May. 15th, 2015

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My Fitbit ran out of battery power today. So I guess I'll have to get some steps in without the sweet anesthetic of gamification. At this point I can live without it, probably. (Still want a new battery this weekend.)

This list has some reads for me, I bet. Already listening to the audio version of Delicious Foods, and I could check out She Weeps Each Time You're Born, Irritable Hearts, and The Country of Ice Cream Star (though that last title is likely the only "global pandemic slaughters the majority of the population" novels I will subject myself to for a while). Currently I'm reading another 2015 release, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, Marie Mutsuki Mockett's personal account of Japan's ongoing project to recover from 2011's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

It's good to read some newer books. While I still dislike the way so many things seem to be written these days with book clubs in mind, and the fact that too many synopses sound like writing prompts (chara is irrelevant, it's all about the BIG IDEA), it's nice to see what other people are thinking right now, rather than what they thought ten or fifteen years ago. Or even longer ago than that.

New books, new music, new anime and TV. My brain does feel less sluggish, and my mood has improved. This is probably a key way to not get old, at least to prevent aging prematurely.

Welp, I just read that Harry Shearer, the voice of over 100 charas in The Simpsons, is leaving the show. This after they announce the end of DVD season sets. Seriously, we have to let this show go. It has turned into a legacy product, like Blondie and Dagwood and Prince Valiant, which doggedly refuse to leave the comics pages of newspapers even though nobody would miss them. The Simpsons costs more to produce, though. Just think what Fox could do with that money. Probably they could try two or three new series, considering they were prepared to spend $14 million on Harry Shearer alone.

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Reading Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, combined with the usual internet trivia about Japan, is making me long for that country again. Just a little. I haven't really planned on seeing it in the real world for years- seriously, where would I get the money for such a trip, and even just going to Chicago spooked me into hiding in my hotel room- but the actual, three-dimensional Japan is just so appealing. Even just imagining seeing its nature, staying among the trees and mountains for the trip's duration, would be awfully satisfying.

Maybe I would like a pilgrimage. You can do that without leaving the country, though it takes some imagination. But focusing on nature and spiritual spots... that could be the ticket. Wonder if I could swing a pilgrimage in this city. Depends. What constitutes a pilgrimage?

I have the impression that the journey is part of it- maybe a huge part of it. Like, you're putting effort into meeting God or yourself or an emotional point, traveling to get right up to it in a way that you can't by staying at home. The location is also important. You can pray, meditate, or think anywhere, including your bedroom, but designating a particular spot special, a place that has special significance for a relevant reason, gives you something to aim for. You travel. To the spot. And then expect something. Results, of some kind, whether for yourself or for someone else or for your relationship with something spiritual.

Maybe all good vacations are pilgrimages? That way you aren't just wandering around and spending money.

Therefore, it could be done in Indianapolis. I just need to pick a spot for a reason,and it has to be somewhere not easily gotten to. Can't make it too nearby. Can't make it any old place. Hm.

At any rate, Japan. It makes me a bit sad to know that its walls are so high that I could never come close really to it on an intimate level. The people there consider themselves too exceptional, too different, and are perpetually surprised at the sight of foreigners. They wouldn't know what to do with me and I am quite sure I wouldn't know what to do with them either, considering what I have read about them. It would be like walking around in a TV show. Look, touch, but never really interact. The show has its own thing going on. The charas are busy. You never stop being merely a part of the audience.

But I at least want to eat authentic ramen. Other than the instant kind.

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