Tuesday, January 31, 2006

High on History

I feel really great today. I sat in the dining hall for something like two hours, drinking awful coffee-water (not decaf though, which is unusual when it is available) and reading my history textbook. I LOVE THAT BOOK. I'm all excited about Hideyoshi. He's a Japanese history all-star, disarming the peasants, taking over the country. They should start a baseball team for those guys. YES! Someone needs to write a comic like that; maybe someone has...I should look...

The above is mostly straight out of an e-mail I just sent to a friend of mine. Something about our correspondance makes really cool stuff spill out of my head. I love that. Dang though, I have class. I have to jam. I also need to drink some water cuz HELL that coffee is doing a devil dance in my stomach. And...I'm gonna be late...not really...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

This isn't so interesting anymore...

Maybe I will discontinue the JLit Journal transcription. It's kind of boring and kind of a pain to type up lol. Perhaps later if I'm feeling brave I will post a paper or something, but until then, blahhhhh :p

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yesssss *elation*

I get to see the boy next weekend! XD This, by virtue of just existing as a fact, makes today better. I'm psyched. Not sure yet whether he'll be here or I'll be there, but honestly, either way is perfect.

Last night I went out and actually socialized. Marc and I sat on the floor of a Hollywood video and just looked at boxes, pointing out our favorite movies. We talked about Rebecca in particular... He lent me Fallen Angels and 2046 so I'm getting all the Wong Kar Wai I always wanted! :D Then we went back to his house and met up with some girls, just chatting and what not. Today we went to the bank (money? really?) and then out for black beans, salsa, and chips. That was the best thing I ate all day, really tasty!! :D

Tonight there is a whole mess of stuff going on around campus, but the weather is kinda depressing so I really would rather just stay in. I have plenty of stuff to keep me occupied, BESIDES which I should REALLY be chipping away at the massive homework brick. Obviously this will entail some delicate compromises heh. XD

Friday, January 27, 2006

Some Thoughts on Group Work

I think math is definitely a one person game. At least, for me it is. That is probably why I like tests so much; it's individual. I don't mind comparing answers or whatever, that is fine, but our teacher complains if we're not talking constantly while trying to calculate, and that just doesn't work for me. I want to be immersed in the figures. The problem is a tunnel, and until I come out the other side, I don't want to be bothered.

I sort of wish I could tell my professor this. It's not like there's going to be a way out of group work, but I honestly can't concentrate when my groupmates are all, "So what are you multiplying? How do you get x? B-hat one is 3.86 right?" I just want to be left alone. Plus, I really like like knowing that I'M the one who figured it out. In a group situation, that means that you have to be the fastest one (which for me is impossible due to the aforementioned distractions unless everyone else in the group is braindead.)

Really, I suppose, it's not only math that is like this. I don't mind collaborating on projects, but I like it better if it's something where we all go off and do our own thing and then combine. Brainstorming is cool, but I like it when we have time to think on our own and then discuss.

Tests ALWAYS rock. There's nothing cooler than relying on your own knowledge to get you through something, especially if you can get through well. (Technically, it's even cooler if you can apply it to a real-life problem, but a test is like a simulation.) Next time I need to remember to double check my math quiz. I haven't done math in so long that I sort of forget what I should be doing sometimes.

*sigh* So yeah, frustration in math. I reviewed a ton of Japanese this morning though, so that was cool. Gotsa jam out now, though...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Enlightened Student (and some "mumble mumble" type stuff)

My history prof. elaborating on the many ways to meditate:

"...you could even meditate in my class! And, by the way, if you reach nirvana let us know because that would be interesting..."


Man, I feel like this day has been going on forever. I guess that's what I get for getting up so early. I didn't sleep in at all this week, and tomorrow I have class at 8. I dunno what I'm doing this weekend. I mean obviously there is a torrent of textbook to read. Apparently Marc feels like showing off his karaoke skills. Maybe I will just end up relaxing and cleaning up my room a bit. Oh...I have pics btw. I should really post those. I need to load the software onto my computer.

I am so lazy!

In fact, ok, I got peanut butter oil on my clothes sometime I think...last week or weekend or something and I STILL haven't treated the stain with dish soap. MY BRAND NEW SWEATSHIRT is dying in the closet. I hope it'll work.

Lazy : /

At least I've been studying well. That makes me feel good. Writing kanji you have to be careful about. It's almost so theraputic as to not serve the intended purpose of memorization. Instead you just sit there and enjoy the smoothness of the pen and try to write as fluently as possible. That is the secret to dictation. It's not enough to know how to write it and know what she says. You have to write fast. She mentioned that we should practice writing the other day, so I realized that that is probably why I can usually get the sentences down. (I practice a lot.)

I'm not even that hungry yet, but I really want to go eat. Maybe I'm hungrier than I realize. I'm not sure. Or maybe I just want to deny it because I have already eaten quite a lot today. I have work in an hour so either way it won't make much difference; I have to eat before then.

Errrr...math homework is the evenings occuptation. Other than that, some Japanese probably, some chilling. Some forums and comics, most likely.

Maybe some pie.

Blogger was feeling silly this morning...

(so here is what I had to say then, now:)

Well I tried. Unfortunately, it seems I’m not built to indoor-cycle at the pre-crack of dawn. I lasted for about 20 minutes and then spent a few trying not to throw up the apple I had for breakfast.
I guess there are a myriad of things you could chalk it up to. That’s probably the reason I won’t be going back. I’d rather not feel ill every Thursday until I find just the right mix of sleep, food, clothing, and notches (what exactly should a six feel like?). It’s cool. If I really want to bike, I can set my own pace later in the morning or at night or whatever. I do like the Spinners though. They are a lot better than the regular stationary bikes available for everyday use. These they keep in a special room specifically for the cycling class.
The other thing is that I might just be overdoing it. I lifted weights yesterday pretty hardcore (compared to anything I’ve ever done before anyhow ;p) so I think I’m sore from that, and these classes are INTENSE @_@ Rolling hills and standing sprints, la la la. I like to be able to breath and retain my breakfast.
I’m up early though, that’s nice. I need the time to get the rest of my reading done for history. I’m off to breakfast and shower!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


So, in Japanese, they call bridges supported by two arches "meganebashi" which is "megane" (eyeglasse) and "hashi" (bridge) stuck together. Note how "hashi" changes to "bashi." This kind of phonemic transformation makes me think of fruit, and I don't know why. Actually, I think it's specifically the h-->b move that gets me. It makes me think of melon, which I guess in turn generates other fruits like strawberries and bananas, and rainbows and...chibi hula girls...


JLit Etc


The first of these I read last semester in EAC. We discussed the fact that if this were a European story gold would've poured out instead of rice. The rice marks it as distinctively East Asian. We also mentioned how alarmingly unfilial the kids in the story are, to be making fun of their G-ma.

It's really sort of frightening how the other lady (who purposely breaks the birds backs to nurse them to health) goes kind of insane at the end and doesn't even realize that creepy crawlies come out of her gourd instead of rice. o_x

The other story was REALLY bizarre. I totally love this stuff though. The Flying Storehouse! All I can say is: thoroughly awesome. Dude sends his begging bowl flying around to collect for him. Does that take intense powers of concentration or just massive laziness? I guess we'll never know.


Ridiculous! I would probably cry too, if I were her. Or I'd just be, "Screw the emperor!" and run off somewhere heh. That's not cool at all.

One thing I found really funny is that she is smarter than he is. He never gets her allusions! It makes the story sadder too, because she's being preyed on by this guy who has standing, but not much else.

Continuation of the JLit Journal


This book [Anthology of Japanese Literature from the earliest era to the mid-nineteenth centry by Donald Keene, if you forgot or came in late] is sort of cool because it gives you excerpts of all the tings you need to go out and read in their entirety. Maybe that's the value of an excerpt: awareness and enticement.

I found Tale of the Heike pretty compelling. lots of descriptions, but I didn't feel like it bogged things down (like it seems to to me in some of the longer poetry...)

I was a little confused on the bottom of page 183... Was he cleaning, preparing to die? Or...I have no idea. The "joke" he made is equally as opaque.

One thing that struck me as odd was that this Lady Nii person was allowed control over the emperor's life. A) He's only seven. B) his mom was obvioulsy there, because all the other passages were about her trying to cope with all her horrific memories. Who was this Nii lady anyhow?


More petry. Similar themes, but I like waka, I thinkl Concise and a little sad.

"Needless to say, however, the technical perfection of the Shinkokinshuu poems is largely ost in translation." So, if that is the case, as it surely is, what kinds of things would count as "technical perfection?" 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 isn't really a technical skill per se, so what would they be looking for?


A hardcore hermit. I don't think I could do it the way he does, but in Kafka on the Shore there was a cabin in the woods that I would've gladly escaped to. I wonder what it's really lke to e completely cut off for a while. Simple living can be VERY refreshing. Last spring break I spent in an apt in Aix-en-Provence where...OK, obvioulsy it's a town with lots fo people, shops, food, phones TVs, all that, but we spent the majority of our time cooking really good food for ourselves (and subsequently enjoying it all evening long.) We'd wake up in the morning, buy fresh warm bread form the bakery down the street, have that with butter, jam, and coffee for breakfast, and then head out to the market. There we would decide what looked good and figure out waht we watned for dinner, supplement as needed with ingredients from the grocery store, and go back to cook all afternoon. There was one day in particular that I spent cutting vegetables and I think it was probably one of the most relaxing of my entire life.


It was interesting that, at least initially, he focused his anti-materialism specifically on houses. He really makes a lot of sense. This is definitely a "wise old man" type of guy. It's too bad one encounters the stereotypes and parodies more often than the real deal, but he's it for sure. When he says, near the beginning, "In the forty and more years that have passed since first I ecame aware of the meain gof things..." my first reaction was sort o_O Modest are we? "Hi, I know THE meaning of...THINGS!!" But as I continued reading it was apparent that he WAS actually a really smart guy.

Also, it's depressing to not e in on poetic allusions. When I'm reading I feel the same way as I would in a social situation enlists a movie or book quote to convey their ideas, "Ah...I dunno...what you're talking about...but...ADMIRATION *flow*"

Tales of the Japanese Class

My reputation looks like it's going to be one of the running gags this semester because whenever anyone asks something our teacher always says, "Oh, well let's ask Emily because if she knows then you are supposed to know." @_@ Then there was this really bizarre exchange during groupwork. We were supposed to be reading the dialogues we wrote last night for homework. Ken (Japanese guy) said, "I wrote mine and it's right there *points to MINE*"

Me: Oh...

Lex: Well, let's read Emily's cuz it's perfect.

Ken: That's cuz I wrote it.

Lex: Ooh, can you write mine too?

Ken: I dunno, ask Emily.


Sometimes we got off subject in class...

Al: What are you guys talking about?

Ken: A movie.

Lex: Advent Children.

Al: Is it religious?

Ken: Yes.

Me: Yeah, like a cult.

Al: What if you're not Christian?

Me: No, it's like a cult. The Final Fantasy cult ;p No one can deny it. Everyone believes.

Al: Are you guys pulling my leg?

Me: Hard.

Al: Wait wait, lemme ask you a question: that "pulling your leg" thing...doesn't that mean...something else? Like..."pulling your leg...?"

Ken: Well, pulling your FINGER...

Al: No, I mean...

She (Al) didn't have a dialogue either. I guess that's why our group got done so fast. Only half of the people did the homework. Thus, time to discuss Advent Children, which I haven't seen ONLY (and I mean only; there is a copy sitting on my desk) because I haven't played FFVII yet. Maybe I mentioned that the other day. I don't remember. I really want to watch it tho X_X


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Spending too much time goofing arounnnnnd...

Man, I take a look at the homework I have been assigned and I say, "Farewell, sweet Internet ;_; See you when I need to research my term paper..." Obviously I exaggerate, however the fact of the matter is that I have many MANY things to do and for some reason I wish, instead, that I were playing punky little Nintendo shooters and haunting forums that I don't even post on...


Also I apparently feel the need to ramble on about inconsequential things here...

but wait-- this IS consequential! I need to be STUDYING and not screwing around.

I look to the banshee for inspiration.

So actually...banshees are "Irish death messengers"


OK but they scream ne? That's the point! "Screamin' like a banshee"

We could be subtle and say they WAIL but that is not condusive to the joke which is, once again, with myself.

Did I get bored or something? How come none of my friends have hooked onto the banshee idiom here? I say it pretty often...

ANYHOW if they're gonna scream they REALLY SCREAM and I suggest to (all of) you that if you are going to do ANYTHING, look to the banshee and do it ALL THE WAY.

None of this half-baked bullpaper.

Wow...ok that one some people might know, if they remember it. "Bullshit," pronouncing the "i" as "ee" makes "shit" "sheet," as in "paper." It's bad, but it was amusing for a flickering instant in some earlier year. Now it's just lodged in my brains expletive drawer...awkwardly lodged...yes.

Why are they all surfacing at once? It's like a mass unearthing of forgotten slang that isn't even really slang because no one said it.

Is this embarrassing?

What was I even talking about?

GOD I was talking about how I have to write a kickin' dialogue for class tomorrow giving directions to somewhere in a complicated manner...

Delineating further: math problems, a chapter in MJ (The Making of Modern Japan,) PLUS primary documents and questions, and thennn the Kamakura era...annnnd...



Flaming and burning with jumping demons...

Nah, this is all stuff I enjoy, except the math, of course. Really, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I just need to STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.

I have a quiz tomorrow o_o


You see what I mean, do you not?

It has been twenty minutes that could've been effectively spent branding kanji onto my cerebral cortex (a bit old-fashioned I admit, but there is something about that smell of burning grey matter that makes them stick...)


Monday, January 23, 2006

Thanks, bro.

So I went to weight training today and once again our teacher didn't show. This time, however, the guy who WAS there told us to get some sort of exercise as long as we were there. I chose to bike for a half hour and then make a feeble attempt at "pumping iron."

I guess what I was doing was some sort of rowing exercise and I guess I was also doing it wrong, because this large fellow came over and said something to the tune of her, "Hey bro, if you lock your knees then you won't be using your whole body to pull and you'll feel the burn in your upper body more. That's what we're hear for right? To pump sweat!" and I was like, "Yeah, thanks."

"Right on, bro! So bro, [I forget exactly what colorful idiomatic phrase he used to ask how I like UOP] You dig it?"

"Mmm...yeah it's ok. I like it."

"Right on, bro! So, what year are you? Freshman?"

"Nah, I'm a junior. Transfer."

"Oh wow, could've fooled me! How old are you anyways?"


"Whoa, I guess you must get sick of that shit. You probably get that a lot. Gotta get a sick tat so you don't have to show ID...[etc]"


He ended up leaving but then I saw him by his car in the parking lot as I was walking home. He waved and I victory-signed. SUV/truck/something with much hip hop. Whoo...

Kinda nuts.

Anyhow, I thought that was sort of amusing. I don't really get miffed when people mistake me for a boy, but my shirt today had glitter on it : /

Creepy Dream

I forgot to cover this strangeness in the first post. My notes:

epidemic of soul exodus, heads explode A-bomb style (escape/cure)
zombie child with flesh "must've been that banana i ate" she starts wretching and pukes it up. i'm seized with weird bubbly omiting attacks (more like throwing up what you spit out when mouth-washing...totally nasty) she gets bonier...scary.
weird guys trying to molest me. (scary house and lake)
lost at creepy subway station (also with scary guys)

I also remember one "shot," for lack of a better term, where the "camera" was really high up. If this were an establishing shot it would be establishing a continent or something. You could see the curve of the Earth. Anyhow, it was during the soul exodus epidemic and all these blue ghosts rose up simultaneously out of the bodies of the people. They weren't too tiny. Obviously the scale was a little off, but there were bajizillions of them. They were the almost gory kind with skeleton facial features and weird random tendons or whatever, ragged edges, but vapory blue. Yeep.

The zombie kid is pretty much covered. She was just sort of a more developed version of the blue ghosts only not blue or a ghost. At first she looked just sort of like an ill poorly built child. More adult head, or at least really big, with more developed features. Sort of cartoonish. Then after she started being possessed or whatever and throwing up the banana it was really...nasty. She hollowed out and turned more greeny brown, her eyes sorta caved in. Ick.

Creepy guys were not anyone I know in real life. There wasn't anyone real in the whole dream, actually, except me and references to the boy when guys were trying to come on to me in the subway/creepy house/lake. The lake was somewhere near the house (actually the lake in the dream was my grandma's lake, but in a different location, different house etc). I remember me and some other people had been swimming and we were all getting out of the water and the weird guy wouldn't let me get out. He kept blocking the way and trying to touch me and crap. I had already told him earlier inside that I had a boyfriend and beyond that just wasn't interested and would he please leave me alone and stuff, but apparently he didn't care. One might question the intelligence behind going swimming with such a character, but alas, it was a dream, and not a lucid one : / It's really sad that no one else did anything. Everyone else was already out of the water and just went up to the house even though it was obvious I was being harrassed : /

As for the subway station, for some reason I have the feeling it was in my favorite dream city, but just maybe a scummy area. There was more to it than just running around down there not knowing how to get out. I'm pretty sure all of this had an over-arching plot that was subsequently lost in my early waking moments : / Anyhow, I can't remember so there's not too much use in trying to piece something together. It was just dark and generally crummy. Maze-like, not really with dead-ends, but just, I couldn't tell if I was going in circles or not. There were stairs up and down and platforms, etc, and I think there were signs but for some reason it just didn't make sense. I may have been being chased too. I remember I eventually made it out to the stoop. I dunno why it had a stoop. Other than that it sort of reminded of the Gare de L'Est in Paris. There was a weird guy standing out there but I had had more than my fill of weird guys by then so I got away before he could even start.

Well, I guess I fleshed that out pretty good. I made sure to remember the things I had in my head when I woke up so I could put them down here. Pretty crazy stuff.



Fresh weather

Smelled like spring yesterday! Spring on ice, maybe. The day was almost warm, save the chilly wind. At night, still smelled tasty, but got pretty cold. Not frosty though, more cubey. If it were ice, one would've been able to see through it.

This morning I got up at 7. Breakfast was an orange and a cinniraisen bagel with cream cheese. Good stuff. Unfortunately, none of that helped me feel more awake for my 8 am stats class.

Some grunt work to get done preferably this week:

Set up film studies minor/major. (Yeah, I think I do actually want to do that.)
Kill French major (*sigh* Or maybe I will just leave it till the last possible second in case I change my mind and take three French classes the year I get back from Japan...not likely, but saves me some work now.)
Get Tokyo paperwork signed by Prof Cipris and my advisor. (Ask my advisor who else I should have do an eval for that stuff.)
Work on the rest of the Tokyo paperwork.
Maybe a FAFSA at some point...
See if my tuition loan came through and if so, request refund check (the extra money is for meeeee)
Hopefully go to the bank at some point to deposit check(s)


Tonight I work for four hours. For some of you that may mean, watch out of for a phone call. For others, I'm sorry, but I also have to get some homework (and possibly some actual work) done during that time. I also may need to remember what was going on in FFII (been a while...)

Last night we screened Happy Together in the PRIDE center. I really enjoyed the movie, although I think I zoned out a bit. Got so involved in just watching that I forgot there was a story happening. I'll need to see it again but my first impressions were very good. It's just beautiful to watch, and I love listening to Cantonese.

Next weekend we'll probably have to screen something we already have because my netflix won't be up again until Feb.

I'm a little worried about the "quiz" today in Japanese (but less worried than about the one in stats on Wednesday.) It's on some kanji, that ostensibly I know I guess, now... Some of them, such as "right" and "left," I have known for quite a while, while others such as "far" and "side" are new to me.

"Far" has a similar component to the second kanji in the compound "park" though, so it should be cool.

I still need to review more. There are two chapters I didn't quite get through over break (since I didn't study really at all in Wisconsin) and those were the kanji that I REALLY needed to work on. (Sometimes the urge to go chronologically is not in your best interest...in fact, rarely does it make a real difference.)

I've been ordering a ton of books on interlibrary loan. I didn't ask for the request to be sent to my e-mail as well as their, so I'm not sure how many, but I think I have at least five things coming. I'm going to be a pro at budgeting time soon. When you have to schedule your leisure though, it sometimes starts to feel like a chore...

This afternoon will be the first time we will REALLY have weight training. I'm a little nervous about that. There are all types of people in there though, so I should be fine.


Did I mention Ken's French roommate? I was supposed to meet him when I helped him carry up chips and croissants that night, but he wasn't home. Instead I met Marc ne? So, last night Marc stopped by the PRIDE center, since we were screening his movie, but he had to leave early cuz Jean the Frenchguy was cooking something delicious. Apparently he eats glossy magazine picture-styled cuisine. I'm sorta intrigued. It will be a little nerve-racking to meet him though. People hear I spent time in Paris, or that I studied a bit of Spanish, or whatever, and they think I am fluent. My roommate didn't want to believe me that I'm not fluent in Japanese. There is no way I'm even close : / It's tough when people like to ascribe more to you than is really there.

OH MY HELL. Speaking of which, the other day my Japanese teacher, in front of the whole class, was going on about how I looked like the super smart transfer student sitting in the back who would know all the answers. HOW INCREDIBLY EMBARRASSING >_<;; It doesn't help that I have the reputation in that class for being the kanji master. I guess it's good because then in addition to kicking myself into kanji action, I have this title to live up to. Sweet motivation. It is sorta proven somewhere isn't it, that people who have more expected of them are more likely to succeed?

Which...yeah...I should be studying ;p

Sunday, January 22, 2006

JLit 4


Isn't it goofy how people will say that it's bad to talk about people and they don't want to be known as a gossip, but then they go and do it anyways?

It must've been difficult to be a bright girl back in the day. not just in Japan; in fact, it was probably worse elsewhere. It'd be really tragic t have to pretend not to know how to read. Kind of cool to be Her Majesty's secret tutor though!


Depressing! This one doesn't make court life sound so great. It's so bizarre that they carry out this courtship thing over YEARS. "In the next year one tranquil evening..." BLAH! I can't imagine waiting around like that, especially when it all came to nothing. I'm more the kind of person to sneak out and see him wehther we really have a moment or not.


Lots of gratefulness in these. I'm not really sure what to say. I liked "The Small Hills" but the middle dragged... "Washing my hair" was sad and funny at the same time.


DANCE DANCE MR. SNAIL!!! (Yez.) I suppose "he that bade me trust him, but did not come" was a lover? Also: It's pretty cute that that fellow wants to be a "clinging vine." It's possible today to interpret "clinging" badly though, so no one would say that anymore. Maybe "climbing..." I wish I could thik of something of more scholarly interest to write, but really I just derive enjoyment from the fact that this guy is threatening the snail. Dance or die, slowpoke! Mwa hahaha!! V_V


"No second chapter exists." WOE! This is definitely my favorite out of everything so far. SHE IS SO COOL. I wonder if the character is based ona real girl. I love that she quips about the snake's reincarnation.

Also: I could totally imagine a merchandise line. Notebooks, t-shirts, pins, backpacks, mousepads...you know, everything. A spider hanging from a finger, lizard on her shoulder, caterpillar in her other hand...what could we put on her head? I dunno. It would probably be updated too. School girl uniform in dark colors maybe. It totally fits in with all the other anti-pop stuff.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Some Notes on the JLit Journal and Today

The typos present in my JLit journal are destined to remain, for the time being. I feel disinclined to correct them.

I'm actually a little upset with the fact that in transferring the entries onto the blog, many of them have been improved... I mean, I could try to work in the tweaks to the written version, but that would involve Xs and carrots and things, creating a bit of a mess.


Today was somewhat melancholy. I woke up around 9, but deserved another hour of sleep, which I guess my body took to mean another two hours or so because I didn't wake up again until 20 to 11. I should set an alarm for tomorrow. Breakfast was disappointing and things just sorta went that way today: mildly discouraging and just sort of not really worth the effort. I went to the gym, but felt sorta sick and thus didn't finish a full 30 minutes. Went to the grocery store and had to charge things. I'm kinda glad about that though. I bought some natural peanut butter, Grape Nuts (I'm so happy about that...), wasa crackers, and kashi granola bars. Yay for whole grains! Esp the Grape Nuts. The dining hall USED to have them in the morning sometimes, but now it's sweet cuz I can have them for any meal or snack, as long as I can find some milk (and a banana?) Also good with yogurt...mmm. Grape Nuts are worth shelling out.

As you can see by the last post I got SOME work done. I had meant to do things with friends tonight, but over the course of the day felt more and more like just staying in. Feeling sort of anti-social. (OK, not anti-social, just...errrrrmmmmm *tries to think of what she really means if she wants to be correct* introverted? I just want to be a shut-in for a while or something. My computer can keep me busy forever and I DO have to get ALL the work done, not just bits and pieces.)

Hmm. Last night I was thinking too hard. Maybe that's why.

S'ok. I should return to homework now. Or...maybe get in a continue of 1942 first...

More JLit (I should probably mention that any of these Lit posts contain spoilers...)

YUUGAO (Evening faces! I read this last semester ^_^)

I still don't understand why she ahd to go die. Also, the first time I rea dthis, I think I took his defilement as havin ghad an affaire. I suppose it really has more to do with the fact that she was dead. Pollution! >_<

It's nice of him to take in Ukon and offer to pick up the kid. At least he has a good sense of responsibility. Genji's sort of a crazy guy...

In East Asian Civ we talked a lot about the poetic sensibility tha the world has sort of lost. I mean, maybe some people still appreciate poetry, but it's certainly not a daily part of most people's lives or a necessary skill. Back then you were expected to be able to whip up a poem for pretty much any occassion. PRESSURE! It made for pleasant converstaion though. "Jeff's car broke down and he was like, 'Damn! Now what'" seems very high energy and roudy in comparison to...something more poetic that I don't really have the talent/inclination to produce ^_~ Probably though "broke down" would be some metaphor and blah blah blah...


Quite entertaining. Some parts of Genji were funny, but this is totally different. Very light and energetic. I love how she daydreams about the bachelor and his "adventurous disposition."

The second section kinda makes my point about the poetry. Totally on the spot!

Also: how adorable that the Captain chases them down the road ^_^

Batch 2 of the Boring

Is it? Probably.


KUUKAI AND HIS MASTER (gives up on the bar-inserting)

This, I supose, has more historical merit than anything. It's got to be pretty tough to be "the receptacle of the esoteric teachings." I have enough trouble bein ghte receptacle of a few hundred kanji : /

My favorite part isthe very end when the abbot says, "If I am reborn in Japan, this time I will be your disciple." He's a ghost there, right? It's really cool, the mutual respect they have.


So, this Narihira guy seems to think himself quite a catch XD Is this all he does? Spending his time pining away for girls (and even stalking them?) Reminds me of Genji.


"Melancholy" definitely works here. really sad stuff. I guess pining, longing, and waiting, generally in vain, are just the collective pasttime. I esp like Sakai no Hitozane's about "the vast heavens." That's one's cute. Also Soujou Henjou's about the weeds growing while...oh...yeah-- WAITING.


"For your sake I left Kyoto, and journeyed here to meet you-- I journeyed in vain if I cam but to lose you." [That is the cry on so many levels.]

"there were more peoms, by others, but apparently none of them was particularly well constructed." LOL XD I love this casual, off-hand critique stemming from nowhere. Just "apparently" to no one in particular.

I really enjoy the fact, for some reason, that htey all "...dis-embarked onto the beach, and ...talked to each other of the sorrows of parting." It's so coool everyone was so willing to share their feelings. Nowadays you're made to feel like a wimp or a wet noodle or something if you want to express any emotion.

*21st day: "the hour of the Hare" ?_?

More dead children. Isuppose it was a fairly common occurrence back then (no less sad.) Funny that the author doesn't remember her as being so sweet as some others do though, heh.


The last two lines of the last poem were my favorite: "The end of autumn is in/ The color of the last leaves." it's sort of obvious tha tthe changing of the seasons is very important to the Japanese, but the feelings that get injected are really intense. The same kind of sadness and longing for a lover applies. I also really like Japanese nostalgia. I guess that's another thing I got out of the lines above. The priest has obviously been watching autumn leaves for long time.

It's weird to have nostalgia for things entirely beyond the realm of your experience. When I was in Paris I saw Kié La Petite Peste which, I'm not sure what the original title was, but htere was one scene that took place at a carnival or something in the summer. The story took place kinda back in the day a bit, the sun was setting. You find yoursel fpractically crying over the happiness @_@ I guess lots of people can relate to a nice summer evening, but still...


Even thought it was more acceptable there/then than here/now to have affaires, it's obvious that it still hurt a lot of people's feelings.

I feel really bad for their son, having to act as go-between for his parents. And then when he's all upset Mom tries to "...distract him by ridiculing his weakness." Ouch. I guess that's just how they did things though...

(What was "the expected defilement?" Did she get her period or something? I guess that makes sense [blood] but she really had to leave the temple?)

It's weird how their inner reflections seems o genuine and sincere, while their interpersonal contact seems pretty fake at times. or maybe it's just that Japnese idirectness on is always hearing about ;p Maybe too, it depends what mood I'M in.

I don't like her husband very much. It's sorta sad when he conceds that, "It might not be easy for me to visit you there." It was pretty blatent already that he didn't care anymore (except he way it would look if this lady attached to him was off being a bit too pious at a temple) but that was just added salt.


Coming soon: Yuugao! ;p (i.e. déjà vu from last semester)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

First batch of Japanese Lit Survey Journal Entries (with an afterword regarding nicknames for San Francisco and some various other things of slightly

less interest)

Is that the longest title ever?

Yeah, I decided to post this...just because it's here and I'm writing it. I have to keep a journal all semester, so we'll see if I can come up with anything vaguely intelligent.

This is from Donald Keene's Anthology of Japanese Literature: from the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century btw...

MAN'YOSHU (insert the bars please)

Well, I never HAVE gotten along terribly well with poetry. I can ya tha tit's more fun to rea dthe sappier ones now that I'm stuck on a guy who lives a couple hours away. ("Do you desire our love to endure?") I'm not sure what I'd think if he wrote and said his sleeves were all soggy...I mean, I SUPPOSE that's a "good" thing, but it's pretty over the top...

I took a complit class fall '04 (whoa...time travel) and had to analyze, or rather EXPLICATE "A Dialogue on Poverty." I had no idea what to say. Instead I compared three or four translations. what struck me the MOSt wasn't the differences in the wordings or whathaveyou, but the fact that no one could aree how long the thing was. I think the version in this book is even more complete (I suppose than teh one I had picked as "definitive" back then. Kind of ridiculous. And then my teacher didn't really appreciate the fact that I completely avoided the assignment.

I think my favorite out of this batch was "Referring to flowers." It made me think of htis song that's been in my head lately by Asobi Seksu [sic?], "I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me." Anyhow, I thought it was pretty cute.

It seems that I enjoyed the shorter ones more, in general. Maybe that just speaks to the fact that I don't have a whole lot of patience for poetry (although I got pretty into Bukowksi last semester...)


OK, first, I want this to be a poorly translated retro arcade platformer. I'm not sure how, but maybe you could fight things in the ocean. (I have brief vision flashes of fireball breathing sea horses...) Fire-fade is just too priceless a name for a prince! Also, that line, "There is a beautiful person at our gate," just SOUNDS like it belongs in a pixelly cut-scene...

Err..I've always sot of wanted to read the Kojiki, but it's always seemed pretty daunting. Maybe like the Bible. It has some interesting stuff, some culturally relevant stuff, but also a lot of stuff that nobody really cares about. Maybe I'm off the mark? (I remember being in something like 3rd grade and tryin to force myself to read the Bible in its entirety...)

Anyhow, this story was decent. It did'nt really al make sense. Asking for water so you can cement a jewel to the cup with your spit? I'm not sure I like the implications of his having a happy ending after abandoning his crocodile wife either... I don't really get why he was allowed to triumph over Fire-shine either (either either...either) It was Fade's idea to switch luck and HE lost his brothe'rs hook. Then he gets to ruin any luck Shine has left and connive his loyalty by saving his life which needn't have been endangered in the first place? Whaaaat?

Dude though: angry, thrashing, crocodile-in-labor-on-the-beach superboss...WORD!

KAIFUSO (bars!)

I enjoyed the brown-nosery of the last one. I mean, no...heh, I'm sure that was quite sincerek, but it's positively saccharine today.

The idea of emulating Chinese stuf, I realize, is a pretty constant part of earlier Japanese history, but it was making me think of the fellows on display at the Asian Art Museum in Frisco (sue me ;p) who were into Nanga [there follows a kanji inquiry that is irrevelent here...]

Poetry...err...yeah...not so much to say >_<


WHY DO I HAVE IN-JOKES WITH...MYSELF? X_X That has got to be the most extreme lameness ever conceived. Maybe I should just DISCUSS my issues regarding nicknames for San Francisco with EVERYONE and then THE WHOLE WORLD will be able to-- and it's not even a joke, see; it's like an in-...in...security lol GOOD LORD *insert fork in eyeball* It's an IN-INSECURITY ;p WHO STARTED THIS? That's what I'd like to know. At some point, someone bashed me for using a nickname I heard from a guy who lived there for a while. I figured, HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG USING A NAME SOMEONE FROM THERE USED? I MEAN HE PROBABLY PICKED IT UP WHILE HE WAS THERE!!! Give me a break ;p I don't think it was a good one though.

Here are my opinions on the ones I've come across thus far (this really should've been a separate post...)

SF - short and sweet...mistaken for "science fiction" in vague contexts e.g. I love SF, I want more SF, I miss SF.

San Fran - disgusting, makes me think of smelly, unpleasant old ladies (without accidentally implying here that all old ladies are smelly and/or unpleasant, or that people named Fran are smelly/unpleasant/old/displeased with their name)

Frisco - definitely hot, I think I've mentioned that before.

So that's really what I have to say. I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to say San Francisco, some that are not so benign I would imagine, as well. These are really just convenient abbreviations. Actually San Fran isn't convenient at all. It's too awful to be. Maybe I should apologize. I know there are people who DO call it San Fran...and I understand how this form COULD seem tempting as one of the available abbreviations. KEY: "ONE OF" Please LOCATE YOUR SENSES and feel your tongue savoring "Frisco" FEAST YOUR EYES on the "isco" and the "Fr" and the devinely inspired deletion of "anc!" Finally, FOR YOUR AURAL PLEASURE, just say it. Say it over and over and over and ENJOY IT. Frisco! You win! YEZ ;D


On the way to the mail room today I remarked that the ground seemed awfully flat. I guess after two weeks + a couple days of walking EITHER up OR downhill overwhelmingly more often than not, it's a bit strange.

I got some books today...and my
  • I also got the broken heart shirt which is fairly ironic. Mebbe I should've gotten the IRONY shirt *makes a lame joke drool face*

    (Dude, it's not really a drool face. I've just coined that though, because it sounds right.)

    What did I get? Not the one I REALLY needed!! ;p Ok there were two I really needed and I did get ONE of them, but the SEVERELY REQUIRED one is still out there somewhere . I guess though I intended to and really in memory DID hit the button to PAY EXTRA for a SPEEDIER delivery, it will actually just take forever. Luckily my prof roxxorz and lent me his copy which suspiciously resembles the copy (complete with decimal code sticker) out from the library.

    Damn, it's midnight. When'd that happen?

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    *ponders a possible maldeed*

    Is that a word?

    So I have to give a presentation on Thursday about Yukio Mishima's "The Way of the Samurai." I don't HAVE to read it, but I do have to know what it says and how it applies to the questions we were assigned to answer (with the knowledge we are expected to garner from the reading of the preface etc and fourth chapter of the book that is HOPEFULLY at the mail room waiting to be picked up since I didn't have time today but MAY still be in postal limbo : /)

    We will NOT be concerned with whether that was grammatical or not.

    It was one...thought-breath.

    Errr so I was thinking that since I have to read this book that he wrote which gives insight NOT only into Tokugawa culture but ALSO Yukio Mishima himself and the ultranationalist movement (supposedly), I could just keep going with this and turn it into not only ONE but TWO research papers.

    I have to do one for lit and one for history. The lit one is 8-10 and the history one is 15-20 (which is a bit more than daunting to me at this point.) Anyhow, Prof Cipris specifically said we could do a biographical study of an author so I could do that and then use things I learn there to expand and enrich my history paper which I could write on Yukio Mishima AND the ultranationalist movement etc etc or something...

    Is that bad? It seems resourceful to me. It's not like I would turn in the same paper. I would just study with dual intent. That's kinda sexy.

    Dual intent studying, now if only I could figure out a way to learn math painlessly with my kanji. (Kanji causes enough heartache on it's own...*sigh*)

    In the trickling beginning...

    as opposed to the thick. I'm here though, at school, in my dorm. It's not entirely mine anymore. My new roomie has a glorious computer. At least it seems glorious because it's not a little laptop that can't play WoW. She gave me a disk of Heroes of Might and Magic III so we'll see if I take to that or not. My computer is heaving over it though. It spins and spins and spins. Seems like it will go eventually. It also tells me I don't have good enough DirectX even though I just setup the newest version...

    Last night Ken picked me up at the boy's house. It was a little sad leaving. If you think about those things too hard they can get a bit dramatic in your head. On the way out of town we stopped off at the Treasure Island exit to look at the view. Was pretty nice with all the lights, not that I've ever seen San Francisco looking bad... A little heart-wrenching to see some of the buildings I'd always been walking towards from the other side out across the bay, but I survived ;p

    When we arrived back at school I helped Ken carry some chips and stuff up to his room where I met his roommates. One of them, Marc, lent me a VHS copy of Happy Together. Seems like maybe we will hit it off, at least from a movies standpoint heh. He has a lot of old goofy-looking stuff and is really into Wong Kar Wai.

    *misses Firefox...*


    Other than that...I had my first class this morning. Japanese Lit at 10. It's kind of different to have my Japanese prof for a lit class, but it works. It seems like all the kids in there are from his classes, so I guess he did all the promoting for it... Midterm, final, and a term paper that I could turn in on Thursday if I wanted. I'm almost tempted...that would be pretty great. I might need a BIT more time than that. In any case, it will definitely be finished before spring break. One less thing to think about when I get back will be perfect. I know I'll have to write a paper for my history class too so I should plan it all out now...

    We'll be reading a book a week, for the most part. I should be able to keep up with that no problem. This one and the history class will be pretty reading intensive but I really don't mind that. :D

    Speaking of BOOKS, though, they still haven't arrived. That's a bit unnerving. I heard a horrible story last night about a kid who was offered an internship (through the mail, to UOP) and didn't get it because by the time he had called to accept they had given it to someone else. The letter was FIVE WEEKS LATE.





    Well I'ma go punk around. Hell, that's all I have to do right now. Nothing until three o'clock.

    I don't work today either. There is kickboxing though. I wish I had sweats that weren't my pajamas...

    Sunday, January 15, 2006

    The Last Day

    Ok not realllllly. The last FULL day, the last night, the last shower (since there's no point in showering before getting a Greyhound...)

    Having me back in school though should dilute things to the point where they taste deliciously like juice instead of like syrupy concentrate.


    Ok that's a bit extreme, and I'm not so cabin-crazy as that at all.

    AT ALL (GAH!)

    I'm gonna miss the boy a lot : / However I did just find out that I've had a new roommate bestowed upon me and oddly enough I already know her a bit. Anyhow, having the other half of my room occupied will:

    help things stay cleaner (cuz there will be two of us working on it and also I won't be as tempted to slack off)


    keep me from getting too lost in my head (sometimes I think myself into a mighty funk)

    PLUS it means I won't have time to be overly lonely.

    Huzzah! (Notice how I'm trying to be really upbeat about the roommate thing! I relinquish my privacy even as I return the boy to his!!! Aiiie!)

    Hopefully my textbooks will be arriving shortly so I don't have to scramble around too much. Hopefully I didn't leave anything in my room that would grow things. (Those oreos should have definitely been chucked though. They will be hella nasty.)

    Oh HEY I finished Cloud Atlas today. Very enjoyable read. I thought it was funny how he got in a self-referential bit about how nesting stories could be kind of gimmicky ^_~ Setting it up that way made things very interesting. The first half of the book is the start to all the stories, and the latter half is ending after ending. You build up quite a bit of momentum.

    *ramble ramble*

    I dunno. There's more I could say about that, but I don't really feel compelled to apply a spoiler's warning ;p

    So I guess that's ALL!

    We're headed out to frolick or something. I dunno ;D

    Wednesday, January 11, 2006

    o_o *the Animal Crossing surprise/horror noise*


    It comes.

    I'm looking forward to it actually. Just ordered all my books. Soon the post office at UOP will be inundated with tiny little one-book packages from all over the country for me. I was trying to be savvy and order used online XD It worked pretty well though. Didn't spend NEARLY as much as I would've otherwise.

    Which is sweet.

    Anyhow, tingling anticipation of Japanese everything: modernization, lit, language. I've been reviewing a bit. I have this problem of wanting to read worthwhile books, so I end up standing around looking for "the best one" for eons. Inevitably I end up picking something that isn't really as useful as I would have liked and being disappointed. This is the case with Japan: The Story of a Nation. I just wanted to go over the traditional period again before we hurtle into the later Meiji Revolution *jumps up and down* (I am an impatient five year old...)

    This break was really too long. Luckily I had the ecstatic option of coming to Frisco (sorry, that is the one nickname for San Francisco I like...I know some people hate it or all of them or whatever, but to me, the "isco" is the best part of "San Francisco" and crunching "Francisco" down is just...really...attractive.)

    I was thinking the other day, though, about how this compares to studying abroad in France. It's the same sort of limbo: a situation that is mostly good, but also very surreal. I'm here with Scott living in Frisco (basically), but it's only for two weeks and I don't have a job or classes. I just chill, study, read, library, game, internet. I eat peanut butter. You know? It's really just like when I was in Paris. It was a sweet but totally unreal scenario. Unsustainable and stagnant. School will propel things FORWARD which is definitely the best way to be moving.

    For a while it was really odd because I felt like at the end of the two weeks everything would end. That (hopefully) isn't the case at all heh, but it was this weird impending chapter break. School won't KILL anything though, on the contrary it will probably bring a lot of motivation and momentum into things. I'm feeling really good :D

    To change topics, Scott and I have been playing old video games, which I totally love. This morning we ran around in Gauntlet until he had to go to work. I remember playing a crummy 3D remake, but this was the groovy original. I kinda wish I had the nostalgic aura there, but I don't. : / Anyhow, I'll be content with appreciating it now :D

    In a way, it sort of reminds me of the French auteur theory guys who, after the war, had whole libraries of American films to watch and so could systematize things, find themes and patterns. I kinda wish I could inject some rhyme adn reason into my retro game exposure.

    This, in turn, reminds me of something I used to think about more. I had a friend whose mom once told me I had an old soul. She thought I probably should've been born in the '40s. I always replied, "Why stop at '40s? I want to reMEMber that so maybe the '20s, but then it'd be pretty sweet to be coming of age then, so maybe just turn of the century or the teens or..." etc. Really though, I think it's more exciting to be here looking BACK. I like the concentrated content. Also having the past while cruising into the future. A more futury future than the '50s ne. (Altho that was pretty damned futury for a while ne? What do we call that now? Is that like retro-future?)

    Ok...enough enough. I can ramble some more later, but right now I feel like going out and doing some stuff. I have a list of tasks to undertake today and it seems of REASONABLE length so I'd like to actually like to actually conquer the thing. XD

    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    San Francisco Crazy

    The boy and I decided we'd rather spend New Year's together so we finagled me onto a plane New Year's Eve. It was a bit delayed (the Washington Redskins trashed our plane; they needed an extra cleaning crew and 8 replacement seats @_@ and THEN there was a cargo discrepancy to boot...) but we still managed to get there before midnight. Scott ran through some terminals during the last five minutes and we found each other in time. ^_^

    I'm really hungry...

    *stomach grumbles*

    Errr...so I've been playing City of Heroes, which is pretty sweet. My character apparently looks like "dishwater" ^_~ He's not so thrilling. I've just always wanted to run around with a blue guy with black hair and a katana...

    Right now I'm just chilling. I went to the library today. A nice place to study and they really have a lot of stuff. I browsed some books on SF and a Japanese newspaper. Apparently even though I live in Stockton I can get a card if I bring some mail (normal drill) so that's sort of exciting. I brought home some app forms...

    I think maybe tomorrow I will dress like a boy if I'm going to the library again lol. I guess I should be used to it from Paris...the only difference is that here you get called a chiquita...


    Everyone liked my hoodie tho ;p