Monday, September 28, 2009

Catch-up and Minneapolis, Day One!

Sorry for the critical lack of updates. I've been extremely busy and hectic. The main problem is that I'm simply too tired at night to update, which sucks. But I have to update at night, or else other things can happen after I make my post, which would also suck. So it's kind of a catch-22.

Also, this was supposed to be posted yesterday.

Nothing of real note happened on Thursday, aside from the fact that I was yet again really, really happy that I was in University Band.

About that class: I'm finding myself playing things that I never thought I'd be able to play well before, despite purposefully leaving my music in one of the cubbies in the music room and not practicing it at home (which I'm not allowed to do anyway). One of the songs we're doing is this rather fast march in 6/8 time; because no director wants to conduct in six, they conduct in two instead, rendering the eighth notes as triplets (and the notes are bridged together in groups of three to help this). So it's a rather fast march with eighth notes that are rather fast triplets. And yet I didn't have any problems with it. Hell, I'm not having many problems at all with all of the music, despite the fact that I've only had a few weeks with them, tops.

I think this is partly due to the fact that, no offense Durango High concert band, I'm in a group with people better or as good as me, which kind of rubs off. Our rehearsals sound absolutely wonderful, even though it's practice and we may not be playing the song absolutely perfectly. I always feel extremely happy when I play with this group and I feel really uplifted after rehearsal.


On Friday, something bizarre happened. After getting back from the obligatory high woodwind sectional (there was no marching band that day), I came back home and got on the computer. Strangely, G.I. Jane wasn't around, and I hadn't seen her all day. She mentioned something about training somewhere over the weekend for ROTC, but she didn't mention anything about leaving on Friday - I was under the impression that she was leaving on Saturday, not Friday . This posed a problem when I exited my room to go to the bathroom and found myself locked out of my own room. The instant I closed the door, I found out what I did, because I caught a fleeting glimpse of my keys hanging around the inside door knob as I did so.
That really, really sucked. I sat outside of my door for a while, cursing my luck, because none of the RAs seemed to be around to let me in. Eventually, after about half an hour or so, two girls from a room three doors away from mine passed me on the way to the first floor and asked what was going on. After telling them what happened, they said something along the lines of "That sucks...wanna go to Wal-Mart with us?". Of course, I accepted, because I will seize the opportunity to go shopping for stuff I need if I have transportation to the store. At Wal-Mart, I was able to get a down jacket (for $15!!!), which I chose after I asked them if it was thick enough to be a viable winter coat and big enough to fit things under it. I also picked up some flossers and, of course, my obligatory Poke'mon booster pack. Legends Awakened series, got a holographic Kyogre and a Groudon (finally!). I opened the packaging before I thought about taking a picture, so you'll never to see it whole in my hands, haha.


Geez, I've been wanting to get this and Groudon for ages now! Also, sorry for the blurriness.

When we got back, though, none of the RAs were around. We tried to fix this by killing more time somewhere else. Every Friday and Saturday night, there is an event that goes on at the Memorial Union by the name of Nightlife, in which movies are shown (that's how Sam and I saw Up and Star Trek a few weeks ago), crafts are made, and general fun is to be had. Tonight, one of the things they were doing was painting flower pots and getting our own plant.


Recognize the art direction?


Inspired heavily by Okami. See, there's a Guardian Sapling right there, and the sun...


Here's the plant I chose. Reminds me of Vegas.

...of course, I realized yesterday that I have no idea what to do with it when I come to Las Vegas in the winter.

When we got back, the RAs were still not back yet. A good hour was spent trying to call anyone, but to no avail. The Residence Hall Director for this dorm had left her phone in her room - this I found out after trying to call it while I was standing outside of her door and I heard it ringing. And no one else was picking up on the other phones, despite me calling them at least seven times.
Which left me out of luck. I spent the next two and a half hours working on a five-hundred-piece jigsaw puzzle that the dorm was collectively working on in passing in the lounge. When one of the RAs was finally found, it was midnight. At that time, I was too damn tired to make a blog post like I originally planned, especially since I had to get up at six for the Honors trip, the first day of which happened yesterday. More on that now.


Yesterday, we started our trip in Honors. My day started with me getting up at six in the morning so I could get ready and pack. I wanted to leave at 7, but ended up leaving at 7:30. Oddly, my suitcase seemed as full as it was for the Texas Tech trip, despite the fact that we were only staying in a hotel for one night and the bus ride was only five hours one-way.
It was really foggy as we left, which was a sight to behold. There is no fog in Las Vegas, only crappy air quality caused by cars and the like and dust because of construction.

Remember that Neon Genesis Evangelion boxed set that my friend let me borrow? I finally put it to great use on the bus. Granted, I could only watch four or so episodes (23 or minutes long each) before my battery was close to death, but it was damn worth it. Sometimes things that are famous or popular are overrated, like Halo. But other times, it's easy to see why it is so. Case in point, Evangelion, which is unbelievably freaking awesome as of the ninth episode I've watched (out of 26 or so). One of things that stuns me about it is how great the animation is - especially since this was 1994 and they really didn't have ultra-advanced computer programs to animate for them. The animation is unbelievably fluid. I also like the characters - say what you will about Shinji, but I really don't see the "emo kid" stereotype that people always foist upon him in popular culture. JUST BECAUSE HE HAS MENTAL PROBLEMS DOESN'T MEAN HE'S EMO, OK? LEAVE SHINJI ALOOOONE!

...

Also, the Evas? Freaking awesome. Giant biomechanical monstrous humanoids...so damn cool.

I also started noticing some similarities between Evangelion and Persona 3, to the point where, instead of thinking that Persona 3 was one big seinen anime homage, it's one big Evangelion homage. Psychologically messed up protagonist? Check. Periodically spawning masked mega creatures that are the bane of humanity? Check. Protagonists are the only characters that can kill said creatures? Check. Said weapon to kill said creatures induces psychological trauma? Check. Psychological and religious motifs? Check. Protagonists have parent issues? Check. Main character's "weapon" goes berserk and tears apart the first enemy it faces? Check. See the pattern? That's why so many people like to post "Personagelion" videos on YouTube.

Speaking of Evangelion...


Amusingly enough, this is actually better than the anime, despite coming out after it. Furthermore, it's actually left-to-right.

One of the first things we did was go to this place called Uptown or something along those lines. I think it's an old-school shopping district.


Old-school.


You can vaguely see the McDonald's there.


Look at those fluffy clouds. Wait, what do you mean "what fluffy clouds?". THOSE RIGHT THERE, DUMMY.

There was this store called BookSmart, which was this small bookstore in Uptown with a manga section that had a lot of older and harder-to-find titles in it. Like Evangelion, which I luckily found while I was over there.


It was apparently established in 1992, which makes it only one year younger than me.


Look at how nice the interior is! It has a basement, too.


A reaaaally blurry picture of the English-translated mangas on a shelf. If you squint, you can see Neon Genesis Evangelion Volume 5. It's practically right in the middle.

There was also a bunch of manga in their original Japanese. Too bad that there was no Persona manga, though. Can you say "bragging rights"?


No, I can't read 99% of that. Too many kanji. Fifth from the left, though, spells "Kyararii Fiaku" in katakana (at least, if I'm reading it correctly from my crappy little picture), which means it's supposed to spell something that's not Japanese. Too bad I can't figure out what that something is.

After checking my bank balance online via my phone, I bought the damn manga (they didn't have #2, they only had #1, 5, and 6) and headed to the local GameStop. I've had my eye on Poke'mon Battle Revolution for the Wii for a while now, and as a souvenir, I wanted to finally get it. So I did, but not before agonizing over Muramasa: The Demon Blade. I want that game so badly - it's like Odin Sphere (which was one of my favorite games, and was made by the same developers as this one) on steroids with Metroid's exploration and Okami's art direction. Baaaah. But I really wanted Poke'mon Battle Revolution, too, because I wanted to kick the asses of random people online and test the skills of myself and my EV-trained Poke'mon - plus, it was cheaper.

After standing around for a little bit, we got back on the bus and headed to the hotel, which happened to be next to the University of Minnesota's (a huge hockey rival of ours) gigantic outdoor (nyeeeeeeh! *sticks tongue out*) football stadium. We only had twenty minutes, so I took the opportunity to switch out my bright red jacket with my more form-fitting black one and plug in my laptop so it could charge.
Oh, I've yet to tell you why we're going on this trip in the first place, right? Well, the main reason is because we're seeing The Importance of Being Earnest in an actual theater instead of simply reading it. Secondary reason being so we could go to what was currently our next destination, Chino Latino, which is a rather over-the-top restaurant.

Let me elaborate.

The interior of this place is impressive, for one.


The outside of the place, looking in.


Inside, looking at the downstairs.


Those are all candles.

We were all grouped together at large tables that were close together. Since there was about forty of us, special arrangements were made. Basically, in succession, they brought out an assortment of appetizers, dinners, and desserts for each table. Three appetizers, three dinners, two desserts.

While we were waiting for our food, the guys and I at the table (there were just guys at this table besides myself, heh) just talked about random stuff. It was funny, because anytime the conversation switched to anime, only me and one other person could actually have a conversation about it and follow it. Which resulted in a ban on it. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool getting to talk to people comfortably.
When the food arrived...


Appetizers! Wow, my mouth's watering just looking at this.


SEAFOOOOOOD!

...let's just say that it was very good.

Especially notable was the dessert. Specifically, the one where there was a flaming bowl that you would use to roast marshmallows on wooden stakes. Ok, ok, so we were supposed to make s'mores, but when you're someone who has NEVER had a roasted marshmallow before, none of the other stuff matters. The macademia nuts were yummy, though.


Yuuuuummmm. Boys being boys, they opted to burn the wooden sticks after we finished the food. For fun.

After we got the last of our food, we also got fortune cookies. Except these fortunes were the most mean-spirited little suckers ever. Someone literally got one that said "This was made in a country where child labor isn't illegal." I got...


Fuck you too, fortune!

...of course, I demanded a new fortune. There were two extra fortune cookies on the table and I got the last one. I opened it up and got...


WHAT THE FUCK?!

...onto a new subject. To see this play, we went to this huge and completely confusing theater (named the Guthrie Theater).


Here's the ticket.


Twice.

According to the program we got...


It's very...flowery.

...Lady Bracknell's actress guest starred in Star Trek at some point. She really does look familiar, I wonder where I've seen her.


Recognize her?

The acting was great, and the humor of the play makes a LOT more sense and is actually funny when actually played by actors. It was suitably overdramatic. The only thing that could've made it better would've been if Patrick Stewart played someone. Oh, it also helped that we had really, really good seats.


Keep in mind that my cameraphone does NOT have a zoom feature.


Other people in the theater.

I mean, REALLY good seats.

Afterwards, we went back to the hotel room, and we had all the free time we wanted, despite it being 9 PM or so at the time. I was too energized to sleep, but too tired to make a competent blog post. Not to mention that the internet there was really, really slow. REALLY slow. Dial-up slow. Also, I found out that the entire CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS has its own Wi-Fi network. There was literally a network called "city of Minneapolis". I couldn't connect to it, though. I think the distance was too great - I was on the 6th floor, after all.

Around midnight or so, I finally went to sleep. And that was the last event of that day.

Next post will have the second day!

...on a miscelleaneous note, Minneapolis has a lot of really nice bridges, and Las Vegas would go green with envy at how nice their downtown is.


Yeah, it's slanted, so sue me. I was on a BUS.

1 comment:

Christina LMT said...

OMG, Silver...I loled so many, many times reading this! You crack me up. :)

I'm so glad you had a great trip, sorry about the locked-out-of-your-room thing...but I bet you learned your lesson, huh?

I'm also very, very glad you take so much pleasure and get so much satisfaction from your music. I hope you never lose that feeling.