The 70’s seen from the perspective of a child of the 90’s

When I think about the 70’s the word that comes to mind is “overbaked”. Everything is sort of yellow-ish (because they didn’t use acid-proof paper to store their photos on) and gross and there’s too many patterns everywhere. I start to think of it like this:

So, you have a tupperware– one of the old kind, from like the 50’s– and it’s got leftovers in it that you are fairly sure are still edible. Well, they’ve been back there a while, but you decide to microwave it first and then make up your mind on whether you can eat it. So, you pop the tupper in the microwave and hit the buttons to make it go.

Then you stand there watching the thing go ’round and ’round in circles, bathed in that same icky yellow light that you’re used to seeing everywhere. And you start to notice that the tupperware appears to be melting slightly- but that’s okay it’s old and you can throw it out later. Except as you watch your future meal turning, you notice movement. Yes, there’s definitely movement- the leftovers are moving. The food is boiling.

And that’s when you realize that the food isn’t boiling- it’s the tupperware that’s boiling and the melting plastic bubbles are causing the food to jerk around like it’s alive- and that’s when you decide that you should have something else for dinner. You stop the microwave, gingerly handle the remains of the melting tupperware and, unable to free it from the glass plate, pitch the whole thing into the trash because that’s just disgusting and it’s totally overbaked.

For good measure, you toss the microwave too because obviously this thing is too old to cook food properly. After all, it’s from the 70’s.

But, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions…

I hereby declare that I do not resolve, but might otherwise attempt to achieve in the next 360 days:

  1. Lære mere Dansk!
  2. Be more honest with my opinions of people
  3. Keep up with washing the dishes
  4. Do my laundry BEFORE I run out of clothes
  5. Wear more green.
  6. Find a proper illustrator for Reality. Hacked
  7. Take shorter showers
  8. Work hard in all my classes
  9. Surround myself with cute and happy
  10. Eat more food! Gain 5 lbs!!
  11. Blog at least weekly if not bi-weekly
  12. Do something exciting/profitable with Cubecats
  13. Dis poor font choices less often (ext. Papyrus, Comic Sans)
  14. Make a portfolio website!
  15. Don’t let my lack of phone/car prevent me from socializing
  16. Take the REDLINE more!
  17. WALK more!
  18. Take more photos of things.
  19. Look into studying marketing/merchandising
  20. Learn to love Macs (ugh)

Post-Christmas, Pre-New Years

It is now after Christmas and all pre and post holiday shopping is complete. All the great deals following the Christmas rush have been snatched up and I got some really cute stuff from Target, including a Target-exclusive, limited edition Kit the Cat from the Skelanimals series. I love the Skelanimals, who are a perfect mix of creepy-macabre and ADORABLE. I used to be frightened of skeletons as a child, so it’s surprised me that I found them so irresistibly cute. My Kit the Cat has angel wings and a little crooked halo. I will post a picture later. Posted!

Kit from the Target Skelanimals collection as an angel for holiday 09

Now, cute things aside (but not pushed aside, because pushing cute things is mean!) I still haven’t put much effort into designing my portfolio site yet. I still need to do sketches and some research. I’m pretty sure I am going to use the Gallerific technique that we used in my N341 class, since it is a fairly simple jquery plugin (that even I can utlize, ha-ha). I still plan to go with a mostly minimalistic approach, but I do want it to be a bit flashy to impress possible employers, of course. The ideas are coming slooooowly…

Also, new cubecats to come! More later on that~

Winter Holiday Plans

As usual, after arriving at my parent’s home for Winter Break, I am left with little to do but chat with friends online, watch TV, read, eat home-cooking, play with cats and sleep. A nice, contented existence compared to the hectic life of finals, but perhaps a bit too mundane for me. Some Christmas shopping here and there, a plan for this and that party, a little designing~ this has been my day. Since my family is rather short of funds this year, we are spending more time at home with the cats. Lovely little kitties. :3

It was a main plan of mine to design and put up my portfolio site during the holidays. I have done little planning into it, but I know I want it to be minimalistic, lots of white space- but still colorful, and definitely themed with cubes (not cubecats, per se, but cubes since I love them).

While creating my portfolio site, I will also be planning a matching redesign for this blog as well as an iGoogle theme (because I keep getting bored of the ones they offer) and wallpapers, icons, etc- for my own use. I really want to bring it all together with one theme that says “Krystal Weber”.

A pixelart of a tofu-cubecat

<[ Krystal Weber!]

“Bloggage”

It’s the blog equivilant of “snackage”. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but I like the sound of it.

OK, well I feel somewhat guilty for not having blogged about anything since my last post of whiney introspection. Honestly, I’m doing better by way of health and such. I drink nutritional drinks everyday full of protein, vitamins and something that makes it sort of taste of chocolate. They are expensive, but keep me alive and alert. I also finally got my new glasses! They are 50% weaker- meaning I see 50% clearer than I did with my old glasses, which were too strong. I’m near-sighted and far-sighted, so I will be getting a second pair of glasses just for reading made out of my old frames. My new frames are super-snazzy though. I feel more creative just wearing them. They look like creative-person glasses. Whoo.

So, as for artsy-things, not much progress as far as inspiration. I made a painterly-esque CG portrait of Neo-Nana, a personification of my desktop PC, who I originally designed as a vector doll to practice my skills. I have yet to design her clothing, which will be a mix of Sweet Lolita Fashion and Cyber Punk. Lots of black, lots of lace, and LOTS of cute. It should be fun~ I haven’t designed such an in-depth character in a while. She also has three little sidekicks (her mice, since my computer has 3) but I haven’t made official designs for them as-of-yet.

Also, this year instead of making a usual wishlist or telling people to get me whatever, I threw together a quick Holiday page on my Google sites page that lists my favorite colors and things that I wouldn’t mind owning. I also included on the page a link to my Amazon wishlist, for people who prefer just working from that.

As for myself, this season I am making CUBECATS! Yes, Cubecats, my own little adorable creation. Cubecats are about 1″x1″ in size, white or blue (depending on whether they are tofu cubes or ice cubes) and have little ears and tails. I am making a large number of them out of white felt and a few larger ones out of off-white fleece. I’m not a great seamstress and I make a lot of time-consuming mistakes, but I still love working on them. And I hope people will like receiving them. For my far-away friends, I’ll be designing papercraft versions that resemble this one except there will be different versions and sizes. (And maybe some extras…hmmmn),

 

TinierMe vs. GaiaOnline- Part 2 (updated)

This post is old and outdated and no longer reflects my current views on TinierMe.

However, unlike the previous updated post I still stand by my opinion that TinierMe is overall a prettier site and it’s much easier to make friends there.

(Comments have been disabled as of 07.04.11- feel free to treat this as an archive post)

__

Once again, design and usability-wise TinierMe wins out because of simplicity. While the number of items is still limited and the systems are still being worked on, the organization of the inventory and how easy it is to change your avatar in TinierMe is preferred to the multi-page system on Gaia Online. At least, for me.

Also, on a different note, the style of the avatars in TinierMe is less flashy and much cuter in my opinion. It’s obvious that mostly female users are on TinierMe, compared to what I think is around 40/60 M/F on Gaia. I will have to double-check those stats though, it’s only an estimate. Despite this, most of my new friends on TinierMe are male- and international. I’ve already made friends from Denmark, Finland and various parts of the UK. I love making international friends, it’s so fun and exciting. GaiaOnline is “international”, but was created and is hosted in America while TinierMe is a product of Japan, making it more internationally accessible.

The Things Are Against Us

This is a short entry touching on one of my favorite topics- resistentialism. Wikipedia defines it as “a jocular theory in which inanimate objects display hostile desires towards human beings”. The term “jocular” meaning as a joke. It is not a real theory, it’s just for fun. Not to be confused with “Existentialism” which is a real theory. No, resistentialism is more of a spoof on that far more complex theory -that I will note here, I care nothing about. I am more interested in how my life- in particular my purchasing decisions regarding electronics- has reflected this theory all too well.

I have several devices and machines that hate me. There’s AcerDemon (Aspire Notebook), DemonDevice( iPod Shuffle), PisaShitou(PS2) and most recently Onigiri-kun( my rice maker). It’s like they’re all out to get me. They rarely ever do things as they are told, even if the function is as simple as ‘shuffle/don’t shuffle’. And in response to my screams and shouts at their incompetence they seem to delight in bewildering me further by doing something worse the second time around; like lying about how much battery is left and then cutting out right in the middle of a song I’ve had stuck in my head. Oh DemonDevice! Why can’t you behave like a good little Apple product? Aren’t you guys supposed to be flawless??But I can’t pick on just DemonDevice because that wouldn’t be fair. The truely evil one is AcerDemon. What follows is his saga:

Acer Aspire 3050 purchased through NewEgg online. It runs perfectly fine at first. Then, it slowly pulls itself apart from the inside out. It’s like it is on drugs or something. The OS started out as WinMedia Center Edition which it slowly and steadily became unable to run. So I switched to WinXP Pro which worked for about 4 months and then slowly started to pull the same thing. It would eat it’s own system files until one day I started it up and it couldn’t find command.com. (Please note that command.com is the first program run after a Windows machine boots. If it’s not there, then nothing is there. At least nothing that you can get to.) So, of course I reinstalled the whole shebang- WinXP Pro and it worked for a bit longer. Until finally the computer just plain stopped working after POST. Hmmn. Seems like a HDD error. Let’s see what’s on the HDD by using a reader. Well, will you look at that? There’s NOTHING on this HDD. It is empty, wiped, kaput, gone, finito- dead. AcerDemon ate his own HDD. Fried it completely. Further inspection of the hardware showed that AcerDemon had in fact melted some of the insulation around the HDD as well. It had in fact overclocked the processor at one point, without any lingering damage. AcerDemon tried to commit harikiri! I was lucky that my roommate at the time had a spare IDE HDD since they evidently don’t make those anymore. So, I decided that this Windows stuff was too much for him and went with Ubuntu Linux to mellow him out. So far, so good. His BIOS is a bit old even for Intrepid Ibex (8.10) and sometimes his hardware doesn’t respond like it should, but things are going OK between us. As long as his battery stays intact, everything should be fine.

Which brings me back to my last post about getting a new notebook- or rather a netbook. When I purchase this little wonder of technology and give it a name, will it too turn on me? I do have electronics that have never troubled me (through any fault of their own). Most notably my desktop NeoDell. NeoDell is so well behaved that unlike my Shuffle and notebook, he is completely devoid of personality. As is my phone, camera, DS-Lite and printer. They are all good, well-functioning machines but they are boring. So perhaps in retrospect having a little something wrong with your device makes it feel less like a machine and more like a partner or pet. Perhaps those imperfections are what helps create a more human feel. Maybe these really are “features” and not “bugs”. And these little mistakes and mishaps they have are just part of their own way of being alive.

Then again, if that is the case, maybe the things really are against us.

Name Change

You may have noticed that the name of the blog has been changed to something seemingly even more random than the first title. The first title, brought over from Blogger, was actually random- almost entirely so. However, this new title Evil IS the Cat is not. My old-old-old username Akuwaneko has stuck with me ever since I started using deviantART and wanted a cute name that reflected my love for cats and my love for the color aqua. It was perhaps at the time intentionally changed to look Japanese, however the actual Japanese meaning was an unexpected plus (or minus, depending on how you look at it).

Here, have a Japanese lesson, on me (literally):

Romaji > aku wa neko Hiragana > あく は ねこ Katakana > アク ハ ネコ. According to Google Translate, the literal translation is “the evil cat”. Aku being “evil/bad”, neko meaning “cat”. If you really wanted a simple, slangy translation you could use “bad kitty” or “evil kitty”. However, because of the difference in English and Japanese grammer, I – a non-speaker of Japanese – always saw the phrase “aku wa neko” translated as “evil is cat” in that order. Not, “the cat is evil”.

And I have to admit, even without the capitolized “IS” the statement “Evil is the cat” is both confusing and amusing at the same time. For once, I did not Google to see if it was unique before picking it, but even if it is not I can guarantee that “akuwaneko” will forever and always be mine first. I am the only Akuwaneko on the internet.* At any rate, it has a different feel than just simply saying “the cat is evil”. It is in fact techinically a different statement. A statement referring to the concept that evil itself IS a cat (or the cat) as opposed to the cat itself BEING or ACTING in an evil manner.

My original plan was to use this name as my future portfolio site, but since I have been placing this site as my personal homepage (as opposed to my deviantART gallery) I decided that using the new name for this is better. You’ll note that the URL did not change, so no links should be broken and no bookmarks (ha-ha) should need to be changed. I’m pleased with the new title though and I hope you the readers will enjoy this little joke with me. I don’t plan to change it back.

Now I need to make a logo/icon/graphic for it.

*Search-able by Google.

Aqua Duct Tape FTW

(mouse-over pics for instructions)

The Guitar Hero(ine)’s Journey

I like to play Guitar Hero: World Tour and I would like to think that over the last year that I have played it I have gotten better. I started out playing Guitar, lefty-flip because for some reason it works better for me even though I’m right-handed, on Easy. I spent around 6 months playing every song in the game on Easy. Easy, Easy, Easy. If only easy wasn’t so…easy, you know? I agree with people who say that the songs were “written” for Hard and then reduced for Medium and Easy. There are so few notes and they move so slooooowly. But it took me a long time to get used to switching over to Medium because my hand was not used to reacting to the Blue button. Eventually, I got used to the Blue button and now Medium is the default difficulty for me.

However, learning to master Hard presents a new problem. That problem being: THE ORANGE BUTTON. See make-shift diagram below:

The GH:WT Guitar for the Wii- with my diagram showing button spacing.

The GH:WT Guitar for the Wii- with my diagram showing button spacing. (Thnx IGN.com)

I am not a tiny girl, but I have very small hands. Even stretching my fingers to their longest I cannot reach the orange button with my pinky while my index finger is on the green button. Admittedly, a Green-Orange chord is impossible to find on Hard, but the split-second shift between GRYB [black bracket] and RYBO [grey bracket] is complex and takes a lot of getting used to! I think I’ve almost got it down- it takes muscle memory, that’s all. I’ve almost got it down.

Oh, I forgot to mention- I play BASS Guitar, not lead, on Hard. Bass is easier because it involves remembering a rhythm rather than going all over the place to play the song. Because of this redundancy, it’s easier for me to focus on actually hitting buttons rather than remembering that the pattern will need to change. (It’s not a very good description, but it’s the best I’ve got right now. It would be easier if I actually knew musical terms to describe things.)

NOW the problem I have is not so much the switch to the Orange button, but the constant strumming. Normally, the strum bar is hit downward and is really pressed or clicked more than actually strummed, which can be done at a reasonable speed. But when the notes are very, very close together constant strumming gets very tiring for me. What do I mean by constant strumming? Imagine eighth notes instead of whole notes, or check this out:

O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O   O << Half note? { Ta—ta—ta—ta—ta—ta—ta—ta—ta—ta—ta…

O       O       O << Whole note? { Ta—–ta—–ta—–ta—–ta—–ta—–ta…

O O O O O O O O O O O O   << Quarter note? { Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta…

OOOO << Eighth note? { Tatatatatatatatata…

My upper body strength sucks. I mean, it really does. I can’t even support my own upper-body with it! If I lean on my arms, for example, they start shaking and collapse after about…say 10 minutes? SO, I figure that is the main reason why I can’t play those eigth notes for long periods of time. I get tired and sore from strumming “Tatatatatatatatatatatata” for like 30 seconds straight. Every 5 or 10 notes I miss by a split-second! Split second! But once I’m thrown off, I’m thrown off –I loose the rhythm and eventually FAAAAIL. So, it is my hope that if I start excersizing my upper-body that I will slowly improve my speed on the strum bar! In the meantime though, I guess I’ll stick with boring ol’ Medium…or play every song in Training mode so I can never fail. 😛