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I’m a little late to the "Fringe" party. A case of the flu left me the chance to catch up. I blew through the first season in four days and I’m on to the second. To my intense instinctual outrage there was a new female character.

Now, I look on new male characters with a similar suspicion, but they never bring out the urge to growl as much as females do. I happen to love female characters when they’re done well. I’ve been burned by television, YA novels, and anime before with a number of vacuous holes they called heroines. As a result, I’m very choosy when it comes to my female character. For the most part if a female character is introduced in the first novel or season, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s always a lot harder to introduce any new character when the ball is already rolling.

Olivia Dunham, the main point of view character for the first season of Fringe, did not disappoint. She had a lot of personal drama that crossed over into her business life but it didn’t seem to overtake her perspective of cases. She was also a bad ass at combat while the main male characters were more the brainy types. Refreshing change there.

First episode of season 2 leaves Olivia brain dead and has a little upstart NY cop in her place, trying to investigate and join the Fringe Division. Immediately I was on guard.

Was this chick going to join the team? Try to replace Olivia? Mack on Peter?

Rest of the rant is under the cutCollapse )

Book Report: Vintage

"Vintage" by Steve Berman

I picked up “Vintage” when reading an article about the lack of good gay/lesbian young adult fiction. This is a great example of the genre.

The narrator of “Vintage” is a teen whose personal life is in an upset. Remember all the angsty poetry? Don’t lie. I know you’ve written some.

After being outed as gay to his parents and half his hometown, he finds refuge in a creepy little town in New Jersey where he makes friends with a girl interested in all things macabre. Their favorite pastime is dressing up and going to funerals. Until he discovers that the dead can hear his voice...

When he meets the wanderer of highway 47, he thinks having an attractive dead guy’s attention is exciting, but as his encounters with spirits intensify, this ghost becomes too much for him to handle alone.

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This read is definitely for older teens and adults due to casual drug use and sexual scenes.

That being said, what I loved about this story was the unapologetic view of the teen experience. There was underage drinking and drug use as casual as I remember from when I was a teenager. There were no “but it’s bad for you” add ins to take away from the authenticity.

The now historic mention of huffing, which peaked in the 1990’s, was a very creative touch.

There was sexual content without it being overwhelming. It didn’t overshadow the rest of the book as it commonly does in romance. This may have had to do with the fact that “Vintage” is also a horror and certain scenes will leave you replaying them in your head after all the lights are off.

I am an avid reader of horror, but even I had to decide not to read a certain scene too close to bedtime. Horrifying rhyming baby dolls do that to me.

Berman’s rules for ghosts and the human mediums they stalk were original and believable. The suspense, horror, and blooming romance kept me turning to the last page.
When I returned from Japan last year my goals were very general. Somehow escape from my parent's house in Plymouth as soon as possible, get a job, and establish a life in the United States that was as exciting as the one I lived as an International English teacher.

It's been over a year now since I moved back to Boston and took a job at a corporate childcare. The 'anniversary' as they call it when you cycle through a year since your hire date frankly scared the crap out of me. You hear it all the time, someone takes a job that they think is only going to be temporary and then they're in their fifties and still miserably there.

I've accomplished a little since I've been back. I went on two dates. I got my certificate in Early Childhood Education (if I am lucky I will never have to use again after I get the hell out of my daycare), and I've sent out about 150 resumes and cover letters. Only a handful of which were personally rejected by form letter.

I realize it's the economy, but damn. I can hardly say I'm a recent college graduate after three years. Pretty soon employers will be seeing me trying to break into publishing as a career switch when I haven't begun a career to begin with.

My hobby right now, besides looking for an escape route, is being a grad school voyeur. I order catalogs from all the schools I want to attend and ogle them at night when I'm too exhausted to do anything but read.

I doubt any loan agency in their right mind would give me the money, but I am working on my essay to get into Simmons. All roads lead to Simmons!

Goodbye Japan Tour, Trip to Hiroshima 2010

Day One – Shinkansen 9-2
Hostel arrival at 3
Restaurants all closed
Conbini food and ‘You’re beautiful’
Walked to Atomic Bomb Dome area for karaoke.


Day Two –
Wake up and shower/bath
Peace park and museum
‘You’re Beautiful’
Bar

Day Three –
Wake up
Garden /Museum
Hiroshima Castle
Naptime

Day Four –
Miyajima!
Met Cat and Adam on the train
Shrine with Deer
Mountain Ropeway
Biggest Rice paddle
Okonomiyaki with everyone


My spring went by about that fast. That's all I had time to scribble in my journal on my last trip with Kate and Erin. It's been a year and a half now since I got back from Japan.

Christmas in Korea 2010, Part 2

Day Eight

The Homestay Korea director emailed me and said I could still do the Homestay, so I decided I wanted to. It was an option between a family with two young daughters or a single girl around our age. If I was alone I probably would have picked the family to experience more of the culture but I figured if I picked the girl we would be making friends and she could show us all the trendy places to go.

I went to the Homestay Korea office to pay alone and get the information. Michelle, Kevin, and the Canadians went to some of the castles we had missed being open the other day. I was a bit annoyed that we had new traveling companions since I hadn’t gotten to know them as well as the others.

After meeting up we went to the Aeon Mall..Collapse )

Christmas in Korea 2010, Part 1

December 23, Day One

Michelle stayed over my house the night before and helped me last minute pack and clean as my Christmas present. Kumi picked us up around 11:30 that morning along with Kate, Mary, and Tony, since we were all flying out from Narita on the same day. Kate was going to New Jersey for Christmas and Mary and Tony to New Zealand. All the luggage just barely fit.

We had lunch with Kate while we waited for our flights since hers had been delayed again and got on our plane at 4:30 in the afternoon. Michelle and I didn’t have seats together so I took out all my books and got ready to be bored and restless for two hours, since that’s how I do on planes. However the girl sitting next to me and I somehow struck up a conversation. She was a Korean expat living in Japan going to visit her family for the first time in two years. She was really nice and taught me my favorite Korean phrase ‘ka ga juseyo’

Give me a discountCollapse )

A Thanksgiving in December

Creepy Vice Principal: 'Does... it... make... you... lonely?'

Me: '??? What?'

VP: 'Not.. understanding.. Japanese.'

Me: '.... =_=+ No.'


Apparently I haven't updated since my computer was reincarnated last month. It took two days to do a full system restore. I love this laptop to death but I could do without the extras for a non-crashing system recovery.
UpdateCollapse )

Computer...

I think most people said they lost the link to my journal so they might not read it anymore but there is something wrong with my computer.

I`m restoring it now but this will be my third attempt so I may be off the grid for a few days. Wish me luck! I really can`t afford a new one.

Halloween in Tokyo!

Kate and I left Kamisu at 11AM on Saturday to catch the bus in to Tokyo. We hadn`t had a lot planned before that morning, but when we were reviewing ourlist of what we wanted to do, we realized that we really did.

Epic HalloweenCollapse )

Halloween Week!

I spent most of lunchtime yesterday trying to convince the kids I had swallowed a bead out of boredom. Yes, I have sunk that low.

Halloween Week I lamented that 'sugoi' can mean both amazing and terrible.Collapse )