It is 10:05 am. It’s 62 degrees and raining. It feels colder than 62 degrees, but I’m a wimp when it comes to cold. I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt, a long skirt, tights and socks.
The girls are playing quietly upstairs. They’ve currently lost their playing with toys downstairs privileges because I lost patience with not being able to walk into a room without having something to clean up. So they are playing dolls (I believe) in their room and are quite happy about it. The dolls they have are called Licca dolls, and they’re smaller than Barbies- more Skipper sized (at least Skipper from when I was a kid). The girls actually have the two dolls in this picture, and two others with normal colored hair.
I’m feeling completely unmotivated today, I just want to curl up under a blanket and read. I just finished Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide , which was a fun and fascinating read. Now I’m starting Yokai Attack! about Japanese monsters. Nanowrimo starts in 6 days and I do not feel remotely prepared. I’ve been planning to write a kids story about a little witch school girl who loves order and the academics of magic, who moves to Japan and has to adjust to the unpredictability and chaos of primal, forest magic, but I don’t feel like I have enough background knowledge in Japanese folklore yet to have a tone for it. So I may set it in a fantasy land and just use Japanese influences so I don’t have to get it all exactly right. Or maybe I’ll write about our time here in Japan instead, memoir style. I haven’t decided. And I have to decide soon. Such are the problems of my life.
There’s a tropical storm coming our way. It was a typhoon, but it’s been downgraded, which is nice. It’s supposed to hit late tonight and tomorrow. I’ve found the best place to get updates on the coming storms/typhoons is actually the US Navy website- they have updates on what protocols are being enforced or whatever, and since there’s a naval base about an hour away, if I keep an eye on what they’re doing, it gives me a pretty good sense of what I need to be doing. This one shouldn’t be a big deal, we’ll just stay inside and hope that it stops in time for us to go to the church Halloween party tomorrow night. In general, typhoons haven’t affected us too much, which is a blessing. And it’s nice to know that they’re coming- that way we stock up on food (not emergency rations kind of stuff, just make sure we have enough bread and milk), and get any shopping or stuff outside the house done so that we can stay inside. Then we hunker down and read and watch movies.
And now I’m rambling, so I shall continue.
We’ve been watching Agents of SHIELD and while I’ve been seeing lots of critical reviews online and from friends, I’m really enjoying it. I have very little investment in the Marvel universe (I’m a DC girl), so I don’t really care if they “get it wrong”. I do find it funny that I can cast the whole show (except for Coulson and May) with the actors I’m betting Joss Whedon actually wanted, but the actors they’ve got are doing ok, and I have faith that the characters will gel given time. Even Sky, who I HATED in the pilot, is growing on me. And Raina, from the most recent episode, is one of the more intriguing characters on TV in the last while. She’s mysterious and gorgeous and cold as ice. I’m interested to see more of her. (And what was that at the end, with the “I like your dress” ” I know” ?? There was something being said there, wasn’t there? )
The one thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about in the last day or two ( a lot while I was battling with the storage room, because I was bored) is that almost everything I’ve seen on the interwebs is saying that Coulson is a robot. (B is going for Life Model Decoy, which it will probably be, because he’s usually right. He says that there’s precedence in the Marvel Universe. ) But, I’ve been thinking, what if he’s not a robot? I mean, this is Joss Whedon we’re talking about. He can channel the unpredictable and crazy. So what if it’s something else? It has to be something fairly big, because I’m assuming Coulson’s seen a lot in his time. Someone put out the idea that Fiji was actually Aasgaard (or however many a’s are in it, I’m too lazy to look it up) and he was brought back to life. But if that was the case, why is it imperative that he not know? I don’t think that would shake him so much. But what if he’s actually Loki, brainwashed into thinking he’s Coulson? (Obviously this is not the case, but wouldn’t it be AWESOME?) Or what if he’s actually unkillable and has been around for longer than he thinks, but they wipe his memory, and all that memorabilia he has is actually his stuff? Because here’s another thing. Why bring him back at all? Lots of SHIELD agents die (I’m assuming), so what’s so very important about Coulson, other than that he’s awesome? I want to knooooooow!
A Whitney Houston song just came on Pandora and threw off my whole thought process. She just wants to dance with somebody. But now I don’t know what I was going to say.
Oh! Another thing I’ve been thinking about, but I don’t have enough information to really get a grip on it- so in written Japanese, one kanji can have multiple completely different meanings and pronunciations. So, for example, the word mottanai on my egg carton yesterday can mean : impious, profane, sacrilegious, OR too good, more than one deserves, unworthy of, OR wasteful. Which, I guess you could argue are all connected; claiming that you are worthy of something for a god. But, you have to use context to figure out which meaning is the one that’s intended. Obviously, my eggs were not being advertised as profane. But that got me thinking about Japanese literature. How does it change the process of reading or writing when the symbols you are using to express thoughts carry such diverse meaning? How do you determine (or make clear, if you’re writing) which the real meaning is? A fuzzier example is shoryo, which is the soul of a beloved departed relative or friend. But the kanji can also be read as seirei, which means something more like a fairy. So if I’m reading a book and that kanji shows up, how do I know for sure which it is? In English you can argue that an author means this or that in a line reading, but in Japanese they could literally mean something different. It’s fascinating. There’s a guy at church who is a Japanese literature professor (I think) so I’m going to pick his brain.
Another random thought- I can’t believe that there isn’t an anime about Ono no Takamura, a court scholar from 800 who was the Oscar Wilde of his time and who, it was rumored, traveled down a well and into Hell each night. Doesn’t that sound perfect fodder for anime? Maybe there is one and I don’t know about it (which is entirely possible).
Edited to add: I just did some more research on Ono no Takamura, and here’s a story that illustrates what I mean about alternate readings of kanji. (from wikipedia) “One day in the palace of Saga Tennō, someone erected a scroll with the writing “無善悪”. No one in the palace was able to decipher its meaning. The emperor then ordered Takamura to read it, and he responded “It will be good if there is no evil (悪無くば善からん saga nakuba yokaran?),” reading the character for evil (悪 aku?) as “Saga” to indicate Saga Tennō. The emperor was incensed at his audacity and proclaimed that because only Takamura was able to read the scroll, he must have been the one who put it up in the first place. Takamura however pleaded his innocence, saying that he was simply deciphering the meaning of the scroll. The emperor said, “Oh, so you can decipher any writing, can you?” and asked Takamura to read a row of twelve characters for child (子?): “子子子子子子子子子子子子“. Takamura immediately responded: neko no ko no koneko, shishi no ko no kojishi (猫の子の子猫、獅子の子の子獅子?), using the variant readings ne, ko and shi/ji for the character; this translates to “the young of cat (猫 neko?), kitten (子猫 koneko?), and the young of lion (獅子 shishi?), cub (子獅子 kojishi?).” The emperor was amused by Takamura’s wit and removed the accusation.
I am really not a fan of John Cougar Mellencamp. (Two of his songs have come on Pandora and I have skipped them both.) And I have never fully realized, until I typed that out, what a strange name he has. Fun fact, when I first heard Dave Matthews, I thought he was JCM. It was that “hike up your dress a little more and show the world to me” song, and I hated it. And then I found out that it wasn’t JCM and still hated it. Dave Matthews and I are not friends either. Although I realized a while back that his singing from the back of his throat thing is the same thing that Cher does, and it makes me laugh to think that he’s trying to sing like Cher.
But now Bono is singing to me, and the world is a much happier place. I saw U2 in concert in Portland, and they were so amazing live. Bono has an electricity that is just indescribable. You just can not take your eyes off him. Strangely, Lenny Kravitz has that same pull- he walked out on stage (at a different concert, obviously) and he was THERE. He was a ROCK STAR in all caps. And now Sting is singing to me, and I’ve seen him live too. I love concerts. I found out that one of my absolutely favorite bands of ever, Suede, played here in Tokyo earlier in the month. I’m so sad I missed them, I would have LOVED to see them live. Brett Anderson has one of the most beautiful voices in the world. It’s so pure and ethereal. ( I will warn you, that song is devastating. So be prepared. But do listen to it.) And he is so very pretty.
That’s him in the 90s. But he’s just as pretty now, just less babyfaced.
And somehow it’s lunchtime. So off I go to make sandwiches.
What are you up to at this moment? What do you think I should write for Nanowrimo? Do you have a crazy Coulson theory? What;s the best concert you’ve ever gone to?