Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Rose Collection Vol 1 : 3 of 5

I decided to try out this series, since Netflix keeps suggesting it due to my anime habit. I have to say it's interesting, though extra weird in the plot department. The Student Council of Utena's school if secretly trying to revolutionize the world through sword battles over a chosen bride. If you're still with me, Utena is a girl who idolizes a prince, so she dresses as a boy and ends up winning all of her duels, so she is "engaged" to this chosen girl (who also happens to have the power of making a sword appear from her chest). There's all this strange intrigue and a battle in each episode, all set to bizarre rock tunes about the apocalypse. Yeah, this makes a lot of sense, so I have to keep watching it.


Dance pad tragedy

Oh horror! I think static electricity fried my dance pad! Last night when I picked it up after a long playing session, I got a pretty good shock when I touched the end of the cord (this was after everything was unplugged from the Playstation). I think with the weather cooling down that static charges are more intense, plus sliding around in socks for two hours doesn't help. This morning, the pad doesn't register anything - it does light up, but the game doesn't know it. I tried it on both the Japanese Playstation and my PS2 with the same sad results. I just ordered another pad from RedOctane - I hope it gets here quickly! I'm going to have to be careful about "discharging" first. Now I have to go to the arcade today for my fix.

Reverse luck

I've realized that I have a compulsive superstition - whenever I see a penny on the ground, I always pick it up (even if it's inconvenient, like when my arms are full of groceries!). I guess I always heard "See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck" and somehow I got it into my subconscious that if you don't pick up a penny that you'll have bad luck. Weird, huh?

Playing DDR at home is still fun - I got 4th Mix (just for more songs) and I'm finding I have to play in Trick mode to really have fun. I'm considering (just thinking about it, mind you) trying to qualify for a DDR tournament here in town on December 1st. The qualifying songs are tough though - I practiced them yesterday. Still, if I could just get in the tournament it would be kind of fun. I will definitely be there to watch the other dancers, though, hoping to see some amazing action like I saw in Osaka almost exactly one year ago.

I'm going to a Halloween party tonight and have no idea what my costume will be. Uh oh!


Pump It Up pros and cons

While I was working at Works, I used to make lots of trips to Dave & Busters to play games and have lunch. Now I usually stop in every two weeks or so just to see if they have new games. Today I went since I was buying a ramen bowl next door, and discovered that Dave & Busters finally has a dancing game - but they got the wrong one! Instead of getting Dance Dance Revolution, they got the "rival" game, Pump It Up (not by Konami). Hey, I still ended up playing for over an hour, but DDR is so much better. To be fair, here's the good stuff:

  • Wide variety of songs, from Aha's "Take On Me" to J-Pop
  • Full-on cartoons animate in the background while you dance
  • Big-screen presentation is huge

    Now here's the bad stuff:

  • The arrow system is DDR at 45 degrees (you step in the corners instead of up/down/left/right), which means the space between your feet is much larger, so it feels a lot less like dancing
  • Lots of annoying delays between songs
  • No announcer! (How am I supposed to feel larger than life?)

    Anyway, I had fun, but Pump It Up will never be my dance of choice. Having something at Dave & Busters is convenient, though, so I'm sure I'll play every now and then (sweat is still sweat, eh?).
  • 10.20.2001

    DDR on campus

    What a cool DDR day! I decided I had the guts to try out the arcade on campus (where are the younger DDR-ers hang out), and I also just had the urge to play on a newer machine (they have a brand new 5th Mix, while I usually only get to play an older 3rd Mix). Anyway, I got there and some other guys were playing (first time I've ever seen anyone else play in Austin) - one was really good, showing his friend some tips. When they finished I played doubles with the good dancer, which was cool because we weren't competing at all - just enjoying some sychronized fun. The machine was great, by the way, with excellent stereo and lights (the lights are the main thing missing at home). Another guy wanted to play, so I offered to play doubles with him, and that was fun, too. Then I continued to spend a full two hours dancing on that machine in an arcade with students filing in and out - at one point I had 8 people standing around watching (the pressure to not mess up is kinda cool). So, this was a new and amazing experience! Then I hauled my sweaty carcass next door and slammed a Gatorade.


    Amazing Nurse Nanako Vol 3 : 2 of 5

    Well, I finished this insane excuse for anime lovers of big boobs. Not extremely exciting or interesting - Nanako turns out to be a clone of a clone of a clone (not a robot like I assumed). There was a huge plot involving the Vatican to clone Jesus from blood taken from the Shroud of Turin, but of course they could never get the technology right, so they were after Nanako (the only truly successful clone). That's about it - I guess it was kind of fun, but this is one series that would be pointless to own, so I'm glad I rented it.


    TV for geeks

    I have to say that the networks have done a great job of catering to geeks like me - Enterprise and Smallville seem to be pretty good shows! Enterprise is cool because of the "primitive" technology and the Vulcan tension (though the comm officer is so wimpy that I can't even enjoy her good looks), and Smallville had a great premiere, doing an excellent job of spinning the Superman origin a little to provide some excellent guilt for Clark to deal with (and Lana Lang, while not the traditional redhead, is really, um, oh boy!). My poor overworked TiVo - too bad they had to start these shows while Bravo is still running Thirtysomething!

    Come on, somebody use the new comments feature! Please?


    Clerks: The Animated Series Vol 2 : 4 of 5

    Not much more I can say about the second DVD, except that it's even funnier than the first. A couple of fun standouts are that lots of celebrities did voice cameos (including my beloved Gwenyth) and that in one episode they choose to end the plot with an unbelievable anime spoof - I laughed out loud for 15 minutes and had to watch it over and over again. Now that's entertainment!


    Clerks: The Animated Series Vol 1 : 4 of 5

    I suppose not very many people know that Kevin Smith's Clerks was made into an animated series to be broadcast on ABC. it was canceled after two episodes, which is a crying shame! Now all 6 episodes can be seen on two DVDs, and let me tell you - I wish there were more! The animation style is beautiful and the jokes are dry and funny - each episode goes by so fast because it's just that entertaining. I think they did a fantastic job bringing the essential qualities of characters to animation - both visually and personality-wise, and the crazy plots are ingenious. The disc also includes great commentary for all of the episodes (most of which centers around how they were screwed by ABC).

    Passing Paranoia

    I just passed a milestone on DDR 5th Mix! Previously I had never been able to pass "Paranoia Eternal", even though I had passed every single other song (in Basic mode). Today after several rounds in Training mode (which lets you slow tempo and hear handclaps for each step), I finally passed it with a B! I'm so stoked - that song is absolutely crazy at 200 BPM and full of off-beat, syncopated steps that I would hate to drum, let alone dance! Anyway, I did it!

    I've started using an easy little service called BlogBack so you can comment on specific blog entries. It was simple to add, and it's kind of fun, so comment if you want to!


    The Aristocats : 3 of 5

    I hardly remember seeing this in the theater as a kid, but I sure remember singing the songs (I think I had a book and record set). I love the characterization in this movie - the way each of that cats moves is so distinct and really brings out their individual qualities! Of course, there are some really weak points to the plot, but generally that's covered by the good music. Once again, I had to get used to Baloo's voice coming out of someone else - I've got to find out who that guy is and why Disney overused him!


    Hajimemashite! I'm doing a little study of Japanese on my own, just browsing some books and flash cards for fun. I still remember all of the words I learned when I visited Japan last year, so I thought it would be nice to learn a little more. Now I can feel really cool when I understand a word or two watching anime or overhearing conversations in an Asian market!

    Saturday mornings are so much fun. I sure do love the weekend!


    The Disneyland Source

    There are hundreds of Disneyland sites on the web, and I've looked at so many of them that I can't remember what cool things I've seen on which site! However, when I want to experience a Disneyland ride to get away from it all, I know I can go to The Disneyland Source. This excellent site has a multilevel map that allows you browse down right to the attraction you want, and then provides video of the complete ride experience (or audio only, if you prefer). They even have movies of some rides that are closed now, plus the Real format movies blow up to full screen nicely! Now everyone can go to the Happiest Place on Earth!

    Visit site: The Disneyland Source


    Happy retirement

    Just a quick post to say my dad is pretty amazing - he's enjoying his second retirement now (this time it's final). I'm so proud of him for surviving though a stressful job - now he can relax, catch up on enjoying life again, and bug Mom all day long!

    I played DDR USA tonight for the first time since I've owned DDR 5th Mix - I can't believe how I have improved! I was able to make it through certain songs that I could never pass before, just from playing so many songs in Trick mode! I love how I feel after a long session - the energy rush is incredible!

    My new plan now is to add one Last 5 entry everyday (or close to it) until I get caught up on my ever-growing list of things to review. If I would just stop watching DVDs and reading books, I would catch up, but no way am I going to do that!


    Postless weekend

    Another weekend passes quickly with no major WEBmikey updates - oh well. It was a full weekend, playing two gigs (both really fun) and lots of DDR. Stay tuned, I'll try to blog as the mood hits me.


    Space: 1999 Vol 3 : 4 of 5

    I have to confess that Space: 1999 is really entertaining, no matter how drug-induced it gets. This volume features some of the weirdest plots yet! Peter Cushing (good ol' Grand Moff Tarkin) captures Koenig's spirit in a dream world, where he falls in love with his daughter and almost abandons Alpha. Next, everyone turns into drunk zombies on planet Piri (which is constructed primarily of styrofoam balls, it seems). Finally, a crew member turns into a heat vampire and starts killing people! It's weird how this show never has any "science" based plot - everything is so bizarre!


    Japanese DDR

    The DDR madness continues - my pal Barron loaned me his Japanese Playstation console, so I quickly ordered the amazing new DDR 5th Mix (available only in Japan). I just spent two hours straight playing it - wow, what a game! The overall design and look of the game is so much cooler than DDR USA, with more characters to dance with, over twice as many songs, and lots of other new features! I had to play with every character, and I managed to get As and Bs on almost every song (in Basic mode, of course). I also like the more "bizarre" things the announcer says that don't appear in DDR USA - I even remember one of them from my sake-drinking evening in Japan. "I can see a dream in your dance! I can see tomorrow in your dance! We can call it - our hope." Man, talk about a deep compliment!


    Xanadu / Original Soundtrack : 3 of 5

    I recently saw Xanadu as a Mr. Sinus Theater 3000 production (which was hilarious) - it reminded me that loved this movie, and especially the music, so many years ago (in fact, my friend Scott got me this soundtrack on vinyl for a birthday gift). So, I had to buy it again - it's so much fun to hear Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton John - it's even funnier that I still remember all the lyrics!


    Everything But The Girl / Walking Wounded : 5 of 5

    Recently I watched Time Code again on cable and realized just how great the soundtrack is! I was especially impressed with a song called "Single", which I discovered was by Everything But The Girl. So, this is my first EBTG CD, but it won't be my last - I've listened to this CD over and over for days in my car, and it's still mesmerizing. I love the thick bass, drums, and hypnotic vocals - the lyrics are quite intelligent, too. Fun to listen to loud!