Google Translate: 王様の剣

I decided that I wanted to do Google Translate Fail as my next ds106 assignment.

First, though, I needed something to translate. The assignment says I’m to use a website, but my Japanese is so poor (even though I’ve been here for a year), I wasn’t sure I’d be able to translate it more accurately than the website. It’s a bit sad, really, and I do plan to work on it — someday when I have time. (So, probably never, if those are my conditions…)

So I looked about. Did I have anything in Japanese in my room? A textbook, perhaps, or… a children’s story?

Indeed, upon my bookshelf lay a book that a friend had me buy: 王様の剣 (or, in English, The Sword in the Stone). I was pretty sure I could handle the translation — both because it is a children’s book, and because I’d read it before with said friend, and we’d translated after we finished each page. So, as long as I could remember, and had a pretty decent idea, it should be fine — or so I thought to myself.

As it happened, when I looked through it, I found that I could actually read most of it, which was very exciting for me, I assure you.

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Sword in the Stone is about how, after a king died with no heirs, the country fell to ruins.  There is a sword stuck in a stone, and the one who can pull it out will become the next king. Years pass, and then a little boy (who, as all heroes seem to be, is neglected and belittled by the people who took him in, as he is an orphan) who forgets to bring his foster-brother’s sword goes and pulls the sword from the stone. He is, of course, Arthur, and the story takes place in Camelot. There’s all sorts of fun that goes on with a batty old wizard named Merlin, as well.

In any case.

The section I took was:

くにをおさめていたおうさまがなくなり、そのあとだれがつぎのおうさまになるか、だれにもわかりませんでした。

This, according to Google Translate, means:

King have enjoyed the country is lost, or become the next king s who then gain, I did not know anyone.

My translation, though most likely entirely inaccurate (though it makes more sense in English) is:

When the king died, so did the country, for no one knew who would be the next king.

It’s very exciting, no?

Well, I suppose not. In any case, that was about the extent of it: find something to translate, run in through Google, translate it myself, and giggle to myself. If nothing else, it was fun, and someone else can give me a better translation.

Have a great night!

~Ekhlami

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Future Trip

Today’s Daily Create is actually something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I’m two and a half terms away from graduating with my Bachelors, and I’m starting to grow concerned about what happens next.

No lie, I was talking to my mother about this just the other day. She told me to stop “future tripping” and set goals for myself instead. I’m pretty sure she meant “instead of deciding what you’ll do next, think about who you want to be” or something like that. (It seems mom-ish, right?) Sometimes, though, it’s hard to tell, so I might be wrong.

So, please understand, this was actually incredibly difficult for me. What do I aspire to be? How do I aspire to be? What the heck do I want to do with my life?

Mom says no one has the answers at twenty-two. My cousins did, for awhile — but they’ve all changed their minds. I’m starting to believe her, now. I didn’t when they were all so sure that they knew what their futures held, when we were eighteen and I was the only one without a plan. Moms are like that, though — always right when you least expect it.

Here I am, twenty-two years old. I don’t know who I aspire to be — at least I can’t think of a way to put it into images. I aspire to be intelligent, a good person — and most importantly, capable. But what does that translate to? What do I associate with these things? Do other people make the same associations? Will I get my point across?

I guess it’s pretty hard to miss by now, but I’m adopted. Still, I love my parents, and I do try to be part of my extended family, for what good it does me. I found out when I was sixteen, when my cousin joined the Navy (somehow I missed it when his brother joined the Army), that we were a bit of a military family.

I had know, of course, that Dad was in the Army when he was younger, and I knew my cousin was in the Army as well, with his brother joining the Navy. I then found out that Dad’s dad was also in the Navy, my uncle in the Army, and extended family who I don’t know well had been in either one or the other.

None of them were girls, to the best of my knowledge, but hell. It feels a bit like tradition.

When I was sixteen, I wanted to join the Army like my dad. When I was eighteen, I wanted to join the Air Force. When I was seventeen, my mother told me I was going to go to college in Missouri, and like I have since I was fourteen, I did what I was told.

When I was twelve, I looked myself in the mirror and decided I wanted to be a psychiatrist.

At twenty, I began to consider going to law school.

I’m afraid that if I join the military, I’ll break my mother’s heart, and my family has enough to deal with right now. Maybe things will change before December, when I do have to officially make my choice, but maybe not. My dad’s family would approve, I think — but I don’t owe them anything, and I’ve long since given up caring about their opinions of me. With one exception: the cousin who joined the Navy. I hope he’d be proud of me, but due to the reduction in forces, his contract isn’t being resigned, so who knows. He might hate me for it.

I have family on my mom’s side who are lawyers, and they’d be thrilled if I went down that road, I’m sure. I think it would be fun. I’m tempted to take the LSATs, even if I don’t apply for law school.

As for psychiatry… I’m not sure I want to go through medical school. I’m awful at Chemistry, and, well… Yes.

For now, I’m going to graduate, go home, and see my family. I’m going to get a part-time job and study for whatever test I’m taking (LSATs for law school, GRE for medical school, or the AFOQT for the Air Force). I’ll likely take the AFOQT and go from there. I’m sure Mom’ll forgive me someday, if I make it. I might not. And that would be okay too, I think, though right now I’m rather set on it.

But back to the Daily Create. I’ve been considering as I’ve been writing this post, and I think only one thing will fit the bill.

There may be many things that I want to do, or that I want to be. But at the end, there’s really only one thing I hope for, above all else.

Happiness is a Good Book

I want to be happy. And for me, right now at least, happiness is a good book.

~Ekhlami

Friday’s Child

It seems like every time I turn around, someone is either pregnant, or getting married — or getting married and getting pregnant, or getting pregnant and getting married.  Most are my age, or younger, which, as I am only twenty-two, kind of bothers me.

My roommate says it’s only to be expected — something about when girls don’t know what to do with themselves, they think with their womb. Something about children giving them purpose.

But still.

In some cases, they are accidents — there have been a lot of birth control recalls recently, and a few people I know were on those medications, but oops! it was recalled to late for them.

It’s none of my business, really, and I’d never mention it to any of them, but still. I don’t get it.

Tonight, a woman I know (who is 35ish, I think) told me she was pregnant. She was so excited! After we gushed for a bit (because I’m still a girl and she was so thrilled), I thought to myself finally, someone I know who is getting ready to have a child who is prepared for it. Because, let’s face it, the kids my age are all Oh God! What do I do what do I do what do I do I don’t have money for this!, but she told me all about how she’d been saving so that there would be money for this child, about how she’d looked up tuition costs and medical bills and the like. While she won’t be prepared for everything (how many of us broke bones, or got hurt, or otherwise had surprise bills waiting for our parents?), she definitely planned for this child in a way that no one else was able to do.

In any case, I was glad for her, and I just thought of all the other girls I knew who were starting families and how frazzled/worried/devastated they are. Of course, they are excited too, but most of them are giving up a lot — two have dropped out of college, and another has moved back home, something she swore she’d never do, but can’t afford to live on her own and keep her child fed.

There isn’t much else to say. I hope motherhood agrees with them all, and that they and their children (and husbands/boyfriends/what have you) stay safe and well.

~Ekhlami

By Any Other Name

I chose to do this ds106 assignment. It seemed like fun, and everyone else seemed to be having a blast with it. I admit, I didn’t want to be left out of all the fun. So, I followed the steps.

First, I input the random wiki link in, and ended up here. This gave me the title of my band. Congratulations, I was now a part of the STS-5. It was a rather exciting moment for me.

Then, I clicked this link and found my album title. The quote was The things we know best are the things we haven’t been taught, said by Marquis de Vauvenargues. This, of course, meant that my album was Things We Haven’t Been Taught. Alright, I was down with that. To the next step!

I needed my album cover. It was very important, you see. So I went to this link, and got this image, by Silver Velvet.

Now, to put it all together! I went here, and found out that the site was closing. But not yet, so I wasn’t to be stopped! I fiddled with colors, and sharpness, and had a great amount of fun. I added my band name, and the album title, and saved the image. I proceeded to upload it to Imgur (because I like it there), and then I wandered right back here to post it to show to you all.

This can be found here.

To clarify: none of this is mine. I played with the picture, but it does not belong to me. I just want to make sure credit is given where credit it due. After all, if I didn’t, not only would I feel like a horrible, horrible person, but Nana might rawr at me. And I have to live with her.

Have a wonderful day.

~Ekhlami

Every Moment Counts

In one moment, everything can change. Someone is born, someone dies. Someone gets hurt, or upset, or overjoyed. A family can be destroyed.

A family can begin.

Today’s Daily Create was to create a photo that represents the happiest or most memorable moment of my life. I chose to reinterpret that. Instead of doing the most memorable, I’m doing the moment that literally changed my life.

Allow me to explain, before I post the picture.

My name has not always been Alison. Indeed, when I was little, my name was Alice. But I wasn’t wanted. Or perhaps I couldn’t be wanted. I don’t know. I’ve never met the woman. I don’t ever need to, either, unlike other people in my position.

When I was a little over a year old, I met these two adults who would change my life. I didn’t know it then, of course, and I certainly don’t remember it — I was too young. But that moment is the most important one to me — closely followed by the one where they decided to keep me. If it weren’t for these moments, I would in the most literal sense not be who I am today. I’d be Alice, with a different personality, living in a different country. Let’s face it — if I didn’t have my parents, I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of what I’ve done. I owe them everything, though I know they’d say I owe them nothing.

After all, what is family for?

Alice

This is Alice, the day she met her parents.

(Of course, I played with the picture — it isn’t actually black and white with a postage stamp border. In case you were wondering. Also, I’m not apologizing for the picture quality this time — I like it just the way it is.)

Have a wonderful day.

~Ekhlami

Valentine’s Day

Oh, Valentine’s Day. It isn’t my favorite holiday — but at least back in the States, there are all of the half-off candy sales on February 15th.

Here, though, in Japan, it is entirely different. Or at least it feels that way.

Back home, I can ignore the custom completely. Unfortunately, I feel almost obligated to go along with it, and make chocolates for my friends. (Which is more difficult that it looks — I somehow successfully just burned mine. And melted the spatula. So I’ll have to buy a new one.) It would be fine, except I ended up making more friends than I expected, and now I have way too many people to make chocolates for.

Well, at least it’s fun, right?

So here’s to hoping that it all goes well, and that I don’t burn any more.

Chocolates

Chocolates, by J. Paxon Reyes

Have a good night!

~Ekhlami

Power Play

Today, I chose to do the Three Word Wednesday ds106 assignment. The assignment was to go to this site and find the three words for this week and use them in some form of written work. The words for this week are control, flesh, and razor. I’m going to do the writing first, and detail the process at the end, if you don’t mind, so that anyone linking from there doesn’t have to read the entire post. It shall be brief.

Untitled

It was quiet, in this dark room, except for the muffled sobbing from the man in the chair. He had long since given up on escape — the bindings, whatever they were, cut deep into his flesh.

The other individual in the room was enjoying the sounds as he surveyed his weapons. He was done with the blunt instruments for a bit — though he did enjoy the sight of forming bruises, they did not give him the same sense of control that his sharper toys did. Walking down the line on the table, his eyes settled on the perfect blade.

He picked up the straight razor and grinned.

Fin

Sorry, it’s a bit creepy, I know.

So, process. I decided I wanted to do a writing assignment — the photography for the Daily Create is going to kill me, I’m sure. And the moment I saw the Three Word Wednesday assignment, I knew I wanted to try it. When I clicked over to see what the words were, I immediately had an idea.

I know, I went for the obvious a bit here. I was watching Criminal Minds earlier, so my first thought was serial killer. I do hope I successfully got that across, but that’s a bit difficult in 109 words, so I’m not sure I managed. Still, that’s where I was trying to go with it.

That’s really all I have to say on the subject. It occurs to me now that there were other things I could have done, but this idea wouldn’t let me go enough to think of them until after it was written. I suppose I could write them now, but I like the creepy drabble, so I don’t want to take away from it. I feel like if I write something else with the same three words that is in an entirely different direction, it will take away from what I managed to do with that. I might have to do this again, though, next week — we’ll see. I thought this one was pretty cool. If I see words next week that speak to me the same way, well, I suppose you’ll find out.

Take care!

~Ekhlami

It’s Worse Than That He’s Dead

At the end of the day, family is family, right? And you love your family, and they love you, and death is the saddest thing in the world, because you’re losing someone you love.

Wait, wait — let’s back up. There’s no sense starting in the middle like this. But where is the beginning?

I could tell you all some sob story, about my extended family and how we don’t have the closest of ties. I could tell you how they don’t care much for me or my brother, and I could tell you why. I could provide all sorts of evidence showing their disdain (or at the least, lack of care) for us, from both sides. I could tell you about how we “aren’t really family” — but at the end of the day, there isn’t much point in these tales except to depress people. So this is not that story.

I’m sure you’re wondering, why is it “worse than that he’s dead?” And who, exactly, is “he?”

My family, my immediate family, is made up of my mom, dad, and younger brother (who is about to have a birthday, and this makes me feel old, but that is not this story either). My dad has three siblings: an older brother, an older sister, and a younger sister. He has two currently living, still married, parents: a father and a mother. His older brother has no children, his older sister has three children (two boys and a girl), and his younger sister has one child (a boy). My mom has one living parent, her mother, and four siblings: an older brother, two younger sisters, and a younger brother, each of them with two biological children (all girls, except for her older brother’s first child), and one has a stepson.

None of that is important, really, at the moment — except for the part where my dad has two “currently living” parents. You see, the “he” in question is my dad’s father.

And he’s dying.

This is no surprise, of course — he’s been dying for months. He’s also in his early eighties, so it’s not as though he’s dying terribly young. He’s not even young-ish. So, really, it’s not unexpected.

So why is it “worse than that he’s dead?” Well, the answer to that makes me seem rather cold, but the thing is — that’s not the part I care about. It’s the dying that’s bothering me — primarily because the entire thing is upsetting my own dad, which is perfectly reasonable. But I can’t help, here, so far away from home. All I can do is call every few days and talk about inane things, comparatively, like school, or what I bought from the store today, or the price of fruit here and how I hope I don’t get scurvy.  There are other things going on at home that we talk about, of course — something occurred last Thursday, which was great fun to deal with, let me tell you — but there’s this undercurrent of sadness that I can’t help with, and that makes me feel like a terrible daughter.

The thing is, though, he’s going to die soon. This week, maybe, or the next — most likely sometime this month, judging by the events of this weekend (Sunday, apparently, was a terrible day). And when he dies, the grieving process can start. But now, we’re stuck in limbo, with a half-dead man who is no longer mentally sound, his wife who is cleaning because she has no idea what to do, and their son, my father, who is the one they keep turning to because he’s the most stable of their four children. It’s killing him, having to watch this, having to make decisions regarding his father’s medical needs because neither of his parents can/will make them, and someone has to.

I know that, no matter what, things are going to change. I don’t know how, but it will really hurt my dad when his father dies. I don’t know if this means my family will actually spend time with them for a change (we just do holidays, really), or what, but this is going to break Dad’s heart.

If nothing else, though, I hope Dad remembers that his father is a part of our lives in a rather important way. In 1964, Dad’s father built the house Dad owns now, that my brother wants to buy someday. In that sense, his father will never be gone.

Pakik (Lost)

Today’s Daily Create was to take a picture of a place in your home where you lose things. As it happens, I was tempted to just take a picture of the apartment door, being as the entire place manages to take my things. I was also tempted to take a picture of my bedroom door, for the same reason. (Not, however, the room itself — it’s a bit too much of a mess. This could, perhaps, be why I lose things there, but let’s nevermind that, alright? Thank you.)

In the end, after much serious contemplation, I opted to take this image.

12-02-08_001

Here is a link back to the site I uploaded on.

Yes, this is my washing machine. Yes, it does eat my socks — how did you guess? I felt it was only right. After all, it seems that no matter what washer I find myself using, inevitably, something goes missing — usually a sock, however, this is not always the case. I am still seriously miffed about the time I washed my Jack Skellington sweatshirt and it didn’t reappear from the dryer. That… was not a good day.

Still, not much I can do about it now, I suppose — this was back in high school.

…Suddenly, I feel very old. How odd. >.<

…It occurs to me, all of a sudden, that yesterday’s Daily Create was about laundry as well. I’d better change it up tomorrow — I would hate to feel predictable.

All the best,

~Ekhlami

Stars and Garters

Alright, I give. This title has nothing to do with anything. Also, it has nothing to do with Star Trek (except by the very, very tenuous of ties). We’ve wandered into X-Men territory over here. Can anyone tell me who says that? Hint: that’s not the full sentence. It’s also not said by Patrick Stewart, so sorry, but that’s not the easy answer here.

Anyway, let’s talk about the Daily Create.

The Daily Create is an interesting site. I’m not actually sure how I feel about it. I mean, it’s kinda cool, in the whole Ooh, let’s see what we can all come up with! kind of way, but honestly — I’m so bad at this stuff. It’s amusing and terrible all at once, I assure.

Yesterday’s Creation was a ten second, voice only, wordless recording. I had a song stuck in my head, so I hummed a partial tune. It was an interesting assignment, but alas — I learned (or rather, it was reinforced) that I’m not terribly creative in that sense. No matter, I told myself — there shall be another one tomorrow! And with any luck, it will go better.

Then I realized I was talking to myself and quickly ceased. At least I didn’t respond, right? There may be hope for me yet.

Today’s Daily Create, however,  involved a camera. It asked the users to take a picture of something that is never seen upside down. This, of course, was a huge problem. I don’t own a camera that works. Oh, I own a camera — who doesn’t, these days? — but the charger got jacked, and I can’t find another in this country. There are some I can buy online, but they don’t ship overseas. It’s terribly frustrating, let me assure you. Terribly frustrating.

So I had to take my picture with the phone I got from Softbank — and, no, I don’t have an iPhone or anything, just the cheapest phone there was. So the quality is terrible. Still, I should probably show you. My sincerest apologies.

Laundry

My awful, awful picture of my hanging clothing can be found here.

And so.

I kind of want to expand a bit, but I don’t have much more to say. I’m plotting a few blog posts — three, currently, but I shan’t ruin it for you — that should all be up by Friday night. We’ll also see if I end up doing any more Daily Create blogs.

It’s kind of cool, but I sort of hope there aren’t anymore photography ones — I don’t want to subject you all to anymore totally horrifying images.

Have a great day!

~Ekhlami