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Apr. 16th, 2017

A few days ago, I had to go to the DMV to renew my driver's license. It wasn't one of those "check a box, mail a check, and wait a few days" types of renewals, and the DMV is notorious for long wait times no matter how many windows they have open. Since my Kindle is a bit large for my purse, I decided to grab one of my many, many backlogged paperbacks (I don't have a problem. Stop saying I have a problem, or I'll give you a problem, buddy!). The book I grabbed was Kamikaze Girls.

It was probably the most amusing way to spend an hour at the DMV. Kamikaze Girls is about the clash of two Japanese subcultures - the Gothic Lolita and the Yanki. Not only are these two cultures clashing, but they're clashing in some one-horse hick town an hour away from the city, so there's this added layer of absurdity. It reminded me of when I was attending high school in the Azores, and people were trying to build these cool, trendy personas despite the fact that we were on an island in the middle of nowhere. (One of these days, I'll talk more about living at Lajes Field.) I probably got a lot of funny looks at the DMV... then again, it is the DMV. I didn't finish the book, as it's almost 300 pages and I only waited an hour, but what I've read is pretty good. Once I've finished it, I'll probably post a review of it on my Blogger blog, and I'll crosspost it here.

I'm also working on my e-book backlog. E-books are wonderful for a multitude of reasons. I can collect books without having to worry about storing them. I can easily switch between books without having to worry about a huge stack of books on the bedside table. I can also read controversial books in public without any of those judgemental stares from people. However, it's also really easy to build up a backlog without realizing it because there's no physical stack of books staring accusingly at you from the bookshelves. I think I have around 200 backlogged ebooks right now, so... yeah. Quite a lot of books to catch up on.

And then there's my translation backlog. I have been trying to work on my Japanese skills in a sort of real-world context, or at least a more natural context than textbook Japanese, by getting untranslated manga and these free Japanese newspapers from the local Oriental market. Unfortunately, I am really bad at getting around to these things.... Plus, it's really time-consuming to translate when your grasp of the language is somewhere around...toddler level. And don't get me started on kanji.

At any rate, if you can find Kamikaze Girls and have an interest in YA fiction about Japanese subcultures, it's pretty good. As I work through more of my backlog, I'll be able to share more gems and duds with you here. As long as, y'know, I don't visit anymore used bookstores or anything.
I mentioned earlier that I have a Blogger account that I mostly use for talking about things I read, watch, listen to, or play. It's called Orange Cream Milkshake Supreme because....I was on the spot and that was the first thing that came to mind. Anyway, I suck at keeping it up to date, but I'll try to let you know if I update it and what it's about in case you're interested.

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