because I need to blog about something

This is a stream of consciousness.

I’ve been writing so many things for work lately, most of which require me to look over every single word, every single sentence again and again until it’s sharpened into a precise weapon for the purposes it’s intended for. I decided to just write whatever comes to my mind for a solid five minutes until the person I’m waiting for at this coffee shop finally gets here for our work sesh. I might decide to do some edit-clean-up so it’s not such a mess, but I won’t remove anything, no matter how out of place or mundane.

I’ve been sick for the last 5 days with the flu. Wednesday I was in a coma. Thursday I felt like an old creaky woman. Friday, I still wasn’t back, but I was finally climbing out of the darkest stretch.

This was the second time I’ve been sick in a month, at least this time I wasn’t so exhausted and unexcited about doing anything that involved talking to people or putting on a bra and “outside” clothes. I was going through a lot of crap a few weeks ago when my body felt apart, so it was rough.
This time I tried to be completely efficient and professional about the whole ideal, and I think my body was down with that. Even though I felt like hell on Wednesday and ended up sleeping through the entire day, I felt like that did the trick in getting the worst out of me so that at least my brain could function enough to work from home the rest of the week.

Anyway. Being sick has also meant that I’ve been watching a few videos I’ve been meaning to catch, including The Pirate Bay: AFK.

On Friday night, my room mate and I had a Flu, Netflix, N’ Quesadilla* Party. We ended up watching 4 hours of the first Season of Downtown Abbey. Mostly I wanted to understand why it was such a big phenomenon.

So I felt so fucking weird the entire time we were watching it and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think it’s because it’s just a soap opera dressed up in good production, cinematography, and well done period-era garb. The thing that suuuuper bothered me was how they would sometimes use words or terminology that were in NO WAY used at the time. Like “boyfriend” or in those situations when someone goes on and on about something and someone else says “Ok are you done now?” That’s totally a contemporary thing right? Yeah.

Being bothered by out of place things in movies and shows is totally something I’ve picked up from my dad. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen old Star Trek episodes or Robin Hood: Men in Tights growing up, when my dad has yelled out, “CALIFORNIA OAKS! See??  They’re everywhere. This was filmed right here in Los Angeles.”  It used to bother the crap out of me growing up and I’d groan as loud as I could. Now, I can’t get through any screen feature without doing the same stupid thing in my own head: “Did that *Lord* just say ‘BOYFRIEND’??”

Last night, I watched the film Early Spring by Yasujiro Ozu because my uncle who lives nearby lent me a box set of that director’s later films. I started with that one because I decided I ought to begin with the earliest one in the set, from 1956.

It’s a long 145 min, and the pace of the story is definitely slower than what we’re used to nowadays, but it’s definitely worth seeing. Each scene is thoughtfully composed with tight, intimate, shots. The female characters in the film are so much more independent than I’m used to seeing in old Japanese films. It’s awesome to see strong Japanese females in a movie because outward toughness hasn’t traditionally been upheld to be a virtue in women. Inward toughness, such as the ability to gaman—to withstand something and not externalize or complain about it—is more so. Then again I guess, the same goes for Japanese men so….I’m gonna stop this cultural analysis there.

Anywho, I also liked to think about how this film was filmed less than 30 miles away from my four year old mom in Chiba. The characters were much more well off than my mom was at the time, but my grandpa was a salaryman in the same era. I couldn’t stop thinking about how he would’ve fit in to this movie if he were in it, especially since he’s such an intimidating looking man of few words…

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I’ve ended up writing this in starts and stops throughout the day. Longer than 5 minutes. I’m gonna read it through and make some corrections as I said at the get go.

This was fun.

 

 

* My roommate let me know that dairy is in fact *not* the worst thing in the world for coughing and phlegminess…according to WebMD. While I don’t completely trust the legitimacy of this information I won’t deny the thing I crave most during a cold/flu are things covered in cheese or yogurt.

There are too many books I want to read.

“The appropriate technology movement, environmentalists, decentralists, professional risk assessors, and high-technology utopians are inspired by noble purposes, but their aims are undermined by a culture committed to change devoid of reflection. Intelligent conversation about difficult social choices reverts to customary but hollow notions if “efficiency,” “growth,” and “progress.” This inability to discuss the broader significance of technological change, […] leaves us prey to “technological somnambulism.” Changes are not foreordained, yet we sleepwalk our way through them, relinquishing our power to exercise wisdom in judgment and control.”

– book jacket of “The Whale and the Reactor” by Langdon Winner.

^ from a book I want to read

Mission: Move / Status: Complete

 

photo (6)

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cleaned, stuffed, and wrapped up

comfy clutter packed away

tired nostalgia

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These past couple weeks have been a productive/emotional/physical clusterfuck.  On top of that, I moved for the first time since transplanting to San Francisco in October 2011.

Moving is exhausting as it is, but especially when you’re a pack rat like me who likes to keep books, objects, and scraps for their sentimental, nostalgic value. It means that for every one of those things that I pick up to dust and decide to pack, give or throw away, I think about why I own it and if it’s a piece of my past that I want to carry forward with me. I try to be reasonable about it. There’s only so much space I have. But it’s still emotionally taxing because it feels like one long self-examination.

It’s the letters from my art camp friends. Lecture notes with elaborate doodling. Gifts from ex-lovers. My extensive sticker book collection. Self-made Halloween costumes. Fabrics I’ve bought in various countries. I can’t bear to part with such things no matter how much I don’t use them day-to-day. They’re all reminders of thoughts, moments, and relationships from over the years that were important to me. Seeing them every once in a while and thinking about that time gives me a sense of groundedness.

I think that our own personal narratives about our lives construct who we are. And as someone who has a shitty long term memory, I need these things to remind me of where I came from. Their meaningfulness evolve as I evolve, but they’re useful as bookmarks…to take me back to that time and contemplate why I was the way I was, and because of that, how I’ve become the person that I am.