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April, 2008:

captcha’d

Spam comments are ick.
So I added a captcha.
Now I have no spam.

…. that was an unintentional senryuu (though not completely a senryuu in terms of content, it’s moreso that than a haiku)
It would be nice if I wrote something interesting here, wouldn’t it?
I made a flourless chocolate cake yesterday, and although I’ve had it before, after knowing the process and ingredients I’m inclined to say it’s closer to fudge than cake XD It was good, though. Been doing more cooking in general lately, which has been at least somewhat interesting for me. I like flipping through cookbooks to get ideas, even if I don’t always like the recipes as they are. (I’m too picky, there’s always something I want to remove!) I also like reading cookbooks that have a lot of basic reference type information in them, like what different pans/knives/utensils are used for, or descriptions of spice flavors and substitutions. I do not, however, like reading the Joy of Cooking. It’s a good reference for standard recipes but I always get sleepy while reading it… the distinct lack of color is probably what does it. Black & white sketches of food do not really bring about any appetite in me XD

I’m completely out of backlogged photos for Poupée Girl and now must take more. … eventually.

五月病早く来たわね

(つまり: May Sickness Came Early)
Well, it’s not May yet, but I’m already feeling the lethargy kick in, my kanji studies are starting to slack, after a remarkably productive week (I could’ve sworn it was more than that but)… but I’ve been doing pop culture research. Er, by that I mean watching series that are either often referenced or are likely to be referenced in the future XD For the purpose of understanding things. For example, while watching らき☆すた there were quite a few Suzumiya Haruhi references (more than partially because they were made by the same animation studio…) so I had to watch that, which I’d been putting off. It was totally different than I was expecting! Somehow I managed to mix up the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi with… some other show that was actually melancholic and dramatic. The weirdness of it is almost on a Murakami level, but with a difference sense of humor and a lighter tone overall, I think. So I’m looking into the light novels (well, actually I already ordered the first two from Sasuga but they said they were backorders so I probably won’t see them until May… ε=(~Д~;))
Actually, part of the reason why I’m slowing down the kanji study is because I’m trying to catch up with and surpass the reading only portion. I got up to 300 on that, but I’m only up to 240 on written. Ideally it should be written then reviewed for readings but that’s not the way it is yet. So I’m catching up. But it’s slow because writing too much at once hurts my hand and I don’t want to end up damaging my wrist or anything… (it’s true we’re on break this week for handbells, but if I just write until I can’t feel my fingers it’s likely I’ll be completely out of commission for just about everything for a couple days at least which defeats this little-by-little study strategy)
Since I’m up to 240 written kanji, that means I’ve graduated elementary second grade and am now in third (^ ~)v So that makes me… 8 years old? XD
まだまだ頑張る!

Cooking, “fried chicken”

So I suddenly had a craving for chicken 唐揚げ yesterday and decided I should try to make it XD I already had chicken breast meat to use for something else so I lucked out on that end. The recipe I found was pretty simple, just soy sauce, ginger, garlic, salt & pepper for the marinade, and then flour and cornstarch for the batter. Since I’ve never made 唐揚げ myself, I figured it would probably come out mediocre at best, でも大成功でした!It was really good! And the chicken didn’t dry out either!

Been watching らき☆すた lately ♥♥♥ I can’t lie, the OP drew me in 100% even before I understood what kind of show it was XD I will learn to sing that, no matter what XD (and do the dance, at karaoke… !) Out of everyone I’m definitely most like Kona-chan… if you don’t know why I’m not going to spell it out for you~ (Speaking of, I wonder when Clannad will end up on the PSP… I could just play the PS2 version but I’d rather PSP somehow… both Kanon and Air have made it onto that system.)
Still studying kanji pretty dutifully, a little stuck on readings for 241-300 but I’m nearly there! Writing is up to 140. As a treat, I bought myself kanji graph books from an online shop – they’re much better proportioned for this sort of thing; writing in normal graph paper I either have to make it too big or too small (@__@) there’s only 15 spaces across but that’s probably enough. I picked 20 because a mixi friend said she remembered how to spell English words by writing & saying them simultaneously 20 times XD It seemed like a good idea~

あ~ぁ watching らき☆すた makes me want to go back to 秋葉原~ 池袋, too, for the Animate. I really miss being able to go when I wanted to & had free time…. 一時間過ぎるかかってもええのよ~

漢字 progress

Since I’m sure none of you are curious, I’ll post my current re-learning progress:
240 kanji (starting from grade 1) sufficiently learned for 音読み/訓読み/meaning
60 kanji written 20 times saying 音読み/訓読み out loud while writing~
Exciting, right?! (なんてね。)
The writing goes slower because my hand hurts eventually… haha. Flashcards on the net only require typing numbers and enter.
Ideally, I’d like to get up to 1500 before I visit Japan this summer, but I don’t know if that’s possible. Once I pass about grade five the learning is going to slow down for sure… ( > >)

I think I’ve finally found a way to have cute ギャル系 hair – but it would require me to sleep with curlers on a regular basis… but it comes out pretty nice and full without having to tease it (^ ~) which makes me really happy. I’m also getting the hang of eyeliner. XD

Fireworks!

So after looking up events that happen in the summer in Japan, I think I’ve decided I want to be there for 隅田川花火大会 which takes place on the last Saturday in July. I’ve asked one of my friends in Japan to help me find a pretty 浴衣 for the event (^ ^) I’m excited! With a solid date in mind I can really start making plans now~ I need to figure out who will be around to see, for what, and when. Of course I’ve got to go shopping, and probably see Tokyo Disney Sea again, go to カラオケ (B’s already agreed to go with me~ hee :D), take プリクラ….

Other than that, I’ve mostly been studying 漢字 like it’s my business XD Somehow I’ve suddenly become really serious about it! Although N told me writing it is something even Japanese people are bad at these days, so I won’t worry so much on that end (although it would be good to know anyway). In most of my free moments lately I’ve been testing my 音読み/訓読み knowledge of characters, as well as meaning. A great place to practice these, if you’re interested, is Japanese-Kanji.com which has a java based flashcard applet that allows you to test your reading and meaning knowledge easily anywhere you’ve got internet XD There’s a French version on the site too, if you’d prefer! Although right now they only have 1740 of the 1945 常用漢字 available, that’s definitely sufficient for most students – if you know 1740 you can probably study the last 205 yourself… XD The characters are broken up into sets of 60 which might seem like a lot, but when you don’t have to write them out it’s not so bad, I think.

I’ve also been practicing my written conversational skills through my mixi! (No, that’s not my specific url – if you want to know it you have to talk to me directly) I’ve made a few new mixi friends that I message with relative frequency which is nice. Although it was difficult for a bit because I suddenly became popular! XD and I had a backlog of messages to go through. I still don’t really read the journals much at the moment, but I’m working up to it!

Okay, back to studying! :D

why didn’t I do this sooner?!

Yeah, that’s how I feel about a lot of things XD Like PG *points to sidebar* love it. I had an account for MONTHS before I did anything and I totally should have started when I joined but I was lazy and then forgot about it XD
At least I started using Twitter as soon as I found it.
But mixi’s the same way! I could have definitely made way more friends if I’d used it when I was actually IN Japan. I mean, I <3 communicating through the internet but being able to do that AND hang out with people in person? Yes please! Ugh I'm so stupid XD But I'm using it now (even though sometimes I'm a little confused by the slangy things people say/confuse myself based on knowledge I have about something)... I should've probably timed things better though. I posted at a random point and the week I was gone must've been the week everyone had time off or something because I got about 10 new replies the week I stopped checking it XD (Not to mention standard replies by people I was expecting them from.) As I wrote in the mixi, weather's been wacky here (x__x) from 60F and nice to 40F but feels like 33 the next day... ( > >) At least it didn’t snow…. ha ha….
Been doing some huge catching up with manga, mostly 名探偵コナン. I’ve finally surpassed the anime!
Also been making jewelry a bit since I finally got some beading wire that was stiff enough to make earrings out of (the kind I bought was more for necklaces). Once I decide on some designs I’ll probably take some photos :D

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