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visions of clarity...do as infinity

Friday, December 10, 2010

Procrastination and Goodbye?

So in an effort to procrastinate productively, I decided that maybe... I should finally move on from this blog to another one.

Truth be told, this is something I've been contemplating for a while and I've actually already set up another account on Wordpress.

It's actually harder than I thought to move on from blogger even though I feel like because I haven't upgraded to their new platform, I've not been making the most of this host.

Thinking back, I actually still recall when I first set up this blogger account. It was meant to be temporary until Diary-X had fixed their server issues and restored everyone's accounts. Unfortunately, their disk had crashed completely and was unrecoverable so everything I had written on that server was gone. Devastated as I was, there is a resiliency that comes with growing up and moving on. So I moved to Blogger, changing templates every now and then as my mood felt like it, and eventually adjusting to this new platform.

But as of late, I've been getting bored on blogger. Sure, it's extremely user-friendly and very much compatible with lifestyle bloggers, also allowing some flexibility in terms of personalization, but somehow I was just getting bored. Plus I've been too lazy to work on a brand new template to refresh the blog like I originally intended.

Perhaps I might post here again, depending on whether I can keep it up, but all in all, I hope to move over to wordpress for good.

Thank you Blogger.=) You've been very kind to me.^_^

As a nostalgic gesture, let me dig out some of the old template images I had used in past.















Obviously my photoshop skills are pretty er... non-existent. X__X O well. I had a good time while I tried to work on it...

Anyway, see you on wordpress.

cheers
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : Stereo Love Edward Maya]
[mood : ~_~]
[food : Sadako!]

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Chinese Poems~

Hello

As proof that I have been paying attention in Chinese poetry class, here are some poems I really like =)

苏轼 《望湖楼醉书》

黑云翻墨未遮山,白雨跳珠乱入船。
卷地风来忽吹散,望湖楼下水如天。

The imagery used is fabulous. I mean really, black clouds spilling black ink? Awesome stuff. xD

陶渊明 《饮酒 其五》

结庐在人境,而无车马喧。
问君何能尔?心远地自偏。
采菊东篱下,悠然见南山。
山气日夕佳,飞鸟相与还。
此中有真意,欲辩已忘言。

The last couplet in particular is the essence of the poem~ And can totally be misquoted too by the way since its kind of like, can be taken out of context...

阮籍 《咏怀》

夜中不能寐,起坐弹鸣琴。
薄帷鉴明月,清风吹我襟。
孤鸿号外野,翔鸟鸣北林。
徘徊将何见?忧思独伤心。

Again, love the imagery! I also like how the whole poem flows, the first couplet is an introduction, the next two parallel couplets and the final is to express the feelings of the poet.

If you can't read all the Chinese words, you are not alone. Ahem. =X I mean honestly, I don't think I've even seen the word "寐" (as an example). Do people even still use that -_-"

But regardless, there are too many poems that I like to count. These are just 3 of them... Maybe I'll post more in future ^_^

Thank you Professor Lin Shuen Fu for introducing these poems and sharing your enthusiasm for them. ^_^ You are also the first professor in this school to get my name right the first time (even without me having to tell you!), and every time. Seriously, that was the most touching thing all semester that I felt...

Now back to thinking of my upcoming papers. Omg.

cheers
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : Goodbye Happiness 宇多田 ヒカル]
[mood : stressed]
[food : Azuki Rice~]

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Principles

Hello

I really shouldn't be posting this because I have a ton of work to do but I am in an
ethical dilemma. (Sounds like good interview fodder!) Except of course, it doesn't really have real consequences because its just for my negotiation class but still. It's a matter of my principles.

So the latest and last case that we are going to be negotiating involves fisheries and shark fishing. Like omygoodness. Do you sense fear in my heart already? Indeed you do. Because what could I have been assigned besides the grand ol' dame of "Large Commercial Fishers Association"? This is like a situation where I've been assigned to champion for Pigeon Rights. Which is so not going to happen in real life I can assure you of that.

As a large commercial fishers association, obviously I care about shark levels but my members don't because they
want to make profit. You have no idea how much my ethical conscience is struggling with this. Or maybe you do, because you're reading this post. -_-" Regardless, I am at a loss. We're supposed to give numbers of adjusted fishing quotas that we believe are fair, and another that are realistic. Omg. If it were up to me, obviously I'd go with the lowest possible number for every group so that the poor sharks are not overfished. But no, I have to "protect the interests of my large commercial fishing groups."

Do you see the problem here?

This is a dire situation. My conscience is screaming to save the sharks, but I need to maximize my interests and everyone else's in this negotiation! And its not even about expanding the pie because if you look at the shark population, there is
no pie to expand. O save me.

The whole situation is like a test of how much I want to save the sharks such that it even interferes in a fictional, completely inconsequential class negotiation activity. Sigh.

How disgraceful that I have to bemoan these situations. School shouldn't be made into an ethical dilemma playground. It should be one where we embrace every situation and learn from them without prejudice coloring our decisions! (Because I feel like I'm totally going to go against the interests that are stated on a piece of paper and save the sharks in principle.)

Or maybe this whole post was just to let off some steam from all the horrendous work I've been attempting to avoid but can no longer hide from because the deadlines are looming ever closer. The tragedy.

cheers (after all, there's nothing more cheery than homework!)
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : Goodbye Happiness 宇多田 ヒカル + 瞳の住人 L'arc~en~Ciel]
[mood : dilemma-ed]
[food : sweet potato!]

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Karaoke~

始めて日本語で〜(明日、発表があって、今ちょっと練習したいと思ったいるから。)

JLPTもう終わった!〜^_^うれC−!JLPTを取っていた時、漢字の部分には本当にいつも歌の歌詞を読むことほどありがたいものはない。Gacktやラルク等のおかげで、本当に使わない漢字や珍しい漢字の読み方が知っている。本当に。。。歌詞以外にどうやって使うか知らん。でも、歌詞やカラオケのおかげで、漢字の部分が大丈夫かもしれない!〜

まぁー。。。他の部分なら、何も言わない方がいい。特に、キラーセクションの読み物。><イヤ〜〜〜

今学期もう一週間終わったね。はやい...(それもありがたいことだと思う。)実は、今学期18クジッツを取っているんだけど、本当に感じられない。多分、研究にはあまり何もしなかったし。来学期、休むつもりだが、自分が知っているから、それはちょっとダメかな。(忙しい生活が好きだ、多分。)

今週と来週しなきゃいけないこと:
日本語の発表
アカデミックジャパニーズの試験
文学の授業の作文(長い。泣)
中国の唄の作文
心理学の作文(これも長い。)
メディアジャパニーズの試験

もう少しだけ〜!ではでは、みんなも頑張ってね。

Now for English!

With the JLPT over, I no longer have any excuses to slack. Except I have to pay homage to the most fantastic time-waster of all: KARAOKE! If there's one thing I have to thank in all my slacking while studying for the JLPT, it would definitely have to be karaoke for teaching me how to read many rare and scarcely used kanji that came out in the JLPT.=P You have no idea how much I was thanking Gackt for using the weirdest kanji in his lyrics. Haha...

Let's not talk about the other sections however. -_-"

This semester will be ending in about a week thereabouts... The semester just flew by but I guess that's also something to be grateful for ^_^ Although I took 18 credits this semester, it didn't feel like it at all... Possibly because I didn't do
that much for the research credits... But next semester although the idea of slacking off and enjoying my last semester sounds awesome, I feel like my restless self won't really allow that to happen all semester long. After all, life is short, time is available, don't waste it right?

What I still need to do for this week and next week:
Japanese Presentation (tomorrow ><)
Academic Japanese Take Home Exam
Complit Research Paper (which is super ultra long omg (T_T) kill me)
Chinese Poetry Paper
Psychology Negotiation Final Paper (also long weeps)
Media Japanese Exam

And then I'll be done! With just the fabulous winter break stretching out ahead of me! And I can bake! Shop! Cook! Eat! Etc! I love breaks.xD

Just received my new Utada Hikaru CD today!~ The kuma charm/くまお守り was a bit of a let down... -_-" I bet it cost like 10cents to make or something. But the CD has all my favorite new Utada Hikaru songs so I'm pleased ^_^

冲啊!All the way to the end of the semester.

cheers
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : Utada Hikaru + Gackt!]
[mood : ~_~]
[food : Seaweed + Rice!]

PS: All we've been eating is azuki rice, seaweed soup, seasoned Korean seaweed, and pickles I bought from Mitsuwa in Chicago. It's a bit of a healthy kick I suppose, but it also tells of the sad state that is the contents of the refrigerator...

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

JLPT

Hello

Here I sit, with 3 other accompanying laptops, in a Chicago hotel room studying for the impending JLPT exam (which is tomorrow... hence impending).

Lincoln Park is such a nice area of Chicago! Way nicer than downtown Chicago if you ask me... Obviously rich people live here. And thanks to the magic of the internet *ahempricelineahem*, we too can experience these riches! (albeit shared amongst a larger number of people than the hotel expected)

But anyway, in reviewing my grammar notes for the JLPT again, I have discovered very convenient grammar phrases that I can use in my everyday speech! So in an attempt to study and ahem
practice, I will share these useful phrases that you too can adopt.

何か言いかけてやめるのはダメ!
- Starting to say something then stopping halfway is not allowed!

こんなにたくさん食べきれました。。。ヤベー
- I've completely demolished this much food... Damn.

今度こそ試験がパスしたい。
- I
really want to pass this exam this time around. (This doesn't imply that you've never passed though, just that you really want to pass this particular exam...)

ドラマを見る時、予想に反した結果が出てしまったんだ...
- The drama had an ending that went against all my expectations...

いつも朝寝坊のBさんは、今学期にわたって授業を休んだ。
- B took a break from classes the entire semester due to him oversleeping all the time.

彼は私たちの心配もかまわず、勝手なことばかりする。
- He always does selfish things, not caring about us worrying over him -_-"

And so on. My battery is running out (such is the fate of running so many computers based on one plug X__x)... So.

Toodles!~ The next time I blog, I hope I'll have done well at this JLPT thing ._.

cheers
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : What Else Is There Royksopp]
[mood : study study study]
[food : KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN xD]

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eight Clues to Happiness

A little cheesy perhaps, but some do ring true ^_^

EIGHT CLUES TO HAPPINESS
By- KHUSHWANT SINGH

Having lived a reasonably contented life, I was musing over what a person should strive for to achieve happiness. I drew up a list of a few essentials which I put forward for the readers' appraisal.

1. First and foremost is GOOD HEALTH. If you do not enjoy good health you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will deduct from your happiness.

2. Second, A HEALTHY BANK BALANCE. It need not run into crores but should be enough to provide for creature comforts and something to spare for recreation, like eating out, going to the pictures, travelling or going on holidays on the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money can be only demoralizing. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers one in one's own eyes.

3. Third, A HOME OF YOUR OWN. Rented premises can never give you the snug feeling of a nest which is yours for keeps that a home provides: if it has a garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and flowers, see them grow and blossom, cultivate a sense of kinship with them.

4. Fourth, AN UNDERSTANDING COMPANION, be it your spouse or a friend. If there are too many misunderstandings, they will rob you of your peace of mind. It is better to be divorced than to bicker all the time.

5. Fifth, LACK OF ENVY towards those who have done better than you in life; risen higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be very corroding; avoid comparing yourself with others.

6. Sixth, DO NOT ALLOW OTHER PEOPLE to descend on you for gup-shup. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.

7. Seventh, CULTIVATE SOME HOBBIES which can bring you a sense of fulfilment, such as gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks or to meet celebrities is criminal waste of time.

8. Eighth, every morning and evening, devote 15 minutes to INTROSPECTION. In the morning, 10 minutes should be spent on stilling the mind and then five in listing things you have to do that day. In the evening, five minutes to still the mind again, and ten to go over what you had undertaken to do.

RICHNESS is not Earning More, Spending More Or Saving More, but ...
"RICHNESS IS WHEN YOU NEED NO MORE"

Last thoughts for Thanksgiving?

In other news, I made a wholesome dinner yesterday (garlic and thyme roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes with lots of vegetables), a wholesome brunch this morning (apple almond oatmeal pancakes with honey), and a wholesome dinner just now (vegetables cooked in chicken soup and aforementioned chicken soup). Perhaps this is redemption from all the feasting and overeating that Thanksgiving brought with it...


Apple almond oatmeal pancakes with honey and apple slices~

This marks the start of a week-long attempt to eat healthy, finish all the wholesome vegetables and herbs in the fridge and clear it out before heading to Chicago next weekend! It's not going to be very hard but I will be very pleased if we really do manage to finish everything because having stuff in the fridge that's been there for ages is not quite my idea of a good time... One thing I love about farmer's markets though, is that it seems like the vegetables and fruit last longer than if you bought them at the grocery store (unless it's things like 白菜 or 高丽菜 which seem to last forever...). ^_^ All the better for us!

To farmer's markets and vegetables!

cheers
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : 瞳の住人 L'arc en Ciel]
[mood : restless]
[food : honey!]

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving and Black Friday have both come and gone. In a flash, as usual. It's strange that time always passes so quickly and even though you've lived through that fast-paced time, you never seem to realize it till its already past. At least, that applies to me.

Although I celebrate Thanksgiving for all the wrong reasons (no, I'm not thankful that my ancestors settled here and met the kind native people who shared their food. Why? It's not my history that's why...), I think that it is a wonderful time to actually reflect and think about what it is that we have in life that we can give thanks for. I have this vague memory that I think and say this every year since coming to the US but it's good right? There was never a day when I sat down to reflect what I was thankful to have when I was young.

In fact, I was probably more pre-occupied with thinking of what I wanted to get rather than thinking of what I was thankful to have.

Ah, growing up.

What do I have to be thankful for this year? The usual certainly, which is my family and friends all of whom have made me who I am today. Even those people who aren't exactly
friends but have been there in my life regardless. Then there's all the stuff I have and am lucky to have because I have the resources to obtain and keep them. (Like the shoes I bought during the sales? Yup. Those.) Food is another important part of my life, and having the time to cook and share what we have is another great part of Thanksgiving.=)

The list of what one is thankful for is pretty much endless but there are always things that stand out to you. Like memories that have etched themselves into your mind. And the thankfulness you feel when you're comfortable in a group of friends where you don't need to
socialize and can just be yourself, however you want to be.

Recently, I've been hooked on the TV series called Lie to Me, which is about a deception expert who observes microexpressions to read people and figure out what kind of emotions they are experiencing. I started watching the show because I heard it was good and it sounded intriguing but as the series progressed, it made me think about my psychology degree and how it can actually be useful if I were to pursue psychology and microexpressions. And that's another thing I have to be thankful for. If I weren't here, I might not be studying psychology, and I certainly wouldn't be watching Lie to Me, and I wouldn't then be thinking of how I can use my degree for something more useful than just a means to obtain a job or move on in life.

Education is something I'm thankful for. I've learned so many different things being here and learning throughout all these years...

To prevent further rambling on, and also to get some shut-eye before sending GL off to the airport... I think it's time to stop. But before that, I think that friends are not the only thing I'm thankful for. It's friends who understand me and accept whoever I am. Something like that can't easily be gotten.

cheers
*[-witchstone-]*

[music : When You Were Young The Killers]
[mood : reflective]
[food : Pancakes!]

CL: I might be migrating soon...

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Welcome

visions of clarity...do as infinity
by witchstone

My Emotible!
starry-eyed: filled with such youthful hope and optimism that one's eyes twinkle even when it's dark

Wish List

ie: motivation to save money!
- clothes
- shoes [heels! boots!]
- the perfect tote
- coats/outerwear! [Soïa & Kyo, Burberry...]
- Gackt - nine*nine
- Gackt Photobooks:
1 The Gift The Sixth Day & Seventh Night Tour Document (2004)
2 Crescent Photobook (out of print)
- Cookbooks!
1 Thomas Keller The French Laundry Cookbook
2 The Nobu Cookbook
3 Emily Luchetti A Passion for Desserts
4 Alice Medrich Pure Dessert
- Anime/Manga
1 Rurouni Kenshin
2 xxxHOLiC
3 Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-
- Proficiency at Japanese!
- Learn French for Food!

Links

My Flickr Page
spoonerisms*inc a food blog (by wendy & I)
my translation blog

witchstone...
follow me on Twitter

Checklist: EAT!

The Common Grill, Chelsea
The Black Pearl, Ann Arbor
Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes, Detroit
Bella Ciao, Ann Arbor
Craft, NYC
Momofuku, NYC
Alinea, Chicago
The French Laundry, California
Goto, Singapore

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