argurotoxos: fanart of Lady Loki amused (Lady Loki - snerk | by etrangere)
Today I:

-Got up around 9 AM and drove over to have breakfast, go on a morning walk, and talk with one of my closest friends. (A few days ago, we went on an 11-mile bike ride together.)

-Stopped at the doctor's office to pick up a script for my mom and make my annual physical appointment. One of the receptionists actually gave me a printed copy of my immunization record at no cost. (The last time I'd tried to get it, I was told they would have to print my whole medical record and charge me almost $40. It's still crazy to me that I can't get my whole medical record without paying for it, or even read it myself at the office, but having the immunization list is a start.)

-Went to my bank's ATM for more cash.

-Bought a second watering can (for the back porch plants), another bottle of sunscreen, and some cheap, scented bubble bath at Walmart.

-Returned some of my and my mom's books at the library. I normally never eat while reading physical books, especially library books, but did one day at work when no one else was on to have lunch with and, sure enough, I spilled some food on it. It doesn't look that bad, but it's an interlibrary loan book, so it's up to the original library to decide if they just want to note the condition or if they want me to pay for a new copy. I also checked out a number of audio CDs and a few new books for Maine and the car drive. (CDs -- The Music Rough Guides to the Himalayas, Japan, Turkish Cafe, and Scandinavia; The Art of Seduction: Gypsy Nights - Belly Dance Music of the Balkans; books -- Belly Dancing Basics by Laura A. Cooper, Funny Misshapen Body by Jeffrey Brown, The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika Thera, The Zen Path through Depression by Philip Martin. I'm still reading The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo.)

-Picked up my mom's prescriptions at CVS.

-Had a quick lunch (thai curry TV dinner) while reading the newest chapter of one of my current favourite fanfics (A Week is a Long Time in Vanaheim by Hermaline75, Loki/Thor, pre-MCU, explicit, WIP).

-Put on some sunscreen and worked outside. Watered the flowers. Planted some creeping thyme in my small front garden. Moved one of my marigolds that was started to wilt from a clay pot into the soil near the thyme. Swept off the front steps. My plants: two marigolds in clay pots and one amaryllis in my bedroom; cactus and regular zinnia, thyme, and one marigold up front; one marigold, one amaryllis, and two pots of three morning glories each on the back porch.

-Helped my dad check the fluid levels and air conditioning system in my car. He checked the other two cars while I had a short dinner and changed.

-Went to the first class of a new belly dance session half an hour away. The drive wasn't as bad as I'd expected, and the place was easy to find. There were almost 30 people there, some who had taken prior classes with the instructor and some who were completely new, ranging from late teens to 60s! Most people did have their own hip scarfs, though. The studio was an actual dance studio with wooden floors, a barre, and full-length mirrors across one wall. Oh, what a beautiful sight! The mirrors really do help, and I found myself automatically going into ballet warm-ups. It was quite a difference from my experience with the nearby belly dance class, where I was the only one there and the studio was designed primarily as a yoga studio, with no mirrors or barre and just painted concrete. Even though I enjoyed having more people in the class, I also found myself feeling very self-conscious and had a hard time relaxing. The instructor seemed much more knowledgeable, gregarious, and willing to give constructive criticism than the local one, although also a bit absent-minded. I'll be in Maine next week, but signed up for the rest of the session, which will be every Thursday night at 6 PM through 17 July. To my surprise, the instructor said she might even cover veil and zill (finger cymbal) use even though it's a beginner class.

-Came home and ate some fried rice with my parents.

-I might burn some music CDs for Maine after finishing this.

I work tomorrow 7:30 AM - 4:15 PM, Saturday 8 AM - noon (in theory; it might change). If we don't leave for Maine on Sunday, I might go to my close friend's house; he's off that day and their pool might be open.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
The Gon/Killua photos are up, with Kun/[livejournal.com profile] hitokiri_quatre as Gon and myself as Killua!

My photos are here; there are 107 in total and include the vast majority of the photos.

Kun's are here; there are 35 in total and include more ice cream, Killua, couch, and pocky photos.

There are also videos. Four to be precise.

-Ice Cream Preparation
-Random Couch Fight!
-Janken Attempt 01 (Blooper Version)
-Janken Attempt 02

By way of warnings, there is a bit of swearing. We are also both unapologetic Gon/Killua fans, although nothing more explicit than kissing and cuddling.

This will eventually be crossposted to [community profile] hunterxhunter and [profile] ore_ga_inakya, but I need to type up a new introduction and explanation first.

We'll be using these cosplays again on Saturday of PortConMaine 2008, so any suggestions on how to improve the cosplays would be greatly appreciated, especially suggestions concerning what to do with Gon's hair.

For Killua, I need to make his boot covers. I also want to re-spike parts of the wig and possibly find a closer-fitting shirt. (I tend to wear my clothes baggy, but it doesn't look as good as I thought it would in the photos.)

Here's a preview of the photoshoot using some of my favourite photos from my collection:

Gon/Killua photoshoot preview. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Lots to say. I wrote down notes on the bus, so hopefully I remember most of the things that happened. Everything is LJ-cut by date, although I have more to say about some days than others.

Wednesday, 28 May. )

Thursday, 29 May. )

Friday, 30 May. )

Saturday, 31 May. )

Sunday, 1 June. )

Monday, 2 June. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
This is the last of the Maurice posts I have planned, but it's a topic I wanted to comment on as soon as I saw the reference by name in Maurice. It's also a topic that has become very personal to me through The Charioteer. Plato's Phaedrus can be read online here; Maurice is by E. M. Forster and The Charioteer is by Mary Renault.


Plato's Phaedrus, similar to the Symposium, is a dialogue about love, particularly of the homoerotic sort. It begins with Phaedrus recounting a speech made by Lysias on how the non-lover is better than the lover for lovers spoil their beloveds by flattering them with undeserved praise, try to control the life of the beloved out of jealousy, and so on. Socrates follows suit and makes his own speech on the detriments of love. Then, coming upon a realization, Socrates chastises Phaedrus ("That was a dreadful speech which you brought with you, and you made me utter one as bad.") and makes a second speech praising love, which is the apex of the dialogue.

It is in this second speech that Socrates introduces the idea of a three-part soul symbolized by a charioteer and two horses -- one horse is clean and white and loves virtue, the other horse is mangy and black and loves anything that satisfies his desires, and the charioteer is the leader who must control the horses and preserve balance between all three. If it sounds similar to Freud, it is, with the charioteer as the ego, the white horse as the superego, and the black horse as the id. Socrates then describes how the charioteer and horses of both lover and beloved act when near each other.

Since this is Plato, self-control and a refrain from sexual acts are strongly encouraged for both the lover and his beloved. However, Plato says that even those who have been active sexually "are dear, but not so dear to one another as the others" and "when the time comes at which they receive their wings" both chaste and unchaste couples "have the same plumage because of their love."

In short, the Phaedrus presents a beautifully written (and highly idealistic) view of love spoken of in terms of a couple (a lover and a beloved) formed by two males.

The impact of Plato's Phaedrus can be seen in both Forster and Renault, who mention the Phaedrus by name in Maurice and The Charioteer, respectively. However, while Forster mainly introduces the Phaedrus for Clive, who is presented as a Hellenist, the Phaedrus is one of the central, continuous themes of The Charioteer, which derives its very title from the dialogue.


The Phaedrus in Maurice. )


The Phaedrus in The Charioteer. )


I've been considering it a lot lately and, if it's true that everyone has that one special book that they identify with, I think The Charioteer is mine. It wasn't always. Even after I started reading Renault, Fire From Heaven was my immediate favourite. But the things that Laurie goes through, his gradual and sometimes painful quest to discover who his is and his place in the world . . . Sometimes I think it's all there, only in an altered form, shaped by the time period in which we each live.

"At some stage of a broken midnight conversation, he had said, 'I've often had a feeling that there's nowhere I really belong.' He had hardly known himself what he wanted; but Ralph had said, without a moment's hesitation, 'You belong with me. As long as we're both alive, this will always be your place before anyone else's. That's a promise.'"

The fulfillment of the Phaedrus, only not so optimistic, but so much more real.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
I was only waiting about ten minutes before I heard someone yell 'Arma!' Turning around, I saw both Tomo and Kun coming toward me. Immediately, I ran to them and attempted a two-in-one hug. *grin* Turns out they had gotten a bit lost and had to walk up this weird narrow alley with high walls to get to the train platform, but they made it!

So we got my stuff into the car and then headed back to Tomo's house, where I finally got to meet his mum and his two sisters. We then went around opening Christmas presents. Kun gave me a very cute kimono!bear keychain that I put on the keyring with my house keys and flash drive. Sankyuu! ^^ And Tomo gave me way too much stuff -- a black scarf, kanji cards, a music CD, two German books, a Greek coin with Alexander on it, and I just know I'm forgetting something. 0_0 どうもありがとう、弟!

Then his family took us all out to a Mexican restaurant called Margaritas. We talked about the nightmare that was last year's drive to NH, our Yami no Matsuei photoshoot, elementary through high school . . . Anything and everything. The food was all very good and there was a lot of it. I was proud that I was able to eat more than half of my main dish after all of the appetizers we snacked on.

Sometime near the end of dinner, one of Tomo's sisters had managed to sneak some salt into the other sister's water. Which of course led to the addition of even more condiments, including tabasco sauce. In the end, I drank it all and it actually tasted better than the concoction that my dad had created at Denny's. XD

Dinner that night was one of those times I wished I had a video camera in my head. Something I could use to record every second with perfect accuracy and then replay whenever I wanted. Because when you're in that moment, everything feels so right that you just want it to last forever; just stay there with your best friends having fun and eating good food. You know it's one of the best times you'll have and because of that you value every second and want to memorize it forever, but it's also bittersweet because memories become fuzzy and you can't quite capture that moment and those feelings afterward. But even though you can't remember exactly what everyone said and did, it leaves a lasting impresssion on you and you smile later with watery eyes.

When we got back to Tomo's house, we showed Kun the first two episodes of Kyou Kara Maou. We had to take her home shortly afterward, but I was so glad that she was able to spend most of that evening with us. I had really, really missed her. *hug*

Tomo and I spent the rest of the night playing Sudoku, watching Queer as Folk, and talking about Japan and languages.

Friday was our big shopping day. We went to the Salem Mall and I bought the second volume of Yu-Gi-Oh: Millennium World with a Borders gift card that my grandmum had gotten me. Among lots of other things. Like a new Batman wallet, a Leonardo action figure, and a box of four random DC Comics figures (I got Robin!). We also played with the Darth Vader masks in the toy store. Now everytime I hear 'Your powers are weak', I think of 'Your nen is weak!' *grin*

Tomo went into Express for Men - which is an insanely expensive clothing store - because he had a gift certificate. He bought a sweater and a dress shirt. Of course, the dress shirt just happened to be one of the only things in the store that wasn't on sale and he ended up paying almost $100. 0_0 Makes me happy for my Sears and Salvation Army clothes and the fact that I couldn't care less what I wear most of the time as long as it's comfortable and dark-coloured.

After we finished walking through the Salem Mall, we headed over to the mall in Manchester and got the best beef teriyaki with soba that I've ever had. It was really good. Though I'm still not sure it was worth the hour and a half it took us to get out of the mall parking lot. Oi. 0_0

On our way back from the malls, we stopped by two of Tomo's friends' houses. They were both nice and seemed like cool people. We also stopped by a convenience store to get some junk food.

That night, we watched more of Kyou Kara Maou (including my two favourite episodes!), some of Queer as Folk, and a strange French film called Wasabi. It was a fairly good movie that sometimes reminded me of the awesomeness that is The Pink Panther movies, but I really think they should have picked a different movie title.

We meant to wake up at 8 AM Saturday, but ended up sleeping until 9:30. In the end, it didn't matter since we couldn't go to Kun's until noon.

Kun's was awesome. Her mum is the nicest lady and she's very cool. ^^ I also got to meet Kun's boyfriend, who was also very cool. He even knew about Mighty Max! XD The four of us sat on Kun's futon and talked about anime, school, movies, manga, old cartoons . . . We also watched the first dubbed episode of Hikaru no Go. It wasn't too bad . . . until Touya Akira came in. They absolutely butchered Touya's voice; it sounded way too deep to me. x_x

We were only at Kun's for about three hours, though it felt a lot longer than that. I would've loved to have stayed there all day, but we had to leave for Shampoo's before dark. On one hand, I really wish Kun could've come with us to Shampoo's and that I could've seen more of her (and that I hadn't forgotten about my camera on Saturday; I only got one picture of Kun during the whole trip and that was on Thursday), but on the other, we did get to spend quite a bit of time together. We tried not to drag out our goodbye as long as we ususally do and we actually didn't cry (at that time, anyway), but it was still hard. *hug*

But, on a positive note, I might be staying at her house if I go to Anime Boston! ^__^

The ride to Shampoo's was crazy. It was snowing when we left and we got completely lost. Tomo ended up going to his aunt's house for help, which amounted to nothing. In the end, we were saved by Shampoo calling Tomo's cell phone and Justin giving us directions over the phone. Score!

When we got to Shampoo's, Musashi was playing Kingdom Hearts II. Unfortunately, he had to work that night. x_x But, on the other hand, Shampoo, Tomo, and I got to hog all the snacks and game consoles. We ended up playing four different games, all music-related -- a guitar game, a karaoke game, a drum game, and a Music of the 80s Trivia Game. Suffice it to say I failed at the last one miserably.

We exchanged Christmas presents before the games started. Shampoo got me a Hunter x Hunter mini-calendar (!!), the first two Fushigi Yuugi OVAs, a box of Pocky, some Full Metal Alchemist trading cards, and a blue and purple handmade bracelet. ^__^

To celebrate the New Year, we watched the ball drop on TV and drank sparkling cider. Then Tomo had his Exciting Crossdressing Adventure. Which is very good blackmailing material, but I'm not that mean. XD But seriously, Shampoo and I didn't make him do anything! I don't know about him, but we both found it very amusing.

In the end, we didn't go to sleep until 7 AM. Or at least Shampoo and I didn't; Tomo fell asleep earlier but would briefly wake up everytime we touched him to put on a blanket and then would fall right back asleep.

We left Shampoo's apartment around 1:40 PM on Sunday and got back to Tomo's house right as my parents pulled into his driveway. I quickly got all my stuff from his house and just threw it into the back seat. Then we hugged and it was time to head back to New York.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
My mum, dad, and me left for Maine Friday morning. Rather than trying to cram even more presents into the car, we celebrated our own little family Christmas Thursday night. I got my mum a mouse pin and my dad the first season DVD set of The Pretender. My parents gave me a bunch of anime merchandise - including the Hunter x Hunter Greed Island OST [Original Soundtrack], the first Hikaru no Go OST, an a Hiei keychain - as well as a few non-anime items. But my big present from them this year was the complete DVD collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ^__^

The only memorable event on the way to Maine was our lunch stop at Denny's. We used to eat at Denny's all the time, but stopped after service became really slow. Hoping that service had speeded back up, we decided to give it a try again. Turns out service was still incredibly slow, but while we were waiting, my dad decided to play around with his tomato juice. Complaining that it was too thick, he poured some of his water into it. Then the taste wasn't right, so he added pepper. And tabasco sauce. And steak sauce. My mum was appalled, but I tried some and it was still drinkable. In the end, my dad drank it all. XD

Not much else happened Friday. We got to my grandparents' house - which is where we always stay when we go to Maine - and talked for a while before heading off to bed.

On Christmas Eve, we went to my Aunt Kate's apartment for dinner and the first round of present opening. I dunno why, but my aunt and grandparents decided to spread presents out over three days this year. o_0 We also watched one of the best Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, 'Tapestry'.

Christmas was the big present opening day. I know I won't remember everything that was given and received, but there were a lot of books. My aunt gave me a book about the history of Batman and my grandparents gave me a mystery set in ancient Japan and some other small trinkets. Both my dad and I received Sudoku books.

The rest of the day was spent chatting and catching up with each other and watching my dad's Pretender DVDs. We finished all of the first season before I left for New Hampshire on Thursday.

It rained on Boxing Day, leaving us with almost no snow and a whole lot of mud. My aunt had bought some random things from the $1 Store for all of us and thus concluded our present opening for the year. XD Once that was done, we watched more Pretender, talked, and just enjoyed each other's company. It's really nice to just sit back and listen to your family chat, even if you yourself aren't really participating in the conversation. Sometimes it is the little things in life that matter the most.

When we weren't watching The Pretender on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was listening to Nightwish like crazy ('Feel For You', 'Ever Dream', 'Bless The Child', 'She Is My Sin' . . .) and reading the Hunter x Hunter manga online. Even thought I've seen all the anime, I had just been reading the manga with the Viz releases and the most recent twenty or so chapters from nexGear. I hadn't realized how many things had been added to the anime, like Gon and Killua's fight over money in Celestial Tower and parts of Killua and Gon's visit to Whale Island. Vice versa, the fight between Hisoka and Kastro in the manga was absolutely incredible. And pretty twisted, even for Hisoka. I guess I understand why they cut it, but it would have been awesome to see that fight animated.

However, I didn't stay totally indoors during those two days; I did take two small trips with my parents. On Tuesday, my mum and I went to the small grocery store and found . . . Moxie! (Kingdom of Loathing reference and weird-tasting soft drink! XD) And then on Wednesday, we all took a short hike in the woods, which we really needed what with all the sweets and cheeses we had been snacking on since Friday. *grin*

Thursday was my last day in Maine, though my parents stayed until New Year's Day. My mum and grandpa drove me to the Amtrak station in Portland and I bought my ticket for Haverhill, MA.

The train was quite nice and I'd take it over a bus any day. It was also pretty empty, though I imagine it'd be fuller if it weren't the holiday week. There was a plug on the side for laptops, but I didn't use mine. Instead, I played a few Sudoku games and started re-reading Lord of the Flies. There was a snack car, but I didn't venture up to it, mostly because I was unnecessarily worried about somehow missing my stop.

Only two other people got off at Haverhill besides me. I had expected there to be a station -- nothing as large or comfortable as the one in Portland, but a station nonetheless. Instead, there were a few wooden benches sitting under a roof and a large parking lot. Plus, it was raining. It almost felt like being dropped off in the middle of nowhere, except for all of the obviously urban buildings. So I plopped myself onto one of the benches and hoped that Tomo hadn't gotten lost . . .


And that's it for part one! Part two will be posted tomorrow, but I want to say thank you now to Tomo's family, Kun's family, and Shampoo (and Justin and Musashi) for letting me hang out, spend the night, feeding me, and being such cool and welcoming people. You guys are awesome. ^_____^
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
So here it is. I'm sure I forgot some things and I'm terrible with names, so feel free to correct me if you find any inaccuracies.

I will be replying to LJ comments, checking the PortConMaine forums, and all that other good stuff tomorrow. Sorry for the wait!


The PortConMaine 2005 Experience )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
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The pictures have been uploaded! Woo! You can either look at them under the LJ cut (thanks to ImageShack) or at my Yahoo photo album here. Whichever you choose, there are over 150 images, so they'll probably take a while to load. However, if it takes an insanely long time to download them, let me know and I'll split the images into two separate posts.


Photo-y goodness! )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Yup. I'm back and am currently resizing all 180+ pictures before I upload them. I will be posting some kind of write-up later, but not right now. Right now, my brain is dead and I am exhausted. My entire summary would be this: PortCon was fun! The funnest of fun! Wheeeee!! OMGpie!!1!1!! And I don't think anyone wants to read a post of that.

So yeah. Pictures will be posted later tonight. I hope to have them both here and on my Yahoo photo album.

ZOMGPIE! XD

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argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
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