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Styled After a Talkback

I usually have the curtains open at night to look outside. I don't really like curtains open during the day, because the sunlight is annoying. I love cities at night. I don't think I've ever met a city that doesn't look beautiful at night. A suburb at night is boring. It's not a wood, nor is it a jungle. It's not even alive. Suburbs sit in between being quiet and being busy -- more precisely, they're very good at playing dead. This is another reason why I don't really want to go back to Perth. I hate playing dead.

Just watched the Interlagos F1. One of the supreme benefits of hotel cable TV was that I was able to watch the last three F1 races live. The thing I really like about the Brazil track is how every time I watch a race on it, there's usually a crash to look forward to. First turn, both Williams Cosworths taking each other out. Total car smash. And there you see my primary reason for watching the Formula One. I know it's going to be a great race when there are dramatic crashes within the opening seconds. This was the last Michael Schumacher race, ever, and whatever else my gripes about Ferrari doing never-ending wins for a while there, he is a great driver. My most enduring image of him happens to be when he lost his chance at the World Championship in Suzuka a couple of weeks ago. The fault wasn't his, the engine failure was right out of the blue, more than that, he would've probably won had he gone through, but he was still more than capable of heading back to the garage and cheering on his team. On the track proper, I still remember this race in Sepang back in one of the earlier 2000s, probably 2003, when they'd just put in those new rulings about refueling. Schumacher the Elder started the race last and fought 20 places up to podium. I do remember watching that and thinking, wow, nothing really kills this guy. If nothing else, his last race was all challenge. In spite of the blooper in qualifying that sent him to 10th, then the tire that sent him to 17th, he still got 5th. The last 3 or 4 laps was all him overtaking whatever he could. Exciting stuff.

That said, he probably did choose a good time to retire. Alonso's just won his second World Championship, and Alonso did say it well -- everything does look more challenging with Schumacher on the track. Might as well leave fighting. The stuff that stole the show at Interlagos though has just got to be Massa running around in his special Brazillian colours and clambering all over Schumacher like a small monkey post-win. As the commentators said, the crowd just pouring onto the track before everyone got off was bonkers, but it was really cool that a Brazillian won on home home soil. Was kind of hoping Barrichello would do that a number of years ago with Ferrari, but it took a while.

Speaking of Brazil, I also managed to catch a friendly between Brazil and Ecuador last week. Not the most awake or memorable game I could think of in terms of actual gameplay. It's the young team, quite different from the one we saw in the World Cups past. No Ze Roberto or Roberto Carlos to come swooping in from nowhere right as some creature or other is about to make an attempt at the Brazillian goal. Good setup by Ronaldinho for a Kaka goal though. But it was interesting because it was apparently the first time Brazil played in Sweden in some 40 years, and the Swedes were truly happy to see the Brazillians. When Ronaldinho came on in the second half, it was like the camera and everyone else wouldn't get off the guy. On three separate occasions, these idiots in FC Barcelona jerseys ran down the field to get hugs. (In fact, there were way too many FC Barcelona jerseys in the audience as well -- I thought this was supposed to be a Brazillian game?)

Tonight was supposed to be Real vs. Barça, but the sports channel is showing Valencia vs Osasuna. Yesterday, I watched Bremen vs. Bayern Munich. That game nearly put me to sleep. It was kind of like watching the German national team, take or give a Frenchman or Brazillian or two, with not much excitement. Bremen deserved to win, being that Bayern Munich looked sleepy. Not many attempts at Kahn (read: the only reason I'd want to watch the German league), but the two that went in were pretty shameful. The first shot went right past him, before he could react.

Lately, I've been into Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge (Perfect Girl Evolution). mokie suggested the manga at me, on the premise that she thought the lead girl bore a striking resemblance to my person.* Hence, these are my reasons for reading it:

1. The protagonist is a morbid, violent, horror-fanatic who wears no make-up, does no hair, wants nearly no skirts, fears sunlight, hates all people, covets killing friends in their sleep and likes fluffy bunnies.
2. The protagonist bears a striking resemblance to Ringu's Sadako. I am terrified of Sadako.
3. The protagonist, unlike 99.9% of shoujo heroines, spends nearly all her page time as cute chibi Sadako. Think of Sadako as Mashimaru. It's adorable.
4. In "full person" mode, the protagonist looks like an elegant lady from 60s Japanese female assassin movies (possibly Fuji Junko) with Esumi Makiko's body.
5. The protagonist likes to kill stuff.
6. The protagonist also cooks stuff.
7. The actual horror content in this manga is the quest of four pretty boys to transmogrify our poor heroine into A Real Girl. Kind of like my aunts, except more scary.
8. The manga gives me the constant feeling of wanting to drink tea.

Now these are the reasons why I think everyone else should read it:

1. This manga was drawn by a real gosurori.
2. Virtually every one of her opening columns mentions a VK, ex-VK, or somehow related to VK band or musician.
3. Each boy in her manga is based on a VK musician.
4. The chapter cover stylings might as well have been stolen from weepy visual key CD covers.
5. The boys can't stop wearing VK kit. By this, I really mean the boys wear fishnet tops.
6. The lead boy keeps looking like Kiyoharu. I wouldn't be surprised if he was based on the guy.
7. One of the boys is guaranteed to get stuffed into a Mana-style Bo Beep outfit of Total Goffick Deff once per volume.

The story is great, and the humour funny for all kinds of awful reasons. I find myself cheering the heroine on every time she picks up a kitchen knife, runs a chainsaw, makes friends with evil spirits, wants to marry Freddy or Jason, buys coffins for Christmas, dresses up skeletons in wedding dresses, wears cute witch outfits in tiny cute hamster mode, demonstrates dire cooking fu, runs away from sunlight, beats the crap out of random people, and bloodies up molesters. C'mon, read this 'cause it's warm and fuzzy and'll make your heart bleed.

* mokie gets to be my bestest friend ever for thinking about me every time she watches Sadako, her hero, as Sadako, "but with hamsters. And less prone to calling people up and getting chatty." I have such nice friends.

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