28 June 2009

One More Angsty Candle Light Poem

Cool breeze tonight
The breath of angels
Grey sky at midnight
Never black, not now
Candle flame, gentle flicker

Who is that
Dancing, unseen?
She brushes against my skin, softly
Against this flame, too
Dancing to the same tune
Heart beats (heartbeats?) in silence
Just mine?

There's an angel for everyone
So they say
They walk by your side
But some nights
You just need a demon.

25 June 2009

Guitar!

I finally got the new electric guitar today!

I ended up getting an LTD EC-1000QM. LTD of course is the lower end line manufactured by ESP Guitars, whose instruments are used by many famous rock musicians, from Ronnie Wood to Nightwish's Emppu Vuorinen. While this is the company's cheaper, mass produced line, the 1000 series guitars are at the very top of that line, with retail prices of more than 1000 euros (in Finland, at least).

Which is more than I could afford, really, so I was seriously considering the next best model, the 400 series. Enter Lady Luck! Just at this point I happened to run into a 1000 model second hand at an auction website. It was promised to be in good condition, and the seller looked reasonably reliable, so I decided I really had no choice but take the chande. I ended up paying 550 euros for it, plus delivery. Which is actually less than I would have payed for a new 400 model! The condition turned out to be as good as promised, pretty much 'good as new', I would say.

The EC series, based on ESP's higher end Eclipse model, has a Les Paul style body. This model has EMG active pickups, abalone decorations (I believe), and a beautiful dark red translucent finish. There's no tremolo, but I was already starting to lean against one, seeing as I've never used one much and needlessly complicating the mechanics is never a good idea.

Now, if I could only get around to actually using it and getting some songs recorded...

24 June 2009

Ben B. Bainton, BA

As of yesterday I'm officially a Bachelor of Arts, graduating from the University of Helsinki, with English Philology as my major subject. Only took me nine bloody years, three times the official target time of three years. In my defense, I've already completed a fair share of the studies for the Master's degree (but I've still been a lazy student, that's for sure).

The BA is really just a formality on the way to the Master's. When I started at university, the norm here (at least in the humanities) was to go straight for the MA degree, and there was little talk of the BA. However, a couple years back they changed the rules and made the BA a compulsory prerequisite for the MA. So, here we are, and it is nice to finally have something to show for the years I've spent at the university. Now, if everything goes to plan, and I can force myself to do some actual work, this time next year I could be graduating with the Master of Arts degree, all ready for unemployment...

23 June 2009

Street Fighter IV

Update: Review of Street Fighter IV

It's been a while again since my last game review, but here we go again with Street Fighter IV, which turned out to be one of the most entertaining fighting games I've played in a while. I'd never really played a lot of Street Fighter previously, it didn't feel quite as interesting and original as games like Guilty Gear, but I'm finally starting to get it.

I haven't really gotten around to playing other kinds of games since MGS4 last winter, though, which is a shame. I'm getting far too lazy...

22 June 2009

I Want My MTV

I've never been a big watcher of MTV, but these days when I happen to surf to it, it only seems things are getting worse and worse. Honestly, all they show these days is reality TV crap and hiphop videos. Didn't they use to have actual music on? (I should mention this is the Finnish version I'm speaking of... I don't know how much it differs from other regional versions...)

Even Headbanger's Ball has gone down the drain. The show used to have a presenter and guests, but now it's just videos. Which might not be bad in itself, if the videos weren't such crap. Last couple of times I've watched the show, I've seen plenty of rap and electronica. This is Headbanger's Ball, for ****'s sake! Of course it's still mostly metal, but most of it is boring nu metal and death metal... Apologies to anyone who likes that, but it just ain't my thing. Ever heard the saying "variety is the spice of life"?

On top of everything, half the screen is covered by unbelievably stupid SMS matchmaker applications. All I can say's "what's the world coming to?"

18 June 2009

Another Filler Post About Music

Well, in the couple of months that I've been listening to Nightwish, it's overtaken Queen to the number one slot on my most played list at Last.fm. Which is quite impressive.

Since I wrote about Rhapsody of Fire a while back, I've been growing ever more fond of it. While in that post I considered some of the problems with concept albums, it must be said that Rhapsody's music, with its epic fantasy sagas, is unique among concept albums. Yes, it is a different kind of experience compared to, say, Nightwish, but no less wonderful. Particularly to a fantasy geek like me.

Having received a little money from translation work, I went on a bit of a shopping spree. I now own all the studio albums by Nightwish and Lordi, and all but the latest by Rhapsody of Fire (which I'll try to obtain soon). My income being what it is, I've favoured libraries, friends and the Internet as sources for music for a long time, but some albums you just need to own in physical form, because the listening experience just isn't complete without the additional aesthetic and informative content provided by the covers and booklets. This is especially true for Rhapsody of Fire, as the booklets contain not only artwork, but also additional narrative, maps etc. vital to the story.

I hope to receive my next paycheck soon. This one will be spent on the new guitar. I'm kinda excited about that. And rather impatient.

8 June 2009

Interior Decorating: The Epilogue

More than a year ago I wrote about decorating my room, saying it would still be geeky, but strive for a little more elegance by carefully picking the posters I was going to put up, and placing them in glass clip frames.

Well, it took a while in the end, but I've finally got up all the posters I originally planned on. And I like it. Like I said, the theme would be manga/anime women. There's a big Ghost in the Shell movie poster on one end wall, a couple of smaller posters of Masamune Shirow's work, together with a Lum and a NausicaƤ on the other walls, all hung nice and even in their classy frames.

Now, if only I didn't have quite as much junk covering my shelves and tables, the room would almost look good.