Lan (Level 13)

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 Whoohoo! I'm done with grad school except for my culminating project! Candidacy for the Fall, and then I'll be done. Baku's graduating this Saturday with his Masters in education--I'm so proud of him! He's going to be an awesome teacher!

Now that's school's out, I'm at a loss of what to do. I don't have job still, so that's my top priority. I'm going to look into doing volunteer work; I sit here and espouse my ideals of bettering society and mourn people's lack of empathy while I haven't done anything productive myself lately. I'm going to change that by volunteering at a library, the humane society, Frasier musuem or KY Shakespeare Festival. This will also get me out and hopefully, I'll be able to make new friends outside of school.

Of course, everything currently depends on my having a car; mine is sadly too far gone and expensive to fix (alternator is broken). Right now, I have Baku to take me whereever, but once he starts working he can't. His mom generously offered the use of her car which she doesn't drive, since her husband got a new one, and she carpools with her mother to work.

Here are my summer plans (pretty ambitious list). Feel free to list yours:
-Get a job
-Volunteer at least once a week
-Work on culminating project
-Book Club (with Paducah friends) - I already finished the first book!
-Take on and complete 50 Book Challenge (read 50 books in one summer) 
-Keep up with my reading journal
-Blog regularly
-Start writing short stories again
-Spend more time editing the wiki on and writing articles for AnimeVice
-Disney World and Cruise to the Virgin Islands! (my favorite thing about this summer! I haven't been to Disney in so long!) 
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I'm a big CLAMP fan; I've loved the group ever since Card Captor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth--two of my major gateway animes. They're like THE manga/anime super group. I really got interested in reading more of their work after seeing all the different characters in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles. I've decided this summer I'm going to attempt sample at least the first volume of every CLAMP manga--and there's a TON! Several are out of print, so I may have to rely on the net. I have been having good luck with used bookstores. I know there are some are very short series and others are one shots. I've found the first two volumes of both Legal Drug and CLAMP School Detectives. I've been able to find lots of copies for sale on My main goal is to broaden my knowledge of CLAMP's work, and check out the less mainstream stuff they've done that wasn't made into an anime. So far I've read: Legal Drug vol 1; CLOVER - complete series; Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles sporadic volumes, but I religiously and consistently read the volumes spanning from Acid Tokyo to the End, --shamefully that's all I've READ. I have all the MKR manga and watched the series, but have never sat down to read them. I've got to start reading XXXHolic, I know. Again watched the series and loved it. It's still going which will be interesting since Tsubasa (the manga it crosses over with) is finished.  CLAMP lovers, where should I start? What are your favorite series? What's the prettiest series? Which has the best story?
Note: I am not just shamefully making this sporadic blog post as a way of fulfilling a quest. ;)
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One of Baku's fellow student teachers showed him a clip of this group's hilarious production of Romeo and Juliet. He in turn showed it to me. I have never laughed so hard in my life. The Reduced Shakespeare Company is three man comedy troupe that has several different shows, though most notably The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged. They perform all 37 plays of Shakespeare in 90 minutes and they throw in the sonnets too. I think my favorite of all the plays they perform is Romeo and Juliet. These guys are so absurd and wonderful! They mix their own script with Shakespeare's original script, and they also poke fun at the academics. I would dearly love to watch these guys perform live. 
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I've been decluttering like a fiend over the weekend and have been looking for old high school photos to send to my best friend. I've got some pics here I felt I should share. One is of my Sailor Saturn b-day cake from my surprise 15th b-day party and the other is one of my "early cosplay" days--Civil War Reenactment! These photos were taken I think when we were 15 or 16. The reenactment took place in our local park. It was the "Battle of Paducah." My bestie's mom made the dresses; she made several others--she was an awesome seamstress. We used to always dress up and walk around the house wearing the dresses.  

  Best B-day Cake Ever!
  Best B-day Cake Ever!

  A Pair of Southern Belles.
  A Pair of Southern Belles.

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Macross Frontier hands down! Music saves the world! There's not a single song I don't like. Megum & May'n have such great vocal talent. <3 <3 <3 
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles is another with its music being composed by Yuki Kajiura. The music really reflects the epicness of the anime, and really comes to the forefront in scenes rather than being part of the background. There's this great mix of symphony, opera, and electronic synthesizer. The music is beautiful and haunting. My favorite song is Kaze no Machi he sung by the character Oruha (from CLAMP's Clover). 
Sailor Moon--this anime's music really varies widely. There's catchy pop tunes to epic, fast paced battle themes to soft ballads. It has some of the best music. I remember back in my hardcore fangirl/otaku days, I downloaded ever single Sailor Moon song I could find, learned all the words (both Japanese and English songs), and sang them aloud all the time with my friends. The Japanese lyrics were actually quite easy to memorize, and I'm surprised at how much I still remember. Occasionally, I'll start humming a tune and start singing the lyrics of one of the songs. Two of my favorite Japanese songs, likely only known to die-hard fans are Sailor Team no Theme and Unmei wa Utsukushiku (Sailor Neptune's song). Rainy Day Man is probably my favorite dub song. 
And lastly, K-ON! Fun, catchy pop tunes. Exactly what a moe schoolgirl pop/rock band is supposed to be. There's a reason why everyone's singing and covering "Don't Say Lazy" --it's awesome!  
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