Kowai desu ne...

This here's just a place where I write about whatever I want, however I want, whenever the whim strikes. I'm not out to write concise, high-quality "articles" or anything like that -- just vent, plain and simple. Or, as per the title of this page, "banter". There is definitely something to be said for self-expression of this kind and getting your opinion out where other people can potentially see it (as long as you handle your opinion with due responsibility). Likewise, I find that reading what another person has written about themselves -- their life or their viewpoints -- can be quite beneficial. In a world oversaturated with human life, but prolific with deceit and feelings of emotional isolation, there is really nothing quite like seeing something plain, honest, and open. It exposes you to new and different things, though instances where the thoughts of author and reader collide are especially fulfilling.

It's not my concern whether or not people actually read this, though, for those that do, it's worth knowing that these writings pretty much come directly from my mind. Directly from me. Whatever I chose to write about, I always do it with the greatest of integrity. I of course take responsibility for anything that I write, though, I hope, you will take equal responsibility for what you read. I created this page with only innocuous intent, so I hope nothing malicious ever comes of it. (I.e., if anyone decides to use the stuff I say here against me in any way, I'll be most displeased. Not to mention I'll lose any respect I held for you by default.)

That said, should you chose to read this stuff, I hope my writing provides at least some semblance of distracting reading material.

[By the way, that creepy creature looming above is derived from an "anger drawing", late 1999 or thereabouts. I wanted a "banterous" image to top off my Banter page, and this maniacal demon seemed fitting enough, so I colored him in with Photoshop. Came out rather nicely, methinks. Still, I wouldn't mind replacing 'im soon as I have a fitting substitute.]

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The Finnish Disco King

[February 1, 2004] About time I wrote some Banter again. But what to say, what to say?...

Quite a lot. There's always a lot to say. First of all, as you'll notice, the New Year did NOT yield a total overhaul of the page, to my chagrin. "Reichu's VGM" still hasn't become "Reichu's Pocky Box", "The Raptorian Sector" still hasn't become "The Garden of Edom" or whatever I'll end up calling it. The inspiration didn't strike -- it never does strike when things are at their most convenient, does it? That's just the way things go. But when "The Moment" strikes, I'll be at its mercy, but hopefully at least then something will start to happen around here.

As it goes, though, my various online thingajigs are even less of a priority than ever before. I'm plunging straight ahead into another semester, the Decisive Semester! After this, I just have two summer courses to take and then I'm outta the community college where I've been lingering since Fall 2000. Problem is, I still haven't applied to any other colleges yet -- I don't even have a flippin' idea which ones I want to apply to! At this rate, I'll completely miss out on transferring in the fall and I'll get to spend the remainder of my post-CCM year in employment or something. Maybe that wouldn't be a totally bad thing, though. I still have yet to hold a job, and, the older I get, the harder it will be to convince people to hire me, what with my meager/nonexistent resume and all.

I'm going to tackle that problem very soon, though. They need some people to do grunt work at the library my mom works at -- so badly, I'm simply being invited to work there, whenever I want! No annoying forms, no interview, no nothing! Of course, there's no pay, as well, but advancement from volunteer to paid employee isn't completely out of the question. And being a volunteer is part of the plan for me to eventually start earning later on -- I can put it on the resume, plus I'll have folks to recommend me, for a change!

I was slated to start working tomorrow, Monday, but I'll probably have to delay that until Tuesday. See, Friday during Sculpture II class, two students showed up even though they were sick. Cripes, couldn't they have just stayed home?! Because yesterday I realized I had come down with their happy little bug, and I spent the rest of the day, and much of the next, in a psychadelic fever dream state. Huddled up in bed, sweating like mad, with a constant stream of ridiculous images going through my head. Times like that are pretty much the only time I ever remember my dreams at all -- even if I wake up, I can remember most of the incoherent mess, still swimming around my brain like a school of agitated fish. It gets even better, and I start remembering snippets of journeys I've made in dreams long past. Of course, as I'm writing this I've recovered most of my senses and have thus let most of the good stuff slip between my fingers, to be forgotten until the next time, but here's one thing I still remember, just for the hell of it:

I think I was with my brother, and we were driving to our local plaza where the video store is located. I went into the rental outfit but, as it turned out, the inside was nothing as the store is supposed to be (but, naturally, my dream self didn't find that particularly odd). It was full of people and like the entrance to a strange club -- really small and rundown-looking at first, until you went downstairs. I had to go through a variety of rooms to get to the videos, including one full of T-shirt racks, where an artist apparently responsible for some of the designs and someone else were talking. I flipped through the tees to see if any caught my eye; for some reason, a lot of them bore the Sea World insignia and, of course, had orcas incorporated into the design. But none I wanted.

The video room was interesting. It was large, dim, and seemed more like a cluttered occult bookstore than a place where you'd pick videos to rent. (Actually, it bore a heavy resemblance to a place I'd visited in a previous dream -- a used book/video outfit where I'd been looking for a copy of "Unico". Oddly, the quest to see "Unico" again has been the subject of a great many dreams for me, though Tezuka's creation didn't feature in the one I'm recounting right now.) After creeping around many corners, I found the horror section, where what I sought lay -- the "Evil Dead" trilogy (which I actually have been meaning to see), packaged in a cute collector's book eerily resembling the one for IONA's "The River Flows" anthology. For some reason, I was pressed for time, so I hastily pushed through crowds to reach the rental desk. (Getting out of the place seemed much more difficult than getting in.) When I got to the room, the guy wasn't there, and my heart sank. Someone offered to put the movie back on the shelf for me, and I obliged.

However, when I made my way to leave, the rental guy was in the next room and I hadn't run out of time completely. But I had to hurry! I rushed back into the establishment searching madly for the person to whom I had entrusted the DVD box/book-thing. For whatever reason, though, the odds were against me, and I don't think I pulled a successful rental. (Hard to remember, at this point.) Aggravated, I carried out some kind of conversation I can't remember at all with an African-American lady (I think, anyway) before leaving the store.

The plaza outside (basically, a canopied sidewalk connecting the stores, which are all adjacent to each other -- our "plaza" is just a glorified strip mall) was suddenly bustling with activity. Lots of people, strange merchants with cages and cages of tiny birds, and such. I made my way down to where my brother was waiting for me in the car, but bumped into a familiar face instead. Some movie filming, apparently, was going on, and one of the stars -- a fellow dressed up in a stereotypical bad-taste disco king outfit -- was someone I knew, a Finnish fellow from the NGE forum I frequent (in real life, and apparently in this dreamscape, as well).

This is rather odd, since I have no idea what the guy (Niko) really looks like! Even odder, the name tag he was wearing (can't imagine why, though, considering he was filming) didn't even have the right name on it (it bore the moniker of someone ELSE I know, though I can't remember who exactly), yet I still identified the guy as being Niko. [And the fact that I bumped into him in my dream is quite interesting, being as he's the one who has made me interested in seeing the Evil Dead series. Weird how these things carry over into the dream plane...] I expressed my astonishment at running into him in my home town, though he was less astonished. He dropped the faux American accent in which he was delivering his movie lines and addressed me with a Finnish one (even though I have no idea what a Finnish accent sounds like...). To paraphrase, "Oh, Rachel! I was wondering if I was ever going to run into you. I knew that you were from <insert name of my home town> and all... I was actually going to look you up later."

All of the movie-related stuff seemed to dissipate just so that the two of us could talk; we started chattering away, walking in the general direction of my house. [So what happened to my brother and his car?!] I asked Niko what he was doing in <my home town>, and he replied -- paraphrased very loosely -- "Well, me and the boys were up in Soho [the British one, I believe] practicing the D.K. Rap, and these guys [the movie producers] were scouting for some talent, so I enlisted." Inexplicably, two other people related to the production had joined the conversation -- one wearing an outfit that may have been Sesame Street-related, the other dressed as a very convincing Kremling [one of the fat ones wearing a helmet from "Donkey Kong Country"] -- and we started singing the D.K. Rap. Evidently, Niko and "the boys" knew a little dance that went along with it that I didn't have the slightest clue about, plus there were a few verses that had apparently been invented solely for my dream. One was about a "Donkey Kong 64" character named Touji (?!??!), whose lyrics made him out to be eerily like Killy from "Lunar" [so my brain made a Seki Tomokazu connection, however nonsensical], and the dance associated with that verse was performed entirely on one's knees. F*cking bizarre, I know.

Anything beyond that is absolutely fuzzy, so I'll stop there. And I'll pray that Niko never checks out my Banter. We've only corresponded a couple of times by e-mail and I don't think he's ever looked at my site in great detail, so I'm probably safe. Though if he ever did... can you imagine? He's a pretty looney guy -- great, totally zany sense of humor -- but hearing that he made a cameo in some weird American's fever dream as an actor dressed like a disco king with a penchant for singing and dancing the D.K. Rap with a couple of guys in suits would probably be too weird even for him.

Anyways, to get this Banter back on track... Yeah, I'm sick right now. I haven't been SICK-sick -- my immune system is quite good ;;> -- but I've been pretty light-headed and the past few BMs haven't been entirely pleasant. (Not that you wanted to hear about the latter.) I've lost so much time this weekend, Monday probably won't be able to go as planned. See, I was going to start working at the library around 10 AM and leave for school around 3. Give myself a couple of hours to pull off a full workout (with aerobic, weights, and stretching), eat something, then from 6 to 10 I'd have my Painting II class. The rate I'm going now, though, I'm going to need that time before class tomorrow to finish planning the painting I need to start.

Whew... I'm feeling pretty burnt out. Let's make a few notes on my current music digs and call this a wrap. Always more to write later.

Currently listening to: "LAST EXILE O.S.T."   LAST EXILE is a new (as in, 2003) anime that Mare-chan turned me onto, and I'm rather enjoying it so far. I watched episodes #11 to #15 today (in my light-headed "dddurrrrrr" state), and I've gotten to the point where I have no idea what's going on. <<OMG spoilerz ahed!!!>> The end of Claus and Tatiana's little desert adventure in the Dragon's Fang left me totally confused. (A lot of the footage is annoyingly dark on the computer, which certainly doesn't help.) Something about them going to a shelter, and a Dusis soldier that was really a chick, and that episodes ends with me TOTALLY lost. Then Dio and Alis find them and bring them back to the Sylvana, and things are totally weird. Lavi is making a huge f*cking deal about the fact that Tatiana arrives wearing Claus' spare set of clothes -- she got Claudia spilled all over here, for crissake! How does wearing someone's spare clothes automatically mean that they slept together?! To confuse me even more, Moran apparently has the hots for Lavi [good gawd] and Sophia's slipped Claus the tongue completely out the blue [good gawd!!!!] . Not to mention Sophia's apparently a princess and bears an eerie resemblance to Snape's Alex's dead girlfriend, neither of which have yet been explained. GWAR!!!! Me confused!!! And additional episodes haven't finished downloading yet!!!

Oh, BTW, the series has cool music. Definitely on my "to buy" list. Even the opening song, "Cloud Age Symphony", which I didn't like at first, has turned out to be strangely addictive.

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Older Banter #6

Older Banter #5

Older Banter #4

Older Banter #3

Older Banter #2

Older Banter #1

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