December 15, 2023

Realizing I got my file name wrong for my last post. Oops. Anyways! Decided to take the plunge and get a 2024 planner. I’ve dabbled in bullet journalling over the last few years, with varied success. I mostly used Leuchtturms (and knock-offs) and now I’m nearly finished with my second. While I like the flexibility of a bullet journal, I just am not self disciplined enough to make up my own tracking systems, indexes, etc. My bullet journals always become an incredibly disorganized diary/to-do list/quick notes/doodle dump/abandoned logs hybrid. I do have a few cute spreads here and there, but I never settle on a cohesive bullet journal “style” and if I do, I get too lazy to keep it up.

I kept seeing “Hobonichi” this and “Techo” that, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. Saw the official website ships to my address (wow, yay!), saw it costs $250 to get free shipping (wow, no…) and spent an afternoon pillaging Jetpens. After much agonizing decision making (I nearly jumped ship and got a Kokuyo Jibun Techo Diary), I finally landed on the Hobonichi Techo Weeks Mega. They even threw in a free pen with my order!

I used this guide to make my decision, but just to ramble a bit more about my rationale…

Photograph of a rainy, misty day.

The English A6 was sold out, so I was considering the Japanese version for awhile, but I really didn’t like the lack of a weekly view. The A5/Cousin does have the weekly view, but I felt like a monthly view, a daily view, AND a weekly view (with an hourly breakdown) was overkill–well, at least, for now. I am admittedly intrigued. But I am practicing restraint, and I think it’s probably more reasonable to start with the Weeks line.

But the Weeks isn’t perfect. I don’t really like the wallet sizing of it, first of all. Both the A5 and A6 seem to have much nicer dimensions. I also really am not into the ivory/cream colored paper (as opposed to crisp white paper). I was worried the Weeks wouldn’t have enough pages to accommodate all my rambling, but I will not have to fear this with the Mega. Basically, a no-nonsense planner with a notebook attached sounds perfect to me, I just have a few nitpicks. And who knows? It could be once I actually have my hands on it, I’ll fall in love with the size and the page colors. I read that the Weeks and Mega use the old Tomoe River Paper (but will be updated), and I have no opinion on the paper change. I kind of just want to see what the old paper is like before they update it.

As for how I’ll actually handle the planner layout once it gets here, I’m not totally sure. I know the weekly view is intended to be divided into 3 sections–probably for morning/afternoon/night, but I think I’ll probably divide it into a section for to-do list items and meals. The back section isn’t as difficult, I’ll probably use it in a more “proper” bullet journal way, like a mix of journalling and logs, maybe some doodling. And maybe on the righthand memo page (of the weekly view), maybe I’ll keep a grocery tally or dream log?

Actually, speaking of dreams, last night I had a nightmare about a girl who was squeezed to death by a ribbon monster. She was so misshapen! I also dreamt about the stray cats in our neighborhood. I dreamt they could talk, and were holding an actual town meeting, but it was really a lot more dramatic than I’m making it sound. There was sobbing, screaming, brawling! It’s probably because in real life, they truly do seem to have a very rich sociopolitical life. Beloved Stray Cat (BSC, also known as Butterscotch) looks very different from the other 6-7 cats that live on this street, which makes me think they might all belong to a litter and he just joined the group eventually. He’s been infighting with a black cat (male), I believe over a female cat. BSC also often does battle with the next street’s alpha male cat, and I believe those battles are over territory. I think BSC is trying to expand the “block” for our street’s cats, and the other streets’ cats are doing the same here. There’s a white cat from a different street that’s been encroaching on our territory, and so our cats keep chasing him out.

Our street’s cats are BSC, 2 kittens (one a calico, the other black), 3 black and white cats, 1 calico (presumably the mother), and 2 black cats. We’ve taken to calling them el corillo, which means like the group/crew, but I think it’s slang specific to here lol. There are a few other cats, like a skinny orange one we call Scraggles, that sometimes hang out the group too, but they’re not really part of the “core” group. I’m not sure why they aren’t as integrated–at first I thought it might be because they grew up in different litters, but BSC pretty obviously is from a different litter and he’s quite well-respected within the group.

It’s become one of my pasttimes to just sit on the balcony and watch the drama unfold. Our neighbor feeds all the neighborhood strays, including the dogs, and they are all actually fairly cooperative and take turns, but sometimes you can tell someone is being iced out. BSC, of course, prefers to beg me for food–very loudly I might add–and I am guilty of giving in. And then sometimes he calls his friends over and then it’s like 5 cat faces smashing into one can of cat food. Now, sometimes the kittens will come begging upstairs. Their little faces are very hard to say no to!! I know, I know, it’s not good to feed strays because they just reproduce, cats are an invasive species, think of the birds, etc., but their eyes are so big and round and their meows are so tiny. I do plan to kidnap BSC one of these days, but it makes me wonder how it’d shift the group dynamic. He seems to be their fighter cat, so I wonder how they’d fare without him. I often have to treat his ear wounds because he’s always getting into fights, usually over territory or because another cat was messing with the kittens or female cats. Chivalrous to a fault!

Currently, they’re all sleeping in a heap in my driveway. I was worried about them since it rained today, but they all seem just fine. They’re very cute, despite it all.

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