Still dragging from the rush to our last milestone...

A day off in track pants

Still dragging from the rush to our last milestone, I decided to spend today recuperating and got some pictures taken. These shots carry very little post-processing other than some blurs and level changes to fix some CCD noise, so they may be less interesting than some of my more dramatically modified images. However, they’re useful studies in depth-of-field and shadows nonetheless, so you may enjoy looking at them.

An unexpected gust of wind knocked my poinsettia off of the stand today, effectively killing it. I did a kind of death scene documentary in honor of my long-lived Christmas friend, you can see some of the chaos in one of the pictures.

[Artist’s note: If you look closely at the skin moisturizer, you’ll notice a drop of white cream on the bottle. This is the sap that was oozing out of the broken flower stems– my poor, frail poinsettia’s blood.]

I spent about an hour transferring and cleaning these up, it’s pretty revolting how bad my hard disk performance has become. I’m sure it’s a combination of several Windows disk management failures, so unfortunately I think I’m overdue for a reinstall. It may have to wait until a three-day weekend though because I can envision getting things back with full hardware support to be quite bothersome.

Japan won its World Cup qualifier against Bahrain today. It’s great to live in a country that actually supports and cares for its national soccer institution.

I’m coming ho..going..and you don’t...

I’m coming ho..going..and you don’t play anymore; what?

I think I’m supposed to be tired. Or am I and I just have built up an impenetrable wall of stupidity to shield me from reality? I think I’ve been at work every day for the last two weeks, about fourteen hours a day. Except yesterday I haven’t left yet…I guess that’s like an extra eight hours or something.

I don’t think I’m tired. My chest really hurts for some reason, like the tissue I had severed as a teenager is spazzing out. But other than that, I’m just greasy from being in a little room with twenty hour [] people for the last day.

We don’t have to come to work until Wednesday, which sounds great, but it’s only forty-eight hours against the hundred I’ve worked in the last week. I can’t do math. I have trouble with dividing by two. I’d have a beer, but I think I might die.

Who’s up for hotcakes?

switch( m_State )

That about sums it up. I’m in denial wearing...

Just another beautiful spring day in the office

That about sums it up. I’m in denial wearing my replica Ichiro jersey and a heather longsleeve from Mincer’s. My body may be coding multiplayer interfaces but my heart is doing that irrepressible shimmy and shirt adjustment, getting ready for a triple off the left field wall.

I swear to my very core and rind I will find deliverance for all these lost, crystal blue afternoons.

Don’t you ever, ever put a bird in a cage again.


This week I finally finished the last of my Christmas...

A different kind of warrior

This week I finally finished the last of my Christmas reading set, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. I wish I had the time to explain properly how I feel about the book, but given my circumstances a very brief summary will have to do.

An unbiased (in my opinion…) look at the Allied (read: American) occupation of Japan, I had some beliefs reinforced, and some new ones formed as well. It made me angry, it made me resentful, it made me feel empathetic, and it made me wonder. It also made me hope that man’s fate is not truly tied to his ignorance and fear. One point in particular I feel is that human beings certainly are capable of atrocious things. And serving in the military can provide a wonderful opportunity for their manifestation. I’m not saying all soldiers are bad, or even that most of them are. But the pressures and chaos of war, victory, and loss can quite easily drive these shortcomings to the surface in the most grotesque of fashions. Just another reason to hate aggression and those that see it as the most appealing means to defense (and avarice). If you really are interested in knowing in more detail the kind of things our boys (and theirs) do when overseas, well… knowledge is a grey area like virtually all in humanity, rife with as many ill-effects as benefits.

But it was a good book, and I can see why it won the Pulitzer Prize. John Dower’s writing is of high quality and he presents a broad range of material in a well-organized format. I have to admit I got a little bogged down in reading about the politics involved in the drafting and ratifying of the constitution, but I am appreciative of it as a necessary diversion from the normal text which I read. Interestingly, Japan’s charter was initially written (quite well) by very idealistic Americans, but then like most noble legislature, later gutted making it toothless and reactionary (by the same American occupation) under the duress of an overconservative, global influence-hungry administration.

I think I have a significantly better understanding of modern day Japan, at least from a socio-economic viewpoint. It was a good exercise for me mentally, on multiple levels. It may also be the longest nonfiction book I’ve ever read (564 pages), so I derive some very small degree of accomplishment from that.

Not one to break pace, I almost mechanically starting reading one of the books I bought in San Francisco earlier this month, choosing to catch my breath with the small and short, Hagakure, The Book of the Samurai. I currently don’t have time to go into any depth about the history of the author, but it’s essentially a collection of excerpts taken from a book written by a 17th century samurai who became a monk following his master’s death. It’s mainly didactic and was originally intended for the edification of a young, discharged samurai with whom the author became acquainted.

This book is “cool” in the way you’d expect, but I’m honestly interested in it more for its potential to aide me in my personal character refinement, rather than a cool email signature. Since these sayings and tales are bite-sized and easy to parse, I may substitute some of my normal blogging material over the next couple weeks with passages from the book, so you can get an idea of the content as well as concepts I find personally meaningful.

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower you try not to get wet and quickly run along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.

Apt advice to myself, so often struggling to fight against the burden of my constant work and trying to force in unreasonable [normal] amounts of recreation. I suppose I may spend more energy and worsen my satisfaction and production in both by trying to deny that I must subject myself completely to the weight of my current position.


::sigh:: If only it were so… It seems awful...


Let’s just drive your car
We could drive all day
Let’s just get the hell away from here
For I am sick again-
Just plain sick to death
Of the sound of my own voice
We could leave behind
Another wasted year
Just get some cheap red wine
And just go flying

We could do the things,
All the things you wanted to
No one cares about us anyway
We could leave them behind
In the sparkle and fade
Yeah sparkle and fade
Fall glimmer sparkle and fade

::sigh:: If only it were so… It seems awful and sacrilegious, but I’m almost wishing spring was over, even though it’s just begun.

ChangeState( STATE_WAIT );

If you asked my dad this (as I often did) at a time...

“What are you doing?”

If you asked my dad this (as I often did) at a time of mundanity, he would more likely than not, reply, “Building a space shuttle”, or something equally obtuse.

If I were to ask “What am I doing?”, I probably won’t have the synapses patched in series to be able to muster such a concocted response. I’d probably stare at you for about twelve seconds, at which point my perpetual lag would give way and I could answer your question. This of course would not be followed with an immediate, coherent response, but a another good ten seconds of stammering and conjunctions, and then finally if you were lucky, your number would come up in the rusted, tumbling bingo ball of my mind and I’d be able to string together enough hard consonants for you to infer that I was indeed the most exhausted I’d ever been, that I was indeed quite nearly the most depressed and crushed I’d ever been, and that I had been doing SOMETHING (or was it nothing?) with my life for the past half year other than having my physical, emotional, and interpersonal life rot away like the spider plant I used to love so much outside my window. Something indeed.

There are two questions that interest me now, and anything beyond that is virtually inconceivable: 1) will this process permanently damage my mental and/or physical health, and 2) will I have a major, violent episode before the discs are pressed? For those of you craving insider knowledge on the dead pool that is my sanity, it has been observed that in a mild, twisting pain my heart tends to race from time to time, and I have developed a habit of regularly muttering the word “fuck” under my breath every ten seconds when I make another stupid mistake and have to recompile.

But we have to be professional. There’s a job to finish here and a responsibility to those in the company.

[For those of you who don’t like tragic stories, it may make you feel better to know that several weeks ago I clipped two small, sprouting buds from the spider plant before brown death descended all the way down its limbs. They are now in separate whiskey glasses of water, one in a window facing south, the other west. They’re growing, and though the spider plant as we knew and loved will probably die before the summer, these perfect, innocent clippings of love have dreams of a great, beautiful future, twice as grand as anything before.]

I left work before eight o’clock three times...

Dobunezumi mitai ni (I look like a sewer rat)

Plussy…a refreshing energetic drink.

I left work before eight o’clock three times this week.  This hasn’t happened since parachute pants were in style, or I started working at iNiS; take your pick.  Still, the unspoken pressure I have accrued from such an atrocity washes away any mirth I would otherwise derive from the situation.  Monday I was sick, Wednesday I was sick, today I had a haircut appointment.

Can I just get a two-by-four across the fat side of my face?  In the long run it would most assuredly be less damaging.


溝鼠みたいに (I look like a sewer rat)
写真には写るない (Don’t bother copying any pictures)
美しさが有るから (Because you have true beauty)
リンダリンダ! (Linda, Linda!)
リンダリンダリンダ!(Linda, Linda, Linda!)
リンダリンダ! (Linda, Linda!)
もしも僕がいつか君と出会い話し合うなら (If I meet you and we talk)
そんな時はどうか愛の意味を知って下さい (At that time, please understand my meaning of love)

I fell asleep on the train home.  I’m going to bed right now.

I feel like I haven’t slept in a week (which...

Whiteroom feat. Amy Cooper – Someday

I feel like I haven’t slept in a week (which isn’t entirely untrue). I left work “early” yesterday at seven because I was just about at the “so tired I’ll throw up if I don’t sleep” level. I don’t have that luxury today, but maybe if I’m lucky, my superior will succumb to fatigue and go home around nine, allowing me to follow suit.

The only thing keeping me awake right now is Adam White’s December 2004 promo, conveniently obtained with StreamRipper off of ETN. It has this one track about two thirds the way through with one of those rolling, deck-shaking, late 90s beats and some really nice vocals over what sounds like an old KORG pad. This is my modern day alternative to driving at night with the windows down and the heater on full blast. Remember being that tired? Didn’t it suck? [Remember leaving her house at four-thirty and feeling like a god? Yeah, parking your car behind the cornfields so you could use the back door. Only the moon saw your crimes.]

I have two pages of personal statement to translate to Japanese when I get home, however I may have no choice but to crash and wake up at four tomorrow.

I cannot properly convey in words the sense of desperation I’m feeling today. To put it mildly, it was more than once that the PlayStation tumbler came halfway up in the air on its way to being thrown.

SetAttackState( aid, pScr->attackInf.typemask );

Five fatigue-induced incidents of having your head...

Is this jetlag?

Five fatigue-induced incidents of having your head literally hit the keyboard and/or snapping forward to instinctively prevent falling out of your chair– over the period of two hours.

Today ranks about third on my (very long) all-time list of days I wanted to go home early. At least I’m _still_ waiting on the design team for an interface to implement. [Until then it’s console text land for all the gamer boys and girls.]

Oh, and in unrelated news, I’m losing my free web services in about three weeks. I don’t suppose any of my loyal readers would consider hosting the fabulously unfamous In the off-chance you have access to a little space, please mail me.

Panic:Failed assertion 0

Tonight (now) I had three realizations (in this...

Business as usual

Tonight (now) I had three realizations (in this order):

1) if you’re not in college, don’t do stupid college stuff (sorry Serena)
2) if you used to really believe in someone, then thought your belief was misplaced, you may then again realize you were an asshole and believe again in that someone, but in an even nobler way
3) ex-girlfriends are just that, and alcohol proves that you are nothing special.

All of this is okay, because it is net more than I expected for a night of beer and old acquaintances. In the end, people who I didn’t expect to support me, did, and with those who I was hesitant about, broke even. But I have no regret for this evening… none at all. I am happy I went. I am glad to have made amends today. I am even gladder to have my initial faith well placed, even if for the wrong reasons.

Is it my imagination
Or have I finally found something worth living for?
I was looking for some action
But all I found was cigarettes and alcohol

You could wait for a lifetime
To spend your days in the sunshine
You might as well do the white line
Cos when it comes on top . . .

You gotta make it happen!

Is it worth the aggravation
To find yourself a job when there’s nothing worth working for?
It’s a crazy situation
But all I need are cigarettes and alcohol!

You could wait for a lifetime
To spend your days in the sunshine
You might as well do the white line
Cos when it comes on top . . .

You gotta make it happen!

I had forgotten how beautiful California is–...

Awash in memories and mass-market paperbacks

10:23 p.m. PST

I had forgotten how beautiful California is– the rolling mountains that surround the 101. Clacking along at seventy five miles per hour in a scuffed up minivan reminded me a lot of when I first came to the west coast looking for a bigger future.

I’ve been chest-deep in memories of ex-es since I first stepped out of the hotel at ten this morning (five a.m. Monday by my body’s count). Downtown San Francisco is small, and I vividly recall covering it well when on our ETC west coast field trip three years ago. It seems like I’ve been to virtually every mentionable pub and piano bar in the convention center area, each dog-eared as a brief stop following in Amy’s adroit socio-professional footsteps. Walking past the Moscone Center and the Zeum, I looked down Howard Street into the hazy skyline of SOMA and I could almost see the stuccoed Hotel Britton, our old haven from a hard day of alumni networking, nestled snuggly among methadone clinics and the world-famous Omnicircus.

I bought about sixty dollars’ worth of paperbacks at Borders. I now have enough reading on Japanese feudal wars and bushido to last me until the summer. I also picked up perhaps my favorite Kerouac novel, the degenerative Big Sur, along with R.A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land [Fitting, no?].

Now I have SPF 50 sunblock for the summer. Now I have unwaxed dental floss at less than six dollars a roll (a concept foreign to Japan). Now I have two unintentional pounds of Morton salt. Don’t worry, I’ll think of something poetic to attribute their purchase to and bestow them with the utmost reverence to a friend back home– in Tokyo.

When standing in front of a wall of history books, I sometimes am struck with the singular, intense realization of each and every life contained within –the children that became adults which had children and died loving and being loved–, then I gasp and shudder confronted with the incomprehensible spirit of mankind.

I’m on my way to California now for the Game...

In America, estranged

9:38 p.m. JST

I’m on my way to California now for the Game Developer’s Conference. This has be the most indifferent I’ve ever been about going back to the States. It goes beyond indifference, actually, it’s more like apathy or even slight displeasure. The circumstances of my visit are partly at fault, but I get the feeling I’m genuinely beginning to grow estranged to my homeland. I know what it’s like: the stores, the customer service, the most easily accessible food. Cars needed for transportation, things farther apart. A lot more empty space. I don’t want to believe that I’m becoming cynical or elitist, but I am acutely aware of the mild, throbbing inconvenience of it all. For the next week I probably won’t eat any rice, or fish, pickled vegetables, or tofu. I’ll sleep in an overly firm bed on an overly soft pillow, and see my hair grow heavy and lifeless from hard water and sample-size shampoo.

I won’t hear the reassuring tumble of train wheels or the chorused clacking of high heels and geta. There won’t be any men in their pajamas wandering idly down empty streets or ragged backpackers dragging half empty cans of cheap [alcoholic] chu-hi around at nine in the morning. I’ll be out of my element, in a way quite similar to when I first came to Japan– unfamiliar with the culture, current events, and popular language. Still, it’s a different kind of being removed from one’s comfort zone, in that I am fully aware of how alien my situation is.

A former girlfriend of mine once stung me with some sharpest criticism I’ve ever received by asking what I was really in love with. Did I love her, or did I just love the idea of her? Those few plaintive words put a seed of doubt in my convictions that has ever since wrapped itself parasitically around my heart. Do I love Japan? Or do I just love the idea of Japan? Are my allegiances and preferences based on genuine kinship and compatibility? Or is this just a current day extension of that youthful malaise of searching for identity? Why do we pierce our bodies, listen to bebop, and refrain from eating red meat? Are these things us for pragmatic reasons or do we just need to be different?

Yeah, that’ll show them. So what if I didn’t stay sixty miles from home and get a lease on a car? I’m broadening my mind.

I don’t want to believe that I harbor sentiments of superiority or cynicism. Because if there is even the slightest taint of conceit in my decisions, then all of my doctrines are a bigoted lie and I am no better than the disdainful image I attribute to my cultural nemeses.

I want to think I can live anywhere, and that all countries are good, full of beautiful people. Each place is just different. If humans can eat it, so can I. If they can love it, the potential lies within me as well. National borders mean nothing other than laws and paperwork. The differences between people are as numerous as the similarities, and it is wrong to ascribe subjective qualities to a race or class.

I am Caucasian. I have freckles and arm hair. Japanese people most often do not. This is an easily recognizable fact.

But since I said “Caucasian” and “Japanese”, and then drew a difference, it still carries a tinge of narrow-minded injustice. It feels wrong. Maybe it’s because I so often told myself that I would not judge people or categorize souls, I developed a paranoia. Just another small neurosis to add to the list of ticks I need to consciously disarm at every encounter. It seems that no matter how noble I believe my aspirations for inner harmony to be, the mental bird’s nest of insecurities and contradictions only grows thicker.

I don’t know what this means. I don’t want to have to think like this and dissect myself. I just want to be a good person and bring warmth and compassion to others, while increasing my wisdom and complacency. But it seems that with experience comes not only wisdom, but the mantle of precedence and confusion.

I am wide open, reaching forever, I fly into the...

Hymn, 3:17

I am wide open, reaching forever, I fly into the blue…

I’m scared. I’m scared and worried. I’m scared and worried of what I’m becoming, I’m scared and worried of who I am. I have great dreams, and I feel I want simple things: things that are pure, things without malice or taint. I desire balance in my life. I cannot live in one dimension or two, but I must stretch out with open fingers unto a vast reach of space extending upwards in more ways than an eternity of humanity can comprehend. My time is interpretative as much as it is immutable. And I wish for no more but only a better use of it. My heart is wide and I fill the halls of my emotion with pictures and paintings copied from scenes of life and fantasy, each hung with care as both a memory and a goal. The days and minutes tick by, and the pressure threatens to crush me. But I will move on. Staggering and faltering, but moving on. Always on.

You remember the scene where the guy goes into the...

You remember the scene where the guy goes into the bathroom at work…

and screams, and no one hears him (because he didn’t really, but you saw it like he was, since it was so clear in his mind) and then he just walks out back to his desk and sits down to continue working? It just happened.

I want to drown in the crystal.