Sunday, January 25, 2015

28 Day Bubblegum Crisis Challenge

What's one more challenge, right? So far, I've done Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, and Mass Effect, and I cannot tell you how much inspiration has come from reevaluating exactly what I loved and hated about each of them. February is usually a pretty slow month, especially considering the holiday season preceding it ... unless you count Valentine's Day, which I don't. I was originally going to go with something American but decided that, you know what? I wanna do a challenge based on one of my favorite anime series of all time: Bubblegum Crisis.

For those of you unfamiliar with the title, Bubblegum Crisis was a short anime series released from 1987 through 1991 and was heavily inspired by Blade Runner: a futuristic Tokyo, in the later stages of recovery from an earthquake, is controlled by a megalomaniacal super-corporation known as Genom, who produce boomers, robots that were utilized to rebuild Tokyo. Some of these boomers are rebelling, and the Knight Sabers - the four main characters of the series - fight them vigilante style, placing them at odds with Genom and the AD Police, the force that was created specifically to combat the boomer threat. I've watched every episode so many times I've lost count, more times than I have watched any Buffy episodes. Wow, I just started to process this, and it made me a little sad that I've spent so much of my life in front of a TV screen. I guess there are worse things?

Anyway, here's what's coming at your face in February!

Day 1: How I Was Introduced to Bubblegum Crisis
Day 2: Best Episode
Day 3: Worst Episode
Day 4: Favorite Episode
Day 5: Least Favorite Episode
Day 6: Favorite Main Character
Day 7: Least Favorite Main Character
Day 8: Favorite Villain
Day 9: Least Favorite Villain
Day 10: Favorite Secondary or One-Shot Character
Day 11: Least Favorite Secondary or One-Shot Character
Day 12: Comparison to the Remake, Bubblegum Crisis: 2040
Day 13: Favorite Boomer
Day 14: Which Episode(s) Would Be the Best to Adapt into a Movie?
Day 15: Favorite Fight Scene
Day 16: Favorite Reference to Blade Runner
Day 17: Favorite Songs Off the Soundtrack
Day 18: Saddest Moment
Day 19: Happiest Moment
Day 20: Favorite Promotional Art
Day 21: Favorite Fan Art
Day 22: Something That Happened I Wish Didn't
Day 23: Something That Didn't Happen I Wish Did
Day 24: Dubbed or Subbed?
Day 25: Homosexuality's Portrayal in the Series?
Day 26: What Did I Think of Bubblegum Crash?
Day 27: What I Would Like to See Next
Day 28: Relevance to Today's World?

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Living Life Honestly ...

I've not really been the type of person that puts up any wall of secrecy, even with strangers. My mom always tells me that I put too much out on Facebook - like the monthly arguments I have with my uterus via status updates - or that I should be concerned with what people are able to see. When I wrote a post about us filing for bankruptcy back in 2012, I didn't think anything of it; I was trying to be all public service-y. Or when Three and I first got together, I laid out everything that I believed were problems in past relationships when it came to my personality traits ... and that was on the first date. After my coming out story a few months ago*, I decided that it was time to just lay everything bare.

So that is my goal for this year: I am going to be as naked as possible. By the end of 2015, there won't be any unanswered questions about how I feel, what I believe, what my life is like, etc. I was partly inspired by the theft of celebrity personal photos and emails**, but mostly, the credit has to go to my lovely friend, Nic, who has been doing their own similar thing over on the Book of Faces, where they discuss a topic, such as gender identity or childhood bullying, in full and without a filter.

And so here it is: the first post.

Despite my natural tendency to lean toward a very honest lifestyle, it has not always been that way. When my father was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force back in the early 90s, we stopped moving around and settled in Nashville, TN. I'd sent nearly a decade changing locations and meeting other kids who shared my plight (oh, military brats, I will always love you), so the notion of staying in one place - and seeing the same people every day - for more than one year was pretty terrifying. At first, I attended a public school, which actually was as close to being what I was used to as it could have been; the groups of children were so large that it wasn't always guaranteed that you'd have the same classmates every year. But then my parents enrolled me in a private school, where everyone had known everyone since kindergarten. It was quite possibly the most intimidating thing I'd experienced up until that point. These kids did nearly everything together, from slumber parties to traveling soccer teams to Wednesday night church gatherings. I wanted to fit in so badly, but I was viewed as an awkward, four-eyed outsider. I was more interested in reading, writing, and drawing - mixed with a little paleontology and ecology for good measure - than in sports or dance classes***, so I was profoundly ignored. Don't get me wrong: I had a small group of friends, for which I was exceptionally thankful, but as everybody knows, acceptance of the "alpha" peers at that age is of utmost importance. Because of that, I was willing to do pretty much anything to get their attention, to get them to think that I was worthwhile. So, I chose to lie.

Part of being ignored is that, most of the time, people don't catch on. They don't notice to poem you just read in class as your own was lifted from a little known songwriter; they don't care enough to follow up with you when you brag, seemingly to the air, that you can run a six-minute mile. And it wasn't like I was telling Napoleon Dynamite levels of untruths. But it became this constantly evolving tapestry that could easily unravel if I forgot the minutest (most minute???) detail, and eventually, I just stopped talking, receded into my bedroom. My parents later told me they were worried about my lack of a social life. I kept to myself for the most part, and then I began what ultimately became my passion: writing. One particularly awful day in seventh grade, I sat down and began writing my own version of Sweet Valley High, only I didn't even bother with changing names or hiding my contempt. Nope, all of the popular people were leading miserable lives, and I was oddly specific about the types of cars they drove, opting to force them into what I considered at the time to be awful vehicles. My friends and I were the lifeblood of the school, and everyone was trying to gain our approval. It's pretty hilarious to think about now, because hahaha what? Why did I care if Lily Smith drove a crappy Camry? Why was I so concerned with whether or not I decided on the theme for senior prom? Or why did I gleefully read Sweet Valley High?

I abandoned the story pretty quickly - although not before sharing them with a few friends - and went on to better things. Well, better than an unrealistic teen soap opera, that is. I started writing fanfic**** and short stories and the beginnings of terrible novels that I threw into the waste basket. I had found an outlet for my creative energy. By the time I decided lying to my fellow students was just sort of pointless - 1) I had to keep track of what I told who and when, and 2) I didn't create any friendships with them, anyway - only two years remained in high school, and the whole popularity thing mattered about as much as a rat's ass to me. But it was a habit that took me a couple of years to break, and even to this day, I have to remind myself that, even though a story may be more entertaining or might get me out of trouble with someone, it's not who I am. Spinning a yarn, of course, comes as natural to me as breathing, but that doesn't mean that I should focus on anything other than the positive aspects of that talent. I'm about the blunt, honest truth, and I try, to the best of my ability, to live by that standard.

* Dear God, that was all the way back in September. Time fucking flies, I tell you.
** I have no delusions that I will ever be famous enough for anyone to want to hack into my personal files. Plus, all my personal shit is boring as hell.
*** My mom signed me up for a ballet class when I was a toddler - seriously, Mom, what were you thinking? - and I spent the entire 30-minute session sitting on the floor with my thumb in my mouth and a very grumpy expression on my face. Needless to say, I did not go back.
**** The first fanfic I ever wrote was for the Canadian animated show, Reboot. I actually ran across it when Three and I were moving into our first apartment and guffawed at what I thought was brilliant at the time.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dear Sister Person Book Club: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Dear Sister Person,

At first, when I'd discovered the HusFriend had packed up my original choice for January - Mercycle, in case you forgot - I was excited that I would get to read a book that has been on my To Read list ever since it was released. Then I read the first chapter of Divergent and began to doubt my life choices.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Pull List for January 21, 2015

Okay, so I'm going to start out with, "I'm sorry that I didn't do a review last week." I totally intended to review the new Star Wars series that made its - in my opinion - stellar debut. First, I don't have internet at my apartment; well, I do, but it's centrally-located wifi, and my apartment is just far enough from the main office to be out of range. Second, I just started my pull list at another shop last week, and while they do their best to pull the books for me that I want, the actual list won't start until next week or so. It's also a shop that just opened back on Black Friday, so their stock is mainly Marvel and DC. So basically what I'm saying is that I'll be doing some reviews for the next few weeks, but The Pull List won't come back into full swing until February. 

But anyway, here's what I'm looking forward to this week. I may not get them for a few weeks, but if you have a chance, you should check all of these out! Except the ones under Gone. This week has a ton under that subheading.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Have the Worst Luck with Cars, Part XIX: I Have the Right of Way!!

Well, thankfully, since our last vehicular adventure, nothing has really happened to Fancy (or to any cars around me), so I am going with Retro I Have the Worst Luck with Cars!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Life with Pets: Bina v Zola

Three days after Juju and Three tied the knot, the couple adopted BINA, a black and white little piece of kitteny fluffiness, who sits inside a baby-gated* room by herself while Juju has taken a trip to the bathroom. She grooms her fur with a daintiness that seems to be reserved for cats but abruptly stops when, out of the corner of her eye, she spots a giant slobbering thing staring at her through the gate. She goes to investigate, finding an exuberant ZOLA.


Monday, January 12, 2015

The Pull List for January 14, 2015

Soooooooo ... yeah. This week? Some of my favorites are coming out all on the same damn day, and it feels like Christmas all over again. Luckily, my To-Buy list is a teeny bit shorter than it was last month, but that comes from curtailing my expenditures on things other than, you know, food and necessities, now that I don't work at a comic shop. Siiiiiiiiiigh. I miss that place.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Pull List: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 Review

I'm not going to even be discreet about this in any way: I absolutely loved the first issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It's hilarious, bizarrely self-aware, and dammit, yes, it is 100% feminist without having the call itself just that - but I'll get back to that in a second.

No spoilers after the cut!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Pull List for January 7, 2015

It's a new year, bitches, and guess what that means! NEW FORMAT! NEW LOGO! ALL CAPS! EXCITEMENT!
I actually liked the old Pull List logo but figured out with the old and in with the new, right? In addition to the new logo - created rather crudely by yours truly and may eventually be replaced by something a little more streamlined - I'm trying out categories: Definitely To Buy, I'll Read It, Slightly Interesting, and Gone, which also may change as the year goes on. Like I said on the main Pull List page, I'm doing this as much for myself as I for you guys, because shit, it's getting difficult keeping track of all these.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the first Pull List for the brand new baby year of 2015, coming out Wednesday, January 7:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Life with Pets: Kitkat Is Born

It is October 2006 in Nashville, TN, and JUJU - pre-Three - is sitting on her bed in her one-bedroom apartment and reading whatever book she had checked out from the library that week. Let's say that it was one of the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time books, because she hadn't quite gotten pissed off enough at the author quite yet. DYNA, a small tabby whom Juju had adopted from the next door neighbor a few months before, is pregnant and, unbeknownst to her otherwise engaged owner/slave, is about to go into labor. For the past few weeks, Juju has set up a little den in the floor of her closet, complete with a comfortable bed and several tattered, yet clean blankets to serve as a delivery area for the single kitten that Dyna is carrying. Dyna, however, has other ideas.

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