arisha: (mj)
Oh man I haven't updated my lists in forever. Books!

Hitching Rides With Buddha: A Journey Across Japan, Will Ferguson
In which the author chronicles (mostly humourously) his attempt to hitchhike from one end of Japan to the other. It's a pretty neat book and would probably make for an interesting introduction to Japanese culture. There were some parts where I disagreed with Ferguson - at some points it seemed like he was trying to pass off culture shock as something one only experiences in Japan, and of course I didn't care for his quick dismissal of J-pop - but I have to admit I loved the passage on Noh and yeah, overall I really enjoyed this book.

Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, Bob Thomas
So a few years ago I read Neal Gabler's fantastic 800-odd-page Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, and every Disney biography I have picked up since has just paled in comparison. Unfortunately that remains true for this, the only biography I've seen so far of Walt's older brother and business partner. Building a Company isn't a bad book, and it included a number of passages that were new to me and really interesting, but I wish it was better organized and more fleshed out so that I could more readily recommend it. Less than a hundred pages into the book and we're already at Disneyland's opening day, what is that?!?

Also omg the last chapters made me so sad it was ridiculous.

In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language, Arika Okrent
My own contact with conlangs is pretty much limited to that month or two in high school where I was sorta kinda learning Esperanto but stopped when I realized it was boring me. I borrowed this book from the library not actually expecting that I would read it. (I know that doesn't make sense. Don't ask questions.) Instead, I whipped right through it and now I'm sad to be done! This is a super interesting book about languages that people have created. Okrent profiles the creators behind the best-known conlangs, gives quick explanations of how the languages work, and discusses the themes that emerge when one looks at the hundreds of conlangs that we know of. There are also really interesting passages that describe certain features of natural languages, emphasizing the fact that words have certain meanings not because of any logical reason, but because that's what we agree that they mean!

Also, as someone who dropped Esperanto because its artifice bored her, I really enjoyed the chapters where Okrent described her experiences with Esperanto culture - and even with the evolution of the language! Of course now it seems obvious to me that if a conlang has speakers, it's going to evolve, but somehow that had never occurred to me before. So interesting!

So yeah - of the three books in this post this one is my favourite, and you should all be nerdy like me and read it because it's awesome. :D
arisha: (koharu kusumi)
So Versailles, a visual kei band, is performing in Lima in June, and this almost makes me wish I was staying longer! I don't think I've ever even heard any of their music, but who doesn't want to watch a J-rock concert in South America?? Seriously, how awesome is this!

Osaka 7

Feb. 28th, 2010 02:04 am
arisha: (ai takahashi)
My goodness but I wish I was better at quickly dashing off trip report entries. As always, if you want me to ramble about something, feel free to ask! xD

day fourteen )
arisha: (ai takahashi)
HEY SARAH WHY ARE YOU WRITING A TRIP REPORT ABOUT A TRIP THAT ENDED (unfortunately ;_; ) A YEAR AGO

BECAUSE I WANT TO SO SHUT UP AND ENJOY IT!!

For months now I have been completely stuck on how to write my Universal Studios Japan entry, so I guess I'll skip it for now and write about it alongside my other theme parks at the end.

day thirteen )
arisha: (potc3 liz boat)
I have been sitting here for an hour trying to think of some way to write a Christmas post that's happy but that also somehow reflects the odd confusion about the holidays that I've been experiencing this year. Nothing is coming and so I guess I give up for now, although I do want everyone on my friendslist to know that I hope you have an amazing day, whether you're celebrating or not. Every day I am super grateful to have met every one of you. <3

I've been thinking about my Japan trip a lot lately, I think just because this time last year is when I was busy planning all of it. Completely by accident, we were lucky enough to time our Tokyo Disneyland visit so that we could enjoy the last few days of Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare (the other parks that do the overlay just call it "Haunted Mansion Holiday," I have no idea why Tokyo throws in that extra word), which was so much more amazing than I had expected it to be. And weirdly enough, going on that ride in January, and despite the fact that it's supposed to be a little frightening, I always felt much more Christmassy than I had during the actual Christmas season. Anyway, just now I looked up the audio to the stretching room portion, because that "lalalalala" in the background is pretty much my favourite part of the entire ride, not gonna lie. Oh, and the creepy singing at the very end, when you're exiting the stretching room, omg I love that! So for those of you who like your Christmas a little creepy:



(It is really weird to me, hearing this dialogue in English. xD I'd never heard the original version before tonight!)

Wow, this entry is discombobulated. Longer, more coherent letter later? For now, please have an awesome day -- and don't let Jack Skellington ruin it for you! xD <3
arisha: (vampire productivity)
In the middle of a lolarious conversation about a certain manager who likes to move everyone around to different tills for reasons no one else understands--

Co-worker 1: "And so by the end I was looking around and all I could think was, 'This is not where I belong!'"
Co-worker 2: "'Not where you belong'? You sound like a Disney movie."

Ahaha. x) I continue to adore my co-workers despite the fact that I seriously need a new job. On Wednesday we Slytherins got our prize of mini-golf and dinner. The mini-golf was really not exciting but the free dinner was so worth it. I definitely ordered more expensive things than I would've if I'd had to pay for it. >xD And now we're about a week away from paintball! I'M ACTUALLY GOING THIS TIME, unlike last time when I decided sleeping in was the preferable option. I've already made a financial commitment to this round, so. xD;

Anyway, I guess it's time for me to answer the questions from this post! (Which you are still allowed to contribute to, if you'd like!) Read more... )

Quick! Two fun facts!!

One! Now that it's past midnight -- today is my mom's birthday! :) Why yes she is indeed one day younger than the King of Pop. I think I always remember this fun fact so well only because it is perhaps the only semi-positive thing she has ever said to me about MJ. ^^;

Two! The first time I heard any of the songs on Pink's Funhouse album was on my flight home from Tokyo. That whole flight felt like such a neverending visit to a strange parallel universe that when I was flipping channels the other day and caught the music video for the title song, my first reaction was surprise, like This song exists here, too??
arisha: (Default)
Last night I discovered that, in the '70s, the Jackson 5 performed at the same Osaka concert hall where I saw Morning Musume. No one else will find this remotely interesting but to me it is for some reason the most hilarious thing!!

HEY GUYS REMEMBER THAT TRIP REPORT I WAS WRITING??

day eleven )

osaka cubed

Apr. 1st, 2009 02:44 am
arisha: (potc3 liz)
I usually friendslock my trip report entries because they usually include pictures of me, but this one doesn't. I also suspect it is not a very interesting read. COINCIDENCE?!?!

With pictures hosted by Photobucket, in this entry I go to a museum, go shopping, and watch TV. Dude, I could've done that stuff at home! ;D

day ten )

NEXT: uhhh, to be honest I don't remember. It'll be a surprise for both of us!
arisha: (tlm awkward)
So today on the bus I thought I caught a glimpse of a shooting star and felt for a brief moment that I was on everyone's favourite piratical ride, and when I remembered I wasn't I felt slightly miserable for the rest of the trip home.

GUYS MY (TOKYO) DISNEYLAND WITHDRAWAL HAS REACHED A LEVEL OF PATHETIC EVEN I DID NOT REALIZE EXISTED ;_;

Man, but speaking of which, isn't seeing the shooting star at the beginning of Pirates supposed to be like a special thing? I swear I saw it almost every time. @_@

This bustastic story also reminds me of how once when Dad and I were on Splash Mountain, he made a comment about how realistic the sky was, I agreed . . . and then we realized we were outside. Ahaha, oh god, this is your brain on Disney.
arisha: (potc3 liz)
On our way from Vancouver to Tokyo, my dad and I happened to be on the same flight as the Canadian Men's Sledge Hockey Team. The best two parts about this were 1) opening my eyes to see the guy across the aisle removing his leg from the overhead compartment, and 2) watching these guys at the luggage carousel as they effortlessly picked up bags that must have been, not even joking, three times as big as your average person.

My dad is a spy who discovered they were on their way to a tournament in Nagano, which they apparently won, so that's pretty cool I guess.

Savour this post, sports fans!! I don't exactly write about sports very much. :P
arisha: (I will lend you mine)
Three more movies:

9. City of Ember, 2008
This should actually be the first on the list, since I watched it on the plane from Tokyo to Vancouver, but I only just now have remembered to list it. xD; I actually really enjoyed this movie, it's of that family-friendly fantasy genre that I seem to love (see Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3-D xD; ), but afterwards when I was thinking about it I discovered a lot of plot holes. haha oh well, it kept me distracted for an hour and a half and that was really all I wanted. xD

SORRY GUYS, from here on this post is all politics. :P

10. Right America: Feeling Wronged - Some Voices From the Campaign Trail, 2009
forgive, sounds good )

11. Shut Up and Sing, 2006
forget, I don't think I could )

Also, I want to watch more documentaries. What are some documentaries I should watch? :D
arisha: (Default)
I am going to try very hard not to watch the Oscars tonight. It is just not worth watching four hours of boring TV for the five minutes that I might find entertaining. D: (Especially because watching Wall-E get an Oscar will just enrage me.) Hopefully nothing exciting happens that makes me regret this decision!

Two movies I watched yesterday:

5. Trial by Jury, 1962
After I watched this I was reading about it on a Gilbert and Sullivan site, and apparently most G&S fans think this is their most perfect work. Uh, really? It had its moments but I was glad it was so short because I don't think I could've watched much more. D: It just wasn't that interesting? Obviously they should've added some pirates, I mean geeze.

6. Destination Tokyo, 1943
I happened to flip to TCM just as this was starting, and though WWII movies are hardly my favourite genre, it has both Cary Grant and Tokyo in it so I figured I'd at least watch the beginning. I ended up watching the whole thing and I actually really liked it! Uh, besides the propagandatastic racism. D: My favourite parts were probably the parts where the guys were just hanging out in the submarine, haha. And the part where everyone was so impressed with how the one dude's Japanese would fool even the Japanese. HAHA YEAH RIGHT that guy had the most non-native accent ever! xD;
arisha: (vampire productivity)
So if I start making a list of all the books I read in 2009, do you think I'll actually get through the year without forgetting I was making it?

LET'S FIND OUT!!

1. The Girls in the Back of the Class, LouAnne Johnson
I don't think I read anything in January besides travel guides, so the book I finished today gets to be first on the list. It's the sequel to the book that became the movie Dangerous Minds - basically a fictionalized (though I'm not sure to what extent) account of one of the years the author spent teaching English in a California high school for underprivileged kids. Despite the author's insistance that she would pay more attention to her female students this time, I feel like the title doesn't fit the book; most of the stories still focus on the guys. Because their stories are more exciting? (Two of them get shot at, for example. D: ) My other complaint is that the author spends like four pages describing her and a student's attempts to kill a spider, and I thought that was rather unnecessary. Other than that, it was a really interesting book (and a surprisingly quick read) covering a bunch of different issues. I'd like to read the prequel if I come across it (haha, I came across this one just browsing the shelves in the public library), although I don't think I'll actively seek it out, at least not until my pile of books to read has considerably shrunk. D:

Starting around the middle of last summer, I started keeping track of the books I read using Facebook's Visual Bookshelf application, although I fudged that list a bit more than I intend to fudge this one. ^^; If anyone cares, the books I read legitimately last year include ... )

From when I started to read up until about eighth grade (when the time I spent on the Internet began to go from an okay amount to Way Too Much), I basically read a book a day. While I don't feel a need to go back to that, I'm definitely happy that my attempts to read books for fun again seem to be working! :D
arisha: (twilight get out of my head)
Transportation I took today ("today" being a very extended Friday, January 30):

- monorail
- bullet train
- subway
- airplane
- airplane
- airplane
- car

LET US NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.

Actually I feel exceedingly lucky that every single one of my connections worked out fine. (Also, exceedingly lucky that I flew into and out of the same terminal at Narita.) But even so!

Man, this entry is not as impressive in real life as I imagined it would be. :P

TIME TO GO WATCH BLOSSOM!!! haha man remember that post where I said it was my number one show that I wanted to see released on DVD? DREAMS COME TRUE~~~~ xD!
arisha: (Default)
hahaha oh man I love reading the official descriptions of theme park rides. xD; From Universal Studios Japan's description of JAWS:

The 9.75m and 2.7ton JAWS continuously attacks you at the speed of 6m/sec.
And worse, your boat is engulfed in fire ...


MAN, this just isn't my day!! >:(

In other news, DisneySea's version of the Indiana Jones ride will be closed while we're there. :( Sad face!
arisha: (Default)
You guys you guys I am going to a Hello! Project concert! :D To be more precise, the Hello! Project Wonderful Hearts concert in Osaka on January 18th! :D And I have just discovered that the title of this concert tour is 革命元年, or FIRST YEAR OF THE REVOLUTION, hahahaha what the heck H!P I love you. xDDD

I sorta kinda asked for the cheapest seat, hahaha, so I won't be surprised if I find myself sitting in the very back row, but oh man I so don't care. xDD After seven years of being a fan of Morning Musume I'll finally get to see them, how weird is that?!?! xD I mean I'm looking forward to seeing Berryz and C-ute as well but definitely MoMusu is the main draw for me here. xD; Oh, and with any luck Buono! will make an appearance. And probably Kirari, but I am slightly less excited about her ... JUST KIDDING KOHARU I LOVE YOU TOO! ;D

I feel very calmly excited right now, hahaha. xD Also, last night I found out that like six of the places I want to go in Osaka are within something like five blocks of each other, so the current status of my trip planning: AWESOMESAUCE. xDDD

(Meanwhile, the current status of the novel I'm supposed to be revising this month: ... novel? What novel? :/ )
arisha: (Default)
So I just bought two tickets to a kabuki performance in Tokyo. xD (YES my dad is coming with me HE DOES NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT KABUKI IS!!) I don't even know what these plays (it is 3-in-1, by the looks of it!) are about, but I once wrote an essay about a particularly gruesome kabuki play in which a bunch of people got nailed to doors and thrown into rivers, so I mean. We can only hope. xDD;

The bunraku tickets I am looking to get go on sale on the eleventh. I AM EVEN MORE EXCITED FOR THAT ONE!!! xDD!!

haha of course all this excitement comes after an hour of fiddling with Google Maps trying to find out what the best located hostel in Osaka is. (Aaaand also which ones have private showers. I know, I know, but I'm sorry, public bathing is one cultural experience I'm just not prepared to experience right now!) GOSH parts of planning a trip can be TEDIOUS. >:/

(I am going Tokyo - Osaka - Kyoto - Fukuoka and Kitakyushu, for if anyone wants to tell me some nifty places to visit. ;) )
arisha: (scarlett o'hara)
The CliffsNotes version of my life right now:

· Disney World doesn't want me to work for them so I am going to Japan! I have no idea how to plan a trip so despite the fact that I am leaving in early January I still have pretty well no idea what I'm going to do when I get there (besides turn twenty-two in Tokyo Disneyland! xD; ). AWESOME! xD

· As soon as I had to start thinking about the one essay I have to write this semester, all the love I had for school completely disappeared. Okay well mainly I am stupidly annoyed because this essay is for my Greek Epic class, and the prof doesn't want me to write about the topic I thought up because it's "not very original." I am frustrated by this twofold: one, I have no idea how I'm supposed to come up with something original to say about a super famous three-thousand-year-old piece of literature that people spend their entire careers analyzing. (Maybe I should act my major and write an essay comparing the Iliad to Genji?) Two, what does it matter if this topic isn't original? It's not like I'll be making attempts to publish it. Shouldn't essays be about researching and learning about stuff you want to learn about? GOD it drives me bonkers that my HATRED of writing essays is threatening to completely destroy the love I've had for this semester so far. D:<

· I have just now beaten Level 2 of my favourite Nintendo DS game, Nazotte Oboeru Otona no Kanji Renshuu. This is sorta pathetic because Level 2 is Grade 2, as in elementary school, but I STILL FEEL ACCOMPLISHED! xD;

· I quit my job at the movie theatre today, something I seriously should have done back in May, and yet somehow I don't feel happy about this ... ?! I mean I'm seriously so tired of the job (it's a great job but there's only so many times you can answer THE EXACT SAME QUESTIONS, you know?), so I'll be glad to be free of it, but at the same time I adore almost all of my co-workers, and I'll definitely miss them. :( Oh and also I have seriously no idea what kind of job I want to look for now, a problem which is quite nicely contributing some anxiety to this whole issue. :P (Oh, and also my main manager doesn't know yet that I quit. So ... this could be exciting!! -_-; )

· I haven't really been doing NaNo, but I've definitely been writing this month! :D I plan to spend December hardcore working on my novel in order to finish a sorta kinda readable first draft by Christmas. Which is ... only a month away. But that's okay, I have faith in me. xD;

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