Archive for the ‘Japanese’ category

Nightmare before Christmas (on December 15th)

October 27th, 2011

Naively, I thought that after I finished applying early to a certain East Coast academic institution, the rest of my senior year would be a thrilling downhill ride that I would breathtakingly enjoy every scenic moment of. Well, breathtaking, yes, but not quite scenic, and definitely not enjoyable.

First of all, yes, I do need to also apply to a certain West Coast academic institution that I fell in love with this summer. I’m evidently quite tired of college apps, so I’ll put that off at least for a week or two. I still have competitions — Intel STS is going to be fun, especially — and I plan to put a lot of time into studying physics and seriously aiming for IPhO ’12 as US Team. Also, yes, I plan to miraculously jump from AIME to Red MOSP (pronounced “mop”), and that is going to take some serious mathematical work. Studying for competitions is actually quite fun (especially in comparison with college essays). Math competitions have been a frustrating area for me since freshman year, but that’s why I want to put in a final spurt. Unfortunately USAMTS conflicted with my early app this year, so I’m not participating and aiming for a gold (after all these consecutive years of silver and coming so close to gold… sigh). But yes, nationally speaking, I am quite dumb at math.

For the near future I guess I’ll review the Lagrangian and attempt to teach it to physics team — the Lagrangian is fun and I expect it to be fun to teach. Oh, but I guess not all of them know calculus.

My overbooking is especially apparent looking at my calendar (which I’d love to post a screenshot of, but no), it’s almost like one of those strange works of modern art that go in every direction with all these abstract arrangements of color and shape. Well, I appreciate my calendar, and I’ve become a bit better at following it (just a bit). I’ve gotten into the habit of entering my sleep times in there too. Later on in senior year I’ll have fun reminiscing on how little I slept.

Just to put it out there, yes, I am writing this blog post in lieu of working on my Chaucer essay. Also, I love my APENG teacher. I’d like the class if it wasn’t first period, but hopefully caffeine supplements will be able to remedy that.

My seat partner in English, Kenny, has been very good to me (despite my frequent sick leave — bad immune system, it’s true). In the last few days we’ve been discussing Asian music, and I’ve found I really don’t know much about Asian music, even J-Pop. It’s because I’m too contrarian, of course, but I definitely felt I needed to get out there and explore mainstream J-Pop and Mandarin music. I’m Chinese, after all.

I haven’t been following anime at all during the month of my college application internment. Coincidentally, Fall 2011 has many series that I thought I would be very eager to see, but now that I have had time available to watch anime, I find that I’ve only been keeping up with the series I’ve been watching previously (Beelzebub, Fairy Tail pretty much). Looking back at Shana, I don’t really want to watch Shana III (and that movie has been sitting on my hard disk somewhere, too). Mirai Nikki is great (beyond great, loved every page of the manga) but I feel absolutely no compulsion to watch it. In fact, I feel no compulsion to watch any new series, and I only forced myself to watch Fate/zero because… well, it’s Fate/zero and by all accounts THE anime of the season. Oh, it was epic all right, but I don’t feel eager to watch the next episode. For some reason, I don’t feel eager to watch anime. I guess it’s what a month without anime does to you.

So yes, I’ve only watched one episode of one series of Fall ’11 strangely, considering how many non-dumb stories this season has. By request, I’ll check out Guilty Crown soon.

Not watching anime has definitely freed up a lot of time, but somehow I still feel much busier. Most of the work is AP Mandarin, which I think I somehow still have an A- in despite my utter failure in every realm. I think I’m really learning a lot in this class, though, and I hope I can read 95% of a newspaper by the time I get out of high school. Still, I don’t feel AP Mandarin is really worth the effort, and I’m afraid college adcoms will frown on me for being Chinese and “taking the easy route” by taking Chinese in school. In this regard, I truly should have gone for French or Spanish (both languages I am very interested in anyways). Japanese would also be easy and fun.

I’ve picked up trying to read Japanese light novels again. After giving up reading untranslated manga. It’s just too difficult trying to look up words you don’t know. In light novels on the computer, all I need is a mouse-over or middle-click, and my definition is right there (courtesy of Yomichan or Rikaichan or any other member of this inordinate family of tools with -chan inexplicably tacked on). One more click, and a flash card of the word is added to my flashcard deck on my computer (I worshipped Anki).

Speaking of which, I haven’t had a chance to add AP Mandarin words to my Anki deck that I haven’t reviewed in half a year. Anki was even convenient for learning physics — it was quite useful memorizing facts and formulae for my physics competitions back in the day. I have a server set up to host the LaTeX notation rasterized into PNG files, and I can review my flashcards from anywhere on the globe with a web browser, or the awesome Anki Android app on my phone. So yes, I am plugging Anki for all your memorization needs. I have a cool Needs Statements flashcard deck with Precalc/Calc A and Calculus BC versions, if anyone wants. With really cool LaTeXed math notation, and word-for-word from the Needs Statement sheets. Ahhh, calculus feels so nostalgic. I also have my Mandarin 4 deck, but they changed the textbooks after my year.

With all this language-learning, physics, math, college applications, research, and much miscellaneous matter, I haven’t had a time to code, work on projects, and fix up my Linux servers. I need to put Altair to good use as my backup mail server. This summer I put lighttpd on Altair (Reverie has Apache2), and — by god — the performance is astounding! I have a fully-functional web server on maybe 30MB of RAM with Debian 6. I put nginx for Windows on Mizu (pretty much just used to host my flashcard media), and it’s been a snap to use as well. Apache is definitely going out of business. Well, I guess it’s open source, so that’s technically not possible.

Yes, I did set up FCGI on Apache (and suexec since I plan on doing shared hosting). Messing with Apache is not fun. PHP loads a lot slower than mod_php, but I can squeeze a lot more httpd processes out of my precious RAM. I wish people wouldn’t spam, so I wouldn’t have to run spamd. It eats like >70MB whether there is mail or not. It’s been great at blocking spam though, and I have it configured to automatically delete mail with a spam score over 15. It pained me incredibly, but recently I added the Spamcop and XBL blacklists to my Postfix configuration. I don’t like blacklists, but the spam volume annoys me. I purposely held off on the PBL list, because I am in support of people running private mail servers on their home ISP networks. I remember when I was running my copy of hmailserver on my Windows box through a crappy AT&T (those are synonyms, I checked the thesaurus) DSL line. Haha, good times. Fellow computer enthusiasts for the win!

My east coast college’s interview is coming up as well. I’ve been increasingly noticing the unpleasant, slightly nasal quality of my voice. Besides generally improving my speaking skills, I really need to train myself to not make that noise. From what I’ve read online, the key to getting rid of the nasal quality is to act like you’re about to yawn when you talk. The reason for the nasally noise is because the soft palate is not completely blocking the path to the nose, so some the sound from your vocal cords also passes into and reverberates through the nasal cavity. And when you yawn (and you can feel it yourself), your soft palate completely closes the passage to the nose so this problem is solved. I know close to nothing about anatomy, but this makes a lot of sense to me. Unfortunately, making sense does not make it any easier to put this into practice…

I’m thinking of getting this book or this from Amazon. The reviews are very laudatory, of course. Speech tutors/therapists must be expensive.

Rather than doing nothing but waiting for the nightmarish announcement coming on December 15th (and groundlessly hoping/praying for a fat envelope), I’m up to my nose.

I’ve spent too long ranting. Time to get back to work on that essay.

Edit: Amusingly, this blog post is longer than my essay.

RE: もう一年間だった…

November 19th, 2010

This is a reply to this.


Because you CAN!


If you compare yourself to a child of a similar age in a less well-developed country, such as Africa or rural China, you really are extremely privileged and comfortable, and you really should be considering yourself happy.

I realize I probably use this argument a lot, but it still remains striking, at least to me.

My below-par Japanese prose-reading (e.g. non-manga) skills failed to decipher the rest of that item within the bounds of my patience. I found it odd that you used “ore” as your personal pronoun (no offense or anything, haha; it’s totally cool).

Oh, and I can’t quite remember what post you’re quoting that inspired this post, haha.


Stop making unsubstantiated claims about my future happiness >_<;


Think of it this way; as a kind of Thanksgiving thing. Count the things you’re grateful for, rather than brood over the hateful things in your life.

It doesn’t solve any problems at all, but happy AHS students are efficient AHS students.


“Making your own happiness”, is it? That’s some pretty slick wording, but doesn’t it basically still entail convincing yourself that you are in fact very happy?



That’s the spirit!


You’re lightyears beyond me.


I really should’ve replied in Japanese… sorry ;_;

… 実は、もう一回自分のポストを読んだ。意味あんまりね。

That happens 100% of the time when I try to post in Japanese. Or maybe we’re just too tired to understand what we just wrote.


November 18th, 2010





… 実は、もう一回自分のポストを読んだ。意味あんまりね。


October 8th, 2010

ちょっと切ない気分になちゃった見たい。 日本語でうまく伝えられないんだから、後で英語に書く。 なんだかんだと十月になった… けど、本当に変わりがない。 毎日毎日こうやってつまらないんだ、なのにやるべき事がそんなにたくさんある。 寂しいとか、悲しいとか、ちょっと分からなくなったんだ。 そして、怖いんだ。

皆も、社会も 「自分が幸せだと思うのなら、本当に幸せになる」って いつもそういってるのだ。 なんだか、①世界は僕に嘘をつけっている っとか、 ②僕にとって絶対無理 という気がする。

僕、引きこもりじゃないんだから、なるつもりもないんだ。 「NHKにようこそ」をまた見たくなった。

I humbly apologize for my horrible Japanese.

僕の日本語は気持ち悪い と知っていますから、どうか許してください。 どうも。

Do you connect your “fu”s?

December 1st, 2009

We were having some discussion about this today.

How are you supposed to write “fu” (ふ) in handwritten japanese? Some fonts have it connected, and other fonts have the strokes separate. Same for り “ri”, how are you supposed to write that on paper?

Personally, I write my “ki”s (き) with the top part separated from the bottom final stroke… but for example Windows displays it connected (on Vista, anyways). I connect my “fu”s, but Windows displays them disconnected.

I found the opinions of other Japanese learners diverged, both from my habits and each others’! Since they’re using the same textbook (don’t know if they have the same teacher or not), you’d think they’d be taught to write a certain way or something. Eh, no matter I suppose.


Click for pretty version.

What-I’m-Doing-Right-Now Post

November 28th, 2009

I’m semi-bored even though I have a truckload of homework to do over Thanksgiving break. My stores of willpower have been thoroughly depleted by now, however. (By the way, if you haven’t heard this line from me yet: “You can accomplish ANYTHING with sheer willpower.” Recently I revised this to “sheer willpower and enough time”.)

The problem with humans in general: “willpower” is exactly what we lack. Figures.

So like, here’s how my Thanksgiving went in one sentence: Guests came over, turkey was horrible, I would rather have had a Cup Noodle. Actually that was a run-on; sorry.

On Black Friday my mom and dad made $125, interestingly. My mom went at 4:00am to shop for deals and spent like $100. When she came home, my dad told her to return everything she bought because it was worthless junk that we already had too much of anyways. It just so happens that the store’s sale ended at 1pm… and when we returned it, they refunded us at the non-sale price (about $200). So we made $100 there. Also, they gave us a free $25 gift card that they didn’t bother taking back. Modern retailing is interesting, but they made so much net profit from Black Friday, I doubt they really care.

My dad’s “excuse” for the money we walked off with was especially interesting: “We can’t tell them that we walked off with $125 from them! If we told the sales associate, she would surely have been fired! We’re not telling them about the money because we care about the sales associate’s welfare!”

Fast forward to Saturday: my family went with some Asian family friends to Newport Beach. The problem was, there were 6 “children under five” and only one “teenager” (along with everybody’s parents). I’m sure my dear little siblings fully enjoyed the trip — we rented a 14-person boat and drove around the harbor, and we even let each of the little children take a turn at “driving” the 5mph hunk of a boat. I, however, didn’t get much done, so I consider it a waste of a day.

Here I am, day 3/5. Mists essay: 0%. Oh, I forgot to talk about something.

I’ve ranted about AT&T before, right? Well, our 2wire modem (2701-B or whatnot) must be AT&T’s secret plan to sabotage our home networks or something. Seriously, nothing works. That damn innocent-looking white box’s “firewall” is truly a menace. It doesn’t let any of my legitimate traffic through, yet it gives AT&T and 2wire full remote control access to it. They don’t let me, the OWNER of the router/modem… more like brick… set the settings on the router… what a user-friendly design. Anyways, I spent all of Friday night messing with it because I was only getting 30kbps download on my anime, and one small attempt to fix it resulted in my whole network borking out… leading me to stay up until 3am messing with this conglomeration of bricks and wires.

Luckily my dad randomly bought a new router online on Thursday, so I’ll just set the 2wire to bridge mode and use my Linksys as our gateway — and actually have control over my home network. Sigh.

Anyways, now here I am. Reading Seitokai no Ichizon manga and pretending I know Japanese because I can read the furigana; waiting for my Railgun to finish transferring at snail-pace; and finally… blogging in place of the essay I should be writing at the moment.

600 word post. These 600 words would probably be better spent on Mists of Avalon, but when I rule the world I will ban that book from the face of the Earth. All copies shall be burnt, and anybody found in possession of it will be tortured, then killed, then tortured some more.


October 19th, 2009

最近、僕は 「しゅごキャラ」 と言うアニメに耽ったんだ。 少女アニメだけど… それでも大好きだよ! 今、僕は23話を見ているの。 佳境、クライマックス~ 楽しみだな? けど、このアニメは長いぞ。 最初、2009の秋のアニメから興味が現れた。 でも、本当にいいアニメだ!

とにかく… 今日は日本語でアニメを説明します。 こんなポスト、誰も読めないんだから、関係ないと思うよ。

そらのおとしもの/Sora no Otoshimono 第三話

Mach 24 is approximately 30,000 km/h.

Mach 24 is approximately 30,000 km/h.

The theme of this story. “Just have fun.”

It’s the best theme I’ve ever heard. Well, not really. I’m exaggerating.


どんなてきでも、どんな辛いこともあっても… 楽しませたら、どうでもいいんだ。

A plot is indeed present, and it seems to be well thought-out. You could say, it’s rather rare to find an anime with a good plot along with really good humor.

I want one too.

I want one too.

There’s still indeed the problem of who sent Ikaros to Tomoki… and indeed, what her purpose is in the first place. Judging from the intro song, it looks like there’s going to be another cute character making an appearance soon.

The main theme, character-wise, at least in this episode, revolves around Ikaros. She has no knowledge of human emotions or feelings, and this major plot point is probably going to be heavily featured in the climax. I’m guessing, some romantic cheesy scene where she’s pointing a gun or laser or something at Tomoki, and then she’s like *omg suddenly remembers all the fun times we’ve been through!* and turns around and shoots the bad guy.

I totally agree with Sohara, on this line.

I totally agree with Sohara, on this line.

Speaking of which, there isn’t even a bad guy in this anime yet. I guess that’s nice, but still, antagonists are necessary for a good plot. See Maria-sama ga Miteru for example of what happens when there are no badguys.

(可愛い ように… と 祈っています。)

Ikaros, sent to buy groceries, sees a watermelon, and falls in love with it. She keeps it as a pet, and I’m sure she’d be mortified if anybody ate it while she wasn’t looking.

You know, I’ve never noticed how cute watermelons were. I feel like having some.




「あ、楽しいよ! いろんなことがおきて、商い通かさ!」

Petting her looks so fun… her hair has totally gotta be super-fluffy. And then she pets her watermelon the same way you pet her…

Tomoki is Tomoki as usual, the childish irresponsible idiot he is. Eishirou is still the cooler male character though. Is this outro song new? I really like it.



また… パンツ… ですか? あれはもう終わったと思ったけれど…

まぁ、このエピソードはすごかったぞ! (もしかして、僕が最近 「しゅごキャラ」 だけを見ていたんだかな?)

さぁさあぁ! このエピソードを何点上げるの? 「S」 だぞ! [9/10]

フェアリーテイル/Fairy Tail 第二話


ああ、イントロ歌がいい。 主人公も可愛い。 なんだか… 変なアニメ。 やっぱりあの猫のせいか?

あん、気に入らない… 変なキャラクタ。 面白くない。 「Aye!」 はやっぱ可愛い~

This animation style really is really, really weird. And it’s not… a really funny anime. The jokes are lame, no beautiful morals, or beautiful battles, or beautiful girls… or cool magical powers or anything. It feels way too much like an MMORPG. I have more fun playing Mabinogi than watching this. C-. [3.5/10]

Hmm, the monkey is funky. This is the kind of Americanized cartoon my little brother would like. Um… a… talking cow… um… this anime is way too weird… But Natsu is cool. This feels totally like what I think Naruto is like. Or one of those American “animes”. Like, my little brother is obsessed with an american “anime” called Bakugan. Or is that actually Japanese? Pfft.

Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad. For the cute ending animation, it can have a B. Yes, huge score up. [5/10]

… seriously. He looks like a ninja.

Why’d I suddenly switch back to English? Ehh.

Finishing up with talking about anime… back to the topic of my wonderful life.


僕のUSAMTS は何点かな? って、ラウンド2も頑張らなきゃ…

今日、僕は「Mists of Avalon」を読めています。 頑張ります! …って、僕はそう言うけど、読みたくない。 ぜんぜん。 どうしよう?


まぁ、AP Physics のこと: 先週の物理のテストのポスト、覚えていますか? そのテスト、「B」になった! でも、たまたま Extra Credit っていうこと が いいな? 助かったぜ! バック・ツ・A+! 人生っていい!

僕の日本語、たぶんとても とても 醜いな? 間違ったら、僕の言葉を修正して下さい! よろしくお願いします。

このポストを読むこと、本当に感謝しております。 (ちなみに、私のせりふは全部、全部 どこかのアニメから勉強したんだ。)

超電磁砲 :: railgun

October 2nd, 2009

Railguns are cool. The light novels are the epicest little things ever; too bad I’m still not capable of reading a Japanese light novel yet.

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun / とある科学の超電磁砲 : ANN / Wiki / JP Wiki

Railguns : Wiki / JP Wiki / JP Wiki: Railguns in Fiction



chāo diàn cí pào :.:.: ちょうでんじぼう (choudenjibou)

超 	chāo		jump over, leap over; surpass
電 	diàn		electricity, electric; lightning
磁 	cí		magnetic; magnetism; porcelain
砲 	pào		gun, cannon
Intro and outro songs:


「only my railgun」
作詞 – 八木沼悟志/yuki-ka、作曲・編曲 – 八木沼悟志、歌 – fripSide


「Dear My Friend -まだ見ぬ未来へ-」

Perception of Japan: Stolen from

September 18th, 2009

For you Japan/anime obsessed guys