a lexicographical blender of madness

15 September 2006

photos!

Today my family and I went and took portraits. It was honestly, an absolute blast from start to finish. We took all these pictures and the photographer made us say all this goofy crap and we laughed. Then we got to see them all and choose our favorites. Unfortunately, we did not choose the ones I loved the most. This maybe because how much I laughed was in direct proportion to how screwed up my smile was. I have this tendency to show my gums when I smile, maybe a leftover of having braces and headgear and blablabla. To compound this, I also smile more on side of my face. The result is you get to see all my gums and it looks like I have a lazy eye when I'm laughing/smiling a lot. So in basically every picture we took, my smile looked ridiculous to some extent. We wound up retaking some with me not smiling so much. How goofy is that?

But the best part is we get a full set of proofs. If I can get my hands on them, I will share with you my best of most terrible smiles. I know at least one person out there who can appreciate the worst of pictures and seriously consider them the greatest.

tidbits of boredom

The less people comment on my blog, the more I begin to feel like it is my personal journal which is safe from all eyes. Or at least the eyes of anyone who cares. It's just me and my laptop, which begrudgingly turns on only after I bribe it with the prospect of maybe only using it for another year. Assuming it doesn't start a fire in my room or anything.

I'm reading chapters from my book on communication, and I came across something that's super relevant to me - mind reading and perception checking.

Mind reading is when you assume you understand what another person is thinking and feeling. Say my roommate starts acting cranky. My thought process might go like this: um.. Is he upset because I want a ride somewhere? Is it because of all this traffic? Maybe I'm doing something to annoy him and I just don't know. Maybe I should just sit here and shrink into this car seat until we get home.

The problem is that I'm never doing more than just guessing. I impose my perspectives on him instead of figuring out what's really going on.

The solution to this, simple as it sounds, is perception checking. By running my guesses by him and finding out what he has to say, a lot of confusion and misunderstanding can be avoided. The main thing to remember is that when going through this process, I have to come off as tentative instead of being dogmatic or accusatory. It starts with me stating an observation; 'you seem cranky.' Then I can see if he agrees; 'Do you feel cranky right now?' Then I can try and work out what's up; 'Is there a reason why? Maybe this crazy traffic or maybe you're tired?' The hard part is trying to keep him from having to be defensive. Then I get to hear what I want; 'Well I was up at 6:30am and I just want to get home and relax already.' And that's it.

The thing is, everyone loves to mind read but when it comes to checking perceptions, we all get scared. We're afraid to be wrong and we don't want to seem crazy for even noticing what we do sometimes. Also, it's real hard to bring up observations without them coming off as accusations. The coolest part about this is it is something that I've learned to do on my own, just recently, but before I read it in this book. Now I feel like a totally awesome communicator.

And that means maybe I can get married and not go insane because me and ant are both fans of perception checking. I never feel afraid to point out when he's spacey or not listening or sleepy.

For a second here, I thought this topic would be boring my audience... Then I remembered-- I don't have one! /but let's just check. Is this boring you, person out there who has nothing better to do than read this?

Let me recommend something slightly more interesting. The following sentence is grammatically correct:
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

How awesome is that? Does anyone get it? I can post the explanation if anyone so desires.

14 September 2006

ick

I'm back in Littleton now, taking advantage of how close my family lives to me. Why? Because I'm sickly like the old lady on the bus who coughs all over everyone. But let's back up

Two nights ago, my throat started hurting and I coughed all over. I felt completely unmotivated and did absolutely no homework. Preston suggested that it was because I haven't been smoking lately. Something about my lungs finally getting a chance to get rid of all the crap in them, and that being why I'm all coughy.

The next day, my throat was swole but I was ok otherwise. Supertired but I figured that was a result of lack of sleep. Around 1530, I crashed out , only to wake up a couple hours later in a ball of cold sweat. Blaming it on my usage of a comforter when it's 80 degrees out, I went back to sleep again. Around 1830, I called home and told my parents and they said maybe they'd come fetch me. After my dearest of roomies brought home a thermometer and it told me I was at 101, my mom agreed that coming home was the best for all.

This way, none of my other roommates would get sick, and since my family is super paranoid about ze germies, they wouldn't either. And here I am, lounging about, letting them keep me quarantined.

"More gatorade?"

"Yes please, mama. Could you bring it to me since I'm not allowed to open the fridge?"


If I even look at the food, it'll all have my icky virus. No cleaning for me, don't touch anything. Just sit in your room and sleep sleep sleep. I want to say I hate this. (It'd be a lie.)

It'll suck when I get sick in Guam and can't go home and be taken care of. (does that count as ending a sentence with a preposition?)

Who will make me ramen when my head is filled with mash potatoes and my muscles aren't working? What if my Ant is out to sea? GASP! Will I finally learn how to take care of myself?

One way to find out, right? Right. And now, more NyQuil (Big N little y Big FUCKING Q!) and off to beddy with me.

13 September 2006

exciting and different information

After having not posted for months on end, it's suddenly harder than I thought to get back into it. I'm sitting here all night. The internet is here and I have free ability to get to this site. But I don't. It's on the list of things that I've been avoiding doing, along with my Japanese homework, my modern lit reading and laundry and cutting up celery into snacky bits for class.

But what I'm really, truly excited about is my latest acquisition: a longboard!
here is what the public has to say (most of these are actual responses from messengers)

joe: no, I won't try it

sarah: I am now in fearful awe of your new activity

sarah: that is total sweet nut though

ben: don't break anything

ben: I have no friends with long boards that haven't seriously injured themselves

preston: damnit, now I'll have to get a board so I can ride with you

max: now you can say you know how to ride, without it being a double entendre

dad: must be nice to live the life of riley (read: I want one damnit!)

My first night out, Preston and I got kicked out of a parking garage. I now understand the boarder's plight of looking for cool places to ride. Especially those boarders who have minimal experience and prefer to ride on smooth, new concrete.

anyway.

I thought I'd been on top of my graduation crap. Kept up on which classes I needed to take, how to get credit for major and core requirements at once, blah blah blah. I forgot that I still need 120 total. So imagine my surprise at my advisement appt when this lady is all, well your core is done, and you only need two more classes for your major,... BUT you need 16 hours to reach 120. '16!' I wanted to scream. I've never taken more than 14 in my life, and that was hard enough. I was entirely looking forward to having an easy spring semester so I could spend more time doing weddingy/moving to guam related stuff.

Here are my options, neither of which seems to be any better.
1) take Japanese 4210 for credit, then take 13 credits in the spring
2) make this semester easy, then take a crapload of easy classes in the spring, like bongos and dance and linguistics practicums.

I hate how stressed out I'm getting over this. But man the end of the tunnel is close and that's nice.

That's a nice sequeway into the only other thing I think about. Anthony left Guam yesterday, on that goddamned submarine. A few days ago he told me it'd be about three weeks. As it turns out, it'll be two months. For reference, the longest he's been out in one go is about 3 weeks. So this sucks bad for all parties involved, but theoretically, I'll be able to email him. He probably won't be able to write me back much and I'll have no idea whether he even gets half of my emails, but it's better than nothing. And the silver lining to this cloud? He finishes deployment a month earlier, getting back to Honolulu in November instead of December. I probably still won't see him til January but at least we can talk a whole lot more, right?

I'm tired. But there are comics on my door and this room is starting to feel more and more like mine.

I'd also like to say that spiral bound graph paper is the only way to take notes for classes.

29 August 2006

wow long time

I haven't been here in so long. Once I left my laptop charger in Omaha, my online presence dropped to nothing. Email and accounts were my only concern and I left my blog for dead. Somehow I don't really like posting anywhere but my own laptop. It's unreasonable but I'm allowed such silly things.

School is up and running again and I have much excitement for most of my classes. Morphology, the process of figuring out the smallest units of meaning, is an area of linguistics that I enjoy almost as much as phonetics. Combine this with syntax, the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences, and you've got one hell of a class. It'll keep me busy for sure. Morphemes (smallest unit of meaning) can be a word or even less. For example, raspberry seems like a compound, but rasp doesn't represent the kind of berry it is. The entire word 'raspberry' is a morpheme. We are going to work through this whole process for data sets from languages I've never heard of. If anyone recalls the random dead and moribund languages on my arty box, some of them are in the booklet.

Syntax talks about why

colorless green dreams sleep furiously

is a grammatical sentence, which provides proof that language isn't a list of words and sentences in your mind that you pull out, but instead an abstract set of rules which you apply to an abstract lexicon of morphemes.





IS ANYONE STILL AWAKE?!


I know, I know; boring as shit. I can't control what I'm fascinated by. I want to go to sleep now but I have class. 'Mountain People and Places' for upper division writing. Ugh.

16 July 2006

A couple months ago, my dad told me his nephew was moving in permanently to the house, I was annoyed. I've fought a lot with feeling like I've been replaced by his philipina wife's daughter, so hearing that now he's got another one really bothered me.

I met this kid the night I got here, and it hasn't bothered me since. He's 9 years old and reminds me very much of my little brother. I feel like a celebrity, fielding millions of questions a day about the most innane and unimportant things. "Do you take a shower today?" (his english still needs work.) "Will you change your clothes?" "Where is your internet?" "What can I call you?" (I told him to call me frederick, because I liked his name so much. I've also been teaching him all the kid jokes, like that one about something on your shirt, then slapping you. It's good stuff, I don't get tired of it. And he's got the biggest eyes and ears. The better to call him monkey-boy with.

The best part is he calls my dad 'Uncle Rob' but when he really gets to talkin, it shortens to 'unklob' and when dad doesn't respond, it becomes a verbal barrage and I crack up every time. He really brightens up the house with his youthful unawareness and naivety. I can't get over how much fun it is to mess with him.

In related news, my stepsister's attitude is finally calming down. (This may be related to the 'pull a knife on dad' incident.) Last night, we went out to a club and tomorrow we're going shopping. We stay up late talking and drinking and suddenly she's not so bad. Life parallels bring the most opposite of people together, it turns out.

In conclusion, Nebraska's 50% humidity and 104 degree weather is tolerable in the right company.

13 July 2006

update

WHOOO new posts! To what do I owe this occasion? I'm down in Littleton, basically waiting for my parents to drive me to Omaha, NE so I can hang out with my dad for a bit. So much has been going on, it's silly.

For starters, the house bit is in motion. The lease is signed, the moving has begun. The last step is finding a 5th roommate, which we are attempting with a craig's list ad. Blogetta says she mostly avoids that site for whatever reason. I don't actually understand it but it's cool. By August 1st, I will be living in a different house that will be bustling with people and I have no idea what'll happen. It'll be like watching my own real world happen. Except if I'm miserable, I can't really leave or whatever.

Also, no more summer classes for me! WHOO HOO that's awesome. I can spend my sweltering July days packing with intermittent dives into the pool. Much better than going to class, I'd say.

In other news, my navy baby will be back (in Hawai'i) in 5 months. 1/6th down, hell yeah. I'd be more excited if I even knew where he was. Which I don't. Haven't heard anything from him in almost 3 weeks. I send shit, it gets sent to the boat, but I get no replies. and I don't know what that means. Mostly I try not to worry about it.

well, my laundry calls and I must answer if I want to sleep at all tonight. ja ne, minnasan~

23 June 2006

YARDIBLARRR!!!

my class is 60% over. but my real cause for celebration...

Anthony's in japan! yay! and he's gonna meet up w/my most awesome アニキ!that makes me really happy. i'd been kind of worried that my brother was holding against me the fact that he only found out about my little engagement thing because of my parents. i never actually told him. should i even be worried about that? i'm such a paranoid person sometimes. anyway the point is i get to talk to anthony and he can call me for free, albeit only at ungodly hours of the morning. i'm so happy to talk to him though, so i make it work. i get so silly and lovey dovey mushy with him. this fuels my daydreams of a year from nowish. which helps me forget that i'm still 180 days out.

moving right along

i had so much fun going out w/crystal and sarah and various other friendlies. at first they wouldn't let me in w/my temporary license and i was annoyed and tired. but, i went home, got my passport and i was golden. i paid for no drinks, which is cause to be proud. congratulations for sarah for escaping with her $20 as well. i thank those who funded my inebriation through long beaches and redbull/vodkas. i love dancing while holding drinks. i love when my friends get all sexy hot for bars. the hotter your friends look, the hotter you look. unless you wear dingy old clothes that are more suitable for park picnics maybe. but whatever, i still can dance and have a blast.

sarr says that wherever crystal goes, she is surrounded by a cloud of fun. ナルホド だね!
crystal is going to rome in 5 hours! i hope the morning wasn't too rough on her.

that about wraps up my latest of newsy news.

beastie gear is gonna be the in thing this summer, yaal jus wait and see.