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Nov. 4th, 2012

albedo

Long time no post

It's been a while since I've posted. I seem to be drifting away from LJ... well, LJ is dying anyway, everyone is either on dreamwidth or tumblr these days. Ah well. Update on my life.

I'm in Japan on the JET Programme (CIR), and it's deathly boring, haha. I kind of hate the job. I realized I hate translation. I also hate bureaucracy. And paperwork. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'll do the work, but I can't tolerate this for more than a year. On the bright side, my coworkers are all good people, the pay is good, my Japanese is getting better every day and I have loads of free time to waste. I was kind of bitter at first at getting stuck in the inaka (I really wanted to live in Sapporo..) but I'm used to the lifestyle here, and it's not like I can't travel. I also like the casual atmosphere at work. I was expecting a Japanese workplace to be way stuffier than it is. I'm told people are a lot more formal and rigid in the city. But here everyone chats all the time and the dress code is pretty casual (anything except a T-shirt and jeans is ok, basically).

The area I'm living in apparently gets fuckwads of snow in the winter, and there's a million ski resorts in the area, so I'm probably going to get a lot of boarding done once the snow starts, wooo.

I've decided I'm going to go back to Canada in a year and take this 2-year comp sci program. I've realized a lot of things about what I want in a job after just a few months here, ha. The most fun I have at work is working on the website that provides information and whatnot for local gaijin. I got all excited about it and started reviewing Javascript and reading up on PHP until I realized I wouldn't actually need those skills, lol. That's when I had to admit to myself I'd really rather be making web pages!

Anyway, the program I'm applying for is pretty neat because it lets you take extra courses to incorporate your existing skills. I plan to take some more linguistics classes - there's some cool stuff out there for people with a background in linguistics and comp sci. I want to try out software programming, but if it turns out that's not my bag, I know I would really enjoy a career in web design. The skills overlap a lot anyway.

I don't regret studying Japanese; I've met a lot of people and read a lot of manga, but the careers those skills can get you into... ugh, not interested.

Anyway, so in the meantime I've been reviewing math from like... the very beginning. I just got on Sparknotes and started from the basic basic shit. I can't remember balls about math. This is a problem. XP I couldn't even remember what a logarithm was, ha. So massive review time.

I also recently ordered a totoro kotatsu futon set and the table online. I eagerly await its arrival in my living room. I just love how fucking fast shipping is in Japan. That's what you get for living in a tiny country, I suppose.

In other news, somehow my personal drama has all resolved itself and I got me a real boyfriend. Long-distance, mind you. I still kind of can't believe it. He's going to come visit me in March. There's a strong possibility he might be moving to Seattle when I get back though... ;_; I know it's not so far from Vancouver and I could easily visit on the odd weekend (I checked... the bus has a nice student rate of about 60 bucks round trip!), but it would be for two years. Well, I have no intention of bailing out because it's a LDR, and it's not like we can't fuck other people anyway. At least I'd be seeing more of him than I do now!

...I'm going to go to 7-11 now and buy some food. I'm just too damn lazy to cook, and their oden is so good. And the nikuman. Mmmmm.
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May. 28th, 2012

P2: Baofu angry

Hate doctors forever

I've had more than a few bad experiences with doctors, but this one really pisses me off. And from what I've heard I'm not the only one to get this shit.

Doctors just do not tell you the real side effects of hormonal birth control. 1) I became really depressed, and that on its own was enough to make me stop - I feel great now that I have. The internet informs me that this is a very common side effect and it can sometimes lead to clinical depression, so why the fuck does the doctor not tell you this shit? On top of that was a gigantic pile of fatigue, sleeping like 14 hours a day. I have so much more energy now that I stopped. Also it cut my sex drive in half (how ironic).

2) I'm 80% sure it caused a flare-up in my colitis - a month after starting BC I started with the diarrhea and bleeding and all that shit, and I haven't had a flare since I was first diagnosed like over seven years ago. Anecdotal evidence from the internet seems to confirm this with many similar stories, and look, an actual study linking hormonal birth control and Crohn's. Considering the underlying cause of IBDs isn't really known, though they're related to stress which is related to hormones... yeah I think it's likely and I'm gonna stay the fuck away from hormonal birth control. The doctor said my colitis medication made my periods all wonky/early, spotting etc., too, so I can't believe there isn't a connection.

It really pisses me off that I wasn't informed about this shit by the doctor that prescribed me this stuff, since I told her I had colitis and she said it was fine to take BC.

I had a similar experience recently hearing the advice "drink cranberry juice" from a doctor when she passed me pills for a UTI... I've heard that before and drank lots of cranberry juice and it didn't do fuck all and I got another UTI a few months later. I consulted the internet: Ocean Spray and whatnot is watered down and full of sugar and will probably raise your chances of/make your UTI worse. You need to go unsweetened or cranberry pills. (All the sugary shit I drink working at the Bux probably doesn't help either.) THANKS DOC FOR TELLING ME THAT. YOU'RE SUCH A HELPFUL, EDUCATED PROFESSIONAL.

I just fucking hate the arrogant attitude so many doctors have, like they can never be wrong, and yet they're wrong all the goddamn time. They're always trying to rush you out the door and get to their next patient and don't listen to what you have to say. I've never trusted them since I first had so much trouble getting my colitis diagnosed - bloody, liquid diarrhea for weeks, intense, debilitating pain, and multiple doctors a) refuse to prescribe prescription pain medications even though over-the counter stuff didn't work/wasn't strong enough, and b) tell me I have food poisoning (...I was a vegetarian at the time to boot, lolwut) until I've deteriorated to the point where I was rushed to the emergency room and told by the doctor there "yeah another week left untreated and you could've died from blood loss, lol you obviously have an IBD but let me double-check"... yeah, fuck all of them. Or at least 75% of them.

The only thing to do is educate and diagnose yourself via the internet, I swear. People are always advising against that shit but I swear you can do more by yourself than by relying on a doctor. Just figure out what you have and how to treat it and go to the doctor, tell them what you have and demand pills. You just can't trust those fucktards to do their jobs.

As for birth control, I'm thinking about the copper IUD right now. Fuck the hormonal shit, seriously. Makes you crazy.
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Mar. 23rd, 2012

Basara: running

Smells

Am I the only one out there who can't stand the smell of colognes and perfumes? If I smell it on someone I will immediately leave the vicinity - it's the most vulgar, suffocating smell. The worst is when I'm at work and a perfumed customer comes up to the till - yuck!

I don't find B.O. to be gross, either. I mean, if you bathe regularly and then sweat after working out, the sweat doesn't smell bad, imo. I don't know why people get so squeamish about it. It's just... people smell. And tbh it can be a sexy smell, too.

I think it's sad that people want to hide the natural scent of their bodies, honestly.

Mar. 15th, 2012

ME: Jack's leery

So I just finished Mass Effect 3

spoilers out the wazooCollapse )

ETA: I like this post.

Mar. 5th, 2012

Melody of Oblivion: Koko

Paranoid forever

So uh I haven't looked at the Post Secret website for forever but I took a peek at it recently. There were some text-only comments that listed age and location.

I am seriously paranoid that one of them is about me. Seriously paranoid. The location is the nearby location of someone I know, and though the age of the person listed doesn't match up by a few years, I kind of think it's a personal attempt to fuzzle out being identified just in case (I've done similar things online). If anything that makes it more likely it's who I think it is. The details of the secret I suppose could very easily be about someone else, but the timing! And it just sounds like something that person would say. OMG the paranoia.

I wonder if other people ever get paranoid vibes like this from reading Post Secret. I mean, some of that stuff is pretty universally applicable.

...yeah this is gonna keep me up at night. I'll probably never find out if it is about me, either. But even if it isn't... the sentiment expressed might well be true for the person I know. I WILL NEVER KNOW.

I suppose that even if it is who I think it is... it wouldn't change my attitude or decisions. I kinda already knew half of it. But apologies and words and sentiments don't count for much in my book. If you don't translate it into action it's worthless. And I don't really like hanging around someone who treats me like crap.
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Feb. 28th, 2012

Gintama: go sadaharu go!!

Baffled

I'm taking this introductory psych course for a breadth requirement, and I just looked over the grades for the last quiz, of which there are two for this class. (They're by student number so we don't humiliate ourselves.) I'm honestly amazed at how many people are either failing the class or getting C's. It's honestly a terribly easy class - you just have to read the goddamn textbook (which isn't even that long) and show up to class (and tbh I skip this class quite often and I'm getting A's.) The quiz is entirely multiple choice. I realized that with an 87 in this class I'm in like the top 10 percent, which seems ridiculous to me. Am I just really smart, or is everyone else just lazy as hell? One would think that to get into UBC you have to be able to, you know, read and retain information, but a high number of people in this class just seem incapable of doing that.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about grades, and we both expressed the opinion that high school is terribly easy and that you just have to show up and do the work to get A's. But... most people don't get straight A's. And it just baffles me as to why they don't: the standard in high school is terribly low. Do they just not want to get good grades, or not care at all about school? Or am I just unusually smart? I don't feel like I'm a genius (I took one of those tests as a kid, and I was above average but not genius level). I just.. show up to class and do the work. Or is my perspective just skewed? Am I giving people too much credit, and everyone's much dumber than I think?

How the hell do you flunk out of an introductory psych course, seriously? My only explanation is that those students are out drinking and partying every weekend instead of doing the reading, but why even enroll in university and pay thousands of dollars in tuition to do that and flunk your classes? What a waste of time and money.
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Feb. 27th, 2012

albedo

(no subject)

I recently stumbled across a blog post of George R.R. Martin whining about fanfiction. What a doucheface.

The fact that I find his books about as interesting as bricks and would never write fic based on his books anyway aside -

The emotional arguments against fanfiction are ludicrous. Characters are not your children, even if you base them loosely off your actual children (or yourself, which is more likely. I suspect this is the real reason authors don't like people interpreting their characters - because their writing got too damn autobiographical and it approaches RPF levels of squick to see other people write about themselves). I subscribe fully to the death of the author.

As for the copyright argument... I think it's kind of crass, and you're taking it all down to who gets the money. Fantasy and sci-fi authors like to bring up the Marion Zimmer-Bradley incident a lot, but honestly I think she was a victim of a) her own decision to let that one bad fan walk all over her and b) the failure of modern copyright law to provision fairly for this kind of situation.

I think it's pretty obvious by now that copyright laws that were invented a century before the internet are not relevant to the digital age, and that goes doubly for fanfiction and transformative works. And if you look at the history of human storytelling, the greatest stories of the past are collective narratives, often oral traditions, to which many voices contributed over the centuries. And we're still robbing those old stories blind today! When are we going to get sick of Hollywood adapting fairy tales to the screen? When will King Arthur stories stop getting rehashed? When will we stop adapting media? Never. It's human nature to weave stories in a collaborative fashion in this way. (And while we're at it, why is it common practice to make movies out of books but making books out of books is unheard of? Suddenly if you change the media platform it's whole new thing?) We're living in an age where adaptating and transforming media runs rampant, and the law needs to catch the fuck up.

So yeah, GRRM needs to stuff it. I'm certainly never going to waste money on any writer who condemns fanfiction. Way to stifle your fans' creativity and enjoyment of your work, douchenozzle. This is exactly why I stopped reading Robin McKinley and Anne McCaffrey books. If you don't like what I do, I will simply take my time and money elsewhere, and I don't think I'm alone on that count.

Feb. 23rd, 2012

MGS: Ocelot spinning

brief comment

You get a trophy on the Metal Gear Solid HD collection version of Peace Walker for shooting someone right in the asshole. It's called "You're pretty good."

...I'm not the only one interpreting that as a Big Boss/Ocelot gay sex joke, am I? Tell me that was intentional. I need to believe it was intentional.

Because all I can think of right now is Ocelot doing his finger guns, saying "You're pretty good" and waggling his eyebrows suggestively at Big Boss.

PS I just recruited Hideo Kojima and stuck him in the medical team. I need crackfic where he nurses Amanda.

Jan. 18th, 2012

Berserk: Schierke

Why read the entire book when you can get the gist from reading the online preview

I was talking to someone today who teaches gymnastics to kids and he mentioned this book. He said his parents were religious adherents to that style of parenting and he tries to do the same with kids he teaches.

After reading the (fairly lengthly) preview of the book, I think I can say I agree wholeheartedly. When I was a kid I hated and distrusted that sort of attitude from parents and authority figures and I still do now. I think I was always a fairly rebellious child and I can't pin down why, but I have a strong memory from kindergarten - the teacher was teaching us to tie our shoes, and I said I already knew how to do it, and she made me go sit in the corner. I was furious. I think that was the beginning of a long trail of firmly believing authorities are full of shit. And that sort of punishment style is rife in schools - teachers who just punish for their convenience. I had to make so many insincere apologies as a student it's ridiculous. I loathed, loathed, LOATHED apologizing for things I was not sorry for, and saying please just because "it's the magic word". Why? Why do I have to do it? I always questioned why and found it lacking. I never had those moments as an adult where I look back on my childhood and think, "oh, they were right, and I was such a child." That sort of punishment never changed my behaviour. I still know I was right and that punishment is about the convenience of the adult and not the benefit of the child. I think this is the reason I became such an argumentative adult - I was always trying to argue down authority figures and explain the rationale behind what I did, but I was never listened to. "Just obey."

Ultimately I think children raised in this way will either becomes slaves for your approval with low self-esteem or just reject you entirely. My mother was (and still is) a very authoritarian abusive parent who saw her kids as little mini-reflections of her own personal achievement. She was only interested in having an ideal little academically achieving, violin-playing, ~artistic,~ polite and well-behaved pet to make her look good. Get a B on a report card? Easy way to start a shouting match.

She never supported things that I wanted and I learned quickly not to bother even trying to get her support. One of the longest points of contention we had was over computer usage. My mom is pretty old, almost 70, and completely technologically illiterate - she's convinced technology is the devil, basically. She was always railing on me for being on the computer "too much". And yet, she didn't even ask what I was doing! I would try to show her what I did - mostly I was writing and reading other peoples' stuff. I tried to show her some of my writing once and she told me it was trash. Ironic, considering she's a writer. I taught myself how to build websites - HTML, CSS, Photoshop. I tried to show her some early stuff I made but she would never even look.

You can't stop kids from doing things they really want to do, ultimately. They're human beings with their own wills. If you make unreasonable demands they will just sneak behind your back. I remember lying to my mother constantly about where I was - I wasn't allowed to have a sleepover if there were boys present, so I would just lie and say it was only girls or lie and say I was at a female friend's house and get my friend to lie for me. The source of the problem is that my mother didn't trust me - she didn't believe that my male friends were just FRIENDS even when I outlined to her very clearly that I was not interested in dating and why. I didn't date until after highschool because I felt I wasn't ready until then. And yet my mother was always convinced that I was an immature idiot about relationships for some reason and couldn't handle myself. She was constantly passing judgment on my friends and telling we which ones she liked and wanted me to spend time with and which ones she thought were a bad influence. She didn't even know these people!

And get this. My mom was also violently against videogames and anime. I wasn't allowed to play videogames when I was a kid - so when I was in elementary school I would just play them at friends' houses. When I was 10 or 11 I would buy them behind her back with my own money from my paper route and play them at night when she was asleep. I would do most of my anime watching while she was asleep so she wouldn't come in and harass me while I was watching. I would pretend to be asleep when she came downstairs at night so I could avoid a fight. I spent so much time trying to explain how videogames inspired me but it just went in one ear and out the other. When I told her I wanted to study Japanese at university she told me "But French is your worst subject (read: I got B's); you'd just do badly at Japanese." She's only pleased that I'm studying it now because she holds a university education in high esteem and what I'm taking is less important than me going to university. It sounds nice if she can tell her peers she has two children who have graduated from university so she can skim over the one that dropped out of uni and the one that dropped out of high school. I know her approval of me entirely hinges on academic standing and social status - I'm sure if I land a high-paying job she'll love to show it off as if it were her own job. Oh, I'm sure she'll tell me she loves me, and I'm sure she does in her own fucked-up way, but she's just too emotionally damaged to express it properly and frankly I don't want to deal with it.

And she's still like that, even now that I'm an adult. And so I just started ignoring her and lying to her. Those are your two options, really - you can either blindly attempt to please an authoritarian parent or just tell them to fuck off, and the latter option is really the only option available if you want to maintain your sanity. In a way I suppose I should thank her - I learned fairly young that attempting to gain approval from authority figures is pointless and I cultivated a very independent lifestyle. I dreamed of moving out and getting my own place and supporting myself ever since I was 10. I was always trying to do things by myself, but my mother would always tell me "You're a minor! I'm responsible for you! You can't do it by yourself!" I was so angry that I couldn't legally do it even though I knew I was responsible and capable enough to take care of myself. Now that I am an adult? I LOVE IT. I never had any difficulties and I never felt homesick. I love working and setting my own schedule and buying my own food and managing my own time. It was just an incredible relief. How the fuck did I survive being a child? It was like being in jail, it was so stressful. I'm pretty sure the reason I developed colitis in high school was from the stress of living at home. I was really miserable in high school because being at home was like being on high alert all the time. I would frequently go to the mall or the library and find a big squishy chair and sleep in it - I could relax there like I never could at home. At home I knew a screaming fight could break out at any minute. When I moved out of the house... my acne immediately cleared up, too. It started up again when I began going to university so I think my acne is very stress-related.

And honestly it was boggling how much reading this book re-affirmed my ideas about parenting: you don't tell kids what to do, you listen and work out solutions with them. You figure out what they want, and help them get what they need. I don't plan to have children, but I think these strategies are also applicable to teachers.
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Jan. 3rd, 2012

Gintama: horror

The final stretch of the marathon

My course schedule is such a clusterfuck right now. Part of this is my fault (should have dropped this miserable class earlier); part of it is school (y u cancel classes on me at the last minute!) and part of it is just cramming everything together so I can graduate.

I hate. All. Of my courses. Literally everything I'm taking right now is a miserable graduation requirement. I'm just picking things to fit into my schedule at this point, too - I need time to work.

I really, really wanted to drop this one class because I hate it so passionately (20th Century British/Irish lit) but it's past the drop date so I'm fucked. I just need to do it. And for a set of complicated, stupid reasons I need to take another class for no reason other than to keep my minimum credit requirement up for student loan reasons (even though I'm taking five classes, two of them are two-term classes and so the credits only count for first term even though I'm still doing the work for them now ARGH). So I need to find a course that I can both stand and fits into my schedule and isn't too much of a workload. I registered for an English lit class in hope that I could drop that other lit class, but alas I cannot drop it, and I don't really want to take three lit classes at once, so I'm looking for something else. There's an upper-level Japanese class that I could take (newspaper Japanese, yey) but technically don't have the requirements for, but maybe I can bust in and wheedle and say "I can take this shit" and get in anyway (perhaps on the basis of exchange credit or passing N1...). I mean, I can read Japanese newspapers. They're not that hard.

So off to the Asian Centre I go! If I can't get in this class I can take art, but then I'd have to re-arrange my work schedule again and I worry my boss will get annoyed.

This last term is going to be hell. Such an awful workload. But I'm so close! So.... close... to graduation!
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Berserk: Schierke

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