Growing and Maturing

Lately, I have been a little more mature than usual…weird, right? Mostly it is due to the fact that the Psychotaku finally has a job and so it means that we can look forward to what the next steps should be for us. We just got a kitten in commemoration of the event and we already love him like we would love a hyper son, and he is spoilt because of it!

For next year, we are planning on buying a house. We still plan on going to Japan but it means that a wedding is out of the question at the moment. I don’t really mind, though. My reasoning is that the house prices aren’t going to stay low forever and so we need to make sure we can take advantage of it. I know that the prices may stay this way for a while due to the ever-increasing droves of houses that the banks are taking over, but now that we are able to save up, this is probably as good a time as any! I am extremely excited at the prospect of owning our own property! It means we can paint walls (don’t tell my property manager, but I have done that in our apartment already *wink*), redecorate whenever we want, and finally have a real family get together.

I guess this is why it is coming up now. Thanksgiving Dinner. This year, we are staying at home and I am going to attempt to cook a Thanksgiving dinner at home for just the two of us. I actually DO cook so it should go pretty well, but to cook so many things at once, I kind of need to get the timing down. My hope is that we will be able to have all of our family together for Thanksgiving next year at our own house. I found an awesome recipe for pumpkin mousse that I am going to try out and I am making cornish hens and stuffing for the two of us (three if you count Kotatsu :P ). I figure the difference between cooking a turkey and cooking game hens isn’t that different (except for thawing and cooking times, obviously) so I can probably manage a full T-Day Dinner for…*thinking about it*…about 10 people (Oh wow! Our family is getting big!) when I go for it next year. It won’t seem as bad if I try it out this year. And at least we will be in our own house *crossing fingers*!

Anyway, wish me luck on this years dinner and I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!!

–Psykoneko NYU!!! =^..^=

PS I will post pics of the nosh as soon as I am done!! :D

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

As you all know, we were lucky enough to be invited to a screening of Harry Potter 7 Part 1 on Saturday through Mark’s job at Warner Bros. The destination was the Arclight Theater in Sherman Oaks and we arrived, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (sort of) at 7:15am at the Sherman Oaks Galleria for the 9:00am showing. We stood in line with some of Mark’s coworkers and it was interesting that, compared to some of the midnight releases I have been to for the HP series, no one was really dressed up for the occasion…no Gryffindor red and gold and no Slytherin green and silver in sight. A shame really, considering what we were about to see.

After filing into the lobby and getting our free (that’s right, FREE) popcorn and soda, we got into the theater. By that time, it was about 8:15am and Mark decided that he needed to go to the restroom. While he was leaving, the usher stood up and told everyone to enjoy the movie. Then, just as Mark stepped out, the previews started. Poor Mark. There were two previews, one for the new Yogi Bear movie (LAME) and one for Red Riding Hood with Amanda Seyfried (whom I hate). No Green Lantern preview, fortunately for Mark, but unfortunately, none the less.

I don’t want to issue any spoilers in this review, but I do want to say that it is probably THE most faithful book to movie adaptation that I have ever seen. I really think that the things they have left out are not too important…though some of the “ending” may require some character addition somehow and there is a scene with Dudley that was sadly removed. The official ending of the movie is at the end of Chapter 24 of the book, I hope that doesn’t make it a spoiler. Though I knew about the ending point a while ago from some website or other.

Missing characters abound in this movie, which I love. I won’t say which characters make an appearance, but I think that a lot of people will be happy about them since they have been spoken about in the books from the beginning but since they were so minor, they haven’t made it into the movies until now. I feel like this makes it a more real movie-ization (hey, I can make up words, right?!) of the book. It was almost as though I was reading the book and they were putting my thoughts on the screen.

I hope everyone will enjoy this movie and I really can’t wait to see the second part. I am very sad that this series is coming to an end (though I know how it ends), I know that the second part will be even more of a tear-jerker than the first part.

All in all, I had a great time seeing this screening and I really enjoyed the entire movie (even the sad bits). PS Mark showed up one scene before the beginning titles so he didn’t miss that much, don’t worry.

Keiongaku bu (K-On!) First Impressions

I just started a new anime series. K-On! The story of a light music club in a Japanese high school (Keiongaku bu shortened to keionbu or K-On). The art style is very Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (which I LOVE) and the girls in the club are very typical anime moe girls. One sort of shy goth chick who plays bass, the outgoing tsundere-type that plays drums, the wealthy girl who plays the keyboard, and the clutzy Tsukino Usagi (Sailor Moon) type who starts off playing nothing (except castanets) and eventually learns to play the guitar.

The show, so far, has started out with a lingering light musaic club that is on the verge of being abolished since all of the former members have graduated. Ritsu, the outgoing tsundere girl, decides she wants to join the club, but has to get four members in order to keep the club around. She first recruits her best friend Mio (the goth type) who unwillingly joins the group but is pulled in by the craziness that is Ritsu (a la Mikuru in Haruhi). Then Tsumugi (the wealthy girl) joins even though she originally wanted to join the choir.

The story really bases itself around the final character, clutzy Yui, who has never been in any club before and she sees the poster for the club and wants to join even though she can’t play an instrument.

The story so far has Yui trying to quit the club and being bribed (through sweets brought by Tsumugi) to join them as a guitarist. The first arc involves the trials and tribulations of getting a guitar and is really well written. The voice-acting (in the Japanese version) was excellent.

Additionally, Bandai announced at Anime Expo this year that they have the rights to the DVD and BluRay releases so it looks like we will be getting another Bang Zoom Entertainment dub pretty soon (Ugh).

I really enjoyed the Japanese version so far and I will let everyone know when I have finished the series!

One thing I really need to point out is that the ending song is absolutely FANTASTIC!! I can’t get enough of it! And the ending credits are very visual kei and are perfectly synced with the words of the song which makes it that much more enjoyable!! I can’t wait until I start hearing the girls perform in the show!!

Also, I just found out that they have released a second season in Japan (K-On!! with two exclamation points) so I will definitely have to check that out when I get a chance!

I recommend this show to anyone who loves high school girl comedies! Enjoy!

Halloween Pumpkinhead!!

I bought a tiny pumpkin as a centerpiece and it turned into a Kitten Kostume!! Check out the rest of the pics on Flickr!!!

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Kotatsu + Towel = CUTE!!

More cuteness from the Kotatsu!

Manga Review: Chi’s Sweet Home

In honor of the acquisition of the cutest kitten in the world, Kotatsu, I thought I would review another appropriate manga!

For people like me who are studying Japanese, it is extremely hard to find manga to read in Japanese so that we can practice.  Especially manga that we can enjoy. Then I found Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata.  It is an adorable story about a lost kitten that is adopted by a new family.  The premise is slightly sad since a kitten gets separated from it’s mom, then wanders around by itself until finally he is exhausted and a little kid finds it.

The story follows Chi through litter box training, vet visits, and baths, using simple words and phrases through the little boy and Chi’s baby talk. Any kanji in the series has furigana (the smaller hiragana translations) next to each character to make it even easier to understand. I know that I usually read any manga as “watashi wa ‘big fat kanji big fat kanji’ desu” when they don’t use furigana, but I promise, I am getting better lately!

With the help of a dictionary every now and then, it is easy for most Japanese students to get through as long as they have a command of the hiragana and katakana and basic to mid-range grammatical knowledge, such as conjugations and sentence structure.

The story is very cute and it was gratifying to read and understand, even with the kitten’s baby talk (it uses “ra” instead of “da” and other cutesy terms). Even veteran Japanese manga readers (including the Psychotaku) can enjoy this series since it is very comical in an innocent and adorable way (especially if you love cats, but what Japanese culture over doesn’t?!).

I recommend this to anyone who wants to work on their Japanese away from the formality of class and the manga helps to recognize more common slang words and other everyday life customs.

For those that aren’t taking Japanese (and why aren’t you?!) the manga is also available in English from Vertical, Inc. Oh wow…just realized that I am almost like a Vertical, Inc. spokewoman at this point since I already reviewed Black Jack! Ah well, I promise the next one won’t be from the same publisher, ok?!

This series has also come out as an anime as well, each three minute episode represents one chapter from the manga. The episodes are straight from the manga and are equally as funny and adorable as the manga.

Enjoy!!

Mata Kotatsuuuuu!

Here is a video of our new kitten, Kotatsu. Hope you like it!!

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