January 26th, 2020

#7002: Under the Lighthouse

What sucks about not being able to draw--

Closed the browser on the tablet and decided just to listen to Pandora for a bit; turned off the lights and resumed my seat in my rocking chair, eyes closed. A song came on that I hadn't heard before, and as I sat there listening to it, manga images formed in my mind: a lighthouse on a rock. A smiling teenaged guy on a 10-speed coming around a corner on a seaside road. A girl with long hair and a serious expression. The two of them venturing into a cave just off the beach below the lighthouse.

The images, taken together, coalesced into a coherent scenario. She's a shrine maiden, and he's the son of a fisherman. It's a small town on the coast, of course. They're childhood friends, and in their second year of high school--as summer vacation is beginning--they uncover the ancient horror which is beginning its prophesied reawakening. Together, they gain experience fighting the monsters that are stirred by the awakening evil.

I can see, in my head, what the images should look like...but if I were to try to draw them I know what would happen.


The ability to draw is nothing more than the ability to see, and to connect what you see with the way you move the pencil. But that connection is extremely difficult to develop, particularly when you (like me) have absolutely no formal training whatsoever. Other than one junior college sketching class in 1999.)

But, what the hey. There's nothing wrong with what I can do, after all.

#7003: Marxism all the way down

Africa is a mess. It has always been a mess. On its current trajectory it always will be a mess.
...the History of black Africa from the 15th to the 20th centuries has intentionally been falsified in the 1940s by Stalinist strategists and their Communist followers, whose covert aim it was to tarnish the image of Western European nations, in order to drive them out of their colonial possessions and take their place. Up until now, that is 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the lies have stuck.
That's because those fictions are comforting. Your country can't feed itself thirty years after you drove out all the white farmers? Why, it must be the legacy of colonialism and slavery! It certainly isn't because of pig-ignorance and wishful thinking, or a cultural inability to plan for the future. Right?

* * *

That's it. That's the only article I saw today which inspired comment. And not even very much of it, because it's a tiresome thing to repeat a tale already so often told.

* * *

Manga and anime:

Flipping through titles in MangaDex I find myself skipping what look to be, otherwise, quite interesting stories. The whole isekai craze has spawned a plethora of "waking up in a new world where they fight monsters" stories, and when the summary says it's that kind of story I skip it. I'm even hesitant to read fantasy-themed stories at this point because I'm pretty well sick of it.

A crapton of yuri stuff--I've read a couple of yuri titles but have no need for more of it. I haven't read any yaoi, will not read it, but there's plenty of that, too.

Do you know, there is almost no science fiction manga out there? I suppose I could read Attack on Titan if I wanted a gore-fest, but to be perfectly honest it's not what I'm looking for, and anyway it seems like graphic violence is the point of that one.

MangaDex has Futari Ecchi and it's as entertaining as always, but I ran to the end of the translated chapters only to find that it's gone the way that all "sex positive" series go: into gay and trans sex. One of the supporting characters gets a trap girlfriend, and he's apparently fine with it because he-she-it is extremely cute. They refer to this new character as a "newhalf" which is Japanese slang that basically means "transsexual". So: formerly heterosexual guy doesn't mind having sex with someone who has a penis, solely because the upper half looks extremely feminine. And of course, the trap chapters are the only ones translated after a certain point in the story.

No one appears to have Golden Boy any longer, but that was turning into an incoherent mishmash the last time I saw any of it. What I liked was the whimsical and slapsticky stories; when the over-arching story came in about Kintaro Oe facing off against his college buddy God, Junior, it began to suck big time.

I say "God, Junior" because I can't remember the character's actual name, but he was so charismatic and powerful that he might as well have been the Second Coming or something. All the people who work for him quite literally worship him. There was going to be some kind of confrontation between GJ and Kintaro, and of all the people on his side, only GJ was less than 100% confident he could win...but the site disappeared before I found out what it was--and anyway I'd lost interest in it before that.

I registered for an account with MangaDex but the confirmation email hasn't come through yet. I sent them a note asking about it; until my registration is confirmed I can't do any searches. Of course, I registered right after they had recovered from a complete site crash, so I expect that's why it's taking this long.

But even by just flipping through the list of series, I've found a pretty sizable stack of good ones. I'm just kvetching about having to wade through a morasse of uninteresting nonsense, is all.

* * *

Managed to unclog the sink last night. It took an hour with a snake, but after I put the plumbing back together and let the tap run full blast for a good 10 minutes it still didn't back up. Let it run and checked the crawl space; no drips there, either. Good deal.

...but the floor of the cabinet is warped, severely. At some point it looks as if there was some kind of major leak. I'm not sure when that would have been, nor was there any evidence of leakage anywhere. Anyway, the plumbing was bone dry after I finished my work last night.

We'll be replacing that cabinet when we finish renovations in that bathroom, so I'm not terribly worried about it. It's just annoying, is all.

* * *

Speaking of annoying, the coil packs for Mrs. Fungus' car never arrived last night. They arrived this morning, though, and today it's not raining or snowing and it's above freezing outside.

I guess I know what I'm doing next, then. *sigh*

#7004: Miscellany

The first time I heard Chumbuwamba's "Tubthumping" was May 1, 1998. A friend had gotten married that day; I was in the wedding party along with other people I knew.

Wish I could say the wedding was wonderful, but it was a hell of a thing. The bride was manipulative and jealous, to the point that she eventually managed to end all his friendships. The wedding was the first warning sign. Yeesh.

I mean, just as an example: the wedding and reception were held at a local non-church venue, and the groomsmen were expected to put away all the tables and chairs afterwards. There were a lot of hard feelings over that entire event, which many of us were adults about and simply let slide. But sadly that ended up being just the earliest of a long chain of such incidents, and people got tired of letting things slide.

Anyway, two of the other groomsmen and I went out afterwards. They wanted to hit the local singles' scene and I just didn't feel like going home yet. We were still in our tuxes, even. So we went to a dance club on the east side of town and had some drinks.

I can't dance. I sat there and wondered about life and watched the people around me. At one point, my friends were dancing on a subwoofer, and this song came on. It was too loud and I couldn't understand the words, so here's what I heard:
I get no town!
But I get up again!
You're never gonna keep ee town!
Repeated like four times, and then a verse that was similarly garbled; and that chorus repeated again and again. I knew those weren't the words, so I kept trying to get what they were, but it was so noisy in there my ears were overloaded. Anyway the song was kind of catchy but utterly unintelligible.

As for my friends, after a while I took my leave of them. I didn't want to drink too much and I wasn't comfortable with trying to find a hookup. We all left the place about the same time, me going home and them going elsewhere. I never learned if they got lucky that night, but I suppose it doesn't much matter anyway.

As for the song, by mid-summer I had an MP3 of it, one of the first MP3s I ever had, in fact. Not because it was particularly good, but because MP3s had bascially only just started being something, and I only had a bare handful of them.

The band is a bunch of unremediated shitheads--socialist douchebags to a one--so I never felt bad about pirating the song. It is, as I said, catchy, and it can pick you up when you're feeling de-energized. But that's about all I can say for it.

...but when it comes on, I sing, "I get no town! But I get up again! You're never gonna keep ee town!" because it amuses me.

* * *

This is one of those late January weekends where I get mired in ennui. There's nothing I feel like doing, and whatever I think of sounds either like too much work or is too uninteresting to bother with.

Been reading HajiGal (Hajimete no Gyaru, I think) and enjoying it, but got kind of tired of it. Had a bowl of some variety of Progresso beef soup and felt a bit better, but still totally without energy. Argh etc.

* * *

Put a coil pack in Mrs. Fungus' car. The OBD2-to-bluetooth dongles I bought don't work with my cell phone, of course, but my tablet was able to sync with them just fine. Read the codes from her car with it, cleared them, then replaced the failing coil. The app is called "Torque Lite" and it also lets you collect telemetry from the car's computer. So, once I was done with her car, I moved over to the Jeep and gave it a try there. Neat. (No codes in the Jeep's computer. Good to hear.)

Tablet is Samsung; phone is LG. Both Korean companies. I don't understand why the LG can't connect to the OBD2 gizmo. Annoying.

* * *

What I should do is to go get some anime lined up on Achernar and watch it. I don't even feel like doing that. *whimper*

I already had a nap today. Even without that it's too early for bed. I'm a mess.

But, what the heck--spend a little time looking through Amazon Prime and Netflix to see if there's anything new and good available. Better than sitting here looking at crap on Imgur.

Such a stimulating life I lead. Well, it beats the alternative!