Sunday, June 26, 2011

Surprise Crochet!

I was flipping through a volume of Peach Girl, a manga I read years ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find Momo, the main character, crocheting a cellphone holder for her boyfriend (read right to left):
The translation says "knit," but the same verb is used for knitting and crochet in Japan (it also means "to braid"), so I'm chalking this one up to the translator not knowing what crochet is.  Probably an accurate assumption.  I can't tell you how many times I've had people ask me what I'm knitting, even if I've already told them that I don't knit.
I checked out the anime (which I didn't bother to do when it first came out) to see if this made it into the animated adaptation (since it seriously condenses the story), and it did!
Both the fansubs and the Funimation translation use "knit," which kinda proves my point.  People see yarn and a stick and instantly think "knitting."  But it's a little more irksome in the anime, since it shows Momo's pattern book, which clearly has "how to crochet" instructions...
...and shows her chaining in action:
(Wish I'd thought to make an animated gif before sending back the disc).
The finished product:
 While working on getting the images for this post, I ran into another instance of crochet in an unlikely place.  I was watching The Big Picture, the first film directed by Christopher Guest (whom I like due to his improv movies, i.e. A Mighty Wind), and in a scene towards the end, the main character's agent (played by Martin Short) is crocheting away his stress:

That's one big granny square.
Truth be told, I was a little more surprised to find crochet in an American movie from the 80's than in an manga/anime from the late 90's/early 2000's.  Crochet is very popular in Japan, and is the namesake for amigurumi, crocheted stuffed animals.  In fact, why haven't I seen more crochet in anime?  Granted, I did most of my anime watching before I got into crochet, so it could be that, like the translators for Peach Girl, I saw it and just didn't recognize it for what it was.

Tony Awards 2011

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I usually watch the Tony Awards and blog as I watch.  And you may have noticed that it's exactly two weeks past when the Tonys originally aired and I haven't blogged about the show at all.  It's not that I didn't intend to, and it's certainly not that I didn't watch.  But as with the Oscars earlier this year, I didn't really feel like doing the entire show the way I have in the past.  I did, however, take notes on what I wanted to comment on, with every intention of sitting down sometime the next day and writing out a proper post.  And then I promptly lost the paper I wrote my notes on.
By the time I found it again, I was way too busy to try and make a post, as this year's VBS skit (which I'll post the tropes for once it's all over) has proven to be much more involved than last year's (and we thought last year was crazy!), and basically ate up all my free time (not that I have that much to begin with these days).  But now, the worst part is over (or rather, I've acquiesced to my limitations), and I finally have a little time to post.
First off, I wasn't too surprised by any of the awards, especially not The Book of Mormon taking as many as it did.  Now, for the actual show itself:

  • When the opening song began, I was like "Really?" but by the end of it I was won over.  
  • My husband, who had been snoozing on the couch, instantly woke up when Stephen Colbert got involved.
  • Yay, Robert Morse!
  • Upon hearing that two stars of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying would be presenting, my husband thought Steve Martin would be one of them.  It turns out he was really thinking of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
  • Was it just me, or was the camerawork during How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying's number really weird?  Or was it just because I don't have HD?
  • I liked all of the parts of the Hugh Jackman/Neil Patrick Harris number except the "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" bits.  I hate that song so much...
  • The Spiderman song was so boring, but apparently that's one of the better ones.
  • The Sister Act number actually made me choke up at the end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What I Watch Recently

I finally got around to watching the movie of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  I enjoyed the book series, but for one reason or another, I just wasn't in a hurry to check out the movie version.  Probably a good thing in this case, as I've forgotten most of the finer details of books, so I probably enjoyed the movie more than I would have otherwise.  In truth, the reason I finally got down to watching it was less because of the book series and more because of the all-star cast, including a surprise Jane Lynch:
She's only on-screen for a few seconds, but that's still a definite plus.  Also a plus for me, the DVD included not one, but two commentaries, both interesting in their own right.  The first one, with just the director (Brad Silberling), was the better of the two as far as I'm concerned, and a lot better than most commentaries I listen to.  It was a near perfect blend of background information, how certain effects were pulled off, and why certain story elements were changed.  Very informative.  The second commentary, between the director and Lemony Snicket, author of the books, was occasionally funny, but the script needed a little work.  For one thing, Silberling kept flipflopping between actually forgetting what happened during the shooting and leading Snicket on just to be a jerk, and really, he should have picked one or the other.  For another, too much of it was just Snicket moaning and groaning due to the aforementioned Silberling stuff.  But I can forgive it all due to the absolute funniest thing I've ever encountered on a commentary track: Lemony Snicket, to avoid paying attention to the film, playing the accordion and singing about leeches.

I also rented Gnomeo and Juliet, and was surprised that I actually liked it.  I mean, I was surprised that I liked it enough to watch it again almost immediately, even though there wasn't any commentary track, which is usually the only reason I rewatch a movie these days.  Of course, now I've been going around with Crocodile Rock permanently stuck in my head (when it isn't taken over by Equestria Girls).   While I liked the movie overall, I'm annoyed that *spoilers* Tybalt came back during the Dance Party Ending.  For one thing, it cheapened his death, and for another, he wasn't a character who particularly needed to come back.  But on the other hand, I seem to remember the commentary on Monster House mentioning that they had to have a scene where all the people "eaten" by the house came back in order to keep the movie PG, so that could be the reason for it.  Still doesn't mean I have to like it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New SSC Character Revealed!

The Strawberry Shortcake news just keeps coming, as AGP just revealed the name and image of the new character debuting in Berry Bitty Adventure's second season, coming this fall:
Meet Cherry Jam, a singing sensation who moves to Berry Bitty City to find people who'll appreciate her for who she is when she's not on-stage.
While I'm a little disappointed that the newest BBC resident isn't a reimagined 80's character, I have to admit that Cherry Jam is super cute, and I like the pun in her name.  I'm also curious to see what this means for the show's songs, since she's a singing character and apparently goes on to become a music teacher.  What I mean is that the songs in the show so far have all been kind of lackluster and not particularly catchy, aside from the opening and the Berrykins' theme.  And with this new addition of Cherry Jam, there's bound to be more songs.  Will the songwriters step up to the plate and give Cherry Jam better songs?  Will new songwriters be brought in?  Or (more likely) will the songs continue to be mediocre?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Update: Here's an interview with Cherry Jam and a mini-interview with AGP's VP of Production that talks about the development of this new character.  Apparently, the songs are actually the most popular part of the show?  Shows what I know, I guess.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Comics

It seems that Strawberry Shortcake's latest incarnation is including a return to the comics (there was a run of comics back in the 80's, though I didn't find out about those until much, much later).  You can check out a preview over here.  According to the artist of two of the stories, the first issue of will be available in July, but the publisher's website says October.  Make of that what you will.
To be quite honest, I'm not too crazy about the first story's art style, but I like that these comics do have distinct styles, and don't just look like something out of Storybook Weaver Deluxe: Strawberry Shortcake edition.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Potential Meet Up?

Just putting this out there, but since I usually attend Connecticon, I was thinking about setting up an informal MLPFiM meet up there.  It would be sometime on Saturday, July 9th (I can only go one day), probably sometime after lunch.  Would anyone be interested in that?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dan Sings!

The Hub has a new summer promo, and it just blew my mind. Not because of the actual song, but because the very first lines are sung by Dan (aka Curtis Armstrong)! There's also Pinkie Pie and Megatron (from the new Transformers cartoon):

Kinda makes me hope for a musical episode of Dan Vs. in season two.