Catspaw — The Wanderings of a Rat

I chose to do this ds106 assignment. See, the moment I saw it, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for it.

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This is my beanie-baby rat, Tip-Toe. Well, actually, he’s my dad’s. Mom bought the family beanie-babies in the form of our zodiac signs. However, as we have a cat, we had to hide the poor stuffed animals from him. Somehow, this evolved into a rather odd version of hide-and-go-seek — and the next thing we knew, we had a collection of rats.

In any case. Tip-Toe came along with my on my White Day date. The three of us had a lot of fun together. First, we got some food.

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Both meals were delightful, in case you were wondering. Somehow the two of us ended up at Yoshinoya — odd mostly because we’d never been before. However, they happened to have a particularly pretty picture out, and we were lured inside. Figures, huh?

And then, we looked out the window.

Across the street there was this karaoke place. I don’t really like it all that much, but she wanted to go, and so, well. Suddenly I found myself perching on a couch, flicking through songs.

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Tip-Toe, of course, joined us.

After that we ended up going home and eating cheese. Sadly, Tip-Toe didn’t get to eat any, but never fear — the cheese was definitely enjoyed.

~Ekhlami

The Beginning

My second ds106 assignment was Comments for Kids. Basically, the idea behind it is to encourage kids who are blogging to keep it up. The ds106 site also give you a quality comment guide link, to a site made by a third grade class. (Can I just add here that I have no idea what to do with life when third graders are creating web content?)

To start with, I went to the list of participants. I have to say, my shock level was sky high when I realized that the youngest was only six. In some ways, this entire thing is really kind of awkward, as the children are, like most bloggers, putting images of themselves up. It’s nothing bad, exactly, but having been raised in a very “We don’t put pictures up of ourselves ever” kind of household, it’s very kind of “…” for me.

In any case. I went through and figured out who I wanted to comment on. This, for me, was really difficult — because there are so many people there, and because it’s always really odd to comment on someone’s blog when you don’t know them. (I know, I know, I have really odd ways of thinking about things, I’ve been told.)

So I wandered through. The assignment called for three to five comments — I decided that four was a nice, reasonable number. (I like using the middle number, what can I say?) I’m not going to tell you where I  made the comments, but feel free to read these blogs and make comments of your own. Some of the blogs are really kind of cool, with game apps and the like (one had a Magic 8 Ball which I played for several minutes, because it’s been ages, and it was fun). Of course, others are terrifying, because girls really like sparkles, and the backgrounds may blind you.

Have a great day!

~Ekhlami

Tabletop Games

I chose to do this assignment: Common Everyday Object. The point was to manipulate the colors in the picture.

As far as the process goes: I had to figure out what I was going to use. While I tossed a few ideas around (kettle, pan, laptop, books), in the end I opted for a table. It’s a small little thing, a coffee table or an end table (goodness knows I still don’t really know the difference).

Original!Table

The table I chose. You can find it here.

In any case, I liked it. So, I figured, why not.

I wandered over to Picnik, which is good for photoshopping needs. I played around for a bit, and ended up altering the top of the table.

I hope you enjoy!

New!Table

You can find the revised pic here.

Have a wonderful day.

~Ekhlami

Google Translate: 王様の剣

I decided that I wanted to do Google Translate Fail as my next ds106 assignment.

First, though, I needed something to translate. The assignment says I’m to use a website, but my Japanese is so poor (even though I’ve been here for a year), I wasn’t sure I’d be able to translate it more accurately than the website. It’s a bit sad, really, and I do plan to work on it — someday when I have time. (So, probably never, if those are my conditions…)

So I looked about. Did I have anything in Japanese in my room? A textbook, perhaps, or… a children’s story?

Indeed, upon my bookshelf lay a book that a friend had me buy: 王様の剣 (or, in English, The Sword in the Stone). I was pretty sure I could handle the translation — both because it is a children’s book, and because I’d read it before with said friend, and we’d translated after we finished each page. So, as long as I could remember, and had a pretty decent idea, it should be fine — or so I thought to myself.

As it happened, when I looked through it, I found that I could actually read most of it, which was very exciting for me, I assure you.

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Sword in the Stone is about how, after a king died with no heirs, the country fell to ruins.  There is a sword stuck in a stone, and the one who can pull it out will become the next king. Years pass, and then a little boy (who, as all heroes seem to be, is neglected and belittled by the people who took him in, as he is an orphan) who forgets to bring his foster-brother’s sword goes and pulls the sword from the stone. He is, of course, Arthur, and the story takes place in Camelot. There’s all sorts of fun that goes on with a batty old wizard named Merlin, as well.

In any case.

The section I took was:

くにをおさめていたおうさまがなくなり、そのあとだれがつぎのおうさまになるか、だれにもわかりませんでした。

This, according to Google Translate, means:

King have enjoyed the country is lost, or become the next king s who then gain, I did not know anyone.

My translation, though most likely entirely inaccurate (though it makes more sense in English) is:

When the king died, so did the country, for no one knew who would be the next king.

It’s very exciting, no?

Well, I suppose not. In any case, that was about the extent of it: find something to translate, run in through Google, translate it myself, and giggle to myself. If nothing else, it was fun, and someone else can give me a better translation.

Have a great night!

~Ekhlami

By Any Other Name

I chose to do this ds106 assignment. It seemed like fun, and everyone else seemed to be having a blast with it. I admit, I didn’t want to be left out of all the fun. So, I followed the steps.

First, I input the random wiki link in, and ended up here. This gave me the title of my band. Congratulations, I was now a part of the STS-5. It was a rather exciting moment for me.

Then, I clicked this link and found my album title. The quote was The things we know best are the things we haven’t been taught, said by Marquis de Vauvenargues. This, of course, meant that my album was Things We Haven’t Been Taught. Alright, I was down with that. To the next step!

I needed my album cover. It was very important, you see. So I went to this link, and got this image, by Silver Velvet.

Now, to put it all together! I went here, and found out that the site was closing. But not yet, so I wasn’t to be stopped! I fiddled with colors, and sharpness, and had a great amount of fun. I added my band name, and the album title, and saved the image. I proceeded to upload it to Imgur (because I like it there), and then I wandered right back here to post it to show to you all.

This can be found here.

To clarify: none of this is mine. I played with the picture, but it does not belong to me. I just want to make sure credit is given where credit it due. After all, if I didn’t, not only would I feel like a horrible, horrible person, but Nana might rawr at me. And I have to live with her.

Have a wonderful day.

~Ekhlami

Power Play

Today, I chose to do the Three Word Wednesday ds106 assignment. The assignment was to go to this site and find the three words for this week and use them in some form of written work. The words for this week are control, flesh, and razor. I’m going to do the writing first, and detail the process at the end, if you don’t mind, so that anyone linking from there doesn’t have to read the entire post. It shall be brief.

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It was quiet, in this dark room, except for the muffled sobbing from the man in the chair. He had long since given up on escape — the bindings, whatever they were, cut deep into his flesh.

The other individual in the room was enjoying the sounds as he surveyed his weapons. He was done with the blunt instruments for a bit — though he did enjoy the sight of forming bruises, they did not give him the same sense of control that his sharper toys did. Walking down the line on the table, his eyes settled on the perfect blade.

He picked up the straight razor and grinned.

Fin

Sorry, it’s a bit creepy, I know.

So, process. I decided I wanted to do a writing assignment — the photography for the Daily Create is going to kill me, I’m sure. And the moment I saw the Three Word Wednesday assignment, I knew I wanted to try it. When I clicked over to see what the words were, I immediately had an idea.

I know, I went for the obvious a bit here. I was watching Criminal Minds earlier, so my first thought was serial killer. I do hope I successfully got that across, but that’s a bit difficult in 109 words, so I’m not sure I managed. Still, that’s where I was trying to go with it.

That’s really all I have to say on the subject. It occurs to me now that there were other things I could have done, but this idea wouldn’t let me go enough to think of them until after it was written. I suppose I could write them now, but I like the creepy drabble, so I don’t want to take away from it. I feel like if I write something else with the same three words that is in an entirely different direction, it will take away from what I managed to do with that. I might have to do this again, though, next week — we’ll see. I thought this one was pretty cool. If I see words next week that speak to me the same way, well, I suppose you’ll find out.

Take care!

~Ekhlami

Pakik (Lost)

Today’s Daily Create was to take a picture of a place in your home where you lose things. As it happens, I was tempted to just take a picture of the apartment door, being as the entire place manages to take my things. I was also tempted to take a picture of my bedroom door, for the same reason. (Not, however, the room itself — it’s a bit too much of a mess. This could, perhaps, be why I lose things there, but let’s nevermind that, alright? Thank you.)

In the end, after much serious contemplation, I opted to take this image.

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Here is a link back to the site I uploaded on.

Yes, this is my washing machine. Yes, it does eat my socks — how did you guess? I felt it was only right. After all, it seems that no matter what washer I find myself using, inevitably, something goes missing — usually a sock, however, this is not always the case. I am still seriously miffed about the time I washed my Jack Skellington sweatshirt and it didn’t reappear from the dryer. That… was not a good day.

Still, not much I can do about it now, I suppose — this was back in high school.

…Suddenly, I feel very old. How odd. >.<

…It occurs to me, all of a sudden, that yesterday’s Daily Create was about laundry as well. I’d better change it up tomorrow — I would hate to feel predictable.

All the best,

~Ekhlami

Operation — Annihilate! Lost

I chose this assignment for various reasons — partly to stay with the whole Star Trek thing, and partly because I like writing. In this case, however, instead of using the shows, I chose a movie — Reboot, the latest one, which many of you have likely seen.

This assignment was to take a minor character and write what they were doing before or after a scene in a movie or show. It took me a while to figure out just how I was going to do it. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was going to do Reboot at first. I considered a few TOS episodes, a Voyager episode, and a DS9 episode — but in the end, I figured, what the heck,why not. The title of this post, however, is from a TOS episode, but I’ll explain, I promise.

Then, it was about the character.

I thought about using Winona Kirk, because we don’t see her after the whole George Kirk goes down with the Kelvin/James Kirk is born scene in the beginning. This particular assignment, though, asks for directly before or after, and I would have prefered to write about months later at the earliest.

Of course, there was also Frank — what happened after Jim stole (and crashed) the car? Unfortunately, I can imagine all too well what would have occurred, having seen a deleted scene which shall be linked to later. Chances are, if Frank didn’t have Jim charged, he would have beat him. Mind, it’s about the right time for Kirk to have ended up on Tarsus IV for the genocide, so perhaps Frank sent him there. Regardless, Frank was clearly pissed, and there are only so many things to come — and as for the before, the deleted scene pretty much takes care of anything I could do with it. I could always do a very focused emotional piece on how he felt when he noticed Jim and the car were gone, and perhaps I will some other day, but that was not what I wanted for tonight.

There was also the man who Jim gave his bike to when he opted to join the ‘Fleet. I thought about what must have gone on in his head when the keys were tossed at him, and wondered if he would keep it, or sell it, or if he even knew how to drive it. Or perhaps I could have begun with him waking up and going to work — does he have a family? Did he wake hungover, or with a headache, or perhaps to the neighbors having some sort of fight?

However, in the end, I settled upon a different character. Unfortunately, I’m going to need to explain a bit, so please bear with me just a little longer.

I chose the car scene, which I’ll link later. In this scene, Kirk is driving a car, and he passes another boy, one he calls “Johnny.”

Johnny doesn’t exist.

So here’s the thing. I’m not using Johnny. I don’t like him and his lack of existence. It kind of really pisses me off. See, this boy was originally supposed to be called “Sam.” As in, George Samuel Kirk Jr. Sam was taken out of existence because it was thought that the audience would be confused by a character that only has one scene. Personally, I think this was a terrible idea, and gave too little credit to the people watching. Besides, if nothing else, neither Winona nor Frank ever show up again, so unless they are going to be in the sequel (which I am resolutely not checking, because I want the movie to be a surprise, thank you very much, and I’m sincerely hoping it isn’t going to be another Khan story line), shouldn’t they confuse the audience just as much?

I guess it was thought absent parental units made more sense than an absent brother.

And so, I’m altering the parameters of the assignment, and using the character that he was originally supposed to be. I’m using two scenes, as well. The deleted scene, which will provide the background for the running away, and the actual scene, which is the one I am actually using (the deleted one is really just there for context). Also, I’m not doing “after” so much as “during and after,” because I felt that it made more sense that way.

Actually, I think I want to end with the fic, so I’m going to finish up the process. As I said, it took some time to figure out what exactly I wanted to use, and then even more time to choose a character. I also briefly considered Gaila, Uhura’s roommate, as well as the cadet known as Cupcake (but is possibly Giotto), but discarded them as too depressing (ending in Gaila’s probable death), or violent (Cupcake is itching for a fight, and then, lo and behold, there is one). Then, there was the writing of the fic. What did I want to focus on? What should the style be? Should it be in first person, or second, or what? Do I want to do before (which would end on the deleted scene) or after? What was the straw, anyway — and how much did it really matter? What did Sam do when he realized where Jim was heading?

In the end, I decided to go for after, with during by necessity, as you already know. Then, it was a matter of writing it — how long should it be? — and then writing this. And, of course, finding the proper linkage, which will be a lot harder to accomplish if certain laws pass.

Here is the deleted scene, which should be watched first, if you plan to watch both. It’s really just there for context, so if you really can’t spare the minute and a half, don’t sweat it. All you really need to know is that they are brothers, and that his name is not, and should never have been, Johnny.

This is the scene in question. It’s set to begin 52 seconds in, so if you really want to watch the intro, move fast. Else, it begins just as we run into Sam again.

Also, because I said I would explain it, the title of this blog post comes from Operation — Annihilate, the episode where Kirk’s brother is killed. This can never happen, now, because (at least, currently), George Samuel Kirk Jr. doesn’t exist to die. Thing is, though, he kind of has to — if he’s the older one, the Kelvin disaster had nothing to do with him or his birth, and so there is no reasonable explanation for the difference. In any case, it’s lost now, in the sense that it can never be.

I would, before I post this, like to say just a few more things. I do not own the rights to this movie, though I do own a copy. I do not own these characters, and nothing I do or say can or will, to the best of my knowledge, influence in any way, shape, or form Star Trek as a whole. I am not making any money from writing using these characters, though I am (hopefully) getting class credit for completing the ds106 assignment that is linked at the beginning of this post.

And now that the disclaimer and other such important things are over and done with, I bid thee adieu. Go, watch the clip(s), and whether you read the story or not, I hope that you have a wonderful day.

~Ekhlami

Decisions

He heard the car coming up from behind him, and put his thumb out in hopes of getting a lift. He needed to get out – there was nothing left for him here, in that house that was not, would never be a home. He felt bad about leaving Jim behind, but his brother was smart, quiet — he knew how to get out of the way and stay there. He’d be okay by himself.

The car honked at him, and he turned. His arm fell to his side as the driver called out to him. It couldn’t possibly be his little brother, not Jim. Jim was a good kid, didn’t pull stupid stunts like this.

There was no mistaking the voice that called out his name. His heart stopped. He took a step forward, hoping that Jim would pull over, and then he heard the siren.

Frozen, he couldn’t get his body to move. He knew that whatever happened next, Frank would be pissed.

In the distance, he saw the law enforcement drone catch up to the car. Then he saw the car turn. He knew that road. The end of it was a long drop.

He ran.

The cars, for obvious reasons, were much faster than he. He stopped in the grass, gasping for breath, as he realized that the corvette was gone. It had gone over. He prayed to every deity he didn’t believe in that his brother hadn’t gone over with it. The drone was still there, however, he could see the bike, vaguely. He rubbed at his eyes, trying to see more clearly.

Shapes took form — two of them. Jim had somehow survived something that anyone else would have died during. Jim always was the lucky one, though. Relief spread through his body, making him dizzy and lightheaded. His legs gave out, and he sprawled onto the grass, doing his best not to cry. He thought about getting up, running to Jim, yelling at him for doing something so dumb.

He lay there, considering, trying to breathe through the last vestiges of terror. He heard another vehicle, coming to pick his brother up, most likely. Maybe it was another law enforcement drone — this one in a car instead of on a bike. Or, perhaps it was an ambulance — Jim might have gotten hurt, after all. Heck, the drone may have even called Frank.

That thought had him sitting up, fear surging back up. Frank. What would he do to Jim after this?

He flopped back down — he’d know Frank’s hovercar anywhere, and that was definitely not it. He didn’t stand until he heard them leave, and then he walked to the quarry. Peering down, he tried not to feel sick at the sight. Then he found himself unable to swallow down anger. That was his father’s car — and now it was twisted metal at the bottom of a cliff.

He looked off into the distance, back the way he’d come. There was nothing for him there. He wasn’t lying when he said he couldn’t be a Kirk in that house. Walking away wasn’t very Kirk-like either — he was leaving his brother behind if he continued down his path. It would kill him to stay. He took a deep breath, and made a decision. He walked down the road, back onto the main one. He looked at the town he grew up in. He turned.

Squaring his shoulders, Sam walked away.

“I’m a Doctor, Not a –!”

You may have noticed by now, dear reader, that all of my titles (thus far, anyway), are Star Trek references. In keeping with that, may I present my second ds106 assignment, Troll Quotes.

This was a fairly simple process, all things considered. The picture itself I found after a quick Google search for Emergency Medical Hologram — for that is who he is. He was the sole medical personal for Star Trek: Voyager. He was very odd.

The quote, of course, is from Dr. McCoy, who was from The Original Series. He said things like that a lot — “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer/shuttle conductor/psychiatrist!” This particular quote comes from Friday’s Child. To learn more about McCoy, you should totally listen to this song. It’s by S.P.O.C.K., a Swedish group, I think, and it’s totally rockin’.

Dr. Crusher is the doctor from Next Generation — and quite frankly, I try to forget about her. Alas, what can you do? I liked Wesley more than I liked her — and if you know the general feelings for Wesley Crusher, you understand what sort of statement I’m making here. She’s not bad, she’s just… Well. The less I say, the better, I’m sure.

In any case, the process.

After deciding what assignment I was going to tackle (surprisingly easily, since I see them all the time and have been tempted to do one) I had to choose my characters. I chose Star Trek because it’s now a theme for my life — there are things I like more, but most people associate it with me, and I’m okay with that. In fact, it greatly amuses me. So why not? The characters, then, were slightly harder, but I like the CMOs, and so I eventually settled on them.

I found the picture of the EMH via Google search, and quickly saved it. After opening Paint (sorry, tokyo50mm!), I quickly typed in a McCoyism and attributed it to Dr. Crusher. I’ve been considering how I would do this for a few hours, and was originally going to use a picture of Sisko, with the quote “make it so” attributed to Kirk (though Picard is the one who is known for it), but eventually decided that I’d prefer to do a doctor-themed ds106. Regardless, my needs were met, so I’m perfectly content.

In any case, I chose the McCoyism because it’s something that is easily recognized. Thus, I was left to chose between the EMH and Crusher for the picture and attribution. As I’ve stated, though, I really don’t like Crusher — so the EMH it was. And thus, it began.

This was really interesting to do, and I’m glad I’ve finally done it. I see things like this all the time on imgur, but couldn’t bring up the courage to do it until just now. It was fun, and I’ll think I’ll do it again sometime.

Have a great night, Possible Reader, and take care!

~Ekhlami

Make It So, Number One

Everything has a story. So, find an item that you have an extreme emotional attachment to, take a picture of it, and tell the story! Convey all the emotion and feeling, and let us know why the item is important to you!

This is the ds106 assignment I have chosen to begin with.

This photo was taken by tokyo50mm, who will be pleased to note that I figured out how to put it up.

This is a paperweight, though I don’t actually use it as such. It just kind of chills on my bookshelf, perfectly content to glitter away. I don’t remember how long I’ve had it — I feel almost like I’ve always had it, though I know that that isn’t the case. My little brother gave it to me for Christmas years ago (why, I have no idea, but I’m glad for it all the same), and I’ve kept it with me ever since.

I haven’t moved around a lot — in fact, I lived in the same house until I went to college — but the colleges I’ve been to haven’t been anywhere near home. I grew up in California, went to college in Missouri, and now, as you probably are aware, I’m in Tokyo. No matter where I’ve been, this has been perched on a shelf or desk or windowsill.

I know that the thing to say is that it is one of my favorite things because my brother bought it for me, but honestly, I haven’t the slightest idea. It’s just so shiny and distracting, and, for whatever reason, I think it’s beautiful. You can’t see it in the photo, but it has lines where the glass was cut to make the spherical shape, and they glitter in the light.

I’m not very articulate, so I won’t try to go more into it. However, I will say that when I’m playing with it (rolling it in my hands and the like), it always reminds me a bit of growing up.

~Ekhlami