Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

Life, The Universe and Everything

The Importance of Being Serious
...or rather of NOT being serious.
I've just noticed a fun fact about my academic writing. I am absolutely unable to write just about anything decent in a document with a serious title. You know, I sort of create a new WORD document, give it an appropriate title, do all the formating, set that table of contents, start the first paragraph aaaaand...... nothing! I can just stare and stare at it for hours. And even if I manage to write just about anything, it comes out really bad and clumsy.
However, a notepad file saved under an absolutely ridiculous name (like "O__o.txt" or "OMG WTF.txt") can contain an absolutely adequate text. I mean, seriously. All the really important stuff on my drive has the stupidest titles ever. I only change those before mailing them to my advisor.

You know, it happens sometimes that it's hard to just start writing in a new perfect notebook and many people actually write much more easily on scraps of paper, old newspapers, table napkins and such. I can understand that. But being unable to write in a new WORD document? Now, that IS absurd.
Oh, sorry. Not very exciting, I know.
Even less exciting: I've learned about an important book on Tolkien that I really ought to own: Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. I'd ceratinly buy it, but the problem is... it costs 200 dollars. TWO. HUNDRED. DOLLARS. That's a lot for a book that probably doesn't even have pictures in it! D:

Breaking news! Seems like... seems like we've won our case! I mean, in the court! Damn, I was pretty sure it would take more time. Like, several months at least. Awesome. One thing less to worry about.

And since I'm writing about positive stuff. I absolutely loved Random Access Memories, Daft Punk's newest album. I mean, it's sensational! I loved every single track. Giorgio Moroder, whose voice and story are featured in the 3rd track, said in his interview that this album was something different: "Still dance, still electronic; but [they] give that human touch back". I do agree. This albums is so enjoyable - light, dance-able, but also very... intimate? warm? sentimental? I'm not sure. What I can tell is that if all the dance music was like that, I'd love it. So - human after all! I'd probably buy a CD as soon as it's possible. Yes, I loved it THAT much.

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That's actually funny, I really can't force myself into working becase... I feel too good!
I mean, the air is so unbelievably fresh after the rain, and the birds are singing shamelessly, and I can hear the thunder rumbling somewhere in the distance. I have two papers to write and two important exams to pass yet all I really want right now is to lie down under a tree and just... breathe.

This morning smells like freedom.

(no subject)

Голос: - Так значит, ты всё осознаешь.
Я: - Нет, не осознаю. Лишь малая часть моей души осознает себя. Та же, что себя не осознает... В Африке моей души, куда ни посмотри, бесконечные пустыни. Я боюсь заглядывать туда. Чудовища не обитают на свету, но что-то еще спит в безбрежной тьме.

На японском продолжаем переводить "Диалог во тьме" Акутагавы Рюноске. Чем дальше, тем всё сильнее это странное ощущение узнавания в определенных моментах.
Наистраннейшая ситуация, когда логика внутри текста - это логика нездорового сознания. Её можно понять и уловить, более того - настроившись на неё, можно даже предсказать некоторые реплики. Но вот объяснить другим людям, в чем эта логика заключается, практически невозможно. Фактически, приходится апеллировать к зачатку шизоидности, который у многих людей очень маленький, но есть.
"Диалог"- это, естественно, текст сугубо личный, он написан автором для самого же автора, а ему ничего самому себе пояснять не надо. Поэтому тут или "на одной волне" с Акутагавой, или натуральный бред. Волнующе.

Кстати, я понятия не имею, насколько корректно перевела приведенный отрывок. Имеющийся перевод на русский этого текста я специально не читаю. В кои-то веки мне выпала возможность познакомиться с интерейснейшим _японским_ текстом в оригинале!

Ресторанный (не)критик #5

Сегодня (славная погода!) по наводке The-Village была разведана раменная Mashita на Петроградке. Очень даже годно!
Заведение содержится местной корейской мафией, и исполнением еды (а также ее количествами) сильно напоминает такое же корейско-мафиозное "Кимчи" в Москве. Тем не менее, в отличие от того же "Кимчи", порции удачно балансируют на границе между "хорошо поели!" и "больше не могу!". В принципе, одной миски рамена достаточно, чтобы удовлетворить не слишком жадный аппетит. Если не хватит - всегда можно добрать чего-нибудь по мелочи, вроде онигири или гёдза.
Еда хороша. С одной стороны, по-домашнему простая, с другой стороны - радует обилием ингридиентов. В моем рамене с морепродуктами нашлись и водросли, и креветки (нормальные, не салатные), и кальмар, и мидии, и щупальца ктулху, и овощи. Указываю это специально, потому что многие вполне себе недешевые претенциозные заведения (да-да, я о тебе говорю, "Длинный хвост"!) позволяют себе выдавать за рамен мисочку бульона с лапшой, парой кусочков мяса и двумя кружками моркови.
Весьма неплохое место. Если живете/трудитесь неподалеку, имеет смысл зайти (а может даже захаживать на регулярной основе).
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2013 Resolutions: April
Phew, that was a long month. Actually felt like two months. Anyway, let's see what I managed to accomplish.

Trial and all the judicial proceedings: This thing is getting ugly. Just when we thought we got it, there were news of a similar case being decided... not in the favour of a plaintiff! Well, that's a surprise. It's not a question of time anymore, it's actually possible to lose the case! There also were some other hindrances. I'm getting sick of it, honestly.
Home sweet home: I'm learning how to grow plants. I mean, I had no idea. The most important lesson so far: leave the poor plants alone! Don't fuss around every day like something's going to happen. Well, hopefully this will teach me some patience.
Work: Oh, strange enough. April started slowly, but in the end I had some serious work to do. Did a big Russian to English translation. To be quite honest, this was the first time. The result might not be perfect, but I'm mostly satisfied. Several years ago this kind of task would've been much more difficult for me. Er. Yay!
PARTY: Oh, right, I had a Birthday Party! It was great, the only complaint I have is not being able to spend enough time with every guest. Oh, I actually planned to show you the presents, but I forgot... sorry.
Health: Mmm. Not so good. Just sitting at the table staring at the monitor for hours isn't exactly very healthy. However, there was some running and heavy-lifting anyway. But what I really miss is a simple walk in the sunshine. Now that would be nice indeed.
Entertainment: Not a great deal of things to write about, but I'll have to write another post on this one.
General mood: Still unstable. For the most part of the month I actually felt great. However, there were days when I did not. Well, I guess that's ok, nothing wrong with being sad from time to time. Right?

Room for improvement:
TEH cool-story blog: Damn! I didn't write anything! Woe is me!
Regime: I'll never get it right!..
Study: It's not that bad, but I have to study more diligently. I really have to.

Summary: Impatience is my enemy. I really have to take it easy. You know, work hard but be less worried about it. And also... be less worried about... other stuff. Oh, but what can I do? "I got too much life, running through my veins, going to waste"(c)

piece of Blake! (lame joke, I know)
Oh, there are so many interesting things I could write about, yet I don't! Lots of work to do lately, of various kind. And anytime I'm not doing anything I'm either sleeping or just taking a thoughtless walk. It's spring after all and it's finally getting warm, I need fresh air desperately.
However, I do feel certain guilt for not updating my story-blog. I reallt really want to. I came up with a fabulous topic: Chinese detective literature & historical judges! THAT should be exciting. But that's also why I want to do it properly, not in a hurried crumpled way. Oh well.

So a couple of rather random thoughts. About William Blake (suddenly!). Do you remember his chillingly-awesome poem The Tyger? You know:

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Pure genius! However, the rhyme for 'eye' is 'symmetry', which means that the last has to be pronounced as ['sɪmətraɪ]. (Or does that? I'm actually not sure about that at all) Does that mean that every time the phrase 'fearful symmetry' is used as a quote, it must be pronounced that way? Say, Northrop Frye's famous book's title? that's an odd question...

The other thing is, I've actually been at the exhibition of some of the Blake's work in Moscow two years ago. Lucky me, huh? However, the exhibition itself was a disaster. The presentation was a disaster. They actually displayed Blake's subtle watercolours against wine red walls. RED WALLS. Of a deep, bright colour. I would personally strangle the person who decided to do that. Ugh. I felt so sad about that exhibition. It was such a rare occasion and it was just not right. By the way, I've heard that somewhere Blake's watercolours were exhibited in a complete darkness lying upon brightly-lit separate stands. Now that's interesting. Just imagine that - you sort of bend over the painting and it pulls you inside, like falling into the canvas! Must be dazzling.

And the third thing. It quite amuses me that there is a certain similitude between Blake and Tolkien. However, Blake's Tyger is famous.
So here's Tolkien's CatCollapse )

My oh my
"- Such much?
- For whom how!" (c) old joke about Runglish

Hey hey! Time for another party at my new place! This Saturday I'll be trying desperately to entertain 11 most wonderful persons in the world! Most probably, I will fail as I'm no good at throwing parties.
Anyway, I thought that this is as good an occasion as any to say a few words about those... parties. To tell the truth, the concept itself has become very important for me. Why? Well...

I've always had certain problems with being social. Spending time with people (esp. lots of them), "hanging out" have always been difficult - not necessarily unpleasant, but rather stressful, sometimes even exhausting. You know, one part of me would always prefer staing at home, playing a game, or taking a lonely walk. So it is rather difficult for me to stay in touch with people. I mean... I can sort of disappear for a long period of time whenever I need to think. However, that trait of character has to be controlled. Because each of us has a timeline of our own and we change all the time. And it is much easier to lose a friend than to acquire one.
To cut the long story, I've decided that inviting everyone to my place and cooking something is a nice way to stay in touch. Luckily, even though many of my friends don't know each other very well, they get on nicely (because, I'm never tired of repeating this, they ARE the most wonderful people in the world).

It's a shame many people I know live in different cities (or even countries). I'd SO invite you too! Though, I'm not sure I'd be able to cook so much food :D

And so it came to pass that I've discovered (finally!) the music of contemporary Chinese composer Tan Dun. He wrote soundtracks for Zhang Yimou's Hero as well as for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, so I'm not sure why is it that I've never tried googling him earlier. Well, you never know. I've been searching for Toru Takemitsu recordings when I stumbled across... THIS:

Concerto for string orchestra and pípá (the so-called Chinese lute)! And there is also a re-arrangement for Zheng! Ah, Tan Dun, where have you been all of my life?
The re-arrangement can be found on YouTube but I would suggest trying the above recording. Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists are doing really great job on that one.

And I haven't even listened to his Ghost Opera yet! To quote the famous Basho's poem, "Matsushima! Ah!.."


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