Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Die Leiden des joungen Werther was So Popular that it Changed the Very Fashion of the Time and was Banned for Causing So Many Copycat Suicides

I have arrived at campus! Huzzah! It’s really odd to walk about, seeing familiar faces, and think to yourself about how it feels like just yesterday you were here… I still think it odd that it was months ago that I relinquished my mailroom key and hopped into Chevelle to start my summer in earnest, but I’m back again, and I couldn’t be happier. Saturday went fairly well, and, despite some refreshing rain, I moved in without incident. I’m still getting used to the new set up, though; Welch and Thomson are set up quite differently from one another!! The only difficultly that I am having, however, is the same as last year; my computer is having trouble hooking up to the OWU network. Thusly, I write this entry offline and plan to post it as soon as I have the interweb with which to do so!
Today (Sunday) has been a joy, wandering about and seeing how many of my friends I can locate and marvel at their summers and changes. I had ample time to tour about the academic side of campus locating the rooms I’ll be traveling to this week as best as is possible with half of the doors locked, and even got to hear a few minutes of wonderful organ music in Grey Chapel! I also made a trip to the bookstore, which was shockingly barren. I only purchased one book, but since the funds that one can use in the bookstore had yet to transfer to my card, I could not take advantage of the lack of lines and buy all of them. My one purchase, however, caused me to shamelessly titter with delight as I nigh ran to the register; my only German book for the semester was precisely the one I had been hoping to read: Die Leiden des joungen Werther!! (The Sorrows of Young Werther) I will admit to a slight twinge of disappointment upon seeing that it is a dual-language for of the novel, presenting the German on the left and the English on the right, but despite this convenience and time-saver, I would almost prefer a pure German version, if only for the challenge. But, if the introduction is any indicator, this version is quite full, including even the introduction and a special poem that Goethe later added. I may start reading it tonight since I have no other pressing work, and it does look interesting.

German Word: As far as German verbs that any student should be familiar with, lesen is very important, and almost depressingly so for the college student. Lesen means ‘to read,’ which takes up more than a few hours of a day, particularly when one has been gifted with a generous professor.

Pictures! Yay new Welch room madness! The plant is Natalie, my rosemary bush that I’ve turned into a bonsai tree! And, yes, my action figures definitely need to have some more picture accompaniment, and I’m working on it. And no one seems to ever make their bed very often at all, if ever. And I don’t think anyone really cares… hrm….

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Legendary Swordmaster Miyamoto Musashi Completed his Master Work on Kendo( the Way of the Sword) Only Days Before Dying

Next Monday classes start up once again! I’m super excited with an exhilarating dash of stress thrown in for good measure. I’m to move in this Saturday, but this year without the joy of climbing up to the third floor of Thomson to my tower-like domain; this year I’ll just be moseying in down the hall of Welch and making a turn. I’m crossing my fingers for good window placement, lest my dear plants not get the sun they love so! I do get to re-experience the going into a room without knowing a roommate at all, but this time I get to meet three new people instead of just one. (Hopefully none of us end up strangling one another over something as vital as having a welcome mat or not.)
Before I get too absorbed in contemplating my new rooming situation, I need to finish (read: start) packing. Last year I had no clue what I would end up wanting about, and I think that I have a better idea this time around, or so I believe, and general question marks remain, particularly on ever important details such as whether or not to bring both wooden swords the very first day. (I am, by the way, far too excited about MARRCA, a.k.a. ‘sword club,’ starting up again. If you’re at all interested, sign up to get an e-mail and come to our first practice once we get that worked out, or at least stop by the table we’ll have on the J-walk during the club fair!) But I digress! Packing! Last year I was so busy sorting out how to best cram my several-inch thick German dictionary in amongst my rolled t-shirts, CDs, and ramen noodles that I nearly forgot to toss in a few notebooks for class. (Thankfully if one is indeed far too excited about getting to the dorm to concern one’s self with thoughts of the schooling attached to this, the bookstore has a plethora of school goods both useful and ridiculous to remedy this.) This time around I’m just hoping that I don’t leave behind something that I intended to bring along. (As MARRCA secretary I get to watch over a few notebooks, which I purposely placed in clear sight so as to not forget, though I wouldn’t put it past my ADD-prone brain to let that slip.)
I’ve also been working on finishing up the pair of traditional Japanese pants that I timidly started a few weeks ago with help from my seamstress aunt. (I was terrified, you see, of messing up my fabric since the ‘pattern’ comes with no real pattern for making them; one has to measure and re-measure and neurotically worry about every wee detail.) I finally whipped them out in roughly two days, with liberal time for tea and chatting with my oma shoved in. I need to make a few final adjustments before wearing my hakama out, but they look lovely if I do say so myself. (I miss being able to lug out my sewing machine on occasion at the Uni, though I do know of a few people that bring theirs along, and, if I have the room this year, I may as well… I think I’m beginning to prefer the hand-sewn bits more, though, as they can be quite meditative, and sewing one’s own finger onto the fabric more than once is somehow symbolic despite its randomness and seeming idiocy; I like to connect with my art.)

German Word: I have often simply used the term ‘Uni’ in place of ‘university’ in my blog, or at least I think I have. (Perhaps not!) But this is an oft confusing thing when spoken, because I have confused not a few with statements about the ‘oo-nee’. In Deutschland one can shorten the term Universitaet (you-ne-ver-sea-tate) to simply Uni (as aforementioned, ‘oo-nee’).

Pictures! Here are a couple more pics from my pond; I almost fell in taking these, but then again I have next to no balance. Also a shot of my stuff once I finally got packed, and my hakama pants! Pleats may be the death of me…

Monday, August 13, 2007

‘I’m Into Something Good,’ the Herman’s Hermits Debut Single, Made Peter Noone the Youngest UK Male Vocalist to Reach a No. 1 Spot

I am, probably ironically, one of a handful of college students that has never really attended any concerts, and granted one could still have a heavy argument against my claiming the relatively modest concert I just attended not being a ‘concert’ at all, really. It is the first that I’ve been to where I’ve actually heard of the band beforehand, and I’ve been rather excited in an extraordinarily dorky fashion that involved a lot of bobbing about to ‘I’m Henry the VIII, I Am!’ Herman’s Hermits indeed played a concert, outdoors, on a stage that shook under the vehement beatings of drum and high-kicking guitarist, and I must admit to having enjoyed it quite a lot. I’m not exactly up-to-date on what music stars of today are causing teens to have minor heart attacks, but I do know that Peter Noone, lead singer for the Hermits, caused more than a few coronary failures in his own teens, and still seems to have more than a few rabid fans even as he’s pushing into his sixties. (Side Note: Proof of still-rabid fans can be found in the woman from England that spent most of the concert yelling at Peter, trying to sing, causing him to give her a water bottle to serve as a microphone in hopes of hushing her up, and in the fellow standing near me who kept insisting the drummer throw him a stick every few minutes, even after being told that he just had to wait a minute.)

Concerts of varying sizes drift in and out of the OWU campus, but I’m rather sure none of them have involved a long sing-a-long spelling of H-E-N-R-Y while an aged rock star cheers you on, insisting that it’s the best rendition of the song he’s heard in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, though it has been done better near there, and I'm not sure how well that would go over with the college crowd nowadays anyway. But Mr. Noone did a brilliant job of keeping his concert engaging and amusing, cracking jokes on everything from the Columbus airport to the fact that one’s hindquarters creep up an inch a year once one reaches a certain age, which makes accessing one’s wallet only a matter of reaching to the shoulder. Brilliant overall, and I still love how he insisted that the group I attend the concert with not clap before he got on stage, citing that they ‘might be rubbish,’ but if that was rubbish, I honestly can’t wait to see a genuine concert.

German Word: Some music words auf Deutsch can be tricky, but just add a dash of accent and change of spelling in a few cases, and you’re gold. Musik is fairly self explanatory; just give a mild moo when saying the ‘mu’ bit. Konzert is just about as clear, with only two letters changing up from the English.

Pictures! Taking decent pictures at a concert is tricky business, particularly when one’s camera gets very grumpy with bad lighting, people moving at all, and with distance between the camera and its subject exceeding about four feet.

So here's the stage from behind.

The band rocking out once Peter removed his jacket, grinning about how not many British rock stars his age could do a concert without a jacket on the whole time due to fat. And, no, that's not fat; that's his butt.

I managed to catch this high-kick in action! That shiny line thing near his head is his foot!

Peter Noone and I just as he finished off signing an old "Hold On!" album for me. Super nice fellow in person; he loves to joke.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Genghis Khan was the First to Use Bows in Combat, Though Bows are a Chinese Invention, Not Mongolian

Dorm rooms can be exceedingly lonely places when one’s roommate is out doing whatever it is that one’s roommate does when not in the room, and though plants help fill this quiet void, they’re not very talkative and don’t crawl about the floor very quickly, so a void of sorts remains. How to fill it? Thankfully OWU allows one to keep the small pets, such as rodents and fish, in dorm rooms! Intending to add a little moving creature to my mobile jungle of plants, I recently purchased a wee hermit crab named Gordon! He’s rather clumsy, so I firmly believe that he was intended for me. (We both seem to fall down a lot, so maybe we can work on our balance together with tai chi in those spare moments…) He’s adorable in my eyes, and I cannot wait to get him some new shells to paint up and make him trendy! (Granted that my idea of ‘trendy’ was last popular over a century ago…)
I also recently got a new bow string for my lemonwood longbow! I love traditional archery, no matter how often my arrows go whizzing past the haystack that I use as a target, and getting a few new arrows and a string to replace the broken one makes my week. The shop I had to go to is located just outside of Delaware, and Chuck, the rather animated proprietor, knew precisely the sort of supplies I needed. I had tried to acquire a new string elsewhere, and the bow ‘expert’ had the quintessential deer-in-the-headlights look when he saw a traditional bow, timidly muttering that they in fact did not stock anything for such relics. Chuck, however, was only amused that I used a self-bow from the 50’s or 60’s, which he correctly pinned down after seeing the bow for less than thirty seconds. This man breathes fletching; he’s bursting with information and history. Meeting him sparked an idea that I know had been shot down before, but I think I’m going to look into how MARRCA could possibly do maybe one day a week of traditional archery, but I know that this was shot down before, though the exact reasons fail me at this moment. Danger hazards are obvious and giant red flags, but I believe the lack of an expert hurt us as well, but I believe that Mr. Chuck would be more than ecstatic to lend a hand, as anyone who rattles off facts about Genghis Khan and Native American bow-crafting techniques would surely get along with a crazed group proudly reenacting the War of Roses in rondel battles after being briefed on the history of it.

German Word: German is a very cool language in and of itself, but then it has this really nifty habit of taking words and cramming them together to create new ones!! This can be a real time saver on one hand, or create word disastors on the other. For example, take ‘speed’ (Geschwindigkeit) and add it to ‘to cross over or exceed’ (ueberschreiten), and one gets the word for speeding, Geschwindigkeitsueberschreitung! This is super helpful when one doesn’t know a word, but can also create glaringly odd words that scream ‘DINGLISH!!!’ or ring very wrong to a well-tuned ear. I looked briefly in my German dictionary for the term for ‘hermit crab,’ yet found none. My solution? Take the term for hermit and add it to crab, creating Einsiedlerkrabbe! Is it anywhere close to the real term? Probably not. Does it work? Not really. But, if anything, it’s a good icebreaker at the local Stammtisch, and my old associates and I even got our German teacher to question whether or not our entirely fabricated terms were real or not. I’ll be sure to bring those up another day, though.

Pictures! Pet pictures. Adorable crab-creature or hideous thing that gives one the chills down the spine?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lapsang Souchung is a Chinese Tea Traditionally Dried With The Burning Old Fishing Nets and is Quite Good With Sugared Ginger

Well, the end of July brought with it the excitement that is the Delaware car show, and I was definitely in attendance. The cars were amazing as usual, and even the intermittent rain that had auto enthusiasts squeegee-ing and whipping down their cars vehemently did not keep them away entirely. I perused the cars, snapping the occasional photo, being sure to capture a few of the entire street to show the entire of Deleware transformed. (A large chunk of Sandusky street and several side streets are all shut down for cars to park and cruise along; it’s a massive car show for the small town, but it is frankly premium.)
I also took the time take a walk about the campus itself, which, unlike the boisterous street of Sandusky, was pristinely quiet and nigh a world of its own. I must admit that I missed the paths and trees and campus not a little despite living so near, and seeing the familiar fire station and park where MARRCA meets was quite enjoyable. (The lack of someone to rondel or practice 8-point with left a disappointing pang, but that will be solved in a few weeks when we meet anew to recruit fresh blood for our battlefields!!)

German Word: When one misses someone or thing, one uses the verb vermissen. For example, to say ‘I miss Delaware’ one would say ‘Ich vermisse Delaware.’

Pictures! The streets of Delaware abuzz with car show action! Even the Corns building donated its front stairs as the main stage for the staff of the show, but University Hall and the rest of campus was as tranquil as ever.