dorchadas: (JCDenton)
So yesterday I was looking up the lyrics of the Hymn of the Fayth from Final Fantasy X, and after a bit of searching, I found a page that listed them as:
Ieyui (pray)
Nobomeno (savior)
Renmiri (dream)
Yojuyogo (child of prayer)
Hasatekanae (forever and ever)
Kutamae. (Grant us peace)
And I thought that can't be right, unless it's an invented language. Do I decided to look up 祈りの歌 (Inori no Uta, "The Song of Prayer"), the Hymn of the Fayth's Japanese title, and see if I could find more information on it that way.

The first page I looked at, I found this picture and looking at it, without reading any of the other text, suddenly everything made sense:

 photo AB95ECF9-E762-40B9-A30E-FA9FFE2C2FA8.jpg

Red and green added by me.

I always thought the words of the Hymn of the Fayth were nonsense, but apparently they're based on a syllable scramble! The song is sung from top to bottom, left to right, red part, then green part. That gives the lyrics above. But if you read it left to right, top to bottom, then it's actually Japanese and reads
Inore yo
Ebon-ju
Yume miyo
Inorigo
Hatenaku
Sakaetamae
Which translates to:
Pray to
Yu-Yevon
Dream of
The Fayth
Without ceasing
Make us prosper.
That's where the lyrics above came from from. Though the second two lines might also be addressed to the Fayth, telling them to dream.

Of course, all this is in the wiki article about the song, so I could have just looked there. But I didn't, and I'm happy I figured this out.
dorchadas: (Broken Dream)
A couple days ago, I read this article about the game Wurm Online and a man who was a king. I found it really poignant, the image of the author and the man riding together through an overgrown and abandoned landscape, littered with the crumbling ruins of what was once a vibrant community of players now almost all gone. A single house, alone in the wilderness, the last remnant of life.

Like this passage:
We haven’t seen a single soul since we left Strongbox but these towers are populated by NPC guards. Reminders that there used to be something worth protecting nearby. In this case, the flat land is peppered with bed frames. It used to be a collection of houses. But none of the walls, roofs or chimney stacks remain. Only bedframes, abandoned and forgotten.
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The other reason the Wurm Online article hit me is because I played World of Warcraft for six years, for thousands of hours of playtime, and I have almost no posts written about it on here. For a long time, I used my blog as a form of social media before Twitter and Tumble and Facebook rose to the prominence they now occupy, and once those took off, I stopped posting much of anything here that wasn't directly what happened in my daily life. That means I sometimes went weeks or months without posting, and that something that took up a huge portion of my life and the lives of many of my friends for years is left with almost no records. I even ended up accidentally deleting my screenshots at some point. All I have are memories.

Yesterday, [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and I finished watching ToraDora, after having it on our to-watch list for almost six years. It's a deconstruction of the tsundere--one of the main characters is even voiced by Kugimiya Rie--with a happy ending that works out for nearly everyone. It's very Japanese in that "I will set aside my own happiness for now so that you can be happy and achieve your dreams" way, in multiple directions. And like many other such anime, it ends when high school does, happily, and the future is glowing brightly ahead as the characters walk forward into it. Even though these are high school relationships and the odds of them lasting past the beginning of college is very low, we don't want to see that. We want a happy ending.

That Japanese in the subject translates as "There is nothing that is eternal," which is the title of a story I wrote for that Scion LARP I was in and also one of the bedrock parts of my life philosophy. And while I was searching for the link to that story, I found this question on 知恵袋 (chiebukuro, "fount of knowledge") where someone asks if there is anything in this world that is eternal. One person says love, and one person says time, but the majority answer is that there is nothing.

I think that's what I write so much of my life down now. It's a way of holding out against entropy, of making the transitory experience of playing a single-player video game into something that can be shared with other people, of turning my experience of a good meal or an anime convention or a vacation into a record that will stand for longer than my memories do. There's already been plenty of times when I read an old blog post I wrote and find something I had forgotten or that I was remembering wrong, and writing it down meant that what really happened, or my perception thereof, remains.

We are, all of us, looking for something eternal. We will fail, inevitably. But that doesn't mean we can't try.

We don't build sandcastles in the hope that they'll last forever.

Are you there in my dreams?
Waiting there just for me?
Are you there for me?
Are you there for me?

I won't surrender
While hope still lives in this world...
Kawaii heart emoji photo heart_emoji_by_kawaiiprincess2-d51re77.gif
dorchadas: (Broken Dream)
Current mood:



I've been having a pretty bad week, and I've said so before, and people have been very kind when I have. And then, my brain immediately leaps to one of three possible options:

People Who Didn't Say Anything: It's because they didn't care at all, and probably wish they had never met me in the first place so my whining wouldn't assault their ears.
People Who Said Something In Public: They're grandstanding, making sure to demonstrate their compassion publically. It's all performative.
People Who Said Something In Private: They have an ulterior motive, either not wanting to break their friendship with [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd, not wanting to cause any other rifts among our mutual friends, or it's pity without any actual care behind it.

You can probably see how literally anything anyone says to me can get shunted into one of these three boxes, which makes it pretty difficult for me to hear what's being said. It's like conspiratorial thinking, where evidence proves the conspiracy, unrelated evidence is bent to fit the conspiracy, and lack of evidence just shows how effective the conspiracy is.

I'd like off the conspiracy train, please.
it's that old recurring dream where you're drowning
flailing your arms out, fearful and frantic
and black waves are curling and pounding
down onto your head somewhere in the Atlantic
through the fathoms below you a shadow
is gliding up towards you with singular purpose
and hundreds of thousands of gallons
of ocean froth and foam as it breaks the surface

its black eyes find you almost at once
you can't hide, swim away or take air into your lungs
to scream for help that won't come
dorchadas: (Not the Tale)

Nonetheless, I'm writing a New Year's retrospective.

I'm very fortunate that 2014 was a pretty good year for me. A lot of my friends had major shakeups or active disasters, to say nothing of the national or world situation (which are admittedly mostly things that got greater exposure this year rather than being entirely new), but for my family, everything went very well. In honor of the listicle becoming a thing, I'll do this in a list format:
  • Marriage: Still married, [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd is still the best wife ever. This alone helps brighten every year.  photo emot-chio.gif

  • RPGs: I finished off the Delta Green game I started years ago, played in (and wrote up an Actual Play of!) a short-run game run by my wife in a setting I wrote, am playing in her Princess: the Hopeful game, and am currently running two games, a WFRP 2e game and a Fallout ORE game set in Chicago. I'm also slowly working on Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom, and I have some other ideas in the pipeline when I have more gaming time. I'm set on this score.

  • Work: I didn't get fired in the sudden layoffs a month ago at my job, my performance review was great, I still get to listen to podcasts for hours every day, and I still don't have to talk to anyone. The new managerial team means the future is uncertain, but for the last year, at least, everything was great.

  • Writing: I write a lot nowadays. Between putting more RPG stuff here, Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries, my book reviews, and starting to write reviews of all the video games I beat...well, I'm not sure how many words a week that is, but it's easily in the thousands. I didn't do NaNoWriMo this year, but I don't need it to compel me to write. I'm doing fine on my own.

  • Video games: I'm happiest that I finally beat Morrowind again, but most of the fond memories I have are of playing with my friends. Minecraft and a Secret of Mana with [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and Terraria with her and another friend filled a lot of happy hours. I got some of the kickstarters I backed too (Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland II), but I can't speak to their quality, because I'm waiting for them to be patched up to play them. I even picked up my DS copy of Chrono Trigger and started to run through it again. And finally, I ended up sharing even some of my single-player gaming with my friends through the magic of streaming video. It is truly a Golden Age of gaming on all fronts.  photo emot-qfg.gif

  • Exercise: Last year I was worried that I wasn't getting enough walking in, but I easily fixed that problem. My tracking program tells me that I'm getting an average of around 14K steps per day, which is more than enough and is also probably why I go through socks so fast and wore through the soles of my boots and had to replace them in November. On the other hand, I've maintained my weight and I'm very happy with the way I look and feel. The only disadvantage is the amount of money that goes down my throat with all the food I eat...but fortunately we can afford it. The only problem I ran into was smashing my toe on a doorframe, but while it hasn't healed back to the same way it was before I smashed it, it's not actually hindering me in any way, so I can count that a victory. I could have broken it, after all.

  • Money: After years of living close to the bone, [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd graduated from grad school and got a job making over twice what I make at her first choice of school, so we're in good hands for the foreseeable future and I can return to my customary behavior of saving about a quarter of our pre-tax income. I also, through the incredible generosity of my parents during [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd's tenure in school, managed to pay off all of her student loans two days before she graduated, which puts us in an incredibly fortunate situation compared to the vast majority of our peers. We also finally finished off the saga of the Japanese Pension Office payment, receiving our payment roughly two and a half years after the average amount of time it's supposed to take. We are unbelievably lucky on all monetary fronts, and, b'ezrat haShem, hopefully that luck will continue.

To celebrate my good fortune, I made sure to accomplish a resolution I've had for a while--eat an entire bar of dark chocolate at once. The secret to achieving your dreams is to make sure they're petty and stupid.  photo emot-parrot.gif

As is my somewhat years tradition, here's some song lyrics which I've posted nearly every year since I was in university:
A long December and there's reason to believe

Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin'
Now the days go by so fast

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven...I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California...I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood

It's been so long since I've seen the ocean...I guess I should


I honestly don't remember how I got in the habit of posting those. I think it was adolescent angst and the eternal hope that things would be better, and now I'm just continuing that tradition even though things have gotten better. A lot better. Here's to them continuing that way in 2015.  photo emot-c00l.gif

明けましておめでとうございます!皆さん、今年もよろしくお願いします!
dorchadas: (Not the Tale)
Let's talk about the last year!

I guess the biggest change from the perspective of this blog is that I started actually posting here again. I got inspired by RPGs--as is often the case, I admit--and started my Dungeons & Design series, and I think it was mostly the fact of posting those that got me into the habit of posting about other subjects. There are other factors too, like how I have enough down time here and there at work that I can write posts in notepad, send them home, and then post them. I also stopped friend-locking everything and started defaulting to public posts, even when they're about my life. It's essentially security through apathy--I can see how many people visit my blog, and on an average day it's a couple dozen. I post all these updates to Facebook and Twitter and the truth is that most people don't care. That may be a little sad, but it certainly tells me that the excessive care I was taking about talking about anything remotely personal is unwarranted. Whatever I say will mostly just get lost in the flow of the internet anyway, unless people are specifically looking to read it.

I was hoping that we'd be paid back by at least one of the people who owed us money this year, but it didn't happen. Aggressively didn't happen, in the case of the Japanese Pension Office. Or perhaps passive-aggressively? Regardless, it led to some tight moments at times, especially during the summer, though I do admit that some of that is because I refuse to touch the principal. Now that [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd has a steady paycheck from her internship everything is okay, though I admit my grasping miserliness does mean I'm less happy with our finances that their absolute quality should lead me to be, but overall it's been on an upward trend. And maybe someone will actually pay us this year. A man can dream.

Work continues much the same as it has been. I had my annual review and did better than I did last year, and my job's bureaucracy and policies means that I'll get an automatic raise and a yearly bonus commensurate with my performance. It's theoretically possible that we won't get the bonus, since the amount and whether it occurs at all is based on the AMA's overall performance during the year, but I haven't heard of anything that would indicate that it's not coming. Even if it doesn't, I'll still get the raise. The benefits of working for a non-profit with no shareholders!

In terms of personal improvement, I took up programming! I originally thought about doing it back in May and was given a lot of resources, and later took a Coursera course that I wrote all about. I've even seen found an implementation of Python for the iPad, and since I have my iPad with me all the time at work, I can get that and then have time to bash my head against programs at work as well as at home! Indeed, during my interview for the job I was asked if I knew anything about HTML or programming and I had to say that I did not, so if I can actually learn programming to a useful level I can hopefully get a promotion. The end project was an implementation of Asteroids, and I'd love to do a lot more to work on it than I had to do for the class to keep my hand in, but what I did accomplish is reasonably impressive, I think.

Also, studied Japanese, but on that subject I'm less confident. I maintained my ability, and that's about it.

Last year, I told myself that if I maintained the weight I had reached in August (~77 kg) for a whole year, I'd go get my wedding ring resized because it's rather large now and I'm kind of worried that it will slip off at some point. Well...I did maintain my weight, but I didn't actually get the ring resized--see the above-mentioned grasping miserliness. I also linked up my new iPhone's M7 chip with LoseIt and started tracking my steps and apparently my average number of steps per day is...5,218. Out of the 10K that's recommended. Exercise is healthy basically no matter what, and getting that number up is something I'd like to improve on in the future, but so far I'm doing pretty well on that front.

Oh, also I'm Jewish now. That's pretty big, I guess. I wrote a lot more about my feelings at the time at the linked blogpost, and since then...yeah. It was the right decision.

I made much more of an effort to be social in 2013. In 2012, I think I had the tendency to hermit a lot more, turning down people's invitations and not really inviting anyone over to [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd and my apartment. I'm not sure what exactly it was. It might have been some remaining difficulty with adjusting to the pace of social life in America vs. what it had been like in Japan, maybe some Anxiety Cat--there's a really old one that I thought fit me really well that said something like "too nervous to talk to people, come off as arrogant or standoffish"--maybe just my typical introverted personality, but this year I tried to avoid falling into the trap of staying home all the time. I like to think I succeeded, or at least reasonably well. And it turns out that traveling out to other places isn't really that bad, even on a work night. I tend to apply the maxim "past performance is no indication of future results" to social events if I'm not careful, in the sense that sure I had fun the last time I went to a party, and the time before that, and probably the time before that...but what about this time!?!? That's not a productive attitude to take, honestly. So this year, I made sure to try to shut that off at the pass. Once I get out of the house, then inertia takes over and I'm not exactly going to turn around halfway there. And it turns out that my friends are awesome people and fun to be around to an extent that far outweighs the annoyance of having to change my physical location. Who would have thought, right? Obviously, this has always been true, but it's convincing that little voice that's the trick, and in 2013 I beat it into submission. Or at least, I inflicted grevious wounds.

All in all, it's been a pretty fantastic year, and I'm looking forward to what 2014 will bring.

I realize that posting song lyrics is incredibly emo and so early-2000s as to be aggressively unhip, but it's pseudo-tradition for me, so:

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leavin'
Now the days go by so fast
And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven...I wish you would
The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl
And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California...I think you should
Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her
And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
And it's one more day up in the canyon
And it's one more night in Hollywood
It's been so long since I've seen the ocean...I guess I should...
dorchadas: (Default)
A bit different this year.

Wassail, wassail... )

*raises a glass*

新年明けましておめでおう!今年もよろしく. Happy New Year, everyone!
dorchadas: (Dreams are older)
lyrics )

And it looks like it will be, too.
dorchadas: (Zombies together!)
More later, but for now, suffice to say I had a wonderful time at [personal profile] schoolpsychnerd's.

And I didn't get horribly burned. Hopefully the rest of the year continues on a similar high note.

lyrics )

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dorchadas: (Default)
dorchadas

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