NaNoWriMo 2015: Terms and Conditions

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while! I’ve been meaning to write a proper, meaty post for some time now, but I’ve been too busy doing stupid school-related things such as studying. (Proof: I’ve been posting a lot more over at Said In Your Own Words, where I’ve quickly learned that I’m annoyed with WordPress for not having superscript and subscript hotkeys. Like, what’s up with that? If Google Drive can do it…)

Still, I’ve been studying all morning, and as a small reward for keeping myself “fed” and “hydrated,” I’m writing the obligatory NaNoWriMo post.

Yes, you read correctly. In spite of the fact that I haven’t had enough time to drop a line on my blog every week or so, somehow the squad has decided that we have enough time to write a novel. I originally was planning on giving up after giving it a day or two of the good ol’ college try, but then they brought competition into it, and, well… that makes it more fun.

(I’m gonna wIN DANGIT)

Junhi and Sapphire have both opted to forego the NaNoing this year, Sapphire because she’s a responsible adult with actual things to do, and Junhi because he’d rather be distracting and just sit there in the same room and watch Twitch videos of people playing Overwatch—

[ahem] Anyway, it’s four days in, and Finn, Fritz and I have managed to stick to it. How, you ask? Well, you see, we’ve got a rather elaborate setup going.

Every night, the three of us get together after a long day of studying and do what we call “word sprints.” I’m not sure if these count as proper word sprints, since I’m not sure what NaNo means when they say “word sprints,” but essentially, we set a timer for fifteen minutes, turn on our music (Fritz has taken a liking to a certain song of dubious appropriateness), and write like our lives depend on it. At the end of the sprint, everyone who clears the minimum word requirement (I think it’s 250?) gets a point, and then we’re assigned additional points based on our placing. (I think first gets two additional, and second gets one additional?) At the end of the month, whoever has the most gets taken out to dinner by the people that they beat.

(We’re sticking to it, too. There’s a chart on the wall of 500 with our standings on it, because heck yeah.)

That’s not the most important prize, however. No, we’re competing for a much more prestigious title. You see, whoever wins NaNo first earns themselves the valued title of Kamisama.

(Second place gets Kamichama, and third place gets something derogatory… I’m not sure if we’ve settled on it yet.)

Yep, this is serious bizz. I’m making a sash and everything.

It’s entirely likely that the novelty of this stupid rivalry will have worn off in a week, but until then, here’s to noveling! (Also, here’s to my determination to get those skrubs to buy me dinner and call me Kamisama until next November!)

Yeah, I know I have other things I should be doing.

Shhhhh. It’s NaNo. I do what I want.


(Okay, so the story behind the “kamisama” thing is that, from my understanding, Fritz once demonstrated to Finn that he was capable of “seductively peeling an orange.” He then insisted that this capacity made him deserving of the title “Kamisama.” It has since become a meme, as well as a highly prestigious title. Or whatever.)

(Like, how do you even seductively peel an orange?)

(You know what, I don’t want to know.)

Summer: A Photo Summary

Alternatively read as, “Hey guys, I’m still alive!”


So… yeah, it’s been a while since I updated this blog. Again. I’m sorry, any of my actual readers. It’s not that I’ve lost my love of writing (you see that new sticker in the sidebar? Yeaaaaaaah), it’s just that shenanigans haven’t been so funny that I’ve absolutely had to blog about them, and, quite frankly, I’ve forgotten how to be a responsible adult. Still, that hasn’t stopped me from returning with updated bios and new pictures in tow! Each of these (or at least, each cluster of these) would probably have constituted a post in its own right if I had written about them right when they happened, but you know how it is—shenanigans are a lot less interesting in retrospect.

That doesn’t mean they’re not interesting, though.

So yeah, here you go!


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Summer got off to a good start when the Hoopers took Eric to Casa Blanca for his birthday. Finn’s response to these shenanigans?

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You get the idea.

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Fritz expresses his opinions very eloquently through Snapchat.

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This was written in response to a group chat message from Fritz that read, “Please note: Rosario Vampire is easier to take in as a manga.”

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Long story short, Eric sympathized with Finn and I about a friend being stupid, and in response we bought him a cupcake. Not to be too nice, however (we are tsundere), we included a special message of our own. (I censored it because of reasons, but you get the idea.)

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I had to go to a doctor’s appointment in Birmingham, and Finn agreed to come with me. On the way back we got stuck in a three-hour traffic jam in my car, which has no air conditioning. By the time we found these stickers, Finn had already given in to madness.

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My eventual retaliation.

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Makeshift Pathfinder campaign (for my little brothers) is makeshift.

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The only right way to watch the anime.

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Finn attempting to do something nice, once again failing with simple tasks, such as using plastic bags.

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Little brother, two days before convention: “I want to cosplay Edward Elric!” My response.

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The finished product, featuring the youngest Hooper boy as Luffy! And finally…

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FINN. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.


There you have it, folks. A whole summer’s worth of antics summarized in poorly taken pictures. Do you feel enlightened now?

(Yeah, I should probably go back and write better captions for them. Oh well. I do what I want.)

Upon Returning

Hello, all! I realize it has been quite a while since I updated with anything more than a few brief sentences or poorly focused pictures. Since I have a little time to spare, I figured I would rectify this situation with a few lines about life upon returning to UNP for our spring semester. It probably will not surprise you to learn that antics and shenanigans have occurred in abundance, and I feel that it is my civil duty to inform you of these. What follows is a topical overview of the past several days at UNP.

Poserifying 500

Since Junhi, Fritz and Finn have been reunited (Bill is in Japan, and their new roommate has yet to participate in many group shenanigans that I have witnessed), the primary focus of their energies has been to spruce up their room in anticipation of their new “home entertainment system” (projector/sound system combo that is still having its kinks worked out). Here is a picture of what they’ve got so far:

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Like I said, working out the kinks.

Anyway, Finn spent much of the time that they spent cleaning their room rearranging certain items and putting things in conspicuous locations, making 500, in Junhi’s words, “Poseriffic.” Finn insisted that using Evangelion figures as bookends for Junhi’s giant stack of freaking economics books that he reads for fun would make them appear “cultured,” although Junhi insisted that it was, like most things Finn seems to like, “weeaboo trash”

One particular example of Finn poserifying 500 came when he put up Junhi’s Korean calendar:

Finn: [starts putting up calendar]

Junhi: [insists that this counts as being a poser]

Finn: But you’re Korean!

Junhi: **** yeah I’m Korean!

Finn: Then it’s not posing!

Junhi: Juuuuuuuune.

Me: …

Junhi: Juuuuuuuuuuune.

I could be paraphrasing, but that was the general gist of it.

Shopping with Children

I have always maintained that shopping with Fritz and Finn is like shopping with small children. In fact, between Finn’s propensity to touch literally everything and knock all of the things off of shelves and Fritz’s tendency to get lost, accidentally or purposefully, and then brood when we find him again, I would almost say shopping with children might be easier.

Anyway, yesterday we went out to get who knows what (it seems they never really have a clear idea of what they want to get at the store when they go, but oh well), and, as you’d expect, it was no different.

Naturally, there were antics of the normal variety, but they were mild enough that I can’t recall them even long enough to write them down. However, one exciting thing did happen. They found an orphaned dinosaur piñata.

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Look at them. Look at how proud they are.

That’s all that happened, really. This entire post was built on the pretense of presenting that picture. Now that it’s out there, I’m not sure what to do. Oh well.

Genetics

Turns out that Fritz and I are in the same genetics section. What interesting things happened with that, you may ask? Nothing. We just discovered the heterozygoat meme.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I know the length of this post is still underwhelming, but I’m sure that I will be updating with antics soon! (We are planning to go to the gym, after all… A bad idea, as UNP students will know for reasons undisclosed. I know, but we do what we want.)

A Japanese Learner’s Dream

There is a certain type of person with which you are probably acquainted. If you know me, you certainly are. If you’re getting your toes wet with a popular show that you may not even realize is an anime (this was Pokémon, in my day), you may be converting soon without even realizing it.

That’s right, I’m talking about the otaku.

“Otaku” is the term used (in Western culture) to refer to those annoying geeks who basically do nothing but watch and read anime and manga. I’m talking about those nerds with all of the buttons and plushies, the ones that randomly insert Japanese words into conversation (Sugooooiii~! Kawaiii!). In Japan, the term apparently carries a much more negative meaning (apparently arising from the honorific form of “house,” implying that people of this type are “reluctant to leave their houses“), but that, of course, doesn’t dissuade the Westerners who adopt it, declare it, literally live it.

Why do I bring this up? Because often otaku become Japanese learners and, less rarely, vice versa. I am one of the few in which this mutation occurred backwardly—I began as a simple student of many languages and, as I honed in on Japanese, mutated into the kind of person who screams “kawaii” at pictures of anime couples.

(You think I’m kidding. 90% of my “abnormal” Japanese vocabulary comes from anime—I can tell you how to say “Hey, hey, Papa, can I have some wine?” [ねえねえPAPA、ワインをちょうだい?] and “Equivalent Exchange” [等価交換], but not something simple, like, for example, “Chemistry is magic.”)

My friends will readily tell you that I easily fall within the category of “otaku.” I have entire playlists dedicated to Japanese music (in fact, I used to go to sleep with the Fullmetal Alchemist soundtrack playing in the background); I’ve planned multiple cosplays and actually staffed a convention, and fangirl simply being in the same room as a person from Japan. Since returning to campus, I have been to multiple events that have brought tears to my little otaku eyes.

The first was a Japanese movie night hosted by our Japanese department. My professor and his wife (also a professor) screened 「ダーリンは外国人」(My Darling Is a Foreigner) in a lecture hall. All sorts of people showed up, with all levels of Japanese skill—several 101 students, some 201 students, and even native speakers gathered round to drink sweet tea, eat matcha ice cream, and watch a romantic comedy together. We laughed at Saori’s long, shrieking cries of “Toniii!!” together. We cringed at Tony’s friends’ complete cultural incompetence together. There was something enchanting about the experience, the experience of all of these aspiring language learners and speakers gathered together to giggle over bad jokes, that reminded me what my goal is in the long run.

The second was a visit to the Japanese table, a group of people that meets every Friday in our cafeteria to casually converse over lunch. A good number of native Japanese speakers show up for this, including exchange students and my professors, as well as a lot of undergraduate (and even some graduate, I believe?) Japanese learners. I visited the table last semester briefly, as a humble 101 student with little but “hello” and “goodbye” under my belt, and was turned away by the feeling of oppressive incompetence. However, I decided to give it another go, and I was not disappointed.

I took my seat by my professor from last year, who smiled warmly at me and greeted me and then promptly began speaking to a 201 student beside her in Japanese. I picked at my food and attempted to interject myself whenever I was able, agreeing to statements such as “Kanji are hard” and “I understand more than I speak.” At one point the man sitting beside me, a fluent speaker, asked me why I decided to learn Japanese, and I responded brokenly (or at least I hope I did) with an overenthusiastic, “Because I love it!”

I sat for a good hour, absorbing, laughing occasionally at jokes that I understood (no, sensei is not a vegetable, teehee), before I gathered my dishes and slipped out the door with a “Sayounara!” tossed at me and a “Ja, mata!” tossed back in return. I felt positively ecstatic, having sat between two native speakers (the other was a girl who had said, “Keep practicing your Japanese! I’m still learning, too” and who had earned a round of laughter from my professors before she corrected it to, “English, I mean!”) and actually understood some conversation. Everyone had been so pleasant, and everyone seemed to be friends, and it didn’t matter how terrible you actually were, because, hey, at least you were trying.

I had gotten so engrossed that, when I ran into Clara (who speaks fluent Mandarin and Japanese) in Starbucks, I responded to her, “Just come back from lunch, June?” with a fervent, “Hai!”

Right, I went through all of this effort, all of this setup and defining, to tell you that I really love getting tastes of my greater goal of fluency. What’s the big deal?

I don’t know, maybe nothing, for most people. Still, for me, a person exceptionally determined to speak Japanese (it will happen, it’s just a matter of when), it was inspiring and encouraging.

Moral of the story? Learn a language. Learn a language you love. Then go out and use it, darn it, no matter how American you sound, because people are great and communication is beautiful and the language barrier is something that can be torn down.

[ahem] Anyway.

I think I’ll go mess with Textfugu now.

A bad idea, considering I have a bio test Thursday?

You’re probably right.

(I guess, right now, I shouldn’t do what I want.)

An Isolated Extrovert

I am June Watson, resident extrovert, isolated in a room all of my own. Yes, you read that correctly. I have my own room in my dorm suite masquerading as an apartment, and I am complaining. Why? Because there’s no one here to bother!

Hello, any readers of mine who remain! It’s good to be back! You’d have thought, with the three month interim between my terms in college, that I’d have written more on this blog, but that has proven not to be the case. So, sorry about that, heh. Now that school is starting back, I’m sure I’ll be searching for some kind of escape, and this is just the outlet a person like me (read: a person prone to babbling) needs.

Not that there haven’t been misadventures while I’ve been away. Let’s see… what have you missed?

A flopped attempt at a book series. Friend drama. Water park antics. Caffeinated antics. Pathfinder (Dungeons & Dragons, basically) campaigns. Hours spent in the park after dark. An anime convention. More friend drama. A trip to Niagara Falls and Canada. NaNoWriMo. Sword Art Online fangirling. My blinker falling off of my car.

Yep, that’s basically the gist of it.

What can you expect from my future blog posts, then?

College antics, take two. Cooking mishaps, probably. Drama, almost certainly. Weeks in between posts, definitely.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

I kid, mostly. I guess you’ll just have to stick around and see which things I was kidding about, eh?

Anyway, it’s good to be back! Hopefully this year will yield plenty of fun adventures for me to write about!

Until something interesting happens (read: Finn moves in and has to start rooming with Fritz), I guess I’ll be off eating marshmallows and listening to pop music, because, you know what, flamers?

I do what I want!