Summer 2012 Episode Rankings – Week 3

July 29, 2012

*slightly late*, for two reasons. Firstly, the lack of subs for Joshiraku episode 3. I realize this series must be a nightmare to translate in a hurry even without other commitments, so I’m not complaining about the delay, it’s just that it means I won’t be able to include it in my weekly rankings. I waited as long as possible, but in order to avoid bias, I’ve not watched any of the 4th episodes that aired this week yet… and the 5th episodes are due to air in a few hours! I’m eager to clear this backlog, so Joshiraku’ll have to go. It would have been a nightmare to rank anyway, due to the high probability of the jokes and references being lost in translation, or simply lost on me. 😛

Second reason for the delay: I now have a job (receptionist at a local swimming pool). Interview was on Monday, I had to sort stuff out at the job centre on Wednesday, and I was working there for free as a sort of trial run/second stage of the interview yesterday. So I’ve not had much free time to begin with this week. I don’t know what days/hours I’ll be working, so don’t know how much it’ll affect my anime viewing or online activity, but for the moment I intend to carry on as usual. 🙂

Read the rest of this entry »

6 Week Course + OCD = Time to Stall Some Anime?

February 9, 2012

I’ve signed up for another training course, this time one that’ll last six weeks (though sadly I won’t be staying in luxury accommodation this time). On paper, the first two weeks look to be more of the same, but hopefully a bit less intensive since they’ve got twice as many days to go over it. 😛 The four weeks that follow are what I’m really interested in, however… Read the rest of this entry »

GradStart Training Course

January 15, 2012

I’ll be away on a training course at Bangor University from later this afternoon until Thursday. It’ll be covering things that will supposedly increase my chances of finding employment – stuff like interview skills, CV pimping and finding my ‘unique selling point’ (apparently my awesome hair doesn’t count). This is the second time I’ve attended a graduate course there; the first was in 2010, a couple of weeks before I decided to start this blog actually. I found it informative, but decided to do an MSc instead of continuing to look for work, so most of what I learned last time has been replaced with info about wind farms. Hopefully this’ll refresh my memory, teach me new things, and finally lead to a job. If nothing else, it comes with 4* accommodation and free meals, which will be heavenly after two weeks without central heating!

However, I don’t know what the internet situation will be like there. Read the rest of this entry »

Jellyfish don’t make good gardeners.

June 25, 2010

At least that’s the conclusion Plas Tan y Bwlch has arrived at. Apparently I work too slowly, probably because I get into so many stinging fights with nettles and midges. And so as of yesterday I’m no longer working there, but if all goes according to plan I’ll be doing the full 25 hours A4e expect of me at Barnardos, starting next week. Which helps Plas because they can get back up to speed with all their tasks, and it helps Barnardos because they’re seriously understaffed.

From my own point of view, this change comes with advantages and disadvantages. I mean, I’d just gotten to like that weird, unnatural ball of light and heat that floats in the sky outside… yes, the potato… and now I’m having to stay inside again. But at least I won’t get eaten by insects. I’ll miss the variation of working in two places, but there’s plenty of variation in the work at Barnardos alone. I’ll have longer lunch breaks (1 hour out of my 5 a day is actually free time!), but it doesn’t take me that long to eat sandwiches and apples, so I read a lot during this time. More reading is good, but it also means more money spent on manga… Very much a case of swings and roundabouts, and I always preferred see-saws myself. One thing I won’t miss is having to bring my own milk in my lunch box for cups of tea, as on hotter days it always seems to go sour by the time lunch comes around.

Not much more to say other than that, I’ll just have to see how it goes next week!

Anime Magnetism

May 21, 2010

So in my last proper post I was all ‘ 😦 ‘ at the prospect of not being able to volunteer at Plas anymore. Well, it turns out that it’s just the type of place that A4e had in mind, and it’s far less work for them if I just continue as I have been. WIN. Of course, I’ve only been working 15 hours a week there, and even that’s only in theory because it never works out that way. To keep the Job Centre happy, I need to be doing 25 hours. And so for the two days I’m not at Plas, I’ll be working in a charity shop. Most likely Barnardos, because the guy from A4e’s mother works there and (again) it’s less work for him. He was keen to let me know that charity shops are more than old women sitting behind tills these days, and there’s actually a lot of IT work involved with stock taking etc. Either way, I see the variation as a good thing.

I was volunteering at Plas today in fact, and this time I wasn’t the only one. This other volunteer is on a similar course to mine, only for people over 50. He seems like a nice guy, very talkative, and so for the first time since my first week there the two of us and the head gardener actually chatted for most of the lunch break instead of everyone reading their own books quietly. I still took out my choice of literature out of habit – the first Spice and Wolf light novel, which I’d just reclaimed from my sister yesterday – but I got no further than the two page long prologue before resting it on my lap, cover (the anime style dust jacket, to be clear) in full view.

On the way back to the part of the garden we’d been working on, the head gardener suddenly asked me about the book, and whether there had been a film adaptation. I thought to myself, I could go into detail on how there’s actually two anime series, and then inevitably on to the seasons they aired in and the studios that produced them, and which of the two I preferred… but instead I decided to say ‘no’. He told me he only asked because he was sure he’d seen a DVD for it when browsing online for a new anime to buy.


I’ve been reading books there every lunch break from very early on. And when I say books, with the one exception of Spice and Wolf, I mean manga. The minibus driver who shares the office with us even pointed out that I was reading it (Sgt. Frog) once, saying it reminded him of Pokemon. But this was the first time the head gardener had even hinted at knowing anything about it, then all of a sudden he’s reeling off anime titles, and telling me how he preferred the 80’s – 90’s horror anime offerings to the current ‘comedy/giant robot’ fad amongst UK licensed stuff. I was actually stunned into silence. Although I later recovered enough to warn him about the decline in animation quality when he said he’d just picked up Ergo Proxy. 😛

I started this job search almost a year ago now, yet all I seem to be finding is anime fans in the weirdest of places. I can only assume I naturally gravitate towards places where they exist. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been finding gardening fun, when it’s not something I’d ever considered before? Until recently I honestly thought my sisters and I were the only anime fans within a 100 mile radius of this place. Well, and those random guys in Barmouth who were reading Bleach, and the guy in my sister’s year at school who asked my opinion on Tales of the Abyss, but that’s irrelevant. Turns out we’re not so unique, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Alignment: Awesome Meh

May 18, 2010

Well the barbecue was awesome as expected, as were all the other things that happened during my almost-week at Aberystwyth. One of the highlights of it all was that I broke the ‘curse’ that seemed to afflict me during the three years I was actually a student there, by staying until the end of the barbecue. Well, technically I also did that in my first year, but was forced to separate from the group after we later went to a pub, and my underaged sister decided to down three (plus?) pints of Guiness… lame. But she wasn’t there this time. Neither was I excluded from the conversation, or struck down with food poisoning, so all was good! I didn’t take my camera, but I may post photos taken by others as and when I find them.

I left my house on Wednesday morning, the day I’m due at the job centre, because that meant I could get a day ticket and travel to Aberystwyth after signing on for cheaper. But while I was at the job centre, I was referred to another company called A4E (yes, the ones who ran the ‘call my bluff’ course I attended in the early days of my blog). The reason for this is because I’ve been out of work for 10 months, meaning they have to find me a mandatory work experience placement where I’ll be working 25 hours a week for 3 months. Which will be good for my CV, and I’ll be getting extra money in the form of a ‘training allowance’, and to top it all I no longer have to go to the job centre until the period of work experience ends. WIN. The only drawbacks will be less free time, and I’ll probably have to quit my current voluntary work at Plas Tan y Bwlch. 😦

Besides the barbecue, other things I did in Aber included going to Aberanime vice-president’s anime screening, which was fantastic (and since he’ll be president next year, and I’ll be a student again next year, this is a good sign); a few Pokemon battles, surprisingly I won three out of four; watched the live action film Onechanbara, which was so generic and predictable it wasn’t even funny; some nice walks around the seafront; a long game of D&D where we really didn’t accomplish much; but more than anything else we just sat down and chatted about random things. For example, what would be the best things to throw at an enemy castle? Starting off with lobbing bricks, via catapulting and trebucheting increasingly large items, we ended up with what was effectively an entire universe being propelled by rockets. I’m not sure what they were meant to have done to deserve all this, but they’d end up regretting it!

Another discussion focused on D&D alignments. The old ones, because they’re cool. For those who don’t know, your stereotypical Good and Evil alignments are further subdivided into Lawful and Chaotic. It’s the difference between righteous knights (Lawful Good) and, say, Robin Hood (who I’d think of as Chaotic Good). Anything that falls between Good – Evil or Lawful – Chaotic is Neutral. If you’re still confused, here’s a handy diagram:

So during this discussion, we came up with our own alignments based on this system: Awesome – Lame and Fabulous – Fugly, with everything in between being Meh.  We spent a long time fitting celebrities into these categories, debating with each other until we’d filled the grid with names nobody could dispute (so glad people agreed with me that Cheryl Cole = True Meh; I don’t dislike her, but think she’s hugely overrated). This was inevitably followed by us rating each other, and as the title suggests I was unanimously declared ‘Awesome Meh’. Which I think is pretty awesome. And a little meh. And now, exclusively to those people who read my blog, here’s one I made myself using anime characters.

Well that’s the best I could come up with in over an hour, anyway. Feel free to let me know whether you agree/disagree/don’t know who the heck certain characters are, or if you feel like making your own then here’s a blank grid. I may make one for female characters, but not tonight…

Wait, I didn’t post last night?

February 12, 2010

It seems I completely forgot to post anything yesterday. Thinking back on it now I was busy reviewing Romeo x Juliet and went to bed quite soon afterwards, but when I first logged in and noticed that I was missing a post it really threw me. I spent several minutes trying to remember what was in this non-existent post, and how it could have just vanished. Craziness.

Anyway, the reason I went to bed so (comparatively) early last night was because I was visiting Plas Tan y Bwlch this morning. It’s basically a huge garden, free entry to the public, which also holds training sessions and stuff. The reason I was there is because I’m going to start volunteering in the gardens starting the week after next, in hopes of getting some proper work experience and boosting my CV. Perhaps not the best season to go and have a tour of a garden, because even ones as big and grand as Plas Tan y Bwlch aren’t all that pretty this time of the year, but at least I’ll get to see it as things change and slowly come to life as spring and summer come around. Anyway, it’s something different to do at last, and without the constraints of paid work – I can pretty much come and go as I like, so long as I let them know.

Tomorrow I’ll be home alone, and watching anime all day. So I’ll probably either post about that, or about nothing at all.