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What you do on New Years Day.

What you do on New Years Day. published on

You cuss at Game Maker for having no mechanism for stepping through your code when something goes horrifically wrong with a script containing multiple layers of nested loops.


(this is what the blog is for)

ETA: HAHAHAHA YES I am in charge of A* pathfinding!

“what the blog is for” = getting my brain into critical mode and out of “my code isn’t wrong yours is” mode. See, that’s why I mostly only post about books I didn’t like! It’s not just because I’m a jerk!

In general, it is not constructive when I convince myself that my code is perfect and there is clearly something wrong with the interpreter/compiler. I am sure that people have existed who have found that there was a bug in the interpreter/compiler, which just happened to affect the long piece of code they’d written in one inspired sprint without any testing. However, given my habits, the odds that that will be the source of my problems are not high.

One-to-two sentence reviews!

One-to-two sentence reviews! published on

Not Manga

  • Ash, by Malinda Lo

    Bisexual Cinderella undergoes uninteresting torments, solves the primary plot problem too easily, and selects the sensible corner of her love triangle.

  • Spin State, by Chris Moriarty

    Someone named Moriarty thought it would be a good idea to cross Crystal Singer over with The Continuing Time, and they were right.

    Also contains Cetagandans, physics, and a mostly non-white cast.

  • Does My Head Look Big In This?, by Randa Abdel-Fattah

    A funny and generally non-preachy YA novel about an Australian Muslim girl figuring out her cultural identity. There are a few clunky bits where the author’s desire to educate trumps her sense of how dialog works.

  • Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, and Calling on Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede

    Oh, Suck Fairy, why must you visit so much of my library? I used to love these books.


  • Angel Nest, by Erika Sakurazawa

    Sweet, slickly-drawn short story collection. The title story, about a recently-divorced woman who finds her empty apartment invaded first by an angel, then by her ex-husband’s teenaged mistress, is the best.

  • Between the Sheets, by Erika Sakurazawa

    Depressing, slickly-drawn story about dysfunctional people messing up each other and themselves, which Tokyopop shouldn’t really be marketing as gay-positive. None of the characters are particularly likable.

  • Ode to Kirihito, by Osamu Tezuka

    Osamu Tezuka punches you repeatedly in the stomach.

  • MÄR, by Nobuyuki Anzai

    This manga follows the Shounen Jump formula so closely that, during the three years of its publication, it is written that Yoshihiro Togashi would frequently look over his shoulder in puzzlement and fear, wondering what ghost it was that he felt stepping on his heels. (If Togashi ever got out of bed then, I mean.)

  • Flame of Recca, by Nobuyuki Anzai

    Anzai’s first major work, which strays from the formula occasionally, with some good results and some bad. Compulsively readable up to the end of the tournament arc, but Anzai has major issues with women, and there’s way more fetish stuff than you want to see in a kids’ story.

Anxiety dreams.

Anxiety dreams. published on

Mine are about:


25% – Teaching classes I forgot I had and haven’t prepared for.

25% – Attending classes I forgot I had and haven’t prepared for.

It’s dumb how I pretty much fear airports more than anything else in the universe. I am going to be so bad at at it when I am a Lovecraft protagonist. My studies are going to lead me to the lost city of doomish things, and there are gonna be check-in kiosks in there.

Why Bad Things Happen To Cute People: rambling Tezuka-Urasawa essay

Why Bad Things Happen To Cute People: rambling Tezuka-Urasawa essay published on

A professor I had described the difference between Western and Eastern culture this way: Western culture believes that history points forwards. It is bringing itself towards some end point, honing itself into something purer and in some way perfect – though perfection may mean destruction. Our world is a story, and we are certain that it will end, the way all stories do, with a new sort of equilibrium established.

History is different in Eastern culture, he said. Once there was a golden age, but it is over now; and things deteriorate. They are continuing to deteriorate, often gracefully, and beautiful things are found in the ruins, and at times some facsimile of the golden age is established for a while. But it always falls apart again, and each time it returns a little coarser. There is no endpoint in sight, only a constant tumbling of the pieces of that perfect civilization, thinning out. Time seems to be getting wider. It’s not going anywhere.

Continue reading Why Bad Things Happen To Cute People: rambling Tezuka-Urasawa essay

I beat Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box yesterday.

I beat Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box yesterday. published on

Do you guys want to know how it ends? Okay, this is how it ends.

They wake up and it was all a dream, except for the parts that weren’t a dream.

I hear the next one’s going to be called “Professor Layton and Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

Having completed MÄR.

Having completed MÄR. published on

I spent a lot of Flame of Recca going, “Man, I would be enjoying this fight scene so much more if Nobuyuki Anzai had not spilled his sexual hang-ups all over it.” Now I know what happens when he doesn’t spill his sexual hang-ups all over things! He makes manga that is kind of perfunctory, with characters he doesn’t really seem to care about. Okay, Anzai, you can have your sexual predators and dominatrices back.

(Not the pedophiles or the thing with the peeing, though. I’m drawing a line there.)

For me the main value of this manga is the knowledge that (spoilers for chapter 107, plus the end of Flame of Recca) Continue reading Having completed MÄR.

Flame of Recca!

Flame of Recca! published on

Man, Kurei, no. You do not break the alternate dimension by punching it really hard.

I mean, there are narrative conventions that need to be observed here. When you are in the alternate dimension, you do metaphysical battle with your soul – or, you know, somebody’s soul, given as how there’s times you may not necessarily have a soul, due to reasons – while solving some kind of riddle. You don’t just punch. There’s a time and a place for punching, just like there’s a time and place for casually disposing of a complaining minion with a small gesture of one hand in the lower right-hand corner of an otherwise empty panel, and a time and place for unexpected shows of vulnerability under a tree branch or a source of thin light.

We’ve got standards in this community, Kurei. Uphold them.


Ichimaru Gin


Wikipedia! published on

In late 1553 or 1554, Suleiman the Magnificent, the reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, issued a firman (royal decree) formally denouncing blood libels against the Jews.

The Catholic Church denounced blood libels in the 1960s.

– Wikipedia on Blood libel against Jews

(Okay, yeah, there were popes who weren’t happy about it much earlier than that – memorably Sixtus IV, and I do appreciate how there were at least four of Pope Sixtus – but I think the Church as a whole never paid much attention to papal policy on the matter. The blood libel was all local politics.)

The sorts of problems I have.

The sorts of problems I have. published on

The drawback of naming your Pokemon after Georgette Heyer protagonists is that you end up splitting up couples, what with leaving Sophy in the box all the time once you get a better ground-type, while Stephen remains a useful grass-type until very late in the game.

Vidal and Mary are still together, though.


Aiee! published on

I got a huge package of stuff from Mee and Conan. Mee made a bunch of origami, and Conan made a heart and wrote a note on a paper snowman! (Switching between English, Japanese, and adorably katakana-ized English.)

There are also a whole bunch of little toys, some children’s books, a couple keychains, and like five things of origami paper. I’d promised to send them a letter when I left, and I sent some little stuff along with it – American Girl paper dolls for Mee, a thing of stickers for Conan, and a Dr. Seuss book – but even accounting for the fact that some of it probably came from the 100-yen shop, this is a lot of stuff. (Maybe I startled their parents by sending presents along with the letter?) I’ll take a picture of it all when it stops raining the light’s better.