Remy rambles about The Lily Garden and Remy’s life.
Blog Reflection (2017)
Well, it was a hectic year here at The Lily Garden. Lots of firsts, mostly.
The blog turned one year-old back in May 2017, yay. I know that getting overly roused over a small milestone like this can seem silly to some, but I felt like I needed to write a post announcing the blog’s birthday.
I’ve always felt pressured to compare myself to others, so the thought of just ending the blog when I felt like I couldn’t measure up to others definitely crossed my mind a few times in 2017 and in 2016. As a result, the celebratory post was more like a shout of victory because it meant I didn’t give up like I usually do when I start something new.
I might just stop celebrating anniversary dates altogether in the future, though.
Cease and Desist, Episodic Reviews
After giving them a shot for around a year, I stopped doing episode reviews for several reasons. Simply put, they stopped being fun and were draining my motivation to blog in general. Furthermore, they were eating up my time like it was part of their diet. The final straw was seeing my blogging friends write these great, analytical posts and these amazing, entertaining posts. As a result, I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Of course, I possibly might have been able to do that with episodic posts, but I believe the format to be inherently restricting.
Return to Yuri
I tried to return to blogging about yuri. After all, this is supposed to be a yuri blog. I’ve published a few posts here or there, but I need to be a lot more consistent. This is due to my own limitations as a writer, I’m sure. Can this be solved by focusing on older yuri series? This remains to be determined.
Lists, Lists, Lists
I posted a few lists this year. I still dislike how everything is subjective and how people will disagree with what you’ve listed or with the order in which you’ve placed your opinion or reasons. But that’s the “shortcoming” of all types of discourse.
I also feel like my own ignorance becomes so blatantly apparent in lists since I haven’t seen every anime series and am bound to miss a few things. But they were still fun.
Come One, Come Collab
I did a few collab posts and they were all enjoyable! My favorite collab posts involved actual dialogue with the other blogger.
Features, Features, Don’t Read All About It
I rebooted “What About?” and started “Common Anime Features” and “Thoughts on Yuri Anime” in 2017. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped really contributing to all of these written features. Some of the topics these “categories” cover sort of overlap with other posts, actually. Be that as it may, I do intend to finish the “Best Girl in Aqours” series before 2018 starts. I just need to write about Chika and Ruby!
Here are some of my favorite posts in 2017!
Comparing Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights to Sagimoto Yasuko from Aoi Hana – Alrighty, confession time: I have never actually read Wuthering Heights. But I grew rather suspicious when I noticed the play adaptation of said novel was taking up so many episodes in Aoi Hana that I figured there was something there. There must be a reason why it’s important for the audience to know that Yasuko was cast as Healthcliff! So I did a little research and this speculative post is the result. KimmieKawaii really helped me with this.
No Anime Series is Perfect and That’s Okay! – Written while nursing unrequited feelings, I just feel satisfied with how this post comes across as being so positive. Nothing in life is truly perfect, but so what? You can still love anime series and people.
Ballroom e Youkoso and the Portrayal of Female Characters Within the Shounen Narrative – Ballroom e Youkoso has probably pissed off most feminists that happen to be anime fans. This is just one side of the story, but it’s easy to see why they are claiming the series is sexist, I hope.
Expectations, Anime, and You – Sometimes you can’t let your expectations define your standards. If a show doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, then that’s on you. Usually. Unless if the show baited you or mislead you or lead you on early on. Never mind, that applies to too many shows. Maybe this post has no meaning, then.
Princess Principal – Anime Series Review – I’m pretty happy with how I tackled this anime series review. Definitely one of my favorite shows in 2017!
Can We Stop Overusing the Word “Dark” to Describe Anime Series? – Look, it’s pedantic Remy who’s getting fussy over language again. Well, “dark” is being used as an adjective everywhere and I’m tired of it. Stop being lazy and go beyond using buzzwords every once in a while, will ya? Explain yourself!
The Obsession with Originality and the Dominance of Reductionist Criticism – I go up to bat for Animegataris while trying to stress that some people just don’t understand the concept of parodies or homages or satire. Too bad the show itself turned out to be rather lackluster (in my opinion)…
A Guide on the Noblewoman’s Laugh (or How to Ohoho) – To be honest, I’ve had this idea for a blog post for many months but I finally decided to just go for it. It was a lot of fun, o~hohoho!
A Discussion on the Definition of Yuri – A good friend inspired me to write this since she pointed out that her definition for yuri differed from my definition. What is yuri, anyways? I really need to write more about yuri… Your mileage may vary, as usual.
What it means to be an aniblogger – I wrote this in 10 minutes because my original post for Day 10 for 12 Days of Anime sucked, but apparently a lot of people share my sentiments. Sometimes complaining is the right thing to do?
Blog Direction (2018)
I will attempt to establish some goals for The Lily Garden in 2018 in this section.
I’ll be trying to pump out more posts on yuri visual novels.
Well, considering how one of the reasons why I started this blog was to talk about yuri visual novels, I think it’s clear to say I’ve strayed from my original path. And not in a good way. If I learn how to manage my time better, then maybe I can squeeze in more time for visual novels.
You can expect more collab posts.
I like working as a team a whole lot! Hopefully my partner(s) and I can keep you all entertained!
I’ll be aiming for more posts on yuri anime, both seasonal and older.
Actually, I’m not sure if I’ll be writing more series reviews or if I’ll stop writing series reviews altogether.
I hope to post more about silly, random anime stuff.
I’m probably the least confident in this resolution. But sometimes we need to keep things light-hearted, right? I love making others smile, too, so this is ideal!
I want to maintain some sort of consistent schedule.
Like maybe MWF. That’s going to be very difficult for me considering I have nothing lined up now. My queue is literally empty at the moment. But I have to try!
Maybe I’ll sneak in monthly updates on my life considering how emotional I get and how it affects my writing. Perhaps some transparency would be appreciated? I don’t know. Feedback would be great.
Life Reflection (2017)
Well, it’s been a chaotic year for my personal life. Since I’ll be talking all about myself, I can’t be surprised if most of you just skim through this part. I’m mostly just talking about the past, after all.
During late January, I went to my first Super Smash Brothers Melee major tournament. Said tournament was Genesis 4, the first major tournament in 2017 and probably one of the biggest tournaments out of the entire year.
I won’t really talk about my storied history with the game since that’ll be boring. Every player has the same dull story, really. But I’ve been acquainted with competitive Melee for over 13 years, have been playing the game on and off this entire time, and am really relying on my experience with the game to carry me when I play matches since I never really sat and grinded out a practice session since I was a teenager. In other words, I don’t really take the game seriously these days.
So why did I sign up for Genesis 4? Well, I just wanted a reason to go wild and drink with people whom I could consider to be at least my acquainances, if not friends. I had spent my early 20s in Los Angeles (which is around 3 hours away from San Diego which is my hometown) in order to earn my (useless) degree in economics. After graduating, I returned back home to look for a job (because I obviously wasn’t thinking ahead and didn’t look for a job while I was handling school. I had my hands full trying to actually pass my classes because I had no sense of time management and because I felt incredibly unmotivated) and started getting involved with the local Melee scene in San Diego around September 2016. I wasn’t very popular in high school and most of my university friends did not live in San Diego, so these gamers who played a game I only somewhat cared about were really all I had for real life friends at the time.
I wanted to let loose because I honestly hated my job. It was my first job and I worked an “insurance and risk management company to the sports and entertainment industry.” What I did was sit at a desk and compiled profiles for practitioners who were signed under the insurance of said company. I would check to see if these chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists, etc were legally qualified to practice medicine, if they had instances of malpractice on their record, etc. I had to fiddle with a silly program and keep track of the amount of PV files, or Primary Verification files, I completed in an Excel spreadsheet. If you haven’t fallen asleep reading this description, then you must have a high tolerance for boring nonsense since that was the essence of the job. Small wonder why I would often take long bathroom breaks where I would just sit on the toilet, pull out my phone, and wish for the day to go by quicker or for a natural disaster to strike the company so I could leave early.
So I signed up for Genesis 4 and for the Genesis Bus, which was a private bus that would take us to the venue (since San Diego is in Southern California and Genesis 4 was taking place in San Jose, which is in Northern California). We called it the DeGen Bus because we spent several hours just drinking. Someone who I would now consider a friend had us all drink a shot because we all arrived. And then we all took another shot when we reached the highway. These were not your average shots, either. These were monster-sized shots and we were drinking a quarter of a red cup full of peach vodka and cheap tequila (sometimes separately, sometimes mixed) each time. I ended up being the second casualty and threw up after 2 hours after we started drinking at 9 AM. And then I passed out for quite some time. I did end up buying and eating some Panda Express and watching There’s Something About Mary since we were playing that on the bus.
After we reached the hotel, I ended up throwing up again all over our hotel room floor because the bathroom was preoccupied. It was a weird situation considering how I didn’t drink anymore after throwing up the first time. Afterwards we went out as a group and grabbed dinner.
The next day was the actual first day of the tournament. I went 2-2 in pools (which is also known as drowning in pools since that means I was eliminated and didn’t get to move on). I wish I could say I was relieved since that means I didn’t have to worry about playing and could just watch the rest of my friends play, but it actually hurt to walk since the pair of shoes I bought along actually sucked and was uncomfortable. I ended up spending a lot of time inside the hotel room because it was painful to roam the streets and be on my feet. I did go out to eat food with the others at times, but I was basically an indoors person that weekend (as usual).
To be honest, being in San Jose was a strange experience since I was sort of familiar with the area (especially the area around the venue for Genesis 4). I had been in a year-long long-distance-relationship with a girl who lived nearby and I would fly over to San Jose every few months. Seeing these buildings and restaurants she introduced me to really made me feel nostalgic even though we had broken up around 1.5 years ago. Still, it was a bit weird and I wasn’t ready to deal with that. That’s probably another reason why I primarily stayed inside.
The bus trip back was relatively low-key. We were all partied out and stayed pretty quiet. Most of us slept. We did watch Se7en and I’m glad we did since that box meme is a riot. Oh, and pro player / foodie HugS talked to me while we were buying food at McDonald’s and I became a fan on the spot (he told me he was having trouble deciding what to get since everything looked good. This just goes to show that even the most refined palates will lose to hunger).
In April, I started a short-term relationship with an 18 year-old girl. She had posted on Reddit that she wanted someone to take her virginity in a one-night-stand and she had decided on me. She was open to us being casual sex buddies until she had to move back to Chicago. I did my best to treat her well (I even answered booty calls at 3 am when I was due to work later that day), but perhaps I led her on since she evidently fell for me by the time she had to move away. In the end, I had to establish that a long-distance-relationship wasn’t going to work and I probably ended up breaking her heart.
While the aforementioned messy stuff was happening, I was dealing with the next major event in 2017 since I decided to go to Anime Expo (which spanned from late June to early July) to cover the AniSong World Matsuri. Manga.Tokyo didn’t have anyone available near Los Angeles so I volunteered with recommendations from LitaKino and pokeninja90. This was the first con that I ever attended. A few days before the con, however, I received the opportunity to interview Suzuki Konomi during Day 1 of Anime Expo. I came up with a few questions, sent them to Manga.Tokyo so they could look them over, and then received a more complete set of questions. I was ready! Ah, I also did a public face reveal right around this time since I was hoping I could run into mutuals. Unfortunately, that never happened.
And then, barely a day before the con, I was asked if I could interview angela on Day 0. I said yes without consulting Manga.Tokyo because I’m an idiot. When they found out, I was given permission to do so, but it was still a moronic move by me. At any rate, I was given a set of questions via e-mail a few hours before the interview. Before I met up with angela, however, I spent several hours walking around and taking in the sight of Anime Expo Day 0. You can read more about my experience at Day 0 here. I might sound like a happy-go-lucky dojikko in the post, but I was lowkey freaking out.
I spent most of Day 1 following the online strangers I met on Reddit/Discord a few weeks prior to Anime Expo, waiting in long lines to enter the Expo, interviewing Suzuki Konomi, and attending Day 2 of the AniSong World Matsuri. Afterwards I went to Denny’s with one of the Discord strangers and then we went back to his gross hotel room where he slept and I tried my best to continue writing about my experiences at Anime Expo. However, I was unable to write in the style that I wanted to write (I wanted the post to read like a noir novel). Furthermore, I was feeling sticky and gross since I hadn’t showered since Thursday (it was Day 1/2 by now, so it was Saturday/Sunday) and I was convinced I would actually get even more dirty if I were to use the shower room . I ended up never finishing the post. I slept for maybe 2 hours before we both got up and checked out of the seedy hotel room.
For Day 3, I spent hours just wandering through the Artist’s Alley by myself to check for Aqours pins, chains, coin bags, etc. The aforementioned Reddit stranger and I checked into a nicer hotel room. I had managed to meet a transgirl on craigslist who was cosplaying as Tohru and had her come over to the room. Even though I have had my fair share of one-night-flings, I couldn’t get her off my mind after she left. I wanted to sing “Aozora no Rhapsody” and dedicate it to her. I wanted to see her again. I sent her some of the most embarrassing text messages I have ever written in an attempt to win her over. I came across as being desperate and pathetic, to be honest. In the end, I was just another notch in her belt. What goes around comes around.
I spent most of Day 4 just holed up inside the hotel room (now that sounds a bit familiar), typing up my interview article drafts and my AniSong World Matsuri article drafts on mobile Microsoft Word. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy. Then again, I’ve always been really bad at texting. For dinner, I walked a few blocks to a nearby Subway since I was nearly broke and couldn’t afford expensive food. The Reddit stranger brought over a friend and I went and grabbed a beer with him after waiting several hours for a girl who would never come. Again, karma.
For Day 5, I sung some very bad karaoke (only two people I know have access to it, actually; I sung “Alive,” the first ED for Kuroshitsuji, and had one of the guys running the karaoke thing record it on my phone) and then I drove home. Afterwards, my brother treated me to a fat burger at Fuddruckers because I had no money left.
The articles as a whole came out pretty well, but the interviews took a very long time to be published. A lot of editing also happened so some of my original words and intents were lost to the void. I paint a pretty picture with my words, but to be honest, I think the anime convention scene might not be for me. I just kept wanting to stay indoors and yearned to just blog. To just write. Back then I still wrote episode reviews and I felt terrible over how I was falling behind since the Summer 2017 anime season was starting up. If you want more insight into my mindset, Haruhi has written her thoughts on her own experience and her opinions are rather similar to that of mine. But at least the articles read well, right?
Unfortunately, the articles didn’t really pay well since I didn’t receive payment for my articles until almost 4 months had passed. I was actually willing to not bother them about getting paid and was happy enough to get exposure. But times became harder once I lost my job and I had no choice.
Yeah, that’s right. I’m still jobless. Lost it on September 5th, 2017. Like I said earlier, it was a bad job. If you know the name of my company, you can see how it’s rated around a ~2.5 to a ~3 (out of five). It’s a shitty company with shitty service and the employees are treated like shit. So I was sort of happy to be let go. It was only a temp job, after all.
So since then, I’ve been looking for work. But I can’t find anything. I’m not qualified for anything. Even with friends helping me out and sending me potential jobs hasn’t resulted in anything.
It’s actually hilarious that I can find flings but I can’t find a job. I can search all day for work and not find anything, but I can sometimes strike gold when it comes to meaningless sex with strangers who don’t care for me and won’t care for me once the sun’s up and the shroud of darkness is lifted. But I’ve come to see this as my role, actually. To temporarily alleviate others of loneliness. To appeal through my exotic ethnicity and young looks. Their interest in me may be shallow and short-lived, but their breath feels warm, their eyes intense, their embrace passionate. At that very moment they want me there. Even if they move on and try to forget I exist afterwards, I was undeniably needed and wanted at least momentarily. It’s a certainty I can rely on. It’s the rock I build my identity on.
That feeling is addicting. Because sometimes I wonder if I was ever truly needed. I wonder if things would have been better if I was not born a twin. I wonder if he could have taken my place and done everything I did but better. I wonder if we could have been successful if we had never separated inside the womb in the first place.
I wonder if I could have been happier if I was born as a girl.
I wonder if it’s okay to cry without getting hit and being told that crying is for girls. I wonder if it’s fine for me to wish for different parents who didn’t yell at me over and over to cut my hair until I did. I wonder if I’m weak. I wonder if I’m strange.
I wonder if any of these words make sense. I wonder if people will claim that I’m fishing for attention or that I’m purposefully oversharing. I wonder if they are aware I don’t know if they’re wrong or not.
I wonder if people will treat me normally after this. I wonder if I’m stupid for sharing something like this.
I wonder if they’re okay with me ending this post like this. I wonder if they’ll forgive me for finishing it like this.
But I can only look forward and keep trying. It’s probably fine to have these doubts. I want to believe that it’s worth living. It’s worth living.
And so I must declare:
To everyone who has ever read through a post of mine:
To everyone who has ever commented or shared my content:
To everyone who has ever reached out to me via Twitter or WordPress:
I want to give all of you hugs. I want to tell you all that you’re special. You’re all dear to my heart.
I understand if you get frustrated over how I’m a miser. I know it’s upsetting to see me make the same assumptions and mistakes again and again. So thank you for being patient. I’ll figure things out.
I don’t mean to end this on a bleak note. 2017 is almost over. This alone should be a cause for celebration. I want to at least pretend that a new year brings a new me and I hope you all can participate in this play-pretend. This year might have sucked, but I was glad to have meet all of you.
See you all in 2018.