Where to Find Me

April 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm (General) (, , )

I’ve toyed around with a variety of new blog attempts over the last several years since graduating from university. It took me awhile to figure out just what I wanted to do, which is a little crazy because it ended up being essentially what I did here. I’ve set up a new personal blog over at http://hotsaucemenu.wordpress.com and if you want to contact me or see what I’m up to that’ll be the place to do so. Look forward to seeing and hearing from you!

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New Blog

May 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm (General)

From October 2011 on:
Damselfly South

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dust…

March 9, 2010 at 1:37 am (General, World Wide Web)

I swear this blog just looks dusty whenever I come back to it. I’ll hafta clean house soon. But until then, I wanted to add a link to my friend Nick’s blog: http://kikibatsu.wordpress.com/. He writes some hilarious stuff about his life here in Japan, though the fact that it’s Japan isn’t always especially pertinent. Anyway, it really is clever, give it a looksee!

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Reading list… The recently read!

November 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm (General, Reading)

Ok, so this isn’t much of a post, but I thought I’d put up the list of books I’ve read since coming to Japan and those I was in the midst of reading. Recently, I’ve reached a point where I read a novel or two about every week or two. So, by next week this will undoubtedly be expanded; though, I by no means intend to come back and add onto it. Anyway, here they be:

Thomas Pynchon’s V.
David Mitchell’s number9dream
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (Lionel Giles trans.)
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

V. is Pynchon’s first novel, and it is epic and helluva ride. I recommend it highly to anyone, esp. if you’re used to some more difficult reading as this story gets convoluted in a hurry and doesn’t look back. David Mitchell was a welcome find. He taught in Japan as well for awhile and has gone on to write some acclaimed books that are in fact quite fun reads. They mix in Japanese culture very well, while telling an exciting and fast-paced story that also has some clever writerly (not in the Barthes tradition, leave me alone you literary people) approaches. Slapstick was great. It’s really funny in a tongue-in-cheek way, and you can in fact read it pretty quickly. I read it in a few hours where I didn’t have any work at work. I never actually read The Art of War before, always having meant to. The edition I read had a forward by James Clavell, and was fairly interesting to read. I think I’m going to try and tackle as many different translations as I can because it is a lot of information, and it needs to be ingrained a little more thoroughly in my brain, I think. The British version of the first HP book was left me by my apartment’s previous tenant, and at the moment I have embarked on Barthes’ S/Z and need consistent easier reading to keep my mind at peace. I first read the book as a kid in middle school and loved it; however, now it seems much less exciting and enjoyable. It only took me a couple break periods at work to put down, and it was nice to revisit the childhood memory.

In Process:
S/Z by: Roland Barthes
House of Many Ways by: Diana Wynne Jones

S/Z is in fact repeatedly and forcibly raping my mind. It’s not terribly difficult to grasp, but it must be read slowly in order for things to be allowed to actually seep in and take root. I hope to post some initial responses to the early sections of S/Z that seem to better transcend the specific text of Balzac that Barthes is looking at. House of Many Ways is one of two sequels to the novel Howl’s Moving Castle, which I first became aware of because of the Miyazaki movie. The novel seems equally interesting, however, and I do intend to get back to and read the other sequel as well as the first novel in this series. This book is quite good. I think it falls into a similar category as HP, though the overall mood is much more laid back and less hectic, so it’s actually a lot of fun and fairly relaxing to read. It is still a bit of a kid’s fantasy story, but enjoyable nonetheless. I have a feeling the first thing I turn out when I get back to writing may very well be children’s fantasy the way things are going. I am halfway thru House of Many Ways, so that might even be finished this weekend if I get bored. It’s a quick read, but still lengthy enough to make me be involved in the text. S/Z will probably be the work of a month or more. I’m at about page 30 of 200 and some. But it’s well worth it — interspersing 10-20 pages of true literary genius with 200-400 pages of children’s fantasy. Also whatever Firefox or Window’s built in internet spellchecker is doesn’t seem to recognize the word “children’s.” Really?! Come on guys!

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New Section: Japan Journal

October 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm (General, Japan Journal, Poetry)

I’ve added a new section to the blog with the intent of reviving my online writing life/presence/what-have-you. The section is under Poetry>Japan Journal. I don’t have the patience for standard journal entries, and oftentimes scribble down my daily doings in poetic form. Sometimes there’s a good idea worked in, and sometimes there’s just some of whatevers happening. This new section will not be the only thing updated on the blog; however, it is sort of a way to jumpstart the heart of Here She Be, again.

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Who Am I to Escape My Past

August 7, 2009 at 8:35 am (General, Poetry)

I’m back bitches! Sort of. I’m actually the farthest from home I’ve ever been — something like 9500 miles. But the writing is coming back. Got a couple of novel ideas cooked up — one brewing, and the other I was working on well before I took an interim of not posting here. I can’t say I’ll be updating regularly, but perhaps sporadic moments of banging the gong to make you all aware that I still draw breath. Let my enemies exhaust themselves getting here, only to realize that the woodcutter has been hunting wolves ever since.

And a quick bit of froth:

You rolled that rock out to sea,
and sat there ready to float out on adventure,
but I was running behind,
so you had it wait for me there at the shore.

There are a number of questions I have no answers for,
and now I know that there is virtue
in not asking many of them.

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New Chess Blog

June 6, 2009 at 12:36 pm (Chess, General)

I know much hasn’t happened here in awhile, and I can’t say how much will. I’m heading out into the world, and while I am continuing my writing, many of those projects are to be conducted in private — yes, there is still poetry and novel writing going on.

I also have started a new chess blog with a friend of mine, and if anyone is interested, you can find it at Wrong Rook Pawn.

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TBD to be incomplete

May 15, 2009 at 4:24 am (General, Poetry, TBD Series)

Just thought I’d take care of this while I was doing some bookkeeping, so to speak —

It was mentioned some time back that there was a final determinant yet to be written for the TBD series, and lo and behold it has yet to be written. I would like to announce that this final determinant is not going to be written. TBD will remain eternally incomplete, but it seems as though that is something completely in sync with the process involved with the rest of the project. It is meant to be open-ended in many ways, and by acknowledging the work’s incompleteness, I think the gesture comes full circle — or rather it opens up in a way that it was meant to. I doubt anyone was holding their breath for the conclusion of this series, but in case anyone ever started wonder what happened to the end of TBD, now you know.

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Some Upcoming Changes to the Blog

May 15, 2009 at 4:18 am (General)

Well, I’m thinking this blog has used the Dusk wordpress theme since it was created near the beginning of my college career. With my undergraduate days at their end, I feel the need to change it to something lighter, and will most likely be converting to the MistyLook theme in the near future. This also means going back through a lot of the old poetry posts and fixing them to work with the new theme (a big factor in why the theme has never changed before); some of the old poems took hours to get to format correctly. Also, there is a tags feature to wordpress that I have never used, but have started to recognize the usefulness of. I like tag clouds, and would like to incorporate into the blog; although, this requires a theme like MistyLook that has a little more built in functionality, so there isn’t yet another thing hanging out on the lefthand side (MistyLook puts the pages and search at the top, separate from the widgets). Tags would also be an effective way to bring more visitors to the blog, which is always nice, so that will be another big change. Not sure how much it’ll be noticed, but it does mean I’m going back through 350+ posts to try and sort them in this new way. Wish me luck! And don’t expect the changes immediately; they may be something done more towards the start of June — we’ll just have to see how enthusiastic I am, and what time I have available.

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Postmodernism + Hume — Second Paper Draft Intro

April 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm (Critical Writing, General, Prose)

I just finished the introduction for my rewrite of my essay on The Golden Notebook. Of course, I’ve been reading Hume, so I end up relating my idea for the structure of this rewrite and its thesis to Hume and his skepticism about metaphysics. The introduction is a little fuzzy, and I may have to do some rewriting regarding it, but I’m leaving it for now, as the thesis statement is fairly distinct, and that’s what I need to get going.
Read the rest of this entry »

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How To–Quick Character Portraits for Writing

April 7, 2009 at 10:47 am (General, Prose)

When I’m dealing with a lot of characters that are spaced out throughout the course of something I’m working on, I like to have a quick reference that helps me to maintain the continuity of each character, including writing appropriate dialogue for each.

I make a quick 9-line list for each character I need to keep track of:
name & age, 2 defining traits (I, II), 3 events to take place in the story (a, b, c), 2 dialogue traits (1, 2), immediate family information (fam)

For example:
Taylor Shoerfoot 23
I) eats lots of candy
II) avoids confrontation and becomes sheepish whenever near or in a confrontation
a) gets drunk at Christmas party
b) dates Ben Hennig
c) snaps and shreds Ben’s paycheck
1) occasionally stutters
2) talks very fast, choppy phrases, words run together
Fam: parents still married, but live on other side of the country

This is not a character I’m actually using for anything, but it is essentially one that I would use. These aren’t the full-fledged character breakdowns some authors use for writing, but for me at least, it lets me keep a wide variety of characters straight in my head and straight on paper. These are just the sort of things you can glance over when developing plot around a character and say “I think it’s time for this” or when writing dialogue to make sure any mannerisms are maintained (they could be physical mannerisms as well as vocal tendencies). I tend to give I and II some sort of philosophical resonance, as in I try to include the way the character sees the world–this one for example would probably act in such a way as to be agreeable and centers her world around getting along with others. And I also try to include something that I want to recur and become an established theme or leitmotif with a character. For a, b, and c I usually do events that could fit into the story but don’t all necessarily coincide with the central plot. Generally one that is character unique, one that interacts with another character, and one central plot related–for the one that interacts with the other character, I do not rewrite the same one under the other character; each character should have 3 distinct events. I already mentioned dialogue above. As for family, I include the information just because I think family is central to a person’s development, and also it’s one of those details that is easy to lose track of, and I like having it written in these sketch portraits to have on hand.

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Twitter Added

April 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm (General)

Just added Twitter to the blog, which I plan to update; we’ll see if I can get into the swing of it. The “Gloves Up!” section on the right, now directly under “Search” is where the tweets should show up; although, Twitter occasionally does not respond or something gets hokey with the RSS, and it doesn’t work. Anyway, I’m a tool, what can say. If it isn’t working and you’re that interested, you can always click the link “Gloves Up!” and it will take you to my actual Twitter page. (or just refresh the page a couple of times)

The name 236Punch is a reference to fighting video games, especially Street Fighter; 236 stands for QCF or Quarter Circle Forward or Down-to-Forward and then Punch to do Ryu or Ken’s fireball, the Hadoken.

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Megan may you age better than Ayn Rand

March 26, 2009 at 12:34 am (General, Poetry)

To understand what I’m talking about, I recommend you take a look at Dave Herrle’s interview with Volpert for SubtleTea. It makes for an interesting read; although, I’m a bit of a sucker for interviews. Herrle’s also one of those people who tends to condemn my own intelligence by being so brilliant himself, but he wears it like a slightly less pretentious indy kid, so it all pans out alright. He has a review of the book as well that I have yet to read, but I’m sure I will at some point.

I always like seeing myself in strange new places. Volpert linked this blog and the New Delta, which my review & interview will be appearing in this summer. Check out her site! I recommend grabbing the New Delta summer issue because it’ll be just that awesome.

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The Dialogue of Life

March 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm (General, Prose)

I am often amused by witty banter, but when it becomes a constant stream such as in shows like Gilmore Girls, I am also aware that such conversation is obviously fabricated. Still, every now and then, I have had similar dialogues that I think are comparable if not more clever than those that seem to crop up in daytime television and young adult fiction. This was one of them. (Instant Messenger names omitted. I am Matt, and my friend is Ted.)
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2 Games — Live Game + Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

March 16, 2009 at 1:30 am (Chess, General)

Game 1–
Opening: King’s Gambit (C30)
Result: 1-0

Game 2–
Opening: King’s Pawn (C20)
Result: 0-1

Two wins for 3/15/2009–

One against a friend of mine who runs the Briefcase Full of Blues blog. This was one of my first games using the King’s Gambit, but of course, it was initially declined. Played with a half hour timer & 5 seconds regained with each peace captured. Beat him playing as white in what I think is our longest game yet at 51 moves:

1.e4 e5 2.f4 f6 3.c3 c6 4.Nf3 exf4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.Bxf4 Bd6 8.Be3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nh6 10.Bf4 O-O 11.O-O g5 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.Nd2 c5 14.Qh5 Kg7 15.Rf5 Nxf5 16.exf5 Qf4 17.Nf3 c4 18.Bc2 Nc6 19.Re1 Rae8 20.g3 Rxe1+ 21.Kf2 Rc1 22.gxf4 Rxc2+ 23.Kg3 Rxb2 24.fxg5 Rxa2 25.gxf6+ Rxf6 26.Qg5+ Kf8 27.Qxf6+ Ke8 28.Ng5 Rc2 29.Qh8+ Kd7 30.f6 Rxc3+ 31.Kg2 Nxd4 32.f7 Rc2+ 33.Kh3 Ne6 34.Nxh7 Rc3+ 35.Kg2 Nf4+ 36.Kf2 Rc2+ 37.Kg3 Ng6 38.Qe8+ Kd6 39.Nf8 Rc3+ 40.Kg2 Rc2+ 41.Kh3 Nf4+ 42.Kg3 Ne2+ 43.Kf3 Ng1+ 44.Kg3 d4 45.Nd7 Rc3+ 46.Kg2 Rc2+ 47.Kxg1 Rc1+ 48.Kf2 d3 49.f8=Q+ Kd5 50.Qe5+ Kc6 51.Qc8#

Watch the game/look at the moves: Live Game

Second game was against someone whose online ELO was much higher than mine, but went down much quicker. This was a simple double-king’s pawn opening–very little opening strategy. I think my friend I played the first game against could likewise have made short work of this opponent. I played as black:

1.e4 e5 2.d3 Bc5 3.Nf3 f6 4.Nxe5 fxe5 5.Qh5+ Kf8 6.b3 Nc6 7.Be2 Nf6 8.Qf5 d6 9.Qf3 Nd4 10.Qg3 Nxc2+ 11.Kd1 Nxa1 12.Bb2 Bd4 13.Bxa1 Bxa1 14.Na3 d5 15.exd5 Qxd5 16.Bf3 Qxd3+ 17.Ke1 Bc3#

Watch the game/look at the moves: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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