outou: (First day of spring--)
2011-12-22 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!
outou: (For the love of God)
2011-04-24 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!
outou: (At night I gaze by lamplight...)
2011-03-11 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.
outou: (without being blamed)
2011-02-21 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!
outou: (At night I gaze by lamplight...)
2011-02-21 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.
outou: (too fragile for winter winds/)
2011-02-17 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.
outou: (Yesterday sceptres and crowns)
2011-02-14 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!
outou: (Слава тебе)
2011-01-30 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!
outou: (Universe man)
2010-11-15 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?
outou: (Montresor!)
2010-10-21 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!
outou: (silent view)
2010-09-25 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!)
outou: (Universe man)
2010-08-29 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.
outou: (The peony is this big!)
2010-06-12 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?
outou: (Default)
2010-05-08 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! )
outou: (Default)
2010-05-03 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! )
outou: (The LAWLness of things)
2010-04-27 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.
outou: (Again I see my noble friend depart/)
2010-04-18 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! )
outou: (From all directions)
2010-04-10 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.
outou: (Along the river you saw)
2010-03-27 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. )
outou: (Слава тебе)
2010-03-22 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!