Thursday, May 31, 2007

Everyone is kindly directed to...

go look at my huge photo collection with commentary:


He's the creator the Ultima series, as well as the executive producer of the upcoming MMO, Tabula Rasa. Very interesting fellow. Has some awesome hobbies (space travel, deep sea diving, automatons, dead things, etc.)



Just met with Shin after taking a few weeks off. He went on this awesome hostel trip around the south us, stopped off in Mexico, etc. Sounds really fun. We talked about a bunch of stuff and I got really excited about my trip this September. Actually started investigating the possibility of doing a homestay for like a month. Go for all of September, meet up with the boy and the 1Up people for TGS. Sounds pretty ideal. I would miss the boy a ton while I was gone, but it's a really great way to do it, I think. Definitely cheaper than a hotel.

Anyways, I got really excited. Trying to think of how to plan everything. Really shouldn't though. Shouldn't even be blogging. I've putzed around for almost an hour when I have a TON of work to do.

Gotta get going on that stuff...


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The quick pre-stupid blog attack

Well, I needed to say SOMETHING before slouching off for an afternoon of boredom and handling other people's money.

I'm snacking on (really) old candy before I go. Read a bunch of comics this morning as I haven't checked up in weeks. Was thinking about how I'm going to actually read LOTR now that I have finished Black Swan Green.

I liked that book. Had a lot of character, which, I guess novels need that, but the kid in the book just seemed very real. Everyone can probably think of a kid who may or may not have been just like him. It's also interesting to read about the '80s. I still don't know much about the '80s. Can't decide if reading about it made them seem closer or further away.

Been really into baked sweet potatoes lately. So tasty and good for you at the same time. That said, I still like candy.

And sushi. The other day at work they had neither small water bottles nor Alaska roll. Instead I drank tap water (which luckily had some degree of coldness to it that day) and Spicy Tuna which I would not recommend from our establishment, as it was not very good and sort of yucky.

Well, now it seems that I am just wasting time while not yet completely pressing my luck.

Between being insecure about my writing and not being able to get any volume out of the tape for this transcription assignment, the morning seems to have been a bit of a let-down. Since the afternoon will consist of mostly pawing the change compartments and asking whether people would like chopsticks, it's not likely to make me feel much better. Luckily I can look forward to Monty Python's Flying Circus this evening courtesy of our Netflix account (whose existence is being mulled over as we speak since we don't use it nearly as much as we should. I think we're finally going to give up on Ultraman, though. Might be better to just get some movies.)

Uh...other than that, I mean besides just really not wanting to go to work because there are plenty of things to be done around here...

and realizing that I just forgot to go the post office again and it's getting a little ridiculous...

I don't have much to say.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Resolution #...errm...many

So this Friday I'm designing (and implementing) a summer J-study schedule. Not that "summer" actually means anything anymore besides, well, it doesn't even really mean that hot of weather because San Francisco is so breezy. Basically it means the months of June-August. I'm going to set some goals and try to actually meet them. For realz.

Not coincidentally, September is the Tokyo Game Show, which I am attending this year courtesy of my Dad and whatever cash I can scrounge up between loan payments and, you know, being alive. And new anime magazines... And...yeah. So, Japan on a budget, but nonetheless Japan. Probably the best way to do it anyhow, as usual.

The POINT is that maybe my Japanese will magically be whipped into shape this summer with a combination of concentrated effort and screwing off with Japanese friends. I have some of those, right? Well...sort of!

So yeah, my blog will keep me accountable ;D You read it here. I'm starting on Friday, so expect some updates as long as I don't start sucking before then.


I'm trying not to freak out because I just realized that a LONG time ago (like two sticks ago with two to go) I bought the WRONG kind of butter. Like...a kind you just shouldn't eat because one little tablespoon which shouldn't be sooooooooo bad contains 37% of the saturated fat of your entire day.

As if that in itself isn't bad enough, I spread that tablespoon on an English muffin and had it for breakfast with an Instant Breakfast shake in 2% milk. That brings my total up to like...over half, for the entire day. I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ANY BACON OR ANYTHING >_<

I know I worry about food too much, but this is just distressing. I don't put butter on stuff that often, but I kinda like it sometimes. This butter is just plain creepy, though. God, I didn't want freakin' sweet cream. I thought that was just some brand descriptor to make me want to buy it more : / Didn't realize it was an evil subset of butter bent on making me feel guilty.

Yeah, I worry about food a lot.

Even more lately. I dunno what's wrong with me. I should just quit thinking about it, but I'll post this so you can all make fun of me.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Last Shopping

Well, I pre-ordered my movie. Snagged the limited edition plus a used copy of Nobody Knows for the amount it would've cost me to get just the limited edition set elsewhere. Expensivewhere. Was 2004 just a kickass year for Japanese cinema? Are they still making awesome movies like this?

Anyways, I'm pretty psyched. Unfortunately, this is going to have to mark the end of me buying fun things...forever. Or at least until I'm either 51 or have a high paying full-time job : / June is near at hand and that means loans. Loans loans loans. And groceries. And laundry. This is how my hard-earned cash will be spent. Maybe if I start a penny jar I can buy a manga or something once in a while *sniff*

*sigh* Am I a spoiled brat?

Today we made curry and it tasted pretty good. Yeah, went with the curry. I'm glad we did. Just have to think of something to do with the yam noodles. We also have eggs and things for tomorrow's breakfast, which I'm happy about.

Uhmmmmmm, gonna play more MMOs now.


FINALLY! The Taste of Tea will be out on July 3 and if I'm feeling rich I can splurge on the limited edition!!!! YES YES YES OH SO EXCITED!!!!!

Can't decide what to make for dinner

Nevermind that it's not anywhere near lunchtime yet.

I bought the stuff (albeit the wrong type of potato) to make nikujaga, a Japanese stew. Now that I think of it, though, curry sounds really good. It sounds better by the minute. All the ingredients are interchangeable except for the yam noodles, so I could just screw the yam noodles and buy curry roux.

I guess we'll just wait and see what happens. Or we could do the pork and tofu thing I've been wanting to try.

For some reason I feel like this weekend will not be much of one. I have a lot of work and a lot of cleaning. Presumably there will be Outer Heaven tonight, and no doubt we'll MAKE time for MMOs where there wasn't any before, but...*shrug* It doesn't help that it's SUPPOSED to be a three day weekend, and yet I work on Monday because Nijiya works straight through Memorial Day...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hobby Time

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as all of my interests JOSTLE VIOLENTLY for my attention. The cookbooks in the cupboard above the fridge raising a horrible clamor now that the dishes are mostly clean, and especially after my recent escapades (for example, yesterday's awesome eggy-polenta-cheese-turkey sausage stack, mango arugula salad lunch) in Whole Foods.

It's one of those grocery stores you can spend an hour in just wandering around looking at the deli, the cereal aisle, the cheese...spread (XD), the bakery. It's not that I pay so much mind about organicity (coinage time!) or herbal remedies or toothpaste that isn't ADA approved (although some of them are...), I just like interesting foods that vary my diet because varying your diet is healthy! (So is attempting to avoid fried rice at anime club, but it's MORE effective when it actually works...) I think we're having a shopping trip this weekend, but we shouldn't need to buy beef because there will be plenty of beef to buy when Nijiya has their meat sale day on Tuesday (next.)

Speaking of things Japanese, however, there lies a whole other frenzy. Otaku USA, with this fellow (whose blog I started reading originally because I liked the name), apparently comes to A STORE NEAR ME June 5. I'm very excited about this. I'm still meaning to get back into the swing. It was always frustrating in high school to read descriptions about awesome anime and manga that I would probably never see, and it still probably will be, but it's still just as interesting. And, I mean, if it's anything like his blog, it should be quite entertaining.

But yeah, my anime DVDs may just start leaping out of my CD cases into my computer and DEMAND to be seen. Cheaper import mangas tease me from Kinokuniya "If only you were fluent! But maybe we could be decent practice! You'll never know unless you tryyyyy..." but I have bills to pay and MMOs to play!

How many am I playing now? City of Heroes/Villains, Lord of the Rings Online, Lineage II, Dungeon Runners (shortly) and as soon as possible Tabula Rasa? It's all very good experience and fun to boot, but when does that leave me time to read up so my writing improves? Or try to think of features to pitch to The Escapist, since apparently that's what you want to do if you really want to write about video games (which I do, all localization aspirations aside--and they kind of sauntering over there.)

It's all very exciting, but it's also all very time and money intensive. And Odin Sphere shipped yesterday :D And I'm really enjoying Black Swan Green. Annnnnd I'm supposed to be looking up stuff about some movie tie-in games. BUT DON'T FORGET TO GO TO WORK AT 3 AND CASHIER YOUR EVENING AWAY!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh, btw

I graduated college on Saturday. I kinda forgot until a package from my mom showed up with a card and a nifty desk decoration of a frosted globe urging me to "Take on the world." I called to thank her and realized that it was, in fact, May 19th, the date of my ceremony. Bet no one missed me. I think I only know one person who was graduating. Should maybe look him up and say "gratz" or something. Unless that's too WoW.

toothy dreamin'

I had a dream last night that was somewhat disturbing where I chipped one of my front teeth. I think it was the bottom left middle one (from the viewer's perspective) and really it was more of a slab than a chip that came off. Hurt real bad, but I did my best to keep up appearances by leaving the broken hunk rest in there, trying not to squish it around with my tongue. Blargh. One of those dreams where you wake up and have to poke around your mouth to make sure you're not really broken.

Anyways, I guess I was about due for one of those. Haven't had a crummy tooth dream in a while.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Serbia won and other news

No one knows how. Yadda yadda. Germany didn't even make top ten, or twelve, or much of anything. Oh well. Was still interesting. I don't really have much else to say besides that. In fact, I don't have much else to say at all since I'm going to be posting about my NEW COMPUTER in my other blog later. Since of course, new computer means GAMES. Pretty games. Running. At speeds that aren't reminiscent of molasses.

I have a couple assignments to finish up before I head out for Austin on Wednesday, and of course there is this afternoon's requisite cashiering activities. Whatever.

The house is almost clean! I'm not sure how our new arrangement will work out yet, but I'll probably post pictures later so you can all get a taste of will be.

In the meantime I'm planning on finishing The Odyssey before I head out so I can take an actual book with me. Reading on a computer is grand and all, but it doesn't provide the oh-so-important BREAK FROM THE COMPUTER that reading a book does. It's also not as portable, at least in my new and fancy case.

Probably going to finally get around to some books I've had stacked up for a while, although I really want to read LOTR. I think I have a good idea of the order I'll go in, though. Now that that history book is out of my hair for a few weeks I'll have some time for novels. I need a novel.

Anyone have any ideas what I should download to trick out my new PC? OBVIOUSLY already surfing on Firefox. Got AIM (5.9), was going to get Yahoo IM, but they have a new in browser thing that I may just keep using, although can someone tell me how to change my avatar? That fakey me I made years ago is looking pretty lame, not to mention inaccurate. Should probably get Winamp, too, huh. I dunno. Let's have some ideas.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Eurovision Semi-Final Results and What's On This Afternoon

Ok, Catz, Eurovision is upon us, whether we have an apt clean enough to have a party or not. Regardless of who will surround you while you watch/ignore the blessed event, the link for the stream can be found on the front page of the website. You have to download some sort of shitty plug-in, but probably you can get rid of it as soon as the show is over, so don't be too put off.

I didn't watch the semi-final, but I'm pretty pissed off at the Final line-up. Only half of my top ten to watch made it, as follows:

Sweden - THE ARK - The Worrying Kind (top ten last year)
Romania - TODOMONDO - Liubi, Liubi, I Love You (top ten last year)
Ukraine - VERKA SERDUCHKA - Dancing Lasha Tumbai (top ten last year)
France - LES FATALS PICARDS - L'amour a la Francaise (big four)
Germany - ROGER CICERO - Frauen Regier'n Die Welt (big four)

I would have much rather seen...well, my top five, or maybe Andorra in there somehow. You'll also notice that none of these countries were ones who got in based on merit in the Semi-Finals, which were held this past Thursday night. In fact, they didn't even have to compete and were skipped straight to the finals based on the parenthetical remarks I included.

Having youtubed the semi-finals performances of Belgium, Switzerland, and Israel, I'm really not sure what was so bad about their shows. They have awesome songs, and not many Eurovision performances can be called flawless. Oh well...

The ten that qualified from the semi-finals were:

# 03. Belarus
# 06. FYR Macedonia
# 07. Slovenia
# 08. Hungary
# 11. Georgia
# 14. Latvia
# 17. Serbia
# 21. Bulgaria
# 22. Turkey
# 24. Moldova

So we'll see them, along with the five I mentioned, and a few others in about a half hour!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Free breakfast

That was nice. They give you a stamp card at the cafe, and I've been eating there so often that my breakfast was free (aside from tip, which I always give because they poach my eggs.)

Well, today is Friday. My 1Up blog pretty much covered what's been going on lately. Unfortunately Eurovision has managed to sneak up on me in the meantime, so the party that we had sort of planned for tomorrow will totally not happen. Not a big deal. Maybe I'll watch while we clean, but then again we may not even have a computer hooked up to stream from if we're rearranging our house. Since we're out at a birthday thing tonight I doubt it will get done before then. Hum.

Nijiya is going to be upset about next week. I have this feeling I'm going to have to make a thousand phone calls and get people to work for me, if that's even possible. I guess it's fair that that should be my responsibility, but I don't want to do it. I just want to tell them I won't be there, but that's probably shitty.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Alexandria Cafe

Not the one downtown, the one on Pine. The one I've become an accidental regular at since I found out they will poach eggs for you. You get two eggs, two wheat toasts, and fruit salad for 5 bucks. I call that a deal.

The first time I went there I had falafel and it was ok if I recall. Today I wanted something refreshing and Mediterranean for lunch, so I thought yeah, hummus, awesomeness, etc. Went over there. Told them I wanted something with hummus and veggies. They suggested an eggplant wrap and I decided to just say what the hell WHICH I shouldn't have because the thing I got was warm and soggy instead of cool and crisp. A little disappointed. Also, maybe I don't like exactly LIKE eggplant, although I didn't think previously that I had a problem with it. Maybe it's just eggplant with this particular blend of spices and the warmth and the sogginess that did it. Luckily it came with some salad which was cooler and crisper, so that redeemed it slightly. I'll have to be more careful next time.


The end.

All my life these past couple of weeks

Well, outside of a fantastic amount of LOTRO, I actually have been up to some interesting things. LAST weekend, we ended up out at a b-day party in the park on Sunday freezing our brains out. Ok, maybe just my brains. Everyone admired my purple lips and then we went to Jeremy's house to check out some Odin Sphere. Holy crap, Odin Sphere. I can't wait for that game. Looks really hardcore and I'm not sure if I'll really be able to play it, but I'm gonna try.

Last week anime club was really great. We watched more Bubblegum Crisis, Kaleido Star, and then checked out the ONE subtitled episode of Game Center CX we could find, where he played some hideous Transformers game. Also featured was Oruchuban Ebichu, about a housekeeping hamster with a dopey working chick owner who has the sleaziest boyfriend on the planet. Doesn't keep them from having tons of explicit sex though, well, I mean not his sleaziness. It's the hamster that sees to interrupting.

Did another Fury preview, this time for GamePro. Not sure when my stuff will go up there, as I haven't even filled out the paperwork yet.

UHM...Then I guess we can skip to this past weekend because I can't remember what else happened last week. There was one week where I went to this overtly vegetarian restaurant with Marc. Had the Spicy Gourmet Chicken, which was very good at first, like...while we were eating it, but then later I had this horrid fake meat aftertaste that I couldn't get rid of, even after brushing my teeth. I did like their fried banana done crepey style, though. I think I would go back and just not order anything with fake meat. If I want meat I will just eat meat. That said, there's nothing wrong with tofu and veggies once in a while.

So this past weekend we had a great Saturday out in the Sunset eating Japanese food. Had lunch at Kitchen Kura which I see has very mixed yelp reviews. I for one, thought it was great. Had katsu curry. I haven't had tonkatsu since probably Paris, so it was DELICIOUS. The curry sauce was also wonderful, although there was a curious absence of potatoes and carrots with a curious presence of beef. Thumbs down on the salad dressing, but everything else was great. I would definitely go back there.

Between lunch and dinner the boy and I went to Amoeba to look for a record his dad wanted a copy of. No success, but then we e-bayed one, so it turned out ok. Unfortunately some jerk pushed the price up a bit on us, but it wasn't outrageous or anything. Also lounged in the park, took a stroll down Haight street, etc. What else do you do in the Haight? I mean besides sell pot if that's your thing. The "nugget" guys outside McDonald's are always good for a laugh.

Dinner we had at the awesomely awesome awesome Goemon. In fact, we had stopped at this place the night of that b-day party, and I resolved to return the following weekend (being this past one.) Ordered...what did we order? Oh, just a sushi combo. No rolls this time, well that's not true, it came with a California roll, but it always bugs me when restaurants throw in a California roll with everything. It's like super sizing. Why do I need that roll? I just want my nigiri! Heh, anyways, I got the combo because I wanted the salad and soup. The miso there was unlike any I had ever had, with onion (not green) and my friends even got carrot or something! (The carrot was given to me as compensation for the lack in the curry at lunch.) Anyways, freaking awesome sushi. Also had some tempura which I haven't had in ages, very crunchy, golden, tasty shrimp. So I guess all in all it was the day of Japanese fried foods I haven't had lately, with some fish rice and salad and curry lol but it was so awesome.

Came home and watched John Carpenter's The Thing and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Enjoyed the latter more than the former, not that The Thing wasn't a good movie, just that it was a bit gory for my tastes. Ok, a lot gory. Very fucking gory. I watched the whole thing, though, so pretty soon I will be a horror movie pro. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi was the perfect come down, though. Soooo adorable. I love old cartoons.

Yesterday was just sort of a hang-around day. Very hot out. There was ice cream and steak etc. I'm playing mana games like gangbusters to get ready for the podcast tomorrow. I hope I will be able to say witty and intelligent things *_* Children is much better than Sword, I can say that much. Dawn just kinda sucks, even in its prettiness. 2 is the best, although one is charming as hell and 3 is respectable. Need to try my hand at some Legend before tomorrow. I guess maybe tomorrow morning. In fact, tomorrow all day before the podcast I could play that if I wanted. It's not like tomorrow is MONDAY or some crud like that where I have to go cashier for half my life.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Well, we'll see how that goes...

Doesn't do any good to worry about it all weekend. And there are so many OTHER things to worry about, like the disappearance of any foreign language talent I may have possessed! I'm pretty much at wit's end here. I think I just have to force myself to study. If you want to learn Japanese, you study. That's all there is to it, I guess. I mean, alternatively you could plunk yourself down in Japan and muddle through it, but you'd still have to study. STUDYING. It's just boring alone, and it's intimidating with a native, and it takes time that I haven't had much of recently, but that is the most bullshit excuse.

I guess I just have to figure out what I really want. I found a job on craigslist today to proofread Japanese/Chinese-->English translations. 2-10 pm at least 20 hours a week, something like that. Doesn't sound fun, or interesting, or even instructive. I'm sure that must be how you get into the translation industry, though. I don't even care anymore. I think I'd rather write, get better at writing, someday hopefully rock at writing. Dunno what I'm suited for anymore, really.

Not satisfied with the review I wrote. Never am, but since it's my first one I think I made it a little too previewy/explainy. We'll have to see what the editor says. It's hard to balance explaining the game and critiquing the game. You have to explain it to critique it. I don't feel very competent at especially the latter, right now.

Yes, yes, it looks like emo time has come to The Syntactic Forest once more. What do we do about this state? What is life supposed to mean? When people smarter than me are lost in it, then I don't really feel like I stand a chance. Kind of like writing.

When I was a kid I thought I would be published by 18. That was my goal. I was going to write some fucking novel and be like those other kids who write books, not that I wanted to be like them, but the comparison would've been inevitable because I would rock. Instead I wrote a lot of crap that never got finished because it didn't have a plot and then pretty much...did other stuff. Like crappy schoolwork and later crappy college stuff. I cannot emphasize how much of a waste college was. I feel like I deserve a do-over, "but there are no do-overs in life." How stupid, this whole thing. (That said, we all know I don't REALLY want a do-over. It would fuck up the whole REST of my life, which, honestly, I guess if I had the choice I'd rather keep the fucked up half the half that it is, because the good half right now is really good.)

Really, though, if I don't learn Japanese it's my own fucking fault. If you want to make time, you just make time. Obviously there are some things right now that I'm considering more important than studying, such as...everything, apparently.

(Side note: I'm giving up on my vocab blog. I'm sick of pretending I'm going to post there regularly.)

If I want to play and write about video games, then I can do that. I mean, obviously, I can do that. I'm doing it right now, almost as we speak. In fact, by the time you read this, I probably will be. There's nothing wrong with it. I don't have some ultimate fucking destiny to do eikaiwa or translation, or anything else. I just expect myself to follow through with ideas I have, sometimes, even after things have clearly gone in other directions and that's stupid.

Sometimes I feel like maybe Japanese is one of those things that I don't need to follow through on. I mean, I certainly don't NEED to, I don't have to. It's not required, but it's a perk for the job, and it SHOULD be fun. It should be fun to learn a language. In high school I was having fun with it.

Anyways, I need a plan, but I don't want to be some sort of time management nazi. Drawing little boxes for your life is stupid. I know I'm the sort of person who likes to have a framework and times for things and I like being on time, yadda, but I also think that's pretty lame, to have everything scheduled. I guess that's why I haven't started saying, "Ok, wake up at 8, Japanese till 10, then check e-mail/fuck off for an hour, read history for an hour, lunch, flskdjflsdkfj" Maybe I should just do that. Or maybe I should just be intelligent enough to do those things without drawing it up on a piece of paper stuck to the fridge. You know? YOU KNOW?

I just want to accomplish things. I want to learn Japanese. Obviously it's important to me or I wouldn't be having this whole pathetic rant. If it were an outdated goal, I wouldn't find it so hard to just drop it. I would be able to eventually work my way around to realizing that I honestly didn't care. I do care! GOD.

I wish I had someone to care with. Just one person, or two. Would make it so much better. I don't want to join a huge social group. I want a serious study session. Can't seem to find it. Oh well. Screw this, I should start enjoying my weekend before it's over and I have to go back to work.

PS - I should quit work.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Yes, hello.

With a well fed stat bonus I go forth to battle!!

To write my review!

I don't have time to blog.