In the name of Justice, Love, Truth, and Food...
My world consists of anime, piano, books, sloth and gluttony. If you see any other subject matter, it's only a momentary lapse.

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Email Me
Y!IM: beezer_0
ICQ: 43628216

Current Anime
(ordered by priority)
Boogiepop Phantom, Wolf's Rain, Crest of the Stars, .hack//sign

Currently Reading
E Pluribus Unicorn by Theodore Sturgeon

I Am Legend by Richard Mathetson

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

The Plague by Albert Camus

the lexfiles
mad world
sarah daisy
sterno pants
listen missy
the red zone
southern relish
tastes like chicken


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wSaturday, June 28, 2003

Further thoughts on changes from subtitles to English:

The translators and writers of the dubs are not trying to necessarily give the same spirit of the original. They're writing for an English-speaking, American audience. They write what they think an American would understand, to evoke our sympathy for the character in a manner familiar to us.

A job in subtitling is to accurately represent the dialogue as it is in the film itself. It should reflect the values and appreciations of a different audience. Traditional American films tend to spoon-feed a plot, anime often does not. Probably why I really enjoy the genre in the original Japanese.

Although - that's not always true. Princess Mononoke deftly presented its peace themes in a ways that weren't heavy-handed. Shu annoyed the living hell out of me when he'd bash around with his club, and Vash has his whole "love & peace!" deal (although I think that was to purposely in the opening to give him the loser-qualities and hype up the corniness to contrast with the end). Ashitaka's Japanese performance is simply sincere and pure. I thought him naive at first, but then I realized his character is just that strong. So far, I'm not too impressed with Billy Crudup's performance.

More of a difference between Oriental and Occidental perceptions, rather than just "American," actually. Neil Gaiman wrote the English screenplay, and he's British. Same difference, it's still a total shift in emphasis.

I'm finding myself more and more intrigued by Eastern ideas.

posted by Beatriz at 11:59 PM


I decided to watch Princess Mononoke with the english voice actors. I wanted to see how the American version presented the same themes of spirituality and peace. With at least decent actors like Gillian Anderson, Claire Danes, and Billy Bob Thornton, I figured it would be pretty good. After all, decent (although less known) actors in Cowboy Bebop did wonders.

I'm not sure if I'm disliking the English version because I saw the Japanese first, or if it's really heavy-handed. I mentioned a while ago that the English dubs tend to have more words than the translations in subtitles do. There are subtle meanings portrayed with the sparse subtitles than in the American attempts to keep the person talking while the mouths are moving. And to keep a consistent rhythm in the conversations, consistency with the actions.

One really important image I got early on, was when the Oracle ("Wise Woman" in the English version; I definitely prefer Oracle; can't help but think they changed the word because they were afraid an English audience might not know what an Oracle is?) told Ashitaka to go out and see the world with "eyes unclouded." That was the phrase in the subtitles, and Eboshi echoed the phrase verbatim later. In the English version, the Wise Woman says, "eyes unclouded by hate."

Even those two extra words, "by hate" give me a sense that the writers are hitting me over the head. I much much prefer the subtle unfolding done with the Japanese cast/subtitles. Merely "eyes unclouded" is properly ambiguous, subtle. The phrase lets my mind settle on a whole cloud of grays and personal connotations, while adding the last two words makes me feel cramped.

posted by Beatriz at 11:40 PM


Just watched Princess Mononoke. Pretty intense. Sure as hell handled the "live in peace with the forest" better than Fern Gully. Really really intricate plotting. And Ashitaka's desire for peace and love didn't stop him from shedding a fair amount of blood, in rather digustingly graphic ways. When he shot the guy's head clean off with a stone arrow, I totally winced.

Ok, mind just wandered to completely unrelated, personal issues and now I'm feeling very anxious. Sometimes partaking in recreational activities really sucks.

I'll put in Equilibrium. Mmmm, Christian Bale.

posted by Beatriz at 11:03 PM


I finished HP5, and I'm pretty sulky. About as sulky as Harry was for 98% of the book. I might go back and reread the end in a few minutes, the whole last battle and the aftermath. Dumbledore's explanation left me feeling pretty empty.

First, however, I'm going to reread Snape's memory of James and Sirius. That scene was excellent. A number of the scenes were superb, actually, I was grinning and talking to myself for most of the 870 pages. (Yes, I'm a freak.)

Maybe I'll adjust a bit better to the ending...

posted by Beatriz at 7:36 PM


Just 100 pages left :(

posted by Beatriz at 5:43 PM

wFriday, June 27, 2003

My mom is being a total wench.

She told me that she'd send me Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (henceforth, HPV - no, that's an STD - we'll make it HP5) as soon as it arrived. She was in Toronto last weekend, and so I patiently waited for her return on Tuesday, then asked her on Thursday if she'd mailed it.

"No, I'm reading it. I'm only on page 2."

"Mom!!!! You said you'd let me read it first!!"



Anyways, I wasn't too worked up about it, because I have some other things I'm enjoying at the moment, and I knew I'd get it eventually. I keep seeing it around, though, like Tuesday night when the captain of Carpool was almost finished, and my friend Susanna said she was almost done - I started going nuts for it.

Susanna, the dear dear friend that she is, brought it to me today at work. I'm on page 95. I might read it all tonight, although I know if I rush through it I'll be kicking myself afterwards.

Yes, I am perfectly capable of reading a 820 page book in one day. I read the first two HP books and half of the third on a Monday night, after I got home from work. I finished the series by Wednesday. I've also reread the fourth book in one sitting. I'm a freak.

HP5 is hilarious! Serious, too, but I keep laughing at the little funny things. Like ... "Hestia Jones was laughing at a potato peeler she had come across while rummaging in the drawers." And Tonks, another wizard-ress, is a total klutz and says funny things to Harry.

*heart* HP5

Sarah Daisy has incredible discipline and is reading the book one chapter a night before she goes to bed. I could never do it.

posted by Beatriz at 1:40 PM

wWednesday, June 25, 2003

I totally want a Vespa.

posted by Beatriz at 8:29 AM


Wouldn't it be nice if everyone would just die?

posted by Beatriz at 3:23 AM

wTuesday, June 24, 2003

Evangelion movie
Thank god the Americans didn't pick this up. I actually want to see it now.
Oops, it's not the Eva movie. I just read the message boards.

I'm gullible.

posted by Beatriz at 3:43 AM


Wasting time and money
I smoked a bit, cleaned off one of my couches so I could read in peace. First, however, I looked at the latest Counted CrossStitch catalog. Found the cutest little set of kitty kits, and one cool Buddha I'm contemplating making for my best friend in San Diego. Going to call mommy tomorrow night when she gets home from Toronto and ask her to order them (she gets 10% off from a special deal). To further motivate me, I bought a new hoop and pair of embroidery scissors. I never took a hoop from mommy, and I lost my old pair of embroidery scissors long ago. I apparently still have a huge box of thread at the parental units' unit, maybe I'll ask mommy to mail it out with her copy of Harry Potter V.

posted by Beatriz at 3:29 AM


I'm broke!
My poor cat is so bored. She has almost nothing to climb in my apartment, except things she's not supposed to - like the table with the receiver/dvd player/speaker on it, and the tv/cable box on top. Or she jumps up on the monitor.

There's a cat tree at mommy's on Shady Grove Rd. that's mine for the taking - but no way for me to get it out here.

I totally want to buy her a hammock so she can sit in front of the balcony doors and look out. I've noticed lately that she sits on the edge of the bed and looks out the window during the day, but she doesn' t have much of a view because the bed barely reaches the doorway. If she had a little hammock, like the fat baboo at mommy's, then she could sit there and chill during the day.

I remember finding these stackable units in October when I first looked at cat stuff. The idea is pretty cool, and I figured I could buy one, see if she likes it, and then buy more pieces to build it up. Unfortunately I forgot about the price, which is $169 per unit, plus $35 or so for s/h. Never mind! Someone commented, "That site is priced for old ladies with 94 cats."

Then, I paid a few credit card bills, and realized I don't have any money at all. No climbing things for Trinity. I still might check out Petco, or some online places, for little micies (yes, "mic-ies") and get her some little presents.

posted by Beatriz at 1:39 AM

wMonday, June 23, 2003

Read a couple stories from Night Shift and stopped being pissy. Decided to lay down, picked up This Alien Shore and read the first 5 or so pages. It rocks. From the teasers on the back and the opening chapter, seems to be a combo of cyberpunk and Dune. No crazy people turning into sandworms, but a Guild that has the monopoly on space travel.

posted by Beatriz at 10:27 PM


Hooray. Just read "The Lawnmower Man" from Night Shift. Not bad, not bad... just the kind of short story I like. Short, to the point, and warped.


posted by Beatriz at 7:26 PM


Ok, I'm really in a pissy mood right now.

On the way home from Maggie's, I stopped by Barnes & Noble at Metro Center. I was particularly looking for Peter F. Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction, Part 1: Emergence. They only had Part 2: Expansion, which is partly ok because I have the first part in text form.

However, I'm not at work and can't print it up, so I'm stuck reading it on my computer. It's very difficult for me to get into a story if I'm reading it on a computer screen. It's hard even if I have it printed out (see all my bitchings about Crown of Shadows). What makes it even more difficult this time around is this book is hard sci-fi.
The pseudofabric structure of the wormholes was a photonic dead zone, a darkness so profound it seemed to be spilling out to contaminate the real universe. Then ships were suddenly streaking up out of the gaping termini, accelerating away at six gees, twisting round on interception trajectories. They were different from the spherical Garis-san naval craft which they had tracked between the stars, graceful, streamlined teardrop shapes.
I hated my life the night I read The Two Towers in ebook format, but at least I'd already read some of Tolkien and was kind of used to his writing. Hard sci-fi, never read the author, only vaguely have an idea what this book is about - and 360 8.5" x 11" pages in 10 point font? I'm kidding myself.

I also bought This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman, since I liked the Coldfire Trilogy so much. Plus, two Kurt Vonnegut books, Cat's Cradle and Deadeye Dick. I read half of DD and it's depressing as hell. I don't want to read it anymore today.

I think I'll put all of this crap down, and read me some Stephen King short stories. I have a few of those in text form, which sucks, but at least I know I like King.

Mood: pissy.

posted by Beatriz at 7:12 PM


I'm at Maggie's, and I just set her up with her own page. And I'm going to make sure she posts daily, because she's too funny. Link coming up on the side shortly.

posted by Beatriz at 4:12 PM


And she did it!!!! She brought everything together in the end. I knew she would. The end of Crown of Shadows was pretty good, she combined the religious, the mythology, and popped a crazy scifi thing in there at the end.

Today shall consist of visiting my friend Maggie, this tiny little lady I met playing darts. She kicks ass. She got a computer and doesn't really know how to do very much with it, and I'm stopping by to figure out her setup and get her started on her own blog. I can't wait to see what she has to say.

posted by Beatriz at 11:26 AM


Thoughts on Crown of Shadows
I have no idea what page I'm on in respect to the published book, but I'm about 3/4 of the way through my printout. And it's a great book, an amazing series. For 1400 real-book pages I've been reading about Damien Vryce and Gerald Tarrant and their strange ability to work together. No slash at all - Damien's as hetero as big beefy heroes in fantasy novels get, with morals to boot (he's a Reverend), and Tarrant is ... Tarrant. Just a really deep, reluctant relationship on both sides, each using the other and exploring an (un)easy truce. The author's switches in point of view are flawless, unlike a number of fantasy authors I've read. Her stylistic choice to narrate dreams in the present tense is a bit annoying, I feel like the events are slipping away underneath me while I read, but those aren't very often.

I've had a difficult time actually "seeing" the characters as individuals, but I'm not sure it's a result of the author's characterization, or actually reading it in a different medium. I have a definite feel for each character though, especially Vryce, since I've been reading the series for practically a month now - maybe longer. Interspersed a few other books here and there, taken a long time off reading, lack of interest - a number of reasons have kept me from devouring the series like I have others. But I'm also appreciative of taking a longer time to read the books, kind of spend more time with the characters.

Although the long breaks from Vryce and Tarrant are jarring. The minor characters are unpalatable to me - in fact, most of her minor characters have turned me off. Even Vryce did at first, until I finally accepted that he was the hero. The only one I actually appreciate is Karril/Kami.

I'm on Vryce and Tarrant's journey to Shaitan, and Damien's just deepened the feeding bond between them so Tarrant isn't weak. (No, this isn't slashy at all, is it?) Damien never would have done this when they first started travelling together.

Ah, that's another reason why I appreciate this series: the characters actually grow and change. As much as I love David Eddings, the characters stay kind of the same throughout. They grow in years, Garion goes from a gawking 14-year-old to a powerful king, other characters open up and find their soulmates. But the characters never really experience much internally; their battles are mostly external. In Coldfire, Damien went from an idealistic-if-somewhat-radical devout holy man to an experienced veteran forced to see the world in grays. Tarrant's become unwillingly uncontaminated. I'm not too thrilled with the whole mythology of the fae, the demons, and the Iezu; I do, however, love the human background on Erna, with the colonists' arrival and the Sacrifice, and the concept of the Unnamed.

I suspect that Friedman might link the two at the end, because the person who recommended the series to me calls it, "A scifi-series masquerading as fantasy." Except for the history of the humans in the colony ships, I'd classify the books as primarily fantasy. But, I don't think her set up of the technology, the Sacrifice, the recurring yearning in characters for Earth technology, has been useless. She tends to tie up the loose ends, and I don't think she'd create this whole background and not go anywhere with it. I won't be too disappointed if it doesn't happen, though, because I've really enjoyed the series. One bad move on the part of the author isn't going to make me hate it.

posted by Beatriz at 1:42 AM

wSunday, June 22, 2003

Last post was actually started yesterday afternoon, I just never finished it nor hit publish.

I'm almost finished with Evangelion: Death and Rebirth which I've actually never seen. For the most part, it's a clip of the tv series, then the opening part to End of Evangelion.

Some thoughts: episodes 25 and 26 of the series actually do end it. Sort of. Someone once explained to me, that episodes 25 and 26 are the internal/mental endings to the series, while End of Evangelion finishes it off in the real world. And, it is true. There are pieces of episodes 25 and 26 that do show what happens in the outside world - we see a shot of Misato, of Ritsuko and what happened to them. Ikari Gendo tells Rei that her time has come, and Instrumentality begins. It's pretty subtle, took me reading a bunch of FAQ after seeing the series the first time, then actually paying attention to eps 25 and 26 (and not sitting there going, "What the fuck is going on?").

Overall, I guess I can see that the series' detractors have a lot of fodder. And the series probably is a big angst-session of the director/writers. And ToastyFrog's Thumbnail Theatre is pretty accurate, in its disparaging manner.

I still enjoy it.

posted by Beatriz at 2:42 PM


I decided to watch Eva instead. I know it's a trite, old anime, and there's fierce debate over it totally sucking or as the epitome of anime, but I still like it. Maybe I'll be tired of it in a few years and decide to get rid of the DVDs, but until then I'm going to enjoy it.

I'm starting to understand that shoujo refers to the type of anime I don't like. In a hyphenated word, chick-flicks. Aimed at either little girls in the manner of Sweet Valley High, or romance in the way of Jennifer Lopez. I did rent The Wedding Planner because of Matthew McConaughey, and I didn't quite despise JLo as much at that point. However, if I ever see Maid in Manhattan, I deserve to be shot.

posted by Beatriz at 2:31 PM