Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gyaru Gamer - A Retrospective Rant

No fashion post this week, folks! Today I'd like to try something a little different....


So, if you've been following my Twitter lately, you'll recall my elation (read: tantamount relief) in finally beating a game I purchased on the Wii's virtual console, Breath of Fire 2.

A game that I purchased right after completing A Link to the Past and have played consistently.

Since November.

Honestly, the gameplay investment felt equivalent to passing a kidney stone. I know there are some long games out there, but this...this was a LONG-ASS GAME.

I think it was around the 2-month mark when I finally said "f*ck it" and consulted the help of a walkthrough - something that I NEVER EVER do and have NEVER EVER done prior to playing this game (except to blatantly cheat or to give characters gargantuan-sized heads...but THAT'S a rant for another time).

So BOF 2 is done, but I've decided to take a break from RPGs for a while. Don't get me wrong - I love RPGs, especially the JRPGs of the earlier consoles, but I needed to take a sabbatical because a) the Wii hasn't added any games I've wanted to play since aught-07, and b) because I need to time to reflect on the cold-hard fact that...maybe I'm not as adept at playing video games as I thought I was.

The signs are all there. My brother consistently whups my butt at fighting games (most painfully, Smash Bros. where he just beats the unholy ish outta my fighting-Irish Pikachu), and I'm a veritable failure at any racing game that doesn't begin with the words "Diddy Kong".

Don't even get me started on sports titles.

So I thought I would be the family’s RPG expert. My first real experience was with the Pokémon series. Sure, in a link-cable pokémon battle my brother still came out on top, but I took pride in the knowledge that I played the game to completion. While he was busy powering up his Charizard and the rest of his party to obscene levels (“How the fack is a 6-on-1 battle fair in Pokemon Stadium if your Pidgeot's level 72??!”), I was accruing bragging rants by capturing the legendary birds and spending my weekends bartering with neighboring friends to bolster my Pokédex. I can safely classify capturing all 150 inaugural pokémon as one of the greatest accomplishments of my existence. Take from that what you will.

Pokemon robbed me of a conventional adolescence!

Also, it gave me epileptic seizures.

Anyway, for the longest time, I used to think I was pretty game-savvy, even if wasn't one of the best. Up until my teens I thought I knew everything that I needed to know about video games.

Then I saw the first annual VGAs on Spike TV.

No, I'm not getting into what's already been said ad nauseum by gamers and anti-misogynists alike (and I'm CERTAINLY not touching the much-maligned Angry Joe fiasco with a 10-foot pole - again, that's another rant), but I credit this moment as the first time the realization hit me that: "Hey...maybe I'm not a hardcore gamer. Maybe these games aren't for me”.

Going back to the 90s, I was a Nintendo child, so I lived blissfully unaware in my child-friendly bubble of Super Mario World, Sim City, Pilotwings and the like. I still remember predicting Wind Waker as the runaway victor for the VGAs; imagine my surprise when, not only did Wind Waker not win ANYTHING, but - save for a few titles we owned on Gamecube - I didn't recognize ANY of the nominated games.

After that moment, what seemed like a fairly gender-neutral industry turned out to be a testosterone-driven virtual warzone. I was a long way from the bright, vibrant, candy-coated colours of games like Yoshi's Story and Mischief Makers; I was suddenly more aware of these "mature" games, these gory zombie games, these hard-hitting, military first-person-shooter games with their depressing color palettes of muted grays and browns.

Not quite sure what's going on here...but just goes to show that a lil' colour can solve anything.

So what am I getting at?

Well, I've learned to accept the gaming industry for what it has become...actually let me rephrase that: thanks to web series such as "The Angry Video Game Nerd", I've learned there has always been a mature market that catered to gamers - it was just sterilized and glossed over with a kid-friendly veneer in the 90s and I was too young and blind to notice. Games like Breath of Fire 2 taught me that tackling heady subject matter like religion is nothing new – it’s just more out in the open.

Which brings me back to the RPGs. I'm still going to play them; RPGs are my favorite genre of games (and one of the few I can consistently beat; I’m in my 20s and A Link to the Past was the first Zelda game I’ve ever completed).

One of the perks of getting older is having a little bit of disposable income to purchase all those old games I used to see in gaming magazines but never have the opportunity to play. For example: I spotted a copy of Lagoon at our local used game shop. I distinctly remembered this game because of its 1-page spread in the Super NES Players Guide magazine that I happened to own at the time. I was soo excited to get my hands on this game, after all these years.

Mind you, I was just a stupid kid back then, and had not yet developed my own sense of cynicism or an accute detection of B.S. There's a reason certain games get only a 1-page spread in a 300+ page magazine.

Again...that's another topic for another time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mr. Hippo Goes to the Ice Cream Parlour

This is a bit of an impromptu blog post, but I just couldn't wait until next week.

My younger sister made a picture book.

The original title is simply "Mr. Hippo", but since it looks as though this is the first in a long series of short books, I figured I would give it a more descriptive title.

She's the next J.K. Rowling. I can feel it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Doctor's Appointment

Blooper Pic: Me attempting to dance an Irish jig. Challenge accepted FAILED

Happy St. Patrick's Day, folks! Here's some relevant pics of my dad's authentic(?) Irish(??) shillelagh(sp?!?).

My siblings have March Break this week, so I've been watching them during the day. I've been bumming it clothing-wise these past several days, ergo, it was a huge relief to finally put some effort into my wardrobe for my trip to the city.

I suppose that, at age 23, I can be classified as a "big girl" now, and yet I find it an extremely daunting task to visit the doctor all by myself.

Because it's St. Patrick's Day, I made sure to wear some green on my person, but I gotta be honest, folks - I felt really silly when I sat in the waiting room. Aside from the one girl with the bright green flower clip in her hair, everyone else wore muted grays and neutrals. As I sat in silence amongst others in the waiting room, I felt a tinge of guilt that I should put such emphasis on my appearance, when there were people in their with valid, serious concerns on their health and welfare..

And then I was made, once again, to reflect on the plight of the earthquake/tsunami victims in Japan...It kinda made me put things into perspective, and that there are a lot more matters in the world for which to be concerned)

Green ??? Sweater
Green Costa Blanca Scarf
Guess Jeans
Gray Goody Headband

I realized something today - something of great value and gravity. As a child, you never see a visit to the doctor's as something nerve-wracking (it helps to have your mommy and daddy along with you), but as you get older, and you have a better understanding of germs and infections and the like, it becomes an unpleasant chore, not unlike paying taxes.

Is it wrong to never want to grow up?

*sighs*...Now I'm depressed. I crave laughter; here's a somewhat-relevant, racially-insensitive Ren & Stimpy clip.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Don't Know What the Hell I'm Doin'

Blooper Pic: Gee, it sure is boring around here...

Well, it's been roughly a year since I've started my fashion blog. I've used this space (alongside with my Chictopia account), to chronicle what I wear when I'm about and about, in the hopes that I can gain a better understanding of what works and what doesn't work for my body type.

Has it worked? Has it been useful. Eh...I'm gonna say "kinda". Overall I've seen an improvement in how I've dressed, and I think I'm getting better at purchasing pieces which flatter and not because they're the hot trend of the month.

As I stated in an earlier post, my new goal was to refine my sense of style to better model the gyaru fashion.

Me attempting the gyaru pout...and failing. Oh so miserably. -_-;

Well, I've been lurking the gyaru blogs, I've been reading/watching the tutorials, and I've been studying the fashion...and I just don't think my heart's into it.

Don't get me wrong - I still think gyaru fashion is a fascinating style to follow, but I just can't see myself totally overhauling my image to be more in line with the trend.

To be honest, I'm really more fascinated with the hair & makeup aspect of gyaru rather than the nails and the frilly, super-girly clothes. I've already changed my hairstyle (twice!!) - I think that's as much of a dramatic transformation that I can take for now.

So, while I still try to find my direction, I might write more observational posts as I abandon my "journey into gyaru-dom". I'll still derive inspiration from gyaru (especially from the hair/makeup), but as far as fashion is concerned, I'm leaning more towards a style that's a little more forgiving of womanly curves. Currently Beyonce and Kim Kardashian are my style icons, but that's subject to change.

So, that's all for now. Till we meet again.
Dat's all, folks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Has a Tumblr Now

Just a quick post in case anyone's interested - I'm on Tumblr now.