I read that Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Publisher in October 2026 (see report). This made me feel nostalgic in the same way that seeing a Ti-89 Titanium graphing calculator does. I worked on my high school newspaper for two years, one as an assistant to my friend and New Leaf Journal colleague Victor V. Gurbo, and second as the senior editor after he graduated. We used Publisher to make the paper and I created a new template for it when I was senior editor. In light of the fact that I had never done anything like that before (mind that I had only had a modern PC at home for about 1.5 years before becoming senior editor), Publisher was intuitive and easy to work with. I have not worked with Publisher since high school and have not used Microsoft Office at all since switching to Linux in 2020 (I do most of my writing in markdown and use LibreOffice when I need an MS Office equivalent), but it is still nostalgic.

I had a second non-nostalgia thought when I read that Publisher is being retired: “I thought Microsoft killed Publisher a long time ago.”

Writing Prompt: What’s an anime that you’ve fallen asleep to? by Yomu (Umai Yomu Anime Blog)
Let’s get another one of these prompts going, and this one will be quite short!

Yomu of the Umai Yomu Anime Blog posted a new writing prompt: “What’s an anime that you’ve fallen asleep to?” Let us see Yomu’s response:

Strangely enough, I’ve never fallen asleep to an anime, even when including re-watching series where I’d already have an idea of what was going to happen and there was less need to pay attention. For some reason, anime just doesn’t make me sleepy, or I don’t want to sleep while I watch it.

I tend to watch anime at night before bed. I recall having fallen asleep during an episode once. However, I do not remember exactly when this occurred or what I was watching (maybe it is harder to remember stuff when you are falling asleep). With that being said, I do distinctly remember falling asleep once during Earth science class and once during psychology class in 11th grade, but that is not the prompt. It would be dull to end my answer to the actual prompt with I fell asleep once while watching an anime episode but I forget the anime. I will thus modify the prompt. I will think of an anime that I have watched that has the natural tendency to drain my ability to stay awake. That I can answer easily: Space Brothers. I was watching it with a friend in college (in a study room in the college library) at the same time as we were watching Kids on the Slope (another sleepy candidate) and Puella Magi Madoka Magica (which gave rise to an anecdote I published in The New Leaf Journal). Space Brothers started promising enough, but it began to lose both of us during the box arc, which featured the characters being in a box. They finally got out of the box close to episode 40, but we checked out at episode 39 of what ended up being 99 episodes. I do not think I am going to catch up for the upcoming continuation.

Victor V. Gurbo's "Christmas & You" by Victor V. Gurbo (The New Leaf Journal)
I started writing Christmas & You in college when a friend of mine prompted me to write a Christmas song that would have no prospect of commercial success. His idea was not that the song should be anti-commercial, but instead that it should be hilariously off-brand next to upbeat popular Christmas songs such as Jingle Bell Rock and Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.

My good friend Victor V. Gurbo noted over on The New Leaf Journal that his college friend gave him the prompt for a melancholy Christmas song that would have no prospect of commercial success. I addend his post to note that the unnamed friend was a very versatile character. The person Victor refers to is the same person who I described as having changed my opinion for the better of one of the many twisted story lines in the infamous “nice boat” School Days anime (I did not, however, grant his positive opinion of the series as a whole). We can complete the circle by noting that my decision to subject myself to re-watching much of School Days for a review was prompted by Victor, who never watched the series.