Pub's a bit quiet.
I'll have a small hot sake, please.
Probably moving within the next two months. I'm on a research project until then, so job search had been put on hold. Given project/graduation/lease ends all on the same day, I'm moving some extras down to the 'rents this weekend.
I finished Death Parade last night. The show's short at 12 ep./20 min, sweet, and a hint of dark. The show's a take on how souls are judged upon death. If the first episode is watched without interest in continuing, then I encourage you to power through to the second. Episodes 1 and 2 really should have been combined into a long pilot. Premise: two souls without memory of dying enter a bar to play a game - darts, bowling, cards, etc. The bartender is a non-human who seeks to understand humans while judging the souls' behavior as the games progress (sometimes with distressing twists). Despite the 'heavy' setting, the show does a good job of not making pretentious, sweeping statements on the subject of death. In fact, writing does well to uphold life and living through au devours of others' memories in each episode. The final two episodes drive home the underlying conversations about life through one of the main character's persistent guests. In one of the few sequences that has made me tear up in a long while, no less. More on the topic of pretentiousness, the show feeds just enough information to hint at power structures and levels in the afterlife, but only enough to indicate to the viewer there is considerable thought behind the story without delving further or taking the focus too far from character development/revelation via unnecessary power struggles or blind-sided power creep. All-in-all, Death Parade is a nice drama-esque snacc.
It only helps that the animation style is so clean, with a subtle flex of muscles here and there. Not to mention a slick OST. Check out this opening song:
Catchy opening for an anime, eh? There was more to speak to in my eyes for how they approached 'judgement' through a dynamic between two people, rather than a dude with a dog head and a banana hammock weighing you against a feather. Erm... read as: 'It's just you, your life's worth and God now, Bucko' vs. expressing who we've become at our core. Moreover, is the core of who we are really that complex to start?
Solo quarantine is a downer. I'm looking forward to the excuse to see family irl. Even if socially distanced. [Insert segue to moving possessions that ties into Death Parade and the following media excerpts]
This panel from Sandman runs so ridiculously in-line to why Avatar Kyoshi from the Avatar: the Last Airbender universe lived for roughly 230 years.
From The Rise of Kyoshi:
First, she didn’t believe he was anywhere near as old as he claimed. And second, desperately grasping for more power and control over life was what people like Jianzhu did. Te too, probably.
“Sifu,” she drawled. “Oh, please, impart upon me the mysteries of immortality, for I wish to watch eras pass before my eyes like the grains of an hourglass.”
“Of course!” Lao Ge said brightly. “Anything for my dear student. You see, it all comes down to maintaining order. Keeping things neat, clean, and tidy.”
“Excuse me?” This was genuinely offensive to Kyoshi, as a former housekeeping servant. She’d let go of her standards for cleanliness the first morning outside of Yokoya, after waking up covered in Pengpeng’s shed fur. But with his drinking and aversion to changing clothes, Lao Ge toed the line of rancidity. What did he know about tidying up?
“Aging is really just your body falling apart, on the smallest, most invisible levels, and neglecting to put itself back together,” he said. “With the right mental focus, you could take an inventory of your own body and place each little piece that’s not where it should be back into the correct order.”
Kyoshi had to assume he was tailoring his lessons to her background and that the real process was much more complicated. “The way you describe it, you’d have to decide what version of yourself you’d be stuck as, forever.”
“Exactly! Those who grow, live and die. The stagnant pool is immortal, while the clear flowing river dies an uncountable number of deaths.”
“Is that another proverb of Shoken’s? Because it doesn’t sound like any spiritual lesson I’ve heard.”
“It’s my proverb,” Lao Ge whined, his feelings hurt again. “All this fretting about spirits. I’m trying to teach you about the mind. An infinite world that’s been neglected by far too many explorers.”
My follow up food for thought would be how to do this (holding on to 'little things' of you) without fossilizing.
Anywho, here's to livening up the place around here. Quarantine plus extended not-interacting got me in old isolating habits for the worst. But it feels nice to word-vomit/type it out. Yeah, the U.S. is "re-opening" but FL broke its record for single-day covid19 spike in cases this past Saturday. Otherwise, a night out with the cohort would be a very welcome reprieve. I'm kinda amazed at the friend group I've made here.
Take it from me in a post 112 days ago:
3. Leaning on friends is nothing to be ashamed of. All of last semester I went out of my way to help the others in my classes. Not to network, but because I wanted to do grad school different than undergrad. After the second or third flop, I was invited out of the blue for dancing with my cohort. Was able to balance 'a good time' with venting, and was lent an air-mattress for a night over with a friend in the end. Been having movie nights after weekend labs on and off since.
I'm not looking forward to the prospect of moving to another city, knowing a good chunk are planning on staying here. Which is weird to me. You know for a long ass time I've been good moving about since I generally find detaching as my go-to. This town is actually a great size with residents that give quite a few fux about their home turf. In other words, it'd be a nice place to hang around longer, if only to have more bonding time with those I care about. Pooey.
Speaking of pooey, here's what I've been cooking:
Challah and Jam. Turns out jam is suuuuuper fast AND easy to make.
Jam Recipe - I've never bought jam before. My mom always had store-bought around the house. I'm sure as hell not going to buy now, though. Maybe it's the insane amount of sugar needed for the recipe (spoiler: it is), but I'm making it for every bread baked here-after. Tip from a friend: put hot pepper seeds in the jam. The kick is a good twist.
Pizza (and its dough) can be made from scratch in under 45 minutes.
Pizza Dough Recipe - the story is a nice read for once, too.
Not pictured b/c I ate it all just now: stuffed cabbage... oops. :-)
Recipe. Only used as guidance for cabbage/stuffing prep. Sauce was what I had on-hand. Still came out great.
There have been morning birds singing from 1 AM to 4 AM in the morning around here. It's disorientating.
See y'all 'round, and don't forget to eat yer fruits 'n veggies.