Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Leda, Smilla and Wulf

Sunny Day...
Originally uploaded by esmereldes
Oops, sorry it's been a bit of time since I posted last! Spring weather has finally arrived, and it's hard not to spend all my time outside!

I wanted to keep going with my introductions though, so I could maybe start getting to some more current news! I think next I should introduce you to Smilla, Wulf and Leda. They were the first of us to arrive here, so I feel like, by rights, their intro should've come first!

Smilla's Birthday 1

This is Smilla. She's a cheerful and helpful girl that loves to cook and always tries to take care of people. She is here studying biology, which seems strange sometimes for many reasons - she doesn't strike you as someone who is going to be a scientist! She gets amazing grades, so you know she is very smart, but... well, sometimes in person she seems pretty ditzy!

Like me, Smilla is not a princess. She came from an ordinary family in Germany. Well, mostly ordinary. The one thing that was strange was Leda. Although neither Smilla or Leda have said much, Wulf says (since Wulf is also from the same area, at least sort of...) that the people in Smilla's village didn't like Leda very much. Smilla's parents were well-liked, and no one could really dislike Smilla, she's too cute! They called her "Little Red-Riding Hood" there because she was always wearing red, and had a red hooded cape she often wore when she was doing errands.


The villagers thought Leda was strange, and perhaps a bit rude. I feel unkindly towards the villagers for thinking so, since Leda is great! But if I'm being fair, I guess I could admit that Leda is sometimes a bit difficult... She's kind of abrasive and seems to like causing little bits of trouble...

This Is Me

This is Leda, looking maybe a little more demure than usual...

Smilla sometimes calls Leda grandma, but I think that is a joke, since Leda does not look old enough to be Smilla's grandma. As I think I said earlier, I'm not sure if they are actually related or not, but Leda definitely tries to look out for Smilla.

Another thing that was probably a big strike against Leda - she's a biologist and she was studying the wolves that lived in the forests near Smilla's village. She lived off on her own and since the villagers didn't really like the wolves, I think a lot of suspicion rubbed off onto Leda. I guess they thought of her as a witch! Leda said this one time jokingly. I was immediately interested, but she didn't seem to want to talk about it. You would think with my experience I could tell if someone was or wasn't a witch, but it's honestly not always easy to know... I haven't seen her do any magic yet, so I guess it remains a mystery for now...

Rock Star Leda

Smilla loved to go to Leda's house and learn about the wolves. Smilla's parents weren't so excited about Smilla spending all that time with Leda, or, I guess more importantly, with the wolves. They thought it was dangerous. And, apparently, their worst fears were confirmed when Leda was injured by one of the wolves! She had some nasty scarring on her back when one of the young wolves got too rough with her. See, generally Leda just observed the wolves, but one day she came across a young wolf with a broken leg. As a researcher, she isn't supposed to interfere, but this wolf was not part of the pack she was studying, and there was something strange about it. So despite misgivings, she took it in and helped it heal. It became something of a pet. Smilla loved it, the way any kid probably loves a pet dog and they became fast friends. But I guess it didn't know its own strength, and that's how Smilla got hurt so badly playing with it. Or, I think anyway. No one seems to like to talk about it.

Smilla wasn't angry at all about the injury, but I think it made her shy about her appearance... It didn't seem to make her lose interest in Leda or the wolves at all, either. Her parents stepped up their efforts to get her to stay away from Leda, but Smilla proved surprisingly disobedient and kept going back anyway!

Not too long after all this happened, Smilla was old enough to go to college, and her parents were all too glad to send her to Boston when she said that's where she wanted to go to school. No wolves there, they figured! I bet they are kicking themselves now, however, since Leda unexpectedly got a teaching fellowship here and came too. I'm sure this was no accident, but they both claim it was coincidence...

Leda brought along the wolf that injured Smilla. She says it is not advisable to do something like this, but she was afraid to leave it there on its own. It never was accepted by the pack, and the villagers were less forgiving than Smilla, so no one else would've ever taken it in. You'd never know it wasn't Smilla's wolf tho, as whenever she is around, it sticks to her like glue.

LRRH & the Wolf

I didn't really mention much about Wulf yet. He is very shy, but very devoted to Smilla. They seem to be childhood friends from back in the village. He clearly has a huge crush on her, but I am not sure if Smilla has figured it out yet! I think she might like him back, but... she can be sort of a lost cause when it comes to romance! I suspect he followed her here too, although this also is supposed to be "coincidence". Smilla seems to attract a lot of those, doesn't she? ~.^

Thanks elfinity!

Wulf doesn't talk much about himself, so I don't know too much about his family yet. Leda hasn't talked a whole lot about her family either, she mostly manages to just talk about work. But I do know she has a lot of brothers. I hope to meet some of them someday!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Frog Princess

Frog Princess
Originally uploaded by esmereldes
Since I told the story of how Mimi-chan left NY and ended up here, maybe I should tell the story of how Mimi-chan got to be in NY in the first place.

As I mentioned, Mimi-chan is a princess (but there's no way I'm calling her Mimi-hime!!), so of course she wasn't from the US originally. Truth be told, I'm a little hazy on where Mimi did come from. I know, I know, this is really bad since I'm studying international diplomacy, but it's one of those really small countries without much of a military that has a bit of a spell on it to try to make people forget it's there. So it's understandable if I don't remember, right?

Anyway, Mimi's parents are very traditional. Not all royalty is these days, but Mimi's family isn't really ready to change with the times just yet. That's why they are so anxious to make her into a proper young lady, even tho it is quite obvious Mimi is not suited for it!! XD Mimi tends to be a bit grumpy and contrary, and, sad to say, actually seems to have a bit of an anger management problem! I think it's totally understandable if she doesn't want to act like something she is not, but she does need to learn to control her temper... Esp. if she's going to be governing someday! Poker faces are important!

Mimi says she spent a lot of time running away from her lessons tho. She liked to explore the woods and swamp around the castle, there were always interesting things going on, and she was trying to make a map of the area. (at least there is one useful subject that she will like studying in school!) It's possible that part of the reason Mimi spent so much time on her map project was not all dedication - her parents didn't really believe in buying her many toys, or at least they didn't want to buy her *good* toys - only toys that were for proper young ladies. And there weren't any kids her own age around to play with. I feel a bit bad for her, because that's still true here! Poor Mimi.

So, I guess one day Mimi had run off from her piano lessons and was
searching for a good toy to play with. She found this golden ball on one of her mom's shelf and decided that might make an ok toy, even if playing catch with yourself seemed a bit lame, and "borrowed" it. She kind of suspected it was real gold and that moving it wasn't a good idea, but I guess when you are growing up in a palace you don't take gold as seriously as you do if you are living on a farm...

Once she got outside, she got bored with catch pretty quickly and ended up going back to her map project. She stuffed the ball in her pocket and headed out for the patch of swamp she'd been working on exploring. As she was stomping around there, she heard someone calling to her - she said she was afraid that it was her piano teacher, because of the scratchy sound of the voice. Fortunately, it turned out not to be him. However, the voice came from a really weird source! It turned out to be coming from a frog!

Aramina thought this was kinda weird, but honestly, turning someone into a frog is a really basic witch enchantment. It was one of the first lessons I learned, actually, and even I could do it with some level of competancy. The trick is really in getting someone to *drink* the potion that turns them into a frog - I mean, it tastes really nasty! There's a variation where you can just splash it on someone, but it's a lot more expensive because of the rare ingredients. I guess if you are really going to work an enchantment that was important to you tho, it might be worth the investment...

Sorry, I just got off on a tangent there! Mimi didn't know all this stuff
about frogs and enchantment, her education was sadly lacking in magical instruction. I would've thought that most royalty would teach their children some of the basics of enchantment so they could avoid it, but I guess maybe her parents thought that wasn't proper for young ladies to know either? I'm not sure why they would think that tho, so many princesses get involved in breaking enchantments... Oh, but wait, I'm off on a tangent again! So Mimi was surprised to hear a frog talking, but after she got over the shock, the frog turned out to be pretty good company. He was funny and a good listener, and best of all he was a frog, so he was very helpful in terms of filling in some missing info on her map!

Things took a difficult turn, however, when the frog asked her for a kiss
out of the blue! (now, if she'd had any magical instruction, she would've expected this, really...) She was disgusted by his suggestion - she still thinks kissing is a bit gross, and with a frog? He was getting quite pushy, so Mimi scrambled back and looked for something to throw... Of course she found only the gold ball in her pocket. Without thinking (because that's what happens when you have a bad temper) she chucked the ball at the frog. Unfortunately the frog ducked, and the ball went splashing into the water!! Mimi suddenly realized what she had done and was horrified, she didn't want her parents to yell at her for losing the ball!

Sensing an opportunity, the frog offered to get the ball back for her - for
a price. Although Mimi still refused to kiss him, she did agree to take him home with her and be his friend. He seemed pleasant enough, except for the kissing thing, and any friend was better than no friend.
All went well for a while, but he was always after her to kiss him. Often
this resulted in her throwing things at him. One day he made her so mad, she threw HIM. And he went *splat* right against the wall! Mimi was horrified, once again, by her impulsive behavior, but it turned out the frog didn't just squash - he turned into a boy!

Mimi's screaming brought her parents in at a run, but it turns out they
weren't surprised at what happened (and neither would poor Mimi have been if she'd known much about magic. Although kissing is the way enchanted princes prefer to have their enchantments broken, any act of passion - including anger! - will work. Boys. Always obsessed with the kissing.... Tho, in this case, I guess I can't blame them... Who would want to be thrown against a wall? :P) After some uncomfortable moments, Mimi's parents explained that Mimi's father had been under the same enchantment when they had first met, and that basically the
same story had played out - she brought the frog home in exchange for retrieving the golden ball, which had been her favorite toy, and broke the enchantment on him. Mimi's parents had married almost immediately after the enchantment was broken, since that was traditional. I guess Mimi's father was more overprotective than traditional, however, because he didn't want to marry Mimi off to this strange boy immediately and decided to figure out who he was first.

Turned out that the boy's name was Philip, but he was pretty hazy on where he came from. I'm not sure if that was an aftereffect of the spell, or if he just sucked at geography. (tho, like I said, it can be pretty hard to remember where those small countries are anyway...) It took a few months for Mimi's dad to work out where Philip was from. In the meantime, Philip and Mimi grew pretty close. He taught her to play soccer, which Mimi thought was the best game ever! Mimi's mom is much more of a traditionalist, and kept insisting to her dad that Mimi and Philip really ought to marry. Esp. since they seemed so happy together (even if soccer was NOT appropriate for a young lady!) So it turned out that once Philip's parents were located, a bethrothal was arranged (a very LONG bethrothal, to pacify Mimi's dad). Philip was actually a younger son, so it was further agreed that Philip would stay with Mimi's parents to learn about governing the kingdom (since Mimi was an only child). The kids were pretty happy about the prospect of getting to hang out together (Philip had been pretty bored at home too) even if they were a bit squeamish about the whole marriage thing, 'til they learned that Mimi was supposed to go to NY to this boarding school to learn "diplomacy and deportment".

As I already told you, the school thing didn't turn out so well. I think
Mimi would really like to go home, but she's stuck here for the moment. She says it doesn't matter because she's not getting married, and even if she did, it wouldn't be to Philip! He's just a friend, etc. etc. But I don't
know about that... She spends all her time text messaging with Philip. (You can see her in the picture!)
-- from esmereldes - (?)

She's always glued to that phone. I guess if you are royal you don't have to worry about the phone bill... Philip is always sending her frog themed gifts too, and even tho Mimi pretends she doesn't care, I notice she keeps them all... ;)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Silly me! I realize when I was introducing everyone before, I completely forgot about Mimi-chan. I could say that's because she is one of the newest arrivals here, but the truth is, I just plain forgot! Which is sort of funny, because trust me, Mimi-chan is not at all forgettable normally.

Mimi is the youngest member of our little group. She's only 13. Her full
name is Aramina. And, I know, you'd think her nickname would be MiNA, rather tham Mimi, but this is what her family calls her, and so we've all picked it up. Mimi is sort of a runaway, but her parents know she is here now, so I guess she's not exactly a runaway after all. What happened is that she was sent away to NY to go to this really snobby boarding school. Her parents wanted her to learn manners and suchlike and Mimi wasn't very excited about this, to say the least! So first chance she got, she snuck out and ran off. She's from a more rural area originally though, and I'm not sure she really realized that running away in NY wasn't the same thing.

See, Mimi-chan is a princess. (that might sound surprising, but she's not the only one here that is. In fact, more of us seem to be royalty than not. But I'll get to that later. I'm actually not royalty myself, so sometimes I guess it does surprise me that I am around so many people that are, but other times I just forget. No one here is snobby or anything, so it doesn't always seem important...) So anyway, Mimi used to run away from her castle all the time, but it didn't really count, because everyone knew her and there was no danger anywhere near the castle thanks to her father's guards. Or, rather I should say there was no danger the way there is in NY. There's always things to beware of no matter where you are! So Mimi didn't really know what to be watching out for in NY, even tho she thought she did. But even if she'd thought things through, she probably still would've run away,
she's stubborn and quite tempermental. She just might've had a better plan if she'd thought more...

As it was, she was lucky. Practically as soon as she got away from her
school, she saw a flyer for Talia's band. Talia had already moved here, but was still playing a last few farewell shows back in NY. Mimi had heard of Talia from her sort-of-boyfriend (more on that later) and wanted to check out what this Talia person was like. (Mimi's guy is named Philip. He's a big fan of Talia's music somehow, and I think Mimi was jealous, tho she won't admit it! XD) Of course, Mimi is way too young to get into a bar, so she was trying to sneak in and Talia found out about it. There aren't so many kids that try to sneak into shows in NY, esp. not ones dressed the way Mimi was, so Talia was wondering what was up. She let her into the show on the condition that she stick around later to talk. When Talia found out what had happened, she insisted that Mimi come stay with her for a while. I
think Mimi was a little overwhelmed by Talia, and even if she started out jealous, she ended up impressed! XD So she agreed. Once she got Mimi-chan back home, she was shocked to find out that little Mimi was a cousin of Janet's!! Well, at that point, there was no hope but to call Mimi's parents. They were upset, but agreed to let Mimi stay with Talia on the conditions that she never run away again, and that she take lessons in deportment from Janet. Janet's parents figured that another member of quasi-royalty (Janet is not royalty, precisely, but she's from a highborn family. One of those "lords and ladies" type, tho I'm not sure exactly what her rank is officially) would be able to straighten her out as well as a school, esp. if Mimi were more inclined to cooperate. Of course, what Mimi's parents didn't realize is that Janet is not exactly a model of decorum herself. Their "lessons" are actually pretty comical to behold!! Fortunately for Mimi's parents, Enna and Smilla are here to give lessons on how to be proper ladies. And Talia and Leda are probably good role models too. Maybe some of it will rub off on me too, ne? ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Introducing everyone else!

I suppose now that I have introduced myself, I should introduce some of my friends and family. It would be nice if I could show you a big group photo of us all, but everyone's been so busy, it's been a while since we were all able to get together in one big group. This is the best I could do. We aren't all in it. (I'm not in it because, of course, I am taking the photo...)
Pullip Picnic
That's Wulf and Leda standing in the back, and then - from left to right - Lyyli, Smilla and Enna. Lyyli has changed her hair since this tho, she'd probably kill me for posting this if she saw... ;)
Maybe I can talk Smilla and Enna into throwing a party with me soon... Smilla loves to cook, and Enna is a great hostess. Enna and Smilla are my roommates, by the way. We just had a new girl, named Yuiko, move in also, so now there's 4 of us. Yuiko's arrival would be a great excuse for a party, but I'm afraid she might be overwhelmed by the attention, poor girl. She's not exactly shy, but she really seems to keep to herself. I don't feel like I know her very well yet, even tho we went to the anime convention together a couple of weeks ago... I'll save her introduction for last, maybe by then I'll know more about her. I'll tell you all about Smilla and Enna tomorrow, I think I'll just stick with the general introductions for now!

Smilla was the first of us to arrive in Boston. She's going to school here. Her... mentor? friend? relative? You know, I'm not quite sure of their exact relationship. It's difficult to be *sure* of anything where Smilla is involved. She's not mysterious, but... She's both completely honest and innocent and totally capable of dodging any question that might give you any real info. I don't know how she does it! Anyway, the person I was trying to talk about is Leda. Leda IS kind of mysterious, but in a totally different kinda way. She likes to stir up trouble and you never know quite what to expect from her. She's the oldest of all of us, but certainly doesn't always act it! Still, she's actually quite nice, and she's dedicated to Smilla. Leda is a biologist, and she is supposedly here on a teaching fellowship, but I get the definite impression that she really came here just to keep an eye on Smilla. They are very close, and it's actually rather cute.

Leda lives in a big house outside of Boston with a lot of property. She has this big dog that looks like a wolf that she keeps there. I think it may actually BE a wolf, tho I don't know how she got it through customs then. She brought him with her from overseas. The wolf may belong to Leda, but he acts like he belongs to Smilla. But I guess that is not surprising. Smilla says they grew up together, more or less. Leda rents part of her house out to two other women, Lyyli and Talia. I think she knew Lyyli already, and Talia just moved in recently. Lyyli is older than Smilla and Enna and I. Probably in her late 20s? Even tho she's so much older than me tho, we get
along really well.

Talia is a student like us, but she's in grad school. She's also in a band, tho I think they are sort of broken up so she could come to school. She used to live in NY and seems to know a lot of people... When she got here, she was really happy to find that this other couple, Tam and Janet, lived nearby now. They're from Scotland. We know Tam and Janet because of Wulf. Wulf is also from Smilla's hometown, and he and Smilla are very close. I think he wants to be more than friends with Smilla, but he's so shy. And Smilla is... difficult... XD There's been some progress there, I think, but nothing definitive yet. Still, we all treat them like a couple, because we know they will be eventually! I'm not sure how they all met, but Tam and Janet seem to have adopted Wulf and are always trying to give him advice. Tam is a musician too, but not like Talia. He seems to be good at every instrument, but he favors the violin. He also seems to like tradional folk music best, rather than the rock music Talia is into. Still they love to talk about music together. You might think this would make Janet a bit jealous, but honestly, Tam is ridiculously devoted to Janet, so I think she knows not to worry. They're a really hysterical couple. Janet is stubborn and borders on rude. She's kind of bossy. But you know she means well, so it's hard to take offense. Tam is polite almost to the point of absurdity, and never says something in 5 words when he can say it in 50. It's always entertaining to have them around!

Well, that's a lot of introduction. I don't always write this much, I promise!


365 Toy Project
Originally uploaded by esmereldes
Hi there! My name is Atsuko, and I decided to start keeping an online
journal. I'm kinda used to watching everything that is going on, and I
think maybe someday I'd like to be a journalist or a novelist or something, so I thought maybe writing a blog would be good practice for me. This is gonna sound a bit weird, I guess, but I got into the habit of being really observant and trying to find stories when I was locked in this tower room.
Apparently, my original parents made some sort of stupid deal with a witch. In exchange for some food my father was caught trying to steal from the witch's garden, my parents agreed to give up their soon-to-be born child, who was me. I'm not honestly sure why they thought this was a good deal. I'm sure they had their reasons... Or at least I hope they did. See, I didn't find out about this whole thing until recently, so I'm just not sure what I think about it. I actually don't know my parents very well, they gave me up to their sister's family, who lived far away. She told me, finally, that they were hoping they could hide me from the witch, altho I didn't know why a witch was after me until much later. This plan to hide me with another family member was so clearly stupid, I feel despair. I hate to think that all these unclever people are related to me. I mean - she's a WITCH for god's sake! Do they think hiding me with a SISTER is really going to fool anyone? Oh well, my mom's sister was always good to me, and I had a good childhood, so I won't complain too much. But, of course, after this revelation about the witch, I got really worried and making plans to go off nto hiding on my own, but I didn't manage to do it fast enough - it's hard to try to figure out how to hide and live on your own when you are only 12! - and that very same week the witch came for me.
She took me away and locked me in a room with no doors and no stairs at the very top of a very tall tower. The only way in or out of the room was a small window. The witch put an enchantment on my hair so that it would grow exceedingly long, and when she wanted to come into the tower she would have me let it down out of the window and she would climb up. Now, I hope I don't need to go into the fact that this pretty well sucked. The witch wasn't terribly heavy, and I could wrap the hair around this iron post near the window so she wasn't pulling directly on my head, but it still wasn't comfortable. And, can you imagine what a pain in the butt it is to have so much hair? I was always tripping over it. UGH!
Aside from the hair and the locking in the tower, the witch wasn't so bad. She apparently wanted an apprentice and she *really* hates men, so she thought she'd lock me in the tower so that she could train me and I wouldn't get any ideas about running off with a boyfriend or something and deserting her. Not that she came right out and said this, but that's what I decided was going on based on random things she'd tell me here and there. I think she had a bad experience with a previous apprentice, which makes me feel a bit bad, in a way, because I was a failure as an apprentice too. I ran away the first
chance I got!! It's not that I mean to be ungrateful for the chance to
learn a trade, but come on! That tower was BORING and I don't really like chemistry. Oh sure, you may think witchcraft is all glamorous and stuff if you don't know much about it, but trust me - at the end of the day, it's a lot of math and a lot of chemistry. I wasn't very good at it. I sometimes wonder if the witch was glad I ran away. I kind of hope she found another apprentice, but if she's going to keep locking them in towers, I think she's going to keep having problems....
Anyway, while I was stuck in the tower, I spent a lot of time staring out that window and watching the lives of the birds and the squirrels and even sometimes - very far away - the people that I could see and making up stories about what they were thinking and doing. I was, of course, supposed to be doing my witchcraft homework, but like I said, that stuff was boring. I also spent a lot of time making a knife. I thought about cutting my hair off pretty much constantly, so the whole making a knife plan didn't take long to occur to me. But it wasn't easy to accomplish! First of all, the witch didn't leave me any tools in the tower when she wasn't there. I had to do this caveman style, chipping the rock with another rock into a knife shape. It took a long time to figure out the right technique, and it was tiring!! I'm not caveman-strong, to be honest. The other problem was in making one sharp enough to actually cut my magically enchanted hair. In the end, I did actually have have to pay some attention to my homework after all, in order to solve the problem. Once I had my knife tho, escape was a simple matter. I hacked off my hair, looped it around the post, climbed down and took off! I didn't realize tho that my stupid hair would just start growing back. And it grows FAST! That turned out to be a pain.
Luckily I was able to get a pair of magic scissors that help me keep my
hair under control. I think I am safe from the witch now too, thanks to some other precautions I took. She's probably given up on me anyway, hopefully found that other apprentice... But those are stories for another time.
Wow, I've really gone on and on about myself! Starting tomorrow I'll tell you about my friends and current housemates.