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September 2017

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Aug. 13th, 2017 11:01 am
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I almost feel as though I can write today. I just don't know what to write about.

I started updating my media blog, Orange Cream Milkshake Supreme, again. I still haven't figured out what kind of a voice I want to have with it - do I want to be deeply analytical, or do I just want to give my impressions? Or do I want to try to do both? And how much time do I want to spend doing that? I feel like I can go deeper with my posts, but I don't want to be too cerebral for fear of chasing off any potential readers. You know, if more than a couple of actual people read it.

I've been reading a lot lately. I have finished my 52 books for the year goal (that would have been a book a week), but it's only August. Granted, some of those books were manga and children's picture books in Japanese, but still. And I'm still working my way through my backlog. My currently-reading list is as follows:

  • The Neon Court (Matthew Swift Book 3) - Kate Griffin

  • Minka: My Farmhouse in Japan - John Roderick

  • The Mongoliad (Foreworld Saga Book 1) - Neal Stephenson & others

  • A Princess of Mars (Barsoom #1) - Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke

  • Fudoki - Kiji Johnson

  • Monsters - David D. Gilmore

  • I Am A Cat - Natsume Soseki

  • War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

  • HTML & CSS For Beginners - iCode Academy (reviewing what I've learned)

  • Python Programming - iCode Academy

  • Deathless (Leningrad Diptych #1) - Catherynne M. Valente

  • Japanese Short Stories for Beginners - The Language Academy

  • Compleat Cat - Cleveland Amory

Anyway, that's what I'm reading and may eventually post reviews of on my other blog. We'll see.

(no subject)

May. 6th, 2017 01:09 pm
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Why didn't anyone tell me that there was a third Distant Worlds out?? I finally found something to use my remaining Amazon gift card balance from Christmas on. Too bad none of the e-books on my list are less than a dollar, though. Oh well. Patience.

I'm working my way through the next Persona 5 Palace. Have I mentioned yet that this game is totally awesome?

Speaking of games, I've recently learned about a site called Backloggery that helps you track your backlog of games. I created an account, and this is me. I will be learning how this site works later. I have quite the backlog, between all my systems and my Steam account... Damn you, Steam, and your sales! ::sfist::

I would like to do something fun today, but the weather looks pretty iffy outside. I should also be cleaning since I can't find the top of my desk again. I swear, the second I clear it off, a whole new crop of stuff sprouts up.

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May. 1st, 2017 08:46 am
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I got up and went for a walk this morning. I should probably try to make some sort of a "streak counter" or something. I dunno...

My birthday is next week. Woo... I wish I could feel excited about it. It has been a long time since I looked forward to anything, but especially my birthday. I used to do stuff like take spa-days and things like that. Last year, I worked on my birthday, which was also Mother's Day and my assigned Sunday shift. I had to listen to my older female coworkers moan about having to work on "their" day. I just kept my mouth shut.

(no subject)

Apr. 23rd, 2017 10:07 am
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Yesterday was a pretty good day.

I went to the "French" market (the usual local farmer's market, but with a cheesy French accent). Apparently, my town has a sister city in France, so they decided to do a French themed farmer's market. Only a couple of the vendors had any type of "French" products, and one of those was a crepe and beignet stand that ran out of crepes and beignets (how do you call yourself the French Quarter and you run out of beignets?). There was also some sort of wine-bar where you could sit and drink wine, but I was driving and decided it would be a bad idea partake. I ended up buying some dolmades from the Greek place that's always there and ate them by the river. I would have stayed longer, but it was starting to rain and there were thunderstorms in the forecast.

After I came back from the "French" market, I decided that this would be the day. The day that I went to the international grocery store, bought a bunch of different types of dumplings from the frozen food aisle, and held a personal Dumpling-palooza (yes, most of my goals revolve around food...). So, I ended up getting three types of dumplings: spicy beef, pork and black mushrooms, and japchae dumplings. I also picked up these little taiyaki ice cream sandwiches for dessert. It was all delicious, and there are still more flavors of dumplings in that frozen food aisle that I want to try....

I spent the evening playing Persona 5. I'm still in the first dungeon, but at least I eventually got un-lost from the subway station. I really like how stylish and cool this game is, but then again, all of the Persona games are really stylish and cool for the time they're released. I hope this will be a game I manage to actually beat and get the good ending for...

(no subject)

Apr. 21st, 2017 01:30 pm
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Ugh. I need to hurry up and lose weight so I can wear my capris and stuff again. It's too hot to be running around in blue jeans. I don't want to be model-thin or anything, just able to fit into the clothes I already have that are appropriate for the season. I hate clothes shopping....

I went for a walk today around lunchtime, and apparently we've finished Spring and gone straight into Summer. We're also going to have some thunderstorms this weekend, so, there's that to look forward to.

I think that this weekend, I will spend some time playing Persona 5. I bought it when it came out, but I haven't felt like sitting down and actually playing it until just now. I've mostly been playing stuff on my DS (Story of Seasons and Harvest Moon, woo!).

At some point, I need to talk about the podcasts I've been listening to....
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 woke up with The Who stuck in my head. I haven't listened to The Who for a long time.

Lately, I've been playing a lot of Harvest Moon: Skytree Village. It's not an especially great game, but I am trying to trigger the crop mutations.

One of my favorite podcasts updated today. If you haven't started listening to King Falls AM, you are missing out, big time. It updates on the 1st and 15th of every month, so you have plenty of time to binge-listen and get back to me so we can squeal about it together.

I've been seeing a lot of stuff from the ALA and various other library interests about the pending cuts to the IMLS. I'm kind of glad that the funding is being threatened, as it's forcing libraries to fight and make themselves visible. I feel like, at least for the last ten or fifteen years, they've been content with the status quo and have been too complacent with all the previous budget cuts and scale-backs. Sure, we've been in a recession for the bulk of those years, but that's when libraries were experiencing their strongest influence and usage numbers. I'm hoping that these cuts will make more people aware of how much their libraries contribute to the community, but libraries need to get out there and fight to make themselves seen and heard. Library administrators need to start banging the drums and tooting their horns and vuvuzelas at local government meetings, not just to save their IMLS grants (which aren't really all that much of either the national budget or most library budgets), but their portion of the local government's budget plan, too. Not just fight to preserve it, but fight to increase it, too. Sure, it's an uphill battle that they're likely to lose, but until they give it a shot they don't know for sure that they'll lose.

Anyway, that's my two cents on the matter. Speaking of cents, have they introduced the bill to eliminate the penny yet? I had heard that there was one being considered.... I mean, on one hand, a lot of science experiments will have a hard time finding conductors for potato batteries and whatnot if pennies are eliminated. On the other hand, that's fewer pennies for that one old woman to pay her entire grocery bill in at the express lane.
I think my subconscious is trying to tell me to lighten up a little. I was having the weirdest dream when I woke up this morning. Read more... )