If you haven't already read, LJ is now requiring users to agree to a new TOS in order to log in - a TOS that requires users to agree that in accordance with Russian law "protecting minors" (protect THIS, LJ), any LGBT content will be treated as violating the terms of service.
Maybe this will prove to be yet another storm in a teapot, but it looks to me like the death of LJ for real, so I have just logged in long enough to let people know that henceforth any updates I make (and I know it's been a long time) will be over at Dreamwidth. Friend me there at sara_tanaquil, second verse, same as the first. I backed up my whole journal over there a while ago.
The historian in me won't let me delete all my content here, but I won't be able to update here any more. Well, at least my LGBT content is all friendslocked anyway, maybe the trolls in Russia will leave my stuff alone.
Despite one quick proofreading, this is probably full of typos and god-only-knows-what, but I wanted to get it up before mangaroo had to return her copy to the library. mangaroo, I hope you can at least scribble down some notes in the way of a response before you have to take it back.
Also, T____T forever, but that kind of goes without saying
You would think Impel Down would be one of my least favorite arcs, what with all the immature toilet humor. And I thought maybe I would like it less the second time through. Nope - it's still one of my favorites. So hilariously epic. And the comedy is kind of a welcome relief against the deadly serious backdrop.
Shabondy, yay! This is one of those arcs (kind of like Jaya, vols 24-25) that can be overwhelming at first and is probably better on a re-read, but even on a first read, it is still made of multiple layers of awesome.
A day later than I had hoped, but on with Volume 49! A lot of shounen fighting to get through here. I'm looking forward to getting into Volume 50 and the transition to one of my favorite arcs coming up next.
A comment that applies to pretty much the whole volume: I don't highlight this much in the summaries, partly because the details of fighting are too tedious to summarize, but I really love when all the Strawhats team up and play off of each other's abilities. Teamwork fights are the best!
This is a bit premature, because I would usually wait until discussion on 46 was exhausted to start 47, but I'm leaving for Latin camp tomorrow, so I might as well post the finished summary for 47 now.
I'll be taking 48-51 with me (48 is half read with no summarizing done yet), in case I have time to work on it in the evenings, but no promises until I get back on the 23rd.
Besides end of semester craziness and beach travel, I've been having a little motivation trouble because Thriller Bark has never been a favorite arc of mine. It has some great moments, to be sure, but zombies are just not my thing.
I had hoped to make more progress at the beach, but we had such a run of good weather that I couldn't do much of anything on the computer at all. Not that I'm complaining.
This one was really interesting! (From the koohii forums, again. I'm not sure if I need to spend more time there, or less. So full of interesting ways to waste time.) It purports to be a test that can determine roughly how many words you know in Japanese from a fifty-word quiz. (Brought to us by the publisher of an electronic CD dictionary, apparently.)
I was hoping the test was endlessly self-generating, but actually it seems like there are only three versions (too bad, it would be a fun way to test change over time). As far as I can tell from trying the first two, the tests are progressively harder, but interestingly, although I was able to identify far fewer words on the second one, both reported that I had a similar level of vocabulary: between 15,000 and 16,000 words. (Which is elementary school level, if you want a depressing statistic. Of course native speakers recognize all sorts of random words a foreign speaker typically wouldn't. University graduates allegedly can recognize something in the range of 40-50K words. I wonder how adult native speakers do on the test.)
I have no idea how statistically accurate the test is, but 15K sounds about right to me (maybe a tad high) - I have an anki deck of about 9000 vocab words that I routinely run through, and there must be a lot of words that aren't in my deck that I recognize just from casual reading.
I'd be really curious to know what my more fluent friends would score on the test!
I feel kind of dumb that I didn't know this existed, but I was wandering around the koohii forums (I think I was looking to see if anyone had done a Kanzen Master grammar deck for the higher levels) and stumbled across a reference to this site.
(I switched into Japanese for good discipline, but you can actually get most of the menus and instructions to display in English by clicking on the thingy in the upper right corner.)
My challenge to myself, lately, has been to really focus on listening practice and see if I can get my comprehension levels up. It's just so frustrating to listen to the news every night (TuneIn on the iPhone, ILU) and have to feel proud of myself when I recognize that they're talking about the Ukraine (because believe me, that is ALL I'm getting).
Anyway, Erin's Challenge was recommended for listening practice. It's a really clever site - you can do all sorts of things to customize how much or how little help you get from subtitles, etc. But what I think I love most is how culturally localized and specific it is, at least judging just from the first "chapter". It's like reading manga, only better. (I now know where to park the bike I don't own next time I'm traveling in Japan. Cool!)
Probably not so fun for those who have actually lived in Japan and can understand all this stuff, but highly recommended for anyone else who is studying Japanese.
Now I have something to do for practice other than listening to old One Piece episodes!
[Protected for excess use of tissues]I found volume 41 really hard to summarize for two reasons - because the flashback breaks my heart (so I had to keep stopping every few chapters), and because I find just about everything that happens so compelling, it was more like I was translating than summarizing half the time. Which is overkill and unnecessary, really. But anyway, I'm hoping that the next couple of volumes might be easier to summarize. Fight scenes usually are.