📝 Slump2023 September 11
I must confess, it's been a real uphill battle trying to get this blog entry done. You may have noticed that I disappeared for about a month, and ruined my streak of (almost) weekly updates. I think things have settled down enough for me to at least poke my head back in, and while I can't promise regular updates, I am going to do my best to get back on and stay on the blogging bandwagon.
So, what happened since the last time I checked in?
The elephant in the room is that Daikon got laid off. I originally posted about this on cohost. Caution: I was in a very dark place when I wrote that, so it is an incredibly bleak entry.
It's been a few weeks since we got the news, and while some of the shock and despair has worn off, things are still quite tenuous and uncertain. I don't know what's going to happen, but we're getting through things one day at a time.
Last week, Daikon took Thursday and Friday off of work and we just hung out and tried to enjoy the little things.
Okay I'm not gonna lie, Daikon getting laid off of his job sucks ass etc etc, but also: getting to spend a whole Thursday and Friday with him and still have the weekend in front of us, while the weather has finally turned cool enough (knock on wood) to drink ice coffee on the balcony without worrying about heat stroke, is fuckin bliss
idk, I mean
This isn't gonna last forever, and there is a mountain of stress looming over us as we try to figure out loans and how to pay them off when neither of us are employed, and scrambling for new jobs in this fuckin hellscape
But today has been really nice
We'll be okay.
Yokohama Game Dungeon
This past month wasn't all bad news! We did make it out to Yokohama Game Dungeon and have another great turnout. Lots of people showed up to play Nice Disc, including some folks from Mastodon and cohost! game8 even wrote about Nice Disc, wow! Thanks so much to everyone who came and made the event so warm and fun!
I didn't get much of a chance to walk around the event due to some health issues. I really regret not making the rounds because it sounds like there were some real bangers there. I did at least get my list of 20 games that I thought looked cool. We also streamed some of these (Part 1 and Part 2). I can't wait to see more info for these games, and I need to keep an eye out for all the titles that I missed!
Nice Disc coming to Switch and TGS
Speaking of Nice Disc, we can finally announce that it's coming to the Nintendo Switch, courtesy of publisher KEMCO! Daikon's been super busy behind the scenes quashing bugs and adding more stuff to the release. (If you got it on PC, don't worry, the new stuff will be updated to your copy on Steam/itch!)
And on top of that, KEMCO will be showing off Nice Disc at Tokyo Game Show next week! They also made some pretty sweet stickers that they'll be giving out to people who play the TGS demo. Not even Daikon or I have those stickers! You should play the demo and get those stickers!!
Daikon and I will also be around somewhere during the business days, though we won't be running the booth. I've never been to TGS so I have to admit that I'm quite excited and also nervous to be around so many people, and to see their reactions to Nice Disc...
I'm just going to bullet-point the rest because they're pretty self-explanatory. Here are more things that happened in the month since the last time I updated:
- 2023 August Indie Tsushin issue released!
- I got sick a lot! I need to stop getting sick!
- I had my birthday on August 26th, the day before Yokohama Game Dungeon!
- Daikon translated i miss the sea of japan into Japanese! The Japanese version is called 恋しい日本, and you can play it in your browser right now!
- FUTURE RUINS and I have gotten horribly sucked back into Cookie Clicker!! Someone please rescue us!!
Stuff I read
I finally finished Rikka Zine Vol.1! I'm still reeling from some of those stories. I was also pleasantly surprised to see translator Kalau Almony pop up. I enjoyed reading Astral Season, Beastly Season and marveled at his translation of such an unconventional narrative. (I'm also a huge fan because we share the same hometown and alma mater. Go 'Bows!!)
I'm also going through my backlog of litmag issues. To Put Your Heart Into a White Deer by Kristiana Willsey in Uncanny #51 was one of those really granular stories that pack so much in that I feel like I got a whole novel's worth of development. Lots of skewering of the politics of academia, hard sci-fi mixed with fairy tales, the inferior/superior push-and-pull between The Arts and The Sciences. Just an amazing work.
As first and second-generation immigrants, **often our connections to and experiences with restaurants were not from the side of the patrons. Our parents, our uncles, our aunts—so many worked in these restaurants in Queens and in Manhattan, or in relation to them. My mother worked close to minimum wage for a uniform store that sold garments and linens to restaurants for waitstaff to wear. Eating out for us meant bringing home greasy Chinese take-out from Hunan K, a pound of spicy chicken wings from Merit Kabab, or a McDonald’s Arch Deluxe to be consumed in front of the television while watching the T.G.I.F. lineup on ABC.
How can I explain that in high school after class, $2 could get us 4 dumplings or an entire kebab meal from nondescript silver carts on the corner of Broadway and Elmhurst way before The Halal Guys started franchising and Yelp encouraged tourists to discover the ecstasy of white sauce? That this wasn’t just a frugal deal, but necessary.
The Queens of consumption, of Food Network specials and the New York Times Real Estate section, is not the Queens in my novel. Brisma and Kelly, the girls of The Girls in Queens, sneak Funyuns into Shea Stadium, split a package of Devil Dogs while cutting school, shoplift Sour Patch Kids and toss green Chiffles platanitos bags at leering men. As so many under-resourced families and neighborhoods are forced to, they made do with what they had. We made do with what we had. Sometimes that meant rice dishes from our homelands; sometimes that meant 25-cent bags of popcorn. Nowhere in that spectrum is a tour stop I’d want to curate for a quick bite on the way to Arthur Ashe stadium. The struggles of our families are not for voyeuristic entertainment—and neither is our sacred joy.
When we talk about diversity as a need to “be exposed to” other cultures, what we are doing is centering whiteness. In Queens, diversity is not exposure therapy, but participation. We participate in the rich diversity of immigrant cultures in Queens by eating in each other’s family homes, sharing food in the school cafeteria, at cookouts at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, at Rye Playland. To be clear, this was and is a privilege and an intimacy. One cannot buy your way into community by simply eating a torta off a Roosevelt Avenue taco truck.
Emphases mine. I started highlighting this article before realizing the entire page was turning into one giant highlight. Just read it, it's very good. Really looking forward to digging into her novel.
I had a lot more stuff I wanted to talk about, but I think I need to end this entry here and get to work on this month's Indie Tsushin. As always, I am incredibly behind! At least I got the postcard done on time. Look at this very good komainu statue in Hakone:
Until next time!