sarka: (Default)
2019-07-12 06:30 pm
Entry tags:

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General rules of this journal:

I will not friend anyone back unless they comment on this (or some other) entry with a request.

All fic posts will remain public. All private posts are friendslocked for the time being.

All my fic can be found here.

If I don't get back to any comments or questions in timely fashion, please consider that I'm on GMT time, in addition to being a university student with a full schedule.

I'm all for meeting new friends, so please comment if you want to friend me.

Cheers

Šárka
sarka: (Default)
2011-04-08 12:21 am

Aftershocks.

Transcript from the news right now:

"please do not stop or try to go back, please leave as soon as possible. Please do not try to approach the coastal area. The land might have subsided and dikes may have been broken in March 11 earthquake... tsunami could be higher than expected..."

"...as we have been reporting, at 11.32 local time on Thursday there was an earthquake. The magnitude was approx 7.4. The area which was already affected by the March disaster is more vulnerable. If you are still near the coastal areas, please flee to higher ground..."

"The focus of the quake was off Miyagi, 40 kilometers below the seabed. The meteorological office has issued a tsunami warning for the coastal areas in Miyage, Aomori, Ibarake..."


To put things in perspective, this aftershock was larger than the '95 Kobe earthquake, which killed about 6500 people. Haiti's earthquake was only 7 on the Richter scale. (Only.)

The alarm went off, so I had braced myself for it, but it just kept going. In the end, I went outside, because listening to my furniture shake was too unnerving. There were neighbors on the balcony, and we nodded at each other, frowned in mutual consternation, shook our heads once it was done and went back inside.

The reporting of the Nuclear Crisis is starting to overshadow the heartbreaking humanitarian situation in the North. How is that fair?

If you've ever wanted to ask me for a favour, or something crafty, or a story - I'm willing to sell my soul right now for donations to the Japanese Red Cross. So if you have any requests, let me know.
sarka: (Default)
2011-03-14 04:09 pm

... and I feel fine.

The computer is the only electronic device I've got on at the moment. We've been kindly asked to save electricity for those who need it more, and so I'm sitting here in late afternoon light, in several layers, because I have turned off my heater.

I woke up to an earthquake warning on my phone, and barely a minute later, my house rocked gently, my glasses clinking together in the shelves in my kitchen unit.

I'm going to have to bike into school tomorrow, probably, because I doubt the trains will be running. There won't be any students, but the staff is still expected to come in, and while I could theoretically take some time off, I know the Japanese staff will all be there.

It's a strange, surreal existence, here in Saitama. We are so far removed from the events that the biggest impact will be the rolling blackouts and the lack of train service. And of course the inability to stay away from the news. Statistically speaking, I know some of my colleagues are probably grieving and anxious, but I know they're all going to be there tomorrow, because that is how this country works.

As we get more reports of death and devastation, the reports of incredible selflessness, unbelievable rescues and brilliant reunions have started trickling in, too. This country is, and has always been, incredibly community-minded. Even in Tokyo, where the devastation was minimal, people still experienced acts of kindness that would bring tears to anyone's eyes. There's a story on twitter about someone who couldn't make it home due to train stoppage, and was given cardboard to keep them warm by the same homeless people most Tokyoites pass without second thought every day.

What strikes a foreign guest like me the most is the unutterable dignity of the situation. There is no panic, there are no mobs, there are no unmanageable crowds. People may be buying things for the worst possible situation, but nobody is taking more than exactly what they need. I have been called by my coworkers to make sure I'm up on what's going on, and I have been stopped on the street by the people I nod at every morning, asking me if I'm okay or if I need any help to get through this.

Everyone is grieving, and anxious about the disaster we may still be facing. But the tenor of people's conversations doesn't seem somber; they seem determined - as if every disaster looming on the horizon is just another obstacle to traverse.

When the earthquake struck on Friday, I was in the gym. I didn't immediately realize what was happening; I thought someone was trying to open the door I was sticking posters to from the other side. And then the ceiling started creaking. I walked over to the other doors, which were open, snagging a frozen coworker along the way, and we stood under the doors, until everyone realized that this wasn't just a tremor. The sixth graders had been practicing for their graduation ceremony in the gym, and were crouched down in the middle of the room, and as the shaking intensified, we started hearing whimpers and screams of panic. "Out," one of my coworkers finally shouted, making the decision for all of us. I darted outside and set myself up at the edge of the courtyard, making sure the students stayed away from the windows as they ran for the playground. When everybody was out of the gym, we got over to the grounds to settle the students down, the earth still bucking and weaving around us, making our gait a little unsteady.

"Is it just my knees shaking, or are we still going?" I asked a coworker on the down low once the students were sitting down, and more people were evacuating the building in so orderly a fashion you'd have thought this was a drill.

"We're still going," he said, softly. "Look at the trees." They were swaying, back and forth, like they were being battered by strong winds.

We eventually settled the students back into the gym and made rounds of the school. Nothing was broken, nothing even really out of place. As we passed a second grade classroom, one of the second grade Japanese teachers asked us to help setting up some loose panels - what she had been doing before the first quake struck. In the middle of trying to figure out why the panels wouldn't cooperate, the biggest aftershock struck. We learned later that it was 7.4 on the Richter scale. My coworker cowered on the ground and I had to dart back in and tug her to the door - she told me later that she hadn't ever felt anything like the first tremor.

Once the shaking subsided, the intercom went, calling all of us to the office. Train services were suspended, and we did nothing for the rest of the afternoon except watch the news and wait to figure out what to do.

Thirty students couldn't make it home that night and slept at school with some of the teachers. To give you an idea of the level of preparedness in this country for this sort of thing, they did not have to make do with their jackets and some hastily procured blankets. In the event of a natural catastrophe, like this, the school has access to sleeping bags for every single student.

I've been home since then, mostly glued to the news services. The situation in Fukushima is frightening, particularly because nuclear reactors are an unknown quantity to me. However, the news reporting from Japan is quite different from the sensationalist stuff that seems to be reported elsewhere, and so I've banished the BBC forever from my reading list. (Not to mention CNN, what's with the Godzilla jokes?)

Tomorrow it's business as usual for this part of the country. I have no inkling what sort of thing we'll be supposed to do, but I imagine there will be long meetings in Japanese.

I am expecting a rolling blackout to start any minute now, so I suppose I better post this and turn the computer off - or try to write, since the internet won't be there to distract me.

For those of you with the funds... [livejournal.com profile] help_japan has an auction up with many nice things on offer. Please consider it.

Thank you for all the well wishes and all the concern. I'm touched so many people thought of me.

Stay safe.

Sárka.
sarka: (Default)
2011-03-11 07:10 pm

Fine...

It came in as a gentle tremor... and then it got worse. And worse. And worse.

The hardest part was watching the kids panic. The feeling of responsibility for those kids - that was a shocker.

Tomorrow will be... well. We'll see.

I'm fine. I just hope all my friends are.
sarka: (Default)
2011-02-27 02:43 am

(no subject)

It`s interesting how, when I spend quite a bit of time in the middle of the week missing my online friends, wishing I could be irresponsible and spend the whole night chatting and trolling fandom for porn, that when I don`t have any choice except to do exactly that, what I really want is my bed.

I`m sitting in a manga cafe off Shinjuku, wearing a navy silk dress and a lot of makeup, waiting for the first train back home.

Got any fun internet timewasters?
sarka: (Default)
2011-02-07 08:42 pm

For the Icelanders on my friendslist...

Does it work? Have I done irreparable damage?

Riding, riding
riding through the wildness,
western skies ablaze with golden light.
'Round these mountains, many monsters wander
waiting for a victim in the night.
Fates, oh, lead the steps of my steed
let me make the last of my way with speed.
Fates, oh, lead the steps of my steed
let me make the last of my way with speed.

Hush now, hush now,
something here is listening,
perhaps a fox goes hungry for his prey.
Still, it sounded like someone was calling
outlaws seeking sheep to lead astray?
If I lose the sight of where I'm bound
not even my bones will ever be found.
If I lose the sight of where I'm bound
not even my bones will ever be found.

Hurry, hurry,
hurry through to nightfall
shadows lengthen, dark is falling fast.
The elven queen is readying her riders,
fey whoever sees her hunt go past.
Any price I would happily pay
if I make it home 'fore the end of day.
Any price I would happily pay
if I make it home 'fore the end of day.


English speakers, does it make sense? Is it horrendously grammatically incorrect? It's an English translation of an Icelandic folk song.
sarka: (Beer)
2011-01-19 09:16 pm

Some days...

There are days where things are brilliant.
There are days when things could be better.
There are days when things could be worse.
There are utter shit days.

And then there are days like today.

*breaks into the hard liquor*

Apparently, Mr. S is now up and walking around on his own, thank Christ. At the hospital, under the supervision of doctors, after being taken in the ambulance I called for him when he fell off the parallel bars during cleaning time.

Onto his face. At an angle that could easily have snapped his neck. And he couldn't move when I reached him - couldn't, in fact, feel anything below his neck.

It should be mentioned that Mr. S is my immediate superior. He's also 54 years old. Do not ask me what the hell he was doing on the parallel bars, I do not know. I suspect him of forgetting that he's 54 years old. He's that kind of guy.

*sigh*

And then I went and offered an extra pair of hands to M who was teaching a 6th grade English class on his own, with Mr. S in the hospital. 6th graders thought they could run the class. They were quite shocked when I made it clear to them that the English teacher runs the class, whoever the English teacher may be.

God, I'm glad I have tomorrow off.
sarka: (Default)
2010-12-03 08:47 pm

Problems one can't expect to have, part 87000 in a series.

Okay, so, after lobbying to be allowed to teach a Christmas song to my fourth graders, we finally settled for teaching a song but not testing on it.

We went with "Deck the halls," because it's more in the spirit of the season than the holy spirit...

Anyway... I have now discovered that 90% of my students can't say the word "Deck".

Most of them, thankfully, say "Duck" instead, which I can work with.

But around 25% seem to be running with "Dick the ho's with boos of hoary."

Dammit.
sarka: (Merlin's Balls!)
2010-10-19 01:34 pm

Magical Mystery Hour.

Here's a picture of today's lunch tray.

From General pics


I will write a 1000 word minimum fic for anyone who correctly guesses what's inside that dreaded breaded thing next to the salad.

No, really.
sarka: (Default)
2010-09-06 08:22 pm

(no subject)

*sniffle*

Don't you just hate it when something you REALLY wanted to do turns out to be just out of reach? And I mean just, by, like, ten minutes? Argh, why has nobody invented teleportation yet?
sarka: (Default)
2010-09-01 06:53 pm

PSA plus technical stuff.

I don't enforce my anonymity very much on LJ. Mostly this is because I don't particularly care if Fandom folks know my RL name.

However, if I EVER catch ANYONE crossposting a comment from my journal to Facebook or Twitter, you'll be banned from commenting on my LJ with no second chances. If it's a mistake I'll understand, as long as the comment is removed from the relevant social network ASAP, but there's a no-tolerance policy in place from now on intentional crosspostings.

My anonymity may be scant, but I have very good reasons for it.

Now, if you're like me and use your keyboard more than your mouse and have already been sent to the damn 'Settings' site five times in the past half-hour, here's what you do:

Go here to get Greasemonkey, in case you don't already have it. It works with Firefox, but most of you are using that one already.

Then go here to get the handily written DisConnect for LJ, by [livejournal.com profile] daluci. It'll remove the damn checkboxes from your comment pages, reducing the likelihood of accidents.

(Other things I use Greasemonkey to do: It tells me which comments I haven't seen before when I'm perusing massive comment threads, such as at the kinkmeme and it also expands nested comment threads for me.)

If you're on Chrome, go here for info on how to run userscripts.

If you're a MAC user, you can use the Greasekit - there is a more detailed tutorial here.

Thanks go to [livejournal.com profile] txvoodoo for the information.
sarka: (Default)
2010-08-20 12:40 am

... okay, help.

I need to WRITE. But everything I've got in the pipelines are MASSIVE WiP's, which means that starting after a bit of not writing is an insurmountable obstacle.

I just need to get into the habit again, remind myself that I CAN knock out stories fairly easy.

Ergo; I need your help, dear friends. I want to write PORN. Basic, no-nonsense smut.

Give me two characters - they don't need to be from the same fandom for all I care - and a sexual act, and/or kink, and/or location, and/or position. Get as descriptive as you like, just NO PLOT PLEASE I CAN'T HANDLE IT.

Prompt me?

Thanks!
sarka: (Default)
2010-08-11 11:57 pm

Too Many Plotbunnies.

*ding*

*ding*

*ding*

"Hang on, I'm on my way I just need to..."

*ding ding ding*

"Okay, okay, I'm here, can I help you sir?"

"I was supposed to get to fuck Stéphane."

"Right, sorry sir, scheduling problems, and your name is?"

"Johnny. Johnny Weir. Listen, she promised that the next step in the story would be me fucking Stéphane."

"Look, I'm just the receptionist, sir. I just keep her calendar, I'm not actually in charge of what goes on it, so if you'd just wait over there..."

"Unbelievable!"

+++

*cough*

"Yes, how can I help you, sir?"

"It's Doctor, Doctor McKay, and, well, you could get me a meeting with her, for starters."

"I'm sorry, Dr. McKay, I'm afraid her calendar is a little full right now, why don't you..."

"Listen, I was supposed to get to save the earth. Right now, Sheppard is MAD AT ME, the idiot, because he fell for me, of course! I'm waiting for the bit of the story where it gets better, you understand?"

"... yes, of course I understand but..."

"What do you keep us hanging around here for, you idiot, then? You hear me? I'm going to write a letter to my author, yes I am, you just wait..."

"Dr. McKay..."

"... telling her that her staff in here is atrocious, are you listening to me, I could get you fired..."

"Dr. McKay!"

"What?"

"Um, the guy behind you? He's bigger than you and looks a lot more pissed."

"Oh. Oh, okay. Um. I'll just wait over there. With Ronon. Yes."

"I... er, can I help you, sirs?"

"Yeah, you can get us a meeting with her. Listen, this is fucked up, seriously. She works on this for months and months, and then she just drops us like a hot potato just when we're ready to get to the bit where it all falls into place. Jensen, you think it's fucked up too, this is ridiculous."

"I'm sorry, sirs, I just don't have any slots open right now, but if you'll wait a little while... avail yourselves of the amenities..."

"Oh fuck this."

+++

"Yes? Can I help you?"

"Excuse me, my name is Elijah? Yeah, I know, 've been here for a while... listen, could we have some new magazines? I think I've read all of these. Twice."

"I'll see what I can do..."

"Also, um, I'd love to get my turn with the author, but these two over there, the ones in the uniforms? They keep having sex on the chairs, so if she could get them out of here before they, like, trash the place..."

*loud groan of 'oh, fuck, Jim'*

"Oh, see, there they go again..."

+++

"Hey."

"Hello, sir, how may I help you?"

"Hi. How are you doing? Are all these other guys bothering you? Listen, my name is Tony, Tony DiNozzo. I don't want to be rude but I was wondering about our turn... it was supposed to come a while ago. Oh, did you know you have the most gorgeous blue eyes?"

+++

"Good evening, sir, may I help you?"

"Yes, I need to speak with your author."

"I'm afraid she's busy right now, is there anything I can help you with?"

"No. Listen, my name is Special Agent Hetfield, I'm with the FBI, I have a few questions for her, it will only take a moment..."

"I'm sorry, sir..."

"It concerns Sam Winchester. WIN-CHES-TER. She'll know who he is and why he's important. I heard she might have some information about his whereabouts..."

"You know, you're really out of practice after living a normal life for the last few months."

"What...?"

"Sit down, Dean, you can wait like everybody else."

+++

"Excuse me, ma'am, I need to speak with the proprietor of this establishment straight away."

"I'm sorry, do you have an appointment, Mr..."

"Special Agent Peter Burke. I'm with the FBI."

"And is your inquiry relevant to a current case or does it have something to do with... wait, where is Neal?"
sarka: (Default)
2010-04-12 08:41 pm

Okay.

Okay.

*takes a deep breath*

*opens a bottle of wine*

*clicks*
sarka: (Default)
2010-01-25 07:08 pm

Ouch.

If your left shoulder and your right ankle hurt like hell, shouldn't it even out?
sarka: (Default)
2010-01-14 11:17 pm

Helping Haiti

Can I just say I'm ridiculously proud of my country today? We sent 35 specialists in disaster search and rescue to Haiti yesterday and were the second relief-squad in. I don't like our government all that much, but I'll give them kudos for this.

On that note, while I'm sleepy and tired and achy, I wanted to let everyone know that I've got three things up for bids in [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti:

Box of Random Icelandicness. - This is going to be epically fun to put together :D

Something knitted out of Icelandic wool. - Because I'm in practice right now, and I can't let my boyfriend churn out items faster than me!

Words, 1500 of them. - I've never done this before, so, eep :D

Now, gonna watch Castle and DIE from exhaustion.
sarka: (Default)
2009-12-22 10:29 am
Entry tags:

Cleaning my room:

Oh my god, you guys, where did all this yarn come from?
sarka: (Default)
2009-12-13 12:48 am

*facepalm*

I never post meme results. Ever. But this was just too good: )

In other news: I wasn't working this weekend. This does not mean I have the weekend off: I spent today baking - three types of cookies, an Icelandic layer cake, oatcakes and then I made candy, and I'm totally beat. Tomorrow I'm doing three or four loads of laundry and cleaning my room. Joy.

At least I had a lot of fun at yesterday's party, despite the exploding coke incident, and it's always nice to meet the Slash Girls. I'm thinking about having a party sometime before I leave for Japan - a sort of unbirthday, because I'm never in the freaking country on my birthday, seriously.

Now, going to go off and try to write. *pounds away at the keyboard*
sarka: (Default)
2009-12-13 12:17 am

ZAP - You're all naked now.

Yesterday night, I went to a party, during which some guests commented on the readability of other guests' LJ layouts, which prompted me to blurt out: "But why don't you just ZAP IT?"

Which prompted a few questions of the "Whaaaa?" variety, and I ended up promising to make this post.

Now, here's your standard introduction, if you have no idea where I'm going with this: These are bookmarklets. Basically, you drag and drop them wherever you keep your bookmarks - in my case, I keep the two I use the most directly on the Bookmarks Toolbar in Firefox, and the rest in a folder on said toolbar which is aptly named "Zappers". Basically, these are little javascript buttons that you hit and they do all sorts of nifty things.

My most frequently used bookmarklet comes from this site: Bookmarklets for Zapping annoyances. The one I use the most from there is "Zap Colors", which is also, hands down, the most frequently pressed button on my computer screen. It turns backgrounds white and text black, and links go blue and purple. From that site, I also use "Force Wrap", which fixes sites that are distorted by long words (everybody hates scrolling sideways!), "Linearize", which does what it says on the tin and "Zap White Backgrounds" which turns your backgrounds tan - I use it with Zap Colours when my eyes are tired. They also have "Zap Images", which replaces all images with their alternate text - great for pretending you're working when you're really reading your friendslist!

My second and third most frequently used bookmarklets, however, come from here: Murklins @ talkoncorners.net. Drag the first link and drop them on your toolbar, and you can display any and all LJ pages in the style of your LJ with the click of a button. This one is a LIFESAVER.

The next one down changes the mode on any given post so that instead of displaying comments, it's set to "Reply". I use this for two reasons: When I hit this button, I can do a "Select All" and save all the text of the site into a .txt document for later perusal on my Mp3 player, without having to save a gazillion comments and also, sometimes I'm worried about spoilers in comments.

I also have the third one off that site in my "Zappers" folder, but I barely ever use it.

Possibly my favourite bookmarklet, though, is found here: To Read. I hit a button, and it sends the site to me in an email so that I can remember to read it later. I also have the ToRead+, which lets me send myself a comment with the link! It's BRILLIANT for people like me whose ToDo lists are freaking endless and who are always on the run and don't always have time or patience to troll through their saved tabs later.

[livejournal.com profile] felisblanco, I told you there was a bookmarklet that would zap text to light on dark background; if you put your "Style" setting at Readability to "Terminal", you get light text on a darkish green background.

Readability is awesome because you can fiddle with it a lot to get it to display exactly the results you want - because not everything is on Livejournal, after all, and can be fixed with a "style=mine" tag - you can change the style, the size and the margin width, and once you're happy with your settings, all you have to do is drag and drop the resulting button. In fact, I have two different Readability buttons; one with Medium font, one with Large font, and the Large font is set in the eBook style. The extra super cool thing about Readability is that when Readability has loaded your stripped page, the resulting page has three buttons in the top left corner of the site, the first of which takes you back to the original look without reloading, the second prints the result and the third lets you email the text of the page - and only the text - to someone else, or yourself.

There's also other nifty things I never use.

Now! Go forth and ZAP THINGS.