chanting "i'm not a furry" to ward off my demons
i love japan because of their culture"
every female is a 10
2011 was the peak of my life
Made my money back. Sold another camera, 8 in total, $450 in positive shekels. I have to evaluate my relationship with money through all this second-hand money flowing in. It's interesting because the money stays on my account as credit for new purchases instead of being directly funneled into a bank account. It's much more promximate and liquid. It's never monetary restraint that has carried my way through spending pennies on my hobbies, it's a refusal to spend that much money on "stuff". The Canon P is my most questionable purchase thus far, $220 for a camera is unprecedented to me. Especially since my go-to camera is a $45 OM-2. My PC build was less than $400.
Would I have bought it if I didn't have money on my account? Probably not. Will I find $220 worth of enjoyment? Probably not.
The concept of "surplus" is also in question. Should I treat any earnings from selling stuff as throw-around-money? Or should I save it like every other large sum I've received? It's odd because belt-tightening is in my DNA. I buy the cheapest groceries, never eat out, try to buy everything pre-owned. Hobbies have always gotten a pass but only to a degree. A $220 film camera throroughly puts a hole through my previous reasoning though. As far as gallivanting on second-hand apps goes I've had more regrets in the purchases I missed. I regret a $3 hat and $30 PC case, relative to an inuko nendoroid, black kimono, Minolta XD, _____
R.M. William Chelsea boots came in. Elastics are fucked but it's perfect. Leather has a few scuffs, sole is relatively untouched, fits me great. Fantastic deal for $50.
Off to Kamakura. We went early in the morning and it was a very odd look into a tourism city. You have two or three streets lined with shops like any other tourist location. Walk a bit and you encounter beaches lacking boulders or cliffs, streets that resemble the center of Kyoto, a bit more and you're in pockets of suburbia concealed by tunnels that cut through mountains. A deeply confusing and alluring place for me. There were few outwardly shameless tourist shops with broken english signs and melamine trinkets. Wooden utensils, wood-fired ceramics, roasted coffee, they were far less glamarous and much more small-town feeling. And there were abolutely dozens of flower shops. I'd definitely want to live there if there were a bit more grocery stores. A car-centric place for sure. We looked at the beach, got some coffee, looked at the Hydrangea garden, ate lunch somewhere nice.
I'm back at grandma's. Hellish timezone-adjusted classes are over, not taking any over the summer. I should be looking for a full-time job. The pressure is on as I don't have the "student" excuse as a senior in Japan. I'm not particularly enthusiastic, even if it's the right thing to do. Not that I'm ready to resign my life as a NEET. I find myself looking more and more over videos of people who live out in the countryside, showering under suspended water carboys and shitting in paintbuckets.
I'm left looking for the merits of conventional employment of packed seminars and interviews. Languishing in a dirty Ikebukuro apartment while working 70 hours a week isn't a motivator for me. If anything relinquishing the opportunity to marry a breathing human being and regressing back to the countryside is a genuine option. And it's nice to have that, the priviledge to keep reassurances in the back of your mind that you have several safety nets before complete destitution. I'm a country boy. My conception of "Japan" has unwaveringly remained the unmanaged forests and grotty houses of Saitama. It's why my directive in life was to escape the oppressive asbestos facades of American suburbia. Now that I've escaped to Japan I recognize that suppressing questions of "home" is not as easy as jumping ship.
I don't love adulthood. I wasn't at odds with an abusive household or control-freaks to run away from, this newfound freedom to eat candy bars for dinner isn't much of a motivation. While bouts of depression have certainly tried I haven't completely relinquished my interests to the degree that slaving away in a yellowed cubicle with machiavellian coworkers becomes my main source of gratification. I don't care about status or income, I try to live as a minimalist. And maybe all these factors have prevented me mentally of looking for a full-time poition in any serious capacity. On the tails of a rocky high school life, my community college existence was defined by my conviction to become the least intrusive parasite to my parents. Even after moving to a new country I get the creeping sensation I haven't shifted away from that mindset, even with a new host.
Maybe my conceptions of Japan, intimately associated with my childhood, led my trip here as a subconcious escape from turning 18. Trying to recover my carefree memories of playing in the countryside by wholly rejecting adulthood, by regressing fruitlessly into a child. Or maybe it is a fear of rejection, to sell yourself by distilling your existence down to lines on paper so someone can judge your worth.
but I'm glad. I'm glad that my burning existential question is now "what is my relationship with money" instead of "do I deserve to exist."
started playing FE Heroes. mmmmmmmmmmm I'm probaby going to get bored with it in a few days. mercedesbathwater was too long of a username.
coronavirus cases rising again.
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I'm relieved that I don't have a preoccupation with relationships or sex. Trying to figure out what women "are", mediating animalistic desire and disillusioning optics of the dating market, embedding a sense of oppression based on your outward appearance, not remembering the last time you masturbated to real human beings. It must be tiring, all to expel a little bit of fluid in a climax as long-lived as a sneeze. Especially can't understand people who sleep around, I feel like the experience takes more from you than you gain.
Back from grandma's got a haircut, cut down some bamboo leaning on the house, foraged some bamboo shoots, and laid around watching TV. The state of emergency has been lifted, I see less people wearing masks which is worrying. Couldn't take photos or go off to the clothing shop because of the awful weather. In fact I felt odd staying over there. Haven't unpacked my emotions yet.
New plant, I think it's a Chinese evergreen.
Watching Maison Ikkoku, a girthy rom-com that is the genetic grandfather to the slimy to-loveru clones of the 2010's. In fact the setting is highly reminiscient of Hayate no Gotoku Cuties. It's nothing special, but the settings are beautiful and the context to which they're presented is really interesting.
Horny, hungry, bored - the litmus test for something off. Classes are winding down and I don't even want to think about how I'll get those last two units for graduation.
 Report on guys who buy land in Chiba and live on a shack out in the Japanese countryside. Land is relatively cheap, they dig their own wells, have running electricity, they even have neighbors. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, from when I first read "My Side of the Mountain." You do relinquish any sort of idealized family life though, which is a tough pill to swallow. Finding a proper job with such large gaps in your resume is near impossible in Japan, financial stability is the #1 focus in marriage so people will look right through you in the dating market. Better to die in a cold snap than of work stress though, it's a good suicide alternative. Both of the guys interviewed had convoluted life histories.
In terms of new purchases there's been quite a bit. Picked up two Pentax SFXn's for $5. One had a roll of Superia Premium loaded in the camera, the other had a running battery (itself worth $7 new). Pulled the roll out of the camera, after which its shutter died. The other SFX works fine and I'm even tempted to find a lens for it. My first working AF camera that I have. Bought a lot of 17 cameras for $140. It might be a stupid purchase, or I might be able to triple my money. High hopes on the Konica C35, Olympus XA2, Pentax K-01.
Vines propogating nicely. Japanese maple isn't doing too well.
6/11/2020 Finals. Zero stress. I don't care. Back into shows/reading, which is a plus.
Watched all seasons of Hidamari Sketch, I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying, going through Sailor Moon S, got a taste of Maison Ikkoku. Watches shows on impulseworks for me, going through my backlog out of obligation is never rewarding. Ross did a fantasic video on desktop UI's. Summed up my feelings about using linux as my main OS.
Lot of cameras came in. Most look neglected but not too far gone. Confident I can make my money back.
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Suicides are down 20% relative to last April, holy shit. In the US there was a massive spike following the 2008 recession but the inverse is true for Japan. No better example of their venomous work culture that helps no one.
Blog that pokes fun of really bad houses
Geocities archive with a convenient layout
Photographs of Nakagin Capsule tower
Life in late stage capitalism
5/14~18/2020 Feeling better. Sunlight is important. Web browsing is fun again, I've exhausted my patience on sites like r*ddit or twitter. samachan is dead.
Anything tkmiz writes is really something, the whole atmosphere is surreal but presented gradually, steadily inoculating you with scenes and events that otherwise shouldn't make sense. Also holy shit the opening for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is by GONTITI.
bought a nendroid, dear god what have I brought upon myself
5/21/2020 Watched Mitsuboshi colors.
Man sentenced to death over Zoom in Singapore, Japan excluding aid to foreign exchange students according to their grades, everything about Elon Musk, the grim headlines continue. The news about Japan of course being wholly ignored by English news sites.
A battlestation thread got me to clean my room and rearrange things a bit. Rekindled my interest in interiors. Exchanged my black clothing hanger for a white one, brings my room closer to the earthtone Korean look. Made $400 off selling shit, still no abebux in the mail. I also got my hands on a $30 Canon P to attempt repairs on. Nervous, but if all else fails I can just list it on Mercari. Just realized I'm fairly satisfied with my camera collection. There's stuff like the Jupiter-8 and OM-4ti that have yet to get to me, but I'm satisfied. Still on the lookout for unreasonably cheap XD's or C35's. Still no new Nendoroid acquisitions, I just refuse to spend $50 on a hunk of plastic. Absolutely no regrets on the one I got though. Currently more after Reimu than Inuko (~˘▾˘)~
I've been thinking more about gear for airsoft. It's completely irrational relative to practical hobbies like clothing or interior design, there's little chance I'll get back into it, most of my stuff is back in the US, yet thinking about it is fun. A British PLCE harness is hard to justify though.
Been browing altchans lately and it's been a mostly forgettable experience. Post Office and samachan were nice.
5/25/2020 New plants! String of Pearls for $3, white Ageratum for $1.50, pink Phlox for $1. I kept passing by someone's String of Pearls when walking to the bookstore and I was very jealous for how bizarre they look. Requires very little water, easy to propogate, no regrets.
More sewing. Lubed the $30 Canon P and the 1/60+ speeds are working but the slow speeds are still erratic. Technically usable since I'm going to be using a 50mm lens but I'd like to atleast be able to shoot at 1/30. Also looking at as-is OM4's for around $100. Been listening to Vinny's New Horizons stream.
Been eating less meat, maybe once a week. Doesn't bother me. We got our gov-issued child-sized masks in the mail today, two months after the initial announcement and two days after the state of emergency has been lifted. Meanwhile at the subways...
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Got dropped from a class, can't graduate in time. Taking courses at 2am is killing me, I almost pass out every night in exhaustion. My 11:00-3:00 schedule has been disrupted three times thus far. And there's always been a lingering sense of anxiety lately, stuff I need to do, stuff I can't do because of the virus, stuff I shouldn't do because of the virus. And people seem to be having quarantine fatigue, I see more and more people out. Can't blame them.
After reading a tohno-chan poster's intent to kill themselves if diagnosed with the virus I've been thinking about death. Specifically the boring stuff that follows it. Material leftovers are rather simple, they're just stuff. The OM-2 that's now my constant companion might've been someone's first paycheck commemoration or just some boomer's garage filler. It'll sit rank-and-file in a thrift shop like all the other orphaned belongings. And just throw my body in the garbage. My concerns lie in my computer files. Ultimately the sentimental value of all these folders lie in their arrangement holistically, not neccesarily the images' content itself. I flip through albums to arouse a timeline in my head: Each percipitating backdrops, events, people, smells, and interests back to me. The benign and remarkable hold equal value as they compensate for the falliability of memory. On their own though, without decryption, those associations are not there.
But through the anime pictures and cursed images, surely there's something of worth there. Just like my disdain for the exclusionary spheres of Japanese photobooks, my friends have no way of accessing my memories I've had with them. The one-off screenshots and audio recordings belong to more than just me, they're bookmarks to a collective memory that we all share. To sequester that seems grossly unlike the feverish nostalgia chases that have defined my adulthood. So I sort though files like marksboypussy.mp3 and creatureofthenight.png.
Speaking of sentimentality I found a blog that took me right back to 2013, dragging my hollow corpse through community college with the promise that life would get interesting (it did). Just another pastel goth anime blog with Tokyo cityscapes and close-ups of pale body parts. To me it's just chock-full of yearning.
Making buttons is fun, I've settled on 300x106 as a modern equivalent to 88x31. Mixing legibility and creativity with the constrictions of the aspect ratio makes for a rewarding experience. Incongruent to the rather spartan presentation of 88x31 jpgs but my site as a whole is an unoptimized mess so it's thematically consistent.
4/30/2020 I plan on going vegetarian next week. I've gotten tired with how I structure my cooking, and meat is really at the center of it. I expect it's not going to be a huge challenge as I haven't bought any raw meat in two weeks anyway. Plenty of great fermented and grain-based dishes in Japan to more than make up for it. Ultimately eliminating eggs and seafood is going to be the real challenge.
I've had a strong avoidance for new media these days. It's not a new phenomenon for me, instead of finding novel things that will improve my life I just run in the same circles again and again. It's never a matter of effort or engagement, the process in finding new music or a new show is predictably enjoyable. There's always an element that holds me back emotionally. Is it the undesirable aftertaste of leaving something behind? The sensations around burnout? I use my enjoyment in things as life bookmarks, so maybe it's a subconcious reminder that I haven't done anything worth remembering lately. And ultimately it's the enveloping boredom that occupies my day-today.
Reflecting back on the stuff I used to enjoy, while more accessible, is a fragile game of extracting gratification while steadily unraveling the associations that made them so significant. I got into Japanese garage rock while in Community college, saccharine female vocals while in high school. The images I archive too, are sorted by year. Those associated memories are always transient and fleeting, almost a sense of negligence in what I've missed. And all the stuff I didn't get into, the stuff I wished I could get engrossed in. Visual novels for example, I feel like there's a prerequisite of emotional discontent to really get into it. One that I don't have anymore. PC-98 and other retro games too, I don't have the sentimentality that will keep me occupied through monotonous gameplay.
And so with these thoughts pushed to the front of my mind, I've started reading Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō and am finally finishing Hidamari Sketch, in my biggest start/finish disparity since evan-jelly-on. Zabadak is great. Listening to a song takes me somewhere, and lately that type of feedback is the most rewarding. Started contributing on Wikipedia too.
I'm doing alright in my classes but the sleep-shattering schedule and delayed graduation is getting to me. I think I'm back to my old style of journaling now that my daily schedule has fallen apart.
I found a guy's homeless blog. Presumably around 2009 in Sunnyvale, CA. It's strange to read through. Living out of a car, subsisting on junk food, using library PC's, applying fruitlessly to jobs, yet going to arcades and spending a non-trivial amount on entertainment. It's less sympathetic than I expected, whether it's the author's bizarre optimism materializing through his writing or just his obliviousness to his situation. He's atleast 35 too, which makes his women-gawking a tad uncomfortable to read through.
It's by no means short, compiled on his personal web page over 52 weeks. Seemed like an interesting little cultural artifact, with talk of shows like Burn Notice and the Wii release. But he's still homeless, and the blog has ballooned into chapters. He's currently on chapter 12, day 4326. 11 years later, gone are the "tehs" and smiling emojis. His grammar is deadpan now, he's lost a few teeth, still in school, still homeless. No one deserves to live this way but his unwavering commitment to play games on public wifi with a $1000 gaming laptop is a very strange contradiction. Even talks about using his stimulus money on upgrades. Empathy getting tested while reading through it, to be honest.
This quarantine, again, demonstrating my long-standing issues with food. Stress eating, not to a degree where it threatens my health, but distressing in how it radically changes my parameters for self-control. Might be emblematic of a larger issue that I'm using food to cope with.
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I've mostly tried to partition politics out of my journals and twitter does a better job of accumulating screams into the void. And just read one article I've written, my leanings leaching through the pages are more explicit than a bedroom Vuvuzela solo. But good god these past few months has been a Kojimaesque post-truth nightmare as America inches closer to 1990's Russia. The brazen political corruption, police violence, worsening inequality, non-existent healthcare safetynets, drug epidemics, and now an actual epidemic. It's truly unreal, beyond parody, a dystopic hypercapitalist nightmare.
Which warmongering elderly millionaire rapist do you want to see elected? Us Americans deserve everything we get for the remainer of this pandemic, and maybe over the next 4 years. Corporations get billion dollar bailouts but not small businesses. States have to fight each other for hospital PPE. Congressmen dump stocks after their briefings of the virus. Health insurance coverage disappearing afer layoffs. After all this, we're willing to get down on all fours to choose which hole they'll fuck. Just an utter embarrassment, where are the brave gun-toting patriots "fighting for liberty?" Or the states rights advocates, or "government handouts are communism" types, or "every life matters" Evangelicals. Some malleable values there.
I got my hands around some online classes so I might be able to graduate in time. My schedule is going to get fucked, with most classes at 1~4am. I would perish in days if I was left in the part of Norway that gets no sunlight, and I'm already feeling it. No idea how to adjust my sleep schedule around it.
Got around to finishing a pair of wide pants, they go really well with haoris/kimonos. There's a milieu of other projects I'd like to get to but I'm either missing just a few cm more of fabric or zippers that I'm unwilling to risk my health to go buy. Also played the game Hylics, which I wrote a review for. Delightful game that has no real equivalents. I stopped playing R6s entirely, I would probably enjoy it better on console frankly.
I recently collaborated with a few writers and artists from neocities in a webzine for the first time. It was a really enjoyable process, I had to make my ramblings as legible and comprehensible as possible.
Some shit weather lately. Made pasta wih canned whole tomatoes, it was good. Film came back for the OM-2n and 35SP. Not great, the Korean Superia 400 was more expired than I thought. Atleast the 35SP works properly with no light leaks. Speaking of cameras I've been eyeing a Canon VI at around $130. It'll be unreachable until I sell more stuff. Same goes for the anime figures.
Saw a dude wearing a full-face respirator complete with tinted visor at Kaldi today. No judgement, he must've been waiting to bust it out for a couple years. Going out for groceries is an interesting sensation, it's not quite paranoia but I am overly mindful of what I do with my hands. Takes me back to working in a lab. Having no latitude in my daily routine is killing me though, I really benefit from the structure that uni classes or work give me. Even though I got all the online classes I need the weeks are sort of shapelessly passing by me.
My custom totebag came in, very satisfied. Thinking of a way to cut out and hem the thing so I can use it as a backpatch for a jacket. Found a cheaper place that prints fabric anyway.
Wanting to make an LSD-themed page but I'm borderline html illiterate (~˘▾˘)~
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3/26/2020 Birthday this week, the gravity of that will dwell on me at a later date. But before that, videogames.
Bought Rainbow 6 Siege. Super Bunnyhop gave it a resounding recommendation despite the always online DRM, Uplay integration, and Ubisoft's poisonous little touches. I want to like it but I haven't had this torrent of frustration since a week-long roadtrip with the family. Fundamentally the game controls like a hardcore FPS with a molasses atmosphere, sluggish ADS, and a high time to kill. As a Red Orchestra fan, this was right up my alley. Methodical, anxiety-inducing gameplay that compensates for a lack of constant action with enveloping tension. Maps are wide and dynamic, with generous amounts of cover or concealment. But in R6S, the maps are microscopic. Those two elements should not be compatible in a PVP game and is evident by the total lack of contemporary equivalents, but is gratingly accepted with the frankly impressive level destruction in R6S. Defenders end up sitting in a corner for 2 minutes every round, making for a boring and predictable experience for both sides. And good god, the maps. Chalet in particular is ruminatingly awful with cramped 1F and 2F objectives. Despite it being a triple A game from an immoral publisher the game is imbued with a sense of cheapness. UI elements are sluggish and time-consuming, no doubt for console "accessiblity," the end-of-round relays for defuse games is just a freeze-frame of a player immobile.
I want to get my $10 to go far, but the ratio of enjoyable games is somehow lower than CSGO, a game that marries you to 40-minute session of addictive mental torment. I just had a game where I died only to teammates. I want to like this game, it's got the perfect amount of breaks to have casual talk with your friends.
Playthroughs of Tarkov, it's temping to get into but the lack of extrapolation beyong weapons and armor is disappointing. The newest weight update makes it possible to run out of stamina while walking and there's also recent videos of invisible hackers stealing items from alive players so I'll leave some distance for a bit. A video full of idealism, outlining a dream house in a modelling program. Commentary on these videos are usually scripted but this one isn't, his usual monotone intonation has been replaced with ups and downs.
Ate a bunch of fantastic stuff today. I don't usually write about food but today was fantastic. Bought some rice crackers that were on sale at $1.20. Rice crackers are broadly split between salt/soy sauce/misc flavors with a variety of shapes and baking/frying methods. Salted rice crackers have been increasingly adorned with dashi prior to baking, a bonito/seaweed stock that is the mortar in Japanese cuisine. And they were fantastic. Also bought dango with azuki, the hint of salt to balance the sweet alongside the texture was great. Not a huge sweets fan but I'll buy this again. Dinner was a komatsuna/maitake stirfry with some sides from the supermarket. Maitake adds so much to whatever you put it in unlike enoki. The sides was fried saury that crisped up perfectly in the oven.
We've been talking about getting a Switch after the torrent of posts on twitter about Animal Crossing. As everyone says, perfect timing with the chaos of out there. Bought a little animal crossing towel, going to pass this down to my kids.
The US has made it resoundingly clear that people are expendable, the economy is not. There's no righteous satisfaction in this explicit show of moral bankrupcy, it's simply mind-numbing to see what has been normalized over the past half-decade. In pursuing an idealistic image of America based on permissive subjugation, neocons have come full circle to betray the very values they champion as "American." Ideologically they've gone from "individual rights are important" to "corporations are people" to "die for our flawed economic system."
Picked up my passport at Kawasaki, glasses at Yokohama. A decent amount of people, but I'd say 60% of normal. Came home to grap some extra food and the grocery stores were packed. People were still buying reasonable maount of food, rice and pasta were looking thin but there was still stuff there. Can't remember the last time I ventured out out of boredom.
My program has been cancelled. There goes my crush. I might be able to graduate early but there's no quick way to find out and relinquishing a semester abroad is a massive disappointment.
Study abroad office has been ignoring my emails, fantastic. No departure instructions, no class enrollment information, no updates about unit transfers sent out. Classes back at UCSB start in 3 days. I learned there's a waiver for staying in Japan, and I only found out through another student who had e-mailed about it. They emphasized how responsible they were keeping track of students during natural disasters, but we're on our own when it comes to a pandemic that they had months to prepare for. What a complete joke.
I badly want to take cherry blossom pictures juxtaposed with coronavirus warning signs but that would be beyond irresponsible. Not as irresponsible as my program though.
Americans have been wearing gloves to the supermarket and leaving them on parking lot floors after they're done in the most contradictory and american act since
This recent virus should have been a slam-dunk for Japan. A tiny industrialized nation with a sprawling transportation system connecting urbanized concrete landscapes, there's no other place that lets you feel your existential irrelevance through pure numbers. The human congestion is beyond parody really, a diurnal sea of black wool hurriedly scurry towards yellowed cubicles in a sort of capitaist Mecca. In an earlier journal I reflected on how something like a zombie scenario would be nightmarish for Japan, with the population density and regular human contact that thousands of people have on a regular basis.
Yet Cases are well under 2000. (as of 3/30/2020) Japan's Health and labor ministry regularly release comprehensive reports on clusters of transmitted cases: age, employment, recent activity, and numbers have not skyrocketed like neighboring countries. While calamity occupies a country with a melting demagogue who values human capital over human lives holding the reins, Japan has been whistling and looking the other way. Only recently did the central government send off advisories to stay indoors in Tokyo and Kawagawa Prefecture, the latter of which was hurriedly arranged by the govenor who emerged after weeks of hiding from the media. Yet they were not directives, only suggestions. A forced quarantine would require amendments in the Diet, a move not considered by the ruling right-wing party. Strange, because their defining ethos is to shit all over the constitution. And it's convenient that these quarantines were hurriedly announced after the IOC's decision to delay the Tokyo Olympics by a year.
Despite whatever "cultural reasons" like mask-wearing or handwashing that r*dditors like to sacralize, Japan stands as an odd anomaly. Italy, Spain, and the US are on their knees with healthcare systems overwhelmed. The UK and France have initated quarantines, shuttling non-essential services. South Korea undertook the highest rate of testing in the world to stomp out new trasnmissions. Yet a neighoring country to the origin of the virus, the highest single recipient of tourists during Chinese New Year, has stood largely unscathed ths far.
News of comedy legend Shimura Ken's passing has graced the news today. Hopefully a balding pervert becomes the martyr for the Japanese to take this shit seriously.
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Finished the sidebag, I'm happy with it. Can wear it like a harness for those weird fit days.
I've been preparing an emergency bag lately. I used to be big into camping/wilderness survival as a kid, and going through the motions have really brought those memories back. The idea is to stock PPE, important documents, and a couple days' worth of food in preparation of evacuating to a school or community center. Last year's hurricane got me shitting my pants, and apparently my sister's work friends did have to evacuate.
The contrast between the US and Japan is really interesting within the context of disaster preparedness. I think the moment Japanese people are neccessitated to stay at home for long periods of time without relief, it's time to give up as a country. Disaster relief is a very centralized affair over here, dependent on government and NGO resources in a particular location rather than local cooperatives (not like US preppers have that in mind either). As such, emergency bags are much more focused on personal protection and hygiene for when you're stuck in a stadium with other evacuees, like an unpleasnt open-air hostel. There's no fire starters, water filters, or animals traps for this reason: it's presumed that it will be provided by institutions or organizations. Is this rationale reasonable? To me, it's just fine. You saw the same relief effort patterns after the Hanshin and Tohoku earthquakes. To presume otherwise means that the disaster is severe enough that the state, military, and NGOs are completely unable to provide relief or outright evacuations to a centralized location, at which it's right to assume that Japan has ceased to be a functioning society.
So everything is short-term, a bridge inbetween disaster and settling at an evacuation center. In contrast, US "survivalists" have this rabid preoccupation with the "rugged individual," a perfect allegory for the American "fuck you, got mine" ideology. The fantasies go that after a disaster, all services and utilities are to cease functioning, therefore all needs have to be met on an individual level at home. Stockpiled food, power generators, water carboys, and guns are analogous to American prepping. Does this have a basis in reality? Katrina and Puetro rico come to mind where the state was utterly unable to provide for citizens following a disaster. Both are also populated by black and brown people. Strange how that goes. Anyway, you almost never see gas stoves or tents in American bugout bags for this reason, everyone figures they can just collect brush or firewood for use at home. Everything is in bulk and set for long-term settling before disaster relief in the US.
Here's an absolutely fantastic rationalwiki article covering the rationalizations of American preppers, with SHTF examples from Argentina and Somalia.
I get it though, there's a definite allure to the level of agency during a dire situation. Strangely fantasizing about a disaster is a refreshing contrast to our numbers' based day-to-day of productivity, consumption, and death.
/r/preppers, finding itself rejuvenated with justifiably concerned people, has been lit a blaze with righteous mastubatory posts about peering over sickly bodies panic buying. And yet, posts about donating PPE to hospitals and reaching out to neighbors dot every other post inbetween post-apoc fantasies by posters itching for a justification to shoot someone.
uni cancelled all courses, encouraging students to fuck off home. fingers crossed my program is untouched.
3/17/2020 What a trash day.
3/18/2020 The US is taking things seriously now with even talks of a universal income up in the air. People in Japan are frankly too complacent. Cases are still in the hundreds but the prevalence of testing is US-levels of pathetic. I brushed up with thousands of people yesterday getting my passport renewed in Kawasaki, that's just what you're expossed to daily. Japan was the top receiving countrys for tourists during the Chinese New year, and it's naive to think we're better off than Italy or the US.
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Still keeping up with the Joshikousei no Mudazukai live-action, episode 4 is the best yet. It's remarkable how the stunningly attractive cast is rendered surreal by repulsive characterizations and some hairspray. They absolutely nail the peripheral that-guy-in-class atmosphere with the main characters. I also like the portrayal of the teacher, he was interesting as a popcorn ceiling in the manga.
The show is also very gay, but that's another matter.
Very content with my PC thus far. It's reliant on the 2400G's iGPU, so I consider it a marginally more capable console. Still, it runs only 25°C on idle and rarely exceeds 75° in games. The main bottlenecks to my enjoyment are wi-fi and playing with russians, mainly.
Uploaded the film that came back from the lab. I'm satisfied, there were a lot of interesting shots like the protests that I was lucky enough to capture. Most of them were on the OM-2n so I'm eager to get some shots on the new C35 and 35 SP. Bummed that the halloween pictures have a tiny bit of motion blur, even while shooting at 1/60. Two otherwise great photos also had overlapping frames which pains me greatly.
3/1/2020I'd love to get some fish but getting an appropriately sized fishtank is too big for me.
3/10/2020 Adjusted the page colors slightly. Tried to make a vanilla/brown theme but it didn't go too well, pastel colors will stay around for a while.
Pinterest is good, like an objectively beneficial pandemic. Led me to watch Aleutian documentaries and this site about bentwood hats. Beautiful stuff. I'm also looking into getting silkmoths, they apparently mature in under a month.
Bought a $10 plastic camera in place of a disposable camera that I'd have to laboriously reload. It's adorned with decals of Pingu, very excited for the shitty photos it will produce. Also found a mangled Zuiko 35mm f/2.8 for $38, I can finally dress up my OM-2n. Rearramged photos on om2n.html, it reminded me of doing the same on tumblr. You go a bit insane looking at the same images over and over for a couple of hours.
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Confirmed that my PC build featuring the mangled 2400G works without any dead components. No possibility of RMAs had there been one. I'm ecstatic, waiting for thermal paste and a proper power switch. Prodding around for the motherboard leads with a screwdriver makes me nervous. None of the ITX cases out there appealed to me so I'll probably improvise something. Dear lord are M.2 drives fast and fuck me dead is this thing tiny. The cable for the free monitor I got also came in, bringing the total cost $320 + $25. My last PC upgrade was 9 yeats ago.
I could've done this build 4,5 years ago when I had plenty of free time, make everlasting memories playing and talking with my canadian buds. It was the overwhelming sense of guilt that swatted any big purchase away. Don't want to be a financial drain to my parents, don't want to destabilize my already fragile day-to-day with too many workhours, don't want to fuck up the second chance I was given at school. And on a deeper level, maybe subconsciously I knew that attainment fantasies perpetually floating over my head were something I needed. Tangible, explicit, and at the same time far enough out of reach. This PC cost me less than $350 and it's a crundle punch after coming from my prehistoric PC's. But maybe it wouldn't have been a huge difference. Wider range of games is nice, but only time will tell if my interest in them rekindles at all.
Found aphids on two of my plants. life is pain.
That Falkreath house is the most deadly... Bandits always at my door. Mud crabs keep befriending my gay bitch son and end up burrowing into my floorboard at night. A dragon always spawns there every 2 weeks. Finally, there is a fucking necromancer next door that sends over skeletal dicks to offer me fucking girl scout cookies, and if you deny ends up killing my chickens and cow...
Back to windows with mixed feelings. My trial-by-fire transition into Ubuntu was maddening, and every "the year of linux" forum post I've glossed over like a vagrant's distant stare. This time around for my new PC I didn't have a choice. The iGPU neither supports Win7 or Linux. I abandoned my reservations, and I prepared mysself by running through scenarios in the many ways Windows 10 could facefuck my conciousness. Starting off, the pre-loaded bloat is easy enough to deal with especially with Windows 10 Debloater. It's nice having all my familiar programs back like QTtabbar, which adds tabs to file explorer. Autohotkey took less than 20 minutes to set up, compared with 2 hours of googling on Ubuntu. Overall, this ease in navigating software stands out the most. A decently modular program is easy to find on Windows, whereas I was constantly on alternativeto, struggling to even sample what was on offer, what was still maintained, what had the features I was looking for. Even a simple task like setting up hotkeys or changing the UI neccessitated opening command prompt, something that took either 10 minutes or 4 hours to figure out. The pure ease in installing/trying out new software improves the chances on Windows that I get what I'm looking for. And my lord were there a lot of misses on linux. File managers without drag-and-drop, image viewers with no configurable settings, it was a baffling journey to try and find software equivalents that would otherwise take minutes to install and set up. Even Firefox was afflicted with unprompted updates that redirected every page to "please restart your browser." And don't even get me started on unmaintained repositories.
I felt like the limitations of the software I was coming across was inhibiting my own enjoyment with Linux. The OS' supposed superiority in user modularity was harbored with a level of experience that I didn't have. Making something easier to use isn't a bad thing, and it seemed some FOSS took pride in its spartan presentation. The less I have to fuck about in command prompt, the better. And that's the fundamental crux of why I found Ubuntu only gratingly tolerable. My user experience was always "good enough" and the programs I was completely satiated with were either also offered on windows, or was itself a derivative of a Windows program. The rest of the native Linux programs were always shockingly deficient in one way or another, with my own ineptitude compounding things.
Do I feel like the pursuit in learning the ins and outs would yield a user experience that would be that much more superior to Windows 10? I don't think so. The desktop threads on /g/ look bretty cool though. But Windows 10 is pretty bad. Some elements like the programs and features page are identical to Windows 7, hastily hidden away by a shiny new touch-screen optimized veneer. The automated botnet features are truly frightening, like having bloatware bundled with a system update, or a "get help with file explorer in windows 10" search opening totally unprompted on Microsoft Edge. You never quite feel in control. And the entire thing feels greasy and sluggish, UI elements glide across your screen like the entire thing is arranged on thin-gauge springs. On top of that, unpromted system rebooting is back, boot times are slower even with an M.2 drive, searching for files takes generations, renaming files in file explorer not as quick, there's a laundry list of big and small issues that are fundamental to a Windows system.
Attended a career fair for study abroad students. Employment is thoroughly ritualized in Japan, with specific designated periods where employers hawkishly hover over swarms of desperate new college graduates. People usually go through employment seminars, 3 interviews and countless website submissions until they're hired. The average number of companies one usually applies to was a staggering 19.2, meaning you have to lie on your resume 18 times under the "what made you choose our company" box. Now while this event was organized for study abroad students, there were absolutely zero concessions or air of foreigner priviledge. The event handouts were in Japanese. The seminars were in Japanese. The company propoganda handouts were in Japanese. Being white did not grant you anything.
It was a curious little ordeal, everyone anonymous from the eyes down due to the coronavirus outbreak, stuffed inbetween forgotton white walls at the end of Ikebukuro Sunshine. The company reps holding the 20-minute seminars were either stuttering inexperienced office workers sent here as punishment, or robotic decibel-shitters with catatonic stares. Some seminars made it evident to me fairly quickly that this wasn't the place for me, imagining where my brain matter would land after an under-the-chin shotgun suicide to pass the time. A toy company really stood out though, and that was a huge surprise. The way the rep advertised their company culture was really alluring to me, and listening to stories of runaway success products separated them from B2B companies entrenched in mantras of efficiency and margins. Because buying toys is dumb and irrational, it's the farthest to pragmatism as it can get. It seemed like the plastic they were peddling was unshackled by typical conventions of business and marketing, their directive is to make stuff that's just fun, and that's what made it exciting to me. One of the stories the rep told was how employees wearing company pins on their suits 15 years ago would get stopped on the street by random people hoping they could get their hands on (popular toy at the time).
I stayed from 10~5, touring 8 companies in the process. I was sleep deprived, the event location was monotonous, and so I took my 3000 yen and left. It was getting late and the trains at 5pm~1am are like canned sardine LARPing so I quickly headed off to a family friend's house. She told me her kids were so excited I was coming they were waiting outside their house. ｡^‿^｡ They were nice enough to invite me for dinner. Played with the kids as they stacked Ultraman figures in chronologically correct lines. The older kid would proudly show me his collection of japanese history manga and illustration books one after the other, no doubt wanting to share what arouses so much excitement in him. He also proposed we vote ballout-style on what ice cream to eat. The two also helped me remember an Ultraman monster. I also get along remarkably well with middle-aged women, forgot to ask how her breadmaking has been going tho.
Hoovering up the bits of Newswipe that I've missed. A bit surprised by it all, considering I've had it as my default background noise for the better part of 3 years.
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Prof gave me a good ass-kicking about my essay, it was a good slap across the face. I'm still writing like an English major, need more practice writing academic papers. Won't have fun with them though.
Got started on the photobooks page, need to scrounge up my thoughts on why it manifested as a hobby. Watching Vinesauce, Jerma, and Japanese variety shows as of late. I really liked the latest マツコの知らない世界, it was about a guy with a passion for deep-sea fish who dresses in a sailor's uniform and a middle school-turned artist who makes furniture from driftwood. Exploring people who are passionate about benign little hobbies are infinitely more interesting than someone who has an obsession with a particular food. Also got 3 utterly prehistoric looking rolls of film for free today. One is Fujicolor Super 400, Which I can assume is the grandfather to Superia. The other two are Konica JX 400, a film stock that only yields a textless lomography page. Both likely predate my existence and are fairly useless for straight-and-narrow photography. In the freezer they go.
I should go vegetarian for a variety of reasons. I can't see it as a terribly difficult transition in Japan, there's a decent variety of root vegetables and soy derivatives that stand strong on their own. Already cut beef out without heartache. Excising fish, chicken, and eggs from my diet are going to be hard if I ever get to that level. I also need to free myself from structuring meals on meat. Vegetables are always relegated as periphery when I'm out shopping or blankly staring inside my fridge.
Had dinner with family friends yesterday at a fancy hotpot place in Musashi-Kosugi. Selection of food was fantastic with some obscure looking mushrooms and vegetable sides. They're good people and it's undescribable how they just radiate total transparency.
Got started making some pants. Pants are hard. The crotch area sort of bundles up. Got some dad glasses and they make me nauseous.
Interesting news floating around. "Don't let the coronavirus outbreak spiral into discrimination" was deafeningly parraoted on the news over here during the peak of Chinese New Year. Meanwhile in France and Italy... But don't worry guys, the Japanese are still racist. Did you know they eat cats? or was it dogs? Asia's all the same anyway.
New photobook, the thiccest one yet.
Interesting article on the shrinking camera market, drawing parallels to the decline of film.
Being at the mall waters my crops. All the small families, schoolkids in jerseys, salarymen on their phones. An employee at a mochi stall near the entrance was calling out "Welcome back/home" while passing out fliers to passersby. That's nice.
Off to lunch with mom and the family friend. Actually cold today, around 1C. Right as I was about to leave the Italian snow parka got here, took the opportunity to wear it out. It's perfect. Baggy with tie closures, fits the mori boy look I'm going for. All that's left is to dye it.
Lunch was great, and being in Shibuya is reinvigorating. Just floating through the department stores I see hundreds of sources of inspiration, accumulating everything like a piece of gum on a barbershop floor. Just today I got 3 new collar and pocket ideas for clothing, a potential pencilstand wood carving project, interior arrangement ideas, the list goes on. A bonsai also caught my eye but the $40 tag was a reality check back from lofty "I guess having one would be cool." Mom brought back 10 meters of fabric i bought as well as some vines from grandma's. No idea how to take care of them but the idea of floating flowerpots are up in the air.
The newish 14sai no Koi cover is gorgeous. The live action of Joshikousei no Mudazukai is the most surreal show I've watched in a while. It's like I've come out of a traumatic brain injury. This got made. I'm familiar with the manga and I enjoyed it thoroughly but there's an atmosphere specific to the live action that's such an odd addition it's beyond words.
Saturday Station had some solid journalism, actually visiting and reporting on how coronavirus patients are treated at hospitals, where and how transmission examinations are performed, and the origins of the facemask shortage. The government is peddling flaccid little policies as always. To be cleared for an exam you must have been in Wuhan or verifiably been in contact with a person from Wuhan, exhibit symptoms of persistent coughing, and have a fever of 37.5 or over. Don't meet all 3 qualifiers and you'll never know if you're afflicted. How many people does your average salaryman come in contact during his commute? Thousands? Utterly laughable, and the media is doing a better job elucidating issues to the public than the government. Good thing the virus is only deadly to the elderly, Japan needs a real good purge. Hopefully a couple make it into the Diet.
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the olympics ads are sickening as always, hypercommercialized nationalist little croutons strewn about on your box showing greased up athletes with distant cataractic stares.
made a bit of extra money on mercari selling stuff. Bought a disposable camera to harvest the 1600-speed film out of it. Took it apart, shocking myself twice in the process. What a marvel. The flash mechanism in particular is ingenious. PC parts came in from dad and the 2400G's pins were bent. There's a 1/4 scale Reimu figure that I'm craving, just 43cm tall and $300. There's also a gorgeous Sora figure coming out this december, plenty of time to agonize over it. As a show Yosuga no Sora was utterly saucy, gliding over the small bits of context from the VN that tempered the mindfuck. Once you get over the repellent veneer of an show about incest it's a fairly enjoyable love story. Remarkable to think merchandise for a series that ended 10 years ago with no fanservice crumbs since is still trickling out. Especially when it materialized in a gratuitous anime series with a birds and the bees demonstration on A-TX. The Reimu and Inuko nendoroids I have my eye on are still ridiculously expensive at ~$70.
100,000 site views ｡^‿^｡ I doubt I can ever fully suspend my disbelief in looking at traffic numbers. As I said last year, I don't think I've done something that reached 100,000 anything, except maybe apoptosis. Maybe a comment box would fix that. Guestbook comments are always a shot of endorphins but page-specific comment boxes would probably foster more spontaneous feedback.
Sold the AF-1 for $30, the fastest I've sold something. The power of point and shoots.
Revisited /a/ and /fa/ for the first time in 4 years. Not much has changed thankfully. If anything it magnifies how hellish 2012 was with gamergate and SNK/SAO airing. Still not touching /k/ though, that board is too far gone. Reading thread after thread on /fa/ about "whether __ is suitable to wear under __ circumstances" makes me truly appreciate being in Japan. Those are too fem, that's teetering into cosplay, all those qualifiers floating around are something I don't have to worry about anymore. If my Uni professor can come into work cosplaying as a magical girl and not get institutionalized, I can wear anything.
Thinking about getting some floating flowerpots, really looking into the white/brown/vanilla/green korean aesthetic. Finished sewing the bucket hat, it's stewing in a dye of coffee and red onion peel right now. The red onion in particular surprised me with a very dark shade of maroon that reminds me of lingonberry. A torrent of bag/rucksack ideas came to me so that's what I've been bending my mind over.
A new guestbook comment ( ＾◡＾)っ I'm perennially concerned
Everything cascaded off my desk so I figured it was time to change things up. My mind kept coming back to a picture I saw in a room inspo thread a few years ago, none of the furniture was higher than knee-height and it looked ridiculously comfy. Advantageous in Japan since big furniture is a pain when you move. Advantageous for me since I have a futon instead of a bed, and the full-height chair I had seemed to be a torture implement in a past life. I just moved a shelf horizontally and what a difference. The massive windows are even bigger, my room looks more spacious, Removed the backplate for the shelf so it lets even more light in. Considering getting an identical shelf so I can have them in parallel or lined up in an L shape adjacent to my bed area. I'd be able to set my PC or sewing machine there accesible from my bed area for maximum comfy.
Bleak weather but I decided to make the most of my time indoors and I started working on an earphone stand. Went around the 100 yen shops and I got a Japanese cedar board, some wooden dowels, and magnets. All that's left is to shape it into something like this:
Japanese cedar smells so good, like a combination of pine and lavender. Made a sachet to throw in the rucksack with some sawdust and leftover bits.
Another guestbook comment ヽ(〃＾▽＾〃)ﾉ I gotta start reading again, my writing has really started to stagnate.
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Off to the mall, 15 minute walk. There's too many kids here, like Abe's re-election stockpile of genetically convergent japanese toddlers breached their containment site. There's small ones, bumbling ones, slippery ones, balding ones, staring at these genetic concoctions without end really makes you appreciate the enveloping silence afforded by having no social skills. If childbirth is the most miraculous event that can happen to you, then the next 5 years of childrearing is there to compensate.
Anyway, it's nice being surrounded by young families instead of crusty pensioners. There's a sense of radiating energy brought on by people who are still virile. I still want kids but I don't know how the Japanese manage. They don't.
Calibrated the 35 SP's rangefinder, those tiny brass set screws are just awful. I always get burned out while sewing. No matter how compelling the project is, no matter how motivated I am, an inevitable phase always arrives after 4-hour sessions of passion. Disinterest mingles with lethargy as no single idea or design captures my interest. I had that today after starting this Veshchemok clone. Today I jumped on /r/malefashion and it solved my postcoital dysphoria. It was a reassurance of "fuck yeah, clothing is awesome."
I do think my journals have stagnated. Not neccesarily in its content, for which I will perenially retain a neurotic fixation over. Rather, it's the spirit behind each entry, what compells me to open that editor and spill a little bit more of myself. Until 6 months ago, it was all repletion and yearning. Staving off monotony and suppressing ideation too distant to even consider. Today my journals are much more benign, reports of what I've done and want to do. In a sense this greater agency over my day-to-day has produced much more stoic entries. and that's boring.
Wore the chuba coat, got the most amount of compliments I've ever gotten. Everything I make isn't explicitly weird unlike this full-length coat.
There's a toy camera that I've had my eye on, a cheap plastic TLR. Initially saw it in the magazine aisle of the bookstore, one of those things where
there more substance in the toy addition than the book itself. The remarkable bit is that it shoots 35mm, not 120 film like cheap Holgas or LC-A's. As a TLR it's more interesting than staring through plastic squares of other toy rangefinder cameras. It's also quite cute, being appropriately sized down. Depending on whether to buy it off ebay for $12 or buy used for that domestic shipping.
Completely forgot to mention, I finished sewing a Veschemok-inspired pack. Also made an A-frame with bamboo and provisions for the backpack to attach to it, but ideas are still up in the air. Prioritized minimal seams over everything else, the process of visualizing the final product was so different from sewing clothing it was rather novel.
Finals is next week. Drinking after class, sorta regretted it. Bar was great, you buy 3 tickets for 330 yen each to spend on whatever drinks/food you choose. Went with a mix drink I've never heard before, jerk chicken, and a prosciutto pizza. Small portions as expected but you get to have a variety of stuff. Spoke about politics and identity with the aus and chinese guy, than was fun. The deafening music was awful though, I've come here to talk, not to listen to your mid 00's house spotify playist. Wasn't on the same frequency as the nz or french guy. Ducked out early to have a more sedate dinner with the chinese guy, I really enjoyed it.
There were segments we were able to respectfully disagree on, which made for a really nice back-and-forth. It all revolved around our personal approaches to friendship and relationships. His mindset reminded me of the unrepentantly pragmatic south african guy, even extrapolating into romance. "Sorting through people worth my time" in a sort of shotgun approach. Very competitive machiavellian guy. We nailed it down to divergent goals we have: he's after success, I'm after enjoyment. He framed american friendships as cyclical and surface-deep which I disagreed with.
Been sleeping more than usual, that's a bad sign.
just 20 pages of essays to go AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
squeezed in a trip to book-off during consciousness-altering sessions of slamming a keyboard. Figured new years cleaning would bring virgin garage contents into thrift shops and the like. Came out with a new photobook, and some weebshit. The photobook is a collage of innocence, pictures of secret bases built by kids inside suburban forests and inbetween houses. Nature photography but about pillow forts. The photographer even managed to interview some of the kids, and quotes periodically dot every other photo. A comfy book that will unravel any reader's crstallized adult persona. The second is pure weebery, a headphone review book adorned with anime girls. I bought this because it incapsulates the early 2000's, both in the now-antique models of headphones, as well as the now-extinct artstyles.
I'm in love with the 35 SP, this is a satisfying camera. Also made photobooks.html, finally recognizing what I collect as an active hobby.
Finals, not much sleep. This is a familiar feeling. Having mom over is an immense relief, I can really focus on my exams.
Loving dad's old linen pants. They're just unreasonably wide. Skinny pants in every coord is just boring, I now realize that. Re-watching Yuru camp with my yuri goggles on. Late night NHK documentary about alzheimers, following a former Alzheimers reasearcher now in his eighties. His infantilization is crushingly depressing, herded alongside other pensioners by prancing baby-faced virile caretakers in scrubs eager to fire up whatever neural connections are left in that pile of bones. His daughter is starting to lose her paitence with someone who has no agency over his condition. His wife reminds him to finish his food while still referring to him as Dr. But by far the worst ingredient was his lucidity though all of it, expressed in journal after journal that bears down and suffocates you the longer you watch. He becomes uncertain about how much he can trust his memory, cognizant of the progression of his disease, hyperaware of the tension that his condition is causing between him and his adult daughter. At one point he asks, "how am I going to feel when I've started to die?"
Delightful last Education class, one of my favorites this semester. Spontaneous decision to go drinking, French guy (as always), aus, as well as the nz guy from before. Bitching about scomo, japanese companies, and americans in general. Drank brown sugar shochuu for the first time and went back to campus after grabbing drinks at a convenience store. Went up to the 7th floor at south hall, talking about past relationships. There was a crowd of passing Japanese students oogling at us 4 dumb motherfuckers drinking outside in 5 degree weather. Distinctly remember one doing a double take after seeing our beer cans. Mingled with a canadian guy there who seemed really nice but he decided to spend his time elsewhere. Hopping izakayas and we went to a Chinese place that the French guy's old boss runs. We got a plate of ribs for free, that was cool. The gyoza was insanely good. NZ guy was a bit of an oddity for me, he reminded me of a friend from Irvine. A joker at heart but you can never really read their true emotions because of it. Just a stream of banter coming out of him.
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hopelessly bickering with the family, our way of welcoming the new year. It's an interesting dynamic, to fight with someone you know you'll have to depend on in the future. Add them being family and it's an odd sensation. You hold them in enough contempt to tell them to fuck off, yet not in a literal sense. This is what being an adult is like I guess.
There's an unquantifiable discomfort with how nice mom is. A completely new sensation, to be shocked at the utter lack of baggage from someone who has seen me through all the cripplingly embarrassing regrets accumulated across 20 years of being their crotchspawn. And I thoroughly welcome new sensations. It's what draws me to the urban hell of Tokyo, the crushing isolation of living in a plaster apartment, the impostor syndrome after somehow graduating high school.
But the big one with mom is the word "unconditional." Mom isn't trying to get something out of me, nor does she have a preconceived image of who I am that precipitates into neuroticism that hangs over every interaction. She hasn't changed, I have. The past 3 months I've always been mindful of what I owe, what I've done, anything that will inevitably be used against me during an argument. Because that happens. Every shred of affection I've contextualized as a favor or reciprocal payment towards some debt. It's been all business with my sis, a sort of ritualized dance of victories and defeats, trying to keep your ratio of contributions and debts even as argumentative leverage. I've learned to be suspicious. And that new framework for dealing with family is so utterly incompatible with my mom that it's frankly distressing.
But I get it, I lost my temper today. Undoubtedly made the situation worse.
new years resolutions uhhhhhhhhhhhhh I think last year I said I wanted to study abroad in Japan. Everything fell into place and now I feel like a completely new person. Not that but this place has aroused a short-lived fervor, but it's enabled me to consistently act and think like when I'm on a "good day" in the US. Has transformed the number of people I'm with, the type of risks I'm willing to take, the amount of social awkwardness I'm able to stomach.
I dreamed that I went to a resturaunt inexpicably run by Gassymexican and my crush was there. She refused meet eyes with me or talk to me I wonder what that represents HMMMMM
Anyways, new years resolutions? 2020 is the year I'm severed from uni permanently and thrown into the meat grinder so a job will probably lodge itself as my most pressing priority. But that's boring as shit. Sew more women's clothes so I can crossdress? Collect furniture so I don't have to live out of cardboard boxes? I think it's sew clothing to the degree that I can always wear something I made. Because I have under 10 garments total, I tend to save them for special occasions and just throw on a middle school sweater when I'm off to the shop. I want my creations to be so numerous that wearing them becomes as casual and carefree as those tattered school uniforms. But that's a bit benign and attainable. Truth be told, I don't know what will happen to me this year. Might become a NEET, might get a soul-extinguishing job, might live under a bridge playing salarymen skinflutes for pennies.
Sushi with grandma and uncle's side of the family. Filling up my green tea repeatedly until it becomes an unrecognizable sludge. Aroused enough courage to take candids of some kids in another booth, fully internalized the possibility of being publicly executed by their parents. Remember that tourist who put his gopro on the sushi conveyor belt to film strangers eating at their booths? I felt just like that shithead, except I can't pretend to not know Japanese. I feel really bad about my uncle. Holiday interactions with him have been inadvertently avoidance. If I was him I'd think "fuck, this kid must really dislike my company." I think he's a fascinating dude and he's taken on a more dad-like persona than my dad. I just can't read old Japanese men emotions so I always clam up. Come to think of it, their side of the family is just odd.
Took a brief trip to Musashi-Kosugi on the way back, the famously gentrified bit of Kawasaki that used to house the factory-working underclass. Lots of department stores and high-rise apartments. Discovered that a Muji was having a closing sale and we looked through it a bit. 50% off is great but the shelves were almost bare, thoroughly picked through by out-of-town proles. Saw a bluetooth speaker for $50, the same lineage as my CD player. Some white sneakers for $30, not terrible but they're not brown. A bucket hat but it's nylon and too small. Off to the women's corner for some clothing inspo and there it was, a Chuba Coat. $30 down from $100 and what else could I do. Still a polycotton mix, but it's just so weird that I love it. Might be difficult to coord though, as it's a knee-length coat that obscures a lot. Maybe a strange backpack.
Realizations and epiphanies of 2019:
•I rarely notice my tinnitus, probably a bad thing with the noise pollution
•Maybe making Japanese friends might be trouble than it's worth.
•I need to be more literal with other international students, my method of communication that I'm used to doesn't work on people who are trillingual. (learned this through texts)
•The distress of being unsure about your housing extrapolates to all other aspects of your life.
•My style of dress is odd, even in Japan. Previous "fuck, everyone's well dressed here" was applied to clean-cut squared away types, not earth-hovel dwelling types like me.
•Alcohol plays an important role in social lubrication, it's the grease on the broomhandle. Alcohol is terrible and expensive but it has a use in my life. Will never drink by myself though, that's stupid as hell. Then again my granded quit cold turkey at 75 after smoking for 40+ years. Addictive personalities don't run in our families and in my case it's quite the opposite.
•Yokohama is rather dry and quite dirty
•I love Saitama, pretty sure that sentence has never been uttered before.
•Living close to the station is absolutely HUGE.
•Pants are very important. I had a habit, like I imagine most people, to fixate on big, exciting stuff like jackets and shoes. A Kapital Tri-P is still one of my grails but I can't really imagine myself doing it justice. I'm 80% legs so pants usually determines what my outfit's silouette is going be.
•It takes multiple wears to really put together a cohesive outfit. Oogling at yourself in a mirror doesn't convey how restrictive it is, how the assembly flows during movement, or just how inconvenient wearing a pants without ass pockets is. Conversely, some colors and garments I've initially disliked have become some of the most-worn. And that's part of the fun in clothing, when it all comes together. Creativity when I'm designing clothes, improv when I'm sewing, creativity when I'm arranging outfits.
WW3, here we come. Killing Soleimani was the absolute lowest-IQ option.
Sedate day cooking, walking around town, taking photos at night. Finished the Fuji Super G 400 rated 100 iso at the small temple nearby with amber lights. Only 2 or so shots that I'm confident in, the rest were rather forgettable. I'm more liberal in terms of what to shoot now, I find that having an unshot roll in my camera hangs in the back of my head. I need to go back to be more deliberate and picky. Looking to put a test roll through the 35 SP next. I know what to expect from the C35, and I'm a bit worried about daily carrying the Petri Color 35.
An advocacy commercial promoting greater acceptance of service dogs, this one got to me.
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