Author Archives: B. Blue Marbe

About B. Blue Marbe

Unpublished weird fiction writer. Aspiring shut-in. Collector of sea-themed tattoos and ill-advised life experiences.

Best Laid Plans: May 2018

052018

  • Total 8,500 words
    • Write 350 words/day
    • 5 days/week (weekends off)
  • Project: Something/anything (as per usual). I’m leaning towards something that involves vampires and/or demons and/or traversing the realm of death (as I do).
  • Soundtrack: Faderhead (new album was out November 2017 but I just found it 4 days ago), She Wants Revenge (all of it), The Mission UK (most of it), Sisters of Mercy (all of it), Celldweller (mostly instrumentals), Blue Stahli (the instrumentals and the tracks where he sings with this girl-voice that I just can’t get over (unf)).
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I need sunlight, apparently

Context: I’ve preferred to keep vampire hours since I graduated from high school and I’ve stayed out of direct sunlight since I was 14 (it gives me a rash, I burn too fast, fades my hair color, etc), I tend towards gloomy/dreary climates like my birthplace of Seattle WA. My attitude towards the sun has always been like FUCK THE SUN. *raises middle fingers*

And then: I came back from Tokyo (mid-70s, sunny) to Kalispell MT (mid-40s, overcast, snowing) on April 3 and fell into a stealth depression for 2 weeks. It was one of those episodes where I just didn’t care about anything. I lost the 3 lbs I gained in Japan (and then another 7) because I was forgetting to eat except for dinner—being the person who makes dinner for another person reminded me to make dinner. I was also sleeping too much and thinking a lot about all my failures. Fun times. Then the sun started coming out more and I got less worse.

Conclusion: Stupid human construct.

March 20 – April 3 | Japan: the food post

(I got a better phone with a better camera so my pictures don’t look quite so shit. Like usual, this isn’t everything we ate, but it’s fairly representative.)

konbini - 7i

Konbinis! Convenience stores in Japan are the second best thing (the best is the vending machines on literally every other block that sell ALL THE DRINKS). You can get trash food, you can get healthy food, you can get a proper meal put together without much effort. Kitchens are small and it’s more typical for people to eat out more often than cooking at home (my s/o’s tendency to pick up Subway on the way home instead of trying to make food at home suddenly makes more sense).

nabin

Oh my god I have missed Indian food so much since moving back to Montana. Nabin is a Sri Lankan place with delicious curry and naan and saffron rice and samosas and these little dumplings called “momos” (pictured). Since getting home, I’ve started making curries and rice. So good.

dominos

DOMINO’S IN JAPAN. The ingredients are better, the flavor combinations are to suit Japanese tastes (teriyaki chicken, chicken and corn with mayo, pork and roasted garlic) besides also offering more typical flavors (margherita, all meat), the option of 4 sections on a pizza is a standard thing, the pizza is cut into 12 instead of 8 and the pizzas are smaller.

conveyor sushi

I don’t know the name of the place but it was conveyor sushi! We went to see the new Tomb Raider (English with Japanese subs), then went to this conveyor sushi place so we could say we’d done it. Everyone I tell this story to is some degree of squicked out but I had no problems with any of the raw fish I ate, or any of the water I drank, or anything else. Either I got luck or food-handling standards are more strictly monitored over there (I know which one I bet it is).

sweet potato ice cream

In Kawagoe there was a soft serve stand selling sweet potato ice cream: it’s half orange and half purple sweet potato flavor (not that I noticed a difference in flavor, but I’m not super familiar with the flavors of different dessert-style sweet potatoes, so). After we got our ice cream we saw like 5 more of these stands, so it’s a popular thing.

rest stop

At the rest stop on the way back from the mountains, there were all kinds of little snacky vendors, and a Starbucks, and a couple of proper restaurants where you could get an actual meal. We opted for Starbucks and takoyaki, because I have this compulsion to eat trash. Takoyaki has this weird kind of texture where I wouldn’t order it for myself (because an order there had 8), but if someone was offering it around, I’d have 1.

gyoza place

Aaand speaking of eating trash: GYOZA. I was thoroughly schooled in some cultural aspects I wasn’t aware of, one of which is that gyoza and beer is considered kind of a garbage meal and something salary men have after work before stumbling home. Obviously we went to this amazing gyoza franchise place 3 different times at 2 different locations (both of them close to a train station, because smart real estate placement). I had karaage, and steak fried up with green peppers, and a kind of hot and sour beef sauce with tofu in it (not pictured, because I ate it before thinking to photograph)—this was on 3 separate visits, not all at once, and we always got the “sets” that come with an order of gyoza, rice, soup and pickled veg. Fucking delicious.

heartful bakery

Last one: Heartful Bread Bakery. This is a few blocks from my s/o’s parent’s house where we were staying and it’s where all the bread in the house was from. They even had Irish soda bread (but they didn’t know that’s what it was, it was labeled “fruit bread” or something and it was really good with butter on for breakfast). We walked over for breakfast one day before getting on a train and got the most delightful little assortment of things, plus a coffee from the vending machine outside.

vending machines

I lied. Vending machines. I will miss the vending machines most of all. *single sad tear*

March 20 – April 3 | Japan

PSA: I have a passport now. (It’s like I’m an adult or something.)

First international trip: Japan. I don’t speak the language—other than knowing the difference between “domo” and “arigato“, which got me further than it had any right to—and I planned nothing. My s/o is from there, speaks well enough to get us around, and knows how the trains work.

Strangely, I had next to no experience of jet lag from Montana to Tokyo (unless the long stretch of time in airports and on planes where I had no idea what time or day it was is jet lag; if that’s it, then I had jet lag for like a day). In all fairness, my sleep schedule was proper fucked before we left, and there’s a 15-hour time difference, so it’s possible everything just lined up to mask my usual sleep disorders into looking like a normal sleeping pattern. Yeah. That sounds right.

downtown 1

We walked around Tokyo a lot, near the train station. There are temples (Buddhist) and shrines (Shinto) everywhere, which I like a lot in the same way that I like churches for the architecture and the sense of history.

sakura

It was sakura season. Turns out it only lasts for about 2 weeks between blooming, full bloom, and falling to clog all the streets and rivers, but it’s aesthetically pleasing enough to be considered worth the effort (?) and there are cherry trees basically everywhere.

kawagoya

Kawagoe dates back to the Edo period and it’s a huge tourism destination. They have places where you can rent kimonos and then walk around shopping and taking photos and learning history (we didn’t rent kimonos). I felt like less of an asshole taking pictures of everything because everyone else was doing it too.

harajuku

I fucking hated Harajuku. It was everything I loathe about big cities, all condensed into a couple of city blocks. That main section of the picture above? That goes all the way down the blocks, that many people, that tight together. I don’t regret going, but I wouldn’t go again, I guess is what I’m saying.

mountains

Towards the end of the trip, we went up to the mountains and stayed overnight at the most adorable little cabin (IT HAD BUNK BEDS WE SLEPT IN BUNK BEDS IT WAS THE BEST), then we went hiking the next day. There were a lot of little gazebos that had “Refuge Shelter” signs in front of them; I think I was probably missing something (like a door to some stairs to the actual shelter) because what I saw would not be sufficient refuge or shelter if the volcano went up.

3 of my favorite things:

favorites

Sesame milk (it tastes like halvah), a little shrine in the street, the volcano that could have killed us all but decided not to (thank you for letting us live, volcano, <3).

Best Laid Plans: April 2018

042018

April plans:

  • Total 7,350 words
    • Write 350 words/day
    • 5 days/week
  • Project: Something/anything. I need to start writing something/anything besides freelance ghost posts and school assignments.
  • Soundtrack: She Wants Revenge (all of it), Blue Stahli (all of it), A Perfect Circle (all of it), Scandroid (all of it), Sunset Neon.