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First published: 5/15/02

Young Otaku's Tale

"But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore..." - Morrissey

I've been extra introspective these last few weeks. As some of you know, I'm getting married this July. For all intents and purposes, my time as a bachelor is over, and a new stage in my life is about to begin. Being married has its benefits, of course, but I've always enjoyed living alone, too. I liked having total control over my personal space and how I spent my time--putting up anime posters everywhere, sleeping at 10AM after pulling all-nighters (watching anime or reading manga), working on my website for 12 hours straight, ordering out for food regularly, going for days without leaving the apartment, interacting with people on the Wired more intensely and frequently than in the "Real World", etc. Way back in high school, I had dreams of becoming an urban loner--wholly independent, living in a small private space, with everything I needed within easy reach. I remember a computer game I played back then; the very first scene of that game was etched into my mind as an example of how I wanted to live. Here's a screenshot from that scene:

what used to be my dream home

"The promise of love is hard to ignore..." - Neil Finn

In the years I spent living by myself, I guess I can say I've approached that ideal more or less, and now it's time to move on, this time with Carol, the wonderful woman who will be my wife. I expect and look forward to my sleep schedule becoming more normal, cooking for/by/with my wife, furnishing a nice big two-bedroom apartment, inviting guests over for dinner and a movie, and going out more often. We've even got road trips and vacations planned. But Carol knows my otaku-ish ways all too well to make me give up certain obsessive pleasures. In the computer room, at least, I'll still put up a lot of posters, we still intend to order out for food now and then, pull some all-nighters, and spend hours in front of our multiple computers. And some of those aforementioned road trips and vacations will certainly be anime-related, whether it's visiting my CJAS friends or attending anime conventions. It won't be all bright and rosy all the time, of course, but taking care of my life partner (and being taken care of) is a job I gladly and passionately accept. After all, if nothing else, we otaku are said to be devoted. We take things, in life and in love, very seriously.

TEL on your desktop

Send me your desktop screenshots!

Over the years, I've met a good number of lain fans on the Wired, and some of them have shown me screenshots of their desktops. The desktops have been quite unique, even those from lain fans who use more common operating systems (like I do). A couple weeks ago, I had a thought: why not let TEL readers show off their desktops? Desktops are one form of personal expression, after all, and more visually interesting than a simple guestbook, right?

sample screenshot
Sample desktop screenshot from harnir in Poland
(click for larger version)

So do you have a crazy custom *nix desktop environment you want to share? Are you proud of your funky Windows color settings? Love playing around with OSX and Aqua? Do you read TEL text-only on a terminal in Antarctica? Have a favorite wallpaper image you want people to see? Take a screenshot of your desktop and send it my way, my friends, and I'll display it in a gallery. To make this TEL relevant and so that all the desktops have some common element, I have one simple requirement: you can have any number of windows open, but at least one of those windows should include a page from thought experiments lain (it doesn't matter which one) at whatever size you want. If I get enough submissions, I'll consider running a contest where I'll give a prize to my favorite entry and allow TEL readers to vote on their favorites, as well.

Some guidelines:
  1. Send (to a screenshot of your desktop, with any number of windows open.
  2. At least one of those windows should display any one page from TEL
  3. Send your image as a JPG. Try to keep it a reasonable size, or else nobody will want to load it onto their browser
  4. In your email to me, please include your name and/or internet handle, where you're from, and whatever details of your computer, operating system, and desktop you think people will find interesting. No more than a few lines of text, please.
  5. Please keep things PG-13. I'm not necessarily against fanservice, but full-on nudity, tentacle porn, graphic violence, etc. are not appropriate for this venue.
  6. Submitting a screenshot does not guarantee that I'll post it. I reserve the right to screen for content and quality.

At the moment, I don't have my own screenshot to demo, but here's a photo of my current Real World desktop (at home):

my desktop
click for larger version

Lain merchandise update

Lain doll

Some news (courtesy of my friend, Coheteboy) quoted from Toyfare Issue #58:

Serial Experiment: Lain by Toynami, release date: June/July In the popular anime Serial Experiment: Lain, 13-year old Lain is connected to both the natural world around her and the cyber-world inside every computer. Given the choice, however, she prefers the natural world, because there are no footsie pajamas in cyberspace.

Toynami gives fans two hyper-cute choices this summer. Lain in Schoolgirl outfit: Each figure will stand about 8 inches tall and have a full range of articulation, a la Toynami's Tenchi Muyo figures. Schoolgirl Lain arrives in June, but the lass in the footsie pajamas won't show up til a month later
Additional images:
Lain standing
Release dates:
June 30th, 2002 (Schoolgirl Lain)
July 30th, 2002 (Lain in Bear PJs)

Suggested retail price:

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Last updated on August 12th, 2002
Lawrence Eng