3/17/2022 bought some mystery IEMs for $8. Was hoping for a Tennmak Pro replacement that doesn't sound like garbage but it doesn't quite deliver in terms of soundstage. They sound fine, bass is rolled off and there's a slight bump in the upper mids which is a very unusual tuning for something like this. satisfied with it.
A few weeks ago at Saizeriya I told / I really wasn't making the most out of my time here. I think it's an easy conclusion to make with how I melt into the furniture but I'm surprised at how easily and concisely it slid out my mouth. Inevitable life circumstances are something you just have to endure. To say otherwise is the big short to yourself, to say that your current living arrangement will never change for the better. I don't believe in that anymore. At the same time I don't have some idealistic landscape to work towards anymore. I can imagine what landing on a high 5-figure income job must be like, I can imagine a post-covid routine, but none of it seems particularly appealing. Turning 25 is as unimaginable as turning 50. I get why all the adults inherited a kind of thousand-eye stare. Repeating the same mistakes from high school. All the more reinforcement to what I wrote in prepping.html, I don't live for just myself.
life is much more benign now
3/19/2022 I got some very nice comments about the identity page a while back. I'm thoroughly grateful that someone's found some personal intersections but it's not exactly positive common ground. It's like comparing blackened buboes with a bro or seeing whose peritoneal cyst is deeper.
3/21/2022 Went to a bathhouse in Hanno. Spent the better time of 8 hours there. My favorite bath was this shallow outdoor pool that you sleep in, feeling like a discarded hubcap in the rain. The sauna was also good, there's this big tub of salt that you take and rub on yourself. now you're salty. then you sit there flanked by ossans not knowing where to look but definitely sure where not to look. Finally you emerge and desalinate yourself in the cold bath. perfect.
Gran loves blood and guts. Every evening after her walk she comes home to reruns of dubbed 80's war movies, watching a throroughly greasy stallone machinegunning men in half. After that it's Aibou with its murder mysteries. For a society that has zero tolerance on violence it's interesting how sympathetic murderers are portrayed in cheesy afternoon crime dramas. It's the reassuring nod that the world operates according to a rational algorithm, there's no twisted artisan killers or unexplainable acts of violence. Criminals are desperate or misguided. gran soaks all this in intently, sitting on the floor close to the TV because her hearing's going, occasionally busting out the loupe and 36x24" world map to look for locations mentioned.
3/26/2022 found a romance manga so overbearingly sticky it's actually quite repulsive. this is the standard human reaction to what I read.
3/28/2022 the articles and news segments about frugal living are back. it's 2008 again.
3/29/2022 bought some oatmeal from latvia. I don't know shit about latvia. Also got some mortadella and it's 10/10. Some stone-ground bread, Al ajillo, green olives and I'm set. Film came back, mostly pictures of friends. Standouts include a discarded pink wand and a man getting intimate with pigeons. The C200 was 2 years expired and you can see it. Didn't get blasted by airport scanners though. Played games with my canadian buds, it's been a while. Still looking for that one game we can all get hooked on.
4/2/2022 Made pants while watching Welcome to the Basement. Wore the pants. Black is a good benign color. At the grocery store 3 policemen were huddled around the produce section measuring the shelves. great use of my taxes making sure the cubby for the spanish garlic is up to spec. Occasionally you see the police in arcades playing claw crane machines suspected of rigging, a testament to their boredom as glorified traffic attendants.
I figured it out. With covid I feel exactly the way I did in the US. The same kind of anhedonia and overall disinterest knowing that there's nothing for me out there, to resign the next 2 or 3 years to a forecast of inaction, anxiety about squandered time and a post-now period. It's all the same.
4/8/2022 sewing another anorak. shit my own hips out when I saw an ossan holding a plain prism Nikon F with a 55mm 1.2 at the book-off junk corner until I realized he brought it in to look for a suitable tripod. I like to think my room is haunted and some horrified spirit is watching me do unspeakable things like eat food off the floor like the Teletubbies vacuum
4/12/2022 5am and already there's housewives on their twin-seater bicycles strolling around outside. they are the delta force of moms
4/13/2022 new job. draping myself in muji and casio, a new uniform. also bought new glasses to soften my resting death beam. someone described muji employees as undeniably stylish but profoundly unsexed, sort of chaste linen cultists. Bought the Tamron 90mm 2.5 for $30 and I was dreading the long focus throw but my fears were unfounded. Turns out the range is just extended for macros, the lens is perfectly usable for normal situations in terms of speed.
4/18/2022 * came by. bought expired instax film for $1. Saw a buzz rickson's USN pullover at a shop. It's a jacket I've been fantasizing over since I was in the US. Buzz Rickson's being one of those extremist Japanese repro manufacturers replicating poor stitching because it's authentic. It was $110 but I didn't buy it, I'm not a fan of how denim ages anymore. I still want the off-white variant. I also got to look at how it was sewn together up close.
5/1/2022 So this is it, huh? The job is fine. I'm not going to buy a house this milennia but I'm not grinding myself into dust. Still can't believe it's April and still can't believe these are the life conditions I've landed on. It's a sensation that's hard to articulate because I don't want to elaborate on those feelings. To accept that I've plateaued somehow seems more miserable than being in that state.
I've been stress eating, I'm a slightly more dense skeleton.
5/4/2022 Japan dropped 4 places in the Reporters Sans Frontières press freedom ranking to 71st, placing it above Liberia but below Bosnia and Kenya.
5/11/2022 Aibo had a character who was a former Transnistrian War insurgent. Tokyo MX is so profoundly lo-fi it's impressive. Little movie promo commercials with the actress in front of a poster under horrible office lighting with audio straight from the camera
5/14/2022 Working, not paying attention to anything else. The job is going good. The commute is brutal but the labor is painless, I even get to leave early. It is ass-breaking, the chairs we have are torture devices. Everyone else is a 30-something and nice enough, there's no hormonal ossans in their 50's exploding with petty rage. I was worried that impulsive thoughts on how I could get fired/be excommunicated/get arrested the quickest to stave off boredom would become a problem but that's not the case. That said I know it's not a long-term position and even geographically it's ages away so I've been on alert for what's next. The search for what's next has been predictably fruitless.
Work has replaced all and I'm making some money but it doesn't feel like I'm making progress. Still feels like I'm being left behind, a sensation that I've always tried to worm away from through my late teens. At least my job is benefitting somebody. lots of things on the backburner. I need to make the trip to that twink in Osaka. Need to get back in touch with the Korean guy. The sewing machine is collecting dust. intimacy is scary.
5/20/2022 500,000. that's a number. Still unsure what it means. Thanks to all who have stopped by, I'll add to it when something interesting happens. Been reading a lot. Finished 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, Post-Colonial Melancholia, Strangers in Their Own Land, Tunnels of Củ Chi, Across The Fence: The Secret War In Vietnam. Dutch army boots came in. Dreamed that monetochka died
A mystery roll of film popped out in the US, dated 2003. Oddly it's from a Japanese disposable camera so it must be family vacation photos. excited to get it back.
5/24/2022 Some free time next week. The 15-year old film turned out to be photos of the trip to Kyoto with my dad, the top and bottom of frames fogged after being blasted with luggage scanners. included pictures of grandpa pre-10ft soil deposition and some kids I used to play with. I was near-luminescent sitting next to them.
5/29/2022 not feeling good. Reading Okaeri Arisu, a triumphant story that explores the ontological dilemma "would you fuck your bro if he became a woman?" The plot is quite boring but the author's notes are fascinating. explains the ambrosial depictions of sexuality that are inevitably intertwined with the sort of guilt and shame that trails Chi no Wadachi. The end of chapter vignettes follows his adolescent sexual awakening precipitating into this neurotic sense of disgust in regards to his own body-image.
6/1/2022 god it's june already. dreamed that I got stabbed. every morning i clock in and I offer my wind-blasted skeleton to the thermal camera for review, the tripod it's on is at an accomodating nipple-height so I bend down by the knees, the screen nods that i'm near-catatonic. Finally met with the client. They're a nice bunch. Reiterated multiple times how english doesn't let them properly express their gratitude. I get that sort of disparity. Nothing more infantilizing than learning a new language. Been reading A savage War of Peace, the classic on the Algerian War. There's an onslaught of French phrases thrown in and left untranslated, perhaps out of snooty frenchness or profound understanding of the type of deviant who reads books like these. There's a fascinating bit where Raymond Aron outlines the importance of the Algerian war in a comparative sense with the army's ongoing humiliation from Dien Bien Phu to now Algeria. He warns of a fate in France that has already befallen Spain and Portugal (unsaid that both are not only colonial empires but explicitly fascist)
6/2/2022 TV at gran's. The guy who was accidentally wired $400k in covid aid and subsequently gambled it all away looks exactly as you'd expect. The money came from a tiny Japanese town of 3100. Salameshi was covering workers at Hario. These kiwi commercials are like 2 minutes long, NZ is thoroughly lubricating horrible Dentsu PR men. Grandma was laughing hysterically about a movie where the villans indiscriminately kill people by hacking into pacemakers (she has a pacemaker) "3 people die, one after the other" while chuckling to herself, bloodlust satiated by the TV.
6/5/2022 For all my discontents about life I'm glad that I don't have the messy interpersonal relationship drama that seems to envelop /. None seem particularly serious either, just trifling back-and-forths with co-workers. Fear of alienating someone is as undesirable as inaction it seems like. What a benefit to living near-hermetically.
6/9/2022 My co-worker didn't know what Yu-gi-oh was, I guess speculative card games for children are just for fossils like me. My manager lost paperwork hoo hee ho ho More quirky how-to-save-money variety shows. we're in a recession. A Panasonic electric razor commercial had a drag queen among the salarymen and construction workers shaving in front of the camera. The news had a dedicated zookeeper obsessed with kangaroos who would fight the animals and purposefully lose to stimulate their kangaroo libidos. Anmika was on a variety show talking about how she was so poor canned drinks were a luxury for her family. She's of zainichi korean descent like a surprising number of other Japanese celebrities.
6/11/2022 Bought NOS Zwiling cloth shears for $8, the pricetag was in Deutsche Marks. Finished Newjack by Ted Conover, the same man I realized I saw in a The Moth video about three-thirds into the book.
6/14/2022 Took off a few days and went to Hakone. / said they needed the break as well. 53 minutes by train to Odawara and the rest of the way by bus. Through the 70's there was a general condemnation of the country's modernization with unsightly dam projects all over. Like many parts of Japan (Tokyo included) Hakone remains very untouched, the town located in a valley surrounded by high forests billowing smoke from the natural hot springs. First off to the sulfur fields. Forecast said it would rain both days but we were lucky for a few hours. Went on a short tour guided by two old-timers weaving around the aramid-concrete shelters that dot the hills every 50 meters. Our lead draped in worn polyester vests and HAM radios had a habit of going off into tangents about golf and wrestling instead of talking about the mountain. Heard sporatic artillery fire from the nearby JGSDF base. Then it's off to the ryokan and wander around the shops. Other than your typical regional specialties like fish cake and patterned wooden coasters there were several Chiikawa and Yuru Camp collaboration goods. Found Evangelion bottled water which is just so baffling I bought it. There was also an Eva bus in the same color as the purple mcdonalds monster. Off to a coffee shop decorated with some very specific decor, had apple pie and a cheesecake. / and I both agreed that the kind of specialist fixation we saw there were goals. We're not quite rich enough to stomach large purchases that will get hauled around during moves. Back to the ryokan, hot springs, and dinner provided.
Second day we hauled our corpses to breakfast, checked out, bought gifts and stopped at another hot spring before going home. The main baths were outside and I alternated between boiling myself and getting pelted by rain. Perfect.
6/17/2022 So there's 3 projects underway, 14 is going along really fast and it's satisfing to work on. 11 and 13 are still hobbling about despite the extra hours I've transitioned into them this month. Had to reprimand some unruly coworkers. Don't like it but it's part of my job. They're old enough, they should know better. Don't know what to think of my manager, he keeps making paperwork errors (which is completely fine) but he carries this unreadable blank expression at all times. Outright contempt is much easier to parition.
Staying at Gran's continues to be strange. There's such a jarring shift in priorities while I'm there that it's
6/18/2022 working full-time has made my half-assed vegetarianism exceedingly hard. worth doing regardless. Reading Japan since 1980, tracking the economy from the 70's to conveniently, 2007. Its praise for neoliberal beethoven doppelganger Koizumi is retrospectively hilarious. fukuyama moment. there was a hellish magazine circulating on jp twitter titled "how YOU can live LUXURIOUSLY on $20,000 a year"
Reading 隣のお姉ちゃんが好き and it's good? The dialogue has a rhythm to it and the pacing is refreshing boring for a romance? New はなにあらし , it makes me complete. it's the sort of story you grimace through in order to not betray this eveloping stone-faced personality you've adopted since your teens as a narrow definition of adulting. Watching a Japanese variety show from 15 years that made one of the hosts (victims) buy a luxury item. In 2007 two-tone Rolex Daytonas were apparently 180,000 yen, which would be $1300USD now.
7/4/2022 doing a good job keeping co-workers at a distance. I keep reminding myself they're just strangers that I meet every week. the difficulty sleeping continues.
7/7/2022 Another bit of glittery propo on the box. Keita Machida playing a downtrodden construction worker shat on by classmates at reunions, pathetically dodging debt collectors at his crumbling hovel, they might as well have a flash mob queue to successively rub excrement on his face. it's pretty much the worst-case evolutionary path for a single japanese male despite Machida resembling a glistening long-haired libido machine. After a street fight with some steretypical dyed-hair leather-jacketed baddies he gets arrested and fired from his job. After that he joins the JGSDF to learn the virtues or hard work. I guess the moral of the story is that violence is bad, unless you're paid to do it by the state.
New drama series based off Itaewon Class. I know desperate TV men are forced to compress pilots until actors don't have time to breath between lines but it's staggeringly retro, the TV equivalent of those Cal Worthington car commercials. There's a scene where the dad, dying after a car accident reaches for a picture of his family. The plot is so morally unambiguous there might as well be an approval rating overlay constantly bobbing up and down. It's also staggeringly Korean with montages and slow-motion. I do like the casting choices despite all the high schoolers looking like they're in their mid-thirties, they seemed to have chosen deliberately strange looking cast members like Teruyuki Kagawa. The dad (Ken Mitsuishi especially looks like every korean irvine transplant I've ever met.
7/8/2022 I'll drink to that
7/9/2022 Finished My Dark Places by James Ellroy, Dispatches by Michael Herr. Dana Stone makes an appearance. or maybe he didn't. I like my co-worker even though he looks like a man who has perfected his cunnilingus embrachure
7/22/2022 went back in time 15 years to rewatch はねるのトびら , a show that has a segment where people attempt to pick through items at a fictional dollar store and whatever they choose they have to pay. Half are 100 yen and the other half are luxury items.
7/29/2022 ceramic firing is really interesting, using things like horsehair and corn husks to burn patterns onto the surface of pottery. Watched an NHK documentary about one of those masochistic buddhist temples. The old temple webpage included journal entries from the German trainee titled "2004 Shitpaper" before he was presumably reined in by the head priest. The documentary is odd. Similar to most other glossily produced coverage it highlights the fleeting passage of the seasons, the ritual drudgery, dhukka emanating from the participants, it's all something I've seen before. What I noticed is that the documentary takes a very nihilistic view. The aimless trainees who come from all over the world are still left with open questions about the answers to life that neither the head priest provides nor do they stumble upon during 14-hour prayer sessions. The little excerpts from Nichiren do nothing to allay their fears about squandered time or purpose. My question is does this shit work? Decouple yourself from your material reality, starve yourself a bit, forget about bills and children and careers to pray for 5 years to become a priest. The suicide prevention priest from "The Departure" spoke about his enthusiasm for working minimum wage after enduring the austere (unpaid) rigors of life as a buddhist trainee. Is that what the trainees at Antaiji are seeking when they talk about their existential anxieties? Accepting the four noble truths is one thing, inescapable material poverty is another.
Went back in time again watching old Japanese commercials. Gran would record Ultraman and Hamutaro onto VHS tapes and post them to the US. What struck me were how cheap-looking the toys they used to peddle. Lots of printed and folded paper, plastic injection molding should've been all over the toys space by 1997. I miss warm lighting and soft filters.
A compilation of pulled Japanese ads. except that time nissin used the portrayal of child soldiers in an instant noodle ad most of the complaints are rather sensible. People at dinnertime don't want to see 3D depictions of cockroaches in an insect repellent ad. Sometimes the Siren (PS2 ad is just too scary. The most noticable pattern is how allergic Japanese consumers are to any sort of portrayal of alienation or discrimination. the expectant silence during office meetings or "oh... you're on a different cell carrier" among a group of friends hits home to people
8/?/2022 TV show about the showa era. From burning trash on school campus to casual corporal punishment it outlined the brutishness and unrefinement of people living through the 60's and 70's. The biggest shock was probably housewives casually dropping occupied mousetraps into a bucket of water for liquidation.
8/3/2022 30,000 daily cases in Tokyo, globally Japan was #1 for the first time. came across one of those twitter feeds that reminds you of your aching stupidity, just totally inferior.
When I was a teenager I was deathly afraid of become a boring adult, the kind wholly satiated by grilling and doing sudoku on the weekends. The kind whose stylistic kodawari fell away long ago to pragmatic convenience and apathy. I became one of those working NPC's recently commuting among the black masses. But I'm trying, I'm desperately clawing back the effort to care about what to wear again, the desire to pursue drawing and pottery and gardening and sculpting and stonecarving. I want to care, to invest myself in something beyond my material existence or homeostasis in my bank account. I don't want to continue worrying about squandered youth or careers or experiences. I wish I could pause time so I could accrue these skills, to become skilled and interesting and gratified and fuckable. I want to feel at peace with myself.
8/20/2022 SA came down to visit, two skeletons blowing in the rain and wind. Met up at Musashikosugi, closer to me than him but still took 40 minutes. Walked around a bit before settling down for some yakiniku. Instead of typical babby portions the resturaunt really piled it on. Locally known as "why do you know this? man" I jazzed him with my intimate knowledge of plane crash incidents and internet shock videos. Very effective, he was definitely imagining a future with me. Same as always. After that we oogled at the bougie stuff people here buy at Grand Tree, a 5-story shopping mall.
I enjoyed it. The conversations that always start with "I wonder...," carelessly trading thoughts between two egoless people. Constantly amazed by how long-term he thinks, a bit different to the wandering neuroticism that haunts me. Thoughtful, introspective, curious, like 9 feet tall, his girlfriend is lucky.
8/21/2022 fabric prints came back. I got access to DALLE 2 so some were images from there, morally the least questionable source I've ever used. linen this time. after disassembly I hung up some posters and made camera straps.
8/?/2022 uhhhhhhh made stuff, found stuff
hispanic? wooden carving
carsoro from hylics, clay
camera strap, print from Bruno Munari's Art as Design
9/1/2022 Flooding in our apartment from a leaky pipe, a first that I've experienced something like this. Luckily nothing got damaged and I learned that 4 liters of water from a carboy is enough to shower with. Bought some linen fabric back at Tokorozawa mingling with the housewives. 700 yen/M fabric and 50 yen YKK zippers can't be beat. I bought a ring. Don't know if I'll like wearing it. Putting off buying this reproduction of an late-period Egyptian ring just in case I don't. Silver really isn't that expensive and making rings doesn't seem that hard. Something on the list.
9/23/2022 Work has been going nowhere lately, global strategy department walking in circles as always. Borrowed the instax this week. Love the results, don't like the cameras. Read アリスさんちの囲炉裏端. Has gorgeous art, the MC resembles a less sexy sonichu with his late 2000's spiky hair. Also read 付き合ってあげてもいいかな, the sort of GL where the two main characters fight over nothing and make up every chapter. Saw a non-functional AT Soundburger at book-off. $45.
9/24/2022 my condolences to the people living on the other garbage island
9/26/2022 Went to Nikko for 2 days, the standard 6th grade field trip destination in Tochigi Prefecture. Like most japanese vacations spots it's mountainous, has a big river, and is dotted with hot springs. The train ride there is streaked with green and yellow fields of rice and canola, flat like the route to narita airport. There were symbiotic colonies of elderly in mesh photographer vests laughing about their health and diseases, father and son on opposite ends of the body spectrum both chewing the same gum furiously under their masks.
We hiked 6km or so, I left my sneakers at work so I wore leather shoes like a pervert. The roving gangs of red-tailed dragonflies ensured that we never met any mosquitos. Didn't encounter any leeches either, I'm rather disappointed at that. At the bus stop near a sunbleached green fujifilm bench we were accosted by an old man to look at his plants and talk local tochigi news. _ and _ called him 共産党おじさん because of the 5 communist party posters he had up. Like many elderly he's probably thoroughly bored. After staggering to our ryokan there was a 2 hour wait to check in so we played cards in the lobby with the las vegas cards from 2002. After that it was ping pong. Dinner was a buffet with free alcohol, they even had the fancy automated beer servers. After that it was the baths, again populated with the same middle-aged office laborers with imprinted belt marks around their waist like WWE champions. What is it about hot water that joins the Japanese together? A return to the womb?
9/29/2022 The news is forlorn that so few g7 leaders attended abe's funeral lol
got accosted by some jehovas at lunch
10/1/2022 Found a Yashica T for $4. Only mildly broken. Getting back into watches, what a mistake. _ saw Miyazaki Hayao picking up trash by the river
thinking of going to kyoto before it starts snowing. getting assaulted by the weather and boars and monkeys
(∩｀-´)⊃━☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ back to top ⤴
1/5/2022 The Gotō family segments on かりそめ天国 are just the best. Conventional Japanese variety shows parade a few corpses, mostly comedians, to a restaurant to extract their exaggerated reactions. That's it, that's TV. In contrast the Gotōs all have this solemn thousand-eyed stare like they've experienced Dien Bien Phu together. One of them said their A5 steak was like cotton candy. Another said the highlight of their tailored day-long vacation to Chiba was a bookstore. As media iconoclasts they're so profoundly unsuitable for Japanese TV you can see the souls leaving the hosts' bodies once they hear their throroughly strange reception to eating expensive food or staying at expensive resorts.
1/6/2022 Reading And the Band Played On, the famous 1987 book about the AIDS epidemic. For a large child like me a pre-AIDS world is perfectly unimaginable, CDC investigators drawing blood without gloves or unscreened blood transfusions actually happened in a more complacent time. Like mouth pipetting it all sounds like a pathologist's distant nightmare. The arguments levelled toward public health measures is resoundingly familiar today. Retrospectively sexual liberation and the bathhouse proponents sound quite out there, I didn't expect just how radical their positions had been. You also get a taste of gay sectarianism when places like the Castro district were at its peak alongside the workplace politics between the CDC and CDI that inhibited joint HIV/AIDS research.
Still haven't finished The Aesthetics of Degredation, Dilemma in Japan, or Post-colonial Melancholia.
1/8/2022 Went off to Kanazawa-Hakkei to buy film off a housewife. Strange little place, arteries of cars and footpaths slicing apart the surrounding station. I wish we had a central market like theirs. The windowless department store had unsually slow escalators and the maternal intercom telling kids to behave, the sort of tonal presentation that sends an inappropriate jolt down your back. A decent amount of people including pensioners who glide stiffly across the floor like reanimated sex dolls. Met up with the mom, 11 rolls of Superia 400 expired in 2011 for $12. Came with the original 20-roll box it came in, price she paid back in 2009 was $60. She called me an イケメン which I'll remember until I draw my last breath.
1/16/2022 Finished Wages of Guilt by Ian Buruma, lessons on the post-war reformations of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Post-war memories are a funny thing isn't it. I wrote a reading project review on the Portuguese colonial war last year and the conclusions are completely different from this book. Whoops nazi administrators didn't get weeded out by the West Germans and whoops American occupation preserved the Japanese elite that led to the war. Shatters any comforting fictions that the Germans had adequately confronted their past and the Japanese are actively avoiding it. Very striking interviews from former 1968 student radicals to Japanese veteran confessionals, anti-Vietnam war activists to East German schoolteachers.
The opinions of reactionaries yearing for a past that never existed are always predictably paper-thin but the majority of the book isn't about ogling the ghouls. Instead it's the stories and conclusions of middling political pragmatism. Prime ministers formerly on the Class-A war criminals designation, bureacrats wishing not to the rock the boat, figures in power wholly uninterested in the theatre of justice and accountability. Bouncing from academic and political discourse to public consensus Buruma manages to worm his way through amorphous anxieties and rationalizations without latching onto classic essentialist cultural explanations of genocide and war crimes.
just saw some snufkin BL
1/18/2022 an absolute flurry of inspiration, this time in regards to furniture and interiors. I look at pictures of mushrooms and I see tables, houseplants I see lamps, speakers I see tables. hylics furniture here I come
1/24/2022 found a japanese dad's blog. not brave enough to fill up my apartment with scrap lumber. Need to buy at least a jigsaw first. When I was a kid I used to hold one between my legs as an improvised scrollsaw. Loss of limb is very exciting. Started making an Akabeko, must be 15 years since I've last touched paper mache. I love spending money, steadily skipping towards destitution.
1/27/2022 Playing animal crossing again. A touch of Veep. Randal Park as a "I served in the military" sound device is such good casting. Reading Mao's Great Famine, Gulag Voices: Oral Histories of Soviet Incarceration and Exile. Think my last year's resolution was to sew enough clothes to never have "off-days." I've found that while I've become able to do that during the summer it's impossible in 2C weather. The vulgar pragmatism of puffer jackets isn't terribly interesting. Conversation with _ on how to age gracefully while we were at sushiro. By the time I turn 50 it's time to wear suits and kimonos every day.
I am slowly digging myself out of this creative block. Thinking of workspaces, outfits, idealistic landscapes to work towards.
2/3/2022 started wearing N95's. finished The Aesthetics of Degredation. not what I was expecting. The government is moving to take down sites that upload manga spoilers on behalf of publishing companies. they really have nothing better to do. Meanwhile reuters makes the same mistake that your gullible uncle on facebook does.
2/4/2022 bought the miku prize figure. no regrets. still messing about with paper mache. haven't stalked through neocities profiles lately, I need to catch up. bought vieira milenium cookies, I love escabeche but this is the first portuguese object that I've put in my mouth. like a very greasy oreo.
life has been more literal these past 3 years. introspection is pointless when you have tangible worries to focus on. still trying to enjoy things. haven't been drinking.
2/9/2022 Vegetable prices are going up. The interior photos on myfigurecollection are really something. This is a good one. This too. My SA friend is trying to go from a dead Macbook Pro to an M1 Mini, the hoops he's enduring in order to migrate his data off a proprietary 12+16 connector is staggering. bought pottery-finish clay and glue for paper mache at daiso. found another japanese blog looking up stuff to make. In terms of sewing I'm almost finished with a linen jacket but I'd like to tackle a winter garment before spring. Think I'll have to hold off on a wool kimono. you also have to be a very particular person to wear double-breasted jackets. More anoraks is probably the surefire choice. I need to buy interesting fabric.
"the woman at the post office is so short I could effortlessly breastfeed her"
2/14/2022 Read In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi, a story about reconnecting with her estranged father who came out as trans at the age of 76. You sort of expect familial narratives like this to be embarrassing to read, specially on subject matter this provocative. The usually bay area or Massachusetts upper-class non-practicing jewish author shares a bit too much, self-deprecates their liberal naievety a bit too much, exhausted platitudes about life wrap up chapters a bit too conveniently. Adam Gopnik comes to mind, unironically scaralizing the tenents of milquetoast American liberalism in a 2019 book as an argument directed towards his unconvinced daughter. Or Joyce Maynard's cripplingly exhibitionistic memoirs of her affair with J.D. Salinger, chapters dripping with self-absorption adorned with too many confessions. Faludi reflects on the divorce culminating in a stabbing and restraining order, her father's identity living through the war and nodding along to Serbian-style invented nationalist traditions. Recollections of her father traces a mutualistic respect and disdain. In renouncing the present "I" from her writing Faludi is able to convincingly look at her father's previously undescipherable rationalizations of estrangement.
Faludi's family is of Jewish Hungarian background. What do I know about Hungary? Nothing. I've never even met a Hungarian. Imagine all the redditors out there that can tell you more about Mordor than Budapest. She explores what it means to be trans (Blanchard passingly mentioned like some sort of academic voldemort), what it means to be jewish in Hungary (not good), and what it means to exist in a post-USSR Hungary.
2/16/2022 It's really something to see someone so well-dressed and well-groomed you feel totally outclassed with the exception of your squandered priviledge. going to make a bucket hat like ayu-mi-x. I've made a hat before but it was a bit odd, too odd. Turns out you don't need much fabric and it's a great way to reuse scraps. Found an Akabeko and primed 8x8 canvases for $3 each. Was planning on spraypainting to match my room but I think he's quite cute. Some damage but nothing unfixable.
made the hat. there's something about tau proteins coursing through the folds that renders you productive
2/21/2022 Making a third hat. Bought a linen skirt to dismember into fabric. Had mutton curry, a first in Japan I think. Indian food in Japan is overwhelmingly made by Nepali or Bangladeshi immigrants with the anxiety that their home cuisine isn't as marketable. I grew up hearing the same stories among relatives who worked in US kitchens in the 80's, scornfully making Chinese food because sushi hadn't landed yet. It was good. I want a tandoor in my house.
2/24/2022 well, fuck.
2/26/2022 Came back from Chichibu in Saitama. Took a bus deep in the mountains. Lots of twists and turns, once even driving on top of a dam. A bit of snow on the ground. Went up the mountain, took a few pictures around the temple and came back to the station. Ate yakiniku at the food court first and then off to the onsen next door, lots of 50-something hikers draped in VX21 and wool. The sauna and rotenburo was 10/10, alternating between 40 degree water and the cold outdoor breeze. There were also these giant earthenware pot baths stuffed with 3 or 4 sweaty men each.
made a second hat with the linen skirt. I quite like it. A difficult balance treading into bonnet or daisy mae territory.
VDV in Bucha were shooting at a static BDRM monument, 10/10.
3/1/2022 Read An Inventory of Losses, a book close to A Compendium of Obselete Objects in spirit. Translated from its original German, Schalansky's prose kicks along rhythmically. Covering subjects from extinct wildlife and Sappho's lost poetry, I expected the sentimental tone of a distant witness, someone observing inevitable destruction. Instead she sets the stage with hypothetical could-have's presented in a straight-faced chronological narrative. She speculates about what the Mangaia natives must have felt during their contact with James Cook. The second chapter narrates the internal monologue of two captured caspian tigers during the Roman empire in a segment of conjecture that makes my romatic daydreams seem unembarrassing.
I don't think this is an inherited tone borne from translation and the author's excellent prose is unwavering throughout, but I feel as if those ultimately subtract from An Inventory of Losses. To me the stories of neglect, appropriation, erasure, and destruction should not need ornamentation to be vivid. Bad history is always born not through malice but congenital falsehoods or narratively convenient half-truths, and this book sits on the murky demarcation between fiction and non-fiction, objective fact and aspirational fantasy.
r*ddit is suddenly pro-nuclear proliferation lol
3/3/2022 Ordered some printed fabric. Started reading Behind the Urals an American enigneer's memoirs of working at a Soviet blast furnance in Magnitogorsk. His experiences are filtered through his unvarnished interactions with the other workers, recollections bordering on ethnography. Bringing in foreign advisors and equipment, the plant was modelled after American industrial cities like Gary, Indiana. Today Gary police recommend drivers not to stop at red lights because you'll get carjacked. He's quick to outline the post-revolution successes in literacy and education but that doesn't blind him to the mismanagement and shortages that normal people had to vigilantly navigate.
As a reaction to sanctions Anna News published some racial caricatures and wrote "Where is your ninja and samurai spirit japan?" in a move so puerile it's actually quite cute.
3/4/2022 Someone on twitter scanned A Short History of the Anarchist Movement In Japan, very grateful. Had some alright luck at bookoff today. First a basic muji jacket that was on sale down to $3. Wanted an apron so I'll wear it as a work jacket, maybe cover it in embroidered patches. Also found a japanese version of the The Eco-Design Handbook for $2. Filled with pictures from furniture to clothing to cars, right up my alley. Finally I found a for-parts Minolta 35II for $5. It's an M39 rangefinder made by Chiyoda Kogaku back when Minolta was still a brand name. Fairly basic Barnack Leica derivative with a narrow combined rangefinder, my copy had a bricked shutter. What's special is that it came with the lens, a moldy Rokkor 5cm f/2. Looking forward to cleaning it up and shooting my Canon P with it. What a far cry from the sticky Nikon N8008's and EOS 1000QD's that I always grimace through.
3/6/2022 Actually looking for music, going through my shazam screenshots. Between 1994 and 2014 the median income in Japan has dropped by $10k for 35-44 year olds and $18k for 45-54 year olds. Imagine that, people have less to spend today than after a country-defining recession.
3/8/2022 i hate my life but i love this music
3/11/2022 played Golden Light, a first-person roguelike bodyhorror comedy. I actually miss souplantation, I miss their chowder that was like drinking wallpaper paste.
3/15/2022 I remember a swedish tourist looked at me and laughed in kyoto because I was holding the curved handle of my umbrella with my mouth
got the fabric prints in, they look fantastic. Using them as posters/tapestries for now, will sew with them later. no photos because I'll get kaczynski'd for using art without permission. I still need to browse neocities, haven't followed anyone in a while. Still averse to being seen, being noticed.
(∩｀-´)⊃━☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ back to top ⤴
12/5/2021 painted the mysterious overchan logo. I know nothing else about the image's origins.
12/8/2021 rain. painted aukse's art of a massive man eating spaghetti. good learning experience, took me back to when I was 8 scribbling penguins or whatever. drawing is hard but painting is fun, especially the alchemy of mixing colors.
12/11/2021 It's tangerine and kotasu season. Walked 2 hours, just wandering. Might as well get my fill before 35+ degree weather gets here. Taking more photos too, I've come to terms that some rolls will be duds and that's fine. Also thinking of projects because all my photos are sorted by camera. Found a wonderful nursery, an absolutely massive place populated with all kinds of plants and all kinds of pensioners. Saw a dioon edule for $15 that was really tempting. They also had fruiting tangerine trees for $30. Bought a Boston Fern for $8. Thought I was going to piss my pants on the walk back, spending money must've awakened something in me. A hot dog van was playing this over the speaker, incredible.
12/12/2021 Seeing a ton of small families wandering about on the weekends. My neighborhood lacks 20-somethings and 80-somethings. Reading America and The Spirit of Terrorism Baudrillard is hilarious, something you would never expect to say. His unwavering hatred for joggers(lit. reads like a Screenwipe episode. Massive Tarkov update, new map, new faction, VOIP, above all the flea market restrictions and changes to inertia changes everything. It's a step towards a much slower, risk averse style of playing that I've been on my knees for.
12/13/2021 Drawing is really fun. Bought some more pentel acrylics and mitsubishi 4B pencils, no guilt. I'm getting better at copying images, probably not a terribly educational process. Coping by telling myself all the good artists trace. If there's anything to motivate you artistically it's contempt.
12/14/2021 painted cel's bury pink, still lots of fun. I really like the fern I got. bought the thing again, the bread that looks like a giant croissant covered in icing. 30g of fat and 60g of sugar.
12/15/2021 Another mangaka's passing announced through twitter. 44 years old. Her art was the kind that adorns newspaper columns. Always strange to go through newly inactive twitter accounts. Her 2 kids are now in a new stage of their lives.
Tried to draw houshou, circular eyes are hard. tried to paint dali spurdo, mixing paint is hard. that's alright. For any creative hobby I've tried to purposefully isolate myself from the orthodoxy and the fundamentalism that some of their communities emmanate. Not on an inspirational level, trying to come up with something new in clothing is akin to self-mutilation. You'll inevitably cross thematic streams or just gleefully copy people, physically pirating intellectual property is cool. And so I shut myself out. No how-to guides, no clothing patterns, no chin-stroking process write-ups. Same goes for taking pictures. I have no plans to deviate away from the spirit of a photographic journal anytime soon. What I churn out might be good, they might be overdone, but they are unwaveringly authentic.
I don't know if this mindset can extend to drawing. A poster said that 90% of accruing good drawing skills is intuition. Repetition built over years of starting over and ironing flaws. But drawing is hard. Drawing takes 5+ years to produce eye-sore adjacent creations, for any hobby you usually have to escape an irrevocable disparity in talent, that you just don't match up and the people squirting out bangers are just cut differently. This is the first hobby where I'm not giving up in resignation, the apogee of drawing in hard, confident lines is years away but I'm not forlorn about the distance. Maybe I'm waiting for that blast of brilliance, the microplastic crossing my blood-brain barrier that turns me into a drawing savant, the one crumb of hope that will never be answered. Hoping that you'll be better is a paper-thin motivator, sure, but it's present. I haven't felt the creative wall everyone toils with when their skills and their visions seems like they will never dovetail together. I'm managing my expectations and I'm having fun. That's new. Failure is painless when supplies are cheap and mistakes can be painted over. in a few years I'll be drawing sooper gud on a cintiq
12/20/2021 bought the $10 4kg box of tangerines. Read The Nation-State Fantasy. Research papers aren't that fun to read. Started reading Postcolonial melancholia. Apparently coral are starting to develop in Tokyo Bay, we are so fucked.
12/27/2021 A very japanese christmas. I don't think I've laughed this much watching かりそめ天国, it felt like no one was in control of this glorious car crash. 家、ついて行ってイイですか had a couple in their 50's living in the Iruma countryside, goals right there. Their farms were productive to the degree that they never bought vegetables, they remodel their house willy nilly, wife had a dedicated workbench space.
12/29/2021 Still drawing. Still thinking about the girl behind the counter at the bakery. Spent 3 hours adding to the nekojiru wiki page.
12/31/2021 new years with the uncle and his buddy, entertaining two ossans in their 60's. It was alright. Talk about biden replicants, paranormal experiences, how to steal hotel towels, eating just asparagus sandwiches. He's a bit weird but not that weird. A few conversations were uncomfortable, sitting there nodding along having the same allure as witnessing your dad naked. The gout-inducing food was good. Drank Yebisu for the first time.
Did the math, I've spent $194 on unshot film over the past 4 years. It comes out to 66 rolls at around $2.93 a roll, two-thirds of which is expired.
(∩｀-´)⊃━☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ back to top ⤴
11/12/2021 Bought the photobook on Nakagin Capsule Tower. There are 445,000 books published by Palgrave Mcmillan on libgen. My goal for next year is to go through them all. "Utopia and the Village in South Asian Literatures" and "Fetishism and the Theory of Value" are first.
異世界美少女受肉おじさんと・天地創造デザイン部・ おとなりに銀河・ひらやすみ ・・・
11/8/2021 another nice guestbook comment (ノ´∀｀)ノ
11/9/2021 あさりよしとお released something new, wasn't expecting that. I remember reading his science comics in middle school. just learned about swedish banana pizza, ruined my day
11/13/2021 a nice guestbook comment ´･ᴗ･`
11/17/2021 Got some Lomo 400 for $5 each. Marathonning Parts Unknown. Tangier, Jamaica, and Congo are my favorite episodes so far. BF2042 looks like a f2p game. There's a theory that it's just a half-aborted BR which would explain a lot. Love ji-soo's character model though, she looks like someone you'd see sleeping in a UCI library
Feeling all kinds of bankrupt. Typing it out feels cathartic. Translating volatile urges and feelings into form.
11/19/2021 bought some rum and brandy off yodobashi. The government is destroying the Japanese Post through privatization but it was still delivered in a day. The rum tastes like a tire. There's a South African version of the documentary series 7 Up, the show that interviews a set of people every 7 years from childhood. Interesting view on the transition through Apartheid. In the original British version I was surprised at how conscious the intervewees were regarding their class, even at very young ages. Except for the Zulu girl everyone starts off a polyglot.
Apparently my uncle wants to go out drinking with me, his workplace is filled with the kind of weirdos that just love what they do to a perverse degree. He's undoubtedly older through all the years I've known him but he doesn't exhude the sort of elderly surrender from other 60-somethings. It doesn't happen if you have money. Don't really know what to think of my uncle. I think my qualifiers of what it means to be an agreeable person in japan is a bit muddled.
11/20/2021 / came by. We had sushi and they were doing a crab fair. I like crab. None of us really eat tuna. Back in the Edo era tuna was regarded as catfood, now it's front and center in sushi. Ordered fries at the end like gran always does. Slimmed down the homepage, added pages on stuff I collect and books.
11/23/2021 god neocities is so good. I forget how good we have it. windows update wiped out my interview notes HA↑ HA↑
read ひらやすみ, a really delightful slice of life about manipulating the elderly for their property. It's rare to have sympathetic old characters or old characters at all, the gran in this one is a sort of replacement mother for the aimless main character. The 30-something has a very unique characterization and you can tell that no one is really in the periphery, side characters continually morph and change outside of the reader's perspective. As a story about surrogate motherhood the parental relationship is preserved within the institution of the Japanese houshold, carried over through death, inheritance, and obligation. in this twitter thread I will attempt to
there's a 10th anniversary madoka event scheduled and there's no mami
drawing is utter alchemy to me, my pattern-recognizing monkeybrain can see when something looks off but doesn't know how to translate those thoughts into effective change. photography is the laziest shit in comparison, you just steal perspectives from views that already exist. that doesn't take 5+ years or consecutive practice to produce something agreeable.
11/24/2021 off to gran's. New Tokyo cases are down to 5 (five). There was an Alpa at book-off, they're catching onto the film photography boom now. On the walk home there was a green plastic cutting board by the sidewalk. It was clearly used but not trash.
As my problems become less and less tangible compared to just a few years ago I seem to have decided they're not worth introspection or any sort of serious scrutiny, the stakes are higher but they're a measurable reality instead of some overbearing anxiety. Some of the worries I carried as a kid of come true, I've ended up in unpredictable places, but there's no sense of continuity. I can't sympathize with my thought process when I was 16 anymore. My current situation is untenable and I feel like I've let all the chances pass by my fingers for the past year. now this is adulting.
11/25/2021 It went fine. 70%. Walked to Tokorozawa, bought some YKK zippers, gay shit at Animate, Shooting with the Canon P and Industar-50 so it wasn't a rock around my neck. Still have no idea where those photos of the anime manholes went. Saw a bottle of calvados at the department store but I stopped myself. $30. I shot an entire roll of Superia in two days, never done that before. It was good, it was fine, I still have a place that I can nostalgically revisit without shame. The department store we always went to hasn't quite made its recovery but the area around the station hasn't been gentrified into an unrecognizable horror. If anything it's evolved into quite a nice place.
I walked past this neighborhood whose needlessly wide roads and column layout reminded me of the planned-city sterility of Irvine. While I don't doubt it would be a great place to grow up I felt uncomfortable.
Late at night while cooking with / I was making calamari and I felt this second spine inside the squid. Out comes a juvenile mackerel.
the "european stereotypes according to the japanese" is the fakest shit I've ever seen, even had to slip in the epic r*dditor joke about latvia and potatoes.
11/26/2021 ubuntu-mate is agony. Why does fcitx-mozc take 87mb of space? Why is it this bloated to add another input language?
went off to the plant shop, a solid 45 minutes away. Very windy. The main road was actually really nice, the bulging sidewalks had these giant trees and planters full of vines and there was a decent number of people wandering around despite the weather. In a 2nd hand shop I bought some Chippewas and saw an Eames lounge replica, only $900.
11/29/2021 One of my favorite segments on jp TV was the annual health checkup bit on 内村さまぁ～ず. A group of comedians undergo health examinations and get quizzed on their well-being. They'd play Heads Up with cards that have their uric acid levels and guess who had the largest arterial plaque build-up. My favorite bit was when one of them was just told "you have tuberculosis."
12/1/2021 debating whether I should shave my head, go full shintolarper. sending in film for development this week, I'm nutting in my dadjorts. I like using the Canon P but I don't like looking at the Canon P. The monstera is shooting off new leaves everywhere, it's trying to reproduce more than Berlusconi.
12/4/2021 Romanian PSL's are $2500 now? jesus christ. Film came back in 2 days, blindingly quick. I think the photos came out alright. Page isn't done, I'd like to take more with the P. Going off to other gran's in Kyoto is an option but there's some snow on the forecast. Found an Australian bookbinder, his routine is relaxing, the procedures are second-nature to him. Like watching a wildlife documentary about ants.
One realization I had was that adults weren't fluffing up their interest when kids would talk about stuff they're into. I distinctly remember this girl who brought up how she liked to write books and the teacher who hung up used IPSC targets in his classroom was shocked. He wasn't faking his enthusiasm, and I never really understood why until the past few years looking down on cousins and all that. You sort of see yourself reflected in their unwavering, unadulterated interest.
(∩｀-´)⊃━☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ back to top ⤴
10/12/2021 deciding whether to spend my money on books, film, or hemostatic agent
10/13/2021 one of my manga reviews from 2015 reads "show us some manminge"
10/15/2021 lebanese civil war 2.0 soon?
Started but didn't finish On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes. Not a great one. books on gommies came. The cover art for the right book is fantastic. Japanese is sort of stiff so it's never been terribly exciting to read through. Hopefully I can change that.
10/17/2021 Bought a Sweet Olive (Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus) with points I saved up. The same kind of irresponsibly fragrant tree that was at gran's. Sort of smells like peach and bergamot in the fall. Says it's a hardy plant that thrives on neglect so I'm excited. The 1987 Kikujiro Fukushima photobook came in, "War will Begin." All about rearmament after post-war Japan, the soldiers at Shinjuku station is an iconic picture. The author served in the war where the rest of his unit was torpedoed and was ordered to charge tanks on the beach with depth charges. Afterwards he became an anti-war journalist which brought him the luck of having his house set on fire.
10/18/2021 Had Yamabushitake/Lion's Mane for the first time. Japan has a ton of mushrooms and this was one I've never seen before. Looks like cottagecore set dressing, tastes like a forest fire. I like it ( ‾́ ◡ ‾́ )
10/19/2021 dreamed that my gas bill was $200. that's the end of otakoi, one of those things that will undoubtedly become a memorable life bookmark. it even had a corona reference hohoho how grim is that
another nice guestbook comment (ノ´∀｀)ノ
10/20/2021 Toki apples are back in season and they're 30 cents each when on sale. Probably my third-favorite fruit next to asian pears and oroblancos. i've been spending a bit more on food, probably up to like $7 per day. Trying to cut down on potato chips, ice cream is no longer a regular part of my diet. my food pyramid consists of apples, mayonnaise, and peanuts. bring on the beriberi.
Haven't finished How to do Nothing. Started reading more Baudrillard as some supersoldier indoctrination. it's dense.
the tap water is so warm during the winter it's like having a fair maiden pissing into my cupped hands
10/23/2021 trying to read spinoza but it's as gripping as a refrigerator manual. i need to grow a larger brain for this. or some more patience
marathonned the BBC Wales farm series, a show about experimental archaeology. Much like Living in the Past a few people live according to a set historical period, this time they're historians. The victims build daub structures, look after animals, and grow crops over a period of a year in the Welsh countryside. While it's not as fact-dense as The Supersizers or as punishing as 1900 House, the show is a good balance between "whoa isn't this miserable" toil and discovery. Tudor Monastery shot in 2013 is the most accessible out of the series but it feels more produced and polished, the addition of a narrator seems redundant to me when you've got all these experts in the thick of it. I also miss the 5 historians instead of the later 3. The series pilot Tales from the Green Valley has this gruff candor that's just right, a warm hug from your sweatered grandfather.
the foot man anime i'm never going to watch has this remarkably retro look about it, all the characters have this glassy countenance and it looks as it's shot with through a soft filter or an old man's cataritic eyes. What a throwback. Reminds me of Strawberry Panic's pungently authentic early 2000's artstyle.
Watching 24 Hours in the Past, another glossy experimental history show. It's structured a bit more like a gameshow instead of a few people dicking around in the forest. The budget must've been quite a bit as the sets and number of actors involved is staggering, the cast is subjected to sifting through nightsoil or making pottery in order to scrounge up some money 19th century style. Alistair Mcgowan is on, he's always a likable face. You could tell me he commits arson for fun and I'll probably just nod along. Former conservative MP Ann Widdecombe is unfortunately among the cast as the designated hate effigy of the show, the fetid corpse in the well. She's got this perennial grimace on like she can't even stand pretending to be a serf.
10/24/2021 Finished a roll of Venus 400, just fiddling with the Canon P. My refractory period was solved after watching EduardoPavezGoye's channel again. Still can't commit to getting close enough to use a wide-angle. People are scary. Moriyama Daido said he wishes he could take photos with his eyes, I wish I could turn invisible.
discovered 北欧貴族と猛禽妻の雪国狩り暮らし, one of those ethnic ones like 乙嫁語り. One of the characters looks like my dad. The art really reminds me of 亜乃アメ助. Imaginary fantasy setting with the snow and all that. It's got quite a bit of care and passion put into it from the Sámi-inspired clothing to the kuksa carving. The hunting/gutting/cooking scenes weren't just glossed over like other lazy artists do. Small bits could be improved like deer running off after getting shot or being careful with the bladder while gutting, small details that Juuza no Ulna wouldn't ignore. But it's damn good, the specifics are important. volume 2 introduces the himbo. the slow trickle of affection between the characters gets me girlsquealing, the sort of hoarse gutteral noise fujoshi emmanate all the time.
10/25/2021 Watching Pioneer Quest: A Year in the Real West which sounds like the shittest MS-DOS game of all time. Another experimental archaeology show, this time in Manitoba. While's it's not as substantive in regards to little educational croutons I think it's worth a watch. They actually spend a year out there. It's a PBS show so it lacks the greasy overproduced veneer of others.
stamps bot and random resturaunt bot are great. looked in my 2021 "this manga was trash" folder and I'm up to 80. Guessing my total read is around 150. Pretty sure I was into the 300~400 range back in 2017. Really think I'm lacking in anything released pre-2012, imagine the gold out there that I'm missing out on.
japan finally entered the wow vaccines are working phase, only a matter of time before they transform into what the UK and US are currently dealing with.
10/29/2021 Off to gran's. Brought the Canon P with me and dumped all of my stuff in the Tarahumara. Turns out backpacks don't go well with the kind of clothes I make. Still ended up being very comfortable and the vertical zipper is 10/10. Bought some cream puffs from Beard Papa as a gift, the custard will make you want to inject it directly into your veins. Upon arrival / put me right to work and I cut down a tree in the yard, going at it with a chainsaw until my arms turned to jelly. Gran was out there for the whole 2 hours, it must be satisfing in the same way a surgery video is. The amount of wildlife in the garden is insane.
Second day walked off to the fabric shop, post office, and park. End up buying some zippers and thread, there were lots of beige and denim linen but nothing I'd be satisfied with until I can dye it. Great prices as always with some going for $4/m. At 2nd Street I found Buttero size-zip boots for 2000 yen. An insane deal when you consider how Japanese second-hand shops meticulously research everything. Also went to the plant nursery. Saw a few things but held back in purchasing anything. Sago Palm, grass seeds, mini bonsai, pepper plants, etc.
Finished How to do Nothing on the train ride back, masses of hair gliding along the floor of the subway as always. While it is a generalist book on the author's very personal circumstances, neither fully scholarly or blog-like, her writing tied off plenty of loose ends on the ambiguous unanswered collections of life experiences that build up like the plaque in your veins. Issues about attention, bioregionalism, productivity,
(∩｀-´)⊃━☆ﾟ.*･｡ﾟ back to top ⤴
9/15/2021 Got my second shot.
Thinking back The Sorrows of Young Werther was probably the worst book i've read. Smoke gets in your Eyes & other Lessons from the Crematory was a decent book, even with the first few chapters. The lengthy plots of self-referencial adolescent retrospection seemed a tad heavy-handed. More lessons on natural burials and water cremation would've been good but I assume that's in the realm of her later books. Forgetting what the other mortician book I read was.
I've been playing Cruelty Squad and it's the perfect pessimist's depiction of a 21st century dystopia. It's a hellish mental landscape of a hyper-violent hyper-capitalist future where you're employed to liquidate corporate enemies. One of the levels has you in a gunbattle with the police after your landlord evicts you from your vermin-infested hovel. The ultimate goal after you trade stocks and human organs is to buy a Mcmansion.
On a technical level it's a fun game as well, the maps are engaging and full of secrets in the same way Dusk is, the reloading gimmick actually feels like a worthwhile addition, every weapon has deliberate character on a level that your typical developer would just gloss over. George was right, easily my favorite game of 2021.
I find it absoutely fascinating that the D&S podcast's reaction to the Chinese gaming restrictions wasn't just blind disapproval. Modern internet g*ming culture, microtransactions bordering on gambling, while the disbelief that many Americans still support this kind of 90's inertia is there there's a tinge of understanding with the current state of the industry. A bunch of metal gear solid fanatics nodding along is...different.
Started reading How to do Nothing. Crash by Ballard is up next.
9/20/2021 Went out to the park to take pictures of cats. What a luxury, ambushing the neighboorhood cats. Back in California you can only mingle with coyotes. The Industar-22 with the focus tab feels good in the hands. Excited to compare the medley of Russian lenses I've been accumulating.
Been wanting to make a page about stuff I collect like stamps and subway ticket sleeves.
9/22/2021 "my heartbeat probably sounds like a blender with all the salt I eat"
"this apartment is a low-oxygen environment"
9/23/2021 XOXO talks are great but there's too many "I got roasted on twitter" talks. Found 5 rolls of expired Super 400 for 300 yen at Book-off. Expired for 17 years, low expectations but I've had relatively good luck so far. Also bought a camera, A Fuji Cardia 28 WP.
9/28/2021 Started watching The Office again. I don't think I gave it the proper respect when it was on, it was always secondary to Community. I know today there's a miasma of shame around liking the show but it's good. Being a furry is fine.
9/29/2021 Read Imperial Nostalgia by Peter Mitchell. I've seen some embarrassing statistics on how the English view their imperial history so this should fill some holes. Interesting to see how looking to an idealized past actively informed the start of colonialism. of A similar book called Post-colonial Melancholia is also on my list, one of the chapters is titled "The Negative Dialectics of Conviviaity" which sounds as entertaining as Hegels explaining how roofing tiles are made.
I feel good. Not much progress but feeling productive isn't such a cloud of fatalism. Almost finished Cruelty Squad.
This actual picture of actual stasi agents is fucking me up
10/1/2021 good god it's october
10/3/2021 If I was a videogame boss you'd attack my knees to do double damage
怒り新党 just compared the broken windows theory with getting complacent while living alone
I think preppers.html is the only page where I'm absolutely pissed and fascinated by what recent events have made me realize. I quite like the line "Welcoming a nuclear holocaust is antecedent to becoming a homeowner for the first time"
oh my god there's another deep sea fishgirls manga
10/6/2021 Crash is a good novel. There's a certain masochistic thrill grimacing through the pages, like staring at black and white pictures of minamata victims. Sexuality should be a rather universal shared human experience but it's grotesquely distorted into something simultaneously unrecognizable and familiar. The Freudian post-traumatic sexual awakening is like the latent cosmic war analogies of an extremist ideology finally making sense. The emotions assigned to the events in the novel seem to exist in two contradictory states, libido and mechanicality, vulgarity and factuality, reality and unreality.
The OG anthropomorphized fish manga author had a kid and now they've amassed a following drawing childrearing comics
BF2042 looks sort of cheap. I was excited for new FPS movement trends starting with Titanfall but now it's devolved to slideboosting being in everything. Watching the Hylics soundtrack Q&A, mason lindroth shifts around like a nervous eyebrow statue
10/9/2021 the uhh artist who disappeared for a year came back. that one.
"You speak like yoda (in japanese), you begin with the verb and leave your subject for the end"
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8/3/2021 Played Gartic Phone with the buds, a poorly named drawing game. it's been at least 3 years. It was great, been a while since I've laughed into lightheadedness.
misread zombie as monke
8/8/2021 There's a youtube channel that uploads thoroughly obscure visual kei from the late 90's, the sort of band names that don't bring up any search results. Peering into these bubbles is fascinating, otherwise lost stories of debuts and tours and disbandments. I think it's the contrast between the enigmatic personas and ridiculous costumes juxtaposed with throroughly lo-fi album covers and abandoned band member blogs talking about drinking Contrex or eating cornflakes.
apparently "going to the store to buy bionicles" is a very common dream
8/18/2021 I don't feel very lucid these days. I am for sure on autopilot, reading journal entries from 2 months ago feels like sitting through a foreign language film.
I feel like Tokyo Marui is filled with MGC-era modelgun loving ossans, their products are very conservative and very 80's. A recoiling AKM or MP5 AEG would've been relevant 10 years ago. Collecting pictures of Bedouin women in traditional dress, it's remarkable how simple yet functional some clothing is. One picture that caught my eye has this sort of cloak that's pinned in two places with brooches at the shoulders and that's it. Just a rectangular cut of cloth folded and pinned around the body.
Hospitals in Tokyo getting overwhelmed now.
Got my first shot. Some inflammation but no other side effects. Most of the serious covid cases have shifted to younger people now. Most under 25 are still having trouble finding an appointment.
I feel like I'm in a bubble. In a new bubble anyway, it's a very familiar feeling only this time it's beyond my control. Vegetable shops advertising Aichi strawberries and Taiwanese pineapples with a distinct Bangladeshi twinge, the window views that make the city look like toysets, the same metronomic sights have replaced previous memories of popcorn ceilings and mcmansion suburbia.
9/2/2021 lunch was gross. it's been a while since I've given birth to a horrifying creation. panpanya got a shelf display directly next to Kimetsu at the Shibuya Tsutaya. insanely impressive.
9/3/2021 film came back, took less than 4 days this time. a great diversity of emulsions from 90's Fuji to Gold 200, none of which had severe fogging or color shifts which is good. the 1B filter really pulled its weight, counteracting the blue hues creeping in from the expired film.
photos were eh. a predictable outcome considering I mostly took pictures of family. got some great shots there. photos that aren't about people are boring. ume kayo is still my spirit animal. looking forward to using the pingu and canon p more. I think my keep rate is rather high with generally 3 4 good photos. People like Eduardo Goye who proudly cram every shot they take into a video are the real sigma males.
Finished Five days at Memorial to commemorate Hurricane Ida plowing through the East coast.
9/5/2021 pears are good
weather back down to the 20's now. addicted to Mary Beard documentaries about life in ancient rome.
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7/6/2021 Reading My Dark Places by James Ellroy, another true crime book that's really about freudian obsession. It's quite lurid in a way a car crash scene is. Found out about in on a Beer and Board Games episode.
made a mushroom pastry with the combined microwave/oven. had a craving for wine, a first. Just wanted something really grapey and astringent.
7/8/2021 Went back and watched Louis Theroux's episode on American survivalists. It's from 20 years ago and the talking points are both staggeringly outdated and depressingly timeless. The prospect of a global UN police state lacks its weight in legitimacy now but some of the things the Aryan Nation members wheeze out are still familiar. The show does a good job showing the entire spectrum of polyester frontiersman from former hippies to ethnostatist larpers.
7/9/2021 I'm too cheap to buy a proper whetstone so I sharpened my kitchen knife with the back of a porcelain bowl like those Chinese line cooks. / brought over gran's old knife, a short little thing probably made for fish. It's so profoundly old you could probably melt it down and make background radiation-sensitive equipment with it. It's also thoroughly rusty, I've seen artifacts pulled out of bogs that look better. The blade is a simple single bevel and the tip is chipped but it's perfect. The spine is very thick, blade length is just right, it's got a weight that modern knives don't.
Otoja is back on Tarkov, love the sort of scenarios he runs into. He's with Anija and meets a friendly player, after which Anija dies. Friendly anonymous player is thus labelled "Aniita," a sort of reproduction Anija.
7/9/2021 Haven't been feeling good. It's the rainy season, the 2 weeks out of the year that smells like sticky bodies and moldy laundry. To a Californian like me it feels like I'm slowly decomposing. It's probably a taste to languishing under a perennially gray sky in England.
been replacing items in the emergency bag and stockpiling food. It's a good mental exercize. You rotate out food anyway so it's not a total vaccuum for money.
7/10/2021 Finished the anorak, painless because I didn't have to gripe over length and drape. It looks good, a $10 alternative to the $250 US mountain parkas. Need a coyote ruff to finish it off.
uhhh bought more books
7/13/2021 i really want some tamales
7/21/2021 I sort of want to die but dying is for dummies
7/25/2021 Reading Shijukara, a story rendered so sticky with drama it's quite like witnessing a clowncar pileup. people engulfed in the gasoline fire of envy, obligation, dysfunction, it's romance manga written by women distilled to its bare essense. All the characterizations surprisingly repulsive in a very subtle way.
also reading Caveat Emptor, a memoir/confession by American art forger Ken Perenyi. Roy Cohn makes a surpise appearance, Andy Warhol is a described as a sort of strange surveillance device. I had the same sense of jealosy as when I was reading Gopnik's memoirs of gallivanting through New York City casually namedropping people like Richard Avedon.
a new guestbook comment. yup, that's an accurate assessment of who I am (ㆆᴗㆆ) Still in a massive slump, need to go out and do things. I need to find that first rock of crack and gets me in a creative frenzy.
7/29/2021 Found a women-only imageboard, it's really a mirror image of what you'd expect. Both are anti-porn but are eager to hornypost themselves, both rail against people in their head depicted in caricatures (stacy/chad), they're staggeringly similar. One less unknown.
束の間の一花・久保さんは僕を許さない・私は君を泣かせたい・君の涙を飲み干したい o Nomihoshitai・シジュウカラ・てるみな・神達に拾われた男
At Book-Off I found a 1995 Nikkor club photobook on post-perestroika Russia. A nice coffee table book size. $3.
8/1/2021 started on some pant, total cost $7. need to add front pockets. still out of outerwear ideas.
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6/15/2021 I've got an interview lined up. They need me more than I need them which is a strange thing to say, would never come out of my mouth in real life regarding anything. It's a company described as "the worst parts of American and Japanese corporate culture" so I'm not exactly in cloud 9, and the moral considerations aren't helping either. Reminds me of when I worked in a microbio lab, the process of moving on from research into a position in pharma was referred to as "selling your soul."
I don't know. You have all these companies selling ideas and expertise to other faceless transnationals fronted by exceptionally virile looking CEO's in their 70's, men who look like semen courses through their veins. As a lowly prole I don't find this transaction terribly interesting. I'd eventually like to move onto a company that doesn't emmanate these lingering questions, something where "the product" is something tangible with a visible relationship with normal consumers, not faceless office buildings. Still a big name so it'd be useful to hoover up some more experience.
Everyone says you never really lose your childlike bewilderment at the world, not really believing that all the other adults don't know what's going on either. I can't imagine myself in my thirties, nor has that ever been a desirable landscape. Aging has been somewhat on an unknown to me. If I died tomorrow I'd be able to say I've have a good run, but that could be an indication that I feel like I've peaked rather than any measure of satiation. harm reduction.
6/18/2021 Interview went well. Couldn't remember food insecurity as a talking point. They seem to really want me to get involved with healthcare-related projects. I walked past a mass vaccination site by Tsukiji. Last time I went to Tsukiji must've been around 8 years ago but I was shocked at how urban the landscape looked. Very Mita, full of manicured greens and wide roads and tall skyscrapers. Corporate Japanese cityscapes are fine, they're functional, they're views only the Polish would fantasize about. The building I went into had a massive 5 towers with 40 floors each, the ground floor being a mishmash of stores to cater to the black masses. Dollar stores, convenience stores, suit shops, restaurants, these sporadic dots of color were sprinkled around on this thoroughly grey backdrop. It's like a fleshlight. It's functional, it'll satisfy you on a biological raw animal level, but not on a human one. Walk outside and you see the traces of the old city. Overgrown houses, rusty apartment scaffolding, remnants of the past are stubbornly hanging on. They too will disappear once the cost of tearing down midcentury earthquake hazards becomes nothing compared to the land it's on. Hour on the train, masses of uniformed schoolkids on the way back.
New wiki article and blog to explore about the Ashley Treatment, a moral dilemma in bodily autonomy. Bought a new plant at Inageya, a pink Chinese bellflower. The Cyclamen that I bought 2 years ago is again coming back to life, its annual transformation is fascinating. Orchid isn't doing well but that's to be expected.
6/20/2021 New Bunnyhop video, george went full chairman george. Working on the anorak and i'm satisfied at my progress. I'm only up to about 2m of fabric which translates to $9 in material costs. All that's left is the hood and pockets. Getting the shoulders right is far and above the hardest element, they drape and move with you. Also still trying to decide on which pockets to sew on. A great big kangaroo pouch or a three-cell pocket like the Gebirgsjager anorak would be sensible but I already own clothing with both. Anoraks are definitely the kind of clothing that looks better on a hanger than on a person.
bud is set to go to Osaka. I knew it was wishful thinking on my part but I couldn't help but fantasize about living together.
6/22/2021 It's good to go outside and feel insignificant for a bit.
6/23/2021 Some more manga. As always there's plenty of smear campaigns against all men, stories that inadvertently satirize the male gaze. If To-loveru suddenly turned into a psychological horror series then I'd buy all 200 volumes of it while apologizing for my past transgressions. But that'll never happen and that's why publishers are going through their 2008. 6 years for the anthropomorphized deep sea fish series to pop up, I do love waiting for my trash. Anything Kotoyama writes is incredibly odd. Dagashi was fine, good, conventional, alright. But you could tell there was always something extra bubbling underneath through the extra page illustrations and such. I'm talking about a psychopath who regularly draws wide-angle perspectives for fun. You could tell they found "their" artstyle, their stylistic little touches but it never went beyond the art. The story in Dagashi was predictably simple but I think they've been able to inject their weirdness into this series, it's one you can't pin down with one genre. The tone changes throughout, and its unpredictability makes it interesting. The detective is my favorite character, she's like a genderbent Sakata Gintoki. She's scary but in an arousing way?
Watched Louis Theroux's Life on the Edge. Can't remember the first time I marathonned his documentaries but it should've been at least 4 years ago. Haven't watched his newer ones about TBI patients and trans children. Enduring the psychological horror of dementia documentaries is just the worst. Documentaries about loss are abstract. People get dressed up and buried, they trail memories and ideas of a person. With Alzheimers it's an incomplete death. Good thing only cardiovascular disease runs in my family.
Had the dream again. I'm in a great big house that's both familiar and unfamiliar. It resembles gran's but doesn't smell of mosquito coils and the veneer floorboards don't ring out with every step. Instead of hitting my head on doorways it's sized for me. Mom and dad are downstairs, it's dark out, and lightly raining. I go to close the window, the Japanese style channel lock is exaggerated in proportion and made of wood instead of stamped steel, its shape resembles an elephant's tusk. As I force it down to unlock, the mesh door rockets open on its own and I hear a startled voice from above, from outside. I try to shout that there's a thief but nothing comes out. my throat feels like it's dialated, like a kazoo without its innards.
6/24/2021 I can't get drunk anymore. Before coming here I wanted to experience angst and repression and existential dread japanese-style in a dirty off-white tokyo hovel. There's a sort of a masochistic allure to suffering, chasing new emotions. But this ain't it. The sort of novel curiosity has been replaced with anhedonia, for now. I've been getting bored. That's a bad thing. I distinctly remember sociology class at the boarding school. There was this incessant fervor on part of the Japanese teachers similar to the American in-class moral encouragement not to drink and smoke crack and have kids at 11. There were less christian-normative lessons about wearing jonas brothers-branded chastity rings and sleeping with bundling boards but the general expectations about adulthood were still there. Japanese teachers were a bit more explicit in their mission to turn us from school kids into human capital. "Shakaijin" is a word thrown around a lot. "Member of society." Horrible little exclusionary word isn't it. Its presence deletes the family unit, deletes social mobility, deletes self-interest.
The sociology teacher was a special guy. He looked like a character from an 80's Japanese crime drama, a contradictory vessel of a slowing metabolism and a sun-blasted veneer. You could easily imagine him spinning a featherlight revolver around while chasing suspects around Ikebukuro, constantly adjusting his aviator sunglasses. Despite this he didn't eat meat, something about the stuff resembling people. He did eat fish though, of course he did. In his paternal crusade to keep us from slagging off the metamorphosis into adulthood he said "you don't want to be like the guys who hang in front of convenience stores all day, saying 'anything interesting happen' to each other, do you?" Poverty or moral destitution wasn't the worst case scenario but boredom was.
6/28/2021 / didn't e-mail me back. _ leaves tomorrow. I wish we had more d e e p conversations. The first ever was at that izakaya in Kyoto. We fought so much on that trip I barely remember it. We talked about parents, schooling, nothing particularly unusual but it really was the first time for a back and forth like that. All part of the
very late realization that other people's perception of you is indepedent of your own self-image. There's a certain reservation I have in contrast to the sort of talks I regularly have with my friends, a cautious hesitation that I have with _.
I thought $6 cans of Spam were just Japan prices but apparently that's what they go for in the US now.
6/29/2021 _ is off. Packing into the last hour as usual. Gave them an N95 mask. The airport was quiet like a library. The people who were boarding where families of tourists. Eyebrow raising.
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Journal - Japan, 2021
6/1/2021 I've been getting too caught up in writing something to publish. Some of my essays have been cannibalized from others, either unfinished or uncomfy to read. The solution is to just write. I'll mash it up later. Started on the japan page, hoping to list out the good/bad and other oddities of existing here. Redid the dual identity page. Added some lab information on the film cameras page. Working on the ReadingProject book review, trying to stave away the broscience paired with brohistory and bropsychology.
staring down into the inspo channel gets me horny for my hobbies, the flash of idealism that gets me wanting to work on things. Just spent like 3 hours looking at pictures of petroglyphs
Just read Yorusanpo, sanpo being one of those words that don't translate elegantly into English. It's more or less "short walk" but carries a casual, proximate sort of feel. Predictably it's about two characters that walk around the neighbood at night. The art style isn't one I'm usually drawn to but it hits all the right buttons for me, the sparks of curiosity that accompany every round around the block. The manga is expressed with this Yotsuba-esque childlike wonder. Staring at the landscape and the passage of time, taking out the trash and experiencing loss, every chapter is imbued with some fleeting thought. The story isn't advanced by action but internal monologue. It's really slice of life at its peak, monotony rendered interesting, bits of profundity sprinkled here and there. It perfectly expresses why I enjoy wandering around so much. I read Juuza no Ulna last year so I can say with confidence this is my favorite manga of 2021.
another nice guestbook comment (ノ´∀｀)ノ
6/2/2021 Yaser Said was arrested and Duncan died two months ago, 2021 is a treat for true crime fans.
god these milk bars are so good it's like frozen condensed milk on a stick
6/4/2021 I'm ashamed to say I really enjoy watching Saturday Kitchen. A couple of people talking and cooking on a set that's much too long. The lack of background music and meandering conversations grants the show a distinctly lo-fi feel. It's like peering into a gated neighborhood dinner party as a vagrant. The photobook got here. As with most of my purchases I was regretting buying the thing, $30 for yellowing slices of dead tree wasn't terribly attractive despite pristine copies fetching ridiculous prices. But I was dead wrong, it's filled with stunning photos by Kikujiro Fukushima.
6/5/2021 I need to get back into worldbuilding. Gets your creative juices flowing when creating your own universe, a sense of linear time, a pulsing organism with culture and geography and politics. When creating your own world you usually try to shy away from archetypal humanoid races or slightly spruced up real-life objects. Something needs to be different, thematically consistent, and believable. And through this thought process worldbuilding lets you appreciate benign things in your real-life day-to-day. Take a frying pan for example. It's a companion to a waist-level stove so the handle juts out the side, perfectly shaped for human hands. A flat, circular bottom dissipates heat emmanating from below. A lip keeps objects contained against the constant force of gravity.
Apply the curiosity of worldbuilding to that and there's an explosion of factors you can play with. What your new race's hand anatomy is like, material properties of metals, degrees of atmospheric pressure and gravitational pull. It really lets you pick apart objects with a child-like innocence, freed from the droning inherency of adult life. And to think something as benign as a frying pan is really a masterpiece of anatomical design, a solution melding dozens of factors into a cohesive form. This entire thought process behind worldbuilding is also why I love surreal games like LSD and Hylics so much, there's something inspiring about someone fully committing to create their own immersive, tactile universe:
I loveeee blurry textures—real world forms reduced and stretched, removing detail, leaving vague ideas and shapes of what it was. It feels like wandering around dream versions of places you’ve been, half-constructed foggy architecture and people and objects, existing in the context of a place you can believe, but pulled from that reality and put in its own context...A lot of my defining memories are alone in mazelike hospitals, long road trips and strange hotels, staying at psychiatric wards, forced inside with only artificial light for days. I fixate on these images a lot. I’ve always felt alien—like I’ve slipped between the cracks and exist outside the world. To that end I feel pretty connected to things that are broken, ‘bad,’ trashy...things that exist outside of legitimacy.
6/6/2021 today's finds:
panpanya-esque surreal artist
new dad and sons
A Glossary of Haunting
You really feel the stagnation swirling around your life when you maintain a blog. When writing feels cathartic the lack of it makes you feel sort of empty. Becoming a paragraph-shitter isn't the goal either, it's just that this new and interesting way of interpreting the world is left unfulfilled when you feel you don't have a subject to write about. Fuck that, I finished the second ReadingProject submission after a flurry of inspiration. Wrote it on the book about the Portuguese colonial war.
6/9/2021 Been watching Keith Floyd's travel-cooking shows lately. As the gruff sort of spotted-hand presenter, Floyd necks more alcohol than a biofuel engine. Every episode is a hit with its authenticity, cooking whatever country's cuisine he visits. I should try to cook more with wine in a kind of demi-glace.
reading Soviet Communal Living - An Oral History. The stories are staggering, it carries this brutish unrefinement that conjours up images of pimpled chimneysweeps and untreated chlamydia. The diversity of the people in thse recollections are fascinating as well, there's transient faces from all over the Baltics dropped into these cramped communal apartments.
6/10/2021 Off to Saitama. The train was so painless it felt like 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. Eating edamame off the stalk at gran's, homemade yogurt with homemade jam. Time seems to slow down here. The sound of bamboo leaves rustling and distant piano lessons are all I hear when I take a walk. I was worried that my infatuation with this place was from some hazy nostalgia but its luster has stayed the same. I get it, I get the sentiment of people refusing to leave where their family lived for generations, the house set to be bulldozed for a car park or whatever.
6/11/2021 Manhole hunting in East Tokorozawa, that's one checked off my list. As usual it's a sedate neighborhood with a fancy station and flanneled otaku men who walk too fast.
Some odd choices in characters. There was your usual veterans like Gundam and NGE along with some last-decade trash like SAO, but Kino and Spice & Wolf were unexpected. It was a nice break. As I decided to walk there this trip destroyed the cartilage in my hips and knees and spine
6/12/2021 Off for lunch, a fancy little place that seems a bit out of place here. It was flanked with 24 hour gyms and the vulgar pragmatism of red and yellow storefronts. We went early so it was only sparsely filled with gruff gravelly voiced madams who sounded like kazoos when talking to the waiter. Their response to "this dish pairs well with sake" was "beer also goes well with sake."
Finished off what was left of my joints by walking to Tokorozawa, bought 4m of canvas for $20 as well as some YKK zippers and Gutermann thread. Thinking of making an anorak. I need more fall/winter projects.
6/13/2021 My bud got into his PhD program. Additions to miscphotos.html.
6/14/2021 Reading エルフと狩猟士のアイテム工房, an intricately drawn fantasy manga about himbo lust. It's quite good, but relinquishes comfy status by doing what they always do. There's a time and place for drama. My thigh got caressed by a 15cm centipede at gran's today, unparalleled horror. I no longer fear death. I'm sure my puddle-drinking ancestors' memories of getting killed by wildlife lit up my amygdala as I ran from danger. Heading back home, this time at an unfortunate time. The passing subway trains are so dense with people you can't see through the vertical composite windows, like flytraps so full its occupants have started to cannibalize each other.
I'm at another life intersection. It makes me truly curious as to what the closing vignette looks like for some people. That's always been my allure to art. Not its ultimate, complete form but the motivations underpinning its creation - the surreal landscape, the plasticine pastel bedroom, the triumphant orchestral score. The libido that extends far beyond passive consumption, an uneasy confidence driven with the thought that their creations will have some novel merit, an undiscovered mental landscape.
Apply that to real-life. The spaces of offices and households, the domain of hopeful optimism and necessity. It's easy to say your toil is in pursuit of a specific object or landscape, an opulent German camera you finally paid for or the sacralized nuclear family contained in a six digit hovel. Marriage is a great aspirational example. The great new moral panic is this newly discovered population, the unwed. Unproductive at its most basal, in the US it seems to be an iconoclastic trend, people asking whether the institution of marriage is really relevant. in Japan it's a pragmatic balance of time. Considerations for love often fall behind weekly 60-hour labor obligations. In a country unconcerned with the self, society is again asking people to fall on their swords for the sake of economic productivity.
Anyway, I'm truly curious about what other people's idealized landscapes look like, especially when enveloped in the grotty imagery of careers and hangovers and mandatory overtime. What are people working towards? That's the main issue, none of the people in my circle are old enough. Like marriage there's no best or worst case examples around me, no precautionary tales or aspirational landscapes. I can really only approach moments like this with a mindset of harm reduction. What career choices can I make now that I won't regret later.
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