Archive for Nostalgia

I Wish It Was October

Living in New York, I’ve learned that there aren’t many constants. Even in the outer boros, they’re hell bent on developing neighborhoods and destroying the character they once had. You find places you used to like go out of business or move or something else. There’s hardly anything you can get attached to without having the fear of it being ripped away. I know, there are countless things and places I’ve seen vanish, but I will not dwell on them now. But there are a few constants, each has a dear place in my heart, one of them, is New York Comic Con.

Any comic convention is a place of safehaven for nerds. They’re places where you can be whatever you want to be and for once feel like you truly belong. But NYCC has a special extra factor. Friends and acquaintances a like go, seeing the flood of facebook statuses leading up to the event build the anticipation. It’s our local event, I guess you could compare it to your home team (but we hardly have that in NY, seeing  as how many Queens people I know that support the Yankees), it doesn’t just bring one boruough together, but the whole city. Sure hoards from Jersey probably go, but that is beyond the point. It’s a reunion for geeks and more than that. Even if you don’t see all of your friends there you look though each others facebook photos, it’s like going to the convention for a second time.

Then there’s the magnet effect. I love leaving the house in cosplay to take public transport there. Getting on the bus I get stares, less on the first train, even less on the second train. The closer you get to the Javits center, you see other people who you know are going to the convention. Even if they aren’t in costume, there’s something about their state of dress… not even, you can just feel it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. After you emerge from the subway, there are way more people in costume. It’s great, if you forget your way to the convention, you can always just follow people that you *know* are going.

Now of course the convention is totally disorganized, and people are assholes and it gets way overcrowded, but even I have hope that they’ll improve. They seem to be trying to compete with SDCC, and they’ll have to get more organized in order to do so.

I love NYCC, the things you can see there that you can’t see anywhere else. The only downside is that it comes but once a year and post convention depression always follows.  Of course, that depression fades with anticipation for the next convention, where ever it may be. But there’s nothing quite like riding the subway in cosplay, and overcoming the awkwardness and feeling more empowered than you’ve ever felt before. I wish it was October.

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Remembering Hey Arnold!

Does anyone else remember Hey Arnold?

I grew up watching it. I didn’t like it as much as Rugrats, but I still liked it. Recently I started watching it again. I was really surprised to find that now I like that show so much more than I did as a kid, I didn’t realize how much meaning it had and couldn’t appreciate all of the comedy. And I’m sorry but this is gonna be a long one XD, if you don’t feel like reading all of it, please scroll down to the last paragraph, it probably has the most important information.

As a child, I empathized with Helga whenever she was in awkward situations. There was a boy I was mean to. I liked him but I didn’t realize it then, was in denial about that for a pretty long time to. I remember realizing in I think, 7th grade, that if you like someone you should be nice to them… the thought makes me laugh. But I also now find Helga incredibly hilarious. It’s almost like I’m laughing at my past now that I’ve moved forward.

There are people online who are all “why doesn’t she just tell Arnold?” Those people are idiots. I was in her position. You do not tell. You just don’t tell. Not to mention the fact that everyone will make fun of you if they find out. Also, with respect to the show, you wouldn’t have the show if Helga was able to tell him. That was what made it so funny. Who could forget her Arnold shrines or all of the times she broke into his house or how she’d sneak away to take out her locked and fawn over him? It was hilarious, especially how she wished she could be nice to him, and even tried at times, but just couldn’t do it.

But I realized more about Helga from watching the show now. She is quite possibly the best cartoon character who never lived. She doesn’t change who she is to conform to what’s normal, or to win over Arnold. When she dressed up as Lyla she realized that Arnold liked spending time with her because she was being like Lyla, and didn’t want that. She wanted him to like her for who she was. In that episode when she becomes the “it” girl, and she acts nice to get fried, Arnold tells her he liked seeing her act nice, without even a second thought she says she won’t do that anymore because it’s not who she is. There was also that time she girl’d up to go to Rhonda’s party and then realized it was stupid.

Are you familiar with the term tsundere? It’s used to describe a character, often in an anime, who acts rough on the outside, but is really a softy deep down. Normally said character is an attractive female, they normally say things like “Baka! It’s not like I like you or anything! I’m doing this because I want to!” or they’ll be embarrassed to like something that’s cute or a hobby they have or some other stupid thing. It’s funny that the Japanese invented the term, because Helga is by far, the best tsundere ever. I can’t even describe how in words but she is. She puts all others to shame, she does a much better job.

Something else I realized about Helga, is how dysfunctional her family is. As a kid I mostly got the impression that her mom was always tired, and her dad wanted her to be her sister. Now I’m pretty sure her mom was an alcoholic. She was *always* drinking those smoothies. Sometimes she had brief moments of bonding with her family, but they didn’t seem to last long. It’s the perfect explanation as to why she’s such a psycho. Liking Arnold is probably one of the best influences she has in her life because of what a good kid he is. I rewatched the movie, at the end of the movie, he offers Helga an escape from her confession by saying something along the lines of “we were under a lot of pressure, things were intense back there, you really hate me right?” He knows it was the truth, but still gave her the opportunity to save face.

Anyway, moving beyond Helga, Hey Arnold! had so many other memorable characters. As a kid his grandparents were my favorite characters. And who can forget all of the regulars, Gerald, Phoebe, Harold, Rhonda,  Eugene, Brainy, etc. ? But even some of the characters who didn’t show up so much, or only had *one* episode were amazing. I think pigeon man only had one episode, but his episode was probably the most profound in the entire series. I also love how many references they make to Shakespeare and classical music and other things kids simply aren’t being taught in school these days. Hey Arnold! really is an amazing show, but it lacks one thing, a true ending.

Did you know, the movie that aired in theaters was meant for TV, and that the movie that was going to be made for theaters was going to pick up where the last episode of Hey Arnold! left off? The last episode was the one where he found his father’s journal with a map inside. We were going to find out what happened to his parents. But the first movie didn’t make enough money, so they axed it. But the good news, is the shows creator, Craig Bartlett is willing to make the movie if Nickelodeon wants it made. Here’s a link to a facebook group trying to get that movie made. http://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveTheJungleMovie/ please join it. Hell I’d be more than happy with a hour special at this point. Nickelodeon, if you are reading this, PLEASE MAKE THE JUNGLE MOVIE!

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Proof Of Me Being A Loser: 30 Days of Zelda – Day 5

So I’ve seen this 30 Days of Zelda Challenge floating around tumblr, and I’m giving it a go. Currently Days 1-4 are on my tumblr. I decided to do Day 5 here instead because I’m going to end up writing more than I feel should be written on tumblr. That’s right Day 5 qualifies for its own damn blog entry. Now let’s get to what Day 5’s challenge is.

Day 5 – A love interest you’ve had with any of the characters

It’s time for me to make some sad confessions and tell the story of how Link became my waifu. Yes I mean waifu, I do not mean husbando. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed to have a waifu if Scott and John have them. But anyway, let me tell you about how much of a loser I am.

I believe I was in fourth grade at the time when I first laid eyes on a picture of adult Link in the instruction manual for Ocarina of Time. It was in that moment that he became my waifu. It was also the first in a long string of weaknesses for blondes.  I thought he was really pretty and spent a lot of time tracing the pictures of him that were in that book. I played Ocarina of Time until I got stuck and then ended up not touching it for years. It wasn’t until I was a freshmen or sophomore in high school that I picked up the game again and managed to finish it. I purposely made Link wear the red tunic as much as possible, because red is obviously his color.

Now that my family had the internet, I was able to fuel my Zelda craze further by going online. That was when I found out about Twilight Princess. Not only did the world look beautiful, but so did my waifu. It took them too damn long to release that game after announcing it, but the anticipation that lasted well over a year was thrilling. I remember buying a gaming magazine just because this picture (and others) were in it.

I spent waaay too much time staring at this

When the game was finally set to release, I remember being thrilled that they announced Link’s age as being 16 or 17. Why? Because I was 17 at the time. I even remember reading interviews with the creators in which they stated that in this game they wanted to make Link really cool. They even referred to him as “cool Link” in later interviews. They certainly accomplished that task. He was damn sexy in those leggings, riding Epona and using a number of his new weapons.

I was disappointed that his hat obeyed the laws of gravity when Link was standing upside down with the magnetic iron boots, but that his tunic did not. I was thrilled I got to see him with his shirt off.  I loved manipulating the camera angle so I could look up his tunic when he was attached to the flying plants with the claw shots. Plus he did that sexy flippy thing with his sword.  Skyward Sword Link does this also, but it’s just not the same. The animation is there, but the bad ass attitude isn’t.

I won’t refute that there was obviously something going on between him and Midna in the game and will admit that the game’s ending had me bawling. I wanted them to be together because they belong together, but that doesn’t stop Link from being my waifu. Other people chose to ship him with his bitchy childhood friend from his village, now that I couldn’t stand. If you ship Link and Ilia you are both delusional and wrong.

I mean I know part of it is my strange immediate attraction to blondes, but this Link was special. I guess the fact that we were both 17 at the same time had an impact on me, I guess feel as though he’ll age with me even though he’s eternally 17. What’s really happening is the game is aging with me, it’s the Zelda of my time, of my late teen years.

Now to take this post in a different direction. For the record: Skyward Sword Link is not my waifu. He has super fugly pants. I also think he’s meant to be with Zelda in that game… but I feel that Zelda’s meant to be with Groose because Groose is awesome. I mean yea, Groose was initially a douche bag, but how could anyone not love Groose after how awesome he became… plus he works out!!  Skyward Sword Link is a good boy who tries to act bad on occasion, Twilight Princess Link is a bad boy with a good heart while being capable of tolerating a woman’s abuse *cough* Midna *cough* My prefernce had been made clear.

And now you can all laugh at me and call me a loser. At least I’m not a forever alone with a body pillow.

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Harry Potter Isn’t What It Used to Be

I remember when I first started reading the Harry Potter books. I was in 3rd or 4th grade, only the first three books were out and I was reading them with my dad. The first book was great from start to finish. I even remember rereading a few chapters in that book because I liked them so much. The second book had a slow start but then got better, same with the third book. One thing all of those books had in common was a sense of fun and adventure. They were kids in a magic school doing fun stuff with magic. There were bad guys, but I wouldn’t say it was excessively dark or anything like that.

Then the 4th book came out, I went to the midnight release. That book was huge. I read the first chapter or two and as usual, the first couple of chapters tend to suck so I put it down and didn’t pick it up until some of my friends in my5th grade class told me it was great and to keep reading. I read the rest of it, and I thought it was pretty good but not as good as the first three. It was also here where the story line started to become less fun and more dark.

Then I read The Hobbit before my father took me to see The Fellowship of the Ring. After seeing that movie Harry Potter went straight out the window, there was *no* comparison at all. I went on to read the Lord of the Rings. It was much harder to read, but it felt more real. I felt like that somewhere out there, long ago, that that story actually happened. Later when I began to read Norse myths, I saw that they read in a similar way.

Then the 5th Harry Potter came out. I didn’t attend the midnight release but did pick up the book the next morning. First few chapters were crap, I put the book down. It stayed down until 2007. That was when the last Harry Potter book was being released. I was going to go to the midnight launch with friends for the hell of it. Then I had a random urge to read the 5th and 6th books in the 4 days I had before the launch. I tried reading the 5th book again, and again it sucked. I opened up to a random page in the middle, it sucked. I tried another random page, it still sucked. I read the spark notes of the 5th book. I was glad I didn’t read it because those spark notes sucked. Then I read the spark notes for book 6. Book 6 seemed like it would have been interesting, but by then the storyline had gotten too dark for me. I read the last book and enjoyed it, but by then Harry Potter just wasn’t what it was for me as a kid. I mean they were never even *in* Hogwarts in the last one. I was also pissed that Harry lived. I wanted him and Voldemort to kill each other simultaneously and stay dead. Oh well.

But all of this aside, I have to say that I feel really bad for all of the kids I saw last night running around in capes and gryffindor scarves. I mean they had to be 8 or 9.. the age I was when I first started reading the books. I can only assume that these kids have just seen the movies. And I feel that towards the end of the story, it just gets too dark for a child (or me) to fully appreciate. In a way it worked well for my generation, it was as if we all grew up with Harry Potter. Though for me, it was like I went to elementary school with Harry Potter, then we drifted during middle school and wound up completely different in high school, as that tends to happen. Harry Potter just isn’t what it used to be.

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E3 2011 and Zelda

Well E3 has come and gone, I didn’t watch as much of it this year as I have in previous years, but I managed to catch a good chunk of Nintendo’s press conference, which is really all I care about anyway.

Possibly the thing that got me most excited was news about the newest Zelda game, Skyward Sword! They released a new trailer!!

I must say that I am still very skeptical of how it will turn out since they’re saying its way different, not to mention I’m not crazy about adult Link looking all cartoony (in addition to his fugly pants, but I’ll save those pants for another post) or Zelda having bangs. But I completely trust the Zelda team to come up with an awesome story that will totally blow me away.

Also, the new bad guy is totally David Bowie.

Ok calling him David Bowie may be a bit of a stretch, but it was the first thing I thought of when I saw him.  Can you really blame me? All this blue guy is lacking is a mullet!

I really wish I could have this game now so I could spend the summer on it, but it looks like I’ll have to wait until “Holiday 2011” assuming they stay true to their word. I can’t even remember how many times Twilight Princess’ release got pushed back, all I remember is waiting for it for two years after first hearing about it.

The other thing that got me really excited, is the new baby they announced. The Wii and DS got together and made a baby, the Wii U.

This will solve one problem that has been around since home gaming systems were available: when you have a family member that wants to watch TV while you are playing a game. Basically the Wii U acts as a controller, but if someone wants to watch TV, they can, and you can continue playing the game on the controller. As far as I’m concerned, it’s possibly one of the best gaming innovations ever.It does other things, but I lack the tech vocabulary/conversational skills necessary to explain them,

That aside, I think Nintendo took advantage of the Wii U being so awesome and used it to troll every Zelda fan ever with this. (here’s a link to the fullsize version)

At first I thought it was a new Zelda, but everyone is saying its just an HD Twilight Princess demo. It makes sense, but also makes me a bit sad. I mean it looked so incredibly beautiful, it reminded me of how I felt when I saw the first Twilight Princess videos and images back in high school. Then it made me realize that Twilight Princess will always be the Zelda of my adolescent/high school generation, similar in a way to how Ocarina of Time will always be the Zelda of my elementary school generation. I think you get different experiences from games and other things based on how old you are. It’s different talking to people even four years older than me who are/were into Pokemon, just because it didn’t even exist until they were in middle school, whereas I was in elementary.

In the mean time, I’m looking forward to Ocarina of Time 3DS. Hopefully it’ll hold me over for a while as I anticipate the release of Skyward Sword.

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Pokemon Snap Stations, Where Have You Gone?

All of my local Blockbusters closing down caused me to remember something about my childhood. It made me remember the days the Blockbuster of my childhood had a Pokemon Snap Station.

Remeber these?

I remember begging my parents to take me to Blockbuster so I could use it. If you had a copy of Pokemon Snap, you could bring it in and use the kiosk to make sticker pictures of the photos you had saved in the game. And if you didn’t own a copy you could play through the first level and print pictures you had just taken. To print the pictures you needed a pokemon card.

There were several others with different pokemon on them. I remember having all of them but one. I also remember the people that worked at Blockbuster had no idea who any of the pokemon were. They’d show all of them to you and let you pick which one you wanted. The internet claims they cost $3 each, which sounds about right.

Another thing I remember having was the strategy guide.What I liked most about this was the section it had in the back to keep all of your stickers. They actually had spaces for all 151 pokemon.

I remember my Blockbuster had the Snap Station for one or two years and then it just disappeared. I was pretty disappointed. I assumed they trashed it or an employee got it.

So I went online and looked them up. It turns out only 4,500 were ever made. The promotion started in 1999 and ended in 2000 or early 2001. They’re very rare these days but if you’re lucky you can find one at a flee market or online somewhere.

I’d really like to use one again. But I feel that if I ever got my hands on one and bought it, it’d be extremely selfish to keep it to myself. This is something that every old pokemon fan deserves to experience again. If I ever manage to get one, I’d call Nintendo World and offer to sell or donate it to them on the condition that they kept it in the museum section of the store and allowed people to use it to print stickers. They would be the ones most likely to be able to get more sticker paper made after all. I doubt they’d go for making the cards again but it’d be worth it to get another sheet of stickers.

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All My Local Blockbusters Are Closing

I first dealt with this a number of years ago when Blockbuster still rented tapes. The one that was within walking distance of my house closed, for reasons unknown to me as Netflix did not exist at the time. But it was still sad. I can still remember my days in elementary school when Blockbuster really gave a shit about its customers. Every so often (or if you rented enough) they’d give you a movie night snack box with a bunch of samples in it. We got a large yellow popcorn bowl from them and one October me and my sister got free trick-or-treat buckets from them along with Halloween safety information. But those days were long gone before that Blockbuster closed.

Anyway, since the one we’ve been going to for new releases (as Netflix doesn’t have them and Time Warner is a fucking ripoff) is closing in April, they started selling off everything in the store now! Time for a Blockbuster edition of What’s in the Bag? Yes, I am blatantly stealing the idea from Peter.

Games (10% off)

Bioshock – I’ve heard that this game oozes Ayn Rand’s philosophy, so I thought I’d give it a try. If I don’t like it, my father or sister might.

Beautiful Katamari – Because I loved Katamari Damacy.. and this game was for the 360.. and we have a 360!

Movies ($10 each for the most part) My sister was the one to get more of these.. as $10 is a bit too expensive for me.

Monster’s Ball – My sister is collecting all of Heath Ledger’s movies. This is one of them.

Carrie – My sister hasn’t mentioned it but she may or may not be starting a Stephen King collection. Otherwise, it is a nice modern horror classic.

Nightmare on Elm St. 6 – Honestly I have no idea why she got this one. She claims that she needs it for one of her collections, but unless Johnny Depp is in that one, I have no idea what collection of hers it fits into.

Random Crap (20-30% off)

King Size Kit-Kat – yes I admit this was a damn impulse buy. Don’t judge me. I haven’t had a Kit-Kat since November and I need to gain about 10lbs.

Jiffy Pop – My sister was pissed we’ve never experienced it, and my Dad would probably enjoy it.

Jack Skellington Fleece Blanket – My sister and I were torn between the Jack blanket and Jack snuggie which were both the same price. But we each have snuggies already and figured the blanket would be a bit more practical.

That’s all for now. Hopefully those cheap asses will slash the prices on their movies so we can go back and buy a ton more 😀

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