Friday, March 30, 2012

Words, Space and D

This week, this week, this week! Lots of great stuff to get through today so let’s not spend too much time with introductions! As always this is your Weekly Ramble; for this week, the week of March 30, 2012 I’m going to ramble about quite a few bits of awesome news, I’ll also fill you in on the latest NEw developments via “The Creator’s Corner” and of course there will be a new “Song of the Week” to fill your ears with and we’ll take another peek into “Semajj’s Bookshelf” to see what’s new!

First off, from out of nowhere, Tenacious D announced their return to the music scene with their new album Rize of the Fenix scheduled to release May 15, 2012. Now you’re all like: “But wait a minute, hasn’t that date been said in a ramble recently?” and to that I respond: “Heck yes! May 15, 2012 is the release date of Diablo III too!” What a day that will be, eh? At the top of this ramble, I’m sure you saw it, was the “To Be The Best” video that Jack Black and Kyle Gas released this week to accompany the release date of their new album; the link earlier in this ramblegraph leads to a page with the above video, but also (at the bottom) is the first single off their new album. I’m so looking forward to May now.

In more great news, my buddy J.R. Nova just released his first novel: Rising. I won’t say much about it, other than it’s available on Amazon and Smashwords, and that I’m about 27% through and I’ve stayed up past the norm the past two nights reading this; it's so good.  

In some slightly sad (for me) news, last night both my older sister and my dad got access into the “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria” beta, while I did not. While I’m kinda bummed that I didn’t get in on the same wave as them, I still get to see firsthand all the cool new stuff that will be added in every patch until I get my very own access pass.
A little more complaining on the “World of Warcraft” front, as a long time (since Burning Crusade) Restoration Shaman (that means I heal) I’m quite underwhelmed with the state of the Shaman class so far in Mists. I understand that it is still early in the beta and that there will be plenty of changes, but if nothing big happens with the Shaman, I think I’m going to shelve good ol’ Faulted and play another class. I’m really excited that there is a new healing class (the monk) and hopefully they get some good stuff and can fill in the emptiness in my heart that was left when Shamen were forgotten by Blizz. Otherwise I’ll have to level a Druid, Priest or Paladin (or just turn in my healing badge and go for damage, but that’ll never happen).

Okay moving onto the last bits of news for the week (to me at least). First of the last (huh what?) is NIS America’s licensing of Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. AnoHana (for short) was one of my favorite from 2011 and now I’ll finally be able to own it, in a Premium Edition, for quite a hefty price, but no one said collecting anime was cheap! To say the least I was pretty happy when I read about this.

Another of the last pieces (2nd of 3) is that Crunchyroll is currently announcing their new titles for the Spring 2012 lineup, they have a few so far: Hiiro no Kakera; Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos; OZMA; Space Brothers; Folktales from Japan; and finally Kimi to Boku 2. They’re going to continue to announce new titles here, so if you wanted to stay updated, this is the place.

And last bit of news for today: my friend TheGameEnforcer, author of Neon Genesis Madoka Magica (a brilliant fanfic) has announced that NGMM VI is almost finished. In addition to news of the latest chapter he said that he has his own thread on So if you are interested, check it out!

I gotta tell you, I’m having a blast writing this ramble today; I don’t know why…

And now it’s time for your weekly dose of “The Creator’s Corner”, this week’s CC is fairly important. Wanna know why? Well even if you don’t, I’ll tell you. This week, after many, many, weeks/months/years (actually only a few years, two or three…) I have finally started to write the official first draft of “NEw: The End and the NEw Beginning” (title subject to change). As stated, this is only the first draft, but it’s the official first draft, which means far in the future, this document’s ancestor will be the first Book in the NEw series! It’ll be a while before it gets too far, I’m a slow worker but motivation helps quite a bit. Perhaps in the future when I’m quite a bit farther along in the actual creation (not just storycrafting) of NEw, I’ll post a small tidbit as a teaser.

I wanna keep going, I want to ramble until the sun sets and I’m the only one left in my small corner office in this building, but sadly I mustn’t. I’ve been aiming for around 1000 words per Weekly Ramble so that my readers don’t get tired of me, well, rambling. So unless they say otherwise, I’m going to keep it at a modest size. Which means that today’s ramble is nearing it’s end; so let’s go out with a bang. Let's start the end with this week’s Song of the Week; this week I’d like you to enjoy “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees:

And this week I didn’t receive any items, but I’ll tell you about three DVD sets that I bought previously: first off is “To-Love-Ru” the complete first season on DVD; then is “Trigun” the complete series on DVD; and finally is “Cowboy Bebop Remix” the complete Series Re-Master on DVD. Anywho, thanks again for reading, and as always if you’ve got any comments, questions, tips or concerns, you can e-mail me at or leave a comment in the designated area below. See you next time Space Cowboy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Of Chaos and Joy

Another week, another Weekly Ramble; hello all and welcome to Weekly Ramble number 4, as always I am your host and today I will once again ramble at you. This past week has been a crazy time in my life and as the dust starts to settle from the chaos that has transpired; I’m still not sure where I stand. That being said, today I’m going to recap my crazy week, throw in a small “The Creator’s Corner” and as always I’ll be introducing my collections via “Song of the Week” and “Semajj’s Bookshelf”. And even though this was a terribly short intro, let’s get to it.

As mentioned above, a ton of stuff has happened this week; heck it’s still happening as I’m typing this blog. I’ll start off with some great news (if you are a World of Warcraft fan that is, otherwise it’s just bleh). Last week, Blizzard hosted a “Mists of Pandaria” Press Tour, where they invited members from various Video Games news sites (sites such as MMO-Champion, Wowhead and Joystiq) to experience the latest “build” of the “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria” game. During the week the press members were under a NDA and couldn’t release any information they had gathered until Monday March 19, 2012.
If you haven’t guess by now, the first big thing this week was the removal of the NDA and the release of a TON of information related to the latest “World of Warcraft” expansion. I’m not going to go over a lot (hardly anything actually, I’m trying to stick to my 1k word limit) but I will go over a few of the tidbits that made me cry tears of nerdy joy. First off, there was more information added about the Pet Battles (a mini-game being implemented into “World of Warcraft” akin to the classic “Pokemon” games from Nintendo); the best piece of news announced, in my opinion, is the addition of [roughly] 100 new pets to collect. A few other awesome features that are being added in the new xpac are and Area of Effect looting system, where you’ll be able to loot the corpses of all of your enemies within a certain proximity of your location; and a new character slot so that you’ll be able to have eleven characters per realm.
Lastly they introduced the female Pandaren model, and in my opinion, it looks great; I’m going to link you to The Official Blizzard Press Tour Coverage Page. If you follow the link, you will find a page, nicely laid out by Blizzard, with links to each site and what they have posted concerning the Press Tour and more information on the subjects that I covered above.

So that was Monday/Tuesday, on Wednesday the week took a turn for the worse; my supervisor at work went MIA and had apparently given his two-week notice two-weeks ago. With that my office was in a slight panic, we’d lost our only project manager. We brought in a foreman from the field and I helped give him a crash course on estimating as part of his new training to become our new project manager/estimator. Somehow it all worked out, but it was a stressful experience to say the least.
On a lighter note I finally made my introductory post on my buddy Cecil the Dark Knight's Blog. It’s nothing fantastic, in fact it’s just me saying “Hi, I’ll post here later!” but if you are looking for anime, manga or visual novel reviews/news you might want to check out some of the other posts there.
And finally another piece of “World of Warcraft” news that put my week back into a good place, was the announcement of the start of the “World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria” beta testing period. That happened late Wednesday night and on Thursday we saw a new slew of icons, tool-tips, images, videos and models from the upcoming expansion; this morning even more data-mined info was released in the form of armor sets and a video demonstrating the new AoE looting system. What a crazy week it’s been…

As of late I’ve stopped adding to the story that is “NEw” and I’ve started expanding on the events that take place during the arcs of “NEw”. For instance, instead of spending time wondering about what will happen to the heroes and villains after a certain major turning point near the end of the story, I’ve been working on a (mental) frame by frame of the beginning of the story. Doing so has brought on new story-telling problems that are harder to see from the grand scale of creating; like the background characters. I’ve tiered my characters into an “importance hierarchy” ranging from “Main Character” to “Main Follower” to “Plot Character” all the way down to “Character That Is Hit by a Bottle in a Bar-Fight Scene”; of course the last character doesn’t have a name but that doesn’t mean that he won’t somehow evolve into a plot character later. I suppose the biggest problem I have when looking at a frame by frame is the fluff scenes, parts of the story where nothing really happens, and how to identify them and either skip or transition into/out of them. Anyway, I’ve got a general idea of how the entire first arc will play out now and I’m working on how to split the story between arcs two through four, but that’s a secret.

My, my would you look at the time (word count), it’s time once again to fluff the pillows and tuck this beast to bed. Before I do that, like always, it’s time to announce this week’s “Song of the Week”; this week I give to you, the musical styling’s of “Weird” Al Yancovic with his performance of “CNR”:

Heh, I’ve always liked “Weird” Al, now we’re moving on to this week’s edition of “Semajj’s Bookshelf”. This week I got two new dvd sets to add to my collection. The first was the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of “Fairy Tail” part four, the last part of season one. Funimation still hasn’t announced the plans/release dates for part five onward, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The second set I added to my collection this week was “Motto To-Love-Ru ~ Trouble” the second season of one of my favorite ecchi/harem shows, sadly it wasn’t available on BD, but I guess I can’t complain since I got it on DVD; better than nothing. And that’s all she wrote, except I’m not a she; that’s an odd expression… Anyway thanks again for reading and as always if you have any comments, questions, tips or concerns, you can e-mail me at or leave a comment in the boxes below. And since the question thingy didn’t work (no one commented, woe is me) I’m not going to ask a new question this week. See you next Friday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Changes and Ends

I’m better! For the most part at least. Hello again and welcome to the Weekly Ramble for the week of March 16, 2012. As one would expect from a new and developing blog, there are changes that are going to be occurring over the course of these first few rambles; with that in mind I already have a few changes planned. The first major change that I will be applying to these Rambles (effective immediately) is Semajj’s Bookshelf. I’ll say it bluntly, I don’t like it. So I’m going to change it from a review type thing (as seen in the previous rambles) to a small section in the closing ramble similar to the Song of the Week. So from now on if I get a new item during a week I’ll let you know at the end of the rambles, and if I don’t get a new item or new items, I’ll tell you about an item that I’ve purchased in the past. Now that that is out of the way I’ll tell you that today I’m going to ramble about Misunderstandings, Sarcasm, and May 15th; there will also be a new “The Creator’s Corner” a new Song of the Week and Semajj’s Bookshelf. Enjoy:

Misunderstandings can be a very powerful device when it comes to writing, whether it is used to create a comedic situation, or to bring misfortune to a certain character; misunderstandings are seen in plenty of stories. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about, today I’m going to ramble about misunderstandings in the real world. In the past few days I have been “inconvenienced” by a few misunderstandings, mostly caused by my sarcastic sense of humor. It is well known by any sarcastic person that sarcasm rarely translates well through text (without putting ~sarcasm) at the end of every line.
As a self-proclaimed “sarcastic-bastard” (see the sarcasm there?) I have been at the mercy of my sarcasm plenty of times in the past. People often mistake a sarcastic remark as hostility and that often causes misunderstandings and, for me, misfortune. To keep a long story short (I’ve read many times that people don’t really like to read lots of text. Lazy people, I have a lot to say!)I was posting on /AMP/ and I started a string of posts where I chose a fellow poster, found something they said and labeled them as S (sadistic) or M (masochistic) and added a quote to the post. I will admit that a few of the jokes that I made were a bit harsh, but the fact remains that they were jokes (a gag from an anime that is currently airing called “Inu x Boku Secret Service”. To keep this short, someone was offended by a joke that I made about them, they misunderstood and thought my sarcasm was hostility, which made me sad because I don’t like when people don’t like me. Anyway I guess it’s all good now and I just wanted to ramble about it, let’s move on shall we?

“The end of days approaches” the opening line of the newest post on the “Diablo III” homepage. Blizzard announced yesterday that May 15, 2012 will be the day that Diablo, Lord of Terror, will once again walk this Earth. Which, if you missed it, means that “Diablo III” the most anticipated game in recent history will be released to the public on the 15th of May. This is pretty big news for me because, well, I’m a pretty big fan of the Diablo franchise, and in about two months I can once again travel the world in order to put an end to Diablo’s evil. It also means another Midnight Release party, hosted by Blizzard, at my local Fry’s Electronics. I’m seriously looking forward to this game, and I wanted to force the news of its release on you if you hadn’t heard it yet.

And now it’s time to venture into the depths of my mind to bring you another edition of “The Creator’s Corner”! The topic of today’s CC (Creator’s Corner, CC, ha, see what I did there?) will be a topic that I have shied away from in the past, today’s topic is: the end of “NEw”. Recently I’ve been thinking about how to put an end to this monster of a story I’ve created one solution that keeps buzzing into my mind is a big battle between the protagonist and the antagonist, a suitable solution but it seems lackluster with everything that is in this story to the end. That’s not to say that there won’t be a “final battle” but I don’t think that the “final battle” should be the end. I’m not sure how it will end, that’s obviously one of the challenges of creating, finding a resolution that works for your story. If NEw was centered around the battles between the good guys and the bad guys then I think that a big fight at the end would be a good place to end, but with so many characters and places involved I can’t help but think that the end should involve something more than explosions and death, although there will be explosions and death; I promise that. But for now I can keep that on the bottom of my creative “To-Do” list, I still have characters to flush-out and lines of fate to connect (actually starting to write the dang story would be a good thing to put on that list too). In the end, the end will probably be as much of a surprise to my readers as it will be to me.

Speaking of ends, the end of today’s ramble draws near, but before we tuck this monster of a blog into bed and kiss it goodnight, I have a song for you. “Salty Dog” by Flogging Molly, a perfect song for St. Patty’s Day, don’t you think? And now for the new version of Semajj’s Bookshelf, this week I got an item! The item that was added to my bookshelf this week is the BD/DVD Combo Pack of “Okami-San and Her Seven Companions” (Okami-San to Shichinin no Nakamatachi). And that’s that, thanks once again for reading and as always if you have any comments, questions, tips or concerns, you can e-mail me at or leave a comment below. Oh before I go I want to try something, if this works I’ll have a weekly question for you to discuss in the comment section. I want to know what you think: “Do you play video games? If so what game were you the most excited about when you heard about it?” Well that’s it, see you next Friday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Stuffy Nose Blues

Hello and welcome to another Weekly Ramble. This week we'll have Semajj's Bookshelf, Rambles and as always, the song of the week. Before we begin though I will apologize for the brevity of this ramble, starting on Wednesday I came down with a rather horrible cold (actually I'm not sure if it's a cold or something different, either way I'm sick and therefore am having trouble concentrating).

This week on “Semajj's Bookshelf” I'll be reviewing a few items that have been on my shelf for a while, the reason for this is because I didn't get any new items this week. For future reference on weeks that I don't get anything new to review for “Semajj's Bookshelf” I'll review items that I have previously purchased, like this week where I'll be reviewing “Fairy Tail” bd/dvd combo packs 1-3. The first twelve episodes of “Fairy Tail” were released on bd/dvd in December of 2011, the second part (episodes 13-24) was released in January of 2012 and the latest (as of now) release was in February of 2012, which was part 3 (episodes 25-36). The dubbed version isn't that great, so if you're new to the “Fairy Tail” I would suggest watching with the original Japanese language audio and English subtitles. The animation quality is great, even better if you have the ability to watch it on Blu-Ray.

“Fairy Tail Part 1, bd/dvd Combo Pack” 4/5 A fairy tale deal for any Fairy Tail fan.

“Fairy Tail Part 2, bd/dvd Combo Pack” 4/5 See above

“Fairy Tail Part 3, bd/dvd Combo Pack” 4/5 See above

Now since my headache is worsening and my focus is too, I'll quickly ramble about Diablo III. Diablo III is the third installment to Blizzard's Diablo franchise, as such it is a highly anticipated game and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Beta-Key so I can play the first few levels while waiting for the full game to be released. So far Blizzard hasn't announced a release date for the game, but they did say that it will be out before the end of Q2 2012. The reason I decided to ramble about D3 today is because today was the release of beta patch 14, where a few things were implemented; the best of which is the beta version of Hardcore Mode. In hardcore mode the monsters do more damage, they're harder to kill and worst of all if your character is killed in combat, it dies for good; meaning any and all progress you've made will be lost upon death. At first it may seem that playing hardcore is far too punishing (especially when you are only one kill away from the max level, when all of a sudden you are attacked by three packs of Champion level monsters and ultimately destroyed) but if you play using all of the tools that are given to you, death should be avoidable in most cases (I say that now, but we'll see how it goes when I start my first hardcore journey as soon as this headache passes).

So I decided to wrap this ramble up early (being sick also makes me lazy apparently) so now it's time for the song of the week! This week's song of the week, in celebration of the “Black Rock Shooter” anime, is “Black Rock Shooter” by Hatsune Miku. You can listen to the song here: Once again, I apologize for the shoddy quality of this week's ramble and I promise that next week's ramble will be of much better quality (assuming I'm over this cold, I sure do hope I am better by then). Thanks for reading, and as always if you have any comments, questions, tips or concerns, you can send me an e-mail at or comment below. So then, see you next Friday.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It Starts...

Hello and welcome to the first official Weekly Ramble. As you may or may not know, I am James (also known as J.J., Semajj or Semaji~n) the host and/or writer of this here blog. I suppose since this is the first Weekly Ramble I should introduce you (whomever may be reading this) to a few of the common “columns” that will appear in this Blog. But first I’ll tell you what this blog is for and how it’s going to work; “Weekly Rambles” is a blog that I’m writing to make a mark on the map, even if I never get around to publishing my works and I fail as an author, I’ll know that I’ve at least written a blog (but I suppose that in order to get any satisfaction out of that, I’ll actually have to have people read this…). Through these “Weekly Rambles” I’ll talk about my writing, important stuff going on in my life and probably anime at some point. The goal each week is to keep readers informed about my creative writing projects and deliver an ample amount of information (and opinions) on various subjects in around 1000 words.

To start off the feature intros I’ll introduce a tradition that I am carrying over from my original rambles, this tradition is the Song of the Week. Each week I’ll choose a song and share it with my audience, I’ll also be so nice as to include a link to a youtube video of said song. So each week, at the end of my ramble you’ll be treated to a song. I will warn you that my choice in music can vary from J-Pop to J-Rock to Nu Metal to Folk Music and almost anything in between (rap, hip-hop and country are three genres that I usually stay away from though).

Another “column” that will appear in these here rambles is a new thing, I like to call it Semajj’s Book Shelf. Semajj’s Book Shelf will be a short article that will showcase items that I’ve purchased or received during the week. For example (since this is going to be less of a real Weekly Ramble and more of an intro) this week I received a few orders from Amazon and Right Stuf; the first item is a “Cellet Black and Red Bergamo Case” for my cell phone, it’s just a simple leather pouch that my phone fits snugly in and keeps it protected when I’m not using it. The second item I got this week was from Right Stuf, the complete first Season of “K-On!” on dvd. The last item I got this week is a set of “Gogroove AirBand Wireless Bluetooth Headphones” I’ve only had the headset for two days, but I’ll say that I’m pretty pleased with the sound quality and wirelessness. (Since this column is still in the works, I’m still debating whether or not to rate the items, but if I did it’d go something like this)

“Cellet Black and Red Bergamo Case” 3/5, it does its job perfectly, but it’s nothing special.

“K-On! The Complete First Season” 4/5, I haven’t yet watched the dvds but the case and discs themselves are awesome, just like the show.

“Gogroove Airband Wireless Bluetooth Headset” 4/5, quick charge good sound quality and no wires, a good buy in my opinion.

Another type of article, paragraph, ramblegraph, column, section, feature, (really whatever you want to call it), that will appear in these Weekly Rambles will be “The Creator’s Corner” (if you used to follow my old rambles this is a glorified version of “Project Updates”. “The Creator’s Corner” will be where I talk (type) about my current writing projects. As of now I have three “things” going. The first is my main works, a series that doesn’t have a name, but is referred to as NEw (yes, the “e” is supposed to be in caps). NEw is a fantasy/sci-fi story (there are a ton of other genres that it can fit under, but those two fit the best) that has (as of now) thirteen arcs, and is still growing. The two smaller series that I am also working on can somewhat be considered spin-offs of NEw, they are titled “Eleven” and “Volt”. Both “Eleven” and “Volt” can also be put under the fantasy/sci-fi umbrella and are much smaller than NEw (arc wise).

Then there is the “Rambles” a section where I speak my mind on subjects that affect my real life. The subject of “rambles” can be anything from work to bottled water, whatever I feel like ranting about really. As an example I’m going to ramble about a review blog that I’m going to debut on in the coming weeks. A friend of mine hosts an Anime/Visual Novel review blog and I recently took my first steps into the world of visual novels. Since I am fresh to the world of VNs he asked me to review my first play through, which I agreed to, so when that gets done I’ll be sure to mention it in that week’s Ramble.

Now that the introductions are finished (although as time goes by I’ll probably think of more stuff to put in these blogs) I’ll start the end of the blog with some “Rambling” with a bit of “The Creator’s Corner” mixed in.

Back in the end of January, when I ended my “Rambles” and took a break to rest up and prepare for “Weekly Rambles”  I promised that I would also maintain another blog called “Ramble Tales”, sadly I’ve moved my “Ramble Tales” project folder into the scraps folder, where all of my dead story ideas go. For those of you who don’t know, “Ramble Tales” was going to be a monthly shorty story blog; then as time went on (after the first “Ramble Tales” story was posted, a special Christmas story) I decided to turn it into a continuing story following the main characters; Allen Maxwell and Drip Moonshadow. The end of January came and went and “Ramble Tales” 2 never came out. As much as I liked the characters Allen and Drip, I couldn’t find a plausible way for them to go on an adventure (because why would the apprentice of Santa Clause and an Elf from the Workshop go out to save the world?). In the end I’ve decided to keep my “creative energy” focused on “NEw”.

As we barrel towards the finish line of the first official “Weekly Ramble” I’d like to give a shout out to my friends at /AMP/ for being awesome, also to TheGameEnforcer ( who writes an awesome fanfic and has inspired me to take NEw to new (haha) heights of awesome; and Cecilthedarkknight ( who is an awesome reviewer and has asked me to contribute to his page. Now as I sloppily bring this ramble to a close, I present to you the song of the week for the week of March 2, 2012: “Daydream Syndrome” by Marina Fujiwara. (

Well I hope that everyone had a semi-enjoyable time reading my new blog, if you have any comments, questions, tips or concerns you can send me an email at or comment below. So then, see you next Friday.