katekat: (sherlock_john b&w)
i don't know why i put myself through this, but i watched Wolf of Wallstreet. And it's just as ridiculously filled with self-aggrandizing masturbatory male fantasies of treating other people like objects as i thought it would be. there is no moral in it. the ridiculous celebration of their lifestyle doesn't actually judge it, it just fetishizes it. yay isn't it fun to be wall street men? how did this performance get awards. it just made me sick. am watching The Fifth Element as a palette cleanser

i rearranged my guest room/3rd room/storage room today because grad students are coming to visit this week. and now I want to hang out there, cuz it's all pretty and fresh and new and 2/3rds of the boxes are actually in the closet. with silk flowers and everything. and pictures on the walls. it's not a hotel. and nothing matches. but it's cute.

the dog chased a skunk sunday (and lost), so she got a bath. post-bath, post-windows open all night, post-bathroom cleaning she's super duper soft. i can't stop petting her. And the correct formula to de-skunk is 1 pint hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp soap. it works.

did great valentine's day party with my single friends. champagne and sausage party. i brought the cookies. and yes, there were actual sausages.

last week i had a fassbender & fondue dinner party, more than half of the people invited canceled on the day of (actually the evening of) the dinner party. However, the 3 people who showed made manful inroads on the fondue (yes, cheese fondue from scratch, with sausage and veggies and two kinds of bread, and chocolate fondue with raspberries and blackberries and strawberries), and were amazing company. And I adore them. We had a blast. I was a bit miffed at everyone else for cancelling though. Not so much that they canceled, but that seriously 6 of them did it within two hours of the event, 4 of them actually at the event start time.

was at school every day this week for one thing or another, so was totally unproductive (except for the meetings, yay advisor!) on my diss writing/research. am going to be pulling a similar schedule next week. i used to do this all the time (and get tons of work done), but right now it's just a pain that derails me.

had proper LA dim sum Friday with some of the other grads from my department. so. much. yummy. food. $14.00 per person. And there were leftovers. so worth driving to Alhambra. (though not a run i will make every week)
katekat: (Default)
I'm going to write about media in my next post, but here's the upshot for me in RL.

I found a housemate! She moves in Dec 1! So far all our interactions have been really good and I think it's going to be absolutely great. She got the dog seal of approval right away, too, and the second time she came over Domino didn't even bark at her, so that's a comfort.

Dog has been slowly getting over her tummy troubles. She's not through the woods entirely yet, but the chinese medicine I've been giving her has definitely made it so she's not having scary BMs anymore and she's eating every day. It's called yunnan bayao and it's good for internal bleeding and even putting on small cuts if you get them (I've read some reviews where people say they put it in their medicine cabinet just cuz it helps close up little wounds). It'll take a bit longer with this stuff just because it's about using it until her own natural healing kicks the rest of the way in (at least, this according to my chinese medicine consultant). But she's happy and energetic and eating and pooping, so that's the important stuff for me. Oh, and just in case I switched her to this low-grain food and her coat has become even softer than before over the last three weeks - she's like a teddy bear to pet now. A constantly shedding teddy bear.

Along with school, which frankly has been pretty busy as the semester starts to wrap up, I've been dealing with a new and not exciting medical issue: I didn't realize it at first, but I've been experiencing hearing loss in my left ear for about five months. I just thought I needed a cleaning. Went in for that and found out I'm whistle clean and there's no sign of an infection (redness, swelling). The doc put me on prednisone and sudafed, assuming there was some kind of fluid build up on the inside of my ear, and it didn't clear up the hearing loss. In fact, it made me hyper aware of my left ear (which is the one having problems), and seems to have actually sort of aggravated whatever was happening before. I took a hearing test, but sadly the results were conclusively "yep, you've got some hearing loss" and not clearly anything else. After working through all that they finally gave me the referral for an ENT, whose first appointment was the second week of December. So for now I'm on sudafed and ibuprofin and hoping it doesn't get any worse before I can get into see this Doctor (and hopefully the specialist will do something other than proscribe me things that make me feel like it feels worse). It's made me tired just thinking about it, so I've been doing quite a bit of snail-shelling with TV and the like.

EXCEPT when my Mom came to visit for four days two weeks ago. It was so nice to see her, even though her visit was WAY shorter than usual. We packed a ton of stuff into the two real days she was here - went looking at Amoeba Music for lady singers for her (she's doing her lesbian protest rock phase now, lol), got new plants for my patio, tried to get some things at Ikea for her craft/art room (but Ikea was sadly out of the things she wanted - which is crazy but it does happen), and then topped it all off with a trip to Huntington Gardens. Which were AWESOME and perhaps I will have to picspam. It was so bright too that we bought HATS! (from the gift shop - they were expensive but really pretty so... i think on balance we won.) And we went and saw Ender's Game. Oh, and helped my housemate move the last of her stuff out of the apartment. For us that's like a whirl-wind of stuff to pack into two days :D

ETA: OMG AND I FORGOT THAT TWO FRIENDS CAME UP TO VISIT FROM LONG BEACH LAST WEEKEND and we had a great time at breakfast and then visiting my favorite place in LA, the Planetarium. And we saw Ride of the Valkries (Planetarium show). I am COMPLETE sucker for Planetarium shows, even if, as wise friend noted, they're not in depth enough to make you happy about learning more on the science side (re: aurora borealis) OR on the myth side (re: norse gods)... it's basically a show that sketches some cool stuff and has stars and Wagner accompanying it. But still. It's awesome. And these women were awesome company too - it was such a good sunday to walk around and just hang out (and compare notes on life and media and living in sunny california, even if its' rainy right now)

So yeah, I've mostly been trying to balance dog and work and ear and the quiet of my apartment (which i'm not the hugest fan of - it makes it really easy to just keep clicking 'next' on netflix to fill the silence instead of getting things done). Our semester ends the week after Turkey day, so that's coming up all in a rush too.
katekat: (Default)
the list:

- even after antibiotics course dog is still having scary BMs. i will have to go back to the vet AGAIN and probably spend more money. (subtotal so far for those of you playing at home is $600)

- housemate finally decided that she's moving out. which is sad, but probably right thing to do.

- put up add for room last sunday, had 4 people come visit on sunday, two on monday, two on tuesday, one on thursday.

- pulled a very LA bad karma move and offered apt. to one of the sunday people and then felt gut-punch wrong about having done so, so pulled out two days later. this meant i screwed me up (didn't sleep the whole night before pulling out - conflicted and worried doesn't even begin to explain it, couldn't concentrate, totally brain shot, also i had to front the rent for both me and housemate for november so i'm BROKE TO THE BONE), screwed current housemate up because she paid some bills thinking she'd not have to pay for november rent, screwed nice (but unemployed) person who wanted to rent room up. (so in her favor she was only like 8 years younger than me, smart, passed the 'will domino sit in a room with you' test, seemed like we would get along. in her unfavor - and why i took back my decision - she doesn't have a job, and she got really pushy from the evening she saw the apartment, and she made some interesting offhand comments about it being *mostly* clean in here, which is hilarious)

- had to do a presentation in my japanese crit studies class (this was after the two hours or so sleep night on tuesday)

- offered apartment to one of the tuesday-saw-it-people, she hasn't called me back, so she's off the list

- met with my old advisor who is setting up a press for translated japanese sci fi. which is awesome. i promised to do a cover for her. because i'm an idiot. also though because it will be awesome to be associated with her press without having to translate japanese. yet. maybe someday.

- i didn't even realize new eps of white collar were out there and all i want to do is sit at home and watch them, but i have to go to a halloween party. And yes, i know, that sounds super complainy. I wish the party was tomorrow night though, not tonight, because then i'd have the energy. as it stands right nwo all i want to do is cocoon into a little headphone-enabled ball.

tired. tired. purposefully slept in on thursday and STILL I'M TIRED. UGH.

sorry, this post is brought to you by my whine. i need some cheese with this or something.
katekat: (Default)
1. man, I never get to say that! 今晩は (konbanwa), i mean. It's partially that I end up studying at home at night, and partially because you don't *really* say 今晩は much anyway when you walk by people at night (my neighborhood is very much a 'nod' 'nod back' neighborhood, not a spoken greeting neighborhood). All i know is i hate the way the announcer guy says it on the American Iron Chef. Hate like burning.

2. Anyway!! HI everybody! I have been wrapped up in the end of school stuff for the last two weeks... Not that our program is over, but we are four days away from finishing our third semester. And then we get a two week break! SO needed - I was getting exhausted just from the schedule and the continual push pull of homework.

3. My presentation today went well - 15 min in Japanese on revising the definition of SF, with ten minutes or so of question and answer. The lovely part is that people got enough of my presentation to really actually ask probing questions. Good and simultaneously tiring since it's heavy lifting answering these questions in either language.

4. So all my shoes died. Not that I had a ton, but I had three pairs of boots all get holes or start losing their soles one after the other. So I found our neighborhood shoe repair place. Of course the two guys who work there are very nice and chat with me about what the hell i'm doing in Japan. They are literally astonished that I am studying Japanese literature and told me over and over that they had NEVER heard of anyone doing that. I am a serious curiosity. When I picked up my shoes yesterday they invited me to hang out with them and other shop owners in the neighborhood - apparently they get together on the weekends and grab food and drink. I gave them my number, so we'll see if they call, but it will be interesting. I'm afraid I'll feel a bit like a zoo animal, "Come one! Come all! See the Japanese Literature Grad Student in her Japanese-habitat!!" but we'll see.

5. I am currently involved in making plans to go to a festival in Japan where they parade a giant penis around the town. Yes, for reals. It's a harvest festival called 豊年祭り (Honen Matsuri) I will not be praying for my own fertility though.

6. As a treat I made myself this chicken piccata and OMG. If you like chicken and capers and lemon, you must eat this IMMEDIATELY (or as soon as you can). I took pictures of my own dinner and will post them when i get the energy. But OMG SRSLY.

7. hanging out with Sam's housemate last week and I found out she is in fandom too, and was sort of horrified that one of the other students in the program had found her fandom tumblr. Of course, the reason why that person had found the tumblr was because *she* was *also* a fan (so hey, equal levels of geekyness). We did have a talk about anonymity/revelations/etc. One of the things I comfort myself with is that if someone's going to find my stuff they will also have to be fans themselves to find it. Though these days I'm more ghost-like than fan-like, but hopefully there will be two solid months this summer when I get back to the states wherin I will PLAY ALL THE TIME and make some fannish contributions above and beyond 'kudos' at A03.

8. got linked by another one of the students at our program (who is nice enough to rec sherlock fics to me) to a post at fandom_wank and got lost down the rabbit hole this afternoon. It's been a while since I've paid attention to their posts and I love them so. Also, please, take a look at this ridiculous Misha Collins Youtube Video of him and his son having the most goofy time. I don't know if it'll strike you guys as totally awesome or not, but I literally laughed out loud over and over again.

And if you're curious about the Sherlock fic, I haven't read it yet, and the reccer tends to like angst with a happy ending, but here:

The Fabric of Life by [archiveofourown.org profile] holyfant (Sherlock/John / 150,000 words / read the warnings)

9. did my taxes! am getting money back! (of course, that's because according to my earnings statement i'm not exactly living above the poverty line). glad they're done though. i just wish all the other paperwork i have pending (forms for my program in the states, etc.) would be as easy to take care of.

10. it is *almost* cherry blossom season. There is a plum tree that is covered in white blossoms (very like cherry, but white) I see every day on my walk to school. The starbucks has started offering 'sakura' (cherry blossom) flavored drinks (which taste like pink). Over break I will be trying my damdest to get to one of the viewing spots that isn't super croweded to take some pictures (well, if things actually blossom during break...) it's hard to pinpoint the time exactly, but the air is getting warmer these days, and the sun does feel stronger, so I have hope! ... well damn, just checked, and the best viewing day according to the "sakura weather map" is April 4th. oh well, at least spring is coming!
katekat: (_nihon_prayers)
I think I need to read Moby Dick before I leave so I can get people to call me Ishmael before I head off overseas.

Course I don't know how many people other than LittleOtter will notice this because I have been persona non grata for the last, oh, like year anyway. Or it feels like it at least. Summer has these crazy pants connotations of relaxation, reduced stress, and long days with lazy afternoons. It still has that connotation for me, which is probably half the reason why I am not in love with the endless-seeming classes and homework.

The good part of this summer has been friends visiting - I just sent two people I adore on their way to making a new life in Sacramento, which is good since it looks like I'll be hanging out there after I get back from Japan so they'll be settled in then. They were here for four days and most of our grandest plans got sort of sidetracked (I totally forgot that Griffith Park Planetarium isn't open on Monday nights). Still managed to have good fun though. And apparently I am looked up to by someone who thinks I rock at the school stuff, which is kind of awesome enough to give me a little confidence at my struggles with language this summer.

Speaking of that, I gave a presentation today in Japanese about gender and sexuality on the internet - about an article written by one of the most interesting women writing on SF in Japan, who compared a 1995 book by Melissa Scott called Trouble and her Friends about lesbian hackers to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. And she did it, and did it well, and I even think I GOT most of it (with a little translation help from my friends). The mildly frustrating but also amusing part of it was that I got the ideas, but my Japanese professor didn't in part because she's not a literary theorist. We had to write a draft book report explaining the ideas presented, and ok, sure, my Japanese isn't great, but some of the time I was directly quoting the author, and so I know the Japanese isn't wrong, and its the ideas. This *is* actually something where my critical skills and my language skills intersected, at least a little, hooray!

so, 29 days and counting. I feel the need to make lists of things I need to accomplish. Thank god the plane tickets are already bought.
katekat: (_xmas girl)
Some of you may have heard/noticed this whole LJ comment thing (especially people who play on kink memes). What you might NOT know is this is just the first of a whole host of changes that are coming from LJ. ok, so far, the most succinct summary I have found is here at [livejournal.com profile] raemia.

there's another set of links/roundup at [livejournal.com profile] sf_drama here

if you are migrating, and you haven't found me on dreamwidth, or if i haven't found you, please do!!

(there's a link at the bottom of this post for LJ friends. Additionally, we did create a mirror comm for Summer of Giles ([community profile] summer_of_giles) there, and it sounds like Dreamwidth is trying to create a community import (which would be AWESOME), so I'll be using that if I can when I can.

as for everything else, if you need/want a little humor that turns slightly dark (read the warnings), I am deeply amused by helens78's Maybe If We Just Wait (Things Will Improve) (Fandom/Livejournal, Angst, Relationship problems, G)
katekat: (AI_adam_shy)
So, after three days of being actually locked out of my LJ account (there was a password mix up, don't ask, it's all taken care of, hopefully, at this point) I'm back!

To say that my awesome learning experience in Japan has been enhanced with a cold.  Awesome.  Not.

So i haven't done anything interesting in the last week except to drag myself to class and post one set of big bang art and basically thurs/fri/today I've been sleeping and trying to rest and get over this crap.  Especially since it's my last weekend with my classmates all here.  And I would like to celebrate that a little!  But noooo, instead I have awesome runny nose.  At least they're obsessed with vitamin C here and you can get awesome awesome awesome vitamin C type chewable things and drinkable things at every conbini. 

But seriously body? so did not need this. Better than getting sick after I get home I suppose, because I basically fly home, get to spend a night at each parent's house, then have to get back to LA for paperwork and orientation. BLEH. But still.  It is terribly hard to even think in Japanese properly when one's head is stopped up.
katekat: (tara - happy to see you)
things that have been stressing me out )

things that have been going right )

NOW, you ask yourself, what about summer?  I'm asking myself that very question.  I thought I'd settled it for myself - I was going to do the program I could afford, that I was comfortable with.  But I got thrown back into confusion today after meeting with the grad advisor in our dept because he really thinks it would be a good idea if i go to Japan this summer.

Here's my pros and cons list of the choice i have to make )

Gah.  it all makes my brain hurt quite a bit...
katekat: (Default)
i've been on a roll since last night when [livejournal.com profile] gray_ghost (when asked which one I should do) suggested I both do laundry and go to the store...

  • edited and submitted paper from conference for conference proceedings journal (YAY - I may soon be published! *fingers crossed*
  • typed up Japanese homework (beginnings of short story)
  • met with conversation partner
  • met with advisor for advising purposes - it's tough though since she may not be around next year, and if she's not, I'm gonna be screwed for a committee head. bleh.
  • hung up my laundry that needs to air dry (this is more of a task than it sounds, promise)
  • made scrumptious dinner
  • talked to mom (ok, not a task really, but still, something that I wanted to do that I didn't forget - yay!)

now all I have to do is the reading for tomorrow and wednesday's class, copy my ILL book because it was due back today, apply for summer school, email my language professor to take a proficiency exam so that I can finish that summer school app, and ... oh, yeah, apply for a certificate in visual studies so that I can then apply for visual studies monies to go to this seminar/conference thing I want to do in August. So, um, maybe the to-do-list is still a little long? But it's getting shorter, and that's the important thing!
katekat: (Default)

After making pancakes for 15 odd years with varying degrees of success I found myself this morning with the perfect plate of silver-dollar pancakes (see above). They may look a little large in the picture but they're approx 3 inches in diameter and freakishly they came out perfect. I am a pleased Kate.

My plan today is pancakes, Maeda Ai (one of the foremost philosophers/literary scholars/interrogators of the modern periphery in modern Japan) reading, and possibly the buying of a vacuum cleaner belt if there are any stores open Sunday.

It was a fairly hellish week last week - rescheduling a make up class meant that I had two sets of reading to do for the class that is trying to create records in how much we read a week - and by the end of it I wanted to club the woman who is taking all the same classes as me over the head with my computer. I'm going to have to come up with a name for her, I think, so I can vent properly.... possibly co-student? The sad part is that she's making me happy to have my nemesis in one of our classes because he's an annoyance in an entirely *different* kind of way. It's freakish when that's more welcome!

you see, the thing about co-student is... )

Other than that life is pretty good - still tired, and have applications to work on and a paper to edit on the to do list too.  And possibly a friend coming to spend the night tomorrow night.

And this was supposed to just be a quick entry about pancakes.  *shaking my own head at myself*
katekat: (cordy - kiss me quick)
sugar rush reserves = 0%

caffeine reserves = 0%

tonight's final totals

4138 / 5600 words. 74% done!

And I leave you with this thought, from Judith Butler's Gender Trouble

[G]ender must also designate the very apparatus of production whereby the sexes themselves are established. As a result, gender is not to culture as sex is to nature; gender is also the discursive/cultural means by which "sexed nature" or "a natural sex" is produced and established as a "prediscursive," prior to culture, a politically neutral surface on which culture acts. (10)

good night to all, and to all a good night!
katekat: (Default)
I'm going to be posting my word counts today, just to give myself a little extra boost.  SO, for the paper I haven't talked about at all, on intersex characters in science fiction being even more radical and cool than cyborgs, I give you my first word count on the *final* draft (this does not include rough draft words):

284 / 5600 words. 5% done!

updated: 4:48 PM

940 / 5600 words. 17% done!

updated: 7:38 pm

1490 / 5600 words. 27% done!

updated: 8:58 pm

2284 / 5600 words. 41% done!

updated: 11:14 pm

3081 / 5600 words. 55% done!
katekat: (Default)
This is part of what I'm studying for my Japanese exam.  Other highlights include how to say a fraction in Japanese, and another 'set phrase':

論より証拠 / ろんよりしょうこ
Run yori shiyoko
Proof rather than argument (roughly - the proof is in the pudding)

Which at this point is pretty much a guiding principle for me. All this practice and studying that I do? Doesn't really make a damn bit of difference if I can't take the tests and write the papers. Oh end of semester how I love thee, truly I do. I am trying to my damnedest to stay on point and work on Japanese since my final is 4 days away and I really want to get a good grade on it.  But I'm also supposed to be researching for my paper, and I'm having some serious motivation problems.  It will happen though, because it has to, that's how these things go.

And as far as the other exciting things of life in the last week? 

I ate a celebratory supper with my theory class at a Korean restaurant and discovered that, while it's not a cuisine I would choose over Thai or Japanese, it was good.  Not a fan of kimchee though, just not.  I do love Korean chopsticks though - they're flatter, and stainless steel, and when I was in undergrad at Santa Cruz I totally stole a pair from a Korean restaurant there (mostly because I didn't realize you could go buy them from a restaurant supply store, really).

I sat in on the presentation of a chapter from one of our PhD students' dissertation - she's working on the art displayed in Japanese department stores from 1910s - 1920s, and all these really cool notions the avant-garde artists had of doing found art WORK, and how they saw the showings as a way to actually reach the *real* public (as opposed to those closed off spaces of galleries).  The notion of a department store as an arbiter of artistic taste, or working in conjunction with those who are trying to fight the bourgeois notion of art was really kind of entertaining.

I discovered I'm sensitive to sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) by eating three helpings of them over the course of three days and then having stomach pain for 6 days afterward.  Yesterday was the first day I could actually feel a drastic improvement.  They were tasty!  But not worth it.  Apparently if you're not used to eating them, some (but not many) people can have a bad reaction to them.  Of course I would be part of that some.

Thankfully managed to take my oral Japanese exam before the school was closed down because of a bomb threat.  Is it coming up on finals time?  I think it is!!  The only lesson that should be learned about this?  Calling in fake bomb threats in order to miss a final is a bad idea, ok?

And yes, finally, today is the opening of sign ups for [livejournal.com profile] summer_of_giles.  While I may not be making a crap ton of Buffy-verse art every single day, he's still the closest Watcher to my heart, and I'm so glad it seems like there's interest in another summer of goodness.
katekat: (b/g - in the library)
Anyone know anywhere I can get a primer on academic words? I don't know if it was simply that I've spent the last couple of nights up till 2 reading for my classes or what, but this afternoon it seemed like every word out of my professors mouth was a set of vocabulary that I still don't understand.  And my most horrifying secret:  even after using the following word in my own work (or variations of), i am still not precisely clear on what it means.

ontology.  ontological.  defined as:
The science or study of being; that department of metaphysics which relates to the being or essence of things, or to being in the abstract.
The branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature and relations of being.

So what does it mean to talk about an author who is trying to be ontological?  Or proposing a new ontology?  (ok, the second one I can do, but the first one?)

and since I'm looking up words, neologism:
a newly invented word or phrase / newly discovered term or meaning

We were talking about Philip Dick's The Man In The High Castle and William Gibson's Neuromancer, and while I'm certainly willing to get on the high horse right along with everyone who suggests we can't dismiss either one of these words as simply pulp novels not worth the paper they're printed on, the ability to deploy this kind of vocabulary?  I've lost it.  Sometimes I'm fairly certain that I'd never had it. 

Now, don't get me wrong.  I think one of the most fascinating things about cyberpunk is that it does cram a whole lot of new meanings into half recognizable words.  And frankly, now that I've looked up what neologism means, I'm willing to say they're creating them all the time.  But its as if I missed a class somewhere, where they handed out the sheet that contained all of this terminology. I can talk sign / signifier / referent, I can talk proletariat / bourgeois (at least to a certain degree), I can talk subject / Other..... why, then, do I feel like a babe in the woods everytime someone opens their mouths in this class?

Oh well, no time for worrying.  I have a Japanese test tomorrow instead.
katekat: (xander - pretty man)
I do.  I've been doing it.  Yesterday I had a great day with my boyfriend - we went out to breakfast, got caught in the serious downpour and decided not to go to a museum but instead to curl up on the couch and watch a movie (which we did).  But then I had to pay for my sins of fun.  And pay.  And pay. 

Which meant reading the first half of Frederick Jameson's A Singular Modernity in a night.  And then reading Tani Barlow's Introduction on Colonial Modernity.  Then writing a response paper, doing Japanese homework, studying for a dialogue check, writing out all of my notes and discussion questions for my class this afternoon, picking up coffee, taking the dog on a walk, making sure the plastic bag we have covering our back door was properly arranged as I left the house so that we can minimize the leaks in the office. 

Then Japanese, then doing a little more prep for theory, then class, then home to make dinner, and do more Japanese homework, and read Hiroshima Mon Amour and two articles pertaining to it (one of which actually has the title Excription/Antigraphy --- and if you can guess what either of those terms mean I'll make you a shiny graphic this weekend).  AND even though I was bad and didn't taken exhaustive notes on either piece, I'm stick-a-fork-in-me-done.

It's been a busy 24 hours.

I'm mostly making this post to remind anyone who hasn't seen my shameless plugs for it earlier, but [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti 's bidding closes tomorrow.  Even if you don't want graphics from me, there are a million other people offering magnificient and wonderful things, and if you have a few spare dollars they can use it.  And if you *are* interested in graphics from me, I still have two entirely open spots (because I said I'd take top 5 bidders), so you can have a katekat graphic of your very own for a donation to the approved charity of your choice for $5.  Just leave a comment here before 12 noon Eastern Standard Time Wed, June 20.

*falls down* sweet dreams all. 
katekat: (Default)
so much for trying to post more often in the month of November. 

The weekend was a little busier than most - dog park with Neil and my absolutely adorable puppy (who is not a puppy, but whatever) on Saturday and the Derby Dolls of LA with Maija on Sunday.  )

One of the best parts of this week has been corrupting [livejournal.com profile] elizabuffy over to the dark side of American Idol!  Now I have someone to share the joy with, and she agrees that Adam is a pretty awesome sparkly unicorn prince.  I realized I'm definitely a fangirl now because I listened to his album last night and ... deep breath, I can admit this really I can... I liked some of the tracks.  Oh sparkly unicorn prince.  You glittered your way into my ears.

I can't tell if I'm working on a cold or having a severe allergy attack for a couple of days, but either way since Monday my head has been fuzzy, my eyes a little gravely/burning, my chest half-congested, and I've been moderately tired.  It makes gathering the mental energies a very difficult thing.  Except, apparently, for my new media class, where even if I'm not all there I will still manage to dominate the conversation like a loon -- I guess I feel that more is at stake there than in my other classes.  More fun too though.

On the work front I'm heading into the end, and not really quite finding the sense of urgency I need to take care of everything.  So I have this film that I need to watch for my film paper, and some research to do, and an entire new media paper to write, and .... yeah.  Japanese continues to be exactly as it has been - little difficult, mostly entertaining, and definitely no cake walk.  This week is a little annoying as we're doing 'how to order things in restaurants' and so the entire class we talk about food.  It's a good thing I generally have lunch right after.
katekat: (_nihon_prayers)
Kaja Silverman was giving a talk introducing her new book yesterday and she reminded me of some of the essentials of scholarship (even though I'm not sure if she intended to):
  • love the texts you're working on
  • if you do what you do will have meaning
  • don't forget the theory; and Freud may have gotten everything wrong but he's useful
I first read her Subject of Semiotics in Earl Jackson's Theory 101 class at Santa Cruz.  I'd failed the Theory 101 class I'd taken the quarter before and I thought I hated theory.  Then we read this book, along with Earl's warning that we weren't going to understand anything we read until at least a week after we read it -- but that we needed to do the reading anyway.  That, and the talking we did in the class that I often felt was over my head but ... just over it, so I could kind of reach that level sometimes, made me realize that I kind of love theory.  I love the idea that someone out there wants to talk about meaning, and that there are different ways to figure it out, different guides, different scaffolds.  And we're all operating under those scaffolds anyway, so we may as well know about 'em.

(ok, that's probably the subject of a much longer post, because it's a gut feeling and something I have a little trouble articulating, but the basic premise is that honestly? we all employ theory all the time to make most of our judgements, we just pretend we don't).

And today I am beginning to freak out for intellectual reasons.  The new school is a great environment, and I'm getting to work with someone whose work totally excites me, but on the other hand I'm feeling a little lost at this moment in time.  I have two 20-page papers due in a couple of weeks and I have absolutely NO idea what it is I want to write for either of them.  Some vague notion of new media in Japan, and some vague idea about post-war Japanese film and that's all I've got. 

On the way home I realized that part of my trouble is that I'm not speaking intellectually to anyone in my field right now.  Oh, the girls in my cohort are nice, but they're all in slightly different areas (hello classical Chinese linguistics, do you care about my stuff? do i care about yours? not for paper writing/discussion).  I've got to try tomorrow to meet with my advisor and figure out what direction I'm taking this semester.  It's overdue, and I think I let the fact that she and I are not getting along like houses on fire sort of distract me.  Just because we don't get each other doesn't mean I shouldn't talk with her about these things.

I know.  *hangs head* figuring out this whole business seems like it's long overdue.  I can't believe the semester is done in like two weeks.
katekat: (_nihon_prayers)
After a bunch of days where I felt like I was on a roll - things were still progressing forward in that sense that you get - even though there are highs and lows everything was still mostly on track, and then.

this week.  housemate down with cold-type-thing.  The only really scary problem is that she hasn't gone into work for three days and even though she's talked with them about it and they're mostly cool, they're not going to be cool forever and WE CAN'T LIVE HERE IF SHE DOESN'T HAVE A JOB.

To top it all off my mom gets into town today for a visit.   Which I've been looking forward to.  But the house is a shambles.

Oh, and Tuesday?  I had a japanese test I'm pretty sure I didn't do that well on.  EGH.  I think I'm ready for this week to be over and to have some return of a little bit of our regularly scheduled program, you know?
katekat: (_against the wall)
hello work!  I didn't miss you.  I spent most of the day alternating between getting my self in order (laundry, how I hate you), and reading all the wrong passages in Edward Said's Orientalism.  Which, really, if you do area studies of any kind or anything having to do with the West's fascination with and study of the 'East' you should read.

Then, after spending 3 hours reading the forward, the end, and the afterward, I discovered that I was supposed to only read chapter one.  Guess I've forgotten the simple instructions - read the syllabus.

I did, however, break to go to a department mixer thing, where I discovered that there are lots of MA students doing International Relations (which I find just about as interesting as watching rocks turn into sand), and one woman who is doing Art history who used to work at LACMA.  That is a cool job if I've ever heard of one.  Maybe I should do art history?  too late now.

That being said I'm pretty buried with things not yet done (hello Japanese, hello reading for New Media Literacies, hello response papers for all three classes), and it's Neil's birthday this weekend so we'll see how that all works out. 

So I guess this is the obligatory 'i think i will be buried under a  rock for the forseeable future' post (which is usually followed by a graphics post because I freak out about the overload and retreat into pretty pictures, but I haven't started yet, so that may be a week or so out, we'll see).  I love you guys.  Even if I'm not responding to your posts.

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