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I am so happy and relieved right now.  My mom had a doctor's appointment yesterday and they found something that looked like cancer.  Fortunately when she went back today it turned out to be nothing at all; she doesn't even need surgery.  Everyone was really worried so I'm so happy it's all okay.

over here we ain't half steppin'

As usual, it's been a while since I posted last.  I'm a livejournal slacker.

My summer so far has been going pretty well.  I currently am working at two jobs - AMC and Macy's, but I plan to quit Macy's as soon as I get up the courage to call the office.  I just don't like working in retail and I don't have a permanent department so I never have any idea of what I'm doing.  AMC isn't like the greatest job ever, but the schedule is flexible, my whole family and I get to see free movies, and I get a $50 bonus if anyone compliments me to the managers.  Which has happened twice so far.  Thank you kind theater patrons!!  And seeing free movies has been great too.  So far I've seen Prince of Persia, Date Night, Karate Kid, Shrek IV, and tonight Carlyn and I are going to Toy Story III.  I'll probably go see something else after my shift tomorrow too but I'm torn as to what.  Something I haven't seen, like Killers or A-Team, or should I be a dork and go see Karate Kid again?  I really liked it so I'm pretty tempted, but I guess we'll see...  

I got to take a couple little trips so far this summer, which were both great.  Last week I went out to STL and stayed with Kelly and a few weeks ago I went up to Manhattan to see Sarah.  Both were awesome in different ways - in STL we went everywhere and did all kinds of crazy stuff, and in Manhattan Sarah and I geeked out over Doctor Who and Avatar, accompanied by some Tsingtao beer.  It's been fun to reminisce about China with Sarah and Carlyn when I've seen them; I don't know why but I've really been missing it.  I need a better job so I can afford to go back...  

I bought tickets to see Marina and the Diamonds in Oxford in October.  SO EXCITED.  

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Miłość! Uwaga! Ratunku! Pomocy!

It's spring break, and my life is full of all kinds of excitement... like watching TV and driving my mom to the doctor.  I'm not complaining, though.  It's been great to just relax and do nothing for the past few days.  This semester has been crazy busy, and I'm really enjoying having a low-key vacation. 

Being at home has allowed me some exciting time for drama-watching.  I've really been in the mood for Japanese shows lately.  I (finally) finished Nobuta wo Produce a couple weeks ago, and I'm almost done with Gokusen.  This week I've starting watching two new shows - Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge and the new season of Liar Game.  Liar Game, as expected, is totally awesome - love the acting, the music, the insanely cool plot twists, and this season I'm also loving the addition of Kikushi Rinko, Oscar nominee for Babel, to the cast!  I haven't watched a lot of the show yet because my sister and I watch it together and she's been at school, but so far it's shaping up to be another great season.  Yamato Nadeshiko, on the other hand, is pretty ridiculous plot-wise.  I'll admit that the main reason I'm watching it is a rather shallow one - Kamenashi Kazuya is hot.  I really liked him in Nobuta but never thought he was that attractive - I don't know what happened between that show and this one, but dang.  So yeah, the show is mainly crazy, ridiculous, and silly fun (which with the exception of Liar Game is pretty much par for the course with Japanese shows) and every episode seems to involve Kamenashi Kazuya calling Oomasa Aya ugly and getting headbutted for it, but hey, it's fun.  And maybe when Sarah and I hang out we'll finally get around to watching Tokyo Dogs.  Either way I can't wait to see her this weekend!

Well now to geek out about my other major obsession, aka music - I'm totally in love with the "Hey" CD that Magda sent me from Poland!  And I'm really depressed that both Marina and the Diamonds and Ellie Goulding have new CDs out but neither have been released in the US... I guess I will have to wait until they are or until I myself am in the UK.  I mean, I could download them but I really like those artists and want to support them.  Sigh.  Any other music recommendations while I wait?

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Yep, so, I'm really bad about posting here... This semester has been a busy one, possibly the busiest of my college career.  But I'm enjoying my classes except for German Lit  (somewhat surprisingly, even Symbolic Logic has turned out kind of fun).  However, while doing research for that class, I came across the above quote, which I had previously believed to be a Marina and the Diamonds original.  Apparently it was first said (in more or less the same words) by Andre Gide, the 1947 Nobel Laureate in Literature.  So even if Marina didn't come up with it, I appreciate the mid-century French literary reference.

I found out last week which college I got into at Oxford - I'm going to be at Wolfson.  Honestly, at first I was pretty upset.  It's very modern, not beautiful and old like many of the other colleges, it's pretty far from the city center, and it's graduates-only, which I didn't really want.  But I'm feeling pretty good about it now; especially since a friend of one of my professors is working there in sociolinguistics, and she graduated from Stanford which is one of my top choices at the moment for PhD.  And the college seems really friendly, the accomodation seems very pleasant, and the boat team seems really fun and I want to join it.  I'm pretty much just excited for Oxford next year in general.  Thinking about getting my PhD is simultaneously exciting and really scary; I'm glad I have a year at Oxford before all that begins.  I'm trying to decide where to apply, and I'm thinking I pretty much want to be in California.  I'm ready for some decent weather, I like a number of programs there, and I really just don't want to live on the east coast, where most of the other good linguistics departments are.  But fortunately I still have some time to think that over.

I have to say one of the things I am super excited for next year is the music scene in the UK.  There are so many great British bands right now, and apparently Oxford has a wonderful indie-music scene.  A British friend of mine was telling me about partying with M.I.A. a couple years ago and another friend has a sister who is actually in an indie rock group, and it's just going to be a lot of fun to be in the middle of that.  Can't wait!

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LJ poll - what should I take next semester, Language and the Mind or Computer Science 171 (Java)?  I am torn.  I think both would be cool - I mean, I am going to grad school for linguistics so it would be good to take as many courses as I could, but I'm also really enjoying my computer science class this semester, computer science can be relevant for linguistics, and a professor implied recently that my transcript wasn't particularly diverse, maybe this would help.  It's too hard... and I'm so indecisive...

In the category of things currently making me happy:  Hebrew lessons that the Jewish club on campus is putting on.  It is awesome.  !שלום
I would really love to learn Hebrew and also to spend time in Israel.  Project for grad school?  I think so.

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So I'm currently in the midst of my semiannual "OMG what am I gonna do with my life I am hopeless" freakout.  I have this pattern where I get bored/disillusioned with my old life plan, find a new one, get really really super excited about it, and then suddenly believe it won't work and freak out.  This last stage is where I find myself at the moment.  I was soo excited about applying to Oxford, until professors implied that I might not be a very strong applicant.  So I'm kind of bummed out right now.  I still think it would amazing to go to Oxford; that much hasn't changed, and I would also be very happy at HKU (the other place I'm applying).  But I just got kind of depressed after a professor told me this morning that I was a good student but hadn't really done anything that special.  She also suggested I apply for the Rhodes Scholarship, but the deadline has already passed, and reading the bios of past winners kind of psyched me out.  LIke one girl speaks five languages, has done research in neuroscience, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, and ethnomusicology, has played the piano in solo concerts and festivals worldwide, choreographs flamenco, and goes backpacking and skiing.  Ahhh... I wonder sometimes if I've made some kind of wrong decision somewhere, if there was something somewhere I could have been doing that would have made me a better applicant.  I don' t know.  I know I'm probably being irrational; I guess it's just the funk I'm in and I'll have to deal with it.  At least this weekend is midterm break so I can go home!  I'm so excited!

I've also been thinking, like Amanda, about going into the sciences.  I like that linguistics is scientific, but I think I might enjoy more intense science.  Then again, that's probably definitely because I just read Logicomix, and it was awesome and totally made me want to be just like Bertrand Russell.  Because when I think about it realistically, I know I'm probably not cut out for physics and wouldn't really enjoy it.  But what I really liked about the book, and what I really admire about great physicists and mathematicians, is their intense devotion to their work.  I want to do work in linguistics that makes me feel that same kind of passion.

Oh and I finally got an account on last.fm!  It's been a major source of procrastination this week.  But it's making me happy.  Adam, you have an account there, right?  Can't we like be friends on there or something?  If so, my username is the same as my livejournal username. Yay!

A short note

To my fellow inhabitants of Floor 2-Streetside:

I feel the need to confess something to all of you.  You see, this morning when I woke up, I put two slices of bread in the toaster, as is my habit, and left the kitchen, expecting to return to the sight of delicious toast.  Instead I was greeted with the sight of flames rising from the toaster.  I immediately unplugged the toaster and threw the burning bread in the sink, but if you smelled something smoky in the kitchen... I may have had something to do with that.

Oh, and you might not want to use the black toaster for a while.

Yours sincerely,
Room 214
Ok, so I just have to say that I downloaded "I Am Not A Robot" by Marina and the Diamonds today and it totally rocks my socks and you should all listen to it.  Yep.

I had a presentation in Language Change today.  I think it went okay.  This weekend I have to write another speech (for Japanese) and a paper for my Kafka class.  I think the speech won't be too hard, but the paper... I actually don't mind reading Kafka, but I don't want to have to write about it.  Boo.

My life is pretty boring right now actually, just lots of studying and time spent in the library or taking walks along the Mosel.  Ah well.  Only 1 1/2 more months, and then I'm going back to the States.  I have to say I'm kind of ready - I still love Germany but it will be great to be home.

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This is the life

I'm now at the halfway point of my semester break travels, and they have been pretty great so far.  Except for getting sick and having to stay in bed for two days, learning Polish in Poland was so much fun, and visiting Paris with my sister was even lovelier than I expected.  I was excited for the trip mostly only to spend time with my sister - Paris just seemed like such a cliche.  But to my surprise, it completely won me over.  And showing her around Trier was really nice too.  I'm sad she's back home :(

Gotta go now - I'm meeting Amanda at the station!  Woot!  Hope she doesn't mind that my room's a mess...

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Writer's Block: Know by Heart

Have you ever thought you knew the words to a song and then been shocked to find out what the lyrics really were? What was the song? Did you like your version better?
I thought the lyrics to the Kooks song "Naive" went, "I die every time I look inside" and later "I die every time you're on his side."  I don't know what the real lyrics are, because I forgot them on purpose since I liked my version better.  But at least mine kinda made sense... my friend thought the line "I know you know I'm not fond of asking" was actually saying "I know you know I'm not from Nebraska..."

I don't really have writer's block, it was just a good question :)