Archive

Archive for the ‘Slice of Life’ Category

The Most Unexpectedly Advanced Technology in Hokkaido

September 12, 2014 Leave a comment

I’ve just returned from my trip to Hokkaido, Japan, and I must remark that I had a great time. The scenery was beautiful (I have a new wallpaper for my cell phone), the food was terrific (I’m going to need to burn off a lot of calories), and the overall experience was great. This being said, I still regret a little incident in a shopping mall over the JR station in Sapporo: Two cute high school girls in front of us got onto an escalator and instantly realized they were traveling in the wrong direction. So, giggling, they held hands, scrambled back up the escalator, and skipped off.

And the only thing I could think of was: WHY DID I NOT HAVE MY CAMERA READY

…Ahem.

I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting very much technology-wise when I came to Hokkaido. This is by no means a put-down towards Hokkaido – again, I maintain this is a great part of Japan – but it’s just that when you are surrounded by kilometers and kilometers of farmland and mountains, and when there are several segments along the highway where you can’t get a mobile signal, then one also must acknowledge that one is in a very rural place that can be jokingly described as “in the middle of nowhere”. Still, Hokkaido was rather well developed, and I took a bit of effort to look for the latest in Japanese gizmo wizardry. And nowhere did I find a piece of technology so surprisingly advanced than in the corner of the restroom of my lodgings in Niseko.

Read more…

Categories: Slice of Life, Yuri

I Needed This

March 26, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Slice of Life

Taking Time to Compliment Someone

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s a somewhat chilly afternoon in one of the cities I happen to be visiting in 2010. I’m standing in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts stall at a metro station, looking at the array of donuts behind the glass, trying to decide what I want to get. Secretly, as the clerk behind the counter smiles politely and awaits my order, I’m also trying to decide how much time I should be secretly looking at the clerk.

The clerk is pretty. Not stunningly drop-dead gorgeous or fashion model beautiful. Pretty, kind of a compromise between Beautiful and her younger cousin Cute. I have little doubt that much of the effect is the result of the careful and precise application of cosmetics, which I myself am not a big fan of and take great pains in avoiding. At any rate, as I tell her what donut I’d like, she begins to pluck it out from behind the glass and into a paper bag, affording me a few seconds to look at her hair. I really like her hair. It’s long and straight and neat, all nice and even, like a curtain of silk. It’s really pretty. A little rueful at the slight natural curl in my hair, I wonder how long it’d take for me to grow out my hair to her length, and how much effort it’d take to straight it out like she had managed. It’d likely burn a hole in my wallet.

A weight sinks in my stomach as I try to gather the determination and courage to do something that I wouldn’t otherwise do. I wonder what would go faster: The clerk telling me the price of my purchase and my fishing into my wallet to complete this transaction, or the completion of my courage-accumulating. Read more…

Categories: Slice of Life, Writing

Applying for a Master’s

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Some time ago, someone put into my head the idea that I should try for a Master’s in international studies.

Precisely how this happened is unimportant and probably a mystery. It’s probably best left this way, given I cannot even quite remember when this happened. Logically, this happened sometime after I graduated with a Bachelor’s in December 2010, and sometime before now. One would think, anyways. Given how paradoxically my memory works, though, I wouldn’t be so sure. I genuinely think that my memory actually conspires with the time-space continuum to alter reality and ensure nothing I remember is actually when they logically seemed. If this theory holds water, then it wouldn’t be surprising if someone put the idea that I should try for a Master’s in international studies in a timeframe outside the time-space continuum, because it isn’t as if time-space can flip me a larger finger than “I chose not to exist during a pivotal event of your life”. (At some point in my head, I expect hear an old man inexplicably shout, “Ysi, you can’t do that, you’ll create a time paradox~”)

But, yes, someone put into my head the idea that I should try for a Master’s in international studies. Some time after this, my contract with the county government ended alongside October 2012, freeing me of obligations and allowing me to focus on an application process for a university located in a region of the world that speaks a language I’m not actually entirely fluent in. Read more…

Categories: Slice of Life, Writing

High Level Chaos: How Not to Organize A Public Event

September 8, 2012 2 comments

It’s a Friday night, and I’m already lounging at my office desk, too lazy to go back to my dormitory, because the chair in the office is actually quite nice and the internet connection decent. I’m looking forward to Saturday: A trip to a city two and a half hours away to meet a friend, who’s in the region only for a limited amount of time. By all accounts, everything’s set, and I’m just waiting for the weekend to settle in.

It doesn’t take long for disaster to strike. The chief of my office, pulling overtime, tells me that there are two back-to-back events for the indigenous peoples tomorrow, and that my help is needed. Under any normal circumstances, this is the point where I tell my boss that I’ve already made plans, so I won’t be able to make it; after all, it’s the weekend, so I’m not obligated to work. This time, however, the chief informs me that my presence was explicitly requested by the office of the governor. I’m not going to be able to walk out of this one.

At the moment, I work as a contracted translator for a particular government of a certain nation, a department under the governor. For legal reasons – and obviously for my own privacy and protection – I cannot state explicitly where I am. My current work position is actually a bit of an oddity: My contract is technically with the national government, but they have placed me to assist translations with the government hall overlooking a particularly rural portion of this country. Realistically, however, this does not particularly distinguish me from Civil Servant #48, and – as a temporary legal obligation – I honestly would’ve been quite fine staying entirely out of the spotlight, except my arrival to the government hall somehow endeared me to the governor’s wife, who actively supports her husband in his political administration and governance; Hillary Clinton during the years of Bill would not have been a bad comparison.

Regardless of whether or not I deserved it, I somehow received the trust of the governor’s office where translation work was concerned, and over the course of my contract, I have been helping with the translation of documents, letters, and speeches. In fact, for both events on Saturday, I was responsible for translating two speeches and two press releases for the governor’s office. The request, however, for me to show up and co-host the second event is a left hook out of nowhere, and caught me off-guard. This wasn’t something I could easily push off, however, not without unspoken consequences. So, with my Saturday plans shelved, I promise that I’d show up at the event, despite the fact that it was terribly short-notice, that I have stage-fright, and despite the fact that I have been given little to no information on the contents of this event.

How bad could it be?
Read more…

Categories: Slice of Life

A Tragic Realization About Rush Limbaugh

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Static has some uncomfortable realizations after being told about Rush Limbaugh saying Obama was responsible for Hurricane Issac.

 Static 8:22 am
Things be crazy
I honestly hope Rush wasn’t being serious with that comment
It’s way too silly to be serious about that
… I hope

Ysionris 8:27 am
Static, in case you have forgotten, I will remind you that you live in America. ^_^;

Static 8:28 am
I know ;-;

Fragments of Memories (Part 2)

May 7, 2012 Leave a comment

In hindsight, living with my family as a child is probably a bad idea.

It had occurred to me out of nowhere one day (well, no, not out of nowhere, but it was a thought that extended from a conversation I had) that I cannot recall an instance where my parents ever tried to comfort me. Not “coddle”; there’s a difference, and my parents did neither. It’s difficult to spoil children when you’re willing to inflict corporal punishment on them with a cane (and then threaten them into silence by telling them stories about how U.S. social services in cosmopolitan America would take them away from their parents if they ever got a hint that there was corporal punishment going on). My experiences strongly factor into my view on corporal punishment – a view that many would say is biased and saturated with anger and bitterness, something I might agree with if I didn’t just happen to have plenty of professional psychological reports standing on my side – but this is not what this entry is about. It’s not about coddling or corporal punishment. Read more…

Categories: Slice of Life