when the music feels like this // can't get enough of you

On Vox: recently.

I have about three weeks remaining of the current term. I'm going to be finishing up my assignments and projects and reports for the semester in the next three days or so. I have plans to go hiking the weekend after next. It should be nice with weather befitting spring, so I'm excited. I think I'm going to the Punchbowl Falls and a few other places. Multnomah is always a must-see, but the other falls are great because we can actually walk right up to where the water is falling and get within a few centimeters of the water for pictures and so on. I like to just go and gaze at the falls for a while. I'll post some pictures. My friend and I are going, and I think that we'll probably invite one more along just to round things out.

I have a bunch of tutoring lined up, and I will be doing observations at some local universities.

I have an appointment with my adviser today to see about starting the paperwork for my teaching practicum abroad. It's set for 2010, April, so I have about a year. I need to register for the Japanese Proficiency Exam, which is held in December. I am going to take Level 1, which proves fluency at an adult level. I'm nervous, but I plan to study a lot before December. I'm going to start in May studying vocabulary words and example sentences and reading newspapers every day.

More later.

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: For My Dear...

For My Dear
Lyrics: ayumi hamasaki

(私の存在。My existence.)

It may be that I'm singing this song since
I'm unable to say just the words I wanna say most.

Happiness you dream of is always best before you catch hold of it
Because once it's in your hands, you're assailed by the fear of losing it.

And that's why humans are not such simple creatures
As to be able to explain them through reason

Because everyone has their wounds,
Sometimes gentleness stings as it soaks in
And it hurts so much that we feel about to burst into tears

My loneliness heals me
Because I don't wanna be all alone
Because I have you
I wanna feel at peace and fall into deep sleep

It may be that I'm continuing to sing this song since
Some day, I feel I'll be able to say just the words I wanna say most

It may be that I fall in love since
I don't get to hear just the words I wanna hear most

It may be that I'm continuing to sing this song since
Some day, I feel I'll be able to say just the words I wanna say most

It may be that I fall in love since
I don't get to hear just the words I wanna hear most

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com


We make our move, headed for the next stage
And keep walking

On this road that leads on and on,
We keep shining

I wonder how I can make a new start
Beginning from this point forward

I looked up at the sky and then a smile gently escaped from my lips
I could hear someone saying, "Don't be afraid. It's all right."
I looked up at the sky and then tears suddenly overflowed from my eyes
I can think tenderly of even the scars left behind in my past

I hear the signal heralding the future ring
And my eyes meet yours

My heart pulses with excitement
I wonder what I'll choose to draw
And what kind of map will come out of it

When we feel the wind, let's reach out and grasp each other's hand tightly
We don't need a lot of words anymore
When we feel the wind, let's set out, stepping forward strongly
Let's go on at the same pace, go on gazing at the same scenery


I really like this song. It makes me feel like "It's all okay. No matter what the scenery looks like, it's gonna be fine."
This translation, I wanted to do, because I wanted to tell my friends the things that this song talks about. I hope you all know--and I hope I say it enough--that I love you all. Happy spring.

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: ::we've only just begun::
Happy 2009!

How was your 2008? Did it turn out as you expected? I suspect it did not. Mine, of course, did not. Nowhere in the program was there an indication that I would be sitting here in a Portland suburb, typing away at my laptop and telling you about graduate school. I was not supposed to be studying English and second language acquisition (SLA), either. It was supposed to be business and tourism, actually.

But at the same time, I would not trade this moment for anything. Even when things do not seem to go as they 'should'. Maybe I've grown up a little bit.

It is really cold this morning. Recently, Portland was hit by a few weeks of really heavy snow, as many of you know. My photos are on my Facebook and my mixi, so please take a gander if you have yet to do so.

I am listening to the Carpenters. I have been recently playing their greatest hits album almost daily. I don't know why. I was not born when Karen was singing these songs. I have no deja vu, nor does any particular scene dance before my eyes when I listen. But, I feel strangely connected to these songs. Maybe it's a common American culture. They were a great duo. They have inspired a great many people, including some of my favorite singer-songwriters of these days (e.g. Chihiro Onitsuka).

Well, I've got to get some work done~! I was invited to be the Director of International Student Academic Support at Concordia, so I've been setting up some new activities for the international students. I will also, I hope, be tutoring in the writing center. I will have a meeting with the director on Wednesday. She didn't say anything about 'welcome aboard', just that we would discuss the center. I hope that doesn't mean 'no.'

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: so, i'm grad-schooling.

So, I'm here in Portland (err... sort of. I'm on the west side of the city in a suburb.)

So I went through rush hour traffic to school this morning and got to spend 15 minutes in the same stretch of road. It was lovely.

So, I'm reading a lot on first language acquisition, second language acquisition, the interplay between the two (if any), and ways we attempt to expedite SLA. It's interesting.

And I'm studying linguistics again, which is nice.

And I'm writing a lot of papers. And tutoring. And working part-time. And having the occasional (occasional, occasional) break. Because it's mandatory (^^).

I hope you're all doing well. I miss you.

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: Okay, so.

Okay, so I've decided to catch up on all my Internet presences. Seriously.
I have a Facebook, a MySpace, a LiveJournal, a VOX, a MIXI (Japanese),
and a bunch of photo-related presences as well. Wouldn't it be better if I just
made sure that everything was cross-posted everywhere so that no matter
where people were looking, they could find out the latest?

Survey says 'no,' but I'll do it anyway. So I've decided to make sure they all open
upon my opening firefox and try to make sure that I utilize all these cross-post
things. I keep my mixi most up-to-date but the posts are in Japanese. Problem
for most of my readership on the other programs.

I need an Internet chimpanzee to translate for me.

Nothing much going on. Graduate school starts Monday. 40 hours+ at work
this week. Tired of the daily grind. Hoping school will be a good outlet for my
desire to be more intellectual. Bought a lot of vegetables last night. Feeling like
eating nothing but for a while. Dunno why.

I rented some really weird movies from Blockbuster yester-evening. One called
'A SNAKE OF JUNE' and the other also weird. They're both Japanese, but something
tells me that they're deviant enough to make even me wrinkle an eyebrow.

Today is my day off. I have an appointment of sorts with some people for whom I will
housesit next week. First week of school and I won't be spending it at home. But I think
it'll be good for a change of pace.

That's about it, folks. I'm jealous of all you who went out of country or are out of country *cough* Sid *cough* =D

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: the ice maker is on the fritz//was last summer this hot?
it's been unseasonably (and uncharacteristically) hot in the Rose
City this year. makes me think that 'global warming' is not just
a hoax conjured up by democrats and left-wingers... although that
is definitely what oil companies and republicans would have you
believe (oops... is my bias showing?)

Ah--. but i'm out wrangling carts most days, or else trying to
get applicants for credit cards... so if it's hot outside, you
know that we part-timers are simply melting. as for myself, i'm
fine at any temperature. but i wouldn't mind the realtively mild
summers for which portland is known...

has anyone noticed the hike in prices at the grocer's? it's crazy
to pay almost four dollars for milk. ah well... this is prime
diet time!

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: Beijing's Dirty Air

I've been watching BBC World News and CNN International often as of late.
It would seem that Beijing has yet to live up to its promises to clean up the
air for the Olympic Games.

I wonder what exactly the Olympics will mean in a sociopolitical sense for
the international community. Countries in Asia, including Japan, have continued
to criticize China's questionable human rights record and there have been calls
for countries such as the US to boycott the opening ceremony.

In other international news, malnutrition and undernourishment currently affects
60 million of India's children. With India's aspirations of becoming a global power,
the far-reaching effects of malnutrition will likely be felt for many years to come.

It's interesting to compare this to the US obesity and overweight problem.
The Indian children cannot consume even 70% of the recommended calories for the
day and American adults cannot seem to help consuming all of those calories and more.

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: Question of the Day

Is the reporting on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and EXTRA! supposed to be trusted as being reliable and thought-provoking as that on CNN INTERNATIONAL and BBC News International?

I vote no.

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com

On Vox: Tanabata 7/7 Festival and the Downfall of American Culture(?!)

Okay, so today is TANABATA Festival. Also known as Qixi in Chinese and the Weaver Festival in English.

Basically, it comes from a legend that is shared culture of China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam concerning the Weaving Maiden Star (Vega) and the Cowheard Star (Altair). Because the legend has spread widely throughout China and neighboring countries that have a shared Sino-Asian culture, there are so many variations that it is tough to tell you exactly which one is best known. It is said that the celestial bodies are the reincarnation of two star-crossed lovers called Tanabata (or Orihime (Weaving Princess)) and Mikeran (or Hikoboshi (Cowheard)) and that they can meet once a year on 7/7 by the old Japanese lunar calendar. Now that we use the Gregorian calendar throughout the world, 7/7 is no longer the historical Tanabata Festival day. That said, most people still consider either 7/7 or 8/7 Tanabata in Japan, although it has been relegated to minor importance throughout much of the country (save perhaps Sendai and parts of Hokkaido). Little children pray for help with handwriting, arts and crafts skill, and other gains in artistic talent on this day. This Tanabata, I'm asking for help with my kanji skill. I need to memorize how to write a few hundred more and the pronunciations for all of them. Let's hope that tonight is a clear sky so Vega and Altair can meet. If it is cloudy, it is said that the rain that falls is Tanabata crying because she cannot meet with her husband, Mikeran.

My aunt and uncle are watching ABC's runaway hit THE BACHELORETTE. I didn't even realize the show was still running after all these seasons. You know the one: the show of two incarnations, one featuring a shallow man choosing among 20-odd bimbos for a prospective wife or an equally shallow woman picking between 20-odd boneheads for a prospective husband. Ugh. The people are shallow, the situations contrived, and the sheer amount of bad interpersonal skills is at once maddening and kind of frightening.

I mean, they make assumptions, tell other people what they should feel, blame their feelings on one another rather than taking responsibility for how they feel, take everything personally, and gossip about themselves and others. And if that weren't bad enough, they're adding to the rich culture we have going that this kind of train-wreck 'relationship television' represents the ideal.

This is what we SHOULD feel like when we're in love. This is what we SHOULD do when we love someone. I don't profess for a moment to know a thing about what you as an individual SHOULD feel or do, but this is likely not it in 99.99999999% of cases. America, please turn the channel with some remotely redeeming quality.

I don't care what you watch, really. You can watch a soap opera for all I care. Just remember that what you see on TV is FICTION. It IS NOT REAL. You DO NOT HAVE TO ACT LIKE THIS. And you SHOULD NOT act like these people or expect reality to turn out like these programmes. No, most people do NOT simultaneously date and lead on 20 individuals when searching for a mate. You don't typically date for one month and travel the world with just enough time to bring that special someone home to meet mom and dad just before proposing or hoping to be proposed to. Falling in love does NOT mean forcing the other person to feel the same way you do, guilting your partner into feeling or being a certain way, or coercing her/him into anything.

Why is this show still on television? Why are people watching it? It makes me a little nuts.

Sorry to rant, but I suppose if there were a time and place, this blog is definitely it.

Originally posted on shinjitsunouta.vox.com


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