A collection of loose thoughts, too long for journal.html and too short for its own page.

in the process of culling

8/12/2020 I've done it, this neocities thing has made journal entries something other than rantings during emotional dry spells. Entries from just a couple years ago are almost illegible, just streams of discontent without any elaboration. I'm thankful.

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.

5/3/2021 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."

2/6/2022 I have eyes on me. Sounds presumptuous to say out loud and it's no doubt even worse to read but ignoring the numbers going up would be more delusional. People eyeing you, no matter how small, no matter how willing you start off, is weird. It's beyond words to be able to share a part of your experiences, cast it down into the void and hear something back, but it's still weird. It would be easier if my site was themed behind a particular shameful fandom or singular hobby but it's become this conjoined life journal. As my life circumstances change inevitably there's ebbs and stagnations, I'm often compelled to feel like I'm out of "me" when I have nothing new to add to this site or I'm deadlocked into neglecting my hobbies. New sources of gratification, the rising numbers or heartwarming guestbook comments inevitably becomes the new benchmark. The solution is to become oblivious to imagined pressure, accept that interpreting dizzing statistics is a futile exercise.

Ultimately I'm thoroughly satisfied with existing in the periphery, peddling my own obsessions in the dredges like horsegirls.

3/19/2022 I got some very nice comments about the identity page a while back. I'm thoroughly grateful that someone's found some personal intersections but it's not exactly positive common ground. It's like comparing blackened buboes with a bro or seeing whose peritoneal cyst is deeper.

5/20/2022 500,000. that's a number. Still unsure what it means. Thanks to all who have stopped by, I'll add to it when something interesting happens. Been reading a lot.

8/15/2023I think instead of flagellating myself for new page topics scrounging together bits of ramblings is the way forward. I've been itching to delete the identity page for years because I'm regurgitating what is apparently a very common phenomenon. It's overwhelmingly gotten the most comments out of all my pages so up it goes.

8/16/2023 met with a neocities user and the topic of site objectives and direction came up. I realized that both have been at best blurry throughout my 5 years here and that I wasn't at peace with it yet. Love letters to what I enjoy? Personal naievety that will make your perenium recoil? More ramblings with only glimpses of lucidity connecting them?

I do need to shift around pages. If I can't say anything interesting or novel then there's really no reason to keep a milquetoast page around for it. Struggling what to do with the FE8/hylics pages

9//2023 The pages I haven't gotten rid of are largely things I enjoy, essays where my thoughts precipitate effortlessly. Couldn't have imagined that the headphones page would be this ruthlessly stripped down, I just don't have interesting things to say. it's been a good call to slim down the number of pages, surely there are visitors who skip over some while only viewing half-assed shit and garbage pages

9/20/2023 gradually winding down my time and prescence here, I know what I'm looking for on neocities now. What the main substance of this page should be is still a mystery. That's fine. I'm terrible at interacting with other users, need to ramp it up.

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.

There's numerous people I think we all desperately try to avoid becoming. The Gallivanting gambler, the sossed out drinker, it's not so much that we decry immoral behavior but its inevitable adherence to stereotypes. For me the kind of commenters who say "I like Japan because of their culture" is the human mold I'm deathly afraid of. Horsegirls have to hide their infatuation with horses to prevent being cast off, I have to hide my visits to r*ddit. Everytime someone comes over I have to hide my mechanical keyboard and box up my Red Wing boots and Chistopher Walken my mechanical watches. Switch the stereo to something other than electroswing.

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.

6/5/2021 I need to get back into worldbuilding. Gets your creative juices flowing when creating your own universe, a sense of linear time, a pulsing organism with culture and geography and politics. When creating your own world you usually try to shy away from archetypal humanoid races or slightly spruced up real-life objects. Something needs to be different, thematically consistent, and believable. And through this thought process worldbuilding lets you appreciate benign things in your real-life day-to-day. Take a frying pan for example. It's a companion to a waist-level stove so the handle juts out the side, perfectly shaped for human hands. A flat, circular bottom dissipates heat emmanating from below. A lip keeps objects contained against the constant force of gravity.

Apply the curiosity of worldbuilding to that and there's an explosion of factors you can play with. What your new race's hand anatomy is like, material properties of metals, degrees of atmospheric pressure and gravitational pull. It really lets you pick apart objects with a child-like innocence, freed from the droning inherency of adult life. And to think something as benign as a frying pan is really a masterpiece of anatomical design, a solution melding dozens of factors into a cohesive form. This entire thought process behind worldbuilding is also why I love surreal games like LSD and Hylics so much, there's something inspiring about someone fully committing to create their own immersive, tactile universe:

I loveeee blurry textures—real world forms reduced and stretched, removing detail, leaving vague ideas and shapes of what it was. It feels like wandering around dream versions of places you’ve been, half-constructed foggy architecture and people and objects, existing in the context of a place you can believe, but pulled from that reality and put in its own context...A lot of my defining memories are alone in mazelike hospitals, long road trips and strange hotels, staying at psychiatric wards, forced inside with only artificial light for days. I fixate on these images a lot. I’ve always felt alien—like I’ve slipped between the cracks and exist outside the world. To that end I feel pretty connected to things that are broken, ‘bad,’ trashy...things that exist outside of legitimacy.

11/23/2021 drawing is utter alchemy to me, my pattern-recognizing monkeybrain can see when something looks off but doesn't know how to translate those thoughts into effective change. photography is the laziest shit in comparison, you just steal perspectives from views that already exist. that doesn't take 5+ years or consecutive practice to produce something agreeable.

  • 12/5/2021 painted the mysterious overchan logo. I know nothing else about the image's origins.

    12/8/2021 rain. painted aukse's art of a massive man eating spaghetti. good learning experience, took me back to when I was 8 scribbling penguins or whatever. drawing is hard but painting is fun, especially the alchemy of mixing colors.

    12/13/2021 Drawing is really fun. Bought some more pentel acrylics and mitsubishi 4B pencils, no guilt. I'm getting better at copying images, probably not a terribly educational process. Coping by telling myself all the good artists trace. If there's anything to really motivate you artistically it's contempt.

    12/15/2021 For any creative hobby I've tried to purposefully isolate myself from the orthodoxy and the fundamentalism that some of their communities emmanate. Not on an inspirational level, trying to come up with something new in clothing is akin to self-mutilation. You'll inevitably cross thematic streams or just gleefully copy people, physically pirating intellectual property is cool. And so I shut myself out. No how-to guides, no clothing patterns, no chin-stroking process write-ups. Same goes for taking pictures. I have no plans to deviate away from the spirit of a photographic journal anytime soon. What I churn out might be good, they might be overdone, but they are unwaveringly authentic.

    I don't know if this mindset can extend to drawing. A poster said that 90% of accruing good drawing skills is intuition. Repetition built over years of starting over and ironing flaws. But drawing is hard. Drawing takes 5+ years to produce eye-sore adjacent creations, for any hobby you usually have to escape an irrevocable disparity in talent, that you just don't match up and the people squirting out bangers are just cut differently. This is the first hobby where I'm not giving up in resignation, the apogee of drawing in hard, confident lines is years away but I'm not forlorn about the distance. Maybe I'm waiting for that blast of brilliance, the microplastic crossing my blood-brain barrier that turns me into a drawing savant, the one crumb of hope that will never be answered. Hoping that you'll be better is a paper-thin motivator, sure, but it's present. I haven't felt the creative wall everyone toils with when their skills and their visions seems like they will never dovetail together. I'm managing my expectations and I'm having fun. That's new. Failure is painless when supplies are cheap and mistakes can be painted over. in a few years I'll be drawing sooper gud on a cintiq

    2023 definitely better at sculpting than drawing, the childhood lead exposure didn't touch that part of my brain. never molded fabric from clay but it's extremely satisfying. i'm making stuff again. it feels good. there's an artist I've been following since 2015, they settled into only drawing really tall women

    finished the panpanya bust. yuyushiki must've been a nightmare to translate well.

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  • 12/18/2020 Saw an unusual show on the box. It's a sort of 45 minute recruitment ad for the Japanese army. Nothing out of the ordinary in America, movies like Argo (2012) got production help from the CIA. In Japan it's taken on the plasticky domestic TV formula, a panel of actors and comedians reacting to an army show-and-tell. It's a surreal marriage with a Promised Neverland live-action ad at the very end. Media dispenser Hana Minami was one of the faces, pretending to go "wow I love the Trumpeter Type 89 NBC Detection vehicle :)"

    You have to squint quite hard to hopelessly distant abstractions like "this 155mm howitzer is defending my country" when that country is as cushy as Japan. Netouyo are obsessed with China but what are they going to do? Invade a mountainous US-aligned island to destroy the world economy? Is North Korea going to glass Tokyo, losing the veneer of imperialist victimization and nuclear deterrence that the DPRK has been relying on for 70 years?

    11/30/2020 Watched the Otakoi movie. Considering it had to live up to both the original and anime adaptation, this never could've gone well. But it's bad. If I love Italian food I wouldn't think the experience would be better rectally. The quirky show about hushed pleasures has inexplicably turned into a musical, like a pastel bollywood movie. Narumi is this stuttering sound device and Hirotaka is somehow even more deadpan, rendering his character less interesting than gravel. Wasn't the gimmick of the series functional human beings who were also anime otaku? Pair that with the general lack of background music and you have a hypothetical romcom that's more surreal than it has any right to be. And it's two hours long.

    2/21/2020 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.

  • 3/21/2022 Gran loves blood and guts. Every evening after her walk she comes home to reruns of dubbed 80's war movies, watching a throroughly greasy stallone machinegunning men in half. After that it's Aibou with its murder mysteries. For a society that has zero tolerance on violence it's interesting how sympathetic murderers are portrayed in cheesy afternoon crime dramas. It's the reassuring nod that the world operates according to a rational algorithm, there's no twisted artisan killers or unexplainable acts of violence. Criminals are desperate or misguided. gran soaks all this in intently, sitting on the floor close to the TV because her hearing's going, occasionally busting out the loupe and 36x24" world map to look for locations mentioned.

    5/4/2022 Japan dropped 4 places in the Reporters Sans Frontières press freedom ranking to 71st, placing it above Liberia but below Bosnia and Kenya.

    6/2/2022 TV at gran's. The guy who was accidentally wired $400k in covid aid and subsequently gambled it all away looks exactly as you'd expect. The money came from a tiny Japanese town of 3100. Salameshi was covering workers at Hario. These kiwi commercials are like 2 minutes long, NZ is thoroughly lubricating horrible Dentsu PR men. Grandma was laughing hysterically about a movie where the villans indiscriminately kill people by hacking into pacemakers (she has a pacemaker) "3 people die, one after the other" while chuckling to herself, bloodlust satiated by the TV.

    6/9/2022 My co-worker didn't know what Yu-gi-oh was, I guess speculative card games for children are just for fossils like me. My manager lost paperwork hoo hee ho ho More quirky how-to-save-money variety shows. we're in a recession. A Panasonic electric razor commercial had a drag queen among the salarymen and construction workers shaving in front of the camera. The news had a dedicated zookeeper obsessed with kangaroos who would fight the animals and purposefully lose to stimulate their kangaroo libidos. Anmika was on a variety show talking about how she was so poor canned drinks were a luxury for her family. She's of zainichi korean descent like a surprising number of other Japanese celebrities.

    7/7/2022 Another bit of glittery propo on the box. Keita Machida playing a downtrodden construction worker shat on by classmates at reunions, pathetically dodging debt collectors at his crumbling hovel, they might as well have a flash mob queue to successively rub excrement on his face. it's pretty much the worst-case evolutionary path for a single japanese male despite Machida resembling a glistening long-haired libido machine. After a street fight with some steretypical dyed-hair leather-jacketed baddies he gets arrested and fired from his job. After that he joins the JGSDF to learn the virtues or hard work. I guess the moral of the story is that violence is bad, unless you're paid to do it by the state.

    New drama series based off Itaewon Class. I know desperate TV men are forced to compress pilots until actors don't have time to breath between lines but it's staggeringly retro, the TV equivalent of those Cal Worthington car commercials. There's a scene where the dad, dying after a car accident reaches for a picture of his family. The plot is so morally unambiguous there might as well be an approval rating overlay constantly bobbing up and down. It's also staggeringly Korean with montages and slow-motion. I do like the casting choices despite all the high schoolers looking like they're in their mid-thirties, they seemed to have chosen deliberately strange looking cast members like Teruyuki Kagawa. The dad (Ken Mitsuishi especially looks like every irvine transplant I've ever met.

    7/22/2022 went back in time 15 years to rewatch はねるのトびら , a show that has a segment where people attempt to pick through items and whatever they choose they have to pay. Half are from the dollar store and the other half are luxury items.

    7/29/2022 ceramic firing is really interesting, using things like horsehair and corn husks to burn patterns onto the surface of pottery. Watched an NHK documentary about one of those masochistic buddhist temples. The old temple webpage included journal entries from the German trainee titled "2004 Shitpaper" before he was presumably reined in by the head priest. The documentary is odd. Similar to most other glossily produced coverage it highlights the fleeting passage of the seasons, the ritual drudgery, dhukka emanating from the participants, it's all something I've seen before. What I noticed is that the documentary takes a very nihilistic view. The aimless trainees who come from all over the world are still left with open questions about the answers to life that neither the head priest provides nor do they stumble upon during 14-hour prayer sessions. The little excerpts from Nichiren do nothing to allay their fears about squandered time or purpose. My question is does this shit work? Decouple yourself from your material reality, starve yourself a bit, forget about bills and children and careers to pray for 5 years to become a priest. The suicide prevention priest from "The Departure" spoke about his enthusiasm for working minimum wage after enduring the austere (unpaid) rigors of life as a buddhist trainee. Is that what the trainees at Antaiji are seeking when they talk about their existential anxieties? Accepting the four noble truths is one thing, inescapable material poverty is another.

    Went back in time again watching old Japanese commercials. Gran would record Ultraman and Hamutaro onto VHS tapes and post them to the US. What struck me were how cheap-looking the toys they used to peddle. Lots of printed and folded paper, plastic injection molding should've been all over the toys space by 1997. I miss warm lighting and soft filters.

    A compilation of pulled Japanese ads. except that time nissin used the portrayal of child soldiers in an instant noodle ad most of the complaints are rather sensible. People at dinnertime don't want to see 3D depictions of cockroaches in an insect repellent ad. Sometimes the Siren (PS2 ad is just too scary. The most noticable pattern is how allergic Japanese consumers are to any sort of portrayal of alienation or discrimination. the expectant silence during office meetings or "oh... you're on a different cell carrier" among a group of friends hits home to people

    8/?/2022 TV show about the showa era. From burning trash on school campus to casual corporal punishment it outlined the brutishness and unrefinement of people living through the 60's and 70's. The biggest shock was probably housewives casually dropping occupied mousetraps into a bucket of water for liquidation.

    10/15/2022 Sometimes I get jolted awake to ask myself why am i here? I should be wasting my time in a strip mall parking lot or dodging cars while walking on a stroad. オモウマい店 is my favorite new show. Typical lo-fi inaka propaganda food show but the cameramen get so close to the restaurant staff they eventually work at and live in the places they cover like really personable drifters.

    a coworker, one of the old guard, told me that news footage of ukraine and afghanistan reminded her of her childhood growing up in 60's Yokosuka. Gran also refuses to eat pumpkin or sweet potatoes because that's all that was available during rationing.

    10/17/2022 I'm satisfied with my film cameras. The bellowing out of parliament regarding the Unification church investigation now contains direct references to Aum Shinrikyo. wild. You can see the PM perspirate through his lizard membrane disguise as he gets questioned by the libs and gommies. Kishida of course resembling the kind of soft-faced vaguely feminine uncle who has a concealed but accessible pair of heels under his bed.

    10/17/2022 The news interviewed former senior Aum members and current leaders of Aleph. unreal.

    12/24/2022 Work is over, dinner at gran's. Grimaced through ひきこもり先生 on the TV, It's staggeringly bad in a refreshingly simple way. The story consists of a former hikkikomori turned schoolteacher who stumbles and mutters his way across complacent teachers and viciously malignant schoolchildren. As plot devices there's no shortage of saccharine misery thrown in from bullying, disabled suicidal parents, drunken sexual advances, the doldrum of minimum wage labor, things omitted on Voyager's Golden Record for fear that aliens would dismiss Earth as the bad yield of the universe.

    hikki-teacher acts staggeringly unjapanese, figeting and mumbling in conversations, wholly decoupled from social cues. And through all of it the Forrest Gump autistic savant figure solves everything through his unwavering naievety. (or a session of cathartic bellowing to children like a madman) The writers desperately trying to elicit something, anything from viewers, the arched finger resting on the prostate. It pathetically wants you to swallow the unconvincing sanguine message of "wow, his unwavering positivity is so inspirational (especially since it's coming from a dysfunctional person) :)"

    The cast is great, even the kids who have been handed a very arduous job of appearing eternally miserable and crying on camera at the snap of the director's tanned, dexterous fingers. It's a shame they were paired with these writers and these political pressures within the NHK that deemed this a neccessary creation. Who watches and enjoys this? Surely people who take the unyielding pauper misery as some distant unbelievable novelty in the same vein as watching Wake in Fright, just scenarios that are hopelessly abstract to Setagaya viewers who regularly defecate gold leaf.

    1/24 On TV there was a nostalgiabait show covering Japan's more affluent past about bowling pin attendants and smoking in orphanges and such. If there's one emblematic crumb about Japan's current standing it would be a Regain commercial, an 80's energy drink that sounds like a minoxidil derivative. Their commercials had greased-up himbos blazing through officework with an amusing jingle. The award-winning catchphrase at the end "Can you fight for 24 hours?" conceptualized when Japan's economy was at its peak with paranoid American predictions about GDP lapping was rebern after the coup de grace of 2008. Today it's been revised to "Can you fight for 3, 4 hours?" the horrible admen settling for an ambiguous, unambitious question to a placated population who knows their place.

    2 1 Watched overshare: the links.net story, the same tumblr sexyman-looking speaker from the XOXO talk. Talks about his experiences liberally documenting everything about his life in a pre-search engine internet and how that didn't work. His page on travelling to Honduras includes "there's no real civil unrest." many things change in 25 years.

    4 8 A staggering show on NHK, looking at the role of art during wartime from Shostakovich composing Stalingrad to Goebbels ambushing Furtwängler with a handshake. The japanese counterpart was acclaimed akutagawa novelists sent to Manchuria to document the war. Writers like Ashihei Hino had a guaranteed income of $20,000 from the government when writing sales slumped, culminating in books like Wheat and Soldiers broadcasting the romanticism of war, of men with families, children, jobs, fighting for a "higher purpose." As the war turned his later writings in the India campaigns were censored by the government, men he was attatched to eating dynamite sent by logistics officers because their rations were never enough. The post-war criticism from veterans about his earlier glorification of the war turned into Kakumei Zengo, a book dripping with caricatures of his own guilt, of men being used and discarded. He would commit suicide the same year.

    4 18 NHK show on Germany's post-war years. Children playing on a rotating 8.8cm, czech reprisal killings, Bohnenkamp influencing Schmidt in a POW camp, televised orphans looking for their parents some ignorant of their own name, people insisting their innocence to the soviet occupation. The show is fiercely sympathetic but multivalent, it tickles the distant parallels within japanese viewers that germans furiously reject.

    Another excellent NHK show on Japan's relationship with SEA with a focus on the Phillipines and Indonesia. Bataan, Nampo tokubetsu ryugaku, Suharto, Laurel, Japanese volunteers in the Indonesian idependence war, post-war ODAs, ASEAN.

    4 29 Another wonderful オモウマい店, the 4 kids helping at the resturaunt start taking B-roll footage of the food for the show

    just saw an ad where pasta is broken in two, placed in a bag, and microwaved.

    NHK special on police corruption, a rare show of self-inflicted institutional damage. 3 workers at a small business were arrested for exporting industrial spray dryers to China. Under the Public Safety Agency's massaged definitions the simple spray dryers sold by the company was framed as having the capability to produce aerosolized biological weapons. They later lied to workers that the spray dryers in question were already being used for Chinese military use. One investigator testified that they were repeatedly told "who's going to take responsibility if the investigation falls apart?" by the agency. Incredibly the show got access to internal government communications, commerce officials telling public safety agents "please wait, please cool down" while jointly cooperating during the 3-year investigation. The 3 suspects were released without charge after 16 months in custody, 1 worker falling ill and passing away during that time. A subpoenaed investigator testified with "well, it was a fabrication." It's truly got it all. testimony falsification, suspect intimidation, nothing has changed.

    a twitter post reads "how do these people keep on living without slitting their stomachs?

    ghibli composer hisaishi joe talking about buying a $200k synthesizer more than double his income that could only handle 8 tracks at once, terry riley listening and nodding along

    NHK ETV special on the falsely imprisoned, the 5 arrested in their 20's and most now in their 60's. Panic attacks at movie theatres, being unable to wear wristwatches, being fuctionally illiterate when admitted.

    fantastic on the ground reporting following rural kenyan farmers, haven't seen stuff like since since TV Tokyo's early 2000's coverage of china and north korea.

    I love cooking shows where they go to the remote countryside to ask the cryptkeeper if they like pancakes

    A topical 2-part NHK special with Meron Benvenisti. kyary pamyu pamyu is on an educational show, you'd think they would keep her away from small children

    walked past a comically large house, reminds me of one of those murder mystery pc-98 games p>interesting segment on Egypt importing elements of japanese schooling spurred on by el-Sisi out of all people. more sakana-kun's fish show. He started as an eccentric middle school fish savant, to fish TV personality, to ichthyology professor. The show is your typical showcase about the miracles of nature, only on more common species the show ends with them being cooked and eaten. Like rural countryside propaganda on the TV it's no doubt to bolster domestic fish consumption that has been dramatically falling among young consumers. Probably a more honest depiction too.

    this war of mine and papers please on TV. spent a disgusting amount of money on 6m of linen. NHK special on adopted one-child era chinese-american women being reunited with their birth parents.

    It's been a while that I've seen surgery footage on the TV that makes your hands weak. A staggering saturday segment on che guevara's life headed by ozawa yukiyoshi and shingomama. If this aired in the states thousands would start attacking their smart TVs. It seems like after SMAP disbanded (minus that one member) they're going full throttle on whatever they want. shin hissatsu shiokinin, The ED sounds like something from a blaxploitation film.

    Another great オモウマ with the ridiculously shy grocery store owner who feels a thrill from caressing the line between profit and insolvency, handing out free boxes of fruit to customers and marking things down 50% before opening. It must be like those bedtime daydreams about going back in time to feed people. Rap is the bgm for this 400-year old sake brewery commercial. I can't believe Tommy Lee Jones is still doing those Boss coffee ads. A brilliant late-night special on Ainu opposition to dam projects in nibutani.

    conversations on the etymology of corn. Another profoundly chaotic food review segment on かりそめ天国. One of the introduced traditional sweets shops is headed by a serious-looking lanky spectacled man who spent 19 years training. He immediately jumps into making dirty jokes with the 2 comedians. He is later graciously given the nickname "arctic seal with an erotic beard"

    rewatching mariasama, I couldn't have remembered it more differently. probably skipped season 1 all those years back. thoroughly srs with not one laugh thrown in, it's like talking with a german. It's structured remarkably like a conventional drama in terms of pacing. There's also male characters, which is just unnecessary.

    remembered that we were at a club cookout and the 9th graders were begging me to eat because I was only grilling. I was having fun grilling. My school jacket smelled like smoke for the next 2 weeks because it rained continuously and they were still installing dryers at the dorms. centipedes longer than unsharpened pencils everywhere. I wore that jacket to the prefectural playoffs a few days after the boston bombings and the cafeteria lady that everyone had a crush on was there.

    I bought a PS2. boys over flowers on the k-drama channel. it's fascinating. watching cherrymaho. it's fascinating.

    wow mariasama rockets from 0 to 100 in episode 11. weaving your hair into each other under the rain is the gayest thing i've ever seen

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  • 10/2/2020 Conceptually Tarkov is my bread and butter, a roguelike first-person shooter with a high time to kill, massive item catalog, and trading. High risk, high tension, what's not to love. It's what DayZ should've been, what Unturned 2 is aiming to become. It's why I enjoyed Red Orchestra and Insurgency so thoroughly. But Tarkov in its current inception seems odd, even contradictory at times. And much of that has to do with its MMORPG elements. High-level players have a laundry list of advantages over new players, the most significant being bartering access. While there is plenty of latitude in weapons and weapon modding, ultimately it's what ammunition you buy that wins gunfights. Low-level players don't have access to good ammo because they don't have access to the market or traders. Add the lack of access to high-level armor that can shrug off dollar-store 5.45 and you have a framework that heavily disadvantages new players. Remember, this is a hardcore FPS. The player level-centric disparity of "Dying from 3 gunshot wounds" and "tanking magazine of bad ammo" seems like an awful combination. Even recoil mitigation is influenced by player level, instead of learning spray patterns you just hold down fire and wait for your reticule to settle. It all defuses the tension and danger that hardcore FPS's emanate.

    Exhibit A being the stink that twitch streamers made regarding the Mosin. A (previously) low-cost, accessible bolt-action rifle, it was the defacto equalizer for low-level players locked out of better ammunition or armor through market and trader restrictions. It took patience to use, could defeat level 4 armor even with low-level ammo, what's not to love for someone who has no option for dealing with higher-level players? As a reaction the developers increased its market value, erasing another way new accounts could play on an even playing field with sweaty videogame entertainers. I'm just surprised grenades haven't been nerfed yet as they ignore armor while doing damage. The devs did add an exorbitantly expensive grenade launcher to make the game even more unequal though.

    And just watching what the meta has evolved into is odd, ADADADing while full-auto spraying ammunition that costs thousands of rubles a second. Semi-auto is useless because armor provides such blanket protection for a wide variety of rounds. Suppressive fire is discouraged as it just reveals your position. Players instead chuck grenades in their general vicinity and do an ADADADAD dance as you both spray at each other full-auto. It just seems contradictory for a hardcore roguelike.

    No wonder everyone says the most exciting period of the game is immediately after a wipe, where no one has level-specific skill advantages or high-level armor that provides blanket advantages to richer players. Lots of weapons are viable again, player skills matter more than logged hours or locked-off expensive ammunition.

    3/5/2021 The latest wipe recently increased energy/water depletion as well as nerfing certain med items. I think it's a great change, making eating in-raid less of a novelty. Adding the MK18 as an introduction to .338 was pretty stupid.

    I've also always liked how people die in tarkov, they sort of just crumple over without any theatric adornment. It's very subtle.

    3/27/2021 Here's an idea. Have some maps have armor limitations, the inability to wear class 5+ armor in customs for example. It encourages greater item diversity since more weapons are viable as well as different styles of play. Cheaper runs also means struggling or newer players actually have a chance to scrounge up a few pennies without running into thicc bois.

    12/12/2021 Massive Tarkov update, new map, new faction, VOIP, above all the flea market restrictions and changes to inertia changes everything. It's a step towards a much slower, risk averse style of playing that I've been on my knees for. Crafting is more important, Class 4 armor is much more useful.

    Visual recoil is back, no one was asking for this.

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    11/15/2020 Petitioned to graduate. It's a big moment.

    I suddenly remembered saber-scorpion.com, a Lego site with a guy's creations and comics from back in 2007 or so. The site is now a storefront, wiped clean of both. I remember copying his Halo Elite design. Apparently Kojima himself saw his MGS Lego MOCs. There was something awfully cute about sites like these and the Lego stopmotion videos on youtube. Poorly lit macro shots on dinner tables, bits of carpet and wall outlets in the background of amateur 240p videos. Takes me back to eating fundip at the back of the baseball field.

    9/4/2020 Found an abandoned blog by a 49 year old woman. We a have absolutely no intersections but it's an interesting experience going through it. I love her writing, the otherwise negligble fixations and little retrospective croutons that she holds onto. The ruined D.C. asphalt after the Gulf War victory parade, the black lace discouraging flies from her grandmother's open casket, such a departure from my pages of fact-shitting. She's always looking to the past, the things she's left behind, the people who have left her behind. Except for her voicing affection for her husband. That's nice. She also spills vicious misandry across her pages, stuff like "Men eat food they purchase at gas stations."

    8/16/2020 One of my new finds is a 14-year old Japanese blog still squirting out entries, complete with grotty early 2000's images of Japan, the images conjoured in my mind when I think of haruhi-era subcultures. A bizarre political rant from 2008 stood out, railing against proposals for children in Japanese/foreign national marriages be granted citizenship. As an anime otaku of course he's opposed to this, but a particular line stood out to me: that regardless of party allegiance, politicans in the Diet are there to "protect the Japanese." Odd choice of words there. it's not economic prosperity or social equity, but security that is his most pressing concern. And to him relaxing the impermeable border between "Japanese" and "non-Japanese" is the foremost threat amidst a global recession.

    The Japanese are coddled, and it's quite significant when coming over from pretty much any other part of the world. Poverty is low-ish, drug epidemics are non-existent, issues of industrial pollution ceased decades ago, violent crime is low, and the country is (on its surface) problem-free. Thanks to provisions in the constitution the closest the JSDF has gotten to war is lounging in air-conditioned bases in Iraq, even more risk aversive their Bundeswehr counterparts. Your average Russian consumes 18 liters of vodka a year, 67,000 Americans died from overdoses in 2018, 130 candidates and politicans in Mexico were murdered that same year, and Syria has grappled with international state-sponsored violence for the past 9 years. Yet Japan shrugs, the notion of a widespread social ill that doesn't involve work or aging seems impossibly foreign. As far as societal ills goes there's hikkis and overworking, both of which outside observers sort of scoff at as nebulous non-issues attributed solely to Japanese culture.

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

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

    5/10/2020 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.

    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. Not many people can endure homelessness for 10 years when their average life expectancy is only 50.

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

    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 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.

    5/3/2021

    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.

    8/8/2021 There's a youtube channel that uploads thoroughly obscure visual kei from the late 90's, the sort of band names that don't bring up any search results. Peering into these bubbles is fascinating, otherwise lost stories of debuts and tours and disbandments. I think it's the contrast between the enigmatic personas and ridiculous costumes juxtaposed with throroughly lo-fi album covers and abandoned band member blogs talking about drinking Contrex or eating cornflakes.

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    1/7/2021 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 sheet metal blinds were always closed. 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 me staying here.

    9/4/2020 I experienced a new sensation this year. I always welcome new experiences although my cushy lifestyles patterns often don't reflect that. I had my memory of my grandfather tainted. Family business is often drawn-out and dramatic, the formation of hushed rumors and sideways glances. I knew things were complicated on my dad's side, evident by the _ around his funderal gathering and my aunt outright insulting me the first time we met. I also knew my immediate family isn't as open with me as I thought. They waited until I was 18 to disclose a few things about our family history that I thought was impossibly benign.

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

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  • And boy oh boy it's Halloween today, a recent trend in Japan. To the Japanese, it's more of an annual event to improve Shibuya's cityscape by having youngsters methodically deposit trash. Other than being a vapid gathering of catcalling, it's notable in that it retains zero elements of Halloween apart from dressing up. Agonized over going, I really did. Came home at 8 and I could only eat quick garbage. But why not, next october I'll be out of school for good, and 400 yen is cheap for a first time experience. Hurriedly bought batteries for the om2n(transferred rolls again), and into the fryer.

    There were loads of costumes, some familiar, some uniquely Eastern. Some women were showing more skin than an ER burn victim who's not too far gone yet. Chinese tourists were sitting on the curb, ignorant to the dangers of a Shibuya street. There were 3 too many Waluigis. Lots of men confident enough in their bone structure to crossdress. There were women as blood-splattered zombie brides, the last time they'll wear a wedding gown. Sentient libidos were casting wide nets, asking for Line ID's. The best part of the gathering were groups of guys dressed in provocative costumes to compensate for their insecurity, sittly idly by the sidewalk spitting complaints that the whole thing wasn't quite for them.

    10/31/2019

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  • “What is a hobby anyway? Where is the line of demarcation between hobbies and ordinary normal pursuits? I have been unable to answer this question to my own satisfaction. At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant. Certainly many of our most satisfying avocations today consist of making something by hand which machines can usually make more quickly and cheaply, and sometimes better. Nevertheless I must in fairness admit that in a different age the mere fashioning of a machine might have been an excellent hobby... Today the invention of a new machine, however noteworthy to industry, would, as a hobby, be trite stuff. Perhaps we have here the real inwardness of our own question: A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.
    Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

    The day to day isn't inbued with romanticism. No cosmic war, no vanquished baddies, no artsy fatalism. Just you, waking up every morning to go thorough the motions, getting ready to go off to work. An existence of + and - in bank statements. A surplus means some trifling purchase that will probably make you happier. The incremental isn't very interesting. But it's reality, the vessel at which you interact with your life at its most proximate. And it's here at qhich people can make genuine, cascading differences to how they perceive their life.

    And it's here at which I've struggled the most, further debrided by the lifestyle that a pandemic brings. Fatalism has been a new sensation. Waves of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, vaccination drives, unlike the novel excitement felt in March there's no end in sight. Eating is an increment.

    Hobbies are at their core useless, it's playing with your thumbs in a vaccuum. They carry no inherent value except for what we assign on them. There's an individualistic charm associated with what people occupy their free time with. Some are more superficial like TV, while I consider the "endgame" to be old people hobbies. Shuffling corpses slowly racing to the grave, the elderly have mastered the art of achieving thorough gratification in the mundane. And at it's core, that's what hobbies are all about: Finding something compelling in the obsolescent and negligible.

    I've always made an effort to gravitate towards useful, pragmatic hobbies. I'm always listening to something in the background so headphones. Can't go out naked every day so I make my own clothing. Shaving fucking sucks so might as well explore safety razors. I take my enjoyment far beyond subsistence, to something that reflects my preferences and tastes. As I buy used most of the time, I end up saving money and come away with greater satisfaction compared to something cheap and transient. There is a paradox in realizing pragmatism though. I really enjoy interior design, but it's by no means accessible to my lowly hovel. For those interests that are conceptualizations only, it's a bit hard to maintain interest without some sort of feedback. Same deal with airsoft. Tinkering with guns and collecting gear is fun but, going out to play is a rarity. You start to frame your rather expensive efforts as occuring in a vaccum. My contractor friend maintains sketches of his "perfect house," which is a fantasic idea for channeling your tastes and creativity. I try to clear any ambiguities in taste and preferences. While the hobby may not be realized, there's various ways of branching out and deriving something from that experience. Here's some of my ideologies regarding the more materialistic hobbies.

    That said, I can't say I completely sympathize with the rest of Leopold's quote:

    This, however, is serious: Becoming serious is a grievous fault in hobbyists. It is an axiom that no hobby should either seek or need rational justification. To wish to do it is reason enough. To find reasons why it is useful or beneficial converts it at once from an avocation into an industry–lowers it at once to the ignominious category of an 'exercise' undertaken for health, power, or profit. Lifting dumbbells is not a hobby. It is a confession of subservience, not an assertion of liberty.”

    Boiling your interests down to some kind of "bottom line" will surely cannibalize any sort of gratification. There's a certian emotional detatchment that occurs with hobbies, and questioning the true pragmatism of a time and money sink will only make you miserable. If health, power, or profit is merely a tertiary byproduct, then I can't see how that can impede your enjoyment.

    You also at some point, reach the apex of your engagement. You cross off a materialistic goal or habitutation sets in. The easiest example would be videogames. Narrative or progress-based games like Fire Emblem cease to be engaging after you finish the story or after you max out all your characters. Gameplay-centric games burn you out once you get habituated to going through the motions.

    Is there any alternative to abandonment? Can hobbies meld and transform, or alternatively can you frame them difficulty as to derive a different pipeline of gratification? fuck if i know. 1/21/2019

    I have a friend who works in consulting. Lived border-line homeless for 2 years while studying to get his certifications. Today he lives in Setagaya, a notoriously expensive family-friendly district of Tokyo. He leaves at 8, eating breakfast separately from his kids, and comes home at 11 when they're already asleep. A starched black suit is traded for a wifebeater and a beer. An EOS KISS is left untouched in the living room.

    He has two hobbies: shoes and watches. It's to a very Japanese degree, owning 2 Langes and more than a dozen oxfords of different styles. It's very sensible reasoning. Seeing as he spends most of his existence away from home, at work that demands a level of formality, he spends an exorbitant amount of money on items that is attatched to him at all times. 2/1/2021

    Created: 1/21/2019

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    Community College Survival Guide

    It's 2019 and you just graduated. There's subjects you enjoy but you're a bit hesitant to place anything at the forefront of your studies. What is an "adult" anyway?

    Community college is a bountiful resource for those feeling like they're always between haircuts. Utilize it right, cultivate your own habits, and you're on your way to being better prepared at a 4-year university or a tradeschool. If you become complacent like I tended to, you probably won't go as far as you could've. Not all yout effort should be directed in the classroom, either. For the first time how much time you allocate at class is entirely up to your own temperament, unbound by the leash and stick of gradeschool. Make it count. First, tips when enrolling at a Community college:

    1. Meet with an academic advisor.

    Simple shit. There's usually a pipeline you must follow to transfer into a 4-year university on time. You can avoid taking classes that don't count for anything, or you can take classes you would love if your schedule permits. Community colleges are great because they're usually not understaffed. Just walk in or schedule an appointment.

    2. Take classes you're interested in, but don't shy away from 101 classes.

    If you're set on a major, even the seemingly boring classes will become an important framework to whatever your future plans are. I reluctantly took a research statistics class. My math skills are probably infant-level but the prof gave plenty of contextual information and made the class applicable beyond just staring at numbers. The human sexuality class I took was absolutely fantastic. Professor had a background in clinical psychology and she would throw in anecdotes every so often.

    3. Take advantage of financial aid.

    I attended CC for almost 3 years. I pirated my books at libgen.io and took public transport. With the generous help of grants, I've managed to get my associates' and transfer for less than $750. A ridiculously inexpensive option relative to the ~$60K for 2 years of University.

    4. Approach and talk to Professors

    You no doubt will have an ambiguous conception of what working with your major is like. Academia, business, shit's complicated. No more excuses now, your professors are a beacon of first-hand information. They're usually excited to talk with curious students so take them up on that. Ask what they researched, what they're passionate about. You'll likely get a sincere reply and some useful advice. They also personally grade assignments which will never happen at a University with 800 student courses. Put your inertia into it and see the kind of feedback you get.

    5. Take summer classes

    If you're commuting from home, there's no good reason not to take summer classes, especially towards those boring pre-req courses. At a 4-year Uni you need to pay extra tuition as well as renew your rent. That shit gets expensive, quick. It's a great way to shorten your time at Community College if that's your objective.

    6. Your GPA matters.

    Yes, you'd expect to shake off the spectures of gradeschool by now, but this time your grades actually matter. For most American transfer programs they don't even look at your extracurriculars. GPA and essay is the focus. Don't slack off and procrastinate. Form good habits for a good GPA right now, and better grades in the future.

    Basic, simple shit. All of them are equally as important to forming good habits and having a smooth transfer into the university of your choice. I'm no dad figure but I sincerely hope you take this advice to heart.

    Managing your personal life

    And now for the part that you're really here for:

    Community college, especially if on a semester schedule, and especially if the on-campus activities are non-existent, affords you lots of time. I was unable to manage that time. It has been an ongoing struggle to balance how I perceive my own life progress, and my time at Community College exasterbated that neurosis.

    Cut off from my friends and isolated in suburbia, I really struggled through those 3 years. Progress seemed incredibly distant, my interests wholly irrelevant, I felt that my agency was gone. Getting a job exasterbated those issues, the commute eating away at my previously bountful time. Even after graduating, I couldn't shake the sensation that Community College had transmitted to me. It had done leaps for my "career," but life isn't about bottom lines. Here's some retrospective tips on how to stay sane.

    1. Don't neglect your hobbies.

    Scrolling through reddit or Youtube is the go-to for low investment stimulation. The mental barrier to transition to something you enjoy may be a bit much, but it will eventually snowball. Develop your interests and avoid those transient, meaningless interactions. Maybe even branch out into new hobbies.

    2. Take advantage of downtime

    Commuting fucking sucks. Instead of closing your eyes for some low-quality rest, have something to do. Reading a book, reading manga on your phone, listening to a podcast, anything. It'll boost your mood at the start of your day instead of being a husk of a man at class. Conversely, if your college is on the semester schedule and you have lots of time, this advice is especially directed towards you. Don't waste precious time. It may not seem finite, but once you transfer or get a job, you'll miss that freedom and wish you spent it more productively.

    3. Noralize your sleep schedule

    I would often stay up late because my day was filled with school, work, and homework. Missing 2 or 3 hours of sleep seemed cheap compared to being able to spend time with my hobbies. But fuck man you always regret it the day after. Waking up after dark really wrecks your mood, it's bad for your health,, and bad for your grades. Resist the urge.

    3. Don't neglect your mental health.

    Identify maladaptive behaviors and patterns in your day-to-day life. Jacking off a lot? Not eating until lunchtime? Stress-eating? Sleeping erratically? Acting reclusively? The first step to fixing your issues is to recognize them.

    4. Recognize signs of impostor syndrome.

    Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".[1] Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.

    In my state you only need a high school diploma or equivalent in order to tend Community College. It's an accessible, inexpensive resource for becoming a well-rounded person but admission doesn't carry prestige. I crashed and burned in High School and getting out of that fatalistic mindset has taken a ridiculous amount of time. Community College gave me a viable route to self-improvement but reminders of my failures lingered. Even after successfully transferring to a University I doubt my abilities relative to other people, especially those that haven't transferred. It's a harmful mindset that can sabotage your grades and impact your self-esteem.

    I knew about impostor syndrome but I never thought it applied to me. I thought I was just coasting along in my education, taking the path of least resistance. I attributed my redemption story to the great framework that was available to me. If I connected the dots earlier, who knows what friends I could've made and opportunities I could've taken advantage of.

    You can also afford to be flexible at community college. If you live at home, there's no downsides to taking summer classes. Maybe take advantage of that to have a semester off. Maybe take less courses and work to start saving some money. Community college grants you options, identify how far you can push things, and take advantage of that.

    Created: 1/20/2019

    Last Edited: 3/21/2019

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  • 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 and I would think the 7 months I've spent with linux is enough. If I was a different person, one that revels in stroking perfectionism through command lines, then linux is an open canvas. But I'm an impatient fucker.

    Not like Windows 10 is optimal either. 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, sharing commonality with the frightening world of corporate algorithms and data collection. 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.

    2/17/2020

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  • Here's my shitty opinions

    CS:GO

  • Reintroduce allchat during warm-up and after the game ends
  • Fundamentally restructure casual mode to resemble normal play
  • Remove low ammo audio indicators
  • Glock spread while jumping on burst improved by 10%
  • P2000 uhhhhhhhhhh
  • CZ75 inspect animation no longer obscures half of screen, pull out duration reduced by 10%
  • Scout reintroduce 100% accuracy at apex of jump, increase price to $2000
  • M4A1-S weapon model reflect 20 round capacity
  • M4A1-S uhhhhhhhhh
  • SG553, AUG scope revert to CSS style
  • Negev reverted to $5700 stats, price reduced to $4000
  • M249 price reduced to $4000, 1 hit HS at all ranges, 90% penetration

    Casual is still a mess 8 years after a release, and doesn't really prepare new players for competitive games like CSS did. The Glock's 3-round burst lies as a vestigial novelty. Your gun sounding different as it's low on ammo was an unneccesary addition pandering to new players, and it's antithetical to the kind of unforgiving game CS is. Scoped rifles, especially the SG553 as it stands right now is such a departure from the weapons meta it's not even funny. Being able to peek AWPers with a rifle only $50 more than an AK doesn't scream balanced. Reverting the scope to early CS:GO style also puts learning spread ahead of just looking at the reticle. The Negev is odd, neither fun to use or to play against. The M249 has been forgotten completely.

    TF2

  • Unfuck the Degreaser/Axtinguisher
  • Spy-cicle recharge to 25 seconds
  • Enforcer damage increased by 8% for each successive hit, 50% slower firing rate
  • Mini-sentry knockback reduced for non-airborne targets

    fuck, there's been so many unsavory changes to TF2 (and then a desert of updates) that I've given up on playing. Just too much. Meet the Match had fucked over so much for the sake of the 5 people playing competitively that it's just a mess. Contracts introduced 6 guaranteed pyros on both teams. Matchmaking has killed community servers.

    Minecraft

  • revert to beta 1.7.3, add sprinting, additional biomes, animal husbandry, enchanting

    When I first starting playing around alpha 1.6 I got drawn in because it was a cute, minimalist little adventure game. Simplicity was the allure, game mechanics were simple to grasp, and out of that canvas people did some amazing things. But with every new update the game seemed to diverge from what I perceived it as, hinging hard into an RPG. Don't get me wrong, What people are doing with redstone is cool as fuck and potionbrewing looks genuinely fun, but to my conception of what the game was. Villagers and horses, I wouldn't feel snubbed if they were gone entirely.

    I'm more disappointed the game didn't draw from Don't Starve's atmospheric elements like temperature and light. It would've opened the door to thoughtful farming setups for nether wart and mushrooms as well as clothing and alternate uses for furnances. Biome and home-specific game features would've added some spice that isn't entirely visual. Instead the game got llamas that spit on you?

    Created: 11/18/2019

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  • In my mind, the symbol of middle-class repletion is a great big stack of silver and brown audio gear paired with an Eames replica. Record players carry enough charm, but there's a degree of big dick energy necessary for an obsolescent stack of audio gear. Software accomplishes pretty much everything a receiver does, trading tactility for finesse. It goes beyond the typical audiophile's mantra of "fidelity at any cost." And I miss it. No matter how much of a pragmatist I try to present myself, there is nothing alluring about a PC replacing everything. Books, record players, clocks, alarms, their presence is unfortunately a matter of redundancy now, not necessity.

    Anyway, goals right there. I have a Pioneer SX-424 that I left behind that I'd like to bring back. Pair that with an ITX PC, and input switch, and a Topping D30 and I'm set. No speakers because Japan dwellings are Tardigrade-sized.

    Created: 8/2019

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  • Linen is the best fabric to exist. You may get combative as proponents of whatever choice of staple fiber you stan, but my convictions are for good reason. Cotton is the functional equivalent of Mitt Romney, a milquetoast open-market commodity only palatable due to the collective thought that he's alluring to somebody. It's poor at insulating, feels like a screen door when wet, and takes forever to dry. Some militaries rejected the fabric altogether in temperate climates, opting to fight in shorts instead of cumbersome, hot, pathetic cotton. Its only reprieve comes from its softness, which rayon blend fabrics can replicate, and its ability to take on dyes well, which is only a concern for those subjugated by numbers-shitting corporate directives.

    The name itself is analgous to leisure in the blindingly hot hellscapes of Alabama and Cairo. As a natural fabric, Linen won't release microplastics when washed - no more girlpill chemicals in the water table. With its long staple fibers, the fabric itself is very resilient with a high tensile strength that even increases when wet. Linen's high conductivity and absorption leads it to be well suited to humid, temperate regions. It's a better combo than peanut butter and jelly, Italians and hand gestures, lube and a broomhandle. It shrugs off pests that force wool and cashmere to be shrouded in plastic bodybags and carcinogenic, intoxicatingly scented insect deterrents.

    Its fall from grace is a story of industrialization, labor, and slavery. As linen is derived from the stalks of flax plants, processing it into spinnable fiber is long and laborious. Beating, combing, and a controlled rot is needed to extract fibers from the stalk. Cotton requires no production steps, able to be spun into thread immediately after being put through a gin, and the plant was well-suited to the slave crop climates of the Southeastern US where it was most often exported to textile capitals like Manchester. Previously the staple fabric of the working class, it has been dethroned as THE fabric by polycotton blends, another inanimate victim of ruthless globalization.

    Created: 10/16/2019

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  • Digital really surpassed film in the late 90's, and it's strange to think something as primitive as baking light onto a physical medium dominated for almost 2 centuries. At its core cameras are just boxes that control how much light to let in. Even modern digital cameras are quite similar in execution, only the film plane is replaced with a sensor. Even through all the improvements to autofocus and image stabilization, digital photography's lineage from film is obvious. The fundamentals of exposure: shutter speed and aperture are still identical. Many camera lines directly trace their lineage from film cameras: Canon EOS, Nikon F, Olympus PEN and OM, Ricoh GR, Sony α. Today with the evolution of mirrorless cameras, old manual focus film lenses find new life.

    To me there's something alluring about something so tactile and physical as a film camera. Images are stored horizontally on a laminated plastic sheet impregnated with silver halide crystals. Dials adjust how much light is shined on the film plane through aperture and shutter speeds, and a lever advances the film for a new exposure. A chemical wash performed in a darkroom reacts with the crystals, preserving the image. The physicality of cogs and levers paired with the alchemy of chemical emulsions makes shooting film an interesting experience. Photos are preserved on a physical medium you can feel and see, not as an intangible file. Color reversal films in particular feel almost magical, being able to see what you captured without manipulation.

    Even the failures are compelling. Grain, color shifts, double exposures, there's some many interesting diversions to "what could go wrong." A shitty photo leaves physical evidence of your shortcomings in exposure or composition.

    It's great! Photography never really appealed to be due to the high initial cost, but film is a great way to learn the fundamentals in an incredibly hands-on way.

    On digital

    y'know I've tried getting into digital photography but the same thrill is gone when considering buying a camera. I find a substancial perceptive shift when comparing posts from /r/analog and /r/photography. You can't shoot off 20 images to get the composure just right without draining your pockets, nor can you use a 70-200mm f/2.8 paired with IBIS to compose. And it's that physical bottleneck of primes and film rolls that makes great images feel even more poignant. Can you practice restraint with a digital camera to foster those same skills? Absolutely. But I can't see myself doing that when chasing the bottom line, a great image, is much more likely if I shoot off dozens of images at a time.

    There's also the controls. My OM-2n has manual dials for ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and focus, all legible from the top of the camera. The viewfinder is only burdened with a light meter needle. Few afforadable cameras lack the elegant, brainless layout that film cameras do, requiring scrolling though menus or fiddling with unlabeled command dials. Despite the results being instantaneous compared to film, I'd argue shooting digital manually is at times more laborious than a simple SLR with a light meter.

    Lastly, it teaches me patience. Waiting to get the perfect composure, being selective of what's worth shooting, accumulating exposed rolls in the fridge, and finally getting the developed film in the mail. It really emphasizes everything except the bottom line, and shooting film can serve as a great palate cleanser to more all-or-nothing hobbies.

    In regards to archiving a sibling had an epiphany that we lost a ton of old family photos, taken on compact digital cameras and stored on Dell PC's. In contrast, 3 rolls of film rolling around the garage still yielded images from 10 years ago. Above all vigilance is vital but a physical medium was much easier to track than files distributed among multiple obsolescent devices. Today, that concern is wholly irrelevant with the redundancies of automatic cloud storage.

    Created: 9/7/2019

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    rangefinder

  • manual/aperture priority modes
  • ? lens mount
  • TTL matrix meter, spot meter
  • leaf shutter, speeds up to 1/4000
  • wide rangefinder distance, square yellow focusing patch
  • 28/35/50/100/135/200mm stepless viewfinder frameline switching
  • LED meter indicator bottom of viewfinder, set aperture/shutter speed setting and spot meter readings at atop
  • Aperture and shutter speed dials like Petri Color 35
  • Offset hotshoe
  • shutter-ready indicator, shutter lock
  • Recessed rewind knob like Canon P
  • Provision for winder

    why?

    Fixed rangefinders' intrinsic struggles in swapping lenses of different focal lengths with a stepless viewfinder selector. Inbetweens like 35mm or 55mm can still be selected without the clutter of multiple framelines like the Canon P. Really liked the controls on the Petri Color 35, and it would be even nicer with tactile clicks on a bigger camera. Thumb for the aperture, forefinder for the shutter speed would be best for aperture priority mode. Leaf shutter because it's quieter, carries less vibration than a curtain, and is impervious to sun damage. No more holes in shutter curtains and lower shutter speeds are possible handheld as a result. Only issue is that the highest shutter speed for leaf shutters has been 1/2000. Still a bit iffy on the viewfinder layout, need to look at the OM-4 as reference. For the light meter I like LED indicators over needles because it's still visible in low light.

    Possible issues

  • Have never seen spot metering in an interchangable lens rangefinder. Haven't seen a power winder either. Leaf shutters typically can't go higher than 1/2000.

    slr

  • manual/aperture priority modes
  • Nikon F lens mount?
  • TTL matrix meter, spot meter
  • leaf shutter?, speeds up to 1/4000
  • split ring focusing, depth of field indicator
  • Vertically oriented mirror like Olympus Pen F
  • LED meter indicator right of viewfinder, set aperture/shutter speed setting and spot meter readings at bottom
  • Aperture and shutter speed dials like Petri Color 35
  • Offset hotshoe
  • shutter-ready indicator, shutter lock
  • Recessed rewind knob like Canon P
  • Provision for winder

    why?

    Basically a full-sized Pen F. Erased the SLR hump, probably longer overall length but less bits to stick out. A leaf shutter in an SLR would churn out great flash sync speeds but is the combination even possible? Iffy on the split-ring focusing. It's fine, but there's probably a better method out there.

    Possible issues

    Words only go so far, I'll scribble up a picture here someday

    Created: 11/20/2019

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  • One of the tasks in my daily repertoire used to be finding RPG games on my sister's Dell Dimension 2400. I'd bookmark links on Gmail out of all places.

    Regardless, I had lots of fun with flash games, even if the yield was sparse. Complex games would stutter and lag under flash's cooked macaroni foundation. Simple games were too reductionist to call "for human consumption." If only I knew about GBA emulators back then. Today it seems like there's a torrent of meaty free games floating around, provided your PC is from the last decade. Unturned is just that, a DayZ clone born in Roblox that was released on Steam in July 2014. Minecraft was weaning in popularity within my group of friends, and League of Legends was at its apogee of popularity. Our cyclical playing habits lended itself well to free games like Unturned.

    If you're familiar with any of the FPS surivval games so analgous around ~2010 this game is dead simple. Vehicles and basebuilding add an element of the player's creativity and complexity. Food and water requirements weren't particularly punishing, nor was item durability an issue yet.

    I'd listen to podcasts on Niconico on repeat while playing and just like Payday 2, I would lose track of time while playing. I'd perfect my looting routes through town and physically draw out base plans on paper. For about 4 months I was really engrossed with this game, never even touching multiplayer yet. The game's 1.0 release did little to change my inertia.

    iunno what to write dad

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

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

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

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

    8/22/2020 Read Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou, a deeply confused and fatalistic manga series. The two WIDE characters scrounge through an empty post-war world. Between the gorgeous backdrops the solemn isolation envelops everything, always asking the question "what does it mean to live?" Even the author's end of volume notes are brooding giving each volume an air of cogency. There's no neat answers or arguments to be made, many loose threads are left that way. While it may not be an exceptional series I doubt I'll ever see another one like it.

    8/24/2020 Finishing Otome no Teikoku, it's a series you would conceal from your parents as it's got butts and things. The dialogue and how it's arranged is really fantastic. There's banter that flows well and a genuine back-and-forth between characters that's rare among others with 4-koma complexity. There was an article suggesting that anime is popular among those on the autistic spectrum due to the complete lack of subtlety in its presentation. Otome no Teikoku would not be popular among that crowd.

    10/27/2019 Reading Kino No Tabi, again only 5 years late. /k/ would gush about this series pre-stormfront takeover, now all they talk about is how the melanin-enriched are trying to take away their guns. I'm still a bit torn about it. The arcs are so short the pacing almost feels 4koma-like, always leading up to a battle/punchline. Almost seems too deliberate and linear and it prevents any comfy, aimless passages for the sake of world-building or atmosphere.

    10/24/2020 Cooking is fun. Read lottery isekai vol8. Still fantastic. It goes quite hard on trade/industrialization, would be interesting to tackle poverty in what is essentially feudal society.

    6/3/2020 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.

    1/17/2021 Kubosan wa Mobu o Yurusana is an utterly saucy romance manga that will leave readers feverish. It just completes me. I am complete.

    1/19/2021 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.

    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.

    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.

    1/26/2021 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.

    2/10/2021 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.

    2/25/2021 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.

    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.

    3/10/2021 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.

    3/14/2021 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.

    5/10/2021Read 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.

    5/14/2021 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.

    6/14/2021 Reading エルフと狩猟士のアイテム工房, an intricately drawn fantasy manga about himbo lust. It's quite good, but relinquishes comfy status by doing what they always do. There's a time and place for drama. My thigh got caressed by a 15cm centipede at gran's today, unparalleled horror.

    6/23/2021 Some more manga. As always there's plenty of smear campaigns against all men, stories that inadvertently satirize the male gaze. If To-loveru suddenly turned into a psychological horror series then I'd buy all 200 volumes of it while apologizing for my past transgressions. But that'll never happen and that's why publishers are going through their 2008. 6 years for the anthropomorphized deep sea fish series to pop up, I do love waiting for my trash. Anything Kotoyama writes is incredibly odd. Dagashi was fine, good, conventional, alright. But you could tell there was always something extra bubbling underneath through the extra page illustrations and such. I'm talking about a psychopath who regularly draws wide-angle perspectives for fun. You could tell they found "their" artstyle, their stylistic little touches but it never went beyond the art. The story in Dagashi was predictably simple but I think they've been able to inject their weirdness into this series, it's one you can't pin down with one genre. The tone changes throughout, and its unpredictability makes it interesting. The detective is my favorite character, she's like a genderbent Sakata Gintoki. She's scary but in an arousing way?

    7/25/2021 Reading Shijukara, a story rendered so sticky with drama it's quite like witnessing a clowncar pileup. people engulfed in the gasoline fire of envy, obligation, dysfunction, it's romance manga written by women distilled to its bare essense. All the characterizations surprisingly repulsive in a very subtle way.

    10/3/2021 If I was a videogame boss you'd attack my knees to do double damage

  • oh my god there's another deep sea fishgirls manga

    10/6/2021 The OG anthropomorphized fish manga author had a kid and now they've amassed a following drawing childrearing comics

    10/24/2021 discovered 北欧貴族と猛禽妻の雪国狩り暮らし, one of those ethnic ones like 乙嫁語り. One of the characters looks like my dad. The art really reminds me of 亜乃アメ助. Imaginary fantasy setting with the snow and all that. It's got quite a bit of care and passion put into it from the Sámi-inspired clothing to the kuksa carving. The hunting/gutting/cooking scenes weren't just glossed over like other lazy artists do. Small bits could be improved like deer running off after getting shot or being careful with the bladder while gutting, small details that Juuza no Ulna wouldn't ignore. But it's damn good, the specifics are important. volume 2 introduces the himbo. the slow trickle of affection between the characters gets me girlsquealing, the sort of hoarse gutteral noise fujoshi emmanate all the time.

    11/23/2021 read ひらやすみ, a really delightful slice of life about manipulating the elderly for their property. It's rare to have sympathetic old characters or old characters at all, the gran in this one is a sort of replacement mother for the aimless main character. The 30-something has a very unique characterization and you can tell that no one is really in the periphery, side characters continually morph and change outside of the reader's perspective. Surrogate motherhood is told through atomized post-showa units, unfolding ritual processes of death, inheritance, and reciprocation are under the cynicism that social relations of the past are inapplicable. in this twitter thread I will attempt to

    5/29/2022 not feeling good. Reading Okaeri Arisu, a triumphant story that explores the ontological dilemma "would you fuck your bro if he became a woman?" The plot is quite boring but the author's notes are fascinating. explains the ambrosial depictions of sexuality that are inevitably intertwined with the sort of guilt and shame that trails Chi no Wadachi. The end of chapter vignettes follows his adolescent sexual awakening precipitating into this neurotic sense of disgust in regards to his own body-image. you can't make it more obvious than this.

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  • 12/29/2020 Touches here and there to tidy up the site. I like my writing. Tarkox wipe, the first few weeks are the most fun to watch. Watched a German Chechen war documentary with English subs. Harrowing as always. It's interesting to note how different in tone the conflict is relative to the Balkan wars despite being filmed with roughly the same technology. In my head Chechnya remains grey and grotty with bombed-out khrushchyovka and naked trees devoid of any foliage. The Yugoslav wars are strangely upbeat in a surreal plasticine sort of way with nationalist accordion wartunes, big green rolling hills, and a touch of ethnic cleansing unimpeded by the rest of europe.

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  • 6/8/2020 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.

    6/23/2020 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."

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

    4/21/2021 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.

    3/28/2022 the articles and news segments about frugal living are back. it's 2008 again.

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  • Ramblings