Monday, February 28, 2011

the eat pray love disaster: PART THE SECOND

Against my better judgment -- that's a lie. BECAUSE I AM A MASOCHIST AND ALSO BECAUSE I LOVE SCENERY PORN, I watched Eat Pray Love, the movie! The two hour, fourteen minute movie! Despite the fact that I kind of hated the book. Or, to be more exact, while being moderately enjoyable during the process of consumption, it left me the sour taste of entitlement and self-loathing in my mouth. The movie kind of does that too, but to a lesser extent, partly because a lot of the boring, navel-gazing bits are cut out, to be replaced by Julia Roberts' immobile and/or crying face and shots of the scenery and the food. The scenery and the food are very good, by the way! But I think even Emma Thompson or Kate Winslet would have a tough time making the central character of this movie likable, and Julia Roberts is not, shall we say, in the same league. A lot of the revisions to the story the movie makes are equally as witless as events in the book, but they are witless in a standardized Hollywood sort of way, so I can comfort myself that at least it wouldn't happen that way in real life. There's also the whole privileged-white-lady-in-a-formerly-colonized-country business, which I am totally unequipped to deal with at 1:08 AM on a Monday morning, but suffice to say that in general total obliviousness to the issues one is raising is not the best route for a scriptwriter (or author, AHEM) to go!

But enough bitching! Here are screenshots of parts of the movie I did like.


Friday, February 25, 2011

grammatical notes on the worst lang-8 post yet, PART TWO

The learnification continues! (As well as another picture from the Durham Western Heritage Museum above.)

21. リンカーンが暗殺(あんさつ)された時 = at the time when Lincoln was assassinated. Apparently this is the time to pull out the "sareru" form -- emphasizing that it was done to him. Also, "ansatsu suru"= to assassinate.


So the designer John Galliano was suspended by Dior for allegedly making some anti-Semitic remarks. I don't have much of an opinion about this, or I wouldn't, except for this moronic post by Scott Schuman. Yes, that would be Scott Schuman of "The Sartorialist" street fashion blogger fame, who argues that SPORTS TEAMS have a MORE EVOLVED APPROACH to "when an athlete is accused of something."

Holy shit.

Dude, that more evolved approach is why men like Ben Roethlisberger, WHO EVERYONE FUCKING KNOWS IS A RAPIST, can continue to play and make a ridiculously good living. No, he was never "proven guilty." THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE A PRETENSE OF DECENCY SHOULD CONTINUE TO EMPLOY HIM.

Get a fucking clue.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

grammatical notes on the worst lang-8 post yet, PART ONE

I think I can legitimately say that, since one commenter asked if I was using a Japanese or Chinese dictionary. :/ This is another one of those posts that I put off writing for several days because I was embarrassed and overwhelmed by all the fail! Also just because I am lazy and unfocused, BUT NEVER MIND THAT. (And, honestly, I'm still only doing this so I can put off finishing my stupid TU Delft purpose statement. Argh.)

First, some context, and also so I can include a photo, taken by moi:

This Lang-8 post (also my longest yet, incidentally?) was about an exhibit I went to see with my dad at the Durham Western Heritage Museum in Omaha. It featured school pictures of various 20th-(and 21st-)century presidents as well as loads of papers, letters, small items, and photos from the life of Abraham Lincoln. This particular museum used to an awesome Art Deco train station, so I always enjoy visiting for that aspect if not for whatever exhibit. SO. Now that we have that covered.

Grammar/vocabulary notes! I'm not putting any new words I learned on my own this time, because a large percentage of the ones I looked up on my own? were truly, spectacularly WRONG. So never mind that.

1. Kidousha: Not the most commonly used word ever! I looked this up in reference to specifically diesel trains, the type that are usually found in the U.S., as opposed to "densha," 汽車(きしゃ)kisha or 列車 ressha are more understandable.

carrying my crap: a post on backpacks

So! As is often the case shortly before I head off onto an internship (if two can be considered a pattern, :P), I have been trying to replace and repair my most important goods in preparation. New jeans, new tennis shoes, new t-shirts, mend my coat, back up my files, etc. This time around, as I believe I've mentioned before, I had an extra thing to find: That is, a new backpack. My old one is still plugging away, and I will doubtless continue to use it in certain situations, but I've had it for 2-3 years, and it unfortunately exudes a certain "collegiate sport hiking" vibe that I don't find entirely compatible with carrying a laptop to work every day (as well as a certain. . . odeur de Sharon, so to speak. ahem.) It's reasonably easy to find an attractive and professional-looking messenger bag, and I used a heavy leather one, borrowed from my uncle, while in Madrid. However, my Dell is freaking heavy, and undue pressure on either one of my collarbones by itself is unpleasant bordering on painful. I went on a quest for a work-friendly, simple backpack that didn't scream "MIDDLE SCHOOLER" or "HIKING IN THE ANDES," while still sturdy enough to carry my Dell, papers, etc. Pluses were given for general weather-proofness.

I quickly ran up against three issues: cost, practicability, and. . . stodginess. Most bags tend to fail in one of these areas. For instance, this bag, from the Whitney Museum store, strikes me as lovely but ridiculously un-useful. I'd rip that strap off in a week. Book bag my ass.

not the most boring walk ever

But in February, with no wildflowers and no crops and no dive-bombing sparrow, it's up there. The upside of this walk is that it's flat (the downside being, I am reminded that either my feet are not the same shape or that the arch support in one of my shoes is failing???) Google maps says 4.3 miles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

duh duh de duh . . life drawing #5!

My spacebar is sticking and it irritates the hell out of me.

Got my Glasgow application off today. . . that means I have ONE LEFT. Delft, I'm looking at you.

In the meantime, life drawing. Sadly I've just about killed my china markers; I think I put a little too much pressure on the tip when I draw. . . there were no horrific driving adventures this time around, although I did end up getting off I-29 and driving on what was 183 to avoid a tailgater, where I narrowly avoided hitting a beaver. Ah, Iowa.

2-minute warmups. Obviously I need to draw faster.

More shading tonight equals. . . less finished. (I like the model's head in this one, but it's kinda too big in proportion I think.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

ugh the inter networking

Trying to get with the flow a bit. . .

discovered the following today:

Timely, an app for Twitter that lets you schedule tweets at a later date when you suspect more people might be reading;

Springpad, a note-taking app to organie life and stuff;

twitterfeed, an app that lets you coordinate your blogs/twitter/tumblrs/etc.

I have no idea what I'm doing and am probably just wasting loads of time, but somehow I hope to achieve. . . something? More readers? I dunno. I suspect this is all just a result of my total lack of focus in the morning.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

the mist rolled in

Sadly I forgot my camera on my epic 3.5+ mile walk today. I learned the literal meaning of "the mist rolled in," because it did so as I was walking through the Missouri Valley cemetery on top of the hill. I walked by a World War I memorial (Missouri Valley has a World War I memorial??) in the cemetery, as well as the grave of the father of a guy who was two years ahead of me in school. It was windy and cloudy and weirdly refreshing to be out. I realized that, despite living in Missouri Valley for most of my life, my family is still "Magnolia folk" -- at least, judging by where we have people in the ground.

Epic walk shown below:

However, THAT map leaves out the MOST EPIC part of my walk, which it was necessary to go into Google Earth to depict. OBSERVE:

I climbed up the Primary Hill! My path is shown in white; the highest point (more or less) is shown with a red arrow on the perspective view and a vertical black line on the graph. The school has since moved, and now the kindergarteners and first graders are all over on 9th Street with all the other elementary school goers, but once upon a time (i.e. when I was a 5- and 6-year-old) Primary School was on 1st Street. There was a path leading up the side of the hill, and it was my fondest desire as a 5-year-old to climb it. However! It was not to be! The recess monitors yelled at us, barred us from even setting foot on the lower part of the hill, and otherwise seemed unenchanted with the idea of a lot of tiny gradeschoolers clinging to the side of an extremely steep hill!


I climbed (as you can see from the awesome altitude chart generated by Google Earth) right about 50 m, or 164 feet. The prairie grass and sumac stood me well: Without those sturdy handholds I would have doubtless fallen a great deal more than I did. As it was, after I had circled the crown of the hill and determined I couldn't come down the opposite side without trespassing in some people's yards, I ended up sliding down a path that may have actually been the remnants of a small mudslide on my butt and getting pretty well covered in clay.

Epic, I tell you. Epic.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

grammar surge in the snow

So we have more snow. More snow, more slick, more sludge. Indoors, I write entries in crappy Japanese on Lang-8 and try, slowly, to understand and absorb the corrections made on them.

It's pretty depressing. [Edit: Started this entry TWELVE DAYS AGO, and the weather has changed much -- and for the better! since then. Ugh procrastination.]

I meant to do an entry in Japanese every day, seeing as how it looks like an internship in Yokohama is going to happen this summer; so far it's been three entries in six days. I'm improving. Part of the reason I haven't posted an entry about what I've learned/reviewed is because I received TONS of corrections on all my entries, and it's been a little overwhelming to go through them all. Obviously it's great and I appreciate the help, but it takes a long time for me to read each correction and figure out what I should be learning from it.

Some [boring] grammar notes:

1. If a sentence is negated, think carefully about using the "は" particle. (は is a particle put after noun-like words or phrases to indicate emphasis and contrast, "and as for this noun X," as opposed to が, which more or less just marks a subject. I tend to use these two interchangeably but they're not really interchangeable. . . )

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

calling headquarters

Watched Despicable Me and Meet the Robinsons yesterday. I love kid movie science.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

life drawing #4!

Indeed. Re-discovered the joys of China marker (why is it called that???)/grease pencil.

Today was good day for the 2-minute sketches.

This is horribly disproportionate! Her legs are all wrong! Her neck is too long! But, I included it because I was happy with the shading I got with my happy little grease pencil. I will note, however, that the face on this drawing actually resembles the model.

good at preparing? maybe not.

So: I have been invited to interview at the Royal College of Art.

In London.

I bought a plane ticket and booked a hostel today.


And you know, it's not even the interview so much (though there is that?) It's more that London is, for me, like New York, like Boston, like Paris were for me -- it is a place that you dream about and read about and wonder about, but not a place you go. To finally comprehend it as an ordinary city occupied by ordinary people, even so ordinary as the people found in Missouri Valley or Omaha, is beyond surreal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

upsettingly cute

I think I've watched this video four times over.

Oh dear.

I have many theories about this video! However, my primary theory is that is really cute!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

from this, we may learn

How far I walked today: 6.4 miles

How big Missouri Valley is: not very

How good it is the snow is finally starting to melt: extremely

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

life drawing #3

Life drawing occurred again this week (after choosing to skip last week to avoid being killed in an avalanche of snow. Okay, I exaggerate. Slightly.) From the files of the immature, this week was a DUDE. Slightly disconcerting. Also interesting was the exhibit they had up of other attendees "best of" drawings so far. This week I decided to give charcoal another go. I'm not exactly expecting to produce any great art in this class, so I might as well utilize the chance to experiment. Sadly, I realized that the brown pastels I had purchased were definitely intended for a toothier paper than the cheap-ass newsprint I have been working on. :(

Monday, February 7, 2011

exhausted by snow

Things I have been doing in the fortress of unholy snow (besides beginning two three blog entries that I can promise you are all over the place):

Watching videos on the "It's Kingsley Bitch" Youtube channel. Yes, I laughed out loud. A lot.

Currently listening to: "Howl" and "Cosmic Love," Florence and the Machine; "Fuck You" and "Wildflower" by Cee Lo Green, "Aurora" by Origa, and a variety of less interesting music. This video is pretty great.

This photo editorial makes me want to punch puppies in the face. (Not really, nothing actually makes me want to punch puppies. But it does make me want to punch the photographers and the model.)

(For some mysterious reason I had a Google window open with the phrase "peruvian toothpaste" typed in the search box.)

A project for me before April: I've promised a friend a calligraphied version of poem by Francis Quarles.

A house designed by the office where I hope to be interning this summer.

Speaking of which, design boom is another comprehensive design blog that I always mean to keep up with and never do. :/

Also speaking of which, I've been wanting a somewhat nicer looking backpack to carry my computer in when in Japan; thinking about this one. (The over-the-shoulder bag I used in Spain was okay, but if I don't have to carry my 8-lb Dell in a bag that puts undue and sometimes painful pressure on one collarbone, I would prefer not to.)

Random cool maps of Tennessee.

Vanessa Jackman, a promising looking fashion blog.

I'm actually not too impressed by the Google art project -- I think it lacks curation. But, nice idea.

File under "things I've discovered by way of Lang-8:" The works of Shoji Ueda, a Japanese photographer

Pretty sure I've blogged this before, but I'd really like to make an effort to keep up with the Miss Moss blog. Nice stuff. Very nice.

I've been spending so much time in front of my computer that my butt is numb. I am ready for spring LAST MONTH, please.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

new word of great importance


It's a blow from a frying pan.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

graphic v. 1.1

and a few other things.

First, the graphic:

Second: Movies! I have been watching some! Namely The King's Speech and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. The costumes, oh they are lovely! I'll have to post some stills soon, at least from the second one. (The dialogue and acting were pretty good too, but the costumes for some reason are sticking with me.)

Right now I'm struggling through Bridget Jones' Diary and finding it less delightful. Sigh.

Third: Fun things.
Babies in Paris. A selection of photos from one of the blogs I read regularly, showing her and her twin sister right after they were born, being lugged around in various contrivances in Paris.

Perhaps an unusually lovely Swedish apartment? From Desire to Inspire. Lots of midcentury furniture mixed with minimalism and some older-period pieces. I usually have a love/hate relationship these sorts of postings -- love, they're gorgeous, I want to have a house like that someday; hate, they're totally fake, I would hate the people who actually lived like that all the time, and I never will.

This video (posted on lang-8) makes me giggle. I believe that the title is, more or less, "The Grumpy House."

Researching this for reasons I don't wish to elucidate at the moment, but there are amazing state history resources online (this one is a "Tennessee Encyclopedia." no, I'm not moving to Tennessee.)

As I had hoped, has some excellent French resources (along with their excellent Spanish resources and slightly-difficult-to-wade-through Japanese resources. Here, expressions with avoir.

A very pleasant tumblr theme (though not the one I'm using currently.)

Incidentally, I discovered that to fly from Tokyo to Paris and then home at this time would cost about $1700. No reason.

Snapshot of what I'm looking at. . .