Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ohyama Tokubetsu Junmai

I've had this stuff two times before now, but this is the first time I really enjoyed it. The first time I think my mouth chemistry was screwy, and the second time was at a sushi restaurant that inexplicably smelled of turpentine. This time, though, everything went right.

Sake is pretty amazing stuff. I say amazing because there's an amazing range of flavors and textures that come out of fermented rice. You can go from a near-flavorless Daiginjo, with most of the rice polished away, to a Ginjo that's like a dessert wine. (I'm thinking of the Yuki Honoka, which has an amazing sweetness yet fades cleanly away.)

But anyway, the Ohyama Tokubetsu Junmai is a somewhat acidic sake, with a bit of fruity sweetness. I'm not good with identifying flavors, but I might say there's a bit of apple in there. It hits the mouth cleanly, with some acid astringency (is that redundant?), with the finish drawing out the flavors. Like some other sake, it tends to leave a rice-y consistency in my mouth, but I try not to think about that. At $10-12 for a 300mL, it's a decent value.

Hear the SF Chronicle's wine reporter say gushing things about it here.

State of the dude

I was on vacation all last week, but I still feel pretty burned out. Part of the reason is that over half my room is still a mess. Lots of papers and stuff, though by and large the most clutter is due to manga. There's like 40 volumes from the Book Off in NYC, and 70 from the ones in SoCal, though the latter are sitting outside my room. Then there's a small stack from my most recent bk1 order, and a few from the bk1 order that must've been many months ago. Gosh.

There's a bunch of mail covering the piano that probably consists of "action items". Cardboard boxes. Paper bags. Plastic bags. Paperbacks that I might take to Half Price Books. Books that I should take back to the library.

Well, it's slowly getting better.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Off Grand Tour 2009

I'm going backpacking this weekend, which takes me about halfway down the lower part of California. So I might as well drive the rest of the way down and visit a few friends while I'm at it.

More importantly, I'm planning to hit every Book Off in SoCal and raid their dollar manga sections. Hopefully I'll have good luck; I've been to the one in NYC a lot recently, thanks to my job, and the selection varies. Sometimes there's not a lot of stuff that catches my interest, and after being spoiled by a few 50-cent sales, $1 per volume is sometimes a bit too much to pay. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Discommunication Seireihen chapter 1

Too tired at the moment to write anything meaningful. Will try again tomorrow.

It took forever, but it's finally here: the first chapter of Discommunication Seireihen. I've been curious about Riichi Ueshiba's works ever since reading the mind-blowingness of Yume Tsukai, and where better to start than the preceding series? I was originally going to say more here, but writing the notes depleted my word supply, so I'll just opine that Seireihen is plenty crazy, but not quite as disturbing as the first arc of Yume Tsukai.

It's kinda ridiculous, but it's been nearly a year to the day I started this effort. Several things got in the way. The biggest obstacle: learning enough Japanese. Smaller things: distractions. Somehow I ended up deciding to scanlate a chapter of Railgun, which was a rather painful adventure with WWWJDIC. (WWWJDIC > sliced bread.) And then I spent a lot of time on a chapter of Sing Yesterday For Me -- got it to around 75% done at the beginning of February, but then I had to go on a business trip. When I got back, NCIS had beaten me to the punch. Sigh. But they're a good group and they'll release faster than I ever could. Anyway, real life has been kicking my ass since February, and it's only recently that I've been able to use my free time effectively.

Chapter 2 will be along in a few weeks, unless I decide to work on another distraction.