A few people have inquired about my current banner, wondering what those glowing little white creatures are from. The answer is: your mom.
Just kidding. The banner comes from a screenshot from the Hayao Miyazaki movie Princess Mononoke, which I'm crazy about. The scene that includes the shot I used for the banner is another one of those FAVORITE SCENES EVER IN THE HISTORY OF CINEMA of mine (if I ever stop the hyperboles, you know I'm not feeling well). It actually marks the moment I fell in love with Miyazaki's work (up till then, I'd seen My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, but I was too dumb to realize their brilliance).
Anyway, you can watch the scene below. It's just sort of pretty, but slow-moving and maybe on the dull side, especially out of context. But of course it is: this is anime we're talking about!
By now, my dilettante tendencies should be more than obvious. Said tendencies rage the most when it comes to Japanese animation -- I see only the popular stuff that makes it to theaters in the U.S., which means I'm into Miyazaki (Spirited Away is my favorite, which makes sense since it's the obvious choice), Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Metropolis and the like. This, in turn, means that I ran my ass out to see Paprika this weekend. It's a gorgeous film (the color palate is bright, but bold and not neon, which, while a minor distinction, was still cool for the format) and I liked it, but it overstayed its welcome. The plot concerns technology that allows people to control dreams, and setting anything in the dream world is just a recipe for chaos since anything fucking goes, including multiple climaxes. And these multiple climaxes were not of the impressive sort. I seriously thought that the shit was going to end 10 times before it actually did (since, again, anything goes and it could really drop off at any point, however obscurely it left the narrative since narrative was obscure in the first place since, I repeat, this shit was set in a dream world). But it's good and I'll totally buy the DVD.
Also, because I don't feel like writing a separate, self-celebrating post on this tomorrow, I may as well mention it now: tomorrow, my blog turns 2. [Edit: Because I didn't get my shit together to post what I wanted today, the "tomorrow" in the preceding sentence is now "today." So yay. Happy birthday to me.] Much of what I said in last year's first anniversary post holds true. I can now add that this blog has improved my quality of life via the job opportunities it's led to. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, but that blows my mind every time I think about it. It makes the hours and hours of work that I have poured and will continue to pour into this thing financially worth it.
Not that it wasn't worth it in the first place. I'm still appreciative of the simple fact that I have a place to express myself. I'm still creatively stimulated, constantly seeking cultural crap to dissect. Mostly, I'm still overwhelmed with gratitude that people actually read this blog and leave me flattering comments I'm not sure I deserve and email me tips and suggestions and call me out when I'm a dick. I've never, not for a second, stopped being thankful for that.
Love you, for real.