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January 1st, 2015


12:00 am - that free spirited girl [sticky post]
Personal Style Blog transfer note:
Officially moved to Musings of a Free Spirited Girl

Meanwhile hi, again!

Because I think I have decent stuff to post here from now on...

I'm officially dubbing this place as my creative writing space (mostly for fanfiction, probably some poetry in the local language---if I do manage to come up with one, and some fiction, all being short, easy reads :D) Well, guys, enjoy reading and maybe, just maybe I'll be taking requests sometimes? Just watch out for those upcoming posts. Meanwhile...the new stuff here shall mostly be friends only because LJ is annoying and I am receiving a ton of spam comments---middle finger to LJ except the fanfics---unless I get annoyed by the spam comments again, then I am surely locking this thing to friends only ASAP.

Comment on this post to be added to the friends' list, thank you! I don't do random adding anymore.


....count the number of times I wrote 'from now on'...redundancy rules. Apparently, that's what I'm good at. I know, boring right?

Contact: kristagraces@gmail.com

kg*

Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Chemistry - TOGETHER | Powered by Last.fm

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January 2nd, 2015


01:03 am - sales post: a ton of books and one manga
I'm selling all these because other than the fact that I'm short on cash, I find it important to get rid of all the things I've amassed that I hardly use anymore. The house needs to be rid of these, too. Hope they can find a new home amongst you, buyers. Some of them have been listed on my ebay, too.

This is for serious buyers only.

How to Purchase:
1. Send an e-mail to kristagraces@gmail.com with the item/s as the subject. You may include in the first e-mail your inquiries about the items/books, your preferred payment method and contact details (full name, address, mobile phone number, home phone number)
2. If using paypal, wait for the paypal invoice. If you prefer BDO cash card deposit, wait for confirmation e-mail.
3. Pay for your purchases.
4. Get stuff!

Note that:

  • Shipping fee is shouldered by the buyer if not within Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental

  • Prices are in Philippine Peso

  • Shipping may take a maximum of 2 days within the Philippines


Payment methods:

  • Paypal: kristagraces@gmail.com

  • BDO cashcard deposit: 601853 906 3208890

  • COD upon meet-up

***For buyers from Cagayan de Oro, you can arrange meet-ups anywhere in Divisoria or in the malls, i.e. Ayala Centrio, Lim Ket Kai Mall, SM CDO, Gaisano Mall, etc.

On the list are the titles, their authors and their prices.

click here to see books and price listCollapse )
Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Lana Del Rey - Ride | Powered by Last.fm

(Leave a comment)

July 3rd, 2014


12:42 am - now playing: Vimclip - Vimclip - 生きる ~Youngster's Paradise~

Well, hello there, new obsession. Something about this track is just so beautiful to me for an EDM. It's from Vimclip's debut mini-album back in 2011, when they first started but somehow, I can't find a good mp3 quality of the thing I may have to buy that album and the rest of their albums and singles just because I'm starting to really, really love them now. Yep, typical me, fangirling over an obscure Japanese boyband that literally no one here knows about anyway---except maybe the few people I fangirl on them with. Sad most of those I share these boys and their work to don't seem to share the same enthusiasm I have for them. That's okay. They deserve to get more fans, though. :( Perhaps I can only dream at this moment. But I'd like to go to one of their Swish events and perhaps even their one-man lives one day. :)

Beautiful, pleasant-to-the-ears EDM is BEAUTIFUL and I fangirl over such things. If you'd rather say I "stan" them then yes, I do. I really do stan them. Thank you, Da-iCE, for without you, I'd never have discovered these babies. <3

Is it just me or is this positioning for the embedded video weird? I try placing it in the center and it doesn't really...work. At all. I miss the old LiveJournal that lets me do whatever.

It's almost 1 in the a.m. and it's about time I went to sleep but I've been checking out a few things on this site where job postings are placed everyday. I always end up getting disappointed there's really not much there for me to get into as I want a change of pace from my freelance writing sort of life. Frankly, I'm getting tired of it. Being a freelance writer isn't all that shiz if there's nothing interesting there to begin with but bland, monotonous article writing anyway. One company and two schools I've passed application letters and resumes to haven't replied so...there goes whatever. I might have to send out more.

The MA thesis is still at the back of my head at the moment. The back-burner. I'll get to it soon, maybe in the second semester of this school year. I'll read and study for it in the meanwhile then actually finish the thing before setting up a meeting with my thesis adviser and a few other professors. I don't want a half-baked thesis passed to them especially now that I'm thinking of making slight changes to it. I don't want to take the comprehensive exams all over again, too, so the changes are only going to be very slight. For now, read and study femiinist and egalitarian theories it is. I'll try to inhale as much of them as I can before facing anyone regarding my MA thesis.

Ugh. Life. Anyway, good night, folks! Time for me to crash the bed.

I'll be lss-ing all the way to tomorrow morning thanks to this track which is on repeat on my iPad. At least I'll be getting a decent enough sleep tonight, though?

kg*

PS
I'm starting to find Reo adorable. Like...really adorable. It may be the dancing and the bright red hair that's so like that of Da-iCE's Sota. The way he interacts with kids is really cute, too. (See the youtube videos of Reo interacting with kids and fans uploaded by a certain die hard-ish Reo fan on said site to keep me from having to gush so hard about it. LOL) Or it may be because I hate the abysmal, chaotic state of Eiki's semi-mohawked hair. He hasn't exactly had everything shaved off...THANK GOD!...but both left and right side of his head has been shaved off...

eiki_pictwitter

Yes, exactly. That darn shaved off the sides hairdo. But I still love this adorkable geek/nerd/dweeb. He's still my favorite Vimclip derp even after I have been noticing Reo has more than 7000 followers on Twitter now.

Also, don't remind me of the fact that Kazuki has just now emulated Eiki's current hairstyle. What is going on with these boys?!

PPS
Has anyone ever heard their acapella of the first verse to Labyrinth?! It's awesome. Like, lakslakwlkwq...AWESOME. I've fallen all over again for Eiki's voice. I always end up liking the guys with the most run-of-the-mill, regular singing voice that's really not as polished as Kazuki's or Tomo's. Well...it's polished but it's not exactly as stellar or noticeable/standout as Kazuki's high one or Tomo's low but really polished, beautiful one. The acapella to Labyrinth is at the start of a radio segment they did way back in 2013 ("Going my pace" was the title if I'm not mistaken and it's on youtube, tyvm pretty amazing uploader ;____;)
Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: Vimclip - Vimclip - 生きる ~Youngster's Paradise~

(Leave a comment)

June 26th, 2014


02:38 pm - the other rather obscure side of fandom: EbiDan
There are a couple of reasons why I actively avoid the mainstream Jpop acts like Johnny's and Associates' groups, the Exile tribe, AKBfamily and other Jidol groups (Tokyo Girls Style, etc) from Avex and other labels and it's this: musical consistency. I like the Japanese groups I fangirl over to have a certain musical style that isn't cliched everywhere in this vast Jmusic industry. Also, I grew up in the 90s so I like them influenced by the '90s pop music style along with some of the 80s new wave. Another is that I don't really care for what individuals from these groups do outside of the music they make. I'm a music otaku (since time immemorial). I am unfortunately not ashamed to admit it hence why I don't care for my favorite artists' acting, hosting and etc credits. I care more about who makes their music---case in point: Vimclip, because Tomo seems to make the bulk of it with his music making group and Eiki contributing to one song lyrically. I mean, what's the point of being well-rounded when you can't even deliver good music to your listening general audience that consistent and faithful to the genre you classify your music into? Yes. That's my point, exactly. Apparently, I stick to some indie music groups and bands in the western hemisphere's music industry because of musical consistency as well. Most of the time, I just really choose music I like so it comes down to personal musical preference. Haha.

Anyway, Ebidan. Let's go to Stardust's music arm that's EbiDan. There's not much information about this because hello Japanese music industry that's downright cray so of course people are more acquainted with Johnny's and Associates' acts, AKB subgroups and the Exile tribe subgroups. Not a lot of people seem to bother with the smaller labels and talent agencies like EbiDan and Vision Factory respectively not realizing there are some gems there. EbiDan's acts are actors, actresses and talents with contracts under the Stardust talent agency. My first brush with EbiDan was when I saw a recorded performance footage of PrizmaX on Da-iCE's Ustream channel. They apparently participated in a Vuenos event which isn't necessarily a Swish event.

EbiDan has a lot of acts signed onto them but I'd like to go more into three of its male groups: PrizmaX, DISH// and the newly launched on Avex's Island Nation stage circa 2013, Choutokkyu (Bullet train). Side note: I always wondered why EbiDan is linked to Avex but it seems that they're actually a recording label under Avex but co-owned by Stardust.

primers on DISH//, Choutokkyu and PrizmaXCollapse )

And before I put a period on this post, regarding Vimclip, let me just add as a side note here that I'm actually frustrated at how they are being handled by Avex. They don't have a staff twitter, their website is pretty basic and their events are very scarce how the heck are we supposed to stan some more for them?! IMO, they should be up there with Da-iCE. I don't even see them listed as one of the many acts for Asia Progress! They were hardly on Boys on the Stage, too and we're suposed to say they are among groups like W~inds., Lead, Emalf (once known as Flame) and others. Avex, this is ridiculous for my current main fandom. Just...ridiculous. You audition these boys, they work hard at making their own sound and then you forget about them. Okay, thank you very much, Avex. Typical of said huge recording company and talent agency. I also did not really mean to rant towards the end of this post.

Aside from stardustdigital on youtube, you can also head over to PrizmaX's and DISH//'s staff Twitter accounts if you'd like information on their incoming events and stuff. Unlike the acts from the Swish events, their members aren't actively tweeting on Twitter. PrizmaX, DISH// and Choutokkyu seem to be maintaining their ameblo blog accounts, however. Head over to their Stardust profiles, too if you'd like to get to know more about them.

***

As much as I'd like to do a World Cup 2014 update after the jpop fandom bulk post on 3 of Ebidan's male groups, I'm only really now just waiting for the Germany vs USA game scheduled to air tomorrow at 12 midnight. My other teams are still alive and breathing and now into the round of 16: Netherlands and Switzerland which just narrowly escaped elimination. I only need Germany and USA to advance over both Portugal and Ghana now.

And I'm done here.

kg*

PS
I watched Transformers: Age of Extinction last night thanks to free movie tickets from a drug company and it was decent. Thank heavens there was no Shia Lebouf in sight! Mark Wahlberg delivered pretty well but I felt my head ache come after the movie thanks to the many effects courtesy of director Michael Bay. Action-packed movie = headache. Yep. Good thing my mum wasn't with us for that one.

Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: various Vimclip tracks via the Danzen live FES mini concert on iPad

(Leave a comment)

June 19th, 2014


08:30 pm - random thoughts: of eating habits, personal fitness choices and body shaming the skinny
"You're so skinny, you should really eat a lot." No one wants to know how many times I've been told that in all my 26-going-on-27 years of growing up along with "you're only eating fish/seafoods and fruits and vegetables? You need to eat meat (pork, beef, chicken, etc) a lot, too." It's starting to annoy me...a lot. I also feel like I've done posts like this numerous times on my tumblr and here. Some of my tweets on twitter have similar sentiments to this as well. I still feel like that something like this, skinny body shaming, still needs to be addressed.

Also, I've just been asked if I'm contented just eating fish/seafood and vegetables and I don't miss meat at all while lunch-ing with family and some of my dad's close friends yesterday...seriously...stop.

Body shame the fat and the obese and they would say, 'so what? Body curves are beautiful,' and body shame the skinny and people doing that say 'oh my god, you're so skinny, you need to eat a lot...' and so on and so forth enough to make skinny and slim people actually rethink their eating habits and their health and fitness practices. Body shaming, it's a double edged sword and a double standard that happens frequently between the skinny individuals and their critics and the fat and obese ones and their own critics which, by the way, often pass themselves as 'healthy, well-rounded, fit and regular' individuals. Well, guess what? That's one double standard we really don't need in this modern world by virtue of the fact that we're so different from one another physically and such we actually have nutritional needs and health and fitness needs that are different from one another. I'm lying? ASK DIETICIANS AND NUTRITIONISTS, THEY SHOULD KNOW THIS. Oh and personal trainers as well.

I've had a few weeks of summers and some other isolated days spent with some relatives, a family of them, up north in the vast metropolis of Manila in the past. The mother, my aunt, is an amazing cook---my mum admires her somehow---and my uncle and their kids, all four boys and technically my uncles because they're my mum's cousins, all have healthy appetites. They also had the fat to obese body shape with the exception of my uncle, the dad of the family, that always seemed to stay perpetually thin, slim or skinny. Somehow, they always thought I was really skinny, borderline anorexic that they didn't think I ate a lot. Therefore they kept coaxing me to eat the few weeks of summers and the days I spent went with them. The thing is that I was coming onto my own during this time. I ate healthy but I was forming my own opinions about how my diet should go and I was already plotting ways to stay as slim as I was and well...just...shapely enough. I hadn't thought of becoming vegetarian or pescetarian until I was well into the second year of university but I was pretty sure I wanted to maintain my slim, skinny and tall-ish figure.

To give you a view of how genetics---because genetics plays a huge role in body and body function differences---dictates my body shape, it's like this: my maternal side of the family are of average Asian height, the men went no further from 5'11 to 6 feet tall and the women only averaged 4'9 feet tall. They were also not very slim and nor were they obese. My dad however got his bone structure and body shape which stays perpetually thin or slim from his father side of the paternal line. He also inherited the tall, 6+ feet height from that side of the family. I happened to be a nice mix of my mum and dad's genes but mostly, in my opinion, my dad's because I'm 4-5 inches taller than my mum and always seem to stay thin, slim or skinny no matter how much I ate in the past and up into the present. My younger brother inherited my mum's body and bone structure that even if he's tall, he's a bit plumper than I am.

Let's face it, there are people who are skinny day in and day out because they really just can't pack any fat or weight in their body at all no matter how much they tried to eat a lot daily. It's probably because of fast metabolism or it could be because of something else. I am one of those and so is one or two of my friends. We have one thing in common and it's that we get skinny shamed, a lot, in various, different, highly creative ways. Our food and diet choices get picked on---because they're the reason why we don't gain weight at all---and even the amount of food we consume daily get criticized---apparently, the more you eat, the more you gain weight is the norm and we skinny people need to eat, a lot. I also once wandered into an AAA music video once where someone shared how much she worried about Uno Misako because she's too thin now and she needs to really eat a lot.

Genetics, choice of diet and fitness and health practices are three things invisible to these very same 'body shape' critics. These three are the things they seem to ignore when they criticize someone who they think looks anorexic. They happen to think then that they have the 'ideal' body shape and therefore are right with their criticisms and that their advice should be followed. Newsflash: no way should their advices be followed because they are NOT health professionals at all. Nor are they licensed health professionals. They highly discount the individuality of the person they criticize and therefore are just flat out WRONG in whatever they say about skinny people.

There's a difference between being skinny and being anorexic. If these skinny body shaming individuals ever tried educating themselves and reading about that eating disorder called anorexia nervosa, then I would not have to post a long rant about individualism and body shaming the skinny like this one.

My point is, everything about fitness, health and diet are personal choices except if there's medical treatment for said individual involved. If that's the case, then some things are off limits for such individuals where fitness, health and diet are concerned. Before anyone ever decides to tell someone to 'eat a lot because they're skinny,' they should look at themselves first and see what they are missing because I would think they are the ones who need such criticism because they are likely the fat or the obese. I have nothing against the slightly chubby ones because yes, I appreciate their curves but the others...? Do you actually know that OBESITY is a medical disease? It can lead to a lot of medical health complications is all I'm going to say.

A lot of the skinny people I know, myself included, actually have pretty healthy lifestyles. They're are often vegetarians, pescetarians or they can eat about anything and not worry about gaining weight at all because they just can't. Yet they seemed to have hit the right balance in their diets because they have boundless energies to spend daily on various activities from mild to extreme. They also have really good exercise programs they follow---Uno Misako, I know, does yoga and screw you naysayers but yoga is an awesome way to relax the body and actually improve balance, flexibility, strength and a few others. They are also often the people who are aware of how much water they need to drink daily and the other details they need to keep themselves healthy and strong and...well...beautiful. In a nutshell, they actually know how to maintain their body shape. The question to you, critics, is...DO YOU KNOW ALL THESE? Are you aware of what your body needs and such or are you so content with your sedentary lifestyles you actually have nothing to do but be bitter and body shame us who trouble ourselves with keeping our bodies in shape and functioning well? Hmn...yep, I thought so, too.

I think I've driven my point in deep enough I don't care anymore what people say about me, my diet choices and my lifestyle choices in general. I'll leave everything I've written and ranted on here up for you to actually look into and well...study, whatsoever. I actually am tired of stooping to the low levels of these bitter, maybe envious (?) body shaming individuals.

*****
some footy news (FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil)Collapse )


Anyway, until the next post. :)

kg*

Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: Ellie Goulding - My Blood | Powered by Last.fm

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June 12th, 2014


11:29 pm - that summer jpop playlist that screams "it's friday, let's party"!
While the rest of the world is on summer break and 3/4ths of the world's population is about to tune into the World Cup's opening ceremony---I wish I could be but alas, it seems it'll be starting here at 2:15 a.m. tomorrow within the Philippines' timezone and I might be sound asleep by then unless I take a quick nap as early as now...---in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I present to you, guys, what currently comprises my summer jpop playlist. Yep, it does seem to scream "It's Friday, let's party!" It's devoid of JE and cutesy Jidol music, too, well perhaps save for some Lead which is technically considered a '90s era idol group (Summer Madness era) but I beg to differ. Lead along with W~inds. and Flame (now renamed as Emalf---see: their individual members' and staff's Twitters) are actually Jboybands of the '90s rather than Jidol groups made of purely males. I only ever consider JE acts and those from groups like Morning Musume, AKB48, NMB48 and etc. as the idol groups. I'm not fond of idol groups and their music, unfortunately, so I only give you the grooviest dance tunes I can find from the artists and bands I normally listen to.







I apologize they contain only like, 8 artists of the r&b, urban, hiphop + EDM and techno music type. I can't seem to find anything else like them on my itunes and music folders or anywhere else unless there are others you might like to recommend that I don't know of? And it kind of sucks that I can't embed a player here because most of them seem to exclude Jpop. :( Or I have yet to find one that offers some good Jpop stuff, preferably all of the artists in this playlist I've just crafted.

Anyway, enjoy them while I, uh, plot plausible action on how I can get to watch the World Cup's Opening Ceremony later around 2:15 in the very early morning of Friday. My next mission is to come up with a combination of western pop and western indie music playlist for the same season I love so much: summer. Stay tuned until then. Ellie Goulding will likely take center stage there. I can't help it, I'm addicted.

kg*

Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: Lead - Stand and Fight | Powered by Last.fm

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June 9th, 2014


11:52 pm - down under the bowels of Jpop and Jmusic in general: Vimclip
た~だい~ま~

It's been awhile since I blogged about fandom. I'm not in hiding or something. Life's a mess at the moment (when has it ever not been a mess?) but at least fandom is quite fine. So let's not get into how chaotic life is and instead go straight to the good: Vimclip.


That Vimclip, yes...exactly. Okay, WHAT?! Another Japanese boyband/boygroup...again?! If it helps, at least they aren't from Johnny's Entertainment. They are therefore safe from the danger of having to wear those weird, most likely made of shiny leather trench coats and shiny shirt things that scream *kira kira* I'm-your-ikemen-overlord complete with roller skates and other such extra excessive paraphernelia they probably can't even tout on stage anyway because they're so bulky and uncomfortable to wear and insanely difficult to use or move around in when they have to do lots of dancing, singing and rapping in their songs. They're not Johnny's Entertainment. Period. Even their music is distinct and different from your regular cheesy idol music (which, by the way, I just currently detest and have always detested since time immemorial unless I went back to that short phase where I was addicted to an E-girls' song because it was just...addicting by nature.) I'm a unique-type of Jpop best friend but a bubblegum, jpop idol music fiend. You can disregard my owning  3 copies of Kis-My-Ft2's CD singles in real life. That one's only because I can't really access the more unknown but really good Japanese pop music stuff from where I currently am unless I bought them straight from Japan.

You may recall from past jpop music fangirling posts that I am a Da-iCE fan. It took time, however, for me to get into Vimclip even when I already had a copy of their PV for My Generation which has Ohno Yudai and Hanamura Sota from Da-iCE. It also took time for them to sink into my core when they have been considered the brother boyband or boygroup to Da-iCE. I don't remember what the reason is for my taking so much time to finally notice them but yep, it took a loooong...time for me to warm up to them. It's their Summer Step I blame for my being a fan of theirs now. As a whole, their music just is the kind to make any listener happy if they were into the urban, hiphop with the kpop/western synthed dance music slant. It certainly had that effect on me and I'm now hopelessly hooked. They can be incredibly inconsistent at times, however but perhaps that can be overlooked because they have more upbeat songs than slow ones. I didn't really like their collaboration with May J. much, it was the type of music you'd put on to sleep to.

So basically, yes, Vimclip's music can be kpop-y/western synthed dance (Ellie Goulding, maybe Icona Pop...) type. It's definitely very modern and pop. There's rap in most of their songs which makes their music even more hip.

While Da-iCE is made up of guys who were grown and whose talents were honed within the confines of the Avex Academies all over Japan, Vimclip's guys didn't have it easy. They actually had to audition to be where they are now. Their audition can be found on their page on the Avex youtube channel. Currently, Vimclip consists of 3 vocalists (Tomo, Eiki and Kazuki) and 2 performers or dancers (Reo and Take). They used to have a DJ, Takuro, but he's been MIA since late 2012 and hasn't been appearing in any stage or MV with them post-Ba+Ba+Bye era. I'm still trying to figure out why he hasn't been with this group since. It's either he was sacked or he quit which is just...sad. There's nothing to worry about, however, because it seems the remaining 5 members are doing fine without him to this day.

Obviously, they're ikemens, mostly anyway so it's kind of the thing that drills between the eyes or so they say. It's not that difficult to be a fangirl of theirs or to sway to their camp in an instant. Eiki is really good looking and may just have a tiny bit of foreign or western blood in him due to his sharp features. Girls consider Reo the Vimclip prince and he actually has almost 7000 followers on twitter. Then you have Kazuki who's just as good looking as the other two. Tomo can look cute on certain angles and Take...well...he's got the abs...err...body and he's not too bad to look at as well. But this is surface value, I think. At least in my case, it is.  But it's certainly one of the reasons why I got into Vimclip. Confession: I have a huge bias on Eiki and Kazuki is my close second bias because who wouldn't intensely crush on Eiki when he's basically like, this cute?! (Note: Eiki's self-made, self-established introduction goes: Eiki: A-B-C-D-E, crowd answers: Eiki!)

Oh, and Kazuki...don't get me started on Kazuki...
So who said my irrational, almost to the point of excessively unnecessary love for Vimclip is stuck on surface level? False.Collapse )

That's one long rant on pop music. I'm out now since I'm all out. Until next time...which...I'm not sure when that will be. Probably when I finally decide to check out Unfake, Birth, Bridget, Sunlite and more. White Jam, which recently just signed to Universal Music Japan coincidentally about the same time that Da-iCE did, is already grabbing my attention at the moment but it's not yet to the level of the hold Vimclip has over me. Something about the current state of the underground-ish part mainstream Jpop industry seems to excite me due to Swish and Danzen introducing and exposing so may of these...that'll be for another rather lengthy post however.

*****Some amazing people from the small Vimclip fandom have provided fans all over the world with fancams of their mini-lives promoting the releases of their mini-albums and singles, lives during the Swish concert tours and even a recording of their short live on the Danzen stage that was streamed via Ustream on Youtube. To hear and see what they have to offer, just type in Vimclip in the Youtube search bar. There are even some fun Danzen episodes up from said amazing local Vimclip, Da-iCE and Code V fans which mostly has them doing batsu games between each other and random karaoke-ing.

Vimclip's account on the Japanese massive blogsite, Ameblo or Ameba is also worth the visit should you want to know what they have been up to on a daily basis. Like Da-iCE, Vimclip is very visible on social media sites particularly Twitter. Each member has a Twitter account along with one for their staff. The best thing about them having their own Twitters? THEY ACTUALLY REPLY TO THEIR FANS AND INTERACT WITH THEM...as well as with their other colleagues like Da-iCE's members, AAA's members (who has Twitter because Nishijima Takahiro really only shares with Hidaka there...sometimes). Their official site is a good source of information on their gigs---note: they actually have free concerts around the Tohoku area on some days of the year (really lucky local Vimclip fans in Japan, cue me crying now). Those free lives are often held outdoors so it's just amazing to go where they are and hold a picnic with friends while listening to them talk, sing and rap and watching them dance. They have their mailmag fans can subscribe to...it's protocol for officially launched Avex acts, apparently and I'm pretty sure they have a facebook account somewhere. I don't have one---I just really dislike fb and find it useless to maintain---and I'm not subscribed to their mailmag. :( For some reason, even after I have been following certain Avex acts for a year or two now, I don't really subscribe to their mailmags nor am I a member of their fan clubs. It's probably because I'm more a casual fan than an actually highly devoted, quasi-obsessed one.

For more of my Vimclip fawning over/stanning/fangirling...all of them are on my fangirling tumblr now. Mostly photos of Eiki and some of Kazuki. The 3 other members haven't been getting much love from me. Haha.

Anyway, I'll go enjoy my Vimclip now.

kg*

P.S.
Is it just me or does anyone else here hate or dislike to a certain degree the new LiveJournal front page? I liked the old front page interface. The new look causes a lot of confusion in me. Looks like things have been going downhill for LJ since the change of ownership...

Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Vimclip - Labyrinth | Powered by Last.fm

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

March 20th, 2014


12:20 am - movie review: geminis (2005, Argentina)
It's been awhile since I last did something like this here. But it's probably because I very rarely find movies that I'm really into these days. It could also be that it's because I refrain from frequenting the local cinemas. Since two years ago, I've been refraining from spending money on overpriced cinema tickets to movies I know would end up disappointing me. I'm one of the few who would rather sit out a mainstream Hollywood or local mainstream film if I know it's not worth spending for in the cinemas and wait for it to show up on HBO, Cinemax or some other cable channel. I've had enough of being duped to over-hyped, crappy films and such.
quick rant on films in general, feel free to click and readCollapse )

Geminis
Also known as Gemini (possibly the American English title?), Geminis by Albertina Carri, a 2005 release is an Argentinian film I came across one online message thread/forum whilst looking for those that contained the controversial theme of consensual incest. I've been interested about the theme for some time now because it's one extremely rare phenomenon I'd like to study or at least gain a bit of insight or understanding on. I won't participate in it nor do I see myself getting into it because I'm 11 years older than my little brother and we're not really that close so...there's that out in the open. I'm not denying nor am I not keeping a blind eye to this because apparently, it does happen although very rarely. I find it an interesting thing to study nevertheless.

I won't go too deep into the plot of Geminis. I'll keep this one short.

Plot: Carri's Geminis tells of the life of what seems to be a normal middle class Argentinian family in modern day Buenos Aires consisting of a middle-aged mother (Lucia) and father (Daniel), an older brother (Ezequiel) and a pair of brother (Jeremias) and sister (Magdalena) twins who are most likely in their early 20s (and I"m only going by estimates here). The siblings, all three of them, are an attractive bunch and the family, as a whole, does seem well-adjusted to society on the outside. What sets them apart from other normal Argentinian families is that the twins have an ongoing physical and likely emotional intimate relationship they keep from the family, including their elder brother. The story begins when Ezequiel brings home to his family his new wife, Montserrat, so they could hold a wedding ceremony in Buenos Aires. The newly wedded couple lives in Spain. From this point towards the near end of the film is the family's preparation for the wedding ceremony so you see a ton of family interactions like regular family functions or family gatherings in their city home and later their home in the province. The twins' relationship isn't revealed until the sex scene in the rave club the siblings and Montse go to but you do get hints on how they seem to act like boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife early on. To the one watching the film, you'll likely find a lot of foreshadowing leading to this event like the twins' discussion on a documentary about pandas on TV and a bit later, their bickering at the grocery store. Their relationship with their mother is also trivial and can be seen as a clue to the nature of their relationship with one another. They team up when they do not like doing something their mother orders them to. The things they fight about between them also aren't the usual things that normal brothers and sisters do. So, long story short, the elder brother later discovers the twins' highly intimate relationship when they were in the countryside. This, of course, breaks him emotionally since he's been in the dark about this like the rest of the family is. Then the mother later finds out and goes in a shock when she comes back from a client's/friend's house to get something she left at home for work. The film ends on an open note and one can only conclude this succession of events didn't really stop the twins from participating in consensual incest.

It would be good to note that there are a lot of hints of the controversial subject the film dissects within it. There's the part where the mother discusses problems of consensual incest within the families of those in the lower class like that of their maid. There's also the discussion the mother has with her sister about what they fought about when they were younger. You can compare that one to the fights Meme and Jere have which you'd likely find to be unusual for most siblings. Then you have Meme (Magdalena) catching their maid, Olguita watching a soap opera from Caracas about a brother revealed by another to be having relations with his own blood-related sister. All these comes in handy when you get to dissect the film into pieces to get to its core message. These are also a great help to those who would like to unravel the film's relevance to today's society.

Social Relevance/Theme Discussion: There is still social stigma around consensual incest. Like other forms of incest, particularly the non-consensual kind, it's one of many social taboos we have today. Carri's Geminis might not remove that stigma and taboo around consensual incest, which I think is the better one between consensual and non-consensual, but it gives us, the critical thinking audience (assuming we are critically thinking while watching the film...yeah), an idea of how it's like for those who are in this kind of relationship. I, for one, would actually like to see the stigma and taboo removed on consensual incest, just the brother-sister and cousin-cousin ones, in the near future. This is because I think some cases of consensual incest has brothers and sisters or cousins and cousins who are actually genuinely in love with one another. I'd like them to be free to decide as to who they'd love rather than have society restrict them that freedom. This is part of the reason why I think that films like Geminis need to be recognized by the general public.

Geminis highlights society's reaction to consensual incest between siblings. The reactions of the eldest brother, Ezekiel and the mother, Lucia are likely exactly those that others would exhibit when they find out about their own family members engaging in incest consensually. There are numerous repercussions to consensual incest or just incest in general and this is something the film executed well. You can tell that it's socially relevant because of this. In the collective minds of today's society, incest, consensual or not, is wrong after all. The film is highly effective in educating the public about how consensual incest poses a problem to society.

While I don't have an issue with that, with how society views consensual incest wrong (there's no way to go around it in the first place because it's society you're dealing with), I'd really rather think that the film evokes one to question whether or not consensual incest is really wrong or not. This is because I ended up associating human nature and our ability to fall in love with others with the unique phenomena like that which Geminis presented and I decided there's nothing wrong with it. What i actually see in the film are two consenting adults in a loving---though there's nothing conclusive about that but just tasteful hints all throughout the film---relationship. I don't mean to romanticize consensual incest but there are cases where you just can't help who you fall in love with even if that one is your sibling or cousin. .

There are other media that do discuss consensual incest between siblings. I've browsed through Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden and have gone through VC Andrews' Dollanganger series. I ended up having issues with them because I find that they paint consensual incest in a bad light. For both book series, the consensual incest was a result of two siblings being exposed to broken homes and both aren't exactly of the sound mind. Broken homes do affect many individuals psychologically and emotionally and there are numerous studies on that. In the case of Geminis, we have adult twins who grew up in a good, upper middle class household and as far as the film's audience could tell, they're well-adjusted individuals. This is why I actually like Geminis over others that try to explore brother-sister romantic love/consensual sibling incest. This is also why I think Forbidden and the Dollanganger series aren't at all realistic portrayals of some of the happier cases of consensual incest that we know today.

The consensual incest cases I write about here aren't the GSA (Genetic Sexual Attraction) kind. You may have heard of it already as it's been sensationalized by some news networks recently. It's the kind that happens between siblings or cousins who grew up together in the same household. I've read cases of it on some sites where the brother-sister couple are actually legitimately or genuinely in love with one another and yep, like I mentioned earlier, I don't see anything wrong with it. Now, with Geminis, I'd actually like to invite those who are interested in consensual incest as a social/socio-anthropological study to examine this rare phenomena with the way I tried to see and understand it. It would be good to look into cases of siblings or cousins who fall in love with one another too because I think this would at least lighten the social stigma around certain kinds of incest.

To those who would ask whether this film has great or quality entertainment value, I'd say it does if that's how shallow you'd like to look into Carri's Geminis. It works as an effective tragic, love-gone-wrong kind of film. It's also effective as a family-related film but not appropriate for the very young audience. It's also a good film if non-Argentinians would like a peek into how Argentian families work.

I enjoyed the film, thank you very much. I like the theme and its social implications. I think this is one of the better films on consensual incest that hits close to home when it comes to that subject. It's not overly produced and I think it's a solid film with a solid storyline or plot.

kg*
Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Da-iCE - Toki (via iPad videos)

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December 4th, 2013


08:13 pm - fanfic: untitled AU; fandom: sailormoon
Something I wrote ages ago and only got to reread/scan tonight. Since brother dear is uploading some photos downstairs, I've decided it's time to check on some fanfics from my personal files. While I think this one might've been better off fiction, I decided it be better as fanfiction under the Sailor Moon fandom. 

Manga/Anime: Sailormoon
Fandom: UsaMamo
Type: Oneshot
World/setting: AU, World War 2


Summary: Many young Japanese men are being drafted into military service and pulled away from their loved ones. Throw in the ‘no surrender’ philosophy being ingrained in their being during training, the spirit of kamikaze, bushido among others and you get tragic love stories between lovers and dehumanized men that have come home from war torn towns and cities in Japan.

***
click to read, watch out for nc-17-ish mentionsCollapse )

Hmn...until the next post, then. I'll scout around my files and my notebooks for more fanfics. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to a quiet melancholic night to review some old books I meant to read. This one was inspired by the war novel, The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh in sme way although it seems subtle so I'm going to start with that tonight.

Feel free to hit me up with whatever. :) Criticisms? I can take them. Just do not be too rude.

Goodnight. :)

kg*
Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: artisticartistic

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November 27th, 2013


11:15 pm - Thoughts on NBC's Dracula 2013
Before I succumb to work or to sleep---because my head is aching and I feel nauseated somehow, all I know is I am sickly at the moment---I need to get this off my head first.

An accidental flick of the channel to DIVA on the local cable tv at home made me discover NBC's Dracula. NBC seems to have a knack of reinventing the classics, first it was Sherlock Holmes. Now, the producers, the team assembled are apparently feasting on the Bram Stoker classic. Sad to say, it's not exactly the best, my mind says it's a pretty messed up series from the reinvented characters onwards. But is there any way at all it can be rectified? Nope, none at all. This is all up to the creative minds behind the tv series. But like others who have been admittedly hooked into it no matter how bad it is...I'll just go on and say, like the rest, that I am keeping tabs on the series because 'it's so bad (and messed up) that it's (actually) good'. The series is reminiscent of the early seasons of HBO's True Blood in sexiness, I'm leaving it at that.

Apparently, what I caught on DIVA was the second episode. There are about 4 episodes released as of the moment and the 5th one is yet to air two weeks from now, if I recall correctly. Dracula is on a short hiatus.

Plotwise, NBC's Dracula seems to have conformed to the canon established by earlier film and tv adaptations of the novel where Mina Murray is the reincarnation of Dracula's dead wife. Notable for this trend is Coppola's 1992 Bram Stoker's Dracula with Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker. There, Mina was Elisabetta in her past life. My memory of the film is unclear and in shambles but I do remember watching it back then. Since I have yet to read the book at that time, there was no way I could form a coherent opinion of the movie. There was nothing original to base it on. Also, I do have Nosferatu on my mind though no move done to acquire a copy of it.

But really, why am I writing about Dracula? I cannot, for the life of me it seems, miss the chance at poking (fun or whatever) or take a look at some things they did to the Stoker classic for television viewers. Book-to-tv series or book-to-film, there are always bound to be changes, minor or major. Tweakings courtesy of the creative minded staff behind every film or tv series adaptations of classic novels.

Having read the book some time last year and re-reading or scanning through it again today---it's all because of NBC's Dracula, I swear---I fell in love with it and with the way Stoker wrote it. It is one of my favorite horror tales of all time. It actually gave a shape to the concept of vampires and vampirism that's far from the sparkly vegan---is there such a thing, really?---vampire some other author created and trended. What actually defined the novel for me was the tone. It's stereotypical gothic horror that starts light then goes dark in the middle then life-changing towards the end.

So...the changes. I tweeted this earlier today: Mina Murray is an assistant schoolmistress not a medical student/practitioner and Jonathan Harker is a solicitor---some sort of lawyer who may work hand in hand with the barrister but mostly works on legalities for clients as in the case of properties, etc---not a journalist. This is book canon vs. 2013 Dracula tv series on NBC.

In the new series, Wilhelmina (her full name) Murray is under the tutelage of Van Helsing it seems and is attending his classes in university. Jonathan, meanwhile, is a journalist for The Inquisitor. The one thing the series got right: they're both young and attractive (especially Jonathan; Oliver "Ollie" Jackson-Cohen is mighty good looking...err...fine...I mean...handsome). The thing is these two lived a simple, average life in the novel. They aren't the socialites NBC's reinvention of Stoker's Dracula makes them out to be. It surprises, sometimes shocks me still to see Lucy and Mina drown their troubles away at a club with opium or meth or heroine---whatever recreational drug of that time period NBC thought out---and just be careless wealthy carefree young women. It made prim, proper, practical and reserved Mina Murray a distant image.Well, it's NBC and it's up to their team however they want to add a healthy (exaggerated actually because it is in massive amounts and not exactly moderated) dash of intrigue and the then-high society life in the series. Needless to say, I think all this pomp was made to make the new Dracula series palatable to many who loved the Stoker classic. I actually think this tactic failed them and made Dracula a headache to watch however entertaining some aspects of it is.

Let's not even try to understand Lucy Westenra though I kind of hoped she'd be girlier and prettier, the belle of the city whatever place they are setting 2013 Dracula tv series on. Mina and Lucy seem on equal footing in terms of beauty or appeal. They got the blonde and fair part right, though.

Random insert: Jonathan Harker is my main Dracula bias as per the novel though I am still saddened how there is very little in pop culture about this guy. I think he's just as good a hero as Abraham Van Helsing so I'm not so keen on the Mina Murray hype and the Mina Murray nee Harker x Count Dracula pairing in pop culture. Japan is so fond of Mina x Dracula it's actually quite...unnerving. Well...stereotypical me. I love and mostly dote on the dependable and it's a plus if they're good looking, boring types: Jonathan Harker, exactly. I'm that boring and normal and predictable. And about Jonathan, my mind just cannot comprehend ambitious journalist for The Inquisitor to be honest. He seems more detached and impersonal on most things in the novel I actually thought he'd be just as formal, detached and personal in the series not...super ambitious. Sherlock Holmes-y but with issues. Lots of issues and hysterics mostly when it came to Count Dracula and Mina. Not to forget his benefactor, Peter Hawkins.

Next, we are treated to an American industrialist Count Dracula who now goes by the name Alexander Grayson. Uhmn...American...really? Last time I recall, Count Dracula was Transylvanian and of the Szekelys race or group. Technically Hungarian. Romanian, if we trace his roots back to Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) if we're going down the road from where some of his attributes were based on. Though I do like Jonathan Rhys Meyers' acting, I'm not sure about the looks or the characterization because an American Count Dracula? It's the first I've heard of it especially for something adapted from the Stoker classic. And that is after Anne Rice's Lestat and even Joss Whedon's pop-ified vampire icon Angelus/Angel. I'm so used to the book I think I can't find it in my heart to appreciate the American slang and accent Alexander speaks in that I actually have to stifle giggles when he speaks. It is an accent misplaced in a sea of characters with the British accent. Looks...he's not exactly as really good looking as Ollie, and this is all really a matter of taste or personal preference, but he'll do as he is one of the top actors nowadays.

Renfield just became saner and bigger. I don't mind his color as he is black (racists might otherwise and decide that he is better off played by a white actor), I'll take Renfield any way I can pre-insanity but wow...bigger that he's almost imposing as Dracula's all around butler like Alfred is to Bruce Wayne. Okay, he is more imposing and scarier-looking compared to Alfred. I'll leave it at that. Me thinks they were trying to pull for a tame-looking but tough in body build Renfield.

The vampire hunters have also become some sort of conniving secret society complete with bizarre-o rituals they've become as whack as how Dan Brown made the Priory of Zion out to be on The Da Vinci Code. Of course, Abraham Van Helsing is part of this secretive group along with a blonde voluptuous female, Lady Jane who is having an affair with the American(ized) Count. She probably doesn't know she's sleeping with the Count himself. She just knows him as Alexander Grayson, the American industrialist. Question remains: what is this vampire hunters' association's end-goal and what exactly is the Count to them? The abominable foe perhaps or do they perceive the Count to play a large role in changing how the nation or the whole world works? The way I see it, politics is being mixed up in this series and it only served to make things messier than intriguing and easy to follow. I'm beginning to think this series will do nothing but give me a headache at the end of every episode with every question left unanswered as it progresses on. Although I am not foreign to complex plots, this just takes the cake because seriously, I am not exactly expecting Lost-level of mystery on this thing. It is a classic that although has a ton of layers is actually quite easy to understand once you know where the author got ideas from for heaven's sake! It's not supposed to give viewers a throbbing headache after every episode!

There are absent characters or characters that have yet to appear: Dr. John Seward, Quincey Morris and Arthur Godalming. Or I might have just missed them as I seem to be eternally stuck on the first episode. I think it is too much to ask for the whole vampire hunting group the book has plus Jonathan Harker...NBC will go whatever way they can with this series either way. It's their call.

So...in a nutshell, you have NBC's interpretation of Stoker's famous Dracula that's somehow in the right time period with a bit of the typical contemporary and proven timeless elements---drugs, sex and rock'n'roll (rather operas and theatre plays)---to it in the form of a television series. Or at least that's how it looks aesthetically.

Despite the changes that I noted, I'd still really like to think it is one of the better series on television today following the lazy screenplay writing for Once Upon a Time which prompted me to give up on it and inconsistencies on Glee's plot and even American Horror Story---along with the string of blatant rape culture glorification on AHS and more (The Games of Thrones---but mostly in the books. ha.). It's Dracula, Bates Motel or nothing at this time. I'm watching nothing else.

Oh and eyecandy because I seriously hope this OTP is in the incoming 5th episode:

Because nothing says Bram Stoker Dracula eternal and canon OTP than Mina Murray (eventually to become Harker) and Jonathan Harker in bed. All I've seen so far are kisses. Sweet but nothing this extreme...yet. Spoken like a true fangirl. Ha. I prefer critic in reality, however.

Side note: I'm probably going to start rooting for Jessica de Grouw and Oliver Jackson-Cohen now for some reason. There's a photo of them kissing somewhere. Lovely real life couple if it hasn't happened yet...or has it already? (Doesn't take away my crush on Ollie, however. The second Ollie I find attractive after a certain Pettigrew. Harmless crush. Nothing wrong with admiring someone with looks and charm is there? Haha.)

*****
And in other news, last Friday, armed with premiere tickets gifted by the cable we subscribe to at home, it was movie date night with all four members of the family. Yep. Exactly. Me, dad, mum and the not-so-little (now) brother. It was...drumroll please...Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Hunger Games 2). It's my first as I have shunned the penned trilogy and the movie adaptation for so long now despite the hype. I continue to shun it...erm...them. I'm never good with following trends among young adults and teens, that which comprises the general audience, but I do try since I've established that I'm into pop-culture. Read: NOT A HIPSTER, exactly so let's not go that long, dark road. (But in all honesty, I think hipster is a misused brand to most people when all we're acting on is personal preference or individual distinctive tastes. What is that label, even?!)

There's a reason why I do not jump the Hunger Games fandom bandwagon until now and it's Battle Royale. Even when all I've seen of Battle Royale are the stills---I have yet to read the book which I now have in ebook format (hurrah!) and have yet to see the movie---I've formed an early opinion of Hunger Games that it is patterned closely to the Koushun Takami classic. I actually have an inkling as to what format or plot device both works run on however crude it may be. Let's get into that once I've actually gone through Battle Royale's book and movie and The Hunger Game's trilogy in both film and novel format. Hmn...that'll be not until a long while. It takes time for a certain work, written or adapted into film and tv, to sink into my mind and it takes even longer before I can consider any of them favorites.

kg*

Current Location: Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: The Other Two - Selfish | Powered by Last.fm

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