polychrome_pen: (Sokka rainbows)
 I have to admit, I never thought I would admit to unabashedly enjoying a Scooby Doo show.  Prior to now, my only experience with Scooby-Doo as a franchise was catching old episodes on my Grandparents' cable when I was sick as a kid and stayed home from school.

But Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated isn't just good for a Scooby Doo show.  It might be the best thing I've watched so far this year.  I can hear the cries of shock, I know.  You say, "But Ry, Scooby Doo is a weird 70s relic about mystery-solvin' teens and their hungry great dane - not good television."  And before finishing Mystery Incorporated, I would have agreed with you!  Such is the power of this show.

You see, for the first time in 40+ years, the characters actually have character.  Sure, Fred is all about traps, Shaggy and Scooby eat a lot, Daphne gets captured, and Velma is the genius who looses her glasses and says "Jinkies!".  But this go around, the creators were actually allowed to create interpersonal relationships and conflcts.  The show starts out with Shaggy and Velma dating, and progresses to add Fred and Daphne into the mix.  The interpersonal relationships between the characters are never static, and it always takes into account material from the preceeding episodes.  The gang are given parents for the first time, too, and live in a town called Crystal Cove that bills itself "The Most Haunted Place on Earth" and depends on monster tourism.  So when they unmask criminals who could be potential tourist draws, they really are "meddling kids!"  Genius.

This is without even mentioning all the delicious backstory. It starts with another group calling themselves Mystery Incorporated who disappeared in the caves beneath the town twenty years ago, and goes all the way back to ancient Mayan prophecy.  Every episode has a more or less self-contained mystery, but the writers deftly weave the central mystery in and out through most of the episodes.  Suffice to say the climax of S2 is epic and an incredible payoff.  I mean, Velma brings up string theory in the final few episodes.  How is that not amazing?

The show is full of hilarious sci-fi and horror references and great voice acting too.  Fred and Scooby are voiced by the one-of-a-kind Frank Welker, who is an animation voice-acting legend and has been portraying these characters for something like 40 years.  For the Monster High/Ever After High crowd, Kate Higgins (Frenkie Stein/Briar Beauty) voices the mayor in the second season, which was a fun treat.  Patrick Warburton turns in a great performance as the Sheriff.

So yeah, apparently I totally fell in love with a Scooby-Doo show.  I'm actually afraid to go and check out any of the other material produced for this franchise, though, because I know it won't be as good as what I've just finished.  And ye gods, I totally want to get a little bit of merchandise for my toy collection now. >_<
polychrome_pen: (Default)
But a week from today I'll be in London! I've been looking forward to this trip for so long that it's hard to fathom that it's almost upon me. Definitely can't wait for that whole "paid vacation" thing either.

I hope to slip into a toy store while I'm there and see if I can't find any Winx stuff, or perhaps a Monster High Abbey.

But other than this vacation, the rest of the year seems kind of fuzzy. My birthday rolls around about a month after we get back from England, and I have no idea what to do. Maybe I'll just get a couple of splurge purchases (I have been eyeing a couple of Pullips again!). Or I've had my eye on a Jazz Restaurant in SF. And then come the holidays, which I'm not sure whether or not I'll have to be working.

In watching, I recently finished a complete rewatch of the 1990s classic "Spider-Man: The Animated Series." While I usually preferred Batman and the X-Men as a child, it was incredibly nostalgic to view these episodes that I haven't seen for years. The wonderful amount of continuity was surprising as well. I mean, I remembered that the Spider-Man series always had story arcs, but the amount of supporting characters who come back and storylines from early on that spill over into the later episodes was so refreshing for a 90s cartoon series. I also especially enjoyed the voice acting; they really got some great VAs like Malcolm McDowell and Nichelle Nichols. Not to mention J. Jonah Jameson is voiced by Ed Asner! The huge amount of guest stars (everyone from Dr. Strange to Daredevil to the X-Men and Fantastic Four show up at one point or another) was also great fun. But probably my favorite part is the Black Cat. Spider-Man is usually a solo hero, but this Black Cat really makes me wish there were more episodes with her.

Other Spider-Man series such as Spectacular Spider-Man a few years back were great, but this series IS Spider-Man to me. I'm watching "Spider-Man: Unlimited" right now, which is pretty much terrible compared to the great animated series. Ah well, not everything from the 90s can be seen through my nostalgia glasses.
polychrome_pen: (Drake of Jewel Riders)
Direct me to it, please?

Well, my hopes were dashed.   Looks like I didn't get a residency like I'd hoped.  Maybe "dashed" is too strong of a word.  I'm not actually sad about NOT having to work super hard for pennies for a year, but I did put a lot of time and effort (and money!) into all those apps and interviews.  Now it all just feels like a big fat waste of time.  And I would have enjoyed the opportunity to learn lots more.

So I consoled myself by picking up the Twilight Barbies and the Princess and the Frog off of Amazon. XD

But in all seriousness, I feel incredibly directionless now.  I had put most of my hopes into getting a residency, and now I'm not really sure what to do.  I'm afraid of retail pharmacy - it's incredibly soul-sucking and tiring - but most hospitals don't actually hire that many pharmacists.  So I kind of see myself just falling into a retail position by default.  Which makes me sad.  I should really look up the contact info for some of my pharmacist friends and see if they can't hook me up with some sort of hospital job.

But on a more fun note, I just finished my fifth rotation last week, and they gave me $125 work of gift cards at the end!  I was in complete and total shock.  And touched, too.  I'm going to miss that pharmacy and its crazy antics.  One of the cards was for the the theater, so I'm definitely going to go catch How to Train Your Dragon this week.  Must support animation in the theaters!

Nooo!

Nov. 3rd, 2009 08:28 pm
polychrome_pen: (Sokka rainbows)
I'm so sad that this rotation is coming to an end! Psychiatric Pharmacy has been such an enjoyable rotation both in knowledge gained and people met (not to mention the great hours!) that I'm really depressed to see it go. It's highly unlikely that any of my other sites will top this one. I think I need to buy these people Starbucks tomorrow to thank them for such a nice time.

In other news, I turned 24. I had a nice dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with some friends last Thursday night, then celebrated with family by taking Saturday and going to the ocean. Definitely a nice time. :)

But for my birthday I treated myself to a huge Amazon order that included Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. It's such a good movie! I just watched it back to back with the first one, and was a little sad to see that America Fererra no longer voices Fawn. But this was made up for by all of Terence's awesome screen time! I was blown away by how much they used him compared to the first movie. But poor Vidia didn't even have one line! Thankfully, it looks like that will be remedied in The Great Fairy Rescue due out next year.

Also, I was given the wonderful gift of illness all of last week. My head cold definitely kept the Kleenex industry in business. The only good to come of the illness was that I got sent home from work one day and then burned through three discs of the very addictive Peach Girl anime. Boy, I forgot how addictive those shoujo dramas can get! I ended up finishing the rest of the series that week. XD

Writing has been going well. I've added about 3000+ words to my Jewel Riders fic by doing 250-350 words a day (to equal out to about 1000 per week). I find that it's the only way I'll actually sit down an work on it, but writing in such small segments means sometimes things get forgotten that shouldn't, so some heavy editing will have to happen before posting the chapter on FF.net.

And I realized I haven't take any toy pictures in a long time! Hopefully I'll have some time this weekend and can snap shots of the Star Trek Dolls, Disney Fairies, and finally take pictures of my Jewel Riders collection.S
polychrome_pen: (Default)
I can't believe that I'm finally finished with all 61 episodes of Avatar. It has been an amazing journey, and I'm sad to see it go. I've had the episodes for quite some time (at least two years if not longer!) and can't believe it's taken me this long to finally watch them.

This series is one of those few cases where - after watching - I think it's deserving of all the praise it has garnered. There is a wonderful, possibly unique blend of action, comedy, and emotional depth that sets Avatar apart from many other animated series. Especially more recent American-made ones. I might be going a little too far (being in that post-series bliss that I usually get after watching something good), but Avatar may be my pick for the best American animated series of the decade.

There are many truly laugh-out-loud funny moments (The episodes "The Beach" and "The Ember Island Players" come to mind), and yet the series doesn't just rely on laughs - each of the characters is unique, with their own personal stories and motivations, dreams and fears.

The presence of good continuity and copious, baggage-filled backstory only fuels my love of this show. The backstory is actually where we discover what drives many of the characters.

So while I'm sad my watchthrough is over, there is at least the live action movie to look forward to. Though I have to admit that Jackson Rathbone as Sokka made me lol.

And also, I'm in the mood for some good Avatar fanfic. If anyone has a good recommendations, I'd love to know!

ZOMG YAY

Sep. 13th, 2009 09:54 pm
polychrome_pen: (Aladdin and Jasmine - my OTP!)
I just found out that my Choir is switching practices back to Friday nights, so that means I can start going back to practice again! I was a little depressed when the season started again on Wednesday nights and I couldn't attend. They may have actually switched the night for me and a few others who could no longer make the Wednesday practices, so that's pretty special. :)

But now I have only two practices to learn the song that we'll be performing on the 26th. Yikes!

Also, only two more weeks of Nuclear Pharmacy, and then I'm off to the Psychiatry center, which should be an interesting experience. XD

I finished Avatar Season 1, and am starting Season 2 this week - I can't wait to find out what happens next! It's a great show!

And it's good to be back to writing as well. I got about 750 words done last week on my Jewel Riders fic, and hope to add another 1000 this week. I want to get that next chapter up on FF.net soon!
polychrome_pen: (Default)
Well, it's been some time since I last updated. I've been meaning to post about the start of my Rotations for some time, but just haven't gotten around to it. Laziness, your name is Justin.

I'm currently on my second week of six at the Nuclear Pharmacy, where I help out making radioactive drugs for cancer treatment or medical imaging purposes. It's definitely an interesting field, but I can't really see myself going into it as my profession. There's no patient contact and you work behind lead and tungsten shielding all the time. It actually made me miss CVS. Imagine that.

But I've gotten to do some really neat things already, like irradiate a patient's white blood cells so they can be reinjected and then travel to the site of an infection, thereby "lighting up" a previously unknown site of infection during imaging. Cool stuff. But again, working behind leaded glass is annoying. And going to work at 1 AM sometimes kind of sucks.

I also found a place to live up in Sacramento. I've got two rooms in a house about 15-20 minutes from where I work. One bedroom, the other functioning as an office. I even bought a little cheap bookcase at Target so that I can bring part of my library with me, which makes me feel a little more "at home."

Which is kind of the problem - the first week I got a little homesick. Definitely unexpected. I've always liked my quiet/alone time to watch stuff or read, but I think it was with the knowledge that my parents would be home later. Not talking to anyone outside of work threw me, that's for sure. I've been on my phone more in the last week than the last several months! It's amazing how you feel like calling anyone and everyone!

I haven't decided what to bring (or if I will at all) of my toy collection, but a few pieces might be nice. Probably nothing expensive like the Pullips, but figurines would go nicely.

On an unrelated note, if you haven't seen Ponyo yet and are an animation fan, you're really missing out. I also saw Ponyo last week, and it was surprise, surprise another Miyazaki masterpiece.

But bedtime now! Tomorrow after work I promised myself I'd start studying for my first upcoming quiz during our bi-weekly Conferences (where we get together with everyone else doing Rotations in our geographical region), and need the sleep.
polychrome_pen: (Default)
Photobucket

So I absolutely love animated movies. And if they're animated fantasy/musical movies, well, you've pretty much bagged my attention.

So how did I miss this gem? Probably because it wasn't released in this country or on DVD here.

I've been meaning to post about my viewing of "The Princess and the Pea" for quite some time now - after all, it's not every day that one discovers a "new" fairytale-based animated movie.

Maybe it's not the best movie ever, but it reminds me somewhat of Thumbelina or The Swan Princess - it's full of heart, and the fun characters (Rollo and Daria! - see above picture) win you over. This could easily have been a Don Bluth movie.

I really wish this would come out on DVD in the US, but would settle for a region-free DVD from somewhere if that never happens - as it seems, the only DVDs available on eBay are from Australia, which I don't think will play in my player. :(

But you can watch the whole thing on Youtube, which is what I'll have to settle for right now. Here's the first part if you want to watch it!

polychrome_pen: (Default)
Back when I was in elementary school, my friend John (one of the most creative people I know) came up with the idea for a film based on the the classic tale "The Frog Prince" in the classic Disney style. He did lots of character designs, and now that Disney is doing their own version of the story, John has finally taken some rough storyboards and put them together with a soundtrack on Youtube for the audience's viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, they are incomplete, but wonderful still the same.

I remember going through many story discussions with John (even so far back as to remember that the Princess was originally named Rose) about this film, which has always been a dream of his to see animated.

Part 1


Part 2


And of course, I must be allowed a note of nostalgia for myself, as I recall that I was originally going to be the voice of the King (lol, like when he had no other options...:D)

But anyway - Bravo, John! I thought for a long time that you'd set this aside when you started working, but I guess my fears were ungrounded. ^__^

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