April 30, 2008

Selling a car in Japan

I have a lot of things stressing me out about the move right now. Not the least of which is my car. But I won't even have a parking spot in the next place, so the car has got to go.
I went to the old BOE and asked their advice. They were like, "sell a car? Such a thing has never been done in Japan. What you need to do is pay someone to throw it away." Screw. That. I just payed shakken in Feb. Surely used cars can be sold somehow in a country where they are so expensive in the first place.

So I went to Fukuoka Now and posted an online classified ad. We'll see if it sells. This was the only pic I had on hand of the car:

Humour and sex. I should be in advertising.
Oh and I got the car tax note yesterday. I wonder if I still have to pay that if I sell this thing soon.
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And speaking of "Frack me," caught season three of Galactica on youku (the Chinese pirate's answer to youtube--odd how knowing Japanese lets me navigate that site). That finale was awesome! And it even made me like Lee a little. Just a little.

April 25, 2008

Today's language thoughts

Another Japanese-centric post. And long! If you would rather not see these in your feed, I think a little work with yahoo pipes may do the trick (I try to tag all such posts as 日本語). But I'll throw an unrelated bone out there to my non-moon speak talkers at the bottom.
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So... 好く is a real word, it would seem. Which means I incorrectly corrected a boy when he was translating my worksheet assignment today, and I will have to issue a retraction. I'll probably do it on the announcements so that I have the class' attention (I want to make sure that they don't get confused by my officially given translation on the blackboard, which was basically love instead of like). But anyways, it bugs me that I never noticed this word before, despite Mai always saying 好かん (I don't like it!) (I just thought it was hakata-ben)(don't get it into your head that she was saying she didn't like me!)(four parenthetical statements: bad grammar, or awesome grammar?). The issue got a little muddled because before class, a teacher and I got back into the thing about whether 好き is a verb. Most Japanese people tend to think it is, despite looking nothing like a verb. But in their minds it is 好む or 好く, more or less. And if we factor in the fact that だ is more or less a helper verb, 好きだ is very easy to see as a verb.--by the way, Bobby, if you are reading this, which I doubt you are while you are building houses in India, I have encountered a 国語先生 that thinks of na-adjectives as not 形容動詞 until you get that だ or な on there. Thought you'd like to know, though you won't, cause you can't read this. All aboard the digression train! Oh wait it already left!--But the question remains, why don't I ever see 好く? My best guess is it just sounds like too many other things, so people favor 好き. What do you think, lovely reader, with full red lips I could kiss? That was weird. Why did I say that? Still like this entry? Or are you going back to that Boing Boing* tramp? Okay, I have totally lost my Japanese readers now (as opposed to my readers of Japanese. No, wait, they're both gone).
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So, I thought a section on how Japanese is written, from Wikipedia, was interesting. Therefore, lets have some passages and my reactions!
ニュアンスを伝える日本語表記系

他の言語では説明を追加したり単語自体を変更したりしなければならない情報でも、日本語の表記システムを用いれば同じ単語の表記を変えるだけで伝えることができる場合がある。例えば英語の「 I 」、ドイツ語の「 Ich 」、ロシア語の「 Я 」に相当する「私」は男女兼用でフォーマルな文章にしばしば用いられる。ひらがなで書いた「わたし」は、優しい感じがするので、男女ともにインフォーマルな場や、親しみやすさを表現したい場合に使用される。例えば、女性が日記や友人への手紙で用いるなどは、その典型である。
Okay, fair enough, but I have to point out that other languages have tools such as italics, fonts, elitist French and Latin words, color, and CAPITAL PRINT to convey nuances. But yes, Japanese can get pretty fun when you mess with the characters you choose to write in, and perhaps less jarring than some of the methods I just mentioned.

カタカナの「ワタシ」はほとんど用いられず(時々一人称を強調する時や、外国人が片言で話すニュアンスを出す場合に用いられることがある)
Yeah what the article doesn't tell you is how much it pisses you off to read the local paper and see that all your quotes are in katakana implying that you speak Japanese as well as an animal. At least that's how we feel.

文体上の狙いで漢字の複合語を恣意的に読ませることもできる。例えば夏目漱石は短編『十五夜』の中で名詞の「接続」を動詞的に活用した「接続って」を「つながって」と読ませている。これは通常ならば「繋がって」「つながって」と書くものである。
Yeah Soseki drove me a bit crazy at first because I didn't know he was gonna be pulling this sort of thing. I was like, is this an archaic way of saying it? Imagine if we could get away with this in English. Printing something like "connection(tied)." Well, looks kind of annoying in English, but furigana can make it seem natural in Japanese somehow. Another thing you can do with written Japanese is have a word with foreign pronunciation implied by furigana. Like 獣化兵(ゾアノイド)(the Zoanoids from Guyver).
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Promised whatever:
I am finally getting into Battlestar Galactica. It is pretty good, but my theory that all SF movies and TV shows are kinda stupid is holding up. It is odd to me that the suave scientist is the only humorous character (gruff doc doesn't count). Don't get me wrong, he's my fav, but the rest of the show kinda doesn't match. They had one oddly funny scene, complete with stereotypical musical cues in season one, but otherwise melodrama. And I hate Lee. And I'm in love with many Cylons. And there shouldn't be so many episodes stringing things out, giving us stupid stories like Lee the detective. I fracking hate Lee.
Bonus fact: Did you know that the original series, and consequently this one, are littered with reference to Mormon concepts?
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*I stopped reading Boing Boing because I already had seen everything they wrote about. I really may be the king of the internet, as someone recently labeled me. 

April 21, 2008

The wii fit is working out for me

I see what you did there, Clay.

Ahem, I'll probably state this again in a vid soon, but I finished my first day with the wii Fit and actual sweat came out of my body. I feel good! Sad to say the hardest part for me was doing the lowly push ups (I don't think one can get lower than a push up in physical terms come to think of it. Oh! I see what I did again!). Also, for someone that has big dogs that all the creepy foot fetishists love, I have terrible balance. These feet add no stability to my shoddy structure!
Now is the time on Sprockets when we show the photos!

Gah, I blink in photos even when I am a virtual person...

That's better. My wii board is using a strange accent there.

Not a bad BMI, but why do I have a woman's hip structure?
I have grown to look more like my mii. Incidentally, I took this pic for visa purposes. It is the handsomest I've ever looked for such a picture. I'm not bragging; I just noticed when I was comparing it to all my other ID pics as I did paperwork. This is as good as my sad mug gets. Also, you're probably thinking my neck looks pretty skinny for someone who is using this product. Well it's for more reasons than losing fat. Hopefully I can actually add some muscle on.

April 20, 2008

The small town where I am moving to

With any luck this odd town in Saitama is where I will end up. the video is completely in Japanese and practically only about restaurants, but in case you are curious.

Crazies

People are crazy. I mean scare-me crazy.



 Hey these videos make for a nice colorful post!

April 15, 2008

Japan's constant struggle to make me sick

The country is a living entity with the goal of getting me somehow, be it tsunami, germ-riddled children with cute faces, or dreaded sakura petal attacks.
But really, I never really had allergies before I came here. Then my nose discovered the joy of the Japanese cedar.
I thought this year I was being ignored by this malevolent entity for once, but the allergies finally came. I took a couple Benadryl. Then the next day I took a couple more. Now that stuff has built up in my system and I am effectively drugged. In every sense of the word. I am forgetful. I sleepy. I am forgetful. And making bad judgements and reasonings. I even thought Japan was out to get me a few minutes ago.
I would write more but I am tired, and I forgot what this post was in the beginning. I am too tired to raise my eyes up to see. Gee that keyboard looks soft.

Wii Fit on its way

What convinced me is the odd pain in my hamstrings that just seems to come whether or not I've been physical. I figure I need yoga. And I will hopefully be motivated to do something like that if I get the Fit. Also, I pinch my lovehandles a lot to gage things. Things ain't so well.
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Youtube has been murdering compression rates recently. Is this forced HD?

April 11, 2008

First blog about sakura blossoms ever

No one else on the internet has ever found out about these, but I did. In your face, Japanese blogosphere!

April 8, 2008

Making an MP3 into a SMAF (.mff) file on OS X for lulz


Did you understand that title?
I'm hoping someone out there sees this post and has a lot less trouble than I did. In case you don't know, this is about getting a ring tone onto your Japanese cell (I have a Vodafone phone (I know, the company name changed)). Anyways, I converted a file to .mff with this free application. That's all there was to it in the end, but it took me forever to find out. Just convert your song to an AIFF or WAV and you're good to use this. BTW, my phone only accepted 4Khz or whatever.

The good news is: I have a real chakushin ari ring tone! She's gonna call, right? Let's hope.

"Clay, nobody ever knows what the hell you are talking about." --Colin (paraphrased)

Cool little film


A short film that will stun you, guaranteed.
Part 1
Part 2
Eye animator's website

April 4, 2008

We had a robust debate in three way chat about the last post, but I unfortunately can't paste it at this time (talkgadget doesn't have copy paste FTL). Anyways, trying to do my essay for my purpose of studying Japanese for the school application.

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日本語は本当に知的刺激を与えるものだと思います。ですので、一生ずっと学び続けたいと思います。それより、日本語を良く使う仕事を得たら、知的刺激を受けることが続いて面白い暮らしができます。今、この世界で国々が国際化が進まなかればならない状態です。私はこの変化を助けたいと思いますが言語がうまくならなかれば上手に国際的なことに対して貢献できないから日本語をマスターしたいと思います。

April 3, 2008

Jargon warning!

A little edited to make more sense (thanks for the comments).
Another edit: I am horrible at explaining these things in my terms; see the comments for elucidation.
I am becoming more convinced that な is a modified form of だ, or visa versa. And の mixes into things too.
If it is after a na-adjective, but not before a noun it is expressed as da (奇麗だ vs. 奇麗な顔). In front of other copulas, da hides. It's unstable like that.
Then I came to feel a few minutes ago that だ becomes な/の in a slight prettying up of statements and explanations. Consider: 〜なの could be from (a hypothetical)〜だの and in actual reality we do know that だから changes to (な)ので.
I don't know. Maybe this is a crazy theory. It only really helps for remembering anyways. If you remember things in a circuitous manner like me.
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you need something for those glazed over eyes?

April 2, 2008

Changeover

Let's be honest. There is one thing a person thinks when meeting their new superiors after a mandatory staff changeover in Japan: How much can I get away with under this person's tenure? I can see some teachers twitching today and considering that question.
The new pricipal seems very friendly towards me. But when he talked during the first teacher's meeting, he talked like a fiery preacher. Not something I am exactly used to here. There were a lot of まったくs and 絶対s and --なさいs. And I may be paranoid, but I could swear he talked about me! Something about not making sure to not have a big head because I appear on TV. I'm a little scared; it's kinda cool though.

I'm getting married!!!

Yeah! I am psyched! And a little worried about what mom will think. But anyways, I started a wedding blog so we can show the world how saccharine sweet we are getting and keep you updated on our plans. Hope to see you in Honolulu in May!

Details on the proposal at the new blog!

April 1, 2008

Ramen pizza and lizard tails

Yeah I did it! And I'd do it again! Nobody can stop me!
Seriously though: broke down and bought fry-pan ready pizza dough mix at the super and recommend it. Still fry it in olive oil like in that article I shared way back.
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Came home to find the cat pouncing at something. At first it looked like a snake, but then I realized that it must be a detachable lizard tale. So, gory little flick, but nobody died, coming up now:
video