katekat: (Default)
driving me a little insane - I have a sticky key... it's the d key. anyone ever fix a laptop sticky key? i've pulled they key itself off and cleaned under it, which seems to have helped a little, but not entirely. it still registers though, if i press down really hard on the key, so i don't know if it's entirely broken. It's weird because I'm a touch typist and now I keep pausing on the 'd' button so that i can make sure it typed it out.

i spent four hours yesterday in back to back talks, which, while interesting, were not exactly the most upbeat things in the world. The first was a bit of a scattered 'this project is just coming on line' kind of talk about Tokyo as an Imperial city, and the ways in which the flows to and from colonial spaces into and out of Tokyo made it function as such, ultimately creating something the presenter called 'Imperial Modernity' which was a sort of precursor for 'Global Modernity'. I'm not sure if I'm entirely convinced that the way to go about studying Tokyo this way is only through it's colonial flows (tours, export of architecture, and inhabitants) but at the same time I think the professor was also trying to carve out his own niche in a field of modern Tokyo studies that is perhaps fairly complex already. In the end it gave me quite a bit to think about in terms of how we retroactively construct modernity only with those things that have remained as markers (not the failed structures, like a kind of exported Shinto, etc).

the second talk, though, was the truly compelling and entirely depressing one. The presenter does environmental history, which is a fascinating kind of field that appears to almost merge the scientific and the historical. He made a compelling case for the idea that we cannot ever escape the fact that, for good or ill, the world is inescapably marked and influenced by the humans that live in it. The grim reality (at least as far as he was arguing, but I was definitely convinced) is that that public policy does not simply affect constructions of our notion of community, but it is, in fact, pain etched on the bones of the people. Lyrical and terrifying thought, though it does tie in with everything I've been watching/reading/being terrified by in terms of women's rights in the US. And of course this presenter was talking about two different traumatic illness events in Japan (and he of course gestured a little to Fukushima, since it's pretty inescapable, but that wasn't the main point of his talk at all) and how if we are going to narrate a story of 'root causes' of these things, we must talk not just about the chemical and the landscape and the weather, but also the social conditions, religious practices, public policy, because they have just as much if not more impact on these things.

sadly he wasn't willing to say if this is hopeful or not, since, well, historians - they look back, not necessarily forward.

so that was fun. now onto grading mid terms!
katekat: (_metal scream)
32 page Epistolary paper - finalized, edited, sent to prof wed
27 page Kotani transcription - done done done
12 pages of Translation paper
24 pages Kotani translation
20 sentence diagrams

Left to do:
5 pages Translation paper (thought it will probably be around 10 more)

I know my updates have been so very very boring - my whole life has revolved around being able to get work done and walking the dog.  I'd never evern translated anything other than a couple of pages, so attempting roughly 30 pages of theoretical Japanese seemed practically impossible.

Yet, it got done.  So for those who might be curious about what I was translating, here are some choice quotes:

Hermaphrodites under patriarchy ―To read Ursula K LeGuin's  )
katekat: (AI_adam_rockstar)
My horoscope for this week:

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In the weeks ahead, Libra, you're going to be
tested on your follow-through. People will want you to work harder on
what has previously come fairly easily. You will be pressured to make
good on your promises; you'll be asked to refine the details that are
central to the success of the good new ideas that are floating around. As
much as you might be tempted to slip away and fly off in pursuit of
things that are more fun, I encourage you to stick with the program. You
can't imagine how important it is for you to learn how to be a more
committed builder.

Couldn't be more germane if it tried!!

Ok, so first off, the conference went GREAT!!  But oh my god my brain hurt from the information overload!  You try sitting in on 4 panels a day, 4 people each panel, each presentation going for at least 20 minutes, sometimes on things you know a little about but sometimes not, mostly read in slightly monotone voices .... it was painful in all the best ways!

The Good, the YAY, and the OOOOO )

So, if all that was so great, why the horoscope... )
katekat: (b/g - in the library)
Sometimes the joy is all about the goofy meeting of minds, perched on seat edge listening with all ears attuned to someone elses' theories about life the universe and everything. 

In otherwords, I was a geek and attended a couple of panels at a Taiwan conference today. )

The best part about the whole thing was the holiday atmosphere - everyone was chatty and sweet and having a good time.  OH, and Mulhollando-san, if you're reading this, I met a friend of yours!! And I bonded with the woman who gave the talk from USC so I actually got to ask her some of my financial questions - and had on the whole a totally intellectually stimulating day.

The roofers seem like they're done with the re-roofing of our house, but of course they screwed up the alignment of the satelite dish when they put it back on the roof so we have no TV (the horror!).  After two days of incessant pounding going on over head I'm glad they're done and everyone around here is a little tired and a little on edge and ready to drop.

Oh weekend.  I am pleased you're here.  Perhaps there will be graphicing.
katekat: (_nihon)
Monday was, to quote, "A rare and historic occasion, bringing critics AZUMA Hiroki and MIYADAI Shinji together in dialogue with North American scholars for the first time outside of Japan." And it happened at our University.

And these guys? They are so frigging smart )

other random babbling....

I managed to forget my Father's birthday yesterday, so I called him tonight.  Not only am I profoundly grateful he's my father, but I'm profoundly grateful that he doesn't sweat the small stuff (and since every year he mutters about not really wanting to celebrate another year passing... yeah, my dad is not the party type).  He is, however, the super duper dry and sarcastic type, and I adore that.  It all works out.

School is crazy and relaxed at the same time.  I went thrugh most of today trying to play a DVD on different devices (school dvd players, computers, my own laptop, etc) and came to the conclusion I think my own laptop dvd/cd drive is dead, and finally after all those other devices, that the dvd I was trying to watch was smudged enough that it wouldn't play.  Hail the unsmuger!

right now my eyes are itchy -- too many graphics, too much pollen, and too few contact changes.  I get to talk to distinguished faculty vising from Oslo tomorrow about our graduate program (yay!) and OH my god I forgot what happened monday:

the to do list - done and undone )
katekat: (xander - excited)
I just got an email from one of the places I applied to for my PhD and THEY WANT ME!!!   Exact words were:

I wanted to be the first to tell you how impressed the Admissions Committee and I were with your application. We met yesterday and unanimously agreed to admit you into the PhD program.

katekat: (b/g - in the library)
I got my evals from last semester's work out of my box today.  Great fun, and the nice part was I got a bunch of compliments on my day of teaching (which was totally unexpected and totally lovely).  My favorite eval was submitted by someone who rated my work as "satisfactory" but who didn't think I was effective, or interested in the progress of students, or a fast grader, or kept an open forum for airing out ideas.

Their comment, however, is PURE gold (all original spelling):
I asked 10 guys & 10 girls
all guys got B's on their essay
all girls got A's!

Now, understand, I was reading these while walking back to my car, so at first I only read the first two lines (because the papers were slightly folded). So yeah, for about 10 seconds I actually thought the student had taken a poll of the class and they all thought I was hot.  I was a little weirded out, a little flattered, and then I read the last two sentences and went, "OH!  dear.  this is perhaps why this person had grades they were dissatisfied with."

I'm amused enough by the misspelling that I can't really take it seriously (although it did sorta make me want to go and try to sort by gender just to see what final grades were).

And in other, related news, I am in THE MOST CRACKTASTIC class ever.  And I think I'm going to love it.  Actually, [livejournal.com profile] sonder, you'd immediately get an A for everything you've been working on.  this is the course description )

For the first class, one of the TAs brought in a project he was working on - it's going to be a steam punk rocket launcher.  The course rules?  No flamethrowers, no hurting yourself or others (or putting them in a position to hurt you), and no bullshitting.  The woman beside me who'd taken the class before is finally going to finish her dildo theremin.  Yes, I did say dildo theremin.
katekat: (buffy - dreaming)
I have been an emotional spaz.  I actually had tears in my eyes last night during Obama's victory speech.  I am actually, against all of my cynical tendencies, filled with hope. 

On the way home from school today, listening to NPR, they had a 10-second or so quote from Pelosi where she said she'd be reintroducing a child-health care bill that Bush had vetoed with the hopes that Obama wouldn't and the lightbulb went off over my head.  Not that I expect Obama to change the whole world.  Or do everything the way I think he should.  On the other hand it was SUCH a mental relief to contemplate the President at least paying lip service to ideas I actually care about.  And possibly voting for things I agree with.  It was like some tension I hadn't even realized I'd been holding in was GONE.  I've literally cringed my way through 8 years of Texas Twang (and I'm sure others will agree with me that when you accidentally program your clock radio to wake you up with NPR in the morning, and they carry some presidential speach, it can ruin the entire day to wake up to Bush's voice declaring he's taking away more rights, or sending in more troops, or some other awful crap.)  It is an awesome thing to see an end to that ahead.

That being said I am now freaking out about how much work I have to do as the semester rolls inexorably forward.  Tomorrow night is the department's annual mixer and I'm debating with myself about going - on the one hand it's the one social event of the year for our entire department.  On the other I have grad school applications I haven't even started, a paper to write for my Lit Crit class, a translation analysis to work on, and a thesis to draft.  Tonight I've been in high gear reading The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (Kawabata), Seji Lippitt's chapter on it from Topographies of Japanese Modernism, then trying to prep my presentation on Maeda Ai.

Truth be told I'm burned out tonight and going to take the evening off from this point forward.  South Park awaits.
katekat: (Default)
I did it!!!  Conference 1 = ROCK.  Unfortunately it also included six hours of driving getting to Huntsville and back, and I'm one tired monkey (well, tired from that and from all of the nervous excitement before and after).  But the presentation??  I was great!  (quote from my prof, not self-aggrandizement, promise)

you want the more than one paragraph version )

We were very responsible pet people and took the stray kittens that decided our house was great to the animal shelter today - this way they at least have a chance at a good home, since we can't adopt any more pets and they deserved it - but it was one of the hardest things I've had to do in a long time. 

My last goals today?  work on:
x [livejournal.com profile] gilesxander 's giles/xander fest postings
x roshomon translation
x abstract for the Thesis
katekat: (tetsuo - i feel great)
I'm giving my first conference talk October 4th, and my second Oct 10th (yep, one week apart), and so our department is putting together a mock presentation for those of us who are giving talks ... a dry run of sorts ... this Wednesday.

What that means is, along with the Mom-visit, I've been frantically writing my talk paper and sending the drafts to my adviser for her comments.  The first one, as usual, she doubled the length of the paper with her comments.  But it was, in her words, a promising start (big sigh of relief there!).  When I worked on it Saturday I kind of lost the plot a little, and then had an intense hour-long session with D on Sunday where she let me bounce ideas off of her and helped me actually get to the frigging point (and made Sunday a lot, lot better).  I revised again today, and sent it off to my adviser.

I got her comments on this evening and....

SHE LIKED IT!!  Not only liked it, her words were actually, "I think this is really excellent."

This is not a woman who hands out the praise.  I actually jumped up and down.  This time her comments?  They're more like someone who actually got into my argument and was nodding along and getting excited than comments about how I need to fix things.  It gives me serious hope.
katekat: (Default)
Getting sick is not productive.  And sure, you say, "I knew that already, trust me" but for me this last week has been an exercise in forced remembrance.  For a week I've felt as if I was pushing too hard trying to break through some invisible barrier of "behind" to get to the point where I'm ahead.

My rough draft of my conference paper was due today to my adviser (and if you count a draft without a conclusion I just sent it to her at 11:34 pm), translation of a page or so of text (of a fantastic little story called Hanabi [Fireworks] by Uchida Hyakken) was due in class Mon & Wed and it was a little painful to get through, along with the kanji quiz per day.  Plus I found myself taking an active role in the conference-from-hell planning, which meant I worked (probably too much) on things all last weekend while I still felt about 50%, then on sending emails.  Much needed relief came this afternoon when my grad seminar was canceled due to the hurricane (well, not due to the actual weather, but scheduling difficulties on the part of our prof) and while on the one hand I'm depressed that I didn't actually get the chance to prove i did the 200 or so pages of reading for this week's class, at least it's reading I won't have to re do next week.  And I worked on the paper.  And volunteered to co-chair the East Asian Studies graduate student stuff until I can get someone else to do it (which will be at some point, but right now it's monthly meetings -- and compared to the conference-from-hell monthly meetings are ... soooo far away).

the only way i've managed to be as productive as i have is through massive infusions of vitamins - a vita-C here, a double-boost jamba juice yesterday, b-monster Odwallas on tuesday and wednesday and m/w/f i've been a good little munchkin and had apple juice.  I don't think I've drunk this much juice this consistently since I was a kid.  Other than expensive, its not as bad as I remember it.

So this weekend?  I want to collapse.  Instead I need to get started on my abstract for my master's thesis.  Whew. 

OH, but about that?  has anyone ever heard of this movie [ tokyo gore police ] ... cuz i think it might work as a second text.  not cyberpunk though as far as i can tell (oh, and warning, the link is not for the faint of heart)
katekat: (Default)
The Cyborg DB (from a UCSC class, haha), it has no content at the moment, but should be pretty interesting and worth looking at later.

And here's the Cyborgology 101 (from SJSU '06) that's got all kinds of academic sources on cyborgs and a nice little summary of Haraway too.

The IO9 "Where are my cybernetic implants" where they claim "Full disclosure - I'm a cyborg.  I wear corrective lenses and shoes that modify my feet appropriately for an urban evnironment.  It's not exactly Robocop, true, but according to the loosest definition, most of us already have a complicated relationship with technology blurring the line between "me" and "stuff"
katekat: (_anita - snark)
i have been deeply amused today by the troll post on [livejournal.com profile] lkh_lashouts

i remembered to take a spoonful of b-complex today and WHOA it was actually wonderful having energy for a change - i feel like an an energy drink commercial without the crash - but I hope I can sleep.

i am appalled by Amy Goodwin's arrest and the fact that you can't even get a hit to Democracy Now! from Google news.  This story is BURIED, and it's really really creepy.  Makes me believe in the concept of a media conspiracy for sure.

i am reading about Mori Ogai.  And Maeda Ai.  And they are hawt.  Well, in an intellectual, modernist kind of way.

i got an email back from a tokyo cyberpunk prof I emailed!!!!  I'm like a fangirl in scholarly clothing.  In his last line he actually took my bait about looking for a Phd program and told me I should go there.  I'm trying to set my sights slightly higher, but hey, it's a fall back school in case my GRE scores are that crap.

i ran the stupid conference meeting today.  But at least we were done in about an hour and I didn't get so annoyed I couldn't stand anyone in the room... just mildly annoyed that they insisted on having the doughnuts vs. bagels debate during the damn meeting.  For 20 minutes.  Count them, 20.  Imagine how efficient it would have been if they could've, you know, not worried about which kind of pastries to have in the morning right in front of the rest of us.

i'm done.  lol.
katekat: (b/g - in the library)
first off, I had no idea this existed:

Yep, for all of your ISBN searches.  It's slow, but ... it's there.  And I'm kind of stoked.  In a completely nerdy way.  So of course I immediately look for Japanese science fiction. 

Now for the books )
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: (b/g - in the library)
In my usual fantastic way I found out today that I start school tomorrow (instead of the time I thought - Friday).  Just in the nick of time!  Luckily I managed to hid my start of surprise since I was in a meeting for the class I'm TAing, trying to sound competent.  Hopefully I skidded just under their radar. 

It is going to be an interesting semester )

Wow, when I write it all out ... it's not a small list.  And that's just the big stuff!
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: (faith - good to be bad [ntm])
Nothing entertaining to see here. Nope, nothing, honestly.  A little dog watching, petting, scratching, brushing, feeding.  A little graphic making.  A little cat petting.  A little reading of things like the Cyborg Manefesto, Globalization in East Asia... retyping of syllabi, typing of translated Japanese, kanji review (although not enough of that).  Lots of refreshing of the friends list. 

Rewatching of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and yes, it is still disconcerting and creepy and frightening and makes your nerves jangle.  But after this, my fourth? fifth? viewing, I'm finally to the point where I can seperate what they've done with what it's done to me, and start to ask how, and when, and where, and how they did it.  Still don't know why though.

There's a presentation waiting for me on Tuesday, and a paper waiting to be written for tomorrow.  Busy week, lots of energy trying to escape, what with having to go to trianing on Monday too.  And still I contemplate other things....

Speaking of, if you haven't taken it yet, and you're in the buffyverse fandom - PLEASE take my poll?  Pretty please?

Since I was curious just how many award sites seem to be active, going, or have gone and I knew about them, I put together the list below.  It's for my own edification, but if you're curious, here are links.

all the BtvsAts Awards Sites I could find )

now back to the to-do list... and apparantly the Grammies are being watched as well.  Multitasking, I love you.

ETA: crap, I did this, but I forgot to put it up:

My Valentinr - katekat1010
Get your own valentinr

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: (buffy - dreaming)
Among other inanities (becasue there were so many in terms of Bush's policy that I just can't even stand to speak about) I was appalled to hear the presedent of the US, folksy guy that he is, say that he wasn't trying to "diss" his staffer for giving him a cold while he was trying to run for election.  This is NOT the vernacular of his people.  I wanted to scream STOP!  STOP THE MADNESS!

Of course, I should've known it was a sign of things to come for the day.

You see, I'd created this fantastic little jeopardy game for the class I TA for.  It was the last day, and instead of doing a wrap up that might leave them teary eyed and even more tired than they already are, I thought, "Hey, let's do something fun!  Wouldn't that be great!?  And then they can get some extra credit to boot."

That was the wrong decision.  They were all so point hungry they turned into raving animals.  Do NOT TRY THIS THING AT HOME kiddies.  Or don't reward the winning team with extra credit, because they will cry foul play on eachother, howl to the rafters when you nix points because you accidentally skiped to the answer slide when they were answering, and complain complain complain that they're being missed, that they're under points, that they're... somehow being cheated of EXTRA CREDIT.  It was a circus of nightmare proportions.

The only good thing was that I still kind of had fun with it.  Honestly.  It's scary but true.

However, the sexy yummy tasty day didn't end there - oh no - today we got a presentation in our grad seminar from a woman who is so literal I actually compared her in my head to Bush this morning.  She's about that analytical too.  And we were reading this fantastically weird and wonderful story by a Japanese author named Edogawa Ranpo (it's a made up name based on the japanese pronounciation of Edgar Allan Poe).  First we got beat up by this guy who wants to be a professional translator (always fun having someone from outside your class just pick you apart) and then we had to listen to the most boring woman in the world present on the history of mystery writing in Japanese literature.

Now here's the thing: Edogawa is known as the king of Japanese mystery, it's true.  BUT, he was also a member of this awesome group in the 20's & 30's that wrote erotic-grotesque-nonsense (ero-guro-nansensu in the Japanese).  And THAT'S what this story was - a fantastic dream piece about changing bodies and frenetic dances and wandering in the woods of one's unconscious.  It had NOTHING to do with mystery writing at all.  So what does this woman's presentation focus on?  MYSTERY WRITING. 

It was frightening because I had to actually quell the impulse to bang my head on the conference room table.

However, the day is done.  I did manage in the last 15 minutes to slip in jouissance for the hell of it, so it wasn't a total loss.

Then I forgot where my car was parked and ended up walking around the entire school to get back to it because I'd walked to one parking lot on one side of the school, realized my mistake, then walked back to the other.  Inane, I tell you.

I think I've learned my lesson - no more presidential speaches in the morning.  It's just wrong.

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