03 May 2010 @ 07:22 pm
Personal Entry No. 53 ("The Last Hurrah")  
That is, the Last Mass Posting of Memes for this school semester.

The sudden heat wave following the brief flurry of snow last week has damaged my efforts to get my papers written. It's a sign of weakness, but I have too much difficulty focusing when the temperature is over 70°--and it's become much hotter inside my room than outside, since this residence hall is a masterpiece of lazy design.

Let's see if I can at least finish my annotated bibliography before tomorrow!

First, here's a book meme from [livejournal.com profile] pink_for_flower!

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

I have no idea, but it's most likely one of the paperback Dickens books. (I can tell you that the first book I can remember reading was "Pat the Bunny," but that is completely irrelevant to this question.)

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you'll read next?

Technically, I'm currently reading Natsume Sōseki's Inside My Glass Doors and Charles Dickens' Sketches by Boz. (It would be more honest to say that they're gathering dust while I flip through things like The Unquiet Ghost, Theory and History of Folklore, and An Anthology of Russian Folk Epics. This paper will never end.) The last book I read for my own enjoyment was Sorekara, also by Sōseki, but I can't for the life of me remember if I finished it or left it behind. University is eating away at my memory, I swear. (ETA: I just remembered that the last book I finished was The Ladies of Grace Adieu! Considering how much I enjoyed it, and that it's sitting less than two feet away from me, I have no idea how I forgot it.)

I'm hoping to finish those two up soon and get started on Outlaws of the Water Margin and Bulgakov's Master and Margarita for the summer.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?

Anything by Jane Austen.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

The section of Michael G. LaFosse's Advanced Origami: An Artist's Guide to Performances in Paper that details how to make your own paper. -д-

More seriously, though, Tolstoy's War and Peace. I need to get a better translation than the one I have before starting it again.

5. Which book are you saving for "retirement?"

Most economists say that my generation won't be able to retire.

...I'm sorry to say that you all are in my generation, so please know that I would work an extra job if it allowed at least one of you the chance to retire at 75.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Like many people, I read the last page when I've reached the last page. When reading through long stretches of Dickens or Thomas Hardy, though, I sometimes flipped through the last chapters and regretted it. (I almost always look at all of Phiz's illustrations for Dickens' stories first, though. I'm a sucker for etchings.)

7. Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

I don't always read them, but they're no more a waste of ink and paper than the publishing information.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Cosette from Les Misérables. I admire Eponine and Valjean much more, but Cosette--at least, after Valjean rescues her--manages to live a very happy, sheltered, and well-nourished life. (She's supposed to be well-learned, as well, but I wish she demonstrated that more in the novel. Even Victor Hugo's brain melted somewhat during her scenes.)

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

Even though I can't reconcile myself with the series anymore, every one of the Harry Potter books is connected with something in my life. An aunt of mine, whom I hadn't seen--and who I still haven't seen--since she moved to North Carolina, gave me the first book when I was nine years old, before the series was well-known at all. I was very hesitant about reading it at first, but I loved it once I finished it; after that, my parents went through the trouble of preordering all of the books and (usually) dumping them on my bed the morning of release, up to when I was seventeen and the last book was published. I always made a point of reading the books in a single day, save for the last one--I just didn't enjoy the characters or J.K. Rowling's writing anymore.

The Goblet of Fire in particular was strange, since my parents, my grandmother, and one of my best friends all offered to get it for me. :`D I still think of it in connection to "marine camp" at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension in town, since I read through it during my lunches. (I also still miss eating salami sandwiches on kaiser rolls after kayaking or walking in the marshes.)

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

I got a set of Russian grammar books from a man who ran the local European food store--he was so kind! There's also that one copy of Madeleine L'Engle's The Wind in the Door which I took out from the library nearly ten years ago...

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

Yes, but this is too personal a subject for me to talk about.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, which is a good source of strength when I need it.

13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Well, I think I would appreciate Lorraine Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun more know that I understand the source material better. Other than that, our high school readings were either enjoyable or so mind-numbingly boring that no one--no one--would want to read them again. I had more problems with required readings in middle and elementary school, though, since they were so often below my own level: I'd finish them too quickly, and would often be out of place for the class readings. Fourth grade was the worst, since we had a soulless automaton for a teacher. (He despised children! What made it worse was that he was still a young man, so we instinctively trusted him at first.)

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

I still can't get used to the bizarre tags the college bookstore puts in its textbooks!

15. Used or brand new?

It doesn't matter, but I do love the bindings and illustrations one can find in older books (as well as the notes left by previous owners). Bookbinding really is an art form that's being lost.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Frankly, I've never had the desire to read his books, so I'll pass on this one.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

This will be outraging to true Tolkien fans, but I had a better time watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy than reading it. I've always preferred his short stories to his novels, to be honest.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?

Just about every other one I've heard about--except for Coraline, which was supposedly a very well done adaptation.

19. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Journey to the West, of all things. The many descriptions of the vegetarian feasts Xuanzang and his disciples were treated to were one thing, but for some reason I always closed the book with a strong desire for hot rice. Maybe it's because someone is sent out to beg for rice nearly every other chapter.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My father. I would say my older brother, as well, but I don't act on his book advice as often (he's been wanting me to read Dune and Terry Pratchett's books for a while now). My sister is right out, even if I respect her opinion, since she wasted money on the Twilight series. Sure, she claims she wanted to make fun of them. I know the truth.

Can you tell me why I still like Pokémon? Because they sure haven't released that life-sized Venusaur doll yet.

a) Your top five favourite Pokémon of all time:

1. Venusaur
2. Masquerain
3. Froslass
4. Honchkrow
5. Pichu

b) Your top five legendaries:

1. Mew
2. Uxie
3. Lugia
4. Celebi
5. Rayquaza

c) The top five Pokémon you think are ugly:

1. Hippowdon
2. Garchomp
3. Shaymin
4. Roserade
5. Luvdisc

d) The top five Pokémon you forget are Pokémon know are completely useless:

1. Umbreon
2. Sunkern
3. Luvdisc
4. Spinda
5. Electivire

e) Out of your favorite type, your top five favorites:

1. Venusaur
2. Breloom
3. Jumpluff
4. Toterra
5. Cradily
Current Music: Heat
Current Mood: Heat
Current Location: Heat
15 | +
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[identity profile] herinia.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
...HOW IN THE WORLD ARE GARCHOMP AND SKY!SHAYMIN AND LUVDISC UGLY. And I shall prove to you that Umbreon and Electivire can be the most annoying useful things. That's if we ever get a chance to battle each other...

I think I've done this meme before, but I can always do it again since it's the Pokemon that I love fufufufu.

Good luck with your pape...oh wait school is still in session over there?!
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Sky!Shaymin just looks tacky, Garchomp is a shark crossed with a jet plane, and Luvdisc creeps me out, since I can't figure out where its brain or internal organs are. Also, Umbreon just isn't bulky enough for the OU metagame anymore. D:< (Unfortunately, I haven either Wi-Fi nor SoulSilver, so we're going to have to postpone the Ultimate Battle of Ultimate Destiny indefinitely.)

Tomorrow is the last official day of classes, and finals will last until the 11th. I have a Japanese oral exam at 4:50 on Wednesday, a paper due at 5:00 on Friday, a Russian exam at 1:30 on Saturday, another paper due on the 11th, and...a final exam at 7:00 PM on the 11th? That can't be right. }:/

ETA: I also have a grammar/cultural exam for Japanese at 9:30 AM on Sunday. /writes down dates on note card

Edited 2010-05-04 02:28 am (UTC)
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[identity profile] mina-akira.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 03:06 am (UTC)
I-I haven't read various of the books you mentioned ;A; But I can agree on the fact that I've never felt like reading Stephen King, haha. And I also enjoyed the LOTR movies more than the books.

Oh! I always find it curious when people complains about heat, because I come from a very hot place. 70° feels so nice to me hahaha. On Saturday we had 104° @_@ and we go higher on summers. But on the other hand, I'm not sure how I would handle being in a very cold place 'A'...probably not well! -u-

Good luck with final projects and finals!! ♥
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for whining--I just don't have a lot of tolerance for heat. (Maybe it's because it's so cold up here for so long? I forgot what summer felt like.) 104° is horrible--stay hydrated! D:

Thank you!
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[identity profile] grass-angel.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
I'm thinking I'll eventually snag both of these memes, even though my responses to the book one aren't quite so literary as yours.

Out of interest though, is the chapter you mention in (4) thin paper or the rustic handmade stuff? Because I might be convinced to do a photopost on how to do it. (Or at least the basics, I assume the book goes into complicated things like cellulose and fibre lengths and various ratios of ingredients to achieve the perfect paper to wet fold or something else.)
7: Sometimes the printing/publishing information is of greater importance than the acknowledgments. (In the case where the author thanks someone I do not know for something very obtuse and the publishing information includes the LoC Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Or it also includes stuff about the typeface.)
And if you weren't in America, I would totally lend you my copy of the Coraline movie.

And I approve of most of your five ugliest Pokemon being from the fourth gen. (Skyforme is... kind of cute, but kind of wtf.)
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
It's the rustic handmade stuff. I have two origami books by LaFosse, both of which contain a chapter on making your own paper that goes into cellulose, proper equipment, what dyes to use, and so on. The whole process just seems to take a lot of time and effort--I'm amazed that you've done it before! (Er, I'm assuming you have. Your range of craft skills is awe-inspiring enough already.)

My brother and I are going to have to make a very important trip to the Blockbuster several towns over. (Thank you, though!)

Did you ever see the fake Skyforme by PurpleKecleon? The Pokemon fandom almost unanimously agrees that it was better than the real thing.
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[identity profile] grass-angel.livejournal.com on May 5th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
The paper making that I've done is basically the little kid version of artisan paper making, although I do know that a lot of the artisan paper will use newsprint/copier paper as some sort of a base. But I do know what to do with a mould and deckle. (And that using an iron on semi-dry sheets will make them smooth and 'hot-press'.)

I did indeed see PurpleKecleon's version, before I even went looking into the fourth gen Pokemon, so I was very disappointed that it wasn't straight up fan art.
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[identity profile] lady-kikyou.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)

Ahem. I have to agree with your choices for ugly Pokemon, though. Actually, the 4th Generation as a whole doesn't look much like Pokemon anymore-- meaning I am dreading the 5th. But Pokemon is addictive and I'll probably get it, anyway.

/steals meme
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
AMERICAN STANDARD METAGAME SAYS IT IS. American metagame also says that Venusaur is outclassed by Celebi in OU, but I strongly believe that it will get some kind of awesome new moveset in Gen 5.

I'm worried about the upcoming Pokemon, too, but at least Zorua/Zoroark didn't look so bad. Everything about the games' aesthetic so far suggests that Game Freak is going for simplicity, so hopefully the new designs will look more Pokemon-like.

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[identity profile] grprsa.livejournal.com on May 4th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
What's your favorite Charles Dickens's book?

I've only Thomas Hardy novel I've read was, Tess of the D'urbervilles and that was depressing. Right now, I'm reading Jane Eyre and we all know that's going to end well :)

I really want a gameboy nano to buy some pokemon games. Maybe I'll get one for Christmas. My birthday is coming up but I think I'm going to spend most of my b-day money on Disneyland...

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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on May 6th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
That's a good question--I think both The Old Curiosity Shop and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (even though it cuts off at the most inexplicable point).

G-Gameboy Nano? I thought owning one was like listening to music that's so on edge, it's been composed by bands that don't exist yet. (Unless you meant the Gameboy Micro, which does exist. :D)
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[identity profile] grprsa.livejournal.com on May 6th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
Lol! That was a total facepalm! I actually meant the Gameboy Advance SP...nevermind, I don't know what I'm talking about...

But, I'm looking at the gameboy micro right now, and I wouldn't mind owning that :)
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[identity profile] cortarr.livejournal.com on May 5th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
I'm not nerdy (or into the fandom enough) to tackle the Pokemon quiz, but I could handle the book parts as long no on makes fun out me for only reading kid stuff. I'm amazed you did not pick on Twilight when many readers in my class are into that! I don't see what is so great about it.

The world would be our better place (that is a lie) when people read "Let the Right One In" rather than that Twilight, but that won't happen. I notice your soul is lost once you read anything Meyer has done!
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[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on May 6th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
There are still a lot of "kid" books that I think are superior to "adult" literature. (Twilight just isn't worth criticizing anymore. It's like shooting fish in a barrel...but I can't do it honestly, since I don't even want to read the book in the first place.)
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[identity profile] kencana-kencana.livejournal.com on May 30th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
"Frankly, I've never had the desire to read his books, so I'll pass on this one."

Same with me. In my country, it's a bit hard to find Stephen King book.
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