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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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[::..about me..::]
[::..podcast..::]
Learning curve, commence.
[::..quote..::]
"Everything in life
is only for now."

-Avenue Q
[::..current..::]
book - none
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blog, democracy, japan, life, media, photos, radio, random, rants, san francisco, videos, work
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:: Saturday, May 31, 2008 ::

When Chasing Rabbits...


Learning a second language is hard. It makes you realize how much common knowledge, common sense stuff is assumed in everyday speech. For example,

When in Rome...


If you're a native speaker of English those three words alone convey a lot of meaning. You already know what the second half is. Now step into the shoes of someone learning English, someone who is decent in grammar and vocabulary and pieces things together as they go. "When in Rome" carries no meaning for him. Maybe the phrase continues "beware of pickpockets" or "don't forget to wear sunscreen". And when you explain the entire phrase to him he asks, why is it Rome? Why not Paris or London or Moscow? You have no answer. He gets frustrated.

Learning a second language can be like that. But for every frustrating idiom an enlightening one comes along.

二兎を追う者は、一兎も得ず。
If you chase two rabbits you will catch neither.


Right now I'm trying to figure out what kind of job I want to pursue. Would I rather work in radio or in something Japanese? How do I want to spend my life?

Obviously this isn't a question you can answer in one night, or day or week or even month. I'm working through it. In the meantime, though, I'm spending half of my energy on radio pieces and the other half on Japanese study. At this rate I'll neither get an internship nor pass the JLPT Level 2 exam in December. It's not like I have a deadline, but the sooner I sort this out, the better. Which rabbit shall I chase?

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:: Kazen 10:21 PM [+] ::
:: ... 4 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
Very insightful, I am learing that about you. I don't think it matters which rabbit you chase, eventually you will catch up with one, ot it will slow allow you to catch it....but was it the rabbit you wanted? -Karri
 
..sorry, can't type worth a shit. hopefully you get my point.
 
This is so true. It is amazing how much cultural knowledge we carry without ever thinking about it. It becomes even more apparent when actually spending time in another country...I have always been extremely interested in what it means to be a cultural outsider (especially exiles and expatriates). But there is so much in just language alone.

Also, lately I have been thinking about taking Japanese and I've read about the Soku Gakuen school...I was wondering if that's where you study?
 
Oh, and good luck deciding between rabbits...just remember that choosing one doesn't necessarily mean forgoing the other. Life can take you in funny directions and finding what you want may be more roundabout that you can imagine.
 
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:: Saturday, May 24, 2008 ::

Moving - Thing - Park


Ken and I went to the 動物園 (literally to move - thing - park in Japanese) or zoo on Thursday. Some animals made fun of us:

Zoo - Giraffe

While others posed for us:

Zoo - Flamingo

And still others swam:

Zoo - Penguin

...and then there was just plain ol' cute.

Zoo - Polar Bear

The zoo was big and good enough, with lots of variety in animals. There weren't very many of any one thing, though. No monkey house teeming with monkeys. No groups of anything. Just a few gorillas over here, an ostrich over there, and a couple of lemurs hanging in that tree. That and we seemed to only hit the icky food stands/cafes. Even so Ken got some great pictures to use for drawing references and we both had a lot of fun on our "date", so it was totally a success.

Afterwards we thought we'd go and see the Pacific Ocean, a mere two blocks away. We should have known when we saw the drifting sand piling up on the sidewalk (we had to walk in the road for 15 feet, it was so messy and deep) that it would be a bad idea. The wind was howling right in our faces, blowing sand into our eyes, our teeth as we talked, and found its way into our shoes. It stuck to my face, which I had put sunscreen on four hours earlier. We crossed over the Great Highway, went yup, the ocean is there alright, and turned back to tamer land. I would have taken a picture but I was really afraid that the fast-as-a-bullet sand would scratch up my lens. Another day.

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:: Kazen 8:26 PM [+] ::
:: ... 0 comments | backtrack ::



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:: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 ::

Woot


I finished a pair of socks in a week!

Pair a Week

Who said they have to match?

Labels: ,


:: Kazen 2:30 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
I like 'em both, especially the blue one. Who cares if they don't match, lol. They look like they fit well; that's all that matters.
 
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:: Thursday, May 08, 2008 ::

If It's Free, It Fits


Tuesday was a great day--free museum day! Two friends and I went out for some free culture. We started the day at the Conservatory of Flowers, which is like a greenhouse on steroids. They have different rooms for different climates--tropical, mountain highlands--that are brimming with flowers.

Downside Up Flowers

Their special exhibit was about butterflies, which is a yearly thing, apparently. The coolest thing is that they're not in cages--they just flutter around the room as they please. You can watch them feed from pretty flowers and feeders or just plain ol' hang out.

Proud Butterfly

This guy might have been my favorite.

Then we went to the de Young Museum and went up it's observation tower to get a look at the city and the bay. Didn't go through the exhibits, though. We took our time walking about of the park, and found this lake while we were at it:

Golden Gate Park - Hidden Lake

It was huge. There were people in rowboats and peddleboats enjoying the weather. Really neat. Then it was off to the Legion of Honor. We arrived about an hour before close and realized that the Annie Leibovitz exhibit was there. We only had to pay five dollars to get into the special exhibit and man, it was amazing. We spent most of that hour in awe. So cool. We bought our postcards in the museum shop and were greeted by this happy sculpture on our way out:

Legion of Honor - Glass Tree

First of all, San Francisco is one of the few places you could have this thing outside. (There was another one inside.) Number two... how cool is that?

Legion of Honor - Glass Tree close

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:: Kazen 7:48 PM [+] ::
:: ... 2 comments | backtrack ::



Comments:
Free Museum Day rocks my socks so hard! I wasn't able to get out and enjoy it (stupid finals...), but I'm glad you did! Beautiful pictures, too. I love that Chihuley sculpture in front of the De Young museum, too!
 
Your photos are fabulous !! (I arrived at your blog through random clicking on the internet.)

:)
 
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