Tag Archives: thirty

And Then I was 30 My Life 18 MAY 2010

And then I was 30. So last Tuesday, the 11th of May, saw me end off my time in the twenties and enter the age of the thirties, and following the awesome surprise long weekend away to the Drakensberg courtesy of a sneaky Chantelle, this was probably the best process of ageing one more year that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying in absolute ages.

The Lotters and the Montgomery's, enjoying a Cattle Baron table. Me? Well someone had to take the picture!

Amazingly enough, thanks to the machinations of Chantelle, we were both actually off on the day of my birthday and what followed was a great sleep-in, pottering around the house, going shopping together and in general just spending time in one another’s company, before finally getting ready and pulling the door closed behind us.

A while back I had decided to invite the family out to Cattle Baron in Somerset West in order to celebrate the big event with me and so we found ourselves hitting the road in a hurry to make the meet-up time of 19:00 at the restaurant which I hadn’t actually been to before. Needless to say, as is always the case with Chantelle and I, we were late. 10 to 15 minutes or so late. But at least our excuse was good. The entire Strand area was swathed in darkness, bringing with it no traffic lights and thus heavy, slow-moving traffic. But, as you might point out, we were still late.

The Cattle Baron itself is pretty okay, seems to sit in an old converted house which means lots of corridors and walls, and to be honest, I think I would prefer a more open venue though the plus of it is that it provides you with a fair bit of privacy I guess.

The Montgomery’s were there in full force, but the Lotter’s were missing Claire and Riley and unfortunately Ryan’s girlfriend couldn’t make it either, leaving us with a grand total of 8 mouths to feed on the night. Banter was good and I received and opened a host of awesome presents like FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa, the Unseen Academicals and Papa Roach’s Metamorphosis to name a few. We also chose this moment to drop the bombshell of Chantelle’s pregnancy, handing each mother a “belated Mother’s Day gift” which was a simple white box with a ribbon around it. Opening the box revealed a white baby booty inside and with the moms’ eyes wide open, we delivered the happy news.

In other words, even more to celebrate now! The wine was flowing, the food eventually came and on a whole, the evening was just an awesome family get together.

Eventually I attempted to sneak out and settle the bill as a surprise for everyone, before we all left the confines of the restaurant to return to our flat for coffee and Mom’s first look at our frankly awesome wedding album.

And that was that, the mechanics of turning 30 was over and done with.

But what about the other side of it? Well as most men do when they hit a big decade change number, I am forced to look back at life so far, and unfortunately I must say that I’m rather disillusioned with what I see. As I try to explain to Chantelle, I believe I have far more potential than what I exert and as such sadly look back on having achieved pretty much nothing so far. It’s a depressing thought really, but one I think that everyone goes through when they haven’t managed to achieve something pretty awesome by the time they hit 30.

That said, I do have plans moving forward and so hopefully this decade will be the big one for me. As it is, I’m already off to a good start, having basically just successfully completed the first six months of my marriage and now have the planning of opening up of our little family to its first child to deal with. Plans for a house are now gathering speed, I’ve purchased my first brand new car and I have some business ideas which moving forward I’d like to see slowly but surely be put in to action.

So in other words we’ll see. I have now had 30 years of experience on this planet, I have the privilege of knowing myself, knowing my limits and abilities pretty well and have now built up a beautiful support structure around me.

In other words?

The next ten years should be a blast! :)

A.I. Love You (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 28 FEB 2009

AI Love YouBehind every great man is a great artificial intelligence.

Hitoshi Kobe is a poor student, a bad athlete and may be the unluckiest man alive… though he does have a knack for creating Artificial Intelligences. Number Thirty is Hitoshi’s favorite A.I. And the only girl he can talk to. If a freak accident can turn Thirty into a real girl, can Thirty turn Hitoshi into a real man?

A bit of a geek, a bit of a loser, Hitoshi Kobe doesn’t exactly have all that much going for him, apart from his skill behind a computer keyboard. Creating artificial intelligences is his passion and he is surprisingly good at it… though even he didn’t realise just how good that actually is!

A freak electrical mishap and his favourite A.I. out of them all comes to life and the relationship they shared in the digital world now spills over to the real world – and often with the most comedic of results! The time is now to learn and teach about life, love and all the good things in life…

Thus starts the very unconventional pairing of a girl who talks to machines and who shouldn’t even exist in this world and a boy who already struggles to interact with society but who now has to learn how to deal with a woman – even if she isn’t quite so real to the rest of us.

Most manga fans by now would have heard the name Ken Akamatsu, the man behind the hugely popular Love Hina franchise and now more recently the Negima! phenomenon, but most people haven’t really come into contact with his earlier work, work done before Western fame struck him as hard as it did. A.I. Love You is one of his best known earlier works and thanks to Tokyopop, a whole new generation can get to grip with the output that started it all.

First off, it must be said that A.I. Love You has most certainly NOT dated well at all, in the most part thanks to the rapid advance in computer technology that we have experienced over the last couple of years. To read this book you have to pretend you know nothing of computers or even the technical world for that matter, that’s how bad it seriously is.

However, that said, stripping the technology out of the equation leaves us with a fairly bog standard young romance comedy scenario about a unexperienced, naiïve boy and his interactions with a beautiful, willing girl. The writing isn’t particularly clever and the humour and situations quite often come off more forced than natural, making A.I. Love You quite the chore to read through at times. The drama is a little overdone at times as well and while the book will have you giggling every now and then, the lack of a fun flow really pulls the story down just that little.

It’s not bad per say, but it certainly isn’t particularly good which means that average seems about the best way to describe both the story and writing ability on this one then.

Artistically, it is very interesting to see where Akamatsu was before he developed his cute, ultra effective style that won him over so many fans for Love Hina, and although A.I. Love You doesn’t look overly bad, one can see that this is very much Akamatsu’s earlier, more unrefined work. There is however certainly a lot of good background detail stuffed into his panels and the trademark, little bit on the naughty side, female form outlines for which he is so famous for makes a strong appearance as well.

Overall, A.I. Love You is certainly nothing special and can quite comfortably be skipped by the more discerning manga readers out there, but if you are a big fan of Akamatsu then this is a very good peek into what the man was doing before he reached his current point of expertise – and that in itself makes A.I. Love You worth looking into then.

(But remember. Pretend you know nothing about computers at all. Seriously. I mean it!)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.I._Love_You