This is a charming slice-of-life/romance series that follows Mitsumi Iwakura while she moves to Tokyo with the ambition to become a government official so she can help develop her home prefecture that has been depopulating for years. Surprised by the massive transit hubs on the way to school, she ends up losing her way and is in danger to be late for her opening ceremony. Sousuke Shima, her soon-to-be laidback classmate, helps her get to school just in the nick of time for her opening ceremony speech. Shima thinks school will be very interesting with Mitsumi attending and shows up daily.
The series is fantastic, the target audience is young adult men, but I know lots of girls who are hooked to this one. 😉 But one of the best things about this series is that Mitsumi’s aunt Nao is transgender.
Nao is introduced at the very beginning of the series (both manga & anime) while accompanying Mitsumi part of the way towards her school on her first day. You see two girls standing close by gossiping and giggling about Nao’s Adam’s apple. Luckily for Noa or Mistumi, they don’t hear this. When they split up, Mitsumi loses her way and runs into Shima who helps her out. Mitsumi will stay with her aunt while she attends school in Tokyo.
Nao is a stylist and has a boyfriend. She helps Mitsumi with her outfit choices as Mitsumi has totally no clue what fits together and what not. When the story progresses you find out more about Nao’s youth. How she struggled living in a rural area where people weren’t accepting of her gender. In Tokyo you can find kindred spirits, a larger group of LGBTQIA+ members that will support you. I see this in my hometown, it’s not a small town but you can’t walk hand-in-hand with your same sex partner without being called out, harassed or worse. And people here will also single you out when you look not feminine or masculine enough for your gender. I am sorry to say that transphobia is big here in the southern regions of the Netherlands. We still have a lot of work to do.
The reason I love Nao so much in this series is that she is very supportive of Mitsumi but also listens to the struggles of Mitsuki’s friends. When there was a sleepover she informed Mitsumi’s friends parents that she is biologically male and was sleeping over at a friend’s house so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. She really aware of how unaccepting people can be and she doesn’t want Mitsumi to get hurt. She is the bestest aunty ever!
Nao is portrayed in a respectful way by the manga-ka. I think it’s great that her family is so accepting and I hope to find out more about her story and her adventures in the coming volumes of Skip and Loafer. We need moar Noa-chan!
The full title reads Cherry Magic! Thirty years of virginity can make you a wizard?! And it follows Kyoshi Adachi being able to read minds after being a virgin for 30 years and finding out his hot colleague Yuichi Kurosawa has a huge crush on him. This manga is a really sweet gay romcom, it even has a live action series that I love dearly.
I am happy that a lot of new gay manga is stepping away. In the past we had too much rapist turn to lover stories and it gave a totally wrong representation towards the gay community in Japan. Some manga-ka and gays became very outspoken against this type of storytelling and the shift began towards a more realistic depiction of gays and their relationships.
So our main character of this series finds out on his thirtieth birthday with him still being a virgin, he is able to read other people’s minds when touching them and it stresses him out a lot.
His panic even becomes bigger when he is stuck in a full elevator and finds out that his handsome and popular colleague Kurosawa has a major crush on him. He can’t contain his embarrassment when he hears Kurosawa fawn over his bedhair and it being his lucky day being so close to Adachi. His heart just skips a beat because of this honest but secret confession.
Knowing this it becomes very obvious to Adachi that Kurosawa goes out of his way to help and support Adachi at work. He encourages Adachi to join an in-company design competition and gives him the confidence he needs to face his challenges. And Adachi in turn helps Kurosawa out while using his powers to find out why a customer is so angry while visiting the office. The man was upset and dissapointed they didn’t have any cake for him. LOL so childish but so cute how he sneakily tried to find out what the problem is.
They eventually start a relationship and both are totally on cloud nine while trying to overcome the challenges society throws at them for being a gay couple in Japan. At the moment, there is no marriage equality in Japan. Which means that even if they are partners for years, they won’t receive the same rights as married couples like being recognised as a partner to be able to visit their partners when in hospital.
In 2009 Japan began to allow Japanse Nationals to marry same sex-partners in countries where same-sex is legal. Individuals would get key certificates that states that a person is single and of legal age in order to be able to marry in areas that would allow it.
Some areas have begun to establish a partnership system that would recognise same-sex relationships for situations like hospital visitation or renting an apartment together. The couple will get a proof of partnership paper. I hope one day same-sex marriages/relationships will hold the same rights under Japanese law. Being under a conservative government does not help while the population in Japan is in favour of giving LGBTQIA+ people right to marry.
That said, I am disgusted that in the country that prides themselves for holding the first gay marriage, aggression and violence towards the LGBTQIA+ community has been becoming more common these days. The hate is being fueled by false narrative, often voiced by people in high places like politicians and making the Netherlands an unsafe place to live in if you are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. To those assholes I say, fuck you!
I saw the live action series first before becoming hooked on the manga. The storyline in is a bit quicker in development in the live action series and they couldn’t do the outragious first day Kurosawa planned. A helicopter is not a great idea, lol! But the clumsy stumbling and akward situation just were acted out very well by the actors and I love this just as much as the manga. You can find the live action on Crunchyroll and the mangas at any physcial or online store.
The kickoff for our Pride Month is with this manga by Uta Isaki. When I order manga I try to research online what the story is about. With manga it is sometimes easier to find out because it has been published in Japanese before being translated. The brief summary made me curious about this manga.
When it comes to love, high schooler Chika wondes if she might be an alien. She’s never fallen in love or even had a crush on anyone, and she has no desire for physical intimacy. Her friends tell her that she just “hasn’t met the one yet,” but Chika has doubts. It’s only when Chika enters college and meets peers like herself that she learns there’s a word for what she feels inside – asexual – and she’s not the only one. After years of wondering if love was an answer, Chika realizes that the answer she long sought may not exist at all – and that that’s perfectly normal.
The manga starts just with a simple question: “What does it feel like to “like” someone?” Chika is listening to a boy she is friends with, confess his love to her. You see the confusion on her face while she is trying to figure out what the words “like” and “go out” mean to her. But his definition doesn’t fit with what she feels.
Her friends are ecstatic that she started dating, they thought it would never happen. This remark surprises Chika. “Is this something that is expected of me?” But when he takes her home, things go south quickly. When he tries to be intimate a sense of fear comes over her and she rejects him. All he could say was: “Why? I thought we were going out. Don’t you know the deal when you go over to a guy’s house?”
Later at school she is shunned by the boys, called an alien and someone that doesn’t have common sense. For me personally I really hate boys who are like that. Looking back at my dating youth, I was also ridiculed when I didn’t want to have sex on the first date. WTF men, why are you like this?
Her friends just tell her that she hasn’t met the right guy yet, calling her ex a creep but at a heartbreak karaoke meet she overhears he friend talking about the incident. When told that they broke up because she didn’t want sex with him while she was over his place, they called her a prude. That she should have known what going over to a boy’s place means and that she will never get a boyfriend until she fixes it.
These words hurt her to her core while she thinks: “I see, I just haven’t met “the one” yet…I wish someone would teach me…”How to human 101″ for aliens…” On which she assumes she is not a normal person. Poor girl, I just want to hug her.
Chika ends up going to college and studying psychology to learn more about herself. By chance she runs into the professor that she idolizes and asks her passionately to teach her about humans, about how to be normal, about why she doesn’t have sexual urges, never liked anyone romantically. And the professor asks of her: “So you want to study psychology because you don’t understand romantic attraction?”
Chika: “I’m not sure. Romance is supposed to be great, and not being able to like anyone isn’t normal, because any regular person would definitely-
Professor: “Then why should you have to do it? Why would you force yourself to do something that doesn’t feel natural? It is the same with romance.”
And this is just the first 40 pages of the manga my friends. The professor really does a micdrop here.
This manga beautifully shows how Chika meets people that are also part of the LGBTQIA+ community, how they handle their fears and overcame their difficulties while she comes to terms with her own sexuality. It shows that you can’t always define asexual people as one whole, they experience it all in a different way and I think that the manga-ka does a great job with this book. But y’all need to know that questioning someone why they still don’t have a partner, saying things like you haven’t met the right one yet, does not help the person in question. Some people are absolutely fine with not having a romantic partner. They make their own identities and not the identity that society wants to copy and paste on every single human being on this earth.
What is asexuality?
Asexuality is a sexual orientation that is part of the LGBTQIA+ community and refers to a person who is not sexually attracted to others.
* Some asexual people do not experience sexual attraction, but can fall in love with (are romantically attracted to) others – alloromantic asexual.
* Some asexual people can have sex even though they have no sexual urges (An example is someone who will have sex if a partner requests it. Some asexual people people are sex-repulsed, while others are not, and this may determine whether they are able to have sex.)
* Some asexual people have sexual urges but don’t wnt to act on those urges with other people.
You can se that asexuality is vastly diverse that it seems difficult to find two asexual people who are the same. The manga-ka didn’t mean for the main character to represent asexuality, She is just one of the different kinds of asexual identities out there.
When I ordered something from outside of the EU, it never comes as a surprise delivery at my door. The PostNL app tells me how much import tax I need to pay to release my packages from customs prison.
I preordered these two outfit sets on the 1st of March and they arrived last Saturday. They were shipped on the 6th of of May which means they weren’t too long on the way or in customs. I can’t recall how long the turnover time of the preorder was but seeing the amount of retweets the creator is doing daily of arrived packages, they sold more then just 50 outfits.
It was a letterbox, no signature package so I didn’t really need to stay home for it. This time the delivery guy was quite sneaky as the dog didn’t hear him. 😉 She usually barks up a storm when she hears the creaking of the letterbox lid. We have an outside letterbox, so no doggie destroyed mail. Doris is a good doggie though, she doesn’t wreck things.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the capelets are lined and the wee buttons and bows on them are really cute. They are sown by machine and seeing the size of the garments it is a pretty well done. The dolls themselves are around 12 cm high so it is a lot of minuscule stitching they have to make.
I opted to put the black dress on the tan and white sheep as it contrasts nicely with her arms and black shoes. The pink sheep looks stunning in white. Looks like they are going on a Victorian outing. Victorian times are heavily romanticized, as I wouldn’t want to be a woman in that time period. The ribbons on the bonnets are really long, easy to tie them on their heads but hard to hide behind their backs. I had to use paperclips to keep them in place while I took photos.
If only I had some small suitcase and a steam locomotive. Heck, I would need to create a whole trainstation then, but I have no room to store such an elaborate diorama. Didn’t take a obligatory cat photo as I shoo’ed him away this time. He kept knocking them over T_T.
Having jumped up way more in wages than before, I have some a bit more cash to spend on my hobbies. Alas the grail doll that is only up for a lottery week is well outside my allowed hobby budget this period. You will be missed Ludo, the Grey Tail.
I don’t spend every penny I own on this, it’s a hobby not a means to go bankrupt. Besides my husband doesn’t always know what to gift me for my birthday so I do get a little extra $$ towards a purchase from him.
Lately I am into the smaller sized dolls, while my last addition to the collection was a wopping 75cm D=. I will write about this big boy in my next blog.
I received the shipping notice of this beauty above. I only purchased her head this time, no body (yep, I deal in body parts XD). Pouty lips is something I really like but I have no idea what type she is going to be. Maybe a red head with freckles, or a brunette. I have a box of wigs and eyes that I can scour through for the perfect fit.
Not sure if I will paint her myself or commission someone else. Can always turn it into a boy, sky is the limit.
I love the pet dolls created by Cocoriang, I own a fox and I take him often outside for photoshoots. They are really tiny, 7,5 cm and you can easily carry them in a bag. I do need to be more careful and bring a proper carrier as I have rubbed some of the paint off my fox T_T.
I ordered Tobi with the sprinkle face up, I can’t do it and Cocoriang’s artists are really good with their face ups. I ended up ordering the wrong body (my bad). So he will not have the loppity bunny feet but the fairy body. Will be easier to sew him pants though. Lesson learned here: never order on your phone, can’t see for shit XD.
Up next are these two cuties. I first wanted to order one body with all the head and animal parts but why not make them girlfriends?! And I didn’t like the third head that was in the set. This is partly gifted by my husband because I was being difficult on which one to pick.
Will I paint them myself? No clue, but dressing them will be not that terrible because I don’t need shoes for them. My every day woe is, too many dolls not enough shoes XD. Most of my dolls have long dresses to hide their bare feet.
One of the girls will have heterochromie, I was thinking one blue, one yellow eye. Average production time is 90/180 working days so I have enough time to plan.
This is the only fullset doll I bought so far this year. Her dress is perfect. I just can’t create something like that yet. Sometimes I like to buy a doll that fits the category: deadly beauty. The rabbit mask has wee little fangs and if you take it off, you will see a rabbit skull underneath. Her tail is a rose and yes she has been sew back together.
Sometimes I think up background stories for my dolls, its fun giving them a history. This girl has been an abused pet, hellbent on haunting it’s former owner before they are dragged off to oblivion. Last thing they heard was: “Do you want to play?”
The creator made various different outfits for this doll and I’m brimming with ideas so I am eagerly waiting for her arrival. I will have her exact size in my hands so I won’t ruin the fabric. A wine red ruff will look awesome on her, black velvet tailcoat, or golden embroidered waitcoat. What about a music box while dressed up as a tragic ballerina. SO MUCH INSPIRATION!
This bear is not an asian ball jointed doll but also not something kids can play with. I adore retro looking plush toys. I was really into the Toysfield brand but sadly they aren’t produced anymore. You see them pop up on Ebay second hand for double or triple the price. I am not a big fan of ordering through Ebay, due to the amount of scams that happen on that website. I keep an eye on second hand Japanese websites (they have physical stores), my experiences are better with them.
I already own two retro lambs designed by Jenny. I couldn’t skip getting Cookey as a birthday present for myself. I want to take up crochetting again, I’ve found an awesome guide how to crochet when you are lefthanded and a scarf is pretty straight forward as a first item.
Now that I write this, I realised that I haven’t written about my two lambs either. Another blogpost for the future!
I’ve been into this band since their release of ‘Danger High Voltage’ in 2002. The wacky videoclip together with sexy lyrics just catched my attention. They are can be categorised into glam metal, funk rock, disco, basically blurring the genres.
When I lived in Belfast, I chanced upon a concert of theirs. Mind you I wasn’t really a concertgoer when I was younger, me and crowds don’t mix well. The Limelight is a small venue and Northern Irish are good craic, perfect combo. And I saw them there 3 years in a row until I moved back home. Going to an Electric Six concert is like meeting up with friends.
Back home I continued my Electric Six yearly gig now together with my hubby. This year’s concert was a postponed from 2021 due to Covid so I was really looking forward to seeing them live again. They have been going strong for 21 years and have their 19th album coming out next year.
This tour was the Electric Five as Tait Nucleus?, they synthesizer player, was absent because he and his wife became parents. CONGRATULATIONS! My significant other was sad because his part in the song: “Down at McDonnelzzz” is the best and though they weren’t going to play it but they still did it as it is one of the most popular songs of the band.
We chose to stand on the balcony as it was less crowded and we still had a good view from there. And a mosh pit is not my thing haha. 013 got rid of glassware and introduced these plastic resuable cups for which you pay €0,50 deposit. You either get it back at the end of the concert or donate to the UN World Food Programme, which means a child will get one free school meal per donation.
The cloakroom is no longer there, they have changed to a locker system that you pay €2,50 for use, but these are teeny tiny lockers. I had a hard time getting my wintercoat in and a good thing I didn’t bring my handbag. It really doesn’t fit. But it was easy to use and you could open/close your locker with your phone.
The support act was Industrial and this was not my cup of tea. Maybe it was the sound but there was low annoying hum throughout all the songs, which was very distracting.
They always play Gay Bar which ended up becoming a mosh pit near the stage, but they surprised me with a few more songs from they debut album: Fire like “She is White”, “Naked Pictures (of Your Mother)”, “Nuclear War (on the Dance Floor)”, “Dance Commander” and “Synthesizer”. So it was back to the basics for me.
My favourite Electric Six song is “Hello! I see you!” from the album Heartbeats and Brainwaves, but I’ve never heard it live :(. Hopefully in the future it will pass haha. But I want to share it with you. The lyrics are just *chef’s kiss* perfect.
It’s the end of times and of the conversation And everybody clinging to their soul salvation I find all their pleas for mercy so annoying Hello, destructor I’m yours for the destroying
Time just flew by and it was over after 23 songs *sad face*. The 013 is a very nice venue, my first time being there. And it’s really close by home, just 20 mins away by train. This means we can go back home without rushing towards the station. If I need to travel an hour or more, I am booking an hotel. I’ve once tried to travel home from Amsterdam in a packed train. Not fun at all.
I hope to see them back in the Netherlands for 2023, going to be good craic once more. I’ll deal with my Electric Six withdrawal with their upcoming album.
You either love mushrooms or hate them with a passion. I am in the lover camp.
A lot of prepackaged soups contains milk and let this be a substance that makes me violently ill kinda like Mr Creosote in the Meaning of Life. With vegan food becoming more popular, it is becoming easier to find ready made meals that I can enjoy with out getting sick, but nothing beatss making your own soup. I just needed to find a good substitute for milk, to create the creaminess needed for this soup.
First you start with your prepwork, chopping up the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Release your inner Michael Myers, you don’t need to wait until Halloween. If your mushrooms have a bit of dirt on them, you have these handy brushes to clean them. Sometimes I hear that people wash them but I never do this, the brush cleans them up very nicely.
I find chopping mushrooms very comforting and I snack on the raw mushrooms during my prepwork. And it doesn’t space you out, no magic carpet ride this time.
In the famous words of PSY: I’m gonna make you sweat! First you sauté the onions and garlic with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil until the onions become soft. My cast iron casserole pan is ideal for the job. Because this is not a long cooking time, you can use extra virgin oil for a deeper flavour.
Next steps is adding your sliced mushrooms, and it’s a full pot. 😀 If you keep your heat low, you won’t stir your mushrooms to mush. Well I like to stir it gently, we will blitz the soup later on so if you want to smash it go ahead. 😉
After the mushrooms have reduced by half add the water and the vegetable stock cubes and let the liquid boil for a short period.
And now the violence comes in, during this step you will take your immersion blender and destroy these nasty mushroomsies. Completely obliterate these little feckers. Show no mercy. You could put it in jug blender but that’s a real pain in the backside pouring it in, you can spill that lovely soup.
Now it’s time to throw in some of that divine plantbased cooking cream, thyme and corn flour. Don’t be an idiot like me and throw in the corn flour by itself because you will get disgusting lumps in your soup. Just add a little water with the flour and give it a little mix so you get this white liquid and then add it to your soup. This will help the soup thicken up a bit.
Stir well and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. Add some salt & pepper to taste and bon appétit. For the meat lovers among us, you can add bits of crispy bacon but I sauteed some mushroom as a soup topping.
I am going to think about how to bring this soup to the next level. Maybe a bit of white w(h)ine or bay leaves. Any ideas, I’d love to hear.
I can’t deny that I love ramen. The best ramen I have ever had was in Tokyo but that would be a bit of a stretch telling you to hop on a flight just to eat good ramen. There are quite a few great ramen places in the bigger cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam but what if I tell you I can make your own super delicious ramen bowl for not a lot of money.
Nissin is my go to brand for instant noodles. I love the texture of the noodle and the flavour of the broth packs. Cup Noodles are a bit too salty for me since I’ve started a low sodium diet. When you used to it, you don’t miss it. And to be honest Dutch people are pretty heavy Maggie users when it comes to soups.
I buy them at the Asian supermarket but your local supermarket tends to have a larger variaty of instant noodles so go with your preference. The sesame oil one is vegan.
Real ramen is made by boiling a broth (often bone based) for atleast 15 hours. But I was giving you a quick version of this dish. I haven’t made my own broth yet because I find it tedious so either use the pack that comes with the instant noodles or make a quick broth based on either veggies or chicken stock. The pork bone broth used in the famous Tonkotsu makes it extremely creamy but we don’t have the time to do this now.
Now my pet peeve. I absolutely hate the way supermarkets inflate the price of bean sprouts and deliver shit quality. I pay €1,00 for 125 grams of bean sprouts while at the Asian supermarket I pay a wopping € 0,33 for almost 200 grams of sprouts. Even going to the greengrocer you will not pay as much as the supermarket and have better quality. Fuck supermarkets for your fresh veggies, go to the greengrocer and you will also enjoy better tasting vegetables.
Always wash your bean sprouts. Sprouts can carry Listeria which can make you really sick or be really harmful for your unborn baby. I remove the beards, wash and blanche them and they still keep their crisp taste.
Ingredients – serve two – cooking time 30 minutes: – 300 gr mixed minced meat (can be replaced by marinated tofu, vegan minced meat) – 3 small shallots – 3 cloves of garlic – 2 tablespoons of miso paste – 2 spring onions – 2 packs of instant noodles – 2 soft boiled eggs – sesame oil – black and white roasted sesame seeds
Prepwork: Onsen eggs: Add your eggs to boiling water, turn low and cook for 6 minutes. That keeps the yolk nice and runny and when you poke your chopsticks in them giving a dimension of creaminess to your broth. After the 6 minutes are up, place the eggs in ice water to stop them from cooking. If you don’t like runny yolks, cook for atleast 8 minutes.
Dicing and slicing your veggies: Before you cook your minced meat, finely dice your shallots. It’s easier to cook them well-done if they are the same as your crumbled minced meat.
Wash and slice your spring onions in small rings and set aside.
Wash your bean sprouts and blanche with boiling water for 30 seconds. Longer will make your sprouts wilt. Set aside with your spring onions and your done with your veggie toppings. If you don’t like bean sprouts or spring onions you can swap out with julienne cut carrots, spinach, bok choy or edamame beans.
TIP: Knife maintenance. I have different knives to cut meat, bread and veggies. You don’t need to buy an expensive knife to have a good knife. My Chef’s knife costed €20 (bought with points at my supermarket) but I never ever wash it in the dishwasher. The heat of the dishwasher messes with the tempering of the knife and results with your knife becoming blunt really fast. Just use warm soapy water and give it a sponge hand wash. Hold the blade away from you while slowly stroking downwards with the sponge so you won’t cut yourself. And yes I have banned my family from using my knives unless they use the same clean regime like I do.
Let’s start cooking!
Poor a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and sauté the diced shallots on a low/medium heat. When the shallots have softened up, add your minced meat and slowly cook while crumbling it. For vegan options replace the meat mince with vegan mince. It also tastes fantastic. *chef’s kiss* You can use regular onions but shallots give a bit of a spicy kick to the dish.
Use a garlic press to crush your three cloves on top of the shallot/mince mixture and mix thorougly. If you want more garlic, you can add more garlic.
For the next step you add two tablespoons of miso. This is a fermented soybean paste and adds the umami to your ramen. It’s high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals and has been in use since the neolithic period of Japan. THAT OLD. This ingredient is the salt you need for your dish. The flavour and aroma depend on the ingredients used and how it is fermented.
I am using shinshu genen miso which belongs to the red/dark miso which has a deeper and more intense flavour compared to white misu. I like my broth with levels of deepness. It’s best to buy your miso not from your regular supermarket as they cost €6,99 for a 300gr tub while I bought a 500gr tub for €5,79 at the Asian supermarket. They even have little bags of miso of 400gr starting at €2,70 which is an actual steal. Again fuck supermarkets and their inflated prices. If you can cut out the middle man, please do so.
The miso paste is thick so mixing it in is a bit hard. Just keep at it and your mince will get a beautiful deep brown colour. As it has a tendicy to burn if the heat is too high, keep it at a low/medium heat so the flavours get time to blend. If you don’t see any clumps of miso paste left your topping is done and set aside.
Cook your instant noodles following the instructions on the packet. Usually it’s 3 minutes in boiling water. Don’t let them get soggy. While you are waiting for your noodles the cook, empty the contents of the soup base in a bowl. You can pre-heat the bowl by submerging it in warm water.
Time to dress your bowl!
After your noodles are ready, poor the noodle water in your bowl and stir well so you won’t see any soup base clumps in your broth. After placing your noodles in the broth it is topping time.
I usually put the mince in the middle as a small pile and dressing my veggies around it. Because you blanched your bean sprouts, the broth will cool down less. It is important that you eat your ramen piping hot.
Carefully peel your onsen egg and let it slide in the broth. You can slice it in half for aesthetic but I like poking my egg with my chopsticks =D. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and you are done.
I only know Venom from the 1994 Spider-Man cartoon even though I read a lot of Marvel comics, Spiderman was never in my favourites to read. I was an X-men girl. And I need to admit I only wanted to see the sequel because of this little scene in the trailer. Ketchup?!
But before I could watch the sequel I needed to watch the first movie which aired in 2018. Disney+, Prime or Dutch Netflix didn’t have it on their streams so I had to rent it through Google for €3,99. I wasn’t going fork over €10,99, no love for Venom from me haha.
Venom (2018) Basically Venom is a symbiotic lifeform for outerspace brought to Earth by environmentalist Jeff Bezos who thinks it’s okay to find a host for these aliens by experimenting on homeless people and anyone else that doesn’t agree with his plans, in order to be able to survive in space. It is mentioned that he is scouting for space real-estate (the same guy that gives a speech that humans are destroying the Earth).
Our misfit investigative journalist Eddie Brock has beef with this guy and with the help of a rogue scientist breaks into the lab to collect evidence to bring the evil hipster down. When collecting the evidence, Eddie accidentally infects himself with one of the symbionts and all hell breaks lose. The parasite makes himself known to his host as Venom and is very hungry. After biting a guy’s head off it is known that Venom can only live on life food, especially brains. Hipster Bezos also gets infected by an symbiont and they duke out on a launching platform because the Bezos symbiont wants to go into space to retrieve his buddies so they can feast on Earth. Eddie and Venom put a stop to it by blowing up the rocket as fire and high frequencies are the only things that can hurt them. Everyone is safe, Venom is only allowed to eat bad guys and there was much rejoicing. The End.
The first movie was entertaining but not great. Venom and Eddie interactions are funny. Eddy’s fiancée got over him too quickly when his actions made her lose her job. And hipster Bezos was heavily overacting, it didn’t feel natural at all. I won’t blame the actor as the director is the one that okays a performance. So saving grace of this movie was Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. And it also introduces us the bad guy of the second movie, Cletus Kasady played by Woody Harrelson.
Venom Let There Be Carnage (2021) Eddie’s relationship with Venom is complicated. Biting of heads of baddies does attract police attention because you can’t play your own judge so Venom is condemned to eating chickes or chocolate because eating humans is bad.
Serial killer Cletus Kasady wants Eddie to tell his story but Venom observes frantic carvings in Cletus’ cell and together they discover the location of his victims landing Cletus a one way ticket to Hell aka death penalty. Cletus is mad that he is misunderstood because people did him wrong and demands that he talks to Eddie one last time before execution. The talk goes wrong when Cletus insults Eddie’s ex-fiancée and they end up fighting. Cletus then bites Eddie and somehow ingests a newly born symbiont named Carnage. The execution is botched and Cletus/Carnage bust out of prison to get revenge. Now Eddie and Venom need to work together to stop this nutcase.
Again the movie was okayish, I liked the Venom/Eddie escapades with Venom being a bit of a whiney bish and Eddie trying to keep it together with his maneating amoeba. I really like Sonny and Cher, Venom’s pets. So Tom hardy gets another thumbs up from me.
Now the downpart of the movie. I think Woody Harrelson is a good actor when you look at True Detective, Zombieland and Now You See Me but when he plays a psycho he is downright cringy. I DID NOT LIKE Natural Born Killers at all and he went for Natural Born Killers 2.0 for this movie. I mean Cletus’ had a fucked up youth with abuse but what’s with the trope that then he becomes this sadistic serial killer. Serial killers are more complex then boohoo I was abused by daddy now I am going to murder people.
I would still recommend this movie because besides the cringe it has entertainment value. Tom Hardy portrayed Eddie in a different light then the cartoon Eddie Brock ( I hated that ass) and you can’t help but feel sorry for the characters’ terrible luck. Please stay seated for the end-credits because it has an awesome reveal showing that this won’t be the last we see of Venom and Eddie.
I scarcely listen to the radio so Spotify is my saviour whenever my favourite artists bring out something new.
After six years of radio silence Stromae released an new single called Santé and it blew me away. It is an ode to diversity and the important people in our society whose hard work isn’t always noticed. The new single came out of nowhere and I hope this time he won’t lose himself in his succes. Mental health is important for everyone and artists often push themselves towards exhaustion or even end their lives like poor Tim Bergling (Avicii).
The rhythmic beat reminds me of the caribbean, while the use of the synthesizer feels very familiar to his previous album Racine Carrée. It is a very catchy song and like always the subject is very close to the heart of many of us. Celebrate diversity and keep mind of the efforts of others we take for granted.
Seeing the people dancing en enjoying themselves is very contageous. While I am writing this bit and listening to the song I can’t help myself moving to the beat. You can do the dance by following the steps below.
Santé (translated lyrics)
[Intro] To those who don’t have one To those who don’t have one
[Verse 1] Rosa, Rosa, when we make a mess, you clean it up And you, Albert, when we toast, you collect the glasses Céline (Céline), ‘bate (‘bate), you, you take the jackets to the coat check Arlette, stop that, you, party time, you spend it in the toilets
[Chorus] So how ’bout we celebrate to those who don’t celebrate For once, I’d like to raisе my glass to those who don’t have one To thosе who don’t have one
[Verse 2] What about manners? Why would I pretend? Anyway, she gets paid for it, do you think you’re my mother? In an hour, I’ll be back, better be clean, so we can eat on the floor, I’ve been waiting for three hours Honestly, do they make it themselves or what? Luckily it’s just two glasses Get me your manager and hurry up, it could end just like this, your career
[Chorus] Yes, let’s celebrate to those who don’t celebrate Once again, I’d like to raise my glass to those who don’t have one To those who don’t have one To those who don’t have one
[Bridge] Rub it, rub it, better not to rub against it, rub if you don’t know me Brush it, brush it, you can always brush it off, brush it if you don’t respect me
[Chorus] Yes, let’s celebrate to those who don’t celebrate Once again, I’d like to raise my glass to those who don’t have one To those who don’t have one
[Outro] Airline pilot or nurse, truck driver or flight attendant Baker or fisherman, a drink to the champions of the worst schedules To young parents rocked by tears, to professional insomniacs And all those who suffer from heartache, who don’t feel like celebrating Who don’t feel like celebrating
Stromae has announced he will be performing again in 2022 in Belgium and France. Can’t wait to see what else he created. I wished I could share this with my father as he was also a big fan of Stormae and gifted me all his records. Sadly I lost him to cancer in 2017, Stromae’s song Quand C’est really fits the description of this disease.
It might seem odd that I am already talking about the year 2022 but when it comes to dolls the waiting game is long. After my SO suggested I should try and take more photos, the interest in dolls came back to me earlier this year. It also helps that I have a better display case these days. I had a few dolls on my wanted list and some opportunities arised for me to procure them but that only counts towards the Supia and Lillycat order XD. The others just crossed my path.
In July I placed an order with Supia for a Nael with a Ballarina body and a seperate Haeun head. No face ups, either doing them myself or commissioning someone. I kinda need to admit that this doll already has an outfit lying ready for her. Supia has gorgeous headsculpts so I might order a few more in the future and with future I mean 2023 haha.
I ordered the new normal type skin and I am a bit worried as there are a lot of issues with new type tan and heavy discolouration after only a few weeks. There might be no issue at all but I can’t help it.
This order might arrive before the end of the year, 60 working days is the norm but I’ve seen a lot of people ordering during their special sale so it might be a little wee longer.
Next up is a Lillycat Lulu in light caramel skin. I’ve always wanted a doll made by her and thought her chibi line was too cute to pass up. Lillycat is one of the many doll makers that have been hit by recasters. It’s really sad to see her dolls pop up on platforms for a fraction of the price. I always say to myself, if I can’t afford the price it is just not meant to be. Pretending to have a doll by her that was ripped off by someone who doesn’t give a toss about copyright is just bad.
Lulu is only 29 cm tall and finding clothes for her will be a bit of a challenge because her body is a bit chubbier than a regular YO-SD. But since I’ve never owned a Lillycat doll before, it might not be so bad. I have a few YO-SD outfits that I could try on her, otherwise it’s time to whip out my sewing machine again. She has fairy ears so it is quite possible none of my wigs will fit her but we will see.
This one was a bit of a surprise for me and as a big Y’shtola fan I couldn’t let this girl out of my clutches. And the aftermarket price will be insane so it’s best to get her now.
As some of you know that I am a big fan of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve been playing FF for years since VII came out and played both of the online versions XI and XIV. So now Square Enix joined forced with Volks to bring our favourite catgirl Y’shtola out as a Dollfie Dream. They did it before with NieR Automata (which were gorgeous but not my thing) and I just couldn’t pass this girl up. She has a bit of a hefty pricetag but that is because she comes fully clothed in her pretty Black Mage outfit and staff. We are talking about a 99.800 Yen pricetag. I can’t recall if I do or do not pay salestax at Volks. But my SO wanted to go half on her with me, as a gift for our engagement. I can’t wear jewellery so this makes up for the lack of a ring haha. I took a sneak peak at some of the prices of an engagement ring but wow those rings can be expensive @_@.
I know for sure I am going to have a terrible time styling her wig as Volks dolls wigs never get even close to what you see in the pictures. The wigs are good quality but not styled at all. Hopefully they will put out a tutorial because it’s not really Y’shtola if her wig is just straight. The dress will be stunning for sure as all my fullset DD’s have great clothes. Let’s just hope the delivery guy doesn’t play footie with my box.
She won’t ship out until December 2022 so I’d be waiting over a year for her. But this is not the longest I’ve waited. My Dollshe ordered took 14 months ^^;;
And finally a little Sharkboy or girl in tan skin which I preordered today. He or she has little shark teeth which I probably have no faith in giving the face up myself haha. Even with a tinier body than the Lillycat Lulu finding clothes will be a challenge. Maybe even finding shoes will be a nightmare. But I couldn’t resist this little one and so the collection grows even further.
They even have a Dragon up on the website but I had to make a choice. I have a few vampie teeth dolls already and none with full chompers XD.
After a hiatus of more then a year the Doll and Bear festival will be held again near me next weekend. I’m going to check out if they have some tiny furniture or anything else that I can use for my photo sessions. I’ll keep you posted on the arrival of these cuties. UwU
When the first trailer dropped my heart raced, finally another Dune movie. I loved the books but I must admit I haven’t seen the 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch at all. I was only 4 years old when it was released and it just disappeared from my view in the years to come.
When I was 18 years old I had to read a couple of English books for my English finals and the teacher gave us the chance to deviate of the list but only if he okay’ed your choice. I said to him that I was going to read Frank Herbert’s Dune, he told me one book would be enough for the oral exam. The oral exam had two parts, a book discussion and a presentation about something you like. I chose American Comics and we ended up nerding the complete 30 minutes and I was given an A.
What I liked about Dune was that it was heavily influenced by Arab and Islamic culture. The language contained similarities with the Arabic language and the Fremens nomadic culture fitted the exact same culture. I always feel a bit connected with Islamic culture as my great-grandmother was Muslim and she gave her grandchildren Muslim wisdoms that were then passed on to me like ‘Speak good to people’.
So I understand the disappointed of people when they discovered the chosen cast not representing any Arab or Islamic actors. Hollywood still tends to go for big names even in 2021. And a big name cast it is: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem. To my shame I couldn’t remember seeing Timothée in Interstellar so for me he was a bit of an unknown actor XD. But yea, for the Fremen, there are quite a few Arab/Islamic actors they sidelined here. I’m thinking about Ali Suliman, Mena Massoud or Alia Shawkat.
Dune was a spectacle for the eyes filmed in stunning locations like Norway, Abu Dhabi, Jordan and Budapest. The music was perfect, the special effects very impressive and the movie was well paced and didn’t feel at all 155 minutes. A good balance between action and suspense. I was really curious how they would implement the body shields and it was just thumbs up from me all the way. I needed a bit more sand worms, the Shai Hulud. I was on the edge of my seat when they whipped out the hooks to ride the worms, we even saw a rider at the end of the movie so I think I will get fan-girl’s satisfaction worth in Dune part 2.
I’m not going to spoil too much on the story but the premise of Dune goes as follows. In the far future Duke Leto Atreides accepts to become steward of the desert planet Arrakis in order to source the most valuable substance in the universe called spice. The drug extends human life, provides superhuman levels of thought and makes faster-than-light travel practical. Leto knows this is a trap set up by his enemies but still takes his concubine Jessica and his heir Paul, together with his trusted advisors to the planet. The spice mining is complicated by the presence of the Shai Hulud, giant sandworms. After House Atreides is betrayed Paul has to flee together with his mother to the desert and seek refuge with the Fremen. Whispers are that Paul is Muad’Dib, the Fremen messiah.
After seeing this movie I have the mood to pick up the books again and wait for part 2 to hit the theaters.
I’ve been working in customer service for quite some years now, first in a store and later online/on the phone and frankly I had enough.
When working in a physical store, people tend to pipe down when they are unhappy about service, price or product. The discussions tend to be more civilized. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that customers deserve a great service but some tend to go overboard with downright unreasonable requests. I wasn’t prepared for the abuse and intimidation that comes with being a customer service representative on the phone. And the saying the customer is always right doesn’t always fly.
My first non-physical job was when I worked for a FB-game company. Sometimes there was a hick-up when people made purchases but if they showed us their transaction we made sure they received the items. You get daily freebees and that’s where the ‘fun’ part started. Like all games, you can have a glitch and not get the freebees. Most people just get a bit annoyed and move on but for some this was a trigger to send very threatening e-mails. An example that sticked with me for years that our team received around close the Christmas and it went a bit like this: ‘I hope your Christmas tree catches fire and you and your whole family perishes.’ Welp, a Merry Christmas to you too and this all about freebees. I’ve seen quite some e-mails with all caps and exclamation marks and several threats in my time there.
The next job was promoting a country as a tourism office, this was actually bliss. Sometimes people were annoyed that their free brochures didn’t arrive or were stolen but I can’t recall that we received any threats or intimidating phonecalls. People were just happy they were planning a holiday. Best years of my life.
But then I moved back to my homecountry and the misery started. I found a job at a telecom company and most of my callers had money issues, they had arrears and when the amount was so high, their services were locked. Which meant you can’t call, watch TV or use the internet until you pay your debt. Usually there are more issues, we weren’t the only company they owed money, but some people just blew a fuse by making serious threats. One man said he was going to find me and slit my throat if I didn’t lift the lock on his TV signal. You might think why do you care? Well this guy knew exactly were our callcenter was and had in the past showed up at the door. No fucking way did I feel like this was nothing to me. After this my Facebook profile went on private, I never put employers info on it, nor a photo of myself.
At each different call center I worked it was just rinse and repeat of similar incidents. And it starts gnawing at your core. When confronted with shouting and threats, you just drop the line. Some callcenters make you warn the customer 5 times before you are allowed to hang up. Really great when you have a customer shrieking like a banshee or throwing every disease under the sun at you. There was also another type of customer that was just plain malignant, their insults weren’t brought in shouting fashion but they tore you a hole in your soul by attacking your IQ because you don’t work in a worthy position. Plainly said: ‘Because you are dumb, you have to listen to me insult your position.’ They might hear my quivering voice but they won’t hear my tears after the call.
My last position, being the first point of contact for the local government, triggered my PTSD and blew my anxiety through the roof. Mind you, my employer did everything in their power to make it safe for us to work. They did way more then commercial companies ever did when faced with threats. They actually filed police reports against civilians whom had crossed the line in a terrible way.
Pre-Covid some calls were tough, people could blow a fuse but we had clear instructions just to disconnect the call immediately and file an aggression report. But when the pandemic hit, fuses became really short and the times we had to file an aggression report increased tenfold. I understand people were frustrated with the sudden restrictions but standing in front of our window and saying to the colleague you’re talking on the phone that you see them, is not making us feel very comfortable. You tend to look twice when exiting the office. I’ve been called a whore, a slut, I’ve had many incurable diseased wished upon, people were going to find me and rape me, etc, etc. And each time a little piece of me died.
Insomnia became my partner, I was having tremors in my legs, and before work I was so stressed that I vomited. Every symptom of anxiety attack hit me. I wanted to flee during the conversation and took a long while to calm down. I was diagnosed with PTSD and went through extensive therapy and EMDR to cope. But the sweating and heart palpitations never went away when I got a ‘tough’ call. I started to hate people in general. My SO said to me you actually love people a lot but can’t deal with the fact that some dissapoint you. I’ve always went the extra mile to help people but when they become abusive I don’t have the energy to spare.
When my manager said, this is work that won’t make you happy in the long run, I knew deep down inside it was true. I want to help people, but the downside of it was ruining my health. I went from 32 to 24 hours so I had extra days to recover. Would I be spending the rest of my life like this? I keep everything locked up inside, and I was looking at a stress build up that would kill me in the long run. I just can’t let it slide or grow a thicker skin.
I wished companies would take better precautions with phone aggression and intimidation. You can’t play it off at people’s mental conditions. As a sufferer of bad mental health I never went out of my way to destroy a person on the phone. Even if I felt the company had wronged me, because it is my duty to stay civil.
My resumé is online as I need to find a new position but I am not going to return to customer service. I had enough. Sleep hasn’t returned to me yet, but I’ll be okay in the end.
I bought my oldest Volks doll around 9 years ago, a Saber Alter v2. This was around the time that I moved to a different country, lost touch with a lot of my doll collecting friends and barely had funds to purchase anything doll related. Moving back and ending up with a better job it gave me more spending space for my hobby. Having a partner that doesn’t ridicule your hobby also helps.
My anime-type doll collection grew with Chezka, Ai and Megumi but finding proper clothing for them is a bit hard. Sure Etsy had a lot of lovely clothes but Volks keeps dragging me back to their fashion shop. And each month they bring out a newsletter with lots of goodies. My last order was in May of this year, so it was okay for me to put out another.
I really wanted the women’s hakama set for DD (1/3) and MDD (1/4) but the release was at 10:00 JST which meant I had to wake up at 3 o’clock at night to put my order through. Usually the website will crash when a lot of people are trying to purchase their most wanted. I figured if the items were gone when I woke up it wouldn’t be a great loss.
Suffering from chronic insomnia I woke up at around 5:30 (Yes, on my day off) and decided to check if what I wanted was still available. Maybe because it is limited to one per person, they still have the outfits that I wanted. Lucky me =D!
While men wear hakama on formal and informal occassions, women rarely wear hakama, except for graduation and for traditional Japanese sports as kyūdō. It is a shame because a hakama looks very pretty on a woman. Saber already wears a hakama but I wanted the ‘official’ Volks version. Now I can dress up Ai and Megumi. Have a big graduation party, which only makes partly sense as Megumi is still in middle school lol.
I was already paying a wopping ¥4850 (approx. $44) in shipping, it would be a shame if I kept this order small. Import duties are always paid but I’d like to make my package worth the cost of shipping.
So bought a DDH-22 type head (very cute on MDD bodies), a pair of gripping hands and internal hand frames for MDD and DD. I keep switching out the hands of my dolls with internal frame on, trying to pry the hands, especially the MDD size hands, is a pain in the rear.
Last year I couldn’t participate in the DD Gacha grab but it looks like this year there isn’t much interest in it. I added two to my order and it can either contain a pair of undies, a t-shirt or a pair of special eyes. I am hoping on either the eyes or the undies.
The last thing I added to my order was a saddle stand. I bought cheap versions on Aliexpress but alas with a lot of things on Ali it’s a terrible quality rip off. Won’t be doing that again. Saddle stands are easier to use as you just straddle your girl.
So now the waiting game starts. Last time it took around three weeks for them to ship my order. Covid-19 and big order volumes has increased the waiting time but I am a patient person. Volks had never let me down with their quality. Hopefully I will get really lucky with those Gatcha bags.
It was pure chance that I stumbled upon a copy of this movie at my local library. I think it might be the only anime they have on rent there, which is a shame, but I haven’t fully scanned the shelves yet. My hometown maybe to small for a big fan base of anime, maybe the library in Amsterdam or Rotterdam have a bigger selection. I would love to see more anime gems in my local library. Disney isn’t the only animation storyteller.
I consume my anime either through my own purchases or through my subscription with Crunchyroll and Netflix. A lot of people are against the paid services of the likes of Crunchyroll and Funimation and turn to pirating anime and manga. But if you don’t buy the tradpaperbacks or DVD’s/Blurays, the artists get absolutely nothing.
Japanese animators are heavily underpaid and overworkered by the studios. This is a major problem and the culture needs to change. I think the studio owners should receive criticism from fans in order to improve the circumstances of their employees. So please don’t pirate your favourite show, instead support projects like the Animator Dormitory Channel in order to change the anime industry.
Mirai is a 2018 adventure fantasy film written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda and produced by Studio Chizu. We know Hosoda from his movies; Wolf Children, Summer Wars and the Girl Who Lept Through Time.
The story focuses around Kun, a four-year old boy, and his parents. His father, an architect, designed their house around a tree in Yokohama and he spend his days playing with his trains and the family dog Yukko. When his sister, Mirai, is born the attention shifts towards the newborn baby which turns his happiness for a sister into jealousy. He throws tantrums and when his mother returns to work and his father becomes a stay-at-home dad, he starts to feel utterly alone.
After a tantrum he stomps off to the garden and notices the tree emitting a strange glow. He then meets a mysterious man that tells Kun he is a prince and he should bow to him. The man then accuses Kun of changing everything when he was born, revealing to be the personification of Yukko, the family dog.
The movie switches back and forth between reality and the fantasy futures and pasts. Kun meets several people contected to his family’s history and his own future while he comes to terms with not being the only child in the family.
I joked to myself that the movie had a Wolf Children kind of atmosphere as I hadn’t checked the director’s name yet. It is safe to say that Hosoda gives you this familiar feeling with his movies. The movie isn’t heavily action paced, one of the criticisms I read online and comes out as a very calm movie about a boy whom has to deal with changes. I can’t say that his journeys to the past, where he meets his mother as a child and his great-grandfather, are a projections of his imagination after hearing his mother tell the stories. I’d like to think that this conclusion of mine is somewhat close to the explanation.
I really loved seeing how he interacted with people he met in the different timelines. His great-grandfather waking up as the sole survivor when his ship was bombed during the war hit home with me as my own grandfather experienced the same thing. Seeing the destruction and carnage around him had a traumatizing effect on him.
When Kun found out that his mother was also severly punished as a child because she was naughty, he saw his mother’s sermon, after hitting his baby sister in the head with a train, in a different light.
There were a few things that didn’t sit right with me in this movie. Kun’s voice-actor is way too old. When I looked up who had voice him, it was Moke Kamishiraishi, she is pretty new one the market for voice acting. The voice still struck me as familiar and it appears she is the younger sister of Mone Kamishiraishi, a very well known voice actress. She stars in hit movies; Your Name and Weathering With You. They have the same intonation lingering in their voice.
The other thing was the fact that a working mom was a big thing in the movie. It almost felt like the writer didn’t really agree with it. And the fact that the dad flat out rejected the idea he was a stay-at-home dad when being asked by the neighbourhood moms. He put more emphasis on working from home than taking care of the kids. Being a working mom in Japan isn’t very common, it appears that if they want to return to work after a pregnancy it is often discouraged by family and employers. Seeing the roles reversed a bit was nice, Kun’s mother kept grilling his father for not having time when Kun was born. She didn’t call him a terrible father, but he also wasn’t a great one.
Today I woke up to the news that the mangaka of Berserk, Miura Kentaro, passed away on the 6th of May. And I was devastated.
I grew up with Berserk when it was released in 2003 by Dark Horse, together with Blade of the Immortal, it was my baptism in the world of Japanese comics. I was blown away by the work of detail in this dark fantasy world. The story was gripping, the style made you crave for more. Miura-san had me hooked on manga.
The joy I felt whenever a new volume came out and when I read the last page the tension harsh waiting game began for the next release. I wasn’t that active on the internet and the community in the Netherlands is very small, because I am not a big fan of going to anime-cons. The crowds just do me in. But I had a coworker with whom I could chat and speculate about the story’s progress.
When I grew older Berserk stayed with me. But you also find out the dark side of being the mangaka of a popular series. Your publisher wants a steady schedule in which you deliver quality work. And these schedules in Japan are insane. Look at Shonen Jump that comes out weekly, which means if you are serialised in that, you need to deliver a new chapter once a week. It’s crazy. Sadly, so many mangaka had to take a long period to recover their health. And with Twitter these days, they are exposed by the disappointment of their fans when their favourite series is on hiatus. Some comments are outright vile.
Miura-san struggled with his health and trying to keep fans happy. And now he is no longer among us. I have a deep respect for this man. Mangaka’s have assistants to help them but this is not an easy life. They often crunch together to make the deadlines pulling many late nighters. He wanted his staff to be able to have a family life and he gave them the chance. Just wished he looked out a little bit more for himself.
I shouldn’t read the comments on Twitter under his respect posts, but sadly I did and still some fans don’t understand and called him lazy for not keeping up with the schedule or taking breaks. Crying about what will happen to the story. For me the story ended when Miura-san passed. I don’t need more. I’ll cherish what he has given me.
It reminded me of the time the wonderful Terry Pratchett passed away. I was blessed to have met him in person, we had a little chat about how his books gave me joy. I didn’t want someone else to finish his books, I was fearful that they couldn’t carry the spirit he had. So when I heard that in his last will he asked for his hard drives to be destroyed by steamroller my heart made a little jump. That’s the Terry Pratchett I know and love.
I have a few mangaka left on my list that give me the same joy as Miura-san. I hope they look out for their health.
It’s been a taxing few months at the office and I needed a short break. When the commotion died down I mustered up my courage to ask for some time off. Mind you, my boss is not a difficult person but I just thought there was no space in the planning and I had to wait until the end of May for my other short break. So I booked a hotel in a remote part of Rotterdam, in the harbour area.
Rewriters Rotterdam have a map of all the street art locations across town and they do guided tours. But because Covid-19 is still throwing his merry self around I decided to try finding them solo. When it’s a bit safer again I will book a tour through them.
I haven’t found them all which was a shame, I did everything by foot and seeing that I haven’t walked long distances in ages I was knackered after two days. I could have gotten a OV-bike but I hate those with a passion. Coaster brake how I loathe you.
My love for street art is pretty big. I admire these artists as they use brick or concrete as their canvas. When I lived in Belfast the ugly and menacing murals sometimes were replaced by beautiful and inspiring street art. Balaclavas and guns hideous, animals or fairies or anything not remotely like a balaclava is awesome. I’ll write about the street art I found there in another post.
Disclaimer: description is my interpretation and does not reflect the artists. I can be totally wrong. 😉
Near the Erasmus bridge
I missed quite a few locations like the Great Wave off Kanagawa and Death. But that means I will go back with a decent bike next time.
Yesterday had been a very tough day at work due to the snowfall and citizens being inconvenienced. Everyone worked their asses off to get things going but with less traffic on the roads, the road salt wasn’t able to do its work properly. The roads became skating rinks.
Mondays are my days off but Friday they requested if I could switch days because of the weather forecast. The trains didn’t run on Monday and the roads were dangerous so the work from home team was on full force while the office team might not be able to come in. It was busy right of the bat and didn’t slow down until late in the afternoon. Only perk was that time flew.
My call total was around 78 at the end of the day, which is an average of 10 per hour. I could do more but the calls were all explaining why the main roads have priority and the residential areas couldn’t be swept yet. And those aren’t 4 minute calls. ^^;; Road salt doesn’t work if not enough cars drive over it. Most people were understanding but we all had unreasonable people on the phone. Weather alert was red/orange with warnings to no go on the roads, but sadly this falls to deaf ears for some. I know some work cannot be done remotely but demanding your employees to come in and they get in an accident makes you an ass. Or ordering food to be delivered is just selfish letting someone else risk their lives. But yea, everything for the 24-hour economy.
So I needed some TLC and I went on a Twitter endorphin binge again.
I follow a lot of Japanese doll artists on Twitter, especially the anime related dolls. I’m always admiring the customs made that just make the original producer of the dolls pale in comparison. Look at the complete styling of this doll. The faceup is very cute, the wig styling is stunning and the outfit is amazing.
Because the heads are made of vinyl I have no confidence in painting or carving them myself. I feel safer with resin because when I mess up I can remove the make up with acetone. If you do that to a vinyl head it prolly melt XD.
I once tried my hand to buying a custom from Japan via Yahoo auction but I dislike bidding wars. The price can be steep but in my honest opinion it is worth it. Some people spend a lot of cash clubbing in the weekend, buy designer clothes or bags and I spend my money on dolls. Each to their own.
The wooden dolls made by Suekichi Haruo are just adorable. I mean those little ducks look like that duck pull toy that was around when I was a child. I think this design just makes me feel nostalgic. I am always attracted to simple but cute design and wooden toys and figurines never get old. Wood working is an admirable skill and I am sad the popularity had been dwindling the last decade. But I see a slight revival of it these days and luckily it is also becoming a sustainable revival. I’m not an advocate cutting down any tree to make stuff of it.
Further down Haruo’s feed you will find more cute designs like frogs and turtles. I had hoped to travel to Japan in 2020 and maybe stumble up these in a small store. Maybe next year. =)
My SO at times makes fun of me when I like cutesy pastry or desserts. I just can’t help it. In Asia you see this more then in the Netherlands because cute sells. We have elaborate cupcake decorations but cute cakes are more often bought for kids’ parties and I am judged too old for this stuff XD.
Another plan for the Japan trip was going to a character café and eat cute food. Even if it is more about looks than taste. Some YT’ers I follow were underwhelmed by the taste but I feel I need to have done it once to satisfy my appetite.
PonkichiM is an illustrator that drew me in with their vegetable fairy book. The idea that hidden among vegetables and fruits you have these animal fairies was just so awesome. I really want a Napa Dog (Chinese cabbage Dog) and no worries they flee before someone tries to eat them XD.
Now these designs are being turned in collectable figurines and I am a little bit jealous of people that can order them. My Japanese is not anywhere good enough to order from the website and often they don’t ship abroad. One day I hope I can own my own Napa Dog, Sweet Potato Newt or Red Radish Fox. But for now I admire from afar.
Since I left Belfast in 2016 I haven’t funded a Kickstarter at all. I kinda lost interest and spend my funds on other things XD. But when I saw the seedling animal planters Kickstarter on my Twitter feed the platform spiked my interest again. Twitter can be bad on the wallet ;).
I have been following leikya , an English artist, for a while on Twitter. Her cute but simple art style is addicting to buy merchandise of. I pledged for planter, dish and enamel pin but the hardest part for me will be coming up when the pledge time ends and that is which type of planter I am going to choose. I’m leaning towards the fox but the cat is very cute too. Hardest decision of my life! JK
Since this Kickstarter is based in the UK I really wonder what the custom fees will be since they left the EU. It’s not a large pledge of £35 so I think it won’t be that bad. But the cuteness is killing me. And then I need to figure out which plant it will carry. I’m a sucker for cute pots and plants and I am hoping to build a larger collection. It will go nicely with my Pusheen pot.
The other Kickstarter is a farm sim game called Coral Island made by developers from Indonesia. I love farming sims and this is situated on an island, what more can a girl wish for. Also the game studio is a newly found Indie studio based in Indonesia. Supporting the roots! There will be fruits and flowers featured whom are native to Indonesia and I hope we will hit the pledge target of $175.000 so bug catching will be added. The counter is now on $162.000 so we are getting close.
I chose the $45 pledge which contains a digital Steam Key and a Pre-Alpha key, Digital OST, Digital Artbook and a Kickstarter Exclusive Farmer outfit. I’m pretty psyched to play another sim next to Animal Crossing. Can’t wait for this one to come out!
There were many more projects I would have loved to help fund but I needed to make choices because I set a firm budget for myself. Maybe March will bring some new fun projects around.
During the pandemic Social Media (SM) has been a blessing but sometimes a burden. With every channel you have drama and not so fun stuff and I really needed to filter what I take in so it won’t feed into my anxiety. My presence on Facebook is decreasing but on Twitter it is increasing. Easy to use and retweet stuff that I like from other creators. I say creators as I follow a lot of artists on Twitter but in moderate I also follow a few actors, musicians and writers like Mark Hamill, Stephen King, Tom Morello and Mark Ruffalo.
As I said earlier SM has it’s ups and down. Luckily, you can create a bubble for yourself and keep it relatively drama-free. Of course some of the accounts will post political statements at time. Stephen King and Mark Hamill have been really active the past four years discussing the political climate of their country, which everyone is in their fullest right to do, but I refrain to read the comments that they get. My SO said most of the shitty comments are by intentional trolls. But we all know the biggest online troll was president of the US of A and I really doubt he did this just for shits and giggles.
So yeah, I try to not get dragged in the Twitter drama as often as I like. That’s why I like to share some of the accounts that I follow for some wholesome content. =D
Pui Pui Molcar aired by BANDAI NAMCO Arts Channel. If you like guinea pigs and handmade stuff this is a cute account to follow. Look at those little beady eyes of the guinea pig cars, so cute! =3 If you want to see their shenanigans, go check out their YT channel. Don’t worry about it being a Japanese show, it is complete visual fest and easy to follow for your kids.
Doki is a Brazilian illustrator / comic book artist / queer fantasy stories enthusiast / plant mom who has successfully launched an urban jungle Kickstarter so you can get enamel pins, stickers, tote bags and prints. I just love these types of illustrations and if you are a plant mom/dad who wouldn’t want a print or a pin of your babies on the wall. Fab use of colours and technique.
Plussecret is a Monchhichi and doll café based in Asakusabashi, Tokyo. I wanted to visit them on my trip to Japan in 2020 but alas the pandemic happened. You can buy Monchhichi & Friends goodies and tasty treats. When traveling is sensible again I will get my hands on Chimutan, the bunny you see on the left.
This plush hospital just melts my heart. Professional plush doctors and nurses take care of your beloved plushies and restore them to their former glory.
I used Google translate to get a rough understanding of the post (for Japanese it is really shit, don’t use it to talk to Japanese people please).
The seal is called Sirotan and was stuffed again to become a full and happy seal again. Mr. Utsubo, the moray eel, underwent some dental care and has new cute little chompers.
My Twitter is @clogsnsneakers and I would love to connect with you 😀