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. You know that every small preoccupation
(∩｀-´)⊃━☆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"
back to top ⤴ °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°
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.
back to top ⤴
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.
back to top ⤴
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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