microblog home / personal site home
kwaamfan's diary
a sake cup with the word Kyoto on it. on the right is a bag of Japanese wild parsley and on the right is the outer paper packaging.#plants #japanese

my friends just got back from japan! this is what they brought back for me. now i've gotten my fair share of grow-in-a-cup sets that are always too small to germinate all the seeds they supply but this is by far the most egregious lmao. there's gotta be more than 20 seeds in this bag. did the manufacturer expect me to germinate each seed individually or something? the cup is cute and i've never eaten the plant, 三つ葉 or japanese wild parsley, before so i'm quite excited to try it out... but i'll definitely be sowing it in a real planter tomorrow. i was also quite surprised by how much of the packaging and instructions i could read. last week i got some japanese stationary (a pilot kakuno fountain pen and a kokuyo campus notebook and paper) whose instructions i could read a fair bit too. maybe i have actually learned something in the last eight months i've been studying japanese?!

two planters. one has white and pink snapdragons and the other has light blue and purple violets.#plants #played

this past thursday was the first day of the farmer's market that i usually go to. the first couple weeks it's usually just starter herbs and flowers, plus some hanging baskets of flowers. this year in addition to the usual basil, thyme, and other herbs i like to grow, i bought some snapdragons and violets to put in planters to spruce up my front door steps a bit. i really enjoy this part of spring, past the last chance of snow and freezing temps where i can finally get a bit of gardening done before the heat of summer comes, even though i have to suffer through my seasonal allergies.

i also cleaned up some files on my pc since my storage is running a bit low. here's some gaming screenshots that i particularly liked but never posted anywhere.

a photo of the Nintendo DS game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Larxene says to Roxas 'What do you want? I'm busy. Go hit your head against the glass or something.'a screenshot of the game Trails in the Sky the 3rd. Ries Argent says to Kevin Graham 'You've been a loser since the day I met you. I don't expect that to change any time soon.'a screenshot of the game Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. the protagonist Kiryu Kazuma is wearing aviator sunglasses, gold hoop earrings, black nail polish, a gold chain necklace, and a replica of Majima Goro's snakeskin jacket. he says 'You'll see me dead before you ever see me on my knees.'

pink flowers on a peach tree
the peach tree in my backyard bloomed like two weeks ago but they're still hanging on... proud of her

i added a new page on #my-site last week for my favorite video game locations. i've had this idea for awhile now, and i knew i wanted animated backgrounds, but i didn't know how to best implement them. after fiddling with turning my recordings into gif, webp, and mp4 files i learned about the avif format and omg the file size... it's like a tenth of the size of the gif versions i made and the quality is way better too. i was able to make the gif on my languages page 5mb (it was originally... 50mb....... 🙈) and the haruka gif on my resources site homepage only 552 kb! makes me wonder what the hell i was doing spending all that time on tumblr making gifsets while fighting for my life to make each gif less than 10mb 😭 i still have more places i want to add, but i need to find more free cam/no hud mods for some games.

i also overhauled my resources site to be generated with 11ty. it's now completely navigable without javascript enabled, even on mobile 🥳 i'm gonna keep tweaking my personal site to be functional without javascript. i saw some examples of pure css sidebar toggle on codepen that i want to try to implement. i doubt anyone who might view this site on mobile would also not have javascript enabled (tbh it's hard to think that anyone views this site at all), but i think it's a fun challenge. i feel like i learn more about what's possible with just html and css, and it gives me new ideas for my site.

red and yellow tulips starting to bloom
the flowers in my garden are starting to bloom

i made a bunch of changes to #my-site this past week, mainly stuff behind the scenes. most notably i added an atom feed for my microblog. i checked it with the browser extension feedbro and it looks okay i think. i also made one for updates to the rest of my site, which you can access here. i enabled rss autodiscovery on the main pages as well to make adding it to your rss reader a bit easier. in addition to moving to neocities, as part of my ongoing effort to curb my #social-media use i'm also trying to read more blogs, essays, and other long-form written media by subscribing to substacks and rss feeds, and i figured i may as well make it possible for others to do the same with my site. (as a side note - i recently discovered the read it later app omnivore and it's been really helpful in actually finishing reading articles i find interesting. i know other read it later apps have existed for a long time, idk why i've been sleeping on them until now.) i restructured a bunch of stuff in the code too, mostly switching some divs for semantic tags and converting all jquery to vanilla javascript, so if something looks broken try hard refreshing (ctrl+f5). turns out theres so much more to web development than the random bits i hacked together from tutorials and stack overflow answers making tumblr themes in 2015... i'm not sure if my site is actually any more accessible or loads faster and i still need to test things with an actual screen reader, but i think my code is easier to read at least.

fei and lan from the video game piofiore. lan says 'We do know a little bit about drugs. Isn't that neat?! That's 'cause we're the Lao-Shu!'
honestly these 15 year olds carried yang's route

i think i've had some sort of ear infection for the last couple days. i was gonna go to the doctor today if i wasn't feeling any better when i woke up, but it doesn't hurt anymore so i didn't end up going. i don't know what's up with my body this past year, i usually only get sick once or twice a year but i got sick like three times this winter alone -_- i took advantage of all the time i spent this weekend lying on my side to catch up on some manga (i may or may not have been like 6 months behind on chainsaw man 🙈).

dante and yang from the video game piofiore. yang says 'Acting to protect someone only increases the probability of death.'
sorry for talking shit about u dante u did look pretty hot here

i also #played some piofiore and managed to finish yang's and dante's routes. now yang's route definitely lived up to its notoriety in the otome community but i found his best ending a little underwhelming. i usually do bad and good endings before the best ending and i found those really thrilling (i was even a little moved at the good ending ngl... may have even shed a tear or two) but the best ending... idk. i didn't dislike it but it wasn't as fun as his other endings or nicola's best ending. i found dante a little boring too. i think he kinda got shafted by having to carry the plot of the game on his route lol. i was grateful to finally learn about the key maiden stuff but honestly i spent the first half wishing i could've romanced leo instead. i'm halfway done with this game now and am looking forward to gilbert's route especially. orlock isn't really the type of LI i usually like but i'm also really intrigued by his role in the plot especially after seeing... yang's? best ending epilogue and dante's best ending.


recently i wrote a stylesheet for the browser extension stylus to hide the stats underneath the header on neocities profiles, as well as the follower/following list in the sidebar. after the implosion of federiefederi i've been reflecting a little on why i've been moving away from #social-media and what i want to get out of neocities. i've been trying to break out of the mindset i tend to have on other sites of obsessively checking my activity, how many likes my posts get, who does or doesn't follow me, who's popular and who isn't, etc that's been instilled in me from spending more than half my life online. in general i like the neocities activity feed and seeing people's new pages and updates, and i don't find that that affects my brain negatively, but i feel like the visible follower and view count does. so i removed it. i know it doesn't affect other people's ability to see how many people follow me or who i follow but that doesn't bother me.

a partially finished cross stitch. a shiny umbreon from the video game series pokemon is lying down.a cross stitch pattern of 8 different evolutions of eevees from the video game series pokemon lounging on a cat tower. they are all shiny variants.
11.66% done vs original. pattern link

i #cross-stitched a little this weekend too. according to pattern keeper i'm now over 10% done with this project 🥳 i bought this pattern last july so at this rate i think i'll be done in 7 years? i randomly saw it on etsy one day and thought it was SO cute i just bought it – even though i'm not a pokemon fan lmao. luckily one of my besties is a big pokemon fan so i can give it to him... if i ever finish it. maybe i should work a liiiiittle harder and try to finish it before he graduates dental school... maybe.

a blue and white crocheted bag
i promise this is a bag and not just a triangle... pattern link

i've been sick the last couple of days, but i'm starting to feel better. i #crocheted this bag with some yarn i found at a thrift store a year ago. i haven't done any fiber arts for like two months since all the windows in my house were replaced recently, so a bunch of stuff had to be packed away. now that everything's been put back i've been able to go through my fiber arts WIPs and tbh i didn't feel like doing any of them lol. i think that since it was all cold weather stuff and now that it's >70°F/20°C i just don't have the motivation to finish them right now and just wanted a quick and easy project to get back into the swing of things.

while crocheting i also #read two books by keigo higashino, a death in tokyo and the final curtain. i think that makes four or five books i've read by him in the past year. i always thought of myself as a fantasy girlie but idk, i've been getting really into japanese murder mysteries this year. i really like how higashino's books aren't really just about the murder mystery but more about the people surrounding the victim, the problems in society and our relationships that can drive people to murder, and how murder and death affect people and how we treat people who have recently experienced loss. i also like how in these two books we see more of kaga as a person, and i'm sad that there aren't any more books featuring detective kaga translated into english. guess that means i just have to work harder at studying japanese 😔

on the left is an image of the character yang from the video game piofiore. on the right is an image of the character tianyou zhao from the video game yakuza: like a dragon
if someone told me these two were voiced by the same guy i would've picked up piofiore ages ago

i also #played piofiore for a little bit... i've been in a bit of an otome slump since trying out and dropping virche evermore in january. so far i've only played through nicola's route (idek how i got on his route lmao). as a LI he was nice but didn't really do anything to captivate me. i liked the story though and am looking forward to the other routes, especially yang's since he shares a voice actor with tianyou zhao from the yakuza series.


i've now been on neocities for one month now! i think i've managed to get a lot done in one month. although i've spent most of that time thinking of what i want my site to look like and then coding it. i was inspired to join neocities because i just feel like i haven't been having fun on #social-media recently, and i thought i'd see if making my own website would be a more fulfilling use of my internet time. i've actually been trying to decrease the amount of time i spend online, which probably sounds stupid since i have to code this site from scratch, but it's actually been a really fun creative outlet. i like to think that if i spend more of my internet time on more fulfilling projects i'll spend less time on less fulfilling (but more instantly gratifying) activities like scrolling through social media.

the cover of the book moshi moshi by banana yoshimoto

this week i #read moshi moshi by banana yoshimoto. the only other book of hers i've read is the premonition which i didn't really like, although i liked the writing style. i don't know how to describe why i didn't like it other than it was just weird. usually i like that in a book but when i was reading that book i was like "wtf is wrong with these people" in a 🤨 way. like the plot... idk. vibes were off. luckily moshi moshi gives "wtf is wrong with these people" in a much more enjoyable way. i loved the relationship between the mother and the daughter in this book. i feel like i'm sort of going through the same thing in my life, with the whole learning about your parents as adults and humans now that they don't really need to parent you anymore and how your relationships with them change because of that. i also loved the vivid description of the main characters' life and sense of community living in shimokitazawa. maybe it's just because i live in suburban america but living in a diverse urban area and being able to walk or take a taxi to all the cool places they go in the book sounds like a dream. here's a #quote i really like that i think captures central themes of the healing power of food and community when you're grieving well in a few sentences:

We'd been carrying around a sense of someone missing—someone we might be able to find if only we knew where to go, then things might become clear.

We didn't cry then and there in the bistro, but the feeling of the cells in our bodies welcoming the sudden influx of nutrients was as refreshing as crying in a speeding car with the windows rolled down, letting tears fly. Like finally sitting yourself down at your destination at the end of an exhausting journey.

Michiyo-san didn't know what we were going through, nor did she console us directly. All she did was put herself into her food and offer it to us. That was obvious in everything about the restaurant—everything there was as real and as certain as anything could be.

Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto

my friend who moved to boston for dental school came back for a visit this weekend. sometimes when i hang out with people that i've been friends with since childhood i get this feeling like i'm standing still in the middle of a busy intersection. now that i'm almost 26 more and more of my friends are moving cross country for jobs or grad school. this one guy i've known since elementary school and has been dating this girl from his college friend group for a couple years is even talking about getting married once they move in a month and settle into their new life (also to boston... wtf is in boston that's making all my friends move there). and it genuinely makes me happy to see my friends grow up and do things with their life! but it makes me feel like i should want to do more with myself and my #life but i just... don't. i've never been interested in marriage or kids or even dating, and even though when i was a kid i thought i wanted to go to grad school now that i'm graduated and working i just don't have that same ambition. i think it's hard for my irl friends to understand that i'm okay still living with my parents and working from home, just spending my free time on my hobbies like language learning and gaming and now building this site. actually right now living with my mom is quite useful since i can practice thai with her every day. i've met a lot of people online who have a similar life situation and attitude as myself so i don't think it's all that uncommon, but sometimes i think my friends pity me or something when it's really not like that.


this week i #read age of vice by deepti kapoor and invisible women: data bias in a world designed for men by caroline criado pérez. the vast majority of the time i say i read a book i really mean i listened to the audiobook. i like to listen to audiobooks when i do household chores. with the weather warming up here in minnesota, i've been doing my spring cleaning – deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, cleaning and storing my winter clothes, bringing out the summer clothes, and getting ready to start gardening. this gave me plenty of time to get through these two large books in the space of a week.

cover of the book Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor

cw: mentions of drugs, violence, car crashes, and death i don't remember why i decided to read age of vice. to be honest like 80% of the books i read i just see on libby or hoopla, think the cover looks good or the short blurb sounds interesting, then put it on hold. so by the time i'm actually able to check it out and read it i've forgotten all about what drew me to it in the first place. it follows the story of sunny wadia, the heir to a powerful mobster family, his servant ajay, and his journalist girlfriend neda. the book starts with a car crash that kills five people in new dehli, seemingly caused by ajay. not really the story i typically reach for, since i mainly read fantasy, but i've been on a bit of a crime thriller kick the last couple of months so i'm guessing this is why i put it on hold like 3 months ago. soon we go back to ajay's childhood and spend like a third of the book going through his past, how he meets sunny and starts to work for him, and gradually come to understand the wadia family from the perspective of an outsider. i loved this part of the book – i found ajay and his journey so captivating. but when the perspective moved to neda is when the book started to lose me. a journalist getting involved with the playboy son of a violent gang family, who is being investigated by the newspaper she works at, sounds like it should be interesting, but she ends up being the most boring character in the book. i don't know how to describe her other than she feels like she was written by a man, but the author is a woman, so... it's like she has no interiority. not that any of the other characters do either but i felt like she had the most potential, just to end up being defined entirely by her relationship to a man. and the man is fucking sunny wadia. even after all the time i spent watching her become interested in and then falling in love with him, i couldn't find a single redeeming quality to him. honestly he seemed cooler when i was reading from ajay's perspective. like if it was revealed at some point that ajay was in love with sunny i would've been like "okay, i could see how he could develop those feelings given his life circumstances" but neda? girl... love yourself. by the time we switch to sunny's perspective for the last third i was basically entirely checked out at that point. really the only reason i didn't DNF was because i was still invested in ajay's downward spiral. like while ajay was dealing with the trauma of trying to reunite with the family he lost as a child and the increasing level of violence he was expected to perform as part of his duties, sunny's downward spiral was just... drinking more and doing more cocaine. groundbreaking. the final parts of the book that take place after the reader learns the truth of the car crash was just confusing to me. i think i would've had an easier time if i was reading and not listening to the audiobook, but i absolutely would've DNF'd by that point if i was actually reading it. i've also read other reviews that mention feeling lost in the last part too, so maybe it's not just a me thing. besides ajay, the only other thing i really liked about this book was the prose. i think the blunt, detached air of it was fitting for the atmosphere of the book.

cover of the book Invisible Women by caroline criado pérez

i've had invisible women in my to read list for awhile now. the book discusses how women are often not considered when it comes to collecting data on basically every facet of life. the author claims that this arises from how we consider men to be the default human, with words like "man" and "mankind" being understood to include women, so people often assume that conclusions drawn from men's opinions or studies using mostly men will apply to women too; pérez goes on to show just how pervasive this mindset is and how it's actually inaccurate at best and actively harmful at worst. i think i didn't read this book earlier because i wasn't sure if i was in the mood to read about stuff i assumed i was pretty knowledgeable about already. and i was right, that i didn't learn a ton of new information from this book, but i do read a fair bit of feminist literature. since i just needed something to listen to while i cleaned, it didn't bore me though. the audiobook is read by the author and you can definitely feel her frustration at points which i personally liked, although i've read some reviews that disliked it. to me the most interesting chapters were the final ones, that discuss how women aren't included in disaster relief planning and that this leads to prioritizing rebuilding for businesses before public housing, walkability and safe transit, and mixed use areas that women are more likely to want and utilize. it's not something that i had ever thought of before, how even zoning laws and city planning are disproportionately affect women.

lilac mock neck drop sleeve cropped cashmere sweater

in addition to doing a bunch of cleaning and listening to audiobooks i also #thrifted this sweater. it's a cashmere sweater in a pretty lilac color by the brand theory. i'm not that familiar with fashion but i thought i had heard the name before, plus most of the cashmere sweaters i've thrifted have been from charter club or j crew in boring cuts. so when i saw this sweater in a bit of a trendier style and color i was a bit curious as to how much it would retail for. turns out the original price was $325 😭😭😭 it makes me feel better for spending 7 whole dollars on it despite the weird patch of pilling on the front.


welcome to my microblog! i wanted a place on my website where i could write about whatever i felt like, whenever i wanted, without feeling like i need to build a dedicated page around said topic. when i was thinking about how i want to present my thoughts, i went looking at how other people keep blogs on their neocities. i like status.cafe as a sort of twitter-like alternative for short thoughts, but i wanted to be able to write longer pieces plus sort posts by tags. i also felt like a more traditional blog-like framework such as zonelots would put too much pressure on me to write long posts if i only want to write a couple sentences. i guess i was looking for a more tumblr-like alternative that can balance the two but without all the noise that a #social-media platform brings. when i stumbled upon microblog.py it seemed like the perfect fit for my use case. for awhile now i've wanted to blog more about my hobbies and interests because i like looking back at my previous thoughts on what i've played, read, etc but trying to write for an audience felt paralyzing to me, and when i do end up sharing stuff online it's like i could feel my brain obsessing over views and likes and replies even when i knew i wasn't sharing stuff for engagement. yet it felt weird to write fandom related stuff in obsidian next to my personal notes about thai grammar and bayesian analysis and whatnot. like i love using obsidian to write notes about things i'm trying to learn, but i didn't really want to mix in the notes i write more like a diary entry to just rant or rave about stuff. i do sometimes write about it in physical journals, but i also like being able to search for things easily and embed digital content like screenshots. i think the appeal of having your own site to write about these kinds of things is that strangers can still read it, think about it, and interact with you if they really want to, but unlike social media platforms it's not like it'll appear on their feed or dashboard, inviting them to tell you your opinions are wrong if they feel like it intrudes upon their space. i'm also just not a social person in general despite enjoying reading other people's blogs and opinions, so not feeling like i must respond to every single rando who finds my posts makes me feel more comfortable writing more openly. it'll probably be a couple days between writing this and publishing it on my website since i still have to write the css and make sure everything works, but i look forward to trying out this format of journaling.