tsubame: (rifle)
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 05:41 pm
Lisa: Well aren't you just a precious little snowflake....

Me: I am not A precious little snowflake, I am THE precious little snowflake. I resent all insinuations that there might be other snowflakes out there that are also precious! I even resent the idea that there might be other snowflakes!

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When one does not know what it is, then it is something; but when one knows what it is, then it is nothing. What is it? )

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I Imagine The Gods, by Jack Gilbert )
tsubame: (sleepy)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 12:57 am
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Fresco map of Italy, from the map rooms in the Vatican

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8月21日 )

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bir var mis, bir yok mis )

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8月30日 )

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9月2日 )
tsubame: (wings)
Friday, June 10th, 2011 02:45 pm
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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I was discussing the concept of “good” vampires with Lázár. The group encountered a family of vampires who were living a life in which they didn’t harm humans-- instead they sponsored a blood bank and lived fairly normal lives. That they were killed meant that all the other vampires would see little point in being “good,” since they would be targets anyway.

His answer surprised me: “If they were just doing it to avoid getting iced, they still f--ing deserve to get iced.”


What he meant was that the vampires would only be behaving themselves to avoid the chance of being killed. If that threat was removed, they would go back to less wholesome habits. And there was no guarantee that the threat would always be there. External motivation wouldn’t be enough; the behavior cannot be trusted without internal motivation.

Tokugawa is still at the front of my head, since her game ended only recently, and she spoke up: “The threat is like a poised hammer; you worry what might happen if the hammer is removed. Bring the hammer down a few times. After that it will not matter if the hammer is actually there or not; it will remain always in their minds.”

What she meant was that if there are a few demonstrative punishments, people will fear the punishment and remember it, and behave themselves to avoid it. Once that is in effect you will no longer have to punish people.

. . . they both scare me.

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Variations on the Word Sleep, by Margaret Atwood )
tsubame: (reading)
Sunday, May 8th, 2011 06:03 pm
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Taken in Brugges during my first afternoon walking around there. I found a great deal of gorgeously blooming wisteria on my travels-- I never knew it smelled so nice. Sensei spent some time trying to get me to say “藤” and “藤壷” correctly. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard, but I had a terrible time . . .

Transcripts of my writings from my recent trip to Ghent, Brugges, and Leiden.

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26 April 2011 )

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27 April 2011 )

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28 April 2011 )

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30 April 2011 )

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Sonnet XXX, by William Shakespeare (painted on a wall in Leiden) )

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“But now we are all, in all places, strangers and pilgrims, travelers and sojourners . . .”

~Robert Cushman, Pilgrim Leader, 1622

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Poem 23, by e e cummings (painted on a wall in Leiden) )
Thursday, January 20th, 2011 12:54 am
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Last spring I was able to go to a huge roller coaster park in Japan with some of my friends. Among the ten coasters in the park they also happen to have the world's largest wooden one; this is a view of it from the nearby Ferris wheel. I rode it once, but found that it gave me a pounding headache. Looks like I've gotten too old for wooden roller coasters. I did fine on the modern ones, though.

I might also have been more prone to headaches at the time, seeing as my parents were visiting. When my parents visited me in Japan I was usually in a state of high stress and constant sleep deprivation/exhaustion.

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Wednesdays are going to be my busy days; biweekly that means class from 9 AM to 9:30 PM, with an hour's break for lunch and dinner/transport each. And then walking 40 minutes home. Today was the first of them, and actually I found myself enjoying it. I like being busy; it makes me feel useful. Which explains why I so mercilessly over-scheduled myself while I lived in Japan; I did in fact enjoy it.

I've actually been rather lazy since coming to Scotland. I think I need to take further steps to remedy this.

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Over the vacation I had a chance for some long talks with my various family members, some of which were quite interesting.

Regarding a conversation with my little brother with attendant thoughts which cover socialism in Sweden, the causes of the American Civil War, rappers, and lottery tickets. )

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I had half an hour during my busiest busy day in which to procure dinner. I wanted to go to the Black Medicine coffee house, because its name is so cool, but I ended up wandering the wrong way. I was thinking thoughts of going into the KFC-- I was running out of time-- it would be easy to order there-- but at the last second I gave in to the terrible yellow plastic beacon of a down-at-the-heels middle eastern place with cheap battered tables and faded posters of deserts on the walls.

And glad I was to have done so. Their baba ganoush was LOVELY. And I found out that the "sh" sound at the end has a bit of a hard "g" sound in it. I am enlightened!

. . . okay, nowhere near. But I get a little closer every day!

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I found some fun and interesting things on the internet recently. Let me share them with you!

A friend who is obsessed with a cartoon show called Phineas and Ferb linked me to this episode which makes reference to Carmell Dansen. At which point I told her that about two years ago Japan discovered this song in its original Swedish. And before long ALL OF JAPAN WAS INFECTED. It caught on so hugely that every anime currently on the air (and many who just have extremely obsessive fans) was making their own version of it (Jack Sparrow's at 2.16, fyi).

The same friend taught me a new French phrase!

déjà moo - the distinct feeling that you've heard this bull before

My stock of French phrases is growing once again! I can now add this gem of wisdom to my recently-acquired "tes moeurs crapuleuses" ("your sordid morals") and "tu cherches à corrompre mon paresseux" ("you are trying to corrupt my sloth"). Thankee, Patrick O'Brian!

This picture is my current desktop walllpaper. About which I said . . . )

To which my adorable sister replied... )

She's so cute! <3

This comic is quite adorable.

Reading through Pandora Hearts led to this string of (mostly) non-spoiler comments on Facebook:

Comments Ahoy! )
tsubame: (reading)
Monday, September 6th, 2010 02:59 pm
"I'm beginning to think that Turners are a bit like jazz-- they must be experienced in person or not at all."
~me


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My hometown is beautiful. There's really no denying it. There are endless seas of green lawns, gracious houses, stately trees casting dappled islands of shade. There's an abundance of chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, songbirds. Lately we've been acquiring brown-dappled hawks, badgers, foxes, and owls. The streets are wide and well-paved, and once and a while a car glides through. The sky is so blue that at its xenith it is almost purple. The wind sighs gently through arched cathedrals of branches.

It has always been amazing to me, as I moved through this peaceful land of gold and green, that I so seldom see people out and about enjoying it.

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The cast for the Ooku movie is so hilarious and awesome that I can't believe it. I really, really want to see that movie now. Nino as the lead role?! Hilarious enough, but they also cast TAMAKI HIROKI?!

and Tadayoshi Okura from Kanjani8 as theguywhohasamassivecrushonhim.

Oh great gods I cannot stop laughing. And I lack words to describe how awesome this is. And I want to go to Barnes and Noble to read the rest of the manga. Well, the rest of the manga that's out, as it's one of those that is published exceedingly slowly. I understand that they're planning a ten-book release, of which four have come out in English. Looks like there are six out in Japanese, at least according to amazon.co.jp.

oh come on they're all playing men who live in the (female) shogun's harem HOW CAN THIS NOT BE AWESOME.
Thursday, December 21st, 2006 01:44 pm
Finishing up the year of Shakespeare quotes. I admit to not being much for Romeo and Juliet, but it has some of the most beautiful language of any of Shakespeare's plays . . .

sing to the holly . . . )
Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 10:19 am
Have finished a Clash of Kings at long, long last. Next project: the Amulet of Samarkand.

And taking care of business. Time to get those spent calendar pages out of my desk.

Shakespeare Calendar Quotes, Continued )
Sunday, November 12th, 2006 03:12 pm
me: nonono, I am utterly without qualms, truly I am poor in qualms, my qualm-treasury is completely bare.

Christmas can't come soon enough.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2006 02:03 pm
I was thinking, as I so often do, about Emrys and Nghia, and thinking about the beginnings of their story. And I realized that their story really started in a cheap, drafty bar that clung to tenuous existence between the ruins of an age of heroes and the start of an age of civilization. That is the beginning of their story because Nghia used to go there and drink and argue with other proto-scholars, and it was there that he got the strange and rather silly notion into his head that the horribly evil Dragon Lords could be convinced to be good if only someone would go to the effort. Because in a sane, rational, and just universe in which everyone has free will and the gods are all good, no creature can just be evil.

Nghia had a whole lot of strange ideas back in those days. Among them the idea that any world to spring out of my and [livejournal.com profile] lucifermourning's twisted imaginations could be sane, rational, or just.

So what's the true lesson behind an epic, world-spanning melodrama that explores issues of the darker side human nature, the relationship between love and hate, and the great questions of forgiveness and redemption, with a whole lot of star-crossed love thrown into the mix?

Alcohol and philosophy are a bad combination.

That's right, people. Nothing good will come of it! Don't drink and think!
Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 02:57 pm
Stashing some of the Shakespeare quotes from my calendar here, so that I no longer have to stash them in my desk.

the Quotable Shakespeare )
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Monday, January 23rd, 2006 01:44 am
"In travel, a companion. In life, compassion."
~saying lifted from Kafka on the Shore, by Murakami Haruki