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Sari
31 December 2015 @ 11:49 am
Life
I got cats! Susu and Suhina, two black and white, really kind fur babies. I've learned so much about cats and worried and rejoiced. There is more laughter in my life because cats are silly. And they are soft and they purr.

Things at uni have progressed quite well otherwise, but my issues with anxiety seem to be getting worse instead of better. Namely, I get stomach cramps during things like seminar days, and even if I'm at home during my free time, I seem to have this feeling of nervousness in my tummy. I'd like to learn some exercises for relaxing, but I'm also at that point where I wonder if I should seriously reach out to a doctor. This is very scary to me. I will probably continue postponing making the decision. I don't know why it seems that things are only getting worse. Everything otherwise is going so well. I got funding for another year of studies, I'm doing what I want to do, I'm a bit lonely but the cats help. Everyone at uni is incredibly friendly and helpful and keeps telling me I'm doing great. And still I feel so stressed. It doesn't make any sense, I hate it.

Travels
I only made one trip abroad, to see Garbage in London. It was fun and Garbage was awesome; so proud of them and proud that I'm their fan and glad that I could be there. Travelling though, in general, doesn't feel as much fun as it used to, to me. I don't know if it's because I have cats now, though admittedly I've had somewhat mixed feelings from my travels already for the past 2-3 years. I find it so tiring now, and maybe like I'm not getting as much out of it as I'd like to. I don't have romantic, idealistic views about places (anymore?), so I don't see myself being the person who says things like "oh yes, Tokyo is a WONDERFUL place!". I can list reasons to visit, but I sort of lack enthusiasm. I think travelling has in some ways become something that I have to do to get certain experiences (seeing Garbage live, for instance) and not really worth it just for itself. It can also be really stressful. My view might change if I had a partner whose company I genuinely enjoyed, but until that day, mehh.

I'm also not looking forward to the first time I need to go to a conference abroad. lol Combine the stress of an academic environment where I need to prove myself, AND travelling on top of that. I will probably die inside.

Gaming
Is fun lawlz I am going to sample a new game every week next year, so that will be fun or really awful.

Television
Uhhh see my posts for the best TV shows ever...

Hello! Project
A shit-ton of new members were announced or debuted this year. Like 28 or some shit like that. I'm both excited and a bit worried and overwhelmed. Tsunku stepping down as a producer in H!P has been sad, but I've also enjoyed the H!P songs that weren't written by him. As a person, though, I've come to respect him even more. One of the reasons why I had faith in H!P all these years is because the main producer was a genuinely good guy. I hope that the people taking over have similar ideals and respect for the members.
 
 
Sari
(I basically only use this journal to post lists and rankings now...)

The background facts: Berryz Kobo was a Japanese idol group in Hello! Project active from 2004 to spring 2015, starting when the members were kids and lasting until they had cracked their 20s! The only member change they had over the years was when one of the original members, Maiha, left after their 8th single. In total, they released 36 singles.

Berryz Kobo was produced by my favourite pop producer, TSUNKU. ALL HAIL TSUNKU
Whenever I do H!P music related rankings, they are secretly a celebration of Tsunku. He will no longer be producing for most H!P groups because he has lost his voice in a battle with cancer and is interested in new challenges, and is getting used to working in new ways as he can no longer communicate simply by talking.

In Hello! Project, Berryz Kobo was the group that would get some of the weird stuff that didn't fit other groups, but fit Berryz because Berryz Kobo is random. For example, the shortest member in the group was around 150cm, while the tallest ended up being over 180cm.

I have STRONG BIAS for early Berryz songs, so I will do this post in a countdown manner to have some more recent songs sprinkled in first. The number of songs listed is random because I simply listed every single that I wanted to. HAH! The more I listen to BK the more I think "oh, this song should be included, too", but I'm trying to stay strong.

Those who became fans later would likely have a very different ranking from mine. I was convinced with Koi no Jubaku, their 5th single, specifically this performance. I did not want to support the kids, I did not think it would be 'cool' to support a group of kids, but there's nothing like catchy pop music and some surprising confidence on stage to sway me over. It's a bit weird that Koi no Jubaku isn't on this list, since it was the song that made me submit, but I guess I felt the list already had a lot of early songs - damn trying to be inclusive of all eras - and the other early songs beat it out.

Thanks to projecthello.com for song title translations!

Catchy, perhaps weird songs this wayCollapse )

All in all I think BK had a very varied track list and I may have under-appreciated them a lot over the years. There were periods when I was barely paying attention; falling in love with songs like Kokuhaku no funsui hiroba and MADAYADE happened years after their release. I think the reason why a lot of the more recent songs are excluded from my list is also because I haven't had the same time to spend with them as older tracks, not so much that they are obviously worse. I am actually not that great at concentrating on music and my knowledge in it is very shallow, which means I sometimes 'realize' the awesomeness of songs late. But we all just have to deal with what we've got~!

Thank you based Tsunku and thank you Berryz Kobo for the hard work and memories and fun songs!
 
 
Sari
23 July 2015 @ 06:37 pm
I was editing my television ranking post and it got TOO LONG! Let's have here the shows from M - Z.

M - ZCollapse )
 
 
Sari
28 March 2015 @ 01:12 pm
This was inspired by twissie who once made a similar post. However, because I've had a ton of celebrity crushes and I am not one to limit my babbling content, my list will be significantly longer. And still there are some people missing from here, too.

Men and women included! I have no limits! I've also tried to put them in chronological order by placing them in age groups that somewhat reflect my 'progression'.

(As you may be able to see, it has taken me six months to complete this post. I do not kid around with my LJ post projects.)

The length is realCollapse )

All in all I think it's a fun mix of people. Do I need to finish this post somehow? Uh... Celeb crushes are awesome!
 
 
Sari
23 March 2015 @ 12:04 am
I've had this file for a few months now where I've been typing down my opinions on all TV shows that I remember being somehow important to me, and I've wanted to keep a list of my favourite shows as well. However, the order of the ranking keeps changing, so what I'd like to do here is first post the ranking at the top (which is relatively easy to edit), and then in alphabetical order discuss the shows included on the list. That is also where I attempt to explain why a show was influential to me, why it is ranked as high or low as it is, and why I enjoyed it. (I haven't found a service online where I could easily drag posts up and down in this ranking type of purpose, so this is what I'll have to do.)

So here we go:

My favourite TV shows as of 01/16:
* means that the show still has episodes to air and its ranking might still significantly change

01/16 edits: Fargo, Orphan Black, Jessica Jones, The Good Wife, The Affair, Agents of SHIELD, American Horror Story, Rectify
03/16 edits: Agent Carter, Top of the Lake, The Fall, Mr. Robot, Survivor
To be edited: Better Call Saul, Daredevil


1. The Wire
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
3. ER
4. Lost
5. Freaks and Geeks
6. Breaking Bad
7. Mad Men
8. Better Call Saul*
9. Survivor*
10. Orange is the New Black*
11. Fringe
12. Fargo*
13. The Americans*
14. The Sopranos
15. The Fall*
16. The Affair*
17. Jessica Jones*
18. OZ
19. Generation Kill
20. Daredevil*
21. Top of the Lake*
22. Mr. Robot*
23. The Good Wife*
24. Marvel's Agents of SHIELD*
25. Les Revenants*
26. Boardwalk Empire
27. Agent Carter*
28. Bad Girls
29. Popular
30. Black Mirror*?
31. Orphan Black*
32. Skins
33. Broadchurch*
34. Rectify*

Honorable mention of shows I haven't finished or plan on finishing, but were influential/enjoyable to me, not in any order:
Casual+y
Ally McBeal
Judging Amy
CSI

Disappointments/on hold: shows that I LOVED at some point, but ended up giving up on (explanations for these are also below):

Game of Thrones*
Dexter
Homeland*
True Blood
The Walking Dead*
Criminal Minds*
True Detective*
American Horror Story*


Also for those curious, my "shows to watch still" list:
Wentworth, Rectify, Battlestar Galactica, X-files, Southland, Band of Brothers, Six Feet Under, Firefly, Carnivale, Deadwood, Friday Night Lights, Rome, The Tudors, Wonderfalls, Kings, Dead Like Me, American Gothic (for creepy), Twin Peaks, Utopia, The River <- "creepy" ones, Masters of Sex, Enlightened, Halt and Catch Fire, The Leftovers, My So Called Life, Justified

I've started watching (but hopelessly behind): Wentworth, Rectify, BSG, X-files (selected episodes), Firefly (pilot), Carnivale, Vikings


Check here for the MEAT - 98% SPOILER FREE!Collapse )
 
 
 
Sari
02 January 2015 @ 05:55 pm
There are SO MANY new members debuting in H!P this year, it's nuts and amazing. As a fangirl I'm taking this moment to review them a bit.

Today was announced a new 8-member unit of trainees; it doesn't have a name yet.

New nameless unitCollapse )

Country GirlsCollapse )

ANGERME (Smileage) new membersCollapse )

Morning Musume 12th generationCollapse )

So that's TWENTY new H!P members debuting in 2015 and they're all cute!! LOL

Things are so weird and exciting at the same time. I can never quit this fandom because I want to see these kids shine.
 
 
Sari
07 December 2014 @ 10:01 pm
A bit early this time!

Life
In winter-spring I went back to the same job I'd had last year at a skiing centre, but I had changed some. I actually yelled at my coworkers for being lazy bastards. I, afraid to ever speak up shirenu, raised my voice to early 20-something guys, telling them to start cleaning up instead of flapping their gums. The strangest thing to happen. I wish this side of me had existed a year ago because those folks also deserved to be yelled at... But you live, you learn. And no, I don't believe that yelling is a suitable way of communicating generally, but I'm only taking baby steps at really communicating at all, and I think yelling is better than not saying anything. If I'd learned to yell last year, maybe this year I would have developed a better way of getting others to do their job. But it is what it is.

The great news is that throughout the spring I continued to get encouraging feedback from the professor whom I'd had emailed about applying for grad school with a video game research topic, and if you've read my previous entry you will find out that I was accepted and have by now moved to Jyväskylä, my uni city. I'm excited and nervous. I've only been here for a week and the loneliness is getting to me a bit already. I don't know anyone here. My study supervisor is super lovely and eager to introduce me to everyone, so maybe in time I'll develop some kind of level of comfort where I can talk to people with confidence and maybe even develop friendships, but until then I'll just have to push through somehow. Since I don't have knowledge of funding for an entire year yet, I can't even plan on getting cats now, and having cats would do so much to increase my level of happiness, seriously. The moment I learn about receiving a scholarship, should I be lucky enough to get one, I'm picking up some cats. Duncurr. I need life in my life. So I guess my goal for 2015 is cats.

Travels
I had somewhat planned on going abroad twice this year, but my grad school preparations sort of messed that up. So I ended up "only" going to Singapore in May, which was really cool, but I wish I could enjoy things more in the moment instead of musing after the fact. Either way, I met mal, Estrea and xyish for the first time in person; had some delicious food; felt what it's like to live in a super hot country; woke up every morning to ritual music from a Hindu temple across the street; saw trees and plants that don't exist in Finland; went to an entirely manufactured beach, which to a Finn sounds nuts to even exist; learned to navigate Singaporean subways and underground malls; saw Peter Dinklage in person at a X-men pre-release red carpet (didn't meet him, but oh well); bought a lovely flower dress that I think will be a favourite for a long time to come; saw many different kinds of people from different cultural backgrounds, which is not something you get to experience in Pello, Finland. I think this will be a trip I'll look back on thinking "huh! How odd that I did something like this, too!" in a good way.

Gaming
Most importantly, I started checking out some indie games this year, and one pre-release game: Starbound, Papers Please, Gone Home, Thomas Was Alone, SteamWorld Dig. So enjoyable to just play a simple game that isn't necessarily about saving the world, for a change. Of course I still love my epic games as well. The past few weeks/months I've got back into Lotro again, and I played Skyrim a lot this year. The indies, I think, have made me feel that magic of video games in a fresh way, however, so I think I will increasingly look for those types of games on PC.

And I'm still playing Sims 2. Sims 3, not so much. Not getting Sims 4 any time soon, hopefully.

Television
I caught up with The Good Wife and love it.

I finished watching all of Breaking Bad and even if I don't love it as much as people generally seem to, I still think it was a great and well-made show. Just too depressing for me at times, I think. I need a ray of hope.

Fargo and True Detective happened this year. I enjoyed Fargo more because it had more twisted humour and it had Molly. True Detective had some amazing scenes and acting, but in the end... I wasn't that turned on. I could hardly understand what was being said at times, and I wasn't thrilled that it felt like just another two white men show. An 'artistic' show like this shouldn't be afraid to push boundaries with its casting as well, but somehow it is, and I'm just... utterly bored.

Agents of SHIELD feels like it's only getting better, and I'm glad I've loved it since the beginning. :P I love the cast.

American Horror Story has, sadly, been pretty awful this time.

Boardwalk Empire finished and I feel content.

When it comes to reality tv, because of the amazing season of BBAU last year I gave a chance to Big Brother Australia again, but it fell flat in so many ways. Its airtime sucked, most tasks were lower grade repeats from last year, the housemates failed to capture my heart (I mostly connected with Priya, but for this BB format I think she was too seriously strategic), and it really felt like the production had given up. Of course, the season was crowned with an utterly forgettable winner, but luckily I had stopped watching weeks earlier. Sheesh.

I DID also end up watching all of Big Brother Canada 2 and loved the cast and how the game progressed. I think BBCAN has less main show air time than BBAU, but I still felt that they did a better job at showcasing everyone's personalities. They can't edit a strategic BB like Survivor, since they don't know the winner before-hand, but the winner still needs to have a storyline for the viewers to feel satisfied, right? So I think that's why they would wisely give everyone some screen time early on. On a popularity contest BB like BBUK or BBAU they don't have as much pressure for being fair in the editing room, because whoever is popular or hated is basically whoever the producers decide to show, and strategy inside the house is almost completely irrelevant. ANYWAY. Yay to BB Canada, and I hope that BBCAN3 this spring is as good and not a disappointment like BBAU was! I hate getting into something new only to be disappointed!

I watched Survivor this year, too, and Cagayan was a pretty great season. The current one has been a bit slow, but I really like Natalie. Like, I hardly ever even have favourites on Survivor, but Natalie to me is awesome. I hope she wins.

Hello! Project
I love Morning Musume.

Sayumi graduated a little less than two weeks ago, so officially no members remain from when I became a fan. It's a little weird, but exciting as well. Sayumi was special, though. The idol of idols.

I have to post this now because it's getting late...
 
 
Sari
23 November 2014 @ 02:07 pm
First of all, LOL at my previous post with a schedule posted and all... No, I'm not sticking to any schedules. That lasted pretty much until the meeting. And it was predictable that it would only last a while. But I think it's okay for now! I've been able to polish my research plan and send out scholarship applications. I keep finding new material and poking my brain with whether it will be useful to me or not.

But what I'm excited about now is moving to Jyväskylä. I found out I got a 3-month starter scholarship, which basically supports 3 months of research and in practice makes it possible for me to move over. My future apartment, which I went to check a bit over a week ago, will be available to me December 1st; it's somewhat small, but still bigger than I perhaps expected or feared. The bathroom in particular is more than just a tiny box, and the bedroom is separated by a sliding door from the living area with a tiny kitchen corner. And there's a balcony.

I'm excited about a lot of things that moving to a city and moving to my own place has to offer for me.

- Studies: I will be able to access all sorts of study materials, meetings, and of course CLASSES that I wasn't able to access before.

- Social events: Of course, going to events doesn't mean I'll actually manage to talk to people there, but just knowing there will be various events where there will likely be people with similar interests is pretty exciting. I mean, try to find people interested in game studies, East-Asian cultures, media studies, geek/fantasy events, maybe gender-related or feminist events, in a tiny town like Pello? It's just not happening. Instead of going out, all I could do was google and read online about things I was interested in. Now I could go out to places and sort of feel things in the air instead. I will keep my ears and eyes open for any events that I might be able to attend.

- Daily or almost daily exercise in the form of walking. The uni and nearest supermarket of my preference are both approx. 2km away from my apartment and in opposite directions, so if I were to visit both on the same day, that alone would be like 8km walking in one day. Wowza. (There's a shady little grocery shop on my way to uni that I could take advantage of for "emergencies", but if I have access to my fav market I would prefer to go there.) There are buses in the city, yes, but it can get pretty expensive to use them regularly, so I think I'll save money by not even learning the bus routes until there comes a time that I absolutely must take advantage of one. And yeah I do not have a driving licence or own a car so laziness/convenience in that way is not a possibility.

- I could get cats! I made sure when applying for apartments that pets would be allowed. Pretty much my #1 dream in getting my own place has always been to get cats. I might consider the option of fostering cats before deciding on giving a 'forever home', if it's possible. While foster cats might end up staying for even over a year in my place (if no suitable home is found for them), I still wouldn't need to worry about possibly not being able to look after them for the next 15 years. I might be really poor in the future and no cats should suffer for it. I know I'd probably be heart-broken when the cats left to their new home, but at the same time it's a moment of pride and happiness, right? Like thanks to me, that cat isn't dead or caged up somewhere, but had a caring temporary home. Anyway, these are things I will have to think about more once I've actually settled in.

- My apt. will have very fast Internet available for quite a low price for me; Internet is included in the rent, but a significantly faster speed will only be 5e a month for me (at least for the first year) so I'm rather certain I'll go for it. I'm a geek who needs speed.

- Being able to change my diet completely. I'll aim to cook my own food to save money and to be a bit healthier lol. If things go as planned, I'll be eating much more veggies and fruits than currently, and much less meat (because meat can actually be kind of expensive) and chocolate and sweets. I'm not going full vegetarian, but I'm definitely interested in going towards that direction. Basically I'll be able to eat stuff I can't eat here with my parents because they don't eat what I make, yet I have to eat what they make so it won't go to waste, so I end up not really making things because then MY things would go to waste. If that makes sense. If I'm in control of all the food, I can decide to eat this certain mixed mess of a food for 3 days in a row without worrying about someone entering the room like "I've got potatoes peeled and ready on the stove ^_^" and having to choose to throw one option in the trash. So yeah. And since I will be in a city, if I manage to save money somewhere else, I can sometimes splurge on eating out. There's an Asian restaurant on the far opposite edge of the centre that I tested twice when I visited Jyväskylä and totally approve of their food, so if I went there I'd sort of manage to burn calories while going there, stuff my face joyfully, and suffer and burn calories on my way back. Sounds good amirite.

- I can sing and dance whenever and maybe even record gaming videos. I'm one of those people who isn't even comfortable singing in front of their parents, so I'm looking forward to having that sweet privacy. I could even sleep naked, holy shit (maybe not if I have cats. LOL).

- And just general stuff about having space for myself, not having to share a bathroom but be able to fill it with my products, etc. The little things!

I don't mean to sound ungrateful, of course. Living with my parents during my long periods of unemployment has probably saved me from deep depression and even deeper isolation that I've experienced now. I've had people to talk to every day even if I haven't had much to tell. The reason why I've fallen out of contact with so many old IRL friends is that I felt kinda ashamed I didn't really have anything exciting to report on and didn't know what to do with my life, had no plans, etc. It's stressful to talk to others during times like that because other people always seem like they know what they're doing and so it becomes easier to just avoid those situations when you yourself are lost. Why embarrass yourself further? So I am thankful that I have parents that aren't kicking me out of the house because I've been an unemployed loser. But I am glad to be heading out finally and I think they are glad as well.
 
 
Sari
27 August 2014 @ 10:55 pm
Hello old friend, (LJ)

I was accepted into grad school, only I have to start my studies long distance because I'm not getting any kind of funding right now and so there's no point in me moving yet, unless I want to lose all my money on rent and food. lol

But my days are kind of like this now:
8am - wake up, catch up with the Internet for 15-20 minutes, stretch and exercise for 15-20 mins, have breakfast. (I have to do the exercise in the morning or I won't do it at all. Tested and proven true.)
9-9:30am - start doing research
around 12 - 1:30pm lunch, getting asked by mom to do random stuff (this may continue throughout the day, but oh well), possibly groceries
4-5pm - end research unless whatever my goal for the day was isn't finished yet; I was once typing till 7pm because I got interrupted so many times during the day. lol
After that, Skyrim and watching The Sopranos. :D Bed at midnight.

All my other hobbies have kind of taken a back seat. But it's ok.

It's kind of weird to have self-induced structure in my days, now. I've always tried this shit when I was unemployed etc... But never stuck to it because, I guess, what's the point? But now I have a mentor whom I need to continuously convince that my shit is good, and I'll have to convince even more people if I want financial support for my work. Nobody's telling me to wake up at 8am. I could still be lying in bed till 10am and getting out of my room at 11 and consider myself ready for life at noon. But it just feels proper to give this thing some respect. Also, I used to need to take naps every day, and I haven't taken a single nap since I started getting up at 8am. Weird, yet pretty amazing o-o

But I've only had this rhythm for like a week now and there were already times when I felt stress seeping in. I think it's because I was given three huge tasks to work on until my next Skype meeting with my mentor (which is tomorrow) so I felt the deadline coming closer and it annoyed me tremendously that I had to spend time sewing curtains shorter (cuz otherwise I would've had to listen to my mom whining about it and taking forever in doing it, which would have been even worse) and having to do other random stuff when I still felt I had so much left to do and I couldn't be in peace in my own room just focusing on it. It's almost like I forgot that I'm going to be working on this project for at least four years and don't have to do everything right away. But then earlier today I figured that I've worked hard and have managed to achieve quite a bit, as long as I can convince my mentor about my plan I've earned just a little breather. I guess now I just need to worry about being able to communicate my ideas effectively because I am a rather poor talker.

That feeling of being able to let go when I realized how much I had actually managed to do was pretty awesome. Of course, this is only a research plan so the actual work is only ahead of me, but one step at a time, ok? I had to re-do my entire research plan from scratch because I decided on a game and phenomenon that I'm going to be studying (as well as a possible methodology to use), while previously my plan was incredibly vague. And being able to do this meant I had to do a lot of research: find out if my idea was plausible, if anyone else had studied it before, or something similar, where in the world of academic research my study could be located, etc. It was a lot.

It's rather strange - I don't really think that much of myself generally, always thinking that others are smarter and wittier and more talented and charming etc. But when it comes to certain things, I think I expect a lot from myself. There's a certain standard. Like there's no way I could have joined that Skype meeting tomorrow knowing I haven't tried my best in working on the three given tasks, even if even my mentor admitted it was a lot to do. No, I want to know for myself that I've worked hard, even if it doesn't show in my actual presentation - I need to know it for myself.

But yeah, that's my life right now :3