Month: April 2009

What Did We Learn from Death Note?

I just finished Death Note.  I don’t know how I felt about the ending; I think I may have been rooting for the bad guy this whole time.  But as I was watching it, I wondered, “What can we learn from Death Note?  Not to kill people using notebooks?  No, that’s not it…”

To me, the anime was all about the power of delusion.  And since I’ve been exposed to some pretty delusional real-life characters this week, it seemed a timely lesson.

We know from the very beginning that Light is delusional by thinking that he’s saving the world by killing off criminals.  As the story progresses, we get to see just how crazy this delusion makes him.  But to me, one of the most interesting characters was Misa.  I saw Misa and all the things she did for Light and how, despite the fact that he’s pretty lukewarm/cool toward her throughout the series, she continues to believe that he’s madly in love with her and his primary concern is her happiness.

Now, I have a friend who ended up breaking off things with his fiancee.  I know for a fact that he repeatedly tried to gently explain things to her but she was so delusional in the belief that they were meant to be together that nothing he said sunk in.  He eventually quit talking to her and now, months later, she’s threatening to sue him.  How much more delusional can you be?  Her level of delusion at this point is really bordering on psychotic.  We saw Light go crazy, laughing maniacally as he’s losing his mind in the warehouse and that is the mental picture I get of this jilted woman, thinking of suing a guy for dumping her.

In all fairness, I’ve indulged in a bit o’ delusion myself.  I’ve thought people were friends when they weren’t.  That people cared when they didn’t.  But I didn’t try to sue them over it.

Nor did I try to write their names on a scrap of the Death Note.

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What Does It Mean To Be A Bitch?

Like a lot of people, I feel misunderstood. Generally, people think I’m a bitch. They think I’m angry, scary, mean, so on and so forth. I don’t really think I’m any of those things—much–but looking back, what I think people are mistaking for bitchiness is actually pride.

I had someone tell me just the other day that I am “too proud.” Although pride is technically one of the seven deadly sins, I’ve never thought of pride as being a bad thing. Pride is what drives us to succeed. Pride is what gives us that sense of accomplishment when we do something well. Pride is what gets our lazy butts in the shower in the morning rather than just slapping a hat over our greasy hair and calling it good.

Years ago when I was promoting my business, I used the local newspaper. I had things I wanted done a certain way (keep in mind I live in a town of 5000 people-our newspaper is nothing special or particularly good) and I thought it was reasonable that I ask, since I paid a lot of money for my ad. I later heard through the grapevine that the person I had been dealing with at the newspaper referred to me as “intense” to some of my customers. You might argue that “intense” doesn’t necessarily mean “bitchy”…but I’m arguing that in this case, it does.

I’ve started a new business and in this town there are no other advertising options besides the paper. I resisted for quite some time but finally caved and decided to give them another shot. After exchanging e-mails over pricing, I sent them an ad with the request that it be put on page two, even if they had to hold it for a day or two.

I waited 8 days and the ad never ran. Instead, on page two, was an ad for a competing business. The ad was the exact same size as mine and in the exact location I wanted mine to be. I e-mailed my contact as the newspaper and asked him to please disregard and that I had decided not to run my ad.

He called me this morning to tell me, “I got an e-mail with your ad here-I can get it in tomorrow.” I told him, in a perfectly mellow voice, that I had sent that over a week ago and had since sent another e-mail telling him I’d changed my mind. He asked when I would be submitting my next ad and I told him I didn’t know if I would be.

I replayed this incident in my mind and it’s obvious to me now why people think I’m a bitch. I wasn’t still angry and I understand that perhaps this person just doesn’t know how to check his e-mail regularly. Who knows–it might have been delayed in cyberspace for a week. But the point was that when I saw the competition’s ad in the paper in my spot, I said to myself and anyone within hearing distance that I would not do another ad with the newspaper. So even though I wasn’t upset at all when he called, my pride is what said, “We said we aren’t going to do this and we aren’t going to do it.”

I take great pride (ha!) in keeping my word, even if it’s just to myself. For people who don’t understand it, they accuse me of being crazy, irrational, bitchy, or “intense.” But if upholding my personal standards means being misunderstood, then I’ll just have to be misunderstood a while longer.

Girls Are The Devil

My friend and I talk a lot about “Disney Syndrome”—the way many little girls are brainwashed to believe that life is solely about growing up, marrying Prince Charming, and everything’s just happily ever after from then on.

What I’ve seen recently is a more advanced, adult case of Disney Syndrome: Romance Novel Disease. For any of you out there who don’t read romance novels, let me sum up every romance I’ve ever read (hey, I can’t read manga all the time): Hot, tough guy falls for girl he thinks is beautiful even though she doesn’t see herself that way. Most likely great sex ensues. Turns out guy has baggage from his past which the girl helps him work through because she’s his savior and helps him move on—moving on meaning they tell each other how much they love each other and want to have great sex forever.

I have a friend who was struggling with his girlfriend not registering what he was saying to her. Then it came up in our conversation that she read a lot of romance novels and everything clicked to me. It made so much sense; I told him, “She’s going to save you from your past and heal you with love. You swooped in like no man she’d ever met, so it must be destiny! You expanded her horizons and taught her new wonderful things and in turn she can love you like no one else can.” At which point I started laughing maniacally. I should probably point out that they did break up because while she lived in a romance novel, he lived in real life.

Recently I met someone who thinks I’m cute, has a knight-in-shining-armor complex, does that great tough guy on the outside/just a big softie on the inside thing (he donates to battered women shelters, for crying out loud), and to round out the package has the necessary tragic past. My first thought was, “What a great guy.” That thought was immediately followed by, “Something’s wrong here. This can’t be right. No one is really like this.” And then I realized it: “He’s a romance novel.”

Perhaps I should give him the number for my friend’s ex girlfriend..?

Shigurui: Death Frenzy – Special Report!

I finished watching the much-anticipated “Shigurui: Death Frenzy” last night.  It appears that the phrasing on the box “complete series” is somewhat of a misnomer.

“Shigurui” ends in the middle of nowhere.  Who wins the duel that was started in the first episode?  I don’t know.  I don’t know if I ever will.

This show had the potential to be great; it might even stll qualify for greatness despite being conclusionless.  Brother loved it.  He and I discussed how the art style and the progression of the series reminded us of the manga “Vagabond.”  It was beautiful and fun to watch even with (especially because?) the eyeball-eating, intestine bursting, and extreme boob exposure.  However, as the intensity of the violence and the story continued to escalate, I think we were expecting the most spectacular duel ever at the end.  And we didn’t get it.

There was a line in the show that I wanted to share with you because I want your opinion on it: “The vessel called the heart-once it cracks it can never fully heal.”  What do you think?  Is this true or does this statement deserve to be as violently discarded as the person who said it?

Am I That Creepy?

I just got back from the grocery store where I saw a bagboy who used to be on the fringe of a group I was part of.  This bagboy is kind of weird, very socially awkward, and he gave me kind of a half wave.  I smiled back at him; I just feel so bad for him.  Badly for him?  Whatever.  The point is, he has no friends and never talks and is just kinda creepy.

I have a knack for those type of people glomming onto me.  Probably because I am somewhat nice to them (usually) even though my inner voice is screaming at me how creepy they are.  It just makes me kind of sad to see these people, so obviously awkward and lonely.

But as I was walking to my car, I thought, “Do I relate to these people because I’m socially awkard?  Am I as creepy to normal people as these people are to me?”

I’m So Ronery

This morning I was reading a bit o’ news and made the statement, “Kim Jong Il is f-ing crazy.”  Brother immediately piped up, “He’s not crazy, he’s just ronery.”

So I guess the next question is, can we send Alec Baldwin over to talk to this guy?  Or Sean Penn?

Detour: Never Trust A Guy Who Says He Has a Steak Better Than a Filet

Okay, so, the title is hugely long and once again, has nothing to do with anime.

I went out to dinner last night with my mom and our friend; mom and I were both craving the delicious filet mignon offered at this particular restaurant.  As soon as we walked in the door, the (new) waiter said, “Are you ladies meat-eaters?  I’ve got a great steak on special tonight.”  Mom said, “Better than filet?” and he said, “Oh yeah.”  At that point, I quit listening because I knew he was lying.  There is no better steak than filet mignon.

Anyway, as it happened, I ordered the filet and my mom got suckered into this “kobe” New York.  All the while, the waiter is trying to flirt with me and I’m responding in my coldly bitchy way that I respond to pretty much all flirting.  As a result, the ladies were making fun of me and I finally said, “I do not appreciate being sexually harrassed when I’m trying to eat.”  My friend said, “Oh, he’s just flirting.”  I told her I didn’t really see the difference.

When the steak came, I tried it, and as I expected it was drastically inferior to my filet mignon.  My mom was quite disappointed that she didn’t get the filet, which was the whole reason she even came to eat at that restaurant.  However, it gets better…we got the bill.

And found out mom’s shitty steak cost way more than my cooked-to-perfection filet mignon.

And that’s when I said, “Never trust a guy who says he has a steak better than a filet.”

So ladies…that is your lesson.  And for the guys out there, the lesson is: If you expect me to flirt back, don’t dare try to sell me inferior meat.

…interpret that how you will.