Monday, May 28, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Recently, time was up on our cell phone contract.  Normally, this is cause for excitement around our house, because it means we all get to choose new phones at a discounted rate, if we prefer, then renew the contract.  And we usually do, get new phones that is, since we wear out our phones like tennis shoes.  As for the contract, well, I guess I can't complain.  The service is good, Verizon, though the price is steep.

So, here is where our tiny dilemma starts.  Okay, first, I know this isn't the biggest deal in the world, since there are loads of far more pressing matters to attend to.  But here we were, our old Blackberry Curve cell phones in hand, a contract expiring and a decision to make.

Now let me say, I'm fond of my Blackberry.  It has loads of useful stuff on it.  And use it, I did.  Enjoyable, the way the tiny qwerty keyboard feels smooth under my fingertips, its delicate clicking and pleasing resistance as I type with my thumbs.  I was a fast thumb-typer.  I say was, because things have changed a bit.

As a clan, we sat at the dinner table tossing about ideas of what type of phone to get.  We all agreed, they had to be smartphones, since we travel, do work and things; and we all needed to get the same ones, for ease of communication amongst ourselves, affordability and so on.  Blackberry phones have a neat little messenger feature.  You can send messages to other Blackberry users without paying extra charges for text messaging.  A lovely feature, to be sure.  One I wasn't sure other smartphones, such as the iPhone, would have.

Yes, I was a bit ignorant about the iPhone.  And I was outnumbered.  The clan voted for the popular guy.  The guy without the pleasing tactile keyboard.  My thumbs were sure to miss that keyboard.  I fought for the Blackberry, though I admit it was weakly, since I, too, was curious about trying something sleek and fun.  Because let's face it, the iPhone is pretty much fun.  There are apps to be had and such.  Blackberry has those things, though occasionally buggy and sluggish.  Even still, I'd grown fond of it.  And, boy, was it durable!  I can't tell you how many times I've dropped my Blackberry, watched the battery and its cover skid across the floor, only to reassemble it with nothing broken and everything working good as new.  A tough guy, that one.

In simple terms.  Blackberry Curve is awesome for straightforward "get the job done" kind of things.  Its durable and the keyboard is easy to use.  You can changed the battery if necessary.  Here's a thought... Do I need to send in my iPhone to do the same?  I don't even know.  Or is it as disposable as everything else out there appears to be...  Seems a bit pricey to be treated this way.  Whatever the case, my Blackberry was a good phone and it was an older version.  The new stuff is likely an even better product.

My feelings have changed some, now that the new guy has arrived.  I'm finding it difficult to defend my old phone, faithful as it may have been.  But it's only because I like to be entertained, and shiny new things entertain me for a little while.  Haha!


Now, the iPhone.  We opted for the iPhone 4, since none of us could justify the need for the 4S version.

The new guy arrived packaged quite nicely.  The box a simplistic clean design, normal Apple fashion.  It was easy to get the phone and its goodies out.  Immediately, I turned the phone on and in no time at all, the phone was set up.  That was too easy, I thought.  At first, the touch screen keyboard was a bit maddening.  If I were to say a negative thing about this phone, that's the one thing.  I still don't know how people type with their thumbs on this thing!  Other than that, I've had nothing but fun adding music and apps to it.  There are tons of apps.  Loads of them are messengers--just what I was looking for.  I've googled things, watched videos and even checked out my house on Google Earth.  All the things I'd do on my laptop.  It's so fast!  The screen resolution is beautiful.  The camera is wonderful.  There are so many things you can do with this phone, I haven't even scratched the surface.  It isn't just that you can do things with it, it's that you can do them quickly and efficiently.  Nice.  Oh, and you can make phone calls, too.  Haha!

I suppose for now, we're iPhone peeps.  At least, until the next shiny gadget comes along. (^.-)      

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Death of the Endless Cosplay

Death of the Endless Cosplay--StarCat70
 A-Kon 23 is fast approaching.  It can't be helped, I'm a bit excited and naturally looking forward to the madness that is an anime convention.

In order to prepare for the occasion, we needed a rehearsal of sorts.  So, photo equipment was dusted off and put to use.  Which, incidentally, reminded me how we could use some decent lighting!  I'm looking for a few pieces, such as a good softbox or two.  Sometime in the future I hope to obtain a fair set up.  Until then, we'll make do.  And depend on the touch of Photoshop for effect.

As mentioned before, my cosplay is Death of the Endless.  Gothic, indeed.  I suppose it suits me, as far as choice of clothing color goes.  Black it is.  Easy, goes with everything.

This week will be a busy one.  Things concerning school will need to be wrapped up for summer vacation.  All of us welcome the break.  There are other projects in the works that can only be completed during the summer holiday, I've been anxious to get started.
Death of the Endless Cosplay--StarCat70

But of course, the one event weighing on our minds at the moment, A-Kon!

Thus, the day was spent gearing up.  Practicing our makeup application and costume wearing.  Testing out the durability of both items.  Yes, some of us even went shopping all decked out.  I think fellow shoppers enjoyed the show.  It certainly makes one's day just a little more interesting to see anime characters walking the aisles.  The girls were asked to pose for photos a few times.  O' course other questions were asked about just what in the world we were doing in such get-ups.  Now they know about A-Kon.  Judging from the smiles on their faces, they may just show up at the convention!

Death of the Endless Cosplay--StarCat70

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Little Rose

It was "Field Day" at the younger daughter's school today. It was late in the day when she showed me the rose tattoo. A little something she got for the occasion.

The temporary tat suits her. Rose is her middle name, which is reason enough. And too, she is lovely as one.  She is also quite resilient.

The other day, I was in the garden trimming the rose bushes.  One bush, that blooms deep red, had gone leggy and flowerless, as it is normally known to do this time of year.  It is most likely meant to climb.  The other bush grows much too close to the climber.  It is my daughter's rose.  She chose it for it's lovely coral-pink hue.  I worry for that bush, so I often trim back the larger one's tendrils to give it room to breathe.  And breathe it does.  It is a frequent bloomer.  Right now it is covered in blooms.

To be sure, trimming roses takes a bit of care.  In my haste, I'd brushed my bare arm against a stem. A fair thorn stuck itself in the flesh.  A touch painful, yes.  A bruise appeared a day or so after the incident.  My reminder not to be taken in by the light sweet fragrance, dismissing the strength underneath soft petals.

There is more I'd care to write about on this night, though my eyes are daring to shut.

Until next time then...~~~<<3


Friday, May 18, 2012

Speaking of shoes...

...those are some shoes.

This pair makes me about 6 feet tall!  I can't wait to wear them for A-Kon.  Let's hope the ankles don't snap.  Yep, that's me standing in them.  Though I didn't buckle them up completely.

A little preview of my Death of the Endless cosplay, sans makeup, proper hair and a decent pic!  Haha!  
But, with some sensible shoes.  

Slightly Odd--A Note to Self

Sometimes, I have those moments of sheer awkwardness.  I know, we all have such times.  It doesn't seem to change much even when you get older, I've noticed.  The difference now is, I don't really care how odd I may appear to others.  Age has its benefits.

It's funny the things you tend to remember from your childhood.  When I was a kid, I used to like to dress differently than other kids.  It was the age of rap music and break dancing, so I sported some sweet Nike shoes and some fat neon laces.  I thought it was cool.  And I could dance, too!  Which probably surprised some people.

But, it wasn't cool.  Apparently.  At least to some of the more, shall we say, "acceptable" kids.  One of them made fun of my shoes, saying they had bumpers on them like footwear for the mentally challenged.  Everyone laughed.  Nice boy, that one.  The class comic.  He fixed it, though, years later.  He actually asked me to watch movies with him once.  He even gave me a heart-shaped box of candy one Valentine's and apologized for being a jerk.  Sort of.  What he actually said was, "Let's face it, you were kind of a dork."
Nope, I didn't forget that.  And I never faced it, because I'd always thought he was kind of the dork, among other things.  O' course, I never watched movies with him either.  I envisioned some sort of Carrie scene unfolding.  And the candy, well, I hesitated a bit, but it was chocolate!    

Still, unkind words like those of Mr. Hilarious were said.  Kids made fun all the way up to the high school years.  I suppose it happens to the best of us.  And, really, it steels you for the real world.  Because you realize, you don't need to be popular or travel in a pack to be cool.  I often wondered if they ever felt comfortable in their own skin.  Those cruel beings.  Comfortable enough to walk the halls alone or have lunch solo, like a few of us did.  To see one of them in college, as I often did, was an eye-opener.  There was real fear in their eyes.  Flocks of students they didn't know, who couldn't give two hoots about their own shoes even, must have shaken them to the core.  Satisfaction, indeed.      

We're all older now.  I see how they've turned out through social networking.  Ah, the famous Facebook.  I'd like to think they are better people now.  Most of them rarely speak to me, still.  But it's sort of vanilla, anyway.  It makes little difference.  The world is far bigger than school and those we knew in it.  I wish everyone well.  Really.  Even the funny guy.  Surely he now knows how precious life is and how difficult it can be for youngsters and certainly for their parents.  He's got kids of his own.

Which leads me to another thought.  I wonder, do they, the "acceptable" ones, mold their own children to fit the mainstream?  Maybe the youngsters just naturally go that route.  Even so, I remember hearing of talk amongst the faculty at schools my brother and I attended.  They'd try to help students fit in by the mention of hairstyles they should wear and clothing that would be more appealing to the others.  If you were somehow different, they could fix that.  Egad.  I hope that practice has ended.        

Now, to me, sitting here with myself in the quiet, I'm quite satisfied with my quirkiness.  Though, when I venture out, I still get the sideways glances.  I've yet to fully understand.  I suppose they can sense that I'm slightly odd.  It's my own fault.  When I speak of a thing, whatever it may be, I may get too passionate about it.  My face is overtly animated, I think.  It must be.  Because an awkward moment happens.  It leaves people speechless.  Haha!  Or maybe, it's the shoes!

No matter.  I seriously think, the whole concept of squashing oneself into a mold of some sort of conformity is pretty much a soul-killer.  It's been tried, by me.  Normal, mainstream stuff.  Wearing the cropped "mom" pants, etc.  It always ends up some distortion of what's expected, though, with my nearly all black wardrobe and black fingernails.  It's not intentional.  It truly isn't about me thinking my style is better than another's.  Live and let live, I say.  Let's just face it... some shoes don't fit!  Wear the ones that do.

Namaste (~.~)






Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Mr. Superior

Saturday, May 5, 2012, the moon in its supreme, super-ness appeared.

I'd almost forgotten, I admit.  And this is not a likely thing for me to do.  Forget a celestial event, that is.  The sky, after all, is a haven.  An escape from the wicked, chaotic part of life.  Where I cast my gaze for hours, searching for wee specks of light hidden in the ambient glow of city light.

If I think too much of it, the night, the sky, the stars, my heart aches and my eyes will moisten.  It's time for a visit to the open places.  The countryside, where few go, where the peace of the natural is.  Where, in the night, there are sounds unlike any you'll hear by day.  The place where the sky is full of the stuff of the universe.  And a dazzling universe it is.  A humbling space that can not help but put awe in us.

Yes, I nearly missed the big moon.  Perhaps, I'd been avoiding it.  Because there was little time to savor its presence?    

Still, the talk of, let's just say, "Mr. Superior", crept into conversations on the social networks.  In quips.  And then photos of it poured in.  Not wanting to miss out, I hastily grabbed my camera, not concerned with the lens attached to it, and bounded out the back door for a peek.  The sky was hazy.  Even so, there it was.  A great glowing orb hanging softly in the aether.

At this, I could stare for hours.

I know what is lacking.  It's the wondrous conversations I've had before, with those equally fascinated with what lies beyond our sphere.  Those who would sit on blankets for an entire night, just to glimpse a meteor shower's fireball.  And once one had been seen streaking from horizon to horizon, burning so brightly you could hear its sizzle, still wait for yet another even better fireball, till the sun broke the eastern horizon.  

It can't be recaptured, that feeling.  Though I've tried.

I'll keep trying.




Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Full Circle

This is one of those days it should be raining.  But it isn't.  The pensive mood would appreciate a bit of gloom.  Though just a touch.  Only enough to sort out a thing or two.

It started with a dream, or perhaps it was a nightmare.  Depending on how one looks at it.  Whatever, it woke me at 3:50 a.m.  One of those rare dreams that leaves me breathless and shaking.  I blame it on watermelon.

Watermelon.  And the brief fasting/cleansing thing I'm doing.  It's supposed to be good for you.  You face your hunger in a different way.  Along with a multitude of other issues that pop up.  Those things you haven't dealt with for months, maybe years.  Those things a person often ignores by eating away the discomfort.  Some might use other methods.  I think mine has definitely been eating.  Mostly chocolate things with fizzy drinks to chase them down.  Not anymore.  For quite some time now, actually.  So, all that stuff from ago has reared its beastliness in a decidedly discomforting way.

Back to the dream.  It's almost faded from memory now.  Dreams often do melt away, leaving only bits of their essence.  It seemed my dad was there, but only his image.  His demeanor was different and quite unlike his gentle nature.  Instead, it was like someone else I'd known before.  An angry violent man who had lashed out at me on occasion.  What an odd thing.  In shadows, his figure stalked at me down a wet, darkened and misty road, a large plastic baseball bat held high in his hands.  The intent to kill evident in his voice.  The face shifted back and forth, from my parent to the dangerous man.  Dreams.  So strange.  I'm sure there was more.  Something that lead to this apex.  This moment where I'd surely meet my end.  I can't grasp it anymore.  There was music, though.  I suppose, influenced by the tunes I've been listening to lately.  Still, this particular song played again and again.  It's not a tune in English, still it's meaning is understood by me.  Too, I know that when I awoke, my mind was quite clear what all of it was about.  The images instantly making sense.

Of course, after a bit of calming, I looked to the aether and apologized to Dad for having had such delirium.  It wasn't truly about him after all.  Though, naturally, I do miss him.  Thinking of him brings tears.  

It seems the circle is full.  At least for many of those things from ago.  I'll leave them largely unmentioned for now, but they are being faced and put away neatly, having been dealt with proper.  So, it's taken a few years...  Okay, nearly all my life.  Better late than nay.

And the song?

A bit of explanation.  The group I've been listening to lately, D, I first encountered at A-Kon last year.  Their music is inspiring, interesting, intense and beautiful.  Maybe it is because they themselves are beautiful that I became so captivated.  That, and because Asagi's voice is so achingly beautiful.  A person has to see them live to know what I mean.  It's an experience.

The song, L'Oiseau Bleu by D.
Thank you ItachinoUchiha for sharing this video.