allekha: (Ailen <3)
I took a break from social media and some other sites I visit, so I haven't been on DW for... at least a week. I was kind of hoping that it would help me be more productive, but it hasn't, really. Oh, well. Hope things are going okay for everyone.

My garden's doing just fine - we've actually been getting enough rain here that I've mostly been ignoring it. I did manage to kill off one of my mints right before I potted it (need to get a new one, sigh) and one of the eggplants died for reasons unknown. And one of the basil plants has gone missing; I suspect it became a lawnmower victim. The rest are being more than productive enough to make up for it, though. I need to tie everything to the stakes I put in, will probably do that tomorrow after buying a replacement mint, and do some weeding. The petunia I rescued a few months ago has started blooming again - I didn't realize it would - so it's nice to have the flowers on the table to look at when I eat dinner.

Work is coming along okay - I ironed out some administrative issues, and have finished some programming tasks that I've been meaning to do. And got all my tests to pass again, woo. Need to talk to my advisor when I can catch him; I think I'm ready to start writing that lit review, and I'm more prepared to do that right now than the other thing I need to work on.

I've also been working on the Japanese paper, though not as fast as I should have been. Talk about that and other Japanese study stuff under here )

There's also been good progress on my young!Victor cosplay. I'm making a paper pattern of the fifty million feathers (on the front), after frame-by-framing the footage of him to figure out wtf was going on with his costume. I'm almost done, so soon I'll be able to make all of them, pin and check that it looks good again, and then add fifty million yards of sparkly bias tape. I wish this stuff was available in the US, it looks really nice; alas, I had to buy it from a UK seller on eBay. (Dear Internet, thank you for making that possible.)

And when not programming, reading papers, pattern-making, trying to balance my wips, or procrastinating by looking at Yuri on Ice fanart on Pixiv, I had time to watch Wonder Woman. I actually wasn't that interested in going to see it, but I was invited along, and I ended up liking it overall. Spoilers under here )
allekha: (Haruka x Michiru)
Well, the semester's over. I turned in all my paperwork, attended some last few meetings and did a mini presentation, got 95% on my take-home probabilistic programming exam, and am now just waiting on my summer offer letter (which lets me get paid to work). Z's gotten his already, so I was getting kind of nervous, but I just checked my email and last year I didn't get it until early June. Not time to panic yet, I guess.

So! Summer! It hit 90 yesterday and today! The daffodils and dogwood are fading! I now have time for working on my million WiPs and to read books now! I impulse bought an ebook about what not to do when writing historical fiction because it was only $4; it was very geared towards western Europe, but at least it's upfront about that. And I don't think it really needed a whole chapter on how the hell English peer titles work - it was so specific - but all the talk about how people used names did give me an idea for something in my f/f historical fantasy work. Now back to Tibetan history.

I am most of the way through page four of the Japanese article I'm reading - I was sidetracked for a bit by picking up more context sentences for kanji I was having difficulty with, as it turns out that academic Japanese tends to use a lot of kanji I just have never learned. But page 2: 35 sentences/fragments into Mnemosyne, down from 48 on page one. Progress! There were even a few sentences that I could almost entirely read! Page 3: 29, with an entire paragraph I could more or less understand. Of course, it had to be the one about Searle's godsdamn Chinese Room :| I see in a couple of pages I will finally get to neural networks.

Oh, and Z got a cat! I don't have any very good pictures, but he is an orange tabby and his name is Koro. He is still kind of nervous but also cute and he loves attention and playing with the string I braided for him. I actually got to cat-sit him his first weekend in Z's place - kitty was supposed to come home earlier, but delays happened because of the landlord not getting in contact with the adoption people to confirm Z and his roommates could have a cat, and then they had to leave for a thing, so. I spent most of it working on my exam in the living room and taking breaks to go feed Koro treats in the bathroom while he hid in the shower curtain. Thankfully, he's come out of his shell a lot since then and Z says that he likes to follow people around the house.
allekha: (Tomoyo x Sakura)
I've finished the first page of that Japanese academic paper I'm working on \o/ That only took me a few days. 9.3 pages left to go. According to Mnemosyne, I scraped/mined 48 sentence fragments for studying from that page; I hope that number will go down a little bit for the rest now that I've got some of the fundamental vocabulary and grammar points, but there are some words that are unlikely to repeat. Like 歯車(はぐるま|haguruma) and 滑車(かっしゃ|kassha), gear and pulley (talking about the construction of Babbage's Analytic Engine). (That pair drives me up the wall, by the way, because 歯車 uses the kun reading of 車 and 滑車 the on one. But at least it's not as bad as 売上高, which uses all kun readings even though it's a compound word, and which tripped me up so badly the first time I tried to read it.)

While I'm on the topic of Japanese, I finally got around to making myself a Tenso account in order to buy doujinshi from Japan. One from Pixiv Booth - that one I was nervous about because of my obviously foreign name (even wrote it in latin characters) but it went through just fine and was delivered. Then added another last night because I found out that the person who did the genderswapped Yuri-as-in-f/f on Ice art did a full-color book on the concept, and I am weak /o\ And I ordered, uh, a lot from Toranoana. It's all so cheap per book, even with international shipping! Which I way overestimated at first. I dug through almost every single page for Yuri on Ice on Toranoana, and while it was overwhelmingly Victuuri with some OtaYuri and a smattering of Yuuri/Yuri and Victor/Yuri, I was pleased to find that there are a few rarer ships in there, along with some gen ones. I think I ordered a Seung-Gil/JJ doujinshi with nice art, at least one EmiMike book, and a long gen Victor backstory book; I also saw several Phichit/Seung-gil books, and even a Phichit/Celestino one just popped up on there, it looks like. I even bought one thing that wasn't Yuri on Ice!

Mm, I just like physical fandom media. Digital is good, too - I have plenty of scans - but it's not quite the same as curling up on my couch or laying on my bed with a book and no screen. (Except my phone. I use doujinshi for language-learning, too, and even if I don't feel like it at the moment, sometimes I want to look a word up.) There's just something about the way that zines and doujinshi and the like physically communicate enthusiasm for a source. After I bought stuff, I wandered around the genre tags on Toranoana for a while, just seeing what was out there - Undertale, Tokyo Babylon, historic RPF, Vocaloid CDs, original cooking manga, even one on how to make a 'can piano' out of used aluminum cans.

Oh, and are there any active language-learning comms here on DW? Or even something like [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles? I tried some interests but couldn't find anything that was being used.

I haven't gotten around to checking out everything I might be interested in this anime season, but tonight I watched Kimi no Na Wa/Your Name with some friends.
Cut for spoilers, though they are very vague )
allekha: (Default)
...I really suck at updating.

So, quick version: I went to the Philadelphia Hetalia Day meet-up, it was a lot of fun. Astronomy was easy, and it helped that I knew a lot of the material ahead of time. I received an A in both it and Japanese. My Japanese oral final was actually fun - we did it in small groups, and we had to describe a child character from a famous story.

I won nanowrimo for 75,100 words. I meant for it to be 75k exactly, but I overshot by accident ^^ I hit 5k the first day, and my mom had promised that if I did, I could get the new Bartimaeus book, which I really enjoyed. Anyway, my new book is still a work in progress. I hope to have it finished by the end of the year and I can start editing something in January.

For winter, I'm taking linguistics. It sounds interesting, I've been getting interested in linguistics for a while now, and it's a required course for the Cognitive Sciences major (and I'm still getting over the fact that I've applied to college already...). I just got the textbook; the list of 'surprising facts' didn't really surprise me, and the authors say that writing is not a part of language (which I think is incredibly stupid for multiple reasons that I won't spell out here), but for the most part it seems decent. I'll see about the class.

I'm embroidering my dad a bookmark for Christmas. It's almost done. It has the Python logo and the word 'Python' in a pixel-y script. If I have time I'll make one for my mom, too, something about cats and the hanzi/kanji for 'moon'.

Speaking of moons, I watched the eclipse last night. It was really magical, especially when I had been out for a while. Facing away from the neighbor's Christmas light display, eyes adjusted to the dark, when I looked overhead I could see even faint stars, and for a moment I felt like I had stepped back in time. The moon was a beautiful shade of red, golden on the right side, and nearly beneath it stood Orion... It was definitely worth getting up for.
allekha: (Default)
Frigging LJ deleted this the first time >_____>

I meant to update this a long time ago. Oops.

I've had my midterms already. I got 88 on my oral (better than I expected, since I was 5 minutes late to the 15-minute test >_< and there was one part where I barely knew what sensei was saying and basically kept saying yes) 98.5 on kanji and 100 on writing (3 off, but then I got 3 for using kanji for some reason).

I also had a dream where I spoke in Japanese! Real Japanese! I even said something, and then immediately wondered if I had said it in the right context.

I'm also taking a writing course online at the university.

I've been sick the past few days.

I can't believe NaNo's almost here! I have characters and a vague plot and research, I just hope it can all come together for 50k words.
allekha: (Default)
The kid with the lymphoma that's not getting treatment and has been spirited off to Mexico or wherever? I'm watching a thing about it on the news and it's making me angry like news stories rarely do. This kid is not old enough to refuse therapy. You should not be able to deny proven medical treatment to a child in your care that will die without it. Ugh. I really hope they find him and get him back here for treatment. His parents make me sick. That is not religion, that is... I don't even know what. In any case, I think denying proven, applicable medical treatment that will save your child's life is murder.

The antiscience people are getting to me. The month-old baby that died because not enough people were vaccinated, the Jenny-McCarthy-getting-on-Oprah thing, the lady on the tv right now not being scientific at all about fighting off her cancer half-chemo-half-'therapy'. People die because of people who spout anti-scientific things. Children especially suffer, I think. The whole thing just makes me feel sick. I can't even understand why. It's one thing to want to save your life/someone elses' life and look at alternatives, it's another altogether to do things without any research behind them at all and no proof that they work.

...and on a completely different note, my best dog ever so far on Furry-Paws - level 58! - hit 100 days today. Woo.

An LJ, I'm fairly sure that 'proven' is a word.

(Oops, left the tab open all night - below was written last night.)

Writing and oral finals are over, and I'm getting an A.

Watched Mulan yesterday and just rewatched most of it. I love this movie. Besides the general awesome of Mulan, there were several frames I loved the look of, usually because of the body language or perspective. I'd find screen shots and write something up, but I doubt anybody cares. I liked the music, too.
allekha: (Default)
Just finished up my kanji final. It wasn't as bad as I feared (as usual), and I probably have Mnemosyne (like flashcards but much better) to thank for that. It really makes it easy to remember so much. And I did study, so I wasn't really surprised that it wasn't that hard.

On a completely different subject, I wore knee-high socks and mary-jane shoes for the first time today. I just got them a little while ago and wanted to try them out for a 'test run'. The shoes have some little wrinkles that they may or may not have had before hand, and one has a small scuff mark from when I tripped, but they still look okay when you're more than two feet away. It was different from what I usually wear to class - black pants, maybe shorts or occasionally a skirt, and flexible sneakers - and it felt a bit weird going up and down stairs, but I think they're fit to wear.

I think this might be the first time I've talked about clothes here except for whining about how my favorite kind of shoes are hard to find.

Tomorrow I have my written final, and at 2 on Friday I have my final oral exam. *breathes*
allekha: (Default)
I got sick on Monday :( At first it was just a drippy nose, but in the afternoon my stomach started cramping up, and I threw up three times and had a hard time falling asleep for a while because it was hard to keep a position that didn't hurt and if it hurt too much I couldn't sleep. And I hadn't done Furry-Paws yet, but I got my mom to lock it. So that evening kinda sucked.

It still hurt in the morning, but I still went to class (where the combination of sitting + Japanese distraction made it not really hurt). Today I feel just fine, except I still have a runny nose.

When I went to Girl Scouts last week, it was my turn to bring snack. I chose pocky! And more people than I expected actually recognized it. That was kind of fun.

I've also been getting some offline reading done recently, especially thanks to gaps of time at the graveyard (silver award project (for girl scouts) location) where there's not much else to do. I got through The Hammer of God and 3001: The Final Odyssey, both by Arthur C. Clark, and reread Good Omens. Plus I've been reading lots of fanfiction, and even practicing my Japanese a bit with fanart sites. And I still have tabs open for fanfic, and another novel, and an autobiography. So much to read~

allekha: (Default)
Midterms were over last week. I got 103/100 on my written (!) and hopefully did okay on my oral.

I've gotten started again on editing my book (the first one, I mean). And am resisting the temptation to get started on a third. No brain, I have enough projects for the moment!

I love spring. Not particularly more so than any other season, but we have a ton of daffodils and the forsythias are in bloom, and the air is so fresh. And it's raining and warm again. It's been a while since I've felt mud under my feet.

I can hardly believe it's April already.

Today I started playing Chrono Trigger, which I got for Christmas never got around to starting. I'm not very far into it yet, but I'm having fun.
allekha: (Default)
My Wenesday and Monday Japanese teacher is... a little intimidating. Not so terrifying today (but not in the bad way). I still don't see myself failing as long as I do the work and try to learn. And I managed to talk to someone while we were waiting in the hallway. He showed me the stuff he had bought for Japanese on his iPhone (I think that's what it was?) and I told him about mnemosyne.

Oh, and I signed up for Twitter last night. I was kinda half-thinking about it for a while, but my mom signed up and that was what finally triggered it. Now I can keep tabs on the Mars rovers easily too, I guess.

We've been cleaning lately. I hate cleaning >_< but I guess it can't be helped.
allekha: (Default)
Sorry for typos, I'm typing with one hand. Chopsticks don't lend themselves to typing easily.

I just got out of class a few minutes ago. And it was awesome! One situation where the wait is worse than the wait. I left early (you can get in fifteen minutes early, it's a five minute walk, I left 25 minutes ahead)  though there were a few people there already. My heart was pounding really hard, so I was taking a breath, holding it in, and then going 'Om mani padme hum' in my head before letting it out. Which did seem to work.

The lesson was pretty easy since this week is all review; started with hiragana, then katakana, with speaking mixed in. He was a bit surprised when I said my age (and as expected, I'm the youngest...). I answered some of the questions too. To leave, we had to answer something in Japanese, but I tripped over myself telling the time >_< Oh well.

Anyway, it was fun and as long as I keep up I think I'll do okay :)

Maybe I should let my rice warm up a bit more. It doesn't taste as good cold.
allekha: (Default)
My class starts tomorrow ._. and I'm still really nervous about it. I guess I'll just have to do my best...

Oh, and hope I don't take too long to fall asleep tonight. At least I'm not watching my Netflix. A few days ago I had Grave of the Fireflies, which is incredibly depressing. Hint: If it's the kind of thing to affect you, don't watch it before going to bed. Especially not if you're going to watch a depressing film about stolen and destroyed art and architecture during the same war. And since what I have now is Barefoot Gen, and I know what will happen to most of the family since I've read the first volume of the manga... yeah.

We went clothes shopping today. I remembered why I hate clothes shopping so much - it takes so long and I hate trying things on. At least I got a few nice shirts and a dress-shirt-thing. And we went and ate at a nice place afterward. The pie I had was really good~ even if I was too full to finish it.
allekha: (Default)
I retired my current best-ever dog on FP a few days ago. She hit level 47. And bred with another dog that was 44, one of the puppy's I'm keeping from the litter has 112 con already :D Cookies should bring that up to 136 on day 12 *smilesmile*

Things I want to do this year:
1. Go to Japan. Ok, that one's easy, seeing as we're very probably going to go there for vacation this summer. For three weeks. I get to help navigate.

2. Get better at Japanese. This one's easy too, seeing as I'm already signed up for that in-person class. It begins February 9, I think (breath, don't panic, be calm...).

3. Finish editing my novel in line with my dad's suggestions. Begin on editing the second one.

4. Write a Kurikara/Sohryu fic (or Sohryu/Kurikara, if the order matters). Because I got hopelessly in love with it for a while but came up with very little, and you know what they say: if nobody else writes it, write it yourself. I've already got an idea for one, but I'll see how it turns out.

5. Just write more period. That CCS fic I have in my head. The Guild Wars/Avatar crossover thingy. That YnM AU where Tsuzuki won against Kurikara instead of losing. A review of IS, when I finish it.

That's enough for now, I think.
allekha: (Default)
Okay, so I was actually at 32525 words. Thank you, OpenOffice bug that counted the leading quote mark as a seperate word >_> but I fixed it now and still managed to write the words I needed to. And I was still ahead, just not as much.

This morning we went to go talk to one of the Japanese teachers. She was really nice! She pretty much answered most of my questions before I even asked them and she settled my fears even more ^_^ She also recomended that since it starts in February, I should do a couple more lessons that they cover in the very first course and take the second one instead, since they spend a month and a half on the hiragana and katakana and only get through the first four lessons. And she said that I can come in during January too. ♥

Oh, and the best way to get me out of bed when I haven't had enough sleep? Mention that we're going to leave a couple minutes early because of snow. *grin*
allekha: (Default)
Had a good day today ^_^

Firstly, I got 美少女戦士セーラームーン (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) volume one today from Japan! I can't understand most of it yet, but I can sorta get what's going on. And it's so pretty.

And we got apples from our apple tree. For the first time ever. And they were edible. Not pretty, but they tasted good. Even if there were only three...
allekha: (Default)
First week of school was decent.

Economics: the book is hard. The lectures are much better than I thought they'd be (although I lol'd over the mention of, if buying an SUV, being more pinched with gas at $1.60 rather than $1.40. It was filmed in 2003).

Chemistry: Like this so far. The book is easy to read and the lectures are nice.

Japanese: Getting started on the number kanji and will seek my dad's help with grammar.

Math: Not hard, not easy. 's good.

Two bad things today: I found an article about how pharmacists are allowed to refuse to fill out a prescription of birth control pills (which have other uses as well). Ugh. And one of the comments was someone saying that they have extreme insomnia and what worked was meds for ADD. First one pharmacist refused to fill it out because he thought it was dangerous, and then when his doctor retired the new one refused to make out the prescription. The result? A lost job, apartment, and soon-to-be wife. If it's true... ugh.

The second thing was that I had cramps that lasted long enough to warrant medication, since we were going to a writing thing and I wanted not to have pain for two hours (including car rides). A while ago I mentioned I never got cramps, and right afterwards the universe decided to make me wrong *sigh* but at least it isn't as bad as some people get them.
allekha: (Default)
I am loving the new Avatar so far, although I've seen the episodes shown so far. It's just SO much better to watch them with your parents on the tv screen with the trailer for the ending appearing every once in a while. Makes it MUCH more exciting! (Well, the first time anyway.)

And I love the tablet. It is awesome.

And I really, really, REALLY love the fact that the hinges on the laptop are fixed (one's been broken for forever) and the wireless is working again! Without a cardbus, even!

And I like studying Japanese. It's fun, even if it's hard. This morning when I woke up, I saw two roughly parallel scratches in the paint on my wall. The first thing I though of was that it looked like the hiragana 'ko'.

The only not good thing today was that the dentist's visit confirmed that my bottom wisdom teeth are coming in >_< kinda young for that, but teeth don't listen to your thoughts. At least no cavities.
allekha: (Default)
Well. Apparently I've decided to learn Japanese - I started yesterday. My mom picked me up a copy of the the book that the universtiy uses for their beginning Japanese course.

And I finished another chapter of asffa (avatar fic) - almost done!

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allekha

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