove that descended from the heavens was the Father Himself, inquiring about the welfare of His slightly aquaphobic Son.

Jesus' addiction to blogging was also explained as a manifestation of his desire for an audience; whether or not this translates to craving attention depends on the readers. I myself know that this isn't always the case.

One of the bigger questions about this manga is whether or not Nakamura's Jesus was too out of character. Is He, really? Jesus of the Bible was capable of playing truant as a kid to show His wits (or youthful presumptuousness?) off to them pesky old men; He certainly was cheeky enough to make His unbelieving disciple to touch his wounds just to show that he was that same person who died on the cross. 

He was also human enough to wreak havoc on the merchants in His Father's temple - but this manga series does not emphasize His righteous anger (an error which will be righted in this particular sidestory).

One of the more obvious reasons why this obscure title shines is its irreverent handling of subject matter, yet never straying far from what could be the entire point of this manga series: Jesus (and Buddha, depending on your beliefs) was once human, just like us. Does it follow, then, that mere humans can transcend humanity and become divine?

Another point being, of course, that people of varying beliefs can hang out with each other and become roomies. It'll be wonderful if that other religious figure (hint: turbans) made an appearance, but we all know what would probably ensue. Denmark knows .

Of course, this seems to be lost in the more orthodox lot of believers and those too narrow-minded to appreciate the message behind the satirical comedy that is practically on the same level as Cromartie High and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (thanks to its tasteful placement of cameos like that one God of the New World).

While the manga has reportedly been received warmly by the Christian and Catholic populations in Japan, the manga a good ice breaker between people of Christianity and Buddhism - and by extension, Shintoism - it's obvious how people from the more fundamental Christian countries will take this gem: all fire and brimstone. And it's sad, really.

For those who missed the scanlation link: Saint Young Men

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guessing game of rage.

People of today's day and age undoubtedly enjoy technological progress that is unprecedented in previous generations. Unfortunately, similar progression in human behavior doesn't necessarily follow.

Back then, reaching out to people and introducing one's self is a highly encouraged act, even if it was done in roundabout, peculiar ways when between adolescents and young adults of opposite sex. There's the employment of mediators, the sending of humiliatingly cheesy love letters, and of course, the subtle throwing of rocks into windows.

Now that the current level of technological progress has enabled communication to ride on zeroes and ones that deliver information on mere fractions of a second, you'd think that human behavior would also become just as practical. But no.

This SMS log is a shining example. Please excuse the vernacular, much of the retardation will be lost in translation, and I can't be bothered to figure out how to encode the following in English txtspk:

[number redacted]: ,h! Uztah kna?
Me: Who's this?
[number redacted]: ,wh0's dis k jan?
Me: Kilala ba kita? Sabihin mo na kasi medyo busy ako.
[number redacted]: ,yup it's me airine?
Me: Nope, don't know you. kthxbai.
[number redacted]: ,gnun ok!! Babusss din
Me: *goes back to browsing awesome items in Saizen, Robinsons Galleria, fitting my boyfriend with fake boobies*

I really don't know if it's the in thing nowadays to prefix each and every SMS with a comma, but one thing's for sure, trying to hook someone into an untimely guessing game, for 1 buck a pop isn't just downright inconsiderate, it's also goddamn retarded and is a discredit to human intelligence.

A short break from the usual stuff.

1. I haven't been doing much outside of work, as always. It's sad, thinking that what transpired last week can be confined to mere bullet points and statistics. A list full of pre-emptive grieving, tears, boredom, paranoia, amusement and nigh miraculous recovery, but a restrictive list nonetheless.

I decided that it was high time to nurse a bottle.

He said that Gilbey's Gin Pineapple has been pulled out from store shelves, my font of college comforts condemned as entry-level alcohol for those too young to remove their lips from their mother's teats.

Just because it was sweet, I suppose.

I'm now left to sucking on lemony lollipops for now. I wish I had someone to drink with tonight.

2. Only recently I've had a few people inquiring if I was still writing. I am, I suppose, working on it. In fact, I have another blog where I'm supposed to post new short stories, but it's currently locked until I have posted four pieces. Hopefully coherent ones.

Thanks for asking.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jesus Christ, it's about time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In the meantime, while the cuckoo in my head plots my downfall...

...I am going to the beach. After almost a year since my last beach trip, with the same crowd I'm going with in a few hours, give or take a few people.

I'm glad I'm still able to go to the beach. Simple joys warrant appropriate thanks.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Anime First Impressions: Ristorante Paradiso

Before I proceed, let it be known that I never liked harem anime of any sort, be it the conventional harem or a reverse one. There are two exceptions though: Kyou Kara Maoh and this one, Ristorante Paradiso.

(...I'd like to explain why my exceptions are a bit...well, strange, but that's besides the point.)

Here's the gist: A young woman named Nicoletta searches for her estranged mother, and finds herself in a popular restaurant in Rome, staffed by a group of bespectacled, older gentlemen who, despite their age, seem to attract a number of fans of the female persuation.

I have to confess that I couldn't help but cringe while writing the above paragraph. But no, this isn't the same cringe as the Dragonball Evolution-type of cringe. Rather, this is a cringe of guilt. As in "this is horribly wrong but I like it so much" cringe.

Ristorante Paradiso's characters are well thought-out and the cast makes for a promising brand of interaction. There's spunky, impatient Nicoletta and her seemingly self-serving mother, Olga, who tries hard to make things appear A-OK to her husband all the while trying to patch things up with daughter in the most roundabout way possible thanks to her (typical) womanly pride.

Of course, the central characters - the gentlemanly staff of the restaurtant whose Italian name escapes me - are as interesting as your usual reverse harem cast of males, and a lot more.

But nevermind the entire restaurant staff, most viewers are interested with Nicoletta and the elderly waiter she's crushing on, Claudio. It's that one facet of the show that can potentially overshadow a lot of other things going on in the series. The producers know this fact very well too: the preview for Episode 2 already shows an aroused Nicoletta struggling to (gasp) undress a shocked yet submissive Claudio. Yes, cue another guilty cringe coming.

I'd like to rave more about it, but suffice it to say that the series kicked-off nicely. Sharing the same smooth, silky ambience of Bartender, Ristorante Paradiso may very well be that one guilty pleasure that merits a space in the typical anime viewer's hard drive, but never quite show off to other enthusiasts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I ♥ Japan.

I knew that Japan wouldn't fail me. They do have Happy Turdlets.

Me: I wonder what the creator's explanation about the Happy Turdlets getting flushed? I mean, they look like they're recurring characters.
Me: after getting flushed in one of the 4komas, do they just get fished out of the septic tank to make another appearance?
Me: or do they get reincarnated by getting pooped into life again?
Me: is flushing tantamount to death?
Ryan: I...don't know @__@
Ryan: So many questions @__@
Me: but the answers are so few D:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dragonball: Evolution movie impressions

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pun-Colle: Sex and Violence (The Exploited cover)

Hardcore punks, this is my 4/01 tribute to you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This nation reeks of a sad inferiority complex.

This nation reeks of a sad inferiority complex, and it's happily displaying it for all the world to see.

The most recent example, being that of the brouhaha over the (misunderstood?) troll post of Chip Tsao, shows how embarrassingly obvious this inferiority complex - under the guise of demand for respect and dignity - really is, and how this nation has no problems flaunting it. That this nation has to make a point of acting offended, and with such fanfare complete with public blacklisting and empty, senseless threats of boycotting, for every jest poorly done or otherwise.

Can't we just shrug off trollbait articles, or silly stereotypes that show poor knowledge of our identity as a nation? Last time I checked, those should reflect poorly on the authors or makers of said stupid articles or shows, not the referred country or group of people.

Now, if you're a fellow countryman and netizen you're probably familiar with the RRRAAAAGE reaction that Tsao's article elicited from bloggers both inside and outside the country.

However, I wouldn't go into that. I wouldn't be a hypocrite and say that these bloggers are stupid for doing such a knee-jerk reaction and they should think, just think, and realize that worldwide mass media has a bad, tasteless stereotype prepared for people of every race and profession.

I wouldn't expound on the well-known fact that we as a nation have a poorly done generalized stereotype for every Joe the trailer trash American, Gupta the five-six Indian, Ching the booger-eating Chinese, etc, etc. That just because Filipinos have self-branded themselves as the world's hardworking underdog doesn't mean they're supposed to be off-limits when it comes to crass insults and gross stereotyping. All of us are supposed to know those things; anything short of acknowledging those is nothing short of undeserved arrogance.

However, forget about bloggers. The nature of blogs and the convenience that they provide encourage the posting of spur-of-the-moment rageposts that authors would most probably regret posting after the haze of anger clears. That makes them a tad forgivable, provided that the authors wise up within 24 hours after posting their shit.

No, I'm more disappointed at our politicians.

Unlike bloggers, politicians should have minutes--nay, hours--of mulling things over before deciding to call reporters from all newspapers and TV networks and whine, over national and international airwaves, that this or that foreign national trolled the Filipinos and demand for public apology. By all rights, they should have had more time to think before broadcasting for all the world to see the flag of Inferiority Complex.

Our politicians and activist leaders surely have the penchant for making knee-jerk reactions towards Filipino stereotypes lurking in international mass media. Chip Tsao's facepalm-inducing article (which elicited the ire of government officials such as Senator Pia Cayetano) isn't the only case where politicians - who may or may not be merely seeking for easy PR stunts - have gone apeshit and made a universe out of a molehill over an offhandedly-delivered jest or comment.

There was much ado against Teri Hatcher delivering a racist line from her script in Desperate Housewives, which apparently implied that Filipino doctors are incompetent. Of course, that implication isn't true at all - so why react in such a manner towards a work of fiction? Knowing that Filipinos all over the world even lambasted the wrong person (Hatcher, for saying what was in her script that was written by somebody else) is already embarrassing in itself.

And yes, who can still remember Claire Danes' persona non grata status handed down by the government for saying the obvious, which is the fact that parts of Manila smelled of cockroaches, had rats all over, and that the sewage system is malfunctioning or non-existent?

All of the above cases involve high-ranking politicians carelessly call for public apologies and "boycotts", not even thinking that acknowledging the truth and actually acting on them is way better than calling forth even more attention on the facts that they are trying to deny. Okay, so one visiting foreigner said that Manila reeks of cockroaches? Fine, let's shout to the rest of the world how one famous personality remarked that our city smells like vermin! And that we're demanding Apology! For something that is fucking true!

Good job. Keep it up, politicians. Keep it up with our tax money and wasted airtime.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday evening, between sleep and wakefulness.

Almost midnight. Several hours into the game, and you're already doing your second lengthy dungeon run in that single session. You're lying down in front of the TV, head propped up on two plump pillows, with feet resting on the slightly warm PS2. You can feel the console's almost imperceptible trembling as its laser read the contents of the game disc from time to time.

At this point your fingers are now on auto-pilot, knowing which buttons to press and the order on how they should be pressed to surf through the menu effortlessly as your tiny people in the TV did your battles for you. At first you dedicate a minuscule part of your thinking processes to consider your next move while battling Shadows. Pressing down, down, X brings you to the Persona page, where you select your newly-acquired Persona and use it in battle. You do this so you can register its card in the Velvet Room.

About an half hour (or more, you could not tell anymore) later your eyes feel heavy and your body wants to assume the fetal position that it usually takes during sleep. But you want to forge on through the dungeon - you want to know what would happen in the following days, whether someone else appears on the Midnight Channel, or if you passed the first midterm exams in the tiny virtual world.

So you did. Your hands still cradle the controller, fingers - which already developed minds of their own - dancing on the buttons, waiting for your decisions no longer. Your eyes remain trained on the TV screen, but are focused no longer.

Eventually you encounter a fox in one of the red-carpeted rooms, and it's looking up at your character with its sly yet coy half-smile. As you notice the small hearts printed on the fox's frilly apron you hazily wonder, in the back of your mind, whether or not the animal is a pooftie.

You tentatively reach out a hand and touched his fur, and suddenly you notice an unrecognizable scent of a subtle yet consistent, flat quality. Your mind is in a haze; you cannot tell if the scent came from the strange fox.

Then you hear a knocking on your door, and you try to turn your head towards the noise but instead you feel your body jolting mildly - suddenly your mind and your awareness are back in your room, and you realize that you were not running your hands on the fox's fur but instead remained cradling your controller. You also realize that the knocking on the door which snapped you back to reality wasn't real as well.

With great effort you sit up and reach behind the PS2 to switch off the console, and with shivering fingers press the power switch of your TV. Staying in that narrow border between sleep and wakefulness never failed to make you feel utterly disoriented.

Then you pick up your DS and booted up Space Invaders Extreme 2.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Haruki Murakami candy bar.

"It's like a Haruki Murakami candy bar," he said as he chewed my last packet of granola bar with utter relish while we waited in line at the ATM queue. "I don't like it. I have my reasons for not liking it, but I understand why you love it so much."

He masticated my favorite treat with a tentative relish; he hadn't eaten anything substantial for a good several hours, and yet I asked him to accompany me on a longhaul trip on a quest to pick up my new DS. I knew how much he needed to eat something, anything; and his apparent need for nourishment somehow made his statement worthless.

It IS a Haruki Murakami candy bar. The petty intellectual side of you does not like it - and yet look at you; chewing it, swallowing it as readily as you would every single sentence that flowed out of Alan Moore's pen.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fly high, Gamera.

...and let's spew out turtly fireballs in the sky.

(thanks to Nyan for drawing this awesome Gamera and Mai doodle. X3)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Work Time Fun. Or, my mind-numbing work playlist.

For some reason I can't load imeem's main page at work, but I can open links to specific music or playlists in imeem.

Huh. I'll just post my playlist here to make things easier for me in terms of applying general audio anaesthesia during work, and to give those interested a glimpse of what kind of music I listen to.

Someone said that the mix of songs in all of my playlists makes her nauseous for some reason...maybe its because they had some Korn in them.

Work Time Blargh

McFarlane Toys: The Matrix Sentinel Deluxe Boxed Edition review

DISCLAIMER: This post and the content that follows are written by Ryan and not the original owner of this blog.

Let me say this to start.

I love toys. I've always loved them since my parents gave me my first G1 Transformers when I was but a young lad who always mined gold in his nostrils. Now with me actually being a productive member of society, I've taken up the toy habit again. And I'm going to review one of them tonight, with Mai's blessing.

Now, please bear in mind that I'm really not a toy 'collector' of any sort - I just buy toys because I like them and love to play with them - so I may not be able to give accurate comparisons of the toy I'm reviewing to other toys. So sorry about that. Also I tend to babble on a lot, but I'll try my best to keep a lid on it and stop acting like a douche so much.

In any case, let's get on with it with my first Super-Awesome Toy, The Matrix Sentinel by McFarlane Toys!

When I first saw this sucker on a window display en route to Wasabi I knew I had to get him. I'm a huge fan of huge toys (no pun intended) and a large, hefty figure of one of the best-looking robot monster designs ever is a proper treat for me. He was going for a price that's well and above his original asking price, but we do have to keep in mind that McToys did release the Sentinel around in '03, thus making it quite the antique figure. I'm not too sure if he's rare or not, but hey, I wasn't going to pass him up. I mean, come on, it's a huge robotic octopus with fifteen huge fully-articulated tentacles - what's not to like?

Now let's get him out of that cardboard prison. To deal with the copious amounts of scotch tape sealing the edges, I've armed myself with a rusty box cutter, and sure enough I got them out of the way.

However, when I made to open the box, I realized in horror that I would have to do the unthinkable: DESTROY the box to get the Sentinel out. The actual 'lid' isn't the roof of the box at all, but at the bottom, and hinged in such a way that it also forms the back wall of the box. To make matters worse, the lid itself is stuck to the bottom with a huge amount of...glue? Paste? Unthinkable sticky liquid perhaps? Whatever it was, it was set on not letting me keep the box intact. SO I DIDN'T. I tore that sucker open.

Smell that new toy smell. Well, old new toy smell. But still a glorious scent nonetheless!

And so this is the McFarlane Toys' Deluxed Box Version of the Matrix Sentinel, unboxed and laid out in its full, coiled-and-ready-to-rape-anything-in-the-area glory. It's bigger than it looks, and I'll illustrate that in just a second, after we get the twisty ties out of the way.

Ho yes, there are twisty ties, but in a surprisingly SCANT amount. In fact it was a bit disappointing, until I realized that something more insidious barred me from traipsing into the land of Happy Fun Tentacle Time.


I can forgive the sadomasochistic box enclosure, I can forget the finger-wrecking twisty ties. But this is just going too far, now! This is the same type of tie they use for disposable handcuffs! And there was no other way to remove the dang thing but to cut it open, so I had to go at it with the rusty cutter from before.

After some careful, CAREFUL cutting...

Almost there...



Look at him! He's so cute, all wrapped up tight like a ball! And with his inner claws like that it's like he's just waiting for a cuddle. I henceforth call this form Squidball!

But yeah, he's out. Much rejoicing.

One thing you notice immediately when you take him out of the box is how freaking HEAVY he is. No joke - while I can certainly do with more exercise, I do find some objects that people consider as heavy to be 'cartable' - but Sentinel here weighs a ton(nothing wrong with that, that just says that it's a solidly built figure and no mistake). After the weight you notice just how much of a big deal he really is, and despite his overinflated price tag, whatever you pay for him, you're getting your money's worth.

That's because he is ridiculously DETAILED. When McFarlane Toys does Deluxe Toys, they really go the entire nine yars. Everything, from the eyes to the claws to even the small teeth-like 'mini-claws' on the underside of the Sentinel's body is sculpted, a painstaking effort to make this piece of toy heaven as movie-accurate as possible. I can't think of anything to criticize it with. It's PURE FURY.

And then we get to the tentacles. Oh yes, the main star of this toy, the tentacles. Unfurled from their curled position, these babies measure almost two feet long, making the Sentinel my biggest (or rather, longest) toy to date. Each tentacle is fully poseable and bendable, and they will firmly hold whatever pose you put them in (that includes raised or lowered positions). One thing to note here though is that this is where the Sentinel drops a bit in movie accuracy: the original Sentinels had red piping on their tentacles. But seeing as those red markings were dropped in the sequels, I guess we could forgive it for that.

Each tentacle comes equipped with a four-pronged claw, and there are three variations of the claw: a permanently closed one, a permanently opened one, and an articulated one that you can freely switch between rape mode, grab mode and grope mode. Now this is where the packaging starts to get on my nerves: The box actually crushes the latter kind of claws into bent, unidentifiable pieces of plastic. This is easily remedied with the hot water process, but it just screams WRONG when an integral part of a toy's appeal is deliberately compromised like that.

The Sentinel's inner claws are pretty well-detailed as well, and you can pose them somewhat, seeing as they're attached to the main body by balljoints. However, it's pretty easy to have them fall off. Not easy like Revoltech Lazengann's fists easy, but too much movement and they pop out. You can easily pop them back in, though, and they catch on tightly.

I'm really pleased with this figure. He's got heft, he's got poseability coming out of his ears, and out of the box he's just one massive toy that is literally BEGGING to be played with. Of course, one of the tentacles did come off from the body after I started trying to pose it properly, but further investigation revealed that there was not enough adhesive applied to it. I fixed that with just a smidgin of Mighty Bond and it's back on, stronger than ever.

Now, you might be wondering about the obvious - can the tentacles actually do what they're supposed to do, when the schoolgirl figures come a-running? Yes, but sadly no. See, the tentacles themselves are thick, so while they're poseable as heck, you can't have them wrap around something as small as, say, a figma Asakura's angle or arm. You can however wrap them around her waist, and the claws do allow for some grabbing/pinching/penetrating action if you know what I mean. Please do watch out for an upcoming gallery featuring female figurines interacting with The Sentinel. But it's all going to be wholesome!

And now, to the scores:

Presentation/Packaging: 5
Costume and Expressions: 10
Sculpt and Paint: 10
Gimmicks/Accessories/Base: 7 (The Deluxe Boxed Set came with a Real World Neo that can attach to the base to form a diorama. It sucks but it's considerate.)
Articulation: 10
Fun Factor: Posing and taking Photos: 10


If you're a robot monster fan (even if you didn't like the Matrix much) and you see this guy going for any price, get him. He's fun, he's cute, and he can be an awesome opponent for all your figmas and busou shinkis.

Thanks for reading!