In that long week of no computer whilst you pined for an update, here’s what happened on my side.
I finished the fruits on my mural with crayon. Why had I ever thought that using Posca paint pens was the best way to go? Done learned my lesson. Now all that remains is to turn these random circles into a fruit tree. I might break out my old calligraphy brush for this job.
My chopstick light fixture was coming apart because I kept hitting it with things. I figured it was high time I redid it, and maybe made it look less cock-a-hoop. Geometry or a degree in architecture might have really shortened this process, because it took me four hours and a lot of Christmas music to figure out that I would never be able to remake the bird nest structure with the giant fluorescent bulbs in the way. I settled for a more modern Japanese aesthetic. Materials: Kitchen paper, hot glue, chopsticks.
Additionally I remade the old light fixture into a crown. My computer was in the shop. I was bored.
I bought a new camera, completing one goal on my Projects list. I’ve been saving for an Olympus Pen E-PL1 ever since I saw it over on the Cozy Little Cave blog; although it helped a lot that there are two newer models. Blogging regularly about life in Japan, trying to sell jewelry online, and having dropped my previous camera in a koi pond all contributed to this decision, but I think part of that choice was to hold myself back from buying a different expensive toy that I didn’t really need just yet, like an iPad or a new computer. Never a shutterbug, I feel awkward just pulling it out and snapping shots of my friends and it’s real Japan winter now which means I don’t run around outside very much. What I’m saying is that all I’ve had to photograph is my messy apartment and myself. Even when I’m just playing with the art settings and aperture [like how I drop that in there, like I know what it means?] snapping dozens of photographs of myself is both narcissistic and depressing. To whom am I going to show these pictures? “This is me on the pinhole setting. Now here’s me in the same pose but in sepia. Same pose, but can you see that I’m smiling with my eyes? That’s the portrait setting so my pores are really obvious. Ah, from here on my hair’s in my face because the angle makes my forehead look huge. Doesn’t everyone, meaning me, look better in Grainy Film setting?” I did take a picture of some of the chocolates I was eating in bed. This is the Pop Art setting.
New Year’s happened. I was at home and in bed (with my new camera) by 9:30 p.m. on December 31st. On January 1st Nanami came over to feed me the best of traditional osechi left over from her family’s lunch. She was more excited about my camera than I was; as soon as I handed it over she started snapping shots of my apartment, explaining, “It’s your memory,” when I asked why I needed a picture of my dirty dishes. I said my itadakimasu and dug into the special New Year’s dishes. Amazing how readily I ate congealed fish eggs covered with fish flakes, and popped soy-soaked jako into my mouth without a second thought for the eyes that stared balefully at me from the dish. The ham is not tradition—it was a gift from business associates.
This picture is a twofer. In the background are the fruits of my
labor mural and on Nanami’s head is my light fixture cum crown. When I make a short film about the queen of a ghost town in the Oklahoma panhandle, the props department will be ready. In the meantime there’ll be a weird chopstick twig hat sitting around my living room.
Okay, you guys, I need help. This is a cardboard elephant from Muji that I put together after I finished the chopstick light.
I feel that it needs paint. I have sky blue, silver, and white spray paint at my fingertips (not right now, per se. Figuratively) but a big part of me wants to make it a rainbow. Too childish? Or I could go with my favorite royal purple. You’ve seen pictures of my apartment. Help me out.
Lastly, there is no change on the computer front. According to the apologetic Genius Bar supervisor, the reason only 1/3 of my laptop screen works is because of a mysterious liquid that has attacked and destroyed the blah blahs inside. Japan is very humid. It happens. We have to change the cost. So, instead of the original three Benjamins repair price it would have cost me seven. Nevermind, Apple Store. Never you mind.