tosh: toe-shh (n. adj. adv. v.) Any positive definition imaginable.

Tag Archives: k-tosh

Hmmm…what can I say about today?

I spent a lot of the morning feeling sad and lonely, because I didn’t see any friends on my very last day of classes.  That, and, it was my very last day of classes.  I have never been sad about this before.  Yes, I was “that guy.”  (Stosh was that guy at the end of high school.)

A highlight of the day happened in calculus class.  I was talking to the other kids…I’ve been trying to kind of be included for weeks now.  Anyway this one guy came in, and he was saying he was feeling so good.  I said, “nah, man…I’m not feeling so good today…” and immediately all three of the sophomores and the guy who came in last looked legitimately concerned for me.  The last guy put his hand on my shoulder and said, “is everything ok?”  The two sophomore guys looked attentive, and the girl looked…concerned, I guess.  And when I told them what was wrong, they were all like “ohhhhhhh shut up.”

But the older ones gave me a lot of advice!  First of all, they didn’t know I was a freshman, but they found out because I told them just how long I was going to be away.  When they found that out they told me that when it’s time to come back, I won’t want to.  I said, “I don’t know whether I should feel better or not.”  A fourth guy, who’s also in physics with me, talked to me for several minutes about it.  I did feel better because of them.

I spent some more time alone, watched some baseball, attempted homework for like five minutes.  Then it was time for the ol’ bf to come over.  We finally, FINALLY, finished Avatar.  In the bf’s words, it took me longer to watch that show than it did for Aang to prepare to fight the fire lord.  I was satisfied by that ending, but I feel slightly overwhelmed by what’s still out there.  I have to read the Search and the Promise and whatever they’re all called.  Plus, I can watch Korra.  Plus, I want to watch Breaking Bad!  I have to finish 24 by May 5!  I apologize for this tangent but this is pretty important to me.

Annnyway.  My biggest concern today, and of the last few months, really, was that I knew he was probably going to break up with me.  But, he did something that I pretty much expected, didn’t hope for, and might turn out to be worse.  I kept trying to broach the subject casually, but I had to outright ask what we would do when school ended and we would be hours apart for months.  He wanted me to answer my own question.  I told him, “I started this, we both know where I stand on this.  I want you to make the decision.”  First, he made me clarify the question.  Then, he asked me for the etymology and to use it in a sentence.  After about ten minutes of this stalling he said, “I hadn’t really thought about it.”  …what?  That is all I have thought about..is that too clingy?  It sounds like he wants to try…and by try, I mean, wait until we’re back together…but that just leaves me with a ton of questions.  Like, does that mean we’re in an open relationship?  Does that mean, if we meet someone else we break up and if we don’t we don’t break up?  That sounds like he’s just stringing me along, and I don’t want to put up with that.  It is so cocky of me, though, to even think that I would have a hard time waiting because someone else would want to date me.

At least, for the meantime, he didn’t break up with me.

– K-Tosh

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Don’t ever get your hopes up.  Just don’t do it.  Life is too disappointing.  Sounds depressing, right?  It is, but at least we know, from the fact that I’m telling this to you, that I actually do what my therapist said to do for once.

I’m absolutely serious about this.  Do not get your hopes up for the holidays, unless you are an innocent child to whom the whole world is forgivable because you’ve never been broken by pain.  That kind of thing that breaks you only has to happen once or twice before small disappointments are everywhere. 

That gives me an idea, maybe I’m blowing things out of proportion.  Instead of seeing what I lost from a disappointment, I could look at the new opportunities in front of me.  Not that the disappointment necessarily opened some new doors for you or anything, but that there are other good things in life whether you choose to see them or not.  It’s all about what you tell yourself.

My boyfriend is sick today.  But you know, this means I could actually study.  I could actually pack.  Things I’ve been putting off, I guess because the end of this good time I’m having is coming.

But when you think about it, my expectations for college were so low.  They weren’t, “I’m probably going to absolutely hate it” low, but more like “this is going to be hard work and not a lot of fun” expectations.  I was wrong, but maybe it’s all relative and college is only fun because it exceeds my expectations.  I wonder if there’s a psychological principle about this. 

And just when I’m having a good time, a great time, the mere passing of time is going to take all that away from me.  It’ll take my room, my boyfriend, and my new friends.  But, I mean, come on, K-Tosh, it was eight months.  It was a good run!  It wasn’t really as short as it felt – but that’s what’s so cruel about college!  You’re completely used to monotony by that time!  And once you actually enjoy the equivalent of school, it stops being monotonous and lengthy and you don’t attend uninterrupted for nine consecutive months every year with the same people, give or take a few.  But does it only feel short because you’re having a good time?  In short, things, no matter how good or bad they are, can’t and won’t stay the same forever.  That’s reassuring or painful, contingent on situational factors.  I will still have my old friends, and my job (I think it’s going to be a fun job).

I just dropped my guard for one second and I felt disappointed again.  But you know what?  In the blunt, daunting words of my therapist, “It won’t be easy.”  Creating your own happiness is hard work, but someone’s gotta do it. 

– K-Tosh


Today a couple friends and I went to visit some of our friends at a different university.  It was so awesome seeing them.  I haven’t been around that many girls in a while, but since I’m so close to those guys it felt nice.

We ended up eating so many times.  Every time I inspected one of their menus (this particular university has a lot of restaurant-style eateries), I didn’t see any dishes that actually contained tree nuts… But they didn’t have comprehensive lists to find out about traces in the ingredients.  At the first place I asked the cashier and she sent out a chef.  He was a nice guy and he showed me all the packages for the ingredients for their pizza.  I could eat it!  Fantastico!  Channeling my inner Italian there.  But after that, I threw a little caution to the wind.  I had an ice cream sundae (dangerous!) and some fries (at an ice cream place…what is wrong with me?).  Seriously dude, what is up?  You said you weren’t going to be one of those people who just doesn’t care and eats whatever, saying “it probably won’t kill me.”  You’re prone to that because you went so long and clearly didn’t die, but it made you sick so you need to BE CAREFUL.  It’s not worth it at all.

*sigh*

In other news, this song has been bringing me to the verge of tears lately.  Me!  I don’t cry over movies or anything, but I guess a song is more likely to do it for me than anything else.  Maybe like, the verge of the verge of tears is more accurate.  Either way, it’s making me emotional because I can relate to it lately.  I never thought about the words at all before I heard it the other day.  I keep hearing songs that relate all to well to my life at present, and that freaks me out a little and they usually make me sad.  I should just get happy.  I’m not constantly unhappy, so you know.  I’m worried, but not in the physically painful, anxious way.  It’s a different kind of worry, one where you aren’t hurt yet but you think you’re about to be so you just live in fear of it.  Like when you know there’s going to be a fire drill but you don’t know exactly what time.  But sad instead of scared.

I have a concrete reason to be worried about one friend too.  Sometimes I’m not sure what to do, so I just pray that we can all make good decisions, find our sanity when we need it, and come through in the clutch.  I just turned that into a sports metaphor…

– K-tosh


Today I thought a little about the past year.  I’m not like a snake that sheds its skin.  I’m a whole new person.

I feel kind of guilty every time a thought questioning God even crosses my mind.  But the entity that is “God” wouldn’t despise me for questioning It.  That’s something that humans made up.  Right?  Or is my God something I made up?  Can I worship the idea of It?  Because I truly respect It, and It is how I see God now.  What does the arbitrary name chosen by us humans, who are, relative to the universe as a whole, equals, matter?  i just call It God.

And today I was thinking about how I might have hurt someone.  And I only worried about how that would affect me.  Not him.  And I thought about how I said something stupid.  I constantly worry about those things.  I try not to say it and then a Freudian slip happens and I wish I had more self control sometimes.  And yet, I feel like I have a lot of self control.  But it’s never enough.  My mind/heart/soul is always hungry.

And this has happened before, but a Christian song came on my iPod.  Sometimes it happens right when I need it.  Sometimes it’s not a Christian song, but I just remember that I should ask God for help.

“Bring me joy, bring me peace

Bring the chance to be free

Bring me everything that brings You glory

And I know there’ll be days

When this life brings me pain

But if that’s what it takes to praise You

Jesus, bring the rain.”

Never thought about those words quite so much as in that moment.  Thanks, MercyMe.

 

I didn’t turn over a new leaf.  I think I got callouses.  Or maybe they’re scars.

I went through a chemical change, after all.

– K-tosh


Ouran High School Host Club is nothing like what I thought it would be.

I do not read shoujo manga.  I just glanced at my manga shelf.  Shonen Jump on Shonen Jump on Shonen Jump.  I subscribe to Weekly Shonen Jump’s American edition.  I read all of Fullmetal Alchemist and watch Cowboy Bebop late on Saturday nights.  My knowledge of the HST is at the very least satisfactory (not to mention, I know what the HST is).

So why did I start reading Ouran?  Well, it’s all because of J. Coco.

When Coco told me she was watching an anime, I flipped out.  I probably jumped and screamed and everything because I was really excited.  I have been trying to get this girl into anime and manga for years because she loves to read, and watch television, and she becomes so invested in series!  It’s so perfect for her!  But she refused every time.

“Pritz!” I refuse, says Joanna.

I guess she just needed to warm up to the idea…she says she doesn’t like the way you read from right to left… Which I guess explains why she started with an anime.  And once again, we have Netflix to thank for something good in our lives.  First, she told me she was watching Clannad: After Story.  Well, I’ve already seen Clannad so I told her to start with the beginning (a.k.a. not the After Story) and after several occassions full of feels where I tried to relate to her the power of that series, she told me she was also watching Ouran High School Host Club.

I have to say, I judged her instantly for that.  It’s like a cliche that people who like shoujo must be fans of Ouran High School Host Club…and it’s got “host club” right there in the title.  Plus “high school.”  I had to wonder what exactly Coco was getting herself into.  Innocent little Coco…

But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ouran isn’t about a morally questionable lifestyle filled with entertaining/exploiting women for money…but then it kind of is.  Ha…  I thought I would be dealing with cheesy flirting and the awkward modesty of the Japanese when it comes to romance…but then I totally am.  To use what might be English’s oldest expression, you cannot judge a book by its cover.  I’m literally talking about a book and its cover.

It’s the kind of thing I would avoid wholeheartedly if I saw it in the store.

Here’s the thing: I was so excited about Coco liking an anime that I started reading the manga (at the time I couldn’t find the anime on the internet for free.  No Netflix for me. D’: #firstworldprobs).  I was a bit hesitant…but I did it anyway…

And Ouran is AMAZING!  Even though it has all those things I have disliked in shoujo manga before…they’re presented in a way that doesn’t make the story boring, or sexist, or gushy.  I’m pretty sure it’s actually making fun of shoujo manga.  So I didn’t get any of this, or this, or this (I actually own volume 1 of that…ay caramba…), but I did get this:

And Coco gave me this on my birthday

The characters are developed so well.  The timing of the comedy is impeccable.  And the plot that develops is strong, honest (dare I say realistic?), and gripping.  I could talk in detail about the reasons I love it, but that’s another post.

In the end, I think I’m still prejudiced against shoujo.  But I tried Ouran and liked it.  I can’t wait to watch the anime, now that I’ve almost finished the 91 chapters of manga and found the episodes on Hulu.  And I tried it because Coco tried it.  So maybe this extends past manga.  Putting a little effort into starting with something outside your comfort zone might very well be worth it.  Hot guys might be involved!

To think of what I would have missed out on…

Boyfriend? Psh…nah, I have Tamaki-sempai. 😀

– K-Tosh


Hey friends! It’s K-Tosh again with the fifth installment of the Otaku Files! What’s that? What are the Otaku Files, you say?? You thought I discontinued those long ago, forsaking my promise to bring to the masses a Back-to-School edition?!? Oh, no, folks, you’ve never been more wrong.

Well, it’s not exactly a back-to-school edition anymore. The school year is halfway over now. But this is when things start to get tough! Or not. I needed this at the beginning of the year. But I digress.

After spending a long summer break winter break watching anime, catching up on your favorite manga, rewatching the same anime, rereading the same manga, drawing fanart, training Pokemon, and thinking about more manga, you might have some issues when you go back to school. For one,

“I don’t understand why I failed that test! I read the book…” *thinks about it* “Wait… that might have been The Prince of Tennis.”

Unless you want your grades to suffer, you have to accept the fact that you can’t just spend time doing whatever you want. I know, it’s sad. But it’s life. Life doesn’t accommodate for our obsessions. After school, you should study. Right? Riiight??? And think about what you would be going through if you actually were in a manga. You would be going to juku!!! JUKU! I mean, I wouldn’t, because I’m too old….. But if you’re a middle schooler… I, on the other hand, would be preparing for university entrance exams! That’s no fun either. (Sket Dance 198-200, anyone?) So strict in Japan. Now that you have a bit of relief (sorry if you’re reading this from Japan…), here’s a suggestion to help you get through this tough time:

  • Read one manga chapter or watch one episode of something each night.

That way you can get your fix and not flunk!

*sitting in History class* “I miss Sasuke sooooo much…He’s soooooo hot…..Unlike David Petraeus or whoever the @*$%!$# that is…” 

The phenomenon of animated characters being attractive always provides a riveting discussion (“Zuko’s hair length is directly proportional to the size of his muscles, but inversely proportional to the size of his ego” and so on), but let’s save that for another day. This section explores coping mechanisms for the painful separation anxiety experienced when you have to stare at pages and pages of words with NO PICTURES except boring ones:

Did you know that the Tang dynasty’s famous poet, Li Bai, wrote in a playful, easygoing style? More importantly, did you care? This page even has a picture of a cartooney boat!! Just to remind you of the fact that Naruto was on a boat once, and exciting stuff happened! Geez. But remember, you have to be there. So what do you do to make things a little more… interesting?

  • Let your teacher know just how much you’ve learned from manga. Feudal lords…you know about that from Naruto! Meiji era? You know about that from Rurouni Kenshin! It’s not just for history. In science, Fullmetal Alchemist references abound with the knowledge you have gained regarding the Law of Conservation of Mass! It’s great for religion classes too; you have characters named after all 7 deadly sins there, in case you weren’t aware. And “pander” was a vocab word…I found it in Bakuman and got extra credit in English, like a boss.
  • Use anime/manga related school supplies! Folders and things are relatively easy to find. Borders (RIP) used to sell pencils, notebooks, and the like… I use FMA and One Piece pencils.
  • Better yet, design your own. I made this for my history class:

IMG_0114

  • DON’T become a distraction/be distracted. It’s pointless to waste your time at school if you’re not learning anything, so don’t read in class when you’re not allowed, don’t sneakily play games in class, etc.

“Ugh. I hate it when I have to try and wear actual clothes to school. I don’t even own one single Hollister top or pair of Pink sweatpants…”

Why are you trying so hard to fit in? If you like Hollister tops and Pink sweatpants, more power to you. But there is no reason why you need to let others decide what is or is not cool to wear to school (as long as you wear something…there are some serious boundaries here). Because embracing what you love instead of hiding it will make you happier, and it’s how you can find true friends, who like the real you. So if you go to a school where you can wear anything/fairly liberal dress code:

  • Wear t-shirts and sweatshirts with your favorite characters on them! This Pikachu sweatshirt from Hot Topic is so stinkin CUTE! 😀 And yes, I own one. I also have a Naruto shirt and a Durarara shirt that I can’t wear to school even on non-uniform days, because it has a guy smoking on it, and some stupid rule forbids drug-related imagery on clothing…so yeah, watch out for that. Weapons too.
  • On a side note, if you go to one of those schools where people don’t even carry a backpack (although if you’re reading this you’re probably a nerd and get lots of homework), you can get a cute bag with anime characters on it! Like the Pikachu one from Hot Topic…
  • If your school does have a uniform policy then you’re practically in an anime or manga! They always wear uniforms in the ones that feature kids in school!

“People will make fun of me if I do that stuff in public.”

This is an issue I’m pretty passionate about. Right now, I go to a school where people are very accepting of others’ obsessions – we have massive Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Pokemon, and Avatar fandoms – but I didn’t used to. It can be really hard to be happy doing what you love when other people make fun of you or tell you that you’re too old for it. This topic probably deserves its own Otaku File, but here are some suggestions in brief:

  • My best advice is to ignore them. There is seriously nothing wrong with being passionate about something you enjoy. You don’t have to be dancing Pat Monahan passionate, but you know, showing your interest in manga or anime is just a part of who you are. Also, expose yourself to people who approve of, share, or at least tolerate your interests (Right Stosh, Coco!?? *secret: J. Coco is into Pokemon now. I’m exploding with joy).
  • If somebody is making fun of you and it really, truly troubles you, even though you try to tell yourself how awesome I know you are, tell an adult. Please. Things will be better off if you get help in solving the problem. Nobody even expects teenagers to do everything on their own, even though it seems that way sometimes.
  • Watch this guy’s videos. His name is Chris, I discovered him through Pokememes, and he makes some seriously good stuff. It’s funny and he can relate to your struggles. Plus, he loves Pokemon!!! He’s like my hero.

I hoped my advice could help make your school year a little better! And hopefully the wait for Pokemon X and Y a little shorter!!! *fangirl scream* See you next time, in the sixth installment of…The Otaku Files. *theme song plays ominously*

– K-Tosh

P.S.: Abra used teleport.


Fact: It is snowing more on this webpage than it is outside right now.

Breaking News: Shaun White cuts his flowing ginger mane!

It looks pretty good like that, no? But that was his signature look. And it’s for charity. In conclusion, I have mixed feelings.

Now I’m going to do something that bloggers do all the time, it seems, so it shouldn’t feel weird (it does).  The internet is supposed to be an outlet for creativity, or lack thereof, but nonetheless it is the ideal showcase for your attempts at it.

Here’s a bit of a story that’s been evolving in my head for like, 4 years.   These are the first words of the second novel in a series I would write if I had actual time, the working title of which I will not reveal at this time.  To clarify, no other portions of this story, in its current form, have been written down, so I can’t give you any context!  Yay!  Also, if you already haven’t, now would be a good time to be like, “tl; dr” and go look at Pokememes or something.  So here goes nothing:

       I had to slip out of the bedroom quietly on the first morning of my new life.  Waking up Erika or Mateo – especially Mateo, considering just how misinformed he was at the time – would not have been my best move.  But I struggled because I was almost giddy with self-satisfaction.  Me, a fiancee!  Her fiancee!  Hers…I didn’t realize how much I actually wanted this but the feelings were there all along.  The best part is that the situation’s more practical than emotional.

“I thought I would never be able to trust you again.”

       I controlled myself enough to keep from running to the kitchen.  Waffles for Erika were this morning’s mission, so I headed to the refrigerator to gather my weapons of choice – milk, butter, and eggs.

       “Happy birthday.”  I nearly hit the ceiling when I heard a familiar voice coming from my right.  I turned to face the speaker and saw Dad sitting at the breakfast counter, sipping a cup of coffee.  We made eye contact and he raised an eyebrow.

       I guess he noticed something was up when I never showed up at home the previous night.  I rolled my eyes and poured a glass of milk.  “We didn’t do anything,” I said coolly, leaning on the counter.  Except talk for hours, I thought happily.

“When I realized what that meant to me…”

“Were you, uh, going to make something?” Dad asked, pointing to the waffle ingredients.  “I like blueberry.”  I looked around for a bag of chocolate chips.  He was silent as I began to prepare the batter, giving me some time to sort out my chaotic thoughts.  I had gone from feeling irate to guilty to overwhelmingly happy in the span of eighteen hours, and now I needed to feel the relief of a few peaceful moments with a whisk.

It was February 4th.   The previous morning Erika Mizuno was angrier than I had ever seen her, I had everything to do with it, and I was in serious danger of losing my job.  That night she was sad, but she knew the truth, and she asked me to marry her.  She may have been scared.  I think I was scared.  It was indeed my eighteenth birthday.

“Things suddenly became clear.”

       I heard the footsteps of someone coming down the hall as the waffle iron beeped.  I panicked for a reason I couldn’t explain.  It’s just Erika, I thought as I hastily tried to improve the appearance of my uncombed hair with just my fingers.  This is no different than it was yesterday… I popped the fluffy waffle onto a plate and slid it onto the counter in front of…Mateo Mizuno.  This caused me to panic for an entirely different reason.  I braced myself for cold looks, an argument, and maybe even violence.

       “Oh, chocolate chip, my favorite,” Mateo said, observing the waffle.  He looked up and grinned, then said, “Happy birthday.”  I was too stunned to respond.  Like I hadn’t been stunned enough lately.

“I’m in love with you, Dane.”

That’s the end of this installment of “Nameless Story You May Never See Again!”  Stay tuned for next time, when you may or may not see this story ever again.  I would write it down just to get it out of my head, but in the wise words of Sweet Brown,

Except, like, pro writers.  Which I am not.

– K-Tosh