Tuesday, November 15, 2011

you've got Q's, I've got A's

EDIT: I added the geisha pictures I took back in 2005.

A few entries back, I asked for questions, and you delivered! Here are my responses.

Whatever happened to your anime obsession? Did you stop liking it or did you just stop writing about it?

I didn't stop liking it, but when Streamload went under, I lost easy access to the non-licensed stuff because I didn't want to wade into the virus-infested swamps of Bit Torrent and Limewire. Once I stopped watching 3+ hours of anime every night, it became an "out of mind, out of sight" situation. But I still watch it every now and then. I rewatched Descendants of Darkness earlier this year, and G and I watched Highschool of the Dead together. I got up to episode 7 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but once it got licensed, I decided to hold off and catch the rest on DVD eventually because it's definitely a series I'd prefer to see on a decent TV as opposed to a stuttering stream on my laptop. And while G was watching football on Sunday, I watched episode 1 of a series called Rainbow (available on Hulu) that had me tearing up within five minutes, so I'm definitely interested in seeing more. It's about a group of Japanese teenagers in the 1950's who are sent to a correctional facility. It promises to get pretty grim, so I better have an upbeat "chaser" at the ready if I stick with it.

What's the most memorable thing you've seen on one of your trips?

Two geisha strolling through Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. I actually had to sit down and take a moment to compose myself because I was so overwhelmed by their beauty.

What's the worst trip you've ever taken?

When I was 12 years old, my family and I visited Lake Tahoe. The lake was beautiful, of course, but the weather was absolutely wretched and I got sicker than a dog. I wound up spending most of the trip in the hotel room, eating chicken soup and hot cocoa from the vending machine down the hall and listlessly paging through magazines.

And the best?

My Kyoto/Osaka/Tokyo visit in 2005. It was the perfect combination of traditional Japan and futuristic neon dazzle Japan.

How was that new Stephen King book?

Well, as of this writing I'm on page 480 (out of 849) of 11/22/63, so I can't give a full review yet. But so far it's quite good! I'm not a big fan of the time travel genre, but I love the period detail.

Speaking of Stephen King, the one time I ever got in trouble in school was because I was reading It in back of my home ec class. This may explain why I can't cook.

What's on your nightstand?

A lamp with a leopard print shade, a wooden folk art angel, a vase, an alarm clock, a framed picture of my mom at the age of 24, a framed picture of my parents, a Voluspa Santiago huckleberry candle, a box of matches, and a copy of In Style.

Reading your video game entry about Silent Hill 2 made me want to play the series. Do I need to play them in order?

It's preferable, but if you wanted to, you could safely play SH2 and SH4 out of order, since they're "stand alone" games. However, I would very strongly urge you NOT to play SH3 or SH: Shattered Memories before the first Silent Hill, for spoilery reasons that I won't go into.

By the way, not that you asked, but here's how I rank the Silent Hill games from favorite to least:

  • Silent Hill 2 (big mega-love)
  • Silent Hill (the scariest game I ever have, or ever will, play unless technology advances to the point that the monsters actually come out of the screen, at which time I will stop playing survival horror games because I don't particularly want to die of a heart attack)
  • Silent Hill 3 (Heather kicked ass)
  • Silent Hill Origins (highly underrated in my opinion)
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming (probably the second scariest, thanks to those fucking Schism monsters)
  • Silent Hill 4 (which wasn't even supposed to be a Silent Hill game in the first place---they got halfway through and decided to use the name to boost sales---but it still has some good scares and delicious protagonist Henry Townshend)
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (not a bad game, but I hated the lack of weaponry)

If you won the lottery tomorrow, how would you quit your job?

::pause to wistfully consider this glorious dream for a couple of minutes::

I would strut into work with a boombox on one shoulder, blasting the Dead Kennedys' version of "Take This Job and Shove It". A group of scantily clad men and women would follow behind me, holding an enormous cake shaped like Cartman and inscribed with the words "Screw you guys, I'm going home". I would place this cake upon the communal treat table, clean out my cube, and dance the fuck out of the building. Then I would buy this house near G that's built in a French chateau style and has a vineyard and a lavender garden in front, and the media room would feature two huge TVs next to each other so G and I could play co-op Dead Rising 2, and I would have A COKE MACHINE. Yes, I can put cans of soda in my fridge, but there's something about that satisfying ker-CHUNK when a frosty can of soda comes tumbling down the chute.

Side note: whenever I hear somebody say that they wouldn't quit their job if they won the lottery, I fervently pray that they never win the lottery because they don't deserve to. I'll make an exception for somebody who's doing something incredibly valuable, like researching a cure for cancer, or artistic, but that's about it. "Oh, I'd get so bored!" Shit, son, then do some volunteer work!

I didn't know you had a tattoo! What is it, when and where did you get it, and why did you pick what you got?

It's Hello Kitty peeking over a blue winged heart; I got the design off a piece of stationery. I got it in 1999, but I don't remember the name of the shop. My coworker E took me to the place where he got his tribal tattoo. (It went all the way around his bicep, and he cheerfully admitted "I cried like a pussy, man. That shit hurt!") I was nervous as hell, but it was such a simple tattoo that it didn't take very long. The worst part for me was the outlining, which felt like getting a paper cut over and over again; the coloring barely hurt at all, though I should mention that friends of mine had the exact opposite experience, so caveat emptor.

I've loved Hello Kitty since she first hit American shores in 1976, and I have fond memories of going to the Sanrio store with my mom and picking out a goodie, although technically my first Sanrio purchase was a Little Twin Stars diary. (I still have it, and it's awesome; the first entry, dated January 7th, 1977, says "Today I played. We had steak dinner and then I played with Tommy Gray [my cat]. I love Tommy Gray!!!") So to me, my tattoo represents my love of Japanese pop culture, cute things, and cats, as well as serving as a reminder of some of my happiest childhood days. I'm not going to get any more tattoos, but I have never regretted this one.

You write about so many things you read or watch. This time you create something.

I am a publisher/producer/director -- whatever. Pick your genre. Sell me your tale. The more over-the-top, the better.

Meg's a lonely young woman who works in a Lenscrafters-type store by day and spends evenings in her tiny apartment, curled up on her couch and wondering why her life sucks so bad. Then one day, an accident with the lens grinding machine floods Meg's system with radiation and gives her superpowers. She becomes Megane (Japanese for "glasses"), fighting against evil and trying to catch the eye of hunky fellow superhero Lazer. But is Lazer what he seems, or will he break Megane's heart like a pair of hornrimmed glasses over the knee of a bully?