Archive for the ‘kane chronicles’ Tag

Gregariously Awful Fan Art

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Hello to all fruit trucks passing by (note: obscure music reference), holes in the carpet, catnip mice, and bumps on the ceiling.
Well, it’s yet another ridiculously frigid day here in Onceabasementdogville. I got a call from the people who work in our co-op this morning, and the guy talked to me in French for a few minutes, before I had the chance to tell him I was only understanding twenty percent of what he was saying. What I got from the conversation was, ‘les toilettes sont geles’ and something about the heaters not working. So great. That’s awesome.
Anyway, so as I write this he’s in here poking around looking at the frozen toilets, or whatever.
I was going to talk about gregariously awful fan art. Yes, that’s right.
Well, you see, I draw sometimes. Nothing special. I draw dragons and guys with swords and vests and cool haircuts– I’m no master artist, but I am in some way talented, I do believe. Anyhow, I have an account on Instagram, and DeviantArt. What I find on both sites is that there’s a heckuva lot of fan art. Now what is fan art, exactly? Basically it’s a whole lot of teenagers scribbling out kissing characters from Japanese manga. Sometimes it can be pretty good– other times, it isn’t very good at all. Sometimes it’s so bad I want to run outside in the snow in my bare feet, hit my head against a tree, and scream at nothing in particular.
Like, for instance. The other day I was glancing at fan art for The Kane Chronicles. For no… particular reason. And what did I see? Well, for one, lots of kissing. Shudder. And what else? Lots. Of. ANUBIS.
Who’s Anubis? It’s actually a jackal-headed Egyptian god. But in this age, it’s been reinvented as a very dreamy hero from a kid’s series of books by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson. And he’s SOOO dreamy that all the fourteen and fifteen year old girls just can’t help drawing him and putting him up on fan art sites. And that’s fine. On one level I enjoy staring at endless pictures of a dreamy death god. But on another level, it makes me want to scrape my brains out.
I was going to show you some examples of terrible fan art, but Instagram won’t let me steal its pictures. Jerks.
There’s actually little point to this blog post… in case you haven’t noticed. I feel like I need to vent about how bad fan art can be, and how ridiculous it is that there’s 586 thousand and something pictures of Naruto (a Japanese manga and anime) on Instagram all by, probably, teenagers, and most of them are pretty gregariously awful. The kissing. The KISSING! Yeeeauauuughgghhhhhh…
All right, let me just say this. Let me just– just listen. Okay? Just sit yourself down and listen to this.
In comparison to all those never-ending hordes of hormone-crazed fifteen year old girls, (the Hydes to my Jekyll), I feel oddly superior. I’m probably not, but it feels like it. I’m probably hopelessly conceited. But I don’t spend my time trying to think up the most painfully embarrassing drawing I can possibly create. I have healthier obessions. (I guess.)
My Healthier Obessions:
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation.
2. Collecting books.
3. Arcade Fire.
4. Baseball stats. (Joe Mauer hit .354…)
5. Dreamy death gods.
6. The openings to TV shows. I have the entire Avatar The Last Airbender opening down by heart. Even the punctuation…
‘Long ago, the four nations lived together in peace. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most… he vanished. A hundred years passed, and my brother and I discovered the new avatar, an airbender named Aang. Although Aang’s airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he’s ready to save anyone. But I believe… Aang can save the world.’

Wow, am I off topic or what? I’d better get out of here. ~Onceabasementdog


Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Hello to all enormous Norton anthologies of English literature, crows cawing from trees, and hamsters in hamster wheels.

To me, the ‘OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR’ message that you see on most or every car mirror has always seemed needlessly cryptic. I have to sit down with a clear mind if I even want to understand what it means. So okay, let me get this straight… these objects, these things I see in this mirror, they are closer than they appear. So that means when they’re not in the mirror, they’re farther than they appear? No, no… wait a second…

I believe it means that things you see in the mirror are closer than they actually are. But who has time to figure that out when it’s worded that way? Like, okay, you’re driving down a dark highway out in the country somewhere, and an enormous eighteen wheeler is zooming up behind you. You check the mirror, thinking, ‘Doesn’t it say something important on the mirror?’ and in the oncoming light of the truck’s headlights you read the message, and while you’re trying to work out what it means… CRASH-BOOOOM!

Turns out the object in the mirror was much closer than it appeared.

Why can’t they just say, ‘THINGS IN THE MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY LOOK.’ Why does it have to be poetic and complicated? Did they get John Milton to write that? Hey, Milton, can you write us a message for the car mirrors? And Milton says, ‘Sure thing!’ And then it turns into a poem that goes on for dozens of pages. They couldn’t fit the whole poem on the mirror so they just took the important part, which was ‘Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.’

I don’t know if the car companies realizes this rhymes and is strangely difficult to understand.

In other news. Sorry for the long blog-strike. Except it wasn’t really a strike. Well, you can picture it like a strike if you want to, that’s more fun, with all the keys on my keyboard walking around with little signs and demanding to be treated more fairly. Because honestly, I work them pretty hard, with all the stories and blogging and so on. But don’t any of you get any ideas. Yes, I’m looking at you, comma key.

In other news, I’ve been biking and playing guitar and fooling around on a website where people upload stories. (I have an account; if you’re at all interested I’m called SweeperOfChimneys and I’m on FictionPress.) I like sneering at all the junk people put up there and thinking, ‘He he, I write better than you.’

I’ve been reading a lot lately, too– I just got through Blood Red Road by Moira Young, which is a Hunger Games rehash with an evil king and a girl with a pet crow and stuff. It was all right. I also finished A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I highly recommend. Shakespeare is unbearable in school but on your own it’s pretty neat. And hm, what else have I been up to? It’s so hard to dredge out anything exciting to write about. I went to Harvey’s the other day. Had a veggie burger and some onion wrings. It was good.

I can’t wait for Cassandra Clare’s new book to come out. I’ve lost faith in the modern-day series, which is chock-full of gushiness, but the other one is really cool. I want the Advance Reader’s copy and I may just have to bribe the ladies at the local bookstore to read it when they get it. Last time I asked to read the early copy of a book I wanted and they said someone else was reading it… but maybe a couple bucks’ll change that this time.

I wish I had more to say. I never do. My friends will groan when they know that I can open up the three respective Kane Chronicles books at the Anubis scenes like, without having to search through it any. And this gushy scene is here… and THIS gushy scene is here…

Have a good week, my friend Blog-Reader! May the force be with you, but not too with you, because then you might turn mad with power and use it for evil. ~Onceabasementdog


Everything I Write Is Depressing

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Hello to all orangutans swinging from trees, cats hiding in laundry baskets, and computer game manuals.

It just kind of occurred to me, as I looked through my word files on the computer, that recently all I’ve been writing is tremendously, tremendously depressing. Since Christmas: a story about Gordon Lightfoot and a sort-of-evil-but-not-really boy who smokes cigars and deals with the living dead, a story about a kid whose parents were murdered by demons, a short story about a psychopathic villain who ends up being murdered and then coming back to life– and not to mention all the SONGS I’ve been writing. George Harrison, my partner in song-playing, knows very well what dark and sad lyrics my songs contain and also that I’m incapable of writing anything happy.

Do I have like a… depressing and disturbing writing problem? Don’t other fourteen year old girl writers write about the adventures of their cats and ridiculous, fluffy narratives concerning dreamy heroes of fantasy? (Well… okay, the latter is true, actually. I’ve spent a few kilobytes writing about the death god from The Kane Chronicles. Maybe.) But anyway– what’s wrong with me that I have to make everything I write dark in some way? Like, today I was in the midst of writing the psychopathic-villain-is-shot-but-comes-back-to-life scene, and I thought JEEZ, HOLY CRAPOLA, is this really what I’m writing about?

Sometimes I wish I just liked Justin Bieber and thought Twilight was awesome. Why? Because then I’d be NORMAL.

I have to go way back to before Christmas to find anything that’s light-hearted. The rest of it is a kid wanting revenge for the terrible demon that murdered his parents before his eyes. I think I’m slowly turning more and more emo. As I was starting this post, I was listening to a sad City and Colour song called The Grand Optimist, (which you’d think might be, I dunno, optimistic) and then I thought that, This is really proving my case that I’m really, really, really depressing.

That’s why I’m listening to ‘Irish tavern music’ on Youtube now. Fiddles! Jigs! Fiddles!

Oh, yes, I can get through eleven minutes of the same riff playing over and over.

Yours not depressing anymore, because I’m listening to Irish tavern music! ~Onceabasementdog.

(P.S: I’m currently making plans for a serial of short stories about a land of Starburst candies, taken from an idea of the blogger Michael. That’s fun. Right? Right? That’s not depressing.)

Revisiting the Nerdity

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Hello to all USB sticks, long-forgotten, found under a stack of papers and containing the story you thought you’d lost for three years which makes you almost cry with relief, flying lizards from obscure video games, and apples being thrown at passing businessmen.

The title of this blog entry is none too accurate– why? Well, apparently I’m only ‘revisiting’ the nerdity. However, I’ve been living in the nerdity since the very moment I came to be, so it’s a lie. But on the other hand, it’s true when I say I’ve revisited a certain branch of nerdity, which is the trading card game known as Yu-Gi-Oh! There’s an exclamation mark and I thought I should leave it in.

I was once quite the Yu-Gi-Oh! junkie. I bought a whole plastic bag full of them– there were probably at least three hundred of them in there– from a kid in grade six with my counterfeit paper money. But that’s another story. Let’s just say I didn’t come by my paper money for the buying-and-selling day honestly. I used to get starter decks, and even those fancy tins with the coolest monster in the deck displayed on the front all shinily. There was even a time where I could beat the Karate Master– but now he’s become so good that I have little to no chance of knocking off a few of his life points before he creams me with his well-thought-out strategies and super-good monster cards. The Karate Master made us all get back into Yu-Gi-Oh! yesterday, and for a few hours he creamed us all while we all reveled in the nerdy why-am-I-a-fourteen-year-old-girl-playing-Yu-Gi-Oh! fun.

I like to think I’m a better player than the Karate Master– but the sad truth is I am not. He studies every last inch of strategy, while I throw all the cool cards together and hope fate will be kind to me and let me win. I like the card that’s a very broody-looking fellow with a sword and a barrel chained to his arm because he reminds me of a Miyazaki movie.

So we played cards for a couple hours, me, George Harrison, the Karate Master and Tall He Is. I lost four times in a row, but managed to dredge out two wins at the end. While I played, half-paying attention, I rearranged the Karate Master’s ‘Red Pyramid’ pyramid, which is a silly little cardboard thing you can put together that probably came from the Kane Chronicles guidebook. That is a series of kids’ books about Egyptian mythology and magic and so on. The pyramid has the characters on each side, and you could arrange them any way you like– so I arranged them with Anubis, the death god, facing out so you can oggle at him. I don’t know if my friends-that-are-boys will appreciate this, but I sure do.

In the end I’m glad I came, even if it feels somehow strange to be in highschool and jumping back on the Yu-Gi-Oh! train. My friends are cool guys, even if the rest of society doesn’t think so, so it’s okay– we can get away with being nerdy, I think. Besides, it’s a fun game and there’s broody-looking fellows with swords and barrels chained to their arms involved.

Anyway– I urge you, Blog-Reader, to think back to your days of nerdy hobbies. There IS a certain amount of fun to be found in it, after all. Yours afeoeioiejfiesincerely, I can’t think of another way to say ‘yours sincerely’ so I put that, which is of course how you end letters in– um– the country of EIefeioajeijifejIJOja, (there, try pronouncing that.) Anyhow, good-bye, and good day to you! ~Onceabasementdog

If You Read Too Much, Reality Becomes Distorted

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Hello to all rusted pennies at the bottom of fountains, guitar picks from outer space, and mugs of hot chocolate sitting dangerously close to the edge of messy bed-side tables.

This one’s mostly for my friends, as they share my enthusiasm on this subject: but for the rest of you, read on if you must.

Rick Riordan’s new book came out yesterday. He’s the guy who wrote Percy Jackson, but he’s also doing a myriad of other series that are more or less identical, but still good. In this series, we follow the adventures of some magic-wielding teenagers caught up in Egyptian mythology, instead of some weapon-brandishing teenagers caught up in Greek mythology. Anyway, I love these books, because they’re silly and fun and have little to no substance yet are amazing in their own way. But I have a little problem: I seem to be obsessed with one of the characters.

Come on– we’ve all been obsessed with somebody. Be it a popular celebrity or good-looking baseball player, you all know the feeling of eagerly flicking the channels or flipping through a magazine for that one person. I’ve never gotten obsessed with real life people, but I’m perpetually obsessed with people from fiction and fantasy. I’m sorry, but no real life person could possibly be as interesting as someone from a fantasy novel. Real life just sucks that way.

The fictional character I’m hopelessly obsessed with from Rick Riordan’s “Kane Chronicles’ is the god of death. (My friends saw that one coming. Or at least George Harrison did.) Please, don’t assume I like dreamy dark heroes of fantasy just because they’re dreamy dark heroes of fantasy. This one is more awesome because he wears ARCADE FIRE T-SHIRTS. Holy moly! As if I didn’t love the death god enough already, he had to go and wear a t-shirt of my favorite band. Rick Riordan’s messing with my head– I’m telling you. Once you break out the soft-spoken, kind death gods who wear Arcade Fire t-shirts, you’ve got me hopeless.

Now, thank you for getting through that little segue of ridiculousness.

The main purpose of this blog today is to tell you what happens when you read for seven straight hours. Your mind starts to unravel. The line between reality and fiction starts to waver, and suddenly your dreams are full of Egyptian gods and giant crocodiles and death gods. And stuff. Mostly death gods. Anyway– it’s not good for you. I can tell you that much. And when you wake up and somebody’s saying Ha-di and reciting a magic spell, you know things are way off. 

Not only did a fictional world invade my brain last night, I’ve also been having flashes of imaginary scenes that I’ve dreamed up myself. This means I’ll probably eventually write them down somewhere and maybe upload them to Fan Fiction where all the other people who are obsessed with the death god can giggle together about it. Unfortunately, when you’re a decent writer, you get a whole wave of feedback on your ridiculous little stories if you dare post them online.That’s why I always go incognito on Fan Fiction, but anyway. No one shall ever know that one was mine.

So, sorry you had to struggle through this less-than-mind-bending interlude. I promise next time I’ll talk about the war in the Middle East and American politics and the theory of the universe.

Good-bye, most insincerely yours, Onceabasmentdog.