Blogging about anime: I wrote a thing about My Neighbor Totoro

nindokag.net/j/science-fiction

about all the things this movie means to me, about why it's not boring even though it has basically no conflict, about ki-shou-ten-ketsu story structure, and about how it's actually a conservative, religious movie

Accidentally got a styrofoam packing peanut wet, and it melted! I looked it up and turns out there's a new biodegradable kind of packing peanut in use now, a small win for sustainability. It's made of extruded starch.

Hmm extruded starch. Sounds... edible doesn't it?

If you know me at all you know exactly what I did next.

They taste, as you'd expect, like soggy unflavored stale cheetos. That's basically what they are. I don't recommend them.

Very petty pet peeve: the phrase "without further ado". Instead of saying that you could just start doing the thing. Saying "without further ado" is more "ado" than not saying it!

Our library opened again so I'm now taking the kid there weekly to check out books.

It's great! I love libraries so much! Like can you believe they just let us read ALL these books FOR FREE?

If public libraries didnt exist and you proposed them, imagine how radical the idea would sound

youtube.com/watch?v=3wyQpSDls5

35 Anime Opening Quiz - 1990 - 2004

this sure was a nostalgia trip. Half of these I never heard before but the other half I instantly started singing along with.

It made me feel really melancholy for the pre-2010 version of myself, like it almost hurt to remember how much that version of myself was, like... capable of hope. And the version I am today, is not.

I was reading about "Cats" the musical, which I've never seen, and the premise is apparently that one cat will be chosen to fly up to the "heavyside layer" to be reborn into a new life

The heaviside layer is a real part of the earth's ionosphere. You can bounce radio waves off of it.

TS Eliot was such a weirdo. How the heck did this musical based on his plotless book of twee cat poems become one of the bestselling shows of all time?

I taught an art class in April and the most important thing I told the class was:

If you think your drawing "has to" be "good" in order for you to be "allowed" to draw, if you're afraid of making bad drawings, you're never gonna finish a drawing and never get good.

Give yourself permission to draw without worrying about quality. Don't even ask "is this good", ask: Am I enjoying it? Am I learning from it? Am I finishing things?

It applies to writing, music, game design, etc. as well

My kid when she's thirsty and tired says "I'm de-freshed". As in, she needs to be refreshed. Very logical.

Wrote a post about all the things I learned from the process of writing/recording an original song for the first time: nindokag.net/j/my-music/1

(the song: soundcloud.com/nindokag/dirt-r )

anime, FMA mild spoilers? 

I'm annoyed that in the FMA Brotherhood Netflix subtitles they chose to translate 大総統 as "Führer" - that's a valid translation but holy shit does it change how American audiences are going to see that character. They could have called him "President Bradley" which is just as valid a translation and it would have at least given us a chance to consider whether he's a good guy or a bad guy. Calling him "Führer Bradely" kind of destroys all possible ambiguity

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I'm vaccinated, and vaccination rates in my area are high enough now that I could probably go around maskless without danger

but, uh... i've realized I kind of like having a mask on? I like the privacy of strangers not being able to see my mouth? So that I don't have to think about what facial expression I'm making and how it may be interpreted by others? Is that weird?

anime, FMA mild spoilers? 

Watching Fullmetal Alchemist and one thing I really enjoy is: sympathetic characters give the strongest possible arguments for why serving the military is morally justifiable, noble even! ...and then get their illusions repeatedly crushed by the realities of war as their corrupt government orders them to commit atrocities.

it's like the author is going "I'm going to give the pro-militarism argument a fair shake. Then I'm going to demolish it, LOL"

Signs that something is a real Confucius quote:
- he's complaining about the Duke of Qi
- he's calling his students lazy
- he's bemoaning that rituals are being performed incorrectly
- he's talking about proper conduct for a gentleman
- he's subtly hinting that rulers should hire more political consultants like him

Signs that something is a fake Confucius quote:
- it's fluffy feel-good mystical hippie bullshit

Confucius was a conservative curmudgeon, he would have hated hippies!

The accordion I used to record this song (which is different from the one I usually play) has a problem with the 2nd G-flat key. It sounds fine on the outstroke (pulling the bellows) but it's too flat on the instroke (pushing them). This ruined so many takes! I had to time it so I was always pulling and not pushing on measures with a G-flat in them.

Aside from fixing that, I also really need to get some real MIDI drum pads to use instead of the Rock Band ones!

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Microfiche has turned out not to be as big a part of my adult life as the elementary school librarian led me to expect.

My daughter is now capable of giving herself a bath! But she only does it as long as I play the role of the germs. I talk in a "germ voice" and act out the germs begging her not to kill them with soap and then screaming in agony when she rubs soap on herself. She loves it. Doing the germ voice kind of hurts my throat after a while, but as long as it gets her to clean herself...

soundcloud.com/nindokag/dirt-r

I wrote and performed my first original song! At least, the first one I feel comfortable sharing with the internet.

The accordion is real, the drums and bass are synthesized. (Actually the drums are Wii Rock Band drums, fed into Ableton Live with USB. It is extremely janky.)

I still hear a lot of parts that are rough around the edges, but I think it's time to stop tweaking it and post it.

me unclogging the nozzle of my sriracha bottle:

"THE SPICE MUST FLOW!"

Food, mayonnaise 

The choclate mayonnaise cake is surprisingly good. It's very moist and rich, and doesn't taste like mayonnaise at all. I recommend it!

(mayo is just eggs, oil, and vinegar, and eggs and oil are normal cake ingredients, and the vinegar just reacts with the baking soda to make the cake rise... if you think about it that way, it's not weird at all)

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Food, mayonnaise 

I decided to try making the chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe. Here goes nothin.

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