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My first kitty (and the most bad-ass vacuum ever)

Hey guys!

 

I hope you’re all doing very well 🙂 Today, I want to tell you all about the newest addition to my family (of two, so far), Agatha! Agatha is my new tabby cat, who I’ve just adopted a few weeks ago! She’s settling in super well, so I think I can make our relationship official!

Yay!

I adopted Agatha from my local shelter, which I learned about through Facebook. My old roommate and I always talked about adopting animals whenever we got lonely and in a nesting mode, and now that I have my place all to myself and am not planning to move anytime soon, I thought it was the perfect time to find my special furry someone!

 

Agatha is about 3 years old, as far as I know, and she had been at the shelter for about 6 months. She was definitely neglected at some point, since the vets told me she had been super skinny when she came in. I’ve been spoiling her silly since she’s got home with me, and she’s already looking much happier.

 

She’s still skittish, though, which I’m told is a pretty normal thing. A lot of rescue animals have seen some dark times, and it takes them a while to trust you and to also trust the world a bit as well. They’re very like humans in that way. Anyway, Agatha is starting to get cozy around me, but she’s hiding at the first sign of a visitor or a starling noise. That’s ok. I like to think I’m giving her all the time in the world.

 

I don’t know how many of you have pets already, or are thinking of getting one, but if you’re in the second category, I highly recommend thinking about adopting. I’ve always liked the idea, especially because my parents have rescued a few dogs from the shelter and they’ve always been wonderful. I guess it’s because they have such strong personalities, you know? They have experiences, knowledge, depth. That’s not to say a kitten or a puppy won’t develop all those, but there’s something about getting to adopt a pet with a super strong personality that’s so much more appealing to me. Plus, you’re saving an animal that might get put down if nobody comes for it, which is just about the saddest thing in the world to think about.

 

I had to make some room for her before she came, just taking all the delicate things out of places she can reach (which is basically everywhere), but it hasn’t been that hard, since I’m apparently the one nerd who’s also a total neat freak! I also had to seriously upgrade my vacuum… I had been making do with this super crappy Shark I inherited from an old roommate, but after doing some hunting on bestpethairvacuum.reviews, I ended up with a Miele, which I absolutely love. It’s so cute and powerful! Highly recommended.

Well, after a few weeks, Agatha and I are starting to really get on, and I’m so excited to have her around. It seriously makes coming home a lot more exciting, especially when she’s peeking around the corner from my bedroom to check that it’s me! She’s definitely taken even the slightest twinge of loneliness out of living alone. Can’t wait to share all our adventures with you soon!

P.S. If you have pets and your home has hardwood floors, better visit this link to help you decide on the best vacuum to buy.

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Yuri On Ice

Hi! Thanks for reading the blog, as always! Today’s post is about one of the best new shows I’ve seen in a long time, Yuri on Ice!

The Yamamoto and Kubo team have come up with a serious winner here. It’s one of the most talked-about shows I’ve ever come across, both on critics’ pages and on tumblr where people like me go to talk about what we’re watching.

 

If you haven’t seen it (and I can’t imagine how anyone could have avoided it completely–it’s that popular) it’s the story of a Japanese figure skater named Yuri Katsuki. When the show starts, you’re watching Yuri lose massively at a big tournament. He goes home to basically reset his life and rethink what he’s going to try to do with it. He goes back to college, gets out of shape, and mostly leaves skating behind. He still likes, it though, and you see him still having regrets about that big loss.

 

One night, when he’s skating alone in the park, he starts to imitate a routine that his favorite skater is famous for. That skater ends up seeing a video that’s posted by some local kids who are watching, and he gets in touch to try and train Yuri for one big, final season. It’s kind of a classic sports trope, but it feels really fresh in anime because, let’s face it, not many anime nerds actually watch a lot of sports movies.

 

I don’t want to give anything away as far as the plot, but don’t worry–it’s so much more than just watching people skate around for hours. With that said, though, the skating sequences are absolutely amazing. I guess the animators spent a lot of time watching real skaters, and worked the actual moves into the show. You can definitely tell. It’s also a twist on classic sports stories, because Yuri isn’t any kind of prodigy. All he has is effort and dreams, where the older coach is insanely talented but past his prime. There’s also a relationship that unfolds between Yuri and Victor (the older skater who coaches him), that’s definitely ambiguous and tricky, which is so much more interesting to watch than traditional romantic narratives.

 

The animation is fantastic, which is definitely a big selling point for me. Even when a lot of anime studios are cheapening and going for tacky CGI work, Yuri On Ice looks absolutely stunning, especially in the skating sequences. It has some real drawing marks showing in nearly every seen, so it also has a bit of a human element of imperfection that I really like.

It also has a really good balance between the skating and the emotional arc, which I’m sure was hard to master: I definitely know that the few sports movies I’ve seen in my life didn’t get that right, which makes them even harder to get through. Neither the skating nor the emotional plot feel like a gratuitous add-on, which is definitely an achievement.

 

Finally, one of the biggest reasons I applaud the creators is the fact that the show deals with mental health and LGBT issues really honestly, which is definitely new territory for anime. Anime is generally a bit patriarchal and super masculine (and totally homophobic), so this is a really nice change of pace that I hope will open the door for a lot of different narratives to be told in this style that we haven’t seen before. This is a great FAQ article about the show if you’re interested: http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/21/13987438/yuri-on-ice-sports-anime-explainer-guide-faq-tumblr
It’s all online for free, so check it out!

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Anime news

Hey guys, today I want to talk about some interesting anime news that’s come into my feed in the past few days. No personal stuff in this post, but if you want updates in my life, check out my post where I talk about adopting a new cat and vacuum into my apartment!

 

Ok, so anime news:

 

First up, we have the news that Netflix is going to be massively continuing to expand its own content productions and getting into anime for the first time!

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been really impressed with Netflix’s output. Whether it’s the Marco Polo series’ or the revamped episodes of The Killing, or especially Stranger Things, they have fantastic production value and they seem to be doing really well at getting big talent to work on their projects. I’ve especially enjoyed this first series of A Series of Unfortunate Events which is one of my all-time favorite series of books. I absolutely love Daniel Handler as an author, and I’m so glad they decided to have him write the screenplay. It’s a lot more cohesive than the original movie, which was overall pretty good, but definitely a mess. Anyway it’s fantastic–check it out, if you haven’t already.

So, the news that Netflix is going to start putting that production value and quality control into anime is super cool. They’ve hired a director of anime content for the first time, which can only mean one thing: lots of new, well-made anime episodes! So far, they’ve only put out two smaller projects in anime style, Little Witch Academia and Seven Deadly Sins. This will be the first big anime series they make. They’d be the first American streaming company to commission its own anime, because all the other ones just license shows from Japan to rebroadcast here. Word has it that they’re planning to ditch revamps for the anime division, and make an all new adaptation of a manga series we’ve never seen onscreen. How exciting! I for one can’t wait.

The second piece of news that’s more of a trend than an announcement is that some anime news networks (especially Inverse) have been talking about how President Trump could even have an impact on anime. He’s been promising to cut back on aid to Japan, especially for military things, which would definitely hurt the Japanese economy. According to economists, since anime is considered a luxury or unnecessary pleasure item, people spend less money on it during harder economic times. So, each time Japan has had a recession, you can actually see a really noticeable dip in the amount of anime produced and the budgets of each show.

 

More than the cuts in aid, President Trump has also talked a lot about imposing trade taxes and things like that on Japanese companies like Toyota which import to the US (even though Toyota actually makes most of its American cars here, he doesn’t feel the need to do research). That would also hurt the economy, which in turn would hurt anime.

 

Well, Mr. Trump, you can take away our international standing and our national sense of dignity, but anime is just one step too far. Fingers crossed that this won’t actually come true, but it’s definitely interesting to think about how much these things are tied together. I definitely recommend checking out that original Inverse article if you’re interested in reading more.

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