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Iron Druid

dwtw:ninerose2
So, mermaidrain got me turned on to the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. I just finished Shattered today, and overall, I've enjoyed the series and am looking forward to future books.

Some specifics and spoilers for the Dresden FilesCollapse )

And now, of course, I want to sit Harry and Atticus down at McAnally's for a few beers and some kvetching about the weirdness that is their lives.

I come bearing Fic!

df:harry dresden
Dresden Files, this time. Just a vignette about something that's kind of been bugging me for a long time.

Title: Jephthah's Daughter
Fandom: Dresden Files (books)
Rating: All Ages
Warnings: Existential angst, philosophy, theology
Spoilers: Massive spoilers for Skin Game
Characters: Deirdre, Uriel
Summary: Post-Skin Game, Uriel drops in to have a chat with Deirdre.

Jephthah's DaughterCollapse )

Just finished the new Dresden Files book!

df:harry dresden
Short version: Skin Game is a good 'un. Long version: Under the cut.

Parkour!Collapse )

Edit: A Couple More Awesome ThingsCollapse )

Jim Butcher will be at the Powell's in Beaverton on Thursday to sign books. I AM SO VERY MUCH THERE!

What happened to LJ? and other ponderings.

dwtw:ninerose2
Where have I gone, you might ask, and rightly so. School, mostly. This term, I'm taking Japanese and Phonology. It's keeping me fairly busy. Both got pretty intense this week, what with a new grammatical form in Japanese and a project due in Phonology. I'm now attempting to kick back and relax a bit before diving back into the last few weeks of the term. I'm also attempting to find a summer job, since I may not be taking summer term this year. I wanted to, but they're not offering the course I was hoping for.

And it's nice, being back in school. Meeting new people, learning new stuff. I'd happily be a semiprofessional dilettante for the rest of my life if I had a source of funding. I need a sugar daddy or a sweepstakes win to do that, though. I'd prefer the sweepstakes. Sugar daddies are so difficult to take care of, and smothering them with a pillow is not strictly what one would call "legal".

Eeenyhow, the good thing is that I have managed, one way or another, to add some dinero to my savings. It'll make the Abbreviated Oregon Road Trip with mermaidrain more fun, anyway. I won't have to panhandle to get admittance fare to the Newport Aquarium.

Good news, though: Skin Game by Jim Butcher is out in less than two weeks! And the author is going to be signing in Beaverton two days after the release, which should be plenty of time for me to read it. Hopefully, it will not make me feel murderous, because I really cannot afford a felony charge at this time. Plus, "Oregon Woman Beats Bestselling Author with Kindle" would make a tacky headline.

I am still hanging about LJ, even if I'm not updating or commenting much. Who did what to the front page? I'm glad to see it hasn't affected the look of my "feed" page, at least. "Feed." Bah. Who calls friends their "feed"? Sounds vaguely sinister, if you ask me.

Thanks, everyone

dwtw:ninerose2
Thanks to everyone who stopped by to offer hugs and encouragement during my recent semi-meltdown. I needed it.

To update: My dad is going in for surgery on the 24th. It's less risky than his last surgery; it's not full open-heart surgery. Nonetheless, there's always risk. But he has an amazing surgeon, and he's much healthier now than he was then. We're concerned, but not freaking out. Prayers are appreciated, of course. Also, my big sister's coming down from Alaska for a couple of weeks. She's a fussbudget, but I find her presence comforting. When Dad's in bad shape, I start freaking out about Mom, because we can't have something happening to her, too. Erin's good at pestering Mom into taking care of herself.

School's better this term. I like Phonology better than Phonetics already. And it's nice, too, to be out meeting people again. For a couple of years there, I really wasn't doing much at all socially. I'm meeting people in my program and having fun getting to know them.

I do know it'll be worth it. It's stressful right now, especially financially, but I've got a chance to make a few extra bucks tutoring, and if necessary, I can drop back to one course this summer and work a job around it. Plus, it looks like I'll be getting a nice tax return, which is going in my Oregon 2014 Mini Road Trip fund.

Hugs to everyone!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

dwtw:ninerose2
MCU, congratulations on another great outing. I do believe I love Cap even more now than I did before.

SpoilersCollapse )

Anyway, I was left with a lot of what the kids call "feels" and went looking for fic. One of my favorites was about Sam: Wings. Spoilers for the whole movie, of course.

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Have to get this out.

dwtw:ninerose2
So much stuff. I don't know who I can talk to, so I'm throwing this out into the universe, just to get it out of me.

Dad's sick again. There's something wrong with his VAD (ventricular assist device). He may have to have more surgery. We don't know if he can take that. I'm not ready to say goodbye. I want him to see me get married. I don't know if I'll ever get married, but I wanted him to be there. I want him to know I'm taken care of, because I'm not very good at taking care of myself.

School is expensive. I'm already $10,000+ in debt, and going deeper. People insist on telling me that getting a full-time job in TESOL is very difficult. I don't know if all this will be worth it, but I can't back out now.

I want to write. I can't. It's in me, but it won't come out.

I wish someone would tell me what to do.

Sandman film?

dwtw:ninerose2
It looks like someone's attempting, yet again, to adapt Le Gaiman's seminal work Sandman. If they do, this gif of Tom Hiddleston in Only Lovers Left Alive has convinced me he needs to be cast as Morpheus:

I will show you fear in a handful of sand . . .

Valentine's Bah.

dwtw:ninerose2
It's entirely possible I'll be revisiting some of my favorite Doctor/Rose and/or OT3 fics this evening, since that's the closest to romance that I have going in my life right now.

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Had kind of a hell of a week

dwtw:ninerose2
Which is why I didn't get to the rest of the Talking Meme. However, I am planning to address the rest of the prompts. Just a bit late.

Next one on the list: English vs. Japanese, per shadowkat . Great subject!

One thing you notice right away when beginning to learn Japanese is that it has far fewer phonemes--that is, individual sounds--than English. The vowels are a, i, e, o, u, pronounced as you would in Latin. Nice, pure vowels. A better linguist than I could give you the rundown on exactly how they're pronounced, but the above description is as good as any. In contrast, English has, in practice, no fewer than fifteen vowels. That's just American English, by the way. Some of the vowels are regional, but most places use at least twelve. The Japanese consonants are k (g), s (sh, z, j), t (ch, d), n, h (b, p), m, y, r, w and ŋ (velar n, pronounced at the back of the throat, like ng). (Note: The consonants in parentheses are considered variations on the consonants they go after and are signaled with the use of diacritical marks.) The last, btw, is the only standalone consonant that does not have to be used with a vowel, and it can only come after other sounds. Each consonant must be followed by a vowel.

It's not just the phonemes, either. The entire sound structure of Japanese is different. It's what's referred to as a "rhythmic" language. Each syllable is the same length. When you hold a vowel for two beats, it's considered two syllables and can change the whole meaning of a word. Kite (come, imperative) versus kiite (listen, imperative), for instance. (And, yes, "te" is an imperative ending, among other things.) Japanese is also something of a tonal language. That is, while English has a stress structure for emphasis--convict versus convict, e.g.--Japanese has a tonal structure for emphasis. Unlike, say, Chinese, tones don't change on a single syllable. One syllable, though, can be higher or lower in pitch and change the meaning of the word. IIRC, ame with the first syllable at a higher pitch means "rain", and with the second syllable raised can mean "sky". Or a type of hard candy. In practice, the difference between stress and tone in the two languages is actually not very different, since we tend to pronounce stressed syllables at a higher pitch in English.

Grammatical structure, though, is where things really go wild. To simplify things greatly, the Japanese like Yoda talk. The verb goes at the end. Only, it's not always the verb, as we define things. You can have a full, grammatical Japanese sentence consisting only of a verb, a noun or an adjective. And they don't define those terms the way we do. "Like", for instance, is considered a verb in English. In Japanese, it's a noun. Then there are the particles, which you attach to various words in the sentence to show their relationship to each other, except that you can leave them out in some cases, and it's all still very unclear to me. And a sentence can be turned into a question if you park ka at the end and make no other changes.

Finally, there's the writing system, which is considered by some linguists to be the most complex on the planet. They have two syllabaries, hiragana for native Japanese words and katakana for borrowed words, onomatopoeia and basically whenever somebody thinks it'll look cool. Each of those has 45 characters, arguably 46 with the rarely-used wo. Then there are the Chinese characters, called kanji. Japanese uses between 1800 and 2000 of those. My Japanese professor apologized to us for that. I, in turn, apologized to her for English spelling.

There are lots of other little things I could go into, but those are the basics. Japanese is a language with a fascinating structure and history, and it's considered by the State Department to be one of the hardest languages for English-speakers to learn. I concur. But I also think that if you want to understand Japan, you need to learn at least some Japanese. The culture and the language go together. They always do. And Japan is well worth trying to understand.

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dwtw:ninerose2
honorh
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