03 March, 2008

Journal 015

Okay, now for the stuff I /meant/ to talk about in my journal entry last night...

I've gotten into the habit of briefly opening the window in the bathroom when I go in to take my shower, after getting out of bed every evening. The reason is so that I can see the landscape, in the light of day, since on my schedule, I very rarely get to see the outside world in daylight. It's great just to be able to actually see the world, instead of just darkness, and in an instant I can tell what the temperature is and what the weather is like for that day. The past week or so it's been pretty snowy, but last night it was unexpectedly mild (on a relative scale, of course). When I looked out the window today, before my shower, all the snow had been completely melted away. God, I can't wait for spring. As much as I love the snow, I want warmer weather already.

Oh, another nice thing about looking out that window, is that, because it's pretty small, you always get the same viewpoint on the world every day, and it's facing west, and by the time I get up, the sun is usually not too far above the horizon (depending on the season, of course), SOOOOO, it's cool to notice how the sun's position on the horizon, and in relation to specific trees and houses in the foreground, changes over the year, moving north in the spring, and south in the fall. That kind of practical astronomical sort of thing fascinates me, which isn't surprising, considering my interest in nature-based pagan spirituality.

Last night I watched a video of a live concert for a Japanese pop group, AKB48, which consists of a bunch of cute Japanese girls, most of which (I believe) are aged in the teens. I'm not gonna bother with an anthropological discussion of modern pop trends in Japan, so if you want some kind of explanation or something, have fun. My friend, who currently lives in Japan, sent me the video, and he's the one who introduced me to the group. Back when we were in college, he introduced me to a similar group, Morning Musume, and we watched a bunch of their videos, and I know I was pretty hooked for a bit. The basic appeal is cute girls dancing around in sexy costumes while singing happy songs. More or less. And although I still prefer the aesthetic of 'white' girls, I've learned over time to appreciate Asian beauty.

The AKB48 video was pretty good. The costumes were impressive. For the first few songs, they had layered outfits, and after each song, they'd instantly peel off the outer layer to reveal a different outfit underneath. It's quite a shocking effect, and it's amazing that they can pull it off; having costumes under costumes, and managing to make them all look fantastic. Then, throughout the show, different sets of girls come in with all kinds of different elaborate costumes. The number with the girls in skeleton dresses was incredibly adorable. I was a little disappointed that they did the song "Skirt, Hirari" in shorts, since one of the major appeals of the song (for me, anyway) is the way they sort of flip their skirt throughout the song. Even without skirts, they were still pretty hot, so I think I can forgive them. I also enjoyed "Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru", which is an amazing song which basically translates to "My School Uniform's Getting In The Way", and involves the girls singing lines like "take off my uniform", "I want to be loved more freely", and such. Personally, it's just more attractive than when some American slut does the same. Different cultural backdrop and whatnot. I'm a sucker for seifuku, anyway.

I guess most fans who get into these Japanese pop groups have a favorite girl (or maybe more than one). I have to admit, ever since the first AKB48 video I watched, there was one girl in particular that stood out from the crowd. Doing some quick research, I find that her name is Kojima Haruna. There aren't a lot of people in my life, the way things are now, and that means there aren't a lot of girls, either. As pathetic as it may sound, I've learned to love two-dimensional animated characters. But unlike some point-of-no-return otaku freaks (and I use that term endearingly), I haven't forsaken my love for three-dimensional girls...yet. Honestly, I'm not too worried about that, but I do like to sympathize with people who get obsessed with fictional characters, because, although there are lines that shouldn't be crossed, there are also certain levels to which we should have no fear of going. In the past, I've argued the merits of having affection for fictional characters, and what bugs me is people who say that there's absolutely no reason to waste emotion on an imaginary person. As far as I'm concerned, the person who says that either has absolutely no imagination, or empathy, or could do with a little less real-world popularity and attention - since he's probably hogging it all, keeping people like us from getting the attention we need.

Well, speaking of pop idols, I was at Wal-Mart last night, and seriously, you can't turn around without finding yourself face-to-face with some kind of Hannah Montana merchandise. It's really getting out of hand. Damn mainstream American pop aesthetic. Give me a cute Japanese chick any day of the week. I've noticed recently that Wal-Mart has been shipping in tasty bakery-style Pepperoni rolls, and it's always a treat having one of those, although sometimes there's less pepperoni than I'd like. I at least looked for a replacement bulb for my reading/heat lamp, but I didn't see the right kind. I probably have to go to some hardware store or something for that, and I don't see that happening any time soon...

Hm, I just remembered that I completely fell behind on my music log last night, and that I still need to catch up. Time has run out, and I'm still not 100% sure of this week's theme. I'm trying to plan ahead for the upcoming holidays. Themes for Easter, and the Vernal Equinox, and eventually Beltane, and all that. Is anybody even keeping up with the ZML? I don't wanna pester people and forcefully remind them to take a look, because that's not the kind of person I am, but I get the feeling that most of the time I'm only doing this for myself. And although I'm more or less okay with that, for the time being, I was hoping that maybe there'd be /some/ kind of discussion about it. I know I took down the comment form, because nobody was using it, but I recently added a link to a discussion on my personal message board, which has been out of use for so long. I figured it was the perfect solution, and I can't believe I didn't think of it before I went to the trouble to program a comment form that ended up being unnecessary.

I know it's a lot to ask people to bear with my specific taste in music, but I've had experience as a DJ, and I'd just like to think that there are people out there that not only respect my services, but are interested /enough/ to at least get involved. I don't mind if somebody thinks a song sucks here or there. And besides, if there's something specific you'd like to hear, I've always been open to suggestions. Granted, I'm still in the captain's seat, but I like to take care of my listeners, when reasonable, and it'd be a good way for our musical tastes to interact, and we may both learn something at the end of the day.

All I'm trying to say is, playing music for people isn't a one way street. But I'll admit, I'm also afraid of the kind of exposure I'd like to have. I think that's a common thread in my life.


  1. "there's absolutely no reason to waste emotion on an imaginary person" -- if that's true, then everyone who loves books and movies is doing something horribly wrong. After all, what keeps you reading a book, watching a movie, or watching a TV show? Some kind of emotional investment in one or more characters! It may not be affection -- indeed, it doesn't have to be and usually isn't. I don't think all of those people who loved watching Seinfeld loved watching it because they were desperately in love with Jerry or George.

    Maybe Kramer.

    I think it's one of those stupid arguments that people use when they want to sound sophisticated about disliking another person's taste.

    I have to admit, I've fallen behind the music log, unfortunately... I feel bad because I'm the one who suggested it in the first place!

    I don't know how active you are on CRF(2?), but you should at least make a post somewhere about it... or make a direct link to it in your signature, or something to bring it up. Alternatively, you could make some business cards.

    Big, centered text: Zharth
    Smaller text beneath: Aspiring Bluesman, Philosopher, Writer, and Artist
    Bottom left: Zharth's Daily Music Log: http://zharth.tenjou.net/zml
    Bottom right: Blog: http://zharth.blogspot.com

    Make a few, give them out at Open Stage or something... put them on the table near the signup, whatever. I'm sure you'll get a few more visitors, perhaps through word of mouth! I know you're not really that kind of guy, but after all, how can they visit when they don't know it exists? Someone's gotta show them the way, and at this point, that someone has to be you, I think.

    Of course, you might not want to put your blog on there, since people might come and read about things you'd rather not have them knowing.

    I do have some culinary advice for you. How could you mention food without me having some kind of input on it?

    Get a pack of pepperoni, toss it in a ziploc bag. Eat it when you want, or just save it for those sandwiches. You can also just toss the bag in the freezer; freezing doesn't hurt pepperoni... and it's not thick enough to actually get rock hard. I used to eat frozen pepperoni sometimes, it was pretty good.

    Either way, you'll have pepperoni on hand. There's nothing wrong with modifying stuff you've bought! Add some pepperoni, find that balance where it suits you perfectly. Enjoy.

    I suspect that might be more work than you're willing to undertake for a pepperoni roll, though...

  2. That's not a bad idea about the pepperoni, but I don't think it would be worth the constant effort and cost of buying pepperoni every couple of weeks. I can't afford that kind of luxury (in terms of exertion at least as much as finance).

    My ultimate goal is to be comfortable having everyone and anyone who knows me (or doesn't know me) know about my darkest fears, my alternative interests, my sexual fantasies, etc., but to be honest, that includes a lot of things I'm not really comfortable laying down for just anyone in a casual conversation. If somebody wants to get inside my head, then I'm happy to accomodate them, but I'm kind of afraid of throwing someone information they neither need nor want. So I guess I'm still on the line on that one.