Sunday, August 31, 2014

Another tough Sunday

1) Healthy lunch with fish, veggies, mixed grain rice at one of my favorite places.
2) Tried a curry place I had never been to and it turned out to be epic comfort food.
3) Followed through on my water bottle plan so I can stop buying so much damn plastic.

Honestly though, I'm still having a really rough time on the weekends. I spent a bunch of time lying in bed either listening to jazz or napping. I hope I can sleep okay tonight. I shouldn't have napped, but it felt good to just actually give up instead of anxiously sit in front of the computer trying to force myself to work.

I say I had good curry like it was some happy thing, but honestly if I wouldn't have had the idea to bribe myself with curry for dinner, I wouldn't have gone shopping and got the filter and water bottle (I also picked up a book by an author a friend recommended me). In the end, I walked a bunch, too, so that was probably good for me, but I dunno. It shouldn't have been that hard.

Tomorrow I have to go to a recording session in the morning for a couple hours before heading back to the office in the afternoon. On my way home I'm going to swim. I got a trial gym membership, but really can't decide if I want to do the whole thing or not. In any case, if I join it'll be after I get back from the states...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

[Tale of the Heike] I've had a copy of this for a while...

I bought the Royall Tyler translation of The Tale of the Heike last summer for reference and then never read it. A friend was explaining part of the end to me the other day, and I spent most of the time feeling like a dork for having no clue. Not that I would have remembered specific details of the ending even if I had read it, but anyways, now seems like a fine time to give it a shot. Chipping away at it a little bit every day will help give my life some purpose, especially on the weekends, and I should pay attention to the classics.

Right now I'm just reading the introduction, but this is sort of obnoxious to me, "Sutoku was banished to the province of Sanuki on Shikoku, where (according to The Tale of Hōgen and other sources) he cursed the victors. Widespread opinion attributed the Heiji Conflict and other troubles to his wrath."

Shouldn't they attribute it to his dad, Tobu, for forcing him to abdicate?! Seriously, why should the "Retired Emperor" even be allowed to do something like that? Didn't anybody think it was totally absurd? Seems like Sutoku just got screwed over and over for no reason. Was there a reason? I am interested in Sutoku.

Something else I don't understand is how for the Heiji Conflict Yoshitomo and Kiyomori ended up on opposite sides after fighting together in the Hōgen Conflict. Did their clans just have their own issues that had to be put aside momentarily or what?

Yes, I made columns in a spreadsheet because I couldn't remember who was with who.

History is so weird. Really, what is all the power for, anyways? I thought I couldn't imagine caring about titles, but then I thought that seemed kind of weird considering I have a hard time personally subtracting who I am from what I do (or what I think of myself as doing, or aspire to do better, or whatever: being a translator), but in my case it's my [chief in attitude if not in hours] occupation so the "title" describes my occupation, not a power hierarchy, right? But then if you imagine there were ranks of translatordom that one could work oneself up by appeasing the higher bester godlier translators, maybe I would care.

Actually, I would probably just cease being a translator (and possibly also existing). I guess I can't imagine caring about titles after all.

Other things I cannot imagine including believing in God, much a whole bunch of buddhas or kami or [take your pick]. This is interesting to me in the same way it would be if I read it in a fantasy or sci-fi novel, "A dying person might wish to face an image of Amida and hold a five-colored cord attached to the image's hands, so that Amida should be able to draw the departing soul straight to paradise." Christians do some weird stuff, too. I'm not saying it's weirder, just that it's exotic from my point of view. I wonder if Catholic confessionals seems the stuff of fantasy novels to non-Christian tradition media consumers.

Oh, this is an interesting note about deities': "In theory such names should be restored in English to their Sanskrit original, if it exists. I practice, however, the confusion is so great that consistency is all but impossible. This translation does not attempt it. Some names appear in their Sanskrit form, others—the more common ones—as they were pronounced in Japan."

I think I would have just gone full-on Japanese pronunciation at that point, and include an appendix or something. Man, and all the name readings. Taketa vs. Takeda etc. History really is weird.

I'm glad there are people who are interested in translating the classics, but so far I am not one of them.

Still so early

1) Had my room cleaned via a service that is basically the equivalent of Task Rabbit, only in Japan. The lady was friendly but professional and my room is in much better shape.

2) Ate vegetable curry for lunch. The spices and lemon always make me feel like I'm doing myself a big favor.

3) A challenging book I am reading sort of linked up with some things I've been worrying about in my life in a way that kind of framed the issue and made it easier to understand. Doesn't mean I know how to solve all my issues, but it's nice that I can get something out of the book even though it is hard to understand at times.

I'm going to do some shopping tomorrow because I want to drastically reduce the amount of plastic bottles I've been buying.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Listening to "My Favorite Things"


1) Good music.
2) Finished a hellish rough draft.
3) Ate delicious pizza.

It's the weekend, so I gotta try a little harder than usual to to keep my head screwed on.

Thursday, August 28, 2014



1) I got to see someone I had been wanting to see.
2) I read some non-work related text this morning (actually ho-ho, it was "work" related since it's philosophy/political theory about labor and work, but)
3) A friend said if I needed to I could borrow her scanner.


I'm going to eat more slowly.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Curry Bar Shubell

I feel a little better tonight. Having dinner with a friend parted the angst-infested Red Sea of my consciousness. That's really what it feels like. I can sense all the stress still there, but it's like I'm in mysterious zone.

We went to Nishiogikubo, which, maybe the neighborhood was also comforting. Nishiogi was my sanctuary back when I was on my big long Twitter business trip. There's really no reason for me not to go there more, except that now I have places in my own neighborhood that serve as go-tos, I guess.

Anyways I had been following Curry Bar Shubell on Twitter for a while and always meant to go so it was really nice to finally get the chance. To be honest, the flavor of the curry itself was not ultra unique, but they seem to be very particular about the ingredients, special chicken, fresh veggies. I really like that. The main thing that set the curry itself apart was that it had cartilage? I guess? in it. I forget what you call it. Like parts of the chicken that crunch in a really satisfying way and taste good. I'm still not a huge fan of the fatty bits, but those crunchy joint bits are great.

We also had cream cheese potato salad, but it had some kind of maybe vinegar bite to it, too.  As far as potato salads go, pretty tasty.

I had been thinking I would get away without drinking, but I gave in — using the easy excuse of it being a while since I had seen this friend — and had a beer.

My friend told me about some trips he had been on recently that inspired him to take a more open approach to his passions. Basically, by sharing what you care about and focusing less on competition and more on community building, you can maybe create a more balanced way to live out your dreams.

This reminds me of something I used to think about sometimes. I wonder what I would have ended up doing if I lived in a time when the world was less global. Like, it is extremely unlikely that I would have been a translator in the 1800s. I guess part of the reason this thought exercise is hard (impossible) is that women didn't do anything back in the day except have babies and be wives. I guess I would have been a wife. Now that I think about it, that is probably how this ended last time, but anyways...

the main point was more that, in a small, local community there should be no need for a translator. Maybe I would have become a teacher. 

Tangents back to the side, uh, I guess I just wanted to be happy about some things today since I've been having a rough time lately:

1) I finally went to that curry spot.
2) I had dinner with a good friend.
3) He brought me souvenirs from his trip! One of them is a book I will read soon.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Jogged 20 min straight for possibly the first time in my life

I originally wrote this week.

-30 seconds: *looks at phone* Ah, I'm gonna have to start jogging soon. Can I do this? I dunno if I can do this. I have to do this.

o minute: Welp, here goes.

1 minute: Ahh, this is tough. Maybe I should have waited till later, but the weather is a little cooler now so this really this is best.

3 minutes: Good will towards all men. Heart wide open.

6 minutes: I can do this.

8 minutes: I guess it's almost time to turn around. The way back is always harder, plus the sun will be in my eyes. My breathing rhythm is off.

9 minutes: Is it time yet?

10 minutes: Homeward bound. I dunno if I can do this. I'm not looking at my clock anymore because all I have to do is run till the time runs down.

x minutes: Yeah, the way back is definitely harder.

x+1 minutes: More than the breathing it's the pain in my shoulders and arms.

(various pain-related thoughts)

1 minute left warning: Great, okay, Tough it out.

20 minutes: Did it! Omigod my ovaries are trying to claw out of my body. My uterus is trying to eject. Ow, ow, ow, ow.

2 minutes into cool down: I hope my heart realizes the pain I go through to ensure it stays healthy. Will this even work? If I die of heart disease I will be so upset. There has to be some better way to exercise.

3 minutes in cool down: GOD IT HURTS.

End of cool down: Huh, so it only took the five minutes to feel better.