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Archive for April, 2009

Hey guys, welcome to Mint Cafe.

My life has been pretty hectic so far. A lot has been going a lot in my personal life that pools into my academic life and my other priorities. All the stress I’ve had has really been boggling down, and the recent events of my life have really blown me into a million pieces. Mostly, I’ve been just dealing with personal shit, buying woot shirts and just trying to do something more productive than just emo-esquing and mentally rotting in my room. So I would like to personally thank all the people who have been supporting me through this really rough patch in my life, anyone who called me and asked if I was okay and anyone who really… took the time to listen to me just shoot my head off (mostly via phone or irl). I really can’t do this without you guys, and I just want to know that, even if I do and say some stupid things, I love you guys, and I appreciate all that you do for me.

That goes double for anyone dealing with me specifically today (Thursday) and Monday. I was just a wreck. This one’s for you guys.

Currently Listening To: Tracking Treasure Down (Gabriel & Dresden ft. Molly)
Currently Drinking: Pepsi Cola Throwback… with Natural Sugar!
Currently Playing: Nothing
Current Mood: Mentally Broken but Still Alive (and Almost Human)

So, I thought long and hard (kind of like my amazing invisible penis) about what I wanted to write. Something serious, but not too serious (like, no commentary on the swine flu or waterboarding). Something that I felt passionate against and… something that I REALLY REALLY WANTED TO CHANGE, but I really couldn’t.

And it dawned on me. Every Anime Convention season, there’s always one thing that I worry more about lines, and unfinished cosplay. The word has been flying out of my mouth since the Spring season started.

Weeaboo.

(From the Ever Factual Urban Dictionary)
Weeaboo /n/ - A word filter for the image board 4chan.org that replaces the word wapanese. Originates arbitrarily from a Perry Bible Fellowship comic strip wherein a man was paddled by a crowd chanting "Weeaboo! Weeaboo!"

Wapanese – (really the definition is far too long, but know it simply means a white person who wants to be Japanese or wants to engulf himself or herself in all things Japanese, in a very negative and Anime-Tunnel-Vision way. Being called a Wapanese is NOT a compliment, and it doesn’t mean you embrace Japanese culture but, rather, embrases Japanese culture as seen through anime)

The first thing to mention is that weeaboos are not all white. There are black weeaboos and hispanic weeaboos, and weeaboos of many different shapes and sizes. And, in the very rare case, there are Asian (non-Japanese) weeaboos, although this is seen in much smaller concentration, and tend to have a better understanding of general Asian culture).

The second thing is that not all anime watchers or otakus are weeaboos. Anime watchers are just that, people who watch anime. Otakus are extreme fans of anime or general Japanese culture, but don’t pretend that they’re Japanese and don’t have such an infamous connotation (ex: I can say I’m an Otaku and I’m damn proud).Weeaboo reaches into the realm of deep obsession, sometimes pretending to be Japanese in every day situations. Often times they will incorporate words they hear from anime into every day life (baka, kawaii, daijobu, nani, oniiiiiii-chan, arigatou) with an intent to sound “knowledgeable” about Japanese culture. They have a notorious habit of trying to one-up other fans about anime knowledge and Japanese culture and tend to see themselves as “experts of anime.”

And yes, it can just be a simple way of expressing one’s interest, but they just do it in a very shallow and arrogant way. In many cases, most of them put off learning Japanese and interpret how Japanese culture is only through anime (Slice of Life Animes). Sometimes, there is an embrace of J-rock, EGL and Cosplay culture, and they tend to look at only that as “Japanese Culture” and a very stubborn rejection of American culture. In fact, the majority of weeaboo culture likes to complain about American society.

During Anime Conventions, weeaboos feel the need to dive into other individual’s personal bubbles. Glomping, hugging and overall humping are not uncommon actions. “Dressing up” or cosplaying in some shape or form is a popular activities, but this should not be confused with people who simply cosplay (Not all cosplayers are weeaboos). If you ARE cosplaying, a great way to pick up on who is a weeaboo is to see who is bounding up to you to hug you to death, which leads me too a convention experience I’ll never forget:

Once upon a time, in a far away convention (Otakon 2008), I was cosplaying as Shiva (It was an interesting experience, but something I’ll never do again). My whole body was painted pale blue, and it had taken 4 hours to paint my whole body. I spent all day being super careful about running into people, or things), and it was atrocious just walking around in body paint. If you have to be a different color, I STRONGLY suggest you get a body suit and not paint yourself.

Anyway, I was standing to the side after finishing posing for some super random cosplay when, all of a sudden, a weeaboo girl RUNS to me and HUGS me. I tighten up, unable to hug back. In fact, I’m shit terrified that if I move, the make up will smudge off and Shiva would have a skin patch on her tummy. She finally lets go, and I notice she’s wearing next to nothing.

Let me rephrase. She was cosplaying as Sexy No Jutsu Naruto, but she was twice my size and wearing a cotton ball “tube top” and “undies” (she had glued cotton balls to her scraps of fabric). Beyond this, she was overflowing with gut. And she just hugged me.

Then, she ran into a very fast speech about how she loved my Shiva cosplay and how awesome it was and how she loved that I did it and that she had to go and kthx and pics and bai.

No, this is not the first case that I have been glomped, but this was the only situation while in my Shiva cosplay that someone had the audacity to hug me without asking or saying anything to me first. And, although many people did not have the respect to ask to take pictures, they did not run up to me and scare the living shit out of me.

Weeaboos are often responsible for the staircase cloggage, large squeeling crowds and shallow concepts of anime. Really, watching all of Naruto and Bleach and being an expert in Naruto/Kakashi fan fiction does not make you an anime expert. Screaming “AH MAH GAWD BAKA BAKA SIT SIT SIT!” and wearing a gothic lolita dress three sizes too small for you does not make you a “Japanese expert.”

Yes, it’s okay to have fun and to be a little crazy, especially during an Anime Convention. I mean, if you can’t do it at a con, where CAN you do it? But there’s a limit to how much sheer stupidity a con can take, and it’s not cool to have fun that causes everyone else anguish. If you go to an anime convention, dress to your weight. Be polite to cosplayers (and don’t jump us) and just… calm down a bit. Weeaboos are the damn reason why so many people are turned off by anime, and it really sucks to think that so many people don’t watch anime or attend conventions because of the immaturity and stupidity of their fanbase.

Please. Just… stop. Fucking weeaboos.

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And now that I have your attention.

A couple of things have happened this week/week-end, so I’ll try to fill it all here. Because a couple things have happened, I’m using this blog more as a blog than as a rant center today (I’m sure there will be much rantage, but it’s more about my “experiences in my personal life” rather than a broad topic like “economics” or “boobies”), so please excuse my jumping around between different topics. I am a normal person, I am not worldly (or, well, I don’t consider myself to be), and I do have real life shit to vent about every once in a while.

Currently Listening: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan
Currently Watching: Dollhouse, Mushishi
Currently Playing: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan
Current Mood: Excited (for Spring Break!)

This weekend, I went to an Anime Convention held in RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). It was one of the smaller conventions I’ve ever gone to and very much reminded me (in both a good and bad way) why I went to anime conventions as a whole (and why I probably shouldn’t).

One of the biggest reasons why I go to Anime Conventions is to envelope myself in anime. Anime love, fandom (in all its gutsy glory), Anime merchandise… you get my drift. Anyway, I didn’t feel Tora-con really shoved me into Anime, but all is not lost! I did discover mushi-shi, which is/was one of the screenings they had, and I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends (watching fat pool divers, making the human transfiguration circle, making fun of masquerade skits), but it wasn’t a convention that “stood” out for me, and there were a lot of problems that I found with the convention (which were reminders of why I went to time-tested conventions like Otakon).

First thing first, the planning left much to be desired, especially with the registration situation. Renting out a few banisters or posting tape along the gym path could have definitely helped with the mess they liked to call “the registration line” (aka, a bunch of people humping each other to get to the front). I suppose I have never appreciated lines as much as I did then. Even New York Anime Fest 2007 (it’s first con ever) was better planned with regards to registration.

Secondly, and this is partially their fault but partially not, was the torrent of young con-goers between the ages of 9 to 13. I will say, my first Anime convention was when I was 13, but my parents kept me IN LINE at all times, and the parents that brought these kids around did NOT do that. Most of the time, I barely saw the parents. And there was scantily clad jailbait from the floor to the roof.

These two “issues” alleviated themselves near the end of the convention (children leaving cause it got late, registration closing, and all that good stuff), and I did have a lot of good times during the con. I feel that Tora-Con is an interesting “introduction” to the world of Anime Conventions and definitely has a lot of potential and room to grow. I also think the staff needs to accommodate for the growing audience.

One of the best things that Tora-con did for me was pump me up for the following Anime conventions I’m going to, mainly Otakon. For one, I will truly appreciate the organization of Thursday’s Line-Con and the pre-planned blue duct tape that lines the floor to organize panel lines. Thank you Otakon volunteers for all you do, even if you’re just doing it for the free room.

Oh, and I’m super excited to see what Otakon has in store with regards to concerts, screenings and sellings (DEALER’S ROOM, HERE I COME). OTAKON 2009 HERE I COME!

So, post-con, I’ve been catching up on watching anime (mainly Mushi-shi) and watching TV shows (mainly South Park). Then, some drama goes down (I’m sure you all already have your own bullshit drama to deal with so I’ll be quick).

Remember that blog post I had? I’ll link it here. I’m sure that a few folks knew enough to know that I was talking about someone specifically (and if you didn’t, never fear! Now you do! Sides, my ramblings have to come from SOME life experience). In any case, my blog is open to anyone and everyone, so I knew that there could be a day when said person would pass along by and possibly read this. In fact, I hope said person would. So today, I quote from a girl who demands to be treated like a woman but acts like a toddler (excuse the poor language, I am using the magic of copy pasta and her writing is about as on-par as her thought process):

“fuck all of you who write shit & LIES behind my back AND DONT EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME and those who take thier side go to hell don’t ever talk to me again you should have talked to me in person not someone who doesn’t know shit about me or my past FUCK YOU FOR JUDGEING ME”

“Humans are selfish they will do anything to prove themselves innocent and even involve others to take sides they will do anything to be right and wether they lie or twist the truth they won’t care even if it means to shatter everything that had a meaning, so desperate to win that it leads to a war and become enemies […] You only have yourself to blame for this. If this is what you wanted congratz you won.”

Like I said, let’s try to ignore the English language problems that already drop her down to teenage-brat standards. The attitude is of the same caliber as her writing: poorly thought out, childish and immature. If you don’t think people know about you, open up. If you think people judge you unfairly, show them something that is irrefutably good. If it is CLEAR that many people dislike your attitude, it isn’t human nature is selfish, it is you YOURSELF, as a person, who chooses to have this close-minded attitude about other people. And if you STILL want to argue about this, have a little common sense and bring in some evidence. Even with my ranting, I try to bring in examples, anecdotes and ideas.

Plus just shouting to the world about how other people are selfish and “involving others against me” makes the whole argument seem bratty and stupid.

Debaters and fans of arguments, this is NOT the way you go about proving your side or cause. And please, PLEASE, just use a grammar check or a spell check. It’s okay to capitalize a word or two (hell, I use it all the time to place emphasis on a word). It is not okay to have run on sentences slaughter-fuck your point. It only furthers the proof of your sheer stupidity. My 13 year old students wrote better than that.

And enough with the generalizations. Not all white people are racist haters, not all anime fans are super core nerds. Not all comp sci majors live on computers (subject may vary) and not all hicks ride tractors to school. And saying something like “humankind” or “humans” or even “the world in which we live in today” is so broad and generalize and… altogether a bad way of starting anything. You don’t do them in history papers, you don’t do them in English papers, you don’t do them in debates. I think the message is clear enough.

Now the real meat of her statement. I feel that when she writes, it’s like a puzzle you have to get through to find the pointless and over-dramatic meaning underneath (no wonder nobody reads her status on facebook). I think the point is that humans are selfish creatures who are willing to sacrifice humans to make enemies with other humans to win a war? Excuse me?

Well, for one, a war can’t be fought by one person alone. Even if a general wants to sacrifice troops, he still has to check that he has enough back-up troops or other troops. If each general on one side sacrificed one soldier against the other, the one with more people would win. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to be making enemies in a war since, well, you’d have less humans to sacrifice. And what’s at the end of this war? If humans are selfish, at least point out what they’re fighting for. Humans arn’t stupid (well, usually arn’t stupid). Most humans arn’t going to sacrifice other people for no reason. It isn’t even practical. You’re sacrificing humans for no reason when they could be used elsewhere.

The topic has strayed. My point is, if there’s no “war” to be had, there’s no point in throwing things into the fray. Humans don’t live to make enemies. What benefit do I have in making an enemy or winning a purposeless war?

I’m sorry for the obscene rantage about… well… nothing and something in particular? Just the sheer stupidity of this argument is mind boggling. I never knew someone could complain so much about nothing and make so much nonsense up. It’s like shit was pulled out and then shat on some more.

Not to mention it’s a slaughter fuck of the English language. No language should be so mangled up like that.

And so, to the child I quoted above, I can only say these final words:

I’m sorry that you could not have been brought up in a more difficult situation. It is your spoiled upbringing that has led you to believe that enough pig squeals will get you what you want. But in the real world, you play with people who have such things as intelligence and social awareness, which you may not know of. The is a world outside of yourself, and all you have to do is open your mind to realize that.

Instead, you fill your heart with hate, blaming the rest of society for your own faults. You refuse to acknowledge any wrong in your own beliefs because you’ve been doted on far too long. Like a toddler who’s sucked on a pacifier too long and now has to have it taken away, you’re screaming for it. And you won’t learn that you have to fucking go up and get it yourself until people stop handing it back to you.

I don’t blame myself for any poor and foolish decisions you’ve made, because you’ve clearly blocked out any opinions others may have of you. You’re only a god in your own world, and I am perfectly fine with that. Go be your god.

But don’t you ever fucking dare bring your immaturity and arrogance to mine again. I’ve dealt with your bullshit whining long enough. The last thing I need to be is a god damned baby sitter.

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I had a particularly difficult time deciding on what to write today. And, for once, it’s not because I have so few topics but, rather, I have so many. And by many, I mean two. My initial intention was to write about community service, since I haven’t finished the rant of yesteryear (my previous blog post). However, it seemed like the topic of the week was “boobs” or rather, complaining about boobs. So, how could I resist writing about such a juicy topic? For those of you weak of heart… or brain… feel free to completely skip over this post. Oh, and no pictures of bare boobies. I have SOME decency. *sad face* If you want fap material, look elsewhere.

In any case, said community service topic will be postponed till I’ve had my say on breasts (or part of it anyway, since if I really wrote about everything I had to say about breasts, I’d have a wonderfully written and probably sexist book on bewbage).

For those of you looking for a snack, Walmart is also selling boxes of candy for a dollar in Geneseo (and I mean boxes, not bags). Such candies include starburst sour gummies, sour patch kids, whoppers, gobstoppers, and M&Ms.

I, myself, am currently eating a very unhealthy bag of Twizzlers (I will stop now, since I need to maintain my figure for a certain Rinoa costume). Much thanks to the men and women who have helped make this blog post possible with your continual commentary on them pleasure pillows.

Currently Listening To: High School Never Ends (Bowling for Soup)
Currently Drinking: Pepsi
Currently Eating: Twizzlers
Current Mood: Sleepy
Picture of the Now

Oh man… so I have no idea where to begin. “My own breasts” are definitely on the top of a list of things that women complain about, usually with regards to size. I sure as hell know I complain about my breasts all the damn time (this is probably due to my inability to find bras my size and because of cosplay). To see a very good post directed at women about the size of boobies, I direct you to An Ode, To Natural Beauty.

As a fan of breasts myself, I would dare to say that the phrase “bigger is better” does not apply to breasts all the time. For one, a lot of it has to do with proportions. A smaller pair of breasts may work out PROPORTIONALLY with a smaller body frame. Having huge knockers on a small body frame may not be attractive.

Plus, anything past a certain size is too much. I like breasts that can fill my hand, not overflow it. I only have two hands to work with, and any more titty surface is wasted titty surface (I think this is why the variety of “choice breast size” is different per person… each person has a different hand size). In any case, “FF” or “G” breasts are really not the way to go. Like these. I’ll ignore the fact that they’re implants (which is a whole onslaught of NO itself), and just point out that these titties are far too big. They cause back problems and are a hassle to deal
with when running or, well, going around anywhere.

A lot of this thinking about titties, other than the obvious, stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend, Alex, about breasts in bras and how we have a distorted image of said breasts because, well, they’re stuffed into a bra. We decided to deem this situation as “The Lump of Coal Pandemic.” A description of said pandemic can be found here:

The Lump of Coal Pandemic
You know on Christmas morning when you run downstairs and there’s a beautifully wrapped present underneath your tree? It’s just for you, wrapped together with gorgeous trimmings, all waiting to be ripped for the ridiculously expensive and wonderful gift. Hell, it may even be in the shape of a bike, just waiting to be ridden (that’s what she said).

You tear that present apart, and I mean really dig your fingers into it. The packaging come flying off in an instant and you stand back to admire your handy work. And you look down…

and it’s a lump of coal.

That’s exactly what it feels like when you open the bra to a visually gorgeous pair of tits (in a bra) and they just… sink. Kind of like the sinking feeling in your chest when you see them.

And onto this breast implant thing. Breast implants, in my opinion, are not attractive. It’s one thing to get them because of breast cancer, some illness, removal of one breasts, whatever. But to increase your boob size for the sake of? Why? WHY? They’re horrendously fake and horrendously hard. Like rocks on your chest hard. One of the biggest joys of breasts is being able to sleep on them, sqeeze them, use them as cushion-y pleasure pillows…

I’m getting side tracked. The point is, boobies are supposed to be soft. Why defile them by filling them with silicone. There are tons of complications and you have to go back and replace your titty bags every so often because, damn, those things expire. And then they’re not sensitive anymore (did I mention when you’re having sex on top, you may knock the guy unconscious with your swinging jugs?), thereby not making them as fun to play with.

And there are some gorgeous breasts that are out there and are small, which goes back to PROPORTION. Huge DDs on a little Asian girl would not be particularly attractive (then they sag, and get stretch marks and look really funky and all that stuff).

jun-natsukawa

Like her. She’s not particularly top heavy, but still very attractive. There’s always this mentality that bigger boobs are sexier, but they’re not. There are SO many things that go into how breast fans view titties that size can practically be thrown out the window. Like, for myself, I like breasts that look squeezable, but not necessarily big. Breasts that fit in my hand, breasts that stand up for themselves, and breasts that scream to be groped (my friend, on the other hand, very much concentrates on how perky a pair of titties are and how cute the nipples are… you see! MANY things go into thinking about titties).

breabennetthi1

See? Another small chested beauty. You don’t need knockers the size of the moon to draw attention.

Plus, there are many ways to make your breasts appealing without sticking some cups in them. For one, you can buy more push up bras to encourage cleavage. They don’t have to be Victoria Secret UBER SEXY FROM THE CLOSET WITH WINGS ATTACHED bras. A simple bra with a little push at the bottom will work (hell, I will HELP you make push up bras if you need them).

You can work out your pectoral muscles behind your breasts to push them out and give them added firmness. Bench press (for once in your god damned life) or push ups will help you develop the pectoral muscles behind your breasts, thus pushing out your titties. Plus, a good work out will keep your body in shape, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.

To make a long story very short (I know, tl;dr), please celebrate your breasts. If you’re a guy and you have a girlfriend, appreciate her titties. If you’re a guy and you don’t have a girlfriend, appreciate the titties you get to see around you (except from afar, no groping strangers). And if you wish you had bigger or better or whatever titties, work on it. A cup of silicone is NOT a quick fix.

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So I’m writing this on my way home from good ol’ New York City (and publishing when I get back to good not-as-ol’ Geneseo). We had our District Officer Training Conference (DOTC) for Circle K this weekend, so it has been a very hectic time for me. DOTC is when the newly elected Board of a District is trained (self-explanatory, I know), and it’s a big bonding time. It’s also when the first real board meeting takes place, so I had to sit in a board meeting for 7 hours (man, I seem to live just for parliamentary procedure and long board meetings). A great part of being Lieutenant Governor in CKI (that’s my position, if people are still wondering), is being able to work with multiple clubs and really seeing all the work they all do. Plus, you get to really meet and work with some really awesome people. But at the same time, there’s always a great chance of forgetting why you joined the organization in the first place. Circle K IS a community service organization, and it makes me sad that so much of that is thrown away when you take any position above the club level. There are so many officers who do less service because of all the work they have, or all the stuff they have to do. For example, I couldn’t attend the Kidney Walk or Ronald McDonald House because I had to go to this and other Circle K meetings.

The other problem is that it IS a high stress job. The people you work with are not just other officers, but your friends. I think, sometimes, people forget to play with the balance of both, and treat other people in some ways they shouldn’t. I know this week was especially stressful for me because one or more persons treated me like Lieutenant Governor, Josephine and not Josephine, Lieutenant Governor. I do have other needs outside of finishing deadlines.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on. We also listened to a lot of Broadway music, which leads into the next thing. Every year, the board decides upon a “board theme” where everyone represents something from that theme (ex: I would be squirtle in a Pokemon theme). We went through a lot of ideas, including a Disney theme (we also considered Disney villains) and a Starbucks Theme (man, I would have been all over that Starbucks). Anyway, we finally decided upon a Broadway Musicals theme, and I’m Avenue Q (haha, course I choose the one full of porn, sluts and sex). One of my friends, Imran, chose Wicked (a very good choice), which we were singing a lot. Man, we almost had a Wicked board, which shows how much we were talking about and listening to it. But yea, that’s what’s been stuck in my head the whole day, so I’m listening to it on my way home.
And with regards to other stuff, I did NOT get any work done on my costume, which kind of pissed me off, but I should have known better than expecting work to be done during a district board meeting. Anyway, when I get back, I have to start hemming everything and sewing everything and finishing up my costume. It’s almost done, and going well, so I have high hopes to finish before Thursday. I’ll try to take pictures.

Currently Listening To: Defying Gravity (Wicked: The Musical)
Currently Drinking: Coca-Cola Cherry
Currently Playing: Yoshi Island, DS
Current Mood: Tired and Accomplished

One question I get a lot is if I know anyone who is truly altruistic. They think it’s interesting to ask me such a question since I am part of a community service organization (sometimes people fail to realize that Circle K is a service organization, a leadership training club and a social networking system all rolled into one). While there are parts of me that want to say that, yes, I know many altruistic people, the rest of me laughs at the question. Many of the people who do community service are not altruistic, or even kind, and while it’s nice to think that organizations such as Circle K, Roteract and Key Club are full of people who want to improve their homes, schools and communities, it’s not true.

And I’m not saying that they don’t exist. There are people join these organizations for other reasons and then grow to love doing community service and helping others. For example, I joined Key Club because they did the AIDS walk and I got free food during the AIDS walk (I never thought in four years that I’d be building dollhouses and getting pied in the face for this damn club). But many of the people who join these organizations are doing it to say they’re in a community service organization in a resume or in an interview. That’s one huge reason why Key Club in high school is so much larger than Circle K in college (both are community service organizations sponsored by Kiwanis International, an adult organization that specializes in student leadership and community service). Some high schools mandate community service and Key Club is already a very easy solution. And even if service isn’t mandated, many students do it anyway to put it on their resume for college. I know when I was in Key Club that was the easy trick to drag the freshmen into our club.

And I’m not saying these people shouldn’t be allowed to do community service (but the jerks that just joined and never did any service project… I’m going to beat you with a metal bat). Just, Key Club is part of a world where you have to do community service. Circle K has far fewer members, but many to most of them actively participate and want to build a community. In CKI, you want to do community service, despite the classes and the hell and the work.

Where am I going with this? Well, after being in both organizations, I keep seeing more and more people become disinterested in community service. It was great back in Key Club, because so many of them felt they were obligated to do it, but even there, more and more advisors are putting less emphasis on a well rounded application and more emphasis on grades and exams. Yes, getting a 4.0 or a 95 is great, but doing well academically is not a good marker of a well rounded person. In fact, a person receiving straight As without curricular activities lives inside a bubble, and when they realize that it takes more than just grades to make a man, they’ll crumble.

I get many reactions when I mention that I do community service and that I’m part of a community service organization. Mostly shock or some sort of (hopefully pleasant) surprise. Perhaps I don’t fit the image of someone who would do community service. And it goes back to this image of community service being something that’s not normally liked. I mean, criminals and juvenile delinquents do community service, and it’s probably weird to hear that on a Saturday night, I’d pick doing a Relay for Live over partying. But community service is not picking up garbage by yourself on the side of the street. It’s fighting for a cause, or for many causes. It’s doing your part to make someone else’s life a little easier. It’s the smile on a poor, single mother when you give her a Thanksgiving feast, or the eagerness of children when they carry 5 books back for you to read out loud. It’s cleaning up a camp for underprivileged children to have a good summer, or shipping video games to kids in hospitals so they have something to do.

There’s so much immeasurable good that is done through community service. You can’t calculate the amount of people who will enjoy a park after you clean it, or the glowing feeling an oversea soldier gets from a care package.

To give a very personal example, I used to be part of a Head Start pre-school program, which is a government-aided program for children in underprivileged areas (Oakland being one of them). Many of the people who work with Head Start (like teachers and librarians) are volunteers who take the time to stop and teach some kids a thing or two. I enrolled into Head Start at the tender age of four and, I believe, I only stayed a year or two (in my mind, it feels like I spend years there). Head Start was where I developed a very young love for reading and learning, socializing and growing. And yes, it was a long time ago, but the volunteers that came and read to us encouraged me to want to learn, and want to leave Head Start to go to school. My parents were always working or taking care of my brat kid of a brother, and I can only imagine what other things I would be doing if I wasn’t in Head Start (probably staring at cartoons on TV). 14 years later, I still contribute a lot of my love for reading and writing to Head Start (you never know, I might not be blogging if it weren’t for Head Start). My elementary school teachers in Oakland were unmemorable and, I mean, Oakland is already notorious for their bad school system. Were it not for Head Start, I may have just been like “forget learning, I’m going to go pull more heads off of Barbie dolls” and where would I be now?
Anyway (wow that was a long anecdote), the volunteers who read to me will probably never know that they changed the life of a 4 year old girl. The high school student who sent my cousin a care package while she (my cousin) was in the navy will never know how much that care package meant to my cousin, and how uplifting it was for my cousin.

Wow this has gone into a gazillion different directions. The core of this blog post is supposed to be about me being discontent with how other people perceive community service, not about how I get warm fuzzy feeling after reading to a group of kids. One of the problems with community service is there’s no material sense of gratification. When you eat, you get a full stomach. When you study, you get a good grade. When you get money, you buy things. The thing people seem to forget( and I could write a whole other post about this) is that the more instant the gratification, or the shorter work time you give yourself, the more negative consequences there are. The faster you eat, the higher the chance of a stomach ache. The less time you give yourself to study (and, thus, more work in a shorter time), the more stressed you become and the less you retain. The shorter time it takes for you to think about buying something, the higher of a chance you’ll regret it.

Community service, on the other hand, does not give much in the way of real instant gratification. You’re throwing money and time into some work you’ll probably never see the result of. And it doesn’t have to be that way. And here comes the second part of why I’m complaining about this shit. Community service clubs have to actively work to encourage their organization as more than just a place where people throw in time and money. The view of community service as this boring chore is only pushed on by the service clubs that organize them (and this mostly pertains to community service clubs that do service on a broad scale rather than concentrating on just cancer or AIDS or babies. Not saying they’re bad, but the approach to bringing people is different AND because I’ve never actively led one, and I don’t want to comment on something I don’t know about). We literally go up to people and say “Welcome to *so and so* club. We’re a club that goes out and takes your time to do things for other people. Then, we take your money to do other things. You’ll probably never see any results, but that’s what we do!” For us college students, time and money is everything, and we’re not going to give it away that quickly.

If you want something to change, change it yourself. Time doesn’t wait for an Obama of Community Service to come in from the heavens and convince all the college students of the world to change lives.
Which brings me back to why I joined Key Club. I didn’t join it to make a difference in the world, and I know many people who didn’t. I also know many people who went to various events and fell madly in love with community service. Many people (myself included) learned through these organizations are not just about raising money for AIDS. You can do that on your own. It’s about being part of a community that works together. It’s like being a part of an international family, all working for this common goal. Many of my most successful events were social ones, where people got to know each other during a picnic or ice skating fund raiser.

To be continued… on Thursday.

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This week, I did some pretty interesting things. Even though I have District Officer Training Conference this weekend, my whole week has actually been about… Anime Anime Anime!

Tora-Con (1-day Anime Convention in Rochester Institute of Technology) is in about 2 weeks, which means I had to start crunching down on costume work for my Rinoa cosplay. Right now, a lot of my work is in pieces, and I haven’t really hemmed much of anything, but it’s turning out faster than I anticipated. At the moment, I just really need to finish up the top piece and re-dye my shorts (my shorts are a very sexy brown leather color at the moment, but I’m really shooting for black).

But yes. Look forward to preliminary er… badly white balanced, webcam… photos of my costume. Hopefully at the con, the images won’t be as shotty.

I also watched the first two episodes of Full Metal Alchemist 2, which is a revisit of the very popular Full Metal Alchemist series. It very much reminded me of how the Jing: King of Bandits folks revamped the manga and came out with a second series (Jing: King of Bandits to Jing: King of Bandits Twilight Tales), and I was skeptical to hear the new re-vamping of an already good series. I felt Jing: King of Bandits had done very well as an original series and the second one (Twilight Tales) was subpar in its stories. One of the greatest parts of Jing is its fantastical and crazy schemes, which was lost in the moodiness of the second series.
Anyway, back to FMA. I had followed both the first anime series and the manga series and, for those who don’t know, the anime series and the manga series stray very far apart. Full Metal Alchemist 2 is a series that is supposed to be more synced up with the manga, and you get a lot from the new series that you didn’t in the previous one.

The first thing I noticed was that there was definitely a much darker mood in the second series. Jokes are still cracked (often), and there’s still some sort of light-hearted air, but (overall) I felt took a more adult-ish tone, which was actually relieving to me. And for those of you who actually watch the fighting scenes (I’m not a big fan on commenting on that kind of stuff, but…), their fighting scenes are INCREDIBLE to watch.

Overall, I think the new series is very promising and will give a fresh new look at a beloved anime, which was a pleasant surprise for me. I very much recommend it to anyone looking into following a new series.

I’ve also switched my major (haha, finally) to communications. I’m in the process of doing the paperwork now, but I’m taking several journalism/communications courses next semester, so I’m excited.

Currently Listening: 4’33”, (Frank Zappa, John Cage)
Currently Watching: Dollhouse, Full Metal Alchemist 2
Currently Eating: Chicken Strips
Currently Drinking: Mountain Dew (the drink of champions)
Current Mood: Contemplative and well-worked

When I was thinking about what to write today (because I actually do think about it, rather than impulsively writing whatever comes to mind first… you’d be getting a lot of commentary on ice cream and tampons otherwise), I was looking over the opinion section of our beloved (beloved?!) college newspaper. This is usually the only section I read, because I am a loser and I like circling/high-lighting all the mistakes and badly written pieces.

In any case, while I was going through various works and such, I realized that a lot of the pieces that were written, were about what choices to make. Although many advocated having a choice, it really felt like they (the authors) were deciding for you, rather than opening that option to you.

One of the articles I came across, for example, saw sex as something natural and felt that he was “not compelled to restrain natural drives.” (as I right this, I must restrain from point out all the flaws in his column, but that’s besides the point) But what if you don’t have those drives? He talks a lot about being given the choice to have sex and taking it, but the constant use of the word natural really bothered me. Like it was unnatural to hinder your sexual drive. (To mention a semi-irrelevant topic, I felt that the juxtaposition between the two articles were badly made and did not have any actual contradiction. Like they were supposed to be synced up but were not.)

And what does this have to do at my actual topic? One of the big things I saw in many of their editorials was the “clumping” of different groups of people. And, to take it another step back, watching how other people categorize other people, I feel, is quite interesting to “watch.”

What makes it extra interesting (that added cinnamon to the flavor) is when the person goes along the lines of “I’m glad I’m an individual so I’m not like them.” Okay, not so blatantly, but just the insistence on being individualistic or separated is a funny little subject.

The first example that comes to mind is Anne Gwish, from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (ah, a man after my own heart). Anne Gwish is a goth chick, and there’s one strip about her, where she talks about how she feels separated and alone. She mentions that she has friends, but they’re not really like her, and she seems to have this sense of pride in her individuality and separation from the rest of the world. But in the end, she goes to this club (at least, I think it’s a club) where she says she feels “at home” with people who understands her. In the last panel, we see that she is among a crowd of goth folk, who are dressed exactly the way she is. In fact, it’s difficult to near impossible to distinguish her from the rest of the crowd.

And yes, it makes fun of people who are goth because they want to be rebellious, but I feel that it takes a jab more to anyone who is “individualistic” for the sake of being individuals, rather than being comfortable. I feel the people who pride themselves the most in their individuality lose who they really are within this insistence on separation.

Let me explain it a little further. I feel that there are many people who poke fun at mainstream things and make fun of people who like said mainstream work. To take an anime related example: Naruto. Naruto is terribly main stream anime, and a lot of people claim to like Naruto for *so and so and so* but have actually never seen the anime, and is clearly hatin’ it for the simple fact that it is mainstream and well loved. Many of these people feel that they themselves are more knowledgeable about anime as a whole because they watch not-as-well-known-anime and because they DON’T watch Naruto. These people pride themselves on their ability to “pull away” from mainstream culture and be an individual (I know I’ve been personally at fault for this, so it DOES happen).

And while, yes, the person may be branching himself or herself out to more, different, anime, he or she is closing a variety of animes that can and are good simply because they are mainstream (One great example is with CLAMP work, where people don’t like CLAMP work because the fanbase is far too large).

But how can you say Naruto, Bleach, DeathNote, One Piece, or Prince of Tennis (there are tons more, clearly) are terrible if you’ve never seen them? And it is really that wrong to enjoy something simply because it’s considered mainstream?

For all this talk about Naruto being mainstream, there are sure a lot of people who hate it. And it makes me wonder what’s more mainstream: Narutards, or making fun of Narutards?

Then you end up having a load of people being all “oh Naruto, my guilty pleasure” and all this stuff anyway, and I always hear these words: “I know it’s mainstream, but I really like it.” As if it’s so wrong to enjoy mainstream work. In the end, it’s the choice if what you like and what you enjoy.

Going back to the criticism on mainstream work critics, it feels like being individualistic and separated is more of a fad than anything else in this world. People like to find something that makes them separated from “the man” and stuff. Like all the goth kids who are not understood because they’re “not like everyone else.” But there are so fucking many of them because god damn, EVERYONE wants to be separated and individualistic. If you like goth work and goth art and goth clothing because it’s artistically well-crafted work and the intricate details appeal to you, then I’d give you props. I’d say you encompass 10% (maybe not even) of all the goth kids who actually like that stuff just for liking it, rather than for “rebelling against the man.”

And what is this “the man,” shit? Someone turned to me a couple days ago and was like “Jo, you’re growing up to be like the man.” And I’m thinking, is it so wrong to be the man? Why do you have to stick it to the man? You don’t even know who he is. You don’t know if he’s doing anything for you. What is this insistent need to always rebel against SOMETHING, and usually something MAINSTREAM?

I don’t get it. It feels like this fad of individuality forces people to become someone they’re not comfortable with, and they end up working to be like everyone else, because everyone needs to feel the need to be individual because we are all choosing to go against this non-existent mainstream man.

DON’T SUCCUMB TO PEER PRESSURE! Be yourself, not a rebel!

(haha, for someone who enjoys choices, I sure like complaining about choices other people make)

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Fuck My Life.

I decided to write today because I happen to have an hour of random free crap time and today is a particularly bad day. And it sucks to, cause the weather is nice out and the birds are singing (and all that good stuff)… and everything for me seems to simply be going wrong. It super sucks because it seems like everyone else is having a really good day. Well, there’s got to be someone in the world who has to that the short stick (you know, commit suicide, blow up the meteor, all that good stuff).

And I’m not one to go around saying “today was a bad day, I want to kill myself,” and it’s not like today is one of those days. It’s just a day where everything seems to be going wrong, and it’s not so much that there’s no point to life as much as I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS FUCKING DAY TO BE OVER.

I just want to crawl into bed and just sleep it away. That kind of day.

The great kicker is that I still can’t register for classes because my cunt of an advisor feels the necessity to do her job. I don’t need a geography teacher telling me what kind of econ courses I need to take. I know the core requirements, I don’t need her pointing at a piece of paper telling me what I still need to take.

And to top it all off, it’s only 2 PM of what will, I’m sure, be a very long day. I don’t see myself being able to do anything mentally. Which super sucks, because today is one of my longer days where I have work upon work upon work.

DOTC (District Officer Training Conference) is this weekend, and I still need to buy tickets to get to New York City. I gotta finish my cosplay, and the fact that I haven’t bleached my fabric yet is really aggravating to me. I need to go to my doctor when I get into the city and figure out how I’m going to fit the whole fucking district board into my NYC Home. And the “o” button on my keyboard shat on me yesterday, so typing on this keyboard is a real bitch.

Least I’m not dead.

Yet.

BLARGH. FML.

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Blah! Sorry it’s a day late!

So I’m a freshman (woohoo) and we’re always the last to pick what classes we want for the next semester. This means we always get the worst of the classes (bleh). And classes that we need or want, we usually can’t get because it fills up before it even gets to our turn to register. I find that this is really aggravating, because then I need to take all these awkward alternative routes to finish the majors that I do have.

And speaking of majors. Picking majors stink. I think I’ll be undecided for another gagillion years… and just end up living in Geneseo or something. *sad sigh*

What else has been going on…

okonomiyaki

So that was the Okonomiyaki making. It was quite fun. We still have most of all the ingredients, except the nagaimo (it’s a root that is grinded down into a paste that looks a lot like “male fluids”. If it looks like jizz, you’re doing it right.) so we’ll probably be making more in the future… or so I hope?

Props to Kawarazu for naming names.

Currently Listening: Lights, Camera, Action (Pussycat Dolls)
Currently Watching: Dollhouse
Currently Drinking: Water
Current Mood: Overworked
Video of the Now – GO WATCH IT!!

NOW.

In fact. I will WAIT for you to finish it before I let you go on with the blog.

Really. Please. Watch it. I’ll even link it again: WATCH THE DAMN VIDEO BEFORE I POP A NERVE.

The New Yorker once had a cover that reflected how people who live in New York City view the rest of the world. I begin with this image (here) today because, well, a sudden burst of homesickness has invaded my inner self (and no, not home-home, but the city). I miss having easy access to everything. I miss not needing a car to get from point A to point B. I miss… I really miss having something to do other thank work, drink and go cow tipping (which I have yet to do).

Anyway, it got me thinking about how much of a culture shock it was to wake up to cow pie every morning, in a village that is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, NY. Not all of it came at once, but over time, I became troubled with not being able to get a decent batch of dumplings at 2 AM. It was something I took for granted while living in good ol’ New York City.

And while I was in New York City, I was constantly reminded about how separated we are from the rest of the world. In one sense, it’s a good thing (for example, we had a delayed and cushioned reaction with the housing crisis).

But our seclusion only fuels our arrogance, that we are in someway superior to the rest of the world. We like to say we’re these worldly creature of unparallel intellect because we live in the city and, through the city, we live in the world.

I’m sorry. Living in NYC most certainty does not mean you are “in tuned with the rest of the world.” I would argue to say the very opposite: living in NYC gives you a skewered vision of the rest of the world and leads to a smaller view of the rest of the world. As is reflected on the image by New Yorker.

Yes, New York City is rich in history and has been juxtaposed to a “melting pot” of sorts for various cultures. Yes, NYC is rich in diversity and holds a lot of potential for anyone going into just about any profession (perhaps not all professions, but many). But living in NYC is not a substitution for going out and learning and growing and LIVING. We like to live in this little New Yorker bubble and think that the rest of the world revolves around New York Time, and that the rest of America is hick-ish and under-cultured, save the pockets of intelligence (San Fran, Chicago, the very typical cities).

It always reminds me of when I used to do Key Club chants, way back when I was in high school (aka, not that long ago). We’d have this cheer that goes “I’m a New Yorker born and a New Yorker bred, and when I die I’m a New Yorker dead!” and every time I cheered it, I always thought of New York as New York City. A part of me still scoffs whenever anyone thinks of “the city” as Rochester or Syracuse (which are other cities in NY… yes I know, hard to believe that NYS branches out over NYC).

After going to college in Geneseo, I understand why so many of my fellow New Yorkers (and I mean New York State, not New York City) are so aggravated with down state folks, especially within the metropolitan area we call New York City.

And. GO WATCH IT.

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