Saturday, December 27

Song of the Day



Kevin Drew - Gang Bang Suicide

For such an odd song title, the melancholy feel of the song fits perfectly with its touching, loving lyrics. Stolen from lyrics.time:

So let’s wash, all the fear
Grow a hand, in a mirror
With the lights, on our skin
They say whoa, never win
If you like, to sew up
Then I wish, you grow up
And take the lines, from your face
Age so sweet, and replace
It’s the sound, that I want
It’s the low, belting cough
It’s the size, of my heart
It’s a house, can we start

Sunday, December 21

Song of the Day



mp3: Art Brut/Nag Nag Nag Nag

I also really love their song Pump Up The Volume. It's all generally pop-y and mindless, yet still talented. Fun music all around.

Saturday, December 20

And so. No.

Sometimes I can't decide if I love Christmas or if I hate it. I can get really into buying things and giving things, and helping people decorate. But the music is nauseating, I can't stand the blatant materialism (hypocrite? who, me?) and I dislike the fake jolly atmosphere that the stores feed off of. It's like a million animals all trying to get to the troth at the same time.

But then I wonder if it really matters. I spend so much time in life wondering how I feel about certain things that I forget to just feel half the time. Maybe it doesn't really matter what I like or don't like. Maybe if I stopped wondering about this constantly I'd actually get more living done.

Maybe not everything about me is as black and white as I want it to seem.

Sunday, December 14

I guess I just wanted to show off my cup.



Sorry, its been a while! I've just been way too lazy to take pictures that are worth posting here, and so didn't feel like it would be appropriate to make a post.

...haha and now, sitting here in front of the computer, I honestly can't think of anything to write.

Wednesday, December 3

On letting things go.


If someone were to ask me for one thing in the world that I find bittersweet, the answer would definitely be this: writing descriptions for my fostered cats.

One one hand, I really enjoy it. I like anything that forces me to write in a semi-creative fashion. I can get cute with them, try to draw the reader in by being funny, but at the same time everything is based on facts (no matter how embellished). It's an informative short essay, written with the intent to sell. And written about a subject a care about with every part of my being. I like writing the descriptions because I'm writing about an animal I love very much. I remember things while I write them--like that time Mocha (who has since been adopted out) made a blanket taco just to wedge herself somewhere warm, or when Adachi (who has also since been adopted out) would absolutely refuse to sleep anywhere aside from in bed, under the covers, with me. It's fun.

But as I said, the description is written with an intent to sell. I only write them when our cats officially go "up for adoption"--meaning, we're starting to get serious about getting the cat a new, "forever" home. A home where the owner isn't just buying more and more extra time. A home where the owner won't constantly be worried about how damn attached they are to the animal, because the animal will always be their companion anyway.

There are times when I want to write "This cat is super stinky! Beware! S/he will claw up all of your furniture and puke on the rag carpeting and s/he never, I repeat, NEVER, uses the litter box!" Because no one will buy a cat with such a bad description, even if they take it as a joke. And then the cat will come back "home" to me, where I'm 100% sure he or she will be loved and well cared for. When they go out into the world I'm like a pitiful worried mom, wondering if the house they go to will feed them the canned food that they love so much, and if they'll have enough toys and the buyers won't grow bored with them and neglect them after a while (which, let's face it, happens sadly often with pets--especially around the holiday season, when they're given as "last-minute" surprise gifts that are boring after the surprise wears off and the responsibility sets in).

I just hear so many horror stories lately in animal rescue circles. Animals getting tortured and killed as if they aren't even living things. If there is any sad story I just can't listen to all the way through, it's something like that.

Asher, Bear, Lacey, Blazer, Tucker, Gohan, and Goku are going to start heading over to Pet Adoption Days every other weekend. Krillin might, as well, but he's so skittish that it would almost be pointless--no one would be able to connect with him, anyway. He still needs a lot of work. The first five will probably get adopted remotely quickly. They've grown into pretty outgoing, friendly cats. There's a chance they might grow standoffish in the cages, but I mostly doubt it.

But anyway, I was working on some descriptions for when we bring them this Saturday. And while writing happy, fun things about Bear was enjoyable, I couldn't help but also start crying. Because I love the idea of taking care of cats and getting them ready for houses of people who'll love and care for them, but it's still painful to let go of something you love. It really does leave a huge hole when each cat goes away--each one with its own great personality.

If there's possibly anything more bittersweet than writing out these descriptions, it's probably just fostering in general. You pour all of your love and affection into them, and then you let them go. But at least there are always the memories and the hope that a loving family was able to pick up an amazing life-long companion.

An actual title goes here.


Sometimes I think the fact that I read so many (fiction and nonfiction) books about Japan or Japanese citizens or non-Japanese citizens in Japan is food for my fear of actually setting up connections and getting my own ass over to the little eastern island country. Because when I read these books, it almost feels like I'm living there through the characters or nonfiction authors or whomever the tale is being told through. Yeah, it isn't nearly as good as actually going to Japan and experiencing everything first-hand, but I'm so ridiculously afraid of social situations and breaking free from my old habits that I guess sometimes these books feel like the closest thing I'll actually ever have to living there.

But anyway, while I think that over, I'll just do yet another amazon search through books about Japan et al. even though I already have a ridiculous amount. Maybe someday I'll have enough so that the amount of words will be enough to match my awkward fascination with the country.

Monday, December 1

Post #0003


Over at Poupee Girl--the only place online I've been going to on a semi-regular basis lately--I've gotten really good at the Piyo Game. When I first joined Poupee everyone said to not play it because, if you accidentally hit a balloon too soon, you get shitty, worthless prizes. But now that I know all the cheats, I've really made a good bit of profit. I can play the game for 30Ribs, and then usually sell away my items for around 70Ribs. So it's a 40Rib profit per win, as I usually don't keep the items myself. None of them really fit my tastes. And besides, I have to find a way to save up for the upcoming winter events, since I don't feel comfortable spending money on this game when, in reality, it's pretty much a choice between pixel pants for an animated avatar, or pants for myself.

Not really a hard choice.

(Also, sorry that it's a screencap instead of a photo today--but isn't Piyo Game at sunset kind of pretty?)

Sunday, November 30

Post #0002



When I was a kid, my best friend Ally and I would run around with the older boys on the playground during recess. There was this group of boys who were one year above us, and they carried this red felt-tip pen around that we dubbed "Red Pen Man." Really, at this point I have no clue what made us call it that or create its very own storyline. Anyway we'd decided that pen was evil, and so they started also carrying around a blue felt-tip pen, or "Blue Pen Man." Blue Pen Man was our hero, and fought Red Pen Man on a regular basis.

At some point, obviously, we stopped playing that game. I don't remember any of the details. I just remember Red Pen Man and Blue Pen Man--the devil and the savior in pen form.

It seems like those are the two necessities of any proper story.

Thursday, November 27

Post #0001



Had a really nice Thanksgiving, shockingly. Tomorrow morning, shopping.

Post #0000



I figured, what the heck, may as well start using this blog again. I'll still try to post every day, and I will post a picture with every post, but I'm going to stop numbering and logging every post I make (and back-track, ect.). I don't need stress just because I missed a day/week/MONTH. I know that's the point, but I think Project365 was meant for more "serious" photography than my simple "take a picture of something and post it with a comment" way of doing things. Perhaps someday I'll really get in the groove of photography and give it another whirl, but for now I'll just take pictures and hope that every once in a while I'll take something stunning. I still need to get to know my camera better, anyway.

Lately, I... don't know. Usually you can sum up your "lately" with a word or phrase, such as "lately I've been lethargic" or "lately I've been reading a lot and working on my knitting." But it has literally been almost two weeks since I properly blogged or wrote a personal journal entry, so "lately I've been ____" doesn't exactly cut it. I've cleaned, I've picked up and put down books, I've hid from relatives in my room, I've watched an entire season of One Tree Hill, I've watched some porn, I've taken pictures, I've shopped, and I've dawdled around on Poupee Girl, I eaten fast food, I've felt sick, I've thought up and nixed short story plots. I've felt low, high, ecstatic, angry, giddy, moody, sad, blank, exhausted. I may not be a very social person, but I've been doing a lot of things, feeling a lot of things. I've started drawing again. I've been trying to read Twilight but the prose is truly awful and I'm stalled on page seventeen. I've gotten mad about politics. I've been excited to be alive. I've wanted to fall off the face of the Earth.

Today was one of those days, though, where I've felt so low that I was inspired to better myself. Well, just in the last hour, anyway, while lying in bed and doodling in my journal. I've felt lonely and angry at people who're supposed to be my friends and kind of exhausted with living. And sometimes when I feel that way, instead of contemplating how great it would be to just disappear forever (not suicide so much as having never existed, or having the ability to just vanish--there is a difference between being dead and being gone, technically speaking, but I'll save that for another post?), I try to get to the root of my issues.

I've mostly been thinking about the internet, what it means to me, the effect it has on my life, etc. Because lately I've been vaguly contemplating leaving the internet altogether--erasing my existence from online completely. Because I think the internet often makes it "okay" for me to run away from things. I often hide certain parts of myself because, due to my "internet personality," I have the ability to do so. I can split myself in two. Online I am happy-go-lucky nerd Japanophile politically suave Ami. So in real life I'm conservative, quiet, meek, feminine and shy Amy. And though I feel the split, I'm feeding both versions of me and that keepos me from feeling hollow about the whole disconnect.

And somehow, after a quite lengthy though process (one day, it would be interesting to sit in front of the computer and just type up every single thing that goes through my head), I came to the conclusion that the thing that is most wrong with me, which causes all of my problems, is my lacking confidence. Because I actually do that often--sit down and think about a problem, and them think it through to its core.

What can I do about my lacking confidence? First, I can start writing again. That'll make me feel better about my work ethic. Second, I can drop the friends who make me feel like shit about myself the majority of the time. Three, I can get my license and save up for (and buy) a car. I would definitely feel more self-reliant then. Four, I can get a job and move the fuck out of here. Five, I can try to talk to perfect strangers and thus make some more friends who I'll hopefully get close to and thus not have to rely on friendships with people who make me feel like a lesser individual.

ANYWAY. This is getting incredibly long and I should maybe try to get some more sleep. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and anyone who knows me at all knows full well that this is the most stressful holiday as far as my nutty family goes. Please pray for me, for tomorrow I may soon be dead.

Tuesday, August 26

Day 45: Minnesota State Fair



Spent the day at the fair with Stephanie. Ate way too much, got incredibly sunburned, hopefully walked off some of the weight gain. And now I just want to sleep forever.

Monday, August 25

Day 44: Big money man.



So that is what $5000 in cash looks like? Huh.

Sunday, August 24

Day 43: Vroom Vroom Activism.



A fake car at the Midtown Multi-cultural Market in Minneapolis. The bumper stickers are lovely.

Saturday, August 23

Day 42: The best food ever.



The other day I took one of those online surveys where they pay you for your input. They asked me my favorite food, but I couldn't answer honestly because "Japanese food" wasn't on there.

Friday, August 22

Day 41: Bad Hair Day #1



My hair looked so unbelievably shitty today.

Thursday, August 21

Day 40: The start of house work.



For some reason I'd always thought it would take longer to work on a house. I guess I was wrong.

Wednesday, August 20

Day 39: Artiste. Or something.



I want to start doing outline drawings--like the ones in the book I just bought. So I keep looking at things lately and wondering "what would this look like if I were to do a simple outline sketch?" I believe a rocket pop would be rather easy to draw.

Tuesday, August 19

Day 38: All God's Children Can Dance.



I'm well on my way to finishing all of Murakami Haruki's books! Three down, 320597203579203 to go!

Monday, August 18

Day 37: A day without caffine.



Green tea in ice is probably the most refreshing summer drink ever.

Sunday, August 17

Day 36: Lantern Lighting Festival.



There were some people at the festival this year with Arashi uchiwas. Seriously? I lol'd. And then sad-faced because when I had been into JE there'd been no one at the fair to talk to. WTF god?!

Saturday, August 16

Day 35: Family Reunion



Family reunion was okay. It was fun near the end, but at the beginning there was drama. Granted, my mom could have taken steps to avoid it, but my grandma was the biggest bitch in this situation.

Friday, August 15

Day 34: The recipe for marriage.



See? Not once is "one man and one woman" written on there.

Thursday, August 14

Day 33: Poor babies.



Mom told me in an email that none of our kittens have supposedly been adopted. So when I saw this picture on my camera I became a bit depressed.

Tuesday, August 12

Day 31: Poor me.



This is what happens when you try to reorganize your book collection.

Monday, August 11

Day 30: Hello good sir.



Really, they love it when I shove the camera so close into their face.

Sunday, August 10

Day 29: Even more books!



So I went to the bookstore across the street today... *cough*

Saturday, August 9

Day 28: More books!



.....and more book by Japanese authors! Well. For the most part, anyway.

Friday, August 8

Day 27: Art



I bought these last night from the used section at Barnes & Noble. One is by the "Andy Warhol" of Japan (as my dad termed it) Fukuda Shigeo. His art is really odd, but fascinating. The other book is of traditional Japanese art prints by Hiroshige. I bought both of them to rip up for art for my walls, buuuuut... :| I don't want to kill the books rofl. They're really old and gorgeous.

Thursday, August 7

Day 26: A Flower as Bribe.



Lately the women at work are trying to bribe me to be on their side. It's funny, because I was more on their side when they just left me the hell alone to do my work. Now they're just starting to get rather annoying, and I'm starting to dislike them. When I'm in the middle of something, please leave me alone.

Wednesday, August 6

Day 25: Farewell.



Goodbyes are always, always hard.

Tuesday, August 5

Day 24: Tweet tweet



I've been kind of obsessed with Twitter lately.

Sunday, August 3

Saturday, August 2

Day 21: At the fair.



Something I've always wanted--original art. It's "paper cutting," a traditional Chinese art form. Very pretty. While I bought it, the man and I chatted about Japan (even though he's from China...). It was kind of nice. Supposedly he was just in Japan a while ago. Allow me to be quite jealous.

Friday, August 1

Thursday, July 31

Day 19: Warhol-ism.



My room is such a mess at the moment. But ignore that. It's the prints I finally hung on my wall that actually matter here.

Wednesday, July 30

Day 18: The Last Lecture



He really was--is--the most inspirational man to open his mouth. Absolutely amazing. I watched his lecture and read his book all in one day. It's funny--I bought it on a whim. It was sitting on one of the tables in the middle of borders, and I thought it sounded nice. It had a sticker that said 40% off for Borders Rewards members. I never expected it to change so many of my ideals.

My childhood dreams:
- To own and care for many cats
- To become fluent in Japanese
- To become a great scholar

I don't remember much of them other than those.

Tuesday, July 29

Day 17: Parking Lot



When you spill bits of glass on the ground, buttons, pins, birds will probably come along and try to eat them.

Monday, July 28

Day 16: Cleanliness is next to Godliness.



Sometimes I think there's really nothing better than a long, thorough shower after a long day of constant sweating.

Sunday, July 27

Day 15: Chocolates as ice.



If it's really hot out in the summer, you should keep chocolates in the freezer. When it becomes unbearable you can suck on them like hard candy. It cools you down almost instantly.

Saturday, July 26

Day 14: Bakeneko



Due to watching モノノ怪 the short anime series, I've become really interested in 化け猫--Demon Cats of Japanese legend. Which is why this journal's cover caught my eye, even though the cats don't look the least bit evil. But the coloring and design still reminded me of them nonetheless.

Friday, July 25

Day 13: Lessons in Language



Lately I've become increasingly more interested in learning Japanese--in picking up where I keep leaving off. About two or so weeks ago I heard a man at Barnes & Noble speaking Japanese to someone over the phone, and I caught myself thinking "that could be me..." So I downloaded a bunch of free broadcast lessons and got a membership at JapanesePod101.com. Watch me try to succeed one more time.

Thursday, July 24

Wednesday, July 23

Tuesday, July 22

Day 10: Break free from the pack.



Such a small and sleepy little Bear.

When I went out to lunch today, there was a cute guy playing "Wonderwall" at Potbelly. Then when I left the skyway to head out to the square and eat in the sunlight, there was a man playing "Blackbird" on the street for change. And in the morning I'd had the most lovely horoscope in City Pages:
I really do feel that you're here with me as I create these horoscopes. In a sense, you're my assistant. Our telepathic connection is utterly palpable and practical. The hopes and questions you project my way stream into my higher mind, coloring my psychic environment and enriching my desire to give you exactly what you need. Now, in accordance with the astrological omens, I'm asking you to give our collaboration more conscious intention. It's time for you to be aggressive about seeking help and inspiration -- not just from me, but from everyone. Try this for starters: Once a day for five minutes, visualize that you and I are sitting face-to-face and discussing the issues that feed your longing to be brave and free and authentic and smart and loving and creative.
And I sat in the shade, ready to eat my lunch and study kanji while the temperature was perfect and the sun was shining, and it occurred to me that. at least for today, life was good.

Monday, July 21

Day 9: Sunrise, Sunset



It's not every day you wake up to a golden sky.

Sunday, July 20

Day 8: Gift Giving.



Just a little late.

Saturday, July 19

Day 7: Who could this be?



Impossible! Did I actually get a picture of the elusive Black Baby? This must be an illusion!

Friday, July 18

Day 6: And more kittens.



I love when they still have that fuzzy undercoat.

Wednesday, July 16

Tuesday, July 15

Day 3: Star Wars



Did you know that the wrinkles on Yoda's face were inspired by Einstein? I thought that was really interesting.