|Scone, favorite cup full of tea, and a Japanese text to translate! What’s not to love?|
Some feedback on my previous 3DS impressions post has led me to believe that perhaps I came off as a little too harsh… To clarify, though I am still not entirely impressed with the 3DS’s launch lineup, I am very content with the capabilities of the system on the whole, and am excited for numerous games on the horizon such as BlazBlue Continuum Shift II (NA release May 31) and Legend of Zelda: Ocarena of Time in June. I’ve even gotten a little more play out of Nintendogs + Cats, and I have to admit that it is quite cute. It’s always exciting to find, after having the system in my purse on sleep mode all day, that I’ve encountered another 3DS user and exchanged puppy pictures with them.
|Official image illustrating how StreetPass works|
Which leads me into the meat of this post, where I’d like to talk a little more about the nifty StreetPass function of the 3DS. While considered a “useless” addition to some, I was intrigued by the idea of the StreetPass from the moment it was announced. Not only can you randomly exchange Mii data with other 3DS owners as you pass them innocuously on the street to fill your Mii Plaza, but you can send and receive game-specific information that allows you to trade items, battle, and more, depending on the game. Of course, the inherent problem with all of this is that you actually have to encounter other people who own a 3DS, have it with them, and have it in sleep mode, for the data exchange to occur. Some have criticized this function as being useful in an extremely densely populated nation as Japan, but not as much so in larger countries such as the US and Australia, where you might be one of a handful of people in your town to even own a 3DS.
With StreetPass Network, that problem has been solved. Gamers from all around the world have started creating their own grassroots StreetPass groups using the page function on Facebook, and they are all cataloged by the man behind the first StreetPass group to gain fame, Joshua Lynsen. Who said gamers weren’t social? If you have a 3DS, or even just a DS, you can go to the network website, find your city, and there’s a good chance a group has been made. If not, why not create your own?
|In the Mii Plaza, you can view all the different Mii’s you’ve encountered! (source)|
That’s what I did! Introducing StreetPass Brisbane, the first and only StreetPass group for Brisbane, Australia! Excited about meeting and trading data with other 3DS owners, I searched the StreetPass Network’s website for a local group for me… Only to find that the closest one was in the Gold Coast. The kind owner of the Gold Coast StreetPass page suggested I create my own for Brisbane, and the rest is history. Don’t mind that right now I’m the only one who “likes” it…
I contacted Joshua at the StreetPass Network and inquired about getting StreetPass Brisbane listed, and within an hour it was up on the site! His website is really much more informative than I could ever hope to be, so I really encourage you all to go check it out! I’m hoping that through some networking, StreetPass Brisbane will be able to grow and succeed like so many of the other groups around the world already have.
Besides joining a StreetPass group in your area, Gamertell has a nice article to help you get started with StreetPass, and hopefully exchange some data with other 3DS users.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that StreetPass Brisbane will be successful enough to do an actual meetup sometime soon! And I hope this post has helped anyone who is looking for more information on how to get involved with StreetPass. Let me know in the comments!
Today I stumbled upon The Patchwork Pokemon Gym, a group of cross-stitching Pokemon fans who plan to make a quilt of all the original 151 Pokemon and gym leaders to raise aid for victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. They’re constantly updating with their progress, and it’s great to see all the patches as they’re finished, so check them out! And if you enjoy cross-stitching and would like to join their team, there are still some patches that have not yet been claimed.
|Completed Aerodactyl patch by corbin|
|Face Raiders–free with every 3DS! (source)|
Hello hello! My severe lack of updates recently can be attributed to my trip last week to Melbourne with my husband… So hopefully I can get back into a more regular pattern soon! I’ll start with a few pictures I took:
Melbourne is quite a beautiful city! Because its been around for so long, there are plenty of old buildings (which I love) and a lot of interesting architecture, even in the newer buildings! Just look at that picture of Southern Cross station! It was all quite breathtaking, and while Brisbane is a nice place to live, the architecture doesn’t pack the same punch that Melbourne’s did for me during those few short days. It seemed as though every time I turned into a new street there was a cute house, quaint eatery, or funky storefront to stare at and take pictures of.
While not exactly a vacation, as my husband was down for work, I had plenty of free time during the day, so I explored a lot of the downtown area, visited the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere, and saw some art exhibitions. The highlight for me was ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image)’s “Dreams Come True: The Art of Disney’s Classing Fairy Tales” exhibit.
It was really amazing to see character designs and all sorts of art from the production of some of Disney’s most iconic films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and even their newer films, The Princess and the Frog and Tangled. The layout of the exhibit was very dynamic: clips from the films would be interspersed with commentary and various production art, so the whole thing took me 3+ hours to go through at a leisurely pace. Since it cost $16 to enter, I was happy to take my time and get as much as I could out of it. From my understanding, some of the art on display is not often, if ever, shown to the public, so it was a great chance to see all the different types of artistry that goes into creating the Disney fairytale stories. I was particularly enthralled by the Medieval stained glass-inspired art of Sleeping Beauty, which is actually one of the Disney films I never really got into. Each background image was like a work of art by itself! I’m actually inspired to go back and re-watch the film, now.
Shaun and I talk about moving to Melbourne someday, but if that day comes it will probably be a good ways in the future, so we’ll have to make do with Brisbane for now. I wouldn’t mind visiting again sometime, though!
Thanks for reading, and check back soon for my hands-on impressions of the Nintendo 3DS!
Shouldn’t a weekend review come sooner than Thursday? Somehow I managed to put off this post until now, but perhaps in the future I should make more of an effort to post about my weekend at the beginning of the week! Oh well. I hope you all are looking forward to this weekend and the beginning of April!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended an event at the University of Queensland held on Friday night called Fantasy and Imagination: Exploring Japanese Creative Writings. The guest speakers included Dr. Carol Hayes of ANU, Edward Lipsett, a translator who co-founded Kurodahan Press, and Roger Pulvers, a man of many talents who recently published The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn with Kurodahan Press.
The man focus of the panel was to discuss whether there is something inherently different about Japanese fantasy when compared to Western fantasy, and to pinpoint what these differences might be, if there indeed are any. I found it to be quite interesting and was especially impressed by Roger’s insight on the subject. He argued that Japanese aesthetics are intended to be felt through the pores, and that while a Western perception of beauty is something that is unattainable by average individuals (he used ornate castle architecture as an example of this), Japanese beauty is felt every day and is inherently the same, from revered Shinto shrines to the humble everyday dwellings. Pretty neat, huh?
Dr. Hayes and Edward both mentioned the lack of action in Japanese fantasy as compared with Western fantasy literature. As a whole, Japanese fantasy is emotionally driven, rather than plot/action driven, which I think, along with the fundamental differences in the Japanese perception of beauty, is the root of what makes Japanese fantasy different from, say, Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings.
After the discussion, we all filed into another room for the reception, where there were complementary drinks and food (I had a glass of white wine and some kind of chicken skewer, both of which were very nice). I was able to meet many interesting people, including all of the speakers except for Edward, unfortunately. I may have even landed another translation gig, but I’m not going to talk about that, lest I jinx it!
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend Cardmaking for a Cause, an event my husband’s co-worker (whose house we stayed at when we had to evacuate during the floods, incidentally) invited me to. It was a women-only event where all the cards made during the day would be donated to local hospitals to sell to patients and visitors, all proceeds raised going to the hospitals themselves to use for improved equipment, etc.
Luckily, all of the cards I made came in prearranged “kits,” which meant all I had to do was stick all of the parts together. This actually saved a lot of time, rather than having to conceptualize and cut everything there on the spot. It was quite a nice, intimate event (though I may have been the youngest woman there…), and during the course of 4 hours my table made over 100 cards! And of course we got to help ourselves to biscuits, coffee/tea, and sandwiches, which always is a bonus.
Sorry for the lack of photos today… I meant to take a couple at the cardmaking event but I only ended up getting a couple that are pretty poor quality. As I type, I am busy cooking my Dad’s awesome chicken barley soup, so maybe I’ll share photos of that next time!
Happy Friday! Or… Thursday evening, to most of my readers on the other side of the world… Don’t worry, it’s almost Friday!
I can’t believe my last update was about something I found at a vintage shop and I’m already back, less than a week later, with some more goodies. I guess someone’s on a vintage kick these days (who, me?)… Actually, what inspired my last trip to the Paddington secondhand shops was an intriguing DIY tutorial in my new favorite Aussie magazine Frankie for a “paper wall quilt.” Long story short, the project consists of cutting pieces of paper and cardboard into hexagons, gluing them together, and pasting them on your wall to form a quilt-like pattern… Very easy, and a very pretty, unique result! You can use any kind of paper you want, such as origami paper, wrapping paper, or even printed fabric… I thought it’d be great to find a vintage children’s book and do a combination of words/pictures, because I love old illustrations. Since my husband is big on music, we’re going to go on another shopping excursion to find some vintage sheet music to use, as well. I will definitely post my results when the project is finished! But for now…
First, I apologize for the poor photos… I really need to get better at taking pictures, or start employing some photo-editing magic to make the pictures I take a little more pleasing to the eye… The lighting is just so poor in our apartment. But! Surely you can still enjoy what an adorable book this is! And the price? An even more delicious $2.00! What a steal
I spent a long while browsing through the picture book section of one of the better vintage stores for just the right book. Pretty illustrations were a must! At a grand total of 550 pages, there are certainly plenty of nice illustrations, and each story is done by a different artist, so there is an eclectic mix of styles that is really great. The picture above is one of my favorites, I just love the illustration on the left! The style almost reminds me of The Rose of Versailles. Why yes, they are looking at a rabbit in a basket!
One of the stories is even illustrated by a Japanese woman!
From these two images, you can really see the range of styles depicted in this book! How interesting! I’m totally loving it, if you can’t tell already. It’s also really nice to see a wide variety of stories from different cultures, rather than just European folktales. There’s even the Japanese tale, “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” by the ever-famous Lafcadio Hearn.
Shaun and I couldn’t help but get a few giggles out of the story titled “Poo-Poo Finds a Dragon,” excerpted from Poo-Poo and the Dragon by C. S. Forester, if only because of the over-use of the protagonist’s cute but slightly-unfortunte name. Case in point:
|I might’ve remembered his name, but he was so unimportant they cut him out of the excerpt!|
So, in the end, I may not want to cut up this book after all. There are too many fun stories and illustrations! Though it really would make for a great paper wall quilt. Oh, what a conundrum! Shaun suggested we read one story out loud before bed, and as we go through we can decide those we want to save in their entirety and those we don’t mind putting scissors to. It’s an idea, but luck will probably have it that all the stories we can bear chopping up won’t have particularly good illustrations, or something similarly unfortunate. We’ll see what I come up with next week!
In other news, I baked Chinese New Year peanut cookies yesterday for the first time! I used this great tutorial by Chocolatesuze, a Sydney food blogger. Unfortunately I was a little late for Chinese New Year, but maybe next year!
I gave some to Shaun to try when he got back from work yesterday, and while I was busy making fajitas for dinner in the kitchen, I could swear I heard giggling, yes, giggling, coming from the living room. He liked them that much! And that’s saying a lot, considering he has much experience with authentic Chinese food, and I am but a lowly American trying a recipe for the first time (I’d say kudos to the original recipe, not my execution). He liked them so much, he said, that he wanted to bring them into work and share with his colleagues to show them what a great cook his wife is (and that I should make some for his family back in Sydney sometime, too). Awwww! But wait, maybe they’re actually really bad and he’s trying to pawn them off on his coworkers? Haha, it’s unlikely, he seemed pretty excited about them and I’ll admit they were pretty darn good, too, as my first peanut cookie, anyway.
So there you have it! Today I’m looking forward to attending a panel discussion at the University of Queensland (you know, that university I plan on attending for my graduate studies sometime before I die) titled “Fantasy and Imagination: Exploring Japanese Creative Writing.” Sounds exciting! My advisor, Professor Tomoko Aoyama, will also be in attendance, so it will be nice to catch up with her again. I’m slightly nervous that the event is RSVP-only, which may mean it is very small/serious? I don’t know, but I hope I don’t make too much of a fool of myself. That or the RSVP is to ensure they have enough food/drink for the attendees, and in that case I better get a nice cup of coffee, haha. Look forward to a synopsis on Monday!
Have a nice weekend, everyone!