Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Randy Johnson's 300th Win Part VI: The Aftermath

Wow. I was originally planning on getting this section done by January, but I got lazy, and so now rather than doing this piece 6 months since the big event, I'll be writing about it on the first anniversary. Of course, that's probably more apt, because not only is the one year anniversary more powerful than 6 months, it also allows us to have a vaster outlook at what has happened since the game in my life, in Randy Johnson's career and in the world of 300 game winners. If I was a good writer, I'd be able to put the event in a historical perspective as a satisfactory coda, but since I'm not, it's going to be a jumbled mess where I talk about what happened after the game, what happened over the rest of Randy Johnson's career, my fanatic memorabilia collecting, and the future of the 300-win milestone.

Or the Complete Story of How I Got to See One of the Greatest Milestones in the History of the Game

Part I: The Introduction
Part II: The Player
Part III: The Set-Up
Part IV: The Rainout
Part V: The Game
Part VI: The Aftermath

Or What Happened in the Year After Randy Johnson's 300th Win

Monday, March 01, 2010

Best Animated Short Nominees - 2009

I can't believe it's been almost a whole month since the Academy Award nominees were announced. The award ceremony is less than a week away! Last year at around this time, I wrote about the nominees for my favorite category - Best Animated Short. The delay last year was because it just took me that long to watch all five nominees. (Eventual winner La Maison en Petits Cubes was hard to watch because ROBOT is very active in removing copies of the film on YouTube, and I had to resort to buying the DVD online. I ordered it shortly after the nominees were announced, and it didn't arrive until the week before the Oscars. It was well worth it.) This year, the Academy announced the shortlist back in November, so I had an early start in watching the nominees. I eventually got to see all of the nominees only a year after the nominees were announced. However, I just didn't bother to write this review. One reason is because the category just isn't too exciting this year.

The major Oscar storyline this year is the race between box office champ Avatar and critics/guilds darling The Hurt Locker (with Inglourious Basterds hanging in the wings as a dark horse). The Best Animated Short race was pretty much over the moment the shortlist was announced back in November. And to be honest, this list of nominees is kind of disappointing. One thing about having the shortlist is that it reveals the films the Academy COULD have nominated but didn't, and frankly the list of snubs are more interesting than the list of nominees. For example, the Academy passed on Pixar's Partly Cloudy. I know that Pixar's shorts haven't been as good as their feature films (a fact evident in the fact only three of their films have won despite nine nominations), but I felt certain it would get a nomination. The Academy also passed on films by two prior nominees: Cordell Barker's Runaway and Tomek's Baginski's The Kinematograph.* Finally, the most unforgiveable snub was that of Australia's The Cat Piano, a fine film you can still see on their website (and I definitely encourage you to watch it), and my favorite of the films I've seen on the shortlist.

*Barker was previously nominated for The Cat Came Back (1988) and Strange Invaders (2001). Baginski was nominated for Katedra (2002).

Anyways, I digress. While the nominees are not ideal, I don't want to detract you from seeing them. So let's move on to the reviews.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Heart-Melters Gallery: The 5th Anniversary Director's Cut

A History of the Heart-Melters Gallery Five years ago today, February 28, 2005, I posted one of my most seminal works of mindless rambling: The Heart-Melters Gallery. The 8,000-word collection of nonsensical sentences and vapid gushings took a look at the eight animated females that had effectively "melted" my heart. I was driven to write this piece because in late February of 2005, I was absolutely smitten with Kaho, a character from Sister Princess. It was then that I made the realization that I had a history of being attracted to female characters from different artistic media (animation, video game, comic). I then made the decision to write about my fascination with each of these "Heart Melters," and to post it on NSider. I began work on February 25, and after a busy weekend that included being a crew member for Han West's Loss of Life and missing the Academy Awards to show Dolls for OffScreen (a masterpiece for director Takeshi Kitano, but an utter failure for composer Joe Hisaishi), I finally finished the thread on the early morning of February 28.

The premise behind The Heart-Melters Gallery was quite simple. I did a profile on each Heart-Melter in a chronological order by when it started, going from Misty (1999) to Kaho (2005). For each character I penned a mini-biography, how I became attracted to them, and a general history of the period of my attraction - which I called the "Age of the Heart-Melter." At the very end I included a couple of pictures of the Heart-Melter. I "inducted" two more Heart-Melters a year later.

The Heart-Melters Gallery was, in my mind, an instantaneous success. It generated a good number of replies, and also opened up a new avenue to prove just how delightfully screwed up my romantic life is. However, since I already knew the story behind each and every Heart-Melter, I never really went back to read the original thread. In 2008, I created a new list ranking the Heart-Melters by strength, and went about reposting the Heart-Melters Gallery in the new order. It was then that I went back and read the originals, and realized that they were a bunch of garbled junk. It kind of made sense, since I was so focused on getting my thoughts down before Monday of that busy, busy weekend that I didn't give a hoot about prose. So I began to completely re-write the entries when I posted the new entries, replacing the small gallery with a justification of the rankings.

The original The Heart-Melters Gallery featured all eight Heart-Melters in a single thread. So on this the fifth anniversary of the original thread, I've decided to post the ten new entries in their new order all at once. So if you haven't read them, you won't have to go anywhere else to see them. (Of course, you could do the same on my blogspot, because for some reason the site displays ENTIRE entries, which is a bother when I wrote over 30,000 words about Randy Johnson's 300th win.) The only difference is this introduction, which will probably end up being just as incoherent as the original, because I'm writing both under essentially similar circumstances. So without further ado: The Heart-Melters

The Heart-Melters Gallery takes a look at the ten fictional females that melted my heart. Each entry contains a biography as well as a look at the character's influence on my life (basically how they became a Heart-Melter) as well as the Age of the Heart-Melter (essentially what happened during my attraction period). In the end I discussed the character's rankings.

The ranking is based on a very unprofessional system where I ranked the Heart-Melter on

  • Strength: The strength of attraction during their respective Ages
  • Time: The length of the attraction
  • Recurrence: The amount of attraction I had towards said character after the end of their respective Ages.
To create the ranking, I took the ranks of the Heart-Melter in each category, and then summed them. The order is based on the sum, with lower being better. In case of a tie, the ranking in Strength serves as a tie-breaker.