I changed up my theme because the other was starting to feel stuffy. Gotta freshen things up every now and then, help get the creative juices flowing. Maybe I just made that up, but it seems like change promotes creativity. Part of this idea to write every day was to work on my abilities to come up with ideas and articulate them, because I think that is fundamental to the creative process. If you cannot translate your thoughts to some other medium they stagnate. But now I think I’m starting to sound trite, or just like I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s a problem when I get to writing past midnight on a Tuesday. I’m bogged down with the seriousness that plagues the first half of the week. Towards the weekend it’s all whimsy and fluff—looking forward to that.
And now the time for bed is come. Good night, netizens.
For people conscious of films made in the latter part of the previous century, you’ll have a clue as to where this entry is headed. Or, maybe you just have a calendar that includes the major to sufficiently culturally important holidays and realized it was February the second. (I’ve also heard about people who read or watch the news, but that’s out of my territory.)
Regardless, today is the day we rouse a rodent from hibernation, ask if it can see its shadow, and from that determine the duration of the year’s winter; because if we’re to be perfectly honest, interpreting a groundhog’s intuition is about as scientifically reliable as the weather report. Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to rely on the “look outside” method of weather prediction: if I look outside and it’s x, I predict a 100% chance that it is currently x outside. My margin of error is quite low, thus far. And yes, some would argue this is an observation and not a prediction — I say it’s semantics. Anyhow, this year Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring to the delight of many.
Meanwhile I’m watching snow spit from an archetypically wintry sky on one of the coldest days on record for the year. I suppose if winter has to end early it needs to pack everything in before it’s too late. Although, if we’re going by the lunar calendar tomorrow is Spring come snow, sleet, rain or hail; perhaps, even, all of the above in quick succession. The Japanese have historically celebrated this event (called Setsubun 節分) sometime around the Lunar New Year, therefore a time of renewal and ritual/spiritual cleansing of which a major component is throwing beans at demons (mamemaki 豆まき). Nowadays it seems like it’s more an excuse for parents to scare the ever-loving daylights out of some little kids. If you throw enough beans and exorcise the demon from your house, you’ll have good luck for the coming year. That’s incentive.
Happy New Year to all the internet. I am thankful the world didn’t implode or explode or get swallowed up by the Leviathan, as it leaves me the ability to keep authoring this nonsense. Perhaps I should map out a year-long plan of achievements, so if another apocalypse blips across the radar of the collective conscious then I’ll have some skills under the proverbial belt. I wouldn’t want to be the fool who went into the end of the world without knowing how to tie my shoes doubly fast (something I learned how to do a few days ago — skills!), because if there’s anything I know about evading the mass extinction of everything it’s being able to get in some shoes and sprint until always.
Actually, this talk about escaping Earth brings up an interesting bit of news I heard from a Highly Credible Source (hereinafter referred to as HCS) who told me about a program that is taking applications for persons interested in pioneering the colonization of Mars. So, Mars in 10 years seems feasible to me; plus I’ve watched Cowboy Bebop enough times to know that Mars is the happening place in the 21st century, and you’re a rube if you disagree.
And, not to make any sweeping, mildly offensive stereotypes, but this group has a Japanese component, which as everyone knows is vital to any and all successful space-like endeavors. That’s just reality.
I guess now I just need to work on skills that would do me well for life on Mars.
I’m not entirely sure as to the cause, but lately (being the past few months) I have not been keeping any sort of regular hours. It’s mostly made me irritable and forgetful, and prone to disorientation if I sit still for too long. Since I am a visual person, I like to imagine my brain is atrophying in the worst way — though there probably isn’t such a thing as good brain atrophy — and soon a puddle of useless grey sludge will be sloshing about in my skull. If I’m really lucky it’ll ooze out of my ears and then I can keep it in a jar on my bookshelf or something; it might even make an unusual paperweight. Things like that are tremendous icebreakers.
But to return to the matter of my insomnia, I think I’m finally coming around to welcoming sleep before the sun rises thanks to one of my perennial favorites in gaming: Animal Crossing. For the uninitiated, this video game is more or less a simulation of life — a little bit like the Sims except your party animal neighbors are, in fact, anthropomorphic beasts of the wild. As one would expect, different species of animal demonstrate unique character traits: Eagles are proud, pigs are hungry, penguins like to exercise, and bears are always up on the latest fashion trend, just like their real-life counterparts. (Don’t try to argue you’ve never seen a bear whose appearance could not best be described as fancy.) All these creatures live in houses in your town and talk to you, occasionally asking you for small favors, but mostly insult your sense of style and criticize your sense of worth as a human being. Oh, right, your character is a human, because it follows that a town run by animals is the ideal place for some penniless young person striking out on his own for the first time.
Half-baked reasoning aside, what I truly love about this game is that underneath its cute exterior is a pretty bleak exposition of real life. You move to a town with no money to your name and manage to scrounge up a parttime job at the only store in town whose owner Tom Nook (a raccoon, naturally) has cornered the local real estate market and will give you a house with loan attached that you must pay off. Or not, but then you have a loan hanging over your head, which gets pretty stuffy when your house is approximately 16 square feet. After Nook releases you as a parttime employee, you’re on your own to figure out how to create a source of income. I personally enjoy fishing and harvesting fruit, but digging up fossils brings in a pretty penny. So, you get some Bells (legal tender in the world of Animal Crossing), pay off your loan, and Wow! you think, I’m moving up in the world. To celebrate, you go to Nook and he’ll offer to expand your house, even throwing in a paint job for your roof at no extra charge. It’s too good to be true. And it is. Once he completes his work he burdens you with an even more exorbitant loan that will take several years (and liters of salty tears) to pay back. It’s an early lesson in contrition.
Better to learn it in a video game, before you find yourself on the street at the end of a money demanding raccoon’s angry muzzle.
Tomorrow is the first day of Autumn, one of my personal favorites of the four seasons. In junior high social studies class we balanced an egg, which thinking back seems unusual for a project in social studies. I believe it was less to do with any vague practice of balancing eggs in ancient cultures and more to do with my teacher’s own apparent fascination with oddities arisen of gravitational force. So as an 11 year old I squatted in mute awe as an egg sat on its narrow end, quite as if that was its preferred position of rest. To clarify, these were raw eggs; something about cooking the yolks makes balancing trickier, I guess. It also works best around noon, so afterwards you can use the egg for a nice luncheon sandwich.
I have taken up new residence! It makes me feel like a rather capable person from the perspective of a young student who hasn’t really lived outside of home/dorm situation. So far I have amassed two minor personal injuries: the first, a slight mishap with the opening and closing foot mechanism on my trash can resulting in a nice head scrape; the second, a lack of the study of physics and the understanding of the line of an arc of steaming hot water being poured into a smallish mug resulting in having it go onto my hand instead. It’s all been great fun, really, and I am actually just more relieved that no one has been around to witness my moments of complete idiocy.
Anyhow, I figure I can manage just a few more days until my flatmate (roommate has too many connotations with the stuffy, smelly dormitory) shows up and the real celebration begins. We might give the place a proper settling in party which I also hope involves getting a cute little turtle with tricked out terrarium. When I was younger, we had a small wooden box with a hinged screen known as the “toad house” that stayed out on the porch and sometimes served the purpose for which it was named, but mostly I just stuck leaves in the box trying to make it look as luxurious and enticing to my many bufo bufo; alas, it was no terrarium.
Amphibian homes aside, there are still a few things to be done in this new abode, namely get furniture or a plant or something for that extra room whose function is undecided but has quite a few windows so maybe a conservatory. We could turn it into a bonafide jungle and let our turtle run loose within the 4×9 confines! Positively exotic! While I’m headed in this direction of thought, I also think we should throw in some animal skin rugs for effect, then host a dinner-murder party and imagine we’re all characters from Parker Brothers Clue. I pretty much had my eye out for Mrs. White, that crafty maid with her duster. Though come to think of it, a feather duster was missing from the weapons cache–a glaring oversight if you ask me. Colonel Mustard was in cahoots and fancied the rope, while Professor Plum was “reading his books” in the study to an eager Miss Scarlett. The only other board game with so much intrigue was probably Sorry!, but I never owned that game so that’s only speculation based on commercial advertisements.
I feel that I’ve strayed from some original point, but it probably wasn’t that interesting in the first place.