arisha: (vampire productivity)
Oh my goodness how have I not posted since February. :|

Well if you would like to read posts by me I have just written a stilted couple of reviews here in the [livejournal.com profile] japanesebookrec community. Which reminds me -- I have books to add (totally out of order) to my list!!

6. 劇団6年2組 (Gekidan 6nen 2kumi), which you can read about at the link above.

7, 8, 9, 10. The Spiderwick Chronicles #2, #3, #4 and #5 in Japanese!
I quite enjoyed this series for its content but also because my current reading level is such that I could understand them easily but still pick up a lot of vocab on the way. Now that I have finished them I feel like I am floundering a bit trying to figure out what else I can read. I got out the first book of the sequel series but it looks like it might be aimed at slightly older kids and so perhaps more difficult? We'll see I guess. At the moment I am reading Coraline which is going better than I would have expected. I really need to stop picking books from the translated section though ...

11. The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn
An argument that there is no evidence that homework helps kids learn, and in fact it might be doing the exact opposite. I found this book perhaps abnormally interesting. It is pretty ridiculous how few studies have actually been done on the effects of homework! Also, my least favourite thing about this book is how every negative review on Goodreads employs an argument that Kohn totally deconstructs in the book. Did ... did you guys actually read it??

12. Achilles by Elizabeth Cook
I've mentioned this book before, but this time I wrote a much longer post about it here.

By the way, my super nerdy and ridiculous Trojan War blog has seven followers now.

What

How
arisha: (walls of troy)
2,500 words of me rambling about "Troilus and Cressida" over heeeeeeeere

... oh my god that took entirely too long to write.

Also, apparently someone in the cast discovered an app that lets you take Street Fighter-esque photos, hence this one of Ajax and Paris and this one of Achilles and Hector. And meanwhile the Ninagawa x Shakespeare blog keeps posting pictures of Achilles and Patroclus just hanging out in random places in the theatre and I am like

you guys

why are you so adorable

I can't even handle it
arisha: (troy words)
So I know that I have complained a lot about my situation here, and I'm sure I will complain again, but this weekend I went down to Saitama to watch the Yukio Ninagawa production of "Troilus and Cressida" that I was freaking out about a few months ago, and

it

was

amazing.

I don't really have the time tonight to write about it in extreme detail (especially as I am sure that once I start I WILL NEVER STOP), but rest assured that I will do so!!! But you guys, you guys. I am so, so grateful right now that I am here and was able to go to this play. I mean, Ninagawa seems to be directing Shakespeare and Greek tragedy and other plays pretty much constantly, so I was confident I would be able to go see something by him, but how completely amazing a coincidence is it that my time on JET managed to line up with the summer he directed a play I have been pining for years to see. And clearly I am saying this as a total fangirl of basically everything to do with this production, but -- you guys. It was amazing.

ANYWAY you will definitely hear more about this (as well as the production of "Macbeth" that I saw in Harajuku!) before the week is out; I just wanted to whip up a super happy and positive post while I still felt this way. xD
arisha: (troy princes)
- You guys you guys it is past six o'clock and I have not had to turn the heater on yet

It has been above 10 degrees all day

AND IT HAS BEEN GLORIOUS

Of course I have spent the past several days wrapped in a blanket with the heater on high, so I don't really expect this to last, but I was sweating as I walked around town today and that's pretty much the best thing that's happened to me all week.

mostly school stuff yay! )
arisha: (idk my bff odysseus)
So I am seriously in love with living weekend-trip distance away from several major cities. YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED THIS. Recently I was like, hmm, I should Google the titles of plays and musicals I've always wanted to see, just in case they're going to be performed in Japan any time soon. Well I've already seen Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, both of which were amazing. And soon after that I discovered that Roméo & Juliette, a French musical whose music I have enjoyed since early high school, will be in Tokyo later this year. So I am most definitely looking forward to that. But just now I have seriously hit the jackpot and no number of exclamation marks will be able to express my fangirl glee.

So a long time ago Shakespeare wrote a play set during the Trojan War called "Troilus and Cressida." It's considered one of his problem plays and usually is pretty thoroughly ignored. I managed to find a made-for-TV production the BBC did but I've always moaned about how I would probably never get to see it live.

TURNS OUT IT IS BEING PERFORMED IN SAITAMA THIS SUMMER

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You guys, you guys. This in itself is amazing. But please also note:

It is being directed by Yukio Ninagawa, who in the past has directed "Orestes" and "The Greeks" - one of my favourite things ever despite the fact that I've never posted about it. I mean I own five DVDs' worth of this guy's work. In the past I have looked at his web site to see if he was working on anything I'd be able to go see. I AM STOKED!!!!!!!!

It will feature an all-male cast led by Yusuke Yamamoto, an actor I actually recognize because I have seen him in both Puzzle and Atashinchi no Danshi. I really liked him in both of those roles and am looking forward to him taking on something less comedic!

IN CONCLUSION I AM GOING TO GO SEE THIS EIGHT TIMES

AT LEAST!!!!!!!!!!

Also oh man I totally forgot until just now that this play includes my favourite ridiculous Shakespearean dialogue evar:

Pandarus: That's Helenus. I marvel where Troilus is. That's
Helenus. I think he went not forth to-day. That's Helenus.

Cressida: Can Helenus fight, uncle?

Pandarus: Helenus? no. Yes, he'll fight indifferent well. I
marvel where Troilus is. Hark! do you not hear the
people cry 'Troilus'? Helenus is a priest.

AAAAAAAAAUGH THIS IS GOING TO BE THE FIRST TIME I SEE HELENUS PORTRAYED IN ANYTHING EVER

AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
arisha: (lady gaga doesn't wanna be friends)
So I only have six classmates in my Advanced Spanish Conversation class and five of them are more than twice my age, but omg you guys it feels so good to be in a classroom again! Today I was super nervous about this class and definitely had to talk myself into going, but the teacher and the other students are all really friendly and it seems like it'll be at an okay level for me. I even have homework!! hahaha. How awesome that I was so sick of school when it was supposed to be my priority but now that I've been away from it for a year and a half I miss it so bad~~. D:

Anyway, I guess that's all I have to say about that. In other news, I am currently reading Dan Simmons' Ilium, a Trojan War novel in which PEOPLE GET EATEN BY DINOSAURS. Seriously I don't even know, this book is made of crazy.
arisha: (troy helen)
So I'm spending my day off work reading Troy High, which is pretty much the best book of my life. Not only because it's an unashamedly cracktastic retelling of the Trojan War, but also because I can relate to it:

Just as I reached out to grab the door handle to get in, the car moved forward two feet.

"Perry, stop it," I said. I reached for the handle again, but once more Perry let off the brake and made the car lurch forward.


All at once it becomes clear to me why I've always had such a dislike of Prince Paris of Troy - because he is my brother.

Also, this paragraph is amazing:

Lucas walked in, followed by his friends Owen, Ackley, and Patrick. ... Owen was friendly, but Ackley kept more to himself and was always shadowed by his best friend, Patrick. Also, I doubted Ackley had wanted to spend much time in my presence over the past year, ever since Hunter injured his ankle in the game between Lacede and Troy.

hahahahahaha omg, I love it. The best part of this book is figuring out who people are supposed to be. This paragraph killed me. xD

Also please note that Cassandra plays flute in marching band and Agamemnon is the tenth grade class president, how can this book possibly get any more amazing.
arisha: (troy achilles)
So my new batch of JLPT books arrived recently, but so far all I have been paying attention to is a different book I managed to fit into that order: a manga version of the Trojan War! And of course I am in love with this thing and of course I am going to spam my LJ with my thoughts about it. xD Although I apologize for being too lazy to use a scanner while simultaneously having no idea how to use a camera. Ugly entry is ugly but AWESOME!!!

There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Achilles lived in Phthia. )
arisha: (troy achilles)
Movie Documentary series!

Terry Jones' Barbarians (2006)
Quite an interesting four-part series covering the groups of people (the Celts, the Goths, the Parthians, the Vandals, the Huns, the Greeks?!) that the Romans considered barbarians. It was pretty interesting and, I'll admit, was more intelligent than I thought it would be (I didn't expect that one of the guys from Monty Python would be a historian!). I liked when they paired modern-day footage with Jones' narration of historical events (like, he'd be discussing some ancient battle and meanwhile you're watching tourists wander around Rome), because, as usual, I love me some juxtaposition. So yeah, it was pretty good, although as usual I don't think I retained anything. :3

Book!!

The War That Killed Achilles, Caroline Alexander
So my review of this book can be summed up the same way almost all of my Trojan War-related reviews can be summed up: this book is FASCINATING. Now, for all I know it could be filled with information that everyone else already knows; I heart the Trojan War but it's only recently that I've started reading academic works about it, as opposed to novels. But oh man this book was amazing and if I didn't have such a huge pile of library books to get through I would totally have started rereading it already. brb fangirling )

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: (troy achilles)
So I never before thought to look up the Iliad on TV Tropes, but omg it is perfection. There is a trope named Achilles In His Tent!! Oh my goodness, I need to start writing more about the Trojan War again, I loves it so.

My life has been so uneventful these past few days that I have little else to say except that I am going to Sherlock Holmes with [livejournal.com profile] athena_crikey and [livejournal.com profile] the_wykydtron tomorrow, yay!
arisha: (troy achilles)
Since I'm unlikely to finish another book by tomorrow night, I guess I'll go ahead and post this now. The numbers link to the entries where I wrote about each book; the books that I liked the best/would recommend the most are in bold.

Books I Read in 2009 )
arisha: (hercules)
Since sometime this past summer I've been slowly watching the anime Shoujo Kakumei Utena. Last night I finally got to episode twenty, and discovered that the song that plays during the duel scene is about Neoptolemus and Priam. OMG AWESOME. The Trojan War is everywhere!! xD

Book:
23. Every Living Thing: Man's Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys, Rob Dunn
Oh my gosh I loved this book. It's similar to Night Comes to the Cretaceous, which I read earlier this year, in that it discusses scientific discoveries, but with a strong focus on the lives of the scientists who made those discoveries. And the subject is so interesting and the writing style is so smooth and beautiful~ haha so yeah, I would definitely recommend this book. I continue to wish though that I had a brain for science ... I finished this book ten minutes ago and I already feel like I've forgotten most of it. :(

Movie:
52. The Princess and the Frog, 2009
GUYS. 2-D Disney is back and I could not be more thrilled!! princealia's review and the_wykydtron's review pretty much cover everything important that I wanted to say about this movie, but if you want to hear my nitpickier (and SPOILERIFFIC) points, then read on ... )

Edit: Just read the Kills Me Dead review, which offers a different opinion (although I agree about the songs). I am ridiculously stoked to read all the different opinions of this movie! Oh, Disney. It's been way too long. <3
arisha: (Default)
I've done this before but I'm doing it again!

1. Pick fifteen movies you know/like/love. (I'm only doing eleven because I'm having issues thinking of movies I didn't use before!)
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie. (lol, I never do this. Everyone can guess!!)
5. No Googling/using IMDb search functions.

guess guess guess )

Edit: answers answers answers )

SPEAKING OF MOVIES, the theatre I work at is currently in the middle of its BUSIEST WEEKEND IN FIVE YEARS. Today alone we sold SIX THOUSAND TICKETS, when on an average Saturday we usually hover around four thousand.

SIX THOUSAND TICKETS.

brb passing out from exhaustion. If it doesn't slow down tomorrow, I don't even. Thanks, SMeyer. DDDD:

(Meanwhile, our New Moon-less partner theatre downtown sold like five hundred. HAHAHAHAHA wut)
arisha: (amadeus tagline)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
So I'm gonna go against the grain a bit here and say that if I had a time machine and was going to use it to go back and watch performances in the past, forget concerts! The first thing I would do is pay a visit to Elizabethan England and watch one of the very first productions of a Shakespeare play. I know there's a reproduction of the Globe now where they perform plays of the era, but oh man so not the same as actually being there! Theatre etiquette was totally different back then for one thing, hahaha. So yeah, that's first.

After that I would actually answer this question properly and go watch a Mozart concert or opera.

And then I would find out the truth behind the Trojan War!!

And then I would join the majority of my friendslist and go and watch pretty much every concert on the Bad tour, lol. xD
arisha: (vampire camera)
NEW MEME! List all the Shakespeare plays you've read/seen on film/seen live!

je te trouverai, roméo, je te tuerai, roméo )

I don't have an appropriate icon for this post so I'm just gonna use my sparkling new New Moon icon. :D Now off I go to work on the shirt I'm gonna wear to opening night!! (Exit, pursued by a bear.)
arisha: (koharu kusumi)
Uuuugh my sleeping habits are sooooooo gross right now. I had to FORCE myself out of bed at one in the afternoon today. I hate this. D:

But in other news, I just watched this unsubtitled Morning Musume interview and understood quite a large chunk of it, so yay! :) (And yay for Aichan talking about Disney Sea. xD )

Answers to yesterday's book meme:

1) The Elephant Vanishes, Haruki Murakami, and I'm kinda surprised no one guessed this just because I was under the impression that Murakami's so hot right now. I don't love his writing but I like it well enough; mainly I keep this book around because I find collections of short stories somehow really inspiring and motivating. x)

2) The Odyssey, Homer. I thought this would be slightly less obvious than if I had gone with The Iliad but perhaps I am incorrect in that assumption.

3) Full Frontal Feminism, Jessica Valenti, although [livejournal.com profile] the_wykydtron is correct, I ignored the fact that there's an introduction.

4) Notre-Dame de Paris, Victor Hugo. Guys, what's the point at which you recognized this one? I'm curious. xD

lol, one non-fiction and then three translated fiction. Actually I think most of the books I own these days are non-fiction, and a lot of those are language textbooks ... I don't think this meme would work very well with those. :|

In other news, it's Friday night and I hope This Is It sells out tonight because it still hasn't yet!! Meanwhile we have nine showings a day of A Christmas Carol, what is this madness.
arisha: (morning musume shabondama)
Stolen, complete with pretty formatting, from [livejournal.com profile] chroniclers:

♦ Take four books off your bookshelf
♦ Write the first sentence
♦ Write the last sentence on page fifty
♦ Write the second sentence on page one hundred
♦ Write the next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
♦ Write the final sentence of the book
♦ Let your friends guess what book it is


Read more... )

Man, I really feel I don't own many books that could be guessed like this!

In other news, I really hate this time of the year when the sun has set before I even leave for work.
arisha: (hercules)
~ Not gonna lie, probably my favourite thing about the Michael Jackson fandom is that there are so many people in it who go out and do good deeds! I mean, I've been in the Morning Musume fandom for years now, and Morning Musume has a couple songs that talk about environmental issues, but it seems those songs are only ever mentioned so that people can make fun of the Engrish in them. I love that MJ fans can make fun of the total lack of enunciation in "Man in the Mirror" while still taking its message to heart. <3 haha, so what I am trying to say here is I finally signed up to be a volunteer through my local rec centre, and today I went to a (very small! I was surprised) meeting in order to fill out the necessary paperwork to get a criminal records check and all that. They seem to only be looking for volunteers for one-day events (eg. a Hallowe'en party here, a Remembrance Day ceremony there), which is not my ideal kind of volunteering, but it should be fun and it'll definitely work until I find something more. :)

After the meeting, I was waiting at the bus stop to go home, and one of my co-workers drove by and offered me a ride! Aaaah so that was kind of the highlight of my day, hahaha. I love awesome surprises like that. xD

~ I signed up for a continuing studies class through my alma mater (lol, it's so weird saying that) today. If you want you may roll your eyes at the ridiculousness of me missing school as much as I am, but believe me, this class is relevant to my interests! In May I read Dr. Jonathan Shay's book Achilles in Vietnam, in which he compares the combat trauma experienced by American soldiers in Vietnam with the combat trauma portrayed in the Iliad. I am surprised there is not more fangirling in my review of it, because that was probably my favourite book of the summer. The class I signed up for is a two-hour class that will look at Euripides' play "Herakles" through the lens of Shay's work. SO I AM PRETTY EXCITED. There is very little these days that will get me up at eight-thirty in the morning, but hopefully combat trauma in Euripides is it! xD

(Uh ... for those of you not in the know? I am a Greek mythology FANGIRL.)

~ We have reached that time of October where I am OBSESSED with NaNoWriMo and I basically need November to get here NOW before I get sick of thinking about my novel. I'm so excited for this year, you guys. :D I am really excited about my story (I've actually used this story for NaNo before and lost; I think it needed a couple years of getting knocked about in my head), and I'm really excited to be NaNoing with so many new people! :D haha, and hopefully they don't get sick of me telling them that before it's even time to start writing. xD <3!

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