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Minutes to Midnight

Not really up to analisying how things went this ending year (great, not so great, and OK enough, for the most part), but here are a few things to hope for the next year:

-I hope my family stays as healthy as possible. Not more health scares, please.
-I hope I get to seriously work on my damned thesis.
-I hope my friends and their family stay healthy as well.
-I hope the apartment I end up buying is a good choice for me.
-I hope Pi, Ryo and 4-NEWS all get decent career opportunities, concerts, acting jobs, tv shows, all of it! Same goes for V6 and the rest of the johnnys I like.
-I hope the end of Avengers Children's Crusade is as awesome as the idea of it seems to be.
-I hope Bobby gets a more prominent role in what's going on in the X-Men comic books.
-I hope I get to read lots of good books. And lots of great fics as well.
-I hope my trip to Mexico at the end of the year gets to be as amazing as I picture it'll be.
-I hope I manage to decided where else to go for my vacation in time to go there and enjoy myself.
-I hope to continue to grow and learn at work. And please, let some of the pain in the ass projects freakin' END.
-I hope my favorite tv shows stay on, and stay or go back to being fun to watch.
-I hope to continue to make good friends, in real life or the net.

Thank you all for the good things this year gave me, and I hope you all enjoy the New Year celebrations, and of course, the year to come!

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Grey's Season 8 Episodes 1-4

So, I need a distraction away from what's happening in Japan with my favorite idol group (which is something I'm gonna be sad about until I'm sure they all will do well in their careers in the future, and even then), so I'm finally commenting about the new season of Grey's Anatomy.

You know, I was expecting pretty much crap. After the mess that was the previous season I really thought there was no hope for this show. But now I remember how I wanted to stop watching after the end of the second season where no one made Izzie responsible for stealing a heart and I had to witness a hospital turn into a prom party AND deal with Meredth and Derek at their worse, but then Alex starts to have these awesome scenes with Addison, and the Jane Doe storyline gave him a bit more attention, and thus, I start to watch again. I continued watching even though the four season was also a mess because Alex's chemistry with Lexie was juicy and while extremely sad, Rebecca going crazy and Izzie trying to help him were nice twists at the end. Season five and six were rollercoasters for Alex, but had awesome storylines for him, both medically and emotionally, and then the seventh season gave us some good stuff, but it could have been, oh, so much better, damn it!

So I wasn't expecting anything this season. If they didn't give me a decent premiere, I was gonna go with my head canon and have Alex take the African job and be happy saving African children and come back a year later to show how awesome and in charge he has become. But the premiere didn't suck. It was pretty decent, actually. Alex got to save a kid (of course!) and Arizona showed she cares for him and wants him to do better and he had some of the most awesomest scenes ever with both Cristina and Meredith! There's nothing to complain about! There's a lot to CHEER for! Awesome!

OK, some stuff still are crappy plot points, but the show has never been perfect, I can deal with those. I loved Meredith talking to Owen about Cristina, I loved that the writers were able to man up and let Cristina have her abortion, I loved Zola being adorable and Sofia being adorable (damn, I love babies), and hey, I even enjoyed Arizona and Mark getting along! I didn't care for Bailey blaming April's mess and Jackson getting kicked around by Mark and Cristina having issues with Owen and Teddy (though I did love how Teddy pointed out the flaws in Cristina's training) as something Meredith was to be blamed for, and the "gunther" idea was a stupid one. I certainly didn't care for Derek (I never do), and as supposedly awesome something like a huge hole in the middle of the city should have been, it was a bit... meh.

Actually, I have to say, the gigantic hole storyline made me think of another medical drama, Code Blue. It was a plot that could have worked perfectly in that show (a lot better than it did in Grey's). I could totally see Aizawa going down without hesitation, taking a chainsaw and cutting the woman's legs without having the husband go through the trauma of doing it himself, and Saejima the nurse would have been right behind him with the rest of the tools needed, because they were THAT COOL! Man, why did season two had to be so conclusive? I wanted more of that show! A movie at least, it was too good! The sad thing is, the only disaster that could top the massive pile up accident in the tunnel, the train derailing and the airplane crashing would be an earthquake, but it's too soon to have a fake one with the real one in Japan is still so fresh in everyone's memory. Still, if any show could give tribute to what happened there, it would be Code Blue!

Anyway, going back to Seattle... I liked that Alex got his moment with Cristina, so, so THEM (even the killing part!), and then the quiet moments with Meredith, so perfect for them too. I would love that some of the awesome fic writers that I know this show has (I'm looking at you!!) could write something about Alex's heart condition, because man, that needs to be written! And the fandom has not worked many decent fics lately (like, in a long time now!).

I don't have much to say that hasn't been said by now about the premiere. I like it when I don't have that much to add to an episode, because it means they were good to me as a fan of the show.

Moving forward, episode three was decent enough. For a moment I thought we were going back to having Alex be a jerk for the sake of developing an easy plot, but in the end it was a decent plot with a sad outcome that wasn't at all Alex fault, which I liked that it was made clear and that April had his back. I don't know how I feel about them if the show decides to make them interact romantically, but she's a lot less annoying when she's around Alex (and Jackson), and all five of them are more on the same level with each other, which is nice. She and Alex are fun together, I'm up for a lot more of that, though of course, Alex with Mer and Cristina is still a lot better! <3

About episode four, it had more things I liked it than thing I didn't. I don't really know why some people got so angry with the cliches, it's not like they weren't there before... it was mostly an uneventful episode, but it had some interesting stuff, like the chief interacting with Jackson and Alex, which I enjoyed. From maybe around season three, the chief has had some interesting scenes with Alex, like the time in the woods when Alex told him about growing up in a bar, and the "underdog" conversation. I was hoping the previous episode would have had some of that as well, considering how in the premiere Alex went to the chief with the idea of lying to save Meredith's job and the chief then implemented it himself, like Alex deciding to do the chief's surgery out of guilt or something, but that didn't happened, and instead I got this, which had a nice outcome. I liked how Alex went and gave the chief the surgery he was looking for, it was sweet of him. I think Arizona is a great mentor for Alex, but it would be nice if he could have the chief in his corner as well, considering I doubt he will ever get along with Derek, Mark and even Owen (now that I finally came to the conclusion that he's bipolar). I liked how Mark went to him for help with Sofia, too. Even if he did it because anyone else would tell Arizona, he has to trust that Alex can do the job to go to him, which is not something Mark really thought before of Alex. One of the many reasons why I wish there had been some follow up on their relationship after the shooting...

Which brings me to something I won't have time to go into right now, but I been wanting to do it since the beginning of the seventh season. I want to re-write it. Not in fic format because that will take forever, but it would be nice to put in writing how things "really" turned out in my head, and with the same result, now that I actually like the beginning of season eight. It's a bit of a challenge. Maybe I'll do it next time.

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Man, it almost feels like we are still in September! First Chile gets his ass kicked against Argentina yesterday and today I wake up to this NEWS....

NO NEWS!

At least, no NEWS like they have been since 2007 :(

I don't have much to add to the few comments I have already made:

Last year Pi said he would never leave, and I actually think he believed it that way, at the time. I'm pretty sure Pi wouldn't have ever left the group with Ryo still in it. And this year it wasn't really Pi's circumstances that changed, but Ryo's. He finally got leads in dramas, he did well with his first movie, and Eito is doing great. While he could dealt with two groups at once before, having a more prominent solo career takes time and investment, and he's in his right to go for it. Pi could have continued with both group and solo activities, but it's cleaner and more honest to leave at the same time than Ryo, and stop the eternal scheduling issue he was always blamed for.

Of course, I'm still sad. I like NEWS music and how all the six voices sound together. They can adapt like they have done before, when they were nine, eight, seven and then six. Now they are four. Tego and Massu still sang most of the songs, Shige can take all of Pi's rapping parts (man, I'm gonna miss the six-version of Snow Express and Forever...), and Koyama can take Ryo's with the help of TegoMass when some parts are a bit difficult. It's never gonna be the same though. They didn't always got along, and most of the fun stuff came from the four people that are staying, but there was still a charm that's gonna be lost without all of them lusting after Pi and Ryo being mean to everyone but Tego... Shige will still get bullied, though. I think that gives me some small comfort?

Pi is still my favorite, I will follow him wherever he goes. I love Ryo, but Eito is not my thing. I will listen to his solo songs, hope that now he can have a side solo career as well, and of course, I will watch him act, and hope he stops choosing bad projects (stick with stuff like Joker, please!). And I adore Massu and care for the other three, so of course, I'm still a HUGE NEWS fan, and I wish them the best!

I am kind of glad the end of the year is coming, though, my LJ layout is making me extremely sad :/

Weirdly enough, I can find NEWS songs in youtube now... I will share some of them here... (FUCKING DAMN IT, NO MORE SHARE!!! D:)



and moreCollapse )

Sigh. I'm gonna be in a funk over this. I knew it was gonna happen, but to think there's only so few concerts of them to watch, and there's not gonna be any more... this is seriously depressing...

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As a side story to the amount of different stuff that have been going on in my life lately (my brother is out of trouble for now, I actually played *football* with my coworkers the other day even though I still have an awful cold, half the country went without light for two hours last saturday, students all over the country have been on strike since may, and yeah, work is driving me crazy!), in fandom-life, I've been trying to watch Rookie Blue.

I gave this show a go when it first came out because Gregory Smith is in it. I mean, if I give shows and movies a go just because Chris Pratt is in them, why not do the same for Ephram, right? (sigh, I miss Everwood. More exactly, I miss Bright, and his awesome wisdom when it came to Ephram!). Anyway, I couldn't stand more than one episode of the show. It' was just too... basic. Stereotypical characters in stereotypical situations, it was too much, so even when it was Ephram and a Canandian show, I said NO.

But some friends talked about it in their blogs, so I gave it a go again, during its second season. In the end, it was a big NO once again, because damn the dialogue and the script are too predictable and I have a huge distaste for shows with one main character getting all the attention from the writers, even when the show is suppose to be about him or her. Andy is just too annoying to stand as a lead character in this group of young and eager police probies trying to protect and serve and whatever.

The good thing about trying to stomach that show is that it made me go back to the one police show I feel real respect for, Third Watch. Damn, I miss that show. Only a handful of shows have had a real sense of what to do with an ensemble cast like that show did... not to mention work on giving the characters both storylines AND development, and the seasons had episodic and season-long plots. It's true that the last few seasons were too focused on the police side of things, but the first three seasons? GOLD.

And I came to realize why is it that I have a thing for fictional assholes with big hearts, like Alex Karev in Grey's Anatomy. My favorite characters in TW were Bosco and in second place Carlos. One was an insensitive moron and the other an egotistical jerk. But the show explained so well why they both were like that, it was hard not to like them anyway, specially when they were used to go further on serious debates in the most introspective episodes.

Bosco: Nobody thinks I got feelings.
Faith: Bosco. That's not fair. You have feelings, you just have them buried somewhere in a shallow grave in Jersey.


Doc: Everything working out with Carlos?
Alex: Guy's a moron.
Doc: Yeah, well he is definitely an acquired taste.


TW was a lot like ER, but I think ER lasted too long, and TW was too damned short. Plus, ER felt really crowded because all the action happened in one place, while TW made the district the policemen, paramedics and firemen move around in a character in the story as well.

I couldn't find much clips of the show out there, but at least these few vids found their way to youtube:



Two more of Bosco, one dramatic, the other fun!Collapse )

I'm specially enjoying the third season now. It had, I feel, the best tribute to what happened during the US 9/11. It was heart breaking, but well done, and the fallout of it was sad but appropriate. Plus, for all the drama it had, particularly with Bosco's PTSD, it also gave me Carlos and Ty living together, AFTER Carlos thought Ty was gay, and both of them being awfully domestic, with Carlos' baby included in the mix (and Alex, though Carlos didn't know that half the time. Damn, I miss Alex... she got Carlos to act so bitchy sometimes, I loved her for that).

I'm just reccing this show, I guess. Most police/emergency shows right now are so episodic in nature, so focused in one group of people following around one or two carismaric or quirky character. Some of those shows are fun, I'll admit to that, but for someone who enjoys shows for the story itself AND the way the plot and characters are constructed to be able to tell the story, I feel like there are not enough shows like TW anymore. It had characters we could relate with and well constructed situations where the characters acted around and *grew*. I miss it and I love it.

Carlos: So, um, let me get this straight. You thought that you were gonna die from eating too many antacid tablets?
Kathy: That won't kill me?
Carlos: Maybe if you're eating them when you're walking out into traffic -...
Holly: Carlos!
Carlos: - -or something. Um, actually, you shouldn't exceed the recommended dose of any medication unless you first consult your physician.
Kathy: Even if I'm just taking them to get high?
Carlos: Especially then.


Bosco: I'm telling you. If they gave me the power to decide who lives and who dies, the world would be a better place.
Sully: Bosco as God.
Bosco: Morons shouldn't have drivers' licenses.
Faith: Worse... Bosco as the DMV.
Ty: Isn't that a lateral move?

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...

So... september.

You know, september is a pretty nice month. The weather finally starts to warm up, there are flowers everywhere, I am NOT allergic, so I don't have any problem with it, there's more light out, the "anniversary" of the country is around that time, so people are in a festive mood...

But then again, the anniversary of the coup d'etat that sent my country to hell for 17 years and then some is this month.

And both Claudia's birthday (today) and her death day are this month as well.

And because of that, I can't help but hate this month.

It's not like I'm sad the 30 days of the month, but the same way that everything happy that happens in april I take it as a sign of good luck because is my birth month, and that every crappy thing that happens I try not to take to heart because it's my birth month, the complete opposite happens in september, and every crappy thing gets special focus because it's the month from hell!

Like, for example, we had a scary moment the last weeks from august, when my mom started felling like crap and had to be taken to the ER and got an emergency surgery because the doctors found a huge tumor and they couldn't really tell how big of a deal was it and where did it come from but it was better to take it out immediately. In the end, it wasn't one huge tumor, there were three smaller ones. Luckily, they were benign, but we didn't know that until a week after, for between the awfully quick surgery and the week after, it was a mess to deal with.

An a weeks after that, my mom starts feeling like crap again, and she has to go to the ER, AGAIN. As it turns out, the pain she felt wasn't because of the tumors, it was back pain, she's getting old and she has issues with her back and she always will, from now on. Of course, that's not nice but something you can deal with, but first I had to see my mom cry in frustration after the doctors treated her horribly because they couldn't figure out what was the problem and no one wanted to take responsibility for her.

Most of this happened in august, but the sentiment is ALL september. Because damn it, if I can't do nothing about it, I can at least try to feel better blaming a stupid month from everything bad that happens around it. It's a lot more healthy than any other alternative for me.

If I had written this any other day, maybe I wouldn't be so moody. I've been too busy to be sad or angry. Last friday I was actually happy and giddy, when I went to see the X-Japan concert (WE ARE X!!!), but today...

Today is Claudia's non-birthday. It's been eight years. And the biggest thing that bugs me is that, if she were alive today, we probably would have drifted apart and only be facebook friends. Instead, she dies, and ends up being the only person to get her own tag in my LJ because I'm stuck thinking about her every september.

But her birthday also tells me that half of the month is already gone, thankfully. And thanks to the national celebrations, I'll get to drink on her behalf more often than it's probably healthy. Hence, my headache right now.

The month from hell

Gabriel Valdes died today.

Damn.

Have I mention that I fucking HATE september?

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Made in Chile!

In nicer news, last sunday I watched with my family the first episode of Profugos, the new HBO series, the first one MADE IN CHILE!!!



The basic plot is not exactly new and it's not exactly flattering. The subject of drugs and corruption pretty much shows up in every tv show that has been promoted from Latin America to the world the last few years. But this time, it's MADE IN CHILE!!!

I'm sorry, it's just... I wasn't really expecting much, I didn't even know what it was about except for the fact it was promoted as a show with a lot of bullets and explosions, things I don't really care about if the context isn't exactly right. But the group of actors that were chosen for this production is the very best that Chile has to offer (like, seriously!), and I LOVE that they decided to use Chile's beautiful and diverse landscape as an extra character in the storytelling.



So, if you get the chance, if you have HBO or you can download it, give it a chance? Even if it is just to see the Chilean geography. It's pretty damn awesome!

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Tragedy

Felipe Camiroaga is dead.

Presumably dead. His body has not been found yet, maybe it never will be. Just like so many people after the earthquake and tsunami, specially in Juan Fernandez.

It's a bizarre idea. Felipe Camiroaga is dead. I can't wrap my head around it.

I didn't really liked the guy. I didn't hate him either, I was indifferent to him. But he has been on my TV screen since I pretty much have memories of watching TV. It's weird. I won't see him out of the corner of my eyes anymore, like I always did, for so many years.

Death is always crappy and senseless, I think. It's my biggest fear, for myself and for those I care about. But I usually can keep myself apart when it comes to people I don't really know. Except it's kind of impossible not to care for this group of people that were traveling to the island to HELP others, to help people that had lost so much after the tsunami, and that are usually left forgotten because they live so far away.

Such a brutal way to die. And to never get their bodies back? Damn.

I know horrible things happen every day, and it's not like it has gotten worse in the last two years, but fuck it feels like it. Damn media for their ability to be everywhere at every time, feeding us every second of the stuff that go wrong with the world. Damn them even more this time, because the people crashing in that plane were their friends, and every news reporter has been completely overwhelmed, and we have been watching them trying to keep it together and it's too damn sad.

Felipe Camiroaga is dead. I didn't care for the guy when he was alive, but I'm so sad that he isn't anymore.

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I almost didn't see you there!

How is it that I didn't know about this?



Oh, the song is nothing to get excited about, though it fit the time it came out and SES are kind of awesome anyway. It's just, halfway through the video... HELLO THERE INOCCHI!! What are you doing in a Korean video looking all suave and dancing around with THREE girls at the same time??

lol this look a lot more fun than the PV with just Shoo and the rest of V6!

Oh, well, now I have the song stuck in my head...

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A few thoughts on Chilean education...

I've been meaning to talk about what's been happening in Chile the last few months (or years, actually. Decades, really) on the issue of Education. It's a complicated subject, but sadly, one that many out there can relate to because Education Reform (or lack thereof) is an issue in many other countries as well.

In basic terms, this is one of the main points the students who are protesting today want the government to deal with:



But no, that's not the only issue. Yes, Education should be FREE and available for everyone, is the only way we can grow as a country and as human beings, BUT that's only worth it if said education is actually of QUALITY. Schools suck ASS right now, specially public schools.

And so, students have been protesting for more than two months already. It's something that's been done before. Pretty much every year university students (and in the last few, high school students as well) take over their classrooms demanding reforms, but the results usually end in a month less of class and barely no improvement.

But this year, they have taken it a step further. I think the president got a pass last year because after the quake, people's minds were focused on getting back on their feet and the students were worried looking for a place to study, after so many schools ended up destroyed. This year, though, the president doesn't have *another* huge crisis to hide behind, and it's been years and years of discontent, ever since Pinochet screw us over (with MANY things, but in this case Education), and so it's been two and a half months of suspended classes, schools taken over and protests in Santiago and all the big cities of the country.

And there has NOT been an agreement about ANYTHING. I'll be the first one to say that students want a fantasy, but it's what they should be getting! That's what we all should aim for, otherwise, what's the point? You make concessions in the process, of course, you can't do everything at once, but the government has not managed to even LOOK like they want the same things, and it doesn't help at all that pretty much everyone involve in education in government (and everywhere else in government as well) has a history of being for-profit one way or another, instead of for-equal-rights-to-get-quality-education!

Here's is a bit of everything that's been going on, with pictures to explain it:
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/08/05/world/americas/05chile.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/world/americas/05chile.html?_r=1

Sigh. And then there's all the violence...

You know? I'm against the use of violence for each side of the issue. I don't condone those students that take advantage of the protests and decide to tear things apart just because they can, I don't condone those who are not students and decide to involve themselves just to make everything worse, just because they like violence and can't seems to function without it. I certainly get pissed when the students' leaders turn a blind eye to those violent people in their mist and don't stress that the use of violence on their part is happening and is wrong.

But there has been extensive coverage of the damage those people have done. There has not been the same amount of attention, I think, in what the police and the government have allow to happen in this debate, and this has been specially true for the international media, who only see the chaos and the amount of people that have ended in jail after the protests and not the entitlement of our police force, who is acting in pretty similar ways that they did back when we lived in a dictatorship.

It has gotten to a point where the rest of the country has taken things into their own hands, and they decided to protest old school! Which was AWESOME!

I was a MONTH old when I first participated in a cacerolazo. For those who don't know what that is, "is a form of popular protest that has groups of people creating noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils in order to call for attention", a quote from wikipedia. It's a pacific protest, one that you do from your own home, when it's impossible to go outside to voice your discontent. It was used it a lot during the dictatorship. I didn't expect to ever use it again during a democracy, but the level of discontent and the way the government and the police acted last thursday drove people to show that it wasn't just the students protesting, it was everyone who is tired of the same fucking things not working, the same economic, social and cultural inequality that's been going on since forever ago in our country. And all those goes back to EDUCATION!

I could post a hundred different links to vids of people protesting during the cacerolazo, but really, you only need to write "cacerolazo" and "chile" in youtube and you'll find them.

Unfortunately, things have not gotten any better here. Government is sinking in ratings and the opposition is not doing any better, people are rightfully complaining, but we're getting nothing out of it. What does it say about us that what Los Prisioneros were singing about back in the '80s still applies today?



In the end, Education still is "one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get" (William Lowe Bryan) :/ What a shame.