5/22/2021 I think the zenith of understanding another country is being able to interpret their TV commercials. To be able to cut through the plasticine presentation and understand the idealized landscape of aspirational living that these marketers are trying to sell people. Elements of essentialist comedy, irony, undesirablity, desirability, there's various cultural motifs and dogwhistles that only one specific demographic can process.
another great introspective kliksphilip video. Dad and Sons podcast in the background, the story of george navigating his way through tokyo with a wrist compass after his phone died is peak george. he also went to the hospital after developing a vitamin D deficiency by not going outside. he doesn't put on a persona for his videos, it's just who he is.
broke my lent on junk food, it's been boxes of crunch bar ice cream that jump down my hole. best way to eat healthy is just not to have any temptations inside the house. if I have a stock of junk food it's going to disappear within 2 days.
sewed another rectangular manpurse, this time with two zippers openings that meet like a Mystery Ranch tri-zip rucksack. I've been eyeing the Hill People Gear Tarahumara, a backpack resembling a sadomasochist dumpling. Not obscenely expensive and the Elk Brown variant looks really nice. Only concern is that it looks rather small. I'm weary of buying from any gear or outdoors manufacturers thse days. SKD, a very prominent gear retailer started selling political stickers after 2016 (´･.･`) Nothing outwardly gross is on Hill People Gear's site and their product descriptions are very frank, I appreciate that.
5/23/2021 sleep deprived. weekends are where good photos are at. dogs poking out of rucksacks, people sleeping in broad daylight, kids expectantly holding bug nets while on the back of bicycles. if i didn't have the reaction time of a single-celled organism i'd be divine king of flickr. the tomatoes were cheap.
5/24/2021 now that's a bruh moment.
added a secondary pocket to the chinese grenade pouch. holds 8 rolls of film or 16 snickers bars. ultramax got here, 6 rolls for $30. I was reading some boomer's blog and he readily admitted that he never went back to edit his previous articles, whereas I've been polishing the same turds for 3 years. Wonder which approach will get me to write more. Added some reviews to the isekai page, some quotes on the clothing page.
5/25/2021 Applied to _. Who knows. Absentmindedly looking at apartment listings while on my break and and I enjoyed it. I'm reluctant to admit it because much like a sexual deviant I know that I shouldn't. The last move was fraught with plenty of toil, misery, and sleeping among cardboard boxes. But browsing neighborhoods takes me back to traveling in Japan as a tourist, I imagine routes and routines. The carefree fantasies of an outsider.
some of the really cheap listings are also uhhhhhhhhhh
5/26/2021 The local camera store was finally hit with film price increases, Ultramax and Colorplus went from $7 a roll to $11. I have 30 rolls in the fridge and at my usual pace in shooting that should last me 6 or 7 years. Bought two books on ethnic garb around the world, $3 each. I'm warming up to physical books again. there's something aspirational about having your own complete bookshelf. Still after photobooks and reference books on clothing, surreal artbooks are also on my mind. Holy grail would probably be a copy of Lovely Sweet Dream, they're unobtanium even in japan. Used the CD player, it's been a while. I really like the ritual of it, sifting through stacks of covers and looking at track orders. I'm sure anyone over the age of 4 will laugh my at suggestion that CD's are quirky tactile old tech at this point. Beats double-clicking a rectangle.
I'm in that groove writing, the same sensation when I'm sewing. Everything is shoved to the periphery, I can really hone in on what I'm doing.
5/27/2021 nothing is better than waking up laughing from a dream. The two books got here. One is your typical traditional dress illustration book in a nice small size. A coffee table book variant is also available for $12. The art can only be described as "classic," the veteran in a library that survives in circulation due to its lack of handling.
The other is a more...localized variant. What's remarkable is that despite being published in 2014 I don't recognize any of the artists.
forgottenweapons met their kickstarter goal of 1 million prematurely, that's bretty gool
5/30/2021 Inhaling these milk bars.
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5/9/2021 I was regularly drinking by myself. That was scary. Getting my wi-fi back, it's a lil SIm card plan this time. The second Panamaka is a bit tight. Playing Fire Emblem 8 self-randomizing, breathes new variety into a game I've played countless times, although some item additions are a bit rough around the edges i.e. has no function. I haven't gotten any 2 HP units though, so it beats out the other randomized ROM. I still want a playable Manakete/Dracozombie class, something the ROM creator took out. fiddling with FEBuilder.
5/10/2021 I spent 4 hours on wikipedia last night after coming home. It went from British confections to food scandals to Whaling to Superfund sites to Chinese mining disasters. Finished at the stranger's gate. Read The devil’s defender: my odyssey through American criminal justice. Started The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat And Other Clinical Tales.
Adam Rappaport eats like a distracted camel.
In any country you develop little mental vignettes of the cityscape. What it looks like, what it should look like. No matter how powdered up a corner shop or department store can be, the white drywall and the pipes jutting from the ceiling projects familiarity in your brain. You expect what streets and parks look like subconsciously. And so when travelling elsewhere it's an assault on the senses, uprooting your expectations with a sort of uncertainty. You're infantilized back into gawping at anything. But gradually, the same sort of familiarization takes over. You get used to it. And that process scared me for someone who evangelized living here. It even happened in the first month of sharehouse slumming. Tokyo is big and diverse, not all of it is the human jenga of Shibuya and Ikebukuro. Neighborhoods were placid and gray. Has the appeal worn off? Had my appreciation changed? iunno. In looking at saint-images' photos I'm wondering if I'm accurately capturing japanese cityscapes in a way that's as digestible as theirs. Anything unknown is exciting, gripping, and as an American Russian cityscapes are something new to me. Most Japanese steet photography taken by foreigners isn't very good but that's just my judgement being someone whose seen those views a thousand times. In my conscious effort to try and avoid that scenario maybe I've gone too far?
Read 好きな子がめがねを忘れた vol.2-7, the "I can't be seen without my glasses" Johnny Bravo bit made into a romance manga. Its appeal is surprising despite that one-note plot device of it all. It does your typical romance characterizations, sort of celestial characters that act and talk like human beings don't. It's the point at which the hopeless romantic's idealism spills over into something surreal. The love interest is less of a character and more a projection of the author's own unattainable fantasies.
Remembered that place I wanted to visit, it's the riverbed from 男子高校生の日常. It's in Chiba which is farr. And fuck me dead tamayura is beautiful
5/14/2021 oh god it's summer. rearranged my room a bit. my cardboard PC is something I want to get squared away soon. A picoPSU and actual case would be nice, I'd strap the thing to the back of my monitor. Not many new purchases lately. Bought a used $3 linen shirt after one got shredded by a vengeful crow on the balcony. Been slowly accumulating more throw-around money by selling stuff, up to $650 now.
Finished Bread&Butter, a much more adult romance story than my usual puerile rags about butts and stuff. I've seen art like this before, it's the kind of drama-centric stories for female readers with a dizzying cast of worryingly skinny characters like a classroom full of stickbugs. The story follows two people, a former teacher and former mangaka-turned breadmaker as they work towards this idealized landscape, of running a breadshop that's a pillar of their community. It's a series you could effortlessly imagine as a drama adaptation along the lines of Nodame Cantabile. A sprawling diverse cast of characters, a continuously shifting plotline, the story is begging for a multi-hour rendition. It's not really about breadmaking or making a career out of drawing or escaping bachelorhood in your mid-thirties. It deals with fantasy, the act of wanting. People who have abandoned those plans is a recurring theme throughout. lots of former-somethings.
That's the other truly bizarre thing about this series, there are no antagonists. People are falliable but they're still people. They're recurring faces within this incestuous web of characters. There are numerous divorced couples still on speaking terms and warring married couples still together. There are no sanctioned hate figures and the story dispels the holy reverence for matrimony. It portrays human relationships as something relatively simple, the complexities hiding in what's said and unsaid.
It should be quite boring. I like stuffing my hole with bread but I don't like it enough to read manga about it. The characters are endearing but they lack the big-titted flair of some western fandom trash. The cast is normal, they certainly resemble people better than the cadavers in congress. Points of tension in th story have low stakes. And yet I felt compelled to save this series and read on, a testament to the little things Bread&Butter manages to do well. Back to meandering, this series went from 2014 to 2020. Can you imagine devoting 6 years of your life to something? I could've blown off this series as some Book-Off bottom-shelf filler but I didn't, and I'm better off because of it.
5/16/2021 Been thinking of moving. Nothing crazy, maybe just a few blocks down. Lower rent, a bit quieter, it's the small things. The downpayment will be the big obstacle. This apartment isn't bad. I don't have enough furniture yet to feel like I'm making the most out of it. Coming from Tokyo large windows were a massive deal. Bathing in natural sunlight makes you feel human. I've lost my sense of missing out by living in Yokohama though, Tokyo wasn't that different. Living closer to the exciting bits, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku would be a plus but slumming it in the suburbs is the same for every reasonably large city.
Due to covid I don't think I've been making the most out of it, and I'm in a slump for a lot of things. Inevitably my various hobbies' enjoyment is tied to my relationship with other people. Once you lose the fervor for the three desires then it's game over. There is a list of things I want to do but their urgency is dampened by everything. Purchases are under greater scrutiny, most internal dialogue ends with "well that's just unneccessary." It's another opportunity to train myself out of that "waiting for something to sweep me off my feet" mentality.
5/17/2021 My bud who has graduated and gotten a job in accounting says he'd like to eventually move to Japan. Fiddling with html in a while, got image overlays to work on the homepage in the same way as captions do. Added lens/film captions to om2n.html. I think naming photos is a bit much, same with adding locations.
5/20/2021 Woke up by a wooden plank bonking me over the head. Monsoon season. I submitted the
book review to ReadingProject. I'm quaking with delight. There's a certain uncertainty that hangs around when you submit writing to someone else. My submission to EarRat was regrettably unfinished, and I've revised that article several times afterwards. All the more respect to those who submitted fiction, I'm not at that level yet.
My dad finally got vaccinated in a 180° twist. I fully blame twitter for his radicalization. Good news regardless. Japan is still very behind in everything, par for the course.
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4/21/2021 My room smells like lexol and mineral oil. New site discovery, g2mil.com. Interesting takes on how to downsize the military and reduce waste in procurement. He does have an article recommending a 10mm replacement for 5.56 which is uhhhhhhhhhhhh
also been watching this Japanese dude rough it out in the countryside. Living in the tropics sounds quite hellish but he makes it look easy. He has a very intimate and appreciative relationship with "stuff." Reminded me that I wanted to try kakishibu dyeing.
Rediscovered the neglected C35. Light meter wire is disconnected, rangefinder needs to be aligned, light seals are breaking down. Just needs a bit of love. Finding a lot of unexpected enjoyment in shooting the Pingu camera.
shoot more f2, petri, provia ($12 a roll dev jesus
take muji chuba photo
"what are your ideal _"
grow grass on balcony - growing vessel?
soundproofing sheet - carpet?
submit to 35mmc, reading project
schedule photo stops, take train
アニメ聖地, pursue tumblr aesthetic photography
takehara pilgrimage (tamayura
anime manhole cover pilgrimage (tkrzw
that one place??
飯豊山 in particular is really interesting being one of the few famous Japanese mountains whose surface isn't marred with jagged volcanic rocks. The landscape there looks a bit Swiss or Balkan, really beautiful. I doubt I'll make it to Hiroshima anytime soon but I'd love to be at that one scene in Tamayura.
I keep seeing your conventional landscape photobooks at Book-Off. They elicit the same reaction as macro photography to me. They're technically impressive photos in lighting and composition and all that, but I've seen rolling Hokkaido hills a million times. Close-ups of bugs rubbing their hands together like banker cariactures are practically burned into my brain. They can list the locations and dates and photographic gear but it all seems distant and artificially surreal. I can imagine the photographers toil, the hours spent hiking across snow or the long wait times in the same bodily position but ultimately I'm not really interested. The most it can coax out of me is "huh, that's pretty," a fleeting passing thought.
4/24/2021 The UMN/linux story is hilarious. Changed my curtains to the ebay canvas. Gave up on _. Chinese grenade pouch came in and it's smaller than I expected. Perfect for carrying 7 snickers bars. Been wearing the Russian Panamanka repro frequently and I really enjoy it. Brim length is just right, perfectly odd. Still under a dry spell when it comes to clothing ideas but I'm sure 30°C+ weather will get my mind wandering.
さよなら絶望先生 is 30 volumes. I really like 久米田康治's other works but 30 is pushing my childlike patience.
Part 3 of PolyMatter's video series is finally up, I can't remember the last time I was this excited for a youtube video. It's on China's future economic projections, an intersection of finance, culture, geography, and governance. Also watching Maoujou, glad it's stuck to the artist's artstyle closely. What a great series, even if the magic isn't encapsulated perfectly by the anime.
No regrets in not pursuing a Minolta XD or XE seriously. The XE's meter is less intuitive than the OM-2 and they both seem to be plagued with desilvering prisms and electronic issues. Shame as I really like the shutter speed location. All the more praise to the OM-2.
4/25/2021 Watching a Fukushima Nuclear disaster documentary in an act of masochism, this time centering around the evacuees. The director travels back to his hometown, one of the surrounding areas that was evacuated following the earthquake. The population of Namie went from 20,000 to 1000 in the 10 years since the earthquake. Houses remain empty and the rolling hills are now marred with waste management facilities. The director grapples with the loss of his furusato, the stigma for evacuees of returning to somewhere that was irradiated, the financial implications of turning down aid, the stagnation since the early stages of the disaster. Above all he seems to want to confront his own alienation from his hometown. He lives in Tokyo with his family, working at a televion studio. He's an outsider now, just like the evacuees that opted not to move back to Namie.
It's just plain awful. Listening to schoolkids recall being bullied for being evacuees, called "tainted" or freeloaders by adults. While the silence hangs in the air you think to yourself how to play conversational catch-ball if you were in the filmmaker's shoes, throwing in some humor or dishing out paper-thin words of encouragement to try and unravel the heavy atmosphere. But I can't think of any. No words to offer. Nothing.
4/26/2021 The glass camera cover on my LG V20 shattered, it's finally showing its age. I have zero intention in replacing this phone and have been considering buying a backup.
4/27/2021mmmmmmmmm eyueballs racing back and forth they're nimble. oh my god the people in my guestbook are so nice I can't even fathom what it's like to be part of someone's life like this. I made some soup with komatsuna mmmmmmit was good oh yeah
trying to ward off my demons with liquid fuel, spicy water. smells like a home imrpovement store, feels like a throat full of gravel. lucidity suckssssss
5/3/2021 # came by the apt. Mel's FE7's playthrough in the background, takes me back to coming home from high school. Resized the images on om2n.html so it doesn't take a bajillion years to load, still haven't done the captions. Lubricated the sewing machine for the first time. I've never had a machine that was this carefree. I've broken 1 needle and that's it. No bind-ups, no trouble with steel bobbins or thread tension. Dyed some linen with red onion skins. I was going for "tissue after a bloody nose" but grey turned into grey. Bought some more linen/rayon. ok price but the brown was just right.
I have always remembered something from the documentary that was said, almost in passing. A mention that Shackleton's mother had banned fairy tales from the home when he was growing up. She believed that the tropes reproduced in those stories - of perfect love, happily ever after - ruined the lives of young, impressionable readers who would then spend eternity searching for that idyllic, unattainable state.
I need to take a break from neocities. This site is a transparent reflection of my existence and my thoughts, the hesitation to write makes it feel like I'm out of "me."
I think this time around my situation is quite simple. There's no ambiguity to it, just a simple fact that I haven't resolved yet.
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4/10/2021 Last week's かりそめ天国 was fantastic. There was a bit where two comedians compete to illicit the most "wow" moments while reviewing a resturaunt or store. One makes several stops of a ramen chain where each resturaunt is run by the founder's siblings and they all expectantly ask whose cooking is the best. The other comedians explore a Hokkaido-centric supermarket and try to illicit "wow" facts by bringing up trivia about their home province instead. After minutes of reviewing cheese and meat lining the shelves they're whittled down to silence, Hokkaido solidly defeating Tochigi Prefecture. Both instances are iconoclastic, trashing the infalliable laws about food shows on Japanese TV, putting the presenters in awkward situations or ignoring what they're reviewing completely. No more glassed-over eyes going "mmmm that's good" after a mouthful.
= cut my hair, the black mass in my peripheral vision is gone. Back and forth with #, the conversation made me realize I wouldn't know what to do with a sudden surplus of money. I have $750 in points but I have no idea what to spend it on, I've been staring at this $20 listing for a 50mm f/2 nikkor for 6 days. Any of it that spills into real cash I've just been spending on groceries. Am I missing out? There's a certain sense of forlorn wonder when reading Japanese O3's lay out what they used to fantasize about when they were kids. American musclecars hopelessly unsuitable for the narrow roads, German cameras exhibiting a level of refinement that domestic camera makers hadn't grasped yet. Purchases completely out of reach then, and maybe those feelings of desire have never been fulfilled for practical reasons. I wonder what I'll be reminiscing about when my metabolism has slowed and I've developed an addiction to one-cup sake.
Took the F2 out for the first time, the way it fits in your hands is just perfect. Both telephotos that came bundled with the F/F2 aren't worth much so I can beat them up guilt-free. The 200mm doesn't stop down rendering it a fixed-aperture f/4 lens. The 135mm is actually quite useful. A second roll of Superia Premium 400 is loaded in the Pingu camera, hoping to get some moments like the slumped over kids from yesterday.
4/12/2021 Sold another lens. Cleaned up the PC and the idle dropped by 10 degrees. Figured out how to center .container after 3 years dohoho
4/13/2021 anime women on my mind as I spruce up my corpse with cologne
4/14/2021 watching Yuru Camp. The dads are out in full force this season. I want to freebase the sound of Itou Shizuka's voice. The Panamaka repro came, the brim is a bit shorter than I was expecting. It's a good obscure boonie alternative, looking forward to summer.
Walked a long ways to the river today. Lots of families, lots of people camping and having cook-offs. The weather was great, a bit windy and I found a grassy spot that reminded me of why I take photos. It was a perfect little corner, underneath a tree and adorned with yellow flowers. The grass formed a natural U-shape around the base of the tree.
Reading At the Stranger's Gate by Adam Gopnik. I went from his The Moth talk to his novels about winter or knees or whatever. Not a tangent I'm used to. Gopnik's soppy description of his wife really resonated with me, and why I enjoy things.
She loved “beautiful things” of all kinds. Okay. But what was astonishing to my teenage mind was that each beautiful thing was for her nestled in a kind of web of invisible wires, each tugging on scenes from old musicals and chapters from old books, from Mary Poppins to novels by Virginia Woolf, so that a Wedgwood plate or a tartan robe pulled with it, toward it, entire worlds of feeling that she longed for.For her, it was by being not strange and not new that things earned their beauty. They were familiar, but familiar not from a middle-class life in Canada; rather, from an imaginary life glimpsed in books and movie theaters, which she was determined to get to. Ever since she was small, she had been following the invisible wires that tugged on things from their point of origin, the places she longed for. The things also longed for their original homes, and if one simply followed them religiously enough, one might get there, too. The invisible wires all led away from Montreal, sweet though it was, away from family, loving though they might be, away from home. The invisible wires all led elsewhere.
Gopnik's writing is a worried flurry, drawn-out with some substance, an expert at pacing and drip-feeding information even on subjects you couldn't give a toss about. The love letter to his mentor Richard Avedon is passionate without getting swallowed in his own infatuation, the imagery he projects in your head when describing the living organism that was 80's SoHo should be beyond words. It is pretentious. Every page drips with privilege, That's what makes it so deviant, so odd to voyeuristically peek into.
I'm sure Gopnik didn't have the manuscript for At the Stranger's Gate ready 30 years ago, but it drives home my own inability to rationally take a step back and look at my own day-to-day. There's been a lot of ways I've tried to compartmentalize my life beyond the daily staccato of bodily functions. Short/long-term gratification was one, trying to carve out some semblance of progress when there were no other sources of feedback. I tried to temper my material purchases knowing all objects eventually lose their luster, a slippery slope built off of new stimulus and new stimulus only. The deliniation between productive/non-productive behaviors was another, an attempt to lie flat what I was unconsciously wasting my time on. Gaming got cut out here, knowing that trying to extract some degree of enjoyment by going through the motions was fruitless.
4/15/2021 I feel the most creative, the most human, under a state of deprivation. I am most fulfilled in a state of unfulfillment, neurons firing at the last 5 minutes before bed when all other distractions are behind me.
4/19/2021 The F2's viewfinder is quite dark.
4/20/2021 Found another geriatric Japanese website, love these things. There's a crane game prizes page that hasn't been updated in 14 years and an active journal page. His entries mostly revolve around substances that enter and exit his body. True to form he writes "Aren't people just automatons operating like touring machines?" His daily repertoire seems quite boring but he doesn't inject a shred on emotion into his journals so I've no idea what it's like. This is what awaits you if you never marry or have kids.
4/21/2021 Rain, summer-ish weather.
4/20/2021 Found a hidden camera page hosted by a Japanese gastroenterology clinic. It's a voyeuristic little look into the Kochi countryside and the clinic's nurses 17 years ago. The author is appropriately great with his hands, listing the dozens of repairs on cameras and electronics. He's dismayed to find plastic gears inside the Contax G1. He also mentions that it was released during the peak of Japan's bubble economy era. Despite everyone drowning in money you don't see many high-end cameras of that era floating around nowadays. I wouldn't hate a Mamiya 7 surplus.
Allergies. Can't sleep. Thinking of what I've been doing now if I didn't get shot down by &. Clear mind into 2023, just enjoying my life anxiety-free. I can't carelessly enjoy myself when only uncertainty is on the horizon. Guess I'm eager to maintain this personal myth. I'm turning into dad, drinking to help me sleep. Cooking is fun, cooking is good. Keeping track of time is hard. Eating raw meat is diversifing gut flora. Eating meat is ok. The world will turn to shit anyway.
I'm more and less cognizant of my body when I'm drunk. I feel the back of my eyelids shifting around as they caresses my eyes into the right direction. They're dependable. I feel the top of my spindly little chest rise and fall to a beat I'm not familiar with. Was my breathing always this labored and long-winded? My head is mounted on a lubed-up ball joint. My eyes can't focus on more than one thing, they bead back and forth in unison. Finding my place when finding a break while reading is difficult. Or was it always like this? There was those 3months in community college where I had difficulty spelling out words. Closing my eyes is a brief reprive. I can convince myself that I'm not drunk. The border between stupor and drunken stupor disappears. Insomnia isn't that bad, it's productive. My text document is ballooning in size. My cameras lie unshot. I wanted to sew today but I didn't. It's been a while. I'm swaying back and forth in my chair shaped like a slice of toast. It hasn't given me back issues. I got it for free from some craigslist equivalent. She also gave me some glass tumblers. I'm still not wearing pants like that job interview photograph. I'm thinking whne I shoukld go to sleep but half of me isn't taking those considerations seriously. The noise outside is surprisingly loud. A biker pogrom wouldn't faze me one bit. I picked up the wrong bottle of shochu. That one smells like the cream I rub on my face. That hamburger steak was pretty good. I unplugged the rice cooker so it doesn't get hard. I'm adjusting my hair. God it feels good. There's an ambulance outside. It drops off in volume once it passes by. The Nikon F2 is a pretty good camera. I;m not obsessively checking auction sites anymore. I need to diversify my closet a bit more. The Soviet Panamacka is a good boonie alternative. I still think men wearing hats is an open advertisement that they're a complete tosser. I wouldn't talk to me. Speaking of which I don't see many people in normal baseball caps. I don't look good in hats. I don't look good with heatstroke either. I need to think and write out what my ideal _ are. Might as wekk be dead if you haave no aspirations. I also need to write a japan bucket list. Dyneema is a prety cool.
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3/27/2021 Been reading We Few, a memoir by MACV-SOG veteran Nick Brokhausen. Vietnam is fascinating because of the war's intimacy. The dense jungles put close-range fire superiority into practice with new small arms and man-portable area affect weapons, a far cry from the Korean war. Engagements in the book are often measured in inches. Brokhausen talks about sawn-off RPD's and sawn-off M79's and a multitude of other recon-specific gelded creations. The point man, or soldier at the very front of a patrol would dress like the NVA to give them a split-second advantage when coming into contact.
The book pounds out a beat of events and acronyms, never extrapolating beyond literal observations. The language of war, the language of logistics and rank and geography dot the pages, the book is a stream of consciousness that never diverts off his cone of attention. As readers we want to listen to the horrors and benignities of war, read what combat was like with uniformed combatants enveloped in the author's retrospection. But the book doesn't deliver, this read isn't for you. In contrast to Marsh;s memoir it's a bit naive. It illustrates an insular collection of men who have volunteered to fill an unimaginable role. It's an accurate interpretation through the harrowing missions the teams are subjected to, but they strip off the benignity of war. Google MACV-SOG and you'll get pictures of dads and uncles clad in tigerstripe and black fatigues. Team members are distilled down to codenames and eccentrities, almost rendered anonymous. Moments of possible introspection like the brothers he kills at close-range or recovered NVA pictures of family is swatted off with jokes. His animosity of MP's and site commanders and ARVN and Red Cross personnel (estrogen kitties/libido twins as he calls them) instead takes precedence, details that fall on deaf ears not really concerned with small-scale office politics from a conflict 50 years ago. Where the book really shines is the moments of surreal humor.
The smell of a C-130 burning aviation fuel is distinct from a Huey. Each has its own set of memories and triggers. A C-130 means traveling with no one shooting at you, a Huey’s smell will give you an anus tightening for the rest of your life.
Looking into a Minolta Dimage Xi, a subcompact digital camera from 2002. I found a working Dimage X31 at Book-Off and it reminded me of 7nonsense's photos. It was up for a very reasonable 500 yen but it lacked a proper viewfinder, something that has kept me from using _'s A5100. With a battery the whole Xi package would be $10 USD, not bad at all. 12X zoom without bits popping in and out is very impressive. Deliberately shitty photos are something I've wanted to try more of, and a digital camera is infinitely more convenient to throw around than a creaky film camera.
3/28/2021 Finished We Few. The lovely taisho-era romance manga 大正オトメ御伽話 is getting animated, always mized emotions when an adaptation is announced. Western fans are fairly insufferable, _ was talking about people tagging Japanese actors to gay fanart starring them and a co-star on twitter.
Playing FE8 randomized, the final solution to the issue of human enemy units disappearing by the end of the game. Wish there were more offline options, especially when forseeing a future where these gacha games like FEH and Kancolle stagger into a mass grave. In struggling with randomized 2HP units I started FE11. I remember why I never played this game, all the characters look glazed over and uncannily smooth.
will probably be visiting the US for a short while later this year. I'll need to organize and gather my belongings for a bit while dealing with dad. There won't be much to do so I'd probably be left focusing on purchases I can't make in Japan.
3/30/2021 More talks with _. It's useful to me in that reiterating my process in unraveling personal issues forces me to really distill it down to something tangible. On the other hand hearing about other people's epiphanies is really mind-blowing. Some people can live with dissonance. Not that's it's a pleasurable state, just that confronting those contradictory beliefs is more work than it's worth. For me the dissonance itself is distressing, makes me feel like I'm deluding myself out of convenience.
Some of these anecdotes I hear from _'s friends are really hard to visualize. For me it goes beyond a lack of introspection but just a lack of any sort of self-awareness. To be able to be suddenly jolted awake by recent issues after the newscycle of the last 5 years is a stunning lack of foresight. And to willingly ignore those personal conflicts is just unimaginable to me. It really goes beyond just "floating through life" but willfully repressing parts of your reality.
The ebay linen was just muslin. Got Junji Ito and Azumanga Daioh stickers. Wish I had my Pioneer stereo to stick them on.
3/31/2021 Reevaluating my lack of interest in movies after rewatching the review show Welcome to the Basement. Started watching The Killing of a Sacred Deer, having sex with Colin Farrell must be like dragging a handful of asbestos across your chest. It's staggeringly surreal, as if the movie was directed by AI telling other AI what human speech is like. It reminded me of watching Rupaul's Drag Race for the first time.
4/1/2021 I initially started this site for myself, to organize my thoughts and get me writing. For a good bit of time it became little more than a visual to-do list or affirmation that my interests like photography or sewing are precipitating into something. And like generous definitions of art, I don't really have any specific underlying motivations for this page. If the ramblings or photos here illicits any sort of response, be it affirmation, familiarity, disgust, then I've succeeded. I think back to looking at tumblr blogs in amazement, the emotions and atmosphere a mosaic of curated pictures is able to conjour up.
The retrowank appeal of Neocities means that you have to go out of your way to leave comments, something I haven't been doing as much as I should either. And it reflects back onto how you view your site, it's a bit like a one-way mirror. Every treasured guestbook comment is a reminder that people are making those associations, things I post are resonating with strangers in some way and it's always a conscious effort to remember that. Neocities has kept me vigiliant and excited, my photos won't rot in some digital directory and I have new reasons to start that book or movie. I'm not quite at the point where I can allow myself to think I have an "audience" but I appreicate every comment. Thank you.
4/2/2021 Just read some single dad isekai
4/3/2021 I need to cut my hair again. Woke up looking like I was wearing a ushanka.
4/4/2021 It's a strange feeling after making a big purchase. The overriding emotion isn't joy, but relief, like a cloud of miasma has finally wafted into someone else's direction. When desire turns into anxiety then it's time to check yo self.
4/7/2021 Something like a third of Japanese animation studios have become subcontractors for Chinese companies who pay much better, a bit like Chinese chip manufacturers poaching talent from Taiwan. A small cost-focused Saitama studio chimed in on twitter and their rates are $4000 per minute of animation.
Superbunnyhop gushing about Hitman once again.
4/9/2021 My material transgression came in the mail. Instead of a bubblewrap bundle a rectangular leather bag showed up, not an uncommon sight for a hobby chasing spectres. The touch of previous owners is all over these things, of social security numbers and addresses hastily engraved on bottomplates. My beloved OM-4T has heavy wear patterns on the tripod mount, who knows where it's been and what it's seen. You see the same in military surplus, I've found breadcrumbs in Serbian rucksacks and cheesecracker wrappers in jacket pockets. Inside the bag was a frankly unneccesary speedlite and the Nikon F2. After fingerblasting the camera my attention turned to the bag. It was worn in the corners and undeniably thirsty for some lexol but everything was intact. It was made by Masumi, a small-scale leatherwork company specializing in camera bags. A google search turns up blog posts in Japanese by geriatric Ahabs reminiscing about their unrequited material lust, their whales.
Speaking of cameras I sold an AF-10 to a Chuo uni student a year ago. I had 2 and I sold it for $10 thinking someone else would enjoy it more than I would. Said it was his first time shooting film and I wished him well. Now he's a graduate student, his profile says he's looking for more photographer friends, and his main camera is a Nikon FM2/T.
4/10/2021 Finally got rid of the creamcheese container that held all my tools, found a metal pan at the 100 yen shop. Looks like it could catch a mouthful of puss by the operating theatre. Still need to replace the lamp on my sewing machine.
fuck me that's a good photo. I went grocery shopping and these 3 kids were slumped over a Switch in the middle of the street, not quite sitting or standing. They weren't that young maybe 9 or 10, the age when unhindered engrossment usually gets dampened by the embarrassment of playing on the ground. Both my hands were full so I couldn't take a picture, still kicking myself for that one. This blog occasionally posts rare cameras slung around customers' necks and you get the general sense of what the owner defines as a true hobbyist.
back to top ⤴
3/17/2021 god the dialogue in yotsubato is unparalleled.
Himesama Gomon no Jikan Desu/Akakute Sametakunai/転生して田舎でスローライフをおくりたい/よつばと!/Mukashi Yusha de Imawa/Ningen no Inai Kuni
Read Mukashi Yusha de Imawa, a guileless action manga about hitting people with edged weapons. The characters shrugging off knife colonoscopies every battle reminds me of reading Bleach on water-damaged english JUMP comics. The series lacks a brown-skinned heroine so it loses by default.
3/18/2021 Reading Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery by British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh, the same author of Do no Harm. While illuminating, his first book struck me as fairly conventional. He outlines his passion for hoovering up brain tumors and the relationship he has with his patients and colleagues, pulling no punches in portraying himself as a member of the grumpy old guard. In contrast this second book is adorned with waves of insecurity and anxiety that is quite rare for a memoir. It seems like Marsh shed his inhibitions after the reception of the first book, getting even more intimate in his writing.
3/19/2021 Film came back from the lab, I'm surprised at the numbers of keepers in 3 rolls of film. 35 out of 145 photos (including shots of family) is a very good ratio. The OM-2 page took much longer to fill up in comparison. Took a few macros of orb weaving spiders but ehh
the found film turned out to be some pictures of pensioners and a quite avant-garde selfie.
3/20/2021 Went off to Harajuku, my first visit to Tokyo in a year. I live 15 minutes from Tokyo. We wandered around Meiji Shrine and the main street for a bit. Revisiting the city for the first time in a year was like being struck in the head. What a difference from my sleepy suburban town. Which I knew and expected, I just didn't expect the difference to be so jarring after a bit of lockdown. Everyone is dressed to kill. Ribbon Obi kimonos, oversized Yohji blazers, pastel goth coords. Anyone over 40 is as rare as english fluency. As far as cameras I saw an M3, Df, X100, and half a dozen DSLRs.
Our main aim was the Kasamatsu Shiro exhibit, tucked away in a little brown brick 3-story museum (including the basement). Here's the thing. I enjoyed it, but I was surpised at just how bold the lines were when peering into the glass displays. It comes together in a hegemonic harmony once you're a meter out but I came away from the exhibit with a completely new sensation, always welcome as little life lessons, but probably to a detriment to earnestly enjoy the exhibit. It's hard-pressed to say my appreciation for Kasamatsu's art has grown. Or maybe woodblock as a whole.
We went to a Gyutan place and there was a pair of girls by the next booth, transitioning from a relentless staccato of chatter to silence. It's almost as if hunger was their only collective middleground, they become strangers the moment insulin was coursing through their veins.
3/21/2021 Overseas Olympics spectators have been banned, thank god. By current estimates new daily cases are expected to each 1300 again by May. I also saw some "Please wear masks before entering" signs written in English only, presumably for the Russian tourists (I hope)
The internet's favorite pair of conjoined twins Rhett and Link did a podcast a while back talking about their evolving relationship with Evangelical Christianity. It's an interesting look at someone's separation from religion because it's chock full of latent assumptions. If you're raised in Cleveland or London you probably assume that all rivers are festering streams that turn flammable on a whim. If you're evangelical it's impossible to envision a worldview without god at its center. And those topics are what they present, like trying to shake off judgement when meeting people or imagining their family role that's not the christian patriarch with all the answers. How those previous assumptions about the world and their place within it gets fundamentally uprooted by losing faith. It's interesting to see how people struggle. It's a useful assumption that, to assume that anyone, no matter how two-dimensional they like to present themselves is dealing with something. The issue for me is that it's always been a hazy assumption. This podcasts lays it out, listing specific dilemmas that I never would've thought of.
3/22/2021 Finished Admissions. Wow. It's almost uncomfortably intimate, dodging any sort of camp by the writing being paced exceptionally well. Marsh deals with the filial reverence for his father, the guilt of making mistakes during surgery, his conclusions on dying with dignity, the book is a stream of consciousness from a man who has had lots of time to reflect. And there's constant reminders that the narrator is as falliable and vulnerable as the patients he treats. Trivia about later life outcomes adorns anecdotes about his own maladaptive habits and work-related anxieties. The adversity of poverty during his trips to Nepal and Ukraine training native surgeons is contrasted with the frank humanity of his patients. Marsh listens to people, he can see beyond the revolving door of a patient-doctor relationship.
After a while, Salima, with my help, worked out that we were looking at a huge brain tumour – technically a petroclival meningioma. I had once had a similar case in London who also had the very rare symptom of uncontrollable, pathological laughter. I had operated, and had left her in a persistent vegetative state. It was one of the larger headstones in my inner cemetery.
3/23/2021 Off to Ueno for the Yoshida Hiroshi exhibit. It was surprisingly toiling going through all 3 floors. I'm a big fan and I've seen his art on India but I never knew he also traveled and painted scenes of the US, SE Asia, and China. To me his landscapes are defined by purple shadows, radiating sunlight during golden hour, and the contrast between the cold lines of traditional Shunga and the borderless fog and clouds that seem to hang over them.
There was a video showing the process of woodblock printing, delicately building layers of paint through repeated stampings. Yoshida is famous because of the greater range of color he used, up to 100 when the typical work is 6 to 10. His work is really stunning, in-person or not, and his delicate lines betrays your expectations of a pressed woodblock print. Glad I got to see Kameido Bridge and Rapids in-person but Iris Garden in Horikiri (right) wasn't on display, it's been my phone background for 5 years.
Ueno was nice, a solid session of rubbernecking around. To the Japanese it's a polished little dot on the map that projects the image of parks and museums. True to form there were great migrating colonies of schoolchildren in uniforms, probably making the most of an uncancelled graduation field trip. At Sensoji the women were again, dressed to kill. My French army boots were destroying my knees, I want to inject caulking silicone between my joints.
Handed off the Canon P to Hasegawa Seisakujo, a tiny little repair shop near Asakusa. It looked like a demonstration of how not to practice fire safety, stinking of Kerosene and glittered with wooden drawers. The repairman was a soft-spoken middle-aged man in a blue jinbei, his desk adorned with now-vintage hardware and a printer that screamed like an automatic embroidery machine. My heart skipped a beat when he touched the shutter curtain but I can only assume he knows more my internet-dredged wisdom. As always with the Canon P no promises in a happy ending but I'm hopeful. The two previous three shops I asked didn't take it. The repairman also recognized the 35SP around my neck.
3/24/2021 jerma's visceral cleanup stream oh my god talking about how veiny their hands are for like 7 minutes
Still playing FE Heroes, got Edelgard. God I want Eldigan to hammerthrow me into a river
Watching Meet the Natives, a Channel 4 show.
I got a very nice guestbook comment. It got me thinking exactly what kind of imagery I'm projecting through this website. Once in a while I go back to read articles and I'm pleasantly surprised yet uncertain about their presentation. Should a page of benign boot reviews really rub shoulders with me struggling with existentialism? I've considered multiple times to make this journal be the central focus of the site, scrapping or tucking away the others. The inability to revisit pages really gets to me, frozen little fragments of time where my thoughts happened to congeal together. Modifying or re-writing would betray my initial motivations and feelings. Stuck in a limbo. On the other hand I'm quite fond of my photos, yet they'll be inevitably be tied with a mathematical camera review. I feel like I'm not doing it justice. I guess like any author of any media it's hard to honestly assess your creations.
Tone is another issue. I love complaining about things. Anger is funny, it's the unruly sibling to passion. I find praise difficult. Not that it's impossible to slap together, I find it hard to slip in my "humor" when it's just a torrential stream of earnest eulogies.
3/25/2021 Got the OM-2 back after 5 months under someone else's care. She also gave me a photobook about cats, how nice. As always I'm struck at how good-looking the OM-2 is. I've been thinking lately about getting a photobook printed. In terms of photos my OM-2 and OM-4 pages are the most comprehensive, and they both symbolize two different periods of my time in Japan. The sharehouse, study abroad, then coronavirus and gran's.
listening to Julie London and Doris Day, takes me back to the middle school apartment.
back to top ⤴
3/4/2021 I should make a trip to Tokyo, no aim in particular just to clear my mind. I need to remind myself I live here, as strange as that sounds. Under quarantine I'm transported back to that unreasonably large bedroom with the popcorn ceiling, the suburban view sprawling outside my window that felt hopelessly constricting. I have greater autonomy now no doubt, but every week is a series of procrastination tied together. If I'm under this almost fatalistic mindset I had in the US, nothing will get done. I need to jolt myself awake.
I feel more productive, more lucid at night. All the self-imposed obligations that the sky's tone angrily points to, the noise of actually productive people commuting, your simple animal desires, the possibilities of simply heading outside, they all disappear with the sun. It's a bit like dying, all your matters no longer carry any weight. You're not expected to be productive late into the night, self-imposed or otherwise. You're not meant to exist. And it's within this physically constrictive environment that puts me at most ease. Time is indeterminate, there's no sunsets to dread when they inevitably steal a picturesque day or paralyzing deadlines to anxiously watch. I end up doing things I enjoy for once like I've just been awoken from a trance. I sew, I watch, I read, I write. I write embarrasingly emotional entries like this one that I'll delete once I wake up. There I'm back under the trance.
Watched The 1900 House, very much another branch of historical reenactment TV along the lines of Further Back in Time for Dinner and Turn Back Time from yesterday. It's a bit more involved, starting from remodeling the house. It's also a PBS-produced show despite the show taking place in South London. The women in the show are the most striking. They're either rendered catatonic by boredom, forced indoors like a sort of grey Afghanistan or they're toiling in 15 hour workdays.
A touch of manga. Nothing mind-blowing but I'm able to trust my judgement in choosing what to read. For once it's fine to judge by cover. Broke the hesitation in sewing to start on an oversized blazer. Still a work in progress, lapels are hard.
3/7/2021 Finished the closure, fuck lapels are hard. Was listening to the Gus and Eddy podcast while sewing, conversations straight from high school. The jacket ultimately came out really well, the first project where conserving fabric wasn't the first thought. Looking for patterned and mocha-colored linen, I think I'll give up on finding suitable wool until next fall.
[南郷晃太] こじらせ百鬼ドマイナー/彼女の世界/[九井諒子] ダンジョン飯/人生は二日だけ/[ふみふみこ] 恋につきもの/[Perico] マジで付き合う１５分前/姫様、拷問の時間です
3/10/2021 Felt productive today, don't quite know why. Went off to bookoff, grocery shopping, downloaded some BL, bought some ebay fluff, found a torrent of new inspo. Revisiting surreal artwork by Panpanya, 黄菊しーく, ひすい, and 8eyes is slowly pushing me towards starting painting. My brain doesn't work that way but it's worth a shot. Also found an old-school site uploading comics about working in a convenience store. I have a few sewing ideas in mind but I'd like to finally try resist dyeing first. I seem to finish one garment a month and I'd like to bump that up to 2.
3/11/2021 Wasn't productive today. Didn't do shit after coming home.
Read 恋につきもの. It's refreshingly bad. Brevity is an unfortunate charcteristic of any anthology comic but this one is truly paper-thin in substance, dishing out heavy topics with zero profound takeaways. It's a shame because I liked the trans existential horror of 僕らのへんたい but I guess that wasn't deliberate, a one-off, a clerical error.
3/12/2021 Have my eyes open for Panpanya comics, they go for a good price. Saw vol 11 of 14sai no Koi at the dungeon bookstore. Front cover was lovely but I've already decided that physical books are a slippery slope. Went late at night and there were swarms of salarymen stopping to read before going home.
3/13/2021 Rain. Switching my wi-fi provider. Wanted to go to the park to write but I woke up at 4pm instead. No eager bugs dive-bombing your face during winter. Now's really the time to go for a walk and explore too, no risk of getting broiled in 40 degree weather.
Reading The Hell of it All with the same wide-mouthed contemplation that accompanies an impossibly complex instructional video. Learning how other people structure their writing is fun but frustrating, it's always been a source of self-conscious vanity for me. The sensation relies on some inherent self-criticism much like hearing your voice for the first time, viewing other people's work is equal parts awe and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
3/14/2021 Made it to the park. It was windy and I was sleep deprived so I couldn't write much but it was a nice break. A few battered corpses with DSLRs were walking around. Was about to just unload and leave a trail on a the playground like a slug but I found a bathroom in time. Found a new lab, develops film for 370yen a roll. Sent off 4 rolls + the Super Gold 400 that I found in the 35DC a year ago.
Himesama Gomon is good. Sort of a comedy groundhog day, the plot revolves around a princess being interrogated daily by the baddies digging for kingdom secrets. The methods are innocuous, the dark lord is a dad, the princess' iron-clad will can be broken with food being prepared in front of her. The laughs operate around gap moe, or the subversion of readers' expectations: tanned construction workers into sweets or cuss-slinging gyarus who are close to their grandparents. As a Maoujou about cuisine the main character is just a vector for meaningful side character development, of hitmen pursuing their dream of becoming an artist or the dark lord spending time with his daughter. The Japanese are capable of subversive media poking fun of established genres, they just tend to emerge as trends themselves. Two decades ago studio writers would've been crucified in the middle of Roppongi if they dared to pick at the artificiality of TV. Now it's the focus of talkshows that operate on a series of comedic self-inflicted wounds, talking down to dithering assistant directors on set like they're to blame for this.
Read Akakute Sametakunai. I'm heistant to slag it off. It clearly is a sincere collection of work, I think it's just one not fit for mass consumption. The takeaways are too literal, the dialogue too robotic, the author is spending less time on narrative and more on beating you over the head with their suffering conveyed through comics. Think Frankenstein as retold sparknotes-style by a child. Or Suicide Boy with the comedy stripped off. Messages are expressed with adoscelent-levels of sincereity that frankly gets uncomfortable, paired with the conventional menhera imagery of angel wings and bandages. Burn your middle school journals.
All the replies to Oshimi Shuzo's twitter posts are in english, poor guy.
3/15/2021 I regard my r*dditor credentials with the animosity of a rabid homophobe, self-internalizing my hatred because some men are just too dreamy. Browsing the site is an exercize in depersonalization, learning to juggle advertizing your honesty with the willingness to walk away from it all. I got downvoted once for saying I didn't like chicken breasts. If those points subtracted years from my life I'd revert back to a bundle of cells. Horsegirls have to hide their infatuation with horses, I have to hide my visits to r*ddit.
Made loads o money on the reselling app. Don't have anything to buy, really. Maybe some consumables like fabric or film. I want to get the Canon P repaired and a cheap Nikon F2 would be nice but there's no heart-clutching anticipation. I'm satisfied especially after finishing the blazer and the void of anhedonia hasn't set in yet.
I'm currently tring to recall the photos I took on the 4 rolls of film I sent off. I haven't been this excited in quite a while, and I think this excersize in retracing my steps could ruin the shot of gratification that will come later on. I've learned to enjoy the anticipation as is, not just antecedent to some big event.
2/16/2021 Conversation about self-identity, managing expectations. We had a previous argument about how _ didn't like my almost accusatory tone in our back and forth regarding relatives but that's just how me and my buds talk. Distilling down your emotions and motives down to something. That sort of process has always been my route into meaningful introspection, and _ saw those questions as personal attacks. They did ask how you kickstart that sort of conversation with friends and that's a sentiment shared by B last time we met too. On the other hand me and welsh guy spoke about career motivations and self-reflection into 4am the first time we met. I'm surprised at just how long-term _ thinks.
2/19/2021 Clothing ideas are flooding to me like a congested artery. Lots that I want to do but it's the odd missing zipper or fabric that impedes progress, much like a congested artery.
I need to take uncle's offer.
2/20/2021 massive hole in my underwear, the world's worst window. Mended it and moved onto to working on the harness. Not 100% but it's there in shape. The vegetable stand was playing Dango Daikozoku over their prehistoric stereo combo.
harness Paired with the buttpack. Need to add button closures for the flaps.
cyclamen came back to life and even started flowering. Really likes the winter sunshine
I have a 64,000 word txt file with fragments of essays, most undated. Will sort through this tonight.
2/22/2021 Read one of the worst articles in recent memory, a confessional about shopping addiction by Buzz Bissinger. Brilliantly written, it has a multi-dimensional unpleasantness about it that you can't quite distill in one word. Trawling through LACMA's online costume and textiles section. A zoot suit caught my eye even though I usually shun suits altogether. The drapey almost nipple-height pants are really something. all out of sewing ideasssssssssss
Mitsuboshi Colors' dry humor kills me.
2/23/2021 I made an account on spacehey, neo-myspace for zoomers who wil never own property. It's remarkably different from Neocities, with the majority of users slapping on their actual names and pictures in their profile. True to form there's plenty of bands and musicians. I have to say there's not much to do at the site current iteration. The HTML editor deliberately limits the use of certain tags and some profile elements like the "about me" are untouchable. Clearly there's a steady stream of new users but coming across them is a shot in the dark. Groups are apparently in the works and that should really kickstart things with fanpages and such. looking forward to it.
2/25/2021 Shikimori-san really is wonderful, reading through it brings a tightness in the chest like the preamble to a stroke. Despite being a saucy romance manga the author's latent idealism doesn't materialize in characters made sexy through mystique, of pants-wetting one-liners and grand gestures. All the characters are decidedly frank in presentation, romance isn't portrayed as a hazy mysterious journey but of a simple mutual attraction. It reminds me of 14sai no Koi, one of my all-time favorites.
2/26/2021 Bought 2m of linen on m*rcari, would've been double if I was in the US. Toying with the idea of making an oversized blazer. Never made something with lapels but I'm in a rut. Might as well try something novel. I think I am continually afraid of failure, wasting fabric or being left with something I'm not 100% satisfied with. Which is a strange mindset as you can recycle fabric multiple times and the most heistant-inducing garments and fabrics have turned out to me the most gratifing.
Finished Both Flesh and Not. I feel like I should stray away from such neurotic essays about essaying. The moment you bring any self-awareness in the act of smashing words together you start to hesitate. Am I elaborating my point well, is my tone too pretentious, am I coming across as too judgemental. I think it's also the reason why I've largely avoided fiction as well, you can't help but compare and weave doubts in your otherwise carefree creations.
I need to get off my ass and get things done again, with no end in sight this pandemic isn't an excuse for me to hibernate for 3 years. Lapses of furious lucidity and neuroticism intermissioned with cysts of apathy, of just floating around getting carried by the breeze. One of my persistent anxieties was for that to turn malignant, to have thinking about one's present condition be more overbearing than any of its fruits. Procrastinate a bit more. Handle it tomorrow. Let the problem fester.
I also need to sort through my relationship with "stuff." Finding a good deal is fun but the aftertaste is more analgous to harm reduction for me. There's a distinct undercurrent of guilt with any purchase. It makes me a responsible, measured consumer but I wonder how sustainable and sane this way of thinking is. Thanks dad.
2/27/2021 A seller's profile avatar was from a children's book I've forgotten about. It was about a anarcho-primitivist commune of sentient legumes who use their collective labor to make a bed. Finished Vodka Politics by Mark Lawrence Schrad, only took me like 4 months.
3/2/2021 Staying hydrated. I'm less of a man and more a piss generator. Watching _ paint has been really significant for me, I appreciate online artists' work a lot more. It's a very personal ordeal isn't it, presenting something you've made. In a The Moth talk Adam Gopnik described cooking as presenting a part of yourself on a plate. You are there, vulnerable, flawed, open to judgement and rejection. Posting your art for others to see is the same. And few people are completely satisfied with their creations, transitioning images and visions in your mind to a physical expression. Words lost in translation. We are our own worst critics and there's no population more self-critical and deprecating than artists.
Purchased a g*mer keyboard, as always pre-owned. Time will tell if blue switches grow on me, my gut tells me that browns would fit me better. Typing up manifestos while in my bed is now a possibility. Watching Jerma playing Dead Rising and it seems like the gratuitous gore of the 00's were a passing fad, almost like a reaction against the media circus around violent videogames. There's only a handful of AAA non-horror games today that compare, gore is a footnote.
Went out looking for new music. It was a solid 3 years revisiting my favorite artists, the same sort of nameless heistation that holds me back from movies and TV. 泉まくら would rap with no breaks like she's got lung extensions. Similar to other artists like 降神 it sounds like a priest reciting pure land sutras. ラブリーサマーちゃん's tracks sound bubbly, at other times lonely. Subject matter is similar to 泉まくら, think pastel goth or big city emo. She whispers lyrics at you. Her newer stuff is a sort of lethargic rock that chugs along. Not for me. Started watching Back in Time for Dinner, a BBC show where families live according to a certain historical period. The dad is a really sweet guy.
I have little self-restraint for snacks. When I was a kid we rarely stocked junk food at home and it was always a rare treat. Ever since living by myself it was a constant battle to stop myself from inhaling bags of popcorn. Roasted vegetables and baked chickpeas were great for college standards but I made sure to always have something extra, a perenially open bag of potato chips. Ever since moving to japan and (mosty) cutting out eating meat my cravings have largely disappeared. I can fill myself up with food that won't congregate in my arteries. Even my newly-found infatuation with Japanese rum is accompanied with mormon-levels of moderation.
back to top ⤴
2/8/2021 The apartment is truly sedative, it hits the feeling of lying on warm grass on a sunny day after class, open book in hand and a hat shielding your eyes. I'd wake up and I'll be sleepy by 11am even when it's 13°C outside. I made beef stroganoff with some of the skirt steak from _'s co-worker, X-Japan. X-Japan went vegan after watching a documentary on factory farming and he graciously unloaded his freezer to us. It was a good 9 months since I've eaten meat I've prepared at home. No one in this hemisphere eats sour cream so I had to use cream cheese. It was great. Also back to making Takikomi rice, I like to just assault the cooker with mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
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.
all that's left is stitching D-rings
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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1/19/2021 Destroying my mouth with french bread is now a part of my daily routine. _ got a kalimba. I'm quite curious.
Read Sumairi Burger, a sedate slice-of-life with no intellectual nourishment whatsoever. I read volume 1 4 years ago, jesus christ. Art-wise here's not a sharp corner in sight and the plot is similarly bubbly. Reminds me of Ooya-san. Shame it seems to have been cut short.
pbs docs are quite good
1/19/2021 Read Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town. As a proper ethnography it's a mindfuck of a read. Pharma companies dragging their hands over DEA proposals combatting illicit drug labs, ununionized meat workers doing meth to cover extra shifts after their pay was slashed by 60%, the author makes a very good case that its rise dovetails into and is an indicator of rural decay. But the writer isn't a sociologist, he's a writer. As an Iowan his illustrations of the rural landscape, the miasma that occupy the towns, the anxiety that fills their residents, all of it is beautifully laid out as written by an insider.
1/22/2021 I love showering but I hate to process leading up to it, the resignation of getting wet and cold afterwards. If humans didn't have any biological needs I'd spend all my time in the showers, my pruned flesh eventully withering away into nothing. You'd think we were derived from volcanic deep-sea lichen by how much we enjoy a slow bath, stewing in our own broth.
Read Working Stiff by Judy Melinek, a foresic pathologist's account of working at a New York coroner's office. Now this isn't a textbook like the last 2 about forensic anthroplogy I read, dry and distant in tone. Some non-academic books with rubbernecking titles really don't approach the subject matter with grace: many authors have intentions beyond Mary Roach's respectful curiosity. Thankfully Melinek's book straddles that line well. People are the fundamental focus and the author's charisma really seeps through the pages. From dealings with other pathologists to investigators and the families of the bereaved, she presents a sincere look into the human elements of her job. Despite the meat and potatoes being quite grim it doesn't feel like a heavy read.
Finished Watashi No Shounen, one of the few the manga series that elicits a fight-or-flight response. It opens as your typical cautionary tale about stranger danger but blossoms into a quite mature story about self-identity, parental obligations, etc. I won't hesitate to say the portrayal of relationships: romatic, familial, interpersonal, etc. is among the best I've seen. Everyone truly feels like a product of their environment, ruminating in their past actions without the overdone tropes of baggage and trauma. There are no self-destructive MC's or overt villans with well-traveled hands, the way the story is able to continuously challenge reader's assumptions about the characters is a testament to their depth.
1/23/2021 Finally reading American Psycho, everyone is endearingly repulsive. The conversations are so cryptic and heavy with pretext they might as well be sign language drawn on the pages. Also reading Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace.
While I have been working on a backpack on and off, nothing particuarly inspiring was on my mind. My idea folder wan't empty but nothing I felt confident enough to tackle with the selection of fabric I have right now. Two things changed that: absentmindedly looking for Kapital on fashionreps and photos of Bedouins on the Met archive. It's reassuring to have a hobby with a continually morphing "end." Usually interest is extinguished once a particular something is in your hands within an acceptable budget, whether it's watches, pens, cameras, etc. For clothing your tastes and standards change constantly, there is no singular goal. Even if you have one specific outfit to work towards, wearing clothes is a daily mix and match, there's so many elements to one outfit. And so an "endgame" garment isn't really the center of focus.
looking seriously into a minolta XD. started writing the Nikon F review, might send it into 35mmc. Will be a few months in though, I got zero photos.
I am reveling in this massive influx of romance manga for bottoms. Nagatoro, Takagisan, Shounen Sabotteko, Shikimorisan, not only is it well-needed reprieve from the sea of mid 2000's harems it actually adds more character to the usually faceless male cast. What a change from stories that shoot down any female depictions deviating from a sentient carton of eggs.
Conversations about internal monologue, aphantasia. Crazy how different things can be. A bit more sewing, you never know with these things. Thought the pouch proportions were off but I'm too tall for that. Very happy so far. All that's left are zippered pockets and the harness. Still in a bind on what outerwear to make next. Pants aren't fun even in a pocket medley like the French Extreme Orient uniform. It's around 13°C so linen isn't out of the question but I wanted to get my hands on some more wool while it's still appropriate. Still accumulating red onion skins to dye something.
A bit more writing on nostalgia, this time on artifical scarcity and the demands of adulthood. I find myself increasingly looking backwards when I'm bored. I've never been a terribly ambitious hunger for media, my massive backlog is evidence of that. But even then I've had this avoidance for anything new.
Desuchan is truly a portal back in time
2/7/2021 Jesus, a week already. Finished another hanten in vanilla fabric. Really happy with this one and it opens up outfits with more grey/white tones. Until now it's been browntown almost exclusively. Experimenting with pockets on another one. The buttpack is mostly done and the harness is on hold. Waiting for metal hardware in the post and some more 12oz cotton fabric.
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Journal - Japan, 2021
1/3/2021 Happy new year. The corpse of 2020 still emmanates a lingering stench, MF Doom passed away, Kodak teased two new film releases for 2021, I've got to numb my hands for this one. Half my body is mochi and tangerines by now, it's quite exciting to experience the seasons instead wearing a t-shirt and shorts year-round. Gakitsuka this year around was a bit reserved for obvious reasons. New years resolutions. Last december I said I'd bring myself to a point where I can wear a self-made article of clothing every day. That wish came true in 2020, but in the worst way possible. I saw lots of people make the most of it to get really engaged with latent interests. haven't gauged how well i did this year yet. In regards to neocities I'd like to
1. be less negative in journals. I'm not a very grumpy person, it's just easier for me to write about trash rather than gush about romance manga for 6 pages.
2. I need a site redesign. Too much redundancy and bloat. I could cull or condense 40% of pages and it would be for the better.
3. just write man. get into that mindset
For my physical existence I'd like to:
4. devolve back into a GAMER
6. read more fiction.
I really can't forecast anything for 2021, I have a completely blank slate. Cheru was churning out some ideas for their blog, the sort of introspection that is right up my alley. I'd like to write more but I don't want to force anything. I need to let it ferment into a fetid mass that's just too much to contain.
All in all, a pretty forgettable year.
1/5/2021 Didn't get it. I'm more surprised than anything else, but I guess that last session was that bad. Or was it the e-mail? my handwriting on the envelope? 12 hours in commuting, $50 in tickets, risking contracting the virus for a two-sentence rejection. I was thinking what I'd do with my gap year but I guess that got a lot longer. On new years I half-jokingly said 2020 was a shit-awful year and the family was a bit surprised. I didn't mean it then but its become a self-fulfilling prophecy, 2 days from conception to execution.
1/7/2021 I'm back. The apartment is dream-like in pacing. I can scarcely keep track of the time.
i can still vividly remember what the upstairs room used to smell like. Gran had a habit of obsessively throwing away anything, something that posed an issue for my mom's speaker combo. No doubt a great big material pogrom occured after grandad died. Journals, drafting papers, negatives.
After alpining the aggressively high japanese stairs you approach what used to be uncle's room, where he stayed until his graduation and after the first divorce. The upstairs room resembled a 70's American basement with veneer covering the walls and a floral-patterned ceiling. The sliding glass windows were voyeuristically big, but the room was always dark because of the sheet metal blinds. The hollow sounding floorboards were consistent with the rest of the arthritic house. Gran would joke that the fumes from the heater wouldn't kill her because of the panel gaps throughout the house. I remember that the desk drawers emmanted the smell of pencil lead and leaking battery acid, the legacy of grandad's bronze drafting compasses and iron needle files. Their contents were a mishmash of east and west, young and old, a reflection of my sporadic stays here.
1/11/2021 Found a blog after looking up shochus. the person i lent the om-2 reached out, said they've shot 2 rolls in a month and they're waiting to get their negatives back. Must've been a trip going from a half-frame 35mm EE2 to a 50mm SLR. Read a touch of manga.
[おかざきさと乃]異邦のオズワルド /[赤城あさひと]少年、ちょっとサボってこ？/[もちオーレ×majoccoid]イケメン女と箱入り娘/[フライ×竹岡 葉月]今日、小柴葵に会えたら。/[蝉川夏哉×碓井ツカサ]異世界居酒屋｢げん｣/[まにお]きたない君がいちばんかわいい
The Mitsuwa in Torrance apparently closed last year. I'll remember it fondly, I can still remember the trips after Japanese school on the weekends, buying groceries and coming home just in time to watch 黄金伝説 or あいのり. Watched a dream about the old house, the one that got foreclosed. I was laying down on the brown carpet in my room at the corner looking up at the paper-white ceiling painted with by the two windows. The floor was staggered like a library's carpet-lined steps. It was a nice dream, it was unequivocally happy. When i woke up the sun was beaming into the apartment and I was sweating even with the sheets loosely around me. The old house was representative of a lot, but I hesitate to firmly classify it as a positive location. I remember spending my time prior to owning a computer, blissfully ignorant. I remember watching Japanese TV beated from giant CRT's on foggy mornings while mom made breakfast. I'm amazed at how the isolation of suburbia didn't get to me back then.
1/15/2021 Struggling to decide what to shoot next. It takes me about 2 months to finish a roll if there's no family trips or special events. Surprised the Super G came out so well, Super G Plus was discontinued in 1998 so it was even older. Currently in the freezer I have:
Terrified to do anything with the undated Provia. Slide film just stops recording images once its off. Eventually settled on the Super 400, at the newest it probably expired around 2010. Threw it into the Nikon F just to try it out. Still waiting on my lab to re-open so I can develop the 5 rolls I have accumulated. Most excited for the Kodak Gold I found loaded in the 35DC, might be able to date the Provia by how it turns out. Remembered the library book I read 7+ years ago, Bone voyage: a journey in forensic anthropology. Read Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology - Bonified Skeletons.
1/17/2021 Got the 720ml bottle of_. I usually dislike spending money on consumables but zero regrets. Read Human Identification - Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology. Watching the four-part NHK documentary on Hayao Miyazaki. Part 1 goes over the making on Ponyo from 2006 onwards. The director is grumpy, brilliant, and insecure. It was remarkable to hear how the success of Totoro became a nightmare for Miyazaki, being the one project he could never exceed. These voyeuristic looks into someone else's creative process gets me excited, motivated. Obsessions get things done.
Kubosan wa Mobu o Yurusana is an utterly saucy romance manga that will leave readers so hot-headed you could boil a mess tin of water by holding the book under it. It just completes me. I am complete.
1/18/2021 2 rolls of Venus 400 got here, straight to the freezer. Read An Oral History of the Portuguese Colonial War a thorough ethnography of Portuguese veterans some 40 odd years after. Reminded me of post-war Japanese discourse about the perpetrator-victim binary. Fresh conscripts instantly disillusioned with empire-building after getting off their ships, conflicting feelings about enjoying and hating the war, understanding the insurgents' cause yet fighting out of neccesity. The permeating shame about being a disposable number to a dictatorship, yet not being accepted as a victim of war by their communities is a really interesting dynamic that I can't really think of any parallels to.
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