entries ordered new ~> old

  • 2020 Japan entries - You are here!
  • 2020 Japan entries
  • 2019 Japan entries
  • 2019 UCSB entries
  • 2018 entries
  • 10/24/2020 Cooking is fun. Read lottery isekai vol8. Still fantastic. It got quite hard on trade/industrialization, would be interesting to tackle poverty in what is essentially feudal society. Reading A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America. The author is a venture capitalist, title's a bit trashy, and I hesitate to call it "good sociology" or "good" but I don't regret reading it. I just can't shake my suspicions at some of the assertions he makes, especially without any references. He does bring some interesting insight, like how the supposedly anti-war 60's students were among the most hawkish survey respondents prior to the draft. He also asserts that while West-coast communes and collective farms have brought little institutional change post-Vietnam, right-wing libertarians on the same coin also distrustful of "the man" have found a place in the Republican party.

    10/25/2020 Walked a ton, even by my standards and I came across this combloc-looking collection of concrete apartments. Some were in disrepair, some brand new, others had residents, just an arrangement place you don't see often in Japan. There was a lovely central garden complete with stray cat. Later found out it was government housing.

    10/27/2020 Exhausted all the neighborhoods in wandering distance. I think I'll buy some fabric, go to the hospital, and head home. Watching farmed salmon and shrimp documentaries

    10/28/2020 back home and as expected, it feels odd to be back. The noise bothers me less than I expected. Applied to the NGO. Got rejected by _y. Strangely it's not panic that's setting in, more of an impending doom. But is it justified? Two of my buds are graduating late, a nephew took a full year off after graduation. My preconceived notions for the most part seem to be incorrect. Not landing a job in your Junior year of Uni isn't a deathwish in Japan. But here it is, this is the period of life I'm under right now, spitting out applications is antedecent to everything else.

    10/3/2020 Heading to grandma's while I toil through interviews. Photobooks got here.

  • Thinking of making a Kapital Kamakura Anorak clone next. I'd rather not spend $1K for something that's made of nyco. Also got some thread for sashiko embroidering. Very satisfied with my last sewing project(brown2, I wear it out all the time. Might not sell the Canon P, just wish it wasn't a 3lb hunk of brass hanging off my neck. The OM-2 continues to impress me even as my camera collection balloons.

    Saw a twitter post sacralizing post-war Japan. Which is just odd. It's a bit like fondly looking back on the destitution of post-war Britain. Food rationing for 9 more years, grotty black streets, clouds of smog culling pensioners, if you fantasize about all this you're probably Scottish. Here in Japan there was an elderly woman on TV hoarding rooms of futons as a consequence of her inability to afford any as a child. Looking through 50's photobooks it was common to see children without clothing or shoes standing on dirt roads, towering khaki servicemen scattering sticks of gum like they were street pigeons.

    The Taisho era is fondly viewed in Japan's collective memory, well past the barbarity of Edo and moved forward by the constant promise of technological progress like the steam engine. The aesthetics of colorful kimonos paired with boots have lived on, untainted by the civil wars that preceded it and the fascism and colonialism that followed it. I personally envy my parents who lived through the Bubble era, a hedonistic economic upheaval where forecasters were fearing a Japan-led global economy.

    10/5/2020 Sark organized a fight club and got thai kicked in the head in front of his wife. Some shit and garbage weather lately,

    Interview went well. Again it's not a company I'm particularly enthused about. TV, publishing, entertainment, there's a bunch on my mind. Got rejected by _a, waiting on _y.

    10/10/2020 Sold the black OM-2n. 15 degrees, autumn is missing. Analysis of Russian performance in the second chechen war. Grandma's kitchen is really nice. I love the massive stainless sink drain that elegantly catches all the nasty bits, the pull-out fish grill, stove with automatic shutoff. Top of the line for 1991. The bottom-opening non-rotating microwave looks out of place.

    seahorses look fucked if you think about it

    10/12/2020 Bought the Inuko nendo for essentially no money. Also got the Harajuku photobook for $7. I've come to terms with my purchases, I would've never had the opportunity to get my hands on any of this this stuff back in the US.

    A youtuber i used to watch back in 2010 came back after a 2 year-hiatus. A lot has happened since them, cascading personal issues, a turn to minimalism and a new emphasis on financial security. He seemed to be trying to take things less seriously, rejecting the idyllic american life trajectory and the collection of stressors that comes with youtubing as a job. Good timing.

    That feeling again. Been defaulting back to maladaptive patterns of behavior. Easy bits of dopamine here and there. Further evidence that this mindset that you discover while you're not feeling well carries over and embeds itself in the tail end of your emotional barometer. It comes with the realization that I've never really been able to build a better environment for myself. My personal myth is one of a tolerable existence, propped up by trinkets eye-catching enough to forget the monotony of it all. And like a skink tail, my interests keeping me afloat are the first to go. Even under "normal" stretches of life it's not terribly cathartic living under the confines of a bucket list.

    I'm sure it's ok to be a young 20-something fresh out of college with uncertainties but I'm an adult, there's plenty of baggage at my feet. The unspoken pressures of societal expectations, the burgeoning financial cost of mindlessly existing. Staying here while rained in is a perfect demonstration for this, and is probably the best explanation to why these childhood scenes don't elicit reassurance anymore. I feel like this early twenties period can only be defined by retrospective regret over inaction or appreciation for taking risks. I don't know where my bulletpoints lie within this whole thing or even whether this is a life trajectory I want to throw my weight under. I don't know what I want.

    10/13/2020 Great weather, off for a walk. Not much to photograph admittedly. Wanting a macro or telezoom lens for the kind of shots I'm getting. Photographed an orb weaver spider and got eaten by mosquitos while trying to find the minimum focus distance, As always I love Saitama Prefecture. I love how you can only hear sparrows and crickets, I love the suburb layouts that make no sense, the half-assed farms of greens, the mismatched flowers that line every dirt road.

    The gorgeous indonesian shawl that's been hanging upstairs for 15 years is now mine. Doesn't look like Ikat or Batik, no idea what it is.

    10/14/2020 Health scare, off to the hospital.

    10/21/2020 I struggled through a personality exam in Japanese, impenetrable phrases impeding my progress along the way. One of the survey's curiosities was how strategic you were. Do you plan your actions or do you wing it? Can you create and follow a daily schedule? It got me thinking. In the stuff that matters i.e. life, school, jobs, it's been ragtag, mainly because of my inability to forsee what lies ahead. There's a few crossroads moments in the last 5 years that I think about, I'm still left wondering what my life would look like now if I had taken the alternate route, what I'd lose and gain from doing so, all within the limitations of lofty fantasy. Was I right to enroll in this Uni? Would I have embraced study abroad so thoroughly if I had? Would a different part-time job have enriched my time during college? Should I have pursued that connection a little more? Should I have said something different? There's few things you can predict in scenarios like this, and my early life was littered with decisions like this. Relinquish any notion with agency and see where it takes you, that's largely what's occupied my thinking.

    But in the matters that I'm supposed to enjoy, blocks of time in my life that I have direct agency over, I've been a bit more organized. Hobby to-do lists, wishlists, show backlogs, it's been a continuous stream of desires. I look back occasionally on the notes I left during high school and it's always a strange sensation. The bulleted tasks are laughably small-scale, but I was at a point where tracking those sprinkings of desire was a pressing priority. "Organize files" and "watch X" kept me together for those years, within the confines of a grey suburban backdrop. Some bulletpoints were more distant fantasies pulling me along, stuff like "build a PC" or "__" And I still do this, drafting up shopping lists of impossibly expensive photobooks and rags of linen.

    But life isn't a hobby, it's not meant to be structured like an idealistic checklist. And it's taken me 7 or so years to realize that within this flurry of an employment cycle. I don't have an idealized full-time job or lifestyle in mind, and that contradicts so harshly on a fundamental level with these 6000-character applications at probably what is the most important time in my life. I'm not even sure what kind of lifestyle I fantasized about when I still lived in that American suburbia bubble. I'm no longer sure where the memories and idealism of grandma's house belong to. And I'm not sure laundry lists are doing me any good either, hobbies are easily discarded when you're at a bad place. I have to change how I think about and approach daily life in both halves of life, two blocks that I've kept firmly partitioned since I became a sentient organism.

    I'm not good at this whole "self awareness" thing

  • 9/7/2020 Made a wallet, a sort of zippered bi-fold.

    New finds:

  • An analysis of Chechens in ISIS Russia actively exporting islamists in anticipation of the Sochi Olympics
  • Modernism and Japanese culture Mishima was kinda crinj, right-wing emperor worship as a modern "invented tradition"
  • continuation of Alaska to Argentina bike vlog
  • The Ideology of Apocalypse Media portrayals of societal collapse are decidedly more cynical than reality
  • Addicted to the barstool pizza reviews

    mom won a box of pears in a raffle. she travelled an hour to hand me pears. i ate 3 pears. Sold two Russian lenses to a Tokyo Uni student, more food money.

    9/15/2020 Internet's dead again. Read a montonous spin-off of the slime isekai, it's about the fun antics of working in an office. Did Abe himself commission this? $10 paratrooper pants got here. Can't imagine fighting in these, or any wool pants for that matter. Probably weigh 15lbs after I got them soaking wet to get rid of the insecticide treatment. How are they? Not wide enough. We'll see.

    9/16/2020 Watching 家ついて行っていいですか? a sort of downtrodden Cribs. Human interest is front-and-center as the cameraman follow random people to their houses, to which the victims spill something about themselves. There's Ultraman fans making original monster costumes to uni students with ADHD living in trash-ridden hovels. It's cheaply made, lacking background music or more than one production staff but effectively distills people down to a few sympathetic details. It's a fantastic shot of empathy in a country where you pretend to ignore the thousands of nodding heads you walk by every day.

    9/17/2020 Thinking about the X-Pro2.

    I can still say I value, say, oxygen more than the camera. Beat up bodies are still around $600, which is a tough pill to swallow for a camera I may or my not throw around. My PC build was $400, by phone was $90 used. It may be a smarter purchase than a $1500 GPU to play babbygames but relativistic comparisons get you nowhere. Some people pay big bucks for a silicone sculpture that lays gelatin eggs inside of you. An A6000 is more alluring but only on a pragmatic level, the omission of the NEX-7's secondary command dial bothers me as a manual shooter and the camera doesn't arouse me like the others. Maybe when film dies a horrible death prices will have come down by then. I'll probably have a different set of priorities as society begins to collapse.

    Been making caramel popcorn and fried tofu regularly. It's good. Also been into ramen lately. soup is just mentsuyu and Dutch fried onions, even mom gave me high marks when she was here. Yokado's thick noodles are great, 80 yen a bag. Also starting to default back to chocolate granola, this stuff is lethal. Salad hasn't gotten old yet but tofu has.

    9/21/2020 More job apps, fixed my sleep schedule that class reg managed to destroy. Thinking about selling the Canon P. I feel no obligation or affection towards it. Added a few more pictures to OM-2n.html, my photos aren't that bad. I have a ton of Provia 100F in the fridge but I have no idea when it expires. My follow-up email about expiration dates got ignored by Fuji. Slide film is exciting. Houseplants are amazingly cheap in Japan, I see other people toiling away so they can spend $25 on some string of pearls. Got some rosemary and white longicalycinus for $4, I need more plants that will survive my neglect. Way of the Househusband is getting a live-action, I'm actually kind of excited. Hiroshi Tamaki is ridiculously hot. Been cataloging videos, music, etc. that I've been into at different points in my life. really having trouble recalling what I was doing grades 1-8.

    I think one of my persistent personal failings have been a lack of imagination or foresight, to imagine myself under a different set of lifestyle circumstances without scrapping my repertoire now. I have a tendency to rigidly adhere to some ideology in living, an unconscious framework for rationalizing actions within my day-to-day. This drastically changing is distressing as evident by the journal entries for when I came home from college. My thinking in regards to gratification and hobbies were completely shattered, I actually had some degree of agency. I'm not terribly good at changing gears and it makes sense that I'm unable to really imagine drastic lifestyle changes.

  • 9/22/2020 There's nothing more horrible than corporate mantras. I already feel a part of myself die after having to lie on the line "why did you choose our company?" 22 times. I hate how american companies are vague about income, and the japanese with overtime and overseas transfers. I hate how humanitarian work consistently pays pennies.

    an 8000 participant survey by the company that manufactures false orifices you inject your daddybatter into has revealed that the Japanese revere good food and laughing over intercourse. If you're a r*dditor you'd think otherwise. Or convicted serial killer writing from prison.

    9/23/2020 New finds:

  • Artistttt Contemplating buying one of their photobooks
  • JP blog going through his dad's old negatives A rare dump of pre-war photos

    reinvigorated, sewing is fun. still need to finish the hem and sleeves.

  • 9/24/2020 just dreamed i was being shitty to michael gove

    9/26/2020 Another rainy day but it's not horrible. Actually reminds me of those rare grey mornings in irvine. Maybe it's the fog. I've found that it's hard to take the piss out of japanese TV as most of it is delightfully lo-fi. Presenters flubbing their lines live on air, bus passes and towels being offered as gifts, saccharine commercial BGMs that fail to shake off its 90's dust.

    Updated the sidebar to remove dead pages and added new ones. kommandostore now sells $11k quad tube NODs now? How did they manage that?

    9/27/2020 Sub 25 weather, I'm into it. Reading The Great Stink of Paris once again, almost 2 years since my pathology prof recommended it to the class. Moralizing about poverty, making social issues into individual shortcomings, horse corpse management, there's plenty of modern political intersections with 19th century public health. Brits get shat on all over this book with excerpts like:

    Timeless, tradition-bound, stubbornly resistant to change, Bretons stood as a race apart within France, “holding on with a religious respect to their institutions, their mores, their dress, and their language, as they maintain in their [physical] traits the still recognizable characteristics of the race to which their ancestors belonged.” On the one hand, their attachment to an unchanging way of life preserved the Breton traditions, institutions, and love of the land; on the other hand, it also made 'the bad eternal and the better impossible.'

    Resignation to this lot in life was so deeply ingrained in the Breton people that it caused the hygienists to wonder whether these peasants would even consent to trade their diet or belongings for better ones if given the choice. The Breton accepts his fate as final and absolute, observed Villermé and Benoiston, quoting another contemporary observer to the fact that 'he treats his poverty like a hereditary and incurable disease.'

    Someone made a shockingly well done Houshou nendoroid, his hands must be as nimble and well-travelled as Terry Richardson's. Bought 2 new photobooks, one on the '69 Tokyo University riots. good god /ck/ turned into a shithole

    9/29/2020 Classes start soon. Got some interviews lined up. I'm not particularly enthused with any of the companies I applied to but I'm excited about the people I'd be able to meet, the diversity in novel sensations and life experiences I'd be able to explore. Watching Professional, the NHK documentary series following people at their jobs. Their struggles, anxieties, everything is center frame. A stand-up comedian was one of the subjects this time around. He sprinkled in some brutally honest fatalism while in a coronavirus-spurred bind, stuff like "quitting is easy" and "no one would really notice if my job disappeared." Alongside his enduring passion for stand-up and entertaining audiences that come to the theatre it feels bit...selfless? I really hesitate to say stuff like this because inevitably imagery of Zeroes flying towards American carrier groups spring up on people whose notions of Japan don't extrpolate very far. But it makes me think whether it really is an informal social contract that compels people to work under this system. America is a hypercapitalist hellscape, companies would readily mailbomb each other if it was formally sanctioned as business strategy.

    You have this incredibly convenient labor arrangement in Japan where society is fundmentally tailored to working-age men slaving away at offices for 14 hours a day. Women devolved back into housekeepers after the 80's careerwoman boom not because they enjoy being submissive "traditional" housewives, but because they'd be subjected to the same conditions their husbands are expected to. Feminism suffered a setback in a country with an equality index lower than Mexico's because both genders are having a shit time. So what is motivating people to follow this deterministic pipeline of school, work, and death? Despite what /pol/ says Japan isn't full of locusts, there has to be some underlying ideology that is alluring to normal people that render the side effects of karoshi and childlessness tolerable. And the documentry got me thinking, are business transactions really built on customer satisfaction as the bottom line, much like the social etiquette drilled into school children? Maybe the japanese don't think of companies as some sort of paternalistic institution or some inherited kamon. Are transactions and labor really built on social bonds?

    10/1/2020

    kassemg and wongfu weekends alongside tested and jack saint, the 2011 special.

    back to top ⤴
  • original title: feminized カールおじさん
  • 8/17/2020 Catching up on Chi no Wadachi, truly remarkable how anxiety-inducing reading through it is. Going through the pages is like trying to breath through a garden hose. Despite the drama hinging on characters it's hard to suspend your empathy for any of them. It might become like Lolita, in which the narrative plays with your emotions until you're retrospectively able to see how reprehensible the characters are. I do wonder how it'll get wrapped up nicely, seems like everything is cut-and-dry by chapter 80.

    2bro is playing Tarkov again with the Japanese localization. They all supposedly work alongside recording, streaming, and editing. Don't know how they manage. Chat calling Otoja ケチ者 because he refuses to spend rubles is 10/10.

    There's unironic naruto threads on /a/ now, it's hard to BELIEVE IT XD

  • 8/18/2020 More news of Japanese people moving to the countryside in sheds, it's an accumulation of two years' worth of coverage.
  • It's sanguine in that such alternatives are warmly covered on the news now, undoubtedly spurred due to the amplified terror that normal Japanese labor arrangements brings under coronavirus. As the man said, only 1/4 of workers in Tokyo have the option to work from home. I'm cynical to whether this ordeal will bring any systematic change within society, and the fact that all 3 interviewed people were driven to retrogress into pre-industrial living because of toxic workplaces and a society that doesn't allow much latitude is a depressing thought. I've saved enough money for a plot of land and some building materials, this will be my safety net. And while it's convenient to have options other than suicide, wouldn't it be nice to live in a country where there's a middle ground between machiavellian indentured servitude and returning to monke? Volunteering is small fish, I've done enough. I can't imagine social work to be any better with Japan's legendary bureaucracy. But I'd like to do something, anything, so that more people can feel like they have a bit of latitude in their life trajectory.

    8/22/2020 Just grabbed repro british paratrooper pants for a criminal $10. Hopefully the seller doesn't cancel my order. Still reading Vodka Politics, it's full of mind-boggling stories about destitution in the Soviet Union. Read Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou, a deeply confused and fatalistic manga series. The two WIDE characters scrounge through an empty post-war world. Between the gorgeous backdrops the solemn isolation envelops everything, always asking the question "what does it mean to live?" Even the author's end of volume notes are brooding giving each volume an air of cogency. There's no neat answers or arguments to be made, many loose threads are left that way. While it may not be an exceptional series I doubt I'll ever see another one like it.

    I want to make some sort of book. There's nothing romantic about a magnetic platter. I've been toying with a pressed flower book, but most shrink down into brown masses after a few weeks. Thought of a journal like _ who printed her late dad's online journals, but it's a lukewarm idea. Maybe something like Jung's Red Book.

  • I heard fireworks last night and it got me thinking what I'd grab first if this chimney of an apartment caught fire.

    8/24/2020 The pants shipped. Got my hands on the OM-4, delicious. The OM-2/1.8 had fungus and a leaky power winder, another project camera. Otherwise it works fine.

  • Finishing Otome no Teikoku, it's a series you would conceal from your parents as it's got butts and things. The dialogue and how it's arranged is really fantastic. There's banter that flows well and a genuine back-and-forth between characters that's rare among others with 4-koma complexity. There was an article suggesting that anime is popular among those on the autistic spectrum due to the complete lack of subtlety in its presentation. Otome no Teikoku would not be popular among that crowd. Reading Svetlana Alexievich's Zinky Boys, a collection of first-hand testimonies about the Soviet-Afghan war.

    the character design for uss hornet is uhhhhhhh I'll be in my bunk.

    8/26/2020 Funny seeing milota twitter fawning over Cr*nsaw. I also didn't expect "US paramilitaries shoot protestors in conjunction with police" be a headline I'd ever have to read.

    Dad's been sellng off stuff back in the US. There goes my childhood for a few dollars.

    8/27/2020 2 cameras sold, bought a nendoroid. Back on my shit, the trademark anhedonia as I go through the motions. Mindlessly browsing, barely eating, sleeping too much. Realized that my wishlist page is largely obsolescent. Stuffing lists full of things I'd like to buy is a tactic to drum up interest, any interest, back in gradeschool. Planning out your material desires because they'll be readily discarded is retrospectively some odd shit.

    I'm back to regularly browsing imageboards, it's been 5 years or so. It feels like revisiting your childhood spots and discovering all the landmarks you remembered so fondly have been bulldozed for a parking lot. Music is good, music makes me appreciate things. Reading is also fun, but I need some time to warm up to fiction. reading my previous journal entries from >year ago and I can safely say my life was objectively worse back then.

    8/28/2020 Camera sold but in-person this time. The guy was a Chuo uni student with bleached hair just getting into film. How nice. It was a camera I was willing to give away to friends so I let it go cheap. yuno got here, have to re-apply the face stickers later. No regrets for $15. Cleaned up the 50mm f/1.8, fungus flew right off.

  • wow hylics 2 is out on steam

    8/31/2020 Gallivanting around the blog Shoot Film, Ride Steel. Another film photography page, while going through it I saw a lot of unsavory intersections with how I tend to write. Namely the liberal use of platitudes or abstract conclusions left without context. Typing "I feel productive" is a bulletpoint, elaborating why is Writing. His blog entries are dotted with mental battles against materialism or creative stagnation, statements rendered flat without context. And that's how I write.

    Marry Me is getting a live action adaptation, god have mercy

    9/1/2020 new guestbook comment, time to toil with my code

    I said I was just going through the motions but I think it's more satiation than boredom. Got some romeos that won't destroy my lower back and the OM-4ti is a dreamy camera. Still actively looking for furniture as well as some plants for the balcony so there's some space for dreaming. I am out of sewing ideas and haven't read much manga lately though.

    9/3/2020 New MANime totebags.

  • Playing Hylics 2, reading Secrets, Sex, and Spectacle: The Rules of Scandal in Japan and the United States. Some more work on the cargos, successfully brought up the waistline. Feel like an anorak or coat-length kimono would get me on a new project.

    9/4/2020 35degs. Watching Ster2.

    Found an abandoned blog by a 49 year old woman. We a have absolutely no intersections but it's an interesting experience going through it. I love her writing, the otherwise negligble fixations and little retrospective croutons that she holds onto. The ruined D.C. asphalt after the Gulf War victory parade, the black lace discouraging flies from her grandmother's open casket, such a departure from my pages of fact-shitting. She's always looking to the past, the things she's left behind, the people who have left her behind. Except for her voicing affection for her husband. That's nice. She also spills vicious misandry across her pages, stuff like "Men eat food they purchase at gas stations."

    I experienced a new sensation this year. I always welcome new experiences although my cushy lifestyles patterns often don't reflect that. I had my memory of my grandfather tainted. Family business is often drawn-out and dramatic, the formation of hushed rumors and sideways glances. I knew things were complicated on my dad's side, evident by the _ around his father's funeral gathering and my aunt outright insulting me the first time we met. I also knew my immediate family isn't as open with me as I thought. They waited until I was 18 to disclose a few things about our family history that I thought was impossibly benign.

    Regardless I had a lot of reverence for him. Tinkerer, engineer, war survivor. He had a preference for Suntory whiskey and cameras, a few of which grandma neglected to throw away. Mom told me he was especially happy of having a grandson. I have siblings. Typical old man rationale. He had a stroke when I was in my single digits so that robbed me of any disjointed conversations in Japanese. I sacralized a man I never got to meet, only trailing behind his presence by going through his bronze drafting compasses and Showa-era steel files, imagining what his nimble hands did with them. But it's all over, I've learned some unsavory details about his personal life. Turns out his nimble hands were good at other things. Shame. Time to move on.

    9/5/2020 Tried to read A History of Costume by Rachel H. Kemper, not the best book about clothing. Claims are ambiguous and uncited, there's a distinct stench of bad pop history that permeates the pages.

    Eventually, the concept of fatherhood was grasped and, inspired by animistic magic, male sexual display achieved astonishing dimensions.

    Not particularly convincing. It is from 1977 so the text retains the same paradox as mid-century clothing research, namely decrying colonial erasure of native clothing and calling those same people unhinged savages. The second chapter is unironically titled "Civilizing Costume"

    back to top ⤴
  • 8/1/2020 New finds:
  • Critique of contemporary contextualizations of incels
  • Analysis of grey and black-market firearms in Venezuela
  • New Superbunnyhop video on Hunt:Showdown
  • New solo camp video

    A course at an Italian university used my picture of the SE-700. Made coffee with an Aeropress, great success. Didn't result in bean juice like my french press. Smells like the tail end of a fireworks show. The nice coffee bean shop down the street had a new face working there. Some late reforms to my isekai manga page, massive updates to the rest. Found out how css works, only took me 2 years. Forget barring yourself from the internet 6 days out of the week, Hastiesthandiwork has disappeared altogether.

  • A new guestbook comment 。^‿^。

    8/2/2020 Sun's out. Blocking all social media site elements related to follower numbers or points. If I wanted to see numbers go up I'd stare into a clock. I've also started to notice that my twitter feed is starting to resemble facebook despite only following mangaka. It's a home-grown stream of mobile game ads, athlete tweets, and Vtuber stream announcements. Still playing FE:Heroes, don't know why. It does its job as a free paper-thin mobile game that makes me want to play a proper FE. Above all I miss the excitement of hit rates.

    8/7/2020 More manga, Dungeon Meshi is fantastic, a sort of modern Toriko. Such great pacing and it's an engaging read to casually flip through. Finished Miageru to Kimi wa, more shoujo than shoujos.

    The Azumanda Daioh anime is actually quite surreal, with odd pacing and the baffling OP/ED theme selections. Some shows are very explicit in their 4koma roots like Yuyushiki, but this one is just strange. The fishing anime is fine.

    New hanten, fairly vanilla. Working on some drop-crotch cargos but the fly is still unfinished. Somewhat of a dry spell when it comes to sewing, not many new exciting ideas. Been thinking of doing a themed photobook, I need something to shake up how I take pictures, a different way of thinking that will dialate my definitions of "worthy of a photo."

  • 8/11/2020 New finds:

  • Swedish clothing shop that offers open-source clothing patterns, the monolithic patterns are neat.
  • Archive of French dress sketches
  • ☆V☆E☆A☆H☆

    Despairing over the fact that any character over 25 is never made into a nendoroid. Houshou, Katsuragi Misato, Hiratsuka Shizuka, Tobami Nami, the list goes on. An O3 was coughing on the train with a mask around his chin, might catch the rona because I decided to take the time to wash my hands at the station. It was a good run.

    8/12/2020 Ridiculously good weather. Got some kebab today.

    The Japanese internet landscape is strange. It feels less centralized with no reddit equivalents, and even 2ch is not as populated as the numerous english boards its spawned. There's still a heavy reliance on ancient sakura-hosted personal sites as well as the littany of blog services. Yet I've never felt a particular collective atmosphere in any of them, they all feel relatively insular, personal little things. There's thousands of terrible little congregation sites drawing threads off of 2ch talking about prostitution or vague ghost-written articles about X. It seems to me that twitter is still king, to the disadvantage to me as it's not a terribly legible site to navigate. The uniquely Japanese apprehension in reposting images without consent rules out tumblr as a viable platform.

    I've done it, this neocities thing has made journal entries something other than rantings during emotional dry spells. Entries from just a couple years ago are almost illegible, just streams of discontent without any elaboration. I'm thankful.

    8/13/2020 Spent an hour on god's domain watching Fragtime, a deliciously unsavory hour-long anime. It's significant in that none of the characters are likable into the tail end of the movie, which is quite the accomplishment. For once the brief synopsis lives up to expectations. Also watching Liz to Aoi Tori, absolutely gorgous and similarly gay but the voice acting doesn't quite hit its mark.

    ( ˘ ◡ ˘ ) ( ' ◡ ' *)
    /   \  /    \
  • Sold 2 more cameras, bought a Zabadak CD and for parts 35RC. Filter ring needs to be bent back and the rangefinder patch cleaned but it's in good condition. Until I get a 35RD this might be the camera with its viewfinder readouts. Canon P is still unusable until I can wrench the lens off.
  • thank god kissanime is dead

    8/16/2020 half my body is kebab

    Started reading Vodka Politics by Mark Lawrence Schrad, an eye-opening chronological overview of the enduring role alcohol plays in state control. Did you know wikipedia pages for monarchs are heavily sanitized? Did you know Peter the Great, heavily intoxicated, would execute prisoners during banquets much to the horror of foreign dignitaries? His mistress Elizaveta Vorontsova "swore like a trooper, squinted, stank and spat as she spoke." They were just like us common folk.

    One of my new finds is a 14-year old Japanese blog still squirting out entries, complete with grotty early 2000's images of Japan, the images conjoured in my mind when I think of haruhi-era subcultures. A bizarre political rant from 2008 stood out, railing against proposals for children in Japanese/foreign national marriages be granted citizenship. As an anime otaku of course he's opposed to this, but a particular line stood out to me: that regardless of party allegiance, politicans in the Diet are there to "protect the Japanese." Odd choice of words there. it's not economic prosperity or social equality, but security that is his most pressing concern. And to him relaxing the impermeable border between "Japanese" and "non-Japanese" is a threat amidst a global recession.

    The Japanese are coddled, and it's quite significant when coming over from pretty much any other part of the world. Poverty is low-ish, drug epidemics are non-existent, issues of industrial pollution ceased decades ago, violent crime is low, and the country is (on its surface) problem-free. Thanks to provisions in the constitution the closest the JSDF has gotten to war is lounging in air-conditioned bases in Iraq, never to leave like their Bundeswehr counterparts. Your average Russian consumes 18 liters of vodka a year, 67,000 Americans died from overdoses in 2018, 130 candidates and politicans in Mexico were murdered that same year, and Syria has grappled with international state-sponsored violence for the past 9 years. Yet Japan shrugs, the notion of a widespread social ill that doesn't involve work or aging seems impossibly foreign. As far as societal ills goes there's hikkis and overworking, both of which outside observers sort of scoff at as nebulous non-issues attributed solely to Japanese culture.

    Yet the 40% of Japanese people not apathetic enough to abstain from voting live in this bubble of jingoistic paranoia, a perfect intersection with the permeating stink of exceptionalism that has cut across US politics for 70 years. For the anime-obsessed blogger, national power and strength are top priorities in a pacifist society that has yet to shake the spectres of its imperial past. All the while the economy has limped for 40 years, the same austerity-pushing political party has been in power for 65 years, and 40% of the labor pool consists of part-time workers and contractors. To me there's more pressing issues than big dick posturing.

    The middle school-aged blog is a curious mish mash of entries, the most well-known being him handing out Lucky Star anime figures to North Korean children and Eromanga sensei t-shirts to the residents of Erromango. I wonder if all that international travel from Cuba to Mexico has dialated his worldview in the 12 years since that entry.

    New Hidamari Sketch volume. It's nice.

    back to top ⤴
  • 7/14/2020 Continued rain. Not feeling so good. I feel like I've forgotten how to enjoy myself outside to be honest. There was a Nikon F70 at bookoff today. Felt incredible in the hands, really well made. Other stuff in the bin included EXE's, Nikkomat's, Kiss', the usual. Re-read my favorite bl manga, Kimi ha Natsu no Naka. Still fantastic, even if it's reliant on two common tropes. It's palpable to me because I find it too be not that gay, as opposed to the relentless fingers in bums normally splashed across the pages.

    Muji opened up their applications again, getting ready to furiously fill in those questions. I was looking at a few sharehouses in case I do get the job and have to move. I'm not terribly sentimental about this place. Remembered that one of my dad's friends offered me a job if he opens up a resturaunt. Issue is he lived out near Chiba, which is easily 2 hours away by train. I had just moved, freed of $2500 and 15lbs of body weight, and the question took me completely off-guard. Still feel bad about the lukewarm answer I gave him. But I have options now, another clean slate.

    Feeling lonely. I wrote out this pathetic inward-looking diatribe, sort of the polar opposite to blogs talking about how they hate women and how they're hopelessly addicted to hentai. I guess these feelings are part of the Japanese experience. Cooking is really fun though, made mixed rice with bamboo shoots, goya chanpuru with pork, vegetable broth ramen. Provided I have a handful of working brain matter to think of recipes I think i'm a competent cook.

    7/17/2020 Going through my manga. Dear god do I have too much, it's nearing 500GB. One wonders how much time and effort of someone else's life I'm discarding by choosing to drop a series. Read a particularly devastating suspense manga that I managed to write about here, another Chi No Wadachi moment. It's the kind of series that lingers with you, and specific scenes intrude back in your head like a menopausal woman's hot flashes.

  • Itsuka Moterukana emanates more crippling futility than Chechen war footage. It chronicles the adventures of a 40-something mangaka as he hauls his corpse across matchmaking advisors, dating courses, and dead-end relationships. It sort of whittles away at your own ego as you watch this poor man get battered by the system until only a set of statistics are left to judge. Reading this you start to feel paranoid about your own value as a carton of eggs or a spoonful of daddybatter. Meanwhile he shuffles himself to tanning salons, clothing shops, and ergonomics instructors in a desperate attempt to accrue cultural capital, to polish up his genetic code on display.

    7/19/2020 a comprehensive article on Qanon. Reading through it is almost a resignation of sanity, people like this actually exist. As illustrated in coronavirus conspiracy theories the internet's offspring is somehow a condemnation of democratized speech, a hit piece against humanity.

  • I feel comfortable in this apartment, maybe not settled but this had become my "home." My lukewarm feelings probably stem from my lukewarm feelings on Kanagawa as a whole. But I've been looking inward, trying to quantify what exactly was my idealized image of living in Japan while in the US. As I see it, there's 3 big blocks. There's rustic countryside living where you live in great big keyless wooden houses. You gradually learn to tolerate insects and crushing isolation. I associate it with tatami mats, gravel driveways, and watchful judgement of pensioners still working the fields. It's quiet but inconvenient. There's also chummy suburban life, still sedate but a step up from having to drive to accomplish basic industralized life. I imagine midcentury cardboard houses, narrow Chibimaruko-chan neighborhoods, and lots of rust from derelict detective signs. This is where other grandma dwells. Finally, there's the center of Tokyo hovel. Microscopic apartments, droning subway noises, and grotty concrete everywhere. This is what tumblr blogs obsess over, a sort of monochrome cyberpunk.
  • And you know what suburbia is pretty damn great, especially when there's a river and some greenery nearby. But maybe I should've blasted away a few pennies living in the center of Japan while I'm still young, maybe Shibuya or Ikebukuro. It would be a dehumanizing experience, living among what seems like thousands of other shuffling corpses, but you must feel like you're living center-frame. Koenji was nothing special with your typical city layout. The thing about Japan is that rent isn't neccessarily always going to be high, there's substancial variance even within Tokyo. The issue is that down payments and moving fees will eviscerate your wallet, easily reaching $3500 depending on the apartment. I'd easily say that places worth living in the US have higher rent than a comparable place in Japan in regards to convenience.

    7/23/2020 New finds:

  • Notions of masculinity and family structure among preppers
  • "There are not many occasions in our modern era for proving one’s mettle; our commerce-soaked interactions are scrubbed clean of bravery, valor, even expressions of basic ingenuity. Despite the constant blaring of panic coming from the media—EJ says apocalypse feels like it’s always 'one headline away'—most of us are hobbled by the cushy expanse of consumer circumstance."
  • On the Olympics' questionable brand image
  • "The phrase “All barriers of nationality and race have vanished” is a useful one if you plan on annexing some land, but this pan-humanist branding, so loved by Official Olympic Sponsor Coca-Cola, does little to reinforce the true Olympic ideal of clearly defined nationhood. (It is also doubly ironic when spoken in a film where Germany is still riven into East and West and South Africa is banned for preferring apartheid to the pole vault.)
  • Recontextualization of sex work through the online marketplace
  • "Both Davis and Mazzei rely on a suite of nonce-words––empowerment, agency, self-exploration, validation––that lend stature but not rigor to contemporary progressive discourses inside and outside the sexual domain....it is hard not to notice the distinctly disturbing nature of many cybersexual 'yums,' or to ignore the gray area between coercion and unencumbered choice that comes into play when sexual availability is placed on the auction block."
  • Balkan reunification
  • "In his book Nationalism Reframed, the sociologist Rogers Brubaker explains how a rising generation of Serbs, entering political life in the economic twilight of the 1980s, came to develop a kind of persecution complex, envisioning Yugoslavia as a frontier of secession-prone republics where their majority was dwindling."

    7/24/2020

  • Re-watching Wii no Ma while sewing, the now-defunct video channel on the nintendo console. Bursting with sentimentality, it's a portal to people's lives through their labor. Like a more personal How's it's Made. Just wonderful. The uploader has a macro fetish.
  • The most manga I've gone through in the last year. Tons of unexpected keepers too, from a romance manga about breadmaking to one about mermaids. Still procrastinating on reading the actually good ones.

    7/29/2020 More sewing, I count 6 projects that I'm in the middle of. Gusseted pockets are still hard. Fiddling with the C35 again, the third that has fallen into my hands. The first I dropped while at UCSB and died, the second black one I sold, and this third one is a junker. Rangefinder is off, light meter is dead. Typical stuff but the rangefinder adjustment screw is giving me trouble and I no longer own a soldering iron. Sold another camera, a late 2000's zoom P&S. I make a pretty good Goya Chanpuru. Found that I'm steadily moving away from eating fish. Maybe I'm just shit at preparing it. Dad's having trouble making rent.

    good god remember these shows

    back to top ⤴
  • Journal - Japan, 2020