Outou
08 April 2024 @ 06:00 am
 
painting of clouds Welcome!
 
 
Outou
22 December 2011 @ 02:03 am
Holiday Request No. 01: "Jet Boots! Jet Boots for Everyone!"  
The first holiday request is under the cut! I'm sorry for the wait. )

Also, good news: my applications for graduate school are all finished, save for the one for Cornell! I'm glad that I can finally enjoy my break.

Here's hoping everyone is having a good winter or summer thus far!
 
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Outou
10 December 2011 @ 04:22 pm
 

Holiday Requests 2011

Comment with: a day, a fandom, a pairing, and a prompt, and I will do something* for you, to be posted on the day you claimed. Any fandom you know I'm familiar with is fair game, though I reserve the right to ask for a different prompt if you pick something I don't feel comfortable with, or a fandom I haven't been into in a long time.

*"Do something" here can mean "make colored icons," "produce an uncolored drawing" (to avoid the two-year-long Christmas debacle!), "make a music mix," or even "compose a MIDI ditty."


Please feel free to read more or make a request under the cut! )

This is my last week of the semester, and I have the following to do before I can go home in any semblance of self-respect:

1) Write a twelve-page paper on textile and garment industries in contemporary China by the 13th.
2) Take a grammar exam for Japanese on the 14th. (It's not a real final, thank goodness!)
3) Write roughly 4,000 words for a take-home final exam.
4) Go to my last voice lesson on Tuesday. (Okay, this will be fun.)
5) Recite a poem at Monday's Russian dinner.
6) Complete five graduate school applications by the 15th. (Cornell, thank you so much for having a January 1st deadline. Harvard, curse you for using such tiny spaces on an online application.)
 
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Outou
20 September 2011 @ 11:49 am
Personal Entry No. 70 (Or: "Everything was Beautiful. Nothing Hurt.")  
This is my last year of undergraduate school, and it's looking to be the busiest and most difficult. I have to get my applications for graduate school in by early December, I have a personal research project to work on, and four normal-sized courses on top of that (along with the fencing and choral activities). I-I still want to get some icons done, though, and finally tie up all the loose ends on that Character page for the [livejournal.com profile] gate_seven comm. (Please stop introducing new characters, CLAMP, we're already awed by your designing ability.)

I was recommended for a research assistant position to a new professor, too, so I'm very happy about that! Since this professor had funding available for up to 20 hours-per-week, I recommended another three students to help out; they were all enthusiastic about the project, so she decided to split the workload into 5 hours-per-week for each of us. I'm glad that we can work in a group together, especially since the professor's research topic is specific on the surface, but has very deep roots. (She's hoping to study the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on a certain subset of the disaster victims; I'm not sure if it would be kosher to go into detail here, since nothing has been published yet.)

As indicated by this post, I got through the CLS program alive and in one piece -- I even think I came back as a slightly-larger piece, due to my host mother's giving me a giant breakfast of kasha, cucumbers, berry kefir, and сырки every morning (and sometimes toast, sausages, and/or pelmeni, too). (I soon went back to my normal weight, though.) I kept a travel journal while I was there, so I'm hoping to start posting excerpts with photos and (hopefully) funny Internet-exclusive text this Saturday. There are almost 600 photographs, but thankfully you'll be spared the brunt of them!

With all that said, it's good to be back. How have you all been? I couldn't keep up -- Internet connections in Vladimir were scarce!
 
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Outou
18 June 2011 @ 11:42 am
Personal Entry No. 69  
How long has it been since I wrote here? May and June have passed by very quickly -- I should have made better use of them.

I'm posting this from the hotel in Washington, D.C. that's hosting us CLS participants; while there is a lone USB cable in the lobby that provides free Internet access, Wi-Fi or ethernet cables come with extra charges, so my browsing freedom is restricted. It's difficult to adjust to, given how easily I can access the Internet at my university or at home! (And considering how plentiful Wi-Fi must be here, why do hotels get away with making their guests pay for it? It was to be expected, I suppose.) It will be more difficult to get on the Internet in Vladimir, but hopefully I'll be able to purchase a Wi-Fi card or make other arrangements -- I want to stay in touch with my family, and tell you about what happens there, too.

My flight leaves today at 4:55 p.m., and will arrive in Moscow at 10:55 a.m. To be honest, I'm pretty scared.

Still, we had a good and detailed orientation (it lasted nine hours!), and I've received a lot of emotional support from my family and friends, so I should do my best to be brave. It's a study trip, not a military assignment.

Now for some frothy fandom talk! Frothing monsters not included. )

Since I've been away for so long, can you please tell me about how you've been doing? Are you all doing okay? What exciting adventures have you undertaken, or are about to undertake? An inquiring mind wants to know!
 
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Outou
24 April 2011 @ 03:17 pm
Personal Entry No. 68  
Finding myself with free time and a large box of miscellaneous confections, I think I can post something today! There hasn't been much time for anything other than scattered comments ever since my spring vacation, as I've been pretty busy with the CLS paperwork, major and minor audits, class and housing registration, and upcoming final exams. (It's strange to think of it, but I only have one full week of classes left before "reading week" and finals -- where did this semester fly off to?)

For those whom I didn't already tell, I found out that I'll be going to Vladimir this summer, and will be studying at the KORA Russian Language Center. It's a remarkably beautiful city, and is either over 900 or 1,000 years old, depending on what foundation date one goes by; I don't know where exactly in the city I'll be staying, but I do know that the program has many cultural excursions planned to local museums and theaters, as well as to Moscow and Saint Petersburg. I'm both excited frightened at the prospect of being in an entirely different country for seven weeks, but hopefully my excitement will get the better of my fear before I leave.

School has been going relatively well this past month: I managed to see both a very silly production of The Pirates of Penzance and an amazing taiko performance/fundraiser for the city of Asahi, which was badly damaged by the Tōhoku earthquake. My own Japanese-language professor is from Asahi, and she herself performed in one of the pieces -- she looked so amazing!

Here's a clip of this particular taiko group's 2009 performance in my area. )

I also went on tour with my choral group at the beginning of this month, which was a tiring but overall enjoyable experience. (Unfortunately, it seems that we will never be able to attend that one hotel in New York City again.) We just completed our recording sessions for a new CD, so hopefully I'll be able to upload the pieces we sang here for your benefit -- so long as you want to listen to them, of course!

On an entirely different note -- har! -- here are some more previews! )

Finally: to those who celebrate it, have a happy Easter! To those who don't, enjoy the onset of spring or fall!
 
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Outou
11 March 2011 @ 03:37 pm
Personal Entry No. 67  
I can't write for long, so please forgive me for being so brief:

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan northeast of Tokyo this morning, and both a tsunami against the eastern coast and mass fire outbreaks have followed. This is worse than the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 -- even though the death toll is smaller at roughly 1,000.

The Asahi Shimbun is still reporting, so you can get local updates on the quake. Live comments can be found here; Al-Jazeera is running a live blog here. There's also a livestream from NHK available.

If you're looking for anyone you know in Japan, the Red Cross has opened up a directory; there's a Person Finder to look through, too. As for providing relief, so far I've read that ShelterBox is a good source to donate to -- it apparently provided a lot of help during the earthquake in New Zealand. The American Red Cross and Global Giving are also accepting donations.

Finally, if you're in Japan or in any of the areas affected by the tsunami: I'm praying for you, and I hope that you're safe and unharmed.
 
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Outou
21 February 2011 @ 11:09 pm
Personal Entry No. 66 (Or: Entry No. 61, the Conclusion)  
I donated blood at around 7:00 P.M. today, and I'm glad I worked up the courage to go! It really bodes well that I got through the whole process without feeling too dizzy or sick, especially since my first blood donation saw me nearly passing out at the snack table. It's a sign that I'm in good health, and that my anemia is long gone.

That aside, I promised some more information about the CLS program, and more information you shall have...under the cut, of course!

Please hold the line. )

Say, would you like another meme for your time? )

Finally, a very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mairenn_k! I'm so sorry I'm late, and I hope your day went well!
 
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Outou
21 February 2011 @ 10:29 pm
Personal Entry No. 65  
In much, much more important news, Tripoli is pretty much in chaos as Col. Gaddafi's government violently strikes down protestors -- not just with guns, but with bombs. Yes, it has actually been confirmed that Gaddafi ordered fighter plane pilots to drop bombs on the protesters.

The Libyan Justice Minister, many embassy staffers, and several Libyan diplomats have resigned in protest, with the country's representative in the U.N. calling for Gaddafi's resignation (and with the U.N. itself, at the moment, offering not much more than a slap on the wrist). Al Jazeera is running a livestream of the protests, but it's currently offline. Mobile networks are offline, too, and it's apparently impossible to make an international call on the landlines -- making the already difficult job of reporting from Libya even worse. That may very well be why other states have been so slow to react to the violence, but...surely, we have seen the international community react more strongly against events with even less evidence for support, right?

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] the_sun_is_up has more links here, including some detailing what you can do to help.
 
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Outou
17 February 2011 @ 02:52 pm
Personal Entry No. 64 (Or: Personal Entry No. 61 ½)  
I should have written earlier, but two days ago I was notified that I've been accepted into the Critical Language Scholarship Program -- I'll be going to either Kazan, Ufa, or Vladimir this summer! There will be more on that and other things this weekend.

With summer in mind, the temperature outside has reached 43°F (6°C). I'm feeling more alive than I have in months.
 
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Outou
14 February 2011 @ 05:03 pm
Personal Entry No. 63  
Sakura and Xiaolang from CCS


A surprise is under the cut! )

I hope you all had a great day today -- even if this year we can't combine Valentine's Day with the Lunar New Year celebrations!
 
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Outou
30 January 2011 @ 05:43 pm
Personal Entry No. 62  
(waves arms) Hello, there! I haven't been done in yet, neither by academia nor by CLAMP's persistent attempts to crush my heart. There are many things that need to be said -- but I'll spare you most of it, since there's only so much we can talk about at any given time.

Life in the Far North. )

Photographs of the great blizzard...or of a relatively great one, at least. )

Also, about illustrations and graphics. )

Sometimes, it feels like the world is falling down. )

On a more upbeat tone: a belated Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] lavender88 and [livejournal.com profile] pink_for_flower, both of whom were born on the 21st! А с (поздным) днём рождения, [livejournal.com profile] fetterless -- желаю счастья!
 
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Outou
15 November 2010 @ 08:10 pm
Personal Entry No. 61  
My Critical Language Scholarship application is finished and ready to be submitted, but I need to wait for my Russian professor to send in her letter of reference...before 11:59 P.M. PST. Needless to say, my stomach is churning. (ETA: My professor pulled through -- hurrah!)

More importantly: via [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire, the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti is growing more deadly, with the death toll now over 900. What's worse is that U.N. officers may have unwittingly carried this particular strain of the disease with them, but we still need to wait for confirmation of that (even though some desperate Haitians have not).

In other news, if you have any concerns about the Higgs boson, read this article on progress made at the CERN research center. I can't believe we might be able to definitively prove its existence in as little as a year!

And finally for something more pleasant, here's a meme that's been going around. I think I filled it out a little while after I first signed up for a LiveJournal account, so it'll be interesting to see how my answers for certain series have changed.

★ Reply with a fandom and I'll tell you the following:

▌ favorite character
▌ least favorite character
▌ prettiest character
▌ character I want to marry think is AWESOME
▌ favorite pairing
▌ favorite episode
▌ unpopular opinion


All that said, how is everyone doing?
 
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Outou
31 October 2010 @ 09:16 pm
Personal Entry No. 60  
Happy Halloween, everyone! It's never too late to go trick-or-treating, you know.

Anyway, I'm sitting here trying to eat an over-caramelized apple in celebration, even though the city I'm in right now is supposedly big on Halloween -- at least, that's what my Japanese professor says, but I don't feel safe enough to go out alone at night. On top of that, I don't have any means of getting a costume, barring the chance that I become bold enough to go as myself.

My school itself "celebrated" on Friday, with discussions on Halloween in Japan monopolizing our first Japanese professor's lecture on the tea ceremony, our second Japanese professor bringing candy to our drill class in a beautiful lacquered box, and our history professor including Jack-o'-Lanterns in her slide show on Japan's takeover of Manchuria. (My I.R. and Russian professors didn't do anything, but to be fair Halloween has no place in discussions of international relations, and it still isn't very popular in Russia. I think my Russian professor would actually be happy to know that Novosibirsk just celebrated its first Halloween. She has two little sons, so I imagine she took them out trick-or-treating around the neighborhood earlier this weekend -- they're so cute!)

On a different note: I normally try not to talk that much about my personal problems or normal news from my daily life, as I worry that you would all find that boring. However, if you'll bear with me, I'd like to write about something that happened to me a few days ago.

Long text behind the cut! )

On another note, a warm welcome to [livejournal.com profile] knuddeluff!
 
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Outou
21 October 2010 @ 09:30 pm
Personal Entry No. 59  
College has been very busy lately -- I ought to be doing Russian homework now, but wanted to get a post out to prove that I haven't been done in by fencing practice yet. (I'm not quite sure why our instructor thought it was a good idea to have us start practicing the balestra, quartata, and other "advanced" techniques so soon, but at least they're good for building up muscle! It's too bad that walking down stairs has become mildly painful.) I've likewise been working hard with the Chorale: our performances of Carmina Burana will be this weekend, with our last rehearsal tomorrow. We have dual Steinways, five timpani, a giant base drum, and other percussion for accompaniment, and the overall sound is...overpowering, to say the least. Hopefully someone will tape one of the performances and upload it to YouTube, but if not I'll upload it from the CD.

It's ten more days until Halloween, but as some other people have been posting their candy already, I figured it would be better to get this over and done with!



1. Create a graphic (200 x 200 max size) to represent your personal "candy". It should have your username on it, but otherwise can feature whatever you want. Make it something special since it's self-representative.

2. Make a post with the subject "trick or treat?". Put your "candy" somewhere in it, and be sure to repost these instructions.

3. Then, go around other people's LJs and reply to them with either "trick" or "treat". If you reply with "trick", they will give you an LJ dare that you have to perform before taking their candy. If you're too wimpy for that, simply say "treat" and take their candy.

4. List all your collected candies in your original "trick or treat?" post to show off your collection, being sure not to direct-link!


Alternate candy and spoils of war beneath the cut! )


In other news, I finished four out of the five illustrations from the 2009 Christmas requests, which is shocking. [livejournal.com profile] rhap_chan and [livejournal.com profile] mina_akira's have been posted on Pixiv already, since they both have accounts there, and [livejournal.com profile] rainmage and [livejournal.com profile] laury_kos's are waiting in the wings, which leaves only [livejournal.com profile] makwui's. I'll post all five here as a set when the last one is finished, but if you'd like to see a preview (and request changes), please feel free to ask!
 
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Outou
25 September 2010 @ 12:36 pm
Personal Entry No. 58  
And now for a genuine personal post! There's even a new icon post over at [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, too, like old times.

About Middlebury... )

...and about school right now. )

Also, a music meme! )

Fortunately, I've gotten myself a Pixiv account! Unfortunately, I've also started uploading things to it, which clearly means that I am going to lose sleep for the next few months over whether or not the (mostly) Japanese fandom likes my digital scribbles. I shall consider myself successful when someone on LJ finds my fanart on Danbooru, crops them, and posts them as artsy icons.

More seriously, though, I'm beginning to regret it, as I now feel obligated to post captions in Japanese...when I still can barely write in Japanese. Our classes are centered around Professor Eleanor Jorden's Japanese: The Spoken Language, which -- as the title suggests -- doesn't focus on the written language at all; as such, while conversationally we're ahead of students studying at the same level with different texts, we're very definitely illiterate.3 That said, I feel that the textbook's grammar explanations are remarkably clear and illustrative based on what I've heard about other people's problems with Japanese. At least everybody seems to fully understand the difference between "wa" and "ga!"

1 No, seriously, Spicy Kimchi Noodles and Spicy Kimchi Noodles alone gave me my first kidney stone. They contain the average human being's daily allowance of sodium, and possibly the average horse's, too. Do not eat these noodles.

2 What's ironic about this is that the weather is not a good subject for small talk in Russia. It's too boring and pointless.

3 Thus far we only know a chunk of the katakana syllabary, which Professor Jorden started off with in JWL (Japanese: The Written Language) on the basis that it would provide us with many more words to read and write off the bat. (I myself was pretty dubious about it at first, but if you think about it, what can we do with hiragana at this point? Write out particles and the copula over and over again? We need kanji to make it work!)
 
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Outou
02 September 2010 @ 10:20 pm
We interrupt your scheduled programming...  
I apologize for not posting about Middlebury and what's transpired in my life since then, but here's something important for all of you to read.

Are you listening?

Are you listening?


Good! Now, you all know about the snafu surrounding LiveJournal's new cross-posting feature for Twitter and Facebook.

The problem is that LiveJournal is integrating somewhat with Facebook, most likely with some kind of contract between the two websites. The meaning is that we're all that much more unsure about whether or not the administrators will listen to the users' complaints.

Now, I'm not saying that it's time for us to finally pack all our bags and head on over to Dreamwidth (even though I do have invite codes available, and am looking for more friends for my account there); most of our respective fandoms and f-lists are situated pretty firmly here. I'm saying that, if you value your privacy and respect the privacy of the people on your f-list, please undertake the following measures:

1) Don't cross-post comments made in f-locked entries to Facebook or Twitter. (I think I've made it clear that I would very much like it if no one cross-posted anything from this journal or even [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, if anyone still goes there to look at the tumbleweeds.)
2) Don't enable cross-posting to Facebook in your LJ settings, unless you want your Facebook (and most likely real) name to appear in your LJ profile and your LJ name to appear in your Facebook comments.
3) Install this handy code to get rid of the cross-posting boxes under all comment forms, for everybody, on your journal!
4) Take the poll. It won't hurt.

Finally, here is the response from the LJ staff concerning the changes. Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] starlady38, [livejournal.com profile] vegetas, and everyone listed above for the information!

With all that said, I'll definitely be able to make that journal entry tomorrow. Good night, everyone.
 
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Outou
29 August 2010 @ 08:07 pm
Personal Entry No. 57  
Contrary to popular opinion, I am still alive. I am doing well. And I will tell you all about my time at the Russian School and other university-related things on Wednesday, since my Japanese lecture was canceled.

Fortunately, I was able to finally make a new header and layout for [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, and have 92 icons ready for the next set. You can see a grainy preview of some of them below -- please tell me what you think!



Moving on to more important things: here are some links you've most likely seen already, but should be spread as much as possible: Aid for Pakistan via Azuire on Dreamwidth and [livejournal.com profile] help_pakistan, as well as [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire's own post on the Western press's fixation on death and suffering in Third World countries.

Also: if you're from the United States, or care about our political system, this article by George Packer on the dysfunction of the Senate is worth a read. Loosely connected to both the Senate and the recent leak of 76,000 military documents on the war in Afghanistan/"Operation Enduring Freedom" by Wikileaks is this piece from The Washington Post, the somewhat-tackily-named "Top Secret America". It details the U.S. government's massive intelligence and national security branches.

And I'm sure you all know that, following over three months of crude oil flowing freely into the Gulf and causing massive, still not fully measured, and possibly irrecoverable damage to the area's ecosystems, B.P. has finally succeeded in sealing the well responsible the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Or perhaps it hasn't.
 
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Outou
12 June 2010 @ 02:23 pm
Personal Entry No. 55  
So, it's been, um, over a month since I last posted here. I'm so sorry that I've missed all of your posts since then! Please update me on things in the comments.

I'm typing this from my (very small) room at Middlebury College, which is nothing short of beautiful; apparently the school was the most expensive college in the United States at some point, which certainly shows in the architecture of the buildings. The very small room has a great view of the campus and the hills in the distance, and the residence hall is a wonder to look at. This is good, because my mattress feels like poured concrete. I haven't gotten a lot of sleep for the past few days due to all of the traveling, so I almost cried when I laid down on it.

I spent the weeks between coming home and arriving at Middlebury with my family -- e.g., cleaning the house, making meals, and slaying "big monsters with big weapons" in Monster Hunter Tri.1 (That game is a bundle of contradictions: it's the same thing over and over again, yet it doesn't get old!) It was good -- I appreciate the time I can spend with them a lot more these days, even when my siblings get on my nerves. There's a large photo post coming up; I just need to get over two hours to myself to upload the pictures and code it, since the opening weekend for the Russian Language School has been a parade of registrations, exams, and mandatory social events. Things should settle down once I get a daily schedule, fortunately!

That brings up an important question... )

All that aside: most of my fandoms have exploded, apparently. I haven't yet read the promotional materials for The Neverending Manga xxxHOLiC's move to Bessatsu Shonen, though -- and I haven't actually read the new chapter, either. Apparently nothing important happened, but then again, nothing important has happened for the entirety of "Rou." It might be a good idea to just leave it alone and come back to it in five years.

I have read the final chapter of FMA, and...I could write a longer post on it later, and I most likely will. I'll just say that I enjoyed it very much, and that it hit mostly the right points for me. That means that I almost cheered out loud at how awesome it was.

1One of the developers literally said that the series is based on killing really big monsters with really big weapons. At least someone is being honest about the real reason video games exist, right?
 
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Outou
08 May 2010 @ 04:50 pm
Personal Entry No. 54  

L e v e l     U p !


+ 72 JNL ENTRY
+ 6 ICN ENTRY
+ 773 ICN
+ 1065 SCRP IMAGE
+ 38 PARTY
+ 1 HP



Da-da-da dah dah dah da-da-duuuuuum! )
 
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