jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
"Wegen der Verwurzelung der Gewerkschaften in der gut ausgebildeten und berufsbewußten männlichen Facharbeiterschaft war es für sie schwer, in die Kreise der ungelernten und der weiblichen Arbeiterschaft vorzudringen; und diese sahen sich vielfach von den Gewerkschaften nicht ausreichend vertreten, wobei bei den Frauen neben den vereinsrechtlichen Beschränkungen noch das traditionelle Rollenbild und die Mehrfachbelastung von Erwerbstätigkeit und Familienarbeit die gewerkschaftlichen Aktivitäten begrenzten."

Does anyone want to take a guess which period we're talking about here?


No? OK, I'll tell you. )


(This note is brought to you from a 36°C hot office, in which whiny pandas are on the brink of whiny collapse.)
jona: (GKS - bigin)
JLPT

I'm just back from a weekend in Düsseldorf, which included the lovely company of [livejournal.com profile] ina, [livejournal.com profile] nightinbird, [livejournal.com profile] b_akakame and [livejournal.com profile] aya_3003, my first booze since the Great Gorilla Hangover of 2014, not a great deal of sleep, fic exchange matching at [livejournal.com profile] solo's mom's kitchen table, and the first time I was at a ramen restaurant in Düsseldorf and didn't order ramen.

That last part is probably the most shocking. ^_^

Being a cheapo, I opted for bus over train, and while that meant a long-ass trip, I had no crazy ladies sitting next to me. (I did have a hen night party and various 'travelling to Cologne to get drunk' parties on the same bus as me, but them's the breaks.) I arrived at home yesterday at 4 and had to hit the ground running as I had an English student and then politics until late, so I'm feeling kind of knackered, but I honestly had a wonderful weekend that was a proper break from work stress and current work deadlines -- much thanks to the fangirls who came out to play! <3

Now for the obligatory JLPT recap!

(1) Vocabulary & kanji
I think I did pretty well. There were three terms I'd never heard of before and three more where I was more guessing, but I'd still kind of expect a score around 80% on this part. The most interesting difference to N4 was that the 'how to use this word correctly' part (as in, you get a term like 内容 and then four sentences using this word, and only one is correct) got noticeably trickier in that all four sentences, literally translated, seemed potentially correct (in the 内容 example, they were all about some type of 'content') and you needed to know which context the word is normally used in. To me that was new, and N4 was still more 'I put the elephant in the drawer' vs. 'I see the elephant at the zoo'. At the end I had five minutes to spare.

(2) Grammar & reading
Not great. I made a strategic error, in part because I underestimated my reading comprehension -- not that that's OMG SUPER AWESOME but in relation to my grammar skillz, it was unexpectedly better. During N4, I'd done okay on the grammar and then struggled with the MASS OF READING, and I'd also struggled with understanding the answers. Meaning back then I generally understood the texts fine but didn't always know WTF the potential answers meant. So now I did the exam part in order, starting on grammar because I figured those points would still be 'easier' (more points in less time) than the reading points. But I was utterly terrible at the grammar -- I'm pretty sure I didn't get a single of the 'arrange the words into the correct order' questions right, and I spent a lot of time on those. And then I found the reading part surprisingly enjoyable. Time-consuming, yes, but I felt much less bamboozled by the answers and actually had fun with the texts. But then I did run out of time and for one text, with four questions, I ended up just making random dots on the answer sheet because the time was up. After this section, I figured I hadn't yet failed; I don't think I did so badly that I'll fall below the 'sectional minimum', and I was thinking that if I did well on the listening, the vocab & listening could still cancel out the grammar problems. I'm kind of expecting a 40-50% score on this one.

(3) Listening
Well. Let's just say that I did not to 'really well' on this one. Better than at grammar and reading, but probably not well enough to pull up my overall score to 'pass'. It was an interesting experience in that I felt exactly what the step up from N4 was (the 'near-natural speed' part of the speaking), and this was also exactly what I struggled with. No lie, I knew nearly all the words and the grammar constructions or baby keigo didn't throw me, but I could feel my brain going 'wait!!! WAIT!!! GIVE ME TWO SECONDS TO PROCESS!!' all the time. Basically, I still would have needed a two second break after each sentence just to sort it in my head, but the 'near natural speed' part was still beyond me. I'm guessing I'll score around 50-60% on this? Maybe?

If all my guesses are correct, I'm probably somewhere just around the fail/pass threshold. My gut feeling is 'failed but not totally tanked'. Exept of course all my guesses could be wrong, too! We will see come September. ^_^

Anyone else take the test this July?

I still owe some comment replies on other matters -- they will be gotten to shortly!
jona: (bunnies incognito)
Ladies and gentlemen, bunnies and cats,

After stalking the UPS delivery man like... a very obsessive stalker, I got my new rice cooker!

Completely unphotogenic and unnecessary pictures of a rice cooker under the cut. )

As for the bentoing itself, the main new recipe I tried out was making potato oyaki. I made a new batch of soboro as filling and then it's basically fried mashed potatoes. They're very tasty, though this was a case where 'making a big batch' didn't actually save me much time, and it kind of ate half a Saturday.

Pics and stuff. )

This week, the bentoing got a bit thrown for a loop due to a) one Akanishi Jin and b) my heating malfunctioning, and while I'm not terribly upset about the former and the latter thankfully got fixed within a few hours, it did sort of suck up my organisation energy for the day. I'll see what I can hustle up tomorrow, I do need one or two more vegetable staples for next week...


PS: I owe some comments and stuff. I'm not ignoring, just haven't had a lot of brain last week. Will catch up! (And also at some point post about something not bentos, I promise!)
jona: (GKS - bigin)
So I was in a pretty boring conference the last two days. The upshot of this is that I finally got around to writing all my holiday check and packing lists, and my list for Thursday/Friday said 'Write LJ post about Toyota'.

Well, there's not actually much Toyota in this post, but. I'm undecided / sort-of-decided-but-sometimes-insecure about a few things regarding the trip, and I'm going to think aloud in this post, and any advice, experience or validation of my life choices would be appreciated!

Item #1: the camera
I currently only have a camera that was a good compact camera ten years ago, and is heavy and clunky. Last time I went to Japan, I borrowed my mother's quite nice camera** with its 10x optical zoom. I've wanted a less clunky, newer camera for a while, but always figured I'd wait with buying till the next time I knew I'd actually need it, so as to at least get the 'newest' for what I'm willing to spend. The need has arrived, but then I realised I'm going to Japan and now I don't know what to do. People of my acquaintance have bought cameras in Japan because of lower prices for good stuff there, but if I bet on that, it puts a bit of pressure on me to find one/buy one, or have no real camera on this holiday.

So, my options: Do I a) buy the camera before Japan, within the next week, b) buy the camera in my first two days IN Japan, because cameras are Cheaper There, or c) cajole my mamaaa into lending me her camera again because prices always drop AFTER Xmas and buying now in either country would be stupid, in your experience?

(My budget would be €100-200 with a serious preference for the €100-150 range, and I don't know much about cameras but I do care about zoom, and I care about size, so I actually will take it with me in life too. Just so you know what I'm actually talking about.)

**Any cameras discussed here are compacts.

Item #2: the luggage
My current plan is to travel with A) my huge-ass suitcase, B) a duffel, which will be IN the suitcase and consequently empty on the way in, C) my small Ryanair-approved trolley for hand luggage and D) a handbag. I am allowed two pieces of checked baggage, but I figure if I take an empty duffel, it'll force some discipline on me to not pack too much crap on the way in, and I know for sure I'll have space for all the crap I want to buy in Japan because I can stuff all my clothes in the duffel on the way back and put everything else in the hard-shell suitcase. The small trolley will be useful for overnight stays where I won't want either the big-ass suitcase or the duffel bag, though it does have the disadvantage of two to-wheel items at those times when I have all my luggage on me.

The other question is the handbag. I need a new one -- I basically need a handbag that can hold my laptop in a crunch. Not a specific laptop bag, as the laptop won't be the primary use of the thing, but big enough that I don't have to lug a second bag around when I do take the laptop somewhere. Now, I know people also like to buy BAGS in Japan. But I also know that people buy crazy expensive brand bags in Japan, so IDK if there's any logic in aiming to buy in Japan for the kind of bag I want -- nice-looking, big, not totally cheapo but staying under €70, preferably under €50. Admittedly I don't have much experience buying handbags in either country.

So, survey items:

A+B: is this plan stupid, should I just take two suitcases / one suitcase and my medium trolley?
C: would it make more sense to take a big backpack instead of the cabin trolley as cabin baggage, for better carrying of things in Japan?
D: do I put all my handbag contents in a PLASTIC BAG and go shopping for bags in Japan?

Item #3 was 'Do I really want to take the Toyota plant tour on my one totally free day in Nagoya?' but I think the answer is, 'Um, no.'

Input welcome! I think better with input! >_>
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
So, I have been working out to a new exercise regime for two and a half weeks now. It's a bit early to give substantial verdicts, but the experience so far has been interesting.

I picked up this tip by stalking a conversation between [personal profile] solo and [personal profile] akk about [personal profile] akk's experiences with bodyweight exercises: strength training without the need for a gym.

It sounded appealing, and it sounded like a low-grade investment (you basically buy... the book. nothing else.), and since I've been struggling with weather-and-cramps issues re: running and boredom-and-busy issues re: the stationary bike, I ordered the book.

This is the book. It's been lying around my house; both my mother and my girlfriend have had gigglefits at first sight.

Book )

The book is written by a dude who used to train US special ops military guys. It promotes an idea of fitness that is achievable with a regime of exercises that take nothing but your own body and maybe a bit of household equipment, like, say, a door with door handles. It lists about 120 exercises with generally comprehensible explanations for people who want to build their own exercise regime, but also four 'courses' at four levels of difficulty. The time investment is 20-30 minutes, 4-5 times a week. (When you do the math, you see that's it's closer to around 35 minutes a day, most days.) The author's argument is that strength training is a much more efficient way to both get and stay fit than cardio, and that strength training is much better done using natural movements of the whole body rather than specialised gym equipment.

/nutshell

The rest of this post )
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
Have sent all Chibicon participants except Solo on their way. Am running on a twenty hour sleep deficit. Vaguely cross-eyed. Will catch up on ALL THE THINGS over the next few days.

La la la later!

Plans

Oct. 12th, 2012 11:15 am
jona: a failing panda (panda - fail)
What I want/have to do over the weekend:

-- kidnap mother's laptop, finalize music set-up for Chibicon
-- write Help with Horselords post
-- decide on Yuletide nominations and draft Yuletide letter
-- clean the house
-- deal with Chibicon decorations, part 1
-- spend Saturday with la paloma grasa and go look at a park
-- catch up on several ~communications
-- write with [livejournal.com profile] solo____

What I have accomplished so far:

-- COFFEE
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
On Monday night, I became a Witness In A Criminal Investigation (tm). After my stolen bike, this is an awful lot of police interaction for a fluffybunny law-abiding (mostly) citizen.

Read more... )
jona: (Default)
Respecting Our Elders: Why We Should Work Hard to Pay Any Pension Insurance Contributions Needed, by Kamenashi Kazuya

This post is brought to you by a) my paper, which is not moving, b) my deadline, which is moving far too fast, c) my despair, and d) Solo.

Yesterday, as I was whining and despairing too, Solo kept sending me pretty pictures to cheer me up, and I went, at some point, 'Why can't Jin write my paper?' Solo then dared me to imagine, really imagine Jin writing my paper, and I admit it gave me a little gigglefit.

Then I amused myself even more by imagining Kame writing my paper, concluding that it would suck from an academic point of view and all the footnoting would be horrible, but it would also be the Most Determined Paper Ever and by god he will meet that deadline.

So while I continue to whine and despair, I ask YOU for more cheering up: stick your favourite characters in your job and tell me how they'd do.

No Ponies

Aug. 3rd, 2012 08:31 pm
jona: (Default)
You may or may not have noticed my absence, but I've been kind of absent. Not literally offline, as I always have my phone, but I spent the last 7 days constantly doing stuff, thinking about stuff, discussing stuff, trying to catch planes or trains or free meals.

On the road again )

PS: Travelling back Sunday, and then I have to WRITE LIKE THE DEVIL for the next - but last of this year - conference. And then I have HOLIDAY.
jona: (JE - jin - long hair)
I finally set up my scanner this morning and tried to get the hang of it by scanning the bargain basement whore Jin pics I bought in Japan. The quick-and-dirty setting seems to be working for bright or colourful pics, but the darker pics with more black turned out somewhat greenish. I tried them again at a much higher resolution and that seems to have yielded results, only it's also much more fuss, and large file sizes. I'm not sure yet what the happy medium is between decent resolution and sensible file sizes.

Anyway, you've probably seen these here and there, but I'm still putting them up because I thought they were cute, apart from very cheap. >.<

Cut for SIZE. )
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
"Hmmm, maybe I should go see this Avengers movie, people really seem to like it. Scarlett Johannson, right? She's the Black Widow and she wears leather pants, gotcha. And there's lots of fic. Including about the guy called Tony... wait. Tony Stark, that sounds familiar. Wasn't he in some big Yuletide pairing? But that was half a year ago, that was a different movie. Iron Man? I remember 'Steve/Tony' about the Tony Stark and now there's also a Bucky with the Tony, except there is also a lot of 'Tony/Loki' going on, and--- Loki was in the Thor movie. And people were writing Thor/Loki... right? And Thor was also a while ago because I watched three minutes of Thor on an airplane except now they are writing Loki for Avengers and there is also a guy called Clint and what sort of name is Bucky anyway and what WHAT? WHAT IS GOING ON?"
jona: (GKS - bigin)
On Friday I submitted my first ever paper to my first ever real I-am-a-presenter conference. It's not a very good paper, and my presentation will be more about 'these are all the problems I had with my data, anyone got good ideas how to fix them?', but it is submitted, and I'm hoping I can have a bit of a life again now.

Today is my first day off in two weeks. Before that, things weren't exactly slow going either. I've now worked through two public holidays, a whole weekend, and I basically left the house at seven thirty to stumble back in between eight and nine every day last week. I submitted my paper on 20.30 on Friday evening, with three and half hours to spare on the 'deadline'. Yesterday I zombiliciously tried to draft my presentation (I am presenting this paper to the department on Monday, for a trial run), but could not get my brain to engage, and did it this morning then.

And I was constantly wavering between being a little bit impressed with myself that I really could put in this much focused work for an extended period (and not just an emergency night shift!) and being all waaaah because the paper was still just not very good. It was an interesting lesson in how long it really takes to write a draft paper; on the other hand, I'm thinking I ought to maybe break myself of the habit of thinking that whenever work piles up like that, it's entirely my fault for being lazy and I suck at work, because occasionally it also has to do with shit like being on the fucking road all the time for work and doing stuff for my bosses for work.

So, anyway, on Monday I have the presentation before boss & colleagues, and next weekend, I will take a long weekend to make up for my missed public holidays, feeling that I am both entitled and that this will be healthy.

Dear Kame, Jin, KAT-TUN, and Johnny, I am very appreciative of the fact that none of you brought about any of the still outstanding fandom catastrophes I keep bracing myself for, i.e. that you did not get hit by a bus (Kame), officially quit the entertainment business (Jin), disband (KAT-TUN) or fire Jin (Johnny), during a time when I really did not need the distraction. I am now mentally preparing myself for you to return to your usual one-disaster-a-month schedule, but I do thank you for the well-timed break.

Dear Bomb Girls, thank you for being my catnip when I really needed some catnip. (Jonip?) I will post about you soon.

Dear conference organisers, thank you for letting me come to your conference and even paying my travel fees. I swear that I am taking your conference seriously, despite any appearances to the contrary my paper may create!

Oh, and, let it not be said that I don't get some mileage out of all my goddamn travelling -- because it made no difference money-wise, I'm not flying out to the conference via Frankfurt (take that, Frankfurt airport! HA!) but Düsseldorf, which means I get to see [personal profile] solo on the way back when she visits her folks!

PS: for EXTRA SPECIAL WOEZ, on Saturday morning, I pulled up the shutters, and what did I see on my balcony? A dead bird, with a little puddle of blood next to it. Thank you, village cats, for this thoughtful gift. I don't consider myself a squeamish person in general, but what I really wanted to do was stand on a chair and squeal until someone rescued me. SO. GROSS. I put tissues on it and attempted to lift it with an inside-out trash bag, but at the moment I would have felt the weight I totally balked and ran back inside. I, um. May have called my mother, to ask if she could come over and help. But the line was busy and eventually I told myself to get over it. But srsly. So. gross.
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
What I have accomplished:
-- bought a suitcase, picked it up
-- half-packed. rest must wait for pants to dry.
-- did all my laundry. now the laundry needs to do its bit, see above.
-- found my remaining yen-in-cash
-- put passport in REALLY PROMINENT SPOT on the sofa
-- liberated backpack from the sludge of disintegrating shopping receipts, mints, old pens, band aids and the odd free-floating ibuprofen
-- charged netbook
-- wiped the stairs and cleaned the front door

What I just have, no accomplishment:
-- allergies
-- a cold sore (fucking allergies...)
-- allergy pills I hope will kick in any minute

What I must not forget tomorrow morning:
-- remaining pants
-- eReader
-- phone, phone charger
-- my passport in the REALLY PROMINENT SPOT

My shiny new suitcase!
Photobucket

When my old large trolley broke in London, I knew I had to get a new one, but I wavered for AGES between a) a really posh one, Investment For Life, b) another shoddy but cheap one, and c) something in the middle that might make me unhappy about the money spent one way OR the other.

When it turned out that several relatives had a different idea of what constituted a 'large' suitcase and couldn't actually help me out, I really had to get something QUICK. So I ordered this while I was still in Berlin, and after whining a lot at Solo, I went with the c) option, and I'm actually quite pleased with it. It's a four-wheel Samsonite that didn't burst my budget; heavier than the Investment Suitcases would have been but, well, and I'm kind of fond of the green.

I've been so up and down and all around that I haven't really had the time to appreciate that we posted the very last chapter of our whorefic yesterday. It felt weird for a moment, and then I was busy busy busy. Maybe it'll sink in on the plane.

But speaking of fic and planes. Can someone do me a favour and tell me which stories in k_x I might enjoy reading on the plane, and by 'enjoy' I mean 'not cry, feel depressed, or like I just saw puppies killed'? I am really, really not up for excessive angst, and also not for unhappy endings of other kinds. So, recommendations? You'd be committing a public service and I'd have stuff to read on the plane!

I'm leaving tomorrow morning, back on the 24th. And, it's weird, I'm soooo looking forward to the food and the karaoke and the meetings we've got lined up and the food and all that stuff that it also hasn't really sunk in that I'm going to my very first KAT-TUN concert in a week! Huh. :-)

PS: If anyone needs to urgently reach me... e-mail Solo? She's the one who'll have the data sim card, if we can get it activated.
jona: (hermione - sulking)
But only very briefly. I cycled into work and back today, twenty kilometers each way. It was great fun, but now I can barely walk. I'm too tired to even whine about it much. But Tell Me Where is a great song for cycling.

In other news, I think Kame is trolling me. Turtletroll )

PS: Item #5

Mar. 7th, 2012 08:20 pm
jona: (JE - Akame Suits)
Can we all just stop BEING MADE CRAZY BECAUSE OF THAT DUMB SONG?

(The author does not exclude herself.)

Drinks, people. Let's all have a pina colada and imagine a footrub. (If you are actually getting a footrub, don't tell me about it, because that would be GLOATY AND EVIL.)
jona: (je - jin huddling)
Jin

In three words: oh god why. This is, you guessed it, referring to the specularly dumbest song of all dumb songs. I'm not going to go into the particulars here; I was quite shocked and disgusted last night, got largely over it, and now I'm mostly going, 'why Jin why. why so dumb.'

This is not a very thinky post, but as I have been whining at Solo: I think it's high time Jin did something that actually pleases people and doesn't piss off half his fanbase. You keep on pissing off half your fanbase, you're going to end up with... very small halves.

I may be looking at it from an overly critical position after the fun of reading those lyrics last night, but I don't actually remember him doing much at all since the split that was just joyful without some sort of BUT. Test Drive seems to have gone over well, but had a stupid PV that would leave a passerby with no clue what he actually looks like. His recent promotion material has some good stuff, and some stuff that is almost willfully fugly. People HATE the sunglasses and the hats, AND THE BEARD. (I realise I may be taking this disproportionately personally.) And then he went and got surprise!married, and while I personally disagree with the 'rules' saying that he shouldn't get married, it was handled rather badly and almost as if it was designed to piss off or hurt as many people as possible.

Now he has an album, and what's being talked about is his supposed DATE RAPE SONG, and I don't know if he could have shot himself in the foot more thoroughly if he'd... uh, hacked off the foot with an axe. This is just so DUMB. And a waste. And what was maybe once 'awww, Jin, you tough little hiphopper' when he was 19 and in a glittery band is just flat-out annoying in a 27-year-old with two years of solo experience.

I think Seasons is the one recent thing I can think of that didn't piss anybody off, but then AFAIK it didn't sell spectacularly well either and he didn't do an awful lot of promotion in Japan.

Please, shape up, Jin. Don't make it so hard to like you. :-(

My mother

(Yes, this is a sudden change in subject.) I do not understand some people. I do not understand people whom you call, and ask, 'Can you tell me when you're on holiday so I can plan my holiday with that in mind?', and they answer, 'Oh, the second two weeks of the holidays,' and then you ask, 'Which holidays?' and they go, 'The school holiday,' and you say, 'well, when are they?' and they go, 'I don't know...' and you go, 'well, when ARE YOU ON HOLIDAY?' and they say, 'the second two weeks of the holidays!'

And then you call your aunt and it's 'the last two weeks of the holidays' and you want to bang your head hard against something.

WHY THIS PEOPLE. IT'S CALENDAR. EASY. CHECK WITH DATE. YES? YES!

. . .

Jo
Who has everything all set up for shit to download while she's at work and then AS HER FINAL GESTURE BEFORE LEAVING shuts down the PC. *sigh* I could have watched The Good Wife with my dinner...
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
Because this is a Jo without a brain. I've been at work for 12 hours, seven of which were spent Listening To People About Complicated Shit.

I could never be Kame.

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jona: (Default)
the paranoid android

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