If you follow my Twitter, you no doubt saw the news… My mother passed away unexpectedly on Thursday. So, for now, I’m on indefinite hiatus.
This is… especially hard because my Dad died a few years back. And my other parents (my in laws) before that.
The funeral is the week after next, and then I go into the annual madness of the Kitsap County Fair… So the hiatus will likely last at least through the end of August. I have a few editorial pieces I may work on as my head allows, but I make no promises.
Bear with me folks, it’s a rough time but I will be back despite all the crazy in my life. This blog, this community, is an important part of my life.
Should be working on my weekly post today, but I’m inspired by a comment last week by reader Wingking.
Sure, sure, it’s a widely held opinion that the upcoming Winter season seems to be lacking a little bit. But is it all bad? Let’s look back a year, shall we?
This time last year we’d seen a ton of Ghibli in theaters thanks to Ghiblifest and a local arthouse theatre having a long run of Ghibli in subbed 70mm prints. It was especially cool to see the ones in subbed 70mm prints, the format they were originally designed for. Even though we’d seen them all before, it was nice to see them in a theatre.
We’d also seen two first run anime films, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale and the incomparable Your Name.
Now, let’s fast forward a year. We’ve seen Mary and the Witch’s Flower, A Silent Voice, and Night is Short, Walk on Girl. (All three first run.) We’ve also seen (for the first time) the classic Perfect Blue. (The last two within the last month!) The really cool part was that all four came to my local theatre way out on the rim of civilization.
What also inspired this post was sitting down and working on my calendar for the next few months… Next week we get to see My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. In November we get to see the much anticipated Liz and the Blue Bird. In December, we’re going to see Mirai… Three first (US) run anime movies in three months! Yeah, we’ll have to drive a bit to see all three, but no biggie.
So, let’s raise our glasses! Kampai! It truly is a good time to be an anime fan.
The batch of miso I made back in November finally came out of the fermenter over the weekend!
Very tasty, though it tastes more like shoyu than miso. (The two are closely related, so this isn’t a big surprise.) To be honest, I didn’t expect any particular flavor as I didn’t target any actual style. My usual method of learning to make new things is to just aim for the general vicinity… and then refine as I master the skills and techniques.
I figure I’ll put the next batch down in late August/early September (my schedule is FULL until then), aiming at a fast fermenting lighter style. This matches my miso soup recipe, which uses a blend of lighter and darker misos. (A blend makes for a much better soup in my experience.)
Hopefully, this means that by November I’ll be able to make miso soup entirely with my home-made miso!
My deepest apologies, but I’m going to have to take a break this week.
Last night, one of our guinea pigs spent the night at the vet’s in intensive care… We adopted Miss Molly mostly fully grown in April of 2012, so she’s getting pretty close to seven years old. That’s pretty old for a piggie (80-85 in human terms?), and her health is increasingly frail. With the problems she’s already having, last night was pretty scary, I didn’t sleep well, and my head isn’t exactly in a place for creative work.
Hopefully she comes home today (watch my twitter for updates), but the future is increasingly cloudy. (Not helped by having another pig with inoperable cancer.)
Yeah, probably more than you wanted to know, sorry.
Anyhow, the short version is that it was one h*ll of an action packed episode… Scott’s review, linked below, covers all that pretty well. Hit the link and give it a read! There’s some stuff I want to talk about, but I’ll add it to next week’s post.
I hope you’ll forgive an occasional side-trip into something other than anime… Anyhow, an image from six years ago popped up in my Facebook memories this morning, and I was gripped by the need to re-edit it.
Below is my new version, the original version is after the jump.
To provide context: This was originally posted to Facebook a couple of days after I returned home from my dad’s funeral.
The original title and caption:
Empty but for memory
This is a the last of a long line of Dad’s chairs. This is not how I remember Dad’s chair. This is not how I want to think about Dad’s chair.
I remember him sitting there… Coffee or beer, newspaper, remote, and ashtray (back before he quit, much too late) near to hand. Kids, grandkids, and cousins on his knee. Watching benevolently as we scrambled beneath the Christmas tree and he struggled to wake up. Relaxing after work. Cooling off after chores or projects. Cursing politicians. Berating referees. Cheering when his team made a play, or howling when the opposing team made a better play.
Laughing. Crying. Living. Loving. That’s how I’ll remember this chair.
In Memoriam, H Dean Lyons 5/29/1939-1/6/2012
After the jump, the original image and some thoughts on the re-edit.
For some months, I’ve been training an anime music channel on Pandora… (Link leads to the channel.) I’ve mostly tried to use seeds and thumbs up, though I had to thumb down the Pokémon Theme. Not only was it in heavy rotation – I positively loathe that song. And really, it was the heavy rotation that was the problem. Pandora’s selection of anime music is rather thin, and their song selection algorithms are… odd. They choose based on how much a song is “like” something you’ve already seeded the station with or given a thumbs up. Since the algorithm has only a limited understanding of “genre”, that tends to result in homogenization. Since they don’t seem to have a large selection of non-mainstream music, that also tends to result in pretty short playlists. (Though to be honest between their limited catalog and the algorithm’s over-eager pruning my more mainstream channels often suffer from the same problem.)
Anyhow, to make a long story short, I’ve had a Wake Up Girls playlist on iTunes for a couple of years now. A week or so ago, iblessall tweeted about buying the Girls Last Tour OST on iTunes-Japan, and I decided to see what, if any, anime music could be found on iTunes… (Though I limited myself to the American version because I didn’t want to go through the hoop jumping that shopping iTunes-Japan requires.)
I actually came up with a pretty nice selection of music. I could probably have found more, but my lovely wife gave me The Look and inquired as to just how much I intended to spend… I only really made one mistake, I didn’t pay attention when I bought START:DASH!!. I ended up buying the version performed by μ’s full lineup rather than the Honoka/Kotori/Umi version from ep 3 (which I prefer).
Anyhow, between Pandora and my iTunes playlist I have a nice selection of music to play when I’m working on my writing. When one gets old, I can swap to the other.
Do you have an anime playlist? What’s on it? Drop a comment and let me know!
If you’ve read my About page, or followed my twitter, you know I’m into food and cooking and have been exploring pickling and preserving… And you also know from here on the blog that my interests in Japanese culture extend beyond anime.
So, all that comes together in my latest project – making my own miso from scratch.
So, let’s hit the jump and take a look at the process!