Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Should Never, Ever, Write the Christopher Hitchens Movie. . .

That said, after reading Hitchens obits in greater number than can justly be linked to, I'm now wholly convinced that his life story must and will be made movie.

Wednesday Homicide

Before The Wire, there was Homicide: Life on the Street. Based on a book by Wire creator David Simon, Homicide was in many ways a spiritual ancestor to Simon's later series. At least. . . that's what I've heard. I'm kind of a Luddite when it comes to downloading TV shows over the internet, so if I can't find DVD's of a given TV show available for rent, I'll end up not watching it. Homicide, unfortunately, is one of those shows.

What I do know is that at least one joke from Homicide eventually made its way onto The Wire. First, the Homicide version:

For the Wire version, click here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Japanese Journal #7



English Translation:

  Two journals ago, I wrote about how much I liked the live action "Sailor Moon" tokusatsu. Well, last year, while I was in Japan, I met Miyuu Sawai, the actress who played Sailor Moon.
  In 2010, Sawai performed in a "Snow White" stage musical (playing Snow White). So, I went to the Nihonbashi* "Mitsukoshi" department store where the the musical was playing and attended a performance. It was fun, though a little embarrassing, what with most of the audience being children. (ed: Yeah, this ain't exactly literal translation anymore. Fuck it.)
  After the musical ended, and we, the audience, we heading out the door, we were instructed by the theatre's manager to "please wait a moment." At that moment, Sawai, along with other actors from the musical, came out into the hall. The kids then took pictures with all the actors. I was really embarrassed now, but eventually, I approached the actors, shook their hands, and thanked them. Then I came up to Sawai. I shook her hand, and intended to talk with her a little bit, but instead I just said "thank you" and walked away.
  Unfortunately, I didn't bring a camera with me, so I don't have any pictures, which is sad. Nevertheless, I can now say that I've met "Sailor Moon".

*A part of downtown Tokyo.

Click here for a more detailed version of this story.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Japanese Journal #6








English Translation:

October 24th (Monday) Weather: Cloudy

 My last journal entry was a little too long, so this time, I decided to write a haiku.

 "Fall Haiku"

 Wind blows from the west
 A deer snaps its head backwards
 A leaf has fallen

 (More literal: )

 West wind
 A deer turns it's head
 A fallen leaf

 (Romaaji version: )

 nishi no kaze
 shika furikaeru
 ochita ha ya*

 *"ya" is a cutting word.

  It's a little too short, but it was hard to write.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Japanese Journal #5, wherein I reveal things you've known for years

『えいがかんに日本語がある』 十月十五日(土曜日)



  "Japanese at the movies" October 15th (Saturday)

   From time to time, my friends ask, "Jeremy, why are you studying Japanese?". My real reason is actually pretty dumb, so I usually say things like "Japanese culture is interesting" or "Japan is a beautiful country."
   However, the truth is I want to write. I'd like to write short stories and books and movie screenplays. More to the point. . . I want to write the "Sailor Moon" movie screenplay. Yeah, it's stupid-- I'm a 28 year old Canadian man. Nevertheless, I want to write the "Sailor Moon" movie.
   There's a weird story behind all of this. About 15 years ago, the "Sailor Moon" anime came to Canada. I-- along with a lot of other Canadian kids-- watched "Sailor Moon" and then pretty much forgot about it. But then, in 2006, thanks to The Internet I discovered the "Sailor Moon" tokusatsu (ed: tokusatsu is the name given to "Powers Rangers" style shows in Japan). In that TV show, schoolgirls dressed in sailor suits and donning colourful wigs (poorly) pretended that they were really fighting. It was amazing, and I enjoyed it.
   That same year, I enrolled in a literature class. There, I read a short story called "Yuukoku" (Patriotism). "Yuukoku" was written by right-wing Japanese author Yukio Mishima. Because of "Yuukoku", I became interested in the Japanese far-right. That's not to say that I like them, but I do find them fascinating.
    "Sailor Moon" and the Japanese right are a pretty strange combintion, no? In spite of this, in 2010 I began writing my screenplay. "Chpaters" from my screenplay can be found my blog, "" Nobody from Japan has read my screenplay yet. I'd like to know the opinion of a Japanese person. (Ed: Yes, I know exactly what this looks like. Shut up.) However, because it's a rough draft, the screenplay is still kind of bad. (Ed: See? See? It's not all shameless plug!).
   I hope to use Japanese in my screenplay; that's why I'm studying Japanese. However, Japan really is an interesting country, and I also do like Yukio Mishima. For those reasons (Ed: and more) I want to learn Japanese. (This was a bit too long, wasn't it?) (Ed: This was, in fact, my longest journal entry. . . and the one with the lowest mark). 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Japanese Journal #4




  In Prince George, there's little in the way of tasty, fasionable cuisine; in Vancouver, though, you can find it anywhere you look.
  Last week, I went to Vancouver. Since I had never before eaten African cuisine, I decided to have dinner with my mom, aunt, and cousins at an Ethiopian restaurant.
  At this restaurant, dinner was served without cutlery (ed: I originally wrote だいどころようひん, "kitchenware", instead of cutlery); instead, on top of our plate, there was a large, flat piece of fermented sourdough bread. We used this bread to pick up our food. We ate spicy [chunks of] beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and vegetables. We also drank mango juice. It was delicious.
  Now, I can say that I've eaten African food. Vancouver restaurants are quite nice.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Wire, Back by Popular Demand!

. . .yeah, I'm know. I'm sorry.

Here's the real one. Be warned, though: it's even more NSFW than usual.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Japanese Journal #3






  September 25th (Sunday)
Weather: Rainy

 I like food, and I like to eat. I enjoy both Japanese and Western cuisine.

 On Friday, I ate some of my mom's homemade pork fried rice. On Saturady, I had sushi and ramen noodles for lunch. Then, that night, because my parents like Chinese cuisine, we went to China Sail Restaurant and ate wonton soup. (I also like Chinese cuisine.) However, the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Saturday morning, I ate fried eggs and onions. That was a pretty good breakfast, but this morning (ed: Sunday, Sept. 25th) I ate pancakes with strawberries and sugar. All in all, this menu wans't all that great. (ed: That last sentence was suggested by my Japanese teacher, possibly as a polite expression of humility. Or maybe she just wasn't all that impressed.)

 Nevertheless, I quite enjoy the diversity and deliciousness of food. Don't you? 

 I'm trying make my translations a bit less literal -- my first two posts have shown me just how poorly the flow and structure of Japanese translates into English. Hopefully, my translations will sound less awkward as I go on.

 Also, these journals do get more interesting. I promise.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Japanese Journals #2





My Translation:

  September 17th (Saturday)
Weather: Sunny

  Today, I went to Fort Geroge Park with (a group of) Japanese students. Because there were five students, we couldn't go together in my car. Therefore, three of them (lit: three people) went by bus. However, I didn't know where the bus stops at the park were, which was troublesome and embarrassing. (lit: Because I didn't know where the park's bus stops were, it was both troublesome and embarrassing)

 September 18th (Sunday)
Weather: Rainy

  At my Mom's office, we (me and Mom) were doing renovations. However, because Mom was using a saw, smoke was created and a fire alarm was activated. Firemen came.

Babelfish Translation: 

September 17th (Saturday) Weather: [re]  It went to the student and the fort George park of today and Japan. Because the student was five, it was and the [tsu] did and could not go to the [yo] by my car. Then, three people went by the bus. So, as for me the bus [te] of the park to be, to do the [chi], because and others it was not, the serious [te] expectation oak you applied.  September 18th (Sunday) Weather: Rain  As for us the [u] it did or the office of the mother. Because so, the mother used the saw, making the [ke] excessiveness, fire occasion the [tsu] it did the one [chi] coming. It did and the [yo] [u] [bo] [u] did and came.

Okay, Babelfish isn't funny anymore. It's just sad.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Japanese Journals #1

Today marks the end of INTS 221, the first of UNBC's two intermediate Japanese langauge courses. This is the third Japanese course I've taken-- I took UNBC's introductory Japanese courses (INTS 121 & 122) back in the 2009/10 semester to prepare for my trip to Japan. After a year-long hiatus, it was fun being back in Japanese-- I ordered food over a pay phone, wrote a recipe for Haluski dumplings, and made a mock commercial. I also met with two exchange students from Tokyo once a week as part of a language partnering program.

And in addition to all that-- and more to the point of this post-- I wrote weekly Japanese journals. Since it's been a long time since I've posted anything new (Jesus, how many of my posts have begun with those words?) and since I have that neat label "ニホンゴゴをしています" just sitting there waitng to be used, I thought I'd post up my Journal entries. Aside from corrections pointed out by my instructor, these will be the exact entries that I submitted in class. In addition to the original Japanese, I'll also include my own English translation (which I'll try to make as literal as possible) and, just for fun, an autotranslation from Babelfish.

Now, the problem with a posting stuff in Japanese is that most computers aren't set up to display Japanese characters. Every operating system and/or browser has its own way of changing language settings, so unfortunately I can't just tell you what I did to get Japanese support on my computer. Hopefully, these links will be of some help:

With that (hopefully) out of the way, here's my first Japanese journal entry:




  コンピューターは元気ですよ。昨日、まあやさんとみなさんと会った。来週、公園へ行く。今日、 パーティーへ行った。にぎやかだった。

My Translation:

   2011, September 7th (Wednesday)
Weather: Sunny 

   Today, university started. (Does "start" ("hajimaru") become "nice to meet you" ("hajimemashite")?) Because yesterday my computer became sick, today I was not happy. (Ed: I got a nasty computer virus around this time.)

   2011, September 10th (Saturday)
Weather: Sunny

   My computer is healthy! Yesterday, I met with Maya-san and Mina-san (Ed: My Japanese partners) Next week, we go to the park. Today, I went to a party. It was lively.

I didn't realize how primitive this stuff was until I translated it just now. Christ, I sound like a bloody five year old; usually, I sound at least thirteen or fourteen.

Finally, as promised, the Babelfish version:

2011 September seventh (Thursday) Weather: [re]  Today, the university started. (“It starts”, “beginning,” it becomes? Because) yesterday, my computer became the rivet coming, today, happiness there was no I, is.  September tenth (Saturday) Weather: [re]  The computer is vigorous. It met yesterday, well and with everyone. Next week, it goes to the park. Today, it went to the party. It was bustling.

Oh, computers. You're so vigorous.
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