I live in Tokyo now but most of my friends and family do not. The main idea here is that I can tell these people about interesting things that happen and are seen.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Troubling Connexion

There appears to be a linear relationship between the amount of time I spend playing turn-based strategy games on the computer, and HOW MUCH DANDRUFF IS COMING OFF MY GOT-DANG HEAD.

I could draw you a graph.

Seriously there is a correlation - I just conquered Britain in a Roman Empire simulator and suddenly I gotta run a snowplough over my suit everyday before I go to work. I feel like I should be carrying around one of those fancy gloves that people use to get cat hair off of furniture so I can clean up after myself on the train. Bro - it is chronic.

You see, I've been keeping a low profile of late as I wait to get paid so I can afford to do some stuff. Just working and lounging around at home watching TV shows or conquering the Mediterranean world (instead of drawing or writing as I ought). I have now been paid, so expect some more interesting write-ups in the next few weeks.

Parenthetically - I did go somewhere - I went to Ueno Zoo. It reads like this:


...I didn't feel it deserverd its own write-up.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Drew A Picture...

...and put it on my comic website as a token indication that I have not given up on my comic website. Colouring it in was just a further morsel of contrition - a swipe at the snivelling nose of my shame.

(The shame in that metaphor being shame at my own procrastination. I think? I should go to bed.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

I'm Still Terrible At Doing Inter Net

Since I update at pretty random intervals, it has been suggested that I implement something called an "RSS feed" so that people could maybe have postings emailed to them when they are created rather than forlornly checking every now and then (is that how it works? I don't even know if that's how it works?)

So I followed some instructions on a webpage - if you look on the right-hand column over there you will see a button like this:

The button will take you to a feed. I don't know what you people are supposed to do next to make it go though.


Thank you.

UPDATE: Well I had a play around and it looks like to use a feed you normally have to have some kind of program that collates all your RSS feeds for you every day and prints them out as a newspaper, so you can sit there like a bigshot and read a bunch of people complaining about George Bush or some soup that they ate in the most efficient way possible.

I'm not sure if any of my friends or family are that kind of person, so I found another button I could press and now you can just get new postings emailed to you - click on the "subscribe by email" link at the bottom of the right hand column. Dunno if it works properly but we can find that out together.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

People In Olden Days Knew How To Talk About Rude Stuff

The following delightful piece of slander comes from Procopius' "Secret History", published posthumously in the 6th Century AD. It's a description of the Byzantine Empress Theodora, consort of Justinian I - he's generally considered a pretty bodacious dude as far as Byzantine Emperors go, though Procopius evidently had an axe to grind:

On the field of pleasure she was never defeated. Often she would go picnicking with ten young men or more, in the flower of their strength and virility, and dallied with them all, the whole night through. When they wearied of the sport, she would approach their servants, perhaps thirty in number, and fight a duel with each of these; and even thus found no allayment of her craving.

Throughout his career Procopius was commissioned to compose various panegyric histories in praise of Justinian's imperial achievements. I suppose he wrote the Secret History after hours as a way of venting against a boss he didn't particularly appreciate. He puts his prose through various contortions in order to assert that Justinian was simultaneously a moron and yet infernally cunning, finishing off with a literary shrug and a story to the effect that "his head completely detached off his body and flew around the room this one time". But Procopius reserves the best of his venom for the Empress Theodora. He continues:

And though she flung wide three gates to the ambassadors of Cupid, she lamented that nature had not similarly unlocked the straits of her bosom, that she might there have contrived a further welcome to his emissaries.

Have you ever read such a splendid description of some basic rudeness?

The scholar has this to say of her early career in the theatre:

Often, even in the theater, in the sight of all the people, she removed her costume and stood nude in their midst, except for a girdle about the groin: not that she was abashed at revealing that, too, to the audience, but because there was a law against appearing altogether naked on the stage, without at least this much of a fig-leaf. Covered thus with a ribbon, she would sink down to the stage floor and recline on her back. Slaves to whom the duty was entrusted would then scatter grains of barley from above into the calyx of this passion flower, whence geese, trained for the purpose, would next pick the grains one by one with their bills and eat.

The complete text of the Secret History is available here, though I caution that despite the many elegant, classical euphanisms for "eh that girl she nuttin but a straight up ho", it's not exactly a page-turner, especially if you don't know the background. I would recommend instead John Julius Norwich's 3-volume History of Byzantium, which might be at your local library if it doesn't suck. If you're an author of fantasy fiction you could pick a chapter more or less at random and easily base your trilogy upon it.

As for Japan: the Japanese are quiet. Keeping their heads down. They know what's up. And I have reached a conclusion regarding typhoons: Typhoons are bullshit.