Thursday, August 31, 2017

twenty years old

With January come and past, I have finally breached my twenties. The last time I posted was 11 months ago. Starting after my last post, I began to journal privately instead of blogging or posting about my life. At the time, I was struggling with dissociation pretty hard, and journalling every day was my way of feeling like everything I did was real.

Last year around Oct, I was still in community college and pulling through my Western Art History class. I did well enough in that, and now I'm in that in-between stage between community college and university.
I also really got into guinea pigs around this time and became a sort of mouth breathing guinea pig person. I did adopt two guinea pigs that I set up a C&C cage for, plus ordered a bunch of fleece bedding off of Etsy!
There was a period in October where I just played Stardew Valley for a couple weeks straight and paid attention to my dog and guinea pigs. We also dressed Chino, my pitt-mix boy, up as a little king for Halloween and walked around the neighborhood passing out dog treats to anyone who had a dog, food allergies permitting. 

November was a whirlwind and I didn't journal at all that month, but in December I had the opportunity to adopt a gorgeous, slender, sleek black kitty that I saw on petfinder that same month. I went through an organization called Kitties & Pitties (aaaaaah!!!!) and that's how I met my second son now, Spider. That same December I started going to a mental rehabilitation nonprofit for my anxiety, depression, regression, and panic issues. 

In January, I began to journal every. single. day. unless I had a particularly awful day, but I would still tick off what I had done that day even if I didn't write anything. This year, I'm determined to get better and come out on the other side (2018) better than I was any previous year.

Much of this year, January through now, has been spent focusing on my mental health and staying inside, I haven't been going out too much this year because part of my struggle with anxiety has been some agoraphobia. I tried to work at Ulta starting around June, but I left in two weeks because I couldn't handle everything with my anxiety that left me feeling trapped and like I needed to escape--I would be at work crying and have to leave early.

I'm faced with where I am right now, which is to say: knee-deep in psychotherapy at my facility of choice, but the biggest thing is that I'm going to start trying harder. I haven't been to any conventions, events, haven't really hung out with any friends besides my good friend Ren, and speaking to BT online, have not left my house each weekend or even during the week. The majorly productive things I can say I've been doing all involve mental health, writing this post included.

My goals for right now are to start putting myself out there slowly, and make some fun videos. I'm going to Small Press Expo in early September, which is a gathering of independent artists selling wares and printed material. I went last year and bought some of my first Massive Goods merchandise there. The local renaissance festival, which is fairly big, is also happening in September.
In October, BT visits! Seeing your best friend is probably the purest form of therapy there is, and it's been a year now since I've seen him!

About those videos.. I've been thinking for a while about making a YT channel, just for fun, and to have an easier and more visual way of having a blog. I'm going to be doing makeup looks, GRWMs, favorites, vlogs about me advancing from where I am now to all the way in California in art university working my ass off and meeting the artists and influences that have kept me alive. Another big thing I am going to be doing in my videos is promoting artists that have inspired me--their custom-printed clothing, their merchandise like buttons and enamel pins, or whatEVER medium they work in, and I consume, I'm going to promote it. I don't want to go into too much detail about WHO and WHAT because that's for the videos--but I have a whole long list of artists from ig and twitter who have been inspiring me for years that haven't had their products featured in any well-edited videos and I want to change that, since all of the things and artists I'm interested in are obscure niche-interest group artists.

I don't have to do much to start, and I'm going to start soon. Over the coming months I'm going to continue to recover mentally and start thinking positively about the future and all of this, as well as setting up a little filming area for at-home videos. I will be cross-posting them here, since this is my little life blog. There are still going to be times where I have photos and words in addition to videos, and that's what I plan on using this for.

I still journal every day, and I'm going to be creating life-organizing lists and a daily schedule. Going forward from here on, I'm going to try. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

over a year

.... since my last post. I'm still here, I'm working through my life's difficulties. In the past year, it feels like I haven't really done a lot. The last blog post I made was shortly after I went to Japan for my 18th birthday. I'm 19 now, and I'll be turning 20 in January. The original plan was to go to Japan again when I turned 20, for my Seijin no Hi, but I am thinking that it'd be better to have a convenient place to start for vlogs and life journalling if I took a bunch of domestic trips with my birthday money instead.

Thinking about the future, I've been worrying a lot about whether I'm cut out for art and illustration, because I go great periods of time (4+ mo) without drawing at all! I realize that this is in part due to the long period of depression and depersonalization that I've been going through for the past seven plus months. I'm starting now, to plan some things out, and begin to think of ideas for myself. I've been drawing more, albeit still less than a committed artist, but more. There are many doll things I could make, and that I have been making, and depending on the significance I can use that in my portfolio for university as well. Right now, all I need to do is be positive and at least somewhat motivated. Blogging could be what holds me accountable. This is why I want to host a channel (as well) talking about dolls, lifestyle things, makeup (?!), cosplay/con footage, art... I can do creative things with that as the goal, and as the outlet. I've wanted to for a while, but the fear of not being good enough kept me away. The thought is seriously there, for now, though, and I'll look into lightboxes and videography for it.

A little bit on my depression below the cut ...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

JAPAN 2015, JANUARY -- IMAGE HEAVY

To start off this post, I'm just going to say it is super, super long overdue. I came back seven weeks ago or something and I even had a photo up on instagram saying I'd make this post like a couple days after I got back.. lol... so anyway. I went to Japan for my friend and I's birthday. Getting there was a nightmare, lol. Like... the flights were so long and my feet swelled up in my shoes and it was disgusting and upsetting. I also had to spend the night in a hotel in British Columbia because I missed a flight. Wonderful, amazing, fantastic.

Once I finally got there, though, the mobile wifi and hotel and all that was already set up by Niko, who was my partner in crime in Japan.



First meal I had in Japan was Mos Burger's Teriyaki Burger & Melon Soda. Niko got some sort of milkshake, iirc. The burgers were actually really good since I hadn't had any burgers for a while. At places like these in Japan, they give you a cute little box beside your table to put your stuff in. You can also put your items at your table before getting your food without risk of theft. Even though we went at, like, 2am, it was really nice. You also don't have to do anything with your tray or trash after you're done with your food. You just leave it there and they get it for you.


Spotted in Famima.




The second day we were in Japan, we took a train to Kyoto. The train from Tokyo to Kyoto was almost $200... LOL... like we bought a 'non reserved seat' online for something like $80 but when we got to the station we had to buy the 'seat' ... like, there's no way around it. When we got to Kyoto it was exactly like all of the websites about 'getting to Volks' said it'd be. 

   

So during the time we were in Kyoto, Niko was trying to buy a doll (Volks Chiyo) and apparently, Volks only takes cash. Tip for people going to Volks! So, we went to the grocery store across the road, and even went down to the conbini down the street. Their ATMS weren't taking us, so we took a old-school trolley (on rails!) and went two stops, walked to a 7/11 (apparently the only place in Japan that you can grab cash out of an ATM at, so be aware), and took the trolley back. It was a really chill experience, just not the fact we had to worry about Niko's #1 big purchase being blown out of water.




They give you baskets to carry your dolls around in. You go in, give bag check your items, and put your doll in a basket lined with blankets. They have baskets of all sizes. This way, you can shop downstairs (no photos allowed, but it was gorgeous) without having too large obstructions which could knock displays down. They give you a cute ornate card with your bag number on it.









Upstairs, where the galleries are, they have an elevator you can take even higher (this is a pretty huge building, all dedicated to dolls) and they have this sitting room with some displays set up for you to take pictures of your dolls in. I was more interested in the huge window that circled around three of the four walls of this pretty big room. There were antique chairs you could rest in with a small coffee table, and another little table with some other chairs.











Looking down on the gardens, that we unfortunately didn't have time to roam. They're expansive.





Headed back to Tokyo with a variety of sandwiches that Niko bought me from the Shinkansen cart!


Oh yeah. Over the week I was in Japan, I absolutely fell in love with Misdo. The Pon de Ring you see here? Fucking delicious. It's like a donut, but it's made with some glutinous rice flour and it's chewy and perfectly iced and the balls pull apart perfectly and I'm going to cry. I miss Japan and I miss Mister Donut.



Waking up early as fuck to go to Shibuya.



View as we left the station.





I had to drop Niko off at some theatre because they had to go do something that could potentially lead to a job in Japan, and the day or so after this, that same person they met at the theatre took us to a really nice old school place to eat some eel and we talked with him and it was really nice... we also toured a theatre company and spoke with them and really it was all Niko's thing so I sat and they gave me snacks and tea and I just sat and watched Niko in their element. It was really emotional and important for them so of course I, as their husbando, swelled with pride for my tiny waifu who is growing up in the world  and doing important things and MOST importantly--getting connections!!

I took some photos of the area, mostly because it was in some quiet back alley of Shibuya and they had taken the pocket-wifi so I had no idea where I was or how to get back to regular Shibuya or find Shibuya Parco which is what I wanted to do (later, of course, you'll see that I eventually found it) and anyway, I took some photos of the area that show just how ethereal and pretty the quiet streets are.












So, Shibuya is where I had just discovered Village Vanguard, located in Shibuya Parco. It's probably one of my favorite stores in Japan. There's no way to describe it. It has a whole lot of everything--manga, anime goods, weird home shit, weird shit in general, creepy shit, I don't know. It's weird. I love it. You'd be better off going to the Village Vanguard website and exploring. But it's nothing compared to being inside one of these in real life. They're cramped so don't bring huge bags. They're a chain store, so you'll find them everywhere. The one I found in Shinjuku iirc is my favorite because it was big, spaced out, and sold clothes.   Village Vanguard is where you're going to find artist-made stuff. They had a whole section dedicated to artist-made things (I bought a book by Yurie Sekiya, called PeroPero Sparkles) and this is the place to go if you want some Kaneoya Sachiko merch. I wasn't looking for it when I was there, but when I browsed her website a few weeks ago, it turns out that that's sold there.

Also at some point we went to an Arcade in Shibuya and got crepes and hot cocoa I think, at Pirate Crepes. The little booth and the whole concept was adorable. I think they also run a pizza place.


Some Dangan Ronpa pop-up across the hall from VV. (You can see it in the back.)









So at the One Piece Store, you can collect cards everytime you buy a certain amount of yen worth of stuff. After you get all of the cards (and wanted poster stickers) you get a binder to keep them all in. After that, you start getting different Wanted Posters and no more cards, just a card of the ship which acts as sort of a 'catch all' card. You'll be using those solely after you finish all of the other cards.

Another thing--and it's rather cute--that the Mugiwara Store does, is, when telling you your total they say "(yen amount) beri," like how cute is that? Also, this one kid was totally tapping out the theme song as it played, on the banister that led into another room of the store that sold just clothes and I was like, same. I hummed it to myself because I'm gay and I love One Piece.


Some arcade in Shibuya. I literally scarred my hand from playing so much taiko.


So they had plastic foods in this one hallway in Shibuya, where it showed all the stuff you could get at food places in the building!



 

Arcades late at night, big bag I got for my giant Mugiwara Store haul. Now it's Harajuku time.


 

Niko celebrated Coming of Age and wore a furisode and shawl and here they are mid-action being kirakira and gorgeous as hell. They did have a professional photoshoot in this, but that's personal and also on a CD and I'm lazy and macs don't have a CD drive. So---


 

We were allowed to go and walk around in their rental furisode, so we went to Harajuku and walked into some random donburi shop and got lunch. This is Butadon. (Pork.) I got natto on the side because I'm fucked up and have a giant hard-on for natto.






Okay, so, story. In Harajuku, not oNLY did we meet Junnyan and Kurebayashi (and have a personal encounter with them in a cute ice cream shop and sat and had a deep convo--as deep as people who aren't fluent can have anyway--but I can't recount that because I'm not allowed to post the pictures. Maybe someday. Waifu--Niko--says.)  but we met this really cute girl who worked at this jewelry store which was like a darker Claire's and they sold everything. What really gets me about Japan, and one thing I really miss about it, is that attention is put into everything. Look at these earring sets and earring cuffs. So much fucking tiny detail you wouldn't notice. Imagine all of the cute outfits you could wear and these be the final tiny detail to top them off. I didn't buy any of them, but looking at them again I wish I did even though I don't wear earrings often.



Shinjuku!

 


Okay, so the image of me in a sukajan is in Shinjuku but the others aren't. In Shinjuku we went to some multi-level craft store which Niko fell in love with that had floors dedicated to different things. A whole floor dedicated to theatrical and cosplay and regular makeup (mostly theatre) (they had books on how to do Takarazuka makeup and special FX makeup and books about extreme makeup it was so fucking cool) and a floor dedicated to wigs (even Gyaruo and cosplay wigs) and a floor dedicated to sewing, a floor dedicated to cabochons and deco, a floor dedicated to jUST FUCKING BUTTONS, it was insane. This is the place you buy that weird shiny fabric that you can't find in the states that you put on top of Eva Foam and make armor that actually looks like real armor like the cool Japanese cosplayers do. They have it so easy. It's just a matter of going to this store, and bam, cosplay. Fucking--

It's called Okadaya and it's magical.

 

 


So Akihabara was really nice. Niko ran off to go to @Home Cafe, and because I didn't want to waste any time not shopping, I went off somewhere else. I got lost in an Animate again, and when we met up after, we went to Mandarake to see if I could find any plastic doll titty (ball jointed dolls) and failed, they mostly had Dollfie Dream and while that's great and all, I'm not really a fan (but maybe in the future) .. We also went to a bunch of Book-Offs. The weird Yowamushi Pedal button machine was found in a Toranoana, specializes in selling doujinshi and other artist-made merch for anime.

At night we went by DOLK and I bought a bunch of stuff for my Cecile, including Oscar doll eyes and so many wigs. If I come back I really would like to try for an arubaito here llllol but like, it was cute because the girl upstairs who had pink hair had a Tadokoro badge and I noticed it and she got excited and we met this cool person who takes cos photography and he's REALLY  GOOD, like... you'd see Cure cosplayers using his stuff. 


 

Gundam Cafe. We did get food but I was so hungry I ate it before taking a picture of it.. it was gundam themed too... also, we met a dude here and he asked us a bunch of questions about like.. what being transgender meant and all this other stuff and if it's easy to be trans in the states, and whatever. He spoke English, obviously, since concepts like that aren't easily explained in a language you're not fluent in, and he was visiting Japan too. It was pretty chill, actually.




Also, we got street-snapped, so that's chill too. BY Junnyan!




This was a special side trip back to Shibuya before we left because I love Kishidan and I was going to get my hands on some Kishidan merch. There's a place next door aptly named DARKPLOT SKULL SHIT that was also pretty awesome.

 



 

This was back to Harajuku. We went to SUPER WEGO where it seemed Yurie had done an entire wall up. Of course, I knew this before I went and it influenced my decision to go, but, there you have it. :^) 


 



 


Visiting Japan reaffirmed a lot of things for me. Such as, where I want to go, where I want to live, a lot of things like that... It was comfortable. I'll return every year and maybe multiple times a year if I can, until the day I can stay. Whenever that is, who knows. It'll come eventually.

I didn't take pictures of everything, namely DOLK and obviously a lot of the stores we went to in Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya.. etc. But I have so many memories, so I don't feel too bad. And I'll be back, so...

Omake w/ rando videos I took: