nightchrome: (self)
Rather uneventful weekend this time, spent most of it at home. I had some correspondence to catch up on, and spent the remainder of my time enjoying some television. My coworker has lent me the entire set of Babylon 5 dvds because I am one of the few sci-fi fans out there who has never seen it. I'm about 3 seasons in now, and it's really not bad for the time in which it was made.
Still falling into my bad habit of oversleeping on weekends in order to catch up on sleep I missed during the week. It's tough to break this, as usually Friday nights I have plenty of things I want to do and wind up staying up until some ungodly hour in the morning. Then I need extra sleep saturday, and don't wake up until the mid-afternoon. The cycle repeats.
Come Monday, I am in no shape to be coherent in the morning and am often late for work (as I was today). Definitely something I need to try and deal with, but I've been trying for years now and just can't break the habit. I'm a night-owl by nature, so I prefer having more free time at night than during the day. But this of course only bolsters my normally hermit-like nature.
nightchrome: (here)
So all this week has been Shougatsu, everyone was off and many shops were closed.
But it only lasts Monday-Thursday, and so everyone has had to come back to work today.
On a Friday. Naturally a number of people would normally just take the day off and call it a week, but it so happens that on the first day back from work most companies will have a kind of "start the new year off" event, and you're not allowed to miss it.
These poor suckers are forced to come to work on a Friday after a week of lounging around, must be terrible.
nightchrome: (silly)
So as I mentioned, I've been working over the New Year's holidays (known as 正月 shougatsu in Japan, direct translation "right month"). It's peculiar that they consider the less-than-a-week surrounding the new year to be a month in and of itself. Not on the calendar, mind you, just in how they refer to it. Like I said, it's a bit of a big deal here.

On an unrelated tangent, a coworker and I skipped out of the nearly-deserted office a bit early yesterday and met up with another friend to head to a theater and catch an evening movie. I haven't been to a theater in over a year, and in fact I believe it was with the exact same people last time. I agree that there's a lot to be said for the full theater experience, but these days I get my film and television online and enjoy it in the comfort of my own home. Not to mention, unless you go on specific days or at specific times, you wind up paying full price here which tends to be anywhere between $15 and $20 just for a ticket. I'm by no means poor, but I object to the ridiculous markup these days.

Anyway, we went to see AVP2, which for those not in the loop is "Alien vs Predator 2". Hardly life-altering fare, but the whole reason to enjoy the "theater experience" is for action and special effects. It was what you'd expect from a sequel to a minor spinoff of another franchise. One thing I found somewhat amusing was that these two franchises have "signature scenes" which get replayed in the film. The alien swimming after someone, alien face getting close to frightened human face, little alien inner-head popping out, alien acid blood dissolving someone, predator heat vision seeking out prey, cloaked predator dropping down from a height with a thump, cloaked predator impaling unsuspecting person, etc. All of them get done again and again in both this and the previous AvP movie. Predictable, but fulfilling in their familiarity.

I'm not sure if it was this particular theater, a new trend, or if I am just getting old...but the audio was EXTREMELY loud. There were no real "gotcha" jump moments in the movie, but every change of scenery made you jump due to the sheer power of the volume.
nightchrome: (zombie)
First, to get it out of the way, Happy New Year!



Now then...
I'm terrible at this whole blogging thing. I've known it for some time. Neither this blog, nor my Japanese blog over at mixi, are seeing a whole lot of action these days. It's not that I'm bad at talking, anyone would tell you it's quite difficult in fact to get me to shut up even online. But for some reason, the idea of having a one-sided conversation (which is really what blogging tends to be) just doesn't work for me. I get most of my material by reaction to what others say. Picking a topic and going on and on about it by myself is difficult.

Add to that the fact that I have a tough time seeing areas of my life which might be interesting to other people. To me, I lead an extremely boring life. I never do anything, I never go anywhere, nothing ever happens. And yet, clearly that can't be true or I'd have offed myself long ago. For some reason I just don't see the events of my life as someone else might, and that's an indication of an inflexibility I should probably do something to address. So if I can manage to keep it up, I think I'll try writing a bit more often, even if I can't think of anything to write about. I imagine it will be quite tedious and boring, so feel free to tune it out.

I've been working over the holidays, and am in fact in the office right now. A terrific way to start out the first day of the new year, wasting time in the office writing on a blog. New Year's and the surrounding days are a big deal over here, central Tokyo is almost empty (and yet still not truly empty, just comparatively) as most people have taken off either for personal vacations or to head back to their hometowns for familial celebrations. It's kind of how we tend to view Christmas, a time to spend with family and/or loved ones. Of course, many of us heathen foreigners choose to work instead, saving our precious vacation days for later use.
In any case, it's nice and relaxing having the office mostly to yourself, especially when coping with New Year Morning sluggishness.
nightchrome: (sinner)
So I have completely and utterly ignored this blog in favor of my Japanese one, shame on me. Ah well, if I were to really focus on this one I'm sure I'd rant nonstop about pointless crap. Consider my inattentiveness a gift to you all.

I just got back from a 2 week vacation back home in the Annapolis Valley. I had a great time, expect to see a ton of pics on my flickr account and my personal gallery soon.

Saw this quote on Advogato (yes, I still read it) and thought it interesting.

`On an only slightly different topic: some people are always wrong. Despite how you may instinctively react to such people, they are very, very useful. They are what we call "negative oracles". Any time a troubling question comes up -- "Should the U.S. invade a mideast nation?"; "Should we rewrite all our code in Java?"; "Should I invest in hydrogen fuel infrastructure for cars?"; "Is there a God?" -- just ask your local negative oracle's opinion, and choose the opposite. (If you don't have one, ask Ben Stein.) Negative oracles are not more useful than regular oracles, but they are overwhelmingly more common, and (even better) heavily promoted in popular media. You may think of talk radio as a cesspit, but it's really a gold mine of negative oracles.`
- via ncm@advogato
nightchrome: (sinner)

Another shot, another shot
the tender vessel, crush and pop
the heart is cold, the gun is hot.
shot
I'm not sure if they done or not
I'm not sure that they wanna stop
the gun is cold, the blood is hot
shot
shot-shot-shot-shot-shot-shot
The hearts are weak, the guns are not.
nightchrome: (sinner)
I don't really update my lj much these days, and I guess in a way that's a shame. Although few if any people read it, it's useful at least as a means of letting out the rants and raves that constantly arise in me. Anyone who knows me even casually via the net knows I have an almost superhuman ability to rant, so anything to take away some of that steam must be good.
I've unfortunately signed up over at Facebook, and have since connected with a number of people I'd previously lost touch with. That's sometimes a good thing, but also sometimes a bad thing. A surprising number of people from my high-school days are on there, some I'd prefer not to reconnect with.

Things are fairly good over here in the land of the Rising Sun. Summer is coming in fairly gradually, and we've had quite a few bright and sunny days without much heat or humidity. It's been rather enjoyable so far. I'm not looking forward to the oppressive soup that is summertime air, but for now that's yet to come.
Work has been extremely relaxed for quite some time now. My last major new project from the beginning of the year is still raking in obscene amounts of dough for the company, so I am resting on my laurels. I make little changes here and there, some maintenance, some cosmetic changes...but for the most part it runs itself and fills upper management's eyes with dollar yen signs.
As I've mentioned a few times before, I've taken up photography as a hobby. I've been going out most weekends at least once when the weather allows, snapping shots of this and that, trying to get a feel for what makes a pleasing image. I still suck at it, but at least I suck with purpose. It's good to have found something I can really get into, because for quite awhile I was worried my only "hobbies" would be the stereotypical computer dork ones and any creativity I might have had would rot away. I've joined up on flickr and started sharing my favorite shots there, for anyone who wants to take a look but can't be bothered to wade through all the crap on my personal site. You can add me as a contact or just browse at my flickr page.

For those who care about these things, and I doubt there are many, it is looking like my trip home this year will occur around the end of August. My sister is planning to head home then as well, and it will be our first time seeing each other again since I moved to Japan some 7 years ago.
nightchrome: (zombie)
Inspired by something I read online, I actually sat down and calculated how much my current lifestyle costs. I know, most normal people have budgets and so forth, but I have always hated anything to do with finances. No idea why, but just thinking about managing money gives me the heebie-jeebies.
So anyway, I did the math. My current lifestyle, allowing for slightly generous amounts in the food and entertainment categories, costs about $75 a day. I'm kind of shocked at how little that is.
The primary question I'm meant to ask myself now is, "Why do I spend 8 hours a day at a desk being miserable if I only need $75 a day to live exactly as I do now?". There are a billion ways a moderately bright person can make that with very little effort.
nightchrome: (sinner)
Kurt Vonnegut is dead.

"We had a memorial services for Isaac [Asimov] a few years back, and at one point I said, ''Isaac is up in Heaven now.'' It was the funniest thing I could have said to a group of Humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, ''Kurt is up in Heaven now.'' That’s my favorite joke."

Kurt is up in Heaven now.
nightchrome: (self)
So there was a really fantastic fpp and discussion on Metafilter about this article. The article is about how praising children in ways that emphasize their innate abilities over their effort and accomplishment is damaging. I not only found the concept extremely analogous to my own experience in life, but was shocked to discover that a large number of people shared my experience. Many metafilter folk shared their stories and impressions on the idea, and it was quite eye-opening.
Read more )

Health

Feb. 8th, 2007 11:45 am
nightchrome: (sinner)
So as some of you may know, my results on the yearly health-check at my office were less than stellar, and I had to get a second checkup to confirm. The results from that checkup are in and it's not great. Primarily due to lack of exercise (I reckon), my cholesterol is ridiculously high.
Since the results of the first checkup, I've been working to change my lifestyle a bit to try and improve. This second (though somewhat less severe) result just helps underline the need for it.
Up until now, my life has been...well...inactive. You know the word "sedentary"? Well, on the scale of physical exertion levels my lifestyle is probably 1 or 2 rungs below sedentary. Clearly that needs to change. Diet can only do so much, and frankly, I don't eat a lot of unhealthy food at all. So the culprit is almost surely lack of exercise. I guess it's a testament to my metabolism that I can be so disgustingly unhealthy and not really show it much physically.
nightchrome: (self)
So I got the results of my yearly health checkup yesterday.
It really just confirmed what is fairly obvious, that I'm fairly unhealthy.
There's nothing in particular that's wrong, just stupid stuff that's my own fault.
High blood pressure, ridiculous cholesterol levels.
I'm overweight, but not really that much. I seem to fluctuate up and down around the upper region of "okay" weight for my height. It's just that the majority of it is in my core area, the exceptionally unhealthy internal fat that lines my insides rather than rounds my outside.
Up until now I've played around with changing/watching my diet, trying to eat healthier, yadda yadda. All good things to do, but when push comes to shove, my real problem is not my diet; I don't eat a lot of junk.
My problem is that my life is so *slow* that people you'd term "sedentary" seem to zoom by me.
Thinking about it for a moment, if I add up all the time I spend upright in a given day: 15min walk to work, 15min walk home, let's say another 10min for lunch and round that out with 20min of random cumulative wandering during the day. End result is I spend maybe a bit over one hour on my feet in any given day. The rest of that day is spent either on my ass at a desk, in bed, on the sofa, whatever.
And I've been living this way for pretty much 7 years or so.
Sure, on weekends or after work sometimes I go out and do stuff. But invariably that tends to involve not a lot of being on my feet.
In short, it's a wonder I'm not far worse than I am. Clearly I need to be more active, and maybe seeing it in hard, cold numbers on my result sheet will help. But who knows? Habit is a hard thing to break from.

Time Again

Jan. 17th, 2007 01:42 am
nightchrome: (self)
Every once in awhile I write an entry which seems stupid to anyone but me. Just ignore it.

Emotions are like a horse carriage.
For most people, they're holding onto the reins; they feel the movement and try to direct the horses, sometimes it works, sometimes they just get overruled.
For me, the reins are tied around my wrists; most of the time they're slack and I don't even realize there's anything there, but every once in awhile I'll get yanked and jerked around into some seemingly random direction and not really know why.
A lot of religious paths seem to recommend letting go of those reins and jumping the hell off the crazy carriage before you crash or something. I have a feeling that's harder to do when you're tied up.

RAW Deal

Jan. 12th, 2007 02:30 pm
nightchrome: (mask)
"Robert Anton Wilson Defies Medical Experts and leaves his body @4:50 AM on binary date 01/11." (link)

Good luck, you insightful bugger.
My mind would be far less fucked if it weren't for you.
I owe you a great deal.
nightchrome: (zombie)
I came across this fascinating essay about a topic I have encountered far too many otherwise reasonable people worrying about.

France, its Muslims, and the Future

A New Day

Jan. 1st, 2007 12:45 am
nightchrome: (Default)
It's a quarter to one, and I've just now finished my observance, so I'd like to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year. My advice for the coming days ahead is simple and to the point: Stay true to yourself, and good fortune will find you.
nightchrome: (Default)
Here's a nice little rant about manners that might be interesting for some of you.

"The phrase ‘The Customer is Always Right’ is the single worst philosophy that has ever been adopted by American culture. It gave an entire generation of people the green light to be as impolite, unreasonable, and demanding as their little hearts desired because they were always going to be considered right. It destroyed the entire concept of courtesy and rendered manners obsolete."

Link to full text

Lame ducks

Dec. 14th, 2006 01:52 am
nightchrome: (self)
As anyone who knows me can attest, I am extremely quick to judge people who rely on a crutch. Any kind of crutch, really, but most especially psychological crutches. I'm a judgemental person by nature, but when crutches come into the picture I kick everything up a notch and set my amp to eleven. That's me alright, forward-thinking, pro-active, charging straight into battle.

What I often fail to take notice of is the fact that I'm hobbled-up myself, with so much artificial bracing I'm more of a scaffold than anything mobile. It's no wonder my ramshackle rhetoric often goes nowhere.

It took me an extremely long time to reach the point I'm at now, where I can freely admit my ignorance of things about which I truly know nothing. I can say "I don't really know, but I could hazard a guess..." instead of "That's how it is, absolutely." As well, I've come to grips with the concept of "You know, maybe it's X instead of Y as I thought."
Knowing something else is right, rather than what I thought was. Becoming capable of change is a long and hard road, but I've set off down it awhile back.
What I haven't entertained to this point is how to abandon incorrect things solely because they are incorrect. Rather than abandoning them because I've discovered the truly correct one. I'm often not discarding wrong things because they are wrong, but because something else is right.

Which means there are likely to be a great deal of things still wrong, for which a right thing has yet to be found. I think I shall learn how to discard them in advance on their own faults.

Emo-filter

Nov. 28th, 2006 02:49 am
nightchrome: (self)
So I've been a little down in the dumps lately, although I guess using the word "lately" is kind of a stretch considering the spans involved. I was blaming seasonal blues there for awhile, it gets pretty grey and texture-less around Tokyo this time of year. To be sure, that likely has something to do with it, but I've been sinking into it for a bit now I think.
The other night I had a number of thoughts I intended to toss up here, it all sounded quite nicely-put in my head. But unfortunately it didn't manage to survive a night's sleep, and so I'm left with this incoherent rambling. I've never really been one for spreading feelings willy-nilly about a webpage, I guess it's why this whole blog concept has never managed to "take" with me.
I know there are a number of people who would find it hilarious that I'd say such a thing, but lately I've been thinking that maybe I might be wrong. Wrong about how I'm living my life. I've been so focused (though you'd be hard pressed to see how) on my end-goals that I've intentionally isolated myself from everyone and everything. Of course, I've always been a loner, that's no surprise at all, but slowly and methodically I've been withdrawing from even the most perfunctory of social interactions.
It's funny how you can adopt a theme for the way you go about your business. And you never really notice it, or the effects it has on everything around you, because it's just a theme and nothing concrete or direct. My theme has been "disconnecting", for a very, very long time. It hasn't ever been anything active, which is probably why I've been able to ignore it. I've never pushed anyone away, but I've gradually, carefully let go and drifted away. I've let my close friendships dwindle and pass away, to the point where I have not even enough people in my life to make up a "handful", and even those relationships go weeks without any contact.
I've kept myself single intentionally for going on about 3 years or so now, under the pretense that I need to focus on myself, that I should figure myself out before bothering to try figuring anyone else out. Of course I haven't made any progress on that at all, it's really been just another method of disconnecting. I've backed away from people who tentatively approached, I've steered myself out of social situations which might develop all the while telling myself it's not fair to someone else to go into anything without my full and undivided attention. I think I've done it in the past as well, assuming from the get-go that every relationship is temporary by nature, eventually. All things that are will pass, as the saying goes.
That's really what it gets down to, I think. I've taken that to heart, and never let myself be fooled into believing otherwise. Disconnect before you're disconnected.
And I don't know why, I don't know how, but lately I've been asking myself if it's possible I might be wrong.
nightchrome: (self)
Already del.icio.us'ed this, but I wanna make sure I never lose track of it again. First time I read this ages ago, I shoulda bookmarked it then.

The Jain's Death
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