Sep. 8th, 2011 09:53 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Don't cry for me)
Holy hell how is it only 9pm.

I got up at 6 this morning to finish the homework due in the 8am class. (This tardiness was not my fault; I was exhausted last night and the download for the audio part was going to take like four hours. Anyway.) Class ended at 9.15 at which point I buzzed up to midtown to get my silicon mold injected with wax a couple times. This took so long that I ended up leaving the mold at the casting studio and coming late to 11am Sociolinguistics.

At first SociLing was really discouraging; there are six students in the class and the other five have all been in school longer than me. Three already have linguistics MAs. I am also, I think, the eldest student. What am I even doing here? I asked myself. What do they all know that I'm going to have to scramble to keep up with?

In the second half of the class, we touched on gender and language use, and the question of whether you can tell someone's gender from hearing them speak came up, and the immediate class response was 'yes: a man's larynx is bigger, so his speech is pitched lower.'

Which I didn't make an issue of. I took a breath, two annoyed notes, and let it pass. But I went up to the professor afterwards and just said, "I had a problem with connecting 'larynx size' with gender instead of sex on the whiteboard, but I didn't want to derail you." And he said, "Yes, well, for example [the boy behind you] is dedicated to studying only formal syntax, and it would have taken at least twenty minutes to sidetrack and explain things to him. We'll touch on that later."

So... yeah! I may be the oddball out, but I'm at least putting together a thesis that he said is "definitely a sociolinguistics topic." Which is apparently not true for at least three out of five classmates.

And I have thought about other things than my PhD for some part of the last three years. So there's that too.

Anyway class was out at 2pm and it was back to the casting studio*, and then BACK down to campus for a mostly unsuccessful textbook run - but I did get school supplies! Footsore and weary from hitting up four bookstores for Weber's Protestant Ethic (among other things,) I settled my butt at an Italian barstaurant that serves unlimited and delicious fingerfood to anybody who drinks there between 5-7. The bartender – not Maurice. Maurelio? Argentinian dude – was just starting work that day. On hearing that I'd just snagged a new job**, he refilled my lemon ice vodka on the house. So of course I tipped 50% and still only paid $10 for two sexy drinks and a healthy dinner in Manhattan. I call that a goddamn win.

After that I cruised on over to the student center to print out my Weber*** and hit up the Comic Book Society. A cute group of undergraduate nerds, but when your 5-person officer board is all-male and your club attendance is 80% female it says something. We'll see what the gender balance is like next week when there isn't free pizza. Assuming I go back, of course – I plugged my bookstore and let them know about Kate Beaton's book party, but they're not my crowd. They still think DC is salvageable and Whedon can do no wrong. Do I really need to be a grizzled voice of bitter reason? I think not.

Then again, I might want to submit something to the quarterly student anthology.

*I also picked up wax carving tools at the neighboring metalshop. Because I totally needed another crafting hobby.

**New job: On the weekends. More details to come, maybe. I will not have free time this semester.

***Printing out Protestant Ethic at ten cents a double-sided page: $4.20. Copies of same in your standard bookstore: $20 and up. You know, some days I just can't wait for Print-On-Demand to put pricing like this out of business.

And so.

Aug. 14th, 2011 01:08 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Did someone say mindless banter?)
I return! How are things with you, my English-speaking buddies?

I hope you all had a good summer, or at least a tolerable one. Mine was quite nice - four hours of language class and five hours of language homework every day, interspersed with calligraphy and tai chi. So really it was heaven, for some people. Okay, for me.

I'm trying to catch up on the summer news, but all this ~debt ceiling~ and ~ratings downgrade~ business just looks like so much posturing and political hooey. I wish the dudes who want to kill what's left of the American welfare state would just shoot it already, cut Social Security and Medicare now and be mobbed for their evils. They won't, tho.

London's news is at least real. Russell Brand, of all people, comes close to articulating a portion of my thoughts on the Jobless Generation:

"These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.

If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together."

But his proposed solution is for everyone to suddenly become Gandhi, so fuck him.

I anticipate, with drier detachment than I deserve, many more youth riots to come. Obama's taught us that our votes don't matter; that in the end all our hopey-changey political ambitions only enriched the banks, lost more jobs, and cut our parents' Medicare. What other outlet do we have?

Wow, that went downhill fast. Tell me something that happened in the last two months? I'm sure I'm missing much.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)



Jul. 22nd, 2006 01:59 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Usopp is arting!)
Someday I will find a fandom in Japanese that does not utilize puns about monkeys.

Today is clearly not that day.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
"The word 'fandom' needs to stop existing."

It doesn't really matter where I got this. It's quite likely I'll never cross internet paths with the person who wrote it in my entire online career. I still feel like writing about it.

One of the many things I've learned from translating is that the individual word is not important. It's a front, an often imperfect representation of a broader concept. The act of translation, so far as I can tell, is to deconstruct words into their base concepts, and then to reconstruct that concept in the destination language. More pertinent to this discussion: the act of understanding is simply that first step, the deconstruction of words into nebulous internal concepts.

If this is true, then writing about any particular concept by definition is a reconstruction of the concept back into words. Sometimes I think the definition of skillful writing is a series of words that hints around a concept, bringing the reader's mind to approximate the same concept going through the writer's without the benefit of direct telepathy.

Oh yes. I was going to talk about fandom, before the idea that the erasure of a single word from the common lexicon would be at all effective managed to distract me.

I made a new friend the other day. (=D) She added me on last.fm some time ago, based on our common interest in Final Fantasy music. I was of course perfectly happy to add her back, but didn't think much of it as I don't actually use that site more than twice a month. Last week, though, she commented on a friend's journal and I recognized the screenname. Curious, I checked out her journal- and discovered some of the most consistently excellent and original FF6 artwork I'd ever seen. Icyites, you've seen it too. Hot shit. I ask her "Have you ever been to Icy's? We do arts!"

She responds "I go to Icy's for the translation."

First of all, XD <3 ♥ with an omg on top. But once I had finished blushing like a schoolgirl, I thought to myself, this is fandom.

And I like it here.

Aaaand that's probably ten times more thought than was put into the original remark! Go me.

...Also, I failed at boiled eggs today. Somebody revoke my cooking license.


Jan. 2nd, 2006 07:20 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Zoro's laughing!)

So there's this word that means GOING UP. Ok? Ok. And there's a line that was translated as, "The Empire's made me a rich man." To which the response was "Don't be so selfish."

I give the Japanese a once-over and it uses the word 'business' and that word that means GOING UP, in an informal but not unusual conjugation. And I think 'ok, that was translated just fine', and move on to the response. Which turns out to be, roughly, "It's not just you. Other people are suffering too."

wate wut

So I go back to that one word that means going up. And I notice that it is not using its kanji, a very simple kanji (上) that in fact takes less space and effort than the kana that is actually THERE. And I think to myself, 'huh. I wonder if it is not actually the word that means going up in a particular conjugation, but in fact a different word altogether that only LOOKS like this verb was conjugated informally. Perhaps, for example, a word that means GOING DOWN.'

Two seconds of research later, I discover:

a) It means 'poor business'.



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