Friday, September 26, 2014

7 Ways to Title Your Blog Post

Want to write something for your personal blog but are stuck on the title? Use these time-honored ways to clue your readers in as to what will come next.

1. In Which...

Followed by a sentence. The goofier the sentence, the more it contrasts with the Victorianesque tone and therefore the greater humor. Best for recent life events but fine for discussions too. ("In which I discuss...")

2. An Open Letter to...

To someone who would never give me the time of day in real life so I have to blast them through cyberspace where everyone else can see. This is the equivalent of Marnie writing "Why do I even bother, she'll never read this," in the infamous Thanksgiving email.

3. ...A Response

Someone else said something stupid on the internet, but it's technically my area of expertise so I've got to mention it or people will go nuts in the comments section. Sections of text will be quoted, but you only have to read the bold parts. The general tone should be, "Here are the big obvious important issues you missed when writing your original post."

4. Why I...

People have been giving me flak about this thing since forever so once and for all I HAVE A GOOD REASON. Now leave me alone.

5. When...

Followed by sentence describing a current issue in the most click-baity terms possible. If the rest of the sentence couldn't be in a movie trailer after the words "In A World" then it needs to be more dramatic.

6. Is...? (any yes/no question)

If you don't know the answer to the question without reading the actual post, then...No, actually there is never a situation when you don't have at least an inkling of how this will go down. Even if you've never read the blog before.

7. Two to Three Apparently Random Words

But the secret is they're all actually related! Muwhahahaha! But you have to do it in a certain order. Word #1 is be a current event or famous person. #2 must be a catchphrase of some kind. #3 will either be "me" or a gerund.

But the real question is, what on earth should I call this post? Here are my ideas:

In Which I Blog About Blogging
An Open Letter To My Fellow Bloggers
Everyone Else's Blog Titles: A response
Why I Can Never Think of an Original Title
When All Blogs Are Equal
Are We Running Out of Blog Post Titles?
The Blogosphere, "Genre," and Me


I forgot the classic "X Ways To Do Something!" Now I'll have to start all over again...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Piercing again--Revenge of the Pierce!

Back in June my ear got super red and swelled up, and though I eventually got it sorted out, my only attempt to put the piercing back in was a dismal failure. With blood. In the end I just had to wait and get the holes opened again at the pierce shop because they had started to close up so fast.

Which meant a good hour of lying on my back while a Japanese hippie first poked around in my ear with a needle and then wedged increasingly thick metal rods through my ears until the hole was dilated back to the original position. Every time I reached my limit and said, "It hurts! It hurts!" he would stop, but he wouldn't take the rod out, so I just had to lie there with the rod in place until I could continue. Eventually he just told me, "Just endure a bit more, 'kay?" and tried to finish quickly.

This week I noticed that my right earlobe had gotten swollen again and instead of waiting for it to get really bad, I removed the piercing the same night. There was a lot of puss. To make matters worse, my other piercing had gotten stuck and didn't want to come out of my ear without taking blood with it.

Once the piercings were out, it was already late at night so I considered whether to try to fight to put the temporary plastic things in or wait until tomorrow at the pierce shop. I decided to give it a go and surprisingly was successful on the first try! This time I found the holes easily and was even able to get the backs on afterward. The left ear was a bit tighter but I found out I could stretch the hole a bit by tugging on my earlobe while inserting the pierce. Tampons have given me some expertise in this area.

The pierce guy said I should wait another week or so before putting metal piercings in again so maybe then I'll try some of the new piercings that Hannah gave me!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Back to studying...

Japanese class started up again this week! I tried to study at least somewhat (about twice a week?) during August so I wouldn't be left behind. Looks like I'm doing ok. Several people seemed happy to see me again, which was nice. The teacher was a new lady, and I could understand her Japanese pretty well.

However, class was a rather grueling experience because we got stuck on a grammar point for FOREVER, and it was like I just cannot, right now...

WE STUDIED THE SAME THING TWO MONTHS AGO!!!! Essentially, the section that threw a bunch of people was the transitive/intransitive verb thing. And I didn't understand this tense for nearly two years because I thought I was just using totally different verbs that happened to share kanji.

(There's not really an English equivalent where we can slightly change the pronunciation and suddenly the verb needs a direct object. Either the verb can only be used with a direct object, or it's the same verb. Like "I fried fish in the pan." "The fish was frying for about ten minutes.")

Anyway, the point is, even before I knew the rule, I could use the verbs no problem. And the concept is not too difficult so when it did come up in class I just went "Ok, I'll remember that." At least, anyone can notice that all the verbs with E in Japanese happen to be transitive verbs.

So we had to all sit through an explanation because SOMEONE forgot what a transitive verb is, and then we looked at the example of four verbs with the kanji εΊƒ.

Hirogaru--when an object widens or spreads out
Hirogeru--when you spread something out
Hiromaru--when an object, idea multiplies
Hiromeru--when you multiply an object, idea

At this point all hell of misunderstanding broke loose, and after I caught on to the nuance of the words, I could only sit there trying futilely to help convey to my classmates that the forms with E were transitive and had the exact same meaning as their intransitive counterparts.

Somewhere around here the voice of Jeremy Irons' Scar started playing in my head and wouldn't stop...That can't be a good sign.

When I'm not in class I try to study some vocabulary using these flash card sets. They're pretty small so I can fit them in my purse or my pocket. They're on a key ring so cards won't get lost, and I can change the order whenever. The shape isn't symmetrical, so they don't get flipped around the wrong way.

During work I read through a few at at time to practice. I start with the Japanese side and try to remember the English, and at the end of the stack I flip backwards with English-to-Japanese. There's 80 sheets in each, so If I word hard, maybe I can learn over 300 new words!


Due to a bad wifi connection I haven’t been able to blog about my trip to Okayama. It was sort of a weird “Japanese teacher knows some people who are filming a DVD and happen to be looking for foreigners” connection. So I thought “Why not? This is the closest I’ll ever get to being on a real piece of media.” However, when I got the schedule it turned out I had to get up at six, which almost made me want to quit. But by that time I had already agreed, so…

We did two events. In the morning it was going to a shrine and getting a prayer for safety, and in the afternoon it was doing bizen pottery. The prayer was the weirdest thing ever because the ceremony was so elaborate. I had to follow this priest down to a special room where they burned incense and sang a prayer.

I had the most fun doing the pottery, even though it was really difficult. There are some funny pictures of me trying to make a bowl or coffee mug while the teacher is looking on critically! 

Initially I thought there would be other foreigners but it turned out they were on different days and at different locations. So in the end it was just me and the three Japanese dudes who were the film crew. Which was kind of awkward because they didn't speak much English, but I've gotten surprisingly chill about speaking Japanese lately.

For some reason the top bar of the "chi" in my last name disappeared and they at first wrote my name as "Sutefani Ghana" instead of "Gatchi." The sad part is that probably sounds better than the correct version...