Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Trying to finish class stuff, end of Angelic Layer, tag video, Immortal, I got my eighth badge, etc.

Well, there's just the rest of this week, and then next week, and then finals. Then I officially graduate from MiraCosta. I guess I need to do my IGETC Certification and stuff...oh crud just thought of that!

I just checked the IGETC Advising sheet. It says you do the IGETC Certification when you send your final transcript. Although my final transcript's not due at CSUSM till July, I should still do it soon. When I go to school tomorrow, I'll ask.

I have been working hard this week to try to get my work done. I was going to go work today, but I stayed up late last night working on my tag video (more on that later), and so I was really tired. Plus, I got a lot of stuff done yesterday so I am not really behind. Pretty much all I have to finish are my litho/deepbite and my Plexiglas/collage composition. The deepbite will be done somewhat differently than what others are doing cause I wasn't doing the cutting right. Anyway, it's of a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci which the teacher found for me. Here it is:


It's called "A Lily," or (as the site calls it that I got this picture from) "Study of a Lily." My copy of the drawing is in black and white though. It's pretty intricate and was hard to trace onto paper to transfer it to the plate. The first time I traced it, I went all out, trying to trace the shading lines and stuff, but the second time (I had to trace it twice cause I lost my first tracing of it) I stuck to simpler lines.

My Plexiglas/collage composition was initially also going to include a little 6"x0.75" strip of metal plate that I had left over from when my half of my plate (I sold half of the plate to someone else) was cut up. But the writing on it came out backwards when I did a test print, just as the teacher said it would. I told both the T.A. Hollis and Mum about this and they both said I should listen to my teacher. Also what I etched on the Plexiglas came out on the other side of the paper when I did a print, which means I have to rethink where my "collage" bits will go.

So anyway, Plan B! I think I have a way for the composition to still work. I did a layout of what I'm thinking it will look like using Photoshop on one of the school lab computers (because I'm one of those people who doesn't want to pay $700 to buy Photoshop myself):


As you can see, it has an Angelic Layer theme. I was going to do something more academic and artistic, but since it was just something I was doing for fun more than anything else, I decided to just do something fun. Since I've been watching Angelic Layer lately online, I decided to make something related to that show. Hikaru is already etched (I etched my Plexiglas while waiting for my metal plates to either dry under the heat lamp or sit in the acid); the logo on the bottom will replace the metal plate I was going to put along the top. I made sure to put the writing not backwards, not wanting to repeat the mistake that changed my plans.

I was going to etch the other stuff, but then I decided instead to "collage" it. I got this idea from what Gene Flores, a visiting artist, did last week when he did a printing demonstration during our class period. He took little cut out bits, arranged them where he wanted them on his plate, then put glue on the cut out bits so that when you ran the plate through the press, they would be stuck to the plate. Granted, he did it with a metal plate, and I'm using Plexiglas, which may or may not work as well. The only problem with using glue is you sort of only have one shot at getting the gluing process right. So I'll have to be careful.

I'm going to go in early tomorrow to work on that piece so I can devote as much class time as possible to my deepbite, since if we do it the way I think we are going to, it needs lots of time in the acid (as in HOURS). I will probably run at least one print of my deepbite plate so that the teacher and I can decide what to do next. I kind of hate to get up early when I will have to do so the next day (Friday) too because of work. But "no pain, no gain" as they say. And having something to do is always nice. As the proverb says which I often quote, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

Hold on, gotta go to the bathroom.

Ok, I'm back.

Moving on...As I said, I have been watching Angelic Layer online, having my interest in the anime piqued by the one manga volume of the series that I own (haven't been able to get more yet). I started watching it on YouTube, but YouTube only had a few episodes. So the rest I watched on Veoh. I've been watching all Japanese episodes, except episode 19 which I couldn't find in Japanese and had to watch the English dub of instead. I just watched the last three episodes today. The ending is really sad and emotional. I particularly like the ending credits of the last episode, which show what happened to everyone. *SPOILER* It starts with Shouko (Misaki's aunt, with whom she lives) at her job as a news anchor calling Ringo (a pop idol who also does Angelic Layer), and Ringo showing off her "Ranga Cosplay" outfit (based on her Angel, Ranga). Then there are some shots which reveal that certain characters coupled up: Tamayo and Kotaro, Ogata and Fujimari, and Yuuko and Shuji. Then we see Ryo Misaki and Arisu practicing Angelic Layer at practice layers (though not together, I don't think).

The next shot after that made me double take. It showed Sai (another one of the Angelic Layer players) kneeling at a grave and offering incense, with her friend Kaede standing by. A subtitle for the text on the gravestone said "Family Grave." I picked this up and went back and watched it again, and paused it where the subtitle showed up. "Oh, so her sister died?" I said. "How sad."
(Sai has an ill sister in the series, for whose sake she had been playing Angelic Layer). After watching the whole video, I was reading the comments - and nobody picked up on this besides me! And yet, it's such an obvious visual clue that Sai's sister died, without any dialogue saying she is dead or anything.

The next shot was kind of funny and requires some explanation. Ichiro (aka "Icchan"), the one who got Misaki (the main character) started with Angelic Layer (and who is in fact the creator of Angelic Layer and is in love with his research partner Shuuko, Misaki's mom) is known for being somewhat of a peeping tom. His stepbrother is Oujiro, the Deus for the angel Wizard and Misaki's love interest (in the anime only). Anyway, this shot shows them behind a wall, and Icchan is peeking, and Oujiro asks him what he's doing, and then Icchan tells Oujiro that Misaki's there too, and Oujiro starts peeking.

We then see Misaki and her mother go by. Despite the fact that I caught the clue about Sai's sister, I did not catch the story clue in this shot until I was reading the comments. In this shot, we see Misaki AND her mother are both walking! I should mention that Shuuko had been in a wheelchair up to this point in the series, her leg debilitated by a nerve disease (presumed to be MS). She had been doing research with Icchan about the possibility of creating artificial limbs that could be controlled by the brain. When the real version of this failed to get funding, they came up with making it a toy, and Angelic Layer was born.

The ending ends with a shot of Athena (Shuuko's Angel) hugging Hikaru (Misaki's Angel). Kawaii! *END SPOILER*

Anyway, overall, I really like the series, and will try to get the rest of the manga in order to compare it to the anime.

I must say that the dub of this series seems very unprofessionally done, even though it is in fact an official dub. They tried a little too hard to keep the Japanese suffixes for one, which kind of spoils the dialogue (having suffixes is great, but it usually only works in English translations of manga; it sounds weird in anime). It was done by ADV Films too, who is generally known for rather good anime dubs. Weird...

Next to watch? Either Chobits (which is also based on a CLAMP manga, like Angelic Layer, and is in fact set in the same universe as Angelic Layer, though it is set later in time; I own the manga and really like it) or Wedding Peach (some transformation clips and such have made me want to watch it...I saw a couple dub clips when I was trying to get a clip for my tag video...the dub isn't bad. "I am the Love Angel! I am Wedding Peach! And I am extremely angry with you!" LOL).

A fad has cropped up on YouTube called "tagging." I don't know who started it. But anyway, it involves making a video which contains 5 facts about yourself. You wait till you are tagged to do it, and when you do it, you then go on and continue the chain by tagging 5 other people.

I posted my tag video today, after working on it last night and this morning. Here it is:

I am currently reading a book about Benjamin Franklin called A Great Improvisation. It is about his time as a diplomat to France during the American Revolution. But before that, I was reading a book called Immortal, which is a novel set in medieval and early Renaissnce Florence. It is about a boy who has an extraordinary power that allows him to heal quickly, provide help to people with his hands via some power called a consolateum, and live a really long time without aging a day. It is a good book, though the beginning, where the character is sold to a brothel by his best friend and ends up working there, was pretty disturbing. But after that the book became more palatable and interesting. I have to admit I was kinda glad to finish it, though.

On another note, I finally got my eighth badge in Pokemon Pearl, on my third try fighting the last gym leader. My Pokemon kept getting KO'd by attacks like Charge Beam (the attack you get as a TM if you win) and Brick Break. I knew I needed to rely mainly on my one Pokemon with ground attacks, my Graveler. So I went back to the Wayward Cave and got the TM for Earthquake, the most powerful Ground-type move. I taught it to my Graveler. With that and its learned move Magnitude on hand, I went and fought Volkner again. I was able to quickly knock out his electric types with Magnitude and Earthquake, and in the meantime I saved my Machoke for his Normal-type Ambipom. His Octillery was a problem cause it KO'd my Luxray, so I had to use other Pokemon instead. But finally, I won. Yay!

Well, that's it. I think I am going to walk to the store to get dinner. I feel like getting out of the house.

As long as I'm home in time for American Idol, I'll be ok. I forgot to vote again, but hopefully the one I like (Syesha) won't be on the chopping block.

Yesterday, when I left for school, Mum was asking me if I would be home that night, cause "we're all going to watch American Idol together." I know, lame family activity, watching TV. But I watch Top Chef and Project Runway with her and watched some of The Biggest Loser: Couples with her, and she watches The Amazing Race with me, so I guess I can't complain.


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