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Born in 1980, Miss Kat B. began her childhood in the ice skating rink. When she tired of the sport, she quickly moved on to musicals and music. She loves soundtracks to films, is obsessed with video game music and has a penchant for pop rock. She once was in the power pop band 'Ozma' as the original keyboardist. She left the band to pursue her career in higher education. In 2002, she discovered her obsession - Kingdom Hearts. She has to have anything relating to Kingdom Hearts - be it tee shirts, music, games, you name - she's got it. Always in the know about pop culture, she loves random factoids about celebrities and the like. Also, she's a Disneyholic. Her love for Disney is only surpassed by her love for her husband. And that's just barely.
Posts by kat b
Since today is November 8, I figured I would share a very fun story with you. Last week, I was able to see Conan’s last dress rehearsal before he begins taping his show for real. I honestly am not quite sure how I was able to get tickets. When tickets became available for the new show, I immediately put in my request. I never expected to hear anything from them. A few weeks later, I was looking through my spam folder and there was a letter from Team Conan.
Email Subject: We Heard You’re A Hard Core Conan Fan!
Body: We heard you’re Team Coco all the way and want to invite you to a super secret test show. Test shows are the same as regular shows, except they do not air on TV. We’ll have celebrity guests, a guest band, and of course an abundance of sweet sweet comedy. Plus…because it won’t air on TV, that means you’ll be one of the VERY FIRST to see Conan’s new show! Attending a test show will not take you out of the running for any requests you’ve already put into the lottery system. We want YOU to help us launch the new show! Want to come?
I was then given three dates to choose. I chose the last date because I was already taking the following day off (anniversary weekend), so it made sense to see the final dress rehearsal.
Let me tell you. If you are worried that this isn’t going to work, that the show isn’t going to be the same, that it’s TBS – put all of your fears aside. He’s back, he’s awesome and he’s still got that sexy beard. The stage looks similar to the one he had for Late Night with a few minor twists. I won’t give away the twists – I’ll just say that they are ridiculously awesome. I did not sign an NDA when I went to the taping, but out of respect for the man – I don’t want to tell you too much. I can tell you that Max Weinberg is not with the band, but Jimmy Vivino and La Bamba are, and the band is now known as ‘The Basic Cable Band’.
Before the show began to “tape” (I use “tape” because they treated it as if it were a real show), the BCB got the audience jumping and jivin’. They came out to the seats and I was lucky enough to give La Bamba a high five. After they played a few tunes, they introduced Mr. Andy Richter. Both my husband, my boss (who I asked to join us) and I stood up for him and cheered loudly. He smiled and motioned for us to sit down. Our excitement was tangible.
Then the show began. What I found really awesome about the show was since it was a dress rehearsal, it was a more relaxed atmosphere. Conan accidentally let a curse word slip, and everyone hollered in the audience. He then had everyone in the audience repeat that word really loud. It’s that kind of show, folks. He was giving his opening monologue and he told a joke that didn’t quite work well. But instead of getting upset, he just went “Well, it’s a test show!” and made fun of himself for the joke being terrible. It was really nice to see him in such high spirits.
There were two special guests and a musical act. Again, I’m not sure what I can tell you and what I can’t tell you. I will say that the bits that Conan did in between talking with the guests – hilarious. If anything, he’s almost funnier than he was for The Tonight Show. Now, I’m not saying that in a bad way. I’m saying this because he’s finally allowed to go back to what he’s good at. The Late Night audience is more his demographic, as opposed to the Tonight Show’s median age of 60 (sorry, Team Coco here). For him to be on TBS now is a blessing. He’s going to be doing the stuff he did back in the 90s and ‘00s, before heading to The Tonight Show. It’s going to be great!!
Please don’t forget to watch the show tonight on TBS at 11pm (EST/PST). And if you can’t watch it live, DVR it. Or, if you don’t have a DVR - the episodes will be available the next day on Teamcoco.com. Conan is back and he’s better than ever!!!
You ready to jump into some anime with me? Yeah? Good, let’s do this.
The first season of ‘Bleach’ is an attention getter from the get-go. For all intents and purposes, I will be referring to the characters as to how they are referred to in the Japanese version. I have only watched the Japanese version, so please forgive me if you watch the English version.
In the first episode, we meet Kurosaki Ichigo and are introduced to his family. Kurosaki is a unique individual. He can see spirits that are lingering on Earth, the ones that don’t seem to want to move on to the next plane. He approaches an alleyway where a girl had been killed and keeps her spirit company. As he is keeping the spirit company, he witnesses a woman in black garb battling a monster of sorts. This monster goes after the little girl, and Ichigo does his best to protect her. After tending to the spirit, he heads back to his house where his deranged father attacks him, playfully – of course. His father owns a medical clinic, and their house is attached to it. He has two fraternal twin sisters – Karin and Yuzu. Later the same day, the woman in black makes an appearance in his room, asking him if he can see her. He tells her yes, and she then comes to find out he can see Hollows (the monster that had been in the alley) as well as spirits. She explains that she is a Shinigami – Soul Reaper – from Soul Society. Soul Society is where souls go after they pass away. She explains that the being they saw was called a Hollow – who was also a soul, but due to their inability to get to Soul Society in a timely manner become a monster. Then, the Hollow they had battled earlier in the day shows up outside of Ichigo’s house and grabs Karin from inside. Ichigo goes and rushes outside, trying to save his sister. The Shinigami – Kuchiki Rukia – becomes severely injured and then looks to Ichigo, telling him in order to save his sister, he must take her power as a Shinigami to defeat the Hollow. He looks at her and nods his head, and throws himself on her sword (her zanpakutou), becoming a spirit himself – now dressed in the same black garb that Rukia had been wearing. He takes care of the Hollow, and seals his fate as a Substitute Shinigami.
In the next few episodes, we’re introduced to Ichigo’s friends from high school – Orhime Inoue, Yasutora “Chad” Sado, and Uryuu Ishida. Each of these characters have special abilities, like Ichigo. Some we won’t learn about until the following season, but they are all very unique. Uryuu Ishida is the last Quincy in existence. A Quincy is someone who wants to rid all Hollows from existence. Quincys and Shinigamis do not get along – according to Ishida. Ishida, when we learn of his power, attempts to go after Ichigo.
One of my absolute favorite episodes of this season is with Sado. He finds a cockatiel that can talk, and he helps take care of it. It turns out that the cockatiel is actually a soul of a boy who had been killed. It is said that this cockatiel is cursed, but he is only this way because Hollows continue to chase after his soul. With the help of Rukia, they are able to defeat the Hollows and send the child back to Soul Society.
When Ichigo becomes the Substitute Shinigami, he must find something to do with his body – a shinigami fights in their “soul” form. Rukia goes to a shop which is run by a man named Urahara. He is a very eccentric man who wears flip-flops and a green and white stripped hat, and uses a fan a lot. We don’t learn much about this man in this season, except that he carries items that Shinigami need. He sells Rukia some “Soul Candy”, which Ichigo is to pop into his mouth to become a Shinigami. Well, the candy turns out to be a “modified soul” – the candy was actually an artificial warrior that was created to help Soul Society get rid of Hollows. This modified soul, when not in Ichigo’s body, is stuck inside of a lion stuffed animal. The modified soul’s name is Kon. Like the true nerd that I am, a friend of mine went to Anime Expo right before my birthday and bought me a Kon backpack. I love that guy.
This past weekend I was down in San Diego and had the chance to attend something pretty spectacular. My friends and I went down to La Jolla to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and saw the first screening of ‘Spike and Mike’s Animation Festival’. Now, I’m a huge fan of ‘Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted’ program. I had no idea what to expect from a regular animation festival.
The evening began with free cupcakes. Since it was “Dessert Day”, the first 100 people who showed up received a free cupcake courtesy of The Burger Lounge. Sugar rush before awesome animation? Sounds like a winner to me. We went to find our seats and grabbed extras (our friends had decided a cupcake was not enough food for dinner). As we were waiting, the theater began to slowly fill up. All ages were at this show. Children 5-6 years old to adults in the 70 year range. It was quite a different crowd from what I had been anticipating.
Fifteen minutes before the show began, one of the ‘Spike & Mike’ interns’ threw out a bunch of mylar balloons. Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone throws a balloon out in the audience, I became a 5 year old again. There were people behind us that were shouting to send the balloons back our way (we had decided to sit in the third row from the back). Endless entertainment of trying to have a balloon come our way and to finally be able to bop it back towards the front was pure enjoyment. Everyone was participating. It was a great way to kill the time before the show was to begin.
As the lights dimmed, Spike made his way out on the stage. I learned some new things about the man that I had not known. Did you know that he screened John Lassetter, Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton’s senior animation films? He rented out that exact auditorium we were in for those CalArts boys. Spike is based out of the San Diego area, which again – I did not know. This was the second year that he had put together this animation festival. He then told us about his favorite piece of the night (more on that in a bit), and then a few honorable mentions. Spike seemed like a very down to earth kind of guy. Someone I would love to just sit down and have a beer with.
On to the animation. The festival began with a bit called ‘KJFG:Snake’. Now, this animation was hilarious. I knew the evening was starting out right when they showed this short first. There were quite a few different types of animation shown. Stop-motion, digital, hand-drawn. All different mediums. One of my favorite pieces of the night was a short called ‘Peguin on the Left’. The first half of the show closed with the piece that Spike had raved about called ‘Love & Theft’. This piece is NSFW. It is beyond amazing. And to see it in HD in the theater, with HD sound, was phenomenal.
The festival runs through the end of November. If you are in the La Jolla or San Diego area, I highly suggest checking it out. Again, I mentioned that all ages were at the show. There are some animations that do have “adult” material in them, so keep that in mind if you want to take kids. Overall, this festival is fantastic. I can’t wait to see it next year.
Let’s begin our tale with the Playstation 2. Now, this system is a juggernaut. Sony has yet to stop releasing games for this system. Why? Because it had sold more units than any of the new generation systems (source). I still use my PS2. However, the only reason I use it is to play my favorite video game series (Kingdom Hearts). We have a few games for the console and we’ve owned it since March of 2003. We have yet had to replace it (*knock on wood*). Why on earth would Sony stop making the PS2 when they’re still selling consoles?
However, should the Kingdom Hearts series make its way to PS3, then this will be the title that will be a system buyer in our household. It’s unfortunate but true. There are many fun games on the PS3, but to me – it’s more about the Blu-Ray player than it is about the graphics. If you want a good Blu-Ray player, and wouldn’t mind playing some video games, then the PS3 is your ticket. The Playstation Network (comparable to Xbox Live’s network) is ok. You can download games, as well as stream movies from Netflix. However, when it comes to networks, I actually prefer Xbox to Sony. I know that I don’t own a PS3, but you can use the Playstation Network with the Playstation Portable (PSP). I would say that the Xbox interface is more user friendly.
Which brings us to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 is a great console. I love having one. I don’t play a lot of games, but the games that I do play, I have a ton of fun. Being able to talk with your friends via “party”, or just sending voice and/or text messages via the console is great. There are many games on that system that are meant for a casual gamer – such as, Castle Crashers and Peggle. I have spent many a night playing those two games with my friends. What’s great about Castle Crashers is that it is 4 person co-op game – you can play with up to 4 friends at the same time. This is one of the main reasons I love our Xbox. Xbox also has made it extremely easy to intergrate your “social network” through the console. When you have a Gold account (an Xbox Live account, essentially), you can access both Twitter and Facebook. You can tweet from you console, as well as update your FB status. For someone as directly connected to the social media network, I loved this integration. M$ gets points from me for this feature. Plus, with the Gold account, you can download trials for games that you may or may not want to play. It’s like a test drive for a car, but for video games. I’m sure we’ve all bought some pretty terrible games in our past. How great is that option? I mean, ‘Family Feud’ sounds fun and all, but is it really? Let’s download it and find out!
I’d like to take a minute and direct our attention to the handheld devices before I move on to the third and final console. I really don’t know what I would do when I go to the doctor’s office if I didn’t have my handheld devices. My DS saved my sanity when my mother was in the CCU a few years ago – but that’s neither here nor there.
As stated previously, I have both a DS (actually, I have a DS, a DS Lite and a DS XL) and a Sony PSP. Both are two very different machines. We purchased the DS a few months after launch (we have both the Gameboy SP and Gameboy Micro). I had gone to e3 in 2003 and played Mario Kart and then realized what a fun system it really was. Eventually, we bought two DS’. And that was a blessing in disguise because a game called “Animal Crossing” came out. I wish I was joking when I tell you that I played that game every single day for 3 years. That’s devotion. Or insanity. Or a little bit of both. There are a TON of games for the DS – my personal favorites are Super Mario 64 DS and then Kingdom Hearts 358/2 (surprised? i didn’t think so). Another great game for the DS – if you like role playing games – is ‘The World Ends With You’. There are Zelda titles, as well as fun games like ‘Scribblenauts’ – where you write a word and then a picture is drawn of that word. So, you write ‘elephant’ and an elephant appears. It’s fantastic! The DS also has the capability of going online – being able to play with players, as long as you have a friend code, for certain games. My love for the DS is never ending. The battery life is about 9-10 hours, give or take. I love the DS so much that when they release the new 3DS, we will be purchasing it for our household. I’d like to say we’ll be able to buy 2 at launch, but at a $300 (as of right now), that’s a little steep. But for sure our household will have one.
Now on to Sony’s Playstation Portable. I really like this system a lot. The graphics are far superior to that of Nintendo’s, however – it is a UMD system. A UMD is like a very small DVD (non technical term). Because it is a disc-driven system, the noise that it produces while trying to load is beyond ridiculous. There was one game I was playing and all I could think was “I think I can, I think I can” as I heard the UMD spinning. One game that I played ‘Final Fantasy VII:Crisis Core’ had cinematic cut-scenes that looked as if I was watching a DVD. Amazing. However, the noise of the UMD spinning is a bit distracting and makes it rather difficult to play the console in bed when your spouse is trying to sleep. Graphics – A+. Functionality – C. But, you can access the web with the PSP. So, there is that. And, you can use the PS Network, downloading games to your memory card (the DS has an internal memory, the PSP requires a memory card). The battery life for the PSP is about 5-7 hours, depending on if the game you’re playing requires a lot of juice (cue The Little Engine That Could).
Now, this casual gamer’s favorite console – the Nintendo Wii. I love my Wii. We’ve had it since launch, and we only just had to replace the hard drive this past summer (that was heartbreaking – losing all of my saved games? I held a funeral for them). The Wii is a perfect machine if you like to entertain. There are plenty of games that you can pick up while having friends over, and anyone can play. We’ve had quite a few parties where we end up playing ‘WarioWare’, basically throwing the Wiimote around like ‘hot potato’. And of course there’s Wii Sports. Who doesn’t love playing 4 person Mii Bowling? I think Nintendo finally found a niche – market to the casual gamers, or people who really had never played video games before. That’s not to say that there aren’t games on the Wii that are meant specifically for gamers (i.e. Red Steel, Goldeneye, etc). However, Nintendo is known for their heavy hitters – ‘Legend of Zelda’, ‘Mario’ and ‘Metroid’. ‘Mario Galaxy’ – both 1 and 2 – are fantastic games. They are easy enough for anyone to pick them up, but as the stages progress, you then find yourself feeling more like a gamer due to the difficulty level raising up quite a bit. If Nintendo were to only make those three games, I’d still be a fangirl. I love those characters that much.
This concludes our casual gamers’ look at the “console wars”. If you have a lot of friends that play the Xbox, buy an Xbox. If you are a person who loves technology and loves to have everything be crystal-clear images, buy a PS3. If you just like to entertain and have friends over, buy the Wii. And hand-held wise, prettier graphics – PSP. Hours and hours of entertainment without worrying if the battery is going to die – DS. I hope that what I’ve told you about may help sway you to purchase that particular console you’ve been eyeing.
A few months ago, I decided to take the plunge. And 253 episodes in, I’m in love. ‘Bleach’ is about as awesome as they come. I don’t really look at it as anime. I mean, I know that it is because it’s animated and it comes from Japan, but to me it’s just an engrossing show. I care for all of the characters very deeply. It’s like I found something to replace the void that ‘LOST’ gave me when it finished in May. And that’s about the time when I began my journey into Kurosaki Ichigo’s life.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking you down a journey through each of the seasons. There are currently 14 seasons. I’ve made it through 13. Roughly each season is about 20+ episodes. There are some that are much longer than that, and there are some seasons that are much shorter. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have.
I miss when they use to make commercials that told a story. Nowadays, it’s all about the angle of the product.
I’m a huge music nerd. I love all types of music – classical, pop, rock, classic rock – you name it, I probably enjoy it. Yes, even some hip hop.
I discovered this composer, and this particular song, this past weekend. I can’t stop listening to it. It’s by Joe Hisaishi and the song is called ‘Madness’. Hisaishi is Hayao Miyazaki’s go-to composer, like John Williams is to Steven Spielberg. I have to be honest and say that I’ve yet to see a Miyazaki film (I know, they’re all pretty outstanding – I just haven’t gotten around to it yet). However, given how much I love this song, I can’t wait to hear what Hisaishi does for film scoring.
A fellow boy nerd showed this to me last night. I hope you giggle as much as I did. I think Ariadne is my favorite. I think we could all use a good laugh on this somber day.
Being a music nerd, and a video game nerd, I like to have random music from video games as my ringtones on my phone.
My current ringtone for my text messages is ‘Dance of Pales’ from ‘Castlevania:Symphony of the Night’.
My current ringtone for a telephone call is ‘Sacred Moon’ from ‘Kingdom Hearts 2′.
Other current video game related ringtones I have/had are:
‘Saria’s Song’ from ‘Legend of Zelda:Ocarina of Time’
‘Lonely Rolling Star’ from ‘Katamari Damacy’
‘Super Mario Bros.’ main theme from ‘Super Mario Bros.
I also had TV shows in my ringtone options.
‘LOST’ opening theme (yeah, because there’s a lot to that one)
‘Quantum Leap’ opening theme
‘X-Files’ opening theme
My husband’s ringtone? Kefka’s Theme from ‘Final Fantasy III/VI’. Not because he’s trying to take over everything, he just really likes that particular theme. I suppose I could change it to ‘One Winged Angel’ at some point. I kid, I kid.
What are some of your nerdy ringtones?