Taking a Look Back

Posted April 6, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Musings

Today I played soccer with my dad for the first time in what has to be at least a year. And I didn’t really play too well. I had gotten a minimal amount of sleep the night before, and had been pretty much active all day today. I got home at 8:00PM and left again with my dad to play soccer at 8:05PM. They played for I think it was about two hours straight. I couldn’t take it, partly because of the low energy from not sleeping or eating, and partly because I was really out of shape. I had to excuse myself from the game twenty minutes early. And they wouldn’t have stopped if the lights hadn’t turned off. But anyway, as I was walking around, cooling down, and catching my breath, I let my mind wander. It felt good, especially knowing that I did rather well on my finals these past couple days with the exception of Astronomy. Anyway, all of them I thought to be somewhat profound so I felt the need for my own prosperity, to jot them down. [List was omitted for reasons listed below.]

I wrote the above paragraph two weeks ago, the day I got back from Santa Cruz. I think my dad was really surprised that I even said yes to play with him cause he asked a couple times after that. After enjoying a week back home, it felt astonishingly like it did when I was still in high school. I assure you that it wasn’t because I was hanging around with high schoolers because I didn’t see much of them.

I was catching up on my RSS feed and decided to read doctorpon’s blog, who’s a friend of mine. I became really engrossed in his writing and entries. For some reason, it reminded me of how I used to write blogs when I was still in high school, between junior and senior year. Those types of blogs are all over the place, from Xanga to Blogspot and there may be a few on here. But I miss that and I feel like I haven’t written anything that inspires me in quite a long time. I thought I’d try to get in touch with that again by writing about the topics in the list I omitted from the first paragraph.

Hopefully, it’s a fruitful endeavor and it makes me feel, for the lack of a better word, “young” again. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading it.

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Anime Defines My Existence

Posted March 15, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Musings

Tags: , , , ,

I’ve recently been watching a lot of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. So much so, I didn’t need to look up how to spell that. And I have on my desktop a post-it of anime and manga that I want to start, that I’m working on, that I’ve finished. I took a screenshot before I went to bed last night and posted it on tumblr. I woke up at 6:00AM this morning and was at a loss of what to do. So I turned on my computer and had the anime/manga post-it staring back at me. And the finished list was looking a little short. I mean, I’ve for sure finished more than the few that were there. And I’m working on a lot more. So I started thinking. I ended up having to split the post-it and give each category its own post-it.

I don’t know why it’s such a hard thing to do, but I can’t remember all the anime and manga that I’ve finished. It shouldn’t be too hard. I wasn’t even aware there was a distinction between that and normal cartoons until about 6th grade. And I didn’t really start getting into it until my sophomore year of high school. That’s not a whole lot of time, from when I first got into it when I was 11 to now. That’s eight years. People who usually visit or read these might expect me to say it’s nostalgic to think back, but it isn’t. I just want to know what I’ve finished.

Anime and manga has always been about conquests to me. Especially after I found more people to talk about it with. “You’ve started that? Yeah I’m working on it right now. It’s pretty good.” “Dude, that series has been done for a while now.” “Yeah I was thinking of starting that one. Is it any good?” And I’ve always thought I was pretty well versed in the otaku world, dare I say. But compiling these lists, while enforcing in my head that I’ve become more so an “otaku”, makes it blatantly clear that I have not watched nearly as much as I remember watching and reading. Or that I simply don’t remember what I’ve finished. And that’s both really comforting and also really sad-making.

For now, it’s all about consolidation. Working on what I know. And my finished list will probably forever be “incomplete”. But, after making myself light-headed thinking of more titles I’ve finished, that doesn’t seem so bad. And despite it’s connotations, I like anime and manga. It’s one of the few candid joys I have. I just hope I haven’t crossed the line from normal to otaku as definitely as I think I have…

I call upon the youth of the world…

Posted March 1, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Olympics

Tags: , , ,

I get shivers every time I hear that. The president of IOC (this year it was Jacque Rogge) always closes the Olympics with these words. It’s a call to all the athletes of the world to gather in four years time in the next host city to repeat the Olympics again. Sochi, Russia will be hosting the 2014 Winter Games and I can’t wait for them.

I don’t like the Winter Games as much as I do their older Summer counterparts, but the Olympics are still the Olympics. Two years ago, I wrote about my belief in the Olympic Truce during the two weeks or the month that the Games are being held. No matter how pessimistic I get, I will always hold optimism when it comes to the Olympics. Because there’s so much to hope for. Great athletes competing on the world stage with elites from other countries for their pride and the pride of their countrymen. The largest sense of camaraderie makes itself apparent during these Games that encompasses the world. And sure, tensions will reach breaking points (read: Ohno and the South Koreans) but I like to think it’s for the sake of competition and sportsmanship. And let’s face it, it’s really just a huge party that celebrates athleticism, and to media around the world, the triumph of the human spirit.

So yeah. I love the Olympics. And even though they’re done, there’s still the promise of it being somewhere else in four years’ time. And the next best thing to actually answering Rogge’s call to the youth of the world is supporting the sports festival that they’ll be competing in and believing in the ideals of the Olympic Dream.

Bob Costas, I shall see you in two years’ time in London. Onward to the 2012 Summer Games.

Speed Skating Controversy

Posted February 26, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Olympics

Tags: , , ,

I’m going to open this one by saying that when I back up Ohno, I think of him as an athlete. And athletes are allowed to act like assholes when talking about their sport especially if they’ve had the longevity and success (and by any standards, he’s been successful, if not on the Olympic stage, then the World one) that he’s had. He still rubs people from other countries the wrong way, but at the very least, he likes what he does and continues because it makes him happy. I can’t really hate the guy because he loves his sport.

I’m also not above admitting that I hopped on the bandwagon. I know almost next to nothing of speed skating, unlike say Track and Field and Soccer. I don’t support the Korean team during these sports because of the societal mentality that South Koreans have. I guess it’s out of spite. The unforgiving attitude that South Koreans hold onto their athletes is, at least to me, unacceptable. They shouldn’t have the support of their country rescinded just because they don’t perform to expectations. And what makes the South Korean Short Track Team worse is that they embrace this mentality and expect to win because as a country, they’re the best in the sport. Not completely unjustified, but still a little over the top. I understand that this way of thinking will never die out, or at least persevere for a long time after I’m gone. It just makes me uncomfortable to cheer for a team that, in my mind, acts a little conceited. (Reminds me of how my track coach expected to win All-Cities just because we had a 20 year streak. He’s going to be disappointed this year..)

Now, given all that, Korea should have gotten the Women’s 3000m Gold Medal. That slip-up was not her fault. Even commentators from America, the paradoxically patriotic impartial people they are, said that Korea should have won that race. It may have been a grudge against Korea or a negative bias because they have such a good record, but that Gold should’ve been theirs. The sport of speed skating is more subjective than figure skating with more of an impact on the performance of the athletes. It was an unfair call and it definitely wasn’t warrant for disqualification.

Random Tidbit of My Life

Posted February 24, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Olympics

Tags: , , ,

Soo… I found out that Kim Yu-Na is almost exactly one month (35 days) younger than me and J.R. Celski is older than me by exactly 2 weeks. And I couldn’t help but think, “Damn. What have I done with my life?”

Not intended to be melancholic, but it’s where my mind tends to wander. I’m now officially at that age where a lot of world-class athletes are entering the world stage. And it’s kind of saddening that I’m envious of being them.

Anyway, almost at the closing point of the Olympics and there are only a few more events I’m looking out for. First is Ladies’ Figure Skating with the ever so lovely Kim Yu-Na. The other is the 5k relay. Kim Yu-Na is really something else. She’s currently sitting in first place after the short program and let’s hope that she does just as well Thursday. Just hope that Koreans don’t fall victim to their ever-consuming pride that they have.

…I think I’m gonna dream of being an Olympian tonight.

Gotta Love Curling

Posted February 19, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Olympics

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Last night my housemates and I were being decidedly goofy. Just having a good time and hanging out watching the Olympics. When the prime time broadcast ended someone jokingly mentioned that there was curling on an affiliated channel. We flipped to it in jest. We then proceeded to stay up until 3:00AM watching women curling.

I don’t know how many people know what curling is beyond sweeping ice but it’s pretty interesting. It’s a mind game, and it requires a lot of thought and strategy. It’s also kind of funny to say that you know the basic rules of curling. But it’s not a hard sport to pick up. On the contrary, we had a vague idea of what was happening while watching and picked up on some curling terms, as well as scoring and basic strategy. It was a pretty fun sport to watch.

But curling on it’s own is not so interesting that we’d stay on it for a good two hours. We prefer womens’ curling. Which at first glace, is weird. They’re not in skimpy uniforms. All they’re really doing is sweeping and gracefully tossing rocks. Not a lot happens in curling. But there are a surprising amount of beautiful ladies who curl. Tonight’s only the second night we’ve actually sat down and watched curling and we already have favorites. There’s a 19 year old skip from Great Britian named Eve Muirhead who is quite pretty. And there are two from the German team (Melanie Robillard and Stella Heiss) that aren’t hard on the eyes either. And even though a majority of the players are a little older in age, some of them don’t look to bad either, one prime example being Cheryl Bernard of Canada.

Personally, I don’t think that’s offensive at all. Shallow maybe, but appreciating the game that is curling is not a bad thing. And the fact that the players themselves are pretty doesn’t hurt either. So yeah, I’m a fan of women’s curling. Don’t judge until you’ve watched an end or two.

The Ohno Hate

Posted February 15, 2010 by YAI
Categories: Olympics

Tags: , , , , ,

On the first day of competition at the 2010 Vancouver Games, Apolo Ohno won the silver in the 1500m Short Track event. And Koreans all around the world are furious. Except me. I think Ohno deserved that Silver. I mean seriously Koreans, what the hell’s your problem?

When Ohno won his first gold medal, the first place finisher got disqualified for cross tracking and Ohno defaulted into Gold. And that apparently set off Koreans in a big way. In the most recent Olympics, Ohno blocked a Korean skater in his semi final round and the Korean asked for the disqualification. Didn’t get it. And in the finals 2nd and 3rd place were taken out and allowed Ohno to finish second. And shit’s hitting the fan. The Korea Times and the Washington Post are critical of his Silver finish for whatever reason, giving their examples. And a friend of mine expressed her outrage over the results in her own way.

So… what, just because he did some supposed foul play, the Korean can’t be civil? Koreans are known for their own foul play anyway. They team skate in an individual sport, and since it’s hard to prove, you can’t really call them on it. And Ohno may have hoped for a DQ but he didn’t grab that leash like the Korean did in the semi final. He kept skating. You’re allowed to hope for a DQ in a sport that hangs on that kind of thing. And the reason why Ohno won gold and didn’t get called in the semi final? You’re allowed to block when you’re in the lead. You can’t reach out when you’re behind and try to catapult your way up the line. Ohno didn’t even want the title of most decorated Winter Olympian. He came back because he loved his sport. Not saying it didn’t hold its own appeal, but he didn’t do it just for the glory.

Koreans are a vindictive bunch. The World Cup, Ohno, just whatever they can get their hands on. They expect to be handed the medals because they’re consistently the best and when they don’t, they run to officials like bratty kids. They’re smug with victory and angry at being put in their place. They need to learn that losing is part of playing the game. So deal with it.