Random Lunacy

Ranting from a San Jose artist/amature cosplayer at its finest. Multiple personalities frequent to kibitz author. Random Lunacy: Is it sleeping...or is it dead? >>

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Didn't think i'd get 31 entries, but what a ride it was (what with being late the last 5 or so days ^^;;). We've just turned out our lights and we were the last ones ont he block to do so. It was pretty good, I haven't given out candy to the kiddies since we moved into the apartment around 5 years or so ago. It was nice to see them. We prolly got more than 120 kids. I saw only a scant few costumers at SJSU, but there were a few cool ones. Like this:
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That Spartan's pretty keen also...XD Whee. KILL THE REDS, SUCK IT BLUE.
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I found him.
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This just made my day. ^^

My bf and I decided to walk down to Japantown in San Jose for exercise, so we walked on down, grabbed a snack, then visited our friend at Farout Toys. J-toan was doing a trick-or-treat for the kiddies at various shops and restarants. It was really cute. Also, the guy who ran Farout was playing a Godzilla movie that was f-kicking awsome. Don't ask me which one, I only know it was newer and it had a wrestler in it. It was pretty neat.
On our way back, I noticed that a few houses were dressed up to kill for Halloween.
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It really took me back. I haven't really had a chance to really just relax and reminesce about my childhoods of Halloweens. Its been a long time since I can say I really enjoyed one, or even an October proper.
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There's something nostalgic about old webs, fake blood, and ridiculous manniquins. I remember these things when I used to trick-or-treat, something I haven't had the chance or guts to do since I was in high school. It was a chance to see things haveen't changed all that much.
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Sure, you couldn't find a house on the US that still gives out handmade treats, or see parents allow their children into haunted houses that were inside people actual houses instead of on the lawn. But there was that crisp feeling in the air that almost takes you back to time when you could. It finally cooled off yesterday and today, and earthquake nothwithstanding (somehow, I neglected to mention yesterday that while carving the mushroom pumpkin, there was a 5.6 earthquake that nearly knocked our china cabinet on me), its starting to shape up to be a grand holiday season.
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Here's a pic of my happy pumpkin dude. I like his face, he looks like my granpa, if my granpa was given to being a squash-like veggie-table.
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The pumpykin with the face always goes on this silly lil stand we bought years ago. Its goofy, but it somehow feels right.
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Dad put the tombstones and the mushroom pumpkin out on the lawn, where the screaming tombstone zombie thing would hopefully scare away any possum that tried to nibble on my masterpiece of gutted gourd.
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Hopefully, you all had a great October and Halloween. I wish you all plently of holiday spirit, be it wintery, snowy, witchy, or Japanesey. Its been a great run, my friends, so enjoy it. You only get so many Halloweens in your life. Make the most of them. Eat Reeses Peanut Buttercups til you puke. Trick-or-treat until ppl staop giving you candy. Dress up like you're 6 again. Its Halloween, its Pagan, and its real.

*Happy Halloween, Lunies! See you Next Year!*

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


So tonight, besides getting swamped when I wasn't looking by dreaded homework, I decided I had to carve the pumpkins. The reason for waiting until the night before is three-fold: 1) We had a party this last Saturday that was off the hook...XD, B) I wasn't doing homework because of said party, and III) we have possums that might eat said pumpkins. So, they were inside for the duration of the weekend.

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I had bought the pumpykins at a local pumpkin patch, which has been there since time immemorial. Dressed as Miku Hinasaki for the day, my bf and I headed down with the intention of buying the best pumykins one can buy w/ $20. Its a shamefully expensive enterprise these days to buy a pumpkin, since farms can and will jack up the price based on "example" pumpkins at the check-out table. Our farm wasn't so bad, but suffice it to say we didn't get much back for change.

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Note the pumpkin totem. I'm so great at these self-taking pics that look like they belong on Myspace. In the background, my bf looms like a revanant. lol
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There was this tiny house there that had furniture by way of seats torn out of a van from the 70s. Comfy, but don't expect to even sit at normal height inside if you're taller than the average toddler.

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Ok. The carving. One pumpkin was to have a face, the other, something video game related. Yes, I am a geek. That's why I'll be dressed as a Nintendo Wii console tomorrow. My teachers'll think I've gone mad. Above is the face, which has been lobotomized already with this tiny pumpkin scoop. I don't care what the manufacturers say; there's no damn way their 2-inch blade can carve through the tough hide that is a pumkin's outer walls. I had my father slice this bitch up with a carving knife. It was awsome.
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I dunno if I've ever said anything about pumpkin guts, but they are the most disgusting things ever created, and I've dissected minks in high school. Above is my hand displaying the grossness that is pumpkin pulp and seeds.
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How anyone could think that seeds floating in pumpkin innards could be tasty in any shape or form is beyond me. The real thing doesn't smell anything like the artifical stuff they jam into candles and the such. It smells exactly what you'd think pumpkin vomit smells like. Its a nauseating feeling that one can get from too many spins on Fiddler's Fling at Great America (which has a different name that I'm too lazy to look up) You know that filling they put in the pie? That stuffs actually the whiter sides of the inside of the pumpkin, not the slime that hangs like snot from every direction of the fruit. The pulp shit? That's only used for defacing property. That's why God made it that way.

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I don't have a pic of the face (I'll post it tomorrow, if I'm lucky), but here's the Mario mushroom I made plans for. It took a little thinking to get it to not fall apart when cutting the shit out of the pumpkin.
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Lites off. Its ok....
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Once the lights all go off, its not so bad, but I have definently seen better (I saw a Pyramid Head pumpkin I'm so gonna marry). Its cute. I can't wait to hand out candy with that sucker on my porch while I'm dressed like Wii-tan. I'll try to have something up by tomorrow, a video or something, but in case I'm super late:

Now...to go paint my comp...O_o

*Pumpkin guts are disgusting, Lunies*

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Monday, October 29, 2007

The 2007 Halloween Countdown is at Day 29

Music: Until the Day I Die by Story of the Year
Video: Fatal Frame 2

My first AMV I made a year and change ago, maybe 2 years. It took me a grand total of 3 months (all together), and survived (barely) a hardcore Mac crash, from which I nearly had to re-build from the ground up. I'm happy with it. Enjoy.

*And I think I hate you, lunies*

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

The 2007 Halloween Countdown Loves Tim Curry, Day 28

I'm late, so here's a Silent Hill 2 related video I made with my beloved dogs Shiela and Boo.

Song: Bark! (Dog Ending) by Akira Yamaoka, Silent Hill 2
Ending Song: Animal Crossing by Commando Z

Soon to be up (hopefully if Youtube doesn't hate it) is my Silent Hill vs Fatal Frame vid that's part of a series of vids based on the melding of the two franchiese, cheerfully known as "Silent Hill Loves Fatal Frame". Its like M-flo Loves Utada Hikaru, but with monsters and ghosts.

*BARK, Lunies!*

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

KYYYAAAAAA! Its the Halloween Countdown, Day 27

So there was a party today. It was pretty cool. Food and fun. At 6 sharp, my friend climbed up on the roof and we hung out with the chilly October air, then decided that rolling off the roof was a bad idea and found a ladder. Besides an epic Cranium battle to the death, a resounding game of Zombies, and a Mario Kart RACE OF FUCKING WIN, we decided that a lil survival horror game was in order. After some Smash Bros and Halo, I hooked the Wii back up and popped in Eternal Darkness, mentioned in an earlier post. For those who missed it: Eternal Darkness is a game from Silicon Knights (who made the first Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen), a game that's soaked in Lovecraftian goodness of good, evil, and EVIL MAGIC with a K. Its never the good kind of magick, since that kind always happens on the east coast (here, its Rhode Island, but it takes place in other times and locales like Cambodia).

This game is also the best game for fucking with its gamer. It doesn't just throw sound effects and cheap scares around with monsters and cut-scenes. No, this is not your father's survival horror. Besides an innovative (if unweildy at times) battle system that allows you to choose which parts of the creature you're attacking, the game also has something called insanity effects. The creatures of ED are a lot like some of the creatures and places in Lovecraftian stories: they cause insanity in mere humans like ourselves. In ED, you must not only not die in combating creatures from beyond, but also finish them off. If you do not (or refuse to, like some hardcore gamers), your sanity drops until the game decides to make your go insane. Like tilting and jostling the camera for instance. Or having a fly crawl across your screen. Or making it look like you die, but instead faking you out and resetting your position by a minute.

With my bf's request, I decided to choose the green rune (one of the first levels has you play as a roman centurion, where you choose which dark god to serve that dictates a specific ending and path the game will take; there are 3 initial paths, and to see the true ending, you must play through all three and then a fourth time to get it). According to the information I recieved, having the green one has the better insanity effects.

With around 30+ ppl watching, I delve into the first "real" chaper (the first one where the effects would be enabled) and start by kicking ass. By avoiding to do the finishing moves, I accelerated my inasanity effects, which started with a tilting camera angle, my character hallucinating, and whispering voices. It was awsome. Evenutally, every noise we heard, even if it wasn't in the game, we said was an insanity effect. I almost got someone to believe my door slamming was an effect (until someone spoiled it for me T_T). XD

My hightlight of the night was me fighting a horde of monsters, then walking into a room, only to have a literal BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH show up. Some sort of compuer error splashes onto the screen with the usual garble of computer speak and the "press any key to continue" at the bottom, only to flash back to the game, with my character muttering that she's "ok". I didn't curse as much as when we were playing MK, and someone bullet bashed me outta 3rd to 8th. Another effect had me die a horrible death because my controller stopped working. XD Fun fun stuff. I kept healing, hoping my head woould explode, but, alas, that did not occur. I had to stop at the end of that chapter, but I can't wait til I get back to it. ^^ I love Insanity Effects. I'll prolly run late with these last few entires as I scramble for article posting goodness, but all in all, this October's been pretty great.

*I'm Ok, Lunies...I'm--BANG*

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Jack-O is Whack-O, and So is Day 26 in the 2007 Halloween Countdown

So, we decorated my place for the saturday Halloween bash. This's a sample.

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This is the hallway. At the end is my Dad's room. This hall wasn't festooned w/ a lotta stuff, since the only reason people would be here is for the bathroom. Speaking of which:

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I'm in love with window clings, and we've had these for 2 years or so. A bitch to store, but its alllllll worth it. On the opposite wall is my pumpkin pal. They came in a set of 4 (Mummy, Goblin, Witch, Pumpkin).

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The wall to my room. I hung pumkin laanterns from very doorway in the house. They're pretty cute. A better pic of the Creey and Crawly painting there can be found here: Clickity Me, or on a previous countdown day.

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A closer look at this great mirror. I <3 Target Halloween stuff. ^^ Got some sweet pumpkin lites.

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In the hall, we have our creepy bride and groom. The bride is on the right, cuz the women is always right, and men are left with everything else. XD My family has corny jokes.

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Our coat closet. I like this cutie witch.
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And this wreath.

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Aforementioned stuffed heads. That damned Halloween sign kept falling down. eventually, we just left it hanging. I'm too lazy to fix it.

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We keep buying these houses, I dunno why. One day, I'll turn around, and BAM, there's a Halloween Lilliput in my toilet. Hope they at least leave the seat down.

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These bats, while cool, are a bitch to store. We've lost 2 strings last year. this year, I figure we could leave them up till next year. They'll look great when the x-mas lites bounce off them.

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Don't mind CSI on the telly. Above is one of 4 paintings my dad bought that are pastiches of famous paintings. Shown is the Medusa Lisa. There's also a skeletal Blue Boy by Gainsbourough, and an spooky American Gothicka. We also have a holographic changing nobleman. My dad loves these things. ^^

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Another set of last year's Halloween cuties stuff. I like cute, what can I say.

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In reality, this damn thing scares me everytime I walk by it. Fucking thing looks like a grmlin in the dark. I love yoooouuuu, Ghost Boy!

There's more, but I think i might make the blog die in linking them all. XD I love Halloween. It give me a chance to dress up and get candy, and decorate like a madwoman. I skipped the webbing this year, since I have to cook and stuff. But if the party's a success, then its alllll worth it. ^^

*Halloween is love and fear Lunies*

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Halloween Countdown Lost in Time, Day 25

Man what a party, but enough of that, let's walk backwards through time to thursday nite, shall we?

How to Survive a Horror Movie

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, this book becomes indespensible when tripping your way through various horror movies. Slashers, monster flicks, aliens, demonic possession, haunted houses, zombies; its all here. Like the subtitle says, "All the skills to dodge the kills". With a forword by Wes Craven, which is more like an apology to his movies in which all his characters fall victims to slaughter and death, how can you lose?

Leo:Well, you can skip buying it, that's a loss.

Indeedy-do! Its like Creepy and Crawley boiled down into a handbook for surviving horror, which is exactly something you guys need to make sure you know. What can we expect in this black book bible of doom? It starst off first by helping you identify if you are indeed in a horror movie, from discovering budget (looking at the surroundings and props), to discerning which or your pretty friends is a stereotype for getting offed by a slasher with a machete. From there is divides its chapters based on horror genres, then splits them up into sub-genres. These all have allusions to popular (and sometimes obscure) horror movie references (a break-down of slasher killers like Freddie and Jason, to babysitting horror legends), which are practically and hilariously plotted out to help you not get killed by random cars or zombies. Did something last summer you shouldn't have? Kill everyone who knew you did, including friends. Killer in the house you're babysitting for? Torch the house and run home. House possessed by pissed off native americans? High tail it out and don't look back (unless its for the dog).

Also detailed are harbingers of doom: things like light where it shouldn't be, deadly animals like sloths (the only animal named for a deadly sin) and ravens/crows, or boobies. And besides tips on what you should do when your corn has children in it are practical tips like how to stay awake for a week straight (including dietary concerns, temperature, and stimulants), or how to outsmart a devil posessed vehicle (get wet), or even what to bring for a sucessful exorcism (a healthy young priest, the right bible passages, and buckets of holy water). While all told tongue in cheek and jokingly, these small gems are there if you need them for other reasons besides the Terrorverse kind (though I would hope it wouldn't).

The illustrations are coomposed of nothing but thick lines, reds/blacks/whites/some pinks, and snarling beasts. Its not asthetically pleasing as, say Kanon or Air, but at least the beasts and killers look like they'd kill you if they could somehow step out of the pages and down your throat. I like them; they remindd me of Madd Matt and puppies wanting to tear out your intestines.

Also included is a pretty comprehensive list of great horror movies for not only thrills but for additional study materials. If you've ever wanted a list of the must-sees and dont' feel like turning on Bravo's 100 Scary Movie Moments, then this is where you turn. In addition to the greats, it also lists the worsts. Yes, Uwe Boll's movies are mentioned, but only one is actually described (House of the Dead is bar none the worst movie-video game conversion. HANDS DOWN), and if you thought the Leprechaun movies were bad, wait til you hear about Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. Haven't heard of it? You're a lucky, lucky bastard.

If you haven't picked up this book, you are probably what's left of the corpse some coroner is scraping off the pavement at the opening credits of the horror movie. If you wanna survive a fight with a killer doll, and not want to find out that you've been dead since 5 minutes into the flick, you better pick this book up ASAP. Then again, I can't gurantee that the moment you get it that you won't be dodging death traps and Plymouth Furies every 5 seconds. I loved this book and keep it always within arm's reach at all times. This is not a suggestion, this is a requirement for this October, and all Octobers to come: Buy this book. Or die a mierable, torturous and splatter-punk death.

*Drop your pants and make Papa proud, Lunies!*

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Seven Days Left on the Halloween Countdown!

We're down to the last week, lunies. I'm wrapping up the week with Silent Hill costumes (yesteday was Henry Townsend, the day before, Harry; today was Heather, and perhaps tomorrow I shall be Mary Sunderland; Friday mayhaps Alex), given their flexibility in being "normal" clothes. My mind has been frazzled by the rendering project, and with preparations for my 9th annual Halloween party underway, its hard to find time to post about the season of pumpkins and yurei. Tonight, to unwind, I popped in Fatal Frame 2: Director's Cut on the X-Box. My god, but the x-box has an unweildy controller. Add that to my experience with FPS mode (which is so much simpler in combat that it is in exploration, I've found), and we've got a night of shots, scares, and "SHIT!"'s.

Back to the countdown. What shall we talk about tonight, kiddies? I tried uploading a FF AMV to no avail, drawing produced nothing, and things are eerily quiet in my current work "Creepy and Crawley". Many people lately have been struggling over the lack of holiday spirit, given the warmer weather lately. Its been hot here in the Golden State, and I hear its hot back east too. What with midterms and all, its no surpise that even my hardcore buds at Silent Hill Talk are a bit absent. My OCtobers haven't been the best in the past few years, but strangely, I feel invigorated. Excited. Giddy, like I used to be in middle school. I remember costumes, candy, cookies, and Halloween decorations as far as the eye could see. I dunno why, but I feel young again. Perhaps it is the coming NiGHTS game that makes me happy (whenever it comes out). I hope you guys also find some way of feeling young again too before Thanksgiving rolls around.

I dunno if I'd reviewed the book The House of Leaves, but I heartily recommend it for this time of year. Its a book that not only fucks with you like a good hour of Eternal Darkness, but gives you pause. There's a thin line between reality and fiction in the book, and sometimes, you can't tell which is which after awhile. Anyone looking for an adventure should definently pick it up.

I'vve also come to notice a lot of books (ok 3-4) concerning surviving or hunting the supernatural. I'd recently paged through the Zombie Survival Handbook, and found so much of it interesting that I'm considering picking it up for my sister (whom, like myself, are deathly terrified of zombies). Also on the reading list is the Monster Hunter's Handbook which not only details certain monsters than can be hunted as game (heaven forbid) or for sport, but has suggestions on how to find many mythical weapons such as the Spear of Destiny, Sun Wukong's staff, and Mjollnir. Most of it is told completly straight-faced, as if it were a handbook on game hunting, as is another book called Monster Spotter's Guide to North America which details monsters and mythical beasts as if they were birds to be spotted. Its a bit tongue-in-cheek too, but you kinda have to look for it. If you're one of the types who give out Halloween gifts, you might wanna try one of these.

Tomorrow, If I'm lucky, I'll do a blow out review of my new favvorite book How to Survive a Horror Movie, in which I'll help tell you how to know you're in a horror movie, how to deal with different slasher villians, offer tips on killer dolls, and eventually how to defeat the devil. ^^ Can't wait.

Well, I'm off to SleepyLand; sorry for the small ramble, but its hard coming up with things I care about and have the time to review/explain/ramble about. I'll make it up to you guys on Halloween, i swear. ~.^ See you next time, Lunies!

*Shout out to Sadako, Samara, Toshio, Linh's daughter and that kid in Phone! Let's party down, Lunies!*

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Countdown of the Halloween Persuasion, Day 23

Top 10 Alternate Costumes in a Survival Horror Game:

10: Dante's Diesel outfit (DMC2)
-Ok, ok, DMC's not a survival horror game, but hot damn does this costume need honorable mention. I'm down with the leather jacket and jeans, but the zebra print ascot makes Dante look a lil more gay than he needs to. OMG, I just used the word "ascot" in a sentence with Dante. I'm going straight past his circle, all the way down to the ninth level. Do not pass Go.

9: Cindy Lennox's Bunny Girl Outfit and Alyssa Ashcroft's Lingere (REO)
-Heh, I like skimpy outfits. What other game let's you play as a Playboy bunny?

8: Miku Hinasaki's Maid Costume (FF3)
-I love maids. Miku just looks cuter in her outfit than Rei did though. Then again, Rei's not without her charms....

7: Rei Kurosawa's Office Lady Outfit (FF3)
-Meeee-yow. I love secretary outfits as much as I get kicks out of maids. Rei's cleavage ought to be a sin (that'd I go to confession for in a heartbeat).

6: Ashely Graham's Armor (RE4)
-XD There isn't anything funnier than that.

5: Eileen Galvin's Nurse Outfit (SH4)
-Helloooooo Nurse! I love Konami's alternate outfits, though Cynthia's just made her look more like a slut. ^^;;

4: Mayu Amakura's Pumpkin Head and Mio Amakura's Witch Hat (FF2)
-Matched up with the Type G (gothic lolita) outfits, its like a Halloween extravaganza all rolled into a tasty Tecmo taco...er, burrito? I guess yoou can't roll tacos....XD;;

3: Mio and Mayu Amakura's Dead or Alive Outfits (Kasumi and Ayane) (FF2)
-More than sexy, the girls look pretty cute in the DoA outfits. Except that Mayu/Ayane's bow has no collision detection and has the tendency to "break" when it comes in contact with Mayu's arm. ^^;;

2: Leon Kennedy's Gangster Outfit (RE4)
-As if he wasn't pure sex in his default outfit to begin with.... I just love a man in a suit and hat (and the tommy gun helps).

And No. 1: Heather Mason's Henshin Costume (SH3)
-SEXY BEAM! There is nothing laughably hilarious as the henshin sequence, combined with the deadly eyebeams Heather has when not equipped with an item. Sexy Beam is the best weapon ever, hands down. XD


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Monday, October 22, 2007

Its the 2007 Halloween Countdown, Charlie Brown, Day 22

Helpful Tips from Silent Hill by ~DioMaxwelle on deviantART

Poor Henri, I don't think he really needs all the tips (but the chainsaw might help).

*Take the next right at Albequerque, Lunies*

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Countdown for Halloween 2007, Day 21

I figure if I shove my final up here, that it'll make me feel better about post-dating posts, but let's be honest: it won't, any more than having Hiro turn back time, so I can find a way to take back all those things that've hurt you and you'd stay. Man, who'duv thunk Heroes and Cher would head today's post? Ugh.

I moseied down to Target for an uplift of Halloween spirit, hoping to pick up something scary and cute. *sigh* I know its a way to get a jump on things but it really hurst the Halloweeny atmosphere by having all the x-mas lites in the back wall behind the displays, and x-mas stockings and the such right after costumes and candy pails, but whatever. You do what you hafta to get a jump on sales (not that the lights will MOVE until after Thanksgiving). So. The Display.
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The theme this year besides really cute witches, pumpkins and spiders was Edgar and Ellen, a Nicktoon on Nickelodeon's premium channel Nicktoons (or Nick2 on your cable channel menu). Basically, its a brother and siter who love to wreak havoc with scary pranks on unsuspecting townspeople, only they always fuck up in the end and get their commuppance (I never spell-check on blog entires, can you tell?). Its cute, its not terrible, but it doesn't really bring anything ro the table. Karas brings stuff to the table, albiet in shiny CG renders.

So there's some E&E themed stuffins here and there, like Pet (the siblings' pet thing that's a mop of grey hair and a single eyeball on its head...area) buckets and vials of candy powder. This display moves; the characters move up and down while lights mimic lightning int he back...or I might be entirely making this up. It DOES move, I'll give it that much. I'd bought some things (as evidenced by Kain and Raziel's romp through decoration a few posts ago), but aside from the paper plates and some tombstones, I haven't really bought much. Unseen is a lamppost that is just a little maller than myself, thich is adorable in a way that makes my dad wonder of someone will steal it. Sunday's sale includes some $3.77 plastic strage tubs, both of which are too small to fit one of the tombstones we bought.

Also not there were the sweet cocoa Peeps bats that were like a bowl of Cocoa Crispies and marshmallows. You know, like a rice crispie treat, only with Cocoa Pebbles instead (heaven in a ball, if I may say so myself). T_T I miss those. I miss them like Jones Soda Caramel Apple soda, only not so much cuz it tasted like burnt caramel apples. Still, weird tastes ARE a Halloween tradition, so I'll just buy a small 6-pack of the Candy Corn soda, drink an 1/8 of one can, then pawn the rest off as Halloween dares.

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IF you look carefully, you just might see the sleeping cat, which if I remember correctly, was part of the summer line of topiary and stone thingys for Target. That thing is so chargeback, I just can't tell how.

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I don't know. That damn baby looks like the DEVIL himself.

It kinda made me wish we could ahve dressed up at Target instead of wearing red and khaki all the damn time. Then again, it'd look a lot like this:
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Takes a real man to dress up like a cuddly wolf for a minimum wage job at a seasonal outlet.

I'll be feeling the season once I get my Peach costume (hopefully before the party this Sat). I was thinking of carrying a pan, hammer, and golf club to school. Anyway, Halloween. Yes. I'll be heading up to a pumpkin patch sometime this week, and mark my words, THEY WILL BE CARVED. I just don't know how yet.

*Class is for suckers, Lunies*

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Live from Random Lunacy, Its The 2007 Halloween Countdown, Day 20

We're getting close to the end, folks! Expect more AMVs from RL in this space, as well as reviews and other such stuffin's. Today's topic is the Survival Horror genre. (pics to follow Sunday night)

Our humble game genre actually starts well before the name "survival horror" was coined by our good friends Capcom, responsible for giving us a green Brazillain monster who electicutes people like an angrey Pikachu, and a questionable spin on the Italian epic The Divine Comedy that combines slick action with the embodiments of Male Sex Incarnate.

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This is Sweet Home, the first and only survival horror RPG on the Nintendo, 1989 (though one could argue that the first would be Haunted House on the Atari would technically predate Sweet Home). 5 people enter the Mamiya mansion to photograph frescoes, only to be locked in by the angry ghost of the household's ghost, Lady Mamiya. Her husband Ichiro painted the frescoes as clues to getting the fuck out of the house. Each of the 5 characters would have specific abilities (healing, lock picking, phorographing, etc), and int he event of one of the characters dying (death is permanent in this game), one would have to find items that essentially took the place of the lost abilities. This is a game that needs to be on the Virtual Console like hoy. Also, if you can find the movie, you'll be in for a three-fold treat: 1) a vintage Japanese horror movie, 2) the most faithful translation of movie to game/game to movie, and 3) bragging rights to watching a film and game that no one now gives a flying fig about. You take your kicks when you can in these End Times, when Dumbledore is gay and Sonic and Mario grace 2 games together.

I'll mention in passing D, Alone in the Dark (with awards for the WORST conversion to movie since Mario and Mortal Kombat Anihilation), and Dino Crisis (beh, dinosaurs don't really scare me) since I'm not going in complete chronological order. We'll jump to some franchises we're all familiar with. Let's start with Capcom's more famous survival horror franchise:

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Ah, Resident Evil/Biohazard. I credit it for bringing my fears of zombie infestations to the video game table and for having laughably bad acting and FMVs (don't tell me you've forgotten the live-action bits, have you?). I also credit it for having impossible controls. I can't stand 3-D controls to save my life. Its all fine and good for our FPS friends, but in a game where I constantly get eaten by the first couple zombies cuz I can't run around corners, its just not feasable. Fortunately, in addition to making Leon less boyscout-y and more sexilious, RE4 made nice with the control scheme (which is a DREAM on my Wii). With a convoluted story line rivaled only by Konami's Silent Hill and Crystal Dynamics' Legacy of Kain, I think Capcom gave us a story that previously was mostly reserved for RPGs.

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Moving onto another less well known, but equally good romp into the Terroverse, I'd like to call to the stand Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem A LOvecraftian horror type game hasn't really been touched quite like this. If you haven't played ED, lemme tell you what you're missing: THE BEST DAMED HORROR GAME IN THE BUSINESS. Sure, the graphics are dated, never mind that its on the Gamecube, the left out little cousin of the last generation consoles. But can you think of another game that ever made you feel paranoid? No, I don't mean jumpy, like an FPS might make you feel. No, I'm telling you the kind of paranoia that makes you jump everytime a bug crawls across your screen; the kind that makes your stomach drop when the screen goes Blue Screen of Death, but you can hear your character getting killed; the kind that makes your heart stop when the game tells you it can't find your data when you try to save. I'm talking about a game that absolutely, cold-heartedly, unresmorsefully FUCKS with you until you decide you have to stop. But you can't stop. You can never stop. They'll win if you stop.

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What's Konami trying to sell me now? As much as I would love to call the Castlevania games horror, we can't. That's a platform game. Just because Capcom's gotta great franchise doesn't mean its the end all, be all horror franchise. If you haven't played a Silent Hill game, then there's something deeply wrong with you. No Octorber should go by without taking a detour through Silent Hill. With one of the best storylines in the whole gaming business (few games can give gamers pause; this award goes to games like Kain, Deus Ex and Bioshock), SH's got everything RE doesn't: creepy and seemingly invincible monsters, beautiful if disturbing music scores (Akira Yamaoka is one of the best composers in the business, bar none), compelling and average lead characters (an everyman who can relate to everyone, from James Sunderland, to Harry Mason, to Heather Morris), and of course, plot twists you couldn't see coming (and who can in a place with that much fog). SH appeals to a different sort of horror fan; RE's action oriented, much like Dead Rising or Evil Dead (which sadly hasn't much of a success in the movie to game conversion), but SH is more akin to games like Eternal Darkness and its sister franchise Siren. There's a feeling of dread that few games can replicate. If you haven't given SH a chance, or have only experienced its movie (which was, after all's said and done, a much more faithful adaptation of the series than any other franchise), I'd suggest picking one up. I'll throw love to Silent Hill 2 because its got the best story, music and characters. BUT! Every SH is a good game, just go in order, or if all else fails, try SH1 and SH3 in that order, then follow up with SH2 and 4 in that order. Course, with Origins coming, you'll have to experience that too....

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What's that, Tecmo? You say you've got a game too? This is Fatal Frame aka Zero. And you thought Tecmo was only good for boobies and ninjas. Take the photgraphing element from Sweet Home (however samll that element was), add a dash of the everyman in a hellish world from Silent Hill, add cute Japanese girls, and them mix well with a bit of FPS. Sit, let stand, and there you've got the survival horror sleeper hit of the year. Fatal Frame takes the horror combat in adifferent direction. Sure, you could sit in the back of the room and shoot things and run when they get too close, but try this on for size: you can't hurt ghosts with bullets. But you can damage them with film. The idea behind FF is to let your enemies come in close (the closer, the better the picture, the better the damage), then take a pic right as they come in for the attack. It takes nerves of steel and a good eye for patterns (not to mention a good sense of timing) to get through a FF game intact. And why wouldn't you want to? The main characters of all the games are all cute girls with something or someone to lose (or have lost). Where RE is all American action, SH is all American horror, FF is classically Japanese, down it its horrific (but fictional, I must stress) rituals and ancient spirits out to get you. I heartily recommend FF to horror enthusiests, especially to fans of SH. While its story isn't as complicated or as rich in history as Silent Hill, the characters in FF are all compelling, and they mysteries involving the who and why of each game are equally compelling. Give Fatal Frame a try; I guarantee a grand ol time.

I'm leaving out some franchises, of course, but I feel really strongly about the above games. They all have something to offer and bring to the table a genre that's more than just shooting, running and jumping, or even dancing and singing. The Survival Horror genre is a blast to step into, and I all hope that some of you gamers out there give Miku, Leon, James, Kazuo, Frank, Hana, Alexandra, even Aya, Regina, and Dennis a chance. I guarantee you won't be sorry.

*Fear, Lunies, Fear*

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Somebody Get the Door, its the Halloween Countdown, Day 19!

Because I missed 2 days, here's another second video as a reward!

Ahhhhh, good times, good times. You guys remember the Cartoon Network Groovies? Well, here was one of the best. From They Might Be Giants: Courage the Cowardly Dog.

*Who will protect our home, Lunies?*

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Halloweeny Countdowny, Day-y 18-y

Song: Bodies by Drowning Pool
Video: Fatal Frame 2 (property of Tecmo)

*Let the bodies hit the floor, Lunies*

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Halloween Countdown of Doom, Day 17

Totally cheating! But it was Wed nite that one of my friends finally turned 21, and we all decided to get smashed (I mean her smashed), this me missing yesterday's entry. So. Let's make up for a bit o' lost time by talking about haunted houses. Not the Winchester House type haunted houses, the Gyro kind. Yes, those wonderful walk-thru dealies in which you pay money to see how many times you piss yourself when someone jumps out at you from around the corner dressed like Pinhead.

Now, while I am a great fan of ghosts, ghoulies, and urban legends, one horror genre, rather aspect, is gore, torture, and the lovely images that go along with said aspect. Zombies scare the bejeezus out of me. Movies like Saw and Audition are the biggest turn off for me next to guys who wear too much fragrance. I just don't do the blood n' guts thing. Maybe its the part where I'm a girl, but I know some great horror fans who cream themselves when they hear Rob Zombie or Eli Roth. So I dunno. I just don't do it. Sexualized or eroticized torture or gore is just going to far for me. Gore in general kinda creeps me out. I cannot explain why a zombie, which i can easily outrun, scares me more than an unstoppable Asian spirit (tops in killing, maiming, and frightning to death).

Soooo, moseying back to the original subject: haunted houses. Usually these are fun lil romps through either movie homages (like TCM) or just blatant rip-offs of carnival scares and Ripley's Believe It or Not's Horror Setcion du jour. More than making lovely dioramas of iron maidens in use or people getting shocked to death, what gets me jumpy are those inevitable gusy in costume who relish in making you crap yourself numourously until you smell like the men's room. Numourously will become a word tonight, Urban Dictionary, if I decide. I hate those guys. Its like those stupid flashes that lure you into a false sense of security and then scare the hell out of you with zombie faces and screaming. Fuck that. if I wanted to feel like my heart's bungee jumping in my throat, I'll just go tell my parents I'm dropping out of school to pursue a career of giving gay people tips on how to be more chic geek or something. Or go back to work at Target full time.

Here's one such memory of a walk-thru haunted house. See, it was a few years back at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo. My cousin and his (now ex-)wife know my love for Halloween (and conveniently forgetting my lack of cahones) take me down for Fright Fest, which was showcasing Planet Terror (I think, I may be glossing here), a close to 2 hour walk through, what else, a haunted house filled with every imaginable horror one has seen in movies since the dawn of mankind. And me, putting up my front, thought it was a great idea. So we do the biggest one first, the 2 hour one. Meh, 2 hours, how bad could it be?

A co-worker who once used to do haunted houses professionally (volunteer work in making and running them) said that the best marks were the ones who were hiding behind people, and those were the ones who were the best to scare. Pity I learned this a good 3-4 years AFTER this incident but I digress.

I'm there, trying not to look easy, making my way through Jason's campsite o' doom, Elm Street, and a trippy illusion tunnel that looked like it was rolling onto its side. I've seen some things that would come to haunt my dreams for year to come. Eventually, the line starts to back up, so we start getting crampsed together. I take this opportunity to hide my face in my cousin's shirt, when a guy (I must have blanked out these memories, cuz I cannot for the life of me remember what he was supposed to be dressed up as) jumps me. Big BOO right off my peripheral vision.

I sock the man in the chest. I immediately gush my aplogies, hoping he would get me tossed out cuz it was paid for by someone else. He laughs and says it's happened before (NO SHIT REALLY). Just as I turn to catch up with the line, another asshole jumps me the same fucking way. I FUCKING FALL FOR IT EVERY TIME. I of course scream (not didn't take a swing, thankfully, cuz once is an accident, twice is assult; remember that when courting a girl at a club, men), ruining my intent to make it through this with grace and dignity.

We did the other 2 haunted houses right after this. By the end, I was so desenthitized from the Pinheads, the Freddies, the Jasons, and the Leatherfaces, that by the time we got to the Circus Tent from Hell and Proper Hell, I was just gazing at the sights like a zombie (ironically), watching my cousin beep the clown's noses.

Another time, I went with my sister, whom was crying after we were chased out of the last room by a Leatherface with a real chainsaw (sans chains). FUCK THIS SHIT.

Dell' Osso Farms runs a haunted house along with their great corn mazes. They had one year a "haunted hayride" which was exactly like a haunted house, except 1) you ride in a bleacher like contraption pulled by a tractor, a moving theater if you will, and B) it had dioramas instead of rooms. In the afternoon to evening sun, it was actually pretty cool. My youngest sister rode the entire thing with her head in her lap. A large black lady (nice as all get out) would scream everytime something would happen at a scene (a redneck witha chainsaw running or a zombie that would half-heartedly chase the hayride going approximately 2 miles an hour, then apologize profusely directly afterward. I think my little sisters learned their first curse words from her. Wherever you are, Miss Black Lady, I thank you in introducing the words "HOLY SHIT" and "OMFG" to my sister long before the internet did. I salute you.

In short, I'll gladly waltz into a purportedly haunted hospital that was abandoned years ago, but would rather set my head on fire with a blow torch then put it out with a sledgehammer than go to a Gyro's run tent. Fuck that. You can't hit the patrons any more than you can kill them with a shotgun. And if you're going to a horror movie location and can't kill anything, well, then what's the point?

*Shoot first, shoot some more, shoot til everyone's dead and you run out of ammo, then try to ask the questions, Lunies*

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Halloween Countdown, Day 16

Short post today, Lunies, as I'm plugging away at my midterm painting. In place of a well thought out post on the virtues of learning how to properly egg a house with balut, I will give you a picture of my dog Shiela wearing a sombrero:
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And one of my wallpapers from my beloved Halloween wallpaper folder:
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It just makes you wanna go out and shoot ghosts with a camera....

*See you after midterms, Lunies!*

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Halloween Countdown, Day 15

I found something quite interesting over the weekend. I was at my grandmother's house for my cousin's daughter's birthday, and before I ate myself into a food coma, I went rooting through my old room and the closet. This is what i found:
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It was my old Princess Toadstood, aka Princess Peach costume from grade school. Man, it was so tiny. XD There used to be a little fabric mushroom on the chest, but it must have fallen off at some point.
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I put an olf x-mas ornament where the jewel/mushroom would be.
Here's a detail:
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Its things like that that just barely keep my spirit alive with witchy, Halloweeny stuff. I wonder if this costume would fit my friend Skuld-chan....

*Su-WEET! Lunies!*

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