Because telling a story with only words is rather tedious and boring, I'll use my pictures I took at Orchard Road on Christmas Eve tell the story.
Came out of the Orchard Road MRT entrance. Fought with this crowd on my way to Ngee Ann City. There was a bottleneck way up front, so I ended up getting moshed pretty bad. People were pushing from the front. Even more were pushing from behind. Think I molested a few people (accidentally) during the procession.
Oh, but the lights were so pretty...
Made it to Ngee Ann City. I make it a point to snap a picture of this particular Christmas tree every year.
Had a brief dinner, looked around at Kinokuniya (wanted to get a Kanon picture book but found it too expensive T_T;;), then headed off to the Heeren. Oh, so pretty...
I love big trees. BIG...
With him holding up the sign like that and airing his armpits, it's no wonder he hasn't been getting any all night...
Made it to Heeren. Got a pretty nice view from the fourth floor. But that's not what I went there for. Got a lil' present from HMV (His Master's Voice) for somebody special. Costed me $56 altogether, almost 50% of my savings.
Back outside. By now youths with foam spray cans were waging gang wars on each other and innocent passers-by. A very unsafe place to get moshed, cos you have no place to hide.
Alas, I was not spared. That's it, I'm never stepping into Orchard Road in Christmas Eve again. Guess I'll have to plan earlier if I'm gonna get next year's Ngee Ann City Christmas Tree pic.
Did I mention that the gift was for something special? Well, I'm someone special to myself, aren't I?
This is what costed me $56.
How did your Christmas go?
Wednesday, December 26
Because telling a story with only words is rather tedious and boring, I'll use my pictures I took at Orchard Road on Christmas Eve tell the story.
Done by AK at 3:12 PM
Saturday, December 22
It is unfortunate that my personal life blog and otaku blog have to be in the same page. Sadly this is the case, as this blog has indeed started off as a personal life blog, so I feel it is only appropriate that my life rants continue to go here instead of somewhere else. After all, the blog URL says 'Our World' in Japanese, but I am still part of this world after all. I guess you can say this is the advantage, or disadvantage of my blog in comparison to other otaku blogs.
My parents were involved in a very bad squabble late last night, which lasted till about 2 am this morning. It wasn't anything new, and not as serious as last times, thankfully. I believe it had something to do with my dad, in his usual nighttime drunken stupor, criticizing mum about her work-over-family priorities that evening. This came about when he found out that morning that I was at mum's office helping her set up a new printer, when I was supposed to be at home working on dad's admin assignments with the home computer. I did get back to his work later in the afternoon, but made little progress as I still had to share the computer with my siblings, since mum's brought the laptop to work. Dad was really frustrated, cos he was the one who keeps telling me that he has taken good care of the family, and that all of us are indebted to him. He criticized my actions of helping mum out in her office by questioning if I owed her company anything. In a fit of rage he even tried to delete all my admin work, but thankfully, being the computer-illiterate person he is, didn't know how. There he was, yelling at me, "I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP!", and a few moments later shouting, "HOW DO YOU DELETE THIS DAMN THING?!"
I hit the roof too. In the middle of their squabble I put on some clothes (trivia: AK's always only in his underwear and shorts at home) and run out the door. It was 2am. I decided to take a walk down to the nearby marketplace then back, hoping that the argument had died down by then. a few things I learned from my journey:
The majority of cars going up and down the mostly empty roads are taxis.
At this hour there are still people walking around, usually in pairs (not couples).
The nearby LAN gaming shop was STILL OPEN. The LANMaster and one pudgy 20-something guy were still inside.
This hour is usually when a certain Indian Coffee House gets the most customers. It was practically packed when I walked past.
Today dad's locked himself up in his room, and mum's at work again. Even our maid's taken the day off. Looks like it's up to me to hold the fort. Wish me luck.
Thursday, December 20
Yes, that's her above and on the blog header; she happens to be my current new unofficial blog mascot, in a bid to glorify this site a bit more. Once I've figured out how to use a picture rotator you'll be able to see four different variants of her. ^_^
For those who are wondering, she's from a highly successful shounen manga created by Hhashiguchi Takashi, called Yakitate! Ja-pan. I first heard of it during Animax's Yakitate! Ja-pan anime promotions (the one where they joined hands with Breadtalk and created all sorts of ridiculous IRL Ja-pans which, try as they might, could not elicit a single worthy reaction from me), and got hooked when I checked out the manga at onemanga.com.
So yeah, that's about it for now. If anybody can tell me how to incorporate musical instruments with VOCALOID2 it'd be appreciated. Forever Love for Miku's done (thanks a lot to VOCALOID2's ability to import Guitar Pro files), and all I gotta figure out now is how I can put her together with the rest of X-Japan (excluding Toshi) to create one awesome collaboration.
Wednesday, December 19
There's a website that features your ideal Hatsune Miku song video according to your name and birthday. All you have to input is the month, followed by day, then your name into the blank spaces, and hit to button to the right.
This is mine, by the way:
Speaking of Hatsune Miku, I've been toying around with VOCALOID 2, having installed it just this afternoon. Was a bit confused about how I should go around inserting notes, until I downloaded an English Interface to overwrite the Japanese one (it's not completely effective, by the way), and played around with the controls for about fifteen minutes. The great thing about me is I never consult manuals; I learn how to do something or do something more efficiently by toying around with it first and getting the hang of it, before thinking of alternate methods and modification and seeing if they work. Currently I'm getting Miku-chan to sing X-Japan's Forever Love, and so far it's been going very well (completed two verses). Will upload on YouTube when it's done, not to worry.
Tuesday, December 11
Complete with Japanese Engrish! Win!
This Was A Triumph
I'm Making A Note Here:
It's hard to overstate
We do what we must
because we can.
For the good of all of us.
Except the ones who are dead.
But there's no sense crying
over every mistake.
You just keep on trying
till you run out of cake.
And the Science gets done.
And you make a neat gun.
For the people who are
I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though you broke my heart.
And killed me.
And tore me to pieces.
And threw every piece into a fire.
As they burned it hurt because
I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data
make a beautiful line.
And we're out of beta.
We're releasing on time.
So I'm GLaD. I got burned.
Think of all the things we learned
for the people who are
Go ahead and leave me.
I think I prefer to stay inside.
Maybe you'll find someone else
to help you.
Maybe Black Mesa. . .
THAT WAS A JOKE. HA HA. FAT CHANCE.
Anyway. this cake is great.
It's so delicious and moist.
Look at me still talking
When there's science to do.
When I look out there,
it makes me GLaD I'm not you.
I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done.
On the people who are
And believe me I am still alive.
I'm doing Science and I'm still alive.
I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive.
While you're dying I'll be still alive.
And when you're dead I will be still alive.
Monday, December 10
Douzo girl (Fuko). Oh so Moe.
I feel like starting on Gurren Lagann too (yes, I know I'm late). Can't find episode 2 on Youtube (or anywhere else for that matter, aside from torrent sites, which I'm choosing to stay away from) though. My progress on Ninomiya-kun! so far is at episode 7. Yup, it's not much, but I'm definitely picking up momentum again.
A few more updates on my situation:
-Access to the Lenovo laptop has been reduced to just my mum and me. In other words, when my mum's not using it (which is most of the time) I have complete possession. Not like last time, when my sis used to dominate it.
-I've just started on Grenado Espada. femminile family (small f), Caravaggio (Italian for feminine, the closest word I could get that sounds like 'family').
-I'm reviving my rusty PangYa and Trickster accounts. Now I have to work out a timetable so I can devote equally divided attention to all my games.
-I have to divide an equal portion of attention for gym too. the one near my house has just opened.
-Some of this 'time' actually falls under the wee hours of the morning. No, I'm not afraid. :P
-Not much progress on stories.
Kay, that's it. that=nks for the page hits, everyone who's viewed my blog! thank you, Danny Choo, for creating otaku.fm! Drawing page views has never been easier!
Friday, December 7
Feedburner tells me that I received 38 clicks mostly from otaku.fm to my previous pix post.
Something tells me I should post more pix to draw more traffic to my site.
This post is officially dedicated to Hatsune Miku.
wow. That was random.
One of my faves.
Seifuku is fine too.
a Yuki is fine too.
A Nodoka too, is fine too.
Perfect for a bumper sticker.
Because you can't get enough pantsu.
WANT TO SEE MOAR? Don't tell anyone I'm sharing these pics, chances are the illustrators wouldn't want to hear of it. Read more about it here.
Tuesday, December 4
Saturday, December 1
I'm pretty sure most of you are rather unsatisfied with my first completed chapter, so here's the second, written with more finesse and less fluff (do note that the last few sections are not considered fluff), and provides a better explanation to the background of the story, focusing on my take on how the Integrated Data Sentient Entity came about. I've clued in another original character to tell the story better, but also included two rather familiar characters. You may find that it makes certain references to the first chapter, despite the time frame being set a few months later. Read on, please.
Just as expected, I arrived at the market street with five minutes to spare. Locking my bike to a nearby parking rack, I hurried off to the designated meeting place, an air-conditioned café which some of us in class 2-2 tend to frequent a lot after school hours.
As I opened the door and was greeted by a chilly air freshener-infused breeze from inside, I noticed, to my slight dismay that the other party was already there, waiting for me. Ou Yuukyou, wearing a pale pink polo tee, was seated at a table at the far end of the café with Kimidori Emiri, a friend of Yuukyou’s and a neighbor whom I got acquainted to some time ago. Yuukyou waved eagerly at me to go over and Emiri-san greeted me with a warm smile.
“Sorry to make your wait,” I muttered as I took my seat opposite the table. Both of them shook their heads in a matter that said, ‘it’s alright’.
“Nah, we just like to be early,” Yuukyou replied, tapping his right fingers on the empty table surface. His left arm was propped on it, with his hand curled in a fist that he was touching to his lips.
“So, why’ve you called me out?” I asked. My classmate and his friend quietly glanced at each other, and then gazed at me, as though contemplating something.
“What is it?” I began to be a bit suspicious.
“Oh, nothing,” Yuukyou replied. “I doubt you’ll have trouble understanding what I’m about to say anyway, given that you’ve already experienced a bit of it yourself…” He looked towards Emiri, and both of them nodded in agreement.
Needless to say, that didn’t clear anything up at all. “What is it? Tell me.”
“Alright. We won’t keep it from you anymore.” Yuukyou took a deep inhale, as though preparing to deliver a half-hour speech documentary on flies.
“Would you believe me if I told you I’m not an ordinary human?” He asked. I was stunned; not just at the bizarre question, but also at how it took him so much hesitation to say something as simple as that out.
“Uh, yeah,” I bluntly answered. “You’re knowledgeable at almost everything in this world that’s got to do with humans. So knowledgeable that I’d believe you if you said you were some alien camped in Earth’s orbit, observing everything that happens in this world.”
I actually wish I hadn’t said that afterwards, but the outcome might’ve been the same either way.
In immediate response, Yuukyou and Emiri pulled the same face at me in perfect unison. An expression of complete shock. I suddenly realized that I’ve never seen Yuukyou look that way before in class, with wide-open eyes and mouth gaping, and I suppressed the urge to laugh at how odd he looked with it.
“How did you know…?”
My smile instantly faded. That they’re saying this in such surprise would mean…
“Did you… Know about it all this while?” Emiri barely whispered. Her facial expression completely denied her usual introverted and seemingly oblivious exterior. “That we have been observing you all this time?”
“Hah?” Now I was too shocked to speak. “I was just joking…”
Yuukyou sighed. “Well, I never expected that. But yes, we are serious.”
No way. I inched closer and studied his expression meticulously, looking for any signs of amusement. There were none, and by this time I realized I was already leaning over the table, so back away.
“As I said before, you’ll have no problems believing us, but that’s only once I’ve confirmed that you have no problems believing in your ability to create and walk through portals that lead to external dimensions…”
Absolutely no way. How did you know?
“We’ve been observing the world, Akira-kun. And that includes you.”
Is that so… Then that might mean he really is an alien. It seems possible enough, and he even has evidence. I’ve never told anybody about that before.
“It would seem that you still have trouble coming to terms with this fact,” Emiri spoke up, weighing her words carefully, though they were so soft they would balance less than a feather, while observing my expression, which I believe was one of complete confusion and doubt. “Perhaps you’d like to hear our story?”
Great. There’s even a story behind it. The fact that I have come to terms with my supernatural power should’ve meant that I would have no problems believing that aliens exist, or even that I know somebody who’s an alien, but at that time I found it hard to comprehend anything at all. All I could do was nod.
“We were formally residents of a distant cluster of solar systems, approximately ten thousand Earth light-years away from your local planetary system. I am unable to disclose their names as we are unable to express it verbally in human language. They have also not been tracked and recorded in human research files yet, so no names have been given to them yet. Actually, people of our race can be found in several different galaxies all around the universe, but the majority of us are based in this cluster of solar systems. That is where we were born.”
It was almost a strain listening to her speak. But she sure was careful enough to give rational explanations to things she could not say. Perhaps they really did want my belief that badly.
“Our race was a highly advanced one. We were granted with the technology to observe planetary systems from afar, cover great distances in space, and most importantly the capacity to gather, store and analyze vast amounts of information, so that we can answer all the questions we have ever asked.”
“So you must’ve lived at a pretty high standard, eh?” I asked.
“Actually, we do not exist according to the laws that govern human geography,” Yuukyou replied, his lips curled downwards slightly. “Even if we did, we’d be far from living in first world-class.”
“Yes, that’s true,” Emiri agreed, gazing downwards resentfully. What’s the matter with them?
“You see, the major flaw among people of our race is our desire for supremacy. As such most of us would rather use our advanced technology to wage wars over dominance. Factions emerged out of our community and divided themselves over different parts of our controlled solar systems, each wanting to be superior over the rest in terms of power, ideals and intelligence,” she explained to the spotless tabletop.
“Call it the Crusades if you like, I think it’s quite similar. Stuff like science versus religion, or ‘my religion’ versus ‘your religion’,” Yuukyou jested, craning his neck and glancing around. He waved and caught the attention of a blue-haired waitress, who immediately walked over.
“So you’re involved in the fighting too?” I asked Emiri, seeing that Yuukyou was busying placing an order.
“Well, we did start a separate faction, but it was to escape from all the warring. We were the few whose mentalities had transcended the imperfections of desire, or rather, desiring too much, if you may.”
“That’s why we’re all Buddhists,” Yuukyou added halfway through telling the waitress his order, having heard the conversation with his left ear facing us. He really does have a knack for trivia, doesn’t he?
“So what did you do?” I guess all I could do in this conversation was ask questions. Emiri did not seem to mind it though; she seemed prepared to answer whatever queries I posed her in her best possible ability. A good sign of somebody being honest.
“Our main objective was to formulate a plan to escape our homeland and seek refuge in other systems that contain planets suitable for life. Of course, we have long since discovered numerous planets around the galaxy that fit this description, but we needed to locate one that would be inconspicuous enough to be out of the scope of focus of our race. We needed to construct a transport powerful enough to travel great distances over space, and develop researching and adapting technologies to observe existing life forms in said hospitable planets and assimilate ourselves according to the laws that govern these worlds so as to thrive normally in them.”
“So I guess you did, and you chose planet Earth, and you turned yourselves into human beings,” I inferred. Emiri nodded, Yuukyou gave me a thumbs-up smile, and for some unknown reason, the blue-haired waitress standing beside our table with a notepad in hand could not help but smile. She hurriedly went off and disappeared past the kitchen doors at the far side of the café.
“But, when it was discovered that our faction was developing this highly sophisticated technology that immensely surpassed anything created before, the other factions took it to offense, that we were secretly plotting to win this gridlock of an arms race, and banded together to strike us down.”
It was almost like hearing a war story from a civilian war survivor. Both of them looked extremely somber, and extremely convincing. I felt my doubt gradually fading away with each word they said and each facial expression they made. In felt, I was beginning to feel interested in this new discovery of aliens and hearing their literally out-of-this-world experiences.
“Many of us were unskilled in combat, and lost out to their enhanced warring proficiency. A lot of us perished amidst the pandemonium. Thankfully the transport was constructed as last after a hurried assembly, and we escaped the homeland with only a handful of us left.”
“So there are more of you out there.”
“Yes, but not a lot,” Yuukyou answered, reiterating. He still has that habit of saying things on behalf of others as long as he has the authority to do so, I suddenly realized.
“It was abroad the transport, which was agreed to take us to planet Earth, that we completed our Assimilation technology. And after a long period of time, as mentioned before we finally arrived on this ‘third rock from the Sun’, and discovered as much as we could of it while in orbit-“
“-While dodging all your artificial satellites,” Yuukyou sidetracked. “And we actually enjoyed making all these discoveries. It took our minds away from the despaired situation of our homeland.”
“Yes, we learnt a lot of new interesting things about planet Earth,” Emiri cracked a gentle toothy smile. “We feel that Earthlings are actually very lucky to be able to live in such wonderful environments. Of course, looking away from the bustling parts of human life where people struggle to make a living by gaining profits, and the directly opposite parts where poverty brings extensive discomfort to the needy, and all the conflicts and strife that are strikingly familiar to us. We delved into the arts, the sciences, even a mixture of both.”
“Most importantly, we conducted substantial studies on how the Homo sapiens species of mammals live and function. Like their anatomies and their universes of thought. That was because we had to create fully functional images of them that we can implement onto ourselves and co-exist with the rest of the Homo sapiens population,” said Yuukyou.
Just say ‘humans’ please. You sound too condescending.
“And thus, he we are. Living, breathing aliens in human form. That’s our background, are you satisfied?”
“I can pretty much believe anything now, having heard your story. I find it hard to doubt your explanations too. Yes, I’m satisfied as much as I am amazed,” I stated.
“Makes me wonder why you’re not amazed at your own ability to create and cross over separate dimensions,” the bespectacled youth muttered. “By the way, if you must know, each of us has actually developed sizable expertise on different fields of Earth-based studies.”
“In other words, you focused on various fields of studies until you’ve built up a forte in that specific field,” I said.
“Uh-huh. I’m an expert at social studies and sciences, meaning whatever events that take place on Earth because of human actions. That’s how I know so much about such stuff like the sex lives of past American presidents or the legend of Che Guevara, and can spout them out in class,” Yuukyou winked slyly. So that’s how he came to be the walking encyclopedia.
“Ah, I happen to be very good at math. I range from Game theory to algebra to binary notation,” Emiri spoke up, in a rather shy and humble tone. “Technological knowledge happens to be a strong point of mine too.”
“I’m impressed,” I exclaimed. “But, do you have a name for this alien race of yours?”
“Incidentally, yes,” Yuukyou replied. “We were created out of this vast sea of data known as the universe. We started out as pure data, and as various caches of data gathered together, we became sentient, and we began to evolve by collecting more data. We are almost as old as the universe itself, and as it expanded, we expanded together with it, and our relative database became more expansive and eclectic. Almost nothing in this universe is unknown to us. As such, because our existences are derived largely from data, we call ourselves the Integrated Data Sentient Entity. I came up with that name myself,” he grinned proudly.
“However, telling you all about us isn’t the main purpose of this meeting,” he spoke, immediately lowering his tone of voice to a more serious one. “It was to provide you with a little bit of background information about us. Now, this is a little more background information about what we have got to do with this world.”
What, there’s more?
“Until most recently, the Integrated Data Sentient Entity has expressed great interest on planet Earth, which is partly the reason we chose to come here. We have observed that with the success of the evolution of Mankind living on this world, Man gradually acquired the mental capability to pursue knowledge. This organic bipedal life form became an object of interest. For a long time we have always believed it to be impossible for organic life forms, who have limited data collection and transmission ability, to be able to acquire knowledge.
“It would not be until most recently, when the handful of us have arrived and conducted further studies on your kind, that we, referring to us only as the rest have yet to find this out, fully discover the importance of observing all forms of organic life forms on Earth, as it could provide us solutions to our own evolutionary dead end. Other organic life forms all over the universe normally become sentient, but only the humans on Earth have evolved continuously to higher levels. This is what we have discovered before, and have been delving into during our stay here.
“Now we move on to recent events.” Yuukyou announced, clearing his throat. I bent over to listen closely.
“About three lunar orbits ago, while we-”
“He ‘means three months’,” Emiri quickly explained. Three months, huh. We were still together then… Crap, why am I suddenly remembering that?
“Yes, sorry. About two Earth months ago, while we were still based in planet Earth’s orbit, we encountered an abnormal data hotspot unlike anything seen on the surface of this planet. We traced the centre of this data spike to a region within a bow-shaped archipelago called Japan. Zooming in closer, we witnessed two humans positioned close to the epicentre.” The boy leaned back against his seat and adjusted his glasses coolly. I did know where this was getting to yet.
“It happens that the person positioned just inches away from the epicentre was you.”
I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“And it happens that the person standing directly on the (0, 0) co-ordinate of the epicentre is Suzumiya Haruhi.” He gave me an enigmatic grin.
I froze at the spot. Wait, what?
Yuukyou and Emiri said nothing; they stared at me, waiting for a response.
So this is what they want to talk to me about. Suzumiya Haruhi created something that doesn’t sound too good, which is typical of her, and because I was with her at that very moment, I must have something to do with it. I felt frustration surge through me instantly.
“Why don’t you tell this to her instead?” I asked, my voice dry with irritation. “She’s the one who created all this, isn’t she? And what exactly is this that she created?”
“Well, we do not know why that happened, or what effects it would have,” Yuukyou explained. “None of us are able to fully process all the new data being created. More importantly, while it is known that humans are limited in the amount of data that they can process, Suzumiya Haruhi is able to create flares of data on her own. Surely you must’ve noticed something during the times you were with her.”
I very much want to forget everything that had happened during that time. I brought a hand over my left eye and touched it lightly.
“We feel it is wise not to tell her anything, too. Suzumiya Haruhi does not know that she is creating all this massive data. It is best to leave it that way, because if she learns about her power and begins creating data on her own will, most possibly creating disastrous results. As of now we’re still observing her,” he continued.
“And what’s this got to do with me, pray tell?” I asked.
“Well, while it was evident that Suzumiya Haruhi is the centre of this explosion of data, you were suspiciously close to her at that very moment of the creation. We have analyzed the situation and have come to a firm conclusion that, while the data-creating ability of Suzumiya Haruhi was innate but inactive, your presence had activated it and catalyzed its growth.”
Now he’s talking about chemistry. There was never any chemistry between Haruhi and me.
“This is reaction is the reason behind your ability to create separate dimensions out of thought, and separately, your other ability to enter foreign dimensions. The former is very much like an active yet severely limited form of Suzumiya Haruhi’s, where you are able to process and emit caches of data at your own will but with effect only to the dimension you create. Meanwhile Suzumiya Haruhi’s ability is in a passive form, where releases similar data involuntarily that can be observed in the present world. The latter is what is known as ‘dimension sliding’. Does that term ring a bell, Akira?”
That was the first time today that he addressed me by name. Annoyed, I was brought back to one casual conversation I had with Haruhi just a month before that incident…
“Haruhi once mentioned that she wanted to meet four kinds of people: Aliens, time travelers, espers and sliders. I thought she was referring to my specialized baseball pitch, but she said it had something to do with dimensions… Come to think of it, you guys are aliens…”
“Yup! And you’re the dimension slider with an added ability that could prove very useful and potentially dangerous. During that brief period of time when you lost yourself in an enclosed dimension, I presume you must have met an esper. We have yet to make contact with any time travelers, but I’m positive we will soon,” he said, satisfied at my previous statement. “In explanation, these swarms of data Suzumiya Haruhi processes can make visible modifications to the present world.”
“So it’s something like ‘what Haruhi wants, Haruhi gets’, is that it? But you said her abilities were passive. Doesn’t all this prove that she can modify the world with her thoughts?” I was in the mood for debate right now.
“If it was that way she’d be here asking us about our life back home right now,” Yuukyou murmured defensively. “It’d be illogical to say she created people like us too, because we’ve been around eons before your planet was even formed. Though, in your case it could be a bit different.”
“But in terms of your ability to process data actively, we believe that during this reaction that gave rise to Haruhi’s superhuman ability, said ability was split into two, and one half was imparted to you, the catalyst, who happened to be in close range at that time. It was very fortunately balanced off: You received the portion of the ability that grants you active control over your data creation, it would hardly affect real-time events; Haruhi received the portion that grants her the power to modify events in the world, though it is only passive.
“That is why we have decided to base our human forms here in Japan, and adopt Japanese personalities. We call these creations, of organic optically visual forms, Humanoid Interfaces. In this form we’re the same as any other human physically and mentally, albeit with alien knowledge and talent. We have also made arrangements to stay close to the both of you for observation purposes, and chose to take up residences in the same apartment as yours.”
“That’s two birds with a stone,” I commented, slightly alleviated of my frustration. “It’s conveniently near the station too.” So, that explains how the both of them have come to live in the same apartment as I do.
“Yes, that too,” Yuukyou agreed. Emiri nodded. “Anyway, digressions aside, let’s move on to the present,” Yuukyou continued. “We’ve called you out here today because we need your help. Yours, not Suzumiya Haruhi’s, as her powers are merely passive and as she is not to know anything about this. You have the might to open up enclosed dimensions at will. You can assimilate objects previously occupying its spaces into it, including people. You have complete control over whatever happens inside. As long as you’re inside your world, you have the advantage. And we request that you impart your ability to us.”
“Now, why do you want my power? And am I supposed to teach you how to do it?”
“It’s only a matter of copypasta from your mind to ours,” Yuukyou answered, using an ED meme well-known among the two of us. “And as to the reason we want it…”
He leant forward and propped his forearms on the table. Emiri followed suit.
“We’ve been discovered by the rest of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity. As we speak there is a large flotilla of transports similar to ours – I presume they stole our technology prior to our departure – looming in Earth’s orbit. Apparently they were drawn towards Earth once again when they witnessed this data hotspot that is Suzumiya Haruhi, three months ago,” he whispered. “They have discovered that we were here all this time, and are eager to hear about our findings regarding this situation.”
“They can actually pick it up from that far away?” I could not help but feel amazed and envious of Haruhi. She’s got the whole universe’s attention now, and I don’t doubt that’s what she would want.
“Yes, and we’ve been put on the spot. We’re willing to disclose whatever findings we’ve made of planet Earth, be it Suzumiya Haruhi or other matters concerning aforementioned solutions to our evolutionary dead end. After all, we’re loyal to our people.”
“Loyal enough to run away from your homeland?” I quipped.
“Look, the only reason we took off was to get away from the fighting. That’s got nothing to do with loyalty. Besides, we’ve informed them that our departure was nothing more than to further our studies on planet Earth, and they have already apologized for their rash actions against us.
“Still, one can’t be too sure. They might be plotting something amongst themselves, perhaps to annihilate us all and steal our valuable technology. We simply cannot have that happen to us; we prioritize the safeguarding of our own lives before anything else as, needless to say, life is the key to existence. As such we’ve decided that it was safest to have an edge over them; a powerful and useful advantage that we can rely on to back us up and overcome the fact that they have us heavily outnumbered when necessary. We had to make sure that as long as it’s here on Planet Earth, we have the upper hand over them. After all, a good majority of us in the Sentient Entity are highly radical and ruthless, and fighting fire with fire seems to be the best solution,” he explained.
“So you still have the spirit of competition for dominance within you, eh?” I remarked. Both of them looked at each other and flushed in embarrassment; a classic human reaction. I was truly impressed at how accurately they crafted their Humanoid Interfaces.
“Heheh, we just realized that, didn’t we?” Emiri told Yuukyou, who nodded sheepishly. “Very wise deduction, Akira-san.”
“Indeed it is,” said Yuukyou. “And that’s why we’re here. We request that you bestow your powers onto us. We promise never to tell or grant it to the rest of the Integrated Data Sentient Entity; it is only between you and the few of us. In doing so we could also better analyze yours and Suzumiya Haruhi’s abilities and use the information gathered to, as I say once more, find the solution to our race’s evolutionary standstill.”
Man, they’re really so much into the ‘two birds with a stone’ scenarios, aren’t they?
“Actually, having heard everything you’ve just said, I’m pretty inclined to help you to my furthest extent,” I said. “After all, it’s very interesting that aliens and other weird people exist in this world. It takes the boredom out of life, and we can have something out of the ordinary to do. Plus, I go by the saying ‘It is better to do it and regret than not do it at all’.”
“Your way of thinking mirrors that of Suzumiya Haruhi, Akira-san,” Emiri commented.
“How true. She probably got it from you,” Yuukyou pointed out.
“Yes, that’s very nice,” I groused sarcastically. “Will you update me on your situation every now and then so I can get an idea of what you people are up to? I’m interested in knowing.”
“Granted,” said Yuukyou cheerily. “You’re our benefactor, after all. By tomorrow’s sunrise I am going back into orbit together with another one of our members to meet the leader of this newly-arrived fleet of space transports and liaise with them. I’ll let you know how that goes.
“Anyway, in ancient times in Asia, the rulers of China would appease the barbaric tribes in the North by marrying off their daughters to the tribe leaders, so as to maintain good relations and discourage them from attacking their territories. In similar tradition, there is a gift I would like to offer you in hopes that you would agree to our request, but since that seems unnecessary I have decided to offer this gift to you as a token of appreciation and goodwill instead.” Yuukyou broke into his usual mischievous grin.
“No, it’s not really that- Wait, you’ve offering me your daughter?”
At this moment the blue-haired waitress reappeared again at my side, bearing a tray loaded with a mug of coffee, a bowl of banana-split ice cream, and a glass of strawberry parfait. The parfait must be mine; Yuukyou knows I love parfait. The waitress eyed Yuukyou meaningfully as she sets the food on the table, then faced me. She had a very pretty face and an attractive figure. I could not help but blush a little.
“I’m not his daughter,” she told me flatly, cheekily sticking her tongue out.
“Akira, this is Asakura Ryouko,” Yuukyou said. The waitress bowed deeply.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been observing you and Haruhi-san together with my comrades for a very long time. I’m glad that I finally get to speak to you in person.” Her voice was mellow and sweet, and pleasing to the ear.
“She’s our vixen, Ryouko-chan is. Her forte is in human emotions and thoughts. Among all of us she pulls off her Humanoid Interface the best, and is most knowledgeable when it comes to dealing with and understanding humans,” Yuukyou proclaimed. Asakura Ryouko blushed shyly.
“Well, it always pays to have good looks. People get more co-operative that way,” she rationalized. That is very true.
“Actually it’s quite unnecessary, Asakura-san,” I said quickly. “I’m very willing to help you guys out.”
“Call me Ryouko,” the pretty girl said, making eye contact with me. She had a very pleasant smile. “Also, there is actually a personal aspect behind why I agree with this move too.” She winked suggestively.
“Ah, you want to get closer to me so you can understand how I use my powers better than your comrades, don’t you, Ryouko-san?” I said, keeping in mind that information-gathering was these aliens’ raison d’être. In response Ryouko lowered her head and pouted unhappily. She looked immensely cute that way.
“Don’t be so cold, Akira-kun,” she whimpered. “I just want to be friends with you.”
I instantly replaced my unimpressed expression with one of astonishment.
“It’s just a desire that subsists in me after having been assimilated into the human mentality,” she clarified. “A fondness for a fellow human being, most usually of the opposite sex, which eventually breeds a yearning to be with that person.”
I can clearly see where she was going. But seeing somebody so impossibly beautiful and perfect saying things like this to me… It was almost like a scene out of an anime for me to experience first-hand.
“You want to be my companion?” I inquired. I did not want to say ‘girlfriend’ in case I was reminded of Haruhi. Her face went a deeper shade of crimson, and broke eye contact with me at once. Nobody could tell she was an alien from outer space, at this rate.
I chuckled. “I don’t see why not. You can be my companion.”
As suddenly as she showed her forlornness just a few moments ago, she brightened up again, and grinned at me gratefully.
“Thank you very much, Akira-kun. I promise you won’t regret. Ah, my shift’s over. I have to get changed. Please excuse me; I shall join you guys later.”
She departed with a flourish of her long bluish hair. I quickly thought of something…
“Was she listening to me the whole time?” I asked Yuukyou. I had not seen her so she must have been behind me the whole time, and only the other two would have seen her.
“Only from the part where you agreed to help us did she come around. It is true, you know, she also has the most vested interest in you compared to all of us. She was very impress at you character, especially during the time you were still with Haruhi,” Yuukyou said. I shuddered tartly.
Noticing my detachedness, Yuukyou added, “You know, if it’s really that bad, you shouldn’t keep it all to yourself.”
I gazed up from my parfait. He looked genuinely concerned. I sighed.
“You should already know everything. You’ve been observing us this whole time, haven’t you?”
“I’m sorry, none of us were present to witness it when the both of you broke up,” he took a casual sip of his coffee, and eyed me expectantly. “What happened?”
I sighed again. “She socked me one in the eye with her fist, somehow managing to fracture my skull, and left me for dead there and then. And it thundered and rained heavily for a whole week nonstop after that. Come to think of it, it can all be linked to, as you say, her innate ability.”
“You’re absolutely right, Akira. I’m so sorry.” He began inspecting my face carefully, especially around my left eye. “How’d you fix it?”
“I opened up a dimension and willed it to fix itself,” I mumbled. It was the most logical thing to do at that time.
“You better get it checked though. I’m not too sure somebody of your caliber can fully understand the anatomy of a human skull and heal it accordingly. No offence meant. I’m just concerned that the wound might open up again.”
I tucked into my dessert obliviously.
“You must’ve aggravated her pretty badly that time. We witnessed an all-time high of data spikes and anomalies emitting from her during that week-long period, and plenty of foreign dimensions, the kind similar to that in which you met the esper, sprang up everywhere and lingered around for vast periods of time,” he stated.
“She brought it all onto herself,” I said bitingly in between mouthfuls of parfait. “I made a very bad decision, and ended up bottling all that spite within me, until I felt I had to make my feelings known to her. Of course she was unhappy to hear it, and unreasonable as well. That’s how it ended; with a crack.” I felt it better to be general.
“So isn’t it your fault for making that bad decision?” Yuukyou countered.
“Yes, I was at fault there, Haruhi recognized it too and accused me of that. I admitted defeat, but I couldn’t bear to blame myself. You needed the logic of a champion chess master not to make that decision in such circumstances. Who knew she kept that kind of vulgar personality within that genteel façade…”
“You should learn to accept people for who they are. It’d make you a better person,” Emiri spoke cautiously.
“Then I won’t be human anymore,” I retorted. “She should change to somebody more acceptable instead.” Seeing Emiri’s sudden despondency, I added, “But I’ll consider doing that. Thank you very much.”
“You won’t have to worry about anything when it comes to me, though.”
Ryouko said that, but it was so abrupt and she said it while standing right behind me, so I leapt in shock. When I turned around to look she was cupping a hand over her mouth apologetically yet cutely. She had changed her waitress outfit for a casual t-shirt and jeans. Ryouko took the seat beside me a muttered a bashful ‘sorry’.
“You shouldn’t make it a habit to eavesdrop like that. You might lose your job,” I told her grimly. To make up for it I thoughtfully pushed my parfait towards her. She smiled amiably at me and accepted the offer, moving the glass towards her. I watched as she dipped the spoon in and withdrew a large mound of strawberry-laced ice cream, which she cheerfully brought close to my face. Instinctively I opened my mouth and let her feed me. Across the table I heard Yuukyou cooing playfully.
“I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” she promised, spooning out some ice cream for herself. “This is exactly what I like about you, Akira-kun. You tend to be rather stern to people at times, but it’s because you care for them, and you show that by expressing your kindness to them.”
True, I am always like that, and it was no different with Haruhi. But, I felt I must have given too much leeway to somebody who does not have enough realization. This was what I believed had worsened her attitude. I found it hard to understand just then why I had cared for her so much.
“That’s just how you are, Akira-kun. And that’s a good thing,” Ryouko said.
I was alarmed. “Did you just read my mind?”
“No, you had that faraway expression that suggested you were thinking about something in the past. It’s about Suzumiya-san, isn’t it?” She asked uneasily. I nodded.
“Yes, I must agree with Emiri-chan here, you need to accept her for who she really is and be less rash in your actions. The whole town was flooded for weeks because you made her angry during that episode. Who knows what worse could happen should it happen again?” Yuukyou said.
“It won’t happen again, I’ve promised myself never to see her again,” I answered. “Besides, now that you’ve informed me of the extent of my abilities in comparison with Haruhi’s, if anything happens because of her, I can easily fix that, can’t I?”
“It’s not that easy, Akira,” he retorted, blasé. I nodded listlessly.
After the dessert treat which Yuukyou paid for we headed for home. Yuukyou and Emiri were taking a cab home, and agreed to meet at my apartment later on to conduct the data extraction (Yuukyou winked indicatively at me just before getting into the car), and leaving me to pillion Ryouko back on my bicycle. She steadied herself precariously on the struts of the back wheel and curled her fingers gently around my shoulders.
“Are you sure this is safe?” She asked with a shaky voice. Apparently she had not experienced this kind of transport before.
“Yeah, I’ll go very slowly so you won’t lose balance,” I assured her, pushing against the pedals and beginning a smooth pace. “What’s your door number, by the way?”
Yuukyou lives in the sixth floor, Room 601. Emiri lives in the eighth floor, Room 808. My room is numbered 506, and is located in the fifth floor beside a friendly middle-aged man residing in Room 507 and another neighbor in Room 505 whom I have yet to meet.
“That’s such a silly question, Akira-kun. Are you sure you still don’t know my door number up till now? You’ve been passing by it so many times now.”
Naturally I would have said yes, but something she hinted in that statement my question.
I could understand that Asakura Ryouko is nothing more than a Humanoid Interface constructed specifically to grant my every hankering fantasy so as to make relations with me as smooth as possible. But for some reason I actually did not mind at all.
Ryouko began massaging my shoulders affectionately.
“Nice to meet you, resident of Room 505,” I said.
Done by AK at 12:32 AM
Friday, November 30
Just got back from my fourth day at work at the SITEX exhibition at the Singapore Expo. Lotsa things have happened over the past four days. Some really interesting, others downright irritating.
I work at A1 Computer station, a shop that sells mostly computer accessories (cos Fujitsu nor Asus wants to hire me). The first two days at work involved setting up the racks and putting the stall layout together, as well as putting up the products on the racks. I work alongside quite a large army of part-timers, around 20 of them. But even this figure wasn't enough to settle everything in twenty-four hours over two days, so we actually ended up working way longer than intended (we intend to clock 12-hour sessions of 10 to 10, but just two days ago, because we were pressed for time to set up to booth, had to start at 9 in the morning and end at 2 in the next morning. Absolutely frustrating.
Yesterday and two days ago saw me standing beside a large stack of assorted laptop cooling pads. The more I sold and demonstrated the products on my very own glass shelf connected to an electrical outlet via an extremely lousy USB adapter, the more I learnt about all the different kinds, so much so that I can easily quote the fan speed, power usage, voltage and current ratings, and most importantly prices, off the top of my head. I mentally prepared a set of quotes and statements to use like 'good investment' or 'I can't demonstrate the fan's full speed because of my lousy USB adapter' or even 'if you find any defects within the next seven days you can come over to our store at Sim Lim Square - the address is printed on your receipt - and we can get you a replacement immediately'. I managed to sell a whole lot of pads two days ago, and I sold even more yesterday. Yup, despite me feeling jealous at the people receiving better pays at branded companies like Sony and Microsoft, I love this job. Do come and visit if you have the time, and if you live in Singapore. Forgive my non-constructive English, I'm pressed for time. I really need some shut-eye now.
Wednesday, November 28
Because my AB.net site is still awaiting help (WTF still?!), all my Otaku rants will have to be sharing space with my personal life posts here in this blog. This is bad, because my IRL life is not that Otaku after all. The fact that my blog is listed under 'Otaku' ay dannychoo.com (yes, my blog showing up in dc.com and otaku.fm is probably the biggest thing on my mind right now), I kinda feel awkward. Whatever it is, just to spice up my boring-looking blog a little bit, every posts from here on shall contain an anime pic from my ever-expanding anime pix folder. (Currently at 1 GB+. I'm so proud ay my collection!)
Here's one I found at 4chan, which reminded me just much of Houjou Reika from Ninomiya-kun!:
I put this pix up at kawaiiheavens.net once and the members there tell me they get nosebleeds out of it. I don't understand the concept of nose-bleeding at ecchi pix. It apprently does not work on me. Anybody care to explain?
If I'm in the mood I'll share more pix. I'm in the mood right now. ^_^
My fave Sayuri-rin quote, of course. DO WANT MOAR?
I HAEV THEES PIX. I WINZ.
I can die happy after seeing this.
All that Kanon goodness...
Top it all off with an ED-style motivational poster. My favourite, of course. Very accurate, of course. (It's from ED, duh!)
Thank Blogger for the 1GB upload capacity. I'd dump my whole pix folder here to garner as much attention as possible, if I had the time.
Speaking of garnering attention, I do aspire to, one day, using my m4dsk!11z blogging skillz, become well-known around TEH INTARWEBS, or at least among my community. That's why I try to do something new every yime, though it hardly actually seems that way. Of course, what I'd hope to do as a first step would be to join the ranks of Tsubaki, TJ Han, Lian YL and Darkmirage. You've been given a tip-off, now watch this space.
Monday, November 26
My thighs pumped vigorously as my weight pushed down on the pedals, with my behind hovering high above the seat. The bicycle swayed sideways with each alternating stroke. I kept my eyes peeled to the dark road, devoid of any vehicles at this hour. Planting myself back onto the triangular seat, I released a gloved hand from the handlebar and held the free wrist before my line of sight. The Casio showed nine twenty-eight with its glow-in-the-dark digital display. I instinctively pulled faces to stretch my facial muscles and generate heat as the chilly air brushed past my exposed cheeks.
I shot a quick glance at the wire-weave basket in front of the handlebars. Nestled safely within it were a medium-sized pink cardboard box and a bulging gift shop plastic bag. Assured, I focused my attention back to the road.
I reached the meeting point ten minutes before the agreed time, as expected. Leaping out of my bike, I looked round for the designated landmark where I was supposed to wait, and found it, a circular bench running around a tree in the middle of the walkway. I pushed the bike towards it and kicked out the stand, before plopping myself onto the seat, pulling off my black fingerless gloves and cracking my knuckles. My gaze descended onto the train station a short distance away. The lights were still on, but no movement can be seen within it, nobody going in or coming out.
Tonight was the night, I reminded myself. I was determined to make sure of that. It was the night when I would let it all out, having kept it to myself for such a long time. Many past opportunities had been wasted as I had always swallowed everything back in just when it was on the verge of spilling out. I’m not going to be as cowardly as before tonight, I promised myself, grudgingly. There’s nothing to be afraid of.
My mind was yanked suddenly back into reality. Realizing I had been staring at the station the whole time, I turned my head towards the speaker, whose voice I was too familiar with.
There she stood, leaning casually over the bridge of the bicycle on her elbows, half her face illuminated by the distant streetlights. She looked beautiful, from the shoulder-length dark brown hair that framed her adorable, smiling face, to the spunky pink sneakers accompanied by striped knee socks. She sported a beige sweater zipped up to her neck, and a frilly sky blue miniskirt. I grinned to myself; that was the skirt I had bought for her during my recent trip to Ginza in Tokyo.
I got to my feet, stuffing my gloves into my jeans pockets, and flashed the megawatt smile I always reserved for her. There’s nothing to be afraid of, I repeated.
“Sorry to call you out so late. I couldn’t make it for the party.” I hoped that was a valid excuse.
“It’s alright. At least we get to spend some quiet time together now,” she enthused, a heavy hint of delight in her voice. “How was today’s study-buddy session?”
“It’s going really well, thanks for asking. Diji-san’s improving a lot. I’m starting to see her potential to do well in school. If only she wouldn’t sleep so much during class…” I said. Her lips curled higher, making her eyes squint a little. I adored that smile.
“Oh, right. I have something for you.” I approached the front end of my bike and reached into the basket with both hands. Positioning them on opposite sides of the paper box, I carefully lifted it out and presented it to her. She straightened up in surprise.
“It’s cake,” I declared. She clapped cheerfully.
“Thank you so much!” She lifted the cover to reveal the cake inside, a vibrant ornament of chocolate hearts, mounds of whipped cream with cherries sitting atop, and snow-white icing over jam-filled layers of pink sponge. A near-illegible message was squirted in red syrup to one side. She observed it curiously. After a fruitless attempt at deciphering the scribbles she nonchalantly scraped some icing off the cake with her finger and sampled it thoughtfully. “Yum. I had a lot of cake at the party, but I won’t mind sharing this with you.”
The situation was running smoothly, better than expected.
“Of course, not forgetting…”
I moved the cake away and sat it on the bench behind me, and plunged a hand into the basket again. She watched intently as I heard the rustling of plastic, indicating that I found my item. I fished it out and presented it in front of her with a flourish.
“You said you didn’t need anything fancy for a present, so I had to hunt for something you would like and can use as an everyday item as well. Sorry I didn’t wrap it, I just came from the gift shop,” I told her, slightly guiltily. She eagerly took the plastic bag, and shook her head at me.
“No, it’s alright, I’m very glad you took the trouble to buy it for me.” She peered into the package. “Also, I’ll be sure to like anything you get for me,” she added, lowering her head a bit more. I felt warm blood rush to my cheeks.
She lifted the present from the bag. In her hand was a sunflower-yellow hair bow, with matching-coloured ribbons on both sides. At the shop an hour ago I had spent a ridiculously long time picking out one out of a vast display of hair bows which was outstanding but plain enough, and which suited her personality as well, a tall order for any piece of apparel. My eyes oscillated from the hair bow to her fringe rapidly as I tried to visualize how it would look like on her head; I ended up feeling dizzy instead.
“How cute! I love it!” She exclaimed, turning the hair bow around to admire it from different angles. “I’ll put it on every day.”
I could not help but grin even wider at that comment. It was as though her joy was contagious. I caught my happiness from hers.
It had always happened like this ever since we became good friends; right from the first time we met at the baseball stadium. A sense of pride, of knowing I have her in good care, had always accompanied each instance I could get her to laugh or smile. I figured it was the same feeling an older brother would feel with regards to his younger sister, as she was two years my junior; though, I sometimes think it could be true, deep affection that drives these emotions.
I stepped closer towards her and helped put the hair bow on. It was easy for me as I was a head taller. She looked towards the floor as I did so, perhaps to allow me a better view. I adjusted it over her fringe and tucked the sides neatly behind her ears, then rested my hands on her shoulders and leaned back to inspect my work.
“It looks wonderful in you,” I concluded. “I’m glad I picked this one.”
She nodded silently, raising her head a tiny angle. Our eyes made contact, and I suddenly noticed that the hair bow also matched the yellow hue in her irises. She opened her mouth to speak, and words came out after a few seconds of hesitation.
“I… I’ve never felt this happy before in all my past birthdays. In fact, I’ve never been this happy before I met you. Thank you so much. For everything.”
Her voice trailed off. My heart stopped for a brief second. I could tell very well where this was going, having had almost 4 years of experience in visual novels and shojo manga. The fact that it was happening for real this time took me off-guard.
Five full seconds later, and she had not picked up where she left off. Her eyes resumed to staring at her feet again. My mind dived into panic; I was going to lose another opportunity if I did not act now. Determination set in amidst the mental frenzy, and I drew a deep draught of air. I mustered as my confidence as I could, and drove out all second thoughts. I was not frightened now. Not entirely, at least.
“Nah.” Frustrated at myself for plucking up so much courage just to utter one syllable, I forced myself to continue, and gather more momentum. “There’s something I want to tell you, actually. I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a very long time now, but I’ve always been holding back at the last moment.” I had encountered this phrase countless times before in anywhere a love story exists, and thus managed to remember it perfectly. It came out clichéd and dull, but her attention was captured at once. She faced me again, her yellow eyes fixed to mine. I squeezed her shoulders in assurance. She was blushing so furiously I could feel the heat on her face undergoing convection through the chilly evening air and warming my cheeks. I pressed on.
“We’re been friends for a quite long now, and I feel that our friendship is very strong, but…” Doubt got the better of me once more, holding my speech back. I clenched my teeth in self-irritation, and inhaled strongly again. The next sentence had better be the deciding blow, I warned myself. The whole time, my eyes had not strayed away from hers once.
“I love you.” The words felt rigid with confidence, thankfully. I quietly sighed in relief and exhaustion. I instantly gained the will to say more. “I love you very much.”
She gasped, surprised. Her stare turned into one of shock, even disbelief. My smile faded slightly.
“Akira-sempai.” Her voice was a tiny wisp. That was the first time she said my name this evening. That aside, questions riddled with regret started to drown my mind. Was she going to say no? Had I spoiled her good mood tonight by breaking a piece of unpleasant news to her? Is she going to avoid me forever after tonight?
Out of the blue, two limbs curled around my waist. She leaned towards me and pressed her body against mine, burying her head against my neck. My skin flushed immediately as I felt her body warmth; this was the first time I had ever embraced somebody outside the family. I quickly recovered from the stun and returned the gesture, shifting my hands from her shoulders to her back. I felt like I could remain in this position forever. My body tingled all over in euphoria. I had never felt this way before, and it was pure bliss.
“Hearing those words… Is definitely the best birthday present I could ever receive,” she whispered, brushing her face against my collar affectionately.
It was confirmed, there and then. I was bursting with satisfaction. My fingers ruffled her sooth hair from behind, a habitual action also for her enjoyment only. I caught sight of the cake sitting in the bench, waiting expectantly.
Today she turns thirteen, and today my companionship with her had tightened a large notch. It was a memorable day for the both of us.
A rather early part of the story. Nothing spectacular has happened yet up to this point. And no, I don't know the exact date either. This would sort of explain the relationship with Akira during the early periods. Despite how you might make it, no, it's not a personal fantasy fanfiction. I actually dislike her a lot, I just felt this scene was necessary to make the rest of the story more interesting.
Done by AK at 8:09 PM
Today I woke up feeling a lot fresher than I was yesterday. I figured, why bother getting yourself so worked up over all this? It's not like your life depended on it or something, right?
Also, I've decided to brighten up my blog a bit for potential viewers who might drop by from dannychoo.com through otaku.fm.
I start working at the SITEX Convention tomorrow (boo to you, Darkmirage! Why didn't you go, when you said you wanted to?!), getting a pay of $5 an hour, for 12 hours a day, over 6 days, lunch and dinner provided, all amounting to $350, plus a bonus of anything between $30 to $80. from this money I'm getting, $300 goes to a new Compaq Presario my mother might be getting along with a new Starhub MaxOnline broadband subscription (just think, $1699 to $300! It's highway robbery!). Of course, while I'm there I'll be sure to snap lotsa pictures for ya! (I'm beginning to see just how much me blog's lacking pix.)
The rest of my money will go into my very first foreign exports goods - A collection of Sangokushi Taisen 2 cards straight for Japan. Following that would most likely be this:
Speaking of whom, I've most recently done a few chapters of this story I'm working on. Because I like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu so much, and because I like being different all the time, I've decided to show my support and flaunt my writing skills all at the same time by writing a sidestory to the Haruhi light novel series, to shed some light on my take of the background behind this story.
It is being told from the point of view of a young man known only as Akira. Three years back in the story, he had a lot to do with a adolescent girl named Suzumiya Haruhi. How has that made him, right up to the present? It features plenty of events that are mentioned in the story but never featured first-hand, and provides valid explanations to the things that happen in the story itself. You see, I did my very best in enslaving this story to Tanigawa Nagaru's original, so I don't default him anything. (Almost) everything that happens in this story I'm cooking has something to do with the original. And no, I don't regard this as fanfiction, my level way transcends that. It's an original work by me, with original characters and an original plot, except I take characters and references from the Suzumiya Haruhi light novel series. I'll be putting up my first completed chapter here pretty soon, cos it explains a lot about the story's background. Two others will follow shortly.
Sunday, November 25
An increasing occurrence that's happening to me is the lack of things I can think of doing while I'm spending valuable time with the computer. When I turn on the computer, I immediately turn on Windows Media Player, MSN Messenger, and Mozilla Firefox. Player loads first, I run my playlist. MSN opens up, I sign in. Mozilla comes last. Check my subscribed dannychoo.com feeds. Drop by at darkmirage.com. Drop by at animedesho.animeblogger.net. Drop by at kurogane.animeblogger.net. Check out Windbell's blog through dannychoo, along with another random Singaporean blogger featured at that website. All done in a matter of 15 minutes. When there's nobody to talk to on MSN, I log in to Facebook. Frag a random guy in Rise of the Rebellion, then in Counter Strike: Red Team Go. Go off exploring the galaxy in Rise of the Rebellion. Check my Warbook account. Recruit soldiers, build more mines, attack cities. Done in ten minutes. Check out kawaiiheavens.net. Barren wasteland as always, nothing ever happens there. Check out animeb.com. Crumbling before my very eyes. No place for me there, ever since I took off months ago and only returned recently. Ten minutes gone. It's not even an hour yet. If I'm in the mood, and my Internet connection works well, I'll catch up with my anime dosage at Youtube, thus killing me lots of time. If I'm not, I'm left with nothing to do.
Except come here and rant about me being left with nothing to do.
Creating a blog with the theme 'Tokyo in Singapore' turned out to be a very bad idea. I used to have tons of ideas for this blog, but by now all that studying and IRL business has made me forget most of them. In the end I'm left with a blog that betrays its title. It's not fit to be linked from other otaku sites anymore. That's why I had decided to open up an animeblogger.net account so I can revert this blog back into a personal one, while using the ab.net blog for otaku-related posts. This is have turned out to be not such a sound idea either, since the ab.net staff already have 1000+ other clients to look after when it comes to site setup. As of now I'm still awaiting support for my site...
Sometimes I wonder why I still posts in this blog. Really, nobody's reading it anymore. Or perhaps I'm hoping for something to happen in future that will draw attention to my blog, so that readers would go back into the pst and read all these rant posts and learn a bit more about this blog's history and how I used to feel before?
Perhaps so. There's always hope, as I say. Even when there's no hope, there's always hope. Yes, I tend not to make sense sometimes.
I really hope there's somebody, anybody, reading this post, needless to say my blog.
I just hope.
Wednesday, November 21
After working for three days at Xpress Works, a telesurvey company, doing administrative nonsense and all that, I am finally relieved of active office duty, and presented a paycheck of $109.50 (seems like they want to be accurate to the nearest dollar). No, that doesn't mean I got fired. I was only supposed to provide extra manpower over a few days to help sort out some stuff. By the way, that company was run by 6 other people around my age, plus a 30-something year-old boss. The environment was very office-like, but the fact that all my colleagues are actually around my age takes a bit of getting used to. We do telesurveys by the way, and I was the main man for keying in data into the computers and generating numbers for my colleagues to call up.
Prom night was dealt with promptly too. Nothing too fancy, just classmates with make-up and fancy dresses. No pictures right now, unfortunately. All I can say was my performance was not worth it. I hate my band. I'm disbanding. Nuff said.
Currently searching for a spot at the SITEX convention. newspaper ads aren't doing very well at the moment, it would seem that my first interview with a minor comp accessory company had failed (woman promised to call me back the next afternoon to confirm my spot, either that or she forgot), so I'm gunning for another one that only goes for 4 days at the exhibition instead of the full 3. Now I know how hard it is to get a job (that everybody else wants as well).
If you're reading this, you most probably chanced upon this blog, either by mistake or by Blogger-surfing. I say that because I'm pretty unimpressed at how unpopular my blog is. It seems as though nobody's reading it at all (or, at least, nobody who's got a Blogger account and can pass comments). My faith and commitment to this blog is slowly fading, and at this rate I'm getting too lazy to even post pictures. Whatever it is, I still have the will to type. And that's all I need.
I wish animeblogger would hurry up with my support ticket. I'm still having problems with my account and they don't seem to care. I have links at various other blogsites but it doesn't really matter cos no one's clicking. It's very depressing, this all is. I can't do any anime or Japan-related blogging while it's still awaiting support (yes, I'll be changing the name and theme of this blog too).
I'm still committed to my other commitments, though. It's a good thing a new gym opened up within my residential district. It's not a good thing it's only open at night.. My story's coming up very nicely too. But at this rate I'll need to put it more hours so I can get it done... As for the plot... A Singaporean guy living in Japan. FYI, my blog was inspired by this story, not the other way around. Even though I created this blog first, I had the story forming in my mind way before.
Speaking of which, I have a lot of things forming in my mind which I find very hard to conceive into action. Well, that's cos I'm lazy. Good thing I know it, so I can find ways to solve this problem. Too bad I'm lazy, so I don't feel like doing anything to help my laziness at all. See the conflict here?
I've decided to get myself a new graphics card for this computer too. Looks like I can't install any more games on the laptop without getting screwed up by my mummy. Beh. GeForce 8600 sounds good... Wonder if I could pick it up at SITEX, too.
I still have my quiet self-thinking times, and whenever I do I always think about myself in relation to the world. I used to be confident in my upcoming O level results, but after all that 'I don't believe you' crap from my dad, I'm starting to use these quiet times to worry about my O levels instead. Not healthy. Also, I still get envious of people at better positions than me, in terms of popularity, skill or even money (not quoting names). I keep thinking of ways to make myself special, to make myself admired. Yes, I'm an attention seeker, and it was all derived from that precocious thinking of mine when I was very young that went something like 'it's my life, I control it, so I want it to be special'. That's why I'm usually always the oddball of the lot, and people tend to want to make fun of my attempts to be different. They may laugh at me for being different, but I laugh at all of them for being the same.
Ah, whatever. Enough said. Time for a serious workout.
Wednesday, November 14
Yup, it's official. It came and went, so quickly that I'm left asing, "what, already?"
Overall, the exams were quite breezy. The subjects weren't too hard, except for geography and perhaps Physics (surprisingly). English went well, I made sure not to go off-topic this time. My A. Math levels have improved a lot too.
Now that the exams are done and the holidays are at hand, it's time for me to set out to do what I've been planning to do since months ago. In fact, I sorta dreaded the end of exams, because I'm left to pack my schedules with all sorta stuff, mostly tedious work which I'd hate to embark on, though I very must have set my mind to doing. The list is as follows:
1. GET A JOB. (during exams, I compete against my peers in academics. After exams, I compete with them once again for job vacancies)
2. Revive my BF2142 account (currently getting the new patch).
3. Revive my PangYa! account.
4. Remove the excess baggage round my tummy.
5. Build up some bulk on my arms and torso.
6. Fix and get started with my animeblogger account (still awaiting a reply from the staff to my support ticket).
7. Watch and review some anime (Goshusho sama Ninomiya kun and such).
8. Get me some PVC figurines (targeting Minase Nayuki from Kanon and Asakura Ryoko from SHnY).
9. Write a few short stories / novellas (aiming for three).
10. Build a personal custom-built desktop computer.
By the way, this is the first post I'm making on this blog using my new Lenovo Laptop computer. Mom bought it about a week ago. It's even more advanced than my existing desktop computer that's about three years old already. Runs on Vista, 1GB of RAM, Nvidia graphics, and Intel Centrino duo.
speaking of new stuff, I also happen to have a new Sony Ericcson K530i. I've long since been a supporter of Sony Ericsson, and since I didn't want to spend a hundred bucks or so for a Walkman 880i, I went for the $0 K530i model instead (comes with student plan). The cool thing about my plan is that can finally use a mobile device to access the Internet. At the moment, I'm using it as a Feed Reader for dannychoo.com.
Pictures of them up soon.
Friday, October 19
My animeblogger.net account is finally open (it runs on Wordpress, by the way. Something I'm not used to utilizing)! It's new and still under construction at the moment, but I promise to clear it up as soon as my O's are over (which will officially be on the 13th of November, though I expect to have a bit of free time before then). Once that's done, I'll commence with my Anime Review posts, starting with a non-mainstream ecchi anime I've just gotten acquainted to (thanks very much to Danny Choo). It's so non-mainstream that not enough info about it is up on Wikipedia yet.
Revisions for the O's are going smoothly. So smoothly I'm beginning to worry if I hadn't been putting in enough effort yet. True enough, I haven't (or so it seems). I can still afford to go arcade-ing and cycling round the park in the afternoons (it's consultation period now, graduating students taking the O's don't need to go to school, they studying wherever they like). And I keep telling myself it's cos I've got a schedule at hand and that freed up a lot of space for leisure, when actually, in the first place, my study hours to leisure hours ratio is alarmingly small.
See how efficient it is to be spotting your own mistakes? Would've been better if I were more pro-active and less lazy, then perhaps those mistakes could be more quickly resolved.
Recently I find myself unable to sleep well at night. I would toss and turn in my bed from eleven pm till 2 am plus, and wake up only after eight in the morning. A cause of worry for me as most of my exams would be starting from 8 am onwards. And it would be during the times of insomnia that I would start thinking about all kinds of things, like how successful people like Danny Choo or even Darkmirage are and how I'd wanna be like them, or plot ideas for potential stories forming in my head, perhaps even stuff that I plan to do after the exams (believe me, there's a lot in mind right now). I never think about studies, unless I had forced myself to get up, sit at my desk and attempt a few more Ten Years' Series papers (done that a few times now, at least it felt satisfying and tired my brains out).
It's been getting very rainy and cold recently. Either because the monsoon season's setting in or the effects of Global Warming are finally taking effect. Increased temperatures in Earth could cause increasingly heavy torrents in tropical areas, which might lead to flooding in Coastal and low-lying lands, so says Nat Geo magazines and Geography textbooks. Not that it really matters to me, but the rainy weather had gotten me wearing pyjamas in the house more often, and had once caused me to crash into another bicycle while cycling back home through Central Park in the rain because it severely limited my visibility and handling and breaking abilities. Ugh.
Now that I have a proper blog for anime and otaku-related stuff, this blog right here may very well revert back to its blogskin-dot-com layouts...
Tuesday, September 18
In all my 73 posts on this blog so far, I have a grand total of 11 comments. Among 4 different posts. The fact that my blog isn't getting as much popularity as I want it to is concerning.
Most recently I've done a revamp of this blog, casting off non-user-friendly elements from the usual blogskins.com templates and reverting to the good old Blogger, which is easy for both navigating and template-editing. I've done the best I could to include as many special features as possible. Most importantly, I've been getting my site linked on fellow bloggers' sites like dannychoo.com and darkmirage.com. If you're having trouble getting traffic to your site you might want to try this strategy as well.
Very soon I'll be shifting sites to be hosted under animeblogger.net, as I'm planning to get my blog anime-themed as well. The animeblogger.net URL and the templates they provide are just the thing.
Whatever it is, this blog will be mostly left alone over the past two or so months (doesn't matter, since nobody's reading) while I continue my studies and find more time for other online commitments like watching anime.
Sunday, September 9
It has been going on around me for the longest time now, and it only hit me recently that it's becoming more than just a pseudo-religion to me.
A glance around my table at any given time I am at home will show these:
Pasted on the front. I got the picture on the left from a recent anime convention. Pretty decent fanart.
My document file, which I carry around with me in school. I never put it in my school bag.
Inside the back cover of my file (something wrong with uploading)
Beneath the shelf. Comes with the novelty products I buy from Comics Connection. May not be official merchandise, but I'm fine with it all the same.
Something related. Back cover of my file.
Now you know.
There was an incident a few days ago, as I was cycling home after a jamming session with my friends (no, we only do VK Rock). Another cyclist passed by me as I went down the roadside walkway. From a stereo system somewhere around him, a Walkman Phone perhaps, came the familiar guitar riff from Haruhi's God Knows. I immediately stopped the bike and watched him as he zoomed off behind me. I even had the urge to follow him. No, it's all involuntary.
This is of grave concern. It's starting to overtake me, Haruhi-ism.
I have to be frank with you. Personally, I dislike Haruhi. As I read the novels in the Baka-Tsuki translation site, I can't help but agree with Kyon about her selfish and eccentric behaviour. Eccentric I don't mind, but I detest selfishness in people, especially because I have a brother who tends to be self-centred too, at times (no, I love him very much as a brother, thank you). I fully support the statement "she believes the whole world revolves around her" because I used to use that quote on my brother too. But every time I look her pictures, at her deep yellow eyes, naturally angry eyebrows, yellow hair bow, and North High winter seifuku, I can't help but think, "y'know, she's actually just a normal high school girl who has a different perspective of the world (like me, but I view the world in a better sense :P )." "And she's so darn cute."
Most recently I had my preliminary examinations in school. We had to take it in the hall, which had 8 cooler fans and 10 normal fans, along with plenty of ventilation. But I felt like roast chicken in there. Rather, my hands. They were so sweaty I left moisture all over my pen, I almost smudged the ink on my paper, and left marks all over the desk. Bleh.
Today poured heavily after school (we had Geography today, by the way. I never expected it to be so easy). I had to pay up for my orders for the class photographs, and had to run home in the rain (humming Endless Rain by X-Japan as I did so), grab and umbrella (a huge Taylormade one, big enough to shelter three people but leave their ankles sopping wet) and my bike, and head for the bank to withdraw money from my savings. Along the way I escorted two classmates (I don't get what's so special about sharing an umbrella with a girl. maybe that's cos I was pushing my bike in between) to their blocks, good thing it was along the way. My shins down were wet, sure enough, along with the whole left side of my uniform (the umbrella wasn't big enough for three people and a bicycle, apparently). After securing the payment I accompanied another two more to their houses, and along the way back home I passed by the school gate and admitted a whole bunch of about 6 random people running down the carpark to the opposite side of the road.
It felt really great, being Good Samaritan for the day. Every day I try to assimilate myself into Japanese culture (OMG Geek lulz), and Japanese culture includes willingness to go out of one's way to help others. It was no problem for me as I'm naturally a very generous and helpful person, even before I decided to start acting like a Japanese.
The best part was it was Friday. I had no worries wetting my uniform pants or my shoes. While I walked I noticed that Singapore walkways tend to hold a lot of water in them. Stamping in the pavement produces a splash that reaches my knees. I was reminded of my childhood days when I used to play in the rain in my raincoat and Wellington boots. Ah, the nostalgia.
The songs I'm listening to at the moment are from the SuzuHaru character soundtracks. Asahina-san's Toki no Puzzle and Nagato-san's Yuki, Muon, Madobe Nite. and Haruhi-san's Parallel Days are my favourites. Also, while searching for translations of said songs and other Japanese songs in my playlist (I tend to do that all the time. I find that Japanese songs have a lot of feeling and meaning in their lyrics), I couldn't help but notice that 'Lost My Music' has a lot of relation with a love story I'm currently working on (yes, I still find time for these things during the exam period).
Speaking of which, I was really influenced by The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi when I read it that I wanted to write a fanfiction (haven't done so in a long time as I had ingrained in my mind the fact that fanfiction is stupid) on SuzuHaru where the characters take on each other's roles. Imagine an eccentris Kyon, an Emo Haruhi, a forever-smiling Nagato, a silent, inpervious Mikuru, and most importantly, a timid but awesomely pretty Itsuki. But I find it scary to imagine Kyon ambushing Itsuki and getting him to cosplay... *shudder*
More stuff about Japan soon. Meanwhile, thank you for relieving Japan of your problems, Abe-sama, and do your very best, Rozen Aso-sama.