arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Take a bite)
One thing I hadn't expected about living in New York? Laundromat living. Taking all my clothes on my back and hauling them half a block to be whip-washed and tumbledried, and maybe folding the contents of my sock drawer on the long table while I'm waiting for the sweats to dry.

Efficiencies develop differently in different places. The dorm laundries in college were similar in that they were long rows of big machines, but different in that they were secluded in a basement instead of tumbling my underthings in full view of the street. My bittypartment in Japants had a laundromat nearby for those few times when I needed a dryer, but what I used was the tiny, plastic, water-efficient washer on my back balcony. I hung my wet washing to dry like everyone else. No panty thieves dared make the climb.

The hosts in India had a similar, if more battered and less used, plastic washing machine. They hauled it out with great ceremony for me, and I expressed gratification and was duly impressed, but... it wasn't really very useful, when the power cut out twice daily and once at night.

So I hand-washed, like the hostmom taught me, with two buckets and a faucet and a brush, and a bright orange-red box of Tide just like the ones on the shelves ten feet from where I'm sitting now.* Soak first, wring out, lay out, scrub, rinse twice, hang up. Wave hello to the neighbor kids watching me do laundry on my rooftop. Smile and laugh and duck behind the pants for the little ones, who shrieked in laughter when I reappeared. Sing songs to myself, sometimes, always aware that someone on the road or a neighboring rooftop was listening.

(Retreat into my box, more often than not, and curl up on my bed with my laptop where at least no one could see me for a second or a minute or fifteen)

and emerge smiling, and take down the dry laundry after dark. Or sometimes not until the next day. But always, always, before the boy students appeared that afternoon for tutoring.

I pull my undies out of the dryer in plain sight here. Sometimes I even fold them while I'm waiting for the rest to dry! But always, always, I'm looking over my shoulder or down the table or out the window, just glancing, surreptitiously: who's watching? (Am I shaming someone? Will that kid tell his parents about it?) And sometimes I move around the table, so I'm blocking the view of my ~unmentionables~ from the sidewalk.

But I'm friends with my laundromat owner! He's a cool guy. Speaks Chinese. There was a stray book in Japanese left behind on the table, so I picked it up and started reading, and he promptly gave it to me. Said it'd just been kicking around the place anyhow. We discuss politics and world events, and when the dryer heating broke he comped my wash.

And, luxury: a dryer-warm rug, felt with bare feet.

*It was the brand names that jarred me on a daily basis. There I was, nodding hello to the shepherd who was shooing his flock along the dusty road, and one of his charges would be gnawing away at a chemical-bright reflective bit of plastic that said Frito-Lay.

I've mostly not eaten things out of hard polyurethane bags since I came back. It probably doesn't make a difference. I definitely don't make a Big Personal Stand out of it. But I don't buy popcorn or chips or things like that.

Everything else was dusty, but the imported advertising was bright. The sanitary napkins sold at the lady-run general store just outshone the whole place.

I think of the marketing executives in this city who made the decisions that led to that. I'm still peeling out what I think, and how I feel, a year and a half later, and to be honest all I really have to show for it is a vague bilious clot in the back of my throat. And a personal aversion to Ruffles.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Gremio faceless)
After three hours on the morning ferry, we landed in snow covered Hakodate and had... melon-flavored ice cream. Yubari melon, I remember. They were selling it at the base of the tower, the one that stands just off the corner of Goryokaku Fort.

Goryokaku is Hokkaido's pentagonal fort. I walked around one much like it in, I think, Copenhagen. This one was apparently designed by a European dude too. Still, I bet the one in Copenhagen doesn't have an adorable duckbilled mascot which makes cameo appearances in snow effigy.


One related thing about Hakodate I like: the manhole covers.  )

*You never remember the event, after the first time. You just remember your remembering. Is this true, or just something I read somewhere?
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
The morning after the best oyster dinner in the whole world, we pranced off quite early and separated. A last look at pretty Matsushima,


and I went on to Aomori, first to wander the streets and see what I could see.


Bizarre things, museum things, and ferry things behind the cut. )
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
I landed in Narita, picked up my JR Pass, and hopped the shinkansen to Sendai before it was even dark. A lovely lady in red met me at the Matushima station.

We strolled over the tracks the next morning to go find a shrine and some foods.
Pretty stuff. )

It was all that pretty. Sometimes I just feel as if adding more of my own words will only spoil things. My photography selection is amateur enough, right? I'm not a poet, either.


This one is unremarkable now, two rocks in the sea. But before the earthquake it looked like this.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
And so yesterday, for the second year in a row, I spent Valentine's Day heading back to New York.

I'm not sure what I learned over the past year, but I think there's been a number of small things. I'm discontent with what I haven't accomplished. I'm uncertain as to what I do next.

Life is complicated you guys. I think I'm going to blog about my trip with a series of photoposts starting tomorrow.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
This just in, Japan also has jackasses. Some of them drive buses.

HAKODATE IS LOVELY and covered in white fluffy (kinda wet) snow. It turns out snow angels are hard to stand up from. I ended up punching mine to get out of it and it looked like it had a chestburster a la Alien.

The shopping's nice too. Also Japan's oldest concrete telephone pole is here. We made a friend! Who is an engineering student and I almost got a picture of him hugging the pole, darn.

The view at night from the mountaintop is mind-blowing. Humankind is kind of awesome you guys.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Behold my artistic genius)
A thousand blessings upon the heads of All Nippon Airways. May they prosper on their well-earned merits.

Yes indeed, my friends, I am back in the land of clean trains and singing toilets, and boy howdy did I miss it. Throwin' up a quick flag from Aomori! What is ups, innernet?

ALSO hey Maine imma let you finish but Matsushima Bay has the best oysters of all time. OF ALL TIME. Which reminds me, dear Livejournal, are oysters really aphrodisiac or is it just that they look obscene and taste orgasmic? I dreamed oddly enough about terrible reality tv cooking shows vs. feminist talk shows, so uh. Idek.

The archeological ruins out here are pretty cool mang! Tomorrow we hop a ferry. WILL TRY NOT TO FREEZE even though I left my hat on the bullet train. Again. sob. that's okay, I picked up terribly pink 100yen earmuffs. They are the pinkest thing within anyone's field of vision, it is kind of great. 'Cause I didn't stand out enough already, right?

okay do you know what time it is? It is cocktail o'clock, that is what.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Dear internet,

Quitting RP, off to Japan. See you later. ♥


arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Karma will get you back)
Do everyone a favor, will you? Go on the World of Warcraft forums for a week. Under a girl's name.

Be a girl for a week. That's it. Seven days. You can afford to take that much vacation from being Mark Zuckerberg.

And then you may try to tell me we don't need pseudonyms on the internet.

You will never – ever – reach a full understanding of the life of someone who has to put up with this kind of shit every day. But you will get an inkling of the vast gap in your current awareness of human society on this earth.

Try it. Try being a girl for a week. Or if that's too threatening to your privileged psyche, try a Chinese name on for size. Try being anyone other than the white boy from Harvard that you are, and see how much of an issue your "identity" suddenly becomes to other people. See how badly it interferes with what you're trying to do, and who you actually are. See how inconvenient and yes, inefficient, using your real name can be if that real name is feminine or nonwhite.

Go on, try it. It's the internet – no one will know. At least, not until you have your way.

I read the Time feature, and frankly your vision of the future is revolting. An internet without strangers. Go on Amazon, and see only your Friends' reviews. Read webforums, and see only your Friends' posts. Stay within the same group of people, no matter where you go. Holy christ. If I had grown up reading only the books the people around me read, watching the movies the people around me watched, spammed entirely with the advertising Liked by my peer-pressure-mandated Friends?

I might have taken years to come out of the closet. I might have taken years to leave my hometown. I would never have gone to Sweden, I certainly wouldn't have gone to Tasmania. I might not even have made it to Japan. How long would it have taken, in your vision of the future, for me to find a gay adult who made it out okay? There wasn't one there in my existing social network. I had to get on the internet, and talk to strangers.

You're not pitching something new. You're giving us something we've already outgrown. You think everyone wants to have the same old people, the same old closed networks, everywhere, with us, forever.

Because it's all a very good deal for you and those like you, born into privilege, grown into power, surrounded forever by other Exeter boys who like what you like and do what you do. But for those of us who would like to move up a little, maybe change the class structure that you're so far into you don't even see, or maybe just those of us who want to go somewhere different and meet someone new, the internet is our best tool. You would take that away, and not even realize you were doing it.

Because of course you could go anywhere and meet anyone, with your passport and your skin and your name, and not feel the slightest danger or threat. So why can't we? I hear you cry. Why can't we use our real names for everything, online and off?

So I'm daring you. Be a girl for a week. Find out.

With all my heartfelt and pseudonymous contempt,

Lina D.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (From the FUTURE)
French countryside at dawn: picturesque as shit.

More breaking news as it develops.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Reply to this post with the phrase 'Findled in the checkout line' and I will free-associate five ityms of varying importance with you. Post about them in your journal when you spread the meme.
via [ profile] rawri:

1. Traveling.
Can't live without it. I suspect it's partly inherited, this tendency to lead a life between plane flights. The idea that my life IS getting on a plane, going somewhere, and doing insane and interesting things until I get that itchin' in my shoes again (as the lady Kimya likes to say.) If New York gets to be home, and that there is a real hopeful if, it'll be at least part thanks to the way it's so connected to most anywhere else.

2. Success.
Can't happen if I don't shoot for it. I'm starting to think that maybe a good measure of how advantageous the next path will be is how much it utterly terrifies me.

3. Tim.
Is going to have a rough month. His fortunes are inversely related to mIne more often than I like to admit. Sorry, kiddo. We've had a weird sort of mental sublet thing going on for going on two years now. He pays rent in entertainment, and lightening up my universe.

4. Food.
I like it? In spite of the unfortunate habit of forgetting meals. Been raised to believe it's important to obtain & consume good food, and to directly connect various failures of mind and body with failure to do so. Dang, I need lunch.

5. Demon-claws. (art)
The best stuff I do on paper always has a little element of the creepy in it. I try for cute, I do, and it either looks manufactured or vague and blurry. Or it turns out creepy TOO, ref. NYC Heartless.
I still don't remember drawing those demon claws. But now I want to try again.

And via [ profile] murasaki_kaze:
Attn: lexiphiles! Comment here with an unusual word you happen to know and like, and maybe we'll give each other one we don't know. Today's word from me is polymath: one who dabbles in multiple fields of interest.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Cheep cheep)
Much to do! Much to ponder. Much to scramble for! My life of the past two months has become the variety of serial I've never held much interest in to watch, much less experience and create. So little time. RP keeps me engaged with people.

Meme! I promised the pairing meme, and now it seems ridiculous. Only one of my characters is likely to find satisfaction within adult monogamy, and that because she can't yet conceive of any alternative.

I actually do not own that many things.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Well, I'm back.

And apparently 2am is my new wake-up time. Going to have to fix that.

Everybody looks fat. Everybody. Doesn't matter if they are or not.

And it's an odd truth that while it's technically more dangerous to be whizzing down the freeway doing 60, it feels more dangerous to be doing 30 but weaving around, say, buffalo.

Oh, man. No more buffalo on the road. Or goats.

It's nice and cold, though. And the air is yummy.


Dec. 15th, 2009 07:49 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
I'm in Paris.

It's cold. 8am and it hasn't even dawned yet.


Sep. 29th, 2009 07:32 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
The femur is the largest bone in the human body.

One feels this much more keenly after six hours in a bus, in which one's femur measures almost exactly the distance between the back of one's own seat and the back of the next.

Likewise, one becomes much more conscious of the true height of the human spine, after a ride in a scooter taxi with eleven other adults - none of whose heads brush the canopy. Save for one's own.

I have a bitchin' awesome handkerchief now, though.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

PUSH - Surprisingly not a bad movie!

Actually not that surprising- it did come with the highest recommendation. I could absolutely RP in that premise. And I hear there are comics?

Incoming paneldump: Green Arrow and Black Canary in olden days, + more reasons you should read Blue Beetle. + some Batman of many ages, + misc.

ps: Batman STILL hates America. )


Aug. 4th, 2009 07:50 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
An hour anna half was a bigass chunk of my life to be spent waiting in the wrong line.

fml. shoulda stayed in new yawk.


Mar. 20th, 2009 09:51 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (DC: Double Robin)
If Sydney were a person, he would be Captain Hammer.

What am I doing in Sydney? Well, I would show you, only I still don't have a camera. >.> I GOT A DISPOSABLE FOR NECESSARY PIX OKAY.

I also got a cool hat.

It is pretty snazzy.

AND! It's not fair, you guys, Sydney has good chocolate everywhere. I think it's been holding out on the rest of us.

Sketched a lot. Gonna break out the watercolors at the Botanical Gardens tomorra. Or maybe just the pastels.

Okay I loveya buh-bye!

p.s. The first thing I had to eat when I got here was a peach.

The second was an empanada.

Life is good.


arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

January 2012

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