I’ve neglected this blog for like a month now. I started a new job over a month ago and its a 40 minute commute to and fro. So by the time I get home around 5 or 6, I’m tired and just want to unwind, maybe go out with a friend for dinner or just curl up with a good book. Writing at night is isolated to the hours of 9pm or later, when I’m ready for bed. I adore my job and I’m slowly finding the balance between work and still doing other things. Responsibilities, what a concept.
Onto nerdier news. I’m still working through my 100 books in a year goal. I posted my July update and finished another book today bringing my total books read to 54. Can I read 46 books in 4 months while working a fulltime job and staying busy with other stuff? Of course I can, I work well under pressure 🙂
Since I’ve been off, I’ve had more time for gaming in the past two weeks and some after school. I was adamantly playing Wario Woods and even got up to level 70. Then I spent around 10-15 hours trying to get to level 75. It’s been filed away for another day and I decided to navigate my way through Final Fantasy II.
Around this time last year I picked up and quickly made my way through FF2. I ended up getting stuck in Deist cave and gave up. I made my way through it the other night and now my party is really overpowered. My party all has their HP between 3700-4200 and even the hard bosses are going down within two turns.
Final Fantasy 2′s leveling system has gaundered mixed opinions, but personally I love it. I’m over halfway (maybe 3/4ths) of the way through Final Fantasy II and its been a really fun old school RPG. It’s not my favorite game in the RPG (not in the top 5), but its still a solid RPG that should be played if only for its quirky leveling up system. I think the leveling up system in Final Fantasy 2 is actually one of my favorites in any RPG-it took a risk in the early days of RPG’s and it works.
Other Nerd Blurbs
- I went to a casual play Magic the Gathering night earlier this week. I had built a red and green deck with burn spells on the fly and I was surprised at how well it did. Now I’m working on a slivers deck.
- I went back and reread an old manga series I loved when I was a teenager called Kare First Love. Reading it as an adult, I realize its not as good as I remember. In fact, its nothing special…
- I ran by a local thrift store last weekend and while I was in the book section, happened to look up at the CDs to find Final Fantasy VII. After looking closer, I realized there were several RPG’s! I ended up walking away with the games above for only $15!
Oh…right the other part of this blog. Lets see, I exercise regularly, eat lots of fruits and veggies and surprisingly haven’t turned into a peach. Really, I’m eating them way too much if that’s possible.
Threeish years ago I stumbled across a series called “With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child.” Its a big manga too, all 8 volumes clock in at around 500 or more pages each. It tells the story of the Azuma family whose first son is born autistic and the struggles they go through raising him in a society that doesn’t quite understand what autism is. Its a journey of struggles, joys, confusion and one that grows increasingly complex as time moves on.
I recently received the fifth volume as an Easter gift (would you believe the fifth and sixth book are out of print?) and currently I’m reading through this amazing series. As an educator, I think it should be on the shelves of every teacher who has a student with Autism. It is a resoruce that adults and children can read and find enjoyment and a wealth of knowledge within. The books also include further resources and Keiko Tobe was a genius in writing this. Its heartbreaking to know she died in a car crash after completed the 8th (13th in Japan) volume.
I can’t describe in words how much I love this series. My career at the moment is as a substitute teacher and I am reguarlly in a special education classroom. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with two students and have a friend, who have Autism. Reading this books has given me a cultural look at Autism as well as a better understanding of life once students go home. Because the thing about working with kids all day, is that you think about them and spend late hours looking up more things for them. That being said, read at least the first book in this wonderful series, you will only find ‘the light’
- intellectually, those with Autism have average to above average IQ’s
- Autism is comorbid with intellectual disability (40%)
- 1 in 88 children will be born with Autism.
- Boys have a 1:54 chance of having autism
- Boys are 4 times more likely to be born with autism
- 10 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with Autism
I have been reading manga for the past 6 years and as a result my tastes have changed and evolved. I first started off with Inu-Yasha and the glory days of Tokyopop and obsessed over shojo beat when it premiered around the same time. Even after Shojobeat went out of business, I still stuck to their stories and expanded into Yen Press’ series and navigated online to read unlicensed series. I was going into student teaching and I found it harder to identify with characters in high school. Then, I discovered manga targeted towards a ‘Josei’ audience and I was hooked. One series I’ve had my eye on is “Butterflies, Flowers” and after wanting to read it for 2 years I finally had the chance to read it.
Butterflies, Flowers Vol. 1
Shojo Beat Manga
From the first volume we are introduced to our two main characters, Choko and Domoto. Choko is the daughter of a formally aristocratic family, whose business failed when she was a young girl. At the age of 20, she interviews for a position at a real estate and gets the job. The trouble starts from the interview with her boss, Domoto, who decides to train her personally. As fate would have it, he is actually the long lost servant to Choko. Having had ‘loving’ feelings towards him, the two enter into an interesting relationship
If I can associate a feeling with Butterflies, flowers it would be ‘familiar’. The plot for the most part seemed predictable and felt familiar to the veteran manga reader. Choko is the stereotypical ‘clumsy’ office girl (honestly, how can so many manga characters make so many mistakes and not be fired?) While Domoto is the typical skirt chaser (before Choko steps in) and cycles between loving and cruel. He is bipolar and the reader is left wondering who he really is. Towards the end of the volume we see another side of Choko and the whole character scheme is really bipolar. On the plus side, the supporting cast is very enjoyable and offers life in the pages.
When I first picked up Butterflies, Flowers, I was expecting something ‘heavier’ in terms of stories. What I read was ‘light and fluffy’. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, just not what I expected. The art style, simple and inviting, fit the tone of the story, though since there are eight volumes, I predict this pacing will change. The story itself followed a predictable pattern and yes, a rival is introduced in this volume. A lot of things happen in this first volume and it feels too fast with not enough details and the distinct feeling you’ve been here before. It feels like a high school drama set in the office world, only the characters aren’t quite there yet.
There is a good bit of potential here, but Yuki Yoshihara doesn’t give us as much of a foundation and she’s capable of. I will be sticking around for volume 2 in belief that things will pick up and make this a unique story, but I’m not rushing just yet to the store to pick up the next volume.
+Art style and story mesh well together
+Main character bipolarity
+Too ‘light’ and feels like a high school drama