As 2020 began I found myself having the occasional urge to write. Now and then thoughts come into my head – stories, characters, and opinions – and more or less demand to be allowed out onto the page. Then I think about whether I should foist them on an unsuspecting public – or even just my friends. After all, they ought to know by now what kind of strange words might come out of my head and mouth. So I guess this means that the major burn out is lifting, and the gut wrenching punch of being more or less forced to unpublish all my income producing work is finally healing – at least somewhat.
Recently I’ve also been inspired by some of the marvelous bloggers whose work I am reading. Sure, I may have found them for the book reviews or anime reviews, but the truth is there are some beautiful voices out there – and one in particular is inviting me to return to writing. (Pinkie, stand up and take a bow please)
Her idea for SMILE force is irresistible for me. I do have to warn all and sundry that not all my posts will be sunshine, however. I have been known to rant when I feel it is necessary. Mainly when I feel that there is something being left out of the conversation I see online and in the media. It happens. But by and large I would just as soon stay out of it.
My primary responsibility these days is taking care of my husband. His needs will always come first. Because of that I can’t and won’t obligate myself to a schedule I may not be able to keep. I was going to title this “Mission statement” and thought – it isn’t a mission. I don’t really do “goals” anymore either – I am currently using “intention” as in, I intend to write three to four times a month at least. (If I don’t use the word plan, perhaps it will not make the gods laugh and then begin plotting my undoing)
But – I’m back. I can’t tell you quite what to expect. As always, Foovay’s Cauldron will be a unique, eclectic, accumulation. There will be opinions. Probably health stuff. Possibly some fiction – but I will most likely set up a seperate blog for anything long or serialized. Anime. Gaming. Science. Art, including possibly some original bits. All the myriad weird things I’m into.
It’s only fair to warn you.
Speaking of warnings. Some days ago I read this article in Japan Times. I expected to soon see it disseminated in US media – but no mention. I feel it has some information that is important to all of us regarding the COVID-19 virus. It’s good news/bad news. The good news – it’s easy to kill on surfaces. The bad news – it’s on surfaces touched by people who are infected. So social distancing isn’t going to stop the spread as long as you have to leave your house. Now don’t freak out. Just tuck a few bleach wipes in your bag and if you have to touch a door handle, light switch, toilet handle, faucet handles, things that are high touch surfaces – give them a wipe before and after you touch. Tada. But you have a right to know that. I know businesses and so on are really stepping up to improve their disinfection – but once a day for a place with hundreds of people passing through isn’t going to do it.
I got tagged, I got tagged! No, really, I was kind of shocked. I’ve been tagged a time or two since so, wow, people noticed me. And here I thought I was doing such a fine job of flying under the radar. Well, as part of my intention for 2020 to blog at least monthly, and preferably even more often than that, let me just take care of this tag thing!
Now I admit, I’ve been sitting on it for a while. I’ve read several posts with this tag, trying to make sure I really get it. Sometimes I think I’m missing the point. But I think I’ve got this now.
Choose any number of western songs (any genre) that you think best sums up an anime or manga of any type or genre.
If you want to pick more than 1 from each section that’s fine. Or if you can’t think of one for a specific category that’s fine also.
Explain why you think your choices could work. Is it the lyrics? The tune and the beat? Or just the music video?
Link back to the original post so I can read people’s suggestions, I’d love to read everyone’s ideas.
Include Put a Tune to It in your tags so everyone including myself can find them all easily.
Nominate around 1-5 bloggers.
First I was happy to be tagged. Then my mind went blank. Apparently my subconscious was mulling it over for these last few weeks while I thought I was doing more important stuff like taking care of a sick hubby. Sicker than usual that is. I’m just digging the hole deeper so I’m going to move on. Oh, he’s better now. All of a sudden one morning my brain presented me with this group of songs and anime matches in one steady stream. And then shut off again.
For the anime Fruits Basket – in honor of their position in my life as my anime gateway drug. (This is a bit tongue in cheek as I don’t blame Fruits Basket for being my first anime love, nor do I think marijuana is a gateway drug for anything).
Well, and somehow I can hear Kyo in the music in his not-a-cat form.
Hmm, I can see writing this is going to take all night. I have to listen to the whole song everytime. These are, by the way, some of my personal all time favorite tunes. (And animes)
For Natsume You-jin Chou – in honor of their position as my second gateway drug and complete fall into anime fandom. And yes, I have been known to sit and smoke pot and watch anime. It’s legal. (I like how the dispensaries here offer “wisdom” discounts to people my age – in honor of those who fought for legalization for most of their lives). And oddly enough, I also associate this “fight” with the conflict between Natsume who is a kind and gentle soul who wants to be friends with the yokai, and the exorcist who uses them as more or less slaves when he doesn’t just smack them out of existence.
I didn’t do this on purpose, but I ‘m beginning to see a bit of a progression here. As this guy falls into his TV like I fell into this surreal world of anime Well, but I chose this tune for Ouran High School Host Club because it suddenly struck me the other day that all those guys do is get money for nothing and their chicks for free.
Because I could not resist, this is for Astra Lost In Space. Besides, Bowie. Anything to share a little Bowie.
I really love the opening theme for Hozuki’s Coolheadedness. Still, I wanted to include one of my favorite animes and one of my favorite songs. The pacing and the lyrics both work for me here. The demons are all working so hard – and here we are in the mundane world doing our best to do as little as possible. Which is generally what lands us in Hozuki’s jurisdiction.
I saw these guys perform live a long long time ago.
I haven’t been able to watch the new seasons of PsychoPass – but it is by far one of my favorite animes. It brings science fiction back to the “speculative” fiction it used to be, that I loved so much. Is it wrong that this is also one of my most favorite songs. I don’t hear voices in my head. Exactly. Not really.
This may take some explanation. Or maybe not. From the minute I first heard this song I saw sexy women dancing to it in my head. I danced to it. Nekkid. In front of people. I never was quite as sexy as Yuuko in XXXholic and so I hereby dedicate this song to her. She could totally be my waifu.
And in honor of Iron Blood Orphans from a lifelong pacifist who can still think giant robots fighting in space are cool and who did not miss the point that war is bad for children and other living things.(I had a patch that said that on my jean jacket – back when the war we meant was in Vietnam)
I think I’ve gone from a total blank to “I can’t stop this now…” and gone overboard. Too much? Well, grant me ONE more because that last song is so somber. And even more so because it is also true. Still. Forty years later.
So let’s end on a happy note.
I really love all the music for Polar Bear Cafe. In fact, I love pretty much everything about that anime. Because it makes me feel just like this song does.
I was tagged by the uplifting Pinkie of Pinkie’s Paradise and if you want a daily dose of sunshine you should be reading her blog. I also happened to luck out and find the original post for Put A Tune To It! Thanks to Shallow Dives In Anime for this fun tag. And yes, I even tagged a post for a change. This one.
Many if not all of the bloggers I follow the most have done this tag. But I think maybe these fine folk were somehow missed.
It’s Cat Day in Japan – as is every February 22nd. The Japanese phrase for this date sounds like a cat meowing; nyanyanya and so it has become Cat Day.
As a reformed Crazy Old Cat Lady I welcome this brief instant of indulging in cats, cats, cats and more cats. Sadly, I don’t currently have a situation that welcomes a real pet cat (weep weep weep) although I hope to maybe be able to invite a new kitty to our home later this year. How did I go from a crazy old cat lady with 50 cats (and 30 dogs) and other pets, to this little old lady with an RV and computers? What a long, strange trip it has been. But that’s not what this is about.
This is about the cats you can enjoy today on your computer. And phone.
My Roommate is a Cat is a sweet, warm, and slightly sad little slice of life anime that any cat lover will enjoy. It follows a young man who has just lost his parents. He thinks he is just fine. He isn’t – which we cat lovers can tell in an instant when he is adopted by a kitten and trained up into a proper cat slave. The anime has an interesting set up. Each episode begins with a bit of the story from the human’s perspective – and then we get the same events from the kitten, later cat’s perspective. This series has the feels, from smiles and laughter, to sighs.
No less fun is Poyopoyo. This is another slice of life anime, but about quite a different type of family – country instead of city, and the full nuclear family instead of a single person. It is far more for laughs and happy times. With 52 episodes that are all of 2 and a half minutes long you can binge the whole thing today. It is one of my go-to happy places on a bad day. It’s cute and perky and I even love the opening tune.
Haha – now you’ll have that stuck in your head all day. I know I will.
Last but hardly least let me recommend Neko Atsume for the anime/gamer/cat person. You can play it in English or Japanese – so there’s a little challenge for those of you learning Japanese. Most of us will probably play it on the phone. It saves locally, so if you change devices you have to – or is that get to – start over. It’s a very simple little game that takes up no more time than you are willing to devote to it. You put down food, some toys and beds, and go away. Wait a few minutes, come back to see which cats are visiting you. The idea is to collect all the cats, pictures of all the cats. The cats will bring you mementos, so you will want to collect all the mementos, too. You can adjust the foods, toys and so on to attract whatever kitty you don’t have yet, or need to see more often so you get their memento. It’s a quiet little time killer that offers the occasional moment of delight.
I got a memento from Whiteshadow!! (He’s the Ninja kitty and you don’t see him that often)
So go forth and have a great Cat Day. Hug your kitty for me. Or indulge in these little happy cat things.
I really want to attend one of the many Lion Dances available here in Las Vegas, but when I was looking them up yesterday they are all a 90 minute to two hour bus ride each way from our house. Then we had a fairly awful bus ride home from the dialysis clinic Friday and we just couldn’t face a long ride today.
Besides…Rally Monte Carlo. And with the new set up of their website at WRCplus, I’m really having to battle to stream what I want when I am able to watch it. Every few years they “update” or “upgrade” and it gets worse and worse. However, because I live in the U.S., it’s basically the ONLY coverage of WRC available to me. So I’m trying to learn patience and acceptance… and watch the rally, too.
All that is explanation for why I never got out this month, let alone today, to purchase some nifty new feng shui lunar new year something or other to bless our home with lots of good luck. And we could use it, too. So instead I remembered – gee, I’m an artist.
So there’s my good luck rattie for 2020. He’s up on the wall watching over us now.
That was fun. It’s been a long time since I drew much freehand work in old analog mode. Like writing, I burnt myself out on it trying to use it to earn money. It was fun to do something just for us, with no other motive at all and no “standard” or whatever to maintain.
A long time ago a master craftsman told me, “Never do what you love for a living. You’ll learn to hate it.” I think he was just having an especially bad day, but I’ve also found to some extent that is true. So when all those New Agey and Law of Attraction and so forth and so on tell you to do what you love and the money will magically follow – take it with a little grain of salt, eh?
For most of my life I was fortunate to do something I really enjoyed, but it also gave me the money I needed to do what I really loved. Don’t do something you hate for a living. You spend way too much of your life at work to spend all that time doing something you really detest (or come to detest). Find something you enjoy enough that pays well enough that you can do it, enjoy it, and still have time to yourself to do what you love.
At the beginning of this year I felt a lot of despair. For my country. For this world. More than that, I felt helpless. I have completely given up on the political system in the United States. I no longer believe in the electoral process at all. Maybe once upon a time in the misty days of the 1800s a vote meant something, but no more. Any 11 year old can hack our current voting machines, and even without that so many have been propagandized into voting against their own interests by using polarizing issues. Well, blah blah blah blah.
But I can’t just sit by and watch the world crumble around me. I’m a healer and an empath.
I read an article that said a study had found that people feel more peaceful and think more about peace if they read a quote, or an article about peace – or even simply see the word peace. Just reading the word peace. Think about that.
Since then I have been trying to post a daily quote, preferably with a graphic like the one above on my facebook, twitter, and pinterest accounts. I’m keeping a written journal, and a private online journal. I have a little thing I’m doing in the physical world as well but it’s very small and I don’t want any kind of credit for it. That isn’t what this is about.
I want people to see the word peace and if they are open, let it into their heart and mind.
Watching one of my favorite psychics video for 2020 gave me some more food for thought and while the main word is and always will be peace (I’m a pacifist almost from birth) I am now open to quotes that speak to me that also speak of the power of love, compassion, and forgiveness.
Today, this quote, I had some thoughts I wanted to share and decided to share them here on my blog. I haven’t written in a very long time to any extent. A good long break was what I needed. Now there are words in my head struggling to get out.
At first glance, I’m sure a lot of people rolled their eyes at this quote. After all, how do you even try to love an enemy, or express it to them if you do?
Back when I worked as an exotic dancer and even when I waitressed or bartended, now and then you would get a customer you could swear hated you, hated women, hated everyone but most especially hated themselves. Depending on how badly they acted out, it was tempting to return their nastiness with some of your own. I admit, I dumped a pitcher of beer over a man’s head once. I’m a work in process, too.
But my reading on self-improvement, and speaking to wise women, suggested another way to deal with them. And I embarked on what I called “nice-ing them to death”. The meaner someone was, the nicer I was to them. I completely ignored whatever nastiness they threw my way, and gave them smiles, loving thoughts, and treated them as if they were my beloved friend. I’m not so self sacrificing that I won’t dodge someone intent on nipple pinching, but I would do it gracefully and without taking any notice of the behavior, still smiling and speaking kindly.
I worked one club where, after our dance set we would walk around the club to each patron and ask for a tip for our dance. It was simply the custom there. Each time that night I stepped up to this man he would say something hateful to me, about me, about dancers, about women in general. He was surly and angry. He was also there alone – sometimes men act that way to impress the people they are with. He was really just that mad at the world – and he figured that I (and the other dancers) were in a position to have to put up with his behavior. Needless to say, he also was not tipping.
For most of the shift, about six hours, I danced about once per hour and after my dance I would go for tips. I would go to this man, ask politely and kindly for a tip. He would snarl. I would continue to smile, be polite, thank him, maybe give him a little curtsy or pat him lightly on the shoulder, wish him a good evening and go on with my business. After the first hour or so most of the dancers stopped going up to him, knowing there was no chance of getting a tip and a good chance of getting an insult. I kept visiting him anyway. With a smile. A kind word. A thank you. Since we also waitressed there I would ask if he needed another beer. You get the picture. No matter how surly and mean he was, I was nice.
Near the end of the night he stopped me.
“You have been nothing but nice to me. I’m sorry I’ve been so hateful. Thank you for being nice to me.” He looked truly regretful. In fact, this big burly angry man actually looked like he might cry. He politely put a wad of money in my hand and held it in both of his for just a moment with his head bowed. Then he rose and left the club.
I don’t know what his story was, why he was so angry and felt like he wanted to be mean, but I do know he left that night just a little bit healed.
When I got back to the dressing room some of the girls gathered around me and asked what I “did” to him. LOL. So I told them, I nice-d him to death. I taught them how to do it.
Now I’m teaching you.
Where ever you are in your life, whatever you do, you will come into contact with people who are angry and frustrated and who think for whatever reason that they can or should take it out on you. For yourself, know that the hatred they feel is not for you – in fact, it is most likely for themselves. Love them. Nice them to death. I don’t promise that they will give you any fulfillment as that man did for me with his words (okay, the cash was nice, too – dancers are the worlds cheapest psychiatrists) but maybe, just maybe, you will heal them a little tiny bit. Maybe it will even be that little bit they need to turn it around, to make them see themselves, to give them a little bit of hope for the outside world treating them kindly. To remind them that we are all just doing the best we can with what we’ve got.
Having discarded my drafts I find myself at a loss for subject matter today. Surfing around a bit it seems as if the theme is looking back/looking forward.
2019 is the first year in a decade that we have not spent most of the year coping with various big dramas and changes. It’s been so nice. In my personal journal from last year my “round up” post basically said the last few quiet, peaceful months have been so very nice. I’d like a year of them, please. And I am so very grateful to be able to say that it has been a full year of peace. Not to say there haven’t been some dramas and disasters and excitement (positive and negative) but we haven’t had to deal with literal life threatening issues as we have been in the past. It’s nice.
2020 will be the start of a new decade. I’m hoping for an entire decade just like this last year. I don’t expect there to be zero drama, zero disasters, zero excitement – DUUDE we live in LAS VEGAS – but let it be things we can handle. Things without literal death threats would be good. (In case you don’t know us that well, my husband has health issues that do dive to death threat levels now and then).
We spent the last hour or so discussing what we want our new winter break traditions to be. Yeah, we actually plan stuff like this out. We’re really non-traditional. The upside of that is we get to pick and choose our own traditions.
Starting here in about an hour, I’m going to turn this computer off and set it aside for a day of tabletop gaming. Something we love but have not indulged in for, yeah, literally years.
There was a time when I had 12 blogs on different subjects and thought I was going to make money on the Internet. I had over 100 books published on the Kindle and thought I’d make a living with that, too.
Circumstances forced a total retirement from any form of money making for me about two years ago. Talk about a bumpy ride. I’ve been working and earning money since I can remember. I’m a lifelong workaholic to tell the truth. So this has been a change for me. Anyway – I have not done any writing for the last year or so outside of keeping a personal journal. And that’s been pretty spotty.
So. Twelve days of aniblogging. I thought it would be a good intro back into writing. It’s been both harder than I thought, and easier than I expected. Would I do it again next year? Yeah. I think so. I might keep a little better track of the anime I watch, and/or jot down ideas for these 12 days. Because I actually had a little trouble coming up with ideas. I don’t really like writing anime reviews. Although I love to hear other’s thoughtful and erudite opinions and insights about various anime, or anime themes, etc. I don’t think I generally watch anime with that part of my brain engaged. I’m just along for the ride. I also have come to a point in my inner life where I don’t really think the world has any need of my personal thoughts and opinions. I barely write Facebook posts these days.
It has not helped that currently I have an electronic gadget deficit. My much vaunted brand new tablet bought for my BD in June died four months later. I went through two phones in two months and am now scared to download anything on the third – identical-phone. Free phones – you get what you pay for (and can afford). My personal laptop is down because the power cord ceased to work mid-month – which is to say, when we had no money to replace it. I hope that it will start back up after we buy a new cord, but the truth is, it’s on it’s last legs and I know it. The computer I’m using to write this is the husband’s old computer that only works on Linux meaning everything is wonky and again, I’m scared to download or challenge it much. It could drop dead at any minute.We really don’t have the funds to replace ANY of these items, but I’ll find a way somehow. Meanwhile, I am a bit limited in my ability to watch anime – right as I’m trying to blog about anime!
It is an adjustment. We only recently learned that electronics, laptops in particular, are no longer factory supported after two years. Their expected life is apparently maybe one year. The whole “I need the newest iPhone” isn’t consumerism, it’s necessity. Once the new one is out, the old one has no support and goes tits up within days.
I grew up thinking you bought a car and drove it until it died, which with care and home repairs (I’m a car guy – I LIKE working on my car) could mean twenty years. I had the same clothes washer for 8 years and as far as I know it still worked when I moved out. If I pay almost an entire months income for something, I expect it to last more than 12 months. Apparently, that is no longer a thing.
It’s a different world. I’ve been saying for years I want to live to be 100 because it will be interesting. (On MY computer I have a gif from An Eccentric Family that I made where the frog brother says “because I wanted to live an interesting life” but…) Turns out a lot of people born around the time I was apparently can expect to actually live to be over 100. I’m still looking forward to it. But I do find myself starting to sound like the elders whose stories I used to love – “when I was young…”. No, I’m not going to be saying “In the good old days…” because I most certainly think that overall a lot of things now are a lot better than they were. Some things stayed the same. No doubt, some things are worse. I sure wish I could believe I’d be able to use a 40 year old computer to watch anime. Then again, when I had my first brush with a computer I thought the damn thing was just about useless because the program was so unbelievably clunky and inflexible. (uh…about 1980, I think, if you’re wondering). Holy crap – that is 40 years. *faints* For all it’s limitations – I’m pretty sure my free phone is smarter than that desktop was.
So this turned into looking back 40 years instead of one! Ooops.
Let’s look forward then. I fully expect to watch even more anime in 2020. Basically, all I watch is anime and documentaries and WRC rally. Hubby drags me into watching wrestling. I am pleased to now find anime on Netflix and Hulu, but it isn’t going to cause me to give up my Crunchyroll subscription. Well, okay, I already gave up Crunchyroll – sort of – by changing to VRV which gets me Crunchroll, and HiDive, and also Curiosity Stream (documentaries) among others. So – more anime. I make it a point to be watching at least one Netflix anime at any given time, because I want to encourage them in my tiny little way to continue to pour money into the industry. I was able to see two anime films on the big screen this year, thanks to living in Las Vegas these days. A big city that GETS those special showings. I’m certainly hoping and planning to do more of that!
I really want to expand into more rpg gaming in anime type formats – but that is going to wait until my computer is running or replaced, my tablet is replaced, and my phone is replaced. I have formed a solid intention to purchase an actual gaming console. With that said, I want to bring tabletop gaming back into my life as well. I hope to soon be back to writing and running my own games again, and they will naturally be informed and influenced by anime.
There is some possibility I will get back into writing, and graphics and combine them with game creation. Visual Novels? Maybe. I’ve looked into it but all the super duper exciting and interesting things of the last few years, combined with the perpetual personal electronics inadequacy, has made it all too uphill for me. It could happen.
So – there you go – that’s my wrap up of this year, and decade and my vague hopes and plans for the coming decade. I could sum it all up by saying, we’re in a good space (finally) and we’d like to stay here. Sure – growing and learning (this is a given with me anyway) but basically right here is good.
At one point in time today I had Kokia singing in Japanese in one ear and my hubby talking to me in the other ear, asking me how to say something in Japanese. I thought about it a minute, worked it out, and told him.
I borrowed his computer to do the anime blog entry and after noting a couple of ideas I’ve had today (I can’t decide which to write about) counted up and I now have enough drafts to get through all the 12 days of anime even if I never come up with another idea. I went through most of the day thinking I have no idea what I am going to write about today.
Here’s a trick that works for me. I notice a lot of anime fans are in some stage of learning Japanese. I like to study Japanese for an hour or so – and then watch anime. I find myself hearing the words, sentences, grammar or whatever that I just studied and mentally putting it into context, filing it away, and actually remembering it. Works for me – YMMV.
I was just looking back through my history at Crunchyroll to find some examples for something I wanted to blog about and realized how many anime I’ve watched halfway through and then dropped to go watch another one – half way through.
Then I changed my mind about what I wanted to blog about entirely. I’m sure I’ve blogged about it before. And anyway, other people have blogged about it. I know, I read them. Don’t remember who or when or where but I know I did.
Since I started the 12 days of Anime blogging the power cord on my computer stopped working, so when that charge ran down, that was it. It’s mid-month so I can’t replace it until next month (next payday). My brand new tablet I got for my BD died after 3 months of regular use. I am now down to my phone. My husbands little computer kept dying and he keeps reviving it on Linux, Umbuto, whatever. Bless them, the in-laws rescued us by giving him a computer for his BD/Xmas. Now he keeps reviving his old one so I can at least blog on it. Why? Because of the 12 days of Aniblogging. Because I’m trying really hard these days to actually finish things I start. It’s a problem for me. You can tell, eh?
I’ve been sick with a terrible head cold for about 3 days. This is a pretty typical winter holiday period for me. I’m sick and everything in my life stops working all at once. At least (so far) the heater is still working. Last year it died mid-month and of course we couldn’t afford to replace it for two weeks.
Somewhere along the line i missed a day of ani-blogging. This idea was always in the drafts folder. I think the time has come.
Perhaps I’ll be able to come up with some Grand Finale for tomorrow that makes sense.