kristensk: snow-covered trees (let it snow)
*flop* And, my yearly Christmas image is done. It's a fairly simple one, so I have no idea why finishing it was like pulling teeth.

Now, on to [community profile] fandom_stocking!

Otherwise, it's been a great Christmas. I got to see the family, visited some friends, started my littlest cousin on model horse collecting (mwahaha), and even got an extra day off work. Gift-wise, I'm absolutely rolling in movies to re-watch now that I either finally own them or finally own them on DVD: Guardians of the Galaxy, Miracle of the White Stallions, Newsies, the 90's TMNT movies, Anastasia, and the anime Baccano!. Plus some manga, fuzzy socks, fuzzy shirts, and an adorable children's book I requested for... research purposes... yeah, interest in illustration and all that, you know. (Plus, I'm amused that the main character is named Yukio.)
kristensk: smile (Default)
So, I hadn't been back to Shelfari for a few months, and, when I happen to recommend it to someone... I find that it's being closed. No, Amazon, you're not merging it with Goodreads. You're closing it and offering me an import option that kinda sorta half works. I did start moving things over, but... I may just let this one go.

I was able to export my Shelfari data to a spreadsheet file, and maybe that will be enough to help me keep track of what I've read/own and encourage me to keep up with my book-reading.

Still, I shall miss my Shelfari.

Anyone have any experience with a good, completely free site more like Shelfari than Goodreads? I don't care about social features/discussions and never use them. I just want somewhere to keep track of my books and set reading goals. If it looks as eye-catching as Shelfari, that'd be nice because Goodreads is ugly.
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
As always, my con report is very belated. I really meant to post something while in Baltimore, but it just never worked out. Then, I came home with lingering sinus woe that killed my desire to do much of anything. But, all is better now, and it was a great trip.

Mom and I started on Thursday by taking one of the Baltimore Trolley Tours, which was a fun mix of sightseeing and history. (Although, while our guide was very well-versed in his history, someone should let him know that Otakon is not a "Halloween party" inspired by Japan.) Then, we wandered through the Otakon matsuri (festival) and hit the Power Plant Barnes & Noble where I finally succumbed to temptation and picked up "Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, which adds some nice backstory to the movie. Of course, the real Otakon adventure began with the con on Friday.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: snow-covered trees (let it snow)
Yes, I'm late with this post and my yearly SWAT Kat Christmas image. I am working on it! ...It just doesn't like me much right now. But, I did manage to clean up a Christmas-y Blue Exorcist image I drew last year.

Otherwise, Christmas was great. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, and it was even cool enough to have a fire in the fireplace. (It should always be cool enough for this; there should be a rule.) Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jordannamorgan, I won't be suffering chocolate mint deprivation anytime soon, and I got this adorable little Rin from [livejournal.com profile] mintysage as well as an equally adorable keychain figure. I also now have two new pairs of my favorite 7-pocket hiker's jeans, this amazing fleece shirt with pockets inside its pockets (yes, I love pockets), the Blue Exorcist Color Archive and a great lot of books. I'm much looking forward to the long-awaited continuation for the Star Wars X-Wing series, Aaron Allston's "Mercy Kill". And, because I got it first, I've already dived into the first book in the Temeraire series, "His Majesty's Dragon". An alternate history re-imagining of the Napoleonic Wars with dragons?! How could I resist?
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
....And, I am in it. I just got in the FMA artbooks I ordered after my failure to find them at Otakon, and... Arakawa's final illustration collection is amazing! I'd seen a lot of it, of course, as manga covers and calendar art, but there's more - additional "Prince of the Dawn/Daughter of the Dusk" artwork, a wonderful "photograph" of Mustang and Hughes in younger years, and a fantastic two page spread of Ed and Al after their travels. And then, there's the FMA:B illustration collection. It's nothing but 120-some pages of animation drawings. (And, thus, perhaps not worth its rather steep price to many people. But, it was most worth it to me.) Some of the drawings are gorgeous in their level of detail. The rough sketch of the shot of Ed's face from the final ending? The one that seems to be his reaction to the shot of Al smiling? Amazing.

While I'm gushing, the latest trailer for the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie has put it on my "must see" list. And, both the new trailer and the latest website update for the upcoming Blue/Ao no Exorcist movie made me squee. No, it won't be a post-anime movie as I'd thought, but it is going to include elements of the "Phantom Train" short story! And, the gallery includes a storyboard image of Shiro with the little!twins! Yes, yes, yes! Besides all that, the background art looks absolutely fantastic. The sheer detail put into images of the Academy is astounding. Oh, please let the character animation look that polished. Please, please. Well, either way, I think I'll love it. As with any of these movies, it's more of a favorite series - what's not to love?
kristensk: bingo! (sk bingo)
Website Updates: The SWAT Kats Fanfiction Archive was updated back on January 6. It's the first update of the year, and it's a good-sized one too!

Rambling: The official Shelfari widget doesn't seem to be working for me, so I made my own for my LJ profile. Because. I'm actually having fun remembering as many as I can of the books I've read. Though it feels like everytime I think I'm done I remember something else. And, I haven't even gotten into the 30 or so Trixie Belden books a friend of my grandmother's loaned me or the... 40? maybe? Saddle Club books I own.
kristensk: snow-covered trees (let it snow)
Ramblings: Christmas was great this year despite our family gathering being a bit smaller. But, my cousin and his wife were understandably tied up. As of today, I have a new little first cousin once removed!

And, I got some nice gifts:

- Some awesome new jeans loaded with pockets courtesy [livejournal.com profile] seekersks, who was apparently tired of me coveting his cargo pants.
- The soundtrack to Steamboy as well as new CD's by Enya and Loreena McKennitt, who I haven't heard anything from in a while.
- The set of all four Indiana Jones movies.
- The fifth and sixth season boxsets of Inuyasha. (Now, I just need that elusive third season box, and I'll have them all to date. Mwahahahaaa!)
- The first Naruto movie, Pixar's awesome Ratatouille and the TMNT movie.
- The Inuyasha Manga Profiles book.
- Several other books, most notably Piper at the Gate by Mary Stanton. It's the sequel to "The Heavenly Horse from the Outermost West", which I read in middle school in a span of about twenty-four hours and still remember clearly. Superb book. I hope the sequel will be as good.

Website Updates: Also, Kristen's SWAT Kat Gallery has been updated! No new Christmas image this year as I was tied up with some other projects, but I did get one finished pic up! It's a terribly out of season one, but ah well. Additionally, I updated the Non-SK Fanfiction page with the drabbles I've been posting here, updated the links and made some minor tweaks to the Curious About Me? page.
kristensk: smile (Default)
Fangirling: Today was mail day... *squealdance!* [livejournal.com profile] mbimomma, you are awesome! I just got my belated Christmas/birthday present, and just... Wow! ::dances, hugs:: More Bleach manga, a Bleach wall scroll (which, by the way, you're going to have to tell me how to hang properly), The Librarian: Quest for the Spear DVD, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines DVD and, of course, two boxes of Peeps because I live on sugar.

Additionally, I finally got the last book I ordered from alibris, an online used book dealer. Wouldn't you know it when I ordered a book and its sequel, the sequel came in over a week before the original. Ah well... Now, I have both, and I can finally read some of Pamela F. Service's awesome work again. She writes children's/young adult science fiction; basically, the sort of thing I would like to write myself.
kristensk: snow-covered trees (let it snow)
Happy New Year, Everyone! It's been an awesome holiday season. Had loads of goodies last night for New Year's (too many really, but I have no control when there's fudge to be had), and Seek and I watched the first four episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I'm liking it a lot so far. But, I knew I would. It comes highly recommended from [livejournal.com profile] mbimomma, after all. Anyways, Christmas was also really good. We had an awesome service at church Christmas Eve Sunday and then Christmas day the whole family made it in and we had a great time together.

As for the presents, I got:

* The second season Inuyasha box set. *SQUEE!*
* The first season Rurouni Kenshin premium box set. The box alone is gorgeous! *MORESQUEE!*
* Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on DVD
* Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on DVD (Somehow I missed getting this one sooner.)
* The Last Starfighter on DVD. (I'm trying to collect old favorites again. My last copy of this one is on a Betamax tape. Yes, I still have those. I have a mostly working Beta player too.)
* Loreena McKennitt's "The Mask and the Mirror"
* The soundtrack to "Mr. Holland's Opus"
* A cool Full Metal Alchemist poster from [livejournal.com profile] ks_claw
* A hilarious cat calendar from my co-worker Shelia
* My Christmas bonus/present at work - I love my bosses!

And, probably my most interesting gift - Mom found me some early editions of a couple of Marguerite Henry's books. Henry was and still is one of my favorite authors, but I've found that more recent printings of her books don't include the other thing that I loved about her stories - Wesley Dennis' gorgeous full page illustrations. Some of the newer paperbacks include his small black and white pieces at the beginnings of chapters and occasionally scattered among the pages. But, I haven't seen the incredible full page colored illustrations from books like "White Stallion of Lipizza" or "Guadenzia: Pride of the Palio" since I checked them out of the library in fifth grade. Mom is awesome. (And, yes, "awesome" is my favorite word again today.)
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Fangirling: I made an awesome, awesome find last week - a translation of the original "Twelve Kingdoms" novels! I'm sure I've mentioned the anime, the first box set of which I got for Christmas, and its book-like quality. I had suspected it was based on a book when I first saw it, but I never held out much hope for finding a copy of it in English. But, now I have, so... *much jumping for joy and squealing ensues*. And, it is, in fact, a series of books. The translation only seems to be up to book 2, which I'm now reading, but perhaps they will continue to the other books in time.

[Edit 2011] The first four books have been officially released in English from Tokyopop. There are presently no plans for the release of the remaining two.

In other news, vaguely related by the fact that it was where I first saw "The Twelve Kingdoms" anime, [livejournal.com profile] seekersks is talking Otakon again already. August seems like ages away, but it would be nice to have things all set early. And, to get a hotel a bit closer to the convention center.

Fanfiction: And, recently, a little fanfic idea I'd been toying with has come back with a vengeance. I think I once before posted a snippet from my SWAT Kat idea "The System is Breaking Down". Well, here's another snippet. )
kristensk: SWAT Kats rushing to action (sk let's rock)
Webpage Updates: I've finally gotten some major work done on Kristen's SWAT Kat Gallery in the last few days.

Firstly, the actual content stuff:

- Two new guest pics from Jennifer Munoz.
- Posted two more of the drabbles I've done (which have already been posted here)
- Put up a section for the icons I've been making
- Put up my Christmas image and colors

And, everything else:

- Finally have around 50-60% of the site set up to use style sheets, so that, in the future, I won't have to change the color programming on every. single. html. file. again. I tried style sheets the last time I did a major update, and they didn't work. This time, I figured out what I was doing wrong. Predictably, it was something painfully simple.
- I'm working on a version of my main SWAT Kat image gallery that will use image thumbnails.
- A huge chunk of the contents of the main gallery is slated to be sent to the Archive page. I'll probably be cleaning out the Original Characters, RPG and Fanfiction sections as well. Some images will be archived, others will just be removed. A rare few may be re-done.
- I intend to finally get the "What's a SWAT Kat?" and "Poems" sections redone to match the rest of the webpage.

And, I think that's it. Any and all suggestions welcomed.

Personal Chatter: Christmas was good, not without some down moments, but good. For the curious, I now finally have a copy of the Inuyasha Artbook in English (Yes, Seeker, I loved the Japanese copy you got me; I just couldn't read it ), lots of new music to listen to, new winter boots, plenty of reading material and the first set of "The Twelve Kingdoms" DVDs! And, let's not forgot a ton of remaining holiday goodies to munch on.
kristensk: smile (Default)
I have this sneaking suspicion I've been tagged for a meme... Twice I think. Fine, fine, Sage and [livejournal.com profile] a_chan007. Here you go!

List your current six favorite songs, then pick six other people that have to do the same.

1.) My Will - Dream
2.) Four Seasons - Namie Amuro
3.) Main title to... any of the Inuyasha movies (same theme, varying arrangements) - Kaoru Wada
4.) After the Fall - from Beethoven's Last Night by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
5.) Dearest (currently, some techno/dance remix of the original) - Ayumi Hamasaki
6.) This is Who You Are - from Beethoven's Last Night by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

(There's a frightening amount of Inuyasha-related songs in there...)

I'm going to forego tagging anyone here because I think about everyone I know has already been tagged by someone.

And, I keep forgetting that last fandom meme. I did it! Well, mostly, but then I ran out of easy fandoms and saved it for the night. Then, I forgot it. Gotta get back to that. Though I find that some of the questions a little tricky. In some fandoms, I'm not at all sure what characters are loved or hated... and I can't think of any character I've ever liked that I don't any longer. I have... fallen out of squealing fangirlish obsession, but never really stopped liking anyone flat out.

Website Updates: Still haven't officially gotten Fyresight upgraded, but I'm playing e-mail tag with the Dominet staff and it will happen. In fact, due to their rearrangement of service packages a while ago, it looks like adding 800 more megs will only cost us an extra dollar a month. The process would be done by now, but, because Seeker originally registered the site and set everything up, they keep responding to his e-mail rather than mine when I ask questions, so he has to forward everything to me.

Project Updates: Currently beating off a rabid Inuyasha plotbunny that had me with my nose buried in re-reading David Weber's The Apocalypse Troll most of yesterday evening (partly for inspiration and partly to make sure the opening chapter in my mind was nothing like Weber's opening chapter). I want to do a sci-fi Inuyasha AU. I've wanted to for a long time. Eh, I've been wanting to get back to sci-fi (and my SK fics) for a long time. And, I think Sage and I might have finally hammered out something feasible. Though it's going to require a good deal of research and thought to make it work. And, I'm supposed to be writing Miscomm! Why are the ideas that grab me the most always new ideas?! Why can't I get any strokes of brilliance on the things I need to finish?

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