Poem: Demon

Demons

I was thinking about my past, some of the dark days I went through and how the wicked stepmother in fairy tales sell their souls to get something done when I wrote this.

Demon
Come out to play.
Females betray,
men go away.

The streets are rough,
the shoebox apartments are a bluff.

Hand and hand, we shall see,
if we can live in harmony.

Image by Fancycrave.com
Edits made by me

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Doodle Dump: Mermaid In A Bottle

Doodles and Drawing Mermaid

I’ve always wanted to do one of these blog post to break down my drawing process.

First, I start with a small sketch. I might have thrown out that post-it note, or it got ruined. I go home and crack open my Bristol paper since it gives a crisper line when I ink. I do a pencil drawing to get the idea down correctly.

mermaid in a bottle pencil
Mermaid in a Bottle (pencil)

Then I crack out my ink pens. I prefer Faber Castell (especially the M nib pen) since I find them easy to grip and to draw with. This image took little less than an hour to ink fully. I wait a bit for the ink to dry and then I take my kneaded eraser and erase the unneeded pencils lines.

mermaid in a bottle pencil and pen
Mermaid in a Bottle (pencil and pen)
Mermaid in a Bottle pen
Mermaid in a Bottle (pen)

I take the drawing and scan it into my computer. I use Photoshop to clean up the ink lines and color the image.

Ta-Da! It’s done!

mermaid in a bottle

Five places you visited when you were an Otaku/Weeb/Japanese Pop Culture Fanatic living in NYC

New York City

New York City, a metropolitan with everything! Even when you and your friends were some of the early onsets of Western Anime and Manga fans. For the readers who are too young to remember, we had to go to stores to buy multiple DVDs of an anime series. If you were broke or cheap, you would look up shady anime streaming websites and hope your computer doesn’t get infected by a dozen trojan viruses.

I’m taking this post back, back before the many legit anime streaming services (Crunchyroll, VRV, FUNimation), back before being able to buy decent figurines, video games & Blu-ray disc on Amazon, and back when you had to be lucky to find a lolita-esque dress while shopping at the local mall. I’m going back around ten years ago when you stylized your outfits based on the many fashion trends in Harajuku and walked on the streets of NYC. You were grateful that you were able to pick up any Anime, Manga, Japanese Pop Culture item you wanted because there was a store around you that might have it.

5) Maid Cafe NY (R.I.P)

Maid Cafe NY
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Here today, gone tomorrow with their green tea ice cream bears. It was one of the first established Maid Cafes in the West. Some of the customers of Maid Cafe NY would disagree with the “Maid Cafe” title since the establishment didn’t run as a traditional style Japanese Maid Cafe. They thought it was more of a regular cafe with a cutesy maid theme that sold cosplay items. Mainstream media had fun when Maid Cafe NY popped up. All I can say about that subject, different cultures, different interpretations. The Cafe was shut down after about two years; it was one of those places you go just to say you went there. I thought it was an interesting idea but should have been executed with American food and labor standards in mind…probably get something on the lines of a cutesy Hooters-esque restaurant… with chicken wings, cake, and bubble tea… that sounds bad.

4) Elizabeth Center

Elizabeth Center
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Or what my friends called it, “The Underground Mall.” It had the feel of “The Under meets 80’s-90’s mall architecture.” The Under? You know that cyberpunk level from Pokémon Colosseum? Anyway, back then it was a fantastic place to buy Sanrio and San-X merchandise, anime figurines and Gundam models. Even though there was a “Buyers Beware” sign flashing over the Center due to a circulating rumor about some of the items being sold might be fake. Today, most of the shops have shut down, leaving empty storefronts. You can still visit and buy pens and stress balls shaped like cute animals or food items.

3) Chinatown Fair or Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center

Chinatown Fair
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Regarded as New York City’s “Last Great Arcade” and produced a few top fighting game players in the past. Chinatown Fair was one of the places where you would see people hunched over a Tekken game cabinet, playing and training. I remember back in high school an old friend flashed me his Initial D Driver’s License which he got from the arcade. Sadly Chinatown Fair was closed in 2011 but then opened back up in 2012 as Chinatown Fair Family Fun Center, catering to family/casual market.

2) Flushing, Queens

Flushing Queens
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What can I say about Flushing? Anything your heart desires! Morning Glory, Anime Castle, video games stores and various types of Asian restaurants in the east part of Queens! But you have to do a lot of walking and avoiding crowds. Being in Flushing a few years ago, it’s almost the same, but with a few more stores.

1) Kinokuniya

Kinokuniya
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If you were too lazy to hop on the 7 train or didn’t want to walk around a lot, there was Kinokuniya. A three-floored Japanese bookstore in Midtown Manhattan. Each floor is catered to different types of demographics. The third floor has mostly figurines of anime characters, manga in both Japanese and English, CDs, DVDs, graphic novels and a small cafe where you can buy Onigiris. The main floor has mostly book and books for fashion, fine arts, etc. Fun fact: they sold lolita dresses on this floor in the past, first time I laid eyes on the price of one lolita dress. The basement floor has stationery items, traditional Japanese pieces and books, and magazines in Japanese. A bookstore with a little bit of everything.

Cover Image Source

Doodle Dump #2

Doodles and Drawing Header

Hey! My default drawing mediums are pencils and ink. It is just more comfortable for me to take a Bristol pad and some pencils and pens and draw things out. Drawing on my Surface Pro is nice, but sometimes digital doesn’t pick up some strokes that you want to draw out. Here are some of my doodles!

Mr. Saturn
Mr. Saturn dressed in Semi-Lolita

We have Mr. Saturn from Earthbound rocking a large bow headdress and red Vivienne Westwood Rocking Ballerina.

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Bunny and Flowers
Bunny and Flowers

I’m guessing this a staple for my work, just bunnies and flowers… In a Tamagotchi style.

Rudolph
Rudolph

I remember how beautiful and calm the area I live in gets around the holiday season. I drew a reindeer from that feeling.

Bird in Harajuku
Bird in Harajuku

Wanted to draw a bird in Decora.

Short Story: Airy

writing header

Airy

Another fairytale-ish short / prose story about letting go/growing. Once again, semi proofed it.

Once upon a time, there was a man and his wife who yearn for a child of their own. They visited fertility clinics and practiced a couple of ancient fertility rituals. None, not one left them with a baby.

One day during early fall, the wife was putting out laundry in their small backyard when she noticed a strange colorful bird that reminded her of images of the Birds of Paradise in a black cat’s mouth. She batted the cat with a folded bedsheet until the cat ran and dropped the lifeless body of the bird. There were two bloody teeth marks on the bird’s neck. The bird was gone.

The wife took a shovel and a small box and gave the bird a proper burial. The air got a bit warmer that chilly fall day, it felt like there was a bit of magic in the wind. When the day turned into night, the wife felt her body tighten, and her lower abdomen felt like it was on fire. She went to the bathroom and noticed some body fat around her stomach area. She took out a pregnancy test from the bathroom drawer. It was positive.

When summer awoke the dormant flowers and plants, their baby girl was born. They named her, Nik. As soon one of the nurses placed the tiny baby on the mother’s chest, the strangest thing happened. Nik started to slowly float to the ceiling of the hospital room. The nurse and the father managed to get Nik down. The medical staff managed to get small gentle weighted cuffs to place on Nik’s arms. The doctor asked the new parents if they could leave the newborn at the hospital so they could run some test. The new parents obliged.

The doctors at the hospital couldn’t find anything wrong with the child, only that Nik needed to wear weights for the rest of her life. At first, Nik didn’t mind the weights. After moving around a lot, the little weights would irritate the soft skin of Nik. Her face would turn beet red as she cried and bit at the weights until her parents took them off and cradled her.

When Nik got older, she observed that the kids her age moved faster and sneered at her weights and ostracized her due to them. Her parents explain to her about the weights after one incident when one of the weights weren’t tightly secured. She remembered all the gifts that they bought her after that day. She hid in the school’s library during lunch time and read stories about gods, goddesses, mythical creatures, and angels. From the text, she believed that she wasn’t a typical human.

As she got into high school, she noticed that there was a world around her that was more than the houses, streets and ignorant people of her small suburban town. She began to tinker with the weights that held her, but she thought of her parents and how they helped her through life and how heartbroken they would be if she went off without notice.

A few days after her 18th birthday, they went to the backyard where years ago Nik’s mother buried that bird. Her father took out the unique key that locked weights. Her mother in tears asked her if this is what she wanted to do. Nike responded with yes and told her she couldn’t stagnate in one place. As soon her father unlocked the last one, she floated away from the ground, her earthly parents, her neighborhood, her town, her state, her country and into the ether.

Image by Min An
Edited by me