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Wobbegong

Wobbegong Conquers the Sakamichi

Travel Poll!   

17 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the farthest from home you've traveled in your life?

    • To another country far from my own
      12
    • To another country near or neighboring my own
      4
    • To another state/province/territory/prefecture/etc within my own country
      1
    • To a nearby city
      0
    • Across town
      0


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Tbh, each Marvel movie released recently has been so different. Black Panther and Thor Ragnarok are probs the best examples of these, and are so different from each other, and also from the way that Marvel has generally treated its movies in the past. From what I've heard Infinity War is more like the 'standard' Marvel movie, but I'm glad for this period of experimentation. Tbh, I loved both Black Panther and Thor 3, but for different reasons, and they both had their own struggles as well. (But then again I'm a massive fan of Taika Waititi and his humour, so that's probably influencing my enjoyment of his movie a bit)

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SPOILERED CONTENT INCLUDES SPOILERS BUT NOT SUPER SPOILY ONES BECAUSE I'M TRYING BUT SPOILERS ARE HARD

 

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

 

38 minutes ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Not going to lie, I have heard mixed reviews from some of my more serious Marvel friends. I really didn't like Thor Ragnarok that much since it seemed to be trying too hard. I am optimistic, but really, I am ready in case this suffers from a case of "The hype is too great"

we will see. One day. Agents have 4 days of school left, then things should slow down for a bit.

Most of my problems with it require significant spoilers to explain, so I won't go into it in depth. I will say, however, that as often happens with multi-part movies, the first installment (or the one before the last, in the case of three-part movies) feels a lot like filler. Most of this movie felt like it was setting up next year's movie. So... ok, I guess? Maybe my expectations are too high, but I'd like to see a two-part movie where both movies feel like they could stand alone. 

 

Spoiler

To anyone who has seen IW, the end does not stand on its own. The final Thanos scene and its obvious "more to come" set-up-ness aside (even disregarding the literal text that said "Thanos will return"), anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that a certain thing simply cannot happen to a couple of the characters it seems to have happened to, because money. Meanwhile many actors whose characters that thing could happen to didn't appear to experience it. MAYBE if I was watching this movie with my kids twenty years from now they would feel it could stand alone, not being informed by the context of other Marvel movies box office performances, but as a current movie watching it right now it is very obviously incomplete. Which also made a lot of the final drama a lot less dramatic. (Although Tom Holland and Robert Downey did a great job trying.) 

 

The pacing was also pretty terrible. 

 

1 minute ago, IAmInfinite said:

Tbh, each Marvel movie released recently has been so different. Black Panther and Thor Ragnarok are probs the best examples of these, and are so different from each other, and also from the way that Marvel has generally treated its movies in the past. From what I've heard Infinity War is more like the 'standard' Marvel movie, but I'm glad for this period of experimentation. Tbh, I loved both Black Panther and Thor 3, but for different reasons, and they both had their own struggles as well. (But then again I'm a massive fan of Taika Waititi and his humour, so that's probably influencing my enjoyment of his movie a bit)

I also loved both Ragnarok and Black Panther. Rather than "trying too hard," I felt that everyone working on Ragnarok had kind of given up on taking anything seriously, which made for a very enjoyable and laid-back watching experience. I know Tom Hiddleston has been over everything but the paycheck since at least Thor 2 if not Avengers, and Ragnarok really seemed like the "heeeeey I guess we're all still here so... party?" movie. Black Panther, on the other hand, was long-overdue and struck just the right balance of levity and comedy. 

 

Spoiler

IW is a lot more like the standard Marvel movie, and I think one of the major issues with it was that the Russo brothers tried too hard to remake their Civil War success. With CW, it was important that fans not feel alienated by a canon declaration that one hero was "right" and another was "wrong," and CW did a great job balancing perspectives. With Thanos, I don't think quite so much balance was needed. I'm pretty convinced that Thanos is a 'bad' guy no matter which way you cut it. I don't feel the need to like him, so having his perspective and his struggle shoved down my throat was not particularly convincing and felt like a waste of screentime that could've been spent giving more lines to the absurd number of heroes in the movie. 

 

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Although I don't feel at all overwhelmed by them, on reflection, there have been a lot of bugs in my life recently. 

 

I met my first suzumebachi today. That's the Japanese Giant Hornet. It didn't sting anyone, thank goodness -- just buzzed into my special ed class this morning and then buzzed right back out when the teacher immediately hit the lights. I didn't realize they go towards the bright, so that's a good tip to have! The kids, by the way, were completely unfazed. (Of course, one of the two students in this class gleefully introduced me to a gejigeji a few weeks ago, so maybe they just really like bugs.) 

 

These are suzumebachi, literally "sparrow bees":

Spoiler

c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800.jpg

 

After work I went to Daiso because I still haven't finished my storage set up. While I was there I met my first full-size huntsman spider! I'm not sure why, but of all the places I could picture a huntsman spider, for some reason inside of a dollar store isn't really at the top of the list... 

 

The adult huntsman is approximately 30 cm:

Spoiler

huntsman-spider-1-hires.jpg

 

This is all in addition to the lovely surprise I found waiting for me on Friday evening, which was the hatching of some surprise gokiburi eggs. (I think? I honestly don't really know. Maybe gokiburi?) My living room was covered in tiny black beetles. Luckily they don't really flee and they move super slowly so they're easy to kill, but just by sheer numbers they're a little overwhelming. There were around thirty of them when I got home on Friday and I killed every one I could find, only to have another twenty or so appear overnight. On Saturday I decided to investigate the room (because they were ONLY in the living room) and I discovered that a broom that had been given to me secondhand was absolutely full of them. Shaking them out and vacuuming them up was fun. Since then I've found them one or two at a time, but their numbers don't seem to be dwindling. I'd like them to be completely gone. On the other hand, they don't seem to be growing or getting any harder to kill, either, so maybe they're not cockroaches? How long does it take cockroaches to get to adult size? 

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On 5/23/2018 at 3:53 PM, WhiteGhost said:

IIRC, baby cockroaches tend to be light brown, and only turn black when they mature.  No idea what they could be

I did end up getting an adult cockroach this week, but it seemed completely unrelated to the little beetles. It came in with my laundry and seemed like it must have been near death already when I found it because it went down quickly to bug spray (tried to hide in the closet but didn't get very far). The little beetles haven't grown much but the few that I am still finding are starting to elongate slightly and take on a more roach-like shape. But they are growing VERY slowly if they are cockroaches, so maybe not? Regardless they're still 100% unwanted so I will continue to do my best to get rid of them all. 

 

Someone mentioned to me that bug pics are not cool with some of my readers, so I wanted to apologize for any stress I caused and let you all know I'll be putting those sorts of pics in spoilers from now on just in case. I never know when something that's ok for me is going to really distress someone else, so if I do or say something that freaks you out, please let me know and help me be better in the future! 

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I've been pushing myself really hard the past two weeks to finish "moving in" and combined with the unexpected extra socializing I've done, the result is that I kind of crashed yesterday and am basically completely exhausted. I still have a few more things to do, and I had really wanted to finish them this weekend, but I'm going to have to take a day of rest if I don't want to collapse in class this week. 

 

I spent most of the day yesterday at my very first undoukai (sports day), watching my elementary school students run around and participating in a local dance and a game of tug-o-war. Regarding that, I've had the following conversation about eight times now since coming here: 

Japanese person: How do you say tsunahiki [rope pull] in English?  
Me: Tug-o-war. 

Them: What does that mean? 

Me: "Hiku sensou." [war of pulling]
Them: WAR?! That's so scary?!?! 

 

While I was there, I also met a Taiwanese woman who was the school English teacher until I arrived. She had been wanting to retire for six years and had been unable to because there weren't enough English teachers, so she was really happy to see me. She wants to take me out for pizza next Saturday. (I just want to sleep.) 

On Thursday, I went with a friend from the Board of Education to the high school cooking club's monthly dinner event. I got to meet the other JET living in my town, a Jamaican guy who is in charge of the cooking club. He was really friendly and it was great to get to chat with him. After dinner, my BOE buddies and I went to play mini tennis, a Japanese sport that is basically tennis but the racket handle is super short and the ball is a softball-sized inflatable beach ball. I had originally been planning on going to bed at nine that night because I was so tired, but we didn't even leave the courts until then and when I got home I had to shower, so it ended up getting pretty late. 

 

Last weekend was spent cleaning my apartment from dusk til dawn. I think it was tidied before I got here but there was mold growing in several places and I hadn't had a chance to vacuum since coming here, so there was a lot of cleaning to be done. Of course, this week I did some shopping to buy a few last things to settle in, and I've got a ton of laundry to fold, and dishes happen, so it's all a mess again. I wanted to clean this weekend but I'm just too tired (and undoukai took all day yesterday!). So I guess I'll have to clean during the week, instead. I also bought the last couple of things to organize my closet, which is tending heavily towards entropy, but I'll consider myself lucky if I mange to fold my laundry at all today, let alone put it away neatly. 

 

As far as the challenge goes... I'm definitely learning a lot about myself here, and I've continued to take notice of how my new life is shaping up, what's changing, and what's staying the same. It's become clear to me that as much as I love to do all the things and be involved, I also need to start saying no to people and focus a little more on taking care of myself. The language barrier is no longer leaving me completely tuckered out at the end of every day, but it is still a barrier, and using a foreign language full-time is still tiring even if I'm getting better at it. I really, really like having a tidy house, and I am really, really bad at cleaning up after myself when I'm tired. Schedules are great for circumventing apathy, but they can also push me to work when I really don't have the energy. And again, the more I plan in advance, the easier life is in general. 

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