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Zaka's infrequently updated personal blog. Apparently za RSS import sucks less now, so here you go.

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Zakamutt

The problem

While spurred by recent events, this essay touches on something that seems to have been a pattern in site moderation for some time now.

Let me make a claim: if a rule, especially one that is vaguely worded, is not enforced, for a decent amount of people that rule does not exist. This nonexistence integrates into the mental model of the rules that forum members construct, no matter what the formal rules may say. For members using this mental model, beginning to enforce a rule that was previously unenforced is equivalent to creating a new rule. As such, the same procedures as those used to notify forum members of new rules should be applied, possibly with some adaptation on the lines of "we will now actually enforce this rule", as the rule effectively did not previously exist.

The ur-example of this is the loligeddon of yore. The takeaway from the loligeddon when it comes to this essay is this: mods repeatedly stated that no rules had actually been changed. Yet nevertheless the appearance and subsequent removal of a particularly problematic post sparked sweeping policy changes, a cleanup operation, a tl;dr post by the administrator explaining the changes, et cetera. This should make it clear that changing policy is a big deal, even if no written rules actually change.

Recent policy changes, however, have been very different from what happened during the loligeddon. Frequently the only indication that effective rules have changed has been moderator action, sometimes fairly strict. In essentially all cases this action has been explained either inadequately or, most commonly, not at all. When this occurs the target(s) of moderation will likely feel that they have been unfairly, erratically targeted by a capricious, uncommunicative bully. What do you do when you get bullied? Well, you could talk to HR, but the mod that bullied you is probably in HR anyway and you might not even know who did it. Another option is to fight back. You annoy me, I pay you back in kind - and if I can get some fun at your expense, sure, why not? You're a bully, you deserve it.[1]

I do not mean to suggest that we need to have a tl;dr writeup every time a rule is changed, but a simple statement of intent would be appreciated. I estimate that writing this should take no more than 20 minutes. As an example, here's a hypothetical notice regarding the changing of rules on gifs that took me ~10 minutes to write. Note that the policy mentioned here could be reversed or altered to be more specific if it turns out that it was unclear or did more harm than good, which is arguably more difficult to do if the rule has been made official.[2]

In the light of this, I would like to present some recommendations.

Recommendations

When moderating, consider if your action is effectively creating or modifying rules

Remember: in the minds of some of your users, unenforced rules may as well not exist. If you decide to moderate something that was previously typically not being moderated, this will cause confusion and consternation.

As such, whenever you make a decision, ask yourself: am I changing the rules? If so, you need to consider both whether your action is actually justified, and how you are going to inform the public of your policy change. You are not a cop, you are a judge in a precedent-setting court. This is especially true due to the (understandable) current policy of supporting other mods' decisions near unconditionally.

Do not make controversial decisions when following up is difficult

On some occasions moderators have moderated while on vacation, using their phone, with bad connections et cetera. I strongly recommend against making anything close to a controversial decision in these conditions. You will end up both ruining your vacation and doing a bad job.

Talk first, shoot later

If you are performing a moderator action which reasonably should include notifying the target of the action, write up the informative PM or otherwise establish communication before enforcement. You could also consider writing up the notification of intent to change / differently enforce / clarify rules before moderating. Most of the time nobody is harmed much by leaving something up until you can handle it properly. For things that require more urgent management such as a fast-evolving derailment, consider either using a PM template for 1-2 people or making a post stating that you have removed derailing posts in the thread you moderated.

Make people feel heard

One key theme of this essay is the importance of communication. This extends beyond just notifying people of changes to the rules. I am under no illusions that your actions will go uncontested or that people won't meme and fling shit at you even if you try your best to communicate as advised in this essay. In part this is due to the frustration some people, and certainly I myself, consider you responsible for creating due to your actions up to this point. However, when hostility meets well-practiced civility its fires often run out of fuel. If you constructively engage with those who would oppose you, you can both soothe their frustration and create better, more precise final rules.

Obviously there has to be a limit and ultimately you set the rules to follow. But explaining, refining, and justifying your position elevates it from that of a dim-witted bully with little justification for their actions to someone who has a well-grounded but different opinion of what the rules should be. The first one deserves punishment, the second, grudging respect.

As a personal observation: in general, you should assume that much less of your decisions are obviously justified than you currently think. One man's common sense is another man's borderline acceptability is another man's utterly idiotic rule enforcement.

Moderation is a hard job

If this all seems like a lot of hard work to you, congratulations! That's what I thought too when the mod applications came along, so I didn't apply. Any moderators that cannot actually moderate disputes should either confine themselves to routine, uncontroversial moderation tasks or step down from their position. Believe me, nobody will die either way, and you'll get to spend your free time doing something that suits you better.

Notes

[1]
I personally don't consider the mods bullies when I do this kind of thing, but I do consider them deserving of public ridicule. The intention is both to correct behaviour and to extract some entertainment out of people that deserve to be made fun of.
And yeah, I have no respect for authority. None. I will judge you by your actions alone.

[2]
This is an assumption based on my conception of normie considerations like pride, sticking with your decision, whatever.
Obviously if a rule does more harm than good it should be removed whether or not it was enforced temporarily, but it is probably easier to do so politically if it was in fact considered temporary.
Look, I'm trying desperately not to kill all normies every day here. Give me a break.

Zakamutt

Introduction

This article's probably going to look like shit on this forum no matter what I do to it. Try my offsite blog for a better visual experience.

Mercy sees things. It’s too bad that what she sees are warped distortions, filthy beetles, tentacles, horrifying flesh-beasts and all that, but at least it isn’t permanently on so she’s not quite Fuminori yet. Too bad it’s getting worse, though.

denpa4-soundless.png

Mercy lives in a small, secluded village; the village is strongly religious, ruled by the local church, and all the kids around see her as a convenient punching bag. But hey, it’s probably her fault anyway, she was cursed by sinning at the tender age of ten. She was seeing nice things before that.

titledrop-soundless.png

Mercy is the protagonist of Soundless -a modern Salem in remote area-, which is a bit too weeb of a title to not have me wrinkle my nose, but hey apparently they’re trying to pay homage to the old denpa game aesthetic, down to the 640×480 resolution (handily you can play at 2x window size…).

happytimes-soundless.png

Soundless is about knowing that you are never safe, you could be hit any time, you could start seeing horrors any minute, and you will be punished for your own misfortune. Soundless is about freaking out and watching distorted background upon distorted background parade in front of your eyes, the attention to direction making the NVL format much less stuffy than you might expect.

alittlenuisance-soundless.png

Soundless is about surviving when almost everyone you know is trying to destroy you, whether slow or quick. Soundless is about being trapped by guilt. Soundless is about being exploited. Soundless is, perhaps, about breaking free from your tormentors – but it is not afraid to humanize them. Sometimes, you just have to let go anyway.

2xwindowsize-soundless.png

Maybe a 1.5x setting would’ve been good for those funky 1366×768 screens?

Judgement

Soundless is written… acceptably well on the prose front, though it gets awkward more often than I’d like. There are a few standout moments, mostly during freakouts, but mostly it’s just… there. There’s also some annoying confusion in the tenses that 7 beta readers couldn’t catch, which I guess proves that you need not just QC but competent QC (though they did catch a lot of typos according to the dev). Overall I would recommend an editing pass by someone competent, but I think that stands for like every EVN I’ve read bar Lynne so whatever.

fausttheangryatheist-soundless.png

I guess this is okay, though.

The music and ambient sound generally work well at conveying the atmosphere, though sometimes it suffers from short loops in ambient sfx leading to stops and starts in the track (a pet peeve). Sometimes the volume of the ambient sfx seems off, but I think that might actually be intentional. This is a denpa game, after all – you expect it to screw with you. A major bonus for adding sound effects to some of the distorted speech, though the VN is generally unvoiced.

wordshurtwow-soundless.png

brb kms

If there’s anything to criticize, it’s the last part of the novel where things go seriously south. You could argue that the change in pace is too much of a break, but for me the themes remain consistent and carry it through to a natural conclusion.

doievenhaveapersonality-soundless.png

Soundless sets you on a bloody path to madness, gore, and suffering, horrors, despair, a crescendo – and then, the point. It ruined my sleeping schedule yet again. It was kind of fucked already. I guess I don’t really mind.

allmyfaulttho-soundless.png

Soundless is one hell of a ride and I recommend it to anyone into the horror/madness aesthetic that can take the content portrayed – none of which is sexual, but expect violence.

Download: https://milkplus.itch.io/soundless

 

 

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Zakamutt

Despite there being a few good editing blogs on Fuwanovel, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of translation blogs. I think part of the reason for this is that editors in the fan translation scene are often doing things the translator could very well be doing themselves, often to the detriment of the final product. Look at, say, the “big back” entry Fred wrote. Now tell me why this issue couldn’t be avoided back at the translation stage.

There are two reasons why you would do this: one, you don’t know Japanese well enough to understand what is actually meant, so you put down whatever it says literally. In this case, the sane way to handle the issue is to ask someone who knows Japanese better than you for advice. Two, you’re just lazy. Who actually thinks “the date changed” sounds right in English? An edge case of this is prioritizing speed; Ixrec and MDZ* both prioritized speed and neither had very good results to show for it, but they did complete things. Personally I still think this is ultimately lazy; it is significantly more simple to translate literally than to try to actually write well. In this case, ask yourself if you really want to produce a shitty translation.

What I’m trying to get at is this: if you actually want to produce something good, you can’t just leave writing the thing up to the editor. Editors are not miracle workers; they have to deal with what they’re given. Furthermore, many editors working on fan translations, and well, translations period, are not very good at the job. Any time you leave something bad in, there is always the possibility of it sticking around in the final product. I’m not saying you have to be perfect. I’m saying this: for the love of visual novels, try.

If you ask me, before you hand your script to the editor, you should have already done an editing pass on it. Or two. The lines should connect with each other rather than float like islands in a sea of prose, there should be at least an attempt at character voice, and all ugly stock translations should be kawari-fucking-mashita’d, much like the 日付 at midnight, with extreme prejudice.

Sometimes you’re still going to come up short. Sometimes it just won’t sound right whatever you try. That’s when you should pray that your editor knows better than you  leave a note at the line explaining the problem, move on, and hope to hell that your editor is actually good enough to work it out. That’s what the editor is for. The editor should not be translating from weeb to English. The editor should not be doing your job.

*Its not just the fan translation scene that does this, by the way  there are companies, like Aksys, which demand its translators write a colorless literal translation to be punched up by superstar editors later. Unsurprisingly, they’ve put out some real stinkers; I have a lot of respect for Ben Bateman’s work on 999 for this reason.


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Zakamutt

Dawn.

d

The view outside has no business calling itself a dawn. Sure, morning has just broken – but dawn has a warmth to it, a promise of brighter times, of new beginnings, of respite from the unfeeling night. The gloomy Swedish winter dawn outside brings me only a feeling of cold distance, steely gray sky falling softly onto the white fields below. Snow-laden pines clamber laboriously through the fog, watching the dawn with little more enthusiasm than I myself can muster.

It’s mornings like these that make me want to end it.

Not seriously. Not bad enough to be something I need to worry about. God, I don’t even check the “I don’t want to live but I also don’t want to die” box any more. I am absurd tiers of not actually depressed. But yeah, fuck this so-called “dawn”. Fuck this dawn for being so empty. Fuck this dawn for being so cold. And fuck me for writing about it; it’s only going to make things worse.


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Zakamutt

Programming would be much more convenient if I could get a linux distribution to work. Unfortunately, what I managed to do instead was render my system unbootable, possibly even without it being my fault. This is my story.

Once upon a time, a young Zaka installed Ubuntu on his old laptop using wubi, an installer that actually runs under Windows! It worked without any major hitches and the Zaka was pleased.

Fast forward six or so years to the ugly future that is 2017, and things were very different. Wubi didn’t even work since he was using UEFI, and the unofficial fork that did work looked sketchy, so he tried to install it using a USB stick (okay, an SD card with an adapter to USB. It should work right, they’re both flash memory man… dad has a zillion sd cards and like zero pen drives).

The process was vaguely annoying but not too bad; download ISO, format the drive with rufus, try to install, get mysterious freezing crash! Okay, fuck that let’s try the acpi=off option for grub. Wew, setup actually starts. It’s sort of a pity how I couldn’t see any partitions and clicking any of the options on that screen caused a crash! Whew.

Okay fuck that, time to try this unofficial Wubi fork that supports UEFI and has unclear instructions clearly written by a very enthusiastic ESL. It seems to work, but I don’t use the MOK Manager the first time the option is given and then I never can for the rest of the time and eventually the boot seems to just skip over the grub thing and honestly fuck this shit.

Never say never! I download a Debian net install iso and do the now familiar bootable usb steps using rufus. It’s too bad my wireless firmware isn’t supported, because debian meow meow open source woof woof. Okay, I download the “with non-free firmware” iso instead, try again… it still doesn’t have the firmware I need, but I can do a minimal install at least. Wow. Ok so I actually have a working grub -> windows bootloader flow dual boot now, lemme try to manually install the firmware… oh yeah and I have to set it to not boot silently for some reason in grub to even get it to start, because for some reason not showing acpi errors (here we cum again!) makes the thing not boot. Wew. I put the firmware in /lib/firmware, it’s still not found during boot, the boot hangs later on, I wait, sigh, and hold the power button for 5 seconds to force shutdown for the umpteenth time that day, start it all up again, and…

Current mood pic.twitter.com/ZQpLezAkSS

— 變態魔灋猫ザカちゃん (@zakamutt) August 29, 2017

I am currently using my bad old year 2010 faptop, getting a win10 install media thingy onto my totally-a-usb memory which is by now a micro sd in an sd card adapter in a usb adapter setup. It’s taking beyond forever. It may or may not let me reinstate the boot record. In either case, I should be able to preserve all important data SOMEHOW, though using a live usb for linux for recovery which would be my usual plan is kind of dicey when linux hates you.

All in all… this may or may not be entirely my fault, but my current message to whatever dev caused this is quite simply:

givingthefinger.jpg?w=625

Thanks, Twelvestepsbeyondrecognition, for taking a pic of this so I don’t have to.


It is now the Future, and I am slighly less peeved. The Windows Media Creation tool is a piece of shit-stained vomit; it downloads a ~3gb iso in like four hours where I could get it in one through http or bittorrent. It also crashed with an unhelpful error after working for like five hours when I tried to use it directly with a USB stick, so I instead made it download the ISO (again, rip the hours of progress lost), formatted the usb stick with rufus, and used that instead.

I tried to recover the bootloader in some way using the windows installation media, failed, used the command prompt to backup some files, and reinstalled windows. I suppose if nothing else, I don’t have any hp bloatware on this thing any more! …and it’s working fine so far, with no data loss. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some studying to do to catch up for the time I lost… that I totally wouldn’t have used chatting instead. Adios!


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Zakamutt

In honor of having finished reading Stargazer in Fapanese today, I figure I’d give you an idea of how I can simultaneously have read quite a bit of vn writing in Japanese yet also only have completed two short yuri doujins (my first was 明日終わる世界、その前夜). A lot of things here were sorta read in parallel with other things, which might not have helped (´・ω・`).

I started out with Amairo Islenauts; I got quite far into Masaki’s route, then stalled that ’cause I kinda didn’t want to read the drama or something. Much later I decided to go back and read a bit of Yune’s route… and that’s where we’re at now. Stalled.

I started reading Air in Fapanese as none of the two translations available impressed me; I knew Winter Confetti’s had taken flak for inaccuracy, and the start of Gao Gao’s patch felt worse than Winter Confetti’s on the editing and flow front, not to mention I was told it would be technically inferior to the Winter Confetti patch as the MC would be unvoiced for certain sections. I kinda got discouraged by the choice maze though and eventually stalled it because frankly it wasn’t that interesting.

Angel Beats -1st beat-… Honestly if it wasn’t for a bug and/or sneaky copy protection measure I might have read more of this;  I spent quite a long time with it and eventually got to like the second or third map location select, which didn’t work for some reason. Also you can’t transfer saves to other computers apparently, fucking rip. I might pick this up again, maybe even reading it together with the forthcoming English translation so I can shit on VA fucking it up like we all expect they will (´・ω・`).

Watashi no Real wa Juujitsu Shisugiteiru, or watajuu for short, was a really entertaining otomege that I’d recommend to everyone. Ultimately though after reading two routes I stopped midway through the otouto route because… well I didn’t like it as much, choices in-route confused and enraged me for some reason, and given how long the knife of unforgettable betrayal had been twisted at that point, I started reading…

Subahibi. I liked it a lot when it was a yuri harem, then I kinda liked it when it was denpa but it got harder to read and I stalled it about when a certain train arrived.

Then Kiririri eventually wore down my defenses, and I picked up Hatsuyuki Sakura. One of the better decisions of my life, as it’s consistently entertaining and seems well written both prosewise and plotwise. Finished the rather long “prologue” section, read a little bit of the “introduction”, stalled. Maybe I’ll pick it up again now though after finishing 11eyes and Stargazer.

I also read a bit of Zannen na Ane to no Love Comedy somewhere in there, but I think I’ll want to be able to power through silly SoL faster to not die reading it. Apart from that, I have like 20 minutes of …in white left or something, but I started reading that looking for short doujin vns to tl, so idk man ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.


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Zakamutt

I have a lot of trouble getting started on things. One area in particular that has been consistently difficult for me is going places – work, school, the store to buy muh colas before they close for the night, that sort of thing. I have recently discovered and begun formalizing a technique which seems to help with it. However, it is creepy, because it involves partially dissociating your mind from what your body is doing. Today I fashioned for it a shitty chuuni chant: there is strength in emptiness: Automaton!

To be honest, I’m half hoping the chant doesn’t work as a switch-flipper, considering how terrible it is. My apologies, O chuuni gods.

It begun one day when I was lying around, trapped in a familiar sensation where I seemed unable to will myself to any action, enmeshed in repetitive and irrelevant thought and generally getting nowhere important. I felt out of touch with the world, like there were no thread connecting me to this plane – indeed, was the world even real?

A seductive call beckoned. Perhaps I should try something I had done piecewise before, but never so deliberately, so completely – could I give my estranged body over to an imagined automaton, let the automaton collect the knick-knacks and tie the shoelaces and lock the doors and ride the elevators, and take back control once I needed to once again be human?

The attempt was a resounding, if alarming, success. My body proceeded to smoothly go to work, while I, dissociated, observed that I probably tie my shoelaces faster and more efficiently when I’m doing it on autopilot. In the end I spontaneously reintegrated over time without having to force it, which was a relief – one time I was at the store and borely (and likely boneheadedly) started practicing the mindfulness concept of framing your thoughts as things you are having rather than facts that are; while it didn’t really elucidate much, I did find myself unable to easily exit the frame, which was honestly a bit unchill.

I have used the automaton takeover concept like, two times after that, and it really does seem to work. It’s not just mindlessly doing things on autopilot either – the disconnect ensures that you have actual thinking time while carrying out business, and is the prime difference between this and pure distracted flow.

To use this technique you should probably be somewhat comfortable with feelings of derealization. The good news is that these correlate with depression, and I swear half of you fuckers want to kill yourselves, so it’s vaguely plausible that someone else might have had a similar experience. I do wonder if I have accidentally stumbled upon and formalized a Normie Technique(tm) that nobody told me about, but the fact that I’m worried that someone with psych issues will try it and end up being unable to return to united reality or fucked up in general does bolster me somewhat. Uhh, be careful trying this at home, I guess.

My personal motivation was that I was pretty derealized already, so making things more formal wasn’t really going to be that much of a problem. If you find yourself able to convincingly make that argument, this method may be worth trying.


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Zakamutt

I got my first welfare check in summer last year, just before I went on vacation with my parents.

There are some demands placed on those applying for welfare; one is that one must not unduly refuse suggested interventions. No interventions were suggested for about six months, but hey, cash money. Then I was summoned to a meeting, where I was given a plethora of options, except eight tenths of them were second hand shops and cafes and fuck anything where I have to do customer service. Also, everything had long waiting times anyway.

There were only really two options left: go back to the environment & ancient remains conservation agency where I worked in late 2013 / early 2014, or this other place that did carpentry – more specifically, in-shop manufacture of wooden items. My counselor was not particularly subtle in recommending the woodworking shop, claiming it had both rave reviews and, amazingly, the ability to accept new recruits right this moment.

I left the meeting put in queue for a potential spot at the agency and awaiting a text regarding an interview for the whole wood thing. “To start with you’ll build a box, and if that works out, we’ll put you straight into production.” Well, I’m not a huge fan of handicrafts, but it’s not like I hate it either; guess I’ll check it out and decide afterward.

About two weeks later I was given a tour of the premises, then an interview by the supervisor. I noted the structured approach to the interview; especially a technique used where, before asking about who I was as a person and where my problems lay, the manager volunteered some details about his personal life first – his kids, not enough time, how his work there gave him meaning, that sort of thing. It was pretty transparent; I figured it was likely an adaptation to help people with certain neurodivergences, but also wondered if it was part of the broader style of the therapeutic techniques used.

Earlier during the tour I was told about the “sharing” ritual, where at the start of your shift you sat with the other participants and could optionally share how you were currently feeling, if there were any special affordances you’d need or appointments to keep that day, and what you were working on briefly. This ritual was shielded from latecomers, which served to protect it, but also as a soft punishment for arriving late. I’m not sure how explicit he made any of this; I could feel myself starting to assign greater value to coming in time, realized I had been hacked, and figured that this was fine as the hack was desirable anyway. The boss seemed pleased, but in what might have been another affordance, he wanted me to go back home and think about it before taking any decision.

Two days after my social security contact had said she’d called me she actually did, and I accepted. I was then scheduled for a quick meeting where we would actually negotiate working times and other details. Some time later, I had agreed to work there from Monday to Wednesday, 12:00 to 15:00, with the assumption that I would eventually take on more hours. I was to start on a Tuesday, February the 21st. I was told by phone that day that, umm, I’m kind of sick so can we make it just tomorrow? Okay, fine, my sleep was all kinds of shit anyway that time rip me.

I woke up at like 2am on the 22nd. I had crisps for breakfast. Brewed tea, which is a pretty potent mindhack when you’re not acclimated to it. Biked through miserable snowfall on my mum’s three-speed bike, on which only the first two gears actually work. The front tire was inadequately pumped. It was not a good experience. I arrived twenty minutes early.


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Zakamutt

I mean, it’s not like I have better content to give ya. Like the last post, this is unedited from what I wrote down on the trot, with corrections at the bottom. You have been warned.

2017年1月13日
私には3の合い約束[1]があります。19日は脳の事。24日は銀行、25日はまた脳に対する。そして時が分からないけど、仕事のはも待ちます。

昨日は役に立てかもブログポーストを読んだ。「するべきは悪い」ってのは(ほんやく羽えぇ…[2])、「するべき」の思いは苦しいけど大体に行動を変わらない。「するべき」の思いが私によくあるから、気に入った。

1月15日
最近アイディーアがあった。大体はオリエンテーションで、今の合い約束と計画等を紙に書い[3]、未来と夢に考える時間だ。ふつうに、パソコンで遊びや買い物しとかに込み、大事と難しい事は頭に入いていない[4]。

昔はそんな事は何度も頭に回りながら良くないに終わりから、多分こんなけっかだ。でもざるを得ない事は世界に沢山あるから、少しでも変化がいいと思います。


I write 合い約束, but what I’m looking for is 会う約束. Repeated later on, too. ファック!

2
Meant to be 弱えぇ, but apparently I was 羽い(ふり:ハイ) or something and wrote this instead

3
pls zaka, that should be 書き. YOU KNEW THIS.

4
残念ながら、入るは一段じゃねぇ(´・ω・`)
正解は「入っていない」。


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Zakamutt

Well, long time no content here, eh. So, uhh, I started writing a diary when I poop. But it’s in bad Fapanese. I have some faint hope that seeing my amusing stumbles might inspire you to practice writing in Japanese. Yes, you over there in my target audience of maybe one person. The actual content of this entry is unlikely to inspire anyone, so it’s all the better that nobody will understand it anyway.

For authenticity (and hopefully showing that it’s ok to mess up a bit or something) I have preserved all the grammatical and kanji errors I made, noting what I spotted reading through it again below.

11月24日

28日が近づつつ[1]、メールをまた書かなかった。ウェルフェーアのことも準備はなかった。正直に・・・この一月[2]は、リアルに対してゴミにしただけ。バーチュアルはもっと良かったけど、この生活はどうだろう?変化は難しいのはよく分かるでも、このゆっくり過ぎ流れは誰にも良くない。

まあ、ウェルフェア[3]限り[4]は今日するつもりにして・・・かもしれない。
・・・その適当すぎな感請[5]がきらい。でもそれ以上は出来ない。
いやでも、悪いでも、恥ずかしいでも、それは私の本当の気持ち。
それ以上の方には、負けの機会[6]っが沢山ある。
。。。また明日、うんこするなら。ってその終え方下手すぎ!ごめんなさい、みんな。

Fuckups

[1] I’m not even sure if the つつ grammar is any good here, but I made a more fundamental error. つつ needs to be attached to the actual stem of the verb in question (here 近づく), rather than what you get when I use ichidan verb rules on godan verbs. tl;dr this should be 近づきつつ.

[2] While 一月 apparently can mean “one month”, it also means “January”. What I meant to write was 一ヶ月.

[3] Pls decide if you want a chouon or not in the word you katakana’d because you don’t know the fapanese one, zaka.

[4] I wrote this kanji wrong, using 良 as the right side.

[5]感請 should be 感情 here.

[6] I wrote 機 without the tree on the left and kinda wrong in general. I have recreated my failure in paint for you to enjoy.

準備のことはまだ、でも今すぐやるつもりです。メーレは・・・まぁ。


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Zakamutt

Vacation

I’ll be gone on a trip to germany -> mostly france -> germany the entire month of august.

I’ll try not to die and may or may not ever get nets

Farewell cruel world

 

If you want to contact me, hit me up on Twitter because that’s what I’ll be looking at on muh smartphone and ill only be using muh smartphone for any random wifi hotspot while we travel.


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Oh shit, I’m cooking today and it’s like one hour til I have to start. I really should have remembered to take something out of the freezer to thaw… I really don’t want to thaw something in the microwave, so my options are basically gradually peeling off a block of ground meat in the pan (huge pain), krögarpytt (brand of frozen mix of potato, onion and various meats, plus lots of things I’d have to look at the ingredients list for), or… oh yes, my saviour – that lovely meaty cylindrical thing I first had back in Eastern Europe.

Regrettably, I am not speaking of dicks.

The frozen ćevapčići lidl sells in 1kg bags is both delicious and affordable, but we’ve had it a few too many times recently. I should probably cook something else… maybe I’ll change the condiments from rice to pasta or fries… fuck fries turning them is a huge pain… meh fuck pasta too… okay it’s rice again… wait, I could make a sauce! …but what exactly? It’s not like I have the time to make tomato sauce from scratch, and frankly it’s not like it’s that great anyway (I’ve done it according to a legit recipe once!).

Well, if you don’t like a recipe you can always change it! I quickly search the fridge and find a fairly small red onion, garlic (not an option, was rotting), and okay that was all I was looking for in the fridge to begin with. Next I reach for the box of strained tomatoes I know is in the larder next to the fridge. Surprisingly it has not been abducted by aliens (maybe the red on the packaging scared them off), allowing me to wrest it from the depths of the… just kidding, it was at chest height on the second shelf.

I get a bouillon cube, a knife, put some rapeseed oil in a saucepan, and set to business; the business is making the bouillon cube submit to my knife (not the easiest), and cutting the onions.

I managed to not cry.

The preparation of the ćevapčići and rice was easy (and irrelevant). Anyway, the sauce. I heat the oil at medium-high for a bit, pop in a piece of onion to see if it’s ready, and the bubbling around it assures me that this is the case. I put in the rest of the onion and stir it around a bit, lower the heat, and pour in some of the strained tomato and the semi-powdered bouillon cube (it did not submit fully, but I was able to impose strict limits on its military and generally destroy its infrastructure), let it boil, add salt (used a lot, which was a bad idea – try not to do that, the bouillon cube prolly has it already), white pepper, and finally the x-factor ingredient I just had to put in: chili flakes. A bit too many, I reflected after I had thrown in a bunch. After letting it boil slightly and stirring it around a bit, I decided it was done, used a spoon to try it, and was promptly greeted with something strong and edible, probably in that order.

It was actually not too bad, and if nothing else it proves that whipping something up on your own isn’t necessarily too bad. At least if you’re a Zaka. I may or may not make it ever again, but I’ll probably take it a bit easier with the chili flakes and use less salt.

Thus concludes this episode of Cooking With Zaka.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 red onion
  • strained tomatoes
  • white pepper
  • salt (maybe)
  • chili flakes / seeds / whatever
  • rapeseed oil (olive oil might be better)

Serve with other stuff, if you actually think it’s worth trying. There are probably better recipes.


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Zakamutt

As you may or may not be aware, for a while now I have been waiting on a diagnosis, or lack of one, after a series of psychiatric evaluations. I started it due to suspicions of me having ADHD predominantly inattentive (also known as ADD). What transpired today was thus somewhat of a surprise: I did indeed receive a diagnosis – of Asperger Syndrome.

It’s not all that easy to accept because, well, I never felt all that aspbergy. I’m not the best guy ever when it comes to socializing, but I’m not really super bad at it either and I don’t like, interpret idioms literally or totally make an arse of myself all that much. Lots of things /do/ fit, however, and I think the doctors are right. Especially the typical life story outlined, with a failure in uni studies, an outgoing early life but a descent into passivity when grown up… it all fits me to a T[1].

The one thing I’m thankful for is that I performed like a normal person in the video test where I was supposed to interpret people’s motivations and feelings based on a video I was shown. Apparently this is because I use my highly developed other skills to interpret information in a logical manner, allowing me to mimic the intuitive understanding exhibited by your average joe. Also a plus: my iq-penis is apparently in the top 2% of the population, to the point where if I tried to join MENSA I might be able to pass the test. Not that I see much point in doing that. A part of me really wants to be top 1% because that’s just a much prettier number somehow, but, uhh, I guess I’ll have to deal.

Unfortunately my short-term memory and “speed”, whatever that means exactly, are significantly less above baseline than my other skills are. I can definitely agree with this assessment, and hopefully I’ll be able to learn how to compensate for this efficiently somehow.

So where does this leave me? Well, apparently I have the right to… stuff that places can provide. And things. I feel pretty weird about like, taking courses in how to handle typical aspie problems – I feel like some people I see there might be much more hindered socially than me and thus a real bother to deal with. Is this unfair? Maybe. But given that this is something I’ll be doing voluntarily, it’s something I’ll have to think over. In any case, I’m meeting the people currently coordinating my efforts to get back into some form of occupation on the 28th, so I think I’ll take it from there. I actually have something I need to think about more before that visit, and hopefully I really will get it done… if only to not feel bad. That’s a pretty bad reason, but, uhh, results are all that matter right?

…I should really try to mentally reframe it as something to benefit myself when I can.

In conclusion, how I feel like right now is kind of like when I got diabetes – I’m really annoyed with this shit and will try my best to kick its ass. As for you all – all I can really say is, I still (probably) care about you even if I might occasionally seem not to. Feel free to remind me to think about your feelings on occasion, because I don’t necessarily do it automatically😛.

The title is a lovely piece of bilingual wordplay. It may or may not make you groan if you figure it out. If you want a hint… the English word you seek is not politically correct.

[1] The Grammarist claims that “to a tee” is incorrect, but it’s in the bloody Cambridge English dictionary and all with no note of it being a misspelling or anything. I still like the form I use here the most, but while it grates on me to see the more teematic version, I can’t really correct it in good conscience. Yet another little annoyance that I will have to either get used to or suffer through to the end of my days, sigh.


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I’ve always loved good food. It’s not too rare for the highlight of the day, in retrospect, to be dinner. Home cooking, whilst quite a bother, is something I’ve gotten more and more used to recently. Unfortunately, the more good food I cook, the more mum will want to make me cook instead of her, and the more of my time will be spent away from the keyboard. On the other hand, my chicken stew is kind of good, and I’m getting better at preparing it all, so I guess it all balances out.

Oh yeah, the stew. I did title the post after it and shit.

I based this recipe vaguely off of this one (I hope you can read Swedish lel), which actually looked a bit different back when I checked it. Among other things, it called for red wine, not white. I wasn’t too keen on the walnuts and prunes, but I figured a few substitutions were reasonable. I mean, it’s a stew. Science, it ain’t.

Unfortunately, you may have trouble getting the funnel chanterelle this recipe uses (we pick it ourselves at a certain place in the woods, then dry it.) Much like Dr. Boom in most Hearthstone decks, there’s probably no real replacement. You basically want something with a bit of spiciness and a bit of general mushroominess. Good luck.

INGREDIENTS

  1. ~500g chicken filet of some sort (~1.1 pounds)
  2. 1 red bell pepper, medium to large (this is known as red paprika in Sweden, while paprika powder refers to the powdered spice. Very confusing.)
  3. 1 yellow onion
  4. ~0.7dl of red wine (1/3 cup)
  5. 1 bouillon cube
  6. 1 tbsp wheat flour (15ml, this is apparently same as the Amurrican tablespoon)
  7. 2.5dl of cream (1 cup)
  8. Thyme
  9. (Dried) funnel chanterelles, reconstitute if dried
  10. 2 carrots, medium size
  11. Salt, white pepper (Do I even need to add this?)

PREPARATION

  1. Creamy Mix: In a convenient vessel, mix za cream with some thyme (don’t be shy), the red wine, and za flour, then crumble the bouillon cube into it. Take a moment to lament your now-crumbly hands. Lightly whisk it all together.
  2. Cut za bell pepper into ~2cm (0.8 in.) wide, ~5cm (2 in.) long strips. Stripping own body optional but recommended (to be a naked chef).
  3. Peel, then cut za carrot into thin rods about 5cm (2 in.) in length. Resist urge to joke about eating rods.
  4. Chop za onion. Relish opportunity to shed manly tears by thinking about CLANNAD / listening to Close Your Eyes.
  5. Cut the chicken meat into medium-sized pieces. If there’s a goddamn tendon in each piece like in what we use, do consider cutting that out too.
  6. Be really annoyed that you have to wash your hands and everything in general like it has ebola or something because fuck chicken.
  7. Time to start actually cooking. If you have a pan with a lid which you can both fry and stew in (Wikipedia makes me think this is a saute pan, but fuck terminology), use that. Otherwise you might have to put everything in a pot for the actual stewing stage (when you add the creamy mixture), which would be a huge bother.
  8. High heat: Lightly brown the chicken in some kind of cooking fat. Salt and pepper ’em.
  9. Medium-high heat: Sear the bell pepper, then the onion. If using a saute pan, be lazy and shove the already seared stuff to the side while searing the next item, it won’t matter really.
  10. Medium-low heat: stir the Creamy Mixture into the pan, put the lid on. Let boil softly for 5 minutes. Don’t worry, it isn’t actually that reminiscent of semen.
  11. Mix the carrots and funnel chanterelles into the pan and let boil for another 5 minutes. We call them trattkantareller in Swedish.
  12. Serve with basmati (master race) rice, which has magically appeared (I hope you actually read through the recipe once before starting on this shit, otherwise, rip in lazy recipe tradition. Don’t forget to salt the water.)
  13. Holy fuck it’s done.

Obligatory tweet of shittily lit low-res picture of result:

Occasionally, the Zaka cooks pic.twitter.com/ZB1pjXg5Xz

— 變態魔灋猫ザカちゃん (@zakamutt) January 3, 2016

Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I do, assuming you actually cook stuff random amateurs post on the interwebs.


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Zakamutt

I’ve always loved good food. It’s not too rare for the highlight of the day, in retrospect, to be dinner. Home cooking, whilst quite a bother, is something I’ve gotten more and more used to recently. Unfortunately, the more good food I cook, the more mum will want to make me cook instead of her, and the more of my time will be spent away from the keyboard. On the other hand, my chicken stew is kind of good, and I’m getting better at preparing it all, so I guess it all balances out.

Oh yeah, the stew. I did title the post after it and shit.

I based this recipe vaguely off of this one (I hope you can read Swedish lel), which actually looked a bit different back when I checked it. Among other things, it called for red wine, not white. I wasn’t too keen on the walnuts and prunes, but I figured a few substitutions were reasonable. I mean, it’s a stew. Science, it ain’t.

Unfortunately, you may have trouble getting the funnel chanterelle this recipe uses (we pick it ourselves at a certain place in the woods, then dry it.) Much like Dr. Boom in most Hearthstone decks, there’s probably no real replacement. You basically want something with a bit of spiciness and a bit of general mushroominess. Good luck.

INGREDIENTS

  1. ~500g chicken filet of some sort (~1.1 pounds)
  2. 1 red bell pepper, medium to large (this is known as red paprika in Sweden, while paprika powder refers to the powdered spice. Very confusing.)
  3. 1 yellow onion
  4. ~0.7dl of red wine (1/3 cup)
  5. 1 bouillon cube
  6. 1 tbsp wheat flour (15ml, this is apparently same as the Amurrican tablespoon)
  7. 2.5dl of cream (1 cup)
  8. Thyme
  9. (Dried) funnel chanterelles, reconstitute if dried
  10. 2 carrots, medium size
  11. Salt, white pepper (Do I even need to add this?)

PREPARATION

  1. Creamy Mix: In a convenient vessel, mix za cream with some thyme (don’t be shy), the red wine, and za flour, then crumble the bouillon cube into it. Take a moment to lament your now-crumbly hands. Lightly whisk it all together.
  2. Cut za bell pepper into ~2cm (0.8 in.) wide, ~5cm (2 in.) long strips. Stripping own body optional but recommended (to be a naked chef).
  3. Peel, then cut za carrot into thin rods about 5cm (2 in.) in length. Resist urge to joke about eating rods.
  4. Chop za onion. Relish opportunity to shed manly tears by thinking about CLANNAD / listening to Close Your Eyes.
  5. Cut the chicken meat into medium-sized pieces. If there’s a goddamn tendon in each piece like in what we use, do consider cutting that out too.
  6. Be really annoyed that you have to wash your hands and everything in general like it has ebola or something because fuck chicken.
  7. Time to start actually cooking. If you have a pan with a lid which you can both fry and stew in (Wikipedia makes me think this is a saute pan, but fuck terminology), use that. Otherwise you might have to put everything in a pot for the actual stewing stage (when you add the creamy mixture), which would be a huge bother.
  8. High heat: Lightly brown the chicken in some kind of cooking fat. Salt and pepper ’em.
  9. Medium-high heat: Sear the bell pepper, then the onion. If using a saute pan, be lazy and shove the already seared stuff to the side while searing the next item, it won’t matter really.
  10. Medium-low heat: stir the Creamy Mixture into the pan, put the lid on. Let boil softly for 5 minutes. Don’t worry, it isn’t actually that reminiscent of semen.
  11. Mix the carrots and funnel chanterelles into the pan and let boil for another 5 minutes. We call them trattkantareller in Swedish.
  12. Serve with basmati (master race) rice, which has magically appeared (I hope you actually read through the recipe once before starting on this shit, otherwise, rip in lazy recipe tradition. Don’t forget to salt the water.)
  13. Holy fuck it’s done.

Obligatory tweet of shittily lit low-res picture of result:

Occasionally, the Zaka cooks pic.twitter.com/ZB1pjXg5Xz

— 變態魔灋猫ザカちゃん (@zakamutt) January 3, 2016

Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I do, assuming you actually cook stuff random amateurs post on the interwebs.


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Zakamutt

I've decided to delete all my previous entries and just put a link to where my actual blog is here:

https://disearnestlydisearnest.wordpress.com/

Now that I've triggered you with a font and size change, I should get onto the meat of this article:

  1. It doesn't preserve formatting, especially line breaks. This is probably a symptom of how RSS feeds handle it. Since my personal writing style uses them for dramatic effect, this is unacceptable to me.
  2. It randomly decides whether to break spectacularly and show all the markup or not
  3. It's crap
  4. It's crap
  5. It's crap

Looks like I still have a ways to go before I become a professional list article writer.

The setting where the blog is just an external link on click feels really unfriendly to me. Perhaps doing it this way is exploiting the system... but I don't really care.

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