Books 2014

Another year of non-productivity yet little books read. One of my new year resolutions will have to be about how I spend last time on the internet trying to consume all pop culture and simply finish reading my books.

This year’s favourite fiction find is a tie between Swann, Leonie Swan’s Three Bags Full and Downum’s Neocromancer series. I pretty much fell in love with the George’s sheep in Swan’s book and while I would rate The Bone Palace as my favourite out of the trilogy, I adore Isyllt Iskaldur and would love to see more books featuring this character if it happens.

Non fiction title of the year for me is definitely Strayed, Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar. I started reading the book on the train, started to tear and then trying to hold it and pretend I wasn’t (in the process probably freaking the hell out of everyone) all the way to the cafe where I was waiting for friends for dinner.

I didn’t explore too much this year in terms of English comics; in part because of tighter reins on my wallet, but Fables is definitely coming to an end, and I will have to try and check what other Mignola titles I might be missing out on.

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Books 2013

My 50 books challenge has become harder and harder and at times I wonder; why? What has happened such that it’s been hard to keep track of my reading? A shorter attention span? Lethargy getting the better of me? Distraction from the internet?Parental units snooping on me too often as I’ve been cooped at home? Probably all of the above and more?

As I’ve also noted, despite the alarming number of drafts in my backlog, I’ve actually not published anything else in 2013- a very bad year for me in terms of my non-writing. I’ll probably cheat and quickly edit some of my drafts and post them up…

Meanwhile the 2014 year resolution is to get it together and work on it this year. Let’s see if it happens…

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Books Read 2012

Another year, yet another list of books.

The 50 books challenge hasn’t been fulfilled for the last couple of years and I am painfully aware it’s due to too much time on the internet reading reviews and articles to poring over pictures of cats and tattoos. That, coupled with my gaming needs leads to not-too-surprisingly, a lack of sleep and also inability to string words coherently together.

Also in the the past couple of years, my concentration span seems to have been on a rapid decline. Many a read book has been forgotten if it wasn’t noted physically on a scrap of paper in a scribble upon completion. (It could also simply mean said book wasn’t engaging enough to lodge a spot in my limited brain RAM rather than my brain cells giving it up on me early.)

I’m now pondering a slightly different approach next year to the reading challenge; a few short lines post book-read. An exercise in part a small reminder to force myself to write a bit more (as the lack of entries this year can attest) and in part to think about the book I’ve digested and lastly so I can do a best of series at the end of the year.

Perhaps I should also tack on an Unfinished category?

They won’t make the official count, but it’s a good way to track the books I actually was half-way through before having to return them to the library… Also long considered if I should add the Mandarin books and translated manga? Likewise, they won’t make the official book count because the Mandarin book count is pathetic whilst the manga bit tends to veer to overwhelming…

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Words of the Wise

Just a little while ago, I received a bizzare offer to renew a Long-Dead Romantic Involvement.

I immediately politely declined.

Aside from the lack of any more feelings of eros, I was bewildered that said person who had not met me for almost a decade suddenly wanted to renew our non-relationship in the first place. Our contact in this time had been sparse and brief, all via electronic mail. I could have grown tentacles or migrated to the ends of the world for all of what this person knew.

Anyhow, my refusal should have been the end of it, but said party sent a follow-up, demanding a reason for my refusal.

Taken aback (which part of no wasn’t clear enough?), I solicited friends for advice on the proper response and received an array of capricious yet delightful advice, granting me further insights into the different personas of my motley crew of friends.

Best of the Best 

NT: You must never use the word, “Sorry” in your reply, it puts the power back in their hands! (Analytic Breakdown)

PSY: You should reply, “What do you mean?” (Passive-Aggressive)

Chibi Tako: Ignore it. (Repudiate)

Rock Dolly: BREAK THE EGO. (Nullify)

Ditzy: So will you be moving or will it be the other party? (Outlandish)

Alien: I think you’re taking this too seriously. (Android)

What would I do without them?

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Like A Hollow Guitar

It’s always lovely when you find a song that aptly describes a certain episode of your life.

My favourite line from the song;

先前很遺憾 沒有結局 
慢慢懂這是 最好的結局

At first, you regretted not being able to have an ending.
But slowly, you realise, this was the best ending you could have.

 

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Ironic

During lunch before class, I was lamenting to Chibi Tako and Rock Dolly about my latest failed endeavor to the local blood center:

Me: I’ve given up and started on those iron pills because I failed the iron count test again

Chibi Tako: Oh, that’s not a problem for me. My iron’s really high right now.

Me: Wow, really? I thought you would have the same problem as me… It’s getting really annoying to keep failing to make the grade…

Chibi Tako: Yeah, well lately, I’ve been having a lot of the KFC Double Down, MacDonald chicken bites and all these snacks…

Me: Erm… While I’m not altogether sure if your iron count is high, but I’m pretty sure your cholesterol level is.

Rock Dolly: *flailing on the side* I CAN’T BREATHE, DYING OF LAUGHTER NOW. BRB.*

*exaggerated for comic dramatic effect.

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I Watched Saki…And I Really Liked It.

I have a weakness.

No matter what form; be it a book, a manga, an anime, a film or a television series- so long as it touches a subject that I’m interested in, of which there are many, it would get at least get half an hour of my life.

Of late, I’ve become a tad too devoted to Saki, a mahjong themed anime series, designed for a (probably) largely male fan base. Admittedly I nearly threw in the towel within the opening minutes of the series after seeing shots focusing and lingering on a female lead’s overtly-well endowed, bouncing chest.

(For the record, I appreciate and embrace in equal parts, both BL and GL and forms of fan-service. However, focused cut aways on over-sized breasts and voyeuristic shots catching high school girls’s panties lines are simply not my cup of tea even within the yuri genre so I tend to avoid material with too much such emphasis.)

So, why watch Saki if there were so many doubts?

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