I Am Back with A Poem (Blog Update)

I’m back. Still adjusting to new environment. But to keep my blog on schedule and because this is somewhat of a poetry/ gamer’s diary/unconventional review blog (its existence serves as a dialogue between two people to keep myself from talking to myself once upon a time in downtown Seattle), I wrote a poem for my re-entry to posting weekly, which was on a Monday 12:00 A.M Pacific Time (excluding this post) to be exact. Moving forward, changing it to Monday 12:00 A.M Central Time. I like to be on the dot. Please enjoy this poem I wrote on a whim.

Is There Fall in the Midwest? by Halsdoll

Like an arrow, I go.

Like moths flapping towards

A glow.

The sun pops;

It explodes.

Summer is almost gone

But still hot

And fall won’t come

gradually…

No.

Here, in the Midwest

the light

switch off or on

Cold.

***

The Midwest is now home because that is where my partner is. It’s different from where I grew up but it’s a nice change in pace and it’s not so bad minus the heat. Hence, why I wrote the poem. The good news though is that it’s a lot quieter than the city life surely. Noise pollution should be a crime. Now I wake up to hearing birds and not ambulance siren, which means I can write more! Peace and quiet is how I like it. I don’t know if this place will be my final destination. Never in my wildest dreams thought I’d end up here. One day…maybe I’ll return to the rain and the hills next to the sea or retire up in the mountains and become a mountain woman with working internet signal. I got to keep this blog rolling after all because I am here for the long haul.

At the moment, I am still playing Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin, reading Persuasion by Jane Austen and watching Twin Peaks with my partner for the first time. As I mentioned before, so many content to consume with so little time apart from having bazillion other hobbies such as cooking. That’s why my gaming backlog is small. Still have yet to complete Mass Effects, Dragon Age, Tales of Xilia for the PS3 and some indies games I bought on Steam, which I may never get around to. I like to take the time to appreciate a piece of work and play them thoroughly. It’s much more rewarding than just buying and never consuming it. Perhaps that’s why many of us create blog in the first place because we have an overwhelming amount of things to consume which takes us away from having a social life or many of us just want to be lost in our own thoughts and hope someone would listen to us? I mean this blog is conversational for a reason even though I don’t expect readers to engage with me in the comment section. My goal is to make the reader think. Thinking is what make people, people right? Part of the reason why I take the time to appreciate a piece of work is for thinking purposes. It benefits both the consumer and the creator. Making things to make money is death to both the creator and the consumer. That’s my personal take on creative works. Anyway…

I like to keep my promise. Coming up is my reflective review on Taxi Driver (2017) directed by Jang Hoon. Until next time, I leave you folks with a photograph of my moving trip. Yellowstone Park was beautiful minus the tourists like me. So I tried to take pictures with no people in it.

More than a nice stroll in the park

Empresses in the Palace (2011) Review: A Political Cat Fight Tale at Its Finest

What a series. Unfortunately I didn’t get to experience the full blown story as the one on Amazon has been condensed and cut. There is a total of 76 episodes. The Amazon Prime only has 6 episodes and they are 1:30 hour long per episode. That means I got to go hunt for the complete series if I want a detailed story.

(I found the series here for streaming on Youtube, but I’d like to get a DVD copy myself.)

Typically, I’m not too fond of Chinese political show because historic fiction sounds pretty dry but this one took me by surprise. This show, based on a novel written by Liu Lianzi, directed by Zheng Xiolong, involves a story about the politics among the concubines who vie for the emperor’s affection. The show slowly unravels the treacherous journey that one most undergo to obtain and protect the power over others by following the eyes of Zhen Huan, an innocent young woman who wishes to marry the finest man and love him devotely but found herself thrown into a destiny against her own wish when she got selected to be one of the emperor’s concubines.

In this show, I watched a detailed rationality of each character’s motivation for power. They are all humans with their own personality and quirks. Everyone is fighting for the emperor’s affection in this seemingly harmonious palace which is far from peaceful. I don’t know which is better–live life as a hungry peasant or sleep in constant fear that someone would silently kill me in my comfortable chamber. I think I’d prefer to be the hungry peasant. Fighting a war with words can be mentally exhausting.

One thing I enjoyed about this show is that there are so many topics and point of views you can extract from this series–just the characters alone. One that stood out to me the most is the topic on loyalty and flattery on how it works as a weapon and when it’s appropriate to deploy it as a mean to protect oneself. The protagonist Zhen Huan demonstrated it well, although in the end it just shows how terrifying human beings can be even the utmost righteous one. She won the favor of the emperor out of all the concubines where she acted out as self-preservation instead of love. After all, it’s the emperor who took the one thing she wanted most out of life and that is to love her husband devotely. Hard to remain loyal when he can turn his back on his cherished cocucubines at the slightest slander which eventually will turn them into a mad swine. You can argue that Zhen Huan is the type of female archtype that makes women look powerful but also sympathetically feminine. She is a benevolent leader but also a terrifying one and above all, realistically human.

Empresses in the Palace is series worth watching because it explores human emotions even the darkest one in a political setting. One always ends up alone in the pursuit of political security. After all, one can never know one’s true destiny until death is near and like the sand, the things we grasp would slip away from our hand. Overall, strong ending. Strong conclusion.

P.S

I might write a full essay on one of the topics on this series in the future for fun. I liked it that much.

After the Rain Review: Chase After Your Dream

When I first skimmed over the description for this anime, I giggled to myself– it’s about a 17-year old girl infatuated with a 45-year old man who is a manager at a family restaurant called Garden. What is the likeness of that happening? We know that Japanese men are notorious for enjoying the company of high school girls, but to make a show out of it, it’s kind of comical, but I was wrong. To my surprise, this is a very wholesome anime with a good feel to it. It’s more than just emotions and admiration for one another.

Akira Tachibana quit the track team due to her injury. She starts developing feelings for her manager where she works at a restaurant as a waitress. He’s clumsy, but nice and clearly not the best looking guy. However, there’s something captivating about him which made Tachibana chases after him throughout the show, until it is revealed what sort of person he really is.

This anime has a simple plot, but it’s filled with depth when it comes to dealing with human emotions and self-discovery. Even though I can’t say for myself that I have ever been in Tachibana shoes where I chase after my superior for a date, I have in my college years admired my literature professor for his use of words and his thought process. In fact he is the one who made me fell in love with writing and poetry. Not everyone is a gifted but humble writer, so it’s hard not to be captivated when you get the opportunity to meet one.

For my final thoughts, the proper use of colors does something to the senses so the animation is very soothing and attractive to look at. Overall, it’s an enjoyable anime if you want something light and full of colors with a positive message about not giving up in one’s dream no matter where we are in our lives. Aren’t we all born to do what we love? I think that is what matter most in life is to remain true to one’s essence.