Wow, over one year since my last entry.  No sense writing too much about the void year, so I will simply summarize it as…corona sucked up most of the fun in 2021 and I will quickly enumerate my 2021:

My 2021

practicing basketball

studying Japanese (not hard enough)

scootered around Shikoku, Japan and got rained on for at least 7 hours but felt like 42.

got a new job / moved to a new city 

joined a new basketball team (everyone is young and fast as hell)

started working out (cardio + strength training) seriously

lost 7 kilos

acquired a coffee addiction

learned that I really dislike packed trains

said goodbye to really special people

said hello to really special people

made a ton of music and left it on my computer for no one to hear.

Time for 2022…

2022 is the year of the book!  

Currently, already four books are completed.  I figured putting all my ideas on what I read up here wouldn’t hurt at all.  It might even come in handy in the future.

Starting with Cormac McCarthy’s epic Blood Meridian (BD).  

What a book.  It was my second time reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed it even more; my second time around.  

The first time I read (BD), I was a university student and had been reading it for a modernism class.  I remember liking it, but also found it incredibly challenging.  I was utterly lost among McCarthy’s novel words and paragraphical long sentences.  

Difficulty aside I found the characters extremely interesting. I don’t think I can compare any villain I have come across before to the Judge.  Maybe Walking Dead’s season 6 Negan has the bits of the Judge’s sinisterism, but I will admit that they are not all that alike.   

Reading it a second time…I still got lost in the paragraph long sentences, but that feeling of being lost had some vague familiarity this time.  It was like a hazy déjà vu where I slightly felt I had been in this place before and was able to traverse my way through it. It is McCarthy’s grand, prolific, descriptions of landscape. 

I recognize that rather than the characters and plot the landscape had a much more significant impact on me when reading.  The descriptions of the desert and mountainous ranges are incredible.  And to be completely honest there were several times I had to look up vocabulary to help complete the images in my mind, and even when confirming definitions, I sometimes still couldn’t grasp the meaning. 

” That night they rode through a region electric and wild where strange shapes of soft blue fire ran over the metal of the horses’ trappings and the wagonwheels rolled in hoops of fire and little shapes of pale blue light came to perch in the ears of the horses and in the beards of the men.”

McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian, or, The evening redness in the West. , 1992. Print.

Writing that is simply focused on inanimate objects is no easy task.  With that frame of thought writing exceptional well about inanimate objects to the point that your reader is in awe of that inanimate object is a very very special skill. 

Ah and final thoughts, I am pretty sure I learned various vocabulary that I will never use in any of my writing, speaking and unless I read this book again will never come across it in another book.

Elias Canetti – Crowds and Power

Elias Canetti

I’ve been reading Canetti’s Crowds and Power recently. I figure with the amount of protesting going on in the world, it only makes sense.

Whether America, Russia or most recently the coup d’ etat in Myanmar. Crowds seem to be popping up all over the globe. Canetti’s work highlights many of the significant impacts crowds have on their environment and I am finding that recent current events serve as a pragmatic example. It is almost like the world realizes I am reading Canetti’s work and is provided real-live representations. Though, I rather it not.

One topic I find interesting is flight crowds. You ever hear the term fight or flight? Think of crowds running from some kind of threat. Like some kind of natural disaster that has come and everyone is running for their lives. I guess the crowds depicted in Godzilla are pretty solid examples.

Here is one of my favourite quotes so far:

“No-one is going to assume that he, out of so many, will be the victim and, since the sole movement of the whole flight is towards salvations, each is convinced that he personally will attain it” (53).

Thinking about it, I don’t think I have ever been in a flight crowd before. But I do feel that if I was trying to avoid being disintegrated by Godzilla’s atomic breath, running in the middle of a large crowd would provide some relief, though not much. I have to agree with Canetti’s description, because I do think I would feel like I could escape and those around me had a higher probability of being picked off.

You ever watch a horror or thriller film where the main character is fleeing from someone or something trying to kill them and they’ll try to lose their predator in a public place. I always feel like if I was the main character I’d without a doubt lose my threat in the crowd. What is it about a crowd that makes us feel like that.

This is a long read, but you don’t have to read it from beginning to end. You can jump around and read at your leisure.

Have a look here.

Check out my man Alan Watts too. He got some great ideas.

Canetti, Elias. Crowds and Power.First Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984.

マイハート (My Heart)

“Something about leaving your surroundings/

Going to a place where duplicates are never found in/”

Dear Virtual Diary

On October 29th, 2016 I had the opportunity to meet and break bread with マイハート (My Heart). They are a Japanese string quartet made up of 3 violinists and a cellist. I actually got to see them perform twice and they were brilliant.

The fondest memory I have of them is my first encounter with them. The first time meeting them they were wearing full tuxedo ensembles with the tails and all. When they changed into their regular wear they looked like the most regular men you’d ever seen.

I know this may not be especially shocking on the surface, but in a country where status and respect for that status being integral to the entire country’s operation it was very nice to see them not have the higher class, nose in the air, stereotypical attitude. The leader of the quartet is in the Hiroshima Orchestra and from talking to him he seemed more like a regular average joe.

My Japanese language is so-so, but I don’t recall any high browed remarks either.

More so, the men all had a warm glow about them, even before I heard them play. I thoroughly enjoyed our encounter and will sincerely remember that night for quite some time.

We all had dinner together and watched the Hiroshima Carps lose 4-10 to Hokkaido, in the Nippon Series.

I will link some of their work at the bottom of this post.