jona: Akame looking cute and telling me to cheer up, emo pornographer (JE - cheer up emo (cute))
In case you missed it! [ profile] nightinbird is running an Akame fic exchange this summer! (I am humbly assisting her as the undermod. ^^)

 photo SummerLoving_blue-v1_cursive_banner_v2_700_zps2c3bf98c.jpg

[ profile] pt_pirates is the comm. Go check it out, at the very least for the lovely graphics that [ profile] frameofmind6 generously made for us. :D Sign-ups open tomorrow!
jona: (normative goat)
1) Fake cuts. ( This ) is a fake cut. It is a fake cut because it looks like a cut, i.e. it pretends to be a cut, but isn't a cut -- in other words, a fake cut! This is a link. It is not a fake cut, because it does not look like a cut, does not try to look like a cut, and isn't a cut. It is a link, proudly owning its link identity.

2) German commas. Dear German peoplez: there is no comma before 'dass' in English. In fact there is no comma before an awful lot of things that Germans like to put commas in front of, but there is definitely no comma before the English 'dass'. It is falsch. I know, I know -- for years in high school we are drilled to properly separate our eleventy subordinate clauses with mandatory commas. I've been there. But I assure you that three out of those four German commas you squeezed into that English sentence were wrong, and the fourth one was optional.

3) 'Learning' vs. 'studying'. T_____________T

4) Opinions. Replying to 'Dude, I think you're wrong' with 'But everyone has a right to their opinion!' or 'It's free speech!!' is about as logical as replying to 'Hey, the train departs from platform 4' with 'But the ticket costs fifteen euros!!'

5) The power of expectations. 'I think there won't be a [summer tour/DVD/surprise election/ice cream van at 6]' is descriptive and not to be confused with 'I am making [a summer tour/DVD/surprise election/the ice cream van at 6] not happen, haha!'**

6) Cats.

**Does not apply if you are Johnny/prime minister/the ice cream van man.
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 - bigin)
I kind of have the impression that most Japanese learners on my flist are way ahead of me, with a few additional people who are still on the hiragana and katakana, so things that I (upper beginner, lower intermediate, ish) find useful might really be useful to nobody but me, but just in case, I have been meaning to mention two things I watched / have been watching recently that I found really useful (and enjoyable) for Japanese practice.

1) I watched Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo with [personal profile] solo, in Japanese with Japanese subtitles. This is a half-hour comedy about a quirky, unusual teacher (yes, really) ending up teaching the class full of weirdos (yes, yes, really) at a Japanese language school for foreigners (new!), where she tries to get them all to graduate together (YES, REALLY).

The plots are nothing special and you've heard all of the tropes before, but because it's only half an hour long, I found that didn't really matter. What I found cool on the language level was that it was fairly easy to understand; partly because, well, we know all the tropes, but also partly because the foreigners speak fairly clear and slower Japanese. It also usually opens with some actual 'history of Japanese' teaching, which I found interesting just on that level. (For example, there is a classroom scene where they talk about why all sorts of green shit is called BLUE in Japanese, and one plot revolves around the proper use of keigo.)

The foreigners are basically a bunch of Japan otakus/weeaboos, and the show pokes some fun at them, but in a benign and friendly way that I found sweet rather than cringe-worthy. It is a little bit racist but actually a lot LESS than I expected. (Don't let the first scene with the black dude mislead you, it gets much more nuanced.)

It helps if you find Naka Riisa, who plays the teacher, as charming as I do, but, really, in terms of language learning, this was one of the cooler series I've checked out recently.

2) A while ago, I downloaded the first episode of Nihongo no kurasou. I downloaded it mainly based on the title, for random curiosity, and then when I first checked out the ep, i giggled at the setup and linked the torrent to Solo, feeling sure that it was mostly something to watch-and-mock -- it's a Japanese-learning TV show from... some years ago, the look of which is extremely dated and kinda cheap, and reminded me of this 'how to deal with a mugger if you travel abroad' English-learning video that I once watched that nearly made me pee my pants. (If you have not watched this, here, let me make your life improving. Japanese is not required to appreciate this.)

Turns out, though, that I've found this a pretty cool language listening tool. The episodes are themed ('Asking questions, 'Becoming Annoyed') and you get to watch little skits that explain the usage of particular phrases. In terms of vocabulary this isn't that efficient, because it's usually two or three phrases and the eps are twenty minutes long, but the sensei and the three foreign students always discuss the skits, and I've found that pretty cool listening practice even without subs. Basically, they explain Japanese grammar and word choices in Japanese but with the help of pictures and skits, and since this is something I don't get in class, I've found it a cool addition.

Sample on Youtube, the whole thing is available on d.addicts.


On a not-Japanese note... I'd been looking forward to reading Dan Savage's new book, American Savage. I'm a regular listener and reader of his and two of his previous books, The Commitment and The Kid: what happened after my boyfriend and I decided to go get pregnant, are books I've reread. Turns out, though, that when you're a regular reader and listener, American Savage is just kind of... boring. The political chapters just basically rehash his rants and writings from elsewhere, and even if they're very justified rants, it doesn't really make my life improving to read another fiften page explanation on why health care policy in the US is nutty and hair-raising, you know? So there's a lot of preaching to the choir in there.

However, I've found his recent essay in response to the DOMA ruling in the US... well, enjoyable is probably accurate despite how weird it sounds. Morbid, touching, funny, and in my opinion worth reading: I Can Die Now: Here's What I Don't Have to Worry About Now That the Supreme Court Overturned DOMA

I don't think this is a unique perspective or anything, but it boiled things down in a way that... speaks to me. Possibly because to some degree, I share these 'worst case scenario' and jinx ponderings. Not entirely -- I'm not Catholic, I don't have the guilt, and I don't think about it all the time -- but it's somewhat familiar. And possibly because my mind goes 'tax breaks' and 'pension entitlements' before anything else, too. :-)
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
Previously on Fluttery Wings: A Story of Hate and Flour:

I have food moths in my kitchen. Six weeks ago I threw out all contaminated and suspected food, put up moth traps and kept things under pretty good control. It seemed to work okay and dimished the moth population, but a few days ago I had another upsurge, and I went, OK MOTHS, IT'S ON.

Read more... )

Let's see if this works.

I also dragged out the stove and found, indeed, some moth nests in the little spaces between the stove and the sink and the stove and the dishwasher.

But the real culprit was... a Tupper box that I knew wasn't airtight but that looked FINE to me. IDK how I could have missed it, but I did, and at least now I know that my müsli seems to be very high quality because it did make those worms awfully fat. >.<

So let's see how that goes.
jona: (GKS - fight-oh!)
I don't often announce fic here because I assume the people who are interested know our regular avenues of posting for our regular kind of stuff, but I still wanted to squee a little about the ART we have for it here -- I bid on [ profile] deshisoraba in a fannish auction and it was the first time I bid & won in one of those in general. And I'm so glad I did, because she is just lovely and I'm so glad we met. And apart from discovering all her other gorgeous art, we had this awesome banner made for us and I wanted to show it off because we loved it so much we ended up writing fic for it.

Aren't they yummy?

The other thing that I found interesting was that this was the first time we wrote, well, a first time after Jin went and got hitched. One of my original fears when I was worrying about the potential of Jin getting married (ha!) was whether that would mean I couldn't enjoy stories set earlier anymore, or write them, or always feel some looming doom in the shape of a break-up even in the happy ending stories.

Well, turns out we just wrote a first time story set in 2007, and the marriage, as far as I could tell, was no problem at all. I consider that... a good sign. :DD

IN OTHER NEWS, I think I am finally HALF caught up. I should really get in the habit of bookmarking. ;___; LJ and DW are so slow these days that I usually get by with scroll-back but I know there were some posts I meant to read again in peace & quiet, and now I have to dig for them. And IDK how this long, long weekend is already almost over...

Also, I bought shoes.

I couldn't help it. I was just shopping for a few last groceries before the long weekend and then this shoe sale assaulted me, held me down, put frilly pink pumps on my feet and was all you know you want it, bitch, and, um, I did.

IDK when I started being able to fit frilly pink pumps into my self-image, but I couldn't resist them, they're real leather and feel like well-worn sneakers and were half-priced and will go great with my blue dress. :D

Proof. )
jona: (geänderte verkehrsführung)
1. I hate packing. I have this utter certainty that I've forgotten something, and I usually have, though I always find something new to forget. I think I'm done except for Charles-Henry and toiletries, but you never know. Oh, and the fact that I had to pack four pairs of shoes into my small suitcase never fails to be ridiculous, yet necessary.

2. I think I'm having a bout of PMS. I don't usually get it severely enough that I need to keep track (and warn people); when I was in my teens I used to get very maudlin days, but now it's mostly a non-event. Combined with my very irregular periods, I just never really know where I am in my cycle. But today as I was getting lunch at the train station, some guy waved a flyer under my nose. And instead of stopping when I did the 'no thanks' thing, he kept waving it at me for like two meters, and I wanted to MURDER him. And then after work I had to go by the post office to pick up a parcel and as I was driving, I was considering the train to Berlin tomorrow, and my reservation -- which is not in an airline seat car but in a compartment, in the middle seat, which is like the absolute worst for train rides, if you're me -- and mentally gearing up for fighting it out over leg space with stupid entitled businessmen and their stupid sprawling legs and phrasing my arguments about how can you see I'm not a teeny tiny pixie and I'm entitled to my own fucking seat? and I wanted to murder them in absentia... then I went, 'hmmmm, Jo, might this totally unfounded anger come from mother nature?' So, yeah, that actually cracked me up then. *g*

3. I could also just be very tired, because I woke up at four in the morning going 'OMG I HAVE TO WRITE A PAPER BY 18 MAY OMG OMG I AM SO FUCKED'. I think of this as a little preview as we move further into April. (Oh, and I have another paper to write by 6 August, but I can have my little moments about that later. Where I'll Be When post updated, but locked.)

4. I'm sure most of you have been linked to this somewhere, but in case you haven't, look at baby owls in a cup. It will make your life improving.

5. Reposted from Twitter: from the category of how maybe not to name your business. Read more... )


jona: (Default)
the paranoid android

December 2015

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