Today was an interesting sort of day. I revisited a lot of things and some of those turned out to be good experiences and some...weren't so much.

I went to a café[1] that I used to love, but hadn't been to in a probably a year. How changed it was! There was so much vulgar graffiti on the walls that it was awfully distracting and the whole atmosphere of the place changed for the worse. I just couldn't get focused there and even the food still being delicious didn't help.

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I did, however, get to play a round of the Mystery Mansion, which was fun. It's a storytelling game played with cards. I have their Hollow Woods game, too, which is the same game with a different setting. It's great at sparking inspiration and sometimes is just fun to play for the sake of it. Even though the Mystery Mansion's setting is a 1920's mansion, one of our stories involved an alien invasion via dirigible. You can't let a silly thing like setting restrict your creativity! The cards are also just pretty to look at in general. I'm looking forward to the next magical myrioramas game, which should be out in the summer, apparently.

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I went to a salad place that I've been to loads of times and got the same salad that I always get. I often wonder if the people who work at salad places judge me for being Asian and getting the Asian salad[2]. It was delicious, but eating outside was kind of a mistake because I had to eat with my neck bent at a weird angle to avoid the wind blowing my hair into my face with every bite.

This all led up to going to see Howl's Moving Castle[3] at a local theater. They're doing a Studio Ghibli event and showing every movie over the course of the next few weeks. HMC is my favorite, so I was stoked to go and had a lovely time. There was a period of my life where I put HMC on every night and fell asleep to it. Merry Go Round of Life is still one of my absolute favorite melodies ever.

I think that the original script makes the last part of the movie make much more sense. This must have been the 80th time I've seen this movie, but somehow it finally clicked for me why Sophie did REDACTED with the castle and Calcifer towards the end. There's so much detail in the animation and artwork that's only apparent on a big screen, too. Little things like the Witch of the Waste's O_O face in the background in certain scenes had completely escaped me before. It's amazing how you can still discover new things in something you're so familiar with. This makes me want to re-read the book, too.

As much as I say I like to try new things and be spontaneous, I'm really a creature of habit. I tend to order the same thing at my favorite restaurants over and over. I like to visit places I'm used to because I like the feeling of being a "regular." I love re-reading things[4] and introducing old favorites to others. I haven't traveled much in my life because my parents have always been workaholics and I don't understand the meaning of the phrase "family vacation" as a result. I'm not used to travel—I often say that if I stay in this city for the rest of my life, it wouldn't really bother me—and the same goes for trying completely new things. It took me more than a decade to buy my first BJD and about the same amount of time to try knitting for the first time. I'd like so much to go out on a limb and do something different, but it takes me so long to work up the courage to do so.

It's pretty shocking when an old favorite doesn't hold up. I keep changing and growing, but the things I love(d) stay the same. There's been widely-circulated criticism of The Simpsons lately because of their response to a documentary about one of their characters being a racist caricature. There's been some criticism of the criticism! But the "why does everything have to be so PC nowadays" argument just doesn't hold up.

I don't think we should give things a pass just because "that's how it's always been" or because it's "important" or memorable or because we love them. As a society, we should be able to be critical about the things we enjoy. The Simpsons didn't just now become racist, it's just that the voices that have been saying so for years have finally gotten loud enough for people to hear. The show has gotten a lot of things right. That doesn't make it ok or preferable to ignore its mistakes.

I'm digressing. But I think it would be nice if I could reach an equilibrium in my life. I want to move on from old favorites that I've outgrown and embrace new media that is more thoughtful and inclusive. That requires thoughtful and inclusive media to be made, however, and that sort of thing's still trickling in very slowly. Even so, I have hope for the future. I hope that we can all remain critical while still having fun and enjoying our pleasures without having to feel guilty.


  1. Is there going to come a day where I post a blog entry that doesn't involve a café of some kind? ↩︎

  2. There's really not much about the salad that's "Asian", I just like that combination of vegetables! ↩︎

  3. I watched it subbed! I've actually watched the English dubbed version of the movie way more times than the original Japanese, which strikes me as odd since I love Kimura Takuya so much. I adore Emily Mortimer as Sophie, though. ↩︎

  4. For example, I make it a point to re-read Eyeshield 21 at least once a year. ↩︎