Been reading more manga and sewing while watching The Moth/Tarkov/munchies videos. Adam Savage interstingly called childrearing "triage, not control." I need to read more. There's nothing more affirming than wearing out clothing you've just made. All the decisions and uncertainties that preceeded it galvanizes into a point of pride alongside your newly-found satiation.
Figured out image captions, now I can include manga titles in these journal entries in an elegant way. Successfully added captions to outfit photos but the DIY section is going to take some work.
[藤近小梅] 好きな子がめがねを忘れた/[すずゆき] ふたり明日もそれなりに/[雨隠ギド]ゆらゆらＱ/[住野よる×二駅ずい]か「」く「」し「」ご「」と「/[草香去来×灯まりも] 半助喰物帖
2/10/2021 These past 7 months of job applications made me think I was a year older than I actually am. I wonder how my relationship with clothing will change as I age. Transforming into an O3 in't particularly alluring.
Started reading ちちゃこい日記, a coming-of-life romance story. The snowy setting is rare and there's plenty of comfy potential. The tone of the whole thing is something I haven't gotten yet.
2/11/2021 Finished the buttpack, very happy with it. You carry a lot of shit in Japan. Most people walk and take trains, summers are boiling hot, and physical currency is still king. As a result your pockets are inundated with coins and rewards cards and sunscreen and water bottles and umbrellas and grocery bags. Tote bags and fannypacks are everywhere as a result. I wanted to carry groceries in a more conveient manner so I went with something around the waist. Doesn't get hot like a backpack, easy to throw things in.
Finished One Soldier's War. Predictably a punishing read from the hazing to the shooty tooty and all that. The first half is like a full-length novel about Harry Potter's downtrodden life prior to discovering his inherited royal blood and latent Übermensch talent. The book is remarkably well-written, the translation even getting terminology correct like taxiing aircraft or backblast. The physical descriptions about terror or anticipation reminded me a bit of old english literature where people would break into a fever from shock alone. The disparity in value systems between war and normal life is again present, the shopping cart scene in The Hurt Locker.
2/12/2021 There have been many links drawn between the marriage of rural america and prepping. A touch of religious doomsday doctrine, widespread economic decay under global capitalism, and paranoid libertarianism all point to people who have been left behind under globalization, preferring to fantasize about the end of the earth than any meaningful alternative. Scenarios where their agency is unquestioned, the conflict of living and dying is more more explicit than the slow economic withering of their rural town. Sure a world without other people would be exciting. Urban exploration every day, stealing things that would've never belonged to you, gleefully entering places because you couldn't, like a child on a chair reaching into an adult-height cupboard. No more commuting, wasted weekends, or after-work gatherings. All these sentiments are incapsulated in media, people growing virtual plants for no reason in Fallout or making their neighborhood in the Sims.
But in 2020 the apocalypse seemed a lot less desirable. I often joke that my life is directly tied to my hard drive: that our health is one. All the images, journals, and files contained within this metal box carries more meaning to me than it should. I can now say the same with other people. Yes people, the thousands of mechanical heads you used to see bobbing along in Ikebukuro, the kind that avoids your eyes on the sidewalk like they're magnetically incompatible, the black masses that approach the station every morning like hungry flies. I live for them, I live because of them. This epiphany didn't come after nervously watching the river swell on twitter during a hurricane or hunkering down for 6 months during a global outbreak. I'm not particularly concerned about my health, when it's time it's time. Instead it was the weekly runs to the store that suddenly shook me awake.
Every time I walk down my neighborhood I see the same views: the same grey buidlings, the same housewives on bikes, the same deliverymen, the same couples heading to the park. I'm transported back when I was visiting this country on holiday, dodging the tourist locations in favor of a back street or a placid neighborhood. I start to think about my life If I had lived here, the daily views, the grocery store routes, the secluded corners to take a deep breath. I wonder what the young couples' apartments look like, what interior arrangements they've acclimate themselves to. What kids are thinking as they walk home in uniforms, what concealed interests the anonymous salarymen look forward to, all these possibilities are racing through my mind as I head to the vegetable stand. These thoughts keep me sane because no matter how much I try, I can't excite myself into a frenzy indoors with trifling little hobbies or attention-grabbing TV shows. I need other people to stay well, especially in a scenario when meeting other people is discouraged.
And so can you imagine fantasizing for a solitary apocalypse? It just didn't make sense anymore. I don't live for just myself.
2/14/2021 Read Daily Life in the Middle Ages by Paul B. Newman. As an /r/askhistorians regular it's right up my alley, although rather generalist due to the broad topic. It offers a few typifing examples but more would've been nice. It does its best to dispell the grotty backwards image the post-roman empire period has carried with it. Most surprising was the use of grass carpets as even most castles had earth floors, as well as table manners/suggestions that were quite sensible.
There was a quite sobering thread on different countries' virus responses. The past year has been great advertising for repressive one-party governments.
2/15/2021 Reading Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russia by Donald Raleigh.
I'm at a very odd place with my infatuation with clothes. I'm afraid of labeling anything "satiated" because hunger has always been neccessary for me to get motivated. I'm certainly happy with the clothes I've made. 2 years ago I said I was exicited for Japan's more extremem weather to shake up my wardrobe, and that rings true. A T-shirt and shorts would suffice year-round in California, and I found that impossibly boring. Yokohama is more temperate than I thought, and living somewhere mountainous and hellish like Kyoto would've probably induced more change. For now I can get away with wearing the same outfit year-round as long as I have scarves and inner layers ready. Wool is a material I haven't been able to explore fully yet. While I'm well-acquainted with linen, I'm under a dry spell when it comes to new ideas. I'd love to do some overlapping and doubled-breasted shirts but nothing concrete.
But what about purchasing clothes? Of course have a few Kapital outerwear that I've had by eyes on, but I always buckled at the prices even when used. I think that's for the best. They'll be an attainable yet distant desire. I'm still on the lookout for anoraks and parkas but that's even more of a vague search. The only real purchases I have done are used shirts and pants in the $10 price range to tailor and modify.
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