I started an otoge and it's changed my outlook on life.

The other day my friend was working at the Ikemen Series booth at Anime Expo, and curious about what that was, I downloaded the app for one of the games from the series on my phone the next day.

That was a week ago. And since then I've slowly reconfirmed why I had never before downloaded games on my phone.

First off: I don't play video games. I like other types of games just fine—I would never say no to Cards Against Humanity—but I just haven't developed the skills for video games. We never had game systems in our house growing up, and the only time I would play video games as a kid was when my family went to Target to buy something, and I'd stand there playing the Donkey Kong demo at the video games/CDs/books section. (Mostly I was interested in the Goosebumps books.)

As a kid I never practiced playing fighting games with my friends. I never played RPGs with expansive worlds and developing characters. I never learned how to shoot at armed opponents to kill them. Despite being conditioned to believe that the arcade (or "game center", as we called them in Japan) was the place where you received the magical pen that would turn you into a Sailor Scout, I never bothered to find out where the nearest ga-cen to my house was.


Why Skin Care and Make Up, Why Now

And this, my friends, is how I "project pan".

I wished I could say that me writing about make-up and Sephora-things is because I've been watching too many YouTube videos recently. But I don't think that's really the case.

I've mused about makeup before, even if it was mostly out of confusion. Actually, most of my thoughts about things related to skin care and make up have been based in curiosity, admiration, frustration, and envy. But recently, the feelings have turned more toward a certain kind of resolve.


Sephora HAUL (by which I mean three products for $27)

I often fantasize about walking into a fancy department store and walking out with bags and bags of purchased goods, wearing pin heels, a little black dress, and a pair of shades to match. I'm not sure where the image comes from, though I think it's a strange conglomeration of East Asian dramas and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Needless to say, neither my conscience nor my wallet really allows for that scenario. So the closest I will ever get to talking about a HAUL is on this occasion, wherein I have spent close to $30 buying three things that were on sale at Sephora.com. (I don't know why the word "haul" is so often displayed in all-caps—maybe to convey the thrill and excitement typographically?)

I'll talk about my two lip products later (the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Snitch and the Too Faced Melted Latex Liquified High Shine Lipstick (what a name) in Love U, Mean It), but today I want to "review" the third product I bought, which is the First Aid Beauty Once Upon a Prime, a set that includes a primer and exfoliating pads.


April Fool / 四月は私の阿呆


It's been over eight months since I last wrote a blog post. Eight! One can basically write a journal article during that time. I have not, just so we're clear—but I'm certainly taking a guilt trip about the fact that I haven't, so no need to dwell there...

Yesterday was the day of our campus JCC's Expo, and it also marked (basically) the end of our Spring break. I think the combination of factors—the event itself, the upcoming week, all the work that I let pile up this entire academic year—basically has made my head proverbially explode. And it's not a pretty sight.

I've got the revision for the book chapter, a translation of a paper, another anime paper, another book chapter... I've got my three Spring classes to finish up, the Summer class to prep, the Fall classes to prep... I've got that development funds call to send out, the conference talk to write, the conference itself to run...

And good lord, what kind of a sad person would I be if I didn't have a life outside of work? A yours truly kind of sad person, that's what. I'm such an April Fool today.

All right good folks, we're about to enter Week 10. If I can just get through this semester, I think I have a fighting chance of figuring out what's next in my life. Possibly. Maybe. Though to be honest, right now all I really want to do is curl up with a good book and read my heart out.


How I Came to Love Watching Movies

When I was a child, I knew only a handful of movies. Cartoons like Studio Ghibli and Disney films. Musicals like The Sound of Music and The King and I. Stuff I caught on TV because my parents were watching it, like Alien and Poltergeist. (Yeah, I know—what was my 5-year-old self thinking? I have a great story about me damn near killing myself while watching a scary movie that involves a donkey, but that's for another time.) Needless to say, my taste in movies as a child was limited and fairly narrow.


5 Tips for New College Students

In the second half of June I got to run some of the New Student Orientations for our department. The students started their day early in the morning, and then in the afternoon they met with faculty members from their major departments (e.g., me) to learn about how to choose classes for their degree, in order to prepare themselves for the registration session later in the day.

Each time a group of students and I met, we talked about points to keep in mind to get oriented to being in college. Unlike Transfer Student Orientations, NSOs include a component for understanding degree requirements, reading the course catalog, completing prerequisites, and wading through semesterly course schedules—things that are easy but that take a bit of getting used to.

There were other points, though, that I wanted incoming students to remember, as they worked their way through their degree programs. Before I forget them (and so that I can file away my papers for NSO), I thought I would log them here.


A Long Road to Publishing a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article

On 5 June 2017, I delivered my first peer-reviewed journal article into this world. (I'm not counting my 2006 article about English acquisition, sorry.) Though much less painful than a childbirth, the process took a hell of a lot longer than bringing a human baby into this world.

If you're one of those people who can publish articles while in a Ph.D. program; can balance writing and teaching skillfully; mostly get "publish with minor revisions" as a submission response; or can publish more than one article a year, what I write below may come as a shock to you. Or appalling. I don't care. I'm extremely thankful for this publication, and I know I couldn't have done it without help from the people around me every step of the way.

This post is for anyone out there who has ever felt like it's damn near impossible to get a publication out. I am here to tell you: It can be done; it just might take a really, really long time.