Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The secrets of my brother

Looking around the house today for a recipe for doughnuts, I found a diary-entry from my brother.

Here it is in all it's roughly-translated, uncensored glory.
Dear diary.
Today I woke up late since me and the gang were out partying yesterday evening.
[My sister] was reading and [my brother (that's me)] was reading and grandpa was being silly. Then I ate Corn Flakes. Well, then I poked out wax from my ear with a pen. Then I wrote in my diary. Then I poked out some more wax and wrote some more in my diary. Then [my sister] giggled, then [she] laughed, then it itched in my eye so I scratched. The [my brother] panted and I scratched my head. Then [my brother] panted again. Then I scratched some more. And some more. Then it was 12 o'clock.
Continuing on a similar theme, here is pictured the creation of woman, again by my brother.
(Disclaimer: the drawing is not meant to be taken seriously.)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bugs in my life photo special: black beetles

As previously mentioned.
Though shortly after these pictures were taken, it died in a freak accident.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Cooking noodles

In this episode we will look at how to cook noodles.

First, we will need some noodles.
Contents of bag: noodles, oil, condiments.

Put oil in a pot with 300ml of water.

Wait for it to boil, then add the condiments...

... and noodles.

Let it cook for a while and poke it a bit occasionally.

Serve in suitable container, and voilĂ , you've got yourself a nice little snack.

***
I'll start reading the 6th HP-book tomorrow, really.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Long, hot...

The summer has arrived.The strawberry-blossoms have popped up. All the small ceatures associated with summer have also arrived.Here's a bee looking through a strawberry-blossom. (I really like the macro-function on the camera. Though getting that close without scaring it away was tricky.)

***
The heat really brings down the motivation to do anything. I have the sixth Harry Potter-book waiting for me, but I haven't yet picked it up yet. Though I have done something; I've looked through the New Nelson a bit for kanji for the rest of the 1006 we haven't learned yet. (That is, the 1006 kanji that are taught in the first six years of school in Japan.) The plan is to put those into JFC OS X and try to get a head start on next year.

Though when I've gone through the New Nelson I've noticed that there are many kanji we've gone through that aren't in the 1006 (in the Nelson, they are marked out), which means it's a bit more than 500 left...

***
I decided just now I will start the 6th HP book today.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Just another day at Narita airport

Just discovered that Google Earth is available for Mac OS 10.3.9.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Japanology year one

So I've now completed one year of Japanology. It feels pretty weird to think about it really. Thinking back on the year, I'd say it's been one of the best in my life. The amount I've learned it just incredible: roughly 500 kanji, lots of new grammar and a bigger vocabulary.

I started thinking one day that the Japanology-education here at FKF is a bit like the Hogwarts school of magic; they're both pretty obscure, both subjects are a bit outside the norm.

A strange thing that I found out during the year was that I actually found some joy in studying kanji once I found a method that suited me. I had prepared for the worst, imagining that it would be half-impossible... but I never thought that it would be completely impossible; there were others that had done it, so it had to be possible. The only question then was whether I was up for it. Apparently I was.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Towards the Next Stage

The oral went so-so. It was certainly no breeze-through. I stuttered and forgot words, didn't understand everything that was said to me, etc. With luck, perhaps I passed.

***
After that ordeal I went to the library and borrowed the fifth Potter-book. I finished the fourth two days ago, probably setting some sort of personal record for the time I've read through a book of that particular size.

At first, the fourth seemed like it would take a turn downwards in quality; it was a lot thicker than the previous three, and it took a bit longer for the groove to get on, so to speak. But soon enough I found myself just as raptured by the fourth as by the third, and as it moved to its' finale, I found my pulse quickening noticeably. It ended with a great cliff-hanger, but still not feeling incomplete.

The only major problems with it I had was 1) Potter's strange maturity for being a teenager, and 2) the careless name-dropping of the term "PlayStation", which was completely unnecessary and narrows the timeframe in which the events occur to the mid-90's.

***
Here are some apple-blossoms.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

1 day left

Only one day left of this school-year now.

Mondays test went by in a breeze, with only a few small issues. We also got results for the kanji-test today: 63.5, a bit lower than I had expected, but still enough to pass. (Hopefully the language part went better.)

As for tomorrow: calligraphy workshop and oral exams. I'm feeling strangely calm about it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Memories of 'hashi'

I'm not sure of the time, but it was about 1-2 years ago now that I got my first 'hashi' (chopsticks) from my sister. My interest in Japan had been going on for some time by then, and of course I thought it would be nice to learn to use chopsticks. Naturally, it took me quite a while to get the grip of it (pun intended)...
My hashi

The ones I got was the kind that are fit together that you break apart when you use for the first time. Being a bit hesitant towards new things, food included, I decided it would be best to 'practice' on something I knew: french fries. Yeah, I know... eating french fries with chopsticks is a bit weird, but It made me get the hang of it.

A big mistake I made in the beginning was that I held the chopsticks in the wrong end. I used my own weird logic and thought that, since the ends were they were being held together was left with splinters when you broke them apart, you should use that end to hold the food as to not get splinters in your fingers. I only figured out I was wrong after seeing on a Japanese TV show when they broke a pair apart and held them. In retrospect, it would seem obvious that it's better to get splinters in your fingers rather than your mouth.

After a while, I decided to try noodles. Now, this was something completely different; my whole life I've eaten spaghetti with fork, and noodles is a lot different from the more 'solid' food-stuffs.

A funny mistake I made with noodles is that I treated it like spaghetti: cooking it, then pouring away all the soup before eating it. Got a bit dry as the little water that was left quickly evaporated. Again, only after seeing on a TV-show how it's done I changed my ways, raising my appreciation of the food a bit further.

Nowadays, I would consider myself quite good with chopsticks, regularly using them to eat the economy-priced noodles I buy.