Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jan-Feb 2017 Recap and Leftovers

I can see clearly now... well not really but it's better.
So I've been having some eye procedures done.  In about 2006, my vision went from regular bad to borderline legally blind, and there was really not much to do about it until recently when some new technology was invented.  It isn't gonna fix anything but it will stabilize things to keep anything from getting worse and then maybe I can start wearing contact lenses (regular glasses don't fix what I have).  So being legally blind in one eye and having difficulty with the other, it's hard to read small print and impossible to drive at night.  The treatment I got leaves your vision blurry for a while, so that is why I haven't posted anything or been doing much keeping up with stuff. The effects have worn off and my vision having returned to what it was previously, I can get this going again, so lets see what's what.

I seeeeeeeee you

Mostly everyone knows the incident involving Richard Spencer at this point.  From Kotaku to to those busy-body hippie SJWs over at, everyone seems to be weighing in on this by asking the absolute wrong question:  "Is it ok to punch Nazis" "Is is right to punch Nazis" "Can we punch Nazis"   These are all the wrong questions, because terms like "ok" "right" and whatever the third question implies, all bring the matter of subjectivity to the situation.  Subjectivity in this matter means that if you ask 20 people you are going to get 20 different reasons for one of 2 answers. The question that should be asked is simple and explicit: "Is it legal to punch Nazis?" And in case you haven't guessed it, the answer is no, you can't just go up to someone and punch them even if they are espousing Nazism or something that is generally thought to be deplorable in ways both socially and morally.  Again, I think this is the 5th time I've had to bring up the Supreme Court case of National Socialists of America v Village of Skokie which affirms that equal protection under the law applies to everyone, even if they are supporting something you don't like. 

And what's not to like?

So yes, out in public, if Nazis are saying Nazi things in their little Nazi outfits, then physically assaulting them, or stealing their stuff, is indeed a crime.  No matter how deplorable the message of someone, it can not decriminalize your own actions.  Is it good to punch Nazis? Yeah.  Is it rewarding and a source of pride to punch Nazis?  Of course.  Is it legal?  Lots of fun things aren't legal, so for better or worse their right to not get punched in the face legally supersedes your own butthurt. Deal with it. Like. An. Adult. For fucks sake. Very few people in the fandom seem to be approaching this with a true impartial logic based on American Case Law and Constitutional Values, but some have.  It's worth a read.  So is its sequel.

It's OK to be a grown adult and like Dragon Maid.
Dragon Maid is an anime.  It's what it sounds like, a dragon becomes a Maid (this is Japanese pop-culture "Maid" and not someone paid minimum wage to clean up your nasty ass hotel room after that conference you went to which had an open bar).  Now it sounds like a ridiculous premise, but our linchpin character in this series is a working adult.  No, not a high school student, no, not some magical girl from a different universe, and no, not some alien with superpowers.  She's a regular working stiff, like lots of other grown adults out there.  Yep, that's the game-changer.  If you're a grown adult and you watch a series about stuff happening to other grown adults, you might find it easy to relate to.

And....... you're hooked.

You might be saying to yourself, "yeah, but there's dragons and fantasy and other totally unrealistic things in there so how can you call yourself an adult and like it?" to which I would respond, "Is that Game of Thrones your talking about?" ...yeah, shut up.  Not for nothing but I'd feel better having Dragon Maid on in a room with children than Game of Thrones. 

HaHa.... boobs.

Disturbingly or not-so-disturbingly depending on your own personal feelings, this is a major reason why there are so many adult fans of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic.  Almost all the characters (especially the main characters) are very much adults.  They don't live with their parents, they are well out of school, they own their own businesses, they have employees, deadlines, some have the highest level of government security clearance, they go on diplomatic missions, one struggles with a clear case of schizophrenia, and one is a member of the military and also a member of the most elite flying squadron in the entire Air Force.  They are pretty much all late 20's if not older.  So people in their late 20's can relate to those characters. When combined with a well-written and technically well animated TV show, you've got something interesting, even if it did grow out of a terribly made 30 minute toy commercial from the 1980's.

Owns 3 boutiques, manages 10-20 employees, deals with a shady land lord, is a celebrity designer.
You don't do that when you're 13, you do it when you're 33.

There is no shortage of anime and manga made about and made for adults who work at companies, are home-makers, or creative professionals, but they often get overlooked for the traditionally popular genres of "ninjas" "mecca" "magical girl fill-in-the-blank-moon-card-captor-blah" "High School X" "my girlfriend is a vampire" or "boobs ...totally boobs"    ...that's a lot to deal with just there, so something about an overworked ad executive who finds a moment of Zen in a small park in Osaka one day during a sunset isn't gonna catch a lot of attention, but there are plenty of people who that would resonate with.  Enough to make it worth licensing?  No probably not.  But this segment does exist and it's only going to get bigger.

 HaHa.... boobs again.

That's fan-art by the way, not a scene from the actual show.

 Crunchyroll is having their own convention.
Slippery slope fellas.  It's sexy but not a money maker.  Get ready for some loss-leader deductions for 2017.  Also it's in California so ...meh.
Can't you just feel that excitement.

Annoying Prince Trumperdink.
So there's this thing where you are supposed to write postcards to The White House and address them to "President Steve Bannon" and Trump gets mad and stuff.  I have no idea if that's really what happens but as a committed troll I am so gonna do that.  DON'T use your good anime postcards.  #1) you will wish you had kept them.  #2 They are going to go straight into the shredder with an anime image on them, think for a minute junior.  What I am gonna do, is I am going to go to Columbus Circle and get some post cards that have Trump Tower on them... that way maybe he will actually want to see them then right?  Either way, I went down to my local US Post Office and bought a sheet of these stamps to use.  Hopefully the symbolism will get through.

Man the 90's sucked for American Comics.

Anyway, I don't think he's doing a good job as President.  So I am going to voice my concerns.  If anyone wants to know specifics then we can have it in the comments section.

I'll be wearing my Xmas gift while I write replies.

When Life Gives You Lemons
So I am continuing to have everything implode all around me and it's just about 100% of my own doing.  Sure there's the occasional unexpected thing breaking or bad weather messing something up, but the shitstorm of my life is pretty much my fault at this point.

You ever get one of those realization moments when you know you should just throw in the towel?  Mine came over Christmas, when I was hoping to get some alone time to shape up and do the warrior under the waterfall thing you always see and get my shit together (not an easy task but still had to try).  Instead I got a depressing talk in the woods in an entire situation I had actually convinced myself a few weeks prior I was going to be able to avoid.  I always play along but somewhere in the background I heard the game-ending buzzer go off and looking at the scoreboard I was way behind.  Did I feel the need to get some overtime and make things right and finally stop being so terrible?  Yes.  Was it enough to make me do anything?  No, clinical depression is kind of like a boat anchor that keeps you from doing anything for an irrational and indistinct fear you're just going to make it worse or just continue the parade of fail that has become your life.  Hell, my house could be on fire right now (from the lemons) and I probably wouldn't even bother getting up and leaving. I'd just take the batteries out of the smoke detectors so they would stop making that annoying sound.

It's not that I want to call it quits either.  But looking at the wall of insurmountable uncertainty, one can simply freeze in a mild panic which metastasizes into a process of thought which becomes as second-nature as breathing or blinking.  Then you just live there hoping for change from outward force, which never comes.

So for all of you people out there who don't like me, take solace in the fact that I am doing way worse than you and will probably stay that way.

Third time's the charm maybe...

Do you smell that?
Ramen is oft-maligned as cheap, un-creative, yuck-food that only college students and Naruto eat on a regular basis.   Sure some big cities have actual Ramen shops where you can get the real deal, but they tend to be crowded and more expensive than they should be.  To that end, I now give you a recipe that anyone can make anywhere in America that will rival the best corner dives of Tokyo.

 Om nom nom

How to make TanTanMen:
You will need:
1 brick of cheap-ass Maruchan or Nissin ramen (throw away that soup packet.  Never use the soup packet).
Ground Pork (cheat code; Ground turkey works fine, AND so does sliced roast beef from the deli if you want to save time, but if you use roast beef you still have to cook it all the way through in the pan until it gets all nice and shriveled).
Assorted veggies (whatever you want really.  Recommendations; show-peas, bean sprouts, thin sliced carrots... never broccoli).
Half an onion finely chopped.
Mashed garlic (boiling it before-hand makes it very easy to use.  Smooshes up just like toothpaste).
Worcestershire sauce
Soy Sauce (dark, like San-J Tamari)
Pepper flakes (pepperoncini like they have at the pizza place works just fine)
Oil (olive or sesame ...or whatever, just not 40weight)
Hot sauce (Louisiana red works great.  So does sriracha but that stuff can be expensive).
Beef bullion cube or beef broth
Big bowl
Hot water

OK so oil up a frying pan and start cooking your meat, pepper flakes, and onion (leave out the garlic for now).  We will be intentionally over-cooking it so just make sure you don't burn things.  We are drying out the meat so it can absorb the flavorful soup base later.  At the same time put the brick of ramen in your bowl and start your kettle or boil some water.  Once it's boiling, pour it on top of the noodles and they'll soften up after a few minutes (they're already cooked, remember).
While the meat is cooking, add worcestershire and soy sauce.  Add a bit more than you think you need since we're going to make a soup out of this. 
Once the meat is dried out, add veggies (we don't want to overcook those), and garlic and mirin to taste.
Drain the ramen.
Pour the whole contents of the pan on top of the ramen and then add hot water, a third of the bullion cube, and hot sauce to spice it up.  Top w/ sriracha if you really like hot stuff.  Throw a shot of sake or vodka into the soup  and it will really help the flavor.
Eat the thing.

1 pan, a few minutes, and cheap eats that don't suck.

If you're looking to cut salt, ditch the hot-sauce for more dried pepper flakes and just use worcestershire, with a low-salt beef broth.
If you're looking to cut calories, leave out the ramen itself (I know, blasphemy), and replace it with shredded cabbage.  It's not the same, but it's nice and filling with way less carbs.
If you don't like spicy (I know, blasphemy), then swap out the pepper flakes for something like mushrooms or sweet potato or whatever, and use your favorite BBQ sauce, a teaspoon of molasses, and a shot of whiskey along with the water and soup stock (if you are using beef not pork, then use a shot of Tequila).  I've never tried that but it sounds like it would be pretty boss.

Next time I'll show you how to make your own teriyaki come out just like it does at the restaurants because you know you're doing it wrong.

Remember the Alamo
If you live near an Alamo Drafthouse, they are still celebrating the works of Hayao Miyazaki with cinematic screenings.  Most of the major hits are on the menu like Totoro, Sen/Spirited Away, Nausicaa, Mononoke, and I think some locations have Ponyo.  Conspicuously absent seems to be Porco Rosso for some reason. Keeping kosher I guess?

Don't worry, we still love ya you glorious fat bastard..

The Alamo Drafthouse is really movie-going as it ought to be.  And I will sure as hell be bringing my trusted cell jammer with extended battery life for the shows I have tickets to.  Seriously as I've said before, some people just don't know how to behave in public.  So you still have time in some places.  See it before your eyesight goes, it might happen faster than you think.

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