Anime: Bleach

Okay, since I am a huge anime/manga fan (not sure if I'll go as far as calling myself an otaku!), it's no surprise that I'll talk about this subject every so often, hehe. So today, I finished watching the latest episode of Bleach (episode 126) - yep, it's one of those long series, and I don't think it'll end anytime soon, the manga is also ongoing! Anyway, I DID skipped several episodes of the Bount arcs but they were filler episodes (i.e. they don't appear in the manga) so I didn't mind so much!

So what is Bleach about? Kick-ass shinigami (a.k.a. Death gods), that's what!!! And the most kick-ass of the lot is Kurosaki Ichigo, a cool orange-haired high school guy, a human who received shinigami powers due a momentous encounter with Kuchiki Rukia, a female shinigami who was assigned to his town. Together they fight against evil spirits known as Hollows! But of course, it is not as simple as that, because if it was, I wouldn't find this series remotely interesting other than for their bishie characters, haha! The storyline involves a vast number of characters, with so many plots here and there! And don't anyone dare put it on the same class as Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh, because Bleach is so above that!!! Its complexity and originality are more in par with the likes of other shounen anime such as Hikaru no Go and Full Metal Alchemist! Anyway, for more info about Bleach, you can go here.

(Image of Rukia and Ichigo with a Hollow in the background, taken from here.)

Another good thing about Bleach is the music, due to the many arcs within the series, resulting in several seasons, the opening and ending themes have been constantly changed. I've discovered a number of J-rock/pop singers/bands through this anime such as Ikimono Gakari, Yui, Ore Ska Band, Takacha, Aqua Timez, Hoshimura Mai and UVERworld. Here are some mp3 of the songs from Bleach, hope you'll like them! :)

Hanabi by Ikimono Gakari
Life by Yui
Rolling Star by Yui
Movin!! by Takacha
Alones by Aqua Timez
Sakura Biyori by Hoshimura Mai
D-tecnolife by UVERworld

Although all of them are good, my favourite is Hanabi by Ikimono Gakari at the mo. But don't let that stop you from listening to the others, okay. ;D Right, that's it for my anime moment! But I think I should warn you, I currently have a lot of time to watch anime and read manga, so I can't promise that this is the last you'll see an anime/manga entry for a good while. Gommen ne, hehe!


Taking a step back towards adolescence...

Okay, last week I started school, today I got braces on my lower back teeth! Hence, the title for today's blog, haha! Seriously, I feel like a teenager, though I am heading towards the big 3-0! O_O Anyway, had to get these braces for health reasons, honest! I can tell you, they're not the easiest things to install, I felt like a specimen on an examination table! The whole procedure of getting the mould for making the bloody things, burning away excess gum with a laser (ewww!) and finally fitting them onto my teeth (two dental sessions) came to about 5 dental appointments over a period of almost two months!!! And what's more, it hurt!!! I know it's only meant to be a numbing sensation, but it damn well hurt like mad! I can tell you, I don't cry that often, but this time, I sobbed the moment I got home! So thankful to my mum and dad for coming up with a few remedies to ease the pain! I can't wait to get these bloody things off at the end of the year! For now, I am officially a metal mouth! (No offence intended to other braces-wearing people!)


My first day at school...

Hehe, yesterday was my first day at Inlingua, the language school where I'm enrolled in to learn to speak Deutsch (German). I think I'm meant to study my whole life, I have just left one educational institution to join another one, haha. I do enjoy learning new languages, didn't think I would like Deutsch but I have to say, it's grown on me. ;D

The first lesson was just to learn how to introduce yourself, a bit of vocab and grammar, the usual stuff, you know. I am in a class of just over 1o people, which is fine for socialising but I find that the class a bit slow for my liking at the moment. I've had a few months to get to used to the language so I'm picking up the basics pretty quickly - wish it would go faster. :( Ah, I'm sooo impatient! I'm sure it'll get harder later and then, I'll be glad for its slow pace. As for the people in my class, there are, like, 2 south koreans, 1 thai, 1 russian, 1 belarusian (from Belarus or Weissrussland, so am I right to call her that?), 1 polish, 2 italians and 1 chilian.

So let me introduce myself (using my pen name) in Deutsch:

Hallo, ich bin Rin Ari.
Mein nachname ist Ari, und mein vorname ist Rin.
Sehr efreut.
Ich komme aus Brunei.
Translation into English:

Hello, I am Rin Ari.
My surname is Ari, and my forename is Rin.
How do you do. (or something like that!)
I come from Brunei.
Later! (or something like that, haha!)

Haha, I did learn more than that during the class. After all, it was 3 hours long and this will be every weekday for 5 weeks. The teacher is really nice, talks to you mainly in Deutsch to get you used to listening to it.

Oh no, just realised - I have hausaufgabe!!! Homework, and I haven't done it! It's like 1.30 am now! Hmmm, better remember to do it tomorrow morning before class, haha! Does that sound familiar? ;P

Anyway, gute nacht! Bis morgen... maybe! ;D


What have I been up to since the "submission"...

Haha, the word "submission" sounds so utterly inappropriate! ;D Anyway, it actually took me a week to settle down after such an adrenaline-filled period - was only really lazing about, not doing much. And here I thought I'd be rushing straight into one of my hobbies, but no such luck. My body said enough is enough! :( Time to rest...

I've finally been able to start being more active, was in Dublin over the bank holiday weekend. That was great, hired a car and went around visiting friends, etc. I really miss driving, I'm one of those weird people who actually enjoys it, haha. Actually, it was my first time driving a diesel car, it was so weird, never realised diesel takes a bit more time to get started. :\

I'm on the interweb a lot these days, chatting to friends on gmail and msn messenger, posting on a manga forum (see other links), trying to join a scanlation group (Etc~), working on my website (joined a server group and got a domain name, http://haslin.net) as well as the research group website (see other links), and finally, watching Heroes online (up to episode 21 at the moment) plus some anime (currently Romeo x Juliet). Having a bit of registry issues with my Windows Vista, but it's okay, I'm overcoming these problems, perseverance is the key, after all. Actually, I decided to give in and install Mozilla Firefox as my default web browser. It can be a bit slow but it works better, I have to admit.

Other things I plan to do include taking German lessons (I'm being enrolled into Inlingua), read my Harry Potter books again (since the final book will be out in July!!!), start drawing (not inspired yet!), play my Sims 2 games (have already installed them onto my laptop!) and finally, study for my viva (this has priority!!!).

Well, that's all for now! Will keep you up to date! :) Ja ne!



That's Japanese for "It's done!", hehe! And I'm sure you've guessed what it refers to! On 27 April 2007 at exactly 15:07, I submitted my Ph.D. thesis to Graduate Studies (Trinity College Dublin). Ureshii desu ne! :D Now I am FREEEEEEEE!!! Well, until the day of my viva voce, that is! Anyway, here are two photos before the submission event! The first one is of Doireann who was a huge help on the day, proofreading my copies for any typos, and so was Rebecca (the girl in the background).
This is me in front of the Graduate Studies Office, holding one of the two soft-bound copies of my thesis, which had to be submitted that day.
To celebrate, my friends and I first went for dinner at the new Yamamori restaurant on Ormonde Quay, Lower. The place was really cool and I have to say, I like it more than the old one on Georges' Street, South! After that, we went to Bia Bar, which is Irish for "food bar". I'll just be going through photos of several friends who came out to help me celebrate. First up is a photo of me with the friends I made during my undergrad years (left to right: Michael, Stella, Dermot, me, Terry). Stella and Dermot are the couple who's getting married next year, where I'm one of the bridesmaids. :D I also live with them whenever I'm over in Dublin.
This is me with Celine, also one of my dearest friends. She used to work in my research group, and we're ex-housemates. :)
Here we have Aine and myself. Aine did her Ph.D. in Trinity College Dublin as well, and is now a postdoctoral researcher in the same institution. She's great fun, and really nice! Oh, yeah, she's holding a murder mystery party this coming Saturday for her b'day, so we all have to dress up! ;) My friends wouldn't be surprised of the character that I'll be playing. You'll find out on the post about it!
Me, Rebecca and.... [pause] Julien, who else?! Sheesh, he's always fooling around like that!!! >:( Poor Rebecca, haha!
This is a photo of Ruth (a close friend of Aine), Nuala and I. Nuala was someone I met in the early years of my undergraduate course. She did Science like myself. We lost contact until we met up again at Terry's annual Halloween party two years back. And what a small world - Ruth and Nuala used to go to school together!!!
Stella, Gary and Michael. Gary is also a friend from my undergrad years. We always watch anime together, and he's also into manga. He's a fellow boardgame player too. He and Stella introduced me to Carcassonne! ;D
Here's a photo of Doireann, me and Jen. Really great friends! They're, along with Rebecca and Julien, the ones who came to visit me in Berlin. :)
(left to right: Celine, Niamh, me, Andrew) You know who Celine is. Niamh is part of my research group as well. Andrew used to work with us. Now Andrew, he's one lucky guy. If you knew how things just fall into place for him, you'd be so jealous of him, like most of us are, hehe. ;D
Eoin-chan!!! Sorry but this was the only photo where he had his eyes open. Grim look there, Eoin-chan. :P
Well, that's it! It was a great night, one I could enjoy completely without feeling any guilt for not working!!! So I'm enjoying my thesis-free bliss at the moment, though I still have to study for my viva voce, and then I will be completely FREEEEEEEE! Till I get a real job, that is! [sigh] It's a never-ending cycle. Ah well...

So tschuss till the next blog post! :D