katekat: (Default)
So the bad stuff?

Believe it or not there was actually bad stuff. The first was the fact that it was enough of a stressful situation that I cried in a couple of my classes because I felt hopeless and tired and as if I was never going to be able to understand Japanese. And while there is a rationale for crying in class (hello stressful situation, fish out of water, in ability to express oneself when one is quite used to having a mastery of the language), it was still embarrassing both during and afterwards. Some teachers handled it better than others, or at least made one feel less like a git for doing it, and it made me appreciate the job they took on all the more. Because honestly I don't think any of my teachers really wanted to make me cry.

I guess I should mention how classes worked: our individual level had four teachers and a TA. Every morning we would gather together in our full group of 22 students for a lecture/reading discussion class where we went over the passages that we'd read the night before and take a vocabulary quiz. After that we split into groups and had a listening comprehension class, a speaking/dialect class, and a grammar/kanji class for an hour. Most days we had a quiz in each class, except for Fridays when we prepared for the presentation we did every Monday (along with a Monday chapter test). I think I probably loved the sensei who taught us dialects the most, even though there were days where I avoided him completely. He had seemingly a ton of patience, and was often absolutely hilarious, but he didn't let us make many mistakes without commenting on them either. I think that was part of the reason why I liked him – I knew I wasn't going to be let off the hook but I also knew that he could smile and laugh and be goofy too, so it made me unafraid to try even when I was getting it terribly wrong.

Probably the worst thing was that, I fell down some stairs in our classroom building and thought I'd broken my ankle )

But looking back on it now, if these were the worst and the hardest things to struggle with? Could have been far far worse. And the feeling inferior and unintelligent? Probably really good for me to get over that hump and get to the point where I was willing to * try * and hold a conversation instead of too embarrassed to say anything.

Next up, photo post, with happy memories, promise!
katekat: (_nihon-flower)
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you and I were sitting face to face and I
asked you, "What are the most important lessons you've learned these
last 11 months?", what would you tell me? I think you need this type of
experience: an intense and leisurely conversation with a good listener you
trust -- someone who will encourage you to articulate the major
developments in your life since your last birthday. Here are some other
queries I'd pose: 1. How have you changed? 2. What long-term process
needs to come to a climax? 3. What "school" are you ready to graduate

Funny  I should get a horoscope like this since I'm coming off one of the biggest lessons I've had in years.  I don't want to forget things about this experience, from the people to the place to everything.  I will write a little bit of this in Japanese in a second, but I've spent the last 9 weeks struggling to express myself in Japanese so I'm switching.  Of course, at the moment it's difficult to think in English too, so I'm assuming my wording will be a bit weird.  You're warned.

The best things about the summer? )
katekat: (xander - excited)
After some serious agonizing, and some serious nerves, and getting to spend some quality time with some of our LA friends, WE HAVE AN APARTMENT.  AND IT IS FRIGGING BEAUTIFUL.

Doubt me? 

look here and be surprised - we certainly are )
katekat: (willow - grr)
first things first, [livejournal.com profile] elizabuffy and [livejournal.com profile] lilianvaldemyer (and any other Willow/Tara shippers on my flist) you should go check out this beautiful and heartrending W/T picspam by [livejournal.com profile] mouthfullofdust ... it goes through all of their time together through the whole show.

second, it was my beloved's birthday!!  )

third, school, oh you (planning, rants, annoyances) )
katekat: (oz-Oz)
I went to a mock trial yesterday - it was really fascinating.  And the bonus?  Getting paid for giving my opinion.  My opinion was contrary to the other outspoken people in the room, so it was great fun to be the voice of dissent.  It's crazy how easy people fall into types in my head though - without knowing names or backgrounds or anything that makes people unique there were people I ... recognized.  You know, the lady who's in her 50's and very particular about how things are supposed to be happening, who had some legal experience and so was annoyed that they didn't "instruct" the jury as they ought.  The woman in her mid-40s wearing a long flowered skirt and a sensible top with frizzy hair who saw things in black and white, the younger (maybe 20s) guy who slouched in his chair and was  a total idealist.  The guy whose white shirt didn't totally hide his tattoos in his 30s with sharp eyes and day-old stubble who didn't want to make decisions fast and who tried his damnedest to be fair to both sides. 

Makes me wonder what my type is.  I know I've got one, and I used to be percieved as that girl in my classes - too precocious, doesn't know how to shut up.  But at this point I'm getting too old to be qualified as "girl" anymore.  Still don't keep my mouth shut though, but I don't know if I come off as an idealist or a know it all (probably both, but I'd like to know if it's a 60/40 split or the other way around).  I had trouble staying quiet while other people made their points, I was the one who directed conversation through the first run through and made sure every one in the damn room had the chance to give their opinion at least once, and I spoke up in the first group during the debriefing.  I wonder if, in 20 years or so, I'm going to be the woman who is all uptight about the rules.  Guess I'll have to ask the question again in 20 years or so.

it is sunday night in kate-land and that means i have a week to recap )
katekat: (_nihon-flower)
Most of last week was pretty fantastic - the trip to whole foods was entirely worthwhile since we managed to feast like queens off of all the wonderful goodies we bought - imagine meals like stuffed peppers (with wild rice, mushrooms, smoky cheese, walnuts, zuccini and tomato inside), or potato knishs, or feta and spinach stuffed skirt steak, and little platters of cheeses and fresh strawberries and chopped veggies in between.  Dar and I watched all of Firefly, and then jumped right to Serenity in one crazy burst.  I managed to get myself signed up at a temp agency for summer work and then got a job for this last Friday (waking up way earlier than I'm used to).  The job itself was a total snore - not only because I hadn't gotten much sleep on Thursday night worrying about if i was going to wake up on time - but all I had to do was answer phones and read my own book.  I've even got an lj entry (hand written) around here somewhere because writing kept me awake.   Last night was some crazy family stuff that I won't get into, but today is the aftermath where all I want to do is read fic and watch tv.  Neil's home (yay!) beside me on the couch, playing video games while I type this.

Me and Daria and [livejournal.com profile] lostgirlslair went to the Zilker Botanical gardens on Thursday too, and I thought I'd share some of the pretty pictures we ended up with!

so heres a little photo tour of our cute botanical gardens )
katekat: (buffy - sad-defeated)
it was supposed to be fantastically productive and instead it's been fantastically crappy.

where i've been from friday-wed )

Speaking of Terry Pratchett, if you haven't heard, he was diagnosed with a rare form of alzheimers, and has donated a million dollars to their research.  And there's a fan movement called Match it for Pratchett that hopes to raise a matching amount as a show of support for the awesome author:

Match It for Pratchett

Then there was yesterday, the "I'm trying to get work done, really" day where D & I ran up to campus )
katekat: (Default)
1.  wedding planning is fun.  Well, it's great fun since it's not my wedding and it's not my budget and i get to do the cool things like come up with ideas.  our friend's getting married in march, it's a 30 person deal, and it's going to be superfabulous in the most relaxed and fun ways.  Working a little bit on it yesterday reminded me how much I like event planning - it's all there and it all comes together right in front of you.

2.  thursday was the day of fabulous women mentors )

3.  last night was delightful and fantastic - celebrated [livejournal.com profile] mrtwstedwhsprs' birthday last night at the only goth club in town.  There was dancing, grinning, much talking, even more smoking, and ... just perfect.

4.  On Ian Condry's Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the paths of cultural globallization is not as thrilling as it ought to be. )

5.  the to do list thus far today.... )
katekat: (_Me)
Actually, we named her Domino.  And I would like to present, to you, the newest addition to our household:


She's a two-year old Shiba Inu/Heeler mix, adopted from Austin Dog Rescue (they rescue the dogs that are in the pound but aren't found homes).  We met her on Monday night, had the home visit on Wednesday, and she came home with us tonight!  She's settling in, doesn't care one whit about the cat (although he is still trying to figure out what the big fuzzy alien thing is doing in the living room), and is super sweet and a little shy.  We love her to pieces already.  And here are some other images of random adorableness from her first night home.

I'm Back!

Dec. 20th, 2007 01:27 am
katekat: (faith - puppylv [ntm])
Oh dear gods!  That was, without a doubt, a crazy-bouncy-friezied I-drank-all-together-way-too-much-coffee trip!  (And by trip, I mean the lead up to finals and then the finals themselves and then the *actual trip* to Sacramento and then the 12-hour grading day and everything else)

But I'm back!  And now I have a mile long to-do-list of things I'd left undone (because, of course, school takes priority over dirty dishes... and clean laundry, most of the time).  Including buying presents.  Once again it's like 8 days till christmas and I haven't done a single piece of shopping.

There's also an outbreak of headcold in our house, so I'm zycamming my way out of being sick (hopefully) and trying to clean at the same time.  I have such a sexy life.

how i almost didn't have to take the japanese final )

why you should never write a paper in sacramento )

of christmas choirs, family gatherings, and ham )

the last twelve hour day )

Now, after all that, I'm FREEEEEEE!  I was up until 5 last night, reading, for fun, because I could.  And I woke up at 1 today, refreshed, relieved, and ready to do dishes.  Frightening what rest will do to me.

I'm going to actually try to go to bed here in a minute, because for some reason I woke up this morning thinking it was Tuesday and that my mom was pulling into town the day after tomorrow. Finally, at about 6 pm, everyone realized my insanity and let me know it's Wednesday, and so I'm picking her up at the airport tomorrow. And nothing but the kitchen counters are clean. Thank god she doesn't really mind mess.
katekat: (BuffyverseTop5)
Friday was a series of farces and going in and out of the house for various shopping needs.  We did manage to get pumpkins from the HEB.  And Saturday we slept in far too late and then woke, breakfasted, and puttered around.  After that?  Pumpkin Carving!

Clicky for the cute pumpkin pics! )

I got a call at 10 pm on Sat asking if I was going to the party.  I told the caller no... I was tucked in for the night, and not going to party.  I got a call from another friend at 11, asking the same thing.  I told the caller I was in my jammies and there was absolutely no way I was going to go.

And then I changed my mind, and went to the party. )

This week has been crazy already, and next week I'm actually teaching classes in my Adaptation class, so I shouldn't be slacking now, but I'm having trouble concentrating because it's time for classic recs at [livejournal.com profile] buffyversetop5  and I can't resist trying to rec some non-spuffy things... AH, the decisions!  To read or not to read!
katekat: (_felix and neil)
The menu: )

what's that equal?  foodgasm.

Best food.  Best boy.  Best time.  Best yum.  Happy Annaversary darling!! 13 ytears.  13 years.  Yep.  It's official... I think we actually like eachother.

freakishly silly picture below cut )
katekat: (buffy - dreaming)
So yesterday I had this crazy plan - I thought Dar and I would nip out to the DMV and do her ID card thing at 8 am in the morning.  At least that part worked.  We were done by 8:30 and on the way home. 

And that's when it all went pear shaped )
katekat: (b/g - in the library)
Yesterday was the birthday of the handsomest man I know.  Yep, my boyfriend.  ;)

So to celebrate we went out for pizza to a little place called Frank & Angies (where you can actually get a decent wine with your pizza) and to Tiff's Treats for fresh baked cookies as dessert.  He liked all of his presents (even the one I forgot about becuase I'd bought it at a random time and shoved it in the back of the closet - only remembered it this morning), he had a good time, and there were fresh baked cookies! 

So happy birthday again darling one!  Every day of my life is happier with you in it, and every year is better when I get to spend it with you.

And if you want to see what a man looks like when his cat decides to cuddle with him on his birthday... check this picture out )

and then, there was the first week of school )
katekat: (xander - excited)


I just got informed that I get to be the TA for my very first class! YES! TA-ness!! I will get to grade papers and have office hours (probably in the hallway since our dept doesn't have offices for our tas, but whatever)!

in other stuff )
katekat: (Default)
Caffiene and cofee buzzed, with fingers hammering over the keys, my hands are scratched by our sneezy kitten and I'm warmer than I should be in the airconditioned house.  Then again, turning the thermostat up to 78 because you're tired of hearing it wheeze makes the air warmer, doesn't it?

Alone in the house again - Neil's gone off for his usual LA whilrwind and I'm left to mind the cat and hold down the fort and possibly get some work done.

But there are three different kinds of work all bundled up into this thing I call life right now.  The house, that takes constant maintaining because I leave a trail of crap despite my best efforts.  A paper here, a book there, the magazine I started in the bathroom and dragged out to the couch to finish.  Shoes seem to multiply in the front hallway faster than the kitten can attack them and beat them back.  Besides, he's sleeping anyway.  He wakes up at 5 or maybe 7 am to bite my hand enough that I have to put him on the ground - and still his back up, our little boxer kitten that never gives up and won't take no for an answer.

Work-work is the other interruption (of a sort) since there are phone calls and emails and I keep telling myself it's completely worth it because, hey, money.  And a healthy sort of money for a job that doesn't have hours or require that I do too much when I'm busy, just occasinally answer some questions and tell people they should download some software and generally that's it.

But it takes time, both of those do.  Besides the care and feeding of Kates, which take up lots of time too.  And then there's the checking of email, the playing with graphics, and although neither of these are a job, they certainly suck attention.  Oh, and I can't forget the phone calling - friends, relatives, countrymen?  Staying in touch takes work, it does, and it's worthwhile because i don't ever want to lose my people.

That being said, the last of the three, the schoolwork?  Never a quiet moment.  Tonight I'm planning to shut it all down - I have the books out right now, spread around me, kanji on the left and stories on the right, and a translated one to take outside on smoke breaks.  Surrounded.  Eventually they're gonna close in and I'll be typing in Japanese here someday, waiting for someone to translate my untranslatable sentences and look up my particles and wonder why I used that kanji. 

and so it goes
katekat: (b/g - so far apart)
at least, today it is.

lovely things from the weekend )

so...the saw parts of the see )

but...there are things to look forward to )

Of course, the other thing I'm looking forward to, with a grin, a giggle, and a set of posts I can't wait to hit send on?  [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles ... fandomy-goodness at it's best

huh, i think i have far more to be happy about than to worry, and writing it out always makes things feel better.  Thank goodness.
katekat: (xander - excited)
Nothing makes me feel better about adventures than my favorite horoscope writer....

"There can be no transformation of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion," wrote psychologist Carl Jung. That should be your motto in the coming week, Libra. Clear thinking and impeccable logic will not be sufficient to guide you to your next great adventure. You need the driving force of succulent emotion rising up in your solar plexus, the lush power of raw sensitivity piercing your heart. Feel as deep as you dare."

I think I can muster some succulent emotion right now!  Especially since this morning my cup floweth over - I got a B in Japanese!!!!!! 

It's definitely the little things that make me happy.  Well, ok, that's rather a big thing.  Especially with the final counting for 17% of the grade - it had me worried.  Worries are now only left for my Mass and Pop Culture class, and really, no matter what I get there I'll deal. 

I haven't done much of anything the last couple of days.  My modus has been to sleep in extravagantly late, goof around for a couple of hours, eat lunch with my boyfriend, goof around in the evening, stay up too late and read bad fic, make graphics for friends and for [livejournal.com profile] the_jossverse (I'll post a redux here later today, I think), and think about finishing the writing on my own fic.  Total slacker.  I've gotten in contact with some of the people I'm going to hang out with as I detour to LA (on my way to Japan).  Oh, and chores - can't forget that I've actually done chores!  But not many, and it's mostly been a revolving load of dishes.  Why haven't they made a magical dishwasher yet?  Or one that puts dishes away as soon as they're clean?  I'm waiting for that day.

We had amazing thunderstorms last night at about 4 am - and I was up and awake to see them crashing into the house, dumping rain out of the sky.  Our little outside kitty is a tough trooper and the only difference with him this morning is that he seems cleaner.  Nothing wrong with a spring rain washing everything clean.

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