[Veltzeh]'s diary

1105208  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2009-12-25
Written: (3218 days ago)

A video was linked in the Order of the Stick forums. I usually don't watch videos, but in this case, I'm really glad I did. (The scene specifically worth seeing starts at about 2:55, but it's good to watch and listen the stuff before that, too.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_69urn7asVA
Damn I laughed. XD

In other news, I cut a pretty big wound on my finger with the bread knife because of an obnoxiously hardened loaf of rye bread. That hasn't happened for quite a while, so I guess it was overdue. I wonder what kind of scar it'll leave.

1104700  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2009-12-20
Written: (3223 days ago)

I went to watch Avatar today. It was a movie about how humans come to exploit blue humanoids called navi on their home planet Pandora. I liked it, and while I admit it could've been done a little better, it was quite fine as it was. For once I thought 3 h 45 min wasn't enough to tell the story (though, granted, I mostly wanted more technobabble about how things work).
An issue of more discussion would be another review I read – after seeing the movie. It was in Aamulehti (Finnish morning newspaper) and said how "digitally produced images that are estranged from realism feel just as natural to the young people who've spent their youths at the computer as real, comforting people's faces in films feel to the older people". That statement felt wrong to me, but I don't think I can say much more about it without some actual research. I like both real faces and the digital ones, though of course the situation depends. If something is supposed to be very alien and non-humanoid but still has to be played by a human, it just doesn't work. And humans don't have to be digitally rendered. Anyway, I'm probably just missing something from that review statement.
I got stuck on the mention about realism, though. Whatever I've read and heard, everybody always says how we young ones should realize that movies and such are FICTION. They are NOT REAL (and you can't just shoot people like that). Well, to me, that's been pretty obvious. Then suddenly, in comes how movies, and especially sci-fi ones, are supposedly allegories of the present day. That was really emphasized in the Avatar review in Aamulehti. So who's saying what's real now? That all fictional but still allegory probably makes sense, but mostly it just feels like cheating to me at this point.
I'm not really getting why all/most/best sci-fi should be allegories of present day anyway. I do understand it's a way of telling the story in another way than it happened in real life, but... I'm just not really seeing the point in emphasizing sci-fi's allegoriness. It could be done in a regular, non-sci-fi film just as well, even if differently, I bet.
Yet another thing was how close game-making and movie-making have become. The reasoning was that they're both just coding on the computer. WTF? I don't even know that much about 3D stuff, but I'm pretty sure they still need humans for body movements, though they can just record that and then use it endlessly. The story, plot, dialogue and such need to be discussed among people; I don't think those plot generators work quite that well yet. An artist has to draw stuff for the coders, because even though I'm a coder and an artist, that doesn't mean every other coder is. And I don't even do computer generated stuff like that.
Okay, rant done. It was still a quite good movie. Maybe less Hollywood would've been nice. I'm just not sure.

1102835  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2009-12-07
Written: (3236 days ago)

Wow, yet another diary entry in such a short time! This can only mean that it's exam week time! ...Well, not exactly, but this time it does explain it.
I just spent an hour or two making up stats for femehans. You know, the kind one could use in role-playing and stuff. They're not D&D stats, though. And having written that, I feel like I should actually include them in that page I linked. Excuse me while I procrastinate some more.

1102662  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2009-12-06
Written: (3237 days ago)
Next in thread: 1102684

Now it's high time to talk about language. It's Finland's independence day today and I've seen the usual wishes of "hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää" (have a good independence day) on some IRC channels. There's also a pun-like twist on it: "hyvää itsepäisyyspäivää", which means "have a good stubbornness day". It's mind-tickling how similar independence and stubbornness are as concepts, too. Heh.

Also, last night I battled with a word for a personality trait. I can describe the trait as knowing oneself; knowing one's wants, needs, fears, limitations, abilities, etc. The Finnish word "itsetietoinen" does describe this, though it's probably more used to mean "self-aware". However, I've seen "itsetietoinen" being used in a way that it meant to know oneself. Of course, I could be mistaken on that too. I've previously used "self-conscious" for this trait, but now I started really thinking about it and came to the conclusion that it means either "self-aware" or something along having low self-esteem.
After a conversation on IRC, I came to the conclusion that "introspectively self-content" describes the trait best, but it's quite cumbersome. I think it needs a simpler word. Suggestions, anyone?

1102658  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2009-12-06
Written: (3237 days ago)

I went to watch 2012 on Friday. The catastrophe idea was pretty cool, though I'd have wanted more technobabble on how exactly neutrinos heat up the Earth's mantle. The running away from imminent destruction reached ridiculous levels, but I suspect that was mostly just artistic. It did look cool, after all. The movie was quite good altogether.

1101365  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2009-11-23
Written: (3250 days ago)

I caught some kind of cold and therefore spent the day (at least up until this far) watching a some sort of Finnish TV series that apparently never made it to TV. It's called "Hobitit" (Hobbits) and is obviously about Lord of the Rings. Have a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InLfFZQyeKQ
Another thing I've been listening to is Van Canto. They do songs with five singers and a drummer and it's quite awesome. Here's a link too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCGQiGEYl4Y

1101119  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2009-11-20
Written: (3253 days ago)

Hey, it's transgender day of remembrance today. Have a link: http://www.transgenderdor.org/

1098007  Link to this entry 
Written about Wednesday 2009-10-21
Written: (3283 days ago)

I just finished reading the archives of the comic The Gods of Arr-Kelaan (http://www.rmcomics.com/). It's fairly epic and funny and handles gods in a way that I like, which is an achievement, really.

1097790  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2009-10-19
Written: (3285 days ago)

I finally managed to make a wikipage dedicated to fixing the plot issues in one of my stories. It's at TFK plotting. Please help me, even if you didn't know that much about writing. At the moment, I'm sure I can use bits of all kind of help.

1096953  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2009-10-11
Written: (3294 days ago)

I watched a movie called Crash on TV. I'm pretty sure I was recommended it in the past, but my memory is rather inadequate. It was recommended just generally, not specifically to me. I guess it was a good movie; I didn't want to leave it unfinished. The subject matter (racism, some more racism and angsting about said racism and stuff), then again, was sort of foreign to me. It seemed unreal. I blame my being Finnish. The issues were something I really wish were a thing of the past. The distant one at that.
If only life was less problematic.

1087496  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2009-07-20
Written: (3376 days ago)

I went to watch "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince" today. It was quite okay and good to watch. It was somewhat blotchy though. I assume that was for a large part intentional, so that the last one will look better.

1081710  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2009-06-06
Written: (3420 days ago)

We have a new router, so hopefully our connection won't be very morse-like from now on.

I also went to watch Terminator Salvation yesterday. It was pretty mediocre, the action was cool and I liked that there wasn't that much romance involved. It doesn't beat I, Robot though.

1079130  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2009-05-15
Written: (3442 days ago)

The day after I had went to see Wolverine, I went to see the new Star Trek movie. I've never really been very interested in Star Trek, mostly because really getting into it would require acquiring and watching who know how much material, and I don't have that kind of time. I think. I was too young when it was popular. That said, I liked the movie. It was well done, even though the characters weren't that much to my liking, time travel is too paradoxical for my taste and planet-killers have been seen. The movie worked pretty well without any prior knowledge, though I was puzzled as to what was the Issue (TM) with Romulans.

1078063  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2009-05-08
Written: (3449 days ago)
Next in thread: 1078092, 1078384

I went to watch Wolverine (or "X-Men Origins: Wolverine") today. It was nice. It could have been better, but it wasn't bad either. I also once again noticed that I've taken a liking to slightly gratuitous scenes of violence (machinery being involved is probably a factor, but I'm not very sure; more data is needed). Wolverine and motorcycle versus two jeeps and a helicopter was COOL. I wonder what's happening to me.

I've also started to notice how much I suck as a writer. I might be wrong, but I just can't tell. When I read stuff that other people have written and find it good, I just have an urge to imitate that and write a completely similar thing. I could probably write well if I do that, but I still have serious qualms about copying (or "copying") by my own hand what someone else has done and claim it as my own.

1077086  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2009-04-30
Written: (3457 days ago)

I bought Dragonforce's newest album a few days ago. [Levoton] apparently dislikes them a lot, and I started wondering what I like in music.
My musical background is that I suck at it. Music theory in senior secondary was the first exam ever that I failed. I've read there's some kind of connection between musical and mathematical talent, but I'm only competent in math. I suppose it could just be a hearing and attitude issue, though. (I have actual trouble understanding speech.) I'm fairly tone deaf, though I could most likely learn to play an instrument if I wanted to. I'm afraid to try since I might like it and I don't even have time for my current hobbies right now.

As for musical genres, I like video game music, techno, trance, industrial, electronica, pop and rock and metal. Pop and rock is kind of questionable since they're very vague. I suppose I mostly like the catchy tunes in them, mostly. As for metal, there are a lot of subgenres and I suppose I mostly like speed, melodic, symphonic and power metal. I just checked last.fm's tags and saw "nintendo metal", which sounds awesome. (Also, why is Dragonforce tagged "Finnish"? They're from UK as far as I can tell...) Mmm, SID metal.

Let's see. What I like about video game music is that 8-bit and midi are awesome. They have simple sounds that even my ears can understand. I suppose that when the amount of sounds is limited, the melody/rhythm/tune is better constructed to compensate or something.

I'll lump techno, electronica, trance and industrial in one since I guess I mostly like similar things in them. No singing is a definite plus in them, as is the strong rhythm. Then again, I absolutely hate it when in some trance/etc. songs there are some voices moaning, aaahhh-ing or yeah-ing. Why do they have to ruin the music with those? I like the so-called futuristic/synthetic/sci-fi-ish sounds. Fancy sounds for the win.

Pop and rock... well... catchy tunes. That's my main reason for liking them when I do like them.

Metal. Techno tends to have a very simple but powerful drumming sequence, and while I like that, I also like it when it's more complex but still powerful. But it needs to be not TOO complex! I also like it when the whole song is full of sound, which is generally what metal songs are. It does depend, though. I still want a melody in them; mere sound is just an earsore. As for speed, I can't honestly say why I like it more when the music is fast. I just do.
I like progressive metal too, but I suppose most of it is too difficult for me to understand.

For me, lyrics/singing is the one thing that usually completely ruins the song for me.
Singing voice is a rather important factor. I hate the growling/grunting "singing" (örinä) in many metal songs. It works when used scarcingly to represent a monster or something, but even that stretches it. I like high voices on men and low voices on women. I also hate it when some woman sings in a sort of "pink barbie voice" or "brat voice". I don't even know how to explain those. An example would be best, but of course I've forgotten all those kind of songs. Maybe Aqua's Barbie Girl is a good example of "pink barbie voice". Men can have equally annoying voices, but I haven't been able to categorize them yet. Machinae Supremacy's singer's voice is very annoying, but for some reason I can handle it on their best songs. Voiceless voices like Nordmän are also an earsore of sorts. I don't mind screaming as singing as long as it works well. I think Dragonforce does it well. I like it when the voice is clear.

Lyrics. Hoo whoa. First of all, I'm really sick of songs about (lost/forbidden/eternal/denied/nonexistent) love. It could be because I don't know a thing about love as those songwriters do. Therefore, any topic of love is usually an automatic ruination for a song. Also other everyday topics and artist life in general are usually turn-downs. Songs about nothing but human nature... no thanks, I think about that way too much without any music.
There are exceptions, of course.
As with poetry, I like it if the song tells a story. Specifically, a fictional story. Even better if the story is fantasy or sci-fi. I also really like hearing certain words in the lyrics. Some of these words are: universe, desolation, silent, wasteland, winter, thunder, storm, far away, so far, parallax, forever, endless, path, ice, field, shadow, planet, metal, sky, desert, forest, understand, steel, collide, gate. I wonder why I like hearing them. When I was younger, I only liked non-Finnish songs because I couldn't understand the words. Then I started understanding English and nowadays I can even enjoy the fact that I understand thwe lyrics. However, I still miss a lot of the words and especially meanings. I just hear a word here and there. I think I've gotten better at understanding the words, though.

I suppose I could make a list of some of my all-time favorite songs, you know, the kind I could listen to for a whole day. Maybe even a week, like Gerudo Valley (yes, I did that). No, these aren't really in order, even thought it might seem like so.
Video game: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Gerudo Valley
Video game: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Deku Palace
Dragonforce: Soldiers of the Wasteland
Dragonforce: Disciples of Babylon
Dragonforce: Revelations
Dragonforce: Valley of the Damned
CMX: Parvatin tietäjä
CMX: Punainen komentaja
Altaria: Enemy
Blind Guardian: Battlefield
Blind Guardian: Fly
Blind Guardian: Somewhere far beyond
Ensiferum: Lai lai hei
Finntroll: Vätteanda (maybe some other Finntroll songs...)
Folkemon: Think back and Lie of England
Genesis: Land of Confusion
Heavy Metal Perse: Kohti kolossien maata
Heavy Metal Perse: Aamunkoiton huilumies
Iced Earth: Ten thousand strong
Iron Maiden: Nomad
Joan Baez: Sweet Sir Galahad
Kamelot: The Spell
Korpiklaani: Kädet siipinä
Luca Turilli: War of the Universe
Mike Oldfield: Guilty
Mike Oldfield: Moonlight Shadow
Nightwish: Moondance
Nightwish: Crownless
Nightwish: The Riddler
Pet Shop Boys: It's a sin
Rhapsody: Elnor's Magic Valley (uh... it's hard to pick just one Rhapsody song)
Robert Miles: Fable
Scooter: (...something here...)
Sonata Arctica: World in my eyes
Sonata Arctica: My land
Sonata Arctica: It won't fade
Stratovarius: (something here too)
Therion: Gothic Kabbalah
Thy Majest(y/ie/ic): The Scream of Taillefer
Uriah Heep: Lady in Black
Video game: Metroid: Full of life (Relics of the Chozo)
Video game: Metroid Prime: Magmoor Caverns
X-perience: Magic Fields
Video game: Ufouria: ice cave music

I also have single songs from several artists, but it's even harder to pick from those.

(I also didn't spend 5 hours writing this. My posting was delayed by last.fm and others (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOpdyytB3OY).)

1074102  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2009-04-10
Written: (3477 days ago)

I went to watch "Laputa – linna taivaalla" (Tenku no shiro Rapyuta) on Thursday. It was a good movie, but the main character was kind of annoying but quite tolerable anyway. The other characters were cool, however, as were the backgrounds and other things. The pirate captain was especially awesome. She was an old action granny!

1073267  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2009-04-03
Written: (3484 days ago)

I've been reading yet another webcomic. This time, it's "Once Upon A Table" (http://onatable.comicgenesis.com/). There's a scene about a monster that begins here: http://onatable.comicgenesis.com/d/20041227.html and when I got to this part: http://onatable.comicgenesis.com/d/20050131.html I totally wasn't expecting it and proceeded to lol. A lot. I think it requires that build-up and the fact that I just didn't see it coming. Otherwise I think it's kind of cheap, maybe. Of course, it could be that I'm just tired.
I've also read and reread way too much Order of the Stick comics lately, as if that had anything to do with anything.

1069508  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2009-03-07
Written: (3512 days ago)

I went to see Watchmen ...yesterday. Yes. It was quite awesome. Some critic on the newspaper said it was too true to the original comic, but I didn't find that a problem. It had also been just long enough a time since I had read the comic, so I didn't remember all of the plot. Also, the movie plot was easier to follow and I kind of feel that I missed something while reading the comic because I couldn't read it on one go. Nevertheless, yay!

1066819  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2009-02-16
Written: (3530 days ago)

I went to practice some parkour with [Levoton] yesterday. It was fun, though I think I like the indoors practice more than going out. Surprise. Anyway, I was already hurting when we left there, and it only got worse later. I couldn't sleep (much) at night—every time I felt like I might fall asleep, I just startled and was wide awake again.
Now my legs are totally shot and my arms aren't in much better condition. Again next Sunday!

1064214  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2009-01-24
Written: (3553 days ago)

I finally finished reading the Wraeththu trilogy today. A kind of review follows, even though I don't remember that much of the two first books. I didn't even write it down, like I did for the third.

I liked the story well enough, but it could've been better as well. The lack of plot was disorienting, but then again, there was a plot, but because the stories were told from the point of view of a single character per book, it was very murky until the end. I usually like to have more clarity.
The characters really seemed like characters, though the dialogue took funny turns at some points, and everyone seemed to have three or less ways of speaking (colloquial, sarcastic and overly formal). Maybe knowing Finnish and its dialects makes me strangely aware of the different ways in which people can speak. Then again, I'm not sure if I can achieve that in my own writing, so...
The world was ...a world! I appreciate it when in towns, strangers are treated with hospitality instead of hostility. It did seem a little surreal at places, but well. Weirder was that when a town would have greeted strangers (the protagonist) with hostility, they had a contact who got them through it.
I don't think I've ever been very fond of descriptions, but in Wraeththu, they really worked for me, save for some choice of words (and I accuse the language barrier for that). Not too verbose, but long enough to make it all seem real and different.

Speaking of language, I read the last 19 chapters (174 pages) in a few hours, which I think is a record for me reading unfamiliar English. It still feels like my level of comprehension is much lower with English if I'm not very familiar with the subject. Sigh, language.

Addition: There's one thing I need to complain about: the names. They don't make linguistic sense. So many new words and so many of them capitalized. The names are memorable enough, but I just found them linguistically ugly somehow. Maybe the fault is in me, though. I think Japanese/Chinese/Korean names are nice, but I can never properly remember them, unless they resemble a Western name. Funny, isn't it?

1063294  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2009-01-18
Written: (3559 days ago)
Next in thread: 1063356

Nanowrimo meet is over! We didn't really do anything nanowrimoish, but we played games and watched movies. I played three new games:
– Monty Python and Zombie Fluxx (yes, we did mix them and didn't suffer any (visible) brain damage)
– Battlestar Galactica boardgame (it was pretty cool)
– Arkham Horror (damn long game, but interesting and I really like that the players play it cooperatively against the gameboard)
– Shoot 'Em Up (art with shooting guns, and I'm amazed they didn't have a gunfight underwater (yes, I'm aware of the silliness)) (third K-18 movie I ever saw (after Mad Max and Kill Bill 1))
– UHF 62 (it was called a "bad" comedy")
– The Black Hole (perfect robots (yeah right)!)
– 13. warrior (it was Buliwyf's story from the point of view of some Arab guy, and I thought it was pretty cool and more watchable than the new Beowulf)
– Conan the Barbarian (it had swords)
– Excalibur (it was kind of like Merlin, but shorter and less detailed, and Merlin still had the same personality!)
– Dungeons & Dragons (I wasn't traumatized, heck, I didn't even think it sucked)
– Highlander (if there was racket about this movie somewhere, I didn't get why)
– Flesh & Blood (every freaking character there is a total effing despicable asshole, and yet the movie was sort of okay) (fourth K-18 movie)

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