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Colonel Eigher, referring to the surrender of Austria to Napoleon, in the novel "Black Powder War" of the Temeraire series.

I'm rereading this book in particular with fresh eyes, as it deals with the defeat of both Austria and Prussia at the hands of Napoleon, which we have only recently been studying in my Habsburg history class. I love reading and going "OMG there are reluctant Saxon troops! We learned about them in class!" :D

Line of Lanterns by ~Beboots on deviantART

Also, I'm really pleased, because today, I got my results for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) in the mail... and I passed! Level Three! :D Huzzah!

This means that, according to them, I have apparently "mastered grammar to a limited level, knows around 300 kanji and 1,500 words, has the ability to take part in everday conversation and to read and write simple sentences. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese fora round 300 hours and after completion of an elementary course."

So... I'm pretty much at the level of a six-year-old. Maybe. With less instinct for what "sounds" right and such. Also, I barely passed: I got 64/100 on the writing-vocabulary section, 74/100 on the Listening section (I knew that that section pulled my mark up!) and 119/200 on the Reading-grammar section. I'm pretty sure a pass is like 50%, and I'm not much higher than that... D: Still, even though they are merely numbers and letters on a page, I feel self-satisfied. :)

Also, for the crack-worthy-ness that actually kind of sort of ties my talk of Habsburgs and Japanese together... Have I told you guys about Hetalia yet? It's essentially a manga series (which is now an anime...? Maybe?) that tells European history, but with all of the countries as people. It is adorable.

Cassidy. You know what I'm talking about, right? Right. :) (Also, can you resend me the link to that one hetalia comic you once sent me? I've somehow managed to lose it! ;_; )

Apparently, though, there's controversy, because the next season/book/whatever that's to come out has the adventures of the Axis Powers. Including Nazi Germany. D:

I dunno, my favourite characters are Austria and the Holy Roman Empire (which, fittingly, are two separate characters).

But here is some awesomeness: the Austro-Prussian war, as told by Hetalia, with anthropomorphized Austria and Prussia. These two clips are essentially the same, but with different versions of the song. In this one ( ) the lyrics of the song match the subtitles, thereby making it easier to understand if you know some Japanese. (From what I can get, half of it is "You're an idiot"/"Don't call me an idiot") Also, it is amusing because Austria (which has been around for centuries, if not millenia, btw) speaks pretty politely, whereas Prussia (which is an amalgamation of several German states that used to be under the Habsburgs' jurisdiction, like Austria) is hilariously... not polite. XD The second one is sung better, and it's also pretty funny because Prussia's part is sung by a woman. Yeah. <3 (Also, Austria's lines are more casual. And sung in a sexier manner. Just incidentally.)

Also, skip through the first twenty or so seconds of this clip and see the countries of the world do a dance! :D Including Canada. We have a teddy bear. It's awesome.
beboots: (O RLY?)
Maria Theresa

She was pretty darn cool, I have got to say. A more Austrian predecessor of Queen Victoria. Also the mother of Marie Antoinette. Her correspondance in French to her daughter is a pretty interesting eye-opener, though - it's all about sex. Have you tried this? Or this? That will excite your husband... (Maria Theresa got on Marie Antoinette's case for not having enough children with her husband. The former had sixteen. D: )

Interesting anecdtote from the book "Queen, Empress, Concubine: Fifty Women Rulers from the Queen of Sheba to Catherine the Great": "In October 1762 a six-year-old child prodigy from Salzburg, named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91), played the harpsichord for Maria Theresa, Francis Stephen and their children. The royal family were thrilled by his precocious skill, and one story recounts that he was so exhilarated by his performance that he threw himself into the empress' lap and pledged to marry the young archduchess Marie Antoinette."

Say it with me, everyone: awww... :3

The Way to Bruges by ~Beboots on deviantART

Speaking of ambitious Europeans... in 1668, Lous XIV (yes, the Sun King we've all heard so much about, L'etat c'est moi and all that) was very ambitious, but had just lost a humilating war with Holland. All he got out of like two years of war were a few puny bits of Flanders (incidentally, the region where I studied French this past summer!). He was pissed, and wanted revenge.

But the Dutch had really won the last time because of timely English intervention. So this time, Louis bribed the English to keep their noses out of the whole thing. Then, he invaded the Netherlands in 1672, embarking on a war of revenge. The Dutch, alarmed by all of this, initially offer a very generous peace treaty that would relinquish some of the lands that Louis wanted, but Louis wants the whole pie, so he refuses.

Okay, you know how most of the land in Holland is "reclaimed"? Like, is actually under sea level, and has been reclaimed from the sea by the clever use of dykes? Yeah, so essentially the dutch break the dykes, and flood most of their country. Amsterdam is like, an island. And the French troops can do pretty much nothing - they're infantry, they have no ships...

So, yeah, the Dutch are awesome. Also, because France being all pushy and stuff alarms the rest of Europe ("noooo! Our balance of power!" D: ), pretty much anybody sympathetic to the French allies against them. Including the English. Apparently the French didn't bribe them enough. ;) And they bring the Swedes with them. Oh those crazy Swedes.

... I've been studying diligently for my History 310: history of the Holy Roman Empire midterm, can you tell? :D

Oh, and for the crack-worthiness, check this comic out: Can you say... the history of Europe as portrayed by anthropomorphized countries, as written by a Japanese manga artist?
beboots: (Default)
(Subject line = "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Pierce)

So I just noticed that deviantart provides you with some imbedding HMTL so you can show off you pictures on other websites! Let's see if this works, shall we?

Delicate and White by ~Beboots on deviantART

Line of Daffodils by ~Beboots on deviantART

Water by ~Beboots on deviantART
All of the above were taken in various locations in Japan: Tokyo, Mikimoto and Nara.

Edit: Oooh... that turned out quite nicely, in fact! Perhaps I shall start posting a photograph with each of my entries, now...
beboots: (Spread teh light!)
"The rule which forbids ending a sentence with a preposition is the kind of nonsense up with which I will not put." ~Winston Churchill

My authentic japanese name is 猿渡 Saruwatari (monkey on a crossing bridge) 真由 Mayu (true significance).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

So yay I've finished exams! :DD Now I can focus on wasting my time  watching anime/Korean dramas, writing fanfiction, and cleaning my room! :D I think that I did fairly well on all of them... I'm just happy that I finally got through that one take home exam (two essays to be written over the course of four days, on the nature of history). But it's all over and done with! :D

Oh, and it snowed for four days straight, as everyone seems to know... but it stopped today! :D yay! ... and then I look out the window, and yep, you've guessed it, it's started up again. D: Isn't it crazy that I'm technically on summer vacation, and yet it looks more like Christmas break outside?

And I'm definitely going to France this summer! :D And the Japan Expo, in Paris! ... which means that I've got to get working on my costume for the anime festival...

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I'd like to speak more on AP exam stuff, and my pretty eventful week beyond just tests.
But I'll start with that. Every day for the last three weeks, I must have studied for an hour or so a day for European History - recopying notes into timelines and lists, etc., which I found was an easier way to go about studying and memorizing than simply re-reading all of my notes half a bajillion times. So I took the exam on Wednesday, and I think I did pretty well - at least on the multiple choice. The written is iffy, but I wrote one of the questions on England, which I know really well (I'm a British citizen as well as a Canadian, so I've always been interested in the country), and the document-based question was on Feminism, so it wasn't completely unknown to me.
I also wrote a French AP exam, which I challenged, as I've taken French immersion classes since second grade. >_<; It was so.... pompous! And frustrating, because the questions were all on CD, so we had to listen and answer, which wouldn't be too bad if the voices were trying to speak in the most high class France-French as possible - and failing at the cost of their coherancy. I'm not saying I didn't understand (although it was hard as many of my teachers have been Québecois), but when you test someone on their fluency in a language, shouldn't one use people who speak actual French, as in what you'd hear on the streets of Paris, or something? >_<; And don't even get me started on the stupid recorded vocal question - it took forty minutes for me to record a fourteen-minute tape, because the instruction CD kept skipping.
But in a more positive light, this week we also hosted two girls from Konodai school, Chiba, Japan! Their names were Chihiro and Yukie, and they stayed for a week, leaving this morning. They cried when they had to get on the bus. We had so much fun together! ;_; I wish they could have stayed. They were so polite, nice, smart... and cute! They were very shy at first, and their English was adorably bad when they did speak ("My father works as the car salesman"), but after a week, they were much better. We also jumped at the chance to make real breakfasts every morning instead of the usual milk and cereal. I love pancakes! :D
Yesterday, mum was feeling ill, and she and dad were supposed to go to a ball - so I was drafted to go with dad. I threw on my ball gown (I wore it to the Battle of Trafalgar Ball a few years ago, and will wear it again next week for graduation), brushed my hair, and went with him to the Consular Ball 2007. I'm actually glad I went, though.
The food was very good. We were all impressed by the carved ice sorbet dishes and the decorative deserts, and apparently the wine was very good; I had some of the white wine (I'm eighteen, w00t!), but I don't yet have a taste for alcohol, so I wouldn't know.
Also, I had to sit up at the head table! It was sort of scary - we were on a rectangular table on a dias, on display, facing three dozen or so circular tables with six or seven people seated at each. And I couldn't even sit with my father for the dinner - I was seated to the right of a nice italian gentleman named Minuti, who was very happy that they were serving italian wines. On my right was Mr. Sweeny, who was the Deputy Commissioner (I think that was his title...) of the RCMP for pretty much the entire Western Canada. He made for good dinner conversation, and was very nice.
Just to the left of Mr.Minuti was Premier Ed Stelmach, though! The head honcho of all of Alberta! We were introduced (I as the base commander's daughter), and we chatted a few times throughout the evening (once on Alberta beef, actually). He has a nice smile.
There was a band, and some polish dancers. After their first dance, they walked up to the head table and we weren't sure if they were their to shake our hands or what, but they then dragged us all down to the dance floor to lead us all in the first dance! I danced with a fellow in a purple outfit (I confess that when they first walked on stage, with their bright outfits, some of them red, and all with white trim - I thought "Santa Claus"), who was very nice about the fact that my dancing was absolutely horrible.
We left at around 11:15, which was good because I was quite tired. Thank-you, long-suffering Corporal Neil, for your wonderful driving!
beboots: (Harry Potter Face)
So far, so good.

So... I survived my English 30 AP exam today! Woot! I signed an agreement saying that I wouldn't "divulge the contents of this packet, not even to my AP teacher", so I can't give any specifics beyond what's already known. I had to do 55 multiple choice questions (comprehension stuff), with five options instead of the usual four (you know, ABCDE instead of ABCD) - the last one was particularly obscure. And then was the whole "three essays in two hours" thing - otherwise known as "write until your brain dribbles out one ear". XP

But... I live! XD I actually think I did pretty well, and they scale it all anyway. ^_^

Of course, it was a morning thing, and my English class is in the afternoon, therefore to add insult to injury we had to go to class, afterwards. But we got a treat - we got to watch the movie version of that awesome play, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" - hilarious stuff. :) Plus, y'know, deep.

I've been quite busy - learning how to waltz for Grad. I also broke up with my longtime boyfriend, Daniel (actually, only two weeks before our first anniversary). I feel bad for breaking up with him, but a little relieved, too. I've just turned eighteen last month, and I'm not searching for a life partner at the moment.

In any case, I've also been writing a lot - besides, of course, all of the scholastic essays I've been writing. I have made a promise to myself to write at least a paragraph a day of my fanfics (none of which I've posted except one random one-shot, featuring Furher!Ed and here it is, *shameless plug*, and so far I've succeeded, with the exception of the two-week in Japan period.

Speaking of which... I've uploaded some of my best photographs (not of scenery, anyway, I mean some of the more unique stuff) onto a website called Flickr. Here's a link to my gallery: check 'em out! :D (click to make them bigger, and feel free to post and ask about the backstory to any of them).

I hope you're all doing well! ^_^


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