Archive for July, 2012

Somewhere in the world it’s the 1st of August…

Which means it’s been just over two months since I last made a social visit to this sad, neglected page and the poor buggers who are subscribed to my posts. Unless my radio-silence has been a boon to your daily web-life, my apologies! I can’t claim to have been busy working, or even busy playing. Mostly my days are spent trying not to throw myself down the stairs in frustration (one day I’m going to try and trap my demonic little sister in a Devil’s Trap) and reading books long forgotten on the family bookshelf.

So here’s an update on what I’ve been up to. There’s no specific reviews (as of yet) but I’ve been watching a lot of films, reading hefty books and trying to keep up with the Olympic gymnastics, judo and diving.

Seeing as Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake novel ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is on my reading list for next year at uni, and I already own most of the books, I thought I’d re-read the collection I’ve already amassed – and flesh out the rest of it. I’m currently waiting on a few more books through the door but then I’ll be up-to-date with the Anite Blake series. It’s the biggest series of books that I’ve ever collected, as usually I stick to short trilogies of books or borrowing the David Edding’s series from old friends. The Anita Blake novels currently span 21 books. I’m now waiting for my mother to start throwing them at me for taking up space on the bookcase…

For the most part, I’m doing my best to power through the majority of the reading material for year 2 of Creative Writing at EHU, though I’m struggling with the sheer bulk of Varney the Vampire and all the non-fiction, craft textbooks. I tend to save tackling them for bath-time or when I’m trying to avoid my sister. Something about the banality of craftbooks is relaxing – although not always.

Film-wise, I’m still hooked on my Asian cinema; Red Cliff was on the other night and it was a spectacular epic. The movie actually spans 4 hours but the released version shown on channel 4 was only two hours long. Still, it’s a credit to John Woo that even halved, the film is still absolutely incredible and exciting to watch.

Back when I was at Manchester Metropolitan University, a friend introduced me to Casshern and the Gantz anime. Goemon is a film by the same people who produced Casshern and it’s completely obvious in the visual aesthetics of the scenes. It’s emotionally gripping although a little less intense than Casshern; there’s something a little more light-hearted about Goemon, but the themes of self-sacrifice are still blatant.

Gantz has taken me aback. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from it but the anime is pretty graphic and more gory than I considered it could be. I’ve held off from watching for a while (I’m currently only caught up on to episode 8) because I thought I should probably spend some time reading, but I have managed to cram in a viewing or two of the live-action movies ‘Gantz’ and ‘Gantz: Perfect Answer’, and managed to find myself bawling my eyes out as per usual. Obviously, I went into them thinking ‘well, that’s different from the anime’ and ‘THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? THIS IS NOT TRUE TO THE NARRATIVE’ but honestly? Sometimes a little divergence can still be fun, and now the two films have made it up onto my list of recommendations to watch.

So, yeah, in spite of trying to keep an eye on my sister over the summer holidays and encourage our new dog to get used to me, I’ve managed to cram in a lot. Not as much as I wanted though, if I’m honest. I applied to go to Changsha for three weeks to teach English and learn Mandarin, and experience the whole Chinese culture (something that’s really close to my heart) but I didn’t make it past the interview stage unfortunately. The night I found out I hadn’t made it, my mum was reluctant to even order Chinese food to cheer me up in case it made me cry more (T▽T) That said, I’ve picked myself up since then and there’s always the chance next year to apply again, which I’m definitely going to go for – or the year after, depending on my finances.

Anyway, here’s to cramming more reading into my summer when the rest of my books arrive in the mail. I hope everyone’s enjoying their summer :3