elessa: (wyveri)
This weekend I picked up Akimitsu Takagi's detective novel The Tattoo Murder Case. It was fascinating to read on many levels. The book was published in 1948 and won the Mystery Writers Club Award of Japan, 1949 (translated to English 1998) and takes place in Edo aka Tokyo. To read a Japanese author describing the city and its populace in the aftermath of the Great War with its effects was eye opening. Some of the characters has served in the war; so their views were made known in such a way that I am going to assume they reflect those of the author, ie it was a bad idea which affected the common man in a negative way.

I was also ignorant as to how much Western Culture had influenced the Japanese. One of the characters is a piano tutor who plays Chopin, Beethoven, and other classical music throughout various scenes.

The clothing worn by the characters vary from traditional kimono to high end suits made of the finest materials. The books read or referred to include Sherlock Holmes, the author John Dickson Carr, master of the locked room mystery genre.

One character speaks Japanese, French, Russian, German and English.

At the time of the story, tattooing was illegal to be worn or given to Japanese. It was considered a symbol of criminal involvement. The yakuza (kinda the mafia) are best known for their tattoos. Tattoos, however, were allowed to be given to foreigners. In this case the occupying army, the Americans.

Then there is the whole culture surrounding tattoos and their meanings. Talk about going down the rabbit hole afterwards looking further into the history of the tattoo. I find that I have subconsciously ascribed to the Japanese aesthetic of a tattoo on the body is meant to be a singular piece of art which is integrated. Unlike the style referred to in the book for American tattoos as "sushi art", ie a smorgasbord of unrelated tattoos with no cohesive flow.

I learned that the tattoo is based on a theme taken from history or folklore, typically warriors or famous scenes. It is not something random. It is has an association to something. Symbols of various sorts are integrated into the artwork such as flowers, reptiles or fish which have significant meanings.

Then, there are taboos which a tattoo artist will not break.

In the story a tattoo artist has broken one taboo and uses the character representations of three sorcerers in tattoos worn by three of the main characters: Kinue Nomura (Orochimaru, the snake), her brother Tsunetaro (Jiraiya, the frog) and sister Tamae (Tsunade, the slug; translated as Tsunade-hime). The sorcerers in legend were enemies. The result is a curse which follows these characters to their deaths.

The story is really well written. Until the final denouement, I had only figured out half of the mystery.

In 2013 I had listened to an interview with a person who had spent a year solely reading books written by authors from countries other than her own. Her goal was to read one a week. She talked about how it opened her mind and expanded her knowledge of the world around her. Essentially, no matter your country we all have similar aspirations; to live, love and laugh. This was certainly true in post-War Japan.
elessa: (fluffy bunny)
I need to snark. Really badly, I need to snark.

An observation upon aging. We all do it. Whilst it may not be something which is necessarily welcomed, I do think it ought to be embraced to a certain degree. I still think and feel as though I am twenty five; however I recognise there are certain things I can no longer get away with. I also recognise that body and facial features change.

So, I want to say people ought to cease certain behaviours. Something is driving me nuts which has been bottled up and I want to know if I am right to be annoyed.

It is not cutesy to use a baby voice when talking to your boss. It really isn't. The baby doll, high pitched voice is as annoying as fuck coming from someone who is in her mid to late fifties; approximately sixty pounds overweight; refreshes her hair to a really pretty shade of blond; adores the colour pink and loves rhinestones.

I can tell she was a stunning looking woman in her youth and probably had the guys falling all over her with that voice.

I know she really dislikes what she looks like as she refuses to have her picture taken even in group settings. She says anyone who takes her picture is bullying her because she hates what she looks like in photos.

If I were to guess, like me, she also thinks and feels like she did when she was twenty five. Problem is, behaviour at twenty five when a hot young thing doesn't come off quite the same when you are no longer young or hot.
elessa: (labyrinth)
i r puzzled.

two weeks ago there was a triple murder in georgia. a college professor shot and killed his estranged wife and two individuals involved with a theatre company during a picnic. a manhunt has been conducted since april 25th in order to locate the professor. on may 1 his jeep was located.

today his body was discovered approximately one mile from the jeep. this is the part which has me puzzled.

This time, the search lasted 10 minutes. Madison, a 7-year-old Australian Shepherd, did what she trained two years to do when she led the volunteers to Zinkhan’s buried body at 9:50 a.m.

“The body was beneath the Earth,” said Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Jack Lumpkin during a press conference Saturday afternoon. “It was purposely concealed in a manner that was designed not be found for a significant amount of time, if ever,”
source: atlanta journal-constitution

the guy was buried with a single gunshot to the head. the pair of weapons thought to have been used in the murders were buried with him.

he buried himself? apparently so according to this other article.

zinkhan's body found

Fugitive murder suspect George Martin Zinkhan III dug his own grave and covered himself with debris before firing a single bullet into his head, investigators said Saturday.

wraps up neatly though, doesn't it? how bizarre.

overheard

Dec. 22nd, 2008 10:25 pm
elessa: (aargh kitty)
i went to refresh my hair colour tonight. while there i could hear the conversation between another client and stylist.

the client was debating whether or not to make a phone call tonight...

to the wife of the guy she has been dating since 2003, had become engaged to in june 2008 and was in the process of buying a condo with. she learned from him today that he got married in august 2008.

evidently he has called her four times since this morning asking if she was going to tell his wife.

i don't think this will be a very merry christmas...
elessa: (Default)
can you see the light?

portland has been replacing incandescent traffic signals with LED lights. slight problem when it snows. LEDs do not generate heat. snow and ice on the signals isn't melting. the result is lights which are covered which drivers are unable to see.

naturally, drivers forget the lesson from driver's ed about how to proceed through a four-way stop properly. don't try to go through at the same time. that will cause an accident. yield to the person to the right if all arrive at the intersection at the same time. otherwise, courtesy dictates that the first person to arrive proceeds first.
elessa: (wickedly)
Detroit Churches Pray for ‘God’s Bailout’

complete with pics in the new york times there is an article on the greater grace temple in detroit which had three shiny new hybrid SUVs on the altar as the congregation was exhorted to pray for a bailout to save the auto industry.

Greater Grace, the largest church in Detroit, invited officials from the United Automobile Workers union to speak before Bishop Ellis gave his sermon, titled “A Hybrid Hope.” gotta love the title of that sermon, don't you?

in the art of alchemical magic or in pagan magic there are sigils used to represent that which is the focus of the working. i wonder how these devout christians would react if someone were to point out to them the magic they were working.

i have already written about the idol worship in front of the new york stock exchange in october with the 700 club laying on hands and praying at the bull.

what, oh what, is the world coming to? lol!
elessa: (labyrinth)
Papua New Guinea women kill males babies to end tribal war

kinda reminds me of the greek play by aristophanes lysistrata where women withheld sex from men in order to end the peloponnesian war. granted, the women in new guinea are taking an even more drastic measure in an effort to end a twenty year conflict.
elessa: (labyrinth)
cindy jacobs of the 700 club asked that october 29 be a Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies

...calling for prayer for the stock markets, banks, and financial institutions of the world on the date the stock market crashed in 1929. They are meeting at the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank, and its 12 principal branches around the US that day.

“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the 'Lion’s Market,' or God’s control over the economic systems,” she said. “While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.”


here is a pic of the faithful christians praying at the golden calf, err bronze bull on wall street.




i seem to recall from reading exodus 32 that this sort of thing never ends well.

check out wonkette for more photos of the gathering complete with chick blowing on a goat's horn.

read originally on pharyngula the blog of my favourite heathen science professor, pz myers.
elessa: (fluffy bunny)
methinks there will be violence as a result of this. historically, there always is.

Construction of Imperial Valley water reservoir begins l.a. times.

a reservoir is being constructed in the imperial valley to store water that would otherwise be "lost" to mexico. here are some choice quotes from the article.

But it will mean less water for Mexico, where farmers and cities are suffering from drought and a leaky infrastructure that has trouble delivering water to its customers.

For decades, the United States has allowed Mexico to receive more water from the Colorado River than it was assured under a 1944 treaty.


oh, and this choice one.

"It's not Mexico's water," said Stella Mendoza, a member of the Imperial Irrigation District board. "It's California's water. Mexico has been using it for free all these years. They should have realized that someday it would stop."

isn't the water coming from colorado? doesn't that make it colorado's water. yeah, i know. there are water agreements/treaties, what have you.

this does not bode well for the future.
elessa: (fluffy bunny)
today whilst working as a temp clerk for a retail chain store, i came to the realization that there are a lot of people who have been raised worse than barnyard animals.

that is all.
elessa: (Default)
'Tall, dark and handsome turns out to be short, fat and ugly': Learn how to read between the lines with our online dating dictionary

Five-times-married Jan Leeming claimed in Femail last week that internet dating has given her a new lease of life - and she's not alone. A staggering 65 per cent of British singletons now turn to the internet looking for love. But everyone who's ever dated online knows personal profiles can be a minefield - too often a tall, dark, handsome millionaire turns out to be a short, fat, ugly geek. Here, to help you read between the lines of adverts, CLAUDIA CONNELL brings you a handy his 'n' hers Dating Dictionary.


yep, yep, yep! these are the people i have met! )
elessa: (aargh kitty)
stupidity has resulted in the death of a nineteen year old

19-year-old man was swept out to sea after he and a friend went to the end of a 100-foot jetty to look at the waves generated by the storm

heh. go figure.

and, yeah, people were injured trying to rescue this guy whose body has yet to be recovered.
elessa: (labyrinth)
i have no sympathy for the people of texas who have decided not to evacuate from hurricane ike. Some 37,000 people may need to be rescued after Hurricane Ike strikes, a U.S. military official said Friday.

the storm surge is predicted to be 20' or higher.

the media has given updates as the storm approaches for days. i suspect people are hearing "category 2" and shrugging it off. they aren't listening to the rest of the information regarding the surge and waves which have the potential of going inland twenty miles.

why should anyone in law enforcement, human services, coast guard, etc. risk their lives to rescue the foolish?

people who remain in galveston and houston chose their fate. let them meet it.
elessa: (cci)
i learned today that something i tried to have implemented for nearly ten years is finally going to occur at the comic-con this year. i have always felt it unfair that people could park their butts in a chair in a program room when it opened in order to guarantee themselves a seat for a panel occurring later in the day.

what happens is there are people filling seats in panels they couldn't give a rat's ass about seeing. they tend to talk with their friends through the panel, read, sleep and generally not participate. they are disrespectful of the panel members in a sense they aren't there to support the purpose of the program. in the meantime there will be a line outside of people waiting who would like to be in the panel, but can't be because the room is full... ofttimes with those who only want to be in the room for a later program. people will rush to find a seat at 11:00 a.m. for a panel they want to see at 4:00 p.m.

each year i would ask at executive meetings why couldn't the panels in the "big" rooms, i.e. the 6 quad (6ABCD), 20 and hall H be cleared between panels. i was told it wasn't possible. there were too many people to try to turn a room around for another panel. excuse me? i was responsible for clearing a 462,000 sq ft room holding over 30K people each night and getting it completely empty in fifteen minutes or less. so i didn't buy the argument i was given.

well, this year things are going to be different.

there will be a fifteen minute break between programs in those rooms in order to clear them for the line outside to enter to fill for the next panel.

it is about freaking time.

i hope they get it right.
elessa: (heart2)
damn you, joss whedon. i just watched the third episode which you posted today. yet again your writing and vision of storytelling has taken my emotions on a wild ride.

for those who haven't watched the serial of dr. horrible do it. do it now!

tis the story of a man who desperately wants to be a member of the league of evil villains and what it costs him to join.

there are three acts. the viewing will be free until july 20 and afterwards can be purchased on iTunes. there is a DVD compilation in the works with outtakes.

i had the pleasure of seeing neil patrick harris in rent a few years ago. the man can sing!

thank you, joss whedon!
elessa: (fluffy bunny)
here is another example of more money about to come out of your wallet.

in an article in the new york times, food chain - as the price of corn rises, catfish farms dry up

"i don't eat catfish", you might say. ah, but you do eat beef or chicken in all likelihood. the same impact is going to be felt on that industry.

i found the line "government mandates for corn to produce ethanol..." to be interesting. so, our government is telling farmers not to grow food? i realise this country is starved for fuel for its oversized land yachts aka SUVs and other guzzlers. however, in light of the flooding in the midwest there is going to be a significant shortfall in the amount of corn which can be grown this year. within the next six months expect there the be less meat products available in your grocery store. expect the price of processed food items to also rise due to a lack of corn to be made into high fructose corn syrup. you know, the additive to nearly everything in a box, can or bag on the shelf at the grocers. read the labels on a bag of corn chips, frozen dinner, or can of beans you'll see what i mean.

with the shortage of corn there is going to be further unemployment as is reported in the article affecting the catfish industry. everything is ultimately related.
elessa: (fluffy bunny)
ah... awakened at 1:00 a.m. to the dulcet sounds of metal thieves stealing a very large aluminum sign. the type of sign commercial property real estate companies post across two 4x4s with "FOR LEASE" written upon them.

the reverb from two men kicking said sign off of the 4x4s is exceedingly loud. similar to the sound of gunshots.

they were laughing as they did their deed of stupidity. no, wait, any metal scrap yard that buys the sign is even more stupid. it will be obvious it was stolen. no one with any level of intelligence is going to believe two guys just happened to find an 8x6 aluminum sign just laying alongside the road or by a dumpster.

i noticed two of the people who live in the complex peering over the wall with a cellphone. one was on the phone a good five minutes. i hope she was making a call to the police. i suppose i should make a list of phone numbers so i could make such a call. i was firing up the computer to do a lookup for the police department when i noticed the neighbors in the parking lot stealthily approaching the wall.

adrenalin is going to keep me from sleep for awhile.

*sigh
elessa: (fluffy bunny)
i keep reading articles about various banks putting holds on the official cashier's checks being issued to depositors at IndyMac bank who are withdrawing their funds. the articles make it sound like this is a new and abhorrent practice.

the majority of banks are making $5000 in funds immediately accessible, but putting holds on the remaining balance while waiting for the check to clear.

guess what? this is standard practice for checks in amounts over $5000 for the majority of banks, cashier's check or not. when i received a cashier's check for the inheritance of my great-aunt's estate, i was subject to a hold on the money's over $5000 for ten business days. it doesn't matter who wrote the check, there will be a hold.

yes, i know. you want your money and you want it now, damn it!

just deal with it! surely you can live on $5000 for ten freaking days before the balance is made available. if you can't you have some serious financial issues you need to work out.
elessa: (trees)


truth in advertising.

this ad won an award at Cannes. thing is J.C. Penney claims not to have knowledge of its submission according to the wall street journal.
elessa: (labyrinth)
do the chinese people ever question what they are told? when they receive foreign publications which have pages missing or in the case of the current issue of the national geographic having pages glued together don't they wonder what is it they are not supposed to know?

was the gluing of the pages precipitated by the the chinese government? did another agency decide that there was dangerous propaganda contained in the issue covering china?

i thought that china was opening up. i guess i am wrong. keep the populace in the dark in order to control free thought.

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