New Translation Project: Today my younger brother…

New translation project 🙂

This is a weird and quirky story that starts off with a guy posting in a thread that his younger brother is losing his virginity in the room next to him. So he decides to build a plastic model and somewhere along the way he manages to get a girlfriend for himself.

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Translation Project: “You play games right?”

I decided to translate another post I saw floating around on the interwebs. It’s a fairly short story, but it has some little quirks that I found to be quite charming. If you guys have time give it a read, I’ll have the entirety of the story posted by the end of the month.

Link to translation page.

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Nostalgia Meter 27/11/2013

Nostalgia: pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.

You know how some people are always saying that humans are an evil existence that just serve to destroy everything around us? Well, I agree. Why? Because of emotions, if we were perfectly logical we might actually do some good (or at least less bad) since we would be able to weigh the pros and cons of any particular decision and hopefully find a favorable solution. However things like pride, jealousy, love, hate, boredom, sadness, and all other types of emotions stop us from doing that. People will defend stupid ideas to the death just because they don’t want to admit they might have made a mistake. Now some of you might be saying, “Now wait Colgan, love isn’t a destructive emotion!” And I would have to disagree with you. I would go into more detail, but if you just dig around a little I’m sure you can find millions of anecdotes of people doing crazy stupid things in the name of love. Anyways, there is one emotion I want to talk about in this post, and as you can probably guess from the title, that emotion is nostalgia.

Nostalgia is fucking evil.

You know why? Because nostalgia makes a well-meaning 25-year-old at the gym trying to get healthier look at an ergometer and think “Hey, I remember those! It’s been so long since I’ve used one, I should do a 2k!”. Now for those of you scratching our head and wondering what on earth an ergometer is, go thank your parents for loving you and keeping you away from instruments of torture described as innocuous exercise machines. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Done? Alright, now if you’re still curious this is what an ergometer looks like. No, not really. I’m not going to link you pictures of an ergometer for your own good. Because you might in some flight of absolute bat-crazy fanciness decide to give one a spin. Trust me, you’re better off not knowing what one is or how to properly use one.

Anyways, all giddy off of my nostalgia high I sit down on the erg and strap my feet in. Headphones on blasting out very unhardcore workout music, I do a couple strokes to get myself back in rhythm. As I’m rowing my coach’s advice resonates in my head, I make corrections to my posture and make sure I’m not slamming myself in the chest. After a minute or two I’m starting to feel comfortable so I set the erg to 2000 meters and start my set.

2000 meters – I do my best to mimic a regatta start, 1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full(?)
1800 meters – Nostalgia in full force. Muscles are burning a bit, breathing is getting a bit faster, but I’m feeling good.
1600 meters – Almost a 1/4 done! Man I remember this being so much harder.
1500 meters – Headphones fall out, slow down and put them back in.
1300 meters – Nostalgia starting to wear off, pain starting to set in.
1100 meters – Headphones fall out, I take off my iphone and throw it on the ground. Breathing hard, so much pain, no time for stupid music, must go faster.
1000 meters – …
800 meters – Why can machines like this exist in a civilized world!?
600 meters – WHY ARE THE NUMBERS MOVING SO SLOW
400 meters – I CAN’T FEEL MY ARMS
300 meters – I feel like the gym is getting dizzier.
200 Meters – Larms failing.
100 Meters – POWER 10
50 Meters – OH GOD THE PAIN
0 Meters – I am a broken shell of man.

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Wolverine Does Japan 8.2.2013

Note: this post contains spoilers about the Wolverine movie and copious amounts of swearing.

I went to see the new Wolverine movie Friday after work with some co-workers. It was hands-down the dumbest movie I’ve seen in a long time. My co-workers gave it a 6 or 7 out of 10 and I stared at them in complete bewilderment. The plot to this movie was such a cluster fuck that the entire movie seemed like just an excuse to have Wolverine bang a chick in Japan. However, since my co-workers seemed oblivious to the plot holes that peppered this movie I’ve wanted to thoroughly illustrate some things (yes, there are more) I found wrong with this movie. I’m also hoping it will be a bit therapeutic because MY GOD was it terrible.
First off a quick list of what was wrong with the movie:

1)The main heroine, Mariko, was a completely unnecessary character yet somehow central to the plot. The majority of the movie revolves around Yakuza trying to capture her but when you step back and think about it, there is absolutely no fucking reason to capture her.

2)I can’t help but feel that all of the people in this movie are border-line retarded. They take the most fucking round-about way to achieve their goals as possible.

3)Not only is the plot bad, it’s confusing as fuck because there are about 3 plots going on at the same time.

Alright, now that we have a nice little list of the parts of the plot I found retarded, let’s go into some more detail.

Mariko? Fuck Mariko
Well, Wolverine does in the end (burrrrn). Mariko is the granddaughter of a Japanese dude that Wolverine saved back in World War 2. When Wolverine goes to Japan the old dude conveniently dies and Wolverine becomes Mariko’s protector because the Yakuza are trying to capture her. You find out that Mariko is entitled to inherit the super awesome company that her grandfather has built so that’s probably why the Yakuza are trying to kidnap her…which still doesn’t make much sense. But then you find out that the Yakuza have been hired out by her father who wants to kill her so he’ll inherit the company instead of her! But if you think about it this entire scenario was completely unnecessary because of several points that are revealed throughout the movie.

1)Mariko doesn’t want the company, she wants her dad to have it. At the start of the movie she loves and respects her dad and throughout the move she goes on to bitch about respect and all that shit. If she doesn’t want the company, and she know her father wants it, why doesn’t she just fucking transfer the company to him after she inherits it from her grandfather!? I guess you could make the argument that her grandfather picked her and not her dad, so she feels like she has to respect his wishes; however this argument is completely invalidated because right after her grandpa tells her she will inherit the company SHE ATTEMPTS SUICIDE. JUST GIVE YOUR DAD THE GODDAMN COMPANY YOU STUPID WHORE.

2)The father wants to inherit the company and thinks the only way to do it is to kill his daughter. But instead of just killing her at their home he hires Yakuza to capture her and bring her back to his house so he can kill her? What the fuck? WHY THE FUCK DO YOU NEED YAKUZA TO KIDNAP YOUR DAUGHTER AND BRING HER BACK TO YOUR FUCKING HOUSE WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK. ALSO SEE POINT 1 YOU FUCKING STUPID SACK OF SHIT.

3)However, my favorite subplot in this movie is how fucking hypocritical the Wolverine is. After saving Mariko from Yakuza several times Mariko gets a boner for the Wolverine and they bump uglies. Afterwards the Wolverine finds out that the Yakuza were sent after them by Mariko’s dad and fiancé. When Wolverine confronts Mariko’s fiancé he’s galavanting with some expensive call girls and Wolverine smarmily says “So this is how someone with a fiancé should behave.” Cue sarcastic smile and the ha ha-ing at how morally bankrupt politicians are…but wait, didn’t the Wolverine just bang the other half of this engaged couple? So Mariko’s a morally bankrupt bitch too. But nope! She’s the heroine so there’s nothing wrong with it, and nothing wrong with the Wolverine for banging her.

I don’t know how some of these people figured out how to breathe
I kind of covered the stupidity of some of the cast in the first point, so I’m going to go over Mariko’s grandpa’s absolute stupidity.

So, Mariko’s grandpa wants the Wolverine’s regenerative powers so he can become immortal. When Wolverine refuses to give it to him he fakes his own death, gets transported to a faraway location where he has built an adamantium samurai suit, lures Wolverine there, and then attempts to cut off his claws and drain his immortality from him. However, during the movie it is proven that grandpa has the means to drug the fuck out of the Wolverine and take his powers from him like that. So…it begs the question, why doesn’t he just drug Wolverine and take his powers instead of faking his death, luring the Wolverine out to a remote location by kidnapping his granddaughter, and THEN drugging the Wolverine and trying to take his powers.

Another stupid thing is in order to take Wolverine’s powers the grandpa needs to drain it from his claws, so I think this is used as an excuse for needing Wolverine to be conscious in order to take his claws. However, this also makes absolutely no fucking sense. In the movie they use a device to stop the wolverine from retracting his claws after he has extended them, given that they can do this would it really be so fucking hard for them to develop a technology that would force him to extend his claws? Fuck, the technology we have in real-life could probably accomplish that.

Furthermore, it is shown that the grandpa fucking adores his granddaughter, but he has absolutely no problem with the fact that his plan puts her fucking life in danger for no fucking reason. If he was planning on taking Wolverine’s powers at the beginning, why doesn’t he just make his son inherit the company while he goes through with his retarded plan? That way the dad would have ABSOLUTELY NO MOTIVATION to kill his own daughter. Which, as noted earlier, he attempts to do in the dumbest fucking way possible.

Plot, Plot, Plot
So there are about 3 plots going on at once. Grandpa trying to get Wolverine’s regenerative powers, Dad trying to kill Mariko to get the company, and Wolverine and Mariko getting’ hot and heavy while trying to figure out who’s trying to kill Mariko. It all gets very confusing while watching the movie and all of it is completely unnecessary.

Really, the only plot that should take place is grandpa trying to get the Wolverine’s powers. And if grandpa, or anyone working for him, had half a brain this could have been accomplished on the first day when Wolverine gets to Japan and refuses to give gramps his power. While wolverine is sleeping grandpa has his oncologist, who is a mutant that can make all kinds of toxins, implant a nanomachine that inhibits Wolverine’s regenerative capabilities making him easier to capture. Which they do later with poison tipped arrows that knock him the fuck out. The poison tipped arrows that were manufactured by the oncologist. So…why didn’t she just knock him the fuck out instead of implanting a nanomachine inside of him? I would also like to mention that these poison tipped arrows knock him the fuck out AFTER he regains his regenerative capabilities. It MIGHT have made sense if they needed to implant the nanomachine to inhibit his regenerative powers so they could use poison to knock him the fuck out but NOPE ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO IMPLANT A SUPER EXPENSIVE MACHINE THAT INHIBITS REGENERATION.

Summary: this movie is shit
After pointing out one or two of these plot holes to my coworkers they told me I should just relax and enjoy the action. So in ending I’ll just say this, if you want to go see a good action movie go see Shoot ‘em Up. It is a great movie that does over the top action scenes for the sake of having over the top action scenes, and even though the movie makes it very obvious that the plot is supposed to take a backseat to all of the action scenes its plot is still 1000000000000000 times better than The Wolverine’s Piece Of Shit-a-thon.

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Last Hurrah

Japan Day 6 and 7

Arsenal and I woke up bright and early so we could start on our busy schedule of… absolutely nothing. We had burned through all the spots throughout Tokyo that we had wanted to see in the past couple of days. The only plans we had were to meet up with Platypus one last time before we headed back to Beijing.

As we considered our options for the day, our roommates woke up and joined in our conversation. The guys from Britain (henceforth known as Trident and Soupy) were planning on going to a club in Shibuya that night, a friend of a friend was having his birthday party there so they were planning on dropping by. The Australian girl (henceforth known as Gnat) was dead set on finding a T-shirt shop she had stumbled upon in Shibuya when she went shopping there earlier. Unfortunately she didn’t remember where it was or what it was called. Not having any plans of our own, Arsenal and I decided to form up with the rag-tag group and head out for Shibuya.

Since the party wasn’t going to start until much later in the evening, our plan was to confirm the location of the club, find the t-shirt store Gnat had visited earlier, and then walk through nearby Harajuku to window shop. After getting to Shibuya station we found the location of the club fairly quickly, unfortunately finding the t-shirt shop would prove to e a lot more difficult. It didn’t help that the only pieces of information we had to go off of were:
1) It was on the second floor of a building.
2) It had a small art gallery.
3) They printed designs on shirts.
Seeing as how that described about half the shops in Shibuya, it was rather hard to pinpoint the location of the shop. Luckily, after wandering around Shibuya for the almost 2 hours we managed to stumble across the entrance to the shop, which turned out to be about a block away from Shibuya station.

Armed with spiff new shirts courtesy of ArtOn, our group walked to nearby Shibuya for some window shopping and to grab a light lunch. Checking the time, Arsenal and I realized we needed to meet up with Platypus for dinner soon. We temporarily split off from the group planning to meet up with them again at the hostel after dinner so we could all go to the club together.

Aside from a slight mishap where I lost Arsenal and I got separated from each other in the vast underground subway network, dinner with Platypus was fairly uneventful. We went to an English style pub/eatery in Ginza, ate, drank, talked a bit, and then bid farewell to each other. Arsenal and I then braved the subway system once more to meet up with our group back at the hostel before heading out once more to Shibuya.

We got to the club to find a large line waiting outside. As we stood in line we made small talk with people next to us. When we finally got into the club we spent the first 30 minutes trying to track down the friend of a friend that Trident and Soupy knew. Our persistence in this endeavor eventually lead to finding the party boy and a most enlightening conversation.

Soupy: Are you PartyDudex13?
PartyDudex13: Yeah. Who are you?
Soupy: Oh I’m Soupy and this is Trident, were friends with RandomGirl587
PartyDudex13: Cool!
Soupy: Yeah!
PartyDudex13: Well, enjoy the party!
Soupy: OK!

And we never saw him again.

The club itself was an underground that went down two levels. There were small rooms and subsections that each had their own DJ and type of music. But the soundproofing/acoustics in the place weren’t really developed to the point where you could make a clear distinction where one section began and the other one ended. But, I don’t think anyone went to a club to enjoy high-quality acoustics. After making the rounds (and downing a few) I felt like I had taken in enough of the atmosphere the club had to offer. Gnat shared similar sentiments.

Gnat: All this cigarette smoke is making me nauseous.
Me: Yeah, it doesn’t help that there’s no circulation down here either.
Gnat: I’m going to go outside and get some air.
Me: Yeah… that sounds like a good idea.

We got to the entrance of the club and told the bouncer that we wanted to step out for a bit and get some air. At which point he helpfully pointed out that if we stayed outside too long we’d have to pay the entrance fee again. After thinking for a bit we decided to cut our losses and leave the club for sweet, sweet, oxygen. I went and told the rest of the guys that we were going to leave and that’d we would meet them back here when the trains started running again. I should probably mention that Arsenal and I had an 8 AM flight back to Beijing the next morning, so we had to bust ass and get on the first train to collect our stuff and make it to the airport in time.

As Gnat and I left the club we considered our options. It was way too cold outside to just wait the 3-4 hours until the trains started running again so I started looking around for a 24-hour shop to stay at. I considered a manga café, but I only had about 1,000 yen left on me. We wandered around the almost deserted streets of Shibuya until we stumbled upon a CocoIchiban. My eye lit up in excitement, unfortunately Gnat didn’t share my enthusiasm. We walked into the CocoIchi and claimed a booth where we would spent the next couple of hours. I ordered a Katsu Curry and basked in its gloriousness.

Gloriousess

Around 2AM Gnat and I left behind the CocoIchi and headed back towards the club where Arsenal and everyone else was. We didn’t have to go all the way however as we stumbled across them and their new friends about halfway to the club. Soupy was trying to show off some skateboard tricks despite being too drunk to stand on his own while Trident filmed the chaos and Arsenal kept yelling “Shibuya!” in the background.

Gently reminding Arsenal that we had to be the airport in about 4 hours, our group bid goodbye to their new found friends and made a beeline for the subway. Back at the hostel Arsenal and I grabbed our belongings, snapped a quick photo with our group in the t-shirts we had bought that day, said our goodbyes, and dashed back out to the subway to catch a train to Haneda Airport. Despite having to navigate the public transit system with a half-dead arsenal, we managed to make it to our gate with about 30 minutes to spare before boarding. As we sunk into some chairs I struggled to stay awake. I didn’t want to think that’d we’d miss our plane by falling asleep 50 meters away from the boarding gate.

Once the crew opened up the plane for boarding Arsenal and I dragged our sleep deprived bodies to our seats and passed out. 3 hours later we had safely arrived back in Beijing.
-End of Japan Trip-

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Return to Tokyo

Japan Day 5

Today Arsenal and I bid farewell to Sendai and hopped on a bullet train back to Tokyo. Arsenal’s uncle had already left Japan, so Arsenal made reservations at the hostel I had stayed at during my first two days in Tokyo. After arriving in Tokyo, we lugged our bags over to the hostel and then proceeded to tour around some less known placed we had missed during our first mega-tour of Tokyo. Our first stop was Yoyogi Park, a place recommended to us by Patches because of all the interesting people that gathered there at night. Unfortunately for us, it seems that we had chosen to visit in the off season. Save for a few people jogging, the park was mostly empty. We still did the mandatory loop of the park but left to wander through Harajuku and Shibuya.

As we wandered the streets in Harajuku and Shibuya we stopped in at random stores trying to track down Teriyaki Boyz hoodie for Patches, to replace the one that was stolen from him at a club in China. We stopped by a couple of stores that showed some potential, but weren’t able to track down the hoodie. As it was starting to get pretty late we headed towards Shibuya station and its famous scramble crossing.

When we got to the scramble crossing in front of Shibuya, Arsenal insisted on crossing it several times. I think we crossed the road over 10 times before he was ready to go back to the hostel. Amidst are several crossings we passed people shooting commercials, tourists groups taking pictures, and mobs of Japanese people staring intently at their smart phones while crossing the street.

After grabbing dinner at a local restaurant Arsenal and I jumped onto the subway and headed back to our hostel for the night. Back at the hostel the lobby was bustling with people. While I relaxed and chatted with people in the lobby, Arsenal ran up to grab something from his suitcase, he never came back down. After a while I headed up to the room as well and saw him chatting with our roommates. Oddly enough, our room was a 6-person room composed of two Americans, two British, and two Australians.

The two British guys were touring around most of Japan, after spending a couple days in Tokyo they were planning to hop from hostel to hostel visiting famous cities throughout Japan. The other guy from America came to Japan on a whim, he had an interest in guitars and was planning on visiting a street in Tokyo famous for its number of music shops. The other Australian girl (yeah, I felt bad that she had to share a room with 5 guys) was here on a get-away trip before starting college.

After chatting for a bit and exchanging stories and talking about plans for the next day we shut off the lights and went to sleep.
-End of Day 5-

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Arahama

Japan Day 4

Arsenal and I woke up the next morning to snow falling outside our window. Yesterday, the hostel owner had informed us that the hostel closes every day from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, so Arsenal and I went about getting ready for a day of sightseeing. Our only real goal for the day was to go to the beach where the tsunami first made landfall. Unfortunately, neither of us really knew where it was. Arsenal had a good idea of where it was by looking at a map, but we had never bothered to actually check what the name of the beach was. Looking back at it now, I’m not sure why neither of us bothered checking.

Our first destination after leaving the hostel was towards downtown Sendai. Our plan was to grab a quick lunch and then find a cab that would take us to the beach. We wandered around the city a bit before stopping by a small, local noodle shop for breakfast/lunch. We ordered some set lunches, chatted a bit, and then gazed in amazement at the extravagant items other guests were ordering.

After lunch, Arsenal and I checked our map of the local area (to be honest, I have no recollection of where we picked this up, maybe the hostel?) and chose a location we thought would be close to the beach we were trying to go to. The landmark we decided on was the local ferry port. So we hopped in a cab, and were on our way. As we were travelling and making small chat to the driver, the scenery around us slowly changed from a bustling city to large warehouses. After about 20 minutes we had arrived at our destination, we thanked the driver and stepped out of the cab. Apparently we had misjudged the distance shown on the map because we could see no semblance of a beach near us. We did however spot a warehouse across the road from the ferry dock. It had obviously been affected by the tsunami, but it had still not been torn down. Arsenal and I headed over to get a better look. We crossed the road and entered the warehouse through the giant whole that used to be a wall.

Arsenal: Wow, it’s hard to imagine that water did this much damage, I mean look at the walls it looks like they were shredded.
Me: Yeah…I wonder if it’s safe to be in here.
Arsenal: It’s been standing like this for a year, if it was going to collapse it would have done so by now.
Me: That’s true.
(Arsenal and I come across and steel girder that has been ripped from the ground, twisted into a spiral, and pointing at a 45-degree angle towards the ceiling)
Arsenal: You know, maybe this place is a little dangerous…

Leaving behind the warehouse, Arsenal and I began our ill-fated attempt at walking to the beach. We spent about 2 hours traversing the countryside asking random people how to get to the beach. Eventually we stopped by a local car repair shop and called a cab to take us to the beach. About 15 minutes later a cab pulled up to the repair shop and picked us up.

Taxi Driver: [So, you guys wanted to go to the beach right?]
Me: [Yeah]
Taxi Driver: [The one where the tsunami hit?]
Me: [Uh… yes]
Taxi Driver: [Alright]

As we drove towards our destination we went from a rural town with houses dotting the landscape, to a almost completely barren land. For as far as we could see there was only snow and a handful of construction machinery. When we turned off the main road onto a side road towards the beach our taxi driver turned on his GPS and spoke up.

(Gesturing do countless gray blocks on the GPS)
Taxi Driver: [These all used to be houses.]

House Foundation

As the car went along the road we peered at the window, trying to match the image on the GPS to our current surroundings. All we saw were some concrete blocks on the ground outlining where a house once stood. As we pulled up to the beach the taxi driver parked and told us he’d wait here while we walked to the beach. Arsenal and I exited the car and headed towards the small concrete staircase that lead to the beach. Next to the staircase was a small shrine with flowers and papers with prayers and wishes written on them. There were several sets of footsteps imprinted on the snow that covered the path leading to the beach. It had snowed this morning.

We made our ways up the stairs and were met with a beautiful view of a snow covered beach. The sky was a crisp blue, and there was ocean as far as the eye could see. There was also a man in a black jacket standing there, staring out at the beach. This entire time Arsenal and I had not said a word to each other.
Eventually the man left and Arsenal and I headed back down to where the taxi driver had parked.

Taxi Driver: [Finished?]
I nodded and we got back into the Taxi. Arsenal and I started talking as the driver took us back to Downtown Sendai.

Arsenal: That was amazing right?
Me: Yeah, quite an experience. It’s kind of weird trying to imagine what used to be here.
Arsenal: Yeah, and that guy on the beach, you just know he had a story.
(Passing by the remnants of a school, the yard is full of overturned bikes)
Taxi Driver: [This is the school is the only building around here to remain standing, everything else was swept away. They kept going until they hit the highway overpass.]

As we continued towards Downtown Sendai the Taxi Driver started to share his experience with us.

His house, as well as his son’s had been destroyed by the tsunami. Both he and his son were usually in Downtown Sendai working during the day so they were safe. However, his son’s wife and children were usually at the house during the day. Fortunately for them, on that day his son’s wife had been asked to housesit for a relative that lived in the downtown area, she had taken her children with her and spent most of the day there. When she was about to return home the earthquake warning had sounded and, soon after, the tsunami warning. The days following the tsunami weren’t easy either. There was a shortage of space and food. At one point, they were only rationed one cup noodle for an entire day. Eventually space opened up as some people left the city to live with relatives in other parts of Japan.

As the driver pulled into the train station in Downtown Sendai we thanked him for his story and bid farewell. We still had a few hours before our hostel was open again, so we stopped by a local net café to relax and process the events of the day.

-End Day 4-

-After Story: Bonding-
(Back at the hostel)
Arsenal: The bath here is amazing right?
Me: Yeah, I was surprised, it’s actually a traditional-style bath. I can’t believe this place is actually a hostel.
Arsenal: Yeah, and we’re the only ones here we got the place to ourselves.
Me: It is nice not having to worry about other people.
Arsenal: Hey, you want to go in together later?
Me: Wha…
Note: It is customary for men (and women) to bathe together…nekkid.
Arsenal: Yeah, we can put on some swimming shorts and just chill in there. You brought some right?
Me: Oh, right. Yes, ok, that sounds cool.
Arsenal: Sweet, let’s go grab some drinks first.

And we proceeded to break every single rule the hostel had placed on the usage of the traditional Japanese bath.

Posted in Blahg, China, Japan | 2 Comments