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!

There's something to be said about relying too much on Internet memes. )

And now for something completely immature! )
Current Location: Heat
Current Mood: Heat
Current Music: Heat
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27 April 2010 @ 07:20 pm
Personal Entry No. 52  
What I enjoyed about this school year versus the last was that Spring was soon in coming. The crabapple tree underneath my window is in full flower; there are cherry and pear blossoms along the sidewalks I normally use to get to classes; the temperatures have been reaching 60° almost every day! There are even panicle hydrangeas and magnolias in bloom.

Though it had been raining for the past two days, the sun was shining brightly this morning. It was snowing.

Humans and nature just...don't get along, do they?

Let's celebrate with that 'Better than it Sounds' meme. )

I'm lucky the due date for one of my papers was postponed to May 11th. Now all I have to do is write fifteen pages before then, and ten pages before the 6th, while preparing for the Russian and Japanese finals. ...Which, um, I'm obviously doing right now. Yes.
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18 April 2010 @ 04:48 pm
Personal Entry No. 51  
This is something of a "state of the union" post for [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu. As for my state, my vitamin levels are now normal, my schoolwork is under control, and I got fourth place in that Russian competition. If I had only performed better on the "reading aloud" segment, I would have had a chance at making second: I scored fourth in that and second in both the poetry and monologue competitions. (What's strange is that the text I had to read aloud was apparently about Peter the Great's daily schedule, including his magnificent lunch of many different kinds of sausages and cheeses. At least my reading comprehension is all right?)

It is so much easier to make previews than it is to make completed products. )

♠ If you've been tagged, you must write your answers in your own LJ and replace any question that you dislike with a new question.
♠ Tag eight people. Don't refuse to do that. Don't tag who tagged you.

It is also much easier to fill out memes on the Internet. )

I'll tag [livejournal.com profile] mairenn_k, [livejournal.com profile] jlarinda, [livejournal.com profile] lavender88, [livejournal.com profile] lady_kikyou, [livejournal.com profile] vegetas, [livejournal.com profile] countersparking, [livejournal.com profile] baelheit, and [livejournal.com profile] ianthefira for this one.

But wait, there's more! )
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10 April 2010 @ 11:40 pm
Personal Entry No. 50  
First: Thank you to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday! I had classes, so I wasn't exactly free to do whatever I wanted, but I got a vanilla cake and well-wishes--that's good enough for me. (That sounds too Pollyanna-like--I received presents from my parents and grandmother, too.) It's strange, though, since I feel as though I was ten years old only a few years ago, not a whole decade. Supposedly time only passes more quickly from now on. I believe in Science, and thus disregard that as complete and utter nonsense!

Second, and more disturbing: Today, April 10th, a plane carrying Poland's President, over thirty other governmental and military figures, and several others crashed en route to Smolensk, killing all 97 passengers. The trip was planned to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, in which over 20,000 Polish POWs were killed by the NKVD.

The government should "recover" easily as the Cabinet is still intact, and this is nowhere near as damaging as any natural disaster, but this is still a heavy blow to Poland and its people.

In other news, here are some updates about several ongoing situations of interest:

Vignettes about the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Port-au-Prince.

Some more details on international donations to Haiti. Supposedly, the spending and distribution of aid will be conducted with the Haitian government's full cooperation. What I hope for the most, however, was mentioned only at the very end of the article: a focus on making Haiti agriculturally self-sufficient, so it won't be forced to rely on artificially-cheap American imports.

I unfortunately wasn't able to find many updates on Chile's recovery efforts, but did find this: Henry Kissinger and Operation Condor, a program of political assassinations conducted by Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina in the 1970s. Make of that what you will. (I have no idea what to make of it myself.)

Finally, the Iranian protest movement against the fraudulent June elections is still alive, even though the street protests have been largely driven underground.
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27 March 2010 @ 10:41 pm
Personal Entry No. 49  
I'm running out of ways to open these entries inventively, without resorting to flooding your journals with animated .gifs and videos. Perhaps that's a sign telling me I ought to start cross-posting from Dreamwidth, if only for a change of pace.

I have a Russian competition coming up, so I've been working on four short compositions to memorize as well as a poem by Boris Pasternak. (Note: the English translation on that website is awful. Here is the one we were given.) Unfortunately, I've been having problems with the poem: my professor told me in so many words that my reading was thoroughly bad, and asked me to translate it myself to get a better feeling for its meaning. She did compliment me greatly on the first composition, though, so I'm feeling positive about the competition as a whole.

Time let me hail and climb,/Golden in the heydays of his eyes. )
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22 March 2010 @ 10:56 pm
Personal Entry No. 48  
Hello, everyone! I have returned from my journey home, as well as from all of the surprises that met me when I came back to university (including daffodils, a hurried overview of the life and death of Ilya Muromets, the connections between Russian and Greek epics, an unexpected article in French, and a JSPS survey).1

Special welcome to [livejournal.com profile] baelheit, [livejournal.com profile] ianthefira, and [livejournal.com profile] kaiyashe, whom I met in the Baten Kaitos thread in a "Small Fandoms" friending meme. If you added me to your friends list because of that meme, and I failed to add you back, please comment here so that I can go ahead and do so.

A road to the dignified future. )

1The research coordinator promised the participants a free Japanese handkerchief, retail value 15 USD, with the return of the surveys. They were even designed by a Living Natural Treasure! Wonderful!
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11 March 2010 @ 01:13 pm
Personal Entry No. 47  
When you see this meme, post a poem on your LJ.

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them — ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

—Walt Whitman

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08 March 2010 @ 11:58 pm
Personal Entry No. 46  
I have 83 images so far for the upcoming tutorial at [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu--that's the "coloring" section down! I'll work on the background and post-production sections over the break, along with the request images.

Behind Door No. One, tutorial preview with nifty cut-away effect! )

Behind Door No. 2, worthless blocks of text! )
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06 March 2010 @ 01:41 am
Personal Entry No. 45  
Why do I post more often when I have to write papers, go over drills, and practice Russian folk songs?1 Here are the results to that character meme.

1. Hanato Kobato (Kobato.)
2. Genis Sage (Tales of Symphonia)
3. Doraemon (Doraemon)
4. Mihara Shuuko (Angelic Layer)
5. Fei Wong Read (TSUBASA RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE)
6. Kinomoto Sakura (Card Captor Sakura)
7. Sylvette Suede (Tegami Bachi
8. Clow Read (Card Captor Sakura)
9. Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda)
10. Urdnot Wrex (Mass Effect)
11. Commander Shepard (Mass Effect) 2
12. Dunning Smith (Hotel Dusk) 3
13. Don Paolo (Professor Layton)
14. Dr. Thunderland, Jr. (Tegami Bachi)
15. Flora Reinhold (Professor Layton)

Through the door there came familiar laughter,/I saw your face and heard you call my name. )

This turned out to be such a block of text, it would be best if you added "?style=mine" to the page url. I need to find a wider layout.
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03 March 2010 @ 10:37 pm

[livejournal.com profile] help_chile functions very much like [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti, which will be holding another auction sometime in the future. The mods are looking for people who can translate the FAQ and Userinfo pages into languages other than English, Spanish, and French, and bidding is currently underway--please consider helping them out!

Also, please make threads on the meme below (unless you've decided to join the interesting community [livejournal.com profile] cloverbooks--thank you for the heads up, [livejournal.com profile] lavender88!). Quite a few people on my f-list are having problems, and...well, I fail at writing about personal things at length, especially in this journal. Just know that I appreciate all of you, and worry for all of you, even if I can't make the time to talk to you individually.




One last thing: that other meme is forthcoming. I can't do it tonight, unfortunately, since I need to finish my reading on Russian imperial expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries. Oh, how my eyes ache.
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28 February 2010 @ 02:18 pm
Personal Entry No. 43  
I can't focus on my work. This calls for shutting the laptop down and getting started on my Japanese drills--and possibly the Russian dialogue I have to memorize, which entails me being a helpless American who can't find her friend's house in Saint Petersburg.

It's interesting how the Голоса (Golosa, or "Voices") textbooks are structured: while our grammar studies proceed at a well-designed pace (the simple prepositional and accusative cases came before the more complex genitive plural, for example), it took us a while to learn how to say things necessary for every-day survival. We knew how to say "I study international relations and the Russian language" and "I saw an avant-garde artist at the bookstore" long before we knew how to say "I'm cold" or "Where is the hospital?". We just reached the imperative, so we can finally call for help!

Holy war is on the phone,/Asking to please stay on hold. )

I'll postpone the meme results until I get some more questions, so please consider taking a look at the post below!

More importantly, here's some more information on the recent 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile. The death count is in the hundreds, there are many more people wounded or displaced, and damage costs will be anywhere from 15 to 30 billion USD. Thank God the expected tsunami only left minor damage; I'm amazed that the shock of the quake was strong enough to send 2.5-foot waves to the Kuril Islands, well over 10,000 miles (over 16,700 km) away.

Quake, tsunamis kill more than 700 in Chile (Reuters)
"2 Million Displaced After Chile Quake" (The New York Times)
"Officials Breathe Sigh of Relief as Tsunami Passes" (The New York Times)
Photographs of the damage (BBC News)
Eyewitness accounts of the quake (BBC News)
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25 February 2010 @ 10:22 pm
Personal Entry No. 42  
The good news is that mid-term exams have arrived at last! I have an exam on March 11th, a ten-page paper due the same day, and my very first Japanese oral exam on March 3rd. (There's also a Russian test on the 3rd, but it's a normal end-of-chapter review.)

The better news is that my professor got back to me about the major papers, which I'll be submitting tomorrow; I would have done so today, if the people at the Registrar's Office weren't card-carrying bourgeoisie didn't go home for the day at 5:00 P.M. I have to find a good way to thank her--she really went out of her way to help me out.

Those things aside, here's a meme via [livejournal.com profile] rainmage:

➀ Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment. (That way you're not leading the questions asked to fit the characters.)

➁ Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example:

'One, Nine, Eleven and Fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from Four. Do they succeed?'
'Under what circumstances might Five and Seven fall in love?'
'Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?'
'What would Two experience in Silent Hill?'
'What Pokémon would Eight have?'
'Write a drabble in which Two and Twelve FIGHT CRIME.'

➂ After your f-list has asked enough questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.
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22 February 2010 @ 10:30 pm
Personal Entry No. 41  
If ever I have come through on anything, it has been providing carefully-arranged screencaps of works in progress.

«Я вам написала...оперу!» Or, the completely expected yet dramatic entrance. )


Happy birthday, mairenn_k!

I'm so sorry I missed it! I'm glad your birthday turned out well.
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05 February 2010 @ 11:12 pm
Personal Entry No. 38  
All classes are proceeding smoothly, even if I can't speak up in POL 286: Conflict Resolution as much as I'd like to. That said, I wish I knew what went through our Japanese professor's head when one of the students asked her if she would like to drink some homemade cookies.

Speaking of foreign languages: I received financial aid for the Middlebury Summer Language program! The school raised its tuition rate, and the aid I received covers only about a third of it, so I'm currently looking into the FAFSA loan they offered. When all is said and done, there's a good chance that I'll be going to the Russian school this summer. :`)

Some useless information about my current health... )

...a slightly more useful handwriting meme... )

...and some entirely useless thoughts on Fandom Development! )

That aside, how have you been?
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30 January 2010 @ 09:51 pm
Personal Entry No. 37  
Hello, there! I've been absent lately.

My best guess about my lackluster attitude toward posting is that, since I've been feeling much more upbeat lately about my classes and my social contacts, I haven't had that much to write about. (As a rule, my entries have to contain either graphics or problems. I suppose I could write about the problem of not having made any icons since December, but that's better left unsaid, right?) That aside, thank you to everyone who helped bolster my confidence--it meant a lot to me.

Icons aside, I have been able to put my tablet to use since I've come back to school. Not only did I make myself a painfully-speed-painted header, but I've made some progress on the long-overdue sketch requests! [livejournal.com profile] mina_akira's was reworked completely for the third and final time, and [livejournal.com profile] makwui's was accidentally compressed into two layers, but otherwise progress is proceeding smoothly.

Instead of a love letter, I have this poem. )
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21 January 2010 @ 10:43 pm
Personal Entry No. 36  
Above all else, since I've been failing to be a good LJ friend lately:

Birthday greetings moved behind a cut, since HTML can do amazing things sometimes. )

Here's hoping that every birthday you have after this will bring you happiness and good fortune! I will also make you fine gifts if you want me to, even while I'm working on the formerly-Christmas-but-now-Winter requests.

And now for some other things, including a meme and some notes on what I have to do this semester. )
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14 January 2010 @ 06:03 pm
Personal Entry No. 35  
I'm not skilled enough to write about what's going on in Haiti right now, but at least I can help direct other people to information and ways they can help.

A BBC report on the amount of aid that has been pledged and received thus far in Haiti, as well as current death counts. (The Red Cross estimates that 40,000 to 50,000 civilians died, and the UN has stated that 36 of its personnel are confirmed to be dead.) The homeless number in the tens of thousands. It's difficult to estimate how many people are trapped and still alive.

A New York Times article on how survivors are getting increasingly more tense about the slow arrival of aid.

Another BBC report on the situation on the ground in Port-au-Prince. Keep in mind that the article itself, not just the accompanying video, has some disturbing scenes.

Eyewitness accounts of the aftermath of the earthquake.

A short reflection on the international reaction to the Haiti earthquake.

ETA: More via [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire, whom I'm cribbing too much: "America's Debt to Haiti." Read her post for more, but be prepared for some rage-inducing history.

And, finally, here are some ways you can help. Note that if you're in the United States, you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999 and having the amount charged to your cell phone bill; the organization has managed to raise over $3 million through text messages alone.

Here on LJ, a fandom auction is being held at [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti to help raise money, and [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire linked to a more comprehensive list of trustworthy organizations. It's horrible to think of someone taking advantage of the situation and scamming would-be donators, especially in light of how many people are in dire need of help in Haiti, but it's all too real a possibility.

Also, here's a preview of something that's been long in coming. )
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04 January 2010 @ 03:00 pm
Christmas/New Year's/Winter Requests, Part I  
This is the first half of the requests that were supposed to be done by Christmas, but were postponed to New Year's Day. I know, I haven't been using as much time as I should have been to get these done.

Unfortunately, the five sketches (for [livejournal.com profile] mina_akira, [livejournal.com profile] rhap_chan, [livejournal.com profile] laury_kos, [livejournal.com profile] makwui, and [livejournal.com profile] rainmage) are going to have to wait until this weekend. I'm actually working from Friday to Monday, but since I'll be manning the store alone and there are almost no customers to be had due to the miserable weather, drawing and preparing the lineart should be a breeze. I can't sweep and rearrange the inventory for seven hours straight. :/

All of the icon and colored scan requests are done, though! Everyone (except for [livejournal.com profile] kencana_kencana, who very considerately asked for icons made from two pre-colored illustrations) has a larger colored image, as well as at least five icons. Please make sure to tell me whether or not they're shareable, or if it's possible for me to display them on the upcoming colored scans post at [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu.

With that said, move on to the icons! )

Also, here's to a happy new year for everyone! Let's see if I can't fill out some of those year-end memes.

ETA: I almost forgot: [livejournal.com profile] countersparking and [livejournal.com profile] nrstar, you haven't made your requests yet. The offer will be open indefinitely, so please don't feel rushed.
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25 December 2009 @ 02:29 pm

If you want Sakura stuffed behind the cut, please tell me and I'll do so.

Request preview and other seasonal things behind the cut! )
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