Eclipse!

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:55 pm
allekha: (Tibet~)
Here in Greenville, the weather held. We claimed a nice spot by the river, a little while before the eclipse began, and I enjoyed playing with some new lenses for my phone camera and splashing in the water to cool off, reading more Genji. It was hot, but we'd brought umbrellas (unfortunately, I left my real parasols at home) and water in a cooler and plenty of sunscreen and even a couple of folding fans, so we were fine.

And then it started, and I kept going into the river to look at it through some sun binoculars, taking breaks to read more. Here and there the sun was covered by clouds for a few minutes, but for the most part it was beautifully clear. After a while, it was noticeably dimmer. My dad and I went across the river to go get ice cream (which turned into getting frozen yogurt for the three of us) and got back with about ten or twelve minutes to spare before totality. There were no clouds threatening the view, and the leaves were making pretty crescent shadows. Everyone was buzzing with excitement. (Everyone was also using proper eye protection \o/)

I didn't manage to finish eating before the moon really started coming to cover the last sliver. It was so strange to watch the light dim - of course it got darker, but it wasn't darker like at sunset, where the world goes paler and blue; it was like someone had just turned a dimmer switch down on the sun, with the colors intact. I kept thinking about how these eclipses probably freaked out a lot of pre-modern societies. Honestly, even I, who would be able to give a good explanation of the mechanics behind eclipses, complete with diagrams, without having to look anything up, was freaked out. The light was just unnatural.

Someone put up a cheer for science. Someone cheered, "Go, moon, go, moon--". I watched through the binoculars as the moon inched in that last little bit, and then it was gone and I couldn't see anything until I dropped them.

It really was not an experience that can be properly put into words, or seen in a video, or in those pretty photos of the corona shining around the moon. The air was dim and cool and the sky was pale and yellow at the edges, and I absolutely could not tear my eyes from the sun and moon. It was so awe-inspiring that I started to sob looking at it, this spectacular coincidence of our moon being just the right size to make the sun go away. It was so beautiful. It was one of the most magical, lovely things I've ever seen.

People shouted warnings. We went back to safe viewing. People cheered again as the sun started to peek out once more. It was still dim enough that my mom and I, who have sensitive eyes, could sit and look around in the sunshine without our sunglasses. In true Millenial fashion, I took a selfie with her to commemorate the occasion.

I understand how people become eclipse chasers, now. I'm hoping to make the 2024 one. My mom has thrown out the possibility of us trying to see the Antarctica one in 2021, if all works out. It was 100% worth three days of travel to come see (though as my dad pointed out, at least I didn't have to drive).
allekha: (Japan and China learnings)
After a long day of driving, we finally made it to Greenville, South Carolina, very much ready for the eclipse. On the way, we drove through some pretty country backroads, discussed how none of us are ever moving to Virginia*, and stopped at an actual working antique waterwheel mill (I love waterwheels) and a tiny town museum with an exhibit about the change of agriculture in Virginia. (*mostly because we do not really get or like the Thing Virginia has for slaveholding traitorous Confederate generals)

From the little bit of walking around we did near our hotel, Greenville seems like a nice place. At least, it's pretty when you're right on the river. We scoped out potential places to sit and watch the eclipse, if we get there early enough to claim them.

The one thing that keeps surprising me on this trip is the southern accent. I moved several hours north, and I don't hear any difference between how people in my hometown speak and how people up north speak, and only barely any difference when I've gone to California, which is on the other coast. But maybe a couple of hours south of my hometown, there are the southern accents. And it somehow sounds more different to me than, say, British accents; I guess I'm more used to hearing those from TV and British YouTubers.

I have not yet admitted defeat on the awful Tibetan culture book, but the thought of having only that to read on this trip gave me a feeling akin to dread, so I brought my copy of The Tale of Genji instead. After two chapters, so far I like it, but I think I need to start drawing relationship charts because I'm already starting to get lost with regard to how everyone's related. I think afterward I might see if I can grab a copy of the Seidensticker translation from the library just to see how he translated the poems; I've already seen examples of his prose translations and it's so blunt and bleh. But poetry is a different matter.

Otakon!

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:33 am
allekha: (Young Victor waving)
Haven't been around the Internet much lately, between work, traveling, Otakon, and now more work and more traveling - my parents and I are headed to see the eclipse on Monday, so this post is brought to you from the beautiful mountainous state of Virgina. So far it's been nice - we saw a pretty little farm museum - with the one exception of the lady at the diner we stopped at for lunch trying to tell my dad that he could have the non-vegetarian soup because 'the chunks of ham are so little you hardly even notice them' (she was otherwise nice, but what??).

Anyway. Otakon! Z and I had a great time there this year.
Cut for lots of words in this con report )
allekha: (Default)
It's nice to be back after being gone for so long. (Long story short: my computer became unusable due to power issues, then was held captive by tech support for almost two months, after which it still wasn't fixed because they couldn't be bothered to ship the right part from California, so I then had to take it to a local place and spend my own money to get the power jack replaced.)

We had our first snowfall near the end of October. I wonder if we'll have a proper winter this year.

Happy, mostly fannish stuff under this cut )

Elections-related stuff under this cut )
allekha: (Default)
After my partner yet again failed on me >-> that freaking project is done! and! over with! I never want to touch Racket again, ugh. I did get 98 on my Research in Psych exam, at least, so today wasn't all bad.

I still hate Tumblr after signing up for an account. It took me two hours just to get the layout right - most of the free default ones suck, of those that don't most didn't fit what I was going for, and the one I did go with resized pictures up :| When I went looking at user-made themes... most of them also such. Why all the narrow layouts? This is 2012, I think we can handle more than 500 pixels wide. I did finally find one that was actually readable, though it still took a little while to adjust font size, etc, to be exactly what I wanted it to be.

I am getting my stream of pretty pictures, at least, including many with kimono. I'll see how well it works out for fandom things.

Hetalia Day under the cut:
It was fun~ )
allekha: (Default)
Day 2 rambling )
allekha: (Default)
Far too much to update on right now (tired and it's late and I'm getting up early) but the short part is, I took another chemistry lab course. And got another A.

Today I had the first day of school (started on Monday, but my class are both on a MWF schedule, and Monday and Wednesday were both days we got hit with the snow). One class is biology with lab (looks really exciting!) and the other was Japanese. Japanese class in Japanese. I was really really nervous about that, but I relaxed even just showing the teacher my homework (she writes by name differently... a 'kya' instead of 'ka'). I relaxed even more within the first ten minutes. I understood almost everything she said, so I don't think I'll have much trouble.

That was just today, but it feels like forever ago... today we went to Katsucon! It took us a long while to drive (thanks, slow traffic on the freeway due to various idiotic factors ~_~). Once we got into the convention, first we went to the tail end of the opening ceremonies, where I recognized exactly one of the guests, and only because he's said some very stupid things... beautiful voice, though.

My mom went with me and my dad went off on his own. We walked around a bit, glanced at the video game section, and walked through the Artist Alley (pretty~). Then all of us together went to go to this skit for Axis Powers Hetalia (*adds to 'read' list*) that was a parody of a UN peace conference. It was hilarious.

After that my mom and I found something to eat, and then waited for a panel about kimono. I loved that one - the woman had so many different types, and she explained what the differences were and what sort of situation each was for. And some accessories, too. All of them except the yukata were made of silk, but each had a very different texture. One - a sort of raincoat - had been treated to make it waterproof, and it almost felt like polyester. The fabrics were all beatiful

Then she offered to dress a few of us up to show us how it's done. She ended up doing three people, and the third one was me. I got to try on the furisode! The sleeves were fun, and the silk was so soft~ And beautiful. One of the other girls even came up as the panel was winding down and she said that I looked really pretty in it!

And then we returned to the hotel. Now, I'm going to bed. Good night~
allekha: (Default)
A little late, but I'm home! Our planes didn't crash, and I had a delicious cake for my birthday. Here's the rest of the trip log. Photos should come sometime.

Day 13~21 )
allekha: (Default)
Day 12, with more Comiket. None tomorrow, though - my mom's had enough and I don't see anything that looks terribly interesting to me.
Day 12: Comiket part 2 )
allekha: (Default)
Oh hey, I managed to survive Comiket!

Day 11 - Comiket part one )
allekha: (Default)
My bookmarks were not recoverable. :(

In more recent news, Japan! I fail at updating, so there's our first ten days here, which includes Kyoto and two days of Tokyo. We had a really nice view from our Kyoto hotel, and we have an even better one here! The Tokyo Tower looks so pretty at night~

Warning, first day is a bit weirdly written. I might edit it when we get back. It's also a bit long.

allekha's ~Amazing Japan Adventure~ days 1~10 )

Fsking html. Why can't I just copy&paste from Open Office? >_>
allekha: (Default)
Yes, I'm still alive, I just took far too long to actually sit down and update >_>

But since I just actually went through with a name change, I thought I might as well do so. It wasn't that I minded nekastale, but I usually use allekha now and I don't want to be named after my character any more. (Except on FP, but that's so ingrained that I wouldn't be able to stand to change it. Plus, my tags all have 'Neka' on them. They'd be a pain to change around.) 'Allekha' was something I actually came up with for a name of a town in my book, but I actually never used it.

On Sunday, when I tried to bring my laptop out of sleep mode, it froze at a black screen, so I shut it off. And tried to boot it up again. But it didn't. It wouldn't boot in safe mood, either. There was one point where it said 'Hit ESC to skip loading sptd.sys' and if I hit that key then it came up with a different message. The next day, my mom took it into the university computer center. Yesterday, the people there said that something was wrong with the hard drive, and it was unfixable, but they could get data off of it. They said that they would put it on a DVD.

This morning as I was showering I started agonizing over the ways it could go wrong, since the amount they supposedly had seemed low (something like... 2.5 gigs? I'm really sure I have more than that) and one of them came true. They only copied my mom's files. None of mine. Immediately we sent a message about that, but they don't work on weekends, we're leaving on Monday, and tomorrow is Friday. Yeah, I'm not happy about that. At least I won't lose the files for forever, but I really would like my Mnemosyne files and bookmarks back before we leave. I had a fair amount of sites bookmarked to find at Comiket, and it'd be a bit of a pain if I have to find all of them over again...

Aaaand just as I finished typing the above my mom finished a call. They said that if she got there this evening with her 32-gig USB stick, they think they can get what I need off before we go. It's 20 gigabytes (5 DVDs) so they preferred the USB. *crosses fingers*

For something completely different, I typed this up a few weeks ago. I just updated the exchange rates.

This is why I want to start tutoring... )

And now I need a new laptop. Maybe if I don't get anything else for my birthday? At least I can get one with higher specs and without broken hinges now.
allekha: (Default)
Got back from DC a few hours ago. Will write about it later, not feeling well - headache earlier, intensified a while ago, just threw up. Ugh.
allekha: (Default)
Did biology exam today - not so good, only 84% :( At least my worst one is dropped? Should have studied more.

Picked up glasses after that and... wow. Everything looks so clear. Is that how people with 20/20 vision view thinks? In comparison, it's like my eyes put a slight blur on things in the distance. Wow. It seems a little harder to focus up close, but I don't think I'm going to mind these too much. I think.

Oh, and we're going to Washington DC for the rest of the week!

I'm home!

Jul. 13th, 2007 06:47 pm
allekha: (Default)
Well. I'm home.
allekha: (Ailen <3)
Well. It's seemed so far away and now it's tomorrow.

The beginning of my first summer camp, that is. It's a space one, which is mentally notorious for oversized shirts, which I guess is why they don't allow short shorts. So Mom and I went clothes shopping. Insert faint shudder here. They look nice though...

So I'll be back on Friday/Saturday, for anyone who happens to care.

BEACH!

Jun. 10th, 2007 07:02 pm
allekha: (Default)
Well, today, my Girl Scout troop went to Rehoboth Beach for our end-of-year party-thing.

Ashley bought us a funnel cake for me to try. It is good.

Played in the ocean some. Although, getting wiped out by three waves in a row trying to get to where they are before they break is not my idea of fun.

Rode a few rides at the Funland. First, bumper cars - we seemed to get a defective one, though - Ashley wasn't even touching the weel and it was moving the wrong way o_O Then we went on the 'Gravitron' - it spins fast enough to pin you to the wall. But it broke... then we went on the Paratroopers, which is kindof a tilted ferris wheel. That was fun. By the time we got off of that, the Gravitron was fixed, and we rode that. It was FUN! Ashley had a few extra pads beside her, and she managed to lie sideways on them.

Bad thing was all the sand, and stopping at a restraunt about ten minutes after we started heading home. I guess everyone was hungry, though we had gotten food on the boardwalk. I didn't order anything but a lemonade, and a couple of people kept asking if I was okay/telling me that we were paying with troop money/pointing out there were a few non-meat items on the menu. I WAS NOT HUNGERY! Ai.

Also, it was a two hour car ride each way. I didn't mind much, but Ashley did...

It was okay, I guess.


Caramel Dansen rocks, btw.
allekha: (Default)
Gods, it's been awhile since I updated. And I shall not go into what's happened since then, other than: GS bridging, now in Providence for trip.

Today we went to an Art Museum. Some parts were so freaking cold I wish I had brought my jacket. It was kindof nice. Though I rather dislike Art Museums. So boring sometimes...

One of my favorite fansites is back up! MG inc.! Yes! And Babyz is now on the tablet. *dances*

(Oh, and lookie:YAYZERZERZ YAHTZEE'S, SEIZES, YESES, SAUCERS, SAUCER'S, SUEZ'S, YANCE'S, ASSIZES, SIZES, SUZIE'S, YANCEY'S, ASSESSES, ASSIZE'S, SAUCES, SIZE'S, ASSESSORS, MASSEUSES, SAUCE'S, MASSEUSE'S, CECE'S, CEASES, SASSES, SOYUZ'S, CIRCE'S, ASSESSOR'S, CESAR'S Spell-check a the loller coaster sometimes.)

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