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Warren Shea

Archive for December, 2010

Being sick sucks

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I’m trying to remember the last time I was sick….I think it was early March…or was it April? When our department was working so hard for a really big launch.

I don’t remember how sick I was then but that’s gotta be nothing to how I felt these last 2 days….i was literally in bed for 23/24 hours yesterday. Delirious with weird faulty dream logic…my mouth dry and dehydrated, everything tasting really funny.

Anyways, I’m feeling better today but not perfect. Yesterday I was aching and sore and had absolutely no energy. I had chills and a fever….it was brutal. Today I’m feeling better but I’m still a bit sore, my temperature is still high but lower than yesterday. I think my body got rid of the virus…it’s just recovering for now…

I think I should go back to bed. I didn’t think it was possible to sleep as much as I’d been sleeping….like, that my body could…sleep so much. Ah well, live and learn.

It’s been a long time since I played Hide and Seek

Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 1:09 am

Hung out with my nephew and niece today, it was really fun. They’re 3 and 4? Infinite energy.
Played hide and seek with them.

When they would hide, I’d yell out “Are you in the basement?”
and they would yell out “No!”

:) It wasn’t much of a challenge.

When I had to hide, I would go in some closet and they wouldn’t find me for like, 5 minutes :) They’d eventually start to panic, calling my name out as if I left….it was pretty cute :)

Going to Woodbine mall with them tomorrow to play with them :) That mall is the best! :D Slides and games….I used to have so much fun there.

Anyways, off to bed, have to meet them for breakfast tomorrow at 10:15 meaning I should sleep…now.

Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases – Review (sorta…)

Saturday, December 25th, 2010 at 4:34 am

Like I said in a previous post, I had just purchased a Death Note side story/novel from Indigo. I was contemplating today whether to read it or a CSS book….and I decided to start this (short) 170~ page novel and get it over with before continuing this CSS textbook.

As I began to read, I felt a feeling of deja vu/nostalgia, revisiting characters from a series and world that I had visited and left long ago. Just like the Dark Angel novels I’d read this this week.

I realized how much fun reading can be when something like that occurs. It’s not “reading”, it’s revisiting old friends, if that makes sense. Like how I felt when I read Naruto: Shippuuden after a Naruto manga hiatus. I’d encounter people I used to know, and see how they’ve changed or read an interpretation of a character that is slightly different from what I know, but fundamentally similar to what I’m used to. Writing that last sentence made me of Sky’s Content, a Shikamaru fanfiction I’ve been reading, and how I get the same feeling when I read about other Naruto characters. What I’m getting at is that I love a good world. A world of Dragon Ball Z, a world of Naruto, a world of Mega Man, Final Fantasy VII, Azumanga Diaoh, Seinfeld, whatever….any world that has rich characters. And I really love going back to that world when I feel like I’ve experienced everything I need to know, only to find out there’s more.

What I mean is
I’ve watched the Dark Angel series, read the novels, I don’t think there’s much else to this world that I can experience, in any form of media.
I’ve watched the Death Note anime, read the manga, read the interviews…I also don’t feel like there’s much more in this world that I can experience either…
Well, that’s what I thought, until I read this, and then it added more depth to this already existing world.

Which brings us to the review.

I thought this novel was superb. I mean, I contemplated how something could be written or plotted as well as Death Note, especially given that this was a novel, and written by some dude I’ve never heard of. I was expecting something….that couldn’t live up to the original. How could it? As this was a prequel to Death Note, it deals with a story without Kira. And in the world of Death Note, the entire world is effectively based around Kira and the people close to him.

But this story features a case between L and Naomi Misora, who sadly, was only in 2 short episodes of the anime but being a character I really loved. Much like Takeshi Obata, I believe I fell in love with her design. Takeshi Obata was…hmm, I don’t think upset is the word, but wasn’t expecting Naomi Misora to have such a short time in the Death Note world. I found it interesting that they made a novel out of this relationship since it was only mentioned quickly (how L knew Naomi Misora as a strong individual, not one to take her own life – relevant to the Kira case).

Oh god, I’m all over the place, writing at 4AM….my brain fried from reading most of the day.

Anyways, I found this novel to be an excellent supplement to the Death Note world. It certainly has its very unexpected twists…which I really won’t spoil. It was just…it was watching the mind of L work…sort of. Ah, you have to read it to get it.

I’ll keep this short:
If you liked Death Note, this is a story you can’t miss. Not for the plot reasons as this really changes nothing reading Death Note, but for the characters. To feel what it’s like to be in L’s presence again, to feel what it’s like to see his mind working, to see ridiculous deductive abilities…It just really helped paint a more interesting image of the Death Note world. It’s a pretty short novel, 170 pages but the margins are huge. I found that it was written extremely well, the reading level was much higher than those Dark Angel novels I read. I had been worried that the translation would screw it over or that they’d american-ize it in some way but it felt pretty accurate to what I imagine the original was like.

I find myself wanting more novels and short stories. There’s so much more than can be told about L. We were with him in his final days but his beginning is still a mystery, and an interesting one at that. Reading the novel only showed how many places they could go with that character of limitless fascination. As you can the eyes of Naomi, you realize how absurd (and interesting) L’s actions, mannerisms can be.

I’m trying to think of other characters who fascinate me as much as L. The list of names is short. Very short. While L played a very prominent role in Death Note, I would have loved to see more of him….maybe they’ll come out with more novels. I can only hope…

Oops. This has nothing to do with the post but Merry Christmas everyone :) rates – Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases – 10/10!

Dark Angel – Review

Friday, December 24th, 2010 at 3:54 am

It was 2000 when the Dark Angel series began. I had seen television commercials promoting the show, emphasizing creator and director (of the pilot and series finale) James Cameron (Aliens, Terminator, Titanic, Avatar).

“A group of genetically-enhanced children escape from a lab project. Years later we meet Max, one of the escapees who now works for a messenger service in the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest.”

That was the premise. An electro magnetic pulse “nuke” goes off in 2009 in America completely turning all the 1s and 0s of electronic information (such as bank account information) to plain old 0s. America turned from financial powerhouse to poverty nation overnight. We meet Max, a genetically engineered child raised to be an expert soldier and assassin. Escaping the facility where she was being trained, Manticore, she and her brothers and sisters separate and blend in with the rest of the normal population. Skip forward to 2019 and we begin the story…

My Dark Angel items
My Dark Angel items

The order of the items, in chronological order (of story)
Dark Angel – Before the Dawn (Novel) – (2002)
Dark Angel – Season 1 (TV) – (2000-2001)
Dark Angel – Season 2 (TV) – (2001-2002)
Dark Angel – Skin Game (Novel) – (2003)
Dark Angel – After the D (Novel) – (2003)

Dark Angel – Before the Dawn (Novel)
To be honest, I thought this novel was terrible. I absolutely hated many aspects of it. While much of the beginning was a complete recap of some of the earlier season 1 episodes, but in novel form, the other storylines that filled the timeline between Max’s escape and season 1 were really weak. The whole thing with Moody and the Chinese clan just seemed a bit unbelievable – simply because there’s no reference of ANY of it in season 1 or season 2 of the television series. Same with any mention of Seth. Now, I get it. That’s the point of the prequel…I just found it very unbelievable. Also the meetings with Original Cindy and Kendra seemed forced, Original Cindy’s voice wasn’t really captured well. Also, much of the story leads all the way until the last 20 pages or so, where Max and Seth finally meet. It seemed like such an incredibly long wait for the climax, which seemed anti-climatic in my opinion. I read 280~ pages, 40 or so(?) were probably recap. I didn’t think I could go on….

More on this novel later though…it wasn’t that bad when you combine it with the television series and novels.

Dark Angel – Season 1 (TV)
I found season 1 to be very interesting. The main villain was Colonel Lydecker and Manticore. The characters were established and Max slowly turns from selfish girl to savior. Season 1 focuses on covert government ops, escape and evade, it’s very stealthy. It’s more about the military, guns, crime, as well as Max’s X5 brothers and sisters.

Dark Angel – Season 2 (TV)
Season 2 was a bit different, I disliked the introduction of dog-boy Joshua as well as the story and villain of Ames White and his cult. The series went further into genetics, “transgenics”, religion, cults and stuff. Pretty much non-existent this season was crime, guns, Max’s X5 siblings. The best parts of the series were the various X series characters and Alec (Jensen Ackles). My two favorite episodes being “Brainiac” and “The Berrisford Agenda”. My least favorite being any Joshua focused episodes…though the Annie stuff was pretty touching and surprising.

Dark Angel – Skin Game (Novel)
Now, we finally get to the interesting part of the story. What I had been waiting for for 8 years (though to be fair, I could have read this 5 years ago if I knew they existed…). Now, it’s possible I found the prequel novel, Before the Dawn, incredible long because I really just wanted to get to this book. Anyways…it’s great: Alec, Mole, Logan, Original City, and Sketchy are back. Normal makes an especially heartfelt appearance. Newly introduced Clemente and Ames White return with a whole mess of other characters as well as resolving plot lines.

I’ll summarize the plot quickly:
This occurs right after Freak Nation (series finale). Max tries to hold off the National Guard/Army invasion of Terminal City while a serial killer loose in Seattle kills, and skins people. Eventually, we find out the serial killer, “Kelpy”, is a transgenic who has chameleon powers. He is released from his Manticore prison by Max in Season 2, episode 1 (Designate This) but because of his blending powers, you don’t see him, even though he is there. Sneaky. He falls in love with Max and tries to “wear skin” from the people he’s killed so that he can “become human” and prevent his uncontrollable camouflage powers. He eventually tries to kill and skin Logan so that Max, who loves Logan, will fall in love with him (Kelpy). In the climax, he touches Logan but apparently steals some of his DNA…so when Max kicks his ass, the virus that plagued the Max/Logan relationship in Season 2 kills him. Interesting twist on things. I didn’t expect it. By catching the serial killer and co-operating with the police, the transgenics of Terminal City prove that they are on the side of the law and the invasion of Terminal City is delayed. Also in the end, Eyes Only broadcasts that Kelpy was created/influenced by Ames White. This effectively puts Ames White on the run from the NSA as well as his Familiar cult brothers.

A lot happens…I couldn’t wait to read the 3rd book…

Dark Angel – After the Dark (Novel)
…which I started reading the day after I finished the second. The third is…different. 6~ months have passed since book 2. Terminal City is slowly becoming a normal part of society. The gang all celebrates the advent of Christmas (how ironic/coincidental that I read this novel given the time I read it…) and by accident, Logan and Max touch. The virus from Season 2 appears inert and it is explained that Kelpy had taken the host virus from Max and the “target” DNA from Logan (ehh!?!, I didn’t really buy this but whatever) which basically made the virus disappear. Basically, the virus becomes a non-issue. It is then that Logan decides to tell Max about Seth (from book 1, which I should mention, is foreshadowed in the first novel). There’s some distrust and they have a fight instead of, you know, have sex. Immediately after the fight where Logan and Max part ways for a bit, Logan gets kidnapped by Ames White who tries to leverage Logan to get back in good graces with his cult group, the Familiars. Max, after the fight with Logan, visits Jam Pony to cool off and talks to Original Cindy who smacks some sense into her that Logan loves her. By the way, Normal makes an appearance here and I have to say, the Normal character development between the 2 books are my favorite moments in the novels. I really loved what the writer did with Normal and how he was written. Kudos on that. Anyways, back to the story. Logan gets kidnapped by Ames White, the ransom is Ray White, Ames’ son. In a slightly disturbing move, Ray get killed along the way which means there’s no leverage for Max. In the end, Max and company kick Ames White and company’s ass. Terminal City Transgenics >> Ames White’s cult. Joshua does the final deed of ripping Ames White’s head off, something well deserved since Season 2. Max and Logan make up and it’s implied that the last thing they do…is have sex. How nice.

All 3 novels combined
Now, going back to novel 1: Before the Dawn. Like I said, I hated it when I read it but by the third novel, I had appreciated the story. Also, the story in novel 2: Skin Game, also played a part in the final novel. I again gotta say, I love it when the plot lines connect and the stories combine to a coherent, solid story. Which is exactly what happened in all 3 novels. There was some open ended questions in the third novel but nothing that you really needed to know (the open ended plot is that Lydecker was still alive and knew where Max’s mom was). The premise for another novel but not really necessary to the story…it’s brand new so for me, it’s whatever.

The novels, eventually, portrayed the story and conclusion that I longed to understand and read. It was definitely worth reading all of the novels to see the completed storyline. While reading wiki’s and this post might provide you with a summary of the story, the fun part is the journey. So if you’re a fan, I recommend reading everything. It’s always great to see how characters you’ve grown to love have matured and changed over time as well as finding out their (sometimes final) fate. Closure. It’s all about closure.

Side notes/facts I learned:
3 Battlestar Galactica actors/actresses make appearances in this series:
Grace Park (DA: “Female Breeding X5″ – BSG: Lt. Sharon Valerii – Boomer)
Nicki Clyne (DA: X6 / Fixit – BSG: Cally Tyrol)
Rick Worthy (DA: Lieutenant Clemente – BSG: Simon)

In “The Berrisford Agenda”, it’s actually Jensen Ackles playing piano. He said that he studied very hard for 2 weeks to play that and he can’t remember any of it. I always found that awesome and ridiculously crazy because it is played VERY well…and he just learned it for a couple of minutes in one episode. That’s some crazy actor determination. I really liked the character Alec and it was great to see the serious side of him in this episode. It’s always great to see the skilled part of his X5ness and not the “I get my ass kicked cuz I’m a fool” part.

Where my head’s been at…

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010 at 2:32 am

I feel like I haven’t blogged in days…but it hasn’t been THAT long.

The next blog posts on my list are
– Dark Angel Novel review
– The Social Network & Facebook
– Kotobukiya: Emma Frost & Batgirl galleries

I was supposed to write the Dark Angel post yesterday…and then today, but I was so tired! I slept from 7pm to about 11pm today….good nap but not productive.

I also haven’t blogged much lately because my mind is focused on an upcoming post set for early Jan (the 7th). The 1-year anniversary of quitting WoW. The day I just exited the game and said “that’s enough”. The day my passion (for WoW) died and the day that my life started again. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic…though to be honest, what I said feels exactly right.

I’ve been thinking about everything I’ve done in the last year since that day as well as what I really hope to accomplish in the next year.

I’ve generally never been one for resolutions, I find that they are made only to be broken. That said, I’ve been attempting monthly “resolutions” the last two months and have noticed an urge to fulfill them. While I may not accomplish everything I set out to do, it does provide myself with a guideline of what I want to accomplish next.

I know I definitely wouldn’t have read these 2 novels if not for my accomplishments post. This month is coming to an end and I really didn’t do as much as I did last month. I feel that Christmas and New Years is definitely is getting the way of my productivity (and that’s okay). But my hope is that next month I accomplish more than this month. I’m planning to spend the days off next week either:
1. Reading my CSS book
2. Playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time….since both my PS3 and GT5 wheel will be at work. It seems like a rare opportunity to have a lot of time free…

Anyways…that’s where my head has been lately. I always tend to blog less if there’s a post I’ve really been thinking a lot about. Well, I have been writing a lot but they’re all just drafts. I have soooo many drafts. It was always my intention to save those “for a rainy day” but I always seem to have something to write about, despite such an average life of mediocrity :S

/off to bed <3 No more hamsters squeaking during the night, waking me up I hope. Last night they woke me up at least 4 times within 5-6 hours >_<