Sunday, January 29, 2012

A scrapbooking beginning

It is years (around 4 and half...) that we are supposed to create a scrapbook for our honeymoon in Japan. We shouldn't really be surprised this hasn't happened yet, anyway, considering that I *should* have some time over in this period, I think it is reasonable to start to perform this item of the to do list.

The first step for scrapbooking is understanding what tools need to be bought, and realize it is not going to be exactly cheap.
The main shop for all sort of hobbies here in Sweden is Panduro, which is very tempting with very nice catalogues and ideas. Anyway, I am ready with an order to be executed via the website (just need to fix my account again) and yesterday we sacked the Outlet that there is in Malmö. It is hard to find the items one needs, but there can be very nice prices on items from previous "collections" as well as some strange items.
For me that I am a beginner it is an exellent possibility to buy some tools without spending too much money.

And in the meanwhile that I was searching for what I need to buy to start this project, I realized it would be nice to create some other scrapbook apart from this. So, we bought some little item for these future projects!

Here there is the result of our hunt:


Some wrapping paper (not exactly for scrapbooking)
The paper
A scrapbook set with 250 pieces

Some stickers, rub-ons, brads and charms

What is left is just to buy some other "essentials" and then...start! 

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Kaze no Galdor

Il sortilegio del ventoIl sortilegio del vento by Yuho Ashibe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When reading this manga, one could think that it is not a manga at all: the drawings and the story could have been created easily by an European. However, considering the melting pot of characters borrowed from the European sagas, it is clear that this is not the case.

It is a pleasant reading, quite charming, but nothing extraordinary. The characters do not have a big depth, maybe because also the story is quite short.

Some parts are represented a bit too quickly, giving some hint of confusion and some behaviour is not well explained, making the reader puzzled.

All together, something different from usual, interesting and pitoresque, but maybe a different lenght of the story would suit something like this better.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Paros no Ken

La spada di Paros vol. 2La spada di Paros vol. 2 by Kaoru Kurimoto Yumiko Igarashi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story (Parosu no Ken) is part of the more complex world created by Kaoru Kurimoto, however, it can be read without knowing so much about it.

In this sense, there is not a deep connection to the rest of the fantasy saga, except for small hints there and then.

Even though the drawings are very nice as always, this time, they are different from the usual Igarashi style and it is very reasonable to have it so, since this clearly has a different target/scenarios than the usual ones that are drawn by her.

When reading the first chapters, I got the sensation that there were a lot of resemblances with Versailles no Bara, from the main character, to her "sidekick", a strange copy of Oscar and Andre'. However, it turned out just to be an illusion since, even though there is somehow the theme of the male/female double as in Versailles no Bara, Princess Erminia has clearly no doubts about her sexuality.

I found the plot interesting, but definitely trivial. Intrigues, stubborness from the princess, the poor little girl getting a lot of attention: these are classical elements of similar manga. Everything seems clear until the last part of the story: it is clear the connection with the Paros' world, it is clear what is happening, it seems clear where everything is going...but all of a sudden, the end of the story is drawn very quickly, and it left me a bitterness which I could justify just with the fact that it seems not connected to everything that had been written/drawn until that point.

Maybe the surprise effect was planned in order to give a touch of originality to an otherwise not innovative manga, but instead of highlight the story, it puzzles the reader.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Aid for remote computer-unfriendly people

Have you ever had to help some friend/relative/unknown person that started to bug you via phone about getting help to fix something on their computer?
Has it ever happened that you started to get impatient at the phone, trying to understand a very illiterate way of expressing?
Have you ever lost completely the patience wasting your time when trying to solve a problem described at the phone, and you were already stressed and busy enough as it was?

To me this happens quite often :-) And yes, of course, I have already a tendency of have a short-term patience and therefore, after two seconds during which I get to hear the most absurd things concerning what people are observing at their screen, I start to yell!

One of the last times I was trying to help somebody, I got to know the existance of a very nice, clever, free, smooth remote-controller software.
Of course, the person you are going to help need to have some basic knowledge so that he/she can actually install the software. Or at least, you need to carry on having some extra spare patience for assisting them in this last phone-driven operation.
Teamviewer has saved me (and the people around me)!!! I very much recommend it for the simplicity and its lightness, if you haven't used any remote control software or if you have used some other one.
Now, every time I have to help somebody, I make sure they have Teamviewer installed and then I play around with their computers, showing what I am doing, and making our lives simple (and me less irritated - a good thing for humanity!)

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Ann wa Ann

Ann e' Ann #2Ann e' Ann #2 by Yumiko Igarashi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When reading Ann wa Ann it is clear that it is a classical work from Igarashi. Her style is unforgettable, with protagonists with beautiful big eyes and their path through hardships of different kind.

The story is slightly trivial, of course, beautifully drawn, with an inspiration moral spread everywhere in the story. It is not the passionated story of Candy, it is not original as other works, but still pleasant and enjoyable.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Todo List Queen

Both in the private and professional life, I am a todo list obsessed. I have always gone around surrounded by pieces of paper highlighted with different colors, with a lot of text and marks on them.
This in order to keep in mind everything that needs to be done (which is always a lot, and always increasing) and in order to prioritize, postpone (this is of course my speciality) and have some order in my head, which otherwise gets too cluttered.
For some strange reason, this year, I haven't got a little agenda to use: even though I haven't ever used an agenda with the primary goal of sorting out my to do lists, I decided to end the usage of paper for the todo list and switch to an electronic software.

Mattias started to use Wunderlist last year. I will overfly over the success of this operation.
Being the software a multiplatform and since it is possible to use it from different computers, I thought it was a good solution for me and so far, it seems to substitute my paper todo lists in a quite decent way, although I miss the colors and some other features that paper flexibility guarantee.
The good thing is that lists can be shared with other people, which is not exactly always possible with my notes, since noone understands my handwriting.

I am using it right now just for home business, but when I will go back to work from my maternity leave, I think I will give it a try also for the professional side of the story.
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012: "tin Jubilee"

It is not exactly a tin year since we haven't been married for 10 years (tin is the "material" of the 10 years wedding anniversary), it is not exactly a jubilee as it is used in UK, since we haven't yet reached 25 years.
However, 2012 is an year full of small and big celebrations (in August, we will be married for five years, which will make it a silk anniversary) and it is ten years ago that I first put my foot in Sweden and met Mattias.
I was very excited to be abroad and for the first time, living on my own, and I was counting on being back in Italy, so, although my parents were sad, it was going to be for a short time.
It didn't turn out exactly like that, though...

It was more and less this period of the year, when I first met Mattias in the student dorm where we were living.
One rose per year!
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the past

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Zelda, #9)The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Akira Himekawa

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was not impressed by this version of the story of Link and Zelda, although the addition of the character of Ganthi was making some differences. I thought the drawings were a bit inexpressive and the story touched too quickly all the elements of the saga without giving the right depth to the characters.

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