So, this is unrelated to Japan, but I feel like writing a little about it since it’s been on my mind, and seems to be occupying most of my thoughts. How do we make decisions about events? When I was little, I would more or less go with what my parents said and thought was right and wrong, because…
My buddy here admits his naivety (and shouldn’t we all?), but he makes a lot of good points re: WIKILEAKS. I’m definitely outraged. Good read, and, as always, there’s so much more to be said. This warrants discussion, and Tumblr is hardly the place for discussion. Ah well.
Like “timeline”, to say “where all the status updates show up.”
Imagine that, the line of time, as something you call yours
You can freely travel through history
Though not yet to the future,
Like being able to take three thousand steps backwards…
The feeling of unfollowing someone you like sucks, but I think really, more rude than you unfollowing them is them abusing the fact that they have an audience.
I think using twitter a lot is great, but when it’s just a back-and-forth between two people all day long, and when that back and forth sounds like my high school lunch table, then I wonder what the fuck instant messenger is for.
And so, I unfollowed owen and mefloraine and canon-chan and my life got a little better. Love all you guys but damn, get AIM.
This past day was technically the day before I was supposed to start my epic one-month-novel writing, but I wanted to get a head start, which ended up being a test. I thought, if I can do the 5000 words today, then I’ll trust myself to be able to do it for the month.
I started pretty early in the…
Good job, and congrats on not feeling bad about the lack of sleep or excess words. I hate raining on parades, but how many of those 5000 are the right words? >_>
It’s another verb, but the same principle: Earlier, you could ‘follow’ and ‘unfollow’ threads; It was a personal thing, because no soul cared whether you followed a thread or not. Now, it’s called ‘bookmarking’ and ‘unbookmarking’, and it brings a competitive aspect to the conversation process….
"Now, it’s called ‘bookmarking’ and ‘unbookmarking’, and it brings a competitive aspect to the conversation process."
"it brings a competitive aspect to the conversation process"
In the past 5 days I have done many things. I have felt like I was going to get sick. I have gone to the former pleasure district of Kyoto and noticed that it retains none of the professions that used to be practiced there (or so it seemed), I’ve nearly gone crazy due to the jingles they play in…
It is rare for me to discuss the technical side of things. (Probably a luxury of Tumblr!)
So I’m packing up my shop and transferring everything to WordPress. I’m leaving my Tumblr account open so I’ll be able to keep following people, replying to their posts, and so on. But if you want to get my content you’ll have to subscribe to my new RSS feed. Don’t worry. It’s all good. It has PuSH working, and WP has more functional archiving features, so eh. There’re nice things for readers, too.
I’ll still reblog things if they are thematically appropriate, and you can still reblog my stuff as Link-type posts. We’re still connected. It’s gonna be alright.
It’s awesome. I could be surprised any moment. Will my GMail alerter purr out the words I need to see? Will it keep me in suspense? And I don’t need to do anything: I just sit here, and live the adventure. What will happen next? Tonight—tonight, will my luck change? Who knows! Endless intrigue! Dramatic conflict aplenty! Tonight, or tomorrow night, or in a week?
September 26th is almost over. It’s been 41 days since I was told that I was “exceptionally intuitive”—I deciphered a situation (specifically, why #CWP hadn’t sent me a second reply) based on a single vague clue, offered what was probably a half-decent response to said situation, and received a validating (though also mellowing) response.
Intuitive, huh. And caring!
I hope she’s doing alright: I don’t know. Radio silence. I was promised a reply “as soon as possible;” while I don’t doubt it will arrive someday, I am wondering if there’s some kind of statute of limitations on follow-ups. And if so, has it passed?
Huh. (So I’m an Idealist, tell me something new!) My intuition tells me that I should do my best to put it all behind me—the same thing I’ve been trying to do for three years. I’m not particularly clinging to anything; I have no particular hopes.
In between my various school duties and copious amounts of catatonic lazing, I’ve been watching some movies. Way too many final scenes on the platforms of train stations. Way too many clever lines here and there, sophistry penned with that tinge of ‘real dialogue’ that makes us want to interpret it all as wisdom. Way too much whimsy: from Touko’s “sakka ni nare!” to Jesse’s “gravity is god,” I find myself immersed in pleasant daydreams.
Fantasies are like options. We consider them and we want more.
An honest desire of mine right now: someone to be my Touko, someone to tell me to be a writer. Honeymoon Salad says it’s alright not to follow your dreams if you can love, and while I’m not sure I can get behind that fully I am sure that my author isn’t tossing me any bones. Which will it be? Do I get to be a writer, or do I get to love you?
kimaguresan: fuck this conversation
kimaguresan: this is so god damned moronic i can’t take it anymore
kimaguresan: i’m out
Tsumugi Kotobuki: sorry if I offended you
kimaguresan: the level of stupidity here is ruining my train of thought
kimaguresan left the room.
Tsumugi Kotobuki left the room.
Rule of thumb: never mention anything about typography, ever… or you might have a conversation like this. I learned the hard way. :(
What chikorita157 fails to explain is why he left the room.
What do the CEO's eyes say? Why is he flirting with a fling when he doesn't seem to be sexually threatening at all?
Always happy to answer a question about the ol’ Salad. Here goes:
He is happy with where he is. He’s a pedophile, but in control of himself. He flirts with people to feel bouts of normalcy. He doesn’t have a sex life. Occasionally, he might have a shot of whiskey and get sentimental alone at his kitchen window.
He’s an entrepreneur because his parents kicked him out when they discovered for what he was seeking psychiatric help. He’s built his life with his own hands.
And he wants to help people with similar—but solvable—frustrations.
He reads Natsukawa Minori instantly and takes him under his wing.
Of course, a more reasonable (and more obvious) answer would be simply that the CEO isn’t “maybe” gay.
I think I’ve had maybe two days of truly good feelings and exuberant productivity in the last two weeks. That’s pretty lame. It’s not even November yet!
The other night, I realized that it’s been a month since I posted my Aika face. At the time, I thought I’d made a breakthrough. Things were going to change. Get better. Illusions would be dispelled, truths would be clarified, and steps would lighten. Would not the whole world seem more appetizing? A delicious treat waiting to be devoured?
I licked my lips, I waited to want the world.
This is a kind of waiting that I do not feel is wholly inappropriate. There is nothing to it aside from waiting, no promises or strings or expectations. Kind of like waiting for no one at a train station.
But while it’s the kind of waiting I find ‘acceptable,’ it is not particularly easy.
(Nothing should be easy!)
But I can’t sing that I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait—that, while a kind of waiting I’m far better at, would be inappropriate. It’s a dedication and a commitment. It’s an unfounded and unreasonable pining. One for which the waiter should need permission.
The narrative is, as a housemate commented, making itself clear.
An arc of my life.
With every post, I can find more previous posts to link together. Cohesion is manifesting. Sense can be made of my ramblings. Are you reading this? Or are you too distant?
Starting tomorrow, I will make a renewed commitment to positif thinking, to energetic productivity, to Mizunashii Mode, to staying upbeat. For whom? For me, of course. But also for you, in case I’m not just standing outside the train station.
I’ll pass on projecting too much of Shinkai upon myself.
1. I won’t be a writer. Is this a prophecy or a resolution?
2. I can close-read that obscure text known as people.
3. Maybe she thinks I still like her. Is she right? I don’t know.
4. Sometimes even the people who care about you don’t pay attention (with regards to output).
5. We rationalize too much.
6. Where will I be in mid-December: PST or EST?
7. When something has a 0% chance of occurring… it doesn’t occur.
8. My Aesopian blog posts are an excellent look into my traumatized mind.
We’re reading Saint Augustine’s Confessions in a class I’m taking on autobiography. It was my second time reading the text for a class, and I did not do it justice on this read-through… though maybe that is justice, given that it’s a steaming pile of crap. But putting that aside, two interesting things came up in our discussions.
Augustine grieves for a friend who dies—prior to his conversion, obviously. God doesn’t die.
The not-very-subtle narrative points toward a “necessary connexion” here: not wanting to love things that will die, Augustine becomes a bit closer to seeking out the heavenly yoke.
Augustine struggles with deciding where and what God is.
He doesn’t attempt to tie in any “witty” narrative techniques or implications, but here I swoop in like Batman to set things right. Check this!
1. People are in one place or another.
2. Person A might be in one place.
3. Person B might be in another.
4. They are not in the same place.
5. If Person A loves Person B, he loves something distant.
6. God is omnipresent.
7. If Person A loves God, he can love something nearby!
Alex leaned on the railing, hunched over, chin up. Gazing out at the ocean.
"How long, now? Two years? Three?" Russ shook his wrist, swirling the dregs of a can of Mountain Dew.
"And many more to pass."
Seagulls screeched excitedly as they fought over morsels on the midday beach. A strong wind rustled through the palm stands, one particularly supple tree occasionally throwing a shadow over the two friends.
"How long are you going to play this game?" asked Russ. "Listen, lunch break’s almost—"
"Maybe I’ll quit."
"I’m serious." Alex stood straight, stretched, and cracked his neck.
"Yeah, and then what’ll you do? Go soul-searching?" Russ snickered, then chucked his drink at the nearest blue bin. The can bounced off the pavement.
Alex walked over to the discarded can, picked it up, and deposited it in the recycling bin. He turned back to Russ and shrugged.
"What do you call someone who waits? A waiter?"
"I call him a dumbass." Russ put his hands in his pockets and began walking back toward the office. "C’mon, daydream hour is over."
The kind we’re expected to make, the kind that doesn’t make us eligible for tragedy.
Let me be clear: when I last spoke of connections, I was referring to thematic connections that help us understand our lives. Not those lesser demons that spawn constantly from such things as education. That’s the kind I’ve been making, so I’m fine. Probably.
They’re making themselves, though.
I’m starting to recognizes huge swathes of my college peers, within my major—people I never thought I’d see again. I share classes with them. They talk to me. They remember me. I’m not anonymous. How strange.
I feel like I’m being closed in. As I blindly continue to spin my wheels in the ruts of yesterday, today’s experiences are glomming together and forming thick mud with which to flood the path.
Lectures past spring to mind; conversations past repeat themselves; arguments past continue to vie for validity.
Time moves more and more rapidly.
I guess chunking is real—and there we go, another connection. I can’t divorce Socrates from Philonous and Hylas, nor lies from lying from deception from confession from autobiography from creative nonfiction from writers write from tautology from Socrates is mortal—and all the way back around—, nor truth from Nietzsche from metaphor from Whorf from language from time from turning from Henry James from Dickinson from my own writing from Kant from Spinoza from infinite trollish internet jokes and—
Connections spiral out of control… “oh no / what’s this / a spider web”
We run in circles. We skirt issues, we circumnavigate the elephant in the room. We return to the same point again and again as what looks like a door in the distance turns out to be taped off with the yellow caution tape that is yet another connection. If we had scissors, could we break out?
In a dream last night, I knew I was dreaming. She was there—she and so many others—and I knew she wouldn’t want me to know she was. So I kept my head down when I felt her approach, I averted my eyes. Maybe she wouldn’t even notice me. A gaggle of people walked closer, passing by. We were in a meadow, but I had a bucket and a mop. I was cleaning up. How strange.
Several folks passed by, none paying any attention to me.
And then I could take it no longer—there she was, I knew, mere feet away, so close and yet so far, and maybe she would speak—and I raised my head and opened my eyes, and she was speaking, and our eyes met for a brief moment and she knew what I was doing mentally as I let myself see her:
I don’t remember what it was that I was doing. I just remember that she knew.
Her eyes reflected so much understanding that I don’t remember their color.
Right now I’m listening to a song that I love. I love a lot of songs, so this song is not vital to my being and sense of identity, but it sounds nice, it’s performed wonderfully, and the title resonates with me in a way. What’s the name? We’ll get to that…
It’s almost 2:30 AM and I have to get up…
No pity, bro. You just did something really stupid, and your parents clearly overreacted. I’m glad your peers in the chorus were on top of that shit. (Good night? :P)
I turned twenty in early June, so this is my twenty-first summer coming to a close.
And what a ride.
I spent one month in reclusive angst and unproductiveness, emerging from my room only to drag my sorry corpse up the hill to a summer class which I quickly decided was a bad idea. I spent most of the month living alone. I moved out early from the Honey & Clover-esque room I’d shared with my ex for a year, and, when my father kicked me out of his apartment for telling him that I walked on a daily basis, I found myself moving into my new place ahead of all my new housemates.
So I settled in alone.
July was a very different story. I finished my class on the third of the month and went on to spend the remaining twenty-eight days on my writing. But I still didn’t emerge much from my room. I did social things maybe four or five times. I was more productive—and I started this blog—but it wasn’t exactly the best of times.
And now August. Mostly more of the same.
But this summer has been weird. I’m facing forward and I’m seeing my first semester of college as a single man. I’m seeing my first semester of college with none of my old friends. The last of them left my town early this month, headed for grad school.
Time to make new buddies!
It would be nice if I found my HTT, but I’ll hold back on holding my breath ;)
Gunbuster makes the issue of “existing in the same time” extremely dramatic, important on a scale much more poignant than any on which we will experience the issue in our lifetimes. But even time zones can produce some stirring of sentiment if we let them.
Three hours? When those three hours disappear, maybe the heart races a little.
Time to water my plant. Last night my brother killed the washing machine.
I have an odd fascination with how multifaceted the Japanese yaru is… initially, it might seem weird that HTT didn’t have a “yatta” moment after its last swan song, if only because it’s the kind of thing that would lead nicely into their break-down, but eh: K-ON!! is surprisingly good at implication and leaving things unsaid.
Hm. Another Monday. Last Monday I was away from the internet, and away from my plant.
Hey. I’m still here.
"We graduated a long time ago," quoth Mio.
Yeah. Two years? We’ve now spent a tenth of our lives beyond high school, and that fraction can only increase as time passes.
When the first episode of K-ON! was released however many years ago, I watched it, I felt queasy, and I dropped it. It wasn’t my thing. It was too moe, too braindead, too clearly Kyoto Animation’s money machine. I didn’t look back. I had no regrets. I didn’t need K-ON!.
Then something funny happened: I went to a convention, and at this convention they were marathoning the show. I joked about going to see it with my friends, the “joke” being that obviously K-ON! was so bad, who would want to watch it? My friends reined me in. “C’mon, we’re not going to watch that, didn’t you say it was bad?” Yeah. I did.
But what did I do when I got home from that convention?
I’ve always claimed to be weak against suggestions, even my own. I downloaded and marathoned K-ON!. And I liked it. I felt squeamish—it was outside my comfort zone, if only for its aesthetic characteristics, and the characters’ maturity was a bit on the low end of elementary school—but I liked it. I wrote a post exploring a similarity between Yui and President Aria, explaining how even slice of life with faults can grow on its audience and “become” good.
So I had a pretty well-reasoned explanation for why I liked K-ON! in the end. But I like looking silly, so whenever I’d see those friends with whom I’d gone to that convention, I would say overenthusiastic things like “OMG K-ON! IS THE BEST OMG” while they shook their heads and sighed. I was exaggerating, I was looking for laughs and retorts. I liked the show, but I didn’t think it was the best. However…
With episode 20 of K-ON!!, this is no longer an exaggeration.
Would we cry when Alice loses her second glove if we had not been with her for 47 episodes? No. Similarly, HTT’s final concert would not impact us the way it does if we were to skip ahead to it. So episode 20 of K-ON!! is not a standalone best episode of all time… much like Aria the Origination episode 9, it is only as great as the sum of the preceding installments.
If I cried for episode 20 of K-ON!!, the show is good.
Ryan A:That should be a tumblr all on its own: "it's not gay, it's yuri"
Me:"it's not gay it's yuri"
Me:i love it
Me:so impenetrably dense
Our dear friend Mugi, in posting this chat, neglected to include the part where I disparage your typical yuri fan.
Me:gay is gay
Me:lol @ butthurt homophobic lesbianism fans
Me:there's an epidemic of them in anime fandom... sheesh
Me:"durrhurrhurr we liek 二 girlz 2getha becuz 二 girlz i5 bettah than 一 (ichi means one)!! herp a derp"
Me:but "gay? ewwwwwww"
_Mea culpa_ for broaching the subject of Yui and Azusa's romance in such a sensationalist manner, and for using a term that has a lot of negative connotation through misuse. I'll _refrain_ from saying "everything is my fault," even though I really want to.
Rocks fall; all main characters die.
(I’m serious. Continue only if you don’t mind spoilers, or never plan to read any fiction I ever write.)
I’ve wanted for a while now to write something more Aria, more Amanchu!—more uplifting, at times empty, at times laden with positive messages. Failing that, something purely humorous. Yes, I’ve written funny things before. Sardonic blog posts designed to amuse through abrasion alone. Ironically tragic ‘creative nonfiction’ that lampoons anyone and anything in order to avoid taking itself too seriously.
Ideas for more pleasant textual endeavors flow endlessly through my brain.
But I never write them.
What I write instead are stories like the Hunter Chronicles. Nothing ever goes right for our heroes, who after uniting and enjoying each other’s company for a brief period are forced to part ways. They only ever meet again as enemies after one of them is possessed by a malicious entity bent upon the unnatural propagation of entropy. The first book leaves one of the two heroes fatally wounded and the other banished (ostensibly forever) to the inferno. Between points A and B, our unfortunate heroes accumulate a score of afflictions and a long record of failures.
What I write instead are stories like “For the Pen.” Our protagonist has failed so hard at everything he’s tried to do in his life that he is obnoxiously self-deprecating. He saves the life of someone who wants to die (accidentally!), in doing so signing a contract with nature that says “please take me and break me.” He and the man he saves try to fight off their fates. Meanwhile the world goes to hell, our protagonist looking on sadly and failing to do anything about it (despite having the power to intervene!).
What I write instead are stories like “The Last Season.” The main character, after seven years of wasting away in a ward for the terminally ill, re-enters the world of the living when her (undetermined and inconsistent) disease seems to have miraculously departed. After a year of building new friendships and new loves, the main character must be readmitted to the hospital. It is unclear if she will ever emerge again.
What I write instead are stories like Tundra of Heroes. The protagonist of each of the three parts faces tragedy. A tavern performer whose alcoholism is his escape from his memories is judged for his sins at the end of a long and bloody journey. An archaeologist whose obsession with his job has robbed him of his social and family life quietly passes far from home while talking to the ghost of his neglected wife. A fallen aristocrat turned psycho murderer joins an army that is invading his homeland in a last-ditch attempt at revenge, only to fail at everything in every way imaginable.
What. The. Fuck.
What is this obsession with failure and misery? It’s there in many of my favorite stories.
AIR sees a young girl slowly lose motor capability and speech as a thousand-year-old curse destroys her from within. 5 cm/s… well, I’ve said enough about that one. Millennium Actress, Simoun, Pale Cocoon, Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora, even Honey & Clover, even in the midst of whatever uplifting messages they may or may not carry—they all smell of tragedy.
So many ideas for iyashikei pieces, so many for humor, and yet all I write is this junk. Once I finish Tundra of Heroes, once I drive the last nails into the coffins of my unheroic protagonists, I promise: I am writing something wonderful.
(Up next, barring the need for more gut-spilling: a list of brief story ideas.)
In all my emphasis on the enryoshitai no of “No, Thank You!”, I think I’ve so far managed to pass on discussing the rest of the song. Is the song about inactivity? Sloth? Sitting around and passing up on every opportunity?
Mio (right) wouldn’t need to look so worried if she were simply disregarding everything that came her way. But she does look worried, because there are things with which she concerns herself. What’s bothering her? I don’t know. But I do know that the song she sings advocates for the pursuit of something. Creativity (let’s sing!), activity (let’s fly!), and love.
I just wrote a letter. An e-mail, a message, whatever it is.
Predictably, given the time I put into yesterday’s 5 cm/s post, last night I dreamed of the girl to whom I confessed in December 2007.
I had a large group of friends over, the majority of whom were people I hadn’t seen in ages. High school friends. The exact configuration of the group kept changing. Sometimes there were five guests, sometimes eight, and who each was also fluctuated. Except for one. At one point, I got up to get drinks for my guests—we’d been sitting in a circle on the floor, in a living room that wasn’t quite mine—and on my return she stood up and walked past me, probably heading to the toilet or something of that nature.
As we passed each other, our shoulders brushed, and she reached out and dug a fingernail into my upper arm.
That’s pretty much all there is to say about that dream. There was more, but much of it was Black Rock Shooter-inspired, and not really relevant in any way, shape, or form to my life.
Yesterday, a friend and I were discussing “not-quite-love letters.”
My Interlocutor: I was just thinking, like if you write a confession letter to someone My Interlocutor: is there such a thing as a confession letter that doesn’t contain a confession, maybe Myself: like you write a letter to someone you’re crushing on, Myself: and you kind of want to tell them how you feel… Myself: but you don’t actually say it, you just talk about other stuff? My Interlocutor: or, you actually say it, but it’s somehow not a confession Myself: ah, sort of off-handed My Interlocutor: yea My Interlocutor: not-quite-love letters My Interlocutor: “I DONT LOVE YOU, yet” Myself: would it be defeatist? or would it be accepting of possibilities? Myself: “maybe i like you” Myself: “i like you, but i know i have no chance” Myself: “i like you but it’s no big deal” Myself: “i like you but don’t think of me differently” Myself: “i like that you don’t like me back” My Interlocutor: probably all of those My Interlocutor: but without the “like you” My Interlocutor: because that’s sort of a confession
When I woke up this morning, I figured that the obvious next course of action was to write one of these confessions that’s not a confession. I feel like if I get back in touch with her, the girl who exists in my head will be replaced with the girl who lives on the other side of the country. Maybe I won’t need either as much, and maybe I’ll be able to move forward.
Did Takaki have thoughts like these?
For now—mada chotto—I think I’ll pass.
But I’m not precluding any possibilities. I think the qualifier for enryoshitai no is as important as the restraint itself. It’s open-minded. “For now, I think I’ll pass.” But what about the future? I don’t know about the future. The future hasn’t happened, and I’m not Takaki or Takemoto.
I like the gentle bite of the not-quite-love letter. It’s a nice idea, and I’d like to make it a “thing”—in part, of course, because in its very nature it embodies the same kind of restraint as that to which this blog seeks to adhere.
"For now, I’m going to hold back on saying ‘I love you.’"