wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
"Eschatology as design challenge" -- here's an article on ending worlds in online games. Sadly, the article doesn't really live up to that quote, but it's interesting nonetheless. Via [livejournal.com profile] thesaucernews.


What! World Wide Words says that "weave" as in "cloth" (past tense "wove") is a different word from "weave" as in "zig-zag" (past tense "weaved") here. I'm unable to confirm this in Partridge's Origins, which doesn't directly address "weave back and forth." But fascinating if true! More at the link about "strong verbs" where the past tense is still formed using the ablaut process (sang, drove, grew).


I figured that since [livejournal.com profile] toratigris was packing spices that there was something different about the spice situation in Korea and Japan. Wow, that seems to be the case. Korean & Japan are quite similar in a lot of respects but not, it seems, when it comes to the popularity of "Western"-style baking and cooking. There's a long discussion on Dave's ESL Cafe from a Korea-based EFL teacher who's moving to Japan and can't believe the reassurances from Japan-based teachers that it's easy to buy "cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, oregano, paprika, parsley, black or white pepper, sweet basil, bay leaf, cayenne pepper (powdered or dried/whole), turmeric, cumin, Italian seasoning," and nearly everything except dill easily in any Japanese city. Towns and villages are another matter, I hear (and have no doubt), but with the train networks, I imagine it's still doable.


[livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor's best friend, an apparently straight guy raised in Bakersfield and other non-touchy-feely parts of the US, always ends his phone calls with "Love ya!" I really admire this. It may be partly his family's tradition or his ethnic background or something that lets him feel comfortable doing this, but either way, it probably takes some nerve on some level. I'd like to occasionally express my love for my closest friends, but I am a pretty non-demonstrative person (whether that's due to my personality or partly influenced by my buttoned-up German and British Isles cultural heritage, I couldn't say). Anyway, if I do express such at some point, it doesn't express any change in my feelings, just an attempt to be a little more honest. :P You never know when you'll never get a chance to say it again.


This CD that got left out of the box is not going in because it kills me that there's still 200+ MB left on it, and I want to tweak it more anyway. EDIT: No, the box isn't going today because I suck and it's 2 PM and I haven't eaten yet and the box is not yet addressed and I will fall down if I have to go to the post office first FAIL.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Bought myself the new (well, March 2008) Rough Guide to Japan as a birthday present. Not sure what's up with that "cosu-play" spelling (or the "fantasy role-play" reference, but whatever). Don't think they updated the Kurashiki section at all. Totally confused by a few of the Britishisms (which I'm usually fairly good with), such as "carnet ticket," which I just looked up and is apparently both British and generally European. (EDIT: I should note that 99% of the British terms in the book are comprehensible to me, so it really stands out to me when they're not!)

(Does everybody know this word except me? If you haven't spent time in the UK or EU, would you know what it meant without looking it up?)

I'm curious as to Rough Guide's editorial policy: do they just use whatever dialect of British English that their writer happens to use, or do they attempt to internationalize it (and occasionally fail), or do they have different editions like Harry Potter (which also sometimes failed, as when they forgot to Americanize the "jumper" that Mrs. Weasley made for Ron)? I don't think they do have different editions, and it seems that ignoring non-British dialects would be a foolish idea for an international guidebook ... I'm not sure what the ideal is. I mean, for Harry Potter I thought making two editions was stupid, because I grew up reading British books and I thought the language was part of the charm--and, of course, they didn't catch everything anyway. But clarity is more important in a guidebook, so it seems like it might be better to try to write it with words that are dialect-neutral, or to explain things briefly. I noticed that sometimes they use different dialects' synonyms together in a single paragraph or sentence, such as "torch" and "flashlight," which is a pretty good way to get around things. Well, and other things should be obvious to anyone who speaks any dialect of English, such as writing "get round" instead of "get around," so there's no need to change it.

Anyway, I'm enjoying reading and dreaming about going back. :) It's a good review of history, etc., too. I need to read some historical fiction again one of these days; it's always been a better way for me to get the timelines and personalities of history into my memory compared to lists of names and dates.



P. S. Please, don't take this as an opportunity to make remarks about British English being the only correct English and so on; it's historically short-sighted and linguistically absurd. I know it's obnoxious when Americans think American English should be the worldwide norm, and it's ridiculous when British editions of software default to American English, etc., etc., but that doesn't make it okay to be snotty, catty, flip, condescending, or insulting to the American friends who aren't responsible for any of that. It really gets on my nerves, and kind of hurts my feelings since I am a professional English teacher. I guess it's an automatic kneejerk reaction for some to any mention of English standards by Americans, but seriously, please save it for the people who deserve it.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Japanese town of Obama erupts in victory parties.


(previously)



(One of my client families is from the same province where this town is. To further the coincidences, the characters for Obama the town are "small beach," which works pretty well for a guy from Hawaii!)

Cute!

Oct. 17th, 2008 05:29 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
In one of the Wii Fit menus, your Mii character is standing to one side and, since we got Wii Fit, bits of green pixels would sometimes "blow" across the screen. Someone, I think [livejournal.com profile] toratigris, wondered what it was. I said it was grass clippings and then speculated whether--since Wii Fit is from Japan--it would change with the seasons.

Sure enough! Between traveling and minor surgery and etc. I had hardly turned it on recently, but today there were multicolored leaves blowing across the screen! heeheehee. I guess we can expect snowflakes in winter and cherry blossoms in spring, then. (Did you notice, [livejournal.com profile] kyspaz? Or did you get yours after the Wii considered it to be fall already?)

COOOL

Oct. 11th, 2008 10:51 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
https://www.urbanthreads.com/blog&Itemid=9
Scroll down till you see the clever idea for making some neat Halloween party wall lights, or maybe just cool lights in general.


Hey, [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora: I thought you might be amused by Hiwheel, a company over here--well, up in Alameda--that makes antique and retro-style bikes, as well as lots of other interesting cycles.


We're watching 我が愛の詩, or Bloom in the Moonlight (what?!), which is a 1993 movie about Rentaro Taki, a late 19th-century Japanese pianist and composer (in the western classical style) whose music is still performed despite a very short career. Heck, here's a video of Yngwie Malmsteen covering "Kojo no Tsuki" (with a guitar and his teeth...), or listen to the Scorpions performing it with the words.

I'm guessing he dies from a buildup of impulsivity in his lungs, because thus far he's a bit of an impulsive goofball. Possibly this is because he's from Kyushu, which one can wildly overgeneralize as being full of goofy energy.

(Just kidding. Tuberculosis. Age 23. I bet there's manga out there somewhere featuring him as a waifish bespectacled bishounen.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ueto aya-business-me)
That's PRIME MINISTER Rozen Aso to YOU, buddy.

Too bad he's, um, prone to ... er ... unfortunate remarks.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (photos-kaiseki-me)
my dream wouldn't end. I was supposed to meet [livejournal.com profile] toratigris in a certain neighborhood in whatever Japanese city I was in. I didn't identify it as Japan in the dream, but when I woke up I realized that it had to be, because the cafes I'd circled as lunch possibilities were from a magazine that was clearly Tokyo Walker or one of the other Walker magazines. We were supposed meet at the train station at 12:15, because it'd take about an hour to get into the city, but she hadn't showed up by 12:45, and whenever I called her phone I got a 23rd Century real estate agent. (23rd? I guess my brain thinks Japan lives in the future. Which they kinda do, in some ways. :P) Anyway, the dream got stuck in a loop there as I kept trying the phone. I HATE that. But I think it'd be fun to poke around Japan with [livejournal.com profile] toratigris.


Entirely outside of dream reality, but in actual Real Life, the [Name of City] Walker magazines are fun. The info on them is in very small chunks, so I could puzzle through Taipei Walker enough that I used it once to find a Wachifield shop in a trendy little area of Taipei I'd never been in before. As I recall, a big chunk of each issue is devoted to restaurants and cafes, usually by theme (like "crepes" or "spicy" or "romantic." There are a few lines of text, several color photos of the place's specialties, and--best of all--a little inset map showing you how to get there and the nearest train/subway station is. Super useful as well as fun to browse. I don't think I can articulate how this is critically different from the restaurant listings in the Metro or whatever, but somehow it is.

I dunno. Here, have some Spider-man ramen.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] tammylee linked this report on socially and environmentally responsible ice creams. It's really interesting--I just wish they'd given us some actual insight into the methodology. I mean, I see the sources for the data, but how was it ranked for the individual categories? They rank all kinds of things, and I'd like to know what they were weighing. Hmm. Oh well, it claims my main airline is doing fairly well, so I'll take it. ;p


[livejournal.com profile] gtpooh twittered this link to an article about Namba Parks in Osaka. I WANT TO LIVE THERE OMFG.

I keep seeing references to the existence of apartments there. I am sure they cost a fortune, but I want to find out how much they are! Sadly, the Namba Tower page is too difficult for me to navigate. I see stuff about office space and what not, but nothing about apartments. (T_T) DO WANT! Somebody find the page for me? Please?
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
What's something you'd expect to find in a pharmacy-type shop in your home country that you couldn't find in a pharmacy in Japan?

Or, what stuck you as odd or different about the service, layout, protocol, or anything else at pharmacies or drugstores in Japan?

I know one of you had some issues with buying ibuprofen there! (EYE-bu-pro-fen in the US, EE-bu-pu-ro-fen in Japan.) Other than ye olde pronunciation issues, though, if you have any Japanese pharmacy encounters you'd like to relate, I'd love to hear 'em.

A client of mine is returning to Japan and is hoping he can get a job as a pharmacist. He has a license but no recent experience. I think his English skills could get him a job at a pharmacy or hospital with foreign patients and customers, but I'd like to prepare him for some of the issues he'll probably encounter.

I never used a pharmacy or drugstore while I was there, so I don't have much to add. In Taiwan, I had some problems trying to buy painkillers that weren't full of codeine!

Anyway, please point your friends here if you think they'd have suggestions. Thanks!

ANY little thing will help, so please don't hesitate to mention even the slightest thing you recall. I and he would much appreciate it!

(Anonymous commenting is on; it'll just take me a while.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (clamp-mkr-cookingme)
SHOKUPIN DISUPURE POWAAAA!!!

OK, bear with me.

Exhibit A: Sampuru.

These are Japanese plastic food models, AKA "sampuru" (here's how they're made--4 pages with photos at the end). They're meticulously crafted and can cost a lot, even $100 a dish.

Exhibit B: Rement.

These are Rement-brand miniature food items. (Can you see where we're going with this?)

Exhibit C:

Model Food Models

These are Rement-brand miniature food models.

THAT'S RIGHT, FOLKS. WE HAVE MODEL MODELS!

Click here for details )

Where will the madness end?!

(Nowhere, I hope. Thank you, Japan!)

P. S. Sorry for the awful photos--it took me forever to even get them this good, because I was using the MacBook Pro's no-focus, forced-low-res camera. Bah.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)


It's a... dekotora ("decoration truck") game. These are real trucks in Japan; google "dekotora" for examples, or maybe "crazy Japanese trucks." Totally over the top! Customize every bit of your dekotora and race it...and stuff. Yeah, this one's totally not getting localized anytime soon. Hat tip to this post at [livejournal.com profile] wiifanboy.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (pugyuru-yukionna-how disturbing-me)
It's a Japanese Cthulhu doll from Volks. Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] tikistitch! I am sore amazed!


P. S. WLP, your classmates really have NO excuse!

P. P. S. Via [livejournal.com profile] thesaucernews:

Not comedic genius, but pretty funny.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fastfwd and [livejournal.com profile] matociquala got a good plug for their stories in Rewired, a "post-cyberpunk" anthology, which I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on. ((Direct Amazon referral link to Rewired.)


Also via BB, a team from the Hokkaido Research Institute has built "melody roads" that play a tune through your car using groves in the road. Oh, Japan! I can't decide if this is the most wonderful or most annoying thing ever!

As noted on BB, this is one way to let drivers know they're going the right speed, eh?


Lonely Planet has a photo challenge pool on Flickr, through which you can enter your photos to win LP guidebooks.


I'm going to go see my unofficial thesis advisor this afternoon. I'm so worried about whether I'll sound even vaguely intelligent/informed. Gyah. (I'm not good at recalling theory-related details on the spot, and I am mostly self-taught on this subject, so I'm likely missing big pieces of the big picture, too.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ghibli-wtf-me)



(Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] tikistitch. I think.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I have shamelessly stolen these links from [livejournal.com profile] thesaucernews:
The Best (WORST) Fantasy & Science Fiction Book Covers. Although I think that a) some of these aren't that bad, and b) there are far, far worse covers on the $1 paperback rack at Half-Price Books.

Then we have 2005's worst romance novel covers and 2006's. Yikes.

Punk Rock Penguin presents more bad covers. If you click on the first one, you can look at them one at a time in a good size, which is an improvement over the other sites' tiny images. Hey, I want to revel in the awfulness, not squint at it! (At least one image not particularly safe for work.)


Speaking of books, I have another story idea. But I can't choose between the two main characters: which one should be the protagonist? I can think of lots of books where the PoV is split between multiple characters, but what about one where TWO characters are both the protagonists, and are mostly in the same place at the same time? Is this just stupid? Can you think of a book that does this? (Preferably recent, and genre.)


HOW DID I NOT GO TO NAMJATOWN WHILE I WAS IN JAPAN?!
Thanks a lot, [livejournal.com profile] hildy. NOW I'M ALL BITTER.
I mean, I think I even walked past it on the way from Ikebukuro station to Sunshine City, or maybe that was one of the Sega buildings. Either way, it blows the Sakura Taisen cafe out of the water. Not that I regret going there, because it was fun despite the draconic no-photos rule.

But yeah. You need to click on that link. Then you need to buy me a plane ticket back to Japan.


Speaking of random Japanese stuff, I bought "NANA: Live Staff Daiboshuu! Shoshinsha Kangei" for DS, half-off. Yes, in Japanese. I hope my friend will help me play it, because there's no FAQ at GameFAQs.com (which actually has a lot of Japanese-only games, but I guess this one is too girly or something).


This is part of a job listing I got in my e-mail today. Watch out, world!

Disney Publishing Worldwide has recently developed a new Disney English Language Learning (ELL) division to build upon Disney's 30-year history of providing kids' English Language Learning products infused with our timeless stories and characters. This division has created a common ELL brand that will be deployed across the entire Walt Disney Company and serve as the catalyst for all future worldwide development including print, gaming, video, and audio. The foundation for these efforts will be the introduction of Disney ELL centers where children will be inspired, motivated and delighted by an engaging and highly communicative educational experience that leverages state-of-the-art technology, compelling animation and video content, and award-winning music all offered in a truly unique Disney environment.

Ummmmmm.


*Now you know almost as much Kagoshima dialect as I do. (Wasse = very.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Japanese airbrushed gas caps, including Lilo & Stitch and Studio Ghibli images. Click on Vanning for some randomly odd custom vans, also including Ghibli stuff. More weird, Gundamesque vans here.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Photos of the Seiseki Sakuragaoka area, where Mimi o Sumaseba/Whispers of the Heart was set.The photos are linked to specific scenes from the film, with descriptions in English.

Weird.

Feb. 10th, 2007 11:43 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
One of the hotels we stayed at during our honeymoon in Japan, the iconic Sofitel on the other side of Ueno Park from Ueno Station, is going to be ... relocated?

http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20070210p2a00m0na028000c.html

It's a neat-looking building--zigzags straight up in the air. If you've been to Ueno Park you probably remember it.

Well, I'm glad they're not tearing it down, at least.

Phew.

Feb. 8th, 2007 01:39 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I finally uploaded most of the rest of my photos from our trip to Japan...yes, three years ago.

Anyway, they're here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wintersweet/tags/japan/

and help on improving my meager photo-taking skills, given the camera I've got, would be most welcome.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Ando Momofuki, the inventor of instant ramen, passed away today at the age of 93. Most of the online articles just vaguely say that he was "born in Taiwan," but as far as I know, he was actually Taiwanese: born Gô Peh-hok, according to Wikipedia.


Speaking of Japan and not-Japanese Japanese, permission has finally been granted to open the ancient imperal tombs of Japan. As a Japundit writer noted, people sometimes "joke that the old Imperial tombs of Japan would never be opened because we would all learn that the founders of Japan were . . . Korean". And that would be quite shocking to many Japanese.

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wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
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