arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Chibi Lovelace investigates!)
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Oh howdy, folks.

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My life's been pretty exciting as of late.

Contained within: relevance. )
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Dragon kitten!)
So the abacus is making a comeback in Japanese elementary schools! I'm really enjoying this; I truly truly hope it will spread back into common use because it busts wide open plenty of dumb myths about math being hard. Learning your times tables by rote is hard. Using an abacus - including a mental one - is easy. And hey, helping our kids focus and use their right-brains in math class? BONUS PLUS.

I guess it must seem like I'm just adding images in my posts to spice them up now, but I really DO come across a lot of good ones at work. Here's today's winner:
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[livejournal.com profile] hezul turned me on to this excellent card-game-to-be entitled Cards Against Humanity, which I went ahead and backed because, Apples To Apples for horrible people? Hell yes. You should back it! I want my special print copy of this stuff and so do you.

While I was dinking around Kickstarter, which is a neat use of the internet if there ever was one, I came across this stroke of genius and was very tempted. My only obstacle: I don't have an iPod nano. I WOULD ALMOST GET ONE JUST TO HAVE IT AS A WATCH. it would be faster at playing my tunez than my PHONE, anyhow. Rrgh.

Today's post was brought to you by the word concupiscence. There is really nothing like translating art film reviews from Japanese that got there by way of Czech.

The NYC Commission On Human Rights is apparently investigating Continental. That's the 5 shots for $10 bar at the mouth of Astor Place, the one you always saw and thought 'oh hey, cheap booze' but never went into because it was too early in the day, or it looked skeezy, or the bouncer gave you the evil eye for no good reason. ANYway, they're under the microscope for accusations that they turn folks away at the door on account of being black. And/or Indian. In Astor Place, New York City, twenty-first century.* There's a protest before the bar tonight, waving signs, chanting slogans and raising awareness; organized by Answer Coalition. (Looks like a bunch of students, all geared up and ready to Stop War and End Racism!! Well... godspeed, kids.)

Maybe 30-40 noisy folks were staring down the bouncer across the wide sidewalk? Not even blocking ped traffic - in fact, making a friendly effort to direct spectators not to! - but definitely drawing attention. Also 3 or 4 NYPD out behind the parked plain car, behind them all in the street. All these were big white guys, couldn't help but note.

I asked after the commission's report, and the organizer said I could find it on their website; can't seem to find a listing there, though. Or even a good idea of what it will do, should it come out negative.

*I'm absolutely aware that there's racism in the 21st century. What boggles me is these people seem to think they can get away with a particular and very visible type of segregation that went out of style and out of favor decades ago. They should have the report come down on their asses for being racists, but they should get extra penalties for being dumb as new shit.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Gremio faceless)
A man on the 6 train in a plastic mask and butterfly wings followed up one of the MTA announcements in an imitation of the officious voice: "Ladies and gentlemen, backpacks and handbags are subject to random search by the police." And what he said, in fair mimicry of the Official Message intonation:

"Ladies and gentlemen, search of your bags and backpacks is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Don't be distracted from the way corporations are buying out our civil liberties, one at a time. Please, talk about it with your friends and neighbors. This is not a conspiracy theory; it's the truth. Thank you for riding MTA Public Transit, and for listening to this slightly creepy message, regardless of whether it came from a strange guy in a wolf mask and butterfly wings. Be safe, stay alert, and have a good day."

He got a little applause. After day after day of the same recycled speech from the vagrant and homeless, it was unexpected, and that added to its charm. A new form of public discourse? Always building on the old.

I liked also that he wasn't yelling it, wasn't demanding the attention of his captive audience. He was just being utterly deadpan, which I suppose comes with the premise of making subway speeches while clad entirely in your shopping from The Halloween Store.

---

Anonymous is coming to the aid of Wikileaks with a voluntary botnet unleashing a series of attacks known collectively as Operation Payback. I do like the idea of Anonymous as our unstoppable force to keep information free, our watchdogs against large, corporate assholes who are "misusing the internet."

---

p.s., what the hell, San Francisco?

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Why don't I live here already?
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Cheer up emo kid)
On the way back from work and various other shenanigans, finally, at 10.30 this evening, I crossed the street that sets off my little neighborhood. It's a straight-shot street towards Manhattan and the Chrysler building tops the skyline at what looks like the end of it. I glanced down thataway and saw three other people crossing the street, same direction same time, each one a block further away than the last.

It made me think maybe there was one person crossing the street on every block all the way to the Chrysler building. c:

So our national Christian nutjobs made a fuss about a video art piece at the Smithsonian, and the Smithsonian, geniuses that they are, opted to pull the piece from the exhibit "in order to avoid controversy." Lol, guys. Banned books GET PRESS. Does becoming part of the establishment just blind you to this fact, or something? So now naturally all the news that's coming out about the entire gay artists' exhibit centers on four seconds of a seven-minute video that's not even there anymore. Other galleries are showing it in protest. WAY TO GO, GUYS.

Other interesting news! Vague insinuations inferred from ceremonial speeches couched in flowery language uttered by the Imperial Family of Japan has gotten some hopes up, among the people who pay attention to these things, that maybe they're considering changing succession rules anyways. For those of you who are just joining us: in 2005, folks in the land of the Rising Sun were all up in a tizzy because there hadn't been a son in the Royal Fam for forty years, and the rules are only the male heir of a male heir gets to take the Chrysanthemum Throne. So some douchebags said "the Crown Princess should just pop out more babies," whereupon Crown Prince Naruhito told them all to STFU on behalf of his postpartum-depression-recovering wife, and other people said "hey let's change da rulez!!"

And then the second prince Akishino had a baby boy and everybody simmered down.

But! Last Tuesday was Akishino's birthday, and Wednesday was Aiko's (that's Naruhito and Masako's bbeh girl, the eldest of the new generation and Coulda-Been-Empress-To-Be.) So 'twas the occasion for imperial speeches. And in his Akishino hinted, in a roundabout and formal way, that the family was Thinking About The Future.

Read: If baby boy doesn't have any sons, the family's screwed. MAYBE WE SHOULD FIX THIS. 8Da

So who knows.

The best mixer for plum wine, in all of creation, is pure mikan juice. I have discovered this, and it is true.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
The doctrine of Expedient Means in Buddhism is clearly one of the reasons this whole self-propagating meme complex (ie: religion) has lasted so long. It goes like this:

If you're a master you can lie to your students, or obscure the way to the Final Truth, or get away with a lot of shit that would normally be a no-no, IF your teaching methods are the best for advancing your particular student along their personal enlightenment path.

If the most expedient means to teaching your disciple is to punch him in the face, and as a result of said punch he gets this epiphany, then you did it right! Even though violence, as a general rule, is not cool. So under this doctrine, a whole lot of priests got a whole lot of flexibility in teaching their particular schools. Certain Zen Masters got to paint silly political cartoons for the masses in between their calligraphic masterpieces for their temples, because a little wry, well-directed humor in a public forum could nudge thousands along their way to a little real epiphany that they wouldn't otherwise get.

Or, as another - more classical - example: The Buddha is eternal. However, he allowed his followers to think he was dead, because his perceived absence inspired in them a longing for the Buddha, and so they pursued his teachings and advanced down their spiritual paths with great vigor.

That was the most expedient means towards the next stage of their enlightenment.

UNFORTUNATELY.... and this is a paper I could maybe write someday... with the advent of good record-keeping, good communication, and other accoutrement of the information age, Expedient Means might be losing its effectiveness as a tool for mass education. After all, us students can just go on the internet and find out, hey, SPOILER: Buddha's not really dead! Or even maybe trace the path some monk walked from koan to koan, riddle to riddle.

Then again, that might just mean that Expedient Means is most effective where it's always been: within a one-on-one education between master and disciple. The master can see the whole path, can indeed see multiple paths, and also perceive their essential unity. The disciple can only see the breadcrumbs laid before him by the master, and must follow them to the best of his ability. Even if they seem to lead him away from the final truth at first step.

Jorb

Oct. 5th, 2010 06:56 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

So I was describing this job, to various people, back in about month 2 of jobhunting. I had a picture in my head of my ideal occupation, and I used this picture to explain, to myself and others, why I wasn't jumping to apply to freelance interpreting agencies.

Interpreting is about people, after all, and lots of them. And they'd all be counting on my three-second linguistic turnaround, and in the med jobs their health might depend on it, and on the tour gigs they'd all be entitled about it, and I'm not great at that crap. Hell, I don't like it.

So I had this picture of a translating job, instead: just sit me down at a desk and give me a laptop and a few dictionaries. Let me work through written copy; give me a thirty-minute turnaround instead of three freaking seconds.

I didn't expect this job to be that. Frankly it was advertised as more of a customer relations/interpreting gig, and it's been made clear that'll still be the most important - if infrequent - duty I have.

But I've spent the last two workdays at a quiet desk, with three dictionaries and a laptop. I'm up to a rate of six short translation edits an hour - though it took me two hours today for a single page of my own. Still, most of that was spent in background research, which I won't have to do twice.

It's not bad. Not bad atall.

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Cheer up emo kid)
This week I had a different fun occasion every evening.

Monday was a university-sponsored dinner lecture, political history: specifically the motivating fears behind the New Deal, with bonus parallels to Obama healthcare sort of buttoned along the sides. 'Twas the only event that came with a price tag, and that snagged me a free drink. I chatted with this nice old guy afterwards about European history, and then got into this animated discussion with the lady on the other side of me at the bar about urban planning and ways to forge forward. She kept saying really intelligent skewering things that forced me to reconstruct my thoughts. It was great.

Tuesday was the steampunk meetup at which I met several friendly ladies, an enthusiastic photographer, and one creep with a camera who I wish I'd stood up to and told him to stop flashing that damn thing at me. Next time I will. Because there will be a next time, as this group does fun stuff and one creep with a camera won't stop me from doing with them!

Wednesday was the media career fair. I ended up having a couple informative conversations with film crit people, hearing interesting employment pitches from a couple internet startups, getting into an argument with an indie writer, and laying out an artsy business plan with a musician/artist who didn't have anything better to do. And then I left my umbrella there, because I'm a genius that way.

And today was a college sales fair, with vintage clothing and accessories on one side and the products of an in-house jewelry class on the other. I chatted up the jewelry teacher and got on her mailing list for future classes, which are open to the public! Might never have found it if I hadn't gone back in a futile hunt for my umbrella.

Likewise I might not have heard about the Rare Books seminar downtown! Not that it was really all that informative, but it turned me on to this amazing bookstore-cafe that was hosting the thing. I picked up Chekhov, some translated poetry by this guy named Ted Hughes who I feel I ought to know more about, the second collection of Get Your War On, fuckyeah, AND a book of dance photography by Lois Greenfield! I am going to draw so damn much, you guys.

How much did this haul run me? $25. Yeah. I said it was a good bookstore.

In the checkout line I got a text what said we were getting an awesome new housemate come summer.

And I'm off to Northampton tomorrow for another weekend of dressing up and rocking out. I really need to take a jillion pictures of Smith this time. I wonder if that one art gallery is open on weekends!


So yeah. I do this thing with my life. At some point I just have to summarize what my actual DAY is like, ahaha. Twelve different directions at once.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Spa ce shuttle → spring of mineral water with medicinal proper ties an instrument used in weaving
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (TT: Beast Boy is no.1)




Just vague, terrible attempts to get coordinated with the pen.

|3 It was on sale. How could I not?


ps Also, some ink-brush things. The courtyard of Arkham Asylum, and a gift for Eva. )

Good night.

Hey guys

May. 30th, 2009 02:11 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Hey hey guys

Did you know that when you bake blueberries into chocolate cake, the smears they leave on the plate when you eat the first couple slices all warm and gooey are multicolored? There's a dark kind of blue-green teal and then there's the rich purple I'm all used to.

Hey [livejournal.com profile] crystal_sun396

I finally did your meme thing

It's actually pretty alright I think. Which is something I don't say about my own stuff a lot but man, I am really enjoying this thing called a brush-pen.

Lobsang Before Noon )

Koni, Jenneh, gimme some ideas so's I can create somethin' for ya. Stream-of-consciousness ramble at me. Link me a picture you like. Anythin'.

Life is way better with warm chocolate-blueberry cake in you. Also I ground fresh cinnamon in, 'cuz apparently I can't leave a recipe alone anymore without doing something to it. I think this is a good sign.

'Night, internet.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (TT: Beast Boy is no.1)
My pen was unLOCKED today.

It was magical.

So many bats, you guys. )

THIS WAS ALL TODAY. WHAT IS THIS EVEN.



ps no wait one more


This one is a few days old. I call him Spot.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
This first one, it's pretty nothing. It's just a thing I pulled straight off of a photograph, done in inkbrush and watercolor pencils. Poorly-applied watercolor pencils. But it's cute.

Cheep cheep. )

fuckYES.

May. 14th, 2009 09:42 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (TT: Beast Boy is no.1)
Today was the day I got out of dance practice, a really GOOD dance practice with a bunch of fun and honestly active routines, and still had energy afterwards. And it feels GREAT. This is why we exercise, body! It does good things to us! So no more bitchin' and let's do more! 8D

Also, ice cream is delicious. And it's almost the weather for it again. ♥


ATTN: Sho, Flik, Caitlin. Before I ruin it with a terrible attempt at coloring!!

I drew you a Bat-Ent. )


PS. Oh, sinful. I just made an omelette, mostly for tomorrow's lunchbox, and oh, the amount of butter in this thing. Onions and 'shrooms and green peppers and I think I'm even getting the hang of using a few spices. :3

What is it about my brain, friendslist, that sees 'oregano' and supplies 'poison'? It doesn't stop me from using it. But it's always a little unnerving when my glance happens across the label and that little red thought just snaps up like a signal flag. Some days I just hold my neurons in deep suspicion.

Right, so

Feb. 2nd, 2009 10:41 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
I said that

and then I hit 1721 on my wordcount for today

and also pastell'd a new postcard. This is for [livejournal.com profile] mabaliciousness, in accordance with the You Get Somethin' I Made meme.

There's this alternative Rinoa design on the internets... )

Aaaaaaand in the same vein, I also figured out how to play the piccolo solo from Eyes on Me. Just for you, Mab. Just because You Get Somethin' I Made doesn't mean it's at all anywhere near good. ♥ Hey, you asked for it.

One down, six to go.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
It's days like this that make me think I could easily work this job for another year.

Which was one reason I signed the form not to recontract today. If I'm still determined to stop after a day as good as this, then I know what I'm doing.

I'm looking through grad schools this week.

And this evening I taught myself Amazing Grace on my new harmonica. Its first song. I've never really played one before.

I finished two more postcards. Gotta spray these puppies and send 'em. I did send a batch off last week, hope you guys like 'em. They're just exceedingly amateurish pastels, that's all, but I think I'm getting better.

Oh, and at least four active rp plots and twice as many apps are in some stage of progress.

Now I just need to finish my Japanese homework, read some more Dostoyevski, play a little more TWEWY, and put together my writing notes over the next ten days.

Going to a friend's house this weekend to try on kimono. I'll try to find my camera by then but it seems it's well and truly lost. Pity.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] tmartian42. Let me know when you've a free hour or two in which you feel like RPing, if such a thing occurs? I think the three or four of us could bang out a full scene if we just sat down and traded short tags for a bit.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] uncompromisable. I'm not really sure what this shout-out is for, I just want to send affectionate greetings. It seems like I keep contacting you asking for things, and it leads me to ponder what else I could do.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] ezelek. Thanks for hauling Hannon's comatose butt around a small forest moon of Endor yesterday. I'll try and schedule kimono fitting for the afternoon so you don't have to do it again. But if you were serious about executing that plot we discussed, then perhaps we could engineer some dramatic, hilarious fashion in which it is The Grumpiest Little Komrade's fault.

ARTDAY

Sep. 27th, 2008 10:27 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Nami is shit hot.)
Had a great day. Went out along the beach and biked and saw and thought and arted. Lots of stuff in progress, but here's an oil pastel landscape and another look at New York's baseline Heartless.

Small scanner, but still yay art. )

Fooding

Aug. 19th, 2008 08:07 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Gremio faceless)
Food is expensive, but life is okay anyway. Tofu-flavored candy is bizarre and weird. I have lots of snacks and lots of breakfast and lots of dinner, and just reserved next morning's rice so I can have more of same for all of the above. Stocked for weeks, I think, which is good because it means when I go out of the house now I shall have to find other things to do! Would have gone out earlier today and just looked around but maaaan, downpour.

I think I may be overfeeding myself. If this is even possible. Much better than starving, though, so will continue in this vein until the effects are actually felt.

Tofu candy is really bizarre and weird.

Also, the Japanese do not know about bacon. They slice ham into strips and call it bacon and just do not understand.

They do know about mushrooms, though, and how. I went to the store just for rice but there were discounts on lovely things like long thin mushrooms, and I've been increasing my veggies-and-minerals intake anyway so you know what the hey.

Also there are now acrylic paints. Need to pick: do I first paint up my house slippers, my bookshelves, my plastic shelves, or do I actually start a canvas?
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
"Sometimes, though, I am very sure that there is a deep pool in each of our dreams, and none of us understand what it means."

Go read Hero.

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Arkster

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