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EoinxNatalie

Greetings, comrades. No doubt many of you are surprised to see another entry from yours truly appear on your Friends List. But alas, there shall be at least one more. And lo, he brought news upon them. And it was good.

Many of you who are members of the universal coterie (do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself) may have seen that I am now in a relationship with the lovely Natalie Walsh. I've mentioned Natalie here before, but not to the extent that I shall do right now. So. How did this all begin?

It begins in November, when Natalie's complicated flatmate and also ex (complicated, yes) left for pastures anew. Without going into too much detail, he basically left Natalie for another girl in 2010, but they kind of had to live together still for certain reasons. Not particularly promising and Natalie did feel rather terrible at this point. The decisions and damage had really been done a year before, but understandably seeing someone that you know so well leave your life is not the most enjoyable of events. In the following weeks, I committed myself to being there for Natalie as much as I could-always on hand to advise or hug her. Also at this time, one of Natalie's best friends decided to disappear off the map in the interest of holding a grudge and creating drama. Meaning that not many people were around to help Natalie through this difficult time-especially given that she had to move to God-forsaken ghost town (prior to this week anyhow) Cobh. A considerable move.

Around this time, in November and December, I got extremely close to Natalie. Even before this period, I knew many things about her that others didn't-her history in terms of family and relationships. And as we met up more often and begin to text furiously (hundreds of texts a month-ask Natalie for the exact totals if you like to keep track of these things), I started thinking about wanting to be with Natalie in another way-THAT way. Someone as special and caring as this couldn't but be attractive. 

As our texts began to be increasingly more flirtatious and frequent, I eventually broached the topic of wanting to kiss her and begin to inquire about a hypothetical relationship we might have. Natalie was clearly as interested as me-she had confessed to liking me much earlier in the year in fact, though I wasn't interested then and she had retreated on that point. I discussed the prospects and doubts with various friends like Emily and Nick, such as my concern about the age difference (Natalie is twenty seven, fact fans) and Nick proposed a sort of trial period. To properly date her first and see how things went, before leaping into a proper relationship. I was still even wary about this potential testing of the waters though.

Until January 6th 2012. A date that marks my own Epiphany-the entry of a very special star into the cosmos. On that day, when we first met up after a Christmas (jam-packed with texts and calls), I took Natalie to a bridge near our university, turned to her and kissed her. A moment which I've replayed in my head so many times. It was such a long, passionate kissfest that I had to come up for air. Holding her in my arms, I could hardly believe what I had done. Neither could she for about the first two months. But as we held hands and walked through town, ready to start our dating adventure, I didn't regret it. And things have only got better since.

Really though. As I sit here typing about Natalie, I'm achieving some kind of solace. I've just got to think about her! When I haven't seen her or spoken to her for a while, I am not myself. I feel incomplete and downright cranky. She has a sort of soothing, rejuvenating quality that leaves me feeling my best. We meet up about once or twice a week. On those days, either she gets the train into town to meet me, or I take the train to Cobh to see her. Those hours I spend with her make my week...

Because Natalie is probably the nicest person I have ever met. Ever since we first spoke, she's been nothing but kindly to me, showing concern and giving me wonderful advice. She listens to all the silly things like anime and video games that I ramble about and shows an interest. Physically, she is stunning-in my opinion at least, because I doubt I will ever convince her, despite all my powers of persuasion. Her hair is so lovely, her skin is so soft. She has a smile that can't fail to make me giggle like a schoolgirl. Her curves and figure are all a guy could ask for. She did an MA in English as well, and is qualified to teach it, so we bond on that too. She's really intelligent and knowledgeable!  She is also kind of shy, which did lead me to believe she was sort of distant at first. But she just needs to become comfortable with new people. After that, she treats them so well. And anyway, with me, it's always the quiet ones. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I get to be her boyfriend....

In many ways, Natalie is perfect for me. Even the age gap, which I was concerned about (us wanting different things etc) had faded into obscurity like an X Factor wannabe. Natalie's a very mature, sensible individual, while still so much fun and an absolute pleasure to be with. That kind of maturity suits me rather well-I can be assured I won't get messed around and we like similar things. Or dislike rather, when it comes to clubbing and drinking etc.

Spending time with her involves a few of my favourite things. Going for hot chocolate and holding hands across the table like those young lovers you see in movies about Paris. Walking through parks and talking about anything and everything-I speak to her far more than other people, because I am so comfortable and familiar with her. Most days that I come out to Cobh, we wrap ourselves up in her bed for hours. Other times we go to the cinema and try to keep focused on the movie. We usually fail. Or at least I do.

Making Natalie happy now has become one of my number one priorities. I feel practically sick at the thought of her being unhappy, and I spend lots of time thinking of romantic things to do for her, giving her the kind of boyfriend/relationship that she has always deserved. She's always on my mind, somewhere-lurking behind some memory and telling me encouraging things and kissing my cheek. With Natalie, I'm probably the happiest or least stressed I have ever been.

Naturally enough, it's due to her influence that other areas of my life have improved, I think. While I haven't had much luck in terms of finding a job, I've pulled an Anya (LJ tag there, someone) and volunteered in an Oxfam Books shop a few days a week. The people are mostly friendly in there, and the job is right up my alley. Sorting and pricing books, as well as eliminating any crappy books that I wouldn't buy myself. The stock is very high-quality as a result. It's good experience anyway. I've applied for Jobseeker's Allowance (I guess that's what I should call it) this morning, so with money coming in and me working a few hours, it will almost be like I have a paid job. Which is nice.

Overall, I couldn't ask for more with Natalie. We've been together for three months and will be approaching our fourth in a few weeks. She's sweet, intelligent and fun, and I love her! :)

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Stamped Out


Evening all! I have been somewhat absent in the lives of some of you at the moment, the reasons for which I will now disclose. Firstly, my thesis is entering its final stages, therefore requiring more work and concentration than ever (perhaps not to believed by our English MA Facebook page, which has adopted the casual dhera-sure attitude as its philosophy of choice). Secondly, I've been suffering from some health issues lately that I'd rather not get into and would rather forget, but the main cause was effectively stress and anxiety. They were thought into existence. I'm getting better at dealing with them and trying to change my thinking via various strategies and potions, so I'm doing better than I was (super, super-low). It's been quite a turning point, actually. I've realised what's important, so if I can best these issues I'll be better than ever. It would be best not to ask me too much about these issues because I need to keep them out of my mind as much as possible. Kay? Excuse any AWOLing while I work at it. I've spent too much time working on other people; neglected myself as a result.

Anyway, the responses to some memes from the delightful Anya. Who's been really good lately and is becoming my official penpal perhaps! Her letters (your letters, Anya) actually have a quite soothing effect on me. Like I imagine love letters have.

Words that remind her of me, then, and my comments. If you'd like 5 words from me for you to talk about, just let me know in a comment.

1. Ireland

What can I say? The girl knows her accents and pasty white burn-o skin. While I haven't become some kind of jingoistic Irish Toadsworth, I have become much more proud of my country in the last few years. Partly as a result of studying Faulkner (lots of connections between the Southern villages and Ireland), I particularly like the Irish love of the chat, talking etc. Besides that, we have some wonderful literature, musicians, artists, actors, comedians. We have an interesting history, an excellent economy (usually! We're quite powerful for a small nation), lovely landscapes and scenery... Plus, an Irish brogue can drop a girl from a hundred paces.

2. Faulkner

Despite the fact Faulkner and I are like Ralph and Alice Kramden at this stage, my love of Faulkner has not diminished one inch. I'm fed up of writing a thesis, yes, but my interest in the material has fortunately refused to budge. Definitely my favourite author, Faulkner is rather difficult (akin to Joyce) but so interesting and rewarding. For me, the world of Yoknapatawpha, a county created and populated, annotated throughout many novels and stories, is a feat of incredible human genius. It is actually alive and a reader can engage with it to a degree unmatched by any other novelist I know. For those who might like to dip their dainty, nail-polished toe into the realm of Faulkner, here's a- (whisper it) fun academic search tool.

Search anything you're aware of here: Faulkner at Virginia http://faulkner.lib.virginia.edu/results?type=transcription&q=snopes
Snopes I searched for here. Listen to some of the tapes/clips made while he was a guest lecturer there and revel at the dignifed interest he shows in his characters, whom he treats like actual people he met and spoke to.

3. Zelda

I first purchased Ocarina of Time based on... what? I can't quite remember. I had never played anything bordering on an RPG before, only platformers, race-em-ups or shoot 'em ups. I don't even remember reading about it beforehand or viewing any of the fairly patronising ads. It must have been based on my cousin Aidan's recommendation then, my Obi-Wan at the time. I failed to get it for Christmas-every store was sold out-but managed to purchase it from a teenager in Ballincollig after a chance ad in the paper. We called to his house and he had it playing on the TV. We exchanged some casual chat (he offered some other games too, but I either wasn't interested or I owned them) and I left with my first copy of a Zelda game. Since we passed my cousin Aidan's house on the way back, we stopped off and gave it a try. I made the fatal mistake at my young age of entering my name in as EOIN (no lower case), which works on some Game Boy Chunky, Pokémon level but it's something I've always been annoyed with as I grew older.

4. Chivalry

Odd one, here. But quite appropriate. Chivalry in my book (Don Quixote) boils down to a few key concepts borrowed from Lawyer Stevens. Courtesy towards women, service to others, and courage. The first I do pride myself on, I think. I hardly ever swear but even less so in front of women (despite the fact I know some foul-mouthed girls, ironically). It perhaps comes from my dad who makes a point of this too. He seldom curses, unless doing DIY or watching sport. Sometimes he uses it for comic effect in ridiculously disproportionate situations. Like, if there's no cereal of a certain type left in the supermarket, he'll mutter "Bastards" in a tone unheard of since the Black and Tans left.

But yes. Of course women deserve respect and the like but I do enjoy treating them a little more special(-ly?). Opening doors, carrying stuff (or at least offering to). More generally, it's being kind and sweet if I can, being a gentleman who listens and makes thoughtful gestures. It's not because I believe that women are so delicate they need to be taken care of. But there are a lot of women out there who don't get proper respect and I want to distance myself from them.

Service to others: Yeah, pretty much me. To a fault, actually. See my last post and you'll see I do a lot for others. It's an honourable thing. And courage... Haven't had much opportunity to use what might be termed courage. But I think I would step up if such a situation required a hero, a knight. I'm for hire if anyone's interested.

5. Letters

I love them. I've already said a few words above and that's pretty much my two cents. Anya has written me my favourite letters and I can't wait for her response to my 9 page (roughly) epic that had pictures, footnotes, a secret message; as much as those A4 pages could accomodate.

The post office I usually frequent has some dreadful staff though. There's three absolute bitches (one is a man) in there who are the most insensitive, rude people a lot of the time. This sort of thing needs to be stamped out.


P.S. I've also stopped having my Emily dreams! We haven't spoke much lately but it seems my feelings for her have returned to normal too. I'm not feeling as attracted to her as before, so the motivation for my Tarot poetry isn't as strong. But I'll still finish them, document these feelings too. She's still a girl in a million.

Satirical on 34th Street

 

Isn't this how it goes? If you like it, pass it on.

A long time ago, in a Palestine far, far away, Mary and her co-signer Joseph were preparing for summer. Or, nay, winter, winter. Joseph was at his Job when lo, did the angel Gabriel appear unto Mary, bringing most bountiful news.

 "Mary," the angel Gabriel said, "thou has been chosen to be the mother of my father's son, if thou canst understand that." Mary was amazed; she was to give birth to the Messiah? "But Gabriel," Mary mumbled, "Joseph and I have not yet-"knocked sandals," if you get me." And Gabriel said this would not matter; our Lord works in mysterious ways. And this was a cop-out.

 "The child will be born soon, and thy morning sickness will be most treacherous: lakes will boil, and locusts will bring famine to Nazareth, and thou shalt have the runs." Mary accepted such terms, for it would bring peace to earth. Finally, Gabriel said unto Mary that the child would be named Jesus, and if it were accidentally a girl, not to let it become a priest, whatever should happen. And it was good.

 And lo, Gabriel ascended into the heavens, when Joseph returned home to his faithful wife. Mary told him the wonderful news, that they were to raise the son of God, the king of the Jews. But Joseph did not believe, and had commitment issues. He claimed that Gabriel was the name of a sugar daddy, and there was much arguing in Nazareth that night.

 Time did pass, and all the citizens were called to Bethlehem, whereby they would do their taxes. It had come to pass that Palestine had fallen into great debt, and taxes had been raised by King Herod to bail out the banks. Mary and Joseph were amongst these tax-payers, and taking their donkey, left for Bethlehem.

 And thus spake Joseph unto the donkey: "I know this to not be my child. If thou knowest who this Gabriel fellow be, speak now." And the donkey did not speak, for it was a donkey, and Joseph was a schmuck. And lo, they travelled across the desert, traversing a most arduous path, where grit and salt had been much rationed. Finally, they arrived unto Bethlehem, and looked to the inns, in that they might find a place to rest. The first innkeeper thought them wrong for not booking early, and the second this too; however, the third innkeeper did possessth a kind of sadistic streak, and took them to the stable. In the comfort of that manger, after much pushing (where the name of the Lord was taken very much in vain), the baby Jesus was born. And it was good.

 And there did in the same country be three shepherds, watching their flock by night. And the angel Gabriel did come unto them with this message of yore: "Our Saviour has been born in Bethlehem this night. Go to him, or I shalt bring judgment on thy baaaad sheep." And there was much cursing and gnashing of teeth at this pun. Yet the shepherds did go to Bethlehem, to see the new-born king. They thought him much smaller than expected though celebrated this joyful occasion. It had come to pass that little time had been had to buy gifts, and so they gave unto Mary scented candles and bath lotions. And it was disappointing.

 Suddenly a call came to them, and thus spake the receiver: "Wilt not be able to make it to Bethlehem until 6th of January. Or, non-Gregorian calendar equivalent." The three wise kings had been stuck in traffic, and their horses were tired. Yet Mary and Joseph took comfort in knowing that people were coming to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and waited in the same positions for two weeks.

 And lo, the kings looked unto the sky, whereby there was a star (Were thou expecting another angel? Ho, I got thee good) Said the first of the kings: "Shalt we follow this star which shines over Bethlehem? It will light our way, though it will be much of a detour." And said the second of the kings: "Aye, bless thy good head-as with thy mother!" Whereupon much fury took place in the desert.

 And so the three wise men arrived unto Bethlehem, and fell to their knees. Indeed, they fell to pick up the baby Jesus, for like a lamb was he, small and fragile. The kings gave gifts of gold, myrrh and Frankenstein, who did run off at first given opportunity. And pulled out Joseph a camera and told everyone in the manger to gather around for a picture. The shepherds stood to the right, and the wise kings to the left, and Mary did complain that she looked a state, and had no time to put on make-up, and was officially morto. Yet it came to pass that a picture was taken, and it was used for many a Christmas card thereafter.

 And so ends the tale of the birth of Jesus Christ, our new-born king. The wise kings did return home, as did the shepherds, who were hence laid off, for having left their post. And they beheld the public sector and knew it to be safe. Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth, where they raised Jesus as a boy and young man.

 And thus spoke the angel Gabriel unto his friends on LiveJournal, have a wonderful day, and much love was delivered. And it was festive.



Note: I imagine people from Ireland will get more out of this, specifically Cork, perhaps. The "morto" word refers to common Irish slang; moritifed, or its shortened form, "morto" is rolled out everytime someone is embarrassed.

Being a Bitch


Humour! Without it, chances are we'd have to curl up in a ball and die, such is the disastrous conditions of this winter. It's hilarious how much Irish people love their misery; a shopkeeper took sincere delight this morning in foretelling certain death as temperatures drop even lower. My room is also officially the  coldest room in the house; it'll be a race between Santa and frostbite as to which one reaches me first.

Anyway, to celebrate my friendship with Emily/angelic_swordien (I'll christen her with an LJ username one day), I manipulated some uploads from the Haruhi Suzumiya manga. They all deal with the idea of her being Haruhi, tormenter of poor Kyon, in his high-school trials and tribulations. Seeing as Emily puts me up to largely everything you see on here, and behind the scenes runs my life, I thought I'd dedicate something to that. The "bitch" in the title is me, I must note, in my servitude. Not Emily, for that would be mean. Thanks to mangareader.net too, which is a surprisingly good website.

Here are the uploads:

SOSCollapse )



Top 'N Tail


Hot on the heels of my last entry which assessed my favourite novels of all time comes my favourite set of movies. Much deliberation has been involved; a late-night call to the Pentagon was required, and letters were hurriedly addressed to Deepak Chopra and Nelson Mandela for their advice. Thus, the following list is the result of hours of thought, experimentation and study. All in the space of ten minutes.

We'll also review those who could have been contenders: the five or so outsiders who almost made the cut, but were overtaken at the last fence. It's very much like the Grand National, isn't it.

I'll refrain from posting lengthy reviews and analyses of the films. Best way to experience the magic of these cinematic experiences is to simply watch them. I'd also note that while I know my films, I'm by no means an expert. I have only covered about a fifth of the Big 250, and there's a lot of major films I'm as of yet unaware of. Therefore, next year, this'll be revised.

1) Ghostbusters I & II - at pole position for its near perfection. Music, comedy, special effects that have aged well, likeable characters and excellent script. It's a film I've watched periodically throughout my life, and I've understood it more/appreciated it each time. This goes for both films, actually.

2) Lost in Translation - some might label this film "boring," but to do so misses the point. Another tour de force for Bill Murray, it's a highly poignant film, with some fun elements of comedy. A great insight into living in Japan, but more so into the main protagonists.

3) Pulp Fiction - This is one of those films that just grabs you and refuses to let you go until it's finished its pronouncement. Effortlessly cool, Tarantino manages to weave a shifting storyline which both comments on America and fits into postmodernism..

4) The Departed - Credit to Scorsese for managing to nip past the caped crusader and zoom into fourth position. I'm writing an essay on this at the moment and the questions it raises are so intriguing. But even if you never thought about it, the dual protagonist thriller is a gangster film as powerful as Goodfellas.

5) The Dark Knight - Finally, a superhero film that everyone went to see, not just DC and Marvel fanatics. Heath Ledger's Joker steals the show, though Eckhart's Dent more than holds his own. And Christian Bale is the most convincing Batman besides Michael Keaton, who I have a certain fondness for. The tension, I think, is what makes this film.

6) Inception - One of the more complex (but significant) films of recent years, Inception is Nolan left to run wild with his imagination and budget. As my good friend sparrowsabre7 has noted elsewhere, the characters lack depth and there isn't much chemistry there, but nonetheless one of the best films I've ever seen. Has to be seen to be believed-the concept and execution are nigh-on perfect.

7) Inglourious Basterds - This one isn't for everybody; it's rather visceral and makes use of subtitles for much of its length (actually fairly small on a DVD player). However, the acting is superb and has the most breathtaking style. The tension here, once again, is incredible.

8) Casino Royale - A Bond film had to be included here somewhere, and there is no better choice than this Craig debut. The development of Bond's character; his significant relationship with Vesper; the card-game which drives the film forward; Bond in the twenty-first century, and all the better for it. Craig is my favourite Bond.

9) Little Miss Sunshine - This film makes the ranks simply for being so... nice. As a family make their way across the country for their little girl's beauty contest, they learn so much about each other and become much closer than ever before. Funny and touching in exactly the right amounts.

10) Goodfellas/ Michael Clayton - Yes, it's a cop-out. As much as I love Goodfellas, and certainly cite it as one of my favourite films, it remains to be seen whether it can win over Michael Clayton, a film which impressed me dramatically upon first watching. I must see it once more to be sure.


Not to be forgotten, a few films that are truly excellent but lack the certain memorable quality of the Top 10.
Annie Hall- everyone's favourite Woody Allen film. Experimental, funny, and rather sweet. My favourite romantic comedy besides LIT, which is essentially one.
Spirited Away - one of my favourite Ghibli films. The sheer imagination at work here puts other animation to shame; a masterclass in film-making. Slightly flat ending, but nonetheless...
Goldeneye and Quantum of Solace- the only other Bond films I'd include here. Goldeneye is sheer brilliance, and I know it inside out. Quantum isn't as good as Casino but it's still great, a worthy second show for Craig.
Castle of Cagliostro- Somehow, the ending and opening of this film make it absolutely epic. Good fun, and possibly better than Spirited Away because of it?
Schindler's List- no doubt an excellent film; just a bit too depressing to make it a favourite.



So folks, what are your Top 10? Do you agree/disagree? Would you like me to elaborate on anything?
Or are you just here to get your kiss under the mistletoe?

Smells like Theme Spirit


A brief cry to the people of this world: do you own Skype? Anyone who would like to speak to me when they're spoken to should send me their address, or leave it in a comment here. I'll add you, and when we've the time, I'll say hello!

Also, can anybody enlighten me as to how people achieve personalised themes? Like, when instead of the generic "leave a comment," you've got "kill a Nazi" and the like.

I've picked up some neat manga lately: the elusive Yu-Gi-Oh! R and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Haruhi doesn't translate as well to manga; the move from  light novel to anime is perfectly suited for the SOS Brigade. In the manga, the mania is somewhat dimmed. Furthermore, the style is a little different-Kyon looks younger, for example. Or is it just my imagination?

I've discovered a declaration that makes clear a lot of my ethics lately, I think. I'm very ambivalent towards people-I'm relatively popular but keep to myself a lot of the time. I believe the reason is this: if you WANT my company, I'm slow to give it; I'm in no particular hurry. But if you NEED my company, for whatever reason, I'm there on the double. Coming to this conclusion has helped a lot: more and more do I value being alone. I don't want to be myself all the time, of course, but truth be told I find the more quiet places with no one around to eat, to study etc.

I've also decided on some Christmas presents! I'm looking to get Donkey Kong Country Returns, firstly. This game has actually received rave reviews, apparently. We're talking 90-95%, which is most impressive, and it's been hailed "one of the best platformers of the last ten years." Interestingly, I've had dreams (2) lately in which I've owned it, or felt like I owned it. To the extent that when I wake up, I'm confused as to why I don't have it! Therefore, I'm doing DK justice and getting my hands on it. Also, I'm finally gonna get the Egyptian God cards. Truth is, I won't be satisfied until I get these, for collector's purposes even. Though I intend to play around with them a bit, they're so overpowered that it should be interesting to see if I can beat a God deck etc. And finally, Inception. Somehow, I'll get all these, and whatever about anything else.

Now, to sleep! Oh, one more thing-I received no entries for my photo competition a while back, despite people expressing interest, therefore, all bets are off and there'll be no stories for anybody. Thank Christ, actually, I've got no time.

Writer's Block: A real eye opener

Which one book should everyone read, and why?

Ulysses. So original, so poignant, so fascinating, so well-written, so varied... It's epic.

ADD


A heads-up to any new person who's joining us from the  community add_me ! I'd appreciate if you left a brief note about yourself here, so I can keep track? I'll love you forever. And I'll screen them, so don't worry-it won't be visible for everyone to see.

Oh, and if you're interested in talking further, I'm up for that, whatever medium you'd like to do that on. MSN/Facebook etc.

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Noah's Arc


At last, the Tethe'alla episode of Meowzy and Solez' spoof has arrived!

http://tales.namco.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=3081239

Take a look, and then join our Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tales-of-SymphoniaThe-OVA-Spoof-Project/136748353024442

 

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